Thursday, June 18, 2009

More info on THE BEATLES: ROCK BAND!!!


PhotobucketMore info is becoming available about this September's THE BEATLES: ROCK BAND game, and, I'm starting to get the feeling that many Power-Poppers will be going out and getting an XBOX360 just for this! Just look at what the set comes with! The instrument peripherals include Ringo's Ludwig drum controller, a Rickenbacker 325 and Gretsch Duo Jet-inspired guitar controllers and a Höfner 500/1-inspired bass controller. That's just beautiful, if you ask me. Now just check out the trailer:


NOT LAME best buddy Mike Baron has been writing insanely fun missive for Breitbart's Big Hollywood, and, this time, he wants everyone to know about the BEST in current Power-pop!!!

by Mike Baron

Few shows illustrate how low the state of popular music has fallen than “American Idol.” While AI regularly finds singers of talent, the songs they feature are mostly chestnuts. The show also encourages the type of singing that is more at home on Broadway than in small smoky clubs. The judges put an inordinate amount of focus on vocal pyrotechnics encouraging contestants to test the outer limits of their ranges. The most exciting news to come out of the most recent season is the possibility that Adam Lambert might join Queen, replacing the ill-considered Paul Rogers.

I would love to see Adam Lambert join Queen. I already know all the songs. And that’s a problem. Singer/songwriters have been moving off-grid since the nineties. With the demise of the major music conglomerates, innovative talent understands it’s up to them to record and release their own material. The internet makes this possible. No one knows the extent of the effect downloading has had on the music industry, but if we are to judge from the reaction, it has been devastating. The Recording Institute Association of America has brought suits against parents whose children illegally download songs.

The music press that used to serve a vast range of interests is dying. No Depression and Blender bit the dust last year. Paste is asking its readers for financial contributions. Rolling Stone and Spin long ago gave up covering innovative grass-roots rock in favor of the ever-dwindling supply of “mainstream” acts. Rolling Stone now resembles an uncomfortable cross between The Nation and Vanity Fair.

The remaining music rags seem to be involved in a conspiracy to cover the same artists. How else to explain the simultaneous cover appearances of such bands as Vampire Weekend, Connor Oberst, and Bat for Lashes? These are the “official,” industry sanctioned “edgy artists.” Trouble is, all these music venues are waiting for someone else to sanction an artist before they’re interested. They are missing the forest for the trees.

Continued here.

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Gone Troppo: EMI's Announced ANOTHER Lackluster George Harrison Best Of.

PhotobucketMy sweet Lord...can George Harrison get just a little bit of respect? A little?

I receive regular updates on all things Beatles and the other day, this announcement showed up in my box:

Collection Features Harrison's Solo Hits from 1970's All Things Must Pass Through 2002's Brainwashed, Remastered, Plus Live Recordings from 1971 Concert For Bangladesh

Hollywood, California - May 5, 2009 - Capitol/EMI confirms the tracklist for George Harrison's first-ever career-spanning solo hits collection, Let It Roll: Songs by George Harrison. To be released June 16 (June 15 internationally), the CD's special packaging includes a 28-page booklet featuring previously unseen and rare photos, and newly-written liner notes by Warren Zanes. The collection's 19 tracks have been digitally remastered by Giles Martin at EMI's Abbey Road Studios, and will be available in CD and digital formats.

"Let It Roll: Songs by George Harrison is a gathering of material that takes us far into the territory that was ultimately a place unique to George Harrison," writes Warren Zanes in his liner notes essay for the new collection.

This collection is the first to span Harrison's entire solo recording career, including the #1 Billboard Pop singles "My Sweet Lord," "Isn't It A Pity," "Give Me Love (Give Me Peace On Earth)," and "Got My Mind Set On You." Let It Roll also features live recordings of three timeless Harrison-penned Beatles songs, "Something," "While My Guitar Gently Weeps," and "Here Comes The Sun," from his 1971 all-star Concert For Bangladesh benefit at Madison Square Garden

PhotobucketAlmost everyday I think about a George Harrison Greatest Hits album. He's the only one who has never really gotten the one he deserves. John has had box sets and numerous single discs, Paul McCartney's WINGSPAN from a few years back was the final word and even Ringo last year released the stellar PHOTOGRAPH: THE VERY BEST OF RINGO STARR which made number one on my favorite 2008 "best of/reissue list.

Yes...even Ringo.

