Alan Haber's Pure Pop Radio is the archive for the premiere website that covered the melodic pop scene with in-depth reviews of new and reissued recordings, and a wide variety of features. We are now closed for new activity.
Despite our best efforts to the contrary (well, at least one of us had our annual, preventative shot–not that it did any good), our usually energetic staff has been unable to get any work done during the past week thanks to the flu busting down our doors and settling in for an extended period of achy, breaky muscles, feverish episodes and just a plain lack of anything remotely approaching energy.
Yes, our long period of silence (well, everything seems to take forever when you’re sick) is due to my wife and I getting walloped with the flu simultaneously. To say it’s been fun would be, well, telling a whopper of a fib; it hasn’t been fun at all. And let me tell you, if I can’t really enjoy an episode of The Andy Griffith Show, my goose must be good and cooked.
So we’re in a holding pattern here at the ever-spacious, but currently flu-ridden Pure Pop Radio headquarters as we wait for the unwelcome bug to hit the road, Jack, and make its merry way to, you know, somewhere else. And, because we’re feeling ever so weak and washed out, we’re benching both Ken Michaels’ Every Little Thing and the Fab talk roundtable, Things We Said Today, until next week, when we’re fairly sure it will be safe to swim again in our melodic waters. I mean, we don’t intend on having the flu forever!
Speaking of Every Little Thing, the premiere, weekly Beatles music show will, at least for the foreseeable future, be airing new episodes every few weeks, as they are made available to us. Show 66, in fact, is set for next Monday, May 18. Things We Said Today will also be back in its regularly-scheduled saddle next week–on May 19, to be exact.
We’ve got lots of new music to add to our playlist, a new edition of I Love that Song, a couple of new Timmy Sean Songs of the Week, a couple of cool reviews, and who knows what else waiting in the wings, all of which we hope to bring to you later this week or early next. So hang in there with us, won’t you? Check out some of the items you may have missed around these parts while we nurse ourselves back to health. You’ll be glad you did.
And, it goes without saying, you can always fire up your Internet radio receptacle and while away the hours with a dose or three of the greatest melodic pop music from the ’60s to today by clicking on one of the listen links below. We’re Pure Pop Radio–we’re open, flu or not, 24 hours a day!
We hope you’ve been enjoying our daily updates regarding the new songs and artists that have been added to the Pure Pop Radio playlist. We’re now spinning more than 5,200 songs in rotation–more than likely, the largest melodic pop library of any radio station anywhere. And, as we’ve said many times this week, we’re just getting started!
Here’s another sampling of the new music we’re now playing in rotation on our airwaves on day four of our New Music Explosion, kicking off with…
Zero Hour Records’ Power Pop Unplugged Vol. One The fine folks at Australia’s Zero Hour Records have been proudly flying the power pop flag with the goal of spreading the word worldwide about the music they love. Most recently, a tribute to Dwight Twilley has kept the conversation going, and soon a tribute to Cheap Trick will make its debut. Now, a wonderfully rich collection of acoustic versions of great power pop songs has been released, anchored by familiar and perhaps not so familiar artists. We’ve added a baker’s dozen tracks to our playlist from the 22 featured on the CD. You can’t go wrong with our picks, great versions of great songs by great artists: Lisa Mychols’ “Go All the Way,” Russell C. Shaddox’s “Girl of My Dreams,” Rob Bonfiglio’s “Earn Enough for Us,” Stephen Lawrenson’s “Feel,” Jeff Shelton’s “Life is Right,” Paul Costanza’s “No Matter What,” Jonathan Rundman’s “One World,” Bill Lloyd’s “Surrender,” Jeremy’s “I Can’t Hide It” and “Your Very Eyes,” Marc Platt’s “What I Like about You,” The Ringles’ “Me and You and a Dog Named Boo,” and the Takers’ “Timeless Melody.” They’re all playing now, in rotation. Dig ’em all.
The Well Wishers | A Shattering Sky Jeff Shelton, an old hand at great power pop, always puts on a good show. For proof of this, tune in to Pure Pop Radio to hear any of the seven songs we’ve added to our playlist from the Well Wishers’ fantastic new album: “Vincennes,” “Sheila Shake,” “Right Here at Last,” “Goodbye,” “Bring it Back,” “The Last to Fall in Love,” and “When the Time Comes.” You look power pop up in the dictionary, you ought to see Jeff’s picture next to the definition. It’s that simple.
