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Top Five Fridays: Radiator Hospital

April 1, 2016
Hey Folks,

 It might be April Fools Day everywhere else, but here at All The Day Sounds it’s time for another Top Five Fridays, the part of the show where I get to talk to some purveyor of musical goodness about five LPs that make their watch tick and their heart beat.  Now it’s no secret how I feel about Philly’s music scene, and I’ve been lucky enough on this lil ol’ blog of mine to talk about records with City of Brotherly Love music stalwarts like Stupid Bag Records, The Goodbye Party, Left & Right, creepoid, BATTY, DRGN KING, Salinas Records, and The Plums.  Ok so Salinas is based in Detroit, but they put out some of my most favorite Philly records.  Today I am so thrilled to be able to hang out via the magic of the internets with Sam Cook-Parrott, the man behind Philadelphia DIY power pop powerhouse Radiator Hospital.


I’m not sure how I first heard of Radiator Hospital, but I do remember the first time I heard Radiator Hospital.  The track was “Our Song” off of their 2013 record “Something Wild.”  From the moment that Sam’s unaccompanied vocal spits out the opening line,”Dreamin’ of the last time that you said you wanted to dance!” the track hurtles forward feeling all at once catchy, introspective, and effortless.  Few people have ever made feeling insecure about your relationship sound so good .  Not only do I love the music Sam is making, I am also a huge fan of how he navigates the musical world of 2016.  I can’t say how many great bands I’ve gotten into because Sam used Radiator Hospital social media outlets to spread the word about them.  In fact, Sam posting about his love for The Goodbye Party led to their Top Five Fridays last year!  Since writing and sharing music are two things that Sam Cook-Parrot does particularly well, I am so thrilled that he agreed to curate his own T5Fs.  In addition to the usual five records, today we actually have a bonus album for you all, as Sam was good enough to give us the skinny on “Wedding Album,” the excellent new collaborative venture between Radiator Hospital and Great Thunder.  So with out further ado,  Give it up!
Top 5 records you can find easy for $5 or less
The way people listen to music is pretty wild these days. The other day I was at a house for a show and before the show they were playing the new Kendrick Lamar record that had dropped that day. I realized in that moment that I had also heard it in a coffee shop earlier, probably a mere hour after it had been first released. At the show, I saw a band called Natural Sway for the 3rd time, and though I have never heard their songs recorded, I knew some of the words.What does that mean? I don’t know, but it’s pretty neat to think about, all the different songs in people’s heads that no one else has heard yet, how music gets to us from strange places and in strange ways. Anyways the point of this ramble is, Here are 5 great records that aren’t relevant or pressing today, but that you should be able to find for less than 5 bucks without much looking. Not every record store/ record show dealer/ thrift store/ garage sale will have them priced the same, but I assure you these records would make a beautiful addition to any collection, and should be easy to find for a good price. If you haven’t heard any of these, it’ll be more fun to just stumble upon them than to look them up.
Last year I set out to buy every Donovan record. There are a lot and not all of them are good. This one is by far my favorite. In the same groovy rocking space as Big Star and T. Rex at their drunkest/ weirdest, with great 1970 hippie lyrics that definitely still have meaning in the fucked dystopian Trump reality we are living in. Also a pre-Bowie song called Changes with the line “Don’t let the changes get you down, man.”
Any record collection will be improved by the presence of any Roches album, but if I had to pick a personal favorite, it’s this pre-Roches LP featuring just Maggie and Terre. The songs are incredible and their richness shines through on repeated listening. The Muscle Shoals band supports them flawlessly, and there are gorgeous harmonies throughout.
Great party record. If you don’t know how to dance, put this on and you will figure it out pretty damn quick. Rockpile was pretty much the greatest rock and roll band of all time, and this is the sole LP credited to their name, but if you want to check out more of their music I suggest Nick Lowe’s “Pure Pop For Now People” and “Labour Of Lust,” Billy Bremner’s “Bash,” Dave Edmunds’ “Repeat When Necessary” and “Trax On Wax,” all of which can also be found for a very low price in most used bins.
Great bubblegum LP by the guys who wrote a bunch of the Monkees songs. Featuring an incredible cover, a lot of really great dance-y 60’s grooves, and possibly my favorite song title of all time, “I’m Digging You Digging Me.”
Stevie Wonder is the greatest musical mind of the 20th century. From “Where I’m Coming From” through “Songs In The Key Of Life,” he created some of the most incredibly beautiful and detailed pop compositions ever recorded. Talking Book is an absolutely flawless album, which covers so much lyrically and musically. Listening to it will make you think about stuff better than you did before. You are getting way more than your dollar’s worth with the purchase of any 70’s Stevie LP.
Bonus Record: 
The Great Thunder Radiator Hospital Wedding Album is an idea that took us about 2 years to finally finish. We had talked about wanting to do the type of split record where we cover each other’s songs, and then at some point along the way it morphed into: One record made by the same band, covering the songs of the 2 projects, as well as reworking some of our older songs and adding some new ones. Basically it’s a band that exists in it’s own little world on this record. The 3 of us have toured together a bunch and played in different bands together, but have never made an album together, so this was a fun way to do it pretty low pressure. Unfortunately do to everyone involved having very busy schedules, we will probably not do any shows with this project, we just wanted to make a nice little record for people to add to their collections to pull out on a rainy day. The idea behind it really ties into my picks for the Top Five, just that rock and roll music should be cheap and accessible for people to have in their record collections.

Thank you so much Sam! Keep all that musical goodness coming!

Radiator Hospital is on twitter, facebook, bandcamp, and they have a wordpress which swings as their official site on which Sam wrote some killer words back in 2015 about creating music in this age, fame, and what it means to be punk these days.  I strongly recommend.
Also word on the street is that Radiator Hospital will be playing a gig at PhilaMOCA Thursday May 12th…don’t you go missing that.

Remember you can check out past Top Five Fridays over on the ARCHIVE, and come back next week for another exciting installment!

well peace out good people of the world,

Peter Winter

Peter Winter rarely is seen drinking a beer without his trusty Cayetana beer koozie.  He’s on twitter @peterwinter38
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