Saturday, November 30, 2019

Big Stir Singles: The Fourth Wave liner notes



Giving Tuesday is next week, December 3rd, and that's the day Big Stir Records will release its latest compilation, Big Stir Singles: The Fourth Wave. Five dollars from each CD or download sale will be donated to The Ed Asner Family Center, benefiting folks with special needs. Good music, good cause, good chance for you to enhance your collection while notchin' up some much-needed points on Santa's Nice-Not-Naughty list. You can order it right now, so GO!

We discussed the compilation here. I was honored to provide the liner notes, and I'm delighted to share them now.



What was your first compilation album? For me, if we rule out various-artists sets that belonged to my older siblings, it was probably something like 20 Heavy Hits, which I purchased at the flea market in the mid '70s. Unless I got Dick Clark's 20 Years Of Rock 'n' Roll before that. Whatever compilation was first, it was followed in short order by the varied delights of Heavy Metal, History Of British Rock Volume 2, the Stardust soundtrack, Do It Now!The Super Groups, Geef Voor New Wave, Nuggets, Pebbles, Ear-Piercing Punk, and Troublemakers, among many others. I think The Motown Story was my first label-specific collection, its acquisition predating my ritual snagging of gems like This Are Two Tone and Best Of Bomp.

The mighty Big Stir Records label upholds that proud legacy of rockin' compilation albums. Rex Broome and Christina Bulbenko deserve all the accolades our pop world can offer for the Big Stir Digital Singles Series, an essential weekly barrage of virtual 45s, A-side and B-side. And they merit something unto Sainthood for gathering all of those digital sides as Big Stir Singles collections. For curmudgeons like me, each wave of the Big Stir Singles CDs is a Godsend, preserving ephemeral mp3 files in physical form. As a DJ, I get the digital singles for airplay; but I buy the Big Stir Singles CDs for myself.

And they're good! That conclusion is not as obvious as it may seem. Rex and Christina know their stuff, and their level of quality control is astounding. Each Big Stir single is worth having, and what started out as disparate, unrelated tracks become something amazing in collected form. 

Big Stir Singles: The Fourth Wave continues that streak. Supplemented by both sides of sparkle*jets u.k.'s Big Stir/Big Star tribute 45 and a sturdy new rocker from Joe Normal, this fourth wave of Big Stir digital singles knocks down walls with the sheer weight of its gold records. From the surefire sway of Broken Arrows through the irresistible janglebuzz of The Persian Leaps and the wall o' pop of The Walker Brigade, the hits just keep on comin'. Hell, The Reflectors would have sounded right at home on one of my cherished Bomp Records samplers, and Carol Pacey & the Honey Shakers, Shplang, Dolph Chaney, The Vapour Trails, Armstrong, The Hangabouts, and Blake Jones & the Trike Shop likewise provide the goose your bumps so badly need. 

This is pop music. Maybe it's power pop, or alternative, or whatever nom du bop we wanna scrawl in the space below "Hello My Name Is." To me, it sounds like the mix I want to hear on the radio, the mix I want on my iPod, the mix I craved on all those cracklin' compilation LPs I scarfed out of the budget bins decades ago. It's the mix our battered souls need, each track by itself, and all of the tracks together as one. Call it 25 Heavy Hits, or maybe Part 4 of Rex 'n' Christina's 46 Weeks Of Rock 'n' Roll. It's time to catch that Big Stir wave once again.

Carl Cafarelli is the co-host (with Dana Bonn) of This Is Rock 'n' Roll Radio, Sunday nights from 9 to Midnight Eastern at sparksyracuse.org. A former contributor to Goldmine magazine, Carl is the author of the daily blog Boppin' (Like The Hip Folks Do) at carlcafarelli.blogspot.com, and of the forthcoming book The Greatest Record Ever Made! (Volume 1).









TIP THE BLOGGER: CC's Tip Jar!

You can support this blog by becoming a patron on Patreon: Fund me, baby! 

