Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Still looking for christmas gifts? - On sale now:

Brandon Schott - Holiday Sale
All of Brandon Schott's released output in one big package - autographed by the man himself:
1. "RELEASE" album (CD - 2003)
2. "GOLDEN STATE album (CD - 2007)
3. "DANDELION album (Digital Only Release - available this season in full-fidelity audio on a home-made CD-R w/ special limited edition packaging. Featuring new artwork by local LA artist, John Seymore)
4. Home-Made Bonus "MIX" CD-R - filled w/ Brandon's iTunes singles in full-fidelity audio as well as a couple of bonus tracks exclusive to this collection!
5. Special Bonus Surprise CD
6. AND a Special Bonus (Awesome) Gift!
PRICE: $33 including shipping and handling
NOTE: Please be sure to specify who you'd like your CDs signed to (if at all).
Buy it here.

Mike Viola - Hang On Mike & Melon
"Melon" is available on amazon and itunes now.
"Hang On Mike" on vinyl with 27 bonus tracks (mp3s) Will ship in time for Christmas (domestic). They are super deluxe editions... just gorgeous... the artist who did the CD artwork did the vinyl GATEFOLD edition... and it's remastered for vinyl. Sounds incredible. AND... there are 27 crazy bonus tracks. Songs in progress. Songs that didn't make the cut. Songs half finished. Weirdo studio Candy Butchers jamming.
You can buy it at Mike's site here.

Ned Brower (from Rooney) - Great To Say Hello
Ned's first solo CD is available directly on his website here as CD or at itunes. You can preview it there too. By the way: it's produced by Mike Viola.

Monday, December 6, 2010

Album Top 10 of 2010

So, here are my fav records of the year 2010:

1. Bleu - FOUR (Highlight: Ya Catch More Flies With Honey Than Vinegar, How Blue)

2. Guster - Easy Wonderful (Highlight: Bad Bad World, Stay With Me Jesus)

3. Aqualung - Magnetic North (Highlight: Fingertip, Reel Me In)

4. Jeremy Fisher - Flood (Highlight: Shine A Little Light)

5. Justin Currie - The Great War (Highlight: The Way That It Falls)

6. Rooney - Eureka (Highlight: I Can't Get Enough)

7. OK Go - Of The Blue Colour Of The Sky (Highlight: End Love - also the video!)

8. Mark Bacino - Queens English (Highlight: Middle Town, Queens English)

9. Owsley - Changes (no offical release, but an excellent collection of unreleased stuff by Pop Fair - RIP Will. Highlight: Changes, When Lonely Comes Around)

10. Darwin Deez - Darwin Deez (Highlight: Radar detector, Up in the clouds)

Monday, November 22, 2010


Jellyfish were never known by broad public and after only 4 years as a group, they went seperate ways. And even though they only had two records, the group's critical acclaim and fanbase have made them icons in power-pop music. Singer Andy Sturmer and keyboardist Roger Joseph Manning Jr., along with guitarist Jason Falkner, had their own solo careers later on.

In 1990's Bellybutton Jellyfish released their debut album. Before finishing their second record, both Chris Manning and Jason Falkner quit the band. Producer Jon Brion and Lyle Workman worked for the band's 1993 record. On Spilt Milk they collected the influences of their idols - the Beatles, the Beach Boys, ELO & Queen and created this pop record.

Five years after disbanding - in 1999 - Greatest, a 14-song collection of Jellyfish material was released.

In 2002 an unexpected release of a Jellyfish box set named Fan Club released by NotLame (R.I.P. NotLame ....) surfaced. It was packed with dozens of unreleased tracks, rare material - just great stuff.

1990 Bellybutton
1993 Spilt Milk
1999 Greatest
2002 Fan Club (Boxset)

Adrian Bourgeois

To let Adrian Bourgeois speak for himself: "My music at it’s most basic essence is pop if you had to pick a genre. Pop tends to be associated with shallowness by some but tell that to John Lennon, Brian Wilson or Elvis Costello. Some of the most ambitious, adventurous of the past 100 years has been pop music. The thing I like most about pop is that whatever dressing you put over the top of it, at it’s core is a song that just has this universal appeal to it that leaves no one out. It’s world peace in the form of a song!"

He will release his second record soon, his new single "Time Can’t Fly A Plane" was released just some days ago.

His first album:

And his new song "Time Can’t Fly A Plane" here:

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Badly Drawn Boy

A decade ago - in June 2000 "The Hour of the Bewilderbeast" announced the arrival of Badly Drawn Boy - or Damon Gough. His debut may be a perfect album. Every song is catchy and wonderfully crafted.


* The Hour Of The Bewilderbeast (2000)
* About A Boy (2002)
* Have You Fed The Fish? (2002)
* One Plus One Is One (2004)
* Born In The U.K. (2006)
* Is There Nothing We Could Do? (2009)
* It's What I'm Thinking Pt.1 – Photographing Snowflakes (2010)


This time I'll make it short: Guster. Three videos. Three songs. Just perfect.

You can preorder their new album Easy Wonderful (with Bad Bad Day and Stay With Me Jesus) here or here.


Ivy was formed in 1994: Andy Chase (Brookville) and Adam Schlesinger (Fountains Of Wayne, Tinted Windows) convinced Dominique Durand, who had never before sung in a group, to record a demo tape with them.

Til today Ivy released six studio records:

* 1995: Realistic
* 1997: Apartment Life
* 2001: Long Distance
* 2002: Guestroom
* 2005: In The Clear

If you give it a try, start with "In The Clear" and "Long Distance".
Or just listen to these two songs:

Jeremy Fisher

The Vancouver-based artist Jeremy Fisher used his hands - which are generally affixed to his acoustic guitar - to shoot the stop-motion footage  of his $60 homemade video for Cigarette which has became a viral phenomenon of mega-proportions on YouTube, with more than 2 million views.

Fisher’s last album, Goodbye Blue Monday, is a timeless burst of acoustic rock & roll that’s playful and provocative. Cigarette which employs the cancer stick as a metaphor for addictive relationships - the enticement, the yearning, the withdrawal and the damage. Or Scar That Never Heals which examines the anatomy of heartbreak. At the same time, both are thoroughly infectious tracks with choruses that are, well, addictive.

His new album Flood will bis relesed in October 2010.

Saturday, August 28, 2010

The Genuine Fakes

The Genuine Fakes is a powerpop band from Stockholm formed in 2005.
Cool thing: their debut single was a cover of "All I Want for Christmas Is You".
In 2010 the single "I Don't Want It" was released, followed by "When reality hits you". The album will be out in fall 2010.
Very catchy songs - I like it!

<a href="http://music.thegenuinefakes.com/album/when-reality-hits-you">When Reality Hits You by The Genuine Fakes</a>

<a href="http://music.thegenuinefakes.com/track/i-dont-want-it-radio-edit">I Don't Want It (Radio Edit) by The Genuine Fakes</a>

Mixed videos

Four videos with no real connection except one: It's really good music:

Mike Viola - Virginia (The Nines cover):

Ben Folds Five - Don't Change Your Plans:

Bleu and Jim Boggia - Human Nature (Michael Jackson cover):

Mike Viola - Good Ideas Grow On Trees:

Review: Tears For Fears - Everybody Loves a Happy Ending

Tears for Fears formed in the early 1980s by Roland Orzabal and Curt Smith. After their number one albums The Hurting, Songs from the Big Chair and The Seeds of Love, Smith and Orzabal broke up, while Orzabal used their name in the 1990s. Gladly they reformed in 2004 and released Everybody Loves a Happy Ending, an album you should listen to!

The opening track Everybody Loves a Happy Ending shows what to expect from the album. Several melodies and tempo changes, held together by a stunning arrangement and big production.

Call Me Mellow and Size Of Sorrow is powerpop all over. Hard to get this out of you head after you listened to it.

The Last Days On Earth closes the album. It has a great keyboard and lovely lyrics. It makes me want more! Now!

