Richard Barone Guests on Next Week’s Pure Pop Radio: In Conversation

Richard Barone

Richard Barone

Continuing our penchant for featuring only pop music’s brightest lights in talk and song, next week’s Pure Pop Radio: In Conversation features Richard Barone, who has consistently made great music with his band, The Bongos, and in his thriving solo career.

We spoke with Richard about a variety of topics, including his friendship with the late Pete Seeger and the late Tiny Tim; the re-release, on CD, of a classic Bongos album; details on Richard’s many ongoing projects; and much more. You’ll hear a few, choice classic cuts from both the Bongos years and Richard’s solo career.

Our latest, in-depth interview airs next Tuesday and Thursday at 8 pm ET on Pure Pop Radio. Don’t miss it!

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

It’s Mega Happy Day on Pure Pop Radio! 12 Artists…81 Tracks Now Added and in Rotation!

It's New!

It’s New!

Yes, that noise you heard was the lot of our playlist rotation genies adding 81 tracks from 12 super pop artists to the Pure Pop Radio playlist. Pat them on the back for a job very well done! Here’s the rundown:

* Various Artists – It Was 50 Years Ago Today: A Tribute to the Beatles, Vol. 3. Another installment of Bullseye Records’ great series paying tribute to the one and only Fab Four means more tracks for the Pure Pop Radio playlist. This time around, we’re glad to be able to add the following: Anger Brothers – “And Your Bird Can Sing,” Bentwood Rocker – “It Won’t be Long,” The Spongetones – “Being for the Benefit of Mr. Kite,” Terry Draper – “Til there Was You,” The Oohs – “You’re Gonna Lose that Girl,” Wendie Colter and Rob Laufer – “Here Comes the Sun,” and Yeah Yeah Yeah – “There’s a Place.”

* Mike Dees. We’ve chosen two songs from Mike’s Something Like Glitter album to add to the playlist: “AM Radio” and “Something Like Glitter.” Cool stuff.

* Matt Kabus. We added some songs from Matt the last time around. Now, we’ve added four more from this most talented singer-songwriter: “Roller Coaster,” “Crossroads,” “Fly Away,” and “Picture Frame” (from Matt Kabus EP #1).

We’ve also beefed up our stock of songs from the 1960’s and 1970’s, with a host of tunes from The Association, Harpers Bizarre and The Monkees. Here are the particulars:

* The Association. “Look at Me, Look at You,” “What Were the Words,” “Under Branches,” “Six Man Band,” and “Dubuque Blues” (from The Association); “Come On In,” “Everything that Touches You,” “Time for Livin’,” “Hear in Here,” and “Birthday Morning” (from Birthday); “Enter the Young,” “Don’t Blame It on Me,” “I’ll be Your Man,” “Along Comes Mary,” “Cherish,” and “Better Times” (from and then…along comes The Association); “No Fair at All” and “You Hear Me Call Your Name” (from Renaissance); “Wasn’t it a Bit Like Now (Parallel ’23),” “When Love Comes to Me,” “Windy,” “Wantin’ ain’t Gettin'” (from Insight Out); “Bring Yourself Home,” “P.F. Sloan,” “Travelers Guide (Spanish Flyer),” and “Seven Virgins” (from Stop Your Motor); “Names, Tags, Number and Labels,” “One Sunday Morning,” and “Dreamer” (from Just the Right Sounds – The Association Anthology); “Darling Be Home Soon,” “Indian Wells Woman,” and “Little Road and a Stone to Roll” (from Waterbeds in Trinidad).

* Harpers Bizarre. This much-loved ’60’s groups’ soft, melodic sounds get much love from Pure Pop Radio. We’ve added some of Harpers’ greatest hits and album tracks: “Come to the Sunshine,” and “59th Street Bridge Song (Feelin’ Groovy)” (from Feelin’ Groovy). Also, from the Now Sounds reissue of this album, three songs by the group from which Harpers Bizarre grew, The Tikis: “Pay Attention to Me,” “If I’ve Been Dreaming,” and “I’ll Never Forget About You.” Plus: “Anything Goes,” “Chattanooga Choo Choo,” “Hey, You in the Crowd,” “Louisiana Man,” “You Need a Change,” “High Coin,” and “Malibu U” (from Anything Goes); “Soft Soundin’ Music,” “Witchi Tai To,” “When the Band Begins to Play,” “Blackbird,” “All Through the Night,” and “Poly High” (from 4); “Mad,” “Both Sides Now,” and “The Drifter” (from The Secret Life of Harpers Bizarre).

