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: