New on Pure Pop Radio 05.18.17: Songs, Bond Songs: The Music of 007; Chris Price; Fun of the Pier, and More

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Spins and Reviews | 05.18.17
By Alan Haber – Pure Pop Radio

Various Artists | Songs, Bond Songs: The Music of 007 (2017)
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Curry Cuts’ third release, after swimming with lite rockers and second British Invasioneers, continues the label’s successful run of specially-curated themed compilations with this gathering of 26 covers of all of the songs featured in James Bond films.

This merry mix of moods invites repeat listens: standouts include Popdudes’ straight-ahead, rocking take on Paul McCartney and Wings’ “Live and Let Die”; Lannie Flowers’ Merseybeat-ish “James Bond Theme,” which glistens with power pop polish and a pair of nifty nods to Fab notions; and Zach Jones’ brightly-lit, soulful run through “All-Time High.” The Corner Laughers’ sprightly, jazzy version of “Diamonds are Forever” is a keeper, and don’t count out Big-Box Store, aka The New Pornographers’ Joe Seiders, who turns in a commanding, moody performance of “Die Another Day.”

Grab a martini–shaken, stirred, or otherwise appointed–and know how it feels to have an all-time high. (If you missed out on Curry Cuts’ first two releases, Drink a Toast to Innocence: A Tribute to Lite Rock and Here Comes the Reign Again: The Second British Invasion, click here with due speed.)

black box Now playing on Pure Pop Radio: “All Time High,” Zach Jones; “Diamonds are Forever,” The Corner Laughers; “Die Another Day,” Big-Box Store; “For Your Eyes Only,” Freedy Johnston; “From Russia with Love,” The Stereo Twins; “Golden Eye,” Identical Suns; “James Bond Theme,” Lannie Flowers; “Live and Let Die,” Popdudes; “Moonraker,” Gary Frenay; “The Living Daylights,” Cirrone; and “Writing’s On the Wall,” Cliff Hillis
black box Where to Get It: Bandcamp

chris price stop talking coverChris Price | Stop Talking (2017)
The blue-gray washed inner, two-panel spread of Chris Price’s second album shows Price in contemplative repose standing at the foot of the ocean, at the beach, wearing a suit and tie, his hands in his pockets, his longish hair being blown back softly as the tempered waves draw close behind him. Even the blue-tinted dog on the cover looks like he, or she, has a few things on his mind.

chris price ocean photo 5Five years on from his first solo album, and after producing Emitt Rhodes and Linda Perhacs, these 14 songs recorded by Price between 2013 and 2016 make up the ironically-titled Stop Talking, which isn’t really what this thinking-man’s popster wants you to do after hearing the catchy “One of Them,” the Paul McCartney-meets-Stephen Bishop-meets-Rupert Holmes “Man Down,” and the tour de force, “Darkness.”

Stop talking? No, no. What Price wants you to do is listen and then talk about these songs. Tell your friends, your family, your neighbors–the guy who delivers bread to your local supermarket, even. In this social media age especially, it’s word of mouth, communicated far and wide, that moves souls in search of the next big thing from point a to b.

So let’s start talking. This album’s highlights are many, brought to life by Price who, in addition to being the artist, wore the hats of producer, engineer and mixer, and a number of additional musicians. The tender, Nilsson-esque “You and Me (And Everyone Else),” co-written by Price and The New Pornographers’ Joe Seiders, who plays a delicate piano here, puts the spotlight on Price’s voice, a strong, emotional instrument. The pounding piano song “One of Them” is a pure pop delight. And the toe-tapping, orchestrated charmer “Once Was True” puts a lovely chord progression and melodic structure center stage.

Perhaps the centerpiece of Stop Talking is “Darkness,” a patchwork of a song, rallying different time signatures around a handsome melody for a bravura performance that takes less than three minutes to bring to a close.

