Friday, March 20, 2009

What new on the NOT LAME shelves??? Part Three

Here's some of the newest releases straight from the Boss's desk to your ears!

JAPAN only import and a great find for jangle fans with much of the material on this 16 song album from Totos, a band I have not heard of before. Probably because the Japanese pop scene appears to insular and separate from the rest of the world. When you listen to these trax, you will wonder how not more of the world`s pop fans know of Totos. Listen to the perfection of BANDWAGONESQUE-era Teenage Fanclub on track #1 at the link. Gorgeous. What follow is more of that style of jangle pop and bits of early/mid 90s indie pop. Think Velocity Girl as some of the songs feature male/female counterpoint. There is no information on the band or informative reviews of the CD in English anywhere but now we all can enjoy the sunny, uplifting energy of Totos here. Extremely Highly Recommended!

What-A-Gem! Just listen to the four samples below and hear what you think. Have heard `zero` talk about this band and can not fathom why. Echoes of The New Pornographers would seem merit some kind of hip, indie buzz but, alas, it is up to you and me to get the right `n proper word out bearded, bespectacled hipsters be damned.

"Piano-banging, hook-laden wistful pop, a la the Zombies, ELO, the Shins. Through its single lens, Yutzy-Burkey has focused on three of the great themes of pop music: lost youth, thwarted love and the fear of death. This is serious stuff, yet couched in such likeable, easily absorbed musical settings that you hardly notice the angst. And in a way, is not that the secret of great power-pop? You are humming along to philosophy`s most serious questions...but with a big smile on your face." -Pop Matters

Their 6th album has arrived and the Dipsomaniacs just keeping doing whey do so very, very well. As is their trademark, they parade out a strong Replacements vibe (but tighter) along with plenty of Material Issue, some Flamin` Groovies, some Posies, The Who. It`s a familiar drill, arguably, but The Dipsomaniacs have their patent on this sort of filtration system and it works extremely well and goes down with ease.

"If you like the early power pop stylings of The Who and/or guitar driven Replacements-like rockers, this is gold. Throw in a splash of Weezer on some of the poppier stuff and Steve Earle on the country tinged rockers for some great flavor." - Rolling Stone online

Thanks to Not Lamer Tom Hibdon for turning me onto the Pale Figures, a band that will enigmatically avoid any easy comparison to anything you have heard before. The first song on this album, "You Are A Star" (sorry, did not soundbite this one), sounds like Willie Nelson playing with the Feelies and Pavement, while others evoke such obscure bands like the Vulgar Boatmen and the Texas Instruments with their laid-back, `hanging on the porch`strumming and when the heat turns up, it is all cool 90s indie rock, bringing to mind Versus , Spent and Pavement. But the band they most remind me, for those who are truly ultra-cool in your good tastes, is the late 80s Austin, Texas band, Glass Eye. If you know of what I talk about here, trust me, it is really, really, *really* cool music going on here with these 19 trax.

Speaking of, the title speaks to the fact there two different albums here with the 11 being recorded in Memphis and the other 8 recorded in Chicago with Steve Albini, surprisingly. The band is the same, the articulation of spirit with the material is reflected in the cities they were recorded in.

PhotobucketTHE RESPECTABLES - s/t
After how well that the Respectables second album SIBLEY GARDENS did the last few months here at Not Lame, `wowing` dozens of your over with their classic rock riffs and pure popping melodies, it is now time to offer up their self-titled debut. Both albums have that Replacements Mid West rock thing going on; it`s classic rock for the power pop sect with its mixture of Keith Richards/Stones guitar riffs(think Black Crowes) and a soulful punch of tasteful horns mixed in here and there. Passion, GUTS and TUNES! Think Mitch Ryder meets Cheap Trick. The Respectables combine equal elements of power pop, glam rock, roots rock, and classic rock to create their version of the truth. Great songs, bad ass playing and let the tape roll! What`s captured here is a straight ahead pop rock record that`s not afraid to let it`s roots show.

PhotobucketNICK PIUNTI- s/t
Nick Piunti is the leader of Detroit`s the Respectables, whose two albums grace the NOT LAME web site proudly and which not only light the fire under my rock `n roll soul but have for many, many Not Lamers the last year. This CD from Piunti is from 2002 and it comes from the same swath as the Respectables, albeit a little less rocking - but, hey, that usually is the domain of solo records, right? Here, the flow of heartland rock and the MidWest shines. Think a more cool, less pretentious BoDeans and 54-40. Also, reminds me of the Del Lords, the Del Fuegos and the Rainmakers. Now, those sounds were popularized for many us back in the 80s ,mostly - but it really is the timeless sound of rock `n roll done with a working class soul, working for that weekend. Very Highly Recommended.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

What new on the NOT LAME shelves??? Part Two

Here's some of the newest releases straight from the Boss's desk to your ears!

The sophomore album has been unearthed! The Junior League`s debut, CATCHY was, well, indeed that. SMILE SHOOT SMILE delivers more of the (thankful) same ,this time mixing in some classic rock elements with a few songs sounding like Marshall Crenshaw and Credence Clearwater Revival with a Beach Boys breakdown. Fans of Sloan, The Gripweeds, classic Lemonheads power pop, Big Star and bands that have been influenced by Buffalo Springfield but are making modern-day pop, the Junior League are happening for ya. It touches on all kinds of power popping stepping stones and creates a fresh, lively sound - JUST what we are all looking for. Very Highly Recommended!

A truly special 25-track release that covers all the very best years and trax from Jim Basnight`s music career. This collection starts off with 11 trax from the legendary the Moberlys, who were highly touted in Trouser Press back in the `heydays`. Classic late 70`s/early 80`s power pop going on here, driven by loud but always hook honed guitars. Think the Plimsouls, the Real Kids, the Scruffs and Titan Records, the Beat and early REM and Athens-based pop bands in the early 80`s.

From there it travels in the 80s incarnation of the Moberlys, whose material keeps up w/ the time and in the 90s we have four tracks from the Rockinghams, who released the album this material comes from on Not Lame Limited back at the end of that decade and then into his most recent excursions with the Jim Basnight Thing. The title song is also represented in its original form, a great demo track recorded at EMI studios in Los Angeles in 1986 by the Moberlys, which was also the final track on Jim Basnight and the Moberlys SEATTLE-NY-LA - a compilation that was released in France on the Pop the Balloon label in 2001. All six of the unique CDs of Jim`s career are well represented here. Catch up with a bonafide power pop legend here on this excellent, top quality compilation. Timeless always.

PhotobucketFOUR EYES - ANTHOLOGY 1977-1990
Another lost skinny tie, power popping band that so few have heard of but sure do merit attention now. Mark DeCerbo`s band Four Eyes has a rich, deep legacy - much of it captured here on this anthology of 22 songs, a very healthy sampling I have put below because I want to make sure you check this unknown treasure out. Like recent reissues like the Wigs and Doug Derek & the Hoax, even the most ardent power pop fan `back in the day` might not have heard of Four Eyes but if distribution of information had been different in the late 70s, we sure would have.

Well, sometimes these things take time and in 2009, that problem is rectified. Listen to the samples over at the home page and hear the sounds of Shoes, the Deal and Phil Seymour and the Romantics. As the band moves into the 80s, the embrace the indie rock sounds of the times (echoes of, say, the Rainmakers in some areas) with skill and good taste(anotherwords, they avoid the nasty gated drum sounds wisely). There is mention of Greg Kihn and Dane Conover of the obscure early 80s fave future-pop band, Trees, appearing on some of these tracks, too. Beginning To End, Four Eyes is a really wonderful find for many of you there. Listen for yourself right here, right now!

2009 from one of Canada`s brightest pop stars, the Perms return after a 3 year break. As (really) good as "Better Days" was with it leaving their previous work in the dust, KEEPS YOU UP WHEN YOU'RE DOWN shines above because of its consistency and renewed vigor to attack their songs with hard-pop edge. There`s a special, unique branding and merging of a lot of artists familiar w/ Not Lamers, like late 70`s/early 80`s Elvis Costello, Sloan, the Lolas and some PINKERTON-era Weezer. What separates the Perms from so many other pop bands is their careful artistry and arrangements, fusing that soulful horn sound alongside archetypal power pop melodies `n hooks. This baby is laced up and ready to glide along smooth ice of its special blend of harmony-laden power pop. Extremely Highly Recommended!

