Also see the companion album of rarities: Basement Tapes, Vol. 1

Announcing the new Mimi Betinis album: MUSIC SOUNDS

MUSIC SOUNDS is the latest release from Mimi Betinis, featuring a powerful blend of melodic rock and a few surprises. Mimi is joined by some of his Pezband-mates on five of the tracks and the album is produced by John Pavletic (who produced Pezband’s Cover to Cover, Thirty Seconds Over Schaumburgand Dangerous People albums). You won’t want to miss this.

Watch the video for the first single “Summer Love ’68”

WATCH THE ALBUM TRAILER

ALBUM CREDITS

Produced by John Pavletic and Mimi Betinis
Engineered and mastered by John Pavletic

Preproduction on This Girl and She Wants You: Stan Skora
Say The Word recorded at Howling Sow Studio with Bill Steed

© 2016 Betinis Publishing ASCAP

REVIEWS/AWARDS

One of the best bands in that second wave of Power Pop from 1977 onward were Pezband. Stop! Wait A Minute remains on of the great Power Pop songs, up there with the likes of Starry Eyes. My other half is as far removed from a Power Pop fan as you could imagine and yet that song is on her Spotify playlist.

Those three albums between 1977 and 1979 stand up with any of the New Wave breed and the band were fantastic live. The thing that shone most amongst the killer choruses was that Betinis voice, a thing of wonder.

The great news is that that voice is still in fine fettle and although it’s been a long six year wait since 2010’s excellent All That Glitters, it’s well worth the wait because Music Sounds is a cracker of an album.

Pontiac is the most Pezband like, the album though is poptastic. McCartney-esque on Sound The Alarm, which has some great harmonies and a killer riff, wonderfully moody on Listen To Me, Funky on This Girl.

Palm Of Her Hand has a Merseybeat shuffle, Say The Word is a gem with it’s Pilot like riff and the closer, There Is Love is almost Moroder like. She Wants You showcases his voice beautifully on a 60’s singalong, Corinna could appear on any of those three Pezband albums and not be out of place.

The album has all those trademark licks and choruses, but most of all it has THAT voice.

Members of Pezband help out on five of the songs and the album is produced by John Pavletic, who produced Cover To Cover.

—Don Valentine, UK Music Blog I Don’t Hear a Single


It’s hard to believe it’s been six years since Mimi Betinis released “All That Glitters,” a brilliant record that hit all the right pop sweet spots.

This year, his profile is proving to be considerably higher. Frodis Records rescued Betinis’s Pezband e.p. “Women & Politics” from mothballs, releasing it on beautiful gold vinyl. This month saw the release of not one new record but two — “Music Sounds” and “Basement Tapes, Volume 1.”

“Corinna,” with gritty guitars and a nifty chorus harmony, pulls you in before you know what’s hit you. The waltzy “Palm of Her Hand” showcases Betinis’s greatest gift, the ability to recall Lennon AND McCartney in a single vocal. How does he do it?

Painted with subtle touches of backward guitars and under-produced pianos, “Music Sounds” is unpretentiously brilliant in the best ways possible. These songs will occupy space in your head long after the last note is heard. Highly recommended.

—Dan Pavelich, Kenosha News


Mimi Betinis is well known to power pop fans as the lead vocalist and guitarist for Pezband, one of the very first acts to embrace the genre. In addition to performing with the group and releasing the 2014 rarities collection Dangerous People – Pezband Nineteen Hundred Seventy Nine, Betinis is also a solo artist. The recently released Music Sounds continues the approach of his 2010 All That Glitters in exploring different types of music while keeping the emphasis on strong melodies.

“This Girl” has a playful Latin feel, along with fluid piano playing and funky guitars. The techno beat of “There Is Love” is irresistible from the start, while the strings-embellished “Palm Of Her Hand” sounds like 1960s make out music. Betinis evokes Paul McCartney’s “Another Day” with the light, melodic fare of “Listen To Me Boy” and a reworked “Say The Word” from All That Glitters.

There’s also the party rock of “Most Of The Time,” a tribute to a (usually) faithful lover, while the guitar-fueled “Pontiac” takes listeners on a nationwide quest to find the answers to life’s assorted mysteries. “Sound The Alarm” taps into vintage Pezband as Betinis vows to save the world from heartache, starting with a particular woman he has in mind.

—Terry Flamm, Broken-Hearted Toy


An incredible, vivid, quite alive offering of melodic treasures populates this glorious album, without question one of this year’s best releases. Every song is a wonderfully realized pop confection, particularly three that hit the hooky bullseye: “Say the Word,” “She Wants You,” which surreptitiously recalls the famed intro to the Ronettes’ “Be My Baby” in the intro, and “Summer Love,” a warm love letter and look back to a seasonal romance (that, perhaps unknowingly, taps the sound of 10cc member Eric Stewart’s guitar playing in the solo). A pure pop masterpiece that will spin in your orbit for years to come.

—Alan Haber, Pure Pop Radio


Pezband’s Betinis scores with two sterling releases in 2016 that are really two sides of a rather entertaining coin, so they both rate a spot in this Stars of 2016 feature. Music Sounds is a vivid, quite alive offering of melodic treasures. Its songs are wonderfully realized pop confections that hit the hooky bullseye, like “She Wants You,” which surreptitiously recalls the famed intro to the Ronettes’ “Be My Baby” in the intro, and “Summer Love,” a warm love letter and look back to a seasonal romance (that, perhaps unknowingly, taps the sound of 10cc member Eric Stewart’s guitar playing in the solo).

Basement Tapes Vol. 1 collects tracks that Mimi has been working on over the years, like “Ray of Light,” a melodic sweetness that sounds like an Andy Partridge outtake off of XTC’s Nonsuch album, and simply lovely covers (Paul McCartney’s song for Mary Hopkin, “Goodbye,” and the Hudson Brothers’ “So You Are a Star” are glorious). Saying that some heritage artists are only getting better as time passes by can sound like rather an empty assertion, but my, how that phrase does indeed fit snug as a bug, listening to Music Sounds and Basement Tapes Vol. 1.

—Favorite Records of the Year: Stars of 2016, Alan Haber, Pure Pop Radio


The former frontman for seminal ‘70s power popsters Pezband is back with some swell new music, and the good news is that his vocals sound pretty much the same as they did all those years ago – which is to say he still sounds great. Backed by some former Pezband mates as well as ex-Off Broadway drummer Ken Harck on some of the tunes, there are highlights sprinkled throughout: “Corinna” and “Sound the Alarm” come off like long-lost Pezband cuts, “She Wants You” is a melodic nugget that evokes the sound and spirit of the early Beatles, and “Palm of Her Hand” is a sweetly-sung ballad that would have slotted in perfectly on the American Graffiti soundtrack. Proof that old(er) popsters can age gracefully. (A companion piece to Music Sounds is Basement Tapes Vol. 1, a mainly acoustic offering that finds Betinis plundering the vaults and coming up with treats such as faithful covers of the Hudson Brothers’ “So You Are a Star” and Paul McCartney’s “Goodbye,” along with a simply gorgeous reading of Pezband’s “Didn’t We” titled “Didn’t We 1979,” which features Off Broadway vocalist Cliff Johnson and manages to outshine the stellar original version.)

—2016 Wrapup, John Borack, Goldmine


Twirlie Awards – Best Songs of 2016 (Pontiac) – TwirlRadio.com

SONG CREDITS & LINER NOTES

Pontiac

Ever sit and wonder why things are the they are?
Why do mountains tower over us why are dreams so bizarre?
As luck would have it – jumped in a Pontiac car
Headed west California way – Hollywood and the stars

So I sit here wondering why – how this all went down
Blue eyed babe in arms last night – today she’s not around
You know I’ve really had it – no answers to nothing at all
I’ll take that Pontiac car and turn it right back around

Don’t you want to know why everything is
What makes the blue sky so blue
Don’t you want to know why everything is
What makes the blue sky so blue
Don’t you want to know why everything is
What makes your blue eyes so blue
Don’t you want to know why everything is
What makes your blue eyes so blue

SPOKEN: The answer to these questions and more in the next song…


This is a very short synopsis of my 1982 trip to Los Angeles in search of fame and fortune after the demise of Pezband. The 1966 Pontiac Bonneville was a great car and served me well there and back despite having 148,000 miles on it. John Pavletic had a ’65 Gibson ES 120 sitting in his basement. It was in disrepair but it had
a very comfortable neck on it. I had it fixed up and came up with the chord progression for Pontiac. It sounded like a march to me no melody or lyric. I played it for Kenny Harck who insisted I come up with a melody line. So, here it ’tis.


Mimi Betinis- vocal, guitar, keyboard
Mike Gorman- bass
Ken Harck- drums

Summer Love ’68

You and me were just the freer kind – had the style the look the open mind
Threw the past in a wishing well – had a secret we would never tell
All of this I remember oh so well

All the summer days were made of green – every summer night a magic scene
Coffee house had a heady crowd – hear you laugh at a joke I’d tell
All of this I remember oh so well

Remember remember – summer love ’68 – you and me made a date
Rendezvous – midnight moon – me and you

I still smell the flowers in your hair – hear the sound of music everywhere
You and me ’neath the willow tree – in the back seat of an old Capri
And your kiss I remember oh so well

Remember remember…

I can hear the whispers from the past – see your face and the memories we have had

Remember remember…


This number is about a girl I met in 1968. There was a lot we had in common: a Greek heritage and the love of blues music. She kind of haunted me and so I wrote this song. Now that the song is complete, I don’t really think about her as much: only when I hear the song. Musically, Summer Love actually came out of a song I started in 1982 which was called “Help! Somebody.” I could not get it right nor in the right key for me. Fumbling around with the chords, I found the chorus line and quickly put this version together.


Mimi Betinis- vocal, guitar, keyboard
Mike Gorman- bass
John Pavletic- drum programming

Corinna

You used to mean the world to me – thought that I would always be
Loving you eternally
Now feelings don’t seem the same – never even say your name
Love has been a losing game

Corinna Corinna Corinna Corinna…

We fought just like a raging war – cried just like a thunder storm
Was it all worth fighting for?
Now things have changed and so they must – pillars fall to tumbling dust
So it has become for us

Corinna Corinna Corinna Corinna…

Love flowed out to the open sea – washed away like you and me
This was never meant to be

Corinna Corinna Corinna Corinna…


A song about another long lost love. Turned out that I could not even stand being in the same room with her. So much for young love.


Mimi Betinis- vocal, guitar, vihuela, keyboard
Mike Gorman- bass
John Pavletic- drum program

Listen to Me


This song is inspired by one of my favorite writers: Emitt Rhodes. When I heard his first album, which he recorded and produced by himself, I bought a sound on sound tape machine and tried my hand at doing the same. The message in this 1981 number is a scolding to not break the girl’s heart. The message is written to me. BTW, in February of 2016, Emitt released his first album in over 40 years: Rainbow Ends.


Mimi Betinis- vocal, guitar, bass, keyboard, percussion
Randy Antlept- drums
Giovanna Betinis- spoken word

This Girl


Another song about the girl who dumped me just before she dumped me! I was so happy and thrilled to have a girl like this…or so I thought. There is a lot of Santana and Instant Karma in the production.

Mimi Betinis- vocal, guitar, bass, keyboard, percussion
Randy Antlept- drums

Most of the Time

It makes me happy to see you happy
Any old time any old day
It makes me happy you shaking your stuff
No I can’t get enough any old way

Ooh baby you you make me happy
Ooh baby you you make me happy

Well it gets me going because I’m a knowing
That you are mine well most of the time
You got me smiling twenty four seven
’Cause you are mine most of the time — come on

Ooh baby you you make me happy
Ooh baby you don’t you know you make me happy

It makes me happy to see you happy
Any old time any old day yeah
It gets me going because I’m a knowing
That you are mine well most of the time
And it makes me happy yeah you make me happy
Can’t you see I’m happy well you make me happy


This song is about my little daughter dancing and shaking. I figured that she is mine when she is home with me and not when she is away.


Mimi Betinis- vocal, guitar, keyboard, percussion
Mike Gorman- bass
Mick Rain- drums
John Pavletic- backup vocal

She Wants You

Mimi Betinis- vocal, guitar, bass, percussion
Randy Antlept- drums

Sound the Alarm

There is an urgency – a true emergency
Somebody needs attention soon
There’s fire undercover – someone has left another
Somewhere somebody’s feeling blue
Alarms are going off – they’re screaming at the top
There’s something going on I know
I’ll get the message out – I’ll send for rescue help
Maybe that someone is you

Sound the alarm someone
Sound the alarm someone

There’s always someone crying somewhere a heart is breaking
Somebody’s found a love that’s new
Someone has left another – someone has kissed another
Somebody’s caught the photo too
It’s all a jumbled mess – it puts us to the test I know it’s nothing very new
I’ll get the message out – I’ll send for rescue help
Maybe that someone is you

I’ll try to get there just as fast as I can
I’ll try to comfort with the touch of the hand
I’ll stay right with you ’til the smoke has all cleared away – far away

I hear the bells are ringing – siren screaming, lovers weeping
Don’t worry help is on the way
We’re gonna save them all before another heart is gone
Sound the alarm someone
I’d pull the lever – yes I would if I could


I wrote Sound the Alarm about five years ago in my basement studio. I had just bought a vintage Martin D-28 and used Nashville tuning with a capo and came up with the chord progression. The song is about helping those who can’t help themselves. Inspiration came from watching stupid media TV shows and the cameras that record our every move.  Some musical influences: Paul McCartney & Wings as well as Brian Wilson’s organ playing.


Mimi Betinis- vocal, guitar, keyboard, percussion
Mike Gorman- bass
Randy Antlept- drums

Palm of Her Hand

I had a girl pretty little girl she was the one that I believed in

She had it all right in the palm of her hand

I loved her so more than heaven knows she loved me too
but could never show
She had it all right in the palm of her hand

I never cried so alone before when I stop my crying
I’ll give love once more

I had a girl pretty little girl she was the one that I believed in
She had it all right in the palm of her hand


This is a direct influence of romantic ballads from about 1962 ala Percy Faith. It is about a girl that dumped me who seemingly had everything right at her fingertips. See “Say the Word” for more…


Mimi Betinis- vocal, guitar, bass, keyboard
Ken Harck- drums, percussion

Say the Word (Power Pop Mix)

I want to be with, I need to be with, I used to hear you
Say those words to me every weekend night
Now you’re gone just memories I have every single night
Though I’m sure you’ll not return, I guess some hearts just never learn

Say the word, say the word, say the word, and I’ll set you free
But together we will always be

I’ll never leave you, I do believe you, I used to hear you
Say those words to me when I held you close
That was then and now you surely are holding someone else
You were a fixture of my heart, man I thought we’d never part

Say the word…

I want to touch you, I want so much to, I used to hear you
Say those words to me every weekend night
Now you’re gone – sweet memories I have every single night
Though I’m sure you’ll not return, I guess my heart will never learn

Say the word…


This was inspired by a girlfriend from many years ago. She has been the subject of many of my songs because she dumped me! She actually said these words to me and then by chance, one day I saw her in the arms of another guy who was (to put it mildly) not the best looking guy in the world (or even in the room). Oh well. Love is blind, right?


Mimi Betinis- vocal, guitar, autoharp, bass, keyboard, percussion
John Pavletic- drum programming

There is Love

Where there’s heart there is love – where there’s love there is heart
Through your eyes we feel love – violet eyes feel the love love

In your eyes there is love – violet eyes see the love love

Where there’s heart there is love – where there’s love there is heart
In your eyes there is love – violet eyes speak of love


This song is a nod to my obsession with the looks of Elizabeth Taylor. With her remarkable violet eyes, she was known as the most beautiful woman in the world.


Mimi Betinis- vocal, guitar, keyboard, drum programming