Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Drawn by the Promise of the Women and the Lace

World Party Best in ShowI realize some people are big fans of greatest hits collection, and for some artists, that's all I might need. But World Party?!?

World Party has released Best in Show today, their first compilation of "hits." Now, really, if you want an introduction to World Party, you better buy Goodbye Jumbo, which has been one of my two or three favorite albums for over 15 years now! But if you just want Ship of Fools, Is It Like Today?, a couple tracks from recent albums, and over half of Goodbye Jumbo (I told you it was good), then Best in Show, I guess, is for you. I have to admit, this would make a great holiday present for the uninitiated.

Still, if that's all you know of World Party, you're missing everything!


Monday, October 29, 2007

You Spin Me Right Round, Baby

Wired Magazine online has an interesting article about the death of the compact disc format. You're thinking digital is the cause, right? Wrong.

Friday, October 26, 2007

Memories Come Rushing Up to Meet Me Now

Pink Floyd is releasing a box set chronicling their entire career. Oh By the Way includes every album, even the ones without Roger Waters, and are reproductions of their original vinyl releases. No superfluous live or previously-released compilation albums will be included (it would be a bit silly). It's out internationally on December 4 and in the states, well, only via import. If I didn't already own about 90% of their albums, this would be very tempting. Can't believe it's been 13 years since Division Bell. Wow.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Open Up, Let Me Out, Please

It is an absolute thrill to hear a band at its creative peak. Revisit The Beatles' Revolver, World Party's Goodbye Jumbo, or Matthew Sweet's Girlfriend to understand. Listening to matt pond PA's Last Light for a third time, I can't help but conclude that Mr. Pond and company have it all working for them.

The first time through, I was a bit overwhelmed by the amount of music (20 songs and a clean version of Sunlight). Past mpPA albums I think fell into that every-song-sounds-the-same trap, and with 20 new songs, I had similar concerns. The second time through, I started feeling that this was something special. I usually wait until the second or third listen to rate each song on my iPod. I found myself consistently giving each song 4 stars - with several having potential for the 5-star-all-time-classic rating. The third time through, I was motivated to post.

I can't help but relish in the flourishes that remind me of the best moments of the Beatles' middle years, the atmospherics of a great Cure tune, or the honesty of Elliott Smith's lyricism. Basement Parties, Giving It All Away Tonight, Sunlight - truly outstanding songs made even better in the context of a great album. Yes, indeed, great albums are still being made and you're foolish to ignore them. This is one you'd be foolish to ignore anyway.

MP3s: matt pond PA - various (scroll down via)

U Say U Want a Leader

Prince Purple RainPurple Rain is reportedly the greatest soundtrack of all time, but A Hard Day's Night, Trainspotting, and The Graduate (personal favorites) rank in the top ten too.

In what is quickly becoming one of the only (arguably) useful purposes of magazines in a time that the Interwebs trump print on breaking news, Vanity Fair is featuring their 50 greatest soundtracks in their next issue. In other words, they want to sell magazines and they're looking for cheap publicity. It doesn't get much cheaper than Too Poppy, so here you go.


I posted last week about Matthew Sweet's participation in a new soundtrack for the film Songs from the Bigtop. It was supposed to have been released last week, but that didn't seem to happen. Nevertheless, this week it is available. Download Sweet's Wild right here and the rest of the album here.

MP3: Matthew Sweet - Wild (scroll down via Stereogum)

Where Did I Go?

Justin Currie What Is Love ForJustin Currie, Del Amitri's voice and source of the band's pathos, has released "a sumptuous set of lovely, meticulously arranged songs, sung with earnest emotion and empathy" called What Is Love For. Allmusic.com has a generally positive review, although it compares it to the "bouncy pop" of Del Amitri. Sure, if you've only heard Roll To Me, I'd give you that. If you're familiar with the rest of Del Amitri's catalog, you can hardly call it bouncy (listening to Change Everything during my moody college days prompted me to say pathetically, "anybody got any razor blades?"). Whatever.

Listen to more from the album at hisspace. Download here.

I'm Feeling Down

It's Wednesday. Struggling to get through the week? Yeah, I'm with you. Just don't forget that help Help! is on its way.

Friday, October 19, 2007

What's a Wonderwall Anyway?

Here's an interesting story on the intersection of three great tunes.

MP3: Travis - Writing to Reach You (scroll down via)
Video: Oasis - Wonderwall (via)
Video: The Connells - 74-75 (via)

The Infrastructure Will Collapse

Radiohead In Rainbows Cover ArtSo it's been a couple weeks since Radiohead shocked us all by quickly releasing their new album In Rainbows in a seemingly-yet-not-entirely novel way. It's been a good listen and I do enjoy how this rock band seems to be realizing again they are in fact a rock band.

Troubling, though, particularly for us iTunes/iPod users, there is no official album art. Hicksdesign has the solution for you, and I'm sure it's not the only example out there. Plenty of listener-generated cover art for your perusal. I personally enjoy #103.

By the way, it's looking good for a Radiohead tour next year.

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Guessing game is over much to my surprise

I fell in love with the Trash Can Sinatras back in the early 90's while waiting for Jellyfish to play at the then new Mascarade Music Park here in Atlanta. Since then I've kept an eye on what they're doing.

They're headed to New York to record their next studio album and should be done sometime in 2008.

TrashCanSinatras.com has also been redesigned and relaunched for your surfing pleasure.

If you're not familiar with their work - hop to it and download I've Seen Everything right now. Definitely their best IMHO.

I've Seen Everything (Live)
Hayfever (Acoustic)

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Jesus and His Lawyer Are Coming Back

Meet the Eels and Useless TrinketsEels news:

Universal Music and the EELS are celebrating the EELS' first decade, 1996-2006, by releasing best of and rarities collections this coming January. MEET THE EELS: ESSENTIAL EELS VOL. I will feature the EELS' most popular tracks with a DVD collecting the EELS videos accompanying it. USELESS TRINKETS will feature two discs packed with B-sides, soundtrack tunes, rarities and unreleased tracks plus a DVD with 6 performances from EELS' 2006 Lollapalooza show. Both packages will be packed with never before seen photos, artifacts and E's notes about each song.
For more details, go here.

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

I Come to Find a Refuge

Mental Blog note: new Dan Wilson, Free Life, out today. Download here.


Make Sure They See My Face

Kenna Make Sure They See My FaceFinally, Kenna's new album has been released today. It's been a long several years since Sacred New Cow surprised me with quite a mix of styles (hip-hop, new wave, pop). Make Sure They See My Face sounds like it's definitely recognizable as Kenna, but may be even a bit more commercially friendly, which may be more a sign that the times have caught up to Kenna than anything else.

Haven't heard it yet, but I'll download it right here.


You're All That's Left To Hold On To

U2 The Joshua TreeU2 is planning a special way to celebrate the 20th anniversary (shut up!!!) of The Joshua Tree, which in my ignorant youth I wrote off until Mrs. 2poppy smartened me up in college. On Nov. 20, the capitalist bastards Irish legends will provide four different versions for which completists can empty their wallets: single CD, double CD, double CD/DVD box, and double vinyl. It's unclear what will complete the second disc, but it'll probably be demos, b-sides, live tracks, etc.

No doubt The Joshua Tree is worthy of such special treatment, but why no mention of Pop on it's 10th anniversary (snicker).

Also, coming soon, the U2 Tower. Ok.

Live Your Life Filled With Joy and Thunder

R.E.M. Automatic for the PeopleFor about a week now I've been humming Sweetness Follows by R.E.M. in my head. Morbid, somewhat, but nonetheless, it's been there. Best remedy is to listen to the song - so I figured it was a good opportunity to revisit Automatic for the People, which was really a high-water mark for the band. In doing so, I was reminded that R.E.M. Live came out this week. I'm personally not a fan of live albums, but for those who are: here. You can read a review here and here. It's a bit heavy on Around the Sun so I'm even less interested.

Thus concludes my R.E.M. stream of consciousness.

UPDATE: And speaking of stream, go here to stream the live album in its entirety courtesy of Paste Magazine.

Monday, October 15, 2007


Matthew Sweet recently celebrated his birthday. Happy that.

Mr. Soundtrack is also featured with Susanna Hoffs on the soundtrack to Ben Stiller's movie that came out earlier this month. So be it.

Hoffs also recently let it slip that she's working with MS on their Volume 2 of covers that will cover the 70s. Gee, I wonder if Big Star will be on there? Check out this stellar portion of the interview:

So where do things stand now, looking forward? Are you guys in the midst of writing and looking to make another album?
Yeah, we're going to start writing. I'm making another record with Matthew Sweet.

Yeah, I was just going to ask you about that.
Yeah. So, Matthew and I are actually working on Volume 2 of Under the Covers.

Yeah, and it'll be the seventies. So, I'm working on that now that I'm home. And the Bangles are starting to write for another record, and yeah, it's going to be a busy and super creative time. So, I'm excited.

So, you have the work with Matthew and then the work with the Bangles.

And the work at home.
Yep, that's it.

Talk about multitasking. Yeah, you got a few balls in the air.
Yeah, I do.

Songs from the BigtopSweet also has a track on an interesting new soundtrack.
For the forthcoming Devon Reed-directed film Songs From the Bigtop, the accompanying soundtrack is to feature an amazing who’s-who of indie rock royalty—including Lisa Germano, the Clientele, Howe Gelb, Matthew Sweet and Built To Spill’s Doug Martsch (okay, so the latter’s band is on a major label… you get the point). The 13 songs were penned by Reed, who subsequently approached some of his favorite artists about performing them.
It won't be released on plastic until next year, and it is reportedly already available on iTunes yet I see no evidence of it anywhere. Pisser. Hopefully it will turn up.

I wish I had news on his new album. I don't.

Happy belated birthday, Matthew Sweet.

I Hear Strings

Nada Surf announced more details on their upcoming album due Feb. 5, which seems so far away.

"There is some hard rock, almost early '80s British metal for a couple of minutes," frontman Matthew Caws previously told Billboard.com. "I don't even know if the record is going in a positive direction or a vitriolic direction. I think it's getting weirder. But then some songs sound like Tom Petty, which is a great thing if it works and a bummer if it doesn't."

Here is the track list for "Lucky":

"Whose Authority"
"Beautiful Beat"
"Here Goes Something"
"From Now On"
"I Like What You Say"
"Ice on the Wing"
"The Film Did Not Go 'Round"
"The Fox"
"Are You Lightning?"
"See These Bones"
And wouldn't you know it, you can download the See These Bones at theirspace. Neato.

Make Me a Happy Man

Next month: Led Zeppelin.
Soon: The Beatles.
Who cares: Garth Brooks.

Tuesday, October 09, 2007

I'll try my best to make everything succeed

The last but certainly not least Beatle is finally available on iTunes. George Harrison's solo catalog is available in all it's iTunes Plus DRM-free and higher quality glory.

Must-haves include All Things Must Pass and Cloud Nine. All albums have either been recently remastered and/or have bonus tracks.

Of course there are some albums missing - Wonderwall Music, Electronic Sound, Dark Horse, Concert for Bangladesh, Extra Texture, the awful The Best of George Harrison and the very well done Best of Dark Horse 1976-1989.

So that makes all four Beatles solo efforts' now available - John, George, Paul & Ringo. All we need is the actual Beatles on iTunes and we'll be done. Early next year? Or whenever they're ready?

Thursday, October 04, 2007

Did we expect that life was ever fair, my god . . .

Another success for the RIAA today. As most successful companies know, suing your customers builds undying loyalty not only from the customer you sued, but from all your other customers as well. And the criminals and pirates? They're shaking in their boots, destroying their hard drives and have found Jesus.

Hey, Chicago, Whaddya Say?

Ok, so they didn't. Surely they will tonight.

Tuesday, October 02, 2007

They Bought and Sold You

Interestingly, Wu-Tang Clan becomes the first group to legally sample a Beatles tune. Their new song, Gently Weeps, will sample, obviously, While My Guitar Gently Weeps. Might have something to do with Dhani Harrison's involvement.

UPDATE: Interpolation? Whatever.

No Need to Be Sad

Evidently Hear Music is releasing a new deluxe version of Paul McCartney's Memory Almost Full that features three "previously unreleased" tunes and a DVD with five live tunes and the videos for the two singles from the album. If memory serves (no pun intended), the three tunes on the CD were already released on the original deluxe version, which makes the DVD the only new piece to this. Damn stupid. At the very least they should release the DVD independent of the CD so I don't have to buy the whole damn thing again, which I won't do. Even new record labels act like old ones.

Of note in the Billboard article, though, is Liverpool the Musical on January 12, where Ringo will perform with, among others, Echo & the Bunnymen and Ian Broudie. So Broudie is re-emerging? Any chance of a new Lightning Seeds album?

Monday, October 01, 2007

Slam Your Body Down

U2 + Spice Girls = WTF?

And I Can't Even Sell Myself

In a move surely to be eclipsed by another UK band's novel new release strategy, the Charlatans are releasing their new album as a free digital download.

The revolutionary move which suitably reflects the changing way that music is made, distributed and listened to today, The Charlatans have decided to give their entire new album to fans for the bargainous price of absolutely nothing... And who better to help them realise this exciting new move than Xfm - whom The Charlatans have signed an x-clusive deal with - with the first single 'You Cross My Path' available as a free download on xfm.co.uk from Monday October 22.
The full-length album will be available early next year. No word whether we stateside fans will have access, but I can't imagine why not.

In Rainbows

Radiohead In RainbowsThe big music news on this first day of October has to be this, right? Or maybe this:

As expected, Radiohead has gone an unusual route for distribution of its seventh studio album, "In Rainbows." The set will be available for digital download from the band's Web site beginning Oct. 10, but with a twist -- fans can name their own price for the purchase. "It's up to you," reads a disclaimer on the checkout screen.
Very interesting. Plenty of options beyond the digital download as well:
"In Rainbows" will also be sold in a "discbox," which will feature the new album on CD and double-vinyl, as well as a second disc with seven additional songs, photos, artwork and lyrics. The materials will be encased in a hardback book and slipcase.
At £40 ($81.18), that one is for the hardcore Radioheaders. I'll settle for the digital download at a price of my choosing!
Here is the track list for "In Rainbows":

"15 Step"
"Weird Fishes/Arpeggi"
"All I Need"
"Faust Arp"
"House of Cards"
"Jigsaw Falling Into Place"

Here is the track list for the "In Rainbows" bonus disc:

"MK 1"
"Down Is the New Up"
"Go Slowly"
"MK 2"
"Last Flowers"
"Up on the Ladder"
"Bangers and Mash"
"4 Minute Warning"
Stereogum has a bit more on it. Go here for the official site. By the way, the standard, physical version for any of you scared of a new album-release model will be released next year.

UPDATE: nme.com has videos of most of the album in case you absolutely cannot wait another 9 days.