Thursday, April 23, 2009


PhotobucketHoly cow! After last month's Brandon Schott homerun, Lee over at Too Poppy is back with HOMEGROWN RECORDINGS VOL. 2 -- check it out!!! let them know that Not Lame sent you!

What new on the NOT LAME shelves??? 04. 23.09 Part Three

Here's some of the newest releases straight from the Boss's desk to your ears!

The Jetset were one of the most popular and influential of the mod-power pop bands on the British indie scene in the early and mid 80s.

A 17-song tribute that is surprisingly listenable from beginning to end (never easy w/ tribute albums) - features such Not Lame faves as Jeremy, the Eddies, the Ringles, the Spring Collection, Herb Eimerman, Ed James, Mega Super Ultra, Rinaldi Sings and more.

"Full of brash youthful energy, intricate arrangements, harmonies and a surplus of melody." -Bart Mendoza, The Shambles

A shockingly good debut! Sounding like The New Pornographers and The Shins in many spots, these are indie kids obsessed with hooks and pure poppy melodies
The songs are ridiculously immediate, and he delivers them with blinding velocity. His approach to music isn`t unlike those spikes at the rental car place: Backing up deflates the tires, and not in a pleasant way. These are big-hearted songs, written quickly and from the gut. DO NOT MISS THIS ONE!

PhotobucketShplang - MY BIG THREE WHEELER
Yes, indeed - You have not heard a band quite like Shplang. Beatles meet Zappa in pop-psych Sumo match. Bring a smile and hop on MY BIG THREE WHEELER. Shplang is an alternapop band offering an eclectic mix of psychedelia, pop and folk with an emphasis on melody, inventive arrangements and a wry sense of humor.

The sound clips will help you figure that out below. If you like your pop mixed up with different ingredients and cooked up by a musical mixologist, Shplang will reward you greatly in your belief that music has many new vistas to explore.

PhotobucketGlowfriends - TO HAVE & TO HOLD
Their 4th album. Glowfriends have a sound that is in the vein of Sixpence None The Richer, Mazzy Star or The Sundays. Shiny, acoustic driven ringing songs that, actually, also have a Cowboy Junkies ring to them, as well.

PhotobucketGerry & the Pacemakers - FERRY CROSS THE MERSEY
2009 reissue of 1965 album from Gerry And The Pacemakers, import only. This strongest, best album in his career. Adds 16 - count 'em - 16 bonus trax which are of truly excellent quality!

"4 stars. nine Gerry Marsden originals, and aside from the hits (the title track and "It`s Gonna Be All Right"), these rarely show up on compilations; they have the same lightweight, energetic Merseybeat charm of most of their early material." -AMG

PhotobucketThe Krayolas - LONG LEAF PINE
Indie rock by the "Tex-Mex Beatles" featuring a mixture of Garage Rock, Tex-Mex and Beatle-like harmonies.

"A long-time favorite group of this blog has been The Krayolas. I reviewed LA CONQUISTADORA and BEST RIFFS ONLY, and found that the band thrives on that razors edge between Latino and British pop influences. The Krayolas and the West Side Horns rock. A total happening." -Austin-American Statesman

What new on the NOT LAME shelves??? 04. 23.09 Part Two

Here's some of the newest releases straight from the Boss's desk to your ears!

PhotobucketThe Alice Rose - ALL HAUNT'S SOUND
Classic power-pop mixed with classic rock stylings that have plenty of hard driving lush melodies, intriguing chord changes and vocal harmonies reminiscent of Squeeze(lead singer JoDee Purkeypile sounds a lot like Glen Tilbrook, no doubt) and Crowded House, two of the strongest influences you will find on "All Haunt`s Sound".
The Alice Rose inhabit the area just outside mainstream pop, applying their eclectic reverence for music of the past to the classic pop formula and kicking out the kind of complex, yet catchy pop like their influences.

PhotobucketOutrageous Cherry - UNIVERSAL MALCONTENTS
Their 9th CD - evocative of artists such as early Roxy Music, Mott the Hoople, Sparks, 10cc, the La`s and Eno, and meanders at times into the improvisational realms charted by Amon Duul 2, Man, and early Soft Machine.

"More than just evocative of the psychedelic rock`s earliest years, this CD brings back the long-forgotten belief that a band could make a complete statement in 36 minutes - 10 songs no less." -Blurt

"Fans of Sloan, the Apples in Stereo, and pop songs in general, should not sleep on this one." -I Rock Cleveland

PhotobucketCreaky Boards - BROOKLYN IS LOVE
Many bands on the Not Lame site will have the Beach Boys and Brian Wilson cited as being big influences - so much so that many folks are immune to giving much credence to the fact that a band may truly be not only influenced by Wilson`s artistry but are worthy of our attention. I give to you Creaky Boards who ARE very much influenced by said band and lead songwriter but who bring a new vibrancy to the discussion of influences including a Phil Spector-ish display of production grandiosity.

"8 out of 10. Never boring or feels derivative and is worth many repeat listens. Enjoy it." -PowerPopAHolic

PhotobucketThe Rockwells - LITTLE SYMPHONIES FOR KIDS
Produced by Dan Wilson of Semisonic. Part homage to the twinkling pop vistas of the Beach Boys and the sixties, part incisive take on the hopes that push us to the everyday commute, the Silver City pushes Messersmith`s precise lyrics conceptually and expands the scope of his sound.

"Literate, languid but warm acoustic ditties with traces of Elliott Smith." -Star Tribune

"Messersmith excels at one thing that can`t be taught: Songwriting." -Time Out Chicago

PhotobucketThe Humbugs - ON THE UP SIDE
Their 3rd album. If Elvis Costello and Aimee Mann had a baby, but gave it up for adoption and it was raised by Paul McCartney and Chrissie Hynde, it`s name would be The Humbugs. Engaging and much more than just casually enjoyable. Very Highly Recommended!

"Rich pop sound born of high-quality musicianship and palpable passion. Each melody fit perfectly with the next, but each also had a character and life of its own. A killer pop outfit."

PhotobucketThe Honeydogs - 10,000 YEARS
RE-STOCK of 2003 classic! Like YANKEE FOXTROT HOTEL(Wilco) written with early McCartney/Badfinger steroid-ridden melodies. But, of course, music this good is much harder to describe. For one, the Honeydogs got Andy Sturmer to show up and sing on a song. Other guests include Phil Solem (the Rembrandts) & Michael Penn...proper superlatives? The classic "extremely highly recommended` is but a signpost - let`s just say "indispensable".

PhotobucketJeremy Messersmith - THE SILVER CITY
I knew I was going to dig Soft Targets in the first 20 seconds as lead off track "Something Else" was sounding like a track of the 1993 reunion album from Television. Many of the cool sounds here remind me of a lot of the post-C-86 bands from the U.K. in the mid/late 80s, as well as Bowie-esque glam sounds of 1973. Much of the material here exhibits a strong XTC inspiration, as well. Lots of the tunes here remind me Lloyd Cole & The Commotions, as well.

PhotobucketBrett Mitchell - SMALL HOUSE
Normally, albums written from a singer/songwriter fare does not grab my attention as being something that would connect with Not Lamers, yet SMALL HOUSE from Brett Mitchell kept calling me back to consider in earnest for you all to pay attention.

Most of the fifteen tracks are simply pleasant singer/songwriter stylings but these songs have heart and soul backing them up, which is why I want to give you the opportunity to check out Mitchell.

PhotobucketLight FM - BLACK MAGIC MARKER
Fans of Supergrass, Ozma, the Rentals and first album Weezer, Adventures In Stereo, The Argument, read and listen on! New Wave Power-Pop Done Double-Naughties Style! Fuzzbomb guitars, suckerpunch hooks and overmodulated Moog, rock on!

Light FM is a rare hybrid: plucky indie pop with glaring polish. The songs are a deluge of structured sound.

