Saturday, December 22, 2012

Show #91 December 15, 2012 CHRISTMAS SPECTACULAR

And to all... Mary Christmas!

Mary Christmas - Doug Powell s/t
A Merry Jingle- The Greedies A Merry Jingle 7"
Saturday Night Christmas Lights- Travis Hopper All The Lights In The City Tonight 
Wonderful Life- The Tories Wonderful Life
Christmas Is The Time To Say I Love You- The Cute Lepers A Blackheart Christmas
Christmastime in Painesville- The Deadbeat Poets A Deadbeat Christmas
I-Pod X-Mas- Hello Saferide Swedesplease Christmas Mix
I Miss You Most On Christmas- Bowling for Soup Merry Flippin' Christmas
^2000 Miles- The Pretenders 2000 Miles 12"
Christmas- Dillon Fence Christmas
Will You Marry Me (On Christmas Day)- Ed James Hi-Fi Christmas Party Vol 2
Christmas in Kenmore Square- Billy West and Tom Sandman Hark, The Rock 'N' Rollers Sing
The Christmas Sound- The Swimmers s/t
Another Christmas- Psychotic Youth MTV Single
*It's About That Time- The Idea Yuletunes
*Merry Christmas Will Do- Material Issue Yuletunes
*This Christmas- Shoes Yuletunes
*A God of My Own- 92 Degrees Yuletunes
Christmas Day- MxPx Christmas Punk Rawk Christmas
Christmas In New York- Kyf Brewer It's About Christmas
Santa Needs A Holiday- Strawberry Whiplash The Matinee Holiday Soiree
All I Want For Christmas (Is a Chance)- Parallax Project A Kool Kat Kristmas
The Ghost of Christmas- Manic Street Preachers s/t
Joy Is In The Giving- Lisa Mychols Winter Holidays With...Little Pocket 
>Santa Claus- The Sonics Don't Believe In Christmas 45
Homeless For Christmas- Black Halos Homeless For Christmas
I Need My Baby By My Side (On Xmas Night)- The Bumpers s/t
I Believe It's Christmas Time- The New Royalty Spend Christmas With Me
It's Christmas Again (Now I Have It All)- Stew s/t
The Christmas Wish- Kermit The Frog A ChristmasTogether

^Power Pop Prototype:  #15 UK Singles Chart

*SacroSet:  Yuletunes Compilation

>Power Pop Prototype:  1965

Ever since I first heard The Dickies' 100mph version of "Silent Night" in 1978 I've been a sucker for Christmas rock and roll songs.  In the post for the first Christmas Spectacular  back in 2009 I waxed rhapsodic about The Raver's "(It's Gonna Be A) Punk Rock Christmas" and every year since I've managed to find more great Christmas songs to play.  Credit where credit is due, I have to thank two great blogs, Power Pop Criminals and Burn And Shine, that have hipped me to so much great holiday music over the years.  I especially appreciate them this year because for the first time in I don't know how long, I have failed to find a Christmas record or CD to add to my collection.  Of course, it's been pretty busy and I've only been in two record stores in the last 45 days.  Still, I remain hopeful that I'll dig something up over the holidays.

I love surfing the blogs but it's not the same as combing through the stacks at a record store and unearthing a gem.  My family is heading back to Massachusetts in a few days and while (shockingly!) record shopping is only a priority for Cousin Rich and myself, I'm hoping to at least sneak off to Newbury Comics in Kingston for an hour or so.  Jaime and I will be spending a few days in New York City after Christmas which gives me an even better chance.  One of the things that makes our marriage work is that record stores are usually found in cool neighborhoods that also have stores Jaime likes.  We've all seen those bereft "Record Widows" loitering out in front of dingy record stores on a beautiful day- they're the equivalent of the sad men lingering outside a Macy's fitting room holding their wives purses.  With Jaime and I, she always manages to find a cool vintage clothing, book or antique shop near whichever record store I'm in.  The timing doesn't always work out (I have a problem) but on the other hand I've done my share of the purseholding "pace of shame" outside fitting rooms over the years, so I'd like to think it all evens out.  Of course, first I'll have to see if there are any record stores left in New York City- think I'll go check that now.

Well, between digital music sales and Hurricane Sandy there aren't as many record stores in NYC as there were the last time I was in town, yet still probably more than in any other U.S. city.  They say West Village stalwart Bleecker Bob's is closing soon but I can't say I'm too sorry.  The store was a unique New York experience- rude, surly clerks, overpriced beat to crap records- just not a positive one.  Though admittedly it was a fun place to hang out at 2am on a Friday night- what a freak show!   I'm happy to see that Generation Records right around the corner is still going strong- it's a little on the punk rock side for me but I've gotten some good stuff there.

I will dearly miss Subterranean Records (formerly Hideout Records) which was across 6th Avenue on Cornelia Street- a literal hole in the wall, or perhaps "hole in the ground" or simply "hole."  This is one of my all-time favorite record stores.  First you had to navigate the decrepit staircase down from the street, then avoid smashing your head on the low door frame and descend several more steps into the dark environs of the store.  I once saw a woman talking on a cell phone nearly kill herself doing this and the guy at the counter didn't even look up from his magazine.  Subterranean Records was probably only about 200 square feet but I bought so many awesome albums and singles there over the years that it has the highest "quality records per square foot" ratio ever.  For a long time the store was run by a guy named Michael Carlucci who was in 80's band Winter Hours, often described as New Jersey's answer to REM.  Cool New York dudes like Tom Verlaine and Robert Quine used to hang out at the store but I never saw them, though Carlucci was instrumental in the release of The Quine Tapes, rare live recordings The Velvet Underground. 

Good to see that a short walk from Subterranean's former space, Bleecker Street Records, House Of Oldies and Rebel Rebel all seem to be doing well.  Since Venus Records on St. Marks Place closed way back when I haven't been as big a fan of the East Village Record stores but if Jaime lets me I wouldn't mind checking out Academy Records and the far too pristine Other Music.  Jaime and I have taken the train over to Williamsburg in Brooklyn a few times but I didn't think much of the record stores there.  I'm no fan of Indie Rock, so it was foolish to expect anything different in what is essentially the capital of Indierockistan.

So, here's hoping for some Christmas music finds on our trip back east.  It will also be great to see my family.  I'M KIDDING- of course family comes first!  I've invited everyone over to my mother's on Boxing Day and I'm really looking forward to seeing them (hopefully Cousin Rich will bring over a box of CD's with him).  What!?!  That still counts as "family time."

