Monday, November 30, 2020

This Is Rock 'n' Roll Radio # 1053

 

Guitars, bass, and drums.

Microphones. Piano. Tambourine. French horn. Vibes. Theremin. Harmonica. Tape loops. Mixing board. Washboard. Turntables. Saxophone. Sousaphone. Accordion. Bagpipes. Banjo. Pedal steel. Fiddle. Cello. Timpani. Cowbell. Maracas. Piccolo. Moog. Penny whistle. Calliope. Farfisa organ. Marshall stack. Handclaps. Voices. Sound. Sweat. Music.

It doesn't matter what we use to make our music. It doesn't matter which music we love, or even if there's music we don't like as much, or at all. We dig what we dig, and our brothers and sisters do their version of the same. There's room for all of it on the radio, somewhere. At least there should be.

On This Is Rock 'n' Roll Radio with Dana & Carl, we do our part in the space we have. It's a mighty noise, and we dig it. We hope you'll dig it, too. 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 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 hereMy
 weekly video series The Greatest Record Ever Made! on YouTube has posted my rants about The Ramones' "Do You Remember Rock 'n' Roll Radio?," Badfinger's "Baby Blue," Baron Damon and the Vampires' "The Transylvania Twist," Chuck Berry's "Promised Land," Dusty Springfield's "I Only Want To Be With You," and The Sex Pistols' "God Save The Queen."

Now: on with the show!

TIRnRR # 1053: 11/29/2020
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)
--
BRIAN BRINGELSON: Up The Wall (Futureman, Desperate Days)
THE BRIAN JONESTOWN MASSACRE: This Is Why You Love Me (Tee Pee, Tepid Peppermint Wonderland)
BRIAN WILSON: Night Time (Rhino, Brian Wilson)
NRBQ: Howard Johnson's Got His Ho-Jo Workin' (Red Rooster, Uncommon Denominators)
TAVARES: It Only Takes A Minute (EMI, The Best Of Tavares)
THE SPENCER DAVIS GROUP: Keep On Running (EMI, VA: The Cavern: The Most Famous Club In The World)
--
THE FORTY NINETEENS: Another Day (Big Stir, single)
LETTERS TO CLEO: Cruel To Be Kind (Big Beat, VA: Girls Go Power Pop!)
ALICE COOPER: No More Mr. Nice Guy (Rhino, Mascara & Monsters)
HOLLY GOLIGHTLY: Virtually Happy (Damaged Goods, Singles Round-Up)
ORBIS MAX WITH EMPEROR PENGUIN: Talk To Me (single)
AMY RIGBY: Stop Showing Up In My Dreams (Koch, The Sugar Tree)
--
DANNY WILKERSON & LANNIE FLOWERS WITH ORBIS MAX: One Of A Kind (single)
THE B-GIRLS: Boys Are Drinking (Other People Music, Who Says Girls Can't Rock)
THE MOODY BLUES: Ride My See-Saw (Polydor, 20th Century Masters)
BOW WOW WOW: Go Wild In The Country (Sony BMG, Love, Peace & Harmony)
THE GO-GO'S: Club Zero (single)
THE MnM'S: Knock Knock Knock (Burger, Melts In Your Ears 1980-1981)
--
THE BOB SEGER SYSTEM: 2 + 2 = ? (Capitol, single)
THE MOVE: Hello Suzie (Westside, Movements)
SUZI QUATRO: I May Be Too Young (Razor & Tie, The Wild One)
THE PENETRATORS: Teenage Lifestyle (Fred, single)
EDDIE COCHRAN: C'mon Everybody (Razor & Tie, Somethin' Else)
THE CURE: It's Not You (Fiction, Three Imaginary Boys)
--
THE DAHLMANNS: Tomorrow Came Today (Pop Detective, American Heartbeat)
SQUEEZE: Another Nail In My Heart (A & M, The Squeeze Story)
THE ORION EXPERIENCE: Adrianne (Sweet, Cosmicandy)
SEX CLARK FIVE: She Collides With Me (Records To Russia, Strum & Drum)
THE JACKSON FIVE: The Love You Save (Motown, VA: Hitsville USA)
THE 5th DIMENSION: Aquarius/Let The Sun Shine In (The Flesh Failures) (Arista, The Ultimate 5th Dimension)
--
DESMOND CHILD & ROUGE: The Night Was Not (RSO, VA: Times Square OST)
THE SPECIALS: A Message To You Rudy (Chrysalis, VA: The 2 Tone Collection)
KID GULLIVER: Forget About Him (Red On Red, single)
THE REPLACEMENTS: Another Girl, Another Planet (Reprise, All For Nothing/Nothing For All)
THE MC5: Kick Out The Jams (Time-Life, VA: Classic Rock: Rock Renaissance)
GENERATION X: Dancing With Myself (Chrysalis, Perfect Hits 1975-1981)
--
THE KINKS: War Is Over (MCA, UK Jive)
XTC: English Roundabout (Virgin, English Settlement)
DEAR STELLA: Time Machine (dearstellamusic.com, Time Zones)
X-RAY SPEX: The Day The World Turned Day-Glo (Sanctuary, Germ Free Adolescents)
THE TRAMMPS: Disco Inferno [single edit] (Rhino, Rhino Hi-Five)
PUBLIC IMAGE, LTD: Public Image (Virgin, The Greatest Hits, So Far)
--
SIMON & GARFUNKEL: America (Columbia, Old Friends)
THE GREAT SOCIETY: Someone To Love (Sundazed, Born To Be Burned)
GRETCHEN'S WHEEL: You Should Know (Futureman, Such Open Sky)
MARY LOU LORD: Right On 'Till Dawn (Rubric, Speeding Motorcycle)
JIM BASNIGHT: New Guitar In Town (Precedent, Jokers, Idols & Misfits)
THE MUFFS: On My Own (Omnivore, No Holiday)
EYTAN MIRSKY: This Year's Gonna Be Our Year (M-Squared, Year Of The Mouse)
THE RAMONES: I Wanna Be Sedated (Rhino, Road To Ruin)
MILLIE SMALL: My Boy Lollipop (Caroline, The Best Of Millie Small)
THE BEAT: Rock N Roll Girl (Wagon Wheel, The Beat)
THE BOB SEGER SYSTEM: Ramblin' Gamblin Man (Capitol, single)
THE BEATLES: I Should Have Known Better (Apple, A Hard Day's Night)

