Tonight on Things We Said Today: Talking About the Beatles’ Star-Club Tapes

things we said today bannerIt’s Tuesday, and once again it’s time for the weekly Beatles roundtable, Things We Said Today, during which our panel of experts tackles topics of importance to Beatles fans. This week, Ken Michaels, Steve Marinucci, and Allan Kozinn look at the famous (or perhaps infamous) Star-Club tapes. The show begins tonight at 9 pm on Pure Pop Radio.

beatles at star club 2

The Beatles’ Star-Club tapes; 1986 Teichiku CD release

Despite questionable sound quality, the various releases of the Star-Club tapes, such as Live! at the Star-Club in Hamburg, Germany; 1962 have presented the Beatles on stage, perfecting their act one song at a time, each song performed with guts and gusto, one after the other, during marathon, energized shows that were guaranteed to blow the roof off the joint.

Ken, Steve and Allan talk about the first time they heard these recordings, which initially surfaced on record in 1977. It’s another fascinating, fact-filled discussion that you won’t hear anywhere else. You won’t want to miss this show.

Things We Said Today is the premiere weekly survey of all things Beatles that is hosted by a quartet of Beatles experts–today’s Fab Four, if you will. Ken Michaels, host of Every Little Thing, is joined by Beatlefan Executive Editor Al Sussman, Steve Marinucci (Beatles Examiner), and Allan Kozinn, longtime music critic. Other well-known Beatles experts sometimes sit in with the core group. Things We Said Today airs every Tuesday night at 9 pm ET on Pure Pop Radio.

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Take Pure Pop Radio On the Go! Download our Mobile Apps for Android and IOS

purepoplogoDo you ever find yourself listening to Pure Pop Radio when suddenly, you realize you need to hit the road to do some errands or meet your BFF for lunch?

On-the-go listening is now a breeze with our handy, dandy mobile apps for Android and iOS. Think what a wonderful world it would be if you could take your treasured Pure Pop Radio listening experience out of the house and into the great, big world. Well, your wish is granted! Simply click on the link below from your device to set things in motion.

Just think: The Orange Humble Band, Fireking, Brandon Schott, the Jangle Band, Caddy, the Corner Laughers, the Beatles, the Spongetones, the Legal Matters, Linus of Hollywood, David Myhr and the Kinks and nearly 7,000 melodic pop songs coming at you in glorious, 128 kbps stereo…wherever you go! It’s a wonderful world, indeed! Click on the link below from your device for on-the-go, Pure Pop Radio happiness!

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Another Triple Play of Songs of the Week from Timmy Sean Starts… Now!

timmy-sean-song-of-the-weekWith this triple play of Songs of the Week from the great Timmy Sean, we’re thinking–no, we’re sure–we’ll be up to date and ready to roll next week with the latest entry in this continually engaging and entertaining series.

In the meantime, here’s what’s been shakin’ out Timmy’s way the past few weeks:

“Baby, She’s Better than You” is a hard driving, dance-your-heart-out stab of early Elvisified and Jerry Lee Lewised boogie and roll. It’s like the Jordanaires met up with the King, Jerry Lee, and a thunderous cacophony of drums and cymbals, cymbals, cymbals. Hot and sweaty, the track punches the air with enough energy to power Las Vegas. Gee whiz, this is a powerhouse track–one of the best–certainly in the top 10–of all of the Songs of the Week we’ve heard so far.

Timmy says: “Well, here’s something a little different. I’ve always listened to a WIDE variety of music. I was born in the mid-80s, so as a kid I grew up loving everything that was on pop radio, everything from hip-hop to alternative (my first CD was C+C Music Factory). But my first real exposure to music came (as it does for most) from my family.

“What made this a little different from most is that my father and uncles are full-time musicians. In fact, they’ve starred for nearly 40 years in the world’s longest running Beatles tribute show, Long Live the Beatles. But they also have a show called Jukebox Heroes Live, an impersonation show featuring the music of (just to name a few) Elvis Presley, the Beach Boys, Neil Diamond, the Everly Brothers, (and) Buddy Holly, in addition to the Beatles and more. So not only did I grow up with this music, I also began performing in this show in my early teens, and still continue to fly in from LA to play shows with them to this day… This is basically a very long-winded way of saying that early 50s and 60s rock ‘n’ roll truly is in my DNA in a way that’s probably pretty unique for someone my age.

“That brings us to this week’s song. One of the tributed acts in Jukebox Heroes is ‘The Killer himself,’ Jerry Lee Lewis. Though there’s little hints in this tune of a few other influences (ELO’s more rockabilly-tinged stuff in particular), ‘Baby, She’s Better than You’ is an unabashed tribute to Jerry Lee. Another perk of being out on the road with The Mahoney Brothers is that I have access to the great Brian Mahoney to play some more sax on my tunes… Here’s ‘Baby, She’s Better than You,’ featuring Brian Mahoney on saxophone, and yours truly on piano, drums, vocals, and everything else.”

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Timmy’s June 16 Song of the Week entry is “Falling Out of Love Again,” the polar opposite of “Baby, She’s Better than You”: a lovely ballad with a seriously great vocal arrangement, an entrancing melody, and the usual mastery of instruments a-plenty, all played by the artist. Dig the lyrical electric guitar solos, dipped slightly in the Brian May pool. Another top 10 Song of the Week, without question.

Timmy says: “Here’s one that was originally to be included on Songs from and Inspired by Noisewater. I always liked the song, but the album felt like it didn’t need another slower track, so I opted to keep it off the record. I’ve had the lyrics, drums, piano, bass, and acoustic guitars done on it since 2010, but just cut the vocals, lead guitar, percussion, and all the keyboard parts (organ, mellotron, strings, etc.) in the last 24 hours. Nothing like waiting until the last minute!”

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Released this week, the live version of “This Time Around” was recorded at the Bitter End in New York City last October 9. The studio version originally appeared on Timmy’s 2013 EP, East Coast Girls. Typically tuneful, this commanding performance makes us want to see Timmy and his Celebrities perform live. In our living room, perhaps? One can only hope…

Timmy says: “This past weekend I celebrated Brian Wilson’s birthday by catching a showing of his biopic, Love and Mercy, before heading over to the Greek Theatre in Los Angeles to see him perform live. The show was amazing, and I was fortunate enough to get to hang a bit with some members of his band afterwards, including original Beach Boys member, Mr. Al Jardine. They closed the show with a beautiful version of the song ‘Love and Mercy,’ which may not be clearly evident on first listen, but was actually a big inspiration for this song originally off of my 2013 release, the East Coast Girls EP. This live version is another recording from Timmy Sean and the Celebrities’ debut performance on the east coast last fall at the legendary Bitter End in NYC (the same show the earlier Song of the Week ‘On and On’ was pulled from) .

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But wait–there’s more! For those of you wondering what Timmy’s plans are for the rest of this year’s Songs of the Week, here’s the scoop, straight from the artist:

“We’ve…officially hit the halfway point! Thank you so much to everyone who has been following this little project, and especially those of you who have spent your hard-earned money to pay for a subscription. I sincerely want to thank each and every one of you, and hope that you’re enjoying hearing these songs as much as I am enjoying working on them each week. As a little recap, this is where the tally stands so far in each ‘category’ of songs…

– 13 brand new originals
– 4 brand new solo versions of songs I originally wrote for LUZER
– 4 covers
– 3 live recordings of Timmy Sean and the Celebrities
– 2 acoustic versions of previously released originals

“For the second half of the year, there will be AT LEAST as many brand new originals (most likely more), and I’ve been mapping out some ‘theme months’ that I’ll tell you about more once I’ve locked down all the plans. Anyway, thanks again for following this little project!”

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Add Timmy Sean’s “Baby, She’s Better than You” to your collection by clicking here!. Add Timmy’s “Falling Out of Love Again” by clicking hereAnd, last but not least, add Timmy’s live version of “This Time Around” by clicking here. To get all of Timmy’s music, click here. And check back next week for another new Song of the Week!

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Happy Days are Here Again! We’ve Got More New Music Spinning…It’s Another Melodic New Music Day on Pure Pop Radio!

happyLongtime Pure Pop Radio listeners (and readers of this website) know we’re all about adding as much new music as we possibly can. And so it goes–today, we’ve got another group of songs and artists playing for the very first time on your 24-hour-a-day home for the greatest melodic pop music in the universe.

Without further ado, here we go!

steve robinson and ed woltilsteve robinson and ed woltil photoSteve Robinson and Ed Woltil | Cycle We have long been fans of Steve Robinson’s music; Ed Woltil’s solo release from last year, Paper Boats, A Reverie in Thirteen Acts, was one of our Favorite Records of 2014, which is only fair since Ed is an old power-pop hand, having served time in the Ditchflowers, another favorite act around these parts. Steve and Ed have joined forces to create what amounts to a clear winner of a song cycle that should garner a picnic basket-sized bucket of kudos and huzzahs when the best-of 2015 honors are dispensed.

Full of clever twists and turns and knowing nods to a variety of pop styles, Cycle’s heartbeat is perhaps best demonstrated in the gorgeous. slightly trippy folk-pop number, “Elastic Man,” a sixties hug with echoes of Paul McCartney and Donovan that sounds like it’s enclosed in a Dukes of Stratosphear wrapper. The elegant “Wake Up Dreamin'” evokes images of a warm summer night that follows a sunny day that was chock full of surprise. The very English ballad “Little Regrets” conjures up images of Martin Newell as arranged by George Martin, a very good thing.

And there you have it: three examples of what you’ll find on this special record, written, recorded and performed by two of pop’s most prodigious creators. We’re playing the entire album, minus a short instrumental that opens up the proceedings: “Love Somebody,” “Wake Up Dreamin’,” “Elastic Man,” “Godspeed,” “Little Regrets,” “Wintersleeping,” “The Boy from Down the Hill,” “Who You Are,” “Hello, Hello (We’re Back Again),” “Butterflies,” “Liberty Daze,” and “Seize the Day.” Miraculous.

the connection labor of loveThe Connection | Labor of Love When we get a new album by the Connection for airplay, we get the dance floor ready for action (and prime the spacious, roped-off area we have for air guitar enthusiasts). Labor of Love, just released digitally, does not disappoint; what it does do is get the proverbial power pop juices flowing in a big, massive, huge, megaton kind of way. The title cut, which opens these proceedings, bashes and explodes out of the speakers with muscular guitars, thrashing drums, and insistent, energized vocals for a workout that puts you in the center of the action. The upbeat, driving “Good Things” keeps the party going with a slightly less-manic attack that still delivers the crunch guitar effect. Similarly, “You Ain’t Special” takes the less-manic approach, mixing in keyboards amidst the rock ‘n’ pop muscle.

There is a whole lot to savor here–even a countrified pop-rocker (a la the Rolling Stones), “Let the Jukebox Take Me,” about the magic of the jukebox and the comfort of the feeling of being at home in one’s surroundings. Brad Marino and Geoff Palmer have written a great bunch of songs, and we’re playing all 10 of them, in rotation: “Circles,” “Don’t Come Back,” “Pathetic Kind of Man,” “Red, White and Blue,” “So Easy,” “Treat You So Bad,” and the songs already mentioned. Listen to Pure Pop Radio and hear songs from what will surely be one of the most talked about–and played–albums of the year.

gordon weissGordon Weiss | It’s About Time Gordon Weiss, a Pure Pop Radio regular, hits a melodic bulls-eye with this just-released collection of beautiful, cleverly constructed songs that speak from the heart. From the opening, Rolling Stones-kissed number, “The Ugly Inside,” to the cleverly arranged ballad “The Great Imitator” and the album’s centerpiece, the glorious, anthemic “Spinning ‘Round,” which features a beautiful string arrangement from Wim Oudijk, this is a classy collection that will hold pride of place in your music library. We’re playing, in rotation, the aforementioned songs, plus “Saccharin, Aspartame, Splenda, You and Me,” “My Love Still Grows,” and “Sticky Thoughts.” Nice going, Gordon.

4Panel CD Jacket with 2 Pockets-LE-C1101 copyAlicia Witt | Revisionary History Ever since we first encountered the music of actress Alicia Witt (we played her great holiday number, “I’m Not Ready for Christmas,” during this past holiday season’s annual holiday extravaganza), we have longed to play more of her piano-based tunes. Her new album is pretty much bursting with great songs, from the powerful power-ballad “Consolation Prize” and the emotional “Already Gone” to the very pretty “New Word,” a song that builds nicely and features Alicia’s distinctive keyboard work. All told, we’re playing seven songs: the aforementioned numbers and “Friend”; “About Me”; “Blind”; and “Theme from Pasadena (You Can Go Home),” performed with Ben Folds. Distinctive, adult pop from a most talented practitioner.

the orange peels begin the begoneThe Orange Peels | Begin the Begone Another sterling collection of songs from this veteran group, comprising the talents of Allen Clapp, Jill Pries, John Moremen and Gabriel Coan. This is not really a surprise, of course; the proof is in the estimable grooves. The Peels’ sixth album is represented on Pure Pop Radio by five great numbers: the upbeat, sixties vibing “Embers,” which switches gears and becomes an ethereal, atmospheric wonder with a minute and 26 seconds to go; the hip, pop-rocker “9,” which slides into a lovely coda anchored by an acoustic guitar part that plays out through its fade ending; the assured, determined beat of “Head Cleaner”; the energetic push of “Wintergreen”; and the lovely, deeply-felt, mid-tempo, marathon soundscape, “Satellite Song,” buoyed by a beautiful vocal arrangement, elastic electric guitar lines, and a blissful ending. Now playing in rotation, proudly.

your gracious hostYour Gracious Host | The Writers of Our Destiny Michigan’s Tom Curless based this commanding song cycle on a short story he wrote; the results are a tremendous mix of catchy, upbeat pop with close harmony vocals (“If You Ever Have Your Doubts”), atmospheric, wordless balladry (the affecting instrumental “Train Passing”), and Paul McCartney-esque, eighties-inflected, pop-becomes-Beatles/sixties jam (the bouncy-into-wonderfully-paced instrumental bliss of “Heart on the Table”). We’re playing all three of these songs, plus “Facing Me,” “Love or Fear, Pt. 2,” and “World Within a World.” A great record, now playing in rotation.

milk carton kidsThe Milk Carton Kids | Monterey An album of pure beauty, stocked deep with warm, honest songs sung in the classic Everly Brothers style, Monterey is a relatively quiet collection that is nonetheless alive with feeling and emotion. Backed by deftly played acoustic guitars, Kenneth Pattengale and Joey Ryan, hailing from out California way, build on a folk-pop base which they turn on its head to deliver emotional, classic, contemporary numbers like “Secrets of the Stars,” “The City of Our Lady,” and “Getaway.” Affecting and impossible to resist, this is the romantic side of Pure Pop Radio played expertly with heart to spare. We’re playing the aforementioned three songs in rotation, along with “Asheville Skies,” “Monterey,” “Freedom,” “High Hopes,” “Shooting Shadows,” and “Poison Tree.” Simply gorgeous throughout.

the hollywood projectThe Hollywood Project | No One Like U One of the big, happy surprises of this year has to be this collection of songs written and performed by poet and lyricist Stephen J. Kalinich, who collaborated on songs recorded by the Beach Boys, and musician Dave Humphries. Supporting players, including Wolfgang Grasekamp, who produced and arranged, are instrumental in bringing these numbers to life. At the heart of it all is the one-two punch of Kalinich’s lyrics and Humphries’ melodies. Songs such as the lively, Bob Dylan-influenced title track and the sixties singalong, “Jelly Bean Song,” really sing, as does the gentle, swaying ballad, “I Turn to You.” We’re playing the entire album in rotation–the aforementioned songs, plus “Can There Ever Be?,” “I Break Down and Cry,” “New World,” “I Will Be Strong,” “What Life is For,” and “Enough Love.” Great stuff.

The Custard | “Way Over My Head” Here is another one of those amazing recordings coming out of the Facebook Theme Music group, comprising the considerable talents of the Tor Guides’ Torbjorn Petersson (lead vocals and guitars), Michael Lorant on drums, Frank Padellaro on bass, and the Legal Matters’ Keith Klingensmith on vocals. Catchy? Check. Great melody? Check. Replayability? Is a thousand times too much? Now playing in rotation.

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In case you were curious, and we know that you are, we have plenty more new songs and artists to announce as additions to the Pure Pop Radio playlist. Look for another list of exciting, melodic treasures next week. Until then, click on one of the listen links below and check out the nearly 7,000 melodic pop songs we have playing in rotation every day of the year. Enjoy the melodic soundtrack of your life on Pure Pop Radio!

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Click on the image to listen to Alan Haber's Pure Pop Radio through players like iTunes

Click on the image to listen to Alan Haber’s Pure Pop Radio through players like iTunes

Things We Said Today Tonight: Favorite Albums from George Harrison and Paul McCartney

the-beatles-things-we-said-todayFollowing on from last week’s jump into the deep pool of John Lennon and Ringo Starr’s solo recordings, Ken, Steve, Al, Allan and Darren dive head first into a lively and informative discussion regarding their favorite George Harrison and Paul McCartney records. It’s another slam-bang edition of the weekly Beatles roundtable, Things We Said Today, rolling into your living rooms tonight at 9 pm ET on Pure Pop Radio.

george-harrisonFirst up: the gang throws out their picks for favorite albums from George. Will All Things Must Pass pass muster with these Beatles experts, or will Extra Texture prove to be the object of their collective musical fancy? How will Living in the Material World fare? And will Electronic Music, or Wonderwall Music, have their place in the rundown? You may be surprised at the picks as they are unveiled.

paul-mccartneyAnd how will Paul’s solo albums stack up as far as fave platters go? Will Chaos and Creation in the Backyard zoom in to the top spot for our panelists? How about Wings at the Speed of Sound? Will McCartney shine? How about Venus and Mars and Band On the Run? Tune in and find out!

Don’t miss tonight’s sparkling edition of Things We Said Today, rolling at 9 pm ET on Pure Pop Radio. It’s essential listening for Beatles fans around the world!

Things We Said Today is the premiere weekly survey of all things Beatles that is hosted by a quartet of Beatles experts–today’s Fab Four, if you will. Ken Michaels, host of Every Little Thing, is joined by Beatlefan Executive Editor Al Sussman, Steve Marinucci (Beatles Examiner), and Allan Kozinn, longtime music critic. Other well-known Beatles experts sometimes sit in with the core group. Things We Said Today airs every Tuesday night at 9 pm ET on Pure Pop Radio.

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Click on the image to listen to Alan Haber's Pure Pop Radio through players like iTunes

Click on the image to listen to Alan Haber’s Pure Pop Radio through players like iTunes

Ken, Steve, Al and Allan Pay Tribute to Engineer Dennis Ferrante and Pick Their Favorite John and Ringo Solo Albums on Tomorrow Night’s Things We Said Today

the-beatles-things-we-said-todayOn tomorrow night’s lively and informative edition of the weekly Beatles roundtable, Things We Said Today, Ken, Steve, Al and Allan pay tribute to engineer Dennis Ferrante, who worked with John Lennon, among other music luminaries. The show kicks off at 9 pm ET on Pure Pop Radio.

Ferrante not only engineered for a star-studded list of recording artists from Lennon, Waylon Jennings and Alice Cooper to the 1910 Fruitgum Company and the Raspberries, he started out as a rock singer. Ken delivers a passionate tribute to Ferrante, a true legend.

john-lennon-black-and-white-photoringo-starrThe panel then turns to the subject of best solo Beatles albums. Up for conversation: the panel’s favorite releases from Lennon and Ringo Starr. Which long players do Ken, Steve, Al and Allan hold dear? Does Lennon’s Plastic Ono Band album hit the spot? What about Mind Games, Imagine, and Walls and Bridges? And for Ringo, does the star-studded Ringo platter hit the spot, or do Ringo Rama and Stop and Smell the Roses sing sweetly? Tune in tomorrow night at 9 pm ET and find out!

Things We Said Today is a weekly survey of all things Beatles that is hosted by a quartet of Beatles experts–today’s Fab Four, if you will. Ken Michaels, host of Every Little Thing, is joined by Beatlefan Executive Editor Al Sussman, Steve Marinucci (Beatles Examiner), and Allan Kozinn, longtime music critic. Other well-known Beatles experts sometimes sit in with the core group. Things We Said Today airs every Tuesday night at 9 pm ET on Pure Pop Radio.

Click here to download our app for listening on the go with Android and iOS devices!

Click on the image to listen to Alan Haber's Pure Pop Radio through players like iTunes

Click on the image to listen to Alan Haber’s Pure Pop Radio through players like iTunes

High “Fives” All Around! It’s Day Five of Pure Pop Radio’s New Music Explosion. And We’re Still Just Getting Started!

wow-5This week has practically flown by! Wasn’t it just Monday…yesterday? Wow! Well, it’s Friday, and that means it’s day five of Pure Pop Radio’s exciting New Music Explosion, which is great news all by itself, but the even greater news is that we’ve got so much new music to add to our playlist that we’ll be exploding next week, too! Look for another great list of newly-added songs and artists next Tuesday or Wednesday.

Meanwhile, here’s today’s quartet of great melodic finds. Let’s make it happen, shall we?

never-surrender-coverNever Surrender: The Cheap Trick Tribute |  Various Artists We’ve long been big fans of Australia’s Zero Hour Records, a great independent label run by George Matzkou. Zero Hour continually releases great-sounding compilations in smart looking packages that you can hold in your hand and admire as works of art. The latest in a series of tribute albums curated by the label is an exciting two-CD celebration of the songs of Cheap Trick. Never Surrender serves up 40 songs from across the wide-ranging body of work produced over the years by one of the most loved bands of the rock era. All manner of artists deliver their versions of such great songs as “ELO Kiddies,” “Oh Candy,” “”Come On Come On,” and “I Want You to Want Me.”

Naturally, many of pop music’s greatest artists wanted, and probably even needed, to be part of the celebration of some truly great songs; quite a few of these artists are Pure Pop Radio favorites. We’re thrilled to have added to our playlist 16 tracks, each one guaranteed to have you up and running with your favorite imaginary axe, playing air guitar to these venerated classics.

Here’s the rundown: The Cry, “ELO Kiddies”; The Running Jumps, “If You Want My Love”; Chris Richards and the Subtractions, “Downed”; Stephen Lawrenson, “Such a Good Girl”; Lannie Flowers, “Oh Candy”; Spike Priggen and C. P. Roth, “So Good to See You”; Lisa Mychols, “Tonite It’s You”; Bill Lloyd, “Come On Come On”; Corin Ashley, “I Want You to Want Me”; Jeremy, “Takin’ Me Back”; Easterly, “Let Go”; Rob Smith and Danny McCarthy, “Had to Make You Mine”; Rob Bonfiglio, “Taxman Mr. Thief”; The Affections, “Say Goodbye”; honeychain, “I Can’t Take It”; and Michael Carpenter, “Surrender.” Not only is this an eclectic bunch of songs, it’s an electric bunch of artists, joining together to pay tribute to a classic group that has wowed the world’s music fans for so long. We’re proud to be bringing you tracks from this album, in rotation. Good job, Zero Hour!

the-corner-laughersThe Corner Laughers | Matilda Effect The award for the most enchanting melodic pop music album released so far this year must, without question, go to the well-appointed members of the Corner Laughers, who have produced a song cycle that sounds bright and cheery, wonderfully enchanting, and lyrically invigorating. From the opening, Motown vibe of “Fairytale Tourist” to the lively pure pop pleasures of the happy, bouncy “Go Fly Your Kite,” Matilda Effect, which releases today, puts a big smile on your face that nary a tissue or wet towel will be able to wipe clean. The reggae-meets-pop vibe of the closer, “Good Hope,” is quite intoxicating and joyous and mighty hard to resist, which you wouldn’t want to do anyway under any circumstances at all. Big hugs to the enchanting Karla Kane, who wrote most of the songs here; Khoi Huynh; KC Bowman; and Charlie Crabtree. Equally big hugs to Allen Clapp, who produced, along with the Laughers. We’ve added all 10 of the songs on this delightful album: “Fairytale Tourist,” “The Girl, America,” “Octavia A,” “Queen of the Meadow,” “Sophie in the Streets of Stockholm,” “Midsommar,” “Lammas Land,” “Go Fly Your Kite,” “Martha (Cincinnati, 1914),” and “Good Hope.” Color us enchanted.

adam-walsh-epAdam Walsh | The Crooked Trail of Midnight We’ve been playing a host of tracks from this mighty talented singer-songwriter for months. Whether on his own or with his pal Colm Gavin, his talent sparkles and lights the sky. Country, folk and a decidedly keen pop sense permeate everything Adam records. Might we refer to his music as Americana Pop? Perhaps. This EP is a fantastic way to introduce yourself to Adam’s considerable charms as a musician of the highest order. We’re playing, in rotation, “Child of Love,” “Hidden Times,” “Of Our Love,” “Love that’s Gone,” “Steamboat Dream (for John Hartford),” and ” Sun Goes Down.” Great stuff.

But that’s not all. We’re also playing a few other Adam tracks: a cover of the Bee Gees’ “Sun in My Morning,” Gene Clark’s “Here Tonight,”  and Jeff Lynne’s “Can’t Get It Out of My Head,” all three performed with Colm Gavin. Lovely, all.

andy-reed-2Andy Reed | “Darlin’, You Don’t Know,” “Good Girl,” and “The Show Goes On” Producer, engineer, songwriter, performer, member of the Legal Matters and all-around musical magician Andy Reed’s latest single is another one of his can’t-miss creations that even before the first chorus has been sung burrows into your brain and holes up there for, you know, ever. So, naturally, we’re playing it in rotation on Pure Pop Radio. The two b-sides are remixed versions of songs that appeared on the split EP Andy released with Brandon Schott a little more than a year and a half ago. We love them both. And you will, too.

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Thanks for checking in this week and exploring our latest adds to the Pure Pop Radio playlist. Click on one of the listen links below to hear hundreds of new songs and a total of more than 6,800 melodic pop nuggets from the ’60s to today! See you back here next Tuesday or Wednesday for another edition of our New Music Explosion!

Click here to download our app for listening on the go with Android and iOS devices!

Click on the image to listen to Alan Haber's Pure Pop Radio through players like iTunes

Click on the image to listen to Alan Haber’s Pure Pop Radio through players like iTunes

One, Two, Three…Four! It’s Day Four of Pure Pop Radio’s New Music Explosion. Get Ready to Pop!

wow-4Welcome to day four of Pure Pop Radio’s New Music Explosion. Are you ready to pop? We certainly are; this week (and next; see below) we’ve been adding hundreds of new songs and artists to our playlist. You’ve been following the fun, so you know: Once you get started, it’s hard to stop!

So we’re not going to. Our New Music Explosion will continue into next week. We’re getting very near 7,000 songs playing in rotation. That’s a whole lot of great music for you to enjoy!

Okay, then–it’s time to roll. Here we go. Here’s a Thursday mini-list of two very special, newly-added-to-our-playlist albums. There’s lots more coming. We’re here to wow you. Let’s go!

cloud-elevenCloud Eleven | Record Collection We started out in melodic pop radio back in 2005. We point this out to demonstrate how far we go back with many artists. In the case of Cloud Eleven’s Rick Gallego, we go back to 1996, when he released a compilation of 14 songs under the name Jiffipop. Thanked in the notes to that CD, called Demolicious, is Zane Drake, who pops up on Rick’s new album, playing guitar on two cuts. Which, in the scheme of all things holy, is interesting and important. Rick has been creating great pop music for a very long time; Record Collection, a superb, career-defining album releasing this coming August, is his best yet and will, if our prognostication skills are keen, be right up there on this year’s best-of lists.

As well it should be. With Record Collection, Rick has further shaped his sound into distinct parts that together form the melodic center of 11 grand constructs that fall under the heading of melodic, not power, pop. The title track, sporting a decidedly Beatley, “Penny Lane”-ish vibe, spiced with Probyn Gregory’s flowing trumpet parts and Nelson Bragg’s drums and joyous sleigh bells, sets the stage and perfectly outlines the job of the songwriter: “I take my time and make them rhyme/Day after day/The melody and the harmony/Come together for your pleasure naturally, sincerely.” Is that the lyric of the moment, one that successfully and succinctly peers into the songwriter’s soul? Indeed it is. (Both Nelson and Probyn appear throughout these songs.)

And is “Too Soon Was Yesterday” the stylistic musical marriage of the moment? Surely, this Burt Bacharach-meets-Paul McCartney-meets-Brian Wilson number is an astounding piece of inspiration, well played. The punctuating piano, topped by Probyn’s flugelhorn and moved along with care by Nelson’s drums, sits comfortably as Rick’s emotional vocal tells the tale of a love lost yesterday. “What If I Found You” marries an opening reminiscent of the Young Rascals’ “A Girl Like You” to a song whose production reminds me of Bones Howe’s work with the Association. The album’s one true power pop nod is the upbeat “A Sadness in Sorry,” which also manages to tip the scales towards the softer side of the pop scale.

