There’s a not-so-dark secret that many supposedly hardened rockers or know-it-all indie fans would have a difficult time admitting. You can listen to all the avant-rock noise or heavy metal you want, but sometimes, you just want to listen to bright, shiny, delicious pop music.
Which is exactly why Dean Ford’s debut solo EP is so irresistible — six tracks of good old-fashioned power pop, from the former member of Portland pop-punk band the Goodnight Process. Ford, who will perform Friday, April 29, as part of WHSN-FM’s annual Acoustic Showcase to benefit the National Multiple Sclerosis Society at the Union Street Brick Church in Bangor, is an unabashed pop fanatic.
“Oh yeah, ever since I was a little kid, that’s definitely been my thing,” said Ford, who is based out of Portland. “I was always a huge Beatles fan. When I was little I really loved Wham! and George Michael, too. I’ve always loved pop. It’s kind of ingrained in me.”
Until last year, Ford fronted the Goodnight Process, with former Leftovers bassist Kurt Baker. Their high-energy power-pop, while a huge hit on both WCYY and WHSN, burned too brightly, however, and by the end of 2010 the band had broken up. Baker has gone on to a solo career, and Ford did the same, reworking some Goodnight Process songs into the EP “Deaf. Dumb. In Love.”
“These were songs I’d been working with for a long time, and I always felt like they were my songs, anyway,” said Ford. “Instead of putting a label on it, I just decided to work with them as myself.”
Ford finds performing on his own a bit of a double-edged sword, though it has overall been a positive step in his music.
“It’s a lot easier in terms of writing, because I can be on my own and do what I want, and the solo dynamic is good for me” said Ford. “But you don’t have those other voices to bounce off of, and I do miss that.”
Portland’s music scene spans a wide gamut, though there’s certainly a wealth of both indie rock and hard rock. As a pop guy, he sticks out, which he finds positive.
“The more I push it out there, the more good feedback I get. I think there are plenty of people who like the kind of stuff that I do,” he said. “I’ve been trying to set myself apart from everyone else, because I don’t like hearing the same thing all the time, either. So I put my own spin on it and do my own thing.”
In addition to Ford, four other bands will play at the AS4MS fundraiser next weekend. The Sophomore Beat, the fun, freewheeling power-pop four piece, will perform an acoustic set, as will the Delaware duo The Great Valley, aka Louis and Nick Matos. The Soft Bullets, composed of frontman Chris Wall, Dan Capaldi and Mike Caminiti, formerly of The Cambiata, and bassist Pete Geneva.
Tickets for the show at the Union Street Brick Church are $10 per person, and are available at all Bull Moose Music locations. The show starts at 7:30 p.m. All proceeds go directly to the Greater New England Chapter of the National Multiple Sclerosis Society. For more information on WHSN-FM, the modern rock radio station at the New England School of Communications, visit http://www.facebook.com/WHSN893.
Emily Burnham may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Check out her blog at www.community.bangordailynews.com.