Monday, May 21, 2012

Show #78 May 5, 2012

Lucille please come back where you belong!

Lucille- The Didjits Hey Judester/Fizzjob
Tonight- The Take The Take 7"
Gonna Be a Rockstar- Happiness Factor Self Improvement?
Loving Touch -The New Romans Jenny 7"
Love Like Her- Candy Butchers Candy Butchers aka The Blue Thumb Album
I'll Never Be the Same Again- The Singles Better Than Before
Lover's Rock- The Clash London Calling
Waiting- The Rooks Encore Echoes
^Ain't That a Shame- Cheap Trick At Budokan
Rock 'n' Roll Boys Rock 'n' Roll Girls- Stoneage Hearts Guilty As Sin 
Looking Glass- LMNOP Numbles 
The King Is Half-Undressed- Jellyfish Bellybutton
Quick Turns- Off Broadway Quick Turns
Don't Tell Me It's Wrong- The Fevers Love Always Wins
*Yummy Yummy Yummy- Rudi Big Time
*Pictures of Matchstick Men- The Slickee Boys Cybernetic Dreams of Pi 
*Midnight Confessions- The Fastbacks ...And His Orchestra 
*You Were On My Mind- The Vacant Lot ...Because They Can 
Shakin'- Rooney Rooney 
Jellybaby- The Adicts Smart Alex
Call On Me- Tommy Keene Songs From The Film
Modern Swinger- Pink Spiders Teenage Graffitti 
Congratulations, My Darling- Eugene Edwards My Favorite Revolution 
I Must Not Think Bad Thoughts- X More Fun in the New World 
>Back In The U.S.A.- MC5 Back In The U.S.A.
Financial Disaster (It's Only Money)- Screams Screams 
Don't Call My Name Anymore- States Mondo Montage
Down in Your Dreams- The Orange Humble Band Assorted Creams 
It Was Different When We Were Children- The Vertex Tonight The Sky Will Be Ours EP 
Back To Paradise- .38 Special The Very Best Of The A and M Years
Fools- Newtown Neurotics Newtown Neurotics Punk Collection
Something Happened- Cosmetics Guilt 45
Can't Seem To Make You Mine- Alex Chilton Top 30

^Power Pop Peak:  #35 Billboard Hot 100 8/4/79

*SacroSet:  Power Pop Cover Songs

>Power Pop Prototype:  1970

Like most groups, my first band started out playing covers.  The thing is, it takes a level of musical proficiency to play other people's music, even when the set list sticks to pretty simple punk rock songs.  My first band was called The Acoustics- a very New Wave name for mostly "sub-punk" talents.  The key to the band was a guitarist named Mike who went to Duxbury High with us and worked with me at Angelo's supermarket.  He knew how to play the guitar and was musically open minded.  I don't think Mike had heard much punk rock before we played it for him yet not only did he like it, he could also figure out how to play the songs on guitar.  Ted the bass player and Frank the drummer had been in a band called Nuclear Apathy that played original material (which gave them immediate cred in my book)  but seemed to have run its course.  Ted asked me to come over to his house after school one day and my lead singer career began.  It certainly wasn't a question of vocal talent- I was just the only one with cojones enough to do it.

My friend Paul played a little guitar and ended up joining the band as well.  This began a major transition for me as I went from being best friends with Paul, which meant getting hammered every Friday and Saturday night, to starting a friendship with Ted and Frank who at that time didn't drink at all.  This mirrors a transition in my music tastes; in a two year period my favorite bands had gone from AC/DC, Rush and Kiss to The Clash, The Ramones and The Real Kids.  Anyway, we'd lend Mike the guitarist albums and he'd choose songs to learn.  Our
early setlist included "Clash City Rockers" and "Brand New Cadillac" by The Clash, "Submission" by The Sex Pistols, The Ramones' "Commando" and The Lurkers' "Total War."  We played our first show in the Spring of 1981- a backyard party at our
friend Lance's house.  I'd been listening to a good deal of hardcore at the time and it showed in my vocal "stylings."  While Joe Strummer starts "Brand New Cadillac" with a very cool low key "" I chose to scream the words at the top of my lungs.  Cousin Rich taped the performance and 30 years later I am still teased about it.  Gina, my girlfriend at the time, was a classically trained pianist and after the show she asked:

"Why are you so angry and why do you have that scary look on your face when you 'sing?'" 

