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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.

Friday, June 8, 2018

No! I Hate It! I HATE IT!!



Serendipity! My recent growing irritation with public posts from people writing about music they hate prompted me to consider writing a rebuttal. I mean, what's the point of blathering on and on about stuff you don't like? Great Googly Moogly, I became a (spectacularly unsuccessful) pop journalist in part because I wanted to champion what I thought was good. Yeah, I'm aware of the irony of me complaining publicly about other people complaining publicly, and I've certainly written negative reviews and even a handful of negative posts. But my preferred focus has generally been an embrace rather than a shrug or a sneer.

This piece by Brad Laidman saves me the trouble of writing the post I almost wrote. Brad is responding here to a particularly grating post from someone else whining about his 10 most-hated power pop bands. That original post was written a couple of years back, but made some fresh rounds on Facebook this week, annoying people anew. Brad's response was perfect: snarky, sarcastic, and delivered with just enough of a straight face that a few folks didn't realize he was kidding. Brilliant! So with Brad's permission, I'm ceding today's space to him. Check out Brad's blog Elvis Needs Boats at http://bradlaidman.com/. Take it away, Brad.



My Top Ten List of Worst Power Pop Bands of All Time


1. BADFINGER
Committing suicide does not evince the feel good mood of The Beatles no matter how good the songwriting or the harmonies.


2. THE LA'S
Everyone says Lee Mavers was a genius but I only ever heard "There She Goes" and I loved it but I couldn't afford the rest of the album and I have no idea what he's done since.


3. The dB's
I really loved their albums with Chris Stamey, but then he left the band and then I realized that most of the power pop stuff was by Holsapple and the Stamey stuff was just really weird - I got confused so I no longer listen - they supposedly did a couple of albums as a duo but I was too cheap to buy them.


4. Raspberries
Everyone goes crazy about that part during "Overnight Sensation" where Carmen made the singing sound like it was coming out of a cheap car stereo, but if I wanted shit to sound like a cheap car stereo I'd get a cheap car stereo - plus false endings are a cheap gimmick and I'm offended by the connotations of underage sex initiated by a young girl in "Go All the Way" plus it should be The Raspberries - Raspberries makes no sense.


5. Big Star 
I heard all the music Alex Chilton recorded with The Box Tops who are the most underrated pop band of all time and he had a deep voice at like 17 then with Big Star he sounded totally different with a much higher voice - he was clearly faking one of the two voices and I can't handle inauthenticity. Plus "September Gurls?" Prince invented emojies that's just bad spelling.


6. Too Much Joy
They recorded an LL Cool J song and then did that tribute concert to 2 Live Crew - power pop is nothing to be silly or to make political commentary about.


7. Marshall Crenshaw 
I really liked his first album, but then he lost his hair and I can't listen to bald artists. Plus he played Buddy Holly I think in Peggy Sue Got Married but John Lennon in Beatlemania - make up your mind plus I heard Beatlemania sucked - and you could tell Kathleen Turner was too old to play a teenager and Nic Cage was just weird as hell and not in a Con Air good way.


8. Nick Lowe
I really liked Pure Pop for Now People but then I heard in England the album was called Jesus of Cool and that offends me.


9. Rockpile
I don't care what the contract issues were I can't but a NIck Lowe album and then a Dave Edmunds album and then another and another and then finally an album by the actual band and Billy Bremner sings "Heart" too damn fast - plus Nick should really have known what key that Everly Brothers song was in.


10. The Beatles
Their first four or five albums i can hear their influences: way too much Everlys check, Little Richard check, Chuck Berry check - girl groups check - obscure Arthur Alexander records no one had ever heard of - I get it you lived by the docks and had excellent taste in music, but then they got so high and pretentious they let Ringo sing. I prefer the sound of the Beatles as done by Cheap Trick, but I met Rick Nielsen at his Pizza Place and he was a dick to me then he kicked Bun E Carlos out of the band and replaced him with his son - if I want to see an over the hill act with someone's son replacing a key band member I'll go see Van Halen.


Honorable Mention: Jon Brion
Everyone tells me how great he is but he had a band The Grays and they did one album and quit - then he released one solo album and it didn't sell so he quit. He's a quitter and from what I can tell from the charts he hasn't done anything since! I much prefer Fiona Apple, Aimee Mann, Rhett Miller, Spoon, and whoever does the soundtracks to those awesome Paul Thomas Anderson movies.

CC SAYS: Well done, Brad!



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Our new compilation CD This Is Rock 'n' Roll Radio, Volume 4 is now available from Kool Kat Musik! 29 tracks of irresistible rockin' pop, starring Pop Co-OpRay PaulCirce Link & Christian NesmithVegas With Randolph Featuring Lannie FlowersThe SlapbacksP. HuxIrene PeñaMichael Oliver & the Sacred Band Featuring Dave MerrittThe RubinoosStepford KnivesThe Grip WeedsPopdudesRonnie DarkThe Flashcubes,Chris von SneidernThe Bottle Kids1.4.5.The SmithereensPaul Collins' BeatThe Hit SquadThe RulersThe Legal MattersMaura & the Bright LightsLisa Mychols, and Mr. Encrypto & the Cyphers. You gotta have it, so order it here.