Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Show #46 November 27, 2010

For Vivian and the Power Pop Fallen of 2010
....and Chris Von Sneidern too!

Vivian- Nerf Herder How To Meet Girls
The Ballad- Chris Von Sneidern Sight & Sound
Saturday Nite Riot- Pink Spiders Teenage Graffitti
Walk Right Back- The Producers The Producers 7"
I Don't Want To Discuss That- The Showbiz Kids She Goes To Finos 7"
Password- Cotton Mather Kontiki
The Reunion- The Blades Hot For You Single
If You Then I- The Genuine Fakes The Striped Album
^The Walls Came Down- The Call The Best Of The Call
Stolen Love- Advertising Advertising Jingles
Better Start Right Now- The Rooks Encore Echoes
She Won't See Me- Big Kid All Kidding Aside
Thinking About The Sun- Spies Shake Some Action Vol. 3
Don't Let Go- Little Murders Stop Plus Singles 1978-1986
*No Time- Jay Reatard Matador Singles '08
*That's What the Little Girls Do (Demo/Album)- The Knack Get the Knack
*There Was A Light (Demo)- Big Star The Ardent Studio Sessions (1972-1973)
*I'm Alright- Owsley Owsley
*Dancin' Doctors- The Freshies The Very Best Of
*The Village Green Preservation Society- The Kinks The Village Green Preservation Society
*Blow Yourself Up- Tommy Hoehn DIY Come Out And Play: American Power Pop I (1975-78)
Thank You- Descendents Everything Sucks
When I Write The Book- Rockpile Seconds Of Pleasure
Until I Get You- Hanoi Rocks Back to the Mystery City
Dumb Dumb Ditty- Farrah Cut Out And Keep
Really Wanted You- Emitt Rhodes Mirror
Livin' Fast- The Toys Livin' Fast Single
>Supergirl- The Fugs The Fugs First Album
Rave It Up- The Colors Rave It Up EP
Shutdown- The Stompers The Stompers
Further Thoughts- The Chicaynes Further Thoughts Single
Nothing You Got- Princes Of Peace X-Ray Proved 7"
In A Lonely Place- The Smithereens Especially For You

^Power Pop Peak: #74 Billboard Hot 100 5/7/83

*SacroSet: Power Pop Legends Lost In 2010

>Power Pop Prototype: 1965

As I'm learning, one of the things that sucks about growing older is watching people you love, respect and admire die. Like a lot of people I'm afraid, the deaths of Johnny Thunders (d. 4/23/1991) and Jerry Nolan (d. 1/14/1992) were not a surprise. Those guys were cautionary tales and I'm surprised they lasted as long as they did. On the other hand, I was shocked when Joey Ramone (d. 4/15/2001) died, who would have guessed he'd go before Dee Dee (d. 6/5/2002)? Even so, the loss of 50% of The Ramones in no way prepared me for the sucker punch of Joe Strummer (d. 12/22/2002) dying at the age of 50. Back in 1980 I had mocked the people who seemed so devastated by John Lennon's murder, but I know better now. I am so glad that Jaime and I went in to The Fillmore to see Joe's last San Francisco show with the Mescaleros- it was an amazing night.

You'd think I'd be getting used to my musical heroes dying by now, but it still throws me every time and 2010 was an especially hard year. Count among the fallen:
  • Jay Reatard (d. 1/13/10, age 29, cocaine/alcohol overdose)
  • Doug Fieger, leader of The Knack (d. 2/14/10, age 57, cancer)
  • Alex Chilton, lead singer of The Box Tops, Big Star and solo artist
    (d. 3/17/10, age 59, heart attack)
  • Will Owsley (d. 4/30/10, age 44, suicide)
  • Chris Sievey, lead singer of The Freshies, TV personality Frank Sidebottom (d. 6/21/10, age 54, cancer)
  • Pete Quaife, bass player in The Kinks (d. 6/23/10, age 66, kidney failure)
  • Tommy Hoehn (d. 6/24/10, age 55, cancer)
  • Tuli Kupferberg, co-founder of The Fugs (d. 7/12/10, age 86, strokes/long illness)
  • Andy Hummel, bass player in Big Star (d. 7/19/10, age 59, cancer)
  • Michael Been, lead singer of The Call (d. 8/19/10, age 60, heart attack)
The thing that really sucks is that Tuli Kupferberg is the only one above who lived to a ripe old age. Yet, all have one thing in common- they have left a musical legacy that will be around forever. So, rather than a dour elegy the equivalent of some lame awards show in memoriam "death applause-0-meter," tonight's show is a celebration of that legacy. I can't think of a better Thanksgiving show than to give thanks for all the great music these guys gave us. The Descendents "Thank You," which I played after tonight's SacroSet, says it all:

I listen to you for hours, I'll listen all day
Just keep hitting me the right way
Sing your song in the shower
Cause you got a way
To say what I can never say, right - right on
When I feel weak you make me feel strong
Make me feel strong

I won't say your name
But you know who you are
I'll never be the same again, now - no way
I just want to say
Thank you for playing the way you play

You don't get played on the radio
That's not the game you play
Well I don't care anyway
I glued your tape in the stereo
So I know every word, every note
And every chord is right - right on
When I feel weak you make me feel strong
Make me feel strong feel like nothing's wrong

Did you know you're why I go
And waste my time
At a rock and roll show
You let me know I'm not alone
You make me feel strong, make me feel strong,
Feel like nothing's wrong

I won't say your name, you know who you are
I'll never be the same again, now - no way
I just want to say
Thank you for playing the way you play
Thank you for playing the way you play
Thank you for playing the way you play

Now, back to the living...

I have a bad habit of letting our local newspaper, The Sonoma- Index Tribune, pile up and usually about a month goes by before I get to it. Luckily Jaime keeps up to date and she happened to notice that San Francisco pop genius Chris Von Sneidern was playing at a small winery tasting room in Sonoma as part of the Bay Area House Concert Series. I've always loved CVS's voice and songwriting, but I had completely taken his guitar playing for granted- the guy is incredible on the 12 string. What was especially cool is that we got to talk with him between sets. Jaime told him that, inspired by his song of the same name, we almost named our daughter Veronica "Annalisa." He told us that Annalisa was a girl who worked at a health food market in the upper Haight. During the second set he did a beautiful version of Big Star's "Thirteen" that brought Jaime and I to tears. I mentioned it to him after the show and he said "it's too easy, like shooting fish in a barrel." They recently aired a documentary on the local PBS station called "Why Isn't Chris Von Sneidern Famous?" I couldn't agree more- the guy is a Bay Area treasure.

You can download Hour 1 of tonight's show here
And Hour 2 is here

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