Tag Archives: the kennedys

We’re Spinning New Platters that Matter. It’s Pure Pop Radio’s New Music Wednesday !

new-blueWe’ve added to our playlist…again! Our aim is true and this time around, we’ve hit the jackpot: Lots of new artists and songs are now newly playing in rotation on Pure Pop Radio. Here is what we’ve introduced to the greatest mix of melodic pop music on Internet radio:

the-kennedysThe Kennedys | West Pete and Maura Kennedy have come up with what we believe to be their best work yet. As we said in our review of this outstanding album, “West is a journey taken along purposeful roads; it is a journey worth taking again and again.” (If you missed Alan’s review, click here.) We’ve added 11 songs from West: the title track, “Elegy,” “Sisters of the Road,” “Signs,” “Jubilee Time,” “Locket,” “Southern Jumbo,” “Travel Day Blues,” “The Queen of Hollywood High,” “Perfect Love,” and “Good, Better, Best.” You should add West to your music library today. File under Perfection.

Two-Weeks-Album-CoverStereo Tiger | Two Weeks It’s always thrilling to witness a band coming out of the gate with great songs. Picture us thrilled. Stereo Tiger’s Two Weeks makes a bid for best-of-the-year honors with this outstanding album. Lovers of seventies pop and gorgeous melodies will find much to savor here. We’ve added seven songs to our playlist: “Magic Balloon,” “Perfect World,” “Open Up Your Eyes,” “All These Years,” “Philly Girl,” “Did You Ever Love Me,” and “Push the Pencil.” Simply outstanding. There’s this to savor in the album’s credits: “Recorded in 10 Days. Mixed in 2 Days. Mastered in 1 Day.” To which we’d add “Loved in seconds.”

bill-demainBill DeMain | Extended Stay Of course, everyone, including you, knows Bill’s work as one-half of the great duo Swan Dive. But did you know that last year he released a masterful six-song EP called Extended Stay? Well, you do now. These pure pop gems are masterpieces of melody that will put a big smile on your face. From the lovely “Honeylove” to the Randy Newman-as-Harry Nilsson slice of joy, “In Your Letter” and the all-Nilsson-esque, clever love song, “Raggedy Man,” this is a hall-of-fame worthy recording. Bill’s sweet voice makes these songs come alive–each one is a joyous celebration of the purest pop. Your music collection is quite simply not complete without this one.

hot-knivesHot Knives | Hot Knives Another gem from Got Kinda Lost records (we added songs from their Promise album last week), this collection of single tracks and previously-unreleased material from the seventies is another great find. A mix of pop and rock, Hot Knives features terrific harmonies reminiscent of the Association, the Mamas and the Papas and Jefferson Airplane (yes, you read that correctly). Great melodies, too. We’re playing four songs in rotation: “Sooner or Later,” “Lovin’ You,” “I Hear the Wind Blow,” and “Winter’s Come.” Great stuff.

daniel-wylieDaniel Wylie’s Cosmic Rough Riders | “Another Wasted Day” We’re always up for a new slice of melodic wonder from Daniel Wylie. Now billed as Daniel Wylie’s Cosmic Rough Riders, the band has delivered another great tune in “Another Wasted Day.” Jangly and catchy, it’s from the forthcoming album, Chrome Cassettes. We can’t wait.

dana-countryman-every-kissDana Countryman | “Every Kiss Reminds Me of You” It has become regular practice around these parts to add a new or new-to-you song from one of our most favorite pop practitioners every time we post one of these station updates. Another new song from the forthcoming album Pop3! Welcome to my Time Warp!, this retro, hooky and genuinely wonderful song sounds like an outtake from the 5cc years of 10cc, a very good thing! Featuring guest turns from Dee Long (Klaatu), who plays electric guitar, and Pure Pop Radio fave Matt Tyson, who sings on the fade, this is another keeper from the one of our favorite wizards of wonder. Now playing in rotation.

red-caravanRed Caravan | Sleepless Night Red Caravan, aka Pete and John Carr, are making some cool sounds down under. The first fruits of their recording labors, “Sleepless Night” and “If I Return,” are electrically charged and pretty, acoustic melodic wonders, respectively. An album is on the near horizon. We await its debut. Meanwhile, here are two great songs now playing in rotation.

strangely-alrightStrangely Alright | “Come On” The latest release from Regan Lane and company is a propulsive pop song with a great, catchy melody and an in-your-face vocal. “Come On” pushes our buttons, most assuredly.

