Tuesday, October 31, 2023

Hey, It's Halloween, Bitches!!!

And I've got MY trick-or-treat outfit.

Okay, the tie's not really authentically skinny enough. So sue me.

PS: Here I am earlier today, having lunch with a friend.

Monday, October 30, 2023

Nobody Ever Erected a Statue to a Rock Critic

John Malkovich in a one-man show about the great classical composers being dissed by their critical contemporaries?

Okay, how did I miss the memo on this?

From the press release:

Schumann fancies himself a "composer“, while Brahms is a "giftless bastard“ and Claude Debussy is "simply ugly." Aleksey Igudesman has created a sardonic mix of the most evil music critiques of the last centuries written about some of the greatest works of music. Equipped with a frivolous potpourri of musical insults, John Malkovich slips into the role of the evil critic who believes the music of Beethoven, Chopin, Prokofiev and the likes to be weary and dreary.

Aleksey Igudesman, Hyung-ki Joo and other great musicians beg to differ and fight back. The grand finale is "The Malkovich Torment“, a horrific review about Malkovich himself, which Igudesman has set to music in a uniquely sardonically humorous way.

“I have always loved the opportunity to collaborate on The Music Critic with Aleksey Igudesman, Hyung-ki Joo, and many other gifted and thoughtful young classical musicians. We are all happy to be back on the road, and for the first time also in the USA, participating in an evening which consists of some of the greatest compositions in the history of classical music, paired with the perhaps rather unexpected initial reactions those compositions elicited from some of the world’s renowned music critics, along with some other surprises.” -- John Malkovich

This actually played in NYC Saturday night just passed, and like a schmuck I didn't get tickets, although in my defense, I wasn't even aware it existed till last Friday.

In any event, the whole idea of it tickles me, for obvious professional reasons, and then, of course -- Malkovich. I need say no more.

Oh, and BTW, the quote paraphrased in today's title has been attributed to various folks over the years, but the concensus is that it was originally uttered by Jean Sibelius, the beloved Finnish composer I'm sure some schmuck scribbler once said something nasty about.

Also, you can find out more about the show, including where it's playing next, over at its official website HERE.

[h/t Tony Forte]

Friday, October 27, 2023

Weekend Listomania: Special "That's Meh Up on the Jukebox!" Edition

Okay, it's Friday, and you know what that means. Yes, my Congressional manual dexterity consultant Rep. Lauren Boebert [R-Victoria's Secret] and I will be repairing to a nearby dinner theater to enjoy a dimly lit road company version of Willie and the Hand Jive: The Musical. So regular posting will necessarily be fitful for the next few days, for obvious reasons.

That being the case, here's a hopefully stress-relieving diversion to keep you all occupied until our sweaty-but-satisfied return. To wit:

Post-Elvis Pop/Rock/Soul/Country Performer(s) Whose Work You Recognize as Important, But Otherwise They Just Don't Do it For You!!!

No arbitrary rules here, but basically we're talking about bands or solo acts who simply aren't your cup of tea, even though you cheerfully concede they have the musical goods. In other words, if their stuff came on the radio, you wouldn't turn it off, but you still wouldn't buy their albums for your personal collection.

And my totally Top of My Head Top Five is...

5. Talking Heads

Daivd Byrne's preppy anxiety attacks have always struck me as just a wee tad pretentious -- so sue me. In any case, this is the only Heads song I have ever listened to for pleasure, and then only in the rocked-out Bob Clearmountain remix, which seems to have vanished mysteriously from YouTube, alas.

4. Led Zeppelin

Figures that the only thing of theirs I love unreservedly would be this stylistically left-field vaguely Latin excursion from their final album. You know -- the one most Zep fans don't care for.

3. Van Halen

Hey -- I've seen Back to the Future; I get why people a generation younger than me dig them, and think Eddie's a cool guitarist. The above is still the only song of theirs that doesn't reduce me to scowling fidgets.

2. The Band

Love 'em being all spooky and stuff behind Dylan, think Garth Hudson is the greatest rock organist ever, but couldn't care less if I never heard any of their records again.

