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June 9, 2010 1:13 PM   Subscribe


 


Wait, is this just where we post YouTube of great power pop? I give you the shoulda-been-huge "High School," by Flashing Lights, out of Halifax, NS.
posted by escabeche at 1:25 PM on June 9, 2010


Opened for the Flashing Lights ages ago: good dudes, good tunes. Thanks for the link, puny human. (!) I am a late-comer to the Chabon but I enjoy his not-quite-self-effacing prose.
posted by joe lisboa at 1:31 PM on June 9, 2010 [1 favorite]


Once again, it's as if a giant cartoon finger is pointing and telling me to just go ahead and buy the Keep an Eye on the Sky box set.
posted by grabbingsand at 1:33 PM on June 9, 2010 [3 favorites]


Thanks for this. Perfect distraction on a dreary afternoon.

I was just listening to "September Gurls" the other day with the volume cranked and I thought: Damn, those have to be the chimiest guitars that ever chimed in a pop song. They chime so much you can almost hear the gist of REM's first half dozen records in that one opening riff.

And in the spirit of escabeche's comment, here are the Replacements playing "Alex Chilton," plus a rather muddy version of the Only Ones' "Another Girl Another Planet," which is one of the all-time great power pop anthems no matter who's playing it.
posted by gompa at 1:33 PM on June 9, 2010


what's with Halifax and all the great music, anyway? A city with a population of 120,000 has no right producing so many great bands
posted by Kirk Grim at 1:35 PM on June 9, 2010


that was in response to escabeche btw...I know the bands above arent from Halifax.
posted by Kirk Grim at 1:36 PM on June 9, 2010


This was great. I love power pop. When I was 16, some friends and I drove from Detroit to Windsor to appear as extras in the video for the Flashing Lights' Elevature. That's still one of my favorite memories from high school.
posted by fancypants at 1:37 PM on June 9, 2010


From the essay: True power pop is rueful and celebratory at the same time, glorifying desire and frustration, which is why so many power-pop songs concern themselves with the subject of Tonight, or Tomorrow Night, or Saturday Night, or some other night that will only be perfect for as long as it can be deferred. Depression stalks the genre ...

This is both true and well put, though you could argue (as I am sure some will) that is too broad of a characterization. But it rang true for me. Just like the chorus of Ballad of El Goodo.
posted by joe lisboa at 1:39 PM on June 9, 2010


what's with Halifax and all the great music, anyway? A city with a population of 120,000 has no right producing so many great bands
posted by Kirk Grim


Reykjavík cares to differ.
posted by Keith Talent at 1:39 PM on June 9, 2010


Any Power Pop greats list is incomplete if it doesn't include Dwight Twilley's "I'm On Fire" and The Plimsoul's "Now".
posted by rfs at 1:47 PM on June 9, 2010


And in the spirit of escabeche's comment, here are the Replacements playing "Alex Chilton," plus a rather muddy version of the Only Ones' "Another Girl Another Planet," which is one of the all-time great power pop anthems no matter who's playing it.

In that case, you're sure to like the Replacements playing "Another Girl Another Planet."
posted by escabeche at 1:47 PM on June 9, 2010 [1 favorite]


Some would argue, but for me it's supreme power pop - I submit the absolutely magical "Field Day" by Marshall Crenshaw. His debut was more highly celebrated, but for my money this is a better album. Perfect music for a summer afternoon.
posted by davebush at 1:49 PM on June 9, 2010


You want chime? You want harmony? You want it all with a snotty attitude? TELL THAT GIRL TO SHUT UP.
posted by escabeche at 1:51 PM on June 9, 2010


Downloading that Crenshaw album now, davebush. Thanks for the recommendation.
posted by joe lisboa at 2:02 PM on June 9, 2010


I sort of want to sit here and post great powerpop all day but that would be antisocial so instead let me say that much of my world was formed by the cassette I had in my car of D.I.Y. STARRY EYES, U.K. Pop vol 2. Featuring the abovementioned "Girl of my Dreams" and "Starry Eyes," as well as miracles like

The Buzzcocks, "Ever Fallen In Love?"
The Undertones, "Get Over You"
Joe Jackson, "Is She Really Going Out With Him?"
The Jags, "Back of my Hand (I've got your number)"
The Revillos, "Where's the Boy For Me?"
The Tourists, "So Good To Be Back Home Again"

Crank these up and pretend you're in your car. You won't regret it. You might want to shut the window if you're going to sing.
posted by escabeche at 2:06 PM on June 9, 2010 [1 favorite]


GREAT POST. Damn, Starry Eyes is one of my all time favorite songs. Here's another rad song. it was on the Children of Nuggets box set:

Nashville Ramblers - Trains

Those Rhino DIY comps changed my damn life!
posted by capnsue at 2:19 PM on June 9, 2010


Great post. I love Chabon's prose, and I love power pop, so what more could I ask? I wanted to add Marshall Crenshaw's wonderful "Something's Gonna Happen," but all I could find on YouTube was a lame acoustic version. Oh well, here's "Someday Someway," which is almost as great.
posted by languagehat at 2:20 PM on June 9, 2010


Oh, and thanks for introducing me to "Starry Eyes," which I had unaccountably missed out on despite being friends with a crazed Anglophile who introduced me to every other obscure pop band and song of the late '70s/early '80s (including the complete works of The Flamin' Groovies).
posted by languagehat at 2:23 PM on June 9, 2010


Re: the Tourists, circa 1980: not the first time I've caught a quick glimpse of Annie Lennox and thought to myself, "Damn, who's that really hot guy?"
posted by memewit at 2:25 PM on June 9, 2010


what's with Halifax and all the great music, anyway? A city with a population of 120,000 has no right producing so many great bands

For one thing, the urban area around Halifax (including Dartmouth, Bedford) has a population closer to 300,000. But I think the other thing is that a lot of bands stopped their tours in Quebec/Ontario so the music scene in Halifax is made up of locals. Growing up there my friends were always in bands that played in bars; even visiting years later I'm highly likely to know someone in the band. It's just a really welcoming city for local music. Plus there's a bunch of universities there including an art college.
posted by hydrobatidae at 2:48 PM on June 9, 2010


May I offer this version of "Couldn't I Just Tell You," as performed by Utopia during their "suits" period? I don't believe four-piece rock bands have ever exceeded this level of ridiculawesomeness.
posted by mintcake! at 2:52 PM on June 9, 2010 [2 favorites]


Nice post. Here's a couple I've been listening to lately.

Phil Seymour - Baby it's You

Martin Briley - Salt in My Tears
posted by Sailormom at 2:55 PM on June 9, 2010


Ah, I knew "Starry Eyes" was ringing a bell—I was thinking of the completely different but equally wonderful Roky Erickson song of the same title. Starry eyes forever shall be mine!
posted by languagehat at 3:08 PM on June 9, 2010


I just want to contribute the following:

Redd Kross - Annie's Gone
Myracle Brah - Whisper Softly (live)
The Posies- Solar Sister


Power pop forever!
posted by elmono at 4:11 PM on June 9, 2010 [1 favorite]


Let me throw these Shoes into the mix:
Tomorrow Night
posted by Bron at 4:12 PM on June 9, 2010


Thanks l-hat. I appreciate that :)

god I went through a T. Rex phase when I was a teen. I love them so much.
posted by puny human at 4:48 PM on June 9, 2010


Obscure late seventies power-pop so good it might make your cry:

The Keys - I Don't Wanna Cry
posted by jeffen at 5:30 PM on June 9, 2010 [1 favorite]


Opened for the Flashing Lights ages ago: good dudes, good tunes. Thanks for the link, puny human.

Are the Flashing Lights still in business?!!? This is the exciting news of the day! They're one of the best bands that no one seems to have ever heard of. Aunties and Uncles! Friends You Learn To Hate! I could go on! I won't, but I COULD. Each song more divine than the last, I tell you.

FANTASTIC post, puny human! There's nothing better than some good power pop.. and Bram Tchaikovsky and Todd Rundgren is among the best. But Redd Kross IS the best. I can't even choose their best song. Or their best album. My contribution is Go All The Way by the Raspberries. Ooooh, glorious power pop!!
posted by Mael Oui at 6:44 PM on June 9, 2010


I really becam a big fan during the early '90s revival:

Teenage Fanclub - The Concept
Matthew Sweet - I've Been Waiting
Jellyfish - The King is Half Undressed
Material Issue - Valerie Loves Me
The Smithereens - A Girl Like You
The Posies - Definite Door

A few years back I was tracking down albums by these bands. I then rediscovered the 70's era bands and became a fan all over again.
posted by IAmDrWorm at 7:04 PM on June 9, 2010


YouTube is barred here (sob), but I'll add a few shoutouts of my own:

Jason Falkner (ex-Jellyfish)
Cherry Twister
The Orgone Box
Love Nut (same guy as Myracle Brah, I think)
Wanderlust
posted by Life at Boulton Wynfevers at 4:01 AM on June 10, 2010


Excellent post, thanks! (And thanks for the Flashing Lights link, escabeche--that's some great stuff; gonna have to check them out some more...)

Is everyone in the Scott Miller cult already? Well, just in case:
Game Theory - Crash Into June
Game Theory - Dripping With Looks
Loud Family - Rise of the Chokehold Princess (nope, I don't know what the hell is up with this crazy video, either)
posted by equalpants at 4:49 AM on June 10, 2010


Last two. I promise.

Cotton Mather - Password
Outrageous - If You Want Me

In fact check out Rainbow Quartz Records. It's a fantastic record company. Their motto is "Your Source for perfect Guitar Pop".
posted by elmono at 9:04 AM on June 10, 2010


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