* The Monkees. It’s pre-Fab Four time! We’ve added a whole host of numbers from Mike, Micky, Peter and Davy, including: “She,” “When Love Comes Knockin’ (At Your Door),” “Mary, Mary,” “(I’m Not Your) Steppin’ Stone,” Look Out (Here Comes Tomorrow),” and “I’m a Believer” (from More of the Monkees); “(Theme From) The Monkees,” “Saturday’s Child,” “Take a Giant Step,” and “Last Train to Clarksville” (from The Monkees); “Salesman,” “She Hangs Out,” “Cuddly Toy,” “What am I Doing Hangin’ ‘Round?,” “Pleasant Valley Sunday” (from Pisces, Aquarius, Capricorn & Jones Ltd.); “You Told Me,” “I’ll Spend My Life with You,” “Forget that Girl,” “For Pete’s Sake,” “Sunny Girlfriend,” “No Time,” “Randy Scouse Git” (from Headquarters); “Listen to the Band” (from The Monkees Present).

Pretty cool, huh? That’s it for today. Tune in to Pure Pop Radio and enjoy the newly-added sounds! And, as always, thanks for listening!

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

Win Brandon Schott and Andy Reed’s A-B Vinyl EP from Pure Pop Radio!

Brandon Schott and Andy Reed's vinyl release, the A-B EP

Brandon Schott and Andy Reed’s vinyl release, the A-B EP

It’s contest time again! Brandon Schott and Andy Reed’s great vinyl release, the A-B EP, was critically acclaimed right out of the gate, and for good reason. Delivering two wonderful, melodic pop songs apiece, Brandon and Andy instantly whetted the appetites of fans eager to see new albums from them.

Featuring four top-notch songs–Brandon’s “Henry” and “Verdugo Park (Part II),” and Andy’s “The Show Goes On” and “Good Girl”–the EP delivers a wonderful listening experience. And it’s on vinyl!

This EP can be yours if you throw your hat into the ring and enter our “Win the A-B EP” contest. Simply fill in the form below, and be sure to write “A-B EP” in the Comments field. We’ll choose one winner from all entries received by midnight ET on Sunday, February 23.

Good luck!

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

Pure Pop Radio: In Conversation Takes a Break This Week

Pure Pop Radio: In Conversation on PodOMatic!

Pure Pop Radio: In Conversation on PodOMatic!

Pure Pop Radio: In Conversation is taking a break this week. We’re recharging our batteries so we can bring you another outstanding, in-depth interview with one of melodic pop music’s greatest stars next week. To tide you over while we tidy up our studio and watch reruns of NYPD Blue, why not venture on over to our PodOMatic Podcast page and listen to or download some of our past chats? There are tons of programs to choose from…we think you’ll enjoy them all! Simply click on the link to the left and have at it!

We’ll be back with a new program next week. Until then, enjoy our past triumphs! Enjoy!

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

Beatles! Fabs! Oh My! Ken Michaels’ Every Little Thing Debuts Tonight at 9 PM ET on Pure Pop Radio! And…

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!

It’s finally here!

After weeks of highly-charged anticipation, the syndicated, one-hour version of Ken Michaels’ fab Beatles show Every Little Thing comes to Pure Pop Radio. Set your alarm clocks and crowing roosters for tonight at 9 pm ET. That’s when the Fabs–group and solo–and cool covers of your fave Beatles tunes will be blaring out of your speakers to fill your life with big-time joy! And try your hand at Ken’s weekly trivia question at the end of the show!

Every Little Thing will air each and every Monday at 9 pm ET on Pure Pop Radio. For this week only, because we’re celebrating the arrival of this great show, tonight’s edition will air once again this week–on Wednesday, February 19 at 8 pm ET! So you have two chances to hear what everybody’s talking about!

Ken Michaels, the Beatles and Pure Pop Radio–what a great combination! Enjoy!

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

Walter Clevenger Interview from Pure Pop Radio: In Conversation Posted on PodOMatic

The great Walter Clevenger!

The great Walter Clevenger!

Missed last week’s A-Z interview with the great Walter Clevenger? Fear not. This career spanning talk, which takes you through Walter’s life in music, from the first songs he heard and his early influences to getting his performing feet wet and overcoming obstacles as his life and art meet the future, is now posted on our PodOMatic podcast page. As always, you can listen or download, or you can do both! Simply click on the link below.

Enjoy, and thanks for listening!

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

Pure Pop Radio: In Conversation on PodOMatic!

Pure Pop Radio: In Conversation on PodOMatic!

