Friday, February 17, 2012

"Off The Shelves" : THE WEEKEND MIX

I'm tired of listening to music I don't like.

Can you relate?

Let me explain.

This isn't a case of, "Listen to Bon Iver or we will shoot this puppy." I am not being forced to endure hours of unpleasant music by some rogue hipsters with guns. But, I do find myself wanting to experience the sounds of what's new, what's hot and what's not The Beatles and The Stones. Sadly, a lot of that time is wasted. I'm rarely impressed. And at the risk of sounding like the "Hey you kids, get off my lawn!" guy, I'm not looking for the next Beatles or the next Stones. But damn, sometimes I can't even find the next INXS.

This is not intended to be another rant on the state of music today. But, it is my way of saying that I get more satisfaction out of the same old same old, even when I do stumble onto something new and exciting.  I get so wrapped up in all I "need" to listen to, I forget how much I simply "want" to listen to.

The mix is called "Off The Shelves" for two reasons.

Back in the merry ol' days of retail, my personal CD collection became unruly. I owned everything by everyone because it was easy. Then came the days to weed it all out. I'd find the discs that offered one or two amazing tracks, "record" them, and remove the CDs "off the shelves" permanently.

The other reason?

I have few memories as great as being a kid and pulling records "off the shelves," with that imaginary audience tuning into my own private radio station. That was when I played nothing but what I loved. I only had what I loved. It was easy. That was when music sounded best. My hand dropping the needle on Track 3, Side Two of "Quadrophenia" was never so steady.

Here's a mix of some tunes I pulled "off the shelves." I made a conscious effort to stay away from The Beatles and The Stones, and even The INXS.


I have a very vivid memory of DJ Dan Neer talking about Pete Townshend's "Stop Hurting People." He read the lyrics on the air, but not in that mocking Steve Allen way. He was moved and you heard it.  I love that memory and I love this song.

Most (if any) remember The Bus Boys as the house band in Eddie Murphy's now (and should have been then) unbelievably offensive film "48 Hours." They were a fun band, I think.  But it was this track, an obvious homage to the E-Street Band, or at least the Asbury Jukes, that always knocked me out.

A bit of genius sampling from Rick Springfield on his track "Prayer." You'll recognize it, and maybe you'll even admit to loving it.

People love Australia's You Am I, tossing off names like The Who and The Jam when describing their sound. I wish I heard it. I enjoy them from time to time, but nothing by these well-respected rockers hits me as hard as this track, which is always on heavy rotation.

Remember Sailor? Georg Kajanus? No? Well...that's okay. Whatever reading my cousin Al was doing in the mid-seventies, led him to this band and this tune. I have a vivid memory of seeing them perform "Glass Of Champagne" live on some Brit TV show that aired on Saturday mornings in the U.S. (Al, if you're reading, any idea what show that was?) Not sure if this is glam, or "music hall," as the mateys say, but I've loved it since 1978.

It took years before I found a digital version of The Romantics' "Tell It To Carrie." Yes, it's on their debut. But this is the early, superior single version on Bomp, courtesy of reader and friend, FD13NYC.

Is there a cooler record than "Sally Go 'Round The Roses?" I There is none more cooler.

I like pop music. I've said so many times...right here.  I will not don nose-glasses and a propeller hat while attempting to enjoy "I Want It That Way" by the Backstreet Boys, and I won't do it for Take That's brilliant single, "Back For Good," which got some additional street cred when used in the Christmas episode of "The Office." (The British version, that is.)

That leaves a dozen more for you to explore.

Have a good weekend mix.


Stop Hurting People- Pete Townshend
Minor Byrd- You Am I
It's Time- Elvis Costello
Out Of My Head- 20/20
Last Forever- The Busboys
Glass Of Champagne- Sailor
New Romance- Spider
Tell It To Carrie- The Romantics
Two Different Things- Caitlin Cary & Thad Cockrell
Prayer- Rock Springfield
Mixed-Up, Shook-Up Girl- Patty & The Emblems
Party Down- Little Beaver
Sally Go 'Round The Roses- The Jaynettes
A Knife & A Fork- Kip Anderson
Back For Good- Take That
Always Wanted More- Ron Wood
Stoney End- Beth Nielsen Chapman
Make Me Lose Control- Eric Carmen
So Long- Fischer-Z
Stranger On The Shore- Mr. Acker Bilk

And that's the ZIP on "Off The Shelves."


buzzbabyjesus said...

