Monday, June 30, 2008

Brand new video from SHAKE SOME ACTION!!!!!!

The good guys in Shake Some Action! have just released their first music video, and it's a real fun trip! We're honored to premiere it here at Not Lame!!! Here you go...

To order their brand new album, click here!!!

Holy moley!!! Even more NEW AT NOT LAME Updates!!!

Boy oh boy, is the summer music pouring in here at the office! Cjeck out these awesome new releases!!!

PhotobucketTHE MOPTOPS - "Ground Floor Man"
The Moptops are like a power poppin version of Rockpile with more jangle and add some Smithereens while you’re at it! Just what the pop doctor needed to prescribe. Rickenbacker armies lined up on the front lines of harmonies and crisp early/mid-era Beatles Mersey, just listen below and revel in their overt influences. Yes, you'll hear echoes of Brinsley Schwarz, Dave Edmunds, Walter Clevenger and early The Rooks.
Swedish import and for Not Lamers around these parts in the 90s you'll remember Sweden's The Moptops, a jangle-up slice of pure pop heaven that we touted to the heavens. Nothing has been heard from them for over 10 years.

PhotobucketDERBY - "Posters Fade"
Welcome to one of the finest pop albums of 2008. Cynical, unbelieving? Listen at this link! Bouncy sing-a-long choruses, willowy melodies, caressing, swooning vocals, it`s just, simply, stunning. There`s so a graceful blending of influences in here. Think Sloan, Brendan Benson and The Shins.

PhotobucketCAPTAIN WILBERFORCE - "Everyone Loves A Villain"
Brendan Benson, Matthew Sweet, ELO, Starbelly, Velvet Crush, some Jellyfish, the pop-side of Radiohead`s "The Bends" and XTC all wrapped up a bit of glammy British swagger that only a band that was wells up when thinking about Marc Bolan`s loss on the music world.
The singer sounds a lot like Jon Brion, which will bring some comparisons to The Grays, which is happily appropriate, too. Chock full of raw and infectious slices of harmonic pop, it buzzes with crunching guitars and killer choruses. Bottom line, song after well-crafted song and melody after infectious melody that should be more than just casually appealing to the majority of folks out there! Classic Not Lame styled power pop.

THE GALAXIES - "Here We Go!"
Echoes of The Rembrandts(a lot!), Dwight Twilley, Adam Schmitt, Velvet Crush, The Records and many other power poppin’ faves on this site!

PhotobucketNESS - "You Can't Afford To Feel"
WHOA! Listen – below – NOW! Ness is a *really* cool bag of fresh tricks....they mix the best of progressive rock with plenty of power pop, glam, rock guitar stylings, that`s like glammy Enuff Z`Nuff and Cheap Trick playing mid-70`s Genesis and Queen, at the same time! Jellyfish influence is on a good portion of “You Can’t Afford To Feel”, too.

PhotobucketCLOVIS ROBLAINE - "Clovis Roblaine Story"
ONE OF POWER POP'S Top 120 Power Pop Albums of All Time - John M. Borack "Shake Some Action" Book!!! "One of the more obscure power pop albums of its time - and also one of the finest - The Clovis Roblaine Story filters power pop through the eyes (and ears) of a Midwestern Spector obsessive. The thrilling "Monster Love", "My Heart" and "Too Choked Up" are all classics of the genre." Reminds us of Squeeze, Marshall Crenshaw, Pilot, Milk ‘n Cookies, Buddy Holly and Nick Lowe and more!

PhotobucketEDWARD ROGERS - "You Haven't Been Where I Have Been"
Touches of The Byrds, Burt Bacharach, and Pernice Brothers(lots) scattered liberally throughout but this project is original in its own space. Some of the most haunting, evocative lyrics paired w/subtle orchestral-like pop arrangements and Roger`s reedy, breathy powerful vocals fill all available space. Guesting are Pete Kennedy (of the Kennedys) and Smithereens drummer Dennis Diken.
BALDWIN DRIVE - "Orange & Black"

Excellent guitar driven pop with lots of great sing-a-long choruses and a sense of the classic rock archetypes mining bits of Tom Petty/Traveling Wilburys, The Rembrants, Diesel Park West and a whole parade of bands ‘just in the tip of my lip’!
Great debut that features Stephen Butler from Smash Palace and another fave Fran Smith, Jr. (check out his CD on this site – he plays in the Hooters, too).
The result is a staggering collision of heart, brain and raw power rarely seen this side of the classic FM firmly entrenched in our collective unconscious. Baldwin Drive’s music stands as proof that the virtuosity, groove and songwriting smarts of classic rock`s heavy hitters can be more than imitated by our generation -- they can be -- and have been -- inherited.
SHAKE SOME ACTION - "Sunday Days Ahead"

A perfect hybrid of jangled-up pop delight that brings to mind not only the Groovies, but mid/late 80`s jangle faves like The La`s, Gigolo Aunts, The Mighty Lemon Drops, Robyn Hitchcock & The Egyptians and Matthew Sweet.

PhotobucketTHE OFFBEAT - "The Offbeat"
Fans of The Fore CD that was recently trotted out here pay attention to The Offbeat! While there’s all kinds of songs here that remind us of early Beatles, naturally(see Song #2 below), it’s really The Zombies that strike as the primary reference point. There’s some added Beach Boys touches that get planted inside some of these songs – Listen to Song #1 for the best example of this – a song that sounds like an “Odessey & Oracle” out-take – THAT good. It has an vibe that eases itself into a comfortable pastoral vibe, with Bluntone-y ‘ba-ba-ba’ vocals and guitar and warm Beach Boys-esque harmonies.

PhotobucketFATHER BLOOPY - "Ginger, Baby"
Think early 70s Bowie, Lou Reed, Flaming Lips, Beck and lots and lots of Ray Davies, bless the boy! Self-described diehards and collectors of early 60s and 70s art-rock, Father Bloopy's first album pays homage to a variety of obvious influences, including The Kinks, Lou Reed, and ELO, but they add a unique flair and a modern twist to the mix that is edgy and invigorating.

STEPSONDAY - "Little Light"
What’s going on here is plenty healthy doses of Nada Surf, Jason Falkner, Ultimate Fakebook, Splitsville, Superdrag and The Drowners.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

JANGLE ON! for JUNE 2008!!!

By Eric Sorensen‏, written exclusively for NOT LAME

Every once in a while, a month goes by without any new discs that feature the type of jangly 12-string music that has appealed to me since my teen years. So, in lieu of some capsule reviews of albums and songs, I will write about some of the recent live music shows that I have been to.

PhotobucketChris Hillman and Herb Pedersen at the Barns of Wolf Trap. Hillman and Pedersen first met at a California Bluegrass Festival in the early 60s, and they have been pals and musical collaborators since then. While their commercial success may have peaked when they were members of the Desert Rose Band, their talent has not abated. They have achieved a vocal and instrumental unison that few artists can hope to attain. The stripped down formula of two voices accompanied by two acoustic instruments (Hillman played mandolin on all but three of the 33 – yes 33 – songs!) works extremely well. The two-set show included material from both of their distinguished careers, as well as some of their own bluegrass favorites. Hillman always gives a nod to his tenure as a founding member of the Byrds, and the duo performed contemporary bluegrass versions of “Mr. Tambourine Man,” “Turn! Turn! Turn!” and “Eight Miles High.” Other audience favorites included “Ashes of Love,” “Time Between” and “She Don’t Love Nobody.” Hillman and Pedersen performed at the Barns of Wolf Trap four nights before Roger McGuinn appeared there. One member of the audience suggested that Chris and Herb hang around the area for several days and perform as a trio with Roger. Chris expressed kind words for his former Byrds bandmate throughout the show, and he teased the audience with the words “I’m sure we’ll catch up with Roger one of these days!”

PhotobucketThe New Pornographers at the 9:30 Club. I am grateful to our friend, John Buchman, who organized a gathering of music enthusiasts to attend this show. It was quite a treat for several reasons. I hadn’t been to a show at the 9:30 Club in nearly eight years - when I attended the Bangles reunion tour show in September 2000. It used to be a challenge to find a spot where one could view the stage and avoid cigarette smoke. The venue is now smoke-free, and parking in the city streets around the club has become less difficult. Hence, attending a show at the club is a pleasant experience – even before the opening act performs. Although I had one of the New Pornographers’ earlier discs, I hadn’t kept up with their recordings … and I had never seen them in person. Their show was excellent. The Washington, D.C. audience was fortunate enough to see the full band lineup, with Neko Case. She had missed the previous night’s show due to a foot injury, and she left the tour several nights later to have her fractured foot treated. She gamely sang through any pain and discomfort, and the band played a strong cross-section of material from their four studio albums. The sellout crowd departed with smiles on their faces after hearing 19 songs performed with gusto and panache.

Tift Merritt at the Birchmere. This was another case of an artist that I was vaguely familiar with, and a friend who suggested that a group of us go out to hear her. The Birchmere was sold out for this show, and that may be an indication that Ms. Merritt is bound for larger venues. She gave a superb show – mixing musical genres (country, rock, pop, blues, jazz), styles and tempos. Tift reminded me of Kim Richey, Mary Chapin Carpenter and Beth Nielsen Chapman – all rolled into one very energetic and engaging artist. I may have missed her earlier tours through the D.C. area at smaller venues, but at least I will be able to say that I saw her at the Birchmere … where I have also seen Ms. Richey, Ms. Carpenter and Ms Chapman.

PhotobucketRoger McGuinn at the Opera House in Vergennes, Vermont. This show represented a dream combination – my favorite artist performing in my favorite vacation destination. I flew up to Vermont with my “Byrds brother,” Chris Adams. Fellow Byrds enthusiast Ray Verno drove up from Rhode Island with his son and cousin, and we dined together in Vergennes before attending the show in the restored 111 year-old venue. Because we had all purchased advance tickets for this May event, we had front row center seating for the show and we were able to attend a post-show reception with the artist. Roger gave a terrific show, mixing Byrds hits with many songs from his solo career and his Folk Den project. The Vergennes audience gave it strongest applause to McGuinn’s updated version of “Eight Miles High” on his Martin acoustic guitar … and they sang along to “Turn! Turn! Turn!” and the opening encore number “I’ll Feel A Whole Lot Better.” Even though I have seen Roger perform similar set lists nearly two dozen times, I never tire of hearing his voice and his guitar-playing. The distinctive compressed and chiming sound of Roger McGuinn’s 12-string Rickenbacker guitar remains a timeless treasure in the annals of popular music.

PhotobucketBlue Rodeo at the Rhythm Room in Phoenix, Arizona. What a treat it was for me to see Blue Rodeo with my sister (who had never seen the band before) during a recent visit to Arizona. After twenty years, this Canadian pop/rock/alt-country band continues to shine on stage. Jim Cuddy and Greg Keelor may have mellowed with time, but they can still trade sizzling lead guitar licks and impassioned lead vocals that are reminiscent of Stephen Stills and Neil Young when they were together in Buffalo Springfield. Blue Rodeo opened this show with their biggest chart hit – “Til I Am Myself Again” – and then featured songs from their latest disc – Small Miracles – and tunes from their extensive back catalog. Cuddy and Keelor played one song as an acoustic duo – demonstrating that they still have that tight Everly Brothers harmony. The mostly Canadian audience at this small club cheered loudly enough to bring the band back onstage for an encore performance of the tune, “Hasn’t Hit Me Yet,” which features Byrdsian chords. The opening act, Luke Doucet and the White Falcon, were the perfect touring complement to Blue Rodeo – with Doucet showing his guitar prowess on a Gretsch White Falcon, and bride and bandmate Melissa providing strong harmony vocals. The pair joined the featured act on several of the numbers during Blue Rodeo’s set. One patron yelled out to the band at the end of the show “Don’t wait another ten years to return!” His comment made me appreciate the fact that I have seen the band three times over the years in the Washington, D.C. area.

Coming up: Marty Stuart and the Fabulous Superlatives; the Richie Furay Band; the Greencards; and the twin bill of Pure Prairie League with Firefall.

Until next month, jangle on!

Wednesday, June 11, 2008


PhotobucketI am very, very excited to see this kind of event pop(sic) up out of the blue – A Power Pop Festival. In the spirit of International Pop Overthrow, Sparklefest, Poptopia and others, The Charlotte Pop Fest is coming! Worth a trip to North Carolina? Well, if I was not traveling with my family during this, my answer would be ‘Hell, Yeah!”.

Names familiar to Not Lamers include: Myracle Brah(rare live show!!), James Deem and Ed James, Michael Guthrie Band, The Everyday Things, The Saving Graces, Jerry Chapman, Frank Royster, Barry Holdsihp, Chris McKay & The Critical Darlings and many more.

Evidently, there will be a CD of the even, too! Righteous. We’ll keep you posted if they will be available on the Not Lame site.

Click Here to download the PDF w/ the full line up and information on the event.

Here is more information:

Charlotte Pop Fest - July 4th & 5th, 2008

Bruce's NEW AT NOT LAME Update for early June 2008!!!

Straight from the boss, here's Bruce's list of what's new at NOT LAME...

Here are the Top New Releases on the Not Lame web site for June. There are many new releases on da 'ole home page, but for the time starved, these are the ones worth of your precious time. Click on the links for full mini-reviews on each CD and listen 'n sample lots of soundbites, as well. Have Fun!

PhotobucketADRIAN WHITEHEAD - "One Small Stepping Man"
Fans of Jason Falkner, Brendan Benson and Sloan – listen up!! Stop what you are doing – listen to the songs below, right?! Absolutely stunning debut from Australia and Adrian Whitehead! Don’t miss out check this wondrous bugger out as it merits special attention, without question. Years of multi-flavoured musical experiences combine to colour Adrian Whitehead's unique brand of songwriting.
Bouncy hooky, enchanting melodies ride proudly atop simple arrangements, letting the pop shine clearly, without hesitation. Whitehead is a bright new talent and we should be talking about him for some years to come - It`s a grown up sound that reels you in with its infectious melodies and delicious arrangments. Big Time Extremely Highly Recommended!!

PhotobucketROGER JOSEPH MANNING, JR.- "Catnip Dynamite"
It's here! AND - it's UTTERLY AMAZING (but Japanese only import!) I'm serious - I'm so completely blown away as I listen to this, not only did I put up 12 soundbites below to prove how transcendent this album is for fans of this style of power pop, but to state that "Catnip Dynamite" is one of THE best albums of the decade and ---get ready I'm going to blaspheme here --- is as great as either of the two Jellyfish album.
Every bit as great and transcendant as "Spilt Milk", Jelly-fans!
Blasphemy! I know. I stand by it. Listen. Click on the cover above - soundbites of ALL 12 songs are on there for you listen for yourselves. Most of the songs here push the 'over 5 minute range', believe it or not - and they ALL need every single second to say their piece. Anyway, a MAJOR event for many us even if we are stuck for 2008 without a possibility of a US release any time soon. Worth the price? Only the heart knows.

PhotobucketSPIRALING - "Travel Made Easy"
Fusing sophisticated songwriting and razor-sharp musicianship with pure rock passion and pop savvy, what results is a powerfully moving and altogether original sound.
Listening to Time Travel Made Easy, with its panorama of sonic landscapes, you almost get a sense that Spiraling actually has perfected some method of time travel, one that has allowed it to go back to a time when New Wave was actually new, before "prog" became a four-letter word, and when "alternative" was more than just a facile marketing cliché..
Melding the manic melodic genius of Ben Folds with the tortured geek romance of Fountains Of Wayne while channeling classic rock acts ranging from Queen.

PhotobucketDANNA & THE CHANGES - "Consonant Cacophony"
Fans of The Figgs, Sloan, This is a wildly joyous, fully melodic, super-high-charged tune-fest. It’s raw, it’s fresh, it’s brittle, it bites down hard and it’s still massively POPPY with all its rich, jangly guitar tones and, well, Danna & The Changes just approach the ‘same-old, same ‘ole” from a completely different angle and make it HIT THE MARK.
Stop, right now – there’s 5 soundbites when you click on the front cover above. Go the 5th one – the last. Listen. THERE’S the spirit of “Consonant Cachophony”. Bingo.
So these guys are new. They REALLY good. So do your part for the good of rock ‘n roll, mate – don’t let me write something along the lines of this when their second record comes out – “Why no one knows of this band is just wrong, criminal and Not Lame is out to rectify that for you all!” The Time Is Now. Engage.

PhotobucketBRYAN ESTEPA - "Sunday Best"
“Sunday Best” is a stunning collection of pop gems glazed in head-nodding hooks and romantic longing, spanning a sonic spectrum that echoes Gram Parsons lilting alt-country to You Am Is crunching mod-rockers. It`s inspirations are diverse yet blend in a coherent album that a total listening experience. Equal parts of early/mid 70`s Rolling Stones, Elliot Smith, Whiskeytown, a bit of 70`s soft rock(think Bread) and modern day power pop.
On one level, it`s a classic rock album for the power pop lover, filled with assertive arrangements, pumping melodies, confident solos and on the other it`s a quintessential songwriter album, wonderfully restless to explore so many different musical vistas. With a fresh organic air throughout, Estepa was inspired by what he calls his eternal search to find that killer melody and hook.

PhotobucketLANNIE FLOWERS - "Same Old Story"
WOW!! MAJOR FIND, Pop Fans! Lannie Flowers has a voice similar to Nick Lowe and the melodic and hooky charms of Squeeze and Badfinger but he really splatters all kinds of pop reference points just makes it all sound fresh as mid-spring fruit.
Same Old Story is a 45 minute pop music collage.
From the first glance, through all the struggles of young love, to the inevitable end, Lannie’s delivery is a refreshingly new twist on that but where the music lands in between your ears is what matters – matter it does. Click on the cover and go listen - NOW. Uh, pretty please.

PhotobucketTHE HEATERS - "The Great Lost Heaters Album"
This is is the new wave/power pop band who released an album in 1979 on Ariola Records that lots of pop fans of the time were very excited about. Problem with that record was, it was a product of major label manipulation and machination which sucked the life out of it and which did not represent the band. Fast forward to 2008 and the band gained control of their masters and went to work to salvage their original vision!
Here are 15 songs, including the first album recorded, remastered and remixed from the original trax and some live songs to tell the full story(well, the extensive liner notes do that, as well!). A wonderful, joy-filled fan for old school power popsters!

PhotobucketBILL DONATI - "Never Like This"
Here’s a huge find for fans of Ardent Records, Big Star and Tommy Hoehn and the whole Memphis scene of the early/mid 70s. Never Like This” has some fantastic displays of AM pop and post-Beatle-esque pop in the vein of Tommy Hoehn and Van Duren. A great find from the early/mid 70s!!

PhotobucketTHE EXPLORERS CLUB - "Freedom Wind"
20 year old kids who are not only obsessed with Brian Wilson and classic Beach Boys, The Explorers Club just received a rare ‘5 star’ review in Uncut.
We can hear why, to a large degree. Classic status? Probably not, but it’s certainly going to have fans of Wilson/BB majorly ga-ga because there has not been a band to light this style and side of pop since Wondermints hit the scene in the mid 90s. It’s not just Beach Boys going on here, either. Mamas & Papas, the Byrds, the Zombies, Glen Campbell, the Bee Gees, the Association, and Emmit Rhodes. All this from 20 yr olds! Hope for humanity!

PhotobucketJEREMY - "Pop Explosion" (2 CDs)
Fans of The Beatles, Byrds, Big Star, The Kinks, The Who, and all the classics will feel right at home with "Pop Explosion" which is one of Jeremy's most radio friendly cds to date! The sound culls the best from the 60's and 70's school of classic melodic rock and pop. The home run hits abound on this platter of pure pop heaven. Stellar power pop indeed.
COMES WITH LIMITED BONUS 24 Song COVERS CD! The covers disc contains 24 covers by classic bands such as Teenage Fanclub, The Monkees, Sweet, Idle Race, Lou Reed, 10cc, The Byrds, The Who, The Beatles, Left Banke, Klaatu, Genesis, Yo La Tengo, The Replacements, 1910 Fruitgum Company, Neil Diamond, Squire, The Jetset, Big Star, Bay City Rollers, and more! For this price, oh yeah – Extremely Highly Recommended!

PhotobucketTOM FULLER BAND - "Abstract Man"
Fans of Doug Powell and Parthenon Huxley, pay attention here. The Tom Fuller Band gives new meaning to melodic classic pop rock music.

PhotobucketTHE BLACK WATCH - "Icing The Snow Queen"
2008 new studio album!! Their entire catalog is a paradigm of not only consistent, high craft but contains many moments of transcendent beauty. Each and every album is pastoral, moving and yearning gem. The sound here, as always, utilizes windswept, atmospheric indie pop combined with chiming, chilly guitars and the use of occasional touches of strings to add depth and mystery to these proceedings. The songs here are a beautiful portrait of the intense melody and mesmerizing mood that this long-standing violin/guitar-attack, boy/girl indie band is so well known for.
Think along the lines of a sad Beatles leavened by an insouciance worthy of vintage The Go-Betweens(like Tallulah/16 Lovers Lane) , sprinkled with tinkling touches of XTC`s more pastoral moments, and seasoned with lyrics as poetic and smile-inducing as any written by Mr Andy Partridge himself.
It`s a truly unique blendings of moody, melody drenched hooks colored divinely with violin and cello stringed strummings that breathtakingly beautiful and leaving fingerprints of music`s ability to capture feelings of the soul.

PhotobucketATOMIC - "Coming Up From The Streets"
German import and a good ‘ole fashioned rock band with influences and sounds grounded in 90s British rock(Oasis), Swedish rock(Mando Diao) and a bit of gritty old school punky pop(anyone remember the post-Sex Pistols band, The Professionals?!
More? Supergrass, Stereophonics, The Soundtrack Of Our Lives, The Kooks, The Coral and all kinds of guitar-driven modern rockers who pay homage to the greats of the 70s, 80’s and 90’s. ood looks, an elusive charm, modern sounds stacked on top of old fashion pop tunes and, simply, a killer, old fashion ROCK record, start to finish.

PhotobucketGORDON WEISS - "Sum Of Its Parts"
Out of nowhere comes “Sum Of Its Parts”, the debut from one Gordon Weiss.
And a more perfect title could not be had as Weiss blends, bleeds and balances a bit of varying song styles, evident with the contrast of “Fountains Of Weezer”(which sounds like, ahem, you know who) and is followed by “Too Much”, a mid-tempo rocker that could have walked off either a Black Crowes album or a late 70s Eric Clapton one. A compliment, for the record! Then comes “It’s Easy” which starts off with an Eagles/Bread guitar exchange and ends up finding its way to sounding like a lost track from the Barenaked Ladies. Then the killer “Red Shoes Revisted” pulls off the difficult task of evoking a hero who shall be un-named if you can’t pick up on the obvious reference. Listen to the first song below for further reference help.
Bold, Beautiful and Very Highly Recommended!

Monday, June 9, 2008


I am a huge fan of late 70s / early '80 overblown rock musicals, and usually, the worse, the better. Who honestly doesn't love SGT. PEPPER'S LONELY HEARTS CLUB BAND starring the Bee Gees and Peter Frampton?

What about the Village People masterpiece CAN'T STOP THE MUSIC?

Ever taken a bite of the futuristic psuedo-Biblical atrocity that is THE APPLE?

How about Oliva Newton-John in XANADU, with music by Not Lame faves ELO?

And who can forget the lesser known sequel to ROCKY HORROR, the New Wavey SHOCK TREATMENT?

While not as overblown, the never released, much mythologized, punk-pop classic LADIES AND GENTLEMEN, THE FABULOUS STAINS, directed by Lou Adler of ROCKY HORROR fame, is finally making its way to DVD thanks to Rhino and their Rock'N'Roll Cinema series!!! Barely, if ever, released in theaters and never released on legitimate home video, this 1981 rock morality tale stars a very young Diane Lane and Laura Dern as member of an all-girl mall-punk band that goes on tour with a supergroup made up of ex-Sex Pistols Steve Jones and Paul Cook, The Clash's Paul Simonon, Fee Waybill from The Tubes. Could a long lost, long awaited soundtrack release be far behind????

Here's the Stains covering The Professionals (Jones and Cook's post-Pistols outing) catchy tune "Join the Professionals"!!!