Tuesday, September 30, 2008
Paul McCartney is releasing another CD under his Youth-collaborative moniker Fireman. Honestly, despite how huge a Macca fan I am, I do not own the other two albums, which have been fairly difficult to find. The original Strawberry Oceans Ships Forest is now available on iTunes, though. The sophomore release Rushes - not so much. This new one called Electric Arguments - due for release on 11/17 - will be different; and I very much like where this is going:
The new album features more traditional songwriting, including classic rock and acoustic tracks, "yet is in keeping with the genre-hopping spirit of the first two the Fireman albums," according to a statement. One track, "Lifelong Passion," was donated to the charity Adopt-A-Minefield as download for those making donations.Whereas the first two releases were ambient dance, this one seems to be a bit more in line with his other music. In other words, I feel as though I should treat this as a new legitimate McCartney release with the added bonus of some creative freedom to allow him to let loose a bit. Very interested in hearing it. Songs:
"Nothing Too Much Just Out Of Sight"More here.
"Sing the Changes"
"Light From Your Lighthouse"
"Sun Is Shining"
"Dance 'Til We're High"
"Is This Love?"
"Lovers in a Dream"
"Universal Here, Everlasting Now"
"Don't Stop Running"
Friday, September 26, 2008
MySpace is going after iTunes. Gack. I can hardly spend more than two minutes on MySpace - and I only do so to mine for Too Poppy-worthy artist updates. What a terrible site stuck in the late 90s.
With that said, be my friend at myspace.com/toopoppy!
As previously reported, Paul McCartney performed in Israel last night more than 40 years after The Beatles were supposedly banned in what was deemed "probably the greatest cultural event in Israel's history." Despite the enthusiasm, I guess the crowd was expecting McCartney to perform songs that were around at the time of the ban:
As for the music, McCartney and his supremely professional band played a considerable number of post-Beatles songs, which the audience received with a certain amount of polite confusion.Ok, sure, fans want to see and hear the big hits. But checking out the setlist, it's not like he played anything too wacky. Sure, a couple tunes from recent releases, but "polite confusion?" Really?
Drive My Car
Only Mama Knows
All My Loving
Let Me Roll It
Let 'Em In
The Long and Winding Road
I'll Follow the Sun
Here, There and Everywhere
A Day In The Life
Give Peace A Chance
Band On The Run
Back In The USSR
I've Got A Feeling
Live and Let Die
Let it Be
I Saw Her Standing There
Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band
Thursday, September 25, 2008
"Christmas on Mars," which stars Lips bandmates Wayne Coyne, Steven Drozd and Michael Ivins, was shot on the cheap in and around the band's native Oklahoma City. It revolves around the first holiday season on the freshly colonized Red Planet; Drozd is Major Sytris, who aims to marshall Christmas cheer with a big pageant, but a series of events threaten the survival of the colonists, much less their holiday plans. Coyne plays a friendly Martian who offers his assistance.DVD and CD hits stores 10/28. Their music has always had a cinematic feel to it. Let's see if the "original score" to their own movie is any good. Here are the songs:
"Once Beyond Hopelessness"Sounds like a classic.
"The Distance Between Mars And The Earth -- Part One"
"The Horrors Of Isolation: The Celestial Dissolve, Triumphant Hallucination, Light Being Absorbed"
"In Excelsior Vaginalistic"
"Your Spaceship Comes From Within"
"Suicide And Extraordinary Mistakes"
"The Distance Between Mars And The Earth -- Part Two"
"The Secret Of Immortality: This Strange Feeling, This Impossible World"
"The Gleaming Armament Of Marching Genitalia"
"The Distress Signals Of Celestial Objects"
"Space Bible With Volume Lumps"
"Once Beyond Hopelessness"
Pre-order here. Note: Amazon.com lists the release date as 11/11.
