Tag Archives: Bonnie McKee

RECORD REWIND: PGTC Picks, May 6-12, 2018

Sunday afternoon means it’s time for the Record Rewind, highlighting the top new tracks that you might’ve missed during the work week, all from my favorite small label and independent acts out there. If it’s on the site, it’s something that you need to check out!

Across the PGTC SoundCloud page and my playlists on Spotify, these stuck out as my favorite independent songs of the week…

We’re taking the week off from notes due to a busy Mother’s Day weekend, but enjoy the songs below!


AARON TAOS – “Venom” (Spotify)
Previously on the Rewind: Seven previous mentions, “Amazing” (February) being the most recent entry


BONNIE MCKEE – “Mad Mad World” (Spotify)
Previously on the Rewind: Two previous mentions, “Thorns” (August 2017) being the most recent entry


DES ROCS – “Used To The Darkness” (Spotify)
Previously on the Rewind: One previous mention, “HVY MTL DRMR” (February)


LO – “Drumline” (Spotify)
Previously on the Rewind: First time featured


RUTHANNE – “Take My Place” (Spotify)
Previously on the Rewind: First time featured


For more great new music, these songs are worth a listen…
GRETA ISAAC – “Undone”

Want to be featured on this weekly wrap-up? Submit your music to adamfsoybel@gmail.com and I’ll check our your tunes. Thanks!

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RECORD REWIND: PGTC Picks, 8/13 – 8/19/17

Sunday afternoon means it’s time for the Record Rewind, highlighting the top new tracks that you might’ve missed during the work week, all from my favorite independent acts out there. If it’s on the site, it’s something that you need to check out!

Across the PGTC SoundCloud page and my playlists on Spotify, these stuck out as my favorite independent songs of the week…


ALY & AJ – “Take Me” (iTunes) (Spotify)
Returning to their original name for the first time since 2009, sisters Alyson and Amanda Joy Michalka left the pop world shook on Friday with the release of their new track. The 80’s synth-pop influence is real on this top tune, which makes it all the more lovable.


BONNIE MCKEE – “Thorns” (iTunes) (Spotify)
She’s a super singer/songwriter with a little PGTC history: her “Stars In Your Heart” was noted in the Rewind from the week before Christmas, while “Somebody” and “American Girl” have both hit my chart. The prickly pop single is deliciously dark and intriguing.


DANIELLA MASON – “Cruel Summer” (iTunes) (Spotify)
I would be the one to scream “Hot Bananarama remake!” upon seeing the title of this next track, but it’s not actually a cover. Mason has already been noted twice on the Rewind this summer, and her irresistible pop gem will shimmy its way onto your latest playlist.


TYLER HILTON – “Overtime” (iTunes) (Spotify)
One of the great albums from my freshman year of high school was Hilton’s The Tracks Of set, and I’m happy to report that I’m still digging his music 13 years later. The bluesy pop/rock cut is definitely a winner, showcasing all that’s made him great over the years.


For more great new music, these songs are worth a listen…
BIEN – “Electric Dream” (SoundCloud)
STALGIA – “Talk To My Skin” (SoundCloud)

Want to be featured on this weekly wrap-up? Submit your music to adamfsoybel@gmail.com and I’ll check our your tunes. Thanks!

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POP! Goes The Interview: Matt Rad

Rad songs (say so much.)

Rad songs (say so much.)

His name is Matt, but most people call him… Matt. The engineer, producer, writer, food connoisseur and lover of all that is art has been in the music industry for over a decade now, but especially in the past few years, Matt Rad (born Matt Radosevich) has made a name for himself on the pop airwaves with content for acts like Andy Grammer, Chris Wallace and One Direction. Most recently, Rad’s been in the studio with Ohio rockers Walk The Moon, best known for a pair of Alternative hits: “Anna Sun” and “Tightrope”.

Since my chart’s beginning in the fall of 1999, eight songs that Rad’s been involved in made it into my top 40, reaching a high of #4 three times in his career. (I think a #1 is not too far away, if you ask me.) Perhaps you’ve heard of some of these songs…

GOOD CHARLOTTE, “Predictable” (#17, 2004)
THE ALL-AMERICAN REJECTS, “Gives You Hell” (#4, 2009) and “The Wind Blows” (#14, 2009)

Production and Writing
ANDY GRAMMER, “Fine By Me” (#4, 2012)
BONNIE MCKEE, “American Girl” (#31, 2013) (Production)
CHRIS WALLACE, “Keep Me Crazy” (#18, 2013) and “Remember When (Push Rewind)” (#4, 2012)
ONE DIRECTION, “Best Song Ever” (#10, 2013) (Production)

On 2012’s year-end survey, “Fine By Me” ranked at #22 and “Remember When (Push Rewind)” ranked at #26. This year, two out of his three songs (“Best Song Ever” and “Keep Me Crazy”) to make my weekly chart are in my Top 100 of 2013, which means two out of three ain’t Rad… uh, bad. They’re all rad and Rad. Yes, moving on.

