Thursday, April 18, 2013

Show #97 March 23, 2013

Dedicated to Courtney and those who suffered through the February 8th nor'easter!

Courtney- Nerf Herder How To Meet Girls
California Man- Cheap Trick Heaven Tonight
Dream Lovers- The Slickee Boys Uh Oh… No Breaks!
I Wonder If I'll Ever See You Again- The Leopards Shake Some Action Vol 7
Age- X-Ray Spex Germfree Adolescents
Alright Tonight- The Tories The Upside of Down
Poster Girl- Helmet Boy Helmet Boy
Look At The Girls- The Parts Look At The Girls 7"
^California- Phantom Planet California
(And) Don't Believe Your Eyes- Eddie And The Hot Rods Life On The Line
Sweet Sinsations- Lisa Mychols Sweet Sinsations
Backscratcher- Free Energy Love Sign
What Kind Of Kiss- Three Hour Tour 1969
Fighting My Way Back- Incredible Kidda Band Too Much, Too Little, Too Late
*California- Simpletones I Have A Date
*California- Low California
*California- Metro Station Metro Station
*California- Cherry Vanilla Venus D' Vinyl
*California- Lenny Kravitz Baptism
*California- The Adicts Smart Alex
*California- The Rentals First Demo
*California- The Casanovas All Night Long
Ash and Cinders- Summer Suns Greatest
Cellophane Girl- Radio Bandits Radio Bandits
Broken Hearts- The Misstakes National Pastime 
>California- Chuck Berry Rock It
Lover True- Tommy Hoehn Losing You to Sleep
Now I'm Spoken For- Yachts S.O.S Singles 1977-1981
What To Do- Future Dads 24 Winship
Billy's Third- The Undertones The Undertones
California- Quasi Featuring "Birds"

^Power Pop Peak:  #35 Billboard Hot Modern Rock Tracks 12/26/02

*SacroSet:  California Songs

>Power Pop Prototype:  1979

Back in mid-February I was out in shorts and a t-shirt walking to work along the Fryer Creek bike path on a beautiful 70 degree morning, listening to music on my iPhone and admiring the birds in the creek (a blue heron and two egrets according to a birder I met on the path) when my sister Sarah e-mailed me the photo at the top of this post.  It is a cedar tree in her back yard that has already lost its top half due to wind and heavy snow.  I grew up on Massachusetts' South Shore so I know all about storms like the one they had on February 8th of this year.  Adding insult to injury, this nor'easter came only a few weeks after Hurricane Sandy; it was a 1-2 punch that left the entire region reeling.  I remember what that was like- nearly 35 years ago to the day, on February 7, 1978, my family and I lived through the superstorm that came to be known as The Blizzard of '78.  I'll never forget my father, mother, sister and I huddling around the gas oven in our kitchen to keep warm.  We were without power for several days and the gas oven was the only appliance in the house that was working.  I was a Boston Globe paperboy at the time and I'm proud to say that delivery service was only interrupted that first day- only because they didn't get the papers out to us.  At left is the front page that never was-  Tuesday February 7, 1978.  It may have taken 3 1/2 hours the next day, but with the help of my Dad and his four wheel drive Subaru, my customers got their papers.  I have a fond recollection of hearing him laugh hysterically as I trudged up to one house, sinking up to my mid-thigh in snow every other step (apparently my right leg weighs more than my left).  I sure earned my money that day.

