It's Tuesday afternoon and I'm minutes away from phoning Matthew Sweet for an interview when I happen to hit Twitter on my phone and see a breaking story that Hank LoConti, longtime owner of the Cleveland Agora has just passed away at age 85.
The news hit me like a ton of bricks because Hank was always a guy who was so full of life that it was hard to imagine that he could actually be gone. He was someone that when you met him, you would be surprised to find out how old he was, because he always looked at least a decade younger than he actually was. And yet he had been sick, battling lymphoma for some time, which I was not aware of.
There are plenty of great stories and tributes that have popped up in the past day offering a proper remembrance of LoConti and what it was that he was all about. For me as a music fan who ended up living in Cleveland, it's hard to even begin to collect the thoughts of all of the many different ways that the Cleveland Agora has made an impact in my life. There were plenty of shows, of course, with my first visit to the Agora happening in November of 1992 to see the Spin Doctors. Say what you will about the Spin Doctors, they were a hell of a band beyond the radio singles and their live performances during that time period were great.
My next trip to the Agora was a free show (!!!) with Brian May of Queen who played a headlining gig at the venue supporting his first solo album Back To The Light. Having missed out on the chance to see Queen back in the day, it was huge getting a chance to see Brian play guitar in such an up close setting, with Cozy Powell on drums, to boot.
As my concert attendance really started to ramp up in 1993, I would spend a lot of time at the Agora starting the following year, first with a gig from Joe Satriani, then Sarah McLachlan (Fumbling Towards Ecstasy Tour), Rollins Band with Therapy, Pretenders (a special "small hall" hometown gig on the Last Of The Independents tour that quickly sold out), Joe Cocker (right after he played Woodstock 94), Crowded House (Together Alone tour, with Sheryl Crow opening), The Smithereens and so many more.
1994 was really the beginning of my music collection coming to life in front of my eyes (something which I was reminded of recently when talking with Journey's Neal Schon, when he talked about his feeling that the reason that today's kids want to see their favorite bands live is that "they don't quite believe that it's real unless they're looking at it.") and I had been to enough gigs by that point to know that if I had the chance to see one of my favorite bands play a club like the Agora, that was where it was really at -- with the chance to get up close and personal with some of the bands that I had spent a lot of time listening to by that point.
There was an experience that came with seeing a show at a true rock club like the Agora that you just didn't get in the same way by attending an arena gig. Sure, I had seen some amazing shows at Richfield Coliseum in that same time period (Peter Gabriel, Aerosmith, Eric Clapton), but having a chance to compare the two, there was no question that the more intimate gigs were better, which is why it was such a thrill to get a chance to see bands and artists like Pretenders, Joe Cocker and Brian May -- folks who I knew had usually been playing bigger places prior to that -- in a place the size of the Cleveland Agora.
To cut to the chase, Hank LoConti was the guy who was driving all of this. He was the man behind the Cleveland Agora, a rock institution that had been around for a long time at that point -- I didn't know the specifics at that time, but when you walked into that place, you could tell that it was a building that had a lot of history. As folks will be quick to point out, the current Cleveland Agora at 5000 Euclid Avenue is not the original location -- which burned down in the mid-'80s, but the Euclid Avenue location, was certainly a worthy successor to the original, housed in a building that had its own important history.
Over the years, I started to unpack the history of the original building as a fan, listening to the various famous concert broadcasts that had been done by WMMS, most of which were from the '70s and '80s. Everybody's got their personal favorite list and many of them can tell you stories about being at the gigs -- since I moved here in 1989, I missed out on that part of things, but the tapes that were left behind certainly tell plenty of great stories. There is of course, the famous Springsteen Agora gig from 1978, a special broadcast celebrating the 10th anniversary of WMMS.
