Wednesday, December 08, 2010

Friday, December 03, 2010

Singing Out of Tune

Coldplay has released their new Christmas song called Christmas Lights.

Here's the video.

Here are the downloads.
Amazon MP3

That's all I have to say.

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

We Will Learn to Live Again

As November turns into December and we await the long winter chill, a little Brandon Schott goes a long way to provide some much needed warmth...

Brandon Schott on iTunes and Amazon MP3

Get Behind the Perfect Christmastime

Guster has found the spirit of Christmas and it is at Target! Guster would like you to share the spirit of Christmas at Guster, Merry Christmas. Me gusta Guster.

MP3: Guster - Tiny Tree Christmas (via Target)

Monday, November 29, 2010

I Wanna See You, Tomorrow the Green Grass

For those of you popsters who enjoy their daily dosage with a healthy splash of twang will be thrilled to hear the classic lineup of The Jayhawks are recording their first new album in 15 years!

"Our goal is to make the best Jayhawks album that's ever been done," Louris tells Rolling Stone. "Mark and I both feel that there is some business left undone and we got together and wrote some great songs."
I enjoyed sporadic Jayhawks tunes when they were together but never fully appreciated their legacy until they were gone. Being who I am I'm particularly partial to the pure pop of the Olson-less Smile, but how fun for us to have the classic lineup return! Expect a release in spring or summer of '11. In the meantime, there are some great chances to see them live in January! And you can read more about the reunion thanks to Rolling Stone.

You and Me Chasing Paper Getting Nowhere

In honor of the recent release of The Beatles on iTunes, the insanely talented and criminally under-known Jeff Litman continued his Monday covers series with Two of Us. Stellar, Mr. Litman.

In other Litman news, you have a few chances to catch him live. Check out your opportunities here.

And of course, if you don't already have his Postscript album, download it here to rectify that shameful oversight. Don't thank me; thank Jeff.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Not Near Enough

Powerpop fans have lost an icon today. Not Lame Recordings is officially closing up shop on November 24. Not Lame released many albums by powerpopsters and sold many other albums that would appeal to similarly-minded folks like us. The highlights for me have to be the box sets for Jellyfish and The Posies - both classics from classic artists. Not Lame always felt like a makeshift community in a way; like we had secret insight into the powerpop world thanks to Not Lame guru Bruce Brodeen. Bruce knows his powerpop and was always responsive whenever I'd email him - talk about incredible customer service. But in a post-Napster world, the model simply didn't work anymore. Bruce promises to stay involved in music and encourages us to sign up for Rock and Roll Tribe, a social network he created with a partner earlier this year, and the upcoming Pop Geek Heaven, which seems to hold some promise for those of us feeling a void where Not Lame once held its place. Sign up at those sites to learn more.

Not Lame was indeed never lame. We'll miss it and wish Bruce the best of luck.

All The Money's Gone

Apple and The Beatles did indeed confirm the addition of The Beatles' catalog on iTunes today. You can get all the original albums and their accompanying documentary videos in addition to last year's box set, Past Masters, and the Red and Blue albums. Missing are releases such as Let It Be ... Naked, 1, etc. Those are for another day I'm sure. Most unique and available on the box set is Live at Washington Coliseum, 1964, the video of The Beatles' very first US performance.

The Beatles on iTunes

Monday, November 15, 2010

I'll Get You In The End

And they did. The Wall Street Journal is reporting that a deal has finally been reached to release Beatles music on iTunes after years of speculation. Apple is making an "exciting announcement" about iTunes tomorrow, teasing it as "just another day [t]hat you'll never forget."

This is huge. It opens up the music for the upcoming generations who can't quite understand what an LP is and might not be interested in old fogey music that isn't even available legitimately through on online retailer. The Beatles music shouldn't only be a soundtrack to a video game. It can shape the way you experience and fulfill your love of music as it did for me. Do you remember discovering The Beatles for yourself? I did it 25+ years ago and I've been enjoying sharing the discovery with my kids throughout their early years.

Tomorrow will be fun. And just in time for the holidays.

Friday, November 12, 2010

You Say I Love You But You've Got No Clue

Here's another gem I've been sitting on.  The Orkids.  I happened upon them because I work with their keyboardist, Joshua (far left in the picture).  :-)

Think power pop with edgy guitars and strong synths.  Sandra's vocals are reminiscent of Gwen Stefani, but nicer IMHO.

