Friday, April 30, 2021

BOPPIN's Monthly Day Off


Once a month,
Boppin' (Like The Hip Folks Do) takes a brief break from its stupid commitment to public posting, and distributes a private post only for paid supporters. This month's private post for patrons is called "Pop With POWER!," the first draft of an attempt to craft a compact description of how I define power pop. 

That post goes out to patrons tomorrow, which is also when regular daily public posting will resume right here at Boppin'. To read this piece and other monthly private posts, you can become a generous and well-read patron of Boppin' (Like The Hip Folks Do) for as little as $2 a month: Fund me, baby!

Thursday, April 29, 2021

MY WEEKLY VIDEO BLOG: THE GREATEST RECORD EVER MADE! # 28: Sam Cooke, "Chain Gang"


An infinite number of songs can each be THE greatest record ever made, as long as they take turns. I like that idea so much I'm writing a book about it. And I'm promoting that book with a weekly video series, discussing each of the book's chosen tracks one by one.

Inspired by actor Leslie Odom, Jr.'s Oscar-nominated performance as Sam Cooke in One Night In Miami..., this week's GREM! video spotlight falls upon Cooke's classic record "Chain Gang." Listen to the song again here, and then witness me raving about it here:



If you dig whatever the hell it is I'm doing in these weekly videos, please subscribe to my YouTube channelNEXT WEEK: we'll be back with more from The Greatest Record Ever Made!

THIS WEEK'S VIDEO: Sam Cooke, "Chain Gang"

GREM! # 27: The Wonders, "That Thing You Do!"

GREM! # 26: Johnny Nash, "I Can See Clearly Now"

GREM! # 25: Aretha Franklin, "Respect"

GREM! # 24: Pink Floyd, "Wish You Were Here"

GREM! # 23: The Carpenters, "Only Yesterday" and Material Issue, "Kim The Waitress"

GREM! # 22: The Beatles,"Yesterday"

GREM! # 21: The Bay City Rollers, "Rock And Roll Love Letter"

GREM! # 20: Buddy Holly, "Peggy Sue"/"Everyday"

GREM! # 19: The Monkees, "The Girl I Knew Somewhere"

GREM! # 18: Melanie with the Edwin Hawking Singers, "Lay Down (Candles In The Rain)"

GREM! # 17: The Romantics, "What I Like About You"

GREM! # 16: The Hollies, "I Can't Let Go"

GREM! # 14: Crazy Elephant, "Gimme Gimme Good Lovin'"

GREM! # 13: Neil Diamond, "Brother Love's Traveling Salvation Show"

GREM! # 12: Little Richard, "The Girl Can't Help It"

GREM! # 11: Eytan Mirsky, "This Year's Gonna Be Our Year"

GREM! # 10: The Monkees, "Riu Chiu"

GREM! # 9: Patti Smith, "Gloria"

GREM! # 8: Big Mama Thornton, "Hound Dog"

GREM! # 7: Elvis Presley, "Heartbreak Hotel"

GREM! # 6The Sex Pistols,"God Save The Queen"

GREM! # 5: Dusty Springfield,"I Only Want To Be With You"

GREM! # 4: Chuck Berry, "Promised Land"

GREM! # 3: Baron Daemon and the Vampires, "The TransylvaniaTwist"

GREM! # 2: Badfinger, "Baby Blue"

GREM! # 1: The Ramones, "Do You Remember Rock 'n' Roll Radio?

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

I'm on Twitter @CafarelliCarl.

Wednesday, April 28, 2021

POP-A-LOOZA: THE GREATEST RECORD EVER MADE! The Bay City Rollers, "Rock And Roll Love Letter"

Each week, the pop culture website Pop-A-Looza shares some posts from my vast 'n' captivating Boppin' (Like The Hip Folks Do) archives. In memory of the late Les McKeown, the latest shared post is my Greatest Record Ever Made! celebration of "Rock And Roll Love Letter" by The Bay City Rollers.

An infinite number of songs can each be THE greatest record ever made, as long as they take turns. This proud declaration of a short attention span is the foundation of my ongoing GREM! series (and maybe an eventual GREM! book). I've encountered occasional pushback from folks who hate the concept outright and/or disagree with some of the individual tracks or artists it embraces. Different strokes, and so on and so on and scooby-doobie-doobie. I remain delighted with the idea, and I still hope to find a way to get it all plastered together and perched on a shelf at a bookstore near you. (At which point, yeah, I suggest we all get plastered together.)

