What’s Up Punks – January 2020

Welcome to another god damn new year and the mea culpa/house cleaning edition of this here column. A bit of housekeeping, first. I’ve decided to make this thing a bit more compact for the new year. Gone are long-winded descriptions of albums and the multitude of links to individual songs.…

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Hey! Listen to Charly Bliss!

If I’ve written it once, I’ve written it a hundred times on this blog: I love power pop, and I don’t care who knows it. I think everyone on this blog, and all of you reading, feel very similarly about music in general. There’s something you love that you feel…

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What’s Up Punks – August 2019

We are rapidly closing in on the two biggest punk shows of the year with Riot Fest and the Fest 18 on the horizon. Calling either of those “shows” probably denigrates them a little but we’re going to go with it. In the coming weeks we’ll be highlighting some of…

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The Dollyrots – Daydream Explosion

The Dollyrots have been doing their style of Ramones-inflected pop punk for about 20 years now. Over the course of all those years they’ve managed to get picked up by the likes of Ben Weasel’s Panic Button label which was an offshoot of pop punk institution, Lookout Records, as well…

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Hey! Listen to Turnspit!

Everybody has their likes and their dislikes. And we all have those things that we like no matter how much other people hate it. For me, there’s a few. Songs with organ parts; songs with horn sections; 90s-00s ska bands; and female-led pop punk and power pop bands. Chicago’s Turnspit…

Mush – Protect Your Brand

The late 90s and early 00s saw the rise of a little label called Vagrant that churned out band after band and release after release of tuneful, essentially, power pop that took elements of emo, punk, and guitar-driven pop, mixing them together in a way that proved irresistible to many a sensitive punk who wanted something else to latch onto. Somewhere in the territory between “easycore” and Get Up Kids-style emo, the label launched careers for bands who arguably deserved a little longer in the spotlight than they received. By the time a second wave of soundalike bands emerged, the public’s appetite for such had largely subsided or moved on as did a number of the progenitors of it.