(The air quotes were clearly implied in her tone- and this girl liked me!)  All I can say is:  blame Dez Cadena of Black Flag and Keith Morris of the Circle Jerks- it's their fault.
Greg, Dez and Chuck of Black Flag

The original Acoustics only played that one party after which Paul left to go back to his besotted weekend antics.  Lance's drum teacher had a talent show in Quincy that we were invited to play which is when I started pushing for a name change.  The Acoustics then became....wait for it....THE DYKES!  (My parents had one of those personalized wood burned signs made for me that summer with the name of the band flanked by two circle-A anarchy symbols... how awesome is that!)  Arriving at the drum school show in our punk rock attire (I was wearing wrap glasses and a cool tuxedo I'd just found at the Duxbury Thrift Shop) we were greeted by what looked like a southern rock convention.  Long hair, beards, big ass belt buckles- and they did not care for us one bit.  I'm pretty sure I heard this Latino dude rocking overalls and a Meximullet (Mullatino? in any case, see example) call me "faggot."  My favorite part of the show was at the end of my vocal part on our closing number, I flashed a pair of British V signs, screamed "ANARCHY" at the top of my lungs, jumped off the stage and ran full speed through the audience and out the back of the theater.  (God I was insufferable in those days- seriously, why did anyone suffer me?)  It was a memorable show, though needless to say we did not place in the talent competition.  I think the winners did a note for note re-creation of the live version of "Freebird," with a guitarist (yep, it was Meximullet) wailing away the final five minutes of the song on his knees with an array of facial
Ooh it hurts!!!
expressions straight out of a 70's porno movie.  I'm not kidding, this guy would give 70's Neal Schon of Journey a run for his money in "guitar face" wankery.  And that's  saying something because Schon is one of the rudest dudes to ever desecrate a Les Paul.

The Dykes only played one other show, then Mike left for a reason I can't remember.  Yet, not being in a band did not deter Frank, Ted and I from participating in numerous photo sessions.  This photo was taken at the legendary Paragon Park on Nantasket Beach in lovely Hull, Mass.  In fact this was the night Frank took my high school yearbook photo.  (I can assure you that while my hair does exhibit mullet-like qualities, it was short in the back-- that's my story and I'm sticking to it.)
 Frank, Ted, Rick

Our friend Jim was in Nuclear Apathy but skipped the Acoustics/Dykes, putting that time to good use by actually learning to play the guitar.  He was also present at several photo sessions.  I believe this photo confirms my aforementioned "no mullet" defense.  This was the same day Frank took Ted's yearbook photo, which was an homage to Elvis Costello's Trust album cover.  Someday I'll scan both Ted's and my own yearbook pictures- they certainly didn't look like anybody else's in the Duxbury High School Class of 1982 ('82- Can Do!).
 Ted, Jim, Frank, Rick

After high school Ted joined the Army, moved to New Mexico and got married so I didn't get to play in a band with him again.  Pete took over Ted's Bassmaster General duties and joined Jim, Frank and I in No Idea after we all moved to Boston for college.

I don't often give parenting advice in this blog but here's some anyway- if your boy shows limited skill and/or interest in athletics growing up GET HIM A GUITAR AS SOON AS POSSIBLE.  Want proof?  The four guys in No Idea ALL got girls to have sex with them.  I wish I could take credit for this formula myself, but it comes from The Daily Show's Earth The Book:

IQ/(bench press) x (guitar skills) = y
where y = years of virginity

It's funny because it's true.

Click this link to stream this week's show or to download, Right click and "Save Link As"

Sunday, May 6, 2012

Show #77 April 21, 2012

Dedicated to Jane and female fronted rock bands!

Jane- Jefferson Starship Jane 7"
Burned Out Love- Shoes Shoe's Best 
Iggy and Angus- Sloan Navy Blues
She Said She Loves Me- The Scientists The Scientists 
Girl From Washington- The Windbreakers Time Machine (1982-2002)
The Capitol- Visqueen Message To Garcia
Bedroom Craze- The Sighs S/T LP 
Outdoor Miner- Wire Outdoor Miner Single
^A Girl In Trouble (Is A Temporary Thing)- Romeo Void A Girl In Trouble 7"
It's Your Heart Tonight- The Secrets Titan: It's All Pop!
Just Another Teenage Anthem- New Hearts New Hearts 7"
Psychic Lighting- Free Energy Stuck on Nothing 
One More World- The Starjets God Bless Starjets
Sentimental Favorite- Owsley Owsley
*Wild- The Nuns The Nuns 
*Nothing Special- Schematix Jagged Edge 7"
*No Long Good-Byes- VKTMS 100% White Girl 7"
*The American In Me- The Avengers S/T 12"EP
*You Got It (Release It)- Pearl Harbor and The Explosions Drivin' 7" 
*I Gave My Punk Jacket To Rickie- Mary Monday I Gave My Punk Jacket To Rickie 7" 
Sneaking Kisses- Senseless Things Postcard C.V.
Black Cloud- Dipsomaniacs Freakin Eureka
Get Out And Take Your Mother With You- Airship Get Out... 7" 
Feather- Big Kid You Must Be Kidding
Everything Will Work Out In The End- Beagle Sound on Sound 
This Ain't My Time- The Barracudas Drop Out With
>Down On Me- Big Brother and The Holding Company Down On Me 7"
Grown Up Wrong- Dirty Angels Dirty Angels
Please Don't Lie- DM3 Dig it the Most
Life On The Line- Eddie And The Hot Rods The End Of The Beginning
Wait Till Next Week- The Flashcubes Bright Lights 
Somebody To Love- Jefferson Airplane Somebody To Love 7"
Never Say Never- Romeo Void The Best Of 415 Records

