Friday, October 15, 2010

"Power Pop?" : THE WEEKEND MIX

Great discussion happening over at the very essential Power Pop blog. Our good friend Steve Simels wants to know, is "You Didn't Have To Be So Nice" by the Lovin' Spoonful "power pop?"

A few "yeas," but a few more "nays."

Go check it out HERE.

One reader, Mike, commented:

"My extremely basic definition of power pop would be "a Beatles song as performed by the Who." It's a bit too mellow to qualify, I'm afraid."

I liked that, and so did a few others, including our moderator, Steve.

I added these choice bits of tid, in regards to the genre:

"I need to hear guitars that either jangle or crunch and heavier drums."


"Couldn't a band have a power pop song or two and not be power pop? I think Todd Rundgren, thanks to "Couldn't I Just Tell You" and "Open My Eyes" and some Utopia tracks gets that label occasionally, but he has more songs that don't sound like that than do."

Seriously, go over there!

But while I've got you...

This "Weekend Mix" is a collection...mostly...of tunes by artists that are not considered "power pop" artists. The Who? Maybe the first 2 albums. Peter Frampton? Not at all. But more to the point...and this is for the skeptics...while you may usually be turned off by Foreigner, wouldn't this particular tune be a favorite of power pop fans if it was performed by... say... Jason Falkner? I hear it.

I happen to dig all of these tunes on their own, but for the sake of the argument, Wilco is not a power pop band, but "I Must Be High" could very well be considered power pop. This is what I'm hearing with all of the songs I selected for this mix; certainly not a collection of tunes that best represents these artists, but a mix that may sway you to a positive side, if you like power pop.

What do you think? Yea or nay?


So Sad About Us- The Who
Infrared & Ultraviolet- Utopia
White Lie- Foreigner
Still Alive- Joe Jackson
You Said That- The Easybeats
See You Tonight- Gene Simmons
When She Cries At Night- Delbert McLinton
Don't Run & Hide- The Everly Brothers
I Must Be High- Wilco
Friday Let Me Down - Hall & Oates
Call You Up- Pep In The Cat
I See You- Adrian Belew
I'm Gonna Make You Love Me- The Jayhawks
Waited A Long Time- Angel
Stay Free- The Clash
I'll Feel A Whole Lot Better- The Byrds
Don't Think About Me- Peter Frampton
Mississippi Moon- King's X
She's My Girl- The Babys
Ridin' In My Car- NRBQ



James A. Gardner said...

Sal, the question you, and originally, Steve Simels, pose is too deep for me on a Friday morning. I will enjoy listening to your weekend mix, however, and pondering this weighty matter!

Don't know about power pop, but I consider NRBQ's "Riding In My Car" to be the ideal comeback (ahem) vehicle for Gary Lewis & the Playboys.

Shriner said...

I would argue "See You Tonight" (great song) isn't that far removed from "You Didn't Have To Be So Nice" (exceptional song).

If you think one is PowerPop, you'd have to think the other is.

Gene Oberto said...

Thank you, James A. Though it is the middle of the afternoon here, my head hurts with just the thought of having to make a decision....

And this is why I love this site and Steve's, of course, its because it always brings me music that, whatever you call it, is interesting, something I missed in the last few decades or just plain good. At least some of the time.
Still haven't heard the reason for Bag of Soup.

So, to me, call it what you want, my criteria is always "I like it!" or "I'm not into that..."

misospecial said...

with stealth bonus: pep in the cat ;-). (that's my honey west emoticon)

steve simels said...

Good lord -- an Easybeats song I'm an unfamiliar with?

How can this be!!!!!!

Dave Lifton said...

I consider So Sad About Us to be power pop's ground zero.

mpjedi2 said...

Oh, Man!! Mississippi Moon is an amazing song. Always nice to see King's X get some recognition. A vastly underrated band.

Thanks, Sal.

shadreck said...

Thanks for the weekend mix - looks good!

Anonymous said...

Many great ones in this mix...a shocker from left field: Infrared and Ultraviolet...great choice...kudos....maybe it'll get some well-deserved play...This has been not -so-anonymous's nicer twin saying keep up the good work.

Meanstreets said...

Gene Clark, the late great " friend of us all " from The Byrds...writer & singer of " I'd Feel a Whole Lot Better "...

Good job made me pull out some Byrd stuff & now The Flying Burrito Brothers...

And Sal, listening to these two groups, I submit Merle Haggard's " Sing Me Back Home " as one of the 25 greatest songs ever written....

I'm sure you agree.

soundsource said...

who are these pep the cat fellows

Anything Should Happen said...

Great Mix Sal.

Meanstreets said...

You know me Sal, I am the last guy to criticize, Live & Let Live, tolerance is my middle name...


Why no tribute mix to " Gram Parsons " & his influence on The Byrds, Flying Burrito Brothers & progressive country music in general ?

A glaring omission from Burning Wood....

itsok2beright said...

Angel!?! I mean really, Angel! YES, one of my favorite guilty pleasures. I think Pedro still wears his shirt from their show with Judas Priest at the Palladium.

BTW, good mix. Please keep it up.