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!



01 October 2013

Sing Sing on WFMU 91.1 FM

Sing Sing Records DJ Night! 
Wednesday, October 2nd, 9pm - Midnight
The Evan "Funk" Davies Show 

The Sing Sing Records label has been putting out a steady stream of amazing reissues ever since Trey Lindsay and Jeremy Thompson launched it in 2009. Their focus has been mostly on punk and power-pop from the '70s, with the occasional glam nugget mixed in, so you can expect to hear a similar selection of rocking rarities and killer cuts when Trey and Jeremy take over the Evan "Funk" Davies show at 9pm on Wednesday night, Oct. 2. You'll want to dust off your cassette recorder for this one -- don't miss it! 


26 September 2013

R.U. Carley, 'Boys In L.A.' (private label, 1984)

R.U. CARLEY, 'Boys In L.A.' b/w 'One More Time' (private label, 1984)

I am willing to bet, dollars to donuts, when Ms. R.U. CARLEY and CO. sang the chorus to this sunny-A-side-up piece of fluff boulevard power pop that she had - much more - the city (El Eh) in mind than she did the state (the great Huey P. Long Child Of The Mississippi - LA - Louisiana).

...which is unfortunate, as it's taken this boy in LA (the state) to rediscover this 30 year old municipal gnu wave footnote, long after the GQ boys in corvettes on Sunset had ceased caring.  However, perhaps this was merely a realization of radio rock realpolitik, as one can not cruise very far in the Pelican state bayou.

That said, what is known about R.U. CARLEY is that this is her group's only record, the A-side of which was included on a neuvo Girl Group compilation put out by Rhino ('The Girls Can't Help It') the same year their self-issued single came out and that the B-side is terrible.

That's it.   

THE SHIVVERS it is not!

As phoney as PEARL HARBOR & THE EXPLOSIONS, as slick as the post-Stiff GO-GO'S, yet only one VALLEY GIRL party scene away from immortality.  And, in all actuality, a pretty catchy tune.

Enjoy then R.U. CARLEY and thank me for keeping the B-side all to myself.



15 September 2013

THE PILLS, 'THE PILLS EP' (VileTone, 1980)

THE PILLS, 'Mini-LP' (VileTone, 1980)

I like PILLS.


And, by that statement, I, of course, mean THE PILLS - STR8 OUTTA Phoenix, Tucson* Arizona.

The Copper State's finest circa 1980 and, even by that time well past their prescription expiration date.

Forget skins, brains and guts, this is HAIR, FLARES and (cigarette) BUTTS.  These five PILLS guys are preening proud and looking menthol soft-pack loud.  Also, they have a skilled trade in melodic/if derivative power-pop sounds.

Listen:  90% of all bands taking their style cues from THE NEW YORK DOLLS suck.  And while I don't have PILLS particularly pegged as heroin addict transvestites, the unfortunate scronching BO DIDDLEY cover and their name immediately give it away.

That said, they're still at least a million times better than THE MEAT PUPPETS.

Seriously, if you can listen to 'In A Car' after ingesting this dose, you have massive problems that modern medicine may not be able to fix.

Enjoy then the lone EP Mini-LP by THE PILLS on your ride to the emergency room!

Or choke on a bottle cap!

It's up to you!

correct origin of the PILLS confirmed with their biggest fan, Tony "AA"



09 August 2013

CLUB WOW, 'Prettiest Girl' b/w 'The Nights Are So Long' (Criswell, 1982)

CLUB WOW, 'Prettiest Girl' b/w 'The Nights Are So Long' (Criswell, 1982)

I'm calling shenanigans.

Not just only on WILLIAM JAMES WILDEN (aka JIMMY ZERO), but also upon anyone who could possibly prefer THE DEAD BOYS to this record.

Look here:  these are facts.  Not opinions:  FACTS; i.e. ideological positions with corroborating evidence to support them.

EXHIBIT A:  THE DEAD BOYS are one of the worst bands to ever be allowed to produce two albums of major label, sub-ALICE COOPER-excretable, sheet-metal, shit metal 'ye-uh!' rock bullshit ever.



If you - the reader of this blog - find anything - ANYTHING - within this band's half-hearted, half-baked, half-dimensional aesthetic compelling, I personally pity you (condescendingly, not compassionately) and hope you have a great time at the SONNY VINCENT gig later tonight.

All that said, ole JZ managed to throw off the dog-collar, dum-dum leather-jacket yoke of his previous stupid band's stupid incarnation just long enough in 1982 to hook up with former starry-eyed BLUE ASH  bass-player FRANK SECICH to produce one of the best obscuro power pop singles of all time!  No foolin'!

