Thursday, March 22, 2012

Taking a little time off...

Longtime readers of PPO will likely recall that I take a vacation every now and then. That time is now. No Secret Saturdays, no posts, no music, no nothing for a while. Sorry!

Look through the archives while I am away, I bet there is something you missed. Also feel free to leave comments suggestions or what ever comes to mind.

Feel free to email me but I will be slow to respond to all of your e-mail questions so please have patience.

As always, thanks to everyone out there. Without all of you, I wouldn't still be here.

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Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Bill Lloyd - Feeling the Elephant - 1987

Bill Lloyd's first solo album was actually released in 1987, predating the Nashville native's association with Radney Foster in the mainstream country act Foster and Lloyd. However, at that time, it appeared on the tiny Boston indie Throbbing Lobster, just as that label was breathing its last. Thoughtfully, Atlanta's DB Records picked up Feeling the Elephant after Foster and Lloyd's commercial breakthrough and reissued it in a new cover with slightly improved sound. Good thing, too, because Feeling the Elephant beats the pants off of Foster and Lloyd's fine but annoyingly slick albums. Recorded as (mostly) one-man band demos between 1983 and 1986, the ten songs on Feeling the Elephant range from Big Star wistful jangle ("This Very Second") to Marshall Crenshaw roots pop ("Lisa Anne"), with side trips into the funky rock of "I Wanna Sit and Watch the Credits Roll" and the ghostly psychedelia of "Everything's Closing Down." It's hard to believe that this wasn't originally recorded as an album, because there's a flow and organic unity to these well-sequenced songs that makes Feeling the Elephant a more satisfying listen than most power pop albums. The slightly new wavish, Let's Active-like title track and the ultra-catchy jangle popper "Nothing Comes Close" are particular highlights, but this is a power pop joy from start to finish. -AMG


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Monday, March 19, 2012

Review: Tommy Flake @ The Flatiron, Greensboro NC - You can't make this stuff up

Photo by Allen Martin
They had to twist my arm. I heard about Tommy Flake (aka Randy Seals) performing at a local bar and, while I loved his latest CD, Second Skin, it was Friday night as I was tired from a rough week's work.

Some friends dragged me downtown to The Flatiron, a local watering hole and dive bar. I hadn't been there in a while and soon discovered that, despite my friends' assurances, it was still pretty much the dump I had remembered.

They'd made the whole thing up.

Photo by Allen Martin
Standing alone with his guitar, Seals started the evening off right with an excellent cover of Cheap Trick's "Auf Wiedersehen". Any reservation I had about dragging myself out on a Friday night were now completely gone. A little rough around the edges by design, their buzz-saw guitars and driving
rhythms took the crowd through some favorites like "Just Where They Want To You", "Life Remains", "Miles From Over", and "Collapse", all from his latest LP, Second Skin. Matty Sheets' bass helped drive things along with David Pike's drums and Mikey Roohan's (aka "Driveway") harmonica flourishes. Imagine combining Cheap Trick's pop sensibilities with the edginess of Foo Fighters and you've got the idea of what Tommy Flake are all about.

While I enjoy hearing stuff I'm familiar with, it was the brand new material that was most impressive. I imagine we'll hear "Dream Being", "The Mend", and "Please (Don't Wake Me)" on a forthcoming release. They were some of the better songs in a very impressive set, so let's hope so.

There is something great about dive bars, something that makes the experience special. Everyone kept referring to "Driveway". As it turns out, that's the name band member Mikey Roohan has gone by most of his life. And so I had to ask. "What self respecting adult goes through life with the name Driveway?" I got my answer from someone at the bar, and it was one I hadn't expected.

A veteran of the local music scene and former band mate of Roohan's had quite a story. Apparently, back in the day when Greensboro was as at it's musical peak in the 80's, Roohan and the band would play a few sets and retire to a one of the guys' homes to have a few too many drinks and celebrate a successful show. One morning they woke up to find Roohan missing. Not knowing where he could be, they wandered out into the front yard only to find Mikey face down in the driveway, passed out from having overdone it the night before. From that moment on he was referred to as "Driveway".

You can't make this stuff up. But I digress...

When you consider where Tommy Flake aka Seals came from, his new music is particularly  impressive. Having started his career as the drummer who replaced Brad Elvis in The Elvis Brothers, a
late 80's radio ready power pop band signed signed to Portrait, he cut his teeth on polished melody driven pop. His next band, The Beatifics, were of similar ilk and equally impressive for their ability to write melodies that work their way into your psyche. After a few more stops, musical and otherwise, Seals has come out the other end of the tunnel with a unique blend of his learned pop sensibilities and an edgy anxiety that gives his sound an urgency. Its well thought out and yet spontaneous.

The latest CD from Tommy Flake, Second Skin, is available as a download  here. Check out the Tommy  Flake website and find out if their coming to a dive bar near you. And, if the new music isn't a good enough reason to get out to seethem at a venue near you, then...

I'll make something up.

This guest post is written by Richard Rossi, a blogger, illustrator and joke writer from Greensboro NC. You can find his childrens books at amazon.com and on his website, orangemen44.com.
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New Baby Woodrose single and video out today

Baby Woodrose will release their new album Third Eye Surgery April 16th. Dandelion has been chosen as the second single from the album and it’s quite different from the spaced out sounds otherwise found on the album. Dandelion is a sweet psychedelic pop song and it is also a duet between Lorenzo Woodrose and the beautiful young Danish singer Emma Acs who released her debut album Champagne in 2011.

Dandelion is released online via iTunes, Spotify, TDCplay, Amazon as well as all the other usual suspects, today March 19th. Check out the new video out for the song. The video is made by Adam Olsson.

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Sunday, March 18, 2012

The La's - Timeless Melody from deleted vinyl

This is the deleted version of Timeless Melody ripped straight from the vinyl test pressing acetate in 1988. It got pulled from release.

Most articles, books etc. list this as being produced by Jeremy Allom but the producer is in fact Mike Hedges.

A later, differently mixed version appeared in 2010's Callin' All box set.

This has never seen a formal release.

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Wednesday, March 14, 2012

The Orgone Box - Orgone Box - 2001

Sheffield based multi instrumentalist and songwriter/producer Rick Corcoran, who plays nearly every instrument here, is the only member of the Orgone Box. He reportedly used four eight-track tape machines, a 32-channel mixing desk, three guitar amps, a half-dozen effects-laden guitars, and laid down guide drums to a click-track during the initial home-recording sessions. Later, during four days of overdubbing at a mansion called "the House in the Woods," Corcoran was aided by a couple of friends, drummer Tam Johnstone (ex-the Green Tambourines, the General Store) and bassist/keyboardist Tim McTighe, who provided "orchestral arrangements" on a Roland MC300. The result, of course, is that the Orgone Box has that identifiable studio sheen that low-budget self-produced solo efforts of this ilk often have, where the drum/bass rhythm tracks are purposefully simplified in the early stages of recording to easily allow for sonic layers to be added above. Even so, unlike most albums that are built this way, brick by brick, from the foundation to the penthouse, the more you listen this CD, the more you realize the Orgone Box is a stylish triumph of substance over simple revisionist psych-pop. Corcoran was evidently inspired by listening to his favorites from the original 1967 era -- the Fabs, Butterfly-era Hollies, early Pink Floyd are a few that come to mind -- and "informed" by later albums released by the Dukes of Stratosphear, Robyn Hitchcock, and Oasis, but he doesn't seem to be too interested in ripping off any of his precursors. On the second track, "Anaesthesia," Corcoran even lets listeners know that he's "not into psychedelia/I've got a psychedelic mind...whatever," probably meaning that his music simply pours out of him whenever he hits "record," without him having to "psychedelicize" to get into the mood. Each track abounds with effective Lennon-esque vocals, ringing Byrds-ian 12-strings, phase-shifting guitar solos, and mellifluous multi-tracked vocal harmonies, all swirling amid confectionery pop melodies. The collective result resembles a fantastic Baroque pop construct of Sgt. Pepper-y proportions, the kind of record that headphones were invented for. -AMG

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Monday, March 12, 2012

David Myhr - Soundshine Pre-order now at Kool Kat!!

ACCEPTING PRE-ORDERS NOW FOR AUTOGRAPHED COPIES!! WOW!!! David Myhr took his first steps into the music business with power pop legends The Merrymakers. After too many years of silence it was time to make his debut as a solo artist. The songs on "Soundshine" are representative of everything he stands for: melodic, well crafted pop music with a heart. If a thread of timelessness runs through The Beatles, Wings, Crowded House, Jellyfish, Fountains of Wayne, and The Feeling, his music appears at several places along that thread – sometimes even simultaneously. It’s also easy to hear that his music has sprung from the same Northern indie pop soil as bands like Popsicle and The Wannadies. The record is chock-full of fantastic pop songs presenting one masterful melody after the other along the way, delivered with tasty guitars, lovely hooks, gorgeous harmony vocals, and pop lyrics that actually say something. David stands for talented and intelligent and melodic pop music at its purest. This album is centered around the songs – and what songs! ”I love that tingling down the spine when I hear a great song – when superior craftmanship meets the magic. I constantly strive for that that with my own songs”, says David. He writes because he wants to, and because he has to. His goal is to make others feel the way he does when he’s moved by a great song. ”If making music leads to interesting things happening and meeting great people, that’s enough for me. The fact that the record industry has been proclaimed dead is liberating in a way, because everyone is free to make music that they genuinely like!” Although the name of the album is "Soundshine", it could just as well have been titled "For The Love Of Melody". We'll go out on a limb and proclaim that this very well will be a Top 5 (if not #1) contender for 2012's year-end "Best Of" lists!



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Tuesday, March 6, 2012

The Hazey Janes - Hotel Radio -2006

A Scottish band that totally lives up the the hype and will amaze many of you. This UK only import is the real deal, a rich and original fusion of traditional folk and country rock, and American power-pop reminiscent of Big Star, The Jayhawks and Velvet Crush but also the UK style of Cosmic Rough Riders, has defined the bands sound as energetic and uplifting. That is all over the place here. Listening to the bands three-part harmonies will bring smiles to Not Lame Land. This one of the best pure pop bands to come off the U.K. Island in the last year (2006), make sure you check this one out! -Not Lame

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Monday, March 5, 2012

Zero Hour Records is going digital

Zero Hour Records has decided to make some releases available on iTunes . So right now you can get the Devin Hill "Star" album with his second album "Wayout Lane" to follow. Both will be on iTunes as they were released. Zero Hour will be releasing a new Devin Hill mini album on iTunes as
well in the coming weeks, WOW!  Also available is the Bleached Black "A Wrist Slashing Restrospective" which hasn't been available since 1985/1987. All the tracks have been remastered and sound great. They have included 12 bonus tracks on iTunes so there's 29 tracks all up. A great listen if you are into Power Pop with an edge. Don't forgetThe Dangtrippers from Iowa, their first album Days Between Stations is a must have and it's on iTunes too! This one  hasn't been available since 1989. Rate this posting:

Sunday, March 4, 2012

Dw Dunphy - Your Saturday Sins music video



Music video for "Your Saturday Sins" featured on the release Reliquary, coming soon from Secret Decoder Records Rate this posting:

Bill Lloyd - Boy King of Tokyo Out now!

Bill Lloyd has a new album available now on ITunes and through his website
billlloydmusic.net.  Just got mine yesterday and I can tell this will be in my rotation for a long time!

From Bill LLoyd:
"Hello friends, fans and followers of my musical endeavors..

As you can see from the video above, Radney Foster and I have reunited to make the first album we've done in twenty years. Here, we are doing the title cut called, "It's Already Tomorrow" and it sure feels that way. Doing another project together came out of a renewed bout of co-writing songs. The process was great fun and the reaction has been overwhelming. We were able to record the album as a combo with Keith Brogdon on drums (who plays with Radney on the road) and Tom Petersson (who plays bass  with Cheap Trick). We got a few other friends like Sam Bush, Lloyd Green and Beth Nielsen Chapman to add their talents in a few spots and we had ourselves a new record!

While we're no longer on RCA Records like the old days, we released the cd on our own imprint called "Effin' Ell Records". With so many record stores having closed and major chains decreasing their music sections, we very much appreciate all the folks who found and ordered  "It's Already Tomorrow". You'll be able to find it  right here on my refurbished website:  http://www.billlloydmusic.net. Please take a few minutes to look around. We're also thankful to the stores that continue to carry our record in stock." -Bill Lloyd

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Thursday, March 1, 2012

Nerk Twins - Either Way - 1997

This obscure jangle-pop duo has made a fine album that is, unfortunately, almost impossible to find, but well worth the effort. Out of thirteen songs, nine are gems. The disc opens with the sublime "What Does It Take?," and an ode to unrequited love that grabs you gently by the scruff of the neck and runs off with your heart. "Either Way" is an ode to actual requited love with a chord progression that Lennon and McCartney would have been proud to write. "2 Women" is a twisted country song about being in love with a schizophrenic, disguised as a song about a menage à trois. The Twins (whose real names are Jeff Murphy and Herb Eimerman) sing with a sweet wistfulness that never gets cloying, even at its sweetest. Everywhere is a cockeyed humor that never rests on mere quirkiness -- it's impossible to detect any irony in the sappy "I Love Jamaica," and "Ugly" features the classic line "If you weren't so ugly I'd ask you out," followed two minutes later by the tag "...is what she said to me." -AMG

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