Friday, May 28, 2010

There's Only So Much I Can Say

More freebies from Rooney in the run-up to the release of their third album Eureka:

Holdin' On via Alternative Press
You're What I'm Looking For via Absolute Punk

Previous gifts from Eureka can be found here. Read an interview with Huffington Post (sure why not?) here. Below find the video for I Can't Get Enough.

They're also setting out on a massive tour this summer. Check out all the dates and ticket info here. Des Moines August 9! Eureka is out June 8.

Where Do We Go Now?

Axl can swing, baby! Some fun tunes altered to make them swing courtesy of NPR.

Talkin' About Freedom

Here's an interesting new interview with Paul McCartney that covers a lot of ground, including an attempt at explaining what the hell he was thinking with Freedom.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Wake My Mind

"The Smashing Pumpkins" return with a new free digital download, the first in a series of 11 mini-albums. This one is called Teargarden By Kaleidyscope 1: Songs for a Sailor, which seems like a classic title dreamed up by Billy Corgan. Oh, and this is "The Smashing Pumpkins" rather than The Smashing Pumpkins because really all that's left of the original band is Corgan and the name.

Did I mention it's free?

via WSJ

This Is Where It Gets Good

The Eels continue an unbelievably prolific streak with the release of Tomorrow Morning due out August 24. End Times was just released back in January so this is pretty impressive. Even more impressive is the utter optimism and happiness exuding from the song titles:
01 in gratitude for this magnificent day
02 i'm a hummingbird
03 the morning
04 baby loves me
05 spectacular girl
06 what i have to offer
07 this is where it gets good
08 after the earthquake
09 oh so lovely
10 the man
11 looking up
12 that's not her way
13 i like the way this is going
14 mystery of life
Yes, this is an Eels album!

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

I'll Make You So Sure About It

It's undeniable. God Only Knows is easily one of the most brilliant tunes ever released in the Too Poppy genre. Lovely harmonies, sweet sentiment, gooey in all the right places - just an all-around fantastic aural experience. The generations since have shown just how influential this one song has been with so many trying so desperately to write and record their own God Only Knows. Some come close. Most don't.

And others simply record their own cover version. Let's not kid ourselves, this is an incredibly risky move. Imitation may be sincerely flattering, but what good is a cover unless it has something special or unique to offer?

Brandon Schott is the latest to give it a go and not surprisingly we're the better of for it. As you'd expect, his version is no radical rearrangement, but the gift that Brandon gives in his music and especially in this cover is a certain intimacy and even vulnerability that let's us in and encourages us to experience the brilliant song from a slightly different perspective. For those of us familiar with Brandon's work, you're not surprised the musicianship is top-notch. He slows the tune down just enough for us to notice and give it new consideration. And for a song so revered for its harmonies that envelope the listener, Brandon boldly keeps them in check. The most obvious covers overwhelm us and try to outdo the original's harmonies. Brandon has more respect for the song itself and this interpretation challenges us to experience it with a fresh set of ears. Of course the killer moment comes when his son Tyler breaks in near the end: "...what I'd be without you...!" As any parent will tell you, this transcends the song to a completely new level.

Brandon Schott's proves God Only Knows is one of those rarities that is of its time and completely timeless. Well done.

I must not neglect to mention God Only Knows is backed with a cover of Strawberry Fields Forever! Strawberry Fields Forever is certainly of its time and is a bit too weird to be as universal as God Only Knows, but Brandon gives it a similar special treatment. As any Beatles nut as done throughout the years, I've dissected the song to dig deeper for understanding or revelation, which is its beauty - it never gives it all away. By making it downright haunting, Brandon's take adds a whole new element that has me excited to revisit the original and its many takes seeking a similar feel.

The Beach Boys and The Beatles - give Brandon credit for tackling both on one single and for giving us an entirely new appreciation for both the brilliance of the original songs and the gift of Brandon's musical voice.

God Only Knows b/w Strawberry Fields Forever is out today via iTunes.

Monday, May 24, 2010

Our Friends Are All Hurting

Sincerest condolences to Slipknot, their fans, and the Iowa music community who are all mourning the loss of bassist Paul Gray today.

What You're Working With

Sextus - the slightly naughty moniker of Jellyfish's and Imperial Drag's Eric Dover - is releasing a new album later this year called Devil Angel. On what's becoming quite an interesting trend, he's using Kickstarter to fund the project and deliver several different options to his adoring fans.

Check out Facebook or MySpace for a preview.

Kickstarter: Sextus - Devil Angel
Official Site

I'm Here to Remind You of the Mess You Left When You Went Away

It is extraordinarily hard to believe that it has been 15 years since that girl from You Can't Do That On Television broke through big time with You Oughta Know. TwentyFourBit has an excellent read on what made that song and moment in music history noteworthy and why it endures today despite Alanis' efforts to somewhat distance her subsequent songwriting efforts from it.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Hold On

Well, this is a bit odd. Sarah McLachlan will be performing her new single, "Loving You Is Easy", tonight on Dancing With The Stars. Wait, what? I could maybe see American Idol, but Dancing With The Stars? Will they be dancing to the performance? Tune in to find out!

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

I've Seen Sunny Days That I Thought Would Never End

The Right Track: Tunes to TargetCancer is a series of concerts, events, and music download opportunities to help raise funds for rare and underfunded cancers. Local, independent, and national artists donate unreleased songs for download exclusively on The Right Track. Your donation will bring you some of the best new music available today – and support research at the forefront of cancer treatment, research to cure all cancers.
That says most of what you need to know. Go here and you can donate and download a Joe Pernice and John Cunningham cover of James Taylor's Fire and Rain along with other fine tunes by Weezer, Mike Viola, Buffalo Tom, and the like (not The Like). Remember Buffalo Tom?!

Wish That We'd Listened

Daytrotter - the excellent music site that captures brilliant performances by brilliant artists as they travel through the Quad Cities in Iowa and Illinois - was recently visited by Trashcan Sinatras. You can download the four-song session here for free or for four bucks for four better-quality versions. Now that you're done choking on all those fours I can tell you this session includes a previously unheard and unreleased tune called The Stairs of New York.

So get going.

The World Could Show Nothing To Me

I'd like to think popster Jeff Litman was inspired by our series of videos and exclusive MP3s by Brandon Schott we hosted last year when he decided to start Monday Morning Under the Covers. In all likelihood he had a guitar, a webcam, and some serious talent to put to use. The first in the series is God Only Knows...

Speaking of Schott and God Only Knows, we'll post a review later this week of his new single, a cover of, uh, God Only Knows.

Monday, May 17, 2010

Couldn't Get Any Worse

So now it seems that it is EMI, the all-but-bankrupt record label, holding up the sale of The Beatles catalog on iTunes and other digital outlets. So says Sir Paul in a recent BBC interview. C'mon guys. It's 2010. Love was great, the boxed sets were greater, Rock Band was fun and that Apple-shaped USB drive, well, was an Apple-shaped USB drive. Let's get with it! While I'm very happy with my ripped collection of the boxed set, US catalog and various other things, let's let the last couple of generations in on all the fun!

I Hope to See Much Clearer

We first reported way back in '07 that Martin Scorsese was directed a biography of George Harrison. He and Olivia are finally just about finished with Living in a Material World: George Harrison.

Expect to learn much about the quiet Beatle you were never privy to or never sought out as he was often overshadowed by the enormous personalities and talent of two of his former bandmates. Lennon's story has been told ad nauseam and McCartney is too often an open book. We have much to learn about Harrison, who was undoubtedly the Beatles' "quiet" treasure.

They're shooting for a 2011 release date.

This Sounds a Bit Like Goodbye

The surviving members of Big Star old and new along with some very special friends played a tribute this past weekend in Memphis to Alex Chilton. I would've gladly witnessed the "affirmation" of the brilliance of Jon Auer and Ken Stringfellow in addition to R.E.M.'s Mike Mills, Brendan Benson, and John Davis of Superdrag.

Check out a review here. Let's hope they officially release this or I'll have to beg, borrow, and steal a bootleg!

It's Been a Long Long Time

Almost a year to the day after he played Des Moines, Matthew Sweet returns! He'll be playing the Principal Charity Classic - yep, a charity golf tournament - on June 4. $15 gets you in to the tournament all day and the concert. Awesome.

So far it's the only show listed on his website. Lucky us.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

I'm in Love With the World Through the Eyes of a Girl

Courtesy of AV Club's Undercover series, here is Ben Folds performing an excellent cover of one of Elliott Smith's finest, Say Yes...

You've Taken This Too Far

Some FriendlyIt's hard to believe The Charlatans' debut Some Friendly was released 20 years ago. Tim Burgess reminisces track-by-track. There's even more of a celebration here, including Burgess' album-by-album commentary.

As is becoming customary at significant anniversaries, the band is re-releasing the album in an expanded edition that includes non-album singles and BBC sessions. Pre-order the import through - it's out May 18.

The Charlatans is one of those rare bands that did not peak with their first few releases. They've evolved and continue to put out worthy albums that even feel less dated than Some Friendly. Explore via or iTunes.

It's Been a Hell of a Do

Much to Way2Poppy's excitement, Blur is NOT done!

A Slippery Descent

Download unreleased music and support the earthquake victims in Haiti. Music for Relief features tunes from Guster, Metric, Weezer, Dave Matthews Band, etc. all for the price of your donation.


Sunday, May 09, 2010

Speaking Words Of Wisdom

Happy 30th 40th Birthday, Let It Be! The Beatles last (released) album came out on May 8, 1970. It was the sound track to the infamous movie by the same name.

Wired has a great piece about the album in their new feature, Geek The Beatles.

Friday, May 07, 2010

The Wall Was Too High As You Can See

Roger Waters previews his upcoming tour celebrating Pink Floyd's classic The Wall...

Watch more AOL Music videos on AOL Video

Nah, not pretentious at all. Love it. More details here.

Say It Loud and Sing It Proud

Oasis has announced all the details about the new complete compilation of singles called Time Flies...1994-2009 including double CD, DVD, CD box set, and vinyl box set. Nice for collectors but I already have the music. I would be tempted if the set included b-sides too, some of which rivaled the singles and album tracks in quality especially in their heyday.

Out June 14. Pre-order here and enter for a chance to win autographed artwork.

Oasis at iTunes,

How Is the Bridge We Built?

Modern Skirts of Athens have a new album but need your help in getting it released. Kickstarter is an innovative online tool to help projects like this get the funding they need. The Skirts are willing to reward you for your generosity with the album, EPs, vinyl, autographs, etc. depending on your level of commitment.

The rough timeline is to release an EP of 4 or 5 songs in July and then get the complete album out in November, with the interim giving us time to publish our podcasts, make music videos, and hopefully have some other cool ideas as companions to the EP/album that we can incorporate. The more we can raise, the better; that means more music videos, more tour support, better equipment, and if there's any left over, maybe more studio time.
Great concept. It's a new world, music fans. Check out more details here.


Tuesday, May 04, 2010

I'm Coming Outta My Cage

The ego of Brandon Flowers can no longer be contained by The Killers! Yep, he's going solo with an album expected later this year called Flamingo. I'm skeptical, but I'm also intrigued by the nice little electronic ditty streaming on his site.

A Man With Nothing To Do

Justin Currie of Del Amitri has released his new solo album The Great War today. Haven't heard it, but you may recall it is a "rock group record." This gives me hope it'll be an improvement over his dreary, mopey solo debut.


Acoustic tour:
June 2010
10 Chicago, IL Lincoln Hall
11 Minneapolis, MN Fine Line
12 Denver, CO Toad Tavern
13 San Francisco, CA Café du Nord
15 Los Angeles, CA Troubador
17 New York, NY Joe’s Pub
18 Boston, MA Paradise
19 Philadelphia, PA Tin Angel
20 Washington DC Jammin Java


Belting Carols at the Sun

New Pornographers' Together is out today! Check out the new video for Your Hands (Together) below. Wax on. Wax off.


Sunday, May 02, 2010

May As Well Just Suck My Blood

Pernice Brothers release their next masterpiece Goodbye, Killer on June 15. Whet your appetite with a free download of Jacqueline Susann. Pre-order the album and will also receive an autographed copy of Joe’s and Joyce’s new book Pernice to Me, a chronicle of close to two years’ worth of petulant banter between the two, most of which has appeared on Twitter. It’s funny stuff.
MP3: Pernice Brothers - Jacqueline Susann

UPDATE: More previews here

You're Covered in Roses

Rest in Peace, Will Owsley.

OwsleyI was saddened to wake up this morning and read that Owsley died Friday of what apparently was a suicide. You can read more details here. Obit here.

His self-titled debut album finds a welcome place in the Too Poppy permanent collection and if anything, his death will bring his fantastic music to a slightly wider audience. It shouldn't take such a tragedy, though.


Owsley @ iTunes,

UPDATE: From the Will Owsley Appreciation Society on Facebook: Donations in honor and memory of Will Owsley can be made to: The Will Owsley Family Fund c/o Christ Community Church 1215 Hillsboro Road Franklin, TN 37069 MAKE CHECKS PAYABLE TO CHRIST COMMUNITY CHURCH. He left behind two young sons and every dollar donated will be greatly appreciated by his grieving family.