Sunday, August 21, 2011

Show #64 August 20, 2011


- Ida Maria Fortress Round My Heart
Star- The Genuine Fakes The Striped Album
Radio Bar- Fountains Of Wayne Sky Full Of Holes
Better- Blue Shoes Someone Like You E.P.
All I Want Is Everything- Jellyfish Bellybutton
Nothing'severgonnastandinmyway(again)- Wilco Summerteeth
Baby Don't Go- Pushtwangers Here We Go Again
'Til She Goes- The Hot Dates The Hot Dates
^I'll Be There for You- The Rembrandts L.P.
Next Time- Three Hour Tour Three Hour Tour - 1969
Not the Way I Loved You- The Marshalls Wicked Good Music!
Beverley Terrace- Sloan The Double Cross
Sad Girl- The Stems Violets Are Blue
One More Time- Joe Jackson Look Sharp!
*Boss Of Me- They Might Be Giants Boss Of Me
*California- Phantom Planet California
*Time For You- The Tories The Upside of Down
*C`Mon C`Mon- The Von Bondies C'mon C'mon
Looking For A Life- David Myhr Looking For A Life [Single}
Women In Love- Gobblinz London 7"
That's When You Come Back- Walter Clevenger & The Dairy Kings Love Songs To Myself
Believe You All- Dred Scott Believe You All E.P.
King Kapp- Jook Different Class
Ya Don't Do Ya- The Moondogs She's 19 7"
>That 70's Song- Cheap Trick That' 70's Show Presents That 70's Album: Rockin'
14th Floor- Television Personalities 14th Floor 7"
Love Will Stone You- Emitt Rhodes Mirror
Everyday- Dipsomaniacs The Life You're Faking
Capitol Idea- Enemies Capitol Idea 7"
21st Century Rip Off- The Soundtrack of Our Lives Behind The Music
See And Say- The Fastbacks ...And His Orchestra

^Power Pop Peak: #17 Billboard Hot 100 6/17/95

*SacroSet: Power Pop TV Show Themes

>Power Pop Prototype: 1972 (Big Star), 1999 (Cheap Trick)

Since its 1979 heyday, Power Pop has had limited exposure on commercial radio. Nowadays you you seem to find little guitar music of any kind on the radio. It's interesting then that as television shows have moved away from instrumental music for their opening credit sequences (suck it Mike Post), several have opted for Power Pop songs.

Perhaps the best example is tonight's Power Pop Peak, "I'll Be There For You," from the show Friends (NBC 1994-2004). When They Might Be Giants and REM passed on the song it was given to The Rembrandts, who included Danny Wilde of legendary LA Power Pop group The Quick. They cut a one minute version that became the Friends theme and that was supposed to be the end of it. After a Nashville DJ looped the song into a full length track and started playing it, other radio stations did the same and demand for a single grew. The Rembrandts played hardball- they wouldn't record an expanded version unless they got songwriting credit (for additional verses and bridge) and refused to release "I'll Be There For You" as a single, forcing people who wanted the song to buy their album L.P. It was a huge hit and cemented the band's place in history. Yet, as was the case with Power Pop predecessor "My Sharona," once the radio spins for "I'll Be There For You" climbed into the thousands it became cool to hate on the record. Even so, it remains a super-catchy song and I enjoyed hearing it again.

After missing the bus on "I'll Be There For You," They Might Be Giants got into the TV theme business with "Boss Of Me" from Malcom In The Middle (Fox 2000-2006). They won a grammy in 2002 (Best Song Written For A Motion Picture, Television, Or Other Visual Media) and had their greatest chart success, hitting the top 30 in the UK and Australia. Likewise, Phantom Planet's "California" is that band's biggest hit thanks to its use as the theme for The O.C. (Fox 2003-2007), charting in the UK, Ireland and Italy. I liked Malcom In The Middle but The O.C. always struck me as one long ad for Abercrombie & Fitch.

Of all the TV shows featured this week, the one I like the best is Rescue Me, which starts with The Von Bondies' "C'mon C'mon." I don't know how Boston born Dennis Leary can bear to wear the Yankees/Rangers gear, but I'm glad he does because Tommy Gavin is one of the most interesting characters I've ever seen on television.

The idea for a Power Pop TV Themes show started with "Time For You" by The Tories which was used in a short-lived show called Jesse (NBC 1998-2000). It came on after Friends and I had never heard anything like "Time For You" on TV before. I actually watched a few episodes on the strength of the song alone (it was a pretty mediocre sitcom, though star Christina Applegate is always fetching). Hearing the theme to That 70's Show (Fox 1998-2006) for the first time was an even greater shock- the producers used a re-recorded version of "In The Street" by the greatest Power Pop group of all time, Big Star. Later seasons used Cheap Trick's version of the song, re-titled "That 70's Song" with the added refrain "we're all alright" from their hit "Surrender." Subsequent episodes of That 70's Show featured Big Star's "I'm In Love With A Girl," "September Girls" and "Thirteen," along with several Cheap Trick songs. Big Star front man Alex Chilton once joke that he made $70 dollars in royalties every time That 70's Show aired, but I bet it added up to some serious cash the last few years of his life. What's more, I've heard "Thirteen" on Scrubs and How I Met Your Mother, so That 70's Show started a trend.

