Alan Haber's Pure Pop Radio is the premier website covering the melodic pop scene with in-depth reviews of new and new-to-you releases. Pure Pop Radio plays the greatest melodic pop in the universe 24 hours a day.
As we prepare to close the books on 2014 and 2015, with its promise of good things on the horizon ready to light our lives, waits in the wings to makes its debut, we pause to reflect on the bounty of great music and gobs of joy that made our days brighter these past 12 months.
As is our year-end tradition here at Pure Pop Radio, we leave you in the capable hands of two of our most learned philosophers, Calvin and Hobbes. As you accompany them on their journey across the empty canvas that leads to their coming adventures, join us in a chorus of an early, beloved song from the Beatles–one of the classic creations that set us off on our musical path all of those so very precious years ago.
See you next week with a look back at the year past and the promise of new music, reviews and other such statements of purpose as we take off from the starting gate and greet the new year with outstretched arms, and a big old smile on our faces. For 2015 is our blank canvas, and we’re ready to set off for new adventures!
The tree is trimmed, the wreath is hung, festive feelings are in the air and snow is in our memories (because there is no snow in the forecast). Magic is all around us as we prepare to dive into our second annual Holiday Popapalooza, which begins tomorrow, December 24, at noon ET and continues through all of Christmas day. We’ve added six extra hours of fun this year for a total of 36 straight hours of very cool Christmas pop music to help you celebrate the season in style.
We’ve got you covered while you trim your tree, wrap presents, drink eggnog, and cuddle under the covers in front of the fireplace while you wait for Santa to arrive. We’ve got your official seasonal soundtrack from your favorite melodic pop artists and crooners throughout the years. We’ve got jangle and a whole lot of jingle. And, we’ve got a ton of specially-recorded holiday IDs and jingles from the singers and songwriters that electrify the melodic pop universe year round. In all, we’ve added nearly 200 new songs and IDs and jingles this year for the most variety of any holiday radio broadcasts around the world.
We hope you will tune your ears to this very special, 36-hour-long broadcast. Remember that you can listen on the go by downloading our apps for listening with Android and iOS devices (see below for link). Our Holiday Popapalooza has been a long time in the making. Our elves and other helpers have been working hard to bring an avalanche of cheer to you, our faithful listeners. We hope you have a great time and we wish you all the best for the holidays. Happy Christmas to you, one and all!
(Check out our Facebook event page and become an official part of our Holiday Popapalooza event! Click here to be magically transported!)
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!
In a lovingly curated “Songs Your Grandmother Should Know” theme set on tonight’s edition of Every Little Thing, Ken Michaels spins three songs each from Ringo Starr and Paul McCartney’s standards albums, Sentimental Journey and Kisses on the Bottom.
The memories get in fab gear starting at 9 pm ET on Pure Pop Radio. But before the standards start to spin, Ken opens up the show with a quartet of classics from the Beatles, George Harrison, Roberta Flack and Eric Clapton. The Fabs’ “The Ballad of John and Yoko” gets the proceedings off to a great, rockin’ start.
In tonight’s second segment, Ken gets into an Anthologies mood, with tracks from the Beatles’ and John Lennon’s collections. You’ll hear the Beatles run through “I am the Walrus,” and Lennon take a stab at “One Day at a Time.” The Mop Tops close out the set with “P.S. I Love You.”
It’s all for you tonight at 9 pm ET on Ken Michaels’ Every Little Thing. The place? Your home for the greatest melodic pop music in the universe, Pure Pop Radio.
(Win a copy of Here Comes the Reign Again: The Second British Invasion and a Reign t-shirt by filling in the form below. Be sure to type “Reign” in the Comments section. There is a quick turnaround on this contest: Entries must be received by tomorrow night, December 12, at midnight ET. The winner will be chosen on Saturday, December 13. Good luck!)
Producer Andrew Curry, who released his first compilation, Drink a Toast to Innocence: A Tribute to Lite Rock, in April of 2013, follows up in relatively short order with Here Comes the Reign Again: The Second British Invasion. While he’s billed as executive producer of Reign, Curry is better dubbed master curator, or perhaps more appropriately, caretaker of decades gone by.
Dipping this time into the musical waters flowing through the ’80s, Curry has assembled a sterling group of contemporary artists to pay tribute to and/or apply a new coat of paint on songs that were first released more than three decades ago. It is a testament to these songs–and, if Curry knows anything, he knows that the song is job one–that they retain their fortitude so long after first being heard.
To that end, Fountains of Wayne frontman Chris Collingwood turns in a spirited, lovingly rendered version of the Dream Academy’s “Life in a Northern Town,” supported by luscious background vocals from Phillip Price and Flora Reed from Winterpills; The Corner Laughers soup up the beat as they apply their particular magic to Madness’ “Our House”; and Big-Box Store takes a wholly different approach to Kim Wilde’s frenetic “Kids in America,” slowing it down and infusing it with a heartfelt dose of passion.
Jim Boggia and Pete Donnelly turn Adam Ant’s cheeky “Goody Two Shoes” inside out, applying a faux-military drum part and making every note count for a kind of jazzy workout. Similarly, the Davenports dress Wham’s “Freedom” up in power pop overalls, thereby upping the song’s catchy quotient. And Linus of Hollywood puts every ounce of emotion at his disposal into his take on Daryl Hall’s classic “Everytime You Go Away,” originally waxed by Paul Young.
The first lesson one learns listening to compilations such as this is that some aspect of everything you hear today can be traced back to something that came before. The spirit of these songs, denizens of radio first tuned into so long ago, lives on in these new versions of favored classics. The second lesson? Good songs never die, and as chosen and curated by master compilation craftsman Curry, they still rock and roll and fill your body and soul. And in the form of this Reign, they make a great, collective stocking stuffer. – Alan Haber
Everyone’s excited about Pure Pop Radio’s Holiday Popapalooza–even Santa and his reindeer can’t wait until the sounds of cheery jingle and jangle hit the airwaves at noon ET on Christmas Eve day!
Come Dasher, come Dancer, come Donner and Blitzen and Brian Wilson and Christian Phillips and the Beatles and Bill Lloyd and Cliff Hillis and the Grip Weeds and the JAC and the Ramones, the Spongetones and the Butties and hundreds of other artists and songs of the season! Come one and all to your Internet radios and computers for 36 straight hours of holiday joy punctuated by a snow-covered mountain’s worth of melody and harmony! Come for the music and don’t forget to bring the mistletoe!
Pure Pop Radio’s Holiday Popapalooza kicks off at noon ET on December 24 and continues straight through to 11:59 pm on Christmas Day.New this year: Custom IDs and jingles from many of your favorite melodic pop artists. Assembled by our team of music-minded elves, our merry mix of classic Christmas favorites and contemporary holiday song craft will provide the soundtrack for the happiest time of the year. And rejoice in the knowledge that this year, you can take our Holiday Popapalooza with you wherever you go by downloading our handy apps for listening on Android and iOS devices. See the link below to take the music with you!
Why not ride your sleigh to our Facebook event page and join your fellow melodic pop music fans in the happiest holiday event of the season? Click here to be magically transported. And keep a lookout for updates and pictures and all sorts of goodies leading up to the big event: Pure Pop Radio’s Holiday Popapalooza.
Grab a glass of egg nog, wear your favorite Christmas sweater proudly, and join us on December 24 for a good time that will be had by all. Music, memories, and Pure Pop Radio make the holiday season bright!
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!
Join Ken Michaels tonight at 9 pm ET for a very special edition of Every Little Thing. Ken rolls out a joyous salute to Harry Nilsson, amongst other fab happenings.
Show number 42 kicks off with another varied set of Beatles and solo Beatles tunes. The fun begins with “Ac-cent-tchu-ate the Positive” from Paul McCartney’s Kisses on the Bottom album and continues with such great tracks as George Harrison’s “Piggies,” as waxed by the Beatles.
Segment two presents a cool two-fer from McCartney and Ringo Starr. Ken dips into a pool of tracks from 1977: Wings’ hard rockin’ “Girls’ School” and Ringo’s “Can She Do It Like She Dances.”
Stay tuned for Ken’s third, themed segment which pays tribute to Harry Nilsson with tracks from John Lennnon, Mary Hopkin, Ringo, and Nilsson himself. Dig the warm vibes of Mary Hopkin’s version of “Puppy Song” and Lennon’s version of his and Harry’s “Old Dirt Road.” It’s a spectacular treat, as only Ken can deliver.
It’s all on Pure Pop Radio tonight. The Beatle bell rings at 9 pm ET. See you then!
