Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Show #123 August 30, 2014

Tonight we rock for fair Desiree...

Desiree- Hoodoo Gurus Kinky
I Never Came Down- The Golden Horde The Golden Horde
Born With a Sound- The New Pornographers Brill Bruisers
Setting Sun- Throwback Suburbia Shot Glass Souvenir
Lonely Nights- Hawks Hawks 
Put It Around- The Nerves Notre Demo 
Lucky Day- The Trend Lucky Day 
Somehow- The Vapors Anthology 
^Too Much Passion- The Smithereens Blow Up 
Alright- Travoltas Teenbeat 
Nowhere Left to Turn- The Tearaways Ground's the Limit 
*Can't Get You On My Mind- Adam Schmitt World So Bright 
*Holy War- Matthew Sweet Girlfriend 
*Something Came Over Me- Chris Stamey Fireworks 
*Tin Whistle And A Wooden Drum- Jimmy Silva and The Goats Heidi 
*Window To The World- Velvet Crush In The Presence Of Greatness 
*Valerie Loves Me- Material Issue International Pop Overthrow 
*Brighter Than the Sun- Summer Suns Calpurnia 
*The Concept- Teenage Fanclub Bandwagonesque 
*Falling Away- Richard X. Heyman Hey Man! 
*Long Haired Guys From England- Too Much Joy Cereal Killers 
*Fame Is- Crowded House Woodface
*Backlash- Joan Jett and The Blackhearts Notorious 
*Shoot You Down- Birdland Birdland 
*American Music- Violent Femmes Why Do Birds Sing? 
Forever- The Muffs Whoop Dee Doo 
>I Can't Control Myself- The Troggs Hit Single Anthology 
Goodnight- The Zeros 4-3-2-1-The Zeros

^Power Pop Peak:  

*SacroSet:  1991

>Power Pop Prototype:  1968 (album released 1991)

If you and I have ever spent any time talking about rock and
Kids In Satanic Service
roll, you've probably heard this rant but I still think it's worth putting down here.  Like any self-respecting punk rocker in the 80's, I truly despised the body of music we have come to call "hair metal" created by "hair bands."  Thinking back on it now, I'm not sure why I hated these groups so hard.  Kiss was my favorite band growing up and by the early 80's I had discovered and fallen in love with the New York Dolls (pictured at the top of this post in all their masculine

Hanoi Rocks (Razzle second from right)
glory) for their music, style and attitude.  In college I interviewed UK Subs lead singer Charlie Harper and when I asked what he was listening to he raved about the "gay heavy metal band" from Finland called Hanoi Rocks.  Following in the Dolls' tradition, I immediately saw what Charlie was talking about- Hanoi Rocks did just that.  What an amazing live band!  As I've mentioned before, one of my favorite rock and roll memories from the mid-80's is seeing the look of horror/disgust on my girlfriend Sue's face as lead singer Michael Monroe and guitarist Andy McCoy's sharing of a microphone dissolved into a big fat french kiss.  (Neither guy is gay- that's how committed they were to the band's glam rock swagger).  I got to see Hanoi Rocks twice before Motley Crue dickhead/lead singer murdered their drummer Razzle in a drunk driving wreck (for which Neil served 15 whole days in jail).  

Anyway, Hanoi Rocks' lasting impact on "hair bands"
Quiet Riot
wouldn't be felt until Guns N' Roses broke out in 1987.  Most critics consider Quiet Riot's 1983 album Metal Health to be the first "hair metal" record.  It may be a subtle difference to you, but I think these guys are ass clowns compared to Hanoi Rocks, The Dolls or even GN'R.  The fact that Quiet Riot's biggest song is a cover (an inferior version of Slade's 1973 UK hit "Cum On Feel The Noize) is straight up lame.  And if that isn't bad enough, Quiet Riot covered ANOTHER Slade song ("Mama
David (urp!) Coverdale
We're All Crazee Now") on their next record.  Seriously- it's like they're a third rate Slade cover band!  From Quiet Riot it's only a short hop to REALLY gross groups like Whitesnake.  I had a primal aversion to Whitesnake lead singer David Coverdale- seeing him on MTV would actually make me throw up in my mouth a little bit.  And don't get me started on Christian hair metal band Stryper and their signature "bumblebee" look.

Stryper? I hardly even know her!

I was not completely immune to the charms of several hair metal singles, including Twisted Sister's "We're Not Gonna Take It," Ratt's "Round And Round," Y and T's "Summertime Girls" or "Panama" by Van Halen.  Yet, the bull**it hedonism of the most of the genre's "women are whores" uptempo party
Husker Du (fashion don't!)
tracks and alternating bull**it sensitivity of their "women are angels" power ballads was too much to take.  You have to remember I was listening and going to see punk bands like Husker Du and The Replacements at the time so the whole hair band thing seemed completely artificial.

Looking back now, it's easy to see how Grunge drove a stake through hair metal's bedazzled heart. It comes down to simple physics- the universe can't abide rock stardom for guys who look like this: 
Brett Michaels, lead singer of Poison
while it simultaneously grants rock stardom to guys who look like this:

Eddie Vedder, lead singer of Pearl Jam

Grunge called bullsh**t on hair metal and showed us what we really already knew- the long haired emperor has no clothes.  At the time I was happy about it.  I bought Seattle band Mudhoney's debut single "Touch Me I'm Sick" when it came out in 1988 and the following summer I went to tiny club Green Street

Station to catch Nirvana's Boston debut.  (I thought Mudhoney was the better group by far- shows what I know).  Two years later I was as blown away as everyone else when I heard "Smells Like Teen Spirit"and after that everything changed.  They even made a movie about it called 1991:  The Year Punk Broke. (As tonight's SacroSet shows, 1991 was also a good year for Power Pop.)

When Grunge came along, it wasn't cool to be a rock star anymore.  The clothes, the girls, the drugs, the swagger- all the excess that made bored white kids from the suburbs like me want to be Steven Tyler had fallen out of fashion.  Eddie Vedder's signature "loser" t-shirt was a sign of the new paradigm.  Kurt Cobain's dread fear of being perceived as a "sell out" (apparently the worst thing ever) helped him into an early grave.  What I've come to realize now is that Grunge not only killed hair metal, it also killed mass-appeal mainstream rock and roll.  Sad to say but by the start of the new millennium, hip hop had largely replaced rock and roll as the rebellious "piss off your parents" music choice of
Apparently it was all done for "the nookie"
suburban youth.  The record industry's disastrous attempt to retake this mantle from hip hop in the late 1990's gave us rap rock, which in retrospect looks like rock and roll's death rattle and produced some of the most godawful music ever.

Quick- name a legitimate superstar rock band of the 2000's.  None you mention, Kings of Leon, The Black Keys, even The White Stripes, come anywhere close to the impact of a Van Halen or Guns N' Roses.  In fact Guns N' Roses "Sweet Child O' Mine" may be the last across the board Super Bowl half time show worthy rock and roll smash hit of our lifetime- and it came out in 1987.  The complete refusal of today's leading rock musician's to act like rock star divas doesn't help.  C'mon Billie Joe Armstrong, Dave Grohl and Anthony Kiedis- would it kill you to date/publicly break up with a supermodel, crash a Ferrari or trash a hotel suite!  No you have to "spend time with your family."  (The fact that many of you readers might not know the three men I just mentioned only proves my point.)

So I've come full circle on hair metal.  I love the scene in
The Wrestler, 2008
Darren Aronofsky's  The Wrestler where Randy "The Ram" Robinson (Mickey Rourke) puts "Round And Round" by Ratt on a bar jukebox has this conversation with his stripper friend Cassidy (Marissa Tomei): 

Randy: Godda**n they don't make em' like they used to. 
Cassidy: F***in' 80's man, best shit ever ! 
Randy: Bet'chr ass man, Guns N' Roses! Rules. 
Cassidy: Crue! 
Randy: Yeah! 
Cassidy: Def Lep! 
Randy: Then that Cobain pussy had to come around and ruin it all. 
Cassidy: Like there's something wrong with just wanting to have a good time? 
Randy: I'll tell you somethin', I hate the f***in' 90's. 
Cassidy: F***in' 90's sucked. 
Randy: F***in' 90's sucked.

She's right:  what is so bad about just wanting to have a good time?  Furthermore, would I love to hear kids singing along to songs like "Unskinny Bop," "You Give Love A Bad Name" and "Rock of Ages" on pop radio again?  Would I like to hear teenage garage bands slaughtering "You Shook Me All Night Long," "Rock You Like A Hurricane," and "Paradise City" again?  You're damn right I would!

Here are the links to this week's show, click to stream or right click and "Save Link As" to download:
Hour 1
Hour 2

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