B-Quartet is one of the few bands within the Singapore music scene who have constantly managed to leave their audience in awe with their stage presence and their unique approach to music.

When they played Uncommon Fields, the album launch for conformity has replaced consciousness at the Esplanade Recital Studio, B-Quartet raised the bar for album launches by used multimedia throughout their set. The multimedia videos were noticeably missing but in its place was a cozier ambience, which was inviting and personal.

Although it started pouring 20 minutes before the set, the venue was packed by the time B-Quartet started their gig. B-Quartet played songs off all 3 of their releases, including songs such as Composition #4 and  Personal Space (my favourite). They ended their hour-long set with Dry Rain, off their debut EP, The Smitten Bard, because Bani Hidir had to leave to play with 53A at Timbre. I was still hoping that they would play Alphanumeric, which they didn’t at Uncommon Fields either.

Still Homeless was one of the best gigs I’ve been to at Home Club recently. Most of the people who were present were there genuinely because they enjoyed listening to B-Quartet. There were smiles throughout the venue and it was heartwarming to see so many familiar faces, photographers, fellow musicians and music lovers gathering together to share the music of one of Singapore’s best bands. It was a wonderful experience that was shared between all who were present at the gig.

Thank you to Willy Tan of Aging Youth, the awesome people at Home Club and everyone who was present. See you at their next show!

(Rebecca Lincoln)

Photo by Thomas Tan


It’s almost impossible to watch Fringe without thinking of X-Files. Created by JJ Abrams, Roberto Orci and Alex Kurtzman & produced by Abrams’ Bad Robot, Fringe – like X-Files – concerns a FBI division (under the Homeland Security Department) that investigates paranormal events, with the undercurrent of preventing an otherworldly invasion.

X-Files watchers will no doubt be aware of how the series ultimately wrote itself into a corner with its mysteries and conspiracy theories and ran out of steam and ideas. And I’m certain that this possible future is also uppermost on the minds of the Fringe producers.

The early episodes of season one set out the ground rules. We have Olivia Dunham (the lovely Anna Torv), a FBI agent who finds herself drawn into a web of intrigue and inexplicable paranormal events and she recruits scientist Walter Bishop (John Noble) – from a mental asylum, no less – and his son Peter Bishop (Joshua Jackson) to aid her in the investigations. Dunham reports to Philip Broyles (Lance Reddick) and is supported by fellow FBI agents Astrid Farnsworth (Jasika Nicole) and Charlie Francis (Kirk Acevedo).

Naturally, there are twists and turns along the way but it is the underlying story – which involves a war with an alternative earth – which keeps things interesting. Much of the season one episodes follow a basic formula – something strange happens, in the midst of investigation, they realize that the phenomenon originated from the senior Bishop’s early research (which someone else has invariably perfected) – the problem is solved and a further clue may be given with regards to the impending hostilities.

The star of Fringe is the gorgeous Aussie actress Anna Torv – who’s conventional beauty and ability to mix vulnerability and kick ass steel really carries the show in its duller moments. There are a couple of excellent development points in the relationship between the two Bishops (although the actors are nothing special).

The finale of season one finds agent Dunham somehow transported into the alternative earth where she finally meets the ellusive William Bell (Leonard Nimoy), Bishop senior’s former lab partner and CEO of the biggest technology corporation in the world and who are also involved in the events investigated by the Fringe division. It is a brilliant setup for season two. How well the writers and producers evolve the storyline further will determine whether Fringe will end up like X-Files or the recent completed LOST. I’m rooting for the latter result…


TWIN SISTER Colour Your Life (Infinite Best)

How does music make you feel? Well, you’ve got to feel something, yes? Sometimes, it can be rather cerebral but most times, its emotional. That’s the whole deal about being a music writer.

Twin Sister is a band based in and around New York. Andrea Estella sings, Bryan Ujueta plays the drums, Eric Cardona plays guitar, Gabel D’Amico plays the bass, and Udbhav Gupta plays keyboard.

The music on Colour Your Life makes me happy, melancholy and intellectually stimulating. I mean, it’s pleasing to me as it strikes all the right notes and chords, evoking a fine blend of 90s shoegaze, ambient electronica and 80s British indie pop. Estella has a sweet voice which is nice in an ethereal fashion. The songs are well crafted and well executed – The Other Side of Your Face and Lady Daydream are gentle hypnotic affairs, Milk and Honey is edgier post-punk, All Around and Away We Go has a disco vibe, Galaxy Plateau is an esoteric instrumental work and Phenomenons returns to the twee pop leanings of the opening numbers.

Eclecticism rules! And Twin Sister delivers in spades.

Official Site | Myspace


Yes, one of PoP’s favourite bands – The Fire Fight – is taking a hiatus and will be saying their farewells (for now) on 13 June, 4pm at the *SCAPE Warehouse.

I am proud to say that I’ve been able to chart the musical progress of Josh, Iain, JBarks and Jonathan these last couple of years. More than that, I have been honoured by the band’s invitation to play a song with them at this farewell gig. We’re still working out the details but I imagine it’ll be a fun and emotional time.

So really, this is a no-brainer and you can get your tickets here and I’ll see you there.



The Singapore Women’s Table Tennis team are World Champions! Congratulations!! And they beat China 3-1 to boot!!!

Yes, I do realize that the entire Singaporean team (plus coach) are born and bred in China, and I feel the irony and all that. But why should that irrelevant factor spoil our enjoyment of this success? I mean, they’re are Singapore citizens and are representing Singapore – so why all the angst about this victory not being a Singaporean victory?

Does it matter who plays as long as we win? The ends always justifies the means, right? Who actually loses out anyway? Apart from those women table tennis players not born and bred in China. But then again, those players would have had no chance whatsoever of being World Champions. After all, they’re born and bred in Singapore and you and I know what kind of sportsmen and sportswomen, Singapore produces on its own.


I mean, don’t we know by now that as far as the arts and sports are concerned, we will never produce anyone of any merit and will always have to look for foreign talent which always will be superior to our local talent. Surely the goal must be that in ten years’ time, we will have foreign mercenaries in our army because surely the locals are not quite up to the mark. You know, Singapore tak boleh, right?

So celebrate good times Singapore for today, we are #1!!!!!


ADMIRAL RADLEY I Heart California (The Ship)

No disrespect to Earlimart’s Aaron Espinoza and Ariana Murray (who form half of Admiral Radley) but this debut album reminds me so much of my beloved Grandaddy, I’m beginning to wonder how much influence Jason Lytle and Aaron Burtch (ex-Grandaddy and the other half of Admiral Radley) had on its sound and direction. However, upon closer inspection, the vocal duties are shared equally between Lytle and Espinoza, so definitely the Earlimart portion of Admiral Radley contributed their fair share.

Hey, I’m not complaining, as in the absence of any more new Grandaddy recordings, this is more than an able substitute. Highly whimsical and quirky, the songs on this wondrous debut is simultaneously buzzy, weird, hilarious, charming, dynamic and touching. I mean when you get songs like the distorted I’m All Fucked On Beer and the sublimely gorgeous Ghosts of Syllables, you know you’re in for one heck of a ride.

The other highlights include the ELO-channeling G N D N (sounding like an outtake of Sumday), the country-folky soothing Lonesome Co., the melancholic/haunting I Left U Cuz I Luft U and the lovely title track. With last year’s Lytle solo effort and this Admiral Radley album, its almost Grandaddy never left and I for one could not be happier.

I Heart California will be released on 1st July.

Official Site | Myspace



Well, I guess everyone is entitled to his or her opinion, no matter how much I may disagree with said opinion. And when it comes to music, it gets even more subjective. But how do you react to someone claiming that Noel Gallagher is her favourite songwriter?

You could say that this person has bad taste, has listened to very little music and therefore, is not making a informed choice. What does Gallagher himself say about his songwriting?

In a 1996 Guitar World interview, Gallagher described himself as “a fan who writes songs” and stated, “I’m not saying, ‘I’m the greatest songwriter in the world. Listen to me.’ Usually, I’m saying, ‘These are the greatest songwriters in the world. And I’m gonna put them all in this song”‘. His response to critics about the topic of “blatantly pinching riffs” was, “No, I don’t feel guilty. But you feel pissed off because you didn’t do it first.” Gallagher also famously claimed that he has no clue what the lyrics on Don’t Look Back In Anger are about!

If nothing else, the man is brutally honest but what he is basically doing is giving all songwriters the two-fingered salute. Bottom line is that he gave people what they wanted – pinching Beatles riffs, Stevie Wonder tunes, Velvet Underground chords – and packaged the elements into an accessible form. All by happy accident, I would suggest, as Gallagher is probably not sharp enough to carry out any of this by design.

And I know that there is a certain age group – those who grew up in the 90s who adore Oasis and those of us a little older who love the Beatles and heard post-punk first hand, find Gallagher’s work trite and risible. But that’s the beauty of opinions, isn’t it? I am sure that there are those in my father’s generation who considered rock ‘n’ roll “so much noise”. But I daresay that good music is self-evident and its worth and merit may be substantiated by “objective” standards. That may almost be impossible to do but someone’s got to try…


Another week, another dose of PoP TV!

MAPLE MARS – STARTING OVER (AGAIN) (off upcoming new album)

THE NEW LOUD – SECRETS (off new album, Measures Melt)

SHELLSHAG – RESILIENT BASTARD (off new album, Rumors in Disguise)



Two pre-World Cup warm up wins in a row against Mexico (3-1) and Japan (2-1) certainly looks good on paper for England’s World Cup ambitions. However, the victories belie the lacklustre performances in both games from the English side. Sure, you can argue that you can never judge from these inconsequential friendlies but the tepid manner in which the English went about their business must be troubling coach Fabio Capello somewhat.

Yesterday, the out-of-form Japanese team made England look ordinary, taking an early lead and handling England’s attacks comfortably. The Japanese could even afford the luxury of conceding a penalty which Frank Lampard inexplicably failed to convert. Unfortunately, for the Japanese, they contrived to give away two late own goals to hand England an undeserved win.

Luck is certainly a vital factor in winning World Cups and if England can manage this kind of fortune in the tournament, then they will go far. Perhaps the English players are feeling the effects of a long and hard Premiership season. In any case, Capello has his work cut out to whip England into competitive shape. Knowing Capello, he will probably go with tried and tested players when he selects his final squad of 23 and keep experimentation to a minimum.


Welcome to the latest instalment of Power of Pop Confidential (formerly S-Rock Confidential) wherein I review music specifically submitted for analysis. This will cover bands/artists without an album or EP for review.


Every once in a while, you hear a song that basically takes your head off and you’re left wondering what the hell just happened?!!!

Well, Apple of My Eye is one of those songs. Best part yet? This gem comes from three 16 year olds in Singapore! Consisting of Dillon Keshvani (vocals, guitars), Eugene Soh (bass) and Kumarr (drums), the Roses distill the coolest part of late 80s/early 90s alt-rock/grunge in this sub 3 minute instant classic.

Deceptively basic, the song runs through various riffs and patterns that suggest garage punk, jazz-blues and hard rock leanings whilst expressing delicious non sequitur ravings – “Oh my god, this is insane. There’s no balance left, in my brain!” so the chorus goes… Add to that insane changes in time signatures and what you have is a track you need to keep on repeat. Constantly.

Frankly, I’m rather astonished by the control and maturity displayed by a band this young. The potential is mind-boggling – can the Roses live up to all this hype and expectation? I certainly hope so…

Check out the Roses at Reverbnation and a video of Apple of My Eye below.



I can’t for the life recall much of World Cup 1978, hosted by Argentina, except that I was rooting for the hosts in the final – against the Dutch, who had qualified for their second successive final. I also do not remember watching any of the matches live – except the final of course. As I mentioned earlier, I was supporting Argentina so thoroughly enjoyed the final.

The Dutch, without Johan Cryuff – who had withdrawn from the squad before the finals – in their distinctive bright Orange Adidas jerseys – were strong and the Argentineans had qualified after a controversial 6-0 victory over Peru. However, it was the host nation who drew first blood with a flash of individual brilliance from striker Mario Kempes.

Like four years earlier in Munich, the Dutch fought back in the second period to make up the one-goal deficit and this time they succeeded. Nanniga heading home in the dying minutes of the game. In extra time, Kempes (with another fine solo goal) and Daniel Bertoni made the difference and Argentina became World Champions for the first time in their history.

After the World Cup, two members of that cup winning squad became the first foreign players in the English First Division, when Ossie Ardiles and Ricky Villa joined Spurs. But that’s another story altogether…


So much music… so little time. I must confess that there are CDs that I’ve overlooked in the last couple of years for review and so… this new feature will take 8 such albums and give them all quickie soundbite reviews. Let’s see how far this gets us…

HOODOO GURUS Stoneage Romeos reissue (2006) Re-release of the Aussie post-punk legends’s debut album (originally released in 1984) which is a good reflection of the time – premium garage-folk-pop that continues to resonate to this day. Includes three bonus tracks. www.hoodoogurus.net

PINK NASTY Mold the Gold (2006) Pink Nasty is the singer-songwriter (not the band) and by all accounts, this LP will appeal to all alt-country lovers out there, as Pink has a firm grasp of how country tunes work with an indie rock vibe. Includes contributions from Bonnie Prince Billy. www.pinknasty.net

PETER BJORN AND JOHN Falling Out (2005) Sophisticated pop is the order of the day for these clever Swedes. Since this sophomore effort, PB&J have gone from strength to strength. You can see why with the impressive songwriting evident here. www.peterbjornandjohn.com

PATRIK TANNER AND THE FARAWAY MEN Full Auto Shut Off (2006) A little disappointing after the excellent Soft (2005) but fans of Neil Young, Steve Wynn and dark-edged country blues rock will find something to enjoy on this. www.patriktanner.com

RICHARD X HEYMAN Actual Sighs (2007) One that got away – this 20 track paean to 60s/70s powerpop is absolutely essential for anyone interested in the US Pop Underground. Authentic melodies and production. www.richardxheyman

COACHWHIPS Peanut Butter and Jelly Live at the Ginger Minge (2005) Apparently this was the last album from the SF-based garage punk noiseniks. Completely lo-fi, “in your face” indecipherable. Go figure. www.narnackrecords.com

THE SPONGETONES Number 9 (2005) These powerpop legends are unabashed about their love for all things Beatlesque. I mean, many of us adore the Fab Four but few have the uncanny gift to recreate the music of our beloved heroes as the Spongetones obviously do. www.spongetones.com

HERB EIMERMAN Just Barely Famous (2006) As much as I respect and enjoy the milieu that Eimerman works in, there is something about the production and performance that just falls short of doing justice to the 60s-centric songs presented here. Pity. Myspace page

That’s it for this week – let’s see what crops up next time around…


‘Basement In My Loft to take the roof off the Prince of Wales’


Saturday 12th June

Prince of Wales , 191 Dunlop St. , Little India

starts:10pm ends:12 midnight

Myspace | Facebook


I know that this is pretty much last minute BUT if you’ve got no concrete plans for today, check out the Great Audio Experience.

More details at the GAE site.

Starting from 3 key points along the Orchard belt at 4.30pm, participants and celebrity guests will tune in to 987FM and follow 987FM Mister Young’s instructions. They will be involved in a series of fun activities to live it up without lighting up – in a moving flash mob that will end up at Plaza Singapura. At Plaza Singapura, participants and celebrity guests will party with bands such as The Fire Fight, Pervy Boy, Stellastory, Black Diamond Ninjas and The Auditory Effect.

Sadly, I pulled my back this morning or else I’d see you there.


SHELLSHAG Rumors in Disguise (Don Giovanni)

The guy Johnny “Shell” plays guitar (and sings) whilst the gal Jen “Shag” plays drums (and also sings). I know what you’re thinking – White Stripes, right? Well, yes and no.

I mean, sure, that “fact” ties Johnny & Jen to Jack & Meg somewhat but as I’ve often ranted and raved, its all about the songs. What do they say? Let’s put it this way, it’s refreshing to listen to a band that knows its shit y’know. At its most basic, Shellshag songs string together the history of lo-fi melodic fuzzed-up guitar rock drones – The Velvet Underground, the Stooges, T. Rex, the Ramones, Joan Jett & the Blackhearts, Jesus and Mary Chain, Sonic Youth, Dinosaur Jr, Guided by Voices, Pixies, Nirvana – all feature as choice inspirations for these stripped down paeans to pure rock bliss.

In songs like the groovin’ Resilient Bastard, the relentlessly drivin’ He Said She Said, the slowburning caustic Get Right and the primal Rock and Roll Ruined My Life, Shellshag demonstrate that they possess the right influences and the means to express them creatively to deserve the attention of all discerning rock lovers.

Fifteen tracks of consistently and dynamically intriguing songs with little filler merits a PoP recommendation. Check Shellshag out. NOW.

Free download – Crashing Rockets



It’s a public holiday here in scorching Singapore, so hopefully here are a couple of music videos to cool things down.

The Phenomenal Handclap Band – Baby (from the eponymous album)

Deathface – The Horror (from the Horror EP)

DEATHFACE — THE HORROR EP Promo from Trouble & Bass on Vimeo.

ShiGGa Shay – Nothin’ On You (feat. Inch Chua)



This is not a review of the final season of LOST or even the series finale which was televised recently. I merely wish to convey my views on what the final season meant to me personally.

I may have previously mentioned that like many people, I watched the LOST pilot way back in 2004 and was impressed by it. However, I never was quite able to keep up with the series and lost track. Before you know it, four seasons had passed me by and it seemed difficult to pick it up.

Then, one day, I walked into a DVD store and the box sets for the first three seasons were all going for half price. An offer I could not refuse and so I purchased them and well, became hooked to the show! Season 4 soon followed and I become an obsessed LOSTie.

The final season, as usual with the series, resolved some mysteries and raised new ones, the introduction of the flash-sideways kept the series consistent with the two plotline structure but with a twist. At the time, of course, all I knew was this was an alternate reality – and as a sci-fi/comic book geek – I’m pretty familiar with those. It was fun to see how the characters had different lives from the ones portrayed in the “real” timeline. There were even episodes dedicated to the back stories of Richard Alpert, Jacob and the “man in black” which – as previously mentioned – answered questions but raised more as well.

Now to the controversial denouement. We now know that the flash-sideways world is a “limbo” or “Purgatory” type existence which the LOST characters created (how is not evident) so that they might “find” each other before “moving on” to their next destination – heaven? Again, who knows? On the island, Jack defeats the “man in black” and saves the island from destruction but at the cost of his own life, Hurley and Ben become the new guardians of the island and Kate, Sawyer, Frank, Miles, Richard and Claire fly off the island on Ajira 316. In the flash-sideways world, Jack is the last to realize that he is dead as his father, Christian, explains to him what has happened. In the church hall – ostensibly the funeral of Christian – hosts the reunion of the LOST characters – a scene which has struck many as mawkish and sentimental.

Personally, as much as LOST was about the convoluted plotlines, it was more about the characters which the producers/writers and actors developed over the course of six seasons and their interactions amongst each other, that made LOST compelling. Thus, even though the characters were largely put through the wringer in the series, there is the comfort that there is a “happy ending”. This is, of course, a very religious viewpoint but one I have no problem ascribing to. The scenes between Jack and Christian were particularly poignant for those who have lost loved ones, like myself, realizing the promise of reuniting with them in the afterlife. Whatever your religious views may be, surely that very idea cannot be objectionable.

There you have it – like the finale of Battlestar Galactica – I felt pleased and empty at the same time, entertained by a well-crafted work and yet saddened that it was all over. But of course, whilst it may only be a TV show, LOST is not over, as the plots and theories will continue to be discussed by its fans for years to come. Kudos to all involved for giving us this amazing LOST experience.


A little late to the game but worth the wait definitely. The Whole Bloody Affair is the two Kill Bill films seen as a complete 4-hour mad adrenaline rush. Possibly one of the best films I’ve ever seen. Really.

Simply put, Kill Bill is the classic B-grade revenge flick. And in Kill Bill, director Quentin Tarantino pours out almost every cliche imaginable in geek films and creates a visual and narrative masterpiece in the process. Plotwise the film never strays too far from formula. Victim of crime takes revenge against the perpetrators, one by one and whilst that is a really bare-boned premise, Tarantino puts enough flesh to satisfy every meat-lover out there.

The action sequences are thrilling and not for the faint hearted recalling the classic samurai/kung fu movies of the past. In true Tarantino fashion the tale of the Bride’s (the brilliant Uma Thurman) revenge is told in a non-linear narrative, chock full of the radical character discussions that is Tarantino’s trademark. I particularly enjoyed the conversation at the end where Bill (the late great David Carradine) is detailing to the Bride the concepts behind Superman’s secret identity.

As much mainstream success as Tarantino’s last movie – Inglourious Basterds – achieved, its nowhere near the magnificence of Kill Bill. Bloody essential, in every sense.

Kill Bill – Volume One Kill Bill – Volume Two Kill Bill Vols. 1 & 2 (Box Set)


The Arcade Fire is set to release its third full-length studio album, The Suburbs, on August 3rd on Merge Records. Pre-order The Suburbs now on CD and double-LP in the Merge store now and receive Month of May and The Suburbs for download immediately.

Written, arranged, performed and produced by the Arcade Fire and co-produced by Markus Dravs, The Suburbs was recorded around Montreal and New York over the past two years.

A double A side, limited edition 12” will be available in record stores from May 27th 2010, featuring the tracks “The Suburbs” and “Month of May.” Both songs will be available for immediate download with pre-orders placed in the Merge store and at arcadefire.com.



For a decade now, this Canadian “indie” supergroup has been providing to discerning music lovers, sophisticated pop-rock of the highest order. Together is the band’s fifth album and lives up to its illustrous predecessors. As usual, Colin (ex-Zumpano) Newman is the ring-leader of this exotic circus with the usual suspects onboard viz. Neko Case, Dan (Destroyer) Bejar, Kathryn (Immaculate Machine) Calder, John (Evaporators) Collins, Kurt (Age of Electic) Dahle & Todd (Limblifter) Fancey. In addition, the presence of guests St Vincent, Zach (Beirut) Cordon and Will (Okkevill River) Sheff. And if you’ve not heard of these other fine underground bands, then the New Pornographers is a good introduction to their wild talents.

It’s comforting to know that in a world of pre-fabricated pop fodder, a band like the New Pornographers is allowed to exist and thrive and music this inventive and reverent continues to be made. Imagine the inspiration of the Beatles, the Byrds, the Beach Boys, Badfinger, ELO, Queen, Jellyfish stirred vigorously to produce a sumptuous pop feast and you get a good idea of what a New Pornographers album sound like.

With Newman and Bejar providing the songs and with Case and Calder supplying vocal counterpoints, the music on Together is a joy to listen to, pure and simple. How else can you describe the lush dynamism of Moves, the powerful confection of Your Hands (Together), the chiming drive of Silver Jenny Dollar, the epic balladry of My Shepherd, the rustic charm of Valkyrie in the Roller Disco and sweet atonal lo-fidelity of We End Up Together?

Pop scholars will spend days and weeks dissecting the myriad levels offered by Together but if you just love good music, you will find much to savor as well.

Official Site



Well, here we go… the first instalment of Power of Pop Confidential (formerly S-Rock Confidential) wherein I review music specifically submitted for analysis. This will cover bands/artists without an album or EP for review.

MUSICALSIN I Just Wanna Be Myself (Demo)

It took a while longer than I thought but I finally received a submission from Nicholas Wu. Nicholas is a singer songwriter and aspiring musician who is from Singapore (Asia). According to him, he’s been writing music for a long while, and been trying his hand at doing simple production work at home with Logic Pro. He records under the name, Musicial Sin and his music can be found at musicalsin.com

Recently, Nicholas released a song – I Just Wanna Be Myself – which I will now analyse.

The track opens with a guitar (which to these ears sounds out of tune), with an introduction that recalls Deep Purple’s Child In Time! As the verse begins, it has all the trappings of a soft rock ballad, including Nicholas’ hushed vocals. In an interesting twist, there is a jazz-feel to the pre-chorus with a call-and-response vocal arrangement.

However, once the chorus hits, the melody line is cliched and does not offer too much to remember it by. From then on, the song pattern repeats without much variation. From then on, the song would greatly benefit from more arrangements. Due to that, the song seems to wear out its welcome very quickly.

The song has potential with perhaps a better choral tune and a tightening up of the arrangements. Check out the demo below.

Do you agree with my song analysis? Comments, please.

Thanks to Nicholas for having the cajones to make the submission! I hope the analysis is helpful to him and I wish him all the best with his musical endeavours. Is there anyone else who would like his/her/their song analysed in the same manner. If so, please write me – info(at)powerofpop(d0t)com.


1. Why play music?

Why breathe?

2. Who are your influences?

The Beatles. John, Paul, George solo. Elton John. Eric Clapton.

3. What is success?


4. Why should people buy your music?

Because I think it will make them happy and how many things in life, day to day, make you happy? Songs you can sing, do. That’s what I hope my music accomplishes.

5. Who do you love?

My wife and children.

6. What do you hope to achieve with your music?


7. Who comes to your gigs?

My fans.

8. What is your favorite album?

The Red Button album, “She’s About to Cross My Mind” and The Beatles’ “Magical Mystery Tour” and “Yesterday and Today”.

9. What is your favorite song?

Hello, Goodbye/The Beatles

Strawberry Fields Forever/The Beatles

Penny Lane/The Beatles

The Rain, The Park and Other things/The Cowsills

10. How did you get here?

I took a left at Greenland.

Seth Swirsky’s new album – Watercolor Day – is out now.


YAEL MEYER Heartbeat EP (Self-released)

I’ve said this before and it bears repeating. I don’t care what you look like or whether you’ve got perfect pitch, if you write songs that are sweet to the ear and touch the hear, you’ve got my vote!

Now, singer-songwriter Yael Meyer is candy both to eye and ear – which is fine in themselves – but what counts to me is her talented songwriting which keeps things sincere and simple. Melodies that ring out, complemented by instrumentation that completes the pleasing package.

I guess you could say that Meyer’s style is mainly soft folk-pop, with equal emphasis on both. This 5-track EP is near perfection – in that I cannot find much wrong with it. Crystal clear vocals & harmonies, pristine acoustic guitars and tight percussions envelope these enjoyable songs. So really, there’s little point in highlighting any particular track cos you’re going to want to listen from start to finish and back to start again. Then repeat.

Female singer-songwriters are dime-a-dozen in 2010 but I appreciate the “old-school” approach that Meyer takes to songcraft. It’s really song first and everything else is built up from that foundation. Yes, folks, I surprised at how much I really liked the Heartbeat EP, but believe me, this one’s a keeper.

Official Site




As one football club sited on the English coast drops out of the Premiership, another rises up to take its place. Last night, Blackpool FC (considered by most experts to be relegation candidates from the Championship at the beginning of the 2009-2010 season) defeated Cardiff City to claim the third promotion spot into the Premiership.

By all acounts, it was a thrilling game, with all five goals coming in a frenetic first half. Blackpool had to come from behind twice before snatching the ultimate winning goal on the stroke of half-time. Cardiff tried their best but the closest they got was Michael Chopra hitting the woodwork with a thunderous drive. The Welsh side continued to carve out chances but poor decision making meant that it would be Blackpool making its debut in the top tier of English football in 2010-2011.

But now the hard work begins. Certainly Blackpool has over-achieved this season and one wonders how they can possibly survive next season. After all, their record transfer fee is £500,000, a sum many Prem superstars earn in a month and even with the injection of funds, I reckon their stay will be a short one.

Good or bad?

It might be tempting for Blackpool to pocket the money, invest frugally and live to fight another day when they inevitably do return to the Championship, rather like Burnley, I guess. Or they can go for broke, have a couple of exciting seasons and end up in administration, like Pompey.

Yes, I suppose it seems churlish to write them off a day after they’ve earned promotion but those are the harsh facts, I’m afraid. Even clubs better equipped than Blackpool – like Newcastle, West Brom, West Ham, Wolves, Wigan & even Birmingham – will struggle to stay up.

But that’s something to chew on much later, for now, let Blackpool enjoy the fairy tale while it lasts.


SETH SWIRSKY Watercolor Day (Grimble)

Sometimes I truly believe that the reason why Power of Pop exists is so that I can ruminate about albums like Watercolor Day.

I’ve heard folks talk about rock ‘n’ roll as “classical music” to modern rock but really its more like the groundbreaking music of the 60s and 70s – y’know true pop music. You know what I mean. And like classical music, true pop music can only be properly performed by accomplished craftsmen, experts in the form.

Someone like Seth Swirsky.

Swirsky is a published songwriter in his own right, having penned notable songs for Taylor Dayne, Al Green and Rufus Wainwright, amongst others. But not only that, Swirsky has – with his debut solo album, Instant Pleasure and with The Red Button – demonstrated an uncanny affinity to distill the key ingredients of true pop music to serve pop lovers a veritable feast of sophisticated melodic gems.

Now with his second solo album – Watercolor Day – Swirsky continues to build on his brilliant work with music that is firmly grounded in the Beatles, Beach Boys, the Byrds, the Kinks, the Zombies, Left Banke, ELO, Harry Nilsson, Badfinger and their numerous followers.

Immaculately produced (by Swirsky and Cloud Eleven’s Rick Gallego), the 18 tracks on Watercolor Day will transport the willing listener to another time, when melody was king and dense arrangements/productions were the order of the day. Drawing from the inspirations of Phil Spector, Brian Wilson, Todd Rundgren, Lindsay Buckingham and the like, the lush production on Watercolor Day will thrill scholars of the art of true pop.

I’m glad to say that together with Mark Bacino’s Queens English, Watercolor Day is proof positive that true pop is alive, well and kicking ass!

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