Listeners to the old Radio Philistine show know how much I love power pop. That is, if they’re still alive. Etouffe and I spent many a Saturday afternoon spinning the likes of Big Star, Cheap Trick, Teenage Fan Club, the Bigger Lovers and, of course, Matthew Sweet on WPTS FM-92.1, among others. So you can imagine how excited I was to see Matthew Sweet as he toured through our sleepy hamlet recently. He played a jangly, delightful hour and a half set of old classics and new stuff from his terrific new CD, “Sunshine Lies.” And best of all, he had Ric Menck pounding out the beats. Here is a photo of me and the Menck.

Fans of power pop should know Ric Menck as the drummer/ singer/ songwriter of the seminal 90s band Velvet Crush. If not, run out and buy “Teenage Symphonies to God,” or at least download the song “Hold Me Up.” You should also buy “The Ballad of Ric Menck,” which is a fantastic solo record of assorted odds and sods. Menck has a soft, sweet voice that doesn’t jibe with his Soggy Bottom Boy look. The record recalls the Byrds and the 80s paisley underground L.A. Band, The Three O’Clock.

I also saw Menck a few years ago drumming with the Pernice Brothers. He certainly has good taste in bands in which to be a hired gun. When I mentioned seeing him at the Pernice show, he unbuttoned his shirt to expose a brown Pernice Brothers t-shirt, of which I own the exact same one. Her Mims fell to the ground in shock as she thought Menck was going to continue undressing, but it was not to be.

Menck has also penned a book about the Byrds’ “Byrds Brothers” album for the 33 1/3 series available in hipster record and book stores everywhere. To learn more about Ric Menck, become his chum on MySpace atĀĀ  Tell him the Philistine sent you.

By the way, had a great 45th Birthday spread out over a 3 day weekend. Her Mims made a culinary nirvana in the form of a honey nut squash lasagna, and Mother Number 1 made my Italian favorite, a vegetarian timpano (watch “Big Night” if you’re not sure). Scored loads of cool presents too, including but not limited to an iphone, Ketel One (my favorite breakfast drink), CDs (including “The Airborne Toxic Event), books (including 2 copies of Alan Moore’s “Watchmen” – more on that after I finish it – about half way through), hipster shirt, gift card for more hipster clothes, and a fox. More than a fox, really. A friend. Nay, a BFF.

Speaking of friends, President-Elect Obama and Erratic Senator McCain are meeting today with their respective wingmen, Rahm Immanuel and Lindsey Graham. Should be fun, especially when Obama mentions Joe the Plummer and asks McCain, “What were you thinking?”