Random Music Notes #6: Radio

Radio has sucked for about 30 years now, we can blame Lee Abrams for that (look him up, and you will see why I said that) which is a shame because I know how much it meant to my generation as a vehicle that let us sample multiple styles of music, from Top 40 mainstays in NYC, WMCA and WABC to the legendary WNEW-FM, I was privileged to grow up in a city that had the best of the best in radio. The jocks from Cousin Brucie to Scott Muni, Pete Fornatale and Vin Scelsa among others shaped my musical tastes.

So with that I implore you all who love rock radio and have Sirius/XM Satellite radio to become regular listeners to the Underground Garage, created by the one and only Little Steven Van Zandt (Silvio to those of you who are familiar with the Sopranos) in my humble opinion he is our country’s foremost expert on rock and roll and his channel plays his vision, unadulterated garage rock. Now don’t ask me to define exactly what “garage” is, but it will always have a lot of guitar, and is easier to say what it isn’t. It isn’t Metallica or Iron Maiden, it isn’t The Eagles or Poco, it certainly isn’t Yes or Emerson, Lake and Palmer…but it is great music. It is the Rolling Stones, it is Gaslight Anthem, it is the White Stripes, it is The Strokes, and it is The Kinks among thousands of others.

So I write this tonight because my drive home tonight was exclusively with Garage on the radio, and this 7 song set played by Little Dick Manitoba illustrates the greatness of the channel.  Speaking on Manitoba the “jocks” on the channel, including Steven, are all exceptional, they are experts on music, some being jocks (the great Kid Leo out of Cleveland) and others are musicians in their own right, they not only play great music and teach a little bit as well.

Tonight’s set:

Gaslight Anthem/American Slang, one of my favorite contemporary bands

Faces/Wicked Messenger, even today I can hear a classic rock song from the late 60’s that I have never heard before, and a Dylan composition no less. A great song sung by Rod Stewart at his best.

Donovan/Sunshine Superman, 40 plus years old and still great, and I learned this tidbit, the session guitarist who played on the recording was none other than the great Jimmy Page

Eddie Vedder/Missed the name of the song

Mooney Suzuki/Hot Sugar, another hot fairly contemporary garage band

Social Distortion/California, SD might be the epitome of garage music

Angels: Wow wow wee, and this is the summation of the Underground Garage, that they can play in all seriousness The Angels, a 60’s female group famous for the classic “My Boyfriend’s Back”,  a group that would usually only be heard on “oldies” stations. But the Garage lets them retain their greatness, and their coolness.

Check out the Underground Garage. I don’t know what I’d do without satellite radio.

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