Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Trombone Shorty "Backatown"

I've written before about what happens when the year comes to an end, and the record industry (but not the radio industry) goes in to hibernation.

And here we are again.

I actually look forward to this lull period, because it affords us the opportunity to look back at records we passed over for some reason.

There are only so many spots on a playlist. We keep 50-something new songs in rotation at mvyradio. Sure, you could do more. But the more songs you add, the less play each one gets. So we try to keep that number consistent.

And within that group of 50-something, we make a real effort to keep things eclectic. A few rockier songs, a few poppier songs, a few alternative songs, a few heritage artists, a few unknowns, etc.

Getting added to the playlist is not just about a great song. It's about how the song fits into the current big picture.

We love to have a good couple of R&B flavored songs in the mix, but if you put in too many, well, it's like Hot Sauce. A little gives it some kick. Enough makes the chili rock. Too much ruins the whole pot.

I can't remember if that was the exact reason we passed over this excellent Trombone Shorty album. But when I started asking staff members about which albums they felt we should give a second look, this was the most popular candidate. And the current playlist is certainly lighter on the groove-based records.

So here 'tis, for the season.

And pick up a Trombone Shorty Christmas song.

Monday, November 29, 2010

Goo Goo Dolls "Long Way Down"

When my Mom heard that I have a blog, she told me:

"Oh, I'd like to tune into that sometime."

Mom, though sincere, is not necessarily hip or techie.

But every once and a while, she can surprise you.

Like the time we were in an Irish pub, and she requested that the singer do "Don't Think Twice, It's Alright." I would have bet all the money in my pocket that she couldn't name 3 Bob Dylan songs.

Or there was the time that she visited me in Virginia.

It was the mid-90s, and I was the host of an Alternative radio program, on an independent station in southwest Virginia.

Mom thought it would be fun to spend the evening at the station with me. And she was curious to try email.

At that time, email was pretty new, for the average Baby Boomer. She didn't have a home computer or anything, but she thought it was "neat" that I was writing, electronically, to my sister Julie.

So I sat her down in front of the station computer and went to work on my show. Every once and a while, I'd check in with her, as she did her hunt-and-peck, tip-typing a note to my sister.

When she said she was ready to send, I gave it a look over, and furrowed my brow.

After some chit-chatting type things about what she had seen on this visit, and a knock on the cleanliness of my apartment, before closing, she wrote:

"Long way down, I don't think I'll make it on my own."

That sounded familiar, but I had to spin my mental hamster wheel for a second to get it.

"Mom? Are you quoting the Goo Goo Dolls here?"

I'd played the new-ish song "Long Way Down," sometime within the last half-hour, I guess the lyric struck her for some reason.

Could she name ONE Goo Goo Dolls song? No. Certainly not.

But, just for the fact that she was listening, she did become just a little, tiny, teeny bit cool.

Once she "tunes in" to my blog, it's only a matter of time before Mom is on Facebook.

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Babes In Toyland "Sweet 69"

Here's another Weekend Post:

Around the time this song came out, there was an interesting book, about how they got signed, and about the making of their major label record. A good window into the machine that takes a punk rock band and tries to spit out a viable commodity.

Weekend posts are a chance to revisit songs that have happy memories, not of anything in particular, other than just hearing the tunes.

Many of these songs were tracks that I played during my 90s stint as an Alternative/Modern Rock radio show. They're tunes that I hardly hear these days, but are wonderful to revisit.

Click on the "Weekend Posts" label below, to see other posts like this.

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Ned's Atomic Dustbin "Grey Cell Green"

Here's another Weekend Post:

I still have much affection for these great, fuzzy tunes from bands that came and went in the early 90s.

Weekend posts are a chance to revisit songs that have happy memories, not of anything in particular, other than just hearing the tunes.

Many of these songs were tracks that I played during my 90s stint as an Alternative/Modern Rock radio show. They're tunes that I hardly hear these days, but are wonderful to revisit.

Click on the "Weekend Posts" label below, to see other posts like this.

Friday, November 26, 2010

Jeff Lynne “Every Little Thing”

It must not be easy being the “Oates.” You know, the 2nd most well regarded member of a duo.

It must not be easy being the "Greg Norton." The 3rd most well regarded member of the trio Husker Du.

