25 episodes

Children of the revolution, welcome to "What You're Not Listening To". Our focus for the programs will be to present a history of a particular artist, time period or social relevance that underscores the importance of these contributions to our shared history. Some programs will focus on health, wellness and events that celebrate diversity. Each will be about an hour, and some may contain content that is incredibly rare or not available digitally anywhere else. No outside funding or advertising is supporting this endeavor. At the end of the day, it is an educational program, but one you can at least dance to at times. Requests are always a joy to receive. Love to you all. Sincerely, your host, writer, engineer and producer, Ben Brown Jr., aka Daddy Ben Bear. SPECIAL NOTE: This description is short on purpose. You can read a more detailed version at https://aceofspadespdx.blubrry.net/about-us/

What You're Not Listening To Ace of Spades PDX

    • Music
    • 5.0 • 2 Ratings

Children of the revolution, welcome to "What You're Not Listening To". Our focus for the programs will be to present a history of a particular artist, time period or social relevance that underscores the importance of these contributions to our shared history. Some programs will focus on health, wellness and events that celebrate diversity. Each will be about an hour, and some may contain content that is incredibly rare or not available digitally anywhere else. No outside funding or advertising is supporting this endeavor. At the end of the day, it is an educational program, but one you can at least dance to at times. Requests are always a joy to receive. Love to you all. Sincerely, your host, writer, engineer and producer, Ben Brown Jr., aka Daddy Ben Bear. SPECIAL NOTE: This description is short on purpose. You can read a more detailed version at https://aceofspadespdx.blubrry.net/about-us/

    Dance Away Alzheimer's Vol. 3

    Dance Away Alzheimer's Vol. 3

    A little over thirty years ago, a wave of British Rock and Roll dance artists led a brief but amazing music scene based in Northern England. #madchester #baggy

    Several decades ago, a small but eventually highly influential music scene was brewing in the northern English city of Manchester,, just slightly northeast of the famous town of Liverpool. Isolated somewhat from London, where the majority of new music trends initially gestate in England, a new breed of Rock-oriented dance music was taking hold.

    A Map of the U.K. and Ireland illustrating the geographic location of Manchester. Courtesy of http://www.worldeasyguides.com

    This scene was a merging of the dual burgeoning acid house and alternative rock movements in England. There had been a growing British Rock base in England that was based there, featuring such acts as the Smiths and New Order, as well as featuring the base of the now-famous Hacienda Club, owned by Manchester-based label Factory Records.

    The Stone Roses, 1989, photo by Steve Double.

    The big change, however, was the introduction of psychedelic drugs into the scene in 1987, most notably MDMA (a.k.a. ecstasy or molly), with an effect on that scene much like LSD was in San Francisco in the 1960's. Fashion also seemed to go into reverse as well, with thrift store finds being the hot item of the moment. The music scene would eventually be called Madchester, and for artists who were outside the geographic area who utilized the sound, the term Baggy was used, in reference to the type of somewhat sloppy and ill-fitting clothing people in the scene would wear.

    The Happy Mondays, circa 1988, courtesy of the BBC.

    Though the scene was short-lived and never truly caught on outside of the U.K., it opened up the door to a flood of other alternative, dance and British Rock acts that would come to dominate the airwaves from the early to mid-1990's. These tracks are presented in a continuous order, much like a playlist on any given night at one of the more progressive clubs featuring this music.

    808 State, from a U.S. promotional piece from New York dance label Tommy Boy Records, 1989.

    Why would I pick this music scene to spotlight? If you were a teenager when they were new, you are in Generation X, the next big group to personally deal with Alzheimer's disease. The older you get, the more prone you are to be afflicted. There are no known cures, only treatments. However, research strongly suggests that dancing, by using the brain's neuroplasticity and increased oxygen intake, may stave it off. Dancing is incredible because it requires no special skills or equipment. And, it may also help stave off some of those extra holiday pounds you may gain this holiday season.

    Madchester Playlist

    * She Bangs The Drums, The Stone Roses* Come Home (original), James* Fine Time, New Order* Pacific State, 808 State* This Is How It Feels, Inspiral Carpets* The Sun Rising, The Beloved* The Only One I Know, The Charlatans (a.k.a. The Charlatans U.K.)* Move Any Mountain, The Shamen* Info Freako, Jesus Jones* Step On, Happy Mondays* What Can You Do For Me, Utah Saints* Voodoo Ray, A Guy Called Gerald* Shall We Take A Trip?, Northside* Can You Dig It?, The Mock Turtles* Unbelievable, EMF

    Love to you all.

    Ben “Daddy Ben Bear” Brown Jr. Host, Show Producer, Webmaster, Audio Engineer, Researcher, Videographer and Writer

    Instagram: brownjr.benTwitter: @BenBrownJuniorLinkedIn:...

    • 1 hr 7 min
    Before The Rhapsody

    Before The Rhapsody

    Just days before the third annual World AIDS Day in 1991, 30 years ago, one of Rock's most iconic front men, Freddy Mercury, died of the disease. This show revisits the time just prior to their worldwide success, when they were breaking out of the Glam Rock ghetto into becoming legendary. #AIDS #WAD2021 #HIV #LGBTQ #HardRock #GuitarRock #GlamRock #1970s

    Prior to their 1975 classic “Bohemian Rhapsody”, Queen were part of a wave of early 1970’s British groups often associated with Glam Rock. However, their music drew on a wider variety of influences than most, and their initial sound drew much inspiration from the heavy rock acts of the day, due in no small part to guitarist Brian May’s fondness for Jeff Beck and Jimi Hendrix. May, a physics student, even built his own guitar, nicknamed the “Red Special”, from a hundred year-old fireplace with the help of his father. 

    The band met in college: May and drummer Roger Taylor were previously in a group called Smile that recorded a few tracks with their friend Tim Staffell that went nowhere, and the group disbanded. However, one of Smile’s biggest fans was man named Farrokh Bulsara, another student who originally hailed from Zanzibar. Bulsara changed his named professionally to Freddie Mercury, and the guys recruited bassist John Deacon to join their fledgling group. Naming themselves Queen, they released their first studio album in 1973.

    Cover of Queen II. clockwise from left: John Deacon, Brian May, Roger Taylor and Freddie Mercury. 1974, photo by Mick Rock.

    Their second album, simply titled Queen II, gave the group their first British hit, and they slowly built their reputation as a live act. But it wasn't until their third release, Sheer Heart Attack, that the band would start a path to the mainstream success in both their native U.K. and at the time, most importantly, in the U.S., they so desperately wanted.

    “We do play to our audience. It's very important. You can't create music in a vacuum.”Brian May, guitarist and vocalist

    They had planned a live release in 1975, but held off to work on A Night At The Opera, named after a Marx Brothers film that would contain their career-defining release, "Bohemian Rhapsody". Their sound would evolve dramatically from the harder rock they had now developed into being a commercial powerhouse for a time, even becoming one of the biggest music acts in the world by 1980.

    Mercury was always the focal point for the band, and he lapped up the admiration greatly. Even after the band went into a more commercial sound in their second and final decade, the group focused on their audiences that were much more welcoming to this new sound, including fans in Eastern Europe and South America.

    Cover of Sheer Heart Attack, 1974. Photo by Mick Rock.

    It had been rumored for some time that Mercury had been ill, as witnessed by his lack of touring after 1986 and his appearance in the band's recent videos. After what was a comeback album for them critically and commercially, Innuendo in 1991, Mercury died in the last week of November, right after the U.S. holiday Thanksgiving of that year, only publicly revealing he had the disease the day before his passing, which ironically, was just a half a week away from what was the third annual World AIDS Day event that year.

    Cover of the debut album by Queen, 1973. Photo by Richard Gray.

    Notably, Mercury was the the first person of celebrity from the Middle East to disclose his status and die from the disease. Always remember: fight AIDS, not people with AIDS.

    First Part

    * Brighton Rock, 1974, Sheer Heart Attack* The Loser In The End, 1974,

    • 1 hr 28 min
    Flash, Cash and Trash

    Flash, Cash and Trash

    For my final show of Rocktober 2021 on it's final day, Halloween, another act, much like the first three featured this year, that laid the foundation for their respective sub-genre of Rock and Roll: Glam Metal. Today we revisit the first decade of band that just won't die, Motley Crue. #glammetal #hairmetal #heavymetal #motleycrue

    Where were you 40 years ago? For myself, I was an awkward teenager who never believed he would fit in, and maybe I still don't. I was living in Los Angeles, and as much as I liked Pop, R&B, New Wave and mainstream rock, there was something afoot in the streets that was calling my name: Heavy Metal. I latched onto it quickly, and without even knowing it initially, was about to be immersed in the next wave of heavy rock acts that would come to rule the decade, bands that were alternately called Hair Metal or Glam Metal.

