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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.

Wednesday, February 22, 2017

THIS IS ROCK 'N' ROLL RADIO Flashback: A Tribute To NOT LAME RECORDINGS



Not Lame Recordings was a terrific independent record label devoted to pure pop and power pop. It was owned 'n' operated by true believer Bruce Brodeen, and it graced our good earth from 1994 until 2010. If memory serves (and it rarely does), the inaugural Not Lame releases were an archival 7" vinyl EP by Pezband and a pair of CDs: A Double Dose Of Pop! (a split CD with The Rooks and Twenty Cent Crush) and SymPOPhony # 1 (a collection with four tracks each from Martin Luther Lennon, The Shambles, Cherry Twister, The Finns, and Rockerfellers). Not Lame was also the name of Bruce's mail-order pop music superstore, and even a miserly curmudgeon such as I was delighted to spend many a shekel and doubloon buyin' stuff from Bruce. Not Lame's Gene Clark tribute album Full Circle remains a TIRnRR fave rave, and many of the other great Not Lame releases continue to find their fab way onto our playlists. Nowadays, Bruce runs Pop Geek Heaven, an essential online pop community. Bruce also publishes Ken Sharp's terrific Play On! Power Pop Heroes book series, and you still have a tiny bit of time left to order Volume 4, so DO THAT!!  

When Bruce announced the end of Not Lame, we tried to pay proper tribute on TIRnRR. That 2010 playlist appears below. Good music for good people--extremely highly recommended! 

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This week's edition of The Best Three Hours Of Radio On The Whole Friggin' Planet paid humble tribute to Bruce Brodeen and the NOT LAME Recording Company.  After over fifteen years of providing good music for good people, Bruce is shutting Not Lame down within the next couple of days.  Blame the economy, blame illegal downloading or blame it on the bossa nova, the loss of Not Lame deprives the rockin' pop faithful of an essential resource, as Bruce closes both the Not Lame mail-order power pop retail outfit and his ever-fab Not Lame record label.  Bruce's tireless passion for pop and seemingly superhuman stamina might lull one into believing that Not Lame could dig in its heels and survive no matter what...but that's not how a business works.  The writing's been scrawled on a dirty, indifferent wall for quite a while now.  No one is surprised; we are all...bummed. 

Because Not Lame was GREAT.  A great way to discover and buy both new and familiar pop sounds, and also a great record label to release even more great pop sounds.  In particular, the Not Lame label had a unique knack for compiling tribute albums that lived up to the label's name (in direct contrast to the dull, numbing barrage of truly-lame major-label tribute albums).  Not Lame introduced me to THE ROOKS, MYRACLE BRAH, MICHAEL CARPENTER, MARTIN LUTHER LENNON and THE SHAZAM, among many others, and we've been playing Not Lame releases on our little mutant radio show consistently from the start.  We'll continue to do so.  Being Not Lame is its own reward, innit?

And we played a bunch of 'em this week!  In addition to all of the above artists, we played Not Lame tracks by KELLY'S HEELS, THE MODEL ROCKETS, PEZBAND, THE EVERYDAY THINGS, HAWKS, THE FLASHCUBES, THE WELL WISHERS, CHRIS VON SNEIDERN, JELLYFISH, TRUE LOVE, PURRBOX, BLUE ASH, THE SUN SAWED IN 1/2, THE POSIES, BOBBY SUTLIFF, EDWARD ROGERS, THE SUPAHIP, STARBELLY, THE TOMS, FLAMINGO, DOUG POWELL and RECEIVER.  We also featured tracks from FULL CIRCLE, Not Lame's irresistible 2-CD Gene Clark tribute set, an album which has been a TIRnRR fave rave from the get-go.  We're looking forward to Bruce's next venture, POP GEEK HEAVEN, but we're gonna miss Not Lame.

(And meanwhile, you've got until Wednesday November 24th to get in your last major Not Lame shopping spree.  This is extremely highly recommended.  Go to www.notlame.com and BUY STUFF NOW!!!)

And this is what rock 'n' roll radio sounded like on a Not Lame Sunday night in Syracuse this week.

THIS IS ROCK 'N' ROLL RADIO with Dana & Carl streams live every Sunday night from 9 to Midnight Eastern, exclusively at www.westcottradio.org.  Individual shows can be downloaded from the Programs section of our website.  We only speak with folks who adore us, so please let us know if you need to be deleted from our weekly greetings.

