A KNOCKOUT DOUBLE BILL [NEWS]

KODOUBLEBILL-PUZZLE

 

Two bands will be coming together for a secret pop-up gig this April 18! It will be a night of fuzzed out intrigue! Fans are invited to solve a crossword puzzle to reveal the line-up and location of the gig. The bands will also be seeding clues with the hashtag #KODoubleBill via Twitter and Instagram leading up to event day. Solve the puzzle and find out who and where. Free Entry! For more clues, look for #KODoubleBill

PoPTV: OFM – PROGRESSIVE ROCK [VIDEOS]

Continuing our educational video series on the ground-breaking rock music of the Seventies, we focus on Progressive Rock, a time where serious minded musicians created serious music from a variety of styles, sounds and instruments – classical, folk, jazz, rock, avant garde, traditional. This platform had its heyday in the earlier part of the decade reaching its peak in the mid to late Seventies before punk arrived to decry the style as ‘irrelevant’ and ‘pompous’. Progressive rock lives on to this day, either as ‘neo-prog’, revised versions of the classic prog rock or ‘post-rock’, where prog rock approaches are applied to indie rock sensibilities.

KING CRIMSON – IN THE COURT OF THE CRIMSON KING

GENESIS – THE MUSICAL BOX

YES – ROUNDABOUT

EMERSON LAKE & PALMER – TARKUS

PINK FLOYD – DOGS

EGG – CONTRASONG

JETHRO TULL – SONGS FROM THE WOOD

RUSH – XANADU

…still there’s more…

 

BORED SPIES 7 INCH SINGLE “SUMMER 720” [NEWS]

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Here are the details of Bored Spies‘ debut 7 inch single “Summer 720″ from KittyWu Records.

Title: Summer 720 b/w 沙鼠E
Artist: Bored Spies
Street date: 20 April 2013
Format: 7″ Single
Edition: 100
Genre: Minimalist Pop Rock
Label: KittyWu Records
Catalog No.: KWR015

TRACK LISTING
A. Summer 720
B. 沙鼠E

Recorded and produced in the summer of July – August 2012 at Seagrass Studios (Los Angeles) and Snakeweed Studios (Singapore) by Brad Wood (Liz Phair, Sunny Day Real Estate, Pete Yorn, Smashing Pumpkins, Placebo) with engineering support from Leonard Soosay (Snakeweed Studios). The recording was mastered at SAE by Roger Seibel.

‘Summer 720’ is pressed on gorgeous sea foam green vinyl, and is backed with the b-side ‘沙鼠E’ (shāshǔ E) and is a 7″ release in an edition of 100 with KittyWu in Singapore/Asia, Deer Island (edn. of 150) in N. America and Damnably (edn. 250) in Europe.

The 7” single is now available for pre-order on kittywurecords.bandcamp.com/album/summer-720-b-w-e
and will be sold through all good record and vinyl stores from 20th April 2013 onwards.

All 7″ singles comes with a digital download coupon.

We reviewed the single here.

GEEK OUT! LOVING THE SERIAL KILLER

You might say it began with Dexter.

Remember how it felt all those years ago when you first watched Dexter? You mean, the hero of the show is a serial killer? Mind-blowing, wasn’t it?

Considering how unique and groundbreaking Dexter was, it’s rather amazing that it’s taken almost seven years for more tv series involving serial killers to show up. In 2013, we’ve had The Following, Bates Motel and Hannibal take up Dexter’s challenge. Truth be told, it’s been a mixed bag so far from these three offerings.

The Following actually presents us with an entire cult of serial killers led by the charismatic Joe Carroll (James Purejoy) and pursued by the FBI and former agent Ryan Hardy (Kevin Bacon). The series started out promisingly enough but since then has degenerated into a totally implausible tale, where the FBI is constantly represented as incompetent and helpless whilst Carroll, is somewhat portrayed as an infallible super-villain! Utterly preposterous – the inherent flaw in the plot requires that Carroll never be caught which results in ridiculously unrealistic stories. What is truly amazing is that the series has been renewed for a second season already! Now that is a crime…

Bates Motel is obviously based on elements taken from Alfred Hitchcock’s seminal Psycho movie. A prequel of sorts but set in modern times (the movie was, of course, filmed in the early 60s), Bates Motel is a strange beast and so far rather mystifying. There is a general creepiness about the town in which the Bates (mother Norma and young son Norman – not forgetting older son, Dylan) reside in and there is a sense of a dark underbelly to the town in question. The leads (Vera Famiga and Freddie Highmore) do credible jobs with their respective roles and there is enough brand awareness to keep viewers interested (as evidenced by the series being renewed for a second season) but overall, I am waiting for the series to deliver a more than average impact.

Although only the premiere has aired thus far, Bryan Fuller’s re-imagining of Thomas Harris’ Red Dragon holds the greatest promise of the trio. Focusing on the relationship between special FBI investigator Will Graham (Hugh Dancy) and psychiatrist Hannibal Lector (Mads Mikkelsen), there is much to admire in Hannibal. The genuine attempt made to connect the audience with Graham’s fraught psycho-analytical experiences and Mikkelsen’s deliciously dark portrayal of the sinister Lecter, makes Hannibal one of the more surprisingly successful TV series revolving around a serial killer.

With Dexter on its last legs, I am betting on Hannibal to deliver the thrills, spills and yes, the kills, in the weeks to come.

 

 

 

LISTENING BOOTH: TRICKS & CIDER [STREAMING]

Band HiRes

Tricks & Cider (Victoria Ho on lead vocals and guitar, Karen Lee on backing vocals, keyboard and violin, Dawn Ho on bass guitar and David Liu on drums) is a melodic pop band that incorporates diverse musical styles. Check out the two advance tracks from the band’s upcoming debut EP below.

Check out tricksandcider.com and follow the band at @tricksandcider on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube and Soundcloud.

POWER OF POP INTERVIEW – DIVIDE

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How did DIVIDE form?
Apparently we know each other because we went to the same high school.

Why do you play such angry heavy music?
We play such music because this kinda music is our real passion even tho we actually listen to many kinds of genre.

What is your message?
Our message is we’re trying to tell about the concept of God, human interaction, the gap between the rich and the poor and anything about life.

Do you think your fans are more into your music or your message?
From what we’ve seen people only listen to the music at first, but eventually they also learn about the lyrics.

Do you face social objections for the music you play in Indonesia? If so, what is your response to that?
We’ve never really faced any direct social objection, but if there’s one we’ll try our best to respond it.

Why is your tour called “This is Not a Headline Tour”?
The reason why we called it ‘Not a headline tour’ is because we wanted to make it a friendly tour of sorts as most of the special guests bands are good friends.

DIVIDE + guests play Home Club on Saturday, 13th April.

THE STEVE LILLYWHITE PRODUCTION WEEK [REVIEW]

Courtesy of SGMUSO

My regular readers will be aware of my love of hyperbole. After all, art and music should always be bigger than life and so I am always happy to oblige in that regard. So forgive me, if this post outstrips all previous in the hyperbole department.

Awesome!

No other way to describe the week that will forever be known as The Steve Lillywhite Production Week! As a huge Lillywhite fan (and SGMUSO EXCO member), it was going to be an amazing experience no matter what. However, even that did not prepare me for the surreal, seemingly out-of-body experience that it ultimately turned out to be! See what I mean about hyperbole?!?

I was fortunate enough to sit in the production sessions on the 1st and last day and was thrilled not only to see the legendary Steve Lillywhite in action but to witness the four bands (Atlas, MONSTER CAT, sub:shaman and The Sam Willows) have their collective confidence boosted sky high by a man who so obviously loves good music and music people.

Everyone in the studio was buzzing thanks to Lillywhite’s infectious enthusiasm. It was impossible not to be infected with the buzz! From the bands to the producers to the crew to bystanders (like yours truly), it truly felt like S-ROCK history was unfolding before our very eyes (and ears).

As much as we ourselves believe in S-ROCK, it is re-assuring and comforting to find someone of Lillywhite’s stature to be equally (it not more) excited about the potential and possibilities of the S-ROCK scene. It is validation of our efforts in the scene and our belief in the great S-ROCK bands that toil tirelessly in our sometimes thankless nation.

