Alan Haber's Pure Pop Radio is the premier website covering the melodic pop scene with in-depth reviews of new and new-to-you releases. Pure Pop Radio plays the greatest melodic pop in the universe 24 hours a day.
Tonight’s all-new edition of the weekly Beatles roundtable, Things We Said Today, is another can’t-miss get-together.
Beginning at 8 pm ET, our panel of Beatles experts–Ken Michaels, Steve Marinucci, Al Sussman, and Allan Kozinn–are joined by author Kit O’Toole (the popular Deep Beatles column on the Something Else website, and the book Songs We Were Singing: Guided Tours through the Beatles’ Lesser-Known Tracks) to talk about the 30th anniversary of the release of Paul McCartney’s album Press to Play on September 1, 1986.
Also up for discussion is the 50th anniversary of the Beatles’ final concert, held at Candlestick Park in San Francisco, and a concert appearance by the Claypool Lennon Delirium; Ken was there and he has an on-the-spot report.
Tune in at 8 pm ET tonight for show 198 of the premiere Beatles talk show, Things We Said Today. Pure Pop Radio has your Beatles interests covered.
Nick Piunti, pop music’s hot artist of the moment, is on Pure Pop Radio: In Conversation tonight at 8 pm ET. No surprise really–he’s top of the pops here at Pure Pop Radio; tracks from his new album, Trust Your Instincts, are playing in hot rotation. And no surprise number two: Nick is blazing a hooky trail on the satellite airwaves at Sirius/XM’s channel 30, with tracks playing during Mike Marrone’s noontime show, In Spite of All the Danger.
Tonight, though, Nick talks with Alan Haber about his fantastic new album releasing in just two days (September 9). Alan plays three songs, including the big-time pop smash, “One Hit Wonder.” You’ll hear the stories behind Nick’s new songs, and you’ll travel along the path that led a 12-year-old Michigan boy with guitar in hand to his current release on the great Jem Records label.
Don’t miss this chance to go in-depth with musician Nick Piunti on tonight’s all-new edition of Pure Pop Radio: In Conversation. And stay tuned right after In Conversation for an all-new all-vinyl spin on Brian Bringelson’s Needle Meets Vinyl. Tonight’s artists include George Harison, the Monkees, the Band, Electric Light Orchestra, Big Star, and a whole lot more.
We’ve got the goods all day and all of the night right here on Pure Pop Radio.
Peter Lacey | “Seaside Hideaway” Single
Hot on the heels of his latest album, New Way Lane, released this past May, the British pop troubadour releases a jolly summer single with the ska-riffic title track the top drawer. Short and sweet and happy to make your acquaintance, it’s joined by the gentle reggae rhythms-meet-Beach Boys song “Sea Quester Bay”; you can just imagine the comforting winds swaying around you. Lovely to have more melodic Lacey to comfort our souls during these last, warm days of September. Now playing in rotation on Pure Pop Radio. Where to Get It: Bandcamp
Sundial Symphony | “Merri Goes Round,” “Today is Just Like You,” and “Looking for Sunsets (In the Early Morning)”
Cheery bubblegum pop seems to be in rather short supply these days, so thank yous all around to pop’s all-purpose friend Robbie Rist and Don Frankel, who comprise the dynamic duo Sundial Symphony. All three songs could have been waxed by Ron Dante and the Archies (this is quite possibly already happening in an alternate, chewy universe). Kudos to Paul Levinson, who wrote “Today is Just Like You” solo and “Looking for Sunsets (In the Early Morning)” and “Merri Goes Round” with Ed Fox, for these melodic wonders. As a special bonus, we’re playing the slightly less-than-chewy original versions of “Today” and “Looking,” taken from Paul’s 1972 album, Twice Upon a Rhyme. Sweet. Now playing in rotation on Pure Pop Radio: “Merri Goes Round,” “Today is Just Like You” (Sundial Symphony and original 1972 versions), and “Looking for Sunsets (In the Early Morning)” (Sundial Symphony and original 1972 versions). Where to Get It: iTunes
Duggy Degs | Another Good Thought Brighton, England musician Duggy Degs marries melody to thought on these expressive numbers, with the upbeat title track quite catchy and bathed in brightly experimental shadings. “Bringing the Family Home” is a sixties-sounding balladic, orchestrated composition, jazzy in spots. Heavier still, “Meltdown” rocks determinedly as if Jethro Tull’s Ian Anderson were on board with his magic flute. Top notch. Now playing in rotation on Pure Pop Radio: “Bringing the Family Home,” “Meltdown,” and the title song. Where to Get It: jemiblue.com from September 15
The Recreations | “Smile Again” For his second appearance on Pure Pop Radio, and all the way from Tokyo, Japan, comes pop visionary Yohei with another unique stretch of pop real estate, this time covering the circumference of a meeting-of-the-minds between sixties pop melody and contemporary vocal stylings. Plus a bit of alt-esque shading. Now playing in rotation on Pure Pop Radio.
The Big Believe | “Pay for Soup” Amanda Thompson, readying a Big Believe album for release in the upcoming fall, offers up a catchy summer kind of song, a light and airy number with a sweet vocal and a hooky chorus. This may well be my favorite Amanda song yet. It may well be yours, too. Now playing in rotation on Pure Pop Radio.
Winterpills’ Philip Price sits down with Alan Haber for a two-hour marathon session tonight on Pure Pop Radio: In Conversation. The typically in-depth discussion begins at 8 pm ET.
During the show, Philip and Alan take a detailed look at the many stops along Philip’s musical career. You’ll find out about the events and influences that helped to inform Philip’s artistic path, which includes stints in many bands including the Maggies and his current outfit, the mighty Winterpills, whose latest album, Love Songs, is a big spinner here on Pure Pop Radio. You’ll hear great tracks from the Maggies, Philip’s solo releases (including an unreleased tune), and Winterpills. Don’t miss this exciting show.
In other words, it’s another week of spectacular specialty shows coming up right here on Pure Pop Radio.
What’s on tap? We kick off the cool proceedings on Monday, September 5 at 8 pm ET, with an all-new edition of Ken Michaels’ Every Little Thing, which this time around features an interview with Beatles author Chuck Gunderson and a pair of tracks from the Fab new Live at the Hollywood Bowl album, releasing on September 9.
Following Every Little Thing on Monday night, it’s the second show from Jammin’ James Riley in our new series, Catching a Wave, at 9 pm ET. Groove along with tracks from the Surfaris, the Chantays, Jan and Dean, Matthew Sweet and Susanna Hoffs, and many more.
Tune in Tuesday and Wednesday, September 6 and 7, for a rousing Pure Pop Radio: In Conversation twofer. On Tuesday, September 6 at 8 pm ET, Winterpills’ Philip Price sits down with Alan Haber for a two-hour marathon session detailing the many, varied stops through his musical career. Listen for tracks from the Maggies, Philip’s solo releases (including an unreleased tune), and Winterpills, whose latest album, Love Songs, is a big airplay item on Pure Pop Radio.
The next evening, Wednesday, September 7, also at 8 pm ET, we’ve got popster-of-the-hour Nick Piunti dropping in to speak with Alan about his smashing new album, Trust Your Instincts, releasing on Friday, September 9 through Jem Records. You’ll hear three songs from the album and Nick’s comments on them. Plus who knows what else?
The specialty show excitement continues on Wednesday night with this week’s all-new Needle Meets Vinyl at a special time. Tune in right after the Nick Piunti interview, at approximately 9 pm ET, for another great all-vinyl mix from host Brian Bringelson, featuring songs from George Harrison, Electric Light Orchestra, Rick Nelson and the Stone Canyon Band, Big Star, and many more of your favorite artists from across the decades. Sweet.
We finish this exciting week of specialty shows with the latest back-and-forth from our panel of Beatles experts on Things We Said Today on Thursday, September 8 at 8 pm ET. This time around, Ken Michaels, Steve Marinucci, Al Sussman, and Allan Kozinn discuss Paul McCartney’s album Press to Play with returning guest Dr. Kit O’Toole, author of the Deep Beatles column and the book Songs We Were Singing. Also up for discussion is the 50th anniversary of the Beatles final concert, held at Candlestick Park in San Francisco, and a concert appearance by the Claypool Lennon Delirium; Ken was there and he has an on-the-spot report.
So, looking to the week ahead in specialty shows: Don’t miss a second of Alan’s interviews with Winterpills’ Philip Price and Nick Piunti on Pure Pop Radio: In Conversation, all-new editions of Ken Michaels’ Every Little Thing and the weekly Beatles roundtable, Things We Said Today, as well as the second Catching a Wave show from Jammin’ James Riley and the latest all-vinyl mix from Brian Bringelson on Needle Meets Vinyl. Pure Pop Radio has the goods this week…and every week!
