Wednesday, September 30, 2020

We Interrrupt Paul Revere and the Raiders Week for This Astoundingly Great New Song by Bruce Springsteen

I could go on at length about how amazing this record is -- and what an absolute Springsteen classic it is -- but I'm just gonna say one thing, apart from how epic the guitars are etc. blah blah blah. At the 4:24 point when Bruce screams one of his patented "ONE TWO THREE FOUR!!!!" deals, he does something absolutely brilliant.

He pronounces it WAH TWA WAH TWAH THWAHHH FWAHHHHH!!!!!!!!!!!!!

And don't even get me started on this lyric --

I shoulder your Les Paul and finger that fretboard

I make my vows to those who've come before

-- which contains the meaning of the universe.

True story -- the Friday of August 25th, 1975, Columbia Records messengered me a test pressing of Born to Run...

...that I got to take home for the weekend before the rest of the world got a chance to listen to it.

It changed my life. On a million levels.

I have not had a comparable experience since then till tonight. That's all I'm gonna say.

POSTSCRIPT: On vacation today and Friday. Music stuff resumes on Saturday.

Tuesday, September 29, 2020

We Interrupt Paul Revere and the Raiders Week for This Moment of Rebel Rebel

And in case you haven't heard it yet, here's Cheap Trick's brand new cover of the David Bowie classic.

Like the guy says at the end -- yeah. Something like that.

I should add that it's no secret that, historically (by which I mean going back to my tenure at The Magazine Formerly Known as Stereo Review) I have never been a David Bowie fan. That said, "Rebel Rebel" has always been one of my favorite songs. And I defy you to watch this clip...

...without getting all choked up.

Monday, September 28, 2020

It's Paul Revere and the Spirit of '67 Week: Special "My Little Town" Edition

From their Summer of Love masterpiece The Spirit of '67...

...please enjoy Paul Revere and the Raiders -- featuring Fang (and I absolutely love writing the phrase "featuring Fang) -- and their quite brilliant "In My Community."

I hadn't listened to this album since forever, and I frankly have no idea why I was suddenly motivated to do so -- although the fact that the new CD version I glommed has both mono and stereo mixes as well as bonus tracks may have something to do with it. That said, I have long been of the opinion that it's one of the absolutely best albums of its year, and by that I mean as good as anything -- Jefferson Airplane, Grateful Dead, Moby Grape -- that was being done in San Francisco at the time; I have no doubt that if the Raiders had dressed like the rest of their contemporaries, i.e. hippies, this would be received opinion.

And because I love you all more than food, here's a YouTube version for those unfortunates amongst us who have problems with the audio links I post using the Box.

Friday, September 25, 2020

Let's Pub Rock Again Like We Did Last Summer: (Special Filthy Lucre Edition)

And speaking as we have been (all this week) of that fabulous new 3-CD set Surrender to the Rhythm: The London Pub Rock Scene of the Seventies...

...please enjoy the great Starry Eyed and Laughing and their sublimely Byrdsian "Money is No Friend of Mine."

That's from their eponymous 1974 debut album, which is one of the great forgotten masterpieces of its decade. If you're even remotely into jingle-jangle 12-string guitar -- and if you're not, why are you reading this here blog? -- you really need to hear more of their stuff. I recommend this 20-track best-of, which you can -- and should -- order over at Amazon HERE. Or if you ask me nicely, I'll be happy to burn you a copy.

I should add that I was lucky enough to see those guys live on two separate occasions in small clubs in '74, and I also got to interview lead singer and 12-string guy Tony Poole, who was a real sweetheart. Have I mentioned that I had a really great job?

In any case, because I love you all more than food, here's a live video version of "Money..."... case you're one of those unfortunates who has problems with the audio links I post using the Box.

Have a great weekend, everybody!!!

Thursday, September 24, 2020

Wednesday, September 23, 2020

Let's Pub Rock Again Like We Did Last Summer: Part III (Special "What the Hell Kind of Name is Brinsley Anyway?" Edition)

And speaking as we have been (all this week) of that fabulous new 3-CD set Surrender to the Rhythm: The London Pub Rock Scene of the Seventies...

...please enjoy the great Brinsley Schwarz (featuring some guy named Nick Lowe on lead vocals) with the title song from said anthology.

That song originally appeared on the Brinsley's 1972 LP Nervous on the Road, which definitely behooves behearing in its entirety. I should also add that the organ playing on that -- by the American member of the band, the should be a household word Bob Andrews -- is among the most gloriously lyrical Hammond B-3 work ever committed to magnetic tape.

