Sunday, July 31, 2011
For Jesamine and the people of Norway
Jesamine- Squire Big Smashes
Kings Cross Ladies- Loaded Dice No Sweat
Prisoners- The Vapors Anthology
Love Said to Me- The Rooks Encore Echoes
It's Safe- The Proof It's Safe
Mason Dixon- Urge Overkill Rock & Roll Submarine
She's Fetching- Big Dipper Supercluster: The Big Dipper Anthology
Extraordinary Sensations- Purple Hearts Frustration 7"
^Take On Me- A-Ha Hunting High And Low
Get Away- Numbers Add Up
I've Gotta Know- Sloan The Double Cross
Dot Dash- Wire Dot Dash Single
Shattered Flower- Eugene Edwards My Favorite Revolution
A Place In The Heart- Protex A Place In The Heart 7"
*Come On Come On- The Yum Yums Blame It On The Boogie
*Ooh, I Love You- The Kwyet Kings Been Where? Done What?
*I'm Coming Home- The Terrifieds Terrifieds EP
*Driving Song- The Jessica Fletchers Less Sophistication
Neverland- The dB's Repercussion
Sweet Sweet Heart- The Vibrators Pure Mania
Got To Get Control Of My Life- The Sighs The Sighs
I'm A Pretender- The Exploding Hearts Guitar Romantic
The Last Letter- Milk 'N' Cookies Milk 'N' Cookies
Commercial Alternative- Teenage Fanclub Thirteen
>Boom Boom- DumDum Boys Splitter Pine
Who's Got My Baby- The Shake Shakes You Can Run Single
You'd Rather See Me Lonely- Cherry Twister Cherry Twister
Massive Nights- The Hold Steady Boys and Girls in America
I Want You To Stay- Maximo Park A Certain Trigger
Animal Grey- Band 19 Dictate
Day Of The First Snow- Jr. Gone Wild Less Art, More Pop
Audio, Audio- Classics Shake Some Action Vol 5
Can't Get You Outta My Mind- Cosmic Dropouts Sonic Circus
^Power Pop Peak: #1 Billboard Hot 100 7/13/85
*SacroSet: Norwegian Power Pop
>Power Pop Prototype: 1989
For the second time this year, world events have placed a feature on a pre-recorded ALL KINDSA GIRLS show in a different context. Back in March I dedicated a show to "Enola Gay" (the movie/album Urgh! A Music War was being featured and it's the only song on the record that has a woman's name in the title) about three days before the Japanese earthquake/tsunami/nuclear meltdown. Needless to say, this tragedy turned the dedication to "Enola Gay" (the name of the plane that dropped the Hiroshima bomb in WWII) into a cruel, disrespectful joke requiring a hastily recorded disclaimer added a few hours before the show aired.
Outside of Nobel prize time, Norway isn't in the news much. So, it was a little surreal that while I was in South Lake Tahoe this week, having already recorded Show #62 featuring Norwegian Power Pop, I read about the bombing in Oslo and multiple murder in Utoya. What a shockingly senseless act- my thoughts and prayers go out to everyone in Norway. Another country gets its own "9/11-" it's a sad time for all of us.
Last year I was researching Scandinavian Power Pop but found so much outstanding music from Sweden (Merrymakers, Genuine Fakes, Beagle, ABBA, etc.) that I ended up going with that country alone, making a mental note to go back for Denmark, Norway and Finland (this was before I found out that there is considerable debate on the web over whether Finland is a Scandinavian country, which I find fascinating).
Growing up in New England we used to say that neighboring states New Hampshire (blue collar, conservative) and Vermont (white collar, liberal) were exact opposites of each other. It appears the same can be said of Sweden, whose biggest musical export is ABBA, and Norway, birthplace of satan worshiping black metal (though to be fair also A-Ha whose "Take On Me," is tonight's Power Pop Peak). I've loved Moss, Norway's non-satan worshiping group The Yum Yums for years, so they were my starting point for Norwegian Power Pop. Yum Yums leader and Power Pop genius Morten Henriksen had already been in Norwegian language punk (Stroyers) and hardcore bands (Siste Dagers Helvete) before switching to English in The Joyful Tears (a band he describes as "gloomy post punk") where he met Arne Thelin. In the late 80's Henriksen and Thelin's shared love of garage rock birthed The Cosmic Dropouts, whom Thelin left after one record to form Lust-O-Rama before moving in a Power Pop direction with his band The Kwyet Kings (also featured in tonight's SacroSet). Henriksen went on to form The Vikings with a member of American punk band The Devil Dogs before putting the The Yum Yums together in 1994.
I identify with Morten Henriksen's musical evolution, from punk youth to Power Pop middle age. Need further proof of our shared sensibilities? Check this out:
In fact I wasn't even that surprised to find this video of Morten leading the Yum Yums in a rousing version of "All Kindsa Girls" at a show in Tokyo last year. The club seems to have conserved space by putting the dancefloor on stage with the band; it's a very crowded city, I guess. (Actually the band brings all the girls in the audience up on stage for the song-I especially love how some in the crowd cheer the opening notes.)
Anyway, let's face it; getting older and having a family just doesn't jibe with the old punk rock anger. I've probably said this before, but as a suburban, 46 year old father of two, listening to a 16 year old scream about hating his parents and/or school and/or Reagan just doesn't do it for me anymore. On the other hand, I don't think I'll ever get tired of the catchy hooks, singalong choruses and girl-centric lyrics in Power Pop and thank God for that. I bet Morten Henriksen would agree and Norway needs him now more than ever.