It must not be easy being the “Ringo.” The 4th most well regarded member of a certain famous quartet.

But man, it must be hard to be the “Jeff Lynne.” The 5th most famous member of the five member Traveling Wilburys.

I mean, Lynne sold millions of records as the leader of ELO. He was a highly sought after producer, especially in the late 80s and early 90s. And he is the thread that pulled Tom Petty, George Harrison and Roy Orbison together (he was producing records for each of them) with Bob Dylan to form the Traveling Wilburys.

Yet I still hear people refer to him as "oh and that other guy" in the Wilburys.

Yet he made great tunes, including this worthwhile nugget from an under-appreciated early 90s solo album.

Listen, and imagine George Harrison singing this one on the “Cloud Nine” record, and you can totally hear this as the big radio hit of 1990.

Thursday, November 25, 2010

The Cranberries "Ode To My Family"

Originally, the name of this band was "The Cranberries Saw Us."

The Cranberry Sauce. Get it?

Happy Thanksgiving to you and your family!

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Billy Joel "Captain Jack"

If my love of music comes from either parent, it must be my Dad.

Mom might listen to the Classical station, but otherwise, when she drives, the radio is usually off.

Dad loves music, all kind of music.

And yet, he's not, nor had he ever been, a record purchaser.

If fact, for most of the 90s, he only owned one CD.

Sure, he had a box full of records (which are now mine!) dating back to "Meet The Beatles." And he a small pile of cassettes of music varying from showtunes to classic rock to swing.

But for most of the 90s, there was only one CD in his car:

Billy Joel's Greatest Hits.

Why? Why that one?

You know, when you have dozens of discs, one title doesn't necessarily say anything about you. But when you only have one, it must be saying something, right? It must make some kind of statement, yes?

I'm not sure what it means. But he does love that record.

Happy 70th birthday, Dad!

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

The Avett Brothers "Kick Drum Heart"

I need your help on this one . . .

As a long time fan of the Avett Brothers, I'm happy to see that they are succeeding with this current album.

But it's a little weird that the successful songs off the record have been lush, ballady affairs. Great songs, but not why I fell in love with this band in the first place.

I'm psyched that their current single is a little more in the mode of the rollicking and energetic dynamic that I enjoy.

The simple trouble I have now, is to decide if mvyradio should play the original studio version, the live version off their new "Live, Volume 3," or both.


Album version

A Live version

Monday, November 22, 2010

Bruce Springsteen "Blinded By The Light"

The mvyradio Afternoon Mindbender isn't just a game, it's educational!

I learned some new words last week, including "Sclera," which could have been shouted at The Battle Of Bunker Hill by Colonel Prescott.

"Hold your fire until you see their sclera!"

That is, the white of your eye.

I asked that Mindbender, because I was about to play a track off The Beatles White Album.

Often, I'll take a word or phrase from the band, or song or album that I'm about to play, to make up my daily question.

Last week, I learned the word "Mondegreen."

A Mondegreen is a misheard phrase, that gives the sentence a new and different meaning.

It comes from a 17th Century ballad, that contains the couplet:
They hae slain the Earl O' Moray,
And laid him on the green

Some folks have misheard the lyric as:
They hae slain the Earl O' Moray,
And Lady Mondegreen.

And since the 17th Century, lovers of music have found Mondegreen after Mondegreen in popular song.

From our National Anthem, "Jose, can you see?" to "Olive, The Other Reindeer" to "There's a Bathroom on the right" to "Hold me closer, Tony Danza," there is no end to the fun you can have, when you don't hear it quite right.

And today's song, is probably the most famous/scandalous Mondegreen of all. Bruce Springsteen even joked on a VH1 Storytellers episode, that Manfred Mann might have made this song more popular by making his reference to a car (a "Deuce") sound as if the chorus was talking about a feminine hygeine product.

"Wrapped up like a douche, another runner in the night."

Read his lips, is he saying "douche" or "deuce"?

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Foo Fighters "For All The Cows"

Here's another Weekend Post:

I'm supposed to interview author Sandra Boynton this week, about her new book "Amazing Cows."

So I had cow songs on the brain.

Weekend posts are a chance to revisit songs that have happy memories, not of anything in particular, other than just hearing the tunes.

