Monday, October 20, 2014
Tuesday, October 07, 2014
The EP naturally starts with its namesake Verdugo Park, a happy tune about a happy place where life can't be that hard. Hell, the tune prominently features a tuba and Brandon's own kids. I dare you not to smile while listening to it. Musically, it's what you might expect and would want to hear from Brandon after 2011's excellent change-of-pace 13 Satellites. Forgive the lazy Beatles reference, but consider Verdugo Park Brandon's pre-Sgt. Pepper release; a striking yet fleeting hint of the brilliant promise of what's next. It's a full-on embrace of studio magic, and Brandon has become quite the magician. Hell, I can't even see the green screen in the accompanying magical video ...
Magic. Following the title track is the trippy instrumental Lapiz Lazuli. To carry the Beatles comparison further, it's the Lennon after the McCartney. It's impossible not to hear the mid-60s influence of Tomorrow Never Knows, but it's not merely a copy; it's a Schottsian original. You can picture Brandon working meticulously on this one in the wee hours of a Sunday morning drinking a Scotch while hoping not to wake the kids. My only criticism is that it's not five minutes longer.
Finally, the EP finishes with a perfectly pleasant cover of Castaway. It's an appropriate balance to the rest of the EP and reminds you of earlier, simpler Schott that is more stripped and less studio. Remarkably, in a mere six minutes on a single EP, Brandon Schott has showcased his best qualities. If the intent was to get us pumped for a full-length, well dammit, it's a job well done.
Disclosure: We at Too Poppy consider Brandon a good friend. In other words, he can do no wrong. Of course, a thorough listen to his catalog reveals the truth behind our opinion. Go on. Discover and explore already.
Verdugo Park is out today digitally and available very soon physically!
Official Site | Bandcamp | iTunes | Amazon
Wednesday, September 24, 2014
Here's a wallet-friendly offer from the Beatles - 4, a new digital EP from the fab four for free (get it?). "Taste the individual brilliance" of John, Paul, George, and Ringo. Love by John, Call Me Back Again by Paul, Let It Down from George, and Walk With You from Ringo. Of course you probably already have these songs, but hey - they're free.
Tuesday, September 23, 2014
Here they go again. The Beatles are relentlessly relieving our wallets of our hard-earned cash with even more releases. They must be the most prolific band that broke up more than 40 years ago.
It's George Harrison week on Conan, which means four performances of classic Harrison tunes. Beck kicked it off last night with Wah-Wah, a refreshingly unique choice.
Of course what I love most is his band, which includes Jellyfish's Jason Falkner and Roger Joseph Manning Jr. Of course Jr. has been playing with Beck for many years and Falkner has played with McCartney himself, so it's legit. Paul Simon, Dhani Harrison, and Norah Jones will finish off the week. Each of the remaining artists have some personal connection to the Quiet One, which makes the whole idea that much more special.
It's all to celebrate this week's release of George Harrison's The Apple Years, a six album box set that includes, well, all his albums released by Apple Records, including his tour de force All Things Must Pass.
Official Site | Amazon | iTunes
Monday, September 22, 2014
Rolling Stone has all the details as well as the tracklist here! Pre-order below.
Rolling Stone | Official Site | Amazon | iTunes
Tuesday, September 09, 2014
The Art Of McCartney Track List:
1. Billy Joel - "Maybe I'm Amazed"
2. Bob Dylan - "Things We Said Today"
3. Heart - "Band on the Run"
4. Steve Miller - "Junior's Farm"
5. Yusuf Islam - "The Long and Winding Road"
6. Harry Connick, Jr. - "My Love"
7. Brian Wilson - "Wanderlust"
8. Corinne Bailey Rae - "Bluebird"
9. Willie Nelson - "Yesterday"
10. Jeff Lynne - "Junk"
11. Barry Gibb - "When I'm 64"
12. Jamie Cullum - "Every Night"
13. Kiss - "Venus and Mars"/"Rock Show"
14. Paul Rodgers - "Let Me Roll It"
15. Roger Daltrey - "Helter Skelter"
16. Def Leppard - "Helen Wheels"
17. The Cure, featuring James McCartney - "Hello Goodbye"
18. Billy Joel - "Live and Let Die"
19. Chrissie Hynde - "Let It Be"
20. Cheap Trick's Robin Zander and Rick Nielsen - "Jet"
21. Joe Elliott - "Hi Hi Hi"
22. Heart - "Letting Go"
23. Steve Miller - "Hey Jude"
24. Owl City - "Listen to What the Man Said"
25. Perry Farrell - "Got to Get You Into My Life"
26. Dion - "Drive My Car"
27. Allen Toussaint - "Lady Madonna"
28. Dr. John - "Let 'Em In"
29. Smokey Robinson - "So Bad"
30. The Airborne Toxic Event - "No More Lonely Nights"
31. Alice Cooper - "Eleanor Rigby"
32. Toots Hibbert with Sly & Robbie - "Come and Get It"
33. B.B. King - "On the Way"
34. Sammy Hagar - "Birthday"
The Art of McCartney Bonus Tracks:
1. Robert Smith - C Moon"
2. Booker T. Jones - "Can't Buy Me Love"
3. Ronnie Spector - "P.S. I Love You"
4. Darlene Love - "All My Loving"
5. Ian McCulloch - "For No One"
6. Peter, Bjorn and John - "Put It There"
7. Wanda Jackson - "Run Devil Run"
8. Alice Cooper - "Smile Away"
It really is a nice mix of Beatles' and solo tunes, old and newer. It's an eclectic range of artists as well. I'm insanely curious to hear Brian Wilson's take on the near-sappy Wanderlust, but really want nothing to do with Kiss. Ever. Check out the perfect cover of Hello Goodbye by The Cure below for a taste.
Out November 17/18 in a variety of fancy, 21st century formats.
Official Site | Rolling Stone | iTunes | Amazon
All tech and fanboy eyes were on Apple today when they announced the new iPhone and the possibly game-changing Apple Watch. Hopefully more relevant to your interests as a Too Poppy reader however, U2 did in fact perform at the conclusion of the Apple event as rumored. Excitingly they also announced the instantaneous release of their new full-length studio album Songs of Innocence. Brilliant.
As an Apple geek I watched it all unfold in real time via live-bloggers - er - I mean I was working all day and only just read about it. My jaw quite literally dropped before transforming to a dumb-ass grin as U2 announced they were actually giving the album away free to all iTunes users! I was quite pleased to come home, fire up the MacBook, and find the album in my iTunes.
After today I expect the whole stunt to be referenced in dictionary examples of the word synergy. In an age where every artist wants someone, anyone, to hear their music so they could possibly make a living out of it, kudos to U2 for capturing the moment and setting a precedent. Of course the genius of it was the shock value so it will be hard to replicate. But it's the New World! Play along or get the hell off!
iTunes | Official Site | Apple
P.S. The music is exactly what you'd expect from post-prime U2. Soaring guitars, earnest lyrics, and Bono. It's not groundbreaking nor is it merely a boring retread of past success. It sounds precisely like U2 in 2014, which from me should be interpreted as a compliment.