We usher September in with another round of new artists and songs now spinning in rotation…
Mimi Betinis | Basement Tapes Vol. 1
A month ago today, I reviewed Mimi’s other 2016 release, Music Sounds, which I determined rather early in the listening was a simply wonderful collection of songs. Now, here is another Betinis collection, composed of tracks that he’s been working on over the years that have now been finished and gathered together all shiny and vibrant in one place. The treasures on offer are full of life: the achingly beautiful ballad, “All that Glitters,” picked acoustically with care, topped by tambourine and electric guitar shading, and featuring instruments from Mimi’s extensive collection, which, he says, give the song “an eerie and dark feel”; “Ray of Light,” a melodic sweetness sounding like an Andy Partridge outtake off of XTC’s Nonsuch album, and simply lovely covers (Paul McCartney’s song for Mary Hopkin, “Goodbye,” and the Hudson Brothers’ “So You Are a Star” are glorious). Saying that some heritage artists are only getting better as time passes by can sound like rather an empty assertion, but my, how that phrase does indeed fit snug as a bug here. Now playing in rotation on Pure Pop Radio: “All that Glitters,” “Another Day,” “Brown Eyes and Bangs,” “Didn’t We 1979,” “Good Morning Little Schoolgirl,” “Goodbye,” “Ray of Light,” “So You are a Star,” and “The Sun Ain’t Gonna Shine.” Where to Get It: Available on October 1 at CD Baby. Pre-order now atPop Music Sounds.
Tom Guerra | Trampling Out the Vintage and All of the Above
Mambo Sons member and a writer, since 1998, for Vintage Guitar magazine, Tom Guerra has been playing live since the late 1970s; he’s been a solo artist since 2014, when he released his first record, All of the Above. His latest album, Trampling Out the Vintage, was released this year; tracks from both long players are now happily spinning on Pure Pop Radio. From the debut, the warm, inviting singalong ballad, “Love Comes to Us All,” is a lovely charmer, and the rocker “Cup of Tea” is a solid toe tapper with a classic riff and a great melody. From Trampling Out the Vintage, “Tell the World” is an obvious, catchy pop single waiting to explode at radio, and the rocking cover of “Make Your Own Kind of Music,” made famous by Mama Cass Elliot, is a prime example of how to pay respect to a classic number and make it your own at the very same time. I hope to be able to add more music from Tom to the Pure Pop Radio playlist in the future. Now playing in rotation on Pure Pop Radio: From Trampling Out the Vintage: “All Purpose Song,” “Tell the World,” “Hard to Love,” and “Make Your Own Kind of Music.” From All of the Above: “Dirty Son,” “Here’s Tomorrow,” “Cup of Tea,” and “Love Comes to Us All.” Where to Get Them: Tom’s E-Store,CD Baby, and Amazon.
Tony ‘n’ the Recruiters | “I Hate California”
Standells veteran Tony Valentino and crew bemoan the state of life on the left coast with a down and dirty stab of pop and roll, stacked deep with four-on-the-floor emotion and spicy guitar licks. Tony continues to be the man with this latest release, a real corker of a record that makes the airwaves light up at any time of the day or night. Monumental. Now playing in rotation on Pure Pop Radio. Where to Get It: Watch this space.
The Bradburys | “Marilyn” b/w “Hello Hello” Barry Knoedl | “Baby Don’t Give Up” and “I Just Want to Make You Happy”
Scott Carlson’s Frodis Records continues to do the pop community a great service by releasing vinyl-only reissues of important power pop and punk recordings. The label’s latest pearls are separate singles devoted to some essential sounds.
The Bradburys songs, both from the hard-to-find 1999 debut Introducing the Bradburys, are vibrant pop rockers with great hooks. An attractive sleeve and liner notes from the band’s Dan Pavelich, who still turns out great tunes, are key elements of the package (Dan currently draws the wonderful Just Say Uncle comic strip, and writes for the Kenosha News in Wisconsin).
Barry Knoedl’s poppy, catchy single dates back to 1976; it was recorded at the end of a session during which he played bass and was the second release on Jim Antonucci’s Death Records. Thankfully, Scott has rescued this pair of delightful, smile-inducing, pure poppy numbers.
A tip of the Pure Pop Radio hat for the work being done by Scott in rescuing some of pop’s greatest, seemingly-unknown treasures. Now playing in rotation on Pure Pop Radio. Where to Get Them: Frodis Records