Many of these songs were tracks that I played during my 90s stint as an Alternative/Modern Rock radio show. They're tunes that I hardly hear these days, but are wonderful to revisit.

Click on the "Weekend Posts" label below, to see other posts like this.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Tripping Daisy "I Got A Girl"

Here's another Weekend Post:

The grammar nerd in me always got stuck on the line, "She smells so sweetly."

If she smells "sweetly," it doesn't mean you like her aroma, it means that when she tries to sniff something, she does it in a sweet way.

And that's just absurd. (Unlike the rest of the song, which makes perfect sense)

Weekend posts are a chance to revisit songs that have happy memories, not of anything in particular, other than just hearing the tunes.

Many of these songs were tracks that I played during my 90s stint as an Alternative/Modern Rock radio show. They're tunes that I hardly hear these days, but are wonderful to revisit.

Click on the "Weekend Posts" label below, to see other posts like this.

Friday, November 19, 2010

Paul Simon "Getting Ready For Christmas Day"

What do Irving Berlin, Johnny Marks, Jule Styne & Sammy Cahn, Jay Livingston & Ray Evans, Mel Torme & Bob Wells, Buck Ram & Kim Gannon & Walter Kent, Joan Javits, Felix Bernard, Mitchell Parish, George Wyle, Philip Springer & Fred Ebb all have in common?

They all wrote Christmas songs, but didn't celebrate Christmas.

That's right, the following Christmas carols were penned by Jewish songwriters:

"White Christmas"
"Rudolph The Red Nosed Reindeer"
"Rockin' Around The Christmas Tree"
"A Holly Jolly Christmas"
"Let It Snow! Let It Snow! Let It Snow!"
"Silver Bells"
"The Christmas Song"
"I'll Be Home for Christmas"
"Santa Baby"
"Winter Wonderland"
"Sleigh Ride"
"It's The Most Wonderful Time Of The Year"
(see below, for full songwriting credits)

How about Bob Dylan, Neil Diamond, Barbra Streisand, Harry Connick Jr., Phil Spector, Carole King, Barry Manilow and Bette Midler? What do they have in common?

That's right, they're all Jewish, and they've all recorded Christmas albums.

What am I getting at?

Nothing. I just didn't want you to be surprised to find out that Paul Simon, who is Jewish, has a new song out called "Getting Ready For Christmas Day."

Happy Hanukkah!

Hear a dozen of the songs mentioned in this post:

Irving Berlin, "White Christmas"
Johnny Marks, "Rudolph The Red Nosed Reindeer"
Johnny Marks, "Rockin' Around The Christmas Tree"
Johnny Marks, "A Holly Jolly Christmas"
Jule Styne & Sammy Cahn "Let It Snow! Let It Snow! Let It Snow!"
Jay Livingston & Ray Evans "Silver Bells"
Mel Torme & Bob Wells "The Christmas Song"
Buck Ram & Walter Kent (also Kim Gannon) "I'll Be Home for Christmas"
Joan Javits & Fred Ebb (also Philip Springer) "Santa Baby"
Felix Bernard (also Richard B. Smith) "Winter Wonderland"
Mitchell Parish, "Sleigh Ride"
George Wyle (also Edward Pola), "It's The Most Wonderful Time Of The Year"

Thank you to these several sites for information in this post.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

John Gorka "Good Noise"

We'd had some words.

Not profane or incendiary, mind you, but unpleasant nonetheless.

It was the kind of uncomfortable exchange between a manager(me) and a staffer, that starts with a legitimate bone to pick, and somehow, unexpectedly devolves into some sarcastic unpleasantness.

We'd walked away, both vowing to return to the subject the following day.

So I was bracing myself for the conversation, sitting in the mvy studio, watching the clock tick closer to our meeting time.

I was ready to apologize for being flip---that was unprofessional. But I was also ready to call her out for taking the conversation on a negative turn, just because she wasn't getting her way.

She, of course, surprised me, with an apology of her own.

"I really believe in that song 'Good Noise,'" she said, referencing a song I'd played earlier in the afternoon. "If you've got nothing good to say . . ." you shouldn't say anything.

"Did you hear that on the way in to the studio?" I asked.

"Hear what?"

"Hear me play 'Good Noise.'"

"No. Did you just play that?"

I had.

Karma? Coincidence? Luck? Cosmic confluence? Plate of shrimp?

It was a little weird, but it reinforced that it's the right move, to make a Good Noise.

A positive message has a ripple effect, I guess.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Decemberists "Down By The Water"

You can practically hear the relieved sighing of record promotions folks on this new Decemberists track.

After a huge breakthrough with "The Crane Wife," I'm sure the people who had spent years working to spread the word of this excellent band were hoping for the continued ascent of this rising band's profile when they released a follow up.

Instead they got "The Hazards Of Love."

I wrote a little about my feelings on the album, last year.

No doubt, "Hazards" is the work of a brilliant mind. And the shear balls it took to even contemplate an endeavor such as a rock opera about a woman who falls in love with a shape-shifting forest dweller, his jealous mother and an infanticide-prone lover, must be commended, by any lover of challenging art.

But for those who might be a lover (or needer) of commerce, the word "Rock Opera" is still, pretty much, poison.

So how nice, for my friends in the record community, who have delivered "Down By The Water" to radio, giddily letting us know that this new Decemberists album is just a collection of rock songs, and there is no playbill or libretto necessary.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Pratt & McClain "The Theme to Happy Days"

Many, many years ago, probably around high school/college age, when I was being asked incessantly, "What are you going to study?" "What's your major?" "What are you going to do for work?" I started to retrofit an answer.

I didn't think so much about what job I wanted to have, as much as I began thinking about how a job would integrate into an already existing vision of myself. What kind of job would fit that?

What kind of job would provide some structure, but some creativity? More importantly, in what job could talk like I talk, and dress like I dress?

Yeah, being a t-shirt and jeans guy, the dressing thing was really important to me. I just wasn't going to do a job where I had to put on a tie every day. In a suit, I looked so unlike myself, I might as well put on a pirate costume.

PJ in Suit = Halloween (and is as scary).

I can't tell you for sure that this aversion to natty attire is genetic. But I would bet that there are a few high school friends who can attest to the fact that my Dad, a high school math teacher, wasn't pulling off the plaid pants and v-neck sweater, as well as he thought he might be.

For sure, the refusal to dress up was present in childhood. Mom, I'm sure, remembers more than a couple of epic battles to get me dressed for the holidays.

And if you need proof, please enjoy this photo, recently unearthed during a fruitful trip into the depths of my garage.

The picture is from my sister Amy's Christening at St. Louis' Catholic Church in Newburyport.

My Mom had picked out a little jacket and clip-on tie that she'd tried to forcibly put on me a couple of times. I think it was probably when I whipped the jacket into the hallway, she just shouted, "Fine!!! Wear whatever the Hell you want!!!"

In the picture, clockwise, is Uncle Joe (Godfather), rocking the mustache; my Mom, holding my baby sister; Father Brian; Aunt Joan (Godmother); my sister Julie, who gladly wore her cute white sweater and pink shirt with ribbons in her hair; and me.

I was 8. There was no one cooler than The Fonz. And HE certainly didn't wear a clip-on tie. No, he wore t-shirts. If I was ever going to be as cool as The Fonz, I'd better start dressing like him, was my logic.

Thank you to the good folks at Polaroid for making it possible for this moment to preserved throughout time.

Happy Days, indeed.

If you had the theme song on 45, well, you still probably don't remember the B side, "Cruisin' With The Fonz."

Monday, November 15, 2010

Norah Jones "Dear John"

Traditionally, the poor and the outsiders innovate. The establishment co-opts, then eventually ruins the form.

So I've been curious to watch large companies navigate the modern world of promotion, with viral marketing and social media and such. If they appropriate guerrilla techniques, will they use them wisely, or will they sing the tone-deaf note of crass cash grabs.

Not surprisingly, Norah Jones (and the people behind her) navigate this field with an appropriate amount of taste and restraint.

For her new album "Featuring" which compiles tracks of collaboration from throughout her career, her label has produced a short interview piece for each of the tracks on the record.

They're informative, and they make good use of the $$$ behind them with good production values and editing to make something interesting, that makes me want to listen more.

Listen to how engaging Ryan Adams can be, as he compares his writing style to Norah's, and explains who the two styles met and succeeded.

Nice work!

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Presidents Of The United States Of America "Kick Out The Jams"

Here's another Weekend Post:

I'm always wondered what the MC5---who originally did the song and wielded it like a weapon---thought of this fluffy cover of their song.

Weekend posts are a chance to revisit songs that have happy memories, not of anything in particular, other than just hearing the tunes.

Many of these songs were tracks that I played during my 90s stint as an Alternative/Modern Rock radio show. They're tunes that I hardly hear these days, but are wonderful to revisit.

Click on the "Weekend Posts" label below, to see other posts like this.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Hayden "Bad As They Seem"

Here's another Weekend Post:

I suppose we've all had some age-inappropriate crushes---I can think of a few friends who had a "Stacy's Mom."

This song got the angst of that kind of crush right, though I was always creeped out by the reverse age crush. "She is only 16" is only okay, if you're 17.

Weekend posts are a chance to revisit songs that have happy memories, not of anything in particular, other than just hearing the tunes.

Many of these songs were tracks that I played during my 90s stint as an Alternative/Modern Rock radio show. They're tunes that I hardly hear these days, but are wonderful to revisit.

Click on the "Weekend Posts" label below, to see other posts like this.

Friday, November 12, 2010

Black Grape "Get Higher"

It's clear, but ironic.

As a rule, the station doesn't take a political position on any topic. The DJs aren't supposed to expound on why they are for or against a particular cause.

The reasoning is two-fold. One, is that the station has listeners who sit in all parts of the political spectrum. And if you take a political position on the air, undoubtedly, while half the audience is shaking its head Hell Yes, the other half is either yelling at the speakers, or just turning you off. It's not the experience a music-oriented stations wants its listeners to have.

The other reason is one that many folks listening to mvy, are listening to mvy. They're not listening to PJ or Barbara or Laurel. So if I go on the air and say, "I think this new law stinks!" while some listeners will hear that as PJ's Opinion, for a whole chunk of listeners, that will register as MVY's Opinion. An individual taking a position on the air, is representing all of us on mvyradio. So if they take a position it better represent all of us DJs, and the station ownership, too.

Best to leave politics to Talk Radio, and just focus on the music.

Therein lies the irony.

Is there anything more political than Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young's "Ohio"? Or JJ Cale's "The Problem"? Or Jackson Browne's "Lives In The Balance"? Or Grace Potter's "Ah Mary"? Or, an of about 400 songs we play on mvyradio?

Rock And Roll is rife with politics. Every other song we play seems to take a bold position.

How can R.E.M. rage about a "Teflon whitewashed presidency" and sing "We're sick of being jerked around," without raising a hackle. But if a DJ said this, it would register in a completely different way?

Ironic, I say.

So let me conclude with a nice bit of irony.

During the recent election, there were a few marijuana-related ballot questions, everywhere from this island off the East Coast to California. And one of my friends, in support of California's Proposition 19, posted an old clip from Night Flight on his Facebook page. Which reminded me that the clip had been appropriated by the band Black Grape in the 90s.

Enjoy the irony!

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Keb Mo "Every Morning"

I got dumped by this girl.

We hadn’t been dating very long, and I thought things were going just fine. But then I kind of got a whiff that something wasn’t right, from her perspective.

So I can’t say I was really surprised that I was suddenly getting the “It’s Not You, It’s Me” speech.

Fine. Or at least, at another time in my life, it would have been fine.

But it had been a really hard year.

My Uncle had died suddenly earlier in the year. My sister was battling cancer. A huge rift had opened up between myself and my 2 closest friends. And in the last week, my Aunt had died suddenly. I was pretty new on the Vineyard. It was winter. I didn't have to many friends.

So I was in a pretty low, low place, all that cumulative weight on my shoulders. And I took getting dropped much harder then, than was maybe warranted.

I had to get out of the apartment. I’d been there for days, shut in by the cold, cold Vineyard off-season and my own depression.

I was broke, too, of course. But I scraped together a handful of bucks and took myself to a discount Tuesday matinee.

To see the feel good movie of the year: “Fahrenheit 9-11.”

What was I thinking?

More depressed than ever, I decided that I should walk down the street to my regular pub, and have a beer. And maybe feel the warm embrace of other Islanders who needed a drink on a rainy winter Tuesday.

You don’t need to be a screenwriter to guess who was down the far end of the bar.

I waved to her. It was the polite and friendly thing to do. And I stayed and drank my beer instead of running out the front door. It was the non-chicken-shit thing to do.