Wednesday, September 24, 2008
It is quite rare for a band to meet let alone exceed expectations in a reunion show after not playing in the US for 16 years and virtually ceasing to exist over that time. From some accounts, though, it sounds like My Bloody Valentine absolutely blew concertgoers away the other night in NY:
They came, they played, they conquered. Actually, they destroyed. Or maybe they did something to us that we can't really even describe. Whatever happened, My Bloody Valentine's performance last night in New York is already going down as the most affecting thing that a lot of people have ever experienced.More Billboard.com coverage here. AV Club was there too:
My Bloody Valentine was in fact the loudest band I've ever heard by several orders of magnitude. But what was interesting about the volume was the way it was so delicate, brittle, almost wan—like a weird gelatinous handshake from a huge dude whose presence is misleading. I mean that in the best possible way.I have no doubt a MBV show would be insanely mind-blowing. Here's the rest of the short tour. Anybody up for a weekend getaway to Chicago? Anybody have tix they want to give me? Sigh.
09-25 Toronto, Ontario - RicohI gotta be in the right mood, but for shoegazing, MBV is the top choice. So loud but so grounded in melody - it seems impossible.
09-27 Chicago, IL - Aragon Ballroom
09-30 San Francisco, CA - The Concourse
10-01 Los Angeles, CA - Santa Monica Civic
10-02 Los Angeles, CA - Santa Monica Civic
UPDATE: The whole impetus for this post was a New York Times article I read yesterday that I completely forgot to link to. Here you go. Kevin Shields talks about working on new music.
Tuesday, September 23, 2008
Snow Patrol <3's Super Furry Animals:
"If Nirvana made me pick up a guitar, Super Furry Animals made me think about what I had say with it," he said. "I think they're our generation's Beatles.Snow Patrol is not our generation's Beatles or U2 for that matter, but they toss out a good anthem now and again. Hopefully there will be a few on their new album due out October 28.
Super Furry Animals' most recent album Hey Venus! was released a year ago.
Travis' Ode to J Smith now has a November 4 release date in the US.
The album is the first to be written on electric guitar since 'Good Feeling' and was recorded over two weeks at London's Rak Studios.You may get back to your afternoon nap.
"Perhaps that’s why 'Ode To J Smith' is the most cohesive thing we’ve ever done. When you move so quickly, there is very little time to reflect. You have to be decisive.”
I'm prepping for the requisite family Disney vacation coming up soon so when I see free, my heart skips a teeny, tiny bit. Could be heartburn I guess.
The cool cats at the AV Club are offering an exclusive download of Wilco and Fleet Foxes collaborating live on Dylan's I Shall Be Released.
Read about it here. Download it free here.
MP3: Wilco & Fleet Foxes - I Shall Be Released-live (via AV Club)
Set your TiVos, because this is about as close to a reunion as you'll be getting any time soon.Whoa. This is Roger Joseph Manning Jr. talking about Jellyfish. Specifically, he and Jason Falkner will be backing up Glen Campbell on Jay Leno tonight! That is half the original Jellyfish lineup in case you were wondering. I think it's pretty cool we'll be able to watch them tonight, but as a Jellyfish nut, it's the "any time soon" that really caught my attention. I've never once believed they'd ever reunite and I pretty much still feel that way, but "any time soon" is just the slight opening that any rabid fan needs to get the salivary glands working.
By the way, Campbell's new album Meet Glen Campbell features Glen covering artists that range from John Lennon and Tom Petty to Travis and Green Day. Cash in or reinvention? That's a matter of personal opinion. Interesting if not original project, though. Manning and Falkner both perform on the album hence the Leno performance tonight.
Monday, September 22, 2008
I've been silently enjoying the hell out The Pop Project's Stars of Stage and Screen for several months now. I can no longer remain silent.
I am absolutely convinced this album epitomizes the pop renaissance we are currently reveling in. It is full of expert musicianship, outstanding songwriting, unforgettable hooks, historically reverent yet wholly original tunes, adventurous detours, and enough variety to sustain a full album with no filler. It is a stunning representation of why Too Poppy exists.
Stars of Stage and Screen is an album that was a long time coming but never feels overworked. Five years after their second release Life is Life, The Pop Project has given us a pop masterpiece.
I was immediately struck by the sonic similarity to Squeeze, most notably on Coerce (probably the strongest single tune on an album chock-full of them that I convinced myself had to be a Squeeze outtake.) Next, I sensed a strong rhythm of alternating songwriters (just like The Grays.) Indeed, the "three-headed songwriting beast" manages the difficult task of single song identity within an album context that absolutely works every time. Finally, after basking in the album several times over, I realized the obvious Squeeze comparison was far too simplistic. Adding comparisons to other pop luminaries like Split Enz, Brendan Benson, Sugar, Bryan Scary, and Jellyfish also fails to completely describe the project. The Pop Project is The Pop Project - and I can't subscribe to a more appropriate description.
Even a song as totally trite as Totally Awesome is totally fun in the hands of The Pop Project. Totally. And I'm not at all surprised to read that Andy Thompson, who has worked with Andy Sturmer and Dan Wilson to name a couple, was an influential producer of the album. Stars of Stage and Screen is as satisfying as it gets. If only one of you downloads it and spends half the time with it as I have, then I will feel Too Poppy has served its purpose. This recommendation is my gift to you. I project The Pop Project will land in my pop top three in 2008 and probably yours as well.
The Pop Project - Stars of Stage and Screen on iTunes
Sample the variety:
MP3: The Pop Project - House of Books
MP3: The Pop Project - Hearts and Flowers
MP3: The Pop Project - Stand In
Yep, totally awesome.
The record industry - or what's left of it - has introduced a new format that seems to me to be egregiously out of touch. slotMusic (yikes, I hope they didn't pay too much for a branding firm to come up with that) is a 1gb microSD meant to go straight into your computer (via "small USB dongle") or mobile device so you can access an album's worth of music along with artwork and liner notes.
Sure, as we increasingly move toward a wireless and digital world, let's invest in a new format that remains grounded in an old approach - and one that could be quite easily eaten by your dog. At least its DRM-free, but it seems so passé. I've seen the new Ringo Starr album already in stores in a similar format, but that's hardly a way to launch something new. Well hey, at least some money and waste will be saved with smaller packaging, right? No. "The cards and dongles will come in boxes similar to current CD packaging..." That longbox mentality creeps back in.
I see no purpose to it beyond appeasing consumers who need something to hold in their hands. If this replaces CDs, well, I'll eat a slotMusic of your choosing.
Sunday, September 21, 2008
I was perusing R.E.M.HQ and ran across this impressive project: Pop Songs 07-08. Matthew Perpetua decided a year and a half ago to write something about every single R.E.M. song that has appeared on an album (not including Accelerate.) He just finished up with, naturally, It's the End of the World As We Know It (and I Feel Fine) only to field an offer from a certain Mr. Stipe:
But lo and behold, a day after signing off, Matthew received a note that Michael was interested in answering questions from fans about the songs and lyrics.Nice! You can read the latest from Michael here. Talk about a passion project. Congratulations on an amazing accomplishment. Perhaps a certain 2poppy feels inspiration to tackle Matthew Sweet's catalog.
Brian Eno and David Byrne have collaborated on a new album, "Everything That Happens". They're offering a free song and video (embedded below). While David Byrne has a very distinctive voice, I was never much of a
Cars Talking Heads fan (edit note: same genre anyway.) But this song is nice. Check out their site if you're so inclined.
Posted by Way2Poppy at 8:01 PM
Saturday, September 20, 2008
Two rarities bring this post to you. 1 - Actually liking an iTunes free music download and 2 - Falling instantly in love with an entire album.
Last week iTunes featured Lenka's The Show. Very nice estrogen-powered power pop. It made me realize that there aren't that many female power pop artists. Lenka's voice immediately reminds me of The Sundays' dreamy-voiced Harriet Wheeler.
But a listen through the album and it's a cornucopia of musical influence. There's emo angst, 80's pop, rock, guitar hero, and the all-too-overused Jellyfishesque. Have a listen to Bring Me Down and tell me it doesn't sound at least a tad big Jellyfishesque. It's a sugary sweet power pop adventure.
Every song on the album is great. I haven't put it down since I bought it a few days ago. If all you have is $4, buy: Bring Me Down, Live Like You're Dying, Knock Knock, We Will Not Grow Old. But hell, you might as well spend $4 more and get the whole album. You won't be disappointed.
Friday, September 19, 2008
Des Moines' "alternative" weekly rag Cityview has reviewed Max Jury's debut EP that we featured a while back.
Buy the EP here.
On what could be the day my beloved Chicago Cubs clinch their second consecutive division championship for the first time in 100 years, I found it quite appropriate to read about Eddie Vedder's new song.
