Radio What Wave promo….
Ok, so this name, Radio What Wave, where in the heck did that name come from? is a question I sometimes get asked. Way back in the late 70’s when dinosaurs were actively roaming the earth, this music revolution (ie pub rock to punk rock to powerpop etc) started and the floodgates were opened briefly for all of the loonies to make some noise. The suits didn’t like the name punk rock, due to its negative connotations, so they came up with this name new wave. Realizing that not all of this new music could easily fit under the title of new wave, they created more names like, old wave, neuvo wave, no wave and so on. And a young feller by the name of Al Cole came up with the name What Wave and started a fanzine with that name…
In the fall of 1984 (ya, dinosaurs were still around, but slowly dying off) on the nite of a full moon, we (Rena and Dave) were hanging out with Deja Voodoo (legendary 2 piece sludgeabilly band from Montreal) and we were offered the chance to take over What Wave zine. Stupidly, we agreed and started pumping out issues starting with number 5 right up to the final issue# 22, all over the course of about 10 years. Over those years, we released 10 cassette compilations, a coupla 7” compilations plus started the What Wave record label that still sorta exists. Had worldwide distro and then got burnt out…
The first incarnation of Radio What Wave was called Young Fast and Scientific (like The Dictators song) and was on CHRW every other Saturday at 8PM from the late 70’s to early 80’s. The next version of Radio What Wave was heard every other early monday morning/late sunday night from late 1989 up until February 1994…this was a 45 minute tape that we recorded at home and supplied to John Hoevenaars (presently co-host of The Blues Never Die, wed nites from 7 to 8:30 PM on CHRW) who played it on his overnite show here on CHRW during that time period. And this latest version of Radio What Wave has been on the air since Feb 14th 2005, originally co-hosted by Mike Speed City, and always on thursday nites from 7 to 8:30 PM. So what kinda music does this show play? The stuff your mother warned you about when you were still in diapers. Everything from garage rock (from the 60’s to the present) to rockabilly (from the 50’s to the present) to powerpop (from the 70’s to the present) to protopunk to punk (late 70’s and early 80’s) to fucked blues to lo-fi trash to cool local music to other off the wall obscuro stuff that only a record collector geek would know about. All that noise with timely news/info about the bands we love as well as upcoming shows that we here at Radio What Wave think you should check out. Oh, and did we mention that we have the world’s largest collection of live shows recorded right here in London over the past 30 years or so, that we occasionally dust off and play on the show?
Along with that, we get special guests to come into the studio to be on air with us. Recent guests have included Dex and Sara Romweber (Flat Duo Jets, Dex Romweber Duo), The Stolen Minks, The Stance, Bloodshot Bill (who actually played 3 tunes live on air) and Frank Ridsdale (Uranus, Sci-Phonics, Slugfest and others). And we’ve gotten radio promos recorded especially for us from such legends as Wanda Jackson, The Legendary Stardust Cowboy, The Chickens and many others….more on the way so stay tuned.
And did I mention we also put on shows around town with the bands we like? Recent shows have included The Legend Killers, Andy Butler and the 905’s, Bloodshot Bill, The Stolen Minks, The Pack, The Paperboxes and many more to come.
OK, now it’s off to the rant section, guess we should call this What Wave #23 cause that’s what it’s sorta morphing into… We’ve seen tons of cool bands right here in London in the last little while. Caught The Zoobombs at Call The Office in October of this year and man, what an intense show! These guys and gal get up and deliver the goods as only the Japanese can…are they garage, punk, hardcore, jazz, funk, or all of the above combined in a finely mixed stew that’s overflowing and boiling? Dunno, but when they come back I’m right there at the front of the stage again! Also caught Les Breastfeeders at Call The Office in October and again, a killer show! These guys and gal mix garage and frat rock and speed it up to make their own unique blend of trashy rock and roll and all sung in French! And what’s with the tambourine player, Johnny Maldoror, layers of black eye shadow, shirtless, who is constantly jumping around the stage and running through the crowd? Must be a Montreal thing.
And then there was the double bill of The Pack and The Paperboxes at the Brunswick in late September and then again in early October (the first show went over so well, they were able to fit in a return visit on their first cross Canada tour!). Can’t say enough about The Pack (now officially called The Pack AD and signed to Mint Records) a two girl primal blues ensemble that you gotta see/hear to believe. Their CD Tintype just doesn’t do justice to their live stomp, scream and smash show! Pure delta blues stripped down as low as you can go…catch them live and be prepared to dance, scream and sweat!
Opening the show was another 2 piece band from Nanaimo BC called The Paperboxes. Combine early speeded up Black Sabbath guitar crunch, cacophony of drums and snotty, whiney vocals and you’ve got a killer sound! They’ve just self released their first CD and it’s quickly become my current fave CD…just can’t get enough of the song ‘You Be The Dog…’ check out The Paperboxes myspace site to hear what I’m yammering about.
The Stolen Minks returned to London back in August on their first ever cross Canada tour and showed us once again, what fun is all about. Combine the guitar crunch of Link Wray, late 50’s rock and roll, some early 60’s girl group sounds with a load of trash and you’ve got The Stolen Minks. Their debut CD has been re-released on vinyl (7” EP on New Romance For Kids records with hand silk screened sleeve) and is essential listening.
