Reviews: 6.13.19: David Brookings and Willie Wisely Fill Our Hearts With Song

By Alan Haber – Pure Pop Radio

David Brookings and the Average Lookings
Scorpio Monologue (2019)

After the credits roll at the end of the making-of video for this album, David Brookings turns to his guitar player, Patrick Yoho, and fans a deck of playing cards.

“Pick a card, any card. Don’t let me see it,” David says. Pointing to the deck in his hand, he tells Patrick to “Put it face down right here. Don’t let me see it. Right on top.” The card returned to the deck, David taps it, waves his hand over it, and in a move that echoes those of famous magicians through the ages, scratches it. He turns the card over and asks Patrick if it’s the one he chose. “Is this your card?,” David asks. Patrick nods in the affirmative. “It is,” David confirms, the room laughing and his voice smiling, as if that’s a thing.

It’s the details that matter, in other words. Also, have fun creating your art. And the art, this collection of catchy pop-rock songs called Scorpio Monologue, Brookings’ eighth release in 19 years, is all about the details that get tended to as songs are written and brought to the band; parts are worked out by each of the players, and the artist and his co-producer and engineer, Don Budd, shape it all into minutes-long symphonies of careful, musical expression that listeners absolutely dig.

It’s the details that matter; if Brookings and his cohorts get them right, and for each of the baker’s dozen tracks on Scorpio Monologue they most certainly do, the result is entertainment of the highest order which, in the hands of Brookings and his Average Lookings, is a trick that pays off handsomely with untold dividends.

Scorpio Monologue–11 originals and two covers–announces itself as a force to be reckoned with as the jangly and propulsive opener, “And It Feels Like…” begins to play. The song, about always striving to succeed amidst the chaos around you, safe in the arms of the one you love (“Go for the dream where you’re in the meadow / Something about you always calms me down”) is but one of many of the top-flight songs on offer.

“I Grow Up Fast” is an uptempo, poppy, jangly number about going after what you want in life, having learned from what you experienced in your youth (“And I played the field / And finally settled down”). “Rainbow Baby,” a gentle mid-tempo pop song, is about how much the new Brookings baby is a gift to his family (“Personality turned up to a hundred / Like your sister and your mom before you / When I see you smile it’s a look of wonder / How’d we get so lucky that we got you”). Brookings’ family makes cameo appearances during the song; baby Brady charmingly giggles during the close.

The upbeat, countryish “Silicon Valley” is a fun song about the quirkiness of the area (after a seven-year stint as a tour guide at Sun Studios in Memphis, Tennessee and giving a tour to Apple’s Steve Jobs, Brookings relocated to San Jose in 2009 to work for the tech giant). The blazing Chuck Berry-esque “She’s Mad at Me Again” is another top highlight about a guy who frequently does the wrong thing (“I did it different than I meant to do / But don’t defend me or she’ll get mad at you / She’s mad at me again”). The rocking guitar, plucked right out of the sounds-like-Dave-Edmunds playbook is a lot-of-fun highlight.

Scorpio Monologue, Brookings’ second album fronting the Average Lookings, is another in a long line of meticulously crafted collections from one of pop-rock’s top indie artists. Don’t miss it.

Where to Get It: Kool Kat Musik, Amazon, iTunes

Willie Wisely | “Fall Inside Your Eyes” (2019)

A lovely, reverent cover of a song from Jackie Lomax’s March, 1969 debut album on Apple Records, “Fall Inside Your Eyes” is all about the feeling and effect of attraction.

In the booklet that accompanied the 2010 reissue of Lomax’s Is this what you want?, Jackie says that “Fall Inside Your Eyes” “…is about a psychic connection between two people that doesn’t need words.” And, in fact, the lyrics carry that idea: “I know I can’t explain just why I feel this way / But just one look from you and there’s nothing I can do.”

Lomax’s song floats atop a seductive melody and affecting lyrics. His original track, produced by George Harrison, features an electric piano in the mix; Wisely underlines his ace arrangement with tender pedal steel guitar played by Eric Heywood, and elevates the track with an equally tender harmonica solo. Wisely plays that solo and the guitars; John Fields, who produced with Wisely, plays bass and drums.

“Fall Inside Your Eyes” features on Wisely’s upcoming, much-anticipated new album, Face the Sun, due on August 2.

Where to Get It: Amazon, iTunes

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Alan Haber’s Pure Pop Radio is the premiere website covering the melodic pop scene with in-depth reviews of new and reissued recordings, and a wide variety of features. We’ve been around since the first weekly Pure Pop Radio shows, which began broadcasting in 1995, and the 24-hour Pure Pop Radio station, which ended last August.

Welcome to your number one home for coverage of the greatest melodic pop music in the universe from the ’60s to today.

We’re Playing It Cool! Guess What’s Now Spinning and Brand-New at Pure Pop Radio!

purepoplogoThis is our busy season–well, they’re all busy in one way or another, but it’s that time of the year, what with summer just about over and done and fall just a step ahead. Perhaps fruitful is a better word than busy; the air is ripe with good sounds coming in almost daily to the spacious Pure Pop Radio headquarters. These sounds, catchy and all decked out in just the right aural bling, are being created across the country and across the oceans by the best practitioners of melodic pop music.

Song for song, we can’t remember a better year for melodic pop in just about all of the years we’ve been behind the microphones and nestled comfortably in front of our computers (cold, non-alcoholic beverage always at hand). Today’s crop of new and new-to-you music, now playing in rotation, is just a punch of the arrow-down button away. We’ll have many more adds to the playlist to share with you next week; here are four to savor now:

kurt baker play it coolKurt Baker | Play It Cool It’s frankly hard to imagine this consistently home-run-hitting artist playing it any other way. Kurt’s latest collection makes its play for being one of this year’s best releases by delivering a strong set of pop-rockers, one after the other, while proving he’s not only on form but ahead of the curve. From the rock ‘n’ roll swagger and pop punch of “I Can’t Wait” and the melody-infused “Back for Good” to the zippy power of “Just a Little Bit” and the seventies DNA that fuels the title cut, Play It Cool delivers the goods. Kurt’s voice is as powerful as ever, and the production by the always-sharp Wyatt Funderburk (who shares co-writing credit with the artist) makes these songs explode from the speakers. We’re playing everything just mentioned, plus “Enough’s Enough,” “Monday Night,” and “Talk is Talk.” Another winner, as if there were any doubt.

the bellfuriesThe Bellfuries | Workingman’s Bellfuries Their third long player finds this Texas-based band rolling out a mix of songs steeped in all the right influences–echoes of Roy Orbison, the Everly Brothers, early rock ‘n’ roll, and rockabilly collide with passion and heart and top-notch musicianship for a great listening experience. Certainly there is a strong Orbison and Everlys influence in the passionate “An Illusion Believed,” and the Everlys touch is evident in the rocking and rolling “Beaumont Blues.” Even the Beatles get the rockabilly treatment in a spirited rendition of “She’s a Woman.” And “Make the Mystery No More” opens with the ghost of “Be My Baby” as the familiar drum part gives way to another classic sounding tune. We’re playing all of the songs from this great album in rotation–the above-mentioned numbers, and “Loving Arms,” “Bad Seed Sown,” “Why Do You Haunt Me,” “Letter to My Maybe Baby,” “Just Remembering,” “Under the Light of the Moon,” and “Baltimore.” Great stuff that sounds great on the air.

my little brothermylittlebrother | We’re All Gonna Die! Well, yeah, but what are we going to do until then? It’s what we’re going to do for ourselves, as the title song points out: We’ve got to make our time count and live! The happy, peppy Beatle-esque number, with a very Klaatu-styled ending, is sort of a call to arms and the centerpiece of this terrific EP. The lovely, country-tinged, old-style ballad “Obvious” uses pedal steel lines to enhance the gorgeous melody. “Steve,” a kind of soft-shoe show tune of a song, is another highlight; “Ghost Trains” is an enticing toe-tapper with appropriately ghost-like, choral background vocals. We’re playing all four of these songs in rotation, and hoping the next release from this band is a full-length. Good job.

kids of the earth

michael ryther

Michael Ryther

Michael Ryther | Kids of the Earth: Songs for the Green Generation Question: When is an album for kids also an album for adults? Answer: When both groups can benefit from that album’s message. Elementary school teacher and musician Michael Ryther co-wrote an album’s worth of songs about keeping the planet green and alive with Pure Pop Radio favorite Willie Wisely. And so the story begins.

