Wednesday, April 08, 2020

Closed for Monkey Business

Nothing wrong -- or virus related except the obvious cabin fever.

Regular posting -- including a fantastic new power pop song from some new friends in Norway -- resumes on the morrow.

Tuesday, April 07, 2020

It's the Smallest World in the World

From 2019 B.V. (before the virus), please enjoy Australian rock goddess Sarah McCleod in her home studio with an utterly transplendent version of the venerable "House of the Rising Sun."

As I inferred in the intro, McLeod is kind of a household word Down Under, mostly for her role as the frontwoman of a band charmingly monikered The Superjesus. You can read more about her life and career over at Wikipedia here.

I am somewhat embarrassed to admit, however, that I hadn't been aware of her until yesterday, when I was at YouTube looking for this Floor Models song...

... which was written from life by our 12-string ace Andy Pasternack in the late 80s, and -- to the best of my knowledge -- about some other Sarah McLeod.

And that "House of the Rising Sun" video popped up instead.

Needless to say, I immediately found an intertube link for Ms. McLeod, and informed her of the charming coincidence.

Her pithy response was, simply, "oh wow."

[h/t Peter Scott]

Monday, April 06, 2020

Who Listens to the Radio? (An Occasional Series)

Long time readers are aware that friend of PowerPop Wayne Lundqvist Ford dee-jays the greatest podcast music show in the world.

Here's the playlist for his most recent show. You will note that it features some band called The Floor Models. A bunch of guys including a bass player whose name rhymes with Sleeve Nimels.

You can -- and should -- listen to the show at the link here.

And thank you, Wayne. Stay safe and healthy during this crisis.

Friday, April 03, 2020

And on the Third Day He Rose

In honor of President Schmucko's favorite holiday -- Easter -- here's the greatest photo of all time.

The late Jeffrey Hunter (Captain Pike on the original Star Trek pilot), as the Big J.

In Nicholas Ray's 1961 remake of Cecil B. DeMillle's King of Kings.

In which Christ ascends to Calvary in a pair of green Italian hushpuppies.

I am not sure if you can see that in the film itself; it's a production still that was in the book included in the deluxe MGM LP version of the movie's Miklos Rozsa film score.

That's truly gorgeous, BTW; Rozsa remains one of the greatest of all film composers.

In all seriousness, I bought that LP when I was a kid in the early 60s, being a big Rozsa fan, and I treasured that photo as hilarious from day one. I lost the book years ago, so I actually went to eBay in 2018 to get a new copy and scan the photo.

I should add that I bought said LP at the fabulous Teaneck Record Store on Cedar Lane in my home town. Remember record stores?

It's long gone, obviously, but it was where the restaurant on the left was in that more recent photo of Cedar Lane. I used to ride my bike there of a Saturday afternoon and browse; they didn't have rock 45s, but I used to dig going through the stacks anyway.

Have a great weekend, everybody!

Thursday, April 02, 2020

Adam Schlesinger 1967--2020

A very great man has passed.

I never met the guy, which is a major regret of my life. But obviously he was one of the reasons NY Mary started this here blog and why I have been doing it all these years since she gave me the metaphorical keys to the car.

I will simply say that I am heartbroken.

And filled with cold fury at the schmucks -- both in and out of the administration -- who enabled this plague. Damn them all to hell.

Wednesday, April 01, 2020

Okay, Now I'm Starting to Get Really Mad

Depending on which news reports you read, Fountains of Wayne co-frontman Adam Schlesinger...

...(or, as I usually refer to him, Fountains of Wayne co-frontman Adam Schlesinger, who is a goddamn genius) is down with the virus, and either on a respirator or in a medically induced coma.

Words fail me, especially as I had been listening to this masterpiece of his literally hours before somebody sent me a link to one of the news reports.

Look, I am well aware that the title of this here blog is PowerPop, not Pissed Off Lefty, so I'm not gonna belabor the point but -- fuck you, Trump voters. If Schlesinger does not recover, this is fucking totally on YOUR heads, just like every other death from the virus so far.

Oh, and have I mentioned fuck you, Trump voters? And also fuck you every pretend progressive who told us we had to understand the economic anxiety of those Trump voters, who really weren't simply moronic bigots, neo-Confederates and neo-Nazis so it was alright for them to not vote for Hillary because her e-mails?

Thank you.

Tuesday, March 31, 2020

Let Us Now Praise Famous Men

And almost in time for Passover, here's friend of PowerPop (and moi) Marc Jonson and his (dare I say infectious?) musical response to our current crisis, "Crank Up the Marshall."

Seems like good advice, I think.

Long-time readers know who Marc is, but just to reiterate, he's kind of a genuine power pop legend/cult figure. He's written songs that have been covered by The Roches, Dave Edmunds, and Robert Gordon; a little closer to home, he also wrote this song for The Floor Models back in the day...

...and graciously contributed the astounding background vocals when we finally got around to recording it last year.

I should also add that his album 12 in a Room... an absolute genre masterpiece that should be in everybody's collection.

And that he will always be aces in my book for having sung the background vocals on Willie Nile's classic first album.

Oh, and have I mentioned that in 2018 he did this transplendent song in honor of the late great Pat DiNizio of The Smithereens?

I've said it before and I'll say it again -- I have been blessed over the years to have ridiculously talented friends.

And if I haven't said it before -- thanks Marc. For everything.

Monday, March 30, 2020

Consumer Notes From All Over

Finally, a ray of sunshine amidst the darkening gloom of life in the time of the Trump Virus.

The Floor Models new (but recorded in 1982) live album is now available pretty much everywhere, including YouTube (if you want to listen free) or for download at Amazon, Spotify, iTunes and the rest of the usual suspect digital platforms.

I only wish our late great good friend and drummer Glen Robert Allen, who passed in February, was still around to have seen/heard it.

BTW, in case you were wondering why it's taken this long to get the damned thing out, it's totally my fault; when I submitted it for digital distribution to CD Baby (where it's been solely available for over a month) the date I gave for its official release to other platforms was 3/29/20 -- in other words, a fucking typo on my part. I actually yelled at CD Baby about this, but there was nothing they could do, and like I said -- it was totally my fault.

I should also add, and I've told this story before, that The Records' classic in the clip was one of the first songs the Floor Models played as a group. In fact, we used to do it so often in our club shows that everybody in Greenwich Village thought we wrote it. A notion that, if memory serves, we did less to disabuse people of than perhaps we should have.

