Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Parasol's Best of Scandinavia and Finland, 2006: A Selection

In the latest update from Parasol Records, Jim Kelly shared his picks of the best new music of Scandinavia and Finland for 2006. Here are five songs I particularly liked. Click on each band name for additional information.


Moneybrother - Reconsider Me mp3
David & The Citizens - 48h wma
Ed Harcourt Loneliness wma
Melpo Mene Holes wma
Paddington Distortion Combo - Nothing To It wma

And What Will Be Left Of Them?. . .

. . .are from Worcester, in the English Midlands. They proclaim themselves "proud to be part of the UK’s exploding DIY scene,” and therein lies much of their charm. If you only like perfectly polished powerpop, squeaky clean and sparkly, this might not be quite right for you. If, however, you like it a little off-kilter, original, and in your face, AWWBLOT? could be just the ticket, “the best proto-post-neo-punk-electro-poptart band ever,” as Darkworld Fanzine put it. Powerpoptart? Oh, rahther.

And What Will Be Left Of Them?
Wet Week in July mp3
Kelly Wasn't There mp3
4 Years to Be an Artist mp3

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

The Walnut Dash

These long lankins are so 2004/1964, so how about a little retro retro? I was looking back through my playlists and remembered them fondly. I did a blog check, and yes, they were and still are being written about. I’m going to play them anyway. They are long of limb and short of song. (7 songs = 18 minutes total on Titbits.) Tallest band in England? Maybe. (Average height, according to Pop Matters: 6’3”.) Essex or London? Both. Trio or quartet? Trio. We seem to see four, but I’m thinking mirror, you know, retro. Suspect album title but perfectly legit, as an alternative spelling. (I looked it up. Certainly do not want to offend. Fussy me.) Here are my three favorite bits. The rest of the album is available for free here.

The Walnut Dash - Titbits
Just Feel mp3
Sarah H. mp3
Top Drawer mp3

Secret Dakota Ring. . .

. . .are basically the solo project of Brooklyn-based Andy Ross. Secret Dakota Ring’s website perhaps best summarizes what this band is all about.

Tune in! Secret Dakota Ring is pirate radio for rock lovers and crooked hearts, a pop broadcast on fractured frequencies of fuzzy harmony, trembling guitars, unassailable beats and bittersweet melodies in whisper and scream. When every force at play in the world seems bent on blinding you to the truth and nothing is easy to see, when life seems a code that needs breaking, turn up the volume on Do Not Leave Baggage All the Way and listen through encryption to the blazoned message in stereo.

Okay, I get the gist, but I need one of them rings to decode it all. The music is much more accessible.

Secret Dakota Ring - Do Not Leave Baggage All the Way
broken cars mp3
my window mp3
beautiful girl mp3

Monday, November 27, 2006

The Happies

I happened upon The Happies back in February and pretty much got their name. Here’s how the Salt Lake City band are described on their website.

The Happies are an indie entity with a sound that bears a striking resemblance to bands in the vein of Belle & Sebastian, The Shins, Grandaddy, and The Beatles (if they were around today). "The Happies combine the best of the English singer-songwriter angle with washy, emotional American indie rock and a certain whimsical, fussy, quaint, old-fashioned splash which recalls The Coral. Stratford 4, Simon & Garfunkle, Rilo Kiley and Bonnie “Prince” Billy" (SLUG Magazine). They were awarded "Best Unsigned Local Band" in Salt Lake City Weekly's Best of 2005. "If We Were Really Here" is their first album to be released through Eden's Watchtower Records.
I’m guessing many of you poppers have already met The Happies, but in case not, here are a few songs from their debut. You can download the entire album Meet the Happies here. Once there, you can also make arrangements to buy their second album, If We Were Really Here. You will also find more about them at their MySpace site.

The Happies - Meet the Happies
hey little buttercup mp3
if mp3
this is yr stereolab mp3

Kristoffer Ragnstam

Kristoffer Ragnstam’s MySpace page says he is from “Gothenburg/New York/Hamburg, Sweden,” and his music is just as eclectic. In fact the variegated styles from his U. S. debut, Sweet Bills, can supply blogs and tastes of multiple genres. I’ve selected two earlier pieces that accord well with our little niche and encourage you to visit bluhammock music and the MySpace page for others before buying. Ragnstam originally hails from Kungalv, a town celebrated for its biscuits and cookies. A few minutes’ listening and you could be thinking “sweet.”

