Saturday, January 27, 2018

Show #163 2017 YEAR-END DEDICATION SPECIAL 1/13/18


All Kindsa Girls- The Real Kids Real Kids
Valerie- Greg Kihn Greg Kihn Band RocKihnRoll
Ain't That Enough- Travoltas Until We Hit the Shore 
The Perfect Summer- Pugwash Silverlake 
I Do- Dollyrots Whiplash Splash 
Humdrum Routine- The Genuine Fakes Humdrum Routine 
The Cotton Mather Pledge- Cotton Mather Wild Kingdom 
Let It Roll- Biters The Future Ain't What It Used to Be 
Corinna- Mimi Betinis Music Sounds 
Mexican Fender- Weezer Pacific Daydream 
Get Out Of Denver- The Connection Just For Fun 
Tomorrow's Coming- The Modulators Tomorrow's Coming 
Falling Apart (As It Seems)- Smart Remarks Foreign Fields: 1982 - 1984 
S.O.S.- The Favourites New Feeling 
*Trick- Matthew Sweet Tomorrow Forever 
*Little Castrato- The Upper Crust Delusions Of Grandeur 
*Not Getting What I Want- The Wellingtons End Of The Summer 
*Not This Time- Bash and Pop Anything Could Happen 
*Radio! Stereo!- Suzy and Los Quattro Faster and Louder! 
Christine Sixteen- Kiss KISSWORLD - The Best of KISS 
Bombs Away- Honeychain Crushed 
We're On Our Way- Fastball Step Into Light 
What The Hell's Goin' On- Flamin' Groovies Fantastic Plastic 
Incognito- Richard X. Heyman Incognito 
You Got It Going On- Cheap Trick We're All Alright! 
I Am My Radio- Bullet Proof Lovers Shot Through The Heart 
Matilda- Suzy and Los Quattro Faster and Louder! 
Play Money- The New Pornographers Whiteout Conditions 
Wrong/Right Girl- The Rubs Impossible Dream 
52 Girls- The B-52's The B-52's 

SacroSet:  Top 5 Records of 2017 

"Interesting times?"  We are here people!  If 2017 had been any more "interesting" my head would have exploded.  That said, my family is healthy, I had a great time in two Sonoma Arts Live productions, The Rainmaker and Inspecting Carol, and my radio show ALL KINDSA GIRLS is going on nine years.  There are also great movies, records, book and TV shows to be thankful for so as I have since 1999, I humbly submit my 2017 Top 5's:

I, Daniel Blake (bureaucracide)  
The Florida Project (Moonee's world)  
Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri (McDonagh's magnum opus)
The Big Sick (real American story)  
Baby Driver (neat, neat, neat!)
Mustang (irreligious)  
The Invitation (dinner party crash)
The Raid Redemption (mind-blowing bullet ballet)
Colossal (Kaiju/indie mashup)
American Honey (how the other 14.5% live)
Matthew Sweet- Tomorrow Forever (a master returns)
The Upper Crust- Delusions of Grandeur (let there be rocque!)  
The Wellingtons- End of The Summer (Power Pop perfection)  
Bash and Pop- Anything Could Happen (Tommy out-Pauls Paul)
Suzy and Los Quatro- Faster and Louder (Spanish Lady rocks!)
The First Bad Man- Miranda July (Cheryl's plight)  
Sixkill- Robert B. Parker (RBP and Spenser, RIP)
Mrs. Fletcher- Tom Perrotta (empty nester)
Rage In Harlem- Chester Himes (For Love of Imabelle)  
History of Wolves- Emily Fridlund (Minnesota masterpiece)
American Vandal (who drew the d*cks?)  
Halt And Catch Fire Seasons 1-4 (true disruption)
The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel (Midge can do it)
Catastrophe Seasons 1-2 (marital hilarity, until Season 3)  
Better Call Saul Season 3 (Shakespearean epic)

TV was the most competitive category this year- so many great shows on the streaming services it's hard to limit it to five.  While not all of the above came out in 2017, that's when I got around to them.  Please feel free to respond with your own lists- I'm always on the lookout for viewing/listening/reading material and maybe you'll see your recommendation on next year's list.  If you're interested in past lists check out the blog Rick Top 5 Lists for everything back to 1999.  Here's hoping we all find a way to navigate the new normal- however abnormal it may be- in 2018!

