Thursday, July 2, 2009

Show #13 July 11, 2009

Hey Louise, come on down!

Louise- Satans Rats You Make Me Sick 7"
Telephoto Lens- The Bongos Telephoto Lens 7"
Blonde Fever- The Diodes Tired of Waking Up Tired
Sweet Talkin' Candy Man- The Carrie Nations Beyond The Valley Of The Dolls (Original Soundtrack)
Ignore Them- Eddie & The Hotrods Life On The Line
Go Faster- The Scruffs Teenage Gurls
Summertime Fun- Nikki & The Corvettes Nikki & The Corvettes
Utopia Parkway- Fountains Of Wayne Utopia Parkway
^Someday Someway- Marshall Crenshaw Marshall Crenshaw
Global Corporations- Push Ups Empty Faces 45
Long Gone- The Customs Really Long Gone
Kids Are Back- Criminal$ Kids Are Back 45
The American Ruse- MC5 Back In The U.S.A.
I Don't Mean It- The Carpettes I Don't Mean It 45
*Southern Girls- Cheap Trick In Color
*Get My Message- Shoes Shoe's Best
*Goin' Through Your Purse- Material Issue Freak City Soundtrack
*Stay In Time- Off Broadway On
Life Begins at the Hop- XTC DIY Starry Eyes: UK Pop II (1978-79)
Jimmy Too Bad- The Quick Untold Rock Stories
Nervous Wreck- Radio Stars Songs For Swinging Lovers
>Open My Eyes- Nazz Nuggets: Original Artyfacts From The First Psychedelic Era
In America- The Fastbacks ...And His Orchestra
Hold Me Up- Velvet Crush Teenage Symphonies To God
It's You Tonight- The Flashcubes Bright Lights
You're For Me- The Singles Romantics And Friends-Midwest Pop Explosion
When Things Go Wrong- Robin Lane and The Chartbusters When Things Go Wrong 45
Discovering Japan- Graham Parker Squeezing Out Sparks + Live Sparks
T.V. Romance- Tweezers Already!
Anywhere You Want To- Travoltas Endless Summer
Sorry Sorry- Rooney Rooney
I Don't Wanna Dance(With You)- The Dots I Don't Wanna Dance (With You) 7"
Know Your Product- The Saints Eternally Yours

^Power Pop Peak: #36 Billboard Hot 100 7/10/82

*SacroSet: Illinoise

>Power Pop Prototype: 1968

As I've mentioned before, I love record stores. Records as in vinyl, played at 33 1/3 or 45 RPM with covers that are large enough to provide detailed artwork that you can get lost in for hours. (Have you ever spent any time studying the cover of Elton John's Captain Fantastic & The Brown Dirt Cowboy? No lie, there's a few naked ladies in there. True, most have the heads of birds, alligators, etc. but as an 11 year old I'd take naked ladies any way I could get them. In any case, you'd need a microscope to see such detail on the CD cover.) Anyway, when I travel I use record stores as a divining rod to take me to the cool section of whatever town I'm in. This may be near a college/university or in some other hot spot- nine times out of ten, if you find a great independent record store, you'll be in a hip neighborhood.

Corner Records in Kalamazoo, MI is an exception to this rule- it's in a pretty ugly strip mall on the west side of town. That said, the store has a huge selection of vinyl LP's and 45's all lovingly stored in clear vinyl sleeves to protect their covers. I really hope stores like Corner Records survive because I think they provide a valuable service in our culture by continuing to value and thereby preserving our popular music. They have also helped bridge the gap between the compact disc's ascent in the late 80's and today's download focused music marketplace. Vinyl is making a comeback and a lot of independent labels are now including passwords for free album downloads when you buy the vinyl LP. I don't see vinyl posing any kind of threat to downloads, but I wouldn't be surprised if CD's are ultimately relegated to cassette status. The fact that Corner Records in Kalamazoo has outlasted mega chains Tower Records and Virgin Megastore, both of which lived and ultimately died by the compact disc, is a very hopeful sign. In fact, the Corner Records I went to in Kalamazoo is a recently opened branch of the ten year old main store (pictured above) which is 50 miles away in Grandville, MI. In addition to tons of vinyl, both stores also sell and repair turntables, further helping keep the vinyl dream alive.

Keeping with the Midwest theme (albeit accidentally) tonight's Power Pop Peak is by Detroit boy Marshall Crenshaw, a giant of the genre. In addition to numerous albums of lush Power Pop (including Field Day's "Whenever You're On My Mind," my cousin Rich's wedding song) Marshall's bona fides include a stint as "John Lennon" in the original off-broadway production of Beatlemania and the role of "Buddy Holly" in the film La Bamba. I was skeptical when I heard Marshall was joining the three surviving members of the MC5 reunited as DTK (Davis-Thompson-Kramer) for a tour in 2004. Yet, in addition to crafting exquisite pop hooks, Marshall is a monster on the guitar, holding his own against Wayne Kramer which is no mean feat. Marshall also sang a few songs ("Tonight" I think) and sounded great. Despite Evan Dando's lame perfomance, the DTK show was great, in large part thanks to Marshall Crenshaw.

While punk rock was largely based in big cities, Power Pop flourished in some lesser expected locales- like Illinois, the subject of tonight's SacroSet. Praire State Power Pop is a cornerstone of the genre thanks to groups like Shoes (Zion, IL), Off Broadway & Pezband (Oak Park), Material Issue & OK Go (Chicago), Adam Schmitt (Champaign) and the grandaddies of them all Cheap Trick (Rockford). What is it about the Land of Lincoln that inspires such great music? Who knows, I'm just thankful it does.
Click this link (or Right Click and "Save Target As") to listen to/download Hour 1 of tonight's show: and here is Hour 2:

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