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 mp3.com
11 All The Lights Are Blue - Swag Christmas track from mp3.com
12 God Bless Us All - 8-track Demo of Christmas track from mp3.com

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

Saturday, February 14, 2015

The Shazam - Tribute and Demo Tracks

I miss the Shazam.  One of the best of the early bands signed to Bruce Bodeen's "Not Lame" label,   The Shazam channeled classic 60's rock (The Move, The Who, The Kinks and of course the Beatles) into an updated and relevant rockin' Power Pop sound.  The Shazam were active between 1994 and 2009 and produced four full length albums and one EP, each a classic.   In 2010 lead singer Hans Rotenberry put out a great duo effort with Nashville producer Brad Jones entitled Mountain Jack.  One of the best albums of that year...

I'm hoping for a reunion or simply the next fine effort from Hans Rotenberry.   Until then,  I've collected a set of Shazam studio tracks from various tribute records.   I've also included three tracks from their 1995 demo cassette "Shake 500" not released on subsequent albums.   Enjoy this compilation and let me know about any track's I'm missing.

1 Twilight - Cover of ELO song from "Lynne Me Your "Ears" tribute compilation
2 Is Your Is Mine - Cover of Gene Clark song from " Full Circle" tribute compilation
3 Cool City - Unreleased track from "Here's To All The Misfits" rarities compilation
4 It's Over - Hans Rotenberry and Brad Jones cover Badfinger song from "Come and Get It" tribute compilation
5 Hangin' Around With You - Cover of Shoes song from "Shoe Fetish" tribute compilation
6 Helen Wheels - Cover of Wings song from "Coming Up" Paul McCartney tribute compilation
7 The Concept - Cover or Teenage Fanclub song from "What A Concept" tribute compilation
8 Only Bones - Unreleased track from 1995 Shake 500 cassette demo
9 I Can See for Miles - Cover of Who song from "The New Sell Out" tribute compilation
10 A to B - Unreleased track from 1995 Shake 500 cassette demo
11 Me and You - Unreleased track from 1995 Shake 500 cassette demo
12 Please Please Me - Fake live version of Beatles cover from fan flexi-disc

Sunday, January 18, 2015

Pugwash - Tales of the Unexpected (Rare Tracks #4)

It's early 2015 and the big news is that the Irish band Pugwash is hard at work on a new album at the legendary Konk studios and they need your help.  Thomas Walsh and crew are working an active Pledge Music campaign to help defray the cost of producing the new album and anyone reading this blog should chip in and support the effort. No band recording today has produced a more consistent Power Pop catalog than Pugwash. The new album is due out in May and so far Thomas has posted three demos in the protected area within Pledge Music. Each is brilliant (no surprise there).

I can't wait for the new one and pulled together a rarities compilation to listen to in the interimThis compilation features demos and B-sides and a number of demo tracks from Thomas Walsh side project "The Duckworth Lewis Method".  Lots of nice material until the real effort arrives.

I've put three Pugwash rarities compilations together so far, and each time it hits me how superior Pugwash's cast-offs are to the vast majority of material from other artists.  As usual, please let me know if you have any rare Pugwash that I don't have.

1 I Can Hear The Grass Grow (Full Band Cover of the Move)
2 Better That We Dance (B-Side)
3 Ying Yang (B-Side)
4 Fire In My Belly (B-Side)
5 Flatten the Hay (Nice Duckworth Lewis Method Acoustic Demo)
6 Tales of the Unexpected (B-Side)
7 Tinsel and Marizpan (Acapella Version)
8 Gentlemen and Players (Duckworth Lewis Method Demo)
9 Test Match Special (Duckworth Lewis Method Demo)
10 The Stoolie (Instrumental Demo)
11 The Age of Revolution (Duckworth Lewis Method Demo)
12 Ireland Ireland (Duckworth Lewis Non-Album Single)
13 To the Warmth of You (Acoustic Version)
14 Julianne
15 Everybody's Gottla Learn Sometimes (Duckworth Lewis Method covers The Korgi's)
16 Can't Get It Out Of My Head (Thomas sings over ELO instrumental track)
17 Answers On a Postcard (Acoustic Version)
18 Good Night Christmas (Acapella version of Thomas repurposing The Beatle's Good Night)