Click the link below to stream this show or to download, right click and "Save Link As:"

Saturday, December 23, 2017

Show #162 December 2, 2017

We're BACK to Rosie...with huge thanks to our First Responders!

Back to Rosie- The Yum Yums Sweet As Candy
Just Got Back- Cheap Trick All Shook Up
Back Again- Tommy Keene Songs From The Film
Back Among Friends- TUNS TUNS
So Good To Be Back Home Again- The Tourists DIY: UK Pop II (1978-79) Starry Eyes
Back to Normal- The Reducers Last Tracks and Lost Songs
Back to Life- Rattlecats Teen Line no. 1
Back on Side With You- Someloves Something Or Other
^Back On My Feet Again- The Babys Anthology 
Back On My Feet- Dreamdate Come On Over 
Back On My Feet- Paul McCartney Once Upon A Long Ago
Back In My Hometown- Wreckless Eric Big Smash
Back For Good- Kurt Baker Play It Cool 
Back On the Streets- Donnie Iris Back On The Streets 
*Back to You- The Wellingtons In Transit 
*Back To You- Richard X. Heyman Hey Man! 
*Back To You- The Riverdales Back To You 
*Back To You- Walter Clevenger and The Dairy Kings Love Songs To Myself 
Back To The Middle- Pink Spiders Teenage Graffitti 
Back to the Truth- Lisa Mychols 3 Lisa Mychols 3 - EP 
Back In The Middle- Pezband Cover To Cover
>I'll Be Back Up On My Feet- The Monkees Listen To The Band
Soon Be Back- The Early Hours Evolution 
Get Back To Me- The Action Shake Some Action Vol 7 (USA) 
Back To The Shack- Weezer Everything Will Be Alright In The End 
Baby's Coming Back- Jellyfish Bellybutton 
Back With You- Tinted Windows Tinted Windows 
Back Where You Belong- .38 Special The Very Best Of The AandM Years (1977-1988)
The Beat Is Back- The First Steps The Beat Is Back E.P. 7" 
Come On Back- The Hollies 30th Anniversary Collection 1963-1993
Always Comes Back- SVT Extended Play 
Go Back Home- Tommy Keene Laugh In The Dark

^Power Pop Prototype:  #33 Billboard Hot 100 3/15/80

*SacroSet:  Songs Called "Back To You" 

>Power Pop Prototype:  1968

Since we got back into our homes in mid-October, those of us affected by the North Bay Wild Fires have been sharing our "fire stories."  We all know people who lost everything but most in the town of Sonoma were lucky.  For us, it started with a 2am phone call on Monday, October 9.  I had been up late that night and had fallen asleep on the couch, which is a rarity for me.  The wind was blowing so hard it woke me up at 1am when I went to bed without giving it another thought.  An hour later the phone rang, my son Jack calling to say he had been evacuated from his home on Franklin Ave in Santa Rosa, two miles south of the Journey's End mobile home park that by that time was fully engulfed in flames, the scene of the first reported fatalities from what would be called the Tubbs fire.  We went out on the street and could see an orange glow, the hills to the east in flames- what I later learned was the Partrick fire.  There was no going back to sleep that night but at 2:30am Channel 7 was the only station airing live coverage and they were focused on the Atlas fire in Napa.

