Frank’s Faves on Fridays

April 30, 2010

Here are some more recommendations from Frank (and some more unwanted comments from me):

Adam Schmitt – “Just Listen” (1993)

I liked this song, although I wouldn’t have minded it being a little less repetitive (A major, B major, A major, B major, A major etc etc). The guitars and especially the drums shouted “80’s Rock” to me.

Adam Schmitt – “Can’t Get You On My Mind” (1991)
LinkThis was even more 80’s Rock, but I liked it – sort of (I was musically scarred by the 80’s). I’m pretty keen on finding some more Adam Schmitt to listen to. I’ve enjoyed what I’ve heard so far. America – “Today’s The Day” (1976) LinkThis sounds like a record America made when no-one was listening to America anymore. It was nice when it was on, but when it finished I couldn’t remember what I had just heard. But I’m glad you presented me with a song by America – it’s inspired me to make “Sister Golden Hair” Song of the day sometime*. “Sister Golden Hair” is one of my all-time favourite songs from the 70’s. I can’t tell you how much I adore it. (And George Martin‘s production of “Sister Golden Hair” is immaculate.) Incidentally, the melody of the background vocals in the chorus of “Today’s The Day” (“I’ve got this feeling that today’s the day” starting at 0:47) reminded me of the melody that starts the chorus of Huey Lewis and the News‘ “Do You Believe In Love” (starting at – believe it or not – 0:47 in this video). The two melodies may not be that similar, but when I hear one I hear the other. Actually, you can sing the line “Do you believe in love?” over the top of those background vocals in the America song. I don’t know if you’d want to, but you can, and it fits… Any Trouble – “Second Choice” (1997) LinkEven before the singing started I was singing along with it: “Haaa-aang on Sloopy, Sloopy hang on…“. Although I’d heard of Any Trouble, I’d never got around to hearing any of their music. I have no idea how representative this song is of them, but judging by what I heard I’d say that they’re a bar band (in Australia and England they’d be known as a pub band). Hang on… Any Trouble’s MySpace page says they’re from England, so that’d make ’em a pub band. Bonus song! One of the four songs Frank suggested last week was a cute little ditty from 1974, the gently rocking “Rock Me Gently” by Andy Kim. After listening to the song, I mentioned to Frank that I thought Andy sounded like Neil Diamond. In return, Frank sent me a song where AK apparently doesn’t sound like ND: Andy Kim – “Baby, I Love You (1969) LinkUseless Sidenote: There’s a later video of Andy singing this song which, judging by Andy’s mullet, was probably made sometime in the 80’s – but I think that one video of Andy Kim singing “Baby, I Love You” is more than enough. When I first played the song I wasn’t paying much attention and thought that it was nice and pleasant and, well, nice. It sounded vaguely familiar, but when the chorus kicked I went, “Oh, it’s that song.” I think “Baby, I Love You” is a great song but Andy’s performance is unremarkable. For me, it certainly doesn’t erase memories of the original: The Ronettes– “Baby, I Love You (1963) Link (*Which I did on 24 March.)

Song of the day: The Allusions – "The Dancer"

April 30, 2010

Here are The Allusions with “The Dancer” (1966):


By the way, the bits of the song where they sing “the dancer” reminds me of the bits in The Hollies‘ “Look Through Any Window” when they sing “highways”, “byways”, etc:

The Hollies – “Look Through Any Window” (1965)


I know it’s only two notes, so I didn’t think it was worth mentioning as some huge Musical Coincidence or anything. (You may think it wasn’t worth mentioning at all…)

Song of the day: Shaun Cassidy – "Hey Deanie"

April 29, 2010

In last week’s Frank’s Faves on Fridays post, one of the songs featured was a 1981 track called “Hey Deanie” by Gary Charlson. Gary was a chap I’d never heard of before – and I didn’t recall hearing the song before either.

After I mentioned that I wasn’t especially keen on “Hey Deanie”, Frank surprised me by mentioning that the song was actually written by Eric Carmen, one of my power pop heroes (he wrote “Go All The Way“, and as far as I’m concerned that’s all he ever needed to do to become one of The Power Pop Immortals™). Frank thought that Eric’s version was a whole lot better than Gary’s. (I suppose it would be – Eric wrote the thing after all.)

Which leads me to wonder why on Earth Frank presented me with Gary’s version of “Hey Deanie” and not Eric’s. Why, Frank, why?

(By the way, Frank: you don’t have to answer that. Even though you’re named in the question, it was purely rhetorical.)

To refresh your memory (and mine), here’s the Gary Charlson version:

Gary Charlson – “Hey Deanie (1981)

Now here’s Eric’s version:

Eric Carmen – “Hey Deanie (1978)

I think that’s a vast improvement, but the song itself still didn’t do much for me. Was there a better version out there perchance?

You better believe it, baby.

Frank also mentioned* that although Eric wrote “Hey Deanie” he actually wrote it for Shaun Cassidy. I’m mighty glad that I was told that, because I hunted down the Señor Cassidy version, had a listen, and thought “Hallelujah! That’s the one! That’s the version!”

So, for your listening pleasure** here’s the original version of “Hey Deanie”:

Shaun Cassidy – “Hey Deanie (1977)

Now I like the song.

Thanks, Shaun, for bringing out the song’s inner bubblegum.

Incidentally, I found two other versions of “Hey Deanie”, and they’re both by power pop bands that I know absolutely nothing about. You may enjoy them more than I did. (I’m only putting them here because I’m a hopeless completist…)

The Shivvers – “Hey Deanie (1982)

The Nicoteens – “Hey Deanie (1996)

(*I didn’t know any of this “Hey Deanie” stuff until Frank told me.)

(**That depends entirely on your tolerance of:
a. Shaun Cassidy;
b. Bubblegum;
c. 70’s male teen idols;
d. Satin clothing;
e. Impossibly white teeth;
f. All of the above.)

Song of the day: Celadore – "Make Sure"

April 28, 2010

Celadore is an Australian band I’d never heard of before until Scott Thurling from Popboomerang Records contacted me and said “Hey, Peter, get a load of this band – you’ll like ’em!”. Scotty was right:

Celadore – “Make Sure” (2010)

“Make Sure” appears on Distance Is A Gun, a 5-track EP that’ll be released on 7 May (or May 7, for any Americans reading this).

For a while I thought that the band’s name was a pun (Celadore = “Cellar Door”*), but couldn’t find any puns in either their song titles or lyrics, so I guess “Celadore” means something else. Maybe the band members are fans of fantasy fiction, because it sounds to me like a fantasy name (e.g., “Hark! I come from the land of Celadore. I am Prince Thesboniere, and my kingdom has been decimated by the Dragons of Zwycornius” etc). Or maybe I have no idea what I’m talking about.

Celadore on MySpace

(*I thought it may have been a sly reference to musicians and wine…)

Song of the day: Danny Gatton – "Funky Mama"

April 27, 2010

We continue our exploration of wizzo guitarists on this blog (which, by the way, you’re now welcome to rename What Happened To The Power Pop? And Where Did All These Guitarists Come From???) with a chap from Washington D.C. called Danny Gatton:

Danny Gatton – “Funky Mama” (1991)


If you don’t like that, then why not try some rockabilly…

Danny Gatton – “Elmira St. Boogie” (1991)


No? OK, how about some blues…

Danny Gatton – “Blues Newburg” (1991)


Those are first three tracks on Danny’s major-label debut, 88 Elmira St. (1991). I think it’s a very enjoyable album, and not just for fans of guitarists. Like the album featured last week by guitarist Steve Morse (The Introduction), 88 Elmira St. is a very musical one because it focuses on the songs, not the playing.

The album also has Danny playing an extremely well-known TV theme tune:

Danny Gatton – “The Simpsons” (1991)


By the way, one of the tracks on the album is a superb cover of The Beach Boys‘ “In My Room“. It would be terribly remiss of me not to play it, so…

Danny Gatton – “In My Room” (1991)


If you’re bothered by all those other instruments (bass, drums, piano, saxophone etc – all the things that get in the way of that guitar), here’s Danny on his own. Ladies and gentlemen, this is what a virtuoso sounds like:

Official website
Buy 88 Elmira St. on

Song of the day: Victor Stranges – "Hello Me To You"

April 26, 2010

Here’s Melbourne (Victoria) musician Victor Stranges with “Hello Me To You” (2009):


I was thinking about rabbiting on and on about Victor’s ditty, and making a really bad joke about his name (that he’s the – sorry about this – “Strange Man from Victoria”), but reviewer Heath Andrews has already done a much better job of talking about Victor’s music here. (Plus Heath didn’t make any bad jokes.)

Official website
Victor Stranges on MySpace
Victor Stranges on Facebook
Buy Hello Me To You at Not Lame
Buy Hello Me To You at CD Baby
Victor Stranges on Triple J Unearthed

Song of the day: Street Corner Jack – “Wrong With You”

April 25, 2010

Here’s long-defunct Adelaide band Street Corner Jack with “Wrong With You” (1980):

I didn’t notice it at the time, but hearing the song again after all these years, those verses sure do remind me of early Split Enz, especially:

Split Enz – “Maybe” (1975)

But back to “Wrong With You”.

Apart from when it was released as a single, “Wrong With You” appeared on a 1980 compilation of Adelaide music produced by a local radio station. The album was* called 5AN Patchwork. I don’t quite know why it was subtitled Australian Rock Collection, because as far as I remember they were all Adelaide bands.

Unfortunately, there isn’t a better transfer of “Wrong With You” because that album is the only place it exists now.

(*And still is.)

Song of the day: Visqueen – "Hand Me Down"

April 24, 2010

I was all set to play you another Australian song today when I came across this American one by accident at Popdose, and now I can’t stop playing it*:

Visqueen – “Hand Me Down” (2009)


Visqueen on MySpace
Visqueen on Facebook
Buy Message to Garcia on

(*Note to self: You’re going to have to stop playing it, Peter, and find some other songs for this blog. Snap out of it.)

Frank’s Faves on Fridays

April 23, 2010

Alive And Kicking – “Tighter, Tighter” (1970)

Slightly anonymous soul from an act I’ve never heard of before. It sounds vaguely familiar, but I don’t remember ever hearing it until now. I have a feeling that this song means much more to you than it does to me. I liked how awful the guitar sounded. You can always count on a soul song to contain at least one bad guitar sound.

Gary Charlson – “Hey Deanie (1981)

Another song I haven’t heard before – and don’t have much intention of hearing again. No doubt you have an emotional attachment to this song (otherwise you wouldn’t have suggested it), but for me I guess it’s one of those songs where “you had to be there” in a particular time and place when you first heard it. I have no idea who Gary Charlson is, but I like what he promises on his album cover – “Real Live Gary!”:

Andrew Gold – “Lonely Boy (1976)

That is a great chorus. Musically, the whole band playing on the off-beat in the verses had a tendency to mess with my mind, but I’m used to it now (at least the cowbell stays on the beat). I find the lyrics slightly bothersome, though, because the chap in the song sounds ungrateful. (He gets a sister but still considers himself an only child? Then he gets married, has a kiddy, and teaches that kiddy to be a “lonely boy”? What kind of parent is he?). Despite my misgivings about the lyrics (I guess AG wanted to keep the “lonely boy” theme going throughout the song – but how about this: by the end of the song he’s no longer a “lonely boy”?), I think it’s a mighty good song. With a great chorus.

There are good live versions of it:

Andy Kim – “Rock Me Gently (1974)

Very mild, but very enjoyable. It looks like you’ve figured out one of my weak spots: anything played on AM radio in the early 70’s. Andy Kim’s vocal phrasing reminds me a little of Neil Diamond but I’m guessing that’s unintentional (I don’t know of any artist who ever wanted to sound like Neil Diamond). Wikipedia reckons that “Rock Me Gently” is bubblegum, but I don’t. I consider it pretend-Diamond. I call it “Cubic Zirconian”.

Thanks for reminding me about both “Lonely Boy” and “Rock Me Gently”. I hadn’t heard either of them in ages and had completely forgotten about them.

If at some point I find myself in the mood to post a mid-70’s soft rock song, “Lonely Boy” will be near the top of the list – and “Rock Me Gently” will be sitting right there next to it.

Song of the day: Flowers – "We Can Get Together"

April 23, 2010

Sometimes a band can confuse the billy-o out of you. Here’s a song called “We Can Get Together” – I’ll get to the band name shortly:

Flowers – “We Can Get Together (1980)


Flowers formed in 1977, and in 1980 released an album called Icehouse. Shortly after releasing that album and two singles from it (“Can’t Help Myself” and “We Can Get Together“), Flowers changed their name to Icehouse and then let everyone know that the album Icehouse by Flowers was now Flowers by Icehouse.

Why? Did someone in the band (or someone from the record company) think “Nah, I don’t like the name Flowers anymore. What’s the name of the album? Icehouse? Yeah, let’s call the band Icehouse instead!”?

Now, I don’t know how the general public responds to these sorts of shenanigans, but this is the kind of activity that raises the ire of rock historians (and people who have blogs and write about bands like Flowers).

Anyway, I bought Icehouse when it was first released way back in the days of vinyl (in 1980), and loved it (in 1980), especially the moody title track.

Cue one bonus song…

Flowers – “Icehouse” (1980)