"The Perms are a timeless pop band, employing catchy melodies and tight songwriting above all else, and it`s something proven by the classic pop sounds of "Better Days" - an upbeat and joyful treat for the senses." - UK Music Search

Well, we lost the Young Sportsmen, a big fave here at Not Lame, last year but from the ashes of that bands` demise, we have the I Love Myselfs, featuring head Sportsmen Ryan Maxwell and former Riffbroker guitarist Eric Olson. It is pure rock `n roll, like an angry version of the Flamin` Groovies and more melodic the Hives. We are talking brawn, dirty rawk, pop and cowbell. The I Love Myselfs are about blistering rock and roll reminiscent of Redd Kross, the Dead Boys, the Godfathers, Hoodoo Gurus, and Swinging Neckbreakers. The style ranges from heavy 70s guitar thunder to rootsy twang.

GERMANY ONLY import. Much as I loved their self-titled debut, I REALLY love GIVE ME A LOOK from Mark & the Spies, where they perfect form. Their main influences are the Beatles, Barry & the Remains, early the Who, Motown, Simon & Garfunkel, Link Wray, the Motions and the ZOMBIES, so you can imagine that most of their songs are filled with great melodies, heavenly harmonies and up-tempo beats. Great pop base inside their garage! This album is once again recorded by the legendary E.J. `I`ve got my mono working` Kloosterboer and filled with great jangling guitar-pop with a delicious sixties sauce. In times where the packaging, the number of different color pressings, the most limited circulation and the crappiest sound seems to be more important than the ability to write a great, simple and dead catchy tune, Mark & the Spies entered the studio again to prove all you self-appointed rock`n`roll experts wrong, with their awesome blend of pure crystalline 60`s pop and classic garage-beat.

Mark & The Spies enter the scene to prove all you self-appointed rock`n`roll experts wrong, with their awesome blend of pure crystalline 60`s pop and classic garage-beat Mersey-pop. This Dutch quintet plays music that is hard-tempered and expansive without ever seeming precious or compromised. Extremely Highly Recommended!

What new on the NOT LAME shelves??? Part One

Here's some of the newest releases straight from the Boss's desk to your ears!

2009 release! It has been some time since we last heard from Kyle Vincent and he sounds renewed and re-energized. Somehow Vincent has found a way to take a large dose of 1972 and make it sound fresher than a 2009 summer day. The production is crystal clear, warm, bright, and sassy on top, with a strong live rhythm section providing the bed. On WHERE ARE YOU, he focuses on what his strengths are in the past with emotional ballads and songs alongside moving melodies all over the place here.

"Kyle Vincent`s WHERE ARE YOU is another in a long string of high-quality, exquisitely sung and impeccably performed releases by the Crown Prince of Soft Pop. If this was the `70s you`d no doubt be hearing these songs all over your AM radio, but today, just be thankful that there`s still a craftsman like Kyle making music from - and for - the heart." -John M. Borack, GOLDMINE

*** BIG, BIG NEWS! A bonafide power pop classic - no question. TOY PLANE is back for a VERY LIMITED TIME ***

Pay attention. If you have not heard of David Grahame and you are a power pop fan, you just have made a very important discovery. Very. Check out each every one of his releases available here. With TOY PLANE, his first release from 1998, here`s one fact that may clinch this one right off the back for many, hopefully. TOY PLANE was voted as one of Goldmine`s essential 25 Essential Power Pop Albums a few years back AND it is #56 on the list of the "Top 200" Power Pop Albums Of All Time from the SHAKE SOME ACTION: THE ULTIMATE GUIDE TO POWER POP book.

TOY PLANE is available for only a LIMITED TIME - Do Not Wait!!

