Monday, March 21, 2011

Show #53 March 19, 2011

A dual dedication tonight: To Enola Gay and Jim in Japan

Enola Gay- Orchestral Manoeuvres In The Dark Urgh! A Music War
Illiterature- Adam Schmitt Illiterature
Sorry Girls- The Heats Have An Idea
Scorpion Bowl- The Shods Thanks For Nuthin'
The Girl Who Became a Machine- The Len Price Pictures
Epiphany- Bowling For Soup The Great Burrito Extortion Case
Teenage Teenage- The Screen Gemz Teenage Teenage 7"
Boys Don't Lie- Squire Big Smashes
^We Got The Beat- Go-Go's URGH! A Music War
Future For You- The Semantics Powerbill
Be My Lover- Dogs Legendary Lovers
The Great Escape- The Rifles Great Escape
Some Of The Things That You Do- Pink Steel Wont Come In Your Hand 7"
Border Radio- Blasters The Blasters
*Homicide- 999 URGH! A Music War
*Uncontrollable Urge- Devo URGH! A Music War
*Where's Captain Kirk- Athletico Spizz '80 URGH! A Music War
*Ain't This The Life- Oingo Boingo URGH! A Music War
Dirty Pictures- Radio Stars Dirty Pictures
Alone With You- Sunnyboys Love To Rule EP
Since You Gotta Cheat- The Reruns Since You Gotta Cheat 7"
Mutiny, I Promise You- The New Pornographers Challengers
R-Love(Is Approaching Critical Mass)- Transistors Telephone 7"
Something For The Weekend- Distractions Shake Some Action Vol. 3
>Bad Reputation- Joan Jett & The Blackhearts URGH! A Music War
When I Get Old- Descendents Everything Sucks
Part Time Punks- Television Personalities Where's Bill Grundy Now? EP
How 'Bout You- Brendan Benson One Mississippi
Go To The Police- The Toys Go To The Police 7"
I Can't Control Myself- Seventeen A Flashing Blur Of Stripped Down Excitement
West End- The Colors Rave It Up EP
Respectable Street- XTC URGH! A Music War

^Power Pop Peak: #2 Billboard Hot 100 1/30/82
*SacroSet: Songs from the film
URGH! A Music War

>Power Pop Prototype: 1981

Ah, the best laid plans... Since I was going to be out of town on a business trip the week prior to this show, I went in to the studio to record it about ten days before the March 19th air date. Having come across URGH! A Music War! on the brilliant Power Pop Criminals blog a month or so ago, I decided it would be a great theme for the show. Since there is only one song in URGH! that features a woman's name, Orchestral Manoeuvers In The Dark's "Enola Gay" became tonight's dedication song. Well, a few days after I record the show the Japanese earthquake hits on March 11, 2011 killing thousands and crippling the Fukushima nuclear power plant.

So, while I'm in Little Rock and Knoxville this week I'm reading horror stories about Japanese bodies washing up on the shore and plant workers dying of radiation poisoning. All this knowing my radio show is dedicated to "Enola Gay," the plane (named in "honor" of the pilot's mother) that dropped the atomic bomb on Hiroshima on August 6, 1945 killing 100,000 Japanese people. It's an anti-war song but still UNBELIEVABLY inappropriate under the circumstances. As I am not a monster, I inserted a MAJOR disclaimer into the show as soon as I got back to Sonoma, making sure the Program Director and the show following mine knew the "Enola Gay" thing was a horrible coincidence. My friend Jim lives in Japan and we didn't hear from him for 48 hours but when he checked in all was okay, just some minor damage in his area. This was great to hear so tonight's show is also dedicated to Jim.

Anyway, back to URGH! A Music War which is what started this mess in the first place. Here's what Wikipedia says about it:

Urgh! A Music War is a British film released in 1982 featuring performances by punk rock, New Wave, and post-punk acts, filmed in 1980. Among the artists featured in the movie are Magazine, The Go-Go's, The Fleshtones, Joan Jett and the Blackhearts, XTC, Devo, The Cramps, Oingo Boingo, Dead Kennedys, Gary Numan, Klaus Nomi, Wall of Voodoo, Pere Ubu, Steel Pulse, Surf Punks, 999, UB40, Echo and the Bunnymen and The Police. These were many of the most popular groups on the New Wave scene.

It's very hard to imagine in this information saturated Internet age what it was like back in the dark ages of the early 1980's. My Cousin Rich (who subscribed to BOTH New York Rocker and Boston Rock magazines) and college radio stations WMBR and WERS were my only sources of information about the music I loved. One more thing you need to know is that we did not have cable TV in my house, my father opting for an antenna strapped to our chimney and about ten TV channels from Boston and Providence. So, it was a big deal whenever I went to a house that had cable TV, especially if it was for a sleep over.

I had seen USA Network's Night Flight show once or twice before, mostly rock videos and weird sci-fi stuff, but nothing had prepared me for the truly mind-blowing experience of seeing URGH! A Music War for the first time. First off, there is no set up or voice over- it's just one band after the other, with only their name scrawled on the bottom of the screen for a few seconds. So it was "Oh my God- I'm watching Chelsea on TV!!...oh man it's The Dead Kennedys!!... The Go-Go's!!.... Devo!!... 999!!.... X!!" There were also these really bizarre artists like Klaus Nomi, Toyah Wilcox and Skafish that I'd never even heard of before. I wanted to wake up everybody in the neighborhood, it felt like the world had done a 180 and I'd be hearing The Cramps and Gang of Four on the radio the next day in place of Fleetwood Mac and The Doobie Brothers. Even now I get a fluttery feeling in my stomach thinking back on it. So, a big thank you to USA Night Flight and URGH! A Music War for a night I'll never forget.


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