Saturday, December 26, 2009

Show #24 YEAR-END DEDICATION SPECIAL December 26, 2009

Happy New Year to All Kindsa Girls!

All Kindsa Girls- The Real Kids Real Kids
Lori- Travoltas Endless Summer
Maureen- Fountains Of Wayne Out-Of-State Plates
M.A.U.R.E.E.N.- Dogs Legendary Lovers
Rosemary- The Dickies Stukas Over Disneyland
Rosemary- The Smirks Most Fun You Can Have with Your Clothes On: Beserkley Story
Elizabeth Smiles- The Dreamdayers All Things Come
Elizabeth Einstein- Adam Schmitt World So Bright
Barbra- Modernettes Teen City E.P. 12"
Barbara- Jim Freeman & the Golden Gate Jumpers Romantic
Wendy- The Descendents Enjoy!
Beverly- The Flashcubes Bright Lights
Beverley- The Flys See For Miles (1978-1980)
*Veronica- Honeyrider All Systems Go
*Veronica- Wreckless Eric Big Smash
*Veronica- Sloppy Seconds Destroyed
*Veronica- Elvis Costello Spike
Stacey- The Lyres 12 Classic 45s
Stacy's Mom- Fountains Of Wayne Welcome Interstate Managers
Diana Diana- Hubble Bubble Faking
Valeri- The Monkees The Birds, the Bees & the Monkees
Louise- Satans Rats You Make Me Sick 7"
Jennifer- The Rubinoos Everything You Always Wanted To Know About
Loretta- Nervous Eaters DIY: Mass. Ave. - The Boston Scene (1975-83)
Monica- Richard X. Heyman Hey Man!
Monica- The Kinks The Village Green Preservation Society
Jamie- Weezer Weezer (Blue Album)
Gabrielle- The Boys Boys Only
Denise- Fountains Of Wayne Utopia Parkway
Cold Ethyl- Alice Cooper Welcome To My Nightmare
Kerri- Robert Johnson Close Personal Friend
Suzanne- Paul Warren & Explorer One Of The Kids
Mary Christmas- Redd Kross Santa Claus & The Power Pop Criminals
52 Girls- The B-52's The B-52's

*SacroSet: Veronica Songs

I can't say I'm sorry to see 2009 go. In fact I'm tempted to whip out my Comic Book Guy impression ("Worst.... Year..... Ever....."). Yet, why tempt fate, or as my friend Jeff Dreyer put it, "throw a glove down to the Gods." A year like 2009 does help keep things in perspective, though. Despite economic anxieties, my family is great; we are healthy and we live in a very cool town. Some day I hope to look back on 2009 and... I don't know what, really, but I hope it will be one of those bittersweet rememberences, like Middle School or the Reagan administration, that, though trying, was only a hitch on the way to a brighter future.

I saw/heard/read a lot of cool stuff this year (see the list at ( but I think the thing I'll remember most about 2009 is All Kindsa Girls. I'd often thought about doing a radio show again, in those vague "someday" terms, but it wasn't until Joe Koch asked me to alternate Saturday nights with him on KSVY ( that I got off my butt and did something about it. He had already submitted a proposal for his show, Contact Buzz (, so coming up on the one year anniversary of All Kindsa Girls, I once again thank Joe for helping get me back on the air.

One of my favorite things about the show is finding a fresh dedication each week. While a theme set, now called the SacroSet, was an idea from the beginning, the dedication idea came to me when I was putting Show #2 together. I was previewing The Travolta's awesome Endless Summer album, which Cousin Rich had "lent" me the previous summer, and when I heard "Lori" it hit me- every show would be dedicated to women who share the same name. One of the rules I set for myself is to only use songs whose titles are limited to the woman's name. I did pretty well last year, only breaking the rule on a few shows, two of which were the Halloween ("Cold Ethyl") and Christmas ("Mary Christmas") Specials, so I'm feeling pretty good about that. Who knows how long it will last, but I'm going to try my best each week.

As seen on this playlist, a few times I've had my pick of dedication songs and none more so than Show #9 and "Veronica." I've always been partial to the name; it has such a musical resonance. I'm not alone in this opinion judging from numerous "Veronica" songs over the years (there are a lot more than the four I played tonight). There's even an Australian pop duo called The Veronicas. Truth be told I can trace some of the name's appeal to my sister Sarah's Archie Comics when I was six or seven years old. I was a fan of The Incredible Hulk and publicly denounced Archie as "girl comics." Yet, in private I read everything I could about Veronica Lodge. She seemed like the coolest girl- no superhero powers, but VERY compelling nonetheless. It wasn't anything overtly sexual, I just had a crush on this girl with black hair named Veronica.

Years later, when girlfriends, including my wife Jaime, would broach the "minefield" topic of baby names, rather than change the subject, I would always proffer "Veronica." I was as commitment averse as the next dude, but as far off in the future as it seemed then, I could always picture a baby girl named "Veronica." The wish came true one December afternoon in 1998 and, needless to say, when I hear the name today, it's no longer Veronica Lodge I think of.

You can download Hour 1 of the Year-End Dedication Special here:

And here's Hour 2:


Sunday, December 20, 2009

Show #23 Download Links

Looks like Joe passed on Contact Buzz last night so that means an encore of the AKG-CS!

Here's the link to download Hour 1 (Right click and "Save Target As"):

And here is Hour 2:

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Show #23 CHRISTMAS SPECTACULAR December 12, 2009

It could only be Mary this special night....

Mary Christmas- Redd Kross Santa Claus and The Power Pop Criminals
Christmas Is Coming- Payolas Christmas Is Coming 12"
Come On Christmas- Cheap Trick A Christmas Blog Gift For You
I Want An Alien For Christmas- Fountains Of Wayne Out-Of-State Plates
Christmas Time Again- Bad Manners Christmas Time Again 12"
(It's Gonna Be A) Punk Rock Christmas- The Ravers Punk Rock Christmas 7"
Christmas- Buzz Of Delight Sound Castles EP
Christmas Crush- Home Grown Santa's Got A GTO Rodney On The Roq's Fav X-Mas Songs
^Christmas Wrapping- The Waitresses A Christmas Record
Give Me A 2nd Chance For Christmas- Mike Viola and the Candy Butchers A Christmas Blog Gift For You
Santa's Beard- They Might Be Giants Holidayland
Jesus Christ- Big Star Big Star's 3rd/Sister Lovers
Just Like Christmas- Low Christmas
It's A Big Country- Davitt Sigerson A Christmas Record
*How Do You Spell Channukkah?- The LeeVees Hanukkah Rocks
*Hanukkah Girl- Metronome I Made It Out Of Clay - A Hanukkah Pop Compilation
*'Til Next Hanukkah- Velouria Santa's Got A GTO Rodney On The Roq's Fav X-Mas Songs
*Hanukkah Blessings- Barenaked Ladies Barenaked For The Holidays
Are You Ready For Christmas- Luther 'N The BBB's Are You Ready For Christmas 7"
Everyday Is Christmas- Swag A Christmas Blog Gift For You
Christmas Wish- NRBQ Christmas Wish
Christmas With The Snow- Marah A Christmas Kind of Town
Red Lights- Dreams So Real Red Lights 7"
Runaway Christmas- Pencil Test Santa's Got A GTO Rodney On The Roq's Fav X-Mas Songs
>Don't Believe In Christmas- The Sonics Don't Believe In Christmas 45
Christmas Is Cancelled (This Year)- Farrah A Christmas Blog Gift For You
Lonely Christmas- Sloppy Seconds Lonely Christmas
Jingle Bells- The Laugher A Light Christmas
Space Christmas- Shonen Knife Space Christmas 7"
It's Christmas Time Ebenezer- The Len Price 3 Santa Claus & The Power Pop Criminals
X-Mas- Epicycle Santa Claus and The Power Pop Criminals
Christmas Time- Chris Stamey Christmas Time
Merry Christmas Will Do- Material Issue A Christmas Blog Gift For You
The Christmas Wish- Kermit The Frog A Christmas Together

