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Who else likes Richard X. Heyman?

Old 01-31-05, 12:57 AM
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Who else likes Richard X. Heyman?

I have all four of his officially released albums, and I can't believe his music isn't (wasn't) all over the radio. He's one of the most evenhanded musicians I have ever heard, meaning that virtually every song he composes is catchy and musically interesting. He plays all instruments himself and has a very smooth voice. Category? Power-pop, but better than any other of its kind that I've heard (not such a fan of the genre). That said, I haven't found any of the songs themselves to be masterpieces, but many of them are excellent, and as I said, he maintains a remarkably consistent level of quality.

I think the qualitative order of his albums is:
1) Cornerstone (1998)
2) Living Room (1988)
3) Hey Man (1991)
4) Basic Glee (2002)

The last one is easily the least of the four, even though it's quite good too. The best of his songs is probably "Falling Away" from Hey Man, but there are other close contenders.
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Old 01-31-05, 07:36 AM
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Power Pop might be my favorite kind of music (Teenage Fanclub can do no wrong). Richard is impressive for how much he does by himself, but I wasn't blown away by the two recordings I own. It's definitely not bad, but in it's category I like others much more.
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Old 01-31-05, 09:06 AM
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I have all of his cds, but haven't heard the last one yet and should play the others more often. I'm on his email list which usually tells about NY concerts I can't attend and stuff he's selling.



Don't you have Heyman, Hoosier and Herman? Worth a purchase.





Subtitled "The Cornerstone Outtakes," this seven-track mini-album is an enjoyable collection of leftovers from pop tunesmith Richard X. Heyman's stellar 1998 effort "Cornerstone," along with one track featuring former Herman's Hermits frontman Peter Noone. Heyman cuts loose on this informal outing, comfortably wearing his influences on his sleeve via a bare-bones rhythm section, thoughtful arrangements, and soulful vocals. "A Little Drive" is pure Beach Boys circa 1965 with harmonies that Brian Wilson and company would mistake for their own. The raucous "Why Can't She See Me" evokes the Who's "Happy Jack" halcyon days while "Monk's Hollow" ghosts the easygoing classic country rock fusion of Gram Parson's Flying Burrito Brothers almost effortlessly. "Hoosier Girl" is a paean to Noone's legendary outfit, and the fact that the head Hermit agreed to sing the lead on the opening cut adds to the overall authenticity. Heyman's clever, low-key production and ability to inject his own indelible style on each song sidesteps the retro/nostalgia tag, making this disc a likable exercise.
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Old 02-01-05, 07:51 PM
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Originally Posted by atlantamoi
Power Pop might be my favorite kind of music (Teenage Fanclub can do no wrong). Richard is impressive for how much he does by himself, but I wasn't blown away by the two recordings I own. It's definitely not bad, but in it's category I like others much more.
What others? I must confess, I'm new to this subgenre, and I haven't been terribly impressed. Big Star, The Rubinoos, 20/20, The Records, Nick Lowe, The Raspberries, Blue Ash; All have their moments for sure, but by and large I haven't found them very exciting. I guess I don't quite understand what "power pop" means. To me, the term connotes music along the lines of The Hooters or The Outfield, two of my fave bands: Music that is not abrasive or loud, yet isn't as lightweight as pure pop.
Originally Posted by buford pusser
I have all of his cds, but haven't heard the last one yet and should play the others more often. I'm on his email list which usually tells about NY concerts I can't attend and stuff he's selling.

