Thursday, February 28, 2008

But I Don't Know What I'm Looking For

Too Poppy favorite Brendan Benson is featured on the new iPod Touch commercial. What I'm Looking For is now the most popular Brendan Benson song in iTunes. This is great exposure for a talented artist. In the last six months there were over 1 million searches for iPod commercial songs.

I've Got Reservations

The busy boys of Wilco performed last night in DC and NPR has the concert in its entirety. They streamed it live, but considering I received the email from Wilco saying it would streaming live at about 11pm, it did me little good.

They play SNL on - you guessed it - Saturday night. Ellen Page is the host. Honest to blog? Yes, honest to blog.

And of course they hit the rockin' Des Moines scene on March 9. I will be there! Good times.

Rain, I Don't Mind

The Des Moines Register has an article today about Rain: The Beatles Experience, which comes to the Civic Center next Tuesday. Sounds great. They've also put together a fairly simple Beatles quiz (with a couple out there questions), which is a nice distraction on a Thursday. I'm a Beatlemaniac (surprised?) - how about you?

My Very Exciting Magic Carpet Just Sailed Under Nine Palace Elephants

Finally, Lisa Loeb is poised for another hit!


Wednesday, February 27, 2008

People Marching To The Drums

Okay, I'm sure I'll get slammed by TooPoppy, but I really like McFly. This BritPop band is Jellyfishesque in the truest sense. Listen to Transylvania. They've either ripped Sabrina, Paste & Plato or are frighteningly channeling Jellyfish.

If you like retro, gooey, sugary, high fructose corn syrupy power pop, you'll love McFly. And yes, they're named after Michael J. Fox's character in Back To The Future.

You May Think the Chords Are Going Wrong

Oh, uh, gee, what's the word I'm looking for? Oh yeah...


"It's something we've waited for for seven seasons now. Sony has agreed to release the Lennon and McCartney songbook to us," producer Nigel Lythgoe told Ryan Seacrest on his KIIS-FM radio show.
I don't get it. They're rightfully so protective of the Beatles catalog that you never hear the originals in commercials and rarely in movies. Hell, they're not even digital yet. But Sony is willing to whore the songs out to a shitty reality show with a pitiful track record of producing, er, idols? Does not compute.

I sense I'm overreacting.

Monday, February 25, 2008

A Crowd of People Stood and Stared

It seems to be the season for tribute bands. Rain: The Beatles Experience is coming to the Des Moines Civic Center on March 4.

RAIN covers the Fab Four from the earliest beginnings through the psychedelic late 60s and their long-haired hippie, hard-rocking rooftop days. RAIN is a multi-media, multi-dimensional experience...a fusion of historical footage and hilarious television commercials from the 1960s lights up video screens and live cameras zoom in for close-ups.
Love it, and I'd love to take my kids. Just wish tix weren't over $40 each. Sigh. More here.

Here are previews:

I'm Cold but I'm Not Scared

Glen Phillips of Toad the Wet Sprocket is touring on his own in support of his new solo EP. For the full itinerary, go here. He'll be playing at the Temple of Performing Arts in Des Moines on April 14.

I Wish You Could Hear Me

...I wish I could see them. No Iowa date on Matt Pond PA's upcoming tour:

Feb 28 - Ridgewood, NJ - Blend
Feb 29 - State College, PA - Chronic Town

Mar 1 - Norfolk, VA - Norva
Mar 3 - Carrboro, NC - Cat's Cradle
Mar 4 - Charleston, SC - Map Room
Mar 5 - Tallahassee, FL - Club Downunder $
Mar 6 - St. Augustine, FL - Café Eleven
Mar 7 - South Everglades, FL - Langerado Music Festival &
Mar 8 - Tampa, FL - New World Brewery
Mar 9 - Jacksonville, FL - Jack Rabbits #
Mar 12 - St. Louis, MO - Blueberry Hill
Mar 13 - Memphis, TN - Hi-Tone
Mar 14 - Norman, OK - The Opolis %
Mar 17 - Tucson, AZ - Club Congress
Mar 19 - Los Angeles, CA - El Rey Theatre*
Mar 20 - San Francisco, CA - The Independent*
Mar 22 - Vancovuer, BC - Richards on Richards*
Mar 23 - Seattle, WA - Chop Suey*
Mar 24 - Portland, OR - Crystal Ballroom*
Mar 27 - Denver, CO - Bluebird Theatre*
Mar 29 - Kansas City, MO - Record Bar*
Mar 30 - Minneapolis, MN - Varsity Theatre*
Mar 31 - Chicago, IL - Double Door*

Apr 1 - Lansing, MI - Mac's Place
Apr 2 - Toronto, ON - Lee's Palace*
Apr 4 - New York, NY - The Fillmore @ Irving Plaza*
Apr 5 - Washington, DC - American University (AU Students Only)
Apr 6 - Washington, DC - 9:30 Club*
Apr 7 - Philadelphia, PA - World Cafe Live*
Apr 9 - Cincinnati, OH - 20th Century Theatre*
Apr 14 - Atlanta, GA - The Loft*
Apr 15 - Orlando, FL - The Social*

* with Carbon/Silicon (feat. Mick Jones of The Clash)
$ with The Office
# with Fleet Foxes and Blitzen Trapper
% with Mahjongg
& with The Roots, Built to Spill, The Walkmen, Vampire Weekend, many more.
Don't forget, Last Light is still very good.

Thursday, February 21, 2008


I don't try to be too regional with this blog, but I am in Des Moines ("The Greatest City in the World") and we are the home turf of Slipknot, so bear with me. For you Iowa readers, tonight at 9, Iowa Public Television's Iowa Journal is examining the music industry in the great state of Iowa. From the press release:

New technologies may well shift power from music recording "moguls" to the artists, including the Iowa musicians who create what we want to hear. But no one has a clear view of the way to play the future. On the next The Iowa Journal we’ll examine the potential for growth in the state’s music industry.
Dirty Little RabbitsFeatured on the program are Daytrotter, Shawn Crahan of Slipknot and Dirty Little Rabbits, and Jason Walsmith of the very popular Nadas.

For you readers that are outside IPTV's coverage area, you should be able to watch it online soon after it airs here.

Slipknot is co-headlining this summer's Rockstar Energy Mayhem Festival. Rumor has it that a fourth album is on its way as well.

Dirty Little Rabbits also features the talented Stella Katsoudas, formerly of Sister Soleil (and Stella Soleil), and is playing a bevy of regional shows. You can hear and read more at TheirSpace.

The Nadas new album, The Ghosts Inside These Halls, is scheduled to be released March 4. You can preview tracks at TheirSpace.

A lot more than you think is happening in Iowa. You can learn more tonight at 9 on IPTV.

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Don't Change Your Shape, Have Another Grape

"We're going to try and break new sonic ground and deliver a masterpiece."
So says U2 collaborator Daniel Lanois on the band's new album, its follow-up to 2004's mildly (or wildly) disappointing clone of All That You Can't Leave Behind, How to Dismantle an Atomic Bomb. Let's hope DL is right. I think U2 needs a left-turn album like Zooropa right about now. They're in a Dublin studio right now working on it.

Friday, February 15, 2008

Pick Up that Guitar and Talk to Me

Guitar Hero IIIMy whole family loves the Wii - and no surprise, Guitar Hero III is by far our favorite. There's quite a bit of shock and a little bit of pride when your five-year-old son starts singing Talk Dirty To Me and claims that One is his favorite song on the game. So I'm intrigued by today's announcement of an Aerosmith Guitar Hero that will be released this summer. It's not that I like Aerosmith. I really don't. Two good songs (this one and that one) early in their loooong career and plenty of novelty songs since hardly impress me. Nonetheless, the concept of an artist-focused Guitar Hero takes the franchise in an exciting and likely lucrative direction.

Of course I'm already thinking to the next installment. It needs to be a band with mass appeal and guitar hero status. I think it'd be pretty fun to play Edge or Peter Buck, but I'm not going to hold my breath.

Excuse me. I have to go jam to Slayer. You understand.

Thursday, February 14, 2008

I've Had Enough of Watching Scenes of Schizophrenic, Egocentric, Paranoiac Prima Donnas

Congratulations, Lennon Murphy. Baring your ass on Suicide Girls wasn't enough to get attention so now you are requesting exclusive rights to use the name Lennon as a musical performer? I think he, he, and his estate have every reason to cry foul. No one says you can't use your name, you just can't have exclusive performing rights to it. You got your attention (yet I refuse to link to your pages here) now go away.

Advantage: Yoko.

Read more at BoingBoing.

You Got Apparition Just Appeared

Video for R.E.M.'s Supernatural Superserious:

Looking for Something to Do

It's not my favorite New Pornographers tune from Challengers, but the video is fancifully groovy:

via BoingBoing

And I Need to Go On and On and On and On

It's Thursday.
It's cold.
It's dreary.
It's the middle of February.
Cabin fever.

Here's Andy Sturmer of Jellyfish (with Lyle Workman, who played guitar on Spilt Milk and is responsible for Superbad's music (movie download link), and Matt Chamberlain, drummer for Tori Amos and others) belting out a short but sweet and well-refined version of Queen's We Are the Champions. This should help with the the winter funk.

Man, I wish this guy would do his own thing. I'd buy an import for $100 if need be.

MP3: Andy Sturmer - We Are the Champions (via & Lyle Workman)

The Music Played and Played as We Whirled Without End

Think Floyd USAI'm not one to get too worked up over tribute bands, but if it's a tribute to one of my favorite bands that will never tour again, well it's worth taking notice. My hopes of ever seeing Pink Floyd live in concert are as slim as making Natalie Portman fall in love with me. Thankfully, Think Floyd USA (the name is ugh-inducing, true) is touring and has an upcoming stop in Des Moines at the Val Air Ballroom on March 1.

Performing all of Pink Floyd’s classic hits from legendary albums such as Dark Side of the Moon, Wish You Were Here, Animals and the all time classic The Wall. Wrap all that great music up with one of the most stunning light shows anywhere, THINK FLOYD USA - THE AMERICAN PINK FLOYD SHOW is your #1 choice!
If I can convince a fellow Floyd fan to accompany me, I'll be there closing my eyes pretending that Roger and David are doing their thing on stage (much like how I often close my eyes and pretend that Natalie Portman and I - uh, nevermind).

Official Site

Sunlight Fall Down on My Feet

The BoDeans are set to release their first album since 2004's Resolution (a release which I completely missed and will need to look into). The single, Pretty Ghost, from the new album popped up on iTunes this week. The new album will be released in March. I haven't listened to the BoDeans in a long time. Might be time to dial them up on the ol' iPod.

UPDATE (from 2poppy): It looks like they're playing at People's Court Avenue in Des Moines on April 18. Sweet. W2P and I saw them in Cedar Falls well over a decade ago and it was a great show. $20 per ticket for the 9pm show, but IowaTix has yet to put up a listing.

UPDATE The new album, Still, will be released on 04 March 2008.

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

I Guess I'm Always Hoping That You'll End This Reign

The Police are (soon to be) done...

These dates will be the last time the band performs together as the Police -- ever.
Or so they say...
But... is this really it? "I think it's done," (emphasis added)
New tour dates will be announced tomorrow. Elvis Costello & The Imposters open every date! C'mon Des Moines!

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Dancing For Your Pleasure

Radiohead announced several dates in the states:

05-05 West Palm Beach, FL - Cruzan Amphitheatre
05-06 Tampa, FL - Ford Amphitheatre
05-08 Atlanta, GA - Lakewood Amphitheatre
05-09 Charlotte, NC - Verizon Wireless Amphitheatre
05-11 Bristow, VA - Nissan Pavilion at Stone Ridge
05-14 St. Louis, MO - Verizon Wireless Amphitheatre
05-17 Houston, TX - Cynthia Woods Mitchell Pavilion
05-18 Dallas, TX - Center
WTF? Two dates in Florida and Texas each? Poo.

Monday, February 11, 2008

Everybody Here Comes from Somewhere

You can hear R.E.M.'s new single Supernatural Superserious at R.E.M.HQ. Just click the box at the right that says "hear the song," in case that wasn't obvious enough. Also, below, check out the "trailer" for the new album Accelerate, to be released on 4/1/08.

I like it. R.E.M. have seemed to be content to slip under the radar for the past decade and a half. Nice to hear they want to make a little noise again.

All Buried in Ruins

Godspeed You! Black EmperorDid the Iraq war put an end to Godspeed You! Black Emperor? No, but they're still on hiatus. In the meantime, side project Silver Mt. Zion Memorial Orchestra & Tra-La-La Band (SMZ for short) is still happening. In fact, they're coming through Des Moines (Vaudeville Mews) on May 28 in what will likely be a very interesting show.

Learn more about GY!BE here
Download GY!BE here

Learn more about SMZ here
Download SMZ here and here

(image credited to Marion Bornaz via

In Their Quest For Buried Treasure

Roger Joseph Manning Jr. announces an all new album on 19 March 2008. Curiously named "Catnip Dynamite", it will only be released in Japan. Roger finds himself without a label in the United States and is looking for suggestions. I suggested NotLame of course!

Whatever Makes You Happy

If you're turned off by the hype machine and haven't listened to any Radiohead since Creep, well, good news. Pitchfork is reporting that a greatest hits compilation will be released this spring. Personally, listening to The Bends and OK Computer back-to-back is all the greatest hits you need, but I know some many are partial to their post-melodic work from Kid A through In Rainbows.

One of these days, I'm going to cut you into little pieces

Take a look at this very cool web site advertising the Pink Floyd Boxed Set.


Saturday, February 09, 2008

Goodbye Mr. A

The term "Jellyfish-esque" is thrown about way too loosely nowadays. As much as I love NotLame, nearly everything they sell is "sounds like Jellyfish". Well, The Hoosiers is a band that my friend Laurie told me about recently that is awesome. And truly Jellyfish-esque. Check them out!

Friday, February 08, 2008


matthewsweet.comCheck out this image from Signs of life, sorta, at the official Matthew Sweet website. It's only been a couple years since they promised updates.

Could Rock Bottom Sunshine Lies be on its way soon? Sweet fanatics can dream, can't we?

He's still offering a preview of the album with the underwhelming track Badass at HisSpace.

Tuesday, February 05, 2008

We're Digging

Nada Surf - LuckySomos afortunados tener nueva resaca del nada.

And you can download Lucky by Nada Surf at iTunes.

AV Club has a lukewarm review here.

Friday, February 01, 2008

When I'm home everything seems to be right

In other Beatles news, the Hard Days Night hotel opened in the UK recently. CNN video has the story. Looks interesting and if I was ever in the area I'd certainly stay there. The idea of it sounds really cheesy at first but the video reveals it to be quite a nice place.

Shines Around Me Like a Million Suns

At 7pm on 04 February 2008 Nasa will transmit an MP3 The Beatles "Across The Universe" into deep space to Polaris (the north star). It's the song's 40th anniversary and Nasa Deep Space Network's 45th.

Update: Gizmodo has a hilarious take on the whole thing.