Alan Haber's Pure Pop Radio is the archive for the premiere website that covered the melodic pop scene with in-depth reviews of new and reissued recordings, and a wide variety of features. We are now closed for new activity.
There is excitement on the air! This week sees Alan Haber’s Pop Tunes Deejay Show and Pure Pop Radio: In Conversation debut on Pop that Goes Crunch Radio.
Every Tuesday night at 8 pm ET on the Pop Tunes Deejay Show, I will spin the very latest and greatest melodic pop releases by artists you love and some that may be new to you. This week, thrill to top tunes from Tommy Lorente (his brand-new pop and roll single), Daniel Wylie’s Cosmic Rough Riders, Fun of the Pier (their first long player!), Sitcom Neighbor, Jared Lekites (with a great cover of a song by one of my favorites, Coke Belda), Terry Draper, and many more. (Repeats Friday at 2 pm ET)
The Thursday edition of the Pop Tunes Deejay Show (8 pm ET) will feature a mix of catchy melodic pop songs from today and across the decades. It’s a mirthful melange of melodies you won’t want to miss! (Repeats next Monday at 11 am ET)
On this week’s all-new Pure Pop Radio: In Conversation (Wednesday at 9 pm ET), I talk to one of my favorite-ever melodic pop artists, the great Richard X. Heyman, whose smashing 12th album, Incognito, has just been released. It’s a spirited half hour show with one of the great instrumentalists, songwriters and performers in melodic pop. You won’t want to miss it. (Repeats Saturday at 2 pm ET)
Don’t miss a minute of the fun: Alan Haber’s Pop Tunes Deejay Show (Tuesdays and Thursdays at 8 pm ET), and Pure Pop Radio: In Conversation (Wednesdays at 9 pm ET).
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.
Listen 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:
A quartet of fine songs from some of our favorite artists, just scratching the surface of music being added to our playlist…
Tommy Lorente | “Supernova” A trip back in time for the French guitar maestro, combining the engine of a 1960s mid-tempo beat charmer with the warmth of a much-loved folk standard. Beautifully played by Tommy, who sings and strums the guitars, Ralf Köhler, who plucks the bass, and Peele Wimberley, whose drums and percussion provide the expressive backbone. Sweet. Now playing in rotation on Pure Pop Radio.
When and Where to Get It: Bandcamp.
The Universal Thump | “Middle Life” What a treat! From Brooklyn, New York’s favorite melodic pop duo comes a dramatic, soulful pop stirrer, featuring Greta Gertler Gold’s electric piano and charged, emotional, Kate Bush-like vocal. Strong-willed orchestration and Greta’s husband Adam D. Gold’s instrumental dexterity and engineering prowess take this one to the finish line. Support the Thump’s efforts to create everlasting, beautiful music by supporting them at Patreon. Now playing in rotation on Pure Pop Radio.
When and Where to Get It: Bandcamp.
The Lunar Laugh | “Work in Progress” Another lovely, melodic wonder from Oklahoma City way. Laughers Jared Lekites, Connor Anderson, and Campbell Young, supported by Nathan Mickle and Tommy Harden, deliver a delicious number about the fragile nature of living and the course corrections put in place along the way that hopefully result in a graceful life. Joyous. Now playing in rotation on Pure Pop Radio.
When and Where to Get It: Bandcamp,iTunes.
Ed Ryan with Orbis Max | “Other Plans” After appearing separately on Ice Cream Man Wayne Lundqvist Ford’s Brain Freeze compilation, Orbis Max’s Craig Carlstrom contacted Ed about working together on a pop song he had cooking. From that germ of an idea comes the catchy, feel-good pure popper “Other Plans,” the bridge of which is sung by Ford. An international coming together of inspiration. Bonus add: Orbis Max’s equally catchy, straight-ahead pop-rocker “Hope You Love Me Too,” co-written by Carlstrom and Dennis George, who sings the lead vocal. More Orbis Max on Pure Pop Radio is always a good thing. Groovy. Now playing in rotation on Pure Pop Radio. When and Where to Get It: “Other Plans”: Bandcamp. (Check back for more links.)
“These are the words you wish you could hear,” Jules Shear sings in his current release, the quite catchy pop song called “The Words,” and these are the words we are happy to pass on to you; we love you, and it’s because of that love that we bring to you news of new music that’s been added to the Pure Pop Radio playlist.
