Sabrina- Psycotic Pineapple Where's The Party
Calling All Girls- Hilly Michaels Calling All Girls
What Kind of Name Is...- Big Kid You Must Be Kidding
Arrogance- The Neighborhoods ...The High Hard One...
Queen Of Hearts- Bobby Emmett PPO 2009 Top Ten
The Act- Hawaii Mud Bombers Mondo Primo
Melt- Someloves Something Or Other
Talk To Me- The Finders Calling Dr. Powerpop
^Brass In Pocket- The Pretenders Pretenders
Later Tonight- The Tweeds Perfect Fit
Typical World- Will & The Bushmen Will & The Bushmen
Can't Get A Read On You- Tinted Windows Tinted Windows
Cynic- The Shazam The Shazam
Wayward Boys- Just Water The Riff
*Overnight Sensation (Hit Record)- Raspberries Starting Over
*Lonely Fool- Rubber City Rebels Rubber City Rebels
*Tonight's My Lucky Night- Blue Ash Front Page News
*Right Now- The Wild Giraffes Right Now
Detroit Girls- Starz Starz
You Tonight- Kevin K And The Hollywood Stars Cool Ways
Can't Get You Out Of My Head- Silver Sun Disappear Here
Take It All Down- The Headboys The Headboys
Stomping All Over The World- Kimberley Rew The Bible Of Bop
Tell Me- Dirty Angels Kiss Tomorrow Goodbye
>It's Cold Outside- The Choir Nuggets: Original Artyfacts From The First Psychedelic Era
Mad Love- The Cretones Thin Red Line
Crash N Burn- Dipsomaniacs The Life You're Faking
Out of Step- The Reducers The Reducers
Leave It to Me- Numbers Add Up
The Concept- Teenage Fanclub Bandwagonesque
^Power Pop Peak: #14 Billboard Hot 100 2/16/80
*SacroSet: Ohio Power Pop
>Power Pop Prototype: 1967
One of the amazing things about punk rock in the late 1970's is how quickly it spread world wide. Every time Cousin Rich and I went on one of our "record runs" into Boston there would be new stuff from bands we'd never heard of. You'd pick up New York Rocker for an article on The Ramones and hear about The Weirdos (LA), The Saints (Brisbane, Australia) or Rubber City Rebels (Akron). It still blows me away how much amazing music came out in the last three years of the 70's- I've spent my life trying to track it all down and I'm still not even close.
Punk Rock was largely an urban phenomenon, but two of its musical antecedents, Hardcore and Power Pop, had much broader geographic impact. The way I see it, Punk Rock gave music back to the people and in America a lot of us live in suburbs and small towns. Hardcore blasted out of suburban garages and basements- an army of 15 year old white boys singing about how much they hate President Reagan. Power Pop, on the other hand, was 20 year old white boys singing about girls. Hardcore was a direct off-shoot of Punk Rock, jacking up the tempos and funnelling the rage. While Power Pop's roots are in 60's and 70's rock, I think it is similiarly inspired by the simplicity and passion of Punk Rock. I don't see getting from Raspberries to The Plimsouls without stopping off at The Ramones in-between. Hardcore never cracked the mainstream (which was the point, of course) but it had a huge influence in shaping the anti-corporate indie/do-it-yourself culture of today. Power Pop was much more commercially succesful, peaking in 1979 with The Knack, Nick Lowe, Joe Jackson, etc., but still on the radio today thanks to bands like Weezer.
So, Ohio. Tonight's Power Pop Peak features Akron native Chrissie Hynde who left for London just in time to catch the birth of British punk in 1976 and make her rock & roll dreams come true with The Pretenders. The Choir, who gave us the Power Pop Prototype, "It's Cold Outside," featured three future members of Raspberries, an amazing band that I've gotten to know more since doing the radio show- in fact their Starting Over album was one of my favorite records of 2008. Along with Raspberries, who were from Cleveland, and another band that pre-dates punk rock, Youngstown's Blue Ash, tonight's SacroSet includes Akron's Rubber City Rebels and Cleveland's Wild Giraffes, clearly punk-inspired bands, both musically and in the way they self released their first records.
I'm not sure why, but the Midwest has produced more great Power Pop than almost any other region. This is my third Midwest SacroSet, following Kansas City, MO (Titan! Records Show #8, 2/2/09) and Illinois (Show #13, 7/11/09). Maybe it's because people from the midwest are so nice and polite- I should know, I married one. Those midwestern rockers back in the day may have loved punk rock enough to chuck the Lynyrd Skynyrd covers, but they couldn't reconcile the bitterness and spite of punk with their own experiences, so what came out was edgy and guitar based, but with a far more positive message. Or maybe it's something in the water...who knows. I'm just thankful for Midwest Power Pop!
You can download Hour 1 of tonight's show here:
And here's Hour 2: