Tuesday, December 20, 2011

She Said That Someday Soon The Sun Is Going To Shine

Hey! Macca is back with an unexpected Christmas present this year with the "My Valentine"! It's a jazzy ballad with an elegant guitar backing with Eric Clapton. His new as-of-yet-untitled-album debuts in February! Can't wait! Song embedded below.

Thursday, December 15, 2011

The Past Was Yours But The Future's Mine

"The Stone Roses are pleased to announce that they have signed a record contract with Universal Music in London and with Columbia Records in New York."

Ok then, saw this one coming. Let's hope the third coming is better than that second one.


This New Peace I Can Feel It Now

I'll be the first to admit that I've been uninspired this year. Hell, look at Too Poppy and it's too obvious. I don't know if it's a down year with music or if I'm simply out of it. I go through phases and after a strong five+ years of intensely casual obsession I was due.

But when I hear Nada Surf is releasing a new album - boom. Instant inspiration. In the age of digital distribution and the mainstreaming of "indie" music, bands that have stuck it out for the long haul deserve our continued support and admiration. Nada Surf is just such a band.

The stars are indifferent to astronomy is the name of the new album not just another of my non-sequiturs. Evidently Nada Surf will "transport you to a new and wonderful place in a beguiling rush of beats, chords, hooks and words" ten times over on the new album. That's what they all say, but Nada Surf has set the precedent over and over. The new album is out not soon enough January 24 and they are touring in 2012. Inspired.

Download When I Was Young free!


Thursday, November 03, 2011

That Is Where It All Begins

Sad to see them go. Dig the new poppy tune. Could do without the girl from Tom Cruise's vampire movie "emoting" in the video. And yikes, R.E.M.'s new greatest hits album cover is dreadful.

Respect, yo.

The ultimate compilation is out 11/15/11.

Although It's Been Said Many Times Many Ways

It's that time! Time for completely irrelevant and unnecessary holiday albums to celebrate Baby Jesus®. Yes, Beibster, I'm talking to you.

It Girl® Zooey Deschanel's She & Him jumps in with A Very She & Him Christmas. Let's get to it - one minute I love Zooey D. and thinks she's pure delight yet the next minute I want to stick a hot fireplace poker into my ears at the sound of her. It's an odd relationship complicated by extreme cuteness and that voice. That voice. That voice she overuses in superfluous singing moments in her movies and that voice that gets a bit old over the course of an entire album. That voice that transcends time and melds so well with M. Ward's incredible music. I said it's complicated.

Anyway, it sounds as if that voice is perfect for Xmas melancholic classics like I'll Be Home for Christmas and The Christmas Song. We heard hints of it in Elf, but here you get a full 12-song set. I'll keep it on shuffle with Bing Crosby so I don't get overwhelmed, but if you like your Christmas with a bit of gee-golly-I'm-cool hipness, She & Him is for you.

iTunes | Amazon MP3

Tuesday, November 01, 2011

In the Cradle of a Song

“You’re the greatest love I’ve ever known.” When Brandon Schott sings it in This Is Home, rest assured it isn’t mere hyperbole. Lesser artists bury such a heartfelt line in flippant three-minute pop songs that sting with fleeting pleasure. Brandon lays it so bare on one of the sparsest songs on his new album 13 Satellites that it resonates through every carefully crafted note on the whole album. In just a moment it is stunningly clear that the stellar 13 Satellites is Brandon’s most ambitious, satisfying, and accomplished album to date.

Lyrically there’s a cozy domestic vibe on 13 Satellites that resonates with this 30-something suburban dad. Brandon writes, plays, and sings from his heart with such sincerity and vulnerability that you can’t help but want to hug the guy. Knowing Brandon I’m sure he’d be game, which is a testament to his honest, personal songwriting. What an incredible feat of courage it is to put your life out there in song and Brandon is making a career of airing it all out. As a listener we are only enriched by the trust and respect Brandon clearly feels for his listeners.

As with his excellent previous efforts, it is pure joy to hear Brandon's influences. In the hands of such a talented songwriter the tunes never sound derivative or unoriginal. In fact, Brandon leaves his original mark on every second of every song. Specifically, Satellite reminds me that as long as the final product comes close to a song like this, every new generation has a right to lay claim to The Beatles’ lasting legacy. The Sgt. Peppery Exploding Angel oozes Being for the Benefit of Mr. Kite. All the Way Down could so clearly be an outtake from Paul McCartney’s eponymous debut that would sound just perfect next to Junk. Although indisputably and admittedly Beatlesque throughout, 13 Satellites evokes its fair share of Beach Boy harmonies, Elliott Smith depth, Ben Foldsian melodies, and ... something sure is Jellyfishy with Louise Street.

The best thing about 13 Satellites? Brandon sounds happy. He has dealt with pretty heavy issues through his music and doesn't shy away here, but Brandon is clearly in a good place. 13 Satellites reflects a newfound playfulness that proves the good ones don't sacrifice fun for substance.

iTunes | Amazon MP3 | BrandonSchott.com

Facebook | Twitter | YouTube

Check out the way cool animated video for Satellite below.

On a final note, Flowers Fading is easily the most gorgeously timeless song I’ve heard all year. It. Is. Stunning.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

I Don't Care Where You've Been

So it's true: absence does make the heart grow fonder. After years of staying as far away from each other as possible, the original members of The Stone Roses have officially announced they are reuniting! Of course so far it's only for a few live performances, but if they can capture half the magic as they did on their debut album, I'd love to hear it. Their self-titled album is one of the most important soundtracks to my coming of age as I'm sure it is for countless others. Second Coming however was far from it, perhaps proving lightning only strikes the same place once.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Flickering Like an Old Forgotten Flame

Brandon Schott has posted a tongue-in-cheek informercial for his new album 13 Satellites, which I can safely say is his Too Poppiest effort to date! We're pumped about this one! Check it out...

13 Satellites is officially released October 25! More here.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Someone Tell Me Why

I'm convinced that Guided By Voices is one of the only bands that could actually release the rare and elusive perfect pop album. The problem -if it is one- is that they have the knack for creating unfinished masterpieces not unlike McCartney in the mid-70s. Macca used to stick three unfinished tunes together to make a medley pretending to be one song. GbV however happily releases their one minute gems as stand-alones. So I was a bit bummed hearing they had called it a day, but after touring together again we should've seen this coming...

GbV's "classic" lineup is releasing a brand new LP likely full of 21 brilliant half-songs called Let's Go Eat the Factory on 1/1/12. Paste has the tracklist. Get ready to relish in the fleeting perfection.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Closer To Your Side

Fifteen years is a long time to wait. Henceforth every passage of time totaling 15 years shall be known as Mockingbird Time thanks to The Jayhawks. The new album released today is the first in that time to feature founding members Mark and Gary - truly the heart and soul of the band. Personally I'm partial to the pop joy of Smile, but that album seriously offended many Jayhawks fans.

From initial listens Mockingbird Time will heal all wounds for those damaged by Gary's audacious foray into memorable hooks and melodies. The nerve.

Amazon MP3

Preview (via Rolling Stone)

Art of Almost

Wilco's newest album The Whole Love comes out next Tuesday, but thanks to the magic of public broadcasting you can preview the whole darn thing here. Special thanks to those socialist hippies at NPR who have willfully divided Wilco fans into two camps sandwiching their brilliant career peak Yankee Hotel Foxtrot! Choose your allegiance or you are no longer allowed to be a fan.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Beautifully Fucked Up

Matthew Sweet's latest album Modern Art is back to streaming online before its official release on 9/27. Rolling Stone has the exclusive stream here and calls it "artier" and "more abstract."

Musically it's as good as anything else he's done yet perhaps not quite as catchy, which bodes well for its longevity. Can't wait to spend more time with it, again. Cool!

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

There Shall Be Peace In The Valley

Smile. It's really happening. 11/1/11.


What Do I Do With All These Voices?

Ben Folds is going to release a career retrospective (back in my day they were called greatest hits), which will include several new tunes from Ben Folds FIVE, the first recorded in 11 years! NBC recently revealed House, which is quite nice despite sounding at times a bit like the classic HBO theme song. Stereogum has the exclusive Tell Me What I Did. Its more raucous and snarky feel is a good contrast to the adult contemporary vibes of House. Stereogum has also posted the entire tracklist, which has pretty much every tune you'd expect and then some.

Hey, BFF, how about a new long player, eh?!

The 3-CD box set comes out October 11. Pre-order The Best Imitation of Myself here. Perfect name, btw.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

My Love Is There For You Any Time of Day

Damn. Do I have to order HBO again?

Scorcese's George Harrison doc premieres on HBO 10/5-6. Source.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

All The Good That We Do

Unbelievably it's been over a decade since Julian Lennon released his pleasant, Beatley Photograph Smile. Prolific he's not. So it's good news that you can now pre-order his next release called Everything Changes (not to be confused with one of my favorites Change Everything by Del Amitri). No official artwork or previews are out quite yet,

Hey, Jude's new album comes out 10/4 via import for us dirty Americans (his native UK friends get it on 9/26).

Tracklist (according to Amazon.co.uk)

1. Everything Changes
2. Lookin' for Luv
3. Hold On
4. Touch the Sky
5. Invisible
6. Just for You
7. Always
8. Disconnected
9. Never Let You Go
10. Guess It Was Me
11. Don't Wake me Up
12. Beautiful
Check out the rough mix of the title track here. Very nice.

She Comes Alive

Matthew Sweet's new album Modern Art briefly leaked about a month ago but was pulled off the interwebs soon thereafter. Rather than wait another painful month without the new tunage, Mr. Sweet and his new PR machine Missing Piece have graciously offered for sale the first single She Walks the Night. It's not as great as the whole album streaming freely, but it'll do. Of course you can stream the tune for free and evidently download it for the price of your email address here.

Amazon MP3

New tour dates are popping up! And it appears the album has been pushed back a couple weeks to 9/27. Grumble.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Hanging Out in the Cool of The Night

Brandon Schott's first track from his forthcoming album is now streaming below. Take a listen. It's a great track. I can't wait for the album!

Satellite by BrandonSchott

Tuesday, August 09, 2011

You Better Listen From Now On

Who doesn't like free music? Lightning Seeds are giving away a free acoustic version of "All I Want" from the Isle of Wight Festival this year.


All I Want (Live 2011)

Monday, August 08, 2011

I'll Open Up Release Me, Release Me, Release Me

Pop music master and friend of toopoppy.com Brandon Schott is releasing his 4th album on October 25, 2011. "13 Satellites" is promised to be his bet yet and I for one can't wait. He's launching a massive campaign to get the distribution and promotion train going. Contribute now and not only get an advance copy of the CD when, but you can even get Brandon to come to your home or swipe his prized ukelele used in the recording of the album. I'll definitely be getting in on some of that!

Be sure to check out his YouTube Channel for the quirky but fun 13 Satellites teaser trailers!

Sunday, August 07, 2011

20 Years Have Been Dead & Gone

Can you believe it's been 21 years since Jellyfish Bellybutton came out? This is the quintessential power pop album of the 1990's. If you don't own this album, you should be ashamed of yourself. :-)

This album is infectiously melodic, fun, well-produced, and brilliant.

The Man I Used To Be, Live

Tuesday, August 02, 2011

I'm Blinded by the Lights

Björk's videos rarely disappoint. When it's directed by Michel Gondry, director of one of my all-time fave flicks Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, you know it's special. Crystalline is her newest single from the upcoming Biophilia.

Not typical Too Poppy fare I know, but a man's gotta stretch and I've always had a soft spot for Björk.

As always, Björk is pushing the boundaries with the release of her new album Biophilia. In fact, it's being called the first app album. Yep, you can download the app (which is actually pretty cool and trippy itself) and then download individual tracks that are complete with multimedia accoutrements like games and video. The app is definitely worth checking out. Biophilia is out 9/27. Read more here.

App Download
Crystalline Single via iTunes

It's Another State of Mind

Too Poppy-approved releases out today ...

Fountains of Wayne - Sky Full of Holes (iTunes / Amazon)
Guster - On the Ocean EP (iTunes / Amazon)

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

No One Has the Answer

Liam or Noel? Liam of course beat Noel to the post-Oasis release with the Oasisy Beady Eye, which picks up exactly where Oasis left off. Now Noel is releasing his Noel Gallagher's High Flying Birds' new tune The Death of You and Me, which is quite, uh, Oasisy. Noel has a knack for melody that Liam has never quite picked up. Regardless, for Oasis fans it might be true that the parts are in fact greater than the sum.

The album is released in October.

I'm Taking You Back

Matrimonially-blissed-out poppers Mates of States are releasing their new album Mountaintops on September 13. Maracas is the first single, which you can download free below. Also check out the retro VHSed video below as well.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

...Is Equal To...

John Lennon had a full-length feature released in theaters. HBO has George Harrison's Scorsese documentary. Now Showtime has Paul McCartney's documentary The Love We Make about his experiences following 9/11. Rumor is that Ringo is working on a deal for 15 minutes on your local public access channel. Good for him.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

First Impression...

Yes. This is happening. Matthew Sweet's whole new album Modern Art is streaming here and below! Thanks to those who made sure to let me know!

Modern Art

First impressions ... mellow yet punchy, reverential, delicious.

In other news, it's been confirmed that Matthew will perform Girlfriend in its entirety on tour this fall! It's going to be a good year.

You're Taking Me Over

Garbage returns.


The Clues for Which I Search

Well this is news to me. Evidently Guided By Voices' classic lineup is playing a few more shows. So much for the farewell tour a couple years ago. There aren't too many shows, but they're being touted again as their last performances. Paste has all the details.

This is one of those bands I regret missing.

Imaginary Airport Breeze

Adam Schleslinger has been busy. First the announcement that his "side project" Ivy is releasing a new album and now we're only a couple weeks away from  Fountains of Wayne's new album Sky Full of Holes! The album is out 8/2 and plenty of pre-order options are available, but you can now download the single Someone's Gonna Break Your Heart. Preview it below. The new Richie and Ruben is also available for download.

Personally I'm glad it sounds a bit like they're getting away from those novelty tunes.

Take Me For a Ride

It's been over six years since their excellent last album In the Clear, so it's exciting news that Ivy is finally releasing a new one called All Hours on 9/20. Check out the first single Distant Lights below or download via iTunes. Love that voice.

DISTANT LIGHTS (New Single) - All Hours
by TheBandIVY

Friday, July 15, 2011

My Love Is There For You Any Time of Day

Looks like I'll need to renew HBO:

HBO has acquired the North American broadcast rights to Martin Scorsese's GEORGE HARRISON: LIVING IN THE MATERIAL WORLD, which will debut in two parts — on October 5 and October 6, 2011 — exclusively on HBO.
Finally the quiet one gets his due with a full-length documentary and a book published by Olivia Harrison.

Martin Scorsese says, "I will never forget the first time I heard All Things Must Pass, the overwhelming feeling of taking in all that glorious music for the first time. It was like walking into a cathedral."


Late Nights with the Power Pop

Matthew Sweet's new album Modern Art now has art! And song titles!
Oh, Oldendaze
Ivory Tower
She Walks the Night
When Love Let's Go I'm Falling
A Little Death
Late Nights with the Power Pop
My Ass is Grass
December Dark
Modern Art
September 13!

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Am I Asleep? Is This A Dream?

Guster is set to release a new EP of Easy Wonderful b-sides, live songs and remixes on August 2! The lineup will be:

1. On the Ocean (radio edit)
2. Big White Bed
3. Every Moment
4. Satellite (live at the Met Museum of Art)
5. That's No Way to Get to Heaven (live at the Met Museum of Art)
6. This Is How It Feels to Have a Broken Heart (Mitchell Spinach Re-Mix)

The EP will be available via guster.com, iTunes, Amazon and of course your favorite local independent record store (what the hell is that?).

Enjoy "On The Ocean" from the EP now!

On The Ocean (Radio Edit) by GusterMusic

Thursday, July 07, 2011

Now I'm only [Seventy-One]; And All I Wanna Do, is Boogaloo!