We’ve got only a smattering today as so many big projects destined for your ears are in the works and just about ready to pop out of the oven, but there is more, much more to come, all of it crafted with precision and with an eye on precise symmetry, and that’s all just around the corner, and of that we are confident and sure.
Today, we present to you the following, all now playing in rotation on the air, one after the other (but not in any kind of formal formation):
Jules Shear | “The Words” After having written a string of classic songs over so many decades, a string which ties together “All Through the Night,” “If She Knew What She Wants,” “If We Never Meet Again,” “The Trap Door” and so many others of such tall stature, this peerless songwriter and performer has begun releasing new material, some of which he says he will give away and some which he says he will sell. “The Words” is a giveaway, thank you very much, and rather a nice, warm gesture, essentially a three-chord construct with a knockout chorus that essentially functions as a master class in songwriting, so skillful it is with such a grand, satisfying payoff. A lyrical pedal steel part is icing on a very tasty cake, which we’re serving in rotation.
Dana Countryman | Pop 3! Welcome to My Time Warp! Words are kind of our business, but at some times, when the music takes us away to the ubiquitous somewhere else, we can’t see the forest for the trees or choose one thing, whatever it is, over another. In the case of Mr. Countryman’s latest release, the third in his spun-from-gold pop music trilogy, words do not fail us, even though it’s the music that takes us and, of course, you away in the end and after all is sung and done.
This outstanding collection of melodically-charged songs, set squarely in the world governed by all that is retro, actually opens up a portal that you fall into as sounds celebrating the joys of tightly-constructed audio treats take you away. Honestly, it’s like the sounds of the late 1960s and early 1970s are back, baby, and there you are singing along or humming, even if you don’t know the words. Echoes of the Four Seasons and the Spiral Starecase and Gilbert O’Sullivan and the Hollies and Eric Carmen and, yes, the Beatles, of whom much has been said and a lot more could and will be, run through the fabric of these songs that will be with you in the morning when you are buttering your toast and in the evening, just before bedtime, as your head hits the pillow and you drift off.
“Every Kiss Reminds Me of You,” “Run Back Into My Arms,” “Can’t Get You Out of My Mind,” “Nice Shot (Straight to the Heart),” “Don’t You Know You’ll Break My Heart,” “All You Need to Say,” “Twenty-Four Hours with You,” “There Goes My Heart Again,” “Shari Girl / You’ll Always Be a Baby to Me,” “That’s When I Knew,” and “Don’t Wanna Lose You,” pretty much all the bones of this album, are now playing in rotation (we’re saving “Christmas All Over the World” for the upcoming holiday season, and the gorgeous love song “What If?” has been spinning for a while). Do we need to say that Pop 3! is one of the best albums of the year? Well, you know, or you will know, that this statement is true.
Bertling Noise Laboratories | Matilda and 12 Others and “Ram On” You’ve probably heard yourself say, or you’ve at least thought to yourself, the words “Where has he (or she) been all my life?,” and therein lies the thing of it all. This is how we felt, really and truly, when we were turned onto Nick Bertling’s outstanding and astounding album through which all roads lead to you thinking “Now, that really hits the spot” as you spin it again and again, as we have done and will continue to do. “Good Morning” exists as if it were an outtake from McCartney (where else could that traveling, syncopating bass come from?); “Baby Talk” plays like a long lost Motown track from deep in the vaults with all of the excitement and oomph that such a thing entails; “It’s Not Funny” is nothing less than a crooner’s standard (surely some Broadway production will dial this one up); “Time for Us” is straight-ahead pop; and the title song, “Matilda,” is kinda sorta jazzy, like a Steely Dan-meets-not-Steely-Dan mashup, except it’s not really that, but it sure is something else. We’re playing all of these songs, plus “Bits and Pieces,” “I’ll Bet She Thinks,” and “Once in a While.” With this album in your hands, and you know you’ll want it, once in a while will not be enough. Oh, and of “Ram On”…it’s a lovely cover of the aforementioned McCartney fellow’s song from Ram, and it’s fabulously huggable. We’re playing that too, naturally.
Tommy Lorente | “B.B. (Tu Me Plais Tant)” and “Un Certain Savoir Faire” Not being anywhere near fluent in French, although we can count to six and nod like we know what somebody is talking about, we let the words of these songs float around us as the accomplished pop-rocker Tommy Lorente lets loose the three-different-beats-heavy vibe of “B.B. (Tu Me Plais Tant)” (“I Like You So Much”) which, based on the English translation of the lyrics Tommy sent our way, is a love song of sorts with a whole lot of energy that gets one moving from side to side. “Un Certain Savoir Faire,” or “A Certain Savoir Faire,” which is about self-confident people and rocks in a slow, steady kind of way, with stabbing guitars and strong, certain drum hits, is the flip side, or the other A-side, of this top-notch single from one of our favorite performers in this day and age. Both songs are playing in rotation, rocking and popping up the joint, as it were.