Seriously, how could this miss?  A cover of THE NEIGHBORHOODS' best song, a killer power pop original on the B.  Label art designed intentionally to mimic and make fun of BOMP! RECORDS.  Oh yeah, and bragging rights - you read it right - mine is GREG SHAW's copy!

You can't lose (but I'm afraid you also must deal)!

Finally, for all of you master-Bators out there reading this, (possibly) seething:  Stiv and Co recorded a crap reunion re-do of THE NIGHTS ARE SO LONG in 1987 so stick that in your pipe and smoke it before you start quoting BOBBY SOXX lyrics at me!

'This is actually good music/You're a knave!'



02 August 2013

Five Dollar Shoes // Your Rock 'N Roll Band b/w Your Rock 'N Roll Band // Neighborhood Records 1973

(from the Kiss FAQ site)
  Produced by Peter Schekeryk; Engineered by Eddie Kramer & amp; Bruce Staple. Recorded at the Electric Lady Studios, NYC. It's alleged to feature Gene Simmons and Paul Stanley on backing vocals. Five dollar Shoes was: Gregg Diamond (drums, percussion, vocals), Tom Graves (keyboards, vocals), Jim Gregory (bass, vocals), Mike Millius (harmonica, vocals), and Scott Woody (guitar, vocals)

 This ( in my opinion ) is the record to get by this group. Really great track and can still be found for cheap.


22 July 2013


Snowball was a group from Brooklyn NY active in the late 1960's and early 70's consisting of Joey Carbone and Richie Zito. The record is actually a collection of demos sent to the tax scam Guinness label by their producer and released several years later without the bands knowledge.  Really solid record and one of the more consistent Guinness releases.



15 July 2013

COPENHAGEN, 'Don't Sail Too Near The Wind' b/w 'Tonight' (Copenhagen, 1977)

COPENHAGEN, 'Don't Sail Too Near The Wind' b/w 'Tonight' (Copenhagen, 1977)


A flavourful brand of chewing tobacco.  Also, the capitol of Denmark and the Hamlet kingdom's most populous city. 

Additionally, Mark DeCerbo’s pre-FOUR EYES aggregation with one lone sleeveless self-issued 45 to their credit.

And, while it might not rank up as high in the firmament as ‘Disengaged,’ both sides show DeCerbo’s slavish 60s revival style already well ensconced a full two years prior to the prescription lens being donned and before The Knack was anything other than the title of an old movie starring Rita Tushingham.

But you don’t have to take my word for it; here’s Four Eyes’ Mark:

Even a cursory look would show us that Four Eyes themselves got their start in San Diego circa 1976 as a country boogie band, eventually mutating into a power-pop group called Copenhagen. The quintet lasted just over two years, during which time the group shared a two room flat at the Catamaran Hotel, while nominally the house band at Webb's in Ocean Beach. Copenhagen became the backing band for both blues guitarist Tomcat Courtney and art rocker Gary Wilson, even joining him on a short promo tour for his legendary "You Think You Really Know Me" album.

The line up changed often in their short life span, but by the time their incredibly rare 45 "Tonight/Don't Sail Too Near The Wind" was issued, Copenhagen consisted of DeCerbo (guitar, vocals), Jeff Becker (guitar), "Mighty" Joe Longa (harmonica and keyboards, later with the Jacks and Powerthud), Barry Scott (guitar and vocals, Chris Creasman (bass, vocals) and Steve Bidrowski (drums, later of the Unknowns)- the single by the way is as melodic a piece of jangly pop rock as you're likely to find. Also of note they opened for Cajun legend Doug Kershaw at the La Mesa Lanes Bowling alley, and promptly had their keyboard player nicked by Kershaw.

Power pop with a City Rock chaser.  I rate it as a raer treat.



11 July 2013



First of two singles from the great Left Hand Drive, the second, also great single 
 "Who Said Rock N Roll Is Dead" has been uploaded to youtube..Here's a short history of the group by bass player John Brassett.   Left Hand Drive were a group from Northampton UK, originally formed in about 1973.
The first version was a twin lead guitar set up with bass, drums and a singer. The leader was Dave Clemo along with Jack Swann and Gary Tyla on vocals. I can't remember the names of the drummer and bassist.
I joined as bass player in 1974 and soon after Tommy Kerr joined on the drums and Steve Parrish replaced Gary Tyla as singer. All this sounds a bit like Dallas( without the oil, Sue Ellen... or the money).
Anyway, the first version folded in 1976 with Dave Clemo leaving and Martin Harney taking over on vocals. This was the group that released two singles ( Jailbait/ Motorway Crow and Who Said Rock and Roll Is Dead/ I Know Where I Am) on our own Bancrupt Records label.
Left Hand Drive split in 1979 with me and Jack Swann forming The Russians. Jack died a couple of years ago . I'm still going strong!


