A Monkey, a Horn Section, and a Temper Tantrum Walk Into a Bar…

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Spins and Reviews | 9.27.16 | by Alan Haber

Vanilla | “Don’t Lose Your Temper”
A Pure Pop Radio Exclusive Through 9/29

vanilla-dont-lose-your-temperA monkey, a horn section, and a temper tantrum waiting to happen walk into a bar… It sounds like the start of one of those stale jokes that pours through a drinking establishment where equally stale pretzels and drunken callouts for another round of on-tap fill-‘er-ups power through the late, pre-last-call hours, but it’s just another of my catchy headline hustles that set the stage for an exclusive look at the latest musical missive from Tacoma, Washington’s favorite magical, musical sons, the men of Vanilla.

“Don’t Lose Your Temper,” a propulsive, horn-fueled, fast paced, four-on-the-floor romp laced with ska stripes, punchy, Brian Setzer-y guitar runs, and a tasty, plugged-into-the-wall side of King Curtis-like saxophone madness, is the latest entry into the pot of songs that will comprise Vanilla’s next album, Mystik Nights of Takoma. It’s a dazzling doozy of a thing.

elvis-presley-scatter

Scatter and the King run lines, as actors do

And, it’s monkey-fied. Why, it’s monkey-riffic! Seems Elvis Presley, the forever king of rock ‘n’ roll, had a pet chimpanzee named Scatter, whose story is one of those you-can’t-make-this-s**t-up rock ‘n’ roll humdingers (the Animal Planet cable channel has the tale of this rather rambunctious pet, which you can read here). Jayson Jarmon’s song says “Hey!” to Scatter in an anonymous nod in the bridge. It’s all about the details, folks.

You know the point at which a situation comes to a boil right in your face, up close and perilously personal, and you feel like you’re going to blow all over the joint like Mount Vesuvius? “Don’t Lose Your Temper” is about just that sort of moment, about the very second where it’s nothing less than now or never (love you, Elvis!). It’s that very moment where you get the chance to cool down and walk away. It’s that moment of salvation that’s always the better choice. It’s your ticket to thank-God-I-didn’t-punch-that-guy-in-the-kisser, Three Stooges-style.

jayson jarmon

Jayson Jarmon

With a swinging lead vocal from Sean Gaffney, whose guitar and bass lines shine, and chorus warbling from Jayson and Gavin Guss, drum pizazz from Dana Sims, and the Cliff Colon Trio, whose piercing horns take no prisoners, “Don’t Lose Your Temper” is another feather in the cap of the Vanilla collective.

And remember, it’s monkey-riffic!
black box Now playing exclusively in rotation on Pure Pop Radio (9/27-9/29); in regular rotation 9/30 after that
black box Where to Get It:
Beginning Friday, 9/30 on Vanilla’s Bandcamp page

alan-mic-zeeAlan 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 Monkees, Nick Piunti, McPherson Grant, 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.

Listen to Pure Pop Radio on the go using your Android and iOS devices! Download Our Mobile App.

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

New Tunes for Pure Pop Radio’s Swinging New Music Dance Party | 8.5.16

dance party

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Swinging Spins and Reviews | 8.5.16 | by Alan Haber

We fold up our well-worn dance floor as our Swinging New Music Dance Party comes to a close. We hope you enjoyed all of the new music we’ve added to our playlist, all of it now spinning in rotation.

In case you missed the reviews we posted this week, you can read them all below. They’re preceded by a new review of a terrific new compilation, the Mahoney Brothers’ Rarities Vol. 1, put together with heart and soul by one of our favorite singer/songwriter/performers, Timmy Sean.

Have a great weekend, and we’ll see you back here next week, with a big Tuesday announcement you won’t want to miss!

the mahoney brothersThe Mahoney Brothers | Rarities Vol. 1
Meet Timmy Sean, one of the hardest working folks in show business, what with his duties at the heart of Sir Video, Timmy Sean and the Celebrities, and his Noisewater Records imprint. Speaking of which, this fun and tuneful compilation is just out and, what, you haven’t been acquainted with the Mahoney Brothers? Let me make some introductions: The Mahoney Brothers stars Timmy’s father and his father’s two brothers, with around 30 other members in the lineup at one time or another. They’ve been performing their Beatles tribute show since 1977; a show called Jukebox Heroes Live!, which presents tributes to a wide variety of artists including Buddy Holly, the Beach Boys and Elvis Presley, has been around since the late 1980s.

Where does Timmy fit into all of this? When he was domiciled on the east coast, he performed full time in Jukebox Heroes Live! and every so often filled in as “Ringo” in the Beatles show. When Timmy moved to the left coast, Pure Pop Radio favorite Nick Bertling settled into the drum chair for Jukebox shows, but then he moved and…

It’s a tale of first class entertainment that has now been commemorated by this Rarities Vol. 1 collection, which mixes original songs and choice covers. It’s a great way to get a solid overview of what the Mahoney Brothers do. I dig it big time, especially the fantastic cover of the Beach Boys’ “Don’t Worry Baby,” which puts deep harmony stacks in the spotlight–really, all of the vocals are peerless and the cover is lovely.

Also rocking your stereo are solid covers of a trio of Beatles tunes: “Boys,” all fierce and pounding and, thanks to a recent remix, filling the room with crystal clear thrills; “I’ll Get You,” played live in 2003 in South Bend, Indiana, oh yeah; and “Strawberry Fields Forever,” performed live in Atlantic City in 2004 to an adoring audience that gets every nuance, beautifully and lovingly performed by the Brothers. And there’s more, of course–much more and you will love it all like I do.
black box Now playing in rotation on Pure Pop Radio: “Someday,” “Boys,” “Too Late for Love,” “Strawberry Fields Forever,” “Don’t Worry Baby,” and “I’ll Get You.”
black box When and Where to Get It: Bandcamp

And now, in case you missed our other reviews of new music being added to the Pure Pop Radio playlist during this week’s exciting Swinging New Music Dance Party, here they are–19 in total, all great releases you can hear in rotation on our air and in your homes:

vanilla be not coy coverVanilla | “Be Not Coy”
A Pure Pop Radio Thursday Exclusive 
Robert Herrick, born in 1591 and never married, was a vicar and a poet whose gaze was trained, for the most part, on themes that were pastoral in nature. One of his works, a short poem entitled To the Virgins, to Make Much of Time, was partial inspiration for Jayson Jarmon’s potent song.

Herrick’s poem offers sage advice that has been passed down through the ages and is as valuable and wise today as it ever was: “Gather ye rosebuds while ye may.” Don’t let opportunity pass you by; grab the brass ring before somebody else does. Reap the rewards that life offers to you while you can.

Struck by Herrick’s words and by his meaning, and by the barrage of music industry passings this year, Jayson set about writing this song, which arrived fully formed, words and music and sentiment. “I was reflecting on all of the losses in the music business thus far this year,” he says. “A lot of the great ones have passed and every week in 2016 seems like a new wave of sad news washing up on the beach.

vanilla be not coy photo 1vanilla be not coy photo 2“So I found myself out in the desert a while back in southern California at the Joshua Tree Inn, where Gram Parsons died…decades ago.” And then, seemingly in a flash, with sadness for the fallen and inspiration afoot, “Be Not Coy” came into being, initially as an acoustic guitar take and then as a fully-formed track, fleshed out by Jayson’s band members.

The title of this song comes from a line in Herrick’s poem: “Then be not coy, but use your time…” According to the Merriam-Webster dictionary, coy can mean shy, which in this case is apropos and appropriate, for shyness, practiced at the crossroads where decisions call for brisk and brave action, hardly has any place. Or shouldn’t.

So Jayson’s song, affecting and hopeful, proffers its message while dressed in folk-poppy clothes, with Eric Robert’s Hammond B3 and Sean Gaffney’s lyrical electric guitar providing powerful accents along the way. And the seductive melody, ultimately joyous and hopeful, is a panacea for people who maybe can’t take charge of a situation and commit to gathering the rosebuds placed before them.

“Be Not Coy” provides a nice counterpoint to Vanilla’s other songs. The direction the band takes when crafting new tracks, building surprises and stylistic detours into each one, is a large part of what makes the songs so attractive. Being coy, or simply unable to embrace such artistry, never comes into the mix when listeners are presented with one of Vanilla’s new creations. This one, like all the others, and perhaps even more so than some of the others, is a joyous listening experience, and it’s playing here on Pure Pop Radio as a Thursday Exclusive, and then into the future. Be not coy…and get it for your own tomorrow.
black box Playing exclusively today on Pure Pop Radio, and tomorrow and into the future in rotation.
black box When and Where to Get It: Bandcamp

erik voeks reasons your conditionErik Voeks | “Your Condition” b/w “Reasons”
The August entry in Erik’s current run of single releases is another standout double a-side, this time pairing “Your Condition,” a Big Star (with a smattering of Rolling Stones sauce sprinkled on top) homage with “Reasons,” a pretty ballad about sealing one’s fate as far as the pearly gates are concerned (“You’ve been around this cloud one too many times/And the elevator man’s resigned”). Erik handled all the instrument playing and singing, except for the drumming and percussion thumping, which were handled expertly by Patrick Hawley. The run of hits after hits after still more hits continues.
black box Now playing on Pure Pop Radio: “Your Condition” and “Reasons”
black box Where to Get It: Bandcamp

Tthe bangleshe Bangles | Ladies and Gentlemen… The Bangles!
As it’s the heart of baseball season, I see no reason to hold back on the oft-used phrase: Omnivore Records’ collection of Bangles vault rarities from the 1980s is an explosive out-of-the-park home run. From early recordings of the group as the Bangs to demos, live tracks and other rarities, this is a Bangles fan’s early Christmas present, previously available only as a download. All killer and no filler, indeed.
black box Now playing in rotation on Pure Pop Radio: “Getting Out of Hand” (The Bangs), “Call on Me” (The Bangs), “The Real World,” “I’m in Line,” “Mary Street,” “Outside Chance,” “No Mag Commercial.”
black box Where to Get It: Amazon

