Thursday, August 30, 2012

DIRTY ROOTS RADIO - August 30th Playlist

Tune in to Dirty Roots Radio every Thursday night from 8 to 10 p.m. (central) at

The night the devil took over the equipment...

Leonard Cohen – Everybody Knows
Tom Waits – Way Down in the Hole
Starlets – You Don’t Know Me
Grinderman – Get It On
Muddy Waters – I Can’t Be Satisfied
Gonn – Don’t Need Your Lovin’
Screamin’ Jay Hawkins – I Hear You Knockin’
Sir Douglas Quintet – She’s About A Mover
Count Five – Psychotic Reaction
Daddy Long Legs – I Feel So Electric
Scott H. Biram – Only Jesus
Scott H. Biram – I Saw the Light/What’s His Name?
The Clash – Know Your Rights
James Brown – Mind Power
The Bottle Rockets – Slo Toms
Motorhead – The Train Kept A Rollin’ (live)
Blue Cheer – Summertime Blues (live)
Merle Haggard – Workin’ Man Blues
Billy Bragg – There Is Power In A Union
Social Distortion – Death or Glory
The Clash – Police On My Back
Johnny Thunders – (I’m Not) Your Stepping Stone
MC5 – Tutti Frutti
The Flamin’ Groovies – Teenage Head
Bob Dylan – Duquesne Whistle
Roscoe Gordon – Cheese and Crackers
Joan Jett & the Blackhearts – I Wanna Be Your Dog
Sam the Sham & the Pharoes – Ring Dang Doo
Joe Strummer & the Mescaleros – Pressure Drop



"Rock has always been the devil's music...I feel rock and roll is dangerous...I feel we're only heralding something even darker than ourselves."  - David Bowie

"The energy of devils and angels is the same energy; it's how you use it.  It's fuel.  There's a saying: If you scare all your devils away, the angels will go away with them.  You know, the halo and the horns are the same thing."  - Carlos Santana

"...Resist the devil and he will flee from you."  - James 4:7

"You gotta keep the devil way down in the hole."  - Tom Waits

"Fuck the devil."  - Reverend Deadeye

Thursday, August 23, 2012

DIRTY ROOTS RADIO - August 23rd Playlist

Tune in to Dirty Roots Radio every Thursday night from 8 to 10 p.m. (central) on WGRN 89.5 FM.  Listen online from anywhere in the world at

Joe Strummer & the Mescaleros – Ramshackle Day Parade
The Clash – Hate & War
Joe Strummer & the Latino Rockabilly War – Trash City
Ryan Adams – To Be Young (is to be sad, is to be high)
The Detroit Cobras – On a Monday
Social Distortion – 99 to Life
Mike Ness – I Fought the Law
Little Milton – If Crying Would Help Me
Kris Kristofferson – To Beat the Devil
Gene Maltais – Gang War
Jeff Chapman – Imagination
Duane Eddy – Rebel Rouser
Charlie Robison – John O’Reilly
Steve Earle – Copperhead Road
Motorhead – Dance
The Clash – Guns of Brixton (live at Shea Stadium)
The Slickers – Johnny Too Bad
Sonik Omi – Main Theme From Andhera/Darwaza
Willie Nelson – Ou Es-Tu, Mon Amour? (Where Are You, My Love?)
Willie Nelson – I Never Cared for You
Johnny Cash – Time of the Preacher
John Lee Hooker – Boom Boom
Billy Preston – Slaughter
Isaac Hayes – Title Theme (From Three Tough Guys)
Supersuckers – Bloody Mary Morning
Reverend Horton Heat – Hello Walls
Paul “Wine” Jones – Lead Me On
Black Joe Lewis & the Honeybears – Mustang Ranch
The Versatones – Tight Skirt Tight Sweater
Joe Tex – You Said a Bad Word
Canned Heat – Fried Hockey Boogie
New Grass Revival with Leon Russell – I Am A Pilgrim/Columbus Stockade (live)  - by request last week
Steve Earle & the Dukes – Dead Flowers (live)


"Without music, life would be a mistake."  - Friedrich Nietzsche

"None but ourselves can free our minds."  - Bob Marley

"Without deviation from the norm, progress is not possible."  - Frank Zappa

"Love the 'fly by the seat of your pants' feel of the show.  No f'ing 'playlist'.  Just play what feels right."  - Dirty Roots listener Doug from Detroit

