Thursday, March 23, 2017

Know What I Mean, Girls?

From 1945, please enjoy the incredible Spike Jones-- NOT the guy who made that John Malkovich movie -- and the ultimate feminist anthem "Serenade to a Jerk."

Played this on Capt. Al's radio show Tuesday and I'm now convinced it's the greatest record ever made.

I shouldn't love him, he's lazy
He sits around while I work
But when he's near me my heart sings
A serenade to a jerk

Sometimes he's stupid and hazy
Sometimes his brain doesn't hurt
Still the guy plays on my heart strings
A serenade to a jerk

Oh maybe I'm a little fool
For loving the guy the way I do,
Wonder why I'm stuck with him

Leaving him would drive me crazy
I'm sure that it wouldn't work
So I'll pour my heart out by singing
A serenade to a jerk

C'mon -- did PJ Harvey ever do anything this good? I think not.

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Closed for Monkey Business

Busy day yesterday (thank you, Capt. Al).

Regular well-groomed and peppy postings resume on the morrow.

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Programming Notes From All Over

Gonna be on friend of PowerPop Captain Al's intertube show over at Area 24 Radio today starting at 12pm EST.

Just click HERE and then hit the LISTEN NOW button for the latest episode of the Captain's Lost at Sea.

We'll be giving out an e-mail address throughout the show, so feel free to make requests. Or threaten us. We're pretty flexible.

In any case, a splendid time is guaranteed for all.

Monday, March 20, 2017

Charles Edward Berry 1926-2017

And this message was just received from a distant star, as reported in today's edition of TIME:


Friday, March 17, 2017

A Concept By Which We Measure Our Pain

Holy shit -- it's Robbie Fulks day again!

But seriously folks...I need to preface this song with a couple of caveats.

First of all, I have dear friends who are, in a phrase I dislike, people of faith.

That said, they do not proselytize, they do not look down on me because I'm not religious, and in all the ways that matter, they walk the walk. Unlike the pious shitheels of the Franklin Graham variety.

I'm also not arrogant enough to say that Martin Luther King or Bishop Tutu were chumps because they were devout.

That said, this song speaks for me.

A world filled with wonder, a cold, fathomless sky
A man's life so meager, he can but wonder why
He cries out to Heaven, its truth to reveal
The answer, only silence, for God isn't real

Go ask the starving millions under Stalin's cruel reign
Go ask the child with cancer who eases her pain?
Then go to your churches, if that's how you feel
But don't ask me to follow for God isn't real

He forms in his image a weak and foolish man
Speaks to him in symbols that few understand

For a life of devotion, the death blow he deals
We'd owe Him only hatred, but God isn't real

Go tell the executioner of the power he can't defy
Go tell his shackled victim of the mercy on high
Then go to your churches, go beg, pray and kneel
But don't ask me to follow for God isn't real

No, no matter how He should be, God isn't real

I should add that I'm mostly posting this because it enables me to stick a metaphorical finger in the eye of a certain smug anti-Semitic idiot I know who thinks we non-believers are the locus of evil in the modern world. So fuck him.

And have a great weekend, everybody! Good yontiff!!!

Thursday, March 16, 2017

Your Thursday Moment of Why Didn't I Get the Memo?

The great Mark Lindsay (of Paul Revere and the Raiders) and the great Susan Cowsill (of you know who) go all Sonny and Cher on your ass.

Hadn't heard about this one until yesterday, but I think I'm gonna have to buy the CD it's from.

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

It's So Crazy It Just Might Work!

I'd forgotten how funny this is.

And not beyond the realm of possibility, in point of fact.

I mean, it's no more ridiculous than paying money to see a holographic Michael Jackson.

Tuesday, March 14, 2017

Snowpocalypse Now -- Not!!!

The view outside a certain Shady Dame's building right now. New York City, as you can see, only got hit with 4-8 inches.

4-8 inches, of course, is more than enough for a lady, if you know what I mean, but that's a subject for another discussion.

In any case, we were so frightened of the storm yesterday that I quite forgot to get anything together for posting today; normal freshly plowed and clement musical stuff resumes tomorrow.

Monday, March 13, 2017

Baby Pictures of the Gods

The story so far: Last week I got an e-mail from a band -- called The Tomboys -- that I was unfamiliar with (which is far from an unusual occurrence around here, obviously).

And the message of which was -- hey, we're pretty cool, we think we're up your alley, and if you agree, will you write about us?

So having (as usual) far too much time on hands, I gave 'em a listen, and what do you know -- they really WERE terrific. Great early 80s retro guitar driven power pop sound, and very very accomplished; comparisons to Elvis Costello or Any Trouble would not have been inappropriate.

Here's a representative song.

I got back to them immediately and asked who they were and how long had they been doing this?

Drummer Joe Alonso promptly filled me in:

We’re from South Florida – Miami, specifically. The band formed in 1979 and had a nice run thru 1986. We were literally freshmen in high school - very young teens - when we started performing and songwriting. We finally hit the studio in 1982. We had our “moments”, locally and regionally. Several showcases and “label-auditions” later, we were right back in Miami. Power-pop, from Miami, by teenagers… it was a mix they just couldn’t wrap their heads around. Perhaps if we were from the mid-west, already in our mid-twenties, and lived out of a van – then maybe. LOL.

