Been sitting on this review for too long now...
The new album from Plasticsoul called Peacock Swagger plays like an educational piece highlighting some of the most interesting aspects of late-era Beatles: variety, surprise, chatter, noise, mystery, melody, innovation. And there is quite a bit of real soul in Plasticsoul.
For me Peacock Swagger's most striking track is Cancer. Lyrically, Steven Wilson makes us feel the pain. "Cut it out; please cut it out" is either a plea to be left alone or a literal request to get that shit outta there. Either way, it hits hard. Even more brilliant though is the backwards guitar, which for me represents just how discordant the disease can be in one's life. It doesn't quite fit, but it's there and you must deal with it. Absolutely brilliant.
No worries, though; this is not at all a bummer of an album. How can it be with an opening track as irresistible as Sentimental Fucks / Life on Other Planets? Try resisting the chiming of Champion Tragic Boy from consuming your brain all day. Go balls out for Cock Rock 101. Feel the spirit of Elliott Smith in My Three Friends. Finally, cleanse yourself with the life-affirming Rainy Season, the perfect antidote for Brandon Schott's award-winning Fire Season. How appropriate, then, that Brandon happens to be a member of Plasticsoul. Brandon keeps good company and has the honor of being involved in two of the best releases of the year (the other being his very own Dandelion).
Peacock Swagger has already hit notable best-of-09 lists and if I bothered to put one together, it would undoubtedly be in a good fight for the toppermost of the poppermost.
Disclaimer: The artist provided a preview copy of the album for consideration of a review. I wouldn't have bothered writing one if it wasn't genuinely as good as it is.
Wednesday, December 30, 2009
Been sitting on this review for too long now...
Tuesday, December 29, 2009
Thursday, December 24, 2009
Monday, December 21, 2009
Scandilicious! How about 200+ free pop tunes from the best Scandinavia has to offer? Some of the most worthy Too Pop is birthed in where a quarter of me calls my ancestral homeland.
Wednesday, December 16, 2009
Kill Rock Stars, the venerated indie label that was home to Elliott Smith, is adding his debut Roman Candle and his first posthumous release From a Basement on the Hill to its Smith catalog. Both are quite excellent and quite frankly required listening. Roman Candle has even been remastered. They hit stores April 6.
To mark the occasion, KRS is offering an unreleased Smith tune free! Download below.
MP3: Elliott Smith - Cecilia/Amanda (via KRS)
Today only Amazon MP3 is featuring the debut album from Phoenix - United - for only $1.99. Hell, Too Young alone is worth the $1.99 - a standout on the excellent Lost in Translation soundtrack and one of my favorite tunes of the decade.
Monday, December 14, 2009
I can't decide if The Limousines are inspired or another insipid Postal Service copycat like Owl City. Maybe it doesn't really matter; Very Busy People is quite catchy despite some of its so-called explicit lyrics.
Thursday, December 10, 2009
Sarah McLachlan announced the first round of artists confirmed for the new femaley 2010 Lilith Fair tour, including Metric, Tara MacLean, Chantal Kreviazuk, Brandi Carlisle, Indigo Girls, Tegan and Sara, and many other pretty big names. The first round of cities has also been announced. Good start!
Brendan Benson is touring NOW:
Thursday, December 10
Friday, December 11
FREE instore performance/signing
Friday, December 11
Saturday, December 12
FREE instore performance/signing
Saturday, December 12
Two shows in ATL - no excuses, Way2Poppy!
Friday, December 04, 2009
TheBeatles.com is premiering a new radio series online called Here, There and Everywhere.
Chapter One of this radio series features exclusive new interviews with Brian Wilson, Tom Petty, director Cameron Crowe, Ann & Nancy Wilson (Heart), Dave Grohl, Mark Ronson and Slash, as they reveal the influence of The Beatles on their careers....Ask Me Why and Beatles on the Record will come in subsequent weeks. Coolness.
In other Beatles news I missed, a songwriter from Liverpool has finished a Harrison throwaway:
In the ‘60s, Harrison penned the fist 10 lines of his then-new song, "Silence (Is It’s Own Reply)," on a scrap piece of paper, which was discarded on the floors of the Abbey Road studio.Listen to the finished work by Dean Johnson (and the silent Beatle) here. Via Paste.
The lyrics Harrison scribbled on the paper (which contained directions to Beatles manager Brian Epstein’s house on the other side) read: “I’m happy to say that it’s only a dream / When I come across people like you / It’s only a dream and you make it obscene / With the things that you think and you do / You’re so unaware of the pain that I bear / And jealous for what you can’t do.”
