Power pop and related: define, deride, defend...

Backslapping time. Well done us. We are fantastic.
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Snarfyguy
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Postby Snarfyguy » 03 Jun 2004, 18:24

Charlie O. wrote:I'm not sure I'm comfortable with the idea of "too much melody" - but it is possible for a melody to "try too hard."


Too much melody:

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Postby Guest » 03 Jun 2004, 18:52

snarfyguy wrote:Too much melody:

Image

True, that is one of their weakest efforts. But please don't give up on the Lilys by what you have heard. I beg of you.

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Postby Snarfyguy » 03 Jun 2004, 18:53

Arnel Jackson wrote:
snarfyguy wrote:Too much melody:

Image

True, that is one of their weakest efforts. But please don't give up on the Lilys by what you have heard. I beg of you.


I have 'Better Won't Make Your Life Better.' What else is good?
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Postby Guest » 03 Jun 2004, 18:57

snarfyguy wrote:I have 'Better Won't Make Your Life Better.' What else is good?

Well unfortunately not much is left in print. Precollection from last year is worthy. But I thought their high points were In The Presence Of Nothing, Eccsame the Photon Band and A Brief History Of Amazing Letdowns. Less power pop and more shoegaze though.

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Postby Still Baron » 03 Jun 2004, 18:59

snarfyguy wrote:
Arnel Jackson wrote:
snarfyguy wrote:Too much melody:

Image

True, that is one of their weakest efforts. But please don't give up on the Lilys by what you have heard. I beg of you.


I have 'Better Won't Make Your Life Better.' What else is good?


I am a huge fan of the "Selected" ep which combines a less manic pop sense (less manic than "Better Won't ...") with the classic MBV draggy/druggy guitars. This fulfills (to me) the promise of Ride's early eps which suggested a sort of early Pink Floyd mixed with MBV - an idea they quickly jettisoned. Anyway, I think it's a fab little ep and one of my favorite things. Some could deride it as a step backwards for the Lilys - it is - but I love it.


EDIT - Now I see Nathan's post (directly above) and would say this ep strikes a nice balance between pop (I wouldn't say power pop as I no longer know what that is) and shoegaze. A balance heretofore unstruck by anyone else to my satisfaction. Too bad it's only an ep.
Last edited by Still Baron on 03 Jun 2004, 19:00, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby Snarfyguy » 03 Jun 2004, 19:00

Arnel Jackson wrote:
snarfyguy wrote:I have 'Better Won't Make Your Life Better.' What else is good?

Well unfortunately not much is left in print. Precollection from last year is worthy. But I thought their high points were In The Presence Of Nothing, Eccsame the Photon Band and A Brief History Of Amazing Letdowns. Less power pop and more shoegaze though.


I'll keep an eye out in the used bins, thanks.
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Postby Guest » 03 Jun 2004, 19:00

Le Narob wrote:Some could deride it as a step backwards for the Lilys - it is - but I love it.

Yeah, I have a love/hate relationship with that record. A very very worthy release though. Might have to put it on later.

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Postby Still Baron » 03 Jun 2004, 19:02

Arnel Jackson wrote:
Le Narob wrote:Some could deride it as a step backwards for the Lilys - it is - but I love it.

Yeah, I have a love/hate relationship with that record. A very very worthy release though. Might have to put it on later.


I like the fact that you can hear/feel the volume of the guitars in the recording. Hard to explain, but it's there and forces me to turn it up louder every time.
take5_d_shorterer wrote:If John Bonham simply didn't listen to enough Tommy Johnson or Blind Willie Mctell, that's his doing.

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Postby Snarfyguy » 03 Jun 2004, 19:13

Le Narob wrote:I am a huge fan of the "Selected" ep which combines a less manic pop sense (less manic than "Better Won't ...") with the classic MBV draggy/druggy guitars. This fulfills (to me) the promise of Ride's early eps which suggested a sort of early Pink Floyd mixed with MBV - an idea they quickly jettisoned. Anyway, I think it's a fab little ep and one of my favorite things. Some could deride it as a step backwards for the Lilys - it is - but I love it.


EDIT - Now I see Nathan's post (directly above) and would say this ep strikes a nice balance between pop (I wouldn't say power pop as I no longer know what that is) and shoegaze. A balance heretofore unstruck by anyone else to my satisfaction. Too bad it's only an ep.


Sounds like the mufuggin holy grail, dawg! Will investigate tout de suite!
Last edited by Snarfyguy on 03 Jun 2004, 19:16, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby Guest » 03 Jun 2004, 19:15

snarfyguy wrote:Sounds like the mufuggin holy grail, dawg! Will investigate tout de suite!

Plus I think the Selected EP is still in print.

Billy

Postby Billy » 03 Jun 2004, 19:37

goldwaxxx wrote:
Roygbiv wrote:
Aloysius wrote:BTW, has anyone heard this or another in the series?

Image

1. Remedies performed by Dwight Twilley
2. I Miss You performed by Shoes
3. Speed Kills performed by Adam Schmitt
4. Is It Any Wonder performed by Cowsills
5. Song of the Universe performed by Twenty Twenty
6. Fingers On It performed by Enuff Z'nuff
7. Stars performed by Devin Hill
8. You Can't Lie performed by Critics
9. Rest Up performed by Jim Basnight
10. Open Wide performed by Chris VonSneidern
11. Skinny performed by Spongetones
12. The Girl performed by Rubinoos
13. Disarray performed by Tommy Keene
14. Break Down The Walls performed by Ken Sharp
15. It's You Tonight performed by Flashcubes
16. No Romance Today performed by Elliot Kendall
17. Get To Know You performed by Vandalias
18. When Is Your Dream performed by Whallop
19. Why Can't We Make Believe We're In Love? performed by Buddy Love
20. Love Sick Trip performed by Three Hour Tour
21. I Like The World performed by Mark Johnson


This is out of print, I've tried to get it before.

cough cough cough cough cough !!!!!!! :D


I used to have the first two or three of these, and traded them in for a song years ago--they go for $25 used nowadays!

Anyway, this series never made much of an impression on me. As I remember it, it all ran together, which is probably is indicative of the disservice '90s artists did to the genre. Skinny stood out as being pretty different from the rest, but only because it was so awful. Three Hour Tour is a band I'd like to hear again. I had the first couple of EPs on Parasol and they were great.

And that's about all I remember.


Goldwax is right -- this was a promising series that looked better 'on paper' then it did in execution -- was it compiled by Ken Sharp himself? I dunno ... I think I've still got this and volume 2 if anyone is interested ....

Piggly Wiggly

Postby Piggly Wiggly » 03 Jun 2004, 19:50

Cédric wrote:
Aloysius wrote:
the loveless wrote:
Obmij wrote:Okay then, I propose the greatest power pop artist is Prince when he does his pop thing with songs like "Pop Life" and "Rasberry Beret". That shit can't be beaten.


Absolutely.


Great pop, but perhaps not what I have in mind by power pop. I think its the psychedelia thing that puts this material in a box with XTC/Dukes, Soft Boys/Hitchcock, Wondermints, Jellyfish etc. Its just different to my ears

Cognate genres include chamber pop (Boettcher>Surf's Up>Cardinal>Siesta Records>Louis Philippe>High Llamas etc.) and UK pub rock/melodic punk (Nick Lowe, Rockpile, Undertones, Buzzcocks).

For me power pop is a pretty tight genre - Big Star, Rubinoos, Greg Kihn, Shoes,Twilley etc. Probably Teenage Fanclub, early Ben Vaughn combo and Pursuit of Happiness too.

Actually, the best definition (rather than the best music per se), is probably side one of this:

Image


Yeah, I agree with you, Aloysius. For me too, power pop is a very tight genre. I'm not even sure that Big Star (too "funky", sometimes... the Memphis roots !) and Teenage Fanclub (too "byrdsian" and definitely too Scottish !) also fit in that category. Regarding the 70s power pop, the Rubinoos, the Shoes, Dwight Twilley and some tracks by Badfinger are perfect. Since the 80s and after the Punk, I'd say that it's mainly a question of an easy melody and nice harmonies put on some powerful chords and dynamic tune. Like I said earlier, the green album by Weezer is the perfect power pop record, IMO.


Dudes,

You are 100% correct: Prince does not fall into the textbook definition of powerpop.

My kneejerk reaction to the mention of his name was merely a continuation of what I stated on page 1 or 2 (don't remember) of this thread - basically my belief that even the likes of Prince provide more power and more pop than the "tries too hard" genre/niche practicioners who do fit quite cozily (by design) within the (from my view, misguided and arch) parameters of the genre.

So, yes, you guys are absolutely right: Prince will never find his way onto some wretched Yellow Pills compilation, but JIMBO has a point - Prince actually delivers the goods.

Does this make any sense?

Billy

Postby Billy » 03 Jun 2004, 20:45

goldwaxxx wrote:
womble wrote:
goldwaxxx wrote:
Roygbiv wrote:
Aloysius wrote:BTW, has anyone heard this or another in the series?

Image

1. Remedies performed by Dwight Twilley
2. I Miss You performed by Shoes
3. Speed Kills performed by Adam Schmitt
4. Is It Any Wonder performed by Cowsills
5. Song of the Universe performed by Twenty Twenty
6. Fingers On It performed by Enuff Z'nuff
7. Stars performed by Devin Hill
8. You Can't Lie performed by Critics
9. Rest Up performed by Jim Basnight
10. Open Wide performed by Chris VonSneidern
11. Skinny performed by Spongetones
12. The Girl performed by Rubinoos
13. Disarray performed by Tommy Keene
14. Break Down The Walls performed by Ken Sharp
15. It's You Tonight performed by Flashcubes
16. No Romance Today performed by Elliot Kendall
17. Get To Know You performed by Vandalias
18. When Is Your Dream performed by Whallop
19. Why Can't We Make Believe We're In Love? performed by Buddy Love
20. Love Sick Trip performed by Three Hour Tour
21. I Like The World performed by Mark Johnson


This is out of print, I've tried to get it before.

cough cough cough cough cough !!!!!!! :D


I used to have the first two or three of these, and traded them in for a song years ago--they go for $25 used nowadays!

Anyway, this series never made much of an impression on me. As I remember it, it all ran together, which is probably is indicative of the disservice '90s artists did to the genre. Skinny stood out as being pretty different from the rest, but only because it was so awful. Three Hour Tour is a band I'd like to hear again. I had the first couple of EPs on Parasol and they were great.

And that's about all I remember.


Goldwax is right -- this was a promising series that looked better 'on paper' then it did in execution -- was it compiled by Ken Sharp himself? I dunno ... I think I've still got this and volume 2 if anyone is interested ....


Wasn't it Yellow Pills editor JOrdan Oakes who put this together?


Yep -- come to think of it, you're absolutely right!

Billy

Postby Billy » 03 Jun 2004, 20:48

Ken Sharp did do a book though: 'Power Pop! Conversations with the Power Pop Elite'. Never read it, only skimmed through it ... but I'm damned if I can remember who was included, no doubt Cheap Trick, Badfinger and the Shoes knowing his tastes ....

Just found this:

Bomp review: Self-published by the authors, and now out of print, this 332-page book features substantial interviews with artists including Shoes, Cheap Trick, 20/20, the Beat, the Plimsouls, the Small Faces, the Move, the Nazz, Badfinger, Emitt Rhodes, the Raspberries, Big Star, the Flamin' Groovies, Dwight Twilley, the Bay City Rollers, and more.

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Postby Snarfyguy » 04 Jun 2004, 02:11

Jimbo wrote:
Roygbiv wrote:Then I see The Who being described as power pop and it all becomes a bit confusing :?


"Maryanne With the Shaky Hands" is so power pop. The music is sweet, but the lyrics are witty and subversive.


Pop? Yes.
Power? No.

Not that it's not great, but I don't find it has the requisite urgency for inclusion in this sub-genre.
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Postby Quaco » 04 Jun 2004, 02:23

Another related issue is the "density" (for want of a better word) of the melodicism. A simple chord progression with a single melody line that is good has a fairly sparse melodicism. Music with interlocking melodies, obviously, is much more dense. Some of the power pop that works well (for example, Big Star's "September Gurls") pretty much just has one melody line and chords underneath.

I have no problem with densely melodic music like The Beach Boys, Jellyfish, Queen, XTC, and Supertramp, but I'm sure it turns a lot of people off.
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Postby Snarfyguy » 04 Jun 2004, 02:25

Mr. Jim wrote: Supertramp


:shock:
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Postby Quaco » 04 Jun 2004, 02:29

snarfyguy wrote:
Mr. Jim wrote: Supertramp


:shock:

I was simply trying to give an overview of various types of melodic music, good and bad, not saying they are equal to these others or anything! :evil:




The fact that I kind of like them is beside the point....
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Postby Snarfyguy » 04 Jun 2004, 02:31

[quote="Mr. Jim]



I kind of like them [/quote]

:x

Must be an L.A. thing... :roll:
Jimbo wrote:In some ways, personality-wise, Trump and I are similar.