Tuesday, May 31, 2022

BOPPIN's Monthly Day Off

Once a month, Boppin' (Like The Hip Folks Do) takes an all-too-fleeting break from its guano-crazy commitment to daily public posting. On that one short day, we treat our tiny li'l cadre of paid supporters to a private post, just for their discerning eyes. This week's private post for patrons is another unpublished chapter from my long-threatened book The Greatest Record Ever Made! (Volume 1), casting its beacon upon "Everybody Is A Star" by Sly and the Family Stone.

Don't you wish you were one of my supporters? By an odd coincidence, I also wish you were one of my supporters. You can join those ranks for a mere $2 a month, you debonaire patron of the arts, and I'd dearly love to have you and your money. The Sly and the Family Stone piece posts to patrons tomorrow.

Monday, May 30, 2022

This Is Rock 'n' Roll Radio # 1131

 

Welcome to our little bubble.

Our bubble is a happy place, a three-hour weekly refuge from the horrors that assail us. We can't, and shouldn't, live in that bubble. The world will still await us when we emerge from our brief respite. 

But, for three hours....

We have some music for you. Take comfort where comfort can be claimed. And then go out and change the world. 

Please. Change the world.

This is what rock 'n' roll radio sounded like in its Sunday night bubble 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 # 1131: 5/27/2022
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)
--
POP CO-OP: Suspension (Futureman, Suspension)
POP CO-OP: Out My Window (Futureman, Suspension)
POP CO-OP: I Just Love To Watch Her Dance (Futureman, Suspension)
THE BEATLES: Hey Bulldog (Apple, Yellow Submarine Songtrack)
EARTH, WIND & FIRE: September (Columbia, The Eternal Dance)
THE GO-GO'S: This Town (IRS, Beauty And The Beat)
--
THE FLASHCUBES WITH THE SPONGETONES: Have You Ever Been Torn Apart? (Big Stir, single)
PSYCHEDELIC FURS: Pretty In Pink (Columbia, Talk Talk Talk)
BO DIDDLEY: Diddy Wah Diddy (MCA, The Chess Box)
DAVID BOWIE: It's No Game (Part 1) (Rykodisc, Scary Monsters [And Super Creeps])
PERILOUS: Rock & Roll Kiss (single)
PINK FLOYD: Arnold Layne (Capitol, Relics)
--
LAURIE BIAGINI: Imposter Syndrome Burn (single)
THE WHO: So Sad About Us (MCA, A Quick One)
THE WALKER BRIGADE: Shake Shimmy (Big Stir, If Only)
ASTROPUPPEES: She Can't Say No (Hightone, You Win The Bride)
HINDU LOVE GODS: Vigilante Man (Giant, Hindu Love Gods)
KELLEY RYAN: The Church Of Laundry (single)
--
ANDREA GILLIS: About A Girl (Red On Red, single)
KID GULLIVER: Forget About Him (Red On Red, Kismet)
SAM & DAVE: Hold On I'm Comin' (Atlantic, VA: The Complete Stax/Volt Singles 1959-1968)
BASH & POP: Anything Could Happen (Fat Possum, Anything Could Happen)
DEADLIGHTS: Pretend To Pretend (single)
THE BEVIS FROND: Lights Are Changing (Rhino, VA: Children Of Nuggets)
--
DAVE SCARBROUGH: As Far As I Know (Futureman, Happy Ever After)
BIG STAR: Don't Lie To Me (Ardent, # 1 Record/Radio City)
THE EVERLY BROTHERS: On The Wings Of A Nightingale (Rhino, Heartaches And Harmonies)
THE BOOMTOWN RATS: She's So Modern (Universal, Best Of The Boomtown Rats)
SCOTTY GRAND, JACOB YOFEE & ROAHNE HYLTON: All I Know (The Wonder Years Theme (single)
BRAM TCHAIKOVSKY: Sarah Smiles (Cherry Red, Strange Men, Changed Men)
--
THE MONKEES: Birth Of An Accidental Hipster (Rhino, Good Times!)
BOW WOW WOW: Go Wild In The Country (Cherry Red, Your Box Set Pet)
THE CHAMBERS BROTHERS: Wake Up (Columbia, Time Has Come: The Best Of The Chambers Brothers)
LUND BROS: Love U (n/a, Across State Lines)
CHI COLTRANE: Thunder And Lightning (Legacy, VA: Rock Artifacts Vol. 1)
--
THE BUZZCOCKS: Ever Fallen In Love (With Someone You Shoudn't've) (IRS, Singles Going Steady)
THE CLIQUE: Superman (Varese Sarabande, The Clique)
THE SUN SAWED IN 1/2: Twist Of Lemon (Kool Kat Musik, Triptych)
CHRIS VON SNEIDERN: Lonely Tonight (Futureman, VA: This Is Rock 'n' Roll Radio, Volume 1)
JOAN ARMATRADING: When I Get It Right (A & M, Greatest Hits)
THE SHANG HI LOS: Sway Little Player (Rum Bar, Kick It Like A Wicked Bad Habit)
--
THE 1957 TAIL-FIN FIASCO: 1909 GTC (Kool Kat Musik, Don't Go Anywhere)
THE PANDORAS: It's About Time (Voxx, It's About Time)
NICK PIUNTI & THE COMPLICATED MEN: (My Mind) Plays Tricks On Me (Jem, Heart Inside Your Head)
THE SQUIRES: Going All The Way (Rhino, VA: Nuggets)
JIM BASNIGHT: Stop The Words (Power Popaholic, Pop Top)
THE PERFORMERS: Mini Skirt (Numero Group, VA: Eccentric Soul: The Big Mack Label)
--
THE CHELSEA CURVE: Nuthin' Goin' On (Red On Red, All The The Things)
MAD MONSTER PARTY: No Matter What I Do (n/a, Mad Monster Party)
KEVIN ROBERTSON: Tough Times (Feel Like That) (Futureman, Teaspoon Of Time)
THE LEARS: The Byrd That Couldn't Fly (Not Lame, VA: Full Circle)
HEADGIRL: Please Don't Touch (Lemon, GIRLSCHOOL: The Singles)
THE PALEY BROTHERS & RAMONES: Come On Let's Go (Big Beat, VA: Come On Let's Go!)
SPYGENIUS: So You Say You Lost Your Baby (Big Stir, Spygenius Blow Their Covers)
PUFFY AMIYUMI: Love So Pure (Epic, Hi Hi Puffy AmiYumi)
--
POP CO-OP: 30 Years Of Dana & Carl [Suspension tease]

Sunday, May 29, 2022

Tonight On THIS IS ROCK 'N' ROLL RADIO

Believe in SUSPENSION! Suspension is the forthcoming new album from the irresistible melodic force known as POP CO-OP, and we'll open tonight's shenanigans with the interplanetary radio debut of its stellar title track. It is within the realm of plausible possibility that you might hear another Suspension track or two during tonight's broadcast. We will absolutely be reinforcing our Suspension with all sortsa Fab, new and old, courtesy of THE FLASHCUBES WITH THE SPONGETONES, THE GO-GO'SBO DIDDLEY, PERILOUS, LAURIE BIAGINI, THE WHO, THE WALKER BRIGADE, ANDREA GILLIS, SAM AND DAVE, DEADLIGHTS, THE BOOMTOWN RATS, THE EVERLY BROTHERS, BRAM TCHAIKOVSKY, THE MONKEES, BOW WOW WOWLUND BROS, THE SUN SAWED IN 1/2JOAN ARMATRADING, THE 1957 TAIL-FIN FIASCO, THE PANDORAS, NICK PIUNTI AND THE COMPLICATED MEN, JIM BASNIGHTTHE CHELSEA CURVE, KEVIN ROBERTSON, and our prerequisite MORE!! It all starts with Suspension. Believe in Suspension. Sunday night, 9 to Midnight Eastern, on the air in Syracuse at SPARK! WSPJ 103.3 and 93.7 FM, on the web at http://sparksyracuse.org/, and also as Westcott Radio via the TuneIn Radio and Radio Garden apps.

Saturday, May 28, 2022

POP-A-LOOZA: THE GREATEST RECORD EVER MADE! (VOLUME 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 a look at the current blueprint for my long-threatened book The Greatest Record Ever Made! (Volume 1).

This project ain't dead yet. I've invested a lot of time and effort into GREM!, and I aim to see it through to wherever through leads me. I have now completed five different edits of varying length. One way or another, the public is gonna get to see some version of The Greatest Record Ever Made! (Volume 1) eventually.

In the mean time, here's a snapshot of the Table of Contents for one of its edits. The Greatest Record Ever Made! (Volume 1) is the subject of the latest Boppin' Pop-A-Looza.

If you like what you see here on Boppin' (Like The Hip Folks Do), please consider supporting this blog by becoming a patron on Patreonor by visiting CC's Tip Jar. Additional products and projects are listed here.

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.

I'm on Twitter @CafarelliCarl

Friday, May 27, 2022

TV: Another Updated List Of TV Series I've Seen From Start To Finish


Last year, I posted a list of TV series that I've seen in their entirety, every episode. This is an update of that list, still missing a number of shows my memory won't surrender, but adding some recent completions. 


Since that original list and its first update, I've fallen under the thrall of the wonderful NBC series This Is Us. Brenda and I binged the show's first five seasons last year, and we were fully on-board for its final season in 2022. I now regard This Is Us as one of my all-time favorite TV series. Now that it's completed its run (and while we're still wiping the sting out of our teary eyes--oh, the feels!), it's time for another update to the master list. Let's get to that list, with its original introduction intact, and its later paragraphs given a fresh coat o' varnish.

Above image by Tyrone Biljan, courtesy of 13thdimension.com

I like TV shows. This is an attempt to list every TV series I've ever watched in its entirety, from Season 1 Episode 1 through the blowout finale. It includes mini-series, broadcast series, cable series, and streaming series without discrimination. And it includes some series I saw piecemeal, as long as I'm sure I saw all of the episodes in whatever sequence I got to them. Some I saw on first run, others I watched after the fact. It is a woefully incomplete list--because, y'know, memory--but it's a start. I may come back here to add more series as I remember them.


The Adventures Of Superman
Angel
Arrow
Batman
Being Erica
Bionic Woman [2007 series]
Birds Of Prey
Black Lightning
The Bob Newhart Show
Bosom Buddies
The Bronx Is Burning
Buffy The Vampire Slayer
Bunheads
The Crazy Ones
Daredevil
The Defenders [Marvel Comics series]
The Dick Van Dyke Show
Ellery Queen
The Event
The Falcon And The Winter Soldier
Firefly
The Flash [1990-1991 series]
Flashforward [2009-2010 series]
Freaks And Geeks
Friends
Get Back
Gilligan's Island
Gilmore Girls
Glee
Go On

The Good Place, quite possibly my all-time favorite TV series (other than Jeopardy!)

The Good Place
Gotham
The Green Hornet
Hawkeye
Heroes
High Fidelity
Inhumans
Iron Fist
Jessica Jones
Krypton
Luke Cage
M*A*S*H
Mad Men
Marvel's Agent Carter
The Mary Tyler Moore Show
The Middle Man
The Monkees
Moon Knight
Mrs. America
The Munsters
The Newsroom
No Ordinary Family
Pan Am
Police Squad!
*Powerless
Pushing Daisies
Quantum Leap
The Queen's Gambit
Reaper
Ringer
Sherlock
Smallville
Smash
Square Pegs
St. Elsewhere
Star Trek
*The Steven Banks Show
Studio 60 On The Sunset Strip
Supergirl
This Is Us
Timeless
Unorthodox
V [2009-2011 series]
Veronica Mars
The Village
WandaVision
We'll Get By
The West Wing
The Wonder Years
Younger
Zoey's Extraordinary Playlist


If I forgot any series you think I must have seen from start to finish, I welcome attempts to jog my stubborn memory.

There are two series cited with an asterisk: NBC's 2017 DC Comics sitcom Powerless and the 1994 PBS comedy series The Steven Banks Show. In both cases, I saw all of the broadcast episodes, but each had additional episodes that were completed but never aired. Haven't seen those, so...asterisk.

This list arbitrarily excludes animated shows, only because I didn't want to rack my brain to identify which cartoon series qualified; the cartoon list would include things like The FlintstonesBatman: The Animated Series (and the subsequent related Superman and  Justice League series that were part of that B:TAS universe), and Avatar: The Last Airbender. Among live-action shows, Arrested Development and Twin Peaks would have been listed on the basis of their original network TV runs, but both have since been revived, and I haven't seen any of the latter-day episodes. (On the other hand, I have seen the continuations of Gilmore Girls and Veronica Mars, and approve of both.)


Current series that will probably make this list some day include Firefly Lane
The Flash (The CW's version, which is distinct from the '90s series), LokiThe Marvelous Mrs. Maisel Stargirland the simply swell Superman and Lois. I bailed on Batwoman before its cancellation in 2022. Having seen the first season of Dollhouse, I may go back to see its second and final season. 


I own home video copies of just a handful of complete TV series. I have The Monkees on DVD and on Blu-ray, Batman on Blu-ray, Shindig! on an unauthorized set of DVD-Rs (and I really need to go back and finish watching those), homemade VHS copies of The Green Hornet, and Police Squad!, and, if we count non-physical media, the 2011-2012 series Pan Am on iTunes. I may write about Pan Am some day; the timing of its original network run coincided with some emotional turmoil in my life, and the idea of jetting off to Europe seemed mighty appealing to me. The pilot episode of Pan Am would serve as part of the climax in the first chapter of a long-gestating memoir I call Spain, a piece which, frankly, I doubt I'll ever getting around to writing. 


There are still a lot of older TV series that should probably be on this list. It's likely that I've seen every episode of 
Get SmartThe Beverly HillbilliesF TroopThe Odd CoupleThe Andy Griffith ShowWKRP In CincinnatiHec RamseySwitchWhen Things Were Rottenand a big ol' bunch of others, but my reasonable doubt is sufficient for me to omit them from this list. There are some other older shows--The Guns Of Will Sonnett, the 1960s Tarzan, Disney's Zorro--I'd like the opportunity to re-visit, but for now, I don't think I've seen all of those episodes.


Yet.

We're gonna miss you, Pearson clan. Thank you for six superb seasons of This Is Us.

If you like what you see here on Boppin' (Like The Hip Folks Do), please consider supporting this blog by becoming a patron on Patreonor by visiting CC's Tip Jar. Additional products and projects are listed here.

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.

I'm on Twitter @CafarelliCarl

Thursday, May 26, 2022

10 SONGS: 5/26/2022

10 Songs is a weekly list of ten songs that happen to be on my mind at the moment. The lists are usually dominated by songs played on the previous Sunday 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 # 1130.

POP CO-OP: Out My Window

Yes, TIRnRR's Pop Co-Op hype machine chugs on! "Out My Window" is our third of four exclusive radio premiers on behalf of Pop Co-Op's forthcoming new album Suspension, due soon (but not soon enough) from the visionary folks at Futureman Records. We've heard the whole thing, and we endorse it with all the power and authority vested in our position as...well, as a couple of guys who play records on the radio. Man, that does not look anywhere near as impressive in print as it sounded in my head. Nonetheless: Pop Co-Op GREAT! Pop Co-Op's Suspension great! And we'll have one more exclusive radio debut from another Suspension song at the top of next week's show. [SPOILER ALERT: it's the title track.]

Impressive? Yeah, actually. We're DJs. We know what we're doing. 

THE FLASHCUBES WITH THE SPONGETONES: Have You Ever Been Torn Apart?