Speaking of Christmas in Massachusetts, one of my big web finds last year was a benefit compilation called Hark! The Rock and Rollers Sing that Boston's Barry Marshall put out with radio station WBCN in 1986.  Boston rock and roll legends Willie "Loco" Alexander, The Neighborhoods and The Nervous Eaters all have a track but my favorite song is "Christmas In Kenmore Square" by BCN production team Tom Sandman and Billy West.  West was a fixture on Charles Laquidara's Big Matress Morning Show and does the best Larry Fine impersonation I have ever heard.  He was on Howard Stern's show for years and went on to huge success voicing numerous animated characters including Stimpy from The Ren and Stimpy Show, Fry from Futurama and just about all the modern Looney Tunes characters.  Before all of that, however, he gave us "Christmas In Kenmore Square:"

You don't need any Christmas lights
'Cause the Citgo sign is there
Have a couple belts
If for nothing else
It's Christmas In Kenmore Square

See the punks in deco fashions now
The weirdest ways they wear their hair
Lopsided, obtuse
Designed by Dr. Suess
It's Christmas In Kenmore Square

"And, like, the students, like,
Can't wait to, like,
Go home for Christmas time
But, like, the Christmas mail
Is, like, rilly rilly slow"

If mom and dad don't send a card
With travel money soon
We'll just stay in our dorm
And hang some mistletoe

It's Christmas party time at the club
I'll keep an eye on my friend's there
I stayed real straight
'Cause I'm the driver designate
This Christmas In Kenmore Square

Santa's wearing red leather and studs
But he can't park his sleigh nowhere
'Cause Santa Claus forgot
There ain't no legal parking spot
This Christmas In Kenmore....
Everywhere it's Christmas....
In Kenmore Square

Merry Christmas to you all- I hope you have a fantastic holiday season!

Links for the 2012 CHRISTMAS SPECTACULAR are below (Right click and "Save Link As")
Hour 1
Hour 2

Saturday, December 15, 2012

Show #90 November 10, 2012

It's all for you Maria....

Maria- The Pop Go!
Warning Me- Spinning Jennies Strato- sphere
I Wonder What You're Doin' Now- The DomNicks Super Real 
You Wanna Be Like Her- The Go Instant Reaction
Hope Child- Free Energy Stuck On Nothing
James Bond Lives Down Our Street- The Toy Dolls James Bond Lives Down Our Street 
I Don't / She Don't Mind- The Heats Have An Idea 
Rescue Me- The Volcanos The Volcanos
^Burnin' For You- Blue Oyster Cult Burnin' For You 
Back To You- Richard X. Heyman Hey Man! 
Drivin' Thru My Heart- The Donnas Turn 21
Wringin' Wet- Queued Up Queued Up EP
...and I'm Thinking- The Sneetches Sunnyside Down 
Girl From Out Of This World- Material Issue Destination Universe 
*323- Chixdiggit! Chixdiggit 
*5-2-8- Nervous Eaters Eat This! 
*5-45- Gang Of Four Entertainment! 
*925- Research Turtles Research Turtles 
Stray Heart- Green Day ¡Dos!
With A Smile- Big Kid All Kidding Aside
All That Crying- Prime Movers Mr. Beautiful Presents All Hard
Nobody to Blame- Shoes Ignition 
She's So Wild- Meantime Two For One 45
Glitter Best- The Rooks Encore Echoes  
>Giddy Up A Ding Dong- The Sensational Alex Harvey Band The Best Of 
Drunk And Soppy- Senseless Things Postcard C.V. 
Count On Me- The Reducers Guitars, Bass and Drums 
Pleasure Seekers- Advertising Advertising Jingles 
Plain To See- Blue Ash No More No Less 
1-2-3- The Speedies Speedy Delivery 

^Power Pop Peak:  #40 Billboard Hot 100 8/15/81

* SacroSet:  Numbersongs

>Power Pop Prototype:  1973

I know I've said as much before, but ALL KINDSA GIRLS would not be possible without today's technology.  I loved my years in college radio and then in public radio when I'd spend hours in the voluminous record libraries at WERS and WMBR.  Always a methodical type, I went through each station's library from A-Z, pulling out any album or 7" single I didn't know or had ever stoked my curiosity while record shopping.  
WMBR Record Library

My time at those stations is the foundation of my musical knowledge.  Even so, thanks to the Internet and iTunes on my trusty Dell laptop I can now put a two hour show together in about 1/10th the time it took back in the day.  I do miss playing records on the radio though, especially slip-cueing for a nice tight segue.  The belt drive turntables at most radio stations took a few seconds to get up to speed so if you wanted to keep it tight you had to slip-cue.  Each turntable (there were always two and preferably three in the studio) had a slipmat that would allow you to hold a record in place while the platter spins underneath.  To slip cue, you would:
  • Drop the needle in the lead-in on a 7" single or gap between songs if it was an LP track;
  • Listen for the first note or beat of the song and stop the record in place with your finger or thumb (I used a thumb on the outer edge because since birth I've been anal about touching the surface of records);
  • Turn off the turntable and spin the record backward so you are just ahead of that first sound (this is where the idea of DJ scratching came from)
  • When you're ready to play the song, you hold down the record with your finger or thumb, turn on the turntable to get it up to speed and then release the record at the appropriate time.  
It could get tricky, especially coming out of a break when you'd need to hold down the record, power up the turntable and pot it up (turn up the volume on the mixing board) while you were talking.  I suppose it says a lot about me that to find a picture of slip-cueing on the Internet, I had to go back to the early 60's.  I can assure you that when I got into radio it had been a LONG time since DJ's wore suits on the air.  I started in college radio because I loved music, but I got a really big kick out of the technical side of being a DJ as well.  I'd even bring in some of my own cherished records to play on the air.  This was a big deal because excessive slip-cueing causes "cue burn," a crackly sound that mars the first few seconds of a song.  Plus you'd never know how long it had been since the turntable needles had been changed. 

In my first few months at Emerson I had gotten pretty good at slip-cueing at closed circuit WECB before I did my first show that fall on WERS (a broadcast station with 3000 watts and an antenna on top of The Pru!!).  Yet, for some reason when I got ready to play my first song I decided to use the turntable remotes on the board.  When using the remotes you'd have to back up from the first sound on the record to give the turntable time to get up to speed- about a quarter revolution for a 33 1/3 rpm album and half a revolution for a 45 rpm single.  I cued up my first record, Elvis Costello's "From Head To Toe" single, did my top of the hour ID, hit the remote and heard "rrrrrrRRRRRRrrrrrrrrrrr."  The remote had started the turntable but didn't engage so the record stopped spinning.  Panicking I slapped the manual button on the turntable which got it going but since the song had already started I had to listen as it excruciatingly got up to speed "rrrrrrrRRRRRRRRR."  Jim Harris said he was listening back in Duxbury, waving his arms around in an empathetic panic trying to push "air buttons" and save me.  My broadcast career had begun!

