Saturday, January 22, 2011

Show #49 January 22, 2011



This one's for Jody!

Jody
- Silver Sun Disappear Here
Got To Have Pop- Moderns Shake Some Action Vol. 6
Hello Hello- The Keys The Keys Album
Please Don't Say You Love Me- The Sweat No More Running
Shake Some Action- Jenny Dee & The Deelinquents Keeping Time
From Above- Ben Folds & Nick Hornby Lonely Avenue
Always Forgetting Something- Dipsomaniacs Freakin Eureka
Panic Button- The Blitz Panic Button 7"
^There She Goes- The La's The La's
Suit of Armour- Beagle Sound on Sound
We Love the Stage- Pernice Brothers Goodbye, Killer
Fountains of Wayne Hotline- Robbie Fulks Fountains Of Wayne Hotline
The Weekenders- The Hold Steady Heaven Is Whenever
I'm Gonna Join The Army- Incredible Kidda Band Too Much, Too Little, Too Late!
*Five Star Rock 'n' Roll Petrol- The 101'ers Keys To Your Heart
*Feel Like Loving You- Jeff Hill I Want You To Dance With Me
*Common Truth- Amazorblades Common Truth
*Klean Livin' Kids- The Stukas Klean Livin' Kids
Tayter Country- The Cavedogs Six Tender Moments
Stay The Night- The Fans Giving Me That Look In Your Eyes E.P. 7"
Rainin' Like Soft Fun- The Orange Humble Band Assorted Creams
Don't You Believe It- The Grip Weeds Strange Change Machine
The Beat Is Back- The First Steps The Beat Is Back E.P. 7"
This Is That- The Queen Annes I Thought Of You 7"
>Are You A Boy Or Are You A Girl- The Barbarians Nuggets: Original Artyfacts From The First Psychedelic Era Vol. 2-4
The Hunch- Rooney Eureka
Action- Knots Heartbreaker 7"
Don't Come Close- The Ramones Road To Ruin
(Dee Dee You're) Stuck On A Star- Milk 'N' Cookies Milk 'N' Cookies
Walking On The Roof- Sgt Arms Walking On The Roof 7"

^Power Pop Peak: #49 Billboard Hot 100 10/22/90

*SacroSet: Singles on Chiswick Records

>Power Pop Prototype: 1965


Along with the regular features, this week's show features several 2010 releases that didn't make it onto my Top 5's list. It's a pretty good year for music when new records by The Hold Steady (Heaven Is Whenever) and The Pernice Brothers (Goodbye, Killer) don't make the cut. Both were good but not great and suffered in comparison with respective prior releases Stay Positive and Live A Little. Boston's Jenny Dee gives The Flamin' Groovies' "Shake Some Action" the Stax/Motown treatment and "From Above" from Lonely Avenue, subtitled "Ben Folds Adds Music And Melody To Nick Hornby's Words," is a real heart breaker. I'll be writing more about Lonely Avenue in a future post.

London's Chiswick Records didn't have any break out stars like competitor Stiff Records, which released the first Elvis Costello, Ian Dury and Nick Lowe singles, so it is often relegated to secondary status. Yet, as tonight's SacroSet proves, Chiswick put out some great singles including Joe Strummer's 1976 recording debut with his pre-Clash group The 101'ers. While I don't care for a lot of the pub rock on the label (Count Bishops, Gorillas, Little Bob Story) the four records I played tonight along with multiple releases by The Radio Stars and The Radiators From Space, featuring future members of The Pogues, confirm Chiswick Record's place in rock history. (Big props to Power Pop Criminals for it's fantastic Chiswick vs. Stiff series of posts last year.)

I have to say though, my favorite song from tonight's show is Robbie Fulks "Fountains of Wayne Hotline." Over the holidays I have a tradition of going back over the year's Entertainment Weekly magazines to see if there are any films/books/records I missed the first time around. I have to thank Stephen King for "Fountains of Wayne Hotline," it was one of several songs he recommended in a column last year. I was a huge King fan when I was in high school, from Carrie through Misery, its been quite a while since I read one of his novels. Even so, I've always enjoyed his columns in EW. This is the guy who said Slobberbone's "Gimme Back My Dog" is one of the greatest rock &roll songs of all time, so when he recommended "Fountains of Wayne Hotline" I had to check it out. I'm glad I did- the song is a hilarious send up of pop songwriting:

I hung a shingle, "Country Music for Hire,"
No fans, no singles, ten years later I'm tired.
Now I've wracked my brain and I've looked all around,

But I can't find a way to freshen my sound.

