Friday, August 30, 2013

In For A Round Of Overexposure

Hard to believe it's already been about 10 years since Elliott Smith took his own life. Rather than focus on that tragedy, this is a good opportunity to reminisce about his major label debut XO. I could go on and on about its beauty and sadness, but this guy says it all.

I'm partial to Either/Or, but XO is quite stunning as well. Time to borrow the kid's Beats and spend some quality time with Elliott Smith.

Amazon | iTunes

Thursday, August 29, 2013

If It's Any Consolation I Don't Begin To Understand Them

The Replacements played their first show in 22 (!) years earlier this week at Toronto's Riot Fest. John Samson, who sings for the under-appreciated Weakerthans, said,"It was simply the best show I have ever seen."

You can check out some recordings from the show here and a review here and here. So much for being rusty.

Just In Time

This new one kinda snuck out there.

Paul McCartney's new album - New - is out October 15. He just recently premiered the new single New, which you can preview below, here, or download via iTunes if you pre-order the new album! Sounds like a typical new, first single from a new McCartney album. I expect the new album to dig deeper, but at least the old man is still making new music!


Official Site | iTunes | Amazon | More

Monday, August 26, 2013

Everybody's Gonna Dance Around Tonight

Sir Paul tops the list of top-grossing concerts; all without any twerking.

Oh christ, he doesn't twerk on tour now, does he?

Everything Under The Sun Is In Tune

Today BBC premiered Darkside, a new dramatic interpretation of Pink Floyd's Dark Side of the Moon, which was released 40 years ago!

[Tom] Stoppard has written a strangely compelling radio drama based on and inspired by the album's multi-layered, existential meditations on fear, madness, greed, and the elusive passage of time. Darkside, as Stoppard calls the play, isn't a musical, with actors performing the songs. It's an abstract interpretation of the music and its possible meanings, dramatized by a small cast of recurring characters, with the album's songs woven throughout the piece as a soundtrack. [via]

Intriguing. Although not my favorite Pink Floyd album, Dark Side of the Moon has played an important role throughout my life; from my first-year college dorm floor name to a memorable evening of tirelessly soundtracking Wizard of Oz with a friend. It didn't work so well. Still, Dark Side is undoubtedly one of the best headphone albums.

BBC Darkside | Amazon | Official Site

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

As Quiet As I Can

Two of my favorite voices have joined forces as Minor Alps. Nada Surf's Matthew Caws and Juliana Hatfield recorded a full album's worth of tunes they're calling Get There. It's out October 29th and it's risen to the top of my fall release wish list.

Preview Buried Plans below...

Official Site

Your Voice Is Soft Like Summer Rain

Yes. I'm posting about Dolly Parton on Too Poppy. But dammit the slowed down version of Jolene that's been making the rounds on the social webs is freakin' cool. Rather than that classic country sound, the 33rpm version has a uniquely haunting Cohen Hallelujah vibe. I was skeptical at first, but here you go...

Like The Kids In Art School

Despite its name, Everybody Loves a Happy Ending will not be their swan song after all. Tears for Fears is evidently back in the studio recording the follow-up to their Too Poppy-approved 2004 release. In a proof-of-life scenario, Tears for Fears has released their version of Arcade Fire's Ready to Start, which is exactly how you'd expect it to sound. Check it...

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

In The End The Path Is Clear

Toad the Wet Sprocket is likely one of the more divisive bands of my generation; reviled by some but beloved by many. They were one of the lucky bands to release a string of modest hits in the 90s that still resonate with some of us today. They broke up after their solid but least memorable studio album Coil, but fate would prove the separation to be temporary and half-hearted. They've toured in the years since and finally recorded a new album's worth of material. And it's good.

New Constellation officially comes out September 17th, but many who contributed to their successful Kickstarter campaign already have the digital download. The album is nothing you wouldn't expect. Toad hasn't gone electronic, gimmicky, or god forbid too poppy. They're not walking on any oceans with the new release nor is there anything quite as stellar as Crazy Life, but New Constellation features the folksy melodies that are certain to please the fans that have stuck with them through the past 20+ years. And for the hard core fans (yes, we do exist), there's at least one Glen Phillips solo tune and one reworked Lapdog song in the set so that's something to look forward to.

For you impatient ones, Toad is giving away an EP called Something Old, Something New, which features two news tunes and three "classic reinterpretations," via NoiseTrade.

Official Site | Amazon | Kickstarter | NoiseTrade

Fate Up Against Your Will

Slipping out in the dog days of summer was the news yesterday that Sid and Susie are back with another collection of cover songs from a select decade. Of course Sid is Matthew Sweet and Susie is Susanna Hoffs and this time they've tackled the 80s, an interesting choice given both were making music then. No covers of their own material and only a few expected choices like Our Lips Are Sealed, which you can sample here. Evidently there was some discussion about covering a Bangles song. Wouldn't have minded hearing Sweet sing Manic Monday, but alas that won't be happening.

Billboard has all the details here along with the full track list, including The Smiths, Tom Petty, REM, XTC, and The Clash. Not a huge fan of cover songs as I've repeated time and time again. I tend to think Sid and Susie are a bit too faithful to the originals despite both being interesting artists on their own. Regardless, there's something quite nice about hearing their voices absolutely melt into each other.

Under the Covers, Vol. 3 is out November 12.