New on Pure Pop Radio 05.15.17: Robyn Gibson’s Bob of the Pops Vol. 1, Cirrone, The Cool Whips, and More

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Spins and Reviews | 05.15.17
By Alan Haber – Pure Pop Radio

Robyn Gibson | Bob of the Pops Vol. 1 (2017)
bob of the pops front coverA buoyant exercise in the art of homage, Bob of the Pops Vol. 1 finds The Junipers’ multi-instrumentalist Robyn Gibson having a good old time putting his warm, wide-eyed spin on 14 favorite songs. This free download on Bandcamp is the bargain release of the year and, quite surely, one of the best collections we’ve heard in ages.

The reason for that? Bob of the Pops Vol. 1 is fun to listen to; every song essayed bears Gibson’s unmistakable stamp, his softhearted vocals casting a warm glow over every melody line and emotional keystone communicated. In his hands, these classic constructs breathe new life into familiar musical landscapes.

robyn gibsonThe Beatles’ “Nowhere Man,” certainly a familiar and iconic number, fairly drips with the joy Gibson obviously had recording it. The opening, harmony drenched a cappella couplet is sweetly delivered; the song reveals itself as a modern-day folk song, every harmonic element glimmering with life and hope. The Hollies’ “Listen to Me” adopts a bit of a softer pace than the original, the soft harmonies taking a smidge off of the edge of the proceedings for a bit of a warmer performance.

Similarly, The Who’s “I Can’t Reach You” feels more personal, and again it’s Gibson’s assured, sweet vocal harmonies that do the trick. Tracey Ullman’s 1983 top 10 “They Don’t Know” practically glows with charm. And just to show he has a sense of humor, or because he knows, as do we all (probably), Gibson rolls through the theme song to the 1970s television smash, Laverne and Shirley, in a kind of England Dan and John Ford Coley-meets-The Ramones way. Sort of sweet punk, short and delicious.

bob of the pops back coverA collection that purports to be brought to life by such musicians as born-as-anagrams Boryng Bison and Sonny Orbbig, bridges the gap between a Beatles classic and a well-known soundalike homage (The Rutles’ “With a Girl Like You”), and sits comfortably within a wrapper designed to mirror the presentation of the old British Top of the Pops album series (with the Leave it to Beaver-ish “Bob,” a staid pipe in hand, subbing for the usual sexy model depicted), deserves a place in your heart.

black box Now playing on Pure Pop Radio: “They Don’t Know,” “With a Girl Like You,” “I Can’t Reach You,” “Yes I Will,” “He Doesn’t Love You Like I Do,” “Strawberries are Growing in My Garden,” “Did I Say,” “Nowhere Man,” “How Long,” “Making Our Dreams Come True,” “Listen to Me,” and “The End/Listen for You,” a Gibson original
black box Where to Get It: Bandcamp

cirrone kings for a nightCirrone | Kings for a Night (2017)
The extended play, studio followup to Alessandro, Bruno, and Mirko Cirrone’s 2011 Uplands Park Road shares near total lineage with that classic album; four of its songs were first worked on during the Uplands sessions. The upbeat, Badfinger-ish pop-rockers “Everything’s Fine Now” and “It’s Gonna Be the Right Time,” the swaying charm of “Love Comes Again (Radio Edit),” and the gorgeous mid-tempo ballad, “Unforgotten Dream” continue the brothers’ time-honored tradition of mixing melodic vocalizing with strong instrumentation for a catchy, knockout musical punch. A full-length album is intended to follow this five-song taster, to which we say we can’t wait.

black box Now playing on Pure Pop Radio: “Everything’s Fine Now,” “It’s Gonna Be the Right Time,” “Unforgotten Dream,” and “Love Comes Again (Radio Edit)”
black box Where to Get It: CD Baby, Bandcamp

the cool whips baddiesThe Cool Whips | Baddies (2017)
Naturally, the follow-up to Portland, Oregon’s 2014 long-player debut Goodies goes by the name Baddies, but it’s a joke, son, so don’t get your knickers in a twist…unless your appetite for good old pop ‘n’ roll has bit the dust. To wit: The Farfisa-powered “Linda Lu,” all thump and bop and circumstance, is an exciting, primal listen; “Time Will Tell” sounds like it emerged through a time portal connected to a garage in 1965; “Splash” plops playfully beat by beat with Beatles bops; and “Inside Outsider” fashions an upbeat Monkees vibe for two toe-tapping minutes. Rollicking fun.

black box Now playing on Pure Pop Radio: “Another World,” “Splash,” “Linda Lu,” “There Must Have Been Sugar in It,” “Time Will Tell,” “Move Like That,” “Inside Outsider,” and “Live in a Dream”
black box Where to Get It: Bandcamp

Also added to the Pure Pop Radio playlist and currently spinning in rotation:

lisa mychols Lisa Mychols | “Loving You” (2017) CD Baby

red caravan ho humRed Caravan | “Ho Hum” (2017) Bandcamp

anchor and bear 2Anchor and Bear | “Hard to Say You’re Sorry” (2017)

r. stevie moore and jason falkner make it beR. Stevie Moore and Jason Falkner | Make It Be (2017) | “Sincero Amore,” “Don’t You Just Know It,” and “Play Myself Some Music” Kool Kat Musik, Amazon, Bandcamp

michael slawterMichael Slawter | An Assassination of Someone You Knew (2017) | “Count to 10,” “Too Dumb for You,” and “My Marion” Bandcamp

the deep six brand new dayThe Deep Six | “Brand New Day” (2017)


More Magical Sweet Treats from Pure Pop Radio: New Songs and Artists Just Added!

what's-newWith just over three weeks until sleigh bells, ornaments, Christmas cookies, and visits from Grandma and Grandpa and Santa Claus blanket our lives, we have our collective eyes on new songs and artists just added to the Pure Pop Radio playlist. And here it comes…your early holiday gift, with more on the way tomorrow. Today’s bounty of new music on our air, all wrapped up in a festive box full of holiday cheer, is now spinning in rotation.

What’s in the box? Why, the following:

kc-bowmanPreoccupied Pipers | “Optimist John” and Rhythm Akimbo | “Old Trope Academy” Musical whiz kid KC Bowman, who’s been a part of Pure Pop Radio playlists since his solo debut, Fresher Tin Villages, emerged on the scene in 1998, pops up on both of these songs, hitherto unknown (at least to us) and likely to you, too. Preoccupied Pipers’ members were drawn from locations far and wide and mostly picked from the ashes of a band called Lawsuit. Rhythm Akimbo was a college band described as working within the genres of “bubblegum, buttrock, reggae, ska and hosefunk.” All of which hardly or properly describes these two classic slices of melodic pop that we are proud to be bringing to you in rotation. More of KC’s musical exploits, waxed prior to his current stints in Agony Aunts and the Corner Laughers, are coming soon to this very same collection of airwaves. This guy has quite the history, and we aim to bring it to you in all of its hook-filled detail.

the-reed-brothersThe Reed Brothers | “Trampoline” The first song from the long-awaited new EP from Andy Reed and his brother Jason, aka the Reed Brothers, is a dreamy, tender ballad with lovely backing vocals. You can practically feel the ache in the notes and words. The gorgeous slide guitar solo, bathed in an ever-so-slight echo, is worth the price of admission all by itself. You know how much we love a good tune. This is one of them. Now spinning in rotation.

trees-and-timberTrees and Timber | Hello, My Name is Love and Electric Gypsy Lovechild Many thanks to Wayne Lundqvist Ford from the Ice Cream Power Pop and More show for sending Trees and Timbers’ Joe Baker to us. We’re now big fans of Trees and Timber’s crowd-pleasing brand of melodic pop. Reference point punters may hear a bit and a splash of the Sugarplastic in this wonderful mix, but all we hear is good pop music. We’ve added five songs from Trees and Timber’s fine release, which drops on December 9: “Wolf and Sheep,” “Eskimo Son,” “Home Away from Home,” “Believe in Soon,” and “Future History.” From the band’s 2013 EP Electric Gypsy Lovechild, we’ve added the very cool “On the Bus.” Very nice work indeed.

the-cool-whipsThe Cool Whips | Goodies Searching for a bookend partner for the Cherry Drops’ Everything’s Groovy? Look no further than the bubblegum-coated nuggets that populate Goodies, from  Portland, Oregon’s The Cool Whips. Goodies pops the house with a dozen earworms passing catchy hooks toward your ears. We’ve added five very cool tunes to the Pure Pop Radio playlist, including “Tickle Me with a Featherduster,” “On the Seesaw,” “Pink Lemonade,” “Where Can that One Girl Be,” and “Boom-Shang-a-Lang.” Spinning happily in rotation presently.

noisemakerThe Dead Girls | Noisemaker The just-released Noisemaker puts the power in power pop, delivering an album’s worth of catchy, muscular, hook-filled gems. We’re featuring seven of these songs, including “Better Wait,” “What It Takes to Be Unseen,” “Live by Default,” “We Won’t Make the World End,” “Dress Up Dress Down,” “Calling You Around,” and the tender ballad “Sun and Moon.” This is a really fine album that’s the final slab of wax from this Kansas band. Sorry to hear that, folks.

We hope you enjoy hearing the latest adds to our ever-growing playlist. Check back here tomorrow to see what else we’ve added this week.

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Click on the image to listen to Alan Haber’s Pure Pop Radio through players like iTunes