And now, who do you call when you're down to one musical dime? Fountains of Wayne Hotline

(spoken)
FOUNTAINS OF WAYNE HOTLINE: Fountains of Wayne Hotline, Gerald speaking, how can I help you?
ROBBIE FULKS: Oh, yeah, thanks, uh, Hello, um, yeah, I'm a country singer in a small midwestern town,and I'm here in the studio today. Let me explain - we're working on a track and we just did-did-id a verse, it was kind of broken down and at this point I'm not sure where to take it, where to go from here...
FOWH: Sir, sir, calm down we can help you, we can help you.
RF: OK
FOWH: What you need to do now is employ The Radical Dynamic Shift.
RF: The...the...Radical...Yes, what do you mean by that?
FOWH: You know...full band entry, fortissimo, while maintaining consistent apparent volume on the vocal track.
RF: Oh...Oh...Yeah, yeah that's a great idea! Hey, thanks a lot. Thanks for your time.
FOWH: My pleasure. We're always here.

(sung)
It's such a drag, to face another filthy stage
Beating these three chords into early middle age
I'd be better off with seven at hand
an analog synth and an angry young band.
Then I could turn my muddy water into sweet Mexican Wine.

Fountains of Wayne Hotline


(spoken)
Slightly distorted melodic solo.....CHECK!

FOWH: Hotline, Department of Bridges and Infrastructure, Grant speaking.
RF: Oh, yeah, Hi there, I called a little while ago, I talked to a gentleman, I believe his name was Gerald, and, um, he advised...
FOWH: Uh, sir, we got about seven Geralds here, you're talkin' to me now.
RF: Oh, yeah, of course, yeah...um, the point is, I'm in the middle of this song, we're about three minutes in, and I'm not sure where to take it from here. We've done a couple of verses and it's just kind of hit...hit a wall.
FOWH: Yeah, well tell me about your textural variation and harmonic palate that you have going so far.
RF: Oh, of course. Well, two sixteen-bar verses, the first one broken down, followed by a Radical Dynamic Shift...
FOWH: Oh, that Gerald.
RF: ...a slightly distorted melodic guitar solo, and chordally...let's see...a 1, a 5, a 4 with and without a subdominant 7, a 2, 2 minor, and briefly a 9th compound over the tonic.
FOWH: Uh, well, that 9th, is that telegraphed or is that just gratuitous coloration?
RF: Um, a bit of both, actually.
FOWH: Oh, OK, well, let's hit the bridge. I'll tell you what you do. No new chords introduced, put a split bar of 4 in there and push the 1, and then we'll slather the holy hell out of the thing with a semi-ironic Beach Boys vocal pad. And then an asymmetrical back end - there's your bridge.
RF: Uh huh...
FOWH: Yup
RF: Uh, isn't that kind of a lot of information to put in the...
FOWH: (sigh) Sir, I've been on this hotline for fifteen years, you're gonna have to trust me on this one.
RF: OK, OK, thank you very much. I'll give it a try. Thank you.
FOWH: You got it, Chief.

(sung)
Oh, Yeah. Now we're gettin' big and full.
Oh, Yeah. Try a wider interval.

Just like this: Oh yeah!
More like: Oh, Yeah!

Check me out! Oooooh! Yeah!


I feel invincible and all dialed in,

Kinda Long Island with some West Coast sin.

So let's cut to the coda.
Any old gimmick is fine.
Fountains of Wayne Hotline


Fulks is clearly taking the piss out of Fountains of Wayne here, but he does such a slavish recreation of the band's sound, including a spot on impression of FOW lead singer Chris Colingsworth, that I'm guessing he's a fan of the group. I think the song is hilarious and I'm a huge Fountains of Wayne fan. I don't care if they employ every songwriting "trick" in the book- as long its catchy, I'm on board.

Download Hour 1 of this week's show here.
And Hour 2 is here.

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