“I was looking for a producer and knew from the moment I heard a few bars of his pop rock masterpiece Go that I had to find a way to work with him,” says Ryther. “My friend, singer/songwriter/guitarist Ali Handal introduced us and Willie took to the material immediately. He and I had so much fun collaborating and our songwriting sensibilities were similar.” Michael and Willie wrote most of the songs together; Willie produced and arranged.

The album’s press materials classify these songs as “eco-conscious children’s music,” to which we would add “for kids and kids at heart,” which means all of us, short and tall and so in love with our planet that we want to find ways to help it thrive for all eternity. That these 14 songs are poppy, power poppy and catchy as catchy can be is a big bonus, and the reason we’ve added six songs to our playlist, all of which are now playing in rotation.

“Put It In the Compost” is like an early Beatles number put into eco-conscious service. “I Love the Dirt” is a singalong-y, poppy slice of rock ‘n’ roll with a great melody and, like all of these songs, built from a vital foundation. The song implores us to “…get down on our hands and knees, and wiggle around like centipedes and sing I love the dirt.” Perhaps the strongest notion offered on this album is contained within the beautiful ballad, “In This Together.” Michael sings: “Every single action can start a chain reaction, so choose which path to take with extra care.”

Pop fans will relish Willie’s musicianship; he plays a lot of instruments on these recordings. Among the guest musicians are bassist John Fields, and Probyn Gregory, who plays horns on “In This Together”. We love this album, and we think you will too.

Be with us next week for more new and new-to-you music that’s been added to the Pure Pop Radio playlist. Why not tune in now, while you’re at work or doing errands or just taking in another beautiful day on planet Earth?

Alan Hpurepoplogoaber’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.

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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

More New Music Is In the Spotlight Today: It’s Day Three of Pure Pop Radio’s New Music Explosion!

wow-3Welcome to day three of Pure Pop Radio’s New Music Explosion! We hope you’ve been enjoying the new songs and artists we’ve been adding this week to our playlist. It’s time to unveil another list of newly added treasures now spinning in rotation. Without further ado, let’s see what’s in store today! We know you’re going to say…”Wow!”

the-jangle-bandThe Jangle Band | “Kill the Lovers” and “This Soul is Not For Sale” They were initially called the Jangle Brothers and were formed to play a couple of gigs this past April in Perth, Australia. That was supposed to be the long and the short of it. And then, fate intervened: the Jangle Brothers suddenly became the Jangle Band, a jangly and poppy and bright and shiny and catchy real live thing, with not one but two sets of members spread across both sides of Australia. It’s a story, alright, which we can get around to at a later date. For now, though, all you need to know is the debut single from the band, coupling a pair of tracks with a whole lot of jangle on their minds, is nothing less than the two greatest Byrds songs the Byrds never wrote or performed. Plus, it is one of the top releases of this year. Pure Pop Radio favorite Joe Algeri is one of the janglers present; you probably need not know more than that. Both songs are now playing in rotation. In a word…well, a made-up word: jangle-riffic. Killer.

zombie-garden-clubZombie Garden Club | Zombie Garden Club Surprise! It’s another heavy hitting slab of genius rock ‘n’ pop ‘n’ roll from Bongo Boy Records–another killer, in-your-face, slamming, aching, take-no-prisoners kind of album full of vim, vigor, vitamins and God knows what else. And speaking of “what else”… holy cow…this is something else…entirely something else and fresh and free and you’d better get out of the way, kids, if you know what’s good for you! Chief Clubber Johnny Douglas, from Canada and now making musical hay in Nashville, is a breath of cool, fresh air on an album sporting dynamically sounding tracks embodying different styles that thrill, many of which have been used on television shows like Showtime’s Shameless. There’s gold in these hills, folks. We’re spinning six cool numbers as a sneak preview of the upcoming release, including the jazz-pop of “Diamond Daze,” “Call It Love,” “One Step, Two Steps, Three Steps Gone,” “Boom,” “Hey Little School Girl,” and the lovely, anthemic “Calling Andromeda.” Killer diller.

gary-frenayGary Frenay | File Under Pop Vocal The award for Truest Album Title of 2015 goes, without hesitation, to the Flashcubes’ Gary Frenay, whose solo collection of ultra-catchy pop songs is one of the pure pop delights of the year. Nothing less than a master class in melody and hooks, the album features famous guests playing along, from Gary’s son, Nick, and Maura and Pete Kennedy to Marshall Crenshaw and Flashcubes Arty Lenin and Tommy Allen, who also produced and mixed. From the opener, a made-for-radio, should-be-zooming-up-the-charts-with-a-bullet charmer, “Blue Topaz,” to “Luckiest Man,” a gorgeous love song that will melt your heart, this is the kind of album that melodic pop music fans will cherish. We’re playing eight songs in rotation, all top-notch numbers: the previously mentioned tracks, and “Forgot How Good Love Feels,” “Our Eyes Have Voices,” “It’s Like Heaven” (all Beach Boys-y, with George Harrison-esque slide guitar–a Brian Wilson co-write), “We Could Be Brothers,” “You’re Only Hurting Yourself,” and “Everything But Love.” The answer to the question, “Do you have any albums that will demonstrate what it is you love about pop music?”, is “Gary Frenay’s File Under Pop Vocal.

luzer-come-on-mandy-epLuzer | luzer-resetCome On Mandy EP, Fake Ass Rock Star EP, Greatest Hits, and Reset If Pure Pop Radio had an all-star team, Timmy Sean would be head something-or-other. He’d be right there on the front lines, for sure. Timmy’s current project, Songs of the Week, offers up a new recording of a past release of his or a new song, even. Studio and live. Before Songs of the Week, there was Timmy’s solo career and, before that, the band Luzer. Luzer’s music is somewhat harder edged than Timmy’s current output, but no less tuneful or wonderful. We’ve cherry-picked some choice nuggets from Luzer’s catalog, all of which are now spinning in rotation. From the Come On Mandy EP, we’re playing the title track (which appeared in a different version back in January as part of the Songs of the Week project) and the poppy, upbeat “Give Me a Sign.” From the Fake Ass Rock Star EP: the synth-soaked popper “Send Me a Photograph” and the not-quite-a-power-ballad “Eighteen.” We’re playing the acoustic ballad “In the End (The Acoustic Song)” from Greatest Hits. And from Reset, we’re playing the rocking popper “I Want You to Know,” the upbeat pop song “When She Cries,” and “Hey Jodie,” revived for the Songs of the Week project. Pure Pop Radio, we guess, is the official Timmy Sean radio station, and we wouldn’t have it any other way.

willie-wisely-cassettarcanaWillie Wisely | Cassettarcana Comprising four-track recordings made from 1982 onwards, Cassettarcana is a must-have for Wisely aficionados, a group of like-minded folks we are absolutely comfortable hobnobbing about with. We’re spinning four wonderful tracks: “Real,” the cowboy-folk-blueser “Glued for Breakin’,” “Mule,” and “Two Charcoal Hearts,” a great song that appeared on Willie’s 1997 album, Turbosherbert. Simply wonderful.

finchey-murmurationsFinchey | Murmurations Robbie Burley is a little bit folk, a singer-songwriter, a popster–one of those guys who stirs the influences pot and comes out with a finely-tuned mix that purposefully reflects his own musical outlook. Producer Dave Ody (Mothboxer) gets the best out of Burley, who’s already got the goods, you should know. Performed with gusto by Burley, Ody and Pat Davidson, the songs on Murmurations are catchy nuggets, carefully constructed and quite simply fantastic. We’re playing, in rotation, seven songs from this album: the toe-tapper “Devil Put a Spell on You,” and “She Loves Me,” “Must Have Been an Omen,” “Snowed Last Night,” “Warrior,” “Eyes Closed,” and “Red Robin,” the last of which is a mighty pretty number, with gorgeous background vocals and majestic atmosphere. Quite grand, all of it.

strangely-alright-i-see-the-sunStrangely Alright | “I See the Sun” We were first hipped to the music of Regan Lane back in 2004, when we got hold of his solo album, ICU in Dandylions. These days, Regan is behind the group Strangely Alright; we’ve been playing tracks from their album, The Time Machine is Broken; their new song is a marathon pop-rock-gospel number, immensely catchy and fine as fine can be. “I See the Sun” is now playing in rotation.

tommy-sistak-2Tommy Sistak | “You Can Have Your Way With Me” In the same groovy pure pop/sixties/seventies/Merseybeat/catchy-as-all-get-out bag as the songs we’re playing from Tommy’s Short Songs album, “You Can Have Your Way With Me” is instantly memorable…one of those songs you’ll not be surprised to be  singing to yourself at three o’clock in the morning. Now playing in rotation, naturally.

