Wednesday, August 08, 2018

Bird Streets

Jason Falkner.

There. I said it. That's who brought me to Bird Streets and John Brodeur, who evidently is the big Bird here. Jason, notably of Jellyfish, Beck, McCartney, and solo fame, produced the album and co-wrote much of it. His influence shouldn't be ignored, but John is the talent worthy of a deep dive.

Power pop.

Ugh. I've struggled with the genre term since the very minute I started Too Poppy. In my opinion, so much power pop hangs it all on a singular hook or two and spreads it across an album or even a career. Yet on relatively rare occasion, something like Bird Streets comes along to inspire me to declare, "BEST POWER POP ALBUM OF THE YEAR!"

John Brodeur and power pop.

A glorious combo. There are hooky twists, clever lyrical play, and earworms galore on this debut that evoke the genre's best from the 60s through the 90s. John's voice could easily be confused with Dan Wilson's, and that is not a concern at all, nor is it meant to minimize what a great sound he delivers. Wilson is quite a talent to be compared to, and I'm thrilled to report the songwriting lives up to it as well. 2018 has been a fantastic year for new music, and I can't imagine Bird Streets won't hang around in my top five of the year.

Finally, we should all be grateful for Omnivore Recordings who continue to support this kind of music we love, whatever we want to call it. Bird Streets was released last week for those of us who were PledgeMusic supporters, but it'll be available for all on Friday!

Official Site

Direction Music Video

Monday, April 02, 2018

Matthew Sweet - Tomorrow's Daughter

Matthew Sweet returns to the road this spring and summer (and by road I really mean it - his dislike of flying is well documented) and surprisingly brings along the news of a new (re)release. It appears Tomorrow's Daughter is getting its own moment. Originally it was a bonus album for certain pledge levels of his long-gestated Kickstarter campaign for last year's Tomorrow Forever. This is his most significant one-two punch since 2003-2004 when his (at the time) Japan exclusive and utterly fantastic Kimi Ga Suki * Raifu was followed by the mostly acoustic Living Things.

Tomorrow's Daughter is worthy of its own release and in many ways is more focused and satisfying at 12 songs than its mother album that felt overlong at 17. It doesn't quite have a killer single like his best 90s work or even Tomorrow Forever, but for those of us that have been along every step of the way, it doesn't disappoint. For me, Something Someone and Ever After are standouts. No word on the official release date or whether it will be any different from last year's version, but then again, it's sometimes tough to get info on Sweet. All this was buried in an article posted on the Des Moines venue's event page for his show this summer. And buried in that article is an announcement of yet another new album called Wicked System of Things to be released later this year! Three albums in two years? How about some vinyl reissues of some older stuff too? Loving this resurgence.

Now back to the tour. It kicks off in Atlanta on May 23 and wraps up in Nashville in July. Keep it up, Mr. Sweet. The full tour is listed on his website. I'll see you in Des Moines June 27!

Matthew Sweet - iTunes
Matthew Sweet - Official Site

Wednesday, February 14, 2018

jeremy messersmith - Purple Hearts

From his upcoming "orchestral pop record" Late Stage Capitalism, here's jeremy messersmith with Purple Hearts.

And yes, you were absolutely supposed to read that in your best radio voice. The return-to-form album is out 3/9 and available for pre-order tomorrow. He's a criminally underrated popster that requires your attention now.

Official Site

Friday, January 12, 2018

Standing at the Gates: The Songs of Nada Surf's Let Go

Outside of The Beatles, I don't think I've ever been more infatuated with an album 15 years after its release than Nada Surf's Let Go. Quite simply, it's perfect. And in the past year it's risen rapidly to my top five of all time. That's the glory of music. You just never know when and how it'll hit you, yet I couldn't be more grateful. Treading Water? C'mon. That's just not fair to the other kids out there making music.

Nada Surf has been celebrating the anniversary with ones of those tours during which they play the whole album during the first set. Get all the dates here, but man what I wouldn't do to get to the Atlanta show in May.

The band also recently announced a covers album called Standing at the Gates featuring the likes of Aimee Mann, Rogue Wave, The Long Winters, Ed Harcourt, and more. That'll be released 2/2 and won't come close to the original, but hey, we can't listen to the same album over and over and over again, can we?

Pre-order the covers album here and download the original here.

Monday, December 04, 2017

Brandon Schott - Room 8

Very few new releases could nudge me out of semi-retirement, but Brandon Schott has been a favorite around here for a very long time. The surprise Room 8 includes pure and acoustic renditions of a few of his classics and more. This is late-night music best served with whiskey on the rocks next to a slow-burning fire to quiet the noise of a long, busy day. This is the soundtrack to the twilight of a scary year. This is music for the soul.

Support Brandon at Bandcamp

Sunday, November 12, 2017

Thursday, February 26, 2015

It's Been A Long Cold Lonely Winter

Leave it to some lost gem of The Beatles and George Harrison to drag me out of my long winter's nap. A lost guitar solo from Here Comes The Sun?! Holy shit this is awesome.