Pop That Goes Crunch!

Seven Decades Of Melodic Rock & Roll

Archive for the tag “Sun Sawed in 1/2”

5 Reasons To Listen To Pop That Goes Crunch Radio

Records, Records, RecordsPop That Goes Crunch radio is streaming seven decades of melodically-driven rock and roll twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week. You can check it out through the link posted just above.

I now have some data on the “most” popular and the “least” popular tracks spinning in rotation based on listener retention. Here’s five of the most popular songs in the current playlist. A couple were released within the past year, a couple were released in the 1990s. Complete tracks are embedded to give you an idea of what is currently “hot” on Pop That Goes Crunch Radio:

Wyatt Funderburk, “Summer”:  Funderburk mixes the bitter and the sweet as well as anyone on the scene today. He also pens great couplets like: “Time and love are conflicted and unpredicted but who can complain?/Happiness and contentment are nothing but sentiment without heartache and pain”

Evil Arrows, “Jennifer Kills The Giant (Once A Week)”: Bryan Scary plans to release up to 60 songs this year under the Evil Arrows moniker. The five-song EP 1 is available right here. “Jennifer” is proof positive that “simple,” when done right, has an elegance all its own:

The Sun Sawed in 1/2, “Janet Greene”: This relentlessly pounding ode to a woman “slightly greater” than Bardot, Monroe and Farrah will ring in your ears for days on end:

Wilco, Nothing’severgonnastandinmyway (Again): Jeff Tweedy occasionally takes himself too seriously, but not on this slightly off-kilter, slightly satirical piece of pop brilliance. Its one of my favorite songs on my favorite Wilco album:

Spacemaid, “Baby Come On”: Insubstantial. Sickly sweet. Cotton candy. Bubblegum. And, of course, just perfect:

What are you waiting for? Run, don’t walk, over to Pop That Goes Crunch radio, where you can hear these cool five songs, along with more than 800 others spinning non-stop around-the-clock.

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Put The Needle On The Record: Bright And Shiny Power Pop

Put The Needle On The Record

The last two posts have discussed the AM rock and roll radio experience of the late-60s and early-70s. That kind of music — un-pretentious, hook-and-melody-laden and devoid of big statements and philosophizing — can still be found if you know where to look.

One of those places is right here, in this post. Embedded below is a playlist that I uploaded to 8 Tracks containing full-length versions of songs from my personal collection. The playlist has fourteen tracks, clocking in at about 46 minutes. That’s a reasonable approximation of the quantity of music contained on the LPs from days gone by. The title –“Put The Needle On The Record”– was chosen with that in mind.

Several of the acts represented — The Shazam, The Grip Weeds, Starbelly, Eytan Mirsky, Lannie Flowers, Sun Sawed in 1/2 — have been discussed in recent posts on this site. Many of the songs have that “Raspberries quality” — ringing guitars, simple declarations of romantic yearning, and that trademark “bright and shiny” sound — discussed in last week’s post. The best examples are the songs by Myracle Brah, Starbelly and Love Nut — each of which feature the incomparable Andy Bopp as either the principal artist or producer — and the tracks by Chris Richards and the Subtractions and  Blue Cartoon.

Here is the track list:

1.   “Talk To Me” — Myracle Brah

2.  “Calling Sydney” — The Shazam

3.  “Infinite Soul” — The Grip Weeds

4.  “She’s So Real” — Starbelly

5.  “Don’t Do Anything Tonight” — Chris Richards and the Subtractions

6.  “Another Week Or Two” — Eytan Mirsky

7.  “It Doesn’t Get Any Better Than This” — Eugene Edwards

8.  “Give Me A Chance” — Lannie Flowers

9.  “You Should Have Known Better” — Blue Cartoon

10. “If You Go Away” — Love Nut

11. “I Love You Baby (But I Hate Your Friends)” — The Dahlmanns

12. “Janet Greene” — Sun Sawed in 1/2

13. “Valerie Loves Me” — Material Issue

14.  “Time Wraps Around You” — Velvet Crush

The Sun Sawed in 1/2’s Rational Exuberance

Elephants Into SwansSometimes I’m in the mood for straightforward bass-guitar-drums and voice rock and roll. Other times, though, I reach for more elaborate, intricately arranged and lushly detailed pop. Elephants into Swans, the new record by The Sun Sawed in 1/2 — their first in thirteen years — fits squarely into the latter category. Its one of the best, most exuberant releases in quite some time.

The Sun Sawed in 1/2 is (very) often compared to Jellyfish, and for good reason. Its sound is equal parts brash, quirky, serious, not serious, psychedelic, fun, and purposefully over-the-top. Elephants into Swans is all of that. It’s also smart, melodic and filled with hooks that increasingly grab your attention upon repeated listening. And, for good measure, it picks up steam as it proceeds, making it the rare record that does front-load its virtues.

It all kicks into high gear by the third track, “Brittle Star,” a sunny up-beat tune about a mercurial girl made of “lightning, passion and rope.” “Countess I Fear Something’s Wrong,” probably my favorite track in the set, is about stolen opportunity –“they cut your song out/with pinking shears and rusted years/they gauged and gauzed it/I press to make repeat then I scan and pause it” — that concludes with a nice Beach Boys flourish for no real reason other than it just sounds great. There’s never anything wrong with that:

Indeed, “sounding great” is the partly the reason for Elephants into Swans to be. “She Offers Her Heart” adds horns to the chorus to up the exuberance factor: “She offers me her heart/and now I’m in love and now I’m in love/and now I’m in love and now I’m in love.” You can’t get any more enthusiastic than that.

Horns also help give “This Girl’s My Lullaby” a swinging, 60’s adult pop feel that veers into decidedly Bacharach territory:

The record closes with more horns on the unrelentingly upbeat and optimistic “Waltzing In Clover.” What else can be made out of these words: “I’ll marry the whole of you/Ten ways amazed for the rest of my days/I’ll marry the whole of you/I’ll drink your gaze sunlit sparkly glazed/I’ll marry the whole of you/You you you you you you’re my love”:

By the end of it, with the words “waltzing in clover” sung over themselves in a dizzying carousel of joy, you can’t help but think: “all you need is love,” in the words of one of The Sun Sawed In 1/2’s other major influences. Indeed, that could very well be the point made by the entire record.

Elephants into Swans can be downloaded for $9 on Bandcamp, a cheap price for such gleeful happiness.

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