Throughout the whole of Record Collection, Rick’s instrumental facility is second to none; there is seemingly no instrument he doesn’t put his hands on and make beautiful sounds with. Electric and acoustic guitars, bass, harmonium, mellotron, tubular bells, organ, pedal steel, and an authentic Indian sitar on the atmospheric “Indian Guru,” which offers up acute Beatles intonations in the intro, only scratch the surface. Also in the spotlight: popster Seth Swirsky, who plays lead guitar on “40 Below,” about a girl who builds an impenetrable wall around herself: “”She’s so cold, she’s 40 below/Turning hearts to ice, tears to snow.”

And there’s more, but we simply can’t cover it all, because then what would be left for you to discover? Turns out there’s plenty of joy to go around. Rick’s missive at the bottom of the inner credits panel of the package ring true: “Find Peace. Find Happiness.” There is a lot of both to be had here. Record Collection is absolutely, positively not to be missed.

(We’ve added the entire album–all 11 songs–to our playlist. Ladies and gentlemen, you’ll be enjoying the title track, “The Mystic’s Mistake,” “Along With You,” “High as the Rising Sun,” “Too Soon Was Yesterday,” “40 Below,” “What If I Found You,” “Indian Guru,” “As You Are,” “A Sadness in Sorry,” and “Let Us All Find Peace.”)

william-dukeWilliam Duke | The Dark Beautiful Sun William Duke’s new and absolutely wonderful collection of songs, recorded over a five year period, evokes the spirit of the Southern California sound from the 1970s, except these are the ’10s and William makes beautiful music in Northern California. So much for the game of Where Things Come From.

In any case, these songs are among the most effortlessly flowing melodic wonders we’ve heard all year. The toe-tapping opener, “The Golden Ring,” finds William channeling the vocal and instrumental style of early Bob Dylan. Another such toe-tapper is the delicious “Many Years Away,” which features harmony vocals that delight. “The Truth Comes Out at Night” weaves a slower tempo ballad into a faster gallop of a song to more than simply pleasing effect. It’s quite tremendous.

We’re playing nine tracks: “The Golden Ring,” the title song, “Sons and Daughters,” “Many Years Away,” “The Truth Comes Out at Night,” “Just Lookin’ for Some Sleep,” “The Great Escape,” “Summer Side of Life,” and “Your Laughter Fills the Room.” A nice surprise from a talented artist. We’re happy to be spinning these songs in rotation on Pure Pop Radio.

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We’ll be back tomorrow with another list of new songs and artists added to the Pure Pop Radio playlist. Why not click on one of the handy listen links below and join your fellow melodic pop music fans as they (and you) enjoy the greatest pop music in the universe from the ’60s to today! See you tomorrow!

Click here to download our app for listening on the go with Android and iOS devices!

Click on the image to listen to Alan Haber's Pure Pop Radio through players like iTunes

Click on the image to listen to Alan Haber’s Pure Pop Radio through players like iTunes

More New Music Is In the Spotlight Today: It’s Day Three of Pure Pop Radio’s New Music Explosion!

wow-3Welcome to day three of Pure Pop Radio’s New Music Explosion! We hope you’ve been enjoying the new songs and artists we’ve been adding this week to our playlist. It’s time to unveil another list of newly added treasures now spinning in rotation. Without further ado, let’s see what’s in store today! We know you’re going to say…”Wow!”

the-jangle-bandThe Jangle Band | “Kill the Lovers” and “This Soul is Not For Sale” They were initially called the Jangle Brothers and were formed to play a couple of gigs this past April in Perth, Australia. That was supposed to be the long and the short of it. And then, fate intervened: the Jangle Brothers suddenly became the Jangle Band, a jangly and poppy and bright and shiny and catchy real live thing, with not one but two sets of members spread across both sides of Australia. It’s a story, alright, which we can get around to at a later date. For now, though, all you need to know is the debut single from the band, coupling a pair of tracks with a whole lot of jangle on their minds, is nothing less than the two greatest Byrds songs the Byrds never wrote or performed. Plus, it is one of the top releases of this year. Pure Pop Radio favorite Joe Algeri is one of the janglers present; you probably need not know more than that. Both songs are now playing in rotation. In a word…well, a made-up word: jangle-riffic. Killer.

zombie-garden-clubZombie Garden Club | Zombie Garden Club Surprise! It’s another heavy hitting slab of genius rock ‘n’ pop ‘n’ roll from Bongo Boy Records–another killer, in-your-face, slamming, aching, take-no-prisoners kind of album full of vim, vigor, vitamins and God knows what else. And speaking of “what else”… holy cow…this is something else…entirely something else and fresh and free and you’d better get out of the way, kids, if you know what’s good for you! Chief Clubber Johnny Douglas, from Canada and now making musical hay in Nashville, is a breath of cool, fresh air on an album sporting dynamically sounding tracks embodying different styles that thrill, many of which have been used on television shows like Showtime’s Shameless. There’s gold in these hills, folks. We’re spinning six cool numbers as a sneak preview of the upcoming release, including the jazz-pop of “Diamond Daze,” “Call It Love,” “One Step, Two Steps, Three Steps Gone,” “Boom,” “Hey Little School Girl,” and the lovely, anthemic “Calling Andromeda.” Killer diller.

