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#61 TexasSara

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Posted 30 August 2008 - 08:53 PM

QUOTE
Regarding XTC, they've always been a band that I want to love more than I actually love. Andy Partridge is a great songwriter, but his cynicism and frankly angry atheism makes them harder for me to handle. That said, I think some of the songs, especially "Respectable Street," "Make Enough for Us" and "Mayor of Simpleton" are just fine, fine power pop tracks.


I have a difficult time dealing with the angry atheism as well. I try not to listen to the song "Dear God" much at all because I hate the lyrics, but the melody is so catchy that the song stays in my head way longer than I want it to.

There are certain songs I've liked such as "No Thugs In Our House," "Poor Skeleton Steps Out," and "The Mayor of Simpleton." I've grown to enjoy others on a deeper level after having read XTC: Song Stories. It gives some interesting insights to some of XTC's lyrics. The book also reveals that Andy Partridge received a lot of hate mail as a result of "Dear God." Also there were a few violent incidents for some of the radio stations who played that song.

#62 Jason Panella

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Posted 01 September 2008 - 01:07 PM

Are there any other Jason Falkner fans out there? He was the original guitarist for the Jellyfish, and then recorded two albums under his own name in the '90s (he played every instrument, and is an incredibly talented musician). Those two albums, especially his debut Jason Falkner Presents Author Unknown, are some of the best power pop releases in the past 15 years.

Turns out he released another LP last year! I feel like a bad fan. His third official album (after some demos and that Bedtime with the Beatles lullaby disc he recorded) was released in Japan a year ago, with no US release date. Hopefully something soon.

Some of the tracks from the album are up on his MySpace page.

#63 Hugues

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Posted 16 September 2008 - 10:02 AM

I don't know half of all the bands mentionned, but know a good bunch all the same (the other half, all things reckoned)...

and I have special favorites:

Dwight Twilley Band - Sincerely
The Bongos - Drums along the Hudson

and also:

Blondie - Plastic Letters (it fits, doesn't it?)
The Flamin' Groovies - Shake Some Action

#64 Jason Panella

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Posted 16 October 2008 - 01:13 PM

QUOTE (Andy Whitman @ Aug 21 2008, 09:56 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Exhibit #273,896 on why this music still matters: the debut album from Army Navy, out October 14th. The leader of this band, one Justin Kennedy, used to co-lead a band called The Pinwheels with Ben Gibbard. His voice sounds like Ken Stringfellow or Jon Auer from The Posies. His guitars sound like Teenage Fanclub. It's melodic, whiney nerd rock. It's nothing you haven't heard 273,895 times before. But I'm still a sucker for jangly guitars and multi-tracked harmonies and singalong choruses.


What makes Army Navy a little better than the other 273,895 is that I feel like they're not going through the motions. Your description is perfect (nasally Stringfellow vocals + total, total Thirteen-era Teenage Fanclub music), and it's worth noting that the band is really energetic and not too glossed up. I guess it helps that drum madman (the Attractions / the Impostors) Pete Thomas plays on all of the tracks.

And the songs are really well-written. They're hook-laden, but not overbearingly so. There are harmonies that don't beat you over the head. The choruses soar. There's lots of guitar jangle, and lots of super-fuzzed rhythm guitar action.

I'm really, really enjoying this album. A shoe-in for my top ten of the year.

#65 Kyle

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Posted 16 October 2008 - 01:59 PM

QUOTE (Jason Panella @ Oct 16 2008, 11:13 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
QUOTE (Andy Whitman @ Aug 21 2008, 09:56 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Exhibit #273,896 on why this music still matters: the debut album from Army Navy, out October 14th. The leader of this band, one Justin Kennedy, used to co-lead a band called The Pinwheels with Ben Gibbard. His voice sounds like Ken Stringfellow or Jon Auer from The Posies. His guitars sound like Teenage Fanclub. It's melodic, whiney nerd rock. It's nothing you haven't heard 273,895 times before. But I'm still a sucker for jangly guitars and multi-tracked harmonies and singalong choruses.


What makes Army Navy a little better than the other 273,895 is that I feel like they're not going through the motions. Your description is perfect (nasally Stringfellow vocals + total, total Thirteen-era Teenage Fanclub music), and it's worth noting that the band is really energetic and not too glossed up. I guess it helps that drum madman (the Attractions / the Impostors) Pete Thomas plays on all of the tracks.

And the songs are really well-written. They're hook-laden, but not overbearingly so. There are harmonies that don't beat you over the head. The choruses soar. There's lots of guitar jangle, and lots of super-fuzzed rhythm guitar action.

I'm really, really enjoying this album. A shoe-in for my top ten of the year.


