Wednesday, January 31, 2024

The Blog by Numbers: Special "Taylor's Version" Edition

[In which we catch up with a bunch of brief and/or dumb stuff that I've been meaning to post for a while, but hadn't gotten around to for whatever reason.]

1. Hello, I Must Be Going!!

So I just did something I haven't done in approximately 50 years -- I bought an album on vinyl!

I did this for two reasons. 1) As I may have mentioned, I got a turntable for a birthday present late last year. And 2) at this stage of my life, I look a lot more like Groucho than any rock star I ever attempted to emulate.

2. I Coulda Sworn I Sat Next to that Guy at a Priest Show...

2. Okay, I Didn't Get This One For the First Two Minutes


4. You Know, Somedays I Really Miss the Wilburys

Heh again.

5. Isn't That You Behind Those Foster Grants?

My good friend Robert Albiston, i.e. the drummer (2nd from right) of my post-college 70s band, just found this flyer while going through some historical detritus. Interestingly, all five of us seem to have been wearing the same pair of sunglases. I should add that, for the life of me, I can't remember The Mushroom, the club where the gig we were advertising was to occur, at all. Any Manhattan denizens remember the joint -- on 13th between Fifth and University?

Tuesday, January 30, 2024

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

Okay, I did not know this video existed until yesterday. And when I discovered it, you could have knocked me over with the proverbial flat appendage growing from a bird's skin and forming its plumage.

From 2012, please enjoy the late great Gregory Fleeman and his utterly brilliant ode to Elvis Presley and Liberace, a/k/a two guys with "Dead Twin Brothers."

Words fail me.

Longtime readers will recall my blathering about Greg (who passed away too young in 2022) on previous occasions; suffice it to say that back in the day (late 70s/early 80s) he fronted without question the most hilarious rock act I ever witnessed, the genius-monikered Gregory Fleeman and the Fleewomen. I encountered them, initially, while researching a piece on the neo-folk scene that was then briefly resurgent in Greenwich Village; here's what I wrote at the time (in The Magazine Formerly Known as Stereo Review).

...Fleeman is a young ex-actor with one of the most warped sensibilities likely to be sprung on an unsuspecting public. His band is a motley collection of aging hippies, refugees from underground S-&-M clubs and punk/jazz fusion players, and his songs are about the funniest I've heard since...oh, since Tonio K. Take "Touching Myself But Thinking of You," which asks the musical slash cosmic question "If we're all one, who needs you?" Or his children's lullabye about the little men who come out when you're asleep ("They massage your heart/and your private parts/and throw parties in your mouth"); his impassioned love song about the Tappan Zee Bridge; a 40s swing tune called "Wisconsin Moon" ("There's too much!"); not to mention his soon-to-be-immortal production number, "the song, nay metaphor" he calls simply "Showbiz" (although it's better known to his fans as "Sucking My Way to the Top").

I should add that "Showbiz," as well as "Dead Twin Brothers" and much, much more can be found on Greg's 2005 album The Right Tool for the Job, which is a masterpiece and can be purchased and/or streamed over at Amazon HERE; just about all of it is also up at YouTube if you want to browse without buying. I should also add that you should go over to Amazon Prime and treat yourself to a viewing of F/X, the hilarious sort of spy thriller (starring Bryan Brown) that Greg penned in his other life as a Hollywood screenwriter.

Monday, January 29, 2024

Closed for Post-Florida Monkey Business

Returned from DeSantis Land with a bitch of a cold. Regular posting -- beginning with a video that will blow your mind -- resumes on the morrow, if i can stop coughing.

Friday, January 26, 2024

La Fin De La Semaine Essay Question: Special "Escape From America's Wang!" Edition

[That's a little sort of private (dumb) joke, folks; during the Bush years a friend of mine used to call Florida "America's wang" based on how the state looked on the national map. You know -- kinda phallic.

Hey -- I didn't say it was ever gonna be mistaken for after-dinner conversation by Noel Coward. -- S.S.]

Okay -- we're back from our brief vacation in DeSantis Land (we'll have some amusing stuff to share with you about that experience next week) and we need a rest. So let's move right to this weekend's business, inspired by yesterday's fabulous new track by veteran Canadian New Wavers Martha and the Muffins.

To wit:

...and your favorite (or least favorite) post-Elvis band/group moniker which includes either somebody's first name or their complete name is...???

Self-explanatory, obviously, and no arbitrary rules, although I'm tempted to exclude nicknames. Which would eliminate Cannibal and the Headhunters, so what the hell -- if that's what floats your boat in this regard, go for it.

In any case...discuss.

I should add that my nominee -- the best one ever, I'm sorry it's not even close -- is...Johnny and the Moondogs!!!

I mean, come on. I don't care if they were only an entity for three months or so -- Lennon should have kept them together, thus changing history in unfathomable ways

That said -- Have a great weekend, everybody!!! Me, I'm hitting the sack.

Thursday, January 25, 2024

Janie (and Too Fucking Many Other People)’s Got a Gun

From just now in 2024, please enjoy veteran Canadian rockers Martha and the Muffins and their forensically powerful and desperately timely anti-firearm reworking of The Buffalo Springfield's protest classic "For What It's Worth."

I haven't thought much about these guys since their 80s New Wave "Echo Beach" heyday, but this new track is smart on a number of levels, and as you'll see, the video reinforces its point with some fabulously mordant surrealism. And I'm not just saying that because I currently find myself in Florida, i.e. an Open Carry state governed by a fascist moron.

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

Wednesday, January 24, 2024

Seen in DeSantis Land Today

Okay, actually at Disney World, where BG and I are currently vacationing, as you know. Still, pretty cool, Ill grant you. But I must confess to a certain relief that Ron's National Guard doesn't have access to one.

Coming tomorrow -- a fabulous new song by a veteran band hailing from Canuckistan.

Tuesday, January 23, 2024

Closed for Post-DeSantis Monkey Business

Exhausted from walking around EPCOT (Every Person Comes Out Tired) all day.

More weird Florida-related stuff on the morrow.

Monday, January 22, 2024

Greetings From Florida a/k/a America's Dystopian Hellscape!!!

So as you may know, a certain Shady Dame and I are vacationing in the Magic Kingdom (Orlando, Florida) until Friday.

So far we haven't run into either of these fictional characters, let alone together...

...but we'll keep you posted.

Of course, as you may have guessed, this week's postings will be. necessarily, both fitful and/or weird until our return to civilization -- this is an open-carry state, after all. But if our luck holds out, there should be some interesting stuff tomorrow.


Friday, January 19, 2024

La Fin de la Semaine Essay Question: Special "Great Performances" Edition

That's Fountains of Wayne, of course, on some teevee show in 2003, and a jaw dropping live version of "Stacy's Mom."

It will come as no surprise to long-time readers of this here blog that I consider FOW to have been one of the all-time great -- maybe even one of the top ten great -- American rock bands ever. I will go further and say that the performance above -- which I was unaware of until two days ago -- was taped at a moment in time when they were, quite literally, the greatest rock-and-roll band in the freaking world.

Okay, and with that established, we move on to our weekend bizness. To wit:

...and your favorite (or least favorite) post-Elvis live performance of a single song by a pop/rock/c&w/soul/blues band or solo performer is...?

No arbitrary rules, but obviously we're talking about a performance that has been immortalized as an audio or video recording, not something you personally saw and we have to take how fabulous it was on your word only.

Okay, discuss.

And have a great weekend, everybody!

We'll see you next week when posting resumes from our forthcoming vacation in Ron DeSantis' dystopian hellscape of Florida (specifically, the part run by Disney.)

Pray for us!!!

Thursday, January 18, 2024

Let's Tryst Again Like We Did Last Summer

From 2014, please enjoy should-be-a-houseold-word singer/songwriter/guitarist Peter Spencer (with the All-Stars, featuring Matisyahu's ex-drummer, and how cool is that?) and a spine-tingling sort-of unplugged rendition of Pete's "Everybody Danced."

That performance just kills me, although I'm admittedly prejudiced. Which is to say I have a long history with the song, beginning with a rock-band demo of it produced back in the early '90s by my late musical director/Floor Models drummer Glen "Bob" Allen.

More to the point, it gets to me on a deeply personal level for a number of reasons, the most suitable for publication being that it reminds me (minus the heartbreak over the girl) of one of the loveliest evenings of my life -- an outdoor jam session I participated in at a party in a field in rural Delaware on a glorious July night in front of a couple of hundred revellers. Obviously, you had to be there, but you get the idea -- it was just magical, and Pete's song conjures it up for me every time I hear it.

I should add that I always thought the song could work well if done as a sort of cross between the 1965 Byrds and the 1968 Rolling Stones. So here's a version I recorded along those lines in 2019.

I should also add that when I played that for Pete soon after its release, over drinks at my local watering hole, he graciously declined to punch me in the nose. For which I've always been grateful -- thanks, Pete!!!

Have I mentioned that's a great freaking song?

Wednesday, January 17, 2024

Closed for Monkey Business: Special “Snopocalypse Now” Edition

Hey -- we had our first measureable snowfall in NYC in three years yesterday, and I'm beat.

Regular posting -- including a fabulous video of a gorgeous song by a Friend of PowerPop© -- resumes on the morrow.

Tuesday, January 16, 2024

The Blog by Numbers: Special "No Cheap Shots. Well, Maybe One." Edition

[In which we catch up with a bunch of brief and/or dumb stuff that I've been meaning to post for a while, but hadn't gotten around to for whatever reason.]

1. Today's Shameless Moment of Nepotism

My younger brother (second from left)...

,,,has asked me to mention that if you enjoyed his review of Brit flick Some People (in last week's post over HERE), please check out his other musings on movies and popular culture at his blog Magic in a Frame-Part 2. He and I thank you.

2. This is the Greatest Thing in the History of Things

Seriously -- the song is a riot, the band has charisma up the wazoo, and whoever directed the video is a fucking genius.

3. Department of Misheard Lyrics


4. Once Again, I Missed the Memo

Apparently, Ronnie Spector made an album of Brit Invasion covers in 2016, and none of you bastards bothered to tell me.

I mean, I yield to no man in my enthusiasm for the Sandi Shaw original of that, but I gotta say -- Ronnie was born to sing it.

5. Okay, I Realize Everybody Had This Album, But Groucho? Really?

On the other hand, they actually were labelmates at A&M at the time, so....

6. Today's Obligatory Accordion Joke

Heh again.

Monday, January 15, 2024

If Tchaikovsky Had Called It "The Apathétique": A Cautionary Tale

From late last year (November), and his (then) just released new album What A Difference Indifference Makes, please enjoy pop craftsman extraordinaire John Dunbar and his neo-classically melodic confection "I Wonder If She Colors Her Hair Now."

Or, as a certain Shady Dame of my acquaintance said to me as I was listening to this yesterday -- "Wow. It sounds like George singing a Paul song." Which sums it up pretty accurately, I think (and saves me the trouble of trying to characterize it -- thanks, babe!)

Meanwhile, as John (incognito) puts it in his press kit over at Bandcamp:

Dunbar has been known to give himself specialized guidelines when embarking on new albums to keep things fresh and challenging. This new album is no exception. During a radio interview he did while promoting The Other Women, the host pointed out that each song John chose to play by his favorite artists were their “piano songs". An astute observation. Dunbar recognized that he certainly had a soft spot for songs where the piano carried the instrumentation. With that in mind he decided to try and make an album of songs that could all fall under the category of “piano songs.". There are no guitars on the record, other than the bass. Although he ruined any chance of the album being reviewed in Guitar Player magazine, the results sound positively inspired.

I should add here that if John's name seems familiar, it's because I previously (2020) and justifiably raved about his work as part of his equally fab band The John Sally Ride (featuring friend of PowerPop and proprietor of the invaluable Burning Wood blog Sal Nunziato on drums). I should also add that among his other obvious gifts, John has a real flair for song titles, as witness the new record's hilariously yclept "You Really Got Meh."


In any case, Indifference is now my favorite new album; I suggest you hie thee over to John's Bandcamp site and stream and then buy a digital copy pronto.

You're welcome very much.

Friday, January 12, 2024

Le Fin De La Semaine Essay Question: Special "The Genius of George Morton" Edition

From 1966. please enjoy the (hubba hubba) Shangri-Las and their eminently danceable ode to "Sophisticated Boom Boom."

Produced and (more to the point) written by the aforementioned George "Shadow" Morton. Who if for no other reason than this intro -- declaimed with perfect New Yawk insouciance by lead singer Mary Weiss -- deserves to be immortal.

