Sunday, September 27, 2020

September 27, 2020 CHIRP Radio playlist (Show #522)

9:01 AM Cat Power • Sun • Sun • Matador

9:04 AM The 6ths with Lloyd Cole • Human • Reproductions • March

9:07 AM Midnight Minds • Drifting Off • Midnight Minds • Life Like

9:13 AM Lydia Loveless • Never • Daughter • Honey, You're Gonna Be Late

Saturday, September 26, 2020

September 26, 2020 CHIRP Radio Playlist (Show #521)

9:01 AM BJ The Chicago Kid • Shine • In My Mind • Motown

9:04 AM Joan Shelley • Time Has Told Me • Green Leaves Nick Drake Uncovered • MOJO Magazine

9:08 AM Max Subar • Young Lovers • Max Subar EP • self-released

9:15 AM Fleet Foxes • Jara • Shore • Anti-

Sunday, September 20, 2020

September 20, 2020 CHIRP Radio playlist (Show #520)

9:02 AM Johnny Cash • One • American III: Solitary Man • American

9:05 AM Dusty Springfield • Make it With You • Faithfully • Real Gone Music/Atlantic

9:08 AM Actress • Walking Flames (featuring Sampha) • Karma & Desire • Ninjatune

9:16 AM Robyn Hitchcock • The President (2020 version) • single • Tiny Ghost

Saturday, September 19, 2020

September 19, 2020 CHIRP Radio playlist (Show #519)

 9:01 AM M. Ward • Let's Dance • Transfiguration Of Vincent • Merge

9:05 AM Linda Ronstadt • Party Girl • Mad Love • Asylum

9:09 AM Serengeti • universe • The Gentle Fall • self-released

9:17 AM The Flat Five • Look at the Birdy • This Is Not the Blues • Pravda

Sunday, September 13, 2020

September 13, 2020 CHIRP Radio playlist (Show #518)

9:02 AM The Chiffons • Nobody Knows What's Goin' On (In My Mind but Me) • One Kiss Can Lead to Another: Girl Group Sounds Lost & Found • Rhino

9:04 AM Slade • My Oh My • Keep Your Hands Off My Power Supply • CBS

9:08 AM Fred Thomas • Glass Box Pt. III • Dream Erosion (Synthesizer Songs) • Life Like

9:15 AM Bedouine, Waxahatchee, Hurray for the Riff Raff • Thirteen • single • Spacebomb

Saturday, September 12, 2020

September 12, 2020 CHIRP Radio playlist (Show #517)

8:59 AM Sparks • Fletcher Honorama • Sparks • Bearsville '

9:03 AM Judee Sill • The Archetypal Man • Judee Sill • Elektra

9:07 AM St. Panther • B.O.M.B. • These Days • Nice Life

9:14 AM Rhye • Helpless • single • Loma Vista

Sunday, September 6, 2020

September 6, 2020 CHIRP Radio Playlist (Show #516)

9:02 AM Allen Toussaint • Southern Nights • Southern Nights • Reprise

9:05 AM Weyes Blood • Andromeda • Titanic Rising • Sub Pop

9:09 AM Jordanna • When I'm Around You • single • self-released

9:15 AM Bumper • Red Brick • pop songs 2020 • self-released

Sunday, August 30, 2020

August 30, 2020 CHIRP Radio Playlist (Show #515)

9:01 AM XTC • The Last Balloon • Apple Venus • TVT/Idea

9:07 AM Aretha Franklin • A Change Is Gonna Come • I Never Loved a Man the Way I Love You • Atlantic

9:11 AM Advance Base • Summon Satan • Live at Home • self-released

9:16 AM Angel Olsen • (Summer Song) • Whole New Mess • Jagjaguwar

Saturday, August 29, 2020

August 29, 2020 CHIRP Radio Playlist (Show #514)

 
9:01 AM The Go-Betweens • The Statue • Oceans Apart • Yep Roc

9:05 AM P.P. Arnold • Different Drum • The New Adventures of... P.P. Arnold • EARmusic