gary-frenayGary Frenay | File Under Pop Vocal The award for Truest Album Title of 2015 goes, without hesitation, to the Flashcubes’ Gary Frenay, whose solo collection of ultra-catchy pop songs is one of the pure pop delights of the year. Nothing less than a master class in melody and hooks, the album features famous guests playing along, from Gary’s son, Nick, and Maura and Pete Kennedy to Marshall Crenshaw and Flashcubes Arty Lenin and Tommy Allen, who also produced and mixed. From the opener, a made-for-radio, should-be-zooming-up-the-charts-with-a-bullet charmer, “Blue Topaz,” to “Luckiest Man,” a gorgeous love song that will melt your heart, this is the kind of album that melodic pop music fans will cherish. We’re playing eight songs in rotation, all top-notch numbers: the previously mentioned tracks, and “Forgot How Good Love Feels,” “Our Eyes Have Voices,” “It’s Like Heaven” (all Beach Boys-y, with George Harrison-esque slide guitar–a Brian Wilson co-write), “We Could Be Brothers,” “You’re Only Hurting Yourself,” and “Everything But Love.” The answer to the question, “Do you have any albums that will demonstrate what it is you love about pop music?”, is “Gary Frenay’s File Under Pop Vocal.

luzer-come-on-mandy-epLuzer | luzer-resetCome On Mandy EP, Fake Ass Rock Star EP, Greatest Hits, and Reset If Pure Pop Radio had an all-star team, Timmy Sean would be head something-or-other. He’d be right there on the front lines, for sure. Timmy’s current project, Songs of the Week, offers up a new recording of a past release of his or a new song, even. Studio and live. Before Songs of the Week, there was Timmy’s solo career and, before that, the band Luzer. Luzer’s music is somewhat harder edged than Timmy’s current output, but no less tuneful or wonderful. We’ve cherry-picked some choice nuggets from Luzer’s catalog, all of which are now spinning in rotation. From the Come On Mandy EP, we’re playing the title track (which appeared in a different version back in January as part of the Songs of the Week project) and the poppy, upbeat “Give Me a Sign.” From the Fake Ass Rock Star EP: the synth-soaked popper “Send Me a Photograph” and the not-quite-a-power-ballad “Eighteen.” We’re playing the acoustic ballad “In the End (The Acoustic Song)” from Greatest Hits. And from Reset, we’re playing the rocking popper “I Want You to Know,” the upbeat pop song “When She Cries,” and “Hey Jodie,” revived for the Songs of the Week project. Pure Pop Radio, we guess, is the official Timmy Sean radio station, and we wouldn’t have it any other way.

willie-wisely-cassettarcanaWillie Wisely | Cassettarcana Comprising four-track recordings made from 1982 onwards, Cassettarcana is a must-have for Wisely aficionados, a group of like-minded folks we are absolutely comfortable hobnobbing about with. We’re spinning four wonderful tracks: “Real,” the cowboy-folk-blueser “Glued for Breakin’,” “Mule,” and “Two Charcoal Hearts,” a great song that appeared on Willie’s 1997 album, Turbosherbert. Simply wonderful.

finchey-murmurationsFinchey | Murmurations Robbie Burley is a little bit folk, a singer-songwriter, a popster–one of those guys who stirs the influences pot and comes out with a finely-tuned mix that purposefully reflects his own musical outlook. Producer Dave Ody (Mothboxer) gets the best out of Burley, who’s already got the goods, you should know. Performed with gusto by Burley, Ody and Pat Davidson, the songs on Murmurations are catchy nuggets, carefully constructed and quite simply fantastic. We’re playing, in rotation, seven songs from this album: the toe-tapper “Devil Put a Spell on You,” and “She Loves Me,” “Must Have Been an Omen,” “Snowed Last Night,” “Warrior,” “Eyes Closed,” and “Red Robin,” the last of which is a mighty pretty number, with gorgeous background vocals and majestic atmosphere. Quite grand, all of it.

strangely-alright-i-see-the-sunStrangely Alright | “I See the Sun” We were first hipped to the music of Regan Lane back in 2004, when we got hold of his solo album, ICU in Dandylions. These days, Regan is behind the group Strangely Alright; we’ve been playing tracks from their album, The Time Machine is Broken; their new song is a marathon pop-rock-gospel number, immensely catchy and fine as fine can be. “I See the Sun” is now playing in rotation.

tommy-sistak-2Tommy Sistak | “You Can Have Your Way With Me” In the same groovy pure pop/sixties/seventies/Merseybeat/catchy-as-all-get-out bag as the songs we’re playing from Tommy’s Short Songs album, “You Can Have Your Way With Me” is instantly memorable…one of those songs you’ll not be surprised to be  singing to yourself at three o’clock in the morning. Now playing in rotation, naturally.

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That’s a wrap on day three of Pure Pop Radio’s New Music Explosion. We’ll be back tomorrow with yet another list of great songs and artists newly-added to our playlist. Stick with us…the best is yet to come!

Click here to download our app for listening on the go with Android and iOS devices!

Click on the image to listen to Alan Haber's Pure Pop Radio through players like iTunes

Click on the image to listen to Alan Haber’s Pure Pop Radio through players like iTunes

If It’s Tuesday, It Must Be Day Two of Pure Pop Radio’s New Music Explosion. Here We Go Again!

wow-2We know, we know… You’re still buzzing from yesterday’s list of new songs and artists added to the Pure Pop Radio playlist. We’re buzzing, too! And while we’re all in new music mode, let’s run down another list of the latest melodic pop gems playing in rotation on our airwaves. Wow! Here we go!