09 July 2013


First off, if you've never seen this movie, cancel your plans tonight and do it.

and while you're at it, put this soundtrack on repeat for the rest of the summer.
Every song's a hit!
You've earned it!


07 July 2013


Really great LP and a must for any fan of the Equals.
Sundae Times were the first all black Rock 'n' Roll group in the UK comprised of Fuzzy Samuel, Dell Richardson and Eddie Grant, they put out a handful of singles on President and this one LP.

02 July 2013

RADIO LONDON, 'Songs From Dark Rooms' (Pterodactyl, 1983)


'These go to 11.'

Blatant laziness and localism from this native stomper of southern Magnolia state soil.

Jackson, MISSISSIPPI - yes, you read that right - powerpop group formed by Jeff Lewis, original guitarist with Jackson’s (only) other “big” (quotations denoting relativism) pop group, THE WINDBREAKERS.  After playing on the band’s debut EP, “Meet The Windbreakers,” Jeff split for more green-circled Angophile pastures to form RADIO LONDON, leaving behind this double-shot, self-produced, self-issued deuce-pack double 45 as the band’s only vinyl legacy.

Four (COUNT EM! FOUR!) moody cuts in a jangly pop vein not too far removed from THE WINDBREAKERS themselves make up the whole of “Songs From Dark Rooms,” only with a slightly darker, more angst-ridden R.E.M-ish lyrical slant largely absent from the oeuvres of Messrs Lee and Sutcliff.  Of the four cuts, “Things Get Broken,” is the clear winner with its great burning guitar solo and clap along/smash along beat.

Centered upon the local club/dive W.C. Dons, RADIO LONDON played with nearly everybody in the largely isolated Jackson punk / new wave scene - from THE GERMANS to THE MEN WITH NO I.Q.'S until the band's eventual dissolution.

And it's up to you now, gentle reader, to decide whether or not they were simply wasting their time. 

Oh, and also, if some perpetrating BMX butthole from California can convince you that this is in anyway actually a minimal synth record at heart. 

Shred it.

'10 TURNS TO 11'




24 June 2013

ANDY GEROME, 'I've Got To Hold You' b/w 'Only One More Song (Opaque, 1980)

ANDY GEROME, 'I've Got To Hold You' b/w 'Only One More Song' (Opaque, 1980)

If I’m doubtful that the sins of the awful white-pop-reggae B-side of this single will ever be forgiven, I’m more than confident that the hype-line parenthetical ‘FEATURING FORMER MEMBERS OF BRIAN SANDS’ MILK and MOSES’ will fail utterly to put any proverbial butts in seats other than Clayton Silva’s and my own (and we’d been camped out here for months anyway).

BUT…if anyone is curious about the post-CHOIR/pre-PAGANS-cover doings of BRIAN SANDS and former CHOIR member DENNY CARLETON, I daresay it is well worth a look and a listen (‘TINY TIM medleys, RUDY VALLEE songs, "2000 Man" by THE STONES, baseball cards thrown from the stage along with group photos posing with man-sized shampoo bottles…"Whistle A Happy Tune" and" Getting To Know You" were turned into rock songs and readings were delivered from an old Army joke book during any lulls in the music.  Then there were originals such as Brian's own "Eat The Hot Dog Now, Get Sick Later" and Dennis's infamous "Boy Can I Dance Good”’).

But save your fork, there’s pie:  AMERICAN (NOISE) pie!  ANDY GEROME’s lone single also featured some string-benders and skin-pounders who had previously tolled it down and torn it up with the likes of CIRCUS (‘Feels So Right,’ ‘Stop Wait & Listen’) and sun-shaded city rockers AMERICAN NOISE.  Talk about your Cuyahoga social degree!

…and, really, besides that, there’s not that much more to comment on.  Other than that ANDY GEROME and Co. once opened for THE BALONEYHEADS on a show that was broadcast on Cleveland’s WMMS FM and that GEROME pays the bills these days trading in JOE SATRIANI-instrumental guitar rock/blues/fusion jazz moves.

Oh, and the fact that ‘I’ve Got To Hold You’ is an amazing song – every inch the equal of anything ever released by BLUE ASH, CLUB WOW or DON KRISS and, unlike a lot of the material by those groups – with a terminal vector radio-eye zeroed in on the lead formations of the Top 40 charts.  The arpeggios around the two-minute mark are particularly heart-stopping.

1000 copies pressed on the band’s own Opaque Records (‘Music Denser Than Real Life’) and never issued with sleeve, enjoy then the A-side and thank your lucky stars that I’m not dropping the B.