Thursday, March 25, 2010

Show #28 March 13, 2010

She's some kind of angel, you know what I mean...Evangeline!

Evangeline- Matthew Sweet Girlfriend
Woman's World- The Jags Woman's World 7"
Gotta Tell Me Why- The Slickee Boys Gotta Tell Me Why 7"
Without You- Rudi Big Time
She Say Yea- The Scruffs Wanna Meet The Scruffs
Knew You- Neats 1981-84 The Ace of Hearts Years
I Can See It Now- The Wigs File Under: Pop Vocal
Tourist Information- Tours Tourist Information 7"
^Dreaming- Blondie The Complete Picture
Southern Streets- The Nice Boys The Nice Boys
Lost Angels- The Sweet The Collection
I Need Somebody To Love- The V.I.P.'S I Need Somebody To Love/Beat Crazy EP
Places That Are Gone- Tommy Keene Songs From The Film
Page 3- The Lambrettas Beat Boys In The Jet Age
*Talking Loud- Suspects It's Up To You 45
*Beach State Rocking- Alternate Learning Painted Windows
*Macy's Window- Thin White Rope Exploring The Axis
*Two For One- Meantime Two For One 45
Gold Into Straw- Brendan Benson The Alternative To Love
You- X See How We Are
Life Is A Song- The Rousers A Treat Of New Beat
Run Away- Critical Mass It's What's Inside That Counts
If It Were Up To Me- Rooney Rooney
Confidential- Modernettes Teen City E.P. 12"
>Gotta Keep Movin'- MC5 High Time
Everybody Loves A Loser- Battered Wives Battered Wives
Eloquent Spokesman- The Spongetones Beat & Torn
Hungry For Love- The Revillos Rev Up
Perfect Life- Boy's Life Boy's Life vs. The Outlets EP
Hit the Floor- Earthquake DIY Come Out And Play: American Power Pop I (1975-78)
Hormones In Action- The Neat Hormones In Action 7"
So Long Baby Goodbye- Blasters The Blasters

^Power Pop Peak: #27 Billboard Hot 100 9/29/79

*SacroSet: Davis, California 80's Music Scene

Power Pop Prototype: 1971

When I first got into rock & roll growing up on Massachusetts' south shore in the early 70's it seemed like there were a limited number of bands, most from exotic places like London, New York and Los Angeles. Aerosmith were from Boston (and now a couple of the guys in the group have homes in Duxbury, where my Mom lives), but even they seemed a million miles away.

When punk rock broke, it also seemed geographically remote but then a very cool thing started happening. My Cousin Rich and I started hearing about bands playing in the Boston clubs that were as good as, if not better than, a lot of the London and New York bands whose records we were buying. Thanks to college radio stations like MIT's WMBR and WERS at Emerson College (where I would eventually go to school) we heard seven inch singles and unreleased radio tapes by Boston bands like La Peste, Pastiche, Lou Miami & The Kozmetix, The Neighborhoods, Classic Ruins and more.

The new Boston Rock magazine gave the local bands as much coverage as those from other places and a fanzine called The Noise (which is still going today) was dedicated exclusively to Boston rock & roll. It seemed like every "record run" into Boston and Cambridge, Rich and I would find a new release by a local band, sometimes sold to us by a member of the group. I once bought a Human Sexual Response album from Rich Gilbert, the band's guitarist, at a store called Looney Tunes. I tried to act cool at the time, but my mind was blown. Aimee Mann (Young Snakes, 'Til Tuesday) and WMBR DJ Tami Heidi (who would go on to work at WBCN and legendary LA station KROQ) worked at Newbury Comics, while Barrence Whitfield was over at Planet Records, so you never knew who'd be behind the record store check out counter. (Even two years ago, Mission of Burma drummer Peter Prescott sold me some records at Looney Tunes in Cambridge, which I still found VERY cool.)

When the "all-ages show" was born we actually got to see groups like Del Fuegos, The Atlantics and The Real Kids (whose opus "All Kindsa Girls" is this radio show's namesake) play live in the clubs. It was amazing to buy a group's record one day and see them play live the next- up close too, not from row NN in the balcony.

It wasn't until a few years later that I realized this was not a rare phenomenon. Between 1978 and 1982, there were local music scenes sprouting up across the country. Bands inspired by punk rock's do-it-yourself aesthetic were putting out records and packing the clubs. Compilation albums released at the time and subsequently, documented scenes in place like:

Akron, OH (The Akron Compilation)
Atlanta, GA (Standardeviation)
Buffalo, NY (This Is It! Greater Buffalo's Greatest 1977-1984) Milwaukee, WI (History In 3 Chords)
Minneapolis, MN (Big Hits of Mid-America Vol. III)
New Haven, CT (It Happened But Nobody Noticed)
New Orleans, LA (N.O. Experience Necessary)
Portland, OR (Trap Sampler)
Seattle, WA (Seattle Syndrome Volume 1)
St. Louis, MO (Test Patterns)
Washington, DC (Connected)
Toronto, ON (And Now Live From Toronto...The Last Pogo)
Vancouver, BC (Vancouver Complication)

How cool is that? 100's of bands playing for thousands of people in sweaty, packed clubs all over the country...all over the world. If we'd had the Internet back then, some of the bands might have been able to actually make some money for their efforts.

Davis, California is a small city between Sacramento and the Bay Area that is home to the University of California Davis, a school probably best known for its agriculture program. Like the cities above, Davis had a thriving music scene in the late 70's/early 80's. College station KDVS and campus paper the California Aggie attracted student Steve Wynn who, after seeing the Sex Pistols infamous Winterland 1978 show in San Francisco formed a band called The Suspects. After moving to LA, Wynn and Kendra Smith of The Suspects went on to form the legendary Paisley Underground group The Dream Syndicate. Fellow Suspects member Russ Tolman joined Meantime, also in tonight's SacroSet, before forming True West with Gavin Blair, another Suspects alumni. True West were another big group of the 80's college rock era and their first 12" was co-produced by Steve Wynn. I have to say I never really got Thin White Rope's appeal, but they were one of the most successful Davis groups. More to my liking is Alternate Learning, Scott Miller's first band before he went on to Game Theory and The Loud Family. Alternate Learning, or ALRN, also included Joe Becker who was a member of Thin White Rope.

Steve Wynn, Scott Miller and Russ Tollman are all still making music today. Davis, California in the late 70's/early 80's never got its own record compilation, but I'd be hardpressed to name another city it's size that had as much long term musical impact.

Here are the links to download this week's show (Right click and "Save Target As):

Hour 1

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