^Power Pop Peak: #41 UK Pop Chart December 1982

*SacroSet: Hanukkah Songs

>Power Pop Prototype: 1965

I don't remember exactly when I first starting making Christmas mix tapes for people, but it was probably close to 25 years ago. I've always loved Christmas and while I consider myself more of a "music fan" than "record collector," I have to cop to the latter when it comes to Christmas music. I like the old chestnuts like "I'll Be Home For Christmas" and "The Christmas Song," the only time I listen to KOIT, the Adult
Contemporary station in San Francisco, is during the holidays when they are playing all Christmas music. Yet, as tonight's playlist shows, it's the original Christmas songs I like best. Summer is perhaps the only other season that inspires songwriters as
much as Christmas. From "Christmas is coming, it's been a long year...." (Payola$) to "Santa get off of my girlfriend!" (Home Grown) to "That Christmas magic's brought this tale to a very happy ending" (The Waitresses), I love all the different perspectives on the holiday.

The Dickies version of "Silent Night" was an early find, but I trace my original Christmas music habit back to The Ravers' "(It's Gonna Be A) Punk Rock Christmas."  I remember Chuck Warner of Throbbing Lobster (now of playing the song on an all Christmas music show on WMBR in Cambridge.  Cousin Rich tracked it down and ordered two copies of the original 1977 45.  In 1978 Rhino re-issued it as the 12" EP pictured above. You've gotta love these lyrics:

Let's 'avit! Oi! Yeh!
It's gonna be a punk rock christmas this year,
Even Santa's gonna be a Sex Pistol for a day
All those christmas trees swinging safety pins from their leaves
It's gonna be a punk rock christmas this year

Farah Fawcett will change her hairstyle for a day,
The Queen will sing "Anarchy In The UK"
And old Mick Jagger will adopt The Strangler's swagger
Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah baby

Rick Wakeman will take up the electric guitar, ha
And Johnny Ramone will get a sled for a car,
There's a group called The Damned they say
Who play the four wise men in a play, in a play, IN A PLAY!!

(SPOKEN: Santa) What do you want for christmas, Little boy?
(Boy) I want a Damned LP with Eddie and The Hot Rods on the back,
I want a colour TV so I can kick it in I want an Ace guitar,
And a subscription to Punk Magazine!
(Santa) What else do you you want for christmas, Little boy?
(Boy) I want ten copies of "God Save The Queen" with a picture sleeve!
(Santa) With a picture sleeve?
(Santa) If you're a good little boy your wish will come true

We're gonna give ya a punk rock christmas this year
And I'm gonna give you a nice sweater all ripped to shreds,
Get mum and dad chic get them safety pins for their cheeks
It gonna be a punk rock christmas this year

Who knows what happened to The Ravers, yet we'll always have "Punk Rock Christmas." That's one of the things I love about Christmas music- its history of slipping totally random songs past the staid record industry gauntlet, whether it's "Jingle Bells" by The Singing Dogs, "The Chipmunk Song" or "Grandma Got Run Over By A Reindeer" by Bay Area veterinarian Dr. Elmo.

There are a lot of movies and TV shows about how stressful Christmas is for families and, especially as I get older, I see how that can be. Thanks to my parents, however, I'm happy to say that when I was a kid, Christmas was the best. Jaime and I work hard to make Christmas something special for our kids too, though it can be challenging in a lean year like this one. Our daughter Veronica even suggested we skip putting Christmas lights up this year to save money on electricity. Yet there I was last week, hanging off a ladder and walking on the roof hanging lights- it seemed even more important this time specifically because 2009 was such a hard year. My Mum is here in Sonoma now and sister Sarah came out for a visit last week so I think it's going to be another great Christmas in the Love household. I wish all of you the same- Merry Christmas!!

Download or stream this show right here:

Monday, November 30, 2009

Show #22 November 28, 2009

Suzanne's are in the spotlight tonight

Suzanne- Paul Warren & Explorer One Of The Kids
Strangers When We Meet- The Smithereens Especially For You
Rock and Roll Love Letter- The Records Rock and Roll Love Letter 12"
Red Lights- Marbles Red Lights 7"
My Purgatory Years- The Quick Mondo Deco
In Our Lives- Tommy Keene Songs From The Film
Oh Babe- Van Duren Are You Serious?
Adventures In Solitude- The New Pornographers Challengers
^Here It Goes Again- OK Go Oh No
All The Kids On The Street- The Hollywood Stars The Hollywood Stars
The Man Who Has Everything- Ben Vaughn Mood Swings
Big City Rock- The Atlantics Big City Rock
Spring Collection- The Vapors Anthology
Hang On For Love- Off Broadway On
*The Origin Of Love- John Cameron Mitchell Hedwig And The Angry Inch: Original Cast Recording
*Keys- Stew Passing Strange (Original Broadway Cast Recording)
*Everyone's A Little Bit Racist- Avenue Q Original Broadway Cast
*The Bitch of Living- Spring Awakening Spring Awakening: A New Musical
Feel The Pain- The Bureaucrats Feel The Pain 7"
She Was Something Else- The Tremblers Twice Nightly
Someday- The Zippers A Six Song Mini Album
Ich Liebe Dich- Advertising Advertising Jingles
Please Don't Go- Madness The Business
Understanding- The Rockers The Rockers E.P. 7"
>Lies- The Knickerbockers Nuggets: Original Artyfacts From The First Psychedelic Era

^Power Pop Peak: #38 Billboard Hot 100 9/25/06

*SacroSet: Power Pop On Broadway

>Power Pop Prototype: 1965

In 1975 the Love family did their own version of the Jefferson's Theme, "Movin' On Up" from Brockton, MA to the affluent beach town of Duxbury. I was in the fifth grade at the time and the move was cultural whiplash. I'd had a lot of friends in Brockton and while there was always plenty of mockery to go around (about new haircuts, crying in a fight, wearing a raincoat when it was raining, etc.), I was ill prepared for what was coming. No one in Brockton seemed to care about clothes or shoes but these were top priorities in Duxbury. Anything other than Levi's corduroys and Addidas sneakers was social suicide. My mom refused to pay the $20 for pants and $30 for sneakers so in my Sears Tough Skins and PF Flyers I was a dead man walking. Despite this fact, Andrea McPherson still asked me to square dance in gym that fall, though much to her horror, I acted like I'd been doused with acid at her request. Ahhh the monstrous, unrepentant cruelty of children...