And because I love you all more than food, here's an absolutely glorious live performance (from long running Brit TV show The Old Grey Whistle Test)... case you're one of those unfortunates who has problems with the audio links I post using the Box.

Tuesday, September 22, 2020

Let's Pub Rock Again Like We Did Last Summer: Part II (Special Down by the Banks of the River Thames Edition)

And speaking as we were yesterday of that fabulous new 3-CD set Surrender to the Rhythm: The London Pub Rock Scene of the Seventies...

...I should stipulate that there are a couple of bands included on the anthology that have me scratching my head; I'll get into that more as the week goes on, but let's just say that what a glam-era track by Mott the Hoople is doing on the album is beyond me.

That said, here's the cut that closes disc three, and obviously it simply HAD to be there. From 1979, it's The Inmates and their absolutely killer reworking of The Standells "Dirty Water."

Which should be on anybody's short list of cover versions that improve on the originals.

Tomorrow I wax all historical and at more than usual length on the pub rock movement, but don't worry -- there will also be a great song to go with my wanking.

Monday, September 21, 2020

Let's Pub Rock Again Like We Did Last Summer: Part I (Special Breakfast Edition)

From the fabulous just released 3-CD compilation Surrender to the Rhythm: The London Pub Rock Scene of the Seventies...

...please enjoy American ex-pats Eggs Over Easy and their infectious attempted single (recorded in 1971 but not released until 2016) "Funky But Clean."

Throughout this week, I'll have much more to say about a) the details of said compilation; b) the historical importance of the pub rock movement; and c) several of the bands on this new anthology. But for now let's just say that Eggs Over Easy -- and I briefly played in a college garage outfit with one of the guys in EOE -- are generally acknowledged to be responsible for getting the ball rolling, pub rock wise.

I should add that EOE didn't have a full-time drummer when they recorded the above, so they enlisted the great John Steel of The Animals to pound the pagan skins on the song above.

Tomorrow: also from Surrender to the Rhythm, one of of the greatest remakes of a 60s rock classic ever made.

Oh -- and you can (and should) order the album over at Amazon HERE.

[h/t Chris E.]

Saturday, September 19, 2020

Your Weekend Moment of Clive Gregson is God

From their 2007 reunion album, please enjoy the incredibly fabulous Any Trouble, featuring the great Clive Gregson, and their glorious ode to the music that inspired us all -- "That Sound."

I originally wrote about this song when the album came out, but I had more or less forgotten it until this week. What a pleasure to find out it was still as to die for as it was back in the day.

And why am I putting this up right this minute?

Well, therein lies a tale, but you'll have to wait untill Monday to hear it. Let's just stipulate it's going to be a theme week.

And what the hell -- a coveted PowerPop No-Prize© will be awarded to the first reader who guesses what that theme is.

Friday, September 18, 2020

Your Friday Moment of Speaking of Gorgeous

The title song/video from Bruce Springsteen's forthcoming album.

I lack the words to describe how amazing that is.

However, I will say this -- to paraphrase one of the guys from Mystery Science Theater 3000 -- it's pretty obvious that the Boss has felt a breeze from the powerful hind claws of Death itself behind him.

Have a great weekend, everybody.

Thursday, September 17, 2020

Guess Who?

Here's a clue -- that photo was taken in October of 1964.
Let's just say I wouldn't mess with that dude.

Tuesday, September 15, 2020

Your Tuesday Moment of "Eight Miles High Dere!"

[Yes, it's a Marty Allen reference. So sue me.]

So anyway, as attentive readers may recall, I am in the process of producing a final Floor Models album (or EP -- not quite sure) which is going to be The Byrds tribute we always wanted to make.

I mean hey -- McGuinn and company changed our lives, so it's about time. And it's coming along very nicely.

So over last weekend, when some publicist sent me a new song by a British band, previously unknown to me, called The Metal Byrds, I instantly got a little irked.

The Metal Byrds? Are you kidding me? Who the hell are those upstarts and why are they giving me grief while I can't get Blogger to work?

Well, here's the short version.

The song and band are absolutely fabulous.

As you can hear, these kids and "Dreamin'" sound like the cross between Blondie and Hüsker Dü of your dreams -- it's an absolutely fantastic pop/rock song, the guitars are to die for, and vocalist Suzanne Birdie (apparently that's her real name) would have ruled CBGBs back in the day.

Bottom line: This is the most exciting rock single I've heard this year.