Resistance to GREM! song choices usually occurs when I write about an artist that others view as unworthy or even contemptible, especially acts like The Bay City Rollers, KISS, The First Class, Wham!, Freddie and the Dreamers, even The Monkees, though most have at least learned better in the case of Micky, Davy, Peter, and Michael. Some have thought I picked the wrong song to represent an artist they love, particularly in the case of Bruce Springsteen. Some, of course, just think I'm an idiot. 

But we dig what we dig. Regardless of whether or not a GREM! book ever wills itself into existence, my vision of its parameters includes Led Zeppelin, P. P. Arnold, James BrownThe Partridge Family, Rick James, Van Halen, The Velvelettes, The Muffs, Don Henley, Merle Haggard, The Temptations, Judy Collins, The Runaways, Grandmaster and Melle MelThe Bandwagon, Todd Rundgren, RufusThe KinksGladys Knight and the PipsThe Grateful Dead, Stevie WonderEytan Mirsky, The Ramones, The Beatles, and more. Infinite. Infinite.

And today's slice of the infinite presents The Bay City Rollers. "Rock And Roll Love Letter" is 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

I'm on Twitter @CafarelliCarl.

Tuesday, April 27, 2021

10 SONGS: 4/27/2021

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 # 1074.

LESLIE ODOM, JR.: Good Times

Since this year's Oscar telecast happened to fall on a Sunday night--y'know, like always--we used that as an excuse to open our counterprograming exercise with a set of songs from movies. I love movies, but I'm not a movie buff, and I rarely get around to seeing many (sometimes any) of a given year's Oscar nominees. This is observation, not criticism nor confession. As always: dig what you dig.

I did see One Night In Miami..., a fascinating film about a true-life evening in 1964 when Sam Cooke, Malcolm X, Jim Brown, and Muhammed Ali (then still called Cassius Clay) got together. We don't know what they did or discussed that night, so the movie itself is fiction, but it's compelling fiction. And it scored a few Oscar nominations, including a Best Supporting Actor nod for Leslie Odom, Jr., who plays Cooke to mesmerizing effect.

This week's TIRnRR kicked off with Odom as Cooke, covering Cooke's "Good Times," becoming Sam Cooke in a way that transcends mimicry. Magic. And an Oscar nomination well, well deserved.

THE BEATLES: A Hard Day's Night

Dana is sick of hearing me talk about seeing The Beatles in A Hard Day's Night at the drive-in in 1964, when I was four. So forget I mentioned that. But I'll never forget it. We're OUT! As much as The Beatles' music has meant to me over a span of decades, this movie may mean even more. Life-changing. Fab. So why on Earth should I moan? That left turn at Greenland turned out pretty well.

THE CARRIE NATIONS: Come With The Gentle People

Marcia McBroom, Dolly Read, Cynthia Myers

Awright, here's your essential crossover: the 1970 film Beyond The Valley Of The Dolls was directed by exploitation king Russ Myer, written by movie critic Roger Ebert, featured an appearance by The Strawberry Alarm Clock, and told the tale of The Carrie Nations, a fictional all-female rock trio, two of whom were played by former Playboy Playmates Dolly Read (who was married to Dick Martin) and Cynthia Myers, lip-syncing to lead vocals by future Penthouse Pet Lynn Carey. We ARE the world!

Lynn Carey

The film is a deliberately loopy, preposterous send-up of...well, I'm not exactly sure what it's parodying, though one presumes Jacqueline Susann's drug-filled soap opera Valley Of The Dolls was somewhere within the filmmakers' crosshairs. Sex, drugs, and rock 'n' roll. And sex. I first learned about the film in a Playboy pictorial when I was way too young to be looking at Playboy. Beyond The Valley Of The Dolls has become a cult classic; it did not snag a single Oscar nomination.

(For the record, the other three songs in our movie set were The Dave Clark Five's "Catch Us If You Can" [from Having A Wild Weekend], Tina Turner's "The Acid Queen" [from Tommy], and Harry Nilsson's "Everybody's Talkin'" [from Midnight Cowboy]. 

And...Scene!)