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That’s it for today. We love bringing you new songs and artists to savor! More new adds to the playlist coming soon. See you on the radio!

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The Kennedys’ West is a Musical Journey Well Worth Taking

the-kennedysThe Kennedys | West | 2015 | A review by Alan Haber

The overarching theme of the Kennedys’ splendid new album, West, is traveling along purposeful roads. The booklet illustration depicts a rural road–one lane going west, the other east, while the album’s cover shows the couple in a field after the leaves on the trees have gone; two horses–one looking left, the other gazing forward–breathe silently in sturdy thought as thick, white clouds float above. There appears to be a chill in the air, but warmth is likely on the horizon.

Pete and Maura Kennedy have always been keen observers of hopeful travels. The 13 songs on West follow hopeful characters on their way or already there. The voices carrying the melody in the title song, all musical bounce and joy, sing about looking for a new home out west, but really that could mean moving in any direction. Their aim is true, even if there are potentially hazardous signposts along the way: “We traveled west into the sunset/Never reckoned with the cost/We laid it all down on a wildcard bet/Time will tell if we won or lost.”

In the sweet-sounding, country-pop charmer “Jubilee Time,” a cousin of some distance of the songs on the Byrds’ Sweetheart of the Rodeo album, a person appears to be off his mark and conflicted as he travels his path; the narrator wishes safe travels, but offers cautionary advice: “Choose your steps like crossing ice/And cut just once if you measure it twice.” There is a light up ahead. “May your load be light my friend/May the road be bright on the way you wend/And when you’re standing with your hat filled with rain/Just remember that we will meet again.”

the-kennedys-5Some of the songs on West find their characters at a crossroads and offer blissful solutions. Painting with Buddy Holly and Roy Orbison brushstrokes in the enchanting “Locket,” the singer tells the tale of her broken heart, healed when love comes her way. “So put your hand into your pocket/You’ll find that I slipped you the key/It will open my heart if you give yours to me.” Dotted with Holly Easter eggs, this song is among the Kennedys’ best. Maura’s vocal is heavenly, painted with golden hues.

“Perfect Love,” written especially for Pete and Maura by the Records’ John Wicks, is a lovely number that posits a union as blissful as two hearts might imagine to be possible. “Riding along together, playing for you and me/Theirs is the perfect two-part harmony,” the narrator sings. It’s a lovely sentiment, perfectly realized with a loving pen put to paper, a heartfelt poem set to a beautiful melody.

There’s plenty of beauty in the rock and roll shuffle of “Travel Day Blues.” Keen harmony vocals and Pete’s rocking Chuck Berry guitar lines chug along, carrying a series of images of people going from here to there in a kind of E.L. Doctorow narrative. Jack Kerouac, Herman Hesse, Jesse James, Johnny B. Goode, Stagger Lee and others make their way to their promised lands. We’re all making our way in our own time: “Louisiana road house to Carnegie Hall/Sometimes it seems like we’ve seen it all/Feelin’ kinda beat but we still walk tall/Walking’ off the travel day blues.”

the-kennedys-2Pete’s “Good, Better, Best,” written for Maura on the occasion of the couple’s twentieth anniversary, is about all-encompassing love saving the day . “When my way was dark and the road did wind/You came along and you showed me a sign,” the couple sings. “I’ve tried to tell you a thousand times/But I always seem to flub my lines/Life is good, better, best/’Cause I’ve loved you/’Cause I’ve loved you.” In other words: If you stumble and fall along the way, I’ll be there to pick you up. We’ll travel this journey together.

West chronicles the journey, wherever it leads, in the most magical of ways; it is alive from first note to last and it is perhaps the Kennedys’ best work. West is alive, alive with the purpose of the journey, and it sings. West is a journey taken along purposeful roads; it is a journey worth taking again and again.

[Eleven songs from West have been added to the Pure Pop Radio playlist: the title track, “Elegy,” “Sisters of the Road,” “Signs,” “Jubilee Time,” “Locket,” “Southern Jumbo,” “Travel Day Blues,” “The Queen of Hollywood High,” “Perfect Love,” and “Good, Better, Best.” Now spinning in rotation.]

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