Best part of all was actually getting to know Lillywhite a bit better and chatting over his experiences producing some of the more important releases of the 80s and 90s. This was aided by Lillywhite’s own humble, down to earth manner – it was impossible not to think of him as a like-minded ally and these are some of the memories I will always treasure.

… still there’s more…

 

 

RICH MCCULLEY – THE GRAND DESIGN [REVIEW]

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You might say that Rich McCulley has been a fixture of sorts over here at Power of Pop. The good news is that McCulley is still going strong, as his official bio explains – “after six albums and twelve years of solo music making, roots rocker Rich McCulley is still finding fresh beginnings and new inspiration in life”.

Ten years ago, I had written that McCulley had – with his sophomore effort – discovered roots rock, “lining his obvious pop-rock chops with a rustic country edge” and which made McCulley’s music, worthy for “all lovers of melodic rock ‘n’ roll, country rock and everything in-between”.

This assessment rings through for The Grand Design as McCulley continues to emphasize rustic melodicism, which rings out loudly and proudly his influences viz. Elvis Costello, Gram Parsons, Marshall Crenshaw, Tom Petty, Squeeze et al.

Songs like the wistful “Let You Go”, the dynamic “The Most Beautiful Thing”, the smooth “Just Begun To Run” and the heartfelt “She’s Like a Tattoo” will please country-folk-rock lovers. Yet again, McCulley pulls off yet another loving toast to the power and beauty of Americana-based rock n’ roll. Long may he run.

Check out the video of “The Most Beautiful Thing” below.

Official Site

 

PoPTV: OFM – SUCKING IN THE SEVENTIES [VIDEO]

I’ve probably said this before but the Seventies is/was my favourite rock decade! Basically, the Seventies built on the foundation of the Sixties and went OVER THE TOP! The sheer diversity of Seventies music is mind-blowing and once again, what I am going to share with you is merely the tiny tip of the massive iceberg (and only focuses on the singer-songwriters!) But rest assured, every artist mentioned is bloody essential listening, so… fasten your seat belts…

DAVID BOWIE

Recommended albumsHunky Dory, Ziggy Stardust & the Spiders From Mars, StationToStation, “Heroes”, Low and Scary Monsters.

NEIL YOUNG

Recommended albumsAfter the Gold Rush, Harvest, On the Beach, Tonight’s the Night, Zuma, Rust Never Sleeps.

BRUCE SPRINGSTEEN

Recommended albumsBorn to Run, Darkness at the Edge of Town.

TODD RUNDGREN

Recommended albums – Runt: The Ballad of Todd Rundgren, Something/Anything?, A Wizard A True Star, Todd.

BILLY JOEL

Recommended albums: The Stranger, 52nd Street.

JOHN LENNON

Recommended albumsJohn Lennon/Plastic Ono Band, Imagine, Mind Games, Walls & Bridges.

ELTON JOHN

Recommended albums – Tumbleweed ConnectionMadman Across the WaterHonky Château, Don’t Shoot Me I’m Only the Piano Player, Goodbye Yellow Brick Road, Caribou, Captain Fantastic and the Brown Dirt Cowboy.

STEVIE WONDER

Recommended albums – Talking Book, Innervisions, Fulfillingness’s First Finale, Songs in the Key of Life.

MOONER – UNPRONOUNCEABLE NAME EP [REVIEW]

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Truth be told, I am pretty sick and tired of the ubiquitous generic contemporary hipster synth-pop sound already. Man! So yeah, right now, I am aching for sweet rock n’ roll music that features real instruments, real vocals and fucking real songs. Y’know, songs I can sing along to (intelligently) and shake to (without looking stupid).

So Mooner! A self-described powerpop band from Chicago which new EP is like balm to my electronically sated ears. This EP only has four tracks but I’d rather listen four tracks that hit the spot over an LP’s worth of meaningless drivel trying to pass itself off as 2013’s version of hip and cool. Don’t what I mean?

Indeed! It’s comforting and re-assuring to hear a new band take the tired-and-tested influences of Television, Elvis Costello, The Replacements and early Wilco and fashion distinctive material. Certainly, powerpop fans are totally gonna fall in love with the midtempo groove of “Shapeshifter”, the twangy goodness of “White Lines”, the knowing country-soul balladry of “Never Alone” and the new wave raunch of “Overrated”.