    At the epicenter of all of this was a group of four guys: Nikki Sixx, Tommy Lee, Vince Neil (a friend of Lee's from high school) and an older man, Bob Deal, soon to be known as Mick Mars. Staring their professional career on April Fool's Day 1981, they realized they were about to hit on a unique sound, one that drew from metal, 70's glam rock groups like Sweet and Power Pop bands like Cheap Trick. They also embraced a high heels, flash clothing and make-up look that also drew heavily and equally from S&M and androgynous glitter rock, replete with mega-volume hair.

    Cover of Vince Neil's crotch for Too Fast For Love, 1981. Photo by Michael Pinter, and meant to evoke Sticky Fingers by The Rolling Stones a decade earlier. Courtesy of Motley Records.

    Motley Crue, 1984. (l-r) Nikki Sixx, Vince Neil, Mick Mars and Tommy Lee. Photo by Neil Zlozower, courtesy of Atlas.

    It was loud, fast, crude and often times, ridiculous, the way that all great rock and roll was and is. They released their debut single. "Stick To Your Guns" and debut album, Too Fast For Love, on a label they formed themselves, Leathur Records. The men would name themselves Motley Crue, even placing umlauts above two of the vowels like the ones used in Lowenbrau beer, a favorite of the group at the time.

    Original cover of Shout At The Devil, 1983. The band purposely baited the press with images that they knew would cause controversy, including this star, which many in the mainstream link to Satanism. Cover art by Bob Defrin, courtesy of Motley Records.

    Truly hated by critics and despised by conservatives, including then-Senator Al Gore's wife Tipper of the Parents Resource Music Center, the band were signed to a major label, a first for this sub-genre, and purposely went about making a name for themselves touring, even causing a series of publicity stunts that got their name in the press.

    Cover of Theatre of Pain, 1985. Courtesy of Motley Records.

    By the time of their second album, Shout at The Devil, the band were now opening for Ozzy Osbourne, getting regular rotation on MTV and selling records by the millions, being fueled not by traditional promotion from their label, but simply by word of mouth. They kept their names in the papers, but now instead of publicity stunts, it was for all the wrong reasons.

    Motley Crue's principle songwriter and bassist, Nikki Sixx, performing live at the US Festival, Devore, CA, on 29 May 1983. Neil Zlozower.

    By 1985, the band had a top ten Billboard LP, Theatre of Pain and were arena rock headliners, but of course, in true VH1 Behind The Music fashion, the band started to wear themselves down with excessive drug use and infighting. They were disappointed musically by the time of their 1987 LP, the mega-selling Girls, Girls, Girls, and Sixx actually briefly died from an overdose.

    • 1 hr 21 min
    The New Wave Tsunami

    The New Wave Tsunami

    For our third show for Rocktober 2021, a band that seemed to do something only The Beatles did a decade prior: absorb all of their influences so well as to create their unique but highly recognizable sound that proved the leading light of a new form of Rock and Roll in the late 70's and early 80's, American band Blondie. #blondie #newwave #debbieharry #altrock #CBGB

    Blondie are an American rock and roll group that formed in 1974, taking their name from the catcalling truck drivers would yell at the band's frontwoman. Centered around the core of vocalist Debbie Harry and her husband, Chris Stein, Blondie were originally a cult band and one of the many critical favorites of the CBGB’s music scene. They eventually became one of the biggest bands in the world by 1980, and easily the biggest success story ever to come out of the 1970’s club scene in New York City. 

    Blondie in 1977. Left to right: Gary Valentine, Clem Burke, Debbie Harry, Chris Stein, and Jimmy Destri. Photo courtesy of Private Stock Records.

    Their first album was on indie Private Stock records. Harry would go on to state that being on an independent didn't hold the cache it does today; it simply meant you didn't get paid. The band had saved up enough money to buy back their masters, and then signed with Chrysalis Records and were paired with one of the biggest producers of the decade, Mike Chapman, who was responsible for a slew of hits by British glam rock act Sweet. With the bands third album, Parallel Lines in late 1978, they would start a series of platinum recordings, including four #1 hits on the Billboard chart.

    Cover to the Hardest Part single, 1979. Norman Seeff – photography and design, Billy Bass – art direction and John Van Hamersveld – typography and design. Courtesy of Chrysalis Records.

    Their sound was a mix of 60’s pop, rock and roll, island music, the then emerging New Wave and American punk. Most of all, it reminded people why they loved Rock and Roll since the 1950’s: It was fun, and you could dance to it. They eventually also included disco and hip hop into the mix, and their unique, anything goes attitude still makes them sound fresh today. After 1982, the band broke up for over a decade and a half due to infighting, drug use, tax problems and poor ticket sales and declining album performances with The Hunter LP. Debbie Harry had an on-again, off-again solo career that took a back seat to her caring for her ill partner.

    First Part

    * The Hardest Part, 1979, Eat To The Beat* One Way Or Another, 1978, Parallel Lines* Rip Her To Shreds, 1976, Blondie* The Thin Line (demo), 1975, The Platinum Collection* The Tide is High, 1980, Autoamerican* Atomic, 1979, Eat To The Beat* Here's Looking At You, 1980, Autoamerican

    Second Part

    * Call Me, 1980, American Gigolo soundtrack* Heart Of Glass (remix), 1978, 12" single A-side* X Offender (single mix), 1976, "In The Flesh" B-side* Island of Lost Souls, 1982, The Hunter* Detroit 442, 1977, Plastic Letters* The Attack of the Giant Ants, 1976, Blondie


    * Rapture, 1980, Autoamerican

    Love to you all.

    Ben “Daddy Ben Bear” Brown Jr. Host, Show Producer, Webmaster, Audio Engineer, Researcher, Videographer and Writer

    Instagram: brownjr.benTwitter: @BenBrownJuniorLinkedIn: benbrownjuniorDesign Site: a rel="noreferrer noopener"...

    • 1 hr 9 min
    Sha-la-la-la Roll You Over

    Sha-la-la-la Roll You Over

    Our second program for Rocktober features a band that achieved some mainstream success in the U.S., but remain a cult favorite and one of the most influential acts that would spawn not only the New Wave of British Heavy Metal but also the American Thrash Movement, English and German heavy rock/metal act UFO. #UFOband #heavymetal #hardrock #1970s #guitarrock

    One of the hardest working bands of the 1970's, UFO were a group that coulda/shoulda/woulda, especially considering they helped lay the foundation of the heavy metal explosion that would follow in the next decade. Named one of television channel VH1's 100 greatest hard rocks acts in history, their eventual start as a boogie-based, blues-influenced space rock saw them through various line-ups until they literally invented the harder, sharper twin guitar attack that borrowed from the MC5 and became even more laser-focused.

    Pete Way (l) and Michael Schenker of UFO, performing live in London in 1977. Photo by Fin Costello.

    Their first two albums, Titled UFO1 in 1970 and UFO2 in 1971, saw them coming out of a heavier space rock genre of their contemporaries, such as Hawkwind. The key change in this band from London, consisting of the core band of drummer Andy Parker, bassist Pete Way and vocalist Phil Mogg, was the change in guitarists from Mick Bolton to Michael Schenker, an 18 year old guitar prodigy from Germany who happened to be in a group UFO toured with, The Scorpions.

    Cover of Lighds Out, UFO, 1977. Design and photography by Hipgnosis, courtesy of UMG.

    The band released new material annually and toured constantly, opening for a who's-who of arena rock acts of the era, including KISS, Rush, AC/DC, Journey, Thin Lizzy among countless others. After steadily slowly building their fan base, they hit pay dirt with Lights Out in 1977, considered by critics to be their crowning achievement and remains their best-selling release, even scoring their only U.S. charting single, "Too Hot To Handle" that year.

    Undated photo- circa-mid1970's, of Phil Mogg of UFO, performing live. Photographer unknown.

    Sadly, infighting amongst the group, including Mogg's constant belittling of Schenker's very thick German dialect of English, caused the latter to leave as they scored their highest-charting release in the U.K. and another U.S. top 40 LP, the live Strangers In The Night in 1978. Schenker's increasing alcohol intake during this time, while he battled with depression, also was a contributing factor.

    Cover of No Heavy Petting, UFO, 1976. Cover design and photography by Hipgnosis, courtesy of UMG.

    Schenker would briefly go back to The Scorpions for their breaktrhough U.S. release, Lovedrive, then go on to form MSG, The Michael Schenker Group, shortly after; Pete Way would play with Waysted, Fastway and Ozzy Osbourne, and died from injuries sustained in an accident in 2020. UFO still records and tours to this day, using a variety of line-ups, with even Schenker and Way returning to the fold a few years back for a type of "reunion" album. As one of the leading lights of 70's Euro-Metal, UFO may not be household names, but much like in our last program about The Velvet Underground, made their mark in the countless acts influenced by them and spawned in their wake.

    First Part

    * Too Hot To Handle, 1977, Lights Out* Rock Bottom, 1974, Phenomenon* Prince Kajuku, 1971, UFO2: One Hour Space Rock* Out in The Street, 1975, Force It* C'mon Everybody (live), 1973, German television program Art* Natural Thing, 1976, No Heavy Petting* Lights Out, 1977, Lights Out

    Second Part

    * Doctor, Doctor, 1974, Phenomenon* Pack It Up And Go, 1978,

    • 1 hr 6 min
    White Heat and Black Leather

    White Heat and Black Leather

    For my first program for Rocktober 2021, an audio primer for the very first documentary of one of the most important bands of the latter half of the 20th century, The Velvet Underground, directed by Portlander Todd Haynes and broadcasting on October 15th on Apple TV.

    The Velvet Underground are a band you have heard of, if not exactly heard. When you do hear them, it is usually in passing, or one of two tracks from the catalogue that are favorites of whomever is presenting them. Often, you hear about their their story in terms that have nothing to do with the music or their greatness: Andy Warhol, The 1960's, Avant Garde, banana peel, etc.

    The Velvet Underground, 1969: (l-r) Doug Yule, Lou Reed, Maureen Tucker and Sterling Morrison. Photographer unknown, courtesy of UMG.

    Originally calling themselves The Warlocks and The Falling Spikes (the latter a reference to using heroin intravenously), they adopted their now famous name after finding a book in the street by journalist Michael Leigh, which detailed the so-called deviant sexual behaviors of white suburbanites. They were a band that definitely broke the mold on many fronts, even with their line-ups: most of the members, like founder Lou Reed, were from or living in New York. Experimental musician John Cale and former model Nico were the exceptions, from Wales and Germany, respectively. Adding to this was that their "drummer" was a woman, Maureen Tucker; she played a partial kit, and did this standing up.

    "I wanted to write the great American novel, but I also liked Rock and Roll."Lou Reed

    The decade they formed in and released most of their material in, the 1960's, saw a seismic shift in demographics that would forever alter their musical style. Thanks to the growth of the suburbs and the Second Great Migration by Blacks, older eastern and Midwestern cities like Chicago and New York started to decay and fall apart, while places like California would flourish. If Brian Wilson of the Beach Boys invented the concept of California as being a magical paradise, then Lou Reed documented the fall of New York just as perfectly.

    John Cale, 1967, in New York City. Photographer unknown, courtesy of Getty Images.

    Their sometimes abrasive sound would make them truly fringe artists during their brief lifetime, which initially included just four studio albums (a fifth one called Squeeze in 1973 without Reed is discounted by all involved), and on a great many touring dates they were lucky if 20 people would show up to see them. Much of this was due to the subject matter of their songs, which, even for so-called "progressive" radio, was too much to handle: heroin, methamphetamines, drag queens, transsexuals, prostitutes, fellatio, orgies, etc. Radio refused to play them and only a handful of truly underground stations emerging on the FM dial would, and critics did not know what to make of them.

    Nico, 1967, in Monterrey, California. Photo by Elaine Mayes.

    All Music, founded in 1991 and the premier guide to all things music on the internet, ranks them at #5 among all artists in terms of influence. The joke, coined by Brian Eno, goes something like this: The Velvet Underground only sold 100 albums, but those 100 people went on to form bands of their own. These eleven songs were chosen as a representation of the sounds, subject matter and characters that made the Velvet Underground the premier 1960's New York bohemian icons they would indelibly become.

    First Part

    * Rock & Roll (full-length version), 1970, Loaded ("Fully Loaded" version)* Lady Godiva's Operation, 1968, White Light/White Heat* I'm Waiting For The Man, 1967, The Velvet Underground and Nico* Stephanie Says,

    • 1 hr 15 min

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