Pop That Goes Crunch!

Seven Decades Of Melodic Rock & Roll

The Big Show #7: Going Themeless

The Big Show #7The next several installments of The Big Show are “themeless.” They simply present 20 hand-selected rockin’ pop songs (new, old and in-between) for your music discovery and distinct listening pleasure.

Show #7 kicks off with an alternate and slightly more rocking version of one of favorite songs by The Grip Weeds – “Rainy Day #3″ — “pre-titled” as “Rainy Day #1 & 2.”

New music checks in with a wonderful track by the reconstituted Cleaners From Venus and a rather fun song by newcomer Joe Sullivan, whose long-player (produced and engineered by the great Andy Reed) can be purchased for a mere seven clams from Futureman Records.

Show #7 also includes Teenage Fanclub and the Pernice Brothers doing songs that rank among my favorites by two of the Greatest Bands of All-Time: “Your Love Is The Place Where I Come From” and “The Weakest Shade Of Blue,” respectively. The festivities conclude with The Zombies doing one of the Greatest Records Ever Made, “This Will Be Our Year.” Superlatives abound.

So, give it a listen, and tune in frequently to the main mix at Pop That Goes Crunch radio, streaming 24/7.

The complete tracklist appears below the embed.

The Big Show #7: Just 20 Cool Rockin' Pop Songs by Pop That Goes Crunch on Mixcloud

 

Tracklist:

1.  The Grip Weeds, “Rainy Day #1 and 2″

2.  20/20, “Yellow Pills”

3.  Grant Lee Buffalo, “The Shining Hour”

4.  The Cleaners From Venus, “Cling To Me”

5.  Ballard, “I Know That You’re Watching Me”

6.  The Who, “So Sad About Us”

7.  And The Professors, “Turn Of The Century Recycling Blues”

8.  The Sharp Things, “Flowers For My Girl”

9.  Husker Du, “Could You Be The One”

10. Redd Kross, “Sick Love”

11. Velvet Crush, “Time Wraps Around You”

12. The Jayhawks, “Waiting For The Sun”

13. The Byrds, “Its All Over Now, Baby Blue”

14. Joe Sullivan, “Rock Star Boyfriend”

15. The Maureens, “Outta Sight”

16. Pernice Brothers, “Weakest Shade Of Blue”

17. Teenage Fanclub, “Your Love Is The Place Where I Come From”

18. The Green Tambourine Band, “I’m Free”

19. The Orange Peels, “Grey Holiday”

20. The Zombies, “This Will Be Our Year”

 

 

The Big Show No. 6: 20 Of The Coolest Songs So Far This Year

The Big ShowThis edition of The Big Show spins 20 of the coolest songs released so far this year. Well, technically, one was released in mid-December 2013, but its a 2014 song nevertheless.

Most of the songs played from “20 of the coolest” have been discussed on these pages previously. They were great when I first heard them, and they’re still great. The complete tracklist appears below the embed, but I’ll first say a few words about the songs about which I have not previously written.

honeychain, “I’m On Fire”: This particularly rockin’ version of the Dwight Twilley classic begins the festivities propelled by slashing guitars, a non-stop, pounding beat and Hillary Burton’s cool vocals. It can be found on the quite tasty Dwight Twilley Band tribute album released recently by Zero Hour Records.

The Britannicas, “Got A Hold On Me”: The recently released High Tea by this truly international band is one of the best long-players of the year. True to its title, “Got A Hold On Me” is the kind of song that finds its way into your head when you first wake up in the morning. Its a relentlessly catchy piece of jangle pop marked perfectly by the interplay between Herb Eimerman’s lead vocals and the supporting harmonizing.

The Above, “Do You Have A Healthy Mind?”: The band’s recently released Waterbury Street LP is a wonderful romp through everything good and scared in the Nuggets box set. “Healthy Mind” is stomping and melodic garage rock circa 1964, complete with lyrics like “have you taken your medicine lately/I can’t comprehend you, baby.” Yeah, its stridently retro. And timeless.

The Paul & John, “Inner Sunset”:  The title track from the duo’s recent release is the feel-good song of the year. It also undoubtedly will place high on my list of the best of the year, as will the album. “Don’t let the darkness drag you down” and “let your inner sunset shine.” Words to live by.

Cliff Hillis, “Dashboard”: This is an immediately captivating song. Its three-and-a-half minutes of understated drama, and makes the case for Hillis as being one of the very best songwriters anywhere. “Put your feet up on the dashboard, I don’t mind/we can talk but if not, then that’s just fine,” it starts, setting the tone brilliantly for everything that follows.

