Wednesday, September 30, 2020

POP-A-LOOZA: LP Cover Cavalcade # 1


Each week, the pop culture website Pop-A-Looza shares some posts from my vast 'n' captivating Boppin' (Like The Hip Folks Do) archives. The latest shared post is an annotated collection of five album covers, LP Cover Cavalcade # 1.

LP Cover Cavalcade grew out of my earlier series Comics And LP Cover Cavalcade, which debuted on this blog waaaay back on November 24, 2017. The original idea was to combine my love of rock 'n' roll records with my love of comic books, and present commentary about five LP covers mixed with commentary about five comic book covers. The inaugural edition offered Metal Men, KISS, Daredevil Battles Hitler, The Monkees, Vampirella, Suzi Quatro, Judo Master, The James Montgomery Band, Iron Man And Sub-Mariner, and Blondie

I thought these were pretty cool, but the series had two inherent problems. The biggest problem was something my wife Brenda pointed out: some music fans don't want to read blogs about comics, and some comics fans don't wanna hear about rock 'n' roll. Oof. The other problem? It took longer to write a blog piece spotlighting ten items than it would take to write about just five items. Limited time to work. Daily blog. Buh-bye, Comics And LP Cover Cavalcade

(And then, of course, I committed to doing the weekly 10 Songs feature. Oy. A foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds, Little Richard, and Li'l Archie. Or something.)

I accomplished nine editions of Comics And LP Cover Cavalcade, plus two special editions, before splitting the concept into separate series. Following the above-cited super-duper collectors' item first edition cited above, these were the remaining hybrid Cavalcades:

 

Comics And LP Cover Cavalcade # 2, with The Beatles, Funnyman, Chuck Berry, World's Finest Comics, Lesley Gore, Marvel Feature starring the Astonishing Ant-Man, The Flamin' Groovies, The Marvel Family, The Beau Brummels, and The Phantom.

Comics And LP Cover Cavalcade # 3, with The Avengers, The Rolling Stones, Mighty Comics starring The Shield, The Black Hood, and The Web (and--swoon!--Pow Girl), Paul Revere and the Raiders, The Spectre, Rick James, Blue Beetle, The Runaways, The Scorpion, and Elvis Presley.

Comics And LP Cover Cavalcade # 4, a Christmas edition, with Phil Spector's Christmas Album, Walt Disney's Christmas Parade, Now That's What I Call Music--The Christmas Album, Dennis The Menace, A Very Special Christmas, Batman, The Beatles' Christmas Album, Giant Superhero Holiday Grab Bag, The Best Of Cool Yule, and Christmas With The Super-Heroes.

 

Comics And LP Cover Cavalcade # 5, with The Flintstones At The New York World's Fair, The 5th Dimension, Famous First Edition starring the original Captain Marvel, Fanny, Fantastic Four, Fleetwood Mac, The Fightin' 5, The Five Americans, The Fox And The Crow starring Stanley and his Monster, and The Four Tops.

Comics And LP Cover Cavalcade # 6, with Herb Alpert and the Tijuana Brass, Vampirella, Badfinger, The Green Hornet, Bebe Buell, Jonny Quest, ABBA, Showcase starring Dolphin, Cherry Vanilla, and Dr. Strange.

Comics And LP Cover Cavalcade # 7, with The Archies meeting The Monkees, The Ramones, Superman Vs. The Amazing Spider-Man, The Everly Brothers, Wonder Woman, Diana Ross & the Supremes Join The Temptations, Strange Tales starring The Human Torch and The Thing (almost) meeting The Beatles, The Sex Pistols, The Partridge Family, and Bobby Vee Meets The Crickets.

 

Comics And LP Cover Cavalcade # 8, with The Kinks, Batman, The Who, Marvel Tales, Little Richard, Marvel Super-Heroes, The Motown Story, Superman, 25 # 1 Hits From 25 Years, and The Great Comic Book Heroes.

 

Comics And LP Cover Cavalcade # 9, with The Animals, Shazam!, The Everly Brothers, The Avengers, Dolenz, Jones, Boyce & Hart, The Green Hornet, The Tremblers, Charlton Bullseye, The Beau Brummels, and Secret Origins.

Comics And LP Cover Cavalcade Supplement # 1: Paperbacks And Rock Mags, with Batman Vs. Three Villains Of Doom, CREEM Presents The Monkees, Paingod And Other Delusions by Harlan Ellison, Bucketfull Of Groovies, The Pigman, Rock Scene, The Man From U.N.C.L.E., Punk, The Phantom in The Veiled Lady, and Hot Wacks Quarterly.