And the number one household name musical icon that pretty much everybody else loves, but I could easily and without regret live without is ---

1. Elton John

What can I tell you -- this one slays me, but other than that I have never listened to a single one of his songs under a pair of headphones for enjoyment. I should add that the "Tiny Dancer" scene in Almost Famous makes me wanna hurl.

Alright then -- what would YOUR choices be?

And have a great weekend, everybody!!!

Thursday, October 26, 2023

An Early Clue to the New Direction: Special "There's No Accounting for Taste" Edition

[This originally appeared in the Magazine Formerly Known as Stereo Review in 1975, snd I've posted it in these precincts once or twice before. I'm putting it up today, however, as a hint at the theme of tomorrow's Weekend Listomania, and a coveted PowerPop No-Prize© will be awarded to the first of you jamokes who guesses it. I should add that I have made a couple of reivsions to the original list, out of sensitivity towards today's more enlightened sensibilities. In any case, enjoy. -- S.S.]


My younger brother's passion -- or perhaps it's a mania -- for film exceeds even mine for music. I mean, he'll sit through four hours of a Republic serial without even going to the john! But his mania has its uses; not long ago I was browsing through an esoteric film journal in his collection whose basic premise I have decided to crib. Titled simply "Things We Like," it was a completely and openly subjective (what else?) catalog by two film nuts of moments they found memorable in various motion pictures. One moment that stopped me -- and it's the only entry I can remember, by the way -- was the opening: "Mariette Hartley's wedding in Peckinpah's Ride the High Country." Lovely.

Anyway, after worrying away at my own list culled from twenty-odd years of rock-and-roll, I've decided at last to air the dirty linen in public. What follows is simply a random rundown of things that have given me pleasure, rock-wise, over the years -- specific songs, events, brief musical bits. I won't pretend, as much as I'd like to (ought to?), that any of them have any significance other than showing where my own head is at, but never mind. This is strictly for browsing; I'm willing to bet any rock fan could come up with a totally different list that would be equally valid and just as much fun.

So, without further ado, "Things I Like."

