Tuesday, July 7, 2015

Power Pop Classic From Mark Helm (radioblue) Now Up On Bandcamp

This is great news for those of you who, like me, might not have been able to catch this album when it was first released on now-defunct Not Lame Recordings: Mark Helm's solo album, Everything's OK, is now up on Bandcamp.

Featuring Dave Newton from The Mighty Lemon Drops and Mr. Danny Ingram of Dot Dash, Swervedriver, Youth Brigade, Strange Boutique, and radioblue on drums, the album is a fine introduction to the many talents of this D.C. area legend. In case you somehow missed it, my interview with the members of radioblue, including Danny Ingram and Mark Helm, should give you a crash course in what made that band so special, so important, and so wonderful in the 1980s. Yes, D.C. is a town steeped in Dischord history, and the area was the birthplace of Slumberland Records and Teenbeat Records too, but radioblue occupied a crucial spot between the "Salad Days" of harDCore and the rise of those aforementioned indie labels. In that space, radioblue crafted sublime alt-rock that wedded the sounds of the popular British bands of the era (Echo and the Bunnymen, Ride) with hints of the American stuff (R.E.M., The Connells) you'd hear on D.C.'s famed WHFS radio station.

Mark Helm was an integral part of the success of radioblue and following the band's demise he went solo and played in a variety of projects. This 2001 record showcases his skills at creating something closer to earlier rock classics like Neil Young (the title song), Harry Nilsson ("dismantling the sun"), Todd Rundgren ("sweet dreams baby"), and The Beach Boys ("so faraway").

Now's your chance to get with the program. Grab Everything's OK by Mark Helm via the Bandcamp links below.

Here's the video for a single from this record, the splendid "Galaxy of Cars"...