Wednesday, December 31, 2008

We'll Take a Cup of Kindness Yet

I'm exhausted by the thought of a year-end list. It seems like an arbitrary cut-off as many albums I enjoy now were released last year or 20 years ago. Plus, you can read Too Poppy and easily get a sense for what I've enjoyed and experienced this past year. Obviously the new Matthew Sweet album was a high point of the year, as was the new, loose Fireman release. Fleet Foxes shockingly lives up to the hype whereas the new Oasis deserves a bit more. And at year's end, I simply cannot get Kings of Leon's Sex on Fire out of my head. I also can't forget that I was blown away by stellar live performances by Radiohead, Flaming Lips, and Wilco. Wow. 2008 was alright.

If you're seeking a more substantive review of the year that was, I invite you to a former Too Poppy contributor's yearender. Otherwise, you know where else to look.

Happy New Year, Poppers. Cheers!

It's Getting More Impossible to Keep a Straight Face

Blue October's new album, Approaching Normal, will hit stores 3/24 - and they're going GLOBAL:

"It's real exciting because the last record (2006's platinum 'Foiled') did real well here (in the U.S.) and just never really got that chance (in Europe). One thing we all said was, 'Man, the next record, we've got to go global,' so right off the bat as part of our campaign we'll go over and start making a splash overseas."
Ok. As for the sound:
Noveskey says the dynamic range of the album is more "dramatic-slash-theatrical" than its predecessors and spans "from the saddest, most depressing moments to the happiest, most joyful moments we've ever done." "Approaching Normal" includes studio versions of older fan favorites such as "Kangaroo Cry" and "Graceful Dancing" and will also come out in explicit and "clean" versions, each containing a different bonus track.
Ok. I've yet to explore the Blue October sound, but Way2Poppy digs it. Their quotes and photo at, though, left me a bit irritated in a Rob-Thomas-trying-too-fucking-hard kinda way. Maybe I'm just ready for this year to end, who knows.

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Whore Whore Whore

Yes Man Soundtrack featuring Zooey Deschanel, EelsSpeaking of Zooey Deschanel, 4 songs by her fictional alter-ego (Munchausen by Proxy, not She) in Jim Carrey's typical comedy Yes Man is featured on the soundtrack. Eels carry the rest of the load with 9 tunes including a new one called Man Up. MP3

What Can I Say?

The Dream is over.


Monday, December 29, 2008

He's Keeping Busy

Andrew Bird is returning to Des Moines courtesy of the Des Moines Music Coalition:

Chicago singer/songwriter/violinst Andrew Bird has a distincitve style with his melodic multi-layered instrumentation and beautiful wide-ranging vocals. After an incredible performance to thousands of fans at this years' 80/35, Bird now embarks on a tour with many notable stops including Carnegie Hall in New York and Chicago's Civic Opera House. His new album Noble Beast will be released on Jan. 20.
I saw a few songs of his 80/35 performance while waiting for Flaming Lips to start. It didn't cut through the clutter, but everything I've heard about this guy is that you must see him live. He'll be at Hoyt Sherman Place on 2/28, which would be a cool venue in which to see him. Tix available via RipoffMaster or Hoyt Sherman Place.

On a related note, as they've done before, NPR is going to preview his new album starting 1/3 so save this link.

Sunday, December 28, 2008

No Need For Greed

Yoko has gone too far this time. This is just sad.

Some Forever Not For Better

The New York Times has a nicely done tribute to those we lost in the music world this year. The pacing is a bit odd with the pause on some artists longer than others, and a feeling towards the end that the creators were running out of time, but still interesting.

Friday, December 26, 2008

Money Don't Get Everything It's True

Amazon has an after-Christmas sale going on with albums offered at the nice price of $5. Here are some albums that Too Poppers might want to pick up if they haven't already.

Coldplay - Viva La Vida
David Byrne & Brian Eno - Everything That Happens Will Happen Today
Beck - Modern Guilt
R.E.M. - Accelerate
Radiohead - In Rainbows
Death Cab for Cutie - Narrow Stairs
Snow Patrol - A Hundred Million Suns

See the full list.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

A Season That's So Divine

Brandon Schott sent out a lovely Christmas gift for friends and family - a demo called Another Christmastime. And all my friends and family got from me was a card.

Thanks, Brandon. Looking forward to a new year with a new album!

Happy Holidays, Too Poppers. We appreciate your continued interest.

MP3: Brandon Schott - Another Christmastime (demo)

And don't forget Brandon's Winter in the Sun!

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Hot as a Fever

I've become notorious for avoiding buzz, often at my own detriment. This is obviously the case with Kings of Leon. Listening to XM this morning, i was struck by what a killer track Sex On Fire is - absolutely killer. This will be Classic Rock. I simply can't get it out of my head.

Watch and listen to the video here.
Download here.

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Let the Good Times Roll

Roger Joseph Manning Jr. Catnip DynamiteA followup on US release of Roger Joseph Manning Jr.'s latest:

Oglio Records will be releasing the US version of Catnip Dynamite on Feb. 3rd, 2009. The US version contains 3 bonus tracks.
01.The Quickening
02.Love’s Never Half As Good
03.Down In Front
My Girl
Imaginary Friend
06.Haunted Henry
07.Tinsel Town
The Turnstile at Heaven’s Gate
09.Survival Machine
10.Living in End Times
Drive Thru Girl
Bonus Tracks – Live From Fuji Rock, Japan

Europa and the Pirate Twins
13.You Were Right
Love Lies Bleeding
Download Down in Front on iTunes now.

The Choir of Children Sing Their Song

Norwegians having a wonderful Christmas time covering Paul McCartney:

via 'gum

Friday, December 12, 2008

It's Never Good to be Understood by a Girl Named Acid Wash

The Caulfields - WhirligigKudos to the Too Poppers who remember The Caulfields, the guitar-heavy power pop shouldabeens from the 90s led by John Faye, who went on to form John Faye Powertrip and Ike. Anyway, they're reuniting for a show in Philly on 12/26 and doing their first radio interview in over 10 years on 12/14:

The Caulfields, the band I grew up in and toured the world with in the 90's, will be appearing on the Wilmington, DE station 93.7 WSTW this Sunday 12/14 from 9-11pm. We'll be guests on "Hometown Heroes" hosted by Mark Rogers and it will be the band's first live radio interview since August of 1997, when we announced our break-up on "The Planet" in Detroit, MI (oh the drama! ;) If you're in the DE/PA/NJ area, tune in this Sunday! You can also hear it live at: http://wstw. com OR check out the podcast which the station will post within a few days of the show! http://www. wstw. com/heroes/
Sweet. Devil's Diary from The Caulfields' debut Whirligig is a Certified Too Poppy Classic.

MP3: The Caulfields - Devil's Diary

The Echoes Belong to Someone

Pitchfork laments the hard-to-swallow truth that The Postal Service may never release a follow up to Give Up, their unexpectedly excellent debut album from 2003. Despite what we've reported in the past, Ben Gibbard seemed to quash our hopes in a recent Rolling Stone interview:

It’s the record that never seems to want to come out. It’s also just never been a priority for either Jimmy [Tamborello, Postal Service co-founder] or myself. The anticipation of the second record has been a far bigger deal for everybody except the two of us.
Glad I saw them live back in the day - awesome show and cool album.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Will I Get Better or Stay the Same?

Guster is a band. Guster was at one time one of my favorite bands. Guster has since released a couple ok albums, but none that met the Too Poppy promise of Lost and Gone Forever, although others might disagree. Guster is on a new label and is now working on a new release that they hope to complete in February. Guster has fathered children.

Me gusta Guster.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Feel a Sense of Child-like Wonder

The Fireman - Electric ArgumentsOne of the highlights of every afternoon is when I get my daily email from Uncrate with the coolest guy recommendations of the day. What a nice surprise to see The Fireman's Electric Arguments featured today. Indeed, it is an exceptional album that is easily on par with some of McCartney's best. He really needs to stretch his limits like this more often.

And The Home Got Snowed In

Fleet FoxesI downloaded Fleet Floxes' eponymous debut album a few weeks ago during a stellar MP3 album sale and am already finding it to be a gorgeous fit to the impending winter.

The music evokes a Cold Mountain-esque traipse through snow-blanketed mountainsides and the rewarding heat of hot apple cider trickling down through your insides. Despite their Seattle origin, you could swear these guys are from Appalachia - and they're so damn good at getting me to wax poetic about the emotional appeal of their album.

But rest assured it is not another soundtrack to O Brother Where Art Thou. As traditional and folksy as it immediately feels, you'll soon discover rich tunes that are thoroughly modern and worth many repeat listens.

While this mix could be contrived or indulgent, Fleet Foxes use restraint, structuring their flourishes into three- and four-minute pop songs full of chiming melodies and harmonies that sound like they've been summoned from centuries of traditional songs and are full of vivid, universal imagery: mountains, birds, family, death.
I can't quite tell you song names or sing back a chorus yet, but this one is the best slow burn you need for the dark, cold months ahead.

Download Fleet Foxes: MP3 (still a dirt cheap $5)

Life Again, Life Again

It's either 90s redux or acid reflux depending on your opinion of two stalwarts of the grunge era.

First, Pearl Jam is re-releasing their classic Ten on 3/23/09:

Pearl Jam - TenFour different versions of 'Ten' will be released, with each edition featuring the original and remastered version, plus a remix of the album by producer Brendan O'Brien.

The following features can be found across the editions:
DVD of previously unreleased 1992 Pearl Jam MTV Unplugged performance
LP of the band's 1992 'Drop In The Park' concert
Replica of Pearl Jam three-song demo cassette with Eddie Vedder's original vocal dubs
Bonus tracks including 'Brother', 'Just A Girl', 'State Of Love', 'Breath And A Scream', '2,000 Mile Blues' and 'Evil Little Goat'
Replica Eddie Vedder composition notebook filled with personal notes and images from the collections of Vedder and Jeff Ament
Second, Smashing Pumpkins' leader Billy Corgan said the Pumpkins will now only be a singles band because nobody listens to their albums anymore. He also said former Pumpkin James Iha drove him insane. That explains so much.

Download Pearl Jam's Ten here
Download Smashing Pumpkins' album nobody listened to here

Tuesday, December 09, 2008

Tweet Tweet Tweet Tweet Yeah

Speaking of Oasis, the band is now on Twitter just in case you can't get enough elsewhere.

Likewise, I have decided to dabble tweet a bit. Follow me and I'll actually post more thoughts unworthy of a full Too Poppy post and try to keep them in the Too Poppy just music spirit.

It Reminds Me of When We Were Young

Oasis has released a new EP for I'm Outta Time, a highlight of their excellent new album Dig Out Your Soul (which I recommend for old Oasis fans who gave up long ago - it really is a return to form). Download it from iTunes here. Tracklist:

'I'm Outta Time' (Album version)
'I'm Outta Time' (Remix)
'I'm Outta Time' (Demo)
'The Shock Of The Lightning' (The Jagz Kooner Remix)
'To Be Where There's Life' (Neon Neon Remix)

Nothing Is Wasted Only Reproduced

Blur is reuniting - at least for one show next summer. No word on whether they'll record together anytime soon.

Way2Poppy will be thrilled.

For Some Reason I Can't Explain

Don't know if you've been following the Satriani / Coldplay controversy or not. Satriani is accusing Coldplay of infringing on his righteous tunage. Coldplay says, "nah, just coincidence." I typically shrug at these lawsuits because music is so derivative that there's bound to be similar chord structures and melodies from time to time. I doubt Coldplay nefariously felt they needed to steal from Joe to get ahead - um, they're already ahead - but then I watched this video that posted:

Uncanny really, and kinda cool. Who knows. I think Viva La Vida is a great song and this will in no way diminish my enjoyment of it. Can't we all just get along?

Something is Beautiful and True

Matthew Sweet has recently been featured on NPR's Mountain Stage performing Time Machine, Ugly Truth, Byrdgirl, Flying, Girlfriend, and Sick of Myself. 24 minutes of pure bliss here.

Thursday, December 04, 2008

Holding This Guitar for Some Comfort

BoDeans - Live AcousticBoDeans have become quite prolific at releasing albums all of a sudden (sigh, I'm still trying to catch up). Just in time for the holidays, you can pick up Live Acoustic at their website for $15. Some classics are on there: Far Far Away, Naked, Paradise, and Fadeaway. Looks like a good gift for the roots rock fans in your life. Very few bands do it better than BoDeans.

Time to dig out the old ones!

Wednesday, December 03, 2008

It's Been a Long Long Long Time

The Beatles White Album MerchandiseTo celebrate the White Album's 40th Anniversary, The Beatles are not offering a beautifully branded iPod - would've been cool -or even a remastered or re-imagined album. Nope, we get merch - white, blinding merch.