New Tunes for Pure Pop Radio’s Swinging New Music Dance Party | 8.5.16

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Swinging Spins and Reviews | 8.5.16 | by Alan Haber

We fold up our well-worn dance floor as our Swinging New Music Dance Party comes to a close. We hope you enjoyed all of the new music we’ve added to our playlist, all of it now spinning in rotation.

In case you missed the reviews we posted this week, you can read them all below. They’re preceded by a new review of a terrific new compilation, the Mahoney Brothers’ Rarities Vol. 1, put together with heart and soul by one of our favorite singer/songwriter/performers, Timmy Sean.

Have a great weekend, and we’ll see you back here next week, with a big Tuesday announcement you won’t want to miss!

the mahoney brothersThe Mahoney Brothers | Rarities Vol. 1
Meet Timmy Sean, one of the hardest working folks in show business, what with his duties at the heart of Sir Video, Timmy Sean and the Celebrities, and his Noisewater Records imprint. Speaking of which, this fun and tuneful compilation is just out and, what, you haven’t been acquainted with the Mahoney Brothers? Let me make some introductions: The Mahoney Brothers stars Timmy’s father and his father’s two brothers, with around 30 other members in the lineup at one time or another. They’ve been performing their Beatles tribute show since 1977; a show called Jukebox Heroes Live!, which presents tributes to a wide variety of artists including Buddy Holly, the Beach Boys and Elvis Presley, has been around since the late 1980s.

Where does Timmy fit into all of this? When he was domiciled on the east coast, he performed full time in Jukebox Heroes Live! and every so often filled in as “Ringo” in the Beatles show. When Timmy moved to the left coast, Pure Pop Radio favorite Nick Bertling settled into the drum chair for Jukebox shows, but then he moved and…

It’s a tale of first class entertainment that has now been commemorated by this Rarities Vol. 1 collection, which mixes original songs and choice covers. It’s a great way to get a solid overview of what the Mahoney Brothers do. I dig it big time, especially the fantastic cover of the Beach Boys’ “Don’t Worry Baby,” which puts deep harmony stacks in the spotlight–really, all of the vocals are peerless and the cover is lovely.

Also rocking your stereo are solid covers of a trio of Beatles tunes: “Boys,” all fierce and pounding and, thanks to a recent remix, filling the room with crystal clear thrills; “I’ll Get You,” played live in 2003 in South Bend, Indiana, oh yeah; and “Strawberry Fields Forever,” performed live in Atlantic City in 2004 to an adoring audience that gets every nuance, beautifully and lovingly performed by the Brothers. And there’s more, of course–much more and you will love it all like I do.
black box Now playing in rotation on Pure Pop Radio: “Someday,” “Boys,” “Too Late for Love,” “Strawberry Fields Forever,” “Don’t Worry Baby,” and “I’ll Get You.”
black box When and Where to Get It: Bandcamp

And now, in case you missed our other reviews of new music being added to the Pure Pop Radio playlist during this week’s exciting Swinging New Music Dance Party, here they are–19 in total, all great releases you can hear in rotation on our air and in your homes:

vanilla be not coy coverVanilla | “Be Not Coy”
A Pure Pop Radio Thursday Exclusive 
Robert Herrick, born in 1591 and never married, was a vicar and a poet whose gaze was trained, for the most part, on themes that were pastoral in nature. One of his works, a short poem entitled To the Virgins, to Make Much of Time, was partial inspiration for Jayson Jarmon’s potent song.

Herrick’s poem offers sage advice that has been passed down through the ages and is as valuable and wise today as it ever was: “Gather ye rosebuds while ye may.” Don’t let opportunity pass you by; grab the brass ring before somebody else does. Reap the rewards that life offers to you while you can.