I was walkin' down the street

And it was gettin' mighty late

Well, the truth of the matter is

This poor girl had been abandoned by her date

When, from out of nowhere came this music loud and clear

Let me see, from over there?

(No, over there.)

Over there?


Well, I open up the door

And much to my surprise

The girls were wearin' formals

And the boys were wearin' ties

And I feel that I should mention

That the band was at attention

They just stood there, oh, so neat

While they played their swingin' beat

So I grabbed this little boy

Who came struttin' 'cross the room

And I say, "What's that?"

And he say

"Sophisticated boom, boom"

And that, my friends, is poetry.

Which leads us, inexorably, to business. To wit:

...and your favorite post-Elvis pop/rock/country/soul record featuring a spoken word section (of whatever length) is...???

No arbitrary rules, but c'mon -- no Dylan or rap allowed, for obvious reasons.


Oh, and here's my nominee -- note the big "Bonjour!" from guest speaker Joan of Arc at approximately the 2:20 minute mark.

Okay -- have a great weekend, everybody!!!

Thursday, January 11, 2024

Last Night an Abominable Snowman Saved My Life

From their new (late November of last year) album Music Humans Can Play, please enjoy the hitherto unknown to me Autogramm and their spectacularly fab new single "Born Losers."

Autogramm's bio describes them as "synth-driven power-poppers," and as you will have noted, that seems right on the money. More to the point, when I watched that video (which is hilarious BTW -- I'm a sucker for a guy in a Yeti suit) I totally lost it when that first big instrumental section comes in and they crank the synths and "Sweet Jane"-y guitar power chords. Seriously, I haven't been so jazzed by a song in that vein since The Cars "You Might Think," and I don't think it's a stretch to say this new one stands up to that classic quite nicely. (BTW, in the interest of total accuracy, I should note that the band's bio also lists Autogramm's influences as The Fixx, David Bowie, Cheap Trick, The Boys, The Dickies and Prince. Hey -- makes sense to me!!!)

In any event, I can't wait to hear more from these guys, and while I'm listening, you can order the digital album (or a vinyl version) over at their Bandcamp site HERE.

You're welcome very much.

Coming tomorrow -- a fabulous new Weekend Essay question. Hint: It's the talk of the town.

Wednesday, January 10, 2024

Closed for Monkey Business: Special "Blog Presidential Immunity" Edition

Hey -- nothing I post here can be used to prosecute me for anything.

Regular stuff -- starting with the second best new song I've heard this year -- resumes tomorrow.

Tuesday, January 09, 2024

The Blog by Numbers: Special "Nepotism a Go Go" Edition

[In which we catch up with a bunch of brief and/or dumb stuff that I've been meaning to post for a while, but hadn't gotten around to for whatever reasons.]

1. You Know, Some Days I Really Love PhotoShop

Granted, they spelled Keith's name wrong, but hey -- the dinosaur is just soooooo cute...

2. Your Tuesday Moment of Cahiers du Cinema

As I mentioned last week, my younger brother now weighs in with a review of what looks like an absolutely cool early 60s youth culture flick.

Take it away, Drew!!!

In 1962, some three months before "Love Me Do," the first single by the Beatles, began to be played on and sold in Brit record stores, a movie debuted in British theaters called Some People. I cite the Beatles single because if you watch this movie, I'm certain that you'll figure out that people in the British movie industry were paying attention to what teenagers were doing in their spare time. That has everything to do with the details of the plot.

Some People focuses on a group of teenagers -- 18 or 19 years old, in my estimation -- in Bristol, England, a city on a river near the country's west coast. Bill (David Andrews), Johnnie (Ray Brooks), and Bert (David Hemmings) are friends who, when not at their jobs, get together for fun and adventure. Bill and Johnie work at a local lumber retail company and it's never clear what Bert does.

One late afternoon after work, the three characters, riding their motorcycles, are joined by a friend of Bill's named Terry (Angela Douglas), and meet up at a local motorcyclist hangout. Bert suggests that they go to a local pub where Johnnie can sit down and play a piano. The trip to the pub turns into a race, with all three motorcyclists testing each other.

A truck attempts to pull into the street on which the group is traveling. They have to make a quick decision, a quick change; they have to swerve. Bill and Bert lose control of their bikes and skid off to the side of the road, while Johnnie, with Terry holding onto him as a passenger, comes to a complete stop (Johnnie was behind his two friends when the truck moved into the street.) All of them are brought to Court; lhe three-judge panel hands down a hefty fine and rules that they cannot drive for six months or ride as motorcycle passengers during that time.

The Court's ruling heavily affects the three characters. On the first evening after the verdict, Bill, Bert, and Johnnie get together; they all need to let off steam, and the viewer soon learns that, without their motorcycles, their next choice for having fun is playing music.

In looking for a way to play music, the three friends almost get into more trouble -- first, at the North Bristol Youth Club, and, then, at a nearby Church where Johnnie sits down and plays the Church organ.

The Church's Vicar storms in, demanding an explanation, and is in the midst of roundly berating the three young adults, when a new character is introduced, Mr. Smith (Kenneth More), the Church's Organist and Choir master. On his own, Mr. Smith talks to Bill, Bert, and Johnnie and, on the spot, invites them to the Church Hall (a separate building) on Choir rehearsal nights, at which time they can bring their musical instruments and practice.

To go into detail about how this plays out would truly spoil one's enjoyment of Some People, a movie that should be better known. The reason I say this is because the movie was created to present the divide between the two generations as real and to show that the problems between the generations could be solved.

Three songs written for the movie are performed as part of the plot; the first is an instrumental (in the style of Cliff Richards' backing band The Shadows) and the other two have vocals. The scenes where the music is performed, all in the Church Hall, undoubtedly inspired many teens who watched the movie when it was first in theaters to find musical instruments and learn to play.

Some People, shot in color on location in Bristol, has a running time of 93 minutes. I recommend it to all movie lovers at Power Pop. -- Drew Simels

I haven't seen Some People yet, but I just ordered a disc version (from what Drew assures me is an absolutely terrific print/transfer) over at DVD Lady HERE. As they used to say at Mad Magazine -- $12.95 cheap!!!

3. I Know the Feeling


4. Art Imitates Life, or Vice Versa

Me, my aforementioned younger brother (that makes two mentions of him today), a school chum, and a cousin -- at Boy Scout camp in New Jersey, circa late 1950s. Who knew we were the inspiration for the film Stand By Me?

5. Cruel and Unusual

Okay, I like banjos, but yeah -- I get the point.

Monday, January 08, 2024

A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius

Well, okay...just the first genuinely great audio product of the new year.

Ladies and germs, please enjoy, in breathless wonder, The Lemon Twigs new single "My Golden Years."

Seriously -- I gotta say that's the power pop of yours or my dreams. And may I also state, and for the record (as it were), that if that big Beach Boys/Who/Byrds wordless finale doesn't make the hair on the back of your neck stand on end, then frankly I don't want to know you and what are you doing here?

I should also add that the video is hilarious, although I must confess to a little unease about the use of that small airplane. I would have thought that your basic rock band would know by now to avoid them.

Friday, January 05, 2024

Weekend Listomania: Special "A Thing of Beauty is a Joy Forever" Edition

[I first posted a version of the below in 2007(!), when the world and this blog were young. Obviously, much has changed in the interim -- like many pronouns, for example -- and thus I've done some editing of the original language to conform with contemporary mores (although neither the word "binary" or "cis" will appear -- I have my standards). I've also substituted a couple of new entries, mostly because we like to have something dating from the current century every once in a while. In any case, enjoy, and keep it clean, kids. -- S.S.]

Well, it's Friday and you know what that means. Yes, my Congressional manual catharsis technician Rep. Lauren Boebert and I are off to fabulous New York City, where we'll be spending the next several days at a downtown Gentleman's (heh) Club for a Heritage Foundation-sponsored seminar/retreat whose theme is Sex With the Stupid: Fun or Not?

So regular QOPEC* postings will necessarily be somewhat, uh, premature for a couple of days, if you know what I mean.

But in my absence, here's a fun project for you all to contemplate:

All-Time Favorite Post-Elvis Pop/Rock Female (Traditional or Otherwise) Sex (er) Object!!!

You know -- the cutest, the hottest, the most historically significant, the one that you most wanted to boink. However you define it, that's cool, and it can either be a solo artist or someone/something in a band.