Friday, March 27, 2020

Weekend Listomania: Special "Goodbye Rosie, the Queen of Corona" Edition

Well, it's Friday, and you know what that means.

Yes, my Oriental Germ Dispensary Supervisor FAH LO SUEE and I will be heading off to fabulous Wuhan, China to take advantage of the new low prices offered by local Wuhan restaurants on their legendary bat's head soup.

That being the case, here's a fun project for the rest of us until our return:


For obvious reasons, obviously, and no arbitrary rules whatsoever.

And my totally top of my head Top Six totally is:

6. Casey Abrams and Puddles Pity Party -- Smells Like Teen Spirit

Somewhere, Kurt Cobain is laughing out of his ass over this one.

5. Andrew Gold -- Lonely Boy

I fucking love that song and always have. And I forget who said it, but every time you get a hit single based on the chords to "La Bamba," an angel gets its wings.

4. Paul Anka -- Lonely Boy

How do you say "dreck" in Canadian?

3. The Beatles -- Nowhere Man

I predict a bright future for those youngsters from Liverpool.

2. Neil Diamond -- Solitary Man

Yeah, yeah, I know Neil's 70s stuff is mostly over-produced kitsch, but his 60s folk rock/Brill Building stuff is out of this world and I'm not ashamed to admit it.

And the number one all time ode to angst-ridden solipsism simply has to be...

1. Simon and Garfunkel -- Sounds of Silence

Ah, one can never be as alone as one is in the subway. One can only hope that the gazillions of dollars S&G subsequently earned after this record turned them into superstars took some of the sting out of their deep personal generational hurt.

Alrighty then -- what would YOUR choices be?

And have a great weekend, everybody!!!

Thursday, March 26, 2020

An Early Clue to the New Direction: Special "Passover in the Time of Corona" Edition

Don't know who photoshopped this, but it cracked me the fuck up, I'll tell you that for free.

In any case, a coveted PowerPop No-Prize© will be awarded to the first reader who gleans its relevance to the theme of tomorrow's Weekend Listomania.

Wednesday, March 25, 2020

Reasons to Be Cheerful

Well, despite the fact that we're living in Poe's "Masque of the Red Death," here's some actual good news.

To wit: One of my longest-time musical heroes, Graham Gouldman -- he of 10CC, "Bus Stop," "Heart Full of Soul," "Look Through Any Window" fame -- has a new, and terrific, album out.

Charmingly titled Modesty Forbids.

That particular song really does it for me. And it reminds me that one of my favorite things about Gouldman's songwriting is that you can often tell that he's of Russian-Jewish extraction simply by listening to the music.

In any event, you can -- and should, as I just did -- download the album over at Amazon HERE.

And a big tip of the Simels chapeau to our pal Sal Nunziato -- of the invaluable BURNING WOOD BLOG -- for alerting me to the release of this gem.

Tuesday, March 24, 2020

Monday, March 23, 2020

Today We Are a Video (Part Le Troisième)

From our just released (but recorded in 1982) live album Floor by Four, please enjoy the fabulous Floor Models and the official video for our prescient ode to urban paranoia "What's Wrong With This Picture?".

The above is from the same show as the videos for "Free Advice" and "Shadow of the Flame" I posted recently. And as with those clips, the audio -- in glorious stereo -- was dubbed from a performance at the same venue taped five months earlier (the video shoot, alas, was in mono). And once again, kudos to our pal Steve Schwartz for synching the two more or less flawlessly.

I should add that the song itself is by our late great 12-string ace Andy "Folk Rock" Pasternack, who's singing it, and I believe it was his idea to put the quote from Paul Revere and the Raiders at the end of the instrumental break.

Oh, have I mentioned that you can and should download the album over at CD Baby HERE? Or that it will be available at all the usual digital platforms -- Amazon, iTunes, Spotify et al -- by the end of the month?

POSTSCRIPT: Friend of PowerPop Capt. Al, who shot the original video footage, asks me to tell you guys he wasn't drunk at the time. He was, instead, trying, heroically, to deal with a primitive early 80s video camera that was, shall we say, not well suited to the low light available at the club. So cut him some slack. :-)

Friday, March 20, 2020

Weekend Listomania: Special "All Children From Now On Should be Named After Prescription Drugs You See Advertised on TV" Edition

Well, it's Friday, and you know what that means.

Yes, my Oriental Disease of the Month carrier FAH LO SUEE and I will be heading to Mount Sinai Hospital for an organ removal of some sort or another. Perhaps that pesky appendix thingie I should have had extracted years ago.

In any case, while we're gone, here's a fun little project for the rest of you all:


No arbitrary rules whatsoever, and obviously this was inspired by our current health crisis.

And my totally top of my head Top Five are:

5. Emerson Lake and Palmer -- Brain Salad Surgery

In the immortal words of Mel Brooks (as The 2000 Year Old Brewmaster) -- "Hey, THIS is bad."

4. Dr. Feelgood and the Interns -- Doctor Feel-Good

Obviously, we could have just as easily posted something by the Brit Dr. Feelgood featuring the amazing Wilko Johnson, but for some reason I felt like a historical purist today.

3. The Young Rascals -- Good Lovin'

Uh, doctor? Doctor? Mr. MD?

2. The Rolling Stones -- Dear Doctor

You knew this one was gonna be in here, right? Of course you did.

And the number one prescription medicine song in rock history, it isn't even a contest, quite definitely is...

1. The Beatles -- Doctor Robert

I should add that I can't even imagine how the Fabs got away with this without a lawsuit from the actual doctor Robert, who apparently was a genuine celebrity in hep circles in NYC at the time.

Alrighty then -- what would YOUR favorites be?

Have a great weekend, everybody!!!

Thursday, March 19, 2020

An Early Clue to the New Direction: Special "Professional Expertise" Edition

From sometime in the early 70s, please enjoy the late great Jim Croce and a lovely live version of his hit "Operator."

A coveted PowerPop No-Prize© will be awarded to the first reader who gleans its relevance to the theme of tomorrow's Weekend Listomania.

Wednesday, March 18, 2020

The Folk Process At Work

And speaking of Simon and Garfunkel's "The Boxer" as we were the other day -- from 1976, please enjoy Stu Daye and the damndest cover of it you'll ever hear.

I honestly have no idea what I think of that; I suspect that if I'd never heard the original, I might think it was the greatest thing ever, but I really can't make up my mind.

And in case you're wondering, the melody Stu substituted for the S&G version is from this old Burl Ives folk song cover.

The backstory:

I knew Stu when he was the frontman of a fantastic New York City new wave band called The Mix (I had no idea he had ever done a solo album).

In any case, The Mix were managed by Leber & Krebs, who also handled some loser band called Aerosmith (the Mix's album -- American Glue -- came out on L&K's custom label in 1980 and has never been on CD), and they were a genuinely exciting live act. Stu, in particular, was as annoyingly talented and natural a rocker as anybody I've ever seen -- think Steve Marriott with Pete Townshend's guitar moves.

Still, although they were quite a big deal in the New York area for a while, they never broke through; if I had to guess why, I'd say it's because the record didn't really do them justice. For which I blame rather lackluster production by the late Felix Pappalardi.

That said, please enjoy my personal favorite track from the album (for reasons that will become apparent shortly), the sublimely Beatle-esque "Forever."

Incidentally, the band's drummer was the great Corky Laing, of Mountain fame. The bass player (who wrote and sings "Forever") was David Grahame, an old bandmate of mine who I haven't heard from in a while but who's apparently become something of a power pop cult figure over the years. It thus pains me to mention that to (perhaps) his eternal shame, his major credit remains co-writing the soul-destroying Mr. Big hit "To Be With You."

I should also add that the guitar riff that intros and outros "Forever" was composed by yours truly, and I'm still waiting for my damned writers credit and/or royalties.

Tuesday, March 17, 2020

Love in the Time of Cholera

From 1961, please enjoy Hugh Barrett and the Victors and the greatest rock/r&b song ever written that sort of references a dangerous medical contagion -- "There Was Fungus Among Us."

I'm posting this for obvious reasons, obviously.

That said, a coveted PowerPop No-Prize will be awarded to the first reader who comes up with an actual song that includes the word "virus." Frankly, I couldn't think of one.

Monday, March 16, 2020

Your Monday Moment of And Speaking of Gorgeous

From 2019, please enjoy guitarist Mike Daly -- from his album Renascence -- and British pedal steel god B.J. Cole and a transplendent version of Richard Thompson's "Dimming of the Day."

You can learn more about Mike (who incidentally is a different guy than the New Jersey rocker Mike Daly I've raved about on previous occaasions) over at this link HERE.

You also can -- and should -- get a copy of Renascence over at Amazon HERE.

Incidentally, if you're not familiar with B.J. Cole, who basically has been THE pedal steel guy in England during the early 70s country rock, pub rock and early punk days -- and still is -- you should check out the album this little beauty is from.

Ravel on pedal steel. It doesn't get more exquisite.

And also, if you're unfamiliar with the often covered Thompson song, here's my favorite version of it.

It occurs to me I haven't had anything to say about Any Trouble and Clive Gregson recently, which is an oversight I will remedy tomorrow.

You're welcome very much.

Friday, March 13, 2020

Your Friday Moment of "Hey, This is Bad!"

From 1983, please enjoy (unlikely) Elvis Costello and Count Basie collaborating on "Lil' Darling."

It guess it sounded good on paper, but in real life -- not so much. BTW, I think Costello's country album is pretty awful too.

Have a great weekend, everybody!!!

Thursday, March 12, 2020

Ain't Gonna Play Sun City

From 1965, please enjoy South Africa's The Staccatos and their cover of The Byrds' "He Was a Friend of Mine."

A pleasant enough version -- the strings are a nice touch -- although not as good as the original, obviously. I also find it somewhat odd that a bunch of South Africans are singing about how President Kennedy was their friend.

Interesting historical note: Gram Parsons quit the Byrds over their decision to play some shows in South Africa.

BTW, if you want to hear the rest of the Staccatos output, you can download a CDs worth of it (for free) over HERE.

Wednesday, March 11, 2020

Greetings From Forest Hills New York

And speaking of Simon and Garfunkel's "The Boxer," I had forgotten how funny this is.

In any case, I posted that the other day at a political website I hang out at -- don't ask -- and one of the regulars mentioned that she had heard a very funny parody of it by Cleveland based comedian/singer Michael Spiro. So I thought I'd share.

And yes, it's a hoot, especially the line about how his sex life hasn't been the same since he sprained his wrist.

You can find out more info about Spiro -- including where to get some of his CDs -- over at his website HERE.

Tuesday, March 10, 2020

Your Tuesday Moment of the Worst Fucking Thing Ever

From 2019, it's the horrible Satanic evil that is Maroon 5 and their inexplicable (and inexplicably awful) hit single "Memories."

Seriously -- as you can hear, it's a version of Pachelbel's fucking Canon(!) with incredibly stupid lyrics(!!) and A FUCKING AUTO-TUNED VOCAL BY THAT UNCTUOUS SCHMUCK ADAM LEVINE!!!

I was fortunate enough not to have been exposed (I use the term usually associated with the coronavirus deliberately) to that song until last week. And I'm gonna be ranting about these putzes a lot more in the next couple of days/weeks, but let's just establish the bottom line:

This is the absolutely worst fucking "rock" band who ever sold 120 million plus records. And the fact that an asteroid didn't hit them on-stage at their most recent concert, wherever that was, is proof positive of the non-existence of God.

Oh by the way, they stank it up on Saturday Night Live as well. Even though they were, unlike some other musical acts (ahem) on the show, at least technically performing live.

By which I mean that they weren't dead.

Seriously -- in my entire professional career as a music listener, there has never been a worse hugely successful band than these shitheads. Who are utterly lacking in charisma, originality, personality, charm, sex appeal, body odor, or anything else that should make them interesting to any sentient mammal.

Monday, March 09, 2020

Today We Are Another Video

From our just released (but recorded in 1982) live album Floor by Four...

...please enjoy the fabulous Floor Models and the official video for "Shadow of the Flame."

The above is from the same show as the video for "Free Advice" I posted last week. And as with that clip, the audio -- in glorious stereo -- was dubbed from a performance at the same venue taped five months earlier (the video shoot, alas, was in mono). And once again, kudos to our pal Steve Schwartz for synching the two more or less flawlessly.

I should add that the song itself is by lead singer/guitarist Gerry Devine, and it was an absolute gas to perform. I must admit, BTW, that I had not recalled it came in at a concise two and a half minutes. Apparently we really were a pop band.

Oh, have I mentioned that you can and should download the album over at CD Baby HERE? Or that it will be available at all the usual digital platforms -- Amazon, iTunes, Spotify et al -- by the end of the month?

Friday, March 06, 2020

What's In a Name?

As promised, please enjoy power pop god John Wicks... opposed to Keanu Reeves , in one of those stupid movies featuring a character called John Wick...

...and a gorgeous studio version of his (the popstar, not the movie character's) song "Her Stars are My Stars."

Attentive readers will recall that I have been a fan of John since his days in The Records (who I saw in person on several occasions, including on the fabulous Live Stiffs tour where they were essentially the house back up band.)

In fact, my old colleagues The Floor Models covered John's classic "Hearts in Her Eyes" as part of our club shows... often that everybody in Greenwich Village thought we actually wrote it. But that's another story.

In any event, I got to meet John in 1995, at a record release party for this album...

...which featured the above "Her Stars are My Stars." Where he and his then band did an absolutely transcendently great set. A genuine thrill on a million levels.

After his performance was over, I screwed up my courage, and went over and introduced myself.

And to my utter amazement, he went "Steve Simels? You're the guy who wrote a very nice review of Smashes Crashes and Near Misses... Stereo Review in 1988. Thank you so much."

To quote Cristina Applegate on Married With Children -- you could have knocked me over with the weather.

In the meantime, you can -- and definitely should -- order a copy of For the Record, the new tribute to John's stuff that I raved about yesterday...

...over at Kool Kat Musik HERE.

Have a great weekend, everybody!!!

Thursday, March 05, 2020

Operators are Standing By

From 2020, and the just released For the Record: A Tribute to John Wicks...

...please enjoy singer/songwriter Bill Berry and his killer version of Wicks' hilarious "1-800-Colonoscopy."

For the Record is not, strictly speaking, a tribute album; Wicks was about to record his vocals for his latest batch of songs right before his passing in late 2018, and so a terrific bunch of his peers and admirers -- including Carla Olson, Don Dixon, Al Stewart, Peter Case and Jamie Hoover (of Spongetones fame, who produced the project) -- were recruited to sing lead on the unfinished tracks. In any case, the results are sensational, and yes, the rest of the songs are more in what you'd think of as Wicks' jangly power-pop style.

In any case, "1-800-Colonoscopy" is my new favorite song of all time, and not just because my doctor has been hocking me to get one.

I actually met Wicks -- a lovely man -- once, and therein lies a tale, which I'll save for tomorrow.

In the meantime, you can -- and definitely should -- order a copy of For the Record over at Kool Kat Musik HERE.

Wednesday, March 04, 2020

Your Wednesday Moment of I Have Ridiculously Talented Friends

From just a few moments ago in 2020, please enjoy The John Sally Ride -- featuring friend of PowerPop and proprietor of the invaluable BURNING WOOD blog Sal Nunziato -- and their new single "Putting It Off."

From their forthcoming -- and obviously ridiculously good -- new album.

I've written about these guys before, including the release of the previous single from the aforementioned album..

But to make a short story long, this new one is so cool in a hybrid power pop/hard rock kind of way that at this point I'm starting to get really annoyed with them.

Seriously -- curse you, Sal, for making music this good.

In any event, when the album itself is actually available I'll post a link.

Have I mentioned these guys are so good I'm getting really pissed off?

Tuesday, March 03, 2020

Today We Are a Video

From 2020, and our new live album Floor By Four, please enjoy the fabulous Floor Models -- featuring some asshole whose name rhymes with Sleeve Nimels on bass and lead vocals -- and (a song I like to dedicate to Jewish moms everywhere) "Free Advice."

The song, of course, was written by our late-great 12-string ace Andrew Pasternack, who is doing the wonderful impressions of Roger McGuinn from stage left.

A technical note: The sound for that clip, which as you can hear is in very good real stereo, was actually recorded at a different gig (at the same venue) than the video (which was only in mono). A coveted PowerPop No-Prize© is hereby awarded to our chum Steve Schwartz, who synched the two pretty much flawlessly. Your check is in the mail, pal.

I should add that you can -- and definitely should -- download the album... CD Baby over HERE. It will also be available on all the usual digital platforms -- Amazon, Spotify, iTunes, etc. -- by the end of the month.

Monday, March 02, 2020

Lies and the Lying Liars Who Tell Them

From 1965, please enjoy The Untamed -- produced by the great Shel Talmy -- and a fabulous cover of a song from the first Who album.

I had never heard, or even heard of, these guys until I stumbled across their stuff over the weekend, but they're a pretty nifty cross between the Georgie Fame jazz-keyboard--inflected school of mid-60s British rock and the harder edged guitar driven sounds of the aforementioned Who and the Kinks/Creation axis (speaking of Shel Talmy productions).

The had The Look too, obviously.

In any event, "It's Not True" is one of my favorite sort of obscure Who songs, and the Untamed version is now my new favorite thing (until tomorrow and Wednesday, when...well, you'll just have to wait to hear the cool stuff I'm posting then).

In any event, you can download a CD of the Untamed's complete works (for free) over at the link HERE.

Friday, February 28, 2020

Weekend Listomania: Special "What? What Did They Say?" Edition

Well, it's the weekend, and you know what that means. Yes, my Oriental manual catharsis specialist Fah Lo Suee and I will be heading to India, as trade representatives for the Trump administration. Our job: Convince the wogs to import more American beef.

But in the meantime, while we're gone, here's a fun little project for us all:


No arbitrary rules whatsoever, but if you try to sneak Yngwie Malmsteen in there I will come to your house and slap you silly.

And my totally top of my head Top 9 is:

9. STEALER'S WHEEL (The United Kingdom)

Okay, they're from Scotland, which means that technically they speak English.

But come on -- really? Have you ever been to Scotland and tried to order a drink at your hotel?


Love this guy, whether he's performing either rock or roll.

7. ABBA (Sweden)

In their case, they sing in what's usually referred to as "charmingly accented" English.

6. SHOCKING BLUE (The Netherlands)

Everybody knows "Venus," but "Railroad Man" is even better and they had scads of songs as good.

5. THE OUTSIDERS (The Netherlands)

The Stones -- or more accurately the Pretty Things -- of Holland.

4. LOS SHAKERS (Uruguay)

The Beatles del Río de la Plata. Seriously.

3. LOS BRAVOS (Spain)

I know very little about these guys, but the lead singer was clearly the Iberian Gene Pitney.

2. BORIS GREBENSHIKOV (The former Soviet Union)

The Bob Dylan of the USSR. His American album -- produced by Dave Stewart of Eurthymics -- is one of the great lost records of the 80s.

And the number one totally crappy band for whom English is not their first language simply has to be, it couldn't be anybody else, is ...

1. MAROON 5 (California. Supposedly.)

I'm sorry -- the only excuse for the fact that these assholes have sold millions of records world wide is that they are foreigners. Seriously -- you can't suck that badly and have that level of success for any other reason. God knows their lyrics are so lame that could only be badly translated from some other language.

Alrighty then -- who would YOUR choices be?

And have a great weekend everybody!!!

Thursday, February 27, 2020

An Early Clue to the New Direction

From 1984, please enjoy Nena and their charming New Wave hit "99 Red Balloons."

Which is actually an English language remake of their 1993 European hit "99 Luftballons," which they sang in their native German.

A coveted PowerPop No-Prize© will be awarded to the first reader who divines the song's relevance to the theme of tomorrow's Weekend Listomania.

Wednesday, February 26, 2020

Closed for Monkey Business

Under the weather. No, not THE Heineken virus, or whatever it's called.

Regular posting resumes on the morrow, beginning with a clue to the theme of Friday's brand new Weekend Listomania!!!

Tuesday, February 25, 2020

And Speaking of Perverse of Ears...

...I actually listen to this for pleasure.

Okay, I'm kidding, but it is pretty funny.

From the official description:

This was created by artists Komar and Melamid and composer Dave Soldier in 1997. The song was designed to incorporate lyrical and musical elements that were annoying to most people, as determined by a public opinion survey. These elements included bagpipes, cowboy music, an opera singer rapping, and a children's choir that urged listeners to go shopping at Wal-Mart.

I should add that this also proves the truth of the old definition of a gentleman -- someone who knows how to play the bagpipes, but doesn't play them.

[h/t Tim Page]

Monday, February 24, 2020

I Come From (One of) The Land(s) of Ice and Snow

From 2020, please enjoy the pride of Bergen, Norway -- irrepressible monsters of metal Electric High -- and their fabulous new single "Harder to Justify."

In a video filmed at a recent live show by -- dig this -- their fans in the audience with their cell cameras.

Attentive readers may recall that a certain Shady Dame and I actually visited Bergen last year, and had a fabulous time. Including discovering Apollon Music, the oldest record store in the country.

A lot of Norwegian bands hang out there, including De Musikalske Dvergene and Frode Alnaes (who do killer Kinks covers in Norwegian), as we discovered during a conversation with our new friend Einar Englestad.

Einar works behind the counter at the store (which besides selling lots of vinyl and other collectibles is a very cool bar) and is a big shot music journalist in Bergen, doing concert reviews etc. at one of the local newspapers. He was also incredibly gracious to the loudmouth American poseur who wandered into his place of business that afternoon last August.

In any event, you can find out more about Electric High, including where to hear more of their music, over at their official website HERE.

And tell 'em PowerPop sent you.

Friday, February 21, 2020

Your Friday Moment of "Hey, This is Bad!"

From 1969 and their album Live In Cabaret, please enjoy -- assuming you are extremely perverse of ears -- The Tremeloes and a live version of their classic "Here Comes My Baby."

I'm a huge fan of the original Trems single of that song -- attentive readers will recall that The Floor Models performed a version of it at our reunion gig last October -- but Jeebus H. Christ on a piece of burnt challah toast, the above is just appallingly awful and embarrassing.

To be fair, however, the whole "rock bands doing cabaret" thing is a peculiarly British phenomenon, and expectations for said bands in a cabaret setting are something Americans don't really get. In fact, you'd be amazed at the Brit groups who've done cabaret without dying of shame. Hell, the freaking Move -- with Roy Wood and original singer Carl Wayne -- did a cabaret tour before they made Shazam; one can only guess how bizarre that must have been.

Have a great weekend, everybody!!!

Thursday, February 20, 2020

Your Thursday Moment of And Speaking of Gorgeous

From 2000 and their album Evolver (heh), please enjoy The Kennedys and their absolutely seraphically lovely cover of The Byrds' classic "Here Without You."

Written by Gene Clark, natch; apparently one of his earliest.

In any event, I had forgotten that on side one of the Byrds debut album, it's followed by "The Bells of Rhymney." If there's a more spine-tingling segue in the history of both rock and roll, I'm unaware of it.

Wednesday, February 19, 2020

Given Yesterday's News, It's Obvious That They Were, In Fact, Unprepared

Words fail me.

Having listened to that song just now for the first time in decades, I have one question -- how the hell did Lehrer get away with that in 1953?

I know I promised that actual power pop related stuff would go up here today, but I couldn't help myself.

Tomorrow for sure!!!

Tuesday, February 18, 2020

The (Petrified) Dog Days of February

Okay, here's a little break from our usual PowerPop stuff.

By Louis Untermeyer

Tito and his dog Bimbo lived (if you could call it living) under the wall where it joined the inner gate. They really didn’t live there; they just slept there. They lived anywhere. Pompeii was one of the most joyful of the old Latin towns, but although Tito was never an unhappy boy, he was not exactly a merry one. The streets were always lively with shining chariots and bright red trappings; the open-air theaters rocked with laughing crowds; sham battles and athletic sports were free for the asking in the great stadium. Once a year the Caesar visited the pleasure city andthe fireworks lasted for days; the sacrifices in the Forum were better than a show...

Read the rest of it HERE.

If it doesn't bring a tear to your eye, have yourself looked at.

I should add that Untermeyer was a good liberal Jewish guy who got blacklisted in the early 50s by the same fascist shitheads who now currently run our government. You can read all about him -- including the new to me story of how he got replaced by Bennett Cerf on What's My Line -- over HERE.

I should also add that when we were in Italy a few weeks ago, we saw an actual dog of Pompeii.

Which is what made me remember the story after all those years since I first read it.

Regular music posting resumes on the morrow.

Monday, February 17, 2020

Your Monday Moment of What a Sentimental Old Fluff I Have Become

From 2009, please enjoy -- if possible -- Train and their hit recording of "Hey, Soul Sister."

Okay, I have never cared for those guys -- and, as I implied last week, I sort of deliberately slept through much of the last couple of decades precisely to avoid bands like them and the rest of their commercial contemporaries.

