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THE COOL WHIPS-Goodies

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on July 19, 2015 by TheManicBlogger

I don’t know how I missed this until now. The Pacific Northwest has produced its fair share of incredible Indie Music, but I seem to have missed Portland, Oregon’s The Cool Whips. The release of their 12 track album ‘Goodies‘ in November 2014, may have come to me late, but this wonderful blend of 1960’s Brit pop and American power pop will not soon be forgotten.

the cool whips2The album kicks off with ‘Tickle Me With A Feather Duster‘, with a dynamite 60s beach/surf melody, great harmonies, and lyric like “come on babe don’t filibuster, don’t be such a little tease, tickle me with a feather duster, please”, and a few “yeah, yeah, yeah”s for good measure. ‘Move Over Aphrodite‘ delivers a great bridge, some way cool reverb, and  wonderful farfisa. With a great hook, and wonderfully pop hand clapping, ‘On The Seesaw‘ has a way cool Frankie & Annette, Beach Blanket thing going on. ‘She Did A Number On Me‘, offers a great melody, nice harmonies, a cool riff, and wonderful keys. ‘A Complicated Man‘ gives a terrific bridge, with some really sweet guitar, which is highlighted again in ‘Lost In The Summertime‘. The keys in ‘Where Can That Girl Be?‘ are the cool whips3reminiscent of Manfred Mann, as it highlights the way cool changes, and killer bridge. ‘A Vague Sense Of Dissatisfaction‘ delivers some wonderful harmonies, while ‘Turpentine‘ offers a great guitar solo, and more tongue in cheek lyric with “she tells me what to do. I think I like it too”.  The guitar rocks in ‘The Man I Never Was‘, and once again, the keys are incredible. ‘Pink Lemonade‘, offers wonderful harmonies, an exceptional melody, and a great hook. The riff is way cool, and I dig the Beatleseque vocals. The final track, ‘Boom-Shang-A-Lang‘, throws in some dynamite hand clapping to an unforgettable chorus, and hook. The keys are great, the guitar sweet. A perfect song to close out the album. Favorite tracks: ‘Tickle Me With A Feather Duster’, ‘Pink Lemonade’, and ‘Boom-Shang-A-Lang’.

 

 

the cool whips1‘Goodies’ is a wonderfully fun time. 12 amazing songs with unforgettable melodies, sweet harmonies, and addictive hooks. Add to all that great changes, and farfisa, and you get a  perfectly pop album! Amazingly cool!  I like this band. I like the sound. I like the album. Despite being released at the end of 2014, we just have to bend the rules and include it in the I Can’t Believe My Earz Indie Album Of The Year for 2015. It is just that good! Check it out for yourself: https://thecoolwhips.bandcamp.com/ and then buy 1 or 2. Definitely a must have album.

 

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AUKLAND-Rookie

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on June 20, 2015 by TheManicBlogger

aukland2So, now there are 2 things from Mississauga, On that impress me: Hazel McCallion, and pop-rockers Aukland, who recently released their album, Rookie.With 10 exceptional songs, filled with wonderfully exciting melodies, cool riffs, a dynamic rhythm section, and great changes, I haven’t wanted to stop listening. The fullness of the sound pulls the album together, and the incredible energy level keeps aukjland1me wanting more. The arrangements are great, and I am particularly fond of the 2 guitar sound. Notable tracks include ‘Doing It Right‘, with its cool backing vocals; ‘Worry Some‘, which delivers a dynamite melody, and way cool guitar; and ‘Open Fire‘, which has a nice 1980’s Wave vibe. Pay particular attention to ‘Curtains & Lights’.  offering a great vocal track, and a beautiful riff. A wonderful song with an exceptional melody, this is a great closing track, for an album and a live performance. The longest track on the album, this could be Aukland’s ‘Free Bird’.

 

 

 

The album rocks. An incredibly fun time, filled with way cool music. The kind of music you crank up on a drive down the highway. Something you should definitely add to your collection. Check it out for yourself.  http://aukland.bandcamp.com/album/rookie and to keep up with events and news, follow them on facebook  https://www.facebook.com/thatstreetnamed?fref=ts

 

 

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STUPIDITY-Move

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on March 30, 2014 by TheManicBlogger

stupidity3Sometime in the mid to late 1970s, I spent 2 or 3 months in Sweden. All I knew about this vastly blonde country: Abba, Volvo, and Ikea. My image of Sweden changed with my discovery of Stupidity. This garage rock band from Stockholm, formed in 2005 out of the ashes of  Eager Beaver, and The Cool Jerks.  Taking their name from the classic Solomon Burke song, they released their latest album, Move in 2011. Where the hell was I when this came out?

The fact is, I have found it, and this is an amazing album. A sort of neo-punk/garage sound going on here. The album contains great melodies, wonderful changes and transitions, and some very cool harmonies. The vocals are perfectly suited, the bass lines are dynamite, and the guitar riffs and solos, well, just plain rock. The inclusion of harmonica and organ put this album over the top.

stupidity1There are 3 standout tracks. “Linda’s Eyes“, with a great solo, cool drumming and spectacular chorus, is a must listen to. Over and over again. The changes are nice and the hook still plays in my head. The great guitar effects of “Reflections” are insanely cool. The song has a great pop melody, and I hear horns and choppy strings. The vocal track and the heavy drums give this a Lou Reed feel. Amazing track. The guitar into to “You“, the organ, the way cool riff and effects, help provide a 1960’s feel to the music and melody. Another stellar song.

stupidity2Stupidity have mastered the marriage of punk, rock, and pop. This album serves up incredible songs with interesting instumentation. and a few very cool surprises. This is definitely not Ikea. This album is boundless energy. This is one for the collection. And the car.  Catch them live, whenever you can. As often as you can. Incredible band.

To check out Move:  http://www.cdbaby.com/cd/stupidity3

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THE AFTER HOURS-Shaken, Not Stirred

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on March 24, 2014 by TheManicBlogger

afterhours2I was beginning to think that the only way I was going to find any decent pop music to listen to, was to focus on bands from the U.K. Until now. The After Hours, hailing from Los Angeles, have released a dynamite album, “Shaken, Not Stirred“, that has restored my faith in the resurgence of classic pop on this side of the Atlantic.

There is an amazing 1960’s surf music feel to “Here To Stay“, with its cool guitar riff and solo that involves a whammy bar! The melody & harmonies are pure California pop, and the unforgettable hook is surpassed only by the “big finish” and by the different guitar sounds within this track. “Going To The Go Go“, with its 1950’s rock & roll/garage style, has a dynamite bass line, and way cool harmonica. The changes and bridge are nice, the riff amazing, and the harmonies have me wondering which part I should sing. A wonderful pop song, “Keep Her Satisfied“, has amazing harmonies, a great melody and a sweet 1960’s feel. The guitar is after hours1particularly amazing. “The Lonely Boys“, with its power-pop/rock ‘n’ roll style offers a great vocal track, a cool melody with great harmonies, and dynamite changes. The guitar kills, and I dig the hand clapping. My favorite track on the album, “Kaliedoscopic“, is pure 1960’s psych rock/pop, sort of The Monkees going psychedelic. The harmonies which are utilized as an additional instrument, and vocals are dynamite. The changes and effects, perfect. The drumming rocks and the mysical bridge that incorporates organ is wonderful. The way cool riff makes this song. Check it out!

afterhours3I really like this band, The After Hours. I am a fan! They cite among their many influences The Beatles, The Beach Boys, The Kinks, The Byrds, The Zombies, The Hollies and The Turtles. Is it any wonder their music has wonderful 1960’s melodies, harmonies and riffs?  The vocals and the guitar work stand out. “Shaken, Not Stirred” captures the essence of 60’s music. The songs are wonderfully written, and demonstrate a remarkable ability to integrate all of their influences into one cohesive and coherent sound. This is a must have album. I will be getting 2, as I am certain I will be playing 1 of them into oblivion.

Check out and purchase “Shaken, Not Stirred”: http://theafterhrs.bandcamp.com/album/shaken-not-stirred

 

 

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TOXIC MELONS-Bus Therapy

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on February 26, 2014 by TheManicBlogger

tm12So, the story goes that Paul Fairbairn, Pablo Melons himself, was taking a lengthy bus trip and became so inspired, that he  the he got the idea for the entire album right there and then. Why not? George Harrison was said to have written “Blue Jay Way” on a plane!

I first encountered Toxic Melons in May, 2013, and my love affair with their quirky U.K. sound continues with the new release, Bus Therapy, which I was fortunate to get pre-release.

The album opens with “More Or Less“, showcasing way cool  piano and organ, a great melody and super harmonies. The song could be on any XTC album. “Journey“, an instrumental, has a dynamite musical melody that sits under  electronic effects to create a Close Encounters feel. The acoustic guitar of “Let Me Sleep” is reminiscent of early Bowie, and fits perfectly among the weird keys that create a circus tm13atmosphere.  Interesting melody, sweet harmonies and a precise and tight guitar solo. “Disco Balls“, an amazing satire of the genre, nails it, with a great disco beat, cool changes and transitions, and  great electronic effects. The cowboy sentiments of “Just One Beer“, captured by the saloon style piano, hide just below a sweet melody, nice harmonies and cool guitar riffs and runs. “Getting Old“, with its melancholic melody, delivers dynamite strings and horns, great transitions, and a cool bridge. I can’t help liking the vocal track. “Take Me Back” is beautifully melodic, with harmonized vocals that rival The Beach Boys’ Pet Sounds. That good! The track kills, with amazing flute and acoustic guitar, and wonderful arrangements. I am particularly fond of the vocals being the primary instrument here. Surprisingly, I have 2 favorite tracks. The wonderfully fabulous melody and sweet harmonies, combined with some way cool piano,  and lyric- “was a need to change the world before her lifetime expired; no complicated reason, just the way she was wired”- had me asking why “Change The World” hasn’t been on a Nilsson album. “Not In Love” has a great pop melody and  lush harmonies. The guitar and piano are dynamite, and I really dig the guitar runs. The bridge is perfect. Great pop song!