What new on the NOT LAME shelves??? 04. 23.09 Part One

Here's some of the newest releases straight from the Boss's desk to your ears!

PhotobucketThe Resonars - THAT EVIL DRONE
Leader Matt Rendon seems to have absorbed every significant guitar style and sound between George Harrison`s Rick of `63 and Peter Green`s Les Paul of `69. But those are the building blocks and combined with the spot-on harmonies you might hear various echoes, but these are not pastiches.

"They take choppy, Moby Grape-like acid pop tunes and colour them with flawless, Hollies-like harmonies and Byrdsy 12-string guitars!" - Shindig!

"Picture THE NOTORIOUS BYRD BROTHERS combined with Hollies harmonies and "Rain"-era Beatles psychedelic touches." -Trip Inside This House

PhotobucketDavid Grahame - BEATLE SCHOOL GRADUATE
LIMITED COPIES - Do Not Wait!! If you have not heard of David Grahame and you are a power pop fan, you just have made a very important discovery.want one artist to name whose spirit is evoked throughout. Emmit Rhodes. After that follows Pete Ham, Paul McCartney and Jeff Lynne (circa The Move).

"While Grahame may bow at the altar of Paul McCartney, he`s one of the few who are talented enough to be invited in for dinner. BEATLE SCHOOL GRADUATE CLASS OF `70 is a work of depth and clarity."
-Sticks & Stones

PhotobucketThe Spongetones - SCRAMBLED EGGS
2009 New Studio CD! Jamie Hoover and company just do not know how to make a bad, merely `okay` album and "Scrambled Eggs" continues on the momentum that the last five years` reinvigorated activity has created.

"I am happy to report it`s full of 13 more gems of the type listeners have come to expect from the redoubtable power pop combo." -Bruce Brown, Fix It In The Mix

"Without a doubt the finest example of pure, unadulterated Beatlesque joy to emanate from the indie pop underground." -Goldmine

PhotobucketThe Honeydogs - SUNSHINE COMMITTEE
24 minute, 6 song mini-album that has its shelves stocked with all the elements of that make this band so special. Like YANKEE FOXTROT HOTEL (Wilco) written with early McCartney/Badfinger steroid-ridden melodies.

The songs here reflect a complex, often nuanced intersection of art and humanity while marking a return to a more live, rocking sound. Shades of the Stones` EXILE ON MAIN STREET, FRESH-era Sly Stone, twilight Hendrix and REVOLVER-esque Beatles winding sinuously through the savory mix.

The followup to the stunning 'n awesome self-titled 2008 debut has arrived!

"This CD brings the band one step closer to the big time with clever, layered, hook-laden pop songs thrown together with the casual ease of real musical talent. If you are violently allergic to cute, you may sniff at a song or two, but sunshine makes me sneeze and I like it anyway." -Missoula News

French import, Cheap Star SPEAKING LIKE AN ELEPHANT is co-produced by Ken Stringfellow and Jon Auer of the Posies.

Indeed, they draw a huge inspiration from The Posies, as well as Teenage Fanclub. Impregnated by the music of the Byrds, George Harrison and Big Star, their songs evoke as much of AM radio from California in the early 70s as they do college rock of the aforementioned bands and the Lemonheads.

PhotobucketTerry Anderson & the Olympic Ass-Kickin' Team - NATIONAL CHAMPIONS
It`s an butt-kicking good time, just like the Rock `n Roll Doctor ordered. Like all their records, it`s like finding that long lost NRBQ or Rockpile record.

Flashy rawk guitars, lunatic fringe vocals and humor-filled lyrics that are sure-footed and irreverant. Roots-rock swagger ladled with refined melodic soul for catchy sing-a-along choruses that will elicit streams of "whussups" as you order another Bud for your pals.

PhotobucketThe Boolevards - REAL POP
AMAZING PRICE for these 17 nuggets! If you are a fan of the bands on Titan Records, early Romantics, the Flashcubes (big time!), the Scruffs, the Heats, the Wigs, the Poppees, early Rubinoos, "Shake Some Action"-era Flamin` Groovies -- well, you have found a slice of heaven!

This could have been the second Wonders cd after THAT THING YOU DO. Translation: Celebrate!! It really is a major find for fans of this era and will surprise many, many pop fans!

PhotobucketSaturday Morning Pictures - IT'S COOL TO HATE THE SINGER
The signposts are clear: early, classic Ben Folds, Josh Fix, early 80s Joe Jackson and add in some bits of Todd Rundgren, Jellyfish, Elton John and Billy Joel and you now know that the piano is a key element to the pop alchemy to this CD.

If Difford & Tilbrook ever teamed up with Bacharach-David, you have an idea.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

New video from Maple Mars!!!

Maple Mars last album, BEAUTIFUL MESS, was a great time for us here at the NOT LAME office, so we can't wait to see what the guys are cooking up next! Here's the first video from their next album, a song called "Transcendental Guidance"!

What do ya think?

Check out Mike Viola's LURCH!!!

PhotobucketNOT LAME fave Mike Viola's got a great new record out, LURCH! Click here for details and a few MP3 downloads!

From the website: "Brand new full length studio album by Mike Viola. Featuring fan favorites Girly Worm, So Much Better, That Part Of Me Is Dead. A cross between the Lovin' Spoonful and late Beach Boys records with a splash of Nilsson and....Mike Viola."

Here's the first video from the album for the moving "Good Ideas Grow On Trees":

Neil Diamond on the MIKE DOUGLAS SHOW, 1967!!!


PhotobucketOne brain listening to new pop 24/7 couldn't keep up with it all. That's why websites such as this are essential to the discriminating pop consumer. Some records slipped under my radar when they debuted.

Marmalade Souls from Rainbow Quartz is a desert island record. Michael Klemme, the leader of this trio, writes Southern California sun-drenched bittersweet melodies that are equal to or greater than anything by the Mommas and the Poppas, whose sound they closely resemble. Klemme has an unparalleled gift for the soaring pop vocal, and with sweet-voiced Johanna Klemme taking lead, they do for the M and P what Explorers Club does for the Beach Boys. The opening track "It Won't Be Too Long" wallops you with chords that are both inevitable and surprising. When Souls slip from major to minor on the soaring bridge the song smacks you in the head like a two-handed Bruce Lee ear pop, instantly inscribing itself on your medulla oblongata.

"Daydreams" is daring for its simplicity and breadth. You could swear someone sang it before-but no one has. It's just one killer after another: "Belly Butterfly", "Yeah Yeah!", "Say Goodbye", "Words of Love", and "Good Days" constitute one of the most astonishing runs of killer songs since those damned guys from Liverpool. Marmalade Souls belongs on anybody's list of hundred greatest power pop albums.

Unfortunately, Johanna has dropped out of the band due to a neck injury, but the Souls carry on. We await news of a new recording.

PhotobucketThe second record that I critically overlooked was The Foreign Films, Bill Majoros' tour de force with collaborator Carl Jennings. This two disc set packs an emotional punch like a Rampage Jackson hook to the gut. The second side in particular, whether intended or not, forms a sort of song cycle that once heard cannot be broken up. Once you hear the opening chords of "Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band" you have to take the whole journey to the final fade-out of "A Day in the Life." At least I do.

Starting with "The Lonely #1," Majoros puts a hammerlock on your heart. By the time you get to the joyous "Polar Opposites," you're hooked like a cigarette-smoking granny parked in front of the slots at Harrah's. "Cinema Light" is a bittersweet masterpiece once heard never forgotten. "Fall of the Year", "Reason or Rhyme" and "Arcade by the Beach" have a mathematical logic and an emotional wallop that rolls over you like a mob of shoppers breaking into a Wal-Mart the day after Thanksgiving.

Majoros wields guitar with samurai precision. His foot-thick fuzztone is particularly poignant on-every song-"Smoke and Mirrors" where he veers into a pitch-perfect John Lennon solo, and "Fall of the Year" wherein his fuzztone consumes all the juices in your brain.