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The fifth song in Timmy Sean’s Songs of the Week series emerges squarely from the could-have-been-on-Paul-McCartney’s-first-or-second-solo-album camp.
“Hold It Strong” has all of the elements needed for you to be able to slap a “Very McCartney-esque” stamp on it. The song starts out with Timmy’s emotional vocal up front in the mix atop an equally emotional piano part. Timmy’s falsetto, at the end of the second vocal line, is followed by some lovely background vocal harmonies and strings, which are followed by phased guitar and steady drums and a lovely bridge that leads to the catchy chorus, sung in harmony as the singer pledges his support for a loved one. The guitar solo, also phased, wows.
This is one heck of a song, one heck of a performance, and…well, it’s a keeper. Timmy worked up until the last minute finishing the recording and mixing. It was all worth it–this may be the best in the beginning crop of Songs of the Week we’ve heard so far.
Of “Hold It Strong,” Timmy says: “The chords and melody of this one pre-date Noisewater (in fact, the pre-chorus uses one of the Noisewater ‘melody themes’ that run through a number of songs on that record). It’s one of several songs from that time period that I’ve had sitting around with just a bare-bones recording of drums, piano, bass, and ‘scratch’ vocals, with a few lyric and melody ideas just so I don’t forget them.”
What a performance. What a song. What a project, and we’re only in week five. We can’t, and we know you can’t either, wait for the next 47 numbers. See you back here next week for number 6 in the series! And be sure to pick this one up from Timmy’s Bandcamp page. And new today is a subscription plan that will pay great dividends–you can get a heaping helping of Timmy’s releases, even from his Luzer days, by clicking here. Highly recommended!
by Alan Haber (See below for 35 songs that have been added to the Pure Pop Radio Playlist)
The act of musicians paying tribute to a favorite artist’s art for the purposes of expressing adulation and exposing some other idea or sound to fans is not a new concept, but it is a great and honored tradition that is happily carried out by adept craftspeople who know a thing or two about quality and wish to communicate their joy.
In the case of musicians paying their respect to the Beach Boys (and Jan and Dean and others that have blossomed under the California sun), it is a longstanding tradition that continues to this day. Witness XTC’s spot-on “Pale and Precious” as an example from years back, and point to the work of current pop artisans like Dave Caruso, who captures the Boys of Summer’s sound and spirit in the audio bottle known as “Champion,” and Dana Countryman, whose vocal arrangements evoke the kind of depth of construction favored by the Beach Boys’ central spirit, Brian Wilson. And also factor in the songs of The Dukes of Surf, Hawaii based and steeped in the same melodic tradition.
All of this adulation and expressing the joy of influence would mean nothing at all if artists didn’t infuse their loving tributes with a piece of their own hearts. In the case of Matt Tyson–singer, songwriter, artist and such a smart cookie–heart is the center of the attention he gives to what has come before. In his music, Matt starts with the central concept of the meeting of minds between melody and harmony. He constructs a framework within which he plants the spark that gives birth to the idea that grows the song and places the cherry–an explosion of sweet vocalizing–on top. That’s not easy to do; Matt pulls the whole deal off as if it were second nature to him. And it probably is.
The Philadelphia Inquirer has reported that, prior to making the album Goodbye Jumbo in a studio with better equipment than he was used to, World Party’s Karl Wallinger recorded “…a lot of Beatles and Beach Boys songs… His goal was to figure out exactly how those records were made.” In Matt’s case, he probably listened, greatly admired the Beach Boys sound and, knee deep in that euphoria, started sculpting songs that would celebrate his joy. The point is, I think, he figured it out.
Playing all of the instruments and singing all of the vocals himself about 99.9 percent of the time, Matt tucks his influences in his pocket and turns out song after song kissed by golden sunshine. Matt’s latest album, Summertime Girls, begins with a gorgeous Jan and Dean-inspired a cappella opening to “My Old Bel Air.” The harmony stack is deep; if the six seconds it takes to get through that a cappella bit were all the song had to offer, it would probably be enough to satisfy. But there is the song–a car song, no less, that is all about the love for the 1950s version of the hovercraft. “All these custom cars, yeah they look real nice/They sit around at shows for a trophy prize/But my ’57 Chevy is not for show/It’s old and worn but always ready to go,” Matt sings. The song is a tribute to an ideal that still resonates: The things that define us in our lives matter.