Recommended!

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THE LONG AND WINDING ROAD – THE HIGH COST OF LIVING (DEATH VALLEY 92328)

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Despite the relative success of “Orchard Road” (with the track getting radioplay and music video being featured on national TV), my ambitions were still modest. I was happy to be able to record and release another song, whatever the platform. The guys from BigO magazine wanted me to test a MiniDisc player/recorded and to review it for the mag. So I ended up writing and recording two songs – “The High Cost of Living” and “The Offender”, the latter as yet unreleased. The song ended up being featured on BigO’s free CD, Death Valley 92328, and was played on radio again (which still amazes me, considering the lyrical content)

“The High Cost of Living” was basically inspired by two things – the opening chords to The Style Council’s “Speak Like a Child” and The Clash’s Cost of Living EP title. Contrary to popular belief, the song had nothing to do with Neil Gaiman’s mini-series about Death. The content of course, was all about inflation in Singapore and little did I realize that 1993 was to the beginning of a vicious inflationary cycle that the country is still a victim of.

Twenty years later, the lyrics still resonate and that speaks volumes in itself. So, check it out for yourself if you’ve never heard it before and download if so minded as well. The song will be the opening song for the upcoming Kevin Mathews/The Groovy People performance at Home Club in a month’s time (see what I did there?). Heh.

More of my music at Bandcamp.

GREAT DIVIDE – S/T [REVIEW]

Chicago quintet Great Divide (Teddy Grossman – vox, guitar/Josh Teitelbaum – drums/Jeff Leibovich – keyboards/Josh Kahle – bass/Jeff Burke – guitar, vox) takes the rock and roots maxim to its logical conclusion. If a cursory listen to the band’s eponymous sophomore album suggests to you The Band, Van Morrison, Bob Dylan, Elton John, Tedeschi Trucks Band and the like, then you’d probably be better off exploring Great Divide, don’t you think? Yeah!

Funded by a successful Kickstarter campaign, Great Divide is a evocative, soulful rock n’ roll record in the old fashioned way. In other words, it is as smooth as you like, bringing together a veritable buffet of influences, spanning soul, folk, country, pop and rock with the dynamic horn section providing the proverbial icing on top.

First-rate musicianship, competent songwriting and the honey-dripping pipes of Teddy Grossman make Great Divide, essential listening for the true-blue pop-rock fans out there. How can one argue with genuine articles like the slick opener “Ain’t No Roads”, the lush “Easy Chair”, the gospel-tinged “Moorie” and the Stevie Wonder-channeling “Shine”? Simple, you don’t!

Check out the live clip of “Ain’t No Roads” below

Official Site | Facebook

 

PoPTV: PAUL WELLER [VIDEO]

SONGWRITERS SUPREME: PAUL WELLER

Paul Weller first caught the public eye as a teenager with The Jam during the emerging punk years (late 70s) in England. Taking his cue from the Beatles, Small Faces, Kinks and The Who, Weller’s punchy and relevant songs launched the Woking trio (with bassist Bruce Foxton & drummer Rick Buckler) into the hearts and minds of British youth, achieving much success and acclaim on the way before calling a day in 1982 at Weller’s insistence.

Weller felt constrained by The Jam’s image and collective persona and formed (with keyboard player Mick Talbot) The Style Council to broaden his artistic horizons. So he literally plunged in at the deep end, developing an image that was miles away from the Jam – chic, sophisticated, Gallic, jazzy & brassy, the Style Council carried on where The Jam left off and Weller personally intensified his own socio-political ambitions during that time. However, things would eventually turn sour between Weller and label Polydor culminating in the label’s rejection of the last TSC album and its ultimate demise in the late 1980s. Weller seemed to disappear completely from the UK music scene. Spending his hiatus in reflection and regeneration, he re-emerged as a solo artist – unable initially to secure a UK record deal (he signed up with Pony Canyon Japan for his eponymous solo debut) – his star would rise again with the coming of Britpop in the 90s as bands like Blur, Oasis & Ocean Colour Scene acknowledged their debt to Weller. By his third album, Stanley Road, Weller had once again reached the summit of the UK Albums Chart.

