Monday, July 31, 2017

It's Churchy LaFemme Week: Part I -- Special Frog Legs Edition

From le magnifique 2010 compilation C'est Chic! French girl singers of the 1960s...

...please enjoy the splendidly monikered Les Gam's and their perhaps overly Gallic girl group offering "L'Ete Reviendra."

Which translates, in case you were wondering, as "summer will return."

I should add that I got turned on to the CD above, and all it contains, by my younger brother, who has -- shall we say -- eclectic tastes. Thanks, Drew!

Coming tomorrow: A song by a woman who was a genuine muse of the Nouvelle Vague.

Friday, July 28, 2017

The Greatest Power Pop Compilation of All Time! Okay, Maybe One of the Greatest, But Hey -- I'm Excited!!!

Holy cow: tracks from my next two album projects -- The Hounds' The Album We Never Made and The Weasels' Crimes Against Nature: Greatest Hits 1973-2016 -- are now available for free download on an utterly fantastic compilation via our great good buddy and ace DJ Wayne Lundqvist Ford.

125 bands from all around the world -- no waiting!

Hey, it's free -- go download it NOW!.

Have a great weekend, everybody!

Thursday, July 27, 2017

The Wolf Also Rises

So, no -- Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers DIDN'T do "Kings Highway" at last night's concert at Forest Hills Stadium. But it was a great night out anyway, with the band in spectacular form, musically, and a nice cross section of material selected from throughout their 40 years together. The set list, not surprisingly, was heavy on the stuff from Full Moon Fever ("I Won't Back Down" sounded particularly good). There was also a long mini-set of stuff from the unappreciated (by me) Wildflowers album, but that worked out fine because it gave me a chance to go the bathroom. In any event, a wonderful show.

I should add, however, that I saw exactly one African-American in the audience of 14,000, which gives one pause, even if it really has no larger significance.

I should also add that, perhaps inexplicably, two attendees came dressed as members of the Teletubbies.

And I would be remiss if I didn't note that opening act Peter Wolf -- with the help of a brilliant band -- came perilously close to stealing the show; both his voice and manic stage moves are totally undimmed by time since the J. Geils days.

Of course, he didn't do my favorite of his solo stuff...

...but he did do this more recent tune, and absolutely killed.

All in all, as I said, a great night out.

Wednesday, July 26, 2017

Social Notes From All Over

Going to see Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers tonight at Forest Hills Stadium.

And this is the song I really want to hear them do.

A certain Shady Dame of my acquaintance has never seen 'em before. Me, I was lucky -- I caught them in a small club when they were touring the first album (they opened for Roger McGuinn, who covered "American Girl.")

They were the loudest band I ever heard, and absolutely devastatingly great. With luck, they still will be.

Tuesday, July 25, 2017

Closed for Monkey (Dental) Business

Having a little problem with my chompers that needs professional attention.

Regular -- hopefully pain free -- posting resumes on the morrow.

Monday, July 24, 2017

Your Monday Moment of "There Were Giants in the Earth in Those Days"

From the fabulous Subtle as a Flying Mallet album in 1975, please enjoy Greatest Living Welshman Dave Edmunds -- superbly backed by Brinsley Schwarz -- and perhaps the coolest live cover of Chuck Berry's "Let It Rock" ever heard by sentient mammalian ears.

I bring that up because of this sad news: The great man himself is now officially retired. Via Brian Setzer:

I interviewed Edmunds in 1975, when Mallet came out, and he was an absolutely lovely guy (as well as, obviously, one of the most gifted musicians of his generation; I don't think he ever made a bad record.) He will be missed, but hey -- at least he's alive and well and quit at the top of his game.

I should add that I happened to see Edmunds live (with Rockpile, which is the subject for another column) at the Bottom Line on the night in 1978 when Keith Richards got out of jail from his Canadian heroin bust. Imagine my delight when Edmunds brought Keith out to sit in with the band on the aforementioned "Let It Rock."

Imagine my disappointment when, as you can hear, the resulting performance turned out to be an unholy mess. Seriously -- every couple of years I pull that out to see if I'm mis-remembering how awful it was, and every time I do I'm disappointed all over again.

Fun trivia note: I was at an Edmunds show at Tramps in the early '90s, where I ran into Willie Nile, who said "Hey Simels -- when are you gonna get that Floor Models box set together?" I laughed, but nearly two decades later it suddenly struck me as a good idea. Which, in fact, it turned out to be.

Thanks for the memories, Dave!!!

Friday, July 21, 2017

Music By People I Actually Know Personally (An Occasional Series)

From 2017, 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 brilliantly monikered and addictively catchy "She Walks Her Dog in Pajamas."

And who are these guys? Let's go directly to the official press release!


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.

John Dunbar (A Confederacy Of Dunces The Kunks), Sal Maida (Roxy Music, Sparks, Milk N Cookies, Cracker) and Sal Nunziato (Pep In The Cat, The Hard Copies, Burning Wood) made a record, just like their musical heroes made records, with original music and lyrics, instruments and voices. "A New Set Of Downs" is that record.

“Anchored by Maida’s great bass line, Dunbar makes the best of the opener ‘One of These Days You’ll Have One of Those Days,’ a very Kinks-like composition with kazoo and guitar flourishes. The steady rhythm of ‘I Didn’t Know I Was Saying Goodbye’ is another gem about an unexpected break-up. Dunbar gets stuff off his chest with ‘Your Closest Friends,’ a rant that mentions ‘If you met them now for the first time you’d hate their guts.’ And easily the catchiest tune is the single ‘Not Taking Credit’. Another big highlight is ‘The Girl You Won’t Leave Your Wife For,’ with its dense melody and harmonies in the chorus. Easily Dunbar’s most accessible work. Highly Recommended.” –

“I've always liked the indie pop of John Dunbar. It's great melodic pop, the sort we thrive upon. ‘Not Taking Credit’ shows how Power Pop the trio could be and Dunbar's vocals lend well to that genre, but the news from the resulting album is that it is far more harmonic pop than power. Imagine a cross between The Monkees and Squeeze. The singalong shuffle of the opener, ‘One Of These Days You'll Have One Of Those Days’ emphasizes the Monkees comparison. ‘She Walks Her Dog In Pyjamas’ with its psych guitar is in Small Faces territory. ‘From Expectation To Surrender’ comes across as a sweet sounding chirpier version of The Proclaimers and it's great to hear Maida's bass lines again on ‘I Love The Girl (You Won't Leave Your Wife For)’. ‘I Love The Girl’ is almost Lindisfarne with it's almost folk backdrop. The trio have fashioned up a real feel good album to accompany the nights getting lighter. Nunziato's drumming seems to hold the whole thing together. This is great summer pop. It's hard to name a favourite track, I loved ‘Not Taking Credit’ from first listen and still do, but I'll go for ‘Your Closest Friends’, a real chipper song that sums up what the band are about. This album is a great listen and now you have your chance to confirm that.” – GREAT!!

And here's another nifty track from the record.

Seriously -- the whole album is pretty much the most delightful surprise I've had so far this year.

So what are you waiting for? Get over to the Kool Kat website [we love them because they also distribute the Floor Models] and buy the CD now!!!

Have a great weekend, everybody!

Thursday, July 20, 2017

Tomorrow is Only a Day Away

Sorry to be such a slacker this week. Regular posting -- featuring music by yet another person I actually know personally -- resumes on Friday.

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Music By People I Actually Know Personally (An Occasional Series)

From some time in the late 80s, please enjoy H20 -- featuring friend of PowerPop Tommy Stewart wildly overplaying on bass (because that's what he does) -- and their fiendishly catchy "Still the Morn."

Tommy fills in the details:

The band H2O was Jimmy Hamiter on lead vocals and keys (minimoog and polymoog), Larry Jones on guitar and backing vocals, Dave Jutras on drums, and myself on bass and Taurus pedals. The song "Still The Morn" was written by the previous version of H2O (different guitarist, two female vocalists, and two keyboardists), and when the band reformed after a few months, it remained a four-piece.

Apart from being a great guy and a great musician, Tommy used to read my poor scribblings at The Magazine Formerly Known as Stereo Review, so obviously he's way cool. He also keeps tab on the rightwing lunacy at the odious Free Republic website on a weekly basis over at FIRST DRAFT.

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Closed for Monkey Business

Great Max Weinberg show last night, but I'm too exhausted to post today.

Regular -- non-simian -- stuff resumes on the morrow.

Monday, July 17, 2017

Jukebox Monday Night

Going to City Winery tonight to see the great Max Weinberg doing...well, read the official description.

Fresh off the hugely successful The River Tour 2016-2017 of Bruce Springsteen and The E Street Band—where the group played 89 concerts nearly four hours long each night in 15 countries...Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame Drummer Max Weinberg announces a new touring concept for the small venue—“Max Weinberg’s Jukebox”.

A truly interactive experience, Weinberg invites the audience to create in real time the set list he and his crack four piece group will play that night. Performing songs from the glory days of rock and roll your guests get to choose from a video menu of over 200 songs-- everything from the Beatles to the Stones to Bruce and The E Street Band’s biggest hits—and hear the group play ‘em the way they want to hear them played!

That’s right—the crowd gets to yell out their choices and Max plays them!

In the words of the immortal Edith Prickley...

...could be a hot one!!!

P.S.: In case you're wondering where Max learned how to do this stuff...

