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Saturday, July 29, 2006



BLURB-O-RAMA [2.2]

SEGARINI Gotta Have Pop/…On The Radio/Goodbye L.A. (Bullseye)
Classic powerpop seldom gets better than this! Bob Segarini released three definitive albums of the late 70s pub rock/new wave era for Toronto label Bomb Records and now all three have been remastered and re-released by Bullseye. Gotta Have Pop is Segarini’s masterpiece as he lets his love for the Beatles flow through every song. Especially the original closer Love Story which addressed the Beatles reunion gossip that went on at the time (remember…?) … On The Radio is a live recording of an early show of the Segarini band which I can either take or leave. Goodbye L.A. contains many of the features that made Gotta Have Pop endearing but is probably more muscular than its predecessor. Powerpop fans who want to bone up on their history will find these re-releases essential. http://www.bulleyecananda.com/

SEMION Help Me I Work In An Office (Self-released)
This UK quartet’s first full-length album comes on the heels of the excellent EP – Get A Grip – wherein the band showcased an affinity for the likes of Teenage Fanclub. Whilst the Rickenbacker jangle is still very much in evidence, Semion has widened its palate somewhat with a heavier agenda (embracing influences like the Buzzcocks, the Kinks & Neil Young) with songs like Transmission, Liverpool Sunset, Never Changes, Black Cloud – it’s all sublime powerpop. http://www.semionline.co.uk/

MIKE ELGERT Days Gone By (Self-released)
I’d say that Mike Elgert deals in old school 70s pop-rock and wonder seriously if that is a put down. It isn’t. With a strong slant towards the powerpop muse of Dwight Twilley, Cheap Trick but also display a love for the country-rock-blues affectations of the Black Crowes, which makes for a good mix. Elgert basically plays every sound you will hear on Days Gone By. A talented musician that the pop underground can proudly can call its own. http://www.mikeelgert.com/

CHRIS MURPHY Elbow Room (Popboomerang)
Probably not what fans would expect from a Popboomerang record. More AOR than powerpop and that is not necessarily a bad thing. What I hear from Murphy’s mature country-folk-inflected rock is a clear empathy for the works of Don Henley, Tom Petty, Jackson Browne & Gerry Rafferty. Honest & sincere, Murphy sings from the heart without bothering whether it’s hip or not. Good for him. http://www.popboomerang.com/

RICKY High Speed Silence (Beat Crazy)
I got hold of this promo disc in 2005 and have been waiting for the opportunity to talk it up. Unfortunately, according to the band’s website, Ricky are no more! Pity because this is a great album with memorable songs like “Easy On You,” “Running” and “That Extra Mile” and so on. Catchy and dynamic, it is a bit of a travesty that you, the pop consumer, will never own this. *Sigh* Check out the myspace link below to see what I mean. www.myspace.com/thebandcalledricky

P. HUX Mile High Fan (Not Lame)
Here’s some music that should have seen the light of day in the early 90s and along with Jellyfish’s Spilt Milk, Greenberry Woods’ Big Money Item & the Grays’ eponymous album, would have been hailed as definitive of its form i.e. sophisticated powerpop. Recorded with Rusty Anderson, Jen Condos & Rob Ladd during Parthenon Huxley’s tenure as a MCA staff writer, the songs here have been rescued from oblivion by Not Lame and given the attention they deserve. Sharing with Paul McCartney & Andy Partridge, an uncanny gift to pull out unforgettable melodies seemingly from thin air, Huxley should be given his dues and fans of Roger Joseph Manning, Jason Falkner, Jon Brion and Brendan Benson must have this compilation in their possession. http://www.notlame.com/

Friday, July 28, 2006

SPINNING JENNIES

Spinning Jennies, one of San Francisco's most revered and long-lived power pop bands has just released Full Volume: The Best of Spinning Jennies. The 18-song set includes all the best tracks from the Jennies' five-album catalog...as well as four additional bonus tracks and previously unreleased material.
 