MICKY DOLENZ: Different Drum

This is precisely the sort of record for which the pimply hyperbole Awesome! was invented. I'm a first-generation fan of The Monkees, hoppin' into that barrel full o' hijinks during the first season of the group's TV series in 1966. I've wished in previous posts for surviving Monkees Micky Dolenz and Michael Nesmith to record a new studio album with members of The Monkees' ace touring band, a cracklin' combo that includes Christian Nesmith (Michael's son) and the incredible vocal talents of Coco Dolenz (Micky's sister) and Circe Link (whose "I'm On Your Side" was included on our compilation album This Is Rock 'n' Roll Radio, Volume 4, and was TIRnRR's most-played track in 2017). This combination of talent could create a mighty fine work, indeed.

The forthcoming new Micky Dolenz album Dolenz Sings Nesmith is the next-best thing, and a fantastic thing by any reasonable expectation. The elder Nesmith has no direct involvement, but the title's truth-in-advertising tells you that it's album of Nesmith songs, all engagingly rendered by Dolenz. Christian Nesmith arranged and produced, it sure sounds like Coco 'n' Circe providing the heavenly vocal blend that supports our Mick, and the overall effect is just delectably inviting. Man, this sounds wonderful. Dolenz remains in fine voice, and the material is, of course, top-notch.

The album is due out in May. The raving enthusiasm expressed above is inspired by bits from a teaser video, and by the release last week of the advance single, "Different Drum"/"Propinquity (I've Just Begun To Care)." Both of these tracks fulfill the giddy promise of what I hoped to hear. How great is Micky's version of "Different Drum?" It challenges Linda Ronstadt's sublime hit version with The Stone Poneys for the title of Best Ever. I'm very much looking forward to hearing the whole album.

FISHBONE: It's A Wonderful Life (Gonna Have A Good Time)

Getting back to the idea of counterprogramming against the Oscars, we very briefly considered turning the whole show over to songs somehow related to the movies. We rejected that notion in short order because a) it was too much work, and b) it would have prevented us from playing a lot of new stuff we wanted to play. CUT! 

If we had pursued a show-length movie theme, it would have included Fishbone's MTV classic "It's A Wonderful Life (Gonna Have A Good Time)," which I'm told stole its title from some old black-and-white flick. Every time Fishbone plays, and angel gets a free drink.

THE MUFFS: Outer Space

Who knows what pop songs lurk in the hearts of DJs? The iPod knows!

It's no secret that the songs my iPod shuffles through during my daily commutes provide ongoing inspiration for some of my playlist selections on TIRnRR. Here's a rare case of my iPod influencing one of Dana's picks. "Outer Space" is an underrated track from The Muffs' 1997 album Happy Birthday To Me, and it's one I don't recall hearing before Dana played it on TIRnRR in January.

"Outer Space" popped up on my iPod a couple of times recently, and I made a mental note to consider it when cobbling together our next playlist. 

What happened instead: I opened a set with "You're My Medicine," the latest digital single from America's Sweetheart Irene Peña. As Dana considered his options to follow Irene, I heard him play a couple of seconds of a Muffs track, and I said, "Hey, y'know, if you're thinking of playing The Muffs, I know just the song...."

THE SEX PISTOLS: EMI

Ah, what we do without record labels? What would we do first? Our beloved indie labels, from Big Stir to Kool Kat to Futureman to Rum Bar, Red On Red, Jem, JAM, and more, are forces for good. Larger labels aren't necessarily evil (though one could argue the Mob-connected Roulette Records was), but nor are they necessarily driven by any love of music. Records. Widgets. Geegaws. Notions. Tchotchkes. When money's all that matters, product is product, and nothing more.

But these big labels also brought us most of the pop music that formed us. EMI allowed us to hear The Beatles. And EMI brought us The Sex Pistols

Briefly.

EMI chickened out with the Pistols, caving under pressure when the group's foul-mouthed appearance on a British TV talk show spurred public outcry, torches, pitchforks, et al. EMI cancelled The Sex Pistols' contract after one single, an action/reaction that inspired the group to write a kiss-off called "EMI." 

It was not a rock 'n' roll love letter. I mean, if you wanna label it.

SUGAR SNOW: She Goes On

I tend to regard the music of Crowded House with benign indifference. I might maybe possibly play "It's Only Natural" or "Now We're Getting Somewhere"--the latter's Beatley Help!-inspired video got my attention during my MTV-watching days--but honestly, Crowded House generally just isn't on my radar.

