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!


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.