April 9, 2008 Playlist

"Kick Out The Jams" by MC5 (1969)
MC5  "Kick Out The Jams"  1969 (USA)
"Jazz-rock fusion" comes in many flavors.  Though this album is widely recognized as a forerunner of punk and heavy metal music, Detroit's MC5 were also very much influenced by jazz.  Their independently released 1968 single "Looking At You" featured the recently deceased John Coltrane on the cover (seen here), and their stage repetoire included rocked up versions of modern jazz classics like Pharoah Sanders' "Upper & Lower Egypt" and Sun Ra's "Starship", which is the concluding track on their debut album.  The jazz influence underneath their muscular riffing may not be apparent at first, but it is definitely there in the "free" wailing of the lead guitars of Fred Sonic Smith and Wayne Kramer.  Although regarded as a commercial flop and even something of a joke in their day (here's the notorious disparaging review by a teenage Lester Bangs), the legend of MC5 and Kick Out The Jams only continues to grow over the years.
Here's a video clip of the MC5 doing their signature song in full rocknroll frenzy live in Detroit 1970, and here's they are doing a loose jammy version live on Germany's Beat Club show toward the end of their career.  Plus, here's legendary footage of another Detroit-area band, The Stooges live on TV in 1970 -- watch as Iggy invents "stage diving" and "crowd surfing", then spreads peanut butter on his chest! 

(N) = New Release

(R) = Listener Request


Artist Song Album Year (Label) Country
Pharoah Sanders Thembi Thembi 1971 USA
Herbie Hancock Hornets Sextant 1972 USA
fIREHOSE Relatin' Dudes To Jazz Ragin' Full On 1986 USA
The Stooges Funhouse Funhouse 1970 USA
Sonic Youth Introducing The Stars Master-Dik 12" single B-side (N - reissue) 1988 (2008 Goofin') USA
MC5 I Want You Right Now /
   Starship (Sun Ra)
Kick Out The Jams
1969 USA
Jimi Hendrix Experience EXP / Up From The Skies Axis: Bold As Love 1967 USA/UK
Chicago Liberation Chicago Transit Authority 1969 USA
Captain Beefheart & His Magic Band When Big Joan Sets Up Trout Mask Replica 1969 USA
Bob Dylan All Along The Watchtower (R) John Wesley Harding 1967 USA
James Last Honky Tonk Women (R)
(Rolling Stones)
Non Stop Dancing 9 c. 1970? Germany
Black Mountain Queens Will Play In The Future (N)
2008 (Jagjaguwar) Canada
Dead Meadow 'Till Kingdom Come Old Growth (N) 2008 (Matador) USA
Wolf & Cub Conundrum Vessels 2006 Australia
Wooden Shjips
Shine Like Suns Wooden Shjips (N) 2007 (Holy Mountain) USA
Vampire Hands
Egg White Ocean Me And You Cherry Red (N) 2008 (Peppermint Coffins) USA
The Black Angels The Sniper At The Gates Of Heaven Passover 2006 USA
The Dirtbombs
Fire In The Western World We Have You Surrounded (N) 2008 (In The Red) USA
Birds Of Avalon
Superpower Bazaar Bazaar (N) 2007 (Volcom) USA
Black Moth Super Rainbow Drippy Eye Dandelion Gum (N) 2007 (Graveface) USA
Chris Joss
Count The Daisies Telephonic Overdubs (N) 2008 (ESL) France
Stereolab Ping Pong Mars Audiac Quintet 1994 UK
Pavement Transport Is Arranged Brighten The Corners 1997 USA
Stephen Malkmus & The Jicks Baltimore Real Emotional Trash (N) 2008 (Matador) USA
Jill Sobule & John Doe
All proceeds from this CD
donated to
Casting For Recovery
Down By The River (Neil Young) Cinnamon Girl: Women Artists Cover Neil Young (N - various artists) 2008 (American Laundromat) USA
Gil Evans Orchestra Sunken Treasure Out Of The Cool 1961 USA
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