“Down in a Tube Station at Midnight,” Jam single (Polydor, 1978)

“Down in a Tube Station at Midnight” proved that Weller was more than just punk opportunist or mod revisionist, he was an artist. Its structure is stop-start and its monotonous rhythmic underpinnings express perfectly the movement of a train. Lyrically, it provides a concise snapshot of the England of the late 1970s – claustrophobic, class conscious, economically depressed and socially dangerous. Its story is simple and stark, a tube passenger is ‘mugged’ by gangsters (‘they smelled of pubs and Wormwood Scrubs and too many right-wing meetings’) on his way home to the wife. And in the closing verses even as the protaganist’s life ebbs away, his last thoughts are of advertising images and graffiti on the tube walls. Powerful and affecting. Note: the album version (on All Mod Cons) completes the picture with the sounds of a train opening & closing its doors and moving off even as the instrumental passages fade in and out again – truly poignant.

“The Paris Match,” B-side Style Council single, A Paris (Polydor, 1983)

A torch song in every sense of the word and tucked away as a b-side (!) no less, “The Paris Match” remains Style Council’s finest moment where Weller was able to blend romanticism and sophistication with Gallic flair and savvy – no mean feat for a Woking lad! The accordion solo is pure heaven.

“Tales from the Riverbank,” B-side Jam single Absolute Beginners (Polydor, 1981)

Moody and introspective, “Tales from the Riverbank” provided the flip side to the Jam’s more recognisable anthems. With its insistent bass line, spidery guitar patterns and concepts of urban decay & menace, “Tales from the Riverbank” is a wondrous highlight buried obscurely as a B-side, which bore testimony to Weller’s prodigious talent.

“That’s Entertainment,” from The Jam Sound Affects (Polydor, 1980)

A Weller diary-in-a-song: with George Harrison headily evoked, “That’s Entertainment” spoke of the mundanity of day-to-day living – ” A smash of glass and the rumble of boots/An electric train and a ripped up ‘phone booth/Paint splattered walls and the cry of a tomcat/Lights going out and a kick in the balls ” – sheer bloody poetry!

“Sunflower,” from Paul Weller Wild Wood (GO! Discs, 1993)

On his sophomore effort, Weller decided to flow with the Traffic – decidedly more Steve Winwood than Steve Marriott! Transparent as usual with his influences, Sunflower is an intense rocker that is as soulful as it is pastoral. A great introduction to this breakthrough solo album.

“A Town Called Malice,” from The Jam The Gift (Polydor, 1982)

Perhaps the Jam’s best known tune, “Malice” featured Weller’s incisive assessment of English life – ” Rows and rows of disused milk floats stand dying in the diary yards/And a hundred lonely housewives clutch empty milk bottles to their hearts ” sung to a tune reminiscent of The Supremes’ “You Can’t Hurry Love” (Yup! The one that Phil Collins took to the top of the charts)

“Uh Huh Oh Yeh,” from Paul Weller Paul Weller (Pony Canyon, 1992)

More than debut single “Into Tomorrow,” this R&B inflected mover announced that Weller was back! Based around a familiar three-chord progression, embellished with swirling organs, tight horns and a simple choral riff, one cannot help but be carried away by its cheerful optimism.

“In the Crowd,” from The Jam All Mod Cons (Polydor, 1978)

“And life just simply moves along/To simple houses, simple jobs and no ones wanting for the change ” bear Ray (The Kinks) Davies trademark slice-of-life writing applied to The Who pyrotechnics resulting in an incandescent commentary of English society that well and truly rocks!

“Speak Like A Child,” Style Council single (Polydor, 1983)

The re-invention of Paul Weller began with this Motown-inflected pleaser. However, Jam observers would not have been surprised as the stylistic shift is evident on The Gift, the final Jam album. What perhaps shocked was the total absence of the GUITAR! If only we knew what was in store for Weller fanatics!