Admittedly an iTunes crossfade sounds pretty hamfisted compared to a tight slip-cue, but what are you gonna do; KSVY doesn't even have turntables and playing CDs is no fun at all.  I've looked at software designed to replicate the "turntable experience" but everything I've seen is even more complicated and time consuming.  So it is what it is, though I can still hear my college radio self shout "lame" at some of my segues.  On the other hand, without modern technology there is no way I would have been able to play "I Wonder What You're Doing Now" from The DomNick's new album Super Real on tonight's show.  Emboldened by the luck I had getting some Portland bands to send me their music a few shows back, I sent an e-mail to Dom Mariani when I heard about the new album.
The DomNicks (Dom Mariani with Telecaster)
Now Dom Mariani is not just "some guy," he is an undisputed Power Pop Genius and the pride of Perth in Western Australia.  His groups like The Stems, The Someloves and DM3 have put out a mind blowing amount of great music over the years.   Now working by day as an architectural designer, Dom is still going strong in The DomNicks, partnering with Nick Shepherd of '77 era UK punk band The Cortinas and the post Mick Jones "Cut The Crap" version of The Clash (though I choose not to hold this against him).  Anyway, Dom Mariani got right back to me with two tracks from the new album.  He didn't even seem all that freaked out when I called him a "Power Pop Genius," admittedly in an e-mail it's probably hard to tell if someone thinks you are a dangerous stalker-type person.  What's important is that Dom Mariani wrote back to me and his new songs ROCK! 

Stream this week's show here, to download right click and "Save Link As:"

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Show #89 ALL KINDSA GHOULS Halloween Special October 27, 2012

All Kindsa GHOULS is dedicated to Bloody Mary!

Bloody Mary- Barrence Whitfield Dig Yourself
It's Almost Halloween- Panic! At The Disco It's Almost Halloween
Saturday Night In The City Of The Dead- Ultravox! Ultravox!
Dracula's Daughters- Redd Kross Researching The Blues
Death Rehearsal- Toy Love Toy Love
Keepin Halloween Alive- Alice Cooper Keepin Halloween Alive
In The Room Where You Sleep- Dead Man's Bones Dead Man's Bones
Final Ride- Deadbeats Kill the Hippies 7"
^Children of the Grave- Black Sabbath Master of Reality
Free All The Monsters- The Bats Free All The Monsters
Back From The Dead- Adverts  Television's Over 7"
Horror Movie- Skyhooks Horror Movie
Human Fly- The Cramps Bad Music For Bad People
Kottage Kountry Killer- Durango 95 Lose Control
*Graveyard Rockin'- The 3-D Invisibles They Won't Stay Dead!
*Back to the Grave- The Dentists Some People Are On The Pitch They Think It's All Over It Is Now
*Grave Diggers- The Creepshow Sell Your Soul
*Graveyard- Dead Moon In The Graveyard
*One Foot In The Grave- Pernice Brothers Yours, Mine and Ours
*Graveyard Rock- The Joneses Somebody Got Their Head Kicked In!
*Graveyard Groove- The Revillos Attack of the Giant Revillos
Slow Death- The Dictators Blood Brothers
The House On Shady Lane- Plain White T's The House On Shady Lane
Horror Business- Misfits Horror Business 7" >Rockin' In The Graveyard- Jackie Morningstar No Date 7"
The Devil's Bait- The Dead Elvi Graveland
I Don't Wanna Go Down To The Basement- The Ramones Ramones
I Think Of Demons- Roky Erickson and The Aliens The Evil One
Stake Through My Heart- The Fiends Gravedigger 7"
Dance With the Ghoulman- Fleshtones More Than Skin Deep
Bela Lugosi's Dead- Bauhaus Left Of The Dial: Dispatches From The '80s Underground 

^Power Pop Prototype:  #8 Billboard Album Chart

*SacroSet:  GraveSongs

>Power Pop Prototype:  1956 

Woody Allen once said "80% of life is showing up."  I recently lived a great example of this maxim.  (How unfortunate that the word "maxim" now conjures images of douchey "lad mags" featuring young actresses slutting it up in some sort of creepy "post-feminist statement."  I prefer the word's original definition:  "a short, pithy declaration expressing a general truth or rule of conduct."  But I digress....)  Over the summer I was in a Shakespeare stage adaptation called Two Gentlemen of Sonoma with Aidan the Artistic Director of the newly re-named Sonoma Valley Shakespeare Company.  The company was just about to start a residency at Sonoma Valley High School and he asked if I was interested in taking a couple of small parts in Julius Caesar.  There's a lot of live music in their productions so even though the parts weren't very big, I figured I might be able to snag a spot in the "house band."  Another plus is that the school is practically across the street from my house, an easy commute after trekking to Petaluma for Two Gentlemen.

I told Aidan I'd gladly take the parts and didn't see him until the first read-through a few weeks later.  Jaime and I had both been in his previous production, Romeo and Juliet, last fall so it was great to see the returning out of town members of the company.  The read-through went smoothly and I noticed they had yet to cast Decius Brutus, a larger part than the two I would be playing.  I should mention that the whole idea of Julius Caesar was a "punt" for SVSC because they had been planning to do One Flew Over The Cuckoo's Nest until the play service people screwed them over in some kind of bureaucratic performance rights snafu.  (Ahh, good old public domain Shakespeare...)  Chad the Director then had about ten days to cut Julius Caesar, which has a 2+ hour run time and 30 characters, into the 90 minute 9 actor production we ended up staging.  So, in Chad's cut Decius Brutus had become a bigger role, one I set my sights on after the read-through.  I didn't hear from anyone for a few days, but I knew they were busy rehearsing As You Like It, the first show in their season.  When I did hear back, they said Decius Brutus was looking good for me but I should stay tuned.  A few days later I got an e-mail from Aidan
Julius Caesar
asking if I would be up for an even bigger part- that of Julius Caesar!  Turns out the guy they wanted originally, who in the small world of North Bay Theater had been my director for Two Gentlemen of Sonoma, had union problems.  So, in the space of three weeks, I had gone from playing bit parts to a major role to the dude the play is freakin' named for!  Brutus is clearly the lead and Cassius is up there too, but still I loved having this conversation, as I did many times in October:

Other person:  So, do you have any plays coming up?
Me:  Yes, I have a part in Julius Caesar.
Other person:  Oh, which part?
Me:  Julius Caesar.

Mentally, on my part at least, this is followed by a big high five, flying chest bump, or "what what" roof raising gesture.  Pretty cool.

Chad let me put some of the Caesar lines he had cut back in and I got to work.  Among other things, in my research I learned that Caesar was thought to have epilepsy or migranes or about ten other conditions (referred to as "the falling sickness" in the script) and there is a myth that this is where the modern word "seizure" comes from.  After a couple of times through the script it became clear to me that for all Caesar's faults, Shakespeare cast Cassius and the conspirators as the "bad guys" and Brutus as the tragically flawed hero.  At least that's how I went at the part- as they say, you've always got to find the humanity in your character.