tm11Bus Therapy is my kind of therapy. Truly inspiring, soul touching, and mind altering. The album plays like a journey through a toxic mind, but that’s ok. The songs are pop heaven, with shades of folk, blues, electronic, and some western influences. This Paul Fairbairn can write songs. The melodies are out of this world, and the harmonies, well, remind me of The Beach Boys. The music is wonderfully eccentric.The album is insanely addictive. It has me singing along and I haven’t figured out all of the lyrics yet!  An amazing compilation of great songs that has been placed on my must have list. Very cool.

Check out Toxic Melons and help this band:https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/11591364/toxic-melons-bus-therapy-kick-starter-campaign

 

 

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BONGO BOY RECORDS-The Singles

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on January 11, 2014 by TheManicBlogger

There seems to be a whack of incredibly cool music coming out of New Jersey, and Bongo Boy Records seem to have their hand on most of it. Aside from the 2013  Mark Lindsay release, Life Out Loud, and the Gar Francis EP, Shine On, this Indie label out of Belvidere, New Jersey has a truck load of singles that they are about to release on a “Singles” album. Being quite fond of Bongo Boy Monique and Garage Guru Gar-the coolest musician to come out of Jersey since Frank Sinatra– I agreed to listen and wax poetic about this soon to be released compilation.

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Jana Peri, the New York City rocker with power pop and punk influences, delivers a knock out tune with “Ballerina Of The Bowery“. Written by Gar Francis, the song has a great surf-pop groove, great harmonies and a wonderful bridge and chorus. The choppy guitar  rocks and the riff, subtly great. Terrific opening track on any album.

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I didn’t know who The Easy Outs were, but  the New Jersey rock-punk-garage band’s “Come On, Come On” is up there on my list of coolest songs I have heard lately. The track has a great 1960s feel, delivered through wonderful keys and an amazing melody. There are great horns, beautiful transitions, and a dynamite bass line. I can hear Gar Francis all over this song. The riff, clean and crisp, and the solo, as always, class, not flash. Consider this a hit.

 

gr2The wonderfully multi talented Genya Ravan contributes a Gar Francis song, “I Won’t Cry Anymore” with a powerful voice and a delivery that made me shiver.  This rock-blues tune reminds me of something that should be on Janis Joplin album, and hands out great choral harmonies in the bridge and a wonderfully R & B harmonized “whoo hoo hoo”. This woman can sing.  Powerful and pleasurable.

 

 

rk3I don’t know where he finds the time, but Rockids is another Gar Francis project. Originally formed in 1973 by Gar and Wayne Olivieri, this garage band recorded Eddie Cochran‘s “C’mon Everybody” in 2012. I love this song. I dig Rockids cover of it. The guitar layered underneath, the amazing Jerry Lee Lewis piano, and the great hook, deliver an incredible track. Might as well stand when you listen, ’cause it will get you dancing.

kcBorn Dainty“, a country-rock song, was written and produced by, you guessed it, Gar Francis. Recorded by New Jersey’s Kelly Caruso, daughter of The Doughboys bass player, Mike Caruso, this track offers some amazing banjo, cool drumming, and a great chorus. The transitions are wonderful and the guitar riff, great. Kelly delivers a wonderful vocal track. I wouldn’t be surprised to hear this song covered by Kelly Clarkson.

siggies

The Swinging Iggies,  with one of the coolest band names around, offer up “Lady Gaga“. This New Jersey garage-rock band is another one of Gar Francis’ projects. The song,  humorous and up tempo, has a dynamite power start. There are great transitions and I dig the guitar riff. Great song. Still, what a wonderful name for a band.

gfrocketOne of the most meaningful songs I have ever heard, Gar Francis’ “Rocket” touches me. This heartfelt tribute to American soldiers, raises powerful emotions as an acoustic number. The vocals are something out of Bowie’s Hunky Dory, and this is not the first time I have made a Bowie reference about Gar. The beautifully played strings set the tone and mood amid the haunting melody. Wonderful lyric like, “rest my faith against my gun”, drive home the message. I like Gar Francis unplugged.

gigi

New Jersey singer, songwriter Gigi, contributes one way cool tune. “Put Your Freakin’ Hands Up” a  pop-dance track, in the Carly Rae JepsenCall Me Maybe” style,  has a great guitar intro and some amazing double tracked vocals. The melody, pure pop and the guitar riff in the bridge/chorus, wonderfully cool. The minimized instrumentation during the verses highlights the vocals that come with some great effects. Wonderful song with an incredible hook.