And, as duly appointed DJs, we know a friggin' hit record when we hear a friggin' hit record. It's our super power.  And we've known about this particular hit, a dynamic summit meeting between power pop legends the Flashcubes and, y'know, power pop legends the Spongetones, for quite some time. We hadn't heard it, mind you, and we weren't told which Spongetones classic these combined forces would be remaking. But we guessed correctly--see above comments re: DJs, know what we're doing--and have been dying to hear it.

And PLAY IT!

A lot of radio shows jumped on "Have You Ever Been Torn Apart?" as soon as it was available, from The Rodney Bingenheimer Show on SiriusXM to Mike Murray's Whole Lotta Shakin' in Rochester, Michael McCartney's The Time Machine  in Maui (the latter with Rich Firestone, host of Radio Deer Camp right here on TIRnRR's home SPARK!), and an apparent zillion others. Awright! A lot of DJs seem to know what they're doing right now. We are legion! We are LOUD! And we for damned sure know a hit when we hear it.

(Oh, and bonus kudos to the Flashcubes and Spongetones themselves for the neat little opening Beatles homage that kicks the track directly into its frenzied Fabmania flight path. See, one gets to pop music by turning left at Greenland, after all.)

DEADLIGHTS: Pretend To Pretend

Over the decades we've been doing whatever the hell this weekly radio thing is supposed to be, we've been big, big fans of Jeff Shelton in all of his many rockin' pop DBAs. Spinning Jennies! The Well Wishers! Hot Nun! Trip Wire! Even the enigmatic Ultratone! And certainly including Jeff's current project Deadlights, who've already scored a few TIRnRR playlist berths this year.

The new Deadlights single "Pretend To Pretend" is one of Jeff's very best ever, on a par with the Well Wishers' should-be-called-a-classic "See For The First Time." Over and above its inherent radio-ready sheen, sales of the digital single directly benefit humanitarian aid to the embattled people of Ukraine. As Jeff hisself says:

"100% of sales of this digital single will go to support Razom for Ukraine. Since its inception in 2014, Razom for Ukraine has provided personal protective equipment to more than 40 hospitals across Ukraine. They mobilized over 400 volunteers to carry out their programs and humanitarian services, including sending over 70 pallets of aid to Ukraine, and approximately 218 tons of essentials and supplies."

Great music in service of a great cause. All we can add is this: BUY IT!!!

PIPER: Bad Boy

I was not among Billy Squier's many fans during his early-'80s MTV heyday. But nor was I aware of the fantastic stuff Squier did before that, for two albums fronting his '70s rockin' pop combo Piper. My first conscious exposure to Piper's music came waaaaay after the fact, when Rhino Records included Piper's irresistible confection "Can't Wait" on a power pop compilation CD in the early '90s. Somewhere after that, I heard the boppin' magnificence of Piper's "Who's Your Boyfriend?," and I was told that the Flashcubes used to cover it live. Yeah, I'd say that's a good fit.

I tracked down a used copy of Piper's eponymous 1977 LP (which included "Who's Your Boyfriend?"), but never did find their other long-player Can't Wait. I didn't hear the latter until American Beat reissued both albums as a two-fer CD in 2005. Can't Wait turned out to be my favorite of the two records, with the title tune, the stellar "Drop By And Stay," and "Bad Boy." Maybe I should give the MTV stuff another chance? 

THE BABLERS: You Are The One For Me

We get the impression that "You Are The One For Me" is a teaser for whatever's coming next from Finland's phenomenal pop combo the Bablers. In the here and now, Dana has already said it's one of his favorite new tracks so far this year, and--because he's a DJ--I suspect he knows what he's doing. (And this week's spin of "You Are The One For Me" inspired me to follow with the Monkees' "You Just May Be The One," and we all benefit from that sequence.)

THE BANGLES: Hazy Shade Of Winter

Many of my TIRnRR playlist selections are the result of a simple process I call Because my iPod said so! However, this week's spin of the Bangles' 1987 hit cover of Simon and Garfunkel's "Hazy Shade Of Winter" wasn't prompted by my iPod's edicts, but by airplay on a radio station in Pensacola, Florida. Good enough for me! 