Our costumes were MUCH easier to fight in
One of the coolest things about the show is that Chad the director is also an accomplished fight choreographer- let's just say Caesar did not go down without a battle.  Chad was also open to an idea I had about the order of what we came to call "the stabby stabby."  The script (and the historical record) acknowledge Casca as the first to strike with Brutus stabbing last, from what I think of as a position of weakness.  I had one of those 3am epiphanies during the first week of rehearsals, however, and when I shared it with Chad he put it into the show.  So, our fight started with Caesar deftly repelling blows from Casca, Metellus Cimber and Cassius, essentially kicking their asses.  Then, with a smile of relief, Caesar meets Brutus center stage only to receive the "unkindest cut of all."  

The "Stabby Stabby" (That's me on the floor)

The other conspirators then fall on Caesar like jackals as a horrified Brutus looks on.  (The center stage meeting echoes an earlier scene where Brutus comes to Caesar's house to escort him to the senate.)  It seems so much more Brutus-like that he start "the stabby stabby," and it makes his later statement stronger:  "but as [Caesar] was ambitious, I slew him."  I mean it's not "but as he was ambitious, I watched a bunch of other guys stab him for a while and jumped in at the end when he was pretty much Swiss cheese."

You'd think it would be dull playing a part where you die at the end of Act I but Chad started Act II with a slow motion reenactment of "the stabby stabby" set to music and ending with the always surprising, never predictable bursting blood pack.  (Limiting the blood to Act II cut our laundry by half- even so, by the third week our white shirts all had a pinkish hue.)  Chad's special recipe for "blood" is a tantalizing blend of red food coloring, chocolate syrup and laundry soap.  Over the course of the run it exploded, among other places, on my pants, in my face (tasty!) and all over the stage, causing a safety hazard that needed to be surreptitiously cleaned up later.  Once I even "body swiffered" it myself during the blackout before the funeral scene.  All in all I had to lie on the stage dead for about 20 minutes in Act II and aside from the occasional itchy nose it wasn't too bad.  In fact when Nica's 8th Grade class came on a field trip to one performance the only comment she reported back from her classmates was "your Dad can really lie still for a long time."
SVSC Julius Caesar Cast

As I said SVSC shows have a lot of musical cues, so throughout each performance I would have to play a scene change on guitar or plunk out the chiming of a clock on the bass.  After my "death" things really got fun- that's when I got to play the drums.  Despite my deep admiration for the craft and it's practitioners, from Tommy Ramone to Neil Peart, I am in no way a drummer.  But when it's a battle scene and everyone else in the cast is on stage, the "dead guy" gets the sticks.  I made such a racket during the battle they let me play drums during one of the pre-show songs, an instrumental jam of The White Stripes' "Seven Nation Army."  I played decently most nights and was feeling pretty good about myself by closing night.  You'd think playing Julius Caesar might have kept me on guard about the dangers of hubris, but sadly no.  We had a good crowd on closing night and I had several friends in the audience.  Going into the first break in
The White Stripes
the song I thought I'd shout out "here we go" to show how cool I am.  Needless to say, I COMPLETELY flubbed up the timing and for an endless, exceedingly painful eight measures Daniel the guitarist, Jordy the bass player and I might as well have been playing free jazz.  It was AWFUL.  Theater is a great metaphor for life though, because "the show must go on."  Immediately afterwards I had to strap on the guitar for the remainder of the pre-show music and immediately after that I had to play the leader of what was then the free world for 90 minutes.  Blessedly it leaves you little time to dwell.  As we were loading out the gear before the play started the only thing said was "wow!"  Wow, indeed.

Shakespeare loves him some ghosts, so even after Caesar died I had one last scene where I go haunt Brutus' tent.  In between Act II musical cues, Sharon, who played Cinna, and Chad got my ghostface on- see the picture at the top of this post.  We were only using white light in the show (except for one red spot during "the stabby stabby") so it was a challenge finding the right "dead" rather than "dead tired" look.  Like the blood splatter, which the night this photo was taken settled in an upstage right direction, Sharon and Chad's makeup was always different- I think this night is my favorite.

The Sonoma Valley Shakespeare Company is an inspiring group- along with Julius Caesar and As You Like It, they also offered an amazing production of Christopher Marlowe's Dr. Faustus.  In less than three months they rehearsed and staged three shows, all with music, performing each about ten times.  During this period they also taught several classes at the high school.  What's more they let me play Julius Caesar and the drums in the same show!  For that I will always be grateful.

 *          *          *

Since this post is for the ALL KINDSA GHOULS halloween show I would be remiss if I didn't include a picture of this year's costume.  I was once again Evel Kneival, as I will be for all future Halloweens, thanks to the awesome suit Jaime gave me last Christmas.  She even got in on the action this year, dressing as Evel's nurse.  Needless to say, our costumes were a hit!

Click the link below to stream this show or to download, right click and "Save Link As:"
ALL KINDSA GHOULS Halloween Special #89

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Show #88 October 13, 2012

To Leilani... and the great 007!  

Leilani- Hoodoo Gurus Stoneage Romeos
Days- Television Adventure 
Sweet 16- Green Day Uno! 
Bitten By A Lovebug- The Revillos Attack of the Giant Revillos
I'll Get By- Swag Catchall
Is It Really Necessary- Radio Stars Songs For Swinging Lovers 
Round And Round- The Greenberry Woods Big Money Item 
Down To Love- Throwback Suburbia Shot Glass Souvenir 
^Manic Monday- The Bangles Manic Monday
Self-improvement?- Happiness Factor Self Improvement? 
Dream On- Shake Culture Shock 10" EP 
Head vs Heart- Shoes Ignition
Tell Me Now- The Keepers By The Same Name
Catholic Boy- The Jim Carroll Band Catholic Boy
*Sunday Afternoon- Numbers Add Up
*Monday- The Jam Direction, Reaction, Creation
*Waiting For Tuesday- Hundred Million Martians Marsbars 
*Wednesday Week- The Undertones Hypnotised
*This Thursday- The Scruffs Wanna Meet The Scruffs 
*Friday Night- The Krinkles 3 - The Mordorlorff Collection
*Saturday Sunrise- The Flys See For Miles (1978-1980) 
Into The Light- Soul Asylum Delayed Reaction
Runaway- Panic Squad Panic Squad 12" EP 
Shoot You Down- Birdland The Brit Box: UK Indie, Shoegaze and Brit-Pop Gems Of The Last Millennium 
>Sunday Morning- The Velvet Underground The Velvet Underground and Nico
Cynical Girl- Marshall Crenshaw Marshall Crenshaw
It Doesn't Matter- Boys When You're Lonely 7" 
Remember (Falling Off the Sky)- The dB's Falling off The Sky 
Never Should Have Told You- Slugs Problem Child 7" 
Melody Love- The Laughing Dogs Meet Their Makers
Leilani Pt 2- Hoodoo Gurus Stoneage Romeos 