Comics And LP Covers Cavalcade Supplement # 2: Superpulp Paperbacks And Rock 'n' Roll 45s, with The Green Hornet in The Infernal Light, Stiv Bators, The Avengers Battle The Earth-Wrecker, Suzi Quatro, Batman Vs. The Fearsome Foursome, The Knack, Weird Heroes, Public Image Ltd., Armageddon 2419 A. D., and Paul Revere and the Raiders.

Now, the concepts live on, each in its own compact domain: LP Cover Cavalcade, Comic Book Cover Cavalcade, and Paperback Cover Cavalcade, with maybe a few other categories to form in the near future. And LP Cover Cavalcade # 1 is the latest Boppin' Pop-A-Looza.

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

Hey! If you buy from Amazon, consider making your purchases through links at Pop-A-Looza. A portion of your purchase there will go to support Boppin' (Like The Hip Folks Do). Thinking Amazon? Think Pop-A-Looza.


This Is Rock 'n' Roll Radio with Dana & Carl airs Sunday nights from 9 to Midnight Eastern, on the air in Syracuse at SPARK! WSPJ 103.3 and 93.7 FM, and on the web at http://sparksyracuse.org/ You can read about our history here.


The many fine This Is Rock 'n' Roll Radio compilation albums are still available, each full of that rockin' pop sound you crave. A portion of all sales benefit our perpetually cash-strapped community radio project:


Volume 1: download

Volume 2: CD or download
Volume 3: download
Volume 4: CD or download
Waterloo Sunset--Benefit For This Is Rock 'n' Roll Radio:  CD or download

Carl's writin' a book! The Greatest Record Ever Made! (Volume 1)will contain 165 essays about 165 tracks, 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, September 29, 2020

10 SONGS: 9/29/2020

10 Songs is a weekly list of ten songs that happen to be on my mind at the moment. Given my intention to usually write these on Mondays, the lists are often dominated by songs played on the previous night's edition of This Is Rock 'n' Roll Radio with Dana & Carl. The idea was inspired by Don Valentine of the essential blog I Don't Hear A Single.


This week's edition of 10 Songs draws exclusively from the playlist for This Is Rock 'n' Roll Radio # 1044.

THE FLASHCUBES: Got No Mind/Dizzy Miss Lizzy

Got got got no mind/Got got got no mind/Got got got no mind/Got no mind, and I don't mind!

I know I'm not unique in this, but my frustration meter has been reaching its percolatin' point a lot lately. I'm okay at the moment, but I was particularly irate 'n' agity last Tuesday. So Tuesday night, when Dana called me for the weekly ritual slappin' together of the remote-programmed playlist for this week's show, my simmering sense of ineffectual fury (and its corresponding desire to break stuff) prompted me to wanna open with something angry. The Flashcubes. We would open with The Flashcubes.

Given The Flashcubes' well-deserved reputation as Syracuse's own power pop powerhouse, "angry" might not be the first adjective one might choose to apply to their invigorating brand of Cubic pop music. But The Flashcubes began as a punk band in '77, and while they transcended that label in short order, the essential cantankerousness of The Sex Pistols and The New York Dolls was as much a part of their rock 'n' roll DNA as the hook-friendly influence of popmeisters Badfinger and The Raspberries. I didn't mind; I loved all of it, and I still do.

Open angry. 'Cubes guitarist Paul Armstrong's "Got No Mind" channels the psycho therapy of The Ramones' "Teenage Lobotomy" to bludgeon out its own surly message of Fuck THIS. Open angry? Pretty soon, I'll be set to vote angry as well. For right now, a spin of "Got No Mind" serves up the necessary dose of righteously pissed-off catharsis.

In 1978, basement demos of "Got No Mind" and Gary Frenay's "Guernica" formed the incongruous B-side to The Flashcubes' first single, topped by Arty Lenin's pretty pop ballad "Christi Girl." A 1979 live version of "Got No Mind," recorded at my favorite lost local nightspot The Firebarn, eventually appeared on The Flashcubes' CD anthology Bright Lights. On the CD, the track fades out just as the 'Cubes are launching into a ferocious rendition of the Larry Williams/Beatles classic "Dizzy Miss Lizzy." For this week's show, we played the whole (slightly) extended thing, released and unreleased, punk meets pop, I got no mind 'cuz ya make me dizzy Miss Lizzy. It's cool. I don't mind.

BILL BERRY: 1-800-Colonoscopy

Having already opened angry, a bit later in the show I also wanted to play the one 2020 track with the title that best summarizes this misbegotten year. Easy choice: "1-800-Colonoscopy" by Bill Berry, from the John Wicks tribute album For The Record. Am I bitter? Yeah, you bet your ass.