Struck by Herrick’s words and by his meaning, and by the barrage of music industry passings this year, Jayson set about writing this song, which arrived fully formed, words and music and sentiment. “I was reflecting on all of the losses in the music business thus far this year,” he says. “A lot of the great ones have passed and every week in 2016 seems like a new wave of sad news washing up on the beach.

vanilla be not coy photo 1vanilla be not coy photo 2“So I found myself out in the desert a while back in southern California at the Joshua Tree Inn, where Gram Parsons died…decades ago.” And then, seemingly in a flash, with sadness for the fallen and inspiration afoot, “Be Not Coy” came into being, initially as an acoustic guitar take and then as a fully-formed track, fleshed out by Jayson’s band members.

The title of this song comes from a line in Herrick’s poem: “Then be not coy, but use your time…” According to the Merriam-Webster dictionary, coy can mean shy, which in this case is apropos and appropriate, for shyness, practiced at the crossroads where decisions call for brisk and brave action, hardly has any place. Or shouldn’t.

So Jayson’s song, affecting and hopeful, proffers its message while dressed in folk-poppy clothes, with Eric Robert’s Hammond B3 and Sean Gaffney’s lyrical electric guitar providing powerful accents along the way. And the seductive melody, ultimately joyous and hopeful, is a panacea for people who maybe can’t take charge of a situation and commit to gathering the rosebuds placed before them.

“Be Not Coy” provides a nice counterpoint to Vanilla’s other songs. The direction the band takes when crafting new tracks, building surprises and stylistic detours into each one, is a large part of what makes the songs so attractive. Being coy, or simply unable to embrace such artistry, never comes into the mix when listeners are presented with one of Vanilla’s new creations. This one, like all the others, and perhaps even more so than some of the others, is a joyous listening experience, and it’s playing here on Pure Pop Radio as a Thursday Exclusive, and then into the future. Be not coy…and get it for your own tomorrow.
black box Playing exclusively today on Pure Pop Radio, and tomorrow and into the future in rotation.
black box When and Where to Get It: Bandcamp

erik voeks reasons your conditionErik Voeks | “Your Condition” b/w “Reasons”
The August entry in Erik’s current run of single releases is another standout double a-side, this time pairing “Your Condition,” a Big Star (with a smattering of Rolling Stones sauce sprinkled on top) homage with “Reasons,” a pretty ballad about sealing one’s fate as far as the pearly gates are concerned (“You’ve been around this cloud one too many times/And the elevator man’s resigned”). Erik handled all the instrument playing and singing, except for the drumming and percussion thumping, which were handled expertly by Patrick Hawley. The run of hits after hits after still more hits continues.
black box Now playing on Pure Pop Radio: “Your Condition” and “Reasons”
black box Where to Get It: Bandcamp

Tthe bangleshe Bangles | Ladies and Gentlemen… The Bangles!
As it’s the heart of baseball season, I see no reason to hold back on the oft-used phrase: Omnivore Records’ collection of Bangles vault rarities from the 1980s is an explosive out-of-the-park home run. From early recordings of the group as the Bangs to demos, live tracks and other rarities, this is a Bangles fan’s early Christmas present, previously available only as a download. All killer and no filler, indeed.
black box Now playing in rotation on Pure Pop Radio: “Getting Out of Hand” (The Bangs), “Call on Me” (The Bangs), “The Real World,” “I’m in Line,” “Mary Street,” “Outside Chance,” “No Mag Commercial.”
black box Where to Get It: Amazon

champagne beach closedChampagne | Beach Closed
The follow-up to 2005’s ready, steady, go! finds Spain’s pop quartet delivering another top-flight collection of melodic gems, from the upbeat popper “Where is Barbara Ann?,” the beginning of which recalls the opening to the Wonders’ “That Thing You Do,” to the gentle ballad “Hawaii” and the upbeat, catchy “Plastic Feelings.” A fun listen.
Now playing in rotation on Pure Pop Radio: “It’s Alright,” “Where is Barbara Ann?,” “Welcome to the World,” “Plastic Feelings,” and “Hawaii.”
black box Where to Get It: Bandcamp

freeholm wilsonFreeholm Wilson | Children of June
London one-man-bander Wilson straddles the line between retro and contemporary with this debut album, a mix of upbeat and ballad numbers always stressing melody and hooks. Among the top tracks here are the powerful “Run Back to Me,” that somehow, to me, evokes the Rooftop Singers’ “Walk Right In,” and the harmonica-ized, hint-of-Americana instrumental “Shelly’s Colours.” A plethora of pleasures, to be sure.
black box Now playing in rotation on Pure Pop Radio: “Be There,” “State Lines,” “Shelly’s Colours,” “Run Back to Me,” and “Long Way Home.”
black box Where to Get It: Bandcamp

tobbe and the teenage tantrums smallTobbe and His Teenage Tantrums | “Don’t”
The Theme Music conclave on Facebook continues to provide Tobbe Petersson, Keith Klingensmith and crew with golden opportunities to record classic-sounding melodic pop songs; this sweet, very ’60s-sounding tune, written by Torbjorn “Tobbe” Petersson, sung by Keith, and played by Tobbe (guitars, keyboards, background vocals), Lee Wiggins (drums, percussion), and Teresa Cowles (bass and background vocals) is the latest. If there’s a best-kept-but-not-really-so-secret weapon in pop music, it’s got to be Tobbe. Essential, as usual.
black box Now playing in rotation on Pure Pop Radio.
black box Where to Get It: Not currently available for purchase.

dirty watertony valentino 5Tony ‘n’ the Recruiters | “Dirty Water”
The Standells’ classic “Dirty Water” sizzled into the number 11 spot on Billboard’s Hot 100 chart in July of 1966. It’s still sizzling today, this story of dirty water and curfews and women and, yes, Boston, spoken/sung/snarled by Dick Dodd over one of the great, meaty, down-and-dirty guitar riffs of all time. Guitarist Tony Valentino is still at it–still spreading the dirty gospel by playing the song live and by waxing a brand-new recording of it that sizzles like the original so a whole new generation and older fans, too, can get down and dirty with it in the context of today’s skewed world. This new version, produced by Tony and sung with pumped up passion by Steve Loizos, is lit up at a faster pace, chugging through the last measure of the chorus with a thrilling, ascending chord pattern, and it’s all to get the pressure rising, which it does and which it should. This track won’t calm anyone down, but it’s not supposed to. Take a bow, Tony; we’ll all wade through that dirty water with you anytime.
black box Now playing in rotation on Pure Pop Radio.
black box Connect with Tony Valentino on Facebook 

bent van looy pyjama daysBent Van Looy | Pyjama Days
Bent Van Looy, based in Paris, France and a member of the band Das Pop, released his first solo album, Round the Bend, produced by Jason Falkner, in 2013. This top-notch follow-up, released this past March, is a lovely collection of sweet-sounding catchy melodies sung with assured style. Every song sparkles; every song will make you smile, from the upbeat pop number “My Escape,” beautifully arranged with little Beach Boys vocal flourishes weaved in; “Mr. Fletcher’s Song,” a melodic mid-tempo ballad that wouldn’t sound out of place on a Randy Newman album, and the sumptuous title track, a three-minute genius construct, nicely orchestrated and adorned with a smile-inducing whistle. The next time a friend asks what’s new–what’s good–you can point to this artist, to this album, and tell them it’s not just good…it’s great.
black box Now playing in rotation on Pure Pop Radio: “30 Days Without Sun,” “1000 Deaths,” “Downtown Train,” “High and Dry,” “Mr. Fletcher’s Song,” “My Escape,” “Pyjama Days,” “Sink or Swim,” and “Wind is Blowing.”
black box Where to Get It: Bandcamp

drums and wires uk 2drums and wires ukDrums and Wires UK | “All the Things” and “I Should Have Known”
Ex-Squire bassist Jonathan Bicknell’s current project will be releasing, later this year, a concept album titled Ups, Downs and Merry Go Rounds,  which concerns itself with the trials and tribulations of life. Until then, we have this smashing single pairing a couple of power popping classics. Performed with gusto and infused with strong melodies and passionate playing, I’m sufficiently jazzed for the album’s arrival.
black box Now playing in rotation on Pure Pop Radio.
black box Where to Get It: iTunes

corey landis therapy dogCorey Landis | Therapy Dog
The precursor to Corey Landis and the Attacks, added to our playlist this past Wednesday, is a different beast all around, but no less vital. More of a personal approach informs these songs, three of which are now playing in rotation: the emotional waltz “Poltergeist,” the equally emotional title  track, and the punchy, quirky “Airport.” Corey Landis is one of my favorite, recent discoveries.
black box Now playing in rotation on Pure Pop Radio: “Poltergeist,” “Therapy Dog,” and “Airport.”
black box Where to Get It: Bandcamp

the del zorros yes i want youThe Del Zorros | “Yes I Want You (We’re Gonna be Married)”
Lance and Leigh Bowser’s latest is a sweet, pretty paean to love, love, love. It’s the same old story with the Del Zorros–infectious melodies, top-flight songcraft, and the ability to push the right, catchy buttons each and every time. Why, oh why, can’t these guys release a new song every day, ’cause that would suit me just fine.
black box Now playing in rotation on Pure Pop Radio.
black box Where to Get It: CD Baby

the recreationsThe Recreations | “Swing Together”
Update: My pal Scott McPherson (Tiny Volcano, Pop 4, McPherson Grant) turned me on to this amazing track, and I reviewed it in early May. I’d like to echo and expand on my earlier rave: Fronted by pop visionary Yohei, this is a vital mix of soft pop, Burt Bacharach, Jellyfish, swing and jazz that comes together as a wholly unique creation you will never forget. A true kitchen-sink production. You’ll be singing this one to yourself for a month after hearing it. From Tokyo to your waiting ears.
Now playing in rotation on Pure Pop Radio.
black box Where to Listen to It (Other than Pure Pop Radio):
Soundcloud (This song is not yet available for purchase.)

TYIFinal2Nick Piunti | “One Hit Wonder” (from the forthcoming album, Trust Your Instincts)
Michigan musician Piunti hits all the melodic marks with this catchy slice of pop perfection, a three-minute pearl of a tune pairing a sweet, catchy melody with an introspective lyric about trying to make it big in the music business. Piunti was a smart, thoughtful lyricist from the start of his career; the words that power this song’s message are among his best. “Burned out, before it began/If it was destined to be then we stuck to the plan,” he sings at the top of the tune, the second half of the couplet particularly telling and dripping with foreshadowed insight. “Over our heads, it was out of our hands, it was gone.” Yet, the song’s narrator doesn’t clue the listener in on where he is in the present tense. Did he carry on with trying to tackle the top of the chart despite his downbeat experience, or did he switch career paths? It’s all quite the cautionary tale and interesting given the upward trajectory of Piunti’s career and his acceptance by fans in the pop community. From the soon-to-be-released album Trust Your Instincts, Piunti’s third solo long player, “One Hit Wonder” is fantabulous.
black box Now playing in rotation on Pure Pop Radio.
black box Where to Get It: Trust Your Instincts is due to be released on JEM Records on September 9.

mimi bettinis music soundsMimi Betinis | Music Sounds
An incredible, vivid, quite alive offering of melodic treasures populates this glorious album, without question one of this year’s best releases. Every song is a wonderfully realized pop confection, particularly three that hit the hooky bullseye: “Say the Word,” “She Wants You,” which surreptitiously recalls the famed intro to the Ronettes’ “Be My Baby” in the intro, and “Summer Love,” a warm love letter and look back to a seasonal romance (that, perhaps unknowingly, taps the sound of 10cc member Eric Stewart’s guitar playing in the solo). A pure pop masterpiece that will spin in your orbit for years to come.
black box Now playing in rotation on Pure Pop Radio: “Corrina,” “Listen to Me Boy,” “Palm of Her Hand,” “Say the Word,” “She Wants You,” “Sound the Alarm,” “Summer Love,” and “This Girl.”
black box Where to Get It: The Pop Music Sounds Store

brandon schott revisitedBrandon Schott | (Revisited)
Another monumental release from this California wonder, whose eyes and ears are fixed on his next proper record, the follow-up to the impressive Crayons and Angels, this generous sampler aims to offer fans something to ponder while they wait for their next Schott of classic pop. They’ll be busy, to be sure; this magical mélange of outtakes, remixes, b-sides and the like contains 14 strong slices of peerless pop. The stripped-down, poppy version of “Simple Life,” a track off the Golden State album, is one such nugget; the inspired take on the Beach Boys’ “God Only Knows,” complete with tabla and sitar for a decidedly world music feel, and the amazing “Yellow Bird,” a gushingly pretty charity single from 2011 sung with and co-written by Brandon’s friend Amy Petty, also lead this impressive pack, but “Full Circle Round (Acoustic Mix #13),” a previously unheard version of a song from 13 Satellites, spotlights some particularly winsome Beach Boys harmony wizardry and garners its own huzzahs. Peerless, really.
black box Now playing in rotation on Pure Pop Radio: “Now,” “Carousel (Revisited),” “God Only Know,” “Simple Life,” “Ballad of El Goodo,” “Full Circle Round (Acoustic Mix #13),” “Delight,” “Yellow Bird,” and “Strawberry Fields Forever.”
black box Where to Get It: Bandcamp

the armoiresThe Armoires | Incidental Lightshow
Coloring their comfortably eclectic sound with aural swatches of English folk and psychedelia and American pop and rock, the Armoires hit upon a decidedly different presentation that is at once surprising and wholly absorbing. Witness the mystic wash of the folk-poppy “Wire Girl,” which, in a ghostlike manner, recalls the opening to Chicago’s “Wishing You Were Here,” the psych-fueled, engrossing rocker “Doubtful Sound,” and “Live and Direct,” a folk-rocker that shares sensibilities with the English group Ruby Blue. The band’s story is multilayered and deep (see link); the music that they make is deeply satisfying.
black box Now playing in rotation on Pure Pop Radio: “Double Blades,” “Doubtful Sound,” “Fort Ashby,” “Live and Direct,” and “Wire Girl.”
black box Where to Get It: CDBaby

the melbourne divideVarious Artists | The Melbourne Divide
A fine sampler released to commemorate a showcase for the Popboomerang record label during the Leaps and Bounds Music Festival, held July 9 at the Yarra Hotel in Abbotsford, a suburb of Melbourne, Australia. Compiled by Popboomerang’s chief Scott Thurling, one of the great champions of Australian pop music, this eight-song grouping collects nine superb songs from two guitar-pop bands from the ’90s, Oscarlima and Jericho, and an otherwise-unavailable (as of this writing) song from the Wellingtons, among other pearls. With melody at the core of these offerings, pop fans can’t go wrong with this disc, available for as little as zero dollars (see link for details).
black box Now playing in rotation on Pure Pop Radio: Oscarlima, “Penny Dreadful”; The Wellingtons, “The End of the Summer”; Bryan Estepa and the Tempe Two, “Object of My Disaffection”; Tim Reid, “Small Black Box”; Adrian Whitehead, “Spector’s Dead; and Danny McDonald, “The Melbourne Divide.”
black box Where to Get It: Bandcamp

the cherry bluestorms see no evilThe Cherry Bluestorms | “See No Evil” and “Dear Prudence”
A hard-charging pop-rocker with a great hook, driven by a strong drum track and Deborah Gee’s Chrissie Hynde-timbered  vocal, pairs up with a moody, psych-infused version of the Beatles’ “Dear Prudence” on a vinyl single that offers up a download card and a skewed Beatles A Hard Day’s Night/Brady Bunch-styled picture sleeve. Essential.
black box Now playing in rotation on Pure Pop Radio.
black box Where to Get It: The Cherry Bluestorms’ website.

VistavieChardRy | “Les Femmes Sont Courbes” and “Vis Ta Vie”
French singer ChardRy, also known as Richard Verlan, delivers a delicate, orchestrated ballad (“Les Femmes Sont Courbes”) and a catchy, medium-tempo pop song (“Vis Ta Vie”) to great effect, both perfect for the wide-ranging playlist brought to you 24 hours a day by Pure Pop Radio.
black box Now playing in rotation on Pure Pop Radio.
black box Connect with ChardRy on Facebook

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

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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

Come On, Get Happy! We’ve Added More New Songs and Artists to the Pure Pop Radio Playlist! It’s New Music Thursday!

smile-2Bringing you songs and artists new to the Pure Pop Radio playlist is our favorite thing to do in the whole wide world. We sure do know the feeling that hits you when you read about and then hear something that makes you smile–something that raises the hair on the back of your neck and makes you tap your toes, or dance the night or the early afternoon away, or take up air guitar or air piano or air celesta. In some measure, and this is a well know truth–in some measure what you hear changes your life, and when that happens, well, we’ve done our job.

So here is some more music that’s currently spinning in rotation–music that will make you happy!

popboomerang-records-100Popboomerang Records | (PB:100) Popboomerang Records’ Scott Thurling knows how to throw a party. He’s celebrating the 99th record released by his company with a gala, 100th musical extravaganza–a two-CD set stocked deep with specially-recorded and previously-unreleased tracks from his label’s artists and friends. (PB:100) features 32 smashing songs from a diverse roster of artists. Job well done: we’ve added 11 great numbers to the playlist, including the Solicitors’ quirky “His Robe” and Kelly’s Heels’ “Popboomerang,” a catchy, upbeat label-history-in-song that celebrates Scott’s longstanding brief of exposing great sounds to music lovers all over the world. The aforementioned songs are now playing in rotation, along with the Killjoys’ “Marching Out of Time,” Danny McDonald’s “The Melbourne Divide,” The Little Murders’ “Kings Cross Dawning,” Central Rain’s “What a Day,” Tim Reid’s “In the Dark,” D. Rogers’ “Don’t Smile ’til Easter,” Mick Thomas’ “Mermaid Song,” Lazybirds’ “Slinky Skanky,” and Jona Byron’s “Sun Daughter.” (PB:100) drops April 1; pick up a copy and help support a worthy independent record label.

spencer-albeeSpencer Albee | Mistakes Were Made Get ready for a wild blast of cool air that will toss you across your living room, through your front door, and to the far side of your yard. Spencer Albee’s hall-of-fame worthy album, Mistakes Were Made, will thrill you, delight you, and make you beg for more. A multi-instrumental wonder, Spencer dons all manner of pop music masks: uptempo balladeer in the harmony rich title song; straight-ahead popster in “So Bad”; infectious, retro, late-period Beach Boys funster in the delectable “Put Your Sweatshirt On”; and pure popster in the melodic love song, “This Will Be Our Year.” The sumptuous tip of the hat to the late ’50s/early ’60s, the catchy “I Don’t Know,” and the four-on-the-floor rhythm happy joy of “One 2 Three” are more highlights. So is the jaunty, clapalongable “Hold Me Close,” and ditto for the heartbreaking piano spencer-albee-photoinstrumental, “Something Something Heartbreak.” Well, we could go on, and we will at a later date, but for now… we swear on a stack of pop album classics that this is the real deal. We’re playing almost all of these incredible songs: “Mistakes Were Made,” “So Bad,” “Put Your Sweatshirt On,” “I Don’t Know,” “One 2 Three,” “This Will Be Our Year,” “Why am I a Fool,” “Something Something Heartbreak,” “So Long,” “Please Come Home,” “Skulls,” “Love is Not Enough,” It’s Not the End of the World,” and “Hold Me Close.” A sure bet for best of 2015 honors. In a few words, this is so very grand and, in just one word…wow! Get this for your very own when it drops on May 1. Come on, get Spencer!