Spinning Jennies' 11-year career (spanning 1993-2004) yielded five full-length albums, appearances on numerous compilations, countless live shows in the Bay Area (including BAM Magazine's Diamond in the Rough Showcases) and tours throughout the Western U.S.
 
As a no-nonsense power trio, the Jennies sound embodied the cornerstones of classic power pop: big chiming guitars, driving rhythms, soaring vocal harmonies…and the ever-important melodic hook. Through the years they have received comparisons to bands like The Posies, Redd Kross, Cheap Trick, Sloan, Matthew Sweet, Husker Du and 70s power pop icons the Shoes.
 
With nearly all of their original albums now out of print, Full Volume is finally here to give Jennies fans and newbies alike one last big money shot of classic San Francisco power pop!
 
For additional information, contact:
Jeff Shelton
c/o Cool Buzz Records
(650) 654-1241
SpinJennies@comcast.net
http://thespinningjennies.com

Sunday, July 23, 2006

BOB POLLARD'S LATEST ALBUM COMING SOON

It's called Normal Happiness and will come out on Merge Records on October 10th 2006.
Just like From A Compound Eye Bob and Todd Tobias play all the instruments. Doesn't the man do anything other than write and record music?
IAN GILLAN - SMOKE THIS!

Front man for Deep Purple and a rock legend in his own right, Ian Gillan has joined forces with his record label, immergent, to offer a few lucky fans the opportunity of a lifetime – to win a trip to Las Vegas and join him onstage during his upcoming North American tour. The “Smoke This!” contest invites fans to upload their own version of “Smoke On The Water”, the classic anthem made popular by Deep Purple, to http://www.gillansinn.com/, where winners from two categories (Best Vocal and Best Guitar) will compete to win the grand prize, a trip to the House of Blues in Las Vegas to actually perform the song on stage with Gillan on September 17th. A separate contest category allows bands or artists to simply record their own version of the song for a chance to win $2500 worth of music gear.

“Smoke This!” marks the first time that an artist has offered his fans the chance to take a classic song and become an integral part of it. Thanks to the power of the Internet, Gillan’s fans can collaborate with their idol who will also personally judge the final round of the contest and hear their work for himself. Contestants are encouraged to be as serious or as crazy as they want and simply have fun with this iconic song.

As an added facet to his North American tour, Ian and his record label are encouraging fans to tape, photograph and film any and all of the shows, and requesting that they upload their tapes to his site (http://www.gillansinn.com/) so that the tour can be accessible to all his fans around the world.

Wednesday, July 19, 2006



ROGER JOSEPH MANNING JR/THE NINES

It is pure powerpop at the Power of Pop as we tell you why power pop is the music to be heard with in 2006 (or any year for that matter) as we pontificate on the wonders of ex-Jellyfisher Roger Manning Jr's debut solo album, The Land of Pure Imagination and The Nines' Calliing Distance Stations guest-starring Andy (XTC) Partridge and Jason (ex-Jellyfish, again!) Falkner.
Tarry no longer, pilgrim, enlightenment awaits at www.powerofpop.com. Where else?
TWEE LIKE ME! @ ZOUK's SESSIONS
(A Fruit Records' Popnite!)
Featuring residents Luna Tick & groovygenie
with guest djs Marine, Popgeeks & geekstripe
29 July 2006, Saturday
Phuture
Zouk Club, 17 Jiak Kim Street
11pm till 4am

'Pop, our style'
twee, C86, anorak, french ye' ye', honey & brie, swedish pop, wimp rock,
mary janes and chuckies, cute punk, shibuya kei, northern soul, jangly shinys,
heartbreaks, swinging 60's, fuzzy popping vinyls, electroindie, the newer wave,
Acid House Kings and sunny sunday mornings...

Friday, July 14, 2006



BLURB-O-RAMA [2.1]

Re-introducing the capsule review column that I started previously at Fufkin.com. In smaller bites but in greater frequency. That’s the general idea, anyway… enjoy.