One of the best music videos ever - Sowing The Seeds Of Love:

The lead Single from Everybody Loves A Happy Ending - Closest Thing to Heaven:

Saturday, July 31, 2010

+ + + News July 2010 + + +

Bleu in the UK and The Kickstarter Campaign

Bleu will tour in the UK in October 2010 - read more here or here on Facebook.
First confirmed date: 23/10/2010 London, The Borderline.

His kickstarter campaign to promote (or better to collect money to promote) his new album "Four" is still running for one month. The aim (8000$) was reached within 12 hours! Now it's at 27.000$ and rising!


A new band on the horizon - Oranjuly.

Their self titled debut album is on sale now. Listen to the songs on their official site.
I won't mention Jellyfish now ... although it would be right ... but I won't.

PowerPopSquare - Sampler Vol. 8

So, here's sampler no. eight. hope you all like it. Some more to go!

01 Jay Clifford - Know When To Walk Away
02 Coldplay - Life In Technicolor II
03 Nada Surf - Blankest Year
04 Goldfrapp - Fly Me Away
05 Ben Folds Five - Army
06 Neil Diamond - Delirious Love
07 Badly Drawn Boy - You Were Right
08 Nik Kershaw - What Do You Think Of It So Far¿
09 Ron Sexsmith - Cheap Hotel
10 Owsley - Class Clown
11 The Polyphonic Spree - Light & Day
12 Josh Rouse - Sad Eyes
13 Gomez - Hamoa Beach
14 Kt Tunstall - Another Place To Fall
15 Cary Brothers - Ride
16 Howie Day - Collide
17 Feist - I Feel It All
18 Brendan Benson - Trouble With You (Demo)
19 Ben Folds - Songs Of Love

PowerPopSquare - Sampler Vol. 7

01 - Spoon - The Book I Write
02 - New Radicals - Mother We Just Can't Get Enough
03 - Badly Drawn Boy - A Peak You Reach
04 - Coldplay - I Ran Away
05 - Chairlift - Bruises
06 - Gomez - Girlshapedlovedrug
07 - Aimee Mann - Pavlov's Bell
08 - Del Amitri - Here And Now
09 - Colin Hay - Waiting For My Real Life To Begin
10 - Nik Kershaw - Fiction
11 - Ben Folds - Landed (Strings Version)
12 - Blue – Jayhawks
13 - Mike Viola - The Strawberry Blonde
14 - David Mead - Rainy Weather Friend
15 - Jesus & Mary Chain - Just Like Honey
16 - Howie Day - Brace Yourself
17 - Imogen Heap - Hide And Seek
18 - Jason Falkner - Lost Myself

PowerPopSquare - Sampler Vol. 6

01 Nik Kershaw - Somebody Loves You
02 Nada Surf - Always Love
03 Travis - How Many Hearts
04 Ryan Adams - When The Stars Go Blue
05 Ben Kweller - Nothing Happening
06 Ben Folds - Cologne
07 Crowded House - Lost Island
08 Brendan Benson - Alternative To Love
09 Leo (Bleu) - Sukaz Are Born Every Minute
10 Beck - Lost Cause
11 Stephen Duffy & The Lilac Time-Bank Holiday Monday
12 Aimee Mann - Momentum
13 Nada Surf - Whose Authority
14 Nik Kershaw - Die Laughing
15 Neil Finn - She Will Have Her Way
16 Michael Penn - High Time
17 Jude Cole - Raining On The Moon
18 Uncle Devil Show - I Had A Drink About You Last Night
19 Goldfrapp - Monster Love

PowerPopSquare - Sampler Vol. 5

01 Travis - Selfish Jean
02 Badly Drawn Boy - Born Again
03 Brendan Benson - Cold Hands Warm Heart
04 Aimee Mann - Wise Up
05 Keith Caputo - New York City
06 Nik Kershaw - Already
07 Sufjan Stevens - Chicago
08 Michael Penn - Walter Reed
09 Jon Brion - Here We Go
10 Gomez - Don't Make Me Laugh
11 Jason Falkner - The Knew
12 Ron Sexsmith - Not About To Lose
13 Stephen Duffy - In Iverna Gardens
14 Hotel Lights - Down
15 Colin Hay - Overkill (Acoustic Version)
16 Josh Rouse - God Please Let Me Go Back
17 The Dbs - World To Cry
18 Badly Drawn Boy - Welcome To The Overground
19 Jason Falkner - Goodnight Sweet Night

PowerPopSquare - Sampler Vol. 4

01 Jim Boggia - So Full
02 Ben Folds - Gone
03 Beck - Everybodys Gotta Learn Sometimes
04 Jason Falkner - Start Over Again
05 Jon Brion - Gotta Start Somewhere
06 David Bowie - Thursday's Child
07 Crowded House - Pineapple Head
08 Ron Sexsmith - Hard Bargain
09 Peter Gabriel - Solsbury Hill
10 Nik Kershaw - One Day
11 David Mead - Make It Right
12 Ben Kweller - Penny On A Train Track
13 Ben Folds Five - Don't Change Your Plans
14 Aimee Mann - 31 Today
15 New Radicals - Flowers
16 Calexico - Bisbee Blue
17 Coldplay - Warning Sign
18 Crash Test Dummies - My Own Sunrise
19 Del Amitri - Don't Come Home Too Soon

Thursday, July 22, 2010

+++ Breaking news +++ Preorder "Bleu - Four" and he will cook for you! +++

You can now preorder the new CD of Bleu called Four (scheduled for autumn 2010).
But that's not just it! Let the man himself explain HERE.

To sum it up, if you spend money for promoting this CD you can get
- the CD (not very surprising) - also with an autograph
- unreleased stuff
- a handwritten 'Thank You' card
- tickets to his show
- he will COOK for you
- a video chat
- a birthday song written by him
- a house concert (in the USA)
- producing a song with him - even for his next CD (and choose a song title!)
- and finally: his big "Thank you"

So people - you know what you have to do!

Saturday, July 17, 2010

PowerPopSquare - Sampler Vol. 3

Here you have number three:

PowerPopSquare - Sampler Vol. 3:

01 Stephen Duffy - Home
02 Stephen Duffy - Don't feed the rats
03 Jason Falkner - In your eyes
04 Hotel Lights - Chemical clouds
05 Ben Folds - Learn To Live With What You Are
06 Coldplay - Yes
07 Aimee Mann - That's how i knew this story would break my heart
08 Del Amitri - Last Cheap Shot At The Dream
09 Travis - Chinese blues
10 Ben Lee - Whatever It Is
11 Bleu - We'll Do It All Again
12 The Nines - Dance just for me
13 Badly Drawn Boy - Something To Talk About
14 Nik Kershaw - All About You
15 Ryan Adams - New York, New York
16 Pelle Carlberg - Riverbank
17 Ron Sexsmith - All In Good Time
18 Jason Falkner - Say it's true
19 Tears for Fears - Size Of Sorrow

And again - the amazon link:

PowerPopSquare - Sampler Vol. 2

So I found a legal way to post at least song clips of the sampler - and here is volume two:

PowerPopSquare - Sampler Vol. 2:

01 Coldplay - Don't Panic
02 David Mead - Wherever You Are
03 Bleu - Somebody Else
04 Owsley - Coming Up Roses
05 Stephen Duffy - The kite & the sky
06 Jason Falkner - Author Unknown
07 Travis - Don't be shy
08 Lloyd Cole - What's Wrong With This Picture
09 Hotel Lights - Let Me Be the One
10 The Shins - Caring Is Creepy
11 The Nines - Drama Queen
12 Ron Sexsmith - Brandy Alexander
13 Jason Falkner - Clumsy grace
14 Travis - Colder
15 Ron Sexsmith - Hands Of Time
16 Stephen Duffy & The Lilac Time - This morning
17 Hotel Lights - Norina
18 The Nines - Darkening Sky
19 The Shins - Australia
20 Coldplay - Amsterdam
21 Ben Folds Five - Lullabye

Here is the amazon link to the songs:

Friday, July 16, 2010

PowerPopSquare - Sampler Vol. 1

So, something new to this blog: Some time ago I started to create my own PowerPopSquare mixtapes - til today there exist thirteen sampler.
If you like this, please respond, so I'll post further ones.
And if you have any easier or better way to post links to the songs in a legal way, please tell me!

Here it is - PowerPopSquare - Sampler Vol. 1:

The easier way is this (unfortunately not every song from the sampler is available in the amazon store...):

Monday, June 28, 2010

May I introduce you to ... Mark Bacino

To let him talk for himself - Mark Bacino says: "I’m an American singer/songwriter, producer, multi-instrumentalist born and raised in New York City".

Bacino's official debut, Pop Job…the long player! a great collection of carefree pop music (in a positive way!) was released in 1997. The album was promoted in NYCs "The Living Room" (still hope to get there when my daughter is old enough to travel long distances and gets interested in good music... *ahem*).
The second album, The Million Dollar Milkshake followed in 2003.

In May 2010 Bacino's third album Queens English was released.
All Music Guide descibes it as an album that "proves it's possible to introduce actual maturity into pop with no adverse effects". Bacino says "it’s sort of a melancholy love-letter to NYC and specifically life in the outer-boroughs".

But lets listen to what the man himself has to say:

  • "Queens English" (2010)
  • "The Million Dollar Milkshake" (2003)
  • "Pop Job...the long player!" (1997)
If you like the new CD buy it. Just one suggestion from me: if you buy it, do it via CDBaby (the link above) - the shipment email alone is it worth it to buy from them (but I won't tell you more!).

    + + + News June 2010 + + +

    Mike Viola & Kelly Jones - Melon EP
    Mike Viola & Kelly Jones have their new record Melon out in late July 2010. It can be preordered here  for 10$ + shipping.
    The special thing is: it's on vinyl. And for all who want to start to complain about it: you get it as a digital release too.

    Bleu in Europe!
    Bleu announced last week that he will be in the UK in October 2010 (for all Germans: keep your fingers crossed!) to promote his new album "Four". Which means, it's out in or before October 2010!

    To look beyond the rim of your teacup: New Chicane album in July 2010
    No, it's not PowerPop, it's not even Pop (well, sometimes...). But I don't want this blog to be too rigid.
    Chicane will release his new album "Giants" in July.
    Those who don't know Chicane: it's  ambient music. Try the album Behind The Sun. It fits to these summer days very well.

    Fran Healy – Wreckorder
    The frontman of Travis is going solo (not permanently!) with Wreckorder, his new CD. It's not clear when the record will be out, but Healy performs with Keane this July and August. So it may be very soon.

    Ben Folds - Lonely Avenue
    Ben has recorded an album with Nick Hornby. Yes, the author Nick Hornby (High Fidelity, About A Boy, A Long Way Down). Hornby wrote the lyrics, Folds built the songs around it. It will be out in late September.

    Friday, May 28, 2010

    Stephen Duffy & The Lilac Time

    Stephen Duffy seemed luckless for a long time: He was vocalist and bassist in a british band he left in 1979. One year later this band signed a contract with EMI. It was Duran Duran. He also refused the offer to write songs for a young singer. The girl was later known as Madonna.
    In the early 80s he had one hit in the UK with "Kiss Me", but never got recognized by public or the radio. His songs are melodious, introspective and warming.
    I suggest you should listen to his last two albums: "Runout Groove" or his Best Of with his Band The Lilac Time - "Memory & Desire".

    (start with: Another Time, The Kite And The Sky, A Dream Of A Girl)

    Compendium - The Fontana Trinity (another Best Of Collection)

    And if you like it, buy it!

    Saturday, May 1, 2010

    + + + News May 2010 + + +

    I'm still shocked about the sad loss of Will Owsley.
    But I want to give you a music news update for may 2010:

    Mike Viola: Three albums in 2010 & Vinyl!
    Mike has a new band: VICTOR. The new album "Electro De Perfecto" will be released soon.
    He produces also CD with Ned Brower (from Rooney) called "Great To Say Hello" und finally works on a Kelly Jones & Mike Viola duet EP. All this in 2010? Maybe. But there's more:
    "Hang On Mike", the last Candy Butchers album will get a re-release on vinyl. Mike is looking through demos and unreleased material (39 songs!) and wants to include this in the package as mp3s.
    Read more here.

    Ron Sexsmith
    Ron finished his new record. Seems it will be released in 2010.
    Producer is Bob Rock, who also worked with Metallica, Aerosmith, Bon Jovi, the Cult, Our Lady Peace or the Offspring.

    The new Aqualung CD "Magnetic North" was released some days ago. Have a listen!

    David Mead
    ... is just now creating a new album of sun-themed music called Vitamin D. He writes in his blog: "Vitamin D is produced by our bodies when we are exposed to sunlight. It makes us happy. Until we are burnt to a crisp."
    He already posted 3 songs here.

    Friday, April 30, 2010

    R.I.P. Will Owsley

    As reported today, Will Owsley passed away on April 30, 2010. It's sad to hear.
    R.I.P. Will. We will miss you.

    I normally don't post official material, but if you don't know him, you should listen to the little compilation I did of this great musician who died too early:

    RIP Will Owsley

    Thursday, April 8, 2010


    While listening to Rooney - a band formed in Los Angeles in 1999 - you will rediscover a lot of Jellyfish or The Beatles sound.

    2003 Rooney
    2007 Calling the World
    2009 Wild One EP
    2010 Eureka

    Listen to their last EP - Wild One

    You can order the new album "Eureka" (incl. autographed CD + T-Shirt) here:


    Wednesday, April 7, 2010


    Will Owsley - or Owsley - an american songwriter & producer released two CDs in 2000 und 2004, both have written powerpop all over:

    Owsley - listen @ amazon.com

    Sadly he stopped with his own music career and is now supporting other artists like Amy Grant.

    Here's a little something to cheer those up who hoped for new material (like me) - a recording of a live performance from 1999:

    Owsley - Live (1999)

    Bleu - again

    Last week (while expecting our baby any day...) there was an internet-stream of a Bleu gig. You still can watch it here:


    For all who haven't got the chance to see Bleu live (like me from Germany), I converted & cut the concert into a live album - here it is:

    Bleu - Live 2010 @ Ustream

    Saturday, April 3, 2010


    Another fav of mine: William James McAuley III, or short Bleu , is an american songwriter and musician. Besides his solo work (he has released three CDs: Headroom, Redhead and A Watched Pot) there are collaborations with Mike Viola (ELO, The Major Labels).

    Bleu - No Such Thing As Love

    Bleu - Come 'n' Go

    A Watched Pot - Listen & buy at amazon.com

    (Ya Catch More Flies With Honey Than Vinegar, How Blue!)

    Not PowerPop - but worth watching! Trololo!

    Eduard Khil is now 75 and has become a star - 30 years after his actual performance. The Russian sang a song without words (because of soviet censorship).
    Now he has a hundred thousand of fans, a bunch of remixes and an iphone app:


    And here's the remix! Listen!

    Friday, April 2, 2010

    Mike Viola

    There are so many awesome artists - I will start with my current favorite: Mike Viola.
    Most people will know him by the soundtrack for the movie "That Thing You Do" and the song of the same title.

    What you SHOULD know about him (besides this great song) is his music as The Candy Butchers, his collaborations with another fav of mine - Bleu - in bands like LEO and The Major Labels, as well es his solo stuff. I suggest you start with

    Mike Viola - Hair Of The Dog (Live)


    Where to start?

    Some years ago, while I started to discover new musicians and bands by this new thing named ... internet, I found a lot of similar music I could not sort by a genre. The songs where very melodic, pop-like and beatlesesque but anyhow different. Years later I learned the genre was named PowerPop.

    So, for everyone who is into this music and especially for those who still are not - I created this blog. I will talk about my favorite artists like Mike Viola, Bleu, Owsley, Ben Folds (Five), The Nines, Ben Kweller, Jason Falkner, Stephen Duffy & The Lilac Time, Brendan Benson, David Mead, Jim Boggia, Nik Kershaw and more.

    And I will post rare stuff by these artists (and I hope that's okay for them), but no official released songs or albums.