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.
So here’s the scoop: We’ve been adding new music to the Pure Pop Radio playlist for the last couple of months–all sorts of melodic pop from new and heritage artists; songs with sent-from-heaven hooks and harmonies that are pretty much guaranteed to put a big smile on your face.
Let’s get right down to it. Here are just some of the new songs and artists now playing in rotation on Pure Pop Radio. This is but a quick sprinkle of what we have in store for your ears. You’ll be reading about all of our recent adds to the playlist over the next few weeks. Sit back, relax, and start singing along.
Michael Carpenter | The Big Radio To say that Aussie Michael Carpenter has been a major force in helping to shape the sound of melodic pop music would be barely scratching the surface of the run of his estimable achievements. Michael’s first album, released by Not Lame in 1999, was called Baby; it featured a dozen songs that, like a well-orchestrated fireworks display in the summer sky, showed how it was done if one wanted to do it well. Sixteen years later, The Big Radio, an explosive, musical fireworks display, an all-consuming expression of passion fueled by skill and a keen sense of purpose, is here and nothing, really, has changed.
Which is the kind of good news one wants when hitting the play button on what will surely wind up being one of the best power pop albums of the year–power being the operative word. It’s impossible to not feel the electricity in every note of The Big Radio’s opening salvo, the vigilant, energized, take-no-prisoners number, “Don’t Open that Door,” which announces itself with a flip-flopping, upside-and-then-down rolling drum call-to-arms that feeds directly into a classically-styled, electric guitar-fueled blast of melodic wonder and manages to pack a half-hour’s punch into just over three minutes of playing time.
These 14 songs, from the propulsive, runaway train that is “I’ve Been Lovin’ You,” to the catchy, medium tempo nugget, “The Little Blue Box,” and “Too Late,” a rubbery, determined, slowish burner of a rocker sliced and diced with Keith Richards-y electric guitar flourishes, The Big Radio is nothing less than exactly what you would expect to get when Michael Carpenter shows up at your door with a new album. Turn ‘er up and let your power pop flag fly.
Of course, we’re playing all of these songs in rotation, and they are: “Don’t Open that Door,” “She’s in Love With Herself,” “Blind,” “I Kissed that Girl,” “I’ve Been Lovin’ You,” “Father,” “The Only One,” “The Little Blue Box,” “Chrissie Hynde,” “Run Away,” “Too Late,” “Never Be the One,” “Never Know You,” and “Place in Our World.”
It’s a pleasure and a privilege to welcome Michael Carpenter back.
Andy Reed | Relay Vol. 1 Andy Reed, multi-instrumentalist, singer-songwriter, recording artist, producer, engineer and yeah, probably that too, steps out from behind his An American Underdog moniker for five songs worth of pretty near perfect pop. Coupling four originals (one written with Donny Brown, whose songs are playing in rotation here on Pure Pop Radio) with a lovely cover of Sloan’s “I Love a Long Goodbye,” the master music craftsman produces pure delights aplenty. The first focus track, an insanely catchy, melodic gem, “Dreaming of the West Coast,” is but one of the wonders on offer; the gorgeous ballad, “Love is Gone,” marries a luscious melody to a beautiful, fluid chord structure. We’re playing the songs mentioned here, plus “Waves” and “Darlin’, You Don’t Know.” Absolutely essential listening, and we can’t wait for more.
Duncan Faure | 4 For more than four decades, from Rabbitt to the Bay City Rollers and through to his solo career, Duncan Faure has been a popular tunesmith and a master of the pop song. It’s only fitting that Duncan’s latest release is titled 4. We’re playing the following songs in rotation, all catchy, joyous and full of life: “Back to the Day,” “Lies and Promises,” and “The Day that I Found Love.” The mark of a great pop song is how strong the pull is to hit the repeat button and play it again. Guess how strong the pull is here.
Paul Starling | The Wild Wolf According to his blog, Paul Starling is a left-handed bass and guitar player and a right-handed drummer (make of that what you will), whose favorite male singer is Paul McCartney (which guarantees him an invitation to Thanksgiving dinner) and whose favorite food is clam chowder (which is apropos of nothing but interesting nonetheless). He is also a member of Anchor and Bear, a quite wonderful group whose album, Ahoy!, is currently playing in rotation on Pure Pop Radio. What’s more, he curates, using his real name, Brian Bringelson, a fine and quite dandy deejay show called Needle Meets Vinyl, which airs here on Wednesday nights at 8 pm ET.
All dressed up in his Paul Starling clothes, this talented artist is currently watching his latest long player, The Wild Wolf, climb to the top of the pops. Well, we certainly love it here at Pure Pop Radio. We love not only the music, which is quite catchy and full of hooks and heart, but also the lyrics, every set of them creatively poised to listeners to ponder. Consider the title song, for example, as near as we can tell the story of a lover who takes, doesn’t give back and slinks off into the night without regret. Plus, she may be less than the sum of her parts: “She’s been kissing all the boys without a raincoat/Seems her reasons lack the water, sink and won’t float.” Another of our favorites, the vaguely mid-1960s-flavored stomper, “Tarantula,” about a love affair pulling apart from itself, also makes the grade with us.
In addition to the two aforementioned songs, we’re also playing the rest of the album in rotation: “Boots,” “Seance,” “Endless Waiting,” “Midnight Turns Into Day,” “Seven,” “Middle of Darkness,” “Waiting,” “Broken Bones,” “EP Foster,” and “Giving Up the Ghost.” We love them all, and we bet you will too.
