Classic In Conversation: Meet Ben Folds

Listen to this Classic Ben Folds Interview from 1996 as You Lose Yourself in the Just-Released Box Set, Brick

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ben folds brick box set coverThe release of the massive, 13-disc box set Brick (Edsel), covering all of the Ben Folds Five and Ben Folds solo releases and a whole lot more, prompted me to set the WAYBAC machine for March 26, 1996–just one year after the original, weekly Pure Pop Radio show began.

On that day, more than 22 years ago, I conducted a short but oh-so-sweet interview on the run with the great Ben Folds, just after his high-energy (read: energetic and LOUD) Ben Folds Five show at Washington, D.C.’s 9:30 Club concluded. The self-titled, first Five album had been released only seven months prior, but you would never have known it by the roaring reaction from the packed crowd.

My power-packed chat with Ben began just outside his dressing room and continued down to the stage where he and his band set to breaking down his setup and packing their instruments and equipment into a waiting U-Haul truck. This included Ben’s 1972 well-worn Baldwin piano, a well-used specimen if ever there was one. Ben and I talked about his approach to playing piano, being compared to Elton John and Billy Joel, and his love of  the Buggles’ “Video Killed the Radio Star,” which the band played that night and subsequently covered on record. And lots more.

This is one of my favorite interviews that I’ve done over the years. I hope you enjoy it.

pprListen to my interview with Ben Folds from March 26, 1996 by clicking the play button on the following player, or click on the Pure Pop Radio button to the left to download (then right click and choose “Save audio as” to save the file to your computer). (This interview is presented in scoped format; the songs have been removed due to copyright concerns.)

 


Listen to a wide selection of previously-aired Pure Pop Radio: In Conversation interviews by clicking here.

ppr radio purple background - insetPure Pop Radio plays the greatest melodic pop music from across the decades, 24 hours a day (broadcasts end August 25). Listen by clicking on the Live365 Listen Now button at left. Hear us once and you’ll be a listener for life. Join us, won’t you? You’ll be glad you did!

Pure Pop Radio: In Conversation Podcasts: The Davenports’ Scott Klass (Airdate: July 18, 2018)

alan headshot from schoolBy Alan Haber – Pure Pop Radio

the davenports don't be mad at me album coverThe Davenports’ Scott Klass joined me for a typically in-depth hour on the July 18 edition of Pure Pop Radio: In Conversation to talk about his wonderful new album, Don’t Be Mad at Me, another feather in the Davenports’ cap. That’s a particularly apt way to describe a collection of 10 melodically-charged, literate pop songs gathered under one roof.

The lovely title song, one of my favorites from Klass’s esteemed catalog, and one of the finest melodic pop songs in recent memory, barely scratches the surface of the joys that this album brings. “I Don’t Know What to Do,” a miraculous Klass and David Myhr cowrite, and the first single, a fine ballad called “Where Shall We Hang Elena?”, are two more gems that will no doubt burrow in your brain upon first listen.

Scott and I spoke about his songwriting, collaborating with Pure Pop Radio favorite David Myhr, and Don’t Be Mad at Me’s attractive art direction (by Winterpills’ Philip B. Price). We also played and looked deep into three of the songs on his miraculous new album, and took a Davenports classic from Speaking of the Davenports, “I’ll Come Down,” for a spin.

Get your vinyl or CD copy of the Davenports’ Don’t Be Mad at Me at the band’s website store. Alternatively, purchase the download version at Amazon or iTunes.

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pprListen to my interview with the Davenports’ Scott Klass from the July 18 edition of Pure Pop Radio: In Conversation by clicking the play button on the following player, or click on the Pure Pop Radio button to the left to download (then right click and choose “Save audio as” to save the file to your computer). (This interview is presented in scoped format; the songs have been removed due to copyright concerns.)

 


Listen to a wide selection of previously-aired Pure Pop Radio: In Conversation interviews by clicking here.

ppr radio purple background - insetPure Pop Radio plays the greatest melodic pop music from across the decades, 24 hours a day. Listen by clicking on the Live365 Listen Now button at left. Hear us once and you’ll be a listener for life. Join us, won’t you? You’ll be glad you did!

Pure Pop Radio’s signature shows, Pure Pop Radio: In Conversation (Wednesday, 9 pm ET) and Alan Haber’s Pop Tunes Deejay Show (Thursday, 8 pm ET), air exclusively on Pop that Goes Crunch Radio.

Two Als Talking Tunes (aka Pure Pop Radio: In Conversation) Podcasts: Al Sussman (Airdate: July 11, 2018)

alan headshot from schoolBy Alan Haber – Pure Pop Radio

al sussman

Beatlefan Executive Editor Al Sussman joined me on July 11 for another rousing edition of Two Als Talking Tunes, for which we redressed the virtual Pure Pop Radio: In Conversation set as if it were on the beach to allow us to play some favorite sun-soaked records and toss out some earth-shattering chart facts and figures.

Our theme for this go-round was summer songs that were about the season or were hits under the summer sun. Al and I, after slathering on the SPF (it was virtually hot out there!), chose three each and played and talked about them in our usual joyous, easygoing, fact-filled style. Al’s picks: Nat King Cole’s “Those Lazy-Hazy-Crazy Days of Summer”; Bruce and Terry’s “Summer Means Fun”; and Aretha Franklin’s version of “I Say a Little Prayer.” I chose Stevie Wonder’s “Summer Soft”; Sly and the Family Stone’s “Hot Fun in the Summertime”; and the Association’s “Windy.” The show ended with a bonus classic from the Beach Boys–the single version of “Fun, Fun, Fun.”

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pprListen to the summer songs edition of Two Als Talking Tunes with Al Sussman, originally broadcast on July 11, by clicking the play button on the following player, or click on the Pure Pop Radio button to the left to download (then right click and choose “Save audio as” to save the file to your computer). (This interview is presented in scoped format; the songs have been removed due to copyright concerns.)

Take the songs played during this show for a test drive by clicking on the following Spotify links:

 


Listen to a wide selection of previously-aired Pure Pop Radio: In Conversation interviews by clicking here.

ppr radio purple background - insetPure Pop Radio plays the greatest melodic pop music from across the decades, 24 hours a day. Listen by clicking on the Live365 Listen Now button at left. Hear us once and you’ll be a listener for life. Join us, won’t you? You’ll be glad you did!

Pure Pop Radio’s signature shows, Pure Pop Radio: In Conversation (Wednesday, 9 pm ET) and Alan Haber’s Pop Tunes Deejay Show (Thursday, 8 pm ET), air exclusively on Pop that Goes Crunch Radio.

Pure Pop Radio: In Conversation Podcasts: Dave Sheinin (Airdate: June 27, 2018)

alan headshot from schoolBy Alan Haber – Pure Pop Radio

Dave Sheinin, Washington Post sports scribe and melodic popster, joined me on the June 27 edition of Pure Pop Radio: In Conversation to talk about his wonderful album, First Thing Tomorrow.

dave sheinin first thing tomorrow coverFirst Thing Tomorrow is a bona fide melodic pop smash, full of lovely, catchy melodies and songs. In addition to talking about three of the songs on the album, Dave took listeners on a tour of his history: Currently a national baseball writer for the Washington Post, he almost became a professional opera singer before swinging into professional journalism (he’s worked at the Post for nearly 20 years).

We played, and Dave talked about, these three fine numbers: “Oh, Amelia,” “What’s the Matter,” and “Goodbye City” (listen to each by clicking on the titles). Sample some of Dave’s other songs featured on First Thing Tomorrow, and then purchase the album on Bandcamp, or at Kool Kat Musik or CD Baby. You’re sure to treasure this lovely, melodic gem.

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pprListen to my interview with Dave Sheinin from the June 27 edition of Pure Pop Radio: In Conversation by clicking the play button on the following player, or click on the Pure Pop Radio button to the left to download (then right click and choose “Save audio as” to save the file to your computer). (This interview is presented in scoped format; the songs have been removed due to copyright concerns.)