But I'm sorry, that song is actually kind of irresistible.

Hey, soul sister
Ain't that Mr. Mister on the radio, stereo
The way you move ain't fair, you know

For starters, just in terms of wordplay, that's a pretty smart lyric. Not Cole Porter smart, but by contemporary standards, much better than you would expect. (A Mr. Mister reference? There's something you don't hear everyday).

Plus the whole sentiment is really kinda sweet and funny.

Hey -- so sue me.


BTW, for those of you who have forgotten who Mr. Mister were, here's a reminder you won't thank me for.

Friday, February 14, 2020

The Glen Bob Chronicles: Special "Yet this claw could only belong to an arboreal creature -- like some impossible tree sloth" Edition

[I originally posted this in 2016, but it's such a great story -- and Glen Bob himself wrote it -- that I thought I'd repost it today, for obvious reasons. Have I mentioned I still can't believe he's gone? -- S.S.]

Before we start this post, let me link to the most relevant thingy GARAGE HANGOVER.

Okay, here we go.

Hi Steve,
I ran across your Floor Models website while trying to find info on an old 45 by a band called Arboreal (I'm guessing from the late 1970s). I am wondering if the songwriter Glen Allen is the same Glen Allen from your band? If you could provide any insight, it'd be great. (The songwriters on the Arboreal 45 are Glen and Greg Allen.) I collect records and (a) am curious as to where and when this 45 was released, and (b) would love to get one for my own collection.

Any info would be appreciated. Thanks in advance!
--Jason (Providence, RI)

I gotta admit, this was news to me. In all the years I've known and worked with Glen, this is the first I'd heard of this stuff.



But as it turned out, yup, it was him.

Here's the whole saga, as Glen communicated it to me last week.
My brother Greg and I were raised in a musical household. We lived in Nutley NJ, home of Robert Blake, Martha Stewart, and, once upon a time, Annie Oakley!

Neither of our parents pursued an instrument beyond their grade school years, but as newlyweds they hosted an Upstate NY radio show pithily titled Ad-Libbing With The Allens.

They interviewed (and featured music by) the likes of Stan Kenton and other Jazz and Pop acts. Greg, before I was born, would sit quietly in the studio as the show was being broadcast live. He tells me how he still vividly recalls the lights on the console, and the excitement of knowing his Mom and Dad were "on the air".

Our folks would play Broadway and film scores. Our Aunt Beverly worked for MGM Records, she sent new releases our way. Greg would play LPs by Duane Eddy, Howlin' Wolf, The Ventures, Johnny Cash and more in our room.

Greg and I both started playing the drums in '64. We'd play along to the records we'd spin on our family's massive (15" mono speaker!) Hi-Fi.

Circa '65, Greg played drums in The Revengers. They had quite the cool repertoire, covering The Pretty Things, The Yardbirds, and other British Invasion acts. They even appeared on Zacherle's UHF show "Disc-O-Teen," along with The Cyrkle of "Red Rubber Ball" fame.

My hometown band went through a few names over it's 3 year span -- The Great Unknown, The Unknown Six,and, I kid you not, Admiral Allen & The Permanent Wave.

By the time I was 12, we were performing at teenagers parties and actually making money.

Note of scandal: At one rehearsal in my family's basement, our newly added Go-Go Girls -- 3 of our sixth grade classmates -- tied their blouses up to create a bare-midriff look.

This was well received by five of us in the band. However when our lead guitarist Steve Ucci's Dad showed up, Steve exclaimed, "Dad, the girls were bare!"

A sad farewell was said to the Go-Go girls.

We performed for 3000 people at The Nutley Oval on July 4th in '66. Another, older, band let us use their gear. A third band got stuck in transit, so we had a double set that night of about 90 minutes. We had 'em dancing on the infield to "Good Lovin", and because we had horns, "Batman," "Downtown," and,of course, "Tequila".

That night sealed my fate -- drums forever!

Greg and I had a clunky but good sounding Telefunken tape recorder and, later, a Sony that had sound-on-sound,as it was called back then. We could overdub ourselves. Many Dada-esque tunes were recorded, and some attempts at "real" music as well.

But in '68 I took up guitar, and we wrote and recorded more in earnest. By then our family had been in NYC for about a year. Greg and I decided to record in an actual studio.

An older classmate of mine, Jon Fausty, was working in a studio that specialized in Latin music. The first day in the studio the equipment went south, wouldn't work. I was actually relieved, for although Greg and I had performed in public and had recorded at home, this was A STUDIO! Where RECORDS WERE MADE!

The next day the gear was in working order, and I had shaken off the nerves. After all, I did have long wavy hair, a cool turquoise ring, a Superman-logo'd tee shirt, tie-dyed jeans, and, most of all, my '68 Gold-Top Les Paul Standard on which I had mastered the three essential chords.

I also loved the name we'd devised: Arboreal. We always had a thing for chimps, and we both probably would've proposed to Jane Goodall.

Greg was a metronomic drummer, a better time-keeper than me ('though I keep good time!). But who knew at the time that left handed drummers set up their drums differently than righties? Not us -- we'd only seen righties ever play.

Nontheless, with Greg keeping time and me on guitar, bass and vocals(!), we cut "Our Souls Would See Us Through," which Greg wrote the lyric for, and "Sixteen Years Old," which I wrote.

The chorus on "Sixteen..." was originally "Things are pretty shitty when you're sixteen years old.." But for the sake of mass appeal and radio play, I cleverly changed "shitty" to "sickening". A move of rare genius, though I missed the sheer beauty of the "pretty/shitty" rhyme scheme.

Greg, in true mystical metaphoric mode, came up with "we gazed into each other's eyestreams, until we met each other's dreams." And to think -- "eyestreams"was hardly ever used back then!

We printed 100 45's, sent them out to several record companies, and waited for the offers to roll in. Some of the rejection letters came on very nice stationery. Some with encouraging comments and actual signatures!

As I recall, Pickwick, a budget label, made an offer, but we held out for the big fish. That fish is still swimming merrily out there somewhere....

Greg would eventually quit playing the drums and moved on to a long career as a record reviewer and live performance critic for The Atlantic City Press, The Christian Science Monitor, Cashbox, Trouser Press and other newspapers and magazines. (He and I co-wrote songs for Ronnie Spector in '80 for a band I played in with Rafael Fuentes and that Greg managed -- Diamond Dupree.) He then went into talk radio (he hosted two nationally syndicated shows: "Him & Her w/ Greg And Fran," and "The Right Balance") and now regularly walks the malls and writes poetry (in retirement) on Florida's Gulf Coast.