•George Harrison's last guitar harmonic on the solo from "Nowhere Man."
•Charlie Watts hitting the bell of his cymbal on the final line of "Dead Flowers."
•The opening a capella harmonies on Fairport Convention's version of "Percy's Song."
•The Beach Boys' background ah-ohm-wop-diddits on "This Whole World."
•Smokey Robinson's heartrending wordless vocalizing at the end of "Ooh Baby Baby."
•Keith Richards' guitar solos on "Down the Road Apiece."
•Dave Davies' finger-picking on the fade-out of the Kinks' "See My Friends."
•Roy Wood introducing his solo on "Turkish Tram Conductor Blues" with a coy "Oh, yes."
•All of Bruce Springsteen's "Rosalita."
•Bob Dylan's spoken introduction for "Like a Rolling Stone" on the Albert Hall bootleg.
•The back-up vocals on the last verse of the MC5's "Shakin' Street."
•Steve Marriott's screaming at the end of the Small Faces' "Tin Soldier."
•David Crosby's harmonies on the last verse of the Byrds' "Fifth Dimension" and "I Come and Stand at Every Door."
•The drunken Dixieland band on the Stones' "Something Happened to Me Yesterday."
•Arlene Smith's singing on the Chantels' "Maybe."
•The production (especially the percussion) on Martha and the Vandella's "Dancing in the Street."
•Paul McCartney's bass line on "A Little Help From My Friends."
•Keith Moon's drumming on the final break of "Happy Jack."
•Eric Clapton's lead guitar on the studio version of "Badge."
•Stevie Winwood's organ work on the ending of "I'm a Man."
•Jeff Beck's guitar solo on the Yardbirds' "Train Kept A-Rollin'."
•Keith Richards forgetting to turn on his fuzz-tone during "Satisfaction" on the Ed Sullivan Show in 1966.
•Todd Rundgren's guitar work on the Nazz's "Under the Ice."
•Leon Russell's piano on Dylan's "Watching the River Flow."
•Johnny Johnson's boogie-woogie piano break on Chuck Berry's "School Days."
•Jimi Hendrix's solo on "Little Wing."
•Roger Daltrey's "Yeahhhhh!!!!!" after the instrumental section of the Who's "Won't Get Fooled Again."
•The censored original cover for Beggars Banquet.
•Steve Stills' and Neil Young's guitar duet on the original "Bluebird."
•Skip Spence's mumbled vocal on Moby Grape's "Seeing."
•The rave-up during the Kinks' "Milkcow Blues" (studio and live versions).
•Buddy Holly's version of "Slippin' and Slidin'" with posthumously overdubbed backing by the Fireballs.
•The Stones doing "Under My Thumb" at Altamont, as seen in Gimme Shelter.
•Van Morrison's harp break on "Mystic Eyes."
•Joni Mitchell's long-held notes and guitar work on "Marcie."
•Ian Hunter's primal (what else?) screaming on Mott the Hoople's "The Journey."
•The fact that Bob Dylan is removing Pete Hammil's liner notes from Blood on the Tracks
•The back-cover in-concert photo on the English EP version of Got Live If You Want It.
•Paul Buckmaster's orchestral evocation of Vaughan Williams at the conclusion of "Moonlight Mile."
•Paul McCartney's vocal on "Long Tall Sally". (Not to mention Ringo's drumming or George's second solo.)
•The out-of-tune twelve-string and falsetto vocal on the Stones' "Singer Not the Song"
•Gary Brooker's scream of "Here I go!" from Procol Harum's "Rambling On."
•Nicky Hopkins' electric piano solo on the Beatles "Revolution."
•Zal Yanovsky's solo album.
•Lou Reed's singing on the last verse of the original "Sweet Jane" on Loaded.
•John Fogerty's blues-wailing harmonica on "Run Through the Jungle."
John Mendelssohn's review of Led Zeppelin II.
•The Move's "Tonight."
•Beatles VI.
•Joan Baez's unintentionally hilarious attempt at soul singing on the Righteous Brothers' "You've Lost That Lovin' Feelin'" (in the 1966 film The T.N.T. Show.
•Almost anything by Dave Edmunds.
•Carly Simon's legs (if not her records).
•The echoed handclap before the ending of the Zombies' "Tell Her No."
•John Lennon forgetting the words to "Help" on the Ed Sullivan Show.
•John Entwistle's bass figures on the "teenage wasteland" portion of "Baba O'Reilly."
•Rod Stewart's "Whooo!!!" on the Faces' "Had Me a Real Good Time."
•Iggy Pop's Ray Davies imitation on "Gimme Danger."
•The Beatles' Shea Stadium Concert film.
•Elvis' weight problem.
•Alan Price's two-fingered organ solo on the Animals' "Boom Boom."
•Jack Cassady's eyebrows. (Also, his bass on the Airplanes' "Other Side of This Life.")
•Steppenwolf's "Born to Be Wild," as featured in the credit sequence of Easy Rider.
•Keith Richards' teeth.
•Carl Wilson's twelve-string break on the Beach Boys' "Dance Dance Dance."
•B.J. Wilson's one-measure drum solo on Procol Harum's "The Devil Came From Kansas."
•Neil Innes' "worst guitar solo in history" from the Bonzo Dog Band's "Canyons of Your Mind."
•West, Bruce and Laing titling a banal slow blues "Slow Blues."
•And, of course, just everything from Exile on Main Street.

Wednesday, October 25, 2023

The Nazz Are Blue

From 1969, and their quite astounding sophomore album Nazz Nazz (originally titled Fungo Bat, which would have been much funnier), please enjoy the aforementioned Nazz (with some guy named Todd Rundgren on guitars) and their sublimely Who-ish "Under the Ice."

That song, and the album it's from, were pretty much game changers for me back in the day, and it/they remain favorites of mine after all these years. I should add and for the record that Thom Mooney -- the cute one with the classic rock star look bottom center in the album cover photo -- is one hell of a great drummer.

Reason I bring all this up is because friend of PowerPop Sal Nunziato, over at his invaluable Burning Wood blog, shared the bad news that Nazz lead singer/keyboardist Robert "Stewkey" Antoni had passed away earlier this month at the age of 75.

