powerpop Archive

Album Review: The Cleaners From Venus – Living With Victoria Grey

I sometimes wonder if Martin Newell gets tired of all the Ray Davies comparisons. I mean, the man (Newell) has released something like thirty or forty albums (many of these on cassette, back in the 1980s) as Cleaners From Venus, Brotherhood of Lizards, and under his own name. While many of these were zero-budget, decidedly

Capsule Reviews: January 2013, Part Two

Here’s another installment in my occasional series of capsule reviews, this time covering new releases by indie/self-released artists. My self-imposed limit for this particular exercise is 150 words on each album. War Poets – Dulce et Decorum Est Every so often an act comes along that is – or at least seems to be –

Album Review: A Fragile Tomorrow – Be Nice Be Careful

As baseball boffin / bowtied blowhard George Will likes to begin especially forceful pronouncements, “It is axiomatic.” What exactly is axiomatic in this case? That big-label backing does not always equal quality music, and that indie- or self-released label product isn’t always unworthy of national attention. I mention this not only to get in a

I’m in the Fan Club: A Conversation with Jellyfish’s Roger Manning, Part Two

Continued from Part One… Bill Kopp: I remember one of those live-in-the-studio sessions you did back around the time of the second album. It was for 99X, a radio station in Atlanta (WNNX-FM). The thing I remember most from the interview part of that session – and I don’t know if it was you or

I’m in the Fan Club: A Conversation with Jellyfish’s Roger Manning, Part One

Jellyfish was one of the great bands of the early 90s. At a time when pop music had lost its way – or at least moved away from the things that made it such a culturally vital part of previous times (most notably the 70s), the Jellyfish approach celebrated the bombast and excess of rock/pop,

Interview: Dūrocs’ Scott Mathews and Ron Nagle, Part Five

Bill Kopp: How did you come to have Elliot Mazer co-produce? Did you pick him or did Capitol say, “Here’s the guy.” And how do you think his presence affected the nature of the final product? Scott Mathews: He was in San Francisco, and he had a studio. He let us come in and do

Interview: Dūrocs’ Scott Mathews and Ron Nagle, Part Four

Bill Kopp: There was no Dūrocs II. Was your deal with Capitol a one-off or were you dropped? Ron Nagle: I don’t even remember how we were informed. I think it was some sort of Dear John letter. Scott Mathews: Clearly, it was a two-way street. After we had that meeting with Bobby Colomby, there

Interview: Dūrocs’ Scott Mathews and Ron Nagle, Part Three

Bill Kopp: So you guys were originally signed by A&M, but – as I understand it – that was around the time that A&M figured out it didn’t know what to do with rock bands, especially unusual, hard-to-pigeonhole ones. The Tubes got dropped after doing arguably their best albums for the label – Remote Control

Interview: Dūrocs’ Scott Mathews and Ron Nagle, Part Two

Scott Mathews: [The music on Dūrocs] does run the gamut. You’ve got songs like “No Fool No Fun,” and other songs we wrote from the deepest of our hearts, in a melancholy sort of way. Like “One Day at a Time”… Ron Nagle: And “Don’t Let the Dream Die.” Another thing, to give you some

Interview: Dūrocs’ Scott Mathews and Ron Nagle, Part One

File Dūrocs under Records You Probably Never Heard. Released in 1979 to critical plaudits but commercial indifference, the sole album from the “group” of the same name quickly went the way of the cutout bin. But the music therein was more deeply-layered than one might expect. While the music – the instrumentation and arrangement –