Wednesday, February 28, 2007

We'll Do It All, Everything, On Our Own

Pitchfork reports that The Grey's Anatomy House Band Snow Patrol, Silversun Pickups, and OK Go are touring together. Nice lineup, although OK Go are just, well, ok. Naturally, no Iowa date. Bastards.

Remaining dates:
03-01 San Francisco, CA - Bill Graham Civic Auditorium
03-02 Los Angeles, CA - Gibson Amphitheatre
03-03 San Diego, CA - San Diego State University Open Air Theatre
03-05 Magna, UT - Great SaltAir
03-06 Denver, CO - Fillmore Auditorium
03-08 Tulsa, OK - Cain's Ballroom
03-09 Grand Prairie, TX - NOKIA Theatre at Grand Prarie
03-10 Austin, TX - Stubb's Bar-B-Q
03-11 Houston, TX - Verizon Wireless Theater
03-19 Coral Gables, FL - BankUnited Center
03-20 Orlando, FL - Hard Rock Live
03-21 Duluth, GA - Arena at Gwinnett Center
03-23 Washington, DC - Bender Arena at American University
03-24 Camden, NJ - Tweeter Center on the Waterfront
03-26 New York, NY - Theater at Madison Square Garden
03-27 New York, NY - Theater at Madison Square Garden
03-28 Boston, MA - Agganis Arena at Boston University
03-30 Montreal, Quebec - Metropolis
03-31 Toronto, Ontario - Ricoh Coliseum
04-01 Detroit, MI - State Theatre
04-02 Chicago, IL - Aragon Ballroom
04-04 St. Louis, MO - Pageant
04-05 Milwaukee, WI - Eagles Ballroom
04-06 Minneapolis, MN - Northrop Auditorium
04-07 Winnipeg, Manitoba - Burton Cummings Theatre
04-09 Calgary, Alberta - MacEwan Hall
04-10 Edmonton, Alberta - Shaw Conference Center

All I Needed Was to Hear What I'm Feeling

The Changes Today is TonightA new love to share: The Changes. Their debut full-length Today is Tonight was released in the last quarter of 2006, but I just picked it up last night. After listening to the first half, I'm glad I did. It's lush and a bit sugary at times, but the hooks are right on and there's enough power to keep it from going mush. I can't help but hear a bit of Lightning Seeds and early Crowded House in it, but it doesn't succumb fully to that retro love. It's a well-balanced mix of that sound with more modern tweaks that made The Postal Service's debut so refreshing. This is a great CD so far and I can't wait to spend much more time with it.

Naturally, this personal discovery comes just three days after a performance in Iowa City. Sigh. They'll be back.

Oh, and another bonus: they're from Chicago. Gotta love my hometown music scene (Material Issue anyone?).

Official site

MP3: The Changes - When I Wake (scroll down, via)

UPDATE: The second half lost me a bit, although there are some good tunes on it. The song Twilight, though, is a near atrocity with its disco-lite sound. Blech. Upon repeated listens, The Changes are beginning to remind me of Tahiti 80, Phoenix, and at times The Ocean Blue and Riverside. That's a compliment.

New Lines Were Drawn

Mark Olson of the Jayhawks is releasing a solo album June 15.

'The Salvation Blues' is a deeply personal album, documenting as
it does two profound years in the life of an equally profound artist.
Cool. Also:
Jayhawks fans take note: this album marks the reunion of Mark Olson with
former bandmate Gary Louris, who joins Mark on vocals for three songs,
including "Poor Michael's Boat," which they wrote together but had never
recorded until now.
More cool. Enjoy.

Tuesday, February 27, 2007

It's real to me but not like these fools and not like this scene

Evolver has the top 5 forgotten 90's rock bands. I definitely agree with the top 2 - Toad The Wet Sprocket and Gin Blossoms. Some great old videos are included as well.

Of course I certainly haven't forgotten either of them.

You need to check out the Gin Blossoms' latest, Major Lodge Victory, if you haven't done so already. 3.8894483401 stars.

If I Was Always on Your Mind

Maria Taylor Lynn Teeter FlowerThe new album from Maria Taylor, Lynn Teeter Flower, is out next Tuesday. Taylor is formerly with Azure Ray and fits the bill when you need solid, female melancholy with a hint of electronica. She opened for The Elected last year at the Vaudeville Mews here in Des Moines, and honestly, she was the highlight of the night for me (partially because The Elected was such a disappointment.)

Stream the album here.

MP3: Maria Taylor - A Good Start
MP3: Maria Taylor - Lost Time

Monday, February 26, 2007

Have You Heard?

This is a nice little surprise on a Monday. Here's a brand new tune from Pink Floyd's Roger Waters, and it's not opera. It sounds just like what you'd want it to sound like. Hello (I Love You) is from the new movie The Last Mimzy. Here's the plot according to IMDB:

Two siblings begin to develop special talents after they find a mysterious box of toys. Soon the kids, their parents, and even their teacher are drawn into a strange and sometimes terrifying world.
The movie comes out 3/23. See the trailer here. Haven't seen any mention of a soundtrack other than the score. It's not clear if this Waters' tune will be on that.

MP3: Roger Waters - Hello (I Love You) (via)
Thanks for the lead on this, stereogum.

I'm Never Gonna Give It Away

The Broken WestAfter reading countless positive reviews online, I picked up The Broken West's I Can't Go On I'll Go On this weekend. Upon first listen, I'm certainly not disappointed, but I'm also not smitten. It has undeniable great hooks and melodies (think the Beatley, power-poppy side of Wilco), but I think it's just going to be a slow burner from me. I'm sure after listens two and three I'll fall in love, but so far, it's a solid 3.5/5 stars and I'd recommend it for any straightforward power-pop fans.

Buy it from iTunes, Amazon, or Not Lame.

MP3: The Broken West - Down in the Valley (via)

UPDATE: Not surprisingly, after another half listen, this album is easily 4/5. Methinks this one will be too popping all through spring!

Friday, February 23, 2007

Nobody can deny that there's something there

Wow. A new Beatles book gives you every intimate detail of the technology behind the Beatles recording sessions. This deluxe edition gives you 540 hardbound pages with 500 photos, wall poster of the primary mixer used, rare and never-before-seen photos and reproductions of various rare documents. The slipcase is fashioned after a tape box. Very slick.

The deluxe edition is a hefty $100, but a less expensive version is planned for later in 2007.

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

I Will Remain the Honest Soldier

Guster has released another animated video. Guster is buds with Chad VanGaaaaaaaaaaaaaalen. Guster had Chad VanG create a "psychotomimetic" video for Lightning Rod. Guster is smart, both with words and with choice of video directors.

Guster SatelliteGuster has released a funky remix of Satellite "with a block-rocking beat and a trance feel." Guster has made this available on iTunes. Guster has also announced an upcoming 8-song Satellite EP coming out "in a couple of months, featuring B-sides, covers, and a dance remix of Satellite with a block-rocking beat and a trance feel."

Guster announced dates for its Spring Campus Consciousness Tour. Guster is again avoiding the rabid fans in Iowa. Guster has disappointed me. Yet, me gusta Guster.

Monday, February 19, 2007

Am I Ready For This?

Riverside is back! That is a meaningless statement to 99.9% of people, mostly because they have never heard of the band Riverside. Riverside shares a love for the dreamy, lush sounds of bands like The Ocean Blue. In fact, their first album One was produced by the OB's keyboardist. Their career was essentially pummeled by early-90s grunge, but for those who heard it, One was a hidden gem. In fact my opinion, Waterfall would have been a huge hit in the 80s if it actually had been released in the 80s. Their second album Taste never received a proper release because their record label (Sire) dumped them before it came out. It was released independently in an abbreviated form on cassette years later before the full CD was released independently a few years ago. You can still buy it here. Read more about Riverside here.

Behold, an email from Glenn Kochan (the Riverside guy) came to my inbox and declared:

Riverside returns with new songs and a new band.
They're playing a show in Philly this Friday and that's it. Hopefully it's a sign of new life from one of my favorite "hidden" early-90s bands.

To jog some of your foggy memories, here's the video to Waterfall:

Friday, February 16, 2007

UPDATE: One of These Nights You Might Find Someone To Love

Fountains of Wayne Someone to LoveSwoon. This is why I even bother with this dang blog. The new Fountains of Wayne single, in its entirety, is on iTunes. Just something to love on a Friday afternoon.


Thursday, February 15, 2007

On and On and On

I'm over the moon about it. I think it will be a really beautiful record. It's a great time to be in Wilco.
The tracklist for Wilco's new album Sky Blue Sky has been finalized. This is evidently meaningful for some people.

"Either Way"
"You Are My Face"
"Impossible Germany"
"Sky Blue Sky"
"Side With the Seeds"
"Shake It Off"
"Please Be Patient With Me"
"Hate It Here"
"Leave Me (Like You Found Me)"
"What Light"
"On and On and On"

What a Feeling in My Soul

Aqualung Pressure SuitAqualung is releasing their (his) second release in the states (third overall) on March 13. It's called Memory Man and the first single is Pressure Suit. Stream it here. Download it here.

The first US release, Strange & Beautiful, was a compilation of his first two British releases. Man, I hate when they do that. It's so condescending. Anyway, in the lowly, ignorant states, the Scrubsian Brighter Than Sunshine was the hit and it was quite delightful.

It's awfully pleasant music. It's the aughts noughties noughts zeroes - oh hell, this decade's version of soft rock I'd say. Nice headphone music when you're sitting on your third flight of the day waiting to get back to your non-hub hometown. From what I've heard of Pressure Suit, it sounds like another batch of the same.

These are all compliments by the way. Not everything has to be chock full of hooks, harmonies, and riffs. Nicely simple and lush tunes have their place.

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

All Your Plastic Believers Still Leave Us and They Won't Return

NME reports that Oasis is making progress on their hotly anticipated new album. Noel said,

I've got eight songs that I'm pretty happy with. Liam has got one of two that he thinks are brilliant. I fancy doing something more elaborate with this one. It's about time.
Ok, so maybe it's only hotly anticipated by NME, me, and a few leftover Oasis fans from their surprising mid-90s success. Don't Believe the Truth was criminally underrated, but that's what happens when your cockwipe persona exceeds your songwriting abilities. Nonetheless, I'm excited.

All Your Secret Wishes Could Right Now Be Coming True

Pitchfork is exclusively reporting that Kill Rock Stars is releasing a new Elliott Smith compilation of rarities called New Moon on May 8. The recordings are from the same era as his self-titled release and Either/Or. Angeles is my favorite Smith tune and that can be found on Either/Or, so I have high hopes for this new compilation.

His death still haunts me, not unlike Jim Ellison's. Ridiculous tragedies that stole great pop geniuses from us.

UPDATE: So much for the exclusivity bullshit. Billboard had this story last year and has a much better story detailing the new compilation here, including the tracklist.

Monday, February 12, 2007

And I Was Born with a Jealous Mind

Neil Aspinal told Fox News that the Beatles catalog will be ready for downloading soon. All 13 albums originally released on CD have been remasterd and will be available, probably at the same time.

In addition, Neil blew away the iTunes-exclusivity rumors by saying that The Beatles will be available on all music services at the same time.

Whilst I personally own everything the Beatles have commercially released (and then some), I'll be first in line for the new downloads. Why? Because they've been remastered. If you've heard "1" or "Love", you'll know that the sound quality blows away the early 90's CDs.

And sorry, Jeff - it looks like Let It Be is not anywhere near release on DVD.

Those Days Are Over

"Ladies and gentlemen, we are the Police and we're back."
Nice. The Police reunion at the start of the Grammys last night was the one and only thing I was interested to see (although it was fun to see Dan Wilson of Semisonic winning with the Dixie Chicks) and they did not disappoint. In fact, I think my wife started hyperventilating when she saw Sting. Ok, maybe not quite, but she was impressed with his ... physique musical abilities.

Sting and the others performed my favorite high school legal age drinking game song, Roxanne (drink every time Sting sings Roxanne -- fun stuff). You could just tell he was excited about it, but really, who wouldn't be after a recent release featuring lute music. It was a quality performance and for someone who is just a couple years older than the Police, I reacted to it sentimentally despite never being a huge fan.

A global tour has been announced not surprisingly, starting May 28. No dates as of yet in the too poppy HQ hometowns of Des Moines and Atlanta, but there are a lot of dates to fill. Get all the official info here.
It is highly likely that the Police will be the top-grossing tour of 2007.
No doubt.


Friday, February 09, 2007

One of These Nights You Might Find Someone To Love

Ahhhhhh. Glorious hooks from Fountains of Wayne's new single Someone to Love (thanks stereogum). New album will be released 4/3 and it can't come soon enough.

Such ... a ... small ... taste ... need ... so ... much ... more ... FOW!!!


The Sweat of Your Body Covers Me

Hey, if you're a wacky, crazed Prince fan, you can own a piece of his history. Evidently the person who caught his black bandana at the Superbowl is selling it on eBay. It even smells like hairspray and sweat. Go crazy, but bid at your own risk.


Thursday, February 08, 2007

Let Me Hear Both Sides

Jonny Greenwood is the ControllerAre you such a hardcore Radiohead fan that anything they touch -- ANYTHING -- is worthy of listen? Yeah, me neither. But for those of you that are, and are also reggae fans, check this out.

Radiohead's guitarist Jonny Greenwood, arguably one of the best guitarists of our generation, has compiled 17 of his favorite reggae tunes from the Trojan Records library. Jonny Greenwood is the Controller will be released March 6.

"Really, all musical life is here." - Jonny Greenwood

Tell Me What You Wanna Know

The Killers will play the Val Air Ballroom in West Des Moines on May 14. I would've been more excited about this following their debut album, but I haven't picked up Sam's Town so I shouldn't judge ... yet.

Tickets for the Val Air show cost $33.50 and go on sale at 10 a.m. Feb. 17 through Ticketmaster.

I Didn't Mean It

Things are picking up a bit for Ames-based The Envy Corps. They're finishing their debut CD and this month, they're releasing an EP over in the UK. They're currently touring there now so it seems they wanted to get a little product into their hands. Nothing new on that EP if you already own their independently released EP. I'm going to say EP again for the hell of it. EP.

Nate at Zzz Records in Des Moines announced this to his email list:

For those of you who are fans of Ames rockers The Envy Corps,
listen up:
Vertigo Records is going to be releasing a double 7" single called the

"Story Problem EP" in England later this month. There will be 4 songs
on the EP, and it will allegedly only be available on vinyl. Since it's
an import, it will be a bit on the high side (looks like we'll be selling
them for about $11.00). However, if you want one, you may want to place a
pre-order to make sure we have enough for all. By the way, we still
have a few copies of their latest CD at $7.99, too.
Sounds great, but you can already pre-order (release date: 2/22) the Story Problem EP via Amazon. I suppose if you're a collector, you may want to pick up the vinyl too.

Listen to several of the tracks at theirspace. Also note the tune Surgery, which doesn't seem to be on any release yet. Perhaps a preview of their upcoming full-length.

For the local folks, The Envy Corps is coming back to Iowa in March:

Mar 23 2007 5:00P Vaudeville Mews - Early; Des Moines, Iowa

Mar 23 2007 9:00P Vaudeville Mews - Late; Des Moines, Iowa

Mar 31 2007 8:00P Picador [Mission Creek Fest]; Iowa City, Iowa

MP3: The Envy Corps - Story Problem (via - scroll down)

Wednesday, February 07, 2007

I Just Want to Get There Faster

The new Smashing Pumpkins album will be called Zeitgeist and is scheduled to be released 7/7/07. I have nothing more to say.

via stereogum and Blabbermouth

Let's Go Crazy

Prince's Penis GuitarWTF? Seriously, people are pissed off about Prince's halftime performance at Sunday's ill-fated Superbowl? For a split second during the very cool part of the performance when his shadow was projected on a giant curtain, some idiot prudes claim it was too phallic for a Superbowl audience. NFL Spokesman Greg Aiello had this to say about the alleged pocket rocket:

"It's a guitar."
I'm pretty sure Aiello should win some best spokesperson award for stating the goddamn obvious truth.

In fact, my kids were even watching part of the performance because it was quite a spectacle. Did they see this part and say, "Daddy, why does that man have a giant, curly, devilishly-pointed penis?" No, of course not. And even if they did, I would laugh and tell them nobody has a penis like that. Hey, use everything as an opportunity for a lesson.

Prince's performance was awesome and has inspired me to track down some greatest hits of one of the greatest performers of my generation. Now that idiots have claimed another Janet Jackson boob-like fiasco, I just can't wait to see who they get next year for halftime.

Photo credit

Tuesday, February 06, 2007

Cellophane Flowers of Yellow and Green, Towering Over Your Head

The Beatles are surreal.

Choose What You're Watching

thenewno2The Beatles' second generation continues with a (sold-out) release from George's son Dhani.

thenewno2 = dhani harrison + oli hecks
This is definitely a cool direction to go for the son of a Beatle. Sounds better and certainly less whiny than anything Sean Lennon has tried to do to stand out. It sounds different than the shamelessly (albeit lovely) Beatley tunes Julian Lennon puts out. Since James McCartney has limited his music to performing with his pop and Zak Starkey has performed with The Who and Oasis, they haven't put out much of their own material (although Starkey was in The Semantics with Ben Folds and Owsley).

Currently, a promo EP from thenewno2 is out of stock here. You can check out clips from the EP here and here. Hopefully we'll see a proper release from this sometime soon. In the meantime, check out their one and only video.

Monday, February 05, 2007

See how they smile like pigs in a sty, see how they snied

PodMania is reporting that the Apples have finally settled their lawsuit over the Apple name. And only for a mere 50 to 100 million dollars. Drop in the bucket. That's only 83 to 166 thousand top-of-the-line iPhones to sell. But still no Beatles-on-iTunes announcement. And enough with the hyphens already!

Friday, February 02, 2007

But I won't believe you now, I've got to check this out

Duncan Sheik provides Frank Wedekind’s play Spring Awakening with a fresh rock score. Frequent Sheik collaborator Steven Sater provides the lyrics. Sheik is an Apple fan and used Logic Pro and a suite of Apple computers to compose the score. Now I like him for more than his music.

Download the free podcast.

Oh No, Here We Go As Yoko Sings Aieee!

I just received an email from Astralwerks announcing the new release from Yoko Ono. Oh, Yoko.

On February 6th, 2007 Astralwerks will release a new album from the controversial and outspoken artist Yoko Ono who has inspired an entire generation of musicians who themselves are currently challenging the status quo and pushing the boundaries of sounds and ideas.

I have to admit, despite never enjoying anything I've ever heard from her, I am intrigued. Take a look at some of these collaborations:

1. Witch Shocktronica Intro / Hank Shocklee
2. Kiss Kiss Kiss / Peaches
3. O'Oh / Shitake Monkey
4. Everyman Everywoman / Blow Up
5. Sisters O Sisters / Le Tigre
6. Death Of Samantha / Porcupine Tree
7. Rising / DJ Spooky
8. Nobody Sees Me Like You Do / The Apples In Stereo
9. Yes I'm A Witch / The Brother Brothers
10. Revelations / Cat Power : listen - win | real

11. You And I / Polyphonic Spree
12. Walking On Thin Ice / Jason Pierce of Spiritualized
13. Toyboat / Antony of Antony And The Johnsons and Hahn Rowe
14. Cambridge 1969/2007 / The Flaming Lips : listen - win | real

15. I'm Moving On / The Sleepy Jackson
16. Witch Shocktronica Outro / Hank Shocklee
17. Shiranakatta (I Didn't Know) / Craig Armstrong

It remains to be seen just how good this is, but it sounds interesting enough that it might be worth at least one listen. Pre-order/buy it here.

Here We Go Fast and Slow

Travis has announced that their new album will be called The Boy With No Name and will be in stores May 7 (which likely means May 8 for us stateside). Tracklist:

'3 Times And You Lose'
'Selfish Jean'
'Big Chair'
'Eyes Wide Open'
'My Eyes'
'One Night'
'Out In Space'
'New Amsterdam'
It's produced by Nigel Godrich and he rarely does anything wrong. It's been 4 long years since their last release so I'm excited!


Thursday, February 01, 2007

Drifting Along With the Radio On

The Apples in Stereo have announced tour dates (yay Ames 2/27!), but I found the dialogue between Dad and Son here much more entertaining.

Dad: What the hell are you kids doing?
Son: We’re just eating Apple Jacks dad.
Dad: What? What the hell are Apple Jacks?
Son’s friend: They are like cheerios, but more colorful and festive.
Dad: What? A gay cheerio? Give me a bite, you little pissers.
Son: They’re good, huh?
Dad: What? No, they don’t taste like goddamn apples.
Thanks for the lead, goldenfiddle.

Trying to Get a Closer View

Guster has announced dates for their winter tour. Guster assures us there will be more dates this spring. Guster has not come to Iowa in a few years. Guster is making me angry.

02/11/07 -- Seattle, WA *
02/15/07 – North Charleston, SC @ Center Stage at the Plex
02/16/07 – Orlando, FL @ House of Blues
02/17/07 – Atlanta, GA @ The Tabernacle SOLD OUT
02/20/07 – Cincinnati, OH @ Bogarts
02/21/07 – Champaign, IL @ Foellinger Auditorium
02/23/07 – St Louis, MO @ The Pageant
02/24/07 – Indianapolis, IN @ Egyptian Room at Murat Center
02/25/07 – Cleveland, OH @ House of Blues
02/26/07 – Toronto, ON @ Phoenix
02/28/07 – Washington, DC @ 930 Club SOLD OUT
03/01/07 – Washington, DC @ 930 Club SOLD OUT
03/02/07 – Providence, RI @ Lupo’s
03/03/07 – Philadelphia, PA @ Electric Factory SOLD OUT
* New show at Neumo's. The only way to get in is to win tickets through 107 The End. Try the request line to get in: (206) 421-1077
Mason Jennings opens all other shows on the tour.

Guster also noted that Satellite is starting to get some significant radio play. Me gusta Guster.