Sunday, November 29, 2020

Tonight On THIS IS ROCK 'N' ROLL RADIO

New music from The Forty NineteensBrian Bringelson, and Danny Wilkerson & Lannie Flowers with Orbis Max will mingle in giddy abandon with a bunch of popular favorites from the '50s through right this very minute. Why, we'll even play a song by The Kinks that we don't think we've ever played before! Uh...unless we have. We're not exactly under oath here. But we are solemnly sworn to the sacred task of providing you with The Best Three Hours Of Radio On The Whole Friggin' Planet. We kinda screw up the "solemn" part. But the rest? Yeah, that's what we do. Sunday night, 9 to Midnight Eastern, on the air in Syracuse at SPARK! WSPJ 103.3 and 93.7 FM, http://sparksyracuse.org/

Saturday, November 28, 2020

POP-A-LOOZA! The Inferior Five

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 my look back at a superhero comedy series published by DC Comics in the 1960s, The Inferior Five.

I take my superheroes seriously. But I've also long since grown tired of overly dark and gritty takes on heroes, and I've always had a soft spot for lighter fare and occasional comedy involving superdoers. The campy 1966 Batman TV series was the original catalyst for my interest in superheroes, and while I came to embrace a pulpier image of The Dark Knight, a simple recognition of my roots made it clear that I would always have two Batmen. When I started writing about comics as a freelancer in the '80s, articles I sold to Amazing Heroes included a Hero History of the Charlton Comics character E-Man and a history of intentionally funny superheroes; some day, I'll retype and reprise both of those pieces for this blog. My snarky but loving Amazing Heroes A-Z celebration of lesser-known DC characters has already appeared here: "Who's...WHO?!"