I *knew* Chris Richards had it in time to deliver a true treasure. With SAD SOUNDS OF THE SUMMER he has. With his band the Subtractions, Richards has found fellow musos to articulate his jangle pop vision. Just jump in head first below and start listening to what`s going on here. If you are a fan of the Windbreakers, Bobby Sutliff and Tim Lee, this kind of music is going to win you over big. Echoes of many Swedish power pop bands we love so much are here, alongside pumping Velvet Crush-like guitar lines, Tommy Keene inspired melodies and the Lolas--and so much more. The guitars ring proudly, the vocals soar heavenward and the hooks rip the line off the fishing rod - it`s pure pop delight.

I mentioned that his previous albums were mansions of happy, sunny and bright pop melodies, chippy guitar sounds and snappy vocals and the same applies here, but in spades. All areas of the creation are upped to a higher level - everything rings stronger, brighter and exhibits quiet confidence that only a veteran can deliver. EXTREMELY Highly Recommended!!

The Roswells are now...the Tomorrows! It has been many, many years since the last Roswells CD came out and the core of the band has been keeping busy and working on their magnum opus with JUPITER OPTIMUS MAXIMUS released under the name the Tomorrows.

"The Tomorrows carry on the psychedelic pop tradition, but streamline things a bit so that the songs are tighter and even more melodic. Fans of Chewy Marble will eat up those great bent notes and striking chord changes! Definitely a force to be reckoned with!" - David Bash/IPO

Okay, HOW do thousands of power pop fans miss, completely, a release like MANIFESTO OF A BROKEN HEART from the Ravines?! This one was released back in 2005 and 4 years later I have heard of it and will not try and convince you to embrace a band that should have snuggled up into your ears years ago. Take a few minutes to listen over at the link. Perfect Michael Carpenter, the Odds, Greenberry Woods and Gin Blossoms sounds are all over the place, but there is the Rembrandts and Crowded House, which Power PopAHolic accurately points out(as always).


Okay, you may not know the name of Kenneth Ishak, but some of you should know his band Beezewax. SILVER LIGHTNING FROM A BLACK SKY is a solo album from Ishak and it is absolutely gorgeous, the kind of record we do not hear enough because the ambition it seeks to explore are vistas that scare most artists and labels - yet, when you get right down to it, works beauty like this are the most practical ways to each an audience by being authentic, by being true to ones self. Fans of Jon Brion, Elliot Smith, Charles Jenkins(Ice Cream Hands), the solo works of Jon Auer and Ken Stringfellow, Jeff Tweedy and Ryan Adams -- it is all here. It is all just a joy to listen to, from beginning to end.

Friday, March 13, 2009

MPFrees!!! for 03.13.09

PhotobucketFire Town's fantastic 1987 album, IN THE HEART OF THE HEART COUNTRY, was reissued not too long ago and, man, did it fly off the NOT LAME shelves? (There's still a few copies left, you should pick one up..hint, hint!)

Our friends over at the awesome new blog Fix It in the Mix have posted an incredible live set from Fire Town, which, according to Fix It has "more than likely has never been heard since Westwood One first broadcast a portion of it in 1987."

To download the concert, check out this post here.

NOT LAME fave Martin Popoff interviewed on Shockwaves Skull Sessions!

PhotobucketAre you familiar with Martin Popoff? You oughta be. Sure, his book stray from the realm of, ahem, power-pop, but there's room for other genre love, right?

You see, Popoff is, or at least should be acclaimed as, the world's foremost authority on metal of all types. You name it: from authoritative tomes on Rush, Black Sabbath and Van Halen to his incredible YE OLDE METAL series, focusing on some of the most obscure of 70s metal and hard rock acts.

Interested? Check out his website and then check out this great podcast interview with him!

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

MPFrees!!! for 03.11.09

PhotobucketBeen over to PowerPop Overdose lately? You NEED to check out their series WHO ARE THOSE GUYS! Volume 3 has just been posted and features cuts from artists such as Sorry, the Hippie Love Gods, Tyler Esposito, Curlee Wurlee and six others!

To download--and you really, REALLY ought to-- check out this post!

The Best of Bruce's RANDOM VINYL PULLS! 2

PhotobucketAre you following Bruce on Twitter? No? Then you're missing out on his near-daily RANDOM VINYL PULLS. Ever since he's brought his record player into the office, he's bringing in one classic lost piece of vinyl after another. Here's some of what he's been playing--LOUDLY--around the office...

Starz - ATTENTION SHOPPERS: "...never tire of this bands' 1st 3 albums. Mid/Late70s candy-coated hard rock with hooks."

Early 80s Power Pop goodness. 4 Out of 5 Doctors. Released two albums, some gems on each one. Check 'em out here.

The Secrets - s/t: YEAH!! Not played this one in ages - Very rare, one of the best power pop LPs back in the day.

Fabulous Poodles - THINK PINK: Remember "Mirror Star"? Btw, I AM the world's best air guitarist!

PhotobucketTom Robinson - SECTOR 27: Have to say, TRG's "Power In The Darkness" may be an album in my All Time Top 30 list.

The Stompers - s/t: Ill-fated Boston band, the city's version of a more bar-room-ish Springsteen, Southside Johnny...

Awesome new JELLYBRICKS video!!!

It's hard to keep a Jellybricks album in stock, and with good reason: they rock! Here's a video from their latest, GOODNIGHT TO EVERYONE, which cleverly uses some Rock Band graphics! You gotta check this out, and then immediately check out the new album!!!

Friday, March 6, 2009

MPFrees!!! (Kinda...) for 03.06.09

PhotobucketPower-pop legend Tommy Keene's latest record has dropped and, well, it is of course phenomenal!!! Have you got it yet? No? Well get it NOW!!!

To celebrate, MAGNET let Keene make a kick-ass mix tape. And while you get a free download of his cover of Big Star's "Nighttime", the rest of the mix, featuring tunes by Aerosmith, Television, Roxy Music and the Beatles, among others, are playable only on the page. (Well...maybe it's not so bad, as chances are most of you already own these tunes...)

Click here to check out MAGNET's Keene Mix Tape.

THE BEATLES: ROCK STAR - More details announced!!!


We here at NOT LAME love Guitar Hero. Love it! We rock Guitar Hero: Aerosmith like nobody's business. But now it looks like we're gonna have to invest in this whole Rock Band package--there's no way I'm passing up the chance to be in the Beatles! Even cooler, the instruments are going to be modeled after the Beatles own--all you need is a Beatle wig and pair of Beatle boots!

Here's the press release...


New York, NY - March 5, 2009 - Apple Corps, Ltd., Harmonix and MTV Games, a part of Viacom's MTV Networks (NYSE: VIA, VIA.B), today announced the 9/9/09 worldwide release of The Beatles: Rock Band ( The music-based video game, an unprecedented, experiential progression through and celebration of the music and artistry of The Beatles, will be available simultaneously worldwide in North America, Europe, Australia, New Zealand and other territories for the Xbox 360 video game and entertainment system from Microsoft, PLAYSTATION 3 computer entertainment system and Wii home videogame console from Nintendo.

PhotobucketThe Beatles: Rock Band will allow fans to pick up the guitar, bass, mic or drums and experience The Beatles extraordinary catalogue of music through gameplay that takes players on a journey through the legacy and evolution of the band's legendary career. In addition, The Beatles: Rock Band will offer a limited number of new hardware offerings modeled after instruments used by John Lennon, Paul McCartney, George Harrison and Ringo Starr throughout their career.

The Beatles: Rock Band will be offered as standalone software and hardware as well as a limited edition bundle. The game will be compatible with all Rock Band instrument controllers and other current music-based video game peripherals.

* Available on 9/9/09: The Beatles: Rock Band Software - Xbox 360, PLAYSTATION 3, Wii: $59.99 MSRP

* The Beatles: Rock Band Standalone Guitars - Xbox 360, PLAYSTATION 3, Wii: $99.99 MSRP

* The Beatles: Rock Band Limited Edition Premium Bundle: Xbox 360, PLAYSTATION 3, Wii: $249.99 MSRP

PhotobucketThe Beatles: Rock Band marks the first time that Apple Corps, along with EMI Music, Harrisongs Ltd, and Sony/ATV Music Publishing, has agreed to present The Beatles music in an interactive video game format. The Beatles: Rock Band will be published by MTV Games and developed by Harmonix, the world's premier music video game company and creators of the best-selling Rock Band. Electronic Arts will serve as distribution partner for the game. In addition, Giles Martin, co-producer of The Beatles innovative LOVE album project, is providing his expertise and serving as Music Producer for this groundbreaking Beatles project.

Exclusive content created by Apple Corps, MTV Games and Harmonix will be made available to fans over the next few months who participate in a pre-order campaign through major retailers. More details on The Beatles: Rock Band game and pre-order will be revealed in the coming months.

Please visit

Who wants to come over to the office and play???

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

MPFrees!!! for 03.04.09

PhotobucketA couple of week's ago I was sent a press release for Dylan Connor's full album redux of Weezer's GREEN ALBUM. I had been planning on downloading it for the past few weeks, but only got around to it yesterday and, you know, it's really, really, REALLY good. It's extremely low-fi, but actually improves on certain songs, such as "Hash Pipe" and "Islands in the Sun". Fans of Brady Harris's recent triumph COVER CHARGE will love this.

Download Dylan Connor's ALMOST GREEN ALBUM here.

If you like what you hear, why not head over to and check out his new album BREAKAWAY AND BURN. “Connor falls somewhere in between power pop and indie pop, but whatever label you choose to apply, he has a way with a melody.” – Absolute Powerpop

The first TINTED WINDOWS track!!!

Photobucket are we liking it???

Eric Sorensen's JANGLE ON for March 2009!!!

By Eric Sorensen‏, written exclusively for NOT LAME

It has been a slow winter in terms of “new” jangly music. There have been some recent notable exceptions, so here are a few new discs that fellow fans of jangly music ought to seek out:

PhotobucketJim Hitchcock - GRATEFUL
I did a “Rickenbacker 12-string” search on CD Baby, and – voila! – this excellent 2008 disc appeared. The opening track, “She Came Alone,” sounds similar to the Roger McGuinn/Tom Petty radio friendly tunes of the early 90s. Hitchcock’s Rickenbacker chimes, rings and jangles on other tracks – like “The Love For The Game,” “I Gotta Get Away” and “Pacific Coast Highway.” The liner notes state: “This CD is dedicated to the 60s and Roger McGuinn of the Byrds for his chiming Rickenbacker guitar sound, to the 70s vocal harmony of the Eagles and finally to the melodic digital beauty of U2’s the Edge.” For this, we are grateful to you Jim!

PhotobucketHey, fans of female vocals and chiming Rickenbacker guitars! Be sure to pick up a copy of the new Jenny Wolfe album AFTER SCHOOL that was just released on the Steady Boy Records label. Ms. Wolfe made quite a splash with her debut disc Jenny Wolfe And The Pack, and now that she is a sophomore in high school, her sophomore disc showcases her growth as a vocalist, songwriter and musician. Mentor Freddie Steady Krc has the 16 year-old Jenny leaving American Idol wannabes eating her dust on 14 tracks of classic rock covers, Explosives covers and original tunes. Jenny’s pipes and chops draw easy comparisons with the Spector girl group sound, the torch-rock repertoire of Linda Ronstadt and the straight-ahead rock’n’roll of Joan Jett. Jenny’s maturing talent is further seasoned with Krc’s steady production skills and a fine handful of studio sidemen that give her big voice a 21st century wall of sound. Jangleholics will be pleased to note that Krc’s bandmate and pal Cam King does the honors on Rickenbacker 12-string guitar, and Ms. Wolfe is pictured in the jewel case with a jetglow Rickenbacker. My favorite tracks: “After School” and “Twisted Smile,” co-written by Jenny and Freddie, and her cover of the Beau Brummels’ mid-60s gem “Just A Little.” Move over Maura Kennedy, Penny Davis, Mary Lou Lord et al - there’s a new girl moving up the jangly charts!

PhotobucketIn my last column, I mentioned multi-track artist David Heselden’s self-produced disc, BYRDMAN OF BEARWOOD. David has recorded a number of other jangly tracks on his follow-on compilation disc, HEAR AGAIN! This second disc features more crisp, chiming Rickenbacker riffs on Beatles, Searchers and Byrds covers … as well as some original material. Standout cover tunes include: “When You Walk In The Room,” “You’ve Got To Hide Your Love Away,” “All I Really Want To Do,” “If I Needed Someone,” “Don’t Throw Your Love Away” and Buddy Holly’s “Maybe Baby.” David’s material is not available commercially, but you can contact him at his email address – - and mention that you read about him here. He might be willing to share some of his excellent home-recorded music with you. Many thanks to David for keeping the jangly pop-rock of the 60s alive in this millennium, and thanks again to my pal Ray Verno for discovering David’s music via his online searches.

Ray also tipped me off to some new releases involving singer/songwriter and Rickenbacker 12-string guitarist extraordinaire Tony Poole. Tony has released START THE COUNTDOWN, a compilation of material that Tony recorded with the group The Sun in the early 80s, on his own Aurora label. In addition, the Broadside label is releasing a single CD Hits compilation of songs by Tony’s best-known band Starry Eyed & Laughing. Hits will include the band’s superb version of “Chimes Of Freedom” and two previously unreleased live recordings of “He Was A Friend Of Mine” and “You Ain’t Goin’ Nowhere.”

“Song of the Month” honors go to Tony Poole for the awesome tune “Stranger In My Time” - which could easily be mistaken for a McGuinn solo track by diehard Byrds fans! Tony also teams up with Sid Griffin (Long Ryders, Coal Porters, Western Electric) on a live version of Sid’s “I Tell Her All The Time.” Fans of the Rickenbacker 12-string sound must have been quite pleased to be in that concert audience. One final note regarding Tony Poole: you can hear Tony’s chiming 12-string guitar on Katie Humble’s disc TRUE TO YOUR SOUL. Katie’s album features a number of cover songs, and Tony’s Rickenbacker is quite pronounced on “Rain” and “Kiss From A Rose.” Long may you run, Sir Tony...and please cross the pond and play a couple of gigs on this side of the Atlantic!

Although the “Godfather of Desert Rock” – Rich Hopkins (Sidewinders, Sand Rubies and Luminarios) – is best known for his snarling Neil Young-inspired “wall of guitars” sound, Rich has given several nods to melodic pop music over the years. His latest disc – LOVELAND – is a collaboration with Lisa Novak, and two of the duo’s songs, “Lucky Guy” and “Matthew Sweet,” are power pop gems...with some Rickenbacker riffs thrown in for good measure. I have said this many times before, but it bears repeating - long may you run, Sir Rich!

PhotobucketA RIVER SO WIDE by Tiller’s Folly
I have CD Baby to thank for finding this excellent disc by a very talented trio that crosses a number of musical genres – pop, rock, country, folk, celtic and bluegrass. While I enjoy the entire album (which features some nifty vocal harmonies reminiscent of Poco), the standout track is “The Things I Haven’t Done” – which is a very radio-friendly song that reminds me of Blue Rodeo.

In the “blast from the past” category comes a handful of groups and artists who all crossed paths in the greater New York City area back in the 80s and 90s. Lauren Agnelli, Dave Rave, Gary “Pig” Gold, Shane Faubert, Tony Low, Buddy Woodward and Mick Hargreaves collectively had a hand in forming the Washington Squares, Agnelli and Rave, the Cheepskates and the Ghost Rockets. While the Cheepskates’ albums featured the most jangly tracks of all of these artists, each of these artists/groups released some excellent melodic pop music that has stood the test of time. What a blast it was to see the Ghost Rockets perform twice in the Washington, D.C. area – and I’ll never forget how enthused Buddy Woodward was to show off his “Nudie” suit when the band played at IOTA.

PhotobucketA similar cluster of talented pop artists crossed paths with one another in the NYC area in the mid-70s. Imagine what it was like to hang out with BEATLEMANIA cast members David Grahame (Paul McCartney), Marshall Crenshaw (John Lennon) and Les Fradkin (George Harrison)...who, while developing their own solo material, admired the home-recorded material by wunderkind indie artist Mark Johnson. Crossing paths in today’s NYC pop scene are, among others, members of the Grip Weeds, the Smithereens, Richard Heyman (once a bandmate of Tommy Keene in the D.C. power pop band the Rave), George Usher, Ed Rogers and the Kennedys. If only I lived closer to Manhattan!

Until next month, jangle on!