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 # 1128.
POP CO-OP: I Just Love To Watch Her Dance
As chronicled waaaaaay back here, This Is Rock 'n' Roll Radio has a unique sense of pride and investment in the music of Pop Co-Op. The Post-Fab Four of Steve Stoeckel, Bruce Gordon, Joel Tinnel, and Stacy Carson are good guys who make good music, and their specific connection with our little mutant radio program makes us feel like their music is just, well, our music, too.
And we're thrilled that the lads (and marketing overlord lass Laura Sessions Tinnel) chose TIRnRR as the platform to announce their forthcoming new album Suspension. We've heard it, and YOU, my friend, are gonna love it. We selected "I Just Love To Watch Her Dance" as the on-air introduction to our belief in Suspension, and we'll premiere three more tracks over the next three weeks. We'll have details on ordering the album as soon as we can, and you'll have that grand opportunity to further immerse yourself in the magic of these guys and their music.
Their music? Our music? Listen: Pop Co-Op should be your music, too. Pride is infectious. Investment is fulfilling. Your mileage may not vary. Check your Suspension.
THE SPONGETONES: Have You Ever Been Torn Apart?
Knowing that we were opening the show with new music from Pop Co-Op, Dana had the marvelous idea of devoting our entire first set to music from the members of the group. Hey, look at Dana, with the marvelous ideas! So we followed "I Just Love To Watch Her Dance" with a track by the Spongetones. The mighty, mighty 'Tones were our introduction to Steve Stoeckel, and Steve wrote what is probably my favorite Spongetones song, "(My Girl) Maryanne." But we opted to play "Have You Ever Been Torn Apart?," an ace tune written by Spongetones guitarist Pat Walters for 1984's Torn Apart, the same EP that gave the world "(My Girl) Maryanne." We couldn't go wrong either way.
(And, coincidentally, the Spongetones' other singin' and songwritin' guitarist Jamie Hoover was also represented later in the playlist by another spin of "What The Heart Wants," from the current three-song single by his current duo Hoover and Martinez. We live in a world of pop plenty!)
MR. ENCRYPTO: Long After Long
Our Pop Co-Op appreciation thread continued with Bruce Gordon, under his nom du bop Mr. Encrypto. Mr. Encrypto's a cappella mix of Bruce's "The Last Time" is one of the defining tracks of TIRnRR's long and storied history (and, we're told, the specific impetus for Joel Tinnel telling Steve Stoeckel, "Listen to this track. I think we need to find a way to work with the Bruce Gordon guy."). As tempting as it was to play that fantastic track again, we wanted to mix up the selections an eensy little bit, so we programmed "Long After Long" from the first Mr. Encrypto album, Hero And Villain. As with the case of the Spongetones, Mr. Encrypto offers a lot of pop plenty to choose from.
POP CO-OP AND THE THIS IS ROCK 'N' ROLL RADIO ALL STARS: He And She
I was very tempted to include all six of the tracks from our Pop Co-Op appreciation set in this week's 10 Songs, but I prolly oughtta leave room for some acts that don't include your Steve, your Bruce, your Joel, and/or your Stacy. (Either that, or expand this thing to 15 Songs, which is, y'know, too much work.)
But we'll include one more here before moving forward. 2018's "He And She" was originally credited to Steve Stoeckel and his This Is Rock 'n' Roll Radio All Stars, an informal combo of Steve and friends, and yeah, we did indeed give them that name. Humility is overrated. The All Stars debuted circa 2013 with "I Could Be Good For You," a track which appeared on our compilation This Is Rock 'n' Roll Radio, Volume 3. The billing for "He And She" has since been changed to Pop Co-Op and the This Is Rock 'n' Roll Radio All Stars.
For "He And She," the All Stars are Pop Co-Op--Steve, Bruce, Joel, Steve--supplemented by Dan Pavelich of the Click Beetles on keyboards and Radio Deer Camp's Rich Firestone on vocals, with Laura Tinnel, Kathy Firestone, and Elizabeth Racz singing backup. Lyrically, it's kinda sorta kinda about those lovebirds the Tinnels, and it seemed a prerequisite for our Pop Co-Op set.
(The final two tracks in our Pop Co-Op set were the above-mentioned Rich Firestone with Steve, Joel, and Stacy [plus Alex Tinnel on keys] covering the Smithereens' "If The Sun Doesn't Shine" and Stoeckel and Peña--Steve with America's Sweetheart Irene Peña--and their Big Stir Records single "Why.")
PERILOUS: Rock & Roll Kiss
Rockin' pop resumé! Perilous includes our pals Paul Dougherty of the Trend and Bob Cat Rawks of Hurtin' Units, plus Pauline Digati from early '80s Buffalo stalwarts Pauline and the Perils and Renee Rettie from Screaming Meemies. Their debut single "Rock & Roll Kiss" honors and expands their collective legacy, and makes us wanna dance to rock 'n' roll radio played at really loud volume. We know just the radio show to do that.
THE MONKEES: You Bring The Summer
"You Bring The Summer" was the second single released in advance of the Monkees' triumphant 2016 album Good Times! While the preceding single "She Makes Me Laugh" had to grow on me a bit, I was captivated on first spin by the perky charm of "You Bring The Summer." Its release prompted a personal reminiscence of a high school friend who helped expand my awareness of the Monkees in 1977, the spring of my senior year. And "You Bring The Summer" heightened my anticipation for the album that would follow.
TONY VALENTINO: Dirty Water
Return of the riff! Tony Valentino was guitarist for the Standells, and he played that distinctive bomp-bompbomp-BOMP-bompbomp lick that distinguished the group's biggest hit, 1966's "Dirty Water." Tony's back to reclaim his riff, with a Big Stir digital single of his own new version of "Dirty Water." Guitarists! You know this one! We air guitarists know it, too. Play along. We love that dirty water.
COCKEYED GHOST: Karma Frog
We've been corresponding with Cockeyed Ghost's Adam Marsland since before there was a This Is Rock 'n' Roll Radio, and Cockeyed Ghost has been a consistent TIRnRR fave rave since the beginning of always. That blatant favoritism certainly includes the group's 2001 farewell album Ludlow 6:18 and its incredible track "Karma Frog."
Adam lives in Indonesia now, but he was back in the States recently, long enough to play a SoCal live date with his cracklin' combo Adam Marsland's Chaos Band and to reconvene the Ludlow 6:18 line-up of Cockeyed Ghost to finally do a "Karma Frog" video. It was a couple of decades overdue, sure, but it was well worth waiting for.
THE YARDBIRDS: Stroll On
Going out once again to Jane Birkin, wherever she is.
THE FLASHCUBES: No Promise
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