champagne beach closedChampagne | Beach Closed
The follow-up to 2005’s ready, steady, go! finds Spain’s pop quartet delivering another top-flight collection of melodic gems, from the upbeat popper “Where is Barbara Ann?,” the beginning of which recalls the opening to the Wonders’ “That Thing You Do,” to the gentle ballad “Hawaii” and the upbeat, catchy “Plastic Feelings.” A fun listen.
Now playing in rotation on Pure Pop Radio: “It’s Alright,” “Where is Barbara Ann?,” “Welcome to the World,” “Plastic Feelings,” and “Hawaii.”
black box Where to Get It: Bandcamp

freeholm wilsonFreeholm Wilson | Children of June
London one-man-bander Wilson straddles the line between retro and contemporary with this debut album, a mix of upbeat and ballad numbers always stressing melody and hooks. Among the top tracks here are the powerful “Run Back to Me,” that somehow, to me, evokes the Rooftop Singers’ “Walk Right In,” and the harmonica-ized, hint-of-Americana instrumental “Shelly’s Colours.” A plethora of pleasures, to be sure.
black box Now playing in rotation on Pure Pop Radio: “Be There,” “State Lines,” “Shelly’s Colours,” “Run Back to Me,” and “Long Way Home.”
black box Where to Get It: Bandcamp

tobbe and the teenage tantrums smallTobbe and His Teenage Tantrums | “Don’t”
The Theme Music conclave on Facebook continues to provide Tobbe Petersson, Keith Klingensmith and crew with golden opportunities to record classic-sounding melodic pop songs; this sweet, very ’60s-sounding tune, written by Torbjorn “Tobbe” Petersson, sung by Keith, and played by Tobbe (guitars, keyboards, background vocals), Lee Wiggins (drums, percussion), and Teresa Cowles (bass and background vocals) is the latest. If there’s a best-kept-but-not-really-so-secret weapon in pop music, it’s got to be Tobbe. Essential, as usual.
black box Now playing in rotation on Pure Pop Radio.
black box Where to Get It: Not currently available for purchase.

dirty watertony valentino 5Tony ‘n’ the Recruiters | “Dirty Water”
The Standells’ classic “Dirty Water” sizzled into the number 11 spot on Billboard’s Hot 100 chart in July of 1966. It’s still sizzling today, this story of dirty water and curfews and women and, yes, Boston, spoken/sung/snarled by Dick Dodd over one of the great, meaty, down-and-dirty guitar riffs of all time. Guitarist Tony Valentino is still at it–still spreading the dirty gospel by playing the song live and by waxing a brand-new recording of it that sizzles like the original so a whole new generation and older fans, too, can get down and dirty with it in the context of today’s skewed world. This new version, produced by Tony and sung with pumped up passion by Steve Loizos, is lit up at a faster pace, chugging through the last measure of the chorus with a thrilling, ascending chord pattern, and it’s all to get the pressure rising, which it does and which it should. This track won’t calm anyone down, but it’s not supposed to. Take a bow, Tony; we’ll all wade through that dirty water with you anytime.
black box Now playing in rotation on Pure Pop Radio.
black box Connect with Tony Valentino on Facebook 

bent van looy pyjama daysBent Van Looy | Pyjama Days
Bent Van Looy, based in Paris, France and a member of the band Das Pop, released his first solo album, Round the Bend, produced by Jason Falkner, in 2013. This top-notch follow-up, released this past March, is a lovely collection of sweet-sounding catchy melodies sung with assured style. Every song sparkles; every song will make you smile, from the upbeat pop number “My Escape,” beautifully arranged with little Beach Boys vocal flourishes weaved in; “Mr. Fletcher’s Song,” a melodic mid-tempo ballad that wouldn’t sound out of place on a Randy Newman album, and the sumptuous title track, a three-minute genius construct, nicely orchestrated and adorned with a smile-inducing whistle. The next time a friend asks what’s new–what’s good–you can point to this artist, to this album, and tell them it’s not just good…it’s great.
black box Now playing in rotation on Pure Pop Radio: “30 Days Without Sun,” “1000 Deaths,” “Downtown Train,” “High and Dry,” “Mr. Fletcher’s Song,” “My Escape,” “Pyjama Days,” “Sink or Swim,” and “Wind is Blowing.”
black box Where to Get It: Bandcamp

drums and wires uk 2drums and wires ukDrums and Wires UK | “All the Things” and “I Should Have Known”
Ex-Squire bassist Jonathan Bicknell’s current project will be releasing, later this year, a concept album titled Ups, Downs and Merry Go Rounds,  which concerns itself with the trials and tribulations of life. Until then, we have this smashing single pairing a couple of power popping classics. Performed with gusto and infused with strong melodies and passionate playing, I’m sufficiently jazzed for the album’s arrival.
black box Now playing in rotation on Pure Pop Radio.
black box Where to Get It: iTunes

corey landis therapy dogCorey Landis | Therapy Dog
The precursor to Corey Landis and the Attacks, added to our playlist this past Wednesday, is a different beast all around, but no less vital. More of a personal approach informs these songs, three of which are now playing in rotation: the emotional waltz “Poltergeist,” the equally emotional title  track, and the punchy, quirky “Airport.” Corey Landis is one of my favorite, recent discoveries.
black box Now playing in rotation on Pure Pop Radio: “Poltergeist,” “Therapy Dog,” and “Airport.”
black box Where to Get It: Bandcamp

the del zorros yes i want youThe Del Zorros | “Yes I Want You (We’re Gonna be Married)”
Lance and Leigh Bowser’s latest is a sweet, pretty paean to love, love, love. It’s the same old story with the Del Zorros–infectious melodies, top-flight songcraft, and the ability to push the right, catchy buttons each and every time. Why, oh why, can’t these guys release a new song every day, ’cause that would suit me just fine.
black box Now playing in rotation on Pure Pop Radio.
black box Where to Get It: CD Baby

the recreationsThe Recreations | “Swing Together”
Update: My pal Scott McPherson (Tiny Volcano, Pop 4, McPherson Grant) turned me on to this amazing track, and I reviewed it in early May. I’d like to echo and expand on my earlier rave: Fronted by pop visionary Yohei, this is a vital mix of soft pop, Burt Bacharach, Jellyfish, swing and jazz that comes together as a wholly unique creation you will never forget. A true kitchen-sink production. You’ll be singing this one to yourself for a month after hearing it. From Tokyo to your waiting ears.
Now playing in rotation on Pure Pop Radio.
black box Where to Listen to It (Other than Pure Pop Radio):
Soundcloud (This song is not yet available for purchase.)

TYIFinal2Nick Piunti | “One Hit Wonder” (from the forthcoming album, Trust Your Instincts)
Michigan musician Piunti hits all the melodic marks with this catchy slice of pop perfection, a three-minute pearl of a tune pairing a sweet, catchy melody with an introspective lyric about trying to make it big in the music business. Piunti was a smart, thoughtful lyricist from the start of his career; the words that power this song’s message are among his best. “Burned out, before it began/If it was destined to be then we stuck to the plan,” he sings at the top of the tune, the second half of the couplet particularly telling and dripping with foreshadowed insight. “Over our heads, it was out of our hands, it was gone.” Yet, the song’s narrator doesn’t clue the listener in on where he is in the present tense. Did he carry on with trying to tackle the top of the chart despite his downbeat experience, or did he switch career paths? It’s all quite the cautionary tale and interesting given the upward trajectory of Piunti’s career and his acceptance by fans in the pop community. From the soon-to-be-released album Trust Your Instincts, Piunti’s third solo long player, “One Hit Wonder” is fantabulous.
black box Now playing in rotation on Pure Pop Radio.
black box Where to Get It: Trust Your Instincts is due to be released on JEM Records on September 9.

mimi bettinis music soundsMimi Betinis | Music Sounds
An incredible, vivid, quite alive offering of melodic treasures populates this glorious album, without question one of this year’s best releases. Every song is a wonderfully realized pop confection, particularly three that hit the hooky bullseye: “Say the Word,” “She Wants You,” which surreptitiously recalls the famed intro to the Ronettes’ “Be My Baby” in the intro, and “Summer Love,” a warm love letter and look back to a seasonal romance (that, perhaps unknowingly, taps the sound of 10cc member Eric Stewart’s guitar playing in the solo). A pure pop masterpiece that will spin in your orbit for years to come.
black box Now playing in rotation on Pure Pop Radio: “Corrina,” “Listen to Me Boy,” “Palm of Her Hand,” “Say the Word,” “She Wants You,” “Sound the Alarm,” “Summer Love,” and “This Girl.”
black box Where to Get It: The Pop Music Sounds Store

brandon schott revisitedBrandon Schott | (Revisited)
Another monumental release from this California wonder, whose eyes and ears are fixed on his next proper record, the follow-up to the impressive Crayons and Angels, this generous sampler aims to offer fans something to ponder while they wait for their next Schott of classic pop. They’ll be busy, to be sure; this magical mélange of outtakes, remixes, b-sides and the like contains 14 strong slices of peerless pop. The stripped-down, poppy version of “Simple Life,” a track off the Golden State album, is one such nugget; the inspired take on the Beach Boys’ “God Only Knows,” complete with tabla and sitar for a decidedly world music feel, and the amazing “Yellow Bird,” a gushingly pretty charity single from 2011 sung with and co-written by Brandon’s friend Amy Petty, also lead this impressive pack, but “Full Circle Round (Acoustic Mix #13),” a previously unheard version of a song from 13 Satellites, spotlights some particularly winsome Beach Boys harmony wizardry and garners its own huzzahs. Peerless, really.
black box Now playing in rotation on Pure Pop Radio: “Now,” “Carousel (Revisited),” “God Only Know,” “Simple Life,” “Ballad of El Goodo,” “Full Circle Round (Acoustic Mix #13),” “Delight,” “Yellow Bird,” and “Strawberry Fields Forever.”
black box Where to Get It: Bandcamp

the armoiresThe Armoires | Incidental Lightshow
Coloring their comfortably eclectic sound with aural swatches of English folk and psychedelia and American pop and rock, the Armoires hit upon a decidedly different presentation that is at once surprising and wholly absorbing. Witness the mystic wash of the folk-poppy “Wire Girl,” which, in a ghostlike manner, recalls the opening to Chicago’s “Wishing You Were Here,” the psych-fueled, engrossing rocker “Doubtful Sound,” and “Live and Direct,” a folk-rocker that shares sensibilities with the English group Ruby Blue. The band’s story is multilayered and deep (see link); the music that they make is deeply satisfying.
black box Now playing in rotation on Pure Pop Radio: “Double Blades,” “Doubtful Sound,” “Fort Ashby,” “Live and Direct,” and “Wire Girl.”
black box Where to Get It: CDBaby

the melbourne divideVarious Artists | The Melbourne Divide
A fine sampler released to commemorate a showcase for the Popboomerang record label during the Leaps and Bounds Music Festival, held July 9 at the Yarra Hotel in Abbotsford, a suburb of Melbourne, Australia. Compiled by Popboomerang’s chief Scott Thurling, one of the great champions of Australian pop music, this eight-song grouping collects nine superb songs from two guitar-pop bands from the ’90s, Oscarlima and Jericho, and an otherwise-unavailable (as of this writing) song from the Wellingtons, among other pearls. With melody at the core of these offerings, pop fans can’t go wrong with this disc, available for as little as zero dollars (see link for details).
black box Now playing in rotation on Pure Pop Radio: Oscarlima, “Penny Dreadful”; The Wellingtons, “The End of the Summer”; Bryan Estepa and the Tempe Two, “Object of My Disaffection”; Tim Reid, “Small Black Box”; Adrian Whitehead, “Spector’s Dead; and Danny McDonald, “The Melbourne Divide.”
black box Where to Get It: Bandcamp

the cherry bluestorms see no evilThe Cherry Bluestorms | “See No Evil” and “Dear Prudence”
A hard-charging pop-rocker with a great hook, driven by a strong drum track and Deborah Gee’s Chrissie Hynde-timbered  vocal, pairs up with a moody, psych-infused version of the Beatles’ “Dear Prudence” on a vinyl single that offers up a download card and a skewed Beatles A Hard Day’s Night/Brady Bunch-styled picture sleeve. Essential.
black box Now playing in rotation on Pure Pop Radio.
black box Where to Get It: The Cherry Bluestorms’ website.

VistavieChardRy | “Les Femmes Sont Courbes” and “Vis Ta Vie”
French singer ChardRy, also known as Richard Verlan, delivers a delicate, orchestrated ballad (“Les Femmes Sont Courbes”) and a catchy, medium-tempo pop song (“Vis Ta Vie”) to great effect, both perfect for the wide-ranging playlist brought to you 24 hours a day by Pure Pop Radio.
black box Now playing in rotation on Pure Pop Radio.
black box Connect with ChardRy on Facebook

alan-mic-zeeAlan 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 Monkees, the Posies, McPherson Grant, 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.

Listen to Pure Pop Radio on the go using your Android and iOS devices! Download Our Mobile App.

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

New Tunes for Pure Pop Radio’s Swinging New Music Dance Party | 8.4.16

dance party

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We’ve applied an extra coat of protective dancing fever polish to our dance floor since I was in touch on Tuesday; we’re ready to go with another round of new artists and music added to the Pure Pop Radio playlist during our Swinging New Music Dance Party! Our dancers (including, we hope, you) are ready to shake this virtual building to its foundation, so here we go!

Swinging Spins and Reviews | 8.4.16 | by Alan Haber

vanilla be not coy coverVanilla | “Be Not Coy”
A Pure Pop Radio Thursday Exclusive 
Robert Herrick, born in 1591 and never married, was a vicar and a poet whose gaze was trained, for the most part, on themes that were pastoral in nature. One of his works, a short poem entitled To the Virgins, to Make Much of Time, was partial inspiration for Jayson Jarmon’s potent song.

Herrick’s poem offers sage advice that has been passed down through the ages and is as valuable and wise today as it ever was: “Gather ye rosebuds while ye may.” Don’t let opportunity pass you by; grab the brass ring before somebody else does. Reap the rewards that life offers to you while you can.

Struck by Herrick’s words and by his meaning, and by the barrage of music industry passings this year, Jayson set about writing this song, which arrived fully formed, words and music and sentiment. “I was reflecting on all of the losses in the music business thus far this year,” he says. “A lot of the great ones have passed and every week in 2016 seems like a new wave of sad news washing up on the beach.

vanilla be not coy photo 1vanilla be not coy photo 2“So I found myself out in the desert a while back in southern California at the Joshua Tree Inn, where Gram Parsons died…decades ago.” And then, seemingly in a flash, with sadness for the fallen and inspiration afoot, “Be Not Coy” came into being, initially as an acoustic guitar take and then as a fully-formed track, fleshed out by Jayson’s band members.

The title of this song comes from a line in Herrick’s poem: “Then be not coy, but use your time…” According to the Merriam-Webster dictionary, coy can mean shy, which in this case is apropos and appropriate, for shyness, practiced at the crossroads where decisions call for brisk and brave action, hardly has any place. Or shouldn’t.

So Jayson’s song, affecting and hopeful, proffers its message while dressed in folk-poppy clothes, with Eric Robert’s Hammond B3 and Sean Gaffney’s lyrical electric guitar providing powerful accents along the way. And the seductive melody, ultimately joyous and hopeful, is a panacea for people who maybe can’t take charge of a situation and commit to gathering the rosebuds placed before them.