9:08 AM Tomberlin • Wasted • Projections • Saddle Creek

9:14 AM Dean & Britta • Massachusetts • Quarantine Tapes • Double Feature

Sunday, August 23, 2020

August 23, 2020 CHIRP Radio playlist (Show #513)

 9:01 AM Pernice Brothers • The Ballad Of Bjorn Borg • The World Won't End • Ashmont

9:05 AM Kacey Musgraves • Merry Go 'Round • Same Trailer Different Park • Mercury

9:08 AM Video Age • Maybe Just Once • Pleasure Line • Winspear

9:14 AM Orville Peck • Legends Never Die (feat. Shania Twain) • Show Pony • Columbia

Saturday, August 22, 2020

August 22, 2020 CHIRP Radio Playlist (Show #512)

 

9:00 AM SZA • Doves in the Wind (featuring Kendrick Lamar) • Ctrl • Top Dawg

9:04 AM The Chamber Strings • If I Can Make It Through the Summer • Month of Sundays • Bobsled

9:08 AM Jason Molina • Old Worry • Eight Gates • Secretly Canadian

9:13 AM Father John Misty • To S. • single • Sub Pop

Sunday, August 16, 2020

August 16, 2020 CHIRP Radio Playlist (Show #511)

 

9:00 AM The Monkees • Porpoise Song (Theme From "Head") • Head • Rhino

9:03 AM Cocteau Twins • Iceblink Luck • Heaven or Las Vegas • 4AD/Capitol

9:06 AM Cut Worms • Sold My Soul • Nobody Lives Here Anymore • Jagjaguwar

9:13 AM Kathleen Edwards • Feelings Fade • Total Freedom • Dualtone

Saturday, August 15, 2020

August 15, 2020 CHIRP Radio Playlist (Show # 510)

 9:01 AM Donny Hathaway • Someday We'll All Be Free • Extension Of A Man • Atco

9:05 AM Sharon Van Etten • Ask • Tramp • Jagjaguwar

9:08 AM Helvetia • Love Me • This Devastating Map • Joyful Noise

9:13 AM Robyn Hitchcock • Arnold Layne • The Man Downstairs • Yep Roc

Sunday, August 9, 2020

August 9, 2020 CHIRP Radio Playlist (Show #509)

 9:01 AM James Blake • Retrograde • Overgrown • Republic

9:04 AM Japanese Breakfast • Soft Sounds from Another Planet • Soft Sounds from Another Planet • Dead Oceans

9:07 AM Snowgoose • You Gave Up Without a Sound • The Making of You • Ba Da Bing

Saturday, August 8, 2020

August 8, 2020 CHIRP Radio Playlist (Show #508)

 9:00 AM Terry Callier • Golden Circle • Occasional Rain • Cadet

9:03 AM Donna Summer • Unconditional Love • She Works Hard for the Money • Mercury

9:08 AM Gordi • Radiator • Our Two Skins • Jagjaguwar

Sunday, August 2, 2020

August 2, 2020 CHIRP Radio Playlist (Show #507)

9:01 AM Jenny Lewis • Taffy • On The Line • Warner Bros.

9:06 AM Curtis Mayfield • Ms. Martha • New World Order • Warner Bros.

9:10 AM TJO • The Crying Game • Songs for Peacock • Orindal

9:16 AM Courtney Marie Andrews • Someone Else's Fault • Old Flowers • Fat Possum

9:19 AM The English Beat • I Confess • Special Beat Service • I.R.S.

9:24 AM Yuna • Amy (feat. Masego) • Rouge • Verve Forecast/UMG

9:27 AM Half Gringa • Teggsas • Force to Reckon • self-released

9:32 AM Jorja Smith • By Any Means • Reprise • Roc Nation/FAMM

9:35 AM Pete Townshend and Ronnie Lane • Annie • Rough Mix • Atco

9:38 AM Soccer Mommy • Drive • Soccer Mommy & Friends, Vol. I through IV • Loma Vista/Concord

9:44 AM The Take Vibe • Golden Brown • The Take Vibe E.P. • Jazz Room

9:47 AM Poor Luther's Bones • She Ain't You • Inside the Outsider • Heavy G

9:49 AM Bee Gees • World • Horizontal • Atco

9:52 AM Ego Ella May • How Long Til We're Home • Honey for Wounds • UpperRoom

9:58 AM Makaya McCraven • Isms • Universal Beings E & F Sides • International Anthem

