Friday, June 13, 2008

"Plenty of chances but no one will win, over and over and over again..."

WWSU Playlist
8 February, 1989
Wednesday 9 p.m.-midnight

Visage – “Fade to Grey”
H Ciccone Youth – “MacBeth”
TOTW Tooba Blooze – “Seven Million Miles”
H The Dead Milkmen – “Punk Rock Girl”
DC Camper Van Beethoven – “Good Guys & Bad Guys”
H Trotsky Icepick – “Bury Manilow”
H The Sandmen – “Hate Your Ways”
PMLS 1000 Homo DJs – “Apathy”
H Rapeman – “Trouser Minnow”
PMREC Ministry – “Deity”
H The Damned – “Ballroom Blitz”
H Girl Trouble – “Wreckin’ Ball”
DC Suicidal Tendencies – “Trip at the Brain”
REQ The Cure – “Why Can’t I Be You”
REQ Eclipse – “Slam Dancin’ Dog”
REQ The Replacements – “Cruella DeVille”

Fishbone – “Party at Ground Zero”
H Hummingbirds – “Hindsight”
TOTW Elvis Costello – “Veronica”
H Dinosaur Jr – “Don’t”DC Bongwater – “Pornography”
H Sharkbait – “Big Rallies”
H Living Colour – “Broken Hearts”
PMLS The Church – “Under the Milky Way”
H Dead Can Dance – “Severance”
PMREC B.A.L.L. – “Shelter/Dylan Side”
H Tater Totz – “Bhartha’s Boogie”

THIRD HOUR (The Twang that Thang Hour)
Golden Palominos – “Boy (Go!)”
Broken Homes – “Seeds I’ve Sown”
True Believers – “Rebel Kind”
Hoodoo Gurus – “Death Defying”
Camper Van Beethoven – “Sad Lover’s Waltz”
Violent Femmes – “Breaking Hearts”
Guadalcanal Diary – “Watusi Rodeo”
Webb Wilder – “Poolside”
Nick Lowe – “The Rose of England”
Let’s Active – “Fell”
Winter Hours – “Hyacinth Girl”
REM – “Pretty Persuasion”
Dave Edmunds – “Almost Saturday Night”
Wire Train – “Take Me Back”
Jason & the Scorchers – “Good Things Come”
The Feelies – “Slipping (into something)”

Well I threw the third hour of the playsheet right out the window and played what I wanted to. The only reason I got away with this was because I was the MD at the time, and hypocritically I frowned on the staff for deviating even a little bit from the playsheets. “Do as I say, not as I do” was obviously my motto at the time.

Gotta say – I LOVE this third hour. Every song played during my self-titled “Twang that Thang Hour” is one that I still love to this very day. If you were to pry my iPod away long enough to scroll through the rotations list, you’d find these tunes still racking up plays.

Where to begin? A quick glance shows my predilection for Stiff Records artists - there’s Nick Lowe, Dave Edmunds and The Feelies, whose first album Crazy Rhythms was originally released on Stiff in 1980. The song I chose, “Slipping (into something)” was taken from their sublime 1986 Coyote Records release The Good Earth, which after all these years still ranks in my top ten albums of all time.

I sadly never got a chance to see them live, even though they opened some dates for REM on the Pageantry Tour. We in Cincinnati got shafted with opener Fetchin’ Bones by some cruel twist of fate. In fact, let me just say that REM always seemed to have fantastic opening acts (The Feelies, The dbs, Guadalcanal Diary, Camper Van Beethoven, Let’s Active, Robyn Hitchcock – my god, it reads like a MK-wet dream!) but they NEVER brought these fantastic acts to Cincinnati. I saw REM a number of times in the 80’s and the only good opening act I think I saw was when The Minutemen opened for them in Columbus at Vets Memorial on the Reconstruction Tour. I’m sure many would argue that 10,000 Maniacs were a good opener, and I have no doubt that fans were pleased to see The Indigo Girls on the Green tour, but replacing Robyn? Oh please, you guys know me better than that. Of COURSE I was pissed off!

Anyway, The Feelies had a sound similar to REM – in fact, REM regularly cited them as a major influence – but imagine Lou Reed fronting the band instead of Michael Stipe. The band got caught up in the major label feeding frenzy of the late 80’s, signed to indie-friendly A&M Records and released two very good, critically acclaimed albums, Only Life and Time for a Witness. They had mild radio and MTV success with the song “Away,” but big, bad corporate monster Polygram committed possibly the worst crime of their existence when they bought out A&M and left the band to languish in obscurity. I swear I’d like to punch someone at Polygram when I think about how poorly this fabulously creative, hard working band was treated.

Next week: Winter Hours, Camper Van Beethoven, and Hoodoo Gurus.

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