THE BROTHERS STEVE: Beat Generation Poet Turned Assassin [abridged]

# 1, the supersnazzy debut album from The Brothers Steve, gave us "We Got The Hits," one of TIRnRR's most-played tracks in 2019. # 1 also includes the unabridged version of the group's current Big Stir Records single, "Beat Generation Poet Turned Assassin," and this week we decided to play the single version. The abridged version. Which, of course, is longer than the unabridged version, because--wait for it--IT ADDS A BRIDGE! Duh. Fantastic in either version.

ELVIS COSTELLO AND THE ATTRACTIONS: You Belong To Me

I saw Elvis Costello and the Attractions at a disastrous on-campus gig in the spring of '78, my freshman year at Brockport. The show occurred shortly before the release of This Year's Model, Costello's first album with The Attractions. The only Costello music I knew at the time would have been the songs on his first album My Aim Is True (plus "Radio, Radio," which we'd all seen EC & the As perform on Saturday Night Live). I don't recall if the beleaguered combo performed "You Belong To Me" that night.

But regardless of whether or not I heard the song played in the ballroom at Brockport, I do know that my first exposure to the song did not come via the LP version. After the live show but before I heard or owned This Year's Model, I had a Costello bootleg called 50,000,000 Elvis Fans Can't Be Wrong. My favorite track on that boot was a live version of "You Belong To Me," which I recall as much more spare than the studio track (which wasn't exactly Pet Sounds to begin with). My copy of that bootleg is long gone, but if I recall correctly, the live "You Belong To Me" wasn't dominated by Steve Naive's "Batman Theme"-inspired keyboard lick the way the This Year's Model "You Belong To Me" is. In fact, it was jarring for me when I finally heard the official cut on This Year's Model. I got used to it, and came to love it. "Batman Theme" and all.

DAWN: Knock Three Times

Oh, I love this song. People are sometimes surprised to hear me say that, but both "Knock Three Times" and "Candida" are stirring examples of AM radio pop songcraft circa '70 and '71. Though both singles were credited to Dawn, they predate Telma Hopkins and Joyce Vincent Wilson joining lead singer Tony Orlando; the singles feature Orlando and other studio singers, with the "Dawn" designation applied because the baby needed a name. I don't like anything else Dawn did after that. I don't mean this as a knock against Hopkins and Wilson; they were talented singers, and Dawn's subsequent stylistic shift wasn't their fault.

(If it could even be called a shift; "Candida" and "Knock Three Times" were inoffensive radio fodder, and one could [I guess] say the same of "Tie A Yellow Ribbon Round The Ole Oak Tree." I dig the former; I have no use for the latter.)

EDDIE AND THE HOT RODS: Do Anything You Wanna Do

"Do Anything You Wanna Do" is an incomparable power pop record, with a liberating message meant to be accompanied by raised fists and glasses in juke joints the world over. Its message is a simple clarion call for rock 'n' roll's most basic promise: Freedom. Possibilities. Chuck Berry should approve.

'70s punk grew in part out of a repudiation of the hippie ethos, yet the two opposing notions shared more than either faction would have admitted at the time. The punks cried "Anarchy!," the hippies insisted "Make love, not war," but each professed to reject the rules of societal conformity. Perhaps they created their own conformities along the way. But each was doing its own thing. The hippies said, "If it feels good, do it." The punks prized the practice of DIY. And in 1977, a British group swept up in (at least) punk's periphery crafted a rallying cry: Do Anything You Wanna Do.

The origin and roots of Eddie and the Hot Rods slightly predate our notion of British punk, but they were nonetheless a part of that scene initially. Eddie and the Hot Rods thrived in that melting point where pub rock became punk, and whatever they lacked in spit and venom should be shrugged aside in an imperious flurry of sweat and volume, as the dancers do what the dancers do.

THE GO-GO'S: We Got The Beat

"We Got The Beat" by The Go-Go's will always be one of my favorite songs, but I vacillate between which of two versions I prefer. I've come to gravitate more to the familiar 1982 U.S. hit single and Beauty And The Beat album track, but there is much to be said on behalf of the group's original 1980 Stiff Records 45. The Stiff version has a bit more indie vibe, and it has the backing counter-point answer vocals (But they're walking in time [They're walking in time]) that I still miss hearing on the American remake. On the other hand, the made-in-the-U.S.A. take has that intoxicating, swoon-worthy radio pop sheen, and it adds Belinda Carlisle's spirited testimonial at the end (Everybody get on your feet/We know you can dance to the beat...). Can't go wrong either way. We played the Stiff version this week.

GLADYS KNIGHT AND THE PIPS: If I Were Your Woman

You're like a diamond, but she treats you like glass. Gladys Knight and the Pips have a story to tell.