10:01 AM Wall of Voodoo • Ring of Fire • The Index Masters • Restless

10:06 AM FKA twigs • cellophane • MAGDALENE • Young Turks

10:09 AM Custard Flux • Quarantyne • Oxygen • self-released

10:14 AM Fontaines D.C. • Love is the Main Thing • A Hero's Death • Partisan

10:18 AM Ramones • The KKK Took My Baby Away • Pleasant Dreams • Sire

10:21 AM Neil Diamond • Soolaimón • Tap Root Manuscript • Uni

10:25 AM 100 gecs • came to my show • 1000 gecs & The Tree of Clues • Dog Show/Big Beat/Atlantic

10:30 AM Gerald Dowd • Song of One • Kingsize • self-released

10:33 AM Billie Davis • Billy Sunshine • Tell Him • Spectrum

10:36 AM Greenlights Music • Push Back • Space Craft • self-released

10:42 AM The Toms • One Man Girl Parade • single • Futureman

10:45 AM JARV IS... • Save the Whale • Beyond the Pale • Rough Trade

10:49 AM The House of Love • Marble • A Spy in the House of Love • Fontana/Mercury

10:52 AM Apollo Brown & Ché Noir • Blood Is Thicker • As God Intended • Mello Music Group

10:57 AM Kate Bush • Suspended in Gaffa • The Dreaming • EMI

11:01 AM Café Tacuba • Noche Oscura • Café Tacuba • Warner Music Mexico

11:05 AM The New Pornographers • Dancehall Domine • Brill Bruisers • Matador

11:09 AM Boris • Lust • NO • Fangs Anal Satan/Sargent House

11:13 AM The Psychedelic Furs • The Boy That Invented Rock & Roll • Made of Rain • Cooking Vinyl

11:17 AM Poster Children • Dream Small • rtfm • Reprise

11:20 AM Cabaret Voltaire • Just Fascination • #7885 Electropunk to Technopop • Mute

11:24 AM Denai Moore • Cascades • Modern Dread • Because

11:30 AM Cold Beaches • Problems and Heartache (I Got Them) • Drifter • self-released

11:33 AM Marshall Crenshaw • 2541 • Miracle of Science • Razor & Tie

11:36 AM Thee Sacred Souls • Give Us Justice • single • Penrose/Daptone

11:40 AM Fontanarosa • In It • Fontanarosa • Howlin' Banana

11:42 AM The Kinks • Afternoon Tea • Something Else by the Kinks • Pye

11:45 AM Everything But the Girl • Troubled Mind • Amplified Heart • Atlantic/Blanco Y Negro

11:50 AM Man Power • Flashing Lights (feat. Amy Douglas) • single • DFA












Saturday, August 1, 2020

August 1, 2020 CHIRP Radio Playlist (Show #506)

9:00 AM Fleet Foxes • Blue Ridge Mountains • Fleet Foxes • Sub Pop 

 9:05 AM Solange • Time (is) • When I Get Home • Columbia 

 9:08 AM Becca Mancari • Tear Us Apart • The Greatest Part • Captured Tracks 

 9:13 AM Angel Olsen • Whole New Mess • Whole New Mess • Jagjaguwar 

Sunday, July 26, 2020

July 26, 2020 CHIRP Radio playlist (Show #505)

9:01 AM The Dismemberment Plan • Automatic • Change • DeSoto

9:06 AM Janet Jackson • New Agenda (feat. Chuck D) • janet. • Virgin

9:10 AM James Swanberg • Behind Closed Doors • The One And Only • Tripp Tapes

9:15 AM Ben Harper and Rhiannon Giddens • Black Eyed Dog • single • ANTI-

Saturday, July 25, 2020

July 25, 2020 CHIRP Radio playlist (Show #504)

9:01 AM Moon Duo • Flying • Stars Are the Light • Sacred Bones

9:06 AM Led Zeppelin • Tangerine • Led Zeppelin III • Atlantic

9:09 AM Freddie Gibbs & The Alchemist • Babies & Fools (featuring Conway the Machine) • Alfredo • ESGN

