The Legal Matters: Equal Parts that Warm a Cold and Snowy Michigan Winter

legal-matters-largeThe Legal Matters | The Legal Matters | Futureman Records (2014)

(Win one of two copies of the Legal Matters’ self-titled  debut album by filling in the form below!)

The next time you rise on a cold and dreary winter morning to find that your overnight brought you two or three inches of snow, and you are moved to mumble “Just what we needed…more of that soul-killing white stuff,” think about the three members of the Legal Matters, who hunkered down in the Reed Recording Company studio this past January to make happy music against a weather-beaten Michigan backdrop. Even in the face of pounding white stuff, the show must go on.

As the snow fell fiercely around them–as a foot or two rolled into more than the sum of a record Michigan winter’s snowfall–Andy Reed, Chris Richards and Keith Klingensmith, equal parts of the same enterprise and veterans of various bands and solo tracks and whatnot, turned what started out as a new Phenomenal Cats record into a brand new enterprise, a song cycle informed by music that was made perhaps a lifetime ago by bands such as the Beatles, the Kinks, the Who, Big Star, Fleetwood Mac, the Beach Boys and who knows who else. When all was said and done, 10 songs were completed in six days, a veritable hop, skip and a jump of sorts that very possibly deserves some kind of knighthood or at least a pat or two on the band’s collective back.

The three friends, with pop-star-in-his-own-right Nick Piunti and drummer Cody Marecek and all of the sounds they loved that came before them swirling around in their heads, strapped on their guitars, fired up their keyboards and plugged in with the sole purpose of creating their art. And, with the equipment whirring gently around them, they set to making the magic happen, as only members of the P-Cats and An American Underdog and the Subtractions could do. And, lo and behold, came the Legal Matters first, self-titled album. And the summer music season of 2014 took off with what promises to be one of the best melodic pop albums of this or any other year.

There was a review of a Pink Floyd album–probably The Wall–in which the writer theorized that this was a band that never orphaned a single idea. It’s like when the ubiquitous observer of film says that every penny spent on a particular movie is on the screen. Similarly, the Legal Matters have incorporated a heap of ideas into their musical stew and left not a single one on the cutting-room floor. It’s all there in the music, in the air, in the moment.

It’s in the happy pop of “Rite of Spring,” where deeply-stacked and deeply-felt harmony vocals come together to transform a lovely melody into a rainbow of emotion. It’s in the gentle light country-pop groove of “Have You Changed Your Mind,” in the “Things We Said Today” mode of “It’s Not What I Say,” in the slightly spacey and emotional “Outer Space,” and in the gorgeous, harmony-stacked “Mary Anne.”

It’s in the from-the-heart, quite musical missives that the harmony-drenched law firm of Reed, Richards and Klingensmith have delivered to the ears of melodic pop fans all over the world. Borne in a winter wonderland that caused a populace to stand still yet still allow the creation of what Joan Jett called “good, good music,” these songs are what happens when all is right with the world. “It always feels so good to hear good music,” Joan sang, speaking for all the lovers in the world–the romantics who cradle soothing sounds and feel the elation that good, good music provides.

The Legal Matters’ first, self-titled album is good, good music. It’s good, good music for when the snow falls, for when spring turns to summer, during a light rain, and for when fall signals the end of baseball season and the year moves into its closing phase. It’s good for what ails you, a prescription that works wonders no matter the season or circumstance. The Legal Matters is good, good music. But next time, order up a warm summer’s day, boys.

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Win one of two copies of the Legal Matters’ self-titled debut album by filling in the form that follows. Type “The Legal Matters” in the Comment field. Entries must be received by noon ET on July 30. Good luck!

 

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5:45, 30 Players and One Majestic Performance: David Letterman Explains the Musical Universe

The Late Show with David LettermanEvery once in a while, a kind of majestic performance of an equally majestic song will play out on one of the late night talk shows. Last night’s blast of majesty happened on the stage of the Ed Sullivan Theater at the end of the David Letterman show, in the typical spot usually inhabited by the musical flavor of the moment–some band shrouded in long hair, barely facing the audience, emoting some hit song that the kids are currently digging.

But last night on the vaunted stage of the Ed Sullivan Theater, approximately 30 players, armed with their cherished string instruments, horns, tympani, and keyboards gathered to amaze and delight and astound the audience with their reverent, energized rendering of Jimmy Webb’s 1968 masterpiece, “MacArthur Park.” Accompanying Paul Schaffer and the ace CBS orchestra, Webb, transfixed by the magical aura in the room, played the harpsichord lines that propel the song into the first and subsequent verses. And, anticipating one of those moments that can not be repeated, the audience settled in.

Letterman used the segment that followed the opening monologue to relate a funny story about driving around town with his son Harry and hearing Richard Harris and Donna Summer sing “MacArthur Park” on “the satellite radio,” at which point Harry screamed “That’s enough cake!” Letterman subsequently asked Shaffer if the song could be done on the show; Shaffer replied that he could get it together.

And boy, did he. After dedicating the performance to Harry, Letterman settled in and Shaffer put the wheels in motion. The sound of the glorious, punctuated harpsichord and the start of bassist Will Lee’s intoning of the first, leading lines –”Spring was never waiting for us girl, it ran one step ahead, as we followed in the dance” happened, the whole orchestra following under and around, the concentration on the faces of the string players assured.

“MacArthur’s Park is melting in the dark, all the sweet, green icing flowing down,” Lee sang, plucking his bass guitar knowingly, punctuating the affair. “Someone left the cake out in the rain. I don’t think that I can take it ’cause it took so long to bake it, and I’ll never have that recipe again, oh no.” The “no” is extended, as it should be, breathing heavily, assuredly, and finally trailing off in a quick, knowing whisk.

The instrumental section, in which the strings and horns and traditional rock instrumentation become one in a musical wind tunnel, energizes the players as they carry forward the melody, the weight of each note, the ample joy that flows through Webb’s masterful melody. Felicia Collins, wailing with a rocking guitar solo, was more than outstanding. Our collective spines start tingling at first light with just a touch of flavor and then, suddenly in gear, it all roars to a crescendo as Lee begins to sing the last verse, now having climbed up the back of a colorful cake, a purely ingenious touch that mirrors the somewhat psychedelic, hippie vibe of the song. The string players join some of the others in a long, protracted smile, which only serves to heighten the love in the room, the magic of song as it swirls around you and takes you to a higher place.

And then, the song completed in what Letterman announces was a pocket of time lasting five minutes and forty-five seconds, the host makes his way over to the stage, overtaken by musicians overtaken themselves with joy, shakes Shaffer and Webb’s hands, and the hand of a string player who rises from her seat, perhaps somewhat fearful that her legs will give way because that’s what happens when the music is in you and doesn’t let go. Letterman suggests, overjoyed, that the band play the song again, and for just a split-second or so, the suggestion seems like a good one, but the show is over and it’s time to go.

Moments like this happen rarely and usually without fanfare. News of this moment, once it hit the Internet, spread like wildfire, which is all at once triumphant and a bit odd, because so many people seem to think so little of “MacArthur Park.” Because it’s a bit weird, perhaps? Because the record is over seven minutes long? Who knows? The record is a classic slice of 1960′s songwriting and record making prowess, and this performance is perfection because it pushes all of the right buttons and–you can see it on everyone’s faces–it is the moment, a great moment, elevated by the strong consideration of all 30 of the players on the stage. And to have Webb there, moving from one keyboard to another in a flawless switcheroo as Shaffer deposits himself at the front of the collective, just makes it even  a better experience.

This performance is like Harry Houdini somehow slipping out of a tightly-closed straitjacket in full view of an audience. How did they do that, exactly? How did 30 people combine to deliver such a piece of musical magic? It’s one of those things that defies an answer. We would guess that when 30 or 50 or 500 people are in the right space, and happily sharing that space, magical things can and do happen. And, as if, this night it did. What a scene!

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This’ll be the Day! Buddy Holly’s in the Spotlight on Tonight’s Edition of Every Little Thing!

Ken Michaels' Every Little Thing...For the Beatles Fan Who Craves All Things Fab! Airs Every Monday at 9 pm ET on Pure Pop Radio!

Ken Michaels’ Every Little Thing…For the Beatles Fan Who Craves All Things Fab! Airs Every Monday at 9 pm ET on Pure Pop Radio!

We here at Pure Pop Radio love it when 9 pm ET on Monday night rolls around, because it means that it’s time for another installment of Ken Michaels’ Every Little Thing, every Beatlemaniac’s favorite meeting place!

On tonight’s show, number 25, Ken kicks off the Fab fun with a set chock full of tracks from Paul, John, George and…David Cloyd? That’s right–David rolls in with a cover of Macca’s “Dear Boy.” Then, it’s time for something completely different, as Ken plays a track from Paul’s Ocean’s Kingdom.

This week’s theme set rolls out the welcome mat for a tribute to Buddy Holly, featuring solo Beatles and group Beatles Holly covers and a special appearance from the Crickets–a wonderful song called “T-Shirt.” Nice!

All of this, and Ken’s weekly Beatles trivia question at the end of the show. Sounds like appointment radio for all Beatles fans! Tune in, turn it on and enjoy!

 

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

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Reviews from the Pages of buhdge: The Association’s Waterbeds in Trinidad (1972)

The Association's Waterbeds in Trinidad

(Originally published on the buhdge website in 2006)

Unfairly categorized as a singles band, the Association did not, as some would have you believe, make bad albums. They also did not become a less-interesting aggregation in the band’s later recording years, as this lone Columbia album proves.

