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Monday, January 29, 2007

Melody Reunion Party update!

Well folks, it's just under three weeks to go until the Melody Bar reunion party. Chris Jordan of the Home News wrote a quick article about our event in last weeks paper on Friday, and it's available online too. Just google "Melody Bar Reunion Party" and you'll find it. More press is on the way as we get closer.

I have put together almost five hundred photos of people and flyers for an amazing slide show you won't want to miss. A limited number of copies of the slide show will be available at the door so get there early! I just hope that the slide show will run on whatever hardware they have at the Loop, or we may spend the entire event looking at one photo of Matt's head.

I continue to get a flood of emails and calls from people all over who plan on attending, including a few from California, Ohio, Virginia and Florida. Keep digging up old contacts and spread the word.

I've come up with a few more people I haven't been able to contact, so I'm hoping someone reading this might be able to track some of them down. These include Eric Gladstone (LA?), Erica Petrovitch, Peter J. Ward, Lee D'Onofrio, Tommy Grimski (crazy Tommy to those who loved him), John Michael(resident artist), and Victor Malafronte (FLA?). Daniel Howard is currently living near Austin Texas. He apparently contacted Matt, but his contact info was lost. I'd really like to see him, so if you know him, let me know.

Of course one of the most important missing persons is Dani Day. Last I heard he was now officially a she and may have moved to Florida. Anyone with updated contact info please send the party info along and make sure he(she) makes it! It just wouldn't be the same without Dani!

A good place to look for lost souls is on the Rutgers alumni website. If you are a Rutgers grad, then you can access this site and search by name, class year and major. Many of the Melody crowd went to Rutgers, so if you have name, or just a last name, you might be able to find them in the Rutgers database. I have found many people this way, some who didn't even know they were listed!

Another great place to try is It's free, and if the person's phone is publicly listed, you can find them anywhere in the US.

If any of you have a name but can't access the Rutgers database, just send it to me at and I'd be happy to search for you.

Oh and by the way, it looks like the event is going to be videotaped, so copies of that will likely be available.

Stay tuned to for more updates as the date approaches.

I'll see you on the 17th!

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Pat Pierson's Best Of 2006, And Other Things...

THICK AS A BRICK (Maybe, Maybe Not)

It's been a long week.

It's been a long January.

And I should get this all together. "This" being my picks for my favorites of 2006 and maybe a stab at trying to say something with substance. Get crap under the fingernails. Dig.

But real life has taken over (in a good way, mind you) so the sidetracking has been accepted as I let things slip away, so to speak.

But of course I can't let things go. I do want to ramble rant and get into some form of constructive babble, be it self-imposed, although other strains are in the mix. And I will get to that.


I had a very surreal dream about The Ramones the other night and it tipped the system into reflective mode, more so than usual. Thing is: a dream is usually a dream. Or at least when you wake up, you say, "Oh that was odd," and get on with things. What made this one different wasn't due to the fact that in real life, wolves (maybe a coyote) were in my backyard (yes, Caldwell) while very visible shooting stars and ├╝ber-thin crescent moons made after hours exciting. (Downside saw a girl get hit by a very real automobile outside the Loop Lounge Friday night, which shook everybody up quite bitterly along with last week's wind chills. Severe injuries aside, it wasn't as bad as we first thought.)

The essence of the dream and how it ended was what made it unique. First off: I never did get to hang with the Ramones, although, I did meet Monty. What stopped it all was my realization that this was happening back in time. The hand of fate was fate itself. It was for some kind of interview and the period was 1979 or thereabouts, located in some bizarre area reminiscent to the place where Joe Franklin taped his show when he did it in New Jersey (near the Meadowlands). After all the running around whilst getting things prepped, I stood there and realized I couldn't go in there and talk to Joey, Johnny and Dee Dee with full knowledge of their untimely fates. From there the dream fizzled.


A lot of talk and back and forth has gone on with Bob Lefsetz's emails about Patti Smith's induction into the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame and whether or not it washes and flies proper. Of course, it doesn't make sense to those who don't dig the artier side of rock and roll and/or the more primal side of punk rock. That was to be expected. I for one, have been very slow to catch up with Patti Smith, preferring to let the music fit into whatever part of my life I think it makes sense with. Slowly, I'm approving of the still overrated "Horses," which, as amazing as it is, doesn't knock me as hard as the best stuff on "Radio Ethiopia" (i.e. "Pumpin' My Heart," "Ask The Angels" and "Pissing In A River"). "Horses" may be the stronger and more profound album, but I prefer the HIGHS of the follow-up best.

Oddly enough there was a point taken about whether or not she was in the same league as the BIGGIES. Bob said:
These last two years have been curious. Blondie and Patti Smith? Sure, they had some traction, but are they in the same LEAGUE as the Beatles, the Stones, Led Zeppelin, U2, Springsteen...
My reply was as follows:
no, but she is ABOVE the Lovin' Spoonful & the Mamas & Papas...
As it was, we lost Denny Doherty two days after I wrote that. (On 1/22 Bob posted my reply amongst the rest of the interesting clamor.)

Not that it matters much, but in my heart I place the Mamas & Papas right there alongside Patti Smith, although good judgment tells me Patti was a heavier force for rock and roll and its evolution. Nevertheless, I probably listen to The Mamas & The Papas more than Patti, and in a pinch, I'd side with them, softy I am. I like positive vibes before the dark shit. Inevitably, they make complete perfect sense/balance in my world and I NEED them in equal measures.

I could write a lugubrious book about the Rock & Roll Hall Of Fame and its inadequacies and what I believe are the merits of inclusion and what should be done about the marginal brilliance and sheer importance of lesser knowns and cult figures as well as where the hall should place the less groundbreaking yet massively successful corporate rock and metal acts. It's in need of clarity. But all of this shouting down and up of Patti and those like Alice Cooper and Kiss is rather pointless beyond the fact that it gets everybody talkin' (thinking) about it. That much I like.

That said, it's easier to cop, "Fuck art, let's dance..." or something to that effect. Worrying about awards and Hall Of Fame merits can be a major waste of time and gets everyone riled up about degrees, biases and favoritism. (Useless shit.) Sure it's nice to give the right people their props, but in the end, it usually works itself out; be it an abstraction or something posthumous. The good usually wins out, or it least gets some form of recompense, whether or not it's financial or just ink on a page or a tune placed in an AARP or potato chip ad. Bah.


For some not-so obvious reason, there's no real huge motivation to wax gigantic about these records and the state of things. I'm chalking it up to my own personal situation. And maybe a gut feeling that says, let the music do the talking. And so, beyond a word or two about my faves, there will be a "youtube" link so if anyone's curious they can check it out.

1. PERNICE BROTHERS - Live A Little (Ashmont)

The hands down favorite, despite some really strong dudes in the top 5. Many see it as their most consistent, and I think that's probably true, although ever since the debut, "Overcome By Happiness," Joe Pernice has been on the top of everything. Brilliant. Simply brilliant.

Video: "Somerville"

2. JARVIS COCKER - The Jarvis Cocker Record (Rough Trade- UK import)

This choice was a quick one, and even though it's a wee bit irrational to place something at number 2 with four days to digest it, I'm sticking by the choice. And for Jarvis' sake, it feels like his best collection of songs since "Different Class." The single ("Fat Children") is a bit misleading (kinda post-punky) whereas the album goes deep into pop history, ripping Tommy James sweetly and revamping the tune he wrote for Nancy Sinatra.

Video: "Fat Children" (live)

3. ED HARCOURT - The Beautiful Lie (Heavenly/EMI- UK import)

Next to Joe Pernice, Ed is this era's most consistent pop songwriter. And this import-only album (his 4th) never lets go. For internet buzzers who continue to tag things with catch phrases like orch pop, chamber pop, etc., the idea of giving Ed his proper place in the mix has yet to take hold. Problem is that his records are above the likes of indie popsters like The Decemberists and Death Cab For Cutie. Ed never plays the novelty card and he ain't the least bit retro, despite adhering to an inspiration lost to most of this generation. Think of it as Jeff Buckley without the heavy rock gene, or Jon Brion with a voice as deep and cutting as Jeff Buckley's.

Video: "Rain On The Pretty Ones" (live)

4. BADLY DRAWN BOY - Born In The U.K. (Astralwerks)

He was over hyped and up until this album, was not the most consistent songwriter. He was prolific, but like Ryan Adams, gave the public a bit too much to sift out. On this album it finally changed. And the great songs really rise above expectations. Sounds like life hit him hard and this was the return.

Video: "Born In The U.K." (acoustic)

5. THE SLEEPY JACKSON - Personality [One Was A Spider, One Was A Bird]

Once I got beyond the quirky voice, this album took hold and never let go. Big scale stuff a la Mercury Rev, Polyphonic Spree, and The Flaming Lips but inspired by stuff like "Pet Sounds," George Harrison's "All Things Must Pass" and Todd Rundgren's "Something/Anything."

Video: "Devil Was In My Yard"

6. KEANE - Under The Iron Sea (Interscope)

An easy band to pooh-pooh and make fun of. They're dreadfully sincere. That said, it feels like songs this straight up and from the heart are hard to find these days. And despite familiar settings, the inspiration defies a "by-the-numbers" shtick. Soul music.

Video: "A Bad Dream" (live)

7. THE FRATELLIS- Costello Music (Universal/Island/Drop The Gun- UK import)

Derivative as they are, they throw in enough curves and have enough inspiration to make it fly. Smart kid, whoever that lead singer is. The drummer and bassist look disposable despite really rocking it up. And I have yet to tire of "Chelsea Dagger."

Video: "Chelsea Dagger" (live)

8. ARCTIC MONKEYS - Whatever People Say I Am, That's What I'm Not (Domino)

Hyped and all that. Good stuff once it has time to breathe. There is a lot clatter, but it does hold on with sharp teeth.

Video: Arctic Monkeys (live)

9. NEW YORK DOLLS - One Day It Will Please Us To Remember Even This

The title says it all. And of course there's no replacing the ones we miss. And they are missed dearly on this. But god bless David and Syl for kicking up a mess and getting on with it. Rock and roll.

Video: "Dance Like A Monkey" (video)

10. THE LEMONHEADS - The Lemonheads (Vagrant)

This one probably surprised me the most. My favorite batch of Evan songs since "It's A Shame About Ray." Both production and performance are absolutely stunning and inspired. Yeah, this is what we've always wanted, but who woulda thought it possible. He ain't the flake everyone thinks he is.

Video: "Become The Enemy" (live)


I kinda sided with a lot of glammy things, with The Flashcubes' cover of the Move's proto-glam obscurity "Hello Suzie" being the quintessential rock moment of the year for me. Cool to see it finally come to fruition 23 years later. I even got to film them nailing it to the walls at The Paradise in Boston at this year's IPO (see the youtube link below).

The Pernice's "B.S. Johnson" was one of many contenders from a CD full of top 10ers ("Somerville" and "Zero Refills"). It held tough and grew legs as I looked into the story behind the title. As I read about the late British author Bryan (B.S.) Johnson, I saw all the things that inspired Joe Pernice's masterpiece. One of the greatest songs ever written, period.

1. B.S. Johnson- PERNICE BROTHERS (Ashmont)
2. Hello Suzie- THE FLASHCUBES (
3. Let It Take U- GOLDFRAPP (Mute)
4. Chelsea Dagger- THE FRATELLIS (Universal/Island/Drop The Gun- UK import)
5. Dead- MY CHEMICAL ROMANCE (Reprise)
6. Born In The U.K.- BADLY DRAWN BOY (Astralwerks)
7. Dance Like A Monkey- NEW YORK DOLLS (Roadrunner)
9. Black Magic- JARVIS COCKER (Rough Trade- UK import)
10. Strasbourg- THE RAKES (V2)

Video: FLASHCUBES- Hello Susie (live @ The Paradise, Boston)


It's all about the Pernice Brothers. Live they pulled it off. The 'Cubes cut it fierce in glorious fashion. Nada Surf (Matthew Caws & Ira) did an amazing acoustic set at The Mercury. Even Johansen finally made it back to the U.S. (as Magnet). So did Ed Harcourt despite no stateside deal for his 4th album. Jesse Malin was brilliant at The Goldhawk with a stripped down set that included a cover of "Bastards Of Young" that pulled and pulled and pulled. Hamell On Trial explored more dialogue and sharpened his already brilliant live rep. APB and Mars Needs Women reunited fabulously.

1. PERNICE BROTHERS @ Mercury Lounge, NYC (12/08/06)
2. FLASHCUBES @ The Paradise, Boston (11/03/06)
3. NADA SURF @ Mercury Lounge, NYC (5/10/06)
4. MAGNET @ The Living Room, NYC (3/21/06)
5. ED HARCOURT @ The Living Room, NYC (8/19/06)
6. JESSE MALIN @ The Goldhawk, Hoboken (9/8/06)
7. HAMELL ON TRIAL @ Comix, NYC (11/29/06)
8. ROBYN HITCHCOCK & THE VENUS 3 @ Maxwell's, Hoboken (11/19/06)
9. KEANE @ Bowery Ballroom, NYC (6/23/06)
10. DRAMARAMA @ Surfstock, Ortley Beach (7/15/06)
11. SCREEN TEST @ Shifty's, Syracuse (7/21/06)
12. APB @ The Loop Lounge, Passaic Park (12/09/06)
13. MARS NEEDS WOMEN @ The Court Tavern, New Brunswick (1/20/06)

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

New Music On Altrok Radio...But It's A Secret.

Why? Because I keep forgetting to upload the list...

But if you tune in, you'll hear my chipper pre-recorded voice alerting you to the new never fear. Just listen.

(Well, okay - there's some Malcom Middleton, ex of Arab Strap, and the new !!! is in there too. And it's so good...)

Thursday, January 18, 2007

Hell Getting a Bit Chillier

Moments like these just make me shake my head and smile.

I've reported in the past on the wave of commercials featuring the original recordings of many alternative bands. These include the Ramones, the Clash, the Buzzcocks, Iggy Pop and numerous others. At this point, hearing a hip band in a car commercial isn't that unusual anymore.

But last night we took a step closer to putting some frostbite on the ol' devil. While watching the Sopranos on A&E, a commercial ran featuring the Buzzcocks' "Everybody's Happy Nowadays." I of course was thrilled, and as my wife attempted to get my attention to discuss the behavior of our son in school, I jabbed her in the side and asked her if she realized who the band in the commercial was. She didn't of course and was annoyed I wasn't paying attention to her. Then it was revealed that the ad was for AARP, the American Association of Retired Persons. I guess punks have to retire sometime too. When you do the math, you realize that the original wave of punks are all now in their early fifties. I hope a few of them actually have the money to be able to retire at this point. I'm sure Mick Jones does.

I am still waiting for the final line to be crossed, which will be an ad featuring the music of either the Sex Pistols or the Dead Kennedys. Both have songs whose music would be great for a sports car or a sports drink ad, although they might have to drop the vocal track. There's still hope!

Monday, January 15, 2007

Altrok Radio Music Update #143

This week, our Grinders (the stuff we play heavily) include music from:
  • Dustin's Bar Mitzvah
  • The Cinematics
  • Babyshambles
  • The Magic Numbers
  • Persil
  • Sky Larkin

Plus we've got newly-added music:

  • Bloc Party - The Prayer
  • Brakes - Hold Me In The River
  • The Chiara L's - Bad Hair Day
  • Clap Your Hands Say Yeah - Satan Said Dance
  • Fields - If You Fail We All Fail
  • Honeytrap - Let's Do Naked Dancing
  • Ladytron - Weekend (James Iha Mix)
  • LCD Soundsystem - North American Scum
  • Dan Le Sac & Scroobius Pip - Thou Shalt Always Kill
  • Little Thief - Lucinda
  • Monsters Are Waiting - Last Goodbye
  • Razorlight - Before I Fall To Pieces
  • Christine Smith - Find Me Again
  • The Uncertains - Only Time
  • The Video Nasties - The 3 New Ideas

Our Featured Classics:

  • Dramarama - Private World
  • Echo & The Bunnymen - Gods Will Be Gods
  • Failure - Enjoy The Silence
  • Mission Of Burma - That's When I Reach For My Revolver
  • Pixies - Velouria
  • Shriekback - Lined Up
  • The Smiths - Still Ill
  • Sparks - Upstairs
  • Ultravox - Sleepwalk

Thursday, January 11, 2007

But Before Then...You've Got A Friday To Plan.

By now you've read the big news about the Melody Bar Reunion on 2/17 (and if you haven't, see below). However, there's lotsa stuff going on you should be aware of, and these folks, Altrok supporters all, would be thrilled to have you grace their doorstep this Friday night.

In New Brunswick, NJ, the unassuming victualry known as A Doll's Place has seen fit to let Drew (who some of you may know as Mongo) spin his interpretation of the Melody Bar vibe. So if you need a place in New Brunswick to go, there's your winner - make sure you let him know you're there and that you wanna hear the good stuff.

In New York City (the West Village, to be exact) our own DJ Shred holds down the honors at Mr. Dennehy's. They're at 63 Carmine St. near 7th Avenue South there at the southern bit of Manahttan, and given that you're all familar with La Shred's estimable preferences for things Joy Divisiony, Depecheish, and Siouxsian.

Out on Long Island longtime Altrok friend DJ Cody brings the Subculture to life at Molly Blooms II every Friday night; traversing the distinctions between light New Wave and dark Goth (would that then be cafe au lait?) It's at 140 Merrick Rd Amityville, NY, on the corner of Rt.110, and it would be an awful shame if you were nearby and missed out.

And waaaay over in Oklahoma City, Ferris O'Brien occupies and secures the Electro Lounge with Spy Night every Friday - and you know what he's all about 'cause you listen to him every Thursday here on Altrok Radio, at either 11:30am or 11:00pm...right? The Electro Lounge is at 5929 N. May Avenue in OKC, and the doors open up at 9pm, so there's no need to embarrass yourself waiting outside a yet-to-open club. That's service.

There's no excuse for whining now; I've covered three states in two timezones, so you've got plenty of time to travel. Go!

And Lo, There Was A Melody Bar...

And on the 17th, they shall rock...

Ladies and gentlemen, let the word go out to all the faithful, to all those yearning for fun, to all those in search of an evening of wild dancing and schmoozing with long lost friends and former lovers...

I am pleased to announce that on Saturday February 17th at the Loop Lounge in Passaic at 5 pm, Matt Pinfield and I, Stiffy Biceptz, in coordination with Neck Bite Snake Dance Records and sponsored by the American Professional Tanning Association (APTA) and the Musician Fitness Council (FTC) will be hosting the first ever


This event is for Melody Bar refugees from the early days, circa '85 to '92, and is free for all. There will be a cash bar, an amazing slide show of photos taken by yours truly from back in the day, and nothing but authentic Melody Bar music from 85-92. So if you were a regular Melody Bar patron and miss what was likely the happiest time of your life, this is an event you do not want to miss. I have contacted an enormous number of the core regulars from those days and they are all going to be there without exception. There will be an amazing collection of alumni bouncers, bartenders and DJs in attendance, so here's your chance to tip them one more time now that you have the money to do so. And of course, Matt will be spinning!

There are a few old timers we have not yet been able to contact, so if you know how to contact them, or you ARE one of them, then let me know by emailing me at A few of the missing are Joe Canavan, big John the Bouncer (motorcycle man), Tim Fokker, Frank Blassuci, Kara Tibus, Torsten Herbertz, Irene Bogner, Misty Spencer, and Frank McGuire.

So your mission is to contact all of your old time Melody friends and tell them about this event, and make sure they make it. Matt will be spinning, I'll be dancing, what more could anyone want? Of course spouses are welcome, just as long as they don't mind meeting your debaucherous past. Mrs. Biceptz has wisely decided to stay home with the boys.

Remember, what happens at the Melody reunion party stays at the Melody reunion party.

For those of you who have been aware of this event for awhile, please note the DATE CHANGE TO FEBRUARY 17TH.

Anyone with photos from our time and would like to have them included in the slide show please email me a jpeg version right away. I will have copies of the slide show available for the first bunch of people who arrive, but no promises my supply of CD's will last.

Anyone with questions or issues or wondering whether they should be pre-tanned before attending, just email me at .

I'll see you there!


Tuesday, January 09, 2007

Much Better Than Nothing

Well kids, it's been awhile since I wrote something for Altrok, being very busy doing nothing at all, except looking for a job and interfering with my capable wife's handling of our two boys.

Having found work, I can now concentrate on writing articles about music again. Why I couldn't find the time or motivation to write anything with all day to burn is ridiculous. Why I now have the motivation and enthusiasm to write when fully employed is equally odd.

In any case, my new job comes with a nice perk. It is essentially mandatory that the radio be played loudly all day everyday. My new boss always has it cranked in his office, and we out in the bull pen do so also. It really helps make the day go by with music on.

Typically we have some XM satellite station tuned, such as Ethyl, Fred or Lucy, one of three major alternative music channels, or one of the ordinary top 40 type stations. Some are better than others.

I must confess that after a few years of sampling satellite radio, I don't find it as enjoyable as regular radio. Aside from the choices of music offered which are excellent, there's just something sterile about it. Satellite radio lacks the warmth, the humanness of regular radio. I can listen to it for a short while, but it doesn't hold me. And in most cases I'm just too cheap to pay for something that I can get for free.

I prefer radio-over-the-internet. There are thousands of web casts to listen to, and these include terrestrial radio stations as well. So if you can't receive your favorite radio station over the air, chances are they are streaming on the web. And these days most computers, especially the brand new one you just got at your new job are fully loaded with all the correct software that allows you to play radio stations right at your desk. Of course you should all be listening to the Altrok stream most of the time, so as to keep Sean in the opulent lifestyle he has become accustomed to.

So the other day, as the satellite radio was blasting out the same top 40 hits that are available for free on the majority of over the air stations, I suggested to my office mates that we listen to an old favorite station of mine for a change of atmosphere. I went to the G106.3 website and clicked on the button to start their web cast. The next moment we were bathed in the sounds of the Smiths, and I realized my new job was likely to work out pretty well. It wasn't long before my younger, easily influenced coworkers decided that they really liked the station. They sat in rapt wonderment as I told them the whole history of the station, and then topped it off by showing them Pinfield's name in my cell phone. They were under my complete control from that moment on.

Since moving to Hopewell, I haven't had too many opportunities to listen to G106.3. Everywhere I go I seem to be just outside their signal range, and it's not worth listening to through a wall of static. But when I have had the chance to listen, I have to say I've been pretty impressed. Since the station was sold in 2000, they've gone from trying to be a sort of adult alternative (bad top 40) to what they are now. It seems at some point they realized that they had a ready made audience for a more authentic alternative station, and if they just moved back to what made the station so respected back in the day, they'd likely do OK.

Having listened to the station for several weeks now, I have to say they are just about the best radio station in the Jersey area. They play a wide variety of new alternative bands that don't get picked up by top 40, such as the Bravery, Arctic Monkeys, Franz Ferdinand and the Kaiser Chiefs, and they mix in a significant percentage of the old stuff too. There's no other station that's going to play the Pixies or the Smiths, Dramarama, New Order or any of the bands from the late eighties and early nineties. Kudos to the music director who finally understood how many people from the old days would tune in just to hear the occasional classic. You can count me as one of those, but I like a lot of the new stuff too. And we all have money to spend, get it?

Now don't get me wrong, they are still only somewhat as good as the original, but that's pretty damn good when you consider what they became for awhile after the sale, and compared to the rest of the radio dial. In fact they are fairly profitable, and have the kind of ratings that the old WHTG was always hoping to get.

Ultimately, it's great how much choice we have when it comes to listening to music as compared to even just ten years ago. For me, a warm, live, local station that plays pretty much what I want is my preference. And it's free, did I mention that?

Monday, January 08, 2007

Altrok Radio Music Update #142

This week, our Grinders (the stuff we play heavily) include music from:
  • Mitch Easter
  • Depeche Mode
  • Protokoll
  • Little Man Tate
  • The Rifles
  • The Perfects
Plus we've got newly-added music:
  • Blood Red Shoes - You Bring Me Down
  • Cansei De Ser Sexy - Off The Hook
  • The Cinematics - Sunday Sun (Radio Edit)
  • Cold War Kids - We Used To Vacation
  • Dartz! - St. Petersburg
  • Deerhoof - +81
  • Goodbooks - Leni
  • Albert Hammond Jr. - Back To The 101
  • Kubichek! - Outwards
  • Noisettes - Sister Rosetta (Capture The Sprint)
  • Persil - Living Is Easy
  • The Shortwave Set - Casual Use
  • Shy Child - The Noise Won't Stop
  • Sky Larkin - One Of Two
  • The Special Relationship - Tearing Your Heart Out
  • Voltage Union - On Your Marks
Our Featured Classics:
  • The Bongos - Barbarella
  • Cult Hero - I Dig You
  • Ian Dury And The Blockheads - Reasons To Be Cheerful Pt.3
  • Gang Of Four - I Love A Man In Uniform
  • The Gun Club - Ghost On The Highway
  • Madness - My Girl
  • The Stone Roses - Waterfall
  • The The - Heartland
  • The Undertones - Teenage Kicks
  • XTC - When You're Near Me I Have Difficulty (Unused single version)

Friday, January 05, 2007

It's 80's Friday...Support Your Local Web Station!

