Monday, June 29, 2009

The Mal Thursday Show #16: Riot on Sunset Strip Revisited

THE MAL THURSDAY SHOW #16: Riot on Sunset Strip Revisited

In an episode dedicated to the memory of Sky Saxon, Mal Thursday trips back in time and space to Los Angeles, California, circa 1966, and the teenage riots that inspired the exploitation classic Riot on Sunset Strip. Then, dig some bitchin' Seeds covers from Thee Headcoats, Alex Chilton, the Zeros, the Fiends, and the Freak Mountain Ramblers, as well as a set of Mal's favorite Seeds tracks. Special guest appearances by Deborah Walley and Mimsy Farmer.

If you want the whole story on the Sunset Rebellion, be sure to check out Dominic Priore's great book, Riot On Sunset Strip – Rock 'n' Roll's Last Stand in Hollywood, which I neglected to mention during the show.

Presented in Living Monophonic Sound.



THE SEEDS: Pushin' Too Hard
THE STANDELLS: Riot on Sunset Strip
Are You Gonna Be There (at the Love-In)/Don't Need Your Lovin'
DAVIE ALLAN & THE ARROWS: The Shape of Things to Come

ALEX CHILTON: Can't Seem to Make You Mine
THE FIENDS: Pictures & Designs
THE ZEROS: Pushin' Too Hard

THE SEEDS: You Can't Be Trusted/Satisfy You/Mr. Farmer/
A Thousand Shadows/Bad Part of Town/101 Colorized Bottles/
A Faded Picture

Dig these wild tales from the archives (click on show title to launch):

THE MAL THURSDAY SHOW #13: The Ballad of Mal Thursday, Pt. 1

THE MAL THURSDAY SHOW #14: The Ballad of Mal Thursday, Pt. 2

THE MAL THURSDAY SHOW #15: The Ballad of Mal Thursday, Pt. 3

Classic Rerun: THE MAL THURSDAY SHOW #4: Songs the Lyres Taught Us

Friday, June 26, 2009

Classic Rerun: The Mal Thursday Show #4

Classic Rerun: The Mal Thursday Show #4:
Songs the Lyres Taught Us

A collection of vintage ’60s nuggets covered by Boston’s longest-running garage band, (The) Lyres, led by Jeff “Monoman” Conolly. A couple of these date back to Jeff’s days in the legendary DMZ, but all of ‘em have been heard at one time or another at various Lyres shows dating back to 1979.

Presented in mono, of course. Originally posted April 14, 2008.


LYRES: Baby (I Still Want Your Lovin')
THE YO-YOS: Gonna Find a New Love
THE LIVING ENDS: Self-Centered Girl
THE ROADRUNNERS: I'll Make It Up to You
THE SCAVENGERS: But If You're Happy
THE SYN: Grounded
THE ALARM CLOCKS: No Reason to Complain
THE SONICS: Cinderella
THE HANGMEN: What a Girl Can't Do
LYRES: The Way I Feel About You (Live WERS-FM '83)




And don't miss these rockin' trilogies from the GaragePunk Podcast Network (Click on show title to launch):

FLORIDA ROCKS AGAIN! #35: Mal's Florida Favorites, Vol. 1

FLORIDA ROCKS AGAIN! #36: Mal's Florida Favorites, Vol. 2

FLORIDA ROCKS AGAIN! #37: Mal's Florida Favorites, Vol. 3

THE MAL THURSDAY SHOW #13: The Ballad of Mal Thursday, Pt. 1

THE MAL THURSDAY SHOW #14: The Ballad of Mal Thursday, Pt. 2

THE MAL THURSDAY SHOW #15: The Ballad of Mal Thursday, Pt. 3


FLORIDA ROCKS AGAIN! #28: Coverama! 2

FLORIDA ROCKS AGAIN! #38: Coverama! 3-D

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Sky Saxon (1937-2009)

Sky Saxon, lead singer of L.A.-based '60s garage legends the Seeds, has died in Austin, Texas.

