Monday, November 30, 2009

I Knew It Would End This Way

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!

Everyone's Trying to Suck-ceed

Rooney - Wild One EPRooney 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 Hall
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
Sample Wild One here. Sounds great!

Friday, November 20, 2009

There Comes a Hard Road Rushing at You

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 Be sure to include the city in the subject line!

Mobile, AL
Birmingham, AL
Atlanta, GA
Savannah, GA
Tallahassee, FL
Orlando, FL
Jacksonville, FL
Pensacola, FL
Gulfport, MS
Jackson, MS
Nashville, TN
Knoxville, TN
Chattanooga, TN
Charlotte, NC
Chapel Hill, NC
Charleston, SC
New Orleans, LA
More info here. Way2Poppy, clean the guest room in ATL!

With Just a Pocketful of Hope

John Lennon - ImagineImagine only paying $2.99 for a digital download of John Lennon's Imagine.

TODAY (11/20) ONLY!

Would You Lie With Me and Just Forget The World

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.

Chasing Cars
Crack The Shutters
Just Say Yes

Friday, November 13, 2009

Shooting Stars From a Purple Sky

Paul McCartney - Good Evening New York CityGood 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. 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.

Back In Love With You

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

Everybody Tagalong

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.

"I am currently recording an album. The music was inspired by The Beatles, Nirvana, The Cure, PJ Harvey, Radiohead and all good music."
Oh the expectations!

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!

Jump My Ship

Early-90s Ocean Blue fanatics Riverside are back! See them live...

See Riverside w/ The April Skies
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
...and hear new tunes here. New album expected in early 2010. Jump My Ship sounds like classic Riverside!

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

I'd Like to Write a Happy Song

Kevin McAdams - It's My Time To Lose My MindDrummers 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.

iTunes MP3

There's Something I Should Tell You Before I Take Your Blindfold Off

Matthew Sweet has monkey toes.


I Know It Sounds Kinda Sad

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

From Thoughts to Actions an Eternity

Jason Falkner is finally giving us a domestic CD release...

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 Getting Better All The Time

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
Individual Albums

When Times Go Bad

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

When I Get To The Bottom I Go Back To The Top

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.

Carry on.

Tuesday, November 03, 2009

I Read The News Today Oh Boy

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.