Tuesday, May 27, 2008

You're Hearing What You Want

The Bridges - PiecesThe Bridges' very first single, Pieces, has been officially released on iTunes. The single is from their upcoming albums Limits of the Sky, due out 6/10. The album just so happens to be produced by Matthew Sweet, hence my interest. It sounds nice, but I wanted to like it more than I do. Check it out yourself.

The Bridges were born July, 2002 with a disposition to blend lyric and harmony with haunting melodies and the poetry of reality. Brittany Painter lends her gifted voice, writing, and acoustic guitar to providing the basis for intriguing arrangements in an acoustic style reminiscent of the sixties and seventies. Natalie Byrd and Stacey Byrd provide the truly unique harmonies as well as playing acoustic guitar, electric guitar, and keyboards. Jeremy Byrd on drums and Isaaca Byrd on bass add a full and forceful edge to the acoustic foundation.
Download Pieces via iTunes

Where I Felt I Could Always Go

The Smithereens - Live in Concert! Greatest Hits and MoreThe Smithereens' Live in Concert! Greatest Hits and More chronicles a fairly recent performance at their "home" venue of the Court Tavern in New Jersey. I bet House We Used to Live In is killer!

It is now available via Amazon - haven't seen it pop up yet on iTunes.


Friday, May 23, 2008

Oh We Can't Trade Places

80-35 FestivalWord on Des Moines' upcoming 80/35 Festival is even spreading to the too-hip-for-me depths of the tri-dubyas.

Named for the convergence of interstate highways that frames the west side of town, Des Moines, Iowa's inaugural 80/35 festival will bring together some of the nation's finest acts in the city's Western Gateway Park July 4-5.
Kind words from the regularly snarky folks at Pitchfork. Thank you for avoiding the typical Idaho-Ohio-South-Park's-decidedly-hilarious-"Des-Moines-is-two-years-behind-the-coolness-of-the-coasts" commentary that often accompanies coverage of us by those with national reach. With the recent additions of Andrew Bird and others to the already-announced Flaming Lips and the like hitting the flabby midsection of this great land on July 4-5, 80/35 is indeed shaping up to be quite a cool event by any standard.


Thursday, May 22, 2008

Gorgeous and Alone

Wilco StoreWilco is off the road taking a well-deserved break for a couple months. If you, like me, were rewarded by attending a stunning live show within the past year, you will likely want want a t-shirt or something else to commemorate.

Also, since we've got nothing better to do, we've concocted an end of tour sale in the Wilco store. Buying any music gets you 5% off your entire order. 2 items gets you 10%, 3 = 15%. You get the idea. Purchase two 2008 gig posters and choose a free third one from this group. And to top it off all orders get a free bumper sticker.
Get 'em while they're hot! And do yourself a favor by downloading Impossible Germany immediately.

Exit Through You

Big Blue BallWe're about a month away from Big Blue Ball (less than a week if you're picking up the limited edition vinyl.) This project features Peter Gabriel, Karl Wallinger of World Party, Joseph Arthur, and many more. Thanks to Gabriel's Real World for giving us all an opportunity to remix one of the tunes:

Exit Through You opens with the distinctive vocal of Joseph Arthur with Peter joining at the chorus for a funky spiky pop tune accompanied by Karl and Justin Adams on guitars. The song was originally put together in a fast and furious live session in just over one hour back in 1995.
Go here to sign up, download, and remix your little red heart away!


CONTEST RESULTS: Don't Tell Me I Haven't Been Good Enough

Congratulations to Peter and LA Daniel for winning our inaugural contest. For simply telling us their favorite Sarah McLachlan tune (Vox and Hold On respectively, both very good choices,) they will receive Sarah's new rarities compilation.

Peter and LA Daniel, to redeem your award, please email me and we'll go from there.


Let's Do It! Let's Love!

Matthew Sweet - Sunshine Lies"Leeeeenda Sugar" recently featured her initial take on Matthew Sweet's new album Sunshine Lies that's coming out - oh hell, who knows for sure! Seems she got her hands on an early copy and did confirm the updated tracklist we posted before. This does not help quell my ridiculous anticipation. Here are highlights:

4) "Flying" is another rocker with lots of guitar, again a little raw, just like I like it. His voice is rough and edgy in this one as well. "Baby I've been flying, I don't know what's happened inside, not even trying, I'm flying, I wanna be Christ, I don't know..." Mind you, I'm just picking what lyrics I can out by listening, I don't have them written out.

6) "Let's Love" is GRAND! The guitar work is killer, it's a rocking song, and it's rich and full. Lots of delay and overlay on the vocals and plenty of noise. "We've done enough wishing and we've done enough hoping...let's do it! let's love" - absolutely stellar. Probably my second fave on the album.

10) "Sunrise Eyes" starts with some screaming guitars and Matthew shouting, "Sit down!" This is TOTAL ROCK CANDY! It's has "yeah yeah yeahs in it and chunky guitar. Definitely a "play it loud" kind of tune. Love it. "I need a way to tell you, yeah yeah yeah, I'm in love with you, with you, right now, looking into your eyes, looking into your eyes, I feel the sunrise."
You want the rest? Well, you should have already been a member of the email group. By the way, her impressions reprinted here are with her permission as long as I included the following caveat:
I hate to talk about it much as I'm no critic and I don't want to get people believing it's something it's not because of the way I try to describe it.
There you go. Thanks for letting us share, Linda. It sounds truly awesome.

In related news, Shawn Mullins was recently interviewed and here's what he had to say about The Thorns:
I think we will do another record - I think it might happen one day. I love hanging out with Matthew. He’s like a big kid and he’s fun to be around.
Excellent all around. Download The Thorns debut album here. If you're broke, at least download I Can't Remember. Awesome tune.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

On Walls That We Repainted White

I recently purchased a 2008 Hyundai Santa Fe because, sure, why not buy a small SUV when gas prices are approaching $4/gallon. Despite many of their other models being equipped with one, Hyundai in its infinite wisdom decided not to include an auxiliary input as part of its stock Santa Fe CD stereo - hence, no iPod. Because I refuse to screw around with those worthless FM transmitters, I've been forced to listen to the three-month trial period of XM, which is actually pretty decent. From that experience, I have "discovered" (at least) one band previously unknown to me, The Weakerthans.

The Weakerthans - Reunion TourI've heard their wonderful Sun in an Empty Room on XM's Verge channel on more than one occasion. The damn tune is jammed in my consciousness, which is not a bad feeling at all. It is deceptively bright, yet quite a bummer of a tune. It's the musical embodiment of a Hopper painting. Considering one of his last paintings was called Sun in an Empty Room, I can't help but assume The Weakerthans are intentionally making that connection. View the painting then listen to the tune - it's a personal multimedia experience.

Sun in an Empty Room is the perfect anchor to their solid fourth album, Reunion Tour. Punk label Epitaph released it last fall, but its overall sound might better fit in with what you'd expect from Barsuk or latter-day Sub Pop (think Death Cab and Postal Service by extension, Shins, Nada Surf, and even They Might Be Giants.) Very nice and highly recommended.

Official Site

MP3: The Weakerthans - Night Windows (via official site)

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

CONTEST: Innocent Unknowing

Too Poppy is unbelievably more than 3 years old. During that time, we've made it a point to keep it simple and focus almost entirely on the music. We're not trying to change your online life with this modest pet project of ours, which we do entirely for the love of the music. We've never been overwhelmed with an abundance of comments and that suits us just fine. We've also never had a chance to say thanks for reading. We know you're out there (because you actually do comment every now and then.)

This post is a bit different for us. We are contest virgins and you're going to help destroy our innocence. We've been graciously offered 3 copies of Sarah McLachlan's new rarities compilation Rarities, B-Sides 2 And Other Stuff, Volume 2 to give away in any way we see fit. In the spirit of "just pop music" and keeping it simple, here's all you need to do to win:

  1. Post the name of your favorite Sarah tune in the comment section.
  2. Describe why it's your favorite tune.
We'll run this little contest for a week - until May 21. On May 22, Too Poppy's contributors will butt together our opinionated little heads and pick the 3 most genuine and creative comments. We're not looking for essays, we're looking for blurbs. For example, were I eligible for this contest, I would say that Into the Fire is my favorite Sarah tune because it's damn sexy and quite honestly it expanded my personal music universe.

Rules? One entry per person, must be a U.S. resident, must provide some way for us to get a hold of you (trust us, we have no use for your contact information beyond letting you know you won,) must be posted prior to 11:59 p.m. central time on May 21, and our picks are final. If we get only 2 comments, then we'll only give away 2 albums. That'll do.

Until you win, here are excellent ways to preview the album:

Official site
Album Player (preview all songs)
“Ordinary Miracle” Audio (full-length streams): WM / QT

Ready? Set? Go.

It's Hard to Even Want to Try

Matthew Sweet - Sunshine LiesMatthew Sweet seems to have been so poorly managed for so long now (seriously, is there any doubt such minor hits as Girlfriend, I've Been Waiting, Time Capsule, and Sick of Myself should have catapulted him to much more success?) that I shouldn't be surprised by this, but it looks like Sunshine Lies, his first new album in too many years, is now getting pushed back to August 26 from the initially announced date of July 22. Do I know this because his official site and/or HisSpace page have been updated? No. I had to go back to the revised Shout! Factory press release to confirm what I've seen elsewhere (and they even have both dates still listed.) Hell, even the album's wiki page is not yet updated.

Of course, still an open question is which track list is correct? My best guess is the one with 13 tracks, not 16, but what the hell do I know?! What the hell do they know?!


Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Everything's Gonna Get Lighter

Outstanding. Paste Magazine is featuring the new Mates of State video for Get Better from their upcoming album Re-Arrange Us (out next week.) I was excited to read that the new album featured an emphasis on piano and strings, but the results exceed my expectations. This tune is instant and killer. Album of the summer? Let's hope.

I Need You To Reach Me, Teach Me, How To Laugh

The Hoosiers new album, The Trick to Life, is now available. If you liked the EP, you're sure to like the album. I'm on my first listen now and it doesn't disappoint. Check out for Clinging On for Life.

Full review after a couple of more listens.


Wednesday, May 07, 2008

Bleed All About It

Beautiful Escape - Posies Covers AlbumYou may recall Burning Sky Records' release of Jellyfish covers last year that seemed to be pretty popular in the J-Fish circles. Well, they've done it again - this time with The Posies! Beautiful Escape features a jaw-dropping 45 covers on three discs, including re-workings by Ken Stringfellow and Jon Auer themselves as well as many cool poppy groups. For the full track list and to order the collection, click here.

The following was also shared on the Andy Sturmer email list by Alan Heaton at Burning Sky Records:

as far as I know, Jon is not working on another solo album right now. A new Posies album in late 2009 is more likely (and a real possibility)
Bummed there will be no new Auer solo album anytime soon. Songs from the Year of Our Demise is easily my favorite album of the past few years. A classic. New Posies is cool news, though, and surprising coming from a band that supposedly broke up at one time!

lyric source

Tuesday, May 06, 2008

Just Hanging Around Then He Fell In Love

I'm not sure why I resisted Panic At The Disco. Maybe it's the whole exclamation point at the end of their name. It's probably because of the whole crapass emo thing. It's not that I hate emo music. It's the damn term. It's an all-encompassing term that I hate almost as much as "Web 2.0". But that's a topic for another blog.

Pretty. Odd. is a fantastic power pop album. I could throw another overused "sounds like Jellyfish" in here. But considering Jellyfish sounds like Queen, The Beatles, ELO, The Beach Boys and a whole slew of others, that term is relatively meaningless.

Anyway, Pretty. Odd. is one of those rare albums that I instantly fell in love with in the first listen and play over and over again for weeks on end. I bought it this morning and have probably listened to it at least 3 times through today. Northern Downpour is incredible. Nine in the Afternoon is another standout for me. Not to mention Do You Know What I'm Seeing?. Shit, the whole damn album rocks. Just buy it already. It's another TooPoppy Guarantee™.

Props to my friend Matt for forcing me to listen to it.

When the Night Is Over, There'll Be No Sound

Nuts for Oasis? Yes, I'm sure some of you still exist. Evidently, a couple new tracks from their upcoming album have been leaked. Rather than linking to links that will likely dry up quickly, here's NME's synopsis of the new tunes:

...A forceful return from the Gallaghers, although lacking the smash'n'grab choruses of some of their other anthems....Understated yet upliftingly epic, it's a song of fine balance and poise...It's a lighters-in-the-air moment for sure, although without the immediacy of a 'Wonderwall' or 'Don't Look Back In Anger...

lyric source

At Least I Know You Tried

Mates of State - Re-Arrange UsMates of State has their fifth album out on May 20 called Re-Arrange Us.

Fans will notice that the 10-song set drifts away from the organ-heavy arrangements of the band's past in favor of piano, a decision that vocalist/multi-instrumentalist Jason Hammel describes as making the group nervous, but a needed change.
Hmm, sounds cool, but I'll definitely miss the organ. The two of them are great live so catch them if you can:
May 16: New Haven, Conn. (Toad’s Place)
May 22: San Francisco (Slim’s)

May 24: Bend, Ore. (Les Schwab Amphitheatre)

May 25: George, Wash. (Sasquatch Music Festival)

May 28: Los Angeles (Henry Fonda Theater)

June 6: Lawrence, Kans. (Wakarusa Music Festival)

June 7: Omaha, Neb. (The Slowdown)

June 8: St. Louis (The Bluebird Theatre)

June 10: Oklahoma City, Ok. (Bricktown Ballroom)

June 11: Dallas (Granada Theatre)

June 13: Austin, Texas (Emo’s)

June 14: Little Rock, Ark. (Rev Room)

June 15: Memphis (Hi-Tone)

June 17: Newport, Ky. (Southgate House)

June 18: Pittsburgh, Pa. (Mr. Smalls Theatre)

June 21: Philadelphia (Popped! Music Festival)

July 25: Pemberton, Bc. (Pemberton Festival)

Aug. 1: Chicago (Lollapalooza)

Aug. 8: Jersey City, N.J. (All Points West)

Sept. 26: Austin, Texas (Austin City Limits)
Official Site

lyric source

I Guess This Is Our Last Goodbye

It's official.

The Police and New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg today (May 6) announced at a press conference in Times Square the band's final concert ever, to be held in New York on a date still to be revealed in August.
Oh, the drama!

All the rest of the tour dates are here. Looks like tix are still available. Going once ... going twice ...

lyric source

Sunday, May 04, 2008

The Two Chord Cool Still Grooves

The Cure The Only OneI give them credit. The Cure have been around so long that talk of a new album doesn't really blow anybody away. Yet, they're taking a novel approach in the run-up to the release of their 13th album.

The Cure, one of the most revered British bands of the past quarter-century, have unveiled their plans to release four A & B side singles, one each month starting May 13th, leading up to the release of their thirteenth studio album, as yet untitled, which will be out on Suretone/Geffen Records September 13th.
And they're touring:
May 9th Washington DC Patriot Center
May 10th Philadelphia , PA Wachovia Spectrum

May 12th Boston, MA Agganis Arena

May 14th Montreal, QC Bell Centre

May 15th Toronto, ON Air Canada Centre

May 17th Chicago, IL Allstate Arena

May 19th Kansas City, MO Starlight Theatre

May 21st Denver, CO Red Rocks Amphitheatre

May 23rd Salt Lake City, UT E Center

May 25th George, WA Gorge Amphitheater – Sasquatch Festival

May 26th Vancouver, BC General Motors Place

May 29th Santa Barbara, CA Santa Barbara Bowl

May 31st Los Angeles, CA Hollywood Bowl

June 1st Los Angeles, CA Shrine Auditorium

June 3rd San Diego, CA Cox Arena

June 4th Phoenix, AZ Dodge Theatre

June 6th Dallas, TX American Airlines Center

June 8th Austin, tX Austin Music Hall

June 9th Houston, TX Toyota Center

June 11th Tampa, FL St. Pete Times Forum

June 13th Lauderdale, FL Atlantic Center

June 15th Atlanta, GA Gwinnett Center

June 16th Charlotte, NC Charlotte Bobcats Arena

June 18th Cleveland, OH Wolstein Center at Cleveland State Uni

June 20th New York, NY Madison Square Garden

June 21st New York, NY Radio City Music Hall
I've always been about 10 years behind The Cure bandwagon, but I'm sure in 2018 I'll really dig this new one.

lyric source