Wednesday, December 02, 2009
Reading this blog entry from Too Much Joy caused me too much hilarity hence I must share on Too Poppy.
Monday, November 30, 2009
Evidently Blur's reunion from earlier this year was good enough to warrant its own documentary. No Distance Left to Run is hitting "cinemas" on January 19. Here's the trailer:
No doubt Blur lover Way2Poppy will be first in line!
Rooney is roadin' it this fall in support of their new EP Wild One, which is only available for purchase at the shows. The tour started last week - here are the remaining dates:
11/30 – Eugene, OR – WOW HallSample Wild One here. Sounds great!
12/1 – Portland, OR – Hawthorne Theatre
12/2 – Seattle, WA – El Corazon
12/4 – Salt Lake City, UT – In The Venue – Club Sound
12/5 – Denver, CO – Bluebird Theater
12/7 – St. Paul, MN – Station 4
12/8 – Chicago, IL – House Of Blues – Chicago
12/9 – Detroit, MI – Majestic Theater
12/10 – Cleveland, OH – Beachland Ballroom
12/11 – New York, NY – Webster Hall
12/12 – Baltimore, MD – Club Stage
12/13 – Cambridge, MA – Middle East Underground
12/14 – West Chester, PA – The Note
12/16 – Atlanta, GA – The Loft
12/17 – New Orleans, LA – Tipitina’s Uptown
12/18 – Houston, TX – Meridian
12/19 – Austin, TX – Emo’s
12/20 – Dallas, TX – Granada Theater
12/22 – Tucson, AZ – Club Congress
Friday, November 20, 2009
Matthew Sweet, Susanna Hoffs, and other songwriters are literally hitting the road this January for the 30A Songwriters Festival:
Over fifty singer-songwriters including the Indigo Girls, Susanna Hoffs of the Bangles, Matthew Sweet, Jeffrey Steele, Sam Bush, Gary Louris of the Jayhawks, Chely Wright, and Rodney Crowell and many other renowned writers are coming together with the best local writers and a select group of new artists on Martin Luther King, Jr. weekend (January 15-17) for the inaugural 30A Songwriters Festival. All of the artists will perform in venues up and down Scenic Highway 30A in Northwest Florida on the Gulf of Mexico.Help promote the event. Sign up for the street team and receive free goodies like weekend passes for the festival or signed merch from the artists:
If you live in any of the cities listed below and would like to volunteer please send your mailing address to 30AFest.StreetTeam@gmail.com. Be sure to include the city in the subject line!More info here. Way2Poppy, clean the guest room in ATL!
Chapel Hill, NC
New Orleans, LA
Imagine only paying $2.99 for a digital download of John Lennon's Imagine.
TODAY (11/20) ONLY!
I'm a big fan of acoustic versions of songs. There's something about the pure, intimate simplicity of them. Too Poppy favorite Snow Patrol did some acoustic versions for Biz Sessions across the pond. Enjoy.
Crack The Shutters
Just Say Yes
Friday, November 13, 2009
Good Evening New York City memorializes Paul McCartney's triumphant return to the home of the other New York baseball team and it hits stores next week. In anticipation of this monumental commercial event, the marketing machine is in full force:
NPR's All Songs Considered Blog has the video for Flaming Pie.
Amazon.com has the video for Only Mama Knows.
HisSpace is streaming live tunes.
His official site has a free MP3 download of Let Me Roll It.
His site also has video of Highway, embedded below.
I honestly wonder if he's ever sounded better. Generally I'm not a fan of live releases unless they're extraordinary or I was there. This one just might be extraordinary and I sure wish I was there.
More on next week's releases here. Pre-order 2 CD/1 DVD combo here. Preview the MP3 download album here.
Yesterday Stereogum premiered Brendan Benson's new video for A Whole Lot Better, a 70ish powerpopping highlight from his latest My Old, Familiar Friend. I've rarely seen a video complement the music quite as well as this one.
Outstanding album - gets better and better with each listen.
Thursday, November 12, 2009
Junior follows in Papa Macca's footsteps...
Sir Paul McCartney's son James has started up a band which he says is influenced by The Beatles.Oh the expectations!
"I am currently recording an album. The music was inspired by The Beatles, Nirvana, The Cure, PJ Harvey, Radiohead and all good music."
UPDATE: James is making his US debut right here in Iowa this weekend presented by the David Lynch Foundation, which is a huge supporter of the Maharishi University in Fairfield. Wow!