brandon-schott-dandelionBrandon Schott | Dandelion (Live at the Treatment Room, January 10, 2008) Recorded in a friend’s studio as a way of sketching out songs for his next album, Brandon Schott laid his emotions on the line. He was in the eighth week of a 12-week-long chemotherapy treatment. “I wanted to get these songs down in the moment, as it was happening,” Brandon says. Some of the songs were later re-recorded for his record Dandelion. As heard on this heartfelt album, these songs, sung with simple accompaniment, may be the singer-songwriter’s most revealing collection yet. Records like this don’t come along every day; we wanted to be sure to play some of these songs in rotation so listeners could experience their majesty. We eagerly await Brandon’s new studio record, coming soon; until then, spin this recording as a reminder of how wonderful an artist Brandon is. We’ve added nearly the entire album to our playlist: “It’s Alright (Baby Blue),” “Unknown,” “Falling Forward,” “Four Winds,” “Fire Season,” “Toward the Sun,” “Blue Star Highway,” “All Will Be Well,” and “The Last Swan.” [One hundred percent of the proceeds from the sale of this album are being donated to Gilda’s Club NYC, an organization that supports, educates and empowers cancer patients and their families.]

the-davenports-away-from-meThe Davenports | “Five Steps ’15” and “Away from Me” This latest release from Scott Klass and the Davenports, a true double a-side single, pairs a newly-arranged and remixed version of “Five Steps,” which originally appeared on the group’s debut album Speaking of the Davenports and continues to be part of the A&E network show, Intervention, with the brand-new song, “Away from Me.” Full of slightly obtuse imagery and the usual mastery of language, “Away from Me”‘s lyrics make a case for disconnection. Yin meets and overpowers yang: “There’s a heart around a number on the paper in the case/In a glove compartment–chaos by the seat loved out of place/With a boy beside the window with an answer in your face/Smiling as he drives away from me.” And, yang meets and topples over yin: “Every mile up in the air/Every masterful win–I’d burn it to cinders/To be tangled up in your hair/Sturdy inside September.” The song starts out as sort of a lazy country and western number, but the slightly ominous-sounding strings cast a pall over the proceedings. Scott’s sturdy yet rubbery vocal in the chorus creates added tension even as it carries forward as a beautiful expression of melody. It’s another superb song in a long line of superb Davenports songs, and we’re now playing it, along with “Five Steps ’15,” in rotation.

vanilla-catherineVanilla | “Katherine the Grating” Variety is the chief spice in Jayson Jarmon and company’s rack, as evidenced by the new, twelfth song released as part of the growing album-to-come, Vanilla 2.0. A bouncing snare drum leads into a lively, show-type catchy tune, all surface smiles and virtue with a darker purpose afoot: a girl leaves her baby’s care in her guy’s hands. She vamooses. She’s a no remorse kind of gal: “Why oh why did the rabbit die?/Leaving me up to my eyes in diapers.” She isn’t called Katherine the Grating for nothing. When Jayson is finished with Vanilla 2.0, expect and, well, demand that it winds up on every best of 2015 list known to man…or Katherine. Awesome.

jared-lekites-fiveJared Lekites | Five Separate Lives We’re always thrilled to bring new music from Jared Lekites to your waiting ears. This time around, Jared has released a single featuring two songs written for the soundtrack of the movie, You’re Killing Me. “Five Separate Lives” is a bouncy pop song with a great melody; a lovely middle-eight; and a great, catchy chorus. “And It’s Over,” a chronicle of a broken relationship, is a marvel of a number with soaring vocal harmonies and a luscious melody. Of course, we’re playing both of these songs in rotation. Next up: Jared’s upcoming album with Connor Anderson, billed under the name the Lunar Laugh. We can’t wait.

miss-tessMiss Tess and the Talkbacks | “One Match Fire” We’d never heard of Miss Tess and the Talkbacks prior to bumping into this joyous and masterful country-rock number, being released on Record Store Day this coming April 18. Until you can hold this limited edition 7-inch in your hot little hands, you can hear it playing in rotation on Pure Pop Radio. It’s a great number, another don’t miss track, without a doubt.

quakers-on-probationQuakers on Probation | Love and Distance Pop and rock and roll and a dash of contemporary spice are at the heart of this band from the Pacific Northwest. Their songs are atmospheric and catchy and we’re spinning five from this terrific album: “Cosmic Crawl,” “The Honorable Mention,” “Love and Distance,” “Story of Your Life,” and “Out of the Blue.” Great stuff.