Various Artists | Lost Hits of the 80’s Dan Pavelich, music critic at the Kenosha (Wisconsin) News and creator of the sweet comic strip Just Say Uncle, has quietly been producing great music for so many years, kind of slipping in under the radar with albums such as this one, a loving trip in the Wayback Machine of the mind to the 1980s, as performed by a bunch of fictitious bands that exist only in Dan’s mind–bands like Atari Hand Cramp, Pest Control, and Asmatics UK (named that way to avoid confusion with Asmatics Canada, no doubt). Working with some top-flight collaborators–Pop 4’s Andrea Perry, Lisa Mychols and the Well Wishers’ Jeff Shelton among them–Dan turns in a fabulously fun trip. The songs range from Redd Roxx’s poppy “No Regret,” sung by the Waking Hours’ Tom Richards, to the steady, rocking “Camera Shy” by The Vaporizers, and The Images’ slowed down, impassioned take on the Romantics’ “Talking in Your Sleep.” Dan says he had a ball producing this record, from which we’ve slotted the aforementioned songs, and a couple of others–Asmatics UK’s “Temptress of London,” Metro Cafe’s “Am I Only Dreaming of You,” and The Images’ “Don’t Want Pretending”–into our playlist. We’ll have a Q&A feature soon, in which Dan will spill all of the inner secrets of this album, but for now, listen for a stone cold trip back to the decade that still, and always will, pop and rock. Loads of fun.
That’s it for today. Believe us, we’ve barely scratched the surface. We’ve added to the playlist hundreds of new and new-to-you songs from current and heritage artists over the past few weeks. We’ll continue to report on these adds and others we have waiting in the wings, during the next couple of weeks. Stay tuned. You will undoubtedly dig our continually diggable scene.
Alan Haber’s Pure Pop Radio is the original 24-hour Internet radio station playing the greatest melodic pop music from the ’60s to today. From the Beatles to the Spongetones, the Nines, Kurt Baker, the Connection and the New Trocaderos, we play the hits and a whole lot more. Tune in by clicking on one of the listen links below.
Last night’s third edition of Pop Tunes, our new, weekly deejay show hosted by Alan Haber, contained more melodic pop goodness than you might imagine would be possible. But there it was, a host of catchy melodies that make up the soundtrack of your life!
Here’s what was played:
Set One: A Cappella and Just-About-A Cappella
The Housemartins | “Caravan of Love” from That’s What I Call Quite Good
Prelude | “After the Gold Rush” from After the Gold Rush
Jamie and Steve | “Blame It On Cain” from Beyond Belief: A Tribute to Elvis Costello
The Mighty Echoes | “I Think We’re Alone Now” from Love from Echo Park
Todd Rundgren | “Something to Fall Back On” from A Cappella
Set Two: Curtsy, Bow and Bow Ties
Muller and Patton | “Mary Lou” from Muller and Patton
Klaatu | “Cherie” from Sir Army Suit
The Beatles | “Piggies” from The Beatles
Set Three: New at Pure Pop Radio
Bertling Noise Laboratories | “Good Morning” from Matilda and 12 Others
The Bye Bye Blackbirds | “Let Your Hair Fall Down” (Single Track)
Jules Shear | “The Words” (Single Track)
Laurie Biagini | “Try Our Luck Today” (Single Track)
Dana Countryman | “Shari Girl, You’ll Always Be a Baby to Me” from Pop 3! Welcome to My Time Warp!
Set Four: Beatle Blast
Bonzo Dog Band | “I’m the Urban Spaceman” from Tadpoles
Set Five: More New Music at Pure Pop Radio
The New Trocaderos | “I’m So Bad” from Thrills and Chills
Tommy Lorente | “Un Certain Savoir Faire” (Single Track)
Herb Eimerman | “Believe that I Do” from Five Dimensional Man
One Like Son | “Summer Days” from Classic
Set Six: One and Done The Sonic Executive Sessions | “On and On” from Drink a Toast to Innocence
That’s the rundown on last night’s third edition of Pop Tunes. If you missed the show, you can listen again this Thursday at noon ET (9 am PT) and on Sunday at 3 pm ET (noon PT). Thanks for tuning in!
