Saturday, January 21, 2012

Show #72 January 21, 2012

Rock On Donna!

Donna- 10cc Donna 7"
Are You Ready- Mike Read Shake Some Action Vol 8 (UK and Ireland)
Love Song To Myself- Walter Clevenger and The Dairy Kings Love Songs To Myself
Heart Attack- The Pets Misdirection
Laugh- Rubber City Rebels Rubber City Rebels
Just Fine- The Windbreakers Time Machine (1982-2002)
I'm Numb- Pointed Sticks Part Of The Noise
Be What You Gotta Be- Motors 1
^Hold On Loosely- .38 Special The Very Best Of The AandM Years
Merry-Go-Round- The Producers The Producers/You Make The Heat
Do You Wanna Love Me?- Paul Collins King Of Power Pop
Ex Lion Tamer- Wire I Am The Fly Single
Big Cities- Pushtwangers Here We Go Again
Pity- Rooney Eureka
*All Wound Up- 4/4 Systematic 7"
*Don't Think Twice (If You Can't Think At All)- 5-15 Shake Some Action Vol 6 (All Around The World)
*Me And My Desire- 999 999
*Giving It All- 20/20 Giving It All 7"
No You Don't- The Sweet The Collection
I Know What You Did Last Night- Helmet Boy Helmet Boy
Flaming Torch- The Only Ones Special View
For a While- Van Duren Are You Serious?
Ret Liv Dead- Teenage Fanclub Thirteen
You Will Pay- Yeh-Yeh Shake Some Action Vol 1 (UK)
>5 Star Rock 'N' Roll Petrol- The 101'ers Elgin Avenue Breakdown Revisited
Wide Awake (And Fading Out)- Pills Wide Awake With The Pills
Highly Inflammable- X-Ray Spex Germfree Adolescents
Shy Girl- The Innocents No Hit Wonders From Down-Under
Fat Chance- Tommy Tutone Tommy Tutone
It's Getting Better- Squire Big Smashes
Way Out- The La's The La's
Private Heaven- Utopia Utopia
Respectable Street- XTC Rag & Bone Buffet: Rare Cuts and Leftovers
Lonesome Lane- The 45's Couldn't Believe A Word 7"

^Power Pop Prototype: #27 Billboard Hot 100 2/28/81

*SacroSet: Bands By The Numbers

>Power Pop Prototype: 1976

David and Cyrinda
Steven Tyler's new pop-culture celebrity status just doesn't sit right with me. Don't get me wrong, I love the guy and I always have, even after learning he stole his signature scarves on the microphone stand thing from David Johansen of the New York Dolls (which somehow seems worse than his subsequent theft of Johansen's wife, Cyrinda Fox). In the past week I've defended Tyler's much maligned performance of the National
Anthem at the Patriots/Ravens game last weekend (Go Pats!). What's more, I even like the Diane Warren-penned "Aerosmith does Celine Dion" song "I Don't Wanna Miss A Thing" from that crappy asteroid movie.

Aerosmith are Boston boys and we love them for it. Everyone in the Boston area has an Aerosmith sighting to share. In the 80's I once saw Joe Perry shopping for housewares with his wife at the Ann and Hope store at the Arsenal Mall in Watertown, Mass. In the early 90's, drummer Joey Kramer moved to Duxbury, Mass where my mom lives and within a few years he was followed by guitarists Joe Perry and Brad Whitford. The first time my sister Sarah saw Joe Perry in town he was with his wife Billie pushing a shopping cart down an aisle of the A and P in Hall's Corner. The best part is that they were both in total rock and roll gear, he in leather pants and she in a huge white fur coat.  That is just awesome! People in Duxbury were proud of the Aerosmith guys and very protective of their privacy. While Kramer and Whitford have since moved away, Joe Perry is still in town and has done a lot for the community over the years, among other things, paying for a new town animal shelter.

In any case, I feel Aerosmith belong to the rock and rollers, which is why Steven Tyler on American Idol doesn't feel right. The band will always have a special place in my heart, because they were a pretty big "first" in my life. I enjoyed a short lived notoriety in Jr. High (what we called "Intermediate School") as "the kid who goes to rock concerts." A few weeks before my 13th birthday I heard a commercial on the radio for an Aerosmith concert at the Providence Civic Center on October 30, 1977. I asked my parents for tickets for my birthday with very little hope that I'd be going. My birthday came and after pizza and cake I opened presents that I can't remember, though I'd guess there was a record and a sweater in there somewhere. Opening my final present (a card, oh well) I was SHOCKED to find myself looking at two tickets to see Aerosmith on their "Express Tour." They were the Ticketron tickets with the blue and red design (at right is the closest thing I could find on the web). When I got to school the next day I told Mike Klein in home room that I was going to the concert and soon word spread.For the first time I had status and though it was short-lived, it was an experience I'll never forget.

