Friday, January 29, 2010

The Gurus - The Swing Of Things - 2006


The Gurus are a group from Barcelona who recorded The Swing of Things in 2005, though you wouldn't guess it to listen to them -- The Swing of Things blends classic-era U.K. pop and psychedelia with such finesse that you'd be forgiven for thinking this was lost in the archives of some British label after being recorded in 1968. The Swing of Things starts with the potent one-two punch of the hard-psych workout "Flats and Jobs" and the glorious pop hooks of "Tears on the Wardrobe," and the Gurus follow through with an engaging fusion of smarts and energy through the rest of the disc. While the Gurus wear their retro tastes on their sleeves, they're not slaves to a single musical approach; the occasional presence of reverse gear tape loops ("Load in Total Darkness"), vocoders ("Lito"), and wheezy vintage synthesizers ("Soup") suggest they've also been dipping their ears into vintage Krautrock, prog rock, or even some contemporary electronic stuff, and the disc closes with a cracking cover of the Kinks' "I Need You" that will satisfy garage mavens in the audience. The production (by the band) is both clean and full-bodied, and while the English-language lyrics are sometimes just a bit clunky, the harmonies and classic-era phrasings are dead-solid perfect, and the group's musical instincts are glorious throughout. At just a shade over 30 minutes, one of The Swing of Things' few real flaws is that it could use another song or two, but it manages to convey a remarkably well-detailed musical world in a small space of time, and what's here is thoroughly pleasurable. -AMG



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Thursday, January 28, 2010

Fooling April - Every Good Boy Does Fine - 2004


nfectious pop hooks. Unforgettable melodies. Memorable solo chops. This quartet has all the corners covered. Unpretentious, poignant and humorous lyrics combined with sophisticated song structures are found in the timeless music of Fooling April. Four talented, motivated, hard-working and highly sensitive musicians comprise this outstanding ensemble. With a focus on acoustic-edged melodic pop seamlessly blending with classic and modern-rock sensibilities, Fooling April has been pulling in new devotees at every opportunity. Perfecting their dynamic live show in the small clubs of Philadelphia and its surroundings, Fooling April has gone on to regular appearances at much larger venues, appearing with artists like John Mayer, Dave Matthews, Dido, Graham Colton and Ari Hest to name a few. They've also increased their visibility in New York City with regular appearances at such legendary spots as CBGB's, The Bitter End & The Knitting Factory. Numerous college appearances in the eastern U.S. coupled with multiple smaller tours of the Mid-west have cemented the band's reputation as a serious new player on the national musical landscape. Possessing a street team 500 members strong and growing, Fooling April has expertly utilized the web in spreading the word about their efforts. Piano-driven pop-rock has always been a staple of American music and seldom has any artist handled it as masterfully.-CD Baby



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Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Private Lightning - Private Lightning - 1980


An obscure Boston band from the late 70s who released one album on A&M Records and prompty disappeared but for those who were living in Boston during this time, Private Lightning holds a special place in their hearts as a band who song "Physical Speed" that lit up the airwaves in New England. Blending elements of new wave, progressive rock, art rock, AOR and commercial rock, Private Lightning just didn't fit into any easy definition of what rock pundits thought music should sound like but they delivered an album filled with great songs back in 1980. It now appears on CD finally and adds 13 additional songs that were recorded for the followup to this album that never made it out. -Not Lame



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Monday, January 25, 2010

Jennifer Trynin - Gun Shy Trigger Happy - 1997


Cockamamie, Jennifer Trynin's accomplished debut, got lost in the shuffle of all the post-alternative female singer-songwriters of the mid-'90s. Many of those songwriters were less talented than Trynin but were more commercially savvy and, therefore, successful. Perhaps this is the reason her second album, Gun Shy Trigger Happy, has a slicker production than Cockamamie, but even with the polish, Trynin remains one of the better adult-alternative songwriters of the late '90s. Lyrically, she has more bite, pathos and wit, and musically she is stronger than many of her peers, with strong hooks and melodies. The production on Gun Shy Trigger Happy tends to gloss over some of Trynin's better qualities, but the record remains an impressive, winning collection of mature pop songs. -AMG




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Sunday, January 24, 2010

Bad Afro Records to Release "The Dolly Rocker Movement – Our Days Mind The Tyme" Febuary 22!


When Bad Afro Records started out in 1996 there was only focus on the Scandinavian rock scene and bands likeThe Hellacopters, Baby Woodrose, Turbonegro, The Flaming Sideburns etc. That changed in 2009 when the label released the two first 7”s with bands from outside Scandinavia and now follows the first album. The shift in release policy was largely caused by our love for The Dolly Rocker Movement; a psychedelic folk band from Australia. And we are thrilled to release their 3rd album “Our Days Mind The Tyme” February 22 2010.
The Dolly Rocker Movement formed in late 2002 in the inner surrounds of Sydney, Australia. They are influenced by late 60´s garage, psychedelia and West Coast folk. The charismatic band leader Daniel Poulter writes beautiful and well-crafted songs and beneath the psychedelic and colourful surface The Dolly Rocker Movement is simply a great pop band with a destinctive sound of their own.
Our Days Mind the Tyme” owes it’s genesis to the psychedelic 60s, and the influence of Sky Saxon, Arthur Lee and Syd Barrett, yet sparkles as bright, and fresh as the morning sun. From the baroque pop of “A Sound for Two”, to the tight garage licks of “My Heavenly Way” and “Sold for Sinners”, to the billowing pop elegance of “The Only One” and “The Ecstacy Once Told”, this is an album touched by the hand of spiritual enlightenment.
When Bad Afro released the first single from the album last year it became “The Coolest Song In The World” on Little Stevens radio network. The second single is “Coffin Love”, a beautiful duet between Daniel Poulter and Jules Farrari Gills.
The Two first The Dolly Rocker Movement albums, “Electric Sunshine” and “A Journey Into The Mod Machine”, were both released in 2006 on the Australian label Off The Hip. Both albums are now available as download worldwide through Bad Afro.

Artist: The Dolly Rocker Movement
Title: Our Days Mind The Tyme
Cataloug #: AFROCD039 (CD) / AFROLP039 (LP)
Barcode: 5709498207964 (CD) / 5709498207971 (LP)
Release date: 22.02.10 as LP/CD/Download
Band: myspace.com/thedollyrockermovement
Label: myspace.com/badafrorecords / badafro@badafro.dk


Bad Afro Records
Halmtorvet 29, Bygn. 12 A, 1
1700 Copenhagen V
Denmark

www.myspace.com/badafrorecordstarget="_blank"
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Friday, January 22, 2010

John Wicks and Paul Collins at McCabes August 23 2009


Paul Collins joined forces with John Wicks to go out on the road to perform the highly successful House Tour 2009. On August 23rd they met at McCabes and those who attended the show were given a glimpse of things to come. John and Paul performed a few new compositions and were later joined by Peter Case for several memorable hits from yesteryear.

Download John Wicks and Paul Collins at McCabes August 23 2009

Paul and John have kindly allowed PPO to share it.
Here's the second half of the recording from the show at McCabes. For the first half head over to the fabulous Power Pop Criminals blog and get it!

Things went extremely well with the 2009 House Tour, and John and Paul are hoping to do the same in 2010. Both John and Paul are recording albums over the next month or two and they'll be performing a few new songs this time round as well as the favorites we all know and love. f you would like information on how to arrange for a house concert with John Wicks and Paul Collins, contact Richard Rossi at martinitimerossi@gmail.com.

John and Paul doing Hearts In Her Eyes at McCabes


Also worth mentioning:

An online download of The Records Play Live Evanston 1980 is now available through John's website. Don't miss this.


John and Paul's house concert website:
www.johnwicksandpaulcollins.com

John Wicks' site:
http://www.johnwicksandtherecords.com/

Paul Collins' site:
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Thursday, January 21, 2010

Phoenix - It's Never Been Like That - 2006


After avoiding the sophomore slump with relative ease, Phoenix return with their third release stripped of the post-disco house sound that helped to define them, focusing more on the songwriting side of things than any sort of dancefloor-focused groove. In fact, it takes until the fourth song, "Long Distance Call," for anything resembling a dancefloor beat to appear, and when it does it feels like an epilogue to the wonderful "If I Ever Feel Better" off the group's debut record. The band has definitely learned a thing or two through its evolution, placing more of an emphasis on guitar than before (Laurent Brancowitz and Christian Mazzalai sound as if they've been in the woodshed studying the chops of Johnny Marr and the twin-guitar attack of the Strokes' last few records), and their performances sound more confident than ever. Gone are the sluggish country-infused downtempo numbers, replaced with a more even-keeled track sequencing and tempo throughout — almost as if they've been able to focus on the things that make the band so engaging to begin with, monopolize on them, and move forward in a refreshing and vibrant direction. -AMG



