Sunday, June 17, 2012

Show #80 June 2, 2012

Dedicated to Maya... and all dog lovers!
Maya- The Weed Bros The Weed Bros 
Every Dog- London Reboot 
Gimme Back My Dog- Slobberbone Everything You Thought Was Right Was Wrong Today 
Bird Doggin'- Dogs Legendary Lovers 
Gonna Buy Me A Dog- The Monkees Listen To The Band
Your Dogs- Ben Folds and Nick Hornby Lonely Avenue
She's A Dog- Simply Saucer She's A Dog 45
Dogs Are Everywhere- Pulp Dogs Are Everywhere 
^Shannon- Henry Gross Shannon 7"
Rabies (From The Dogs Of Love)- The 101'ers Elgin Avenue Breakdown Revisited 
Since You Got A Dog- Chixdiggit! Safeways Here We Come
Do The Dog- The Specials Specials 
Dogs Of War- The Sensational Alex Harvey Band The Best Of
The Dogs- Sloan Parallel Play
Hair of the Dog- The Ramones Animal Boy
Walkin' The Dog- The Neighborhoods The Last Rat
Jealous Dogs- The Pretenders Pretenders II
Walk My Dog- The Boys Punk Rock Rarities
She Wants A Puppy, She'll Have A Puppy- Silver Sun Disappear Here 
Two Headed Dog [Red Temple Prayer]- Roky Erickson and the Aliens The Evil One 
Quiche Lorraine- The B-52's Wild Planet
Get Your Woofing Dog Off Me- Jerks s/t 7"
Doghouse- The Creepshow Sell Your Soul  
>I Wanna Be Your Dog- The Stooges The Stooges
Doghouse- Descendents Everything Sucks 
Dog Eat Dog- Adam and The Ants Dog Eat Dog 
Give A Dog A Bone- Sham 69 You're A Better Man Than I 45
My Dog Was Lost But Now He's Found- The Fiery Furnaces Blueberry Boat
Dog`s Life- Eels B-Sides and Rarities
Maya- The Church Forget Yourself 

^Power Pop Peak:  #23 Billboard Hot 100 3/22/80

>Power Pop Prototype:  1969 

We always had dogs when I was growing up in Massachusetts yet once I had a family of my own I held out for years on getting a dog.  For me, it came down to four things:  sh*t, p*ss, puke and hair.  By the time my daughter Nica was out of diapers I was looking forward to my return to a  sh*t and p*ss-free existence and I saw no reason to go back.  As for puke, to this day I have a multi-year no vomit streak going that I am quite proud of and (knock wood) the kid's days of Exorcist-like stomach flu are a thing of the past.  (Now the hair, well living with a woman, you've just got to make peace with that one as I did years ago.)

Anyway, I held firm until the Fall of 2002 when a friend of a friend was looking for a new home for her adult dog and Jaime convinced me to drive down to Fairfax in Marin County with the kids to "just check it out."  Due to a job change and kids in high school sports, this woman's dog, named Naiya, was being left alone all day and kept sneaking out to visit a convalescent hospital down the street.  I was under the impression that we were going to "meet" Naiya and maybe bring her home for a few days to "see how it goes."  Of course as soon as the kids saw her, it was all over.  As I'm putting the dog's bowls, brushes, leashes and bed into the back of our station wagon I started to realize that I was being had.  The funny thing was, I tried to put the dog into the back of the car as well but as soon as I let go of her collar she jumped into the back seat, which Jack and Nica thought was hilarious.  I wasn't sure it was a good idea to pack the dog in with the kids after just meeting them, so I brought Maya around and up into the back again, where she promptly vaulted the seat to be with the kids.  That time I just went with it. 

We had told Jack he could name the dog as his birthday was coming up.  I was a little worried about confusing Naiya with a new name like Luke Skywalker, Shrek or Ace Frehley (my sister Sarah gave me a set of Kiss dolls for Christmas the previous year and Jack loved playing with them).  It was a relief then when he chose Maya and Nica contributed the middle name Leah.  So Naiya became Maya and I'm no dog psychologist but she didn't seem to suffer any identity crises.  We learned that first day in Fairfax that Maya was not like other dogs. She wouldn't fetch, swim, sit up, beg or roll over on command- she only wanted to be with us.

