Tag Archives: my little brother

We’re Playing It Cool! Guess What’s Now Spinning and Brand-New at Pure Pop Radio!

purepoplogoThis is our busy season–well, they’re all busy in one way or another, but it’s that time of the year, what with summer just about over and done and fall just a step ahead. Perhaps fruitful is a better word than busy; the air is ripe with good sounds coming in almost daily to the spacious Pure Pop Radio headquarters. These sounds, catchy and all decked out in just the right aural bling, are being created across the country and across the oceans by the best practitioners of melodic pop music.

Song for song, we can’t remember a better year for melodic pop in just about all of the years we’ve been behind the microphones and nestled comfortably in front of our computers (cold, non-alcoholic beverage always at hand). Today’s crop of new and new-to-you music, now playing in rotation, is just a punch of the arrow-down button away. We’ll have many more adds to the playlist to share with you next week; here are four to savor now:

kurt baker play it coolKurt Baker | Play It Cool It’s frankly hard to imagine this consistently home-run-hitting artist playing it any other way. Kurt’s latest collection makes its play for being one of this year’s best releases by delivering a strong set of pop-rockers, one after the other, while proving he’s not only on form but ahead of the curve. From the rock ‘n’ roll swagger and pop punch of “I Can’t Wait” and the melody-infused “Back for Good” to the zippy power of “Just a Little Bit” and the seventies DNA that fuels the title cut, Play It Cool delivers the goods. Kurt’s voice is as powerful as ever, and the production by the always-sharp Wyatt Funderburk (who shares co-writing credit with the artist) makes these songs explode from the speakers. We’re playing everything just mentioned, plus “Enough’s Enough,” “Monday Night,” and “Talk is Talk.” Another winner, as if there were any doubt.

the bellfuriesThe Bellfuries | Workingman’s Bellfuries Their third long player finds this Texas-based band rolling out a mix of songs steeped in all the right influences–echoes of Roy Orbison, the Everly Brothers, early rock ‘n’ roll, and rockabilly collide with passion and heart and top-notch musicianship for a great listening experience. Certainly there is a strong Orbison and Everlys influence in the passionate “An Illusion Believed,” and the Everlys touch is evident in the rocking and rolling “Beaumont Blues.” Even the Beatles get the rockabilly treatment in a spirited rendition of “She’s a Woman.” And “Make the Mystery No More” opens with the ghost of “Be My Baby” as the familiar drum part gives way to another classic sounding tune. We’re playing all of the songs from this great album in rotation–the above-mentioned numbers, and “Loving Arms,” “Bad Seed Sown,” “Why Do You Haunt Me,” “Letter to My Maybe Baby,” “Just Remembering,” “Under the Light of the Moon,” and “Baltimore.” Great stuff that sounds great on the air.

my little brothermylittlebrother | We’re All Gonna Die! Well, yeah, but what are we going to do until then? It’s what we’re going to do for ourselves, as the title song points out: We’ve got to make our time count and live! The happy, peppy Beatle-esque number, with a very Klaatu-styled ending, is sort of a call to arms and the centerpiece of this terrific EP. The lovely, country-tinged, old-style ballad “Obvious” uses pedal steel lines to enhance the gorgeous melody. “Steve,” a kind of soft-shoe show tune of a song, is another highlight; “Ghost Trains” is an enticing toe-tapper with appropriately ghost-like, choral background vocals. We’re playing all four of these songs in rotation, and hoping the next release from this band is a full-length. Good job.

kids of the earth

michael ryther

Michael Ryther

Michael Ryther | Kids of the Earth: Songs for the Green Generation Question: When is an album for kids also an album for adults? Answer: When both groups can benefit from that album’s message. Elementary school teacher and musician Michael Ryther co-wrote an album’s worth of songs about keeping the planet green and alive with Pure Pop Radio favorite Willie Wisely. And so the story begins.

“I was looking for a producer and knew from the moment I heard a few bars of his pop rock masterpiece Go that I had to find a way to work with him,” says Ryther. “My friend, singer/songwriter/guitarist Ali Handal introduced us and Willie took to the material immediately. He and I had so much fun collaborating and our songwriting sensibilities were similar.” Michael and Willie wrote most of the songs together; Willie produced and arranged.

The album’s press materials classify these songs as “eco-conscious children’s music,” to which we would add “for kids and kids at heart,” which means all of us, short and tall and so in love with our planet that we want to find ways to help it thrive for all eternity. That these 14 songs are poppy, power poppy and catchy as catchy can be is a big bonus, and the reason we’ve added six songs to our playlist, all of which are now playing in rotation.

“Put It In the Compost” is like an early Beatles number put into eco-conscious service. “I Love the Dirt” is a singalong-y, poppy slice of rock ‘n’ roll with a great melody and, like all of these songs, built from a vital foundation. The song implores us to “…get down on our hands and knees, and wiggle around like centipedes and sing I love the dirt.” Perhaps the strongest notion offered on this album is contained within the beautiful ballad, “In This Together.” Michael sings: “Every single action can start a chain reaction, so choose which path to take with extra care.”

Pop fans will relish Willie’s musicianship; he plays a lot of instruments on these recordings. Among the guest musicians are bassist John Fields, and Probyn Gregory, who plays horns on “In This Together”. We love this album, and we think you will too.

Be with us next week for more new and new-to-you music that’s been added to the Pure Pop Radio playlist. Why not tune in now, while you’re at work or doing errands or just taking in another beautiful day on planet Earth?

Alan Hpurepoplogoaber’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.

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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

Day Eight is Great! Pure Pop Radio’s New Music Explosion Logs Two Weeks of Cool, New Sounds, and Week Three is Just Around the Corner! Welcome to the Weekend!

weekendHey! It’s the weekend! The weekend’s here! You know what that means, right? It means that week two of Pure Pop Radio’s New Music Explosion is rolling into the weekend and week three, day number nine is merely days away.

Today is day eight, and we’ve got a typically diverse and exciting lineup of new adds to the Pure Pop Radio playlist to lay out for you. Let’s get started!

pop-powerVarious Artists | Pop Power from the Garage – Australian Power Pop * 74-86 We’ve been digging the very sweet, new releases from Australia’s Zero Hour Records. This one shares the basic approach that previous compilations of Australian power pop have taken over the last, many years, although this time around the focus is on the years 1974-1986. This mighty fine collection dishes up 22 great tracks. Of course, we’ve chosen the poppier ones to add to our playlist, and they are: Beathoven – “Do You Remember the Time,” The Clones – “Tired of Hiding,” Lee Cutelle – “You’ve Got the Power Over Me,” Heroes – “Baby’s Had a Taste,” Riffs – “I’m Not Just Another Boy,” The Prefects – “Wait Until Midnight,” Young Homebuyers – “Boyfriend,” and the Eighty Eights – “What Would Your Mother Say.” Your mother would say “Spin ’em if you’ve got ’em!” Listen for these very cool tracks now playing in rotation on Pure Pop Radio.

lost-boys-1lost-boys-2The Lost Boys | Answers On a Postcard and Not ‘Arf It’s…The Lost Boys This Southampton, England foursome puts their guitars up front where they belong and turns out track after track of catchy, melodic pop music. We’ve taken tracks from Answers On a Postcard and Not ‘Arf It’s…The Lost Boys and added them to our playlist. Listen for “Broken Story,” “From Love to Hate,” “Flowers,” “In My Sleep,” and “Crazy for You (I Guess that I’m).” Great melodies, singing and playing…what more can you ask for?

johnny-popstar-1johnny-popstar-2Johnny Popstar and the Luv Explosion | Whining and Crying and A Day at the Beach A great pop band, with perhaps a smattering of punk aesthetic and influences from across decades of catchy songs, Johnny Popstar and the Luv Explosion is a real find. We hear the Turtles, the Archies, the Dave Clark Five and a host of other sixties and seventies bands bouncing around in this clever mix of sounds. This is the kind of music you might have heard on the radio way back in the day. Heck, it’s music you should be hearing on the radio today. And you will, because a total of 10 Popstar tunes are now spinning in rotation on Pure Pop Radio, including “Daphne Blake,” “Karen Palangi,” “A Day at the Beach,” “Dr. Wiggley,” “Oh Valerie (I Really Hate Your Boyfriend),” “We Could Get Along,” “Oh Louise,” “Social Status Crisis,” “Fit to Be Tied,” and “Don’t Ban the Wolfman.” And yes, “Daphne Blake” is indeed a shout-out to Scooby Doo’s own. Great stuff.

mylittlebrothermylittlebrother | If We Never Came Down As perfect as a beautiful day in the country or a clear, wondrous night under the stars, mylittlebrother is a wonderful British band that specializes in lovely, clever, insanely catchy pop songs that capture the imaginations of listeners. Entrancing melodies, gorgeous harmonies and a sense of humanity makes this album the find of the year. We’ve added seven songs to our playlist: “Lovers of Life, Unite!,” “NoseDive,” “Gold,” “My Hypocritical Friend,” “If We Never Came Down,” “Slow Dance,” and “Profiterolls.” Sort of reminiscent, in spirit, of the Wilson Hospital’s equally lovely, lone album. Truly special and quite magical.

solicitorsThe Solicitors | Blank Check We’re probably the first pop radio entity to have played the Solicitors. Well, we’re at least one of the first. In any case, we were way early spinning tracks from one of Australia’s greatest pop ‘n’ roll bands working today. Lee Jones’ catchy songs, performed with great gusto and made for radio play, are aces all around. The band’s debut album is one of the classic releases of this or any other year. Sounding like a lost act on the Stiff label, the Solicitors make great pop ‘n’ roll music and this album is proof. Several of the tracks here are previously released, and we’ve been playing them for awhile; we’ve now added “If You Let Me Hold You,” “I Need You More,” “For This Evening’s Entertainment,” “(You Should See the) Look On Your Face,” “I Love Your Love,” “My Secret is Safe With Me,” and “Goodbye.” It hardly ever gets better than this.

kurt-bakerKurt Baker – Brand New B-Sides The pop and roll of Kurt Baker is as intoxicating today as it was on his very first release. If anything, Kurt elevates his craft ever higher with each new record. With producer and engineer extraordinaire Wyatt Funderburk at his side, there are no limits to what Kurt can achieve. This latest release, composed of songs that didn’t make 2012’s Brand New Beat album–some of which were released as bonus tracks in France and Japan–is a collection that, quite rightly, sets the bar even higher for future records, so good are the 10 songs included here. We’ve added seven to our playlist: “Emma Stone,” “Since You’ve Been On My Mind,” “What’s that Got to Do with Rock ‘n’ Roll,” “On the Run,” “I’ve Tried Everything,” “Think It Over,” and “So It Goes.” Pure pop with a rockin’ beat, served up by a master.

the-singlesThe Singles | Four Tracks Recorded around 1980 at Unique Recorders in New York City, these four catchy songs pop along like old friends. Great melodies and strong hooks ensure repeat plays. Here’s what we’re now playing in rotation on Pure Pop Radio:”It’s All My Fault,” “Leave that Girl Alone,” “Off and Running,” and “We’re Not Kids Anymore.” Tony, who sang lead and background vocals and played some bass, was joined in the studio by Les Fradkin, Rich Tuske, Marty Shapiro, JP Patterson and Joe Servello. Fradkin produced “It’s All My Fault” and “Off and Running.” Prepare to smile and tap along with the tunes.

my-brother-woodyMy Brother Woody | Football Musings Set to Music You can now add to the (however slowly) growing pop sports sub-genre begun by The Duckworth Lewis Method, who sing about cricket, My Brother Woody’s album, which concerns itself with football (or, I believe in this case, soccer). We are, as usual, confused about the meaning of sports words in different parts of the world, but we do know our pop music, and this is pop music of the first order. Some fetching melodies and deep hooks propel these great songs into the consciousness. We’re spinning four songs in rotation: “50p Head,” “Panini Sticker Album Blues (1987),” “Bouncebackability,” and “The A-Z of Football.”

the-cryThe Cry | Dangerous Game (US Edition) This isn’t the Cry’s first dance in the pop music arena, but it is their first full-length release here in the United States. This US version of Dangerous Game cobbles together 13 songs that have previously been released in Europe and Asia, plus a new track, “Last Thing that I Do,” a relatively sensitive, mid-tempo ballad with great guitar work that is rather unlike their usual upbeat, more rocking material. Fast or slow, this is a great band that deserves your time and attention. “Last Thing that I Do,” along with a host of other great tracks, is now playing in rotation on Pure Pop Radio.

winterpillsWinterpills | Echolalia Nine years on from their first, self-titled album, Winterpills returns with a collection of cover songs. But this is not your father’s cover songs album: This isn’t a collection of versions of chart smashes and wedding band favorites. Nick Drake, Jules Shear, XTC and other lesser-known artists get the call here, along with such new-to-the scene groups as the Beatles, Beck and Buddy Holly. The sum total of Echolalia‘s parts is an album that belongs to Winterpills and plays like a song cycle composed of like-minded compositions. We’re playing six re-imagined, emotional, newly shaped songs: Sharon Van Etten’s “One Day,” Jules Shear’s “Open Your Eyes,” Matthew Sweet’s “We’re the Same,” Damien Jurado’s “Museum of Flight,” XTC’s “Train Running Low on Soul Coal,” and Mark Mulcahy’s “A World Away from this One.” A great record.

And so we come to the end of our second week of postings about new music added to the Pure Pop Radio playlist. On tap, we’ve got another week’s worth of very cool releases joining the more than 5,300 other classic tunes on the air; all the fun starts next Tuesday, October 28. We’ve also got a very special review for you, and news of something to look out for here on the Pure Pop Radio website in November. So, stay tuned!

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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