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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.

Tuesday, November 29, 2016


This Sunday, December 4th, will be the 850th edition of our little mutant radio show This Is Rock 'n' Roll Radio with Dana & Carl. To start gettin' set, let's reach back into the archives to this bit of hype from seven years ago, trumpeting the imminent presumed triumph of TIRnRR # 500:


Syracuse's long-running Internet radio show This Is Rock 'n' Roll Radio with Dana & Carl will celebrate its 500th episode on Sunday night September 27th with a three-hour blowout of favorite tunes from its first 499 shows. Billed without humility (and only a little exaggeration) as The Best Three Hours Of Radio On the Whole Friggin' Planet, This Is Rock 'n' Roll Radio streams live every Sunday night from 9 to Midnight. exclusively at www.westcottradio.org.

From its debut on December 27, 1998 to today, This Is Rock 'n' Roll Radio has been an unlikely success story. Co-hosted by local artist, photographer, and musician DANA BONN and freelance rock 'n' roll journalist CARL CAFARELLI, this should-be-obscure show has somehow found an audience across the country and even around the world: an audience of avid fans of rockin' pop music, eager to find some form of rock 'n' roll radio to believe in. TIRnRR's nominal format is "power pop," the catchy, melodic form of high-energy rock 'n' roll influenced by THE BEATLES, THE KINKS, and THE WHO, and exemplified by BADFINGER, THE RASPBERRIES, and THE RAMONES, among many others. But power pop is just the jumping-off point, and Dana & Carl are just as likely to mix in the the music of soul giant SOLOMON BURKE, underground icons THE VELVET UNDERGROUND, country legends GEORGE JONES and CONWAY TWITTY, rap stars OUTKAST, essential rock 'n' roll from CHUCK BERRY, the left-of-the-dial appeal of THE PIXIES, the sensational sound of THE SEX PISTOLS, and whatever cool tune--new or old, obscure or familiar--might catch their fancy. It's ALL pop music, intended to be part of "a rockin' pop/punk/soul/bubblegum Shangri-La, where TOOTS & THE MAYTALS play poker with THE RAMONES, LITTLE RICHARD arm-wrestles LIZ PHAIR, BIG STAR is a household name, and a record by some group you'v never even heard of can change your life, or at least send you on an interstate dancing spree."

Along the way, This Is Rock 'n' Roll Radio has inspired two well-received compilation CDs, both released commercially by the JAM Recordings label in Michigan, with tracks contributed by artists such as '60s hitmakers THE COWSILLS, power pop icons JOHN WICKS & THE RECORDS, and local artists SCREEN TEST, THE KENNEDYS, TIM ANTHONY, THE FLASHCUBES, and BEAUTY SCENE OUTLAWS, the latter two of whom even wrote and recorded new tracks specifically about TIRnRR itself ("Carl [You Da Man]" and "Carl Cafarelli," respectively). Dana & Carl have hosted in-studio appearances by JOHN WICKS & PAUL COLLINS, JON NOTARTHOMAS & AIMEE BOBRUK, ADAM MARSLAND, FRISBIE, RAY PAUL, ADAM & CRAIG MARSHALL, and author COLETTE SHAW, and promoted local live shows by THE BEVIS FROND, CHICKLET, COCKEYED GHOST, MANNIX, ROBBIE RIST & KENNY HOWES, DIGBY, BEAUTY SCENE OUTLAWS, THE FALLEN ARCHIESTIM ANTHONY, and KYLE VINCENT.

But the most startling illustration of TIRnRR's unexpected impact came at the end of 2006, when the show's then-host Syracuse Community Radio announced that it would cease its webcast. Responding to Dana & Carl's plea for support, TIRnRR fans stepped up with over $2000 in contributions--at the height of the Christmas season, no less--to effectively save the show and continue webcasting as the newly-created Westcott Radio, where it has continued since then. This outpouring of support for TIRnRR--which one fan compared to the climax of the film It's A Wonderful Life, where a community pools its resources on Christmas Eve to help beloved community figure George Bailey--stunned even the usually-jaded Dana & Carl, who continue to marvel that what they self-mockingly dubbed The Best Three Hours Of Radio On The Whole Friggin' Planet has, incongruously, found so many folks who agree with that billing.

Carl calls it "a mutant hybrid of the adventurous spirit of underground radio and the giddy rush of AM Top 40." Dana calls it "The Joy Of Radio." As This Is Rock 'n' Roll Radio approaches its 500th show, Dana & Carl vow to face the future with whiter teeth, fresher breath, and a pleasantly stubborn faith that this really IS The Best Three Hours Of Radio On The Whole Friggin' Planet. An interstate dancing spree sounds like a mighty fine idea indeed.

Well, I'm convinced!

Since the landmark TIRnRR # 500, we've continued to stumble along the same path as before, blindly secure in the certainty that we're doing perfect pop radio the way it was meant to be done. We've released one more TIRnRR compilation CD (in 2013, on Kool Kat Musik), and we're getting ready to return to terrestrial radio on the all-new SPARK SYRACUSE. Why change now? Maturity wouldn't suit us anyway.

