Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Your Wednesday Moment(s) of Power Pop Heaven: Special This Graham Gouldman Obsession of Mine is Really Getting Out of Hand! Edition

And from that recent UK newspaper giveaway CD we mentioned on Monday...'s the utterly amazing Graham Gouldman -- fronting the current touring version of 10cc -- with utterly exquisite unplugged versions of his Hermans Hermits classic "No Milk Today"....

...and the aforementioned 10cc's "I'm Not in Love."

This guy is a stone genius. Period.

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Your Tuesday Moment of Power Pop Heaven: Special Bubblegum Gets a Bad Rap! Edition

Okay, I admit it -- for some reason I'm obsessed with the great Graham Gouldman of late.

I bring this up because -- well, from 1970, please enjoy bubblegum legends The Ohio Express and their infernally addictive (and more substantial than the genre usually gets) "Sausalito."

Written by -- wait for it -- Graham Gouldman. Yes, him. (And I should add that the following is a rewritten version of something I originally posted in a different context in 2009.)

Anyway, the interesting (I know, you'll be the judge of that) thing is that the guys in the clip were NOT the guys who played and sang the record. The clip guys, who admittedly have the then contemporary rock star look down pretty good, were a Mansfield, Ohio band called Sir Timothy & The Royals, who were renamed the Ohio Express and hired by the Kasenetz/Katz bubblegum factory to represent, as the kids say.

So who played on the record? Well, given Gouldman's fingerprints on the thing, you might guess it was his future band 10cc, and you'd be right; "Sausalito" is, in fact, the work of the same pop geniuses behind records like "Rubber Bullets" and "I'm Not in Love." Gouldman and company spent a year basically toiling as Brill Building hacks for Kasenetz and Katz; they had their own recording studio which they were trying to turn into a viable commercial enterprise at the time, and grinding out bubblegum tracks for K&K paid the bills. For more on the whole history of the Ohio Express, you should probably go over here.

And just to show you what a nice guy I am, here's a link to a nice clean copy of the record itself. Love that twangy sitar!!!

You're welcome.

Monday, July 21, 2014

Your Monday Moment(s) of Power Pop Heaven: Special Graham Gouldman is an Even Bigger God Than God! Edition

From a recent UK newspaper giveaway CD, please enjoy the incomparable Graham Gouldman...

...and absolutely gorgeous live unplugged versions of "Look Through Any Window"...

...and "The Things We Do For Love."

Technically, these are by the current touring version of 10cc (Gouldman is the only original member) and in fact the CD contains lots of acoustic remakes of his 10cc stuff, as well as familiar Gouldman-penned Brit Invasion classics (originally recorded by The Hollies, The Yardbirds et al) from the 60s.

In any case, just a wonderful, wonderful album -- you can (and definitely should) download the entire thing over HERE.

You're welcome.

Perhaps Needlessly Contentious Essay Question: Gouldman may be the finest pop/rock composer of his generation that isn't named Lennon or McCartney. And his 70s output was better than both of theirs.


[h/t Willard's Wormholes]

Friday, July 18, 2014

Return of the Son of Closed For Monkey Business

To be honest, I just got nothing.

Hopefully inspiration will return after a leisurely, stress free weekend

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Son of Closed for Monkey Business

Not feeling tip top today.

Hopefully, a Listomania will crawl out from the wreckage by tomorrow.

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Closed for Monkey Business

Totally snowed under with real life stuff.

Regular -- and vastly amusing, trust me -- posting resumes tomorrow.

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Give the Drummer Some!

The art of percussion took a couple of very sad hits last week.

Tommy Erdelyi (1949-2014)....

...and Skip Meyer (1949-2014).

Both of these guys played on the earliest, groundbreaking albums by their respective bands, i.e. The Ramones and Shoes.

And if you don't care about those two bands, I have no idea why you're reading this here blog.

RIP Tommy and Skip.

Monday, July 14, 2014

Monday Essay Question

The two greatest couplets in the history of rock 'n' roll are:

From "Midnight Moses" by The Sensational Alex Harvey Band in 1974...

"I wish I was a forest ranger...

Danger, danger, danger."

...and from 1968 and The Kinks' The Village Green Preservation Society...

"We are the Custard Pie Appreciation Consortium...

God save the George Cross, and all those who were awarded them."


Friday, July 11, 2014

Your Weekend Moment of Power Pop Heaven: Special Marshall Crenshaw is God! Edition

And from his 1985 meisterwork (well, okay, his most underrated LP) Good Evening, please enjoy yet another one of my favorite Marshall tracks -- the quite beyond awesome "Someplace Where Love Can't Find Me."

The album was Marshall's attempt to go for a slightly harder, more rocked out sound than he had done previously, and I think on the basis of this you have to agree he succeeded.

I should add that the quite astounding slide guitar work on the track is by quite astounding slide guitar genius Sonny Landreth.

I should also add that if you ever get a chance to experience Landreth's work in concert, don't hesitate. It will be, quite literally, the most amazingly psychedelic experience you will ever have legally.

See you all on Monday.

Thursday, July 10, 2014

Your Thursday Moment of Power Pop Heaven

Okay,put your headphones on, kids, and enjoy an absolutely transplendent live version of perhaps my all time favorite Marshall Crenshaw song.

You'll thank me.

I found this on a certain Shady Dame's computer the other day -- I assume I must have downloaded it there at some point in the dim dark past, but I have no idea where I got it or when.

Of course, Letterman's intro clearly indicates that Marshall was plugging his 1994 live album, so that would seem to nail down its provenance. But I haven't been able to find it on YouTube, and thus I can't confirm whether or not Crenshaw is backed here by the Letterman band.

Sounds like Will Lee on bass, I'll grant you, but it's a great performance despite that.