Friday, March 31, 2006

Friday Miscellany

Toad the Wet Sprocket reunites and tours this summer (bummer, no Iowa dates) and Glen Phillips releases a new album! Nice foot, Glen. Glen, the sound of vomiting.

Rolling Stone has a nice little piece about Sid 'n' Susie (aka Matthew Sweet & Susanna Hoffs). Holy shit! They did Everybody's Got Something to Hide Except For Me and My Monkey?!?! That must be released!

The Shins third album will be out in October.

Thursday, March 30, 2006

You're the Apple of My Heart

Apple vs. Apple
A lawyer for Apple Computer dismisses the case against them by Apple Corps as "ridiculous". The lawyer goes on to compliment morons as he tries to defend the computer company against a lawsuit over the name "Apple".

The case is expected to last at least a week.

Tim Beyers over at the Motley Fool speculates that Apple Corps may have other motives.

God What a Mess on the Ladder of Success

Wow, didn't see this coming. The Replacements have reunited, sorta. Two new songs will be on their upcoming greatest hits, out on June 13.

They've always been one of those bands I felt like I needed to explore more. This will be a good catalyst to do just that.

Friday, March 24, 2006

Resilience in the face of failure is a manifestation of the mind...

Whilst preparing for this past Wilco concert BonjiPop, 2Poppy, and myself decided to embark on a task to share some musical loves. One of mine has caused me to listen to the Flaming Lips nearly nonstop for the last two days. We've written about the Lips before and as much as I love them they do have some songs which make me wonder why. That said, their new album has yet to give me a song I don't love.

While researching which songs to include on my disc I came across this article from IGN which gives a song-by-song breakdown, written by Wayne himself, of At War With The Mystics. I love this stuff and I wish I had this for my favorite albums. Keeps me from reading too much or too little into a song. A rare glimpse into the mind of the artist which in this case is quite interesting.

Check out POMPEII AM GĂ–TTERDĂ„MMERUNG found at Motel de Moka which Wayne calls, "A galloping Godhead melody (reminiscent of the German National Anthem) telling a vague story of a young couple planning their suicide."

At War With The Mystics in stores April 4th.

Why Can't They Just Say What They Mean?

Caught the Wilco show at the Val-Air Ballroom Wednesday night. Great show as you'd expect. I disagree with the Des Moines Register's Kyle Munson's assessment that Jeffy Tweedy was goofy and hamming it up though, and the Ringo analogy was a bit of a stretch. But the Beatles analogy to Wilco overall is not, I don't think. When Yankee Hotel Foxtrot (their creative zenith IMO) was released, I couldn't help but be reminded of the White Album. It was grounded in pop music, but they threw in so many curve balls that it made it very unique and interesting. Seeing them for the first time this week made me imagine the Beatles would have sounded like that if they were still performing live during the White Album period. Wilco is virtually unmatched in sheer musicianship on-stage.

Check out the set-list here. Ending it on a cover of (Don't Fear) the Reaper was quite inspired.

I'll Be Hiding In Your Dirty Room

The Barenaked Ladies are cruising. Go to Turks & Caicos aboard the Carnival Legend. Just leave the smokes at home. Now, I've never been a big fan of BNL (sorry Way2Poppy), so why am I telling you this? Guster is the opening band, and as you know, me gusta Guster. Guster wants you to book fast because there are only 200 cabins available.

Rock Over London, Rock On Chicago!

Dirty Pop sent me this entertaining list of Iowa songs that I just had to share. Any list with Wesley Willis (RIP) is a good list!

Don't Laugh At Me

Billboard has all the details on the new Keane album. Under the Iron Sea will be released June 20. I like to hear that it will have "soaring melodies" and "ultra poppy" tunes. I wouldn't expect any less. Loved the first album. It was quite gushy in a good way.

I've Been Built Up and Trusted

Back in 1998, there was much buzz about a Big Star tribute CD that would feature awesome artists like Matthew Sweet, Wilco, and the Posies. Many of the tracks that were to be on the album have since leaked, but it appears Koch Records will actually be releasing it legitimately on May 23. The original track list, which is likely not going to change, for Big Star Small World:

1. Nightime - Afghan Whigs 2. Ballad Of El Goodo - Matthew Sweet 3. Back Of A Car - Gin Blossoms 4. Jesus Christ - Teenage Fanclub 5. Hot Thing - Big Star 6. Thirteen - Wilco 7. What's Going On? - The Posies 8. Don't Lie To Me - Juliana Hatfield 9. Give Me Another Chance - Whiskeytown 10. When My Baby's Beside Me - Kelly Willis 11. You Get What You Deserve - Idlewild

She Laughed and Then She Died

Charlatans UK Some FriendlyUpgrading one's iPod from 15gb to 60gb allows one to revisit some old favorites. I've been listening to Some Friendly by the Charlatans UK (now sans UK). It's a classic, as were their next couple of albums. But they've been quite a prolific band and somehow I've missed their last few albums. I don't know if I've lost interest or I live too much in my musical past, but whenever I listen to them, I like what I hear.

Behold, a new Charlatans album is set to be released April 17 (May 2 for us Americans): Simpatico. Preview the new tune Blackened Blue Eyes at their requisite space. Or watch the video here if you can stomach Real Player. I can't.

I think the Charlatans have had trouble, particularly here in the US, shaking the bandwagon tag they were given when Some Friendly was released. Of course, it came out after the Stone Roses and Happy Mondays, but I think they carried the Madchester torch quite well for a few years. Makes me want to dig out some classic Inspiral Carpets.

Thursday, March 23, 2006

They Don't Understand That There Wouldn't Be a Superman Without Clark Kent To an Extent

Justin Roberts MeltdownJustin Roberts' new CD Meltdown is in stores this week. Last month, I had some trouble articulating what I admire about him. This excerpt from an review does a better job:

push aside the lyrics, and the all-out party of his playing and singing snares you till the final track. Block out the skillful musicianship, on the other hand, and you're still left with some of the most inspired and intelligent kids' lyrics ever.
My kids are very excited to hear it.

There Are Places I Remember

The BeatlesCapitol is again repackaging its Beatles catalog and is issuing Capitol Albums Vol. 2. When the Beatles CDs were originally released oh so long ago (c'mon, we need them remastered and online!) they were the British versions. The American versions were quite different, so now Capitol is slowly releasing the American versions. I don't know if they're remastered or not. Unlikely. But, for collectors, and for those who fell in love with the American albums, this is a must have.

More info about the first Capitol Albums can be found here.

UPDATE: They are remastered. Thanks Way2Poppy.

Wednesday, March 22, 2006

Star Wars, Nothing But Star Wars.

Okay, I know this is pretty far from "too poppy", but it's pretty funny and had to share. Check out the Jedi Drinking Song.

It Was All I Hoped It Would Be

Pick up an autographed copy of Matthew Sweet & Susanna Hoffs Under the Cover Vol. 1 at Not Lame. It's limited to the first 100. Well, I bought one, so I guess it's 99 now. Listen to clips from all the tunes at their official site. Groovy.


It's Just Never What It Was In the Beginning

The Stills lose the gloom on their second album.

MP3: The Stills - In the Beginning (via)

The Simple Fact Is I'm Too Attracted by the Glow

BleuPop master Bleu recently sent out his email newsletter with details on lots of goodies:

..i am going in the studio tOday (yAy!) to finish up my two side-projects...i
hope to be done with --The Blizzard of '05-- and --L.E.O.-- (formerly
called elope) by the end of next month...

More about the Blizzard can be found on hisspace. Sounds moody.

LEO sounds very interesting. It started off as an homage to ELO. It sounds like it's become much more, a "Traveling Wilburys-esque ... power-pop-collective" featuring greats like Andy Sturmer, Mike Viola, John Fields, Matt Mahaffey, and many more. Very cool for power pop fans. I pay close attention to whatever folks like Sturmer, Viola, and Fields do. They ooze pop talent. Stream tracks at theirspace.

Finally, there's A Watched Pot, his new album. "...i'm not sure when this project will be finished (s00n), but, i'm pretty determined to get it out thiS frEEgin' yeAr..." Demos can be heard on hisspace.

If you'd rather avoide MySpace, I don't blame you. Bleu also promises he'll update his official site by the end of the month.

In the Jungle, the Mighty Jungle

Read about the sordid tale behind the classic pop tune The Lion Sleeps Tonight. Very interesting.

Tuesday, March 21, 2006

Alias & Tarsier

This morning I received my Anticon Proganda March email highlighting the debut single Dr. C by Alias & Tarsier. This bicostal collaboration features Anticon's producer/beatmaker Alias and the voice of Rona "Tarsier" Rapadas of Healamonster & Tarsier. This is a great song and I'm geeked to hear the rest of the album. The song features a guitar intro courtesy of Telephone Jim Jesus and transisitions into Tarsier's vocals. A good groove develops and the beats work well.

The duo's debut single will be released next month on April 25th with the full length available on March 23. Download it here or listen to it at their space.

In other Anticon news I saw Odd Nosdam is the first artist to be asked to remix Boards of Canada. The remix will be on the New Boards of Canada EP, Trans Canada Highway out on Warp on June 6.

Thursday, March 16, 2006

Give It Away, Give It Away, Give It Away Now

Lollapalooza announced its lineup today for the 3-day festival in Chicago August 4-6. Wow, RHCP, Kanye, and Wilco are the headliners. Can't say I'm too thrilled by that. I'm a bit more thrilled when I look further down the list to see the Shins, Death Cab For Cutie, the Raconteurs, Flaming Lips, New Pornographers, Nada Surf, Eels, Aqualung, Mates of State, and a few other cool ones. Get the full list here.

RHCP is the Aerosmith of our generation, and that ain't a good thing!

I Tried to Pull It Apart and Put It Back Together

Guster One Man Wrecking MachineGuster is releasing a new album called Ganging Up on the Sun on June 20. Guster released the final track list this week:

1. Lightning Rod 2. Satellite 3. Manifest Destiny 4. One Man Wrecking Machine 5. The Captain 6. The New Underground 7. Ruby Falls 8. C'mon 9. Empire State 10. Dear Valentine 11. The Beginning of the End 12. Hang On

Guster's first single from the album is One Man Wrecking Machine, which can be downloaded at iTunes now. Guster is a generous band and has released a B-side to go with it: The New Underground. Guster's words: The album version has a 40 second masturbatory intro that the single version doesn't have. The single version has a wholesome electric guitar in the first verse that the album version doesn't have. Guster has also released the album version of their single on theirspace for your streaming pleasure. Guster would prefer we not forget about their very first release from this album, Manifest Destiny, which is some tasty pop indeed.

Guster Joe's PlaceGuster is also releasing episodes of their sitcom called Joe's Place for you to watch here. Guster must have been amused after watching video of their recording sessions.

Guster is not coming to Iowa. Guster's announcement of this news prompted me to email: Come on! You're touring via biodiesel and you're not coming to Iowa?!? We're ready and waiting for you. Guster is very cool and actually responded: No current plans for Iowa, but we'll be on tour through the summer and fall. Hope to see you then! As always, dates will be added to the tour page at as they're scheduled.

Me gusta Guster.

Wednesday, March 08, 2006

This Could Be the Very Minute I'm Aware I'm Alive

Another effort from another U2-wannabe is due to be released May 9. Snow Patrol is releasing its follow-up to its excellent Final Straw. On Eyes Open, Snow Patrol evidently tries to increase credibility with the cool kids by referencing Sufjan Stevens, yet delivers the anthems that probably a majority of their fans want to hear. I like to see folks like Ken Stringfellow and Eugene Kelly involved (remember Eugenius and Kurt Cobain's favorite the Vaselines?!).


Monday, March 06, 2006

You're a Long Time Coming

The Delays You See ColoursSpeaking of the Delays, it appears their new album, You See Colours (yes, it's spelled brit-properly), is out today across the Atlantic. Here at home, though, I can find nothing about a release date. Bummer. It must be ... uh ... delayed. I enjoyed their first album Faded Seaside Glamour quite a bit.

Catch the video for their first single Valentine here. Very British and quite trippy. And as always, there's always theirspace for more tunes.

It's a Long Long Way to Go

The HeartstringsMuy delightful. Sometimes we need a bit of candy pop. Fans of Delays and even Freiheit might dig The Heartstrings. I find myself seeking their few tunes out on the iPod.

Go to theirspace site to stream. Or visit their website to download the official way. Or visit DoCopenhagen, as I did, and download there. Or just download two tunes below. Perfect pop indeed, with the emphasis on pop.

MP3: The Heartstrings - Her New Disaster
MP3: The Heartstrings - Pedalo

And Everyday is the Right Day

I love Pink Floyd. I especially love Meddle, my favorite Floyd album. And Fearless -- well, I love it. Thanks to stereogum, here's a cover by Ambulance LTD.

She's Young and I'm Stung

Not Lame offers a good Tasty Tuesday treat this week: Wisely - Too Quick To Love, one of my favorites from the album. Get it Tuesday only.

Saturday, March 04, 2006

The Road is Wide Open to the Heart of Every Man

World Party Goodbye JumboIn 1990, Goodbye Jumbo by World Party was released. It quickly became the soundtrack to my life as a 16-year-old. As most my age, I was exploring who I was and questioning who I would become. I was in high school. I was working. I was falling in love. My heart was being broken. All along the way, Goodbye Jumbo was one of only a few albums that I was listening to non-stop (others included Bellybutton, The Stone Roses, and Cloudcuckooland). Sixteen years later (holy crap!), I can't help but call Goodbye Jumbo my favorite album of all time. It means the most to me because it is intensely personal and intimate. My heart rate literally slows down when I'm listening to any of the songs from this perfect album. It was rightfully critically acclaimed.

If you haven't had the privilege of really listening to Goodbye Jumbo, now it's easier than ever. Karl Wallinger, the genius that is World Party, has finally released all his work via iTunes. I highly recommend you download it now along with the rest of the catalog. Keep in mind, you likely won't have the same experiences with it that I have had. Music is very personal. But it's worth checking out.

I was inspired to write about it because World Party has reawakened. There's a new website. There's a newly updated album that is getting a proper domestic release (Dumbing Up on May 2). There's an upcoming tour! And there's brand new music likely to be released next year. This is all excellent news.

I had the chance to see World Party open for 10,000 Maniacs in Chicago not long after Goodbye Jumbo was released. I happened to go to school with the son of the owner of the venue so I was able to get on the guest list and didn't need to worry about being underage. Well, my girlfriend wasn't allowed to go out on a weeknight. My friends didn't know or appreciate either of the bands. And my brother, Mr. Way2Poppy, well, there's no excuse for him. He should've known better, but I've since forgiven him. Perhaps I will finally get my chance this time around. It would surely be a transcendent moment for me.

VIDEO: World Party - Put the Message in the Box (via)

Thursday, March 02, 2006

Ever Since I Was A Twinkle In My Father's Pants

Okay, I should probably re-write this so it comes from me, but I'm just too darn tired to bother. Here's what Roger has to say about his upcoming album release:

It's finally a reality! With the two following very special events we announce the official release of Roger's latest solo album, "Solid State Warrior," previously only available as an audio download from

The first announcement is that with his recent signing to Warner Music Group's newest label CORDLESS RECORDINGS, who will be releasing his solo album this fall. This will be precluded by a three-song "cluster," available for download starting May 2nd . CORDLESS is an exciting new label headed up by former Elektra Records founder Jac Holzman. Roger and this new team of pioneering record company mavericks are very excited about bringing new music to your attention in a refreshing and bold new way. Preceding the word-wide release of the full length album, Roger will be producing a series of "video podcasts" that will be shot around his studio to document how the album was made. These vignettes will be available online ideally starting around May '06.

The second bit of wonderful news is that the Japanese-only release of "Solid State Warrior" is officially being made available on CD in digi-pack format on March 2nd. The 11 song album, on Pony Canyon Recordings, contains beautiful original artwork by Japanese artist ADAPTER for both the wraparound and booklet, which of course contains lyrics and album credits. The album will be easily available as an import-only from sites such as Amazon and Not Lame Recordings. Roger's website will not be carrying the album for sale.

Once again, Roger would like to express his heartfelt thanks to all of you for your interest thus far in both the website, Roger's career and vintage merchandise. Your undying enthusiasm and patronage only continues to fuel his creative fires!

***UPDATE***:My Jellyfish-loving best friend Matt just got the album and says it's AWESOME. Sounds like a new Jellyfish album. I can't friggin' wait!! I just ordered it from Not Lame.

Glorified Version of a Pellet Gun

Pearl Jam is releasing its eighth album on May 2. Eighth?! Has anyone been paying attention since their third or fourth? Even die-hard Pearl Jam fans I know stopped listening a while back. I respect them and what they do. They don't succumb to the music industry machine. But as a result, some of their recent work as become boring if not unlistenable (which I'm sure is blasphemy to some out there). I can't imagine the new one will earn any new fans, but best of luck. Nice to see a band from my golden era (late 80s-early 90s) still chugging away.

And for the record, their second CD, Vs., was by far their poppiest effort with tunes like Daughter and Glorified G. It's probably time for a revisit.

UPDATE: Get a preview of the new tune World Wide Suicide at Stereogum.

Wednesday, March 01, 2006

This Is No Great Illusion

Not sure whether you want to plunk down 10 bucks for the solo CD from Rilo Kiley's Jenny Lewis? Preview all the tracks (except Handle With Care) here (via). If you like, buy. If you don't like, don't buy.

You Gotta Break Free To Break the Mold

The Blanks CDWhat I thought was a running gag on the second most underappreciated show on TV is actually a reality. The Blanks, aka Ted's Band from Scrubs, is a real band! They perform and even have their own CD full of cheesy a capella versions of classic shows like Charles in Charge and Six Million Dollar Man. Music should not be serious all the time. Buy the CD at CD Baby.

Don't forget about the great site where you can find all the music played on Scrubs. I was a bit disappointed last night with their use of Fix You by Coldplay, but usually, they have some great picks.

And on a related note, here's another site that lists music played on many TV shows. Radio sucks, so sometimes, when you're not online, the best way to hear something new is on your favorite shows.