*     *     *     *     *

That’s a wrap on day three of Pure Pop Radio’s New Music Explosion. We’ll be back tomorrow with yet another list of great songs and artists newly-added to our playlist. Stick with us…the best is yet to come!

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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

What’s that You Hear? New Songs and Artists Have Been Added to the Pure Pop Radio Playlist!

It was inevitable, of course; we couldn’t possibly go too long without another round of adds to our playlist! Herewith, then, are some of the latest new songs and artists now playing in rotation on Pure Pop Radio.

nick-piunti-beyond-the-staticNick Piunti | Beyond the Static Nick Piunti’s smashing followup to last year’s 13 in My Head is another outstanding collection of melodic pop classics sporting great, catchy and hooky choruses and top-notch playing from, among others, Nick, the Legal Matters’ Andy Reed, and music pal Ryan Allen, from Ryan Allen and His Extra Arms. Melodic winners abound, from the oh-so-luscious “Heart Stops Beating” and the gorgeous “Quicksand,” which sports one of this album’s most delectable choruses, to the amazing “Six Bands,” about a gal who’s in “six bands, none of them good.” Hopefully, she realizes that she’s spinning wheels that won’t take her anywhere. Nick’s lead vocals are strong and assured and quite musical. One of the finest albums of this young year, and a surefire candidate for top honors in the best of 2015 sweepstakes. Outstanding stuff.

smith-and-hayesSmith and Hayes | People All Over the World Clay Smith and William Hayes’ third album continues along the sweet, melodic path set by Changed by a Song and Volume II. The duo’s latest musical missive is another mid-to-late period, Beatles-inspired trip down melody lane. We’re playing nine songs from People All Over the World, each one echoing the sound and spirit of John, Paul, George and Ringo and Smith and Hayes: “Slow Down,” “Know It All,” “Didn’t Want to Fall,” “Celebrate My Broken Heart,” “No War Man,” “Don’t Let Your Heart Break,” “Holding On to Love,” “Man in the Moon,” and “Something About Her.” Save a spot in your 2015 best-of list: This one’s a keeper.

joe-sullivanJoe Sullivan | “Cheerleader” Fancy a clever, sweet, power poppy love song? Look no further than this newly-minted charmer from the man behind the glorious Schlock Star, one of our Favorite Albums of 2014. Joe marries a creative approach to lyrics with the ability to almost effortlessly craft a hooky melody and intricate harmonies that sing. Folks, make no mistake: It’s Sullivanmania all over again.

baby-screamBaby Scream | fan, fan, fan and The Worst of… Juan Pablo Mazzola is so full of music that his latest release is a two-for-one, two-album package bursting with melody and harmony-drenched, classic pop songs. To our ears, Juan sounds a bit like Marc Bolan fronting Badfinger, whether he’s playing an original song or a treasured cover; his version of the Scooby Doo theme song is aces. We’re also playing, in rotation, “A Human Being on Mars,” “Everybody Sucks,” “Captain Hook,” “The Girl Next Door,” “Unicorns,” “In a Picture,” “20th Century Baby,” “Cruella De Vil,” and “The Concept.” Rock and pop on with Juan!

wilie-wisely-paradorWillie Wisely | Parador On the occasion of this album’s 10th anniversary, Pure Pop Radio favorite Willie Wisely has released an expanded collection featuring the original song lineup and 12 additional tracks: two unreleased and 10 alternates. The result is a stereoscopic look at a great record in all of its forms. We’ve added nine tracks, including “Too Quick to Love,” “Stayin’ Home Again,” “Altitudes,” “Through Any Window,” “Freestyle,” “Too Quick to Love (Alternate Take),” “Erase Me (Alternate Take),” “Through Any Window (Live),” and an alternate take of the title track. Willie is one of melodic pop music’s biggest talents, and here is the proof.

the-galileo-7-new-singlethe-galileo-7-are-we-having-fun-yetThe Galileo 7 | Are We Having Fun Yet? and Two New Tracks | Armed with a rock and roll attitude and keen pop smarts, the Galileo 7 deliver an enticing vibe that harkens back to the early sound of the Who. Witness songs such as the rocking and popping “Are We Having Fun Yet” and the garage stomper “Mine! Mine! Mine!” With melody and harmony always in hand, the band can take it slow as well as fast, as with the tuneful mid-tempo, cleverly-named ballad “Some Big Boys Did It (and then Ran Away).” In addition to the aforementioned songs, we’re playing three more present and future classics from 2010’s Are We Having Fun Yet?: “The Sandman Turns Away,” “Run Baby Run,” and the pumping “Can’t Resist.” We’re also playing, in rotation, the band’s new single which pairs the Who-like charger “One Lie at a Time” and the rocking “The God of Gaps.” The Galileo 7 has released two albums since Are We Having Fun Yet?; tracks from them are coming soon to our playlist.

