Monday, December 29, 2008

FINN'S REVOLUTION! December 30, 2008: Finn tips ya about the albums you shoulda bought, PLUS, a farewell to one of the great rockers, ALEX CRANK

above: Alex's shirt says "I don't have ALS. I'm drunk."

I'm proud to call Alex Cathcart (Crank) a friend of mine. He was a guitar player in the mold of Richards & Thunders, with a raw, punk, twangy rock n roll race-to-the-finish playing style. A truly musical songwriter & a singer who could put it across with charisma, energy and joy. His bands included The Cranks, The F3s, The Barflys, The Westones, stints with pigEARTH, the late Sean O'Donnell, Lancaster County Prison, LOURDS, Sport Murphy's band, on & on....
I learned of his passing during last week's Holiday show on December 23rd, when my compadre (and Alex bud) Sean McFadden called WUSB to request a tune for him, assuming I had read the e-mails I hadn't checked. It knocked me for a loop, and continues to do so. Alex's death was not exactly a surprise, as he had been suffering from ALS (Lou Gehrig's Disease) for a few years now. It does, however, remain a shock. We played together, recorded together, went on the road together. There are countless crazy Alex tales, he had a warm & generous heart, a wondrous fuck-all (yet kind) sense-of humor. I will miss him.
Shortly after he was diagnosed, we were mixing some stuff of his in my studio. I asked him how he was doing. He said, "No matter what happens, I'll always be better looking than you."
He was right, that fuck.
There are many sources for Alex stuff, but here's one from a few years back when he was playing with Marky Ramone & The Intruders, with whom he travelled the world. He's the rocker in the wife-beater in the foreground:

Artist/Title/Album * = New Release CAPS=songs sung by Alex

Fleshtones/Never Grew Up/Take A Good Look
Kurt Vile/Don't Get Cute/Constant Hitmaker
Bonnie "Prince" Billy/Easy Does It/Lie Down In The Light
Tobacco/Berries That Burn/Fucked Up Friends
Apollo Sunshine/666: The Coming Of The New World Government/Shall Noise Upon
Elvis Costello & The Imposters/Flutter & Wow/Momofuku
Hank Williams/There's Nothing As Sweet As My Baby/Unreleased Recordings
The War On Drugs/Arms Like Boulders/Wagonwheel Blues
El Guincho/Cuando Maavilla Fui/Alegranza!
Goldfrapp/Caravan Girl/Seventh Tree
Sigur Ros/Vid Spilum Endalaust/Med Sud I Eyrum Vid Spilum Endalaust
Giant Sand/Pitch & Sway/proVISIONS
Orchestra Baobab/Pape Ndiaye/Made In Dakar
Nina Simone/Trouble In Mind/To Be Free
Bob Dylan/Duncan & Brady/Bootleg Series Volume 8: Tell Tale Signs
Crystal Stilts/Shattered Shine/Alight of Night
Vampire Weekend/One (Blake's Got A New Face)/Vampire Weekend
New York Dolls/Pills/Live @ The Fillmore East
The Clash/Career Opportunities (Live)/Live At Shea Stadium
The Black Keys/Psychotic Girl/Attack & Release
King Khan & The Shrines/Live Fast Die Strong/The Supreme Genius of King Khan & The Shrines
Cat Power/I Believe In You/Jukebox
Randy Newman/Potholes/Harps & Angels
TV On The Radio/Golden Age/Dear Science
Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds/Today's Lesson/Dig, Lazarus!!! Dig!!!


DJR3 said...


Jacob Krueger said...

Alex is (was?) my uncle and while I am so grateful for the time I did get to spend with him as a child, and then briefly before he became sick in my teens, I realize that there's so much of his life story that I missed out on.

I want to hear as many stories as possible, good ones, gross ones, pure Alex ones...can you help me out?

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