Within a few hours our four local channels were all doing wall to wall coverage.  In most cases they were talking about the Napa Fires or the Tubbs fire north of us- calling it all "Sonoma," making no distinction between our town and our county.  It truly was a firestorm- burning embers spread by 70 mile an hour winds starting fires throughout Sonoma and Napa counties.  There was lots of information coming out of Santa Rosa but little about Sonoma.  My daughter Nica starting reading us social media posts about places closer to home:  Glen Ellen Village Market is gone (false), Fremont Diner is burned up (false), Stornetta Dairy is destroyed (true), Dunbar School is in flames (outdoor stage burned, main buildings fine).  The television then showed a brief but chilling image- fire at my friend Ramona's winery.  I immediately texted her and she was safe, having fled with virtually no warning minutes before her home was engulfed.

The weird thing was that even though I could see the Partrick fire burning before dawn, the wind blew out most of the smoke so when the sun came up on Monday the air was fairly clear.  Jaime and I began talking about whether we should stay or go.  With the Nuns fire in the north, the Partrick fire to the east, and the Rt. 37 fire south of us we only had one route out of town on Monday- Rt. 116 west to Petaluma, then 101 south to Marin.  Our friends Libby and Miller just north of Sonoma in Boyes Hot Springs evacuated with their 4 year old Maeve on Monday and it took them four hours to drive 20 miles.  The horrible thought of being stuck on Rt. 101 while the Tubbs fire burned its way south kept us in Sonoma on Monday.  Our friend Lori joined us and that night she Jaime and I volunteered for the 8p-midnight shift at the shelter they set up in the gym at Sonoma Valley High School.  I am so glad we did- there's nothing like spending time with other people, many of whom had lost their homes, to put our own problems in perspective.  After sitting in front of the TV for hours getting next to no information about the town of Sonoma, it was also great to get out of the house and do something.

It was very inspiring to see the outpouring of generosity at the shelter- there were already a hundred beds in place, tons of food, water and medical supplies along with things I didn't think about like phone chargers and pet food.  There were even more people outside in the parking lot, sleeping in their cars- many to be with their skittish pets but several who were afraid to come inside as a rumor was circulating that ICE agents were targeting undocumented people at shelters.  (Thanks again social media!)

Like Ramona, the fires took everyone by surprise so for 48 hours First Responders were working search and rescue, which meant the fire had plenty of time to spread before the active firefight started on Wednesday. 

The winds died down Monday night, so on Tuesday Sonoma Valley was a bowl of smoke.  All the stores sold out of masks within the next two days, but on the plus side, all volunteer shifts at the high school were filled and they received so many food and water donations they had to start turning them away. 

Tuesday the discussion about leaving between my wife Jaime and I started to get a little more "heated."  On Monday she had gathered up our photo albums and put them in the car.  I grabbed my laptop and a folder that has our marriage certificate, wills, the kids' birth certificates, car titles and other important papers.  Jaime was surprised I didn't start packing up records but I was deeply ambivalent about the idea.  How do you start?  Take the most valuable records, the ones that have the greatest sentimental value, the rarest?  Even writing about it now fills me with dread (shudder).  I didn't even pack up my guitars, which in retrospect seems crazy.  I was either a deer in the headlights or had attained a zen master consciousness regarding material possessions, though I'd put my money on the former.  The one good thing that happened on Tuesday is I went in to KSVY and spent a few hours broadcasting fire information with Station Manager Bob Taylor and host Tim Livingston- who, along with Sara Stierch, deserve medals for their dedication to our community throughout the fires. 
KSVY Fire Center
The power of local radio was in full effect on KSVY during the fires.  There was so much misinformation floating around that we just stuck to relaying facts directly from reliable sources (which on Tuesday were Nixle text alerts from the Sonoma County Sheriff and a few facebook posts from the city of Sonoma).  We also broadcast the facebook livestream of the sheriff's first press conference.  You forget that not everyone has a smart phone and is on-line 24/7.  Taking calls from listeners you could tell that even with our limited information we were a comfort- for me that went both ways.