Happy Birthday, Ringo Starr. The venerable drummer is 71 today! PopMatters has a nice video retrospective. Enjoy!

Thursday, June 30, 2011

Make a Promise to No One

Toad the Wet Sprocket is releasing a new album around this time next year! So said Glen Phillips tonight in Des Moines where Toad played two new tunes, everything else you'd want to hear, plus Way Away, Torn, and Come Back Down from their first two albums! Also learned Glen's dad is from Algona, Iowa and Glen invited many cousins to the show tonight!

Toad still delivers an emotional wallop for those of us nostalgic for the 90s. Catch them on tour this summer if they're coming close!

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Make It Stop

Ames, Iowa's own radioheaders The Envy Corps is offering you a free download. Well, it'll cost you your email address and unfortunately you'll never get it back. Free ain't free, bub.

Make It Stop is from their upcoming release It Culls You.

The Boy Who Ate Your Heart

Liam Finn's new album FOMO is stunningly awesome and ranks near the top of my dreadfully short 2011 best-of-so-far list. Of course considering his pedigree you should not be surprised.

FOMO is sprinkled with hooks a'plenty but just as you're settling in and expecting a right turn he does a somersault. It's a fun and fast listen without something new and interesting to discover in each song. Just downloaded it last night and listened to it about four times already.

Official Site

Low Low Slo-Mo

It's Wilco's world. We're just here to blog about it.

New album The Whole Love comes out 9/27. Preview the new 7" single I Might here and pre-order it here. Love the organ, kids.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

I'm Always Reading Every Useless Piece Garbage That You Send My Way

Weird Al's latest album is out! If you're a fan, and why wouldn't you be, download it today! There are 4 songs that were previously on his Internet Leaks EP plus a whole slew more.

Standout tracks:

Skipper Dan
Party In the CIA

Full Album in iTunes

I'll Stay 'til Every Flower Dies

From Matthew Sweet's official site:

The release date for Matthew's latest long-awaited album has been set.
"Modern Art" will be available on September 13, 2011
F#ck yeah! Plus he's touring. Check out dates here.

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Brushing the Hands of Time Away

Are The La's reuniting? Lee Mavers, the seemingly conflicted genius behind the pure pop joy of The La's, played a live show in Manchester for the first time in two years tonight. Preceding the show, The La's popped up on Facebook, Twitter, and a new form of communication called the World Wide Web. Cutting edge those La's.

Who knows. Just like The Stone Roses, The La's blew everybody away with their incredible debut album. Unlike The Stone Roses, The La's failed to ever release an inferior sophomore album. Maybe status quo is ok for some bands.

Wednesday, June 08, 2011

Kicking Back All That Fury

Mates of States announced this today on Facebook ...

Alright, BIG NEWS!! We are set to release a new album, "Mountaintops", on 9/13 via Barsuk. Check the tracklist out below.
01. Palomino
02. Maracas
03. Sway
04. Unless I'm Led
05. Total Serendipity
06. Basement Money
07. At Least I Have You
08. Desire
09. Change
10. Mistakes

Enjoyed Re-Arrange Us quite a bit, but I know its polished sound alienated some old fans. We'll see where they turn with Mountaintops. Sounds, er, lofty.

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

I Turn the Music Up

Coldplay is releasing a new single this Friday called Every Teardrop Is a Waterfall to prime for their summer of festivals. Your favorite digital store will likely have it.

Read more about it here.

Let Me Hear Some More of that Rock and Roll Music

The Beatles' Anthology makes its debut on iTunes June 14th. On the off chance you don't already have it, now you can download it.

New for the digital release is a Highlights album, showcasing 23 songs from the full Anthology release. The Highlights album will go for $13. The compleat Anthology will go for $80 with each individual album going for $30.

Watch the video introduction.

Monday, May 30, 2011

My Convictions Could Not Lie

Next week Tony-winning artist Duncan Sheik is releasing an album of 80s covers including tunes from The Smiths, Depeche Mode, The Cure, etc. Not usually a fan of covers albums, but Nada Surf changed that all for me with last year's stellar If I Had a Hi-Fi. Should be interesting to hear what Sheik does with these dark synthy classics.

