Posts Tagged ‘Power Pop’

In my neverending quest to interview every single band I grew up listening to, your favourite Long Gone Loser is back with one helluva show. This week I bring you one of my most requested interviews. This interview with singer / songwriter, Simon Day, was conducted upstairs at the Corner Hotel before their show in November, 2014. While that was almost three years ago, it is as relevant today as it was then because this is a chat about history and music and the career of Sydney’s power pop band, RATCAT. Since I first started doing music journalism in the early 90s writing a zine, I had always wanted to secure an interview with RATCAT and it just seemed impossible but voila, here it is! I am so damn happy it is now in podcast form for you to hear. This is one of the best interviews found within the LGL archives. Please enjoy this chat by clicking on THIS LINK and if any of you have a copy of that Hummingbirds / Ratcat split 7″ and you would like it to go to a new home, please send it my way. I’d love you forever!

All tunes by RATCAT.

NOW GO BUY THEIR RECORDS! (more…)

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toyGuitar

toyGuitar at VLHS in Pomona, California, June 3rd, 2016.

This week’s show features an interview with drummer Rosie Gonce from garage punk power pop rockers and Fat Wreck Chords recording artists, toyGuitar. Rosie talks all about discovering punk rock, getting started with the band, signing to Fat Wreck, touring Japan, playing DIY punk houses, and most importantly, being diagnosed with and dealing with Crohn’s disease. It’s an interesting and fun chat with a gal who is as sweet as the harmonies found on toyGuitar’s records. You’ll dig it and if you don’t know the music of toyGuitar, this episode will make you an instant fan. Listen now by clicking on THIS LINK. Don’t forget to subscribe to the show by following that link on the left. Enjoy!

All tunes by toyGuitar, obviously.

Check out toyGuitar online here: https://toyguitar.bandcamp.com/

Buy their records here: https://www.fatwreck.com/record/detail/938

 

Episode 91

The latest episode is here and it features an interview I have been chasing for years. Ever since this podcast was started we have been playing Weston’s tunes and we began chasing Dave (the band’s co-founder and vocalist / guitarist) to see if we could get him on the show. It seemed impossible but finally, things fell into place and we managed to find him! So here we have it, the long-awaited chat with Dave Weston and James Alex Snyder from the band, Weston. I hope you enjoy this trip down memory lane. All tunes by Weston. Go buy their stuff. It’s all awesome. You can listen right now by clicking on THIS LINK.

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This week’s episode is seriously bitchin’ and one of the best so far in the podcast’s history. Along with my buddy, Bil McRackin, I chat to Goo Goo Dolls bassist, Robby Takac, as we take a walk down memory lane talking about those kickass early punk records right up to the song that changed their lives forever. It’s an awesome interview packed with great stories as Robby talks The Replacements and collaborating with Paul Westerberg, their shout-out from Steel Panther in Death To All but Metal, discovering and covering Aussie rock legends the Lime Spiders, recording those classic albums, playing barefoot, and a whole lot more. It’s a great time and is packed with awesome tunes from throughout the band’s career. I end off the show with a couple amazing covers of Goo Goo Dolls tunes that you just need to hear, which you can do so right away by clicking on THIS LINK.

Enjoy and go buy some records!

 

Episode 37

This is a trip down memory lane. Due to the gang not being able to get together this weekend, I have decided to delve into the LGL Archives and bring you an oldie from 2010 which features an interview with The Yum Yums keyboardist and backing vocalist, Vibeke Saugestad. This has been offline for a while as the platform that hosted our old podcasts deleted every show and we had to start from scratch. So I looked around my archives and found it so have decided to re-post it because it was a fun interview. Keep in mind it is over 5 years old so it is a sign of the times and some thing may not be relevant today but still, it’s a fun listen and we talk all things power pop and her career and the bands she is associated with. You can listen now by clicking on this link.

Enjoy tunes by Vibeke and The Yum Yums.

Sometime in 1990 I was shopping in a local record store named Thrash Grind Grunge and met a punk rocker by the name of Greg. He was running a distribution named Spiral Objective getting independently released punk, hardcore, and garage rock records to the people at super cheap prices. Talking with him about the independent releases by Australian bands like the Hard-Ons, RATCAT, Nursery Crimes, Exploding White Mice, etc. Greg told me he had a copy of Ratcat’s self-titled debut release; a six track EP of power pop goodness. A release I had wanted to hear for a few years. I gave him a blank cassette and returned the next weekend to the record store to collect it. He had recorded the EP for me and added a few extra tracks he thought I’d like.

Following RATCAT’s record, Greg had included an EP by a band from Berkeley, California called Green Day. The EP was called Slappy. I was hooked immediately. What I heard was four tracks of classic Ramones inspired pop punk. I took the tape to school and played it to my art class and was told not only to turn it off but that I listened to nothing but “shit”. I responded saying that they would be huge someday. They laughed.

I immediately snapped up any record / CD that had Green Day on it. And why not? I had a new band to rock to and my addictive personality meant that I needed to collect every release.

One Friday night in 1994, myself and two school friends were watching the ABC music program, RAGE, when a music video came on with members who looked familiar. I said to them “that looks like Green Day” and moments later the words “Green Day – Loungin” came up on the screen. Loungin? (I still have the VHS tape from when I recorded it that night with the incorrect song title listed. RAGE had corrected this by the next week to its correct title, Longview) The video showed the band jamming as a young Billie Joe Armstrong sat in front of a TV and sung about boredom, drugs and masturbation. By the time the song was over, my friends and I looked at each other and I remember saying to them “what the fuck is going on?” We knew right then that something was about to change.

I went to the city the next day and found the new Green Day CD titled “Dookie” in a second hand store for $8. I grabbed it. I went to Thrash Grind Grunge afterwards and spoke to the guys there. They told me “yeah, Green Day signed. They sold out, man!” I wasn’t sure how to take this. Punk rock was our music and it was suddenly being thrust upon the masses and made radio friendly. What the hell is going on?

Over time, trips to the city revealed Green Day’s influence on the kids as the songs Longview, Basket Case and When I Come Around had found their way on to Saturday morning music shows and the mainstream music charts. I have to admit that as a young and naive kid, I was pissed off. Punk was not their music. It was my music. I was annoyed with seeing the kids who had overnight ditched whatever major label processed fake crap they were listening to and suddenly become a “punk”. I would talk with these kids about Green Day and the majority thought that Dookie was their debut. I was really pissed off at those who didn’t do their homework. It’s not like we were talking quantum physics here, this was punk rock.

Green Day had fast become one of the biggest bands since Nirvana broke in 1992 and their success showed no signs of slowing down. An Australian tour was announced for February 1996 following the release of their second major label release, Insomniac (1995). Tickets to their Adelaide show at Thebarton Theatre had sold out in minutes and I missed out. I was angry. This new breed of “punk” kids had got their hands on tickets to a band that I was into first. Not happy. I voiced my anger to anyone who was listening and thankfully, a friend of mine from Melbourne told me she had a spare ticket which I could have. I booked a ticket to Melbourne and was on my way to see Green Day at Festival Hall. For those interested, the support was none other than The Living End (who were great, by the way).

Green Day’s show was OK at best. Tired of being surrounded by kids who didn’t care about punk but only cared for the hits, I was disappointed in the lack of pre-Dookie songs that were played and the fact that when they were played, the crowd stopped moving and seemed stunned over these songs they didn’t know. I walked away feeling a little flat, to put it mildly. I then went to some party of some band that I didn’t know and spent the night on the floor by a drum kit. But that’s another story entirely.

After Insomniac I kinda lost interest in Green Day as the huge harmonies that had me loving their music were just not there anymore. I felt kinda let down. While the world was singing along to the sweet ballad of Good Riddance, I was thinking to myself Good Riddance to a band that I felt had let me down… Well, that was until they released American Idiot in 2004.

Finally, Green Day were back with a mindblowing album packed full of the harmonies I loved. I was once again a huge fan. Maybe I had been too hard on the albums Warning and Nimrod and decided to revisit. Not as good as their first three records or American Idiot but not a total write-off. They have their moments and when they strike, they hit hard.

Now, 22 years since I first heard them, I look back on those days and have grown up a lot since then. My attitude to their music has changed. Probably a good thing. I’m a much better person now. More importantly, I am surprised they are even still going today.

Green Day have just released the first of their triple album project, ¡UNO!, ¡DOS!, ¡TRE! and I will no doubt buy it. I have still bought Green Day releases, seen them a bunch of times and I still enjoy their music (not all of it but definitely most of it). It still seems weird to me that this band I originally had on an old TDK cassette back in 1990 that my friends at the time thought was nothing but shit has turned into this huge multi-million dollar band who made punk rock commercially acceptable and no longer a threat to our parents. Hell, even my mum watched them when they were on David Letterman and thought they sounded good. Times have changed and so has punk. If you’re still upset over Green Day’s mainstream success (and I have met people who are), I think it’s time to build a bridge and get over it. If I can do it, so can you. Cool? Cool.

Oh, I never did see the Broadway of American Idiot though. That sucks. Wish I did.

Thanks for reading. Eat at Chef Wongs. Gabba Gabba Hey!

When you release an album called “King Of Power Pop!”, you’re making a pretty big sweeping statement and one that’s sure to have the critics ready to shoot down. Paul Collins has been around long enough to have perfected this craft of power pop song writing so I am sure he’s ready for anything they’re ready to dish out at him. Including me. So I gave this a cranking and have to say, I was hooked in immediately. Wow! This guy just knows how to write a great tune. Under the guidance of producer Jim Diamond, Collins’ simple yet effective and highly infectious ‘King Of Power Pop’ is track after track of golden gems fit for any jukebox across the globe.

Kicking off with a booty shakin’ number called “C’mon Let’s Go!”, a smile widened on my face and my feet were tappin’ uncontrollably. This is good. Damn good! The only thing that’s missing here is the weather. If it was Summer here in Australia I’d crank this album and fire up the BBQ. Hell, in a few months I am sure we’ll do that anyway. Excellent! The songs are short and sweet. They get in and out before they outstay their welcome. You get 13 tracks in under 32 minutes. There’s anthems (“Do You Wanna Love Me?”), there’s power ballads (“Hurting’s On My Side”), subtle ballads (“Many Roads To Follow”), and even a cover of The Box Tops’ probably most well known tune, “The Letter”. The latter of which I am sure was done in tribute to the late Alex Chilton; former singer of the Box Tops and later of Big Star fame who sadly passed on this year. Should I also add that Nikki Corvette and Wally Palmar of The Romantics are guests on this album? I shouldn’t even have to as the album sells itself on the strength of its songs alone.

This album is like the Beach Boys and The Beatles partying with The Replacements and the Ramones. It’s a feel good bunch of songs that are much welcomed in a time when there’s so much negativity in the world today. Sometimes you just need to unwind and forget about your shitty job tomorrow or your ex-girlfriend banging your best friend and just let yourself be one with the music.

So is Mr. Collins the King Of Power Pop? Maybe. Maybe not. But either way, this album is definitely up there with the best of them. Don’t believe me? Tune in to the next episode of the Long Gone Loser Rock Show for a track by track review of this rockin’ little number. Let’s pop!