Wednesday was even smokier and for the ongoing viability of my marriage we made the decision to go and stay with our friends Frank and Joanna in Emeryville.  By this time Jack was with his girlfriend Kayla in Cloverdale, north of the fires where they couldn't even smell smoke.  My daughter Nica had gotten a dog with her boyfriend Matthew earlier this year which complicated things, as did our cat Sheena since Joanna is allergic.  Our friend Pete took Sheena to his place in the Oakland Hills and we kept Nica's dog Cash in Joanna's basement office.  

Cash and Sheena, uneasy truce back in Sonoma

I wasn't any less sedentary in Emeryville than I had been in Sonoma spending hours switching between local stations covering the fire.  What was frustrating is that they kept playing newly released footage from Monday's firestorm making us think things were MUCH worse than they actually were.  With a hurricane or an earthquake everything you see is after the fact so the context is clear- in an ongoing situation it is VERY irresponsible to show random uncredited Monday footage on Wednesday.  On the plus side, by this time the national news media FINALLY started paying attention to the fires and we started getting messages of support from family, friends, clients etc. across the country.  I had to explain the difference between Sonoma county and the town of Sonoma because the national news media also failed to make the distinction.  Around this time, Nica asked me "why do the celebrities come out for hurricane victims and not for us?"  Excellent question for which I do not have an answer.  

Smoke from the fires preceded our arrival in
San Francisco
Emeryville and was even thicker in San Francisco.  It was surreal to see people wearing masks to protect themselves from your neighbor's burning homes and perhaps even your own home.  Thankfully the high winds forecast for Wednesday failed to materialize.  After two nights with Frank and Joanna my sister Sarah booked us a room at the Emeryville Hyatt Place- one of the few hotels that would take Cash.  It's a nice hotel right near the Powell Street mall but we were still pretty shell shocked so I can't say we availed ourselves of the amenities.  In fact the first night there we spent two hours locked out of our room.  After everything we were pretty irate and let the hotel staff know it.  We had already been moved to another room when a maintenance guy came with this long springy metal thing that he slid under the door and unlocked it.  Much to our chagrin, Cash had pawed the deadbolt shut while we were at dinner.  It would've been funny if we hadn't been so raw from an awful week.

Back in Sonoma, Tim across the street and a few other neighbors set up night time patrols because there were numerous reports of looters breaking into evacuee homes.  It's the same spirit we saw in the shelter on Monday- another thing for which I'm truly thankful.  After four days with very little news about the town of Sonoma on television, things changed on Friday.  We'd been so starved for some mention of our town that we forgot the old saying:  no news is good news.  On TV we saw sheriffs driving around Sonoma Plaza saying "It's time to go" over their loudspeakers.  The Nuns fire now included the Partrick fire, the Norrbom fire just north of Sonoma, and the Adobe, Pressley, and Oakmont fires.  This giant behemoth was bearing down on Sonoma from the north and east.

High winds were again forecast for Friday night- it is no exaggeration to say that over the next 36 hours firefighters saved the town of Sonoma.  Those who stayed said the town was a war zone, fire planes dropping water overhead, heavy equipment transported to the hillsides and fire crews racing back and forth across town.  It is incredible what these brave men and women accomplished against formidable odds.  The map above shows just how huge the Nuns fire had become- 55,000 acres burned!  Fire crews from all over the state converged on Sonoma and put a stop to it.

I was in the final week of tech rehearsals for The Rainmaker when the fires broke out on
October 9.  Our opening weekend was cancelled and we weren't able to get back to rehearsals until Sunday, October 15 when Pat the director got us some time at a dance studio in Novato, a town 40 minutes south of Sonoma that was unaffected by the fires.  With the Nuns fire 29% contained and all evacuation orders lifted, Jaime and I were happy to be heading home that Sunday.  I picked up Sheena at Pete's and stashed her in a bathroom in the dance studio as one of my cast mates was allergic.  We started with a pot luck to reconnect after a harrowing week and were 90 minutes into our rehearsal when the first siren went by.  A few minutes later every fire truck in Novato roared by and we looked out the window to see the top of a hill up the street on fire.