Check out his cover of New Order's Love Vigilante here.

Updated:The album was released today. Download it(iTunes).

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

If My Song Is Real

Wisely is reuniting with his trio. It's a Willie Wisely Trio Reunion naturally enough. All four members of the original band are playing a few select gigs this summer for the first time in 18 years to celebrate the release of a new album called True. Get a video preview here and check out tour dates here.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Get a Life, Put It In My Song

Brendan Benson's classic Lapalco is getting the remaster/reissue treatment. Two digital releases and two vinyl releases. Take your pick and you'll be treated to a bonus track or b-sides! Don't know Brendan Benson?! Oh boy, you have much to learn.

Buy here

Also of note, Brendan has been working on his new album. Even The Posies have stopped by to contribute! Can't wait.

Official site

Thursday, April 28, 2011

We Can Take Dictation and Learn to Smile

Paul McCartney's DIY solo works McCartney and McCartney II are getting the deluxe treatment. Remastered single disc, two-disc, vinyl, and the ultimate four-disc w/DVD and book will be available June 14.

Because we've all been waiting for the remastered Temporary Secretary!

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

It's All Worth Waiting For

It's been true for a while now, but Toad the Wet Sprocket has made it official: they are now a nostalgia act. After many years of hitting the summer neighborhood fests they've finally released a new album. All You Want can hardly be called new however. It's a collection of some of their best songs entirely re-recorded and in some cases significantly reworked. They say they're "reclaiming our past for ourselves" and lament the fact that they don't own many of their recordings. It sounds like it was a cathartic experience for them and I'll likely pick it up, but I hope they don't settle for the past only. They just might have another great album in them.

Buy All You Want and check out all the upcoming tour dates here.

I'm Over My Head

Lollapalooza announced the 2011 lineup and they had me at Foo Fighters ... and then lost me at Eminem. But I suppose the benefit of a festival is that you get to pick and choose. Other Too Poppy-approved headliners: Coldplay, Muse, The Cars, Bright Eyes, Big Audio Dynamite, Sleigh Bells, and I suppose I should say Explosions in the Sky considering I roomed with the drummer in college although he probably has no recollection of that! We had a lot of people in that house.

Check out the full lineup here. Can't say I'm wowed by it. Lolla11 is August 5-6 in Chicago's Grant Park.

Friday, April 15, 2011

Thank You Friends

In celebration of Record Store Day tomorrow, Steven Wilson of Plasticsoul and Brandon Schott have released a cover version of Big Star's Thank You Friend. It's a very limited download for the first 200 fans here! Quite nice, but I would not have expected any less.

Big Star is also celebrating the bygone era of record store glory with a test pressing vinyl release of Third (from which Thank You Friend comes). Other notable releases include Bruce Springsteen, Built to Spill, Crowded House, Death Cab for Cutie, Fistful of Mercy, Fleet Foxes, Foo Fighters, Green Day/Husker Du (!!), Nirvana, Pink Floyd, R.E.M., The dBs, The Flaming Lips, and the like (not the band). See a full list here.

Many of the releases are exclusive to Record Store Day and quite rare. A few bands make the product available after, but many don't. Lines have been known to form early in the day so go to your favorite local shop and support a dying breed for at least one more day! I'll be hitting Zzz at some point tomorrow!

Friday, March 11, 2011

Been Taken for Lost and Gone

Yeah, right.

The Beach Boys' legendary lost masterpiece Smile is set to finally finally finally be officially released 40+ years after its recording. This album has its own mythology around it because there have been so many near-releases over the years, not to mention bootlegs and Brian Wilson's own take on it. Capitol Records says it's coming out in 2011, yet...
You want it right? Sure, we all do. So make it right BEFORE announcing that it's ready to be released. Sheesh. They say it's happening, though, and the whole band is on board. I'm sure Mike Love will find a way to f#ck it up like he always does though.

The story of Smile via Wikipedia

Thursday, March 10, 2011

You Don't Look At Things The Same As Me

The Smithereens first album of new material in over 11 years is due out April 5, 2011! The album's timely name is "Smithereens 2011", an homage to their hit album "11".

The first single, "Sorry", is now available on iTunes. You can also stream it for free at Spinner.

Sorry is classic Smithereens and makes me actually look forward to the album. Let's face it - the last couple of albums were not that great. Over in iTunes you can stream snippets of the rest of the songs on the album and I'm highly optimistic from what I've heard so far.

Pre-order Smithereens 2011 from iTunes

Tuesday, March 08, 2011

Love Comes and Goes

Telekinesis sets the lyrical tone immediately on the new 12 Desperate Straight Lines: "We fell in love in the summer. By springtime we were done." Yep, classic break-up album. Virtually every song invokes the winter of their discontent with the cheeriest of tunes. Yep, classic Too Poppy album!

The second album by Michael Benjamin Lerner's band easily avoids the sophomore jinx by staying catchy, concise and reverent to popsters of yore. Paul Simon's 50 Ways to Leave Your Lover is explicitly affirmed by 50 Ways. Please Ask for Help is richly complete with Disintegration-era Cure guitars. And Gotta Get It Right Now is the catchiest thing I've heard all year. The static of background broadcasts is peppered throughout the album giving it that irresistible classic AM radio feel that seems to fit nicely with the universal sentiment that relationships suck at times but yet we still gotta get it right now.

The album produced by Death Cab's Chris Walla clocks in at barely over half an hour and leaves you thoroughly satisfied yet hopeful for more. 12 Desperate Straight Lines is the first great Too Poppy-approved album of 2011.

Amazon MP3

Official site
Merge Records

Thursday, March 03, 2011

Things Have Been Dark For Too Long

INXS - yes ... INXS - has released a new greatest hits package and it's now just seeing the light of day here in the US. This one is a bit different though because they've cajoled other artists to cover or otherwise guest on the tunes. Of course when your original lead singer has been dead for 14 years and you've been forced to subject fans to an American Idolesque reality show to replace him, I guess you need to get creative. Most interesting to me: Ben Harper doing Never Tear Us Apart and Tricky with Meditate. Fair warning, though ... John Mayer is on the album.

Amazon MP3
AOL Stream

Video for new version of Don't Change ...

I'll stick with the brilliant originals. Michael Hutchence is irreplaceable.

Do Those Stunts Prove Anything?

Danger Mouse and the dude from The Shins - collectively better known as Broken Bells - are releasing a new EP of previously unreleased tunes on March 29. This is good news considering they released one of my favorite albums of 2010.

Pre-order Meyrin Fields now here.

Wednesday, March 02, 2011

Hip Hip Hooray

R.E.M.'s new album Collapse Into Now is available for purchase with your hard-earned cash next Tuesday, but through the magic of public broadcasting you can stream the entire album for one full week before you buy. What a wonderful time we live in.

NPR calls the album "the band's most rewarding album 15 years." I heard similar hyperbolic pronouncements about Accelerate and quite frankly that album just didn't hold up for me. But it's R.E.M. They've earned my attention.

Tuesday, March 01, 2011

The Beat Goes On

Beady Eye, which is really just Oasis sans the more talented brother, released their debut album today cheekily titled Different Gear, Still Speeding. Because, you know, it's really still Oasis, just, uh, different, and they still like to do drugs, like speed. It all makes sense.

Actually it's getting pretty decent reviews and iTunes is featuring it this week for $7.99. Go.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

You Left Me All Alone

Dan Wilson of Trip Shakespeare and Semisonic is working on a new "super-solo" album where he's truly flying solo. He's debuted the first new tune from it called Something I Don't Know. It's exactly what you'd expect from Mr. Wilson - gooey, sentimental piano pop.

Wilson is also currently enjoying his first Number One song in the UK: Adele's Someone Like You, a true song for a broken heart...

Congratulations, Dan!

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Another Life, Another Birth

Toad the Wet Sprocket is touring quite a bit this year. Check out all the dates here. Could new music be on the horizon? I won't get my hopes up.

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

You Will Be the Soundtrack of My Summer

Electro De Perfecto is the newest album from Mike Viola, one of our time's premier popsters. It should be out this spring or summer, just in time to make it the soundtrack to your summer. Judging by the first track he's released for our gracious consumption, it will undoubtedly be mine. Check out Sound Of My Summer on his Facebook immediately to start feeling that sunny warmth.

Official Site (if you're a big fan of vinyl, be sure to pick up his Candy Butchers' masterpiece Hang On Mike on vinyl for a limited time - this is the first time I've seriously considered an out-of-control vinyl habit)
Amazon MP3

Monday, February 14, 2011

Suckered You But Not Your Friends

Radiohead continues its innovative surprise attack album releases with today's news of The King of Limbs. The new full-length is digitally released on Saturday (?!), but there will be specially packaged editions for the hardest-core fans that will come out this May.
Radiohead has moved away from the "pay what you want" model that they used for their 2007 album "In Rainbows," but they retain some of that campaign's innovative marketing tactics. The album will be packaged as a high-end collectable item for fans and the quickly distributed digital release will help to combat unofficial leaks. An extravagantly packaged version of the record will be issued, including two clear 10" vinyl albums, a CD, special artwork and more. A digital-only presale version of the album will also be made available.
Pre-order here. What is known about it?

For the Cause and Cure We're Waiting

The New Pornographers are touring this spring!

APRIL 13, 2011
w/ The Menomena

APRIL 14, 2011
w/ The Menomena

APRIL 15, 2011
w/ The Menomena

APRIL 16, 2011
Sold Out

APRIL 17, 2011
w/ The Menomena

APRIL 18, 2011
w/ Menomena

APRIL 22, 2011
w/ The Walkmen

APRIL 23, 2011
w/ The Walkmen

APRIL 25, 2011
w/ The Walkmen

APRIL 26, 2011
w/ The Walkmen

APRIL 27, 2011
w/ The Walkmen

APRIL 28, 2011
w/ The Walkmen

APRIL 29, 2011
w/ The Walkmen

More here.

We Were Already Bored

Congratulations to the following Too Poppy-approved artists who won big last night at the Grammys!

Album of the Year - Arcade Fire-The Suburbs (the night's second biggest surprise)
Best Solo Rock Vocal Performance - Paul McCartney-Helter Skelter
Best Historical Album - The Beatles (Original Studio Recordings)
Producer of the Year - Danger Mouse (Broken Bells)

That's just the tip of the Grammy iceberg. See the complete list here. Now can we please retire Fuck You (nice Elton John/Jim Henson rip-off performance last night), Hey Soul Sister (seriously, any song that name drops Mr. Mister...), Need You Now (Alan Parsons Project gone country - thanks, My Hmphs), Lady Madonna GaGa, and The Bieb?!

Friday, February 11, 2011

They Just Seem a Little Weird

Check out Jellyfish's Roger Joseph Manning Jr. playing keyboards with Cheap Trick!

Watch the full episode. See more Austin City Limits.

Like it? Like Austin City Limits on PBS? Like NPR's All Songs Considered? Well then you damn well better support public broadcasting. Too many in Congress think there is no longer a point to funding such a fundamental piece of our culture. It's time to tell them they are so fucking wrong. Public broadcasting is in serious danger and Too Poppy relies on it in more ways than you'll ever know. I bet you do too. Here's one place to start voicing your support and let Congress know that we cannot take this vital resource for granted. In the meantime, I'll step off my soapbox so you can enjoy Cheap Trick above!

Tuesday, February 08, 2011

When Hope Is Gone Just Hang On

Guster is now offering their Daytrotter session for the low low price of free. Hang On, Hercules, Bad Bad World, That's No Way To Get To Heaven, and Backyard. Free.

Me gusta Guster (and Daytrotter)!

Download here. Free.

The Sound He Appears to Make

As previously reported, The Beatles' Love is now out via iTunes. Exclusive to iTunes are The Fool on the Hill and Girl. Unexpectedly The Beatles and Apple are letting us download just those two songs! I would've completely expected them to force us to purchase the whole album to get the exclusives. Cynical much?

Find the Love at iTunes.