Read the obit by Joe Gross at

Best known for their 1966 hit "Pushin' Too Hard," the Seeds extrapolated "two great chords" into "five great albums," and also appeared in the 1968 film Psych-Out.

Saxon, born Richard Marsh, also known as Sky Sunlight Saxon and Sun Star, had recently relocated to Austin, where he could double bill with fellow psychedelic pioneer Roky Erickson.

Over at, The Mal Thursday Show #16: Riot on Sunset Strip Revisited and Sonic Nightmares #29 feature lengthy tributes to the music of the Seeds, and Sky's recent recording of Lynyrd Skynyrd's "Swamp Music" can be heard on Florida Rocks Again! #38: Coverama! 3-D. There's more Seeds madness to be found on The Mal Thursday Show #12: All Kindsa Girls, Pt. 2 and The Mal Thursday Show #7: A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum.

The Lonesome Death of the Blizzard

I recently got a phone call from local St. Augustine radio personality Dave O'Dell, who called to tell me how much he enjoyed the Florida Rocks Again! show, and mentioned in passing that WFBO in Flagler Beach, a/k/a "The Blizzard," had gone "belly up."

I knew that their great morning man John Black had relocated back to the Midwest, and that the station owner was dealing with his wife's terminal cancer, but I was unaware that the Blizzard, Florida Rocks Again!'s most recent terrestrial radio outlet (2007-2008), has been off the air since the end of last year. Unbeknownst to me, the station went dark only a few months after the plug was pulled on our show and all specialty programming (see "Radio Silence," 9/3/08).

The Blizzard was founded in 2002 as a low-power (100 watts) FM oldies station owned by a Baptist church, and run by "Cap'n Ron" Kochner, who incurred the wrath of the FCC with overly commercial-like underwriting messages and by allegedly boosting the power to three times the legal limit. Broadcasting veteran Chris Lash bought the station in the summer of '07, intending to make it his last stop in his radio career. "An oldies station on the beach, how perfect is that?"

Cap'n Ron was out. Longtime program director Bob "Cruiser" Cummings was let go, and was dead within a week from cancer. "Rockin' Ronnie" Aitken walked away after that.

But while Cruiser and Rockin' Ronnie were still running things, I made a deal to air a two-hour version of Florida Rocks Again! twice a week, a deal which Lash grudgingly honored. However, it was right around this time that we decided to move to Austin, so I signed a couple of sponsors, gave 'em the first five episodes on CD-Rs, and headed West. The show had a nice run, and the additional listeners from the online stream gave us a decent-sized audience.

Meanwhile, back in Florida, the station had moved from the "European Village" in Palm Coast to a beachside locale in Flagler Beach, which almost immediately suffered hurricane damage. Lash had applied for a full power license from the FCC, hoping to take the station to another level, but circumstances conspired to scuttle that dream. With his wife Karen in failing health, he transferred the station back to original owners, Halifax Christian Community Church, and moved back to Pennsylvania.

Cap'n Ron re-entered the picture, announcing that after switching to Christmas music for the holidays, the station would re-emerge in a different format. Some say that Christian talk radio was the leading contender, but soon thereafter the station went off the air for good, so we'll never know.

Despite its many ups and downs, the Blizzard provided hours of great radio listening for those lucky enough to be able to pull in the signal, and served as the voice of a community.

And for a year, they aired our show, which is more than most Florida radio stations can say.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

The Ballad of Bill Lee

I did a Google search to see how much of my old freelance writing work was still out there, so that I might present it here for your amusement. Not much, it would appear. But here is a piece from 2001 called "The Ballad of Bill Lee" because it's baseball season, and because it's a funny, bittersweet read, taking place at Le Stade Olympique in Montreal on Opening Day of that year. Sadly, the Expos are no more. Click on title or baseball card to launch:

The Ballad of Bill Lee

The former Boston and Montreal left-hander on the Sox, Fenway, and smokin’ with Dubya

By J.M. Dobies

Originally published April 19, 2001 in The Boston Phoenix Red Sox Supplement, and subsequently as a cover story in both the Portland and Worcester Phoenix. This is the version on my website,, with the original photos from the piece.