In the mean time, I have written here about my introduction to E-Man, DC's Silver Age revival of Plastic Man, becoming a fan of the original Captain Marvel, Marvel Comics' humor series Not Brand Echh, my stillborn attempt to write for Harvey Comics, and my thoughts on a hypothetical Batman Meets The Monkees crossover. Although not mentioned specifically in my '60s autobiography Singers, Superheroes, And Songs On The Radio: My Life In Pop Culture, and represented in that piece only by a reproduction of the cover of The Inferior Five # 1, The Inferior Five were an integral part of my childhood. 

And I may or may not still have a crush on Dumb Bunny. Either way, my reminiscence of The Inferior Five provides 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). My weekly Greatest Record Ever Made! video rants can be seen in my GREM! YouTube playlist. And I'm on Twitter @CafarelliCarl.

Friday, November 27, 2020

On Twitter @CafarelliCarl

Gretchen’s Wheel, Eric Carmen, Sweet, Michael Penn, The Beatles, and Badfinger. The morning commute, driven by iPod. 

THE GREATEST RECORD EVER MADE! An early look at the beginning of a country music chapter in progress

As I continue to craft my proposed book The Greatest Record Ever Made! (Volume 1), I want to share this work-in-progress look at the beginning of my chapter on Merle Haggard's "Mama Tried." This is preamble, setting up the scene before I start discussing Haggard. The finished chapter will weave the Haggard story with my love-hate relationship with country music. Here's a look at how it starts.

An infinite number of songs can each be THE greatest record ever made, as long as they take turns. Today, this is THE GREATEST RECORD EVER MADE!

MERLE HAGGARD: Mama Tried

Written by Merle Haggard
Produced by Ken Nelson
Single, Capitol Records, 1968

One of the rules of the road is that the driver controls the radio. My brother Art was driving. That meant the radio would be playing country music.

It was 2004. My brother Rob had driven from his home in Albany to meet up with me in Syracuse. I took the wheel of my car (and my radio) to drive us from Syracuse to Columbus, where Art lived. From there, the three of us traveled in Art's car. Contemporary country music provided the soundtrack for our final trip to Missouri.

It wasn't our first trip; Heavens, no. We'd been there individually and collectively many, many times over the years. Our Mom was born in Southwestern Missouri, and our grandparents had remained there. Both Art and Rob are older than me, so most of their family visits to the Show Me State occurred before I came along. By the mid '60s, summer trips from Syracuse to Missouri involved just me, my sister Denise, and our Mom, with Dad remaining in Syracuse. Within just a few years, it was just Mom and I making that trek, as Dad and all of the older siblings had responsibilities elsewhere. The whole family went to Missouri for Christmas in 1970. It's the only time I remember all of us being there.

In 2004, Mom and Dad were already in Missouri as Art, Rob, and I made our way West. Denise had moved to England, too far away to accompany us. Grampa had passed away years before. And now Grandma was gone as well. My brothers and I would be pall bearers. Country music played on the radio. The driver controls the radio.

I hate country music. Sometimes I'm lying (or at least kidding myself) when I say that, and sometimes it's the truth. Three chords and the truth. You'd think a love of country and western would be an innate characteristic of a boy whose mother hailed from the buckle of the Bible belt. 'Tain't so. Art and Rob do love country music. Denise and I do not.

It wasn't always like that. As a kid, one of my very favorite records was Ben Colder's "Ring Of Smoke," a broad parody of the Johnny Cash hit "Ring Of Fire." Denise says my incessant playing and re-playing of (and singing along with) that MGM Records 45 knocked the country right out of her. I loved it. As a kid in the '60s, I wasn't yet aware of genres, of musical boundaries, of virtual barbed wire fences that suggested if you worked that land and played that music you weren't allowed to trespass on this land and play this music. It was all pop music. You heard it on the radio. The driver controls the radio, but the radio drives us all.

When did it change for me? Sometimes I used to watch Hee Haw on TV, engaged by the cute country girls, the corny banter, and Archie Campbell's weekly rendition of "PFFT! You Were Gone." Country remained a part of Top 40 radio, so my essential '70s AM atmosphere included Lynn Anderson, Charlie Rich, Donna Fargo, Conway Twitty. My memory may be clouded, but I think I was okay with country music.

Until I wasn't.

What happened? I guess it was some weird combination of introspection, self image, peer pressure, alienation, and teen reinvention. Being called "farmer" was a popular insult at school, and while I only recall hearing it directed at me when I wore Grampa's hand-me-down overalls, I was aware of its toxic condescension. Country wasn't cool. Neither was I, but while I would learn to dig in my heels and stand ground on behalf of comic books and pop music and other things I loved that others mocked, I had also come to think of country as uncool. I wanted to be urbane, witty, sophisticated, fast-paced, and elite, city-slicker rather than shitkicker. New York City, not Nashville or Bakersfield. And, in the post-Watergate world, I had no use for country's jingoism. By the time I fell for punk rock, twang was in my rear view mirror. Country music? I met another and PFFT! it was gone.

So yeah. I was a schmuck.

It took a long time for me to appreciate country music again. I knew of rock 'n' roll's roots in country, so I was always more than okay with The Everly Brothers, Carl Perkins, Jerry Lee Lewis, Buddy Holly, King Elvis I. I knew The Beatles' "All My Loving" was a straight-up country song, and I loved it anyway. In the early '80s, I thought Juice Newton's cover of the Dave Edmunds track "Queen Of Hearts" was the best thing on AM radio. By the end of the '80s, a local Syracuse group called The Delta Rays (led by Craig Marshall and Maura Boudreau, the latter now Maura Kennedy of the fabulous Kennedys) pried my closed mind wide open to Patsy Cline and George Jones, and to Mary-Chapin Carpenter. In the early '90s, I became a regular viewer of a Saturday night video program on CMT that showcased rockin' country. Nanci Griffith. Rosie Flores. The Sky Kings. The Mavericks. Joe Diffie. Jo Dee Messina. This was country music I could support.

For all that, I still couldn't listen to country radio, and I still can't listen to it now. Nails on a chalkboard. When I'm driving, my control of the radio spins the dial elsewhere.

My work as a pop journalist (and my quest for deliverance as a music fan) reminded me of the appeal of classic country, and my respect for that grew by leaps and bounds. Welcome back to my world, Johnny Cash. Hee-Haw and howdy, Buck Owens! And hello, Merle Haggard....

 More to come. The work continues.


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). My weekly Greatest Record Ever Made! video rants can be seen in my GREM! YouTube playlist. And I'm on Twitter @CafarelliCarl.

Thursday, November 26, 2020

Thanksgiving Leftovers

The quarantine scene means there will be no family gathering for Thanksgiving this year. We'll have an international Zoom call this afternoon, and later my daughter Meghan will come over for a socially-distanced meal. She'll sit at the opposite end of our dining room's more-than-six-feet long table, we'll enjoy some wonderful food and conversation, and remain masked when we're not at the table. In the evening, her boyfriend Austin will join us--masked--to decorate the Christmas tree. It's not the holiday we want. It's the holiday we have. And we're grateful for that.

I won't see my Mom at all. Her nursing home is on a state-mandated lockdown, closed to visitors until the All-Clear sounds. She has tested negative for...you know, as have all of the other residents of her building. But the lockdown remains in force, and for good reason. There have been positive test results in other buildings within the nursing home's complex. Visits would present a foolish and unnecessary risk. She understands. We understand. It's not what we want. It is what we have. And we're grateful for that.

Things will get better. They may still get worse before they get better, but they will get better. Not soon enough, but as soon as they can. It's not the timetable we want. But it's...yeah, you get it.

I leave you today with these two previous Thanksgiving posts, from 2016 and 2018:

THANKSGIVING

THANKSGIVING REDUX

We have what we have. And we're grateful. Thank you.

Wednesday, November 25, 2020

On Twitter @CafarelliCarl

 Let a smile be your machine gun.

POP-A-LOOZA: THE GREATEST RECORD EVER MADE! Johnny Nash, "I Can See Clearly Now"


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 a chapter from my eventual book The Greatest Record Ever Made! (Volume 1), celebrating "I Can See Clearly Now" by Johnny Nash.

An infinite number of songs can each be THE greatest record ever made, as long as they take turns. Given the intimate connection between the lives we lead and the pop music we love, I often prefer to do my GREM! pieces as personal essays, detailing my relationship with the record and hoping my unique experience can translate into something universal. Maybe we weren't all eighth-grade square pegs when "I Can See Clearly Now" ruled the radio, but most of us have been in situations where we didn't feel as though we belonged. In our misshapen, mutant moments, music was there for us. Sometimes that was enough, and sometimes it was not. But it meant something. That's the feeling I want to convey in The Greatest Record Ever Made! (Volume 1).

With the Thanksgiving holiday this week, I've decided to take a break in my weekly GREM! video series on YouTube; the series will resume next week with an appreciation of Elvis Presley's "Heartbreak Hotel." I'm continuing to work on the book itself, tweaking the Table of Contents a little bit more (again). Friday's blog post will be the opening paragraphs of my Merle Haggard chapter, discussing my love-hate relationship with country music. I've added a second Monkees song to the book (a previously-posted chapter about "The Girl I Knew Somewhere"), and I'm considering a few others I may wish to add, mulling whether or not I want to delete any planned entries. At this time, I'm still committed to deliberately omitting a few of my all-time favorite songs (by The Animals, The Vogues, and The Yardbirds, among others), just to emphasize the idea that the GREM! concept is and should be larger than anything that could be contained within a single book.

But we'll get to the infinite in due time. Today, the late Johnny Nash gets his own infinite turn. "I Can See Clearly Now" is The Greatest Record Ever Made!, and it's the subject of 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).

Tuesday, November 24, 2020

On Twitter @CafarelliCarl

The Ramones, Bram Tchaikovsky, The Raiders, Ivy, The Yardbirds, and Roxy Music. The morning commute, driven by iPod.

10 SONGS: 11/24/2020

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 # 1052.

1.4.5.: She Couldn't Say No

Guitarist Paul Armstrong split from my favorite power pop group The Flashcubes in 1979, initially playing with his girlfriend Dian Zain in varying lineups of The Most. By the end of the summer of 1980, as Zain left The Most, that group's musical core of Armstrong, bassist Dave Anderson, and drummer Ducky Carlisle became 1.4.5. And lemme tell ya, 1.4.5. cooked, a potent and spunky three-piece raised on rock 'n' roll and seasoned by punk. The 1981 Pink Invasion EP was the only contemporary audio document of the original 1.4.5., though the EP was much later combined with previously-unreleased material to form the CD anthology 3 Chords & A Cloud Of Dust, for which I wrote liner notes.

From Pink Invasion, "She Couldn't Say No" remains my favorite among favorite 1.4.5. tracks. Word reaches us that the song will be used in the pilot episode of the new TV series Firefly Lane, which will debut on Netflix at the end of December. Toppermost of the poppermost, lads!

THE B-52'S: Planet Claire

Best-ever appropriation of "Peter Gunn." Outside of, y'know, "Peter Gunn." I adored The B-52's from the moment I first heard them in 1979, and we really oughtta play them more often. There's a lot to love throughout the decades of the group's long career, but the debut LP is a special memory that actually lives up to that memory.