I'm going to download just to see if the Jaynette's version of "Sally Go Round The Roses" is as good as Pentangle's. The compilation series I started as "Now That's What I Call Bullshit", of which there are over 50, and the inspiration for my blog of the same name, is all about "Off The Shelf". Thanks.

Anonymous said...


I feel this way all the time. I want to hear new things but so much leaves me cold. I thought the Tedeshi Trucks was nothing special but you and several others whose taste I respect kept saying how good it was. You were all right and Inwas rewarded for keeping at that one. I bring this up because I try really hard to like new stuff, often at the expense of listening to what I already love.

Falling back in love with vinyl and real record stores has kind of remidied that for me. No more cd's at home. I have since rediscovered so many great records that Inhave a kind of permanent musical shit eating grin.

I'llmkeep pluggingmawaybwith new tuff but I have to remember the "off the shelves" records.

Shriner said...

"Tell It To Carrie" -- any version -- should have been another smash hit single from the Romantics.

I never got why they didn't attempt to rerelease it *after* "What I Like About You" and "When I Look In Your Eyes" were hits...

wool said...

Got to do some serious driving this weekend so this mix looks like a perfect companion. I'm not familiar with most of the songs so "new to me" works really well. Thanks

A walk in the woods said...

I’m unapologetically a fan of the radio, and a fan of the tried and true – so this will be fun. No music can ever strike a chord as perfect as all the albums I got during the year of my first-ever solo residence, an apartment I got soph year of college. Finally, finally, I could play whatever at any time of day – and had a few sheckles to spend on it from a minimum-wage job I had. Like you said Sal, everything I had then was good, because I had so little – had to be crafty with the 1-2 vinyls I’d try to get each week.

That was the same year (1987) when Rolling Stone Magazine came out with their “Top 100 Albums of the Past 20 Years” list to commemorate, well, their 20th anniversary. I know some of you are rolling your eyes b/c now Rolling Stone is seen as a mainstream publication with movie stars and glitz in its pages, but man – when I got that issue, it bent my mind. There were groups in there I’d never heard of (Modern Lovers, the Stooges, Southside Johnny) – or that I knew of but didn’t know how high they were held in critical esteem (Sex Pistols, Randy Newman, Sly & The Family Stone).

It blew my mind, and I started on a mission to buy everything in it.

Looking at that list now:'s/1987RollingStone.html
it looks mainstream as hell - even obvious. But at the time, it was “the new stuff,” especially to my young mind.

This’ll be a fun mix to hear.

portly neighbor said...

A Walk: That was me except 10 years or so earlier with the first Rolling Stone Record Guide - Fairport Convention, Firesign Theatre, Van Morrison, Richard and Linda . . . . There was so much cool stuff I had never heard/heard of (and yes, some crap, too). Years later I bumped into Dave Marsh at SXSW and thanked him for helping expand my musical horizons by putting out the book and he replied, " Oh, I thought you were gonna start yelling at me."

FD13NYC said...

Good going Sal, my sentiments exactly. As we all know as avid listeners and collectors it really is hard to find new music or old/new music. The search can become very tedious. Most of the time you have to really dig to come up with a few gems. I've been doing this for a few years now, searching various blogs to find mostly older undiscovered bands that may have a really good song or two, maybe three if your lucky. The real gratification is in the hunting.

The Off The Shelves idea is excellent. Because sometimes (or most of the time) we all have to go back to the music that grooved, soothed and moved us over the years. And by golly, there's certainly enough of it. You should definitely do this kind of mix more often, it's a real treat for everyone. If you ever need any help (which I'm sure you don't), I'll gladly chip in some tunes, anytime.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the chance to download another eclectic musical pot pourri. I'm a big fan of your weekend mixes. The show on which you saw Sailor was probably the BBC's Top of the Pops? Sailor had a few singles in the UK charts - Girls, Girls, Girls being a big fave of mine. Anyhow, keep on keeping on!