Linus Of Hollywood, “Biography”: This is an understated piece of acoustic pop about memories lingering long after love vanishes and the protagonists go their separate ways. The key lyric delivers universal truth: “You can’t write me out of your biography/you can’t take me out of your memory.”

* * * * *

That’s just 6 of 20 of the coolest songs released so far this year. You hear the show in its entirety by clicking below. The complete track list follows.

The Big Show #6: 20 Of The Coolest Songs So Far This Year by Pop That Goes Crunch on Mixcloud


Track List

1.  honeychain, “I’m On Fire”

2.  The New Trocaderos, “The Kids”

3.  The Jellybricks, “About The Weekend”

4.  Sunrise Highway, “Windows”

5.  The Crush, “Around”

6.  The Britannicas, “Got A Hold On Me”

7.  phonograph, “Don’t Bring Me Down”

8.  The Above, “Do You Have A Healthy Mind?”

9.  The Legal Matters, “The Legend Of Walter Wright”

10. Nick Piunti, “Believe It”

11. The Paul & John, “Inner Sunset”

12. The Corner Laughers, “Midsommar”

13. Trip Wire, “Stay”

14. Propeller, “You Remind Me Of You”

15. Cliff Hillis, “Dashboard”

16. Linus of Hollywood, “Biography”

17. Phil Ajjarapu, “Sing Along Until You Feel Better”

18. Greg Ieronimo, “Roller Coaster Ride”

19. Dropkick, “Halfway Round Again”

20. Attic Lights, “Known Outsider”

 

The Big Show #5: Back To The 70s

Ramones -- Rocket To Russi

This edition of The Big Show time travels back to the 1970s with seventy minutes rockin’ pop, New Wave and old school Punk Rock for your listening pleasure.

It starts with the first song I ever heard by The Ramones, “Sheena Is A Punk Rocker” from their third long-player, Rocket To Russia. As I mention on the show, I was eleven years old when their first LP was released, and eleven-year olds did not have access to anything like that in 1975. By 1977, however, things had started to change and, aided by the utter derision of an old-school music appreciation teacher that told her classes that they should not under any circumstances listen to that demon music called “punk rock,” I was primed to move beyond the mainstream.

“Back To The 70s” also includes one of my all-time favorite songs, “Teenage Kick” by The Undertones, a track from The Buzzcocks’ Singles Going Steady (probably the single best compilation ever put together) a set of less-well-known Power Pop from the late-70s by The Secrets* (the asterisk is intentional), Gary Charlson and The Names, as well as the original version of “Hangin’ On The Telephone,” a classic track by Nick Lowe, The Kursaal Flyers riffing off The Who, and a whole lot more.

“The Big Show” airs on Pop That Goes Crunch radio on Wednesdays at 6 pm Pacific, Fridays at 11 am Pacific and Saturdays at 11 am Pacific. The shows are usually uploaded to Mixcloud on Sunday mornings.

The show can be heard below. The complete tracklist appears below the embed.

The Big Show #5 -- Back To The 70s by Pop That Goes Crunch on Mixcloud

 

Tracklist:

1.  The Ramones, “Sheena Is A Punk Rocker

2.  The Pranks, “I Don’t Wanna Lose That Feeling”

3.  The Flashcubes, “Its You Tonight”

4.  The Rezillos, “Top Of The Pops”

5,  The Undertones, “Teenage Kicks”

6.  The Jags, “Back Of My Hand (I’ve Got Your Number”)

7.  The Secrets*, “It’s Your Heart Tonight”

8.  Gary Charlson, “Real Life Saver”

9.  The Names, “Why Can’t It Be”

10 The Buzzcocks, “I Don’t Mind”

11. The Fans, “You Don’t Live Here Anymore”

12. Eddie & The Hot Rods, “Do Anything You Wanna Do”

13. Bram Tchaikovsky, “Girl Of My Dreams”

14. The Beckies, “Midnight And You”

15. Shoes, “Tomorrow Night”

16. Off Broadway, “Stay In Time”

17. The Nerves, “Hangin’ On The Telephone”

18. The Beat, “Walking Out On Love”

19. Gary Valentine, “The First One”

20. Nick Lowe, “Mary Provost”

21. The Kursaal Flyers, “Television Generation”

22. The Moderns, “Ready For The 80s”

The Big Show #4: Women Who Rock

Bonnie "Guitar" Buckingham

The Big Show #3 was called “Girls, Girls, Girls!”  This week’s edition is “Women Who Rock,” a show devoted entirely to songs fronted by — and sometimes consisting entirely of — women.

Some of the sets are “themed.”

There is a set of quintessentially American rockin’ pop songs fronted by females.

There is a set of quintessentially British rockin’ pop songs fronted by females.

There is a set of “sass,” starting with two old-school put-down tracks (Blondie’s “Rip Her To Shreds” and Holly & The Italians‘ “Tell That Girl To Shut-Up”) and concluding with a more recent sassy song of empowerment (The Dollyrots’ “Because I’m Awesome”).

There is a set of “Bay Area” songs, one by a band out of France (The Leeds), one by a band out of Australia (Jane vs. The World) and one by a Bay Area-based band (The Corner Laughers).

It all ends with a bit of West Coast Pop about summer, and dreaming of summer, by Laurie Biagini.

You can hear it below by clicking on the photo of a pioneering rockin’ woman, Bonnie “Guitar” Buckingham, which also appears at the top of this page. The complete track list follows.

The Big Show #4: Women Who Rock by Pop That Goes Crunch on Mixcloud

 

Track List:

1.  The Masticators, “Pop Sound”

2.  The Go-Go’s, “Skidmarks On My Heart”

3.  The Bangs, “Getting Out Of Hand”

4.  The Primitives, “Crash”

5.  Lush, “Ladykillers”

6.  Spacemaid, “Taxi”

7.  The Launderettes, “Red River”

8.  The Pandoras, “In And Out Of My Life (In A Day)”

9.  honeychain, “Lucky One”

10. Blondie, “Rip Her To Shreds”

11.  Holly & The Italians, “Tell That Girl To Shut-Up”

12. The Dollyrots, “Because I’m Awesome”

13. The Shivers, “Teen Line”

14. The Zippers, “He’s A Rebel”

15. The Leeds, “Anything”

16. Jane vs. The World, “The Subterraneans”

17. The Corner Laughers, “Transamerica Pyramid”

18. Kostars, “Red Umbrella”

19. Sam Phillips, “Same Rain”

20. Laurie Biagini, “Run To The Sun”

 

The Big Show #3: Girls, Girls, Girls!

Girls, Girls GirlsThe theme of The Big Show #3 its “Girls, Girls, Girls!” — a collection of songs in the vaunted rockin’ pop tradition of writing and recording songs about that special, or not-so-special, someone out there. All of the songs have the name of a “girl” in the title — Caroline, Emily, Melanie, Allison, Mary Anne etc. There is even a song about Emma Stone

On tap in this edition are songs by The Go-Betweens, The Liars Club, The Nines, Jupiter Affect, The Well Wishers, Kurt Baker, The Connection, a Phenomenal Cats/Legal Matters doubleheader, and much, much more.

The Big Show #3 is posted at Mixcloud, but you can hear it directly in this post by clicking on the picture, below. The complete track list appears directly below that:

The Big Show #3 -- Girls, Girls, Girls! by Pop That Goes Crunch on Mixcloud

 

Track List:

1.  The Go-Betweens, “Caroline and I”

2.  Josh Rouse, “Carolina”

3.  Splitsville, “Caroline Knows”

4.  Pink Floyd, “See Emily Play”

5.  Liar’s Club, “Emily”

6.  The Records, “That Girl Is Emily”

7.  Cosmic Rough Riders, “Melanie”

8.  The Nines, “Melenie”

9.  Material Issue, “Valerie Loves Me”

10. The New Mendicants, “Cruel Annette”

11. The Three O’Clock, “Marjorie Tells Me”

12. Jupiter Affect, “Druscilla I Dig Your Scene”

13. The Well Wishers, “Allison”

14. The Lemonheads, “Alison’s Starting To Happen”

15. The Phenomenal Cats, “Mary Anne With The Shaky Hands”

16. The Legal Matters, “Mary Anne”

17. The Spongetones, “(My Girl) Maryanne”

18. Kurt Baker, “Emma Stone”

19. The Connection, “Melinda”

 

 

The Big Show #2: Summer Songs

 

Sunrise HighwayWith the calendar switching recently over to summer, the time seemed ripe to do a show devoted entirely to summer songs.

The Big Show #2 includes twenty such songs, and progresses from songs anticipating summer’s imminent arrival, to songs proclaiming the simple joys of summer to songs caught in summer rain to songs announcing the end of summer.

It concludes with Sunrise Highway singing about “The Endless Summer.”

“Summer Songs” is posted at Mixcloud, but you can hear it directly in this post by clicking on the picture, below. The complete track list appears directly below that:

The Big Show #2: Summer Songs by Pop That Goes Crunch on Mixcloud

 

Track List:

1.  Attic Lights, “Summer’s Coming Back”

2.  Michael Carpenter and King’s Road: “Summertime”

3.  Seth Swirsky, “Summer In Her Hair”

4.  War, “Summer”

5.  The Red Button, “On A Summer Day”

6.  Wyatt Funderburk, “Summer”

7.  The Britannicas, “(Talkin’ ‘Bout) Summer”

8.  Twenty Cent Crush, “Summer (You Know My Name)”

9.  Propeller, “Summer Songs”

10. Vegas With Randolph, “Summertime”

11. The Sunchymes, “On A Summer Ride”

12. The Daintees, “Roll On Summertime”

13. Weekend, “Summerdays”

14. Wilco, “Summer Teeth”

15. The Crush, “Summer Rain”

16. Shoes, “The Summer Rain”

17. Stephen Lawrenson, “Summer & Lightning”

18. Scott Brookman, “Summer’s Two Weeks Notice”

19. The Valley Downs, “The Last Days Of Summer”

20. Sunrise Highway, “Endless Summer”

 

The Crush Deliver Powerpop Fun For Your Summer

The Crush

The Crush is a rocking indie pop band from Seattle. I featured them previously in a round-up of songs added recently to Pop That Goes Crunch radio.

Their new EP, Future Blimps, quite fittingly dropped on the first day of Summer. It consists of five hook-filled tracks alternating between somewhat stomping garage rock and jangling Power Pop. There is nothing fancy here, just eighteen minutes of bass-guitar-drums rock and roll that flies by in an instant. Its your perfect warm weather accompaniment.

Future Blimps kicks off with a stomper, “Never Gonna Stop,” that immediately announces Kira Wilson as a vocalist with whom to reckon quite seriously. Her pipes are sassy, self-assured and powerful throughout the EP, and wind seamlessly through its many riffs and rhythms:

The next track, “Around” is sinewy, head-swaying jangle pop. “Better and Better” takes us back to the garage and serves up four-minutes plus of blues-rock riffing ripped from the 60s.

The jangle makes a comeback on “Its Love,” where the guitars vie for sonic supremacy with Wilson’s varying vocal stylings:

The EP concludes its all-too-brief stay with “Nothing To Lose,” a bit of classic 70s-styled Power Pop:

Future Blimps is not intended to set the world on fire with innovation, but that’s perfectly fine. Its just fun rock and roll, and the hooks come at you full blast. Its quite a steal, at only $3. The band even cites The Nerves as one of their influences, and you can’t beat that.

 

 

The Big Show #1: Cover Me

Deep Fried FanclunLast week, I premiered at Pop That Goes Crunch radio, a weekly show hosted by me called “The Big Show.” Each show will be approximately a hour-long. They usually will be themed.

The first show consisted entirely of “covers.” The focus, however, was on covers of well-known songs by well-known artists, but which themselves are not particularly well-known.

Included within “Cover Me” is:

  • Teenage Fanclub covering The Beatles’ “The Ballad Of John & Yoko,” from their odds and sods compilation, Deep Fried Fanclub, pictured above.
  • The Jam covering The Beatles’ “Rain”.
  • Jellyfish covering The Move’s “I Can Hear The Grass Grow.”
  • Wondermints covering Elvis Costello’s “I Hope You’re Happy Now.”
  • Old 97’s covering R.E.M.’s “Driver 8.”

“Cover Me” is posted on Mixcloud, but you can hear it directly in this post by clicking on the picture below. The complete track list appears below that.

The Big Show #1: Cover Me by Pop That Goes Crunch on Mixcloud

 

Track List:

1.  Teenage Fanclub, “The Ballad Of John & Yoko”

2.  Redd Kross, “It Won’t Be Long.”

3.  The Jam, “Rain”

4.  Cheap Trick, “California Man”

5.  Jellyfish, “I Can Hear The Grass Grow.”

6.  Andy Reed, “The Glutton Of Sympathy”

7.  Hippodrome, “Foggy Notion”

8.  Big Star, “Femme Fatale”

9.  The Dead Girls, “You And Your Sister”

10. The Posies, “I Am The Cosmos”

11. Wondermints, “I Hope You’re Happy Now”

12. Elvis Costello, “I Can’t Stand Up For Falling Down”

13. Grant Lindberg, “On A Plain”

14. Nirvana, “The Man Who Sold The World”

15. R.E.M., “Crazy”

16. Old 97’s, “Driver 8″

17. Kurt Baker, “Hangin’ On The Telephone”

18. The Muffs, “Rock & Roll Girl.”

New Music For Your Weekend

Hot NunToday’s round-up of new music now making the rounds on Pop That Goes Crunch radio disproves the notion that Power Pop, and its sub-genres, is one-dimensional and repetitive.

Hot Nun, “A Little Too”: Jeff Shelton turns the volume up to 12 (11 is for wimps) on this melodic, metallic fist-pumper ripped from 1975. Transport yourself to the Oakland Arena and make sure to bring a cigarette lighter along to raise up high during the poignant parts:

The Corner Laughers, “Midsommar”: This is the yang to Hot Nun’s yin. The Corner Laughers already have about 5,000 songs spinning in rotation on Pop That Goes Crunch radio. “Midsommar” carries on their tradition quite well, with its ukelele, its clever paean to Sweden’s summer solstice, and its overall sunny disposition. Feel the melodic sunshine warming your skin:

TV Girl, “Birds Don’t Sing”: This is a bit of West Coast Pop and French Pop blended with a subtle hip hop beat and noises and voices that would have been called “tape loops” in ancient times. If this three-plus minutes of joyful happiness doesn’t brighten your day, your day is simply incapable of brightening:

The Bon Mots, “Galahad”: Four songs from the band’s new longplayer, Best Revenge, were added to Pop That Goes Crunch radio. You can stream the entire album here. I’m sharing “Galahad” because it nicely follows the previous two songs with its jaunty, bouncy rhythms, subtle jangling guitars and hook-laden melody:

Trip Wire, “Stay”: This is mid-tempo Power Pop that relentlessly pounds its way into your brain. I try not to make comparisons between bands, but let’s just say that “Stay” had kind of that rocking yet “peaceful, easy feeling” for which this band is particularly known. That makes it great, so listen to it right here, and then get it on Bandcamp:

* * * * *

So there’s five new songs to add joy to your day. Support the artists since they are working hard for you, and check out the radio station, too.

 

 

 

 

 

The Legal Matters Deliver Perfect Harmony

The Legal Matters

Some albums grab you immediately and refuse to let go. You wake up, and one of its songs is in your mind. You’re at work, and another one is seemingly in your ear. You’re making dinner, and yet another one is bouncing around relentlessly in your head. And so on, and so on and so on.

The self-titled debut by The Legal Matters is one of those records. The Legal Matters is a “rockin’ pop project containing equal parts Chris Richards, Andy Reed and Keith Klingensmith,” each of whom has been discussed many times previously on these pages. Given that life’s too short to write about bad music (or even mediocre music, for that matter), it is hardly surprising that I would at least “like” this “rocking’ pop” effort.

That, however, is quite an understatement. The whole of this combination is greater than the sum of its three “equal parts.” The Legal Matters is the best long-player I have heard so far this year. It is hard to imagine anything coming out in the second-half of the year to eclipse it.

The opening track, “Rite Of Spring,” sets the tone for the album in its first few seconds. A simple keyboard riff over strummed guitars bathes the revelry about the perfect girl in undeniable warmth and sweetness. You can feel the sunshine on your skin by the time the million-dollar three-part harmonies kick in at about the one-minute mark:

Gorgeous harmonies are all over this record. Richards, Reed and Klingensmith are superb singers on their own. This record makes the case, though, that they should be singing together until they can sing no more. Check out, in particular, how the harmonies sung during the chorus add a sense of hope to the longing that otherwise characterizes “Have You Changed Your Mind?”

Indeed, several songs on the album adroitly play the bitter against the sweet. “So Long Sunny Days” hides its own sense of longing and melancholy in three-minutes of absolutely perfect melodies. “Mary Anne” is probably the prettiest song about a life full of regret that you will hear this year.

None of this means that the Legal Matters can’t “rock” when they want. But they do it without trying to beat you over the head. “The Legend Of Walter Wright” — a man who was “remarkably clean and mildly polite” — may be the best song in the collection. It will have you reflexively increasing the volume on the car stereo whenever it comes on as you drive around town:

Delivering “only” ten songs over thirty-five minutes, The Legal Matters recalls a time when the space limitations of vinyl meant that truly great artists only waxed their best ideas. There is no fluff here, and not a moment of time is wasted from start to finish.

So, run, don’t walk, to wherever you go to buy the finest music, and get The Legal Matters as soon as you can.

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