Song Of The Day 1/27/2014: Tim Scott - "Swear"


Remembering KPOP: Sacramento comm radio's first foray into full-time new wave and punk programming was KPOP. They brought in consultants from KROQ in Los Angeles, which dictated the pulse of modern rock during 1983 and 1984, to help launch a version of their format in the Sacto area. It was not especially successful and the experiment lasted less than two years, although it felt like it lasted a little longer than that to me. The days seemed longer in youth, I suppose.

Having decided to follow that kind of music right around the time KPOP configured itself as a new wave outpost, it was therefore my chosen radio station during its existence. Back then kids would frequently define themselves via their adherence to a certain radio station, or their refusal to adhere. So after teething on the crisp Top 40 of San Francisco's KFRC-AM, somnambulating with the mellow-rock hayseed of K108 and rousing a little bit with KZAP's left-of-center album rock, KPOP seemed like a progression.

It was a pretty weird station, and I'm starting to understand why it didn't work. Looking back, very little of the music they played on KPOP stood the test of time. Which isn't to say it was bad music, just landlocked in its moment. Like Haysi Fantazee's "Shiny Shiny," which I wanted to present this week, but couldn't because of record label restrictions on embedding YouTube videos on external blogs, and I couldn't get it on Spotify.

Or this prickly, obsessive number by Tim Scott. Later, under the name Tim Scott McConnell, he formed The Havalinas, who are in the peripheral spotlight right now for recording the original version of the title track of Bruce Springsteen's current album High Hopes. In 1983 Scott released "Swear," a clean, grumbly piece of romantic panic. KPOP played it to death. One gets the sense they were still trying to get a handle on this whole new wave thing. There'll be four more songs from my personal memory of KPOP coming this week. It should be most uncomfortable.


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