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 three 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.

Thursday, April 6, 2017

Blogkeeping: The Vinyl Frontier



I've fallen a little behind in some of the things I wanted to write this week. A full post on how I became a fan of The Monkees should be done within the next few days, and a private post (for subscribers only) is also imminent, discussing The Beatles' White Album. What have I been doing with myself when I should be writing? I've been listening to some vinyl.

For this coming Sunday's edition of This Is Rock 'n' Roll Radio with Dana & Carl, Dana needed the night off, leaving me to do the show solo. Although Dana and I are each capable of doing shows separately, the dynamic of TIRnRR is built specifically on the interplay between my song selections and Dana's song selections, and it's not quite the same show when one or the other of us is missing. So, in Dana's absence, I had to figure out if I also wanted to take the night off, or if I should try to do a regular show without Dana, or do something a little different. In pursuit of different (for TIRnRR anyway), I decided to take a cue from our pals at The Wax Museum with Ronnie Dark over on WVOA-FM, and slap together This Is Rock 'n' Roll Radio's first all-vinyl show.

Now: I respect vinyl aficionados, but I am not truly one of them. I'm fine with CDs; if I gotta, I'll even take digital files (or, as my pal Rich Firestone calls 'em, "air"). Though a pack rat by nature, I tend to get rid of my LPs if I own the same title on compact disc. Yes, heresy, I realize. But I only have so much space; the convenience of CDs makes them an attractive format. Nonetheless, I still own a lot of LPs and 45s; The Beatles, The Ramones, and The Flashcubes have been largely immune to the periodic purges of my vinyl collection (though my Ramones 12" singles did find the right price to make me bid 'em cheery-bye), a few albums carry a sentimental attachment, and a whole bunch of records either aren't available on compact disc, or I haven't yet bothered to switch them out for CDs.

The idea of doing an all-vinyl show appeals to me, and anytime I think something sounds like fun, I'm honor-bound to set about the task of overdoing it. In fact, I've already prerecorded almost all of Sunday's show at home, copying my vinyl selections onto mini-disc (in mono) for playback in the studio at showtime. Our studio setup is not conducive to vinyl; there is only one turntable, so segues from vinyl to vinyl are impossible. That's why I had to do it at home.

I think the show will be interesting, a mix of LP and 45 tracks in TIRnRR's inimitable style. There will be a lot of tracks that are readily available on CD, many tracks that would be difficult to find on CD, and some that have never been legitimately released in that format at all. You'll hear from most of your expected TIRnRR stalwarts, from The Kinks to The Kinks, you'll hear the needle drop on my Sire LP of End Of The Century so The Ramones can sing us in with our opening theme song, and you'll hear the warmth and crackle of well-worn wares from many labels: Capitol, Coral, Apple, Virgin, Casablanca, London, Laurie, Tamla, Warner Brothers, K-Tel, Adam VIII, Colgems, Arista, Emergo, RCA, Epic, Columbia, Motown, MCA, Norton, RSO, Passport, Design, Bearsville, Enigma, Warwick, Polydor, and more. And you'll hear one famous singer make what I'm pretty sure is his This Is Rock 'n' Roll Radio debut. Hope you can join me Sunday night, April 9th, from 9 to Midnight Eastern, www.westcottradio.org. There will be surface noise, and we're proud of it.

The above-mentioned private post on The White Album is the inaugural installment of my new series Groove Gratitude (A Gift Of Music). Here's the boilerplate that will open this and future editions of Groove Gratitude:

Groove Gratitude (A Gift Of Music) looks back on albums I received as gifts. A gift of music can be greater than even the gift itself or the music itself, reflecting the circumstances of who gave us the record (and why) and what it meant to us, then and now. A song can transport us back in time within a single spin. But an album that's connected to a specific someone who gave you that chance to listen and experience? That album has a story to tell.

(And, of course, one can become a patron of Boppin' (Like The Hip Folks Do) for as little as $2 a month, and see private posts like my White Album piece months before they're available to the general public.)

The Everlasting First will continue with the previously-promised post about The Monkees, WHAT IF? SO WHAT? will continue with my 1979 observations about The Rocky Horror Picture Show, Comic Book Retroview will continue its reminiscense about DC's 100-Page Super Spectaculars, and there are several editions of Love At First Spin, Rescued From The Budget Bin!, Virtual Ticket Stub Gallery, and The Greatest Record Ever Made slouching toward Bethlehem. It's all coming, sooner or later, right here at Boppin' (Like The Hip Folks Do).

But I better get all these LPs and 45s put away first.

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