Elvis Costello's 1977 performance is another favorite and when I saw Costello just a few weeks ago, playing a solo show here in town, he had fond memories of playing the Agora, calling it a "smoke-filled den of sin," adding that "sometimes you find true love in a place like that." Costello isn't alone in his memories -- it's a frequent occurrence to hear the legacy acts offer their memories of their first gigs in Cleveland at the Agora -- while performing at Gund Arena on the All You Can't Leave Behind tour in May of 2001, Bono offered his own recollections of an early U2 gig at the Agora.
Bryan Adams played a show at the Agora in 1982 and he would be back for another gig barely a year later in 1983. Both shows were broadcast by WMMS (with the 1982 gig getting a national broadcast via the King Biscuit Flower Hour) and it's interesting to compare the two performances and hear how much Adams had progressed in such a short amount of time. The 1983 performance, which was mixed by Bob Clearmountain, is an unbelievable show from Adams that sounds like a professional live album -- it would make great bonus material for an expanded reissue of the Cuts Like A Knife album someday.
The Police, AC/DC, Bon Jovi....nearly anybody you might want to name off, they all played the Agora at some point. Thankfully, there are so many of those concert memories that have been preserved because they were broadcast.
The Agora is approaching its 50th anniversary and I'm happy that after some rough years, the venue seems to be back on solid ground or at the very least, in a better place. They're back booking a regular schedule of shows again and the shows seem to be doing well. As someone who grew up with the Agora at a time that they had a consistent schedule of shows that made it possible for you to go see live music at the club on nearly any night of the week (and with so much great variety to choose from in those days, too), it means a lot to see the Agora alive again.
As the years went by, I had the chance on a number of occasions to stop and talk with Hank. The first time, I had been sent to the Agora to pick something up. Not knowing Hank, I figured it would be a quick stop to grab what I was supposed to pick up and then I'd be on my way. I ended up being there for a couple of hours, sitting in Hank's office, hearing amazing stories of past Agora shows. That would be the case every time that I stopped by.
He was a walking piece of Cleveland musical history, one of several key leaders who helped to build the Cleveland concert scene as we know it today and he has continuously been one of the people working tirelessly through the years to help maintain it, never afraid to fight for necessary changes. He certainly leaves behind one hell of a legacy. I have no doubt that we'll continue to see that legacy grow in the years to come and hopefully part of that will come in the form of proper releases on audio and video for some of the shows that he was really proud of.
This show is the second of the one-two radio concert punch that broke Rush into Cleveland via WMMS and subsequently throughout the Midwest and beyond. It has been referred to by many names in bootleg form, including Rush Returns to Cleveland and Finding Prime. Featuring three songs from the upcoming May 1975 release Fly By Night, the show is energetic and also very early in the career of drummer Neil Peart, who joined the band not even five months earlier following the departure of John Rutsey.
The famous first radio show from August 1974, commonly seen as Fifth Order of Angels, just may show up here as a 2013 Christmas in July special so stay tuned.
Congratulations to the members of Rush (and Heart as well) for staying alive long enough to participate in their induction. Now how about we get to work on Kiss and Deep Purple and Grand Funk and the Guess Who and ELO and Todd Rundgren and …
Finding My Way
The Best I Can
What You're Doing
Fly By Night
As a music geek, it’s only natural that you might pile up a few rock and roll regrets along the way. For all of the great experiences you’re privy to, there are also a few that you miss out on and sometimes, you kick yourself later for the opportunities which were right there in front of you.
One of those for me is the fact that I never saw the Ramones in concert and I certainly had several chances to do so, including the band’s headlining performance at the WMMS Buzzardfest in 1995 at Blossom Music Center.
I came late to the Ramones party, but one of the first songs that really made impact with me was “Do You Remember Rock and Roll Radio” from 1980’s End of the Century.
“This is rock and roll radio/ c’mon let’s rock and roll with the Ramones” was the album opening greeting from the “DJ,” voiced by Sean Donahue, which opened the door to End of the Century. It was such a cool intro that I found it completely necessary to place it as the starting track on one of my mix tapes at one point.
