New on Pure Pop Radio: Caper Clowns, McPherson Grant, Kurt Baker Combo, Pacific Soul Ltd., and More

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Spins and Reviews | 11.16.16 | by Alan Haber alan 5 small

Cacaper-clowns-2per Clowns | The Buca Bus Odense is the third-largest city in Denmark, which is important should you or I be traveling to that country with the desire to visit its largest cities. Another reason to visit Odense would be to soak up the atmosphere that undoubtedly inspired this talented quartet to craft this wonderful melodic pop collection. The highlights are too numerous to mention in toto, but here are a few favorites: “A Tale of Romance and Magnetic Trains,” a pure pop delight of the toe-tapping variety; “Mirror Me,” an uptempo driver which wouldn’t be out of place on a Deacon Blue album; “Sleeping on the Edge of the Rainbow,” a beautiful burst of charming balladry, and “The Significance of Teacups,” wholly McCartney-esque (and ELO-esque with a Brian May-type guitar solo)–an earworm that simply won’t let go. Lovely melodies and harmonies and, well, everything, await your ears. Take a well-deserved bow, Rick Kingo, Peter Højgaard, Christian Højgaard and Skipper Storm; you’ve made one of this year’s most assured collections of musical treasures.
black box Now playing in rotation on Pure Pop Radio: Nearly the entire album: “Pockets,” “A Tale of Romance and Magnetic Trains,” “All We Ever Do is Run,” “The Significance of Teacups,” “Sleeping on the Edge of the Rainbow,” “A Forest of Letters,” “Mirror Me,” “Dressed in Flaws,” “When I’m Alive,” and “Lizard Heart”
black box When and Where to Get It: iTunes, imusic  Amazon UK (mp3 download). Listen on Spotify

mcpherson-grant-big-picture-people-2McPherson Grant | “Big Picture People” Hot off the presses and just emerged from the so-top-secret-you-need-two-passwords-to-get-in laboratory where magic, naturally, sprouts eternal, comes “Big Picture People,” maybe the catchiest earworm yet from the dynamic duo of Scott McPherson and Jamie Grant. With a determined piano opening topped with percussion effects that manages to sweetly recall two Paul McCartney tunes–“Tomorrow” and “Silly Love Songs”–this is the catchy thing of the moment. The lyrics incorporate allusions to McPherson Grant’s song titles and, with tongue planted firmly in cheek, point to the not-actually-nailed-down release date for their forthcoming album (“The melodies slay/Release date delayed/It’s such a bummer”).

Surprising, lively, catchy, and clever (check out the slightly psychedelic/vaudevillian bridge), you won’t be able to get this song out of your head.

As a special treat, click on the audio transport thingy that follows to hear me discuss this song with Scott, and hear “Big Picture People” in its entirety. Meanwhile, look forward to the forthcoming McPherson Grant album, coming real soon. I know I will.


black box Now playing in rotation on Pure Pop Radio
black box When and Where to Get It:
Look for “Big Picture People” to appear on the forthcoming McPherson Grant album

kurt-baker-combo-in-orbitKurt Baker Combo | In Orbit His combo at his side, bashing out a wicked run of hard-charging riffs and tunes, Kurt Baker is back with his rocking rhythm guitar and committed Elvis Costello-vibing vocals. The results are, as you would expect and, furthermore, require, breathless and immediate, from the seventies Bad Company-by-way-of-Raspberries “Baby’s Gone Bad” to the very Katrina and the Waves bopper, “Rusty Nail.” Co-produced in Spain by Kurt and Jorge Colldan, and released on Little Steven Van Zandt’s Wicked Cool Records, In Orbit is a pop and roll dream come true.
black box Now playing in rotation on Pure Pop Radio: “Baby’s Gone Bad,” “Modern Day Rock ‘n’ Roll,” and “Rusty Nail”
black box When and Where to Get It: Kool Kat Musik, Amazon, iTunes