Providence 10/30/77
The Aerosmith concert was amazing- I went with my neighbor Tommy Harrington and we had great seats on the floor about 25 rows back. In fact, we were only one person away from catching a Joey Kramer drumstick. My father drove us to Providence and waited outside during the show. I realize now what a sacrifice that was because with the pride of a true Bostonian he described Providence as "an armpit." (Interestingly, this is the same phrase Dad used to describe Worcester, Mass after waiting for my Cousin Rich and I outside a Worcester Centrum concert a few years later). I think he said he spent that night in Providence in a Burger King- all so I could go to my first rock concert. He was an amazing guy.

Aerosmith played all the hits from the first four albums that night and a few new songs that hadn't been released yet. I really liked one of the new songs so I thought I'd be cool and ask the clerk at the Hanover Mall Musicsmith about it, even though I knew it hadn't come out yet. Unfortunately I misheard the title at the concert so when I asked him about Aerosmith's "Charlie The Lion" he looked at me like I
Draw The Line
was a moron. When the album came out in December I was horrified to see that the song is called "Draw The Line" (the record's title track!!) not "Charlie The Lion-" a mom-like mistake I never made again.

You can download tonight's show below (Right click and "Save Target As"):

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Show #71 DEDICATION SPECIAL January 7, 2010

Happy New Year to Charlie and ALL KINDSA GIRLS!!!

All Kindsa Girls- The Real Kids Real Kids
Jody- Silver Sun Disappear Here
My Sharona- The Knack Get the Knack
Lorraine- Durango 95 Lose Control
Belinda- Ben Folds & Nick Hornby Lonely Avenue
Keep On Knocking- The Cars Move Like This
Enola Gay- Orchestral Manoeuvres In The Dark Urgh! A Music War
Diane- Material Issue International Pop Overthrow
She Walks The Night- Matthew Sweet Modern Art
Angela- New Math Die Trying 7"
Mother Mary- Foxboro Hot Tubs Stop Drop and Roll
Christabelle- Sorrows Love Too Late
Melody- Kevin K The Best Of Kevin K - New York, New York
Ronnie- The Rubinoos Everything You Ever Wanted to Know About
*Unkind- Sloan The Double Cross
*The Summer Place- Fountains Of Wayne Sky Full Of Holes
*Adamant- The Wellingtons In Transit
*Tribute to Charlie- Cute Lepers Adventure Time
*Sorry- The Smithereens 2011
Lolene- Mad Turks Cafe Istanbul
Red- Hoehn & Duren Blue Orange
Jesamine- Squire Big Smashes
Poison Flower- Urge Overkill Rock & Roll Submarine
Glendora- The Slickee Boys Gotta Tell Me Why 7"
Stella- Ida Maria Fortress Round My Heart
Mary Annette- Doug Powell Four Seasons
Paula- The Golden Horde The Golden Horde
Wicked Annabella- The Kinks Are The Village Green Preservation Society
Dolly- The Lyres On Fyre
Dianalee- Nerf Herder IV
52 Girls- The B-52's The B-52's

*SacroSet: My Top 5 Albums of 2011

The first show of the new year is my DEDICATION SPECIAL where I play all the dedication songs from the previous twelve months. I also highlight what I think are the best releases from the prior year. All in all, 2011 was a pretty good year for Power Pop. New LP's by old friends from the 70's (The Cars), 80's (The Smithereens, Urge Overkill) and 90's (Sloan, Fountains Of Wayne, Matthew Sweet) joined upstarts from the 2000's (Cute Lepers, Wellingtons) on the ALL KINDSA GIRLS playlist. Since I initially envisioned the show would be centered in the late 70's/early 80's, all this new music is a huge bonus.

It's funny how getting older changes your perspective on things. When I was in college I remember railing against the Rolling Stones for refusing to get out of the way and make room for new rock & roll bands. Now, I'm heralding a 2011 release by The Cars, led by 62 year old Ric Ocasek. Furthermore, I share the sentiment the Cute Lepers' express in "Tribute To Charlie" from tonight's SacroSet. The song is an ode to the great Charlie Harper. Just to clarify, they are NOT talking about the character "Charlie Harper" played by Charlie Sheen on the TV show Two And A Half Men (who lived and died a douchebag). They are talking about Charlie Harper, lead singer of British punk band UK Subs, pictured above. He is 67 years old and has been singing with the group for 36 years!

