powerpop Archive

Hundred Word Reviews for May 2015, Part 9

Today’s roundup of capsule reviews focuses on reissues or previously-unreleased material by acts who came to prominence (or something approaching it) in the 1980s or later. Old 97’s – Hitchhike to Rhome In the 1950s, country and rock’n’roll were sometimes hard to discern form one another. Then they split into to two very different styles,

Hundred Word Reviews for May 2015, Part 8

Today, it’s five more capsule reviews. It’s great stuff all, dating from the 1970s. Stories – Stories Untold: The Very Best of Stories The, um, story of Stories in inextricably tied up with that of the Left Banke (“Walk Away Renee”). The music on this set from Real Gone Music draws not only for the

Hundred Word Reviews for May 2015, Part 5

This week of capsule reviews spotlighting new music wraps up today with five releases that all came to me on vinyl. I love vinyl. Did I mention that I really enjoy listening to music on vinyl? Well, I do. Anthony W. Rogers – Wrong… When this record arrived in my mailbox, I thought to myself,

Hundred Word Reviews for May 2015, Part 2

My march through the CD backlog in my office continues today with quick (100-word) looks at five new albums. Though the artists themselves might not always welcome the classification, these are all what I consider powerpop (or guitar pop, if you prefer). Fans of the genre will recognize some of the names as exemplars of

Album Review: Todd Rundgren — At the BBC 1972-1982

Several years back, Todd Rundgren took a proactive approach to the myriad live recordings that exist documenting his long and varied career. A true renaissance man who engenders fierce loyalty in his fan base, Rundgren may still be a “cult artist,” but he’s one of the most well-documented ones. For many years (during the tape-

Album Review: Various Artists — Beyond Belief

Not long ago, a Facebook friend of mine initiated what turned into a lively discussion. Paraphrasing, the open question that he posed was this: What is the artistic/aesthetic value – if any – of so-called “tribute albums?” And because his list of Facebook friends includes a wide variety of music-focused people, the answers could be

Hundred Word Reviews for March 2015, Part 2

Powerpop and jazz rarely go together. But in this edition of hundred-word reviews, they do. $15.00 Available only from Kool Kat Musik The Jeanies – The Jeanies I look back fondly upon the early-to-mid 1980s, an era in which the cost of studio time began to fall within the range of local, unsigned acts. And

Hundred Word Reviews for March 2015, Part 1

Time for some more backlog-clearing hundred-word reviews. All of these are worth my (and your) time in some way, but because of the sheer volume of worthy material in my inbox, I regularly do these short-form reviews to keep them from languishing on my desk. Today’s four are all artists I’ve covered before. The New

Best of 2014: New Music, Part 2

Yesterday I surveyed four of my favorite albums of new music from this year. There was modern psych/garage; raw Americana; punk; and classic guitar pop aka powerpop. Today I present the second half of my “top eight,” and – perhaps unsurprisingly – these four tread similar territory in musical genre-land. American Professionals – We Make

Best of 2014: New Music, Part 1

In my blog posts of last week, I surveyed some of my 2014 favorites: music-related books; DVDs; concerts; and interviews. For these last few days of the year, I’ll wrap up with a look at my favorite music of 2014, specifically new and reissued titles. Today, it’s four of my eight favorite albums of new