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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, June 13, 2017

THIS IS ROCK 'N' ROLL RADIO Flashback: The Smithereens

Those great rockin' pop guys The Smithereens are allowing us to use "Got Me A Girl," a track from their 1980 debut EP Girls About Town, on our forthcoming compilation CD This Is Rock 'n' Roll Radio, Volume 4 (due out this summer on the Kool Kat Musik label). Seems a good time to look back at this TIRnRR playlist from March 13, 2011, the night that we featured the music of The Smithereens.

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Last Sunday This Is Rock 'n' Roll Radio cast its dim widdle spotlight on the music of The Smithereens. For over thirty years of buzzing hooks and melodic drama, New Jersey's Phenomenal Pop Combo has perfected a rock 'n' roll paradox of brooding joy: bitter heartache, even despair, semi-sweetened by guitar, bass, drums and cathartic grit, redeemed by loud, electric love. From the group's 1980 debut Girls About Town through their splendid forthcoming new album Smithereens 2011, we blasted out an irresistible array of solid rockin' pop nuggets, each one an urgent communique from behind the wall of sleep.

Amidst this cavalcade of Smithereens hits, their new single "Sorry" pulls off the seeming miracle of being just as riveting as nonpareil Smithereens essentials like "House We Used To Live In" and "Yesterday Girl." We played all of the above, and many more (yet not nearly enough--it's only a three-hour show!). We also played two more terrific, as-yet-unreleased tracks from Smithereens 2011, which were sufficient to make me wonder if maybe this young year has already lent its name to its album of the year. And The Smithereens saw that it was good.

(To supplement our Smithereens feature, we threw in bonus material from individual 'Reens moonlighting as Jim Babjak's Buzzed Meg, The B.A.R., and Dennis Diken With Bell Sound. We also played a lot of great Australian rock 'n' roll from the late '70s and early '80s, mixed in with the varied delights of Eytan Mirsky, The Fleshtones, Michael Carpenter, The Undertones, John & Yoko, Maxi Dunn, Mad Monster Party, The Flowers Machine, Wings, and The Girls From Petticoat Junction. And THE SMITHEREENS! Thanks to our pal Rich Firestone for hooking us up with advance tracks from Smithereens 2011, and for reminding us of why we really oughtta be playing The Smithereens every damn week awready.)

The Smithereens' new single "Sorry" is available right now from iTunes and Amazon. Smithereens 2011 is available for pre-order from all your favorite music retail resources, and is in stores April 5th. If you don't pick this one up, we've no choice but to question your loyalties.

TAX-DEDUCTIBLE DONATIONS go to Syracuse Community Radio, 826 Euclid Avenue, Syracuse, NY  13210. Please let us know if you need to be deleted from our weekly greetings. NEXT WEEK:  on Sunday March 20th, new music from THE FLESHTONES! And more Smithereens! This is what rock 'n' roll radio sounded like on a 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.