The Dex Romweber Duo crashed into London back in July to Call The Office to rip through a set that can only be described as an epiphany of rockabilly/ country/ rock’n’roll!! Sparsely attended, this could easily be the show of the year for me…and not only that, Dex and Sara are really nice people and true connoisseurs of rock and roll! Oddly enough, the band that borrowed it’s schtick from the Dex Romweber Duo, The White Stripes played at the John Labatt Center a few days prior to this show and thousands attended.
And how can we forget The Brown Hornets…they’ve played numerous shows here in the Forest City and every one that we’ve seen has been pure high energy, jump through the crowd, blues inspired rock and roll and pub rock. They’ve got a CD out that you can pick up at the shows. Last time they played at Call The Office was opening for punk legend Cheetah Chrome (Dead Boys/Frankenstein/Rocket From The Tombs), talk about a sparsely attended show, think there were only half a dozen people from London, the rest came from Toronto And boy, does Cheetah ever look like London’s own grandfather of punk rock, M. N..
There’s loads of local bands to keep your eyes peeled for, among them: The Pink Cadillac Scat Cats (x-Demic Nick Perry’s rockabilly combo), Duke Sedan and the Hi-Tones (pure 50’s rockabilly), The Knaves (powerpop, they have a demo you can download from their myspace site), Say Domino (late 70’s inspired new wave), Slugfest (Frank Ridsdale from Uranus’s ever changing band), The Comos (vintage rock and roll is the way they describe themselves and they have a self released CD out called Bandwidth), Can Toos (2 piece punk combo), Giggle Switch (late 70’s punk influenced and they have a brand new self released CD called VII that’s quite amazing!), Jim Ashby (his 1970 local hit, Speed City has just been re-released on Speed City Records as a 7”…demented ode to London), 63 Monroe (these guys are back again with a brand new CD on Speed City Records), Johnny Terrien and the Bad Lieutenants (Ramones punk, watch for an upcoming 7” on Speed City Records), The Legend Killers (London’s undisputed King’s of garage), The Black Holes (pure rockabilly), Terminal Wallys (70’s style punk and roll, new CD out real soon) and lots of others that are lurking in the shadows and bars of London…. and where are Jason and The Nomads hiding?
On to the new releases that’ve shown up in our mailbox recently. Keith Whittaker’s Drink To Me is an acoustic guitar and vocals set from the former Demics vocalist along with guitarist Steven Davey (Everglades, The Dishes) that was recorded back in the early 90’s. Originally recorded as demos, these raw tunes show the quieter side of Keith who sadly passed away back in 1996. Check out any of The Demics recordings to hear London’s first and finest 70’s punk band.
If you dig late 70’s powerpop, you’re sure to dig the sounds of Andy Butler and the 905’s self released CD, ‘New Test Sounds.’ My fave song of 2006 is on this, the tribute to Teenage Head, Hamilton Head a near perfect call and answer powerpop tune!
There’s some really tasty garage pop on the first release of Sonic Avenues from Montreal. They’re on the Ricochet Sound label, the same label that The Gruesomes are on, so you know where these guys are coming from!
And a coupla really cool releases from our buddies at Screaming Apple Records in Germany are getting a fair bit of airplay on RWW. First up, are Toronto’s finest purveyors of garage rock, The Midways with Manners Manners, their second long player and again, lots of keyboards, fuzz and snotty vocals to keep the bowl heads happy! Then there’s The Maggots from Sweden with their Monkey Time CD. If you dug The Crimson Shadows back in the 80’s, you’ll love these guys as Mans P Mansson is on top of his game again!
Ansia De Color fanzine from Spain has just released their 20th year anniversary issue with articles on The Gruesomes (with pix from Call The Office from the What Wave archives), The Sick Rose, Optic Nerve, Dr. Explosion and tons more…and did I mention there’s also a CD with all of these bands and lots more on it…written in Spanish. And speaking of fanzines, the latest ish of Lost In Tyme also has an article on The Vipers with pix from Bullwinkles (again from the WW archives, Bullwinkles was located where The Salt Lounge presently is) as well as a CD comp with a ton of cool bands on it. Written in English and available locally at cool record stores.
And finally, just got a bunch of CD’s from Dementia 13, a one man rbilly/garage/Cramps style of horror rock from Hamilton Ontario. The latest offering, and best of the batch is called The Primitive One, and features some female vocals courtesy of The Ghouly Gal. If you like early Cramps/Bloodshot Bill you won’t be disappointed.
Thanx (those to blame): The Cedar Lounge, Kicks, Bomp, The Cramps, The Flamin’ Groovies, NFG, Tony and Gerard of Deja Voodoo/Og Records, Pebbles, Uranus, Tim Crypt Warren, Mike Niederman, The Beatles on Ed, The Gruesomes (for recording What Wave), Key West Café, Speed City Records, Grooves Records, AM radio in the 60’s, John Hoevenaars, Mike Lodge for the artwork, The Demics and you for being bored enough to read this far.