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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, August 1, 2017


For Immediate Release

Tuesday, August 1st, 2017

Contact: Gary Frenay

Flashcubes' 40th Anniversary@Funk & Waffles 

Sometimes, a revolution begins quietly. That was not how it happened in Syracuse.

The late '70s musical revolution variously called punk and new wave rock 'n' roll--the movement that gave the pop world the sounds of The RamonesThe ClashThe Sex PistolsBlondieElvis Costello, and Talking Heads--hit Syracuse loud 'n' proud on September 1st, 1977, when local power pop group The Flashcubes took the stage for the very first time, blazing through an incendiary rendition of The Beatles' "Hold Me Tight" before a smattering of puzzled drunks at The Brookside in DeWitt. On September 1st of this year, 40 years later to the day, The Flashcubes will reconvene their revolution for a show at Funk 'N Waffles, 307-313 S. Clinton Street in Syracuse, with special guests The OhmsThe Trend, and Maura & the Bright Lights. Your hosts are Dana & Carl of the long-running weekly internet radio show This Is Rock 'n' Roll Radio, and it's the third in their almost-annual series of successful Bright Lights Syracuse New Wave Rock 'n' Roll Reunions. $12 advance sale tickets are now available at the venue, and at https://funknwaffles.ticketfly.com/. Last year's show sold out. If still available, tickets will be $15 on the day of the show.

From their humble (if noisy) origin at The Brookside in 1977, The Flashcubes lit the spark of the Syracuse new wave rock 'n' roll scene, inspiring new groups and delighting delirious, giddy fans. Guitarists Paul Armstrong and Arty Lenin, bassist Gary Frenay, and drummer Tommy Allen burned a hole through the roof of every venue The Flashcubes played, from The Loft in Middleville to Max’s Kansas City in New York, blazing a rock 'n' roll trail from Syracuse to Boston to Detroit to Cleveland, to CBGB's, to Los Angeles, and even to Japan. 

They played with The RamonesThe RunawaysThe Police, The RomanticsJoe JacksonPat Benatar and The Jam. Their recordings and their live shows have earned rave reviews all around the world. From being named The Syracuse New Times' Band Of The Year in 1979, to winning the SAMMY (Syracuse Area Music Award) for Best Album in 2012, to being inducted into The SAMMYs Hall Of Fame in 2013, they've received every accolade this town has to offer. Internationally, they’re known simply as one of the greatest power pop groups of all time. In fact, the industry bible of power pop music, Play On, Vol. 2, Power Pop Heroes (Ken Sharp, 2015 http://ken-sharp.com/power-pop-v2/index.html) features chapters on 23 of the greatest power pop bands, and the only one included who did not have a major label deal, is The Flashcubes.

40 years on, the band still features all four original members. Says bassist Frenay, “The fact that we are still the same four guys who started out in 1977 is something we're all very proud of. We know of only two other bands from the 70s who still perform with all original members; ZZ Top & Aerosmith. Not to say that we’re in the same league with those great bands, but to point out that staying together over such a great span of time, is a very rare achievement."

Also on the bill will be The Ohms, a truly legendary Syracuse band from the same era, making their first live appearance anywhere since 1981. The Ohms have been the single most requested act throughout the course of these Bright Lights shows, and we're delighted to finally welcome The Ohms back as part of The Flashcubes' 40th anniversary party. The Trend will perform another unforgettable set of exciting, high-energy rock 'n' roll, and it just wouldn't be Bright Lights without an appearance by Maura & the Bright Lights, the Syracuse supergroup combining the world-renowned coffeehouse pop of Pete and Maura Kennedy and the power pop of Gary Frenay, Arty Lenin, and celebrated drummer Cathy LaMannaAnd we top it all off with two sets of transcendent live rock 'n' roll from Syracuse's own power pop powerhouse, The Flashcubes.

The Flashcubes' latest album, a 2-CD career retrospective called Flashcubes Forever, will be available for sale at the show. It is not mere hype to suggest that this show will sell out. We humbly suggest you join us. Even the loudest revolution can make room for one more.

with The FlashcubesThe OhmsThe TrendMaura & the Bright Lightsand Dana & Carl
8 pm Friday, September 1st, at Funk 'n Waffles, 307-313 S. Clinton St. in Syracuse
$12 advance, $15 at the door (if available)

The Flashcubes in 1978 (l-r): Arty Lenin, Tommy Allen, Gary Frenay &  Paul Armstrong

The Flashcubes in 2017 (l-r): Tommy Allen, Gary Frenay,  Paul Armstrong & Arty Lenin
New CD by The Flashcubes.