MTV just named them this week's Needle In A Haystack.  The tune below, Told You So, is exceptional.  Check it out.

Free Download of I Told You So

Other standout tracks include Paper Dolls and Rain On Me.  Check out their EP, Paper Dolls.

Their Home
Their Tweets

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Baby Come On

Former Oasis jester Liam Gallagher's new band Beady Eye has officially released it's first new tune and it's as retro as you'd expect. Bring the Light is available as a free download as of today. Use the widget below or go to their official site. More news from the new band coming soon.

Tuesday, November 09, 2010

Kinda Catchy

Out now is a new compilation featuring the genius of the original psychedelic madman Syd Barrett - cleverly titled An Introduction to Syd Barrett. Fellow Pink Floydian David Gilmour served as the executive producer of the album, which includes 18 tunes from Syd's solo days as well as the early Pink Floyd days. Check out the video for Here I Go on Facebook.

iTunes (includes the 20-minute instrumental Rhamadan)
Amazon MP3

Open Up Your Mind

Guster has finally revealed the last video for Easy Wonderful. Guster has done well. Guster invites you to view all the videos here. Guster is coming to Des Moines 1/27 and elsewhere on other days. Me gusta Guster!

Do What You Want from Guster on Vimeo.

Can't This Car Go Any Faster?

It's a rare treat when Dada hits the road these days, yet they seem to find time to get back together every year around New Year's Eve. This year? Chicago on the 30th, Philly on the 31st to bid adieu to 2010, and Boston on the 1st to welcome 2011. More here. I've seen them twice - granted back in their prime Puzzle days - and they are a must-see. They put on a hell of a show.

UPDATE: "dada has just announced a second show at Schubas in Chicago. In addition to the original show on 12/30, the guys will be stopping by the night before, Wednesday, 12/29. Tickets go on sale this Saturday. Visit for ticket links and venue information."

Monday, November 08, 2010

So Serene

Mansfield University Radio, WNTE, recently had a Jellyfish special featuring their songs, but more importantly demos, live performances, solo projects, collaborations, and a few surprises!
A must listen for the Jellyfish Fans out there!  Show is embedded below.

Saturday, October 30, 2010

I Will Sell My Soul for Something Pure and True

Shirley Manson has confirmed that Garbage is working on a new album. New album and a tour next year? Here's hoping they can capture some of the dark magic found in their earliest music.

The news comes a mere few days after it was announced Garbager Butch Vig is working again with the surviving members of Nirvana on a new Foo Fighters album that will be "totally old school analog." Totally rad.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

The Sun Is In The Sky

Guster should know that Iowa has been enjoying one of the nicest Octobers weather-wise in recent memory. Guster should be here now. Guster, in their infinite wisdom, chose January to visit us in Iowa instead. Guster Guster Guster.

01/14/11 - Denver, CO @ Ogden Theatre
01/15/11 - Salt Lake City, UT @ In The Venue
01/16/11 - Boise, ID @ Knitting Factory
01/18/11 - Seattle, WA @ The Moore Theatre
01/19/11 - Portland, OR @ Crystal Ballroom
01/21/11 - San Francisco, CA @ The Fillmore
01/22/11 - Los Angeles, CA @ The Music Box
01/23/11 - San Diego, CA @ House of Blues
01/24/11 - Tucson, AZ @ Rialto Theatre
01/27/11 - Des Moines, IA @ Hoyt Sherman Theatre
01/28/11 - Minneapolis, MN @ State Theatre
02/04/11 - Atlanta, GA @ The Tabernacle
02/05/11 - Orlando, FL @ House of Blues

Guster's new album Easy Wonderful is quite wonderful, it's easy to say. Me gusta Guster.

Thought of Giving It All Away

Paul McCartney and Wings' epic Band on the Run is getting another reissue treatment. I think this album has been babied more than any other Beatles related album. It is great though and it's ready for pre-order. Check out a plethora of options here. Yeah, I said plethora. If you want to wait it hits "stores" on November 2.

If you'd like a bigger chunk of Macca's history, Mull of Kintyre, the Scottish property that inspired the song, is ready for your purchase. It'll only set you back $4.5 million. Not too bad for 9 miles of coastline and a piece of musical history.

