Sunday, December 7, 2014

New Moonbabies Album On The Way

I am on record as a big fan of the Swedish dream pop duo, the Moonbabies.  I find their particular mix of electronics, experimentation and pop to contain more that a little dose of Beatlesque melody.  For power pop fans looking for melodic pop and ready to look a bit further a field, a heartily recommend the Moonbabies.

It's been seven years since the band put out their last album "Moonbabies at the Ballroom" but the good news is that after an extend absence where bandmembers Ola Frick and Carina Johansson took time off to start a family, they are back with a series of double singles.  This part of a campaign leading up to a new album due out next spring (very excited about that).   As a courtesy I'm presenting a collection of B-sides and outtakes that used to be available on the Moonbabies old website but are no longer available. Support this talented duo and look forward to a new Moonbabies album next spring.

1 You Know How It Is
2 Take Me To the Ballroom (Rufus Remix)
3 Serpentine
4 One, Two, Three
5 Badass Questions
6 Crispin Glover
7 Dead End Street
8 Hey Mr. Rain
9 Clint
10 Plainless
11 Blue Shine
12 June and Novas (Demo)
13 Serpentine (Reprise)
14 War on Sound (Demo)
15 Ghost of Love

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Cliff Hillis - The Song Machine Companion

One of my favorite albums this year is a few tracks short.  The Song Machine EP by Cliff Hillis has been playing in my house, in my car and and in my head for the last few months.   It's a great piece with catchy tracks that flow into one another, each one building on the last. A great one by Cliff, one of the most consistent talents in Power Pop.  

I've included a "recipe" to stretch Cliff's latest EP into a proper LP by adding some demo and commercial tracks he published on his SoundCloud page

The recipe works this way. Please go out and purchase Cliff's Song Machine EP.  Then support Andrew Curry's excellent tribute project "Here Comes The Reign Again" by purchasing Cliff's cover of the Nik Kershaw's "Wouldn't It Be Good", surely a highlight of that great compilation. (Hell, you really can't miss by getting all the tracks!) Finally at the end, add the new tracks in this compilation.   These are the tracks that Cliff has published since my last demo compilation and as usual they are of consistently great quality.

Sunday, October 5, 2014

The Dowling Poole - Radio Tracks

Three new pop epics fighting it out for space on my "turntable" these last couple of months.  I've already talked about the great album number 4 by Mothboxer....and the new one by Linus of Hollywood is just great throughout ....but the most ambitious work of the year so far has to be the new one by The Dowling Poole entitled "Bleak Strategies".   Willie Dowling, former songwriter and lead singer for the fabulous Jackdaw4 has a new collaborative project with  singer John Poole and this one may be the most cinematic thing he's ever done.   I hear Jellyfish references, XTC references and the whole thing seems to be significant step forward from the last couple of Jackdaw4 records (which I loved).   This is surely one of the best Power Pop albums released this year and I'd love to support this great band.

I've collected some recent radio shows and YouTube postings to help me pretend that there is more than just one great album from this band.  Thanks to some of the Pledge Music pledgers for posting some of the acoustic sessions.  

1 The Sun is Mine (on Marc Riley)
2 Getting a License (on Marc Riley)
3 Saving It All For a Saturday (on Marc Riley)
4 King of Misery (Acoustic)
5 What Goes Around (Acoustic)
6 This is Your Life (Acoustic)
7 Years and Years (Acoustic)
8 Abigail's Last Hurrah (Acoustic)

Thursday, August 7, 2014

The New Mothboxer Album - Out Now!

One of the most anticipated releases of the summer just dropped.   The new Mothboxer album "Sand And the Rain" is the latest slice of Beatlesque pop from Mothboxer leader Dave Ody. It's a strong candidate for the year's best album and a reliable scratch for that English power pop itch.  

Since 2007, Mothboxer has quietly released four great albums and a couple of EPs (all available for download at the Mothboxer site).. The band charts a center stream squarely between XTC, Pugwash and the Electric Soft Parade.   I'd recommend every track to readers of this blog. All are brilliant and well worth your time.  Thanks to Power Pop authority David Bash for turning me on to this great band. 

Dave Ody has almost every bit of Mothboxer's music available for purchase on line.    I've included the very few tracks that are not available to purchase in my compilation.  There are three tracks from a Dave Ody solo studio session and  a couple of instrumental versions of album tracks posted to SoundCloud.   If anyone else has any rare/unreleased Mothboxer tracks, I would really love to hear them.  Please contact me.

1 It's Been Going On Too Long (instrumental version)
2 Don't Know What To Say (solo studio version)
3 Dream in Time (instrumental version)
4 Sad Crazy Love Songs (solo studio version)
5 Don't Remember (solo studio version)

Sunday, June 22, 2014

Timmy Sean - Perfect Summer Pop

It's officially summer and that's an excuse to reach for that perfect cruzin' Power Pop disc.  For the second summer in a row, I've gone to the same disc from Timmy Sean, the "East Coast Girls" EP.  This is a perfect summer record. It's chock full of great anthemic rockers that get stuck in your head as you drive around town..  Timmy Sean and his band "The Celebrities" rock hard in the vein of Cheap Trick or Valley Lodge but their songs get stuck in your head like Fountains of Wayne.  Over the last year, Timmy has released several singles that have freshened up the entire set for me. When added to the EP tracks, there is now an albums worth of material.

Sean is a Power Pop treasure.  He used to front the band "Luzer" and released three great records with that band.  Since going it alone, He put out the incredibly great "Songs for Noisewater", a Brian Wilson influenced Pop concept record classic.  If you haven't heard that record, you are in for a treat. Timmy has made the album available for free on Bandcamp.   He is incredibly generous with his music and for that reason I'm not going to repost these tracks together as a compilation.  However if you don't mind doing just a little work, Timmy has posted good quality early mixes of much of the material on his EP, much of it for free and they sound great to me.  I've included links to download each of the tracks below.  Simply follow the links and right click and  "save as" to download the material.   I've included the order I listen to them in.

This summer, Timmy is releasing his "Sir Video"synthpop side project and though much of that material is a bit "dancy" for me. there is still some great material there as well. I've included a Sir Video song "This Magic" as part of my list below.  Pull down these tracks and make sure you support Timmy by buying his commercial material.  He has got the right recipe for summer.

1 You're Still On My Mind
2 She's Mine
3 Back to the Middle
4 Come On Mandy Updated version of a Luzer song
5 Heart of Glass  Blondie Cover
6 Gimme Everything Updated version of a Luzer song
7 This Time Around
8 East Coast Girls
9 Say You'll Be There Spice Girls Cover
10 This Magic Sir Video Track
11 You Ain't Seen Nothing Yet Bachman Turner Overdrive Cover
12 It Doesn't Feel Like Christmas Updated version of a Luzer song

Saturday, May 31, 2014

Jim Boggia - In the Studio!

Just had the good fortune to find myself in Philadelphia at the same time that Jim Boggia was playing one of his periodic solo shows.  What a terrific time!  Jim ripped through his wonderful back catalog with support of keyboard wiz Mike Frank and a bright red record player. He had the crowd from the first note.  Toward the end of the evening, He also spent a half an hour demonstrating his Ukulele prowess on Pop classics. If you ever find yourself in Philadelphia you owe it to yourself to see him.   One of the finest singer songwriters performing today.

Here are links to a hard to find show recorded at Think Tank Studios in Hoboken, NJ.  It's a great recording and Jim actually used track 11 as part of his last album, the live "Ample Seating Available", one of my best albums of last year..  I've collected them together in one download for your convenience.  Enjoy these and thank you Jim.
1 Annie
3 To And Fro
4 On your Birthday
5 Underground
6 Piggies
7 Evan's Lament
8 Black And Blue
9 Thunder Road
10 Over The Rainbow
11 I Hate New York
12 No Way Out
13 Peter Pan
14 Eight Track
15 Several Thousand

Sunday, April 27, 2014

Philip John - Master The Monster

Those end of year "best of" lists always help me discover Power Pop gems I missed during the previous year and no one has help me discover more Power Pop than David Bash.  Last year while going through David's best of 2013 list I learned about the incredible band Mothboxer. I've enjoyed each Mothboxer album more than the next.  A truly great band.

David Bash's 2008 list contained mention of a spectacular but little known album by Philip John. That album Master the Monster was never widely released though individual tracks were made available on social networking sites Facebook, Myspace and Bebo. I've collected a sampler of the available tracks and together they add up to an incomplete but still spectacular Power Pop album with first class arrangements and production..  Shades of XTC and Pugwash, Supergrass, the Beach Boys and Beatles.   I'm still short of the complete album and have been looking for years for the missing tracks. If anyone has them, please let me know.  
Philip is evidently working on a new album.  Here's hoping it's near the quality of his elusive first effort.

1 A Million Minds
2 Strange World
3 Sunny Afternoon
4 Broken Dreams
5 Too Much is Goin' On
6 Dynamite
7 Don't Let it Die
8 The Game
9 A Million Minds (Vocal Mix)
10 Strange World (Vocal Mix)

Sunday, March 30, 2014

Adam Levy and the Honeydogs

In 2013, Honeydogs front man Adam Levy demonstrated yet again why he is one of the most creative songwriters working today. His 2013 side project "And the Professors" started life as a teaching project for Levy's music production class. It features orchestra musicians in addition to traditional electric instruments.  The finished product is just as tuneful and compelling as any of the recent Honeydogs albums and that's extremely high praise. This album was one of last year's best and more than worth picking up if you haven't done so already.

In support, I pulled together a compilation of recent Adam Levy radio appearances, featuring the Honeydogs along with side project the psychedelic instrumental band "Liminal Phase".   I'm a huge supporter of Adam Levy and can only hope that he can keep up such consistently creative output with all his projects.

1 What Comes After (Honeydogs in studio)
2 Dear Prudence (Honeydogs performing Beatles cover in studio)
3 Always a Long Time (Honeydogs acoustic in studio)
4 Particles and Waves (Honeydogs acoustic in studio)
5 Broke it, Buy It (Honeydogs in studio)
6 Aubben (Honeydogs in studio)
7 Quantum Entanglement (Liminal Phase in studio)
8 I'm Looking Through You (Honeydogs performing Beatles cover in studio)
9 Death By Boredom (Honeydogs in studio)
10 Better Word (Honeydogs acoustic in studio)
11 I Dig a Pony ((Honeydogs performing Beatles cover in studio)
12 Crow Wing (Liminal Phase in studio)

Saturday, February 8, 2014

Deleted Waveform Gatherings - A History

I've been on a marathon, listening to "Deleted Waveform Gatherings", the Norwegian psych pop project lead by singer songwriter Øyvind Holm.   Each of Deleted Waveform's three albums (Baby Warfare, Complicated View and Ghost, She Said) bares repeated listening. They are dense and tuneful records.  The band alternates from spacey 60’s rave ups to mid-period Beatles rockers.  Closest comparison would be a louder more psychedelic Cotton Mather.

I tried to put together a rare tracks compilation of Deleted Waveforms but settled for a sampler of tracks from the history of the band. This sampler features several live tracks along with some rare tracks culled from Øyvind Holm's rare solo album "The Vanshing Act" and his prior group the Dipsomaniacs (the Norwegian band  - not to be confused by the Replacements influenced U.S. band who share the same name). I found only a few tunes on YouTube and Myspace but I really liked what I heard.   I've been listening to this a lot.   Let me know if anyone has more tunes by the Dipsomaniacs or Øyvind's solo album. This sampler continues to demonstrate the great songs his has written his entire career. 

Most interesting to me is the new single (2013) from Holm's latest country-pop project, Sugarfoot.  The track is cover of "My Friend" an obscure 1970's tune by the band Spirit’s songwriter Randy California that is a dead ringer for mid period Byrds.   It’s an excellent song that demonstrates that Holm is still making great Power Pop.

1 Sugarfoot - My Friend
2 Øyvind Holm - The Vanishing Act
3 Deleted Waveform Gatherings - Complicated View (Live on Peak Radio NYC 2007)
4 Dipsomaniacs - Nothing is for Keeps
5 Øyvind Holm - Salt-Mutated Summer Breeze
6 Øyvind Holm - Everything (A Good Taste of)
7 Dipsomaniacs - Dear Mrs. Widdecombe
8 Øyvind Holm - When She's Sleeping
9 Øyvind Holm - Sunday Church Bell Chime
10 Dipsomaniacs - Bring Flowers to the Courthouse
11 Dipsomaniacs - Fair-weather Friend
12 Dipsomaniacs - The Water Choir's Drowning
13 Deleted Waveform Gatherings - Will I Ever (Live Arlene's Grocery NYC 2007)
14 Deleted Waveform Gatherings - Minefield Baby (Live Arlene's Grocery NYC 2007)