That being the case, and by way of tribute, I figured this was a good excuse to re-post a cover of "Ice" by another friend of PowerPop, the incomparable Tommy Stewart.

That's from 2013, but the music link that originally accompanied the post has long since disappeared into the ether. Hence, the above, which I was delighted to find still kicks major ass.

Have I mentioned that this death shit is really starting to piss me off?

Tuesday, October 24, 2023

Closed For Senior Citizen Monkey Business

Had a wonderful birthday weekend, and as a result lacked the time or the energy to get an entry ready for today.

Sad, really.

Regular posting resumes on the morrow.

Monday, October 23, 2023

The Sweet: In Everyone's Life There's a Summer of '75

Okay, this is going to be massively self-indulgent, and please bear with me.

So friend of PowerPop (and me) Sam Walters, a heavy metal kid whom attentive readers will remember me touting as the lead singer for an incomparable NYC band called King Hell -- seen here live, doing to Duran Duran's "Hungry Like the Wolf" what always should have been done to it....

...has apparently developed (or perhaps finally copped to) an obsession with 70s British glam rock gods The Sweet. As witness this item he put up at Facebook last week. (If you can't read the caption, it says ""So, Sam, what do you do?" "I listen to Sweet around the clock and drive my wife @#$!* nuts.")

For those of you who don't remember the Sweet, you're not alone, at least in this country, where they're mostly known solely for their 1972 hit "Little Willie," which was sort of bubble-gum Who.

Me, I loved that song at the time (still do), but most of the rock critics in the Rolling Stone axis never took the band terribly seriously, and perhaps as a result, they never quite caught on here. In the rest of the world that listened to pop music, however, they were household word superstar teen idols. I mean, we're talking like the biggest glam act of them all.

In any event, this song, from 1975, is more or less considered their signature tune, and at the time it was a smasheroo, there were probably very few places on the planet (save for the USofA) where you wouldn't have heard it blasting out of your neighbor's stereo at all hours. (I should add that the video also gives you a pretty good idea of what a cool live act they apparently were; I particularly dig drummer Mick Tucker's Buddy Rich/Gene Krupa inspired stick-twirling action.)

Anyway, I hadn't thought much about them lately until Sam posted about his band-crush the other day, and I thought I'd share my response at the time (slightly re-edited). As I said, this is massively self-indulgent.

Hey Sam -- the summer of 75 that "Fox on the Run" was a hit everywhere but the USA, I spent a week on vacation in Spain -- Torremolinos, and it's a hell of a town. The night before I was due to fly home, I found myself at a local club chatting with a lovely British gal -- a governess, BTW -- who I had met that evening. Her name was Stefanie, and she was from Bournemouth (which I found terribly exotic) and she was totally out of my league, with jet black bangs, alabaster skin, a plummy accent and the bluest eyes I ever got lost in. I had not previously heard FOTR, but somehow, I found myself dancing with her every time it came over the sound system (which was at least thrice, if memory serves) and I was in heaven each time. Nothing further (or unsuitable for mentioning in a family blog) transpired, and I never saw her again after saying goodbye that night. Still, it remains one of the most vivid and magical memories of my adult life. And for this -- if nothing else -- I will forever be in the Sweet's debt,

Hey, I said this story would be self-indulgent. I didn't mention that it would also be boring.

Friday, October 20, 2023

La Fin de la Semaine Essay Question: Special "Sharp Dressed Men" Edition

From 1965, please enjoy the incomparable Beau Brummels and their hilarious garage-rock ode to surviving existential alienation "In Good Time."

A fabulous song, I think you'll agree, but it is perhaps worth noting that for obvious doctrinal reasons it turned out to be obsolete, religiously speaking, almost immediately after it was released.

Which is too bad, because I still think this...

...Don't mind eating fish on Fridays...

...is one of the funniest lines in all of '60s rock.

The bottom line, of course, is that the Brummels are one of the most unaccountably unheralded bands of their era -- remembered, just barely, as sort of one or two hit folk-rock wonders, whereas in reality they were far far better than that. I mean, listen to this obscurity -- from the same album as the above --

...and tell me this wasn't a very major group indeed,

Go on -- I dare you.

In any event, this leads us to this weekend's subject for discussion. To wit:

...and your candidate for the most over-or-underrated post-Elvis pop/rock/soul/country artist(s), song(s) or album(s) is/are...?

No arbitrary rules whatsoever, but be polite to each other.

And have a great weekend, everybody!!!

PS: Tomorrow is my birthday, so effusive compliments on my superb stewardship of this here blog over the years will be cheerfully accepted.

Thursday, October 19, 2023

R.I.P. Dwight Twilley

Apparently, he passed suddenly and unexpectedly yesterday.

I don't think NYMary will disagree when I say that this blog probably wouoldn't have come into being had it not been, to a significant degree, for Twilley and the records he made.

I've said it before, but this death shit is really starting to piss me off.

An Early Clue to the New Direction: Special "Shameless Taylor Swift Clickbait" Edition

Okay, here we go.

I think Taylor Swift is a terrific person, I like her politics, she's obviously ridiculously talented, and what I think of her music -- which is not much, as witness this very blah cover of a great song by somebody else -- is irrelevant since I'm not remotely her demographic.

That said, objectively speaking, I can't see how anybody can make a serious case for her as having added anything to the art of popular music. In other words, yeah, sure she's the biggest cultural phenomenon since The Beatles, but if you're trying to sell her as anything other than a competent singer and songwriter with mad marketing skills, I have some bridge-front property in Brooklyn I'd like to discuss with you.😎

There, I've said it. I didn't mean to say it, but you dragged it out of me.

In any case, a coveted PowerPop No-Prize© will be awarded to the first reader who gleans the above's relevance to the theme of tomorrow's Weekend Essay Question.

Wednesday, October 18, 2023

Parental Advisory: These Songs Are Rated ESTSA (Everyone Sits Two Seats Apart)

From 1981, please enjoy my old friend and bandmate Tony Forte and his two classics of the little-known punk off-shoot genre smut-rock. To wit -- "Hot Flash"...

and "Hard Core."

I should add that those were produced by some dweeb whose name rhymes with Sleeve Nimels, and that Tony a) wrote both songs and b) is responsible for all lead vocals and guitars. And that the amazing rhythm section is Power Pop cult legend David Grahame on bass, and none other than Corky Laing -- of Mountain and West, Bruce and Laing fame -- on drums.

The songs, of course, speak for themselves in their delightfully off-color way, and I think we can all agree that the following....

Now where is it that you get all that juice now

You make Al Goldstein look like Mother Goose now

In Georgia they would put you in the hoosegow

You're so hard core

...has the distinction of being the only lyric in rock history to namecheck the editor/publisher of Screw magazine.

A brief historical note: The above were originally released on a now collectible seven-inch vinyl EP...

...that also included two other very good songs in a more New Wave/folk-rock sort of vein than the subjects of today's post; I'm gonna put them up sometime in the near future, assuming the stuff I'm seeing on my teevee news of late isn't a harbinger of the End Times. In which case, of course, all bets are off.

[h/t Steve Schwartz]

Tuesday, October 17, 2023

Songs I'd Forgotten Existed, Let Alone Loved (An Occasional Series): Special "Great Lost Singles of the '90s" Edition

From 1996, and his second solo album Times Like This, please enjoy Pacific Northwest legend Slim Dunlap (then of The Replacements) and his utterly infectious and generous of spirit pop-rocker "Girlfiend."

Personally, I would have called it "We Gotta See If We Can Find You a Girl," but that's why I'm a blogger and he's a legend. In any event, that song just does it for me (I always wanted to play it live with a band) and the rest of the album is equally delightful (Amazon informs me the CD is out of print, but you can still download or stream the thing over there, and I highly recommend it).

BTW, I have no idea what Dunlap's been up to lately; last I heard he had some pretty serious medical problems (including a stroke) in the early 'aughts, and after that I come up empty.