Dedicated to the memory of Les Expos.

Get the DVD of Spaceman: A Baseball Odyssey HERE.

Friday, June 19, 2009

Classic Rerun: Florida Rocks Again! #13

Florida Rocks Again! #13: Coverama!

Mal Thursday brings you another action-packed episode of Florida Rocks Again! — this one’s all covers, with the all-time greats from the Sunshine State doing versions of songs made famous by other artists — a set of early rock ‘n roll and rhythm & blues, a set of ’60s songs, a set of Vanilla Fudge-inspired remakes.

The Rovin' Flames cover Bo Diddley, the Allman Joys cover the Yardbirds, the Clefs of Lavender Hill cover the Beatles, the Fifth Order and Lyres cover the Nightcrawlers. It's Coverama, baby!

Written and Produced by JM Dobies, Co-Produced by Jeff Lemlich. Originally posted 21 March 2006.

If you like this episode, you're sure to dig these (click on show titles to launch):

Florida Rocks Again! #28: Coverama! 2

The 31st Of February cover Jackie DeShannon, Fred Neil covers Tim Hardin, HP Lovecraft, the Candymen, the Fabs, and Gram Parsons cover Fred Neil.

Florida Rocks Again! #38: Coverama! 3-D

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Keith Moon Was Here

About ten years ago, filmmaker Alex Cox (Repo Man, Sid and Nancy, Straight to Hell) was commissioned to write a screenplay based on the life of Keith Moon, the Who's legendary drummer and destroyer of hotel rooms.

From "Co-written by me and Tod [Davies] for American and London-based producers. The life of Keith Moon, whose antagonist we decided should be Peter Sellers. Sellers first appears as a giant spider, then as himself, then as Harry Nilsson, in whose London apartment rock stars invariably die. Supporting cast includes the other members of The Who, The Beatles, and Steve McQueen. Of all the scripts the two of us wrote together, this is the best."

In an interview with the Austin Decider, Cox describes why the film wasn't made:

"I think Roger Daltrey was the executive producer, and so maybe it didn’t fit his recollection of events or vision of the story [Daltrey is also portrayed as a bit of a wanker in the script] ...I think that the people who wanted to make the film were expecting more of a mainstream biopic — which is really hard, to make a guy like that sympathetic. I mean, the guy’s a serial wife beater, you know? It’s really hard to make a guy like that conventionally sympathetic."

Here's the screenplay for Keith Moon Was Here, which, despite a few anachronisms and other minor inaccuracies, would have made a great film, especially with someone like Colin Farrell in the part (and not Mike Myers, who was long rumored to be playing Moon):

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

"The Oliver Reed Film Festival" Blog

The Oliver Reed Film Festival at

As anyone familiar with me or the BLOG! can easily tell, I'm a big fan of the late British film actor Oliver Reed, who is a cult hero in the UK, but relatively obscure in the states. My wife is mystified by my fascination with the "creepy" Reed, is "creeped out" by his films, and thinks I'm "gay" for "some dead actor."

But then, one must consider the fact that she doesn't drink.

In the ten years since his death in a Maltese pub, Reed's legend has grown, making him an icon of the ladmags, due largely to his alcohol-fueled misbehavior on British chat shows in the twilight of his career. Whether he was busking "Wild One" or snogging lesbian feminist Kate Millet and telling her, "I've had more fights in pubs than you've had hot dinners," the self-proclaimed "Mr. England" was always good for a laugh.