Released a year after the group’s final Warner Brothers release, the eclectic Stop Your Motor, Waterbeds in Trinidad is a solid mix of originals and covers that is as good as any of their eight studio releases (a ninth, double-live set recorded at the University of Utah, was released in 1970). From Terry Kirkman’s sweet midtempo confessional “After the Fall” and the Larry Ramos co-penned paean to a lost love, “Indian Wells Woman,” to a muscular, jazzy cover of Carole King and Gerry Goffin’s “Snow Queen,” Waterbeds soars. But the album’s fate was foretold: it became the group’s last release until an embarrassing 1995 collection featuring only two original members, Russ Giguere and Ramos, that managed to single-handedly crush memories of the original group–at least for those unlucky listeners who heard it.

Waterbeds in Trinidad was, like most of the Association’s later albums, out of step with the then-current musical times. The group dared to be true to themselves, never succumbing to market pressure and preferring to follow their own muse. They even turned down the chance to record Jimmy Webb’s “MacArthur Park.”

The Association’s stance never varied: Their original songs, and the songs they chose to cover, were fully-realized vocal harmony showcases that emphasized melody above all else. Although the variously six-and-seven man band got a bit heavy on occasion (“heavy” being a relative term), they pretty much stuck to soft pop, providing the template for other groups that followed them into the seventies. Certainly, the Carpenters, whose first album was released in 1969, wouldn’t have been the Carpenters if the Association hadn’t set the earlier standard.

That standard lay at the foundation of Waterbed’s 10 tracks. The well-chosen covers, particularly John Sebastian’s classic “Darling Be Home Soon,” given an emotional reading here by Jim Yester and deep background vocal support, are tremendous examples of the exquisite taste exhibited by the group. The group’s originals are equally fine, even the jazzy, 5th Dimension-esque throwaway “Kicking the Gong Around,” whose many wordless vocal parts sound like they were a blast to wax.

The album closer, John Stewart’s touching ballad “Little Road and a Stone to Roll,” remains a particularly eerie listening experience given that the group’s bassist, Brian Cole, sings it (Cole later died of a drug overdose). It is hard not to get a lump in the throat when Cole sings “Everybody needs a fire inside/Everybody needs a dream to ride/Everybody with a growing soul/Needs a stone to roll.” The song’s reference to a Carole King tune as something that everyone needs always results in a tear or two.

The vocal arrangement on “Little Road and a Stone to Roll” is perhaps closest to the most classic moments the Association achieved during their career. The gentle, soaring harmonies seep into your brain and give you a little chill at every turn, not unlike the bulk of the group’s output.

After a couple of subsequent singles on RCA and Elektra and a mostly disappointing oldies collection released by, of all companies, Radio Shack, the group called it a day, although they did reform in the early 1980s, even appearing on TV’s The Mike Douglas Entertainment Hour, during which they performed “Windy,” “Cherish,” “Along Comes Mary,” and a terrific, still unreleased song entitled “Back Seat of Heaven.” What’s more, the group performed totally live, proving themselves to be a solid band that hardly needed the help of seasoned session musicians who played the parts on their early albums.

This 2006 release corrects the omission of bonus tracks on the 2002 Japanese issue, although most of the added sides are no great shakes; other than the single version of “Kicking the Gong Around,” which runs significantly faster (and thus shorter) than its album counterpart, the other single versions on offer don’t sound very different. Fortunately, the great version of Albert Hammond and Mike Hazelwood’s “Names, Tags, Numbers and Labels,” released on 45 only, is included. The sound overall is top-notch. Housed in a mini-LP-style cardboard sleeve, the CD is a bit pricey, but worth every penny.

What is little known is that the Association recorded a number of new songs, including the aforementioned “Back Seat of Heaven,” after reforming in the early 1980s. Hopefully those songs will one day be released. And hopefully, one day, the Association will get the respect they deserve. Certainly the Japanese CD reissues of the band’s albums, which now all contain bonus tracks, and the ongoing Collector’s Choice reissue program (which, sadly, does not offer bonuses and, to these ears, sound at least slightly inferior to their Japanese counterparts) will continue to keep this truly original musical legacy alive.

Alan Haber
June 10, 2006

 

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Here Comes the Reign Again! Pure Pop Radio and Your Favorite Artists Celebrate the Second British Invasion in Grand Style. Happy Days are Here Again!

Andrew Curry's Here Comes the Reign Again: The Second British Invasion. Nice!