But George's solo work has been sorely ignored. It started in 1976 with the release of THE BEST OF GEORGE HARRISON with one whole side made up of Beatles cuts. Compare that to SHAVED FISH or BLAST FROM YOUR PAST, John and Ringo's best-ofs, respectively, from roughly the same time period. There was no reason for the Beatles tracks, but the solo stuff was great, going as far as to include "You", "Dark Horse" and the studio cut of "Bangla Desh". And it had a hideous cover to boot.

PhotobucketMany years later, things improved nicely with THE BEST OF DARK HORSE (1976-1989), which covers a very neglected time-period in Harrison's career, but, of course, it's out of print, with new copies going for as much as $80. (I bought my copy in middle school and still play it regularly.)

Still, Harrison deserved an exhaustive collection, especially in the wake of his death! Nothing materialized, until now. Here's the track listing for LET IT ROLL:

1. Got My Mind Set On You
2. Give Me Love (Give Me Peace On Earth)
3. The Ballad Of Sir Frankie Crisp (Let It Roll)
4. My Sweet Lord
5. While My Guitar Gently Weeps [Live] - Concert For Bangladesh
6. All Things Must Pass
7. Any Road
8. This Is Love
9. All Those Years Ago
10. Marwa Blues
11. What Is Life
12. Rising Sun
13. When We Was Fab
14. Something [Live] - Concert For Bangladesh
15. Blow Away
16. Cheer Down
17. Here Comes The Sun [Live] - Concert For Bangladesh
18. I Don't Want To Do It
19. Isn't It A Pity

No "Ding Dong", no "Hari's On Tour". No "Dark Horse", no "You". No "Love Comes to Everyone", no "Crackerbox Palace". Nothing from GONE TROPPO or the LIVE IN JAPAN album. And the Bangladesh stuff? IT'S JUST BEATLES COVERS!!! No. No, please, take it back.

Sorry, but this collection is not only unnecessary, but insulting. Look: can we Harrison fans get a box set of some sort? At the very least a two-disc collection? Please??

Want to see the Kinks reunited?

Yeah, me too. So there's this guy who is trying just to do that and is making a film about it. Problem is he needs your help...

What new on the NOT LAME shelves??? 05. 02.09 Part One

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

PhotobucketThe Disciplines - SMOKING KILLS
THE POSIES ALERT!!! Posies co-leader Ken Stringfellow hooks up with a Norwegian garage band as a member and the Disciplines is the result and it kicks butt and is highly melodious.

"The production and instrumentation are spare and the vocal attitude is tough, yet the proceedings are rife with unconventional melody and song-structure reminiscent of early Squeeze. Here is hoping these Norsemen keep Stringfellow high-strung for a long time to come." - NewsOK

PhotobucketThe Sinceros - THE ART OF SUNBATHING
Finally! A mini-power-pop, new wave classic from 1979 available on CD! I get asked about this one 4 or 5 times a year about why it has not been released on CD yet... well, the wait is over! This includes the hits "Worlds Apart" and "Take Me To Your Leader" plus three bonus tracks include both sides of a non-album single and a rare live track recorded at My Father`s Place, New York. Members of the Sinceros went on to play with the Teardrop Explodes, Squeeze, Nick Lowe and Van Morrison.

PhotobucketJ.P. Cregan - MAN OVERBOARD
A wonderful out of nowhere find!

"On his solo debut he emphasizes the pure pop (for now people) and it`s all catchy as hell. Although opener "Carolyn (The Pledge Drive)", with its Nick Lowe/Brian Jay Cline-style country/roots vibe, might be lumped in with his band work, it`s a springboard to the power pop stylings of "Count to Three" and "Barbara is Strange", perhaps the album`s best track - pure ear candy with Beatlesque backing vocals, tambourines, fine Telecaster work, and a great melody." - Absolute PowerPop Blog

PhotobucketPretty & Nice - GET YOUNG
I Love This Band. A most excellent, cool quirky pop in the vein of my much beloved Field Mice. Each listen reveals something new `n fresh. Add XTC, early Squeeze and Brainiac to the mix. GET YOUNG is ten tracks of sharp-toothed, heavily armed, snappish pop songs.

A one-two punch, a collection of brashly anthemic pop songs without an aural snag to be found, and something much stranger. Listen in and wait as the pop walls begin to crumble. "Piranha" is a ravenous number that recalls the blistered pop audacity of early XTC, repeating its hooks like a mechanical hound relentlessly tickling your feet with its animal tongue.

