Pure Pop Radio’s Countdown to Record Store Day 2015: Thursday

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With just two days to go before Record Store Day 2015 commences at your local, independent record store, it’s time to get down to it and, well, confess: Turntables? I’ve had a few.

This week, I’ve been looking back to some of the reasons why I fell in love with records, and how that love has fueled my ongoing obsession with the 12-inch vinyl wonders of the world. Today, I find myself waxing nostalgic about some of the turntables I’ve had in my life. Turntables that have been pushed to their limits. Turntables that were able to play records at 78 rpm, which came in handy when listening to Moby Grape’s “Just Like Gene Autry: A Foxtrot,” a track on the group’s 1968 Wow album that played at 78 rpm. Turntables on which you could set the speed between the actual speed settings so you would be able to rock Beatles records back and forth to uncover clues to Paul McCartney’s death. Turntables like that.

garrard-40b-turntable

The Garrard 40B

The Garrard 40B was an entry level, three-speed turntable that seemed, for a time, at least, to be the go-to model for kids in my Long Island neighborhood. It seemed as though every kid had one. We played our 45s and our LPs on this gateway to the world of music that we were constantly discovering. It took a licking and kept on ticking. It was a reliable performer that did the trick time and again. It was what we had for a time, and we loved it.

turntable-zenith

Not the Symphonic model described below

Then there was an all-in-one model by Symphonic (not the one depicted above, but sort-of similar) that had built-in speakers on either side of the turntable, which folded out to the front. Maneuvering the speed lever between settings, you could rock a record back and forth, slowly but surely, when trying to discover the various audio clues that proved, beyond a shadow of a doubt, that Paul McCartney was dead. This was a handy (not official) feature, allowing my friends and I to go deep inside The Beatles, aka the White Album. Backwards clues? No problem. Not surprisingly, I fried one of these units doing the rocking thing. Thankfully, my father was tolerant and understanding when it came to me asking–begging–him to buy me another one. Good times.

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The Stanton STR8-20

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The ION ITTUSB

Today,  I can use any of three turntables to play my records. The Stanton STR8-20 is the top model in my main rack; the ION ITTUSB allows me to record needle drops on my main computer. But the Peanuts Crosley Cruiser, purchased on Record Store Day 2014, is the official turntable of Pure Pop Radio. I mean, just look at it:

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The Peanuts Crosley Cruiser

Today, as was the case yesterday and the yesterday before, there is no activity finer than bringing the needle down on a great record, getting the volume just right (pumping for the driving stuff and not-so-pumping for softer sounds), and plopping down on the couch–comfort is key–for an immersive listening experience. Holding the cover–taking in the majesty of the art, reading the credits (“Oh look, it’s Robben Ford on guitar!”), and checking out the inner sleeve–is beyond important. And singing along? Well, naturally.

Tomorrow, I bring this week of vinyl memories to a soft landing, just in time for Record Store Day 2015 to greet your Saturday. What joy!

– Alan Haber

Trax on Wax, Your Vinyl Destination in Catonsville, MarylandTrax on Wax, in Catonsville, Maryland, is the official record store of Pure Pop Radio. When in the Baltimore area, we recommend that you make Trax on Wax your number one vinyl destination. Visit Trax on Wax’s website by clicking here.

peanuts-cruiserThe Peanuts Crosley Cruiser is the official turntable of Pure Pop Radio.

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

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

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

It’s New Music Thursday! More New Songs and Artists Added to the Pure Pop Radio Playlist!

it's-newWelcome to another round of new songs and artists that have been added to the Pure Pop Radio playlist. We know you’re going to love what we’ve got in store!

Here are the latest additions:

Tthe-lunar-laugh-apollohe Lunar Laugh | Apollo Last Wednesday, we added this album’s title song to our playlist. Of “Apollo,” we said it’s a “lovely slice of pure, melodic pop…” We say the same thing about the rest of the songs that Connor Anderson and Jared Lekites have written for this melodic masterpiece. Not only will you love the originals, but you’ll hug tightly the cover of Mike Nesmith’s “Some of Shelly’s Blues,” which Jared has been performing live since 2008. We’re playing nearly every song: “Man Against Man,” “Winsome,” “Apollo,” “On the Road,” “When I’m Alone,” “Bottom of the World,” “The Way I Roll,” and “Some of Shelly’s Blues.” Pretty spectacular, folks.

kenny-herbertKenny Herbert | “My Favourite Everything” With a vibe that harkens back to to the sound of the fabulous fifties and early sixties, Pure Pop Radio favorite Kenny Herbert delivers another in a series of standout tracks stacked high with catchy melodies and joy. Glorious background vocals and a groovy guitar solo are but two highlights in the soundfield of this great number. Cheers, Kenny–you’ve waxed another winner.

pseudonymPseudonym | Revolving Door So here is this week’s find: a fine and fit-as-a-fiddle outfit featuring Paul Desjarlais “and other real or imaginary people,” according to Paul, who ought to know, we guess. In any case, it’s pretty great stuff, these songs, full of great melodies and playing and vocals. The whole shooting match, in fact. We’re playing “Long Goodbyes,” “Better,” “Fill Up the Sky,” “Elevator,” “Caught on Fire,” “Idora Ave,” a cover of the great Paul Simon song, “The Only Living Boy in New York,” and “Want You More.” Speaking of “more,” that’s what we want.

gail-georgeGail George | The Barrio Sessions with Early Times This intimate, relaxed album from 2014 features the lovely songs and vocals of Gail George, who recorded in New York’s East Harlem. We love the soft-sounding vibe of three entries: “Nobody’s Friend,” “Walk Away,” and “You Are There,” which we are now playing in rotation.

dana-countryman-thrill-meDana Countryman | “Thrill Me (2015 Remix)” This sparkling remix of a great song from Dana’s smash 2013 album, The Incredible, Fantastic Retro Pop World of Dana Countryman, features the artist playing piano, bass, guitars, drums, percussion, and horns; dig, too, the groovy electric guitar work from Klaatu’s Dee Long, and luscious vocals all around. Mastered by Rick Fisher at RFI Mastering in Seattle, this is, well, masterful.

adam-walsh-pancho-and-leftyAdam Walsh and Colm Gavin | “Pancho and Lefty” Here’s a fine, tuneful cover of Townes Van Zandt’s classic song from the always-wonderful Adam Walsh and fellow musician Colm Gavin. We love the melodic guitar work, and the vocals are pretty terrific, too. Now playing in rotation.

That’s it for today–short and sweet and lovely all around. We’ll be back soon with more new songs and artists added to the Pure Pop Radio playlist. Until then, click on one of the listen links below and take in the sounds of the greatest melodic pop music in the universe!

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

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

Pure Pop Radio’s Countdown to Record Store Day 2015: Wednesday

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For day three of Pure Pop Radio’s exclusive countdown to Record Store Day 2015, I thought it would be fun to revisit the freedom I experienced in my late teens, driving around Long Island, visiting various secondhand record stores and snagging treasures beyond my wildest dreams.

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(Click on the image to enlarge)

Right from the start of my record collecting days, I was a completist, or at least I tried very hard to be! I had seen the advertisements for Warner Brothers’ Loss Leaders, a series of one- and two-record sets (and even one three-record set) that compiled tracks from the company’s releases and rarities from both new and established WB artists (the releases were plugged on the company’s records’ inner sleeves). The artwork for the sleeves was colorful and exciting to look at, and the liner notes were full of great information and (sometimes) more than a smidge of attitude. Plus, the cost for the two-disc goodies was a measly two bucks (until the end of the series). How could you go wrong?

warner-bros-schlagerswarner-brothers-1969-songbookI drove my car everywhere I could in the hopes of getting as many, or all, of the available Loss Leaders as possible. Classics such as the first Leader, The 1969 Warner Reprise Songbook, and 1970’s soft-sounding compilation Schlagers!, which featured Trini Lopez, Frank Sinatra and the San Sebastian Strings, as well as Randy Newman, Petula Clark and Kenny Rogers and the First Edition, were must-haves. Until I left Long Island after graduating college in 1977 and moved to Delaware to start my radio career, I motored up and down the Seaford-Oyster Bay Expressway and other highways and byways in search of as many Leaders as I could find, all available for as little as 50 cents apiece.

warner-bros-looney-tunesThe Loss Leaders weren’t difficult to find, but it did take a lot of driving and wearing out of shoe leather to collect them. What I consider the treasure of the entire series didn’t become the crown of my collection until I moved to Brooklyn, New York in the 1980s. Walking toward Manhattan Beach one sunny day, my wife and I found a little record store that proved to be a goldmine of treasures. There, I found the only three-record set in the Leaders series, Looney Tunes Merrie Melodies, a box that featured on its cover a takeoff on the Warner Brothers cartoon logo, with Elmer Fudd center stage, and presented artists such as James Taylor, Harpers Bizarre (“If We Ever Needed the Lord Before”) and Van Dyke Parks (“On the Rolling Sea When Jesus Speaks to Me”). Showing off the Leaders’ fun and edgy attitude, one of the faux commercials in the set concludes with the tag line, “Warner Brothers Records: The shiny black chips you eat with your ears.”

Today, with a few holes still in my Leaders collection, I continue my pursuit of owning every entry in the series. And now, here in 2015, I am very, very close!

Read a quite detailed fun and informative history of the Warner Brothers Loss Leaders series by clicking here. Another detailed series history, played out in a survey of every release, two at a time, can be experienced by clicking here. More fun you can not have!

All record collectors can relate to the feeling you get when you’re this close to putting your hands on a particular platter to complete part of your collection. It’s quite exhilarating (even after all these years!)!

– Alan Haber

Trax on Wax, Your Vinyl Destination in Catonsville, MarylandTrax on Wax, in Catonsville, Maryland, is the official record store of Pure Pop Radio. When in the Baltimore area, we recommend that you make Trax on Wax your number one vinyl destination. Visit Trax on Wax’s website by clicking here.

peanuts-cruiserThe Peanuts Crosley Cruiser is the official turntable of Pure Pop Radio.

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

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

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

Pure Pop Radio’s Countdown to Record Store Day 2015: Tuesday

record-store-day-2015-smallDay two of our exclusive countdown to Record Store Day 2015 continues with another look at past vinyl finds snagged through the years for my ever-growing collection.

suzy-and-the-red-stripes-box-smallToday I offer an eclectic bunch of platters–a group of treasured releases that, many, many years later, still hold a place in my vinyl heart, starting with a snazzy looking, special box set for Suzy and the Red Stripes’ “Seaside Woman,” released by A&M records in 1977. Suzy and crew were, of course, Wings. The yellow vinyl 45 in the box sported a hypno label and came with 10 “saucy” postcards and a red-striped badge. The box, too, was adorned with red stripes. I purchased the box at a Beatlefest in the early 1980s in excellent condition. It’s still one of my most-prized Paul McCartney-related possessions.

wings-spin-it-onwings-marySpeaking of Wings, here are two more nifty collectors items that have pride of place in my collection. The first is the rare picture sleeve for “Spin It On” b/w “Getting Closer.” The sleeve, with its showstopping, commanding and dazzling font effect makes the visual pop. Next is the picture sleeve for Wings’ “Mary Had a Little Lamb” b/w “Little Woman Love” (Apple 1851). This sleeve may actually not be as rare as I once thought it was, but I love it and I’m glad it’s in my collection.

Joe-Piscopo-v1In 1982, Saturday Night Live cast member Joe Piscopo recorded a great, funny medley of rock songs (listen below) as they might have been sung by Frank Sinatra. Saturday Night Live fans will remember Piscopo’s hysterical Sinatra impersonations as a highlight during his time with the show. Piscopo was promoting his medley at various record stores in Manhattan. One day, he appeared at Crazy Eddie’s on 57th Street, so I walked from work and found Joe behind one of the sales counters, with nary a fan waiting to speak to him. I shook his hand, told him I was a big fan, and got him to autograph my 12-inch record. This was just one of my brushes with stardom–remind me to tell you about the rest some day!

Eric-StewartIn 1986, my wife and I made the first of six trips to London and various towns in England and Scotland. One of my main concerns, other than making sure to visit every last Beatles-related landmark I could find, was, of course, shopping for records. We walked everywhere, and every time we saw a record store, we stopped in. My memory tells me it was in Kentish Town, in northwest London, that we spied a small record shop down a side street. I was on the hunt for Eric “10cc” Stewart’s 1982 solo album, Frooty Rooties, released on the Phonogram label. I had been looking for it since it was released, to no avail. We walked into this particular shop and I asked the clerk if he had a copy. “I think we have that one, yes,” he said, and in mere seconds pulled it out of the stacks and handed it to me. I thought I had discovered buried treasure! And it was a promo copy. Score!

buddah-recordsHere’s a weird one: In 1970, Buddah Records released a two-record set to promote its releases. Titled N.E.C. Convention Memphis/February 15-18 1970 – Rock and Roll with Buddah and adorned with the Buddah logo on the front and the song titles and artists on the back, the record, to the best of my recollection, was not released commercially (I remember it being advertised in a print publication, possibly Rolling Stone). I think it cost two dollars. The content varied wildly: Bill Haley’s “Rock Around the Clock” and the Lovin’ Spoonful’s “Younger Generation” appeared alongside the Tokens’ version of “Don’t Worry Baby” and the Edwin Hawkins Singers’ “Oh Happy Day.” I’ve tried to find details on this release, but all roads lead to dead ends. Any details would be greatly appreciated. Was this created with an ear toward beating Warner Bros., with their Loss Leaders program, at their own game? A great curiosity, for sure.

Tomorrow, I’ll take a look at the aforementioned Loss Leaders program, and how getting my drivers license helped fuel my mad hunt for all available entries in the series.

– Alan Haber

Trax on Wax, Your Vinyl Destination in Catonsville, MarylandTrax on Wax, in Catonsville, Maryland, is the official record store of Pure Pop Radio. When in the Baltimore area, we recommend that you make Trax on Wax your number one vinyl destination. Visit Trax on Wax’s website by clicking here.

peanuts-cruiserThe Peanuts Crosley Cruiser is the official turntable of Pure Pop Radio.

(Photos of Joe Piscopo’s record, and Eric Stewart’s Frootie Rooties, were taken by ace Daily Planet photographer, Janet Haber; 45 scans by Alan Haber)

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

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

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

Ringo’s New Album, Postcards from Paradise, Is In the Spotlight on Tonight’s Things We Said Today

the-beatles-things-we-said-todayRingo Starr’s new album, Postcards from Paradise, is under the microscope during tonight’s edition of the Beatles roundtable, Things We Said Today. The conversation begins at 9 pm ET on Pure Pop Radio.

ringo-starr-postcardsRegular roundtable members Ken Michaels, Steve Marinucci, Al Sussman, and Allan Kozinn are joined tonight by Beatlefan writer Tom Frangione for this look at Ringo’s 18th, just-released studio album. During the show, the crew gives their general, and specific, impressions of Postcards from Paradise. You’ll hear an excerpt from Ken’s interview with Ringo, during which the drummer talks about his songwriting process. Plus, a whole lot more–the kind of discussion that can only occur when five Beatles experts get together.

Tune in tonight at 9 pm ET for Things We Said Today, airing on Pure Pop Radio. Don’t miss it!

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

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

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

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

Pure Pop Radio’s Countdown to Record Store Day 2015: Monday

record-store-day-2015This coming Saturday, people of all ages, whether they be short or tall, wearing glasses or contacts, dressed in blue jeans or suits and ties, driving their cars or riding in buses, college age or of a certain age, wearing long hair or short or in-between, partial to loud dress shirts or rock ‘n’ roll tees, rockers or jazzers or popsters, will be converging on independent record stores across America and various locations abroad.

It’s almost time for the vinyl fans’ annual pilgrimage to Mecca–the local or faraway or somewhere in-between record store that caters to them in a way that online shops can not; places where you are greeted with a smile by the owner or a knowledgeable staff member who can answer questions about a particular release almost faster than you can ask them; places where the new mixes with the old and all releases, regardless of genre or age, play nice with each other.

springsteen-record-store-day-2014record-store-day-ramonesMost people likely have their eyes on the prizes pressed by both independent and major record companies–special releases and items created for Record Store Day that bring out-of-print releases back to life, gather previously-unreleased tracks (such as last RSD’s Bruce Springsteen album), or simply celebrate the occasion with style (this year’s Ramones Crosley Cruiser turntable, the sequel to last year’s Peanuts model).

