The Back To School Special is dedicated to Carrie Anne....
Carrie Anne- The Hollies 30th Anniversary Collection
School Is In- Josie Cotton Valley Girl: Music From The Soundtrack
I Don't Want It- The Genuine Fakes I Don't Want It
Don't Let Go- Seventeen A Flashing Blur Of Stripped Down Excitement
Stupid Rock Star's Dream- The Riffbackers PPO 2009 Top Ten
What Happens Next- The Cute Lepers Smart Accessories
I'm Gonna Be The Lonely Boy Tonite- Cherry Twister At Home With Cherry Twister
Rebel 81- Pictures Kicks & Tips 7"
^Teacher, Teacher- .38 Special The Very Best Of The A&M Years
A Few Home Truths- Hoodoo Gurus Purity Of Essence
X-Ray Proved- Princes Of Peace X-Ray Proved 7"
If You Don't Want Me No More- Dogs Legendary Lovers
Kids Today- The Strand Seconds Waiting
Chance To Play- Milk 'N' Cookies Milk 'N' Cookies
*Hot For Teacher!- Thundertrain Teenage Suicide
*Teenage Dirtbag- Wheatus Wheatus
*Teacher's Pet- The Quick Untold Rock Stories
*School of Rock- School of Rock Soundtrack
Saturday Nite Is Dead- Graham Parker Squeezing Out Sparks
Guerilla- The Numbers Govt. Boy 7"
You Can't Touch Her- Paul Warren & Explorer One Of The Kids
You Don't Have To Tell Me- The Blitz Panic Button 7"
Walk Away- The Pets Misdirection
Sing It Shout It- Starz Violation
>School Days- The Runaways The Best of the Runaways
When The Girls Get Here- The Young Fresh Fellows The Men Who Loved Music
Listen To The Heartbeat- DL Byron Shake Some Action Vol. 4
Sunrise On Sunset- The Hollywood Stars The Hollywood Stars
Throwaway Style- The Exploding Hearts Guitar Romantic
What I Got- The Wigs File Under: Pop Vocal
Schoolgirls- The Headboys The Headboys
I Wish I Could Go Back To College- Original Broadway Cast Avenue Q
^Power Pop Peak: #25 9/29/84
*SacroSet: Back To School >
>Power Pop Prototype: 1967
My son Jack started his freshman year at Sonoma Valley High School on August 18th and daughter Veronica's 6th Grade year at Woodland Star Charter School begins on August 25th (and don't think she isn't grinding on her brother about him starting a week earlier). Doing research for this Back To School Special, I found so much music to play that I think I'll be able to make it a yearly event. I have to say though that the song I'm most excited about this week is The Genuine Fakes "I Don't Want It." I found the band when I was rounding up music for the Swedish show and I can't get enough of the song right now. The funny thing is, had I come across The Genuine Fakes in a record store I might have passed them by because they break one of my Record Shopping Rules, in this case "#5--No facial hair." As the picture above shows, The Genuine Fakes are 4 for 4 in the mustache department. Even with the offsetting positives of matching black short-sleeved shirts and ties, the soup strainers would probably be a deal-killer.
This got me thinking about about other Record Shopping Rules that I have almost subconsciously followed in my 35 years as a music consumer:
- The best music ever made came out between 1975 and 1985. You could probably even narrow it down to 1976 to 1982. Now, that's just me talking, but I bet even the current bands I love (Hold Steady, Sloan, Fountains of Wayne, Big Kid, The Weakerthans, Kevin K and, for that matter, The Genuine Fakes) would agree.
- Guitars are a must. I don't think I own any records that don't have guitars and I'm pretty sure I don't want to.
- No more than five guys in the band. And it's five only because I'm making an allowance for a lead singer who doesn't play an instrument or MAYBE a keyboard player (see below). If it takes more than four people to play it, it's probably not for me. This is an excellent way to avoid Ska bands (other than the 2nd Wave British groups- The Specials, English Beat, etc.- it's a genre I avoid like the plague). The Boomtown Rats (lead singer, 2 guitars, bass, drums, keyboards) are a rare exception to the "5 Man Max" rule.
- No "percussion." If the drummer needs to be called a "percussionist" or if the group has both drummer and "percussionist," I'll take a pass. And, if it says "drum programming," double check that you're in the right section of the record store because that ain't right.
- No facial hair. Name one great punk rock band (aside from The Stranglers) that has a guy with facial hair. Now, name one Southern Rock band with a guy who ISN'T sporting whiskers. See?
- Beware of keyboards. Think twice about a group that has a dedicated keyboard player. Organ may be okay (especially Farfisa, then maybe Hammond) but avoid groups with synthesizers, synclavier and anything else that sounds like it was made at NASA.
- Women who rock are the exception, not the rule. I love the ladies, but let's face it, there are A LOT more women our there who want to be Kelly Clarkson, Miley Cyrus or Destiny's Child than want to be Suzi Quatro, Joan Jett or The Go-Go's. No judgement; that's just the way it is. After Blondie's success in the late 70's, all these female-fronted Power Pop groups got record contracts but many sounded like a pop singer in a rock band- "pretty" vocals with no grit to them- so I now proceed with caution.
- Distrust horns. Granted there a few great bands with a saxophone player (X-Ray Spex, Hanoi Rocks...oh, I guess there are only two) but you've got to watch trumpets, trombones, etc. because again you're getting dangerously close to Ska territory. There's a reason Fear had a song called "New York's Alright If You Like Saxophones."
- A record cover photo is worth a thousand words. Is the band wearing suits and skinny ties or cowboy hats and leather vests? They are sending you an important message- ignore it at your own peril. Of course, I played .38 Special tonight who are 100% in the latter category, so there are rare exceptions.
Here are the links to download this week's show (Right Click and "Save Target As"):
Hour 1 http://sunfmtv.com/fm/showarchive/public/2010-08-21__20_59_57.mp3
Hour 2 http://sunfmtv.com/fm/showarchive/public/2010-08-21__21_59_57.mp3