Well, it’s time to get back to work. We’ll be reporting on more of the new music added to the Pure Pop Radio playlist throughout the next few weeks. We’ve added hundreds and hundreds more of the finest melodic pop songs being crafted and released by the top recording artists you know and love. Keep listening to Pure Pop Radio; simply click on one of the listen links below and sing along if you know the words.
Alan 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 Spongetones, the Nines, Kurt Baker, 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.
…lots of great melodic pop tunes from today, yesterday and everywhere in between. Alan celebrated Labor Day, Buddy Holly, your summer soundtrack, and some of the latest songs now playing in rotation on Pure Pop Radio.
In short, it was another fun 75 minutes (give or take) of melodic pop goodness, and a proportionate amount of snappy deejay patter!
Here’s what Alan played, and what you can expect to hear when the show repeats this Thursday, September 10 at noon ET (9 am PT) and Sunday, September 13 at 3 pm ET (noon PT):
Set One: One and Begun
The Davenports | “Don’t Be Mad at Me”
Set Two: Workaday World!
The Beatles | “We Can Work It Out” from Past Masters
The Lilac Time | “Work for the Weekend” from Paradise Circus
New Sincerity Works | “American Beauty Works” from 44
The Britannicas | “I Work at the Post Office” from High Tea
Sgt. Popgrass (Graham Elvis and Jacob Panic) | “We Can Work It Out”
Set Three: Holly Daze!
Buddy Holly | “That’ll Be the Day” from From the Original Master Tapes
Denny Laine | “Rave On” from Holly Days
Paul McCartney | “Maybe Baby” from Maybe Baby (Original Soundtrack)
Buddy Holly | “Heartbeat” from From the Original Master Tapes
Set Four: New and Nearly New at Pure Pop Radio
Scot Sax and Suzie Brown | “Good Everything” from Our Album Doesn’t Like You Either
William Duke | “Many Years Away” from The Dark Beautiful Sun
Spencer Albee | “Put Your Sweatshirt On” from Mistakes Were Made
Myrtle Park’s Fishing Club | “Wonderful You” from Nothing to Be Afraid Of
Maura Kennedy | “She Worked Her Magic On Me” from Villanelle
Set Five: Summer in the Rearview Mirror
Michael Carpenter | “You Need a Mess of Help to Stand Alone” from Hopefulness
Dean Torrence | “Vegetables” from Legendary Masked Surfer Unmasked
Vinyl Kings | “Pale Blue Dot” from Time Machine
Anthony Rivers | “Caroline, No” from Into the Great Unknown
Dave Edmunds | “Beach Boy Blood (In My Veins)” from Plugged In
Set Six: One and Done
Harpers Bizarre | “The Biggest Night of Her Life” from Anything Goes
We hope you enjoyed the show. And remember that you can catch it again, or for the first time, by tuning into Pure Pop Radio this Thursday, September 10 at noon ET (9 am PT) and/or Sunday, September 13 at 3 pm ET (noon PT). Let the good pop roll!
Until next week at 9 pm ET (6 pm PT), keep playing those 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.
This week has practically flown by! Wasn’t it just Monday…yesterday? Wow! Well, it’s Friday, and that means it’s day five of Pure Pop Radio’s exciting New Music Explosion, which is great news all by itself, but the even greater news is that we’ve got so much new music to add to our playlist that we’ll be exploding next week, too! Look for another great list of newly-added songs and artists next Tuesday or Wednesday.
Meanwhile, here’s today’s quartet of great melodic finds. Let’s make it happen, shall we?
Never Surrender: The Cheap Trick Tribute | Various Artists We’ve long been big fans of Australia’s Zero Hour Records, a great independent label run by George Matzkou. Zero Hour continually releases great-sounding compilations in smart looking packages that you can hold in your hand and admire as works of art. The latest in a series of tribute albums curated by the label is an exciting two-CD celebration of the songs of Cheap Trick. Never Surrender serves up 40 songs from across the wide-ranging body of work produced over the years by one of the most loved bands of the rock era. All manner of artists deliver their versions of such great songs as “ELO Kiddies,” “Oh Candy,” “”Come On Come On,” and “I Want You to Want Me.”
Naturally, many of pop music’s greatest artists wanted, and probably even needed, to be part of the celebration of some truly great songs; quite a few of these artists are Pure Pop Radio favorites. We’re thrilled to have added to our playlist 16 tracks, each one guaranteed to have you up and running with your favorite imaginary axe, playing air guitar to these venerated classics.
Here’s the rundown: The Cry, “ELO Kiddies”; The Running Jumps, “If You Want My Love”; Chris Richards and the Subtractions, “Downed”; Stephen Lawrenson, “Such a Good Girl”; Lannie Flowers, “Oh Candy”; Spike Priggen and C. P. Roth, “So Good to See You”; Lisa Mychols, “Tonite It’s You”; Bill Lloyd, “Come On Come On”; Corin Ashley, “I Want You to Want Me”; Jeremy, “Takin’ Me Back”; Easterly, “Let Go”; Rob Smith and Danny McCarthy, “Had to Make You Mine”; Rob Bonfiglio, “Taxman Mr. Thief”; The Affections, “Say Goodbye”; honeychain, “I Can’t Take It”; and Michael Carpenter, “Surrender.” Not only is this an eclectic bunch of songs, it’s an electric bunch of artists, joining together to pay tribute to a classic group that has wowed the world’s music fans for so long. We’re proud to be bringing you tracks from this album, in rotation. Good job, Zero Hour!
The Corner Laughers | Matilda Effect The award for the most enchanting melodic pop music album released so far this year must, without question, go to the well-appointed members of the Corner Laughers, who have produced a song cycle that sounds bright and cheery, wonderfully enchanting, and lyrically invigorating. From the opening, Motown vibe of “Fairytale Tourist” to the lively pure pop pleasures of the happy, bouncy “Go Fly Your Kite,” Matilda Effect, which releases today, puts a big smile on your face that nary a tissue or wet towel will be able to wipe clean. The reggae-meets-pop vibe of the closer, “Good Hope,” is quite intoxicating and joyous and mighty hard to resist, which you wouldn’t want to do anyway under any circumstances at all. Big hugs to the enchanting Karla Kane, who wrote most of the songs here; Khoi Huynh; KC Bowman; and Charlie Crabtree. Equally big hugs to Allen Clapp, who produced, along with the Laughers. We’ve added all 10 of the songs on this delightful album: “Fairytale Tourist,” “The Girl, America,” “Octavia A,” “Queen of the Meadow,” “Sophie in the Streets of Stockholm,” “Midsommar,” “Lammas Land,” “Go Fly Your Kite,” “Martha (Cincinnati, 1914),” and “Good Hope.” Color us enchanted.
Adam Walsh | The Crooked Trail of Midnight We’ve been playing a host of tracks from this mighty talented singer-songwriter for months. Whether on his own or with his pal Colm Gavin, his talent sparkles and lights the sky. Country, folk and a decidedly keen pop sense permeate everything Adam records. Might we refer to his music as Americana Pop? Perhaps. This EP is a fantastic way to introduce yourself to Adam’s considerable charms as a musician of the highest order. We’re playing, in rotation, “Child of Love,” “Hidden Times,” “Of Our Love,” “Love that’s Gone,” “Steamboat Dream (for John Hartford),” and ” Sun Goes Down.” Great stuff.
But that’s not all. We’re also playing a few other Adam tracks: a cover of the Bee Gees’ “Sun in My Morning,” Gene Clark’s “Here Tonight,” and Jeff Lynne’s “Can’t Get It Out of My Head,” all three performed with Colm Gavin. Lovely, all.
Andy Reed | “Darlin’, You Don’t Know,” “Good Girl,” and “The Show Goes On” Producer, engineer, songwriter, performer, member of the Legal Matters and all-around musical magician Andy Reed’s latest single is another one of his can’t-miss creations that even before the first chorus has been sung burrows into your brain and holes up there for, you know, ever. So, naturally, we’re playing it in rotation on Pure Pop Radio. The two b-sides are remixed versions of songs that appeared on the split EP Andy released with Brandon Schott a little more than a year and a half ago. We love them both. And you will, too.
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Thanks for checking in this week and exploring our latest adds to the Pure Pop Radio playlist. Click on one of the listen links below to hear hundreds of new songs and a total of more than 6,800 melodic pop nuggets from the ’60s to today! See you back here next Tuesday or Wednesday for another edition of our New Music Explosion!
We’re back with another extra special, vitamin-rich group of great new and new-to-you melodic pop music added to the Pure Pop Radio playlist.
Let’s get right to it, then. We’ll begin by taking an extended look at a fantastic new tribute to Elvis Costello.
Various Artists | Beyond Belief/A Tribute to Elvis Costello We’ve talked about the compiler’s art before, and make no mistake about it–compiling a tribute album is an art. Practicing the art for this three-disc tribute to Elvis Costello are compilers Olivia Frain and John M. Borack, both longtime Costello fans. Frain, a dedicated music fan, and Borack, a music journalist who has also served as executive producer for 2002’s Right to Chews: Bubblegum Classics Revisited and 2001’s Shoe Fetish: A Tribute to Shoes, set about contacting artists and putting into motion all of the behind-the-scenes nuts-and-bolts tasks necessary to bring the set to market.
This mammoth collection, gathering together covers of Costello numbers from 50 artists, is a delight to listen to from head to toe. As noted in the set’s booklet, “100% of the proceeds…will be donated to the Mr. Holland’s Opus Foundation. The Mr. Holland’s Opus Foundation keeps music alive in schools by donating musical instruments to under-funded music programs, giving youngsters the many benefits of music education, helping them to be better students and inspiring creativity and expression through playing music.” In an era in which arts programs are often cut from schools, this is a most welcome and vital effort.
Beyond Belief is chock full of choice Costello songs performed by artists who obviously love the source material. And what’s not to love? Costello has been a favorite artist of music fans since he first burst on the scene in 1977 with his debut album My Aim is True. Along the way, he has delivered songs in all manner of genre from rock to pop to R&B to country and back again. Proof of this ability to jump from one style to another at the drop of a tone arm is reflected in the tracks chosen by the artists appearing here.
While some artists stick to the plot of land originally planted by Costello, others reimagine the master’s songs and work with new approaches. David Myhr, late of the Merrymakers and now a favored solo artist, delivers a wonderful version of “Veronica” (co-written with Paul McCartney) that basically sticks to Costello’s blueprint but takes the song at a slightly slower tempo and adds more of a glossy, pop sheen. The Rubinoos trade a blaring horn section for the original’s organ part and temper Costello’s snarl with a bit of a poppier vocal approach in a jazzier, new version of “Pump It Up.” Mike Viola turns in a basically reverent version of a Burt Bacharach co-write, the majestic “God Give Me Strength,” in what amounts to a somewhat more intimate, drawing room-like performance; Viola’s gorgeous vocal is delivered over a bed of acoustic guitar and chamber strings, minus the horn present in Costello’s original version.
Three tracks, in particular, take the art of covering a song to new heights. First and foremost, the award goes to Jamie Hoover and Steve Stoeckel, better known as Jamie and Steve, who pull the rug out from under Costello’s “Blame It On Cain” and shake out the dust like men on a mission, turning in an amped-up, wild a cappella version powered by doo-wop muscle and good, old-fashioned chutzpah. Not only do Jamie and Steve prove how good the song is, they turn it inside out and rebuild it from the ground up. This is a spectacular performance that will have you hitting the repeat button over and over.
To Costello’s original, moody version of “So Like Candy,” a co-write with Paul McCartney, Paul Myers adds some poppy vocals and a ghostly percussion track and approaches Costello’s bridge as if it were coming straight off of a scratchy vinyl copy of the song. It’s a welcome surprise that, along with Myers’ assured vocal, is one of this set’s major delights. Another top shelf approach is that of Lannie Flowers, who takes a basically reverent run through “Radio Sweetheart,” yet surprises listeners by turning the proceedings on their collective head at 1:55 by introducing a decidedly mystical aura for 37 enticing seconds.
What tribute albums such as Beyond Belief offer, aside from giving artists the chance to play in someone else’s sandbox, is proof that good songs will retain their value as each calendar year passes. New coats of paint in the form of new approaches or reverent run-throughs are good for the songwriter’s art, and good, also, for the compiler’s art. With Beyond Belief/A Tribute to Elvis Costello, the compiler’s art has been raised to new heights.
[Twenty-one tracks from Beyond Belief/A Tribute to Elvis Costello have been added to the Pure Pop Radio playlist and are now playing in rotation: “Girls Talk,” Rob Smith; “Brilliant Mistake,” Dennis Schocket and Cliff Hillis; “The Other End of the Telescope,” Butch Walker; “Veronica,” David Myhr; “Kinder Murder,” Popdudes; “No Hiding Place,” Michael Carpenter; “Blame It on Cain,” Jamie and Steve; “Monkey to Man,” Kelley Ryan; “I Hope You’re Happy Now,” Severo; “Pump It Up,” The Rubinoos; “Radio Sweetheart,” Paul Myers; “Tear Off Your Own Head (It’s a Doll Revolution),” Hans Rotenberry; “Possession,” Barry Holdship; “This Year’s Girl,” honeychain; “Green Shirt,” Scott Bennett; “God Give Me Strength,” Mike Viola; “Radio Sweetheart,” Lannie Flowers; “Man Out of Time,” Bill Lloyd; “Almost Blue,” Nick Heyward and the 13 Satellites; “Crimes of Paris,” An American Underdog; and “Mystery Dance,” sparkle*jets UK] – Alan Haber
Hidden Pictures | Ottomans The latest release from Hidden Pictures is a typically entertaining musical knockout punch. Delicious melodic pop pictures are painted with an apparent Deacon Blue-meets-Prefab Sprout vibe. Highlights include the wonderfully catchy “Firm Way to Say Goodbye”; the punchy, tuneful “Girl on Girlfriend”; and “Riffraff,” a rock number with a guitar part sounding like it came from a David Bowie track. These and three more songs are now playing in rotation: “You’re an Adult,” “Hannah, I’m Scared of Your Boyfriend,” and “Firm Way to Say Goodbye.” Another great album from this California group.
The Tearaways | The Earle Mankey Sessions, Vol. 4 and The Earle Mankey Sessions, Vol.7 Formed more than 30 years ago, the Tearaways worked with veteran producer Earle Mankey and waxed 50 songs. The results were released in 2014 on these two albums, both necessary purchases for every pop music fan. Great, catchy songs with terrific melodies and harmonies are the order of the day. We’ve added seven songs from Vol. 4 and nine songs from Vol. 7. From Vol. 4, we chose the melodic anthem “Girls Who Love Cars,” the toe-tapper “Stuck On Stupid,” about a guy who can’t quite figure out how to tell a girl he likes how he feels; and the timely “We Don’t Talk, We Text,” about the laziness and lack of proper communication in this world. Also added from Vol. 4: “I Will Wait,” “Jefferson Still Survives,” “Valerie,” and “The Last Goodbye.” From Vol. 7: the self-explanatory “I Pray Guitar”; a rhythmic tribute to “John Wayne”; and “All She Wants Is the Ring,” about a woman who’s in a relationship for its material worth. Plus: “Friends and Enemies,” “I Don’t Know and I Don’t Care,” “More Dollars than Sense,” “I Can Tell You Now,” “I’ll See You Again,” and “I’m All In.” Repeat after us: “Must have. Must have. Must have!”
Dave Rave and the Governors | Sweet American Music The great Dave Rave returns and hooks up with the Governors for a splendid collection of pop songs, all sporting big melodies and, of course, big hooks. From the driving “Lindsay” and pure pop sixties pleasures of “You Take What’s Yours” to “Pullman Washington” and the Lou Reed vocal vibe of “Night School,” this is an album that will never be far from your ears. We’re happily spinning these four songs, along with the rocking “Trapped.” A big record with big guitars and a whole lot of spirit. And the cover’s really cool.
Andy Bopp | Time to Rock! Andy Bopp, late of groups such as Love Nut and Myracle Brah, and currently waxing tunes with Ken Schopf as The Modern Ruins (see next entry), lets loose in his living room armed with only his electric guitar and echoed vocals for a quartet of Sun-era sounding rock ‘n’ roll ‘n’ rockabilly numbers. The tracks: the title track, “Anna Lee,” “Black Heath,” and Santo and Johnny’s “Sleepwalk.” Dig these thrilling and powerful performances, all playing now in rotation.
The Modern Ruins | Bleeding Party and Three Tracks from the Four Track Can’t get enough Bopp? Andy’s got you covered with two new 2015 releases from his duo with Ken Schopf, the Modern Ruins. These songs follow nicely from the vibe of Andy’s solo EP, Time to Rock!, only on these records Andy and his guitars are supported by Ken’s Cocktail Drum kit, percussion and backing vocals. It’s rock ‘n’ roll all the way, from the souped-up Sun-era sound of “All Fall Down (Black Heath),” which also appears on Time to Rock!, to the slow blues of the title track and a spirited, John Lennon/Plastic Ono Band-esque version of David Essex’s 1973 top five hit, “Rock On.” These songs, plus three more–“Longtime,” “Rope Walker,” and “There”–are now playing in rotation. From Three Tracks from the Four Track, we’re spinning “Anytime Anyway” and “When It Rains.” Great stuff.
Cartographer | Cartographer, and Town and Country | My Blue Heaven One of our favorite singer-songwriters, Scott Gagner, whose last album, Rise and Shine, was a big hit here at Pure Pop Radio, is the common denominator between these two releases, both from 2008. Both albums find Gagner and friends following a similar musical path to Gagner’s current vibe. In other words, the songs are melodic and inventive and instantly memorable. Great stuff through and through. From Cartographer, we’re playing, in rotation, “The Trouble With You,” “I’m Not Following You,” “Love Triangle for Two,” “Sound Rebounds,” “Waiting,” and “Suburban Girl.” From My Blue Heaven, we’re spinning “Daytime Emmy,” “Bella Vista,” “Better than That,” and “The Rest of the Night.” Scott is currently working on ideas for his next album. We can only hope we don’t have to wait too long.
Sitcom Neighbor | Charm This wonderful pop music album from 2012 hits the melodic bullseye, sounding like a splinter off the main body of the Sugarplastic. From the beautiful “Amphetamine” to the rocking nod “The Satisfaction of Love” and the bluesy pop of “Vaseline Water Balloon,” this album is full of harmonies and top notch melodies, bursting with tasty nuggets. We’re playing eight songs in rotation: those previously mentioned, and “Let It Go,” “True Love and Medication,” “This Time Tomorrow,” the Beatlesque “Buy Your Farm,” and “Darlene.”
The Tickets | The Tickets Musician Walter Clevenger loved the Tickets so much that he gathered together the band’s 1990 cassette-only album, The Tickets Make a Record, and their 1986 single, “She Got Away”/”Yesterday’s Girl” and released both together in 2006 as The Tickets on his own Brewery Records label. The album is an important collection of songs performed by musicians with an obvious love for pop music. We’re playing six: “Dream About Me,” “Everything,” “I Don’t Belong,” “Heartland,” “The One that I Loved,” and “She Got Away.” Great melodies, harmonies and playing abound.
The General Store | Mountain Rescue It is a pleasure to have the music of the General Store spinning in rotation on Pure Pop Radio. Tam Johnstone, the musician behind the group name, is the son of Elton John guitarist Davey Johnstone; he obviously picked up a musical thing or two from his dad. A mix of country-tinged and pop/rock numbers, Mountain Rescue is represented on Pure Pop Radio by seven songs: the ringing rocker “Early Morning Fuzz,” the Beach Boys homages “Girls from the Mall” and “Nothing Can Come Between Us,” and “Desert Weathered Hiway.” The Neil Young nod “Come Around,” “Great Big World,” and “Over Here” complete the pack.
Ian Gomm | Demonstrates Ian Gomm, who co-wrote (with Nick Lowe) one of the great pop singles of all time, “Cruel to Be Kind,” and played guitar for the band Brinsley Schwarz, added this terrific EP to his catalog in 2013. The platter is represented on Pure Pop Radio with four choice cuts, pop classics all: the upbeat, catchy “Let’s Stick Together” and “Only You (Knowing Me),” the hit-worthy “Magic Spell,” and the beautiful ballad “Lonely Avenue.” A terrific disc from one of the greats, released by Jerker Emanuelson’s Sound Asleep Records.
Various Artists | Souvenirs: Little Gems of Pop, Volume II The second in a series of collections gathering together various classic pop recordings, Souvenirs: Little Gems of Pop, Volume II kicks off with Richard X. Heyman’s crackerjack 1980 single a-side, “Vacation,” an energetic pop rocker with a typically catchy melody. From there you get, amongst the treasures on hand, Bill Lloyd’s jangly, highly melodic side “Lisa Anne,” from Bill’s 1987 Feeling the Elephant album; Tube Top’s glorious, upbeat power pop song “Oceans Cracked,” from the band’s 1997 album Three Minute Hercules; and Scott Sutherland’s straight-ahead pop song “Book of Seasons” from 1999. These songs are now playing in rotation as part of our playlist; others spinning as we speak are Enemies in the Grass’ “Best Behaviour,” Post Office’s “The Whole Thing’s a Bust,” Jr. Gone Wild’s “It Never Changes,” and Nick Rudd’s Blown’s “One in a Million.” A wonderful collection, released in 2014 by Jerker Emanuelson’s Sound Asleep Records.
Whew! That does it for our two-day new adds extravaganza. We hope you enjoyed the ride through the latest additions to the Pure Pop Radio playlist. All of the songs and artists we talked about today and yesterday are now playing in rotation. Tune in to Pure Pop Radio by clicking on one of the handy listen links below. And make a date to come back often to hear more of the greatest pop music in the universe!
You say you want more new music added to the Pure Pop Radio playlist? We’re only too happy to accommodate! Let’s get right to it, shall we? Here are more of the new songs and artists that are now shaking the walls in rotation here at our sumptuous broadcasting headquarters:
Michael Carpenter | “The Only One” Longtime Pure Pop Radio top fave Michael Carpenter returns with an instant classic track, a taster for his upcoming long player that may drop as early as May. It’s a great song–a great performance–that kicks in with a sumptuous Rolling Stones rocking vibe and settles into a typically catchy pop groove with great background vocal harmonies, a killer melody, and joy to spare. This is one you won’t want to miss; it’s now playing in rotation for you to enjoy, and enjoy it you most certainly will.
The Wind | Re-Wind We love it when old favorites come together again and make more beautiful music. For their first album in three decades, Lane Steinberg, Steven Katz, and Steve Burdick have teamed up with pop maestro David Grahame, who co-produced and mixed, for an album featuring the much-loved band’s unique blend of pop goodness. From the easy sixties soul pop of “Baby, I Can Take a Punch” and the Buddy Holly-meets-modern pure pop vibe of “Fight Like a Girl” to the breathless piano-led pop of “Weak Spot” and the straight-ahead melodic joys of the mid-tempo ballad “Yes and No,” Re-Wind is a major triumph and one heck of a kick-start to the year. We’ve added all of the aforementioned numbers, plus “Can’t Find the Words,” “Just Play Along,” “Let Me Show You How It’s Done,” “There’s a Clamoring,” “Think On Your Feet,” and “Unattainable.” Glorious.
Graham Alexander | Repeat Deceiver We’ve already reviewed this phenomenal album (read that here), so anything we add will just drive the point home with more fervor. Well, okay…why not? As we wrote, “(Graham Alexander has) upped his game considerably for a powerful pop and roll tour de force that dazzles every step of the way.” Enough said. We’ve added eight tunes to the Pure Pop Radio playlist: the title song, “Romeo Blue,” “Games,” “Two Ships Passing in the Night,” “Third Wheel,” “People are Only Sorry When They’re Caught,” “Total Cartography,” and “Wait in the Rain.” A great album through and through, and proof that this is an artist that will continue to deliver the goods for many years to come.
Mothboxer | We’re All Out of Our Minds EP It seems like kind of just yesterday that we proclaimed Mothboxer’s Sand and the Rain to be one of our favorite albums of 2014 (it was this past November 18 to be exact; read our review here). Hot on the heels of that momentous record comes this EP, featuring perhaps our favorite song on Sand, “We’re All Out of Our Minds.” Three new recordings make their debut here, and we’re spinning them all because, well, they’re great and chief ‘boxer Dave Ody is making every note count these days and, well, we think they’re pretty great. Now spinning in rotation are “One Day at a Time,” “I’m Working” (featuring Finchey, Ody’s wonderful side project), and “Laughing Out Loud. Classics all, of course.
Jay Stansfield | Birth and Death Pure Pop Radio favorite Jay Stansfield’s latest album is another typically adventurous collection of songs concerned with the human condition. Delivered with Jay’s usual attention to classic song construction, these songs are valuable additions to a growing and vital catalog. We’ve added three songs to the Pure Pop Radio playlist: the gorgeous “Sex on My Mind,” with its welcome Pink Floyd overtones; the relaxed, poppy vibe of “Superman Thief,” with its McCartney-esque up-and-down bass line; and “The Sadness,” a folky, hymn-like, emotional wonder. Welcome back, Jay.
The Martinets | Rock and Roll Will Probably Never Die There is probably no probably about it, but these guys have their eye on the prize, so we think it’s all going to be good. Nestled somewhere between Rolling Stones swagger and sixties pop, the Martinets load up the guitar buzz with melody-infused attacks on the senses. Perfect for practicing air guitar, for sure. We’ve added five songs: “Good Friends For,” “I Know Where I’m Going,” “Good Times to Come,” “Places You Go,” and “If We’re Going Down.” Rock and pop and roll…one of our favorite combinations.
Little Boy Jr | Here’s Your Hat, What’s Your Hurry? and “Tell Me” Thanks to old friend Francesc Sole for the tip on this wonderful pop band from Chicago, who write and perform catchy songs that demand repeat listens. These guys, with a little 1950s flash and a decidedly sixties-ish approach, know how to write a sturdy hook, and they know how to deliver them to your ears. We’ve added seven tasty tracks from their latest album, released last February: “Perhaps, Annie,” “Full of Lies,” “Don’t Forget,” “Let Me Bleed,” “Mine,” “Dead Radio,” and “Blame.” We’ve also added one track from the band’s 2012 single, the energetic pop number, “Tell Me.” Both the album and single are free downloads on Bandcamp. Head right over and get ’em.
The LSB Experience | Flashbacks Just over a month ago, we added tracks from this Netherlands trio’s wonderful album, The Experience. At the beginning of this past December, we wrote that “Fans of exquisite vocal harmony matched with genuinely catchy songs will embrace the LSB Experience with a great big hug of love.” We stand by that assessment, and present a half-dozen examples of how this trio’s approach makes a bunch of well-known songs from other artists their own. You’ll hear the band cover “Helplessly Hoping,” “Shower the People,” “You Can Close Your Eyes,” “Our House,” “You’ve Got a Friend,” and “Suite: Judy Blue Eyes,” and there won’t be a dry eye in the house. Just gorgeous.
Kylie Hughes | Calipopicana Pop, dipped in a gloriously happy glaze, is the name of the game on this lovingly produced EP, capturing the essence of Southern California pop and answering the musical question: What would the Beach Boys sound like in 2015 if the lead singer was a female? The hooks run deep in these delightful, harmony-drenched songs. There’s some supreme ear candy happening here. We’re playing four of Kylie’s very cool tunes, co-writes with the likes of John “Fin” Finseth of the Tearaways, and Brent Bourgeois from Bourgeois-Tagg: “Calipopicana,” “Short Skirts,” “Dream Dream Dream,” and “Leave ’em Wanting More.” That last song title really says it all: More please, and real soon!
We hope you enjoy the latest adds to the Pure Pop Radio playlist, now playing in rotation. We’ve got lots more coming up next week. Don’t miss a single note!
It’s time to get Pure Pop Radio’s New Music Explosion off to a rousing start! Stand back, folks… here we go…
Kaboom! The music’s everywhere…as it should be! We’ve added hundreds of songs to the Pure Pop Radio playlist, and we’d like to introduce you to them. So, with that in mind, just about every day from now through November we’re going to list a healthy number of tunes new to our air. Let’s get it all off and running, shall we? Here are some of the exciting tunes that, as of today, are new to our humble station:
Jamie Hoover | “Honest Work” and “There’s a Place” We’ve been playing Jamie Hoover’s fantastic music on the various versions of Pure Pop Radio for 18 glorious years. So, as you might imagine, when we get word that melodic pop music’s true Renaissance Man is ready to release a new album, we are so there. Jamie is about to release a new collection entitled Jamie Two-Ever and, in advance of that eventuality, we’ve got two songs from it to spin for you in rotation. “Honest Work” is a playful, typically catchy song from Jamie and his Spongetones pal Pat Walters; “There’s a Place” is a tender, emotionally-charged version of the Beatles’ classic. You’ll love them both.
Michael Carpenter | “Too Late” and “I’ve Been Lovin’ You” Pop music auteur Michael Carpenter’s first new release in a very long time is a genius pairing of tunes that help to define power pop in the fall of 2014. We go way back with Michael to 1998, when he was trading by the name Stagefright. We’ve played songs from all of Michael’s releases over the years. We’re thrilled to be able to bring you one of the great thrills of this wonderful pop music year. Welcome back, Michael.
A Band Called Mithras | Genero In a year full of great musical discoveries and exciting music from established artists comes two surprising, head-spinning examples of how to do it. “Monkeyman” is dance pop with a decidedly ’60s mod flavor; “Pretty Cherry Custard” marries a light dance groove with elements of ’60s psych and lovely harmonies. Both songs are aces high and bode well for what’s to come from this great band in the future.
The Del Zorros | Summer Fields A mix of influences as far and wide as the Everly Brothers and the Smothers Brothers (the folk side) helps shape the recordings of these twin brothers who make their home in North Carolina. Their light pop sound is perfect for Pure Pop Radio. We think you’ll fall in love with the nine numbers we’ve chosen from their latest album, Summer Fields, and added to the Pure Pop Radio playlist. The songs you’ll hear are “Heading North,” “Lanesville Rag,” “My Old Hometown,” “On the Pond,” “Our Little World,” “Some Days,” “Summer Fields,” “Sweet Dreams,” and “Til I See You Again.”
Dermot | Drink Some Water Dermot’s previous collection, 2013’s Pilot, was released under the name Michael Dermot. Now, the name is shorter but just as sweet and the upbeat pop songs are just as wonderful on this glorious EP. We’re now playing all five songs in rotation: “If We Had Never Met,” “I am a Map,” “This Moment,” “Wade,” and “Heaven Help Me (Water Song).”
Robin Gibb | 50 St. Catherine’s DriveThis wonderful, posthumous collection is a warm and fitting tribute to one of pop music’s greatest, most heartfelt voices. Don’t be surprised if tears well up in your eyes while listening to any of the eight songs we’ve added to the Pure Pop Radio rotation: “Days of Wine and Roses,” “Alan Freeman Days,” “Wherever You Go,” “I am the World,” “Anniversary,” “Sorry,” “All We Have is Now,” and “Sydney.” A truly special album and highly recommended to all.
Star Collector | Collected Stars: Live, Demo and Unreleased 1997-1999 The songs of Joe Giddings’ great band from the late ’90s were favorite spins on the early, weekly Pure Pop Radio shows on WEBR. We were sad to say goodbye to the band’s extremely catchy brand of melodic power pop, always featuring great vocals and deep, three-dimensional harmonies. We were thrilled to hear about this just-released collection of new-to-all-of-us tracks and we are just as thrilled to bring you six sterling examples of the greatness that was Star Collector. Now playing in rotation are “Desperate (I’d Do Anything),” “Pet Rock,” “King,” “Lost and Lonesome,” “Already There,” and “Angels Cry.” This great album is now available on Keith Klingensmith’s vital Futureman Records label.