“Be Not Coy” provides a nice counterpoint to Vanilla’s other songs. The direction the band takes when crafting new tracks, building surprises and stylistic detours into each one, is a large part of what makes the songs so attractive. Being coy, or simply unable to embrace such artistry, never comes into the mix when listeners are presented with one of Vanilla’s new creations. This one, like all the others, and perhaps even more so than some of the others, is a joyous listening experience, and it’s playing here on Pure Pop Radio as a Thursday Exclusive, and then into the future. Be not coy…and get it for your own tomorrow.
black box Playing exclusively today on Pure Pop Radio, and tomorrow and into the future in rotation.
black box When and Where to Get It: Tomorrow, on Bandcamp

erik voeks reasons your conditionErik Voeks | “Your Condition” b/w “Reasons”
The August entry in Erik’s current run of single releases is another standout double a-side, this time pairing “Your Condition,” a Big Star (with a smattering of Rolling Stones sauce sprinkled on top) homage with “Reasons,” a pretty ballad about sealing one’s fate as far as the pearly gates are concerned (“You’ve been around this cloud one too many times/And the elevator man’s resigned”). Erik handled all the instrument playing and singing, except for the drumming and percussion thumping, which were handled expertly by Patrick Hawley. The run of hits after hits after still more hits continues.
black box Now playing on Pure Pop Radio: “Your Condition” and “Reasons”
black box Where to Get It: Bandcamp

Tthe bangleshe Bangles | Ladies and Gentlemen… The Bangles!
As it’s the heart of baseball season, I see no reason to hold back on the oft-used phrase: Omnivore Records’ collection of Bangles vault rarities from the 1980s is an explosive out-of-the-park home run. From early recordings of the group as the Bangs to demos, live tracks and other rarities, this is a Bangles fan’s early Christmas present, previously available only as a download. All killer and no filler, indeed.
black box Now playing in rotation on Pure Pop Radio: “Getting Out of Hand” (The Bangs), “Call on Me” (The Bangs), “The Real World,” “I’m in Line,” “Mary Street,” “Outside Chance,” “No Mag Commercial.”
black box Where to Get It: Amazon

champagne beach closedChampagne | Beach Closed
The follow-up to 2005’s ready, steady, go! finds Spain’s pop quartet delivering another top-flight collection of melodic gems, from the upbeat popper “Where is Barbara Ann?,” the beginning of which recalls the opening to the Wonders’ “That Thing You Do,” to the gentle ballad “Hawaii” and the upbeat, catchy “Plastic Feelings.” A fun listen.
Now playing in rotation on Pure Pop Radio: “It’s Alright,” “Where is Barbara Ann?,” “Welcome to the World,” “Plastic Feelings,” and “Hawaii.”
black box Where to Get It: Bandcamp

freeholm wilsonFreeholm Wilson | Children of June
London one-man-bander Wilson straddles the line between retro and contemporary with this debut album, a mix of upbeat and ballad numbers always stressing melody and hooks. Among the top tracks here are the powerful “Run Back to Me,” that somehow, to me, evokes the Rooftop Singers’ “Walk Right In,” and the harmonica-ized, hint-of-Americana instrumental “Shelly’s Colours.” A plethora of pleasures, to be sure.
black box Now playing in rotation on Pure Pop Radio: “Be There,” “State Lines,” “Shelly’s Colours,” “Run Back to Me,” and “Long Way Home.”
black box Where to Get It: Bandcamp

tobbe and the teenage tantrums smallTobbe and His Teenage Tantrums | “Don’t”
The Theme Music conclave on Facebook continues to provide Tobbe Petersson, Keith Klingensmith and crew with golden opportunities to record classic-sounding melodic pop songs; this sweet, very ’60s-sounding tune, written by Torbjorn “Tobbe” Petersson, sung by Keith, and played by Tobbe (guitars, keyboards, background vocals), Lee Wiggins (drums, percussion), and Teresa Cowles (bass and background vocals) is the latest. If there’s a best-kept-but-not-really-so-secret weapon in pop music, it’s got to be Tobbe. Essential, as usual.
black box Now playing in rotation on Pure Pop Radio.
black box Where to Get It: Not currently available for purchase.

alan-mic-zeeAlan 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 Monkees, the Posies, McPherson Grant, 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.

Listen to Pure Pop Radio on the go using your Android and iOS devices! Download Our Mobile App.

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

New on Pure Pop Radio 7.8.16

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Spins and Reviews | July 8, 2016 | by Alan Haber

Melodic pop shines in today’s listing…

vanilla - sweet shopVanilla | “Sweet Shop” Gather round, kids, for another game of guess what Jayson’s on about, dressed up this time in catchy minor-to-major-key-and-back-again Beatlesque romping clothes adorned with backward cymbal; strangled, wah-wah-dipped lead guitar, and a “Hey Jude”-type playout that encourages head swaying to and fro. And listening to the lyrics.

As written by Mr. Jarmon and Tube Top’s Gavin Guss, who trade lead vocals like heavy-hitter baseball cards under the hot, sweaty summer sun, “Sweet Shop” is about, well, the pull and wrongful acceptance of addiction on the part of people who just don’t get it. Imagine, as the lyrics do, the Sheik of Araby exuding heightened sensitivity while he shops to fulfill his needs, or euphoria experienced as high-toned “fireworks” explode above.

In the song, Jayson and Gavin give the addicted some advice–an out, of sorts: “One day your tooth decay is gonna keep you up all night/‘Til the morning comes and finds you craving more,” they sing, but it’s advice easier said than followed by those for whom said advice is intended.

The good thing about this vivid, clever, really incredible creation, out today, that will be part of Vanilla’s upcoming Mystik Nights of Takoma album is that you can bop to the beat of this sweet musical pop treat as you take in the words Jayson and Gavin have written and see beyond the surface. This is a spectacular song. And now, on to the next number…
black box Now playing in rotation on Pure Pop Radio.

erik voeks greyErik Voeks | “Grey Rain Town” and “Delivering Rocks” Two more entries in the ongoing monthly pour of a- and b-sides from this heritage popster, pairing a dense, surprising, supremely satisfying mini-suite (“Grey Rain Town”) with an easygoing, beguiling pop song blessed with an infectious melody (“Delivering Rocks”). Top-notch.
black box Now playing in rotation on Pure Pop Radio.

the junipers red bouquet fairThe Junipers | Red Bouquet Fair Summer’s all the sweeter with this charming collection from the Leicester, United Kingdom band in the mix. Recalling the sweet sunshine pop sound of the 1960s and 1970s in such lovely songs as “Summer Queen” and “Like a Merry-Go-Round,” Red Bouquet Fair is no less than the audio equivalent of smiling at your good fortune on a warm day in the park while sipping cool lemonade. The vocals are enchanting and the instrumentation is perfectly played.
black box Now playing in rotation on Pure Pop Radio: “Follow Loretta,” “Esmeranda,” “Here Come the Winds,” “Like a Merry-Go-Round,” “Summer Queen,” “Say Goodbye,” and “The Old Man Mini Suite.”

peter lacey new way lanePeter Lacey | New Way Lane Long loved for celebrating, within his songs, the sound of Brian Wilson, Lacey’s latest is a general celebration of the joys of pure melodic pop music. “Old Fashioned Cafe” is a celebration of old-fashioned pleasures, a ukelele-fueled look back. “Better Make Tracks,” a lively number, is gleefully rooted in the sound of the ’90s (except for the equally gleeful, nearly a cappella bridge). Extra points for intoning the name of the Portastudio recorder. Single “Jonny and the Aspirations,” a soulful rocker story song, may be the best, most dynamic recording Peter has done to date. Another hit and pick-to-click for this British wonder.
black box Now playing in rotation on Pure Pop Radio: “Bella Donna,” “So Long Brother Jon,” “Old Fashioned Cafe,” “Better Make Tracks,” “Star in Your Own Show,” “New Way Lane,” “Laundro Matt,” and “Jonny and the Aspirations.”

More new music reviews coming next week!

Listen to Pure Pop Radio on the go using your Android and iOS devices! Download Our Mobile App.

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

We’ve Got Winners! Vanilla’s Latest Smash Hit Goes to…

vanilla on a night like thiswinner…David Hanson, Coke Belda, Mark Cunningham, John Borack, and Harold Oxborough. So we not only have one winner, we have five of them!

Congratulations to you and you and you and you and you too! You will each receive Vanilla’s “On a Night Like This” forthwith. And thanks to all who entered the contest!

More cool contests that will capture your imaginations are coming soon. Stay tuned!

alan-mic-zeeAlan 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 Monkees, the Posies, McPherson Grant, 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.

Listen to Pure Pop Radio on the go using your Android and iOS devices! Download Our Mobile App.

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

Win Vanilla’s Latest Pop Smash!

winWe’ve lately been firmly set in contest mode; our latest giveaway finds five downloads of Vanilla’s catchy song, “On a Night Like This,” ready to be won by some of our lucky listeners and website visitors.

vanilla mystik nights of tacoma“On a Night Like This,” a song we here at Pure Pop Radio are very excited about and love so much, is from the mystikally titled Mystik Nights of Takoma, Vanilla’s next album. Once again, Jayson Jarmon’s ace outfit is releasing one song a month on the way toward completing the collection.

vanilla on a night like thisThe bouncy and mega-catchy “On a Night Like This,” a typically wonderful Vanilla number that we love, about a guy whose words can’t be trusted when the bubbly is flowing his way, is sung with smooth pop finesse by Tube Top’s Gavin Guss, who is ably supported by Jayson, who wrote the song and slings a sweet acoustic guitar and nifty solos over his shoulder; Sean Gaffney, who plays electric guitars, bass, and sings backing vocals; Dana Sims, who mans the drums; and Eric Robert, who makes the Hammond B3 sing. What a melody! What a song!

A download of “On a Night Like This” can be won by five lucky folks. Simply fill in the form below and send it our merry way. The contest ends this Friday, June 17 at 5 pm ET. You can only enter once. Be sure to type “Vanilla” in the Comment box, and don’t forget to include your email address. Good luck! Pure Pop Radio loves to give away pop stuff!

alan-mic-zeeAlan 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 Monkees, the Posies, McPherson Grant, 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.

Listen to Pure Pop Radio on the go using your Android and iOS devices! Download Our Mobile App.

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

Looking for New Music? You’ve Come to the Right Place!

alan-mic-zWe’ve said it before and we’ll say it again: Our most favorite thing in the world is to take receipt of music from both new and heritage melodic pop artists, spin it, and add it to our ever-growing playlist. Every day is akin to unwrapping presents; the treasures contained within these virtual packages are sweet gifts that we’re thrilled to be able to pass on to you.

Here are five of the latest groovy additions to our playlist, now playing in rotation (more new adds posts coming next week):

vanilla on a night like thisVanilla | “On a Night Like This” Jayson Jarmon’s ace outfit is once again releasing one song a month on the way toward completing their next album, this time around mystically titled Mystik Nights of Takoma, a moniker that conjures up images of a bunch of lodge brothers and their bartenders, all decked out in bright red smocks and fezzes, gathered around a glowing, weathered oak table late into the night, imbibing and chewing the fat and bottomless tubs of Turkish Taffy until last call or the inevitable call home that starts with “Um, can I get a ride?”

vanilla mystik nights of tacomaBut first things first. The bouncy “On a Night Like This,” a typically catchy Vanilla number about a guy whose words can’t be trusted when the bubbly is flowing his way, is sung with smooth pop finesse by Tube Top’s Gavin Guss, who is ably supported by Jayson, who wrote the song and slings a sweet acoustic guitar and nifty solos over his shoulder; Sean Gaffney, who plays electric guitars, bass, and sings backing vocals; Dana Sims, who mans the drums; and Eric Robert, who makes the Hammond B3 sing. What a melody! What a song!

Our love for Jayson’s writing and Vanilla-esque execution knows no bounds, so we’re confident that, even if Mystik Knights of Takoma doesn’t contain a sequel to the much-loved “Monkeypox!,” which has been adopted as the Pure Pop Radio clubhouse’s call-to-arms Kumbaya song, it will rank high in esteem whichever way the wind blows.

Stay tuned for a special Vanilla contest coming next week to this space. In the meantime, don’t listen to this superb number without your fez on, oh no!

stepford knivesStepford Knives | “I Don’t Want Her (Anymore)” Jamie Hoover’s latest project, with Otis Hughes, is the wonderfully-named Stepford Knives, which may or may not call to mind an image of sharp tools exhibiting zero emotion that still manage to live on the cutting edge. These Stepford Knives, however, are full of emotion and pop goodness, delivering a powerful take on a great song from the late David Enloe, guitarist for the Woods.

This insanely catchy, hook-filled song explodes with fireworks-powered percussion, lots of gutsy guitars, a strong melody, and in-your-face vocals. Mastered to impress (and boy does it!) by Dave Harris, the song’s quite-alive psychedelic light show-powered video, created by Phillip D’Angelo, is an essential component of the complete Stepford Knives package (see it here).

Bravo, Messrs. Hoover and Hughes, and don’t let too many days flutter away before your next wonderful creation hits our ears!

erik voeks 6-1 singleErik Voeks | “Being in Love With You” and “She Was Doomed” Just released and already reaching top-flight status here at Pure Pop Radio, this classic-sounding one-two pop punch continues Erik’s run of great new songs. “Being in Love With You,” about a relationship at odds with itself, starts out as a tender  ballad and quickly becomes a power pop number with teeth, and a great, hooky melody.

“She Was Doomed” is an uptempo raver powered by another great melody; guitars, guitars, guitars; delicious vocal harmonies, and a pounding drum turn.  Co-producer Patrick Hawley played the drums and percussion, and Cameron Hawk sang background vocals on “Being in Love With You.” Credit Erik with everything else. Another terrific release from one of Pure Pop Radio’s favorite artists.

kenny herbert woodstockKenny Herbert | “3 Days of Summer (Woodstock ’69)” Hot on the heels of the release of his wonderful new album, the romantic song cycle Forever and Beyond, Kenny Herbert returns with a rocking, sentimental look at the magic of Woodstock. Cleverly inserting Crosby, Stills and Nash harmony bits that also echo Stephen Stills’ “Love the One You’re With” amidst the lyrical look back at a very different and well-remembered time, Kenny sings about the historic festival and the devoted music fans who endured three days of mud and rain and peace and harmony and came together as one.

“They danced to all their heroes, making rock ‘n’ roll history,” Kenny sings with heartfelt emotion. Guitarist Rab Howat, bassist Roy Martin, and drummer Martin Wykes bash out this terrific tune; Rab and Nobby Clark sing the backgrounds. David Valentine, from the band RAF, produced to great effect. A wonderful song from one of our favorite music men.

the monkees good timesThe Monkees | Good Times! We just reviewed this fantastic release by Micky, Mike, Davy and Peter (read Alan’s take here). We’re now playing all of the tracks on this glorious album in rotation: “Birth of an Accidental Hipster,” “Good Times,” “Gotta Give it Time,” “I Know What I Know,” “I Was There (And I’m Told I Had a Good Time),” “Wasn’t Born to Follow,” “Little Girl,” “Love to Love,” “Me and Magdalena,” “Our Own World,” “She Makes Me Laugh,” “Whatever’s Right,” “You Bring the Summer,” and two bonus songs available as part of the iTunes version of this album: “Terrifying” and “Me and Magdalena (Version 2).” Absolutely wonderful.

alan-mic-zeeAlan 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 Monkees, the Posies, McPherson Grant, 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.

Listen to Pure Pop Radio on the go using your Android and iOS devices! Download Our Mobile App.

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