And my carefully considered Top Ten is:

10. The Duchess [Bo Diddley's gorgeous sister]

Note: She's the one on the right with the guitar.

9. Joan Jett

I would so switch teams for that woman (yeah, I know).

8. Phoebe Bridgers

As seen here with its band Boy Genius. All of whom could have me if they played their cards right, now that I think of it.

7. Patti Smith

Around the time that album came out, Patti famously told a rock journalist (I forget who) that she'd actually jerked off to the Mapplethorpe album photo, just to see what it would be like for her fans. I found that...intriguing.

6. Marianne Faithfull

Wotta babe.

5. Evie Sands

The sexiest suburban white girl(!) Brill Building chick(!!) of them all. I should add that Evie is still doing this kind of stuff live in clubs around L.A., and sounds and looks cooler than ever.

4. Courtney Love

Hey, what can I tell you -- as NYMary put it, I like 'em disheveled.

3. Chrissie Hynde

Let's just say I never had a waitress who was THAT interesting.

2. Pink

Look in the dictionary under "fiercely erotic" and there's a picture of her. Seriously -- she's about as stimulating as it gets, but the problem is I don't think I'd survive the foreplay.

And my all time number one rock femme de whoopie without a Y chromosome, there's no freaking contest so don't give me any shit about this, indisputably is....

1. Ronnie Spector!!!

Ah, Ronnie. Has there ever been a more arousing video for a crappy song by a doughy white guy who gets upstaged by his lady(!)guest star? Seriously -- that silhouetted wiggle, that cigarette being crushed by the high heel, that first moment when she sings "Be my little baby...." God, I love that whatever-that-is.


11a. Cousin Itt

For obvious reasons.

Alrighty then -- who else puts a lump (or something) in your shorts and/or brings you to the edge of wetness?

And have a great weekend, everybody!!!


* QOPEC: a gender indefinite oil s/he/ik.

Thursday, January 04, 2024

An Early Clue to the New Direction: Special "I Dig Rock en Español Music in Forest Hills!" Edition

From 2012, please enjoy singer/songwriter Kany Garcia (and band) and a rendition of her Spanish-language hit "Alquien" ["Someone"] that really, as they say, tears the roof off of the sucker.

An affecting performance indeed -- and un-auto-tuned and un-twerked to boot.

I was hitherto unfamiliar with Ms. Garcia, but Wikipedia informs me she hails from Puerto Rico and is a very big deal in Latin music circles; apparently, she first came to the attention of the public as a contestant on the Puerto Rican tv talent show Objetivo Fama, which makes her sort of a much better looking Latina version of Susan Boyle. I keed, I keed!!!

But seriously -- the song above may not, strictly speaking, be rock (okay, it's a power ballad) but still -- that gal can really sing.

Anyway, I first heard Ms. Garcia just last week ,when I was at my local (Forest Hills) watering hole -- the Keuka Kafe, on Queens Boulevard; if you're in the neighborhood, stop by and tell 'em PowerPop sent you -- and "Alquien" came over the sound system, courtesy of my all-time favorite bartender, the lovely and talented Itzel. (Who's turned me on to lotsa cool music in the last year, I might add).

Hi, Itzel! I owe you one!!!

I now need only add that a coveted PowerPop No-Prize© will be awarded to the first reader who gleans the video above's relevance to the the theme of tomorrow's Weekend Listomania. Trust me -- it's gonna be a hot one!

Wednesday, January 03, 2024

Closed for Exhausted Post-New Year's Monkey Business

Hey -- the holidays wiped me out.

Coming tomorrow -- some more Rock en Español, which will also double as a clue to the theme of Friday's Weekend Listomania!!!

Tuesday, January 02, 2024

Oh God, Not Another Ten Best of 2023 List!

Actually, no.

And for a variety of reasons, beginning with the fact that I spent the first few months of last year literally recovering from a coma. BTW, I'm thinking of writing a memoir of that period, and -- in an homage to George ("Jew-ish") Santos -- calling it Dead-ish.

Thank you, I'm here all week.

In any event, I didn't pay as much attention to pop music in 2023 as I might have otherwise, so in this case my best-of list is marked down to a Top Eight. They're all pretty great, though, and if I left out any album you think was an inarguable masterpiece that will echo down the corridors of time and beyond infinity, I plead asshole.

