Ken, Steve and Allan Join You and the Beatles at Hamburg’s Star-Club on Tonight’s Things We Said Today

the-beatles-things-we-said-todayThe recordings that have, over the years, brought Beatles fans right to the stage in Hamburg’s Star-Club through countless issues of the Fabs’ performances there are under the microscope on tonight’s edition of the premier Fabs roundtable, Things We Said Today. The show begins at 9 pm ET on Pure Pop Radio.

beatles-at-star-clubThree of the show’s regulars–Ken Michaels, Steve Marinucci and Allan Kozinn–kick off their conversation by discussing when they first heard the Star-Club recordings. The discussion continues with talk of releases of the recordings on different labels, different tracks appearing on different issues, and the always-debated question of sound quality. These important recordings always elicit strong opinions–you’ll want to be seated center stage to catch every word of our experts’ collective take.

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.

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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

I Love that Song #13: “America,” by Simon and Garfunkel

by Alan Haber

simon-and-garfunkel-bookendsOne of Paul Simon’s best songs, lyrically astute and honorably charged, “America” is the third track on Simon and Garfunkel’s album Bookends, fading up out of the long goodbye of “Save the Life of My Child.” “Oh my Grace, I’ve got no hiding place,” comes the lyrical cry over a bed of ghostly, harried vocal lines and more sturdy pop instrumentation. It comes to pass that perhaps, just perhaps, the child is saved, but there is this that suggests an otherwise flawed end: “In an atmosphere of freaky holiday/When the spotlight hit the boy/And the crowd began to cheer/He flew away.”

From that might-be cryptic vision, Simon’s pen turned from chronicling a search for a panacea for men and women paralyzed with fear to a chronicle of men and women searching for answers that would quantify their yearning. Where, exactly, is their America?

After descending vocal lines sung on top of a bed of guitar strums and accented notes comes the observational, opening salvo of “America”: “Let us be lovers/We’ll marry our fortunes together,” Simon sings delicately. “I’ve got some real estate here in my bag.” With that somewhat, likely tenuous firmament in place, the man and his female companion (name of Kathy, also the name of an actual figure in Simon’s early musical life) prepare to begin their journey, purchasing a pack of smokes and some Mrs. Wagner’s pies. After hitchhiking a fair enough distance, the man tells Kathy that he’s “…come to look for America.” An explorer, a truth seeker, on a mission.

greyhound-busesBoarding a Greyhound bus in Pittsburgh, the couple play almost childlike games to pass the time. Kathy remarks that “…the man in the gabardine suit was a spy.” The man traveling with her counters with an equally playful and mindfully obtuse observation: “Be careful. His bow tie is really a camera.” Which, if true, might hold some of the answers the couple is looking for. Has this spy gathered proof of the existence of America? How fast can these images be developed?

There is gazing out of the window and some magazine reading, after which Kathy’s companion reaches an epiphany of sorts. “Kathy, I’m lost,” he tells her, as she sleeps. “I’m empty and aching and I don’t know why.” After looking out over open fields as the bus passes around and through towns large and small, the journey seems to culminate, even as the bus continues on, in the man’s realization that he and everyone on the bus and everyone in the cars passing by them are all, as it turns out, looking for America, for their dreams to come alive.

searching“Counting the cars on the New Jersey Turnpike, they’ve all come to look for America,” the companion sings. Cars from near and far and most certainly in between; campers and pickup trucks and cars that double as boats, and station wagons and automobiles with faulty transmissions and leaky oil pans, all pointed toward the lands of milk and honey and prosperity and, above all, safety, all are looking for their America. A place to call home, where it feels like home from the second the lawn sprinklers turn on in the morning till the moment they turn off at night. Everyone on the road, whether real or imagined in the course of everyday life, is looking for America. For their America.

Covered by all manner of artists through the years, “America” was most recently and, perhaps, best interpreted in an emotionally charged performance by First Aid Kit, a sister duo from Sweden. They performed the song with creative, lovely, acoustic guitar picking, piano and an equally emotional, live string section in a showstopping version on one of the last broadcasts of The Late Show with David Letterman (see below).

Discussion of “America” seems appropriate on this day, Memorial Day, a day during which our thoughts turn to those who served in the armed forces and lost their lives protecting our freedoms. Listening to “America,” as performed by Simon and Garfunkel or First Aid Kit or any of the artists who have covered it with sound artistic expression and passion, is still a powerful experience, and so it shall be for as long as we all continue to look for our Americas.

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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

Catching Up with Timmy Sean: “Another Day Gone” and “Lately Lacey.” New Songs of the Week. Simply spectacular.

timmy-sean-song-of-the-weekThanks to Mr. and Mrs. Pure Pop Radio being beaten down by the flu, we’ve been somewhat behind on our chronicling of Timmy Sean’s ongoing Songs of the Week project. Let us make up for lost time: The most recent two songs are amongst the series’ best.

The lovely, mid-tempo acoustic charmer, “Another Day Gone,” features a bed of guitars, percussion and spare keyboard notes and, as usual, a sumptuous melody. About this song, Timmy says: “I’ve had an acoustic demo of this one laying around for awhile. In fact, I think it came down to this and ‘There’s No Other Way’ as the token acoustic song for the Noisewater record. That one seemed to fit with the other songs on that album a little better though, so this one got placed in the ‘someday’ pile. I always really liked it, but decided…to completely rewrite the lyrics…and then I decided to re-record the guitars…and the bass…and then move it up a step from the key of G to the key of A…so what was originally going to be a little polish, became a completely new recording.”

The most recent Song of the Week, “Lately Lacey,” is a triumphant, horn-fueled number that could have been plucked right off of the AM radio charts of the 1970s–a sweet, ultra-melodic tune with terrific vocal harmonies that, as always happens with Timmy’s songs, makes you want to hit the instant replay button. This is one of our favorite numbers released by Timmy this year.

About “Lately Lacey,” Timmy says: “The big 2-0! I’ve been trying to pull this one together since I kicked off the Songs of the Week series in January. I did sessions with Brian Mahoney on sax back in NJ, Billy Giaquinto from Tone In Georgia on trumpet in LA, and made Frankie from the Timmy Sean and the Celebrities live lineup break out his trombone and bass harmonica. The sound I had in my head was a cross between the horn section from ‘Got to Get You Into My Life,’ Pet Sounds, and Ben Folds Five’s The Unauthorized Biography of Reinhold Messner. I put those guys through the ringer doing take after take to attempt to capture that big horn section sound with only three guys (all recorded individually), but they really nailed it and I couldn’t be happier with the final product.

“The original title for this one was simply ‘Lately,’ but following my pattern of using names in songs (“Come On Mandy,” “Hey Jodie,” etc.) my guitarist Michael J. Roxx asked me if I could write a song called ‘Lacey.’ ‘Lately’ became ‘Lacey’…and then eventually I decided to use some of the lyrics from both versions and merged it into ‘Lately Lacey.'”

Add Timmy Sean’s “Another Day Gone” to your collection by clicking here. Add Timmy’s “Lately Lacey” to your collection by clicking here. To get all of Timmy’s music, click here. And check back in just a few days for another new Song of the Week!

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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

The Show Goes On! “Flu, Schmoo!” We Exclaim! Every Little Thing and Things We Said Today Serenade the Airwaves Tonight and Tomorrow Night!

The fact that the flu is continuing to knock down and weaken your humble servants of melodic pop here at the currently shaky Pure Pop Radio headquarters doesn’t mean we’re letting our guard down when it comes to spreading the gospel of the Beatles. Nope…in fact, we’re going full steam–cough, cough!!–ahead with all-new episodes of Ken Michael’s Every Little Thing and the weekly Beatles roundtable, Things We Said Today, tonight and tomorrow night.

everylittlethinglogo-smallThat’s right–we may be feeling down, but our mantra is yeah, yeah, yeah during tonight’s Every Little Thing, which kicks off at 9 pm ET with the catchy, title song from Ringo Starr’s new album, Postcards from Paradise. That songs leads off the opening, varied set, which also includes a live track from George Harrison, the Beatles’ “Paperback Writer,” and a track from John Lennon and Yoko Ono’s album, Sometime in New York City.

Tonight’s second segment of Every Little Thing includes a timely interview with the Grip Weeds’ Kurt Reil. The classic New Jersey band’s new album, How I Won the War, features a fab, psychedelic cover of the Beatles’ The Inner Light, which is played alongside Ken and Kurt’s conversation. You’ll also hear another Beatles cover–Donny Osmond’s waxing of “The Long and Winding Road.”

Segment three is the usual, themed affair, this time serving up single tracks that peaked at number two in the United States. Among the songs on offer: the Beatles’ “Yellow Submarine,” Paul McCartney and Wings’ “Live and Let Die,” and George Harrison’s “All Those Years Ago.” That’s tonight at 9 pm ET on Pure Pop Radio.

the-beatles-things-we-said-todayTomorrow night, also at 9 pm ET, most of the usual gang gets together around the Beatles discussion roundtable on Things We Said Today to talk about the recent induction of Ringo Starr into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Ken Michaels, Steve Marinucci, Al Sussman and Darren DeVivo look at the induction from just about every possible angle. During the ceremony, held in Cleveland in April, Paul McCartney handled the induction duties and Ringo performed four Beatles and solo career classics: “Boys” (with Green Day), “It Don’t Come Easy” (with Joe Walsh), “With a Little Help from My Friends,” and “I Wanna Be Your Man.”

To recap: Tonight at 9 pm ET, an all-new edition of Ken Michaels’ Every Little Thing; tomorrow night at 9 pm ET, an all-new episode of the Beatles roundtable, Things We Said Today. A splendid time is guaranteed for all!

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

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

Flu Fighters, Fabs, Melodic Pop Music, and Achoo!

the-fluDespite our best efforts to the contrary (well, at least one of us had our annual, preventative shot–not that it did any good), our usually energetic staff has been unable to get any work done during the past week thanks to the flu busting down our doors and settling in for an extended period of achy, breaky muscles, feverish episodes and just a plain lack of anything remotely approaching energy.

Yes, our long period of silence (well, everything seems to take forever when you’re sick) is due to my wife and I getting walloped with the flu simultaneously. To say it’s been fun would be, well, telling a whopper of a fib; it hasn’t been fun at all. And let me tell you, if I can’t really enjoy an episode of The Andy Griffith Show, my goose must be good and cooked.

the-beatles-things-we-said-todaySo we’re in a holding pattern here at the ever-spacious, but currently flu-ridden Pure Pop Radio headquarters as we wait for the unwelcome bug to hit the road, Jack, and make its merry way to, you know, somewhere else. And, because we’re feeling ever so weak and washed out, we’re benching both Ken Michaels’ Every Little Thing and the Fab talk roundtable, Things We Said Today, until next week, when we’re fairly sure it will be safe to swim again in our melodic waters. I mean, we don’t intend on having the flu forever!

everylittlethinglogo-smallSpeaking of Every Little Thing, the premiere, weekly Beatles music show will, at least for the foreseeable future, be airing new episodes every few weeks, as they are made available to us. Show 66, in fact, is set for next Monday, May 18. Things We Said Today will also be back in its regularly-scheduled saddle next week–on May 19, to be exact.

We’ve got lots of new music to add to our playlist, a new edition of I Love that Song, a couple of new Timmy Sean Songs of the Week, a couple of cool reviews, and who knows what else waiting in the wings, all of which we hope to bring to you later this week or early next. So hang in there with us, won’t you? Check out some of the items you may have missed around these parts while we nurse ourselves back to health. You’ll be glad you did.

And, it goes without saying, you can always fire up your Internet radio receptacle and while away the hours with a dose or three of the greatest melodic pop music from the ’60s to today by clicking on one of the listen links below. We’re Pure Pop Radio–we’re open, flu or not, 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

Did the Beatles Make Mistakes During their Time Together? Leave It to Our Panel of Experts to Come Up with the Answers

the-beatles-things-we-said-todayDid the Beatles make any mistakes during their time together? Our top-flight panel of fab experts considers the question and comes up with answers that may surprise you on tonight’s edition of Things We Said Today at 9 pm ET on Pure Pop Radio.

beatles-yellow-submarineThe regular, core group–Ken Michaels, Steve Marinucci, Al Sussman and Allan Kozinn–gather around the microphones to discuss the issue of whether the Beatles made creative and business-related mistakes during their time together. For example, should the film Magical Mystery Tour have happened? Should the Beatles have supplied the voices for their cartoon personas in the film Yellow Submarine? All this and more is discussed during this typically fascinating and engaging program.

It’s Things We Said Today’s 126th show, all about whether or not the Beatles made mistakes during their time together, tonight at 9 pm ET 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

John Borack Interview About Beyond Belief: A Tribute to Elvis Costello Now Posted on the In Conversation PodOmatic Podcast Page

john-borackJohn Borack’s in-depth conversation with Alan Haber, covering the creation, production and release of Beyond Belief: A Tribute to Elvis Costello, is now available for listening online and/or downloading on the Pure Pop Radio: In Conversation PodOmatic podcast page.

beyond-beliefBeyond Belief: A Tribute to Elvis Costello, which collects the work of 50 artists paying homage to the writer and performer of such classic songs as “Alison” and “Pump It Up,” is a standout example of the art of compilation. During this edition of In Conversation, John goes in-depth with Alan, detailing every step from the spark of the idea to this tribute’s release. Musicians, Elvis Costello fans, and lovers of great music alike will be fascinated by what John has to say.

Pure Pop Radio: In Conversation is Internet radio’s premiere melodic pop talk show. In Conversation puts the spotlight on artists, writers, music critics and record company executives who talk candidly with Alan Haber about their work. Archived, podcast versions of interviews are posted on the In Conversation PodOmatic podcast page; click here to listen to more than 60 shows previously broadcast on Pure Pop Radio.

This program originally aired on Pure Pop Radio on April 29, 2015. Click here to listen and/or download.

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