This one's for Maryann and Bruce Brodeen's Not Lame Records!
Maryann- Cherry Twister At Home With Cherry Twister
In Search of Alter Egos- The Well Wishers Under the Arrows
Praises- The Rooks A Double Dose of Pop!
Hologram Sam- Martin Luther Lennon Music for a World Without Limitations
Dragonfly- The Sun Sawed in 1/2 Fizzy Lift
Good Day to the Night- Myracle Brah Life on Planet Eartsnop
Show Me Your Love- The Chevelles At Second Glance
Smile- Wanderlust Wanderlust
^Not Just Another Pretty Face- The Rubinoos The Basement Tapes Plus
Disarray- Tommy Keene Drowning
Goodbye California- Hawks Perfect World Radio
RU Recieving- The Shazam Godspeed the Shazam
Angels and Helicopters- Mockingbirds Mockingbirds
Train- Flamingo Flamingo
You're the One- Michael Carpenter Baby
Everytime You Are With Me- Idle Jets Atomic Fireball
Second Dimension- Cliff Hillis Be Seeing You
Saccharine- Receiver Inspiration Overload
Stain- The Dons Dawn of the Dons
This Is What You Get- The JTG Implosion All the People Some of the Time
Nanny's Caddy- Model Rockets Tell the Kids the Cops Are Here
Sixteen's Gone- Barely Pink Last Day of Summer
Time Won't Come Back- The Deal Goodbye September
>I Remember A Time- Blue Ash Around Again
Helping Hand- Reddy Teddy/Matthew MacKenzie Teddy Boy
Beautiful One- Virginia Sisters Last Pathetic Fool
Good Rumors- The Toms Simplicity
More- Doug Powell More
^Power Pop Peak (a stretch, but hey the band had Top 40 hits)
SacroSet[s]: ALL (Every song is from a Not Lame Records release)
>Power Pop Prototype: 1973
The mid-90's are kind of a blur for me music-wise. My San Francisco radio station was sold out from under me in 1994, we moved to Sonoma for my new job in April 1995 and my son was born in November of that year. It was about this time that I completely lost touch with underground music- don't judge unless you've lived in a small town with a high-maintenance infant. It was a big deal for me the following year when I first heard Sloan's One Chord To Another while shopping at Nuggets in Boston with Cousin Rich. (I still LOVE that record!) Looking back now, I think Sloan and Fountains of Wayne were the only two new bands I discovered in my first two years of fatherhood. I'm not complaining, but it was a pretty big change from the way things had been when I was living in Boston, Rochester and San Francisco.
I had always loved Power Pop as much as Punk Rock, but by the early 90's I wasn't buying many punk records anymore. During our courtship, Jaime and I bonded over our mutual love of Matthew Sweet's 1991 opus Girlfriend, regarded as one of the genre's top records. One of the many things I love about the movie Diner is how Eddie's fiancee has to pass a Baltimore Colts trivia test before he will consent to marry her. While Jaime might not have passed a similar music-themed challenge, it didn't hurt that Diner was her favorite movie and she loved both Girlfriend (her favorite song is "Winona") and Big Star's #1 Record (her favorite is "Thirteen"). While its title, as well as the band's name, was meant to be ironic in 1972, I am not alone in my personal ranking of #1 Record as the greatest Power Pop album of all-time.
Despite a nearly lifelong love of Power Pop, in the chaos of new fatherhood I was not aware of the debut of Not Lame Records in November 1994. A record label dedicated solely to Power Pop and I missed it completely! To be fair, this was before the Interweb and I was 3000 miles away from Cousin Rich, who always seems to be able to keep up with new music. Needless to say, in Sonoma we weren't talking about the new Jellyfish album on playdates because all new parents EVER talk about is their kids, myself included. Not Lame was based in Ft. Collins, Colorado and started by a guy name Bruce Brodeen.
Researching the Not Lame label for this show, I came across a few patterns in its releases. Along with records by existing bands (The Rooks, The Shazam) and debuts from new discoveries (Cherry Twister, The Well Wishers), the Not Lame catalog includes :
- Demos/B-sides/Rarities/Unreleased tracks by artists that had varying degrees of success on major labels including Dwight Twilley,
The Rubinoos, The Posies, Jellyfish, Tommy Keene and Blue Ash.
- Second albums by bands that were major label "one and dones" like Wanderlust (RCA), Myracle Brah (whose leader Andy Bopp was in the Interscope Records band Lovenut), and Parthenon Huxley (Columbia).
- Singer/Songwriters like Michael Carpenter (4 Not Lame releases), Doug Powell (2), Martin Luther Lennon (2), Bobby Sutliff (2), Ken Sharp and Joe Giddings (1 each).
- Compilations, tons of great compilations like the one at the top of this post, the annual International Pop Overthrow albums and my favorite, Nashpop.
And from out of left field comes what has to be one of the most obscure releases on the label (and one of my favorites): a two-CD compilation of Boston band Reddy Teddy called Teddy Boy. The group was Boston's answer to the New York Dolls and their self-titled 1977 debut would likely be gone forever had Bruce Brodeen not rescued it from the dustbin of history.
Bruce Brodeen's Not Lame Records released over 100 Power Pop albums in the 16 years of its existence and he continues to support the genre with his website Pop Geek Heaven. No one has done more for Power Pop than Bruce Brodeen.
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ALL KINDSA GIRLS #149