Friday, April 27, 2012

Myracle Brah - Super Automatic - 2002

Lead singer Andy Bopp certainly has a good idea of what makes three-minute power pop songs shine and evolve into gems. "Isn't It a Crime," the leadoff track, is a lovable and infectious song with all of the appropriate chords struck in the ideal places. A Beatles vibe works its way throughout "Albert S. Hand," especially the Eastern influences and assorted backward or subliminal sounds. Bopp's voice resembles John Lennon in an almost uncanny fashion. "Message '78" only builds on this foundation, but with more emphasis placed on the melody and backing vocals. One difficulty with the opening songs is how stellar they are both lyrically and structurally. "I'd Rather Be" is an early nominee for best song here, a straightforward power pop track. When Bopp strays into soppy pop ballads in "When She Cries," it still works but isn't quite as effective. A few of the songs don't realize full potential, especially "Action Reaction." But Bopp's vocal theatrics complement the guitar work during "Good Day to The Night." Song on the album's second half tend to gather steam only at the chorus, evoking influences of the Kinks circa "Milk Cow Blues" on "Loli La Letta." There is a hue of dream or psychedelic pop on "Inside of You," but the tune fails to keep one's attention for long. One disappointment is one of two bonus tracks, the tension-building "The Way You Are." Unfortunately, the initial buildup drops off to a rather bland tune. Nonetheless, the album lives up to its power pop expectations. -AMG

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Thursday, April 26, 2012

Luna - Bewitched - 1994

Luna's second album drops the superfluous superscript (added to the band name on their first album for contractual reasons) and adds a second guitarist, Sean Eden. New producer Victor Van Vugt, who had previously done good work with Redd Kross and Kirsty MacColl, among others, strips away the reverb-happy haze that Fred Maher had coated 1992's Lunapark with, bringing Dean Wareham's vocals to the fore while (rather unfortunately) de-emphasizing Justin Harwood's bass and Stanley Demeski's drums. This makes Bewitched sound less unique than Lunapark, but happily, Wareham's songwriting is significantly sharper on this outing, with more direct lyrics and more memorable melodies. The witty breakup song "California (All the Way)" opens the album on a high point, and that quality level is maintained throughout the album. The addition of Eden does a lot to open up Luna's arrangements, since Wareham is an extremely distinctive guitarist who tends to get locked in the same sounds and patterns. Having a foil to play off of enlivens Wareham's playing, and instrumental passages like the extended codas of "Friendly Advice" and "Sleeping Pill" are much more interesting than similar bits on Lunapark. -AMG

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Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Caddy - Go Slow- 2006

Caddy is the one man-band project of Tomas Dahl. Dahl has played in powerpop bands such as The Yum Yums and Wonderfools and is now playing drums for deathpunk rockers Turbonegro. Even though he..s busy touring and playing with Turbonegro, he finds time to worship his one true love…powerpop! Caddy started out just as a project because he wanted to get in the studio all by himself and record some songs. The songs became so good he decided to do a full album. His written all the songs, played every instrument, sung all the harmonies and produced the album himself. He has gotten a lot of radioplay in Norway and has actually done some shows live with it, even though Caddy was never supposed to be a “band”. He gathered some friends and did a smalll tour in Japan and has played shows in Norway and even the IPO (International Pop Overthrow) Festival in Liverpool at the legendary Cavern. Here you have some of the greatest, sparkling and energetic powerpop songs written in many, many years. -Caddy Music

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Monday, April 23, 2012

Happiness Factor - Self-Improvement? - 2001

Cranking out heavily caffeinated pop tunes with a super-sized chaser of smirk and attitude, the Happiness Factor sound as if they're firmly in touch with their inner punk on their debut album, Self-Improvement? Fronted by tunesmith Salim Nourallah, the Happiness Factor are hooky as all get-out on these tunes, with a melodic sense that suggests the Cavedogs or the Flashing Lights after a can or two of Red Bull, but Nourallah's often witty, sometimes caustic lyrics and Paul Averitt's crunchy guitar figures throw a healthy dose of rock & roll into the mix that cuts through any treacle like a knife through Cheez Whiz. While Rip Rowan's by-the-numbers production doesn't do much for the band's energy, the songs are good and the players know how to bring 'em across, especially on "Gonna Be a Rockstar," "I Want You But I Don't," and the suitably cynical closer, "Everything's a Lie," while "Hold" gives Nourallah a chance to show he can convincingly make with the mushy stuff, too. Any band with a song like "Rock 'n Roll Pimp" would seemingly be playing Judas by reaching for the Big Time, but Self-Improvement? suggests that there might be room there for the Happiness Factor, assuming they don't run out of coffee (or whatever their stimulant of choice might be) along the way. -AMG

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Friday, April 20, 2012

KOOL KAT CELEBRATES RECORD STORE "WEEEKEND" 2012

Hello Everyone!