Record Store Day is a fun day–a day to meet other music fans, swap stories about favorite platters, soak up the vinyl atmosphere, and spend lots of money; one in which everything goes and favored releases go out the door at record speed.

Anticipating Record Store Day 2015, I’ve been in a vinyl state of mind that has gotten me in the mood to visit past vinyl purchases and think about where and why I bought them. If it’s true that every picture tells a story, record albums speak volumes. And I’ve spun a few albums in my time.

Freddy-McCoy-albumfreddie-mccoy-autographOne I probably haven’t spun since the late sixties is an album by jazz vibraphonist Freddie McCoy, who spent time with my father, a trumpet player, in the 440th band at Fort Bragg, North Carolina, where I was born. Flipping through albums on a random shelf, I found a copy of McCoy’s 1968 Prestige records release, Soul Yogi, which contains covers of Brian Wilson’s “Pet Sounds” and the Beatles’ “I Am the Walrus.” Signed on the cover in pen by McCoy with a dedication to my father, the album, which I forgot I had, has brought back some wonderful memories. I’m thrilled that I found it. Check out McCoy’s inscription above right.

Our-Best-to-YouAnother album, a Columbia Special Products release from 1967 called Our Best to You, was a favorite record I got from a Columbia promo man who lived across the street from a friend of mine when I was growing up. Hits by the Cryan’ Shames and the Byrds stack up against Moby Grape’s “8:05” and Aretha Franklin’s “Sweet Bitter Love” for a fun spin. I somehow lost or misplaced my original copy; I was able to acquire another last year from the great record store, Trax on Wax (see below). This was an important record for me, because it came near to the start of my vinyl and music obsession. I about wore my copy out.

captain-kangarooThe first vinyl album I owned was a soundtrack recording by the cast of the kids television show Captain Kangaroo, which ran for more than 30 years on CBS television. I distinctly remember it being delivered to my house on a day when I was home sick from school. It was the greatest present I’d ever been given; unfortunately, I don’t have it any more, and I don’t remember which specific title it was.

soupy-sales-sez-do-the-mouseBut I do remember the second album I owned: Soupy Sales Sez Do the Mouse *and Other Teen Hits. I knew the words to every track on that record. I drove my parents crazy, running around the house singing “The Mouse” and “Pachalafaka.” “They whisper it all over Turkey,” I’d warble, trying to sound like Soupy. Crazy days! I don’t have the original album my father bought for me, but I do have another copy I bought a couple of decades later. Another prized possession that brings back great memories.

mighty-groundhogsOne more memory for today: A 1972 album by the Mighty Groundhogs, released on United Artists Records, featuring full comic strip art drawn by none other than super artist Neal Adams. I don’t remember how I heard about this record–I probably just found it in a used record shop and bought it because of the cover and package art. Pretty sweet, then and now.

These are just some of the vinyl memories I’ve been thinking about the past few days, leading up to the week-long countdown to Record Store Day 2015. We’ll be at the official record store for Pure Pop Radio, Catonsville, Maryland’s Trax on Wax, on Record Store Day, celebrating with fellow vinyl and music fans. We can’t wait.

Tomorrow: More vinyl memories as we continue counting down to Record Store Day 2015. See you then!

– Alan Haber

Trax on Wax, Your Vinyl Destination in Catonsville, MarylandTrax on Wax, in Catonsville, Maryland, is the official record store of Pure Pop Radio. When in the Baltimore area, we recommend that you make Trax on Wax your number one vinyl destination. Visit Trax on Wax’s website by clicking here.

peanuts-cruiserThe Peanuts Crosley Cruiser is the official turntable of Pure Pop Radio.

(All album photos, except for American Beauty, were taken by ace Daily Planet photographer, Janet Haber)

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

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

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

Ringo Starr Talks to Ken Michaels on Tonight’s 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!

Famed sticksman Ringo Starr, the man who provided the Beatles’ backbeat and influenced drummers across the decades, talks to Ken Michaels in an exclusive interview, part one of which is the centerpiece of tonight’s edition of everybody’s favorite Beatles radio show, Every Little Thing. Be in front of your Internet radios at 9 pm tonight so you don’t miss a second.

Ken kicks off the show with his usual, stellar varied set of Beatles and solo Beatles songs. This time around, you’re treated to George Harrison’s “Cloud 9,” the Beatles’ “Things We Said Today,” a live version of “Bluebird” from Wings, “India, India” from John Lennon, and “Lipstick Traces (On a Cigarette)” from tonight’s Starr attraction.

Then, Ken spins a 1968 two-fer, pairing a couple of Beatles classics: the fast version of “Revolution” with “Savoy Truffle. The cherry on top? “Only Our Hearts,” from Paul McCartney’s Kisses on the Bottom.

Finally, Ringo speaks with Ken in part one of a fantastic interview. During this segment, you’ll be treated to three songs from Ringo’s new album, Postcards from Paradise, and a Beatles classic, “Octopus’s Garden.” This is a treat you won’t want to miss. Part two of Ken’s interview with Ringo will air next week.

Don’t miss tonight’s fab edition of Ken Michaels’ Every Little Thing, airing at 9 pm ET. It’s a very special show that you won’t want to miss! And tune in tomorrow night at 9 pm ET for this week’s edition of Things We Said Today, when the topic at hand will be Ringo’s new album!

Every Little Thing is the premiere, syndicated program playing Beatles group and solo recordings. Hosted by longtime radio personality Ken Michaels, the show airs every Monday night at 9 pm ET on Pure Pop Radio.

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

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

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

The Kid Gets Heavy: Timmy Sean Rocks the House With “Way Too Long”

timmy-sean-song-of-the-weekFor this week’s Song of the Week, Timmy Sean blows the roof off the house with a wild rock ‘n’ roll ride, a powerful, double-tempo number called “Way Too Long.” As you might expect, “Way Too Long” is way cool.

A crunchy guitar riff kicks this song into high gear. Timmy’s drumsticks practically pierce the skins as he pummels them into submission. An insistent, in-your-face vocal and the usual pop sheen take you back in time to 1970s FM radio for a Bachman-Turner-Overdrive-meets-Led Zeppelin-hangs-out-with-Jimi Hendrix dose of heaviosity. Powerful barely describes this tumultuous experience, a terrific, stereophonic assault on your rock ‘n’ roll senses. Whew! What a great ride!

Timmy says: “Here’s a song that dates back to 2009, if I’m not mistaken. After LUZER split, I decided to go back to my roots as a teenager learning Jimi Hendrix and SRV covers and put together a little blues band called The Timmy Sean Trio (blatantly ripping off The John Mayer Trio). Joined by Philly musicians Chris LeFevre on bass and Andy Meyer on drums, we played about a half dozen shows around the Northeast performing a mix of originals and blues rock covers. It was some of the most fun and effortless music-making I’ve ever done to this day.

“As much as I love writing pop tunes, there’s still the inner guitar nerd in me that would love to play riff rock and blues all day long. Anyway, this is one of three originals we had in the TST set list, along with a bluesed-up version of Week 7’s ‘Gimme Everything’ and one I’ll be releasing as another Song of the Week later this year entitled ‘Nothing But the Good Times.’

“This one features myself on drums, bass, piano, guitar, percussion, and vocals, and has a special guest appearance by my Sir Video and Timmy Sean and the Celebrities bandmate Frankie Pedano on funky clav and a killer organ solo at the end of the tune…”

Get on the wild ride that is “Way Too Long” by clicking here. To get all of Timmy’s music, click here. The next Timmy Sean  Song of the Week is right around the corner. See you then!

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

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

Strike Up the Band and Jump for Joy! Day Two of Pure Pop Radio’s New Music Explosion is Here!

yeah!Nearly every day brings a new discovery or a visit from an old musical friend. Here at Pure Pop Radio headquarters, we bathe ourselves in the great melodies coming from all manner of studios from California to Cebu City. We always smile and tap our feet as the latest and greatest songs play in our humble studio. “Spin that one again!”, we often exclaim. “Spin that one again and let’s dance!”

You might want to dance and jump for joy when you hear what we’ve just added to the Pure Pop Radio playlist. We’ve got a ton of new, magical sounds spinning in rotation for you; let’s get to them, shall we?

surf-school-dropouts-coverSurf School Dropouts | Second Nature These harmony happy lads from Copenhagen, Denmark have delivered what will surely be your soundtrack for the upcoming summer season: 14 luscious, melody-soaked warm weather anthems that can lift your spirits high any time of the year. We particularly want to hug songs like the jaunty “Coastline Cruisin’,” a harmony-drenched Jan and Dean and Beach Boys-vibed celebration; the pretty love song “Sarah,” a singalong number that recalls the best of the folk group sounds being heard just before folk turned into folk-rock; the wonderful, harmony showcase, “Ebb and Flow,” which would have fit perfectly on any of the Beach Boys’ mid-period albums; and the joyous, peppered-with-Motown-flavor “Wonderful Ride.” We previously added “Wonderful Ride” as an exclusive to Pure Pop Radio; we’ve now also added “Coastline Crusin'” and “Sarah,” and six other future classics: “Should Have Known Better,” “Where Have You Gone,” “California,” “This Morning,” “Interlude (Summer Rain),” and “Summer Rain.” Fans of the sound of sixties California and Matt Tyson will love these songs. We sure do.

jay-gonzalezJay Gonzalez | The Bitter Suite Drive-By Truckers multi-instrumentalist Jay Gonzalez steps into pure pop mode with this fantastic song cycle that powers itself with rock punch and a whole lot of heart. Sporting lovely melodies and a seventies sensibility, these five songs make a strong impression and practically guarantee a spot on this year’s best-of lists. We’ve added the whole lot: “Light Side of the Leaves,” “Grey Matter,” “Almond Eyes,” “Shenorock Lane,” and a song with the title of the year, “&$%@#!.” Produced by Jay and Chris Grehan (who also mixed). Quite brilliant, really.

ringo-starr-postcardsRingo Starr | Postcards from Paradise Not that anyone needs reminding, but the beat in the Beatles came from the man who made drum fills an art, a drummer whose influence on music continues to be felt more than five decades after he first picked up a pair of drum sticks. Without his innate ability to make his drums sing with three-dimensional feel, backbeat, regardless of genre, would have developed in a completely different way. Ringo’s 18th studio album continues his tradition of recording with musical pals and letting the beat speak for itself. Postcards from Paradise is a treat–from the nostalgia-filled, melodic “Rory and the Hurricanes,” a fun trip down memory lane to the time when Ringo played with Rory Storm and his band, to the clever title song written with Todd Rundgren, which packs a bevy of Beatles song titles into the lyrics, and the rockin’, cymbal heavy “Touch and Go,” this is a treasure for both Ringo and Beatles fans. Oh, the rest of you, too. We’re playing the previously-mentioned songs and “Right Side of the Road,” “Not Looking Back,” and “Let Love Lead.” Very cool.

tommy-sistak-yeahTtommy-sistak-short-songsommy Sistak | “Yeah She Said So” and Short Songs Well, here’s what’s cooking: A new song and a new album and together they’re the holy grail of whoa-listen-to-that records that only sound like they were recorded in the poppin’ 1960s. Tommy Sistak’s individual love letters to our favorite era for catchy tunes are short–mostly two minutes and change–and sweet…oh, how they are sweet! Broadly speaking, Tommy’s drawing from the sounds of British invasion bands (Beatles, check) and vocal acts such as the Everly Brothers for a catchy and oh-so-charming half hour’s worth of lovingly-crafted and performed pop music that, and we’re saying this more often than in recent times, belongs in every pop fan’s collection and should, without question, be on a whole lot of best-of lists this year. The new song, “Yeah She Said So,” released in late March, is a crowd-pleasing pop-rocker blaring a combination of thunderous drums and vocal harmonies. We’re playing the entire Short Songs collection, as you might figure: “And So It Goes,” “Be Good,” “In So Many Ways,” “Just Like Before,” “Let Her Go,” “Never Want to Be Blue,” “Ordinary Words,” “Ordinary Words (Unplugged),” “Seems Like You’re There,” “Think About Me,” “Whisper In Your Night,” and “You’ll Come My Way.” Here is your go-to, retro masterpiece for 2015.

the-difficult-strangerThe Difficult Stranger | High School Lover We added the nearly-perfect pop song, “Fall In Love With You,” last October. The full-length longplayer is now here; you may consider us quite charmed. Michael Anthony Curan, Eboi Oca Ponce and Glenn Alonzo play an infectious brand of pure- and punk-pop that’s sure to please one and all. In addition to “Fall In Love With You,” we’re now playing “Her High School Lover,” “Honey,” and “Pawn Shop Heart.” Expect this album to explode all over the pop universe.

the-direct-hitsThe Direct Hits | Here, There or Anywhere: 23 Mod Pop Classics 1982-1986 The much desired gene that points to ’60s and ’70s songwriting sensibilities is quite evident in the work of the short-lived band, the Direct Hits. The Hits packed a lot of quality into their relatively miniscule output–single sides and two albums–and should be known to any melodic pop fan worth his or her salt. If you’ve never heard of this band, you will by listening to Pure Pop Radio, where we’re playing 10 songs in rotation: “Modesty Blaise,” “English Girls,” “The Old Curiosity Shop,” “My Back Pages,” “Miranda Berkley,” “I Started Counting,” “She’s Not Herself Today,” “Last Time I Saw the Sunrise,” “Heat and Sun,” and “Christina.” Prepare to fall in love with a band that was in love with some very cool retro sounds.

smile-factoryThe Smile Factory | “There She Is” Sounding like it came from the jangly, poppy sixties, the Smile Factory’s super-catchy “There She Is” is the perfect earworm for any season. It’s one of those songs that you want to play again and again, and again. Written by Bill Shaouy and performed by (take a well-deserved bow, folks) Bill (lead vocal and keyboard), Brandi Ediss (backing vocals), Keith Klingensmith (backing vocals), Torbjörn Petersson (all guitars), Kyle Richards (bass), and Lee Wiggins (drums), this is a cheery confection and we’re all better off with it in our lives. More please, and sooner than later, if you will.

barry-holdship-jessebarry-holdship-ruff-traxBarry Holdship | Ruff Trax and The Jesse Garon Project Barry Holdship’s two albums of musical riches run the gamut from lovely, mid-tempo ’60s pastiche (“A Fractured Lullaby” from Ruff Trax) to Jerry Lee Lewis and Elvis early rock ‘n’ roll (“Hang Me Out to Dry” from The Jesse Garon Project). In between, there is a Buddy Holly nod (with Roy Orbison overtones) (“Everybody’s Dreamin'” from The Jesse Garon Project) and a gospely slow dance, hold-her-tight number (“Give Your Heart to Me” from Ruff Trax). We’re playing the aforementioned songs in rotation, along with “Where to Go from Here,” “Stuck in Time,” “Nothing Means More than This,” and “Here With Me” (from Ruff Trax); and “All I Really Want,” “Tell Me What You See,” “Words of Wisdom,” “Twist of Faith,” and “It Hurts to Be that Way” (from The Jesse Garon Project). Throughout, Barry’s strong, expressive vocals lead the way. We’re glad to have Barry Holdship on Pure Pop Radio.

the-yearningThe Yearning | Dreamboats and Lemonade The only thing you will wonder, listening to the Yearning’s extremely wonderful 2014 album, is why you didn’t know about them earlier on in your music loving life. New to Pure Pop Radio, this band’s retro sound hearkens back to the romantic feel of pop music from the sixties. Every song here is top flight; in particular, the glorious girl group pastiche, “How Will I Know,” is so right on you’ll swear it’s a long-lost artifact written by some Brill Building scribe. “Lemonade,” another girl group-esque tune, swims along on a current infused with charm (and borrows from the sound of ABBA). And “When I Was Your Baby” is a nostalgic ballad, looking back to a love affair now lost. From the accomplished vocals of Maddie Dobie to the inspired work of Joe Moore and other talented craftspeople, the Yearning goes directly to the upper class on Pure Pop Radio’s list of Records We Can Not Do Without. We’re playing, in rotation, the songs we’ve just mentioned and “Dreamboat,” “It’s You That I Want,” “Never Learn to Cry,” and “Tomorrow Night.” Retro and proud of it. A fantastic, truly fantastic record.

omdOrchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark | “Locomotion” We always looked at this band, more commonly known as OMD, as a pop band, although we’d bet we could run into a lot of people who might disagree. Nevertheless, we stand by our contention, and offer this poppy number from the band’s Junk Culture album as proof. Catchy, with a decidedly Paul McCartney-esque traveling bass line and an infectious melody (not to mention a nifty beat), “Locomotion” is just the first addition of an OMD track to our playlist. Many more to come. “Secret,” anyone? Yep, that one’s on its way.

jimmy-webbThe Songs of Jimmy Webb – Tunesmith Speaking of proof, this 2003 compilation offers a case, as if he needed it, that Jimmy Webb is an American treasure–a writer of classic songs that have informed our culture for decades. We’ve added a trio of numbers from this release; more will be added soon. Listen for Strawberry Children’s “Love Years Coming,” the 5th Dimension’s smash hit, “Up, Up and Away,” and Glen Campbell’s genius recording of “Galveston.”

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How is that for day two of our New Music Explosion? Pretty explosive, huh? We hope you enjoy all of the new songs and artists we’ve added to the Pure Pop Radio playlist in the past couple of days. And remember…there are more than 6,500 other tunes playing in rotation. You’re sure to love every one of them! Simply click on one of the listen links below and sing along if you know the words! We’re Pure Pop Radio, the original 24-hour-a-day melodic pop music radio station on the Internet. We never close!

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

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

Welcome to Day One of Pure Pop Radio’s New Music Explosion! We’ve Got Musical Treasures Galore!

new-music-explosion-smallWelcome to day one of our two-day-long New Music Explosion! We’re bursting at the seams with songs and artists new to the Pure Pop Radio playlist. Grab a cold beverage and settle into your comfy chair, because we’ve got a heapin’ helping of new adds to share with you.

And away we go!

the-lunar-laugh-apolloThe Lunar Laugh | “Apollo” The first song from the forthcoming album, also named Apollo and releasing in just under two weeks from now, is this lovely slice of pure, melodic pop about pretenders to the rock and roll throne. “You’ve been perched high on your soapbox/Pledging your love for classic rock/But you don’t know the words to Revolution/Or Rock N Roll Ain’t Noise Pollution.” Well said. Connor Anderson and Jared Lekites have done an amazing job with this number; we wait with great anticipation for the back eight. Terrific.

jimmy-haberJimmy Haber | Joy Acid Pact “He must be related to you,” you’re saying but no, we figure, no relating here (although the twin sons of different mothers thing may have to be called in to play), other than getting what Jimmy’s offering on his second solo album, a full-speed-ahead power pop record. A founding member of the pop-punk band Degenerates, and one of the makers of music in the Maladaptive Solution, whose songs can be heard in rotation on Pure Pop Radio, Jimmy worked with pop legend Michael Carpenter, who produced, engineered and recorded these songs (other creative folks were on board, too). We’ve added six songs to our playlist, including the horn-fueled, Tom Petty-esque “Jane Stare at the Sun,” the manic guitar workout “What Doesn’t Kill You,” and the mid-tempo melody-riffic “Searching.” Also spinning: “Otherwise Occupied,” “Bad Day to Me,” and “Big Black Hole.” Super stuff.

propellerPropeller | “Wish I Had Her Picture” and “Can’t Feel These Things” Greg Randall and Will Anderson deliver a couple of classic power pop songs with deep hooks and sumptuous melodies. The description of the band’s music on their Bandcamp page, where you can download these songs for free, says you’ll encounter “Crunchy guitars. Verses as hooky as choruses and rollicking rhythms that would frighten most metronomes. Mixed and served loud.” Sounds about right. Very cool and now playing in rotation.

vegas-with-randolph-jacobVegas With Randolph | “Jacob” These Washington, D.C. favorites bring the power with their latest release, the fiercely upbeat guitar workout, “Jacob,” that, perhaps, presents the killer roller coaster as a metaphor for attraction. “She took him to amazing heights/Then dropped him to the deepest lows/And threw him for a loop…” This is one of VWR’s greatest, most propulsive numbers, with pounding drums and hair raising guitar lines. Loud and proud of it. Killer song.

brian-wilson-no-pier-pressureBrian Wilson | No Pier Pressure Brian Wilson’s vocal blend is at the heart and soul of this new album, which mixes songs featuring current music artists and treasured, fellow travelers such as Beach Boys Al Jardine and David Marks. The mix of voices, combined seamlessly to deliver the rich background vocals you would expect from Brian, are the collective star attraction. The gentle samba rhythms of “On the Island,” sung by She and Him’s Zooey Deschanel and M. Ward, are charming and inviting. The pure pop warmth of “Saturday Night,” performed with fun.’s Nate Ruess, is particularly inviting; this is a wonderfully catchy tune with equally catchy background vocal harmonies. And the luscious harmonies in the pretty “This Beautiful Day,” sung with Al Jardine and David Marks in tow, are almost worth the price of admission. We’ve added the aforementioned songs, and “The Right Time,” “Guess You Had to Be There,” “Somewhere Quiet,” “Tell Me Why,” and “Our Kind of Love.” Brian is back, and you’re invited.

the-thigh-highsThe Thigh Highs | These are the Thigh Highs Based out of our old stamping grounds, this Brooklyn, New York trio hits the mark with a lighthearted approach and groovy pop chops seasoned with a pinch or two of garage ethos. From their 2014 EP, we’re playing the Byrdsian “Carroll Gardens” and the slighty-psychedelic “Submarina,” both sung by guitarist, keyboardist and vocalist Gerry (G.F.) Newland. Cool tunes from a cool band.

preoccupied-pipers-talk-til-it-rhymesPreoccupied Pipers | White Bicycle Plan, “Super 8” and “Talk ’til It Rhymes” On December 3, 2014 we added to our playlist a couple of songs from this band that counts the Corner Laughers’ K.C. Bowman as a member. Back then, we revealed that the members of Preoccupied Pipers “…were drawn from locations far and wide and mostly picked from the ashes of a band called Lawsuit.” That’s still true, and make of that what you will. We’ve since heard a 2008 album the band made called White Bicycle Plan, which we liked a whole lot. (The White Bicycle Plan is a real thing, by the way; you can read about it here.) We’ve added six songs from WBP: “Junk Yard Car,” “Goldberg Machine,” “Barnacle Life,” “Giggle Down the Drain,” “Hi Becomes Lois,” and “Passport of Life.” “Super 8” is a 2014 cover of Jason Isbell’s song from his 2013 album, Southeastern (Isbell is a former member of Drive-By Truckers), and “Talk ’til It Rhymes” is a fun tune recently recorded. As with everything that K.C. Bowman has a hand in, this is pure joy.

identical suns lullabyIdentical Suns | “After the Lullaby” Co-writer Todd Stanton and I chatted about this heartfelt, sad, hopeful and pretty song about wanting to know what a child thinks about in his dream state. How does a child function when lullabies don’t affect them any longer? And there is the bigger question: When a child grows up and is at that age, do they hang on to a part of their parents and let their wisdom inform their path in life, or do they forge ahead alone? These are complex questions sometimes left unanswered after lifetimes of concern for the well being of all of our children. The lovely melody and tentative, fragile vocal will melt your heart. An important song, now playing in rotation.

caddy-new-songCaddy | “Bring It Back” Caddy’s latest song, which we’re now playing in rotation, is due for release in May, as is the album it is taken from, The Better End. “Bring It Back” is a mid-tempo melodic wonder that will hook you in seconds. The gorgeous chorus will never leave you, and the equally-gorgeous vocal blend will have you smiling. Beautiful.

hudson-brothersThe Hudson Brothers | Totally Out of Control We’ve been remiss in gracing our playlist with a good number of tracks from this classic pop band. So here’s our first musical salvo…five songs from the Hudson’s 1974 album that establish the brothers’ mastery of the pop form. We’re now playing, in rotation, “Be a Man,” “Dolly Day,” “Lover Come Back to Me,” “If You Really Need Me,” and “La La Layna.” This is how it’s done, folks.

chris-korzenNezrok/Chris Korzen | Florida’s Chris Korzen, who has recorded under his own name and under the band name Nezrok, is new to our playlist. Chris works in a variety of genres; we’ve added some Pure Pop Radio-friendly tunes to our on-air mix. From Nezrok’s Broken Sound album, we’re playing the ’50s-cum-country toe-tapper “Life Is What You Need” and the pure pop number “Thinking It Over.” From Chris’s solo album, Sandbox Thesis, we’re playing the R. Stevie Moore-esque “Can’t You See” and the Beatlesque “For Today.” We’re also playing the shades-of-Todd-Rundgren “Nirvana.” Good stuff.

big-lonelyBig Lonely | Close Your Eyes, Keep Talking This Canadian band works up a catchy brand of pop-rock on their album from the winter of 2014. We’re playing three songs in rotation: the rhythmic “Tapes,” the pop-rocker “You Want It All,” and the powerful ballad, “All My Lucky Senses.” A promising longplayer.

wesley-fullerWesley Fuller | “Change Your Mind” and “Melvista” Australian Wesley Fuller delivers a double pop punch with a catchy T. Rexian thumper, “Change Your Mind,” and a melody-charged song with a big hook, “Melvista.” We’ll look forward to more from this emerging talent.

matt-tysonMatt Tyson | Pure Pop Radio Jingle It’s a jingle, it’s a song, it’s a marvel, is what it is. Pure Pop Radio favorite Matt Tyson stuffs a liberal dose of Jan and Dean, the Beach Boys and other sun kisses into this incredible creation. Many thanks, Matt. It doesn’t get better than this.

Here’s a New Music Explosion Extra Plus! We recently added a new song from the Corner Laughers’ forthcoming album, Matilda Effect, and a whole lot of songs from the Grip Weeds’ new album, How I Won the War. So, we happily present to you the video for the Laughers’ “Fairytale Tourist” from Matilda Effect, coming this June. Also: A very cool promo video about the Grip Weeds’ powerhouse new record, How I Won the War. Dig ’em both!

new-music-explosion-smallMore to come tomorrow as we head into day two of our New Music Explosion! Enjoy these and other songs and artists now playing in rotation on Pure Pop Radio, your home for the greatest melodic pop music from the ’60s to today. And remember…we’re on 24 hours a day!

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

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

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