Hot on the heels of last April’s spectacular double-album, Drink a Toast to Innocence: A Tribute to Lite Rock, producer Andrew Curry is soon to make waves with his second celebration of the best days of our musical lives. With the upcoming Here Comes the Reign Again: The Second British Invasion, Curry has set his sights on the post-lite rock years, when the nascent MTV was already TV’s official visual showcase for music crazy kids and groups such as Duran Duran, the Human League, Wham!, Howard Jones and Simple Minds. These and other groups quickly and commandingly took hold of radio stations and listeners across the country.

Curry was a neophyte producer and compiler when he dove head first into the detailed process that resulted in Drink a Toast to Innocence. He proved, at first light, that his love for the music that populated the soundtrack of his life and the passion that fueled it were his two most important assets. The how-you-do-this-and-that kind of nuts-and-bolts production-related details he could, and did, grab hold of like the pro he is. Still buzzing from the warm and welcoming red carpet laid out for him by the worldwide pop community, he quickly decided to build on the Innocence buzz by starting work on his second project, an equally well-rounded compilation of classic early eighties tracks interpreted by some of pop music’s most creative practitioners.

A mix of artists both new to Curry’s world of musical reinvention and those returning from Innocence set to work on crafting their unique versions of songs like the Dream Academy’s luscious “Life in a Northern Town,” Bananarama’s catchy “Cruel Summer,” and Spandau Ballet’s classic “True.” In the end, 27 artists and songs made it to the final track listing, with a bonus track exclusively offered to Kickstarter contributors (who, as of this writing, have contributed more than 50% of the funds needed to make Reign a reality)–An American Underdog’s spectacular run through Howard Jones’s “Things Can Only Get Better.”

Support Reign!

Support Reign!

As we did during the life of Drink a Toast to Innocence, we are celebrating Here Comes the Reign Again with an extensive promotional effort, which begins below and will continue through to the release of the compilation. Don’t forget to check out the Reign Kickstarter page for the various items, including the snazzy-looking t-shirt pictured at right, you can get by pledging your support with a donation.  Here, on this page, we have gathered a look at selected tracks from Reign that we hope will sufficiently whet your appetite for the second British invasion.

Andrew Curry!

Andrew Curry!

Andrew Curry has very kindly created introductions to 19 of the songs appearing on Reign. These introductions are exclusive to Pure Pop Radio and, along with the newly-recorded songs, are now playing in rotation on the air. You”ll hear Andrew spill on the making of these tracks, relate insider anecdotes and talk about the artists working behind the microphones.

But wait: there’s more! We’ve got another exclusive-to-Pure-Pop-Radio offering: an audio one-on-one with Andrew that spills the beans on how Here Comes the Reign Again was put together. This conversation with Andrew appears on this page; simply navigate below and click on the play button to enjoy.

As we said, we’re very excited about Here Comes the Reign Again. Dive into the get-to-know-Reign nuggets on this page and brace yourselves for more, more, more to come!

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mike-viola

Mike Viola

We’d like to put the Pure Pop Radio spotlight on just some of the great songs we’re currently airing in rotation with Andrew Curry’s informative and exclusive introductions. Take, for example, Mike Viola’s version of Tears for Fears’ “Everybody Wants to Rule the World.” Viola is a great favorite here at Pure Pop Radio. His take on “Everybody Wants to Rule the World” is typically golden. Centered around some lovely acoustic guitar picking and his emotionally-invested, magical voice, this is at once a contemporary specimen and a tip-o’-the-hat to some grand music created mere decades ago.

Chris Collingwood (Fountains of Wayne)

Chris Collingwood (Fountains of Wayne)

Chris Collingwood toils away at his day job, where he is lead vocalist and songwriter at Fountains of Wayne. Here, he travels down the musical hallway to tackle in solo mode the Dream Academy’s ethereal “Life in a Northern Town.” Collingwood has moved the tempo along at a bit of a faster pace and transformed the tail of the tune into a group singalong. Winterpills’ backing vocals contribute to this updated, loving look at life in a northern or, really, any town.   A smashing job.

Jim Boggia enlisted his friend, the Figgs’ Pete Donnelly, to apply some quirky, contemporary polish to Adam and the Ants’ “Goody Two Shoes.” With a call-in of “One, two, drums,” the pop pair turn the original waxing into an easy shuffle with Marc Bolan-esque vocals. This is what transpires when a pair of old pros turn a classic song inside out and come up with a pretty wonderful musical pearl.

Jim Boggia

Jim Boggia

 

The Corner Laughers!

The Corner Laughers!

For sure, many melodic pop fans, if not the whole lot of them, will adorn the Corner Laughers’ spirited version of Madness’ “Our House” with at least a couple hundred huzzahs. Longtime favorites here at Pure Pop Radio, the Laughers don’t do much mucking about with this classic song. Moreover, they pay happy tribute to it, applying a joyous gloss to the proceedings. Once again and always forever more, singer Karla Kane’s lovely, playful voice takes center stage. And don’t miss the funky electric guitar parts. They’re very cool.