We check in this Friday afternoon with a super-cool two-fer (plus one) add to the Pure Pop Radio playlist. Be like our cool pal pictured above and marvel at today’s tuneful treasures:
The Hangabouts | Illustrated Bird Remixed and remastered from a previous digital-only release, and sporting a previously-unheard song recorded at the original album sessions, the Hangabouts’ Illustrated Bird delivers some truly catchy songs in which the band members, John Lowry and Greg Addington, are obviously invested (new member Chip Saam oversaw this re-release project). You’ll hear influences from far (America) to wide (The Lilac Time, the Red Button and the Byrds) that help to bring some infectious melodies to life. We’ve added eight songs: “Roman Forum,” “Cut Down,” “Love Nothing,” “Illustrated Bird,” “She Hates You,” “Missing in Action,” “Forest for the Trees,” and “Go to Sleep.” Dreamy.
Vanilla | “Hold Me Like a Grudge” The latest song unveiled along the way toward the release of Vanilla’s forthcoming blockbuster album, “Hold Me Like a Grudge” is perhaps the ultimate “It’s her fault!” tune and another sterling example of the kind of top-notch songcraft being practiced by Jayson Jarmon and his pals. When Vanilla 2.0 is released, you’re going to be blown away. (Thanks to Jayson for this radio edit.)
The Rip Off Artists | The Intercontinental From Nick Pipitone and Peter Batchelder comes their second album as the Rip Off Artists. The Intercontinental is a collection of good old fashioned pop songs sporting catchy melodies and deep hooks, which makes it the kind of fare that Pure Pop Radio listeners crave. Dig the six songs we’ve added to our playlist: the cleverly titled “Inside the Actor’s Studio Apartment,” “Mr. Right and Mrs. Right,” “Worst Case Scenario,” “The Tennis Instructor,” “Bachelor of Arts,” and “The Day that I Disappeared.”
We’ll be back next week with more adds to our playlist, possibly a review, and who knows what else? See you then!
We’re back on this fine Thursday afternoon with more adds to the Pure Pop Radio playlist. Much more music is the name of our game. We’ve scoured the Earth for the latest and greatest melodic pop music that would complement the more than 5,600 songs we already have playing in rotation, and we’ve come up with some more great stuff.
So here, without further ado, are the latest adds to the Pure Pop Radio playlist, with more to come almost before you know it:
DC Cardwell | Pop Art The singer-songwriter and multi-instrumentalist’s first album in four years, following the exquisite Some Hope, is another fine collection of melodic pop songs delivered with inspiration and imagination. We’ve added four wonderful songs in advance of the album’s February 2015 general release: “In the Cloud,” “Don’t Know Why,” “The Sun, the Moon, the Stars,” and “Magic for Everybody.” Lovely melodies and vocals abound, and dig the beat in the gorgeous, McCartney-esque “Magic for Everybody.” 2015 is already getting off to a good start, and 2014 isn’t finished yet!
Yorktown Lads | $200 E.P. On October 21, we added to our playlist seven songs from this band’s debut album, Songs about Girls and Other Disasters. Now, not even two weeks later, we’re adding all four songs from the Lads’ second release–songs which came about after four folks who donated $200 each toward the band’s Kickstarter campaign chose to be gifted, in return, with a song written and recorded for them. One of the songs was written by one of the donators; the other three are Lads originals. All are now spinning in rotation: “Ping Pong,” “Carpet Kit,” “Best Side of Me,” and “Anna Borg.” This band is a real treat.
Danny Medakovic | Jolley Cut This longtime producer and engineer steps out in front of the microphone for a wonderful collection of melodic pop songs, colored with a country brush, that listeners will love. Affecting and soulful, the five songs we’ve added to the playlist will touch your heart: “The Hardest Part,” “Jolley Cut,” “Rewind,” “Crooked Hill,” and “Ode to Bob.” A surprise submission to Pure Pop Radio that really sings.
Lunchbox | Lunchbox Loves You This is smashingly vibrant melodic pop from a band new to our ears. Charm is the name of the game here; expect to look in the mirror and be greeted with a wide smile. We’ve added six songs to our playlist: “Everybody Knows,” “Tom, What’s Wrong,” “What You Don’t Know Won’t Hurt You,” “It Feels Good to Lose,” “Another Dance Floor,” and “I Go Mad.” Hooks galore–enough to fill a big ol’ tackle box, as they say.
