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