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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.

Friday, June 10, 2016

THIS IS ROCK 'N' ROLL RADIO, VOLUME 2

Here are the liner notes to our second This Is Rock 'n' Roll Radio compilation CD, which was released by JAM Recordings in 2006.  Unlike the rare, hot, elitist collectible Volume 1, this disc is a power pop populist, still readily available in physical form here.  The digital album can be downloaded here.  Get your orders in--we got bills to pay!


item image #0This Is Rock 'n' Roll Radio - Vol 2 cover art

We're back-with more power pop!  THIS IS ROCK 'N' ROLL RADIO with Dana & Carl!

All across the four corners of the globe, avid fans of rockin' pop music agree on just one thing:  that globes don't have corners.  A fair amount of 'em also agree that the sole source of The Best Three Hours Of Radio On The Whole Friggin' Planet remains our little mutant dog 'n' pony show, THIS IS ROCK 'N' ROLL RADIO with Dana & Carl.  Are we deluded?  YES!  Have we succumbed to our own clueless hype?  HELL, yes!  But we continue to sprawl across the airwaves every Sunday night from 9 to Midnight Eastern, exclusively at www.westcottradio.org. 

Dana and I have been doing this show for nearly eight years now.  Before that, we'd done various similar projects together, beginning with a short-lived radio show called We're Your Friends For Now in 1992, and even including a one-off cable TV show called Radiovision.  We always wanted to do a show that would play some of the many, many great records that weren't getting airplay.  After all this time, not much has changed (well, other than the fact that station management originally thought I was too quiet and should speak more, which turned out to be kinda like telling Bill Clinton that he shouldn't be so shy around girls).  But an unbelievable amount of incredible, often transcendent, seemingly radio-ready fare continues to be resolutely ignored by mainstream radio.

And that just drives us razzafrazzin' nuts.           

Why is so much awesome music falling between the cracks?  Maybe it's an inevitable consequence of commercial radio's bottom-line-driven mentality.  Music isn't even a secondary concern for big radio behemoths; it's only about advertising dollars, and nothing else.  I'm not opposed to commercial radio--the radio I grew up listening to, the great AM radio stations of the '60s and '70s, were certainly commercial entities.  But love of the music, even just a casual interest in the music, doesn't even enter into the equation now.  No one wants to dig deep into the vaults for something you've never heard before, new or old; radio stations want to give you the familiar, and sell you beer, or whatever.  I have no quibble with radio stations making a buck, nor with advertisers pushing their wares; I just wish they could give me more compelling music to listen to between ads.

(And, even getting heavily into the commercial area:  how come no one plays The Ramones on the radio?  My daughter's middle-school gym class plays "Blitzkrieg Bop" when the kids are running laps; the same song can be heard in TV commercials for telephone plans and diet soda, and on the PA system at Syracuse SkyChiefs baseball games.  About the only place you don't hear it is on the radio.  And that just doesn't seem right.)

Consider The Cowsills, and their flat-out amazing “She Said To Me,” included in this collection.  If you don't already know this wonderful tune from the group's Global album back in the '90s, well, it's not your fault.  Because where could you have heard it?  Every big-name record label in the business passed on the chance to release it, so The Cowsills released it themselves.  It's one of the very best records of that whole blamed decade, and it shoulda been an inescapable, # 1 hit; relatively few folks have even heard it.  And virtually no one's heard it on the radio.  That ain't right.

Or how about Screen Test, perhaps the greatest pop band you've never heard?  Formed by three members of The Flashcubes (THE great lost power pop band of the '70s), Screen Test has a cache of roughly, I dunno, a zillion nonpareil original pop tunes, which were likewise met with massive record-biz indifference.  Screen Test used to introduce “Sound Of The Radio” as “a song about how great it was to listen to the radio, back when radio still played The Kinks.”  The visionary Japanese label Air Mail Recordings is releasing a long-overdue CD collection of the best of Screen Test, but you still don't hear enough of The Kinks-or ANY Screen Test--on the radio.  That ain't right.

