Tag Archives: the corner laughers

Pure Pop Radio: In Conversation Podcasts: The Corner Laughers’ Karla Kane and Khoi Huynh, and Fun of the Pier’s Mark and Helen Luker (Airdate: September 27, 2017)

By Alan Haber – Pure Pop Radio alan 5 small

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karla kane king's daughters home for incurables coverThe September 27 edition of Pure Pop Radio: In Conversation took on a bit of an international flavor: California popsters and husband and wife Karla Kane and Khoi Huynh from the Corner Laughers sat side-by-side with Nottingham, England’s Mark and Helen Luker, from Fun of the Pier. The lovely musical quartet joined me for a fun half-hour to talk about their new album releases that melodic pop fans will love.

the-corner-laughersThree tracks from their respective albums were spun: the lively, heartfelt song about Karla and Khoi’s daughter, “Octavia A,” from the Corner Laughers’ 2015 album, Matilda Effect; “Past/Future,” from Fun of the Pier’s lovely, new, and very first album, 14:42; and Karla’s imaginatively arranged pop song, “All Aboard,” from her about-to-be-released, fantastic solo album, King’s Daughters Home for Incurables.

fun of the pier 1442During this program, you’ll find out what makes these magical, musical magicians sing, and you’ll discover exactly what Fun of the Pier’s album title means (hint: always keep batteries at hand!).

pprListen to my interview with the Corner Laughers’ Karla Kane and Khoi Huynh and Fun of the Pier’s Mark and Helen Luker from September 27 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.)

You can listen to samples of the songs played during this program by clicking on the following links:

Purchase Karla Kane’s King’s Daughters Home for Incurables by clicking on the following link: Bandcamp. Purchase the Corner Laughers’ wonderful music, including Matilda Effect, here. And add Fun of the Pier’s lovely 14:42 to your collection by clicking here.

Look out for more current and archived Pure Pop Radio: In Conversation interviews, coming soon.

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Pure Pop Radio’s signature shows, Alan Haber’s Pop Tunes Deejay Show, playing the latest and greatest melodic pop songs from today and across the decades, and Pure Pop Radio: In Conversation, the premiere Internet melodic pop talk show, air weekly on Pop that Goes Crunch Radio.

pop tunes disc smallin conversation new graphic blueListen to the Pop Tunes Deejay Show on Tuesdays and Thursdays at 8 pm ET (two different shows every week); In Conversation airs every Wednesday night at 9 pm ET. Don’t miss a minute!

Tune in to Pop that Goes Crunch Radio by clicking on the following snazzy-looking button:

 

Pop Tunes’ Lucky Show 13 and Pure Pop Radio: In Conversation’s Spotlight on The Corner Laughers’ Karla Kane and Fun of the Pier: This Week’s Shows Dazzle!

By Alan Haber – Pure Pop Radio alan 5 small

fun of the pier 1442karla kane king's daughters home for incurables coverThis week, Alan Haber’s Pop Tunes Deejay Show rolls out lucky show 13, and Karla Kane and The Fun of the Pier’s Mark and Helen Luker star on a sparkling international edition of Pure Pop Radio: In Conversation. And that’s not all!

pop tunes disc smallTomorrow night at 8 pm ET, The Pop Tunes Deejay Show is stocked full of some of the strongest new melodic pop releases now making waves across the musical landscape. Two new tracks in progress from Daisy House, and the latest from Carpenter Caswell, The Successful Failures and Strangely Alright play alongside tracks from Randy Newman, Coke Belda (a bonus track from the forthcoming Spanish edition of his new Bee Gees tribute), Fallon Cush and a whole lot more. Plus: my snappy deejay patter! And fear not: The Pop Tunes Deejay Show returns for another round of catchy melodic pop from across the decades this Thursday night at 8 pm ET.

in conversation new graphic blueWednesday night at 9 pm ET, The Corner Laughers’ Karla Kane and Khoi Huynh and The Fun of the Pier’s Mark and Helen Luker sit in on Pure Pop Radio: Conversation to talk about their triumphant All Aboard tour, bristling with international flavor, and their latest, top-flight releases: Karla’s first solo album, King’s Daughters Home for Incurables, and The Fun of the Pier’s 14:42.

That’s this week’s Pure Pop shows on Pop that Goes Crunch Radio. Don’t miss a minute!

alanhaberspurepopradiographiclarge1-wp header

Pure Pop Radio’s signature shows, Alan Haber’s Pop Tunes Deejay Show, playing the latest and greatest melodic pop songs from today and across the decades, and Pure Pop Radio: In Conversation, the premiere Internet melodic pop talk show, air weekly on Pop that Goes Crunch Radio.

pop tunes disc smallin conversation new graphic blueListen to the Pop Tunes Deejay Show on Tuesdays and Thursdays at 8 pm ET (two different shows every week); In Conversation airs every Wednesday night at 9 pm ET. Don’t miss a minute!

Tune in to Pop that Goes Crunch Radio by clicking on the following snazzy-looking button:

 

Welcome to Day One of Pure Pop Radio’s New Music Explosion! We’ve Got Musical Treasures Galore!

new-music-explosion-smallWelcome to day one of our two-day-long New Music Explosion! We’re bursting at the seams with songs and artists new to the Pure Pop Radio playlist. Grab a cold beverage and settle into your comfy chair, because we’ve got a heapin’ helping of new adds to share with you.