Charlie Harper was the first person I ever interviewed for WERS, my college radio station. We met backstage at a club called Spit on Lansdowne Street in Boston. The person at the station who set up the interview told me to expect the drummer or, at best, UK Subs guitarist Nicky Garratt. Needless to say, I was very impressed to see lead singer Charlie Harper walk into the room. More than a little nervous, I stumbled through the first few questions while Charlie did his best to put me at ease. It ended up being a pretty good interview- he even turned me on to Hanoi Rocks, described as "a gay heavy metal group from Finland," a band I grew to love. (For the record, I don't think the guys in Hanoi Rocks are gay but I once personally witnessed lead singer Mike Monroe and guitarist Andy McCoy's sharing of a microphone devolve into a big sloppy tongue kiss. The look of shock and disgust on my girlfriend Sue's face was just priceless...) Anyway, my "over 40's get off the stage" tune has changed since college and I'm in full agreement with the Cute Lepers "Tribute To Charlie" when they sing:

Most of my heroes will die rockers
I know Charlie Harper will die a rocker!

This is not just talk on my part as I still strap on the guitar myself a few times a year as a member of The Dadz. In fact, my profile picture comes from the first Dadz show:
That show is a great story that I'll get to in a future post.

I've been putting together year end lists of my Top 5 movies, albums, TV shows, etc. since 1999. If you're interested in past selections you can check out the blog Rick's Top 5 Lists Along with the five albums in tonight's SacroSet, my 2011 Top 5's include:


Win Win (wrestling with your demons, literally)

Crazy Stupid Love (title says it all)

The Guard (Irish Independent)

Hugo (cinephilia)

Higher Ground (the miracle of faith)


Attack The Block (aliens vs. outsiders)

Beginners (we all get a do-over)

Together “Tilsammans” (Swedish fishbowl)

The Battle of Algiers (modern warfare in 1966)

Dogtooth “Kynodontas” (alternative child rearing techniques)


Sloan- The Double Cross (XX marks the spot)

Fountains Of Wayne- Sky Full Of Holes (a return to form)

The Wellingtons- In Transit (Power Pop Lives…in Australia!)

Cute Lepers- Adventure Time (Mr. Nix’s opus)

The Smithereens- 2011 (New Jersey’s finest)


A Visit From The Goon Squad- Jennifer Egan (Nobody beats the goon)

The Perks Of Being A Wallflower- Stephen Chbosky (Charlie says…)

The Hunger Games Trilogy- Suzanne Collins (May the odds be ever in your favor)

The Lonely Polygamist- Brady Udall (Mo marriages, mo problems)

Pygmy- Chuck Palahniuk (nobody writes like Chuck)


American Horror Story (the house always wins)

Treme: Season 1 (a dead city rises)

Happy Endings (Chicago’s finest)

Justified: Season 1 (Harlan County Confidential)

Louie (brutal/hilarious honesty)

Feel free to comment with Top 5's of your own- I'm always looking for material for next year's list! You could also post a comment over on my facebook page.

You can download tonight's show by clicking the links below (right click and "Save Target As"):
Hour 1
Hour 2

Sunday, January 1, 2012

Show #70 CHRISTMAS CRUSH December 17, 2011

Merry Christmas Carol!!!

- Cleaners From Venus The Stopping Train

Xmastime Again- The Pointed Sticks Xmastime Again
Waiting For Christmas- Adventures Of Jet Electric Ornaments: An Idol Records Christmas Collection
Christmas, Bring Us -The Grip Weeds HiFi Christmas Pty 2
I Want A Guitar For Christmas- Kenny Howes Xmas With Coffee Robots
All I Ever Want (Under The Christmas Tree)- The Cute Lepers A Blackheart Christmas
Christmas Morning- Jim Babjak's Buzzed Meg Christmas Songs
It's Always Christmas At My House- Huntingtons Santa Claus & The Power Pop Criminals
^Father Christmas- The Kinks Father Christmas 7"
December 25th- Desmond Reed Xmas Redux Three
Xmas Song- Rash Of Stabbings Xmas Song
She Feels Like Christmas Day- The Critics Yuletunes
Merry Xmas Everybody- Slade Merry Christmas Everybody
Underneath The Christmas Tree- Bill Lloyd Yuletunes
*Xmas Time (It Sure Doesn't Feel Like It)- The Dogmatics A Midnight Christmas Mess
*Christmastime Here (Could Never Be Like That)- Wednesday Week A Midnight Christmas Mess
*Merry Christmas- Plan 9 A Midnight Christmas Mess
*Christmas Dance- Johnny Rabb A Midnight Christmas Mess
Christmas Vacation- Descendents I Don't Wanna Grow Up
All The Right Reasons- Dressy Bessy Little Music
Holiday Spirit- The dB's Christmas Time
Everything's Gonna Be Cool This Christmas- Eels Useless Trinkets...
Join Us For Christmas- AlternativA A Night In Starlight
Joseph, Who Understood- The New Pornographers The Spirit Of Giving
>She's Coming Home- The Wailers Merry Christmas
Christmas On The Beach- Irene Swedesplease Christmas Mix
The Elf Song- The Vacancies A Blackheart Christmas
Christmas With You- The Spring Collection Santa Claus and The Power Pop Criminals
The Christmas That Almost Wasn't- Osaka Popstar Osaka Popstar and The American Legends of Punk
Christmas In New York- Kyf Brewer It's About Christmas
Christmas Is My Favorite Time- The Malibus Keep An Eye On...
The Christmas Wish- Kermit The Frog A Christmas Together