THE WHO: I Can't Explain

The Greatest Record Ever Made!

THE JIVE FIVE: He's Just A Lucky Man

In the early '80s, the Ambient Sound label issued several records--some singles and some albums--featuring new recordings by classic doo-wop groups. At the time, my sole acquisition from the Ambient Sound catalog was a 1982 compilation LP called Everything New Is Old...Everything Old Is New. I snapped that one up specifically to own the Mystics' rendition of "Doreen Is Never Boring," a song written by Joey Ramone (originally as "Touring," which the Ramones recorded but consigned to the vaults at the time). 

I didn't really pay much mind to the other stuff on that album--I was there for Doreen, man!--so my silly 22-year-old self ignored offerings by Randy and the Rainbows, the Capris, the Harptones, and the Capris. And nor did I pay any attention at all to the music of the Jive Five.

Oh, stupid, silly 22-year-old! 

I got to the Jive Five via Marshall Crenshaw, whose sublime cover of "What Time Is It" inspired me to seek out the even more sublime, luscious, heavenly Jive Five original. I eventually cobbled together a modest Jive Five collection in the form of two non-overlapping Jive Five anthology CDs. The Jive Five's "What Time Is It" is currently slated for a spotlight in my long-threatened book The Greatest Record Ever Made! (Volume 1).

But neither of my Jive Five CDs included any of the group's '80s stuff. The Jive Five did two albums for Ambient Sound, 1982's Here We Are! and 1984's Way Back, and that's twice as many albums as they did before the '80s. A recent comment from Blitz magazine's Mike McDowell sent me scurrying back to the Jive Five's Ambient Sound era, and this winner from Here We Are! Just because I know what I'm doing doesn't mean I'm not willing to learn more.

KEVIN ROBERTSON: If You're Free

Listeners of this little mutant radio program already adore Kevin Robertson from his work with Vapour Trails (wherein our Kev was billed as Kevin Trail), and from previous spins of his Big Stir digital single "Love's Blue Yonder." Kevin's new album Teaspoon Of Time assigns all its jangle and buzz in the appropriate spots, but ditches mere decorum to rock the house as the cosmos intended. More from Teaspoon Of Time on next week's show.

THE TRAVELING WILBURYS: Not Alone Anymore

A few entries north of here, I mentioned a recent visit to the sunny Southern climes of Florida. I've been to Florida a total of...eight times? I think that's right, starting with a visit to family in the panhandle--the part of Florida that is Alabama--in 1970. 

Half of my Florida trips have been to that greater Pensacola area, where my Uncle Carl, Aunt Jo, and my cousins Langley, Alan, and Colin lived. Langley still lives there. Her brothers have sought their fortunes elsewhere. Aunt Jo passed several years ago. We lost Uncle Carl in December, about two weeks after my Mom--Uncle Carl's sister--left us. Earlier this month, my sister, my brother-in-law, and one of my brothers accompanied me back to the panhandle to represent our ever-glowing nuclear family at Uncle Carl's memorial service.

There's an odd, maybe paradoxical mixture of sadness and joy at a memorial. We grieve our loss, but we revel in the memory. We had just seen Langley at my mother's memorial service in April--when I was just over my (relatively mild) bout with COVID--but I hadn't seen Colin in eighteen years, and I hadn't had much time to really chat with Langley in April. So seeing them and spending time with them in Florida two weeks ago was...well, it was nice. Really nice. 

After I returned to Syracuse, something that should have been obvious my entire life belatedly but suddenly dawned on me: more than just cousins, Langley, Alan, and Colin (as well as our California cousin Mark) were really like my additional siblings. I mean, we fought like siblings, and they were closer to me in age than my actual brothers and sister. We had and still have that bond like siblings. I don't understand why it took me so long to understand. I get it now. And I'm not alone anymore.

