Amelinda, here. Your friendly station Content Marketing Manager. We may have met digitally on social media or through our email newsletter, and like most of us here, I’m a big music nerd and musician.
I’ve been obsessed with music since my earliest memories and my favorite format is vinyl, so I’ve been collecting records for a long time. I spin power pop and garage rock records at least once a month at Strange Town, for their “Matriarchive” female-only, vinyl-only DJ nights which happen every Wednesday.
Power pop is a genre I got really into because it’s a perfect blend of catchy hooks and harmonies juxtaposed with longing or heartbreak/yearning that’s really addictive. It also pulls in a lot of genres I like from glam to ’60s-era girl groups, garage rock and punk, but has been decidedly “uncool.”
While I didn’t grow up in the heyday of the era in the late ’70s, I’ve read having a journalist label your band “power pop” a mark of death because albums first labeled with the genre didn’t sell and some bands felt it meant their music wasn’t as substantial, merely surface level pop.
I fell into the genre through Badfinger’s heartbreaking and powerful songs with that touch of ’60s nostalgia and Dwight Twilley. I also love Merseybeat stuff and bands like the Left Banke the Zombies… and I feel like power pop was an American version of the British stuff.
Being a musician myself I had to wonder who the women were making this music, right? I mean of course they were out there, but looking back at retrospectives of power pop, you rarely see a mention. So, I’m sharing this playlist today of some of my favorites of the women of the era and hopefully it will be a jumping off point for listeners to do their own digging.
In some power pop online groups I’m a member of, what is and isn’t part of the genre is hotly contested, but I’m going to go with the punk ’n’ roll and “skinny tie” side of the genre – however you want to label it, it’s a good time and fits well in any playlist with the guys.
Nikki Corvette and the Convertibles – “Young and Crazy”
Holly and the Italians “Tell That Girls to Shut Up”
MnMs – “I’m Tired”
The Shivvers – “Please Stand By”
The Go Gos – “We Got the Beat”
Josie Cotton – “He Could Be the One”
The Muffs – “Sad Tomorrow”
The Donnas – “Rock ‘n’ Roll Machine”
Tina and the Total Babes – “Tongue Tied”
The Sugar Stems “We Only Come Out at Night”
Lisa Mychols 3 – “Bruce Foxton”
Ex Hex – “How You Got That Girl”
Baby Shakes “Teenage Cloud”