In another car song on Summertime Girls, Matt tells the story of the “Five Window Coupe.” Anchored by Brian Wilson influence, the singer takes listeners on a detailed tour of his ’34 Coupe. “Nothing can touch my Plymouth five window Coupe,” he sings over a decidedly considered, slowed down beat, laying on the harmonies as if they were the main ingredient in the icing slathered on top of a delicious, five-layer chocolate cake. These songs are about more than cars: Girls figure into the landscape, too. In the title song, Matt’s mix of joyous harmonies and Hal Blaine-styled drumming takes you to the summer soaked beach to check out the scenery.
The same attention to detail is paid to all manner of songs on all of Matt’s albums like 2007’s Keep an Eye On. “My Car, My Board and You” sums up the summer scene of the mind in beautiful ballad style, with Matt’s usual vocal and instrumental dexterity in tow. And let’s not forget the melodies–dreamy, three-dimensional, and true. “The Calm Song,” a co-write with Barry Thomson, who played all of the instruments, is nothing less than a perfect pocket symphony with surprising and satisfying changes. It is a musical marvel sporting swirling harmony constructs and room to breathe. The a cappella parts particularly shine and delight.
Now!, from 2008, begins with a lovely, upbeat, summer soaked love song to a girl named Marianne (“Marianne (Makes Everything Different)”) and continues with a wonderful Beach Boys-meets-Jan and Dean nod (“Fun When the Weekend Comes”). On 2010’s Malibu Jukebox, Matt celebrates the whole ball of wax that figures into his songs with the catchy, name-checking vibe of “The Ooh Wah Song.” 2009’s California Myth is another total melodic celebration, with great girl songs (the upbeat “Judy Knows Malibu,” and “My Kind of Girl,” percussion heavy with a layer of sleigh bells and a punctuating bass line that could have been waxed at Gold Star). Add to that a whole lot of spirit. Catch a wave, anybody?
It is rare to come across an artist whose vision is as true as that which fuels the songs that populate these albums. In Matt Tyson’s music, the art of homage, and of reinvention, is at the heart of all things. In our lives, adept craftspeople like Matt Tyson are important–vital, even, as they lift our spirits when they need lifting, which may well be more often than not these days. It is all about the art, and the state of the art is just fine.
[We’ve added 35 songs from five of Matt Tyson’s albums. All are now playing in rotation on Pure Pop Radio. The breakdown: “My Old Bel Air,” “Down by the Beach,” “Summertime Girls,” “Five Window Coupe,” “Aloha Wagon,” and “Only in My Dreams” (from Summertime Girls, 2014); “The Ooh Wah Song,” “Belief,” “Cars, Surfboard and Girls,” “You Shoulda Been Here Yesterday,” “Playin’ in the Sun,” and “That Kind of Girl” (from Malibu Jukebox, 2010); “I Just Can’t Reach the Beach,” “California Myth,” “Felicity,” “Land Lovin’ Beauty,” “Top Down,” “The Big Kahuna,” and “Judy Knows Malibu” (from California Myth, 2009); “Marianne (Makes Everything Different),” “Fun When the Weekend Comes,” “You Know What I Mean,” “Go Little Malibu,” “New Girl in the Neighborhood,” and “MCMXLV” (from Now!, 2008); “Keep an Eye On Gina,” “It Don’t Mean Much Now,” “My Car, My Board and You,” “Surf’s Up,” “Wish I Was the Sunshine,” “Ride With Me,” “The Calm Song,” “Tell the Teacher I’m Surfin’,” “Summertime,” and “Lucky in Love” (from Keep an Eye On, 2007)]
For your wonderful Wednesday, we’ve got a short and sweet, but no less wild and wooly stack of wax–a triumphant trio of platters that matter!–to roll out to your ears. Without any further ado, let’s get to it!
New and currently spinning in rotation on Pure Pop Radio (more coming tomorrow):
Ryan Allen and His Extra Arms | Heart String Soul With this exhilarating followup to 2011’s Ryan Allen and His Extra Arms, Ryan and his arms prove that they’re no longer the best kept secret in power pop. Heart String Soul has enough oomph and pomp and confidence to blow the doors off your grandma’s shack in the woods. It’s a heck of a record and a heck of an achievement and, heck, we’ll just have to add six great tracks to the Pure Pop Radio playlist, including the pure pop confection “Keep Me Around,” the blistering power pop anthem “Looking Forward to Looking Back,” and the made-for radio, straight-ahead pop of “Should Be Me.” Also now playing in rotation: “Born Radical,” “Not Hanging Out,” and the sensitive ballad that closes the album, “Bonded by Blood.” Destined to be a favorite with many a pop fan, Heart String Souldrops March 25. It’s pretty great.
Jonathan Rundman | Jonathan Rundman Just last Wednesday, we added tracks from Jonathan Rundman’s new album, Look Up. Here we are again with tracks from Jonathan’s 2011 self-titled release, a compilation of various tracks recorded between 2000 and 2010. A few are remixed from earlier album appearances and a few are previously unreleased, but most will be familiar to Rundmaniacs (to coin a phrase). All told, the 20 songs included here kind of sum up the various forms of pop out there in the world today. Rundman’s a master craftsman, for sure. We’ve added 10 tunes: “Smart Girls,” “Librarian,” “Surgical Precision,” “581,” “I Thought You Were Mine,” the sorta-kinda absurdity-meets-tenderness vibe of “Dialysis Carpool,” “Kuortane,” “The Serious Kind,” “You Never Last Where You Land,” and “If You Have a Question.” Fine work from a mighty fine pop purveyor. Dig this now.
Gretchen’s Wheel | Fragile State Lindsay Murray combines facility in both pop and rock music on this captivating album stacked tall with great, powerful songs that really resonate. Aided by Posie Ken Stringfellow, who plays various instruments and sings backing vocals, and drummer Ira Elliot, Fragile State is represented on Pure Pop Radio by two standout tracks: “Second to Last” and “My Lullaby.”
As we said above, short and sweet, but no less grand. Be back here tomorrow for more new adds to the Pure Pop Radio playlist.
There are songs and there are songs–in the here and now, we’re so digging the Davenports’ new one, “Don’t Be Mad at Me,” currently spinning in our rotation, that it’s getting in the way of our getting any work done. That’s a good thing, by the way. It’s like the new Beatles record has landed and, as the fade recedes, we start it up again and get into the gorgeous melody; the inventive, caressing harmonies; and that rockin’ guitar solo at the end. Pure bliss.
That’s what a great pop song does when all of the stars line up perfectly above: it takes you away or, more accurately, it reels you inside of itself and, in an instant, you’re there. Read our review here, if you missed it.
Meanwhile, “Don’t Be Mad at Me” isn’t the only song making us smile and thank the heavens that we’re in this business of writing about and broadcasting the greatest melodic pop music in the universe. Yes, it’s New Music Tuesday, and we’ve got a whole lot of great things to make you smile.
We begin as we dash and pray for surf, so to speak, with two releases each from masters of the Beach Boys form–folks who know how to craft the kind of sounds that make the hairs on the back of your neck stand up and shout, “Now that’s my kind of music!”
The Dukes of Surf | The Dukes of Surf and Surf, Love and Rock ‘n Roll JP, Fish and Jimmy, riding the crest of an infectious musical wave from their Honolulu, Hawaii base, are wowing us with their take on harmony-drenched, Beach Boys-styled songs with a dash of Chuck Berry and the Archies thrown in for good measure. Their top-notch albums are surfing home runs; fans of John Hunter Phillips (see below), Dana Countryman and Dave Caruso, themselves prime purveyors of melodic musical masterpieces, will find a whole lot to love here. So grab your surfboards, leave the hodads behind, and tune in to Pure Pop Radio to hear, in rotation, 15 songs from a group we’ve quickly grown to cherish: “Surf, Love and Rock ‘n Roll,” “Surfin’ in Hawaii,” “Coconuts,” “Fallin’ in Love,” “Baby Don’t Say Goodnight,” “Leilanai,” “Surf Crazy” (from Surf, Love and Rock ‘n Roll); “Waikiki,” “Island Girls,” “Heavy Duty Chevy,” “Doo-Bee-Doo,” “Summer of Love,” “Daydream,” “Shooby Doop Baby,” and “Sukiyaki” (from The Dukes of Surf). Surf’s up on Pure Pop Radio! Bonus: We’ve also added the very cool and catchy track, “Oli Oli Sun,” recorded for travel services company JTB Hawaii’s Oli Oli buses. Sweet!
