About Me

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I'm the co-host of THIS IS ROCK 'N' ROLL RADIO with Dana & Carl (Sunday nights, 9 to Midnight Eastern, www.westcottradio.org).  As a freelance writer, I contributed to Goldmine magazine from 1986-2006, wrote liner notes for Rhino Records' compilation CD Poptopia!  Power Pop Classics Of The '90s, and for releases by The Flashcubes, The Finkers, Screen Test, 1.4.5., and Jack "Penetrator" Lipton.  I contributed to the books Bubblegum Music Is The Naked Truth, Shake Some Action, Lost In The Grooves, and MusicHound Rock, and to DISCoveries, Amazing Heroes, The Comics Buyer's Guide, Yeah Yeah Yeah, Comics Collector, The Buffalo News, and The Syracuse New Times.  I also wrote the liner notes for the four THIS IS ROCK 'N' ROLL RADIO compilation CDs, because, well, who could stop me?  My standing offer to write liner notes for a Bay City Rollers compilation has remained criminally ignored.  Still intend to write and sell a Batman story someday.

Saturday, May 7, 2016

BRIGHT LIGHTS and Blogkeeping


                               

After Thursday's post about me--it's all about me, innit?--and my renewed interest in writing, it occurred to me that I shouldn't just thank Gary Frenay for pushing me to start my own blog; I should plug his blog, as well.  Gary's one of my all-time favorite songwriters, but he also knows his way around a word or two, even when the words are not married to a melody.  Gary's blog We Connect is a must-read, and I recommend all of my loyal readers check it out.  Yes, both of you.

Speaking of Gary Frenay, Gary will also be involved in BRIGHT LIGHTS! 2016, the long-awaited sequel to 2014's BRIGHT LIGHTS! live rock 'n' roll reunion of the late '70s/early '80s Syracuse punk/new wave/power pop scene, hosted by yer buds Dana & Carl.  That show was a terrific success, so we're gettin' the bands back together.  BRIGHT LIGHTS! 2016 will take place Sunday, July 3rd, at Funk 'N Waffles' downtown Syracuse location, 307-313 Clinton Street. Downtown: where all the lights are BRIGHT!  Details will be announced soon, but make no mistake: The Flashcubes are on the bill.  A lot of cool Syracuse performers from that era are on the bill, and I can't wait to tell you all about it. Soon.  Definitely soon.

Gary's not the only one who pushed me to start writing again, so a tip of the Boppin' lid as well to Dave Murray, my This Is Rock 'n' Roll Radio co-host Dana Bonn, my lovely wife Brenda, and various other family members, too. I appreciate your efforts to make me less, y'know...lazy.

Back to BRIGHT LIGHTS!  The 2014 show was just a blast anna half.  The Trend's blistering live set is now available for download from your usual legal downloading sources, so get out your credit card and succumb to peer pressure awready.  You can get it from iTunes, you can get it from Amazon, as long as you GET IT!

Here's a taste (though the digital download is gonna sound a lot better):


And, while we're on a BRIGHT LIGHTS! kick, here's a glimpse of 2014's opening act, Maura & the Bright Lights.  Maura & the Bright Lights was a unique opportunity for Monkees fans Dana & Carl to channel Bob Rafelson, Bert Schneider, and Don Kirshner and create our own supergroup.  As a teenager, Maura Boudreau was an enthusiastic young participant in the early '80s Syracuse scene that BRIGHT LIGHTS! celebrates. Today, she's known as Maura Kennedy, and she performs with her guitar-whiz husband Pete Kennedy as [duh] The Kennedys.  For the original BRIGHT LIGHTS! show, we convinced The Kennedys to join our new supergroup--and by "convinced" I mean we asked them and they said, "Well, of course."  Tough negotiation.  We teamed The Kennedys with two of The Flashcubes (guitarist Arty Lenin and that Gary Frenay bassist guy again) and irresistible drummer Cathy LaManna, dubbed 'em Maura & the Bright Lights, and asked them to put together a set of Syracuse songs from the original BRIGHT LIGHTS! era, as a salute to fave local artists who couldn't attend the show in 2014. Here's the last song in Maura & the Bright Lights' 2014 set:


So.  I wonder what The Trend and Maura & the Bright Lights are doing on July 3rd.  I should give 'em a call.....

One last look back at the original BRIGHT LIGHTS! in 2014: