Pop Tarts - The Ultimate Power Pop Mix CD #1

Back in 2001, I started assembling mix CDs of my favorite modern power pop tracks. Over the years, I've amassed quite a few of these. After listening to many of them, I still think they are an excellent overview of the genre. There were 10 volumes before I finally stopped making them in 2005. I will post each of these volumes as time permits, as well as creating new volumes containing some of the great power pop that has been released since 2005. If you're into discovering tons of quality artists, these compilations will serve as an excellent introduction. This volume contains Zuckerbaby, Kitty In The Tree, The Atomic Numbers, Teen Machine, The Nines and many others. Check it...


Ambershades - Clap Clap Clap (2004)

Ambershades came together in 2002, essentially beginning its short lifespan as a studio project helmed by producers Davey La and Ben Castle. With the addition of Paul Beard, John Hillier and Terry Kirkbride, Ambershades was born. The band quickly set up shop in London and began writing for what would become their debut, "Clap Clap Clap". Self-financed and released, the album hit store shelves in early 2004.

It wasn't long before NME and other reputable members of the british press began lauding Ambershades as the next big thing. With favorable reviews and great press, one would've expected the album to set the indie charts alight, but that all came crashing down by 2005. With members defecting to James Blunt's touring band, the band faltered and simply vanished. There have been sporadic reunion performances over the last few years, but for all intents and purposes, Ambershades are no more.

It's quite a tragedy, as this album is full of sublime melodic hooks and pitch-perfect vocal performances all the way around. With a jangly sound that infuses 60's pop, americana and pub rock, Ambershades are truly an anomaly of the power pop genre. No one sounded like them then and the same holds true now. Davey La has issued a solo album recently that does subtly harken back to Ambershades' only album, but this release will be remembered as a one-of-a-kind. I've included two b-sides from 2005 at the end of this album. This essentially covers all of the band's released material. Highly recommended...give this overlooked gem its due.


Loveless - Gift To The World (2003)

Loveless was a Boston-based indie rock band. Releasing records on Q Division, the band was composed of Dave Wanamaker and Pete Armata, both of the 1990s rock band Expanding Man, Jen Trynin, and Tom Polce from Letters to Cleo. The band formed as a project by Wanamaker and Armata in 1999. They both recruited Polce to play drums, and Wanamaker successfully included Trynin in a guitar-playing/ back-up vocalist role. In 2000, the band, named after the My Bloody Valentine album Loveless, threw together a 5-song EP, featuring four tracks that would appear on their future full-length album, and one other track, "Natural." During this time, the band began to tour around the Northeast area, playing a few shows every month, especially in New York City and Boston, where the members resided. The band had to take a break in the midst of preparing the new album because of Trynin's pregnancy, extending the wait between EP and album to 3 years. Polce has stated that they had initially planned to release the album a year after the EP, but when Trynin announced she was pregnant, they collectively decided to wait to release the album until she would be able to tour with them.

The band finally released the full-length album, Gift to the World, on November 11, 2003. The album received critical acclaim from many publications, including The Boston Globe, Rolling Stone, and Spin Magazine. The lead single, "Go," received considerable airplay on Boston and New York radio, and was included in an online campaign for the Abercrombie & Fitch clothing company. However, following the release, the band didn't tour or promote the album as many expected them to. The record release show wasn't held until January 18, 2004, two months after the album release. From then on, the band played a lot of one-off opening shows, never really hitting a touring stride or playing another headlining show.

During a show opening for Kay Hanley in August 2004, at The Paradise Rock Club in Boston, Massachusetts, Wanamaker announced it as being the last Loveless show ever, stating that, "I think the band is done." Since that show, the band has gone on an indefinite hiatus. However, in late June 2007, Dave Wanamaker posted a message on Loveless' MySpace page that said he would be playing some solo acoustic shows during that summer in the NYC area; it is unclear if these shows ever took place, as no follow-up post announcing the dates ever came. {source: wikipedia}

This disc is a fantastic balance of alt-rock and powerpop, with hooks to die for. "Go" is perhaps the finest album opener I've heard in years and it makes the band's intent very clear here. The entire disc is lyrically sharp, musically dynamic and flawlessly produced. I can't recommend this enough. Dig in and enjoy...

192kbps @ http://lix.in/-5192ee


Well, hello there...

It's your pal from Robots For Ronnie and I've decided to start a blog covering my favorite genre of music, powerpop. Much like my other blog, I'll do my best to include as much relevant information as possible about the artists posted here. My focus will be out-of-print releases by lesser known artists, since this genre is already hurting from severe underexposure. It's my hope that you will discover some fantastic powerpop by artists you've never heard before. Standby for my inaugural post tomorrow. Are you ready to take the leap? Well let's go...