Fans of pop music will want to check out Waterloo Sunset--Benefit For This Is Rock 'n' Roll Radio, a new pop compilation benefiting SPARK! Syracuse, the home of This Is Rock 'n' Roll Radio with Dana & CarlTIR'N'RR Allstars--Steve StoeckelBruce GordonJoel TinnelStacy CarsonEytan MirskyTeresa CowlesDan PavelichIrene Peña, Keith Klingensmith, and Rich Firestone--offer a fantastic new version of The Kinks' classic "Waterloo Sunset." That's supplemented by eleven more tracks (plus a hidden bonus track), including previously-unreleased gems from The Click BeetlesEytan MirskyPop Co-OpIrene PeñaMichael Slawter (covering The Posies), and The Anderson Council (covering XTC), a new remix of "Infinite Soul" by The Grip Weeds, and familiar TIRnRR Fave Raves by Vegas With RandolphGretchen's WheelThe Armoires, and Pacific Soul Ltd. Oh, and that mystery bonus track? It's exquisite. You need this. You're buying it from Futureman.

(And you can still get our 2017 compilation This Is Rock 'n' Roll Radio, Volume 4, on CD from Kool Kat Musik and as a download from Futureman Records.)

Hey, Carl's writin' a book! The Greatest Record Ever Made! (Volume 1) will contain 100 essays (and then some) about 100 tracks, plus two bonus instrumentals, each one of 'em THE greatest record ever made. An infinite number of records can each be the greatest record ever made, as long as they take turns. Updated initial information can be seen here: THE GREATEST RECORD EVER MADE! (Volume 1).

Friday, November 29, 2019

Fake THIS IS ROCK 'N' ROLL RADIO Playlist: Eat, Drink, And Be Merry

This Is Rock 'n' Roll Radio with Dana & Carl is simply too large a concept to be neatly contained within a mere three-hour weekly time slot. Hence these occasional fake TIRnRR playlists, detailing shows we're never really going to do...but could.



On this day after Thanksgiving, let us pay tribute to fine food and drink with a fake playlist of songs about food and drink. Some of these are cheats--both of the "Candy" songs are about a significant other rather than a chocolate snack, and more likely to give you a heartbreak instead of a toothache--but it's all part of our epicurean rock 'n' roll party. Eat! Drink! ROCK!

This Is Rock 'n' Roll Radio with Dana & Carl--y'know, the real one--plays Sunday nights from 9 to Midnight Eastern, on the air in Syracuse on The Spark WSPJ-LP 103.3 and 93.7 FM, and on the web at http://sparksyracuse.org/

What is This Is Rock 'n' Roll Radio? The answer can be found in my history of our little mutant radio show, Boppin' The Whole Friggin' Planet (The History Of This Is Rock 'n' Roll Radio)

Spark Syracuse is supported by listeners like you. Tax-deductible donations are welcome at http://sparksyracuse.org/support/


You can follow Carl's daily blog Boppin' (Like The Hip Folks Do) at 

https://carlcafarelli.blogspot.com/

Hey, Carl's writin' a book! The Greatest Record Ever Made will contain 100 essays (and then some) about 100 tracks, plus two bonus instrumentals, each one of 'em THE greatest record ever made. An infinite number of records can each be the greatest record ever made, as long as they take turns. Updated initial information can be seen here: THE GREATEST RECORD EVER MADE! (Volume 1)THE GREATEST RECORD EVER MADE! (Volume 1)

Fans of pop music will want to check out Waterloo Sunset--Benefit For This Is Rock 'n' Roll Radio, a new pop compilation benefiting SPARK! Syracuse, the home of This Is Rock 'n' Roll Radio with Dana & CarlTIR'N'RR Allstars--Steve StoeckelBruce GordonJoel TinnelStacy CarsonEytan MirskyTeresa CowlesDan PavelichIrene Peña, Keith Klingensmith, and Rich Firestone--offer a fantastic new version of The Kinks' classic "Waterloo Sunset." That's supplemented by eleven more tracks (plus a hidden bonus track), including previously-unreleased gems from The Click BeetlesEytan MirskyPop Co-OpIrene PeñaMichael Slawter (covering The Posies), and The Anderson Council (covering XTC), a new remix of "Infinite Soul" by The Grip Weeds, and familiar TIRnRR Fave Raves by Vegas With RandolphGretchen's WheelThe Armoires, and Pacific Soul Ltd. Oh, and that mystery bonus track? It's exquisite. You need this. You're buying the digital download from Futureman and/or the CD from Kool Kat Musik.

