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

Sunday, April 26, 2015

Doug Powell - Tribute Tracks and Demos

Doug Powell has an interesting history. Between 1996 and and 2010, He released 7 full length albums along with a series of high profile side projects.   He played as a member of Todd Rundgren's band and worked on an early version of the "New Cars" reunion project (in which he was ultimately replaced by Todd himself).  He sang lead on a large portion of "Catch-All" the sole album released by the Nashville supergroup "Swag" (also featuring Jerry Dale McFadden  and Robert Reynolds).  More recently Doug has been concentrating on a new career in religious commentary (not my thing). 

Still his Power Pop album output is impressive.   The albums "More" and "Day For Night" are personal faves.   In them he  veers from straight forward power pop songs into more ambitious prog epics.   ("The Apprentice’s Sorcerer" his latest album (from 2010) spends a bit too much time in prog land for me.)  

Doug has always been an insightful interpreter of other people's songs and I've collected a bunch of cover songs from tribute records along with a few early demos.  Hope you like this compilation (by the way completists will note that I'm missing one track "Anyway But Love" from the 1998 Todd Rundgren Tribute "Grok This".   If anyone has that track I'd appreciate the chance to add it to this collection.)  Would love to hear Doug return to his roots sometime soon..

1 She Satisfies - Shoes cover from "Shoe Fetish" tribute compilation
2 When She Awoke - Demo Version
3 Early Morning, Cold Taxi - Who cover by Swag from "The New Sell Out" tribute compilation
4 Love is Like Oxygen - Sweet cover from "Are You Ready, Steve" tribute compilation
5 I Woke Up In Love This Morning - Partridge Family cover from "Right To Chews" bubblegum tribute compilation
6 Water's Part - Let's Active cover from "Every Word" tribute compilation
7 Till I Die - Beach Boys cover from "Making God Smile" tribute compilation
8 Candy-O - Cars cover from "Substitution Mass Confusion" tribute compilation
9 Can't Get It Out Of My Head - ELO cover from "Lynne Me Your Ears" tribute compilation
10 Every Day is Christmas - Swag Christmas track from
11 All The Lights Are Blue - Swag Christmas track from
12 God Bless Us All - 8-track Demo of Christmas track from

Sunday, March 22, 2015

Moonbabies - The Orange Billboard 10th Anniversary Edition

It's almost here.  The new Moonbabies LP "Wizard on the Beach" drops on April 28th.   From what I've heard, the new album projects this blog-favorite duo into a new blissed-out musical orbit.  Its the Moonbabies -  so there are the melodies galore and even as the band re-imagines and updates their sound within a modern context.    It relevant to point out that the Moonbabies haven't released a proper album for 8 years - so no surprise that there have been some shifts in the what the band has been listening to.

In anticipation for the new release, coleader Ola Frick has given me permission to post a few tracks from the rare 10 year anniversary edition of the Moonbabies's sophomore release "The Orange Billboard".   The tracks here are part of special purpose cassette given away to three lucky fans. There are some unreleased songs but there are also a number of radically remixed and redone tunes well known to fans.    Check these out and get ready for the new album due out next month:

1 Intro
2 Field trip USA (Outtake)
3 Sun AM (Demo)
4 In the Banshees
5 Sway
6 Hanky Panky Nohow
7 Loom
8 Crispin Glover (Outtake)
9 Day Breaks
10 Over You
11 MGM
12 Outro