pacific-soul-ltdPacific Soul Ltd. | The Dance Divine Kind of a melting pot of sounds, incorporating pop, soul, and everything seventies, this trio, bringing together the talents of Cockeyed Ghoster Adam Marsland, Teresa Cowles, who, by the way, played legendary bassist Carol Kaye in the Brian Wilson biopic Love and Mercy, and recording artist Norman Kelsey. The “Sugar, Sugar” vibe of the Cowles-sung “We Go High” sits alongside the dance romp “Sunset Golden Love” and the Box Tops-y rocker “Pacific Soul Time”on an album that not only makes you feel the groove, it practically turns it on its catchy head.
black box Now playing in rotation on Pure Pop Radio: “Pacific Soul Time,” “Road Trip,” “Sunset Golden Love,” “Tomorrow Brings Tonight,” and “We Go High”
black box When and Where to Get It: Karma Frog Records

rob-martinezRob Martinez | New Love Environment Pure, catchy pop crafted in Reseda, California at Adam Marsland’s Karma Frog Studios. Albuquerque, New Mexico popster Martinez works through tasty nuggets that promote replayability and will undoubtedly put smiles on the faces of listeners. There are many highlights, but pushing for the top spot is “Love Life,” a musical love letter to the Partridge Family. Sweet.
black box Now playing in rotation on Pure Pop Radio: “Hangin’ On the Line,” Hard to Take,”  “Love Life,” “and “When She Comes to Town,” another Partridge in the pop tree
black box When and Where to Get It: Karma Frog Records

tunsTUNS | TUNS What happens when Sloan’s Chris Murphy, Super Friendz and Flashing Light’s Matt Murphy, and the Inbreds’ Mike O’Neill trio it up and let loose their pop smarts? Pop and roll ensues on a driving collection of snappy, upbeat songs that burrow into your subconscious. Top-flight collection bodes well for future releases.
black box Now playing in rotation on Pure Pop Radio: “Back Among Friends,” “Lonely Life,” “Mind Your Manners,” and “I Can’t Wait Forever”
black box When and Where to Get It: Amazon, Kool Kat Musik, iTunes

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New on Pure Pop Radio 7.12.16

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Spins and Reviews | July 12, 2016 | by Alan Haber

A quartet of tremendous additions to our playlist…

the nines when our love was in bloomThe Nines | “When Our Love Was in Bloom” A heavenly treat from the ever-increasingly-versatile Steve Eggers, who sets his sights this time around on the sounds that brought joy to listeners in the years spanning 1948-1962. This beautiful number, a sad, romantic lament, musically recalls the pleasures of Joe and Noel Sherman’s “Graduation Day,” which was first a hit for the Four Freshman and covered by artists as diverse as Bobby “Boris” Pickett, the Arbors, and the Beach Boys. The opening á cappella couplet, which gives way to light orchestral accompaniment, is among the most thrilling 10 seconds of vocal joy experienced in melodic pop music this year. A trailer for the Nine’s next album releasing in August, this is going to be in your head long after the calendar turns this December 31.
black box Now playing in rotation on Pure Pop Radio.

bill shaouy the other townBill Shaouy | The Other Town An extraordinary selection of songs and performances from this intensely talented member of the online Theme Music community. Beautiful, widescreen arrangements reveal pretty melodies, clever chord changes, and smooth vocals for a most satisfying listening experience. A sincere paean to truth, justice, the American way, and honesty, “Lois Lane,” which opens with a killer a cappella section and a Byrdsian guitar figure, pushes all of the requisite melodic pop buttons as it strikes a blow for integrity (“Reporters once shined/A light on power great and small/If we kept each other honest/We wouldn’t need Superman at all”). The brief and lovely “We Know Not Where” strikes a blow for companionship and adventure experienced together, no matter the destination (“I see south grass/You see west sun/Rolling on as/We sing together”). Joined by Brandi Ediss, Keith Klingensmith, Paul Melançon, Matt Brown, Torbjorn Petersson, Joe Giddings, and other well-known Themesters, Shaouy has produced a top-tier collection.
black box Now playing in rotation on Pure Pop Radio: “So Alive,” “Lois Lane,” “Candy in Line,” “Nightbreak On a Dime,” “Seventy Miles,” and “We Know Not Where.”

RayPaul_Whimsicality-FinalFrontCover-HR-for website sizedRay Paul | Whimsicality Ray Paul’s importance to the melodic pop community as a promoter of the music to radio programmers, a visionary record label owner, and a vital recording artist are immeasurable. Sixteen years after releasing his ace compilation CD, The Charles Beat, and 36 years after Ray Paul and RPM’s album Go Time, Ray is once again an artist, regaling listeners with enticing tales set to everyone’s favorite power pop beat. Whimsicality, one of this year’s best albums, is a delicious mix of originals and well-chosen covers, such as the Grass Roots’ “Temptation Eyes” and Paul McCartney’s “Oh Woman, Oh Why,” which features the contributions of Emitt Rhodes. Of Ray’s originals, the dynamic “A Fool Without Your Love” and Paul McCartney-esque “Jeannie” are only two highlights, all placing gorgeous melodies and Ray’s strong voice out front. A treat from first note to last.
black box Now playing in rotation on Pure Pop Radio: The entire album: “I Love It (But You Don’t Believe It),” “You Don’t Have to Prove Your Love,” “Pretty Flamingo,” “A Fool Without Your Love,” “In My World,” “Jeannie,” “All You Ever Wanted,” “Temptation Eyes,” “Oh Woman, Oh Why,” and “‘Til the Day After.”

mcpherson grant the love of her lifeMcPherson Grant | “The Love of Her Life” A sleepy, waking dream of a Bacharachian love song about memories and the light that shines within the heart of a partner whose loss seems overbearing (“In time/You’ll find/The sky slowly clears/That the rain/And your pain/Will soon disappear”). Orchestrated with slightly subdued panache, this is another winner from the recently-appointed duo whose album is in the cards at some point down the line. Hopefully soon.
black box Now playing in rotation on Pure Pop Radio.

Listen to Pure Pop Radio on the go using your Android and 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

Listen to and Download Scott McPherson’s Appearance on Pure Pop Radio: In Conversation

scott mcpherson 10Scott McPherson’s May 10 appearance on Pure Pop Radio: In Conversation is now available for listening and downloading on our PodOmatic podcast page.

partridge familyOne-fourth of Pop 4, one-half of McPherson Grant and all of Tiny Volcano, Scott sat virtually across from Alan Haber and talked about some of his favorite pop songs from the ’60s and ’70s. First up: The Partridge Family’s “I Think I Love You.” The closer? Elton John’s “Bennie and the Jets.” How much fun can you have talking about music? This much fun!

Listen to and download Scott McPherson’s appearance on Pure Pop Radio: In Conversation by clicking here. Enjoy!

alan-mic-zPure Pop Radio: In Conversation, the premiere melodic pop interview program hosted by Alan Haber, airs Tuesday nights at 8 pm ET. Archived, podcast versions of interviews are posted on the In Conversation PodOmatic podcast page; click here to listen to shows previously broadcast on Pure Pop Radio.

Listen to Pure Pop Radio on the go using your Android and 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

Pop 4’s Scott McPherson Plays and Talks About His Favorite Pop Songs on this Week’s Pure Pop Radio: In Conversation

scott mcpherson 10Master musician and pop stylist Scott McPherson, one-fourth of Pop 4 and one-half of McPherson Grant and all of Tiny Volcano, sits virtually across from Alan Haber on this week’s all-new edition of the premiere melodic pop music talk show, Pure Pop Radio: In Conversation. The fun begins tomorrow night, Tuesday, May 10, at 8 pm ET on Pure Pop Radio.

During this two-hour just-for-fun episode, Alan asks Scott to pick some of his favorite pop songs from the ’60s and ’70s. Scott talks about them, Alan joins in the conversation, and we spin the tunes. We’ve done shows like this before, and we’ve got another really special one coming up soon, and we’ll keep doing them because we all want to know about the songs that speak to and put a smile on the faces of our favorite melodic pop artists.

elton johnpartridge familyScott’s first pick, the Partridge Family’s “I Think I Love You,” kicks off the proceedings, and Elton John’s “Bennie and the Jets”closes them. There’s a whole lot of jam in between; we know you’ll be charmed and amused.

