Tag: Power Pop

1978, Music

Parallel Lines (1978) by Blondie

My dad bought a Blondie compilation sometime in my teens. It was a double disc. So I feel like, to the extent I know Blondie, it is through that compilation. Had he bought it 10 years earlier, I would likely know all their hits very well. Alas, he bought it a few years before my …

1998, Music

Stunt (1998) by Barenaked Ladies

You can count me among the many (millions?) of Canadians who were shocked by the success of this record in the USA when it came out. To me, Barenaked Ladies were a comedy novelty act who had some funny songs and videos, which I had mostly grown out of by the time this record came …

1993, Music

Altered Beast (1993) by Matthew Sweet

When I was a teen, I didn’t get Matthew Sweet. He had the odd video on Much Music and those videos made no impression on me. But some people in the media (and probably even some people I knew) spoke about him as if he was…someone, as if he had done something in the time …

1978, Music

The Cars (1978)

The Cars’ debut album marks the point where, for better or worse, New Wave goes commercial. Basically very previous (American) New Wave album was too arty, too quirky, too herky jerky to connect with the average listener. But Ocasek and company found how to merge New Wave with that basic American need for big dumb …

1978, Music

Another Music in a Different Kitchen (1978) by Buzzcocks

Full disclosure: I don’t like the Buzzcocks. Until hearing this debut, I’d only ever heard A Different Kind of Tension and that record likely biased me towards this one and its importance.

1993, Music

On the Mouth (1993) by Superchunk

By reputation, I always thought No Pocky for Kitty was the Superchunk album to listen to. Then I listened to it and, though I appreciated why people like it, I didn’t love. I see the RYM rating is higher for this one. I think I know why. I mean, maybe I know why.

1997, Music

So Much for the Afterglow (1997) by Everclear

I don’t know this band save for “Wonderful” so I cannot tell you whether the Beach Boys-esque opening to the title track is a giant left turn or not. If it is, that’s brave of them. But, for those of us who do not know this band, it’s the wrong note to start the album. …

1997, Music

Tone Soul Evolution (1997) by The Apples in Stereo

I am not very familiar with Elephant 6 but, to the extent that I am, I am familiar with weird, idiosyncratic indie pop bands, with a big emphasis on the “indie.” I assumed that Apples in Stereo would be along the same lines as the other Elephant 6 bands but, at least based upon this …

1992, Music

Generation Terrorists (1992) by Manic Street Preachers

What do we do with a record like this? It’s called Generation Terrorists but sounds like it was produced by Mutt Lange or Bob Rock or someone like that. (Well, the production is maybe not that bad.) We have the bizarre amalgam of 80s hard rock (or “cock rock” as some call it) with extremely …

1991, Music

No Pocky for Kitty (1991) by Superchunk

This is a set of solid songs that are uptempo and pleasantly loud. I get why this band was a big deal back then because, to my knowledge, this kind of straight-ahead abrasive power pop/pop punk was a relative rarity. But it’s not really my thing. It’s too one note for me, as much as …

1996, Music

Bob Mould aka Hubcap (1996)

This is a reasonably strong set of songs by Mould, occasionally supported by the kind of attitude towards noise that Husker Du used so well at their peak. But the the diversity that made Husker Du great isn’t really present, nor is the contrast between their two songwriters. It’s like listening to half the band, …

2015, Music

The 2015 Wolfe Island Music Festival August 7-8, 2015

The annual pilgrimage to Wolfe Island Music Festival (WIMF) got off to a bit of an uneven start but ended up being one of the better festivals I have attended over the last half decade or so.

2007, Movies

Amazing Journey: The Story of the Who (2007, Paul Crowder, Murray Lerner, Parris Patton)

This is a fawning, awkward fluff piece of one of the greatest bands to come out of the British Invasion. I love The Who – there was probably a time in my life when they were my favourite band – but this film feels like the Official Version, something vetted by Daltrey and Townshend so …

1970, Music

Live at Leeds (1970) by the Who

Is this the greatest live album of all time? I never used to care about live albums. I never used to care about live music. Music used to live in my bedroom and I had no idea that there was some other side to it. Frankly I didn’t understand why people went to concerts. The …

1996, Music

Pinkerton by Weezer (1996 DGM)

One of the myths of my generation is that this is some kind of lost treasure. Because it wasn’t played on the radio upon its release like the debut was, and it didn’t sell as many copies as their very catchy debut, that it is somehow a ‘forgotten classic.’ Of course that’s not true, because …

1994, Music

Weezer (1994 Geffen)

It’s pretty much impossible to judge this in any kind of “objective” light nearly 20 years later. If you’re of my generation (i.e. born between ’75 and ’85) chances are you have heard 60%-70% of the songs on Weezer’s debut a million times, courtesy of your friends and the radio. This album is basically ubiquitous. …

2012, Music

And I Thank You (2012, I don’t give a shit what label its out on) by the Elwins

Sometimes I encounter a band where I can’t even bring myself to give them their deserved three listens. Such a band is the Elwins (supposedly very highly buzzed about, but I wouldn’t know, it’s not like I googled them or anything). It must make other musicians crazy to see a band like this get buzz.  …

1979, Music

Armed Forces by Elvis Costello & the Attractions (Columbia 1979)

It’s slightly overproduced but this actually sort of makes it fit in with what was going on in the world. Costello is more biting here (and more cohesive) which appeals to me. It lets me forgive some of the more bizarre flourishes. Like the past one, it feels like a step forward and a step …