You know how musicians always think their most recent work is the best they've ever done? We wanna be like them. But I do think our third and most recent This Is Rock 'n' Roll Radio compilation CD is our crowning achievement to date. It was released in 2013 by Gentleman Ray Gianchetti on his Kool Kat Musik label, and the CD itself (including an exclusive Kool Kat Music bonus CD) should still be available here. It has never been available as a digital album, but that will be rectified in the near future (courtesy of Other Gentleman Keith Klingensmith and Futureman Records). This is our Headquarters, our Rocket To Russia, our Village Green Preservation Society; it might even be our Up To Date with The Partridge Family. Commence enjoying liner notes...now!
'bout another love gone wrong
DJ knows what I'm goin' through
--Mannix, "Highway Lines"
How in the hell are we still here?
THIS IS ROCK 'N' ROLL RADIO with Dana & Carl
began its little mutant life on January 15th, 1992, with the 90-minute pilot
episode of We're Your Friends For Now; subsequent shows were a full three
hours, airing weekly on an odd station called WNMA in our home town of
Syracuse, NY. When WNMA went pffft in June of that year, Dana and I
continued the show as Radio Peace, a series of cassettes produced for in-store play at
various local businesses. We became founding members of Syracuse
Community Radio, and SCR's connection with Radio Vox in Russia led to episodes
of Radio Peace being aired in Moscow and Siberia--no, really!
Through SCR, we also prepared a one-off series called We're Your Mates For
which was played between races at a Guiness Round-The-Clock marathon in
England. We even did an inept cable TV special called Radiovision; Dana tells me
footage we shot for that one special was also used for one or two additional
specials, but I think he's lyin' in hopes of blackmailing me out of my Hollies
Syracuse Community Radio began broadcasting on WXXE-FM at the very end of 1998,
and THIS IS ROCK 'N' ROLL
debuted on December 27th of that year, in the Sunday night 9 to Midnight spot
we've held ever since. WXXE's weak signal reached a grand audience of no
one, so we began a webcast. As
WXXE eventually switched to syndicated talk programming, we put all of our
efforts into the webcast, expanding our audience however we could. In
2004, we released our first compilation CD, This Is Rock 'n' Roll Radio,
through the good graces of Jeremy Morris and JAM Recordings. Volume 2
(also on JAM) followed in 2006, and we continued to get good press and good
reactions. Nonetheless, financial
woes forced Syracuse Community Radio to pull the plug on its webcast, and on THIS IS ROCK 'N' ROLL RADIO, at the end of 2006.
But this turned out to be a transcendent moment in our weird history.
Given a chance to start over, we took our case to TIRnRR's listeners.
They stepped up. Man, did they ever step up! Donations came rolling
in, as the TIRnRR Faithful kicked in thousands of dollars to help us start
anew, to buy the same crappy equipment, to use the same cramped little studio
space, and to continue TIRnRR on the new, independent Westcott Radio in
2007. Through personal issues, and through frequent studio malfunctions
that remind us how humble we oughtta be, THIS
IS ROCK 'N' ROLL RADIO still streams live Sunday nights from 9 to Midnight
Eastern, exclusively at www.westcottradio.org.
And we still…I dunno, maybe "believe" isn't quite the right word. But we still think there's something to be said for putting a pair of music lovers on the air and letting them play. We call it a power pop show, but we mix in some Sex Pistols, Isley Brothers, Toots & the Maytals, Lucinda Williams, Velvet Underground, Al Green, and Elvis Presley along with your Pezband, Raspberries, Shoes, and Flamin' Groovies, 'cause it's ALL pop music anyway, right? There is a format in there somewhere, born of the giddy splendor of the golden age of AM Top 40 merging with left-of-the-dial buzz 'n' fuzz. We think "September Gurls" is The Greatest Record Ever Made. We worship The Kinks. We think "Waterloo Sunset" is The Greatest Record Ever Made. We refer to The Ramones as the American Beatles, the greatest American rock 'n' roll band of all time. We think "Blitzkrieg Bop" is The Greatest Record Ever Made. We have a very short attention span. But an infinite number of records can be The Greatest Record Ever Made, as long as they take turns. That's why God made the radio.