I had started running a year earlier and the woman in Marin assured me that the dog loved jogging.  I don't know if "love" is the right word, but Maya would jog with me, though never in front.  We had one of those extending leashes and Maya chose to trot about ten feet behind me.  Of course to passersby this looked like I was dragging the poor dog up and down the bike path (though if there was ever a squirrel on the path you better believe Maya got out front fast.)  I'd respond to their nasty looks with an out of breath "she's got four legs, I've only got two" but I could tell they still thought I was a monster.  Maya was proud like that- like  how when kids would try to get her to fetch; they'd toss the ball, it would bounce of her chest and she'd look straight at them with a look that said "As If!"   It was the same way when we caught her trying to steal something out of the trash or eat food off the dirty dishes in the dishwasher.  I'd say "Maya you're better than that" and her shoulders would slump while she slunk away, trying to avoid looking me in the eye.

The only time Maya ever got aggressive was when there was a dog bone involved.  That first Christmas we got her a bone and three year old Nica got nipped trying to take it away.  I'll never forget the look of shame on Maya's face afterward.  The next time someone brought her a bone she calmly picked it up, took it out in the back yard and buried it.  Maya knew her limits -bones were her canine crack- you could almost see her saying, "thanks for the bone, but I just can't handle this stuff so I'm going to get it out of here right now."

Maya has been a fixture in our life for ten years and she has never asked more than to be with us.  In the last few years we started to let her lay out under a tree in our front yard.  She'd stay there for hours just watching what was going on in the neighborhood.  Jaime called her "Ferdinand The Bull" because she liked to "sit just quietly and smell the flowers."

We'd noticed Maya getting older of course but she really started to decline in the last month or so.  Our vet Rhonda was great, she laid out our options and when things hadn't gotten any better after a week of treatment, we took Maya back in one last time.  I'll never forget how strong Nica was in those last few minutes of her beloved dog's life, even catching Maya's last breath.  I was in awe of my daughter at that moment.

Sure there were a few heinous hours blotting diarrhea out of white berber carpet, and one year that same carpet looked like a crazed game of Twister with only yellow spaces, but that's nothing compared with all the joy Maya gave us over the years.  She was truly the B.D.E.- the Best Dog Ever.

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

Sunday, June 3, 2012

Show #79 May 19, 2012

For Sandy and the Trainspotters....

Sandy- Popsicle Laquer
Freeze- Motors 1
No Reason Why- Farrah Cut Out And Keep
Inside Doubt- Bonnie Hayes Good Clean Fun
All I Want- Blue Ash No More No Less
Love It When You Call- The Feeling Twelve Stop And Home
Five to Nine- The Blisters Storch 7"
One Way St.- The Aces One Way St. 7"
^Train in Vain (Stand by Me)- The Clash London Calling
Soul In A Box- Jakpak Soul In A Box 7"
Young Guy- The Eat Scattered Wahoo Action Cassette
Nice n Neat- The Boomtown Rats The Fine Art Of Surfacing
The Heat- Tommy Hoehn Losing You to Sleep
Your Number Is My Number- 999 999
*Trains- The Vapors Anthology
*I Wish I Was a Train- The Popes Hi We're The Popes
*Black Train- The Gun Club Fire Of Love
*Girl On A Train- Squire Big Smashes
Mr Menage a Trois- Hawaii Mud Bombers Mondo Primo
Our Money- Dig Dig Dig Shake Some Action Vol 8 (UK/Ireland)
Fun City- Tuff Darts! Tuff Darts!
Love's Lost on You- The Grip Weeds Infinite Soul: The Best of the Grip Weeds
(The Angels Wanna Wear My) Red Shoes- Elvis Costello My Aim Is True
She Said- Tweezers Already!
>Last Of The Steam Powered Trains- The Kinks The Village Green Preservation Society
Can't Stand It- Wilco Summerteeth
Shake It And Dance- Hilly Michaels Calling All Girls
Society- The Zeros 4-3-2-1-The Zeros
Choo Choo- Train The Box Tops Soul Deep: The Best Of The Box Tops
Train Round The Bend (Alternate Mix)- The Velvet Underground Loaded

^Power Pop Prototype:

*SacroSet:  Train Songs

>Power Pop Prototype: 1968

One of the things I miss since moving to California is travel by train.  In the Boston area you can get from just about anywhere to just about anywhere on the "T," the Mass Bay Transit Authority.  I've written before about the Braintree Red Line Stop opening up the city's record stores for Cousin Rich and I.  Stay on the Red Line to what at that time was the end and you're in Harvard Square or switch to the Green Line at Park Street for a trip to Newbury Street and Kenmore Square.  By the time I moved to Boston for college I already felt it was "my" city, thanks to all those trips into town on the T.