Monday, October 16, 2023

The "My Sweet He's So Fine" of the 21st Century? You Make the Call!!!

Anybody know a good copyright attorney? Asking for a friend.

From 2010, enjoy noted umbrella afficianado Rihanna and her heartfelt ode to the boudoir furniture you buy at West Elm "California King Bed"...

...and then from 2013, it's Pink (with some undeserving jamoke named Nate Ruess) and her sweatier-than-you'll-ever-be hit "Just Give Me a Reason."

Hey, wait a minute. Something's bugging me...what can it be?

Oh wait -- I know.

I mean, far be it from me to be a killjoy, but those are the exact same fucking choruses in both fucking songs!!! How the heck did that happen without aybody else noticing?

Which is to say that George Harrison got sued -- quite successfully, as I recall -- for a lot fucking less, plaigarism-wise. And he had the Lord on his side.

Oh well, we'll let the respective parties' lawyers fight that out.

But in the meantime, I would be remiss if I didn't mention that I find Pink, in John Cleese's apt phrase, fiercely erotic. And also that she could have me if she played her cards right.

Of course, that will never happen, and a good thing, too, as I strongly doubt I'd survive the foreplay.

Friday, October 13, 2023

La Fin de la Semaine Essay Question: Special "Talent is an Asset" Edition

From 1966, please enjoy former afternoon TV talk show demi-god Mike ("Makes My Day") Douglas and his (by contemporary standards) thoroughly creepy hit single "The Men in My Little Girl's Life."

Actually, that was creepy even in its day, but that's a subject for another time.

Douglas' show -- which ran, more or less without hiatus from 1963 to 1981(!) -- was a sort of guilty pleasure for me, and as icky as the song above is, I've always had a soft spot for the guy, if for no other reason than that Moby Grape was once his guest

Like most people my age, of course, I had no idea that Douglas had gotten his start in the entertainment industry as a big band singer (he had a couple of hits with the deeply weird Kay Kyser, although the clip below preceeds his tenure)...

...and in fact I always more or less assumed that Douglas was one of those sort of Warhol-ian TV personalities who was famous simply for being famous. Hey -- little did I know.

In any case, this brings us, thematically speaking, to our Weekend Essay Question, and so to business. To wit:

...and your favorite (or least favorite) pop single or album by a person primarily known for something other than being a singer or musician is...?


And have a great weekend, everybody!!!

Thursday, October 12, 2023

Another Album I'd Kill to Get a Copy Of. Also -- An Early Clue to the New Direction.

Oh. My. God.

That album's from 1973. Kenneth Haigh himself is best known to American audiences as the (uncredited) advertising executive in the funniest scene in A Hard Day's Night...

..whereas in the UK he's remembered as the quintessential working class Angry Young Man actor of the 50s (he starred in the original Brit version of John Osborne's classic of the genre stage play Look Back In Anger in 1951.)

In any case, the album's title song is from Camelot, obviously, and one assumes the rest of the record is in a similar, possibly problematic, vein, although I have not been able to find credits or info for it anywhere.

The bottom line, of course, is that if anybody out there has a digital copy of the thing, and could be induced to share it with me, then I would be their best friend.

Oh yeah -- I should add that a coveted PowerPop No-Prize© will be awarded to any reader who gleans the album's relevance to the theme of tomorrow's Weekend Essay Question.

[h/t Frank De Stefano]

Wednesday, October 11, 2023

Not So Silly Love Songs

From 2023, and the A-side to their superb new single, please enjoy The Half-Cubes and a drop-dead great cover -- on Big Stir Records, where it belongs -- of the power pop classic "Love's Melody."

Okay, and now stick around for a little history, because this gets a tad complicated.

To begin with, as genre afficianados may have already guessed, the Half-Cubes are a spin-off from pride of Syracuse NY worthies The Flashcubes, who've been making melodic-music-with-loud-guitars since 1977, and god bless 'em for the wonderful work they've been doing. You can find out more about them (and stream/purchase their most recent album Pop Masters) over HERE.

