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Tommy Keene, dead at 59 (read tributes from Guided by Voices, Ted Leo & more)

Tommy Keene @ Union Pool in April (more by Lou Montesano)

It’s very sad to learn that power pop / college radio great Tommy Keene has died away at age 59. A brief message on his website said Keene “passed unexpectedly and peacefully in his sleep.”

For some folks, Keene’s style was the sound of the ’80s: bright, jangly guitar pop with hooks out the wazoo. While he never quite got the attention that Matthew Sweet, The Plimsouls, The dB’s or even Let’s Active received, Tommy consistently made terrific records over the last 25 years, including ones for Geffen and Matador. (“Places That Are Gone” is a stone-cold ’80s classic.) He also made a record with Robert Pollard, played on Goo Goo Dolls’ 1998 single, “Broadway,” toured as part of Velvet Crush, and more. You can listen to some of his music, and read tributes from fellow artists (include Guided by Voices, Matthew Sweet, Ted Leo and more), below.

Rest in peace, Tommy. Your music lives on.

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