There’s more–a whole lot more joy on Here Comes the Reign Again: The Second British Invasion, now chugging up a storm on the official Kickstarter page. Make your way over there for Reign’s official track listing and other goodies.

Now, hear from the man himself, as producer extraordinaire Andrew Curry talks to our Alan Haber about the genesis and putting-together of Here Comes the Reign Again. It’s a typically spirited conversation, exclusive to Pure Pop Radio. Simply click on the play button below to listen.

More to come. Remember, we’re currently spinning, in rotation, 19 great tracks from Here Comes the Reign Again, all appended by informative introductions by Andrew Curry. Listen every hour of our 24-hour broadcast day for the sounds of your favorite contemporary artists putting their spin on songs from the second British invasion!

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Here’s our exclusive conversation with Here Comes the Reign Again Producer Andrew Curry:

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

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Major, Huge, Very Cool, Pretty Big Story Coming Up Tomorrow! Don’t Miss It!

This is big!

This is big!

Coming up tomorrow, right here on your favorite melodic pop music website–and you may just have to reign us in on this one!–we’ll have a major, huge, very cool, pretty big story for you about an upcoming album that is sure to be one of your favorite, major, huge, very cool, pretty big releases of the year. We’re going to be playing a large number of tracks from this album starting tomorrow, and in addition–wait for it!–we’ve got some pretty cool exclusive extras for you that will make your attraction to this album extremely three-dimensional. 3-D!

Spill the beans!We’d tell you more, but then we’d have to spill the beans, and we’re no bean spillers, let us tell you that! Tune in tomorrow, early tomorrow afternoon, for all the beans you needs to chew on, right here. We’re Pure Pop Radio, the original, 24-hour Internet radio station playing the greatest melodic pop songs from the ’60′s to today.

Until tomorrow…!

 

 

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

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Our Magic Numbers: 10,000+ and 5,000+. Thanks to You and You and You, Too.

Today is “Thank You Day” here at Pure Pop Radio.

10,000 plus!First, thank you to all of you who listened to Pure Pop Radio and visited this website over the past two weeks to check out the hundreds of artists and songs that have been added to our playlist. This special explosion of melodic pop songs is our most successful event ever. As a result, we have passed the 10,000 views mark here on our website. And Pure Pop Radio, the original, 24-hour Internet radio station playing the greatest melodic pop music in the universe now sports more than 5,000 songs on its playlist.

We’re feeling pretty happy today and it’s all thanks to you, you and you, too.

10,000+ views here at purepopradio.com.

5,000 plus!5,000+ songs feed the Pure Pop Radio playlist. And there’s more to come.

Thank you, all.

 

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

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Pure Pop Radio’s Very Special Explosion of New-to-the-Station Melodic Pop Songs is Finished, But…

… we’ve gotten lots more great music in the past week, so it looks like we’re going to have to keep our noses to the grindstone next week. We’ve got to admit that it’s fun, and pretty spectacular at that, to see the number of songs in our library continue to rise. As of today, we’ve passed the 5,000 mark appreciably. That means more songs, more artists, more variety for you, our faithful listeners.

We're on the road to more great melodic pop!

We’re on the road to more great melodic pop!

So let’s get the show on the road, shall we? Let’s begin with a couple of hurrahs for three of our favorite artists, each of whom took the time to record an original jingle for Pure Pop Radio. Let’s clap for the great Jay Stansfield, the lovely and talented The Taters, and the master of a thousand instruments and banjo player extraordinaire Jacob Panic. We love you and thank you all! You’re tops of the pops!

With that said, here are some more artists and songs that we’ve added to the playlist. They’re all streaming now in rotation on your home of the hits–the original 24-hour Internet radio station playing the greatest melodic pop songs from the ’60′s to today.

* The Penguin Party. With their new album Mesherlek  just a hop, skip and a jump rope from being released on July 21, we’re playing a couple of typically clever tunes from the album that will burrow inside your noggin and stay there through the coming spring. We’d been playing an early version of the wild and woolly song “The Anti Russell Brand, ” but now we’re spinning the completed track, sporting a rather emotionally-invested choir to open the proceedings. It’s very cool. We’re also spinning two more songs from Mesherlek: the radio edit of the atmospheric, kind-of spooky “My Big Bad Self,” complete with horns!, and the piano pop of the jaunty “Glorious.” All three of these classics point to Mesherlek being one of 2014′s greatest recorded triumphs.

* The Squires of the SubterrainThe Squires of the Subterrain. We’ve been playing the Squire’s unique brand of pop music for many years. We simply dig his take on the catchy tune. The Squire always delivers the goods. From his new, self-titled album, we’re chosen five wonderful songs: “History,” “This Charming Place,” “Private Gherkin’s Psychedelic Silly Mustache Band,” “Attitude and Altitude,” and “You Gave Me the Cold Shoulder (to Cry On).” A splendid time will be had by all who listen to this consistently top-shelf artist and his new collection of top tunes.