It was an interesting period for the band, who were working with legendary producer Phil Spector for the first time, a move that not everybody in the group was on board with. When The Wall of Sound Met The New York Underground: The Ramones, Phil Spector and the End of the Century is the tantalizing title of a new ebook from Frank Meyer which attempts (very successfully) to shed some light and detail on the experience.
Meyer brings a good amount of cred to the table, having written liner notes for a good chunk of the Ramones reissues in recent years and additionally, he co-authored the book On The Road With The Ramones with former Ramones tour manager Monte A. Melnick.
He draws on that experience for certain tidbits and interview quotes from the members of the Ramones and their former associates, some of which are previously unpublished, to create a documentation of the End of the Century experience that is essential reading for both music fans and Ramones fans alike.
When The Wall of Sound Met The New York Underground is a musical literary dissertation in defense of both End of the Century and the related Rock ‘N’ Roll High School movie that will immediately make you want to own both if you don’t already and at the very least, you’ll be pulling out your copies to revisit them after reading it.
End of the Century was Meyer’s introduction to the band and as he recalls, it was an album which “wasn’t nearly as brutal and scathing as I thought punk rock was supposed to be.” It was this fact which left a large portion of their existing fanbase feeling really pissed off for what they viewed as their punk heroes selling out to the mainstream.
Certainly, End of the Century was indeed an attempt by the Ramones to take things in a direction which was more mass appeal, but as Meyer explains, the album doesn’t deserve the slagging that it received. It deserves in his opinion, a higher ranking within the Ramones legacy and during the course of the book, he makes a really good case to support his argument.
The band’s union with the notoriously quirky Ramone (really, we would have no idea until much later, it turns out) found the producer brandishing firearms as a way to threaten the band members into doing what he wanted them to do. But the Ramones were willing to push back, to a point.
As Marky Ramone shares, “we weren’t the Righteous Brothers - he couldn’t push us around.”
The sessions however, paired with Spector’s wild mood swings, temper tantrums and unorthodox methods of getting things done would drive some of the band members (especially guitarist Johnny Ramone) to the brink of near-insanity.
In the midst of all of this, the Ramones were also making the Rock ‘N’ Roll High School movie, which was budgeted at a very modest $300,000 that didn’t begin to cover a lot of the outside expenses associated with the film. Because of the costs of housing the band in Los Angeles while they worked on the film, they also played a number of gigs during that same time period to help offset the cost.
They certainly had a lot going on and it’s fascinating to read the tales behind the movie and the album and the high expectations attached to both, nearly all of which would fail to be realized upon completion and release
But End of the Century was a valuable experience for the band, because as Meyer writes, they grew up during the process of making the album. Calling it the album where they were “swimming with sharks” as opposed to jumping over them, End of the Century was the sound of the “greatest punk band there ever was, stretching their wings and flexing their musical muscles.”
Wall of Sound reveals that when you consider everything behind the scenes that the Ramones were facing during the making of End of the Century, they made an album that was pretty damn good. Even if there had been nothing but sunshine moments during the sessions, the Ramones created something that remains a crucial listen. When The Wall of Sound Met The New York Underground is a nice companion piece for that listening experience.
Thanks to Cleveland radio personality Java Joel (a fellow aircheck and radio aficionado) for passing this my way via Twitter. I'll now share it with you, 45 minutes of unscoped audio from WMMS and the Buzzard Morning Zoo circa 1987.
If you haven't checked out John Gorman's Buzzard Book Blog, you'll find lots more Buzzard related audio/video goodies over there for your pleasure and enjoyment. John's blog has sadly been a bit dormant in recent times, but there's a good reason for that - he's been pretty busy lately.
As my pal John Hannibal notes, putting your ears around Gorman's latest project V107.3 is very much worth your time - where else are you going to hear new music from Crowded House on the radio? Even though I'm primarily an album/iPod listening kinda guy these days, it's nice that we have an outlet in this city playing new music from artists that aren't named Linkin Park, Godsmack and Papa Roach. That's not a slam on the outlets here in town playing music from bands like that - it's simply that I've been hoping for a long time that we might get a radio station along the lines of Chicago's WXRT here in Cleveland.