maura-kennedyMaura Kennedy | Villanelle You know that the stars have aligned with grace and glory when a new Kennedys album and a Maura Kennedy solo offering show themselves within two months of each other. Maura’s album, a collaboration with poet B.D. Love, is, not surprisingly, a strong showcase for Maura’s lovely, expressive voice–never better on record, in our view–and her melodies, set here to Love’s vibrant words. With Maura’s husband Pete playing a variety of instruments, and some notable guest stars lending their talents, including popster Gary Frenay, Villanelle’s 15 songs shine brightly, from the classically-styled pop song, “Bicycles With Broken Spokes,” with its ringing guitars and clever wordplay (“”A way with words, that boy, I swear, could tell a tale/We rode in tandem for some time.”); to the gently driving, soulful “She Worked Her Magic On Me”; and the magical, swampy “Be the One,” which wouldn’t have been out of place on a Creedence Clearwater Revival album. Villanelle is a sterling example of the arts of craft and performance. If we gave out stars, there would be five of them in both Maura’s and B.D.’s baskets. We’re playing the aforementioned songs, plus: the title track, “I Cried to Dream Again,” “Soldier’s Wife,” “Mockingbird,” “Borrowed Dress,” “Coyotes,” “Father to the Man,” “I’ll Be Alone Tonight,” and “Breathe Deeply Love.” Breathtaking.

dana-countryman-thrill-meDana Countryman | “Thrill Me (2015 Remaster)” This song first appeared on Dana’s smashing 2013 album, The Incredible, Fantastic Retro Pop World of Dana Countryman. Remixed especially for release on Bandcamp, this version of the song features great vocals (those backgrounds really pop!) and guitar from Klaatu’s Dee Long. Dana’s next album is coming very soon–keep an ear out for more glorious retro-pop sounds from a master of the pop form!

garfields-birthdayGarfield’s Birthday | You Are Here Pink Hedgehog Records’ Simon Felton, his brother Shane and drummer Alan Strawbridge join for an album’s worth of shimmering, melodic pop songs. Full of great numbers, “Radio” is perhaps our favorite (for obvious reasons!); it sports a classic pop melody, great harmony vocals, and a beat you can dance to! “It’s Your Lucky Day” is a bopping pop song with rocking guitar lines and more, inviting harmony vocals. “Carpet Ride” is a nod to sixties songcraft with a mesmerizing, 4/4 beat and, yes, great vocals. An immensely entertaining album that we’re thrilled to be playing. In addition to the songs we’ve already mentioned, we’re spinning, in rotation, “Magic Bike,” “Fancy Dress,” “I’m a Star Tonight,” “Oxford,” “Lunar Eclipse,” “Rheinhold Paisley,” “Sunday Best,” and “Water (It Looks Like Rain).” The whole album, in fact. Great stuff.

toxic-melons-four-playToxic Melons | “Today Didn’t Go” A teaser, released ahead of the upcoming EP, Four Play, which features “brand new improved versions of classic Toxic Melons tracks.” This song, originally a cut on the Melon Jam album and presented here in a stripped mix, features the talents of Jellyfish’s Roger Joseph Manning, Jr. and Eric Dover. It’s another fine song from the Melons. We look forward to Four Play.

the-damnwellsThe Damnwells | The Damnwells New to Pure Pop Radio, Brooklyn, New York-based the Damnwells have released an album featuring all of the original band members–the first such release since 2006. We dig the band’s pop and rock sound, so much so that we’ve added six songs to our playlist, including “Heavy Heart,” an upbeat tune recalling the Jayhawks; the jangly “The Girl That’s Not In Love With You”; “None of These Things,” a heartfelt ballad with an emotive lead vocal; “Lost”; This Ship of Ours”; and “Too Old to Die.” Quite fine.

mike-tesch-1Mike Tesch | Mike Tesch These songs, which ride a fine line between folk and pop, are beautifully constructed and performed. We were immediately taken with Mike’s sound. Of course, we were immediately attracted to the ballad, “My Radio,” given the title and all. The song’s introspective nature draws the listener in, and those vocals…pure gold. Interestingly, the drums sound like they would have been comfortable on Carly Simon’s first album. Teeming with pure pop spirit, “Same Old Song” sports great vocal harmony stacks and a wonderfully catchy melody. We’re now playing, in rotation, both of these songs, and “The Blackbird Files,” “I’m Gone,” and “Old Ideas.” Great stuff. Look for the album later this summer.

daniel-wylie-fakeDaniel Wylie | Fake Your Own Death Daniel’s 2011 album is making its debut on Pure Pop Radio with five standout tracks: “Forgotten Songs,” “Rivers Flow,” “Make a Sound,” “Love Hurts (Sometimes),” and “It’s Always Been You.” The combination of Daniel’s wonderfully melodic songs and his smooth vocal delivery gets us every time (we’re big fans of Daniel’s band, Cosmic Rough Riders). We’ve taken these songs from Kool Kat Musik’s 2015 reissue of Fake Your Own Death, which includes two bonus tracks. There can never be enough Daniel Wylie songs on Pure Pop Radio.

Cameron-Lew---welpCameron Lew | welp. If the Interwebs are to be believed, “welp” is another way of saying “well…”; in other words, “Welp…I have nothing more to say” (refer to the movie Dumb and Dumber). Except in this case, Cameron Lew, from the fine band the Yorktown Lads (heard on Pure Pop Radio, naturally), there is certainly plenty to say. Cameron’s first solo album, recorded in the proverbial bedroom studio, is a delightful, varied collection of pop songs that fits nice and snugly among the other songs on our playlist. The opener, “Adieu,” is a catchy number with wonderful background vocals. “Antique Mall” is equally catchy–an upbeat pop song with a great hook and interesting subject matter. “Goodnight” is a fun, clever tune–a live wire goodbye song, with sharply-realized lyrics (“My records hiss but at least they stay clean/A dirty mess you’ll find it oh so pristine/I guess things really were as bad as they seem/So it’s best to say goodnight”). We’ve added all three of these songs, and three more: “Season 4,” “Change,” and “Picture Show.” Keep an eye, and an ear or two, on this guy.

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That’s it for day two of our mammoth New Music Explosion. And there’s much more to come–we’re continuing with this big event all through this week. Check back tomorrow for day three’s entries! We know you’re going to love them!

Click here to download our app for listening on the go with Android and iOS devices!

Click on the image to listen to Alan Haber's Pure Pop Radio through players like iTunes

Click on the image to listen to Alan Haber’s Pure Pop Radio through players like iTunes