Mr. Music Man himself with his seventy-six trombones leading the parade of pop hits was gracious enough to take some time out of his busy schedule to answer some of my questions about working with specific acts, message board fun and of course, what he might whip up for a meal. There’s no other way to describe him than as radiculously rad. Check it out below:

PGTC: Who were some of your favorite acts growing up and when did you decide to start making your own music?
Rad: I started classical piano lessons at five and my parents had everything from The Beatles to Stan Getz to The Jackson 5 playing constantly, so I had a pretty diverse musical landscape around me growing up. Being from Oakland, the first music that I really discovered on my own was rap and punk rock. I remember hearing a kid spitting Snoop Dogg’s version of “La Di Da Di” (as “Lodi Dodi” from 1993’s Doggystyle) on the playground in elementary school and I was just infected by it. At the same time, I discovered bands like Green Day, Nirvana and Weezer. I started making hip hop beats and playing in rock bands and it just spiralled from there.

PGTC: I imagine there was a transition for you working with rock acts like Good Charlotte and Taking Back Sunday and then finding yourself on the pop scene with bands like Emblem3 and One Direction. Was there any hesitation making the jump or do you feel just as comfortable working in either genre?
Rad: Honestly, there wasn’t much of a transition at all. I love working with creative people and I challenging myself, so it doesn’t matter much to me. It’s funny being known as a different type of record maker to different people. When I was 16, I was a white kid in Oakland who made beats and I was also a punk rock kid who went to 924 Gilman (a music club based in Berkeley, CA.) When I got to L.A. and started working for [producer] Eric Valentine (Smash Mouth, Third Eye Blind, etc.), I did nothing but live in his world, so I got known as a guy who made rock records. Now, I’m a pop guy. I’m happy to be thought of as any of those things, but I’ve also got some new projects brewing that don’t fall into any of those categories.

PGTC: You seem to have a pretty good relationship with Andy Grammer and Chris Wallace having produced and written on both their albums. Tell me about working with them. Are you working with Andy on his forthcoming second album?
Rad: I love working with both of those guys so much. Andy and I wrote “Fine By Me” the first day we met. We just had this great chemistry trying to impress each other. Chris and I had a similar thing, where we both came in trying to beat everything we’d done before, and we came out with his first two singles in the first three days we worked together. Both of those guys are crazy good writers and just great human beings all around.

I’ve written a bunch with Andy for his next record, but he’s still a ways away from putting the final touches on it. He and Chris and I actually got together and wrote a couple of songs. We’ll see where they end up, but the three of us together is such a fun combination.

PGTC: Your biggest song on my 2013 year-end chart and one that I’m sure gained you more followers is One Direction’s “Best Song Ever”. What was your experience like with that particular song and be honest, did you fan girl a bit when you heard you’d be co-producing one of their songs?
Rad: I enjoyed working on that song so much. I had worked on some other projects for Syco, and I got a call from Tyler Brown (A&R manager for Syco) in the U.K. about helping finish the production on a new song for the guys. I knew the band from “What Makes You Beautiful” but otherwise, I didn’t know their music that well. When they sent me the song, and I heard Harry (Styles)’s vocal in that first verse, and I had a real “woah” moment. He sounded like a badass rock frontman. Julian Bunetta and John Ryan put together such a dope production already and I just went with where they were headed and piled on guitars and distorted bass and drums. Credit to the band, Julian and John, and Tyler for having such a concrete vision for a big rock song. I loved the whole process.

PGTC: Between Chris Wallace’s “Keep Me Crazy” (also in the year-end top 100) and Emblem3’s “3,000 Miles”, there are a few active singles that you’ve had some involvement in. I’m biased coming from a blog with “charts” in the name, but do you keep track of how your songs are doing?
Rad: Oh yeah! I love seeing how people respond to the records I work on. I’m forever trying to capture the feeling I had when I first discovered music for myself, and at the same time I’m trying to have other people feel that same excitement. When I see the audience go up on Mediabase, I definitely get excited. (laughs) That just means more people are hearing things that I’ve worked hard on!

PGTC: In a similar vein, I remember that the first time we spoke was after this tweet from July where you spoke of Pulse Music Board (and no, we don’t want you to hate yourself; we’re all love, or at least I am.) Are you out searching for blog and message board feedback on your work / are you secretly undercover on PMB stanning for your faves?
Rad: I check out PMB periodically because it has a huge education about how radio works. I don’t really seek out internet feedback on a creative level (though, of course, it’s nice to see people say nice things.) I love the discussions on PMB that involve the history and arc of hits and the threads where people analyze the trajectory of a song, like Ellie Goulding‘s “Lights” and how long it took to get to #1. I like when people discuss how fun. and Janelle Monáe‘s “We Are Young” was #1 at iTunes for a month before pop radio started playing it at all. It’s a great source of knowledge about how the business responds to what kinds of records. It can also drive you insane with the crazy debates people get into, so I sometimes take a break from it.

PGTC: Following that, if there was to be a Matt Rad fan or stan account, which of the following Twitter handles would be most desirable to you?
A. @RadToTheBone [Pretty self-explanatory. It’s r-r-r-rad.]
B. @TheRadMatter [The Mad Hatter ain’t got nothin’ on you as you travel through Wonderland.]
Or C. @BlazingRaddles [The Waco Kid to your Governer, from one Mel Brooks fan to another… but Young Frankenstein may top my list.]

Rad: As a giant Blazing Saddles fan, I think C is an easy choice. An alternate option: @CantYouSeeThisRadIsANit.

(Obviously, this labor of love’s just waiting for you all to follow it.)

PGTC: Since you like to eat and cook in addition to making good music, if I were to reserve a table at Chez Rad for the evening, what would be the signature dish and drink on the menu? (You can pick the music too, but the jazz tribute to Katy Perry is probably too much.)
Rad: I’m calling a slight audible and making the meal brunch. The food would include my dad’s french toast recipe, my grandmother’s pancakes, my mother’s eggs, some country ham, bacon, and a whole lot of seasonal California fruit. The drink is champagne (with or without orange juice). The music is something left of center and upbeat like Cornelius or Cashmere Cat.

PGTC: With the holidays approaching, besides admiring your newly pressed Platinum plaque for “Best Song Ever” (I mean, you need to at least once or twice), what other activities or traditions do you and your family have?
Rad: I spend the holidays in Oakland where I grew up. My parents are there, my brother is there, and many of my best friends are there. I’m very close with all my extended family too, and almost everyone ends up in the Bay Area this time of year. We spend lots of time together around the holidays just eating and drinking and catching up.

PGTC: Finally, what are you most excited about in 2014?
Rad: There are a couple of things I’ve worked on that I’m really excited for people to hear. First is this artist named Kes, who is like Prince meets The-Dream inside the movie Blade Runner. (Find more on Kes here.) He and I did a song called “Gimme Your Love” which is one of the best songs I’ve ever worked on. The other project is a rock band called “Mini Pig”; I don’t know that I’m allowed to say much more than that, but it’s the most visceral, frantic, gritty project I’ve worked on in a long time. (Rad also co-wrote “Cue The Rain”, which will appear on Glee star Lea Michele‘s upcoming album, Louder.)

I’m also excited to see whatever Kanye West does. He’s consistently the most exciting person in music and pop culture.

Watch out for where Chris Wallace and One Direction end up on my Top 100 of 2013, beginning on December 15 and concluding on Christmas Eve, December 24. Thanks again to Matt Rad for the great chat, and continued success into 2014. We can’t wait to hear what’s coming next (and munch on that brunch, of course.)

View more about Matt Rad on: Elemental Music | Pulse Recordings | Facebook | Twitter | @BlazingRaddles (of course!)


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Too Cool For Ghoul: A Happening Halloween Playlist

Pumpin' up the pumpkins.

Pumpin’ up the pumpkins.

Alright, all you twerk or treaters, gather ’round because it’s time to crank up the jukebox for this year’s Halloween festivities. Of course, there will be the all-time classics: “The Monster Mash”, “Thriller”, “Werewolves Of London”, etc. Those are just dandy, but how about some more current songs to add into the mix? After all, we’ve got to flavor this playlist sweeter than a bag of candy corn. These ten songs will definitely set the mood for the party, whether big or small. So, if you’re up for some ghoulish grabs from the top of today’s pops, listen to these spooky sounds that the scarecrows and skeletons approve of this eve:

BASTILLE – “Of The Night”
This dark, moody single from All This Bad Blood haunts with strange vocal effects and an eerie set of bells. Released in the U.K. in three weeks, the video (see above) fits the theme perfectly: a series of crime scene investigations and singing corpses. Lovely.

BONNIE MCKEE – “Sleepwalker”
This “inbetwingle” (so says McKee) between her single “American Girl” and whatever her next release is an edgy dance piece created for the zealous zombies of the night: “You wake me up/I was just a sleepwalker/Bring me back to the land of the living.”

EMINEM featuring RIHANNA – “The Monster”
Just released earlier this week, the latest from the dynamic “Love The Way You Lie” duo has a big hook from the Barbadian singer and deals lyrically with the fear and paranoia of the unknown that lies beneath. It’s not very dark, but it’s still powerful.

First a hit on Alternative radio, this single from the quartet is now all over the popular airwaves, a song that comes from a dark place and flourishes with that pounding beat. Their trademark sound on this and “Radioactive” is tailor made for the holiday.

One of the highlights of The 20/20 Experience – 2 of 2, “Blood” takes its cues from “Thriller”, itself a thrilling track with a prominent guitar solo and freaky reversed violin lines. Timberlake attempting to do his best Vincent Price? I will pass on that.

KATY PERRY – “Ghost”
The ballad lifted from her recent #1 album, PRISM, is technically about an ex-lover breaking it off, but the Phantom Of The Popera still lives on and slows down the tempo a bit. While not the strongest song on the album, it won’t soon be disappearing.

KE$HA – “Supernatural”
She just premiered the second season of My Crazy Beautiful Life on MTV last night, and rumor has it there’s a video in the works for this song. This slick pop anthem is all about getting crazy and freaky; I do think she knows a thing or two about that.

MAYER HAWTHORNE – “The Innocent”
“You want it/She’s got it/The innocent are never seen again,” sings Hawthorne on this spooky jam about a mysterious lady about a girl who charms her suitors to the point of no return. Taken from Where Does This Door Go, the album track is hot one.

SIA featuring THE WEEKND and DIPLO – “Elastic Heart”
With a shrill but captivating vocal from both Sia and The Weeknd against a drum-heavy experimental backing, “Heart” has an intriguing and mysterious sensibility to it. Pretty soon, you’ll find it on the soundtrack to The Hunger Games: Catching Fire.

THE KILLERS – “Shot At The Night”
Straight out of the Steve Winwood songbook of catchy 80’s pop ditties, this “Higher Love”-influenced track, produced by the French band M83, is spacey synthesizer heaven. The Direct Hits single is a solid inclusion on here for that groovy get-together.

If you have any more suggestions, feel free to comment below, and follow PGTC by clicking the “Get Social!” tab above or the “Follow” tab at the bottom of this page.

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TURN IT UP TUESDAY: What’s New In Stores This Week (July 23)

"Get it" together, girl.

A balloon ride to the top.

It’s a week that’s simply Selegendary in the eyes on some music fans. Here’s your releases report from the world of Disney and beyond for the week of July 23:

  • Stars Dance is the first solo album for Selena Gomez without her band The Scene. With a #1 pop radio hit in “Come & Get It” and an album chalk full of big singles, there’s no doubt that this will be big. Question is, will it be #1, or will Jay Z hold onto the top spot for a third week? Gomez could just edge him out. (iTunes)
  • Dancing his way into stores is Marc Anthony with 3.0, his first album in three years and his first salsa genre album in over a decade. The first single is “Vivir Mi Vida” (“To Live My Life”). (iTunes)
  • The soundtrack from the Smurfs 2 is in shops today. It features the recent single by Britney Spears, “Ooh La La”. (iTunes)
  • He’s known for songs like “Best Song Ever” and “Good 4 It”; now, the second full-length album for California’s Wallpaper., Ricky Reed Is Real, is out. (iTunes)
  • If you’re a fan of the Smashing Pumpkins, their 1996 box set, The Aeroplane Flies High, is being reissued this week. The original release had five discs; this has an added six album of live cuts and an additional DVD. (iTunes)
  • Other albums out this week include Creole Soul by Etienne Charles (iTunes), My Favorite Picture Of You by Guy Clark (iTunes) and a self-titled album by the Winery Dogs (iTunes).

New digital-only singles that you can buy this week include:

  • “All Night”, from the daring dance duo Icona Pop. (iTunes)
  • “American Girl”, a new pop anthem from Bonnie McKee. (iTunes)
  • “Baby I”, a new R&B-flavored single from Ariana Grande. (iTunes)
  • “Best Song Ever”, the latest from boy band One Direction. (iTunes)
  • “Love More”, a collaboration between Chris Brown and Nicki Minaj. (iTunes)

Next week, Robin Thicke will be looking for a thick sales debut for his Blurred Lines album, while the Backstreet Boys and Emblem3 will battle it out for top boy band honors. We’ll see what happens in seven.

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Highlights from Adam’s Top 40: July 14, 2013

Dude's got a double-digit hit.

Dude’s got a double-digit hit.

40. Bonnie McKee – American Girl
37. Justin Timberlake – Take Back The Night
36. Olly Murs – Hey You Beautiful | HIGHEST DEBUT

34. The 1975 – Chocolate (40)
32. John Newman – Love Me Again (36)
24. Passenger – Holes (32) | BIGGEST MOVER — two weeks
20. Grouplove – Ways To Go (24)

10. Sheppard – Let Me Down Easy (10) | PEAK: #10
09. Walk Off The Earth – Red Hands (07) | PEAK: #05
08. Florida-Georgia Line featuring Nelly – Cruise (06) | PEAK: #03
07. Maroon 5 – Love Somebody (09) | PEAK: #07
06. Pink featuring Lily Rose Cooper – True Love (08) | PEAK: #06
05. Sara Bareilles – Brave (05) | PEAK: #05
04. Bruno Mars – Treasure (03) | PEAK: #03
03. Daft Punk featuring Pharrell Williams – Get Lucky (02) | PEAK: #02
02. Mayer Hawthorne – Her Favorite Song (04) | PEAK: #02
01. Passenger – Let Her Go (01) | PEAK: #01 for ten weeks

Top 10 Next In Line:
1. Savoir Adore – Dreamers (3)
2. Fitz & The Tantrums – 6AM (1)
3. Toad The Wet Sprocket – New Constellation (6)
4. Rudimental featuring John Newman – Feel The Love (2)
5. Parachute – Can’t Help (4)
6. Taylor Swift featuring Ed Sheeran – Everything Has Changed (-)
7. Austin Mahone – What About Love? (5)
8. Matt Cardle & Melanie C – Loving You (-)
9. Capital Cities – Kangaroo Court (-)
10. MKTO – Classic (8)

In The Mix:
A*STAR – Dodging Teadrops
Backstreet Boys – In A World Like This
Barenaked Ladies – Odds Are
Demi Lovato – Made In The USA
Ellie Goulding – Burn
Elton John – Home Again
Emeli Sandé – My Kind Of Love (new)
Franz Ferdinand – Right Action
Glenn Morrison featuring Islove – Goodbye
Hey Ocean! – Big Blue Wave
Jim Brickman featuring Luke McMaster – Every Shade Of You
John Mayer – Paper Doll
Jonas Brothers – First Time
Kelly Clarkson – Tie It Up
Krewella – Live For The Night
Little Mix – Change Your Life
Mayer Hawthorne – The Stars Are Ours (new)
Mika featuring Ariana Grande – Popular Song
Mike Posner – The Way It Used To Be
Mutya Keisha Siobhan – Flatline
Olly Murs – Dance With Me Tonight (re-entry)
One Direction – Best Song Ever (new)
Phillip Phillips – Where We Came From
San Cisco – Fred Astaire
Satellite – Say The Words
Serena Ryder – What I Wouldn’t Do (new)
Tony Lucca – Never Gonna Let You Go
Travis – Moving

Chart Notes:

  • He’s still got it and he won’t let go. Passenger is #1 for the tenth week in a row with “Let Her Go”, his first single to make my chart. “Go” is the first song to hit the double-digit mark on top on my chart since “Need You Now” by Lady Antebellum, which spent eleven weeks at #1 in 2010. That went onto be my top song of that year. Will the same result occur with Mr. Rosenberg? Just a few months to go…
  • Just outside the top ten are “Bruises” by Train (featuring Ashley Monroe) (#11) and “What If” by Five For Fighting (#12). The San Francisco-based band and Los Angeles-based singer-songwriter are former labelmates that now find each other back-to-back in the countdown. Look for them to both climb next week.
  • With the fourth hit to chart from Right Place Right Time, Olly Murs debuts at #36 with “Hey You Beautiful”, which gets a digital release in the United Kingdom next month. Murs is also climbing with his last single to be released in that territory, “Dear Darlin'”, which rises a spot to a new peak of #17.
  • Coming off two #2 hits, “Suit & Tie” and “Mirrors”, Justin Timberlake is hoping the leadoff single from his second part of The 20/20 Experience series doesn’t suffer the same fate too. That would be “Take Back The Night”, which enters at #37 after just being released on Friday.
  • Finally, she’s been a hit songwriter for several years now and she’s recording once again. Bonnie McKee enters at #40 with “American Girl”. McKee first made my New & Active with “Somebody” in the summer of 2004, failing to chart, but during a rerelease the next year, it went to #20 and spent 9 weeks in the top 40.

See my full chart on the M4BCC message board.

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