Today you'll hear a big pile of the music we had available in the 80's, all day and through the night, in CD Quality MP3 Pro, as soon as you click the "CLICK 2 LISTEN" link.

Got a slow connection? We've put it up for you in glorious mono as well - check the "slower connections" link on the right of the page.

We do it every Friday, and we do it with a lot of tracks you won't necessarily hear on your average "Flashback" special...and that's 'cause we were there, and the stuff that sold well wasn't necessarily the stuff that we keep going back to. "I Ran" and "I Melt With You" have been shoved out of the way to make room for some really good stuff (often including the good stuff A Flock Of Seagulls and Modern English made that got completely overshadowed by their "one hit wonders".)

DJ Shred's taking the week off this week, but it's okay - for her to miss a show, someone hadda die. (Specifically, Gerald Ford, whose funeral closed the post office and screwed up our schedule.)

But never fear, 'cause TONIGHT she'll be assembling an all-new mix. Here's the particulars:

Mr. Dennehy's Pub
63 Carmine Street & 7th Ave South, West Village
9pm to 2am

Stop in - you could be helping to craft her next set for Altrok Radio.

The bands for today (1/7/2007) are:


ABC, APB, Adam And (as well as with the Ants)

B-Movie, Bad Brains, Bauhaus, The Beastie Boys, Big Black, Blue Zoo, The Bongos, David Bowie, Bronski Beat, The Buggles, Buzzcocks

Cabaret Voltaire, The Chameleons, The Charlatans UK, The Chemical Brothers, China Crisis, The Church, The Clash, The Comsat Angels, Julian Cope, Elvis Costello, The Creatures, The Cult, The Cure

The Damned, Depeche Mode, Devo, Thomas Dolby, Stephen 'Tin Tin' Duffy

Easterhouse, Echo & The Bunnymen, The English Beat, The Europeans

Fad Gadget, Marianne Faithful, The Fall, Fishbone, Fun Boy Three With Bananarama

Gang Of Four

Haircut One Hundred, Heaven 17, Higsons, Hilary, The Hoodoo Gurus, The House Of Love, The Human League


Joe Jackson, The Jam, Japan, Joy Division

Kid Creole & The Coconuts, Killing Joke

The Lords Of The New Church, Love & Rockets

Medium Medium, Midnight Oil, Ministry, Mink Deville, The Mission UK, Moev, Morrissey

Ned's Atomic Dustbin, New Musik, New Order, Nine Inch Nails, Gary Numan

Oingo Boingo

Robert Palmer, The Plimsouls, Polyrock, Pop Will Eat Itself, The Primitives, The Psychedelic Furs, Psychic TV, Public Image Ltd.

R.E.M., The Ramones, Red Box, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Renegade Soundwave, The Replacements, Stan Ridgeway, Romeo Void

Scandal, The Screaming Blue Messiahs, Scritti Politti, Seona Dancing, Sexbeat, Shriekback, Simple Minds, Siouxsie And The Banshees, The Sisters Of Mercy, The Skids, Slow Children, The Smithereens, The Smiths, Soft Cell, Spandau Ballet, Sparks, Squeeze, Sting, The Stranglers, Sugarcubes, Swinging Pistons

Talk Talk, Talking Heads, Tears For Fears, The The, Then Jerico, They Might Be Giants, Tones On Tail, Tuff Darts

U2, Ultravox

The Vapors, Violent Femmes

Wall of Voodoo, Way Of The West, The Woodentops


Thursday, January 04, 2007

Thursdays: Ferris O'Brien. This Week: A Session From The Sounds

Tune in at 11PM Eastern, 'cause Ferris O'Brien had the good fortune a little ways back to speak with The Sounds...and lucky for you, there was a microphone in that room (specifically, Area 51 at SpyRadio)...

...they were even gracious enough to lay down a coupla session tracks.

You'll hear those tracks, that interview, and all the other great stuff Ferris has on tap if you tune in to Altrok Radio tonight at 11PM!

