Recent site activity
Site search
Twitter: my personal feed
Other places at which I post
My mobile photos on Flickr
« Don't be a dick | Main | My own Twitter "newspaper" »

Not Lame dies, but power-pop dreams survive

The video above [NOTE: It's since been deleted] captures an endearing albeit sometimes rambling Bruce Brodeen, owner of Not Lame Records, confirming the closure of the leading power-pop label and his move on to other music ventures (more on that below). 

We knew Not Lame's closure was coming for months, but it's still tough to swallow for hardcore fans of the power-pop genre.  Brodeen is among its leading ambassadors, and Not Lame's demise is confirmation that power pop simply was and probably will remain a niche. 

I'll remember Bruce and Not Lame for:

  1. His "Lost in the Haze" series of power pop "mix tapes" (only on CD) that he'd toss in with some orders. Every "Haze" disc would contain a few forgotten gems (like The Pop's "Down on the Boulevard"), and few stunning discoveries and a half-dozen solid tracks that collectively made for repeat listens. These handmade discs came from the heart, and were unique rewards for regular customers. 
  2. His breathless reviews for any and all power pop bands with over-the-top superlatives. He often was right, but more than a few times put too much lipstick on a pig. I remember dog-earing nearly every page of my very first Not Lame catalog, thinking how is it possible that every band is the next Beatles?
  3. His "grab bag" sales, in which he'd sell a half-dozen unnamed CDs for a fixed fair price (neither rock-bottom nor expensive). You'd get the Not Lame package in the mail, open it up and say, "Who are these bands?" Then you'd play them and say, "Wow, why haven't I heard of these guys before?" Truly serendipitous discoveries of music. 
  4. My Not Lame T-shirt, which is guaranteed to get compliments whenever I wear it. 
  5. His @notlameguy Twitter feed. Bruce's posting was sporadic and almost non-existent over the past year, but his "random vinyl pull" posts (when you blindly pick and album from your collection and play it) were great fun. Bruce's tastes are centered in power pop but his love of classic hard rock and boogie, and recommendations for eclectic music journalism made for some great reading. 

But enough of the past. 

Brodeen is a co-conspirator in a new social network called Rock and Roll Tribe, "a global army of veteran rockers" debating all things rock. A social network for rock geeks, in other words (sample post: "Artists You Were Wrong About"). My kinda place, and I encourage any rock fan to join and share in the fun. 

Brodeen is also working to launch another venture in January called Pop Geek Heaven, described as "The Ultimate Power Pop Community and Resource." Can't wait to see what the future brings. 

Reader Comments (3)

Logan, I failed to keep track of the time frame that Bruce issued those 'Lost in the Haze' CDs (I have 11 of them, not in order). Would you recall the timing? Year(s)? Thanks, Don

September 5, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterDon


All I can say is who knows? Bruce's releases rarely seemed to comes within any predictable schedule or structure. I did a quick search and found references to a Volume 26 so good luck with your quest!

September 13, 2016 | Registered CommenterLogan Molen


Bruce has announced his "retirement" and is clearing out a bunch of his catalog. Over the past few weeks he's given away 25-30 digital downloads of some of his favorite Not Lame albums. His latest deal -- allegedly his last, but we know how that goes -- costs money but includes quite a few of the "Lost in the Haze" collections, which he seems to have retitled "Lost & Forgotten":

October 8, 2017 | Registered CommenterLogan Molen

PostPost a New Comment

Enter your information below to add a new comment.

My response is on my own website »
Author Email (optional):
Author URL (optional):
Some HTML allowed: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <code> <em> <i> <strike> <strong>