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"):

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