This compilation gives you a little taste of that. From the past, we have performed a true public service by rescuing a trio of great, unheralded '80s tracks from undeserved obscurity, and giving each its CD debut. Blotto's re-write of their own "I Wanna Be A Lifeguard" exists only in lo-fi bootleg form, but we're delighted to preserve it in any form. The way-fab Mad Monster Party was fronted by the lovely 'n' talented Gwynne Kelly, a founding member of The Pandoras (and later a member of The Negro Problem); the still-unreleased Mad Monster Party album from 1989 would have been one of my favorite albums of the '80s, if it had actually been released. [Open letter to enterprising record label folks reading this: LICENSE AND RELEASE THE MAD MONSTER PARTY ALBUM AWREADY!!!] And The Tearjerkers' wonderful 1979 single "Syracuse Summer"--written by Gary Frenay of The Flashcubes as a sublime Beach Boys-inspired tribute to the mercurial climate of Central New York--has been freshly remixed from the original master tape, with the first-ever appearance of the song's original drum intro, which has been omitted from all previous releases.
From the now sound of today, we have some terrific new or recent tracks from Lisa Mychols, Australian pop god Michael Carpenter, Gary Frenay, The Sun Sawed In 1/2, Stephen Lawrenson, The Connection, The Click Beetles, Gregg Yeti & The Best Lights, Sex Clark Five, Lannie Flowers, The Popdudes, and Sounds Like Digging. From the Byrdsian time between, we have proven TIRnRR Fave Raves from Hawaii Mud Bombers, Uncle Green, The Richards, The Catholic Girls, Eytan Mirsky, Kurt Baker, Ronnie Dark, Anny Celsi, and Mannix.
And then there's Steve Stoeckel & His THIS IS ROCK 'N' ROLL RADIO All-Stars! "I Could Be Good For You" was created line-by-line as a songwriting exercise initiated by Steve Stoeckel of The Spongtones; the contributing songwriters included a number of TIRnRR listeners, and the recording itself features a guitar break by our pal Joel Tinnel, and backing vocals from our other pal Rich Firestone. Steve graciously allowed us the use of the track, and even agreed to the superfluous but apropos "THIS IS ROCK 'N' ROLL RADIO All-Stars" billing. Somewhere, Alan Freed is smiling…and counting his dough.
In 2012, for
the 20th anniversary of that first Dana & Carl show on WNMA, I told a local
journalist, "We're a paradox; we've been successful in spite of our
relative lack of success." We're still here. We still have the
best fans a little mutant radio show could ever want. And we've got a new
compilation CD, and it's likely the best rockin' pop compilation you'll hear
this year. We're still The Best Three Hours Of Radio On The Whole
Friggin' Planet. I don't know how. I don't know why. But,
after all these years, this is still what rock 'n' roll radio sounds like on a
Sunday night in Syracuse each week.
Dana & Carl want to thank Ray Gianchetti at Kool Kat Musik for making this CD possible. We must also thank Ron Keck, Alec Iwanski, Jeremy Johnston, and Evan Pitonzo at the mighty Subcat Studios in Syracuse, NY, plus our A & R gal Elizabeth Racz, and all of the great artists who let us slap their great music on this set; without their combined efforts, you'd be holding a blank eight-track. Which would be kinda cool, but not as cool as this.
A little mutant radio show needs a mess of help to stand alone. Big TIRnRR thanks to the Westcott Community Center for giving Dana & Carl and Westcott Radio a place to do whatever it is that we do. Thanks also to Mark Bialczak, John M. Borack, Jean Cafarelli, Ducky Carlisle, Andy & Lois Chertow, Jeanne Chu, Eleanor Cook, Scott "King" Cornish, Danny Danhauser, Dave the Boogieman, Rich & Kathy Firestone, Dawn Franits, Dave Frisina, Gary Pig Gold, Bruce Gordon, Alan Haber, Ray Paul Klimek, Keith Klingensmith, Craig Leve, Jack "Penetrator"Lipton, Michael McCartney, Mike McDowell, Michael Mitsch, Jeremy Morris, Dave Murray, Pete Murray, Greg & Andrea Ogarrio, Mike Paduana, David Paine, Jeffrey Raskin, Robbie Rist, Colette Shaw, Russ Tarby, Joel & Laura Tinnel, Fritz Van Leaven, Beth Woodell, and The Wax Museum With Ronnie Dark (with Tim Loucks, John Walsh, and Mike Adams) over at WVOA-FM. If we forgot to mention you, it's not that we're ungrateful--it's our ADOS (Attention Deficit…Ooooo Shiny!). We'll getcha next time.