And I strongly urge you to watch the above in full-screen with the volume cranked.

Friday, July 14, 2017

It's "Bob Dylan Covering Songs You Wouldn't Necessarily Expect Him to Cover" Week!: Part IV

From 2002, his Bobness covers George Harrison's "Something."

And from 2005..."London Calling" by The Clash.

Words fail me.

Have a great weekend, everybody.

Wednesday, July 12, 2017

It's "Bob Dylan Covering Songs You Wouldn't Necessarily Expect Him to Cover" Week!: Part Deux

From 2002, his Bobness essays Bruce Hornsby's "The End of the Innocence."

Full disclosure: I love this song and always have.

Tuesday, July 11, 2017

We Interrupt Oddball Bob Dylan Covers Week to Bring You Something Really Disgusting

From 2013, please enjoy throw up in your mouth watching EMIN and his truly appalling "In Another Life."

That kid is apparently a huge star in Russia, which just goes to show that Russian taste in pop music has declined precipitously since the heyday of the great Boris Grebenschikov.

More to the point, EMIN's dad is a big shot shady billionaire real estate developer who's in bed with President Tweety Amin.

To paraphrase Charles Pierce, if the story of the Trump administration had any more Russians in it, it would have to be written by Tolstoy.

Monday, July 10, 2017

It's "Bob Dylan Covering Songs You Wouldn't Necessarily Expect Him to Cover" Week!

From a rehearsal in 1985, here's his Bobness covering a song by that guy who didn't believe in Zimmerman.

Pretty good, actually, but much weirdness yet to come as the week progresses.

Friday, July 07, 2017

Actual New Floor Models News

Long story, but we have discovered a "lost" Andy song that we are about to refurbish, starting on Monday, when ace drummer Glen "Bob" Allen -- my musical director for the last fifty years -- and I go into the studio to recreate the rhythm section from this 1982 Other End version of "You Can't Tell Me Anything."

A tune we did live for ages, but for some inexplicable reason never demoed back in the day.

I'm pretty stoked about this, obviously; I'll keep you posted on our progress.

Have a great weekend, everybody!

Thursday, July 06, 2017

What's the Matter With Kids Todeay?

Noted without comment.

Except to say that The Smiths would have been a hell of a great instrumental band.

Wednesday, July 05, 2017

Where's the Freedom From Religion Foundation When We Really Need It ?

From 2016, please enjoy -- if possible -- Father John Misty on the Stephen Colbert show.

I'm told that today's youngsters really dig this guy.

I'm unconvinced about him, however. I hated his previous band Fleet Foxes -- a thoroughly derivative folk-rock outfit that looked more miserable at being onstage than any other act I've ever seen -- and this new shtick of his just seems too clever and ironic by half.

That said, there was a PROFILE of him in a recent issue of the New Yorker, and I gotta admit -- as Jack Nicholson famously said of Bob Dylan -- "This guy's a riot."

My favorite bit:

Tillman and [his significant other] Emma recently moved to Laurel Canyon, to a two-bedroom house at the end of a cul-de-sac. He’d lived in the neighborhood when he first moved to Los Angeles, and critics drew the inevitable line back to fabled predecessors—Gram Parsons, Joni Mitchell, Crosby, Stills, and Nash. “Yes, that ‘unmistakable Laurel Canyon sound,’ ” Tillman said. “The sound of Laurel Canyon is entertainment lawyers screaming at their dogs.”

Plus he does a lot of drugs, which at this point in time I find endearing.

Tuesday, July 04, 2017

It's Independence Day!!!

And in its honor please enjoy Bill Pullman, the greatest president of the United States who was never president of the United States..., wait, in the era of President Tweety Amin that's not even a particularly good joke.


What I meant to say was please enjoy The Hollies and their gorgeous cover of Bruce Springsteen's "4th of July, Asbury Park (Sandy)."

Because nothing says an American holiday like a bunch of whey-faced Limeys singing in three part harmony.

Have a great 4th, everybody!

Monday, July 03, 2017

Your Monday Moment of Post-Weekend Listomania Canadian Content

Long time readers are perhaps aware that I consider The Guess Who's 1972 album Rockin' not only said band's masterpiece, but one of the greatest rock records ever made.

And for some reason, I forgot to include something from it on last Friday's tribute to the birthday of Canadia.

So allow me to make amends -- please enjoy the album's closing medley "Hi Rockers!"

Which, as you will hear in breathless wonder, consists of a fabulously dopey comedy routine featuring two members of the band pretending to be drunks in a bar listening to Phil Phillips' greaseball classic "Sea of Love," which then segues into two GW originals -- the gorgeous production ballad "Heaven Only Moved Once Yesterday" and then "Don't You Want Me," the most sublime rockabilly song of all time.

You're welcome.