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:
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-flamer 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...
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