Anyway, perhaps because I was feeling like a pariah myself that year, I became more aware of social dynamics than ever before. So, when I first witnessed Kevin Ruderman's performance of "If I Were A Rich Man" from Fiddler On The Roof in our Chorus class I was flabbergasted. In front of all his classmates, and subsequently the entire school community at the spring evening assembly, Kevin stomped his feet and snapped his fingers channelling Tevya and belting out "ya da digga digga dada dada digga digga dum." It is still one of the bravest things I've ever seen anyone do. I was barely singing as member of the chorus and this dude was bringing it.

Duxbury was the first place I ever heard people called "gay" or "gaylords" and many used these terms to describe Kevin and his Tevya performance. I had no idea what they were talking about but I could tell I didn't want any part of it and thus began my distrust of musical theatre. Many men carry this prejudice with them their whole life but luckily for me two major events "cured" me. First, when I was 12 my father took my Cousin Rich and I to a midnight screening of The Rocky Horror Picture Show. I have no idea how he found out about it, but one night we left the cozy confines of Duxbury, returning to our old stomping ground, Brockton's Westgate Mall Cinemas. It truly was a horror show- having no sense of the film's structured interaction with with toilet paper, toast, newspaper, etc. people in the theater went wild that night. My dad stood in the back and said he saw one dude launch about five large sodas over the crowd at one point. Rich and I loved it! The film blew our minds and the thrilling/scary crowd was the frosting on the cake. In one night the word "musical" had a new definition for me. I bought the soundtrack and my Dad asked me to tape it for him so he could listen in his Subaru. What's more, and I know this may sound freaky considering the story in the film, I'm convinced that seeing The Rocky Horror Picture Show at such an impressionable age helped me see gay people in a different light; as another "outsider" group worthy of inclusion and thus contributing to the worldview I hold to this day.

The second factor that brought me around on musicals is that I married a theater major. I still dislike a lot of "classic" musicals like Brigadoon or Oklahoma! but thanks to Jaime's influence I no longer wince when people break into song walking down the street. In fact, one of the greatest experiences in my life was starring as Seymour Krellborn opposite Jaime's Audrey in the Sonoma Community Center's production of Little Shop Of Horrors. I even stopped the show one night during "The Meek Shall Inherit," my own Kevin Ruderman moment.

Of all the musicals featured in tonight's SacroSet, Hedwig & The Angry Inch is closest to my heart. It's a great companion piece to Rocky Horror with an even better story about an "outsider" longing for acceptance- and you can't get any more "outside" than a gay East German man with mangled genitalia living as a woman in rural Kansas, USA who goes on a quest for rock & roll fame and fullfillment. Come to think of it, Hedwig shares themes with Passing Strange's alienated black "bohemian" from LA finding himself in Amsterdam, Spring Awakening's late 19th Century German teenagers who are, as Wikipedia says, "discovering the inner and outer tumult of sexuality," and the post-college angst of Avenue Q's overeducated/underemployed 20-somethings. I consider myself very lucky to have seen all of these musicals performed live: Hedwig in San Francisco, Passing Strange at its A.C.T. debut in Berkeley, Spring Awakening and Avenue Q Off-Broadway before their Tony winning runs uptown.

Turns out I liked musicals all the while, I just hadn't seen the right ones, or they just hadn't been written yet. Songs and stories put together- really what's not to like?

You can download Hour 1 of tonight's show here (right click and "Save Target As"):

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Show #21 November 14, 2009

Tonight we rock for Kerri's!

Kerri- Robert Johnson Close Personal Friend
Message Of Love- The Pretenders Left Of The Dial: Dispatches From The '80s Underground
On The Beach- The Rattlers On The Beach 7"
Party Line- Abbreviated Cieling Abbreviated Cieling 12" EP
On The Move- Nickel Romeo On The Move 45
Lover Boy- The Jets Lover Boy 45
Tomorrow Belongs To Us- Gary Valentine The First One 45
Alcoholics Unanimous- Art Brut Art Brut Vs. Satan
^Too Late- Shoes Shoe's Best
Island- Panic Squad Panic Squad 12" EP
You Must Have Crossed My Mind- The Toms The Toms
Brighter Days- Hundred Million Martians Martian Arts
Hypnotized- Jim Freeman & the Golden Gate Jumpers Romantic
So American- The Mutants So American 45
*I Wanna Be Your Boyfriend- The Rubinoos Everything You Ever Wanted to Know About
*Important in Your Life- Jonathan Richman & The Modern Lovers 23 Great Recordings
*For You- Greg Kihn Most Fun You Can Have with Your Clothes On: Beserkley Story
*Lovin' Cup- Earth Quake Most Fun You Can Have with Your Clothes On: Beserkley Story
Sister Vikki- Kissinger Me & Otto
Breaking My Heart- The Pleasers Thamesbeat
AM- The Marshalls The Boston Incest Album
Day And Night- The Jim Carroll Band Catholic Boy
You Broke My Heart- The Vibrators Pure Mania
Walking Out On Love- The Beat DIY Shake It Up: American Power Pop II (1978-80)
>Who Loves The Sun- The Velvet Underground Loaded
That's What John Said- The Motors Airport - The Motor's Greatest Hits
Murder Mystery- The Tearjerkers Murder Mystery 7"
A Thousand Years Ago- The Infidels Mad About That Girl
All For The Love Of City Lights- Dog Rose Glitterbest
This Kind Of Feeling- The Last L.A. Explosion!

^Power Pop Peak: #75 Billboard Hot 100 11/3/79

*SacroSet: Beserkley Records

>Power Pop Prototype: 1970

One of the things I love about my radio show is that it has reconnected me with music in a way that I haven't felt in a long time. Record shopping has always been my thing- wherever I live or visit that's what I do. I love my record collection- I think of it as my autobiography, a map that starts in late October 1964 at the Boston Lying Inn and charts a course right up to what I'm typing this minute, hopefully leaving tons of blank pages to follow. Every place Jaime and I have lived together, from Hudson, MA to Rochester, NY to San Francisco and Sonoma, CA, we've had a "Rock Room" for my record collection, as if it were my child from a previous marriage. Unfortunately, due to the demands of work and family, I've been neglecting this third child for years and I have to say it makes me feel kind of guilty. It's more than what an obese person feels when confronted with their unused stairmaster- I put my heart and soul (not to mention Boston Globe paper route money, Angelo's Supermarket bundleboy wages, etc.) into this lifetime project that is now not only ignored but also assaulted nightly by the posturing gangsta rap Jack listens to on the computer while doing his homework.

I've gotten similiar guilty twinges while record shopping, though this is more rare because by "record" I mean vinyl and by "shopping" I mean going out to a store that sells vinyl, of which few remain. Still, while flipping through the stacks looking for that rare gem that I most likely didn't even know I had to have, I've thought to myself "how much will I actually listen to this?" Which then gets me thinking "but record shopping is what I do....if I don't do this then what? ....bowling?....fantasy baseball? GOD I DON'T KNOW WHO I AM ANYMORE!!!"

So you can see the radio show has helped avert a potentially nasty mid-life crisis by taking me back to my first love: the spawn of two guitars, bass, drums, voice and songs about All Kindsa Girls. Case in point- I finally put a dent in my growing pile of "burn for AKG" albums and singles last week. Robert Johnson's Close Personal Friend is a favorite. He's a session guy from Memphis (there must be something Power Pop enhancing in the water there) who pulls out all the stops on his debut record. Incredibly catchy songs with ripping guitar solos- the guy is amazing. It's a wonder to me though why he didn't call himself "Rob Johnson," "Bob Johnson" or even "Johnson Roberts." If you have the SAME NAME as a legendary musician (Mississippi blues guitarist Robert Johnson- the original "I went down to the crossroads" dude) why make it harder on yourself? Try entering "Robert Johnson" in a search engine and see how deep you have to go to find the white guy from Memphis.