* The Jeremy BandAll Over the World. We’ve been spinning Jeremy Morris’s great music since we started Pure Pop Radio nearly 20 years ago. Jeremy’s music is always fun to listen to, and now he’s done it again with this new album stacked high with songs recorded all over the world (Hey! That’s a catchy title!). We treasure Jeremy’s music and are thrilled to be able to bring you more of it. We know you’ll dig the three songs we’ve chosen to add to the playlist: “Cool Your Jets,” “Rise Above the Clouds,” and “Not of this World.”

* Silver Ships. Songs from a Room that Never Moves. Wonderful, creative tunes are the order of the day when multi-instrumentalist Chazz Bessette is at the helm. From the contemporary pop-meets-vaudeville opener, “Poor Thief of Hearts,” to the charming, melodic campfire stomper “My Dear Friend” and the pretty, tempo-changing closer, “We Believe in Love,” Songs from a Room that Never Moves delivers the goods like no other pop album you’ll hear this year. In addition to the previously-mentioned songs, we’ve also added “There Were Trees,” “Summer’s Gone,” “Silver Moon,” and “A Room that Never Moves.” Pure genius.

* Nine Times BlueMatter of Time. We’re happy to bring to you a couple of songs from Nine Times Blue’s latest release. Based in Atlanta, Georgia, the band plays power pop with just a hint of Gin Blossoms in their DNA. Listen for these cool tunes: “Sometimes” and “Matter of Time.”

* Three Minute TeaseBite the Hand. With longtime Pure Pop Radio favorite Anton Barbeau in the mix, you know you’re going to get an eclectic approach to pop music, and this new release doesn’t disappoint. In fact, it’s a solid fun-to-listen-to album full of great songs and Anton’s expressive vocals. We’re thrilled to be spinning the mighty catchy “Drinking Horn,” which, without warning, takes a decidedly and cool left turn into the psychedelic zone with about a minute and thirty-seven seconds left. We’re also thrilled to be spinning “Ciao Ciao Chicken,” “Tie My Laces,” “Coffee that Makes the Man Go Mad,” and “Wave Hello.” Very Anton! Very wonderful!

* Edward RogersKaye. A New York City dweller since the age of 12, Rogers serves up a dozen great songs inspired by the late Kevin Ayers. We’re excited to be bringing to you five numbers, including a cover of Ayers’ “After the Show,” and original tunes “Worry for the World,” “What Happened to the News Today,” “Copper Coin,” and “Borrowed and Blue.”

* Steve CarawayUpon this Rock. From Steve’s latest album, we’ve added two terrific tunes: the emotional title song and the rock and pop number “Justine.”

But wait…there will be more! The newest releases and songs from yesteryear are starting to pile up once again, so look for more adds to the playlist next week and beyond. We’re committed to bringing you, our dear listeners, the greatest pop in the universe, and that’s what we’re going to continue to do! Have fun listening to Pure Pop Radio (just click on one of the handy listening links below) and have a great weekend!

 

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

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Our Two-Week-Long Explosion of New-to-Pure Pop Radio Melodic Pop Songs is in the Penultimate Stage! Today Only! And then there’s…

…Tomorrow! Oh yeah, oh yeah, oh yeah! And next week and the week after, too. We’ll be adding new, recent and heritage music to the Pure Pop Radio playlist on a regular basis from now on, so check back here frequently and help us keep the melodic pop spirit alive by listening to Pure Pop Radio (simply click on the handy listen links below)!

So what’s on the new-to-the-playlist docket? Today, we’re going to put the spotlight on three major melodic pop releases. You’ve probably been waiting for the first for awhile…