^Power Pop Peak:  #2 Billboard Hot 100 4/19/86 

*SacroSet:  Daysongs

>Power Pop Prototype:  1967

When I was nine years old my father took me to see Live And Let Die.  It blew my young mind and started a life long love of James Bond movies.  A week or so after seeing the film I was shopping with my parents at the Westgate Mall in Brockton, Mass and passed by a record store window prominently displaying the Live And Let Die soundtrack.  In those days the record companies would pay people to go out to stores and create eye-catching window displays.  I dated one such person right after college, but I digress.  Back in 1973 as I stood looking at the display in the front of the Westgate Mall record store, I had a big decision to make. They had the single "Live And Let Die" by Paul McCartney and Wings which I already knew I loved.  Yet, should I commit five whole dollars and buy the LP?  I didn't have a lot of money- only what I'd managed to save from the $5 bills I got from my grandparents for my birthday and Christmas. Even so, I decided to go for it and spring for the LP. Turns out it this was a mistake music-wise. Today's soundtracks are greatest hits collections, but back then they were one or two songs and a bunch of score music. That said, I listened to the song "Live And Let Die" over and over and it was cool to own Monty Norman's James Bond theme, especially when playing that I was Mr. Bond himself.  (The 70's bongos and "whucka-whucka" guitar on the Live And Let Die version of the Bond theme are priceless.)

That's 7-Up guy Geoffrey Holder lower left!
While it wasn't a home run musically, I was still happy I bought the album because it has an awesome gatefold with cool pictures from the movie (I found half of the sleeve so you can see what I'm talking about).  I was probably born this way, but the Live And Let Die album is one of my earliest recollections of being completely enthralled with a certain aspect of the female anatomy. The actress in question in the amazing blue outfit standing in front of Roger Moore is named Madeline Smith.

Dangerous Weapon(s)
Here's a better picture in case you don't get what I'm talking about when I say "anatomy."  My word!  The funny thing is in this photo she is holding a Walther PPK (James Bond's weapon of choice) while he himself is holding a revolver in another photo from the sleeve (see below). That's one of many things that really bugs me about Live And Let Die today. Viewed as an adult, it plays more like a slapstick Pink Panther movie than a James Bond film- the redneck sheriff is especially annoying. The movie has also understandably been labeled racist- not surprising since it is essentially a bunch of white British guys trying to make a blaxploitation movie. My father hated Roger Moore's portrayal of James Bond.  Dad found Moore effete and prissy,
often looking as if he'd just smelled some bad cheese.  After he took me to see Sean Connery in Diamonds Are Forever, which we saw at a theater in Ontario while on vacation that summer, I came to share my father's opinion of Roger Moore.  In fact, Live And Let Die wouldn't even be in my Top 10 Bond films today and I'd probably rate Moore last in the role, behind Connery, Craig, Lazenby, Brosnan and maybe even Dalton.

Back in my middle school years I remember telling Dad that my "perfect Saturday night" was a big bowl of popcorn and a James Bond movie on TV.  ABC network had owned the rights to the franchise since 1972 so it seems like I got my wish a lot.  Whenever my parents would take the backyard path over to our neighbors The Thomases to play cards on these movie nights, I'd tag along with my bowl of popcorn.  Dr. No, Thunderball (my all-time favorite), Goldfinger, From Russia With Love, You Only Live Twice (my favorite back in those days), I first saw them on ABC TV.  In retrospect I'm so glad
Daniel Craig and Fred Armisen on SNL
I've never had to watch Sean Connery, "my" James Bond, mug his way through a lame Saturday Night Live sketch with the latest annoying recurring character Lorne and his lazy-ass writers have decided to shove down our throat.  Nothing against Daniel Craig, he's my #2 Bond after all and my son loves him  (though Jack's favorite for years was George Lazenby in On Her Majesty's Secret Service- how cool is that!)  Jack saved up his own money to buy the Casino Royale DVD the day it came out and the movie soundtrack was his first ever purchase on iTunes.  The two of us will no doubt be queued up for Skyfall this weekend.  Nonetheless, Daniel Craig's recent SNL appearance got me thinking that whoever plays James Bond should have to sign some kind of "character integrity clause" legally preventing him from doing shoddy work elsewhere.  When you think about it, that's a small price to pay for playing one of the greatest characters in history.

Wow.... Sean Connery in Zardoz
On the other hand, it was only luck that prevented me from seeing Sean Connery's craptastic 1975 sci-fi film Zardoz until I was 20.  It would have been pretty devastating if I'd seen it when I was 12.  Seriously- what was he thinking!  His Zardoz costume makes the terry-cloth "playsuit" from Goldfinger look positively chic in comparison.  This baby blue monstrosity is one of the few widely acknowledged fashion missteps in the Connery Bond films- the color, the high waist, the wedgie-inducing design- it's pretty much a disaster, though I'd take it over the Zardoz ponytail, thigh-boots and red "suspendiaper" ("suspendepends?") look any day!
The Dreaded "Playsuit"
Here's hoping Skyfall rocks this weekend- LONG LIVE JAMES BOND!

You can download this week's show below (Right click and "Save Link As")
Hour 1
Hour 2

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Show #87 September 29, 2012

This one's for Ramona... and my Cousin Rich!  

Ramona- The Ramones Rocket To Russia
Shout It Out Loud- Kiss Destroyer 
Diminishing Returns- Shoes Ignition 
Pick It Up- 999 999 
You And Me- The Strand Seconds Waiting 
Make The Music Go Bang- X More Fun in the New World
Love Too Late- Sorrows Love Too Late
Star Machine- Bob Mould Silver Age 
^The Loco-Motion- Grand Funk The Loco-Motion 
Break The Ice- The Scruffs Wanna Meet The Scruffs
I Quit! I Quit! I Quit!- The Click Five TCV
He Can Go, You Can Stay- The Singles Better Than Before
She's Hi-Fi- The Trend Lucky Day
Tomorrow- The Three O'Clock Sixteen Tambourines
*Fight For Love- Visqueen Message To Garcia
*Keeping Time- Jenny Dee and The Deelinquents Keeping Time
*He's Peculiar- Vibeke The World Famous Hat Trick
*What's A Girl To Do- The Sugar Stems Sweet Sounds of the..... 
Wanderlust- David Myhr Soundshine
Can't Get Loose- The Skunks Can't Get Loose 
Back on Side With You- Someloves Something Or Other 
Pet You And Hold You- Rockpile Seconds Of Pleasure
Always Tomorrow- The Shazam Meteor
That's What You Always Say- Dream Syndicate Days of Wine and Roses
>Strychnine- The Sonics Nuggets Vol. 2 
Glow In The Dark- The Bongos Telephoto Lens 7"
Reggae Reggae- The Real Kids Real Kids
Sometimes- Neats 1981-84 The Ace of Hearts Years 
Girls That Don't Exist- The Records Smashes, Crashes and Near Misses  
Some New Town- Slobberbone Everything You Thought Was Right Was Wrong Today 