Alan Haber’s Pop Tunes is a cool deejay show playing the greatest melodic pop music from the ’60s to today. The show airs every Monday night at 9 pm ET (6 pm PT) on Pure Pop Radio, and repeats on Thursday afternoons at noon ET (9 am PT) and Sundays at 3 pm ET (noon PT). Please like us on Facebook by clicking here.
2015 is quickly shaping up to be a banner year for melodic pop music. With only a month and a few days behind us, we’ve already seen some pretty wonderful sounds coming across our desk and leaping from there onto our playlist.
Today and tomorrow, we’re bringing you the latest adds to our station: a marathon, two-day communique detailing the new (and heritage) artists and songs now playing in rotation on Pure Pop Radio.
Our playlist is now 6,200 songs strong. We’re excited to bring to you what we feel is the best of the best–the greatest melodic pop music in the universe!
Here is what’s new today. Stop back tomorrow for more.
Vegas With Randolph | “I Could Be the One” The latest from Washington, D.C.-area popsters Vegas With Randolph is a sweet slice of pure pop with a bugglegum center. Punctuated by Archies-esque electric piano and bass stabs, and a catchy melody that instantly hooks, “I Could Be the One” may well be Vegas With Randolph’s most wonderful song yet. Now playing in rotation.
The Weeklings | The Weeklings It is our great pleasure to welcome New Jersey’s most famous sons to our radio stage. Meet the Weeklings, everybody! The Weeklings, featuring Bob Burger and Glen Burtnik, play a retroriffic brand of Merseybeat-style pop and roll (think early Beatles) that will put a smile on your face that will no doubt stretch from the New Jersey Turnpike to the California coast. On the musical menu is a delicious mix of period-esque originals and energy-fueled covers of songs that Lennon and McCartney gave away during those golden days of the 1960s. We are so in love with this album that we couldn’t bear to pick and choose tracks to play on the air. So we’ve added the whole lot, and they’re now playing in rotation…in glorious monophonic sound! A full review will follow. Here’s what we’ve added: “Little Tease,” “Leave Me With My Pride,” “You Know What to Do,” “One and One is Two,” “I’m In Love,” “Mona Lisa,” “Breathing Underwater,” “If I Was in Love,” “Oh! Darla,” “If You’ve Got Trouble,” and “That Means a Lot.” The CD drops at retail on March 10 (vinyl on April 7). It’s fab!
Vanilla | “Monkeypox” The award for the funniest, cleverest, geniusist, creativeist and primateist song of the year so far without question goes to Jayson Jarmon and the musicians and general mirth makers behind the crazy musical creation that is “Monkeypox.” There are no words that can further describe this quirky tune that will be part of the forthcoming album 2.0, but here are some anyway: You will never get this song out of your head. You will marvel at the spot-on Brian May guitar-as-horn-section solo. And you will fall to the ground when you hear the song-ending Beatles quote. If you’re sitting, you will fall off your chair. You will also be singing along with the chorus the first time it rolls. “Hey kids,” the announcer guy intones at the start of the song, “it’s time for the Zippy the Chimp show. In tonight’s episode, Sally is feeling a bit under the weather and tells a little white lie.” And with that, you’re off and running on today’s coolest and grooviest journey. Now playing in rotation!
Tommy Lorente and La Cavalerie | Amanita Sessions French popster Tommy Lorente’s live session, recorded last November, is an energetic set, sung in French, that will hit the sweet spot of every pop fan. Tommy’s great vocals and La Cavalerie’s powerful instrumental backing, and a group of fantastic, catchy songs, will thrill you note after note. We’ve added three numbers that are now playing in rotation: “Katrine,” “Demander Pardon,” and “Quelque Part.”
Tommy Lorente | Un Cruel Manque de Tendresse Tommy’s 2014 release is a captivating collection of ballads and uptempo numbers–classic pop delivered by a master. Tommy’s vocal performances are uniformly magnetic. We are thrilled to be able to add this French singer’s music to the Pure Pop Radio playlist. Now in rotation: “Ma Dose de Toi,” “Mirabelle,” the studio version of “Demander Pardon,” “Les Anges s’Envolent,” “Katrine,” “Bien Etrange,” “Patience,” and “Delirium Clemence.” Bonus: Thrill to Tommy’s exciting power pop take on the theme from the classic television show, The Prisoner!