And away we go!

the-lunar-laugh-apolloThe Lunar Laugh | “Apollo” The first song from the forthcoming album, also named Apollo and releasing in just under two weeks from now, is this lovely slice of pure, melodic pop about pretenders to the rock and roll throne. “You’ve been perched high on your soapbox/Pledging your love for classic rock/But you don’t know the words to Revolution/Or Rock N Roll Ain’t Noise Pollution.” Well said. Connor Anderson and Jared Lekites have done an amazing job with this number; we wait with great anticipation for the back eight. Terrific.

jimmy-haberJimmy Haber | Joy Acid Pact “He must be related to you,” you’re saying but no, we figure, no relating here (although the twin sons of different mothers thing may have to be called in to play), other than getting what Jimmy’s offering on his second solo album, a full-speed-ahead power pop record. A founding member of the pop-punk band Degenerates, and one of the makers of music in the Maladaptive Solution, whose songs can be heard in rotation on Pure Pop Radio, Jimmy worked with pop legend Michael Carpenter, who produced, engineered and recorded these songs (other creative folks were on board, too). We’ve added six songs to our playlist, including the horn-fueled, Tom Petty-esque “Jane Stare at the Sun,” the manic guitar workout “What Doesn’t Kill You,” and the mid-tempo melody-riffic “Searching.” Also spinning: “Otherwise Occupied,” “Bad Day to Me,” and “Big Black Hole.” Super stuff.

propellerPropeller | “Wish I Had Her Picture” and “Can’t Feel These Things” Greg Randall and Will Anderson deliver a couple of classic power pop songs with deep hooks and sumptuous melodies. The description of the band’s music on their Bandcamp page, where you can download these songs for free, says you’ll encounter “Crunchy guitars. Verses as hooky as choruses and rollicking rhythms that would frighten most metronomes. Mixed and served loud.” Sounds about right. Very cool and now playing in rotation.

vegas-with-randolph-jacobVegas With Randolph | “Jacob” These Washington, D.C. favorites bring the power with their latest release, the fiercely upbeat guitar workout, “Jacob,” that, perhaps, presents the killer roller coaster as a metaphor for attraction. “She took him to amazing heights/Then dropped him to the deepest lows/And threw him for a loop…” This is one of VWR’s greatest, most propulsive numbers, with pounding drums and hair raising guitar lines. Loud and proud of it. Killer song.

brian-wilson-no-pier-pressureBrian Wilson | No Pier Pressure Brian Wilson’s vocal blend is at the heart and soul of this new album, which mixes songs featuring current music artists and treasured, fellow travelers such as Beach Boys Al Jardine and David Marks. The mix of voices, combined seamlessly to deliver the rich background vocals you would expect from Brian, are the collective star attraction. The gentle samba rhythms of “On the Island,” sung by She and Him’s Zooey Deschanel and M. Ward, are charming and inviting. The pure pop warmth of “Saturday Night,” performed with fun.’s Nate Ruess, is particularly inviting; this is a wonderfully catchy tune with equally catchy background vocal harmonies. And the luscious harmonies in the pretty “This Beautiful Day,” sung with Al Jardine and David Marks in tow, are almost worth the price of admission. We’ve added the aforementioned songs, and “The Right Time,” “Guess You Had to Be There,” “Somewhere Quiet,” “Tell Me Why,” and “Our Kind of Love.” Brian is back, and you’re invited.

the-thigh-highsThe Thigh Highs | These are the Thigh Highs Based out of our old stamping grounds, this Brooklyn, New York trio hits the mark with a lighthearted approach and groovy pop chops seasoned with a pinch or two of garage ethos. From their 2014 EP, we’re playing the Byrdsian “Carroll Gardens” and the slighty-psychedelic “Submarina,” both sung by guitarist, keyboardist and vocalist Gerry (G.F.) Newland. Cool tunes from a cool band.

preoccupied-pipers-talk-til-it-rhymesPreoccupied Pipers | White Bicycle Plan, “Super 8” and “Talk ’til It Rhymes” On December 3, 2014 we added to our playlist a couple of songs from this band that counts the Corner Laughers’ K.C. Bowman as a member. Back then, we revealed that the members of Preoccupied Pipers “…were drawn from locations far and wide and mostly picked from the ashes of a band called Lawsuit.” That’s still true, and make of that what you will. We’ve since heard a 2008 album the band made called White Bicycle Plan, which we liked a whole lot. (The White Bicycle Plan is a real thing, by the way; you can read about it here.) We’ve added six songs from WBP: “Junk Yard Car,” “Goldberg Machine,” “Barnacle Life,” “Giggle Down the Drain,” “Hi Becomes Lois,” and “Passport of Life.” “Super 8” is a 2014 cover of Jason Isbell’s song from his 2013 album, Southeastern (Isbell is a former member of Drive-By Truckers), and “Talk ’til It Rhymes” is a fun tune recently recorded. As with everything that K.C. Bowman has a hand in, this is pure joy.

identical suns lullabyIdentical Suns | “After the Lullaby” Co-writer Todd Stanton and I chatted about this heartfelt, sad, hopeful and pretty song about wanting to know what a child thinks about in his dream state. How does a child function when lullabies don’t affect them any longer? And there is the bigger question: When a child grows up and is at that age, do they hang on to a part of their parents and let their wisdom inform their path in life, or do they forge ahead alone? These are complex questions sometimes left unanswered after lifetimes of concern for the well being of all of our children. The lovely melody and tentative, fragile vocal will melt your heart. An important song, now playing in rotation.

caddy-new-songCaddy | “Bring It Back” Caddy’s latest song, which we’re now playing in rotation, is due for release in May, as is the album it is taken from, The Better End. “Bring It Back” is a mid-tempo melodic wonder that will hook you in seconds. The gorgeous chorus will never leave you, and the equally-gorgeous vocal blend will have you smiling. Beautiful.

hudson-brothersThe Hudson Brothers | Totally Out of Control We’ve been remiss in gracing our playlist with a good number of tracks from this classic pop band. So here’s our first musical salvo…five songs from the Hudson’s 1974 album that establish the brothers’ mastery of the pop form. We’re now playing, in rotation, “Be a Man,” “Dolly Day,” “Lover Come Back to Me,” “If You Really Need Me,” and “La La Layna.” This is how it’s done, folks.

chris-korzenNezrok/Chris Korzen | Florida’s Chris Korzen, who has recorded under his own name and under the band name Nezrok, is new to our playlist. Chris works in a variety of genres; we’ve added some Pure Pop Radio-friendly tunes to our on-air mix. From Nezrok’s Broken Sound album, we’re playing the ’50s-cum-country toe-tapper “Life Is What You Need” and the pure pop number “Thinking It Over.” From Chris’s solo album, Sandbox Thesis, we’re playing the R. Stevie Moore-esque “Can’t You See” and the Beatlesque “For Today.” We’re also playing the shades-of-Todd-Rundgren “Nirvana.” Good stuff.

big-lonelyBig Lonely | Close Your Eyes, Keep Talking This Canadian band works up a catchy brand of pop-rock on their album from the winter of 2014. We’re playing three songs in rotation: the rhythmic “Tapes,” the pop-rocker “You Want It All,” and the powerful ballad, “All My Lucky Senses.” A promising longplayer.

wesley-fullerWesley Fuller | “Change Your Mind” and “Melvista” Australian Wesley Fuller delivers a double pop punch with a catchy T. Rexian thumper, “Change Your Mind,” and a melody-charged song with a big hook, “Melvista.” We’ll look forward to more from this emerging talent.

matt-tysonMatt Tyson | Pure Pop Radio Jingle It’s a jingle, it’s a song, it’s a marvel, is what it is. Pure Pop Radio favorite Matt Tyson stuffs a liberal dose of Jan and Dean, the Beach Boys and other sun kisses into this incredible creation. Many thanks, Matt. It doesn’t get better than this.

Here’s a New Music Explosion Extra Plus! We recently added a new song from the Corner Laughers’ forthcoming album, Matilda Effect, and a whole lot of songs from the Grip Weeds’ new album, How I Won the War. So, we happily present to you the video for the Laughers’ “Fairytale Tourist” from Matilda Effect, coming this June. Also: A very cool promo video about the Grip Weeds’ powerhouse new record, How I Won the War. Dig ’em both!

new-music-explosion-smallMore to come tomorrow as we head into day two of our New Music Explosion! Enjoy these and other songs and artists now playing in rotation on Pure Pop Radio, your home for the greatest melodic pop music from the ’60s to today. And remember…we’re on 24 hours a day!

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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

 

Start the Week Off with Pure Pop Radio’s New Music Monday! You Want New Tunes? We’ve Got ’em!

more-new-musicLet’s kick off a new week with some new music just added to the Pure Pop Radio playlist. What have we got? How about a hot, new album from one of your (and our) favorite groups? How about a new song from the spectacular Corner Laughers? How about…more?

Let’s get the new music adds spinning!

grip-weeds-warThe Grip Weeds | How I Won the War Destined to slot in the upper reaches of this year’s best-of lists, How I Won the War is a commanding, powerful song cycle that fuses echoes of the Who and other prime sixties bands with the Grip Weeds’ trademark wit, song and performance prowess. We’re playing 10 tracks in rotation: “Life Saver,” “Other Side of Your Heart,” “See Yourself,” “Vanish,” “Force of Nature,” “Heaven and Earth,” “Over and Over,” “Rainbow Quartz,” “Lead Me to It,” and a pulsating, psychedelic cover of the Beatles’ “The Inner Light.” A great album and without a doubt the band’s best.

matilda-effectThe Corner Laughers | “Fairytale Tourist” As charming and delightful as anything the band has released, “Fairytale Tourist” mixes a quasi-Motown beat with the Corner Laughers’ usual brand of fanciful, musical mirth. Another delightful vocal from Karla Kane, and another wonderful track to savor. From the forthcoming album, Matilda Effect, coming soon.

matt-keatingMatt Keating | This Perfect Crime New to Pure Pop Radio is the 11th album from a master of gorgeous melodies. We were totally taken with the songs on offer; we’ve added five to the playlist, including “When They’ve Thrown You Away,” “Nothing to Figure Out,” the title track, “This Must Be Love,” and “Before the War.” We hope to be spinning more music from Matt Keating in the near future.

the-galileo-7-false-memory-lanethe-galileo-7-staringThe Galileo 7 – False Memory Lane and Staring at the Sound This is our second time adding tracks from this fantastic band that echoes the sound of the Who, Small Faces and other sixties pop and rock bands. We’ve now added songs from the 7’s 2014 album, False Memory Lane, and the 2012 long player, Staring at the Sound. From the former, we’re spinning the title track, “You’re Not Dreaming,” “Nobody Told You,” “I’m Still Here,” “Tide’s Rising,” “Fools,” and “Don’t Want to Know.” From the latter, we’re playing “Anne Hedonia,” “The Only One You’re Hurting (Is You),” “More Time,” “Hiding from the Sun,” “Not Gonna Miss You,” “Leave Me Alone,” and “Ella.” Very British and very, very good.

tim-anthonyTim Anthony | “Day Into Night” This new track from Tim Anthony is a typically catchy song with a nifty middle-eight and a gorgeous chorus. Now playing in rotation. We look forward to a new album from Tim.

matt-tysonMatt Tyson | Pure Pop Radio Jingle Matt Tyson’s albums are a big part of the sound of Pure Pop Radio these days. Matt has recorded a lovely, atmospheric jingle for us in the style of the Beach Boys’ SMiLE. To say that we SMiLE every time we hear this would be an understatement.

adam-walshAdam Walsh | Three Tracks We added three great tracks from Adam this past January 27th. We now have three more–two originals slated for an EP that will hopefully be released later this year, and a smashing cover of Neil Young’s classic, “Long May You Run.” The nephew of Pugwash’s Thomas Walsh, Adam is a talented artist you will be hearing more from as time marches on.

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Good Monday to you! Thanks for checking out the latest in our ongoing series of adds to our ever-growing playlist. And don’t forget to listen to Pure Pop Radio, broadcasting the greatest melodic pop music in the universe from the ’60s to today, 24-hours a day (listen links below)!