^Power Pop Peak:  #1 Billboard Hot 100 3/9/74

*SacroSet:  Cousin Rich's Picks

>Power Pop Prototype:  1965 

For generations, older brothers and sisters have helped shape the music tastes of their younger siblings.  I heard my first Alice Cooper and Frank Zappa albums thanks to my neighbor Tommy Harrington raiding the record collection of his older brother Donny who was away at Stonehill College in Stoneham, Mass.  I have vivid memories of stifling laughter while listening to Zappa's "Dinah Moe Humm" at low volume so his mother wouldn't hear us.  I totally didn't get the "zircon encrusted tweezers" reference but assumed it was very dirty and that I would understand it when I was older (which is funny because I still have no idea what it means, though it still sounds dirty).  Making an even greater impression, though, were Alice Cooper's Killer and Love It To Death.  We must have listened to "Dead Babies" from the former and "Ballad Of Dwight Fry" from the latter a hundred times, and these at ear-splitting volume.  Even back then we instinctively knew that moms were more accepting of the violence and death of "Dead Babies" (Little Betty ate a pound of aspirin/She got them from the shelf upon the wall) than "Dinah Moe Humm's" raunchy sex talk (I whipped off her bloomers 'n stiffened my thumb/And applied rotation on her sugar plum).  Of course now that I type these words out I realize that all those moms are right!

Anyway, I'm the first born in my family so unlike my neighbor Tommy, I didn't have an older brother or sister providing musical cues.  That job went to my Cousin Rich, who as I said at the top of tonight's show "is only a year older than me, but his musical knowledge, then and now, is unmatched in my experience."  That's him on the far left in the picture above, next to his sister Anne, me and my sister Sarah.  The picture was taken in 1974 right around the corner from the cottage Rich and Anne's grandfather owned near Grays Beach in Kingston, Mass.  The amazing thing about this picture, aside from my proto-mullet hairstyle, is that this may be the same trip that Rich's musical mentoring began when he played me tonight's Power Pop Peak, "The Loco- motion" from Grand Funk's Shinin' On.  Most kids would've paid a buck for the single and called it a day, but Rich went whole hog and plunked down four dollars for the album.  And what an album it is!  First, before you even get to the music, there's the cover which included punch out 3-D glasses you could use to look at the front and back covers.

The frosting on the cake was the 3-D poster that came inside the record.  Seriously, how cool is that!  With the glasses in place, Don Brewer's afro is an awesome 3-D effect- it just jumps right out at you!  Cousin Rich attached the glasses to the poster with a piece of string for convenient viewing, so of course I did the same.  I loved Shinin' On and "The Loco-Motion" isn't even my favorite song- I like both the title track and "To Get Back In" more.  Another thing I'll never forget about that trip to Kingston back in '74 is that as we were pulling out of his driveway to head home to Brockton, Rich came over to my window and said "Shine On!"  Great songs, a 3-D poster AND some cool new slang my parents didn't understand.... man, I was hooked!  Needless to say, I love Homer Simpson's rant to his kids in the backseat from an episode a few years back:  "You guys back there know Grank Funk right?  Nobody knows the band Grand Funk?  The wild, shirtless lyrics of Mark Farner? The bong rattling bass of Mel Shacher?  The competent drum work of Don Brewer?  Oh, man!"

I started seeing my Cousin Rich a lot more in the summer of 1975 when my family moved from Brockton to Duxbury, the next town over from Kingston.  He blew my mind a few months later with Kiss' Destroyer.  I must have stared at that cover for ten minutes straight while we listened to the album in his bedroom.  I was enthralled by "Detroit Rock City" starting with sounds of the dude getting in his car, listening to Kiss on the radio ("Rock and Roll All Nite"), speeding away and then, at the end of the song, dying in a horrible crash that blends into "King Of The Night Time World."  The record scared me a little, I remember telling my mom on the way home "it's a group with FOUR Alice Coopers!"

Cousin Rich has always had a voracious musical appetite.  After Kiss, he turned me on to a ton of bands:  Aerosmith, Led Zeppelin, Rush, etc.  During my brief cassette buying phase (I had decided ANY record noise was unacceptable), Rich copied out ALL the words from Rush's concept album 2112 on notebook paper, complete with a colored marker rendering of the record's cover art, so I could fully appreciate Neil Peart's lyrical genius.  Rich got a high tech "super radio" that picked up Worcester radio station WAAF, which played a lot of the newer hard rock groups like Van Halen and AC/DC.  When he started reading rock magazines like Circus and Hit Parader we found out about lesser known bands like Starz and Angel that we liked even more than the "big" groups.  It was around this time that we started going to concerts, getting rides from our parents.  We saw several shows at the Cape Cod Coliseum, including Blue Oyster Cult (supported by Cheap Trick!) and Ted Nugent, but our favorite venue was the Orpheum Theatre in Boston.  In the late '70's we saw Rush, Styx with Starz opening up and Angel with The Godz on The Heavenly Tour.  Rich won the Angel/Godz tickets from WAAF and in order to go my dad had to drive us 80 miles to Worcester just so we could get on the station's "party bus" and drive all the way back to Boston.  It was an amazing show!  Angel were the "anti-Kiss" dressed all in white and they had all these cool magic tricks and special effects.  They also started a trend of rock bands with completely illegible logos.  Angel's logo designer apparently felt it was important that a logo read the same upside down as right side up.  Yet even after seeing ads for the group in Circus I had no idea what they were called until, of course, Cousin Rich told me.

Everything changed after Cousin Rich saw The Ramones on Don Kirshner's Rock Concert.  Within a week we both had Rocket To Russia and that started a unique transition in my music tastes:


Kiss, AC/DC, Rush
AC/DC, Rush, The Ramones
The Ramones, The Clash, AC/DC
The Clash, The Ramones, Stiff Little Fingers

