Sunday, February 3, 2013

Show #93 January 19, 2012

[NOTE:  This post is from an earlier era, before we realized Bill Cosby is a monster.]

Tonight's all about Amanda!

Amanda- Green Day ¡Tré!
Can't Get Through- The Tearaways Ground's the Limit 
You Won't Break My Heart- The Nomads Solna 
I Love The Way You Touch- The Rubinoos Everything You Ever Wanted to Know About 
What In the World?- The Cavedogs Joy Rides for Shut-Ins 
Forget the Chef- Big Dipper Crashes On The Platinum Planet 
Got the Time- Joe Jackson Look Sharp! 
What Can I Do- The Late Show Portable Pop 
^She- Southcote She 
Youth Coup- Holly and the Italians The Right to Be Italian 
Out Of My Head- The Producers Coelacanth 
Don't Ask Me- OK Go OK Go
Diamonds- The Damned So, Who's Paranoid? 
Lovers Of Today- The Only Ones Special View 
*She- Hoodoo Gurus Mars Needs Guitars! 
*She- The Taxi Boys The Taxi Boys 
*She- Popsicle Laquer 
*She- Green Day Dookie
*She- Kiss Dressed to Kill 
Keep Believing- Bob Mould Silver Age
(It's Gonna Be) A Heartbreaker- The Cryers The Cryers
Maybe Tomorrow- The Chords This Is What Thay Want 
Candypants- The Dahlmanns All Dahled Up
Bring Back The One I Love- The Smithereens 2011 
Best of Intentions- Happy Hate Me Nots Out
>She- The Monkees Listen To The Band
Five Minutes In A Hero's Life- The A's The A's
No Answers- The Proof It's Safe 
Back In The Middle- Pezband Cover To Cover
Smart Boys- The Starjets God Bless The Starjets
She Rocks Me- Graham Parker and The Rumour Three Chords Good 

^Power Pop Prototype:  #80 Billboard Hot 100 3/9/74

*SacroSet:  "She" Songs

>Power Pop Prototype:  1968

Like most kids, the first records I ever listened to belonged to my parents.  They had a laissez-faire attitude about their albums- my sister Sarah and I could do what we wanted with them.  (Just to be clear, my kids have never even touched one of my records and that's just the way I like it.)  I don't remember my dad having any music albums, though he did have several comedy records, my favorite being Revenge by Bill Cosby (see above).  I memorized the title track "Revenge," a story about Bill's plot to get Junior Barnes for pelting him with a slush ball.  Bill makes a perfect snowball, hides it in the freezer and spends the next four months befriending Barnes, doing things like "letting him take a sip out of my soda bottle and not even wiping it off after."  Then, on a fateful spring day Bill and Junior Barnes are sitting on his front steps and Bill goes inside to get the snowball, only to find his mother has thrown it away.  What follows is one of my all-time favorite punch lines- Bill says "so I went outside and I spit on him."  I performed the entire bit for some neighborhood kids, who didn't find it nearly as funny as I did although I suppose it's possible that at eight years old I lacked the comic chops of an in-his-prime Bill Cosby.  My grandparents were a much more receptive audience- though I can only imagine what it was like for them watching their white Boston Irish Catholic grandson imitate Junior Barnes' black Philly ghetto accent.

Another of my father's records was a very bizarre album called Why Not! by Dayton Allen, who got his start on his brother Steve's TV show.  It was a very silly record but Dad and I loved it.  I couldn't get my friends to listen to it for more than a minute but as I write this I'm smiling just thinking about his signature catch phrase "Why Not!"  Further confirming Dayton Allen's genius, I later learned that he went on to voice Heckle and Jeckle, Lancelot Link Secret Chimp and ....wait for it.... Deputy Dawg!!  So there you go you “Dayton is Steve’s untalented brother” doubters.  

One Christmas several years later I got a chance to pay my father back for all those hours I spent enjoying his comedy records.  That fall a neighborhood kid named Steven invited a few of us over to his house- for what he wouldn't say, it was very hush hush and his parents weren't home.  After
getting us to promise that we would not tell on him he pulled out one of his older sister Kim's albums with a cover photo of a hippie in jeans and an open shirt making a stupid face.  I probably made some music snob remark about hippies but he just smiled and put the record on.   And my mind was blown!  You see what I was listening to was George Carlin's Class Clown album featuring his infamous "Seven Words You Can Never Say On Television." I couldn't believe how shocking, funny and smart it was.  When I went to the record store to buy Class Clown for my father that Christmas I saw that Carlin had just released a greatest hits album called Indecent
so I went with that instead.  Dad spent Christmas afternoon listening to it in the family room (on headphones of course- Mum wouldn't have approved of "the language") and howling with laughter.  We couldn't hear any of what he was listening to, only his laughter getting louder and louder.  It was awesome!

My Mom’s records leaned more towards folk music and some early rock and roll.  She had a few albums by a folk singer named Josh White.  Turns out he was an early civil rights activist and according to Wikipedia "the closest African-American friend and confidant to president Franklin D. Roosevelt."  All right Mum!  One of the things that proves how right my parents were for each other is that mixed in among her "serious" folk and 50's rock records were two albums by Allan Sherman, the folk/comedy singer of "Hello Muddah, Hello Faddah" fame.  I found the Sherman records corny though she had two albums by satarist/pianist/mathemetician Tom Lehrer that I remember liking.  I'm sure I understood only a little of what he was singing but the way he sang struck me as hilarious.  

I tried listening to Josh White, but that's just not the type of music that appeals to a nine year old.  Much more up my alley were her Elvis albums, especially his first.  I remember listening to the songs "Tutti Frutti" and "Money Honey" over and over.  That was an attitude I could relate to! To my ears, Elvis' singing sounded like he was trying REALLY hard not to explode and that tension was exciting to hear.  Staring at the record cover I'd think, "well he finally did explode, right when this picture was taken!"  There is a freedom in this photo that for me is a big part of what rock and roll is all about. Needless to say, I was thrilled years later when on a snowy December day Cousin Rich and I scored our import copies of The Clash's London Calling at the Strawberries in Harvard Square.  The cover took me right back to listening to my mother's Elvis LP!   Completing the circle, London Calling is my favorite album of all-time.

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