Thursday, August 17, 2017

It's Steve and BGs Musical Itinerary -- Part V

We've arrived...and to prove it, we're here!



Yes, via California Zephyr...


...we're now in San Francisco...


...just in time for the 50th anniversary of the fabled Summer of Love.



Hey, I vas dere, Charlie. Albeit for only a couple of days. And that's a band I was in a few years later doing the Jefferson Airplane-ish ode to the City by the Bay (hey -- it was recorded under extremely primitive conditions and we were kids, so don't hold it against us).

Photos of our adventures begin posting tomorrow.

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

It's Steve and BGs Musical Itinerary -- Part IV

Still zipping our way to the coast on the California Zephyr.


Next stop -- Reno, Nevada! The city...


...where Johnny Cash shot a man just to watch him die.



Guess where we'll be tomorrow!

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

It's Steve and BGs Musical Itinerary -- Part III

Chicago was great, but now we're zipping along on the California Zephyr...


...to our next destinations on our way to the coast.

First to the Mile High City...




...and then to the spiritual home of Mittens Romney (who, I might add is looking considerably better in retrospect (when compared with the current occupant of the White House) if you know what I mean.




Guess where we'll be tomorrow! Damn, this is fun.

Monday, August 14, 2017

It's Steve and BGs Musical Itinerary -- Part II

Off to the coast on the California Zephyr.


And our first stop after departing the Windy City is...




Damn, this is fun.

Friday, August 11, 2017

It's Steve and BGs Musical Itinerary -- Part I

So a certain Shady Dame and I are spending the next week on a cross-country odyssey.

Our first jaunt is a flight to the mid-West and a certain Windy City.



And after that, we're taking the California Zephyr train to the coast. Think Cary Grant and Eva Marie Saint in North by Northwest, except without the police and the Communist spies.


We'll be checking in with musical tributes to all our stops for the next several days.

Have a great weekend, everybody!!!

Thursday, August 10, 2017

Your Thursday Moment of Words Fail Me

From their 2004 reunion show(s), please enjoy power pop gods The Raspberries and a live version of -- IMHO -- their absolute greatest song "Tonight."



From their just released double live album Pop Art...


...which I can't recommend highly enough.

BTW, a certain Shady Dame and I had our first date at a Raspberries show three years later at the Highline in Manhattan.



Gee, I wonder why I fell in love with her.

Wednesday, August 09, 2017

Closed for (Hi-Fi) Monkey Business

Had a long and late night in the studio working on the Last Great Floor Models track yesterday.


Regular posting resumes on the morrow.

Tuesday, August 08, 2017

Monday, August 07, 2017

A Depressed 7 Foot Clown Sings "Pinball Wizard" to the Tune of "Folsom Prison Blues"

From 2017, please enjoy the incomparable Puddles Pity Party -- and why didn't I get the memo on this guy until last week? -- and his genre-bending mashup of The Who and Johnny Cash.



Words, as I am wont to say, fail me.

Friday, August 04, 2017

It's Churchy LaFemme Week: Part Deux

From 1967, and from the compilation album pictured below...


...please if not enjoy at least tolerate Anna Karina -- iconic muse of Jean Luc Godard and just about the most existential French babe ever -- and her actual hit record "Roller Girl."



Sweet fucking Jeebus, but that's just awful. BTW. that dreck was written by Serge Gainsbourg, the 60s pop Frenchie responsible for the soft-porn classic (with then girlfriend Jane Birkin) "Je t'aime..."

Have a great weekend, everybody!

Thursday, August 03, 2017

Closed for Monkey Business


Slightly under the weather. Regular posting -- probably some French babe -- resumes on the morrow.

Wednesday, August 02, 2017

Sam Shepard 1943-2017

[I originally posted this in February of 2010, but I'm reposting it today for sad, if obvious, reasons. And yes, it was self-indulgent when it first ran, and it still is. So sue me. -- S.S.]

In June of 1970 I was getting some extra credits toward my B.A. in a summer theater program at what I usually refer to as An Unidentified College on Long Island. One of the pieces we were doing that month was a tragically avant-garde 1967 one-act called Melodrama Play by the then not-a-household-word Sam Shepard. The work itself, which I barely remember at this point (many drugs were being consumed that summer) concerned a Jaggeresque rock star, his twin brother, an unscrupulous manager and (I think) a murder of some sort. I got cast as the rock star, which is funny on any number of levels, especially considering that I looked like this; Jaggeresque really isn't the word that comes to mind.


Anyway, a song by the show's fictional rock star, entitled "Prisoners Get Out of Your Homemade Beds," figured prominently in the script; Shepard had provided shall we say idiosyncratic lyrics, but the music was apparently up to whoever decided to mount a production. The day we started rehearsals, the director (one of my profs) took me aside and said "Come up with a tune for for this. I've got two hours booked in the college radio station on Thursday, and you'll record it then." Considering I had never written a song in my life (nor have I since) this was rather a daunting challenge, as you can well imagine.

Fortunately, The Who's Live at Leeds album had come out a few weeks earlier, and I had been listening to it obsessively; using that as a template, it turned out to be surprisingly easy to come up with a stupid riff and a moronic three chord instrumental track that sort of fit Shepard's somewhat wayward words. Two of my musician friends from my garage band at home -- including my old pal Allan Weissman, with whom I still toil in The Weasels -- happened to be available, and so, with me doing a woefully inadequate imitation of Pete Townshend on guitar, we eventually found ourselves at the recording facilities of WCWP-FM, bashing out the tune in about as much time as it took to rehearse it once. As I recall, the engineer simply hung a single microphone in the vicinity of the band; there was no overdubbing, obviously. The finished product, however, met with the director's approval, and I wound up yowling to it on stage when we did the show a week or two later.

Cut to: sometime last January. I was reminiscing about all this with another old pal, and he let it drop that years back I had entrusted the original reel-to-reel tape of the song (the only one that ever existed) to him, and that against all the odds he still had it. And still playable, apparently.

So -- at great personal expense (actually, fifty bucks to a good engineer I know), here it is these four decades later, in mp3 form for all to hear. I also found Shepard's lyrics, which I have appended; feel free to sing them in the privacy of your own home, preferably while playing air guitar. You'll notice three strategically placed screams throughout the clip -- those are your cues for the beginning of each verse.

I should add that a version of this track with a vocal by yours truly has survived as well, but it will be available for public audition at approximately the same time that frozen yogurt goes on sale in Hell.


"Prisoners, Get Out of Your Homemade Beds"



Well early one day you got out of bed
And then you decided to go to sleep instead
So early one day you got back in the sack
And you fell fast asleep in your homemade rack
You don't know how you decided this
And all that you know is there's something you missed
But you don't know what and you don't know where
So you just stay put and go nowhere

Oh prisoners get out of your homemade beds
Oh prisoners get out of your homemade beds

Well early one night you got so very uptight
And you said this sleeping it just ain't right
But you couldn't at all decide what to do
But your eyes stayed shut with their homemade glue
But you couldn't hear your own voice speak
And you couldn't walk 'cause your legs were too weak
So you lay in bed crying to yourself
And your life's just out there hanging on the shelf

Oh prisoners get out of your homemade beds
Oh prisoners get out of your homemade beds

And now the night and the day are just the same
And now the light and the dark have no name
And you just lay in bed without no game
You just lay there sleeping without no fame
But when you awaken from your deep deep sleep
That bed will disappear and you won't even weep
You'll walk right outside without no name
You'll walk right outside from where you came

Oh prisoners get of your homemade beds
Oh prisoners get out of your homemade...heads

I must confess, cheesy as the track is, I still kind of dig the blatant steal from The Kinks at the end.

Tuesday, August 01, 2017

Monday, July 31, 2017

It's Churchy LaFemme Week: Part I -- Special Frog Legs Edition

From le magnifique 2010 compilation C'est Chic! French girl singers of the 1960s...


...please enjoy the splendidly monikered Les Gam's and their perhaps overly Gallic girl group offering "L'Ete Reviendra."

Which translates, in case you were wondering, as "summer will return."



I should add that I got turned on to the CD above, and all it contains, by my younger brother, who has -- shall we say -- eclectic tastes. Thanks, Drew!

Coming tomorrow: A song by a woman who was a genuine muse of the Nouvelle Vague.

Friday, July 28, 2017

The Greatest Power Pop Compilation of All Time! Okay, Maybe One of the Greatest, But Hey -- I'm Excited!!!

Holy cow: tracks from my next two album projects -- The Hounds' The Album We Never Made and The Weasels' Crimes Against Nature: Greatest Hits 1973-2016 -- are now available for free download on an utterly fantastic compilation via our great good buddy and ace DJ Wayne Lundqvist Ford.






125 bands from all around the world -- no waiting!

Hey, it's free -- go download it NOW!.

Have a great weekend, everybody!

Thursday, July 27, 2017

The Wolf Also Rises

So, no -- Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers DIDN'T do "Kings Highway" at last night's concert at Forest Hills Stadium. But it was a great night out anyway, with the band in spectacular form, musically, and a nice cross section of material selected from throughout their 40 years together. The set list, not surprisingly, was heavy on the stuff from Full Moon Fever ("I Won't Back Down" sounded particularly good). There was also a long mini-set of stuff from the unappreciated (by me) Wildflowers album, but that worked out fine because it gave me a chance to go the bathroom. In any event, a wonderful show.

I should add, however, that I saw exactly one African-American in the audience of 14,000, which gives one pause, even if it really has no larger significance.

I should also add that, perhaps inexplicably, two attendees came dressed as members of the Teletubbies.


And I would be remiss if I didn't note that opening act Peter Wolf -- with the help of a brilliant band -- came perilously close to stealing the show; both his voice and manic stage moves are totally undimmed by time since the J. Geils days.

Of course, he didn't do my favorite of his solo stuff...



...but he did do this more recent tune, and absolutely killed.



All in all, as I said, a great night out.

Wednesday, July 26, 2017

Social Notes From All Over

Going to see Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers tonight at Forest Hills Stadium.

And this is the song I really want to hear them do.



A certain Shady Dame of my acquaintance has never seen 'em before. Me, I was lucky -- I caught them in a small club when they were touring the first album (they opened for Roger McGuinn, who covered "American Girl.")

They were the loudest band I ever heard, and absolutely devastatingly great. With luck, they still will be.

Tuesday, July 25, 2017

Closed for Monkey (Dental) Business


Having a little problem with my chompers that needs professional attention.

Regular -- hopefully pain free -- posting resumes on the morrow.

Monday, July 24, 2017

Your Monday Moment of "There Were Giants in the Earth in Those Days"

From the fabulous Subtle as a Flying Mallet album in 1975, please enjoy Greatest Living Welshman Dave Edmunds -- superbly backed by Brinsley Schwarz -- and perhaps the coolest live cover of Chuck Berry's "Let It Rock" ever heard by sentient mammalian ears.



I bring that up because of this sad news: The great man himself is now officially retired. Via Brian Setzer:


I interviewed Edmunds in 1975, when Mallet came out, and he was an absolutely lovely guy (as well as, obviously, one of the most gifted musicians of his generation; I don't think he ever made a bad record.) He will be missed, but hey -- at least he's alive and well and quit at the top of his game.

I should add that I happened to see Edmunds live (with Rockpile, which is the subject for another column) at the Bottom Line on the night in 1978 when Keith Richards got out of jail from his Canadian heroin bust. Imagine my delight when Edmunds brought Keith out to sit in with the band on the aforementioned "Let It Rock."



Imagine my disappointment when, as you can hear, the resulting performance turned out to be an unholy mess. Seriously -- every couple of years I pull that out to see if I'm mis-remembering how awful it was, and every time I do I'm disappointed all over again.

Fun trivia note: I was at an Edmunds show at Tramps in the early '90s, where I ran into Willie Nile, who said "Hey Simels -- when are you gonna get that Floor Models box set together?" I laughed, but nearly two decades later it suddenly struck me as a good idea. Which, in fact, it turned out to be.

Thanks for the memories, Dave!!!

Friday, July 21, 2017

Music By People I Actually Know Personally (An Occasional Series)

From 2017, please enjoy The John Sally Ride -- featuring friend of PowerPop and proprietor of the fabulous music blog BURNING WOOD Sal Nunziato on drums -- and their brilliantly monikered and addictively catchy "She Walks Her Dog in Pajamas."



And who are these guys? Let's go directly to the official press release!

NEW RELEASE ON THE KOOL KAT LABEL!

The John Sally Ride was inevitable. Long time friends, with thousands of combined hours listening to and talking about music, the trio of musicians that comprise this exciting new band had been making music separately for years. The time had finally come to make a record together. It wasn't just their mutual love of The Kinks, David Bowie and Todd Rundgren. And it wasn't just that special knack of finishing each other's musical sentences. It was all of that, for sure. But, like any great band/record, it all starts with the songs and the magic that suddenly took hold of these gents when they finally hit the studio.

John Dunbar (A Confederacy Of Dunces The Kunks), Sal Maida (Roxy Music, Sparks, Milk N Cookies, Cracker) and Sal Nunziato (Pep In The Cat, The Hard Copies, Burning Wood) made a record, just like their musical heroes made records, with original music and lyrics, instruments and voices. "A New Set Of Downs" is that record.

“Anchored by Maida’s great bass line, Dunbar makes the best of the opener ‘One of These Days You’ll Have One of Those Days,’ a very Kinks-like composition with kazoo and guitar flourishes. The steady rhythm of ‘I Didn’t Know I Was Saying Goodbye’ is another gem about an unexpected break-up. Dunbar gets stuff off his chest with ‘Your Closest Friends,’ a rant that mentions ‘If you met them now for the first time you’d hate their guts.’ And easily the catchiest tune is the single ‘Not Taking Credit’. Another big highlight is ‘The Girl You Won’t Leave Your Wife For,’ with its dense melody and harmonies in the chorus. Easily Dunbar’s most accessible work. Highly Recommended.” – Powerpopaholic.com

“I've always liked the indie pop of John Dunbar. It's great melodic pop, the sort we thrive upon. ‘Not Taking Credit’ shows how Power Pop the trio could be and Dunbar's vocals lend well to that genre, but the news from the resulting album is that it is far more harmonic pop than power. Imagine a cross between The Monkees and Squeeze. The singalong shuffle of the opener, ‘One Of These Days You'll Have One Of Those Days’ emphasizes the Monkees comparison. ‘She Walks Her Dog In Pyjamas’ with its psych guitar is in Small Faces territory. ‘From Expectation To Surrender’ comes across as a sweet sounding chirpier version of The Proclaimers and it's great to hear Maida's bass lines again on ‘I Love The Girl (You Won't Leave Your Wife For)’. ‘I Love The Girl’ is almost Lindisfarne with it's almost folk backdrop. The trio have fashioned up a real feel good album to accompany the nights getting lighter. Nunziato's drumming seems to hold the whole thing together. This is great summer pop. It's hard to name a favourite track, I loved ‘Not Taking Credit’ from first listen and still do, but I'll go for ‘Your Closest Friends’, a real chipper song that sums up what the band are about. This album is a great listen and now you have your chance to confirm that.” – IDontHearASingle.com GREAT!!

And here's another nifty track from the record.



Seriously -- the whole album is pretty much the most delightful surprise I've had so far this year.

So what are you waiting for? Get over to the Kool Kat website [we love them because they also distribute the Floor Models] and buy the CD now!!!

Have a great weekend, everybody!

Thursday, July 20, 2017

Tomorrow is Only a Day Away


Sorry to be such a slacker this week. Regular posting -- featuring music by yet another person I actually know personally -- resumes on Friday.

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Music By People I Actually Know Personally (An Occasional Series)

From some time in the late 80s, please enjoy H20 -- featuring friend of PowerPop Tommy Stewart wildly overplaying on bass (because that's what he does) -- and their fiendishly catchy "Still the Morn."


Tommy fills in the details:

The band H2O was Jimmy Hamiter on lead vocals and keys (minimoog and polymoog), Larry Jones on guitar and backing vocals, Dave Jutras on drums, and myself on bass and Taurus pedals. The song "Still The Morn" was written by the previous version of H2O (different guitarist, two female vocalists, and two keyboardists), and when the band reformed after a few months, it remained a four-piece.




Apart from being a great guy and a great musician, Tommy used to read my poor scribblings at The Magazine Formerly Known as Stereo Review, so obviously he's way cool. He also keeps tab on the rightwing lunacy at the odious Free Republic website on a weekly basis over at FIRST DRAFT.

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Closed for Monkey Business


Great Max Weinberg show last night, but I'm too exhausted to post today.

Regular -- non-simian -- stuff resumes on the morrow.

Monday, July 17, 2017

Jukebox Monday Night

Going to City Winery tonight to see the great Max Weinberg doing...well, read the official description.

Fresh off the hugely successful The River Tour 2016-2017 of Bruce Springsteen and The E Street Band—where the group played 89 concerts nearly four hours long each night in 15 countries...Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame Drummer Max Weinberg announces a new touring concept for the small venue—“Max Weinberg’s Jukebox”.

A truly interactive experience, Weinberg invites the audience to create in real time the set list he and his crack four piece group will play that night. Performing songs from the glory days of rock and roll your guests get to choose from a video menu of over 200 songs-- everything from the Beatles to the Stones to Bruce and The E Street Band’s biggest hits—and hear the group play ‘em the way they want to hear them played!

That’s right—the crowd gets to yell out their choices and Max plays them!




In the words of the immortal Edith Prickley...


...could be a hot one!!!

P.S.: In case you're wondering where Max learned how to do this stuff...



And I strongly urge you to watch the above in full-screen with the volume cranked.

Friday, July 14, 2017

It's "Bob Dylan Covering Songs You Wouldn't Necessarily Expect Him to Cover" Week!: Part IV

From 2002, his Bobness covers George Harrison's "Something."



And from 2005..."London Calling" by The Clash.



Words fail me.

Have a great weekend, everybody.

Wednesday, July 12, 2017

It's "Bob Dylan Covering Songs You Wouldn't Necessarily Expect Him to Cover" Week!: Part Deux

From 2002, his Bobness essays Bruce Hornsby's "The End of the Innocence."



Full disclosure: I love this song and always have.

Tuesday, July 11, 2017

We Interrupt Oddball Bob Dylan Covers Week to Bring You Something Really Disgusting

From 2013, please enjoy throw up in your mouth watching EMIN and his truly appalling "In Another Life."



That kid is apparently a huge star in Russia, which just goes to show that Russian taste in pop music has declined precipitously since the heyday of the great Boris Grebenschikov.

More to the point, EMIN's dad is a big shot shady billionaire real estate developer who's in bed with President Tweety Amin.

To paraphrase Charles Pierce, if the story of the Trump administration had any more Russians in it, it would have to be written by Tolstoy.

Monday, July 10, 2017

It's "Bob Dylan Covering Songs You Wouldn't Necessarily Expect Him to Cover" Week!

From a rehearsal in 1985, here's his Bobness covering a song by that guy who didn't believe in Zimmerman.



Pretty good, actually, but much weirdness yet to come as the week progresses.

Friday, July 07, 2017

Actual New Floor Models News

Long story, but we have discovered a "lost" Andy song that we are about to refurbish, starting on Monday, when ace drummer Glen "Bob" Allen -- my musical director for the last fifty years -- and I go into the studio to recreate the rhythm section from this 1982 Other End version of "You Can't Tell Me Anything."

A tune we did live for ages, but for some inexplicable reason never demoed back in the day.



I'm pretty stoked about this, obviously; I'll keep you posted on our progress.

Have a great weekend, everybody!

Thursday, July 06, 2017

What's the Matter With Kids Todeay?

Noted without comment.


Except to say that The Smiths would have been a hell of a great instrumental band.

Wednesday, July 05, 2017

Where's the Freedom From Religion Foundation When We Really Need It ?

From 2016, please enjoy -- if possible -- Father John Misty on the Stephen Colbert show.



I'm told that today's youngsters really dig this guy.

I'm unconvinced about him, however. I hated his previous band Fleet Foxes -- a thoroughly derivative folk-rock outfit that looked more miserable at being onstage than any other act I've ever seen -- and this new shtick of his just seems too clever and ironic by half.

That said, there was a PROFILE of him in a recent issue of the New Yorker, and I gotta admit -- as Jack Nicholson famously said of Bob Dylan -- "This guy's a riot."

My favorite bit:

Tillman and [his significant other] Emma recently moved to Laurel Canyon, to a two-bedroom house at the end of a cul-de-sac. He’d lived in the neighborhood when he first moved to Los Angeles, and critics drew the inevitable line back to fabled predecessors—Gram Parsons, Joni Mitchell, Crosby, Stills, and Nash. “Yes, that ‘unmistakable Laurel Canyon sound,’ ” Tillman said. “The sound of Laurel Canyon is entertainment lawyers screaming at their dogs.”

Plus he does a lot of drugs, which at this point in time I find endearing.

Tuesday, July 04, 2017

It's Independence Day!!!

And in its honor please enjoy Bill Pullman, the greatest president of the United States who was never president of the United States...



...no, wait, in the era of President Tweety Amin that's not even a particularly good joke.

Sorry.

What I meant to say was please enjoy The Hollies and their gorgeous cover of Bruce Springsteen's "4th of July, Asbury Park (Sandy)."



Because nothing says an American holiday like a bunch of whey-faced Limeys singing in three part harmony.

Have a great 4th, everybody!

Monday, July 03, 2017

Your Monday Moment of Post-Weekend Listomania Canadian Content

Long time readers are perhaps aware that I consider The Guess Who's 1972 album Rockin' not only said band's masterpiece, but one of the greatest rock records ever made.

And for some reason, I forgot to include something from it on last Friday's tribute to the birthday of Canadia.

So allow me to make amends -- please enjoy the album's closing medley "Hi Rockers!"

Which, as you will hear in breathless wonder, consists of a fabulously dopey comedy routine featuring two members of the band pretending to be drunks in a bar listening to Phil Phillips' greaseball classic "Sea of Love," which then segues into two GW originals -- the gorgeous production ballad "Heaven Only Moved Once Yesterday" and then "Don't You Want Me," the most sublime rockabilly song of all time.



You're welcome.

Friday, June 30, 2017

Weekend Listomania: Special A Tribute to the Great White North! Edition

Well, tomorrow is the 150th birthday of Canadia, home of Justin Trudeau, William Shatner, and Gino Vanelli.

And you know what that means.

So let's get right to it:

Best or worst post-Elvis pop/rock/soul songs by Canadian artistes (or about Canadia!)

No arbitrary rules, although if you nominate anything by Rush I will come to your house and slap you silly.

And my totally top of my head Top Five is....

5. The Guess Who --Albert Flasher



4. The Guess Who -- Dancin' Fool



3. The Guess Who -- Guns Guns Guns



2. The Guess Who -- Running Back to Saskatoon



And the number one Bacon! flavored song of all time quite clearly is....

1. Mystery Science Theater 3000 -- The Canada Song



Alrighty, then -- what would YOUR choices be?

Your Friday Moment of Big Time Professional Radio

For your listening pleasure, please enjoy my appearance (from Tuesday last) on Capt. Al's intertube radio show.




The theme being A Tribute to Tribute Albums, so expect some interesting stuff.

And have a great weekend, everybody!!!!

Thursday, June 29, 2017

Closed for Monkey Business

Had a productive, but very long and tiring, night in the studio yesterday.


Regular tanned, rested and ready posting resumes on the morrow.

Wednesday, June 28, 2017

Your Wednesday Moment of Surprisingly Way Cool

So we had a lot of fun doing Capt. Al's intertube radio show yesterday -- the theme being a tribute to tribute albums. (I'll post a link to the audio tomorrow).

Played this one -- from a 2004 Warren Zevon homage -- which I hadn't heard since the thing came out, and had forgotten how unsucky it is. In fact, it's pretty great.



I mean, say what you will about Sandler, but he gets it.

That's Waddy Wachtel on guitar, by the way, and Mick Fleetwood on drums.

Tuesday, June 27, 2017

Programming Notes From All Over

So later today yours truly is going to be the guest on friend of PowerPop Capt. Al's intertube radio show Lost at Sea over at Area 24 Radio.


The broadcast starts at 12pm New York City time (EST) and it can be accessed by clicking on the Listen Now! button HERE.

Here's a clue to the theme of the show...



...and I strongly doubt Captain Al will get it.

If you do, however, you win a coveted PowerPop No Prize. So e-mail us at ssimels@gmail.com and we'll talk.

Monday, June 26, 2017

Wails From the Crypt

Long-time readers are perhaps aware that your humble scribe has toiled, off and on since high school, in a garage band (more accurately a basement band) known under a variety of names but mostly as The Weasels.

What they may not know, however, is that having, of late, a surfeit of time on my hands, I have been engaged recently in compiling an actual CD -- to be entitled Let There Be Weasels: Greatest Hits 1973-2016 -- and that, to that end, I and some technical professionals have been restoring, to the best of our meager ability, the various home recordings and el cheapo music videos in our poorly maintained multi-media vaults.

Here's one we just sort of finished -- the official promo film for our classic 1977 or 1978 rocker "Sweet Geraldine." Now with a genuine stereo audio track!!!



BTW, in case you were wondering, the guy singing -- the song's composer Glenn Leeds -- is doing hilariously over-the-top impressions of the other guys in the band. And yes, the one with the makeup is supposed to be me.

Friday, June 23, 2017

Friday 23 Revisited


From the incredibly great Willie Nile's killler new album of Dylan covers - please enjoy his fabulous Byrds Meets the Ramones version of "Blowin' in the Wind."




You can -- and should -- order Positively Bob, which drops (as the kids say) today over at Amazon HERE.

Have a great weekend, everybody.

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Your Tuesday Moment of Words Fail Me: Special Beat the Devil Edition

From who the fuck knows when, although possibly 2017, please enjoy (yeah, right) The Jay Skekulow Band and...jeebus fuck, I can't go on. It's a Boston song, and it's not Boston's fault.


The Jay Sekulow band was founded by Jay Sekulow, Chief Counsel at the American Center for Law and Justice and includes an all-star cast: John Elefante former lead singer of Kansas, John Schlitt of Petra, Mark Townsend of DC Talk, Dr. Steve Guthrie, Marco Pangallo, and Scott Kirkman. Together they play songs that often resonate with the work and mission of the ACLJ. All these men above are Messianic-Christians and Pro-Israel-Yisrael / Pro-Zionism / Pro-USA!!



I really don't know how to say this, er, politely, but everybody in this band who isn't that fascist shitheel Jay Sekulow -- an evil sonofabitch who made his TV bones shilling for Pat Robertson on The 700 Club -- deserves to rot in hell along with him.

Monday, June 19, 2017

Your Monday Moment of Atonal Groaning*

From the Pathe Archives, via Charlie Pierce:

Here's Marlene Dietrich, singing in Russia. This is not to be confused with singing about Russia, which I suspect will be a serious choral work in a few weeks.



BTW, apparently, Burt Bacharach was the musical director on this, which is pretty cool.

*[h/t my late Stereo Review colleague Noel Coppage, who coined that phrase to describe Dietrich's inimitable...er...vocal stylings.]

Friday, June 16, 2017

The Father of Us All

So our good pal Sal Nunziato, proprietor of the great BURNING WOOD blog mentioned the other day that Chuck Berry's posthumous album was quite wonderful.


And because I trust his taste, I sprung for the album.

Well, he was right.

Words fail me, but here's "Dutchman" -- my favorite track.



Jeebus fuck -- the cat was 90 when he wrote/recorded this. And it's the best short story I've heard this year.

BTW -- Chuck's "Too Much Monkey Business," from 1956, is the first rap record.



And anybody who tells you otherwise is selling something.

Have a great weekend, everybody!

Thursday, June 15, 2017

Closed for Monkey Business


Had a long, productive but exhausting, night in the studio yesterday.

Regular extremely peppy posting resumes on the morrow.

Wednesday, June 14, 2017

Obviously I'm Gonna Have to Re-Read Poe's "William Wilson"

Apparently I've got a genuine doppelganger in a band in Santa Fe, New Mexico.


That guy in the center really looks like some asshole whose name rhymes with Sleeve Nimels.


Or else I'm somehow in a trance and moonlighting as a member of THE PLEASURE PILOTS

Those guys are actually pretty good, thank god, as this cover of Roy Montrell's New Orleans r&b classic "That Mellow Saxophone" proves.



Still -- I'm sort of freaked out by the resemblance.

[h/t WGG]

Tuesday, June 13, 2017

Your Tuesday Moment of My Bucket List

From 1988, please enjoy the transplendent Roseanne Cash and her hit version of John Stewart's brilliant "Runaway Train."



Still my favorite of her singles, although she's made more great records than most of us have had hot meals; how I've never gotten around to seeing her in person is beyond me.

And yes, I will concede that I hate the gated 80s drum sound on this song, but in this case it's not a deal breaker.

Monday, June 12, 2017

Your Monday Moment of My Bucket List

From 1984, please enjoy the incredibly great Los Lobos and the (sort of) title track from their debut LP How Will the Wolf Survive?.



I can't believe I've never seen these guys live; I must have listened to the album that video is from a gazillion times back in the day, and they have lots of other stuff just as good, too. In any case, next time they're in the NYC area, I'm getting tickets, or I'll know the reason why.

I should also add, in the interest of full disclosure, that it now dawns on me that -- consciously or unconsciously -- a certain band featuring an asshole bass player whose name rhymes with Sleeve Nimels probably lifted stuff from LL on more than once occasion.

Friday, June 09, 2017

Don't Get Your Knickers in a Twist

And speaking, as we were yesterday, of a couple of guys in Argent, I had forgotten how utterly gorgeous this song from their eponymous debut album is.



Seriously -- that could have been on a Zombies album. Spinetinglingly good.

Have a great weekend, everybody.

Thursday, June 08, 2017

There's Probably a Beavis and Butt-Head Joke Here, But I Don't Have the Energy to Make It

From 1964, please enjoy The Roulettes and their how the hell did they think a song with this title was going to get on American radio "Tell Tale Tit."



Two of the guys in this band went on to record the original hit version of "Concrete and Clay" and -- much later -- join Argent and do lots of other cool stuff. I'm bringing it up, however, because an insane crackpot anti-Semite piece of shit I enjoy making fun of thinks it's beneath him.

Wednesday, June 07, 2017

Guess Who?

Hint: They were talking to Toby Goldstein in CREEM in 1979.


I guessed Frank Zappa, BTW.

Tuesday, June 06, 2017

Closed for Monkey Business


Some guy at Facebook is mad at me because reviews -- not by me -- that ran in the Magazine Formerly Known as Stereo Review during my tenure ruined his childhood. I am actually not kidding about this.

Hopefully inoffensive postings (in penance) will resume here on the morrow.

Monday, June 05, 2017

Positively Monday

Went to see the fabulous Willie Nile yesterday at an afternoon listening soiree and unplugged mini-concert for his forthcoming album of Bob Dylan covers...


...and I gotta tell you, I haven't been to such a great party in ages. Here's the first video from the album, shot at the same stygian downtown joint (two blocks up from the departed CBGBs) where yesterday's festivities took place. And if this doesn't make you smile, there's no hope for you.



The rest of the record, frankly, is even better, including a Ramones Meet the Byrds version of "Blowin' in the Wind" that must be heard to be believed. Positively Bob drops, as the kids say, on June 23, but you can -- and very definitely should -- pre-order it at Amazon over HERE.

Have I mentioned that it was a truly memorable afternoon? Thanks, Willie!!!

Friday, June 02, 2017

Your Friday Moment of I'm a Little Verklempt

Ace critic Dave Lifton, bless his rock-and-roll heart, gets it.

There’s something about power pop that even albums that are 22 years old can sound as if they’ve been recorded yesterday. That’s definitely the case with Fire Lane, a 1995 album from Gerry Devine and the Hi-Beams that has just been reissued.


You can read the rest of the review over at POPDOSE.

Have a great weekend, everybody.

Thursday, June 01, 2017

Closed for Monkey Business


Had a long, highly productive, but ultimately exhausting night in the recording studio yesterday.

Regular snazzily dressed and peppy postings resume tomorrow.

Wednesday, May 31, 2017

Have I Mentioned That Bob Lefsetz is a Huge Idiot?

From 1968, please enjoy Johnny Rivers' gorgeous -- and surprisingly post-modern -- "Summer Rain."



"All summer long we spent grooving in the sand
Everybody kept on playing Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band"

Mr. Rivers speaks for me in this regard.

Tuesday, May 30, 2017

A Few Words on the Sgt. Pepper 50th Anniversary Remix Package

I got my copy on Friday. I'd like to thank the EMI Group of Companies for sending me the actual original master tapes for review.


I kid, I kid.

That said, I've listened to the new stereo version of the album, which is, as today's youngsters say, the bees knees. Haven't heard any of the bonus material yet, but the Making Of documentary is pretty cool. George Martin -- you were the greatest.

And I should add that -- yes, it's official.

Bob Lefsetz...

No one listened to “Sgt. Pepper” and immediately pronounced it a classic, it was just too different.

...is a fucking idiot.

Seriously, read his piece at the link above. There's clueless, there's Clueless, and then there's him.

Monday, May 29, 2017

Long Weekend Listomania: Special No Climate Change Deniers Aloud! Edition

[Okay, it's Memorial Day, i.e. the official kick-off to summer, so I'm recycling this (I originally posted it in 2009) for obvious reasons. I should add that I've changed a couple of the song selections, and re-written it slightly, just so as not to appear an even bigger slacker than I am. -- S.S.]

Best or Worst Post-Elvis Summer Song -- Which is To Say Either a Song About Summer or One With the Word Summer in the Title!!

Self-explanatory, I think, and in the interest of holiday comity, I'm imposing absolutely no arbitrary rules of any kind.

And my totally top of my head Top Nine would be...

9. Two Live Jews -- Oy, It's So Humid



"Doesn't Myrtle have air conditioning?" "What -- you mean Octagenarian Mutant Ninja Myrtle?..."

8. Graham Gouldman -- Bus Stop



"Bus Stop, wet day, she's there, I say, please share my umbrella...All that summer we enjoyed it, wind and rain and shine..."

And don't tell me about that Rihanna "Umbrella" shit, because I don't want to hear about it.

7. Smashing Pumpkins -- Summer



It occurs to me that Billy Corgan's pretentious cueball noggin has been absent from these precincts for far too long; unfortunately, it's not on display in this particular video. Actually, a pretty nice song, though.

6. The Jamies -- Summertime, Summertime



An arifact that has irked me since the late 50s. It's like a Chimpmunks record, but done straight. Or something. In any case, words can not express how annoying I think those harmonies are.

5. Billy Stewart -- Summertime



The Gershwin song, of course. This is the uncut version of Stewart's soul glossolalia hit, which I had never heard before yesterday. Kudos to whoever the drummer is, BTW.

4. Eddie Cochran -- Summertime Blues



No better rock-and-roll song has ever been written, and no cooler rock singer/guitarist has ever worn shoe leather.

3. Chad and Jeremy -- A Summer Song



I only found out relatively recently that they actually played all the beautiful guitar stuff on this one themselves. Just as sweet and lovely a pop song as there is, so naturally, my crappy high school rock band used to sing it as "Planes, crashing into mountain sides, with the loss of many lives...."

2. Bananarama -- Cruel Summer



Because, frankly, you just can't have too much Bananarama, even with crappy synth drums.

And the most memorable summer song -- summer being defined as hot, sweaty and fly-infested -- obviously is....

1. Mick Farren -- Let's Loot the Supermarket Again (Like We Did Last Summer)




Typical first generation 70s Brit-punk snarl, although Farren himself had been through one or two too many youth cultures by the time he conned Stiff Records into releasing this. Not in itself a particularly fabulous record, but you gotta admit -- the title's brilliant.

Awrighty then -- what would YOUR choices be?

Friday, May 26, 2017

It's Friends of Mine Week: Special From Jersey It Came Edition

Going to see the incomparable Smithereens tonight at B.B. King's.


Which will probably be the zillionth time I've seen those guys in a club, but this is obviously a good thing. Especially as original bassist Mike Mesaros will be rejoining the band for the show.


That's him on the right of course. He was always the 'Reen with the most teen appeal.

Well, with the possible exception of drummer Dennis Diken, seen here back in the day with some asshole whose name rhymes with Sleeve Nimels.


Meanwhile, have I mentioned that, on top of everything else, The Smithereens are the greatest cover band of all time?



Have a great weekend everybody!

Thursday, May 25, 2017

It's Friends of Mine Week: Special Whaling Songs Were Invented in New Jersey Edition

From (we think) 1974, please enjoy Belleville, New Jersey's finest, The Hounds -- featuring lead vocals, Rickenbacker 12-string and songwriting by my old college chum Tony Forte -- and their remarkably Byrds-ian "Dirge of the Wayward Seafarer."





In case you're wondering, this also features inadequate rhythm guitar by that guy on the right in the photo wearing the Wings t-shirt (whose name rhymes with Sleeve Nimels).

But don't hold that against Mr. Forte. I think this is a genuinely great song and a terrific performance overall.

Of course, it still kinda cracks me up that a bunch of mooks from the land of Tony Soprano would be performing sea chanties, but hey -- rock 'n' roll.

POSTSCRIPT: The cutest thing about all this? Check out the tall guy in the photo looking down at the beautiful blonde. After the band broke up, they wound up getting married, having a fabulous life, and being responsible for some incredible kids. The next person who tells me that rock is the devil's music, swear to god I'm gonna take a hostage.

Tomorrow: More music by people I actually know personally, and yes, they're ALSO from New Jersey.

Wednesday, May 24, 2017

It's Friends of Mine Week: Special Ars Gratia Pecuniae Edition

From 2014, please enjoy Foglizard (featuring pal of PowerPop and frequent commenter buzzbabyjesus)...


...with a live in the studio performance of their not-at-all prog-rock "Pigs on a Cracker." That's BBJ with the hollow-body guitar, BTW.



And here's the almost pop "Almost July," the lead-off track from Viva Le Foglizard. Pretty snazzy, I think.



A word from the auteur:
"I posted "Viva Le Foglizard" as a weekend mix over at Burning Wood. Someone posted anonymously "No, Thanks". I wrote back that out of 7 billion people on the planet that weren't interested in my music, only one needed to point it out. I promised his brave honesty would be rewarded by his being the subject of our next song. It became a blog post."

I should add that you can hear more Foglizard tunes and read BBJ's complete history of the band over HERE. Pretty funny stuff.

Tomorrow: some more interesting if not world-renowned music, only this time from a friend I have yet to buy a drink for.