For kicks, here's a look back at what we played on TIRnRR # 500, September 27th, 2009:

RAMONES Do You Remember Rock 'n' Roll Radio? Rhino, End Of The Century
SCREEN TEST Sound Of The Radio JAM, VA:  This Is Rock 'n' Roll Radio Volume 2
FLASHING ASTONISHERS Period Exclamatory JAM, VA:  This Is Rock 'n' Roll Radio Volume 1
ANDERSONS! From The Get-Go Lime Vinyl, Separated At Birth
3D Temptation Big Radio, Universal Conquest
DANA AND CARL You Be Me For A While And I'll Be You unreleased
KISS Calling Dr. Love Mercury, Rock And Roll Over
CONCRETES You Can't Hurry Love Astralwerks, The Concretes
RAMONES Blitzkrieg Bop Rhino, Ramones
BEATLES Hey Bulldog Apple, Yellow Submarine Songtrack
GO HOME PRODUCTIONS Daytrip To Heaven www.gohomeproductions.co.uk
MANNIX Highway Lines www.mannixrock.com, Come To California
DANA AND CARL Elvis Season! unreleased
MARY LOU LORD Aim Low Kill Rock Stars, Mary Lou Lord/Sean Na Na
GROOVIE GHOULIES Carly Simon Lookout!, VA:  Lookout!  Freakout!
BAY CITY ROLLERS Wouldn't You LIke It Bell, Wouldn't You Like It
ASTROPUPPEES Over Her Head Hightone, You Win The Bride
STYX Kiss Your Ass Goodbye Sanctuary, Cyclorama
MERRYMAKERS I'll Feel A Whole Lot Better Not Lame, VA:  Full Circle
DANA AND CARL East Side Story unreleased
FINKERS Last Thing On My Mind JAM, VA:  This Is Rock 'n' Roll Radio Volume 1
DROWNERS While My Guitar Gently Weeps Jealousy, VA:  He Was Fab
TODD RUNDGREN Couldn't I Just Tell You Rhino, Something/Anything?
P76 Let's Get Back To Where We Started Zip, Into The Sun
TROGGS Our Love Will Still Be There Fontana, Archeology
POWERPUFF GIRLS Love Makes The World Go Round Warner Brothers, Powerpuff Bluff DVD
MAGNETIC FIELDS I Don't Want To Get Over You Merge, 69 Love Songs
CHUCK BERRY Promised Land MCA, The Anthology
CRICKLE Place In My Heart ROIR, VA:  Garage Sale
PIPER DOWNS 10 Speed Doorslammer, Varying Degrees Of Failure And Tunelessness
COCKEYED GHOST I Hate Rock 'n' Roll Big Deal, The Scapegoat Factory
DANA AND CARL A Dream Of Partridges unreleased
PURRBOX Punk Rock LoveFest, PurrBox
ORGONE BOX World Revolves Minus Zero, The Orgone Box
SEX CLARK 5 Fool I Was Skyclad, Antedium
FOOLED BY APRIL Oh Dana LunaSea, VA:  A Tribute To Big Star
FLASHCUBES Carl (You Da Man) JAM, VA:  This Is Rock 'n' Roll Radio Volume 1
MOPTOPS Christine Not Lame, VA:  Full Circle
CATHOLIC GIRLS Should Have Been Mine Cinema, Meet The Catholic Girls
LOLAS Sticker JAM, VA:  This Is Rock 'n' Roll Radio Volume 1
COWSILLS She Said To Me JAM, VA:  This Is Rock 'n' Roll Radio Volume 2
KENNY HOWES AND THE YEAH! Sheila, She TallBoy, Until Dawn
MARLOWES Pilgrim Soul Shiny Fly, Nuclear Suitcase
HOLE Heaven Tonight DGC, Celebrity Skin
FRISBIE Comes N Goes Hear Diagonally, Period.
COTTON MATHER My Before And After Copper, Kontiki
ANNY CELSI Empty Hangers Ragazza, Little Black Dress & Other Stories
SPONGETONES (My Girl) Maryanne Loaded Goat, Always Carry On
EYTAN MIRSKY Don't Bother Me Jealousy, VA:  He Was Fab
KINKS Everybody's Gonna Be Happy Rhino, Greatest Hits
MR. ENCRYPTO The Last Time [a cappella] JAM, VA:  This Is Rock 'n' Roll Radio Volume 2
LA'S There She Goes Rhino, VA:  Children Of Nuggets
OHIO EXPRESS Had To Be Me Cameo, Beg, Borrow And Steal
GANTS I Wonder Psychic Circle, VA:  The Electric Coffee House
HELLO HELEN Fall's Far Away JAM, VA:  This Is Rock 'n' Roll Radio Volume 1
SINGLES He Can Go, You Can't Stay Rainbow Quartz, Better Than Before
BEAUTY SCENE OUTLAWS Carl Cafarelli JAM, VA:  This Is Rock 'n' Roll Radio Volume 2
ONLY ONES Another Girl, Another Planet Rhino, VA:  DIY:  Teenage Kicks
STALLIONS Why Junk, Hey Baby, It's The Stallions
SHADOWS Wonderful Land Scamp, Shadows Are Go!

Nope. We ain't changed at all.

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