Don't you have Heyman, Hoosier and Herman? Worth a purchase.
Good to see another fan, someone who's on his email list no less. I will consider the album you mentioned; I'd seen it before, but hadn't thought of looking into it because it's a collaboration. Apparently there's also an album of previously unreleased songs, "Rightovers" (2003), and his first, homemade album, "Actual Size" (1986), which I believe is not out on CD.
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Old 02-01-05, 09:51 PM
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Originally Posted by Norm de Plume
What others? I must confess, I'm new to this subgenre, and I haven't been terribly impressed. Big Star, The Rubinoos, 20/20, The Records, Nick Lowe, The Raspberries, Blue Ash; All have their moments for sure, but by and large I haven't found them very exciting. I guess I don't quite understand what "power pop" means. To me, the term connotes music along the lines of The Hooters or The Outfield, two of my fave bands: Music that is not abrasive or loud, yet isn't as lightweight as pure pop.
Well, we probably just like diff types of pop rock. I look at the Hooters and the Outfield as very minor 80's bands. Nothing wrong with minor or one (two) hit wonders, but I wouldn't even think to put those bands on the same level as Big Star. Or Nick Lowe. Teenage Fanclub is similar, but maybe they'd be too loud at times compared to the Outfield.
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Old 02-01-05, 10:55 PM
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The critics are on your side, no doubt, but I'm just judging by what kind of music sounds good to me. I have heard a few derisive comments here about The Hooters, and I just don't understand what the objection is. I find their "And We Danced" and "Satellite", among others, absolutely exhilerating, much more so than anything by Big Star (although I like some of Big Star's music - "#1 Record" and "Third/Sister Lovers" are a bit better than "Radio City"). Their sound is just so much more robust and energetic. I don't find the two (Hooters, Outfield) to be one-hit wonders. Billboard-wise perhaps, but Big Star didn't burn up the charts either, and success on the charts does not equate with good music. I like Hooters and Outfield (and Richard Heyman) so much precisely because they are not musicians who by fluke crank out one good song and never again do anything of note. I have several albums of each, and they're full of mostly solid material.
In any event, they are what I would deem "power pop" by definition, because their musical style is muscular but stunningly melodic, makes liberal use of synths and other "powered" instruments, and rarely strays from the comfortable lyrical conventions of generic love songs.
I'll look into this Teenage Fanclub that you recommended.
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Old 02-02-05, 08:41 AM
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Originally Posted by Norm de Plume
I don't find the two (Hooters, Outfield) to be one-hit wonders. Billboard-wise perhaps, but Big Star didn't burn up the charts either, and success on the charts does not equate with good music.
Yeah, I totally agree with you. These kinds of things are purely subjective of course. What is power pop? I've been ripping my CD's to MP3 over the past few months and have had times when I wasn't sure which band should actually go in that category. Subjective again! Matthew Sweet is one of those who could be described different ways.

I don't dislike the Hooters. At the time they were on the radio they were better than most. I think for me it comes down to what dates better... most music can be said to be dated, but what still sounds fresh? Power pop obviously has roots in a older-styled music. Beatles, Big Star, etc. When comparing these bands to, say, the Hooters... they just sound fresher to me.

If you want to hear Teenage Fanclub, try out "Grand Prix". Amazing recording.
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Old 02-04-05, 04:19 PM
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You're right. It's all a matter of taste with music, and power-pop is ill-defined.

The good thing about the revamped allmusic.com is that one can preview every song on an album. That's what I find myself doing now before I decide to buy anything.
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Old 02-04-05, 06:13 PM
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Another great power popster is Owsley. His first CD is absolutley STELLAR!! You might want to check out Beatle proteges Badfinger. The one power pop group that just about everyone is familiar, you most likely have some albums by already; and that is Cheap Trick

For anyone who is unfamiliar with the term "power pop", Jordan Oakes, the publisher of Yellow Pills magazine explained it much better than I could ever have on the liner notes of the CD Yellow Pills Volume 1 . I'd like to present some of that to you now;

[quote]"The term "power pop" is a double edged sword- it's simultaneously descriptive of a particular music style and a hinderance to certain bands who must shield themselves from the disrespect hurled at them because they play melodies, not mayhem.

It's funny how the The Beatles live on as the most successful band ever, while groups that further their indisputable pop cause or often looked down upon with a cynical disinterest. Basically, it's a mind-set taht goes far beyond power-pop; people are generally afraid to hear anything new. Still there are postive signs out there: over the years Big Star has become belatedly lionized-if perhaps vicariously-through hip power pop groups like the Poises and Teenage Fanclub; and Matthew Sweet's ascent to semi-success could be interpreted as a seismograph. Whether or not a pop group can come along and really shake up the charts is fodder for optimists and skeptics alike. Predicting the musical climate of the future is beyond science, not to mention record companies."
[quote]

Essentially power pop is a form of music that stylistically resmebles the Beatles. Well structured three minute songs with a hook that you'll be singing long after the song is over.
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Old 02-04-05, 10:31 PM
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Owsley's first disc is excellent. I finally picked up his latest a few weeks back.

Today I was playing the Smithereens DVD. They're probably one of the better known power pop bands.

Shoes is a great band with many fans. The Spongetones are a lot of fun, especially if you like the Beatles. It's what they'd sound like if they were still together and stayed in their early to mid period.



Check out www.notlame.com for lots of great hard to find music.
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Old 02-04-05, 10:56 PM
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All right, thanks.
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Old 02-06-05, 01:57 PM
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Just discovered two other Power Pop musicians I like very much. I had CDs of theirs from a recent order lying around, and I wasn't really looking forward to more of the same rather mundane music.
I was very pleasantly surprised by both Dwight Tilley and Marshall Crenshaw. I have Tilley's "XXi" compilation, and I'm definitely going to dig deeper into his catalogue. He's the slightly more experimental of the two. Crenshaw is just straight-ahead energetic pop, but very enjoyable. I have the re-release of his eponymous album, and it's good stuff from beginning to end; especially "Cynical Girl", a classic. The airy, unpretentious enthusiasm of Crenshaw's music reminds me of Heyman's work.
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Old 02-06-05, 08:07 PM
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I've been exposed to a lot of music at PowerPopRadio.com.

I can't listen for too long, otherwise I start spending money on CDs.
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Old 02-06-05, 09:27 PM
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Yes, Twilley and Crenshaw are good. I have a bunch of Twilley vinyl I've never played and some cds I have. I haven't heard too much of Crenshaw. I went to an in-store performance at a cd store. He didn't seem to be in a very good mood-probably cuz there were about 20 people there. In the middle of his first song a guitar string broke and he said "that's it. can't fix it."

He signed a poster for me, but seemed a bit perturbed to do it.









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Old 02-06-05, 10:44 PM
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Originally Posted by DJLinus
I've been exposed to a lot of music at PowerPopRadio.com.

I can't listen for too long, otherwise I start spending money on CDs.
Wow! I came into this thread just because I wanted to find out who Richard X. Heyman is. Now I've found something new to listen to while online! Only had it on a few minutes and I've already heard XTC, The Ramones, and The Replacements! Thanks for the link!
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Old 02-06-05, 10:59 PM
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I have everything that XTC and the Ramones have released. The Replacements are good, but for some reason they never really grabbed me.










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Old 02-07-05, 11:27 PM
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Originally Posted by Buford T Pusser
Yes, Twilley and Crenshaw are good. I have a bunch of Twilley vinyl I've never played and some cds I have. I haven't heard too much of Crenshaw. I went to an in-store performance at a cd store. He didn't seem to be in a very good mood-probably cuz there were about 20 people there. In the middle of his first song a guitar string broke and he said "that's it. can't fix it."

He signed a poster for me, but seemed a bit perturbed to do it.









Interesting sidenote; Marshall Crenshaw co-wrote "Till I Hear it From You" with the Gin Blossoms for the Empire Records soundtrack.
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Old 05-04-05, 09:54 PM
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Originally Posted by Buford T Pusser
Don't you have Heyman, Hoosier and Herman? Worth a purchase.
[/i]
I bought it via his website, and it came in the mail today. It's not bad, though pricey, considering the mere 7 songs on it.
I think "World of Indifference" is by far the best thing on it, and one of Heyman's best songs altogether.

Still waiting for Rightovers and Actual Size, though I don't hold out much hope for the former because it consists of outtakes from Basic Glee, which lacked his usual enthusiasm. Do you have either, Sheriff?
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Old 08-18-07, 10:47 PM
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I got "Actual Sighs" not too long ago, and today I made an 80 min. CD-R compilation. "Actual Sighs" is disappointing; probably the least of his oeuvre. Oh well, at least his first three albums are fantastic.

Here's the best-of I put together:
1. Call Out the Military (from Living Room (1988))
2. Palace of Time ("")
3. All for the Girl ("")
4. Learn to Love ("")
5. Wouldn't that be a Riot? ("")
6. Oh, Johnny, Oh ("")
7. Catalina ("")
8. Falling Away (from Hey Man! (1991))
9. Private Army ("")
10. Sidetracked ("")
11. In the Scheme of Things ("")
12. Caught in a Lie ("")
13. The Waking Hour ("")
14. If We Should Ever Meet Again (from Cornerstone (1998))
15. From this Day Forever ("")
16. Ask Anyone Wh's Tried ("")
17. Out of My Hands ("")
18. When it was Our Time ("")
19. World of Indifference (from Heyman, Hooser, and Herman (2000))
20. Take Me Back (from Rightovers (2004))
21. Everywhere She Goes (from Basic Glee (2003))
22. Stockpile (from Actual Sighs (2006))
23. Mr. Murphy's Son ("")
24. When Giants Fall ("")
25. Masquerader Man ("")
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