FAKE TIRnRR PLAYLIST: Eat, Drink, And Be Merry

PAUL REVERE & THE RAIDERS: Hungry
THE FIREBALLS: Bottle Of Wine
JOHN LENNON: Cold Turkey
THE UNDERTONES: Mars Bar
THE DICKIES: Banana Splits
KISS: Cold Gin
--
THE MORELLS: Red's
HERMAN'S HERMITS: No Milk Today
WILSON PICKETT: Sugar Sugar
NRBQ: RC Cola And A Moon Pie
THE KINKS: Afternoon Tea
THE RECORDS: Coca Cola Jingle
--
SQUEEZE: Black Coffee In Bed
TOMMY & THE ROCKETS: Beer & Fun & Rock 'n' Roll
THE DOORS: Alabama Song [Whiskey Bar]
WENDY RENE: Bar-B-Q
PETER TORK: Milkshake
THE RUTLES: Cheese And Onions
--
BEN E. KING: Let The Water Run Down
IGGY POP: Candy
KIRSTY MacCOLL: There's A Guy Works Down The Chip Shop Swears He's Elvis
THE LEMON PIPERS: Rice Is Nice
THE DRIFTERS: Sweets For My Sweet
THE GENERAL STORE: Airport Breakfast
--
UB40: Red Red Wine
JAY & THE TECHNIQUES: Apples, Peaches, Pumpkin Pie
THE B-52'S: Butterbean
HERB ALPERT & THE TIJUANA BRASS: A Taste Of Honey
THE SEARCHERS: Sugar And Spice
KATRINA & THE WAVES: Red Wine And Whiskey
--
CIRCE LINK: Ice Cream Submarine
THE VOGUES: Land Of Milk And Honey
THE DAMNED: Drinking About My Baby
TEENAGE HEAD: Teenage Beer Drinkin' Party
THE RAMONES: Chop Suey
THE GRATEFUL DEAD: Cream Puff War
--
RAQUEL'S BOYS: Orange Soda
BOW WOW WOW: I Want Candy
AMOS MILBURN: One Scotch, One Bourbon, One Beer
AVERAGE WHITE BAND: Cut The Cake
THE COWSILLS: The Milk Song
SHONEN KNIFE: Sushi Bar
--
JIGSAW: Lollipop And Goody Man
STARZ: Cherry Baby
THE BROTHERS JOHNSON: Strawberry Letter # 23
THE CHAMPS: Tequila
THE PANDORAS: Hungry For You
THE FOUNDATIONS:Build Me Up Buttercup
--
THE SECRETS: Drink A Toast
THE STRAWBERRY ALARM CLOCK: Incense And Peppermints
THE DEAD BOYS: I Need Lunch
THE BEACH BOYS: Vegetables
BADFINGER: Moonshine
THE BEATLES: Savoy Truffle
HOT BUTTER: Popcorn
THE MONKEES: Gravy

Thursday, November 28, 2019

THE GREATEST RECORD EVER MADE! (VOLUME 1): Brief Update, New Table Of Contents



As always: an infinite number of songs can each be THE greatest record ever made, as long as they take turns.

I had a quick check-in with my agent yesterday, and the finalized formal proposal for my book The Greatest Record Ever Made! (Volume 1) will be submitted to prospective publishers by mid December. I viewed this as another opportunity to tweak its Table of Contents. 



TABLE OF CONTENTS

FOREWORD
DISCLAIMERS AND DECLARATIONS (A User's Guide To The Greatest Record Ever Made!)
OVERTURE A Fistful Of 45s
1. BADFINGER: Baby Blue
2. CHUCK BERRY: Promised Land
3. DUSTY SPRINGFIELD: I Only Want To Be With You
4. THE SEX PISTOLS: God Save The Queen
5. ELVIS PRESLEY: Heartbreak Hotel
6. PATTI SMITH: Gloria
7. LITTLE RICHARD: The Girl Can't Help It
 *8. NEIL DIAMOND: Brother Love's Traveling Salvation Show
9. CRAZY ELEPHANT: Gimme Gimme Good Lovin' 
10. WILSON PICKETT: In The Midnight Hour
11. THE HOLLIES: I Can't Let Go
12. THE SHIRELLES: Will You Love Me Tomorrow
13. THE RAMONES: Sheena Is A Punk Rocker
INTERLUDE I Dream Of Johnny, Joey, Dee Dee, and Tommy (and occasionally Marky, Richie, C.J., and/or new recruits)
*BONUS TRACK PINK FLOYD: Wish You Were Here
14. BUDDY HOLLY: Peggy Sue/Everyday
15. JOHNNY NASH: I Can See Clearly Now
16. SUZI QUATRO: I May Be Too Young
17. GLADYS KNIGHT & THE PIPS: Midnight Train To Georgia
18. THE RARE BREED: Beg, Borrow And Steal
19. THE 13th FLOOR ELEVATORS: You're Gonna Miss Me
20. THE ROLLING STONES: Get Off Of My Cloud
 *21. PAUL REVERE & THE RAIDERS: Just Like Me
22. PRINCE: When You Were Mine
23. LESLEY GORE: You Don't Own Me
24. TRANSLATOR: Everywhere That I'm Not
25. THE BOBBY FULLER FOUR: I Fought The Law
*BONUS TRACK MERLE HAGGARD: Mama Tried
26. THE WHO: I Can't Explain
27. TODD RUNDGREN: Couldn't I Just Tell You
28. THE FLASHCUBES: No Promise
 *29. SHOES: Tomorrow Night
30. SMOKEY ROBINSON & THE MIRACLES: The Tears Of A Clown
31. THE NEW YORK DOLLS: Personality Crisis
32. THE EASYBEATS: Friday On My Mind
33.  BRUCE SPRINGSTEEN: Girls In Their Summer Clothes
 *34. OTIS REDDING: (Sittin' On) The Dock Of The Bay
35. ARETHA FRANKLIN: Respect
36. THE MONKEES: Porpoise Song (Theme From Head)
INTERLUDE The Night I Met Peter Tork
37. BARON DAEMON & THE VAMPIRES: The Transylvania Twist
*BONUS TRACK NELSON RIDDLE: The Batman Theme
38. KISS: Shout It Out Loud
39. THE LEFT BANKE: Walk Away, Renee
*40. P. P. ARNOLD: The First Cut Is The Deepest
41. THE BAY CITY ROLLERS: Rock And Roll Love Letter
42. THE KNICKERBOCKERS: Lies
43. THE GO-GO'S: We Got The Beat
44. JAMES BROWN: Please, Please, Please
45. GRAND FUNK: We're An American Band
46. SAMMY AMBROSE: This Diamond Ring
47. THE FIRST CLASS: Beach Baby
48. THE ISLEY BROTHERS: Summer Breeze
49. THE RUBINOOS: I Wanna Be Your Boyfriend
50. BIG STAR: September Gurls
*BONUS TRACK BOB DYLAN: Like A Rolling Stone
ENTR'ACTE THE BEATLES: Yesterday
*BONUS TRACK THE DAVE BRUBECK QUARTET: Take Five
51. THE FLAMIN' GROOVIES: Shake Some Action
52. MATERIAL ISSUE: Kim The Waitress
53. MARVIN GAYE: I Heard It Through The Grapevine
54. THE SEARCHERS: Hearts In Her Eyes
55. THE FLIRTATIONS: Nothing But A Heartache
56. THE SPINNERS: I'll Be Around
57. ALICE COOPER: School's Out
58. SLY AND THE FAMILY STONE: Everybody Is A Star
59. TOM PETTY & THE HEARTBREAKERS: American Girl
*60. DAVID RUFFIN: I Want You Back
61. LED ZEPPELIN: Communication Breakdown
62. THE BANDWAGON: Breakin' Down The Walls Of Heartache
*BONUS TRACK DON HENLEY: The Boys Of Summer
INTERLUDE Old Time Time Rock & Roll
63. THE BOB SEGER SYSTEM: 2 + 2 = ?
64. BEN E. KING: Stand By Me
65. THE BYRDS: I'll Feel A Whole Lot Better
66.  THE EVERLY BROTHERS: Gone, Gone, Gone
67. THE COCKTAIL SLIPPERS: St. Valentine's Day Massacre
68. GENE PITNEY: Twenty Four Hours From Tulsa
69. THE VELVET UNDERGROUND: I'll Be Your Mirror
70. FREDDIE & THE DREAMERS: Do The Freddie
71. THE DRIFTERS: On Broadway
72. SAM & DAVE: Soul Man
73. THE SPONGETONES: (My Girl) Maryanne
74. THE TRAMMPS: Disco Inferno
75. HAROLD MELVIN & THE BLUE NOTES: Don't Leave Me This Way
BONUS TRACK GRANDMASTER & MELLE MEL: White Lines (Don't Don't Do It)
76. T. REX: 20th Century Boy
*77. THE RUNAWAYS: Cherry Bomb
78. THE KINKS: You Really Got Me
79. THE KINKS: Waterloo Sunset
80. THE SMITHEREENS: Behind The Wall Of Sleep
*81. THE COWSILLS: She Said To Me
82. FREDA PAYNE: Band Of Gold
83. ELVIS COSTELLO & THE ATTRACTIONS: (What's So Funny 'Bout) Peace, Love And Understanding?
84. THE FOUR TOPS: Reach Out I'll Be There
*85. RUFUS: Tell Me Something Good
86. PAUL COLLINS: Walking Out On Love
BONUS TRACK THE JIVE FIVE: What Time Is It?
INTERLUDE The Tottenham Sound Of...The Beatles?!
87. THE DAVE CLARK FIVE: Any Way You Want It
88. WHAM!: Freedom
*89. THE SUPREMES: You Keep Me Hangin' On 
90. THE BEACH BOYS: God Only Knows
*91. LULU: To Sir, With Love (Museum Outings Montage)
*92. MANNIX: Highway Lines
93. THE SELECTER: On My Radio
94. SOLOMON BURKE: Everybody Needs Somebody To Love
*95. CHEAP TRICK Surrender
96. DAVID BOWIE: Life On Mars?
*97. THE O'JAYS: Put Your Hands Together
98. THE GRATEFUL DEAD: Uncle John's Band
*99. EDDIE & THE HOT RODS: Do Anything You Wanna Do
100. STEVIE WONDER: I Believe (When I Fall In Love It Will Be Forever)
ENCORE! EYTAN MIRSKY: This Year's Gonna Be Our Year
ENCORE!! THE JAYHAWKS: I'm Gonna Make You Love Me
An Infinite Number
Underrating The Beatles
THE GREATEST RECORD EVER MADE! THE BEATLES: Rain
LAST CALL! THE T-BONES: No Matter What Shape (Your Stomach's In)
CODA Cruisin' Music
MORE BONUS TRACKS/AFTERWORD 

Asterisks indicate the chapters I still have to finish writing. There have been some changes since our last update a couple of weeks ago, including a few songs added, a few songs deleted, and adjustments to the running order. There will be more changes still, I betcha, but this is what's going out with the proposal. I think.

I've decided to use the bonus tracks specifically for genres and areas not otherwise represented in the individual chapters: progressive rock, country, TV theme songs, Bob Dylan (almost a genre all by himself), jazz, The Eagles (via the tangent of Don Henley's magnificent "The Boys Of Summer"), rap, and doo-wop. Added to the main menu of a Hot 100, these eight bonus tracks, plus two encores, a Last Call, and a coronation of THE greatest record ever made combine to create a total of 112 GREM! chapters in the book. I'm tempted to add The Animals' "It's My Life" as one more bonus track near the end of the book, but every time I insert it into the line-up, I wind up removing it. I also have a fully-written chapter about "We Used To Be Friends," the Dandy Warhols song that opened each episode of the Veronica Mars TV show; that chapter was intended for the TV theme bonus track spot currently occupied by "The Batman Theme," and it might yet nudge the Caped Crusader out of the way.  We'll see.



I believe this book is going to be published. Forgive my sin of pride, but it's a good work, and I think there is an audience for it. I hope you'll be a part of that audience. More updates to come.


THE GREATEST RECORD EVER MADE! (Volume 1)

Our favorite records don't live in isolation. Each one has a story to tell.

As pop music fans, we may have one all-time favorite song that stands out for us as the greatest record ever made. But in another moment, we may shift our allegiance to a different song, and then to another. We’re not fickle. We’re enthusiastic, and we’re sincere. We love our music. We lose ourselves in the music we love.

An infinite number of songs can each be THE greatest record ever made, as long as they take turns. Acclaimed pop journalist Carl Cafarelli (GoldmineThis Is Rock ‘n’ Roll Radio) brings his own passion and enthusiasm to The Greatest Record Ever Made! (Volume 1), a collection of 100+ essays about 100+ great songs, celebrating both the immortality and the in-the-moment immediacy of the rockin' pop music we cherish. The subjects include Rock And Roll Hall Of Famers like The Beatles, Chuck Berry, The Sex Pistols, Aretha Franklin, The Grateful Dead, David Bowie, Prince, and many more.

But The Greatest Record Ever Made! (Volume 1) encompasses more than just those enshrined in a Hall of Fame. It includes hit acts like Harold Melvin and the Blue Notes,  Sammy Ambrose’s forgotten original of “This Diamond Ring,” cult acts like The 13th Floor Elevators and Big Star, teen idols like The Bay City Rollers, and relative unknowns like Baron Daemon and the Vampires: rock, soul, R & B, pop, punk, bubblegum, ska, power pop, girl groups, and disco. This is not a definitive list of the 100 best songs ever recorded. Rather, it's a 100+-song block party of great tracks, each one the greatest in its own infinite turn. It's a celebration, exhaustively and enthusiastically crafted by a pop journalist who loves each of these records without reservation.

Why did The Monkees go from the top of the pops in 1967 to seeming has-been status in 1968? How did James Brown respond to the British Invasion? What minefields of racism, sexism, homophobia, ambition, frustration, depression, or loss were navigated by Little Richard, Dusty Springfield, The Go-Go's, Elvis, Sly and the Family Stone, The Kinks, The Beach Boys, The Supremes, and Material Issue's Jim Ellison? Were The Ramones as much a bubblegum band as they were a punk band? When does a group succeed or fail in its quixotic quest to be the next Beatles? 

Our path is finite. Its soundtrack is not. The Greatest Record Ever Made! (Volume 1) mixes history lessons, artist appreciation, and the ways in which the records we love can deeply affect our personal livesPart personal memoir and part rockin’ pop record hop, The Greatest Record Ever Made! (Volume 1) is the book for anyone who’s ever yelled “Turn It Up!”

Or, better yet: “Play that again!” Your infinite turn awaits. Welcome to the world of The Greatest Record Ever Made!



TIP THE BLOGGER: CC's Tip Jar!

You can support this blog by becoming a patron on Patreon: Fund me, baby! 

Fans of pop music will want to check out Waterloo Sunset--Benefit For This Is Rock 'n' Roll Radio, a new pop compilation benefiting SPARK! Syracuse, the home of This Is Rock 'n' Roll Radio with Dana & CarlTIR'N'RR Allstars--Steve StoeckelBruce GordonJoel TinnelStacy CarsonEytan MirskyTeresa CowlesDan PavelichIrene Peña, Keith Klingensmith, and Rich Firestone--offer a fantastic new version of The Kinks' classic "Waterloo Sunset." That's supplemented by eleven more tracks (plus a hidden bonus track), including previously-unreleased gems from The Click BeetlesEytan MirskyPop Co-OpIrene PeñaMichael Slawter (covering The Posies), and The Anderson Council (covering XTC), a new remix of "Infinite Soul" by The Grip Weeds, and familiar TIRnRR Fave Raves by Vegas With RandolphGretchen's WheelThe Armoires, and Pacific Soul Ltd. Oh, and that mystery bonus track? It's exquisite. You need this. You're buying it from Futureman.

(And you can still get our 2017 compilation This Is Rock 'n' Roll Radio, Volume 4, on CD from Kool Kat Musik and as a download from Futureman Records.)


Wednesday, November 27, 2019

The Copperhead Kid Rides Into Comic Book Shops

Illustration by Ed Catto
"The Last Ride Of The Copperhead Kid," my first published professional fiction, arrives in comic book stores today, November 27th. It's a two-page prose short story, with illustration by artist Ed Catto, and it appears as a back-up feature in The Second Coming # 5, published by AHOY Comics.


The Second Coming # 5
The Second Coming is a six-issue limited-series comic book, telling a satirical story about God sending His son Jesus back to Earth in the present day, instructing Jesus to learn what he can from a superhero called Sunstar. Hijinks ensue. Written by New York Times bestselling writer Mark Russell and illustrated by Mark Pace, The Second Coming was originally scheduled to be published by DC Comics. Some religious conservatives objected to the presumed sacrilege of a funnybook mixing God with a superhero (and, even worse, with laughter); it was definitely presumed sacrilege, since the blowhards protesting The Second Coming certainly hadn't actually read it. Nonetheless, DC grew skittish, and withdrew. The good folks at AHOY swooped in, allowing the open-minded and appreciative among us to experience it. The Second Coming is a very good comic book, and I'm proud to be associated with it in my small way.




All AHOY comic books contain at least one prose piece, included to enhance the reader's experience with bonus and otherwise unrelated material to back up the main comics feature. The Second Coming # 5 supplements its title feature with four short stories: "Brainwash" by Carol Lay (with art by Lay), "Roommates" by Tyrone Finch (with art by Rick Geary), and "Dear Departed" by Bryce Abood (with art by Carly Wright), plus my story about an Old West gunslinger known as The Copperhead Kid.

I wrote "The Last Ride Of The Copperhead Kid" earlier this year, inspired by a sudden urge to try to write a Western. It is one of ten new short stories I wrote in 2019, and the third of four (so far) that I sold to AHOY. It is the first of my AHOY sales to see publication and, as noted, my first fiction sale to ever see print anywhere. Big moment for me, lemme tell ya.

"A gunslinger can't ride forever. The trail ends some time, even for the fastest gun in the West. Some trails end in old age. For most gunslingers, the trail ends in the grave.

"Most gunslingers weren't The Copperhead Kid."

Wanna read the rest? Check with a comic book store near you to see if it carries AHOY Comics titles, and ask for a copy of The Second Coming # 5. It'll set ya back $3.99, and I believe that to be a good value. Comic Shop Locator can help you find a local comic-book retailer, and there are a lot of other great books out there for your reading pleasure. You can't go wrong with an AHOY title, but DC, Marvel, BOOM!, Dynamite, and other publishers also get their share of my regular weekly comics dollars. Comics are fun! And today, for the first time, I'm a participant in helping to create that fun. I hope you enjoy meeting my character, The Copperhead Kid.




TIP THE BLOGGER: CC's Tip Jar!

You can support this blog by becoming a patron on Patreon: Fund me, baby! 

Fans of pop music will want to check out Waterloo Sunset--Benefit For This Is Rock 'n' Roll Radio, a new pop compilation benefiting SPARK! Syracuse, the home of This Is Rock 'n' Roll Radio with Dana & CarlTIR'N'RR Allstars--Steve StoeckelBruce GordonJoel TinnelStacy CarsonEytan MirskyTeresa CowlesDan PavelichIrene Peña, Keith Klingensmith, and Rich Firestone--offer a fantastic new version of The Kinks' classic "Waterloo Sunset." That's supplemented by eleven more tracks (plus a hidden bonus track), including previously-unreleased gems from The Click BeetlesEytan MirskyPop Co-OpIrene PeñaMichael Slawter (covering The Posies), and The Anderson Council (covering XTC), a new remix of "Infinite Soul" by The Grip Weeds, and familiar TIRnRR Fave Raves by Vegas With RandolphGretchen's WheelThe Armoires, and Pacific Soul Ltd. Oh, and that mystery bonus track? It's exquisite. You need this. You're buying it from Futureman.

(And you can still get our 2017 compilation This Is Rock 'n' Roll Radio, Volume 4, on CD from Kool Kat Musik and as a download from Futureman Records.)

Hey, Carl's writin' a book! The Greatest Record Ever Made! (Volume 1) will contain 100 essays (and then some) about 100 tracks, plus two bonus instrumentals, each one of 'em THE greatest record ever made. An infinite number of records can each be the greatest record ever made, as long as they take turns. Updated initial information can be seen here: THE GREATEST RECORD EVER MADE! (Volume 1).

Tuesday, November 26, 2019

A Neil Young Story



One day, Neil Young was home, working on writing some new songs. After a productive morning, a rumbling in his stomach told him it was time to break for lunch. Young decided to reward his own efforts by making and then devouring the perfect sandwich.

In his kitchen, Young began to assemble the ingredients for his perfect sandwich: bread, a variety of cold cuts, spinach leaves, pickles, olives, and slices of provolone and Swiss cheese. As he searched for a condiment, he realized with dismay that his last remaining jar of Hellmann's Mayonnaise was empty.

That would not do at all.

Rather than compromise his vision of the perfect sandwich, Young grabbed his jacket, wallet, and car keys, and headed out to the grocery store to pick up a fresh jar of Hellmann's.

Now, on any given day, it was a quick trip to the grocery store, maybe 15 minutes round trip, if even that. But on this day, Young ran into a construction detour, with no easy alternate route. The detour took him miles out of his way, adding at least twenty minutes to his journey. 

After finally following the detour almost all the way back to his familiar grocery store route, Young made a wrong turn, and didn't realize it until he'd driven an extra ten minutes in the wrong direction. Cursing colorfully, Young corrected his error, backtracked, and finally arrived at the grocery store. What was usually a 15-minute round trip had already taken almost 40 minutes. Circling to find a parking space in the store's crowded lot added another five minutes.

A crowded parking lot meant a crowded store. A small group of fans recognized Young on his way inside, and--seeking to combat his persistent image as a curmudgeon--Young paused long enough to sign autographs and pose for selfies. He then excused himself, navigated the throngs of other shoppers, and made his way to the part of the store where, on previous visits, he had always grabbed his jars of Hellmann's right off the shelf. Alas, the store had revamped its merchandising plan, so Young had to ask for help in finding his target. His 15-minute round trip had begun just over an hour ago.

When Young arrived at the shelf where jars of Hellmann's were supposed to be awaiting eager customers, the shelf was empty. Restocking was in process, and within another ten minutes, Young had his chosen condiment--two jars of it--in hand. He checked out with no further incident.

Traffic was slow on the return trip. Flashing lights warned of a fender-bender up ahead--no one was hurt, thank God--and the bumper-to-bumper parade of vehicles crawled on slowly. By the time Young made it back home, it had been more than two hours since the discovery of an empty Hellmann's jar had sent him on what was supposed to be a 15-minute trek.

Young shrugged it all off. He went to the kitchen, made the perfect sandwich he'd envisioned, and enjoyed every bite of it.

His hunger satisfied, Young returned to his songwriting. He reflected on his day and its unexpected complications. He picked up his guitar, and began a new song:



Long mayo run
Long mayo run
Long mayo run....

Thank you. We're here every day.


What the...?!
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Fans of pop music will want to check out Waterloo Sunset--Benefit For This Is Rock 'n' Roll Radio, a new pop compilation benefiting SPARK! Syracuse, the home of This Is Rock 'n' Roll Radio with Dana & CarlTIR'N'RR Allstars--Steve StoeckelBruce GordonJoel TinnelStacy CarsonEytan MirskyTeresa CowlesDan PavelichIrene Peña, Keith Klingensmith, and Rich Firestone--offer a fantastic new version of The Kinks' classic "Waterloo Sunset." That's supplemented by eleven more tracks (plus a hidden bonus track), including previously-unreleased gems from The Click BeetlesEytan MirskyPop Co-OpIrene PeñaMichael Slawter (covering The Posies), and The Anderson Council (covering XTC), a new remix of "Infinite Soul" by The Grip Weeds, and familiar TIRnRR Fave Raves by Vegas With RandolphGretchen's WheelThe Armoires, and Pacific Soul Ltd. Oh, and that mystery bonus track? It's exquisite. You need this. You're buying it from Futureman.

(And you can still get our 2017 compilation This Is Rock 'n' Roll Radio, Volume 4, on CD from Kool Kat Musik and as a download from Futureman Records.)

Hey, Carl's writin' a book! The Greatest Record Ever Made! (Volume 1) will contain 100 essays (and then some) about 100 tracks, plus two bonus instrumentals, each one of 'em THE greatest record ever made. An infinite number of records can each be the greatest record ever made, as long as they take turns. Updated initial information can be seen here: THE GREATEST RECORD EVER MADE! (Volume 1).