Linus of Hollywood's Something GoodLinus of Hollywood – Something Good. Fifteen years ago, a voice ushered in a new sound–a fresh, clean approach to the melodic pop song. “A-one, two three…one…” The mellow, hopeful voice quickly trailed off into the  fabric of “Say Hello to Another Goodbye,” the first track of an album called Your Favorite Record. That was pretty cheeky of the new artist named Linus of Hollywood. What if this album wasn’t our favorite record? Linus was rolling the dice, but not without an ace in his pocket–an album that was his entree into a career that has been going strong ever since. Linus is all about the song, all about the melody, all about the harmonies, and absolutely without question about how all of that, tied up with a neat little bow, affects his listeners. Just as they swooned as the 12 songs on Your Favorite Record played out, they will swoon, dip, nod their heads, get weak in their knees and most importantly smile, smile, smile as the 11 songs on this brand-new album surround them with the kind of mostly upbeat melodic pop that has become Linus’s trademark. You will love songs like “Ready for Something Good,” a classic, clever, catchy mix of faux-reggae and barreling-straight-ahead sweet pop; and “Biography,” an intoxicating, melodic, acoustic-based cautionary tale of separation–of love dying for no good reason. “No one will ever love you, the way I used to love you,” Linus sings as ghostly backing vocals chill the air. Don’t miss the cover of the year: Linus’s fantastic version of Kiss’s “Beth,” which Linus now owns. Factor in a great-as-usual guest vocal performance from the luminous Kelly Jones, a co-write with pop music producer Wyatt Funderburk and sterling production and you have what may well have to be renamed Another of Your Favorite Records, or Maybe Even the Record of the Year in 2014. We’ve added 10 of the songs on Something Good to the Pure Pop Radio playlist. Tune in now to hear them playing in rotation. Welcome back, Linus of Hollywood. We really missed you.

Edward O'Connell's Vanishing ActEdward O’Connell – Vanishing Act. We’re thinking that this may well be the year where we will have to, for the very first time, compile a list of favorite melodic pop records–the reason being that there are just so many of them and, well, that’s what we probably should have been doing all along. And near the top of that list will have to sit Vanishing Act, the followup to 2010′s Our Little Secret, a pretty nifty record that started it all, “it all” being the thirst for more Edward O’Connell music. Consider your thirst satisfied. Vanishing Act is everything a great melodic pop album should be and then some. The straight-ahead popper “Severance Kiss,” jangly guitars in the spotlight, is an instant classic with an equally classic melody. Sumptuous slide guitar lines kick off  the hooky opener “My Dumb Luck.” The lovely ballad and title track, “Vanishing Act,” serves as the album’s centerpiece. O’Connell’s wondrous vocal is a joy to hear. Really, here is another hall-of-fame kind of album, one that will stay with you all the way down whichever line you walk. O’Connell, a Washington, D.C. songwriter and performer, is a local, should-be national, treasure. And his sense of humor is sharp and tickles the funny bone–the paper bag gag from Our Little Secret is carried over to a photo inside the new album’s package. We’ve added the whole of Vanishing Act, which is now playing in rotation on our air. You rock, Edward O’Connell. And, as ABBA once sang, “Thank you for the music!”

The Click Beetles' Wake Up to MusicThe Click Beetles – Wake Up to Music! The cleverly-named Click Beetles emerge with a powerhouse debut that melodic pop and power pop fans will happily devour. Head Beetle Dan Pavelich, who also runs Vandalay Records and writes and draws the funny, online comic strip Just Say Uncle, is right on target with 10 originals (one co-written with the wonderful singer-songwriter Lisa Mychols) and two delectable covers, nicely done: Marshall Crenshaw’s classic “Cynical Girl” and the Beatles standard “Do You Want to Know a Secret.” “Try Girl” is a Merseybeat-styled medium-paced ballad that, if you close your eyes, could have been performed on the stage of the original Cavern in Liverpool. “I Never Said Goodbye,” the aforementioned co-write with Mychols, is a melodic stomper with an ultra-catchy chorus. “Glad” is a great pop song that would be comfortable nestled in the Shoes catalog. All of these tunes, plus the glorious “Bubblegum” and the short-but-sweet closer “The Changes,” are now playing in rotation on Pure Pop Radio. Dig these wonderful sounds!

There you go! That’s three more top-shelf albums now gracing our airwaves and feeding into your Internet radio machines. Enjoy ‘em all, and we’ll see you back here tomorrow for our final new-adds-to-the-Pure-Pop-Radio-playlist report.

 


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

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Get Yer Newly-Added Tunes! Get Yer Newly-Added Tunes Here! Pure Pop Radio is Hummin’ with Cool, Newly-Added Tunes!

We’ve added more than 300 songs to the Pure Pop Radio playlist in the past week and a half. Can we hear you all take a deep breath, let it out and shout “Wow!” That’s right: More than 300 songs have been added to the playlist, and we’re not done yet! Since a week ago Monday, we’ve been spotlighting some of the artists and songs that now call Pure Pop Radio their radio home. We’re itchin’ to tell you about some more goodies that are currently spinning in rotation on our air, so let’s get crackin’!

