Monday, March 30, 2009

All Those Crazy Aspirations

Jeff Litman - PostscriptWho doesn't love a great break-up record? Girlfriend and Songs From the Year of Our Demise are two prime examples that happen to be favorites of mine. Jeff Litman's Postscript makes a noble attempt at greatness with this debut and announces a dazzling pure pop talent that you cannot and should not ignore.

With hooks and melodies that amount to gluttonous ear candy, Postscript is instantly catchy, heartwarming, heartbreaking, and familiar. His voice at times reminds me of Elvis Costello and Julian Lennon, and the tunes range from The Monkees to The Clash - this is a good place to be in.

The only rub (and it's definitely minor) is that Litman tends to straddle that line between familiar and overly derivative a bit too much. Way2Poppy and I had some fun playing Name That Tune (listen for Peter Pumpkinhead, Rainbow Connection, Is It Like Today?, and Isolation). In this genre derivation comes with the territory, but after a couple of listens it almost sounds like a crutch.

With all the goodness on this release, I have no doubt Litman will find his own voice and pave his own path. In the meantime, Postscript is perfect for days when the sun shines a bit longer.

Cool Poppers' Reviews:
Powerpopaholic (10/10!)
Bill's Music Forum

Download Postscript at iTunes
Official Site

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Who Will Harbor Your Misfortune?

On June 12 this year, I will be happily watching Coldplay live in Des Moines - wishing I was happier in Brooklyn...

The Posies will be playing Frosting On The Beater live in it's entirety for the first time ever in the US on June 12, 2009 at the Bell House in lovely Brooklyn, New York!

The club is very nice, but medium-size - tickets will go fast.

For more info, go to http:​/​/​www.​thebellhouseny.​com/​home.​php

Friday, March 27, 2009

You're in Need of Something Else

New album news from Modern Skirts already? That's what they said in January.

We went into the studio again at the end of February and spent two and a half weeks recording new material down in New Orleans. We have 9 songs so far towards another album and pleanty of time to record more and tweak the ones we have. Again, there is something completely new about these songs, they feel different than anything we've done, and honestly, they could scare the living hell out of some people. You should be extremely curious as to what we've been up to.
Good. Honestly, All of Us In Our Night hasn't clicked with me yet.

Just Sing What You Feel

New album news from Wilco...'s a list of song titles spied on the reels -- note this is not necessarily complete and not in sequence.

Deeper Down
Conscript (aka I'll Fight)
One Wing
Wilco (the song)
Country Disappeared
Bull Black Nova
Sonny Feeling
You and I

Rumors and blogs regarding a guest appearance on that last track are, amazingly, quite true. Feist does indeed lend a great vocal to You and I. Other details will emerge in the coming weeks. The release is currently scheduled for late June on Nonesuch.
Can't wait!

Thursday, March 26, 2009

The Sirens of Decay Will Infiltrate the Faith Fanatic

Thanks in part to Green Day, your 21st Century Breakdown begins May 15.

Green Day - 21st Century BreakdownLike its predecessor, "21st Century Breakdown" has a narrative structure, telling the story of a young couple, Christian and Gloria. The album is divided into three acts -- "Heroes and Cons," "Charlatans and Saints" and "Horseshoes and Handgrenades" -- and includes tracks like "21 Guns," "East Jesus Nowhere," "Before the Lobotomy," and "Restless Heart Syndrome."

The first single, "Know Your Enemy," will go on sale digitally in April.

Watch It Spin Around to a Beautiful Oblivian


I actually really liked Blender early on. At the time I was addicted to reading Brit publications like Q and NME and felt this was our slightly Americanized version of that format. Too bad they quickly devolved into the Maxim of the music magazine world and were even at times exposed for reviewing albums they never had even listened to. You've been dead to me for a number of years already, Blender.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

When I Want Something I Don't Want to Pay For It

NINJAThis probably falls in the category of Not Too Poppy, but I love the idea and execution of concept anyway.

Nine Inch Nails and Jane's Addiction are co-headlining a tour this summer with Street Sweeper in support. It's been dubbed NIN/JA. Brilliant. They are also giving a way a free EP with previously unreleased tracks. We like free! I hope others follow their lead with similar tactics.

My Screws Are Loose

Once upon a time, a group of musicianeers convened to drink beer. Some time later, IndiEclectic was born.

IndiEclectic is yet another attempt at innovation in the digital music world. It essentially operates on the premise that music lovers like you and me will inevitably like new artists our favorite artists like. Not unlike iLike, but like, you'll likely find some differences, like.

Wisely, Alanis Morissette, Peter Himmelman, Ron Sexsmith, Lisa Loeb, and others are the aforementioned musicianeers, some of whom I like. Hmm, I'll make this easy for you:


Kudos for effort and I'll keep any cynicism to myself.

Come Crashing In, Into My Little World

Depeche Mode - Sounds of the UniverseDepeche Mode is touring and you could win tickets through Sirius/XM. Of course if you win that means I don't. Bummer.