^Power Pop Peak:  #35 Billboard Hot 100 9/1/84

*SacroSet:  San Francisco Female Fronted Rock Bands

>Power Pop Prototype:  1967

One of the things I loved most about punk rock when I first discovered it in Junior High is that you didn't have to look like a model, be a great musician or have the latest expensive gear- if you had the guts, you could get up on stage and make noise.  Unlike Yes and Emerson Lake and Palmer fans, who I imagine felt like musical peasants, punk rock bands inspired their audience to "do it yourself."  In other words, punk gave rock and roll back to the people and that included women.  Popular music has always had its share of pretty female faces up front taking orders from a bandleader or manager.  The women in the punk and new wave bands of the late 70's and early 80's smashed this mold and if not their group's leader, were usually an integral part of the creative process.   Every major music scene of the era had at least one female fronted band:

LONDON- X Ray Spex, Penetration, The Pretenders
BOSTON- Robin Lane and The Chartbusters, The Thrills, The Maps
NEW YORK- Blondie, Patti Smith Group, Cherry Vanilla and the Staten Island Band
LOS ANGELES- X, The Motels, Joan Jett and The Blackhearts (not to mention several great all-female bands, but that's not what tonight's show is about.)

As tonight's SacroSet proves, San Francisco has all these cities beat.  Perhaps it's the legacy of Jefferson Airplane and Big Brother and The Holding Company (pictured above).   Admittedly these bands were led by guys with a female singer up front, yet Grace Slick and Janis Joplin no doubt influenced the next generation of Bay Area female lead singers:

The Nuns (Jennifer Miro)

Schematix (Jill Fido)

VKTMS (Nyna Napalm)

The Avengers (Penelope Houston)

Pearl Harbor and The Explosions
(Pearl E. Gates)

Mary Monday and The Bitches
(Mary Monday)

And one I'm kicking myself for forgetting....

Bonnie Hayes and The Wild Combo
(Bonnie Hayes)

Sadly, both Nyna Napalm (d. 2000) and Jennifer Miro (d. 2011) are no longer with us.  You may have noticed that I skipped Romeo Void, performers of tonight's Power Pop Peak "A Girl In Trouble (Is A Temporary Thing)."  That's because as forward thinking as the late 70's Bay Area female-fronted band explosion was, those nasty old "market forces," most likely in the form of a douchebag A and R guy, played a huge part in the way this band was presented to the public.  In addition to having a fantastic voice, lead singer Deborah (pronounced "de-bore-uh") Iyal is a large and lovely lady.  Contrast these Romeo Void pictures with those above, or with those of any other of female singer:

 Seriously, I could go on all day (I'm not even to page 2 of the Google image search).....

FOR GOD'S SAKE DUDES GIVE THE LADY SOME ROOM!  Romeo Void's "Never Say Never" was a sorta "hit" on WBCN in Boston in 1982 and my friend Ted was the first to buy the EP.  Yet, even when they were on indy label 415, there were NO pictures of the band in their singles, the EP or their LP It's A Condition.  Once the early photos, like the one immediately above, started to surface my friends and I could tell something was up.  Even in the video for "Never Say Never," Deborah isn't established as the singer of the band until the 1:30 mark:

I suppose I should be glad they let Deborah on screen at all or didn't stick her behind some lame scrim or filter like Elizabeth Taylor in those "White Diamonds" perfume commercials.  Still, it's pretty lame considering Deborah's vocal performance dominates the song.  Just sing "I might like you better if we slept together" and see if you don't get smiles of recognition from most people over 40, especially women.  Revolutionary sounding band, edgy/sexy lyrics- no problem  ... but a large lady up front "NO WAY!"  I'd like to think things are better for women today and maybe we've turned a corner with Adele's success.  I certainly hope so.  On the other hand, Adele is probably only a size 14 and when I asked Jaime and Nica to name another plus size pop singer from the 2000's?  Well, we'll just have to wait and see.

Download tonight's show below (Right click and "Save Link As"):