I think its my next selection from emusic once my song credit moves back up. I've really liked the two songs I've heard.

#66 Andy Whitman

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Posted 26 February 2009 - 10:51 AM

Anacortes, Washington's The Lonely Forest has a new album in the pipeline -- We Sing the Body Electric (go, Walt Whitman), out April 21st on Burning Building Recordings. I've enjoyed the band's two previous efforts, 2006's Regicide EP and 2007's Nuclear Winter LP, but the new one is a big, bright step in the power pop direction. Lead singer/songwriter John Van Deusen's always had the tunes, but original guitarist Tony Ruland is back in the fold, and he pushes Van Deusen's always memorable melodies in decidedly loud and rocking directions. There are a few psych Elephant 6 flourishes as well. There's nothing particularly new or innovative here, but it sure is fun, and it promises to be on repeat play for the next few days.

#67 tongue-tied lightning

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Posted 26 February 2009 - 11:32 AM

Badfinger has to be at the top of the list.

Edited by tongue-tied lightning, 26 February 2009 - 11:33 AM.


#68 Andy Whitman

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Posted 24 March 2009 - 10:21 AM

Certain songs just beg to be replayed. This one, called "We Sing In Time," by Anacortes, Washington quartet The Lonely Forest, got replayed about 10 times when I first heard it. It's still good for about three or four plays per day. It's the most infectious song I've heard so far this year. The rest of the album can't quite live up to this power pop gooey sweetness, but the other fourteen songs are worthwhile, too. The album, called We Sing the Body Electric, is out April 21st.

#69 Kyle

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Posted 28 April 2009 - 11:48 PM

One word: Telekenisis.

Their (and it's really a one-man band) self-titled (plus an exclamation point for good measure) is mind blowingly awesome, awesome, awesome. 11 songs, 31 minutes and hooks, hooks, hooks. Guitar hooks, bass hooks, drum hooks, vocal hooks, chorus hooks. There is nary a bad song in the bunch. It's just 30 minutes of awesome.



#70 Jason Panella

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Posted 29 April 2009 - 09:33 AM

If people can be sold by 30 second samples, Kyle, then I was sold by the ones on eMusic for Telekinesis!

And speaking of power pop, I'm sure some of you have heard of the seemingly wacky supergroup Tinted Windows (w/ members of Cheap Trick, Fountains of Wayne, Smashing Pumpkins and...Hanson). I wrote a review of their self-titled debut here. Despite what Pitchfork said about it today, it's not a bad album at all.

#71 Andy Whitman

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Posted 29 April 2009 - 11:19 AM

QUOTE (Jason Panella @ Apr 29 2009, 10:33 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
If people can be sold by 30 second samples, Kyle, then I was sold by the ones on eMusic for Telekinesis!

And speaking of power pop, I'm sure some of you have heard of the seemingly wacky supergroup Tinted Windows (w/ members of Cheap Trick, Fountains of Wayne, Smashing Pumpkins and...Hanson). I wrote a review of their self-titled debut here. Despite what Pitchfork said about it today, it's not a bad album at all.

I've finally figured it out. Here's how to determine a fairly accurate rating for an album. Take the Pitchfork score, and subtract it from 10.0. The resulting total will be relatively close to the score used by other music-related sites in rating the album. In this case it's a 6.5, which sounds about right. Tinted Windows is perfectly catchy if not particularly noteworthy power pop.

This theory is also known as the 'Fork Inverse Ratio Equation (FIRE), which is what I would do with about 90% of their reviewers.

Edited by Andy Whitman, 29 April 2009 - 11:21 AM.


#72 draper

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Posted 29 April 2009 - 11:55 AM

Help! I've fallen and I can't get up! Perhaps three weeks ago, while in the middle of the spring paint-a-thon I promised my wife, I started listening to Rain and Paperback Writer over and over. I never know which slippery slope the Beatles will pitch me over. This time, it's an almost unending loop of the Pernice Brothers, the Posies and virtually every band Jason Falkner has ever been in or around.

Edited by mumbleypeg, 29 April 2009 - 11:56 AM.


#73 Jason Panella

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Posted 26 June 2009 - 03:53 PM

I read about this almost 15 years ago: a dorky kid bugged Frank Black with his power pop demos, and Black eventually got into them so much that he got the kid a record deal and produced the album. The kid: Jonny Polonsky. The album: Hi My Name is Jonny. I finally tracked it down and, really, it's a fine, fine album. Very '90s power pop in sound (see Posies / 100% Fun), and it has some really good high point. Honestly, Jonny isn't going to win any vocal contests (he sounds like a very gravelly Jason Falkner), but the hooks on many of the songs are just sugary enough without going over the top.

I know he has another album, but I don't know if I want to look around for that either...might take another 13 years.

#74 Andy Whitman

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Posted 01 September 2009 - 12:28 PM

Cotton Mather -- Kontiki

I totally missed this band when they were in their heyday (to the extent that obscure Austin, Texas bands with a serious late-period Beatles obsession have a heyday). At any rate, I know lead singer/songwriter Robert Harrison from his albums as Future Clouds and Radar. And really, this is more of the same -- wildly eclectic psych/power pop, anchored by jangly guitars and multi-tracked John Lennon vocals courtesy of Mr. Harrison, who probably missed his shot at the big bucks by passing on the Beatlemania revival.

But you know what? This is a 5-star album. There are fourteen songs here and fourteen winners, a pitch-perfect Beatles homage bursting with hooks and swooning harmonies. The album came out in 1998, 34 years too late for Ed Sullivan. Oh well. The kids haven't screamed hysterically since John married Yoko, but I'd sure like to holler about the virtues of this album.

#75 Hugues

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Posted 01 September 2009 - 01:12 PM

QUOTE (TexasSara @ Aug 31 2008, 03:53 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
QUOTE
Regarding XTC, they've always been a band that I want to love more than I actually love. Andy Partridge is a great songwriter, but his cynicism and frankly angry atheism makes them harder for me to handle. That said, I think some of the songs, especially "Respectable Street," "Make Enough for Us" and "Mayor of Simpleton" are just fine, fine power pop tracks.


I have a difficult time dealing with the angry atheism as well. I try not to listen to the song "Dear God" much at all because I hate the lyrics, but the melody is so catchy that the song stays in my head way longer than I want it to.

There are certain songs I've liked such as "No Thugs In Our House," "Poor Skeleton Steps Out," and "The Mayor of Simpleton." I've grown to enjoy others on a deeper level after having read XTC: Song Stories. It gives some interesting insights to some of XTC's lyrics. The book also reveals that Andy Partridge received a lot of hate mail as a result of "Dear God." Also there were a few violent incidents for some of the radio stations who played that song.


Andy Partridge may be an atheist, but I recommend the reading of his liner notes for Judee Sill's reissues for the label called Water. He sounds quite like an open person, and has some sense of "divine" for the land of music. He loves J-S Bach after all.


#76 Andy Whitman

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Posted 13 November 2009 - 11:01 AM

San Francisco power popsters The Orange Peels return with a new album early in 2010 called 2020. I predict the release of 2030 in 2020. The Orange Peels are basically Allen Clapp and whoever he can gather around him, so if you've heard any of the previous Orange Peels albums (my money's on the fact that you haven't), then the new one won't startle you with its innovations. It's supremely tuneful, minimally powerful (I'd give it a 3 on the 1-10 power pop power scale; the electric guitars don't exactly pack a wallop), and occasionally annoyingly sung by a guy who, God bless him, sometimes exhibits the adenoidal whine of Eric Carmen and The Raspberries. But Clapp really does write some engaging, hook-filled melodies, and many of these songs could have been mid-'70s AM radio hits. Sadly, he's arrived 35-40 years after Bread and America. He coulda been a contendah, and earned a guest spot on The Captain and Tennille Variety Hour.

Edited by Andy Whitman, 13 November 2009 - 11:03 AM.


#77 Holy Moly!

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Posted 28 November 2009 - 04:09 AM

Tonight, The Lonely Forest headlined a big show at the Showbox, supported by Telekinesis and The Globes.

Chris Walla played with Telekinesis, and is also producing the next Lonely Forest album.



These guys are ready for the big time.

#78 Hugues

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Posted 28 November 2009 - 04:23 AM

Power pop:



#79 Holy Moly!

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Posted 22 March 2011 - 08:51 PM

Certain songs just beg to be replayed. This one, called "We Sing In Time," by Anacortes, Washington quartet The Lonely Forest, got replayed about 10 times when I first heard it. It's still good for about three or four plays per day. It's the most infectious song I've heard so far this year. The rest of the album can't quite live up to this power pop gooey sweetness, but the other fourteen songs are worthwhile, too. The album, called We Sing the Body Electric, is out April 21st.


The Lonely Forest's new record is out today, and has a new recording of this song. It's kind of amazing.

#80 Andy Whitman

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Posted 22 April 2011 - 10:24 AM

The new-ish Telekinesis album 12 Desperate Straight Lines is perfectly serviceable power pop; not great, but consistently catchy and loud, which is about all I ask. This is a downbeat breakup record disguised as a sunny popfest with buzzing, overdriven guitars and memorable singalong choruses. There's no filler; just 12 songs of power pop goodness.