TIRnRR # 559:  11/21/10

THE SHAZAM:  "On The Airwaves" (Not Lame, Rev 9)
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KELLY'S HEELS:  "Moc.emalton" (www.notlame.com, Tasty Tuesday download)
MICHAEL CARPENTER:  "That's Alright By Me" (Not Lame, VA:  Full Circle)
MARTIN LUTHER LENNON:  "I Own The World" (Not Lame, VA:  SymPOPhony # 1)
KATE RUSBY:  "Village Green Preservation Society" (Pure, Awkward Annie)
THE MODEL ROCKETS:  "A Notice To Everyone (The Cops Are Pissed)" (Not Lame, Tell The Kids The Cops Are Here)
THE HOLLIES:  "King Midas In Reverse" (Epic, From The Original Master Tapes)
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PEZBAND:  "Oh Boy" (Not Lame, single)
THE IDEA:  "She Has A Way" (Not Lame, VA:  Full Circle)
THE EVERYDAY THINGS:  "She Likes It Like That" (Not Lame, Lighten Up, Francis!)
SANDY DENNY & THE STRAWBS:  "How Everyone But Sam Was A Hypocrite" (Storyville, All Our Own Work)
HAWKS:  "Only Love Is Real" (Not Lame, Perfect World Radio)
NEIL YOUNG:  "Heart Of Gold" (Reprise, Greatest Hits)
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THE FLASHCUBES:  "Boy Scout Pinup" (Not Lame, VA:  Shake Some Action)
THE MERRYMAKERS:  "I'll Feel A Whole Lot Better" (Not Lame, VA:  Full Circle)
THE WELL WISHERS:  "See For The First Time" (Not Lame, Twenty-Four SEven)
JAMES YORKSTOR:  "When The Haar Rolls In" (Domino, When The Haar Rolls In)
CHRIS VON SNEIDERN:  "Smile A Little Smile For Me" (Not Lame, VA:  Right To Chews)
JOHN KOERNER & WILLIE MURPHY:  "Magazine Lady" (MOJO, VA:  Journey To Love)
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JELLYFISH:  "Joining A Fan Club" (Not Lame, Fan Club)
THE LEARS:  "The Byrd That Couldn't Fly" (Not Lame, VA:  Full Circle)
TRUE LOVE:  "Mr. Sad" (Not Lame, I Was Accident)
WILD BILLY CHILDISH & THE MUSICIANS OF THE BRITISH EMPIRE:  "Joe Strummer's Grave" (Damaged Goods, Punk Rock At The British Legion Hall)
PURRBOX:  "Shake It Up" (Not Lame, VA:  Substitution Mass Confusion)
LOVE:  "7 And 7 Is" (Rhino, Love Story)
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BLUE ASH:  "The Boy Won't Listen" (Not Lame, Around...Again)
THE MOPTOPS:  "Christine" (Not Lame, VA:  Full Circle)
THE SUN SAWED IN 1/2:  "The Beholder And His Eye" (Not Lame, Bewilderbeest)
ERLAND AND THE CARNIVAL:  "The Derby Ram" (Full Time Hobby, Erland And The Carnival)
MYRACLE BRAH:  "Loli La Letta" (Not Lame, Life On Planet Eartsnop)
TOM RUSH:  "Milk Cow Blues" (UNCUT, VA:  Journey To Love)
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THE POSIES:  "Going Going Gone" (Not Lame, At Least, At Last)
THE KENNEDYS:  "Here Without You" (Not Lame, VA:  Full Circle)
BOBBY SUTLIFF:  "Griffin Bay" (Not Lame, Bitter Fruit)
SQUEEZE:  "Pulling Mussels (From The Shell)" (Love, Spot The Difference)
EDWARD ROGERS:  "In The Garden Of Who You Were" (Not Lame, Sunday Fables)
THE KINKS:  "Picture Book" (Essential, The Village Green Preservation Society)
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THE ROOKS:  "Do You Have God?" (Not Lame, A Wishing Well)
THE GRIP WEEDS:  "She Don't Care About Time" (Not Lame, VA:  Full Circle)
THE SUPAHIP:  "Everything's Alright" (Not Lame, Seize The World)
THE CURE:  "In Between Days" (Elektra, Staring At The Sea)
STARBELLY:  "Broken Hearts In Stereo" (Not Lame, Everyday And Then Some)
WRECKLESS ERIC:  "Whole Wide World" (Stiff, Wreckless Eric)
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THE TOMS:  "I Can Go Now" (Not Lame, The Toms)
THE RETROS:  "Long Time" (Not Lame, VA:  Full Circle)
FLAMINGO:  "Gone And Goodbye" (Not Lame, Flamingo)
BARELY PINK:  "Couldn't Believe Her" (Not Lame, VA:  Full Circle)
DOUG POWELL:  "Empty V" (Not Lame, More)
BILL LLOYD:  "The World Turns All Around Her" (Not Lame, VA:  Full Circle)
RECEIVER:  "Wind Up Girl" (Not Lame, Inspiration Overload)
THE FINKERS:  "Radio Song" (Not Lame, VA:  Full Circle)
THE SHAZAM:  "Let's Away" (Not Lame, The Shazam)
THE ROOKS:  "Reasons" (Not Lame, Encore Echoes)
THE LONELY HEARTS BAND:  "Let It Snow" (Not Lame, St. Nick's Christmas)