Pop That Goes Crunch!

Seven Decades Of Melodic Rock & Roll

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 appease 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.

Retro New Music Sunday

Here’s your weekend round-up of what’s new, cool and now spinning in rotation at Pop That Goes Crunch radio.

phonograph

phonograph — “Don’t Bring Me Down” — In days gone by, this band’s debut collection of radio-ready melodic guitar pop (titled simply, Vol 1) would have yielded an entire basketful of hit songs. So I added four of them to the station. “Don’t Bring Me Down” makes you think for a couple of minutes that its 1965 again. It brazenly breaks no new ground at all. It’s just a couple of guitars, some voices, a bass and some drums living together in perfect harmony:

Dropkick — “Halfway Round Again” — This bit of laid-back jangle pop also stops for a while in 1965, before the band applies a slightly more contemporary gloss to the track’s basic retro stylings:

The Cocktail Slippers, “You Give Me”: The Cocktail Slippers are stridently and unapologetically retro. This bit of foot-pounding, head-bopping call-and-response garage stomp fits perfectly into their oeuvre. You can hear the studio version right here, but also check out the very cool live version recorded on Valentine’s Day:

Andy Klingensmith, “Pangea”: This one appeared on Bandcamp just yesterday. “Bored, so here’s a new solo single,” said Klingensmith on his Facebook page. Well, then, let’s raise a glass to boredom! “Pangea” is beautiful acoustic psych-folk featuring just Klingensmith’s multi-layered voice and his guitars in the vein of his 2013 debut which yielded a song on my year-end Top 20 list. The short break beginning at about 1:13 is awfully pretty:

Static In Verona, “Bitter Branches”: Chicago-based musician Rob Merz plays and sings everything on a wonderfully eclectic album of dreamy, often symphonic pop with occasional electronic flourishes. Merz’ gorgeous vocals play off stunningly against the wall of sound in “Bitter Branches,” one of the more rocking tracks on Everything You Knew Before You Knew Everything:

* * * * *

So there’a another five new tracks to sample on a Sunday, but this time with a decidedly retro twist. Listen, support the artists and check out Pop That Goes Crunch radio, where the playlist has grown to more than 1,100 songs, and will keep on growing.

 

Some More New Music For A Sunday

Propeller

Another Sunday brings another five new and cool songs now spinning in rotation at Pop That Goes Crunch radio. Check them out there, and right here:

Propeller, “You Remind Me Of You”: A future dictionary could identify this song as an example of the classic Power Pop sound. Its three-minutes of hooks and harmonies designed undoubtedly to ring around in your head for days. It’s also is a shoo-in for my year-end list of the best songs of the year:

Attic Lights, “Known Outsider”: This previously unreleased track is available as a B-side to a special release of the band’s tribute to Roy Orbison, a track also spinning in rotation over at the radio station. “Known Outsider” has that peaceful easy guitar pop feeling of latter-day Teenage Fanclub, which means that you should embrace it immediately:

The Green Tambourine Band, “I’m Free”: This Scottish band creates “garage/psych folk-rock” on “vintage analogue gear.” That’s a perfect description. “I’m Free” is a bit of jangly guitar pop enhanced by Mellotron flourishes. Catch this vintage groove:

The Smoove Sailors vs. Ballard, “Piece Of The Dream:” I wrote recently about the one-man band called Ballard. Smoove Sailors is a band out of Jersey City, New Jersey. Here, the man behind Ballard, Darren Riley, says that he would write a song, such as “Piece Of The Dream,” send the band an acoustic demo “and they’d send me back a full backing track for me to put my vocals on.” That inter-continental collaboration works quite well. “Piece Of A Dream” is delightfully uncomplicated Power Pop that will cause unconscious head-bopping:

Dr. Nod, “Walking The Dog”: I know absolutely nothing about this act, except that its double-sided single was released by The Active Listener, whose blog is listed in the Blogroll to your right. That means that it will at least be interesting. “Walking The Dog” has a kind of early-90s “alt rock”/psych/noise pop feel to it and creates a nice hook out of seeming monotony:

* * * * *

So there’a another five new tracks to check out on a lazy Sunday. Listen, support the artists and check out Pop That Goes Crunch radio, where the playlist has grown to more than 1,000 songs.

Post Navigation

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 47 other followers

%d bloggers like this: