Alan Haber's Pure Pop Radio is the premiere website covering the melodic pop scene with in-depth reviews of new and reissued recordings, and a wide variety of features. Welcome to the number one home for coverage of the greatest melodic pop music in the universe.
Two copies of Song, the debut CD by Scott McPherson and Jamie Grant, or as they’re known around town, McPherson Grant, were practically itching to wing their way to lucky winners of our latest Pure Pop Radio contest.
And now, the winging shall begin. Congratulations are due to Nadja Witherbee and Gene Good. Let the waiting-by-the-mailbox commence!
More cool Pure Pop Radio contests are coming soon. Stay tuned!
Alan Haber’s Pure Pop Radio is the premiere website covering the melodic pop scene with in-depth reviews of new and reissued recordings, and a wide variety of features (the 24-hour Pure Pop Radio stream, which ran from 2013 to August 25, 2018, succeeded the weekly Pure Pop Radio show, which began in 1995). Welcome to your number one home for coverage of the greatest melodic pop music in the universe from the ’60s to today.
McPherson Grant | Song (2018) From Tiny Volcano’s Scott McPherson in Tacoma, Washington to Pop Vultures’ Jamie Grant in Toronto, Ontario in Canada and back again, the various song parts created by these two melody wizards flew. All told, they combined to make the magic that informs the duo’s marvelous debut album, Song.
Paying sweet homage to the melodic pop ruling class headed by Harry Nilsson, Paul McCartney, Klaatu, Brian Wilson and the like, McPherson Grant–their last names fused together in joyous harmony–have crafted almost an hour’s worth of sturdy earworms. Endlessly endearing songs like the lovely and charming “Housekeeper,” about cleaning up a romantic life gone sour and empty (“I wish that she’d come everyday/The mess I make should want her to stay”) and honestly assessing the less-than-attractive situation (“Yeah, I know that I will be missing you/Like I’m missing two spoons”), ensure repeatability. (Videos for the songs talked about in this review appear below; all, and more, were created by the multi-talented Jamie Grant.)
Cut from the catchy cloth of so many ’70s classics, the perky “Come Around Again,” about learning to realize and revel in the bountiful joy in front of one’s face, is propelled by Zak Nilsson’s drums and a sunny disposition that wouldn’t feel out of place during the summer months. And speaking of summer, “Let’s Drive to Summer” recounts a slow-growing, toe-tapping Beach Boys-by-way-of-Holland road course from cold Canada to warm Florida (“We’ll just follow the coast/Our sandals and shorts in tow/Waiting till the palms wave hello”).
A loving nod to the wonder of, among other things, Klaatu, “The Marvelous and Mysterious Adventures of Sir Ollie and His Ox” marries vaudeville, Queen, opera and a contemporary chorus in a musical ceremony celebrating the life-affirming nature of melodic pop. Klaatu’s Terry Draper essays the drums on this standout track; his Klaatu compatriot, Dee Long, plays keyboards and sings on Song’s opening salvo, “Little Green Men,” about charting a course and extending life in space (“Like Jane and Tarzan we’ll be new age Martians/Like Brad and Janet on our forbidden planet/Making little green men”).
Produced, written, played, arranged and recorded by Scott and Jamie (and don’t ask who did what; it’s a mystery even to both halves of the duo), Song travels the path negotiated by so many artists who came before them, but in a way that is significantly and characteristically their own.
“It’s the day that you’ve been waiting for,” the duo energetically warble, along with background vocalists Clara and Robin Moir, within the confines of the energetic pop-rocker “It’s the Day.” Speaking of the day, this is the day for discovering your new favorite record. McPherson Grant are here.
The latest and greatest pure, melodic pop hits are streaming on Pure Pop Radio, but hurry–you have only until August 25 to bop to the catchiest beats in town!
What’s new and now playing in rotation on Alan Haber’s Pure Pop Radio? “California Moon,” Fernando Perdomo’s new single, featuring Pat Sansone (Wilco, Autumn Defense), is top of the pops, as are four standout, propulsive tunes from the Turnback’s soon-to-be-released album, Spinning the Earth in Reverse.
Speaking of spinning, the Jangle Band’s new single, featuring the Byrdsian “The Guy Who Used to Care,” is playing in hot rotation, as are new songs from Azwel’s latest long player, Phantasmagoria, and new releases from Scott Brookman, Yani Martinelli and Friends; Lannie Flowers (another in his growing line of free songs being released prior to Lannie’s new album coming due in the fall); and McPherson Grant, whose debut album features the Klaatu-ish tune “The Marvelous and Mysterious Adventures of Sir Ollie and His Ox,” supported percussively by Klaatu’s Terry Draper.
New songs from Optiganally Yours, Tsar’s Jeff Whalen, George Usher and Lisa Burns, Michael Slawter, Jeffrey Foskett and Jeff Larson, Sean Solo, Miami Dan and the Hayes Street Band, Farrington, Wilkerson, Tony Valentino, and many more of your favorite artists are also being featured in these last 11 days of broadcasting.
Remember that we will be active as active can be here on the Pure Pop Radio website, even though Pure Pop Radio will be going off the air on August 25. So fire up your Internet radio receptacle, groove to the pop tunes, and we’ll see you on the air.
Pure Pop Radio plays the greatest melodic pop music from across the decades, 24 hours a day (until August 25). 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!
Caper 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. 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” When and Where to Get It: iTunes, imusicAmazon UK (mp3 download). Listen on Spotify
McPherson 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.
Now playing in rotation on Pure Pop Radio
When and Where to Get It: Look for “Big Picture People” to appear on the forthcoming McPherson Grant album
Kurt 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. Now playing in rotation on Pure Pop Radio: “Baby’s Gone Bad,” “Modern Day Rock ‘n’ Roll,” and “Rusty Nail” When and Where to Get It: Kool Kat Musik, Amazon, iTunes
Pacific 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. Now playing in rotation on Pure Pop Radio: “Pacific Soul Time,” “Road Trip,” “Sunset Golden Love,” “Tomorrow Brings Tonight,” and “We Go High” When and Where to Get It: Karma Frog Records
Rob Martinez | New Love EnvironmentPure, 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. 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 When and Where to Get It: Karma Frog Records
TUNS | 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. Now playing in rotation on Pure Pop Radio: “Back Among Friends,” “Lonely Life,” “Mind Your Manners,” and “I Can’t Wait Forever” When and Where to Get It: Amazon, Kool Kat Musik, iTunes
A quartet of tremendous additions to our playlist…
The 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. Now playing in rotation on Pure Pop Radio.
Bill 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. 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.”
Ray 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. 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 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. Now playing in rotation on Pure Pop Radio.
One-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!
Pure 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.
Master 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.
Scott’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!
Pure 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.