This Saturday, April 21, marks the fifth annual "Record Store Day" at independent record stores throughout the US and the rest of the world. It is a day that retailers hope will draw both loyal and new customers to celebrate the independent record store and all that it has to offer.

Record Store Day celebrations have become a highly anticipated event in the independent retail community, and they certainly are as well here at Kool Kat! We are once again proud to be joining our independent brothers and sisters for this annual celebration!

Though we're not a traditional "brick and mortar" retailer like the ones referred to above, we do share that same passion and enthusiasm for music that they do (and, at the end of the day, isn't that what it should be about?). So, in support of the "indie" guys like ourselves (and, as a giant "Thank You" to you, our loyal customers), we have once again decided to participate in the festivities and offer our customers another "Virtual Record Store Day" on Saturday. And, just like we've done the past four years, we're extending it to be a "Virtual Record Store Weekend" as the below-outlined sale will run on Saturday the 21st and Sunday the 22nd!

  • "RECORD STORE WEEKEND" RUNS ON APRIL 21 & 22. 
  •  ONLY ORDERS PLACED ON THESE DAYS ARE ELIGIBLE FOR: 
  • 10% OFF all NEW CDs listed on the Power Pop/Alt Country Online Store. 
  • 20% OFF all USED CDs, MAGAZINES, AND IN-STOCK VINYL listed on the Power Pop/Alt Country Online Store. 
  • Sale does NOT include April 23 New Releases or Pre-Order titles) 
  • Discounts will be applied at the time your credit card is charged. 
  • Paypal payments will be refunded accordingly. 

Please do not hesitate to contact us with any questions you may have about the promotion. Here's to another successful "Record Store Day" and to hoping you'll find something fun at Kool Kat in the process!

As always, thank you so much for your continued support!

 Best,

Ray Gianchetti
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Thursday, April 19, 2012

Paul Bertolino - Where the Buildings Hit the Sky Out Now!

And it is only 7 bucks! Highly recommended by PPO!

Paul Bertolino is a behind-the-scenes musician's musician from Berkeley, California... a short-list Bay Area session player who has done time fronting one of San Francisco's toughest garage-soul outfits The Sleaves. - Paul Koehler

• Released 17 April 2012
• Produced by Paul Bertolino and Adam Sullivan
• Enigineered by Adam Sullivan at Great Magnet Recording
• Arranged by Paul Bertolino and James Oterreau 

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Tuesday, April 17, 2012

The dB's - Falling Off The Sky due June 12th

Get ready! Power-pop legends the dB's will be releasing their first full length album in 25 years. It’s also the first in three decades to feature the band’s original lineup of singer/songwriter/guitarists Peter Holsapple and Chris Stamey, bassist Gene Holder and drummer Will Rigby, the same lineup that recorded the beloved early-’80s classics Stands for deciBels and Repercussion. It is due to be released June 12, 2012 on Bar/None Records

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The Merrymakers - No Sleep 'til Famous - 1995

The Merrymakers is an appropriate name for this Swedish trio. There's no despair on their debut album No Sleep 'Til Famous. The record is bursting with bright melodies, crisp acoustic guitars, shiny harmonies and a sunny demeanor. The trio can pull off a number of different styles, sounding like an infectious blend of the Beatles, the Hollies and Eric Carmen, tempered with a dash of swirling psychedelia à la ELO. They may still be developing a signature style, but the variety of styles and number of catchy melodies makes No Sleep 'Til Famous a promising debut in its own right. -AMG