Wednesday, October 06, 2010

If One Could Stop Time

Happy Birthday to Matthew Sweet. Without you, I highly doubt Too Poppy would be here. Hope you've had a great one.


If last Tuesday was Super Tuesday, yesterday certainly could be considered its faithful sidekick.

The stellar new album from Guster called Easy Wonderful was finally released. Guster was quite generous in previewing many of the tunes via downloads, videos, and streams, yet it's great to finally hear it all put together. After one full listen, I'll go out on a limb and say I think it's their best since Lost and Gone Forever - or at a minimum it's their Too Poppiest!
iTunes / MP3

The superdupergroup of Joseph Arthur, Ben Harper, and Dhani Harrison - collectively known as Fistful of Mercy - dropped their new full-length As I Call You Down yesterday as well. The iTunes reviewers are expressing widely divergent views on the album. Check it out for yourself.
iTunes / MP3

Finally, most of John Lennon's catalog has been remastered and rereleased to commemorate what would have been his 70th birthday on October 9. There's never been a better time to fully explore the genius of solo Lennon. Check out the new compilation Power to the People, the questionable "Stripped Down" version of Double Fantasy, and the Signature Box, a new box set featuring the vast majority of his music.
iTunes / MP3

Thursday, September 30, 2010

It's a Simple Love Affair

Guster knows how hard it is to wait. Guster knows I'm done waiting. Guster has their new album Easy Wonderful streaming at WSJ's Speakeasy prior to its October 5 release.

Stream: Guster - Easy Wonderful (via)

Guster is also cheering its good fortune in having the video pick of the week on iTunes!

Free Video: Guster - Do You Love Me

Guster has also released another video - this one for Hercules:

Hercules from Guster on Vimeo.

Guster is pleasing to my ears. Me gusta Guster.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Which Fire Is The Fire That Calls You Out Into The Light?

Yesterday was what we'd call in the Too Poppy universe Super Tuesday. My checking account certainly couldn't keep up with the must-own new releases so I started off with The Posies' Blood/Candy (iTunes, Amazon MP3) and Gin Blossoms' No Chocolate Cake (iTunes, Amazon MP3). Both bands have been with me for nearly two decades now so they've earned it. After one listen, Blood/Candy is as stellar as I was hoping after I first heard Licenses to Hide. Suffice it to say that I think this is their best album since Frosting on the Beater - and every album since has been pretty damn good by most standards. On the other hand, after one listen I think No Chocolate Cake could've been called No Killer Tune. It's a nice but very safe Gin Blossoms album. I mostly like when they put away their mid-tempo AC tunes and turn on the power pop juice. So far I think this one could use more rocking out.

Only one listen each for both though so my thoughts could change. Gin Blossoms could be a slow-grower - I hope so - and The Posies could wear thin quickly - I highly doubt that.

Other notable new releases...

Ben Folds & Nick Hornby - Lonely Avenue (iTunes, Amazon MP3)
Pete Yorn - Self-Titled (produced by Frank Black!) (iTunes, Amazon MP3)
Neil Young - Le Noise (produced by Daniel Lanois!) (iTunes, Amazon MP3)
Eric Clapton - Clapton (iTunes, Amazon MP3)
Phil Collins - Going Back - uh, no

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Just Charming Alibis

Max Jury has released an excellent new EP called Rhythm of the Rain, which leaves you momentarily satisfied yet overall impatient at the promise of what a full-length release might reveal.

The subject matter might be what you expect from a college freshman like Max or hell, any given songwriter - songs of love and love lost. But it's obvious from the very beginning Max is no ordinary freshman or songwriter. His lyrical perspective expresses a universality beyond his years - and mine for that matter. His musical touch, though, is what drives it all home. Max has an unrelenting grasp on what makes music timeless. He refuses to box himself in by trends and displays a refreshing disregard for cheap gimmickry and hipster pandering. It's Max, his piano, spare accompaniment, catchy melodies, and his heart on the line.

His music is pure. The sentiment is personal. The result is unforgettable. To quote a recent tweet of his: "human? like music?" Rhythm of the Rain is a must own.

iTunes MP3



I Never Knew You Harry But I Loved Your Songs

Okay, so I've been sitting on this one for quite a while now, late June to be specific.  I've certainly been Distracted.