Well, that explained the retro sound, and given that (despite being older than those guys) I had a similar sort of story in my own musical past, I decided to sing their praises. Hence this posting.

Anyway, while getting the piece together I noticed they'd included a considerably longer bio and while reading it I was almost knocked out of my Barcalounger to learn that The Tomboys' bass player was none other than the incredibly great Raul Malo, who'd gone on to be the singer for the also incredibly great (and considerably more commercially successful) The Mavericks. A band, coincidentally, which I'd written about a few weeks earlier after chancing upon this fabulous video.

(I should add that Tomboys guitarist/vocalist Tommy Anthony also has a resume that's not too shabby; in fact, he's been a member of Santana since 2005. But enough about me.)

In any case, you can and should get a free download of their remixed and remastered vintage EP over HERE. Trust me -- you won't be sorry for making the effort.

Have I mentioned that freaking Raul Malo? I'm not worthy, I'm not worthy!!!

Friday, March 10, 2017

Slacker Friday

Real life interfered with posting today.

Regular stuff resumes on Monday -- honest Native American. It'll be worth the wait, too -- an amazing piece of music by a pre-fame amazing person.

Have a great weekend, everybody.

Thursday, March 09, 2017

Till Your Daddy Takes the T-Bird Away, No Doubt

So I happened to hear Cyndi Lauper's signature hit in the supermarket yesterday, and it occurred to me that I had never listened to the original version by its composer Robert Hazard. Which led me to finding it on YouTube.

And I shouldn't have bothered.

Man, that sucks. Seriously, even as a New Wave period piece, that's just flat out awful, and kudos to Lauper for realizing the song's potential nonetheless.

Meanwhile, here's a sort of obscure Lauper song that I've loved since forever, or at least since I chanced across Vibes -- the very underrated comedy 80s Lauper starred in with Jeff Goldblum and the late great Peter Falk from whence it comes -- one afternoon on HBO.

You know, it's funny, but as recently as five years ago I used to tell everybody -- and I mean that literally; I used to stop strangers on the street and rant at them -- that it was really really unfair that Lauper hadn't had Madonna's career. Since the success of Kinky Boots, however, I've had to stop doing that.

Wednesday, March 08, 2017

Closed for Monkey Business

Up late in the studio last night, so today I got nothing.

Regular postings resume on the morrow.

Tuesday, March 07, 2017

If Helen Reddy Had Married Tom Petty and Then Divorced Him for Johnny Cash She Would Have Been Helen Reddy Petty Cash!

In all seriousness, I have been on record for many years as saying that the most beautifully occurring sound in nature is a Rickenbacker 12-string well played.

Here's a guy named Mark Agnesi -- playing a bunch of Tom Petty songs -- and completely proving that thesis.

I can't tell you how many of the riffs he's demonstrating here that I'm gonna learn in the next few weeks (now that I've got access to an electric 12-string, albeit a Danelectro and not a Rick.)

However, I should mention that back in the late 80s -- i.e., when I was toiling at the much missed Video Review magazine, with kids who were sorta fifteen years younger than me -- I was totally gobsmacked to find out that there were lots of folks who thought Tom Petty totally sucks.

To this day, I don't get it.

[h/t Matt Mitchell]

Monday, March 06, 2017

I'm a Lapsed Agnostic -- I Used to Not Know, But Now I Don't Give a Shit -- But I Love This Song Anyway!

Okay, this has absolutely nothing whatsoever to do with the mission statement of this here blog, but it's just fantastic and I had to post it.

That's from the Rick Rubin produced Johnny Cash album American V: A Hundred Highways, which I last listened to at the time of its release (2006). Perhaps as a result, I'd forgotten this particular track until I heard it on the radio last Friday.

Turns out, not surprisingly, that it's a folk/gospel number previously recorded by Odetta and Elvis, among others.

Cash makes it totally his own here, of course.

In any case, regular already dressed and peppy pop postings resume on the morrow.

Friday, March 03, 2017

Welcome to the Byrdhouse

From Los Angeles in 1989, please enjoy Aussie power pop gods Crowded House, with special guest Roger McGuinn, and spirited live versions of The Byrds' classics "Mr. Tambourine Man"....

...and "Eight Miles High."

As you may recall, I recently acquired a Danelectro 12-string guitar...

...and in fact, just last Monday, I was in the studio with long-time garage band chums The Weasels and laid down a solo on a new song that I felt sounded quite splendidly McGuinn-esque.

Listening to the master at work on the above two tracks, however, was thus a pretty humbling experience. Let's face it -- nobody has ever done it quite as majestically as Roger and his Rickenbacker.

Have a great weekend, everybody!

Thursday, March 02, 2017

Closed for Monkey Business

Regular posting -- heavy on the jingle-jangle, BTW -- resumes on the morrow.

Wednesday, March 01, 2017

Let's Vance!

Just to clarify what I was saying yesterday about Van Morrison's Astral Weeks -- I don't dislike Van generally. In fact, I absolutely love all his radio hits that followed, and if there's a more gorgeous song than "Into the Mystic" I for one have never heard it.

Besides, without Van...

...this song wouldn't exist.

Of course, without this one...

...neither would "Domino" and "Blinded," but that's a discussion for another time.