Crowded House is on Simone Berk's radar. Under her boppin' dba Sugar Snow, the voice of Kid Gulliver recorded Woodface Reimagined, a very nice remake of Crowded House's 1991 album Woodface. Simone's lovely rendition of "She Goes On" serves notice that I should reassess (and possibly recalibrate) my radar. Don't dream it's over.

TOMORROW: My White Bicycle

In the '90s, Dana used to DJ at Syracuse's Club Zodiac, a cool nightspot which was later re-branded as Styleen's. This was in between the June 1992 demise of our first Dana & Carl radio series We're Your Friends For Now and the December 1998 beginning of whatever it is we do our current little mutant radio show. Now, you don't hire a DJ like Dana if you want a cookie-cutter music experience; Dana will play some hits and crowd-pleasers, but Dana's also gonna do what Dana's gonna do. He's gonna play stuff you don't expect. That's why you hire Dana.

One evening at the Zodiac, the manifestation of Dana doing what Dana's gonna do found Tomorrow's 1960s British psych gem "My White Bicycle" perched within a soundscape of, I dunno, maybe Rod Stewart and Eric Clapton. The club's buzzed clientele did not appreciate the brilliance of Dana's choice. Their loss. (And never mind that clientele's reaction during a subsequent Zodiac DJ shift, when Dana played my request for The Bay City Rollers...!)

STEVIE WONDER: Higher Ground

Maybe it's down to our collective connection to the divine, but our mortal thought processes work in mysterious ways. Other than a shared word in one song's title and the other act's name, I can't explain why Dana's spin of the '60s garage pop gem "I Wonder" by The Gants spawned an immediate and absolute need for me to follow with "Higher Ground" by Stevie Wonder. The mind goes where the song takes it. The next song takes over at that point. Higher ground. It's a long journey. We have some music to play as we go.

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

I'm on Twitter @CafarelliCarl.

Monday, April 26, 2021

This Is Rock 'n' Roll Radio # 1074

Actor Leslie Odom, Jr.'s Oscar-nominated portrayal of Sam Cooke in the film One Night In Miami... has inspired us to put Cooke's own records into regular rotation on TIRnRR the past few months. Counter-programming the Oscars this week, we decided to open the show with a set of six songs from movies, commencing with Odom's beguiling rendition of Cooke's "Good Times," followed by The Beatles (from A Hard Day's Night), The Carrie Nations (from Beyond The Valley Of The Dolls), The Dave Clark Five (from Having A Wild Weekend), Tina Turner (from Tommy), and Harry Nilsson (from Midnight Cowboy). Four of those six films received Oscar nominations. The other two did not. That's okay. We're a radio show. All we care about are the sounds.

And this week's sounds also included a brand-new single from long-time TIRnRR Fave Rave Micky Dolenz. Micky's album Dolenz Sings Nesmith is due in May, and it finds Mr. Mick covering songs written by his Monkees cohort Michael Nesmith. The album is expertly produced and arranged by Christian Nesmith, I believe--I'm a believer!--members of The Monkees' crack touring band provide support (including exquisite backing vocals by Circe Link and Coco Dolenz), and it is all so, so immediately appealing and irresistible. This past Friday's release of the digital single "Different Drum"/"Propinquity (I've Just Begun To Care)" demonstrates all of the above with phantasmagoric splendor. We played "Different Drum" this week. "Propinquity" will follow next week.

You still want more? Awrighty! New music from Rooftop Screamers, John Larson and the Silver Fields, The Chickenbackers, Orbis Max, and Super 8, TIRnRR debuts of the latest singles from Irene Peña and Evie Sands, a freshly-shined 1966 track from Vince Melouney, and all sortsa yesterday-'n'-today delights from The Kinks, Andrea Gillis, Stevie Wonder, Kevin Robertson, Iggy Pop, Kelley Ryan, Fishbone, Dolph Chaney, The Sex Pistols, The Forty Nineteens, Aretha Franklin, and a cast of dozens. It all begins with Leslie Odom, Jr. at the movies. We're ready for our close-up. Lights! Camera! This is what rock 'n' roll radio action 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/

TIRnRR # 1074: 4/25/2021
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)
--
LESLIE ODOM, JR.: Good Times (Abkco, VA: One Night In Miami... OST)
THE BEATLES: A Hard Day's Night (Apple, A Hard Day's Night)
THE CARRIE NATIONS: Come With The Gentle People (Harkit, VA: Beyond The Valley Of The Dolls OST)
THE DAVE CLARK FIVE: Catch Us If You Can (Hollywood, The History Of The Dave Clark Five)
TINA TURNER: The Acid Queen (Polydor, VA: Tommy OST)
HARRY NILSSON: Everybody's Talkin' (RockBeat, VA: The Wrecking Crew)
--
ROOFTOP SCREAMERS: Couldn't Ask For More (n/a, Next Level)
JUNIPER: Boys! Boys! Boys! Boys! Boys! (Confidential Recordings, Juniper)
CAROLYN FRANKLIN: Boxer (Kent, Sister Soul: The Best Of The RCA Years 1969-1976)
HOLLY GOLIGHTLY: Too Late Now (Damaged Goods, Singles Round-Up)
SCOTT KEMPNER: (Just Like) Romeo And Juliet (Razor & Tie, Tenement Angels)
MARY LOU LORD: Western Union Desperate (Work, Got No Shadow)
--
JOHN LARSON & THE SILVER FIELDS: I Don't Want To Hear Their Names Anymore (Shiny Fly, The Great Pause)
IGGY POP Five Foot One (Arista, New Values)
ANDREA GILLIS: Leave The Light On (Red On Red, single)
LES HANDCLAPS: Shake Your Tailfeather (Handclaps, Ouh Ouh Ah!)
SAM COOKE: Sugar Dumpling (Abkco, Portrait Of A Legend)
KIM WESTON: Take Me In Your Arms (Rock Me A Little While) (Motown, VA: Hitsville USA)
--
IRENE PEÑA: You're My Medicine (Big Stir, single)
THE MUFFS: Outer Space (Omnivore, Happy Birthday To Me)
EVIE SANDS: The Truth Is In Disguise (R-Spot, Get Out Of Your Own Way)
RICHARD HELL & THE VOIDOIDS: I Can Only Give You Everything (Omnivore, Destiny Street Complete)
FISHBONE: It's A Wonderful Life (Gonna Have A Good Time) (Columbia, The Essential Fishbone)
THE ENGLISH BEAT: What's Your Best Thing? (IRS, Special Beat Service)
--
THE CHICKENBACKERS: I Can't Make It (Kool Kat Musik, Yeh Right Yeah!)
THE GANTS: I Wonder (Rhino, VA: Nuggets)
STEVIE WONDER: Higher Ground (Motown, The Definitive Collection)
ICICLE WORKS: Birds Fly (Whisper To A Scream) (EMI, VA: Living In Oblivion: The 80's Greatest Hits Vol. 5)
SUGAR SNOW: She Goes On (n/a, Woodface Reimagined)
CROWDED HOUSE: Don't Dream It's Over (Capitol, Crowded House)
--
SUPER 8: All My Worries (single)
BOB FENSTER & THE WINDOWS: You're Doing It Wrong (Whirled Music, The Whole In The Pieces)
THE KINKS: The Village Green Preservation Society (Universal, The Village Green Preservation Society)
THE JAM: So Sad About Us (Polydor, Direction Reaction Creation)
VINCE MELOUNEY: No Good Without You (VM Music, single)
THE BEE GEES: Spicks & Specks (Festival, Brilliant From Birth)
--
ORBIS MAX: On The Radio (single)
SCREEN TEST: Sound Of The Radio (JAM, VA: This Is Rock 'n' Roll Radio, Volume 2)
THE FORTY NINETEENS [with TONY VALENTINO]: Late Night Radio (Big Stir, New Roaring Twenties)
ELVIS COSTELLO & THE ATTRACTIONS: Radio, Radio (Rykodisc, This Year's Model)
CHRIS POPE & CHORDS UK: Listen To The Radio (Big Stir, single)
THE SELECTER: On My Radio (EMI, Greatest Hits)
--
MICKY DOLENZ: Different Drum (7a, Dolenz Sings Nesmith)
TOMORROW: My White Bicycle (Rhino, VA: Nuggets II)
THE RULERS: I Want My Ramones Records Back (Futureman, VA: This Is Rock 'n' Roll Radio, Volume 4)
THE LA DE DAS: How Is The Air Up There? (Rhino, VA: Nuggets II)
DOLPH CHANEY: My Good Twin (Big Stir, This Is Dolph Chaney)
THE SMALL FACES: My Mind's Eye (Deram, The Anthology 1965-1967)
--
KEVIN ROBERTSON: Love's Blue Yonder (Big Stir, single)
KELLEY RYAN: The Church Of Laundry (single)
THE MOBERLYS: I Return (Precedent, First Album)
THE SEX PISTOLS: EMI (Virgin, Kiss This)
GRAHAM PARKER & THE RUMOUR: Mercury Poisoning (Spectrum, The Very Best Of Graham Parker and the Rumour)
NICK LOWE: I Love My Label (Yep Roc, Jesus Of Cool)
ARETHA FRANKLIN: Chain Of Fools (Atlantic, The Atlantic Singles Collection 1967-1970)
THE BEATLES: Chains (Apple, Please Please Me)
THE TREND: Electric Chair (Hate, Batman Live At Budokan)