Marti Jones's You're Not the Bossa Me

Marti Jones – You’re Not the Bossa Me. We enjoy a bit of bossa nova every now and then, but we admit we don’t know a whole lot about it. We’re eager to learn, though, so we zipped on over to Wikipedia, where we found out that bossa nova is a “lyrical fusion of samba and jazz” that dates back to the 1950′s and 1960′s. Marti Jones, her husband Don Dixon, their friend and artist in her own right Kelley Ryan, along with instrumentalist and writer Paul Cebar and percussionist Jim Brock combined their considerable talents to produce a dozen poppy bossa nova gems. We think you’ll fall instantly in love with them. The songs, written by Ryan, Dixon, Bill DeMain, Cebar and others, are brought to life with Jones’s magical voice. Jones has never sounded better. Produced by Ryan and Dixon, this is a slam dunk for a place on this year’s best-of lists. It’s pop music for discerning listeners, which, of course, means you and you and you, too. We love these songs so much that we’ve added them all to the Pure Pop Radio playlist. Some of our favorites: the beautiful “Orphan on the Beach ;” Heart and Bone,” a terrific pop song; and “A Man from the Past,” a great light pop tune. We think you’ll dig them all.

Ed Woltil's Paper Boats, A Reverie in Thirteen ActsEd Woltil – Paper Boats, A Reverie in Thirteen Acts. Ed Woltil, of course, is a member of the fine band the Ditchflowers. Ed’s solo album, a masterful collection of carefully considered and expertly delivered deeply-felt songs, is one of those records that stays with you after a single listen. Ed has done all of the heaviest lifting here: he wrote, performed, mixed and did some of the recording work along with Steve Connelly and Brian Merrill (also a Ditchflower). He also designed the lovely packaging which, in this day and age of instant downloads, grants him eternal sainthood. But it’s the music that matters most of all, and if you’re looking for great music, you’ve come to the right place. We are so in love with this record that we added the whole thing to the Pure Pop Radio playlist: “Algebra,” “Random Access Memory,” “Hiding in Plain Sight,” “If Somebody Loved Me,” “Someone Else’s Life,” “Illinois Sunset,” “The One and Only Anderson,” “Open,” “The Shortest Distance (Between Two Hearts),” “One in a Row,” “Foul Weather Friends,” “Boys,” and “Dance With Me One More Time.” A hall-of-fame-worthy release if ever there was one.

Billy J. Kramer's I Won the Fight

Billy J. Kramer – I Won the Fight. Old pro Billy J. Kramer, round about 50 years on from scoring on the charts with songs from John Lennon and Paul McCartney, is still in the music game, and on the basis of this wonderful new album, he should stay in the ring and keep turning out hit after hit after hit. Make no mistake, though: Kramer has his eye on the contemporary prize. While there is a certain retro charm to these songs, they were cut for a contemporary audience, who should greet them with open ears. We loved I Won the Fight so much that we added six songs to the Pure Pop Radio playlist, including “You Can’t Live on Memories,” Lennon-McCartney’s “I’m in Love”, “Sunsets of Santa Fe,” “You’re Right I’m Wrong,” and two versions of the very cool “To Liverpool With Love.”

Also added to the Pure Pop Radio playlist:

* Bubble Gum Orchestra – Beyond Time. We’re big fans of the Bubble Gum Orchestra. Adding songs from this latest BGO album was a no-brainer for us. If you’re new to BGO, and you’re a fan of the Electric Light Orchestra, you’ll be in heaven. The rest of you…well, you already know how good BGO is. We’d already added the first single, “ELO Forever”; we’ve added five more tunes, including “Return 2 4 Ever,” “Earth Below Me,” “I’m Coming Back Home,” “The World’s About to End,” and “Destination Home.” BGO is keeping the spirit and sound of ELO alive. Great job all around.

* The Paul and John – Inner Sunset. Musician and author Paul Myers has joined up with the Orange Peels’ John Moremen to produce an album full of great songs that you will want to revisit as soon as they’re done playing. We’ve added six songs to the Pure Pop Radio playlist: “Everything Comes Together,” “Hungry Little Monkey,” “Inner Sunset,” “Brickland,” “Can’t Be Too Careful,” and “Inner Sundown.”

* The Burgerheads – The Burgerheads. We go back through the mists of time to the late 1970′s and early 1980′s for some spectacularly catchy songs from a band that counted Klaatu’s Dee Long as guitarist, vocalist and keyboard player. We’re thrilled to add yet more music associated with Dee to the Pure Pop Radio playlist. We’ve got five great tunes now spinning in rotation: “On Her Own,” “New Summertime,” “Time,” “Jump and Dance,” and “Don’t Get Me Wrong.”

* Sunrise Highway – Windows. From this collection of strong, rock-flavored power pop and melodic pop tunes, we’ve added five addictive numbers: “Windows,” “Peter Pan,” “Foreverland,” “Big Mouth,” and “Sleeping City.” All melodic, full of deeply-felt hooks and widescreen vocal harmonies. Perfect for Pure Pop Radio and you.

That’s all for today, Pure Poppers. More to come tomorrow and Friday. Tune in to Pure Pop Radio all day and all of the night. We’re your original 24-hour-a-day melodic pop radio station on the Internet. Tune in by clicking on one of the handy listening links below.

 

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

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