Friday, December 23, 2011

The Cowboys - How the West Was Rocked - 1982

The Cowboys were part of a sizzingly, pre-grunge power pop scene that included such bands as the Moberlys and The Heats (originally the Heaters). One of the most popular bands of the era, the Cowboys opened for such national acts as the B-52s, Billy Idol, X, Split Enz and Tina Turner and performed at such clubs as Astor Park, Baby O’s and Hall of Fame.

In 1981, the Cowboys recorded the single “Rude Boy” and followed up with an EP in 1982. The band’s first full-length album, “How the West Was Rocked,” came out in 1985. But the group never found national fame it deserved. The Cowboys, also known for such songs as “Girls Like That” and “Jet City Rockers,” broke up in 1986. Fisher attributed the group’s demise to disagreements among band members and a reluctance to take out-of-town gigs that might have provided valuable exposure.

Ripped from vinyl @ 320


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Thursday, December 22, 2011

Clark - Two Of A Kind - 2005

Clark sounds like the late-great Swedish pop band Beagle with a bit more edge. Also, bands like Avion/Tories, the first album from The Elms, Switchfoot and the commercial side of modern pop are were they slot nicely. Fans of occasionally pumping guitar pop and moving pop balladry, all with sparkling vocals and hooks tripping over each other will dig Clark. These are smashing rock-solid songs with deft and irrepressible charmvocals) -Not Lame


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Wednesday, December 21, 2011

The Wellingtons - Keeping Up With The Wellingtons - 2005

Australian import and boy is this going to have tongues wagging we hope. This one is classic Not Lame territory. Sounding like a squeeky clean version of The Shazam in many spots, but also a long list of classic pop sounds familiar to the Not Lamer: Bleu, the Churchills, Ike, The Argument and Sun Sawed In 1/2. There`s plenty of "Bellybutton"-era Jellyfish slipping in here, too. The 10 perfect pop nuggets here are ridiculously catchy throwing dream harmonies and hooks all over the place. Each song is melodic and memorable because they are sweetly wrapped up with arrangements that keep it all both fresh and accessible. "Keeping Up With The Wellingtons" is a stunningly well-rounded, consistently hook-driven affair, w/ power pop melodies exploding in every corner of each song. - Not Lame


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Tuesday, December 20, 2011

The Holidays - The Holidays - 2001

In 2001 The Holidays spent just one day was spent recording the instruments (2 guitars, bass and drums), another day spent with the voices, and a couple more mixing it. People in Portland began to hear the buzz about the band and later in 2001 The Oregonian wrote up a fantastic review of the album. Influenced by such acts as The Posies, Jeff Buckley, and Sunny Day Real Estate, The Holidays expand on the approach of alternative rock. The Holidays blend their influences with their original ideas to the point that they become an incredible mix of indie and classic rock with jazz inspired chord changes to create artful pop music.-CD Baby


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Monday, December 19, 2011

Ciao Bella - 1 - 1997

Ciao Bella's self-titled album strikes a lovely balance between 60s pop touches and the semi-futuristic pop the March label usually deals in -- portions of the record do pretty much the same thing the Olivia Tremor Control's Dusk at Cubist Castle do ("How Low"), but the chirpy collages and Beatlesque harmonies of this aesthetic are tempered by big guitar sounds and modern organ usage that give Ciao Bella an entirely different tone. -AMG


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Sunday, December 18, 2011

A little present from Herb Eimerman

The Shoes Christmas comp "Yuletunes" came out 20 years ago this season....i just got around to doing a video for my track.  peace...herb eimerman

Grab the rest of Yuletunes over at the great Power Pop Criminals site and be sure to thank Angelo! Rate this posting:

Friday, December 16, 2011

James Michael - Inhale - 2000

James Michael, who bases his fan club in Owasso, OK, really touches the epicenter of the working man's rock & roll soul. Inhale is a passionate, dreamy, uplifting, and gut-wrenching performance. With his first major release, Michael goes forward with his shimmering born-to-be-a-rock-star presence and uncanny songwriting craftsmanship. Critics in Los Angeles have dubbed his vocal harmonies and stage presence hauntingly similar to the late Kurt Cobain. Yet, it is Michael's sincerity and openness to creative expression both lyrically and melodically that make this debut album special. "Maybe I should cut us both some slack/Maybe I should cut me out completely and try to get you back," sings Michael as a statement of desperation and longing in the dense and dynamic "Slack." "January" is a poignant and colorful song of triumph, detailing Michael's triumph of life and musical success after experiencing many years of horrific bands that took him nowhere. While his music has now made it to mainstream record shops, he's certainly not going to wait around for success to come to him. -AMG


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Wednesday, December 14, 2011

The Cowboys - Jet City Rockers - 1998

The Cowboys were, like The Heats, a fixture on the Seattle rock/pop scene for the first half of the 80`s and you can feel the sweat and the heat of the clubs as they bash out adrenaline-filled rockabilly and rock-fueled pop that`s like a Flying Color/Blasters meets The Moberly party! Or what The Clash might have sounded like if they grew up in the mid-West (even tho The Cowboys are from Seattle, they have more in common with The Suburbs than The Sonics!). A really cool collection -Not Lame


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Tuesday, December 13, 2011


Need a stocking stuffer or five? Need easy & fun gifts for friends, relatives, co-workers, babysitters, pet sitters, dog walkers, hair dressers, etc.? Want to support independent artists, while helping a fantastic animal rescue organization? Right now, all three of The Handcuffs' physical CD releases are on sale at CD Baby for only $8.99, including our brand new release "Waiting for the Robot!" Hurry, sale ends December 26, 2011.

PLUS, for every physical Handcuffs' CD sold between now and December 26, The Handcuffs will donate $1 to Elayne Boosler's Tails of Joy, a wonderful, nationwide, non-profit, pet rescue organization. Founded by comedian Elayne Boosler, Tails of Joy is staffed only by volunteers, so 100 percent of donated funds goes directly to help provide food, shelter, medicine, spay/neuter programs, emergency help and more. Help us spread the joy with music and a little help for our furry friends!

To buy CD's click here

Have a wonderful holiday season and a safe, happy and music filled new year!

The Handcuffs
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Marvelous 3 - Readysexgo! - 2000

Marvelous 3 is an absolutely killer slice of pop/punk/metal. Marvelous 3 are essentially Cheap Trick retooled for the 21st century, although these guys also have the sex-and-drugs misogynist attitude of mid-'80s hair metal bands (which may explain why Motley Crue's Nikki Sixx makes a cameo here on an answering machine message). High class musical references abound, such as Def Leppard and Queen in some of the choruses, Material Issue and Green Day in some of the guitar parts, plus hints of '70s glam (which may explain why "Cigarette Lighter Love Song," co-written with David Bowie, has a chorus which sounds suspiciously like "All the Young Dudes.")


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Monday, December 12, 2011

Butch Walker - Left of Self-Centered - 2002

Singer, songwriter, producer and all-around rock & roll auteur Walker goes it solo for the first time, after his moderately successful fling in the Marvelous 3 and handling production for upstarts like SR-71 and Injected. He plays almost all the instruments except drums (handled by fellow Atlanta resident Kenny Cresswell), but brings in guests like Mötley Crüe bassist Nikki Sixx for a track and even Peter Searcy on cello. Although nothing here is a major departure from the snotty, riff-based '70s-styled catchy hard rock that powered the Marvelous 3, Walker acquits himself admirably with a handful of terrific songs and enough brash swagger to make the rest sound at least like quality filler. The booklet displays this album (or a non-existent vinyl version of it) strewn among various rock star-associated trash; half-eaten pizza, eight-track tapes, underwear, an old pair of headphones, and a fake Rolling Stone feature are all scattered on an orange shag rug. The photo not only typifies the music, but shows Walker's influences, which he proudly displays on these 11 frequently rockin' tracks. The album's first single and most immediately catchy tune is "My Way" (not the Sinatra song), which epitomizes Walker's crunchy guitar attack. Lyrics like "There's a right way/Then there's my way/There's a highway/If you don't like it you can take it" exemplify the artist's no-BS philosophy. At worst, although he energetically puts across a song, Walker's voice isn't particularly distinctive, and the closing track (which follows 15 minutes of silence) is a worthless goof. But when he works a hooky chorus like the Badfinger-styled "Far Away From Close," grabs onto Oasis' melodic sweep on the personal "Sober," uses subtle loops to infuse a slight contemporary feel on "Into the Black," or adds strings and female backing vocals on the punchy "Get Down," Walker walks on terra firma. With forceful playing, muscular production, and self-assured confidence, he plows through these tunes like the seasoned pro he is. It adds up to about 40 minutes of pretension-free classic rocking that never sounds dated or passé. -AMG


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Sunday, December 11, 2011

The Records featuring John Wicks – A welcomed return by Rich Rossi

We were all returning to campus, gearing up for another grueling semester, and the kickoff was the Labor Day weekend concert on the Quad featuring Syracuse’s own Flashcubes opening for the headline act, The Records. John Wicks, Will Birch, Phil Brown, and Huw Gower took the stage and my definition of pop music changed entirely.
Thirty years later Wicks is still going strong as evidenced by his latest, actually a reissue of his 2007 release entitled “Rotate”. Having bought and thoroughly enjoyed the original, I gave the reissue a listen and, well, it’s even better if that’s possible.
My music reviews are unorthodox so rather than subject you to my amateur observations I thought I’d site the review Dave Steinfeld did for Blurt. He’s much smarter than I. First, in the event that you’re even older and more memory challenged than I, let’s let Dave walk us down memory lane:
Many people remember only their biggest hit, “Starry Eyes,” but the fact is, these guys turned out three excellent albums (well, two and a half) between 1979 and 1982. Wicks wrote most of the melodies while drummer Will Birch contributed the lion’s share of the lyrics. The result was something like what The Beatles or Kinks might have produced if they had emerged in the aftermath of punk.
So what about the new release? Here’s a short snippet of what Dave has to say about Rotate:
The arrangements on Rotate are crisp and Wicks proves himself an adept lyricist while remaining a top-notch melody man. All in all, this is a welcome return from a musician who is way more talented than his low profile would lead you to believe.
I’ve always thought of the Records’ genius as being a combination of Wicks’ incomparable ability to weave a melody that sticks with Birch’s sense of humor and ability to turn a memorable phrase. The rest was decoration. I’ve come to realize Wicks had the whole package all along. He’s just now getting a chance to show us.
Read Dave Steinfeld’s entire review of Rotate here. Buy the new Rotate with bonus tracks at or at Wicks’ site at

Years ago while attending art school Rich spent many hours listening to XTC, The Records, The Heats, Plimsouls and other powerpop bands of that time. Many children's books, greeting cards and website designs later he finds himself (quite by accident) in the employ of a few powerpop artists. I'm not name dropping but they include, John Wicks, Paul Collins and many more.

Life has come full circle. You can find Rich at if your so inclined.
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Thursday, December 8, 2011

Nothing is happening on Bad Afro

Nothing is happenin! If you feel like that nothing is happening on Bad Afro at the moment you are absolutely right! The fact is that all the planned 7”s are delayed at once for various reasons so all planning has gone down the drain. The Vambourines 7” has been delayed since the band (nor the label involved) really liked the mixes that Mike McHugh did and now they are re-recoding some parts of the songs as well as mixing them by themselves. Royal Baths recently signed to the US label Kanine (Grizzly Bear, Surfer Blood etc.) and relocated to New York at the same time so they have to find their own feet before recording the announced 7” on Bad Afro. The Cosmonauts 7” is just late in general and The Dolly Rocker Movement will record their upcoming 7” here in December to be released some time in the spring. Which leaves us with the Baby Woodrose album Third Eye Surgery due out in April 2012 and the above singles when they are ready. Stay tuned!

Bad Afro Records
Halmtorvet 29, Bygn. 12 A, 1
1700 Copenhagen V
Denmark Rate this posting:

Cone of Silence - Sixty-Grit Sandpaper And Other Delights - 2004

With the release of the long awaited "Sixty-Grit Sandpaper and Other Delights," Cone of Silence has returned triumphantly to the power pop world! Vue Magazine's reaction to the album, a simple haiku, reflects much of the critical acclaim accorded the new disc:

"Pure Pop Genius Really, It's Embarrassing Just How Good They Are"

High praise indeed! With comparisons ranging from that of The Pursuit of Happiness and Odds, to The Who and even Cake, it's clear that as folks try to put a label on the Cones, "Sixty-Grit" definitely treads its own sonic ground. After playing a number of dates in Edmonton (including a show at the venerable Sidetrack Cafe recorded by CBC), Cone of Silence is looking forward to playing the International Pop Overthrow in Vancouver at the end of the summer of 2006, Mark Sander and Pat Strain both have new songs at the ready to be recorded.


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12 all-new astonishing Dwight Twilley songs!

Just Released

12 all-new astonishing Dwight Twilley songs!

Dwight Twilley - best known for his iconic hits through the decades like “I’m On Fire” (1975), “Girls” (1984) and the classic ballad “Why You Wanna Break My Heart” featured in the motion picture Wayne’s World (1992)

Soundtrack is not an album with all the best cuts jammed at the beginning. It plays like a book that urges you to read from start to finish. The album is a masterful production with 12 all new astonishing Dwight Twilley songs.

Special guests on the album include Susan Cowsill (The Cowsills) who contributed her typically amazing harmonies on “Bus Ticket”, “God Didn’t Do It” and “The Cards Will Fall,” and fellow Tulsan Taylor Hanson (Hanson) who adds organ and magical keyboard sprinkles to "The Cards Will Fall” and “The Last Time Around.”

Track List:

1. “You Close Your Eyes”
2. “Bus Ticket”
3. “Tulsa Town”
4. “Skeleton Man”
5. “My Life”
6. “God Didn’t Do It”
7. “Out in the Rain”
8. “Soundtrack”
9. “The Lonely One”
10. “The Cards Will Fall”
11. “Good Things Come Hard”
12. “The Last Time Around”

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Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Grey Does Matter - How to Make Millions in Real Estate - 2004

Press material for the latest rock band usually seeks to leave the reader with the impression that group X is the best thing since Elvis, the Beatles, the Sex Pistols, or whoever. The truth always comes, however, when the listener places the disc in the player and turns up the volume. Words like "lo-fi" and "power pop" decorate Grey Does Matter's press materials, but they only provide a partial clue to how catchy How to Make Millions in Real Estate is. The opener, "Sinking," and its follow-up, "Zero," are filled with enticing hooks, bitter lyrics, and walls of guitar. The sound is further ornamented with some bizarre synthesizer work and an intense layering of voices. Surprisingly, all of this beguiling noise seems to come from one man, Jason Crawford, who wrote, sang, and played everything on How to Make Millions in Real Estate. This is the type of infectious music that creates volume creep: the listener keeps turning it up until everyone in the house/apartment has to tune in or leave. If the program drops off a little over the course of 11 songs, that has less to do with quality than with just how good the early part of the album is. Crawford's album will not teach the listener anything about making money in real estate, but fans of power pop, lo-fi, and tuneful punk will want to check it out nonetheless. -AMG


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Monday, December 5, 2011

Scamper - Leave Your Glasses On - 2004

Scamper is a Boston based power-pop / rock band, formed in 2001 when upstate NY transplants and singer-songwriter-guitarists Keith Michel and Nate Rogers teamed up with Mike Mirabella (drums) and Marc Roderick (bass) in Boston, combining their collective pop sensibilities in their bid to win over New England with rock and roll. Marc and Scamper parted in summer 2004, and the band brought in bassist Brendan Clarke to fill the void.


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Sunday, December 4, 2011

The Grip Weeds - Under The Influence Of Christmas

The Grip Weeds have delivered a very groovy Christmas album, featuring new yuletide originals alongside reworkings of classic rock and traditional holiday songs, all arranged in their own inimitable “sparkling, insanely catchy psych-pop” style that will make you hear the colors and see the sounds of Christmas. The band invited some special guest artists to help with the proceedings: Mark Lindsay (of Paul Revere & the Raiders), Myke Scavone and Gar Francis (The Doughboys) on the original “Santa Make Me Good”, Pat Dinizio and Jim Babjak (The Smithereens) on The Pretenders’ “2000 Miles”, George Cameron (The Left Banke) on “For The Holidays” (another new original), Vince Grogan (Third Of Never, Buzzed Meg) on a rocking version of Jethro Tull’s “A Christmas Song”, and Pete Horvath, Rob Farrell (The Anderson Council) on a very Who-like “Welcome Christmas” from "How The Grinch Stole Christmas"! The record is the anti-humbug for the discerning music fan who's looking for a hit of lysergic eggnog this holiday season.

Under The Influence Of Christmas will be available on CD and MP3 at all major music outlets including Kool Kat on Dec 6th but the band is already shipping it from their website as a download, CD or vinyl. Rate this posting:

Friday, December 2, 2011

Arlo - Stab the Unstoppable Hero - 2002

Combining the aesthetics of power pop, grunge, and hard rock, Los Angeles' Arlo has spawned a big album with big hooks, big harmonies, and an even bigger guitar attack that should endear them to the vast American teenage wasteland. Classic rock influences abound, especially when the band barely stops short of cobbling the all-too-familiar octave riff of the Knack's seminal new wave anthem "My Sharona" in "Runaround." Cuts such as "Culture," "Little American," and "Working Title" all explode with the most unflappable characteristics of modern rock radio currency, namely adolescent angst meshed with raging hormones and wandering spirits. The odd time signature in title track underpins a tale of despair that belies the infectious singalong chorus. Stab the Unstoppable Hero is an enjoyable and youthful romp that proves the kids are all right aftejavascript:void(0)r all. -AMG


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Thursday, December 1, 2011

Uptown Sinclair - Uptown Sinclair - 2001

Cleveland rockers Uptown Sinclair capture the chills, thrills, peaks, and valleys of their explosive live show on this enjoyable self-titled debut disc. Guitar-driven, hearty on melody, heavy on harmony, and unabashedly descendent of the Hollies, Small Faces, Big Star, Brian Wilson, and Cheap Trick, cuts such as "Girlfriend," "Superman," and "Sentimental" are achingly familiar to anyone who came of age with ears pressed to a transistor radio in the 1970s or cheerfully endured the hair metal-meets-bubblegum revival of the late '80s. Lead voice Dave Hill is the consummate heartbreak hero. He loves, he lusts, he laments, and he hardly labors over lyrics that will never mount a challenge Bob Dylan, Bob Pollard, or Bob Thomas. But that's not the point here. With the exception of Lou Reed, who cares that these exuberant post-punk-pop pirates nicked the chords to "Sweet Jane" for "First Thing in The Morning"? It's only rock & roll. They like it, and you'll like it too. A guilty pleasure worth pandering to. -AMG


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