Thursday, August 22, 2019

Go To Hell(stone)

Attentive readers are aware that a certain Shady Dame and I recently returned from a Scandinavian vacation. Herewith a little documentation of one of the most fun parts of the trip -- the discovery, as we explored Stockholm, of what we have since been informed is the most famous guitar and music store in all of Sweden: Hellstone Music.

I'll be posting more about this incredible emporium -- including some Beatles/Klaus Voormann related stuff that will blow your mind -- next week, as part of a longer photo essay on our travels. But in the meantime -- feast your eyes on this vintage 1952 Les Paul gold top, which as you can see is in utterly pristine condition. And outside MY price range, obviously.

And here I am with the shop's proprietor, Sven Hellsten, who couldn't have been more kind to the loudmouth American poseur who wandered around his place like a kid in a candy store.

Bottom line: If you make it to Stockholm, be sure to stop by the shop. And tell 'em PowerPop sent you.

Tuesday, August 20, 2019

A Desperate Cry for Help?

From 1950, please enjoy -- if that is at all possible -- the barber shop stylings of The Sportsmen Quartet and their once-heard-never-to-be-forgotten rendition of "Down in Jungle Town."

The back story: As some of you may know, I've been listening to a lot of old Jack Benny shows as a sleep aid lately, which has been great, but my growing fondness for some of Jack's musical guests is beginning to worry me. I actually broke down recently and bought a double CD of the greatest hits of Dennis Day, a singer I had never previously considered to be anything but a world class cornball, and now I've developed a taste for the Sportsmen, who exemplify a genre that I have heretofore pondered for maybe five minutes out of my life to date.

Really kids -- this way madness lies.

Monday, August 19, 2019

The Best Traditional (Non-Hyphenated) Rock Band in the World?

Currently, yeah, possibly; could be, could be. Although you could, if pressed, describe them as power-pop.

I refer of course to The Tearaways, fueled by the incredible drumming of Blondie's Clem Burke, aka the second coming of Keith Moon. And who will be, you should pardon the expression, tearing it up on a tour of England starting this Wednesday, despite the sudden death of their bass player and manager John Ferriter. (Friend of PowerPop Marc Platt, formerly of The Real Impossibles, has stepped into the tragic breach.)

On a happier note, here's the band's latest video, to give you an idea of what they're about.

Incidentally, that was produced by Ron (Archies/Pat Benatar/Barry Manilow) Dante, who you may recall as the voice of "Sugar, Sugar," so these guys pop/rock credentials are obviously pretty impressive.

More news on the English shows as they develop.

Friday, August 16, 2019

You Haven't Experienced the Kinks Until You've Experienced Them in the Original Norwegian (Part III)

Well, my autographed copy of Veldig Respektable Menn, by Die Musikalske Dvergene and Frode Alnaes arrived yesterday...

...and it's as wonderful an album as I had hoped; there isn't a bum track on it, and it remains astonishing how well the songs of Ray Davies, which pretty much define Britishness, translate into Fjordistan-ese.

Case in point: Perhap's Ray's most definitively English song, and my personal favorite Kinks track of all time, "Autumn Almanac"...

...rendered here as "Når Høsten Setter Inn" and it still works like gangbusters.

Have a great weekend, everybody!!!

Thursday, August 15, 2019

You Haven't Experienced the Kinks Until You've Experienced Them in the Original Norwegian (Part II)

Live, a couple of years ago, from a club in Bergen, Norway (aka Fjordistan), please enjoy, once again, the incomparable De Musikalske Dvergene and Frode Alnaes and their charming take on The Kinks' classic "Daumannsvik" (aka "Dead End Street.")

As I mentioned the other day, I have the CD of their Kinks covers album on order from Amazon -- and it's personally autographed by the band. Frankly, I can't wait.

Wednesday, August 14, 2019

Closed for Monkey Business

Still a little jet-lagged from our Scandinavian sojourn; regular postings resume on the morrow.

Tuesday, August 13, 2019

Who Listens to the Radio? (An Occasional Series)

Well, you should. Especially today, when friend of PowerPop Captain Al be holding forth on his Peabody Award-winning show Lost at Sea over at Area 24 Radio.

The show is always transplendent, but it's going to be particularly so because another friend of PowerPop -- brilliant singer/songwriter PETER SPENCER...

...will be performing live, as well as guest d.j-ing.

Pete's an old chum of mine (and The Floor Models) from our days back in the Village; here's an acoustic version -- from his fabulous 1896 album -- of one of my favorite of his songs, "Casanova's Waltz." Which should give you an idea of what kind of a treat awaits you if you tune in.

The show starts 11am East Coast Time; simply click on the Area 24 link HERE and then click on the Tune In button top right to hear it.

And tell 'em PowerPop sent you:

P.S.: I was kidding about the Peabody. Sorry Al.

Sunday, August 11, 2019

You Haven't Experienced the Kinks Until You've Experienced Them in the Original Norwegian

From 2004, please enjoy the imcomparable De Musikalske Dvergene and Frode Alnaes and their charming rendition of "Solen Over By'n" (aka "Sunny Afternoon").

Heard this on the radio during our recent sojourn in Bergen, and was absolutely knocked out when the locals assured us that the language it's being sung in is, in fact, the mother tongue of Fjordistan.

Friday, August 09, 2019

Norway Vacation Update: Coincidentally, While We Were There, We Scored a Vinyl Copy of an Album by Les Paul and Mary Fjord

The view yesterday at the oldest record store in Norway (in Bergen, coincidentally three blocks from our hotel. We heard about it from a travel piece in the NY Times a few weeks ago).

That's me huddling with Einar Engelstad, one of the store clerks, who is also a big shot music journalist who writes concert reviews for the local newspaper.

I should add that the store also is a bar, which makes it doubly cool.

BTW, we picked up a fabulous birthday present for my vinyl junkie friend Joe Benoit. But of course I'm not gonna give away what it is.

Have a great weekend, everybody!!!