As for "Love's Melody," longtime readers are doubtless aware that it was originally released in 1974 by seminal British pub-rock band Ducks Deluxe and (perhaps more notably) was covered in 1980 as the title track for the second of The Searchers' superb New Wave comeback albums. The fine folks at Big Stir inform me that the song's composer Andy McMasters rates this new version as the best of the three and, as Mr. Spock says in Star Trek II, I would accept that as axiomatic.

I should add that the single's cover art...

...er, borrows fetchingly from the Searchers original LP cover...

...and kudos to whoever had the bright idea to go back to the well, as it were.

In any event, you can -- and should -- pre-order the Half-Cubes remake over HERE, and while doing so, check out the B-side, which is a quite lovely version of The Hollies "Slow Down" (originally heard on the post-Allan Clarke Romany album); it's a honey in its own right.

Also -- because I love you all more than food, and because most of you probably have never seen it -- here's a possibly live video of The Searchers doing "Love's Melody."

You're welcome.

Tuesday, October 10, 2023

No Drugs Were Used in the Making of This Recording

From sometime after Altamont (1969) but before Randall's Island (1970), please enjoy the loveable youngsters from suburban North Jersey who would later become internet sensations The Weasels -- featuring some dweeb whose name rhymes with Sleeve Nimels on both bass and lead guitar(!) -- and their surprisingly atmospheric rendition of the Jefferson Airplane classic "Today."

Seriously, although an appropriately cannabis-influenced haze seems to hover over the above -- I mean, if you don't listen too closely it could pass for some low-fi bootleg taped at the Fillmore West on a slow night -- the aforementioned loveable youngsters were imbibing nothing more mood enhancing than Yoo-Hoo at the time that was taped. Scout's honor.

I should add that the rest of those responsible for the track include Linda Katz (vocals), Glenn Leeds (flute and psychedlic organ), David Hawxwell (guitar and vocals) and Zoltan Makocy (drums).

Coming tomorrow: an absolutely killer new remake of a British power pop classic performed by musicians I do not know personally.

Monday, October 09, 2023

Under the Chortling Moon

From 2023, i.e. from their forthcoming (Nov. 23) In the Black album, please enjoy obviously happening Oklahoma City quintet The Lunar Laugh and the witty and sneakily catchy lead-off track "Born Weird."

I've been listening to this song pretty much non-stop since the other day when the good folks at Big Stir Records turned me on to it. Earworm doesn't even begin to cover the thing -- imagine The Replacements meet The Hollies and then they all go out to a Golden Corral for lunch.

Seriously -- that's one of the drollest, most touching coming-of-age songs I've heard in eons, and I can't wait to check out the rest of the album.

And speaking of which -- you can pre-order said album. and find out more about the guys behind it, over at the estimable website of Big Stir HERE.

Friday, October 06, 2023

Is It True That Men Don't Make Passes at Girls Who Wear Glasses? I Dunno. And Why Are You Asking Me?

From 2011, please enjoy the incomparably toothsome Bangles and their jaw-droppingly great sort-of-live cover of The Nazz' sublimely Who-esque ode to the liberal use of Visine and related ocular products "Open My Eyes."

Damn, that's amazing.

But as you may have guessed, I have an ulterior thematic motive here for posting it, i.e., I'm accompanying a certain Shady Dame of my acquaintance into NYC today to hold her hand during (and immediately after) cataract surgery. And yes, you can thus reasonably accuse me of having lied yesterday about my plans for today's entry.

So a hearty nea culpa. Hey -- it's all I've got.

Anyway, scout's honor -- we will return on Monday with a brand new song by a young band heretofore unknown to me that's like the coolest actually power pop thing I've heard in ages. Think The Hollies with funnier lyrics and louder guitars. Trust me, it'll be worth the wait.

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

Thursday, October 05, 2023

Closed for Monkey Business

Crazy shit going on -- hint: it involves a possible shot at becoming Speaker of the House -- so no posting today.

Okay, you didn't buy that. But real life is intruding, and consequently no new stuff till tomorrow.

Later, gators...