Billboard has a nice little feature on the tour and the new album.

"Sounds of the Universe" (Mute/EMI), due April 21, is the band's 12th album and is reminiscent of its "Violator" heyday of catchy dance beats with a hint of darkness.
I'm interested.

See the tour dates here. Enter the contest here.

Friday, March 20, 2009

I Would Give My Whole Life to Her

AV Club gives you the quick and utterly incomplete history lesson on power pop here. But hey, they call Matthew Sweet's Girlfriend the best of the 90s with Material Issue's Freak City Soundtrack a close second (although I would argue for International Pop Overthrow instead).

It's a start of your fantastical journey into power pop. You'll be thrilled with what you discover.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

I Wanted You But You Didn't Want Me

Looks like John Lennon's tumultuous childhood makes for good entertainment. As unseemly as it may be, I can't say I won't want to see it. But Kristin Scott Thomas as Aunt Mimi?!

The Roar of the Engine in the Air

The Doves are bringing their lovely din to the states this spring:

Doves - Kingdom of Rust
05-14 San Diego, CA - House of Blues
05-15 Anaheim, CA - House of Blues
05-16 Los Angels, CA - The Wiltern
05-18 San Francisco, CA - The Fillmore
05-19 Eugene, OR - McDonald Theatre
05-21 Vancouver, British Columbia - Commodore Ballroom
05-22 Portland, OR - Wonder Ballroom
05-23 George, WA - Sasquatch Festival
05-26 Denver, CO - Gothic Theatre
05-28 Minneapolis, MN - Varsity Theatre
05-29 Chicago, IL - Vic Theatre
05-30 Detroit, MI - Majestic Theatre
06-01 Toronto, Ontario - Kool Haus
06-02 Montreal, Quebec - Le National
06-04 New York, NY - Terminal 5
06-05 Philadelphia, PA - The Trocadero
06-06 Washington, DC - 9:30 Club
06-07 Boston, MA - House of Blues
Kingdom of Rust out late this month. Jetstream is killer so I have high hopes.

I Don't Care Where You've Been or What You Plan To Do

This is one of those rumors that I'm not sure I want to come true. One of those British tabloids is reporting the Stone Roses are planning a reunion tour this summer in support of a boxset rerelease of their self-titled debut, which easily ranks as a top-ten favorite around here.

Look, the Second Coming was hardly worthy of the title and nearly tarnished the legacy they left. But the debut was special. As Pitchfork notes, it "simultaneously gathers the disparate strands of UK rock in the 80s and predicts the Britpop of the 90s." Indeed, it's one for the ages. With that said, let it be. A reunion tour would be nothing but a money grab at worst and a nostalgic trip at best. Take a cue from The La's and keep it simple and cryptic.

Wow, twenty years though? Hell.

UPDATE: Ian Brown says no way. He's a bit important to the proceedings.

Monday, March 16, 2009

Fresh Blood

As previously shared, Eels is releasing HOMBRE LOBO, 12 Songs of Desire June 2. Here is the track list and album art. Enjoy.

Eels - Hombre Lobo01 prizefighter
02 that look you give that guy
03 lilac breeze
04 in my dreams
05 tremendous dynamite
06 the longing
07 fresh blood
08 what's a fella gotta do
09 my timing is off
10 all the beautiful things
11 beginner's luck
12 ordinary man

5 Minutes Ahead of the Chaos

Superdrag - Industry GiantsSuperdrag in its original form is back tomorrow with Industry Giants. It's a welcome return after too many years away.

Buy an autographed CD via Newbury, natch. Otherwise, download here or here.

Official Site

Time to dust off Sucked Out and lose your voice all over again! Sweet.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

If You Could See It Then You'd Understand

Hey, fellow Iowans. Coldplay announced today they are coming to the Wells Fargo Arena in Des Moines June 12. Tickets go on sale Saturday at 10am. More info soon, but did you know...

Coldplay is known for hits including "Viva la Vida," "Speed of Sound" and "Yellow."
Yes, of course you did.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009


Vol. 2: "Out of My Hands"Brandon Schott - Homegrown Recordings Vol. 2

OUT OF MY HANDS dates back to the Golden State era, recorded live in a living room February 2006 with my friends and fellow songwriters Jared Woods and Andrew Norsworthy. Andrew and Jared are based out of Ankorage, AK and breezed through LA for only a few days while on tour. After playing a show together at Room 5, I planted the seed that we convene the following night at my friend Jason Wormer's home in Los Feliz (where we tracked most of Golden State) for a little old-school/Laurel Canyon aesthetic. Thankfully, they said yes. After a few run throughs and some last minute lyric tweaks, there we were: three guitars, three vocals facing each other in a circle playing a song I'd only written a few days prior.

In an age of digital cut and paste it was a really beautiful way to spend an evening with my talented friends, making music and memories in real time. Special thanks again to Jared and Andrew for taking the time to grace my song, and to Jason for capturing it all.

See you guys next month, and thanks as always for your support!
MP3: Brandon Schott - Out of My Hands (artwork)
Video: Brandon Schott - Wake Up, Mary (via YouTube)

No offense to my friends, but when we get together we usually just drink beer and talk about other people's creations. We don't create anything ourselves let alone a beautiful tune like Out of My Hands. Thank you, Mr. Schott - another fine accomplishment. Can't wait for April's Homegrown Recording.

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


Monday, March 09, 2009

Waiting for an End

Guster wrote to me today. Guster is cruising and touring. Guster is not releasing a new album yet. Guster is trying my patience. Guster is not really trying my patience.

Me gusta Guster.

Out Of My Hands

Tomorrow is the 10th of the month, which means the next exclusive installment of Brandon Schott's Homegrown Recordings series. Check back tomorrow for an unreleased MP3 and a special video from Mr. Schott himself.

Revisit Vol. 1, featuring an intimate video performance of Carousel and a great Bjork cover to download.

Saturday, March 07, 2009

Let Me Take You On a Trip

Depeche Mode, Jane's Addiction, and Beastie Boys are likely to be three of the headliners for this year's Lollapalooza. DM is the only one I'm genuinely excited about, but I don't know how they can do any better than Radiohead last year. Let's see what else they put together.

UPDATE: No formal confirmation yet of the above acts, but Lollapalooza has announced they will be selling $60 three-day passes throughout this week. The catch is that you don't know when, but they'll post a link on the official site. Keep checking and good luck.

Thursday, March 05, 2009

Come On Is Such a Joy The One After 909

The Beatles have announced more details about their version of Rock Band:

  • The Beatles - Rock BandWe have a worldwide release date: 09/09/09.
  • The game takes players through an "unprecendented experiential progression" of the musical career of the band.
  • The game will be available as standalone software and hardware, as well as a limited edition bundle. The game will be compatible with all Rock Band instrument controllers and other current music-based video game peripherals.
  • There will be limited edition hardware modelled on instruments used by John, Paul, George and Ringo.
  • The numbers:
  • The Beatles: Rock Band Software - Xbox 360, PLAYSTATION 3, Wii: $59.99 MSRP
  • The Beatles: Rock Band Standalone Guitars - Xbox 360, PLAYSTATION 3, Wii: $99.99 MSRP
  • The Beatles: Rock Band Limited Edition Premium Bundle: Xbox 360, PLAYSTATION 3, Wii: $249.99 MSRP
  • International pricing to be announced at a later date
  • Giles Martin, co-producer of The Beatles innovative LOVE album project, is providing his expertise and serving as Music Producer
  • Fans who pre-order the game will get access to exclusive content created by Apple Corps, MTV Games and Harmonix over the next few months.
Goo! Goo! GOO! Read the full press release here. Sign up for updates and pre-order info here.


UPDATE: Title changed at Way2Poppy's uncharacteristically creative suggestion!

RELATED: Paul McCartney, Ringo Starr to headline NY concert

Tuesday, March 03, 2009

My Generation is Zero

A taste of the new Green Day...

Hmm, dunno. They are all over the place on this one. I loved American Idiot and they've certainly come a long way since songs about masturbation (which no doubt have their place), but upon first listen, it almost sounds like Green Day doing an adult contemporary parody of themselves. Perhaps in its full context I'll change my mind.

via 'gum

One Day Closer to Death

Great news from Mark Oliver Everett:

There you go via 'fork.

I Know That You'll Recognize It's Summertime

Last summer, Des Moines surprised locals and nationals alike with a very successful inaugural 80/35 music festival featuring Flaming Lips, Andrew Bird, and others. I was there for those two show and have to say it was quite the event for the stereotypical staid atmosphere of downtown Des Moines. I love when we can show the rest of the country that we appreciate a good time as much as anybody.

Organizers are at it again. Mark your calendars for July 3-4, 2009 for 80/35 2009.

Here's the deal: a limited number of two-day tickets for 2009 80/35 go on sale Saturday, March 7 at 10am through The tickets will be available at the low early bird price of just $60. For those seeking rock star status, a limited number of VIP passes will also be available for $100. This includes one two-day festival ticket, free and discounted food and beverages, preferred viewing area near main stage, access to separate restrooms, a lounge area, priority entrance, and select free official festival merch.
It's too early for announcements on artists, but...
What we can tell you is that 80/35 2009 will feature more than 40 acts over the course of two days in the paid and free areas. Top national acts. Local favorites. Up-and-comers. And industry icons. Keep your ears perked for a major band announcement in the coming weeks.
Industry icons? Cool. Can't wait.

Official site
Official site2

Stand Up to Rock Stars

U2 - No Line on the HorizonSome band pretending to be The Beatles and calling themselves "U2" have released a new album today. It's called No Line on the Horizon and it's their 12th studio album! Are these guys any good?

iTunes MP3 ($3.99 CHEAP!)