powerpop Archive

Album Reviews: Two featuring Fernando Perdomo

In this post-major-label era when many of the so-called barriers to entry have been swept away, the fact that a recording artist is prolific doesn’t provide a reliable indicator as to the quality of that output. When you get right down to it, anybody can “release” anything they want, whenever they like. So it’s important

Book Review: Paul Collins — I Don’t Fit In

One of the finest among the so-called new wave bands of the late-late-late ‘70s and very early 80s (the subgenre’s peak period) was The Beat. Renamed Paul Collins Beat to differentiate itself from the similarly-named UK ska-rock band (renamed to the English Beat, the group led by guitarist Paul Collins made some compelling music that

Album Review: Jim Basnight — Jokers, Idols & Misfits

What an interesting idea for an album. Yes, a collection of covers presented by an artist who writes his own music isn’t at all without precedent. But on Jokers, Idols & Misfits, Jim Basnight pays tribute to the wide range of artists whose work has inspired and informed his own. Twenty-one tunes – one each

Hundred-word Reviews, March 2021

Hey, kids: collect ’em all! Five new albums, all highly recommended. Here’s the lowdown on each, in exactly 100 words per. Maxwell Farrington & Le SuperHomard – Once If you’re at all like me, you often find yourself sitting around pondering this age-old question: “What would it sound like if Lee Hazlewood recorded an album

Hundred-word Reviews: February 2021, Part 1

The majority among these five lean in a powerpop direction. Rob Fetters – Ship Shake If Fetters’ name strikes you as familiar, that may be because you fondly remember The Bears, the arty powerpop group featuring him and Adrian Belew. And maybe you incorrectly assumed that Belew’s prodigious creativity was the Bears’ sole center of

Album Reviews: Big Stir Singles — The Seventh and Eighth Waves

Time was, Jordan Oakes reigned as the tastemaker supreme in the powerpop world. His Yellow Pills compilation series shone a light on the very best that the genre had to offer. And the four volumes in the series – all quite expensive today if you can even find them (you can’t have mine) – hammered

French Cassettes Get Fully Organized on ‘Rolodex’

It’s been a lot of years and a number of different styles for San Francisco’s French Cassettes. But on the long-gestating Rolodex – released December 11 on Portland, Ore.-based Tender Loving Empire Records – the group gets it right. Guitarist Scott Huerta formed French Cassettes in 2006. “We started having a concrete lineup around 2008,”

Hundred-word Reviews: January 2021 #2

Here’s five more brief reviews; this time we’ve got progressive rock, powerpop, indie chamber pop, goth rock and one album that’s simply beyond easy classification. What they all have in common is that they’re new, they’re indie, they’d be likely to escape your notice if you didn’t visit Musoscribe, and they’re all quite, quite good.

Album Review: Two Pound Planet — Songs from the Hydrogen Jukebox … and More

The story of Two Pound Planet is the story of countless bands: they write and played some great music, got the chance to work with a great producer who understood them, made a great record, and … disappeared pretty much with out a trace. The 1990s were was something of a strange time for the

Hundred(plus)-word Reviews for November 2020, Part Four

Here’s a quick look at five new releases. Four are reissues; the other is a compilation of previously-unreleased material. All are simply superb; essential, even. For the first time in a decade-plus, I’ve allowed myself to exceed my 100-word limit. Flamin’ Groovies – Now Originally released in 1978, this album was – intentionally or not