Thursday, December 1, 2016

Show #155 November 12, 2016

A prayer of Hope for us all...
Hope- Scruffy The Cat The Good Goodbye: Unreleased Recordings 1984-1990 
I Hope This Whole Thing Didn't Frighten You- The Hold Steady Teeth Dreams 
I Hope Your Happy Now- Elvis Costello Blood and Chocolate 
I Hope You're Happy- Hoodoo Gurus Purity Of Essence 
I Hope You're Happy Now- The Wellingtons In Transit 
2 + 2- D.OA. Something Better Change 
New York, New York- The Dictators Viva Dictators! 
Rusty Nail- Kurt Baker Combo In Orbit 
^I Hope I Never- Split Enz I Hope I Never 
Hope Come Back- The Fleshtones It's Super Rock Time! 
Hope Child- Free Energy Stuck On Nothing 
I Hope You're Happy Now (Without Me)- Big Kid You Must Be Kidding 
I Hope- Scott McCarl Titan: It's All Pop! 
I Hope Things Will Turn Around- Chixdiggit! Safeways Here We Come 
*Hope- Bauhaus Burning From The Inside 
*Hope- The Descendents Milo Goes To College 
*Hope- R.E.M. Up 
Hopeless- Screaming Females Rose Mountain 
Hopeless Case- Cartoon Christmas Time Again 7" 
Hopeless Bleak Despair- They Might Be Giants Mink Car 
Hope of the Hour- Dharma Bums Haywire 
Where Ever You Are I Hope That You're Happy Now- Hundred Million Martians Marsbars 
Pass Me Some Hope- Lisa Mychols Above, Beyond and In Between 
>Hope- Klaatu Hope 
No Lethal Hope- The Fastbacks ...And His Orchestra 
New Hope- Happy Hate Me Nots Out 
Hopeful Kids- Phil Angotti Life and Rhymes 
Hope For Sale- Wayne Kramer The Hard Stuff +4 
False Hopes- Big Black Puppets False Hopes 7" 
(Shine Your) Light Love Hope- Bob Mould Body of Song 

^Power Pop Peak:  #18 Aria Singles Chart (Aus) May 1980

*SacroSet:  HopeSongs

>Power Pop Prototype:  1977

I was looking for some hope when I put this show together but what I found is that many songs with the word "hope" in the title are actually about spite.  So the theme of the show became "Songs of Hope And/Or Spite."  Case in point, tonight's Elvis Costello song "I Hope You're Happy Now"  from Blood and Chocolate:
He's a fine figure of a man and handsome too
With his eyes upon the secret places he'd like to undo
Still he knows who knows who and where and how
And I hope you're happy now

He's got all the things you need and some that you will never
But you make him sound like frozen food, his love will last forever
Still he know what you want and what you don't allow
And I hope you're happy now

I hope that you're happy now like you're supposed to be
And I know that this will hurt you more than it hurts me

He's acting innocent and proud still you know what he's after
Like a matador with his pork sword, while we all die of laughter
In his turquoise pajamas and motorcycle hat
I hope you're happy now because you'll soon put pay to that
I knew then what I know now I never loved you anyhow
And I hope you're happy now

Needless to say, things did not go my way November 8, 2016 and soon Donald Trump will be the 45th President of the United States.  Like a lot of people, I didn't take his run for president seriously, figuring he would hang in for a few months then fade away.  I grew up in Massachusetts and since then have only lived in New York and California- admittedly my entire life has been in a "blue state bubble."  Even after he secured the Republican nomination I just couldn't conceive "President Trump."  My only solace is that a lot of people smarter than I couldn't either.  I promised Jaime and Nica that I wouldn't turn on the election coverage until 6pm Pacific time and as soon as I did I got a VERY bad feeling.  David Brooks is one of my favorite columnists and though Republican, he has been vocally anti-Trump since the beginning.  As soon as I saw him on PBS, I knew we were in trouble- Brook's vocal tone and body language screamed incredulity and impending defeat. 

And we all know how it turned out.  My wife was angry at me- "you said this could NEVER happen!"  Jaime's elation at having her daughter alongside while she cast a vote for our first female presidential candidate (Nica was 31 days too young to vote) smashed to bits.  The various things the President-elect has said about women adding insult to injury.  
Jaime took a photo of her female ancestors into the voting booth

As for me, over the next two days I immersed myself in newspaper articles, blog posts and on-line discussions about race, polling, James Comey, late deciding voters, etc.  I was glued to a computer screen, barely coming up for air yet NONE of it made me feel any better.  I wasn't able to pull myself away until mid-day Thursday when I decided to institute "radio silence," and go into San Francisco to once again, as Brother Wayne Kramer once said, "be redeemed by the sound of loud electric guitars."

On the way down I stopped at Red Devil Records in San Rafael- one of the best boutique record stores I've visited.  Record shopping has always been a unique combination of relaxing/exciting for me- just what I needed that day.  It was close to dinner time by then so when I got into the city I drove to Village Pizzeria at the corner of Clement and ArguelloWhile I've found some good California pizza in my 22 years here, there's nothing like a good slice of East Coast pie.  VP calls it "Brooklyn style" but it's also the closest I've found to Boston's North End.  After that I was off to Haight Street and the World Famous Amoeba Music.