"If I Were Your Woman" explores the familiar storyline of an interested outsider observing a dysfunctional relationship and wishing he or she could make it right (and, in so doing, earn the prize of love personally). Specifically, our hero sees the spiral of deceit and recrimination playing out before his/her eyes, knows which side is at fault, and wants to replace the faithless nogoodnik and become the redemptive lover the abused party deserves. While the singer covets a neighbor's mate, desire is informed by compassion, concern, empathy. The message to the cherished one is straightforward and true: You can have something better than what you have. I would be better. I could bring you the happiness you deserve.

Many of us have been there, from one POV or another. In some stories we are the victim, in some we are the villain. In our best dreams, we are the hero.

In some stories, though, the potential hero does not take action; Lesley Gore in "She's A Fool," Frankie Valli (and later The Tremeloes) in "Silence Is Golden," they're all passive observers. In "If I Were Your Woman," Gladys Knight engages. She speaks. She pleads. She testifies. Maybe she'll get through to the big lug, and rescue him. She could be the hero, his real hero, if she were his woman.

NIKKI AND THE CORVETTES: He's A Mover

The first Nikki and the Corvettes song I ever heard was "Just What I Need," which was on Bomp Records' incredible 1980 double-album label compilation Experiments In Destiny. I also saw photos and coverage of the group in Bomp! magazine, and was well primed to pick up their eponymous album. "He's A Mover" quickly became my favorite, as it effortlessly evoked the folk-bop bounce of The Monkees, particularly of Monkees written by Neil Diamond. Look out, here come the Corvettes. I'm a believer!

IRENE PEÑA: The Summer Place

Is Irene Peña America's Sweetheart? She is if This Is Rock 'n' Roll Radio says she is, and [ahem] This Is Rock 'n' Roll Radio says she is. See, there it is in print and everything. We've been on the Peña train since late 2016 (a tale told in greater detail right here), and our show is better for it. Irene's latest digital single from the good folks at Big Stir Records serves up a winning pair of exquisite Fountains Of Wayne covers, "It Must Be Summer"/"The Summer Place." Both tracks offer sincere tribute to the late Adam Schlesinger, and they rock the house from here to Hackensack. Our pal John Borack keeps the time on them Pagan skins, Jeff Colchamiro, Ron Allen, and America's Sweetheart's own sweetheart Steve Zeilman add six-, six-, and four-string magic respectively, and Irene Peña runs the show like a sweetheart oughtta. Did we say magic? We'll say it again: magic. Summer's gone. Magic remains. Sweet.

TIP THE BLOGGER: CC's Tip Jar!

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

Hey! If you buy from Amazon, consider making your purchases through links at Pop-A-Looza. A portion of your purchase there will go to support Boppin' (Like The Hip Folks Do). Thinking Amazon? Think Pop-A-Looza.


This Is Rock 'n' Roll Radio with Dana & Carl airs Sunday nights from 9 to Midnight Eastern, on the air in Syracuse at SPARK! WSPJ 103.3 and 93.7 FM, and on the web at http://sparksyracuse.org/ You can read about our history here.


The many fine This Is Rock 'n' Roll Radio compilation albums are still available, each full of that rockin' pop sound you crave. A portion of all sales benefit our perpetually cash-strapped community radio project:


Volume 1: download

Volume 2: CD or download
Volume 3: download
Volume 4: CD or download
Waterloo Sunset--Benefit For This Is Rock 'n' Roll Radio:  CD or download

Carl's writin' a book! The Greatest Record Ever Made! (Volume 1)will contain 165 essays about 165 tracks, 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).



Monday, September 28, 2020

This Is Rock 'n' Roll Radio # 1044

I really hate it when I mess up someone's name. Given how often I've heard and seen my own name misspelled and mispronounced over a span of decades, I'm certainly aware of the perceived slight of butchering a name, even with good intent. I try my best to get it right. When I fall short of that (as I often do), I apologize and quip that I'm following in the sometimes-clueless footsteps of Ed Sullivan introducing "Diane Warwick" on his really big shoe in the '60s.

But I feel bad when it happens, and it happened again on this week's shoe...er, show. Singer-songwriter Jared Lekites (of The Lunar Laugh) has a fantastic new record, Looking For Diamonds X, out on Kool Kat Musik. I wasn't previously familiar with Jared or with The Lunar Laugh, but I was taken with a swell pop track called "Looking For A Diamond," and we played it on Sunday night. Not knowing the pronunciation of the last name--I was, at least, okay with "Jared," I think--I looked at on-line bios and YouTube videos, but didn't really find anything that would help me say the name as it oughtta be said. I made the attempt anyway--we weren't gonna skip playing a great song just because I couldn't figure out how to say "Lekites"--and yeah, I screwed it up. I knew that I mispronounced it, and I apologized as I did. I'm still not sure how it should actually be pronounced, but I do know I said it wrong.

