Monday, November 26, 2007

Writing Poems in a Corner Booth

This is why I need to read The Onion's AV Club more often.

Material Issue is one of the most underrated bands of our generation.

Videos here.
Music here.

But Now I'm Reborn

John Lennon is releasing his video collection next month via iTunes. Well, ok, Lennon isn't actually releasing the collection because he's dead and all. So, yeah, the John Lennon Video Album (I'm blown away by this title by the way) comes out December 4.


'Watching The Wheels'
'Mind Games'
'Happy Xmas (War Is Over)'
'Whatever Gets You Thru The Night'
'(Just Like) Starting Over'
'#9 Dream'
'Give Peace A Chance'
'Beautiful Boy'
'Jealous Guy'
'Nobody Told Me'
'Cold Turkey'
'Power To The People'
'Working Class Hero'
'Working Class Hero'
'Borrowed Time'
'Slippin' And Slidin'
'Stand By Me'
Yes, I see there are two Working Class Hero listings. Silly Brits. Here's one evidently not in the collection:

I Guess There's Got to Be a Break in the Monotony, but Jesus, When It Rains How It Pours

First, a goofy choreographed treadmill video ripe for viral marketing, now LED jackets for their tour. Does OK Go even make music, or is it all gimmicks for these guys?

Do It If You Feel It

First My Bloody Valentine, and now, Jesus & Mary Chain is working on their first new album in nearly a decade.

"I would say it's an evolution," [William] Reid says of the new material, which he and his brother wrote separately. "It definitely sounds like the Mary Chain, but I guess you evolve as a person and a writer. You can't really stand still. If you do that, you're lost."
Expect the album in late spring, early summer 2008.

Friday, November 23, 2007

Wanna Hear You Play 'Til the Lights Go Down

The McCartney YearsPaul McCartney talks about his new DVD retrospective The McCartney Years, the new deluxe version of Memory Almost Full, and a possible new album with his son James!

I'm actually doing some recording with my son [James]. We're just looking at the idea of him making an album. He's doing it all. He's writing it all, laying it all. It's sensational.
Read the whole interview at

Once But Never Again

Weezer's new album Tout Ensemble comes out April 22.

The entire band has accomplished some of its most challenging goals as a group and as individuals. It's all coming together on this album.
And Alone: The Home Recordings of Rivers Cuomo is out December 18 and includes a few songs from Cuomo's "unfinished rock musical."


Two and Two Always Makes Up Five "reveals:"

Legendary alternative act My Bloody Valentine plans to "do a Radiohead" when the Anglo-Irish quartet finally releases the follow-up to 1991's classic "Loveless"
Don't get too excited, though. That just means they'll do an independent digital release, not a download-for-free-but-tell-everybody-you-paid-ten-bucks-for-it price scheme.

And speaking of Radiohead: X/1.618 = time-to-get-a-girlfriend.

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Christmas Time Is Here Again

Christmas with the SmithereensThe Smithereens have released a Christmas album because, well, they can.

"THE SMITHEREENS set out to re-invent the Christmas album and turn the genre completely upside down with this record," says Pat Dinizio, the band's lead vocalist and principle songwriter. "We made a real Smithereens rock & roll record that stands on its own, yet somehow channels the ghost of Christmas past, and in the process, also pays tribute to and reinvents some of our absolute all-time favorite rock & roll Christmas records. I don't think it's been done quite this way before, and hopefully it's an album you wouldn't mind listening to the other 11 months of the year."
Here's the tracklist:
1. WAKING UP ON CHRISTMAS MORNING Smithereens original, written by Jim Babjak
Elvis Presley
The Beach Boys
inspired by Bill Haley
Smithereens original, a Christmas remake of "All Revved Up"
The Who (from "Tommy")
inspired by Art Carney
Chuck Berry
The Ramones
original, written by Dennis Diken
inspired by The Ventures and Dick Dale
The BeatlesPat Dinizio
Read more here. Download Christmas with the Smithereens here. Sample tracks at TheirSpace. Visit their website here. Evidently, according to iTunes, this album was originally released in 1994. News to me, and I'm a big Smithereens fan. Guess I'm just about 13 years late on this one.

In related news, the distinctive voice of the Smithereens, Pat Dinizio, has released another solo album.

Download the self-titled release here. Buy it from here. Sample tracks at HisSpace. Visit his website here.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Once There Was A Way To Get Back Homeward

F$#king great album. That's all I've got to say about that.

Good Times Never Seemed So Good

Finally revealed!!! Sweet Caroline = Caroline Kennedy

(Neil) Diamond was a "young, broke songwriter" when a photo of the president's daughter in a news magazine caught his eye.

"It was a picture of a little girl dressed to the nines in her riding gear, next to her pony," Diamond recalled. "It was such an innocent, wonderful picture, I immediately felt there was a song in there."
Now I can finally rest easy. It's been bugging me for my whole life.

Download via iTunes

Monday, November 19, 2007

He Had a Way, a Little Way, a Way With Words

The Heart Strings Try Fly Blew SkySomewhere between Pepperland and Wonka's Chocolate Factory, The Heart Strings are emerging from syrupy depths to deliver some sweet tunes on their new-and-yet-to-be-officially-released album Try Fly Blue Sky. The London band blends Brian Wilson-friendly soundscapes and Flaming Lipsy neo-psychedelia with otherworldly harmonies that evoke the 80s glory of Freiheit (surely you remember Keeping the Dream Alive) and melodies worthy of Fountains of Wayne fans.

If you're willing to give a bit on lyrics ("in an apron, frying bacon" and "all the moustache wax in the world won't save me") and on the sheer lack of testosterone, Try Fly Blue Sky fits neatly with Mates of State and Roger Joseph Manning Jr. in your collection. It's a delicious listen that will no doubt take you to a world of pure imagination, just don't forget your toothbrush and insulin.

Download via iTunes
Purchase via The Heart Strings (in multiple editions!)


Mike Viola LurchMike Viola (he of Candy Butchers and overall pop goodness fame) is releasing Lurch next year.

The album features 13 brand new tracks. This is a limited edtion (sic). Only 1,000 copies pressed. There will be worldwide distribution in 2008.
Pre-order it now by clicking here. Bundle it with Just Before Dark and get both for just $20 here.

I'm Satisfied

If you missed out on the original deluxe edition of the Traveling Wilburys' re-packaging of their two albums, no need to fret. A second deluxe edition will be released tomorrow:

Linen-bound deluxe edition features 2 CDs (Volumes 1 and 3) with bonus tracks, bonus DVD, and a 40-page collectible book with photos, original liner notes, new liner notes and a uniquely numbered certificate of authenticity.
For you vinyl fans, the collection will be released on December 4:
Features 2 vinyl releases of the original Volumes 1 and 3 with an additional 12-inch featuring bonus tracks, a collectible album-sized book, plus additional vintage postcards and posters.
For you digital fans, it's still available via iTunes. All just in time for the holidays! Way to go Wilburys and your respective estates!

Thursday, November 15, 2007

You Come Back So Fine, So Fine

Plan your next summer vacation accordingly - My Bloody Valentine has officially announced UK shows:

The following three dates have been announced:

Friday 20th June - London - The Roundhouse
Saturday 28th June - Manchester - Apollo
Wednesday 2nd July - Glasgow - Barrowland

Tickets go on-sale this Friday, November 16th. Tickets for all shows will be available at and venue box offices.
MBV would make a nice headliner at US festivals - LOLLA, Lolla, lolla ...


I'm Waiting for that Final Moment

My iPod has been insisting on me listening to New Order's Bizarre Love Triangle. It's come up on shuffle at least three times in the past few days. Great song, no doubt, but I'm looking for variety when I'm on shuffle. iPod knows this. Perhaps it's tired.

Anyway, if you're expecting New Order to reach back into their archives ala Joy Division, well, you're SOL for now. Peter Hook and Bernard Sumner are still being pissy with each other - at fans' expense of course.

I am intrigued by Hook's new project Freebass, though...

...his bass guitar-celebrating group with Smiths alumnus Andy Rourke and Stone Roses/Primal Scream vet Gary "Mani" Mounfield. The group has recently cut tracks with the Charlatans' Tim Burgess and rapper Howard Marx and is putting together a schedule for 2008 summer European festivals.
More here.

The Bounce

Malibu Robo-SapiensRoger Joseph Manning Jr.'s electro-alter-ego Malibu released Robo-Sapiens earlier this year in Japan. Now it's available stateside.

Download via iTunes
Purchase via
Download via
Preview at hisspace
Learn more here

The Less One Really Knows

Same ol' shit...

McCartney tells that "it's all happening soon. Most of us are all sort of ready. The whole thing is primed, ready to go -- there's just maybe one little sticking point left, and I think it's being cleared up as we speak, so it shouldn't be too long. It's down to fine-tuning, but I'm pretty sure it'll be happening next year, 2008."
I guess I appreciate that they want to do it right.

Thursday, November 08, 2007

Raining Down Inside My Head

Bloody 'ell! My Bloody Valentine is actually reuniting and releasing new music! Let the noise resume.

Baby, Don't You Touch Ground

Wisely has written a song for his daughter. It's called Ella. Must be her name or something.

It's very sweet and you can listen to it on hisspace. It's on his self-titled album, which has been pushed back to early next year. Bummer.

Everyone is Hiding Something Ugly

I've talked about Kenna before, but Billboard's profile of him tells you practically everything you need to know.

Justin Timberlake, whom Kenna supported on his FutureSex/LoveShow in Europe, leant guest vocals.
Dammit. I vowed never to own anything with Justin Timberlake on it. Ah well.

Love Will Find a Way

Help! is now on DVD. Help! is now a website. Help! is still not nearly as good as A Hard Day's Night. Help! does have You've Got to Hide Your Love Away going for it, though.

Tuesday, November 06, 2007

Did You Forget Me, Baby?

This one slipped by me probably while I was on vacation. Here's the latest from the greatest, Matthew Sweet:

friends of MATTHEW SWEET--news 10/07

ok, i haven't even been to this page since last year! i am such a loner at heart! thanks for hanging in there, i do love you guys.

here's what's up. we are currently negotiating with several labels and will definitely be releasing my new album, "sunshine lies" (aka rock bottom)
next year, probably early. we will tour for sure in the u.s., possibly overseas as well.

susanna hoffs and i are working now on the 70s followup to our 60s covers record, "under the covers." the 70s one is turning out amazing, and we're having so much fun! we've also been writing and recording a wonderful solo album of susanna's that we will finish sometime next year.

lastly, i've produced a wonderful young group from alabama called the bridges. they now have a label and we will finish up their album this year. they are a multiharmony group of sisters and their cousin (with their little brother drumming). they remind me of the spark that fleetwood mac rumours era had. just beautiful songwriting...should be out sometime next year.

i'm sure there's much more, but that's all for now. i'll try to get some updates going more frequently here. we should have a new up in a few weeks too.



By the way, still no update to


Monday, November 05, 2007

It's Been a Hell of a Year

Brandon Schott Winter in the SunLook, I could be cynical and cranky about the holidays arriving too early and being too commercial, but the facts are: the squirrels have eaten through the jack-o-lanterns, I just turned back our clocks, a cold front passed through today bringing in a chilly wind from the north, and the mail carrier has delivered roughly two dozen catalogs over the last two days. Smells like the holidays are here in the Midwest - let's make the most of them!

So, that means it's not too early to drag out the holiday tunes. What's your cup o' eggnog, Bing Crosby? A Very Special Christmas? Mannheim Steamroller? Beatles rarities? Amy Grant? For a holiday all about tradition and comfort, I'll be the first to admit it's tough to feel the spirit in newly penned tunes. Brandon Schott's new holiday tune Winter in the Sun does what very few "modern" holiday tunes can do - the damn thing actually puts you in the mood!

Visit hisspace to hear for yourself. Rather than preserve some manufactured hipster cred like too many contemporaries try to do with their seemingly contractually obligated holiday tunes, Brandon embraces universal feelings with Winter in the Sun and actually celebrates Christmas and the warmth of the time. Literally. Living in Iowa, I'm dreaming more of a white Christmas than a winter in the sun, but the tune is so catchy and the theme so familiar that I have no problem relating. Winter in the Sun is bit of Beach Boy sunniness in a Ben Foldsian modern voice with Jellyfish eccentricities thrown in just because he can handle it. It's definitely modern, but he's earned a spot in my holiday rotation that is normally heavy on the classics.

Winter in the Sun will officially be released November 13 on iTunes. It'll be bundled with his stellar Golden State if purchased through his website. Merry Christmas.


New Debut

Semi-legendary Chicago "Pop Music Critic" Jim DeRogatis writes about Frisbie, a great story of a band that almost was, almost wasn't, and definitely is again.

"I feel I can speak for Liam in this regard pretty safely when I say that neither one of us has ever had an experience like singing with the other," Frisbie said. "There are times where we feel about 17 feet tall singing harmony together."
Great album - must continue to revisit.

Keep On Telling Myself It's True

LCD Soundsystem talks body music, Matthew Sweet, and The Beatles.