“Peacock Suit,” Paul Weller Heavy Soul (Independiente, 1996)

“Peacock Suit” appears to poke fun at Weller’s own well-known satorial obsessions – ” I’m a narcissus in a puddle/In shop windows I gloat/Like a ball of fleece lining/In my camel skin coat”. Set to a driving beat, the song is a sheer delight and demonstrates Weller’s deft skill with the post-modern take on British R&B traditions.

“To Be Someone,” from The Jam All Mod Cons (Polydor, 1978)

With the critical beating that This Is The Modern World received, Weller and The Jam returned with a vengeance with All Mod Cons their best album. “To be Someone” opens the album and seems to uncannily forecast Oasis (!) both in its music and lyrical target  – “And there’s no more drinking after the club shuts down/I’m out on my arse with the rest of the clowns.”

“My Ever Changing Moods,” Style Council single (Polydor, 1984)

Here is Paul Weller in full Curtis (Mayfield i.e.) mode, driving treble rhythms, tasty horns and a rhythm that just won’t quit.

“The Changingman,” from Paul Weller Stanley Road (GO! Discs, 1995)

Weller’s tribute to Jeff Lynne no doubt, as he freely pilfers from ELO’s “10538 Overture” shamelessly (down to the cellos) to sing lyrics about being a “changing man” with tongue firmly in cheek and a riposte to all his critics. Creative plagiarism at its best.

“You’re the Best Thing,” Style Council single (Polydor, 1984)

Weller’s finest romantic hour, as he concocts the perfect heart-tugger for lovers everywhere – the urban counterpart to the pastoral “English Rose”.

“In the City,” Jam single (Polydor, 1977)

Where it all began: an 18-year-old Steve Marriott wannabe lumped in with the punk set but possessing a breadth that would surpass most of his peers delivers his first stab at pop greatness. Clocking in at 2’20” In the City functioned as a statement of intent and a reaffirmation of British pop ala The Who, The Kinks, Small Faces and so on.

PoPTV – DEAP VALLY “LIES” [OFFICIAL VIDEO]

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Believe me, it ain’t gonna be Fall Out Boy who’s gonna save rock n’ roll but Deap Vally will certainly have a much better shot at doing just that! Glorious blues-rock filtered through modern precedents like the White Stripes/Black Keys format, this femme duo has been shaking things up and is a band to look out for! Check out new video for “Lies” below.

New single ‘Lies’ availble on iTunes now http://po.st/QE0KWn . Previous singles including “End Of The World” & “Gonna Make My Own Money” available on iTunes http://po.st/4RwAhK

ELEVENTH DREAM DAY – NEW MOODIO RELEASE [NEWS]

Eleventh Dream Day is an American alt-rock band which made its reputation in the late 80s/early 90s, parlaying its hybrid of psychedelia-folk-rock n’ roll into a heady brew that got both critics and fans of the period excited.

On May 14th, Comedy Minus One will release New Moodio, a parallel world version of the band’s 1991 LP “El Moodio”. A bit of background from the Riot Media press release –

The material that appears on “New Moodio” was recorded on their own dime, with the intent to find a new label to put it out. Recorded at Idful Studios in Chicago with Brad Wood at the dials (Liz Phair recorded “Exile In Guyville” with Wood there just months later), these songs were being shopped around when Danny Goldberg – who now was running Atlantic – came to Chicago and made his pitch to the group over lunch. The band was impressed by what he had to say, and made the inference that if he went to this effort to get the band back, he and the label must really care. He urged Eleventh Dream Day to start over with a new producer, and the band spent the better part of 1992 working on what would become “El Moodio,” their third and final major label record.

The vinyl pressing is limited to 500 copies, and each includes a digital download containing three additional songs. New Moodio will also be available on all digital download platforms. Check out the previously unreleased “Thinking Out Loud” below.

 

WARM SODA

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The great thing about rock music is that the maxim that “what goes around comes around” holds true, most of the time. For those of you getting a little tired of tepid synth-pop, it would only be a matter of time before the power chords and melodic hooks came back with a vengeance! And I am glad to report that a cool wave of a 90s alt-rock revival bands is slowly but surely making their mark on the music world.

Add Warm Soda to this burgeoning list – for want of a better word, its BEATLESQUE to the max. But seriously, the astute rock listener is going to be able to string together a slew of the right influences for this fun-loving POP outfit, no problem. The band has released its new album – Someone For You – on March 26th, which is currently being streamed in its entirety at Paste.

