Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Catching Up With KC Bowman

Time to check in with Blog favorite KC Bowman.  KC has spent the last four years involved in a new set of projects; the Agony Aunts, Pop4 and the Corner Laughers. in those projects KC writes and performs but often takes a back seat on vocals.  

Even as he has supported these other projects, KC has continued to cut his own tracks, recently concentrating on covering tunes by others.  He's been kind enough to post these as a series of free downloads but I've included a compilation of the tracks for a concentrated listen.  Dive into the special world of KC Bowman.  Always great fun.

1 Optimist John
2 Old Trope Academy
3 Geishas
4 Don't Be Shy (Cat Stevens Cover)
5 Twenty-Four Meransers (Twirl Radio Mix of Agony Aunts Track)
6 The Brakes of Your Brain
7 Smothered in Hugs (Guided By Voices Cover)
8 Delusions
9 Super 8 (Jason Isbell Cover)
10 Ponciest Pilot
11 Somebody Wants to Love You (Partridge Family Cover)
12 The Super Bad Report (Soft Buttrock Reboot)
13 Medical Time
14 Fool in the Rain
15 Talk "Til It Rhymes
16 Let's Be Still (The Head and The Heart Cover)
17 Helium (Does The Rest)
18 Enlightens Sevens
19 Canada USA
20 Tractor Rape Chain
21 Joy (Phish Cover)

Thursday, October 29, 2015

The Acoustic Mann

My October post is a compilation of acoustic tracks by Aimee Mann. Most of these tracks were recorded early in Aimee's solo career during the early 1990s, a time when she was co-writing songs with Jon Brion and Jules Shear.   In my opinion, they are some of Aimee's best and benefit from these stripped down arrangements.   The initial bunch were taken from a bonus CD that accompanied the German release of Whatever.  Waiting for the next Aimee Mann release....

1 I Should've Known
2 Say Anything
3 Stupid Thing
4 That's Just What You Are
5 The Other End (Of The Telescope)
6 Sugarcoated
7 I've Had It
8 Put Me On Top
9 Voices Carry
10 Fifty Years After The Fair
11 Save Me
12 Freeway
13 Ghost World
14 4th of July
15 Little Bombs
16 Could've Been Anyone
17 Girls Talk

Sunday, September 13, 2015

A Buddy Judge Sampler

Buddy Judge is an enigmatic figure in the history of Power Pop. Perhaps best known as one of the three singers in the Power Pop supergroup the Grays, Buddy's first recording was in 1988 with his band "The Buddy System". in 1994, he joined forces with Jason Falkner, Jon Brion and Dan McCarroll to form the short lived supergroup "the Grays".   The Grays sole album "Ro Sham Bo" is a personal favorite of mine and of many Power Pop fans.  After the breakup of the Grays, Buddy released his one and only solo album "Profiles in Clownhenge" a quirky concept album about clowns and the circus, scored replete with tubas and calliopes. (Actually though a weird concept, the album is wonderful and well worth looking for.)

Buddy spends the later half of the nineties as an indispensable sideman for Aimee Mann and Michael Penn among others.  He worked with Aimee on her Bachelor No. 2 and Magnolia albums and becomes interested in scoring movies and TV.  And that's what he's been concentrating on since then.   Most recently he seems (along with Jim Boggia) to have been caught up in the burgeoning Power Pop Ukulele scene(!) and he co-leads the The Ukulele Orchestra of the Western Hemisphere group.

Below is a long standing project to incorporate some of the most fun incidental instrumental music from Buddy's along with some rare tracks from his long career.   I've included some of the extra tracks at the end of Buddy's "Profiles in Clownhenge" solo record along with some solo and group demo tracks by Buddy and the Grays.   Loyal Gray fans probably have most of these tracks but perhaps will enjoy the (relatively) new solo tune from 2012 along with the soundtrack material incorporated.  For those new to Buddy, there are lots of great songs to enjoy.  Let's hope we get another installment of great music from this talented musician.

1 Vision - Bonus track from "Profiles in Clownhenge"
2 Just Another Girl - Bonus track from "Profiles in Clownhenge"
3 Flower Girl - Soundtrack Instrumental from "Flower Girl"
4 The Alt-Waltz - Soundtrack Instrumental
5 I Found You - From 2012 "Mother's Day" single
6 It's a Picnic  - Soundtrack instrumental From "According to Spencer"
7 Beautiful People - Bonus track by The Buddy System
8 Animal Spy Jazz - Soundtrack instrumental
9 Oh Nevermind - Single from "The Buddy System"
10 The Levy Waltz - Soundtrack instrumental from "Sir! No Sir!"
11 Complicated - B-Side Rolling Stones cover by the Grays
12 Nothing - Grays demo track
13 This is Forever - Soundtrack instrumental from "Flower Girl"
14 A Perfect Day - Extra track from "Profiles in Clownhenge"
14 In The Bath - Soundtrack instrumental from "Disturbing the Peace"
16 Everybody's World - Demo version
17 Sitting Curbside - Soundtrack instrumental from "According to Spencer"
18 Oh Nevermind - Outtake grays version
19 Nothing - Grays acoustic version
20 Umbrella Dancers - Soundtrack instrumental From "Certifiably Jonathan"
21 Complicated - Live version of Stones track by the Ukulele Orchestra of the Western Hemisphere
22 We Are Going to the Hukilau - Solo Ukulele track

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Eric Matthews - Lids, Nails, and Screws

Exciting news last year that Eric Matthews had added his Chamber Pop talents to the cross continental collaboration project Sheloom.  The idea of Eric working with multi-instrumentalist Jordon Zadorozny (the mastermind behind Blinker the Star) and Italian singer Filippo Gaetani promises great things.

The new threesome produced one terrific Eric track and as these things often go, the new album promised for 2014 has yet to materialize.   Until that time, I've put together my second Eric rarities compilation (I've re-upped the first).  Thanks to Mick and Eric himself for sharing many of these tracks.

1 It Takes a Wrecking Ball - New (as yet unreleased) Sheloom track featuring Eric on vocals
2 Too Old to Fall in Love - From R. Stevie Moore Tribute "Best of 'Copy Me': RSM Tribute Project"
3 We're Open Tonight - Unreleased Paul McCartney cover
4 Exactly Like Them - Track from unreleased album "Too Much World"
5 Stellar Stranger - Japanese bonus track from "The Lateness of the Hour"
6 Lids, Nails, and Screws - B-side of "Fanfare" EP
7 The Big Side of You- Japanese bonus track from "Six Kinds of Passion Looking For an Exit"
8 Shop Girl - Unreleased Instrumental written by Mark Eitzel
9 So Clean - Japanese bonus track from "Six Kinds of Passion Looking For an Exit"
10 Pink - Track from unreleased album "Too Much World"
11 Show Me - Unreleased ABC cover
12 Untitled - Japanese bonus track from "The Lateness of the Hour"
13 A Certain Kind - B-side of "Fanfare" EP
14 Every Christian Lion Hearted Man - Solo demo of Bee Gees cover
15 If We Lived on Top of the Mountain - Pizzicato One track featuring Eric on vocals

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Pugwash - Play This Intimately

It's almost time for the new Pugwash album "Play This Intimately (As If Among Friends)" drops on September 4th and its likely to be one of the best of the year.   Not much more that hasn't been said about Thomas and the gang.  Probably the best artists recording Power Pop today.   Everything we've heard from the new album on the Pledgemusic site has been top shelf.  Can't wait - but I've been listening to this live studio session from last year to tide me over.  The recording quality is excellent and it serves as a live "best of" compilation. looking forward to the new one on September 4th.

1 Take Me Away
2 Answers On a Postcard
3 Fall Down
4 Here
5 There You Are
6 Dear Belinda
7 Apples
8 Wait Till The Morning Sunshine
9 The Finer Things in Life
10 Be My Friend in Life
11 It's Nice to be Nice

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Cliff Hillis - New EP on the way!

It's great that Cliff Hillis got some real recognition last year for his 'Song Machine" EP.  It made almost everyone's best Power Pop lists for the year and rightfully raised his profile as one of the best singer songwriters working in Power Pop today.  

I'm pleased to report that he is hard at work on another fine EP for release in the fall and if its anything like his last effort, we're in for a treat. Very excited about this one.

In the meantime Cliff has been incredibly generous sharing is work-in-progress on his SoundCloud page.   I've collected a bunch of his most recent demos and have been really enjoying listening to them in this sequence. Some great material here.  I think you'll agree that Cliff's works-in-process are staying true to the high standard he's been setting over the last several years.   Enjoy these and support Cliff when the EP comes out in the fall.

1 Hole In the Bathroom Floor
2 Suzanne, Suzanne
3 Alien Eyes
4 Kindness Speaks
5 West Texas Mist
6 Bound to Fall
7 Wildwood Weekend
8 Devil Undercover
9 Little Big Boy
10 Make You Mine
11 Unhappy Valentine
12 Ill-Advised
13 Jacques Cousteau
14 When I'm 64 (Monkey Version)

Saturday, May 30, 2015

Redd Kross Live!

It's summer here and I want to rock....and there is no more rocking band in the world than Redd Kross.   It's been three years since their last album "Researching The Blues", a fine return to form and the band is touring (big tour in Spain this summer) but no new material.    I'm waiting - but I could be waiting a long time.  The last album took 15 years to surface.   Hoping the next one comes soon.   If anyone has any more Redd Kross news let me have it.  In the meantime, I'm listening (loud) to this great live show from 2012 recorded to support "Researching The Blues".  Hope you enjoy and support the band.

1 Linda Blair
2 Stay Away from Downtown
3 Lady in the Front Row
4 Jimmy's Fantasy
5 Uglier
6 Choose to Play
7 Switchblade Sister
8 Pretty Please Me
9 Cover Band
10 Annette's Got the Hits
11 Researching the Blues
12 Frosted Flake
13 Tatum O'Tot and Fried Vegetables
14 Crazy World