Early-90s Ocean Blue fanatics Riverside are back! See them live...
See Riverside w/ The April Skies...and hear new tunes here. New album expected in early 2010. Jump My Ship sounds like classic Riverside!
Thursday, November 12, 2009@ World Cafe Live | 3025 Walnut St, Philadelphia - 215.222.1400
Thursday, December 3, 2009@ Puck | Printers Alley, Doylestown - 215.348.9000
Wednesday, November 11, 2009
Drummers in the spotlight? It brings on the inevitable and usually not well-intentioned comparison to a certain Richard Starkey. But being the huge Jellyfish fans we are at Too Poppy, we know just how much of a creative force drummers can be.
Case in point: Kevin McAdams. Kevin is the drummer for the well-liked NYC indie band Elefant and for whatever reason, Kevin felt an urge to get out from behind the skins and record his own album. We're the better for it.
I'm struck immediately by the similarities to Jason Falkner - big sound, bigger melodies, great lyrics. And while Jason fumbles around with Japanese releases and long-delayed domestic albums, we can satiate our hunger for delicious yet nutritious pop by engorging on It's My Time To Lose My Mind over and over and over again. Just try and resist all the "la-las" on this album!
Unlike Falkner who logically puts his guitar front and center, McAdams does what you'd expect a drummer to do - he gets all rhythmic on our asses and plugs in the keyboard to boot! This adds a delightfully retro feel ala ELO and sets you into a groove you'll be hard-pressed to get out of. In fact, Leave Us Alone would fit perfectly on the excellent LEO album from two years ago. The production is clean and the songs well-crafted. And in a rarity these days, it's an album that gets stronger with each song and with every listen. It's hard to pick standouts in a sea of standouts, but A Different Kind of Love Song and My Time are sure to make it in my iPod's heavy rotation.
But right when you think you have this guy figured out, he gets HEAVY on the final track, Turn the Lights Off. Awesome. Believe it or not, that particular track makes me imagine what Tool would sound like with some melodic influence from Marilyn Manson. Then again, perhaps my senses are swirling after listening to one of the best albums I've heard all year. I can't wait to listen to it again.
Matthew Sweet has monkey toes.
The End Times are near.
As we previously announced, The Eels are already releasing another album mere months after Hombre Loco. End Times is out January 10. Spinner is previewing the new tune Little Bird and it reminds me of early Eels - simple, melodic, and very personal. In fact Spinner said E refused to do an interview because the album is so personal.
Check it out.
Tuesday, November 10, 2009
The wait is officially over! "I'm OK You're OK" is set for U.S. release Feb. 6, 2010. It will be available on CD, double-vinyl and as a digital download. The domestic release features several differences from the Japanese release - most notably the lead track, "This Time," being a completely different version, and "The Knew" has a new mix.Yeah, well, awesome, except he's already released his NEXT album in Japan. Sigh. Here's what Jason has to say about that...
Hello all! Some of you might have heard about my new record coming out in Japan last week. They always seem to be slightly ahead of us don't they.... I'm hoping the patience you've had to possess being a fan of my output will carry forward to the present and you can wait a few months to get it when it's released here in the states! The reason I'm urging this is that if I'm ever going to be able to do a tour of the states, and UK/Europe for that matter, I'm going to be needing record sales here and not on import so the expense of touring can be covered. Know what i mean? SO...pretty please help the cause by waiting to buy this until gets proper release outside of Japan. XO jf
Friday, November 06, 2009
It's been almost two months since the newly remastered Beatles albums have come out. Wow. In a word, awesome. If you're a fan, you owe it to yourself to pick up the boxed set. The audio quality is nothing short of amazing. In their previous incarnation, the CDs were fine, but always sounded like distant relics. The new CDs sound crisp, sharp, deep and modern. This isn't just about removing tape hiss. This is about restoring the most important musical body of work in the world.
Vocals are sharp, bass is deep, quality is pure. They now sound like modern albums. I've always thought Abbey Road could stand up against any recent recording and kick its ass. That is never more true.
Being the completest that I am, I purchased both the stereo and mono boxed sets. Why mono? Well, to make a long story short, the mono versions of most Beatles albums are the definitive versions. It was a while until the technology and savviness of stereo caught up. Mono was THE format. The Beatles were present for their mixes and left the stereo to George Martin and crew. George Martin has even said up until Abbey Road the stereo versions were mostly experimental and learning-on-the-fly. So what's the difference? Sgt. Peppers is nothing short of amazing in mono. John's vocals on Lucy in the Sky With Diamonds is much more dreamy, the speed of She's Leaving Home is great, the rooster-to-guitar transition from Good Morning to Sgt Peppers Reprise is more effective and the distracting counting in A Day In The Life is gone and so much more. In some ways it's a different album. The white album also holds some significant differences with a shortened Helter Skelter (sans "I've got blisters on my fingers"), a too fast Don't Pass Me By and more. A casual Beatles fan won't care about these, but a diehard fan will.
The packaging is very well done. While I'm not a big fan of cardboard, Apple & EMI did a nice job. The mono boxed set has all the original liner notes, record sleeves and artwork. The CDs slip into exact replicas of the record sleeves from the 60's. A nice touch. The stereo set isn't quite as fancy but includes mini-documentaries of each album on a DVD which are definitely worth a run-through.
Diehard fans must pick up the stereo and mono boxed sets. Casual fans will want to pick up their favorite albums and revisit the others. It's rare when something meets my expectations. This not only met, but blew them away.
Mono Boxed Set
Stereo Boxed Set
Ugh! Why do I always find about these things at the last minute!!?? Matthew Sweet & Susanna Hoffs, aka Sid 'n' Susie, are playing tonight in Atlanta at Eddie's Attic. There are two shows, 7:30 & 9:30 with the later show sold out. Enjoy Atlanta.
Wednesday, November 04, 2009
I know, I know. Two Beatles posts in a row. Get over it - it will be brief. If you're the sort that loves the "making of" aspect of things, you'll enjoy this article from Sound and Vision magazine. They go into all the details of how the most important body of musical work was remastered.
Tuesday, November 03, 2009
The Beatles will finally be available digitally beginning next month! But, not in the way you'd expect. No iTunes. No Amazon. No Rhapsody. Nope.
Instead, you'll be able to get all of the Beatles albums on a thumb drive. A $280 thumb drive in an ugly green apple that I hope looks a lot better in person.
This limited edition will have all 13 albums in stereo, liner notes, artwork and mini-documentaries. Music will be in FLAC (file format for lossless audio data compression) as well as MP3 formats.
While the completest in me must have this, I just can't bring myself to plunking down another $280 after spending quite a chunk of change on the stereo and mono boxed sets (which friggin' rule by the way). If you decide to pick one up, definitely let us know how it is.
Friday, October 30, 2009
WPA frontman Glen Phillips is offering 8 free songs for the low low price of your email address.
1. Always Have My Love
2. Blood Pressurize
3. Don't Lose Your Voice
4. Return To Me
7. Everything But You
8. The Hole
As I slowly recovered this week from what was likely H1N1, I couldn't stand another minute of the Food Network so I hit the local Redbox and rented Adventureland.
I'll be honest, despite the critical acclaim it received earlier this year upon its release, my expectations were significantly tempered by the overexposure of too-cool-for-me Twilight superstar Kristen Stewart. Perhaps it was the fever haze I was in, but the movie resonated with me. It seemed genuine (excepting the caricatures by Bill Hader and Kristen Wiig) and unforced (excepting the distracting overuse of the Mary Jane), reminding me of similar experiences in my younger days while working with peers at a cultural attraction not entirely unlike the amusement park in the flick. I was never as disaffected as these characters, but I do relate to how they lived to a certain soundtrack - and what a soundtrack it was!
I love when movies use great music well. Adventureland's soundtrack was nearly distracting; not because the music was poorly used, but because the music is so good it nearly dominates the scenes. Fortunately the filmmakers found the right balance. With The Replacements, Velvet Underground, and The Cure the cool factor is amped up, and I found myself smirking to Falco's Rock Me Amadeus, swooning to Crowded House's perfect Don't Dream It's Over, and cringing to Animotion's Obsession.
Unfortunately the official soundtrack (below) is a mere 14 tracks long and hardly representative of the film's music. Thankfully, others have come before me to fill in the rest.
Oh, I now understand the appeal of Kristen Stewart a bit better. Her performance seemed effortless and real, and despite her rather moody character she lit up every scene she was in.
Thursday, October 29, 2009
01. "Heroes" - David BowieIt's also being called a "song swap," which the BBC reports may mean that Gabriel's covers album will come out first next year and then the artists covering Gabriel may be released monthly online. The concept is great and the song selection is stellar. I can't wait to hear his "acoustic ... orchestral" covers.