JIM BASNIGHT: New Guitar In Town

As music lovers, one of the many things we can appreciate about Jim Basnight is that he's one of us. The cat loves music like we love music. That shows in his work, starting with The Moberlys in the late '70s, continuing through all he's done since then. And it's certainly evident in his current all-covers album Jokers, Idols & Misfits, a 21-song salute to The Kinks, Paul Revere and the Raiders, The Real Kids, The New York Dolls, The Sonics, The Who, and more. TIRnRR # 1052 marks the second week in a row of airplay for Basnight's invigmoratin' take on The Lurkers' "New Guitar In Town," and one suspects it won't be the last. We're fans. Jim Basnight's a fan, too.

THE BEATLES: Two Of Us

We closed this week's show with a double shot of our favorite group, The Beatles. If my spin of "Thank You, Girl" (the superior U.S. Capitol Records mix, of course) was a bit of an obvious choice to play on Thanksgiving week, Dana's selection of "Two Of Us" was perhaps less telegraphed but no less appropriate. 

We're on our way home/We're on our way home/We're going home

I guess that's only true in our hearts this year. It's as okay as it can be. The heart is where it matters the most.

THE FIRST CLASS: Beach Baby

The Greatest Record Ever Made!

THE HOLLIES: Look Through Any Window [French lyric version]

HA! Dana's ongoing nefarious plan to play foreign language tunes and then snicker in the background as I mispronounce every syllable in sight falls short this time. With its English title intact, The Hollies do all of the linguistic heavy lifting in this French lyric version of their shiny pop gem "Look Through Any Window," leaving me free to concentrate on mispronouncing English words instead. Mais oui!

LULU: To Sir, With Love [museum outings montage]

As much as I love Lulu's smash hit single of "To Sir, With Love," my heart well and truly belongs to this alternate version from the To Sir, With Love soundtrack, which contains an important extra verse and a different arrangement. Here's part of what I have to say about it in my eventual book The Greatest Record Ever Made! (Volume 1):

...Lulu's familiar hit single of "To Sir, With Love" is fabulous and unforgettable, a worthy candidate for proclamation as The Greatest Record Ever Made. This different version, the "Museum Outings Montage" from the soundtrack of the film To Sir, With Love, is even better.

"To Sir, With Love" is one of my wife's favorite songs, perhaps even her all-time # 1. Brenda was surprised to discover some years back that I also love it, and more surprised to learn that my This Is Rock 'n' Roll Radio co-host Dana loves it, too. I dunno, maybe she thought we thought we were too cool for the song.

As if anyone could possibly be too cool for Lulu....

THE MONKEES: Me &  Magdalena [Version 2]

I remain puzzled that there has not yet been an expanded physical edition of The Monkees' 2016 triumph Good Times! There were four bonus tracks issued at the time of the album's original release. "A Better World" was only available on the version of the CD sold at FYE. "Love's What I Want" was only on the Japanese release. "Terrifying" and "Me & Magdalena [Version 2]" were on the iTunes digital version. The four tracks have (I think) since been gathered together on a limited-edition Record Store Day vinyl EP, but I want the whole thing in one place, on a legit CD. If there's more as-yet-unreleased stuff to add to such a package, all the better. I don't understand what Rhino Records is waiting for.

THE ROMANTICS: Open Up Your Door

To me, this cover of Richard and the Young Lions' ace 1966 nugget is the highlight of The Romantics' 1983 album In Heat. Considering the fact that this album also includes Romantics perennials "Rock You Up," "One In A Million," and the group's biggest chart hit "Talking In Your Sleep," that ain't faint praise. (Yeah, 1979's "What I Like About You" is The Romantics' best-known song, but it missed the Top 40 entirely.) "Open Up Your Door" sure sounds like it could have been a Romantics original; I didn't even realize it was a cover until years later, when the original appeared on Rhino's Nuggets boxed set. 

SLY AND THE FAMILY STONE: Thank You (Falletinme Be Mice Elf Agin)

Success. Stardom. Excess. Sly and the Family Stone generated hits, created influence, made some cash, and fed some bad habits along the way. The music was often phenomenal, a uniquely psychedelic hybrid that was absolutely rock and absolutely soul. The personal toll of this success, the weight of its numbing and high-flying rewards, would not be small. Its cost to Sly Stone in particular would be considerable.

