Thursday, May 31, 2007

Tell Us What It's All About

Matthew Sweet has emerged out of nowhere on the Nancy Drew Soundtrack. WTF?! Nancy Drew?! Supposedly it's a "newly recorded original exclusive" track featuring Susanna Hoffs, but the tracklist shows Come to California, which most certainly is not new, original, exclusive, or featuring Hoffs. I suppose he could've redone it, but why the hell for? It's not one of his best, even on my least favorite Blue Sky On Mars. Sigh.

And where the hell is Rock Bottom?!? I'm starting to become impatient. Fall 2006 / Spring 2007 my ass!

UPDATE: Now that I listen to it, it's clear that it has been re-recorded. Odd. Just odd.

Watch a video of Matthew and Susanna singing The Beatles' Rain here.

Wednesday, May 30, 2007

My Love Does It Good

Apple launched iTunes Plus today, which features higher-quality DRM-free tracks for only $1.29 rather than the $.99 for regular tunes. I'm not sure I hear a big difference, but I like the option and the fact that you can upgrade previously purchased tracks is tremendously well thought-out. That kind of post-purchase flexibility is what makes the digital format superior over CDs (ever buy a whole album twice because the second version is remastered or features additional tracks?)

As a bonus, Apple took the opportunity to announce that "more than a dozen" of Paul McCartney's catalog is now available in both formats. Excellent, but "more than a dozen?" Why not "all?"

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

The Hope of Spring

Great news! Stereogum has new New Pornographers that is new. The new New Pornographers song that is new is called My Rights Versus Yours. It's a new song from the New Pornographers' new album coming out August 21. The new album is called Challengers. It's new, and here is the new song by the New Pornographers. The new song is delicious.

MP3: New Pornographers - My Rights Versus Yours (via stereogum)

Everything I Wanted

Soundtrack fave Cary Brothers releases his full-length album Who You Are today. It includes the excellent Ride, which has been featured in the types of TV shows you'd expect. Blue Eyes, which previously featured on the Garden State soundtrack, can be found here too.

Stream here. Download here.

To give you a sense, here are his responses for "Influences" on hisspace:

Brit Pop (from The Stone Roses to Radiohead), acoustic folk (Simon & Garfunkel and Nick Drake to Badly Drawn Boy) with a dash of 80's new wave.
Watch the video for Ride below.

Saturday, May 26, 2007

I'm So Amazed By You

In case you missed it, Steve Bertrand's solo album, Pain Is A Megaphone, was released on 08 May. Through the first listen it's awesome. As a huge fan of the Tories, it is nice to hear Steve's distinctive vocals. Checkout the EPK (Electronic Press Kit) for the album below. If you're as big a fan as I, you'll also want to pick up Steve's previous band, Avion.

Friday, May 25, 2007

You Gotta Hold On

Wow. Here's another fantastic tune from Paul McCartney's upcoming Memory Almost Full, so far shaping up to be one of his best in a long time. Thanks, stereogum.

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

So He Takes Another Drink

David Barzan Fewer Moving PartsAttention Pedro the Lion fans: frontman David Bazan has released a solo EP on Barsuk appropriately called Fewer Moving Parts. As if you fans didn't know,

Bazan is a gifted storyteller, weaving parables of spiritual conflict, suburban ennui, and personal surrender into magnetic, well-crafted songs.
Read and buy here.

MP3: David Bazan - Cold Beer and Cigarettes (via Barsuk)

I Think You Better Turn Your Ticket In

Rock n' Roll Triple PlayIt's time to get nostalgic for the 90s! I actually think the early to mid 90s was one of the greatest music periods in my lifetime, but that could be more about the place I was in my lifetime (high school, college) than the overall quality of the music. Three bands that had a big presence at that time are coming to Sec Taylor Stadium / Principal Park (the Triple A baseball park for the Iowa Cubs) in Des Moines on August 11. Rock n' Roll Triple Play (gack) will feature Counting Crows, Collective Soul, and Third Eye Blind. Ok, two out of three ain't bad.

Counting Crows' August and Everything After easily ranks up there as one of the best 90s mainstream albums. I hated Collective Soul early on (turn your head now baby just spit me out - awful), but 1999's Dosage is stellar. Third Eye Blind ... well, if memory serves, I think Stephan Jenkins got to go out with Charlize Theron for awhile. That's kinda cool.

There are a couple problems, though. Evidently Live is on this tour as well, but for some reason is not making the stop in Iowa (instead, we get Third Eye Blind.) That's a real pisser. Even though they'll never again match the glory that is Throwing Copper, their live show is phenomenal. Oh, and the ticket price will be cost prohibitive for many of us who would go for the sentimental fun of it, but not because we're die-hard fans. $50?! That leaves precious few dollars for the requisite beers needed to get through the Third Eye Blind set. The last legitimate hit any of these bands had was Counting Crows' Accidentally in Love from 2004's Shrek Two soundtrack. C'mon! Thankfully, they're the headliners.

Most of the other dates are in the Northeast. Check 'em here or here. Also, if you buy your tix from, you'll get into the venue earlier than others. Otherwise, tix go on sale through Ticketcrapper June 9 for the Des Moines show.

You Can Do Anything You Want To

A slight, catchy little tune. Not sure I'd choose it for a video. Ever Present Past is much stronger, but being who he is, he gets to do whatever he wants. As promised, here's Paul McCartney's video for Dance Tonight with not enough of Natalie Portman...

And it looks like he'll be using YouTube to release extra special little videos around Memory Almost Full. Check them out.

Monday, May 21, 2007

I Trust It Like the Ground

The Ben Folds ExperienceCruising ain't for the blue hairs anymore! Taking a cue from the Barenaked Ladies and Guster, Ben Folds has announced The Ben Folds Experience.

Ben Folds Experience heads out on the Carnival Imagination from the Port of Miami on February 21, 2008, stops in Ocho Rios, Jamaica, and returns on February 25, 2008. Says Ben, "I wanted to get a lot of talented musical artists together in one holiday moment of glory with possibly a few comedians and have some kind of magical experience. The idea of painting a large bus psychedelic purple, not taking baths for a week and driving around the country jamming out on one chord about the war got shot down quickly, so I decided to take a cruise.”
Let's see, February in Iowa or hanging out with Ben Folds in Jamaica ... that's a tough choice.
You will dig the intimate setting onboard the Carnival Imagination as you travel with like-minded fans for this free-wheeling experience at sea. Catch Ben and others in nightclub-like settings while enjoying a first-class cruise including a full-service spa, internet café, coffee bar, state-of-the-art gym facilities, fine dining, free 24-hour room service, a casino and more.
"Like-minded" and free-wheeling?" Isn't that code for nudist?

Also, don't forget Folds is opening for Jessica Simpson's more talented half wtf-ever June 18 in Des Moines at the Wells Fargo Arena.


You Came to Town Like a Gift from God

Jason Falkner I'm Ok You're OkI'm just finishing up my first listen to Jason Falkner's new import-only-for-now album I'm Ok You're Ok and you won't be surprised to hear that I think it's amazing. He's noted that it's his most personal and stripped down record to date ("This is the record that would've cracked me had I been made of balsa wood but I am indeed human and I hope you all enjoy my homegrown efforts."), which I think is fairly evident. It even evokes Jeff Buckley at times, especially in the vocals. But by no means does Jason abandon the melodies and hooks we've come to expect. This is a great record that I'm sure will continue to grow on me. I got my copy from Not Lame and you should too because they're not.

Sunday, May 20, 2007

I Saw You Again Today

Took the kids to see Shrek the Third today. I don't quite understand the critics complaining that it's just more of the same ol' thing. Isn't that the definition of a sequel? Stupid critics. It's a fun movie. If I had one complaint, it's that it's just more of the same ol' thing.

Anyway, as usual, the soundtrack this time around is pretty decent. Two Eels songs are the highlights to be sure, but there is also Live and Let Die, Immigrant Song, and Fergie's rendition of Heart's Barracuda. Actually, scratch that. That's pretty sad. Otherwise, if you're the soundtrack type, give it a shot. Hey, no Smash Mouth!

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

I Hang On Every Word

Crowded House Time on EarthStreaming new Crowded House ... smiles abound.

Time on Earth comes out the week of 7/2.

How Could You Forget?

Rooney Calling the WorldRooney's new single When Did Your Heart Go Missing is available on iTunes. Don't want to rid yourself of that precious change in your pocket? Stream at theirspace. Good listen. Catchy. Poppy. Too poppy perhaps.

The new album Calling the World comes out July 17. Now you know.


Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Made Me a Happy Fellow

It only took losing Paul McCartney to Hear Music for EMI to wake up and pay some needed attention to his excellent solo catalog. Everything from McCartney to Chaos and Creation will be released digitally (sans DRM!) "across all platforms" soon. No word whether remastering would be involved, but you'd think.

Excellent. Still haven't switched from my cassette copy of Red Rose Speedway to CD. Guess I'll be skipping that!

And by the way, the rumors were spot on: Apple announced today an exclusive pre-order opportunity for Memory Almost Full. Buy it now via iTunes and you'll automatically get the single Ever Present Past and the video for Dance Tonight when the album is released June 5. Sweet.

I Can't Take It Anymore

JellyfishIrked I tell you.

Yet again another third-rate artist takes a first-rate artist's tune and does something with it the original artist couldn't do: make it a huge hit. Robbie Williams cheezed up the excellent World Party tune She's the One. Stereo Fuse massacred Material Issue's classic Everything. And now? UK boyband McFly has virtually copied Jellyfish's Baby's Coming Back to achieve a number one single!


You're Gonna Need to Be Patient With Me

Wilco Sky Blue SkyIt says a lot about the sorry state of the music industry when one of the most-respected artists has to use guilt to sell their own records:

We're actually asking you to please go out next week and do the right thing for Wilco. That is, vote with your feet and prove the band's faith well-placed and buy the record.
The well-placed faith referenced in the message sent out to their email list last week is about how generous Wilco has been over the years in providing free music and full-length album previews. So do your part to make sure we never have to receive such an email again. Download or buy Sky Blue Sky, which came out today.

Monday, May 14, 2007

Watch the Twilight Starve the Sun

Below, Jon Auer performing Coming Right Along less than two weeks ago in NY. Why? Because he's a genius.

Take Some Time, Get Away

The Polyphonic Spree are not coming to Iowa. Pisser. Would've loved to see all some-teen of them on stage at the Mews.

05-14 Athens, GA - 40 Watt Club
05-27 George, WA - The Gorge Amphitheatre (Sasquatch! Festival)
06-23 Dallas, TX - Granada Theatre
06-24 Austin, TX - Stubbs BBQ
06-25 Houston, TX - Warehouse Live
06-26 New Orleans, LA - House of Blues
06-27 Atlanta, GA - Roxy Theatre
06-29 Philadelphia, PA - Theatre of Living Arts
06-30 Washington, DC - 9:30 Club
07-01 Brooklyn, NY - Warsaw
07-02 Boston, MA - Avalon
07-03 Montreal, Quebec - Metropolis
07-05 Toronto Ontario - Phoenix Concert Theatre
07-06 Detroit, MI - The Majestic
07-07 Cleveland, OH - House Of Blues
07-08 Indianapolis, IN - The Vogue
07-09 Milwaukee, WI - The Rave II
07-10 Minneapolis, MN - Fine Line Music Cafe
07-13 Vancouver, British Columbia - Commodore Ballroom
07-14 Portland, OR - Aladdin Theatre
07-15 Seattle, WA - The Showbox
07-17 San Francisco CA - Great American Music Hall
07-18 Los Angeles CA - El Rey Theatre
07-20 San Diego CA - Canes Bar & Grill
07-22 Denver CO - Gothic Theatre
07-23 Aspen CO - The Belly Up
08-04 Chicago, IL - Grant Park (Lollapalooza)
08-11 Osaka, Japan - Summersonic Festival
08-12 Tokyo, Japan - Summersonic Festival
09-01 Stradbally, Ireland - Stradbally Estate (Electric Picnic Festival)
09-02 Argyll, Scotland - Inveraray Castle (Connect Festival)

Friday, May 11, 2007

Foe and Friend, We Were All Equal In the End

Pink Floyd reunited on-stage in the same venue last night! Unfortunately, Roger Waters and David Gilmour did not come across as chummy at the Syd Barrett tribute concert, so don't get your hopes up.

Thursday, May 10, 2007

I've Got Too Much On My Mind

Rumor has it that Sir McCartney's new album will be showing up on iTunes as early next week. Does this mean the Beatles are on their way? Well, yes. It's not a matter of if, it's when.

UPDATE: has some legitimate news regarding this. No mention of the timing other than the June 5 release date, but it does confirm Macca is coming to iTunes. Sweet. Oh, and a deal to digitally release the Beatles catalog has been "virtually settled." Double sweet.

Wednesday, May 09, 2007

Lost Like Some Forgotten Dream

After reporting earlier this year that the surviving Beatles had worked on a third new tune around the time of the Anthology release, a new report surfaces that indicates Paul McCartney may be reviving it once again to coincide with digital catalog releases this summer.

Friends say this may now be the “one last great song” that Sir Paul McCartney has felt he has been waiting for since he resumed touring and working in 1989.

His iconic band are expected to cash in to the tune of hundreds of millions of pounds in new marketing campaigns around the first release of Beatles digital downloads. They plan to reach their existing fans and a whole new generation of young music lovers. But they are set to surprise the world by offering the new song alongside the classics.
The song is called Now and Then. Read more about it here.

I for one enjoy the two Beatles singles of the 90s (Free as a Bird and Real Love) so I'm easily psyched by any rumor like this. Add that to digital releases and a new Macca album and it will be a summer of love indeed.

Thursday, May 03, 2007

Wednesday, May 02, 2007

The sound of magic music in his ears

TooPoppy will be ecstatic with this news - Blur is reuniting. Founding guitarist Graham Coxon is returning. This will be the first recording since 2003's Think Tank. Other founding member Alex James says the band will split if the reunion isn't successful. Um, if they're "reuniting", doesn't that mean they already split once? Just another reason not to like them. :-)

Sometimes We Fake It

Polyphonic Spree The Fragile ArmyPitchfork has more details on the Polyphonic Spree's upcoming (June 19) album The Fragile Army and their summer tour schedule.

I miss the robes.

Stream or download a mash-up of the new album here.

Tuesday, May 01, 2007

Let Me Try With Pleasured Hands

The Zombies are reuniting! It's a limited reunion, though. Specifically, the four of the original five Zombies who are still among us in non-zombie form will perform their classic Odessey and Oracle in its entirety in honor of its 40th anniversary. Pitchfork has the details. Order the 30th Anniversary Edition of Odessey and Oracle here.

The album concludes with one of my top ten favorite songs of all time, Time of the Season. Watch the video below!