Sunday, November 16, 2014

Pet sounds?

What are bands you'd like to see included in The Power Pop Movie?

Famous and semi-famous ones? Ones only power-pop fans know, or ones way off the beaten path?

For an indie documentary, release rights will definitely be a challenge on major-label recordings, but it's blue-sky time here, so let's put that aside for the moment.

What bands spell power pop to you, and what bands deserve more visibility than they historically or currently have?

Likewise, are there favorite power pop songs and albums that you'd like us to be considering for discussion or inclusion in the film? Extra points for music that is effervescent, the key quality of what we want to focus on.


Principal photography on The Power Pop Movie begins at International Pop Overthrow, Boston this week.

IPO shows are Wednesday through Saturday evening, 11/19-11/22. Come check out some great bands and wave to the camera!

O’Brien’s Pub

3 Harvard Avenue, Allston

The inevitable question: "What is power pop"?

As with many music genres, and perhaps more so, the definition of "power pop" is a slippery topic.

To that point, in a recent audio chat with author/musician Ken Sharp, Bruce Brodeen of Pop Geek Heaven referenced the famous Supreme Court "I know it when I see [or hear] it" non-definition definition of pornography.

Here are some takes on this question:

Power Popaholic:
It's a loose definition of rock and roll with melodic loud guitars and vocal harmonies. If you like that—then chances are you like the genre of Power Pop.
Robert Fontenot:
[T]hat mythical alchemy of pop and rock: specifically, the kind of romantic Beatlesque pop that sails on dreamy harmonies, mixed with the power-chord-based arena rock popularized by bands like The Who. In fact, it was Pete Townshend who first coined the phrase back in 1972 to describe what he and his mates had been up to back in the mid-Sixties....
[Power pop] draws its inspiration from 1960s British and American pop and rock music. It typically incorporates a combination of musical devices such as strong melodies, clear vocals and crisp vocal harmonies, economical arrangements and prominent guitar riffs. Instrumental solos are usually kept to a minimum, and blues elements are largely downplayed.
 All Music Guide:
Power Pop is a cross between the crunching hard rock of the Who and the sweet melodicism of the Beatles and Beach Boys, with the ringing guitars of the Byrds thrown in for good measure.
At the wikipedia link, above, is this citation from an earlier version of the linked AMG page, and it's a good conversation starter for the question of how appropriately we may use "power pop" as something of a synonym for "Beatlesque":
The musical sourcepoint for nearly all power pop is The Beatles. Virtually all stylistic appropriations begin with them: distinctive harmony singing, strong melodic lines, unforgettable guitar riffs, lyrics about boys and girls in love; they created the model that other power poppers copied for the next couple of decades. Other profound influences include The Who, The Kinks and The Move, bands whose aggressive melodies and loud distorted guitars put the "power" in power pop.
Do you have a favorite definition of power pop, or could you propose one of your own?

Welcome to the Power Pop Movie blog!


I'm a Boston-based filmmaker making a feature-length documentary about power pop, with David Bash (International Pop Overthrow) and Bruce Brodeen (Not Lame Recordings, Pop Geek Heaven) on-board as Executive Producers.

Over the course of production, I'm welcoming input from other fans of the genre.

Stay tuned!