As for me: Baby Moon (CBGB regulars), Diamond Dupree ( Lone Star Café regulars), The Floor Models (Darlings of the Village Scene), Lucy Kaplansky (ditto, the Village), The Human Condition ("World Beat" before the term even existed), Gerry Devine & The Hi-Beams (Flo-Mo's bastard son) and, for the last 22 years, French Cookin', Doc French's ensemble (B.B. King's Club regulars/Inductee NY Blues Hall Of Fame). I also perform with The Rock Club (featuring Ron D'Addario, proud father of The Lemon Twigs).

Jon Fausty is a Grammy Award winning Engineer/Producer in the Latin music field. He appeared on my wife's Cable TV show "Eddy Coston's Metro Music Scene" years ago to promote the David Byrne LP "Rei Momo," which he engineered.

Of course I've had the pleasure and privilege of being Steve Simels' personal musical conductor/arranger since '82. He promises my fee is forthcoming.......

A final note: I was astonished to discover that somebody stumbled upon Arboreal's one and only record.

More so that they posted it on a cool garage rock site.

Most amazing of all, I didn't cringe nearly as much as I thought I would after hearing this for the first time in 35-40 years.

I hope you don't either. -- Glen Allen

To paraphrase Thelma Ritter in All About Eve: What a story! Everything but the bloodhounds snappin' at his rear end.

But seriously, folks -- I love everything about that essay, and a big tip of the PowerPop hat to Glen Bob for sharing it.

I should also add that a special PowerPop No-Prize™ will be awarded to the first reader who -- without googling -- identifies the source of today's title.

Thursday, February 13, 2020

Your Thursday Moment of Is This Dude the Coolest Guy Who Ever Lived or What?

From sometime early in the 20th century -- 1930s would be my guess -- please enjoy Cab Calloway and his Cabaliers(!) and their fabulously spooky take on "St. James Infirmary."

Does MTV still exist? Because I guarantee they never aired a video as good as this one.

[h/t Allan Weissman]

Wednesday, February 12, 2020

The Glen Bob Chronicles

From 1982, and the forthcoming Floor by Four album, please enjoy the fabulous Floor Models, featuring the late great Glen Robert Allen on drums...

...and a terrific live version of the first song we ever played together as a band -- "You'll Come Around."

I was in the studio last night, finishing the editing on the album, and I'm still having trouble processing that Glen's gone. Seriously -- there were times I expected to look over my shoulder and see him yelling at me about the tempos.

Tuesday, February 11, 2020

Glen Robert Allen 1954-2020

To quote a certain metallic gentleman from Oz -- now I know I have a heart, because it's breaking.

Sleep well, old friend. You made a difference in a lot of lives.

Monday, February 10, 2020

Your Monday Moment of Why Didn't I Get the Memo?

From 1998, and their album Head Trip in Every Key, please enjoy Superdrag and the lead-off track "I'm Expanding My Mind."

I don't know how I missed that one at the time -- although the excuse I usually give is that I largely slept through the '90s -- but I discovered it courtesy of honorary Floor Model (and friend of PowerPop) Joe Benoit, who kindly burned me a couple of Superdrag albums a few months ago.

Which, like a schween, I didn't listen to until a couple of days ago. And at this point I'm still playing "I'm Expanding My Mind" -- which I think is absolutely seraphically beautiful -- over and over again, like some 1964 teenager who just heard his first Beatles record.

In other words, my life just got changed by a piece of music again, and thank you Joe.

Friday, February 07, 2020

Your Friday Moment of Words Fail Me

From earlier this year, please behold in breathless wonder as Robyn Adele Anderson performs an absolutely jaw-dropping mashup of Amy Winehouse and The Rolling Stones.

I had absolutely no idea of the existence of Ms. Anderson until yesterday, when I chanced across the video at YouTube, but apparently she's been doing stuff like that for a couple of years; this 40s Swing Era cover of Nirvana, for example.

Have a great weekend, everybody!!!

PS: A coveted PowerPop No-Prize© will be awarded to the first reader who correctly identifies the provenance of that "behold in breathless wonder" line above.

Thursday, February 06, 2020

Your Thursday Moment of And Speaking of Gorgeous

From her recently released (late 2019) new album, please enjoy the quite remarkable P.P. Arnold and a cover of Mike Nesmith's "Different Drum" that serves to put much of the (to me) inexplicable current Linda Ronstadt nostalgia into, shall we say, perspective.

Damn, that's great.

I should add that I was hipped to the existence of that album (the whole thing is amazing, BTW) over at friend of PowerPop Sal Nunziato's invaluable Burning Wood blog a few weeks ago. Which is one of the many things I've owed him for over the years.

I should also add that I was heretofore unfamiliar with Ms. Arnold beyond her original hit version of "The First Cut is the Deepest" and this fabulous appearance in my favorite Small Faces video.

But after hearing the new album, I looked her up over at Wiki here. Jeebus H. Christ on a piece of burnt challah toast -- this gal has been everywhere and done everything.

Wednesday, February 05, 2020

Let Us Now Praise Famous Men (An Occasional Series): Special "Alliterative Band Names Rule" Edition

Ah yes -- Diamond Dupree. And therein lies a tale.

DD was a fixture in New York clubs throughout the 80s and early '90s; they also wrote songs for and backed up Ronnie Spector(!) on her fabulous Siren album (which, alas, has never been on CD, but you can get a vinyl copy at a reasonable price over at Amazon HERE).

A lot of people passed through the band over the years (including, briefly, myself) but the two constants throughout their career were Rafael Fuentes (second from left in the picture below) and Glen Robert Allen (right).

And if Glen looks familiar, that's perhaps because he's also been the drummer of The Floor Models since forever, but that's another story.

In any case, DD never made a proper album during the days they were gigging, but now -- as you may have guessed, given the CD cover above -- they have. And I am pleased to report that it's an absolute gem; melodic guitar driven pop/rock (with a pretty wide stylistic canvas, songwriting wise) at its most infectiously appealing.

Here's one of my favorite songs from the record (and I'm not just saying that because I'm playing the mariachi piano and horns stuff on the track) that should give you an idea of what the band was about.

And here's a vintage video, which demonstrates what a hot little outfit they were live.