Rob Bonfiglio | Freeway And, next to Jeff Shelton’s picture in the dictionary there should be one for Rob Bonfiglio, who’s been releasing wonderfully catchy pure pop songs for a good long while. Radio, are you listening? Every station worth its salt should be playing songs like the five we’ve added to the Pure Pop radio playlist–singable, hummable music that makes you feel good. Pure pop for the masses. Here is what is now playing in rotation from Freeway: “Lonely World,” “I am Tomorrow,” “Throw Me a Line,” “Best Plans Never Made,” and “Golden State.”
The Forz | The Forz These Boston boys, who take their cue from 1960s pop and rock conventions, grind out 15 catchy tunes on their debut album. It’s quite the corker and very well done. We especially love the manic, Merseybeat-styled “Sleep Deprived” and the equally Mersey-esque, mid-tempo, clapalongable “Today.” Both are now playing in rotation on Pure Pop Radio, along with “Back to You,” “Meant for Me,” “Night and Day,” and “What Can I Say.” We love this kind of stuff, and we’re thrilled to have this band on our air.
Greta Gertler and the Extroverts | Edible Restaurant Before Greta and her husband Adam formed the Universal Thump (songs from that self-titled album are now playing in rotation on Pure Pop Radio), she was making records of her own, including this one, which was released in 2010. Greta writes beautiful songs; her piano and lovely, expressive voice bring them to brilliant life. Think Laura Nyro, if you need a comparison. Maybe wedge in a bit of Kate Bush, if you feel so inclined. This is great melodic pop music, and we’re pleased as punch to be featuring it on the air. We’ve added six songs from Edible Restaurant to the playlist: the title cut, “Bessie,” “Good and Simple,” “Bergen Street,” “If Bob was God,” and “Uniform.” They will melt your heart, in a good way.
Kylie Whitney | Something About Ghosts Soulful, true and heartfelt, Kylie Whitney arrives on the pop music scene in a big and glorious way with a dozen songs that speak to the soul. From the ’60s vibe of girl-group-esque, hit-song-worthy “Bad News Baby” to the emotionally charged “On Hold,” this album makes the grade, and then some. This woman has a voice that can convey any emotion with authority. She does a great job of painting a brave, tender wash on Don McLean’s classic “Vincent.” Produced by Michael Carpenter, who plays at least a boatload of instruments on this album and co-wrote most of the songs with Kylie, Something About Ghosts shines the right amount of light on the world this talented singer conveys. A great record, and we’re playing all of it in rotation: “Heretic,” “Bad News Baby,” “Saturn,” “I Can Make You,” “Vincent,” “On Hold,” “Mermaids,” “You’re Just the Blues,” “Tealight,” “We Can’t be Friends,” “Heartbreak Heaven,” and “You Won’t Change.” Top-notch all the way.
The Staffords | It Kills Me Hailing from Australia, the Staffords are a wonderful band that specializes in tuneful pop and roll, all of it catchy and very cool. Their debut album is a must-listen for all pop music fans; we’re now playing, in rotation, five songs from it: “Nobody Home,” “Passing Ships in the Night,” “It’s Not Funny,” “Hollow to the Core,” and “Poor Me.” It Kills Me drops on October 27–don’t miss it.
Javier Escovedo | City Lights This 2012 release, the first solo album from Javier Escovedo, follows his stints in the Zeros and True Believers. There’s a nice mixture of upbeat pop and roll and slower, melodic mid-tempo ballads, all with deep hooks, catchy melodies and a distinctive sound that draws listeners in. We’ve added five songs to the Pure Pop Radio playlist: “Tonight is Gonna Be Better,” “See You Around,” “The Music Keeps on Playing,” “As Another Day Passes By,” and “Just a Dream.”
Also added this week:
The New Pornographers | Brill Bruisers Four great songs from the latest release from everybody’s favorite supergroup have been added to our playlist: “Brill Bruisers,” “Champions of Red Wine,” “Marching Orders,” and “Another Drug Deal of the Heart.” Wonderful.
Music Go Music | Impressions We’re spinning a couple of tastes from this recently-released album, the band’s first after a long layoff. “Love is All I Can Hear” and “People All Over the World” are blessed with a cool, retro feel and sound like a million bucks. We’re happy to have them spinning in rotation on Pure Pop Radio.
And so, day four of Pure Pop Radio’s New Music Explosion comes to an end. We hope you enjoyed this week’s additions to our playlist. Much, much, much more coming next week and on into the weeks that will follow. Thank you for reading and for listening to our 24-hour-a-day mix of the greatest melodic pop music in the universe!
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!