Hearing this music on TV over the years has made me realize that my dream job is to be Music Supervisor on a long running TV show. What could be better than watching a show, combing through your record collection and making musical suggestions to the writers and director. You could expose people to great older music they've never heard before and introduce cool new music to people. Maybe I'm being naive and it's all just corporate synergy- the show uses music from its sister record label- but if not, I think Music Supervisor sounds like a great job. So, if you know anybody...

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Hour 1
There was a problem with the second hour, I'll put it up when it's ready.

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Show #63 August 6, 2011

Here's to Glendora.... and ALL the boys!

- The Slickee Boys Gotta Tell Me Why 7"

Tonight The Sky Will Be Ours- The Vertex Tonight The Sky Will Be Ours EP
Bittersweet- Hoodoo Gurus Mars Needs Guitars!
I Don't Like It Like That- Sorrows Teenage Heartbreak
T.V. Woman- The Citizens Satisfy The Citizens 7"
Love Is A Dangerous Thing- Tommy Keene Driving Into The Sun
Wake Up- The Cold Mesmerized/Wake Up 7"
Tears Little Darlin'- Ray Paul & RPM Go Time
^I Wanna Be A Cowboy- Boys Don't Cry Boys Don't Cry
Call Me If There's Any Change- Pills Wide Awake With The Pills
All Of A Sudden- B.T.P. Folders All Of A Sudden 7"
Shakin' It- Face Dancer About Face
Imagine Me Without You- Screams Screams
Popgun- The Bats Popgun 7"
*Weoh, Weoh, Weoh- Boys Boys
*Let It Rain- The Boys Boys Only
*Shady Lady- The Boyzz Too Wild To Tame
*You Make Me Shake- The Boys You Make Me Shake 7"
*Easy To Fall In Love- The Boize Live At The Rat
Poison Flower- Urge Overkill Rock & Roll Submarine
Rock 'N Roller- Bay City Rollers The Definitive Collection
Everyday, Everyway- The Really 3rds The Really 3rds 7"
The Big Hook Up- The Modern Pioneers The Big Hookup EP
Reverberate- The Cassettes Reverberate 7"
Here Comes Another Lonely Night- The Sweat No More Running
>Laughs On Me- The Boyz Shake Some Action Vol 7 (USA)
Spinning My Mind Away- The Merrymakers No Sleep 'til Famous
Ever Any Reason- Manual Scan Manual Scan 1
No Russians In Russia- Radio Stars Songs For Swinging Lovers
Only In Dreams- The Nice Boys The Nice Boys
I Found Her- Boy's Life Two Doors Down 45

^Power Pop Peak: #12 Billboard Hot 100 4/5/86

*SacroSet: Boys/Boyzz/Boize Bands

>Power Pop Prototype: 1968

One of the countless ways the Internet has changed music is that bands now have to think about search engines when choosing a name. Case in point, a few months back I had the idea to do a show featuring all the bands I knew called "The Boys" or using some derivation this name. Easy right? Not so much. First off, while this is a VERY different than "boy bands" (shudder) I still had to wade through tons of sites about The Backstreet Boys, N' Sync, etc. (Interesting fact: the 90's boy band craze was a world wide phenomenon- every country seemed to have their version. I probably shouldn't be surprised since the US stole the idea from Puerto Rican group Menudo, who stole the idea from The Osmonds and Jackson 5.)

Anyway, after several attempts I think I ended up googling something like "bands with the word boys in their name-" the Interweb demands specificity. Here's what I found:

  • Australian band Boys are from Perth and put out two great records as well as several singles in the early 80's.


  • The Boys from London are probably the best known of this evening's "Boys bands;" formed in 1976, they are lumped in with the British punk scene but were MUCH more accomplished musicians, as their later records proved.

  • Fox Lake, Illinois' The Boyzz were a hard rocking bar band with a strong biker following- not your standard All Kindsa Girls fare but I think "Shady Lady" from their first and only LP Too Wild To Tame is a great song.

  • The Boys from Lincoln, NE built up a decent following in the midwest circa 1978, releasing a couple of great singles and compilation tracks on the legendary Kansas City label Titan! records.

  • Boston band The Boize didn't achieve the regional success of contemporaries The Real Kids, Willie "Loco" Alexander or DMZ but their place in Boston Rock history is cemented with their two tracks on Live At The Rat recorded at the legendary club The Rathskellar in Kenmore Square. 

  • "Laughs On Me" by The Boyz is probably the most obscure "boys" record in tonight's show. I'd never heard of the group and only saw the record when I sorted iTunes on group names and they came up. The song was recorded in 1968 but due to its re-release in 1975 is associated with a lot of
    Young Rick Neilsen
    mid-70's Power Pop. It's a great song, but whatmakes it even cooler is that it features early guitar work of a certified Power Pop Genius...Rick Neilsen of Cheap Trick! 

 I realize "I Wanna Be A Cowboy" is not Power Pop, but it did Peak and since the group, Boys Don't Cry, fit tonight's theme I just went with it.

These days unfortunately even the coolest band name is a liability if it comes up on page three of a web search. Now when I see a group like Baltimore's Myracle Brah, Lake Charles, LA's Research Turtles or Boston's Oranjuly I no longer think "wow! what a stupid name." I have come to realize it's savvy marketing for bands to have incredibly random yet easily searchable names.

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