August 1 - 8, 1 9 9 6
[Off the Record]
| clubs by night | clubs directory | bands in town | reviews and features | concerts | hot links |

*** Bill Popp and the Tapes


(121st Street)

Singer/pianist Bill Popp -- his real name, I shit you not -- has been called the downtown Elton John. And, in truth, many of the cuts on this Manhattan outfit's latest have the sparkle of the John/Bernie Taupin gems from the Goodbye Yellow Brick Road days. "Stone To Throw" offers the clarity and the hallmarks -- harmonies, chorus modulations, clarion vocals, a solid hook -- of great classic pop. The winsome "When I Met You" sounds like the sort of thing Bread or Three Dog Night or Gary Lewis, or maybe even the Lovin' Spoonful in a brassier mood, would have written. There's even an unlikely cover of the Beatles' "Eleanor Rigby," which proves that Popp and company have balls and what's more sounds terrific -- spiked with just enough edgy guitar and rhythmic thrust to acknowledge their awareness of the alterna-grunge (r)evolution. To hell with recyclers of Mantovani and lounge music, classic '60s/'70s vocal-driven pop is a frisky well that's largely untapped, and here Popp hits his own gusher. (Order from 121st Street, at 22-28 121st Street, College Point, New York 11356.)

-- Ted Drozdowski

[guide bar]
| What's New | About the Phoenix | Home Page | Search | Feedback |
Copyright © 1996 The Phoenix Media/Communications Group. All rights reserved.