Little Steven, bless 'im, does play The Charms, The Grip Weeds and The Dipsomaniacs on his swell Underground Garage radio show (though [ahem] WE played 'em all first…!).  But why does it sometimes seem like it's just us, Little Steven and a few other isolated true believers playing this stuff on terrestrial radio?  That ain't right.  The Cowsills, Screen Test, The Charms, The Grip Weeds, The Dipsomaniacs, this terrific new track by John Wicks & the Records, the randy splendor of astroPuppees, that irresistible a cappella track by Mr. Encrypto, The Blondes singin' an ode to my favorite '70s poster queen, Suzi Quatro, and all these other superb efforts by Richard Barone, The BAR, The Fire Apes, The Condors, Tim Anthony, Eytan Mirsky, The Shamus Twins, Cloud Eleven, Jim Basnight, Raquel's Boys, Beauty Scene Outlaws, Pop Is Art, The Ringles, Lo and the Magnetics, The Spongetones, The Lemon Clocks--all of these great records should be played on the radio everywhere.  And yet the task falls to the sorry likes of US?!  No, no, no-that ain't right.

We don't have any illusions about starting a radio revolution (well, maybe Dana does, but he's funny that way).  But we're gonna keep on doing whatever it is we've been doing, sort of the radio equivalent of Helen Keller playing a Rickenbacker 12-string alone in a forest with no one else around--maybe you can't quite hear us, but we do make a sound--a mighty, mighty sound.  If you listen, you'll get it; it ain't much, but it's what's right.  And this is what rock 'n' roll radio sounds like on Sunday nights in Syracuse each week.

Carl Cafarelli, May 2006

DANA & CARL wanna thank Jeremy Morris and all of the fine acts who contributed to this CD and/or to Volume 1, too.  We also need to thank Fritz Van Leaven, Dave Murray, Liz Belmont, Mark Bialczak, John M. Borack, Bruce Brodeen at Not Lame, Ray Gianchetti at Kool Kat Musik, Gary Pig Gold, Mark Hughson, Beverly Paterson, Ray Paul, Dan Pavelich, Harper Payne, Pat Pierson, Rich Rossi, Chris von Sneidern, Beth Woodell and the whole Hee-Haw gang at Syracuse Community Radio.  If we forgot you this time, we're just saving you for Volume 3.

To receive weekly e-mail playlists from THIS IS ROCK 'N' ROLL RADIO, contact Carl at ccdatsme@aol.com

TAX-DEDUCTIBLE DONATIONS are always welcome at Syracuse Community Radio, 826 Euclid Avenue, Syracuse, NY  13210. 

1.  MEGHAN JEAN CAFARELLI:  We're Back!
2.  CHRIS VON SNEIDERN:  An Early Clue To The New Direction [TIRnRR ID]
3.  SCREEN TEST:  Sound Of The Radio
                        (Gary Frenay) Cubic Music BMI   www.frenayandlenin.8k.com, www.theflashcubes.com
4.  JOHN WICKS & THE RECORDS:  Edges Of A Dream
                        (John Wicks) Bridge and Tunnel Music ASCAP  www.johnwicksandtherecords.com
5.  THE COWSILLS:  She Said To Me
                        (Bob and Mary Jo Cowsill) Bort-Bop-Baby Music BMI  www.cowsill.com
6.  RICHARD BARONE:  123...Infinity
                        (Richard Barone & Tony Visconti) Richard Barone Music/Pneumatic Music BMI                                                             www.richardbarone.com
7.  THE BAR [Babjak, Adlerman, Reil]:  Katie's Shoes
                        (Jim Babjak-Danny Adlerman) BMI   www.jimbabjak.com  www.bookkids.com
8.  THE FIRE APES:  Hey Kate           
                        (John Seymour)  John Seymour Music  www.TheFireApes.com
9.  ASTROPUPPEES:   Ride The Cowboy
                        (Kelley Ryan) Meatpie Music BMI  www.astropuppees.com
10. THE CONDORS:  Don't Want A Girl Who's Been With Jack
                        (P. DiPuccio) Condorosa Music ASCAP www.TheCondors.com
11. THE CHARMS:  Talk Is Cheap
                        (Vee and Wizda) www.thecharms.net
12.  TIM ANTHONY:  Maryellen
                        (Tim Anthony) Speedpop Music BMI  www,jealousy-records.com
13. EYTAN MIRSKY:  I'm Losing You
                        (Eytan Mirsky) Mirsky Mouse Music BMI http://eytanmirsky.home.att.net
14. THE SHAMUS TWINS:  Beyond You
                        (Jerry Juden)  Shamusongs, Inc.  www.shamustwins.com
15. CLOUD ELEVEN:  Tokyo Aquarium
                        (Rick Gallego) Mood Ring Music BMI  www.cloudeleven.com
16. JIM BASNIGHT:  Look Inside
                        (Basnight/Hanan) Monitor and Merrimac Music BMI  www.jimbasnight.com
17. RAQUEL'S BOYS:  Orange Soda
                        (Sean Hutton) BMI  www.raquelsboys.com
18. POP IS ART:  Are You Listening?  [TIRnRR ID]
19. BEAUTY SCENE OUTLAWS:  Carl Cafarelli
                        (Beauty Scene Outlaws) www.beautysceneoutlaws.com
20. THE BLONDES:  Suzi Quatro
                        (Dusha-Siegel) BMI  www.teenaciderecords.com
21. THE RINGLES:  Tiffany's Dimension
                        (Todd Borsch and Tom Rose) Penguin People Music BMI  http://www.myspace.com/theringlespop
22. LO & THE MAGNETICS:  Sooner Or Later
                        (M. Girio and Lo and the Magnetics) Bloc-Notes Publishing Inc. SOCAN                                                                         www.loandthemagnetics.com
23. THE SPONGETONES:  Anyway Town
                        (Steve Stoeckel-Patrick Walters) Pinkfoot Music-Spongetunes BMI www.spongetones.com
24. POP IS ART:  Baby He Loves You
                        (Scott McGinley)  PoP is arT Music  www.popisart.com
25. MR. ENCRYPTO:  The Last Time (a cappella)
                        (Gordon) Silent Bugler Music BMI  www.silentbugler.com
26. THE LEMON CLOCKS:  Brand New Day
27. THE GRIP WEEDS:  Out Of Today
                        (R. Reil) BMI  www.gripweeds.com
28. THE DIPSOMANIACS:  Syd Barrett
                        (Mick Chorba) Dinnertime Music ASCAP  www.dipsomaniacs.net




