Covering the Ramones isn't anything unique as evidenced by the number of tribute records that have been released. Some have a variety of artists on one record of assorted Ramones songs while there are many that feature full album tributes covered by one band. Selfless Records and Clearview Records released several of these tributes in the 1990's featuring punk bands covering Ramones albums such as; The Vindictives (Leave Home), The Queers (Rocket To Russia), Boris The Sprinkler (End Of The Century), Beatnik Termites (Pleasant Dreams), The McCrackins and Jon Cougar Concentration Camp (Too Tough To Die).
The first in the series was Screeching Weasel's interpretation of the first Ramones record (Ramones). It's no surprise because Screeching Weasel has always been hugely influenced by the Ramones which led to Ben Weasel forming a side project called the Riverdales which was even more a homage to the Ramones in both sound and image. The album was recorded in 15 hours and was released on vinyl limited to 1700 copies.
Another band that counts the Ramones as one of their influences is the Mr. T Experience. I stumbled on MTX after hearing the song Danny Partridge which led me to buy their first album, Everybody's Entitled To Their Own Opinion. The second LP I bought was the EP, Big Black Bugs Bleed Blue Blood which had a song on it called, The End Of the Ramones which was played in the "style" of The Ramones. In 1998, the Mr. T Experience released a complete cover of the album, Road To Ruin and it was the first time the abbreviated MTX appeared on one of their records. The album was originally released as a marbled vinyl tour edition of only 300. The album was later re-issued in black vinyl limited to 1700 copies and has yet to be issued on CD. I singled out the Mr. T Experience and Screeching Weasel and decided to post their tributes because I'm a fan of both bands and have most of their album releases. In the early 90's, I acquired several live recordings from both bands which I'm planning to convert digitally someday...stay tuned! Enjoy!!
Speaking of all-girl bands from Japan, this past July Shonen Knife released a Ramones tribute record, Osaka Ramones: Tribute To The Ramones. Shonen Knife might possibly be the best known alt-rock Japanese band here in North America and their influence of the Ramones is evident in their music, so it was appropriate they should celebrate their 30th anniversary by paying tribute to their favourite band. Interesting enough, Shonen Knife has an alter-ego, side-project band called Osaka Ramones that only plays Ramones covers live. They do a commendable job and it sounds like they had a fun time recording this. Sure, they'll never have the growl and grit of the Ramones, but who cares they can still play it fast and loose even with their slight Japanese accents and this effort would have made the Ramones proud! Enjoy!
Ooooo...and here's a live clip with an all-Ramones encore!!
1. Blitzkrieg Bop 2. Rock and Roll High School 3. We Want The Airwaves 4. She’s The One 5. Rockaway Beach 6. Sheena Is A Punk Rocker 7. Scattergun 8. Psychotherapy 9. The KKK Took My Baby Away 10. We’re A Happy Family 11. Chinese Rock 12. Beat on the Brat 13. Pinhead
I usually don't talk about or promote films too much here, but if it is music related and especially if it features an all-girl rock band, I will make an exemption.
If you live in Winnipeg, next weekend (September 24 & 25) at Cinemateque the Consulate General of Japan is organizing (with the Japan Foundation) the annual Japan Film Festival. They will present four films, 2 on Saturday and 2 on Sunday afternoon for free of charge and open to the public. The idea is to create interest and awareness of Japanese cinema. I'm personally excited because they are screening the film, Linda Linda Linda! Here's the summary:
Linda Linda Linda (Comedy / Drama, 114 min, dir. Nobuhiro Yamashita, 2005) Only three days before their high school festival, guitarist Kei, drummer Kyoko, and bassist Nozumi are forced to recruit a new lead vocalist for their band. They choose Korean exchange student Son, though her comprehension of Japanese is a bit rough! It’s a race against time as the group struggles to learn three tunes for the festival’s rock concert—including a classic '80s punk-pop song by the Japanese group The Blue Hearts called “Linda Linda”...
Sounds totally like something I would enjoy and might be of interest to all of you. I'm sure you can find a copy of the film somewhere online, but on the bigger screen might be kind of fun...and did I mention this was free! Anyways, enjoy a clip from the film (thanks Jeffen for your post a couple of years ago about the film and the song) and support this festival!
With the popularity and convenience of music downloading from stores such as iTunes, record labels have to find a creative ways to sell physical CD's and records. The addition of bonus tracks and special deluxe editions are becoming more common to entice buyers who want more bang for their buck. Vinyl records are making a comeback as many bands are producing a limited run, but I suspect this is appealing more for collectors and the "cool" hip kids as each LP includes a digital download of the same record. Many reissues and remastered CD's are even including bonus discs of unreleased material and outtakes from the sessions. A great example would be reissues of early Elvis Costello and REM CD's that have included extra discs of live concerts and demos.
A couple years back, I posted the bonus disc for Sloan's, One Chord To Another, entitled, Live At the Sloan Party. The extra disc was included only with the early pressings of the US release and is great example of something unique and lives up to the word "bonus". Another CD with a similar concept is Sugar's final release, Besides. Besides is a compilation of b-sides from previously available singles, as well as live and remixed versions of songs from their 2 full lengths and EP. The first 25,000 copies included the bonus disc, The Joke Is Always On Us, Sometimes, a live concert from the First Avenue in Minneapolis. Every time I see these CD's in a used music store, I always check inside to see if it includes the extra disc, but thanks to other music fans/bloggers on the worldwide web, I can share it here.
Evan Dando is another American songwriter that has fronted a band that hit a peak in popularity in the mid-90's. The Lemonheads headlined tours, played large music festivals, performed live on late night TV talk shows and released a couple of critically acclaimed records. Then following the band's tour in 1997, something happened (drug use perhaps?), and the band and Dando seemed to disappear from the public eye for several years. In the late 2000's he reappeared as a solo performer that including a solo acoustic tour that renewed interest in both Dando and his former band. His "comeback" continued with the release of his solo record, Baby I'm Bored (2003) and two Lemonheads records, the self-titled, The Lemonheads (2006) and the all-covers album, Varshons (2009). More recently he has played a handful of acoustic shows with Juliana Hatfield to perform a set of both their catalogs of songs together...very nice! Presently, the Lemonheads are scheduled to tour North America and the UK to perform their breakout album, It's A Shame About Ray in it's entirety.
I'm posting an assortment of B-sides and live tracks from Evan Dando and the Lemonheads. I believe I downloaded these songs from a Dando fan site many years ago. Some of these songs are probably available in other sources, but for the most part I haven't seen or heard many of these versions anywhere else.