Liner notes by CARL CAFARELLI
Graphic Design by DANA BONN
TIRnRR Tweaker artwork by KATHY JACKSON FIRESTONE
A & R: ELIZABETH RACZ It's pronounced "BABY"
E-mail us at firstname.lastname@example.org, and email@example.com. Requests for Bob Seger songs will be ridiculed.
Like us on Facebook at TIRnRR. And join us on Facebook, in our open chat group, TIR'N'RR. Two different pages, nearly twice the fun.
"Make Believe" (Lisa Mychols-Tom Richards) Cactus Boy BMI/December Sun ASCAP; "I've Been Loving You" (Michael Carpenter) Michael Carpenter; "Blue Topaz" and "Syracuse Summer" (Gary Frenay) Cubic Music BMI; "Office Crush" (Petter Godske) Hawaii Mud Bombers; "I Don't Wanna Know About It" (Matt Brown) Tigno Music BMI; "She Offers Her Heart" (Tim Rose) timcoartsltd; "Five Personalities" (Armstrong-Mattice-Doyle-Steele) Nuneaton Music BMI; "Should Have Been Mine" (Gail Peterson) St. Katherine Music; "Help Me Get Over You" (Eytan Mirsky) Mirsky Mouse Music BMI; "Sun Is On Its Way" (Stephen Lawrenson) Booftoonz ASCAP; "Little Miss Go Go" (Russell-Brown-Lesley) EMI Unart Catalog Inc/Matchbox Music/Esta Music BMI; "We Wanna See The Monkees" [based on "I Wanna Be A Lifeguard" (Broadway Blotto) Blottones Music ASCAP]; "Shut The TV Down (Dan Pavelich) Orange Pop Songs BMI; "My Narcoleptic Sara (Gregg Yeti) Koala Syndicate Music BMI; "Emma Stone (Kurt Baker-Wyatt Funderburk) Bjorns Choice ASCAP; "I Could Be Good For You (Steve Stoeckel-Dan Pavelich-Kathy Jackson Firestone-Loyd Dillon-Brenda Trent Dillon-Elizabeth Racz-Joel Tinnel); "Plastic All Over The World (Butler-Storey) 51L Music BMI; "Everything A Man Could Want" (Lannie Flowers) Aaron Ave. Publishing BMI; "Sarah" (R. Laubach) Bruiser Tunes ASCAP; "High" (Borack-Rist-Chicoine-Frain); "Every Day" (Paul Costanza and Tom Parisi) Paul Costanza and Tom Parisi ASCAP; "Can't Stop Loving You (Kling) John Kling Music; "Empty Hangers" (Anny Celsi) Ragazza Music BMI; "Highway Lines" (Joe Mannix) Prettystrange Tunes ASCAP
THIS IS ROCK 'N' ROLL RADIO, VOLUME 3 [exclusive Kool Kat Musik bonus disc]
1. STEVE STOECKEL: This Is Rock 'n' Roll Radio
2. THE FLASHCUBES: A Face In The Crowd [live]
3. THE SUN SAWED IN 1/2: Life [original version]
4. STEPHEN LAWRENSON: Yes It Is
5. GREGG YETI & THE BEST LIGHTS: My Narcoleptic Sara [Hearts & Palpitations version]
6. SEX CLARK FIVE: Japan Under The Sun
7. SOUNDS LIKE DIGGING: Every Day [demo]
8. THE CLICK BEETLES: Try Girl
9. RONNIE DARK: Stephanie Says
10. MAD MONSTER PARTY: I Saw The Light
11. ANNYLAND [Anny Celsi]: She Walks In
12. JOE MANNIX: White Flag
13. THE TWEAKERS: Super Secret Mystery Track