1982 – Waterloo Records, in Austin Texas, was south of the river and allowed for returns on vinyl records “just because you didn’t like it,” Louis was great at helping introduce you to new music. And XTC’s English Settlement came out, changing my musical trajectory forever.
Here’s the amazing opener, Runaways. If you don’t know XTC, this is nice gateway track. If you only know their three radio tracks (Generals and Majors, Mayor of Simpleton, and Dear God) you’re in for a treat. The entire album cuts fantastic jags through what had come before and defines the new XTC sound.
And though my son, Jason, was not named for the Jason and the Argonauts track on this record, it was definitely a factor.
In a Google hangout yesterday, I was chatting with some folks about music and the term power pop came up. I was describing a genre that seems to be semi-defined within my social circles. However a woman in the hangout, from a Thailand, asked, “What is power pop? What does it mean? Can you give me some examples?”
My first two examples have more to do with some music I am working on myself, but they did seem to capture the idea.
The two songs that came up immediately, The Knack’s My Sharona, and The Romantics’ What I Like About You.
In the BAND category I was also struck by the immediate identification, in my mind, of two contemporary artists that represent power pop to me. The Fountains of Wayne and Cheap Trick.
So what are your TOP POWER POP associations? Put them in the comments and I’ll post the Youtube videos of them and create a playlist for our mutual enjoyment.
The Head Radio Tribute CD has been a nice awakening of just how powerful the In Rainbows disc was to me during my recent divorce. The cover of Last Flowers was a less than hopeful play to get my leaving lover to reconsider her decision. I’m sure she heard it, once. She never commented on it.
As part of my Songwriter’s Notebook, Here are the tracks in progress.
1. Nude (vocal over existing RH tracks, will be re-recorded)
John McElhenney (www.buzzie.com) does a simple rendition of For the Summer by Ray LaMontagne.
“I’m falling in love with the idea of falling in love. The Ray LaMontagne song For the Summer just kicked my ass all day. I had to learn and record it. Sometimes music just touches me that way. You?” 2-17-13