9:16 AM Taylor Swift • August • Folklore • Republic

Sunday, July 19, 2020

July 19, 2020 CHIRP Radio playlist (Show #503)

9:01 AM Marianne Faithfull • As Tears Go By • Negative Capability • Panta Rei

9:04 AM The Soulsetters • Cecil, The Unwanted French Fry • The Soul Side of the Street • Dionysus

9:08 AM Daniel Knox • Many Ways to Say I Love You • You Are My Friend: The Songs of Mister Rogers • H. P. Johnson

9:14 AM Gillian Welch & David Rawlings • Jackson • All the Good Times • Acony

Saturday, July 18, 2020

July 18, 2020 CHIRP Radio playlist (Show #502)

9:02 AM Julien Baker • Happy to Be Here • Turn Out the Lights • Matador

9:05 AM Fishbone • Change • Truth and Soul • Columbia'

9:08 AM Angela Muñoz • Feel the Same • Introspection • Linear Labs

9:16 AM Lianne La Havas • Can't Fight • Lianne La Havas • Nonesuch

Sunday, July 5, 2020

July 5, 2020 CHIRP Radio Playlist (Show #501)

9:01 AM Neil Finn • Sinner • Try Whistling This • Work

9:05 AM Kelela • LMK • Take Me Apart • Warp

9:09 AM The Mekons • The Inhuman • EXQUISITE • Bloodshot

9:14 AM Richard Thompson • As Soon As You Hear the Bell • Bloody Nose • self-released

Saturday, July 4, 2020

July 4, 2020 CHIRP Radio Playlist (Show #500)

9:00 AM Dave Alvin • Fourth of July • Romeo's Escape • Epic

9:04 AM Candi Staton • Stand By Your Man • Stand By Your Man • Fame/Capitol

9:07 AM Flock of Dimes • Like So Much Desire • Like So Much Desire • Sub Pop

9:14 AM Laura Jane Grace & The Devouring Mothers • This Land Is Your Land • Pandemophenia • Bloodshot

Sunday, June 28, 2020

June 28, 2020 CHIRP Radio playlist (Show #499)

9:01 AM Beach House • Myth • Bloom • Sub Pop

9:06 AM Don Williams • Good Ole Boys Like Me • Portrait • MCA

9:10 AM Anderson .Paak • Lockdown • single • self-released

9:15 AM Arca • Afterwards (feat. Bjork) • KiCk i • XL

Saturday, June 27, 2020

June 27, 2020 CHIRP Radio Playlist (Show #498)

9:00 AM Aretha Franklin • Young, Gifted and Black • Young, Gifted and Black • Atlantic

9:04 AM Emitt Rhodes • Rainbow Ends • Rainbow Ends • Omnivore

9:07 AM Kate NV • If Anyone's Sleepy • Room For The Moon • RVNGIntl.

9:14 AM Daniel Knox • Some Things I Don't Understand • You Are My Friend: The Songs of Mister Rogers • H.P. Johnson Presents

Sunday, June 21, 2020

June 21, 2020 CHIRP Radio Playlist (Show #497)

9:03 AM Kelly Hogan • Daddy's Little Girl • I Like to Keep Myself in Pain • ANTI-

9:06 AM Paul McCartney • Put It There • Flowers in the Dirt • Capitol

9:08 AM Gia Margaret • body • Mia Gargaret • Ordinal

9:13 AM Joe Pernice • Sullivan Street • Richard • Ashmont

Saturday, June 20, 2020

June 20, 2020 CHIRP Radio Playlist (Show #496)

9:00 AM Stevie Wonder • Summer Soft • Songs In the Key of Life • Tamla

9:05 AM Saint Etienne • Mr. Donut • Good Humor • Sub Pop

9:08 AM Black Moon Book • A Monday Drug • Black Moon Book • self-released

9:13 AM Phoebe Bridgers • Punisher • Punisher • Dead Oceans

Sunday, June 14, 2020

June 14, 2020 CHIRP Radio playlist (Show #495)