So I dig Ollie on two levels: first and foremost, for the films, and secondly as a negative role model. If I'm having a pint or two, I find myself channeling my inner Oliver Reed, but not to the point of getting into head-butting contests or anything like that.

Over the years, I've written a number of pieces about Ollie's movies, so now all of my essays, old and new, are being collected in The Oliver Reed Film Film Festival at, a new blog that focuses on the filmography, the actor more than the drinker. Well, actually, in Oliver's case, the two are more or less inseparable.

If you dig the essays and want to see the films, please visit The Oliver Reed Store for DVDs of Ollie's Greatest Hits.

For your listening pleasure, check out The Mal Thursday Show #6, a tribute to The Girl-Getters (a/k/a The System), with cool sound clips and the rockin' sounds of various British and American beat groups.

Monday, June 15, 2009

Tin House at Wolfy's in Sanford, FL

Tin House, the Orlando-based power trio best known for their Rick Derringer-produced 1971 LP on Epic, has been reincarnated as a five-piece and will be appearing at Wolfy's, 520 N. Palmetto Avenue in Sanford, Florida on Saturday night at 8:30 p.m.

In addition to Tin House classics like "Silver Star" and "I Want Your Body," the band will be performing songs from their new CD Winds of Past. I got to witness the first Tin House show in 35 years at the Orlando Reunion Concert in 2006, and if you dig early '70s heavy rock like I do, you're in for a treat.

Check out Florida Rocks Again! #18: Orlando Rocks Again! for a set of Tin House classics with commentary from original members Mike Logan, Jeff Cole, and Floyd Radford.

Friday, June 12, 2009

GaragePunk Podcast Archives: The Untold Fables - Live at Safari Sam’s

From The GaragePunk Podcast Archives:


The Untold Fables - Live at Safari Sam’s, Huntington Beach, CA (1985)


With commentary by Gringo Starr from the Sonic Nightmares podcast.

A rockin' set from L.A.-based "Paisley Underground" stalwarts the Untold Fables, which not only rocks, but captures the ambience of a sparsely attended mid-week gig, something I experienced many times, both as a musician and a promoter. Featuring the Fables tearing up "She Lied," "It's a Cryin' Shame," and "I Can Only Give You Everything," among others.


The Untold Fables were Paul Carey on voice, Jon Niederbrach on guitar, Robert Butler (later of The Miracle Workers) on bass and Paul Sakry on drums. Although The Fables were mainly associated with the mid-’80s L.A. psychedelic/garage revival scene that grew out of a club called the Rave Up and later moved to Greg Shaw’s Cavern Club, their music also included strong influences from ’70s punk and ’50s rhythm & blues. Their first release, a remake of “I Try” by the Young Tyrants, was for Voxx RecordsBattle of the Garages, Volume 3 (which is now available on the Battle of the Garages Part Two CD).

In the spring of 1985 they recorded their first LP, Every Mother’s Nightmare, for Lee Joseph’s Dionysus Records at West Beach Studios in Los Angeles. Lee Joseph produced it with a lot of input from Robert Butler and sound engineering by Brett Gurewitz (Bad Religion). The album was finally released about a year later. In the summer of 1986 and spring of 1987 the Fables had two more recording sessions, this time at South Coast Studios in Santa Ana with David Carey producing. Eleven songs from these session were later compiled for their second LP, Aesop’s Apocalypse, released in early 1989, about a year after the band split up.


Thursday, June 11, 2009

The Chunk Records Story: The Complete Saga

"The Chunk Records Story" remains the BLOG!'s finest hour. It tells the true tale of the rise and fall of the label that delivered "Obscure but Rewarding" recordings promising "Medium Fidelity, Extreme Quality." To mark the tenth anniversary of its demise, here is the Complete Saga:

Part One
Chunk Records Is Born

Part Two
Salad Days

Part Three
The Beginning of the End

Part Four
The Decline and Fall of Chunk Records

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Kobe's Rape Face and Other Sports Atrocities

I grew up a huge sports fan, baseball, football, and hockey in particular, worshipping guys like Roberto Clemente and Bobby Orr, and following the exploits of my favorite underdogs the Montreal Expos.

