New on Pure Pop Radio 9.14.16

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Spins and Reviews | 9.14.16 | by Alan Haber

We’re rotating more than 9,000 hand-picked songs, including ones from the following melodic pop treats…

stephen-bishop-blueprintStephen Bishop | Blueprint
I don’t know where I would have wound up on the melodic pop scale had I not been introduced to the music of Stephen Bishop in 1976. The classic, and it sounded like a classic upon first listen, “On and On,” with its gorgeous melody and the iconic lyric “So he takes a ladder/Steals the stars from the sky/Puts on Sinatra and starts to cry” still resonates with me, partly because Ol’ Blue Eyes’s records were spun frequently in my house, but also because I was, perhaps not so secretly and like millions of others, in love with the sound of the Chairman of the Board.

From the album Careless that offered “On and On” as its leadoff track, through to 1978’s miraculous Bish, which included the lovely “Losing Myself in You” and “What Can Love Do,” and the still-hard-to-top Red Cab to Manhattan from 1980, teeming with top-flight songs such as “Little Moon,” “Living in the Land of Abe Lincoln,” and the ingenious title track, and, well, on and on, my love affair with Stephen Bishop’s music has carried me through more than a few decades, through events both happy and sad, and, yes, on and on.

Bishop’s latest album, Blueprint, carries on the tradition the artist set in place 40 years ago. Juggling emotional ballads with a quirky classic and other fine numbers, it is a glorious testament that stands tall in Bishop’s deeply-felt catalog of songs.

The treasures on offer here are masterful. The typically beautiful ballads “Little Bird” and “Someone Like You” contrast nicely with the muscular story song “I’ll Sleep on the Plane,” a quirky, upbeat number that sounds like an outtake from Steely Dan’s Aja. It’s a wild 1970s gangster movie romp in song form. The stars? A beautiful, kind of clueless woman (“She looks just like Emma Stone/Posing for Playboy/As she reads Voltaire”) and her even more clueless guy, who tangles with some rather shady characters.

“Holy Mother,” another beautiful ballad, co-written with Eric Clapton, also shines, as does “It Might be You,” originally heard on the soundtrack of the 1982 Dustin Hoffman film Tootsie. Written by Dave Grusin and Alan and Marilyn Bergman, the song is recast here, to great effect, as a slightly faster, more beat-driven track.

And on and on. If you’re new to the music of Stephen Bishop, Blueprint, produced by Jon Gilutin, is as fine a place as any to start on your way to acquiring the entire catalog of this much loved, heritage melodic pop artist.
black box Now playing in rotation on Pure Pop Radio: “Little Bird,” “I’ll Sleep on the Plane,” “Before Nightfall,” “Holy Mother,” “Someone Like You,” and “It Might Be You.”
black box Where to Get It: Stephen Bishop’s website, CD Baby, Amazon, and iTunes.

cupids-carnivalCupid’s Carnival | Everything is Love
Led by Thomas Gray and Roland Skilton, Cupid’s Carnival, originally known as Cherrystone, fashion songs and performances that evoke the sound and spirit of the Beatles and like-minded fellow travelers such as Badfinger. The title number, with its beautiful, catchy melody, sumptuous vocals, and electric sitar lines, could easily have been written and produced during the golden era of 1960s British pop. And the bopping “Working Girl” sounds like it could have shot to the top of the charts on 1960s British radio. If you sense a pattern here, you’re not mistaken. This is a find of the highest order, an album that will sit quite nicely within your melodic pop music collection.
black box Now playing in rotation on Pure Pop Radio: “Girl,” “Working Girl,” “I Was the Boy,” “Summertime,” “Our Life,” “Everything is Love,” and “Sunny Days.”
black box Where to Get It: Kool Kat Musik, Amazon, and iTunes. Find out more about Cupid’s Carnival by clicking here.

andy-klingensmith-fantasy-islandAndy Klingensmith | Fantasy Island
Released today on Futureman Records, Andy Klingensmith’s latest is a bit of a departure from his previous releases, this time incorporating his close harmony vocals into an overall pop production style. The effect is quite pleasing in songs like the lively, handclap-powered “Have Some Fun” and the ’80s-sounding “Madeline.” Andy continues to write and produce music that proves he is an important part of the melodic pop movement. He deserves your support.
black box Now playing in rotation on Pure Pop Radio: “Have Some Fun,” “Madeline,” “For Ourselves,” and “Fantasy Island.”
black box Where to Get It: Futureman Records

Pure Pop Radio’s New Music Bowl Extra:
Bubble Gum Orchestra | Sticky Love Songs
Germany's Escort Girls Anticipate Increasing Demand During World CupComprising volumes one and two–20 songs on one CD–of an album chock full of catchy melodic pop love songs, Michael Laine Hildebrandt’s latest is a triumph. A review is forthcoming, but for now, know that 10 songs from Sticky Love Songs are now in hot rotation on our air. Plus, we’ve got the exclusive North America premiere of the new single, “You Gave Up on Love,” which features the great Lannie Flowers on vocals; tune in tonight at 7 pm ET to hear the song and an interview with Michael.
black box Now playing in rotation on Pure Pop Radio: “You Called to Tell Me,” “It Was Gone,” “Peppermint Smile,” “You Gave Up on Love (Exclusive North America premiere), “I’m Not the Man,” “I Used to Love You, Now I Don’t,” “Every Day of the Week,” “You’re Not the One that Got Away,” “No One Ever Told Me,” and “BGO Motel.”
black box Where to Get It: Exclusively at the Bubble Gum Orchestra website (releases September 20).

More reviews of some of the latest songs and artists added to the Pure Pop Radio playlist tomorrow.

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25 Artists. 94 Songs. How’s that for a Mega-Add to the Pure Pop Radio Playlist? Pretty Great!

It's New!

It’s New!

The amount of new music waiting to be added to the Pure Pop Radio playlist has been mounting up, so we thought it was time to get those cool songs playing on the radio! And indeed we did just that. We’ve added 94 songs by 25 great artists. Here’s the rundown:

* Marshall Holland. Marshall was kind enough to send us his 2010 album, Don’t Jettison the Memories, which we love along with his latest release, And the Etceteras, which has been playing on our air for awhile. We’ve added the following fine songs from Memories: “Damage Control” and “Moored as Before.”

* Toxic Melons. We were already playing a bunch of songs from this great group’s upcoming album, Bus Therapy. We’ve now added another: “Let Me Sleep.” But that’s not all. We’ve also added a couple of songs from the Melons’ previous releases: “Diffidence,” from International Accident; and “Tomorrow” from Melon Jam.

* Spencer McGillicutty. We’ve loved this wonderful group’s previous releases and have been spinning tunes from them for a long time. Spencer McGillicutty’s third album, from 2012, All the Happy People, somehow escaped our gaze, but we’ve got it now, and have added nearly the entire melodically-charged album to our playlist. The songs: “That Makes Two of Us,” “Tell,” “Regards,” “It’s Not Over,” “Up Half the Night,” “How it Goes,” “Magic Cash Machine,” “Waltz #3,” “1944 (Think of Me),” “June,” and “You Haunt Me.” We’ve also added three tracks that don’t belong to a specific record: “Baby, Don’t Go,” “Used to Think,” and “Wish I Was Your Girl.” If there’s a group that deserves to be at the top of the charts, it’s these guys. Seek them out and buy all of their wares. You won’t be sorry.

* Jeff Litman. Jeff has long been a Pure Pop Radio favorite. His latest release is a 2014 remix of “Debutante,” and it’s really great.

* Willie Wisely. Another Pure Pop Radio favorite, Willie has just released a “re-imagined” version of his song “No Surprise,” and, no surprise, we’ve got it for you.

* B and Not B. Before David Ricardo got the Zags together, he was in this quirky pop-rock band. We were blown away by B and Not B, so we added an even dozen of their tracks to the playlist. From the self-titled album: “The Benefits of Friendship,” “Traffic Jam of Stars,” “Unlucky Break,” “The Notes Within,” and “I Forgot.” From Colors, Shapes and Lines: “I Get Mired,” “Build You a Castle,” “Mars,” and “Hands in Fists.” From Tomorrow Never Comes: “Not Quite Early,” “Earth” and “Hurry Home.” This is great stuff. Check B and Not B out on Bandcamp.

* The Zags. And, of course, we had to add some Zags tracks to the playlist. Here are two: “Red-Eyed Dawn” and “Tattoo.”

* The Farewell Drifters. Produced by pop legend Neilson Hubbard, these guys bring the melody home in a big way. We’ve added three songs to the playlist from the band’s album Tomorrow Forever: “Brother,” “Coming Home,” and “To Feel Alive.” Great stuff.