A walk in the woods said...

portly neighbor,

That's cool. I met Dave Marsh once too, about 20 years ago when he was doing that "Rock Bottom Remainders" tour with Stephen King et al. At that time, I was smitten with his book "The 1,001 Best Rock & Soul Singles Of All Time," which I still say is a great, great book that dares to look not at artists, not even the holy Album, but doggone it the cool little 45s we all grew up on.

Sal Nunziato said...


It was not Top Of The Pops. I must find out.

A guy called Tak said...

Interesting : Sailor's song sounds like an outtake from XTC's catalog.

wardo said...

I'm glad I read the entire post. There are songs on here that I thought deserved to be better than taken "off the shelves" as being in the minority of good tracks on a lousy CD. I probably heard Dan Neer recite "Stop Hurting People" the same night you did, and I wish that station was still on the air every night as I approached sleep.

Jerry Lee said...

Great piece Sal, I'm looking forward to listening to the mix. There were I few blogs I'd go to regularly to hear "new" music; I wanted to keep up with whatever was current, and not be stuck in the past with my "oldies". After a while I finally realized I didn't like the vast majority of what I was hearing, it just didn't move me like the old stuff did. There seems to be something missing, I'm not sure what it is, but very little jumps out and really grabs me. Thanks to yours and a few other great blogs, I'm discovering tons of great older music I missed the first time around.

Sal Nunziato said...

@ Jerry Lee

"There seems to be something missing, I'm not sure what it is, but very little jumps out and really grabs me."

I may be oversimpifying here but, there seems to be, at least to my ears, too much style and no substance.

There are no songs anymore. My current pet peeve is/are the Fleet Foxes.

They sure sound good. And their harmonies are purdie. And boy do they sound like The Byrds. And wow, they areb't Rihanna.

But so what...

Strip it all down and youre suffering for a melody. That seems to be my issue with so much.

Where are the hooks, Man? Where are those choruses?

buzzbabyjesus said...

The lack of songs is also a side effect of the fact that the "old stuff" was created by people who were influenced by music other than rock n roll. That's where the musicality came from. Today's rock music is influenced by rock n roll.

Jerry Lee said...

I agree, most of the time, there's not much of a melody, no hook, no great riffs. I'm not talking about rocking out either, there's no edge to a lot of the newer music, especially the quieter stuff. These bands are certainly talented, but they just don't move me, man.

That's another thing, a lot of what I hear by the newer bands sounds like they haven't listened to anything made before 1990, their influences don't seem to be very broad. I'm not sure any of them knows about doo wop, '50's R&B, forget about real C&W and '60s folk music.

Albert said...

Was it "Supersonic"?....???.....

Todd said...

I think it was "Supersonic."

It was a syndicated show here in the states. I remember Sailor, as well.

Todd said...

Here's a link with an episode guide

Sal Nunziato said...

@Todd and Albert

Yes! That must have been it. Followed by "Rock Follies."

oldkdawg said...

Great mix. I agree with Tak about the Sailor song. Had to look at my mp3 player to see if you had slipped in an Andy Partidge song. Also, the Spider song reminded me of Dale Bozzio's singing. Can't wait for your next mix.

buzzbabyjesus said...

Sometime in 1991 I was in a bar formerly known as "1A", in the East Village when "For What It's Worth" came on. I got the bartender to tell me who it was, and went to Tower Records the next day. The whole album "Freedom Highway" is worth hearing.

Jeff in Denton TX said...

"Back For Good" is the one of best Bee Gees songs of the past 30 years, even if it isn't really them. Fine collection as always, Sal. I still can't decide whether Fleet Foxes are are I band I like more in concept than execution. I find them pleasant enough, but can't say any particular song has grabbed me. It does seem harder to find good stuff nowadays, but maybe I'm just getting old. Thanks for finding the best of the new stuff and also sharing older music I missed the first time around.

charlie c. said...

Thanks Sal! I just read all 26 comments and I guess I have to go and Google “Track 3, Side Two of ‘Quadrophenia’" Like I got time for this?!?