The LSB Experience | The Experience Fans of exquisite vocal harmony matched with genuinely catchy songs will embrace the LSB Experience with a great big hug of love. This Netherlands trio is closest in sound to the American west coast vocal band Venice at the same time as they stretch out in different musical directions. From the LSB Experience’s new album, we’ve added eight songs: “I Was Blind,” “Only a Dream,” “The Land of the Living,” “Little Princess,” I Wish I Could Tell You,” “Little Treasure,” “The Cry of Love,” and “This Song.” Quite beautiful and rather essential.
We hope you enjoy today’s list of new adds to our playlist. More new adds coming very soon!
With just over three weeks until sleigh bells, ornaments, Christmas cookies, and visits from Grandma and Grandpa and Santa Claus blanket our lives, we have our collective eyes on new songs and artists just added to the Pure Pop Radio playlist. And here it comes…your early holiday gift, with more on the way tomorrow. Today’s bounty of new music on our air, all wrapped up in a festive box full of holiday cheer, is now spinning in rotation.
What’s in the box? Why, the following:
Preoccupied Pipers | “Optimist John” and Rhythm Akimbo | “Old Trope Academy” Musical whiz kid KC Bowman, who’s been a part of Pure Pop Radio playlists since his solo debut, Fresher Tin Villages, emerged on the scene in 1998, pops up on both of these songs, hitherto unknown (at least to us) and likely to you, too. Preoccupied Pipers’ members were drawn from locations far and wide and mostly picked from the ashes of a band called Lawsuit. Rhythm Akimbo was a college band described as working within the genres of “bubblegum, buttrock, reggae, ska and hosefunk.” All of which hardly or properly describes these two classic slices of melodic pop that we are proud to be bringing to you in rotation. More of KC’s musical exploits, waxed prior to his current stints in Agony Aunts and the Corner Laughers, are coming soon to this very same collection of airwaves. This guy has quite the history, and we aim to bring it to you in all of its hook-filled detail.
The Reed Brothers | “Trampoline” The first song from the long-awaited new EP from Andy Reed and his brother Jason, aka the Reed Brothers, is a dreamy, tender ballad with lovely backing vocals. You can practically feel the ache in the notes and words. The gorgeous slide guitar solo, bathed in an ever-so-slight echo, is worth the price of admission all by itself. You know how much we love a good tune. This is one of them. Now spinning in rotation.
Trees and Timber | Hello, My Name is Love and Electric Gypsy Lovechild Many thanks to Wayne Lundqvist Ford from the Ice Cream Power Pop and More show for sending Trees and Timbers’ Joe Baker to us. We’re now big fans of Trees and Timber’s crowd-pleasing brand of melodic pop. Reference point punters may hear a bit and a splash of the Sugarplastic in this wonderful mix, but all we hear is good pop music. We’ve added five songs from Trees and Timber’s fine release, which drops on December 9: “Wolf and Sheep,” “Eskimo Son,” “Home Away from Home,” “Believe in Soon,” and “Future History.” From the band’s 2013 EP Electric Gypsy Lovechild, we’ve added the very cool “On the Bus.” Very nice work indeed.
The Cool Whips | Goodies Searching for a bookend partner for the Cherry Drops’ Everything’s Groovy? Look no further than the bubblegum-coated nuggets that populate Goodies, from Portland, Oregon’s The Cool Whips.Goodies pops the house with a dozen earworms passing catchy hooks toward your ears. We’ve added five very cool tunes to the Pure Pop Radio playlist, including “Tickle Me with a Featherduster,” “On the Seesaw,” “Pink Lemonade,” “Where Can that One Girl Be,” and “Boom-Shang-a-Lang.” Spinning happily in rotation presently.
The Dead Girls | Noisemaker The just-released Noisemaker puts the power in power pop, delivering an album’s worth of catchy, muscular, hook-filled gems. We’re featuring seven of these songs, including “Better Wait,” “What It Takes to Be Unseen,” “Live by Default,” “We Won’t Make the World End,” “Dress Up Dress Down,” “Calling You Around,” and the tender ballad “Sun and Moon.” This is a really fine album that’s the final slab of wax from this Kansas band. Sorry to hear that, folks.
We hope you enjoy hearing the latest adds to our ever-growing playlist. Check back here tomorrow to see what else we’ve added this week.