Alex Cox

Alex Cox & Opinions on N.E.R.D.

Few filmmakers have embodied the punk aesthetic like Alex Cox. He joins Jim and Greg to discuss the classic LA punk soundtrack to Repo Man, the making of the Sex Pistols biopic Sid and Nancy, and his fruitful collaborations with Joe Strummer. Plus, a review of the new album from Pharrell Williams's side project N.E.R.D.

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Alex Cox

Repo Man Filmmaker Alex Cox joins Jim and Greg this week for a lively conversation about his punk rock-infused movies like Repo Man, Sid and Nancy, and Walker. Though originally from Liverpool, Cox first encountered punk rock through the Los Angeles scene of bands like Fear, Suicidal Tendencies, and Black Flag. When he made his debut film Repo Man in 1984, he enlisted all his favorite bands for the soundtrack. The movie was initially a flop, but the popularity of that legendary soundtrack album eventually turned it into a cult classic. Cox followed up that with another definitive punk film – Sid and Nancy, a biopic of the Sex Pistols' Sid Vicious and his girlfriend Nancy Spungen.

Sid and Nancy was the beginning of a long collaboration between Cox and Joe Strummer of The Clash. Strummer appeared in and composed for the spaghetti western homage Straight to Hell and the controversial 1987 film Walker. Alex Cox speaks with Jim and Greg about working with Strummer, enlisting both Iggy Pop and Michael Nesmith of The Monkees to make Repo Man, and the difficulties of making political films in Hollywood.

reviewNO ONE EVER REALLY DIESNo_One Ever Really Dies available on iTunes

N.E.R.D. No_One Ever Really Dies

After a seven year hiatus, N.E.R.D. (the Pharrell Williams/Neptunes side project) has returned with their fourth album No_One Ever Really Dies. As The Neptunes, Chad Hugo & Pharrell crafted synthy, quirky, poppy hip hop and R&B for the likes of Jay-Z and Kelis in the 1990s and early '00s. Then in 1999, they formed N.E.R.D. with Shay Haley. In the time since N.E.R.D.'s last album, 2010's Nothing, Pharrell Williams has made a name for himself as a solo artist. Most notably, he achieved mainstream success with the smash hit "Happy," all while maintaining his signature sense of quirk. Greg says it's that quirkiness, along with a knack for hooks that attracted him to their sound in the first place. He likes this effort for its“weird, buzzy tone”and its psychedelic energy. Greg gives it a Buy It. Jim calls N.E.R.D. an“experimental garage band.”He adds this project has an uneven success rate with its long list of collaborations, including tracks with Rihanna, Kendrick Lamar, and Ed Sheeran. Jim gives it a Try It.



“(Say No To) Saturday's Girl”Human Switchboard

The new year has inspired Jim's pick for this week's Desert Island Jukebox. Jim celebrated many a New Year's Eve at the bar Maxwell's in Hoboken. Recently, he was thinking about the December 31st evening he spent watching the group Human Switchboard perform. Human Switchboard was a band out of the Cleveland, Ohio scene that blended elements of rock, funk and punk to create their own unique sound. Once they moved to New York City in the '80s, they played clubs in and around the city back when people used to dance to New Wave music. Jim chose the track "(Say No To) Saturday's Girl" and it has him grooving in the new year.

Featured Songs

  1. The Sensational Harvey Band, Vambo Marble Eye, Next, Vertigo, 1973
  2. The Cortinas, Fascist Dictator, Fascist Dictator (single), Step Forward, 1977
  3. Go-Go's, Screaming, Return to the Valley of the Go-Go's, I.R.S., 1979
  4. Iggy Pop, Repo Man, Repo Man, San Andreas, 1984
  5. Johnny Lee, Lookin' for Love, Lookin' for Love, Asylum, 1980
  6. Fear, Let's Have a War, The Record, Slash, 1982
  7. Suicidal Tendencies, Institutionalized, Suicidal Tendencies, Frontier, 1983
  8. Circle Jerks, When the Shit Hits the Fan, Repo Man, San Andreas, 1984
  9. The Plugz, Reel Ten, Repo Man, San Andreas, 1984
  10. Sex Pistols, Pretty Vacant, Never Mind the Bollocks, Here's the Sex Pistols, Virgin, 1977
  11. Gary Oldman, My Way, Sid and Nancy: Love Kills, MCA, 1986
  12. Gary Oldman, I Wanna Be Your Dog, Sid and Nancy: Love Kills, MCA, 1986
  13. Joe Strummer, Love Kills (Title Track), Sid and Nancy: Love Kills, MCA, 1986
  14. Pearl Harbour and The Palaminos, Two Bullets, Sid and Nancy, Palace Pictures, 1986
  15. The Pogues, Bolero del Perro Listo, Straight to Hell Returns, Big Beat, 1987
  16. Joe Strummer, Machete, Walker, Virgin Movie Music, 1987
  17. Carlos Mejía Godoy y Los De Palacagüina, La Tumba del Guerrillero, La Nueva Milpa, CBS, 1978
  18. Joe Strummer, The Unknown Immortal, Walker, Virgin Movie Music, 1987
  19. Bob Dylan, Knockin‘ on Heaven’s Door, Pat Garrett & Billy the Kid, Columbia, 1973
  20. Joe Strummer, Gangsterville, Earthquake Weather, Epic, 1989
  21. Circle Jerks, Coup d'Etat, Golden Shower of Hits, Allegiance, 1983
  22. N.E.R.D., Deep Down Body Thurst, No_One Ever Really Dies, i am OTHER, 2017
  23. Kelis, Milkshake, Tasty, Star Trak, 2003
  24. N.E.R.D., ESP, No_One Ever Really Dies, i am OTHER, 2017
  25. N.E.R.D., Lemon (featuring Rihanna), No_One Ever Really Dies, i am OTHER, 2017
  26. N.E.R.D., Don‘t Don’t Do It (featuring Kendrick Lamar), No_One Ever Really Dies, i am OTHER, 2017
  27. N.E.R.D., Lifting You (featuring Ed Sheeran), No_One Ever Really Dies, i am OTHER, 2017
  28. Human Switchboard, (Say No To) Saturday's Girl, Who's Landing in my Hangar?, I.R.S., 1981
  29. Ariel Pink, Put Your Number in My Phone, Pom Pom, 4AD, 2014
  30. Frankie Paul, Worries in the Dance, Pass the Tu-Sheng-Peng, Greensleeves, 1984
  31. Allan Holdsworth, Devil Takes the Hindmost, Metal Fatigue, Enigma, 1985
  32. The Easybeats, Friday on My Mind, Easy, Repertoire, 1965
  33. Elvin Jones, Green Chimneys, It Don't Mean a Thing, Enja, 1993