Click here to download our app for listening on the go with Android and iOS devices!

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

Curry Cuts Path to the ’80s for Retro-riffic British Invasion Compilation

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(Win a copy of Here Comes the Reign Again: The Second British Invasion and a Reign t-shirt by filling in the form below. Be sure to type “Reign” in the Comments section. There is a quick turnaround on this contest: Entries must be received by tomorrow night, December 12, at midnight ET. The winner will be chosen on Saturday, December 13. Good luck!)

Producer Andrew Curry, who released his first compilation, Drink a Toast to Innocence: A Tribute to Lite Rock, in April of 2013, follows up in relatively short order with Here Comes the Reign Again: The Second British Invasion. While he’s billed as executive producer of Reign, Curry is better dubbed master curator, or perhaps more appropriately, caretaker of decades gone by.

Dipping this time into the musical waters flowing through the ’80s, Curry has assembled a sterling group of contemporary artists to pay tribute to and/or apply a new coat of paint on songs that were first released more than three decades ago. It is a testament to these songs–and, if Curry knows anything, he knows that the song is job one–that they retain their fortitude so long after first being heard.

To that end, Fountains of Wayne frontman Chris Collingwood turns in a spirited, lovingly rendered version of the Dream Academy’s “Life in a Northern Town,” supported by luscious background vocals from Phillip Price and Flora Reed from Winterpills; The Corner Laughers soup up the beat as they apply their particular magic to Madness’ “Our House”; and Big-Box Store takes a wholly different approach to Kim Wilde’s frenetic “Kids in America,” slowing it down and infusing it with a heartfelt dose of passion.

Jim Boggia and Pete Donnelly turn Adam Ant’s cheeky “Goody Two Shoes” inside out, applying a faux-military drum part and making every note count for a kind of jazzy workout. Similarly, the Davenports dress Wham’s “Freedom” up in power pop overalls, thereby upping the song’s catchy quotient. And Linus of Hollywood puts every ounce of emotion at his disposal into his take on Daryl Hall’s classic “Everytime You Go Away,” originally waxed by Paul Young.

The first lesson one learns listening to compilations such as this is that some aspect of everything you hear today can be traced back to something that came before. The spirit of these songs, denizens of radio first tuned into so long ago, lives on in these new versions of favored classics. The second lesson? Good songs never die, and as chosen and curated by master compilation craftsman Curry, they still rock and roll and fill your body and soul. And in the form of this Reign, they make a great, collective stocking stuffer. – Alan Haber

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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 Seven is Pure Heaven: Pure Pop Radio’s New Music Explosion Rolls On!

day-7We quite simply can not be stopped! It’s day seven of the Pure Pop Radio New Music Explosion and, yes, you betcha, we’re not even close to being done. We’re now into phase two (it’s top secret!) of our adding frenzy, which will continue tomorrow and into next week and beyond. We couldn’t stop even if we tried!

Let’s dig in, shall we?

here-comes-the-reign-againHere Comes the Reign Again: The Second British Invasion We’ve now added the 19 songs we’ve been playing from this great compilation, sans producer Andrew Curry’s spoken introductions, which may return at a later date. The second British Invasion is alive on Pure Pop Radio! Here’s what you will hear, in rotation: An American Underdog – “Things Can Only Get Better,” Big-Box Store – “Kids in America,” Bleu – “Dont You Forget About Me,” Chris Collingwood – “Life in a Northern Town,” Cliff Hillis – “Wouldn’t it Be Good,” David Mead – “Save a Prayer,” Eric Barao – “Tainted Love,” Eytan Mirsky and Alyson Greenfield – “No One is to Blame,” Jim Boggia and Pete Donnelly – “Good Two Shoes,” Kelly Jones – “Something About You,” Linus of Hollywood – “Every Time You Go Away,” Mike Viola – “Everybody Wants to Rule the World,” Minky Starshine – “True,” People on Vacation – “Cruel Summer,” Taylor Locke – Dancing with Myself,” The Corner Laughers – “Our House,” The Davenports – “Freedom,” The Nines – “Life’s What You Make It,” and The Wellingtons – “Only You.” We think it’s safe to say that this nifty package will be under some decorated trees this coming December.

old-man-reverbThe Jigsaw Seen | Old Man Reverb This veteran band’s latest album is a solid collection of upbeat pop and roll and ballads, heavy on the guitars and emotive vocals. Amongst these classic tunes, you’ll even find a song that could very well serve as the soundtrack to a classic western film! All of these eight songs are now playing in rotation on Pure Pop Radio: “Idiots with Guitars,” “Die Laughing,” “Understand,” “Madame Whirligig,” “Hercules and Sylvia,” “Your Mind is Like Mine,” “Abide,” and “Grief Rehearsal.” Very cool.

jeff-thomasJeff Thomas’ All-Volunteer Army | “The Devil Wants Your Self Control” This extremely cool song from the great Jeff Thomas and crew opens up with a dead-on, Al Kooper-era Blood, Sweat and Tears vibe and immediately segues into an upbeat rock groove as if it were hitched to a speeding locomotive. Chicago-esque horn stabs lead this energetic slice of pop ‘n’ roll to the finish line. Funky, rocky, poppy and all that, this is more proof, as if more proof were needed, that Jeff Thomas is… cool.

ron flyntRon Flynt and the Bluehearts | Big Blue Heart This 2014 reissue of Ron’s 2000 album with the Bluehearts adds two must-have bonus tracks to the mix, making it a must-buy for fans. We’ve been playing a couple of tracks from this album since it was first released, and have taken the opportunity to add a few more this time around. We’ve also added one of the bonus tracks, a great song called “Go to the Window for Kenee.” We’re also playing, in rotation, “Holding On,” “I See Blue,” “Northern Town,” “River Road,” “True Love,” and “Darkness.”

the-aboveThe Above | Waterbury Street From the rockingest borough of New York City come the beat-riffic sounds of the Above, whose second album was released this past June. The dozen nuggets on Waterbury Street evoke the spirit and the sound of early- to mid-sixites British R&B-inflected pop. A swinging time is guaranteed for all. We’ve added six energy-filled tracks to our playlist, including “Coming Around,” “Do You Have a Healthy Mind,” “Goons,” “You Make it Real,” “Do What You Wanna Do,” and “Broken Soul.” Now get on the dance floor and groove!

airwavesThe Airwaves | Release Sweden’s own Airwaves specializes in original, ABBA-riffic, and catchy, seventies-sounding songs that really get under your skin. We’ve added three tracks to the Pure Pop Radio playlist: the mid-tempo charmer “Famous,” the powerful “Miracle,” and the ABBA tribute, “Hey You Ring Me Tonight,” which includes a fair share of ABBA references in the lyrics. Pretty fun.

jesse-rimlerJesse Rimler | Four Songs Drawing on a wide range of influence, from pop standards to Harry Nilsson and, most especially, Randy Newman, California singer-songwriter Jesse Rimler writes and performs beautiful songs full of inspiration and pure joy. He’s released only four so far, but each one of them is a gem and points toward a growing catalog full of similar treasures. We’re playing everything Jesse has released: “Secret Password,” “My Elevator Story,” “How We Lost Her,” and “Sylvia’s Dream.” We can’t wait for the next treasure to surface.

50-years-agoVarious Artists | It Was 50 Years Ago Today – A Tribute to the Beatles, Vol. 4 Through his Bullseye Records of Canada imprint, label chief Jaimie Vernon has quietly been releasing a series of tributes to everybody’s favorite Fab Four. We’ve been playing tracks from every volume and now, with volume four in house, we’re continuing the tradition. We’ve added seven versions of classic Beatles songs to our playlist. Here’s how our selections play out:  Atomic Tracktor: “Revolution,” Dee Long: “Across the Universe,” Fergus Hambleton: “And I Love Her,” Michael Carpener: “If I Needed Someone,” Steve Lawrenson: “Yes It Is,” the Wackers: “She Loves You,” and Walter Clevenger: “I Will.”

declan-snowdenDeclan Snowden | Getting My Hopes Up From Galway, Ireland and now based in Dublin, Declan Snowden’s EP–available for free on Bandcamp–revels in the kind of pop we greet with open arms here at Pure Pop Radio. The joyous “Believe in Me” and the gorgeous, heartfelt ballad “I’ll Never Be Your Man” are now playing in rotation. We’re pleased to make your acquaintance, Declan.

With day seven of our New Music Explosion in the books, we have only to look forward to day eight, and that’s happening tomorrow. Be back here around noon ET and see what kind of surprises we’ve cooked up to lead you into your popping weekend!

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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

Wanna Hear Some New Music? We’ve Got Hundreds of New Songs for You to Hear! It’s Day Six of Pure Pop Radio’s New Music Explosion!

celebrationWelcome to week two, day number six of Pure Pop Radio’s New Music Explosion! You already know we’re adding hundreds and hundreds of songs to our playlist, and you probably want to know what’s new today, so here we go. Let’s get right to it!

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The Nines | Nine Lives The Nines have always held a treasured spot on our playlist, going back as far as the old, weekly Pure Pop Radio show. We were excited to learn that a new, live release was coming out. Not surprisingly, we were blown away by the songs included, the great vocals and those melodies–those incredible melodies! Steve Eggers and company deliver the goods, as always. We’ve added eight tracks from this top-flight album as proof: “Diana,” “Melanie,” “Falling Down,” “Virginia,” “Queen of the County,” “Marigold,” “Average Joe,” and “Goodnight My Love.”

marthaThe Corner Laughers | “Martha (Cincinnati, 1914)” The b-side of the great song “Midsommar,” already playing in rotation on Pure Pop Radio, joins its a-side compatriot on the air, which is as it should be. According to the Laughers, “Martha (c.1885—September 1, 1914) was the last known living Passenger Pigeon; she was named “Martha” in honor of the first First Lady Martha Washington.” “Martha” is an upbeat charmer, sung with harmonic gusto by the golden-voiced Karla Kane. And, in answer to your question, this is how it’s done. Now playing in rotation.

chris-richardsChris Richards and the Subtractions | Decayed–Ten Years of Harmony and Song It would take at least a mile’s worth of real estate to roll out Chris Richards’ credits, so we’ll settle for a reminder that Chris is one-third of the wonderful super group the Legal Matters. And here’s a fact of all matters: He is, for sure, one of pop music’s greatest talents, whose more recent albums are the source for all but two of the tracks on this lively and entertaining look back at what has come before (two tracks are specific to this release, one of which we’re now spinning on Pure Pop Radio). Our picks to click, now playing in rotation, are: “Consolation,” “Don’t Do Anything Tonight,” “And Suddenly,” “Gracefully,” and “In a Sense” (the aforementioned new song we’re spinning). Chris and his kick-you-know-what band make stuff happen. Boom!

tamas-wellsTamas Wells | On the Volatility of the Mind Melbourne, Australia’s Tamas Wells has long been a Pure Pop Radio favorite. We think On the Volatility of the Mind is Tamas’ best album yet. His musical voice, 11 beautiful songs, melodies that make you weak at the knees, a folk-pop stance and immaculate production are collective proof. We’ve added five excellent songs to the playlist, which are now playing in rotation: “A Riddle,” “I Don’t Know Why She Burned Up All Those Greylead Drawings,” “A Snake Bit at the Quarry,” “The Treason at Henderson’s Pier,” and “An Appendix.”

aerialAerial | Why Don’t They Teach Heartbreak at School From Aberdeen, Scotland comes the trio known as Aerial. Their second album comes a baker’s dozen years after their debut and proves the old adage that good things come to those who wait. Pure pop, power pop, melodic pop–all flavors, in fact, of pop are in full bloom on this glorious album, certainly one of the best of this year. Hooks abound. We’ve added to the playlist 10 of the 12 songs on School, and they are the title cut, “Japanese Dancer,” “Every Word You Say,” “Great Teenager,” “Madeline It’s Me,” “More than Alcohol,” “Dear Anna,” “Go With You,” “Formative Years,” and “Wave Goodbye to Scotland.” Great stuff.

the-arrowJeffrey Dean Foster | The Arrow We’ve had songs from Jeffrey Dean Foster’s last album, Million Star Hotel, playing in rotation since it came out nine years ago. Now comes a new album called The Arrow, which is another feather in the cap of this ultra-talented music man. Jeffrey, who put time in with the Right Profile and the Pinetops before setting on a solo path, sings and plays his heart out, overseen by producers including none other than Mitch Easter and Don Dixon. The music might best be described as pop washed with a slightly southern glow. But, mostly, it’s catchy music by a musician who writes catchy songs that sing. We’ve added seven songs to the Pure Pop Radio playlist: “When You Break,” “Morningside,” “The Sun Will Shine Again,” “Young Tigers Disappear,” “Jigsaw Man,” “Hang My Head on You,” and the title cut.

the-mostThe Most | Moderation in Moderation, Auto-Destructive Art, and Resistance is Useless Retro (sixties) pop in a contemporary mood by way of a great band from Sweden is now spinning in rotation on Pure Pop Radio. The Most bring the beat and melodies to every song on their various releases. We’ve added songs from three of the band’s EPs and their full-length, Auto-Destructive Art, from 2013: “Bad Girl,” “I Got You,” “Really Good,” “I Don’t Want it,” “So Wrong,” “Spiderman,” “Little Girl,” “Easy When You’re Down,” and “The Action.” These tracks collectively deliver a rockin’ and poppin’ good time.

light-years-epSir Video | Light Years A very cool and fun side project from popster Timmy Sean, whose songs we have been playing on Pure Pop Radio for a while. Light Years is sorta, kinda dance pop with a melodic pop sensibility. What’s more, it’s infectious and it will put a big smile on your face. How do we know? We’re smiling right now! We’ve added to the playlist four songs from this wonderful EP, including two versions of the title cut–one a soulful, light dance number and the other a gentle acoustic remake. We’re also spinning, in rotation, “(Oh No!) They’re on the Radio” and “Take My Breath Away.”

simple-carnivalThe Simple Carnival | “Tornado” The Simple Carnival’s recent release, a typically-gentle tune with a lovely melody, is another jewel of a song included in the group’s music video movie, Smitten 3D, currently in production. The Simple Carnival’s Jeff Boller has become quite a star in the 3D video movie world. We’re happy to say we knew him when. Listen for “Tornado,” now playing in rotation. Another long time Pure Pop Radio favorite.

randell-kirschRandell Kirsch | “Smoke is Spreading” A typically catchy pop confection from the legendary Randell Kirsch, from 1990. Randell has probably worked with more top-flight artists than most people can count, from the Beach Boys and the Cowsills to Jan and Dean and Papa Doo Run Run and beyond. Randell is a master of melody, and we simply can not wait until he graces us with a new album. Randell? Over to you!

Day six is now complete. We’ve got more New Music Explosion adds for you tomorrow, so don’t forget to check back for the list. Thanks for reading, and thanks, as always, for listening to Pure Pop Radio!

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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

Here Comes the Reign Again! Pure Pop Radio and Your Favorite Artists Celebrate the Second British Invasion in Grand Style. Happy Days are Here Again!

Andrew Curry's Here Comes the Reign Again: The Second British Invasion. Nice!

Hot on the heels of last April’s spectacular double-album, Drink a Toast to Innocence: A Tribute to Lite Rock, producer Andrew Curry is soon to make waves with his second celebration of the best days of our musical lives. With the upcoming Here Comes the Reign Again: The Second British Invasion, Curry has set his sights on the post-lite rock years, when the nascent MTV was already TV’s official visual showcase for music crazy kids and groups such as Duran Duran, the Human League, Wham!, Howard Jones and Simple Minds. These and other groups quickly and commandingly took hold of radio stations and listeners across the country.

Curry was a neophyte producer and compiler when he dove head first into the detailed process that resulted in Drink a Toast to Innocence. He proved, at first light, that his love for the music that populated the soundtrack of his life and the passion that fueled it were his two most important assets. The how-you-do-this-and-that kind of nuts-and-bolts production-related details he could, and did, grab hold of like the pro he is. Still buzzing from the warm and welcoming red carpet laid out for him by the worldwide pop community, he quickly decided to build on the Innocence buzz by starting work on his second project, an equally well-rounded compilation of classic early eighties tracks interpreted by some of pop music’s most creative practitioners.

A mix of artists both new to Curry’s world of musical reinvention and those returning from Innocence set to work on crafting their unique versions of songs like the Dream Academy’s luscious “Life in a Northern Town,” Bananarama’s catchy “Cruel Summer,” and Spandau Ballet’s classic “True.” In the end, 27 artists and songs made it to the final track listing, with a bonus track exclusively offered to Kickstarter contributors (who, as of this writing, have contributed more than 50% of the funds needed to make Reign a reality)–An American Underdog’s spectacular run through Howard Jones’s “Things Can Only Get Better.”

Support Reign!

Support Reign!

As we did during the life of Drink a Toast to Innocence, we are celebrating Here Comes the Reign Again with an extensive promotional effort, which begins below and will continue through to the release of the compilation. Don’t forget to check out the Reign Kickstarter page for the various items, including the snazzy-looking t-shirt pictured at right, you can get by pledging your support with a donation.  Here, on this page, we have gathered a look at selected tracks from Reign that we hope will sufficiently whet your appetite for the second British invasion.

Andrew Curry!

Andrew Curry!

Andrew Curry has very kindly created introductions to 19 of the songs appearing on Reign. These introductions are exclusive to Pure Pop Radio and, along with the newly-recorded songs, are now playing in rotation on the air. You”ll hear Andrew spill on the making of these tracks, relate insider anecdotes and talk about the artists working behind the microphones.

But wait: there’s more! We’ve got another exclusive-to-Pure-Pop-Radio offering: an audio one-on-one with Andrew that spills the beans on how Here Comes the Reign Again was put together. This conversation with Andrew appears on this page; simply navigate below and click on the play button to enjoy.

As we said, we’re very excited about Here Comes the Reign Again. Dive into the get-to-know-Reign nuggets on this page and brace yourselves for more, more, more to come!

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mike-viola

Mike Viola

We’d like to put the Pure Pop Radio spotlight on just some of the great songs we’re currently airing in rotation with Andrew Curry’s informative and exclusive introductions. Take, for example, Mike Viola’s version of Tears for Fears’ “Everybody Wants to Rule the World.” Viola is a great favorite here at Pure Pop Radio. His take on “Everybody Wants to Rule the World” is typically golden. Centered around some lovely acoustic guitar picking and his emotionally-invested, magical voice, this is at once a contemporary specimen and a tip-o’-the-hat to some grand music created mere decades ago.

Chris Collingwood (Fountains of Wayne)

Chris Collingwood (Fountains of Wayne)

Chris Collingwood toils away at his day job, where he is lead vocalist and songwriter at Fountains of Wayne. Here, he travels down the musical hallway to tackle in solo mode the Dream Academy’s ethereal “Life in a Northern Town.” Collingwood has moved the tempo along at a bit of a faster pace and transformed the tail of the tune into a group singalong. Winterpills’ backing vocals contribute to this updated, loving look at life in a northern or, really, any town.   A smashing job.

Jim Boggia enlisted his friend, the Figgs’ Pete Donnelly, to apply some quirky, contemporary polish to Adam and the Ants’ “Goody Two Shoes.” With a call-in of “One, two, drums,” the pop pair turn the original waxing into an easy shuffle with Marc Bolan-esque vocals. This is what transpires when a pair of old pros turn a classic song inside out and come up with a pretty wonderful musical pearl.

Jim Boggia

Jim Boggia

 

The Corner Laughers!

The Corner Laughers!

For sure, many melodic pop fans, if not the whole lot of them, will adorn the Corner Laughers’ spirited version of Madness’ “Our House” with at least a couple hundred huzzahs. Longtime favorites here at Pure Pop Radio, the Laughers don’t do much mucking about with this classic song. Moreover, they pay happy tribute to it, applying a joyous gloss to the proceedings. Once again and always forever more, singer Karla Kane’s lovely, playful voice takes center stage. And don’t miss the funky electric guitar parts. They’re very cool.

There’s more–a whole lot more joy on Here Comes the Reign Again: The Second British Invasion, now chugging up a storm on the official Kickstarter page. Make your way over there for Reign’s official track listing and other goodies.

Now, hear from the man himself, as producer extraordinaire Andrew Curry talks to our Alan Haber about the genesis and putting-together of Here Comes the Reign Again. It’s a typically spirited conversation, exclusive to Pure Pop Radio. Simply click on the play button below to listen.

More to come. Remember, we’re currently spinning, in rotation, 19 great tracks from Here Comes the Reign Again, all appended by informative introductions by Andrew Curry. Listen every hour of our 24-hour broadcast day for the sounds of your favorite contemporary artists putting their spin on songs from the second British invasion!

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Here’s our exclusive conversation with Here Comes the Reign Again Producer Andrew Curry:

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

Look Up in the Sky! See Those Colorful Fireworks? We’re Celebrating Day Two of the Pure Pop Radio Melodic Pop Songs Explosion! Wow!

This is the age of beautiful music, this age of international reach. This is the age of 3 am Google searches for the latest, hottest and most melodic songs from more than capable artists who play all manner of instruments: guitars, keyboards, drums, washboards, horns and the like. This is the age of wonder and enlightenment and satisfying our collective conscious need for melodies that shine, hooks that run deep, and harmonies that ring brightly and soundly and satisfy our souls.

We feel very lucky to be able to bring you these sounds of our age, created by master magicians poised to fill the world with hope and majesty and a song or songs that make the hairs on our necks stand up on end. Here, we’re picking up from where we left off yesterday and celebrating day two of our special Pure Pop Radio Melodic Pop Songs Explosion, and exploding these songs are, right in front of our ears.

Here are more artists and songs that are now playing in rotation on Pure Pop Radio, top-flight examples all of the art of melodic pop.

The Legal MattersThe Legal Matters – The Legal Matters. When master musical magicians Andy Reed, Chris Richards and Keith Klingensmith settled comfortably in the Reed Recording Company’s studio in Bay City, Michigan, they connected like old hands of the art do and crafted 10 songs that sparkled before them–songs that would ultimately sparkle before listeners all around the world. Supported by ace drummer Cody Marecek and guitarist extraordinaire Nick Piunti, who not long ago released his own melodic pop long player to great acclaim, the trio of friends picked up their guitars and applied a little lucky grease to the act of creating classic, harmony-rich tunes that will last a lifetime. And so they have released their work, the kind of gift from above that comes along only when the time is right, and the time–this time– is most assuredly right. We have plucked the lot of these hall-of-fame-worthy songs for the Pure Pop Radio playlist, all of which are now spinning in rotation. The songs? Listen for “Rite of Spring,” which could and should function as this group’s calling card: just listen to the harmonies that grace this wonderful, Teenage Fanclub kind of side; “It’s Not What I Say,” “Before We Get It Right,” “Outer Space,” “We Were Enemies,” “Stubborn,” “Have You Changed Your Mind?,” “The Legend of Walter Wright,” “Mary Anne,” and “So Long Sunny Days.” Dig them all like the treasures they are.

The Dowling Poole's Bleak StrategiesThe Dowling Poole – Bleak Strategies. When we interviewed Willie Dowling somewhere around a year ago, Willie had recently disbanded his incredibly talented group, Jackdaw 4. Willie mentioned that he was in the very early days of a project with music man Jon Poole. Just about a year later, Willie and Jon have released the fruits of their labors, an absolute corker of a disc that will surprise and delight and propel you from your seat in a surprising and delightful way. The album is called Bleak Strategies and it instantly takes its rightful place as one of the best albums of this year. Influenced by all manner of bands that came before, from the Beatles to the Kinks to Jackdaw 4 to 10cc to XTC and Frank Zappa, this collection is top of the pops and full of sudden, surprising and rightly-positioned left hand turns that turn these songs into clever monuments of glory. We’ve added eight tunes to the Pure Pop Radio playlist, and they are: “The Sun is Mine,” “A Kiss on the Ocean,” “Hey Stranger,” “Paper, Scissors, Stone,” “Empires, Buildings and Acquisitions,” “Getting a License,” “Clean,” and “Saving it All for a Saturday.” Pretty fantastic, then and now, Shirley, bestow upon the Dowling Poole a place on some of those best of the year lists that will soon pop up and be heard. Simply smashing stuff.

The Rubinoos and Radio Days' Split 7-inchThe Rubinoos and Radio Days – Split 7-inch. Any time either the Rubinoos or Radio Days releases new material, we here at Pure Pop Radio pretty much jump for joy. It is a sight to behold, let us tell you. Anyway, both of these much-loved bands have put their heads together and each has released a pair of songs within the grooves of an old-fashioned and still-vital slab of vinyl. We’re presenting a great song that is an exciting preview of a forthcoming album from the Rubinoos, a wonderful song called “All It Takes.” We’ve also added the pair of songs from Radio Days: a great cover of the Rubinoos’ “Hurts Too Much” and a new Radio Days tune, “Let’s Move On.” Get this one for your own self. You might think of getting two copies–it’s not unlikely that the grooves on the first one will wear out. A great release, now spinning in rotation on your home for the melodic pop hits, Pure Pop Radio.

Also added to the Pure Pop Radio playlist this week:

* Ali Ingle – “The Locker.” Ali Ingle continues to shine brightly with his wonderful ballad, “The Locker.” Sporting rather clever lyrics, this is one of those songs that must be repeated instantly when it ends. Prepare to hope that Ali scores big with this and future releases and takes his rightful place in the music marketplace.

* Joey C. Jones and the Bubble Gum Orchestra – “Hey Jadey Girl.” Sweetly dipped in a sugary sauce and delivered with a tip of the hat to the Electric Light Orchestra, “Hey Jadey Girl” harkens back to a simpler time when the radio stations of the long-ago day were spinning songs that were all about the hook, and all about the fun of it all. We’re proud and pleased to play this one in rotation for you all. More, if you will.

* The J-Pegs – Mister Sunshine. Just about equal parts mid-sixties harmony, garage rock and jangle, the J-Pegs play through an EP’s worth of classic songs that will set up shop in your inner consciousness. Prepare to rally around such gorgeous creations as the ultra-melodic “Pigeons and Church Bells and Butterflies”; the short and sweet Robert Zimmerman nod, “Hey Robert”; the upbeat, just slightly countrified “Castles by the Sea”; and a song that echoes early sides by the Association with a bit of a dip in the garage rock pool, “Little Details.” They’re all spinning in rotation as we type on Pure Pop Radio. A real find.

* Scott Brookman – Special Session for Pure Pop Radio: In Conversation. A few months into production of our popular melodic pop talk show, Pure Pop Radio: In Conversation, we started asking our guests if they would like to contribute some specially-recorded-for-In Conversation songs. We’ve had a great response in this regard. Our long-time DIY popster friend Scott Brookman delivered a delectable two-fer: a short song intended to entice listeners to add his latest album, Smellicopter, to their collections, and a wonderfully-delivered version of one of Smellicopter’s best songs, “Very Anne.” We present them to you within our rotation and urge you to seek out any and all of Scott’s creations. A splendid time is guaranteed and all that, you know.

* South Rail – Stars EP. South Rail is one of our favorite groups and, what do you know, they’re a hop, skip and a jump from Pure Pop Radio headquarters. We’ve been playing their songs for awhile now, and are pleased as punch to present to you four dynamite songs from their new, Don Was-produced EP, Stars. On Pure Pop Radio, you will hear the pure pop pleasures of “Be that Way Again,” the gorgeous creation that is the country-tinged “On My Way,” the wonderful upbeat treasure “Moss and Stone,” and the country-pop pleasures of “Wide Eyed Smile.” Next, a full length, pretty please?

* Phyllis Johnson – “Mr. Callahan.” We can’t think of an artist we’d like to see release a whole bunch of tunes–preferably within the confines of a gold-plated long-player–than Phyllis Johnson, whose way with a melody is second to none. Here is a shining example of Phyllis’s talents coming together to serve the song, and this is a song, alright. It’s a great song, in fact, and we’re pleased to present its sixties-echoing charms on Pure Pop Radio. Phyllis has managed to soak up more great song forms than most of us have forgotten. Her talents are limitless. Charm us with more, Phyllis.

* The Corner Laughers. “Midsommar.” A rather tasty taster before this much-loved group releases its new album in a few months, “Midsommar” is a typically catchy number with glorious harmonies, a lovely melody, and a reminder that a song can cure all ills. Written and sung by the magical Karla Kane, this is real deal time–a song for the middle of summer, for the beginning of fall or the snowy winter or the welcome to flowers spring. Take a bow, Corner Laughers.

More to come tomorrow. Surely two weeks of adds to the Pure Pop Radio playlist must constitute some kind of mention in the Guinness Book, right?

 

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