Novato, October 15 You gotta be kidding me?!?

What followed was a conversation along the lines of:
"What do you think?"
"I don't know, it would have to burn a ways to get to us"
"Fires don't usually burn DOWN hill do they?"
"Um, what are you talking about...why are we still here?!?"

After a few rounds we decided to call it quits leaving the score: 
FIRES-5 (tech rehearsals cancelled),

We planned to meet back in the theater the next evening, the only problem was that power was out in the building that Monday.  So, we moved all our props to another space and finally got to rehearse again after a 7 day delay.  Two more dress rehearsals and then we opened that Thursday, October 19.  Jaime made the run free to First Responders and we did a few "pay what you wish" performances.  

The Rainmaker is a story about faith, hope and redemption in the midst of extreme drought- a perfect message for Sonoma Valley at the time.  I wish I could say we played to packed houses in our abridged run yet those who did come out seemed to appreciate the show.  I can say it was VERY therapeutic for those of us in the cast and crew.  Final score:
FIRES-3 (cancellations),  
THE RAINMAKER-10 (performances)
Photos by Marina Nims

When we got back to Sonoma Sunday afternoon there were signs all over town thanking First Responders, many of which are still in place.  I couldn't agree more- THANK YOU FOR SAVING OUR TOWN!
Click the link to stream this week's show or to download right click and "Save Link As:"

Saturday, November 4, 2017

Show #161 September 2, 2017

Today is all about Matilda!

Matilda- Suzy and Los Quattro Faster and Louder! 
Tomorrow Belongs To You- Gary Valentine s/t
When I Stumble- Honeychain Crushed 
Psychology Today- Aunt Helen Nephews Were Never Like This 
The Rest Of My Life- Cheap Trick We're All Alright! 
*Tomorrow- The Well Wishers Comes And Goes 
*Tomorrow- The Three O'Clock Sixteen Tambourines 
*Tomorrow- Radio City Class of '77 
^Tomorrow Night- Atomic Rooster Tomorrow Night 
Tomorrow Night- Shoes Present Tense
Tomorrow Night- The Go Instant Reaction 
Trick- Matthew Sweet Tomorrow Forever 
Back For Good- Kurt Baker Play It Cool 
So Easy- The Wellingtons End Of The Summer 
*Tomorrow- The Cardigans Life 
*Tomorrow- Kiss Unmasked 
*Tomorrow- Morrissey Tomorrow 
This Is The World Of The Theater- The New Pornographers Whiteout Conditions 
Don't Take Your Baby Downtown- Redd Kross Hot Issue 
My Date- The Aristocrats s/t
*Maybe Tomorrow- Goldenhorse Maybe Tomorrow 
*Maybe Tomorrow- The Iveys The Very Best of Badfinger 
*Maybe Tomorrow- The Chords This Is What They Want
>Tomorrow- Strawberry Alarm Clock Wake Up...It's Tomorrow 
Tomorrow- Research Turtles Research Turtles 
Tomorrow- James Tomorrow 
Never Wanted To Know- Bash and Pop Anything Could Happen 
Without My Sight- Zeitgeist Translate Slowly 
No Tomorrow- The Dictators Blood Brothers 
Here Today, Gone Tomorrow- The Ramones Rocket To Russia

^Power Pop Peak:  #11 6/2/1971 UK Singles Chart

*SacroSet[s]:  Tomorrow Songs

>Power Pop Prototype:  1968

I haven't read him in a while, but over the years I've grown to appreciate the genius of Chuck Palahniuk.  He has a fearless, twisted way of looking at the world that I really enjoy- even as it sometimes turns my stomach.  I was thinking about Chuck as I put this show together, specifically one of my favorite quotes from Invisible Monsters:

When did the future switch from being a promise to being a threat?

I used this quote as the basis of a speech I gave at my son's 8th grade graduation back in 2010, which is included in the blog post for Show #35I have no doubt that Scottish band We Were Promised Jet Packs share the sentiment.  (While I don't care much for their music, I give their name an A+.)  At some point in my lifetime the future went from being a dream to a nightmare.  It's common in some circles to blame everything on the media these days, yet I've always thought of the media as mirror of our society rather than some Pied Piper gleefully leading us to our doom.  

It's interesting how few of the "Tomorrow" songs I played tonight are genuinely hopeful about the future.  Songs like "Tomorrow" by The Three O'Clock are ambivalent:

Remember a time when you were near
And things were clear
But will you be tomorrow?
Remember a sound that you knew once
Oh and I knew once
But will you be tomorrow?

Then there's "Maybe Tomorrow" by The Iveys, a precursor to Badfinger:
Maybe tomorrow, I will love again
I'll never know until I've looked into her eyes
Maybe tomorrow, I will love again
I'll never know until I've seen her once or twice

Even reliably catchy Swedes The Cardigans' song "Tomorrow" has a wistful quality:

Tomorrow, she won't feel half of this
Tomorrow morning is a sugar kiss
Tomorrow, heavenly no sorrow
she will lose gravity

No surprise, reliably mopey Morrissey's "Tomorrow" is a total downer:
Will it really come?
And if it does come
Will I still be human?
All I ask of you is one thing that you never do 

Boob Bird is the word!
And there is something unseemly going on in this week's Power Pop Prototype, Atomic Rooster's "Tomorrow Night:" 

When I wake up in your bed,
I can still hear what you said.
Like a bad dream I can't fight,
Tomorrow Night.

Am I lying here next to you?
Am I thinking I need to
Really love you? Do it right,
Tomorrow Night.

(One of the cool things about the features on ALL KINDSA GIRLS is they get me listening to bands I would never hear otherwise- case in point, early 70's British prog-rock group Atomic Rooster.  Check out that picture sleeve!)

On the grim but optimistic front there is tonight's Power Pop Prototype, "Tomorrow" by Strawberry Alarm Clock:


Things won't be the same
Life would be a different game
But right now I am with you, and
Together we can make it through

(I have no idea what's going on with the tequila bottle on the single's picture sleeve, but the cover of the Wake Up...It's Tomorrow album at the top of this post has become a new favorite!)

James' "Tomorrow" espouses a similar optimism:
Now your grip's too strong
Can't catch love with a net or a gun
Gotta keep faith that your path will change
Gotta keep faith that your love will change tomorrow
I'm just out of your range Tomorrow
All your suffering's in vain Tomorrow

Even better is the sentiment expressed in the Goldenhorse song "Maybe Tomorrow:"

All of your sorrow
Maybe tomorrow
Will fade away in the air

Leave it to Paul Stanley to give us a 100% positive take on "Tomorrow."  This is from the album Unmasked, which I ignored when it was released in 1980 but thanks to this song I'm going to give another listen:
I didn't know just what to do, I couldn't seem to take my eyes off you
You know I wanted just to take you home, but that's not your style
And tomorrow, we're gonna fall in love, fall in love
Tomorrow, we're going to fall in love, fall in love, tomorrow, tomorrow

Now that's more like it!  Here's wishing you all a Paul Stanley tomorrow.

Click the link below to stream this show or to download, right click and "Save Link As:"

Sunday, August 13, 2017

Show #160 July 1, 2017

This Summer Show goes out to Christine Sixteen!

Christine Sixteen- Kiss Love Gun 
Sixteen Again- Buzzcocks Love Bites
Like A Fly- Cheap Trick We're All Alright! 
Neither Here Nor There- Sloan Alternates 
Hurt By Love- Chris Spedding The Very Best Of Chris Spedding 
Nobody Knows- Matthew Sweet Tomorrow Forever 
I'll Never Stop- Protex Strange Obsessions 
If I Were The One- The Outlets I Remember 
^You're Sixteen- Ringo Starr You're Sixteen 
16 Forever- The Dictators Every Day Is Saturday 
Stay Sixteen- The Proof It's Safe 
One Last Night- Bullet Proof Lovers Shot Through The Heart 
Follow Me- Artful Dodger s/t 7" 
Afraid to Fall- The Bobbies Supersongs 
*Sixteen- The Indelicates Sixteen 
*Sixteen- Iggy Pop Lust for Life 
*Sixteen- The Flaws Sixteen - Single 
Mermaid- Dollyrots Whiplash Splash 
She Made A Fool Of You- Moon Martin Escape From Domination 
You Have The Advantage Of Me For I Do Not Know Your Name- The Upper Crust Delusions Of Grandeur 
Sixteen's Gone- Barely Pink Last Day of Summer 
The Sixteens- The Sweet The Collection 
16 Down- Flys Flys Own 
Don't Turn This Good Heart Bad- Biters The Future Ain't What It Used to Be 
Running Start- Shoes Black Vinyl Shoes 
>Sweet Little Sixteen- Chuck Berry The Anthology 
Sweet 16- Green Day ¡Uno! 
Sweet Sixteen- Think About Life Sweet Sixteen 
Sixteen Blue- The Replacements Let It Be

^Power Pop Prototype:  #1 Billboard Hot 100 1/26/74

*SacroSet:  Sixteen Songs

>Power Pop Prototype:  1958

Summer gets me thinking about the past and that inspired tonight's show of "16" songs.  While "Christine Sixteen" would seem like the PERFECT dedication, my feelings about the song have changed considerably over the years.  Gene Simmons was 28 in 1977 when he wrote "Christine Sixteen" (cribbing the title from Paul Stanley) and I was 13 when I heard it for the first time.  I didn't bat an eye about the lyrics back then but now they really skeeve me out, starting with the first verse:

Gene in 1977
She's got me dizzy, she sees me through to the end
She's got me in her hands and there's no use in pretending

If that's not bad enough there's the spoken word mid-section:

I don't usually say things like this to girls your age
But when I saw you coming out of the school that day
That day I knew, I knew
I've got to have you, I've got to have you

Then he brings it home with:

She's been around, but she's young and clean

Wow.  There's nothing like having a daughter to make you think twice about things like "Christine Sixteen"
Gene Today
and I'm sure my fellow Kiss fan fathers know what I'm talking about- at least I hope to God they do.  We're all getting older so it's not really fair, but the "young and clean" line elicits an even bigger "ewwww" when I think about what Gene Simmons looks like today.  That said, you gotta give the guy points for consistency. 

To be fair, quite a few tonight's songs have a lecherous component, like Iggy's "Sixteen:"

I give you my body and soul
sweet 16

I must be hungry 'cause I go crazy
Over your leather boots

He at least acknowledges something is wrong in the final verse:

Now baby I know 
That's not normal
But I love you,
I love you
I love you, sweet 16

HA!  You know you're way over the line when Iggy Pop says "that's not normal."

Even human Teddy bear Ringo Starr's selection from tonight, "You're Sixteen" has some cringe inducing lines:

You come on like a dream, peaches and cream
Lips like strawberry wine
You're sixteen, you're beautiful and you're mine 

and who could forget

You're my baby, you're my pet
We fell in love on the night we met
You touched my hand, my heart went pop
Ooh, when we kissed I could not stop

"I could not stop" WTF?!?  And those lyrics were written in 1960 when Johnny Burnette had a hit with the song.

To be fair, it's virtually impossible to separate sex from rock and roll.  At first glance tonight's Power Pop Prototype, the recently departed Chuck Berry's 1958 classic "Sweet Little Sixteen," seems to be about a chaste passion for rock and roll rather than sex with older dudes.  Berry wrote the song while on a package tour and noticed a teenage girl backstage who was insistent about getting every headliner's autograph. Berry said: "She couldn't have seen one act on the show - unless it was mine!"

Sweet Little Sixteen
She's just got to have
About a half a million
Famed autographs
Her wallet filled with pictures
She gets them one by one
Becomes so excited
Watch her, look at her run 

The song takes a turn in the last verse, however

Sweet Little Sixteen
She's got the grown-up blues
Tight dresses and lipstick
She's sportin' high heel shoes
Oh, but tomorrow morning
She'll have to change her trend
And be sweet sixteen
And back in class again

I can't help thinking about the link between the implied sex with Berry's young autograph-seeker and the actual sex involved in Cynthia Plaster Caster's work which is just a different kind of "collecting."


Not surprisingly, the punk bands have a more rebellious take on on the subject, like Buzzcocks "Sixteen Again" from their second album Love Bites:

Look at me here I am for your eyes
Mirrored proof of love's suicide
I know I never will feel quite like you
And I know you won't treat me right till I do
But at least we'll know it's true
That we're sixteen again
Oh no

And you have to love The Dictator's "16 Forever:"

I don't care if I have no financial plan
I'll never be a man, I'll be just what I am

16 forever don't you try and complicate my life
16 forever a vow I made one brokenhearted night 

The newer groups are keeping it real with the theme, like Montreal's Think About Life and their song "Sweet Sixteen:"

Sweet Sixteen and you’re on your own
And your family family kick you out of the house
Working part-time at diners, saving money for college
At least you’re passing with B's, so it’s no real tragedy

And Irish band The Flaws dial up the angst in their "Sixteen:"

Even as a boy of 16
I had this recurring kind of dream
where every night I'd feel the same pain
It happens every time I'm alone
My eyes feel dead like stone
and every night I feel the same pain

Yeesh.  The Indelicates have a more lighthearted take in their "Sixteen:"

Oh oh and we'll write funny songs about
Boys and Girls and other Boys and other Girls
This heartbreaking world where no one understands
Oh oh It'll be so funny
Oh oh it'll be so funny

This scene is the scene to be seen in
Not that the scene is what we'd be seen with
We just wanna be 16 (16) 16 (16)
Even though we're 23

For sheer rock and roll mythology though, you can't beat The Sweet's "The Sixteens:"

Where were you in '68
In '68 Julie was Johnnie's date
Two kids growin' together
Livin' each day as if time was slippin' away
Oh, they were just sixteen
And their love a teenage dream
They passed the time, they crossed the line
The line that ran between
Julie and Johnnie now you've made it

But life goes on, you know it ain't easy
You've just gotta be strong
If you're one of the sixteens
And life goes on, you know, you know it ain't easy
You know you'll never go wrong
'Cause you're all part of the sixteens

One of the first songs I thought of when putting this show together was The Replacements' "Sixteen Blue," from Let It Be.  Once again Paul Westerberg nails it- a fitting end to the show and this blog post.

Drive yourself right up the wall
No one hears and no one calls
It's a boring state
It's a useless wait, I know

Brag about things you don't understand
A girl and a woman, a boy and a man
Everything is sexually vague
Now you're wondering to yourself

If you might be gay

Your age is the hardest age
Everything drags and drags
One day, baby, maybe help you through

Drive your ma to the bank
Tell your pa you got a date
You're lying, now you're lying on your back

Try to figure out, they wonder what next you'll
You don't understand anything sexual

I don't understand
Tell my friends I'm doing fine

Your age is the hardest age
Everything drags and drags
You're looking funny
You ain't laughing, are you?
Sixteen blue

Your age is the hardest age
Everything drags and drags
You're looking funny
You ain't laughing, are you?
Sixteen blue
Sixteen blue
Sixteen blue
Sixteen blue
Sixteen blue
Sixteen blue
You're mine, if you want to

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