Tuesday, October 31, 2006

He'd Turn Us Into Music

The Who Endless WireThe 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

You Gotta See the Sunshine

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 here.
Download iTunes exclusive Money & Music here.
Purchase here.
Learn more here.

Friday, October 20, 2006

Deep In Another Dream

Ivy In the ClearThey'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

How Long Now?

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.

Dance If You Want To Dance

Oasis Stop the Clocks EPI'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.


The Queen of My Heart -- Heather

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.

Friday, October 13, 2006

His Finish Line Was an Artistic Flop

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

Kept You Waiting There Too Long My Love

The DepartedGo 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

This is a Thursday Afternoon

Envy CorpsMan, 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

Nothing Will Ever Change

LEOL.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.

Previously... ...

So Quick To Criticize

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

Don't Be Afraid

Beck's new album The Information comes out tomorrow. Stream the whole thing here. Lots of videos from the new album are also available on his official site.

Love Love Love

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.

The Virgin Sings Her Lullaby

'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?

Sarah McLachlan WintersongsWith 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.