A strong lineup of artists and songs, wouldn’t you say? We’ve got more treasures coming up next week. Keep listening to Pure Pop Radio for the greatest melodic pop from the ’60s to today!

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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

The Solicitors Plot World Domination! New Album, Blank Check, is Coming At You in October!

the solicitors - blank check coverWe’ve been in love with the catchy pop of Australia’s The Solicitors since we first heard their delectable, Stiff-inspired tunes late last year. With enough tracks written and committed to wax, and after humming Lee Jones’s top-flight melodious melodies to ourselves, it’s nearly time to greet the group’s first album, Blank Check, set to hit Oz and beyond in October. It’s already Pure Pop Radio approved, and we simply can’t wait.

Australia's The Solicitors
Australia’s The Solicitors

Actually, we don’t have to, because we’ve heard the whole thing and it’s as spectacular as anyone could have hoped. Song after song, melody after melody, Jones delivers the goods with remarkably concise, catchy nuggets that cause the heavens to open up and sing along. The Solicitors’ first single from Blank Check is the crazy good, intoxicating basher “If You Let Me Hold You” that will hopefully take over radio and stereo systems all around the world. Kicking off with an insistent bass guitar thump underpinned by a solid drum beat, the song gets into gear with one of the top hooks you’re liable to hear in the coming months. The verses are as catchy as the choruses, which build on the verses by setting the melody free with delicious harmony vocals. And watch out for one of the best middle-eights like ever.

You can watch Lee, his Energizer bunny-like guitarist Laf Zee and the rest of the band deliver the goods in the video for “If You Let Me Hold You,” handily presented to you right here:

Pretty great, huh? Well, there’s even more great abounding: Pure Pop Radio is proud to be able to bring you an exclusive track from Blank Check, “My Secret is Safe with Me,” a typically energetic Solicitors number with another catchy chorus that will roll around in your head for ages. Listen to it here by clicking on the play button coming right up, courtesy of the great Scott Thurling at the Solicitors’ record label, Popboomerang Records. (You can also hear the song playing in rotation on the air.) Here comes “My Secret is Safe with Me”!

If your desire is to know everything there is to discover about the Solicitors and Lee Jones, click here to listen to Lee’s appearance on our signature interview program, Pure Pop Radio: In Conversation, from earlier this year. It’s a great talk that you won’t soon forget.

So. Mark your calendars. October 2014. The release of the Solicitors’ smashing new album, Blank Check. Listen now to Pure Pop Radio for “My Secret is Safe with Me” (exclusive to us), “If You Let Me Hold You,” “Pretty Penny,” “Quicksand,” and “Help Me Forget.” We’re going Solicitors crazy! And you will too!

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

Lee Jones from The Solicitors Guests on Pure Pop Radio: In Conversation on February 4

Meet The Solicitors
Meet The Solicitors

It’s no secret that of all of the elements that go into an interview on Pure Pop Radio: In Conversation, my favorite is the human one. As much as I live for spreading the word on great music, I’m even more dedicated to telling the stories behind the songs. What is the songwriter’s history? How did he grow up? How did life treat him along the way? How does all of this help shape his music?

We’ve got a wonderful human story for you beginning next Tuesday, February 4. Lee Jones, from the great Australian band The Solicitors, joins me for the deeply felt story of how he got from the many roadblocks that life has delivered to him to his position as songwriter and singer in a band that is destined, I believe, for the top of the pops. I think you will be riveted as Lee unravels quite a heartfelt tale that negotiates a bumpy road, but winds up in a good place, delivering to the world a happy, talented man with a happy life who can strike up the band and get any place rocking and popping in no time.

Don’t miss this one. Pure Pop Radio: In Conversation with Lee Jones from The Solicitors airs on Pure Pop Radio next Tuesday and Wednesday, February 4 and 5, at 8 pm ET, and on Friday, February 7 at 6 pm ET. See you on the radio for a most commanding tale.

Visit The Solicitors’ website.

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