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 So, you take all these young people and you tell them that monogamy, family and community are outdated concepts and that happiness only lies within which, of course, leaves them feeling cut off and alienated.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.

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