Kristoffer Ragnstam
Do You Want a Piece of Me EP - Beauty mp3
Panic Ride - Fashion (mp3 removed at MySpace site)

The Twin Atlas

The excellent WXPN blog out of Philadelphia recently featured local heroes The Twin Atlas on one of their morning downloads. I was immediately taken with “Fall Away” and pursued the duo to their website, where I found a rich cache of 17 downloadables. It was hard to narrow it down to these four, so if you like what you hear, go hear more. In some of these songs I seem to discern the birth of a new genre: lowfiemocountryfolkshoegaze. Or not. (I’m hoping Peter over at Coast is Clear will translate that into German.)

The Twin Atlas
Bring Along The Weather - Beautiful Surprise mp3
The Philadelphia Parking... - Nineteen Lives Back mp3
Magic Car Wash - Fall Away mp3
Kitchen USA - Tell the Stories mp3

Saturday, November 25, 2006

The Apples in Stereo - "Please"

I posted the video to "Please" two weeks ago and now have the pleasure of posting the song. These sounds certainly speed my beat. Read about The Apples here, here, and here.

The Apples in StereoVelocity of Sound -Please mp3

More Levy

Thanks to reader/listener Chriss i to the e, who reports in a comment that Levy have posted new songs to hear at their website. Click on the player at the site to adjust sound volume, advance to the next song, etc. Really good tuneage.

Friday, November 24, 2006

The Isles

New York City’s The Isles released Perfumed Lands back in August. I was immediately taken by "Major Arcana" and included it on faves lists for friends. Reviewers have drawn parallels to a certain British singer, but surely you are bold enough to decide for yourself? Their MySpace site is here.

The Isles - Perfumed Lands - Major Arcana mp3

Vendettas, This Vision, Prego, Ikons

Over at Hits in the Car, stytzer/Morten’s musical equivalent of OPEC has been filling the tank to overflowing with high-octane tuneage. The South American refiner/man of mystery, Jose Antonio--aka "J. A."--has piped some 20 songs just in the past five days, so much that the indomitable stytzer himself says it is hard to keep up. I obligingly set my bucket under the pump and caught four—one per wheel—that particularly made my little engine hum. If these don’t start you up—and even if they do—drive over to Hits in the Car and fuel up. Stytzer himself drills 24/7 and is constantly gushing hits, so you are sure to fill your own tank. You will find the latest Jose Antonio product here, here, and here.

And for all of this I, as always, tender thanks to the music-loving Dane.

Addendum, 25 Nov 06: Corrections made, as per stytzer's tactful, informative Comment.

Vendettas - Strangers mp3
This Vision - Young Hearts mp3
Prego - I Know mp3
Ikons - Do It Right mp3
Heavenly - Trophy Girlfriend

Sarah's biggest stars
eMusic

Thursday, November 23, 2006

The Green Pajamas

Seattle’s favorite apparel-monikered outfit proved in “The Secret of Bethany’s Mouth” and “She Smiles Sweetly” they know how to dress for the occasion. Happily, they’re still appropriately clad, as you’ll hear below. I blew a wad of my first eMusic downloads getting up to scratch with this fabulous psych troupe and can’t recommend them too highly. Released November 14, The Night Races Into Anna is a compilation of rare and unreleased tracks from 1997-2006. Parasol have a couple more freebies, if you're interested, and you can check out a GP's song I previously posted here.

The Green Pajamas
21st Century Seance - The Secret of Bethany's Mouth wma
The Night Races Into Anna - She Turns Me On wma

My darling YOU!

Klas Hermansson and Christoffer Johansson make beautiful music together. Fans have tried to persuade them to add members, but they prefer to be a duo. They work out of Goteborg (curse you, Blogger, for not letting me get that “o” right—okay, sorry, it’s Thanksgiving, I should be nicer. Happy Thanksgiving even if you’re in Goteborg (incorrect spelling, as noted) and other places that don’t celebrate this particular holiday. It is a wonderful time to be with family.) Now, where was I? Oh, yes, MdY! I’ve loved My darling YOU! for months and hope you will, too. So now to the feast.

My darling YOU!
Taxidriver mp3
Everything, allright?! mp3

Head Like a Kite. . .

. . .is essentially the solo project of Seattle indie rocker Dave Einmo. Einmo, guitarist in Sushirobo, was inspired by a cache of his parents’ home movies to write a collection of songs that ended up being the album Random Portraits of the Home Movie, released earlier this year. He recruited a variegated cast of musical characters to participate in the project, including The Posies' Darius Minwalla, Sushirobo’s Clay Martin, and on the song “Noisy at the Circus,” Smoosh’s fourteen-year-old singer, Asya. And didn’t I just post a Shins song? And in "Turn a Square," don't they sing "my head's like a kite?" Did I plan this unbeknownst to myself? In the picture Einmo is airborne, but where's the string? Sorry, folks, but sometimes I get like this.

Head Like a Kite - Random Portraits of the Home Movie - Noisy at the Circus mp3

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

The Shins - "Phantom Limb"

Sub Pop have released the first single from The Shins' upcoming album, Wincing the Night Away. The album is slated for release on January 23, 2007. If this song is any indication, wincing is the last thing I'll be doing. James Mercer could be singing the words from a Wheaties box and I'd listen, with pleasure.

The Shins - Wincing the Night Away - Phantom Limb mp3

The High Violets. . .

. . .came late to the shoegaze scene just as I am posting them well after their second coming earlier this year. Again, I’m trying to catch up on things I've long wanted to post, and not everyone reading this knows them yet anyway, so why not? Their debut, 44 Down was released in 2002, while the followup, To Where You Are, came out this year, as mentioned.

The High Violets
44 Down
44 Down mp3
To Where You Are
Love is Blinding mp3
Sun Baby mp3

From Avebury: Twinkie & The Mighty Stars

I’m awfully glad I stumbled into Avebury Records one night and found these two English bands. Twinkie are from Derby and The Mighty Stars from Bristol.

TwinkieTK-1 mp3












The Mighty Stars
Small Wonder mp3
Suzanne mp3

Spoon

True, the spoon is my favorite utensil, but that’s quite incidental to why I love Spoon. I love the music. I love the man. I love “Sister Jack.” I love them all.

Spoon - Gimme Fiction - Sister Jack m3u

You Are My Everything

Go Jukebox! is a new online Swedish label that set up operations on May 1 of this year with a rather unique pricing structure for downloads: they give away the songs for free. No charge. Zilch. Nada. Sweet. They are doing this to encourage other labels to loosen up, while also trying to attract bands to their label. So far they have four. I discovered this during my daily visits to Coast is Clear and Hits in the Car. (Thanks yet again, guys.) Peter and stytzer have divided up the four bands between them and posted two songs by each group. Out of those eight songs, I’ve chosen one, plus one more from the Go Jukebox! site. Please visit CIC and HITC to scope out the other good stuff. Well, what are you waiting for? Go! Oh, um, maybe listen to the two I posted first? If you wanta. No obligation, etc. Right.

You Are My Everything
Can You Feel What It Takes mp3
A Heart is Still a Heart mp3

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Aural Pleasure Candidates

I really like these songs but can’t seem to fit them into a thematic organizer at the moment. I’m providing links so you can explore them further. Pictured to the left are The Like Young.

The Like Young - For Money Or Love mp3
The BishopsThe Only Place I Can Look is Down mp3
Someone Still Loves You Boris Yeltsin - Oregon Girl mp3
Sunny Day Sets Fire - Wilderness mp3
Low Frequency in Stereo - Axes mp3
The Asteroid No. 4 - Ask Me About Pittsburgh mp3

Beatles Moments at Marathonpacks

Not yet filled to surfeit by the hoopla over today’s release of the new Beatles reworking, Love? Mourning the mashup of your Beatles faves in the interests of Cirque du Soleil weirdness and Capitol’s lust for a Christmas season kick in the assets? To meet either need, and perhaps others, I recommend an enlightening click over to the always excellent marathonpacks. Eric consistently provides some of the most stimulating insights into music I’ve ever read, so much so that he gets me first to listen to, and second—gasp!—enjoy music I would ordinarily pass right by. He also takes me deeper into music I thought I already knew—like, oh, The Beatles. Earlier this year he posted a riveting discussion of his favorite moments in Beatles music and invited readers to share their own. He included excerpts of the music to illustrate his points. The response was overwhelming, so he added a sequel. Go there and I promise you happy hours that will enhance your enjoyment of The Beatles while prompting you to reflect on your own favorite moments of that magical music. Now that fills me up and leaves me wanting more.

Monday, November 20, 2006

The Eames Era

They look so relaxed, and no wonder. Baton Rouge, Louisiana’s The Eames Era reported on their MySpace site last week they are in the mastering stage of their second full-length, Heroes and Sheroes. The band came together in its present lineup in 2003 when singer Ashlin Phillips joined guitarists Grant Widmer and Ted Joyner, drummer Greg Gauthreaux, and bassist Brian Waits to turn The Double Zeros into a quintet. According to Wikipedia, their songs have been featured on the Abercrombie & Fitch website and two t.v. shows, Grey’s Anatomy and Falcon Beach. Thanks to the excellent You Aint No Picasso for the headsup on this pleasingly infectious fivesome. P.S.: They also stated that the new album will have 17 songs and that they plan to rotate the songs available at their MySpace site, so if you like these, absorb them while you can.

The Eames Era
Year of the Waitress mp3
Could Be Anything mp3

Vanilla: Not At All Plain

Tacoma mini-supergroup Vanilla have brought forth a smart, catchy self-titled album that rewards both casual and closer listening. First, though, Bruce Brodeen of Not Lame Recordings:

“The sound here is progressive power pop perfection, a true pop tapestry mixing sly elements of Jellyfish, XTC, mid/late 80’s Elvis Costello, McCartney Wings-era, Wondermints and Jon Auer. Even a bit of Pink Floyd. With its layered vocals, rich production style and bold artistic vision, Vanilla is one of the year’s most original, striking releases.”

All true, but the layering goes deeper than vocals merely as sound and production. Oh, don’t worry, you will love what you hear. You will tap, smile, let the fun proceed apace. You need it, I need it. Listen more closely, though, to these tales of outsourced dislocation, deception (of others and of self), and attempted redemption, and you’ll better understand another day in the life in the age of terra. I don’t want to spoil the party, so I’ll go. No disappointment at all, though, with this excellent album.

Vanilla
Bangalore mp3
Liar’s Club mp3
The Keeper of the Faith mp3

Band website
MySpace

Sunday, November 19, 2006

Meet the Smithereens! - Beatles Tribute

"The Jersey Beat Meets The Mersey Beat" as 80s/90s powerpoppers The Smithereens plan a January 2007 release entitled Meet the Smithereens! According to Koch Records, The Smithereens achieved gold and platinum-levels of success with songs such as “A Girl Like You,” and “Too Much Passion." Albums such as Green Thoughts and 11 also charted and were particularly popular on college radio stations. They were eventually pushed off the charts by the grunge movement of the early 90s. The 'reens cite The Beatles as a major influence and have recorded a tribute album that covers all twelve songs on Meet the Beatles!, the Fabs' first official U. S. release. Posted below are live versions of Smithereens hits “Only a Memory” and “A Girl Like You.” The excellent blog An Aquarium Drunkard, where I first read of the upcoming release, also posts one of the best songs from Green Thoughts, “House That We Used to Live In.” I strongly encourage you to go check it out. The Smithereens' MySpace site has live versions of two other excellent songs, “Blood and Roses” and “Behind the Wall of Sleep.” I’m also providing a link to the Amazon page listing most of their albums, some of which can be purchased for incredibly low prices. My favorite, Green Thoughts, goes for one penny plus shipping. I saw them live on the Green Thoughts tour, and they were fantastic. We were right down front. I fondly recall one of my feistier companion's repeatedly placing a Coke can between the feet of the superb, otherwise happy-footed bassist Mike Mesaros. Mesaros didn’t miss a beat in his incredible runs as he unflappably kicked the can away time after time. (My friend is lucky he didn’t get his own kicked.) Only a memory, but a good one.

The Smithereens
Only a Memory (live) mp3
A Girl Like You (live) mp3

Levy

This one’s been out for awhile but has been haunting me of late. Perhaps it’s by design. Based in New York City, Levy (rhymes with "Stevie") are James Broughel (bass), James Levy (vocals, guitar), Matthew Daniel Siskin (guitar), and David Daniels (drums).

Levy - Rotten Love mp3

Band Website
MySpace

The Grates: More Fun (Liar-Style)

Again with the fun, but with a twist. This Brisbane, Australia trio "are frequently described as fun.” (Wikipedia). “We just wanna have fun and hope other people do too.” (Patience, vocalist). Patience bounces about the stage, even when singing. Except for pounding the skins, Alana is fairly statonary. John plays guitar with, like, his hands. After releasing their debut EP, The Ouch. The Touch in 2005, various good things happened to the band, eventuating in this year’s debut full-length, Gravity Won’t Get You High, which, come to think of it, is generally true. Not particularly fun, but true. The first song comes from their website and is not in mp3 format. I tested it, though, and it worked. No lie, even though my fingers are crossed. Click on the version that suits your comptuer. The second song is a video. I'm developing a gift for the obvious.

The Grates - Gravity Won't Get You High
Lies are Much More Fun Windows - Mac

The Grates - Science is Golden

Saturday, November 18, 2006

Ye Shall Not Be Left Spinto-less

Look up from the floor and behold “Oh Mandy.”

The Spinto Band - Nice and Nicely Done
Oh Mandy mp3

Attention, Fans of The Spinto Band. . .

"Look at the Floor" is available for a little less than three more hours. It will be taken down at 1700 CST. It is still here.

Mira a Mira

For a couple of years now I’ve been regularly visiting mp3 blogs for my own enjoyment, little thinking I might one day have one of my very and not writing down which blog I was getting a song from. Now with Powerpopulist, my little world has changed. Unless a song is widely posted across the blogs, I have tried to be careful to acknowledge where I happen to find it. This past Wednesday I posted several songs new to me and unearthed—no, that sounds dirty—revealed at the superb South American blog, Mira el Péndulo. (And thanks again to Indie MP3 for alerting me to MEP). I just finished going back through MEP's entire two-year archive and can describe it in one word: Wow! I found tons of stuff I’d never heard of, but also precious links to songs I’ve been dying to share. I offer but six and encourage you to visit MEP for more. I’m providing links to the archive pages where each of the six was found. Eye hath not heard nor tongue seen the agonies of leaving behind Tall Dwarfs’Meet the Beatle.” (Later, Beatles fans. Have a nice decade.) I go instead with the Dwarfs’ pleasing little squall of sound, “Pirouette.” And these others. (By the way, that's not the right album cover; I just liked this one better. Cheap? Tawdry? Why, thank you.)

Crumb - Follow Me Home mp3 -Oct 2005
The Jessica Fletchers - I Got News mp3 - Dec 2005
Rough Bunnies - Dance With Your Shadow mp3 - May 2006
Leopold - Stupid Disco mp3 - Sept 2006
Tall Dwarfs - Pirouette mp3 - Nov 2006
The Pooh Sticks - On Tape mp3 - Nov 2006

Friday, November 17, 2006

Tralala at The Torture Garden

It’s Friday night, so naturally I’m tempted toward philosophy. I travel to The Torture Garden to hang out with Shane and Freddy Nietzo for a bit of angsty exi action and what do I find? Fun. Yeah, Fun. And more freakin' Fun. You know, the kind that makes you go hahaha and sing tralala. Or maybe listen to them. As Tralala's bookers put it, this Brooklyn 7-piecer has one purpose only: “to have a good time.” As SONIC Sweden puts it, "man skulle kunna tanka sig ett Spice Girls som vuxit upp pa stora doser Jesus and Mary Chain" So I’m putting it this way: choke me in the shallow waters and let me die laughing and philosophy is just the talk on the cereal box, so let’s PAR-TY!!! Join Shane and me over at the sonically verdant Garden for more of this Fun stuff. Still to be had there: Biker Fun. ("Motorcycle Man") Vroom.

Tralala
Fired Up mp3
Early Tonight mp3

Lions & Tigers and Economy Wolf

At their MySpace site Economy Wolf describe themselves as “part of an east London based collective of artists and musicians called Trial & Error.” EW are the lupine reincarnation of the group Lions & Tigers. (Music hath the freakin’ power, man.) I discovered them at the excellent Nothing But Green Lights, who predict this group will be big in 2007. It is an act of iron will not to use the same cool band logo NBGL used, but they got there first, or at least before me. In addition to being coolio to listen to, the songs and MySpace site give you the chance to practice your French, English, and sign language.

Economy Wolf
It’s All Behind You mp3
San Sebastian mp3

(Not meaning to insult, but you can zoom in on the picture by clicking on it.)

The New Pornographers

All right, now we're getting into some of the best music of the century. As I've said of other bands, I know some of you are well-acquainted with the Vancouver indie supergroup The New Pornographers. If even one of you hasn't yet met them, though, it's worth the posting. Zumpano's A. C. "Carl" Newman began the band in 1996, and gradually forged a collection of established indie artists into a powerhouse outfit. Particularly outstanding is female vocalist Neko Case. The NPs debuted with Mass Romantic in 2000, followed by The Electric Version in 2003 and Twin Cinema in 2005. It is claimed the group's name is a birdflip at a televangelist who called rock and roll "the new pornography," although that provenance is in dispute.

The New Pornographers - Click song names to go to Matador Records download site. Actually the first one gets you to the Matador page where all three songs, plus "Use It" can be downloaded.
Twin Cinema - Twin Cinema
The Electric Version - The Laws Have Changed
Mass Romantic - Mass Romantic

Thursday, November 16, 2006

Salty Pirates: Arrrrrr. . .

. . .rest this briny bunch o' bucs quicker’n ye kin say, “Jack Sparrow.” Oh, aye, they’re cute. Just look at the picture. Coy, cuddly, quirky. But "apparently things aren't ever as they seem." There’s something far more sinister at work here. I will quote from their MySpace site.
"We're an evil genius's crew plotting to take over the world. We have our secret laboratory somewhere in Gothenburg where we conduct all kinds off illegal experiments. And pet little furry cats. We also make our own pizza."
Uh-huh, cat-petting and homemade pizza. Need I say more? World, you've been warned. Do not click on that song down there. Your very soul is at stake. Resistance is futile. Unless, of course, you want to learn their main plan of assault.