Rachel Sage | Blue Roses Juggling pop, rock and folk influences with a deft hand, Rachel Sage delivers a mix of balladry and uptempo numbers. Her sound is not that far removed from middle period Mary Chapin Carpenter and late period folk. A ballet dancer in an earlier life, Rachel is a gifted troubadour who sings about nothing less than life itself. On these songs, she is backed by a group of all-star musicians. We’ve added seven songs to our playlist: the title track, “Barbed Wire,” “Newspaper,” “Used to Be My Girl,” “Not Leaving You,” Neil Young’s “Helpless” (featuring Judy Collins and the band, A Fragile Tomorrow) and “English Tea.” Beautiful.
Drifting Sand | Summer Splash Evolving from a duo in the early 1990s to its current four-piece configuration, surf popsters Drifting Sand ride the waves and groove to the warmth of the summer sun on their latest album. We’ve added four songs to our playlist: the lovely “Blue Water,” the totally rad instrumentals “Santa Cruz’n” and “Surf Surf Surf,” and another, gorgeous instrumental, the beautiful “Alohawaii.” Surf’s up!
Willie Wisely | Gospo Feel Songs previously lost in time and then found in 2009 were gathered together and released as Gospo Feel at the tail end of 2014. We’re spinning a taste from this typically inventive Wisely collection: the straight-ahead, trombone-infused pop-rocker “Cannot Love You Enough.” You would be wise(ly) to pick this album up without delay.
Popluxe | Popluxe 3 How to describe Popluxe? Best to go with the following verbage from the band’s website: “Described variously as an American Kinks, the Replacements playing Steely Dan, and the Gershwin Brothers writing for the New York Dolls, Populuxe draws on the last 200 years of songcraft and a musical pedigree ranging from Broadway to the broken half of a strippers’ runway in a scuzzy Northeast Minneapolis biker bar to create their heady signature sound.” That’s some doozy of a pedigree; we’ll land somewhere in the middle of it as we add two tunes from this album to the Pure Pop Radio playlist: the straight-ahead, poppy “End of the Affair” and the artful, moody mid-tempo ballad, “Requiem.”
EuroTrash | “Live Slow Die” A tip o’ the Pure Pop Radio hat goes to Tomas Dahl, who records under the band name Caddy, for hipping us to this group’s new single. Pulsing like a locomotive with super powers, “Live Slow Die” sports a catchy melody and a great chorus, not to mention lots of loud guitars. Now spinning in rotation.
Cool King Chris | Paradigm Shift We dropped the ball on announcing the adding of tracks from our pal Cool King Chris’s latest. Produced by another pal of ours, the renaissance man himself, Jamie Hoover, Paradigm Shift is chock full of great, creative tuneage, and we’ve been spinning three songs since they were released: the title track, “The Band Broke Up,” and “Stuck in a Rhyme.” All hail the King!
Cameron Joel Hawk | Dream You Forgot The Dead Girls’ Cameron Joel Hawk releases his first solo album on February 10. In advance of the release, we’re playing four terrific tracks. Lovely acoustic guitar work abounds throughout, perhaps no more so than on the sensitive ballad, “All On You,” which sounds like something that would have fit comfortably on Elton John guitarist Davey Johnstone’s 1970s solo album. “Black and Blue Bird” is a wonderful instrumental shaded by a dusting of electric guitar sprinkles. “Fire Again” is another track with terrific acoustic guitar work. These songs, plus another great one, “Messy Days,” are now playing in rotation on Pure Pop Radio. Check here on release day for this great album.
The Rip Off Artists | Esque We added songs from the Rip Off Artists’ The Intercontinental back on December 5, 2014. This album, equally as terrific, was released in 2008. Nick Pipitone and Peter Batchelder turn in another great group of melodic songs; we’re playing a half dozen of these pearls in rotation: “What Just Happened,” “The Worst News in the World,” “The Girl Behind the Bar,” “Love and Uncertainty,” “Without You, I’m Something,” and “I Thought It Over.”
Brooklyn Doran | There’s a Light On From Toronto, Canada we tune in to the sensitive folk-pop sounds of Brooklyn Doran. From her debut EP , we have chosen two songs anchored by Brooklyn’s pretty, sometimes fragile vocals: the lovely “Cold Outside” and the gorgeous ballad, “Lansdowne.” Fans of Claire Hamill will love this.
That’s it for today. What a bounty of delights! We’ve got lots more tomorrow. See you then!