Rich got a subscription to New York rocker so he knew about all the new bands.  His "super radio" also picked up The Late Risers Club on MIT college radio station WTBS (now WMBR, after Ted Turner forked over heaps o' cash for the "WTBS" call letters in the late '70's).  Then on March 22, 1980 something momentous happened- the MBTA opened a station on the South Shore, in Braintree, Mass about 20 minutes away from where we lived.  Thirty minutes on the Red Line took us to Park Street station, close to record stores Strawberries and Discount Records.  That downtown Discount Records is where I got my import copy of The Clash's first album.  After that store closed Rich heard about The Harvard Coop, so we'd stay on the Red Line all the way into Harvard Square in Cambridge.  We never knew when The Coop was having a sale, so it was like Christmas morning whenever we'd walk in and see the sign at the bottom of the escalator reading "All Records Regularly $7.99, This Weekend $4.99."  We discovered a bounty of import 7" singles by The Clash, The Jam, Buzzcocks and more at the Harvard Square Discount Records, though I'm pretty sure the clerks used to steal picture sleeves.  There was also a New England Music City around the corner where I bought some of my first Boston Rock records by groups like Classic Ruins and Mission of Burma.  On those late 70's "record runs" there was never any shortage of great music to buy.  For every new band Rich would read about or hear on the radio, there would be two or three more that we didn't know but would later end up loving.  I can also thank Cousin Rich for getting me to buy The Real Kids first album, which includes this show's namesake song "All Kindsa Girls."  As I said back in my first blog post, I balked at the record when we saw it at Musicsmith in the Hanover Mall because Billy Borgioli's long hair (far right) didn't fit my narrow punk orthodoxy.  Rich saw beyond the hair though and convinced me to do the same.  The rest as they say is history; The Real Kids remains one of my Top 5 records of all-time.

Rich and I didn't see as much of each other during our college years, he was at Babson in Wellesley and I was at Emerson in Boston.  Hardcore was all the rage my freshman year and I started getting into Minor Threat, Bad Brains and The Misfits.  Rich never really got into hardcore in the early 80's, opting for an exploration of 60's punk and psychedelia.  He sought and found rare original pressings of  bands like The Electric Prunes, Blues Magoos and my personal favorite of the era, Tacoma garage rock kings The Sonics, who gave us tonight's Power Pop Prototype "Strychnine."  The Sonics are downright ferocious- The Sex Pistols would've sold their souls to sound even half as dangerous. 

The Neats
Cousin Rich's segue into 60's music was no doubt a factor in his love of Boston band The Neats in the mid '80's.  The Neats had the jangle of REM (in fact I saw them open for Michael Stipe and Co. at MIT in 1985) but much more of a 60's sensibility.  I think it was Danny McCormack of the Mighty Ions/Lyres who once said to me "how many songs with open E chords can you have?"  Not a problem for Cousin Rich, who probably saw The Neats about 50 times and even stayed loyal when they tossed the jangle for a heavy rock sound in 1987.

I left Massachusetts in 1992 but Rich and I would try to find time for a record run into Boston whenever I came back home.  I was pretty much out of it musically in the late 90's when my kids were young but despite having two children himself, Rich always seemed to find new bands to listen to.  Punk rock doesn't really age well as I found when I took my first walk down Haight Street in San Francisco.  Really, how different are the guy in the studded leather jacket with a graying mohawk/wrinkly tattoos and the even grayer long haired guy in tie die/fraying
denim?  Like a lot of guys our age who were into punk rock, Rich got into Americana in his late 30's and early 40's.  Thanks to him I heard about Slobberbone, who are in my opinion the greatest live band of the late 90's and early 2000's.  We even got to see the band together once at the Narrows Center in Fall River.

As I write this my Cousin Anne, Rich's sister, is visiting from Quincy, Mass.  When we were younger every month or so our families would get together for dinner on a Friday night at Ernie's Restaurant  in Plymouth. Anne and my sister Sarah had to endure hours of "rock talk" at these dinners.  We had our own kids table and my menu selections were always the same:  a cup of tortellini in broth (a delicacy I learned about from Rich), one of Ernie's awesome cheese pizzas (with a small puddle of delicious grease in the center) and a great conversation about rock and roll with my Cousin Rich.  Frankly I don't know how Anne and Sarah stood it all those years.

Cousin Rich has always been partial to female singers and female fronted groups whether its pop (The Reivers, The Bangles), punk (Tex & The Horseheads, The Donnas, The Muffs) or Americana (Lucinda Williams, Kasey Chambers).  Over the last few years he has recommended the four artists in tonight's SacroSet, which was the genesis of this show and blog post.  Cousin Rich was also one of the first my first listeners at All Kindsa Girls which is one final thing I have to thank him for.  Just so you know, this show/post is not eulogy, Cousin Rich is alive and well.  The guy runs marathons for God's sake- he's going to outlive us all. 

Friday, October 12, 2012

Show #86 September 15, 2012

This one's for Caroline and all the Rose City Rockers!

Caroline- Throwback Suburbia Shot Glass Souvenir
I Wanna Be The One- The Yum Yums Whatever Rhymes With Baby
What Did I Do To Deserve You?- Joey Ramone ...Ya Know?
She's The One- Little Murders Stop Plus Singles 1978-1986
I Want You Now- The Feeling Twelve Stop And Home
Here In The Deadlights- Brendan Benson What Kind Of World 
Just What I Need- Nikki and The Corvettes Nikki and The Corvettes
Don't Cry To Me Babe- Sneakers Ear Cartoons 
^Rendevous- Hudson Brothers Rendevous 45 
Tired And Lazy- The Wellingtons Keeping Up With The Wellingtons
I Don't Wanna Cry- The Keys Shake Some Action Vol 1 (UK)
Uglier- Redd Kross Researching The Blues
Say Hello- The Late Show Portable Pop
Now She Knows She's Wrong- Jellyfish Bellybutton 
*Wait A Minute- Wipers Is This Real?
*Bathroom Stall- The Epoxies Epoxies 
*Fell in Love at the Arcade- The Soda Pop Kids Teen Bop Dream 
*Hope of the Hour- Dharma Bums Haywire
*Sleeping Aides And Razorblades- The Exploding Hearts Guitar Romantic
*Really Don't Mean A Thing- The Ravers I Was A Teenage Rock and Roller
*Bohemian Like You- The Dandy Warhols The Capitol Years [1995-2007]
*Modern Cinderella- The CRY! The CRY!
Simply Because- Rooney Rooney 
Gone To Stay- Tom Dickie and The Desires The Eleventh Hour
Go- The Heartbeats Go 7" 
>You Must Be A Witch- The Lollipop Shoppe Nuggets Box
Little Runaway- Radio City Class of '77 
Fall Back Down- Mike Viola and The Candy Butchers Falling Into Place
A Feeling- Research Turtles Research Turtles
All Our Good Times- The Nice Boys The Nice Boys

^Power Pop Peak:  #26 Billboard Hot 100 6/21/75

*SacroSet:  Portland Power Pop

>Power Pop Prototype:  1968 

I've only been to Portland, OR ("The Rose City," "Bridgetown," "Beervana," "Stumptown,"  "The City of Too Many Nicknames," etc.) one time, for a job interview in the mid 90's, and it is always been a town I've wanted to get back to.  Like most great cities, Portland had a thriving punk rock scene in the late 70's, lead by one of my all time favorite groups- the Wipers.  Not only was Wipers guitarist Greg Sage a brilliant songwriter and guitarist, he also formed an independent label, Trap Records, that released records by The Stiphnoyds, Sado-Nation and Neo Boys (the "neo" is that they were girls).  Doing research for this week's show, however, I didn't find much in the way of late 70's/early 80's Power Pop.  The Ravers' "Really Don't Mean A Thing" from 1980 is the show's lone selection from back in the day.  The city produced it's fair share of hair metal and MTV style "nu-wave" groups in the 80's but there seems to have been a dearth of skinny tie Power Pop bands- at least that I could find.  Subsequently, I dug up one other group, Two Minutes 50 (formerly The Odds), on Chuck Warner's Hyped To Death website that I'll get to in a future show.

