Sunday, October 10, 2010

Buva - Something That You Need to Hear!

Whoa! Sometimes listening to new music can really surprise you. I got such a surprise today. Just listened to the new album by Buva (the solo project by Pasadena artist Tom Wolfe) and I'm telling you that this album is in contention for best Power Pop album of 2010 (competing with "Queens's English" by Mark Bacino for that honor). It's a warm immediate effort that has the casual feel of early McCartney solo projects. The songs start in understated fashion but each one builds to reveal clever and sublime hooks. I am loving this! Its clearly a power pop must listen and it's easy to check it out for yourself. The entire album is streaming on the Buva website. Don't wait. Listen to this and let me know what you think.

I loved the debut EP by Buva but was a bit disappointed by his 2006 sophomore effort "All This Humming". That album has some terrific moments but was a bit introverted and mellow for my taste. The new album "Not Scary! Friendly" is much better. Lot's of upbeat tunes. Great hooks. Subtle arrangements.

To celebrate, here is the sum total of my Buva rarities . Two compilation tracks, one instrumental and four solo acoustic tracks from an earlier version of Buva's website. Enjoy these but PLEASE go out and buy the man's album! More of this please Tom!
  1. Something That I Need to Hear (Acoustic version)
  2. Can I See You (Compilation track from the Smallville Soundtrack)
  3. Crawling From the Egg (Instrumental from MySpace)
  4. She Makes Me Fall Down (Acoustic version)
  5. First Cut is the Deepest (Compilation track from the Heartbreak Kid Soundtrack)
  6. Just Step Away (Acoustic version)
  7. She Likes the Sound (Acoustic version)

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Mike Viola - Radio Show Tracks

Here are some great rare tracks by Mike Viola and the Candy Butchers extracted from three radio broadcasts, one from WERS in Boston and two from WFUV in New York. The sessions span 2004 through 2008 and sound very good to me. Mike plays solo, in a duet with Kelly Jones and with a full band.

These tracks span his career, from the Blue Thumb album through Lurch, with one track not available anywhere else. He performs his own version of "Beautiful Ride" from Walk Hard, the Dewey Cox Story (Viola and Dan Bern wrote the music for John C. Reilly to sing in this 2007 mocumentary). Also of note is a band version of "Hair of a Dog", a great track that was only released as a solo acoustic version on "Just Before Dark".
  1. Canned Hunt (Solo Guitar)
  2. Girly Worm (Duet with Kelly Jones)
  3. Not So Bad at All (Band Version)
  4. Beautiful Ride (Solo Guitar)
  5. Sparkle (Solo Piano)
  6. Let's Have a Baby (Band Version)
  7. I'm Not Over You (Solo Guitar)
  8. What to Do with Michael (Solo Piano)
  9. Hair of a Dog (Band Version)
  10. A Way to Say Goodbye (Duet with Kelly Jones)

A huge thanks to Yoshi who had the foresight to archive these broadcasts and was nice enough to send them along to me. Really enjoying them. They're holding me over until Mike rereleases Hang On Mike on vinyl....looking forward to the bonus tracks coming with that release.

Let me know if anyone has any additional radio session from Mike.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Metro Jets - The Morning Show

The 1990's were great times for Swedish Power Pop. Bands like Popsicle, The Trampolines and the Wannadies were making terrific poppy records that mixed bubblegum hooks with punk attitude. With the exception of the Wannadies, many of these bands only produced one or two albums and by 2000, very few of the Swedish Power Pop bands were recording any more.

In 2004, the Metro Jets represented a minor Swedish Power Pop resurgence. They were a "Supergroup" of sorts featuring the talents of Magnus Börjeson , the leader of the prototypical Swedish Powerpop group "Beagle" as well as David Birde, the guitar player and sometime lead singer of the Malmo based band "Brainpool". The Metro Jets released three essential singles, some minor movie music and then promptly faded from view.

This compilation includes all of the Metro Jet's released material along with two late compilation tracks by Beagle . It starts with an overture of sorts by Brainpool extracted from Brainpool's 2004 rock opera entitled "Junk" called the "Metro Jets Permiere Concert". Evidently a fictional band called "The Metro Jets" were characters in that opera. (Must have been the origin of the Metro Jets name.) Rounding out the collection are some unfinished incidental tracks posted on the Metro Jets old website as well as some music recently posted by Magnus Börjeson.

I'll admit that the collection trails off at the end - however you have got to hear track number 2, The Morning Show. It's a Powerpop classic. If you like this, you should really pick up Favorita (another post-Beagle project from Magnus Börjeson ). Great stuff.

  1. Metro Jets Premiere Concert (From Brainpool rock opera "Junk")
  2. The Morning Show (Metro Jets single)
  3. Love Grows (Late Beagle track covering Edison Lighthouse from "Right to Chews" bubblegum compilation)
  4. Boat (Incidental music posted by Magnus Börjeson on Sound Cloud)
  5. The Midas Touch (B-side of Metro Jets single)
  6. Lady Gwendoline (Metro Jets single)
  7. Aluminum (Demo posted on old Metro Jets website)
  8. Well, It's Only Pain (Late Beagle track from International Pop Overthrow Vol. 4)
  9. Fish (Incidental music posted by Magnus Börjeson on Sound Cloud)
  10. Jingle Jangle Christmas (Metro Jets Christmas single featuring Helena Josefsson & Vibeke Saugestad)
  11. Glasgow (Demo posted on old Metro Jets website)
  12. Grand Desert (Incidental music posted by Magnus Börjeson on Sound Cloud)
  13. Neon (Incidental music posted by Magnus Börjeson on Sound Cloud)
  14. Robbie W's Best (Demo posted on old Metro Jets website)
  15. Metro Jets Premiere Concert Part 2 (From Brainpool rock opera "Junk")
  16. Candle (Incidental music posted by Magnus Börjeson on Sound Cloud)
  17. Pastis & Petanque (Incidental music posted by Magnus Börjeson on Sound Cloud)
  18. Woman and Gramophone (Incidental music posted by Magnus Börjeson on Sound Cloud)
  19. Metro Jets Permiere Concert Live (From live performance of Brainpool rock opera "Junk")

Sunday, August 15, 2010

The Grays - Live at the 40 Watt Club

I found it! I've been looking for this rare Grays show in my archives for years and finally found it this weekend. It's from a show from the 40 Watt Club in Athens, Georgia and includes songs culled from "Ro Sham Bo" as well as solo tracks from Buddy Judge and Jason Falkner. There are also covers of "He's Frank" by the Monochrome Set and "Blessed" by Simon and Garfunkel.

A great concert by a great (if short lived) band. Track listing as follows:
  1. Everybody's World
  2. Same Thing
  3. Eloquence
  4. Very Best Years
  5. Oh, Nevermind
  6. He's Frank
  7. Nothing Between Us
  8. Nothing
  9. Not Ready Yet
  10. Both Belong
  11. Is It Now Yet?
  12. My Home Is Not a House
  13. Not Long For This World
  14. Spooky
  15. Blessed

...however now that I have a chance to listen to it again, this show doesn't actually sound that good. If anyone has a better copy, please contact me.

For a better listen, you may also want to download a slightly earlier concert uploaded to this blog (posted in the comments, thanks Jay) back in 2008. It's an audience recording but a pretty clear one.

Sunday, July 25, 2010

KC Bowman - Pioneer Playfaire

Here is another compilation by one of my personal favorites, KC Bowman. KC is one of the "leaders" of a loose confederation of artists based in Oakland known as Preoccupied Pipers . The Pipers are political, satyrical and often just plain silly. Even so, they've been putting out great albums since the mid 90's. In my opinion, KC's tracks are more polished and accesible than other members of the Pipers. They are tuneful, nicely arranged and adopt a beatleseque vocabulary in suprising ways.

This is my second collection of KC tracks extracted from Piper's albums. Two of the tracks were contributed directly by KC Himself (thank you KC!) You may also want to check out my first collection and don't miss KC's first solo record "Fresher Tin Villages". It is a masterpiece and KC has released it free on his Facebook page.

Be forwarned that KC's world is inhabited by strange characters behaving in suprising ways. The word play is clever. The world view is somewhat left of center. You may already live there but if not be prepared to be drawn in:

  1. Pioneer Playfaire
  2. The Dulcolax
  3. Clown Torture
  4. Sorting Out the Rules
  5. The Prom King
  6. The Lusty Horn
  7. Wo Larry 3
  8. Night-Circling Sharks
  9. Linus's Fists of Death
  10. Winter and Rough Weather
  11. Down Boy Down
  12. Reap the Plains Sown
  13. Stumblin' In
  14. Birthday Joel
  15. History One
  16. For Fear of Boring Laius
  17. Pretty Ringtime
  18. Pop Glass Ceiling
  19. Night-Circling Sharks II
  20. History Two
  21. Sense of Reason
  22. Lunkhead
  23. You Should Be Sober
  24. San Rafael in Love
  25. History Three

Sunday, July 18, 2010

The Posies - Pay You Back in Time

Just got the good news that the Posies are due to release their next album entitled Blood/Candy on September 28th. I'm extremely excited about that and a big Posies fan. I've decided to "finish" up my Posies B-Sides and rarities project. Readers of this blog will recognize that I started this project more than a year ago with my first Posies Rarities compilation "Every Bitter Drop".

This collection is part two and finishes out my collection of non-album tracks. I've only included covers or tracks not on other Posies albums. There are two tracks from the upcoming Blood/Candy album taken from a recent KEXP studio session. These new tracks are very nice and preface another essential release from the Posies.

  1. 21 (Outtake)
  2. Keep Me Guessing (Outtake)
  3. Leave Me Be (From Australian bonus disc of Amazing Disgrace)
  4. The Glitter Prize (From KEXP session)
  5. Every Christian Lionhearted Man Will Tell You (Bee Gees cover off of B-Side of Ontario single)
  6. Magnifying Mirror (From outtake)
  7. Depression Child (Demo)
  8. What's Going On (Big Star cover studio outtake)
  9. Dreaming (Blondie cover from 2 meter sessions)
  10. Plastic Paperbacks (KEXP session)
  11. Becks Bolero (Outtake)
  12. Oh Michael (Demo)
  13. Thinking Out Loud (Demo)
  14. Surrender (Cheap Trick cover outtake)
  15. Ladies and Gentlemen (Demo)
  16. Now They Want Your Head (Demo)
  17. Ooh Child (B-Side from UK version of Definite Door)
  18. Finally See It Right (Demo)
  19. Pay You Back in Time (Demo)
  20. Forrest Recovery (Demo)
  21. Diary of an Insecure Girl (Demo)
  22. Trace My Falls (Demo)
  23. Revelation to Follow (Demo)
  24. Wiggly World (Outtake)
  25. Christmas (from "Just Say Noël" Compilation)
  26. Come Along and Dance (Demo)
  27. What The World Needs Now Is Love (From Austin Powers soundtrack with Burt Bacharach)
  28. Fete le Muzz (Outtake)
As usual, please let me know if you have something I'm missing in these two collections...

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Bleu - Just Another American Pie

Here's one from the extremely talented and prolific singer songwriter, William James McAuley III, otherwise known as "Bleu". This is a set of early tracks by Bleu, many of which date from 2000 and 2001 before his first full length album "Headroom". Most were pulled down from an earlier version of Bleu's website "Bleutopia" several years ago.

Bleu is really great about releasing/leaking his work out for his loyal fan's to hear and enjoy but you need to stay up with it because many of these leaked tracks take years before formal release...or never get formally released at all..and then they vanish! This can help you get up to date.

Looking forward to Bleu's next release "Four" coming in October.
  1. Sayonara (From early version of Redhead, left off final release)
  2. Don't Leave Me Hanging (Unreleased demo from 2001)
  3. Natalie (From Workaday Day EP 2000)
  4. Just Another American Pie (Unreleased demo from 2001)
  5. Nobody Calls It Rock n' Roll Anymore (Unreleased demo from 2001)
  6. Somebody Else (Demo version of Redhead track 2002)
  7. It'll Never Be The Same Again (Unreleased demo from 2001)
  8. Just a Song (From Japanese version of Redhead)
  9. Terrible Secret (Headroom track rerecorded for Redhead but only released as b-side of Get Up)
  10. Today's The Day (From Workaday Day EP 2000)
  11. The Ol' College Try (LEO Demo Version)
  12. 2 Cool for School (B-side from Natural Highlights EP 2002)
  13. Ursula Major, Ursula Minor (From early version of Redhead, left off final release remix)
  14. Snow Day (From A Bing Bang Holidang EP 1999)
  15. Jingle Bells (From A Bing Bang Holidang EP 1999)
  16. Twelve Days of Christmas (From A Bing Bang Holidang EP 1999)
As always, please let me know if I have missed anything from this era. I appreciate it.

Monday, May 31, 2010

Cotton Mather - Innocent Street

This one is a response to a recent request. It's a collection a collection of demos, b-sides and compilation tracks by the Austin band Cotton Mather.

In the 90's Cotton Mather released three essential Power Pop albums that strongly evoked mid-period Beatles. In my opinion their second album Kontiki is one of "the" classics. Great songs, subtle and interesting production and a sequence that really hangs together. Lead singer Robert Harrison has evolved this sound in his latest project Future Clouds and Radar. He has two albums out that are well worth listening to.

The collection below is drawn from a series of postings from the sadly closed music blog Eternally Yours - so much thanks there:
  1. Flying (Tribute to Badfinger)
  2. Innocent Street (From Bam Balam Compilation)
  3. Spin My Wheels (Electric Version Posted on Website)
  4. Password (Working Demo)
  5. Little Star (From French Version of Kontiki)
  6. Don't Bother Me (Tribute to George Harrison)
  7. Homefront Cameo (Acoustic)
  8. Private Ruth (Acoustic Bonus from French Version of Kontiki)
  9. Lily Dreams on (Alternative Version from French Version of Kontiki)
  10. Ship Shape (From Crafty Flower Arranger)
  11. Aurora Bori Alice (Live Radio B-side of Password Single)
  12. Church of Wilson (Live Radio B-side of Password Single)
  13. Heaven's Helping (B-side from The Big Picture)

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Owsley - Singles, Bonus and Compilation Tracks

I had been working on this project before hearing the news of Will Owsley's death.

This is a collection of tracks by Owsley from singles, guest appearances, and compilations:

  1. Psycho (A-side of single released in 2005)
  2. Changes (EP Track from Christian Band "Blue Sky Secret", co-written and some singing by Owsley)
  3. Endlessly (Demo)
  4. Mess With Me (Japanese bonus track from first album)
  5. Leave It All Behind (Demo for Amy Grant)
  6. Upside Down (B-side of single released in 2005)
  7. Got a Lot On My Head (From "Substitution Mass Confusion" Cars tribute)
  8. When Lonely Comes Around (From Owsley Yahoo Group sung by Owsley and Vince Gill and written by Owsley/Gill)
  9. Band On the Run (From Paul McCartney Tribute "Listen to What the Man Said")

Please fill me in if you know of any more rare tracks I've missed.So sad that there will be hearing no new work from Will.

Please support Will's family in their time of need. Donations in honor and memory of Will Owsley can be made to:

The Will Owsley Family Fund
c/o Christ Community Church
1215 Hillsboro Road
Franklin, TN 37069

Saturday, May 1, 2010

Will Owsley - We'll Miss You

I'm really having a hard time with the news that Will Owsley died today. Though I only caught his performance once, Owsley exemplified the kind of powerful tuneful music that Power Pop can be. He only released two official albums, but the quality of Owsley's music was of such a high order it will influence others in the space for years to come.

Will, we are going to miss you.


Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Mike Viola - Even More Rare Odds and Ends

Sorry it's been a while since my last post. Life intrudes. Here is an assortment of rare odds and ends from Mike Viola. Some of these tracks are demos for his fabled "Blue Thumb" record. Still others date back to Mike's teenage years with his band "Snap". Each and every one of these tracks was contributed privately by the readers of this blog. Thank you!

(By the way, I'm still looking for Mike's long out of print electronic release "Temple of Static". Please let me know if anyone reading this has this ultra-rare release)

The latest news is that Mike is recording new duet tracks with Kelly Jones. Very excited to hear these when they are baked....

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Jim Boggia - Acoustic Radio Show

Here's a great acoustic radio show from Jim Boggia. Most of the material is from his latest release "Misadventures In Stereo". However there is one new track and one from his all star project 4 Way Street. I continue to maintain that Boggia is one of the great Power Pop artists playing today.

Enjoy this beautifully recorded session. Great stuff.

By the way, the demise of the Snowcap music download service really impacts the availability of Jim Boggia's rare track back catalog. He had posted many of his rare demos on Snowcap and since its end the only way to get them is at his concerts.

Saturday, January 16, 2010

The Davenports - Where is the Great Gallop?

Whatever the cause, waiting for great Power Pop album that never comes out can be extremely frustrating. (Credit the current screwed-up state of the music industry.) In late 2008, the Davenports released a single and a few b-sides from the soon to be released third album "Why the Great Gallop". The tracks were great, filled with terrific hooks and clever word play, sounding a bit like Fountains of Wayne. (This makes sense since singer Scott Klass spent some time in an earlier version incarnation of FOW.)

2009 comes and goes and no album. A Scott Klass solo track shows up on a compilation and that track is wonderful too. According to a recent post on the the band's Facebook site, they are remixing the album yet again. Hopefully this time they can navigate through the murky waters of the music business and get this great album released. I can't wait to buy the whole thing. Listen to this taster of early tracks and let me know if you don't love this as much as I do.