7:01 AM Pete Townshend • A Little is Enough • Empty Glass • Atco

7:06 AM Snoh Aalegra • Situationship • - Ugh, those feels again • Artium, LLC/AWAL

7:09 AM Sparks • The Existential Threat • A Steady Drip, Drip, Drip • BMG

7:14 AM Lucinda Williams • Man Without a Soul • Good Souls Better Angels • Thirty Tigers

Saturday, June 13, 2020

June 13, 2020 CHIRP Radio Playlist (Show #494)

9:00 AM Feist • Comfort Me • Metals • Cherrytree

9:04 AM DEVO • Patterns • Oh, no! it's DEVO • Warner Bros.

9:07 AM Fenne Lily • Hypochondriac • single • Dead Oceans

9:14 AM Tenci • No Wings • My Heart is an Open Field • Keeled Scales

Sunday, June 7, 2020

June 7, 2020 CHIRP Radio Playlist (Show #493)

8:00 AM Thunderclap Newman • Accidents • Hollywood Dream • Polydor

8:08 AM Diet Cig • Makeout Interlude • Do You Wonder About Me? • French Kiss

8:12 AM Elvis Costello • No Flag • single • Concord

8:16 AM The La-Di-Da's • The Pied Piper • How Is the Air Up There? 1966-1967 • Ascension/Zodiac

Saturday, June 6, 2020

June 6, 2020 CHIRP Radio Playlist (Show #492)

9:00 AM Neko Case • Night Still Comes • The Worse Things Get, The Harder I Fight, The Harder I Fight, The More I Love You • ANTI-

9:04 AM The Cars • I'm Not the One • Shake It Up • Elektra

9:08 AM Woods • Be There Still • Strange to Explain • Woodsist

9:15 AM Sweet • Call Me • Cut Above the Rest • Capitol

Sunday, May 31, 2020

May 31, 2020 CHIRP Radio Playlist (Show #491)

9:02 AM Big Boi • Be Still (featuring Janelle Monáe) • Sir Lucious Left Foot... The Son of Chico Dusty • Def Jam

9:06 AM Soft Cell • What? • Non Stop Ecstatic Dancing • Sire

9:10 AM Baths • Fortuna • Pop Music / False B-Sides II • Basement's Basement

9:15 AM Beach Bunny • George Floyd (demo) • single • Mom + Pop

Saturday, May 30, 2020

May 30, 2020 CHIRP Radio playlist (Show #490)

9:01 AM Charles Bradley • Changes • Changes • Daptone

9:07 AM Sam Phillips • Gimme Some Truth • Martinis & Bikinis • Virgin Records America

9:10 AM Edith Frost • Nothing Comes Around • Nothing Comes Around EP • Drag City

9:15 AM soccer mommy • I Think You're Alright • Soccer Mommy & Friends Single Series • Loma Vista

Thursday, May 28, 2020

Grading to Top 100 Billboard hits of 1981

1. Bette Davis Eyes - Kim Carnes: A+
One of the greatest singles of the '80s, from an artist who, for the most part, was a creature of adult contemporary, who had more success writing songs for others. This was a radical reinterpretation of a Jackie DeShannon song that was done in a bluesy-folk pop style. The key to unlocking the new sound was a synth line from her keyboard player, and that created this new wave-inspired take. It opened up the verses and led to the cool, modern stylized atmosphere, and radically improved the tune. But this would be merely interesting if it wasn't for the superb performance by Carnes, with some of the best phrasing I've ever heard on a pop record. She really got who she was singing about, and she alternates from clipped, glib phrasing to full throated shouting, her raspy voice never sounding more appropriate for a song than this one. It should be noted that the entire Mistaken Identity album this comes off of is good, despite it's odd blend of Laurel Canyon pop-rock and a few other nods to new wave. Best of all, Carnes and Bette Davis became friends in real life.

2. Endless Love - Diana Ross and Lionel Richie: B-
One thing about this era of music was how many songs from crap movies and TV shows became big hits. This was from a Brooke Shields vehicle, and somehow two superstars (well, Richie was in the process of becoming a superstar) singing a big-ass ballad. Here, Richie dials down the subtlety of his best Commodores ballads, and dials up the schmaltz. Only the collective vocal prowess of this duo saves this song from sucking.

