Saturday, June 15, 2024

10 SONGS: 6/15/2024

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 # 1237

THE SHIRTS: Move On Groove On

Hey Carl! Dig THIS!

Over a span of years--decades, really--most music fans have benefitted from inspiration and specific recommendations to discover new (or at least new-to-us) sounds: New records, new artists, new discoveries, each a fresh revelation even when it happens to be a record released before we were born. Any record you ain't heard is a new record.

I benefitted from friends and family, from helpful and knowledgeable folks at record stores, and from mass media. Rock magazines. Radio stations. The pursuit of buzz. I'm still on the hunt for all of it.

Alas, no one hipped me to the Shirts in the '70s. A few live tracks on the Live At CBGB's various-artists set were the only Shirts material I recall hearing at the time, and that didn't grab me like, say, Bowery scene contemporaries the Ramones, Blondie, and Television grabbed me. i didn't get hip to how GREAT the Shirts were until the '90s at the earliest, whenever it was that I snapped up a used CD reissue of the Shirts' eponymous debut album from 1979.

Instant thrall. Maybe I said to myself, Hey Carl! Dig THIS! I know I cursed the passage of a couple of decades that I had wasted by delaying my entry into Shirts fandom. But what the hell--I'm there now. Any record you ain't heard....

Through all of that, I certainly didn't think it likely that I would ever be able to enjoy a brand-new Shirts release. 

But the Shirts are back! The Shirts' new single "Move On Groove On" retains the spunk and sass of the old days, sidestepping nostalgia and just, y'know, doing. NEW SHIRTS! And they fit just fine. Dig THIS!

(All of the above also applies to "Move On Groove On" 's virtual B-side "Deux Royale;" we opened this week's show with "Move On Groove On" and programmed "Deux Royale" near show's end. In between, we supplemented our Shirts appreciation with recent fave rave "The Man Behind The Man With A Gun" by Shirts guitarist Arthur Lamonica's group Rome 56 and another spin of the '79 Shirts nugget "Tell Me Your Plans." The Shirts return to TIRnRR next week. The digging never stops. Our overcompensation has gotta start somewhere.)

THE FLASHCUBES: Nothing Really Matters When You're Young
THE SPONGETONES: Have You Ever Been Torn Apart?


AMOS MILBURN: Down The Road Apiece

My new book The Greatest Record Ever Made! (Volume 1) is due out on July 10th, and it's available for preorder right now (as mentioned here). The book does not include a chapter about "Down The Road Apiece" by Amos Milburn; maybe I'll get around to writing that chapter for Volume 2But Milburn's record is mentioned at least twice in Volume 1, within my chapters about Big Mama Thornton and Ike and Tina Turner

Why? Because I insist that Amos Milburn's 1947 recording of "Down The Road Apiece" is the very first rock 'n' roll record. It predates Fats Domino's "The Fat Man" (1949) and Jackie Brentson and his Delta Cats (1951), the latter really Brentson singing with Ike Turner's group. 

No one can tell me "Down The Road Apiece" ain't rock 'n' roll. If there was something earlier that rocks like this does, I haven't heard about it yet.


A twin spin of Rolling Stones covers, starting with the Anderson Council's "Connection" (from the ace current tribute compilation Jem Records Celebrates Jagger & Richards) and barrelin' into the Mighty Lemon Drops' 1988 live performance of "Paint It Black." Wet paint connection! 

(Wet paint connection is like the rainbow connection except, y'! Black as night! Black as coal! Connect away.)

THE MYNAH BIRDS: I Got You (In My Soul)

The Mynah Birds were signed to Motown in the mid '60s, and the group was fronted by a then-unknown Rick James and also included the likewise then-unknown Neil Young. The Mynah Birds broke up due to extracurricular circumstances--James was busted and incarcerated for being AWOL from the military--and Motown opted to let the group's recordings remain in the vault. Young went on to Buffalo Springfield and, I guess, did some other stuff after that. 

Unlike Amos Milburn's "Down The Road Apiece," I did complete a chapter about the Mynah Birds' originally-unreleased 1966 classic "I Got You (In My Soul)." It was written as part of a chapter about "Super Freak" by Rick James, a piece I later split into two separate chapters. "Super Freak" is in the book; "I Got You (In My Soul)" is in reserve, but you can read it here.

And I still can't get my head around the idea of what might have been. Rick James and Neil Young. That coulda been something else, man.

COTTON MATHER: The Book Of Too Late Changes

The Greatest Record Ever Made!

sparkle*jets u.k.: Box Of Letters

Man, I like this track. "Box Of Letters" is the current single from sparkle*jets u.k., and it turns out that it's also going to be the title track from their imminent (but not soon enough) new album. We debuted the single last week. We played it again this week. It notches up its third consecutive TIRnRR appearance this coming Sunday night. Sometimes it's best to think inside the box. Sparkle is as sparkle does.


Although it would be inaccurate to call the great Graham Parker a punk rocker, the irascible 'n' irrepressible vibe of some of his 1970s material places him (at the very least) on punk's periphery. Parker wasn't a punk...but a lot of punks loved him. This punk sure did.

As such, GP was among the first artists I ever heard within this broad not-really-a-category category of the punk-adjacent. In my senior year of high school, 1976-77, WOUR-FM in Utica, NY was playing Parker's "Hotel Chambermaid," and they were also playing Nick Lowe's "So It Goes." In the summer of '77, WOUR added the Sex Pistols' "God Save The Queen" to its parade of Hey, Carl! Dig THIS!! revelations. None of these three sounded at all like the other two. The common ground was attitude. 

The shared trait was transcendence.

Graham Parker is, of course, still at it, gloriously still at it, and still a reliable resource for Hey, Carl! Dig THIS! Graham Parker and the Goldtops' 2023 album Last Chance To Learn The Twist was one of the year's highlights, and our friends at Big Stir Records have just issued another digital single from that record.

The A-side, "Last Stretch Of The Road," is the de facto source of its album's title, and it scored TIRnRR airplay last year. Its B-side is a searin' live version of GP's classic 1976 rocker und roller "Back To Schooldays." 

I don't remember whether or not we've ever played Parker's original studio version, but we're playing the new live version now. Hey, listeners! Dig THIS! 

Label at your own risk. But perhaps there are still more chances to learn the Twist.


If you like what you see here on Boppin' (Like The Hip Folks Do), please consider a visit to CC's Tip Jar

Carl's book Gabba Gabba Hey! A Conversation With The Ramones is available, courtesy of the good folks at Rare Bird Books. Gabba Gabba YAY!!

If it's true that one book leads to another, my next book The Greatest Record Ever Made! (Volume 1) will be published in July. Stay tuned. Your turn is coming.

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, streaming at SPARK stream and on the Radio Garden app as WESTCOTT RADIO. Recent shows are archived at Westcott Radio. You can read about our history here.

I'm on Twitter @CafarelliCarl

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