Sunday, September 4, 2011

Show #65 September 3, 2011

Tonight we rock for Mary Annette... and Music City's "Other Music"

Mary Annette
- Doug Powell Four Seasons
Absolutely Sweet Marie- Jason & The Scorchers Fervor
She Walks The Night- Matthew Sweet Modern Art
Back To Front- Stiff Little Fingers Go For It
Everything Is Getting Better- The Hitmakers It's Only Sad 7''
Third Generation- The Rings The Rings
We Can Make It Together- Arrows First Hit
A Dip In The Ocean- Fountains Of Wayne Sky Full Of Holes
^That's What You Get- Paramore Riot!
New Red Shoes- The Windbreakers Time Machine
Schoolgirl Love- Eddie And The Hot Rods The End Of The Beginning
All The Same- The Smithereens 2011
High Rise- The Trainspotters Shake Some Action Vol 8 (UK & Ireland)
Say Yeah- Utopia Utopia
*Johnny Come Lately- The Semantics Powerbill
*Sunshine Tonight- The Shazam Godspeed the Shazam
*Ride- Swag Catchall
*Back To The Middle- Pink Spiders Teenage Graffitti
Mystery Achievement- The Pretenders Pretenders
Rockets And Rose- Swingers Resort Rockets And Rose Single
The Plan- Richard Hell & The Voidoids Blank Generation
Other End Of Town- Code Blue Code Blue
Who Do You Love- Sneakers Ear Cartoons
The Hurt's Gone- The Nads The Nads Single
>I Wish I Could Sing- R. Stevie Moore Phonography
Boys Must Be Strong- Off Broadway Quick Turns
Funny Little Frog- Belle & Sebastian The Life Pursuit
Tommy's On His Own- The Bis-quits The Bis-quits

^Power Pop Peak: #66 Billboard Hot 100 12/12/08

*SacroSet: Nashville Power Pop

>Power Pop Prototype: 1976

My music tastes have expanded considerably as I've gotten older but I have yet to gain an appreciation of Nashville Country music. To me it sounds just as calculating and manipulative as most hip hop- a product specifically created to fill a market niche. So, needless to say I never thought I'd find much great Power Pop from Nashville, but as tonight's show proves, I was wrong. Interestingly, several of the Power Pop musicians I played tonight have day jobs as songwriters, producers or session players on Nashville Country records:
  • Will Owsley of The Semantics worked with Shania Twain and Faith Hill;
  • After the break up of his country band The Mavericks, Robert Reynolds went on to found Power Pop "Supergroup" Swag along with members of Cheap Trick (Tom Petersson) and Wilco (Ken Coomer);
  • Will Kimbrough of The Bis-Quits has produced records for several country artists including Rodney Crowell and Kim Richey.
I guess Nashville Power Pop musicians are like those in other company towns- working their day jobs to pay the bills while saving their passion for stages in sweaty bars on the weekend. Even so, I'd take working with Shania Twain in Nashville over the corresponding factory/lumber mill/chemical plant day job in another company town any day of the week.

Arguably the most fascinating Nashville artist I played tonight is R. Stevie Moore. Dubbed a "lo-fi legend" by The New York Times, Moore is a forbear of the DIY home recording aesthetic, having released over 400 cassette and CD-R albums since 1968. Moore's father was part of the Nashville A-Team session men, working with numerous country stars as well as Elvis Presley and Roy Orbison. Needless to say R. Stevie Moore did not follow in his fathers footsteps. Moore's home recording career began in 1966 with a reel to reel tape deck in his parent's basement. After dropping out of college, Moore dedicated himself to his debut album, 1976's Phonography. A combination of songs, spoken word pieces and weird sound collages, Phonography is a truly original record. That said, it leaves you with the impression that Moore isn't right in the head- no amount/combination of drugs could produce such a bizarre work. Yet while his music clearly sounds like "outsider art," Moore is no Daniel Johnston.

I first saw R. Stevie Moore performing on the Uncle Floyd TV Show in the early 80's. I watched Uncle Floyd in hopes of seeing punk and power pop bands so I must admit my first reaction to Moore was "who is this crazy hippie on my TV." A few years later we got one of his studio albums at my college station WERS and, as is the case with virtually all his records, amid all the whacko stuff there are one or two great pop songs. I hadn't thought of R. Stevie Moore for years when his name came up in my research for tonight's show. There is no better Power Pop Prototype for a Nashville show than R. Stevie Moore.

Sorry, links for this show have already been taken down. I'll re-post if they become available again.

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