02. "Street Spirit" - Radiohead
03. "The Book Of Love" - Magnetic Fields
04. "Flume" - Bon Iver
05. "My Body Is A Cage" - Sara Lov
06. "Listening Wind" - Talking Heads
07. "I Think It's Going To Rain Today" - Randy Newman
08. "Apres Moi"
09. "Waterloo Sunset" - The Kinks
10. "The Boy In The Bubble" - Paul Simon
11. "The Power Of The Heart" - Lou Reed
12. "Philadelphia" - Bruce Springsteen
13. "Mirrorball" - Elbow
Saturday, October 24, 2009
Matthew Sweet is back to releasing music through fairly obscure soundtracks. Seriously, did anyone see Ghosts of Girlfriends Past? If you did, shame. Shame.
Well as a surprise to even his hardest-core fans, Matthew's title track slipped by us. It's actually an All Too Much tune featuring Matthew Sweet. It's got a decent retro vibe to it - even a bit reminiscent of early Matthew - but it's mostly forgettable unless you're really into Matthew McConaughey movies or, uh, Matthew Sweet.
All Too Much & Matthew Sweet - Ghosts of Girlfriends Past (via iTunes)
Thanks to the magic of eBay, you can own a piece of modern music history. Ending soon is bidding on original studio reels of Beatnik Beatch - soon thereafter to be known as Jellyfish - recording the now classic Bellybutton.
Monday, October 19, 2009
Residing somewhere along the spectrum of Beatles <-> Queen <-> Jellyfish <-> Flaming Lips <-> Phoenix is Bryan Scary and the Shredding Tears, the sonic equivalent of a funhouse without the stupid clowns. Songs leave you dizzy after taking so many twists and turns and you're left feeling a bit weirded out yet overcome with spastic melodies that stick for a long time.
You can't help feel a bit discombobulated when disembarking from The Flight of the Knife, the last full-length album; but just like a kid vomiting cotton candy after a full day of riding upside-down rollercoasters you definitely want more. To whet our appetite for the next magnum opus, Scary and the Tears have released the Mad Valentines EP and it's definitely more cotton candy and loopty-loops.
Download via iTunes
The band is also on tour with The Black Hollies. Check out TheirSpace for all the dates. What a show that must be!
Guster makes it easy to contribute to Reverb, a green non-profit that "educates and engages musicians and their fans to take action toward a more sustainable future." Guster has contributed virtually priceless items like an autographed guitar, autographed alternate album art, and VIP tickets and backstage passes for you to bid on. Guster offers this all through Charity Folks. Guster wishes you luck in your bidding.
Me gusta Guster.
Abbey Road will be the first full album download available for Beatles Rockband. How freakin' cool would the side two medley be to play?! Lord knows how many times I've air-drummed and air-guitared it.
Here are the details. It's all a bit more complicated than "The album will cost $##.##" so read it for yourself.
Friday, October 16, 2009
LEGO Rock Band! "Suitable for younger audiences." I don't know, when my then five-year-old son started playing (and subsequently singing) Raining Blood by Slayer on Guitar Hero I thought nothing of it!
* The Automatic - “Monster”Sure. Just in time for the holidays. Why not?
* Blink 182 - “Aliens Exist” *
* Blur - “Song 2”
* Bon Jovi - “ You Give Love a Bad Name” *
* Carl Douglas - “Kung Fu Fighting”
* Counting Crows - “Accidentally in Love” *
* Europe - “The Final Countdown”
* Foo Fighters - “Breakout”
* Good Charlotte - “Boys and Girls”
* The Hives - “Tick Tick Boom!” *
* Jackson 5 - “I Want You Back”
* Kaiser Chiefs - “Ruby”
* Pink - “So What”
* Ray Parker Jr. - “Ghostbusters”
* Sum 41 - “ In Too Deep” *
* Tom Petty - “Free Fallin’’
* Vampire Weekend - “A-Punk”
Modern Skirts first came to Des Moines this past summer for the 80/35 festival, which I missed for personal reasons. Mind your own business.
Here's my second chance:
Nov 17, 2009See more tour dates at their official site.
Des Moines, Iowa
@ Vaudeville Mews
212 4th Street [MAP]
18 & up show
Tickets are $8 advance by CLICKING HERE
$10 at the door
For more info call the venue at (515) 243.3270
Modern Skirts on at 10pm sharp
Earlier this week on Facebook E the Prolific announced a new Eels album:
The eighth EELS studio album, entitled END TIMES, will be released January 19, 2010. Stay tuned to www.EELStheband.com for album info as it comes in.Man, still haven't listened to all of Hombre Loco yet!
Earlier this week Bruce, the Not Lame guy, sent out a cryptic message about the future of his passion project.
So let me cycle back to the beginning of this message. In 2010, some big events coming from me. Huge, in fact. One of them, transformational for many thousands of music fans far beyond this Not Lame world(but you will be the first to know). Quote me. Haunt me with that boldness, I'm game. I'm a fighter and I love a challenge. At the least, I've got skin in the game of my life and pushing to new challenges always. But changes are.....afoot and well under way. Not easy ones but necessary....and still awesome, exciting ones. Keep on supporting what Not Lame is doing *now* and in the coming months. Why? Because....it matters.No idea what any of this means. I've always been impressed by how Not Lame somehow keeps afloat, but something's obviously going on. Hope it's all good news.
Cecil Adams gives up the Straight Dope on earworms...
The most loathed tune? No surprise here: Billy Ray Cyrus’s “Achy Breaky Heart.”Lately mine has been Single Ladies for multiple reasons, not the least of which is this. Any earworms inflicting you of late?
Remember Pasty? Back in 1999 when LAGF came out, our TM was a former Guster bootlegger (he made "tapes") named Pasty. Well, Pasty's all grows up and just had a (10 pound) baby named Max. He's turned over his vast bootleg vaults ...to us and we're releasing them on our redesigned website, a new one every month or two, free to download or stream. Right now, he's got one from April 2000 in Portsmouth NH up there. Enjoy...Me gusta Guster.
Monday, October 12, 2009
Dan Wilson - one of the fellas behind Trip Shakespeare and Semisonic and the Grammy-winning songwriter behind the Dixie Chicks - recorded a double album during a live performance in Minneapolis last December and it is now available.
Live at the Pantages includes Singing In My Sleep, Secret Smile, One True Love, Free Life, All Kinds, and more. It is only available via his website here.
Sid 'n' Susie are hitting the road and they need your help.
If you are interested in being a street team member to help distribute posters and fliers in your town, please email: SnS.email@example.comOh, by the way, Sid 'n' Susie are Matthew Sweet and Susanna Hoffs and they're taking their righteous renditions of retro classics to these places in November:
Here are the details:
1. We will give volunteers a free pair of tickets and an autographed poster.
2. If you are interested, please notify us as soon as possible.
3. The subject line MUST include the city you would like to street team for (very important) and please only select cities listed below.
4. Please provide us with your mailing address.
5. You will be notified immediately, if you are selected to join.
Nov 5 Carrboro, NC Arts Center
Nov 6 Atlanta, GA Eddie's Attic
Nov 8 Alexandria, VA Birchmere
Nov 9 Annapolis, MD Ram's Head
Nov 10 New York, NY City Winery
Nov 11 New York, NY City Winery
Nov 13 Arlington, MA Regent Theatre
Nov 14 Northampton, MA Iron Horse
Nov 15 Sellersville, PA Sellersville Theater
Julian Lennon and James Scott Cook have released LUCY, a new one-song collaboration being released to memorialize Lucy (in the sky with diamonds) Vodden who recently passed. It is being released exclusively through Jules' new company theRevolution with proceeds going to support Lupus research in Lucy's name.
Julian's new album - Everything Changes - will be released early next year.
Saturday, October 10, 2009
Trash Can Sinatras release a new single on November 2 in the UK. It's been awhile so it's nice to hear from them. "People" has a decidedly 80's retro feel to it for me, but I like it. This is actually their second single from their latest album, In The Music, released in April 2009. Of course only available here in the states as an import.
Tuesday, October 06, 2009
The music of The Clientele has always presented a bit of a paradox to me. The tunes are soothingly familiar yet nearly disconcerting in the ways they seem to eerily dust off distant and long-dormant memories. You could swear you've heard them before yet they are brand new. All-in-all it makes for a great listen and today marks the release of their new album Bonfires on the Heath.
The Clientele have always been autumnal and very English, and on their fourth album, Bonfires on the Heath, they may have created the most perfect, autumnal, English pop record imaginable.Preview and download the album via Merge
Download via iTunes
Download via Amazon.com
With thunderous drums, beefed-up bass lines and bursts of noisy electronic clutter that recall the band's earliest efforts, many of the songs capture the spontaneity of its live shows. It's an element of explosiveness that makes Embryonic yet another musical high mark for an eminently enjoyable and rewarding band.So says NPR, where you can stream the new album in its entirety a week before it's released! Of course, fans of Colbert already got their chance last month, but in case you missed it, here you go.