Check out the official video for “Busy Lizzy” below. Review to come.

Official Site | Facebook

 

THE XX – LIVE IN SINGAPORE [NEWS]

The xx Rooftop NEW

This is a big one for the hip and cool kids in Singapore. Most may be unaware that the British trio actually performed at the Esplanade in 2010. Here’s a portion of my review back then –

“…there is an intriguing method in the xx’s sound, with electro beats and minimal guitar-bass interplay, I was impressed by the simplicity of the music and also how they incorporated some of my own favourite influences into catchy yet intelligent material.”

Little need to oversell this one, I’d imagine. Fans will be champing at the bit.

Details: –

Now/Live Presents

Title: The xx
Venue: The Star Theatre
Date: Friday 2nd August 2013
Time: 8pm
Organizer: Now/Live – www.facebook.com/nowlivesgwww.twitter.com/nowlivesg
Tickets: $148, $128, $108, $88, $68 (+ $3 SISTIC Fee)
Ticket Sales Launch Date: Wednesday 17th April
Tickets available via SISTIC
– Online (9am): www.sistic.com.sg
– Tel (10am): +65 6348 5555
– In person (10am): At all authorized SISTIC agents & box offices

STEVE LILLYWHITE PRODUCTION WEEK [NEWS]

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And the results are in! The four Singapore bands selected to be produced by legendary producer STEVE LILLYWHITE are Atlas, MONSTER CAT, sub:shaman and The Sam Willows. Congrats to all the bands!

The bands will get the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to work with Lillywhite during four intense days in early April. But that’s not all, Lillywhite will also be the special guest at SGMUSO’s inaugural SOUNDCHECK event on Friday, 5th April, something no self-respecting music lover can afford to miss…

More information at SGMUSO web site.

PoPTV: BEATLESQUE

“Beatlesque” is one of my favorite music terms. I mean, who wouldn’t want to listen to music that sounds like The Beatles, eh? Of course, the key is not slavish imitation but to use the influence of The Beatles as a springboard for (hopefully) fresh ideas. Here are some bands that certainly come to mind, when the term “Beatlesque” is brandished about…

THE BYRDS – ALL I REALLY WANNA DO

Yes, I am aware that the song was written but by Bob Dylan, but The Byrds arranged Dylan’s folkie “All I Really Wanna Do” deliberately to reflect their love of the Fab Four, especially on the bridge. And let’s not even get into the hairdos…

BADFINGER – DAY AFTER DAY

A little cheatin’ here cos Badfinger was actually signed to Apple Records and this single was also produced by George Harrison so the comparisons with their heroes were always fairly obvious. Great song still…and certainly a foundation for numerous power pop bands to come…

ELECTRIC LIGHT ORCHESTRA – THE DIARY OF HORACE WIMP

ELO was formed by Jeff Lynne and Roy Wood to re-create the Beatles psychedelic classics (like “I Am A Walrus”) live. When Wood left, Lynne turned the band into a hit-making machine in the 70s. Beatles inspirations always began as a starting point (like here, the rhythm of the middle section to “A Day in a Life”) to something entire new and different. In a league of its own.

OASIS – ALL AROUND THE WORLD

To the current generation, the closest one is going to get to The Beatles reference would probably be through Oasis. Often derided as Beatles copyists, in fact, the Gallagher brothers succeeded in copping the imagery and look of The Beatles, rather than any creative impetus. That and Liam Gallagher’s ludicrous attempts to imitate John Lennon’s singing style. Best forgotten.

To be honest, it is almost impossible to escape the influence of The Beatles in modern music, whatever ‘genre’ you may choose to discuss. The legacy of The Beatles was not merely four chords, clever bridges and three-part harmonies but constant experimentation. When that stopped (listen to Let It Be, folks), then it was time for The Beatles to end. The above examples only highlight a very simplified perception of what the term “Beatlesque” means and usually referred to by people as Beatles music pre-Revolver, when The Beatles was much much more than that… but that’s another story altogether.