Sunday, April 25, 2021

Tonight On THIS IS ROCK 'N' ROLL RADIO

Movies is MAGIC! Radio is also magic, and we use that hoodoo that we do so well to open with a set of six songs from the movies. For our next scenes, we apply our unique makeup wizardry to conjure a mix of ingenue-new (starring ROOFTOP SCREAMERS, JOHN LARSON AND THE SILVER FIELDS, ORBIS MAX, SUPER 8, and THE CHICKENBACKERS) and Lifetime Achievement classic (starring ARETHA FRANKLIN, THE KINKS, IGGY POP, SAM COOKE, GRAHAM PARKER AND THE RUMOUR, and other box office boffomeisters), plus cutting-edgy special effects courtesy of EVIE SANDS, THE FORTY NINETEENS, IRENE PEÑA, KEVIN ROBERTSON, KELLEY RYAN, SUGAR SNOW, JUNIPER, and more gaffers than you can shake a best boy at. SPECIAL ADDED ATTRACTION! We fire up the ol' DeLorean for an unprecedented feat of time travel, debuting the new MICKY DOLENZ single in a radio show recorded days BEFORE the single's release. See, postproduction is magic, too. Bring your own popcorn. We've got the soundtrack. Sunday night, 9 to Midnight Eastern, on the air in Syracuse at SPARK! WSPJ 103.3 and 93.7 FMhttp://sparksyracuse.org/

Saturday, April 24, 2021

POP-A-LOOZA: WHAM!, "Freedom"

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 celebration of the 1984-85 hit "Freedom" by Wham!

An infinite number of songs can each be THE greatest record ever made, as long as they take turns. This piece was originally written in 2019 as the inaugural entry in my sporadic series Guilt-Free Pleasures (A Defense Against The Dark Arts), but I have since then tweaked it slightly to make it a chapter in my proposed book The Greatest Record Ever Made! (Volume 1). I didn't change much of it, so reading it here gives you a pretty good glimpse of how it will appear in the book (if the book ever appears).


My boilerplate introduction for Guilt-Free Pleasures (A Defense Against The Dark Arts) sums up my rejection of the silly notion of guilty-pleasure records: There is really no such thing as a guilty pleasure in pop music. Unless you happen to love neo-Nazi ditties or glorifications of hatred or violence, I'd say it's okay for you to dig whatever you wanna dig. Yes, even the hits of The Eagles. Why? BECAUSE THEY'RE POP SONGS! Guilt-Free Pleasures (A Defense Against The Dark Arts) celebrates pop songs. The guilty need not apply. 

I've only gotten around to writing three additional entries in this series, discussing KISS, Milli Vanilli, and "I Never Thought It Peculiar" by The Monkees. The Milli Vanilli piece has also been repurposed as part of a chapter in GREM!, but that chapter will mostly be about an entirely different artist and song. I may eventually do Guilt-Free Pleasures pieces about The Partridge Family and The Archies. The future of the series is uncertain, but I don't think it's done quite yet.

But for today, we turn our attention to a wonderful pop record from the '80s, the pleasure of which is decidedly innocent, not guilty. "Freedom" by Wham! is the subject of the latest Boppin' Pop-A-Looza.

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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.

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