^Power Pop Peak: 1977 (Didn't chart but I remember hearing it on rock radio)

*SacroSet: A Midnight Christmas Mess

>Power Pop Prototype: 1965

Here's a cool thing- type "rock and roll Santa" into Google images and you'll have a wide variety of pictures and clip art to choose from. It was a tough choice, but I went with the picture above because there's something about the way he's positioned his back leg that I find hilarious.

I'm lucky that Christmas has always been a happy time in my life. When I was a kid my dad would drive the family to Boston to see Santa. We'd park in the garage under Boston Common and step out of the elevator into a Christmas wonderland- it seemed like every tree was festooned with a thousand lights. From the Common it was a short walk to the Jordan Marsh department store. My mother told me that the "real" Santa was at Jordan Marsh and all the others were "helpers." The line to see Santa seemed endless but we were patient because there was so much to see in his Enchanted Village.

You'd get your first taste of the Enchanted Village in the display windows outside. Each window featured a tableau of moving figures in some winter or Christmas activity. This was nothing compared to the larger Enchanted Village on the sixth floor of the store. It was a walk through this magical old-timey town all done up for Christmas.

Like a lot of kids, I was initially freaked out by the people in the Enchanted Village, especially the children. Yet, I think this initial fear only added to their allure later on because I still remember several scenes today. The ceiling lit like a starry night sky also made a lasting impression. (Interestingly, I have no memory of the "eight set Lionel electric train display" mentioned in Wikipedia.)

The Enchanted Village closed in 1972, when I was eight years old so it's amazing that I remember anything about it. Macy's, which bought Jordan Marsh, Filene's and seemingly every other department store in America, resurrected the Enchanted Village for a few years in the 90's before the city took it over. It now resides at the Jordan's Furniture store in Avon, which I find ironic because for years Barry and Elliott of Jordan's ended their radio commercials with "not to be confused with Jordan Marsh."

This is my third Christmas radio show, the second named "The All Kindsa Girls Christmas Crush." In the past I've tried to stick mostly to positive Christmas songs but this year I decided I would open it up to darker music. This decision lead to the selection of Midnight Records' A Midnight Christmas Mess for tonight's SacroSet. I used to love going to the Midnight Records store on West 23rd Street in New York City, right across the street from the Chelsea Hotel. The store opened in 1978 and was owned by this French guy named J.D. He sold all kinds of underground rock and roll, but specialized in psychedelic and garage rock, stocking a lot of European imports you couldn't get anywhere else. The store's success lead to a record label and the 1984 album A Midnight Christmas Mess.

Maybe it's a New York thing, but a lot of the songs on the record are pretty bleak, from LA group Wednesday Week's yearning for a New York City Christmas to Plan 9's lament about homeless old people and hungry children. My favorite song on the record is Boston band The Dogmatics' "Xmas Time (It Sure Doesn't Feel Like It):"

It's the 20th of December
The rain is coming down
Kenmore Square's deserted nowThe college kids have left town
And it sure don't feel Christmas time

It sure doesn't feel like Christmas time

Down in Filene's Basement

I'm shopping for a friend
A holiday is nothing

If you have no money to spend

And it sure don't feel Christmas time

It sure doesn't feel like Christmas time

Standing in front of the Pine Street

You got nowhere to go

Your standing there on the sidewalk

Your feet are getting cold

And it sure don't feel Christmas time

It sure doesn't feel like Christmas time

The Christmas lights on The Common

They don't look so pretty to me
There's no such thing as peace on earth

Peace and harmony

And it sure don't feel Christmas time

It sure doesn't feel like Christmas time
Oh no....

Growing older you realize that Christmas is a hard time for a lot of people and this song brings the point home. The line about "standing in front of the Pine Street" really gets me. The Pine Street Inn is the oldest homeless shelter in Boston. Since 1980 it has occupied the old central fire station, an iconic piece of Boston architecture thanks to a 156 foot tower that looks like a medieval castle and is clearly visible from Rt. 93, the main road to the south. Whenever I'm in town the Inn tower reminds me that while a lot of people are suffering, there are also people who've made it their life's work to help.

Here's wishing you an Enchanted Village Christmas along with hope for a better tomorrow to those having a Pine Street Inn Christmas.

Download link for this week's show is below (Right click and "Save Target As:"