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Plainfield Slim, Gar Francis’ alter ego, offers 2 blues tunes. “Dirty Girl” has wonderful southern blues-rock guitar and sweet, double time drumming. The slide guitar rocks within a cool vocal track and nice harmonies. I swear I hear a train in there. “Let Go My Hand“, delivers a wonderful blues riff and a great rock beat. I love the guitar solo and the muted effect to the entire track. Jersey blues are way cool.

mark-lindsay_life-out-loudMy choice for coolest song of the year, “Merry Go Round (Christian’s Song)” by Mark Lindsay is a definite bonus. What can I say about this song that I haven’t said in my review of the Life Out Loud album? Way cool 60s organ, great harmonies, exciting guitar, wonderful changes, and I really dig the “less is more” drumming style. The vocals rock, the melody, dynamite and well, this is my favorite Mark Lindsay song since “Kicks“. Coolest song of the year for sure.

Well, there you have it. The Bongo Boy Records singles compilation. The genres are varied, with something to please everyone.  11 tracks destined to amaze and entertain. This album will rock you, and  it will surprise you. An amazingly eclectic collection of songs by incredibly talented artists. I would liked to have seen Gar Francis’ “Back In 1985”  included on this record.  Check it out for yourself and see what’s really going on in New Jersey. Its not just Snooki and The Sopranos. A must have for every collection.

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THE PYGMIES-Inside Your Mind

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on November 22, 2013 by TheManicBlogger

pig5Out of the frozen Canadian Prairies come The Pygmies, reinventing Western Canadian music. This Calgary, Alberta garage-pop/punk band with roots in the 60s and 70s, have released 3 albums in the past 2 years, and thankfully, I have listened to them all.

pig3The January 2012 EP  The Pygmies, contains 2 tracks, “Because You’re Mine” and “Can’t Get You Outta My Head“. The songs are amazingly well crafted, with wonderful melodies. Reminiscent of early Kinks, they contain great riffs and solos, with an edge. Sort of The Kinks meet The Ramones.

pig2Pygmy Parumpapumpum, one of my favorite album titles of all time,  contains 4 tracks, and was released in November 2012 with, as you guessed, an Xmas theme. Songs like “Santa Claus“, “Father Christmas“, and “Pygmy Xmas” offer a Punk/Pop perspective of the holiday season by delivering great harmonies, amazing riffs and transitions, and some very cool drumming. The title track, an instrumental  take on the classic Christmas tune, intertwines itself with a verse or 2 of Silent Night, played with way cool psych guitar effects, and amazing 60’s organ. A way cool Xmas album.

pig1The 10 track Inside Your Mind, released in November 2013, has made the short list of our Canadian Indie Album Of The Year. Refreshingly simple, yet intense, this album has blown me away. “Hold Tight” has great effects and nice harmonies, while “Death March” gives us a great 60’s pop song with a wonderful melody and great harmony placement and shades of The Ramones. “I Can’t Get Out” , a perfectly executed garage-pop tune foreshadows the surf guitar riff, solo and Beatle ending of “Last Night“. The keyboard solo of “Inside Out“, with its early The Pretenders feel, and the obvious The Kinks influence of “End Of Time” make these prototypical  pop songs. The vocals on “No Connection” are tremendous and I really dig the 60’s ending. The pounding drums and ethereal harmonies of “Cannibal” are a perfect counterbalance to the much slower tempo. The heavy garage sound with a 1960’s vocal melody and organ of the title track remind me of something in a 1960’s teen beach movie. And I really like it. My favorite track, “Chain Reaction“, opens the album with incredible keys, a great melody, and way cool riffs and guitar effects. Sort of Smash Mouth with a 60’s twist. This song plays over and over in my head.

pig4The Pygmies have nailed it. The sound is captivating and the songs are brilliantly written. I enjoy the 2 1/2 minute tunes, which are written in a pop style-short and simple, and give me the sense that these were recorded live in one take. These guys are adept at dropping garage melodies into 1960’s pop, and 60’s pop melodies into garage music. They have a distinct knack for vocal melodies and harmonies, and a great sense of humor. I only wish that this was a double album. The Pygmies have developed a style that gives me The Zombies and The Kinks with a kiss of The Flaming Lips, and they have made it work. Definitely a must have album.

You can listen to The Pygmies here:   http://thepygmies.bandcamp.com/

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