The continuing de-evolution of professional sports is making it harder to watch ESPN or read the sports section of the local paper (The Austin-American Statesman, also known as "the shit I read on the internet yesterday"). I still follow some of it, but a lot of it makes me want to puke.

My mom always talks about how there are no great leading men in the movies anymore. Instead of icons like Clark Gable or Paul Newman, we get "punks" like Matt Damon and Orlando Bloom. While I actually like Damon and Bloom, I get what she's talking about. I mean, Mark Wahlberg ain't Gary Cooper.

Similarly, modern professional sports is lacking in heroes. When I was a kid, there were giants like Clemente, Orr, Willie Mays, Henry Aaron, Jim Brown, Bill Russell, Wilt Chamberlin, et al.

Now, we get creeps like Kobe and A-Rod, a parade of steroid cheats, sex offenders, and other a-holes. It makes me sick to see Kobe making his "rape face" (see photo above) after sinking a three-pointer. I don't know if it bothers that desk clerk in Colorado that Bryant ass-raped (allegedly), or if the out-of-court settlement has lessened her trauma, but there's a video circulating of her rapping (badly), paraphrasing Shaq's "Kobe, how does my ass taste?" by asking, "Kobe, why did my ass bleed?" and rhyming "bring him some towels" with Kobe "ripping up [her] bowels."

Even Kobe has got to respect that rhyme.

Not that I give a fuck about the NBA, but I hope that the Magic can pull off a huge comeback in the Finals (they won last night, making the series 2-1 L.A.).

And don't get me started on the damn Braves. Although my passion for baseball has waned in the last 15 years since the strike wiped out the '94 season (my Expos had the best record in baseball that year, only to be dismantled the following season), and the steroid era began in earnest, making a mockery of the record book, I still hate the Braves. The Expos fell on hard times, eventually relocating to Washington, DC, while Atlanta won a pant-load of division titles between '91 and '05, and one tainted World Series title.

Still, I look forward to Chipper Jones's inevitable decline, and the Braves failing to make the post-season for the fourth year in a row. By then, it'll be time for another NFL season.

Monday, June 8, 2009

Florida Rocks Again! #38: Coverama! 3-D

It's another all-covers edition of Florida Rocks Again!, as the All-Time Greats from the Sunshine State are joined by special out-of-state guests the Dwarves, the Reigning Sound, the Chocolate Watchband, Eric Burdon, and Sky Saxon.

If you dig this episode, dig deep into the GaragePunk Podcast Archives for Florida Rocks Again! # 13: Coverama! and Florida Rocks Again! #28: Coverama! 2.

Produced by JM Dobies and Jeff Lemlich in Three Dimensional Living Monophonic Sound.



THE HATE BOMBS: Going All the Way
TARNATION: The Little Black Egg
THE CYNICS: A Basket of Flowers
THE (FAB) PHATONS: I've Got That Feeling
THE DICKENS: I've Got Something on My Mind
WE THE PEOPLE: She Does Everything for Me

THE ARTWOODS: I Take What I Want
ERIC BURDON: Hold On, I'm Coming
SAM & DAVE: You Don't Know What You Mean to Me

31st OF FEBRUARY: Codine
THE LAST WORDS: You've Lost That Lovin' Feelin'

MUDCRUTCH: Lover of the Bayou
SKY SAXON: Swamp Music
THE DWARVES: Get Out of My Life




And don't miss these other rockin' trilogies! (Click on show title to launch)

FLORIDA ROCKS AGAIN! #35: Mal's Florida Favorites, Vol. 1


Friday, June 5, 2009

New York Dolls at Emo's Tonight

The New York Dolls are at Emo's in Austin tonight, and I think tickets can still be had.