You can find out more about these guys -- including a link to stream their stuff -- over HERE.

Monday, September 14, 2020

It's the End of the World Blah Blah Blah

Okay, I'm sort of figuring this shit out.

A genuine post -- just like the good old days -- may go up Tuesday. Assuming I haven't blown my brains out. But if I can''t work this crap as easily as I've worked it for the last 13 years, I'm done.

In which case, if you're interested in taking over this here blog, e-mail me or message me at Facebook and we can discuss it.

Saturday, September 12, 2020

Don't Get Me Started

I am beyond pissed at blogger. I will be attempting to resolve my (and their) issues before Monday. If It doesn't work -- nice knowing all you folks.

Have a great weekend, everybody.

Thursday, September 10, 2020

Closed for Technical Monkey Business

The short version -- Blogger, which I've been using to produce this here blog for close to 13 years, has now fucked up their basic template even worse than Facebook just did.

It's an open question whether I'll be able to figure out how to negotiate this new version, and I'm not kidding -- if I can't work it out in the next day or two I'm seriously tempted to either shut this here blog down or offer to turn it over to somebody else.

I don't need this freaking grief.

Wednesday, September 09, 2020

Sir Tom? Meet Jools. Jools? Meet Sir Tom!

From the 2004 album Tom Jones & Jools Holland...

...that I posted about yesterday, please enjoy another absolutely blistering track, a fab(heh!) cover of Larry Williams classic "Slow Down."

And once again, because I love you all more than food, I'm including a YouTube link to it... case you're one of those readers who have problems with the audio links from The Box I usually post.

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

From the 2004 album Tom Jones & Jools Holland...

...please enjoy an absolutely blistering version of Frankie ("Sea Cruise") Ford's 1959 B-side classic "Roberta."

A song, I should add, that I mostly know from the version on The Animals 1965 album Animal Tracks.

I should also add that I don't know how I missed this album when it originally came out, but it's absolutely freaking brilliant. And both Holland -- the original keyboard genius of Squeeze and the long time host of perhaps the best pop music TV show out of England ever -- and SIR Tom Jones (I didn't know he'd been knighted) absolutely cover themselves in glory on it.

BTW, because I love you all more than food, I'm including a YouTube link to "Roberta"... case you're one of those readers who have problems with the audio links from The Box I usually post.

Tuesday, September 08, 2020

Give the Drummer Some (Part Deux)

From 2020, please enjoy the just released official video for "Charlie, Keith and Ringo," the fabulous tribute song by the equally fabulous Tearaways we posted the audio for back in early August.

Incidentally, the gent bashing those pagan skins is, of course, the incomparable Clem Burke of Blondie fame.

In any event, a terrific clip that fully lives up to the drum greats who inspired it. Hats off to all involved.

I should also add that you can -- and should -- download the audio of "Charlie, Keith and Ringo" over at bandcamp HERE.

[h/t Marc Platt]

Monday, September 07, 2020

Add Some Music to Your (Labor) Day

From a just about to be released album by the wonderfully monikered (courtesy of Jack White) young Florida band The Supplements, please enjoy their spectacular new single "On Your Own."

A little back story, courtesy of the band.
If Queens of the Stone Age and Interpol got into a bar fight, the cacophony they'd create might resemble the music of The Supplements. The South Florida based independent rock band are releasing their new song, "On Your Own," on Friday, September 4th, 2020. This is their debut as a full band and their first studio single.

The Supplements are an alt-rock outfit springing up from the South Florida DIY scene. Shortly after playing their first show in February of 2020, the band met their first major disappointment when the world was shut down. Their plans for organic growth in the local scene were dashed as venues closed, but unwilling to waste any more time they hopped into the studio.

"On Your Own," a riff-based rock track with a slightly dark edge, builds on its main theme before a whiplash-inducing solo transitions the song to a bass-lead section with sunny, interlocking chords for the outro. Fans of local indie music or the post-punk revival of the early'Aughts will love this track.

Okay, this isn't going to shock anybody who's read this here blog before, but I'm not particularly a fan of either Queens of the Stone Age OR Interpol. That said, this song is the real deal. Also, the video is fabulously filmed, and its implied social distancing theme strikes me as a particularly appropriate visual metaphor for our current trying times.

I should add that I also have enormous respect for any young artists who are finding the courage and the pluck to continue to ply their trade despite the enormous obstacles the aforementioned trying times are throwing up in front of them.