Reviews from the Pages of buhdge…Chris Brown’s Now that You’re Fed

...from the pages of buhdge

…from the pages of buhdge

Here’s another in our continuing series of reviews from the pages of our former cyber home, buhdge. Chris Brown’s Now that You’re Fed was the happiest of surprises when it was released in 2006. A masterful soft pop album with gorgeous melodies and harmony vocal stacks that soared higher than high, its songs became staples of the weekly Pure Pop radio shows of the period and are still played on Pure Pop Radio today.

Chris Brown's Now that You're Fed

Chris Brown’s Now that You’re Fed

Chris Brown | Now that You’re Fed | (Self-released) (2006)

I’m pretty sure this is the earliest in a year that I’ve pegged the best-of race’s thoroughbred, but I’m confident in giving this year’s major domo nod to Chris Brown’s Now That You’re Fed, as good a soft-pop album as has come down the pike in eons. It may be only February, but I’m urging you to lay odds on this independent filmmaker’s debut foray into the solo music universe. Yes, it’s that good and, what’s more, it’s even better than that.

How much better? Brown has won awards for the work he produces during his day job. I can only assume he applies the same insane level of craft to his songs as he does to the stories he lenses and shows at various film festivals, so accomplished is his work.

Brown brings the whole package to the table: incredibly rich, harmony-drenched songs with a world-class poet’s attention to wordplay, textured with just the right amount of instrumentation and the sensitive touch of a vocalist floating butter-light and rich emotion within a hair’s breath of every note. Working with ex-Jellyfish bassist Chris Manning, who co-produced with Brown and also mixed these songs, the singer, the songwriter, the player and, yes, the visionary commingle to grand effect. You’ll hear allusions to Michael Penn, Elliot Smith and others, but make no mistake: Brown is his own man.

A great, perceptive artist is able to synthesize elements of his influences into his music while still remaining true to his own, singular voice, and Brown is no exception. There’s a hint of Beach Boys in the background vocal arrangement of the majestic “I Won’t Ask Why,” of California pop in the opening, folk-pop-influenced “Right On Time,” and of sixties harmony kings the Association in the richly-choralized love song “Waiting for Caroline.”

The secret to Brown’s abilities lies within the brief, quirky “Tummy Ache,” its gorgeous melody rightly sung solo, eschewing any window dressing as it spins the tale of a lover who can attend to the simplest of things–a “pillow for your feet/A glass of water for the table”–but can’t step up to the plate on an emotional platform (“I can’t help you when you wake/I can’t even stop your tummy ache”). Brown’s skill is his way of making his music and lyrics intertwine, work as one, on the same level, and this song is a perfect example of the heights he can and does achieve.

Even better, though, is the aforementioned “I Won’t Ask Why,” a brilliant, beautifully built song about keeping one’s distance in a relationship that’s bound by duality. What separates a united heart? Is there ever a place to hide where you won’t be found, rubbed the wrong way, pushed and pulled apart? Brown constructs vivid images to muddy the waters and question where the listener’s sensibilities may lie. My favorite: “The men from People magazine/Came out to photograph the teen/In her Italian limousine/Exchanging vows with Augustine/They came to wipe her conscience clean/With Ivory soap and gasoline.”

The moral of the story? Nothing will truly clean true emotions; nothing can strip truth from an emotional veneer. For his part, the singer is content to step back and not lay his heart on the line: “Visions roll past me as I die/Vacation snapshots past my eye/The day we met down at the Y/You’re silent now, I won’t ask why.” Brown builds to the song’s conclusion repeating the central melody over and over, new thoughts bound to it, exploring more ways out, with an empty din.

Now and then, Brown throws a monkey wrench into the mix, as with the warped cha-cha of “In the Kitchen.” Smack in the middle of the song, he suddenly changes gears with a decidedly-Sugarplastic flourish, which he follows up OMD-meets-Xavier Cougat style, ripping into the sudden accordion cold stop of an ending. The expansively envisioned, practically symphonic pop song “Not Gonna Make It Easy” spins waves of harmonies as it sketches out the steps to never taking the easy way out. Brown’s considerable way with words is particularly evident here, as when the singer notes “My kid’s an individual/I’m only secretarial/Popping corn and waiting for the burial.”

Indeed, Brown’s way with words is quite sound, which helps to separate him from his peers. These days, lyrics are too often tossed off, or simply inconsequential; no such thing going on here. Along with his wonderful melodies and perfectly-chosen words, Brown shows that he is leader of the pack. This stunning debut proves this in a big way. Essential listening, then.

Alan Haber
February 20, 2006

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