Nickel Romeo's "On The Move" is the record I picked up at the Corner Record Shop in Kalamazoo, MI last summer (see the post for Show #13). On my first trip to Minnepolis in the late 90's I went to the now defunct Let It Rock Records on the Nicollet Mall and found "Lover Boy" by local band The Jets (another search engine nightmare name). Tonight's Beserkley Records SacroSet has been gestating for a while. In fact, one of the rare comments I've received on this blog (from Jerry who has a cool podcast you can check out at ) was a request for a Beserkley feature. I found the Beserkley compilation pictured above about a week ago and it's definitely a cool record- thanks Jerry!

You can download Hour 1 of tonight's show here (right click and "Save Target As"):

and here's Hour 2:

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Show #20 October 31, 2009 HALLOWEEN!

Tonight it's All Kindsa Ghouls and dedicated to Ethyls cold and otherwise....

Cold Ethyl- Alice Cooper Welcome To My Nightmare
Date With A Vampyre- Screaming Tribesman High Time
Godzilla- Blue Oyster Cult Spectres
Science Gone To Far!- The Dictators Manifest Destiny
Death Ship- Hoodoo Gurus Stoneage Romeos
The Brain That Refused To Die- The Slickee Boys The Brain That Refused To Die 7"
She's Fallen In Love With A Monster Man- The Revillos She's Fallen In Love With A Monster Man 7"
Lost In The Night- Secret Affair Business As Usual
^I Don't Like Mondays- The Boomtown Rats The Fine Art Of Surfacing
Goo Goo Muck- The Cramps Bad Music For Bad People
Invasion Of The Gamma Men- Shake Invasion Of The Gamma Men 7"
Screamin' Skull- The Fleshtones Hexbreaker
Halloween- Siouxsie & The Banshees Just Can't Get Enough: New Wave Halloween
My Body's A Zombie For You- Dead Man's Bones Dead Man's Bones
*The Witch- Pointed Sticks Part Of The Noise
*Meet The Witch- Big Dipper Supercluster: The Big Dipper Anthology
*Hunting For Witches- Bloc Party A Weekend In The City
*You Must Be A Witch- The Lollipop Shoppe Nuggets: Original Artyfacts From The First Psychedelic Era
Grimly Fiendish- The Damned Grimly Fiendish 12"
Dead Rock'n Rollers- Detention Dead Rock ' N Rollers 7"
Ghost On The Highway- The Gun Club Fire Of Love
Creature With The Atom Brain- Roky Erickson & The Aliens Just Can't Get Enough: New Wave Halloween
Robots- Flight Of The Conchords Flight Of The Conchords
Night Of The Living Dead- The Misfits Walk Among Us
>Timothy- The Bouys Timothy
Deviltown- Groovie Ghoulies Monster Club
The Creature From The Black Lagoon- Dave Edmunds Just Can't Get Enough: New Wave Halloween
Devil In My Car- The B-52's Wild Planet
Bewarewolf- Rudi Big Time
Me & My Mummy- Bobby "Boris" Pickett & The Crypt Kickers The Original Monster Mash
Graveyard Rockin'- The 3-D Invisibles They Won't Stay Dead!
Night Creatures- The Flys See For Miles (1978-1980)
At The Frankenstein Place-Rocky Horror Picture Show Soundtrack

^Power Pop Peak: #73 Billboard Hot 100 2/2/80

*SacroSet: For All Da Wee-yotchs

>Power Pop Prototype: 1971

It's ALL KINDSA GHOULS with your host DICK HATE! A Halloween special has always been part of the plan, so it's very cool that my regularly scheduled show happened to fall on October 31st. I've been making Halloween mixes for people for years, so the challenge wasn't finding songs to play but rather limiting it to thirty or so choices. (In fact, next year's show is pretty much good to go.)

The album pictured above was one of the first I ever bought. I remember hearing "The Monster Mash" for the first time while driving at night with my dad in the early 70's. He turned up the radio, singing along in a passable Karloff imitation and my mind was blown. A song about vampires, the wolfman, Igor? This was right up my alley and my dad loved the song too. Turns out "The Monster Mash" had been a huge hit when it was first released in 1962, so he knew ALL the words. A day or two later I got him to drive me to the record store at the Westgate Mall in Brockton, Mass. I was intending to shell out 85 cents for the single, but the album caught my eye and I was hooked. The Original Monster Mash became a year-round favorite. In 1973 Cousin Rich had yet to teach me proper album care and storage so the record isn't as well preserved as others in my collection, but it is no less loved. What's more, I consider the scratchy "Me & My Mummy" on tonight's playlist to be a crucial part of the show.

One postscript to this Monster Mash story is that in the late 80's I got to meet singer Bobby 'Boris' Pickett. He was living in Scituate, Mass. (or maybe Cohasset, another one of those names we kept to rub it in after we stole the Indians' land) and came in to WMJX, where I was working at the time. Our sister station, WMEX, was hosting a charity fun run called "The Wimex Bash" and Bob Spicer, the production director, had written new verses for Bobby 'Boris' to sing to "The Monster Mash" tune. He was a great sport about the whole thing and what's even cooler is that my future wife Jaime got to sing the "Wimex Bash" background vocals.

Bobby 'Boris' Pickett died at the age of 69 on April 25, 2007 in Los Angeles. Aside from "Monster's Holiday," a Christmas knockoff from December of 1962, "The Monster Mash" was his only Top 40 hit. But what a hit it was; #1 in 1962, #91 in 1970 and #10 in 1973 (when I finally caught on). I thought a lot about Bobby 'Boris' when reading Nick Hornby's About A Boy. Will Freeman (who was played by Hugh Grant in the movie) feels the Christmas novelty hit "Santa's Super Sleigh" ruined his life because his father's inability to write any other hit songs destroyed the family. In the short time we were together, I didn't get any of that from Bobby 'Boris' Pickett. He seemed happy people still loved "The Monster Mash" and was very patient with a young assistant music director's many questions about The Original Monster Mash album.

Needless to say, it was fun putting this show together. I debated on "I Don't Like Mondays" but it's so creepy I couldn't pass it up. I did pass on songs about John Wayne Gacy, Son Of Sam and the Violent Femmes "Country Death Song" where a guy kills his daughter, so you see I do have standards. "Timothy" was a great find- a catchy, upbeat song that hit #17 on the Billboard Hot 100 and happens to be about CANNIBALISM! Songwriter Rupert Holmes' other great contribution is "Escape (The Pina Colada Song)" so the guy clearly has some kind of oral fixation. Finally, big ups for Lux Interior of The Cramps who died on February 4th of this year. Halloween just doesn't seem as spooky without him...

You can download Hour 1 of the Halloween Show here (right click and "Save Target As"):

and here's Hour 2:

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Show #19 October 17, 2009

"I know a girl named Denise, she makes me weak at the knees...."

