NEM #56: “Dr. Frank” Portman Writes His Inner Teenager

Frank has led punk band The Mr. T Experience in the Bay Area since 1985, and has also released three successful music-related books for teens since 2006.

We discuss “Down With the Universe” from King Dork Approximately (2016), “Big, Strange, Beautiful Hammer” from Yesterday Rules (2004), and “More Than Toast” from Our Bodies Our Selves (1993). We conclude by listening to “Even Hitler Had a Girlfriend,” a 2014 single by Dr. Frank & the Bye-Bye Blackbirds. Opening/closing music: “Danny Partridge” from Everybody’s Entitled to Their Own Opinion (1986). Learn more at frankportman.com.

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NEM #53: David Brookings Is Obsessed

David has recorded seven albums since 2000. Usually one wants to avoid the term “Beatlesque,” but David is a Beatles freak who once recorded his performances all 209 Beatles songs over 209 days.

We discuss “Time to Go” from David Brookings and the Average Lookings (2016), “Dead Battery” from Chorus Verses the Bridge (2005), and the title track from Obsessed (2007). We conclude by listening to “If I Don’t Make It Back” from The Maze (2013). Opening music: “You’re Right, It Went So Wrong” from the current album.

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NEM #42: Karla Kane: Don’t Choose Princess

Karla has put out four albums since 2006 with the Corner Laughers, a Bay Area band that has been categorized as “twee” given Karla’s ukulele, sparkly Brit-pop ornamentation, and similarly colorful lyrics.

We discuss “Queen of the Meadow” from Matilda Effect (2015), the Nov. 2016 single “Don’t Hush, Darling,” and “Grasshopper Clock” from Poppy Seeds (2012). We also listen to “Fairytale Tourist” from Matilda Effect, and the opening/closing music is from that album’s “Midsommar.” Learn more at cornerlaughers.com.

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NEM #32: Bradley Skaught’s The Bye-Bye Blackbirds: Crafting Power Pop

Bradley fronts the Bay Area band, The Bye-Bye Blackbirds, which inhabits the niche of Byrds-influenced “power pop” even though Bradley really doesn’t like that term. We discuss the band’s 2016 boogie single “Let Your Hair Fall Down,” the country ballad “Hats” from Fixed Hearts (2011), and a pre-Blackbirds song eventually recorded for Fixed Hearts, “Elizabeth Park.”

End song: “All in Light” from We Need the Rain (2013); opening music: “The Ghosts Are Alright” from Houses & Homes (2008). Visit byebyeblackbirds.com.

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