The bottom line: Diamond Dupree are one of the great lost bands of their era, and this compilation does them full justice. You can -- and as I always say should -- order "Wake Me When I'm Famous" over at Amazon HERE in either CD or streaming form. Pronto.

Tuesday, February 04, 2020

Closed for Existential Monkey Business

Having one of those days.

Regular postings -- including fabulous music you've never heard by friends old and new -- resume tomorrow.

Monday, February 03, 2020

Let Us Now Praise Famous Men (An Occasional Series)

Yes, lets. Specifically my chum Marc Platt.

Marc fronted a mid-80s Los Angeles punkish power pop band called The Real Impossibles, and a compilation of their stuff (entitled It's About Time) came out on Zero Hour Records a few months after the 2013 Zero Hour release of Floor Your Love. Which made us labelmates, of course.

I had never heard of the band until the CD, but it knocked me out, and we struck up an intertube friendship, with me mostly telling him "I'm not worthy! I'm not worthy"!

Here's a representative track...

...that absolutely kills me. I think comparisons to The Plimsouls are not implausible (which is about the highest praise I can give anything), and for my money the whole CD is just freaking great guitar driven rock-and-roll.

Oh, and have I mentioned perhaps my favorite Neil Diamond cover ever?

So why am I bringing this up now? Because the good folks at Rum/Bar Records have just reissued It's About Time, completely remastered and with bonus tracks, and the damn thing is better than before. If ever there was a Great Lost Album of the 80s, this is it.

Bottom line: You can -- and should -- order it from Amazon HERE or directly from Rum/Bar over HERE.

Friday, January 31, 2020

Greetings From the Class of '69

A certain very famous rock star on his prom night.

A coveted PowerPop No-Prize© will be awarded to the first reader who correctly identifies said star. Hint: If he was still alive, said star would conceivably have been a neighbor of mine.

Have a great weekend, everybody!!!

Thursday, January 30, 2020

À la Recherche du Oldies Perdu

So on our first night in London, a certain Shady Dame and I made our way to the West End and took in a show called THE COMEDY ABOUT A BANK ROBBERY

We figured it might be a hoot given that it was from the same people responsible for THE PLAY THAT GOES WRONG, which we had seen twice and laughed ourselves silly both times.

Alas, the new one was pretty lame, and we left at intermission. But the evening was not a total waste -- the music played before the first act was a well chosen selection of 50s and early 60s rock and r&B -- mostly familiar, but still fun.

And there were two songs that made my ears stand up all Batman -- one I knew I had heard before but couldn't recall the artist, and one I had never heard at all and which became an instant earworm.

The intertubes being the wondrous thing they are, a little investigating turned them up, and please enjoy.

The one I knew.

And the one I didn't.

I had always assumed that Nappy Brown was a one hit wonder ("Don't Be Angry") so his song was a revelation. As for the Ruth Brown track, it goes to show you that not every Leiber and Stoller song stands the test of tine, although I think it's catchy as all get out and Ruth sings the very pants off of it.

Wednesday, January 29, 2020

Closed For (Got Out of London Just in Time to Miss Brexit) Monkey Business

Back from our excellent European adventure, but kinda jet-lagged.

Regular postings -- dressed, peppy and featuring actual music -- resume tomorrow.

PS: Note omission of Oxford comma above. If you know what I mean.

Tuesday, January 28, 2020

Steve and BG's Excellent European Adventure: Special "Feline Felicitations" Edition

Had a great time on the continent, but there's a certain oversized pussycat we need to see back at home.

Regular music posting resumes on the morrow.

Monday, January 27, 2020

London Calling: Special "Steve and BG's Excellent British Adventure" Edition

Yours truly yesterday at the entrance to the Museum of London.

And here's something that totally cracked me up -- a (one assumes) music biz magazine trade ad for one of the greatest albums of all time.

Which yours truly was unaware of it until it stopped me and a certain Shady Dame in our tracks at The Clash exhibit at the aforementioned museum.

And if you don't get why it's so brilliant and funny I can't imagine why you'd actually be reading this here blog in the first place. If you know what I mean.

In any case, we're spending one more day in London -- shopping, mostly -- and then its back to the USA on Tuesday.

Friday, January 24, 2020

“Cyrus, My Friend. What Has Happened to Your Nose?” “I’ve Just Returned From Rome.”

This is actually true -- I have just returned from Rome.

Also Pompeii and Herculaneum. And Herculaneum was unbelievable -- if you ever have a chance to go, I can't recommend it too highly.

And now off to a weekend in London...

...where, among other things, we're going to take in The Clash exhibit at the Museum of London before returning home on Tuesday.

Oh, and a coveted PowerPop No-Prize© to the first reader who identifies the source of the title of today's post.

Have a great weekend, everybody!!!

Wednesday, January 22, 2020

No, I'm Not Putting Up Something from Pink Floyd at Pompeii and You Can't Make Me!!!

So I've just spent two days in Pompeii, and am heading off to Herculaneum today (have I mentioned I'm on vacation in Italy?)

And it occurred to me that THIS is the only rock song I can think of, top of my head, that features the word "volcano" in the lyric.

A coveted PowerPop No-Prize© will be awarded to any reader who thinks of another example before I do.

Closed for (Italian) Monkey Business

So a certain Shady Dame and I finished an absolutely amazing, but ultimately exhausting, exploration of Pompeii yesterday (have I mentioned I'm on vacation in Italy?)

Interesting place, but as you can see, kind of annoyingly Americanized.

I mean, they have the Elks and Kiwanis too.

Music postings resume on the morrow.

Tuesday, January 21, 2020

Greetings From Rome: Special "Un Cane Salato" Edition

So I was having breakfast at our hotel in Rome yesterday morning -- have I mentioned I'm on vacation in Italy? -- and over the dining room sound system, they were playing nothing but Italian pop and rock. Which normally leaves me cold, but I was starting to have fun trying to figure which Brit and American pop/stars the various Italians were emulating.

And then the studio version of this (which I have not been able to find for free) came on, and -- to quote Cristina Applegate from Married With Children -- you could have knocked me over with the weather.

I'd vaguely heard of this Zucchero fella, who is considered "the father of Italian blues" in his homeland, however amusing a concept that may be. But in any case, I gotta say, he does a largely credible version of the Procol Harum classic.

Now if I could only figure out who was doing the sort of Italian knock-off of David Bowie's "Heroes" that played right before this while I was having my scrambled eggs.