Saturday, January 31, 2009

It's Coming Now

M83 - Saturdays = YouthRolling Stone featured M83 as a "breaking artist" this past week. It's probably a little past due, but so is my interest in him. We Own the Sky is worth the entire download of Saturdays = Youth, mostly because it reminds me of my youth.

Just awesome - flourishes of 80s cheeze & 90s shoegaze make it perfectly 00s.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

You're Fucked If You Speak Your Mind

As promised, here are the purchase links for Duncan Sheik's new album Whisper House.

Amazon MP3

From review:

It can be broken up into small, digestible pieces — the ten tunes are either delicate folk numbers or surprisingly sprightly pop tunes — and it can be appreciated as a concise collection of catchy straightforward songs that build upon each other. Indeed, among Sheik's albums this ranks among the best, showcasing his subtle skills and sense of quiet adventure in ways his sometimes fussy earlier records never did.
Related: I had the privilege of seeing Spring Awakening at the Des Moines Civic Center this weekend. Duncan Sheik wrote the music for this musical, which went on to win 8 well-deserved Tony Awards. The 19th century German coming-of-age story was appropriately melodramatic to warrant its own rock musical. Sheik (along with lyricist Steven Sater) ably created the sonic masterpiece that could hold the weight of the material while being accessible enough to have it resonate on such an intimate and emotional level. The music teeters from ethereal folk pop to punk as the mood fits, the range of which is well handled by the cast of kids with an obscene amount of talent. Christy Altomare and Kyle Riabko are especially brilliant as the leads (and are both already somewhat accomplished musicians), but judging from the abilities of the other players, seemingly any one of them could step it up and fill in at any given time. The amount of talent represented on that one stage was staggering. I highly recommend you see Spring Awakening given the chance.

See if Spring Awakening is coming to you soon.

Buy the original Broadway cast recording:

Amazon MP3

He Gave His Heart To You

Pat Dinizio Sings Buddy HollyFifty years ago on 2/2/59, Buddy Holly played his last gig at the Surf Ballroom in Clear Lake, Iowa. The tragic story of what happened after is well documented. To commemorate the Day the Music Died, the Surf Ballroom is hosting a series of events this week they've collectively called 50 Winter Later. It all culminates with a sold-out concert featuring - among many others - Too Poppy favorite Pat DiNizio of The Smithereens.

DiNizio has made no secret how influential Holly has been in his career; and now appropriately 50 years later, he has released his own tribute album reflecting his appreciation of the genius of Holly. Running the gamut from Words of Love to That'll Be the Day, I have no doubt that fans of Holly and/or Smithereens will surely find this a worthy tribute. Download via iTunes or Amazon MP3, or order the CD via Amazon.

In the Cellar on TV, That Was Me

Paul McCartney - Amoeba's SecretLast summer, Paul McCartney performed in an LA record shop, which was evidently a first for the Beatle. Now, you can own Amoeba's Secret digitally (iTunes, Amazon MP3) or plasticky (Amazon).

1. Only Mama Knows
2. C Moon
3. That Was Me
4. I Saw Her Standing There

Friday, January 23, 2009

I Found Out Then What Passion Could Mean

Wendy Under the Stars
Eat My Brain
Eternal Ecstasy
Truth Untold
Someone Who's Cool (mp3)
Heterosexual Man
Love is the Subject

Remember any of those tunes? Any self-respecting power pop fan who lived through the 90s should - and if not, now is your time to familiarize yourself with the Canadian group Odds.

Odds - CheerleaderIMHO, I don't think they ever equaled the greatness of their debut Neopolitan, but they certainly gave it a run with albums like Bedbugs, Good Weird Feeling, and Nest. Seemingly out of nowhere, they released an album last year (originally as The New Odds - blech) called Cheerleader. Despite my belated discovery of Northey Valenzuela, the Odds were simply not on my radar for anything new.

As the goofier brother to the North, they fit in nicely with the harmless alt pop of 90s icons (yes, icons in the Too Poppy world) like Toad the Wet Sprocket and Gin Blossoms yet they never met the same success, at least in the states. I doubt Cheerleader will reverse that, just as TTWS and GB have yet to regain their 90s glory. Nevertheless, it's still great to hear new music from an old favorite.

MP3: Odds - Someone Who's Cool

Download Cheerleader via iTunes
Official Site

Online industry innovators NoiseTrade is even distributing a new pay-what-you-want EP - see below.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

The Song Must Be Beautiful or They Wouldn't Sing Along

Stars - Sad Robots EPHow great is 14 Forever by Stars? A universal theme set to music that could've originated from the brilliants minds of Lightning Seeds, Postal Service, or The Changes. Beautiful.

It's available as part of the Sad Robots EP they released last year. Download it here via iTunes. I have some catching up to do with the rest of their catalog.

You're Always Afraid of the Change

Not that I expected it, but Wall-E was not nominated for Best Picture today. Oscars suck. Instead of breathing some fresh, new life into what is quickly becoming the stodgiest affair of the year, let's instead give the nominations to overlong, over-dramatic pieces of work like they seem to do every year. Sigh.

But, rightfully so Peter Gabriel received a nod for Down to Earth, the tune that encapsulates the heart and spirit of my favorite film of 2009. Download it via iTunes here.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Hey Are You Listening?

Duncan Sheik - Whisper HouseDuncan Sheik is taking his success with his highly acclaimed musical Spring Awakening (which I'm seeing soon here in Des Moines - can't wait) with a new album that serves as a collection for an "upcoming theatrical release:"

Whisper House marks the first solo album since White Limousine (2006) and comes on the heels of the success of the Broadway musical Spring Awakening. On Whisper House, Sheik employs a narrative approach to songwriting, combining elements of the chamber pop that first brought him critical and commercial acclaim. Much like Spring Awakening, which the New York Times praised as a deft blend of straight-up rock, folk and melodic pop, Whisper House is just as much a pop record as it is a musical theatre composition. Structured as a melodrama, each of the 10 songs on the album weave together to tell the story of a childs grief and spinsters longing as seen through the eyes of the ghosts that haunt the remote, World War II-era Maine lighthouse where they live. Singer-keyboardist Holly Brooke plays a prominent role alongside Sheik on several of the songs.
The album comes out 1/27 but you can pre-order via or get an autographed version via FYE. Come back next week for download links.

Never did pick up White Limousine - I didn't like much of what I heard from it. But the quality of his voice is undeniable - very Drakish. Check out the video below for Earthbound Starlight courtesy of USA Today's Pop Candy.

I Can't Shut Off This Stereo

Modern Skirts - All of Us in Our NightAfter a long wait, Modern Skirts have finally released the follow-up to their outstanding Catalogue of Generous Men. All Of Us In Our Night is available digitally via iTunes & Amazon MP3 as well as plasticky via Read more about the tunes here or stream here. With the release comes the following stellar news:

We are planning on going back to the Big Easy for more recording in February... there are already enough songs written for another album, many of them just need a lot more work.

Watch the video below of Soft Pedals for instant gratification!

Monday, January 19, 2009

Everybody Look Down

The Killers - Day & AgeKillers are waging a killer tour with M83. Killer. North American dates below:

01-16 Boulder, CO - Fox Theatre *
01-17 Denver, CO - Magness Arena *
01-19 Minneapolis, MN - Northrop Auditorium *
01-20 Chicago, IL - UIC Pavilion *
01-22 Ypsilanti, MI - EMU Convocation Center *
01-23 Toronto, Ontario - Air Canada Centre *
01-25 New York, NY - Madison Square Garden *
01-26 Boston, MA - Agganis Arena *
01-28 Fairfax, VA - Patriot Center at George Mason University *
01-29 North Myrtle Beach, SC - House of Blues *
01-30 Atlanta, GA - Atlanta Civic Center *
01-31 Nashville, TN - Grand Ole Opry House *
02-02 Houston, TX - Verizon Wireless Theater *
02-03 Austin, TX - Frank Erwin Center *
02-04 Grand Prairie, TX - Nokia Theatre at Grand Prairie *
04-16 Phoenix, AZ - Dodge Theatre
04-17 Las Vegas, NV - The Joint
04-19 San Jose, CA - San Jose Event Center
04-22 Seattle, WA - Wamu Theatre at Qwest Field Events Center
04-23 Victoria, British Columbia - Save on Foods Memorial Centre
04-24 Vancouver, British Columbia - UBC Thunderbird Arena
04-26 Calgary, Alberta - Pengrowth Saddledome
04-27 Edmonton, Alberta - Rexall Place
04-30 Milwaukee, WI - The Eagles Club
05-01 Indianapolis, IN - Murat Theatre
05-02 Bonner Springs, KS - Capitol Federal Park at Sandstone
05-04 St. Louis, MO - Fox Theatre
05-05 Columbus, OH - Lifestyle Communities Pavilion
05-06 Cleveland, OH - Time Warner Cable Amphitheatre at Tower City
05-08 Camden, NJ - Susquehanna Bank Center
05-09 Uncasville, CT - Mohegan Sun Arena * with M83
Been enjoying Spaceman on XM lately. I really need to pick up Day & Age. Need to pick up M83 too - listen to We Own the Sky. Talk about killer!

Reach Out and Touch Faith

Depeche Mode created Sounds of the Universe and you can hear those sounds 4/21.

Eclectic and energized, the band's new release is their most dazzling and diverse album in decades. Recorded in Santa Barbara and New York, Depeche Mode returned to using a lot of vintage gear, from analogue synthesizers to drum machines, in order to conjure up the retro-futuristic arrangements featured on the album. Lyrically the release contains many of the group's enduring obsessions plus more overt black humor than any of their previous collections.
DM is cool and so are their sounds - not as cool as they were in the 80s and early 90s, but still worth an automatic listen out of RESPECT.

Hey, Sexy Boots

Ok, ok, so I didn't get the lyrics right - not even close. So be it - mine were better anyway.

Listen to the new single from U2: Get On Your Boots. It's loud, but it doesn't cut through for me.

More details here.

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Light Up The Sky

Paul McCartney and Howard Stern? Now that should be entertaining. Tonight at 7 my time (central) and tomorrow at 10am, you'll be able to listen to Howard interview Macca about his new album, his old band, and prosthetic legs. I'm guessing on that last one.

Howard 101 on SIRIUS XM.

Get On Your Boots

U2 - No Line on the HorizonGet on your boots
It's wet outside
Go to Africa
Stop the genocide

The above may or may not be the lyrics to U2's new single Get On Your Boots. I guess we'll find out when it leaks or when it is officially released 2/15 digitally and 2/16 physically. It's the first single from their new album No Line on the Horizon coming out 3/2. Here's the official tracklist:

1. No Line On The Horizon
2. Magnificent
3. Moment of Surrender
4. Unknown Caller
5. I’ll Go Crazy If I Don’t Go Crazy Tonight
6. Get On Your Boots
7. Stand Up Comedy
8. Fez – Being Born
9. White As Snow
10. Breathe
11. Cedars Of Lebanon

I'm particularly excited about the tune dedicated to the foreign exchange student from That 70s Show. Bono is really cutting edge.

Lots of formats to be released - all the details here.

Friday, January 16, 2009

Well, Everybody Hurts Sometimes

If for some bizarre reason you read this site and yet don't own R.E.M.'s quintessential 90's album, Automatic For The People, now is your chance. Amazon has it for the low low price of just $2 for the entire album.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Here I Am Lost and Found Calling Out to All

Oasis is clinging onto the MySpace phenomenon by releasing an exclusive 18-minute HD documentary about the release of Dig Out Your Soul. It highlights the very cool idea of getting New York street musicians to cover tunes from the new album on the streets.

Check out the documentary below and download Dig Out Your Soul here.
Oasis - Dig Out Your Soul In The Streets

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Let Me Take You Out To A Movie

I had a pleasant surprise in my inbox this morning. Too Poppy favorite Willie Wisely interviews Roger Joseph Manning, Jr. regarding the release of Catnip Dynamite in the US. They both are now on the same record label. The first of three clips is below with the remaining here.

Catnip Dynamite hits the states on 03 February 2009. Pre-Order

Down In Front - the first single available @ iTunes.

Bonus: Too Late For Us Now (Free MP3 Download)

Tuesday, January 06, 2009

I Hooked Myself On You

I'm late to the Raveonettes bandwagon, but what a delightfully poppy and noisy bandwagon it is. I first heard Lust Lust Lust while browsing in Barnes & Noble - how often does that happen? I even asked what it was to make sure I didn't miss the goodness. The comparison to Jesus & Mary Chain is inevitable, although strictly speaking I do find the Raveonettes to be more in the Too Poppy vibe than JAMC.

Anyway, they provided an update via TheirSpace that they'll be hitting the studio soon:

Had a great creative talk with Sharin today and we’re so ready to make the best album to date! It’ll be released in September and we wanna do a proper studio album with a genius producer. There’s only so much you can do in your living room and let’s face it, whenever you pull out one of your favorite albums, it’ll stand the test of time because of a timeless sound, excellent production and songwriting. Now’s the right time for us to step it up…
And don't miss the few live dates they're playing before they hide themselves away to make their best album to date.
1.15.09 Boston, MA Paradise Rock Club
1.16.09 New York, NY Webster Hall

1.17.09 Washington, DC Black Cat

1.23.09 San Francisco, CA Bimbo's 365 Club

1.24.09 Los Angeles, CA Henry Fonda Theater

Too Late for That

The Pop Project - Life is LifeThe Pop Project has digitally re-released its 2002 album Life is Life. I haven't heard it, but if it's half as good as last year's Stars of Stage and Screen, it'll be twice as good as most of the shit you hear these days.

Download at or iTunes.

We'd All Love to Change Your Head

Apple announced today during an otherwise lackluster roll-out of new software and hardware at Macworld Expo that iTunes Plus will be the new standard, which essentially means the vast majority of tunes will be DRM-free and higher quality. Facing stiff competition, this is a smart move. They've also abandoned the one-price-fits-all approach and will now offer tunes at $.69, $1.29, and the old standard of $.99. Nice to see the notoriously stubborn Apple show some flexibility and savvy in this tough economy.

I Wonder Why We Listen to Poets

In February or March prior to their new studio album, Wilco will be releasing a live DVD, Ashes of American Flags, which was recorded in Nashville and Tulsa last winter (from the same tour I saw here in Des Moines). If those performances were a close approximation of what they achieved in Des Moines, this is a must-buy.

According to a newsletter sent to fans, Wilco will play "a handful of gigs" in the southern U.S. in April, to be followed by an extensive tour of Spain in May and then "the usual summer hijinks with a new record and gigs everywhere imaginable."

Friday, January 02, 2009

Hate Me For All The Things I Didn't Do For You

Blue October is offering fans an exclusive song for joining their email list. Not a bad price for a song. If you haven't checked them out before, now is as good of a time as any. You should really pick up Foiled and History for Sale.