Tuesday, April 30, 2019

Radio Killed the Video Star

Gonna be a guest on friend of PowerPop Capt. Al's intertube radio show Lost at Sea this morning,

The show begins at 11am and you can listen to it over HERE.

I'll be gassing about some Keith Richards related stuff starting at 11:30.

Monday, April 29, 2019

Your Monday Moment of Words Fail Me

Long time Rolling Stones back-up vocalist Bernard Fowler has just made what is, for me, the best album of the year so far. And the concept is so brilliant I can't believe nobody's thought to do it before.

Here's my favorite track.

Friend of PowerPop Sal Nunziato, over at his invaluable Burning Wood blog, has the details about it over HERE.

Have I mentioned that words fail me?

Friday, April 26, 2019

Weekend Listomania: Special Four Legs Good. Also Feathers, Fins and Claws!!! Edition

Just for the record, today's Listomania is dedicated to a certain Shady Dame of my acquaintance, who conceptualized it, if I may use that expression.

And also to The Incomparable Eddie©....

...without whom obviously.


No arbitrary rules whatsoever, except if anybody nominates that "Mr. Bojangles" crap I'm gonna take a hostage.

And my totally top of my head Top Seven is ---

7. Patti Page -- How Much is That Doggie in the Window?

It is perhaps not an exaggeration to say that this song is so odious that it single-handedly made rock-and-roll a historical imperative.

6. The Kinks -- Phenomenal Cat

Is there any subject Ray Davies hasn't written a terrific song about?

5.The Byrds -- Old Blue

He was a good dog, too.

4. The Byrds -- Bugler

I think this is actually my favorite thing Clarence White ever did. Seriously.

3. The Youngbloods-- Grizzly Bear

Okay, I'm cheating with this one, but those bears are pretty cute. And terrific dancers.

2. Saigon Kick -- My Dog

He's dead, he's dead

My dog was walking down the street
Minding his own business
And this fuckin' car came
And ran him over

Have you seen my dog
Playing 'round and 'round
And he was looking at me
With those big brown eyes

And he started shaking and shaking
In other words I didn't know what to do
And the blood was just pouring
Out of his mouth into a puddle

Oh, God, he's dead, no
Have you seen my dog
Playing 'round and 'round

Words fail me.

And the Number One song about a furry companion is obviously, it's not even cloise --

1. Henry Gross -- Shannon

Have I mentioned that dead dog songs are actually a genre? In any case, this one is pretty much the best of all of them. That may be Carl Wilson singing backup on this, BTW, but I'm too lazy to look it up.

Alrighty then -- what would YOUR choices be?

Have a great weekend, everybody!!!

Thursday, April 25, 2019

An Early Clue to the New Direction

From 1966, and the album of the same name, please enjoy The Beach Boys and their fabulous instrumental "Pet Sounds."

As always, a coveted PowerPop No-Prize© will be awarded to the first reader who figures out the clip's relationship to the theme of tomorrow's Weekend Listomania.

Wednesday, April 24, 2019

Closed for Monkey Business

Regular posting -- including a sneaky clue to the theme of Friday's Weekend Listomania -- resumes on the morrow.

Tuesday, April 23, 2019

Honk If You Love Rock 'n' Roll

So I just got a copy of the new Rolling Stones 3-disc sort-of best-of album Honk (don't ask).

As you might expect, the Greatest Hits section -- which derives, partly, from every official Stones studio album since they started their own label -- is a fairly depressing document of their devolution as a creative force since, oh, maybe around the time of Some Girls, although I was surprised to find that their recent blues record wasn't as bad as I remembered.

The third disc -- which is all recent live stuff, often with guests -- has its moments, however. And, because I love you all more than food, here they are.

A pretty cool version of "Bitch," with Dave Grohl.

And a really fabulous "Dead Flowers," with Brad Paisley (who sounds, in the immortal words of Ian Hunter, like he's wanted to do this for years and years).

You're welcome.

Monday, April 22, 2019

Friday, April 19, 2019

Your Friday Moment of Church Rock

From 2006, please enjoy the good looking guy and his brother the Hitler look-alike, AKA SPARKS...

...and a song obviously relevant to the events of last Monday.

Incidentally, whoever posted the video got the title wrong -- it's "As I Sit Down", not "When."

Have a great weekend, everybody!!!

Thursday, April 18, 2019

Wednesday, April 17, 2019

Things I Learned Reading the April Issue of MOJO...

...guest edited by Keith Richards...

...and this kinda blows my mind. Guess who's playing the sax stuff on "The Wanderer".

None other than a teenaged Bobby Keys.

From Buddy Holly to the Rolling Stones, through Dion. Man, that cat had one of the the greatest resumes ever.

BTW, if that issue of MOJO is at your newstand, grab it. For the bonus CD alone...

...which may be one of the neatest party records ever. If only for this one, which was also news to me.

So much great music, so little time!!!

Tuesday, April 16, 2019

How Do You Say "I Read the News Today, Oh Boy" in French?

There is no more gorgeous piece of early 20th century classical orchestral music (under 7 minutes) than Franz Schmidt's Intermezzo from his opera Notre Dame (yeah, based on the story everybody knows).

I bring this up because when a certain Shady Dame and I visited Notre Dame in 2009...

...that's what I kept hearing in my head.

Thank the FSM the damage turns out to have been not as awful as we feared yesterday.

Monday, April 15, 2019

If It Isn't Scottish, It's Crap!

It's official -- Korean boy "band" BTS, who were the "musical" guest on Saturday Night Live last weekend, are the single worst act that's been on the show in the last two or three years, which is really saying something

Seriously, this was just plain insulting, unless we're supposed to believe that SNL's target demographic is now undiscriminating fifteen-year-old girls.

Friday, April 12, 2019

The Punk Meets the Godfather

From 2011, please enjoy two generations of All Mod Cons, i.e. Paul Weller and Pete Townshend with a gorgeous performance of one of my favorite early Who songs.

I must confess I've always thought it really cool that these guys get on so well. I should also add that I have a tendency to forget just how good an acoustic player Pete is, and this clip is a nice reminder of that.

Have a great weekend, everybody!!!

Thursday, April 11, 2019

Hu's Next

From 2018, please enjoy Mongolian Monsters of Metal The Hu and "Wolf Totem."

You know, I didn't really believe it heretofore, but music really IS a universal language.

Wednesday, April 10, 2019

Closed Due to Monkey Business

Worked late in the studio last night, and when I got home I discovered that a certain Shady Dame of my acquaintance was seriously under the weather.

Scout's honor -- regular music-themed postings resume on the morrow.

Tuesday, April 09, 2019

Tales That Witness Senility

So the other day -- Saturday, to be precise -- for some reason I became obsessed with trying to remember a record I had written about at this here blog approximately a decade ago. All I could recall was that it was by a solo artist (possibly from Texas) and that it had been an interestingly weird cover of -- I thought -- a Buddy Holly song, and that it had originally been released in the late 60s or early 70s..

Research using those parameters turned up nothing at this here blog; neither did impassioned entreaties to various rock critics/historians of my acquaintance. It was driving me fucking crazy.

And then yesterday, while walking down the street to my local watering hole for lunch, it popped into my head unbidden in a classic Eureka! moment: Terry Manning.

And I mean a classic Eureka moment -- I shouted the name so loud that several pedestrians were unnerved enough to give me a wide berth on the sidewalk.

Anyway, here it is. And as it turns out it wasn't a Buddy Holly cover, but rather a revisionist take on an old Johnny Cash song.

Fortunately, it turned out to have been worth the effort, as you can hear. I was also gratified to learn that, yes, it had been originally released in 1970, and that Manning himself was in fact from Texas; he had actually worked with Bobby Fuller in his formative years, and cooler than that it does not get.

Now -- if only I could remember where I left my headphones....

Monday, April 08, 2019

Hu's On First

Words fail me, but this is absolutely real. From 2018, Mongolian heavy metal.

Complete with that throat singing stuff that was so fashionable in the early 90s.

Friday, April 05, 2019

Let Us Now Praise (Should Be) Famous Men

From a 2003 tribute to The Who, please enjoy the incomparable Jim Basnight and an absolutely wonderful cover of "I Can See For Miles."

I bring all this up because Jim...

...is a genuine power pop legend who, if there was some sort of viable Supreme Being, would be a household word.

Seriously -- this guy's been making ridiculously terrific music since...well, forever.

If you've never heard of him, here's the short version: Among other things, he's been the front man of two absolutely fabulous and influential New Wave/power pop bands called, respectively, The Moberlys and then The Rockinghams.

In any event, Jim has a new album out called, appropriately enough, Not Changing.

And here's "You Never Cease to Amaze." At the moment, my favorite track.

And which, I think we can agree, puts a modified version of the "Sweet Jane" chord changes through an interesting blender involving grown up romantic concerns. And also rocks like a mofo.

In any case, you can download the whole thing over at Amazon HERE.

Do it now, you dumb slackers. What are you waiting for?

And have a great weekend, everybody!!!

Thursday, April 04, 2019

Closed Due to House Arrest

Officer Eddie is guarding the door.

Seriously, spent the last two days in the studio, but I promise -- regular posting resumes tomorrow, when I get time off for good behavior.

Wednesday, April 03, 2019

Closed for Monkey Business

Rough week, kids.

Regular fabulous postings resume on the morrow. Scout's honor.

Tuesday, April 02, 2019

The Present Day Rocker Refuses to Die

From 2018, please enjoy Aaron Lee Tasjan and the appealingly roots-ish "The Truth is So Hard to Believe."

Pretty cool band, too.

I hadn't heard of this guy until this Sunday, when he was recommended to me by friend of PowerPop Joe Benoit, who saw him open for Cheap Trick two weeks ago.

Thanks for the tip, pal.

Monday, April 01, 2019

Your Monday Moment of Tom Lehrer

I believe that's from the old That Was the Week That Was, the 60s equivalent of the John Oliver or Samantha Bee shows. In any case, the song strikes me as shall we say relevant to our current world situation.

Inspirational verse: "We'll all stay serene and calm/When Alabama gets the bomb."