Seth Swirsky's Watercolor Day is a wonderful album.  It has everything you hope and expect from a true power pop outing.  If you read this blog, you'll love this album, and that's a Way2Poppy Guarantee™.  Lots of great guitars, harmonies, pianos, trumpets and even a clarinet or two.

Standout tracks include the ambitious Movie Set, title track Watercolor Day, and delicious I'm Just Saying, to name just a few.  I highly recommend the full album purchase.

I'm definitely will be checking out his other outings, Instant Pleasure and She's About To Cross My Mind (as part of the pop duo The Red Button).

Amazon (New School)


Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Like He Knew What I Needed

Bleu's new rocker Singin' in Tongues is available as a free download. It's from his upcoming Kickstarter-funded album Four out October 25.

Go to for the download and 9 others, including a cover of Macca's Ram On by The Morning Benders!

MP3: Bleu - Singin' in Tongues
MP3: The Morning Benders - Ram On (Paul McCartney cover)

It's No Secret Ambition Bites the Nails of Success

R.E.M.'s new album is done. It was recorded in the same studio as Achtung Baby and Heroes. Way to play down expectations.

Out next spring.

Friday, September 17, 2010

Bring On The Song

Today Only!  Amazon is offering Sarah's new album, Laws of Illusion, for only $3.99!!

Thursday, September 16, 2010

I Wanna Wake You From Your Dreams

Another new song from Guster.  Sweet.

Also, download Bad Bad World for free!  If you're feeling creative, make a music video for it and send it to the boys to win a merch pack.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Maybe Your Love Will Come

We've seen this coming for a while, but it's official: James McCartney is releasing his first EP. Quite a genetic musical legacy those Beatles have left us. Available Light comes out September 21 and is a precursor to a full-length. It includes four originals and the requisite Neil Young cover.

In this following short preview, sounds like he's not straying far from his dad. Sounds like he might have picked up a thing or two from listening to Crowded House too!

Wednesday, September 08, 2010

You Came Down From Heaven To Keep Me Safe

Guster shared the first video from their upcoming album, Easy Wonderful, this evening. The nicely done video for Stay With Me Jesus is below. Their new album comes out in just 4 short weeks (pictured to the right). You can pre-order it today! The boys have put together all sorts of interesting packages.

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

See It Written On My Face

In an alternate, Too Poppy universe, you might hear Mark Bacino's latest album Queens English soundtracking the latest Meg Ryan-Nora Ephron rom-com or maybe the biggest animated hit of 2020: Toy Story NYC; chronicling Andy's post-college adventures in the big city and his burgeoning domestication as he hunts down his favorite plastic friends so his own kids can experience the magic. You might see Mark on the piano singing his newest single Happy surrounding by furry monsters on Sesame Street - a better fit than say Camp Elmo despite the title. Most excitingly in this wishful-thinking universe, we'd seen Mark open up for a reunited Jellyfish for a match made in Too Poppy heaven.

I'm not trying to be flippant about Mark's new album. I'm trying to convey the images and feelings it evokes through its sounds, lyrics, and infinite hooks. It's a love story (or better yet, a romantic comedy) to New York with a sonic accompaniment you'd expect from Harry Nilsson. It's a reflection of that inevitable jump from a carefree lifestyle of smoky clubs and debilitating hangovers to one of diapers, stability, and responsibility. It's playful and clever yet pensive and substantive. Mostly, it's respectful of its musical heritage with seemingly deliberate nods to Nilsson, Bacharach, Newman, and Costello while joyfully blazing its own modern path fearlessly void of hipster trappings.

Queens English is a record in its purest sense - 11 songs in 26 minutes - and it's a welcome relief from the format-less bloating we tend to see too often in a digital world. You know every second and every note is there for a specific purpose; a precision the purest pop fans can appreciate.

I'm late to the Mark Bacino party. Not only was Queens English released this spring, Mark has forged a strong fanbase with his previous, so-called bubblegum releases. So be it because I'm so happy to have bumped into him. MP3

Standout tracks: Middle Town, Happy, Bridge & Tunnel

Official Site

Stop Pretending

It appears The Charlatans have a bit of an alternative radio hit on their hands. Love is Ending has debuted at number one on some alt charts a couple weeks in advance of the new full-length Who We Touch out September 14. It's the biggest, loudest song we've heard from The Charlatans in a while - a nice feat 20 years after their debut album Some Friendly was released. I'm geeked.

Album and tour details

The Times Had Already Changed

The Wilderness Downtown - an extraordinary new interactive video by Arcade Fire set to their tune We Used to Wait. It's extraordinary on several different levels. It uses the power of HTML5, Google Chrome, and Google Maps to deliver a visual experience unlike any other yet experienced in the post-Music Television world. It's gimmicky, but it's not a gimmick. Thematically the "video" fits the song and really the entire Arcade Fire album The Suburbs. Fantastic.

Close your other programs and open Chrome if you're not already using it (Firefox would likely work too). MTV be damned!

Monday, August 30, 2010

Waste the Boring Days Away

Pete Yorn offers another free track from his upcoming self-titled, Frank-Black-produced album (available 9/28). Take a stroll back to your childhood in your Velcro Shoes!

MP3: Pete Yorn - Velcro Shoes (via

I Don't Have to Sell My Soul

It seems appropriate on a day I wear my Dr. Martens I would happen to come across a video and MP3 of The Raveonettes covering The Stone Roses' I Wanna Be Adored. This very faithful cover version is in honor of the iconic footwear maker's 50th Anniversary. Enjoy.

MP3: The Raveonettes - I Wanna Be Adored (Stone Roses' cover, via Dr. Martens)

Friday, August 27, 2010

Ignorance Can Leave an Awful Bruise

I never set out for Too Poppy to be a music review blog, but when something trips my trigger I feel the urge to share it. Here are just two I've neglected sharing for too long now with more coming soon!

Jeremy Messersmith - The Reluctant Graveyard
The stellar third album from the Minneapolis singer-songwriter. Definite Beatley / Brit Invasion vibe, particularly on the first few tracks, yet tempered with an edgy folksiness you might hear on a Jon Auer solo release. A macabre delight set to the cheeriest of tunage. MP3

Highest recommended tracks: Violet!, Dillinger Eyes, Lazy Bones

Official Site

The Big Bong FiascoGidgets Ga Ga - The Big Bong Fiasco
Chicago-based power pop trio - need I say more? As a music lover who spent my formative years in Chicagoland at the height of Material Issue's brilliance I must say more and to do so I will employ several Too Poppy approved adjectives: catchy, crunchy, rollicking! GGG delivers catchy three-minute gems filled with crunchy guitars that will leave you rollicking. I gotta believe they put on a helluva live show. This is a must listen for fans of The Replacements and even Nirvana who occasionally lust for pure pop amid the din. The album comes in a bit long at 18 songs and would have made an incredible 10-song, 30-minute album, but kudos for ambition, boys. MP3

Highest recommended tracks: Lullaby, The Sorry Song, Baby You're a Star

Official Site

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Maybe It Comes From Where We Are

Fistful of Mercy is Joseph Arthur, Ben Harper & Dhani Harrison. Wow, what an embarrassing wealth of talent wrapped into one entity.

Fistful of Mercy from Fistful of Mercy on Vimeo.

Still can't get over how much Dhani looks like his pop.


Official Site

8/27 UPDATE via Rolling Stone

Monday, August 23, 2010

We Should Set It For Sometime Now

The Posies are touring with Brendan Benson in what is most certainly a match made in Too Poppy heaven!

Nov 5 Fri. Turner Hall Ballroom Milwaukee, WI
Nov 6 Sat. Bottom Lounge Chicago, IL
Nov 7, Sun Southgate House Newport, KY
Nov 9 Tues. The Majestic Theatre Detroit, MI
Nov 10 Wed. Outland Live Columbus, OH
Nov 11 Thu. Mr. Small's Theatre Millvale, PA
Nov 12 Fri. Water Street Music Hall Rochester, NY
Nov 13 Sat. The Highline Ballroom New York, NY
Nov 14 Sun. The Trocadero Theater Philadelphia, PA
Nov 16 Tues. Royale Boston, MA
Nov 17 Wed. 9:30 Club Washington, DC
Nov 18 Thu. Cat's Cradle Carrboro, NC
Nov 19 Fri. Exit/In Nashville, TN
Nov 20 Sat The Loft Atlanta, GA
Nov 21 Sun. Minglewood Hall Memphis, TN
Nov 24 Wed. Granada Theater Dallas, TX (No Brendan Benson)
Nov 26 Fri. La Zona Rosa Austin, TX
Nov 27 Sat. The Argentum Houston, TX
Dec 1 Wed. Gothic Theatre Englewood, CO
Dec 3 Fri. Club Nokia @ LA Live Los Angeles, CA
Dec 5 Sun. The Independent San Francisco, CA
Dec 8 Wed. Aladdin Theater Portland, OR
Dec 11 Sat. Showbox at the Market Seattle, WA
via Brooklyn Vegan

The Posies' Blood/Candy is out September 28.

Til The Next One There'll Be One More

Check out a new U2 song called Every Breaking Wave performed live in Helsinki a couple nights ago. The new album Songs of Ascent is somewhat of a companion album to No Line on the Horizon. It's still unclear when it'll be released.

Rolling Stone reports U2 is also working on a "rock album" and a "club-sounding" album in addition to Songs of Ascent and some Spider-Man musical nonsense.

U2 also announced today U2:DUALS, a collection of collaborations exclusive to subscribers to Give 'em credit, they seem to deliver on the paid subscription for hard-core fans.

Like Looking at the Deep Night Sky

Stream Eels' new album Tomorrow Morning at TheirSpace until you can buy it - tomorrow morning!

Monday, August 16, 2010

And Their Window Gives Them The Prettiest Picture

Ben Folds' collaboration with author Nick Hornby is now available to pre-order in different versions: Standard, Vinyl, and Deluxe:
This special deluxe edition of Lonely Avenue includes the album on CD, four short stories by Nick Hornby, and 15 images by acclaimed photographer Joel Meyerowitz, all in a hardbound, 152-page book. Orders include downloads of the album as high-quality, 320-kbps MP3s starting release day. Pre-orders include an exclusive, limited-edition Folds/Hornby-penned manuscript score from the album track "Picture Window," a number of which will be signed by Ben and Nick.
Check out the preview video below. I'm liking what I'm hearing!

Lonely Avenue is out September 28.

Rock 'n' Roll Is Here to Stay

One of the greatest joys in life is "discovering" a band no matter how old or new. Do you remember the first time you heard The Beatles? How about Jellyfish? Two defining bands in my life and I remember vividly those first few moments of discovery.

The A.V. Club's Better Late Than Never? column documents such discoveries that arguably should have come much sooner in life. The latest is Big Star, a band I didn't discover until college when I realized virtually every band I loved called Big Star a primary musical influence. This author was turned on to them for tragic reasons, but gives us a glimpse into what it's like to discover.

I've listened to a lot of music through the years so discoveries of past greats are becoming rare. Thankfully my son is ripe for learning the ways of Too Poppy so I can live vicariously through his ears. Nothing is more amazing than seeing your 7-year-old's eyes light up while listening to the music you love on his iPod! I'm not sure he's up for Big Star quite yet, but he'll get there!

Living in the Sprawl

Man, talk about the dog days of summer. My absence from Too Poppy has less to do with being out of town for nearly a week and much more to do with generally being uninspired to write about anything - until now anyway.

The iPod is unexpectedly being dominated by Arcade Fire's The Suburbs this month. I say it's unexpected because this is my third attempt at trying them out and the first time it's stuck. Previously I've just found them to be over-hyped and too pretentious. It's not that they're no longer over-hyped (they do have the #1 album after all) or pretentious, but the power of the music and subject matter breaks through on The Suburbs.

It is an investment at first. Although there are catchy tunes scattered throughout the diatribes on the suburban life, we're not talking three-minute perfect pop gems. Listen closely and repeatedly though and it'll catch. Oh, it'll catch. Modern Man is a great example. Try to shake it after the second or third listen.

The Suburbs times out at 60 minutes plus. In the age of the digital single this is a heavy ask for the casual listener. But as much as The Suburbs is a soundtrack for the suburban coming-of-age story, it is also an entirely convincing argument for the on-going relevance of the album as an art form. The Suburbs is best listened to in its entirety. The superb Sprawl II (Mountains Beyond Mountains) is a stunner in its own right (finding its groove somewhere between Blondie and The Sugarcubes while even teetering unashamedly into Abbaland), but as the musical and thematic climax of the album, it transcends to glory. There have been few goosebump moments like this in recent years so when we have them we should exploit them. Over and over again.

You've likely read up on Arcade Fire and maybe you're even a hardcore fan. This is the first time though they've found a place in the Too Poppy universe. Let's enjoy.

iTunes MP3

Friday, August 06, 2010

I'm Feeling So Upset

Well not that this is a shock to anyone, but Yoko Ono is the holdout on the Beatles' digital distribution.  "We are holding out," Yoko Ono, told Reuters Thursday. "Steve Jobs has his own idea and he's a brilliant guy. There's just an element that we're not very happy about, as people."

She further told people to not "hold their breath" for anything.  I wonder what the story is on the element she's not happy about.  You've got to believe Steve Jobs is pitching something really different and innovative around a digital launch of the Beatles' music.

I have the recently released boxed sets so a digital release for me is about letting the younger generations discover their music.  It will happen eventually.

Thursday, August 05, 2010

And His Hunger Burns

Weezer releases their new album Hurley on September 14. Haven't heard much about it until now...

Hurley will focus on the melodies and major chords of traditional '60s pop. In addition to the planned first single "Memories," other new tracks include "Ruling Me" and "Hang On," another pop-rock track that "sounds like Frankie Valli but mixed with Metallica guitars."
Love the sound of all that. Love the old Weezer and the occasional new flash of brilliance, but this has Too Poppy potential all over it!

I'm Feeling So Old, So Old

Chills! The first tune from The Posies' upcoming Blood/Candy has emerged courtesy of Spin and it is epic.
"Licenses to Hide" is emblematic of the new album's adventurous attitude, with a dizzying amalgamation of parts, not unlike a piece of musical theater. After opening with a somber, piano-led musing, where Stringfellow delivers a line about "feeling so old" backed by the Posies' trademark, chill-inducing harmonies (with an assist from Broken Social Scene's Lisa Lobsinger), the track veers into both '70s arena rock (think Styx, in a very complimentary way) and a Billy Joel-like, storyteller-style chorus.
Hmm, Styx? Billy Joel? How about Jellyfish?! Seems to have a totally different sound than what you'd expect from The Posies, but really, it's not that far off. Now I'm very excited about Blood/Candy - out September 28.

Stream it only at Spin.


Wednesday, August 04, 2010

Not Everyone Can Carry the Weight of the World

The Posies' Ken Stringfellow has heard R.E.M.'s new album and calls it "very old school."

"It had a very live feel. It's really quite beautiful, some of the recordings were a little bit dark and had just the kind of murk that you would hear on an old REM record. I thought that was a great thing to bring back." via NME
Accelerate seemed to be somewhat of a throwback as well but it just never stuck. We'll see about the new one!


Tuesday, August 03, 2010

You Can Feel It Now

Guster wants us to get psyched about the new album Easy Wonderful out October 5. Guster has already given - yes, given - us one new, awesome tune: Bad, Bad World. Guster is now offering the first official single from the album: Do You Love Me?

Guster has me psyched. Me gusta Guster.

Monday, August 02, 2010

The Memory of Late Nights

Squeeze has taken a cue right from the pages of Highlights Magazine for their newest album Spot the Difference due out tomorrow. Yes, the band is asking you to spot the difference between these new recordings and their classic, original counterparts. I think the point is to prove to the masses that they've still got it and I'll give them points for creativity, but this collection seems to be for the hard-core fans only. How about a greatest hits package instead?

Their North American tour has pretty much come and gone. It would've been a blast to see them with Cheap Trick or The English Beat. Let's hope this is the start of another phase of their glorious career. MP3

Thursday, July 29, 2010

I Know You're Feeling In Control

Pete Yorn's new self-titled album comes out September 28. Download a Petty-esque freebie from it called Precious Stone. All you need to do is tweet it! No Twitter for you? Stream it via SoundCloud below.

Pete Yorn by Oedipus

MP3: Pete Yorn - Precious Stone

I'll Know It When I See It

I was going to post last week about Bleu's new Kickstarter project for his upcoming album Four, but he hit his goal within a day or two and then some! Congrats, Bleu. Still you have some great rewards if you participate in the project prior to the release of the album, including having the opportunity to write a song with Bleu! Go here for all the details.

Bruce at Not Lame posted his thoughts on the need for Kickstarter and more at his new social media project Rock and Roll Tribe. Read it here.

Preview Four at SoundCloud