Pre-order via Amazon.com
- out on 10/13
Friday, October 02, 2009
Treat yourself this fall weekend with a burst of autumnal pleasure...
Brandon Schott's excellent new album Dandelion was released this past week.
via Amazon.com MP3
Brandon's Too Poppy-exclusive cover of Strawberry Fields Forever is going, going...
Popdose interview with a much appreciated reference to Too Poppy
Thursday, October 01, 2009
Back in July, Paul McCartney played Citi Field to memorialize the spot where the Beatles performed well below the din of tens of thousands of screamers over 40 years ago. He will release the experience called Good Evening New York City on CD and DVD November 17.
This momentous musical experience will be available in two formats: a 3-disc (2 CD + 1 DVD) standard edition and a 4-disc (2 CD + 2 DVD) deluxe version featuring expanded packaging and a bonus DVD including McCartney's traffic-stopping, headline-making July 15 performance on the Ed Sullivan Theater marquee (including bonus numbers not aired on the Late Show with David Letterman broadcast).Macca sure likes releasing his live recordings, but from most accounts, he's been sounding great this year.
Welcome, Broken Bells...
And while he’s well known for producing the likes of Gorillaz, he claims it’s not a Shins album as produced by Danger Mouse; nor is it a trading-computer-files creation à la Gnarls Barkley, his acclaimed partnership with Cee-Lo. Nope, both Danger Mouse and Mercer agree that Broken Bells is, in fact, a band.Shins never captured my full attention despite claims by one of our most beautiful actresses that it would change my life. Danger Mouse on the other hand has completely captured my attention just by the audacity of his genre-busting work. With his involvement, this will be interesting. Album in 2010.
Monday, September 28, 2009
Sarah McLachlan has a new single coming out tomorrow! She hasn't done anything new for a few years now, so I for one am looking forward to it.
If you join her newsletter, you'll be among the first to hear the new single.
Update: Here it is! Well done, Sarah, well done.
Sarah McLachlan - One Dream
Tuesday, September 22, 2009
Finally, a non-video post. The new album from Works Progress Administration, fronted by Toad frontman Glen Phillips, is now available. You can listen to a stream of the whole album here for free. I really
like love Glen's voice. There are a couple of standouts on the album and certainly better than his last solo effort. Definitely folksy, and definitely bordering on country (ewww)...
Buy @ iTunes ($9.99) or Amazon ($13.99)
E of the Eels is feeling less than self-assured in the new tune That Look You Give That Guy, but the beard is working for him! Itchy. Check out the video below (it is video week on Too Poppy evidently).
Did you like the cheesy portrait of E and his dog in the video? You can buy it here!
And for a limited time you can download free Eels tunes courtesy of MySpace Transmissions. Wow, MySpace doing something right? Crazy.
The pleasant-but-not-quite-classic Eels' Look Guy song is on the latest studio album Hombre Loco. Download via iTunes.
I'm not sure what's up with me and video posts this week. I don't even like music videos. But they keep finding me. Below is the new Tinted Windows tune, Back With You. It's full of sweet, sugary pop hooks and vocals.
Buy it for $.99 at iTunes or Amazon. The whole video was filmed with a Flip Camcorder.
Snow Patrol's new single, Just Say Yes, in advance of their new album, Up To Now, coming to the UK on November 2, 2009. No US date announced yet.
Pre-order Up To Now import @Amazon.
Pre-order Up To Now Limited Edition import @Amazon
It's hard not to like these guys. Enjoy.
Snow Patrol - Just Say Yes
Monday, September 21, 2009
Below you'll find the new single from Stereophonics, Innocent. As we've said before, these guys are either 'on' or 'off', and unfortunately in this case, it is the latter. The song isn't bad, it's just ho-hum. Have A Nice Day or Dakota it is not. Enjoy.
Thursday, September 17, 2009
Brandon Schott - Homegrown Recordings
Vol. 8 - Strawberry Fields Forever
Read on and you'll discover this will be the final volume of Homegrown Recordings - at least the final of Season 1! Brandon has blessed us these last eight months with some incredible recordings. Thank you. I hope you kept up and enjoyed every single volume. Hopefully we'll do it again soon. In the meantime, go download Dandelion when it's released September 29. It is more than worthy of your attention.
"Greetings Too Poppy nation! I trust you all had a marvelous Labor Day, and are settling back into the school year nicely. Speaking of school - my family and I have been joining the rest of the country in rediscovering The Beatles together this past week. We bought the Stereo Box together last week (the mono was sold out - drat!), and after a modest speech by yours truly about the dwindling appreciation for album art and packaging, we busted open the set and have been slowly listening to the catalog in chronological order. Every morning, my oldest, Tyler, gets to open a new disc out of the big black vertical box that sits near our piano, crack open the sealing and thumb through the booklets while the music pours out of the stereo (or the car speakers). "OH! Daddy, I know this one! AHHHHHH" he shouted as "TWIST AND SHOUT ramped up. I even got my three year old, Harper, singing along to PLEASE PLEASE ME, "C'mon - COME ON, C'mon - COME ON!!" It's been an amazing trip, and to think this could be one of their earliest memories is well worth the price of admission. Anyway, in light of all this I recorded my own stripped down version of STRAWBERRY FIELDS FORVER on Sunday morning that I thought I'd share with you here. Enjoy!MP3: Brandon Schott - Strawberry Fields Forever (you missed it - bummer!)
I believe this may be the last download for a while as I turn my attention to getting Dandelion out into the world - let's call it the end of Season 1! The video series will continue, on or about the 10th of every month, so keep your eyes peeled here at toopoppy.com or my youtube page (www.youtube.com/goldenstatemusic). Thanks SO much for all your support. Please spread the word about Dandelion, and don't be a stranger!! Drop me a line and let me know what you thought of this series, or perhaps what you'd like to see in the future. Until our paths cross again, thanks *so* much for your support! Hope to see you again soon!
Much love, Brandon"
Video: Brandon Schott - Fire Season
New album DANDELION out September 29.
All of Brandon Schott's singles and albums via iTunes
Brandon Schott - RELEASE (2003) via iTunes, Not Lame, CD Baby
Brandon Schott - Golden State (2007) via iTunes, Not Lame
Brandon Schott MySpace
Brandon Schott Official Site
Tuesday, September 15, 2009
The hymn-like Season’s Turn on Brandon Schott’s new album Dandelion sets the tone: this is a serious album. We’re no longer in a golden state.
I likened Brandon’s previous album Golden State to summer. How appropriate then that Dandelion is set to be released days after summer ends. Thematically and musically this is a winter album – a deep winter album – yet it undoubtedly hints at inevitable spring awakening.
Its name is no accident. To Brandon, dandelions remind him of “childhood, of a certain way of seeing the world.” The beauty of floating dandelion seeds is tempered with the cold truth that it’s an unwelcome weed. The overarching dichotomy of that sentiment is conceptually prevalent throughout the whole album and despite the dangers inherent in such a heady experience through pop music, Dandelion is especially effective.
With Brandon’s expert lyrical treatment, Dandelion is never mawkish or overwrought. After listening to it for several weeks, it has driven down deep and taken root at an emotional core. Much like its namesake, the album is quiet and unassuming yet persistent in its existence. Brandon takes us on a journey through life’s unwelcome challenges in the seemingly endless search for comfort, support, and health. Recurring elemental images of earth, water, wind, and most strikingly fire ground the album in a way that makes it infinitely relatable, as do the pleas to suns and stars for celestial safety and contentment. Spiritual? Perhaps, but the beauty of such powerful music lies in our personal reaction to it.
The underlying story to Dandelion relates directly back to Brandon’s own personal battle with cancer. Many of the songs were written and recorded during or because of that experience. But Brandon avoids turning Dandelion into a private therapy session. The feelings of helplessness and hopefulness are universal and Brandon’s talents make Dandelion a thoughtful yet accessible listen.
Dandelion is deep, but don’t get me wrong; this is pop music. The album is a testament to Brandon’s ability to literally strike a chord with listeners through melody. His strength lies in the finest touches: the Lennon-esque piano of Not Far Away, the Foldsian tune of Falling Forward, the acoustic beauty of the lullaby Halo evoking the simplicity of Mother Nature's Son, the glorious string arrangements in Turning Toward the Sun, and the smoldering menace of Fire Season, which is quite likely the best composition of his career to date and worthy of its nomination for a 2009 Hollywood Music Award. Even with this elaborate attention to the smallest details, there’s something slightly raw about Dandelion – it’s rough around all the right edges.
In the end, Dandelion reminds us that despite the recklessness of life, hope and love are pervasive. Relax and sail the four winds. All will be well.