Esa Linna and Milla Maria | “Tonight” Finland’s own Esa Linna, along with Milla Maria, recorded an acoustic version of the Raspberries’ iconic song “Tonight” for Zero Hour Records’ just-released Power Pop Unplugged, Vol. One. There is much more to come on Pure Pop Radio from this compilation, but for now enjoy this wonderful take on one of Eric Carmen’s greatest tunes, a classic power pop nugget.
Sproutless | “Hannah, Are You Out There (Zodiac Mix)” Scott McPherson, from the much-loved band Liar’ s Club, came up with the genius idea to record two Prefab Sprout tribute albums, about which we’ve written previously on this site. This song, originally part of the Insights from Retrospect album, has been reborn as, for lack of a better term, a dance mix (because we have to call it something), but it’s really just a clever, fun re-imagining of a great song. And, boy howdy, does it sound Sprout-esque. It’s now playing in rotation on Pure Pop Radio.
Identical Suns | “The Turn” This 10-minute epic exhibits all the colors of the musical rainbow…and then some. A dazzling array of stylistic turns and instrumentation almost demands headphone listening, but we’re pretty sure Todd Stanton and crew will say it’s okay to listen with your speakers. A wide range of influences has gone into this opus–there’s more than a dab of Abbey Road-era Beatles here–but ultimately this is the result of a lifetime of listening to the right records. We’re proud to be spinning this tune in rotation on Pure Pop Radio.
That’s it for today. Pretty cool, huh? More is coming tomorrow–every day this week and throughout the coming weeks, in fact, so stay tuned to the Pure Pop Radio website and Pure Pop Radio for the latest adds to our ever-growing playlist. Thanks for reading…and listening!
Pure Pop Radio: In Conversation’s special Drink a Toast to Innocence: A Tribute to Lite Rock Week ended this past Saturday, capping off six days of talks with Producer Andrew Curry and nine of the artists who contributed tracks to the project. All 10 interviews are now posted on the In Conversation PodOMatic podcast page, ready for you to listen to and download.
In addition to the extensive and in-depth interview with Andrew Curry, you’ll find talks with:
– Linus of Hollywood (“More than I Can Say”)
– Kelly Jones (“I’d Really Love to See You Tonight”)
– Brandon Schott (“Thank You for Being a Friend”)
– Christian Phillips (The Sonic Executive Sessions) (“On and On”)
– Wyatt Funderburk (“Bluer than Blue”)
– Willie Wisely (“So Into You”)
– Michael Carpenter (“We Don’t Talk Anymore”)
– Lannie Flowers (“Dance With Me”)
– Scott Klass (The Davenports) (“Just When I Needed You Most”)
If you already have Drink a Toast to Innocence, your enjoyment of this compilation will be suitably enhanced. If you’re new to the album, you’ll be moved to purchase it and enjoy it along with the rest of us.
Thanks, as always, for listening to Pure Pop Radio: In Conversation!
Drink a Toast to Drink a Toast to Innocence on Pure Pop Radio: In Conversation
We shouted it from the rooftops throughout 2013, and now it’s come true: Drink a Toast to Innocence: A Tribute to Lite Rock has been showered with huzzahs from seven music critics, websites and a rockin’ National Public Radio affiliate down in sunny Florida. And we’re going to celebrate all next week on Pure Pop Radio: In Conversation with six days of in-depth interviews with the compilation’s executive producer, Andrew Curry, and nine of the artists who contributed tracks. All told, these interviews constitute the bible on one of the best various artist collections to be released last year or any other year.
Beginning Monday, January 20, and ending on Saturday, January 25, Alan Haber will be talking to Andrew and the incredibly talented group of artists that contributed to Drink a Toast to Innocence. On Monday and Wednesday nights, and on Friday afternoon, Andrew steps up to the microphone and takes you from the idea’s inception to the compilation’s release. Everything you’ve wanted to know about this landmark record will be communicated during this hour and 45 minute-long chat that features tracks from the album. And then Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday, it’s the artists’ turn to talk about the tracks they tackled, taking you from choosing the songs to recording them and beyond. We’re writing the audio book on Drink a Toast to Innocence, dear music fans, and you can only hear it on Pure Pop Radio: In Conversation.
Here’s the on-air schedule for this exciting group of interviews:
– Monday, January 20 and Wednesday, January 22 at 8 pm ET: Andrew Curry (also Friday, January 24 at 4 pm ET)
– Tuesday, January 21, 8 pm ET: Michael Carpenter talks about “We Don’t Talk Anymore,” Kelly Jones talks about “I’d Really Love to See You Tonight,” and Brandon Schott talks about “Thank You for Being a Friend”
– Thursday, January 23, 8 pm ET: Lannie Flowers talks about “Dance With Me,” Wyatt Funderburk talks about “Bluer than Blue,” and Linus of Hollywood talks about “More than I Can Say”
– Saturday, January 25, 6 pm ET: Christian Phillips (The Sonic Executive Sessions) talks about “On and On,” Scott Klass (The Davenports) talks about “Just When I Needed You Most,” and Willie Wisely talks about “So Into You”
Don’t miss this exciting event! Jot down the dates and times and immerse yourself in an unprecedented group of interviews with pop’s greatest artists and the man of the hour, Executive Producer and Lite-rock Impresario Andrew Curry!
Click on the image to listen to Alan Haber’s Pure Pop Radio through players like iTunes