Anyway, here are my choices. I should add I'll be the first to admit that the list may be a tad moldy fig, as they used to say in jazz circles. I mean I'm an old guy -- who gives a fuck what pop music I like? Hell, I'm half deaf. 😎

That said, I'd be remiss if I didn't also add that my carefully considered opinion is that most current commercially successful pop music -- loosely defined as the stuff purveyed by the acts that get booked on Saturday Night Live -- sucks hippo root. I mean -- Sam fucking Smith? Really?

Also, this recent quote from The New Yorker's Amanda Petrusich, who's half a century younger than me(!), hits the proverbial nail on the head as far as I'm concerned.

"Listening to Morgan Wallen, the most popular artist of 2023 by a number of metrics, mostly made me feel as though I was on eternal hold with my insurance company."


Okay, and now, with the best first, here are the digital products which most brightened my year.

1. The Lemon Twigs -- Everything Harmony

Yeah, their dad is an old friend and bandmate, and I'm prejudiced, but the album is a stunner from stem to stern (and in the genre that forms the raison d'etre for this here blog, no less!) so gimme a break.

2. Trans-Canada Highwaymen -- Explosive Hits Vol. 1

I'm not a big fan of supergroups, but these Canuck veterans' retrospective look at the pop/rock of their youth just slays me. BTW, I had forgotten that the above was written by Randy Bachman, not Burton Cummings.

3. Juliana Hatfield -- Sings ELO

The former Blake Babies and Lemonheads chanteuse/alt-rock cover girl meets Jeff Lynne, with wonderful results.

4. Micky Dolenz -- Dolenz Sings R.E.M.

Okay, it's an EP, not an album. But every track is sheer pop perfection, and more than lives up to its sources. Not bad for a geezer.

5. Gerry Devine -- In My Own Good Time

I was gonna disqualify this because I played on some of it, but fuck that shit, this is a great album. Hell, it deserves inclusion here for the cover art alone.

6. Bill Lloyd -- Look Into It

I've been a fan of this guy since before he was power pop (i.e., a big 80s country star) but this latest effort is about as genre-defining as it gets. Just terrific.

7. The Tearaways -- And For Our Next Trick

The best (for want of a better word), er, traditional rock 'n' roll band in the world currently working? Could be, could be. Have I mentioned Clem Burke is the drummer?


The Replacements -- Tim: Let It Bleed Editiion

Yeah, yeah, '80s purists don't like it, because -- I dunno. I mean, by any objective standard, this new version, overseen by the great Ed Stasium, is an improvement on the original, so obviously, '80s purists can blow me.

Alrighty then -- what would YOUR choices be?

Monday, January 01, 2024

The Blog by Numbers (An Occasional Series): Special "Well, the Year is Off to a Great Start! Not!!!" Edition

[In which we catch up with a bunch of brief and/or dumb stuff that I've been meaning to post about for a while, but hadn't gotten around to for whatever reasons.]

1. Your Monday Moment of Cahiers du Cinema

Words fail me.

My younger brother assures me that I watched that film on PBS some time in the late 60s, but I have no memory of it at all. In any case, it looks like an absolutely amazing British youth culture slice of life -- for the Shadows-styled rock band with a barely post-adolescent David Hemmings alone -- and I'm gonna order the DVD over HERE toot sweet. I should add that my aforementioned younger brother is gonna review it for us next week, so stay tuned.

2. Is It Warm in Here or is Just Me?

Q: Who is this? (Hint: It's 1973, and she's 18.

A: Annie Lennox.

Wotta cutie. I mean, wow.

3. Okay, Now I Feel REALLY Old

Patti Smith turned 77 over the weekend.

4. I Dig Rock en Español Music

Heard this for the first time the other day at my local Forest Hills Mexican watering hole (Mas Tortilla on Queens Boulevard -- if you're in the neghborhood, stop by and tell 'em PowerPop sent you!)

Apparently they were the biggest rock band in Argentina ever. A very cool song -- and I dig their look the most; it's kinda like Paul Westerberg meets Slash meets Zal Yanovsky and then they all go to that neighborhood joint I mentioned for a shot of tequila.

5. Fun Couples

I'll be honest -- I didn't get the gag for about the first two minutes.

Coming tomorrow -- my year-end Best Albums list.