The music, though? Oh, the music sounds fabulous. It was worth embarrassing myself on-air just to grab the opportunity to play that song on the radio. Mr. Lekites, your intrepid TIRnRR hosts Donnie 'n' Earl apologize for the verbal error.

(We hear that Jared's currently trying to recover from COVID-19, and could use a little cash flow in the mean time. Pop fans may wanna visit jaredlekites.bandcamp.com and load up awready. Good music and a worthy benefit, no matter how you say it.) 

Otherwise, we continued our pronounced dedication to the joy of radio, with more new music from our friends Irene Peña and The Brothers Steve, and our prerequisite barrage of cool things from The Jam, Paul Collins' Beat, Gladys Knight and the Pips, Nikki and the Corvettes, The Monkees, The Muffs, Chuck Berry, The Velvet Underground, Toots and the Maytals, and more. We opened with The Flashcubes expressing my own level of frustration in a song called "Got No Mind," and later played the one 2020 track whose title best summarizes this misbegotten year ("1-800-Colonoscopy" by Bill Berry). We did sight gags on the radio. Sometimes I think we're better at pulling off that quixotic quest than I am at, y'know, speaking on the radio. But we soldier on. The Best Three Hours Of Radio On The Whole Friggin' Planet? We can say that. Here's what that sounded like on a Sunday night in Syracuse this week.

This Is Rock 'n' Roll Radio with Dana & Carl airs Sunday nights from 9 to Midnight Eastern, on the air in Syracuse at SPARK! WSPJ 103.3 and 93.7 FM, and on the web at http://sparksyracuse.org/ You can read all about this show's long and weird history here: Boppin' The Whole Friggin' Planet (The History Of THIS IS ROCK 'N' ROLL RADIO). TAX DEDUCTIBLE DONATIONS are always welcome.

The many fine This Is Rock 'n' Roll Radio compilation albums are still available, each full of that rockin' pop sound you crave. A portion of all sales benefit our perpetually cash-strapped community radio project:

Volume 1: download
Volume 2: CD or download
Volume 3: download
Volume 4: CD or download
Waterloo Sunset--Benefit For This Is Rock 'n' Roll Radio:  CD or download

PS: SEND MONEY!!!! We need tech upgrades like Elvis needs boats. 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! (Volume 1) will contain 165 essays about 165 songs, each one of 'em THE greatest record ever made. An infinite number of songs can each be the greatest record ever made, as long as they take turns. Updated initial information can be seen here.

TIRnRR # 1044: 9/27/2020
TIRnRR FRESH SPINS! Tracks we think we ain't played before are listed in bold.