Denise- Fountains Of Wayne Utopia Parkway
Rev Up- The Revillos Rev Up
Everything You've Done Wrong- Sloan A Sides Win Singles 1992-2005
Does It Show- The Proof It's Safe
All The Sounds Of Fear- Strangeways! Powerpop!
Jetfighter- The Three O'Clock Sixteen Tambourines
Wait For Me- The Runaways Waiting For The Best of the Runaways
Don't Dance- Ian North Neo
^867-5309/Jenny- Tommy Tutone Tommy Tutone-2
Performance- L.A. Burgers L.A. Burgers
Naive- Public Zone Naive 7"
She's Got the Look- Kevin K And The Hollywood Stars Cool Ways
Lonelyhearts- The Atlantics DIY: Mass. Ave. - The Boston Scene (1975-83)
Renee Remains The Same- Material Issue International Pop Overthrow
*Live In The Sun- The Moberlys Sexteen
*K Street- The Fastbacks ...And His Orchestra
*Rivals- The Heats Rivals 45
*TV Dream- The Young Fresh Fellows The Men Who Loved Music
I Don't Wanna Hear It- Shoes Shoe's Best
Look What You've Done- Hi-Fi's I Don't Know Why 7"
What For- Rooney Calling the World
Play the Breaks- The Plimsouls Everywhere At Once
Long Cigarette- Hubble Bubble Faking
C.I.A.- The A's The A's
>Little Girl- Syndicate Of Sound Nuggets: Original Artyfacts From The First Psychedelic Era
Don't Let Him Come Back- Jay Reatard Singles 06-07
So Juvenile- Flyboys Flyboys
Anchorless- The Weakerthans Fallow
I Just Can't Stand Cars- The Screen Gemz Teenage Teenage 7"
Mourning Star- Zones DIY Starry Eyes: UK Pop II (1978-79)
You're The One- Boyfriends I Don't Want Nobody(I Want You) 7"
Doncha Wanna- Tinted Windows Tinted Windows

^Power Pop Peak: #4 Billboard Hot 100 1/23/82

*SacroSet: Emerald City Power Pop

>Power Pop Prototype: 1966

Recorded this week in advance because on show night I was on a field trip to the Oregon Shakespeare Festival in Ashland with Jack's 8th Grade class. We saw five plays in five days; The Music Man, Macbeth, Don Quixote, Much Ado About Nothing and The Servant of Two Masters. I helped the teacher, Mr. Harrington, put the schedule together and his only request was "NOT Macbeth on the first night." So, I figured I would play it safe and put The Music Man first. It poured rain that night and my heart went out to the huddled, shivering masses lined up for Much Ado at the outdoor Elizabethan Theater as we entered the warm confines of the adjacent Bowmer Theater for The Music Man. Unfortunately, the fact that it was indoors on a rainy night is one of the few good things I can say about the production. At some point in the development of the show, the director decided to forego entertainment in favor of a heavy handed lesson on political correctness that included:

  • A white Henry Hill and black Marian that had zero chemistry (he was great but she had a high, warbly church lady voice that didn't help any);

  • A deaf Marcellus who signed all his dialog, including the song "Shipoopi;"

and worst of all

  • A teleprompter right in my line of sight translating all the dialog into Spanish.

It was painful to sit through. There were some fine performances and great ideas (like the costumes and sets transitioning from black & white to color as the town embraces music), but I felt like the production was trying to make a point rather than tell a story. In retrospect, I'm surprised they didn't have the mayor in a wheelchair and a blind school board. I kept thinking, "would I go to an Italian or German opera and demand subtitles?" The answer is, "I probably wouldn't go to an opera period," but if I did, I'd certainly read up on it ahead of time, meeting the show in the middle rather than making it kowtow to my ignorance.

I'm all for diversity in casting and new production ideas, but it means nothing if the show isn't compelling. The director of The Music Man seems to have forgotten this and gave us a watered down, mediocre show. In contrast, the director of Macbeth, which we saw the next night, also made changes to the show, but these worked. First, they started with a beheading that is only refered to in the text, grabbing the kids right away. There were also these "shadow witches" that appeared in some scenes helping boost the creepiness. What's more, unlike their Music Man counterparts, the black Macbeth and white Lady Macbeth were fantastic together, each feeding off the other's paranoia and growing insanity. All of the other shows we saw also featured choices that helped tell their stories; Don Quixote used puppets and Much Ado had a fountain gag that killed. The Servant of Two Masters is a Commedia play within a play about a struggling lesser troupe using cast-off costumes and props from Macbeth and Henry VIII while heartily mocking Ashland, OSF, other shows we had seen that week and our culture in general. Servant was the perfect ending to our week and the consensus favorite of Mr. Harrington's 8th Grade Class.

While I was in Ashland I got an e-mail from KSVY Program Director Bob Taylor saying Show #19 would be pre-empted for a Sonoma Dragons football game. So, the show ended up running on October 18th instead and I got to listen to it, which was cool. Finally got to Tommy Tutone's "867-5309/Jenny;" fantastic song and perfect for All Kindsa Girls. Maybe heading to Ashland, which is about halfway to Seattle, got me thinking of the Emerald City (or Queen City or Gateway to Alaska, Rain City, Jet City). In any case, this SacroSet highlights the Power Pop greats of this fine metropolis, former home to my sister Sarah and her husband Mike. I loved visiting them in Seattle, it is a VERY cool place.

Next show is on Halloween! Get ready for some Petrifying Power Pop!

You can download the first hour of tonight's show here (righ click and "Save Target As"):

And here is hour two:

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Show #18 September 19, 2009

Oui oui Gabrielle, mon cher....

Gabrielle- The Boys Boys Only
Joining A Fan Club- Jellyfish Spilt Milk
High School- MC5 Back In The U.S.A.
Rocket Me Home- The Visitors Rocket Me Home 7"
Worlds Apart- Chino Mala Leche
Summer Job- Art Brut Art Brut Vs. Satan
I Need That Record- The Tweeds Perfect Fit
Just Like The Sun- Dwight Twilley Band Sincerely
^Cherry Baby- Starz Violation
The Ballad Of El Goodo- Big Star #1 Record
Spanish Stroll- Mink Deville DIY Blank Generation - The New York Scene (1975-78)
Devil Gate Drive- Suzi Quatro The Wild One - The Greatest Hits
When She's Alone- Pointed Sticks Part Of The Noise
Every Day's A Holliday, Every Day's A Party- The Saints Prehistoric Sounds
*Little Johnny Jet- Dogs Legendary Lovers
*Rot and Roll- The Dogs Rot`n'Roll/Teen Slime 7''
*Younger Point Of View- The Dogs DIY: We're Desperate - The L.A. Scene 1976-79
*Shot Of Your Love- The Dawgs Shot Of Your Love 7"
Just Another Pop Song- J.P. McClain & The Intruders Titan: It's All Pop!
World Shut Your Mouth- Julian Cope Left Of The Dial: Dispatches From The '80s Underground
Computerrock- De Cylinders Freddy Mercury 7"
Another Girl- The Nice Boys The Nice Boys
Whatever- Fools Face Tell America
Tired Of Living- Speedometors Day In The Lights
>Don't Look Back- Barry and The Remains The Remains
Aggravation Place- Jook Glitterbest
I'm So Confused- News That Girl/I'm So Confused 7"
Sideways Elevator- Numbers Add Up
A New England- Billy Bragg Left Of The Dial: Dispatches From The '80s Underground

^Power Pop Peak: #33 Billboard Hot 100 3/19/77

*SacroSet: Gone To (The) Dogs/Dawgs

>Power Pop Prototype: 1966

F. Scott Fitzgerald famously wrote: "There are no second acts in American lives." If he's saying American culture chews you up and spits you out I guess that's true but there is a huge market for forgiveness stories in our country. Entire sections of bookstores, cable TV channels , radio shows, websites and, the ultimate road to recovery, Oprah's couch, are dedicated to personal redemption. The President and everyone else may think Kanye West is a "jackass" this week, but when he misted up in response to Leno's questioning what his mother would
have thought about the VMA/Taylor Swift debacle he's already on the path to forgiveness. Kanye's only a few confessional youtube moments away from a complete pass. Of course, our national ADD is also a big help here.