"The only people for me are the mad ones, the ones who are mad to live, mad to talk, mad to be saved, desirous of everything at the same time, the ones who never yawn or say a commonplace thing, but burn, burn, burn, like fabulous yellow roman candles exploding like spiders across the stars and in the middle you see the blue centerlight pop and everybody goes 'Awww!'"  - Jack Kerouac

Happy birthday last week to "Our Patron Saint", Joe Strummer.  RIP
(original art by Noel Harnetiaux, created for Dirty Roots Radio)

Thursday, August 9, 2012

DIRTY ROOTS RADIO - August 9th Playlist

Tune in to Dirty Roots Radio every Thursday night from 8 to 10 p.m. (central) on WGRN 89.5 FM.  Listen online from anywhere in the world at

Tom Waits – Goodnight Irene
Henry Thorne – Wolf Bait
James Brown – The Payback
Kris Kristofferson – The Pilgrim: Chapter 33
Elmo Williams & Hezekiah Early – Mother’s Dead
The Cramps – Drug Train
Dex Romweber Duo – Redemption
Motorhead – Dance
Dr. Dog – Lonesome
Tom Waits – Hell Broke Luce
Townes Van Zandt – Who Do You Love
The Everly Brothers – Gone, Gone, Gone
Left Lane Cruiser – Lost My Mind
Jack Scott – My True Love
R.L. Burnside – See What My Buddy Done
Johnny Cash – One Piece at a Time
The Crystals – I Wonder
The WhiteTrash WhipLash – Every Rose Has Its Thorn
Syl Johnson – Is It Because I’m Black
Mike Ness – Big Iron
The Staple Singers – The Weight
The Sonics – I’m A Man
The Sonics – Psycho
The Clash – Hate & War
Paul Jones – Pucker Up Buttercup
Sunnyland Slim – The Devil Is A Busy Man
Willie Nelson – Roll Me Up and Smoke Me When I Die
Ten Foot Polecats – Tears On My Windshield
Flatt & Scruggs – I Still Miss Someone
Jason & the Scorchers – Absolutely Sweet Marie
The Lively Ones – Surf Rider
Black Joe Lewis & the Honeybears – Livin’ In the Jungle


"A man is a success if he gets up in the morning and gets to bed and night, and in between he does what he wants to do."  - Bob Dylan

"Definition of rock journalism: People who can't write, doing interviews with people who can't think, in order to prepare articles for people who can't read."  - Frank Zappa

"Don't you know there ain't no devil?  There's just God when he's drunk."  - Tom Waits

Monday, August 6, 2012

Adam Yauch: The Impact of MCA on This Roots Music Fan

I tried to put pen to paper when the news broke that Adam Yauch, a/k/a MCA of the Beastie Boys, had lost his battle to cancer a few months ago.  But I’m not a hardcore Beastie Boys fan and there was so much out there that it seemed silly for me to post my bystander observations.

It’s not that I felt like I should write simply because a musician had died.  It was more than that.  As I got to thinking about it, I realized how unique Yauch was as, not just a musician, but also a human.  And the closer I looked, the more I realized the impact he’d had on me.

So now, a day after his birth date, I’ll share a few of those thoughts.

When I was young, my best friend was my neighbor.  He was four years older than me and therefore infinitely cooler and worldlier.

When I was probably nine years old or so, I remember my friend and I camped out in a tent in my back yard.  We stayed up late and I remember he played his “License to Ill” cassette on my boom box.  He said it was some new thing that was really cool and that we had to play it low because if the adults heard, they wouldn’t like it.

All I really remember about the experience was that it was a kind of music I hadn’t heard before.  And I remember something about doing it with a Wiffle Ball bat, which seemed either really violent or really dirty.  Maybe both.

After that, I don’t remember much about the Beastie Boys for a long time.  Sure, I remember “Fight for your right to party” being a popular phrase.  But I missed the “Paul’s Boutique” boat entirely.

Then, when I was a freshman in high school, I noticed the Beastie Boys again.  I, like most guys my age, had gone through, or was going through, a hip-hop phase.  The Beasties had put out a new album, “Check Your Head” and they were doing something I hadn’t seen before; they were playing instruments.  Rather than rapping and jumping around in front of a guy with a turntable, the Beastie Boys were playing rock music, fusing it with their hip-hop.