Chicago radio stations and sports bars have begun spinning "All the Way," a Chicago Cubs-themed ditty written by Pearl Jam frontman Eddie Vedder at the request of Cubs legend Ernie Banks.True champions need an anthem (Super Bowl Shuffle anyone?) and Eddie's musical ode could be and hopefully is a nice omen for what could be one of the most memorable Octobers of this die-hard fan's life.
According to Pearl Jam's Web site, "All the Way" will be available for download in the "next few days," and may also be sold on CD and "souvenir 45 singles."Listen to it here.
The magic number is 2! Go Cubs!
UPDATE: Ok, so it's not happening today - but it will happen. Oh yes, it will.
Thursday, September 18, 2008
The Beatles DVD All Together Now, which documents the collaboration with Cirque du Soleil on Love, now has a release date of October 20.
It wasn't all "plain-sailing" and there has been no attempt to disguise some of the disagreements that took place along the way regarding how some of the songs would be portrayed visually. These creative differences, a necessary part of the overall process of bringing LOVE to its most vibrant life, illustrate the participants' love and respect for the music and vision of The Beatles.See the trailers here. More info here. Inexplicably, Best Buy has the exclusive pre-order.
Wilco will start recording their follow-up to Sky Blue Sky next month.
After opting for a highly performance-oriented recording approach on "Sky Blue Sky," frontman Jeff Tweedy said in a recent radio interview that he expects Wilco will "allow ourselves a little bit more leeway in terms of sculpting the sound in the studio and doing overdubs and using the studio as another instrument. Last time around, it was more of a document."I personally find Sky Blue Sky to be Wilco's most effective and rewarding album overall, although I do also love kitchen sink approach to Yankee Hotel Foxtrot and the pure poppiness of Summerteeth. A great band that keeps getting greater - unprecedented.
Tuesday, September 16, 2008
Been a long time since I've played Guitar Hero III - the only edition I own. Always a blast, but once you play and perfect the tunes (Even Flow, My Name Is Jonas, When You Were Young,) it's time for new ones! Activision revealed the tracklist for the game coming out 10/26 last week (link to pdf press release.) Here are my top ten tunes I'm most excited to play:
"Synth atmospherics"! "Powerful, chunky guitars and horn swells"! "Dazzling anthemic" songs! Bold statements like these in a press release can only precede one momentous occasion: a new Killers record!Day & Age is due out November 25. I guess now I should download Sam's Town.
Monday, September 15, 2008
Pink Floyd co-founder and keyboardist Richard Wright lost a battle with cancer at his home in Britain. He was 65. He, Syd Barrett, Roger Waters and Nick Mason formed Pink Floyd in 1965.
After a falling out with Waters and Gilmour during the making of "The Wall", Wright was relegated to a session musician and was not featured on "The Final Cut". After forming his own band, Zee, Wright began recording with Pink Floyd again after Roger Waters left the band in 1985.
Wright released two solo albums, "Wet Dream" in 1978 and "Broken China" in 1996.
It's time to crank up some Floyd tonight.
Friday, September 12, 2008
Today, Oasis launched one of the coolest, most innovative ways to promote a new album:
Friday September 12th will see street musicians performing four new tracks from 'Dig Out Your Soul'. At various locations in the city, including Grand Central Station and Times Square, the songs 'Bag It Up, 'The Turning', (Get Off Your) High Horse Lady' along with forthcoming single 'The Shock Of The Lightning' will be performed by acts ranging from 'Shred Violin' to 'Double Bass Rock'.Brilliant. Dig Out Your Soul is out October 7.
Thursday, September 11, 2008
A great bit of news from Bleu that I've neglected for about a week:
YES IT'S TRUE!!!..i actually got "A WATCHED POT" BACK from Sony!!!...signed the paperwork just a couple days ago!!...currently, our plan is to wait until i finish my new record (tentatively titled "FOUR") and assess...i'm very close to completing the new stuff, and i believe that songs from the two as-yet-unreleased records will end up being put together to create two records, but not necessarily in exactly the form they are in now....there will certainly be some sort of "official releases" in the coming months, and i'll be doing some touring, etc...hall-eh-lujah!!!...Indeed.
Learn more here. Man, this guy has been busy!
Sarah McLachlan is releasing her greatest hits package just in time for the holidays! It's called Closer: The Best of Sarah McLachlan on October 7 and as is typical these days, it actually includes two new songs.
Tracklist:A nice if not predictable selection of tunes (Sarah handpicked them herself.) The video for U want me 2 debuted yesterday exclusively on Amazon.com. It's fairly typical post-Fumbling Sarah, which isn't to be critical, but it is certainly rich with mainstream AC appeal.
2. The Path Of Thorns (Terms)
3. Into The Fire
5. Hold On
6. Good Enough
7. Building A Mystery
8. Sweet Surrender
11. I Will Remember You
14. World On Fire
15. Don't Give Up On Us - New Song
16. U want me 2 - New Song
She just revealed that she has separated from her bandmate husband after 11 years of marriage and 2 kids. Sadly I am not available. I suppose a compilation closes that chapter so she can start anew. We'll see where it takes her. She still has one of the most jaw-droppingly gorgeous voices in all of music - which really comes alive in concert.
Pre-order standard version here
Pre-order deluxe version here (includes more classics and an expanded booklet)
Wednesday, September 10, 2008
This is more evidence that videos are pointless:
Ben Folds - You Don't Know Me (featuring Regina Spektor)
Humorless, unfortunately. Song's growing on me a bit, though.
EELS Leader Mark Oliver Everett's book THINGS THE GRANDCHILDREN SHOULD KNOW will be published in America Oct. 14th.Previously reported here. Learn more here. Pre-order here.
And the award-winning PARALLEL WORLDS, PARALLEL LIVES documentary film about E and his quantum physicist father will be broadcast on the acclaimed NOVA series on PBS October 21st, 8pm (check local listings for exact times).Learn more here. In Iowa, IPTV will air the program at 7pm on 10/21.
Tuesday, September 09, 2008
These guys write great songs, and sometimes you can even sing along to them, but what they do better than any band is create a sonic adventure — a soundscape which, at its best, stretches time and allows the mind to wander and rejuvenate. I think of it as resetting the synapses. Creativity breeds creativity. When the music was over, I felt unboxed and changed and pretty darn happy. Drugs are overrated; music is underrated.Indeed.
You can also get it by subscribing to NPR's All Songs Considered Live Concerts podcast. Nice.
Check out the pics from the performance here.
All I Need
Talk Show Host
Jigsaw Falling Into Place
House of Cards
Everything in Its Right Place
The quintessential digital music player got a refresh today - Apple announced the new iPod classic, the new and rainbowy iPod nano, new iPod shuffle flavors, and the new iPod touch. A new version of iTunes is also available for download. You'll hear about the details elsewhere, but my initial reactions:
Billy McGuigan has built his career emanating the genius that was Buddy Holly - and by all accounts, he's damn good at it. Buddy: The Buddy Holly Story is coming to the Des Moines Playhouse 9/12-10/6 and evidently these will be the last performances ever.
Based on the life story of the late, great Buddy Holly, this musical follows the singer's climb from poverty and obscurity in Texas to fame and fortune. Buddy features more than 20 of his greatest hits -- including "Peggy Sue," "That'll Be The Day" and "Rave On" -- and will have audiences dancing in the aisles at the climactic Surf Ballroom concert.Learn more about the show here and make every effort to see it. I will.
Billy as Billy Site
Buddy: The Buddy Holly Story
Des Moines Register: A last turn as Buddy
Sunday, September 07, 2008
I've written a lot about Matthew Sweet and Ben Folds lately (naturally because they both have new albums and they both epitomize too poppiness,) so here's a twofer:
Matthew blogs about the value of albums.
Ben makes videos for new songs:
I'm hoping U2 makes up for the wholly underwhelming Atomic Bomb they dropped on us last time around. They've pushed back their new album to 2009 hopefully to help live up to what Bono is describing as an "attempt to recapture 'the transition that took us from The Joshua Tree to Achtung Baby.'"
Big promises as usual from Bono - let's hope this time they deliver.
Thursday, September 04, 2008
Palo Alto Pop Overthrow has an extensive interview with Jason Falkner. I haven't had a chance to listen to it all the way through, but I did jump ahead to hear about plans for a new album! I won't spoil it - listen for yourself:
Thanks for the heads up, Phil. Nice work as usual!
A couple new music-related websites to keep an eye on:
Amazon.com's SoundUnwound. It's kinda like iLike but with a massive Internet beast behind it and a wiki mindset. Check out their page for Jellyfish as an example. Kudos for even having a page on Jellyfish!
Popcuts. Everybody is brainstorming about new models of music distribution. With Popcuts, you download an mp3 - you then get a cut (read: store credit) for every download thereafter. Their catalog is pathetic, but that's always the challenge.
Wednesday, September 03, 2008
The concert will be the band's first performance together in nearly ten years and will take place in the band’s former hometown of Chapel Hill, North Carolina on September 18, 2008 at the UNC Memorial Hall.BF5 will be performing their under-appreciated The Unauthorized Biography of Reinhold Messner in its entirety. Tix on sale 9/8. Visit MySpace Front to Back to learn more.
Looks like John Lennon is getting the biopic treatment:
Produced by U.K. shingle Ecosse Films and with a script from "Control" screenwriter Matt Greenhalgh, "Nowhere [Boy]" will focus on the Beatles legend's childhood and subsequent journey to icon status. Filming is set to take place on location in Lennon's hometown of Liverpool, England.Speaking of icon status, Lennon was/is larger than life - so can a biopic do him justice? Imagine was great because it was told in his own words. Backbeat was great because the focus was on a relatively unknown piece of the Beatles story. I guess we'll have to keep checking here to get a better sense.
Courtesy of matt pond pa's email newsletter:
Up from the seaside and down from the hills, we're back from a summer that's been both classic and core.The most recent full-length is the excellent Last Light, a culminating moment for all that is right about MPPA.
Formally soaked in songs as we swim through oceans of recordings -- an EP in the fall will be followed by our next full-on, full-length album -- tentatively titled 'The Dark Leaves'.
Tuesday, September 02, 2008
Class Act in life and music Brandon Schott has penned a piece for Popdose that describes his own personal journey throughout the past year that had him staring down cancer and exploring the role of Spirit in our lives. It's a bit heady reading for the first day after a long weekend, but you'll learn more about the man behind Golden State, easily one of my favorite albums of the past year.
Artists tend to find healing through creation and Brandon is no exception:
During this period, I wrote songs that seemed to pour out of the air (I barely remember writing them). These songs were given to me from some other plane to help me understand and cope with all the new energy that swirled around me. Spirit.In the face of such adversity, I can only imagine how transcendent this music is. Strange how so much pain for one may ultimately provide so much comfort for many.
Learn more about his upcoming benefit gig in LA on 9/14.
It's been a looooong time since Apple has significantly upgraded the iPod and after dropping mine down the garage stairs for the first time in its two-and-a-half years of existence, it's good to know that change may be a-coming. Although, if the new iPod looks at all like this, I'll keep my trusty ol' classic working as long as possible (BTW, the drop resulted in not even a scratch - at least Brandon Wilde is playing fine today.)
This one seems to have snuck up on us. The Smithereens today released a follow-up to their 2007 Beatles Tribute, Meet The Smithereens, with B-Sides The Beatles. Wow, original title. Original concept. C'mon guys! We want some new material. Blow us away like you did with 11, Green Thoughts, Especially For You, hell, even Blow Up.
UPDATE (by 2poppy): Agreed - we need new material. Nonetheless, a little digging turned up this interesting factoid about B-Sides The Beatles:
Andy White, who in 1962 played drums on The Beatles' original version of "P.S. I Love You," reprises his role as surrogate stickman for The Smithereens in 2008...You can buy the CD version at Amazon.com or an autographed CD version while supplies last at (where else?) NewburyComics.com.
"B-Sides The Beatles" also includes fantastic in-depth liner notes by Beatles author/historian Bruce Spizer, as well as "Beatle" Tommy Frangione (Joe Johnson's Beatle Brunch), and the Smithereens' own Dennis Diken.
RELATED (by 2poppy): According to TheirSpace, Smithereens leader Pat DiNizio is again hosting a very intimate concert series at his own house in New Jersey for the lucky first 30 fans to buy the $100 tix for one of three performances 10/17-19. Email Pat for more details on how to purchase tix. Very cool.
Monday, September 01, 2008
According to their record executive, Snow Patrol's new album will be available from iTunes as an "interactive album application" which will include artwork, behind-the-scenes images, lyrics and more for iPhone and iPod Touch users. Certainly interesting, depending on what exactly the extras are and the all important price tag.
Update:MusicWeek has more details.