Anyway, two of the featured songs on this week's ALL KINDSA GIRLS fly in the face of F. Scott's snarky "no second acts" comment. In 1972 New Jersey band Looking Glass had a #1 hit with "Brandy (You're A Fine Girl)." The next year they returned to the Top 40 with "Jimmy Loves Maryann" before drifting apart and breaking up in 1974. The Looking Glass rhythm section, bassist Peter Sweval and drummer Jeff Grob (later Joe X. Dube) then hooked up with Richie Ranno (who was in a later incarnation of the band Stories who had a #1 hit in 1973 with "Brother Louie"), Brendan Harkin and Michael Lee Smith to form the hard rock band Starz. 

Cousin Rich and I got to see Starz open for Cheap Trick at the Orpheum Theater in Boston in the early 80's and it was a fantastic show. I fully expected to see Starz as a headliner the following year, but it wasn't to be. While the band only hit the Top 40 once with tonight's Power Pop Peak "Cherry Baby," they are cited as a huge influence by many 80's heavy metal bands and their first two albums, Starz (#94) and Violation (#84), are listed in Kerrang! Magazine's 100 Most Important Heavy Metal Albums of all Time.

The other notable "second act" tonight is Barry Tashian of legendary Boston band The Remains. Despite appearing on Hullabaloo and Ed Sullivan, the group's "Why Do I Cry" and "Don't Look Back" (the latter tonight's Power Pop Prototype) were criminally overlooked "shoulda been" hits. The Remains even opened for the frickin' Beatles' 1966 US tour and still couldn't catch a break, splitting up late that year. In 1967 Barry headed west to join Gram Parsons band and during the 80's he was a member of Emmylou Harris' group. In 1989 Barry and Holly Tashian released their first folk/country album and they've been writing and recording ever since.

It seems to me that "second acts" abound in our culture- it's one of the things that makes this country great. In fact, second act stories are very important, especially in hard times like these when, more than ever, the future can look like one big scary question mark.

You can stream tonight's show here ( to download, right click and "Save Link As"):

Sunday, September 6, 2009

Show #17 September 5, 2009

For Jaime and all you Jamies too!

Jamie- Weezer Weezer (Blue Album)
This Charming Man- The Smiths Left Of The Dial: Dispatches From The '80s Underground
I Like Girls- The Know DIY Shake It Up: American Power Pop II (1978-80)
Somerville- Pernice Brothers Live A Little
Rat Trap- The Boomtown Rats A Tonic For The Troops
Cool Ways- Kevin K And The Hollywood Stars Cool Ways
Liverpool- Cherry Vanilla Bad Girl
It Must Be Love- Madness The Business
^Who Listens To The Radio- The Sports Don't Throw Stones
Kiss You Better- Maximo Park A Certain Trigger
Maginary Girl- Brendan Benson One Mississippi
I've Been Waiting- Matthew Sweet Girlfriend
Sorry- City Thrills City Thrills EP
Downed- Cheap Trick In Color
*What's My Scene- Hoodoo Gurus Ampology
*Can't Get What You Want- DM3 Dig it the Most
*Ice- The Screaming Tribesmen High Time
*Fame Is- Crowded House Woodface
Amplifier- The dB's Repercussion
The Ballad- Chris Von Sneidern Sight & Sound
Ooh Wow- Reddy Teddy Reddy Teddy
Sleeping Aides And Razorblades- The Exploding Hearts Guitar Romantic
Other Boys Do- The Toms The Toms
Anal All Day- The Bis-quits The Bis-quits
>Undecided- Master's Apprentices Complete Recordings 1965 - 1968
Tracer- Pezband Pezband
Sunday Girl- Blondie The Complete Picture
Count on You- Tom Dickie & the Desires Competition
Oblivious- Aztec Camera Left Of The Dial: Dispatches From The '80s Underground

^Power Pop Peak: #45 Billboard Hot 100 10/13/79

*SacroSet: Aussie Power Pop

>Power Pop Prototype: 1966

It took 17 shows, but I finally dedicated an All Kindsa Girls program to my wife Jaime. Part of the problem was finding something that fit the "rules" I've established for the show. First, I look for a song whose title is limited to a female name, second, the song has to fit the All Kindsa Girls aesthetic, and third, since it is the first in each show, the song needs to be at least moderately upbeat. This week I had the additional challenge of finding something that my wife would like. I managed to do that, despite blowing it on the proper spelling. I figured "Jamie" by Weezer

Jamie, I want you to know
Jamie, Jamie, I'm so glad you're mine
We'll be together for a long time

was an improvement over the catchier and correctly spelled "Jaime" by The Spins

But Jaime it's over, I know it's always on your mind
But Jaime it's over, you've got a new life starting tonight

Women notice these things. It took me several long term relationships before I realized that once a woman sets her sights on a guy everything he says is carefully scrutinized. It's like watching a foreign film; the actual dialog is helpful only for tone and context, it's the printed words you can't hear at the bottom of the screen that convey all the meaning.

As I mentioned in the last post, Jaime thought Show #16 was "too hard" so I think of tonight's episode as the "no punk rock show," which somehow morphed into a bunch of music from Australia. I remember hearing The Sports' "Who Listens To The Radio" on WBCN back in the day and The Hoodoo Gurus are an all-time favorite. I remember first reading about them in The Boston Globe's Thursday Calendar section in the summer of 1984. It was one of those rare times that the Globe's music critics were ahead of the curve. Anyway, that day my friend Frank and I were heading into Boston to look for our first apartment and my girlfriend Sue Ramsay came with us. While we were meeting with a rental agent on Mass Ave., Sue went around the corner to Newbury Comics and bought Stoneage Romeos, the Hoodoo Gurus' hot off the presses debut, and gave it to me as a gift. As you can imagine, I'm a very difficult person to buy music for, so this was a memorable occasion. Plus, who doesn't love spontaneous gifts? Thanks again Sue!

You may quibble with Crowded House in the Aussie SacroSet since the Finns are Kiwis, but the band was formed in Melbourne so it counts. "Fame Is" has one of the most punk rock couplets I've ever heard in a catchy pop song:

Love children of the new age, just a hippie with a weekly wage
There's no rebellion just a chance to be lazy

Man oh man, that is razor sharp! He dismisses an entire lifestyle in about twelve seconds. Anyway, David Shea thinks I should do a New Zealand SacroSet and if I do the Finns will no doubt return with Split Enz.