John Hunter Phillips | It’s About Time and Diamonds on the Beach In 2014, John Hunter Phillips released what we called “the best Beach Boys album…from a man who’s not actually in the Beach Boys, but has sung on stage with the band.” That’s really all you need to know, other than we’ve got John’s two, earlier albums in hand and we’ve added a total of 17 songs from them to our playlist. As with the Dukes of Surf, John trades in Boys of Summer-styled tunes with rich harmonies, great melodies and a love for the kind of music that makes people smile all over the world. The new additions to our playlist include originals and covers: “You’re Never Alone,” “The Girl In the Rear-View Mirror,” “You Need a Mess of Help to Stand Alone,” “Heaven,” “Don’t Worry, Baby,” “Darlin’,” “Their Hearts Were Full of Spring,” “Let It Shine,” and “The Laughter of Your Voice” (from It’s About Time); “Do It Again,” “Labaina Aloha,” “Susie Cincinnati,” “God Only Knows,” “Marcella,” “Keepin’ the Summer Alive,” Rockin’ All Over the World,” and “Sail On Sailor” (from Diamonds on the Beach).
We go from the beach to the sunny shores of Austin, Texas for our next group of newly-added-to-the-playlist gems…
Kaliyo One of our absolutely favorite artists, Andrea Perry, whose latest album 4 was released in 2013 and is currently in rotation on our air, teamed up with singer and songwriter Sarah Sharp in October 2010. Together, they have written more than 50 wonderful, super melodic songs that were used in TV shows and ad campaigns. And now you can hear them too, as part of our ever-growing rotation of melodic pop songs living and breathing in the universe. From the Motown pop vibe of the vibrant “Drive” to the mid-tempo balladry of the gorgeous “Life is Perfect,” we predict you will be entranced. The great songs now being heard on Pure Pop Radio: “I’ll Be Yours,” “Life is Perfect,” “Maybe Someday,” “Deep Girl,” “Drive,” “Here We Go Again,” “If You Come Over,” “Let It Flow,” “Pieces,” “Shine,” “The One U Love 2 Love,” and “Trapeze.” Simply beautiful.
Adam Walsh | “Gentle on My Mind,” “Old Time River Man,” and “Rainy Day Woman” Talent quite obviously runs in the Walsh family. Adam Walsh is the nephew of Thomas Walsh, who fronts one of Pure Pop Radio’s favorite groups, Pugwash. Adam is mighty talented, as evidenced by the three tracks he recorded himself this month in his home studio. Acoustic guitars, banjo and that golden voice make these songs come alive. “Gentle on My Mind” was, of course, a big hit for Glen Campbell; “Old Time River Man” was written and recorded by John Hartford; and “Rainy Day Woman” was written and recorded by Waylon Jennings. Adam injects a pop sensibility into his versions of these classic songs; we’re proud to be featuring them in rotation. More please, and sooner than later.
New Sincerity Works | 44 Mike Tittel, who plays drums for our longtime musical pal Roger Klug’s Power Trio, comes out of the gate swinging with a great set of songs that “showcases pop melodies that meet Americana and ’80s new wave music in a raw, emotional mashup,” according to New Sincerity Works’ website. That works for us, but we’d want to add that these songs are infused with a strong sense of honesty, too. And, we should mention, Mike sounds like a distant cousin of Alex Chilton. So, curl up with the power pop of “American Beauty Works,” the driving force of the insistent, melodic “Nowhere Ohio,” and five more top-flight songs now playing in rotation: “Desperate,” “Photographs,” “Drunk for Nothing,” “Less Me, Less You,” and “The Next Time.” Power pop for now people, we declare.
Mark Britton | Odds and Sodd Set the melodic pop pot on the stove, stir in dashes of the Beatles, Harry Nilsson, Randy Newman and Eric Carmen and you get the wonderful songs of Mark Britton. We’ve added a half-dozen delightful numbersto our playlist: the Beatles-ish “Hearts and Minds,” the Nilsson-esque “Sally Ann” and “Dear Rosa,” and three more captivating tunes: “Let’s Get Famous,” “Long Live Memory Lane,” and “Family Guy.” We’re thrilled to be acquainted and in big time love with Mark’s music. You, we predict, will be too.