Salty Pirates - Shark Attack mp3 - Update, 15Dec08: The group is now called The Weather in Sweden.

As the link to the mp3 no longer works, here's the song via Grooveshark.



(Thanks to the excellent swedesplease, who gave advance warning in July and followed up yesterday.)

Great News From SHOES

From Zion, Illinois comes exciting news for present and future fans of the quintessential powerpop band, Shoes. For me, the concept of “powerpop” now antedates the band, but it is from their music that I date my own conscious experience of the genre. In my small town, I missed their nationwide debut, Black Vinyl Shoes (I made up for it later), but their second lp, Present Tense, released in 1979, was and continues to be one of the seminal musical experiences of my life. I really have to hold myself in check here. I love this band, as do many, many others. Read about their career in Allmusic, read an interview of band member Jeff Murphy here, but mostly listen to the two songs posted below, go sample and buy their music (links below), relisten to your own collection, and prepare for the good news.

I just received an email from Jeff Murphy—the other band members are his brother John Murphy, Gary Klebe, and Skip Meyer—announcing new releases from Shoes during the next few weeks. First is a book, Birth of a Band, The Record Deal and the Making of “Present Tense”, by Jeff Murphy himself. Actually, NYMary broke this story over at PowerPop last month, so props to her. Second will be a Jeff Murphy solo CD called Cantilever. Just so you'll know, Jeff sings Shoes song “In My Arms Again," posted below so you'll get a notion of his greats. And third will be—ready?--a new two-disc Shoes release called Double Exposure. Double Exposure will be made up of the 30 original 8-track demos that got Shoes signed to their major label deal with Elektra and were the basis for their Present Tense and Tongue Twister albums. To paraphrase the vastly more articulate and concise NYMary: Woo and hoo!

Also in production and due early next year is a DVD of seven Shoes videos, along with concert footage and more. Again, as I noted in one of my early posts here, NYMary posted four of these cool vids, so go over to PowerPop and check them out.

So to the songs. I apologize that these particular mp3s are not of the highest recording quality. The real deals are available at Black Vinyl Records, iTunes, eMusic, CD BABY, etc. You crank your iPod with these and your ears get fragged. But the music itself? Pure.

Shoes - Present Tense
In My Arms Again mp3
Somebody Has What I Had mp3
Ride - Twisterella

A personal fave. . .

Parasol Records Were Kind Enough. . .

. . .to notify me (and probably thousands of others) of a huge collection of free mp3s at their website. I chose the following for your consideration. If you would like to take a listen to others at the site, click here. Note: Ric Menck was a founding member of Velvet Crush. You can click on the band names for further songs and information.

The Like Young - So Serious - Worry A Lot mp3

Fonda - Catching Up To The Future - Electric Guitars mp3

Velvet Crush - Stereo Blues - Rusted Star mp3

Ric Menck - The Ballad of Ric Menck - Perfect Day mp3

The Green Pajamas - The Night Races Into Anna - Looking For Heaven mp3

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

New Discoveries & Old Friends: The Magick Heads, The 3Ds, The Bats, The Ethnobabes, & Horowitz

While making the rounds this morning, I found good songs at one of my favorite blogs, Indie MP3 - Keeping C86 Alive!. Magnusk had found New Zealand band The Magick Heads at a South American blog called Mira el Péndulo. My visit to MEP was fun and fruitful, and I’ve added it to the blogroll to the right. I am posting the songs I liked best and encourage you to visit these two excellent blogs for more music and information. As magnusk (no capital “m”) wasn’t sure about The Bats, another Kiwi band who, along with The Chills and The Clean are longtime favorites of mine, I am also posting a song of theirs. The 3Ds are also from New Zealand, The Ethnobabes are from Norway and , and Horowitz are from England.

The Magick Heads - Before We Go Under mp3
The 3Ds - Outer Space mp3
The Bats - Bells mp3
The Ethnobabes - Make Some Sound mp3
Horowitz - Punk Kids mp3

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Update: Kind Of Girl Is Back In Play

In a message from Jesper, associated with Kind of Girl, I found to my chagrin that "Slave to Your Charms" was not downloading this afternoon due to insufficient bandwidth. I've corrected the problem, so please link to it here. It is a fantastic song. And please follow the links over to Hits in the Car for more Kind of Girl.

El Goodo - When A Name Says It

Friends with and sponsored by fellow Welshpersons Super Furry Animals, El Goodo’s eponymous debut album was released overseas by the Furrys’Placid Casual Records in late 2005. Empyrean Records finally released it in the States last month. You get anticipatory clues of the sound from the title of the first song posted below. I won't recite all the influences; you'll hear them. The band’s name comes from the Big Star song, “The Ballad of El Goodo.” Oh, and the album cover kind of clues you in as well. Flashback City.

El Goodo
Stuck In The 60's mp3
If I Were A Song mp3
Honey mp3

Headlights: TV & Hi-Ya!

I glanced, was transfixed, and next thing I knew, this Champaign, Illinois trio had me bagged. Careful, peeps.

Headlights - Kill Them With Kindness
TV mp3
Hi-Ya! mp3

New To Music Blogging? This Might Help

From a couple of visitors I’ve learned that some people aren’t quite sure how to listen to and save music at a music blog such as Powerpopulist. I worked up a brief and simple explanation that might help. Just click here to get the explanation. Be sure and email me or leave a comment if I can be of further help. (Thanks to unohoo for alerting me to this.)

Head Deathray Temps As Apple

Yeh, so there's a headline you don't see everyday. Dallas, Texas’ The Deathray Davies began in 1999 as the solo project of John Dufilho, formerly of Bedwetter. Eventually other Davies were recruited, and the band proceeded to release five albums of dazed, highly infectious music. Their latest, released in 2005, was titled The Kick and the Snare. Prophetic? Maybe, considering Dufilho is currently thumping tubs for The Apples in Stereo. If you like what you hear, you can find streaming songs and videos at the Davies’ website. Four of their albums are available at iTunes.

The Deathray Davies
The Kick And The Snare - Plan To Stay Awake mp3
Midnight At The Black Nail Polish Factory - Maggie Doesn't Blink mp3
John Dufilho - John Dufilho - What Are You Waiting For? mp3


The Deathray Davies - I Regret the Day I Tried to Steal Daniel's Ego

Monday, November 13, 2006

Slumberland Awakes! Here's The How Of It

Strange that on the very day I post a song by The Ropers, the nets are ablaze with news of the first Slumberland releases in several years. It will not take long of a listen for you to figure out which pronoun The How are echoing. Their logo is chockful of clues as to who it might be as well. The arrows, a little rearranging of the letters, and voila! Wonder who's happier, Matt or Jack? Etc., etc., etc. . . .

The How - Happy Matt 7" - I Was A Boy mp3

Rainbow Quartz--Visit The Third

The digging’s been good the past two visits to Rainbow Quartz, so let’s lend an ear to these recent finds. Again, click on the band name for details and other songs.

The High Dials
Desiderata mp3
Our Time is Coming Soon mp3
Fields In Glass mp3
The Sails
See Myself mp3
The Slow Down mp3
The Telepathic Butterflies
A Final Word mp3
Narcissus mp3
Bohemie mp3
RockFour
Nationwide mp3
Honey mp3

Thanks to Absolute Powerpop & To All Visitors

Many thanks to Steve over at Absolute Powerpop for linking to us here at Powerpopulist. I would like to welcome any of you who might be visiting from AP and hope you find lots of music here to like. Of course, that welcome goes out to each and all of you who drop by. Thank you for coming. I hope you'll stay, listen, download, and go purchase the music you like best. I was remiss last week in thanking Gary at Seattle-Powerpop for linking as well. I'm really glad to be sharing among all the powerpop community. I look forward to enjoying lots of great music together.

By rough count, we've posted over 90 songs and 9 videos during our first two weeks, so please scroll down and see if any of it tickles your fancy. Since this is a new blog, I've purposely kept everything so far on this one page to make it easier to scroll down. So far the most popular postings have been Ether Aura, Swedish Polarbears (and also here), DAYS, Tesco Chainstore Mascara, The Cavedogs, Velvet Crush, The Beatles bootlegs, Bedroom Eyes/The Tyde/She, Sir, and The High Water Marks, but there's plenty more good stuff as well. My main focus at Powerpopulist is on listening to music, so if you want more in the way of commentary, I encourage you to click on the links I provide and to visit my Favorite Music Blogs listed to the right. I visit them regularly and benefit from their analysis and insights. I also regularly visit MySpace, band, and record label sites looking for music in the powerpop tradition, broadly interpreted. Anyway, I'm very glad you're here and I hope you'll keep coming back.

The Ropers

I highly recommend a trek over to Teenbeat Records for some very nice musical hooch. The home of The Rondelles also fronts The Ropers, three-fourths of whom are former members of Lilys. "You Have a Light" was on The Ropers' debut full-length, All the Time, released by Slumberland Records in 1995.

The Ropers - All the Time - You Have a Light mp3

Marbles

Okay, I admit it, I've been on a bit of an Apples in Stereo bender the past couple of days. There, I've said it. Marbles was primarily a solo project started by Big Apple Robert Schneider back in 1992, the year before The Apples were formed. Released in 2005, Expo was the first Marbles album since 1997 and exhibits the charm and quirkiness that generally characterize Schneider's work.

Marbles - Expo - Out of Zone mp3

Sunday, November 12, 2006

The Rondelles - The Lovekevins - The Brother Kite

I found these three bands during webly rambles spaced out over many months during the past year. I recently came across Washington, D. C.-based The Rondelles at the excellent Coast is Clear, so thanks again to Peter of Kiel. The song posted below, "Please Shut Up," was on their 2000 album Fox. The Lovekevins are from Malmo, Sweden. I found them about a year ago and frankly can't remember where. Swedesplease would be a good guess, as that is an excellent site for finding music from you-know-where. The Lovekevins' influences include Talulah Gosh, Metal Urbain, and Takako Minekawa. The Brother Kite hail from Providence, Rhode Island and will be playing this coming Thursday at TT The Bears in Cambridge, Mass. Click on the band names to learn and/or hear more.

The Rondelles - Fox - Please Shut Up mp3
The Lovekevins - Max Leon EP - Soviet.se mp3
The Brother Kite - The Brothers Kite - The Music Box mp3

Floored

Sunday afternoon music from Ohlowho. Or, maybe morning or maybe early late evening or maybe who cares? Join you down there?

G o o d b y e, C o l u m b u s. . . . .



Floorian
Heavium mp3
Siafu mp3
AllIndiaWho mp3

The First of The Last

The Last were another of the great late-70s/early 80s bands that didn't get the fame they deserve. Rising out of the L. A. club scene alongside 20/20, The Plimsouls, and The Knack, their 1981 debut L. A. Explosion, is packed with the power and the pop. Original label Bomp! reissued the album in 2003, from which come the following. Their MySpace site has four more songs, including the insanely catchy "This Kind of Feeling." The album and, of course, individual songs are available at eMusic. While at eMusic, check out "Century City Rag," a sort of "Well-Respected Man" for the Reagan-Thatcher era.

The Last
Looking at You mp3
She Don't Know Why I'm Here mp3
sambassadeur - new moon

Saturday, November 11, 2006

The Apples in Stereo - "Please"

If by chance you liked the video of "Please" by The Apples in Stereo, here is an mp3 of it. Total bliss.

Please mp3

The Spinto Band

First off, you can tell from this picture from their website that Wilmington, Delaware's The Spinto Band have guts, lots of guts. They didn't quite know how I got it--and frankly, neither do I--but they kindly gave this newbie blogger permission to post the unreleased "Look at the Floor" for one week. Since who-knows-when, I've been grooving on this great, great song. According to their MySpace site (where you can also listen to more songs, including the terrific "Oh Mandy,") they'll be in Bordeaux this Monday, Spain the rest of the week, and then head back through France, Holland, and Belgium before ending up in Philadelphia for a New Year's Eve show at Johnny Brenda's. Thanks, Spintos, for letting me post this personal fave.

The Spinto Band - Look at the Floor mp3

Time's up. Thanks again, Spintos.

The High Water Marks

Look back down at that Apples in Stereo video, if you dare. The drummer is Hilarie Sidney, now-former wife of the balding singer-guitarist Robert Schneider. Hilarie and Norwegian Per Ole Bratset joined forces to form The High Water Marks, which in 2004 released their debut album, Songs About the Ocean. It will be no surprise to learn that the music of THWM bears a marked resemblance to TAIS's, which for me is all to the good. I hope you’re getting all of this because there will be a test. May your marks be high.

The High Water Marks
Good I Feel Bad mp3
Queen of Verlaine mp3

Sambassadeur


I came across the Swedish band Sambassadeur a year or two ago while exploring the Labrador Records website. I listen to them a lot and have been looking forward to posting them since beginning the blog two weeks ago. Sambassadeur won’t be new to many European visitors, but I want to make sure all who come here have the chance to hear and enjoy their music. Three other of their songs are posted at their MySpace site, although they are not currently downloadable.

Sambassadeur
Between the Lines mp3
Kate mp3
New Moon mp3

Friday, November 10, 2006

More Bedroom Eyes


So how many does it take. . .bedroom eyes, I mean? Debatable, that. A decent interval has been observed, so I will now post several more ditties by the dreamy Swedes. Enjoy.

Bedroom Eyes
Motorcycle Daydream mp3
Dancing Under Influence mp3
The Skywriter mp3