New on Pure Pop Radio 7.25.18: The Quite Grand Debut of the Grand Leve

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alan headshot from schoolBy Alan Haber – Pure Pop Radio

Spins and Reviews | 7.25.18

The Grand Levé | The Grand Levé (2018)
the grand leve coverThe music reviewer’s job, the same as it ever was, is to paint a picture with words that convince you that an album either isn’t worth a scintilla of your time (which, of course, we don’t do here) or should rise to the top of your must-buy list. So, we talk about an artist’s influences and how he or she fits into the scheme of things that matter to you and yours. Are the songs good? Are they catchy? Do they matter?

Then, it’s up to you, and if we’ve done our job, your next move is easy.

Göran Hjertstedt, who made the quite grand The Grand Levé with Europe’s (the Swedish rock band, not the continent) Ian Haugland, Ulf Holmberg, Göran Holmberg, Staffan Ebbesten, and Jonas Karlberg, knows that making the next move–the creative move, in this case–is never easy. His more than four decades making music, primarily with hit duo Visitors in the late 1980s, Brains Beat Beauty in 1997, and Longplayer beginning in 2010, can be looked at as an extended ramping-up period during which he soaked up the key attributes that attracted him to his favorite artists and led to his new songs (even if two of them date back to the time of Visitors).

Basically, Göran Hjertstedt has the same record collection as you do, which means that you and his new songs will get along just fine.

Although The Grand Levé fairly obviously shares cell structure with the music of Jeff Lynne, 10cc, Queen, Tom Petty and other members of the usual suspects club, and traffics in motifs pioneered during such periods as the 1960s and 1700s (note the classically-inclined first track, “And Light Appeared,” which straddles influences by either consciously or subconsciously quoting Elton John), the artist Hjertstedt is his own man, and The Grand Levé is his album.

This enticing mix of catchy, well-crafted songs knows how to command your attention. “All in the City,” very Electric Light Orchestra in every imaginable and loving way; “Free,” very melody-rich Tom Petty; and “Yesterday Man,” very pure pop and Göran Hjertstedt by way of Longplayer, lead the more than sufficiently well-appointed pack. The mutli-retro “Two to Tango,” a bluesy drawing room number about love and dancing that namechecks Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers, and “What Am I Gonna Do (Lunar City Heartache),” a luscious, romantic mid-tempo ballad with sci-fi overtones, are two more superlative melodic wonders. The alluring, closing instrumental, “Memory Lane,” is perhaps the perfect ruminative end to these proceedings, marked by lovely, expressive electric guitar lines that sing.

When all is said and done, The Grand Levé makes its mark because its sound pictures, drawn with love and affection, tell an affecting, collective tale. The Grand Levé is nothing less than a triumph for fans of melodic pop music. Same as it ever was, in fact.

black box Now Playing in Rotation on Pure Pop Radio: “Ride the Wind,” “All in the City,” “Two to Tango,” “Free,” “What Am I Gonna Do (Lunar City Heartache),” and “Yesterday Man”
black box Where to Get It: Digital download at Amazon. Stream on YouTube and Spotify

ppr radio purple background - insetPure Pop Radio plays the greatest melodic pop music from across the decades, 24 hours a day. Listen by clicking on the Live365 Listen Now button at left. Hear us once and you’ll be a listener for life. Join us, won’t you? You’ll be glad you did!

Pure Pop Radio’s signature shows, Pure Pop Radio: In Conversation (Wednesday, 9 pm ET) and Alan Haber’s Pop Tunes Deejay Show (Thursday, 8 pm ET), air exclusively on Pop that Goes Crunch Radio.

Pure Pop Radio: In Conversation Podcasts: The Davenports’ Scott Klass (Airdate: July 18, 2018)

alan headshot from schoolBy Alan Haber – Pure Pop Radio

the davenports don't be mad at me album coverThe Davenports’ Scott Klass joined me for a typically in-depth hour on the July 18 edition of Pure Pop Radio: In Conversation to talk about his wonderful new album, Don’t Be Mad at Me, another feather in the Davenports’ cap. That’s a particularly apt way to describe a collection of 10 melodically-charged, literate pop songs gathered under one roof.

The lovely title song, one of my favorites from Klass’s esteemed catalog, and one of the finest melodic pop songs in recent memory, barely scratches the surface of the joys that this album brings. “I Don’t Know What to Do,” a miraculous Klass and David Myhr cowrite, and the first single, a fine ballad called “Where Shall We Hang Elena?”, are two more gems that will no doubt burrow in your brain upon first listen.

Scott and I spoke about his songwriting, collaborating with Pure Pop Radio favorite David Myhr, and Don’t Be Mad at Me’s attractive art direction (by Winterpills’ Philip B. Price). We also played and looked deep into three of the songs on his miraculous new album, and took a Davenports classic from Speaking of the Davenports, “I’ll Come Down,” for a spin.

Get your vinyl or CD copy of the Davenports’ Don’t Be Mad at Me at the band’s website store. Alternatively, purchase the download version at Amazon or iTunes.

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pprListen to my interview with the Davenports’ Scott Klass from the July 18 edition of Pure Pop Radio: In Conversation by clicking the play button on the following player, or click on the Pure Pop Radio button to the left to download (then right click and choose “Save audio as” to save the file to your computer). (This interview is presented in scoped format; the songs have been removed due to copyright concerns.)

 


Listen to a wide selection of previously-aired Pure Pop Radio: In Conversation interviews by clicking here.

ppr radio purple background - insetPure Pop Radio plays the greatest melodic pop music from across the decades, 24 hours a day. Listen by clicking on the Live365 Listen Now button at left. Hear us once and you’ll be a listener for life. Join us, won’t you? You’ll be glad you did!

Pure Pop Radio’s signature shows, Pure Pop Radio: In Conversation (Wednesday, 9 pm ET) and Alan Haber’s Pop Tunes Deejay Show (Thursday, 8 pm ET), air exclusively on Pop that Goes Crunch Radio.

Alan Haber’s Pop Tunes Deejay Show | Playlist: Show #59 | 7-19-18

alan headshot from schoolBy Alan Haber – Pure Pop Radio

Hey, Kats and Kittens! Dig this:

Alan Haber’s Pop Tunes Deejay Show #59 | 7-19-18

pop tunes disc smallThe Playlist:

1. Dana Countryman | Pop Tunes Theme
2. Harpers Bizarre | “The Biggest Night of Her Life” | Anything Goes, 1967

Set Two: The Weeklings Pop!
3. The Weeklings | “Baby, You’re a Rich Man” | Single, 2018
4. The Weeklings | “Breathing Underwater” | The Weeklings, 2015
5. The Weeklings | “One and One is Two” | The Weeklings, 2015
6. The Weeklings | “In the Moment” | Single, 2018

Set Three: New!
7. Nick Piunti | “No Return” | Temporary High, 2018
8. Bubble Gum Orchestra | “Tomorrow’s Overrated” | Zentopia, 2018
9. Farrington | “Hey Mr. Rock and Roll” | Single, 2018
10. Dana Countryman | “Summer Sand” | Single, 2018

Set Four: New Too!
11. Ginger Root | “Shmoopie” | Mahjong Room, 2018
12. Sean Solo | “In Love Again” | Depth Perception, 2018
13. Astral Drive | “Summer of ’76” | Astral Drive, 2018
14. Vanilla | “Itchykoo Park” | Single, 2018

Set Five: Mind Your NRBQs!
15. NRBQ | “Waitin’ On My Sweetie Pie” | High Noon – A 50 Year Retrospective, 2016
16. NRBQ | “Advice for Teenagers” | High Noon – A 50 Year Retrospective, 2016
17. NRBQ | “Imaginary Radio” | High Noon – A 50 Year Retrospective, 2016
18. Jim Boggia | “Listening to NRBQ” | Misadventures in Stereo, 2008

Set Close:
19. Matthew Sweet and Susannah Hoffs | “And Your Bird Can Sing” | Under the Covers Vol. 1, 2006

Bonus:
20. Harpers Bizarre | “You Need a Change” | Anything Goes, 1967 (With Dick Scoppetone Intro)

Plus: Alan’s Snappy Deejay Patter!

ppr radio purple background - insetPure Pop Radio plays the greatest melodic pop music from across the decades, 24 hours a day. Listen by clicking on the Live365 Listen Now button at left. Hear us once and you’ll be a listener for life. Join us, won’t you? You’ll be glad you did!

Pure Pop Radio’s signature shows, Pure Pop Radio: In Conversation (Wednesday, 9 pm ET) and Alan Haber’s Pop Tunes Deejay Show (Thursday, 8 pm ET), air exclusively on Pop that Goes Crunch Radio.

Alan Haber’s Pop Tunes Deejay Show | Playlist: Show #58 | 7-12-18

alan headshot from schoolBy Alan Haber – Pure Pop Radio

Hey, Kats and Kittens! Dig this:

Alan Haber’s Pop Tunes Deejay Show #58 | 7-12-18

pop tunes disc smallThe Playlist:

1. Dana Countryman | Pop Tunes Theme
2. The Beatles | “Hello Goodbye” | Magical Mystery Tour, 1967

Set Two: Well, It’s Fab!
3. The Weeklings | “Baby, You’re a Rich Man” | Single, 2018
4. The Beatles | “Love Me Do” | Please Please Me, 1963
5. The Beatles | “Baby, You’re a Rich Man” | Magical Mystery Tour, 1967
6. Paul McCartney | “Hot as Sun/Glasses” | McCartney, 1970

Set Three: New!
7. Poppermost | “Pictures of Matchstick Men” | Single, 2018
8. Status Quo | “Pictures of Matchstick Men” | Picturesque Matchstickable Messages from the Status Quo, 1968
9. Farrington | “Hey Mr. Rock and Roll” | Single, 2018
10. My Little Brother | “Cyanide” | Single, 2018

Set Four: New Too!
11. Nick Piunti | “If This Was Right” | Temporary High, 2018
12. Lannie Flowers | “The One” | Single, 2018
13. The Crushing Violets | “That’s My Desire” | Ghost Fields, 2018

Set Five: New Plus!
14. Astral Drive | “Wishing I Could Change the World” | Astral Drive, 2018
15. William Duke | “Cue Up the Memories” | Quatro, 2018
16. Andy Partridge | “Apples and Oranges” | Apples and Oranges/Humanoid Boogie, 2018
17. The Dukes of Stratosphear | “Bike Ride to the Moon” | 25 O’Clock, 1985

Set Six: New Also!
18. Paul McCartney | “Come On to Me” | Egypt Station, 2018
19. The Doughboys | “Play with Fire” | Single, 2018

Set Close:
20. The Honeycombs | “Have I the Right” | Single, 1964

Plus: Alan’s Snappy Deejay Patter!

ppr radio purple background - insetPure Pop Radio plays the greatest melodic pop music from across the decades, 24 hours a day. Listen by clicking on the Live365 Listen Now button at left. Hear us once and you’ll be a listener for life. Join us, won’t you? You’ll be glad you did!

Pure Pop Radio’s signature shows, Pure Pop Radio: In Conversation (Wednesday, 9 pm ET) and Alan Haber’s Pop Tunes Deejay Show (Thursday, 8 pm ET), air exclusively on Pop that Goes Crunch Radio.