Those of you living in Chicago can argue how much WXRT sucks now and perhaps that's true for longtime fans of the radio station, but if you listen to WXRT today, it's still better than 98 percent of what's on the radio in every other city. So yeah, V107.3 is some good listening - kudos to Gorman, Rocco and all of the folks doing good things over there.
I guess we got off on a bit of a rant just then, so to bring us back to the subject matter - enjoy the audio above, enjoy the blog and if you're looking for some more material after that, you might want to give the book below a spin.
In accordance with the wishes of the mighty Mr. Claus, here we are at a WMMS Night Out at the Agora in anticipation of one of the biggest holiday surprises in many a year.
Installment number five of the 12 Boots of Christmas finds us traveling twenty years into the past to December 4, 1989.
We’ve set the dials for Peabody’s Down Under in Cleveland’s Flats entertainment district and our hosts are WMMS, the home of the Buzzard, as the station presents another in the longtime “Coffee Break Concert” series.
Thanks to my good pal and former co-worker Charlotte, for this:
Here's a scanned picture of the Rolling Stones t-shirt that Brian did, that I mentioned in this post:
This t-shirt reminds me of all the copy-and-pasting Brian did with pictures... we laughed a TON about Jerry Hall's pic in the NO!!
Charlotte also shares a scan of the classic Buzzard shirt that Brian did for the initial reunion shows at Gund Arena when KISS came back in makeup, which I guess was 1996, if I recall correctly. While the scan cuts off parts of the picture, you'll get the point.
This was without a doubt, the most popular Buzzard t-shirt that WMMS did in the 90's (in my opinion.) The station made a really small number of these the first time around - maybe 250, no more than 500 at the most. Like the Rolling Stones and Petty shirts, we gave these away to concert goers on the air, and on the way to the venue.
I was really low on the totem pole at this point, and had to work hard to get hooked up with one of these shirts, which is still one of my personal favorites.
We did a 2nd pressing of these shirts later towards the end of the decade. At that point, the station was owned by Nationwide Insurance, and they made us put their logo on all of the shirts that were being made - so the back artwork for this one was later accessorized with a Nationwide logo in the bottom corner, which sucked. Still, Buzzard and KISS fans ate these shirts up, logo or no logo - this was a hot one.
Dig the classic script on the WMMS lettering!
I'll try to dig out my t-shirt in the next few days to take a picture of the full artwork.
P.S. - If anyone has other cool scans/pictures of Brian's stuff that they would like to share, email me and I'll try to get it posted here on the blog.
And a reminder for all, that Brian's memorial set for this Saturday, has a new location. Updated details are here.
As we continue to remember Cleveland artist/photographer Brian Chalmers following his unfortunate passing over the weekend, a number of stories and memories have been shared via email, on Facebook, and on the phone.
Fans, friends, and family will have an opportunity to share more of those stories on Saturday morning from 11am until 1pm at a memorial for Brian Chalmers. Here are the details from John Gorman's site:
Updated details for the Brian Chalmers memorial:
Due to the overwhelming response of his passing the funeral home has to move the service to a larger facility. If you could help pass the word.
Brian Chalmers's memorial service is now going to be at North Royalton Christian Church 5100 Royalton Road, North Royalton OH 44133. Saturday June 27. Visitation will be from 11 am-1pm. The memorial service will begin at 1pm. Call the church number for any details 1-440-237-4531.
Brian's invaluable assistance to Cameron Crowe and Dreamworks during their work for Almost Famous wasn't an isolated incident - it was Brian being Brian, offering whatever assistance he could offer to whoever needed it. On that particular day, it happened to be Cameron Crowe's people on the phone.
On another day, we got a call at the radio station from a random Uriah Heep fan. If you know anything about Uriah Heep fans, they are VERY passionate about all things Heep.
And word had gotten around within the fanbase that WMMS had broadcast a 1977 Cleveland Agora concert by Rough Diamond, the short-lived project featuring former Uriah Heep vocalist David Byron. With very little known memorabilia in existence for the project, the Heep fans were very excited to find out that there was a possible radio broadcast recording that might exist of the concert.