In all those years, I was never hassled riding the train, even the dreaded Orange Line.  In fact, my friend Frank is the only person I know personally who had a problem on the T.  I wasn't on this trip but the story goes that Frank was sitting on the Red Line stopped at one of the Quincy stations when, just as the doors were closing, this kid punched him in the face and jumped off the train.  Frank ended up with two black eyes and a good reason to never again sit beside the train door.  I later heard that he had a pair of drum sticks and had been serenading everyone in the car with Elvis Costello's greatest (drum) hits on seats, railings, etc., but I don't have corroboration on this.  As trying as the drum stick thing can be, a punch in the face is a HUGE overreaction.

In college I discovered the Amtrak train to New York City.  Four hours out of South Station in Boston gets you to New York's Penn Station.  It was cheap in those days too.  Even at today's prices it's a lot easier to take the train than drive.  I've driven to New York several times and it rarely ends well.  From a break-in on the Lower East Side to getting towed in Chelsea and spending a day in the Kafka-esque nightmare that is the police impound lot, in the aptly named Hell's Kitchen.  On a trip to NYC it's best to leave the car at home.  And don't get me started on parking.  On one trip Jaime and I wanted to go the Museum of Radio and Television so I parked the car in a mid-town lot.  We were in a hurry so I didn't check the rates- I was on a quest and parking seemed inconsequential.  Of the many things I was hoping to see that day, my personal "holy grails" were:

Ultraman- I loved this show so hard when I was a kid!
The Clash on Fridays- crappy show but  one of my all-time favorite musical performances on TV

Thunderbirds- I was so young when I saw this show that memories of it are like a surreal dream....

Kiss on The Paul Lynde Halloween Special- talk about surreal- along with  proto-queen Lynde and Mssrs. Simmons, Stanley, Frehley and Criss, the show featured Witchiepoo from H.R. Puffenstuff, Tim Conway and Florence Henderson!

The final episode of The Prisoner. This show is a complete mindf**k and I'd never seen the last episode- not that I would have understood any of it.

The funny thing is all of the above can now be accessed in seconds on youtube.  These kids today don't know how good they have it!

Unfortunately The Museum Of Radio and Television was pretty lame at that time.  We had pictured a long hallway of private viewing booths and a huge library of videos that we could comb through ourselves.  Turns out there were five or six booths and they wanted you to send in ahead of time for the videos you wanted to watch.  After an hour of waiting for a booth we gave up and went back to get the car which had racked up about $50 in parking fees.  That's what Jaime and I called "getting New Yorked."  Like the aforementioned towing of our car or when you get to the club at 11pm and find out the headlining band is going on at 2am.  I love that city but you have to take the good with the bad.  Certain trips were like an effortless dream- you're heading downtown hitting all the lights on 6th Avenue and can't believe you're doing 60 miles an hour through one of the most populous cities in the world.  Yet on other trips it can be a slog through molasses- like watching an endless display of traffic light cycles as you sit in a crosstown cab driven by some dude of indeterminate ethnicity who, perhaps for religious reasons, hasn't bathed in four months.

So after the Museum of Radio and Television debacle it was train travel only for us.  Despite all the scary stories I'd heard about the New York subway, I've never had a problem.  In fact, those air conditioned subway cars saved my life a few times.  (Since moving to Northern California I become constitutionally incapacitated by high humidity and a subway platform during a heat wave is a uniquely brutal hellscape).  Admittedly, you've got the crosstown problem with the subway but I'm usually going up or downtown and you can always choose to hoof it with a transfer at 14th St- preferably not during a heat wave.

I expected to take advantage of the train system when I moved to San Francisco but in two years, I rode Muni twice and never once rode BART.  Muni never seemed to go anywhere I needed to get to and BART is for commuters from Concord or suburban punks from Walnut Creek who want to come in on the weekend to spare change on Market Street.  The Bay Area train systems are no comparison to the T in Boston or the NYC subway.  Both those cities are older than San Francisco so I don't know what the problem is.  Maybe it was the same evil cabal of oil companies, car manufacturers and the like that kept the subway out of LA all those years ago.  In any case, I really do miss those trains back east...

Use the links below to download this week's show (Right click and "Save Link As":
Hour 1
Hour 2