TAMAS WELLS A Plea en Vendredi (Popboomerang) Wells’ accomplished debut betrayed a melodic folk-pop style that evoked the late lamented Nick Drake the pastoral sides of Paul McCartney and Neil Finn. This new album is even more rustic and serene than its predecessor and tracks like Vendredi, Opportunity Fair and The Telemarketer Resignation are poignant and affecting. Rachael Merrigan provides a lovely vocal counterpoint on a couple of tracks. http://www.popboomerang.com/

THE JET SET Alive (Self-released) A little thinly produced (notwithstanding Chris Von Sneidern’s input) album, which hints strongly of 60s Brit-pop influences. SF-based Jet Set does tastefully re-creations of pre-decadent Stones (Say Goodbye), early Kinks (She’s Not That Kind) and the Who circa The Who Sings My Generation (It’s The Summertime). Yup, good old fashioned powerpop! http://www.sfjetset.com/

VARIOUS ARTISTS Songs For Another Place (Awful Bliss) Two CD compilation set from this Italian indie which features American bands/artists on CD1 and Italian/Euro band/artists on CD2. Mainly lo-fi, low key but high quality songs that stripped down to lift up. Highlights include Faris Nourallah, Great Lake Swimmers, Luca, Tobin Sprout, Swearing At Motorists and Unbunny (CD1) & Song For Ulan, Midwest, Satellite Inn, A Toys Orchestra and Rosolina Mar (CD2). Worth checking out. http://www.awfulbliss.it/

OVERZEALOUS Self-Titled (Self-released) Okay, so the six song titles here are A to F (on my media player anyways), and the agenda is gorgeous powerpop of every ilk. I mean, Cool With You is brilliant piano-driven soft pop that would fit nicely into the repertoires of Jon Brion, Jason Falkner or Roger Manning. Lovely. Not a bad word to say about the other five tracks but Cool With You is untouchable. http://www.overzealous.net/

SIWEL Unforgettable Moments of Forgettable Times (Zebra) Alt-country slowcore from Valencia, Spain! Siwel is so measured in its languorous musings that it is in danger of bringing on siesta time! Unrelentless in its pursuit of the perfect dirge, this is melancholia in search of a pulse. Sweet in its own way but in deep need of a change in pace. http://www.zebrarecords.net/

Thursday, July 13, 2006



LONG WINTERS - PUTTING THE DAYS TO BED

You can now pre-order the new Long Winters disc at http://www.barsuk.com/shop/bark054. Highly anticipated third album by John Roderick & co. Expect a review at Power of Pop once I figure out how to get hold of one!

THE MAN WHO INVENTED HIMSELF

Back in December 2001, I wrote this in a review about the Pink Floyd compilation Echoes  -

In the meantime, somewhere in Cambridge England, Roger 'Syd' Barrett is living out his golden years, visiting the market, painting occasionally and generally contented with his lot in life. In the eyes of the world, he is a rock 'n' roll casualty who tragically never fulfilled his potential but that is only one (biased) perspective. At least, he has remained true to himself - far from the exigencies and pressures of the corporate rock machine AND has left behind a legacy of shimmering and unique music…

Well, Syd is no longer with us as he passed away on Friday, 7 July 2006, from cancer. I still mean everything I said almost five years ago and want to remember him not as the wasted rock star immortalized in “Shine On You Crazy Diamond” but as the man who left the world of rock music a tremendous musical legacy in the 1960s that is still vibrant today. May you rest in peace, Syd…

Tuesday, July 04, 2006

NEIL YOUNG & CINEMECHANICA

You either love or loathe Neil Young. I am firmly in the former category. Although of late, that loyalty has been somewhat tested, Living With War is solid return to form. I liken the album to 1989’s Freedom without the nagging political rantings… Also, be pleased to find my thoughts on a great punk-prog find, Cinemechanica who has turned in an enthralling debut full-length with The Martial Arts. It’s all happening at www.powerofpop.com