Wednesday, December 30, 2009

What Do You Know About Rock and Roll?

Plasticsoul - Peacock SwaggerBeen 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.

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Borne Away on a Back Barge

J. TillmanCan't wait for the next Fleet Foxes album? J. Tillman feels your pain and delivers a two-song EP. Here.

Thursday, December 24, 2009

And Since We've No Place to Go

Jon Auer does a nice rendition of "Let It Snow" just in time for Christmas. Happy Holidays TooPoppers!

Download the MP3


Monday, December 21, 2009

Love Is a Matter of Showing

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.

Thanks, Not Lame, for tipping us off in your e-newsletter!

All Is Calm

Brendan Benson and his many mustachioed friends wax poetic about Christmas. Can you feel the spirit?

Yes, Everywhere It's Christmas

The Beatles sent me an ecard. That's right. Just for me. Aww.

Evidently it's Christmas everywhere.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Because Your Candle Burns Too Bright

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)

via R'Stone

Can't You Hear Me Calling?

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.

Download now!

Monday, December 14, 2009

We've Always Got Time for New Friends

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.

I'll have to revisit this serious issue later.

Beatles For Sale! is selling the remastered Beatles albums today only for $9.99 each as its Music Lightning Deals. Going fast so click here now!

Thursday, December 10, 2009

You Know That Only Time Will Tell

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!

With the Storm Crashing Through

Brandon Schott delivers again with a 3-track EP of "homegrown" tunes! Download it free or give the guy a few bucks. He's worth it.

You're So Happy To Be There

Brendan Benson is touring NOW:

Thursday, December 10
Carrboro, NC
Cat's Cradle
Tickets: $15

Friday, December 11
Atlanta, GA

Criminal Records
FREE instore performance/signing

Friday, December 11
Atlanta, GA

The Earl
Tickets: $12

Saturday, December 12
Nashville, TN

FREE instore performance/signing

Saturday, December 12
Nashville, TN

Tickets: $15

Two shows in ATL - no excuses, Way2Poppy!