Syl Sylvain and David Johansen, the two guys in the middle of the picture at left will be representing for the original line-up, as Johnny Thunders, Arthur "Killer" Kane, and Jerry Nolan are all dead.

Still, it's the Dolls' classics, plus a few obligatory new songs, live on stage in a club setting. What's not to love?

I should go, I would go, but whether or not I will attend is still subject to high-level negotiations with the wife.

Thursday, June 4, 2009

David Carradine (1936-2009)

David Carradine died in an apparent suicide yesterday. I am a fan of his work, particularly his '70s heyday, when he made Bound for Glory, The Long Riders, and Death Race 2000, and starred as Kwai Chang Cain in the TV series "Kung Fu." Having read a couple of his memoirs, Endless Highway and The Kill Bill Diary, I kind of feel like I knew the guy.

I have a particular fondness for his film Americana, a labor of love based on Henry Morton Robinson's novel The Perfect Round, filmed in 1973 and finally completed in 1982. Carradine directed and played the lead, opposite Barbara Hershey, his wife at the time. I later reviewed it for, and you can read that review HERE.

In his writings, Carradine came off as a proud man, a seeker, an optimist, and a bit of a horndog. Not the kind of a dude who'd hang himself in a Bangkok hotel room.

He's the only one who knows and he isn't talking.

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

S. Darko

Here's an expanded version of a review of S. Darko on which I collaborated with my wife Evie, who is an administrator/newsgatherer for the Twilighters Anonymous site (she got a screener of the movie because it features Jackson Rathbone, one of the teenage vampires in the Twilight films):

S. Darko is sort of the cinematic equivalent of a red-headed stepchild, the direct-to-video sequel to the 2001 cult film Donnie Darko, writer/director Richard Kelly’s visionary tale of high school, time travel, and alternate universes. Kelly had nothing to do with this belated follow-up to a film which really didn’t set itself up for a sequel in any way, shape, or form.

Since Donnie got obliterated by a falling jet engine at the end of that film, the sequel focuses on his little sister Samantha, played by Daveigh Chase, reprising her role from the original film. Chase is probably best known for playing Rhonda on “Big Love” and also voiced Lilo in Lilo & Stich. She certainly has grown up since her days in Sparkle Motion. She is a fine young actress, but can’t do much with lines like “Remember the future…”

The film is set in 1995, seven years after Donnie’s death. The plot, such as it is, involves Samantha and her friend Corey going on a road trip to escape the boredom of their lives, only to get stuck in a one-horse town in the Utah desert. There they encounter sly hipster Randy, played by Ed Westwick (Chuck on “Gossip Girl”,) and shy bookworm Jeremy, played by Jackson Rathbone of Twilight fame. Rathbone’s performance, which ranges from winningly boyish to manically aggressive, is a highlight of the film, as is John Hawkes’s portrayal of a creepy motel manager. Hawkes is always good, whether he's playing Starr in "Deadwood," Kenny's brother in "Eastbound and Down," or the convenience store clerk in From Dusk Till Dawn. There’s also a guy named Iraq Jack, played in full-on loony mode by James Lafferty, and a strange, scar-faced woman played by Elizabeth Berkley (Showgirls, “Saved by the Bell”).

Director Chris Fisher and screenwriter Nathan Atkins do get some of the details right, borrowing liberally from the source material without ultimately adding much to the mythology. Hardcore fans of the original will no doubt find fault with S. Darko’s deviations from the formula, while those who haven’t seen the original will find themselves scratching their heads, and wondering just what the hell is going on.

Monday, June 1, 2009

Tweet! Tweet! I'm a Twat on Twitter!

Although I resisted it, I now have a Twitter account. If you are so inclined, you can follow me at

You can follow also this BLOG! by clicking on the "Follow Blog" link above.

Other sites of interest (depending on who you ask): and

Seacrest Out!