Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Tommy Tutone - Nervous Love - 1996

Although it's credited as a Tommy Tutone record, Nervous Love is actually the work of Tommy Heath after the band's demise. There's nothing as instantly endearing as "Jenny (867-5309)" or "Angel Say No," but this is a fine collection of mainly working-class/bar-band rock & roll crossed with power-pop that isn't too dissimilar to Tommy Tutone's heyday. -AMG

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Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Maple Mars - Welcome to Maple Mars - 2001

Welcome to Maple Mars is a fine introduction to Rick Hromadka's prodigious and multi-varied talents as skillful songwriter and musician. The album started off as a Hromadka solo project in the summer of 2000, shortly after he'd dissolved his previous band, Double Naught Spies. Hromadka was by then ready to move on and ready to stretch out as a composer, knowing that Double Naught Spies weren't likely ready to make the same journey with him. And so he went, performing intimate shows in L.A., often playing just piano (although this multi-instrumentalist is adeptly talented on just about every instrument you can think of). This period of self-discovery led to him taking giants steps forward from his previous efforts -- the proof is this album, actually. Still, Hromadka missed the kinetic energy of having a live band with him on-stage and in the studio, which led him to invite a few of his friends to join him on this adventure, including drummers Mike Fletcher (credited as the only other member of Maple Mars here, although Hromadka has since assembled a full group) and Steve Berns, guitarist Phil Rosenthal (Twenty Cent Crush), and multi-instrumentalist Rick Gallego (Cloud Eleven). The opening track, "Welcome to Maple Mars," is a fine introduction and begins with a Sgt. Pepper-y crowd-noise intro before launching into a barre-chorded power surge of swirling guitars and hummable melodies. "I Thought I Knew You Well" is an excellent guitar jag, with warm-chorus harmonies that trade off with aspic-tinged verses. Gallego guests on the semi-psych pop "Fly," a high note with the album's hookiest chorus, and "Afterglow," a rich, head-bobbing soft rock explosion (it may remind some fans of his band, Cloud Eleven, at least in spirit). The sublime "Silver Spy Satellite" ambles on a loping acoustic guitar and percussion beat (it's similar to America's ghostly "Horse With No Name"), but there's a sleepy-eyed slide guitar that sells the tune. The album ends with "Wonderwalla"'s carnival-esque intro, leading into a moody organ outro, then a few seconds pass before a minute-long Monkees-esque hidden track slips in under the wire. The only negative comment overall is that a few of the songs tend to go on a bit too long after they've made their main point, but this is a minor complaint and shouldn't deter fans from seeking out this outstanding (and deep) pop wonder. -AMG


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Monday, November 28, 2011

Mandrew - Mandrew - 2004

Mandrew is the latest local offering from Martin Devaney's all things Americana imprint Eclectone Records. Featuring First Prize Killer guitarist Mike Andrew sliding into the front man role with backing from his FPK bandmates (and additional contributions from Twin Cities indie-rock stalwarts like Work of Saws' Brock Davis and Walker Kong's Jeremy Ackerman), Mandrew is a laid-back summertime pop record not too far removed from FPK's Powdery Parade, which means that it will be this year's perfect backing soundtrack to back porch beer swilling. That being said, the record is still surprisingly varied and ambitious for being the product of a relaxed home recording project. "Pick Up Your Floor" is a convincing spin on the kind of slight yet insidiously catchy indie-pop the Shins are riding to mass success. Elsewhere the band tries its hand at spacey country waltzes ("When Charity Fails") and fuzzed-out stomp rock ("The Classic Clues") with great success. In the end Mandrew is yet another instantly enjoyable yet surprisingly durable roots-flavored pop album from the Eclectone Records stable. -City Pages

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Sunday, November 27, 2011

V/A - xo for the Holidays - 2011

When is it the right time to start pushing holiday music… WHEN Justin Bieber’s holiday album is charting top 20 on itunes! YIKES!

Christmas is almost here and I am sure there will be no shortage of gift ideas placed in your path during the next few weeks. Newspapers, Radio and TV will be filled with ads offering novel, interesting, compelling, and occasionally useful gifts for those on your list!

Home of the fabulous Backsliders, xo publicity offers up their forth installment of "xo for the Holidays"! Best of all, this one is free! Ho Ho Ho! Happy Holidays from xo!

V/A - xo for the Holidays - 2011

xo-kaytea
www.xopublicity.com
http://xopublicity.blogspot.com/
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Friday, November 25, 2011

The Motels - The Motels - 1979

1979's self-titled debut release from the California band the Motels comes across as what a less pretentious Doors might have sounded like had they emerged during the new wave era. The Motels is a fairly cold, almost robotic affair which trades in lyrics that explore the darker side of life in Los Angeles. There are a few tracks that bear repeated listens like the frantic "Kix" and "Celia," a warning to a woman involved with the wrong guy. "Total Control," a big hit for the band in Australia and later covered by Tina Turner, is the album's standout with its menacing lyrics of possession delivered by Martha Davis. She is the one consistently redeeming attraction of this dated record. Although she tends to over-sing at times, Davis is a riveting and sensual vocalist and her vocals hint at the potential in the band. -AMG

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Wednesday, November 23, 2011

The Green Beetles - The Basement

Here is a good one from friend of PPO Herb Eimerman!
Check out the Power Pop pedigree for this one.
Recorded in our respective homes and mixed by Joe.

Our Xmas gift to you. Also available on the ROCK Against Bullshit Vol.6 CD.

www.facebook.com/pages/ROCK-Against-Bullshit/247467691935617

rockagainstbullshit@hotmail.com


Joe Algeri...Guitar and lead vocal...Australia
Dom Mariani...Lead Guitars and background vocals...Australia
Herb Eimerman...Bass Guitar...12 string acoustic guitar...background vocals...U.S.A
Stefan Johansson...Drums...Sweden




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Protones - Not That Difficult - 1998

A power pop band from Spain, Protones debuted with the release of an EP attached to the first issue of a fanzine called Rock Indiana, followed by their first album, Cartunes. After issuing Nothing to Say in 1996, the Plimsouls' Paul Collins teamed up with the band, producing their following record, Not That Difficult. Protones moved to California to participate in the International Pop Overthrow soon after. In 1999, guitarist Octavio (aka Octavio Vinck) and bassist Tato (aka David Tato) joined the band. In 2001, the Spanish group returned with Come Out and Play, including "Now That I Think of It," a song featured in the movie No Te Fallaré. -AMG

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Tuesday, November 22, 2011

The Oranges - Teen Rock - 2006

Japanese import at a great price from a long-time Not Lame fave. Why? Well, pull up a chair and listen, my dear friend. This purely entrenched in 1975 pop band that pulls of glammy pop cum Bay City Rollers quite wonderfully. The best power pop band to come out of Japan, The Oranges produce incredibly pure, hip, catchy, Japanese bubblegum-power music. So if you like the idea of a pure power pop, bubblegummy extraganza of Bay City Rollers, glammy T. Rex and Sweet, then you have heaven here. The best power pop band to come out of Japan, The Oranges produce incredibly pure, hip, catchy, Japanese bubblegum-power music. With their Bay City Roller "look" and Bo Donaldson and The Heywoods haircuts, this foursome display catchy riffs and power guitars, while singing of love and dreams. But disclaimer,xenophobes: they sing in Japanese. But, trust me...while some may not dig that, with the Oranges, it could not be less of a tripping pop lovers! -Not Lame

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Monday, November 21, 2011

The CRY! needs your love

The CRY! is a music sensation emerging from the eclectic arts scene of Portland, OR. With heavy pop influences like The Beach Boys, The Who, Nick Lowe and The Sweet, the band has re-crafted the 2 min. pop song for a new generation. The CRY! effortlessly merges 50's style vocal harmonies and the jangle of 60's pop hooks with the raw punkish emotion of the PDX street culture.

While its members are young (18-21), The CRY! motto: “Don't Suck” has produced a professionalism, work ethic and sense-of-purpose typically seen in older well-seasoned acts. In a few short months The CRY!’s rare musical chemistry, upbeat energy and hooky songwriting have garnered over 6,000 “plays” and earned the band #1 and top #25 on Reverb Nation’s local and national charts respectively! Additionally, after a recent a live performance at the International Pop Overthrow (IPO) Festival in Seattle WA, The CRY! was the only act to receive an “A+” rating


Head over to their website and get yourself a copy now!!


ComScore

Revernation: thecrypdx
Facebook: the cry pdx

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The Shamrock - The Mods Are Alright - 2004

This was THE power pop band in Japan in the 80`s..they were huge. This collection documents a good part of this story gathering up a bunch of studio demos(great sounding!) and live trax. The sound is classic early Jam, Beatles `64 and The Undertones, as well as The Vapors.....mix up The Who, The Smal Faces and you have some pure pop joy. This Japanese release is very reasonably priced so it`s well, well worth more than a casual sniff. The first 8 songs of this 23 song affair are worth the price of admission. The singing is classic late 70`s skinny tie mod-power pop and they mix Japanese and English lyrics throughout, amusingly. -Not Lame

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Sunday, November 20, 2011

Silicon Ballet - Sunglasses

If you haven't managed to catch anything by Silicon Ballet yet, I'd really encourage you to have a listen to their new single, available via our the Rainboot label (and all the big evil places like iTunes too) - four and a half minutes of your time well spent!



The single is out ahead of the band's mini-album Utopia which will be out next February. Rate this posting:

The Onoma/Two label presents... TODD AID

Todd Dillingham
A message from the excellent Terry Burrows.
As some of you may know, our dear friend and collaborator Todd Dillingham is currently undergoing some heavy duty cancer surgery in Florida.To help him with his medical expenses, we're offering two download albums from our Bandcamp.com site, which we launched last week. The albums are Yukio Yung's "Goodbye Pork Pie Brain/Hello Pulsing Vein" and Chrysanthemums' "The Baby's Head".

Todd made guest appearances on both of these albums. They originally appeared in the late 1990s variously on vinyl and CD issued by record labels in Germany, and this is the first time they have been available online. Individual tracks are priced at .99 GBP or for 6.99 GBP you can get the complete album. ALL OF THE INCOME, ONCE ONLINE FEES HAVE BEEN DEDUCTED, WILL GO TO TODD - WHICH SHOULD BE SOMETHING LIKE 6 GBP/ALBUM.For those of you who don't know Bandcamp.com, it's hugely preferable to iTunes as a download site. You can listen to streamed versions of the *complete* songs (not just 30-second clips), and downloads are of much higher sound quality (mp3s are 320Kb rather than 192Kb,or you can have lossless FLACs). Paying is very straightforward – click on "Buy Now" and pay using Bandcamp's secure system using the likes of PayPal, Visa or Mastercard.So we invite you to take a listen to what we (and Todd) were doing at the end of the last century.And, of course, any contributions to Todd Aid! will be gratefully received.Thanks for your time.Onoma Research



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Friday, November 18, 2011

Maybe Dolls - Propaganda - 1991

Maybe Dolls were an Australian pop/rock band that released one album, “Propaganda,” in 1991. The band’s core was brother and sister duo Chris and Annalisse Morrow, who had previously performed as The Numbers in the late 1970s and early 1980s. The band scored regional hits with the singles “Nervous Kid” and “Cool Jesus.”


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Thursday, November 17, 2011

Trolley - Things That Shine And Glow is now available

Perennial PPO favorites Trolley has a new album out now! The new album feels fresh and current while still maintaining the energy and vibe of the 60's. "Things That Shine And Glow" is pure power pop and a delight to your ears and it sounds amazing. Follow the link below to download your copy now or you can get the physical CD at  www.cdbaby.com/trolley12!   Highly recommended.



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The Numbers - 39.51 - 1982

Over the course of 3 years, The Numbers released one E.P., six singles and two LP's. Many will remember them from their numerous Countdown appearances and their first two singles, the hits: 'The Modern Song' and 'Five Letter Word' and their self-titled debut LP. However, there's a whole lot more to their story. Although The Numbers reached their commercial peak early ('Five Letter Word' was their last charting single), they continued to release excellent material - four more singles and a neglected second album: 39.51 (the title was a curt response to the criticism of their debut LP's 28 minute length). The core, and only constant during their five year career, of The Numbers was the brother and sister team of Chris and Annalisse Morrow. In Chris, they had an excellent songwriter and inventive guitarist and, in Annalisse, an equally accomplished musician and a striking focal point.

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Wednesday, November 16, 2011

The Numbers - The Numbers - 1980

Between 1978 and 1984, Sydney group The Numbers plied their trade on the basis of the very smart and snappy songs of guitarist Christian Morrow and his younger sister, bass player and vocalist Annalisse. Two albums, seven singles and roughly a hundred drummers later, the group were dropped by their label and split up.

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Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Spy vs Spy - A.O. Mod. TV - 1986

A.O. Mod. TV. Version is the second studio album by Australian rock band Spy vs Spy, produced by Leszek Karski (Boys Next Door, Midnight Oil, Nauts) and released through WEA on 8 December 1986.
The title is an abbreviation of 'Adults Only Television Version' which used to appear at the bottom of late night movies in Australia at the time. The album peaked at #12 on the Kent Music Report and went gold. For this album Spy vs Spy recorded as v. Spy v. Spy, and the line-up was the original trio Craig Bloxom on bass guitar/lead vocals, Cliff Grigg on drums/percussion and Mike Weiley on lead guitar/vocals.

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Monday, November 14, 2011

Digital Download Derby

The Yep Roc Store is offering fans a chance to stock up their digital music collection with unbeatable deals on some of Yep Roc's best releases. Now through Friday 11/18, they have reduced the price on 100 titles from the Yep Roc vault to just $3.99 each.

Don't miss your chance to save on amazing releases from Chuck Prophet, Dave Alvin, John Doe, Los Straitjackets, Jukebox the Ghost, The Sadies, Peggy Sue, The Minus 5 and more!
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Art in America - Art in America - 1983

begins as delicate, somewhat elegant album with a pleasing mix of harp, guitar and keyboard that slowly changes to a more arena rock sound with progressive touches that make the band sounds like Asia meets Breathe. A pretty and slightly mystic album with hints of album rock and pop, Art in America was overlooked upon its release.- AMG

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Friday, November 11, 2011

Eric Marcos - Disposable Friend - 2005

The long awaited follow-up disc from Eric and his band features support from most of the Boston music scene, including Bill Janovitz, Todd Thibaud, Mike Gent (The Figgs) and many others. But all I can say is this one helluva power parade of pumping pop with balls! A few of you may remember a band from LA called Code Blue, a few songs on this fabulous debut remind me of that band, at the their best. But, generally, what the Boston Globe says below is dead-on...they sound like early Tom Petty And The Heartbreakers. It`s just a tour-de-force of rock `n roll spirit---what a blast this must have been to make? That energy and vibe is on full display here, that`s for sure. Extremely Highly Recommended! -Not Lame

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Thursday, November 10, 2011

Connells - Old-School Dropouts - 2001

Like 1998's Still Life, Old-School Drop Outs continues the Connells' move away from the more experimental nature of Weird Food and Devastation. This album, self-released after their long, fruitful relationship with the TVT label finally came to an end, finds the Connells building on their classic sound, a world of wistful lyrics, strong guitars, and gorgeous melodies -- a world where the childhood dreams of Boylan Heights are only a heartbeat away. Fans of the brand of guitar pop this North Carolina group has been harvesting since the Athens-to-Raleigh frenzy in the mid-'80s will find themselves in comfortably familiar territory. Mike Connell and George Huntley's guitars still have just enough bite to keep things out of saccharine territory, and Doug MacMillan's boyish timbre still sounds as sincere as it did all of those years ago. Highlights include the driving stomp of "Put Down" and the pretty sentiments and soaring guitar leads of "Gladiator Heart," while the bittersweet romanticism of "Rusted Fields" is up there with the Connells' most beautiful work. This represents the group's first effort since the departure of longtime drummer Peele Wimberley. -AMG

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Friday, November 4, 2011

Daryll-Ann - Happy Traum - 2001

Though the album's title is named after a famous folk musician who authors instructional guitar books and videos, has recorded several solo records, and collaborated with Bob Dylan and Maria Muldaur, Happy Traum is an aural trek back to the breezy, organic pop/rock of the late '60s and early '70s. Happy Traum, which translates as happy dream, brims with infectious melodies, jangly guitars, and vocal harmonies reminiscent of solo Paul McCartney, Badfinger, and the Kinks. Considered to be among Holland's best pop exports, Daryll-Ann romps through this collection of rockers ("When You Cry"), folksy ballads ("Money or Love"), cosmic country honky tonk ("Feelings," "All By Myself"), and emo rock ("Riverside") with a blithe spirit. Though not essential, Happy Traum is a well-crafted, enjoyable collection of ear candy. -AMG

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Thursday, November 3, 2011

Sparkle*Jets U.K. - In, Through and Beyond - 1998

In, Through, and Beyond, the debut effort by L.A.'s Sparkle*Jets U.K., was the irreverent antidote to snoringly classicist late-'90s power pop acts. While Sparkle*Jets are a power pop band by virtue of their influences, exhibited here in their wonderful choice of covers (Electric Light Orchestra's "Above the Clouds," Big Star's "Thirteen," and the Beach Boys' "Girl Don't Tell Me"), they steer clear of clichés and remember that pop music is fun by design. While many modern pop revivalists play guitar pop like it belongs in a museum, Sparkle*Jets rock with abandon through these 15 tracks, smirking all the while. Sure, the songs can be goofy; there's a song about "Surfing Monkeys," and "Oh Poor Me" is more or less the female answer to the Smiths' "Girlfriend in a Coma," in which the girl doesn't mind that her narcissistic boyfriend dies in a fiery car wreck while trying to change CDs. And it doesn't stop there -- "My Internet Love Song (To You)," which crams computer jargon into a bouncy love song, is easily one of the most clever geek rock anthems ever written. Sure, the album sags a little toward the end, but the humor doesn't wear thin after a few listens because the hooks are strong and the two frontpersons are appealing. Mike Simmons and Susan West are like polar opposites -- Simmons' boyish, innocent voice provides the ideal backdrop for the album's more typically power poppy moments, while West is a little more prone to let loose with her very rock & roll set of pipes. The end result is a relentlessly energetic, delightfully cheery, and thoroughly entertaining debut record. -AMG

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