Friday, June 30, 2006


Excerpted from the latest emailer from Joyce Linehan at Ashmont Records:

“The title of the record is NOT “Ascending/Maintaining,” as has been previously written.  It is “Live a Little.”  “Ascending/Maintaining” will hereby become known as the great lost Pernice Brothers record.  Only you and I will know that it does not exist.  Ebayers beware.  The release date of the real record is September 2006, but I do not know which of September’s two release dates we will actually make, because we are at the mercy of the schedule of the one and only Bill Inglott, at whose feet we scrape and bow, who will be mastering this one.  
The lineup this time around included Peyton Pinkerton, James Walbourne, Patrick Berkery and Bob Pernice on their usual instruments, with Joe Pernice playing bass in addition to the stuff he usually does.  Kara Pernice Coyne and Anne Pinkerton make vocal appearances.  And Mike Deming did the string and horn arrangements.  That’s right, strings.  And horns.  The record was produced by Mike Deming and Joe.  It was a tearful reunion for Mike and the Pernice Brothers, who haven’t worked together since “Overcome By Happiness,” but they hugged it out, and once all the tears were dried, they rocked.”

So mark your calendars PoP kiddies…

Sunday, June 25, 2006


Just a quick note to alert you of 31 demos available for downloads at this very moment from Mr. Jon Brion (ex-Grays) at Jeff Ito’s Blog ( Sound quality is iffy (these are demos, folks) but the music is awesome. Fans of smart power pop will not regret the time & effort.

Thursday, June 22, 2006


I owe a debt of gratitude to Mike Baron for turning me onto the pop underground sometime in the late 90s. Mike is a writer and you can find out all you need to know about him at his website at Recently, Mike has dived into online comics in a big way and as of 1st May 2006 (yes, better late than never I suppose), Mike, together with artist Gabe Eltaeb have been producing the Hook which you can read over at, the hook (sorry!) about the Hook is that it is set sometime in the future where, well, let the hype speak for itself – “In the far future, musicians will flee earthly state authority, and gather on a planet where they hope to build a better world based on their love of music. But as is sometimes said, "Man makes plans, and God laughs."
In The Hook, a new graphic novel written by Mike Baron, this world of musicians is divided into numerous enclaves ruled by violent gangs, and each gang is a band: Metalikkka, Industrial Goth, Fiddler's Green, Hip Hop Nation, New Jack City, Old School, the dwindling and inbred Classicists, and the tiny, struggling Republic of Poptopia.”
A sci-fi tale based on rock genres – how original! Every Monday, you get about four new pages and so far it has been intriguing and a good laugh especially if you’re an avid music fan… it would make a grand musical, I would think…by the way, are you looking for someone to score the sucker?!!!

Those of you out there who are wondering what the rock music scene might be like in Singapore would do well to check out the Singaporean online zine Aging Youth. Here's the blurb for the new issue 24: -

Aging Youth speaks to indie veterans Astreal about their 2nd albumFragments Of The Same Dead Star and the journey they took to finish thealbum. We place singer-songwriter Len from mid-90’s pop rock act PeculiarRemedies under scrutiny to find out more about his life as a UK-basedSingaporean solo act and his sophomore EP It’s Beautiful. Finally, anotherindie veteran act Ecrus Garage shares with us what keeps them going afterall these years. It’s an issue about old-timers.In our Reviews section, we check out Astreal’s highly anticipated releaseFragments Of The Same Dead Star, Ecrus Garage’s latest single Oceans andTien’s debut effort Trailing the Idyllic Eclat Nova.K. Vicious comes back with Beck on his mind, and in his dreams. Read aboutit at Avanti! this issue.For this issue of Gear Gawk, we checked with our gear whoring friends onthe single piece of equipment they can’t live without.

Saturday, June 17, 2006


First cottoned onto the genius of Jason Lytle and his Modesto crew with the Sophtware Slump with such gorgeous ELO-fueled songs like "Hewlett's Daughter." This infatuation grew into downright adoration when Sumday was released, which was for me the album of that year. Just Like the Fambly Cat, sadly, is Grandaddy's final album and it is the perfect way to sign off at the very top. Read my review here.

Friday, June 09, 2006


The new album from Ray Davies - Other People's Lives - is an essential album for 2006. As is Jeff Larson's Swimming in the Make Believe. Check out my reviews at the Power of Pop to find out why.

Thursday, June 08, 2006

ELO – New World Record

“I will return to Shangri-La” always leaves me in tears. Seems like sentimental overkill but Jeff Lynne’s hopeful outro to falling out of love on “Shangri-La” the fabulous closing track on New World Record (1975) has always had that effect on me. The moment I had placed the stylus on vinyl and the amazing orchestral intro of “Tightrope” swept me away, I knew deep inside that ELO was something special. Kinda like the Beatles. That, thirty years later, a hip pop outfit like Grandaddy has chosen to feature that gorgeous & touching “Shangri-La” outro as their own exit music as a recording band just seems to capture the influence that ELO and this magnificent record has had.

Wednesday, June 07, 2006


I first heard of Couple when Aidil got in touch when he was studying law in London and sent me demos of his songs. Recordings were rough but the melodies were cool. Met Aidil in Singapore few years back and he is now a lawyer (like me) and delivering hip powerpop albums (like me! Couldn’t resist!). Top of the Pop is Couple’s latest offering and it is being released by Sizzleteen Records. The first music video is nice too and can be viewed at Check it out!