I’ve been waiting for an excuse to hype Little Steven’s Underground Garage, the best show on terrestrial and online radio. And now I’ve got one: the end of The Sopranos (see how sharp we journalists can be). Every Sunday, Steven van Zandt—alias Little Steven in Springsteen’s E. Street Band, alias Silvio Dante—hosts his hour-long show that digs into the roots and most exciting new sounds of garage rock. It’s a show that’s heavy on early Beatles, always includes a healthy dose of Dylan (his recent show timed with Dylan’s b-day might be my all-time favorite; check it out on the archive), is full of intense, passionate, rock from anyone and everyone from the Strokes to the Stooges—and includes brilliant snippets from newsreels and interviews from the past 50 years. Imagine having your coolest friend, with the best musical taste, play records for you while commenting on why the music he’s picked matters to him, and telling stories about many of the people you’re listening to. It’s personal, passionate media that goes well with a scotch on the rocks.
One more story: a friend of mine who spent a year in prison said that waking up on Sunday mornings and putting on the cheap headphones she bought in the prison commissary and tuning into a local station that miraculously carried the Underground Garage was one of the things that kept her sane those months. Now, with the freedom to listen to it online whenever she wants, she clicks on the show and cranks up the volume whenever she’s cooking. And when she’s good she’s in a good mood.
This week’s show is called Bikini Beach. The man formerly know as Silvio writes on his site:
Oh man have I got some fabulous news for you! It’s summer baby, and we are celebrating life itself in the Underground Garage with the first summer dance party of the season! We got the Rascals, the Stones, the Beatles, Aerosmith, and the Turtles. New music from the Stooges, the Len Price 3, Hawaii Mud Bombers, the Woggles, the White Stripes, and even a rare track from U2. Find out what Arthur Conley, Frankie Avalon, and Tony Sheridan have in common. It’s the first rock and roll summer dance party, this weekend in the in the Underground Garage.
Do yourself a favor and get lost in the music.