* Jeremy Messersmith. We’ve long been big fans of this wonderful songwriter and performer. We think his new album, Heart Murmurs, is his best release yet. We’ve got five songs from this platter that most certainly matters: “It’s Only Dancing,” “Steve,” “Ghost,” “I Want to Be Your One Night Stand,” and “Someday, Someone.” We would be surprised if this album doesn’t wind up on a lot of best-of lists this year. And about “Steve”…it’s one of the most affecting songs we’ve heard in a very long time.

* Nick Batterham. Nick’s upcoming album, Lucky Cat, on Australia’s Popboomerang Records, releases on March 1. We think you’re going to like it a lot. We’ve got three songs for you: “Make it Through this Long,” “Liar,” and “What are You Waiting For.”

* Identical Suns. We’ve added the group’s wonderful new song, “Yesterday Ended at Midnight.” Check out the great melody. We look forward to more wonderful tunes.

* Marc and the Plattitudes. These three  cleverly-done Beatles covers come from Marc Platt’s 2009 album, The Real Me. We love Beatles covers at Pure Pop Radio. We’re happy to be able to bring these to you. They’re fab!

* Matt Kabus. Matt came to us through Marc Platt. Matt is the real deal. He has quite the way around a great melody and a hooky hook. We think you’ll dig him. We’ve got four songs for you: “In My Head,” “Could I Say,” “Piece of My Heart,” and “Wide Awake.” There will be more from Matt soon.

* The New Mendicants. Featuring Joe Pernice (Pernice Brothers) and Norman Blake (Teenage Fanclub), this wonderful album, Into the Lime, will hit home for all fans of melodic pop music. We’ve added four songs to the playlist: “Cruel Annette,” “Shouting Match,” “High On the Skyline,” and “Out of the Lime.”

* Kevin Martin. Kevin is another one of our favorite artists. He will soon be releasing a new album, Future Friends, and we’ve got one song from it as a very cool teaser: “Overrated.”

* Shake Some Action. Seattle’s Shake Some Action will release its fifth, and arguably best, album, Catch the Sun, at the beginning of March. We predict you will be blown away by these great songs. We’ve got seven in advance of the album’s release: “Colors Exploding,” “Between My Dreams,” “Fall into the Sky,” “Never Want to Lose Again,” “Come and Get It,” “Sketches of Spain,” and “Underground.”

* The Bamboo Trading Company. This great group, which counts Randell Kirsch, Matt Jardine, and Miami Dan Yoe amongst its members, has followed up its self-titled album with an EP called Shrewd Awakening. We’ve added the title cut.

* Magic Brothers. Woody, the drummer for Madness, and his younger brother Nick are Magic Brothers. Their fine, fine album The Magic Line is represented now on Pure Pop Radio by the songs “Always Be With You” and “Sunshine.”

* Matt Hires. From Tampa, Florida, Matt Hires is an exciting find–this second album, This World Won’t Last Forever, But Tonight We Can Pretend is a great collection of pop-rock tunes. We’ve got four of them for you: “Forever,” “The Sound of Falling in Love,” “Over You,” and “Miles Past Midnight.”

* The Autumn Defense. This wonderful band’s latest album, Fifth, will be hugged tightly by fans of melodic pop music. We’ve got five great songs for you: “None of this Will Matter,” “This Thing that I’ve Found,” “Calling Your Name,” “Under the Wheel,” “Things on My Mind.”

* Stephen Bishop. One our all-time favorite writers and singers, Stephen Bishop has just released his latest album, Be Here Then. It’s another great collection of Bishop standards, impeccable in every way. We’re playing five songs: “Pretty Baby,” “Rescue You,” “Vacant,” “Cry of the Broken Hearted,” and “Loveless.”

* Katey Laurel. Ever since we found Katey’s music many years ago, we’ve been big fans. She’s just released her new album, Periscope, and it’s her best yet. Full of great, melodic songs, Periscope is top of the pops. We’re spinning five songs: “The Optimist,” “All the Way Home,” “Periscope,” “Thanks for Loving Me,” and “Beautiful World.”

* Scott’s Garage. This Richmond, Virginia-based group makes a great pop-rock sound. We’re spinning four cool songs: “She Means Everything,” “Some Day Some Way,” “Somewhere in My Dreams,” and “Wait Too Long.”

*The Grip Weeds. It’s possible that you may have missed this song, as it was released as a bonus track to go along with the group’s latest album, Inner Grooves, which we’ve been spinning on Pure Pop Radio for awhile. “I Believe (Uncut Version)” is essential Grip Weeds.

That’s it for this go-around! We hope you enjoy these great numbers, now playing in rotation on Pure Pop Radio. More song adds coming soon! Thanks for listening!

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