The above paragraph is from The Greatest Record Ever Made! (Volume 1), part of a chapter discussing Sly and the Family Stone and the group's GREM! entry "Everybody Is A Star." That song was a B-side. The A-side was "Thank You (Falletinme Be Mice Elf Agin)."

In a year that has made a sense of gratitude feel elusive, maybe even pointless, we should remember that every year--each and every year--is someone's worst year ever. It may be the year someone lost a job. It may be the year a love finally ran its course, bitterly and tearfully. It may be the year one is forced to say a goodbye one does not wish to say. It may be the year when there was not even that chance to say goodbye.

In that context, it may seem petty to whine about not being able to go out dancing. But as we navigate the odd path that 2020 provides, as we wish we could hold friends and family once again, as we remain aware of the ever-present possibility of last farewells both spoken and unspoken, we still try to retain a longer, wider perspective. If we can. It's easier to say than it is to execute. But we try. And we're grateful for the opportunity to try.

Someone has it a lot better than we do. Someone else is going through something far worse. Words and wishes can't make life fair. Even actions may well fall short. But light is better than darkness. Hope is better than despair. 

And hope is what we're thankful for. The opportunity to try. Stay safe, my friends. And thank you.

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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, November 23, 2020

On Twitter @CafarelliCarl

The Go-Go’s, Twinkle, Rufus, Sparks, The Kinks, and The Runaways. The morning commute, driven by iPod.

This Is Rock 'n' Roll Radio # 1052

We begin our show this Thanksgiving week with expressions of gratitude from Sly and the Family Stone and Big Star (though I may question the sincerity of the latter), and conclude with two songs by The Beatles. In between, we skip across decades and styles, from The Drifters' 1962 gem "Sweets For My Sweet" through 2020 offerings from Icecream Hands, Dear Stella, Coke Belda, Kid Gulliver, The Neighborhoods, Pop Co-Op, The Junior League, Irene Peña, Gretchen's Wheel, Orbis Max with Emperor Penguin, Evie Sands, Jim Basnight, The Gold Needles, and The Midnight Callers. The Monkees from 2016. The Ramones from 1978. Jordan Siwek from 2018. P. P. Arnold. The First Class. Cockeyed Ghost. The Kinks. More, and more, and more, from whenever and whomever our hearts and ears reveal to be right in that exact moment.

This year, it can be difficult to feel thankful. We can't wish away the troubles, can't pretend things are as they should be. They are not. For now, we have each other, and we have our music. Thank you for that. 

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 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 hereMy
 weekly video series The Greatest Record Ever Made! on YouTube has posted my rants about The Ramones' "Do You Remember Rock 'n' Roll Radio?," Badfinger's "Baby Blue," Baron Damon and the Vampires' "The Transylvania Twist," Chuck Berry's "Promised Land," Dusty Springfield's "I Only Want To Be With You," and The Sex Pistols' "God Save The Queen."

Now: on with the show!

TIRnRR # 1052: 11/22/2020
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)
--
SLY & THE FAMILY STONE: Thank You (Falletinme Be Mice Elf Agin) (Epic, Greatest Hits)
BIG STAR: Thank You Friends (Rykodisc, Third/Sister Lovers)
THE ROMANTICS: Open Up Your Door (Nemperor, In Heat)
ROXY MUSIC: Virginia Plain (Reprise, Street Life)
WILD KISSES: Feels So Fine (wildkisses.bandcamp.com, Wild Kisses)
THE SENSATIONAL ALEX HARVEY BAND: Action Strasse (Castle, The Collection)
--
ICECREAM HANDS: No Weapon But Love (Big Stir, single)
SPARKS: Girl From Germany (Rhino, Profile)
DEAR STELLA: Time Machine (dearstellamusic.com, Time Zones)
THE MUFFS: Weird Boy Next Door (Burger, Whoop De Doo)
DUSTY SPRINGFIELD: Son Of A Preacher Man (Rhino, Dusty In Memphis)
LULU: To Sir, With Love [museum outings montage] (Retroactive, VA: To Sir, With Love OST)
--
JORDAN SIWEK: Never Give Up (Gleaming Stream, Sun Inside You)
NEW ORDER: Age Of Consent (Factory, Power, Corruption & Lies)
COKE BELDA: Nights On Broadway (Futureman, 5: A Tribute To The Bee Gees Vol. 2)
BELLE & SEBASTIAN: Legal Man (Jeepster, single)
DIANA ROSS & THE SUPREMES: Love Child (Motown, The Ultimate Collection)
SKEETER DAVIS: I Can't Stay Mad At You (Real Gone Music, VA: Honeybeat)
--
KID GULLIVER: Forget About Him (Red On Red, single)
THE RAMONES: I Just Want To Have Something To Do (Rhino, Road To Ruin)
THE FIVE AMERICANS: Western Union (Sundazed, Western Union)
JOY DIVISION: Love Will Tear Us Apart [Permanent Mix] (Qwest, Permanent)
THE REVELATIONS: Why When Love Is Gone (Red River, The Cost Of Living)
THE B-52'S: Planet Claire (Rhino, Nude On The Moon)
--
THE NEIGHBORHOODS: Half Life (Red On Red, single)
POP CO-OP: Persistence Of Memory (Futureman, Factory Settings)
THE HOLLIES: Look Through Any Window [French lyric version] (EMI, Clarke, Hicks & Nash Years)
1.4.5.: She Couldn't Say No (Northside, 3 Chords & A Cloud Of Dust)
JEFFERSON: Love Grows (Where My Rosemary Goes) (Castle, VA: Buttercups & Rainbows)
--
THE JUNIOR LEAGUE: Leave Me Resigned (Kool Kat Musik, Fall Back)
THE FIRST CLASS: Beach Baby (Varese Sarabande, VA: The Voice Of Tony Burrows)
IRENE PEÑA: It Must Be Summer (Big Stir, single)
BUFFALO SPRINGFIELD: Sit Down I Think I Love You (Rhino, Buffalo Springfield)
THE DRIFTERS: Sweets For My Sweet (Atlantic, All-Time Greatest Hits & More 1959-1965)
THE MONKEES: Me & Magdalena [Version 2] (Rhino, Good Times! [digital version])
--
GRETCHEN'S WHEEL: You Should Know (Futureman, Such Open Sky)
MARY LOU LORD: Aim Low (Kill Rock Stars, Mary Lou Lord/Sean Na Na)
P. P. ARNOLD: The First Cut Is The Deepest (Sequel, The First Cut)
BOB DYLAN: Positively 4th Street (Columbia, Biograph)
ORBIS MAX WITH EMPEROR PENGUIN: Talk To Me (single)
THE DAMNED: Wait For The Blackout (Sanctuary, Smash It Up)
--
EVIE SANDS: If You Give Up (R-Spot, Get Out Of Your Own Way)
COCKEYED GHOST: About Jill (Big Deal, Keep Yourself Amused)
THE KINKS: See My Friends (Sanctuary, The Ultimate Collection)
THE HEARTBREAKERS: Love Comes In Spurts [Yonkers demo] (Cleopatra, Yonkers Demo + Live 1975/1976)
JIM BASNIGHT: New Guitar In Town (Precedent, Jokers, Idols & Misfits)
THE GOLD NEEDLES: Billy Liar (Jem, single)
THE MIDNIGHT CALLERS: 41 Miles To Roscoe (Jem, Red Letter Glow)
THE BROTHERS STEVE: We Got The Hits (Big Stir, # 1)
THE BEATLES: Thank You, Girl (Capitol, The Beatles' Second Album)
THE BEATLES: Two Of Us (Apple, Let It Be...Naked)