The segue into the Traveling Wilburys' "Not Alone Anymore" isn't quite as forced as you think. I first heard the track in Florida, just after New Year's Day of 1989. I was in Key West, a tourist in Margaritaville, visiting old college friends and having a righteous good time. I was, let's face it, high as a freakin' Florida kite. And I heard that voice. That voice.

You're not alone
You're not alone
You're not alone anymore

Although lyrically a sad song rather than an uplifting one, it felt like a message of comfort from beyond the veil. Roy Orbison had left this world behind less than a month before my pilgrimage to Margaritaville. I respected and appreciated Orbison, and I felt the pop world's sorrow at the loss of one of its giants. I knew, of course, that Orbison was one of the Traveling Wilburys, alongside George Harrison, Bob Dylan, Tom Petty, and Jeff Lynne. Supergroup? Even that description is inadequate. The only Traveling Wilburys song I really knew before that was the hit, "Handle With Care." Hearing the late Roy Orbison sing "Not Alone Anymore" as only Roy Orbison could, that otherworldly voice both booming and floating above the tchotchkes strewn in the Margaritaville gift shop, I knew I'd been touched by something greater. I needed that CD. I bought it shortly after returning home to Syracuse.

You're not alone anymore. On that 1988-into-1989 trip, I'd flown into Key West from Pensacola after attending Langley's wedding. That was the last time I was in Pensacola, or the last time I was in Pensacola until two weeks ago. During the pandemic, and until Uncle Carl passed in December, I visited Pensacola again via weekly Zoom with Uncle Carl and Langley, my sister hosting the meeting from her home in England. Our final Zoom was a little after Mom died in December. Uncle Carl's rapid decline was perhaps not unexpected. I don't know why it caught me so unprepared.

But I'm not alone. We're going to go back to Pensacola next year, just to go, to spend time, to be together. Life is too short to spend separately. We're not alone anymore. I betcha Roy Orbison would agree. 

I know that Uncle Carl would.

If you like what you see here on Boppin' (Like The Hip Folks Do), please consider supporting this blog by becoming a patron on Patreonor by visiting CC's Tip Jar. Additional products and projects are listed here.

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.

I'm on Twitter @CafarelliCarl

Wednesday, May 25, 2022

POP-A-LOOZA: THE GREATEST RECORD EVER MADE! The Grateful Dead, "Uncle John's Band"


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 emotional Greatest Record Ever Made! piece spotlighting the unlikely subject of the Grateful Dead.

If my long-threatened book The Greatest Record Ever Made! (Volume 1) ever wills itself into existence, this chapter will be part of the book's closing lap, perched immediately after a 1-2 wallop of David Bowie's "Life On Mars?" and the O'Jays' "Put Your Hands Together," with the Dead then leading into tracks by the cast of West Side Story, Eddie and the Hot Rods, Joan Jett, Stevie Wonder, Marykate O'Neil, Eytan Mirsky, and the Jayhawks, before circling back for encores by the Beatles, the T-Bones, and the Ramones

Like a good mix tape, the sequencing is specific and deliberate. After more than four years of work on this book, I have completed five different edits of varying length, concocting versions of GREM! that spotlight 175 tracks, 155 tracks, 135 tracks, 125 tracks, and 105 tracks. The sequence detailed above is how each version of the book ends. No matter what else I do with the book, that concluding sequence is not likely to change.

I have a story I want to tell. It's a story about me, and about the music I listen to, but I think the story will be of interest to anyone who revels in the thrill of a personal soundtrack. As a young man, I did not think it plausible that the Grateful Dead would ever be a welcome part of my soundtrack. I've learned better since then. That evolution of opinion, and its ongoing tether it to an ache I feel inside me, provides the latest Boppin' Pop-A-Looza.

If you like what you see here on Boppin' (Like The Hip Folks Do), please consider supporting this blog by becoming a patron on Patreonor by visiting CC's Tip Jar. Additional products and projects are listed here.

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.

I'm on Twitter @CafarelliCarl