I’m sure there were other rap acts doing that at the time, but none that I had access too.  I was a white kid in a small, rural community.  And I hadn’t seen two genres of music blended like that before.

In college, I remained a “marginal” Beastie Boys fan.  I remember this was the time that Yauch and the Beastie Boys got very involved in the Free Tibet movement.  I admit that I’m still under-educated on this cause and the issue at its core.  But, this was the first time I remember seeing a celebrity really stand up for a unique cause.  I’d seen the “We Are the World” thing and I knew about Farm Aid.  But, those were huge causes that appealed to a large, mainstream audience.  I hate to reduce it to this phrase, but Free Tibet was a “niche” thing.  Not everyone knew about it. It wasn’t popular.

But Yauch used his celebrity status to bring attention to something he obviously believed in with his whole being.  Celebrity causes are de rigueur now, but they weren’t then.  Not near as much, anyway.  Or, at the very least, not to my awareness.

Somewhere around the mid-point of my college years I lost interest in whatever rap music I’d been into.  I lost track of the Beastie Boys, but always had respect for them.  I remember hearing about Yauch’s personal spiritual journey.

Without going into detail, I happen to be on a similar path right now.  Not one of Buddhist enlightenment, but one of walking away from something I used to believe and no longer do.  A path of genuine seeking.  Seeking meaning.  Truth.

I found comfort and inspiration in Rolling Stone’s account of Yauch and his personal spiritual journey.  While the specifics of his and my journey may be very different, it’s still a beautiful example that I look to.

After his death a few months ago, I read that he had started Oscilloscope Laboratories, a film production company that had created many of my favorite documentaries (Howl, William Burroughs: A Man Within, The Other F Word, No Impact Man, Exit Through the Gift Shop, If a Tree Falls: A Story of the Earth Liberation Front, and more).

I was amazed to discover this bit of news.  I haven’t seen all of the company’s films, but Oscilloscope is a name I recognize and respect.  Some of the best films I’ve seen in the last year or two appear within those parentheses above.  

I am not and never was a Beastie Boys super fan.  I own some of their music, but not all of it.  There are many more people much more qualified to write about Adam “MCA” Yauch, than me.

But, the Beastie Boys were my introduction to rap/hip-hop.  They showed me that two styles of music (rock and rap) could combine in a unique way.  Yauch was one of the first examples I saw of a famous person using his influence to benefit something he believed in.  His spiritual journey is a source of inspiration.  He is a great example of an artist learning about another medium and pursuing that dream (starting Oscilloscope) to great artistic effect.  (How many musicians try to act, or how many musicians try to make music…often with disastrous results?)

Joe Strummer, Johnny Cash, Mike Ness…those guys have had a major impact on me, too.  But I AM a super-fan of those guys and their music.  That’s expected.

I didn’t expect to look back and see that this rap artist that I was only marginally interested in had such an impact on me. 

But he did.  And I’m grateful for it.

Happy birthday yesterday, MCA.  Rest in peace.

Friday, August 3, 2012

DIRTY ROOTS RADIO - August 2nd Playlist

Since I wasn't able to host the Dirty Roots Radio Show tonight, I opened up the opportunity for listeners to share some tunes on the show's Facebook page, in lieu of whatever playlist I would have come up with.

Thanks to super-fan Doug in Detroit for this GREAT idea, by the way!

As I expected, the listeners did NOT disappoint!!  Some of these were new songs from bands I loved and some were new all around.  Either way, I got turned on to lots of good stuff, and hope you will too!

Tonight's listener-submitted playlist follows.



Submitted by Brian in Greenville, IL...

"I don't know if this fits with your criteria, but this band has been my music of choice for the last week or so.  Just in that kind of mood."  

Submitted by David in Sydney, Australia...

From Warren in Palo Alto, CA...

From Amy in Charlottesville, Virginia...

"My contribution to the evening."

"I was thinking about Dirty things, so this came to mind, too."

From John in Houston, TX...

"Witness the beauty that is Possessed by Paul James."

From Dewayne in Bowling Green, KY...

"You're welcome:)"

From Amy in Chicago, IL...

From Doug, in Detroit (Thanks for the idea for the listener-submitted playlist!!!)

From Lefty in Ohio...