John M. Borack
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John M. Borack is a music journalist and musician from Southern California.
Borack's music reviews, columns and feature articles have appeared in periodicals such as Goldmine, Amplifier, The Garden Grove Journal, Audities and Popsided. He has also contributed to the book and website The Trouser Press Guide to '90s Rock, and has written liner notes for CDs by such diverse artists as The Windbreakers, DM3, Tommy Keene, Raspberries, The Rooks, Starbuck ("Moonlight Feels Right"), The Rembrandts, The Lolas, The Toms, sparkle*jets uk and The Scruffs, among others. He is currently a contributing editor for Goldmine, and writes a monthly column titled Power Pop Plus for the magazine's website.
Borack also penned the extensive notes for Rhino Records' Poptopia! Power Pop Classics of the '80's and has served as executive producer for the CD compilations Beyond Belief: A Tribute to Elvis Costello (SpyderPop Records, 2015), Right to Chews: Bubblegum Classics Revisited (Not Lame Recordings, 2002) and Shoe Fetish: A Tribute to Shoes (Parasol Records, 2001), a tribute disc spotlighting the work of the DIY power pop pioneers.
In 2008, Not Lame Recordings published Borack's first book, Shake Some Action: The Ultimate Power Pop Guide, which quickly sold out four small pressings. In 2010, his second book, John Lennon: Life Is What Happens was published; subtitled 'Music, Memories and Memorabilia,' it served as a biography of the late Beatle as well as a memorabilia guide, with many rare photos included. 2018 will see the release of Borack's third book, titled Shake Some Action 2.0: A Guide to the 200 Greatest Power Pop Albums, 1970 - 2017. Borack's next book, The Beatles: 100 Pivotal Moments that Shaped a Band and its Music, is scheduled for publication in 2019.
Borack currently drums with his band Popdudes (named by sparkle*jets uk singer/songwriter Mike Simmons after Borack's e-mail address), an "almost anything goes" cover band whose unofficial motto is "Maximum Rock Stupidity." The core of Popdudes' rotating lineup is Borack and Simmons, with other musicians participating in live gigs and recording sessions, often spontaneously. A Popdudes full-length release, collecting their recordings from various compilations) and including unreleased material, will be released in 2018 in conjunction with the Shake Some Action 2.0 book.
A version of Popdudes that included Borack, keyboardist Brian Curtis (The Oohs) and guitarist/vocalist Mike Jarvis (The Blow Pops, The Lackloves) performed at the International Pop Overthrow festival in Chicago in 2003, while Borack, vocalist/guitarist Ed James, bassist Severo Jornacion (The Smithereens) and vocalist/guitarist Mike Giblin (Cherry Twister/Parallax Project) appeared as Popdudes at the Charlotte Pop Festival in September 2009 in North Carolina. Popdudes have also performed for the past several years at the International Pop Overthrow festival in Los Angeles.
Other "Popdudes for a Minute or Two" (live and/or in the studio) have included Jamie Knight (sparkle*jets uk), Robin Wills (The Barracudas), Robbie Rist, Walter Clevenger, the late Jeffrey Glenn, Wayne Resnick, Don Mogill (The Dons), Bobby Bognar (Piper Downs), Todd Simmons, Lisa Mychols (Masticators, Nushu), Susan West (sparkle*jets uk), Jeremy Morris, Steve Bancroft (Walter Clevenger and the Dairy Kings), Ken West (Receiver), Kerry Chicoine (Receiver), John Perry (Adam Marsland's Chaos Band), Anthony Grisham, Nicole Kubis, Addison Love, Tim Love, Michael Carpenter, Kira Magoon, Erik Lapporte, Joel Martin, Karen Basset (The Pandoras), Keith Klingensmith (The Legal Matters), Torbjörn Petersson and others.
Borack also played drums with pop-rocker Kenny Howes for several years, as well as with the Barry Holdship Four (2005–09), Receiver (2001–03), the Dons (2002–03), and honeychain (2013-2015), in addition to a brief stint filling in with sparkle*jets uk (early 2000s). He has also played live gigs with Seattle singer/songwriter Irene Peña, and played drums on three tracks on her Trying Not to Smile EP (2017). Borack has also recorded with a loose aggregation called The Slapbacks, which includes Torbjörn Petersson, Keith Klingensmith, and Herb Eimerman; they have placed a number of tunes on various tribute CDs (Dwight Twilley, the Knack, 20/20).