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Monday, April 16, 2012

The Rooks - Listen Now! From the Shelves of Soundscape Studio - 2002

The Rooks gained a cult following among power pop fans in the 1990s with a style drawing its main inspirations from the Beatles, Big Star, and the Replacements. Leader and co-founder Mike Mazzarella (vocals, rhythm guitar) formed the group in New York with drummer Patrick Yourell in 1990 after their previous outfit, a Connecticut band called the Broken Hearts, dissolved. An early incarnation of the Rooks featured Mazzarella's friend and fellow power-popper Richard X. Heyman, as well as Heyman's wife Nancy on bass and guitarist Michael Fernbach. However, this lineup was short-lived, and several demos were recorded with guitarist Kristin Pinell (also of the Gripweeds); Mazzarella had intended to record one album only, but Pinell convinced him to make the unit a full-time operation. Yourell left the group in 1992 and was replaced by Jim Riley, while the bass slot was filled by Annmarie Gatti. This lineup completed the Rooks, which was released in 1993. Yourell rejoined the band in 1994 for an Eastern European tour, and the Rooks signed with Not Lame Recordings that fall, also adding Anne Benkovitz on bass. The band split an LP with Twenty Cent Crush, contributing nine songs to the release titled A Double Dose of Pop! in 1995, and that year also released the more melancholy EP Chimes. The Rooks returned in early 2000 with Wishing Well on Not Lame Recordings. -AMG

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Monday, April 9, 2012

Cooler - Oh Happy Day - 2001

Lead singer Mark Ritcher's voice and singing are the icing on the band's musical cake; or, rather, the fire to their gunpowder. His voice is made for this sound. Amidst the maelstrom of lead guitarist Jeff Goebel's attack in the first song, "Girl's Night Out," they throw in some sirens as if to announce that Cooler Has Arrived. Unnecessary and excessive? No, it adds to the fun!

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Sunday, April 8, 2012

Radio NewYork International - Dave the Boogieman with Barry's 4th Anniversary Show

8:00pm It's Dave's 4th Anniversary show on 11L Radio NewYork International

Tommy Stinson of The Replacements and Guns & Roses Guest,  Barry and Dave spin covers of tunes you know by artists you may not know covered the tunes........ Plus Aaron's reviews - www.PowerPopahoic.com

Listen live @ www.johnlightning.com/webcast tonight and every other week at 7:30pm  (till 11pm ) NYC Wednesday (9-11pm)

Need a player to hear the show? www.winamp.com, ITunes or IPhone all work fab.. Rate this posting:

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Imperial Teen - Seasick - 1996

Anyone expecting Faith No More's fractured art weirdness was in the wrong place with Imperial Teen, but those with an ear for attractive, quietly wry pop/rock that didn't give a care for being alternative in the '90s' marketable sense will find Seasick an enjoyable debut. If anything, "Imperial Teen" itself sets the scene at the start with its distinctly Velvet Underground-circa-third-album chug, lyrics softly sung directly into the mic, a bit of feedback fire here and there, and bemusing lyrics discussing everything from gay identity to the band's name itself. Things aren't always so relatively polite, with more immediately aggressive songs cropping up and vocals often taking a stronger turn. However, their spirit and sass is more trashy fun rock with glam/punk roots than, say, Seattle-based fog or incipient nu-metal hash, though there is definitely a Pixies vibe on songs like "Blaming the Baby" and "Balloon," among others. Partially this is due to the constantly traded-off male/female vocals; though Bottum is doing most of the lead singing (though the credits acknowledge all four members doing just about everything), Perko is right there with him. Then there are the moments where the guitars fire up more along with some of the screaming -- one can go on, but it's refreshing to get a sense that the bandmembers learned this directly from Surfer Rosa rather than Nevermind, for instance. Bottum's eye around gender and sexuality defines the lyrics without overtly ruling them (thus a song like "Butch," with lines like "the prince wants to be a queen"). In the end, Seasick is in many ways the lost Breeders album after Last Splash -- brash, sharp-edged, taking no crap, and having good fun while doing so. -AMG

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Monday, April 2, 2012

The Apples in Stereo - Her Wallpaper Reverie - 1999

Her Wallpaper Reverie is the Apples in Stereo's finest effort to date -- the band's most overtly psychedelic record, it's also their most experimental, achieving a near-perfect balance between candy-colored popcraft and musique concrète-influenced interludes. In a sense, the disc is a response to the grand ambitions of fellow Elephant 6-ers Olivia Tremor Control and their likeminded Black Foliage album, but the Apples' integration of Beatlesque melodies and experimental noises is much more seamless; not only are Her Wallpaper Reverie's songs the best Robert Schneider's yet written, but they're produced with a new richness of detail -- from the wonderfully Lennon-esque "Strawberryfire" to the Kinks-ish "Ruby," the music positively shimmers. -AMG

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Sunday, April 1, 2012

Trolley "I Woke Up"

Trolley's "I Woke Up" was chosen as "coolest song in the world" by Little Steven's Underground Garage in January. Since then, he's played the song seven weeks in a row on his show!

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