 

PoPINIONS: HATERS GONNA HATE [OP/ED]

I am a people pleaser. Chronically so, in fact. Sometimes it hurts so much to realize that another human being actually hates me that I lose all rationality and respond in the wrong manner. Two wrongs don’t make a right. But in the final analysis, I’ve come to understand that you just can’t please everyone, no matter how you try.

My inherent inferiority complex and low self-esteem have been the bane of my existence but one truth I’ve learnt is that I can never control the way another person thinks or feels, I can only control my own response to this person’s opinion. Of course, there have been challenging negative experiences that have tested this principle to the hilt and whilst it has always been difficult to navigate those stormy seas, I think I arrive home, safe and sound at the end of each voyage.

The S-ROCK scene is nascent but growing. There are many players who are doing their part in their own way to improve the scene for musicians. The authorities are also involved in this process. It isn’t easy by any means – so much emotional and historical baggage to overcome but nothing worth fighting for ever comes easy. Scour through social media and you will, of course, find the ‘haters’ – folks who post potentially libelous statements against these players (yours truly, included) making accusations that are plainly inaccurate and unwarranted. Conduct a simple online search and you will discover these defamatory posts easily.

What can we do? Do we resort to legal means to protect our hard-earned reputations? Certainly, we would be legally entitled to do so but what good would that do, ultimately? Do we fight fire with fire – by posting similarly hateful statements targeted at these ‘haters’ – to name and shame them?

No, we take the higher ground – we simply ignore them. Not entirely of course – which is the whole point of this op/ed. If you’re reading this, dear ‘haters’, I would humbly ask that you would consider spending your energies in more productive activities and stop your futile personal attacks, especially if you truly love the S-ROCK scene. No good can ever come out of this course you are taking. Of course, this is a ‘free’ country and whilst you are entitled to your opinion, at least show respect to a fellow human being, if nothing else. Let’s agree to disagree but kindly stop the personal attacks. Thank you very much.

…still there’s more…

 

PoPTV: INTRODUCING OFM [VIDEO]

Jeff Tweedy/Wilco

“Old Fart Music” or “Dad-rock” are two derogatory terms that the music press might use to brand a ‘genre’ or band as past its sell-by date. But this is all nonsense, of course. All rock music is derived from “Dad-rock” as Wilco’s Jeff Tweedy was quoted in Rolling Stone  in 2011 —

“When people say dad rock, they actually just mean rock. There are a lot of things today that don’t have anything to do with rock music, so when people hear something that makes them think, ‘This is derived from some sort of continuation of the rock ethos,’ it gets labeled dad rock. And, to me, those people are misguided. I don’t find anything undignified about being a dad or being rocking, you know?”

Indeed, I hate to break it to you, kids, but EVERYBODY grows old. The true artist is someone who still has something to say even when he or she is much older. Every youth culture is based on something that came before so kindly refrain from these ageist pronunciations.

For this bright Saturday morning’s PoPTV, we’ve decided to bring you some of our favourite OFM or Dad-rock for your edification and information. Enjoy…

Continue reading “PoPTV: INTRODUCING OFM [VIDEO]”

LISTENING BOOTH: DANCING HEALS “ALWAYS ON MY MIND” [STREAMING]

Australian based Dancing Heals has just releasing the gorgeous track, “Always on My Mind”, and are currently finishing up their second album, that captures more of their live sound and draws from longtime influences such as Tom Petty and Fleetwood Mac. The band loves to wave the nostalgia flag and “Always On My Mind” is no different. A sonically raw reflection on the confusing emotions of letting someone go… and never forgetting.

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LISTENING BOOTH: PONY BOY “GREAT UNKNOWN” [STREAMING]

Pony Boy, aka Marchelle Bradanini, puts a seductive, modern twist on the Americana sound with sultry vocals atop twangy, buzzing guitars. “Greatest Unknown” is simultaneously beautiful and eerie, sounding as though it belongs on a Twin Peaks soundtrack. Catch her live show in March and April as she opens for Clairy Browne & The Bangin’ Rockettes:

3/23: Birmingham, AL @ Zydeco
4/8: Phoenix, AZ @ Crescent Ballroom
4/9: Los Angeles, CA @ Troubadour

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