I hope that you all enjoyed Episode 100 of Tales From The Drop Box which presented my favorite band of all time – Stiff Little Fingers! If you missed it, go back and give it a try as I think you’ll love it even if you’ve never heard of the band before. I am back on schedule with Episode 101 which is essentially regularly programming – an episode filled with new-ish tunes that should be radio hits.
I have also included a track from Tommy Keene who passed away on November 22just as I was preparing the material for Episode 100. Sadly, yesterday I also learned of the death of Pat DiNizio, lead singer of the Smithereens. Tommy and Pat both had a special gift: they wrote beautiful songs and played the music they loved with a passion that evidenced that love. They crafted songs that you could feel and that were so catchy you were compelled to sing along. They both flirted with mainstream success in the 1980s, but without a gimmick they couldn’t keep the attention of the masses who are looking for personalities not musicians. I know that I have regularly played albums by both of them throughout the years to my friends to introduce them to music that everyone should experience. As the Smithereens noted in their announcement: Pat “channeled the essence of joy and heartbreak into hook-laden three-minute pop songs, infused with a lifelong passion for rock ‘n’ roll.” The same could be said of Tommy.
Both were relatively young when they started their careers with Tommy starting his career at age 12 and sadly, both died fairly young, Tommy at 59 and Pat was 62. They were also very important players in the power pop scene – Tommy’s debut LP Strange Alliance was released in 1982 and it is a classic power pop record balancing Tommy’s love of the Beatles and the Who with a punk influenced edge. The Smithereens mined the same territory – classic songs with big hooks and shimmering guitars but more a mix of the Beatles and The Byrds influences. As the Smithereens progressed, the guitars were louder, and the hooks bigger. Check out Behind The Wall of Sleep – Live 1987. I spent a huge number of hours listening to Tommy Keene and the Smithereens records and was lucky enough to see them live on a couple of occasions. If you haven’t discovered them yet, perhaps now is a good time. You can read about Tommy at his page TommyKeene.com and Pat at OfficialSmithereens.com. However, what you should really do (after you listen to Episode 101 of course!) is go out and listen to their music.
Here is what you’ll find in Episode #101:
- 8 – “Sugar” (Post Drunk Mime)
- Rosemary Baby – “I Can’t Breathe” (Timeless)
- Brightness – “Oblivion” (Teething)
- Wireheads – “Technical Man” (Lightning Ears)
- Listen Lady “Rain It Down” (Listen Lady 7”)
- Fake Laugh – “As I Get To Know You Better” (Fake Laugh)
- Reels “Gound Is Me” (Not Now)
- Crooked Colours “Flow” (Vera)
- Teenender – “Not A Dream” (Kissed)
- British India – “Precious” (Forgetting The Future)
- The Creases – “Answer To” (Tremolow)
- New Swears – “Le Poison” (And The Magic Of Horses)
- Ted Leo – “The Little Smug Supper Club” (The Hanged Man)
- Tommy Keene – “Back To Zero Now” (Places That Are Gone)
- Gothic Tropic – “Don’t Give Me Up” (Fast Or Feast)
People talk in another dimension, no they don’t always know their intentions you don’t want to be somebody’s hero, no you wanna get back to zero now . . . Well I heard last Wednesday you didn’t even mention me oh I’d rather hear you insult me than ignoring me intentionally . . .