Jonesing for a music video, ANY music video? Somebody went through the trouble to link to a huge amount of music videos that can be found on YouTube. We'll see how long this stays up, but it's very cool nonetheless.
Saturday, December 30, 2006
Friday, December 29, 2006
Sir Bono speaks about taking U2 to the "next level." Regarding the last two albums, "it's not gonna stay where it is." Excellent. He speaks about maybe going more acoustic, or going more hard rock. Who knows. But it definitely seems time for something a little different. They're back in the studio in the new year with an expected new release by the end of 2007.
Thursday, December 28, 2006
Saturday, December 23, 2006
Paul Westerberg tried to clean wax out of a candle by piercing a screwdriver through the nerves and cartilage in his hand. There seem to be more effective ways to accomplish this task. I kid, but I shouldn't. Paul is cool. He is a Replacement after all. And don't forget he's a guitarist. Usually guitarists don't stick screwdrivers through their hands in an effort to make them better guitarists. Damn, I kid again. Perhaps I should've waited to share this news until when I was in a less sarcastic mood.
U2's Bono is to become a Sir, but not really. He will become a knight of the British empire (they're still an empire?!), but because he's from Ireland, he's not entitled to the title. He joins other non-sirs like Steven Spielberg, Bob Geldof, Rudy Giuliani, and Placido Domingo. He hopes it helps him in his diplomatic missions to Alderaan.
Sorry for the SW references. Couldn't resist.
Speaking of SW, check out my SW blog.
Just kidding, I don't really have a SW blog, but maybe I should. That would be so cool.
Tuesday, December 19, 2006
Hum a song into your computer's microphone, and Nayio's Humming Search
will might find it. I haven't been able to try it yet as it doesn't work on a Mac, but it still sounds pretty cool. I'm sure it will get better and more accurate over time.
Monday, December 18, 2006
Not sure what to make of the new U2 video for their new tune Window in the Skies from their new album OU812 -er- I mean, U218. The song is a mediocre representation of everything U2 has done post-Pop, not to insinuate there haven't been high points (I still think All That You Can't Leave Behind is nearly a masterpiece representing a moment in time - a musical harbinger of post-9-11-ism).
Anyway, the video is quite creative. It is a wonder of editing that showcases musical icons lip-syncing to the tune. The rights to all that footage couldn't have been cheap, but then again, U2 is certainly not cash poor. I'm just not sure what to take away from it. The members of U2 are seen throughout as members of the audience. So, is the idea that the song is so great that it is worthy of performance by musical greats, many posthumously? Or is it that the song is representative of the band's musical influences? Or is it that some music video editor wanted to pad his portfolio with an edit-intensive video for one of the most successful rock artists of all time?
Now I've gone and written too much. Watch for yourself:
Friday, December 15, 2006
By all accounts, The Shins should be one of my favorite artists of the past few years. But for some reason, not unlike Death Cab For Cutie, I just haven't gone out of my way to listen. Call it laziness I guess because everything I hear from both those artists I enjoy quite a bit. Well, I'm going to make a conscious effort to listen to more Shins. Their new album, Wincing the Night Away, will be released in January and if the rest of it sounds as cool as the first single Phantom Limb, then I'm all in.
MP3: The Shins - Phantom Limb (via Sub Pop)
New and official Beatles video for Within You Without You / Tomorrow Never Knows...
Groovy. The Love album is quite excellent. The sound quality is amazing and blows every other Beatles CD release away. It's a fresh perspective on some of my favorite songs of all time, one being Tomorrow Never Knows actually.
Hear and see more at theirspace.
Thursday, December 14, 2006
DADA is back! DADA released their A Friend of Pat Robertson EP this week and while I don't really understand their choice in song topics, the music is good, and sounds like classic DADA. None of that leper "How To Be Found" crap. And if you don't have Puzzle, and read this blog, buy it NOW, or you're a bigger loser than me, and that's pretty big.
Tuesday, December 12, 2006
You know you're getting old when artists that you liked when you were in college are releasing box sets! Congratulations to Tori Amos for having a significant enough of a career up to this point to justify a five-disc set complete with 86 songs including studio releases, b-sides, and other rarities. Honestly, I haven't listened to Tori much in the past 10 years (her last few albums kinda lost me), but I did see her in Ames forever ago and she was quite a talent. May have to dust off the CDs and get them on the iPod.
Speaking of Tori's box set, stereogum has a contest to win it. Not too tough. Just tell 'em your favorite Tori tune. I picked Winter, which is certainly one of them.
Download a couple Tori Christmas tunes at Curiously Tasty Music.
Download A Tori Amos Collection-Tales of a Librarian (her previously released compilation) via iTunes.