When we first moved to SF, this was a bowling alley and the only reason I noticed it is that my friend Frank told me they sold a $2 grilled cheese sandwich.  (If you knew Frank you wouldn't bat an eye at his taste for $2 bowling alley sandwiches.)  Anyway, expanding from its first location on Telegraph Ave in Berkeley, the SF Amoeba opened in 1997.

Aside from Virgin Megastores in New York and London, which sold a lot of non-music stuff, Amoeba SF was the biggest music/video store I'd ever seen until the third Amoeba location opened in 2001 on Sunset in LA.  (Now that store is crazy big!)  I didn't find anything I needed but any time spent record shopping is time well spent.  I took in the upper Haight freak show for a while then drove over to the club which was south of market.  Before leaving I picked up some delicious Haribo, which along with earplugs (for warm-up bands unworthy of hearing loss) and comfortable shoes are my rock show essentials.
Don't Rock Without 'Em!

Boz Scaggs owns Slim's on 333 11th Street and it is one of the first clubs I went to when I moved to SF.  This night was special- I was there to see Vancouver punk legends DOA and one of my all time favorite bands The Dictators (billed as The Dictators NYC since their original bass player and chief songwriter Andy Shernoff is inexplicably suing his former bandmates.)  The first thing I noticed when I got into the club was that with the exception of a few younger punks, most of the audience was people my age.  I guess this shouldn't be a surprise since The Dictators and DOA released their first albums in 1975 and 1980, respectively.

No disrespect to opening acts Motor 66 and Screaming Bloody Marys but I took a pass on both because these days my ears are only good for two sets.  DOA took the stage right on time (punctuality I respect!) and sounded great.  I've seen the band many times over the
Joey Still Rocks
years and wrote about them back in the blog post for Show #107 in 2013.   At that time the group had called it quits so leader Joey "Sh*thead" Keithley could run for political office.  DOA have always been political so it seemed like a logical progression for his activism.  It didn't take though and 18 months later DOA were back on the road with a new album and tour.  Needless to say, Joey had a lot to say about the election.  A testament to DOA's longevity,

their anti-Reagan song "F**ked Up Ronnie," originally on their Hardcore '81 album as "F**ked Up Baby," has been retooled for 2016 as "F**ked Up Donald."  Not the most subtle message but very cathartic and just what I needed to hear that night.  Joey was hanging out at the merch table after the show and I got to talk to him.  
DOA 11/10/16

I mentioned the legendary Boston Cantone's show and he had vivid memories about that night.  One more thing about DOA- they walk the talk.  Every band you see sells t-shirts and CD's but in my 40 years of going to shows DOA is the only band that brought their own anarchist bookstore on the road with them- now that is HARDCORE!
DOA's Touring Bookstore

After DOA it was a short wait until The Dictators.  I'm not sure if it was the band or the club DJ but shortly before they took the stage, someone chose to play "First We Take Manhattan" by the great Leonard Cohen who had died earlier in the week.  As Cohen was Canadian, like DOA, as well as Jewish and inspired by New York City, like The Dictators, it was the perfect song to choose.

Ross, HDM, Dean, Daniel

HDM and JP "Thunderbolt" Patterson
The Dictators owned the stage the moment they stepped on it.  Handsome Dick Manitoba remains one of the greatest frontmen in rock and roll while Ross The Boss further confirmed his place as one of my all-time favorite guitarists.   It would have been great to see Andy and original guitarist Scott "Top Ten" Kempner on stage, yet Dean Rispler (bass) and Daniel Rey (guitar) filled their shoes nicely.  (Rey was a member of NYC punk band Shrapnel who I saw a few times in Boston back in the
Ross The Boss
day and he has done a ton of work with The Ramones over the years.)  Handsome Dick talked about his distress at the presidential election results but said that for the hour and a half he was on stage that night in Sacramento it all seemed like everything was going to be okay.  He also made sure to point out that he does not speak for the band when it comes to politics.  I'm sure everyone at Slim's agreed; no matter how we voted, that night we were all on the same side- D.F.F.D!!!

One final note, while none of us know how President Trump is going to govern he has galvanized a lot of young people.  My son Jack has been to several protests around the Bay Area in the last two weeks and the day after the election during the final class period there was a walkout at Sonoma Valley High where my daughter Nica is a senior.  Along with her schoolmates, Nica marched down Broadway to a rally on Sonoma Plaza "singing songs and carrying signs."  On her facebook page below this picture she posted: 

We were not protesting the election. We are educated on how the system works and know the unfortunate result will not change. We were protesting against the racism, misogyny and hatred that comes along with it. We were there today promoting love and hope for many of our fellow students who are afraid of what is to come. It is true that many of us were not able to vote in this election but that is why we needed to make our voices heard through this. We have no say in who is president but our generation has to start our young adult years with him and we need to show that we do not stand for the ways that are associated with him

I couldn't be prouder.  So, along with loud rock and roll, the passionate, well-expressed sentiments of our young people give me hope. 

Click this link to stream the show, or to download, right click and "Save Link As."

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