The man at the foot of the ocean can stop contemplating now. Stop Talking is a keeper.

black box Now playing on Pure Pop Radio: “Hi Lo,” “Man Down,” “Once Was True,” “You and Me (And Everyone Else),” “Sigh,” “Darkness,” “James Bond Theme,” “One of Them,” and “Anhedonia”
black box Where to Get It: Kool Kat Musik, Amazon

cover artFun of the Pier | “Cavern Song” and “(In) My Town” (from the forthcoming album, 14:42)
Nottingham, England’s Mark and Helen Luker, along with Richard Hattersley, make a welcome return to the pop landscape with two new songs that will feature on the duo’s forthcoming, long-awaited album, 14:42.

band shot“Cavern Song” is a sprightly toe-tapper about getting into the world famous venue on a number of fronts. Taking to task entitlement (“What d’you mean we have to pay?”), expressing the excitement of being there on social media in the most basic of terms (“Take a photo of a photograph/Now upload it to your page/Oh we’re havin’ such a laugh/Take a selfie on the stage”), and the power of the artist (“And at least I get to work it out/With some lyrics…”), the song is perhaps the very first lively, happy-sounding cautionary tale of 2017. Somewhat recalling the vibe of Paul McCartney’s “Hope of Deliverance,” “(In) My Town” examines life in a small burg under siege, from which youth is unable to break out (“Is it any wonder they can’t meet/The demands of a world unknown”). All three players shine, but let’s give Mark top marks for some quite inventive bass playing.

A CD containing both of these songs is slated to be given away at the Cavern Club in conjunction with Fun of the Pier’s performance at International Pop Overthrow this coming weekend. Meanwhile, bring on the album. We’ve loved Fun of the Pier’s sound for a long time. Welcome back.

black box Now playing on Pure Pop Radio: “Cavern Song” and “(In) My Town”
black box Where to Get It: Not yet available

Now Is The Time Cover ArtStrangely Alright | “Now is the Time” (2017)
Regan Lane and company return to the Pure Pop Radio airwaves, and your stereo components, with this spacey, Marc Bolan-in-space vibe-y number. Hypnotic and inviting, the song fills the here-and-now stereo soundfield with ’60s-inspired joy. Don’t miss it.

black box Now playing on Pure Pop Radio
black box Where to Get It: iTunes, CD Baby

Crime Scene - Carnival Queen coverCrime Scene | “Carnival Queen” and “The Highs and Lows of Love” (2017)
Former members of the great Swedish Longplayer Orchestra–Ulf Holmberg, Jon Sundberg, and Göran Holmberg–join Per Östling to deliver one of the big treats of the spring on this nifty digital single.

“Carnival Queen” is a majestic mid-paced, McCartney-esque ballad with a catchy chorus; “The Highs and Lows of Love” starts out as a rockin’ blues belter that becomes a pure pop delight in the chorus, which is preceded by a sly nod to the Electric Light Orchestra (spot it if you dare!) and topped off with a surprise coda. Whew! Lots of fun.

black box Now playing on Pure Pop Radio: “Carnival Queen” and “The Highs and Lows of Love”
black box Where to Get It: Not yet available

Also added to the Pure Pop Radio playlist and currently spinning in rotation:

your gracious host boomerangYour Gracious Host | Boomerang (2017) | “Boomerang,” “Honor the Aim,” “Rest of Us in the Third World,” “Spritely,” and “You See Right Through Me” Bandcamp, Kool Kat Musik

Plasticsoul - Therapy coverPlasticsoul | Therapy (2017) | “Her Raincoat,” “The Girl of Many Tribes,” and “Babylon” Plasticsoul Pre-Order

love minus zeroLove Minus Zero | “Mary Says” Bandcamp

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It’s Here: The Playlist for Last Night’s Pop Tunes Deejay Show! Check it Out!

pop tunes disc smallWe popped and we rolled and felt the good vibes of catchy melodic tunes designed to put a big smile on your faces! The fourth edition of Pop Tunes, hosted by Alan Haber, premiered last night (if you missed it, it plays again this Thursday, September 3, at noon ET (9 am PT) and this Sunday, September 6, at 3 pm ET (noon PT).

