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.

Monday, January 20, 2020

Scenes From My Vacation: Ottorino Respighi to the White Courtesy Phone!

Yours truly yesterday. In front of some weird species of evergreen trees. In a certain unnamed Italian city.

Regular pop music posting resumes on the morrow. But gimme a break -- I'm on holiday.

Friday, January 17, 2020

Arrivederci, Baby!

From 1983, and their H20 album, please enjoy Daryl Hall and John Oates live, as they ask the musical question on everybody's lips -- where are the "Italian Girls"?

I bring all this up because a certain Shady Dame and I are off on a European vacation later today.

First stop -- Rome!!! Woo hoo!!!

Assuming my laptop doesn't give me problems, I'll be doing regular musical postings as well as vacation dispatches until our return at the end of the month.

In the meantime, have a great weekend, everybody!!!

Have I mentioned we're going to freaking Rome?

Thursday, January 16, 2020

Got Live If You Want It: Special "When Everything Gets Hazy" Edition

From JPs -- a low drug den/music dive on the upper East Side, on the evening of May 27, 1982 -- please enjoy the fabulous Floor Models and their totally rocking ode to urban paranoia "What's Wrong With This Picture?"

Written and sung by our late great 12-string ace Andrew Pasternack.

That's from our soon to be released live album, obviously, and kudos to brilliant engineer Brent McLachlan, at 30 Below Studio, for making the now decades old cassette recording of this stuff sound absolutely transplendent.

And a coveted PowerPop No-Prize© will be awarded to the first reader who identifies the '60s quote at the end of the instrumental section.

Wednesday, January 15, 2020

Tales From the Edge of Wetness

From 1965 and Shindig, television's greatest pop music show ever, please enjoy the mysteriously obscure Donna Loren and an appropriately gorgeous performance of "With the Wind and the Rain in Your Hair."

That song was unknown to me until a couple of weeks ago, when I heard Dennis Day sing it on a 1940 episode of The Jack Benny Show (it was a hit for a bunch of singers that year). Don't worry, I won't inflict Day's version on you, but I was immediately taken with it; apparently, its writer -- Clara Edwards -- was a slumming composer of classical art songs.

Donna Loren -- who was a regular on Shindig, although I don't remember her at all -- was obviously a pretty fabulously soulful singer, and but for the vagaries of fortune might well have been a major 60s pop figure on the level of Dusty Springfield or Jackie DeShannon; she had to settle for merely being in a lot of AIP beach movies, episodes of Batman and Dr. Kildare, and a five year stint as the "Dr. Pepper Girl." I am pleased to add that she's still with us (like yours truly she was born in 1947) and you can find out more about her over at her official website HERE.

Also -- a coveted PowerPop No-Prize© will be awarded to the first reader who divines from whence the title of today's post derives.

Tuesday, January 14, 2020

Closed for Monkey Business

Had a long late night in the studio.

Regular posting resumes on the morrow.

Monday, January 13, 2020

Music By People I Actually Know (An Occasional Series): Special "There's a Dirty Joke In Here Somewhere" Edition

From last month, please enjoy The John Sally Ride -- featuring friend of PowerPop and proprietor of the fabulous music blog BURNING WOOD Sal Nunziato on drums -- and their suggestively monikered and completely rocking new single "Far From Eaten Out."

And who are these guys? Well, attentive readers will doubtless recall my enthusing about them in the recent past, but here's how the press release for their 2017 debut CD explained it.

The John Sally Ride was inevitable. Long time friends, with thousands of combined hours listening to and talking about music, the trio of musicians that comprise this exciting new band had been making music separately for years. The time had finally come to make a record together. It wasn't just their mutual love of The Kinks, David Bowie and Todd Rundgren. And it wasn't just that special knack of finishing each other's musical sentences. It was all of that, for sure. But, like any great band/record, it all starts with the songs and the magic that suddenly took hold of these gents when they finally hit the studio.

To make a short story long, this record is so wonderful I hate the people who made it, even though as I said up top, I consider Sal a friend.

No kidding -- how dare these guys release a better single than mine in the same season!!! I mean seriously -- not only is "Eaten" a knockout of a song in a sort of hybrid power pop/hard rock vein, but the guitar work by Joe Pampel is ridiculously cool.

As are the lyrics by the song's auteur John Dunbar.

I wish I lead the life you think I lead
I stay at home each night and mostly read
My weekends end so weak and don't start strong
You'd guess they're all booked up and you'd be wrong

You say I'm out and all about
But I'm inside with a can of stout

You think I'm living where it's hip to be
The neighborhood I'm in it takes a trip to see

Life's now one long defeating bout
No drum rolls will be beaten out
And your heart will be far from eaten out
Your heart will be far from eaten out

I hope you never learn of what I do
I'd say it's nothing like the life I knew
The tears will never fear a drought
I'm at the laundry using Shout
And your heart will be far from eaten out
Your heart will be far from eaten out

Just shoot me now. In a good way, of course.

Meanwhile, you can (and should) purchase "Far From Eaten Out" over at Bandcamp HERE. It's also available at Amazon and Spotify.

And, of course, at YouTube.

I should add that a second single by these guys is due next month, and a full-length album by summer.

Hey -- what are you waiting for? Go download or stream "Far From Eaten Out" right now!!!