Sunday, May 24, 2020

May 24, 2020 CHIRP Radio Playlist (Show #489)

9:01 AM Madness • One Better Day • Keep Moving • Geffen

9:05 AM Laura Mvula • Like the Morning Dew • Laura Mvula With -- Metropole Orkest • Sony Music

9:09 AM Anna Fermin & The Trigger Gospel • The Box It Came In • Hard Headed Woman: A Celebration of Wanda Jackson • Bloodshot

9:14 AM The Magnetic Fields • I've Got a Date With Jesus • Quickies • Nonesuch

Saturday, May 23, 2020

May 23, 2020 CHIRP Radio Playlist (Show #488)

9:00 AM Mavis Staples • Dedicated • Livin' On A High Note • Anti-

9:04 AM Violent Femmes • Good Feeling • Violent Femmes • Slash

9:08 AM TALsounds • Instance • Acquiesce • NNA Tapes

9:13 AM Bedouine • All My Trials • single • Spacebomb

Sunday, May 17, 2020

May 17, 2020 CHIRP Radio playlist (Show #487)

8:59 AM SZA • The Weekend • Ctrl • Top Dawg

9:03 AM Frank Black • Duke of Earl • November 1993 • Hello Recording Club

9:06 AM Evan Uhlmann • Bless You Babe • Tea Lady • Dog Legs

9:12 AM Sophie Jones with Michael Carpenter • Edge of Seventeen • Stevie • Big Radio

Saturday, May 16, 2020

May 16, 2020 CHIRP Radio Playlist (Show #486)

9:00 AM Little Simz • Flowers (feat. Michael Kiwanuka) • Grey Area • AWAL

9:04 AM Fiction Factory • (Feels Like) Heaven • Throw the Warped Wheel Out • CBS

9:07 AM Hamilton Leithauser • Here They Come • The Loves of Your Life • Glassnote

9:13 AM Moses Sumney • In Bloom • græ • Jagjaguwar

Thursday, May 14, 2020

Grading the Top 100 Billboard singles of 1980

1. Call Me - Blondie: A
This is a thrilling collaboration between Giorgio Moroder and Debbie Harry. The song was for the movie American Gigolo, starring Richard Gere. Moroder had an instrumental that he gave to Harry for her to write lyrics and a melody. The music is pulsing and urgent, while Harry came up with simple, direct lyrics that told the story of the character well. And the chorus is golden. Although the recording is very mechanistic, it still sounds a bit different with a band playing on it (though Moroder decided not to produce a full album with Blondie, due to in-fighting between band members).

2. Another Brick In the Wall - Pink Floyd: B+
This was a left field hit from the concept album fathered by Roger Waters about how every aspect of his young life led to him becoming a screwed up human being. The song has a funky aspect to it, from both the guitar and Nick Mason's drumming, which contrasts well with Waters' hectoring lyrics. The way the "hey, teacher, leave them kids alone" explodes out of this dyspeptic groove is very effective. The children's chorus works in spite of itself. I loved this song back in the day, but I like others on this album better now.

3. Magic - Olivia Newton-John: B+
Another winner from producer-writer John Farrar, who really knew how to tailor material for ONJ. This was on the soundtrack to the movie Xanadu. The song comes from a somewhat similar place as her prior hit "A Little More Love", and seems to mesh well with some of the material Jeff Lynne and Electric Light Orchestra developed for the soundtrack. The chorus relies on Olivia's wonderful upper range.

Saturday, May 9, 2020

May 9, 2020 CHIRP Radio Playlist (Show #485)

9:00 AM Cat Power • Woman Left Lonely • Jukebox • Matador

9:04 AM Jerry Butler • Chi-Town • The Singles • Charly

9:07 AM The Mountain Goats • Going to Lebanon 2 • Songs for Pierre Chuvin • Merge

9:14 AM Squirrel Flower • Take It or Leave It • single • Polyvinyl

Sunday, May 3, 2020

May 3, 2020 CHIRP Radio Playlist (Show #484)

9:03 AM Elliott Smith • L.A. • Figure 8 • Dreamworks

9:06 AM Labelle • Something in the Air/The Revolution Will Not Be Televised • Pressure Cookin' • RCA

9:12 AM Skylar Gudasz • Short Staying • Cinema • Suah Sounds

9:17 AM BC Camplight • I Only Drink When I'm Drunk • Shortly After Takeoff • Bella Union

Saturday, May 2, 2020

May 2, 2020 CHIRP Radio Playlist (Show #483)

9:01 AM Kamasi Washington • Testify • Heaven and Earth • Young Turks

9:07 AM Kelly Hogan • Sleeper Awake • I Like to Keep Myself in Pain • ANTI-

9:10 AM RJD2 • No Helmet Up Indianola • The Fun Ones • RJ's Electrical Connections

9:15 AM Ride • Clouds of Saint Marie • Clouds in the Mirror (This Is Not a Safe Place reimagined by Pêtr Aleksänder) • Wichita

Thursday, April 30, 2020

Grading Billboard's Top 100 singles of 1979

1. My Sharona - The Knack: A+
Putting aside the fact that the real Sharona (that's her on the picture sleeve of the 45) was something like 17 or 18 years old, something not frowned upon then, the song itself is a great, aggressive power pop song. The Knack's sudden rise to the top made them targets for critics, and frontman Doug Fieger didn't handle it well, and so despite two other Top 40 hits, most people perceive the band as a one-hit wonder. Oh well. Fieger had a (pardon the pun) knack for catchy, melodic rock tunes, and the band was simply killer. That's Bruce Gary driving the beat on drums, and that fantastic guitar solo is courtesy of Berton Averre. The Knack kicked off the so-called skinny tie revival, with loads of power pop and new wave bands. Many were good, a few were great, almost none of them had a song this good.

2. Bad Girls - Donna Summer: A
The title track of one of the great pop albums of the '70s. This song was co-written by Summer, who was really coming into her own as a tunesmith. There's a bit of theater (which was in her background in this song) and a lot of empathy for what, but for the subject matter, is a pretty upbeat pop song. The production is great - there are disco touches all over the place, but they don't overwhelm the pop-soul core of the song.

Sunday, April 26, 2020

April 26, 2020 CHIRP Radio Playlist (Show #482)

9:01 AM St. Vincent • Black Rainbow • Actor • 4AD

9:05 AM Terence Trent D'Arby • Let's Go Forward • Introducing the Hardline According to Terence Trent D'Arby • Columbia

9:10 AM The Mountain Goats • January 31, 438 • Songs for Pierre Chuvin • Merge

9:15 AM The Tallest Man on Earth • Jesus, Etc. • single • Dead Oceans

Saturday, April 25, 2020

April 25, 2020 CHIRP Radio playlist (Show #481)

9:00 AM David Byrne and Brian Eno • Strange Overtones • Everything That Happens Will Happen Today • Todomundo/Opal

9:04 AM Sudan Archives • Come Meh Way • Sudan Archives • Stones Throw

9:07 AM Elvis Depressedly • Can You Hear My Guitar Rotting? • Depressedelica • Run for Cover

9:13 AM Faye Webster • In a Good Way • single • Secretly Canadian

Monday, April 20, 2020

Grading Billboard's Top 100 singles of 1977

1. Tonight's the Night (Gonna Be Alright) - Rod Stewart: B
I'm either grading this a bit too low or way too high. Although the album this came off of, A Night on the Town, had some songs that were reminiscent of his great early work for Mercury, this song was the beginning of Rod Stewart, Mega Pop Star. A four-minute tune with Rod the Mod asking Britt Eklund to have sex with him, I presume that the record buying public found it sexy, but it comes off as too chaste. Either it should be even more innocuous or more explicit. This song is certainly the most successful single featuring a Swedish model speaking in French. And the inspiration for the song was America's "Today is the Day".