Here’s what Alan played last night:

Set One: One and Begun
The Cowsills | “Hair” from The Best of the Cowsills

Set Two: Whole Lotta Beautiful!
Pop 4 | “Beautiful” from Summer
Parthenon Huxley | “Beautiful” from Thank You, Bethesda
The Beach Boys | “It’s a Beautiful Day” from 10 Years of Harmony
Dada | “Beautiful Turnback Time Machine” from Dada
The Rascals | “A Beautiful Morning” from Ultimate

Set Three: Rhodes Still Traveled
Emitt Rhodes | “How Can You Mend a Broken Heart” (Split 45)
The Merry-Go-Round | “Textile Factory”
Ray Paul | “‘Til the Day After” from Rhodes of Perfection (Unreleased)
Ray Paul (with Emitt Rhodes) | “Some Sing, Some Dance” from The Charles Beat
Emitt Rhodes | “Farewell to Paradise” from Farewell to Paradise

Set Four: New and Nearly-New at Pure Pop Radio
Pugwash | “The Fool I Had Become” from Play this Intimately (As if Among Friends)
Scot Sax and Suzie Brown | “Two Babies” from Our Album Doesn’t Like You Either
The Universal Thump | “Sunset Park” from Walking the Cat: The Abbey Road EP
Nick Piunti | “It’s a Trap” from Beyond the Static

Set Five | The Songs We Were Playing
David Myhr | “Record Collection” from Soundshine and the Record Collection digital EP
Phenomenal Cat | “Mellow Lane” from Postcards from the British Empire
Fun of the Pier | “Fun of the Pier (I Can See the Sea)” from I Can See the Sea
Graham Gouldman | “The Halls of Rock ‘n’ Roll” from Love and Work

Set Six | Beatle Blast
Stackridge | “Something About the Beatles” from Something for the Weekend

Set Seven | One and Done
Glen Campbell | “Guess I’m Dumb” from Pet Projects: The Brian Wilson Productions

purepoplogoWe hope you enjoyed this week’s show. It was a lot of fun! Join Alan next Monday night, September 7, at 9 pm ET (6 pm PT) for an all new episode of Pop Tunes.

Alan Haber’s Pop Tunes is a cool deejay show playing the greatest melodic pop music from the ’60s to today. The show airs every Monday night at 9 pm ET (6 pm PT) on Pure Pop Radio, and repeats on Thursday afternoons at noon ET (9 am PT) and Sundays at 3 pm ET (noon PT). Please like us on Facebook by clicking here.

Listen to Pure Pop Radio on the go using your Android or iOS devices! Download Our Mobile App.

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

Alan Haber’s Pop Tunes is Tonight’s Top Spot for Top Tunes from Yesterday and Today!

pop tunes disc small

Handmade Pop Tunes logo, crocheted by Pure Pop Radio Station Manager Janet Haber

Tonight’s fourth edition of Pop Tunes, Alan Haber’s popular deejay show on Pure Pop Radio, is off and running at 9 pm ET (6 pm PT) with a whole lot of melodic pop lovin’, hooks galore, and catchy melodies that sing!

Kicking off with a “hairy” blast from the past from the Cowsills, tonight’s show delivers a set of “beautiful” songs from such artists as the Rascals, Parthenon Huxley, and Pop 4. An extended set with five classic songs from Emitt Rhodes and artists that have covered his tunes is next; Emitt’s great cover of the Bee Gees’ “How Can You Mend a Broken Heart,” released last year on Record Store Day, is first out of the box.

pugwashPugwash leads a powerhouse pack of new and nearly-new songs now playing in rotation on Pure Pop Radio: Scot Sax and Susie Brown, the Universal Thump and Nick Piunti are also spinning in this set. A set of songs that were playing when Pure Pop Radio first signed on three years ago is up next, featuring the catchy sounds of David Myhr, Phenomenal Cat, Fun of the Pier, and Graham Gouldman.

glen campbellThe weekly Beatle Blast, from Stackridge, and a blast from the past from Glen Campbell close out this edition of Pop Tunes. Alan hopes you’ll join him for another 75 minutes of the greatest melodic pop in the universe, topped with a healthy smattering of deejay patter! See you on the radio!

purepoplogoAlan Haber’s Pop Tunes is a cool deejay show playing the greatest melodic pop music from the ’60s to today. The show airs every Monday night at 9 pm ET (6 pm PT) on Pure Pop Radio, and repeats on Thursday afternoons at noon ET (9 am PT) and Sundays at 3 pm ET (noon PT). Please like us on Facebook by clicking here.

Listen to Pure Pop Radio on the go using your Android or iOS devices! Download Our Mobile App.

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