Bottom line, however, is that "On Your Own" is just a kick-ass piece of rock-and-roll, and the video is killer.

You can find links to stream or download the Supplements over HERE; I'll keep you posted when the album itself is available.

Friday, September 04, 2020

Friends of Mine: Songs by People I Actually Know That I Played on Capt. Al's LOST AT SEA Last Week Which You May Have Missed (Part IV)

Friend of PowerPop -- and moi -- Joe Benoit recorded this brilliant song about the pandemic back in May, which as attentive readers will recall is when I first wrote about it.

Hey what’s your hurry?
You don’t have to worry
There’s nowhere to go anyway
I think the clock still ticks
As I’m watching Netflix
But I’m losing track of the days

There’s nothing left out there for me

Welcome to the longest weekend that you’ve ever known
It’s getting kind of strange to be alone
At least we’re still breathing
We’re living in the longest weekend
You’d think it would be fun
I never thought I’d say that I want Monday to come

I averred then that, as far as I was concerned, when the history of this dreadful era is written, future scholars are going to regard that song as the most important work of art to come out of the whole depressing experience. Okay, if not the most important work of art, at least the most important kick ass rock-and-roll song. And I stand by that opinion.

I should add that Joe has an album's worth of new material almost ready to be released -- most of it dealing in at least tangential ways with our seemingly endless national nightmare -- and when he's finished those songs to his satisfaction, which should be very soon, I'll be sharing them with you. I've heard roughs of a lot of them and they're fantastic. Just saying.

In the meantime, in sadder news, friend of PowerPop Capt. Al has informed me that his last Lost at Sea broadcast at Area 24 Radio will be tomorrow -- i.e. Saturday September 5th -- beginning at 1:30PM EST.

After which, the station will be shutting down for good on Labor Day.

You can and should tune in to the show over at the link HERE. It's been a great ride, Capt. -- 9 years of broadcasts and at least 20(?) guest appearances by your truly. Saturday I'll just be a listener, of course, and you should be listeners too.

I should also add that the Captain will be playing this amazing song by my late great good friend, drummer and musical director for the last 50 years Glen Robert Allen...

...and that when it's over, there won't be a dry eye in the house. Well, at least my house.

Have a great holiday weekend, everybody!

PROGRAMMING ALERT: The show’s opening has been pushed back to 2pm EST. Sorry for the delay.

Thursday, September 03, 2020

Friends of Mine: Songs by People I Actually Know That I Played on Capt. Al's LOST AT SEA Last Week Which You May Have Missed (Part III)

From 1994, please enjoy the great Bill Lloyd and my favorite song from his absolutely brilliant album Set to Pop -- "I Went Electric."

I raved about that record in the pages of the Magazine Formerly Known as Stereo Review at the time it came out, and it's only because I'm a horribly lazy slacker that I haven't found a link to that critique, despite the fact I sort of vaguely know where it's archived.

In any case, Bill is a genuine hero of power pop -- in case you haven't noticed, the song title is a wonderfully clever Bob Dylan homage -- and I'm gonna be posting some more of his stuff next week, but in a totally different context. Check this space, as we say.

I should add that Set to Pop is still available over at Amazon HERE and you need to hear the rest of it. Act now.

Wednesday, September 02, 2020

Friends of Mine: Songs by People I Actually Know That I Played on Capt. Al's LOST AT SEA Last Week Which You May Have Missed (Part II)

From his 2005 CD The Right Tool for the Job, please enjoy the incomparable Gregory Fleeman -- i.e., the funniest singer/songwriter in history (or at least Greenwich Village in the late 70s/early 80s) -- and two of the album's drollest and most subversive songs.

To begin with, his priceless recounting of the historic meeting between Liberace and Elvis Presley...

...and then his ode to -- well, you'll figure it out.

I should add that I did not play this one -- subtitled "Sucking My Way to the Top" -- on the show...

...although I have on previous episodes. In any case, it remains the greatest thing in the history of things.

I should also add that a) you can and should order the CD over at Amazon HERE and b) that Greg (who also wrote the movie F/X, by the way) is having some health issues of late, so please send lots of good thoughts his way for a speedy and full recovery.

Tuesday, September 01, 2020

Your Tuesday Moment of Words Fail Me

The Camel Drivers?

Seriously -- The Camel Drivers?

Bottom line -- this was a real mid-60s American band (who got together at a college in Michigan, apparently), and you can read more about them -- and actually download a CDs worth of music -- over HERE.

But seriously -- The Camel Drivers? Are you fucking shitting me?