Two Als Talking Tunes (aka Pure Pop Radio: In Conversation) Podcasts: Al Sussman (Airdate: July 11, 2018)

alan headshot from schoolBy Alan Haber – Pure Pop Radio

al sussman

Beatlefan Executive Editor Al Sussman joined me on July 11 for another rousing edition of Two Als Talking Tunes, for which we redressed the virtual Pure Pop Radio: In Conversation set as if it were on the beach to allow us to play some favorite sun-soaked records and toss out some earth-shattering chart facts and figures.

Our theme for this go-round was summer songs that were about the season or were hits under the summer sun. Al and I, after slathering on the SPF (it was virtually hot out there!), chose three each and played and talked about them in our usual joyous, easygoing, fact-filled style. Al’s picks: Nat King Cole’s “Those Lazy-Hazy-Crazy Days of Summer”; Bruce and Terry’s “Summer Means Fun”; and Aretha Franklin’s version of “I Say a Little Prayer.” I chose Stevie Wonder’s “Summer Soft”; Sly and the Family Stone’s “Hot Fun in the Summertime”; and the Association’s “Windy.” The show ended with a bonus classic from the Beach Boys–the single version of “Fun, Fun, Fun.”

in conversation new graphic grey

pprListen to the summer songs edition of Two Als Talking Tunes with Al Sussman, originally broadcast on July 11, by clicking the play button on the following player, or click on the Pure Pop Radio button to the left to download (then right click and choose “Save audio as” to save the file to your computer). (This interview is presented in scoped format; the songs have been removed due to copyright concerns.)

Take the songs played during this show for a test drive by clicking on the following Spotify links:

 


Listen to a wide selection of previously-aired Pure Pop Radio: In Conversation interviews by clicking here.

ppr radio purple background - insetPure Pop Radio plays the greatest melodic pop music from across the decades, 24 hours a day. Listen by clicking on the Live365 Listen Now button at left. Hear us once and you’ll be a listener for life. Join us, won’t you? You’ll be glad you did!

Pure Pop Radio’s signature shows, Pure Pop Radio: In Conversation (Wednesday, 9 pm ET) and Alan Haber’s Pop Tunes Deejay Show (Thursday, 8 pm ET), air exclusively on Pop that Goes Crunch Radio.

The Davenports’ Scott Klass Visits Pure Pop Radio: In Conversation, and an All-New Pop Tunes Deejay Show Spins a New Weeklings Single and Much More

alan headshot from schoolBy Alan Haber – Pure Pop Radio

The Davenports’ Scott Klass brings melodic joy and talk to this week’s Pure Pop Radio: In Conversation, and the new single from the Weeklings powers an all-new edition of Alan Haber’s Pop Tunes Deejay Show. In other words, it’s another wonderful week of catchy pop on Pure Pop Radio’s specialty shows.

in conversation new graphic blue

the davenports don't be mad at me album coverTomorrow night (Wednesday) at 9 pm ET, the Davenports’ Scott Klass joins me for for a typically in-depth hour on the latest Pure Pop Radio: In Conversation program. The Davenports’ new album, Don’t Be Mad at Me, is another feather in the band’s cap, offering up 10 melodically-charged, literate pop songs for your listening, dancing and romancing pleasure.

The lovely title song, one of my favorites from Klass’s esteemed catalog, and one of the finest melodic pop songs in recent memory, barely scratches the surface of the joys that this album brings. “I Don’t Know What to Do,” a miraculous Klass and David Myhr cowrite, and the first single, a fine ballad called “Where Shall We Hang Elena?”, are two more gems that will no doubt burrow in your brain upon first listen.

pop tunes disc smallAn hour’s worth of songs that will also burrow in your brain will happily spin during this Thursday night’s all-new Pop Tunes Deejay Show (8 pm ET), which offers up new and new-to-you tunes from the Weeklings–a tantalizing cover of the Beatles’ “Baby, You’re a Rich Man”–and three more Weeklings classics; new tracks from Nick Piunti, Bubble Gum Orchestra, Farrington, Dana Countryman, Ginger Root, Sean Solo, Astral Drive, and Vanilla; and classics from Harpers Bizarre, Jim Boggia, Matthew Sweet and Susannah Hoffs. Plus: a fun set devoted to the music of NRBQ.

Don’t miss this week’s Pure Pop Radio specialty shows, broadcast as always on Pop that Goes Crunch Radio. Also make note of Pure Pop Radio’s 24-hour stream of the greatest melodic pop in the universe from the ’60s, ’70s and today; click on the Live 365 Listen Now button below to take our mix for a spin. Enjoy!

Pure Pop Radio’s signature shows, Pure Pop Radio: In Conversation (Wednesday, 9 pm ET) and Alan Haber’s Pop Tunes Deejay Show (Thursday, 8 pm ET), air exclusively on Pop that Goes Crunch Radio.

ppr radio purple background - insetPure Pop Radio plays the greatest melodic pop music from across the decades, 24 hours a day. Listen by clicking on the Live365 Listen Now button at left. Hear us once and you’ll be a listener for life. Join us, won’t you? You’ll be glad you did!

The Weeklings’ New Single (and More) Spin on this Week’s Pop Tunes Deejay Show, and Two Als Talking Tunes Spins Summer Songs on Pure Pop Radio: In Conversation

alan headshot from schoolBy Alan Haber – Pure Pop Radio

We’ve got another pair of fun Pure Pop Radio specialty shows for you this week. Do you like summer songs? We’ve got you covered. How about a new Weeklings single? We’ve got you covered there, too.

in conversation new graphic blue

The fun begins this Wednesday, July 11 at 9 pm ET, when Beatlefan Executive Editor Al Sussman joins me for one of our every-once-in-a-while, just-for-fun episodes of Pure Pop Radio: In Conversation we call Two Als Talking Tunes, during which we each pick a bunch of songs and talk about and play them.

This time around, Al and I take a look at summer songs that are about and were popular in the summer. Well, it is that time of year! Al goes in-depth on summery tunes from Nat King Cole, the Fantastic Baggys, and Aretha Franklin, and I play summer faves from Stevie Wonder, Sly and the Family Stone, and the Association. Grab your sunscreen and join us!

pop tunes disc smallOn Thursday night at 8 pm ET, an all-new edition of Alan Haber’s Pop Tunes Deejay Show rolls with the brand new single from the Weeklings, a typically Weeklings-ized version of a Beatles tune. This time around, they’ve made “Baby, You’re a Rich Man” their own, and embedded an Easter egg–the Weeklings’ specialty–that you have to be paying close attention to catch. But don’t worry–I’ve provided a clue for you all.

Also on this week’s Pop Tunes Deejay Show: the latest from Poppermost, Farrington, My Little Brother, Nick Piunti, Lannie Flowers, the Crushing Violets, Astral Drive, William Duke, Andy Partridge, Paul McCartney, and the Doughboys, along with classic tracks from the Fab Four, the Honeycombs, and Status Quo. An eclectic mix? For sure. And a fun listen, too.

Don’t miss this week’s Pure Pop Radio specialty shows airing exclusively on Pop that Goes Crunch Radio. And don’t forget to tune into Pure Pop Radio’s 24-hour stream of melodic pop music from the ’60s to today, with a special emphasis on new releases. We’re on the air right now; click on the link below to listen.

Enjoy!

Pure Pop Radio’s signature shows, Pure Pop Radio: In Conversation (Wednesday, 9 pm ET) and Alan Haber’s Pop Tunes Deejay Show (Thursday, 8 pm ET), air exclusively on Pop that Goes Crunch Radio.

ppr radio purple background - insetPure Pop Radio plays the greatest melodic pop music from across the decades, 24 hours a day. Listen by clicking on the Live365 Listen Now button at left. Hear us once and you’ll be a listener for life. Join us, won’t you? You’ll be glad you did!