2. I Just Want to Be Your Everything - Andy Gibb: A-
Phase II of the Bee Gees' plan for world domination was setting up younger brother Andy for success. Andy was an affable presence, and it's hard to get a line on how talented he was, because he was propped up by one the great songwriting teams of all time. This is an easygoing R & B-laced pop song, with the older Gibbs adding backing vocals. What this record showed is that the Bee Gees had more songs than they could possibly keep for themselves, and so other artists were going to benefit from that.

3. Best of My Love - Emotions: A
If a family act is great, how about combining two families? The Emotions were sisters who grew up in Chicago. They got started as a gospel act, and by 1964, they had gone secular and hit the R & B charts. And for well over a decade, they landed singles all over those charts. Finally, working with fellow Chicagoan Maurice White (and two of his brothers) of Earth, Wind & Fire got them to cross over. This song really mixed a great girl group vibe with that classic E, W & F mix of soul and funk to create a truly sublime song. Somehow, The Emotions never hit the Top 40 on their own again, while continuing to hit the R & B charts. At least their one hit was an instant classic.

4. Evergreen (Love Theme from "A Star Is Born") - Barbra Streisand: A-
This is an example of a song I hated when I was 11 that I've grown to like now that I'm older and wiser. Paul Williams composed this ballad, and it is Williams at his melodic best. This is combined with an excellent, rich performance from Streisand. The movie may have been "meh," but at least it produced this song.

Sunday, April 19, 2020

April 19, 2020 CHIRP Radio Playlist (Show #480)

9:02 AM The Kinks • Shangri-La • Arthur: Or The Decline And Fall Of The British Empire • Pye

9:07 AM Noname • Sunny Duet (with theMIND) • Telefone • self-released

9:10 AM Floating Gardens • Rhizome's Logic • Ephemerals • Chicago Research

9:15 AM Bedouine • The Hum • single • Spacebomb

Saturday, April 18, 2020

April 18, 2020 CHIRP Radio playlist (Show #479)

9:01 AM Arcade Fire • Crown of Love • Funeral • Merge

9:05 AM Vagabon • Fear + Force • Infinite Worlds • Father/Daughter

9:09 AM SiP • Sparkling Spur • Leos Naturals • Not Not Fun

9:14 AM Tasha • But There's Still the Moon • single • Father/Daughter

Wednesday, April 15, 2020

Grading the Top 100 singles (according to Billboard) of 1976

1. Silly Love Songs - Paul McCartney and Wings: A-
This song was a response to critics who thought McCartney's music was too lightweight. So Paulie decided to show them by doing something that goes beyond lightweight. There is so little to this song -- and I mean that as a compliment. The defining element of this song is McCartney's bass playing, which is R & B on the cusp of disco and is the most complex thing about the song. Everything else, like so much Macca does, seems effortless.

2. Don't Go Breaking My Heart - Elton John and Kiki Dee: B+
This is a song that I despised back in the day, but I've come around to it, despite the cheesiness of the whole thing. This was another one of Elton's R & B-laced songs, and it has a nice rhythm to it. Kiki Dee is a fine singer, and the two sound good together, and the song leads to refrain ("right from the start/I'll give you my heart") that's pretty effective. This gets a bonus boost for inspiring the episode of One Day at a Time where the Coopers put on a show at a nursing home, and Valerie Bertinelli and MacKenzie Phillips play Elton and Kiki and sing this song.

3. Disco Lady - Johnnie Taylor: A
Taylor was a pretty successful soul singer on Stax who had a surprising number of crossover hits. He moved over to a major label and hopped on board the disco train and had the biggest hit of his career, which can be found on his tastefully titled Eargasm LP. The song isn't hardcore disco, and is really just a slinky R & B number that allows Taylor to croon and leer and charm over a really good groove. In what seems to be a common tale, despite trying to join Team Disco, Taylor had no more pop hits.

Sunday, April 12, 2020

April 12, 2020 CHIRP Radio playlist (Show #478)

9:02 AM FKA twigs • holy terrain (featuring Future) • MAGDALENE • Young Turks

9:06 AM Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark • Souvenir • Architecture & Morality • DinDisc/Virgin

9:09 AM Deep Space Duo • Outer Oort Cloud • Spacetones • Love All Day

9:15 AM Hamilton Leithauser • The Garbage Men • The Loves of Your Life • Glassnote