Saturday Freebies: The Kickstand Band, Space Engineer, Action Jets, Neil Nathan

The Kickstand Band makes news again with this cover of The Chiffons tune for Valentine’s Day. Wonderfully produced it would’ve fit nicely on Dana Countryman’s Girlville.

Space Engineer is the work of Sydney based songwriter Terry Lyndon. He’s got a nice mellow jangle pop sound and uses it over these mostly melancholy songs. Check it out, as its a FREE download.

Okay, it’s not a freebie, but this Phoenix, AZ trio called Action Jets has the right attitude and some decent musical chops. With a more polished production, these guys would really shine.

Neil Nathan‘s latest “Diamond in the Sky & Song of the Firefly” is a FREE preview of his newest LP. Its mellow introspective music that signals Nathan’s next creative direction.

Freebie Friday: Bertling, Gay Elvis, Grouphug and The Co-Op Communique

Bertling Noise Labs is at it again with a series of faithful covers. Enjoy the Simon & Garfunkle classic “Scarborough Fair/Canticle” with full harmonies re-created. And I don’t care how many times I hear Big Star’s “Thirteen” it always brings a tear to my eye. Enjoy this freebie.

Gay Elvis was the guitarist for The Jersey band Readymade Breakup. Here he reminisces on his past with an earlier band.

Grouphug is a compilation from a Denver label with some good alt. pop sprinkled all around. Really like the albums start with Tambourines, Down Time and Marti & The Dads. Plus check out the ’70s guitar stylings of Wazonek.

The Co-Op Communique distributes music from independent artists seeking to share their artistic output with an enthusiastic audience. Some power pop mixed in like Lisa Mychols, The Bradburys and The Click Beetles. Thanks to Dw Dunphy for helping distribute this comp.

Freebies: The White Oranges, Surf Cassette, The John Sally Ride

The White Oranges

Indie-Rock trio from Saginaw, Michigan produced by Andy Reed, so you know it will sound great. The opener “Everybody” is a catchy longer rocker, those 5 minutes rush right by. These tunes are long but good. Fans of Weezer will love this too. Get it now!

Surf Cassette

Nice throwback to the grungey-pop of ’90s with this band from Milan Italy. Unfortunately “Lust For Life” can’t compare to the Iggy Pop classic. Skip to “Mess In My Head” and “Maybe I’m Not Sober” for fuzz guitar bliss.

The John Sally Ride

The brilliant pairing of John Dunbar and Sal Maida (Milk & Cookies) with drummer Sal Nunziato. I love this amazingly tight single and B-side that is a preview of the upcoming LP “A New Set Of Downs” Get it now!

Ho Ho Holiday Singles: Loop Line, Bill DeMain, Cotton Mather, Nicole Atkins

Merry Christmas and Happy Hanukkah!

Loop Line is back with a holiday song, but it can’t decide if its a Beach or Christmas tune. I guess its both… get the FREE download while it lasts.

​​Robert Harrison (Cotton Mather) teams up with one of my favorite voices in pop, singer Nicole Atkins for “Faded” a wonderfully written ballad. It is part of the new EP ‘Cotton Mather with Nicole Atkins, arriving on December 30th. Get this FREE download now!

New Zealand DIY pop dude Stefan Reyners also has a holiday single. A nice simple statement

While not a Christmas tune, this was way too good not to share. Bill DeMain delivers the goods with an orchestral cover of The Beach Boys “Wendy” for an upcoming album.

The Connection and Pseudonym

The Connection

The Connection “Just For Fun”

A sweet holiday gift from The Connection – this new set of covers is Just For Fun, as the band paying homage to their musical heroes. Some of these tunes are right up the band’s alley, like using the Johnny B. Goode template for Bob Seger’s “Get Out Of Denver.” Some classics including “Teenage News” (Sylvain Sylvain), “No Expectations” (Rolling Stones), and “Southern Girls” (Cheap Trick) make for a great listen. Even oldies like “I Can Read Between The Lines” by Gary Lewis and The Playboys have a distinct Merseybeat feel, and because many songs aren’t automatically familiar, there’s little predictability. Like the title says, these guys are just having a good time and after listening to these tunes you will too.



Pseudonym “Pack Of Lies”

California Musician Paul Desjarlais with his friends (aka Pseudonym) deliver one of the better LPs this year with Pack of Lies.  Each track is a reminiscing on a painful breakup, guitarist Waylan Solo offers up an interesting story in the “liner notes” on the Bandcamp page related to it. He knows what we power poppers will gravitate to right away, but listen through the entire album to get a better understanding of the story. Its a slow build from the first isolated vocal track of “I’m Fine” to the jangling guitar on “All The Little Things.”

The combo of fuzz bass and harmonies work great on “I Don’t Care About Love,” plus the easy going melody on “Victimless Crime” is super catchy. Then a trio of slow tempo ballads starting with “Don’t Leave Me This Way” show the isolation of the songwriter, but things go back to rocking mode on “Lorraine” and “Round and Round.” On “Foreign Talk” the beat quickens even more, reminding me of The Cure. Overall an excellent album, and on top of all this its a FREE download until Jan. 1st (then buy it on Amazon). Highly Recommended.