Nick Piunti — 13 in My Head
(Sugarbush Records SB700, 2014, CD / LP)
by Jon Davis, Published 2015-01-24"Power pop" is an interesting term to use for a musical style. "Pop" can bring to mind all sorts of horrors from "You Light up My Life" to "Feelings" (reaching back to the 70s), but like any genre, pop music has gems as well, such as (speaking subjectively, of course) "Without You" or "Imagine." Many listeners who fancy themselves outside the mainstream when it comes to musical taste look down on pop music, and simply insist a song like "Imagine" isn't really just pop — it's something more rarified, with some different label attached. But that's all sophistry. The simple truth is that there's nothing inherently wrong with pop as a style of music; like any style, there's good and bad. "Power pop" basically traces its origins to The Beatles: good melodies and catchy tunes played with a rock beat. (Of course, The Beatles weren't alone in this — The Beach Boys, Small Faces, The Byrds, and others were in the mix as well.) Big Star are a great example of how power pop can be unpopular, managing to avoid mainstream success in spite of having all the pieces in place. Modern proponents of the style like Matthew Sweet, Michael Penn, Teenage Fanclub, and so on manage cult followings but generally not multi-platinum sales. Finally getting around to the artist at hand, Nick Piunti got his start back in the 80s with a band called Dwarf (later called The Take), and 13 in My Head has all the best qualities of power pop in copious amounts: catchy melodies, a great voice, a knack for clever lyrical turns, guitars both jangly and crunchy, energetic arrangements. All with a little touch of psychedelia that keeps it interesting. In a better world than ours, Nick Piunti would be a superstar, and music nerds wouldn't have to be ashamed of liking him. The next best thing is to listen to him in this world and enjoy the pleasure of a superb craftsman doing his thing.
Related artist(s): Nick Piunti
New Aristocrats Live Album on the Way – No foolin'! These supreme musicians toured Europe early in 2020, just before touring ceased to be a thing musicians could do, and there were some hot performances captured. On May 7, some of these will be releases as Freeze! Live in Europe 2020. » Read more
Jewlia Eisenberg RIP – The sad news has come out that Jewlia Eisenberg has died. As a founding member of Charming Hostess, Eisenberg changed the face of music, bringing together Balkan klezmer, American folk, and experimental rock in a distinctive blend that garnered much praise. » Read more
SoundQuest Fest 2021 – SoundQuest Fest, first experienced as a live festival in Tucson Arizona in 2010 was created by ambient music pioneer Steve Roach. This 2021 event will unite a worldwide gathering of artists and audience members together for a 3-day online event unique in the realm of ambient music. From March 26-28th a continuous flow of streamed performances, audio-video wonder worlds and deep immersion zones will burn bright on Roach’s YouTube channel. » Read more