THE RAMONES: Do You Remember Rock 'n' Roll Radio? (Rhino, End Of The Century)
--
THE FLASHCUBES: Got No Mind [live] (Northside, Bright Lights)
THE FLASHCUBES: Dizzy Miss Lizzy [live] (unreleased)
THE JAM: The Modern World (Rhino, VA: DIY: The Modern World)
PAUL COLLINS' BEAT: Hey DJ (Rock Indiana, Ribbon Of Gold)
ARTHUR CONLEY: Sweet Soul Music (Atco, single)
THE BREAKAWAYS: Working Too Hard (Alive, Walking Out On Love)
--
JARED LEKITES: Looking For A Diamond (Kool Kat Musik, Looking For Diamonds X)
THE PRIMITIVES: Way Behind Me (RCA, Pure)
GLADYS KNIGHT & THE PIPS: If I Were Your Woman (Curb, Greatest Hits) 
NIKKI & THE CORVETTES: He's A Mover (Bomp, Nikki & the Corvettes)
THE MONKEES: A Little Bit Me, A Little Bit You (Rhino, 50)
THE DARLING BUDS: Hit The Ground (Columbia, Pop Said...)
--
IRENE PEÑA: The Summer Place (Big Stir, single)
THE MUFFS: Everywhere I Go (Warner Brothers, The Muffs)
THE DAHLMANNS: Forever My Baby (Pop Detective, single)
THE CURE: Boys Don't Cry (Polydor, Greatest Hits)
THE MYNAH BIRDS: It's My Time (Ace, VA: You Heard Them Here First)
HOLLY GOLIGHTLY: You Ain't No Big Thing (Damaged Goods, My First Holly Golightly Album)
--
THE BROTHERS STEVE: Beat Generation Poet Turned Assassin [abridged] (Big Stir, single)
THE B-GIRLS: Boys Are Drinking (Other Peoples Music, Who Says Girls Can't Rock)
CHUCK BERRY: Around And Around (MCA, The Anthology)
THE VELVET UNDERGROUND: All Tomorrow's Parties [single version] (Polydor, Peel Sloewly And See)
TOOTS & THE MAYTALS: 54 46, That's My Number (Island, Time Tough)
THE RICH KIDS: Rich Kids (Dojo, Ghosts Of Princes In Towers)
--
SHAUN CASSIDY: Cool Fire (Curb, Greatest Hits)
LETTERS TO CLEO: Cruel To Be Kind (Ace, VA: Girls Go Power Pop)
THE LEGAL MATTERS: Don't Look Back (Futureman, VA: This Is Rock 'n' Roll Radio, Volume 4)
SHOES: The Things You Do (Elektra, Tongue Twister)
LIBRARIANS WITH HICKEYS: That Time Is Now (Big Stir, Long Overdue)
THE GO-GO'S: We Got The Beat [original single version] (IRS, The Whole World Lost Its Head)
--
P. P. ARNOLD: The First Cut Is The Deepest (Sequel, The First Cut)
THE SMALL FACES: Tin Soldier [live] (Audio Vaults, Transmissions 1965-1968)
THE FIVE STAIRSTEPS: O-o-h Child (Rhino, VA: Can You Dig It)
MARY LOU LORD: Right On 'Till Dawn (Rubric, Speeding Motorcycle)
THE CLICK BEETLES: If Not Now Then When (Vandalay, Pop Fossil)
UNIVERSAL HONEY: Just Before Mary Goes (Ace, VA: Girls Go Power Pop)
--
POP CO-OP: You Don't Love Me Anymore (Kool Kat Musik, VA: This Is Rock 'n' Roll Radio, Volume 4)
THE ON AND ONS: 9 Days (theonandons.bandcamp.com, Menacing Smile)
KISS: Tomorrow (Mercury, Unmasked)
LES HANDCLAPS: Cacti Are Delicious Fruit (Handclaps, Ouh Ouh Ah!)
WHISTLESTOP ROCK: Queen Of The Drive-In (whistlestoprock1.bandcamp.com)
ELVIS COSTELLO & THE ATTRACTIONS: You Belong To Me (Rykodisc, This Year's Model)
--
BILL BERRY: 1-800-Colonoscopy (Kool Kat Musik, VA: For The Record--A Tribute To John Wicks)
THE NERVES: Hanging On The Telephone (Alive, One Way Ticket)
YOUR FRIEND JEBB: Change Of Seasons (jebbsmusic.bandcamp.com)
EDDIE & THE HOT RODS: Do Anything You Wanna Do (Captain Oi!, The Singles Collection)
LISA MYCHOLS & SUPER 8: Timebomb (trip8.bandcamp.com)
THE MnMs: Knock Knock Knock (Burger, Melts In Your Ears)
--
DAWN: Knock Three Times (Varese Sarabande, VA: Bubblegum Classics Volume One)
SCANDAL: Goodbye To You (Columbia, Scandal)
THE BEAU BRUMMELS: Don't Talk To Strangers (Sundazed, Volume 2) 
THE PRETENDERS: Night In My Veins (Sire, Last Of The Independents)
THE KINKS: Village Green Preservation Society (Universal, The Village Green Preservation Society)
THE BANGLES: The Real World (Omnivore, Ladies And Gentlemen...The Bangles!)
THE RAMONES: I Don't Want To Grow Up (Radioactive, Adios Amigos!)
THE BEATLES: I Want To Hold Your Hand [mono] (Capitol, Meet The Beatles)

Sunday, September 27, 2020

Tonight On THIS IS ROCK 'N' ROLL RADIO


How much should we reveal? What should we leave to the imagination? Would it be improper to let slip the news that we have new music from Irene Peña, The Brothers Steve, and Jared Lekites? Should we be embarrassed by how badly I mispronounced "Lekites?" (Um--YES, we should be embarrassed about that--sorry!) Are you tempted by the sweet allure of hearing The Jam, Arthur Conley, Chuck Berry, The Bangles, Your Friend Jebb, Holly Golightly, and The Ramones? No need to blush. It's not a tease--it's entertainment. Let us entertain you. Sunday night, 9 to Midnight Eastern, on the air in Syracuse at SPARK! WSPJ 103.3 and 93.7 FM, sparksyracuse.org.

Saturday, September 26, 2020

POP-A-LOOZA: Faces On The Wall

Each week, the pop culture website Pop-A-Looza shares some posts from my vast 'n' captivating Boppin' (Like The Hip Folks Do) archives. The latest shared post is "Faces On The Wall," my reminiscence of the posters displayed in my rooms all those decades ago.

I like stuff. A near-future blog post will take a quick photographic look at some of the pop stuff I still have, from books and records to comics, pulps, CDs, video tapes, magazines, and tchotchkes of all description. It will not be a comprehensive portrait. I don't have many posters left, but I do indeed have a lot of stuff.

