12 Most Groovy Power Pop Websites
Power Pop is a musical genre that still is going strong both on its own terms and as an influence on a wide variety of artists. You’re a power pop fan if you’ve worn out several vinyl 45s of Paperback Writer by The Beatles, or if you collect albums by Material Issue or The Plimsouls from the 80s and 90s, or if you’re listening to The Raspberries, Jellyfish, or Matthew Sweet, or even if you’re catching the latest artists in power pop, such as The Turnback or The Kik, at the annual International Pop Overthrow Festival shows. Power pop is a great genre that encompasses a fine range of sound and style. Here are the 12 most interesting websites where everyone can get their power pop fix.
Pop Geek Heaven is the mother ship of power pop websites. It’s worth signing up for the (free) membership in order to listen to the regular Surprise Boxes of new music and wander through the many pages of power pop info. The site is run by Bruce Brodeen, who ran the well-loved pop record label Not Lame Recordings [notlame.com has archival info] from 1995-2010. He knows his stuff, and he’s willing to share.
International Pop Overthrow (IPO) organizer David Bash is considered a guru in many power pop circles. If you are in, or near, a town that is featuring the live performances of the International Pop Overthrow Festival: Go. It’s a great way to hear power pop as it is being written and played today. Also, every year the festival results in a fantastic three-CD recording of the artists, and you may want that, too. The IPO website has all of the current show info (as well as some archival material). Be sure to visit the IPO MySpace page in order to listen to the artists featured in the festival.
Aaron Kupferberg is thoroughly knowledgeable and up-to-date, and his site has plenty of interviews with current artists as well as discerning record reviews. Power Popaholic also has a page devoted to power pop radio stations with links.
Australia’s addition to power pop coverage, Peter covers new and classic music, and does a good job with both. He also makes sure we know about hidden gems such as “Australia’s 1970s kings of satin shirts and platform boots, Sherbet.”
Authored by veteran journalist Steve Simels (Stereo Review magazine, among others), and bloggers with the handles NYMary and Kid Charlemagne, PowerPop features longer reviews and articles with plenty to say. The blog benefits from the strength of Simels’s writing, as well as his long memory of the music business (you’ll love his stories about The Rolling Stones). His colleagues are also well worth reading and offer new music reviews.
Fully titled Ice Cream Man Power Pop and More (Ding Ding!), this cheerful blog from Sweden (in English) offers a mix of reviews and interviews covering power pop, mod, new wave, and more. A clean links list with thumbnail images can lead you far and wide in the music blogosphere if you want to go wandering.
“We’re more interested in posting music than telling you what to think about it.” Yet the lively, clever posts and embedded tracks they discuss indicate you’d be wise to consider Powerpopulist’s opinion on the power pop music scene.
It’s all about the love. “The blog has no commercial purpose and all the albums talked about are out of print vinyl LPs or really hard to find CDs. If any of these LPs have been reissued on CD, just post a comment and the albums will be removed right away from the blog.” Be sure to try the Flipcard format on this blog as an attractive way to zoom through the album covers and reviews by blogger Angelo.
Making the most of an efficient format, Steve Ferra packs in what you need to enjoy power pop. He has a music player widget, new music roundups, well-written reviews, and a very organized links list.
A blog from Germany, in English, that is full of thoughtful reviews and links, including a well-curated top-10 list and info on The Beatles Museum in Germany!
Tantalizing bits of English on this all-Japanese site inspired some research. It’s apparently the all power pop offshoot of a Japanese record label called This Time Records. The web page translation gave me, well, amusing results – I only recommend this site if you’re fluent in Japanese. But the bands featured were fascinating! And I didn’t know that The Wellingtons toured Japan this year.
A Guide to America’s Power Pop Underground 1975—1985. The opening page is charming, and has a functional radio blog widget that will get you listening right away. It’s a little hard to read the small type on this packed-solid website past the entry page, but if you’re wondering about an historical point of fact on a power pop album (and yes, the true fanatics will pin these down enthusiastically) then you’ll find the answer here.
Part of the fun of power pop is that it’s so inclusive: it’s a feeling more than a genre, and there are all types of related “sounds” that fit the description. If you’re in the mood to explore these sites and their links, you’ll fill up a playlist (or several!) and have music to enjoy for a good, long while.
What power pop websites do you enjoy?
Featured image ©Howie Green Gallery.