Wednesday, October 04, 2023

Songs I'd Forgotten Existed, Let Alone Loved: Special "Phony Beatlemania Has Bitten the Dust" Edition

From 1996, and their album Archaeology, please enjoy The Rutles -- a legend which will last a lunchtime -- and their trenchantly snarky ode to "Eine Kleine Middle Klasse Musik."

Written and sung by the late great Neil Innes, who unfortunately left the building for the last time in 2019.

As today's post's title suggests, I hadn't thought of this song in ages, but the previous two days examinations of an older ersatz Beatles record (The Beetlettes Outside Carnegie Hall) apparently stimulated my memory. In any event, it's so good it transcends the fact it was conceived as a parody.

I should add that the entirety of the Archaeology album is on balance every bit as memorable as the original Rutles movie soundtrack that everybody's familiar with.

I should also add that after pulling this off YouTube yesterday, I was surprised to realize -- for the first time -- that the cover graphic is NOT, in fact, based on the artwork for the Fab Four's Anthology, which occasioned it, but rather on the much earlier (1988) Beatles Past Masters Volume I album.

Trivia is so cool, isn't it?

Tuesday, October 03, 2023

À la Rcherche du Filles Perdu

As promised, a (hopefully) interesting followup to yesterday's post on the possibly fictional Beetlettes:

Apparently, they were in fact for real, and were still gigging (albeit under a new name) in Canada as late as February 1966.

From the Ottawa Journal:

Les Guerrieres? That's brilliant, actually. And I'd kill to know what happened to those kids. If they're still around, I'd bet they've got some very interesting stories.

But wait -- there's more!!!

Courtesy of PowerPop No-Prize© winner ChrisE:

The album - and the label it's on - are REAL. But if you want a goddamn copy, it's gonna COST you.

According to Discogs (www.discogs.com), the album last sold in their on-line marketplace in Dec. 2019 for $271.99 Canadian (Sorry, I'm in Canada so that's the currency I get on my screen. And you can tell I'm Canadian because I just said sorry...). Right now 90 - count 'em, NINETY - people have it on their Discogs wants-list.

The label it came out on - Assault Records - was New York-based and had 25 releases (again, according to Discogs) in the early 1960s. It was run by Bob Gallo, who worked for Atlantic Records for a while and then, in 1974, moved to Canada and worked, in several capacities, for CBS Records up here. I remember seeing his name as a producer on some records by Jackson Hawke, a Canadian band that was signed to CBS in the late-1970s.

And oh my god -- here's a track from the album!

Wow. I mean, seriously -- wow. And not in a good way.

Anyway, I'm not shelling out for a vinyl copy of their LP under any circumstances, but if anybody has a digital transfer of the Outside Carnegie Hall album to share, I'll be your best friend.

[h/t mistah Blik]

Monday, October 02, 2023

Your Monday Moment of Words Fail Me: Special "Holy Gender-Flip, Batman!" Edition

As today's kids say -- WTF?

If that's real, it appears to be one of those various cheapo quickie Beatles cash-in LPs that clueless parents bought for their disappointed kids back in the early days (1964) of the British Invasion; I had never heard of it until the other day, when Friend of PowerPop Frank De Stefano posted it over at La Livre du Visage. Whether it's real, of course -- or merely a recently photoshopped parody by some internet wiseacre -- remains an open question; my search of the aforementioned internet turned up absolutely no info on the thing whatsoever,

I should add that if it is real -- i.e. it actually came out in 1964 -- it was a pretty damn clever piece of work. Consider the putative track listing,

I dunno -- that seems awfully kind of meta and post-modern for back in the day, but you never know.

i should also add that whether it's real or not, it should not be mistaken for this actual 1964 single, which attempted to similarly cash in on Fab Four hysteria...

...which is on an honest-to-gosh, well-known record label, unlike the mystery album, and was produced by George Morton, who under the nom du disque Shadow Morton, went on to helm all sorts of great stuff, including the hits of The Shangri-Las, Janis Ian's "Society's Child," and the second LP by The New York Dolls.

In any case, a coveted PowerPop No-Prize© will be awarded to any reader who is able to shed some light on this whole megillah.

I mean, if the album really IS real, I want a goddamn copy.