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Raspberries Return to LA Next Week for Two Shows

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by Chuck Clayton for LAist

Toothpaste is good and so is orange juice, but it’s a goddamn tragedy every time you try to combine them. Like power-pop.

Seems like a no-brainer on paper, you know — mixing Beatles melodic values with bigger guitars and drums — but, in practice, power pop nearly never works. It’s usually whiny and wimpy and often flabby, too, all the wrong Paul McCartney moves played by, well, Beatle nerds who sing boringly about their ineptitude with the ladies.

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Oh, sure, there’s the Knack’s “My Sharona” and some Cheap Trick, I guess, if you like Cheap Trick, and maybe you do, and maybe you want to consider “Saturday Night” by the Bay City Rollers power-pop, and if you do, no, that’s fine, that’s OK. It’s your call. This is America, you know, and I believe it was President Bush who said if you can’t call “Saturday Night” by the Bay City Rollers power-pop, then the terrorists win.

And then there’s the Raspberries.

And since this is America, and the terrorists do not win, and the reunited Raspberries are playing a couple SoCal shows, what better time to be alive (except certainly the early ‘70s, when the Raspberries were first together) and to celebrate what is arguably the only fully actualized power-pop group in power-pop history?

Led by chief singer-songwriter Eric Carmen, the Raspberries busted out in 1972 with their Top 5 single, “Go All The Way,” a three-minute-something pop opera, all Beatles-y, Who-y, Beach Boys-y (Beach Boise?) and giddy and thrilled, and laughing and singing C’mon! C’mon!, so anxious to get to the chorus that the verses are literally 5 seconds long. Though the Beatles had only broken up two years earlier, the Raspberries treated the British Invasion as if had happened decades before, like classic groups to be referenced and riffed on, rather than the near-contemporaries they were.