Pump Up The Jam: July 8, 2016

Rumble says, “Life’s a beach!” Photo © Paul Hillier

Welcome to a new weekly column on Biff Bam Pop, “Pump Up The Jam,” where I take you through some of my musical highlights for the week, including music news, new releases, and other things you might have missed. This week: robots in disguise, CREEM Magazine, Yoko Ono, Peaches, and more.

Do you like robots? How about robots who transform into vehicles and also sing and play instruments? The Cybertronic Spree does all of that and more. They are playing some shows in Moncton and Halifax later this month (plus Toronto’s annual Nerd Noise Night in September) and to promote them, they’ve dropped a brand new video that will appeal to lovers of robots, Big Star, and Cheap Trick.

The Cybertronic Spree Tour Dates:
JULY 21, 2016 – Tide & Boar Gastropub 700 Main St, Moncton, NB
JULY 22, 2016 – Oasis Pub & Eatery 5661 Spring Garden Rd, Halifax
SEPT 03, 2016 – Horseshoe Tavern 370 Queen St W, Toronto

If you were a fan of Everett True’s riveting book about Nirvana, called Nirvana: The True Story, then you’ll probably be interested in hearing about the Indiegogo campaign to publish his biography. The press release describes the book The Electrical Storm (also known as Tall Tales and True) as:

“… a compendium of stories from the pen of Everett True featuring a cast of dozens – Shop Assistants, Membranes, Huggy Bear, Nirvana, Yeah Yeah Yeahs, Hole, The Jesus Lizard, Alan McGee, David Bowie, The Rolling Stones, Yoko Ono, Ramones, Dexys Midnight Runners, Talulah Gosh, Melody Maker, NME, and so forth.”

The project is at 31% of its goal with 14 days left in the campaign.

Another worthy crowfunding project currently seeking backers is the documentary from New Rose Films called Boy Howdy! The Story of CREEM Magazine. The doc proposes to “explore the seminal music magazine from its 1969 launch in Detroit to the untimely death of its publisher Barry Kramer in 1981.”


I vividly remember devouring CREEM as a young music fan and budding critic, posting a pullout photo of Billy Idol on my bedroom wall despite not fully getting the sexual innuendoes contained within the captions. Though most associate CREEM with Lester Bangs, the magazine also boasted writing from Robert Christgau, Greil Marcus, Susan Whitall, Ben Edmonds, Jaan Uhelszki, Patti Smith, Cameron Crowe, Richard Meltzer, and Dave Marsh.

The Kickstarter, which is currently at $14K out of a desired $100K has 29 days left. There are also some great perks, including T-shirts with that iconic Boy Howdy! logo (designed by R. Crumb).

Check out the trailer and give them your money!

If you like weird, noisy, possibly grotesque music, you might enjoy the bizarrely named band Carl Sagan’s Skate Shoes, whose latest press release namechecks Butthole Surfers, my personal faves in the realm of weird, noisy, possibly grotesque music.

Carl Sagan’s Skate Shoes: Photo © Alison Copeland

Hailing from Austin (the birthplace of the Surfers), Carl Sagan’s Skate Shoes recently unveiled their first single, the also bizarrely titled “(I).” The band’s self-titled debut album comes out August 19 via Super Secret Records.

No matter your opinion on weird and noisy music, you probably have an opinion on Yoko Ono, whose cleverly titled album of remixes Yes, I’m a Witch, Too came out earlier this year (its predecessor was released in 2007). The album features collaborations with a wide range of artists including Sparks, Cibo Matto, Moby, Peter Bjorn and John, and tUnE-yArDs. Rose McGowan has directed a video for the Miike Snow remix of “Catman.”

Another fierce feminist who still continues to evolve is Peaches. Her album Rub was released last September; the latest video is for the track “Vaginoplasty.” It’s definitely NSFW but would you expect anything less outrageous from Peaches? By the way, she’s on tour from August to October so don’t miss out.

Peaches Tour Dates:
8/4 – Toronto, ON – Massey Hall
8/5 – San Francisco, CA – Outside Lands
9/11 – Washington, DC – 9:30 Club
9/12 – Brooklyn, NY – Rough Trade
9/13 – New York, NY – Webster Hall
9/14 – Boston, MA – Royale
9/16 – Montreal, QC – Rialto Theatre
9/19 – Chicago, IL – Thalia Hall
9/20 – Milwaukee, WI – Turner Hall Ballroom
9/21 – Minneapolis, MN – First Ave
9/23 – Winnipeg, MB – Pyramid Cabaret
9/24 – Saskatoon, SK – Louis’
9/25 – Edmonton, AB – The Needle
9/26 – Calgary, AB – Commonwealth Stage
9/28 – Vancouver, BC – Commodore Ballroom
9/29 – Victoria, BC – Sugar Nightclub
9/30 – Seattle, WA – Neptune
10/2 – Portland, OR – Wonder Ballroom
10/4 – Santa Cruz, CA – Catalyst
10/7 – Los Angeles, CA – The Wiltern
10/8 – Pioneertown, CA – Pappy & Harriet’s

It’s been a while since Daft Punk released their divisive (yet utterly delightful) Random Access Memories, but that doesn’t mean they have been idle. They’ve got some new merch available including branded bandanas, beach towels, windbreakers, and “declassified” Vault items: vintage, never before sold items ranging from vintage tour shirts, stickers, patches, posters, tour laminates, toys, etc., each with a Certificate of Authenticity.

Check out these amazing, vintage-inspired ads. You can purchase the items at www.daftpunk.com.





We’re trying to beat the heat on this #FlashbackFriday. Cool off with Siouxsie and the Banshees’ “92 Degrees” live on The Tube.

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