BACK COVER:

THIS IS ROCK 'N' ROLL RADIO, VOLUME 2
Another exciting CD companion to The Best Three Hours Of Radio On The Whole Friggin' Planet!
Produced by Dana Bonn and Carl Cafarelli
Executive Producer:  Jeremy Morris


1.  MEGHAN JEAN CAFARELLI:  We're Back!
2.  CHRIS VON SNEIDERN:  An Early Clue To The New Direction [TIRnRR ID]
3.  SCREEN TEST:  Sound Of The Radio
4.  JOHN WICKS & THE RECORDS:  Edges Of A Dream
5.  THE COWSILLS:  She Said To Me
6.  RICHARD BARONE:  123...Infinity
7.  THE BAR [Babjak, Adlerman, Reil]:  Katie's Shoes
8.  THE FIRE APES:  Hey Kate           
9.  ASTROPUPPEES:   Ride The Cowboy
10. THE CONDORS:  Don't Want A Girl Who's Been With Jack
11. THE CHARMS:  Talk Is Cheap
12. TIM ANTHONY:  Maryellen
13. EYTAN MIRSKY:  I'm Losing You
14. THE SHAMUS TWINS:  Beyond You
15. CLOUD ELEVEN:  Tokyo Aquarium
16. JIM BASNIGHT:  Look Inside
17. RAQUEL'S BOYS:  Orange Soda
18. POP IS ART:  Are You Listening?  [TIRnRR ID]
19. BEAUTY SCENE OUTLAWS:  Carl Cafarelli
20. THE BLONDES:  Suzi Quatro
21. THE RINGLES:  Tiffany's Dimension
22. LO & THE MAGNETICS:  Sooner Or Later
23. THE SPONGETONES:  Anyway Town
24. POP IS ART:  Baby He Loves You
25. MR. ENCRYPTO:  The Last Time (a cappella)
26. THE LEMON CLOCKS:  Brand New Day
27. THE GRIP WEEDS:  Out Of Today
28. THE DIPSOMANIACS:  Syd Barrett

Liner notes by CARL CAFARELLI
Design by DANA BONN
This product may contain cyclamates.  Mmmm-cyclamates…!

Note:  Our promise of “THE BEST THREE HOURS OF RADIO ON THE WHOLE FRIGGIN' PLANET!” is intended as hyperbole, and does not imply any guarantee.  Though, to be fair, we don't actually specify which friggin' planet, anyway.