But, unshaven, unshowered and pale, mole-eyed from sitting in the dark theater, I didn’t think I could feel too much worse. I certainly looked about as terrible, as unkempt, as disheveled as I can ever recall being.

So the only way out, was up.

I walked up the street to one of the upscale restaurants. They had an upstairs bar. And it was early enough in the night that it was virtually empty. Just me and the bartender.

I had a credit card that was about 50 bucks short of maxed out. So what’s an extra 50 bucks?

I got a big, not-too-greasy-but-just-greasy-enough Cuban pork sandwich and fries and a few beers.

It is the one and only time in my life that I recall telling my troubles to a bartender, who took pity me, while I unpacked some baggage.

“What are we listening to?” I asked him, as the cd that had been playing, looped back to the first track.

“Keb Mo. His first record.”

“I like it,” I responded positively, determined to go in the only direction left.


Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Tina Fey & Christopher Cross "All My Nights I've Been Waiting"

Are we about to witness the poisonous side-effects of the success of Glee?

Glee is a hit in the ratings, which is a lovely success story. But they are also an amazing music sales story. They now have more Billboard Hot 100 Chart Hits than the freakin' Beatles!

When CSI became a hit, what did we get? CSI Miami. CSI New York. Criminal Minds. NCIS. And other attempts to cash in on the crime procedurals.

When Lost became a hit, what did we get? Fringe. Jericho. The Event. Surface. Invasion. And other attempts to cash in on the mythology-rich psuedo-supernatural series.

So now that Glee has hit, expect plenty of knock-offs. And soundtracks. Even from unlikely places.

30 Rock?

Definitely one of my favorite shows, but not one that I'd think was ripe for its own CD. Let alone a double-CD.

And yet, here we are.

Full versions of songs shared in snippet form on the show, like "Werewolf Bar Mitzvah," "Muffin Top" and the fictional-when-mentioned-on-the-show-but-now-real "All My Nights I've Been Waiting." (Right click on the last one, for a free download)

Okay, so this might be fun.

But I DON'T want to hear the CSI double-disc.

Buy the 30 Rock Soundtrack here.

And somehow, THIS song IS NOT on the CD!?!?

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

The Rentals "Friends Of P"

I’ve been “PJ” since the day I was born. My first name is Paul, which is the same as my Dad. My parents didn’t want to stick me with “Junior” or “Little Paul” so they went for the initials.

If your name is Zebulon or Chrysanthemum or even Elizabeth or William, I can understand how kids might called you by a shortened nickname, something a little less unwieldy. Zeb. Chris. Liz. Bill.

But if your name is PJ---only two letters---does it really need to be shortened?

Somehow, in high school, and happening again with a separate set of friends in college, people close to me felt the need to shorten my unwieldy name.

They called me P.

I didn’t mind it, though I always thought it sounded a little silly. Like next, my friends would just shorten that, just pronounce the letter phonetically and call me “Pah.”

On the pro-side, when Matt Sharp left Weezer and put this song out, my friends got to claim the chorus as a theme song for being my friend.

“If you’re down with P, you’re down with me.”

Monday, November 8, 2010

Hayes Carll "Grateful For Christmas"

Around the middle of last week, I started to see Facebook Status complaints about the unwelcome early arrival of Christmas music.

Maybe you heard your first song of the season through the P.A. system in the supermarket.

Maybe it caught you off-guard while you were on hold.

Or maybe, the record labels sent you a free MP3 to pass on to your blog readers.

Okay, that last one may be a bit specific.

I interviewed Hayes Carll a few years ago, and was impressed with his ability to be tender, melancholy and hilarious, without ever really changing his delivery or tone.

I wasn't necessarily psyched to listen to a Christmas song during the first week of November, but I put it on, along with some other newly received tracks. And about midway through the song, I found myself laughing out loud.

So, yeah, it's early. But this one is worth it.

It's available as a free download from Hayes' site. (Right click the link to download)

He tells a couple of stories, before starting the song:

Sunday, November 7, 2010

The Who "You Better You Bet"

Here's another video from MTV's first day of broadcast. I remember that folks made a big deal about this record, as it was their first post-Keith Moon album.

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Rockpile "Little Sister"

After a week's worth of posts about early MTV videos, I did some research, and found a list of all the videos played on the first day of broadcast. There were a few things I'd never heard of, several things I'm happy to never hear again, and a couple of gems I was excited to revisit, like this live nugget.

Friday, November 5, 2010

Tenpole Tudor "Wunderbar"

After yesterday's post brought back faint memories of V66, I decided that I'd conclude this week, trying to test the limits of both my memory and of Youtube.

One of the lines in the V66 video, mentions that the video channel was playing a certain song and in the towns where the video was being seen, people were walking into their local record stores asking to buy it. This was true of early MTV, where they'd play songs that radio in the U.S. had never played.

So I wracked my brain, trying to think of an early, early MTV song, that I might vaguely remember a video for, but had never heard on the radio. Or, in fact, seen on TV since the early 80s.

Then I planned to search for it on YouTube, to see if anyone else remembered it.

I had the wispiest flash of a video, that HAD to be European, with a mad band on some kind of pirate ship, screaming "Wunderbar!" over and over.

Sure enough, typing "Wunderbar music video" in the search bar, led me to this band that I can't say I've ever heard of: Tenpole Tudor.

I read a lot about music. I listen to tons of it. I have, what some might consider, an elephantine memory for bands and songs. So I'm pretty certain that I haven't seen, heard or thought about his song in 28 or so years.

And yet, here it is, on YouTube. Do YOU remember it?

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Asia "Heat Of The Moment"

Last week I invited mvy listeners and EDIWTB readers to write about the first video they remember seeing on MTV.

Christine Lorenzo is my cousin, who lived in Stow, MA, where they didn't yet have MTV, but who remembers V66! Here's what Christine wrote, when I asked for video remembrances:

OK! You guys were always way cooler than us and this is one of the reasons why!!! You got MTV BEFORE us!!! I sat in your basement in a trance and did not want to go home to V66, are you kidding? Part of it was listening to PJ tell us all about the VJ’s and the channel and how super cool it is. Asia, I think, “Heat of the Moment” was the first video I saw at MTV Newburyport HQ. Of course when you guys came to our house we did put on amazing air-band performances but I think that is another story...

For those of you who don't know what V66 is . . .

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Michael Nesmith "Rio"

Last week I invited mvy listeners and EDIWTB readers to write about the first video they remember seeing on MTV.

This one's from a commenter on the blog, who didn't leave a name:

The first video I can remember seeing was Michael Nesmith's rudimentary, but groundbreaking Pop Clips, which aired in 6-hour chunks as a test on the new Nickelodeon network. A year later, he sold the concept of MTV to Time-Warner, Also memorable, not long after that, Godley and Creme of 10cc fame did a really cool video involving morphing--way ahead of its time. I can't remember the song, but it was catchy and the visual was very cool.

Here's one of the songs that appeared on that test show, followed by the Godley & Creme.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Blotto "I Wanna Be A Lifeguard"

Last week I invited mvy listeners and EDIWTB readers to write about the first video they remember seeing on MTV.

Dan Reilly and I go all the way back to Mrs. Seeger's 1st grade class at Belleville Elementary School in Newburyport. Here's his post:

I think the first video I saw on MTV was "I Wanna Be a Lifeguard" by Blotto. You know "white stuff on my nose!!! I remember rushing up to Chris Bradley's house to watch MTV before walking to school. We did not have this marvel at my house yet.

Monday, November 1, 2010

The Police "Don't Stand So Close To Me"

Last week I invited mvy listeners and EDIWTB readers to write about the first video they remember seeing on MTV.

Tim Taylor from Little Rock wrote today's entry:

I remember exactly where I was the first time I ever saw a music video. It was the summer of 1981. I didn't have cable television at the time, so I wasn't really aware of the draw of MTV. But the gym I worked out at did have cable in various rooms, and I remember stumbling into the lobby of the gym after a particularly hard workout to witness three men jumping up and down in graduation robes in a classroom. It was The Police, singing their hit "Don't Stand So Close To Me." I was immediately transformed into a fan of their music and the medium. I had no idea what MTV was or what music videos were supposed to accomplish, but I knew that they would have a dramatic impact on the music world.

If you have a good "First MTV Video I Saw" story, I have a few more guest blog slots. Send it to pj@mvyradio.com.