TIRnRR # 574:  3/13/11

THE RAMONES:  "Do You Remember Rock 'n' Roll Radio?" (Rhino, End Of The Century)
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THE SMITHEREENS:  "One Look At You" (Entertainment One, Smithereens 2011)
RADIO BIRDMAN:  "New Race" (Feel, VA:  Tales From The Australian Underground Vol. 2)
THE GIRLS FROM PETTICOAT JUNCTION:  "If You Could Only Be Me" (Imperial, single)
THE SAINTS:  "Know Your Product" (Feel, VA:  Tales From The Australian Underground Vol. 2)
THE SMITHEREENS:  "Just Got Me A Girl" (D-Town, Girls About Town)
TEENAGE RADIO STARS:  "Wanna Be Your Baby" (Feel, VA:  Tales From The Australian Underground Vol. 2)
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EYTAN MIRSKY:  "A Little Heartache (Never Hurt No One)" (unreleased)
THE TRIFFIDS:  "Raining Pleasure" (Feel, VA:  Tales From The Australian Underground Vol. 2)
THE SMITHEREENS:  "Cigarette" (Enigma, Especially For You)
THE SCREAMING TRIBESMEN:  "A Stand Alone" (Feel, VA:  Tales From The Australian Underground Vol. 2)
JIM BABJAK'S BUZZED MEG:  "You Get Me So Excited" (Tex Rem, The Music From Jim Babjak's Buzzed Meg--Part 1)
SALAMANDER JIM:  "Hot Cakes For Daddy" (Feel, VA:  Tales From The Australian Underground Vol. 2)
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THE SMITHEREENS:  "I Believe" (Koch, God Save The Smithereens)
THE THOUGHT CRIMINALS:  "More Suicides Please" (Feel, VA:  Tales From The Australian Underground Vol. 2)
THE FLESHTONES:  "Going Back To School" (Yep Roc, Take A Good Look)
BOYS NEXT DOOR:  "Dive Position" (Feel, VA:  Tales From The Australian Underground Vol. 2)
THE SMITHEREENS:  "Some Other Guy" (Capitol, Beauty And Sadness)
THE HITMEN:  "I Am The Man" (Feel, VA:  Tales From The Australian Underground Vol. 2)
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MICHAEL CARPENTER:  "Kailee Anne" (Not Lame, Hopefulness)
THE UNDERTONES:  "Teenage Kicks" (Rykodisc, The Undertones)
THE SMITHEREENS:  "Love Is Gone" (RCA, A Date With The Smithereens)
JOHN & YOKO/PLASTIC ONO BAND:  "The Luck Of The Irish" (Capitol, Some Time In New York City)
MAXI DUNN:  "Why" (iTunes)
JOHN & YOKO/PLASTIC ONO BAND:  "Sunday Bloody Sunday" (Capitol, Some Time In New York City)
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THE SMITHEREENS:  "House We Used To Live In" (Capitol, Green Thoughts)
THE LIME SPIDERS:  "Out Of Control" (Feel, VA:  Tales From The Australian Underground Vol. 2)
MAD MONSTER PARTY:  "Can't Stop Loving You" (unreleased)
INNER SLEEVES:  "End It All" (Feel, VA:  Tales From The Australian Underground Vol. 2)
THE SMITHEREENS:  "It's Alright" (Capitol, Blow Up)
TALL TALES & TRUE:  "Wasted Life" (Feel, VA:  Tales From The Australian Underground Vol. 2)
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THE SMITHEREENS:  "A World Of Our Own" (Entertainment One, Smithereens 2011)
SPK:  "Mekano" (Feel, VA:  Tales From The Australian Underground Vol. 2)
DENNIS DIKEN WITH BELL SOUND:  "The Sun's Gonna Shine In The Morning" (Cryptovision, Late Music)
LITTLE MURDERS:  "Things Will Be Different" (Feel, VA:  Tales From The Australian Underground Vol. 2)
THE SMITHEREENS:  "I Want To Hold Your Hand" (Koch, Meet The Smithereens)
THE RIPTIDES:  "Tomorrow's Tears" (Feel, VA:  Tales From The Australian Underground Vol. 2)
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THE B.A.R.:  "Katie's Shoes" (JAM, VA:  This Is Rock 'n' Roll Radio, Volume 2)
THE SINGLES:  "Love Of Loves" (Feel, VA:  Tales From The Australian Underground Vol. 2)
THE SMITHEREENS:  "Baby Be Good" (Capitol, Smithereens 11)
SHY IMPOSTERS:  "At The Barrier" (Feel, VA:  Tales From The Australian Underground Vol. 2)
THE FLOWER MACHINE:  "I Am The Coelacanth" (Rainbow Quartz, Lavender Lane)
TACTICS:  "Second Language" (Feel, VA:  Tales From The Australian Underground Vol. 2)
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THE SMITHEREENS:  "Sorry" (Entertainment One, Smithereens 2011)
THE HOODOO GURUS:  "(Let's All) Turn On" (Feel, VA:  Tales From The Australian Underground Vol. 2)
THE SMITHEREENS:  "Strangers When We Meet" (Enigma, Especially For You)
THE HAPPY HATE-ME-NOTS:  "Salt, Sour & Brighton" (Feel, VA:  Tales From The Australian Underground Vol. 2)
THE SMITHEREENS:  "Yesterday Girl" (Capitol, Smithereens 11)
THE STEMS:  "For Always" (Feel, VA:  Tales From The Australian Underground Vol. 2)
THE SMITHEREENS:  "Only A Memory" (Capitol, Green Thoughts)
THE HUMMINGBIRDS:  "Alimony" (Feel, VA:  Tales From The Australian Underground Vol. 2)
THE SMITHEREENS:  "Behind The Wall Of Sleep" (Enigma, Especially For You)
WINGS:  "Girls School" (Capitol, London Town)
THE SMITHEREENS:  "Back To Balboa" (Capitol, From Jersey It Came!)

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