An interesting postscript- as awesome as The Yum Yums are, they are nowhere nears as well known in Norway as DumDum Boys who perform tonight's Power Pop Prototype. Singing in their native language, DumDum Boys (who took their name from an Iggy Pop song) are rock royalty in Norway.
Click the links below to download tonight's show (Right click and "Save Target As")
Sunday, July 10, 2011
For Red... white and blue!!
Red- Hoehn & Duren Blue Orange
4th Of July- X See How We Are
Where The Sun Always Shines- Runarounds Waiting For The Hurricane
Summertime (Is Calling)- Motors 1
Rock And Roll Tonight- The Innocents No Hit Wonders From Down-Under
Little Razorblade- Pink Spiders Teenage Graffitti
Move It- Sacre Bleu Move It 7"
Drag On Forever- The Cars Move Like This
^R.O.C.K. In The U.S.A.- John Cougar Mellencamp Scarecrow
Saturday's Kids- The Jam Direction, Reaction, Creation
Breakaway- The Producers You Make The Heat
Dyna-Mite- The Blondes The Blondes
Bad Boy- Suzanne Fellini Love On The Phone 7"
I Want You To Dance With Me- Jeff Hill I Want You To Dance With Me 7"
*Rockin' In The USA- Sass Live At The Rat
*U.S.A.- The Beat The Beat
*WUSA- The Neighborhoods ...The High Hard One
*Rockin' In The USA- Kiss Alive II
Life of the Party- The Slickee Boys Cybernetic Dreams of Pi
I'm In Love With You (Again)- Slugs Problem Child 7"
All I Know Is Right Now- Marshall Crenshaw Field Day
Stranger On The Town- The Damned Strawberries
Freedom (Is A Heady Wine)- Yachts S.O.S Singles 1977-1981
Now That I've Lost My Baby- 2 Timers Shake Some Action Vol 7
>In The U.S.A.- The Flamin' Groovies Groovies Greatest Grooves
What Faces- Roky Erickson and the Aliens The Evil One
If Stuart Could Talk- The Dickies Stukas Over Disneyland
Glasshouse- Shake Culture Shock 10" EP
Nobody's Fool- Alex Chilton Top 30
Rock N Roll Toilet- The Soft Boys 1976-1981
Lady From the USA- Bram Tchaikovsky Strange Man/Changed Man
^Power Pop Peak: #2 Billboard Hot 100 2/1/86
*SacroSet: U.S.A.! U.S.A.!
>Power Pop Prototype: 1979
This week's show celebrates America's 235th birthday this past Monday. I love 4th of July in Sonoma. Our parade starts at 10am but by about 10pm the night before the sidewalk along the route is completely covered in chairs. The unspoken rule the morning of the parade is that chairs are allowed on the street only as far as the slanted white parking lines. My strategy has always been to go down about 8:30am and put our chairs down in the empty parking places on the shady side of 1st Street East but this year I almost didn't get a spot. Fortunately we have low chairs because I believe another element of proper parade chair placement etiquette is that the top of your chair cannot be higher than the armrest of any chair behind you. We're not savages.
I bought our backpack chairs specifically for 4th of July, but not just the parade. The slanting back and pillow makes it ideal for fireworks viewing as well. The parade is great and so is the festival in the plaza, but the best thing about 4th of July in Sonoma is the fireworks. For a town this size, the fireworks show our fire department puts on every year is truly amazing. They are launched right in the middle of our valley with great views from all sides. The program lasts about 40 minutes and the "Grand Finale" seems to go on for two full minutes- with everyone, myself included, screaming at the top of their lungs. When it's over you I bet you can hear the roar of applause from miles away. Some prefer to watch the fireworks from the comfort of their backyard but Jaime and I always ride our bikes down to the field so we can be as close as possible. When those low bombs of spectacular white light go off I can feel it in my chest. One year, because of the wind I guess, we were pelted with soot from the explosions- it was awesome! Immediately following the fireworks is the worst traffic jam of the year in Sonoma. The one time we drove it took us an hour to drive the mile and half back to our home. Never again.
One of the things that makes 4th of July great is that it transcends politics, cutting right to the core of what makes America great- the ideals upon which our nation is founded. I am still awed by the genius of our founding fathers and no amount of cynical partisan politics can take that away. As a lifelong Massachusetts liberal, and unlike many California liberals I know, I've never let anyone take patriotism or the flag away from me. I've always felt that if we cede these to the conservatives and religious right, what do we have left? Just a bunch of theories that can be endlessly debated because none have ever been put to the test. And the anger; that continuous seething rage many progressives I know seem to feel about our country.
Jaime and I took the kids to Washington, D.C. in 2008 and I could see they were as impressed as I was when visiting at their age. We got a tour of Capitol Hill from an aid to our Congressman Mike Thompson, visited the Washington, Lincoln, Jefferson and Roosevelt monuments as well as those for World War II, Korea and Vietnam veterans. If you've never been, I'd really recommend the trip- there's nothing like visiting the National Archives and standing in front of the Declaration of Independence, Constitution and Bill of Rights. I'm not saying America is perfect, but I do believe that the ideals our nation is founded on are still the best that man on earth has yet produced.
Here are the download links for this week's show: