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New on Pure Pop Radio 02.15.17: The New Trocaderos and the Nerk Twins

This week's second batch of reviews of new and new-to-you songs and artists added to the Pure Pop Radio playlist includes the latest powerhouse release from the New Trocaderos, and a quartet of rare songs from the Nerk Twins. Take it away, Kurt, Geoff, Brad, Kris, Rick, Herb and Jeff:


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New on Pure Pop Radio 02.14.17: Starring Pop Co-Op (with the Spongetones’ Steve Stoeckel), James Starflower, The Lunar Laugh, and More

We're continuing to add more new and new-to-you music to the Pure Pop Radio playlist just about every day. Today, we've got reviews of seven albums from which we're now spinning tracks in rotation. Click below to read all about it!


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Favorite Records of the Year: Stars of 2016

2016 was a terrific year for melodic pop music from both new and heritage artists, perhaps the best in recent memory. My list of 28 Favorite Records of the Year from 27 artists–the Stars of 2016–is presented below in random order.


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“Just say you believe in me and send me all your love…”

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The Weeklings ‘ Studio 2 captivates with Beatlesque charm

The Weeklings | Studio 2 | 2016 (Jem Records)

A review/essay by Alan Haber alan 5 small

the-weeklings-studio-2-smallWho would ever have thought, who would ever have dreamt that, in the 60 minutes that passed between eight and nine o’clock on Sunday, February 9, 1964, everything, every single hope and dream poised to define so many of the youngsters sitting only a short distance from their family’s television sets would change or at least be significantly altered?


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Seth Swirsky’s Wonderful, Bigger Truth

Spins and Reviews | 8.11.16 | by Alan Haber

seth swirsky new album coverSeth Swirsky | Circles and Squares
Listening to and absorbing and becoming one with the songs contained on Seth Swirsky’s amazing new album Circles and Squares, I turned inward and posed the following question:

You know those things in life that just click with you upon a first gaze or as they first come within earshot, those things that are more than just things, that are tangible signs that your life has been changed if only a little bit, or perhaps a lot, and perhaps you’re not the same as you were before and you know in your heart of hearts that things are going to be different from now on?


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No Monkeeing Around, These are Good Times! for Monkees Fans

alan-mic-zThe ubiquitous they never look at us and say “Hey, hey, you’re the Monkees,” because the Monkees are and always will be Micky Dolenz, Peter Tork, Mike Nesmith and the late, great Davy Jones. They can and do, however, say “Hey, hey, the Monkees have a big hit album out” because, hey, hey, that’s the fact, Jack (and you too, Jill).

The Monkees’ new album Good Times!, celebrating the group’s 50th anniversary, is the order of (Monkee) business today. And here it comes, walking down the street…


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Version Vision: Covers in the Key of Bill Lloyd

bill lloyd lloyderingBill Lloyd | Lloyd*ering (SypderPop, 2016)
Review by Alan Haber

It’s easy to be an armchair musician sitting in front of your stereo with the remote in front of you, an ice cold beverage always within reach, and the air instrument of your choice at the ready. Your favorite musician belts out his version of one of your favorite songs, and you shake your head with the might of a gale force wind and bellow, “If you had a clue, you’d be doing that tune this way!

This is why the professionals take on the task of doing the heavy lifting. In the hands of a master musician, one whose vision and ability are well regarded and keenly tuned, a cover version of a favorite song sounds suddenly fresh and new. Such is the case with the twelve favorite songs gathered together on the cleverly titled Lloyd*ering, a new release from SpyderPop that presents proof positive that Bill Lloyd is the man for the job–the job, in this case, being the wearing of someone else’s suit of clothes and making them look just as, or even more, spiffy.


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A Beautiful Noise

Magical new albums from Brandon Schott, Pop 4 and Vanilla make beautiful noise

Review by Alan Haber

keep calm beautiful noise“It’s a beautiful noise/And it’s a sound that I love/And it fits me as well/As a hand in a glove/Yes it does, yes it does,” Neil Diamond sings on the title song from his 1976 album. These are wise words from a well-known tunesmith–a prophecy that is fulfilled every time a songwriter puts pen to paper and crafts a song out of creative clay. Like a seed planted in the soil, a fully-realized idea spins into a form made from the coming together of a melody, words grown into lyrical lines, and choruses and bridges fashioned as strips of gold.


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Bill DeMain’s Extended Stay Is a Perfect Vision

bill-demainBill DeMain | Extended Stay | 2014 | A review by Alan Haber

“Maybe home is nothing more than where you hang your hat,” Bill DeMain sings in the cautiously cheery “Looking for a Place to Live,” the first of six sweetly-realized songs on his brilliant 2014 EP, Extended Stay. Autobiographical in nature and a hopeful prayer in practice, it’s about the search for a place to call home.

After a flood and a subsequent fire that destroyed his belongings and his home, and an extended period of living a temporary existence while his condo was being rebuilt, DeMain set about writing some songs. Out of the 18 he wound up recording, he chose a half-dozen to release–songs that share the same delicate approach to songcraft that has marked his work with Swan Dive, and his writing for and with other artists such as Marshall Crenshaw and Kim Richey. These songs also share a series of commonalities, such as looking for purpose, for love, and for sincerity, even while not having all of the answers.


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The New Trocaderos: Turn ’em Up to 11!

the-new-trocaderosThe New Trocaderos | Frenzy in the Hips | 2015 | A review by Alan Haber

They’re either coming at you with the force of a speeding locomotive riding atop a five-alarm fire, or they’re pushing out the beat at a bit of a slower pace with pop music on their minds. Either way, the New Trocaderos are taking no prisoners and that means you, baby!

Frenzy in the Hips, a collection of previously-released songs from EPs and “Luckiest Man in the World,” a new tune with the usual frenetic Trocs pedigree, is proof positive that this hybrid collective comprising Brad Marino and Geoff Palmer from the Connection and one of pop music’s greatest progenitors, Kurt Baker, is a force to be reckoned with.


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