Sunday, July 31, 2011

Show #62 July 23, 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")
Hour 1
Hour 2

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