The Wreck of The Peter Stuyvesent February 7, 1978
Several famous images from the Blizzard of '78 are emblazoned in my memory:  cars snowed in up to their roofs on Rte. 128, waves even bigger than the one in the opening of Hawaii 5-0 slamming into houses in Scituate, students skiing in Harvard Yard.  Yet, the one I remember most is the listing, half submerged wreckage of the Peter Stuvysent in Boston Harbor.  The ship served as a banquet hall for Anthony's Pier 4, one of Boston's best known restaurants.  It looms large in my memory because my Cousin Debbie had her wedding reception there in 1970 or so.  It was the first wedding I had ever attended and I thought it was the most glamorous thing I had ever seen.  A big party on a fancy boat- what six year old wouldn't be blown away by that?  Needless to say, it was shocking to see the Peter Stuvysent looking like it had been torpedoed by a German U-Boat.
Shirtsleeves mean we're at Defcon 1!
It was also unsettling to see our governor, Michael Dukakis, in newspaper photos without a suit on.  Turns out he was at radio station WHDH in Boston when the storm hit and it became his command center where he mobilized the National Guard to help clean up after the storm.  Something about seeing him in a sweater really underscored the seriousness of the situation to me.  Huddling in front of the kitchen stove for warmth was one thing- it was kind of like camping really- but Dukakis in the sweater just screamed "we are all screwed!!"

This past February it took five days for the power to be restored at my mom's house in Duxbury. 
Walking In A (Deadly) Winter Wonderland! 
The view from Sarah's Porch
Luckily my sister in Kingston, the next town over, got through the storm without an outage and Mum was able to stay with her.  Many people weren't as fortunate; they say 405,000 people in eastern Massachusetts were without power for at least three days.  Those nor'easters are brutal and it seems like there is a least one every year.  In this context, it always makes me smile when on visits back east people will say "I could never live in California with all the __________!" (insert:  earthquakes, wildfires, floods, killer bees, Mexicans, etc.)  This brings me to the subject of this week's episode of ALL KINDSA GIRLS.  So, bike path, shorts, beautiful February day and boom!  Sarah e-mails these pictures of the pretty, yet frozen deadly hellscape that is eastern Massachusetts and I think "Thank God I live in California!"  Apparantly a lot of people feel the same way because I found ten songs called "California" and I didn't even have to look that hard.  I send tonight's dedication song out to all Courtney's everywhere but Nerf Herder are talking specifically about Courtney Love, the once hot mess who many would say is now more "mess" than "hot."

Courtney among the Dead
I think a Courtney Love dedication is perfect for a show about California.  She and I are not related of course though when my son Jack dated a girl named Courtney his freshman year we teased him that if they got married his wife would be "Courtney Love," which was a horrible thought considering the state the real Courtney Love was in at the time (see the 2005 Pamela Anderson roast on Comedy Central if you don't know what I'm talking about).  Anyway, the famous Courtney Love was born Courtney Harrison in San Francisco.  For a short time her dad managed the Grateful Dead which is how, at age five, she ended up on the back cover of the band's 1969 album Aoxomoxoa.  After her parents divorced, her mom split for New Zealand and her dad lost custody after allegedly giving young Courtney LSD.  It's pretty much a straight line from there- foster homes to juvenile halls to stripping.  It's a sad, sordid story yet in the midst of all of it she managed to travel the world, learn to play guitar and form the band Hole who in my opinion released one of the best albums of the grunge era, 1993's Live Through This.    It's criminal that songs from this record aren't on the radio alongside grunge standards by Pearl Jam, Soundgarden and Nirvana.  Courtney Love has pissed off a lot of people in the industry though so it's understandable.  There are even haters who say Love's husband Kurt Cobain masterminded the Live Through This album but I don't buy it.

After her Golden Globe nominated turn in the 1996 film The People vs. Larry  Flynt it seemed like
Woody Harrelson & Courtney Love
Courtney Love had turned a corner but since then not so much.  That is why I think she is the ideal dedicatee for this ALL KINDSA GIRLS episode about California- Courtney Love's successes and failures play out on a very public stage but provided she can get her demons under control with considerable talent and resources (all that Nirvana widow money) her best work may still be yet to come.  Just like the great state of California

I do miss my family and no doubt it is freaking expensive to live in The Golden State.  And yes, we have our share of earthquakes, wildfires and floods (I was joking earlier about the killer bees and the Mexicans were here first so I have no problem with them).  Yet,  have you seen Yosemite, Lake Tahoe, Big Sur or even Sonoma?  Well I have and I can only hope that all of you feel as blessed to live where you are as I do to live here in California.

Download this week's show below- right click and "save link as"- if they stop just pause and unpause and you should be good to go:

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