the-new-trocaderosThe New Trocaderos | Frenzy in the Hips We’ve been playing four of the six songs on this newly-released EP for awhile. Our thirst for this pop ‘n’ roll super group remains at a fever pitch. Kurt Baker, and Brad Marino and Geoff Palmer from the Connection, create a musical fireball that produces fast and furious, punchy and take-no-prisoners tunes, two of which have been knighted as Coolest Songs in the World by Little Steven’s Underground Garage. Nice! So, exactly which power popping, rock and rolling songs are we spinning in rotation? How about “Money Talks,” “Real Gone Kitty,” “Dream Girl,” “The Kids,” and a hard-hitting power popper, exclusive to this EP, “Luckiest Man in the World.” Breathless fun!

the-explorers-clubThe Explorers Club | All Aboard This five-song EP, recorded live on July 4, 2014 aboard the USS Yorktown in Charleston, South Carolina, shows one of pop music’s best bands in top form, with a punchy horn section in tow. Lovely versions of “Anticipatin’,” “Go for You,” and “Run Run Run,” all from 2012’s Grand Hotel; and delicious, note-perfect versions of the Beach Boys’ “Don’t Worry Baby” and the Zombies’ “Tell Her No” round out the track list. Now recording a new album, this band proves what so many fans already know: the Explorers Club can do no wrong.

caddy-new-songCaddy | “Wherever You Go” Here is the second new song in less than a month from Caddy’s much anticipated, forthcoming album, The Better End. Caddy, aka Oslo, Norway’s Tomas Dahl, delivers an upbeat pop number with a mega-catchy chorus and a nifty saxophone break. It’s got all of the melodic pop food groups, kids! Sounds so good!

the-earthmenThe Earthmen | College Heart Direct from Australia, this 1990s band gets its due with a lovingly-curated collection of classic cuts and four previously-unreleased, newly-recorded tracks. On the release docket for April 1, we’re spinning five terrific numbers from this album, including the beautiful, building ballad “The Reprise” and the catchy, upbeat “Whoever’s Been Using this Bed.” Also playing: “First Single,” “Personal History,” and “Blue Sky.” A great release from Popboomerang Records.

make-it-beR. Stevie Moore and Jason Falkner | Make It Be The perhaps unlikely pairing of indie legend R. Stevie Moore and popster Jason Falkner delivers a quirky collection of songs, from which we’ve chosen two to feature on Pure Pop Radio: the Godley and Creme-era 10cc-esque “Sincero Amore” and “Play Myself Some Music.”

colmanColman | Play to Lose Produced by the legendary Mitch Easter and mastered by the equally legendary Greg Calbi, this collection mixes pop and elements of Americana to deliver a pleasing set full of melody and a whole lot of warmth. Three songs are spinning in rotation on our air: the single-worthy “Straight Face,” “Swing Low,” and the alluring “Three Chords.”

mothboxer-3-epsMothboxer | “Hope the Light is On” A tasty bonus track appended to the just-released collection of three Mothboxer EPs, “Hope the Light is On” is a re-recorded version of a song originally recorded by Kid Galahad in 2004 (Mothboxer main man Dave Ody was a member). It’s the usual Ody opus: a top-notch melody and gorgeous vocal harmonies married to a catchy melody. It’s true, you know: Dave Ody can do no wrong, and here’s the proof.

That’s the skinny for today. More new adds to our playlist coming next week. Thank you for listening to Pure Pop Radio!

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

We’ve Got the Pop Goods, and Lots of Them! Day One of Our Two Day New Music Event Starts Now!

day-onehuge music2015 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-the-oneVegas 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-weeklingsThe 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-monkeypoxVanilla | “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---amanita-sessionsTommy 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---the-prisonertommy-lorente---un-cruelTommy 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-sageRachel 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 SandDrifting 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-feelWillie 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-3Popluxe | 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-graphicEuroTrash | “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-shiftCool 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-hawkCameron 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-esqueThe 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-doranBrooklyn 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!

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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

What’s It All About? Listen and Download All of The Interiews from Pure Pop Radio: In Conversation’s Special Drink a Toast to Innocence: A Tribute to Lite Rock Week

Pure Pop Radio: In Conversation’s special Drink a Toast to Innocence: A Tribute to Lite Rock Week ended this past Saturday, capping off six days of talks with Producer Andrew Curry and nine of the artists who contributed tracks to the project. All 10 interviews are now posted on the In Conversation PodOMatic podcast page, ready for you to listen to and download.

In addition to the extensive and in-depth interview with Andrew Curry, you’ll find talks with:

– Linus of Hollywood (“More than I Can Say”)

– Kelly Jones (“I’d Really Love to See You Tonight”)

– Brandon Schott (“Thank You for Being a Friend”)

– Christian Phillips (The Sonic Executive Sessions) (“On and On”)

– Wyatt Funderburk (“Bluer than Blue”)

– Willie Wisely (“So Into You”)

– Michael Carpenter (“We Don’t Talk Anymore”)

– Lannie Flowers (“Dance With Me”)

– Scott Klass (The Davenports) (“Just When I Needed You Most”)

If you already have Drink a Toast to Innocence, your enjoyment of this compilation will be suitably enhanced. If you’re new to the album, you’ll be moved to purchase it and enjoy it along with the rest of us.

Thanks, as always, for listening to Pure Pop Radio: In Conversation!

Drink a Toast to Drink a Toast to Innocence on Pure Pop Radio: In Conversation

Drink a Toast to Drink a Toast to Innocence on Pure Pop Radio: In Conversation

Visit the Bandcamp page for Drink a Toast to Innocence: A Tribute to Lite Rock

 

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

 

Visit the Pure Pop Radio: In Conversation PodOMatic Podcast Page!

Visit the Pure Pop Radio: In Conversation PodOMatic Podcast Page!

Drink a Toast to Innocence Interview Extravaganza Coming Next Week on Pure Pop Radio: In Conversation

We shouted it from the rooftops throughout 2013, and now it’s come true: Drink a Toast to Innocence: A Tribute to Lite Rock has been showered with huzzahs from seven music critics, websites and a rockin’ National Public Radio affiliate down in sunny Florida. And we’re going to celebrate all next week on Pure Pop Radio: In Conversation with six days of in-depth interviews with the compilation’s executive producer, Andrew Curry, and nine of the artists who contributed tracks. All told, these interviews constitute the bible on one of the best various artist collections to be released last year or any other year.

Beginning Monday, January 20, and ending on Saturday, January 25, Alan Haber will be talking to Andrew and the incredibly talented group of artists that contributed to Drink a Toast to Innocence. On Monday and Wednesday nights, and on Friday afternoon, Andrew steps up to the microphone and takes you from the idea’s inception to the compilation’s release. Everything you’ve wanted to know about this landmark record will be communicated during this hour and 45 minute-long chat that features tracks from the album. And then Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday,  it’s the artists’ turn to talk about the tracks they tackled, taking you from choosing the songs to recording them and beyond. We’re writing the audio book on Drink a Toast to Innocence, dear music fans, and you can only hear it on Pure Pop Radio: In Conversation.

Here’s the on-air schedule for this exciting group of interviews:

– Monday, January 20 and Wednesday, January 22 at 8 pm ET: Andrew Curry (also Friday, January 24 at 4 pm ET)

– Tuesday, January 21, 8 pm ET: Michael Carpenter talks about “We Don’t Talk Anymore,” Kelly Jones talks about “I’d Really Love to See You Tonight,” and Brandon Schott talks about “Thank You for Being a Friend”

– Thursday, January 23, 8 pm ET: Lannie Flowers talks about “Dance With Me,” Wyatt Funderburk talks about “Bluer than Blue,” and Linus of Hollywood talks about “More than I Can Say”

– Saturday, January 25, 6 pm ET: Christian Phillips (The Sonic Executive Sessions) talks about “On and On,” Scott Klass (The Davenports) talks about “Just When I Needed You Most,” and Willie Wisely talks about “So Into You”

Don’t miss this exciting event! Jot down the dates and times and immerse yourself in an unprecedented group of interviews with pop’s greatest artists and the man of the hour,  Executive Producer and Lite-rock Impresario Andrew Curry!

Drink a Toast to Drink a Toast to Innocence on Pure Pop Radio: In Conversation

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