Man, do I love music. I just do. Earlier in the week I took my daughter to Amoeba Records. This is a huge, indie record store that I call the Costco of record stores. The day started with a delightful Philly Cheese Steak at Jersey Mike’s, a ride over the hill and a stop in the Harry Potter store, Whimsic Alley so she could get a wand… and then something for Dad… Well, okay the cheese steak was kind of for Dad, too… especially since I made us split it and get it on whole wheat.
The thing about Amoeba is that I knew she would love it. I had taken her there once before and we happened to walk in while Belle and Sebastian were playing a live set. Wow… that was fortuitous. She dug that… and she dug the other day. I think she actually said “This is the greatest store ever.” Makes a Dad proud!
So I got her the Brady Bunch CD… what can I say… and I got me this.
Poptopia – Power Pop Classics of the 80s (Rhino Records)
Sorry… perhaps it is not nice to discuss Out-Of-Print records and discs, but think of it this way… it gives you something to do… a quest… That’s how I look at it. I love digging up and finding old relics and a place like Amoeba or eBay or any great indie record store is gonna have at least one of your holy grails.
I have been watching this on eBay for a while, and it always moved just out of my reach… or at least my maximum bid. So at $10 it was a steal. Now I just need to get the other two in the set… the 70s and 90s collections.
To give you an idea of how much I love this CD… when you open it and take out the disc, there is a lenticular print of a needle moving onto a record… Come on, that is fricking awesome!!!
This album is also good proof that my obsession with power pop is recent, as there are a ton of songs I either forgot about or just did not know.
We open with The Romantics’ “What I Like About You” which gets us off to just the right start. Then I get fuzzy until The Plimsouls’ A Million Miles Away.”
Marshall Crenshaw’s “Whenever You’re On My Mind” is another song I adore. He is so under-rated so worth exploring. The modern Buddy Holly… and not just because he played him in La Bamba!!!
The closing track is one of my all-time favorite songs and is, I would argue, one of the best pop songs ever… The La’s “There She Goes.”
In between is some great, classic pop/rock tunes. I guarantee this album has something for everyone… Man, I am starting to sound like Crazy Eddie or the George Zimmer from the Men’s Warehouse with all these guarantees. But this kind of music… power pop… is impossible to listen to without a smile on your face. At least for me.
My standout tracks, aside from the ones already mentioned, are:
Phil Seymour – “Baby It’s You”
Great Building – “Hold On To Something”
Holly & The Italians – “Tell That Girl to Shut Up”
The Bangles – “Going Down to Liverpool”