 


Listen to a wide selection of previously-aired Pure Pop Radio: In Conversation interviews by clicking here.

ppr radio purple background - insetPure Pop Radio plays the greatest melodic pop music from across the decades, 24 hours a day. Listen by clicking on the Live365 Listen Now button at left. Hear us once and you’ll be a listener for life. Join us, won’t you? You’ll be glad you did!

Pure Pop Radio’s signature shows, Pure Pop Radio: In Conversation (Wednesday, 9 pm ET) and Alan Haber’s Pop Tunes Deejay Show (Thursday, 8 pm ET), air exclusively on Pop that Goes Crunch Radio.

Pure Pop Radio: In Conversation Podcasts: Jeffrey Foskett (Original Airdate: January 19, 1997; Rebroadcast June 20, 2018)

alan headshot from schoolBy Alan Haber – Pure Pop Radio

On the June 20 edition of Pure Pop Radio: In Conversation, we sent the WABAC machine to January 19, 1997 for my very first interview with Jeffrey Foskett, well known, of course, for his great solo records and for playing live with the Beach Boys and Brian Wilson.

jeffrey foskett thru my window original cover

Jeffrey Foskett’s Thru My Window (Original Cover)

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Jeffrey Foskett

During this show, Jeffrey went deep into his musical history, talking about first meeting Brian Wilson, and the value of sleigh bells. Yes…sleigh bells! We played songs from  Jeffrey’s releases available at the time: Thru My Window, The Other Takes, and Sunnys Off. (Jeffrey’s new CD with Jeff Larson, ‘Elua Aloha, has just been released.)

Listen to Jeffrey’s songs played during this program on Spotify:

Purchase Jeffrey’s CDs at Amazon.

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pprListen to my first interview with Jeffrey Foskett from January 19, 1997, as rebroadcast on the June 20 edition of Pure Pop Radio: In Conversation, by clicking the play button on the following player, or click on the Pure Pop Radio button to the left to download (then right click and choose “Save audio as” to save the file to your computer). (This interview is presented in scoped format; the songs have been removed due to copyright concerns.)

 


Listen to a wide selection of previously-aired Pure Pop Radio: In Conversation interviews by clicking here.

ppr radio purple background - insetPure Pop Radio plays the greatest melodic pop music from across the decades, 24 hours a day. Listen by clicking on the Live365 Listen Now button at left. Hear us once and you’ll be a listener for life. Join us, won’t you? You’ll be glad you did!

Pure Pop Radio: In Conversation Podcasts: Klaatu’s Dee Long (Original Airdate: November 6, 2013; Rebroadcast June 13, 2018)

alan headshot from schoolBy Alan Haber – Pure Pop Radio

Dee Long’s visit to Pure Pop Radio: In Conversation, first aired November 6, 2013, zeros in on Klaatu’s classic album Sir Army Suit, which is celebrating its 40th trip around the sun this year.

klaatu sir army suit coverDuring this rebroadcast of a classic program, Dee looked back at the making of Sir Army Suit and talked about three of his songs included on the album: “Everybody Took a Holiday,” “Perpetual Motion Machine,” and “Cherie.” It’s fun to go in-depth on this classic album from one of the great melodic pop bands of all time

Listen to Dee’s songs played during this show on Spotify:

Purchase Klaatu’s Sir Army Suit at Amazon.

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pprListen to the rebroadcast of my interview with Klaatu’s Dee Long from the June 13 edition of Pure Pop Radio: In Conversation (originally broadcast on 11-6-13) by clicking the play button on the following player, or click on the Pure Pop Radio button to the left to download (then right click and choose “Save audio as” to save the file to your computer). (This interview is presented in scoped format; the songs have been removed due to copyright concerns.)

 


Listen to a wide selection of previously-aired Pure Pop Radio: In Conversation interviews by clicking here.

ppr radio purple background - insetPure Pop Radio plays the greatest melodic pop music from across the decades, 24 hours a day. Listen by clicking on the Live365 Listen Now button at left. Hear us once and you’ll be a listener for life. Join us, won’t you? You’ll be glad you did!

Pure Pop Radio: In Conversation Podcasts: Astral Drive’s Phil Thornalley (Airdate: June 6, 2018)

alan headshot from schoolBy Alan Haber – Pure Pop Radio

Fans of 1970s Todd Rundgren will thoroughly enjoy my in-depth interview with Astral Drive’s Phil Tornalley, which aired June 6 on Pure Pop Radio: In Conversation.

astral drive phil pose photo

Mr. Astral Drive

Longtime producer and songwriter Phil Thornalley has made nothing less than the Todd Rundgren album that Todd Rundgren never made in the 1970s. Astral Drive, the album, being released on July 6 by Lojinx, is nothing less than one of the best albums of the year.

 

astral drive coverAstral Drive finds Phil Thornalley doing most of the heavy lifting for a joyous tour de force composed of original songs that echo the catchy sounds that the Hermit of Mink Hollow made all those many years ago. Thornalley, a legendary producer and songwriter whose lengthy list of credits includes co-writing Natalie Imbruglia’s “Torn,” producing the Cure’s album Pornography when he was 21 years old, and working as an engineer at London’s RAK Studios for producers Mickie Most, Steve Lillywhite and Alex Sadkin, fell in love with Todd Rundgren’s music when he heard Todd’s song “Useless Begging.” The rest, as they say, is history.

Within Astral Drive’s catchy, Rundgren-esque grooves, Thornalley celebrates the sound of Rundgren’s ’70s work with 11 original compositions. Standout songs like the album’s first single, the infectious, ultra-catchy and so-much-fun-to-listen-to “Summer of ’76” (watch the official lyric video below) might as well come with a singalong module; the songs don’t invite listener participation so much as pretty much require it. And mark my words–you will want to sing along, whether you know the words or not.

During this supersized edition of Pure Pop Radio: In Conversation, which began with Natalie Imbruglia’s “Torn,” Thornalley talked about, and we played, three of Astral Drive’s standout songs: the aforementioned “Summer of ’76,” which you can now hear playing in rotation on Pure Pop Radio; the warm ballad “Wishing I Could Change the World,” which honors the classic Todd-meets-Philly-Soul bond; and the glorious, melody-infused upbeat number “Love is Real.” You’ll hear Thornalley talk about how he wrote these songs, and take a tour through his illustrious career. Towards the beginning of this typically in-depth In Conversation back-and-forth, Thornalley charted the path that “Torn” took prior to being recorded by Imbruglia.

Help celebrate the wonder and joy delivered by Phil Thornalley by way of the lovingly-rendered songs on Astral Drive by listening to this very special episode of In Conversation.  Prepare for one of those very special experiences that only great melodic pop music can provide.

Preorder Astral Drive at the Lojinx shop, Kool Kat Musik, Amazon, and iTunes.

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pprListen to my interview with Astral Drive’s Phil Thornalley from the June 6 edition of Pure Pop Radio: In Conversation by clicking the play button on the following player, or click on the Pure Pop Radio button to the left to download (then right click and choose “Save audio as” to save the file to your computer). (This interview is presented in scoped format; the songs have been removed due to copyright concerns.)

 


Listen to a wide selection of previously-aired Pure Pop Radio: In Conversation interviews by clicking here.

ppr radio purple background - insetPure Pop Radio plays the greatest melodic pop music from across the decades, 24 hours a day. Listen by clicking on the Live365 Listen Now button at left. Hear us once and you’ll be a listener for life. Join us, won’t you? You’ll be glad you did!

Pure Pop Radio’s signature shows, Pure Pop Radio: In Conversation (Wednesday, 9 pm ET) and Alan Haber’s Pop Tunes Deejay Show (Thursday, 8 pm ET), air exclusively on Pop that Goes Crunch Radio.