PhotobucketClockwise - FADERS ON STUN
Really cool find from Canada, listen up, please! Catchy, clever, hook laden, three minute, guitar-driven, power-pop. Comparisons can be made to early Costello, Joe Jackson, Squeeze and Crowded House.

"Clockwise matches the cartoony flair of their album cover with a cartoony flair to their power pop, which recalls Sloan (opener "Opposites Attract"), Elvis Costello & the Attractions ("Boomtown"), and The Odds ("Upside Down")." - Absolute PowerPop Blog

PhotobucketWild Bores - WILD BORES
Evokes memories of the Vulgar Boatmen, Tom Petty, the Jayhawks, the Black Watch and for the more obscure minded, Rich Creamy Paint and Self. At times The Wild Bores sounds like the pure poppiest version of Pavement, if they were more direct, as the guitar lines are so spiffy and riffy. It has a rootsy pop core that will be appealing to Not Lamers.

"Akin to the reflective, and hopelessly sentimental artistry of Paul Westerburg, Ray Davies, John Mellencamp, Fountains of Wayne, and the master of them all, Bruce Springsteen." - Minor 7th

Monday, June 1, 2009

The 2009 Charlotte Pop Fest is ON!!!

PhotobucketJames Deem just sent me a message that the 2009 Charlotte Pop Fest is a go, and just check out the acts signed up so far: the Posies, the Spongetones, Bill Lloyd, Myracle Brah, the Singles, the Jellybricks, Starbelly, Cliff Hillis, Dennis Schocket, Josh Burch, Cool King Chris, Crisis, the Everyday Things, gogoPilot, Barry Holdship, Ed James, Tony Low, Leisure McCorkle, Chris McKay & the Critical Darlings, Scott’s Garage, the Stars Explode, the Stellas, stratocruiser, Transmission Fields, U-Phonik, the Vinyl Strangers and James Deem, with more to be announced!!!

You have go to get your tickets now! $50 for a three-day VIP pass is a steal!!! Click here to check 'em out!

All the details of the new BIG STAR box-set!!!

Just posted on the Rhino website!!!

PhotobucketBig Star - KEEP AN EYE ON THE SKY (Boxed Set)
$69.98 CD / Release Date - 09/15/2009

Big Star inspired a fevered allegiance among fans of power pop, giving rise to a cult of believers who spent decades spreading the gospel. Their enthusiasm turned this obscure Memphis pop band-one that got little airplay, sold few records, and only played a handful of times- into a remarkable rock and roll resurrection story. Big Star's trek from obscure Memphis band to standard bearers for an entire genre of music has never been fully mapped-until now. Rhino presents the definitive look at the definitive power-pop band with a four-disc boxed set divided between key cuts from Big Star's three studio albums and unreleased music. KEEP AN EYE ON THE SKY will be available September 15 from Rhino Records at all retail outlets, including, for a suggested list price of $69.98 (physical), it will also be available as a digital release the same day. A Deluxe Edition release of Chris Bell's solo album I AM THE COSMOS is due September 14 from Rhino Handmade.

KEEP AN EYE ON THE SKY spans 1968 to 1975 and shows the progression of Big Star through selections from such studio precursors as Rock City and Icewater; music from Big Star's acclaimed recordings (#1 RECORD, RADIO CITY, and THIRD/SISTER LOVERS); and relevant solo work by group principals Alex Chilton and Chris Bell, who formed Big Star in 1971 with bassist Andy Hummel and drummer Jody Stephens. The collection also uncovers a trove of unreleased demos, unused mixes, alternate versions of songs, and a 1973 concert recorded in Memphis.

PhotobucketIn these 98 tracks you can hear what turned artists as diverse as Cheap Trick, R.E.M., and The Replacements into Big Star fans. Spotlighting the band's roots, the boxed set opens with several songs recorded before Big Star formed, including “Try Again,” one of the first songs Bell and Chilton wrote together. Those early cuts are followed by Big Star's 1972 debut #1 RECORD, reimagined here using a mix of album tracks and unreleased alternate mixes of favorites like “Thirteen,” “When My Baby's Beside Me,” and more. Among the disc's rarities are “Country Morn'” (issued as a flexi-disc single by a Big Star fanzine), the demo for “I Got Kinda Lost,” and an unreleased acoustic demo of Chilton singing Loudon Wainwright's “Motel Blues.”

Ardent Records, the band's label, experienced problems with distribution that hindered any chances at success for #1 RECORD. Its failure was a major blow to Bell, who quit the band to go solo. In 1974, the Alex Chilton-led Big Star regrouped and released RADIO CITY, an album more attuned to the band's live energy that featured the power-pop confections “September Gurls” and “Back Of A Car.” The second disc of KEEP AN EYE ON THE SKY opens with a trio of unreleased demos: “There Was A Light,” “What's Going Ahn,” and “Life Is White.” The original song sequence for RADIO CITY follows, combining album versions with unreleased alternate mixes (“Way Out West” and “You Get What You Deserve.”) The disc features unissued versions of “She A Mover” and “Mod Lang,” several unreleased demos for Big Star's third album, plus Bell's acclaimed 1978 single “I Am The Cosmos” and its B-side “You And Your Sister.” Sadly, Bell died in a car accident a few months after the single's release.

When Big Star reconvened in 1975 to record THIRD/SISTER LOVERS, only Chilton and Stephens remained (Hummel left shortly before Radio City's release). Famed Memphis maverick Jim Dickinson was enlisted to supervise the recording, which languished on the shelf for years before its release in 1978. Despite its bleak timbre, wild dynamics, and fragility, the music possesses a startling grace. KEEP AN EYE ON THE SKY's third disc opens with seven demos (most previously unreleased) for songs that appear on THIRD/SISTER LOVERS, including “Jesus Christ,” “Take Care,” and “Holocaust.” Among the album's 19 songs collected here is “For You,” “Kizza Me,” and “Kanga Roo.” Also featured is “Lovely Day,” an early, unreleased version of “Stroke It Noel” with different lyrics; Chilton vamping with photographer Bill Eggleston at the piano for Nat King Cole's “Nature Boy” and a raucous cover of The Kinks' “Till The End Of The Day.”

PhotobucketThe collection's final disc contains unreleased highlights from three sets Big Star performed at Lafayette's Music Room in Memphis in January 1973. It is the best live recording ever of the band. The show captures Chilton, Hummel, and Stephens playing many of the songs on #1 RECORD, which had just recently been released. The set list includes a retooled version of “ST 100/6” lengthened by both guitar and drum solos (with a middle eight heisted from the Rock City song “The Preacher.”) Also in the repertoire are “There Was A Light” and “I Got Kinda Lost.” In addition, the concert includes fully formed versions of several songs recorded later for Radio City: “Back Of A Car,” “Way Out West,” “O My Soul,” and a particularly rocking “She's A Mover.” Those originals are mixed with a selection of covers: Todd Rundgren's “Slut,” T. Rex's “Baby Strange,” The Kinks' “Come On Now,” and The Flying Burrito Brothers' “Hot Burrito #2.”

The lavish packaging for KEEP AN EYE ON THE SKY includes extensive liner notes, rare and never-before-seen photos, and insightful essays about the cult of Big Star and the band's history. In the notes, Stephens reflects on the band's belated triumph. “Sure, it would've been nice to have been huge at the time. But, here we are, 30 years later, and Big Star is still playing, our music is turning up in movie soundtracks, and young people are still excited to discover the records. I mean, if that isn't success, I don't know what is.”

What new on the NOT LAME shelves??? 05. 01.09 Part One

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

PhotobucketRadio City - CLASS OF '77
MAJOR FIND Old School Power-pop Fans!! If you can`t get enough of 70s power-pop bands that were writing songs under the influence of the Beatles, Big Star and Blue Ash and you lament the fact that there`s just not as many of these records as there should have been. Enter Radio City into your life.

"8 out of 10. The playing is exceptional, and energy on tracks like "Tomorrow" & "Play It Like A Man" compares well with Elvis Costello or The Rubinoos, full of Rickenbacker riffs and strong drumming. For fans of Buddy Love, The Wigs, Doug Derek & The Hoax and The Toms it`s a no-brainer." - Absolute PowerPop Blog

PhotobucketDAVID GRAHAME David Grahame - EMITT ROAD
MORE BIG, BIG NEWS! Another bonafide power-pop classic - no question. 40 copies arrived the other day and only a few are left - DO NOT WAIT!
If you have noticed, in the last few months, I have made available some of long out of print titles from David Grahame. Yes, for a short time.The latest one to be unearthed is EMITT ROAD. David Grahame is always up to something. What it is, even he`s not sure. Titled to titilate and punish those who continually beat Grahame over the head with comparisons to `dead man walking`. EMITT ROAD gives the listener twelve straight ahead pop tunes and fifteen industrial instrumentals that are so off course from Grahame`s usual, that one might guess Frank Zappa first.

PhotobucketRoger Klug - MORE HELP FOR YOUR NERVES
My declaration: this CD is not only one of 2009's best, it is one of the best indie power-pop CDs of the last four years!

"It is a pop genius at play, at work, at his very best delivering the goods. This disc is an embarrassment of riches clocking in at just under an hour with 17 tracks. None of them are throwaways. Klug's mostly a one-man band with inspiration up to his ears. Too many highlights to mention, a sure contender for Top Ten of the year." - Bloody Red Baron.

"...combines his love of power pop from the Raspberries to Matthew Sweet with a equal affection for the heavy guitar sound of late 1960s British rock." -

PhotobucketGreg Pope - PETE
YES! Seven new songs from Greg Pope, whose solo debut POPMONSTER dazzled amazed a LOT of you Not Lamers in the last nine months. Rightfully so. It was in my Top 5 for 2008 and here he goes again, blowing me away and surely you, too. There are parts of this album that evoke Cheap Trick first two albums, classic The Shazam, Matthew Sweet and more. PETE starts off into a classic, CLASSIC power-pop treasure called "Fall Into Your Arms". You listen to this now and let it-melodic perfection stun you to play it again. The six songs that follow that one do not let up, either. Grade: Solid A all the way.

PhotobucketThe Simple Carnival - GIRLS ALIENS FOOD
HUGE FIND! Gorgeous vocals all over. While the Simple Carnival are certainly influenced by Brian Wilson, this not another blind homage. This is a modern artist refining what inspired him to create and making it his own, updated for the present. STUNNING. Melodically rich, inventive & effortlessly hooky, start to finish. The melodies are simple and summery but OH so sweet in their special swooning affect.
Reminds me a lot of Cherry Twister - soft pop rock with a keen appreciation for early 70s AM radio - influences of Harry Nilsson abound as does the fact that Boller`s vocals remind me of Jeff and John Murphy of Shoes, as do some of the songs.

PhotobucketFormer - "...AND NOTHING BUT THE TRUTH"
Great hard-rocking power-pop. Much of the material reminds me of Bleu (a whole lot!) and Cheap Trick. Some albums just hit you right between the head and ears right out of the gate, with Song Number One. Former does that, for sure. Lead off track "Lies" will leave you breathless.

"This Nashville band describes their music as "loud pop", and I can`t disagree. High-energy rock/pop that recalls Swirl 360, Steve Bertrand`s Avion, and Rob Bonfligio in spots, Former is truly worth checking out." - Absolute PowerPop Blog

PhotobucketThe A's - THE A'S / A WOMAN'S GOT THE POWER
YES!!! Finally out on CD - a long time coming! The debut is one of my all time favorites from the late 70s - time retire my burned from vinyl CD-r!

"4 stars. Their music forged a path that encompassed power pop, punk, and a retro, almost mod, texture. They did it with accessible hooks and catchy numbers." - AMG

"If anything, The A`s resembles the Boomtown Rats` Tonic for the Troops in the way it combines wit, street savvy and relatively intricate hard-pop arrangements." - Trouser Press.

PhotobucketLove Bang - THE RULE OF 72'S
JELLYFISH ALERT!!! Love Bang is the unreleased project that Eric Dover of Jellyfish finished before joining J-fish. Jelly fans will notice many elements of the future sounds of Jellyfish`s BELLYBUTTON here but what this reminds me most of is classic, great Crowded House with more balls, more guitar bite. That sound permeates almost all the digital grooves of this album making it not only a keeper beyond its pedigree. At the time this was recorded, there was The Odds, Jellyfish, Crowded House, Michael Penn and The Grays. Add Love Bang to the mix of that striking group of talent. Bottom line: major find for not only Jellyfish and Crowded House fans, but fans of well-written post-Beatle commercial pop.

PhotobucketDanny Echo - DANNY ECHO
Danny Echo used to be called The Rye Catchers, a favorite here at Not Lame. It is flat out guitar driven rock that is not afraid to crank it up and rock it up without losing sight of melody and hooks. Lead-off track "Out Of Style" is anything but pulling off a edgier Jellyfish sound, while "Tomorrow Today" perfects the poppiest side of Oasis - better than the band has been able to pull off for years.

"Wonderfully addictive and thoroughly enjoyable, this is all that power-pop rock and roll is meant to be. Highly recommended." - The Power Of Pop