Buy A Piano: The Collection from Amazon.com to get the nifty piano packaging.
Sunday, December 03, 2006
Never really thought about this before, but it could have some serious consequences for some of the biggest selling acts of all time. Copyright law in the UK on sound recordings currently stands at 50 years. 2006 - 50 = 1956. Think about it, in 6-7 years, some of The Beatles biggest hits (i.e. Love Me Do, I Wanna Hold Your Hand) will enter the public domain in the UK. It's about time they cash in by remastering (like Love, which sounds AWESOME) and releasing them on iTunes both in the UK and the US (why not?). Despite industry calls for an extension to 95 years, it looks like that it'll stay 50. In the US, things are a bit different.
Wednesday, November 29, 2006
It's been a long time since I've purchased something based on Amazon.com's "Recommended for You" feature, but tonight was the night. The wife had something to do with it too. As I was exploring David Mead's music a bit on hisspace, I listened to Choosing Teams from the album Tangerine at which point the Missus said, "Who is that? He sounds like Paul McCartney." Typically, that's all I need to hear. But as I listened to more of it, I realized that this was truly a worthy purchase. Fighting for Your Life has a distinct Beatley vibe, but from what I've heard so far, it's not all Beatles. There's plenty of Ben Folds piano pop mixed in. This guy's been around awhile so I'm looking forward to "discovering" even more.
Now my dilemma: I have yet to listen to The Beatles Love. Do I listen to that tomorrow or to David Mead? Hmm.
Tuesday, November 28, 2006
Remember Our Lady Peace? Yeah, me neither. This allmusic.com review of their new greatest hits compilation A Decade seems to assume that everybody has a favorite OLP tune. The names sound vaguely familiar from my radio days, but for the life of me, I couldn't even hum one of the tunes. Below you can download Clumsy, which is one of the songs we played quite a bit on the radio in the mid-90s. I do remember them have a very generic post-grunge sound that was pretty innocuous even for the mid-90s. Not a bad listen and not a great listen. Just ... a listen.
MP3: Our Lady Peace - Clumsy (first on the list - and no, I don't know this dude)
Tuesday, November 21, 2006
Bob Mould is following up last year's solo album Body of Song with another tentatively set for a June 2007 release.
"I would best describe it as the logical extension of 'Body of Song,' -- lots of guitars, shorter pop songs," Mould tells Billboard.com. "There's a couple of down things that are a little more loop-based."I liked the sound of Body of Song and find myself discovering (via iPod shuffle mode) that it is quite a gem. He's an icon though, so it shouldn't be too surprising.
Smashing Pumpkins' drummer Jimmy Chamberlin reports that they are halfway through their first studio album since 2000. Evidently the drums are finished! Wow, big news. Also,
"I can honestly say that this has been one of the most musically satisfying and spiritually rewarding trips I have ever been on," he added.A little hyperbole may be necessary to excite a fan base that the Pumpkins easily disenfranchised with their last couple of releases. We'll see how it turns out when it's released, probably in the spring of 2007.
MP3: Smashing Pumpkins - Stay (U2 cover) (scroll down)
Several notable compilations are in stores today:
The Beatles - Love
It's actually less a compilation and more of an incestuous mash-up, although this reviewer thought it fails to be that interesting. I do wish this was something done around the time of the Anthology releases, or at least with McCartney's participation, because I worry that George Martin, as the Beatles long-time producer, and with help from his son, might be too reverent to their source material. Despite criticisms that he's prissy, McCartney does dabble in the experimental side of music more so than the other Beatles ever did (Fireman, Liverpool Sound Collage). Nonetheless, Love is what it is and I for one can't wait to listen.
U218 Singles (deluxe version)
After two fairly complete compilations, U2 decided to capitalize on their success in the oughts with an album that weighs heavily with the love-it-or-leave-it All That You Can't Leave Behind. Considering many only buy the greatest hits package and leave the albums to the true fans, it's a tragedy that so much of their earlier career is left off in lieu of the new U2, which is really only a U2 trying to be the old U2. Nonetheless, it's U2 all the same and any fan will likely enjoy this compilation.
Oasis - Stop the Clocks
Not unlike how U2 kept their old tunes off, Oasis stuck with tunes from their peak (Definitely Maybe and Morning Glory era). In fact, their crappiest record, Be Here Now, doesn't even have a track represented on this collection. So, if you're buying a holiday present for anybody who once sang along to Wonderwall (how can you not?!), then this will be an excellent choice and will likely turn them on to lesser known Oasis classics.
Sunday, November 19, 2006
The Beatles' Love album comes out here in the USA on 21 November (20 November everywhere else). If you just can't wait that long, you can listen to the whole album for free online. That's right, I said free. Of course at that price, be prepared for a few delays in the streaming.
Saturday, November 18, 2006
Friday, November 17, 2006
Thursday, November 16, 2006
Wisely has a new video for the title song of his latest CD Parador. I'm not a fan of videos for the most part, but watching the video reminded me how much I enjoy this song. It's definitely worth checking out if you're not against inky boobies.
In other Wisely news, he has a new tune with who seems to be his best friend Andy Dick ... and it's a Christmas song. Download Happy B-Day JC via iTunes. Also in Dick news, Wisely is producing his music CD that will come out sometime next year. That should be ... something.
And finally, the best Wisely news. Evidently Jenna Fischer (aka Pam in The Office) will be starring in Wisely's video for Through Any Window. No word on whether inky boobies will be involved, but regardless I can't wait.
MP3: Wisely - Through Any Window (demo)
Monday, November 13, 2006
Yahoo! Music is reporting that the Beatles' catalog will be available for digital download "soon". Although don't expect to find them on iTunes. Earlier this year Apple Computer won a trademark infringement case over Apple Corps (the Beatles' publishing company).
Eddy Cue, Apple’s vice president of iTunes, said in a May a Bloomberg News interview. “We certainly will do everything we can to get them on iTunes,” he said at that time. “The Beatles aren’t available in any digital format today but they are going to be one day. We certainly hope that happens on iTunes.’”
Zach Braff must be creaming over Commuter. They seem his type. Indie. Electronic ala Postal Service, Imogen Heap. Cheesy cover tune. Appearance in the OC. Scrubs starts up soon on NBC so we may soon find out.
Check out Chapters on Paste Magazine's latest CD sampler, which is where I first heard it. Awesome tune. iTunes has it as well.
Listen to Always On My Mind at theirspace. Ack, yet mildly amusing and not unlike TPS's Against All Odds.
Download the album Brightly Shining, Dimly Lit at iTunes.
And hey, if you're looking for an excuse to listen to this tune while watching Rachel Bilson (another Braff connection) in a bikini, well then knock yourself out:
The Smithereens are back. In January, they will release Meet The Smithereens!, a song-by-song tribute to The Beatles' Meet the Beatles! You could always tell by the music of The Smithereens that they were big fans of The Beatles, particularly of their early years. This should be fun.
Saturday, November 11, 2006
Could it be? Could TV Eyes finally be seeing a release date? TV Eyes is a band featuring former Jellyfishers Roger Joseph Manning Jr. and Jason Falkner, along with Falkner's frequent collaborator Brian Reitzell. This synth-driven new wavish 80s-type project began way back in 2000 and has only produced a 12" single for She's a Study that sold out fast. While browsing Amazon, though, I discovered this: it looks like TV Eyes is getting a release in Japan on 11/17! I checked out Roger's site as well as the official TV Eyes site to get any news on it, but no luck. This could be extremely cool news in a season in which we already heard the excellent L.E.O. release. For now, keep your fingers crossed, sample tracks here, and watch the video for She's a Study here.
Friday, November 10, 2006
The Magic Numbers' new album Those the Brokes came out this week in the UK, but as of yet, no news of a domestic release. Sounds like more of the same. I enjoyed the first album, but honestly, I didn't listen to it much after I first picked it up.
MP3: The Magic Numbers - This Is a Song
VIDEO: The Magic Numbers - Take a Chance
I'm not one to get too riled up about stupid lists that pop up on blogs, but I call bullshit on this one. Say what you will about Julian Lennon's 80s albums. They are far from being timeless, but they do have a place and they did produce a few good tunes. But the two albums he released in the 90s certainly compete with each other for being the best of his career.
1991's Help Yourself is a richly produced pop gem and makes for great headphone listening. The hit Saltwater, as precious and earnest as it is, will likely go down as his best song. The other tunes are quite varied in style and mood, which makes for a nicely balanced album.
1998's Photograph Smile took the focus away from lush production and placed it squarely on the simplicity of melody. Virtually every song on this one could have been a single for anybody other than Julian Lennon. It's incredibly obvious, and perhaps unfortunate, that he's a huge Beatles fan because this is the type of album a Beatles fan makes, which makes it an excellent listen. I saw his concert in support of this album and it was indeed exciting. His resemblance to his father is chilling.
Julian is never going to win over the cool crowds like his overrated brother might, and he'll never match his father's ethos by any means. But what a cruel comparison anyway. Let his music stand on its own.
With that said, it appears he'll have a new album out next year. It's only taken nine years.
MP3: Julian Lennon - Too Late For Goodbye (scroll down)
Wednesday, November 08, 2006
Rumor has it that Matthew Sweet's Girlfriend is a featured tune on PlayStation 2's Guitar Hero II! How awesome would it be to jam along to one of my all-time favorite songs!! I need to get this game!!! I need to get PlayStation 2 first I guess!!!! I need to stop talking to myself and using excessive exclamation points!!!!!
MP3: Matthew Sweet - Girlfriend (scroll down)
Tuesday, November 07, 2006
Saturday, November 04, 2006
The Aerosmith of Our Generation and The Overblogged Act of the Year are coming to Des Moines to wow nobody. Red Hot Chili Peppers and Gnarls Barkley will be at the Events Center on March 2. Are you willing to pay $57.50 to see Under the Bridge live? Me neither.
Friday, November 03, 2006
The Charlatans (UK) are releasing a singles collection on Monday -- in the UK only. Bummer. They've never been a breakthrough band here in the states but they've been around forever, hence the title of the collection: Forever. The Singles.
Their most recent album Simpatico was the first ones I've taken note of in a long time. It's very good. When the Lights Go Out in London is one of my favorite tunes of the year. And of course if you'd like, you can order the new collection thanks to Amazon. Back in my day, we had to go to cool record stores to find the imports.
They've put together a cool medley of the tunes featured on the collection, which you can listen to here. Do the whole right-clicky thing to download it.
Paul McCartney is releasing yet ANOTHER DVD documenting his live shows. This one is from last year's tour, which was quite stellar naturally. I just refuse to keep up with every damn DVD this man releases. Evidently, this program aired on A&E. It's called The Space Within Us and it'll be released on 11/14.
dada is releasing a new EP on December 12:
"A Friend Of Pat Robertson" features 5 new tracks, including the EP's title track, "72 Hours," "7 Dot 1," "Emily Sang To Me," and "If Tears Were Balloons." The CD will come in a full-color digipack.Wow, a full-color digipack! I have been waiting for one of those for YEARS!
You can listen to A Friend of Pat Robertson and 7 Dot 1 on theirspace, but that's really not news now is it. AFoPR is pretty good, but 7D1 kinda sucks. Never know. Things tend to sound better on a stereo, not a work computer. Imagine that. You can order the EP and listen to clips from all the songs here. They also expect it to be available on iTunes.
And evidently, they're really hoping to win this year's coveted Lame Ass Album Cover award. Yikes.
Thursday, November 02, 2006
You can now preview four tracks from the upcoming Beatles Love release. Hear reworked versions of Strawberry Fields Forever, Octopus' Garden, Lady Madonna, and While My Guitar Gently Weeps. Sounds cool if I could listen longer than 3 seconds without the aggravating "audio buffering..." crap coming up. Go here. You must be registered. If you're not, this might be a good reason to do so. If you choose not to, well, move on and wait until 11/21.
About the album:
The album features 26 tracks re-worked by George and Giles Martin for the LOVE show in Las Vegas, an incredible music and visual experience created out of the collaboration between The Beatles and Cirque Du Soleil. The result is an unprecedented approach to the music.
LOVE will be released on Monday November 20th. The stereo CD will contain 78 minutes of music, and features 26 tracks.
Simultaneously released will be a special 2 disc edition that will include the stereo CD and an Audio only DVD containing a slightly extended version in amazing 5.1
Looking for a way to revisit Wings-era 70s rock without actually listening to old music you've heard a thousand times? Vanilla has released their self-titled debut album and it sounds exactly as if you discovered a new band from 1977.
Not Lame says:
The sound here is progressive power pop perfection, a true pop tapestry mixing sly elements of Jellyfish, XTC, mid/late 80`s Elvis Costello, McCartney Wings-era, Wondermints and Jon Auer. Even a bit of Pink Floyd.I'm digging the sound clips. They capture a nice variety in their seemingly limited palatte of 70s rock stylings. This is one to explore a bit more.
Listen to clips here and here.
MP3: Vanilla - Liar's Club (via)
Tuesday, October 31, 2006
The Who's first new album in decades, Endless Wire, is released today. I won't run out to buy it nor will I be hitting iTunes right away, but during their concert in Des Moines, I do remember many of the new tunes being very good and fitting in their catalog seamlessly.
Stereogum is holding an excellent contest to win The Who's entire catalog. For someone like me who has precious little Who, this would be a good way to boost my collection. So, don't enter. That way, my odds are a bit better.
Billboard has a short review.
Monday, October 30, 2006
Wow. Just received L.E.O. in the mail and it is superb. It lives up to its hype. Think ELO in an alternate universe, a better universe, where Jeff Lynne gets to hang with contemporary pop greats like Bleu, Andy Sturmer, Mike Viola, etc. Unfortunately, Lynne was not involved in this record at all, but I imagine he's got to dig it. It's the quintessential too poppy record.
Download iTunes exclusive Money & Music here.
Learn more here.
Friday, October 20, 2006
They've been around for a decade and have inexplicably only tripped the fringes of my music consciousness, until now. Ivy is awesome! I picked up last year's In the Clear and I can't stop listening. Thinking About You is near perfect. Ivy has a great sound that lies somewhere in the Lush, Garbage, Dido, Fountains of Wayne- range. They are less shoegazey than Lush, more organic and less personality-driven than Garbage, less smooshy than Dido, and full of the pop sensibilities of Fountains of Wayne (naturally because FOW's Adam Schlesinger is one of the three members of Ivy). Allmusic has their story, which, after reading it, I can't believe I never took the time to listen before now. Idiot. Ah well, at least it will be rewarding to backass my way through their career.
Watch their oddly compelling video for Thinking About You here.
Thursday, October 19, 2006
U2 announced a gimmicky new online game to play for a chance to win a trip to see their last show of the Vertigo tour in Hawaii. Nice prize certainly, but who has the time to go lyric hunting on a variety of websites in a likely ruse to drive up traffic to U2-supporting advertisers? Blah.
In other news, the U2-Green Day collaboration The Saints are Coming gets the video treatment and the other new tune from U2's upcoming compilation (out Nov. 21 just like every other compilation) is called Window on the Sky and is being promoted to rock radio in a couple weeks.
I've been reluctant to post much about the new compilation from Oasis because, well, it's just a compilation. But, it's time.
See the new video for the old (and excellent) tune The Masterplan here.
Learn more about the new video for the old (and excellent) tune Acquiesce here.
Visit the official Stopclock to view exclusive multimedia content here.
Buy the Stop the Clocks limited edition EP here. Acquiesce and The Masterplan are both on there, along with rare versions of Cigarettes and Alcohol and Some Might Say.
Pre-order the compilation Stop the Clocks here. There are other more expensive options too so be sure to purchase accordingly if desired. FYI, Stop the Clocks is released November 21 just in time to turn your cooler friends on to the biggest hits by Oasis.
Tracklist: Rock n Roll Star, Some Might Say, Talk Tonight, Lyla, The Importance of Being Idle, Wonderwall, Slide Away, Cigarettes & Alcohol, The Masterplan, Live Forever, Acquiesce, Supersonic, Half The World Away, Go Let It Out, Songbird, Morning Glory, Champagne Supernova, Don't Look Back In Anger
Curious, there is still no official US release of Whatever, the tune that epitomized the band at their height. It was released in between Definitely Maybe and (What's the Story) Morning Glory.
Download Oasis here.
Despite a "new" album, all is not peachy for The Beatles.
Paul McCartney is defending himself against vicious accusations made by Heather.
Yoko Ono is suing EMI claiming they underreported royalties from John Lennon's music to cheat her out of millions.
Ringo is being outdone by his son.
George is dead and has been for five years.
Tuesday, October 17, 2006
Friday, October 13, 2006
Been too busy to discover anything new so how about focusing on the old just for shits and giggles. Below are the two videos produced from Jellyfish's second and last studio album, Spilt Milk. As you know, this is as too poppy as it gets. Awesome and genius. Happy Fri13.
Thursday, October 12, 2006
Go see The Departed. Martin Scorcese's new movie is violent, hilarious, and quite reminiscent of his classic Goodfellas. One difference, though, is talent. Whereas Ray Liotta and Joe Pesci probably had the best performances of their careers in Goodfellas, the skill shown by Jack Nicholson, Matt Damon, and yes, even Leonardo DiCaprio in The Departed eclipse what most other actors of the past 20 years can do. The talent in this movie is embarrassing, particularly in Leo's case. He nailed it.
But this is no movie blog, which brings me to this: the other unheralded star, just like in Goodfellas, is the amazing rock soundtrack. It is frustratingly not being released until November 7, and even more irritating is the fact that there seems to be no word on the track listing! Undoubtedly, though, the use of Well Well Well by John Lennon, Baby Blue by Badfinger, Gimme Shelter by The Rolling Stones, Pink Floyd's Comfortably Numb by Van Morrison, and I'm Shipping Up to Boston by Dropkick Murphys was inspired and extremely appropriate as part of the story. Hopefully, most if not all of those tunes will be included on the soundtrack along with others that I've already forgotten in the 48 hours since I saw the movie. It's a great flick, an instant classic. The soundtrack has the potential to be the same.
For now, you can download the score here.
Friday, October 06, 2006
Thursday, October 05, 2006
Man, it's so cool when a local band has the potential to hit it big. Nobody from Iowa has hit bigger than Slipknot, and that was and is a fun ride to watch (download here). Slipknot side project Stone Sour has done quite well nationally as well (download here). On the poppier side of life, The Nadas seems to be on the verge of something big after hitting it hard locally and regionally over the past ten years (download here).
Now, the latest great story is The Envy Corps, which was just signed to Vertigo Records based out of London. They've been tapped to open for The Killers on a few dates of their tour and they're heading into the studio (in Iowa!) to record their debut album. Listen to their tunes on theirspace and order their debut EP before it finds a permanent place on eBay at a price you may not be willing to spend.
Good luck, guys. Make us proud. Damn, now I feel dumb for never catching them live - yet.
Tuesday, October 03, 2006
L.E.O. comes out in two weeks and as usual, Not Lame has a stellar pre-order opportunity. You can stream the entire album and read more about the extras you'll get from Not Lame here. Love what I've heard so far and I've already placed my order with Not Lame.
Read more about L.E.O. here and here. Buy an L.E.O. shirt here. Buy an L.E.O. La-La toy as featured on the album's cover here.
And for you Jellyfish fans, did you know Andy Sturmer has hisownspace? Me neither, but don't get too excited. There ain't nothing there, but there may be ... someday.
As I mentioned yesterday, 'tis the season. Not only will we see plenty of holiday albums, we'll also see the arguably unnecessary best-of releases. REM did it right by adding lots of extras. U2, on the other hand, has a new compilation coming out, which is ridiculous if you think about it. Their last compilation included everything from 1990-2000, including All That You Can't Leave Behind. They've released ONE album since (which was not their best), yet they feel the need to release a new compilation. Ok, true, there will be two new songs on there along with 16 of their "best known songs," but one song is their collaboration with Green Day that you can download the live version of now or wait until the end of the month to download the studio version. I suppose for the casual fan who doesn't own every U2 album and didn't want to plunk down the cash for two previous compilations might be interested, but for the real fans, it just makes very little
cents sense to buy the new compilation in this iPod/iTunes age.
By the way, does anybody else find Atomic Bomb's Yahweh as insufferable as I do? Last I heard it, it included every annoying thing about U2 complete in one song.
Monday, October 02, 2006
There's nothing you can do that can't be done. That includes a Beatles mash-up made up entirely of their own music. George Martin and his son went back to re-imagine The Beatles catalog in the context of fruity dancers and high wire acts. Hence, the Love - Cirque Du Soleil project. You've heard about the Vegas act, but in November, you'll be able to bring the music home with you.
News from The Beatles official email list:
"This music was designed for the LOVE show in Las Vegas but in doing so
we've created a new Beatles album" said Sir George. "The Beatles always looked
for other ways of expressing themselves and this is another step forward for
Giles continues, "We took all the Beatles' catalogue from tape, the
original four tracks, eight tracks and two tracks and used this palette of
sounds and music to create a sound bed. What people will be hearing on the album
is a new experience, a way of re-living the whole Beatles musical lifespan in a
very condensed period".
As cheesy as the whole Cirque Du Soleil concept is, I've heard it's incredible. I enjoyed the two "new" tunes from the Anthology releases and the work McCartney did with Super Furry Animals and Youth for the Liverpool Sound Collage so I'm excited to hear this music. We'll never hear new Beatles music again so why not liven it up a bit.
'Tis the season already?! It's going to be 90 today in Des Moines! Jesus! It's time to belt out your favorite holiday tunes, stick 'em on a CD, and puke them out to an adoring fanbase. I've rarely been a fan of holiday albums from pop stars, mostly because it's never anything all that special. Usually the original songs pale in comparison to the timeless classics. So I figure, why not just listen to the classics as done by those who made them famous?
With that said, I have to admit that I'm curious about Sarah McLachlan's first holiday CD Wintersongs. Her voice is spectacular and Pierre Marchand's production just might add some interesting elements to the religious classics like What Child is This? (my all-time favorite xmas tune), Silent Night, and O Little Town of Bethlehem. She's thrown in a couple originals including her old Song For a Winter's Night, which has long made music fans' cool holiday tune mixtapes, and the new Wintersong. The first single is her rendition of Joni Mitchell's River. I've yet to find any previews or downloads of the new album, but it comes out October 17 and do we really need to listen to holiday music before that? With her voice and song-styles, this might make for a good listen while loading (er, while Santa loads) the kids' stockings Christmas eve.
Also of interest for the same kinda crowd, a new holiday CD from James Taylor. And of note for Sarah fans, a new live double-disc set called Mirrorball: The Complete Concert comes out tomorrow. It's the full set from her concert in Portland that ended the tour, which included her best songs from her best albums Fumbling Towards Ecstasy and Surfacing. I saw her on this tour and she was astonishing.
Wednesday, September 27, 2006
Wow. I'm impressed.
The Who stopped in Des Moines last night at the Events Center. I've never been a huge Who fan, although I've always appreciated their place in rock history. Last night just upped that respect ten-fold.
I was very pleased through the first half of the show as they played some of the classics that I came to see like Who Are You, The Seeker, and Behind Blue Eyes. I was pleasantly surprised by how much I enjoyed their newer material, including Real Good Looking Boy (from a few years ago) and the mini rock opera from their upcoming CD. First impressions: Roger Daltrey's voice shows his age more than his face, Pete Townsend is the best guitarist I've ever seen live, Ringo Starr has got to be either jealous or proud (or both) of his son's skills on drums, holy crap our seats are good, they really know how to pace a show (yep, I really thought that), and the videos that formed the stage backdrop were quite entertaining.
Then, Baba O'Riley changed everything. I love the song and always have, but that performance was transcendent. During those few minutes, I learned that The Who certainly has earned their status as one of the greats along with The Beatles and The Stones. I could have happily left after hearing what I (and probably countless numbers of other casual fans) used to naively call Teenage Wasteland, but I'm glad I didn't because I would've missed the other highlight of the night, My Generation. That performance put it all in perspective and proved to me that The Who has a lot more depth and variety than I ever gave them credit for. I mean, that song came out 40 years ago and is still quite powerful, particularly with iconic images blazing on the video screens representing the several generations that preceded mine. To me, I not only heard one of The Who's undeniable classics during that performance, but I heard 40 years of many artists and tunes influenced by them since. Then of course the encore included a Tommy medley kicked off by Pinball Wizard and a pleasantly mellow finale of the new Tea & Theater. I couldn't have asked for a better and more surprising live concert experience.
Final impressions: Roger Daltrey's voice warms up nicely, Pete Townsend is clearly in a class by himself, Zak Starkey has a famous father - what's his name?, holy crap our seats were good, the setlist was a perfect mix of old and new - loud and soft, and the videos were much less mesmerizing than watching Townsend on guitar.
Tuesday, September 26, 2006
What is it with too-poppy-caliber artists and cartoons? Just like Ben Folds' work on the Over the Hedge soundtrack, Paul Westerberg created tons of new music for the Open Season soundtrack, which is out in stores today. Read much more about it here, listen to previews here, and download it here. For good measure, you'll get a classic from Talking Heads, two tunes by Deathray, and Pete Yorn's version of a Westerberg's I Belong. Hey, if it helps my kids get turned on to cool music then I'm all for it. They've been dying to see the movie.
Don't forget to download the Replacements' long-awaited single-disc best-of greatest-hits-filled (damn, ran out of hyphenated words) compilation here. And while you're at it, enjoy the classic video of one of my favorite Replacements tunes below.
Monday, September 25, 2006
Sigh. This one almost slipped by. The extremely underrated Joseph Arthur released his fourth full-length CD last week. He must be feeling apocalyptic as many of us are judging by the title: Nuclear Daydream. It's available through his new label Lonely Astronaut and via iTunes. Stream the whole damn thing right here, which I'll be doing sometime this week when I need a break from work. You can also hear two new tunes at hisspace.
In case you haven't picked it up, Arthur has also made available for free download a new tune about Katrina called Last Train to Ithaca. Click here for the MP3.
I'm a bit disappointed with the cover art of his new CD. His last two albums were artistic renderings done by his own hand. Now, I guess I don't know if this new cover is something he did himself, but it makes him look like Liam Gallagher or Ian Brown, which isn't quite fair to him. Regardless, if you're a fan of what you've seen of his art, you might want to purchase his new(ish) book, We Almost Made It. It's one of those snooty hardbound books that make you feel cooler than you really are. What is cool, though, is that it's accompanied by original instrumental music, which you can sample and dowload on hisotherspace. You can buy the book here for $37. Not too bad.
Finally, I also discovered yet another one of his projects (slow down, Joe!). Check out his "pure rock 'n' roll" band Holding the Void at theirspace. Evidently, this came out in 2003 originally (scroll down to read a short review here), but his site lists it as a 2006 release. Who cares. Buy it. Go to his site. Quantities are limited. It sounds cool, especially if you like Arthur's solo work. And if you haven't heard his solo work, well then SHAME!
Friday, September 22, 2006
I refuse to accept this.
Beta Band broke up to release this?
Mike Viola and his Candy Butchers have a couple interesting releases coming out October 16. Making Up Time is an album that was originally cut a decade ago but was shunned as they were navigating the hell of major labels. “Making Up Time is really the album Todd and I wanted to make in the first place before we got lost in the system,” says Viola. The Candy Butchers have put out some great music since this, but it's always interesting to hear a great artist in the early days (think Matthew Sweet's To Understand).
The other release is not really new either. Just Before Dark has been available on iTunes and vinyl for some time, but on Oct. 16, you'll be able to pick it up on CD if that sort of "technology" still interests you. This album is a live acoustic performance of brand-new tunes. So, if you think some of Viola's previous releases were a bit too tinkered with in the studio, this might be the release for you.
If you're looking for an excellent introduction to the Candy Butchers before you experiment with these new releases, you can't go wrong with 2004's ode to the 70s Hang on Mike. It's superb.
Wednesday, September 20, 2006
The Album Leaf released its new album Into the Blue Again last week courtesy of Sub Pop Records. Stereogum recently featured its new single and video. You can also download the tune Always for You straight from Sub Pop. It's quite good. Listening to other tunes (like Red Eye, which is excellent) on theirspace makes me think this is ripe for purchase. Sounds like a lot of instrumentals, which I'm normally not too into, but when you've worked with Sigur Ros and you're on a label like Sub Pop, I'll listen. And when you have such a pleasant single as this, I'll likely buy.
Just in the bits I've heard, this sounds like the perfect autumn record. With a name like The Album Leaf, that makes sense.
So there I stood, withing spitting distance of MoS at their M-Shop show last night in Cow-Town Ames. Crowd was humpin', sounds was jumpin', and your friend Bonji was grooving and wishing he had not have left his digital camera on the kitchen counter.
During the maximum-volume presentation of Fraud in the 80's, the loudspeaker immediately to the right of my head freaked out! Or the channel freaked out! Or Kori's mic freaked out! Something freaked out! At first I thought to meself "well shit Bonji, you've gone and deafened yourself permanently" because I could watch the lips move, but nothing was getting to my auditory receptors. And then it happened. A sonic burst assaulted my inner ear pieces and parts, the room went fuuzy and I tumbled. Found myself slumped on the floor, up against a trash can.
And to answer your questions: NO I did not have too much to drink (one wheat beer during the Starlight Mints' set). And NO I did not smoke too much. Weird, fun stuff. Happy to report my hearing is not permanently damaged.
Sunday, September 17, 2006
My best friend Matt turned me onto this band the other week and I'm absolutely stricken. Blue October's Foiled is amazing. Add dashes of Gin Blossoms, Toad, Jellyfish, Black Sabboth, Matthew Sweet, Barenaked Ladies, Eels, Kansas, Coldplay, Psychedelic Furs, Erasure, Depeche Mode and more, and you've got one amazing band.
Kansas you say? One of the band members plays violin. I've been listening to Foiled all weekend. Check it out. You won't be disappointed. Their other albums are great as well, but foiled is the best.
Wednesday, September 13, 2006
This is a great "review" of Yo La Tengo's new CD by Tobias Fünke (well, David Cross actually). Hilarious. Damn hilarious. I fear a new wave of similar "reviews" from bloggers who think they're amusing when they can nowhere near touch the level of humor of Cross.
Check out the stylish new video from Mates of States for Like U Crazy (although I'm still partial to the video for Fraud in the 80s). MoS will be back in Central Iowa at the M-shop in Ames next Tuesday night. It's a great show. This time around they're touring with Starlight Mints who are on the same label as MoS, Barsuk, which is one of the coolest record labels around. A look at their band list is proof positive.
M-shop has some other great shows coming up this fall. Click here for more info.
Monday, September 11, 2006
Here's a once in a lifetime opportunity: own the wildest looking guitars ever played by a one-hit wonder. These guitars are being sold through eBay and at last check, the bids were over $30,000. You'd think this would've started some sort of psychedelic guitar trend or something, but I guess not.
Now I'm just trying to decide if this is worth a second mortgage. Don't tell my wife.
By the way, the band was Strawberry Alarm Clock and their one hit was Incense and Peppermints. More here.
Friday, September 08, 2006
U2 is working with Rick Rubin on their new album. First Neil Diamond, then Dixie Chicks, then U2. Sure, makes sense. That Rubin gets around. U2 is also collaborating with Green Day on a charity single.
Billboard and u2.com have more details.
Wednesday, September 06, 2006
The latest news from R.E.M.:
- And I Feel Fine...The Best of the IRS Years (1982-1987) comes out next Tuesday. Most interesting for big fans is the bonus disc of tunes handpicked by the boys in the band. The whole set is somewhat of a companion piece to In Time: The Best of R.E.M. 1988-2003 that was released a few years ago.
- The band is being inducted into the Georgia Music Hall of Fame on September 16. For the first time in a decade, the three remaining members of R.E.M. will perform with original member Bill Berry for the occasion.
- While all four of them are together, there is talk of recording music that would be released for a charitable purpose.
- Best of all, they are beginning to talk about the next album. Around the Sun was not their finest and, in my opinion, a big disappointment after Reveal.