In the meantime, there is some good news on the power pop front. Like the double bill of Material Reissue and Cliff Johnson backed by The Raine coming up this Saturday at the Wire club in Berwyn. Material Reissue comprises original Material Issue members bassist-vocalist Ted Ansani and drummer Mike Zelenko, along with singer-guitarist Phil Angotti. They’ve been doing a great job of performing the classic songs the late Jim Ellison created with the band back in the 1990s. As a veteran of Pezband and Off Broadway (and other groups), Cliff Johnson has composed and sang lead vocals on several power pop gems. Lately, he’s been hitting the club scene backed by veteran band The Raine, and the combination has been working really well.
Later this summer, Matthew Sweet (and I’m assuming with Ric Menck) has two shows coming up at City Winery Chicago on July 13 and July 14. Then there’s a Power Pop Night at The Arcada Theatre in St. Charles on August 11 featuring Dwight Twilley, Pezband, and Shoes. I’ll be posting more about this as the concert gets closer. In other news, The Smithereens have reunited with their original bass player Mike Mesaros and have two shows coming up on July 2 and 3 at the Wonder Bar in Asbury Park, NJ. According to the Slicing Up Eyeballs website, Mesaros is also joining The Smithereens in the recording studio as they work on a new album.
Bassist-vocalist Derrick Anderson, who has performed with The Smithereens on occasion, recently recorded a video for “When I Was Your Man” with help from Vicki and Debbie Peterson from The Bangles and Kim Shattuck from The Muffs. The song was on Anderson’s stellar debut A World Of My Own, which included help from The Bangles, Shattuck, The Smithereens, Matthew Sweet, and other power pop stars. It would be great to see Anderson tour with all of those people onboard, or maybe as part of a major power pop weekend festival.