I was thinking of some of the other wall hangings I had over the years. There was a cool-looking Quarter Pounder translight that had been discarded from my golden-arched place of employment. There were a few posters I'd drawn myself, including high-school comic-strip art projects starring my "creations" Hero and Agent 690: Man Of Action!, and a cartoon depiction of a pepperoni pizza with a few extra slices, which I concocted for my then-girlfriend Brenda to use in illustrating the concept of improper fractions for the pupils in her student teaching gig. Me and math...?! Oh, the humanity! Brenda was so grateful that she wound up marrying me. One and one makes two, man.

We are not defined by our stuff, but the stuff we choose--what we choose to own, what we choose to keep, what we choose to display--is obviously a big part of who we are. Doc Savage paperbacks. That Thing You Do! on Blu-ray. A WIN button. A Bay City Rollers 8-track. A decaying copy of Batman # 100. Green Hornet playing cards. A Monkees LP autographed by Peter Tork and Micky Dolenz. The framed artwork from Rhino Records' Poptopia! Power Pop Classics CDs. A Ramones clock. A baseball autographed by Mickey Mantle. An eighth-grade bowling trophy. Memories and giddy passions, preserved to remind and proclaim, all for the glory of the stuff we dig.

But for now, let's raise a glass to the idols of the past. "Faces On The Wall" is the latest Boppin' Pop-A-Looza.

TIP THE BLOGGER: CC's Tip Jar!

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

Hey! If you buy from Amazon, consider making your purchases through links at Pop-A-Looza. A portion of your purchase there will go to support Boppin' (Like The Hip Folks Do). Thinking Amazon? Think Pop-A-Looza.


This Is Rock 'n' Roll Radio with Dana & Carl airs Sunday nights from 9 to Midnight Eastern, on the air in Syracuse at SPARK! WSPJ 103.3 and 93.7 FM, and on the web at http://sparksyracuse.org/ You can read about our history here.


The many fine This Is Rock 'n' Roll Radio compilation albums are still available, each full of that rockin' pop sound you crave. A portion of all sales benefit our perpetually cash-strapped community radio project:


Volume 1: download

Volume 2: CD or download
Volume 3: download
Volume 4: CD or download
Waterloo Sunset--Benefit For This Is Rock 'n' Roll Radio:  CD or download

Carl's writin' a book! The Greatest Record Ever Made! (Volume 1)will contain 165 essays about 165 tracks, 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, September 25, 2020

THIS PEN FOR HIRE! My Guest Appearances In Other Writers' Books


 Writing a book has been one of my dreams for nearly as long as I can remember. I'm working on my first book, The Greatest Record Ever Made! (Volume 1), a project which I hope will turn that dream into reality.

But although GREM! will be my first book, it won't be the first time my work has appeared in a book. It won't even be my third or fourth time. My book resumé is still a little thin, mind you, but it's a start.

To begin, it's worth mentioning two books that predate the first time any of my stuff actually appeared in a book. In 1991, my friend Dave Murray wrote a book called House-Training Your VCR, subtitled "A Help Manual For Humans." The book was illustrated by Joe Congel (who is himself a talented writer), it was a clever and effective precursor to the ...For Dummies books that came along later, and it's an overlooked gem of a book. I had nothing whatsoever to do with its creation. BUT! Dave did ask me to proofread the manuscript for style. His publisher was insisting that the plural of VCR had to be spelled with an apostrophe, and that is, of course, batshit crazy. I told Dave so, he agreed, and he held his ground on the all-important issue of ¡VCRs SÍ! ¡VCR'S NO! The publisher conceded the point. Autographing my copy of House-Training Your VCR, Dave wrote, Thanks for all your input and support. Without you, there'd be 2161 "VCR's" in here. We do what we can, Dave! We do what we can.

My second peripheral book appearance was the pleasant shock of seeing my work quoted (with attribution) in another writer's book. Cult Rockers by Wayne Jancik and Tad Lathrop was published in 1995, a collection of 150 profiles of artists in The Strange And Wild World Of Cult Rockers! Awright! I spotted Cult Rockers on the shelf at Media Play one evening. Intrigued by its promise of celebrating cult acts both famous and obscure, from The Grateful Dead to The Dead Kennedys, I flipped through the book. And I was surprised that the opening paragraph of the chapter discussing The Flamin' Groovies was...well, me

"They have been and remain the very picture of a cult band, ignored by the world at large, but positively revered by a small but discerning group of loyal fans," wrote rock critic Carl Cafarelli.

