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