At this time, I was usually the guy that got to field random phone calls, and when I got this particular call asking if we had a copy of the Rough Diamond concert, it was something I had no idea about, but I knew that if anyone would know, it would be Brian.
And this is so Brian - he had a cassette recording of the Rough Diamond broadcast, a copy of the interview they had done with Scene Magazine, and pictures of the gig. All these fans were hoping for was MAYBE a copy of the show, and they ended up with so much more.
I wanted to share this story, because it really illustrates what I was saying in my previous blog entry about Brian's trademark handwritten notes - How excited would you have been as a fan of a band to open a package and get such a nice note like this one?
The group of Uriah Heep fans were ecstatic to say the least, and you can read their entire story via this link.
I look at this week's battle as a battle between two songs with two of the most awesome song openings of all time.
The subject matter of Jon Bon Jovi (and his rock band conveniently named Bon Jovi) and John Cougar, John Cougar Mellencamp, and John Mellencamp (take your pick depending on the year) was suggested by the good ol Cleveland Caper, my buddy, my pal.
With some mighty fine acoustic pickin' opening "Wanted Dead or Alive," Bon Jovi guitarist Richie Sambora must have had some idea that his bank account was about to get really fat. "Wanted" was part of an aborted idea to do an Old West themed album in the 80's, an idea that the band would later revisit (kinda) with their Lost Highway album release in 2007. During a recent concert appearance in Detroit, Jon revealed to the audience that the track was influenced by Bob Seger's "Turn The Page," a fact that is either true, or it could have been Jon's way of sucking up to Seger, who could have been in the audience wondering why he didn't go to the casinos instead on that night.
"Wanted" was a powerful tune. It was allegedly Jon and Richie's acoustic performance of the track on the MTV Video Music Awards that ultimately inspired the Unplugged series.
Welcome to the second track for this week's Cage Match: "I Need A Lover" by John Mellencamp, at this point going under the name John Cougar.
According to Songfacts, the track is about finding a low-maintenance lover who knows when to go away and won't require a commitment. That's the American dream right there, folks. The track was also recorded by Pat Benatar, who included a version on her debut album In The Heat of the Night, a tune which did well here in Cleveland, but registered as a flop on a national level, and didn't chart.
After years of living in nowheresville, I moved to Cleveland in 1989 and heard Cougar's version for the first time on WMMS, and was instantly seduced by the stretched out jam of an intro that starts off the track (and is unfortunately edited out of the video.) Going back to Songfacts, it has been said by Mellencamp that the intro was supposed to be shorter, but Mellencamp and the band liked the riffs so much that they rocked out for a while before eventually sliding into the main part of the song.
It's still one of my favorite "classic" tunes to this day, and I always smile when it comes up on my Ipod.
Jon or John - What's your choice?
What It Is: A weekly mix tape posted on Mondays, created by the fans of Addicted to Vinyl, posted for all to enjoy!
Be A Part Of It: I want you to make me/us a mix CD. I want to hear the tunes that you are into, new or old. And I want to feature your mix on this site!
You can mail your CD to the following address:
Addicted to Vinyl
P.O. Box 771685
Lakewood, OH 44107
What To Include: Include track listing, song notes (if you want to) and any particular notes that you want to share about the mix. Save a digital copy of your notes that you can send me via email, so I don't get carpal tunnel retyping them! Include a printed copy of the notes, and an email address that I can use to contact you for the digital version of the notes. For the real mix tape feel, feel free to hand write your song titles, draw artistic drawings on the "label," etc - I can scan them in using my handy dandy color scanner. Go nuts!
And if you're feeling particularly daring, give your mix a clever title!
What You'll Get: I'll feature your mixes and stories here on the site, and send you something cool from the Addicted to Vinyl prize closet, so please include your address (legibly please!) with your mix notes.
The response to my little "Make Me A Mix Tape" post has been in a word, overwhelming! And awesome. On the eve of my announcement post, I put up a Twitter message about a "blog post/idea" that I was brainstorming that was going to be either really cool, or a total bomb. Thankfully, it's turning out to be really cool. Really, really cool. My hope for an educationally fun musical series is turning out to be exactly as I had hoped. It seems that indeed, the ATV faithful are big mix tape fans like I am! Newly created mixes are coming in, and we've even got some vintage analog tape contributions on the way.
I figured that it would probably be good to start out by posting one of my own mixes that inspired this idea. As I've mentioned, my pal D.X. Ferris has been known to kick out an admirable number of yearly mixes. And the Cleveland Bachelor, despite being my mortal enemy, seems to have a new mix CD for me every time that I see him. That looks kind of disturbing, now that I'm reading it on the computer screen. So much for my chances of dating females ever again, right?
But here's where it really started: My buddy Brian and I were at the Agora for the Gaslight Anthem show, and stopped in to see my beloved Andrea, mistress of all things Agora-related. She showed us some mixes that she had made for a friend that was about to depart the Cleveland zip code. I yelped when I saw "Smile" by Pearl Jam, and several cuts from Petty's Wildflowers album, and told her that she HAD to make me copies. She made three mixes - a "chill" mix, and two "rock" mixes, and sent me all three, since she "couldn't decide which rock mix she liked best."
I officially had to make my own mix disc. Four of them, actually. I wanted to make my own "rock" disc, a "what I've been listening to lately" disc ala Cleveland Bachelor (damn him, and his ability to churn them out,) a "chill" disc, and as I got into it, I realized that I was actually going to need to make two "rock" discs, because I had an urge to make a 90's disc that was calling my name, rather loudly.
They began life as "mix 1," "mix 2," "mix 3," and "mix 4."
They got clever names.
"Pat's going to hate 60% of this" = rock disc
"Bastard of a Midnight Crossmaker" = the "listening to lately" disc.
"Not Where It's At, But It's Alright" = the kinda "chill" disc, I guess.
and the mix featured here today, "No More Salt In My 90's Lovin' Tears."
The "Pat's going to hate 60% of this" disc actually ended up being one that I hated most of as well. Not the tunes, but the flow just didn't work.
The other three hit it, and held up better and better with each listen in my esteemed mix-making opinion. We'll put that to the test today, with my 90's mix.
No More Salt In My 90's Lovin' Tears (Download)
1. Martin Briley - "The Salt In My Tears" - What the hell, Matt? I thought you said this was a 90's mix? Well, it was, but I had this tune in my head all week long on the week that I made this mix, and I had to put it somewhere, or I was going to be making mix disc #5. Here it goes.
2. Journey - "The Party's Over (Hopelessly in Love) - Seriously dude, what's going on here? Easy answer, here's another tune that I had in my head, a member of the Journey catalog that went relatively unnoticed by my listening ears until my former better half, a fellow Journey nut, pointed it out to me at some point during our relationship.
So how do we get from there, to the 90's? I have the thought - "Kitchen" by the Lemonheads. And it totally works. P.S. New covers album on the way from Dando and his Lemonheads, accessorized with tour dates. Coming to the Grog Shop in June. Come hang out with me.
3. Lemonheads - "Kitchen"
4. Letters to Cleo - "Here and Now" - You had to know that with my love of female vocalists, it would pop up eventually. And this ditty from Kay Hanley and crew is still one of the finest slices of 90's goodness. Catch up with Kay via this great Popdose interview. And don't miss the Beavis and Butthead dissection of "Here and Now."
5. Lush - "Ladykillers" - My high school friend Jeremy LOVED this band, and I was relatively unaware of them until much later. One of the great 90's tunes that you'll know that you know it if you don't recognize it now, after you hear it.
6. Filter - "Jurassitol" - Catching three Filter shows in 2008 put the band right back into my frequent listening pile. You can now conveniently find this until-very-recently non-album track (and several others) on the recently released Filter anthology The Very Best Things.
7. God Lives Underwater - "No More Love" - This is one of those tunes I associate with the WMMS alternative era. Pretty sure that these guys came by the station on the weekend afternoon that our DJ was locked/stuck in the air studio. Might have been Everclear. Either way, it was a memorable moment, and this tune was/is a jam.
8. Cause & Effect - "It's Over Now" - This tune totally takes me back to the last part of high school, listening to legendary Cleveland alternative station 107.9 The End. Former End jock Pat The Producer and I have had many conversations about nugget tunes like this.
9. & 10. INXS - "Guns In The Sky"/"New Sensation" - Okay, now we slipped into the 80's, I know. Kick is one of those albums that still holds up just as well, as the first day that I heard it. This is in my opinion, one of the greatest one/two album opening sets of all time. Made to be played loud. Not a dud on the entire Kick album really, in my opinion.
11. Eels - "Mr. E's Beautiful Blues" - Oops, now we're cheating with a tune from the 00's. What the hell? I can justify this one: The 90's were all about the "hidden track," and this one was hidden on Daisies of the Galaxy.....no doubt, in tribute to the awesome 90's!
12. Indians - "Bed of Roses" - From one of my all-time favorite movie soundtracks (and movies,) Reality Bites. I saw The Indians at some point in the 90s playing a multi-band End show at the Agora. The rest of the bands on the bill escape my memory. Drat. Been trying to figure this one out for a while. Kevin can attest how much I love this song, and the play count on my Ipod tells the rest of the story.
13. Lenny Kravitz - "Let Love Rule" - This is another one that holds strong 'MMS memories for me. I don't think there was a single one of us that didn't love this song, and bliss out, every time it came on the control room speakers. We always had to turn this one up loud. It was such a thrill watching Lenny play this one live on a hot summer day at the WOMAD Festival at Buckeye Lake outside of Columbus, OH.
14. Freedy Johnston - "Bad Reputation" - Kelly and Jose get the credit on this one. I loved Freedy in the 90's, mainly this tune and "On The Way Up," but I hadn't listened to this one in ages. An inclusion within a blog post on Sensory Overload brought this one roaring back to the front of my memory.
15. The Smithereens - "Yesterday Girl" - I've got a million different live versions of this tune, yet I can't seem to dig out the one that I really love. The version that I really love features guitarist Jim Babjak and bassist Mike Mesaros trading off on the opening lick, back and forth, back and forth, for about a minute. Hopefully one of these days, I'll come across the disc that has that mythical version that I played so many times before misplacing it.
16. Pale Hollow - "Sugarcane" - Pale Hollow are a great rock and roll band from right here in Cleveland, OH that turned out one of last year's most enjoyable albums. This one is on here, because it shoulda been a hit in the 90's, and it just happens that it was recorded now.
17. Magnapop - "Open The Door" - I got a big urge to hear this song, and headed off to the record store to pick up a budget copy of Rubbing Doesn't Help, which I had seen in the budget bins so many times for a buck or slightly more. Of course, now that I wanted it, it was nowhere to be found. Thankfully, I had a friend that sent me this tune, and I later found a copy of Rubbing Doesn't Help on CD. Love the Eels cover of this one, as well.
18. Edwyn Collins - A Girl Like You - One of many great retro-sounding tunes that came out during the 90's. If you didn't hear it via the Gorgeous George album release, perhaps you remember it from Empire Records. Don't really think you coulda missed this one.
19. Chris Isaak - "Somebody's Crying" - Speaking of retro: My favorite Isaak tune is probably "Wicked Game," and not just because of the girl in the video. That tune made me pick up quite a few Isaak albums, and I recall not being the biggest fan of "Somebody's Crying" when it first came out, but I really have grown to love it as the years have passed.
20. Biz Markie - "Just A Friend" - I had to end on a goofy note. There was a goofy moment or two stuck in each one of the four mixes that I made. This particular song takes me back to the 90's, hanging out with my church friends while singing this song at the top of our lungs, being generally silly.
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