That, my friends, was a HOLY SHIT! moment. The quote came from my introduction to a 1992 Goldmine interview with the Groovies' Cyril Jordan, and the next paragraph quoted Jordan himself from the same interview. I was flattered and preening, and within minutes I was also the proud owner of my very own copy of Cult Rockers. Flattery will get you any damned thing you want.

In between the publication of House-Training Your VCR and Cult Rockers, I made an attempt to do my own book. Shake Some Action would have been my power pop book; in 1993, I got as far as submitting a book proposal to a prospective publisher, but the publisher passed. 

My first actual book work was for MusicHound Rock: The Essential Album Guide in 1996. This was essentially a CD buyer's guide to rock history, presenting A-Z entries for individual acts and proclaiming which CDs were essential and which were, um...not. It was a paying market, so I wrote as many as I was allowed to. The book was updated in 1999, and I made enough off that project to pay for my wife and daughter's round-trip airfares to Florida. Big-time writer? That's me!

Bubblegum Music Is The Naked Truth followed in 2001. My involvement in this book grew out of the history of bubblegum music I wrote for Goldmine in 1997. I don't think that Scram magazine/Bubblegum Music Is The Naked Truth editors Kim Cooper and David Smay saw my piece and said to themselves We need that guy!, and I don't think either of them had even seen the piece prior to me sending it to them. But by whatever sequence o' Bazookas, I did send them the bubblegum issue of Goldmine, and they agreed to run a shorter version of that history in Bubblegum Music Is The Naked Truth. To fatten the book's essential CC content, Gary Pig Gold and I collaborated on "Good Clean Fun," a debate about whether or not The Monkees were ever really a bubblegum group, and I updated an appreciation of The Bay City Rollers that had originally been my first-ever feature article for Goldmine back in 1987. There was very little money in this, but it was such an enjoyable experience. I went to the book release party in New York City, and I was later interviewed about bubblegum by a radio station in the Hudson Valley. I'm proud to have been a part of Bubblegum Music Is The Naked Truth.

I also participated in another book edited by Cooper and Smay, 2005's Lost In The Grooves. Billed as "Scram's capricious guide to the music you missed," Lost In The Grooves gathered essays by various pop pundits waxing rhapsodic about some of our favorite lesser-known albums. The book included my appreciations of Subterranean Jungle by The Ramones and Tell America by Fools Face, but the editors declined my offer to extoll the virtues of Elevator by The [bay city] Rollers

After that, I finally did get to write at least part of a power pop book called Shake Some Action; it just wasn't my once-proposed power pop book called Shake Some Action. This Shake Some Action was assembled by my former Goldmine colleague John M. Borack, and John gave me the opportunity to update an extensive history of power pop I'd written for Goldmine in 1996. Gary Pig Gold and I also reunited for a discussion about the secret origin of power pop, but that was ultimately not included in the published book.

For John Borack's 2010 book John Lennon: Life Is What Happens, John asked a bunch of his music-lovin' friends to provide personal reminiscences of our experiences as fans of Lennon and The Beatles. I was delighted to comply.


Finally, Ken Sharp (another former Goldmine colleague) asked me for permission to use portions of my 1994 Goldmine interviews with The Ramones in his own massive 'n' irresistible Play On! Power Pop Heroes book series. Those quotes appear in 2015's Play On! Power Pop Heroes Volume 2, with a plug for my own eventual goal of reprinting the interviews in a hypothetical book to be called Gabba Gabba Hey: Conversations With The Ramones. Anyone know a publisher?


So yeah, I've done a few things for other people's books. I've been honored to do so, and I've had a pretty good blast all along the way. Now, it's high time I did my own book.
The Greatest Record Ever Made! (Volume 1). It's getting there. Book it.


TIP THE BLOGGER: CC's Tip Jar!

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

Hey! If you buy from Amazon, consider making your purchases through links at Pop-A-Looza. A portion of your purchase there will go to support Boppin' (Like The Hip Folks Do). Thinking Amazon? Think Pop-A-Looza.


This Is Rock 'n' Roll Radio with Dana & Carl airs Sunday nights from 9 to Midnight Eastern, on the air in Syracuse at SPARK! WSPJ 103.3 and 93.7 FM, and on the web at http://sparksyracuse.org/ You can read about our history here.


The many fine This Is Rock 'n' Roll Radio compilation albums are still available, each full of that rockin' pop sound you crave. A portion of all sales benefit our perpetually cash-strapped community radio project:


Volume 1: download

Volume 2: CD or download
Volume 3: download
Volume 4: CD or download
Waterloo Sunset--Benefit For This Is Rock 'n' Roll Radio:  CD or download

Carl's writin' a book! The Greatest Record Ever Made! (Volume 1)will contain 165 essays about 165 tracks, 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).