Sunday, October 20, 2013

Show #108 September 28, 2013

Tonight's about Rachel... and the BAD GIRL!

Rachel- Tommy Tutone Tommy Tutone 
Get To Know You- The Vandalias Yellow Pills Vol 1 The Best of American Pop! 
Normal Chicks- Bowling for Soup Lunch. Drunk. Love 
Not A Boy- The Rangehoods Rough Town 
Dice Behind Your Shades- Paul Westerberg 14 Songs 
Someone Who'll Treat You Right Now- The Lyres 12 Classic 45s 
Clockwork Rockwork- Panic Squad Panic Squad 12" EP 
1-2 Crush on You- The Clash Sound System Extras 
^Bad Girl- Matt Webb Bad Girl 
All Of This And More- Gobblinz Communique EP 
Radioactive- Scott Wilk + The Walls Scott Wilk + The Walls 
Still Ill- The Smiths The Sound Of The Smiths 
Feeling In The Dark- Dwight Twilley Band Sincerely 
I Just Wanna Stay Home- The Blondes Swedish Heat 
*Bad Girl- Off Broadway Quick Turns 
*Bad Girl- Cherry Vanilla Bad Girl 
*Bad Girl- The Innocents No Hit Wonders From Down-Under  
*Bad Girl- Cowboy Mouth Uh-Oh! 
High Time- The Screaming Tribesmen High Time 
Green Hearts- Luxury Yellow Pills Prefill [Disc 1] 
Clear Spot- Pernice Brothers Overcome by Happiness 
See No Evil- Television Marquee Moon 
Last Night- The Moberlys Sexteen 
Lookin'For A Hero- Elliott Murphy Nightlights 
>Bad Girl- New York Dolls Rock 'N Roll 
The Real Things- The Wild Giraffes Right Now 
Thought I Knew You- Matthew Sweet Girlfriend 
Record Store Renegade- Bankrupt Shorter Than Danny DeVito 
Holding Back- Strangeways! Powerpop! 
Stars Are Right- The Red Ball Jets Rockin' 
Lovers of Today- The Pretenders Pretenders 

^Power Pop Peak:  #53 Canadian iTunes Chart 4/20/11 (it's a stretch but fit the theme so give me a break)

*SacroSet:  Songs For The Bad Girl

>Power Pop Prototype:  1973

I guess brand extension only goes so far- after six years in business the Kiss Coffeehouse in Myrtle Beach, SC has closed its doors.  No more Kiss Army Blend or French Kiss Vanilla coffee and forget about the Kiss Frozen Rockuccino.  Perusing the menu, it looks like pretty standard coffeehouse fare though it does strike me as unfair that raging alcoholic Ace Frehley is pictured over the "Alcohol" section.  (Of course Ace is no longer in the band and his "character," called "The Spaceman," is now being "played" by Tommy Thayer.)

Kiss put out several great albums in the 70's ( my favorite being Dressed To Kill) and have always been an amazing live band.  I've been a proud member of the Kiss Army since 1976.  I consider this a lifetime membership and still have my credentials in case I ever need to prove it.

After moving to Sonoma I saw Kiss' 2000 "Farewell Tour" (yes I know they've toured several times since then, keep your ironic snicker to yourself please) at Chronicle Pavilion in Concord.  The band was every bit as good as the first time I saw them in the late 70's.  As a kid I loved that you could immerse yourself in Kiss- with other bands you had records, posters, T-shirts and that was pretty much it.  With Kiss it was those things plus lunch boxes, comic books (with actual band blood mixed into the red ink!), trading cards, board games, pinball machines, halloween costumes, etc.  One of the best Christmas presents I ever got was a full set of Kiss dolls (sorry, "action figures") that my sister Sarah gave me fifteen years ago.  Each figure's instrument doubles as a weapon- Jack and I had many hours of fun playing with them when he was little.  The figures now have a place of honor, occupying a shelf of their own in a glass display case in my Rock Room.

You can bet that virtually any item you might think of Gene Simmons has gotten their first and plastered with the Kiss logo.  According to Wikipedia, Kiss has licensed its name to more than 3000 product categories and generated more money from merchandise than any other artist in the history of music.  On a recent business trip to Florida I stopped in to an awesome record store in Orlando called Rock and Roll Heaven.  Along with several sets of Kiss action figures I came across these life size busts of Ace, Paul, Peter and Gene.  While the busts are a bust with me, I seriously considered throwing down some of my hard-earned for this:
Come on!  A 36" Destroyer-era Gene Simmons doll?!?  We've got this raised area in our living room that would be PERFECT- the first thing visitors see when they come into the house.  I seriously thought about trying to make this sale to Jaime and even had the phone in my hand, but I'm just not that good a salesman.  So, rather than calling her on the phone, I used it to take this selfie instead (sigh).