Plus, stick around for the Altrok Radio FM Showcase with Sean Carolan, starting at 1AM Eastern - with some fine tracks from The Rakes, Pop Will Eat Itself, The Long Blondes, and a whole bunch more (we've gotta fill our two hours somehow...)

Wednesday, January 03, 2007

Altrok Radio Needs More People Like You.

You're an Altrok Radio listener. (Right?)

We're glad you are. Really, truly, ineffably.


...we need more listeners. Very simply, our whole reason for being depends on there being more listeners as time goes on.

As for us, we're trying to get the word out, with a lot of success. (After all, you're tuned in, right?)

But we can always use help. That's where you come in, 'cause there's a lot more of you than there are of us. (Honestly, there aren't many of us.)

So tell a friend, or two, or ten, about the fact that we exist, and that we play really great new music you might not have caught yet, and really great classic tracks you might love (even if you don't know it yet.)

Point 'em at our MySpace page: or at our main page,

Heck, get 'em to check some of our advertisers at the main page - your interest in them helps fund us.

And if you, or they, have a hard time getting connected, let us know - we can help.

Whaddaya think? Can you pitch in?

Many thanks, in advance.

Tuesday, January 02, 2007

Reminisce? Nah...Right?

2006 was a pretty great year for music, all things considered. The biggest deal, to my mind, was the surge that catapulted Cee-Lo and Dangermouse's 'Gnarls Barkley' project to the top of the charts (and not coincidentally, made some extra beer money for Violent Femmes, whose "Gone Daddy Gone" benefited from Gnarls' cover and rode "Crazy's" coattails to became a hit all over again - for the first time, technically.)

That was the biggest thing - the best thing was the rise of Forward Russia! and of The Long Blondes, who I'm hoping we'll hear lots more from in 2007, since their albums await release here in the US.

But from my perspective, there's so much of 2006 that will wash over into 2007, and so much more that's coming out now as part of the new year proper, that there's little to no time to sit back and reminisce.

And so, we won't. We'll get the top hundred of '06 posted when we get to it, but this week, we've gotta focus on the new, so that's what you'll get when you tune in to the FM Showcase this Friday night...

Right now on the Web Station, however, it's a very nice permutation of the standard mix, including classics from Bjork, The Boomtown Rats, David Byrne, The Chameleons, The Clash, Elvis Costello, Department S, Devo, Front 242, Gang Of Four, The Jam, New Musik, New Order, Psychedelic Furs, Psychic TV, Public Image Ltd., Pulp, R.E.M., Renegade Soundwave, The Smiths, Soft Cell and Matthew Sweet...

...and those classics, tallied with the other classics we've included, only make up about a third of the music you'll hear...the rest of it is new (and wouldn't you know, includes Gnarls Barkley, Forward Russia! and The Long Blondes. Ain't serendipity a hoot?)
Please Look At Our Advertisers (Or The Website Gets It)
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Welcome to, also available at and Here's where the remaining listeners of several fine radio stations have retreated, regrouped, and built a replacement strong enough to stand on its own. It builds on the independent legacy of New Jersey's FM106.3, New York's WPIX and WLIR, Oklahoma's 105.3 The Spy, the pre-buyout mindset of KROQ, WBCN and WHFS and of every other alternative station that was destroyed at a moment's notice - not because they weren't making money, but because there was bigger money to be found elsewhere.
We've stood by as truly independent alternative rock radio died. Sure, something called "alternative" took its place, but we know for sure that anything that "tests well" with soccer moms just ain't alternative. (Even if some of us happen to be soccer moms.) So we've taken matters into our own hands.
This really is independent alternative rock radio, visible here at and audible at our web radio station. It has the classic music that fired our passions back in the day - or that we maybe only heard about from our elders - but it's mostly made of the new music that does precisely the same for us now. We're paying attention to scenes all over the world, watching the energy build, and waiting to see what it creates. Wherever it happens, we'll make sure you can hear about it here. We've been slowly building all this since 2001, and now that you've noticed us, we're glad you're here.
Of course, it's only here because you want it to be here, and it can only stay if you help it along - especially by checking out our advertisers (they support us) and by listening (the more that listen, the more visible we are.) Please use the "feedback" link above to let us know whether it works for you, and what you want it to be as the future unfolds. (And if you need help hearing it, let us know that, too.)