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Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Eurovox - This is… Eurovox - 2005


You've heard it all before, but never quite like this! With a nod and a wink to the best of British pop & rock, life began for eurovox in 2004 with the simple and singular concept of writing good, solid, guitar-driven pop with a taste of familiarity. Songwriter & front man Mat Hammond teamed up with bass player Steve Flores and long-time friend and producer Robbie Watson with a collection of songs that would form the lifeblood of the band and work began immediately on the arrangement and recording of the bands debut, "This is.....Eurovox". Flores and Hammond have paid their dues careering through the usual gamut of bands that helped them hone their respective crafts. Indeed, they had already worked together in a previous capacity as half of Living Daylytes, a band that had received critical acclaim and toured extensively throughout the United States. London born and bred, Hammond brings his particular and personal slant to the proceedings having been weaned on the best of British from the last four decades. Although raised in the sunny, southwestern United States, Flores has a uniquely European attitude towards his music. He compliments the songwriting style that is inherently eurovox with a comprehensive education of both British and American rock and roll. Hammond and Flores decided the time had come to make an album on their own terms without diluting the mixture with too many cooks. As multi-instrumentalists, Hammond and Flores took it upon themselves to record the tracks under the direction of master chef (read:"producer"), Watson who, as a Londoner himself, understands the culinary art that is British pop. With the record completed and the addition of drummer Jeff Tellez eurovox is currently engaged in serving up the fruits of their labor to a hungry public on a nightly basis. "Ladies and Gentlemen, dinner is served" -bendi



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Alive Records To Release "The Plimsouls - Live! Beg, Borrow & Steal" on Febuaray 23!


Live! Beg, Borrow & Steal showcases THE PLIMSOULS at the height of their power, tearing the roof off and on the verge of starting a riot on L.A.'s old Sunset Strip. Recorded at the Whisky A Go Go on October 31, 1981, this previously unreleased 18 song live album includes many of The Plimsouls' classics as well as plenty of surprises. It has been stunningly remastered, features previously unpublished and gorgeous photos by renowned photographer Bob Matheu, and also includes three pummelling tracks ("New Orleans," "Hey! Hey! Hey! Hey!" and "Run Run Run") with special guests The Fleshtones.


The album will be in-stores (in both vinyl and CD) and digitally online through Alive Records on February 23rd. The first vinyl pressing of the record will also include a poster and is limited to 1,000 copies.

The Plimsouls - Zero Hour from the forthcoming album "Live! Beg, Borrow & Steal"
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Thursday, January 14, 2010

Holidays Of Seventeen - Yeah - 2008


Holidays Of Seventeen (a.k.a. HO17) are a Japanese Power Pop band formed in October, 2004, in Fukuoka well known as the Rock City of Japan. HO17 have recently opened up for Weezer Japan Tour in Fukuoka and also played for CMJ Music Marathon 2008 in NY. HO17 originally consists of Taro Miura(Vo&Gt), Kota Nakahara(Gt&Cho), YO-PEI Ikari(Ba&Cho), and Munetoshi Nakayama(Dr&Cho) and later Yomogi Yamashita(Key&Cho) joined in.
Each Member has been influenced by various different kinds of music starting from Power Pop and Punk/Emo to J-Pop and Heavy Metal. However, the sound created by four characters totally differing from each other has come together so tight. The reason is their common favorite of all time, Weezer.
In February, 2005, HO17 released their first demo and toured in Kyushu for the first time. They dedicated themselves to gigging around in Kyushu, especially in their hometown, Jonan area in Fukuoka. While gigging around, they improved their Power Pop sound, catchy melodies, and skills even more. -HO17

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Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Curtains for You - Heaven's Waiting - 2007


Seattle-based five-piece rock band Curtains for You rely strongly on retro influences heard in their Beach Boys-esque melodies, if not immediately apparent in their more broodingly indie lyrics. The group is comprised of Matthew Gervais (guitar and lead vocals), Mikey Gervais (guitar, sax and vocals), Nick Holman (bass, euphonium, and vocals), Peter Fedofsky (piano and vocals), and Dave Lawrence (drums), with writing duties split evenly between Matthew Gervais and Fedofsky. Among their many influences they cite Harry Nilsson, Rufus Wainwright, and, of course, the ubiquitous Beach Boys. In spring of 2007 the five-man team released its buoyant debut, Heaven's Waiting, which received wide airplay on local stations and led to the subsequent signing to Spark and Shine Records. -AMG

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Monday, January 11, 2010

New Maple Mars Due in March


Heres the latestes video from the forthcoming Maple Mars album "Galaxyland", due out in March on Kool Kat Musik. This is a damn fine cover o a song written by Mark Radice in the early '70s. Don't know how we missed it the first time but make sure we don't miss it now!

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Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Clumsy - Center Of Attention Deficit Disorder - 2001


Clumsy can rock with the best of them. Singer/songwriter/guitar player Marc Solomon (ex-Perfect) can croon or scream with equal plumb. The first three songs -- "Keep in Mind," "Calling You Up," and "I've Gone Wrong" -- are three of the best "should've been a single" songs in a while; all three are up-tempo rockers that will floor you. "Tell Me" is perfect mix-tape material, a slower number addressed to a girl who's just left the narrator. "Sick of It All" is at once a reminiscence on the past ("Now we're closing up the shop so mom and pop can watch the mauling/malling of America"), an expression of frustration ("I'm just so sick of it all"), and a brilliant rallying cry for people growing older ("We've given up the drugs and alcohol for tissues and Tylenol"). And while "Prayer" reminds one of a rowdy Replacements tune and "2 Tone" sounds like Social Distortion, there really isn't a wholly derivative nor a wholly bad song on the album.
This is the kind of rock record that college radio DJs and some commercial alternative DJs would have drooled over in 1994. And while the riffs and melodies are certainly drool-worthy, the college radio charts are largely devoid of this type of Replacements/pre-ballad Goo Goo Dolls-esque college rock and this would never make it on those new music shows at commercial stations without upsetting the suits (or the band turning into Matchbox Twenty). That's too bad, because this is one of the best albums of 2001 and one of the best straight-up rock records in a long time. -AMG

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Monday, January 4, 2010

The Telepathic Butterflies - Introducing the Telepathic Butterflies - 2002


Every now and then a band comes from out of nowhere and makes a record that leaves you stunned. You wonder why you never saw it coming: Where is the hype, the hoopla, the Hives-esque promotional push? One surmises that when a band comes from a non-musical hotbed like Montreal and records for a teeny tiny label, they are most likely bound to be unheralded. Well, consider this the hoopla, the trumpeting, and the shouting from the rooftops. This is a great record! A really great record! If you like rock & roll music with hooks, guts, and emotion, you really should give the Telepathic Butterflies' 2000 album Nine Songs (there are actually 12!) a listen. To make it easier for you, here are some touchstones: the Kinks; the Creation (and other great British psych bands like the Move and John's Children); Donovan (whose "Epistle to Dippy" they cover in smashing style); the Records; Guided by Voices before they hit a real studio; the Elephant Six bands like the Apples in Stereo, only minus the whimsy; and Sloan. These are all bands who wrote great songs and delivered them with a minimum of fooling around, and that is what the Telepathic Butterflies do. From the first track, the bouncing and joyous "All Very Hoopla," to the last, the duo of Jacques Dubois on drums and Rejean Ricard on guitars, bass, and vocals plays one nugget after the next in charming and powerful lo-fi fashion. The only downside to so many top-notch songs is that, other than the leadoff track, none of the tracks really stand out. Still, it is a very strong record and an amazing debut. You must track Nine Songs down. It is one of the best rock records of the young decade. [In early 2003 pop underground label Rainbow Quartz made it much easier to get ahold of the Telepathic Butterflies' music. They reissued Nine Songs, retitled it The Telepathic Butterflies, and added four new tracks. The four songs were recorded in 2002 and feature a new bass player, Eric Van Buren. The songs are marginally more hi-fidelity but not enough so to sound out of place with the original album's production. They are certainly no letdown quality-wise either. "A Final Word" is a delightfully peppy Byrdsian romp. "Radio Darlings" is a melodically vicious attack on bad bands ("Beautiful boys, smiling toys like the puppets on a string"). The new tracks make a great record even better. Now that the album is more readily available, you really have no excuse not to check it out.] -AMG



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