Mary Caroline | Life on Earth Here’s a sweet surprise from Yellowknife in Canada’s Northwest Territories: Mary Caroline’s Life on Earth, a marvelous debut album that was waxed at Catherine North Studios in Hamilton, Ontario this past summer. According to Mary’s Bandcamp page, the album “is rooted in folk genre, with predominate acoustic guitar undertones, but ties in pop influences, such as synths, percussion and electric guitar leads.” That about covers it although, as you might expect, we hear the pop elements above all others. Mary’s voice is a beautiful, inviting instrument and her songs are golden. Prepare to greet these songs with open arms: “Such a Liar,” “Falling,” “Life on Earth,” “Songs of Winter,” and “Full Moon.”
That’s all for today. A terrific bunch of new adds to the playlist, we say, and we bet you will say the same. More new playlist adds coming later this week. Simply click on one of the Listen links below to hear the great melodic pop music we’ve got playing 24 hours a day 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!
Ken Michaels has taken his snazzy duds to the dry cleaners and polished his dancing shoes for tonight’s special edition of everybody’s favorite Beatles radio show, Every Little Thing. It’s Every Little Thing’s Beatles Dance Party! The floor starts shakin’ at 9 pm ET on Pure Pop Radio.
Consider your fab dance card full! Ken has packed all three of tonight’s segments with Beatles, solo Beatles, and Beatles related tunes, all perfect for dancing like there’s no “Tomorrow Never Knows.” In fact, you won’t hear “Tomorrow Never Knows” in tonight’s nine o’clock hour–you will, however, hear “I’m Happy Just to Dance With You” right out of the gate.
You’ll hear John Lennon taking “Do You Wanna Dance” out for a spin and Paul McCartney doing a whole lot of “Ballroom Dancing.” McCartney will implore you to “Dance Tonight,” and the Traveling Wilburys will shout out all of the necessary steps for doing the “Wilbury Twist.” Quite a workout! Add in the Beatles providing the heat with their storming version of “Twist and Shout” and some other choice sides, and you’ve got a terrific show.
Remember, the dance floor gets a-hoppin’ at 9 pm ET tonight with Every Little Thing’s Beatles Dance Party! See you on the radio!
Timmy Sean’s Songs of the Week project continues with a wonderfully bright, luscious toe-tapper called “Morning Time Through” that sports an infectious “Silly Love Songs” vibe.
The seeds of this song, which features some nifty sax lines, were planted back around 2010 when Timmy was finishing his mighty fine album, Songs from and Inspired by Noisewater. Timmy says: “The original impetus for the song was that I wanted to write something that had a similar groove to ‘Ob-La-Di, Ob-La-Da’ and ‘Silly Love Songs,’ with a slight hint of island music influence tucked in there. After spending the last week on the beaches of Hawaii, it seemed like the perfect song to release this week.”
Forty-eight songs to go, as Timmy works his magic behind the scenes for next week’s number. A year’s worth of new tracks…can you dig it? And remember: We’re playing them all on Pure Pop Radio.
Check back here next week for the skinny on the next entry in the Songs of the Week project! And check out Timmy’s Bandcamp page, where you can purchase these very cool tunes!
As a wintry mix of this and that falls outside of the spacious Pure Pop Radio headquarters, we declare that of all the things we do here, adding new music to the playlist is our favorite task…job one, if truth be known. We’ve been busy, as usual, listening to new songs from favorite, heritage artists and new and upcoming folks with a guitar, keyboard and something to sing at the ready. Here’s some more of what we’ve debuted on the air during the past couple of days:
Jonathan Rundman | Look Up For his first album of new songs in a decade, Jonathan Rundman let his guitars gather dust in the corner and took to a dizzying array of keyboards for a dazzling selection of songs supported by great players, including a number of slam-bang cameos from Parthenon Huxley and Brent Bourgeois, among others. Songs like the straight-ahead power pop of the jaunty “Prioritize Us” and “Northbound Traffic” to the early Simon and Garfunkel vibe of the gentle “Second Shelf Down” and the punchy, melodic closer, “No More Old Times,” Rundman scores big. Always, the singer’s gentle voice is up front and guiding these songs home. A welcome return for one of pop’s great talents, and an early candidate for best of the year honors. In addition to the aforementioned songs, we’re playing the following tunes in rotation: “The Science of Rockets,” “Helicopters of Love,” “Painter,” and “Home Unknown.”
The Blood Rush Hour | And Then.. The Unthinkable Happened… Wales psychotherapist and musician Robert DeStefano returns with his fellow band members to unleash a grand, elegant sophomore effort, the follow up to 2012’s Shrink. Think 10cc for the digital age. The songs range from a toe-tapping 10cc/Jose Feliciano/Jethro Tull melange (the gorgeous, upbeat “Too Hard to Put Right,” with a short, shocking, Godley and Creme background vocal insert) to the charging pop of “Mr. Wonderful.” In between, you get the strings-fueled, medium-paced pop-rocker “Dancing by Yourself,” about accounting for your decisions in life (“The verdict is open/And you’ll only know when/You tire of dancing by yourself”), and a melodically charged, horns-fueled song about deception, “I Never Lied to You” (“I’ve always been open and honest, frank and transparent/Forthright and true/With fingers crossed I state categorically/I never lied to you”). We’re spinning nine songs in total, including those we’ve just mentioned. The others? “Ad Astra per Aspera,” “Run to the Roundhouse,” “(The Day I Finally) Stopped the War,” “A Song that Some Sing,” and “I See Something.” Another candidate for best of the year honors. Whew! We’re off and running this year, aren’t we?
Seth Timbs | “Center of Attention” and “The Only Pretty Girl in Town.” After five albums with the group Fluid Ounces and other musical pursuits, Nashville’s Seth Timbs turns his attention to a single of his own, comprising the catchy, beat-driven “Center of Attention” (featuring a surprise left rhythmic turn about halfway through), and the romantic tale of the girl who may just get away, “The Only Pretty Girl in Town.” A pretty pair, now playing in rotation on Pure Pop Radio.
The Moog | “So You Wanna Be in Love” Budapest, Hungary’s the Moog have released a driving slice of catchy pop in advance of the band’s upcoming EP release. “So You Wanna Be in Love” burrows its deep hook into your brain upon first listen, with a chorus that should help to propel this band forward, building on previous releases and tours here in America and abroad. We look forward to hearing the new EP; in the meantime, dig this cool tune.
Matthew Shacallis | Reach the Stars Only 21 years old, Sydney, Australia’s Matthew Shacallis originally started this collection as a university recording project. Now that the cat’s out of the bag, it’s becoming much more than that. It’s certainly caught our attention. From the jangly pop of “Nothing to Show” and the hit-worthy “Summer Sun” to the John Lennon ballad vibe of “Reach the Stars,” this is top shelf all the way. Welcome to Pure Pop Radio, Matthew. These songs are now spinning in rotation.
That’s it for today…just a taste of what’s new and now spinning in rotation at your home for the greatest melodic pop in the universe, Pure Pop Radio. Check back tomorrow for more new adds to our playlist!
The subtly pounding, lithe piano run which appoints itself at the start of the Davenports’ achingly beautiful new song, “Don’t Be Mad at Me,” now playing in rotation on Pure Pop Radio, is joined by a gregarious, almost romanticized string section pleased to acquaint itself with a very “Martha, My Dear” ambiance in tow, an ambiance that later trades off with a lovely pop melody and, at the end, an even harder-edged, slightly manic, giddy even, melodic electric guitar attack straight out of the Carpenters “Goodbye to Love” school, but for now leads into the first words of the opening verse, which themselves lead to a cautionary plea: “Betty, don’t be mad at me, Betty,” delivered by the always soothing and satisfying voice of Scott Klass as he seeks to make it all better with more than a few dollops of sincerity. “Don’t cry girl, I’ve got your keys,” he sings, because the time has come to take pause and leave the driving to someone else.
“It’s not conspiracy, revenge or trying to hurt your feelings, Betty,” Klass asserts, lovingly. It’s just the way it is, is what it all means, and you barely wrestle with the idea that at a certain point in everyone’s life–yours, for example–time will come to change the course and allow a loved one or a friendly neighbor or someone else with the power of love in his or her pocket to help, just help, just help steer the course. “But it’s clear now that you’re mixing up your Christophers and Larrys…”
And so it goes as Klass, who wrote the song, sings a litany of wise words that make it all clear as we tumble along the way in our lives. This gorgeous creation, just such a grand achievement and a raise of the bar in the ongoing songwriting life, blinks brightly with all the hallmarks of a Davenports song: the way the words match the rhythm of the melody around quick breaths; the seemingly disparate instrumental elements that come together perfectly to create a winsome, winning musical base; and the idea that a whole life, and all its twists and turns, can be communicated quite clearly in only four minutes and 13 seconds with lively invention and the truth of the songwriter’s craft.
Yes, this is a pop song with strings and a catchy melody and percussion and swooping background vocal harmonies reminiscent of the closing sections of Andy Partridge’s “1,000 Umbrellas,” and it just begs, literally begs that you sing along with it (and you can, because the video, which you can watch below, includes some of the lyrics right there on the screen) and, even if there wasn’t any begging going on, you’d want to sing along anyway, because it’s that kind of a delightful number and that’s what great pop music does: it includes you as if you’re a member of the family, and, of course, you are.
The Davenports have never been anything less than top-flight purveyors of fanciful, melodic pop songs. Here, as stated above, they have upped their game and delivered a momentous achievement. There is nothing like this song in the whole wide world–a world, as depicted in this song’s video, that is alive and well within the confines of a View-Master lying in a box left silently on a sidewalk. A young girl, curious as to the box’s contents, takes hold of the View-Master and there is Betty’s, or someone’s, life, conveyed to the girl in one snapshot after another; little wisps out of time that tell a story.
“Generally,” it is said on the band’s website, this song is “about salad days to sad days, youth to old age, power to weakness, forefront to backdrop. ‘Betty’ is an old great aunt who was once almost like a matriarch of the family–strong, with style, a leader, who drove a huge old Caddy. The narrator is a younger relative who has to take away the keys to the Caddy because Betty has grown old and demented.”
“Betty, don’t be mad at me…” Undoubtedly, this song could be about someone in your life, which makes the message universal. Betty, well, could well be you, some day.
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!
Spin a couple of Beatles cover songs from a pair of legendary musical duos, welcome Elton John to the stage and studio, and hit the ground running with five classic Beatles and solo Beatles numbers, and you’ve got another stellar edition of Ken Michaels’ weekly Beatles get-together, Every Little Thing. The fun kicks off tonight at 9 pm ET on Pure Pop Radio.
The hits come at a fast and furious pace right from the start with a set featuring some great group and solo tunes, including the Beatles’ “Good Day Sunshine,” Paul McCartney’s “At the Mercy,” and Ringo Starr’s “Vertical Man.” Then, in tonight’s second segment, Ken plays a pair of Beatles covers delivered by Chad and Jeremy, and Peter and Gordon. The Fabs’ “Rocky Raccoon” and Wings’ “Country Dreamer” round out the set.
Elton John pounds the piano in Ken’s third, themed segment. Not only will you hear Elton and John Lennon thrilling the audience on Thanksgiving night 1974 at New York’s Madison Square Garden with a rousing rendition of “Whatever Gets You Thru the Night,” but you’ll thrill to Elton’s pumping piano on Ringo Starr’s “Snookeroo” and Elton’s touching tribute to Lennon, “Empty Garden.” It’s a great set that we know you’ll enjoy.
It’s all for you tonight on Ken Michaels’ Every Little Thing, kicking off at 9 pm ET on Pure Pop Radio. Don’t miss it!
Following two original songs made available as part of his ambitious Songs of the Week project, musician extraordinaire Timmy Sean has seeded week three’s slot with a poppified cover of Bachman-Turner Overdrive’s “You Ain’t Seen Nothing Yet.” B-b-b-baby, it’s something that you’re never gonna forget!
Says Timmy: “I was given the opportunity in 2014 to record a cover of this song to be pitched for a television commercial. I believe the description of what they asked for was ‘A COMPLETELY ORIGINAL take on ‘You Ain’t Seen Nothing Yet’ by Bachman-Turner Overdrive, that is INSTANTLY recognizable as ‘You Ain’t Seen Nothing Yet’ by Bachman-Turner Overdrive…a little confusing.
“Anyway, they ended up going (in) a completely different direction for the commercial, but at least it left me with an apropos song title if I really wanted to sound cocky about what else I have coming this year…which I don’t…so, maybe we can re-title it ‘You’ve Seen Something…And There’s More That’s Probably, Give-Or-Take, Roughly The Same Quality.'”
There’s no roughly about it from our perspective: This is Timmy Sean at his best, tearing it up with a classic rock staple, Timmy Sean-style. Dig those poppy background harmonies near the end of the track.
Forty-nine songs to go, as Timmy Sean hits the bricks behind the scenes for week number four’s tune. Check back here next week for the skinny on the next entry in the Songs of the Week project! And check out Timmy’s Bandcamp page, where you can purchase these very cool tunes!