CD Review of Dana & Carl Present: RnR Radio Volume 3
It was the late 90’s and, when recalling the ebb and flow of the genre, powerpop was ebbing big-time (Is that a word?). Where had all those great bands gone? It seems corporate programing had all but white-washed the airwaves of any semblance of melodic pop. Fortunately, we would soon be thrown a lifeline in the form of Westcott Radio’s This is Rock n Roll Radio with Dana and Carl. On Sunday nights, Dana Bonn and Carl Cafarelli would bring bring me back to Saturday night at The Jab, The Orange, or Firebarn. I’d once again hear musical tales of love lost, drivers ed movies and too much sunscreen as performed by Blotto, Martha and the Muffins, and Screen Test.
Every five or so years it seems, Dana and Carl put out another This is Rock N Roll Radio compilation in an effort, I suppose, to help document the genre and keep it alive. So they have in 2013 with the latest of three entitled appropriately enough “Dana and Carl Present This is Rock n Roll Radio Volume 3”.
While I don’t quite feel volume 3 keeps up with the very high standards set by volumes 1 and 2, this latest offering nevertheless has quite a few confections to satisfy a powerpop fan’s sweet tooth.
The Flashcubes’ Gary Frenay (who wrote their best, most accessible stuff, imo) appears on the disc with “Blue Topaz”, a catchy little number you’ll be humming after a couple of listens. The Tearjerkers’ “Syracuse Summer” has a great surf vibe to it and Blotto gives us a different take on their hit “I wanna Be a Lifeguard”.
One of this blog’s favorites and a Charlotte native, Steve Stoeckel (and his this is rock n roll all-stars featuring Joel Tinnel) gives us a great bit of Brit inspired powerpop with “I Could Be Good For You”, one of the discs highlights.
Chris Von Schiden’s This is Rock n Roll (recorded long ago) is a requisite on every disc and a great theme song.But the highlights have to be “My Narcoleptic Sara” by Gregg Yeti & the Best Lights, a strangely intoxicating song that sorta reminds me of The Cure, and Lannie Flowers‘ “Everything a Man Could Want”, a bar room rocker that’s half Rolling Stones and half Doughboys.
But the coup de grace is the bonus disc you get if you purchase it through Kool Kat Music. Steve Stoeckel does his version of “This is Rocks n Roll Radio”. Not sure it reminds me more of The Who or Eddie & The Hot Rods. Either way, its a fun listen. There’s a live Flashcubes cut of’ the punkier, Paul Armstrong written variety. Sun Sawed in 1/2’s “Life” is a great track and Anny Celsi sounds a lot like Chrissy Hynde with “She Walks In”. Stoeckel and Joel Tinnel wrap things up with a cool McCartney impersonation.
Pick this disk up at Kool Kat Musik.