The item that seems to get the most attention whenever Gene Simmons' obsession with Kiss merchandising comes up is the Kiss Kasket
Dimebag Darrell of Pantera was buried in one of these and the line has since been extended to include branded cremation urns, bronze memorials, memorial prayer cards, registry books, memorial candles, and pet cremation urns. 

Wait.... I just had a brainstorm- let me google something....   Nope, the band has yet to launch a line of financial products.  Think of it: the Rockfolio, including the 401Kiss, Bond of Thunder, Detroit Stock City, Rock and Roll All Annuity, etc.  I kid but I bet Gene is already working on it and if he isn't I want a cut for coming up with the idea.

Merchandising has been a big part of Kiss from the beginning so I don't have a problem with it.  In fact, it has been fun to watch Gene's work over the years.  On the other side of the rock and roll "integrity spectrum," 180 degrees away- as far as you can get- are The Clash.  My all-time favorite band's approach to the music business was quite a bit different from Gene Simmons', as this entry from The Clash Wikipedia page shows:

The band's political sentiments were reflected in their resistance to the music industry's usual profit motivations; even at their peak, tickets to shows and souvenirs were reasonably priced. The group insisted that CBS sell their double and triple album sets London Calling and Sandinista! for the price of a single album each (then £5), succeeding with the former and compromising with the latter by agreeing to sell it for £5.99 and forfeit all their performance royalties on its first 200,000 sales.  These "VFM" (value for money) principles meant that they were constantly in debt to CBS, and only started to break even around 1982.

After The Clash broke up in the mid 80's, greatest hits sets were released in 1988 (The Story Of The Clash, Vol. 1),  1991 (The Singles), 2003 (The Essential Clash) and 2007 (again, The Singles).  These join box sets in 1991 (Clash On Broadway) and 2006 (Singles Box) as well as several b-side compilations and a couple of live albums.  The year 2000 saw new remasters of all the band's records (except Cut The Crap) and London Calling:  25th Anniversary Edition in 2004. This brings us to September 2013 and a new greatest hits package (The Clash Hits Back) another box set of remasters (5 Album Studio Set, again everything but Cut The Crap- seems like they are trying to erase this album from history) and expanded box Sound System.  Mick Jones says this will be the final time he works on anything involving The Clash and their music:  "I’m not even thinking about any more Clash releases. This is it for me, and I say that with an exclamation mark."  

The thing is, at a cost of $180 Sound System looks more like something Kiss would put out than the VFM espousing Clash.  Check out the contents of the box:
  • Outer boom box radio format casebound box with hinged lid
  • 5 studio albums re-mastered in black polycarbonate vinyl replica discs presented in casebound pozzoli books with poster booklets (still no Cut The Crap!)
  • 3 bonus CDs featuring rarities, non-album singles and B Sides
  • Bonus DVD featuring contributions from Julien Temple and Don Letts plus rare live footage and complete promo videos
  •  "Owners Manual" 24 page casebound book
  • Badge holder box - to hold badges & dogtags
  • A4 folder (to hold 3 booklets + adhesive sheets)
  • Armageddon Times 1 & 2 (2 x 24 page booklets) / Armageddon Times 3 (36page booklet)
  • 1x Poster 381X381mm
  • 1x Poster Tube
  • 3x stickers size 140mm x 85mm
  • 1x A4 sticker
  • 2x stickers size 297mm x 105mm
  • 5x badges: 1 x 25mm badge, 3 x 32mm badge, 1 x 45mm badge
  • 2x dogtags; 1 x 60mm chain and 1 x 10mm chain, stainless steel chains, each dogtag embossed 'The Clash'
The kid in me is salivating at all the cool bonus stuff in this box while adult me is looking forward to hearing remasters that according to Mick Jones reveal guitar parts he forgot about and that we've never heard before.  On the other hand, my inner 22 year old idealist is thinking "badges? ....stickers? tags? ....$180 freaking bucks? ....what would Joe Strummer think?"  I've no doubt Gene Simmons approves of Sound System, though he probably finds the extras lacking (I can see him saying "what no tattoos?")  Myself, I'm torn.  I'll probably get Sound System but I have the nagging suspicion Joe Strummer will be looking down on me with his arms crossed, shaking his head with a slightly disappointed look on his face.  That said, did you hear how awesome "1-2 Crush On You" sounded tonight?!?

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