Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Assimilation Process

TV Eyes - SoftcoreTV Eyes (the 80s new wavey side band featuring Falkner and Manning of Jellyfish) have a new release! It's merely an EP called Softcore, but it features a few new tunes and several remixes of songs from their full-length.

The bummer is that so far, this - like their full-length - is only available via Japan. You can order the import at or you can order it from CDJapan, which Manning recommends. I bought one of Manning's albums from CDJapan and I was impressed at how quickly I actually received it despite their warnings that it could take awhile.

So, why no downloads to make this easier for North American fans? Can't be too tough to get it on iTunes, emusic, or any of the other outlets. Take a cue from fellow popsters The Major Labels who have figured this thing out. Harumph.







Order the one with the DVD - it appears to be the same price as the regular release ($15-ish) although it is region-2 encoded (making it that much more frustrating.)

Millennium Blues

This is our 1000th post!

And boy are my fingers tired.

The Too Poppers have been discussing what to do to celebrate this momentous occasion and we're coming up empty. We'll likely do a little contest in the near future. Any ideas?

For the sake of history, check out our humble first post from April 7, 2005. I hope you agree that we've stayed true to our goal. Tell us if we haven't.

And thanks to you readers, without whom...

Monday, July 28, 2008

Does That Make Me Too Normal For You?

Liz Phair has taken so much criticism the last few years for selling out or cashing in. She's about half done with her new album and I think she's trying too hard to answer her critics:

"It has mistakes in it. It has layered background vocals of mine that just make an overall slop, but it's perfect slop."
If you have to justify the slop already, it can hardly be perfect. And I was not one of those critics, although her last album was extremely underwhelming. Color me worried.


thenewno2Thenewno2 has a tune called Yomp featured on this week's Rock Band downloads for 360 and PS3. No Wii?

It's buzzy and all - probably sounds better when you're banging away on your fake drums.

I Need a Room to Rock In

I didn't think it was possible, but somebody else is tracking the comings and goings of Matthew Sweet more diligently than I. Dan has tipped us off that Matthew has announced many more tour dates in Colorado, Minneapolis, Chicago, Atlanta, and more. See the full list here or here - and thanks, Dan!

Thursday, July 24, 2008

As the Years Go By and We Grow Old and Grey

You know you're old when...

Ringo Starr's granddaughter has formed a band.
Hey, I'm a generation removed from Ringo and I'm still reeling from this news. Check out Belakiss on TheirSpace.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Thinking About Tomorrow

Lindsey Buckingham is finishing the solo follow-up to his well-received Under the Skin released in 06.

Fleetwood Mac's Lindsey Buckingham has enlisted the help of band members Mick Fleetwood and drummer John McVie on at least two of the tracks for his forthcoming fifth 'solo' album 'Gift of Screws.'
Gift of Screws is due out in September. More on the album in Buckingham's words:
"This album distills several periods of time. It has false starts to make albums, songs that go back a number of years that took a while to find a home and brand-new songs. I wanted to bring it all together in one place. As an artist I'm still, for better or worse, clinging to my idealism and to my sense that there is still much to be said. This album is a culmination of that."
Plus, he's hinted at a 2009 Fleetwood Mac reunion tour. So there you go.

UPDATE: A today confirms the reunion tour - thankfully without Sheryl Crow.

Are You Listening 2,000 Miles From Here?

Just spreading the good word from Altitude Records:

MATT POND PA HAS NOT BROKEN UP! In fact, the band is in the studio this summer working on new material, of which there is plenty! The band is doing all of their own recording and mixing this time around (guitarist/keyboardist Chris Hansen is a seasoned studio engineer), and the songs I have heard so far are bright, clear and gorgeous, if I may say so myself. If all goes according to plan, you can look for some new songs as early as this fall!

It Beats Pickin' Cotton and Waitin' To Be Forgotten

Paul Westerberg (Replacements, duh) has released a new solo album complete with the following disclaimer:


Cryptic! You can pick it up as one MP3 file for only $0.49 via! You can download the album art here.

I Am Sunshine

Word on the street Matthew Sweet email list is that Sunshine Lies is available for download NOW via emusic. If you can't wait for another legit download of the new album, here you go. A quick search of iTunes and Amazon still shows the 8/26 release date.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

When Love's Renewed Life Can Move Slow and Easy

Brandon Schott - Golden StatePopdose has a nice write-up of Brandon Schott's wonderful Golden State. The album has been on my mind mostly because of Brandon's recent single Carousel (revisited) - a welcome shot of new, well, Schott despite its origins on Golden State. Then I look back and realize it's been almost a year since I reviewed it!

We are now waist deep in the dog days of summer and I can't think of a better soundtrack. It sounds great anytime of year, but it's especially brilliant now. Golden State is synonymous with the feeling of late-day summer sun. Nobody in years has captured this better or more completely than Schott. Reward and nurture yourself this summer with one of my favorite albums of the past year.

The Song of the Siren

Nice. Neko Case - she of New Pornographers - is bringing her solo arse to Des Moines' Hoyt Sherman September 16. I'm quite familiar with her fine work with New Pornos, but it's time to start expanding out to her solo career.

Tour dates:

MON 8/25 - TUCSON, AZ @ THE RIALTO (Benefit for Greyhound Adoption League + Tucson Dog Protection)
+SUN 8/31 - VANCOUVER, BC @ MALKIN BOWL (Neko Case show)
+*MON 9/1 - VANCOUVER, BC @ MALKIN BOWL (New Pornographers show-NOT Neko solo material)

+SAT 9/20 - CHICAGO, IL @ HIDEOUT BLOCK PARTY (Neko Case show)
+*SUN 9/21 - CHICAGO, IL @ HIDEOUT BLOCK PARTY (New Pornographers show-NOT Neko solo material)

+ = Benefit Show
* = New Pornographers Show - NO Neko solo material will be performed!

And I Want to Say the Sweet Things, Babe, I've Always Wanted To

Del Amitri is very much like comfort food to me. I know it's bad for my psyche (I've been known to half-tongue-in-cheek ask for razor blades after a lengthy session with the band's most melancholy selections) but the bad feels so good. Plus they have some killer pop tunes to go along with their dark, pessimistic outlook on life. They're all but defunct now that leader Justin Currie has gone solo, but this nice Popdose Guide to Del Amitri hints that you never know.

Official Site

You Are Here

TheNewNo2 - You Are HereTheNewNo2's debut album You Are Here will finally be released via iTunes on 8/1. Preview tracks at TheirSpace. Been waiting for this one for awhile.

Monday, July 21, 2008

I'm Becoming a Bore

James - Hey MaIn my opinion, James jumped the shark - or to borrow a reference apropos for the Summer of '08: nuked the fridge - upon release of Laid, the song not the album. It just seemed to be a bit pandering to the sophomoric, mediocre tastes of the times, and I honestly haven't really heard much of their music since then.

Time heals all wounds, right? If so, I should give their new one - called Hey Ma - a listen when it's released September 16.

"This is the best period of James I've ever been involved in," Tim Booth said in a statement. "The band is reformed in its strongest line and everything feels fresh and exciting again..We are proud and excited to be bringing this to the States, where we feel we have some unfinished business."
And they are certainly committed to their business in the states as evidenced by their announcement of their upcoming tour:
Boston, MA Paradise Lounge (September 15)
Philadelphia, PA Trocadero (16)

Washington, DC 9.30 Club

New York, NY Radio City Music Hall (19)

Asbury Park, NJ Stone Pony (20)

Montreal, Quebec Club Soda (22)

Toronto, Ontario Phoenix Concert Theatre (23)

Chicago, IL Vic Theatre (25)

Milwaukee, WI Turner Hall Ballroom (26)

Minneapolis, MN Fine Line (27)

Denver, CO Ogden Theatre (29)

San Francisco, CA The Regency (October 1)

Los Angeles, CA El Rey (2)

San Diego, CA House of Blues (3)

Anaheim, CA House of Blues (5)
I still do really enjoy their classics like Sit Down and Born of Frustration, and because they consider this album and tour a rebirth of the band stateside, I will treat it as such. If the Charlatans UK can burst back like they did with their latest, I have no doubt James can too.

And You're Working For No One But Me

Powerpopaholic just turned me on to something entirely new: tax scam releases. Seems there were quite a few attempts in the 70s to tax advantage of a tax loophole and "release" albums to only take a loss on them. Evidently, though, some of them were quite good. PPA has a full album download of Sleepy Hollow that I'm actually looking quite forward to. Very few albums have a backstory like this!

I'm Still Wondering Who To Be

Epic Records has released much more information about Ben Folds' upcoming album Way To Normal, now due out 9/30.

Way to Normal is an exuberant, raucous, and sometimes profane mix of sure-fire crowd-pleasers ("Hiroshima," "Bitch Went Nuts," and the frenetically fuzzed-out "Dr. Yang"), cheerful snark-fests ("The Frown Song," "Brainwascht"), and thoughtful, moving ballads ("Cologne," "Kylie From Connecticut") that Folds wrote at the end of 2007 following the finalization of a two-year divorce.
Cool. I like divorce records.
"The songs are not topical," Folds says. "I was not interested in making a record about the D-word. I got all that stuff out of my system on the last record [2005's pensive Songs for Silverman], which was deliberately stoic. This new album is really about me being free, which is why it feels cathartic and expressive. It's about me coming back to being myself." (Hence the title.) "I came out of the courthouse, kissed the ground, and walked straight into the studio. I felt like a bottle of champagne that had been shaken for 18 months and popped open in the studio. That's why this record has so much energy."
Ok, so not a "D-word" record. Sounds like a fun one. He'll be touring in support of the album through 09. Rock on.

Saturday, July 19, 2008

What's That Man Movin' Cross The Stage?

Billy Joel fans were in for a treat last night as a parade of stars joined the Piano Man on stage for the last concert in Shea Stadium before it is demolished. Garth Boorks, Steven Tyler, Roger Daltry and Paul McCartney all rocked the house in a fitting end to the stadium's concert history. The Beatles played there a year after the stadium opened. Billy's & Paul's rendition of "Let It Be" is a fitting tribute.

Photo Credit: Kevin Masur/NY Times

Friday, July 18, 2008

Shower Me With Your Sunshine Lies

Matthew Sweet - Sunshine LiesWell, I couldn’t resist listening to a preview copy of Matthew Sweet’s new album Sunshine Lies in its entirety. It’s not due out until August 26 (pre-order here,) but here are some of my initial thoughts after listening to the whole album several times through.

It is exceptionally well balanced. There are plenty of rockers to offset the rollers, and vice versa. Matthew really displays his full range here, including his stellar voice. Many times he wraps it in layers to deliciously warm effect, and at other times he just lets his loose.

It is hooky and catchy as hell – perfectly too poppy. Of course, that’s what you’d expect from him, but this album is full of it and we should not take it for granted.

He’s obviously been quite influenced by his retro work with The Thorns and Susanna Hoffs (who even vocally guested on the stellar standout Sunshine Lies.) Byrdgirl (the misspelling is no accident) and Daisychain could and might easily be outtakes from The Thorns, or tunes he would’ve covered with Hoffs had they actually been released in the late 60s with their sonic counterparts. Flying and Room to Rock will rock your ass off. Feel Fear will leave you covered in goosebumps. Let’s Love will have you singing that simple yet universal sentiment in your head all day long – and that is indeed a good thing for your psyche.

I gotta tell you, though, after the rollicking Sunrise Eyes, he loses me a bit through the last three tunes. They’re serviceable Matthew Sweet songs, which make them quite good compared to most, but for me they just don’t match up well with the rest of the album, especially that middle chunk, which is a showcase for Matthew at the top of his game. They could just be slow burners, though.

Compared with the rest of his canon, I’d rank this sonically on par with the excellent In Reverse, which makes sense considering it was, in a way, the last typical Matthew Sweet album. Living Things was an interesting yet underwhelming diversion for him with Van Dyke Parks and Kimi Ga Suki was the high point in letting his hair down for his Japanese fans - unencumbered by the pressures of the industry. Sunshine Lies gets back to showcasing his studio mastery while setting us up with some blistering rockers that will sound even better live.

As much as it pains me on many different levels to say it and despite how good it really is, I don’t think Sunshine Lies will necessarily win over too many new fans. There's no Sick of Myself to capture the zeitgeist, although something like Let’s Love could plausibly take off in a summer pop anthem sort of way or even Sunshine Lies because it is so damn juicy. Hopefully Shout! Factory will do right by him and promote the hell out of it. That’s something Zoo/Volcano never did well. I hope I’m wrong and this proves to be his ultimate breakthrough. If not, rest assured Sunshine Lies is - at the very least - purely a fan pleaser.

This is not my last word. C'mon ... new Matthew Sweet is Too Poppy manna! Until then, pre-order Sunshine Lies and let's do it, let's love.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Wanna Go For a Ride?

The Smashing Pumpkins are coming to Davenport, Iowa 8/8.

As Mom would say, "and you're telling me this because?"

A Day Without Snack Time, That Just Isn't Right

Uh oh. Uncle Stevie is naughty.

Barenaked Ladies singer/guitarist Steven Page has been arrested on drug charges in upstate New York.
Cocaine and Mary Jane. Tsk tsk, Mr. Page, especially coming right after the release of their first kids' album Snacktime. Gives the title a whole new meaning, huh?

But, of course, he will be "completely exonerated." Phew.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Burst Into Heaven

It's a story that we read about way too often: Brilliant Flash-in-the-Pan Band Reunites Only to Disappoint! Thankfully, it looks pretty unlikely we'll see that happening with the Stone Roses.

Speaking to BBC News, Mani explained: "I spoke to John and Reni about it a few years ago and they said they'd love to do it at some point in time, but Ian Brown seems dead set against it.
In this case, it's for the best. Their absolutely brilliant self-titled debut opened up my music mind in high school. Yet by the time their second album was finally released, it never quite stoked their flame again (and I really really wanted it to.) We're better off remembering the Stone Roses much like we remember the La's.

It Might Just Be Too Much in Two Weeks

matt pond PA sale!A bit behind on your matt pond PA? Now you can pick up all their music at dirt cheap prices through the end of the month - lots of great package deals. Just go here and give them your money. That's how this capitalism thing works.

While you patiently wait for your shipment to arrive, you can enjoy their new video for the title track of their latest and my favorite Last Light. The video and tune remind me of something I might have seen back in the day on 120 Minutes.

Or just download all their shit and be done with it.

All My Life Is Passing By

Brandon Schott - Carousel RevisitedBrandon Schott revisits Carousel all in the name of charity (Make-A-Wish Foundation® of Greater Los Angeles) and has made it only available on iTunes. Check out the original version here.

Brandon is good people and a great artist. Start learning more about him here. Then, buy it all here. You won't regret it.

Everyone's Gotta Be Somewhere

Stereophonics have announced their North American tour:

September 2008
5th - Paradise Rock Club, Boston, MA (on sale 18th July)

7th - Virgin Festival, Toronto, Canada (on sale now)
8th - World Café Live, Philadelphia, PA (on sale 16th July)
9th - Webster Hall,New York, NY (on sale 16th July)
11th - 9:30 Club, Washington DC (on sale 31st July)
12th - Mr Smalls Theatre, Pittsburgh, PA (on sale 26th July)
13th - Metro, Chicago, Il (on sale 19th July)
16th - Henry Fonda Theatre, Los Angeles, CA (on sale 19th July)
17th - Great American Music Hall, San Francisco, CA (on sale 20th July)
19th - Wonder Ballroom, Portland, OR (on sale 19th July)
20th - Commodore Ballroom, Vancouver, BC (on sale 25th July)
21st - Showbox Market, Seattle, WA (on sale 19th July)

Monday, July 14, 2008

Ain't Got Nothin'

NME has exclusively revealed the tracklist and art for Oasis' upcoming studio release Dig Out Your Soul due out in October.

'Bag It Up'
'The Turning'
'Waiting For The Rapture'
'The Shock Of The Lightning'
'I'm Outta Time'
'(Get Off Your) High Horse Lady'
'Falling Down'
'To Be Where There's Life'
'Ain't Got Nothin''
'The Nature Of Reality'
'Soldier On'
Now, Too Poppy has non-exclusively re-revealed the tracklist and art for Oasis' upcoming studio release Dig Out Your Soul due out in October.

Death Will Never Conquer

Do you like free music?
If YES, continue reading.
If NO, go here.

Do you like Coldplay?
If YES, continue reading.
If NO, go here.

Do you like free Coldplay music?
If YES, go here.
If NO, go here.

Saturday, July 12, 2008

I Would Like You For My Own

Last night, FNMTV debuted the debut video of She & Him's debut single Why Do You Let Me Stay Here? from Hers & His debut album Volume One. I'm pretty sure Zooey Deschanel is one of the only artists who can make dying in many different and bloody ways so adorable.

Friday, July 11, 2008

Looking Dumb In The Rain

At the last minute this week, I found out the Gin Blossoms where playing near me. Despite awful weather here in Atlanta, a shit sound system and rude ushers, the show was great.

They're touring with Soul Asylum and thankfully the Gin Blossoms played first. We had great seats (11th row). The turnout was disappointing - maybe a couple of hundred people, but the crowd was into it. Although I have to say the crowd was a bit eclectic. Young, middle, old, very old, pregnant (really, like 15 pregnant women - what is that all about?), a guy with really heinous plaid pants and so on. But 1/4 the reason you go to a concert is to people watch, right?

The concert was great if not a bit too short. They only played about an hour. They played what I wanted and expected to hear - Hey Jealousy, Allison Road, Til I Hear It From You, As Long As It Matters, Until I Fall Away, Follow You Down, Found Out About You. They played Learning The Hard Way and Let's Play Two from the new Major Lodge Victory. Not bad songs, but there are certainly better including my two favorites on that album, End Of The World or Jet Black Sunrise.

We skipped Soul Asylum. They're not bad, but there is really only so many times you can hear "Runaway Train" and I reached my quota years ago. :-)

Thursday, July 10, 2008

All for One, and Baby, One for All

The BoDeans are back in Des Moines and they're playing tomorrow night. Here are the details:

When: 7 p.m. Friday
Where: Alive Concert Series, Simon Estes Amphitheater, Robert D. Ray Drive and Locust Street, Downtown.
Tickets: $20 through Iowatix, $25 at the gate
Rain location: Peoples Court, 216 Court Ave.
Seems a bit pricey to me for a small outside venue, but whatever. Des Moines Register has a nice little piece about this rock solid band. Latest album is called Still, and I still haven't downloaded it.

You Think of the Past

This sounds interesting:

"...the Flaming Lips are at work on new music that sounds "something like if John Lennon got together with Miles Davis and they discovered computers," according to frontman Wayne Coyne."
No timetable for a release just yet, but you can be sure it'll be fun.

Wednesday, July 09, 2008

You Know I Could Really Need Some Fun

The Charlatans UK released a video for their latest single MIS-TAKES, a New Ordery highlight of their latest You Cross My Path (their best in many moons.) Great tune, cool video:

Things Are Finally Going My Way

Piano pop aficionados take notice of Des Moines' own Max Jury. I've been kicking myself all day for not being able to attend his CD release party last night, but I've sampled a few of the tunes on HisSpace and the kid's got talent. And I'm not saying that just because my wife knew him when he was a baby or because I work with his dad.

A stellar voice that reminds me a bit of Roger Joseph Manning Jr., smart lyrics, and strong piano skills easily make Max one to follow - not only in Iowa but across the entire pop scene. Not bad for a teenager.

Preview at HisSpace
Learn more at his official site
Buy at CD Baby

Tuesday, July 08, 2008

Bitch Went Nuts

Paste Magazine recently talked to Ben Folds, who revealed some excellent details about his new album.

“It’s a fairly un-orchestral record,” Folds tells Paste. “It’s a fairly lyric-driven rock record. We’ve looked at taking a few of the songs on the new record and scoring them for orchestra and, uh, it was kind of slim pickins.”
I like rock. I like Ben Folds. I like the Wizard of Oz.

Way to Normal is due out September 16. Read the full interview here.

The Radio's in the Bath

Travis - J. SmithThis one almost slipped by - Travis has released a new EP called J. Smith, a preview of their upcoming full-length release Ode to J Smith due out this fall. J. Smith is a pretty cool tune - quite reminiscent of Radiohead's peak of their guitar era (OK Computer.) Get Up is forgettable. Sarah is a nice little ballad you might expect from Travis.

Gotta say I wasn't too thrilled with their most recent album. It just didn't stick. I like the sound of J. Smith though.

Here's an interview with Fran about the recording of the new album. Evidently Sir Paul checked in on them once or twice.

Means Nothing At All To Me Today

If Live records an Amsterdam show, does anyone want to hear it? We'll find out in October.

"From what I saw in the truck, the way they documented the emotion of the fans, I'm hard-pressed to think of a another recent concert movie that I've seen, except for maybe U2 with the 3D thing, where they captured the essence of the fans response and reaction so profoundly. I know that's raising the bar by comparing it to U2, but I think I'm right and people will understand when they see it."

Friday, July 04, 2008

Do You Realize That You Have the Most Beautiful Face?

Flaming Lips @ 80/35Just got back from the first day of the 80-35 music fest in downtown Des Moines. Of course, I really went to see The Flaming Lips - finally - and they did not disappoint! The crowd, I'm sorry to report, was hit or miss. There could've been a few thousand more people and there were definitely some idiots who knew none of the music and were more interested in getting high and screaming "Freebird" (yes, it really happened) rather than enjoy the stellar show the Lips put on. But, they were ultimately inconsequential because of how fun the band was.

The show could've been a half hour longer, otherwise it was complete - bubble in on the crowd, tons of confetti, dancing Teletubbies, the bullhorn, groovy videos, and naked painted girls. Yep, all-in-all, what you'd want in a Flaming Lips show! They set the tone perfectly for me at the start with Race for the Prize, one of my favorites. They lost some for awhile as they played some more obscure and spacey tunes, but then they hit the crowd-pleasing highlights like Yoshimi, Fight Test, Yeah Yeah Yeah (complete with political commentary), taps (4th of July after all), She Don't Use Jelly, and a stellar encore with Do You Realize.

It was a beautiful, picture-perfect night in Des Moines, and I'm quite grateful I spent it with some good friends and The Flaming Lips.

UPDATE: Des Moines Register has many more, uh, better pictures than my one cell phone shot.

Thursday, July 03, 2008

We've Done Enough Talking

Matthew Sweet - Sunshine Lies e-cardIt's time to listen. There is now officially a flash-enhanced e-card to promote Matthew Sweet's new album Sunshine Lies, which comes out on 8/26. It is complete with previews! Share it, post it, spread the joy everywhere!

Thanks, Dan!

UPDATE: Holy holy hell!!! I've finally had a few minutes to listen to these previews and I AM GEEKED!! This sounds like a pure Matthew Sweet classic. I have chills listening to Time Machine, Feel Fear, Sunshine Lies, Daisychain, almost everything. Goo. This sounds like everything we've been waiting for.

Rumor has it that the full-length has leaked (see comments.) Ok. If you can't wait, I don't blame you. Just be sure you support the artist by buying the album when it's released. Ok? In fact, buy the deluxe version. Then we're cool.

UPDATE 2: Dan tipped us off again to let us know the new official site is live! I have to say I'm a bit underwhelmed by it considering it's been offline for so long. But the MP3 player is a good start and the tour section features the following news:

Matthew will be touring the United States with full band in October/November 2008.
It's all happening!

Dancing for Your Pleasure

The AV Club has an interview with Radiohead's Thom Yorke and Ed O'Brien. Read it and get pumped about Lollapalooza.

Wednesday, July 02, 2008

We Got It Made

Bleu, Mike Viola, and Ducky Carlisle are The Major Labels and their debut album Aquavia is now available. Each are accomplished artists in their own right - together, they are Major. They're essentially pulling a Radiohead and letting you set the price you're willing to pay for the album, but they do have a suggestion: you ask me..i'd say our record's worth at-leAst 8-bucks...i mean..that wouldn't even cover our tater-tot/miller-chill cost for a is (as always) subjective(ish)..i guessss.....but..i would like to point out that starbucks charges $14.99 for some really bunk-ass CDs....and manager insists i mention again that you do, of course, have the option of paying whatever the frig you want (like $8) for our record AND telling your friends..and really..that ain't askin' much is it?'s not like i'm asking you to donate to some charity you've never heard of or something (don't get me started...seeeriously)...
Subtle, eh? Use the widget below to get it and tell others. Do it. Haven't heard it yet, but I'm sure it's worth at least $8. Go to TheirSpace for previews.