The Epoxies
In my opinion, Portland didn't establish itself as a vital Power Pop town until the early 2000's when The Epoxies and The Exploding Hearts burst upon the scene.  Both signed to Dirtnap Records, which at that time was based in Seattle and has since moved to Portland.  The Epoxies' synthpunk take on Power Pop came with in a very cool package of Atomic Age futurism reflected in everything from their songs about robots and clones, to their record sleeves,  fashion sense and pseudonyms (Roxy Epoxy, FM Static, Viz Spectrum, Shock Diode, and Ray Cathode).  I never got to see The Epoxies but I've heard they put on an amazing stage show featuring an array of special effects.  This of course in direct contrast to the "don't give a sh*t" approach most indie rock bands of the early aughts seemed to take toward their live performances.  The Epoxies also flouted punk rock conventions of the time (which can be every bit as strident as the Taliban) by making the synthesizer a cornerstone of their sound.  The band broke up in 2008, leaving two great albums and several singles in their wake.

The Exploding Hearts
The Exploding Hearts worshipped at the altar of The Undertones, Buzzcocks and The Boys (all HUGE artists on ALL KINDSA GIRLS) and released the brilliant album Guitar Romantic in 2003.  That album blew my mind- an American band unafraid of pop hooks, in fact striving to be as catchy as possible.  I hadn't bought an album by a new band in about two years when I picked up Guitar Romantic.  In my defense, I was in the thick of it child rearing-wise with a five and eight year old at home.  Needless to say the record was a breath of fresh air and I started watching for a chance to see The Exploding Hearts play live.  A few months later I saw they had a show at Bottom of The Hill in San Francisco on July 20, 2003.  Unfortunately, that was a Sunday and I just couldn't swing a late show and 100 mile round trip commute from Sonoma on a "school night," with work early the next day.  I remember thinking "I'll catch them next time- hopefully it will be on a Friday or Saturday."  Tragically, there never was a "next time."  Heading back to Portland after the show the driver fell asleep at the wheel and The Exploding Hearts' van crashed on I-5 near Eugene, OR killing singer/guitarist Adam Cox, (23), bassist Matt Fitzgerald (20), and drummer Jeremy Gage (21).  Guitarist Terry Six (21) and the band's manager were the lone survivors of the accident.

Proving life goes on and rock and roll never dies, in 2004 Terry Six got together with some members of punk band The Riffs to form the Nice Boys.  The group put out a great self-titled album in 2006 that includes tonight's show closer "All Our Good Times."   I only hope the song's refrain "no matter what- you'll remember all the good times" is true.

I'm happy to say that Power Pop is alive and kicking in Portland today.  I discovered three new bands researching this show and two of them sent me their records.  Tonight's dedication song "Caroline" by Throwback Suburbia is from their amazing new album Shotglass Souvenir.  They have a super tight mod influenced "maximum r and b" sound with catchy choruses and great harmonies.  Here's a Throwback Suburbia video from an earlier album:

If that's not enough, I also heard back from a band called The Cry! who just released their first album.  These guys lean a little more punk, like The Exploding Hearts, and are catchy as hell as this video for lead track "Think I'm In Love" proves.

Another new band, Queued Up, is pushing further into mod territory, calling their music "maximum power pop."  Their record isn't out yet but they posted a bunch of live videos on their website that sound promising.


I've got to thank Jimi from Throwback Suburbia for sending a download link to their record.  Greybush from The Cry! also gets big thanks, not only for sending their record but also for turning me on to Throwback Suburbia and Queued Up.

Fred and Toody 6/14/67

Tonight's Power Pop Prototype, 1968's "You Must Be A Witch" by The Lollipop Shoppe, is an early release by Fred Cole, who is the personification of Portland Rock and Roll.  In 1964 the Tacoma born Cole formed his first band The Lords in Las Vegas, where his mother had moved for work.  Dodging poor management and the Vietnam draft in 1967, Fred's band The Weed's left Las Vegas for Canada, as legend has it, running out of gas in Portland.  Fred's meeting with Toody Conner at a club called The Folksinger lead to a marriage and subsequent musical partnership that continues to this day.  After some more draft dodging in the Yukon the couple returned to Portland opening the music store Captain Whizeagle's.  Fred then formed the band Zipper, self-releasing their album on his own Whizeagle records, cutting the vinyl master for this and most future Whizeagle/Tombstone releases on the same lathe used for The Kingsmen's "Louie Louie.   Playing in his next band King Bee, Fred had the same life changing experience many have had, myself included, hearing The Ramones for the first time after scoring the opening slot for a Portland tour stop.  A
Fred and Toody Today
second pivotal moment came when, tired of dealing with a succession of bass players, Fred taught Toody to play the bass and she joined him in his next punk band The Rats.  Disillusioned with the violent turn punk rock had taken with hardcore, Fred disbanded The Rats in 1984.  After a brief foray into country music, Fred and Toody formed Dead Moon, which lasted almost 20 years.  In their 60's today, The Coles are still playing together in a band called Pierced Arrows and run a music store in Clackamas, OR called Tombstone Music.  Were I an independent film producer I couldn't imagine a better rock & roll love story than that of Fred and Toody Cole. 

Finally, I couldn't leave this post without mentioning Bob, one of my first listeners, who lives in The Rose City.  Bob and I got to know each other doing plays in Sonoma; he was Orin Scrivello (DDS!) to my Seymour Krelborn in Little Shop of Horrors.  We were also both in Glengarry Glenn Ross and he directed my wife Jaime and I in Plaza Suite.  Bob moved to Portland a few months before ALL KINDSA GIRLS debuted.  His wife Krista stayed back in Glen Ellen to sell the house so Bob had a lot of free time on his hands in a new city.  I could always count on getting an encouraging e-mail from him after each of those early ALL KINDSA GIRLS shows.  Radio is not like theater or playing in a band, there is no instantaneous feedback loop- you never know if listeners appreciate what you're doing or even if you have any listeners to begin with.  Bob helped me get started and for that I will always be grateful.  So now I'm thinking it's time I head back to PDX and maybe get Bob out to see Throwback Suburbia and The Cry!

Download link for this week's show (Click to Stream or to download, right click and "Save Link As")