18 February 2014

DAILY PLANET, 'Life' b/w 'Pay' (Riff Raf, 1980)

DAILY PLANET, 'LIFE' b/w 'PAY' (Riff Raf, 1980)

A cool uncomped breath of fresh air before hardcore idiocy-SLASH-Posh Boy mediocrity set in and made southern California safe for board shorts and Social Distortion tattoos forever.

Impossible to say and/or to recreate the exact climate of the times, but I find it highly doubtful that BOBBY SOXX or Gregg T. or Mike S. of the ANGRY SAMOANS would have found much with which to take issue (get it???) with the specific style und sound being mined by the DAILY PLANET. Recorded live on New Years' Eve at L.A.’s Club 88 (allegedly for some documentary called 'Transitions' which I'm not sure actually exists), both sides of thee D.P.’s lone single recall the Rickenbacker/high-energy spit-roast spirit of groups such as THE ROCKERS or maybe even THE NERVES if they had worn matching striped Telnyashka instead of three-piece loser suits.

Some of the band's membership originally hailed from Chicago and apparently soldiered on within the PLANET until at least ’82, at which point the writing was well and truly on the stall and it read in letters red-dripping-red:  DROP DEAD BABY.

Also, gotta love the mod-nod of the label name.  This, undoubtedly, was the DAILY PLANET's finest hour.

'Thank you and have a good Eighties.'



02 February 2014

THE UPTIGHTS, 'I'm Awake' b/w 'Promises (She Isn't In Love)' (Up, 1981)

THE UPTIGHTS, 'I'm Awake' b/w 'Promises (She Isn't In Love)' (Up, 1981)

I have no idea what lead singer Carolyn Odell is saying in the A-side's chorus.  Is it an entreatment to take the 'freeway?'  A seductive invitation to have a 'threeway?'  An exultation that she supports the Tulane University 'Green Wave?'  In any event, it's OK, because the true action on the lone platter from these New Orleans power poppers is on the record's b-side.

'Promises, Promises' is not the familiar stupid show-tune.  In fact, it's moody, mod, femme-vox power pop in the mode of BONNIE HAYES, JOSIE COTTEN and/or - even at a stretch - THE SHIVVERS.

Back sleeve is total local - the band thanks a bunch of uptown radio stations and their guitar player, who also doubles as their photographer and de facto graphic designer.

A much better single than I'm probably making out and still available cheap.

...now if only they'd enunciate.  



30 December 2013

THE DE-CODES EP (Generic Records, 1980)

THE DE-CODES EP (Generic Records, 1980)

Merry power pop X-mas/Hanukkah/Kwanzaa!

Sweet wonderful reader:  you don’t know how lucky you are that Trey or Jeremy have not already posted up a link to the video for Pointed Sticks’ ‘Powerpop Santa.


In any event, enjoy an unacclaimed bunch of mod anonnos out of central Pennsylvania named THE DE-CODES, produced by  none other than CRAIG BEVAN and similar - in sonic verisimilitude - to THE RETROS of St. Louis.

Actually, between these guys, CRAIG and THE HORNETS, there’s evidence that there might have actually been a nascent power pop new wave scene a-brewing up there in Penn’s Woods.

But, really, does anyone other than Erik Lindgren actually care?

Enjoy then the then sounds of THE DE-CODES and have a Happy New Year!






03 November 2013

PHIL CORDELL, 'Roadie For The Band' b/w 'Twistin' And Jivin'' (Mowest, 1973)

PHIL CORDELL, 'Roadie For The Band' b/w 'Twistin' And Jivin'' (Mowest, 1973)

To me, this sums up the aesthetic interregnum experienced by many Brit Invasion boomers better than almost anything this side of THE LIVERPOOL ECHO.  The die-hard faithful - pious unflagging to the initial three-minute POP spark.

More familiar to some as the name behind the 'Red Lady' 45 comped on the first FADING YELLOW installment and, to likely far fewer, as a latter day saint in the UK Christian rock scene, PHIL CORDELL turned in this humble, yet emphatic/ecstatic power pop ode to chart rock's lowest rung in the year when ROCK was perhaps experiencing its greatest glam rock bloat.  Whether it was intended as autobiography or just pithy song-crafting, the A-side of this single is pure Mersey revival brilliance with the OOMPH and technical savvy of the top flight studios where it was recorded showing through.

The B-side is, sadly, not that great.

Still, the guitarwork, melody and production on the A will not be denied and proved more than enough to convince Motown to cover the bill.  Hopefully payment included burn treatment for the searing lead guitar outro.

Enjoy then PHIL CORDELL - may he rest in peace and no longer have to lug around amps in Rock 'N' Roll Heaven.


19 October 2013

SING SING EXCLUSIVE: The Romantics - Little Red Or White Lies?




A tale of two COMPLETELY DIFFERENT recording sessions.

...which, to this point, no one has cared about because:



2 - The record - in all its incarnations - has always been common and affordable

However, inspired by PATRICK LUNDBORG's recent research and championing of the original, non-hit version of THE STRAWBERRY ALARM CLOCK's 'Incense & Peppermints' on All American Records v. the more familiar and staid hit arrangement on UNI, I figured it was high time to definitively diagnose this depressingingly uncharted discrepancy hitherto only whispered about in the language of wind and ghosts.

First hinted at briefly in a short review of THE ROMANTICS' follow-up single on BOMP! in issue 29 of BLITZ (formerly BALLROOM BLITZ) magazine out of Detroit, Michigan, Nov. '78, which reads:

'In the face of accusations of "sell out" and "commercialism" from many of their fans who were disappointed with their re-recording of their classic "Little White Lies" last year, Hamtramck's Romantics bounce back with a masterpiece that easily qualifies as one of the year's best.'

...an incorrect assessment; nevertheless, I became intrigued.

Not least because I found any allegations of insincerity aimed at the future Budweiser/T.G.I. Friday's commercial kings of poodle-perm, leather-suit, schlock-rock laughable, but also because I've always wanted to see what all the early taste-makers ever saw in THE ROMANTICS anyway. 

Cue Young Steve and the Japanese.

Tentatively mentioned on the PoP "n" RoLL blog (home of THE CHOOSERS among many others), Atsushi and Co. pondered:

'This can certainly be called a pop 'n' roll classic. But did you know that there is a different version of the a-side 'Little White Lies?'

As far as appearance goes the difference is the color of the spider web. The regular version is white  and the special version is RED. The matrix number for the white version is 101-A and for the RED version it's AR SPDR 101A.

As far as the difference in sound, the intro is cut on the special RED version. It starts suddenly from the vocal. The tempo is faster than the usual version, and more than anything, it's a raw, rough performance that is very exciting to listen to.'   *

Which says just about as much as I need to.  As ridiculous as it may sound (and they look), maybe THE ROMANTICS' debut album cover was meant to be a red-leather post-it note pointing back to this earlier recording.

As irreconcilable to their later, major label facelessness as 20/20's early sides and demos on BOMP!, the original version of 'Little White Lies' is as jumping with vitality, energy and an argument for POP! as anything by THE NERVES, SHOES, or DWIGHT TWILLEY.

Too bad the b-side recording on both pressing - featuring some HORRENDOUS Dad-Rock, Blueshammer harmonica - didn't benefit from any second thoughts or re-record re-considerations

Enjoy then, the ORIGINAL, non-hit, RED web version of 'Little White Lies' and the later, tamer, more new-wave ready rendition and decide for yourself which is superior.







PoP "n" RoLL blog translation work courtesy of every one's favorite MMA documentarian, Young Steve 'Don't Call Me Mark' Borchardt

02 October 2013

BEAT FEET, ''No Ties' b/w 'Aundrea' (FUN'Y Records, 1983)

BEAT FEET, 'No Ties' b/w 'Aundrea' (FUN'Y Records, 1983)

'Discovered' (maybe?) by a Tucson garage turkey recently celebrating his 3Xth birthday and - less recently - allowing me free access to booze and to abuse at his nuptials, this, the lone 45 by BEAT FEET is in - actuality - pretty standard striped-shirt/head-band/heybra new-wave/power pop fare.

...if'n you do not take into account the stirring color string bikini cover art and ragged BEACH BOYS harmony remnants and STEVE JONES rip-off riffs on the A-side chorus.

However, even if you do decide to take stock of neither of those elements, the amateurism displayed by the LEAD drummer on each side is endearingly dumb.

Enjoy then these indiscriminate and un-claimable misogynists - the world is renewed by their passing.  Where they're from I haven't the first idea.

This bud's for you T Dawg!