Dana & Carl Present: This Is Rock ‘n’ Roll Radio Volume 4
From the first few jangly notes of The Flashcubes’ “No Promises” I felt like I was 19 again, even if for just 3 minutes and 13 seconds. That was the best friggin’ 3 minutes and 13 seconds of my day, to very loosely paraphrase the motto of a wonderful internet radio show entitled Dana & Carl Present: This Is Rock ‘n’ Roll Radio.
Every Sunday night, Dana Bonn and Carl Cafarelli get their respective Alan Freed on and play the best power pop from yesterday and today. And once every few years they put out a killer CD compilation, hence this post. Volume 4 of Dana & Carl Presents: This Is Rock ‘n’ Roll Radio is out!
The aforementioned Flashcubes cut is just one of over 30, counting the occasional intro or station promo ditty. The old favorites are great but it’s the newer tracks from today’s power pop artists that make this particular collection extremely worthwhile. Although all of the songs in this collection have something to offer, I’ll touch on some of my favorites and those with a common thread. Believe me when I say it though. Every track is a winner.
North Carolina is well represented with P Hux and the appropriately named “Better Than Good”. Spongetone Jamie Hoover is one half of Stepford Knives and “Her Reputation” is lyrically one of the more interesting tracks on the disk. It’s catchy as Hell, too. Steve Stoeckel , another Spongetone, is one quarter of Pop Co-op and “You Don’t Love Me Anymore” has that 60’s Searchers vibe that never grows old.
The Smithereens lead the New Jersey contingent with “Got Me A Girl”. It’s a great early tune that I believe I first heard on an old Dirt Club compilation many years ago. Point is, this may be the only place you can get it these days. One of the disk’s finest moments may be from Kurt Reil’s The Gripweeds. With jangle to spare, “Strange Bird” is psych pop at its very best. The Gripweeds are the best at this sound since The Blow Pops.
Syracuse NY gives us the Flashcubes track as well as “Your Own World” from 1.4.5., an iteration of The Flashcubes.
Years ago, I had been asked to assist with a joint house tour for John Wicks (The Records) and Paul Collins (The Beat, Nerves). The very first guys I reached out to were Dana and Carl and they came through big time. So it’s only fitting that both John and Paul are on this collection in some fashion. Paul’s “She Doesn’t Wanna Hang Around With You” is a bit of the rough around the edges Nerves style pop that we all know and love while John Wicks appears as a backing vocalist on Maura Kennedy’s catchy “Maybe Someday”.
Other highlights include Lannie Flowers and Vegas with Randolph performing “The Weekend’s Coming”, The Rulers’ “I Want My Ramones Records Back” and Michael Oliver’s “You Won’t Do”.
NOTE: If you missed volume 3 of Dana and Carl Present: This Is Rock ‘n’ Roll Radio, I’m told that there are a couple copies still on hand at Kool Kat. Buy it while you can. Remember, he who hesitates is toast. Or something like that.