Don’t miss Pop 4 and McPherson Grant and Tiny Volcano’s Scott McPherson choosing and playing some of his favorite melodic pop songs from the ’60s and ’70s tomorrow night at 8 pm ET on Pure Pop Radio: In Conversation. Sing along if you know the words!

alan-mic-zPure Pop Radio: In Conversation, the premiere melodic pop interview program hosted by Alan Haber, airs Tuesday nights at 7 pm ET (4 pm PT). 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.

Listen to Pure Pop Radio on the go using your Android and 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

Pure Pop Radio’s Four-Day New Music Songfest Is On!

alan-mic-zWe’ve rolled up our collective sleeves and we’re digging the sounds. All you need to do to join in on the excitement of our Four-Day New Music Songfest is tune into Pure Pop Radio by clicking on one of the listen links below, and, of course, see what we’ve just added to the playlist by reading the reviews that follow below.

As in the past, we’ve added hundreds of new songs and artists to our playlist. There’s a lot to talk about, so let’s get going. Here comes day one! We lead off with a song that’s making a lot of music fans sit up and take notice…

the monkees she makes me laughThe Monkees | “She Makes Me Laugh” You’d have to be living well under a rock–somewhere so deep that even Pizza Hut won’t deliver there–to have missed the biggest news of the century: The Monkees are back with a new album in mere weeks from now with songs written by such talents as XTC’s Andy Partridge and Paul Weller. Produced by Fountains of Wayne’s Adam Schlesinger. Did we say the Monkees are back? Good Times is the album, and the first single is “She Makes Me Laugh,” written by Weezer’s Rivers Cuomo. That it’s inordinately catchy and very Monkees-ish goes without saying. That we’re playing this song in heavy rotation…well, that goes without saying, too. Welcome back, boys.

the posiesThe Posies | Solid States We continue with this week’s festivities with this new, long-awaited album from power pop heroes the Posies–an album that is poised to be a massive hit with fans, and for very good reason. Solid States finds Jon Auer and Ken Stringfellow, in large part, in pure, melodic pop mode throughout. Lovers of gorgeous, catchy melodies will swoon to such terrific songs as the should-be-hit-bound “Unlikely Places,” with its seductive verse melody and knockout chorus; the dramatic, powerful “Squirrel vs Snake” (the album’s title is part of the lyric); and “Rollercoaster Zen,” sounding like it could have been on a late-period Steely Dan album (a good thing). Do Auer and Stringfellow hit the ubiquitous “it” out of the park? You know we like a good baseball metaphor, so…yes they do. Essential listening. We’re playing six songs in rotation: “Unlikely Places,” “Scattered,” “Titanic,” “Squirrel vs Snake,” “The Definition,” and “Rollercoaster Zen.”

lindsay cowsillLindsay Cowsill | Love is Strange A shot of joy like you haven’t felt in seemingly forever will hit you squarely in the melodic pleasure zone upon listening to the bright and lovely sounds on this mighty terrific EP from Mark Lindsay and Susan Cowsill.

You will so dig the five covers of classic songs from the ’50s and ’60s and one incredibly great original from Mark (that wouldn’t be out of place on a Prefab Sprout album); all of these recordings will have you jumping for…well, you know. Mark and Susan sound as good as they ever have–even better, if that’s possible (and it is). The duo delivers top-flight performances throughout. Susan’s vocal on the Righteous Brothers’ “You’ve Lost that Lovin’ Feelin’,” in particular, is a complete, yes, joy.

This is not only one of the best melodic pop releases of the year, it’s one of the best in many years. We’re playing, in rotation, the aforementioned Righteous Brothers hit, plus Mickey and Sylvia’s “Love is Strange,” Sonny and Cher’s “Baby Don’t Go,” the Dave Clark Five’s “Because,” the Mark Lindsay original “Love Will Make You Smile,” and Bobby Darin’s “Dream Lover.”

Love is Strange, which was produced by Mark Lindsay, was recorded, mixed and mastered in slambang fashion by Kurt Reil at the House Of Vibes. The Grip Weeds do a smashing job backing Mark and Susan on “You’ve Lost that Lovin’ Feelin'”; other guest musicians include the Doughboys’ Mike Caruso, and Mike Fornatale from the Left Banke reunion. Another essential release. You’ll love it.

mcpherson grant cheeseMcPherson Grant | “Cheese” and “My Favorite Thing” Pop 4’s Scott McPherson and his partner-in-musical mayhem, Jamie Grant, return to Pure Pop Radio with another two massively entertaining tunes–a double a-sided single, no less–that will have you desiring so much more.

“Cheese” is a lively, jumpy, tasty, funky hunk of, well, musical cheese that bemoans the state of, well, just about everything from TV network news to the quality of current music and contains this rather choice bit of verbiage: “I need a mighty mouse to get all this cheese outta my house.” Mighty Mouse costume not included. “My Favorite Thing,” a lovely, lyrical tip of the hat to Harry Nilsson that features one Zak Nilsson on drums and percussion, is a waltzy bemoaning of the loss of the narrator’s favorite part of a treasured relationship. McPherson Grant: Your new melodic pop obsession, now playing in rotation on Pure Pop Radio!

joe giddingsJoe Giddings | Better from Here Joe Giddings, forever a Pure Pop Radio star for his work with Star Collector and the JTG Implosion, returns with a knockout collection of one-man-band tracks that sparkle and explode out of your speakers. Joe serves up everything from pure, melodic pop nuggets (“If I Don’t Have Love,” with just a hint of the Partridge Family sound in the background vocals, “Gone So Far” and “Always Raining Somewhere”) to power poppers (“Brand New Day,” with a slight country-campfire element, and “Irrelevant”) and even a heartfelt ballad, inexplicably titled “Final Track.” It’s a veritable feast of Joe, and we’re popping and rocking with seven tracks, including those just mentioned, and “Better from Here.”

sundownSundown | Sundown From Paris, France (not Texas) comes this pop trio with varying degrees of power in its sound. Sundown’s self-titled EP announces itself with catchy songs performed with gusto. We’re playing all four songs: “Solutions and Remedies,””All Woman Like,” “After Some Time,” and the amazing, saxophone-charged “It’s Very Strange.” Good stuff.

hector and the leavesHector and the Leaves | Little Bee London, England’s pure pop explosion Hector and the Leaves, aka Tom Hector, delights with a four-song EP that covers all the catchy, melodic bases we love. Two songs strike a Beach Boys chord: “Loved by You” is a love letter to harmony singing and, in particular, Beach Boys vocal arrangements, and “I Ride My Bicycle” charms with the kind of instrumental flight of fancy the Boys of Summer might have indulged in circa Smiley Smile. “Good Times” is a gorgeous ballad with a lovely melody, and “Little Bee” is a concise, mid-tempo melodic wonder. A home run (there goes another baseball metaphor).

matt duncanMatt Duncan | Free Music This little wonder from up New York way (well, up from where we are) is a fine melodic pop specimen ground in a soulful ’70s, sorta-Bee Gees pop groove (and you can dance to it). “Chutes and Ladders” is a catchy mid-tempo number; “Waking Up” sports beautiful harmonies; and “Night Job” is a pretty ballad, soulful and swinging, with more delicious harmonies. We’re playing these songs, and “Somewhere in Between,” “Tell You What I Know” and “Light Bright.” Lovely.

This seems like a good place to take a rest. We’re coming back tomorrow for day two of our Four-Day New Music Songfest. We’ve got a ton of top releases to chronicle and play on the air for you. Don’t miss a second!

alan-mic-zeeAlan Haber’s Pure Pop Radio is the original 24-hour Internet radio station playing the greatest melodic pop music from the ’60s to today. From the Beatles to the Monkees, the Posies, McPherson Grant, the Connection and the New Trocaderos, we play the hits and a whole lot more. Tune in by clicking on one of the listen links below.

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