Friday, July 29, 2005

The Luckiest in Luckydom

I'm tired and don't want to write all of this is a new, interesting way, so here's an update on Michael Penn, taken verbatim from his email list:

Michael's new CD, Mr. Hollywood Jr., 1947, will be available in stores on August 2. However, you can pre-order it at iTunes today and get an exclusive bonus track, "Down by the Riverside", and a downloadable video and digital booklet.

In other news:
8/3/2005 - Michael will be performing in store at Amoeba Music at 6400 Sunset Blvd. in Hollywood, CA
8/4/2005 - Look for Michael Penn to appear on the NBC's the Tonight Show with Jay Leno

Michael will be touring in North America this summer and fall. Please check his website for current dates.

Thursday, July 28, 2005

It's An International Pop Overthrow

The latest compilation (Volume 8!) of International Pop Overthrow, the best in pop music you probably haven't heard yet, is now out. Big highlight for me: the CD includes a demo tune by the late, great Jim Ellison of Material Issue.

Preview Clip
MP3: Jim Ellison - Each Day I Call Her Name (Not Lame)

Wednesday, July 27, 2005

It's All I Can Do To Conceal My Feelings of Jealousy

Pitchfork gives some low blows to Liz Phair discussing her upcoming new album, tour, and her recent Lollapalooza performance. Damn it's gotta be tough being so cool. Check out a short clip of her new tune Everything to Me. Sounds ok.

Preview Clip
STREAM: Liz Phair - Everything to Me (FMQB)

UPDATE: Stereogum has more links to more previews.

There Is a Fine Line Between Recklessness and Courage

You can check out Paul McCartney's new tune, Fine Line, on his official website here. You need to be a registered user to access the music.

I'm intrigued to hear the full album. Chaos & Creation in the Backyard was produced by Nigel Godrich, who has done good work for Radiohead, Beck, Jason Falkner, and Travis. McCartney plays most of the music, not unlike he did on one of his best solo works, McCartney. Fine Line sounds refreshingly simple and underworked, which for McCartney is a compliment. For much of his work from the 80s on, the music was overwhelmed by overproduction. A skilled craftsman like Godrich just might mesh nicely with McCartney's time-tested ear for a good melody. Lyrically, he's hit or miss, just like on this tune. Upon first listen, though, I'm anxious to hear the rest.

Chaos & Creation comes out on September 12.

STREAM: Paul McCartney - Fine Line

Tuesday, July 26, 2005

Thursday, July 21, 2005

Don't Let Our Troubles Show

News (albeit a month old - damn) from Dan Wilson. Glad he's doing better.

Radio Is A Sound Sensation

I've never been a big fan of Internet radio for some reason. I've been thoroughly enjoying Radio Indie Pop while working this morning though. Color me impressed. Or badd, whatever.

Wednesday, July 20, 2005

It's Certainly a Thrill

You get Paul McCartney and U2 together and you're likely to create some waves (get it? Yes, yes, AAC. Don't ruin this for me!).

Congrats to another record for Macca.

Tuesday, July 19, 2005

Climb In The Back With Your Head In The Clouds

The Beatles have consistently had a decent web presence, especially considering they broke up 35 years ago. Perhaps someone like Matthew Sweet, whose site is woefully outdated, could learn from this. Check out the latest update. As always, it's not for those who enjoy a simple site, but it's certainly easier to navigate than some of their previous high-concept creations.

A Ticket Cost Only Your Mind

Foo Fighters and Weezer are touring together. Did anybody actually listen to the most recent Weezer album?

Make It Last All Night

Last night was the first concert at the new Iowa Events Center and it did not disappoint. Somehow it's easy to forget how immensely popular Tom Petty is. He always seems to be just outside of music lovers' frame of reference. When you're asked about your favorite Hall of Fame artists, you might say The Beatles, Led Zeppelin, or even U2. Petty doesn't often leap to the front of the pack. But if last night is any indication, perhaps he should.

It wasn't a full crowd, which was the only real blemish to the Events Center's first big night. But it's been a long time since I've been to a show in which the audience was so involved and enthralled with the music. Often, I'd hear my fellow concert-goers singing in unison, which at other shows can be quite annoying. What I realized last night, though, is how universal Petty's tunes really are and how ingrained they are in our pop brains. This made for a surprisingly entertaining night.

Pick your favorite Petty hit song and he played it. I was especially thrilled to hear his Full Moon Fever material like I Won't Back Down, Free Fallin', and Runnin' Down a Dream because that was his first album that I really enjoyed (me and millions of others I'm sure if last night's reactions were any indication). The classics like Refugee and the encore performance of American Girl established Petty's performance in proper historical context. Don't Come Around Here No More was another stellar moment. For me, though, the highlight was the night's biggest surprise, a performance of The Traveling Wilburys' biggest hit, Handle With Care. You could almost feel the greats like Harrison, Orbison, and Dylan up there with him. There were better performances of better songs throughout the show, but I never expected a Wilburys' tune so it made my night. Charlie T., Jr. made his pop proud.

I don't get to see a lot of shows, but I'm glad I shelled out 60 bucks on this one. It certainly now ranks up there as one of the best. And kudos to the Events Center for selling Sam Adams and having cupholders!

And, oh yeah, The Black Crowes kinda sucked. Sorry, Kate.

Friday, July 15, 2005

My Shallow Heart's the Only Thing That's Beating

It's been a while since I've instantly fallen in love with an album. In fact, I really can't remember the last one. But the latest album from Green Day, American Idiot, has me smitten.

I'll admit I haven't followed them since Dookie, so if they've all been this good I've surely missed out.

But American Idiot is a phenomenal album. I've rated every song a minimum of 4 stars in my iTunes. Can't say enough about how great this album is. The rock opera "Jesus in Suburbia" is brillant, "We Are The Waiting" is awesome, and the rock ballad "Whatsername" is really enjoyable. "Wake Me Up When September Ends" really warms this pop hook heart.

Check it out. My only complaint is that since iTunes/iPod is not gapless, multiple songs were combined into a single file in order to maintain the crossfade.

Tuesday, July 12, 2005

Why Don't You Write Your Own Song? -- UPDATE

Matthew Sweet talks a little bit about his upcoming collaboration with Susanna Hoffs. He also has plenty to say about -snore- microphones.

Friday, July 08, 2005