I mentioned in the pre-show e-mail that I might have to play The Easybeats again for an Australian Power Pop Prototype (breaking my four show separation rule), because I couldn't see playing the Bee Gees. I managed to dig up Adelaide's The Master's Apprentices though and I'm really glad I did. "Undecided" is a scorcher- I'm surprised every garage rock band in the world doesn't have it in their set list. Hey, I said it was the "no punk rock show," but it still rocks!

You can download the first hour of tonight's show here (right click and "Save Target As")
and here is hour two

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Show #16 August 22, 2008

Rock on Monicas!

Monica- Richard X. Heyman Hey Man!
Combat Love- Shrapnel Combat Love 7''
Mother Mary- Foxboro Hot Tubs Stop Drop and Roll
I Wanna Be With You- The Raspberries Power Pop Volume One
Queen And Country- The X-Certs Queen And Country 7"
School Is In- Josie Cotton Valley Girl: Music From The Soundtrack
Airport- The Motors Airport - The Motor's Greatest Hits
She's Not Leaving- Stranglehold Leisure Tour '84 45
^Your Love- The Outfield Play Deep
First Night- The Hold Steady Boys and Girls in America
Moving Target- Western Hysteria Computer Love 7"
A Nation Fit For Heroes- The Damned So, Who's Paranoid?
What You Do To Me- Teenage Fanclub Bandwagonesque
Jerome- Ruth Ruth The Little Death
*Laser Love- T-Rex The Very Best Of T-Rex
*Always Yours- Gary Glitter 20 Greatest Hits
*Hang On To Yourself- David Bowie The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders From Mars
*Skweeze Me, Pleeze Me- Slade Sladest
Pride Is Burning- Happy Hate Me Nots Out
Back In Flesh- Wall Of Voodoo Left Of The Dial: Dispatches From The '80s Underground
Treason- Naked Raygun Understand?
The Disappointed- XTC Fossil Fuel The XTC Singles 1977-92
Beaverworld- The Shades Ward And June Never Understood... E.P. 12"
Running This Family- Denzil Pub
>Picture Book- The Kinks The Village Green Preservation Society
Falling Into Place- Mike Viola & The Candy Butchers Falling Into Place
Sex Beat- The Gun Club Fire Of Love

^Power Pop Peak: #6 Billboard Hot 100 2/15/86

*SacroSet: British Glam Rock

>Power Pop Prototype: 1968

I have never cared for the hippie aesthetic. Growing up in the early 70's on the west side of Brockton, Mass., near the huge citywide high school and the fairgrounds, I had several early negative experiences with hippies. Everything about their hair, clothes and manner screamed "look at me," yet I was ridiculed when caught staring. While I viewed hippies with mistrust as a child, as an adult I've come to blame them for some of our society's ills. First and foremost, I think making the quest for personal fulfillment your sole purpose in life pretty much guarantees that it's never going to happen. What's more, you're going to make a lot of the people closest to you suffer in the process. So, you take all these young people and you tell them that monogamy, family and community are outdated concepts and that happiness only lies within which, of course, leaves them feeling cut off and alienated. Then you tell them you've got the answers: free love will "release your body" while drugs "free your mind" so you can "tune in, turn on and drop out." I think "free love" is an oxymoron; loving everybody is the same as loving no one- it's a closed loop. As for drugs, I think Sheriff Ed Tom Bell in Cormac McCarthy's No Country For Old Men puts it best:

I think if you were Satan and you were settin' around tryin' to think up somethin' that would just bring the human race to its knees, what you would probably come up with is narcotics.

A little while back I read T.C. Boyle's Drop City about a hippie commune in Northern California and I have to say it confirmed a lot of my prejudices against hippies. I fully acknowledge the advances in civil, women's and gay rights made in the late 60's. Yet it's my belief that 99.9% of hippies were not political, and had they not been lured to the cities by "free love" and other bullshit concepts, most probably would have stayed in the suburbs or on the farm. Yes, I probably sound like Dr. Laura or some other right wing hack, but I think our society is still paying a heavy price for the hippie's legacy.

In the early 70's, British Glam Rock was a direct refutation of hippie culture. While the hippies were organic and earthy, Glitter Kids strived to look artificial and otherworldly. A dodgy Wikipedia article cites Glam as a fusion of "transvestitism" with "futurism," which sounds about right to me. No doubt the scene was sexy and druggy, but this time the decadence was the whole point. After growing tired of Tyrannosaurus Rex, his hippie folk duo, Marc Bolan (pictured above) invented Glam Rock with his reworked band T-Rex. Soon fellow hippie folk singer David Bowie, pop star Gary Glitter and rock bands like Slade and The Sweet climbed on the bandwagon and a musical movement was born. They brought attitude and swagger back to British rock & roll, setting the stage for punk rock and Power Pop in later years. (I should mention that I debated whether or not to play convicted sex offender Gary Glitter, but decided he was too important to the Glam genre to exclude. I have to admit though that hearing Do You Wanna Touch Me? again made me nauseous. I'm not kidding.)

It was really fun show this week- my whole family were guests in the studio the first hour. Jack talked about the Green Day show we went to earlier in the week, where they played Mother Mary by their alter-ego The Foxboro Hot Tubs. Nica and her friend Selah plugged their winter ETC! show featuring songs from Mamma Mia! and Jaime talked about this weekend's Wine, Women & Song: An Excellent Adventure in which she is performing and I will be playing "Ted" of "Bill & Ted" fame.

When I got home from the station my wife Jaime, who I think of as my "First Listener," said she thought the show was "too hard." This is the first time she has criticized the show, so I took note. After reviewing the playlist, I think she has a point as it includes Shrapnel, Stranglehold, The Damned, Ruth Ruth and especially Naked Raygun. One night in Brookline, Mass. after a bad break-up I listened to Naked Raygun's "Treason" 10 times, then I taped it 10 times and I listened to it about 40 more times. Still, it's a downer and not a good fit with the uplifting All Kindsa Girls spirit. Likewise The Damned's "A Nation Fit For Heroes;" cool song but thematically out of place. So, I apologize and promise to do better next time.

Download links for this week's show aren't yet available, I'll post them as soon as they are.

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Show #15 August 8, 2009

Loretta makes me feel like #1

Loretta- Nervous Eaters DIY: Mass. Ave. - The Boston Scene (1975-83)
Just Fade Away- Stiff Little Fingers Go For It
Behind The Wall Of Sleep- The Smithereens Left Of The Dial: Dispatches From The '80s Underground
Shy Around Girls- The Secrets ...Secrets
Systematic- 4/4 Systematic 7"
Dead Serious- Tinted Windows Tinted Windows
News At Ten- The Vapors Anthology
She Like Moon- Tommy Hoehn I Do Love The Light
^Our Lips Are Sealed- The Go-Go's Beauty and the Beat
Somebody- The Barracudas Drop Out
Down On The Boulevard- The Pop Down On The Boulevard 45
Lonely Boys- The Lonely Boys The Lonely Boys
Jerry Lewis In France- Ben Vaughn Mood Swings
Baby Let's French- The Haskels Taking The City By Storm 7"
*Savage- The Nuns Savage EP
*Wanna See You Cry- Svt New Year 45
*Cryin' Over You- Jo Allen & The Shapes Cryin' Over You 45
*Everywhere That I'm Not- Translator Heartbeats And Triggers
1976- Redd Kross Third Eye
Every Summer Day- The Last L.A. Explosion!
Have A Heart Betty (I'm Not Fireproof) #1- The Soft Boys 1976-81
Whips & Furs- The Vibrators Pure Mania
New England- Jonathan Richman & The Modern Lovers 23 Great Recordings
Love & A Molotov Cocktail- The Flys See For Miles (1978-1980)
>Sorry- The Easybeats The Definitive Anthology
Kids In The City- Candy Whatever Happened To Fun
Can I Be Your Hero- Wreckless Eric Big Smash
Love Her All I Can- Kiss Dressed to Kill
When I Was Dead- Rudi Big Time
Hearts in Her Eyes- The Records Crashes
Rock'n'Roll Radio- The Pleasers Thamesbeat
AC/DC- The Sweet The Collection
Live For Today- Secret Affair Glory Boys & Behind Closed Doors

^Power Pop Peak: #20 Billboard Hot 100 8/29/81

*SacroSet: 415 Records

>Power Pop Prototype: 1966

After spending one horrendous winter in Rochester, NY (the words "lake effect snow" still send shivers down my spine) Jaime and I got the call to come to San Francisco where I would program a new radio station called Star FM. This was the original Star at 98.9/99.1 FM. It was a Hot AC station and our biggest competitor was K-101, which, long after my station's demise, ironically changed its name to Star. Anyway, one of the things I was looking forward to with the move was re-connecting with my old friend Pete Levine. Thanks to the alphabet, Pete Levine and Rick Love were in the same home room throughout high school. Pete was pretty shy, but a great guy when you got to know him and he shared my interest in punk rock. Getting a bass guitar and amp his senior year cemented Pete's position in our circle of friends and he joined our band, No Idea, when we all moved to Boston to go to college. The band practiced in Pete's basement, first on Mission Hill then in Jamaica Plain, and even after he quit, we all stayed friends.

The things I valued most about my friendship with Pete were his compassion and sensitivity- he wasn't like my other friends, most of whom valued intellect and vicious, cutting wit over other human qualities. I was "softer" when I was with Pete and I was coming to value this side of my personality more and more. Whether we were playing racquetball at Northeastern University (where I managed to sneak in for two years with a fake ID) or just hanging out, I could feel myself evolving into a different person the more time we spent together. During one of the worst nights of my life, when I was nearly overwhelmed with loneliness and despair over my father's death, Pete called me up and he, his girlfriend Rebecca and I went to see the movie Bolero with Bo Derek, one of the most laughably bad movies of all time. I still count this as a personal Someone Saved My Life Tonight moment.

So, needless to say, it really hurt when Pete "broke up" with me the first time. This was when we were still in Boston and at the time I had no idea what I had done to upset him. Pete stopped returning my phone calls and after a few months I just stopped trying. I asked mutual friends what the problem was and no one had an answer for me. Almost a year later, as I was planning to go to a party at my friend Lance's in Everett, I get a call from Pete. Apparantly he wanted to go to the party too, but realized we needed to talk first. I never found out what had come between us, yet when he showed up at the party it was like nothing ever had. I remember this night clearly, because it was the start of the first Gulf War (August 2, 1990 according to Wikipedia). He moved to San Francisco a few months later.

My first weekend in San Francisco, Pete, his girlfriend Janice and I went to a party at his sister Cyndi's apartment in the Mission District. I had a great time; everyone was a poet or musician or playwright and a bunch of us ended the night at Sparky's, one of the few all-night restaurants in the city. Pete, Janice and I ended up walking all the way back down Market Street to 3rd and Folsom where I was staying and didn't get in until about 4am- all in all a nearly perfect night and a great start to my new life in Calfornia.

After Jaime had packed everything up in Rochester, she flew out to San Francisco to join me. She and Janice hit it off right away and the four of us saw a lot of each other for the next year or so. Everything was going great until one day Janice announced that she and Pete could not see me anymore- Jaime was okay, but I was out of the gang. My wife is a VERY loyal person, so there was no way this was going to fly. She and Janice forced Pete and I together to talk things out. When pressed, Pete told me that he was still angry that I hadn't apologized profusely enough for accidentally hitting him in the head with my racquet during a game of racquetball four or five years earlier in Boston. Turns out, this was the reason he "broke up" with me the first time too. The thing is, I know I was often out of control during those racquetball games. Pete is much more of a natural athlete than I am, it was only through sheer ferocity and aggression that I managed to win about half the games we played. So, I was more than happy to clear the air and apologize for the racquetball incident which put the Rick & Jaime/Pete & Janice relationship right back on track.

When Jaime and I moved to Sonoma, Pete & Janice were our first overnight guests and I still have the sledgehammer and axe they gave us as housewarming presents. They also were some of the first people to come to the hospital when my son Jack was born on November 30, 1995. Around that time, Janice and Pete got engaged and bought a house together in Oakland. I never really found out why, but a few months later they broke up and sold the house. Jaime and I stayed friends with Pete, but with the all-consuming demands of new parenthood (especially with a kid like Jack), we unfortunately lost touch with Janice.

Over the next couple of years, Pete (Oakland), our friend Frank (San Francisco) and I (Sonoma) would meet "half-way" in San Rafael to get dinner and shoot pool. Pete was asking his new friends to call him "Peter Nathan" at that time, but his oldest friends could still call him "Pete." He had met his future wife Marsha and they had bought a duplex in Fairfax they were fixing up. Around the time his daughter Sophie (or Sophia, I don't know for sure) was born, Pete "broke up" with me for the third and final time. He stopped returning my calls and on our more and more infrequent get togethers in San Rafael denied that anything was wrong. Eventually I gave up for good.

I saw Pete five years ago at Frank's wedding in San Francisco. His little girl and my daughter Veronica were close to the same age and really seemed to hit it off. Late in the evening, after a few occasions of really stilted small talk, Pete looked me in the eye and said "let's rebuild." Thanks in large part to his influence in my life, I didn't answer with a cutting remark and responded "I'd like that." That's the last time I spoke to him. At the Santa Rosa fair two or three years ago, Jaime, the kids and I were taking our bleacher seats for a trained dog show when I noticed a woman several rows behind us who looked very familiar, but I couldn't place her. We enjoyed the show and as we were leaving I glanced back and saw her sitting next to an 8 or 9 year old girl and a guy who looked even more familiar. It was Pete, Marsha and Sophie (or Sophia) and like us, they seemed to have enjoyed the dog show. Jaime saw them too and when she caught my eye we shared one of those married couple looks that would take two hundred pages to summarize. Before we could say anything though, Jack and Nica were running off in the opposite direction and without a glance back, we were hurrying to catch up with them.

San Francisco's 415 Records was the first record label in North America dedicated to punk/new wave/power pop, etc. "415" is the city's area code and supposedly also the police code for disturbing the peace. 415 put out a lot of great records by San Francisco bands like The Nuns, The Mutants, Pearl Harbor & The Explosions and Romeo Void which were still easy to find in record stores when I moved to the city in the early 90's. As is often the case, 415's slow decline started in 1981, after its signed a deal with the devil (in this case, CBS), but its early releases will always remind me of my first days in San Francisco with my friend Pete.

Download the first hour of tonight's show here (right click and "Save Target As"):
And here is hour two: