Monday, November 10, 2014

Better Watch Your Step

PPL MVR. Shit is getting weird.

Who? What? Why? Why not.

I have strong guesses for their true identities, but I'll play along. PPL MVR is SNBLL, K-PO, and Q. Naturally. Fun fun. Thump thump.

Free download available from their official site below. And they're signed to Atlantic Records. Sure.

Official Site | Atlantic |

Monday, October 20, 2014

So Oh In Love

Wow. So Oh in love with The Charlatans' newest tune So Oh. These guys keep going and going getting better and better. Their 12th album Modern Nature is due out Jan 26, 2015. Can't wait.

Official Site | Pre-order

Tuesday, October 07, 2014

Shake Off The Routine

Six minutes?! What a tease! Brandon Schott has released a brand new EP called Verdugo Park, which essentially serves as the second single from his upcoming album Crayons & Angels backed with a couple non-album tracks. Such music biz lingo.

The EP naturally starts with its namesake Verdugo Park, a happy tune about a happy place where life can't be that hard. Hell, the tune prominently features a tuba and Brandon's own kids. I dare you not to smile while listening to it. Musically, it's what you might expect and would want to hear from Brandon after 2011's excellent change-of-pace 13 Satellites. Forgive the lazy Beatles reference, but consider Verdugo Park Brandon's pre-Sgt. Pepper release; a striking yet fleeting hint of the brilliant promise of what's next. It's a full-on embrace of studio magic, and Brandon has become quite the magician. Hell, I can't even see the green screen in the accompanying magical video ...

Magic. Following the title track is the trippy instrumental Lapiz Lazuli. To carry the Beatles comparison further, it's the Lennon after the McCartney. It's impossible not to hear the mid-60s influence of Tomorrow Never Knows, but it's not merely a copy; it's a Schottsian original. You can picture Brandon working meticulously on this one in the wee hours of a Sunday morning drinking a Scotch while hoping not to wake the kids. My only criticism is that it's not five minutes longer.

Finally, the EP finishes with a perfectly pleasant cover of Castaway. It's an appropriate balance to the rest of the EP and reminds you of earlier, simpler Schott that is more stripped and less studio. Remarkably, in a mere six minutes on a single EP, Brandon Schott has showcased his best qualities. If the intent was to get us pumped for a full-length, well dammit, it's a job well done.

Disclosure: We at Too Poppy consider Brandon a good friend. In other words, he can do no wrong. Of course, a thorough listen to his catalog reveals the truth behind our opinion. Go on. Discover and explore already.

Verdugo Park is out today digitally and available very soon physically!

Official Site | Bandcamp | iTunes | Amazon

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Love is Free, Free is Love

Here's a wallet-friendly offer from the Beatles - 4, a new digital EP from the fab four for free (get it?). "Taste the individual brilliance" of John, Paul, George, and Ringo. Love by John, Call Me Back Again by Paul, Let It Down from George, and Walk With You from Ringo. Of course you probably already have these songs, but hey - they're free.

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Cheaper Than A Dime

Here they go again. The Beatles are relentlessly relieving our wallets of our hard-earned cash with even more releases. They must be the most prolific band that broke up more than 40 years ago.

It's George Harrison week on Conan, which means four performances of classic Harrison tunes. Beck kicked it off last night with Wah-Wah, a refreshingly unique choice.

Of course what I love most is his band, which includes Jellyfish's Jason Falkner and Roger Joseph Manning Jr. Of course Jr. has been playing with Beck for many years and Falkner has played with McCartney himself, so it's legit. Paul Simon, Dhani Harrison, and Norah Jones will finish off the week. Each of the remaining artists have some personal connection to the Quiet One, which makes the whole idea that much more special.

It's all to celebrate this week's release of George Harrison's The Apple Years, a six album box set that includes, well, all his albums released by Apple Records, including his tour de force All Things Must Pass.

Official Site | Amazon | iTunes

Monday, September 22, 2014

Things Left Unsaid

Twenty years after their last release, Pink Floyd's latest and likely last is set for release on November 10 (although iTunes notes the release date as November 7). The Endless River is a mostly instrumental set said to be a tribute to the band's late, great keyboardist Rick Wright. I'm not normally a fan of instrumentals, but c'mon, it's Pink Floyd!

Rolling Stone has all the details as well as the tracklist here! Pre-order below.

Rolling Stone | Official Site | Amazon | iTunes

Tuesday, September 09, 2014

Maybe This Time It's Wanderlust For Me

I'm not sure we need yet another cover of Yesterday, but a new Paul McCartney tribute album, The Art of McCartney, has quite an impressive lineup conveniently listed below courtesy of Rolling Stone.

The Art Of McCartney Track List:
1. Billy Joel - "Maybe I'm Amazed"
2. Bob Dylan - "Things We Said Today"
3. Heart - "Band on the Run"
4. Steve Miller - "Junior's Farm"
5. Yusuf Islam - "The Long and Winding Road"
6. Harry Connick, Jr. - "My Love"
7. Brian Wilson - "Wanderlust"
8. Corinne Bailey Rae - "Bluebird"
9. Willie Nelson - "Yesterday"
10. Jeff Lynne - "Junk"
11. Barry Gibb - "When I'm 64"
12. Jamie Cullum - "Every Night"
13. Kiss - "Venus and Mars"/"Rock Show"
14. Paul Rodgers - "Let Me Roll It"
15. Roger Daltrey - "Helter Skelter"
16. Def Leppard - "Helen Wheels"
17. The Cure, featuring James McCartney - "Hello Goodbye"
18. Billy Joel - "Live and Let Die"
19. Chrissie Hynde - "Let It Be"
20. Cheap Trick's Robin Zander and Rick Nielsen - "Jet"
21. Joe Elliott - "Hi Hi Hi"
22. Heart - "Letting Go"
23. Steve Miller - "Hey Jude"
24. Owl City - "Listen to What the Man Said"
25. Perry Farrell - "Got to Get You Into My Life"
26. Dion - "Drive My Car"
27. Allen Toussaint - "Lady Madonna"
28. Dr. John - "Let 'Em In"
29. Smokey Robinson - "So Bad"
30. The Airborne Toxic Event - "No More Lonely Nights"
31. Alice Cooper - "Eleanor Rigby"
32. Toots Hibbert with Sly & Robbie - "Come and Get It"
33. B.B. King - "On the Way"
34. Sammy Hagar - "Birthday"

The Art of McCartney Bonus Tracks:
1. Robert Smith - C Moon"
2. Booker T. Jones - "Can't Buy Me Love"
3. Ronnie Spector - "P.S. I Love You"
4. Darlene Love - "All My Loving"
5. Ian McCulloch - "For No One"
6. Peter, Bjorn and John - "Put It There"
7. Wanda Jackson - "Run Devil Run"
8. Alice Cooper - "Smile Away"

It really is a nice mix of Beatles' and solo tunes, old and newer. It's an eclectic range of artists as well. I'm insanely curious to hear Brian Wilson's take on the near-sappy Wanderlust, but really want nothing to do with Kiss. Ever. Check out the perfect cover of Hello Goodbye by The Cure below for a taste.

Out November 17/18 in a variety of fancy, 21st century formats.

Official Site | Rolling Stone | iTunes | Amazon

The Melody Above The Noise

Embrace the New World. Or better yet, manipulate the fuck out of it! Nice to see dinosaurs like U2 pull off a fantastic new release strategy today.

All tech and fanboy eyes were on Apple today when they announced the new iPhone and the possibly game-changing Apple Watch. Hopefully more relevant to your interests as a Too Poppy reader however, U2 did in fact perform at the conclusion of the Apple event as rumored. Excitingly they also announced the instantaneous release of their new full-length studio album Songs of Innocence. Brilliant.

As an Apple geek I watched it all unfold in real time via live-bloggers - er - I mean I was working all day and only just read about it. My jaw quite literally dropped before transforming to a dumb-ass grin as U2 announced they were actually giving the album away free to all iTunes users! I was quite pleased to come home, fire up the MacBook, and find the album in my iTunes.

After today I expect the whole stunt to be referenced in dictionary examples of the word synergy. In an age where every artist wants someone, anyone, to hear their music so they could possibly make a living out of it, kudos to U2 for capturing the moment and setting a precedent. Of course the genius of it was the shock value so it will be hard to replicate. But it's the New World! Play along or get the hell off!

iTunes | Official Site | Apple

P.S. The music is exactly what you'd expect from post-prime U2. Soaring guitars, earnest lyrics, and Bono. It's not groundbreaking nor is it merely a boring retread of past success. It sounds precisely like U2 in 2014, which from me should be interpreted as a compliment.

Thursday, September 04, 2014

Your Aimless Dreaming Has Found A Targeting

Well, it's not a new studio album, but we'll take it. Nada Surf is releasing the simply-titled digital release B-Sides, which collects, um, B-Sides from the last four studio albums. Of course, b-side is a bit of a misnomer these days particularly when we're talking digital releases, but I digress. It's greatly appreciated when a band actually releases these compilations for us fans that simply can't get enough.

1. No Quick Fix 
2. From The Rooftop Down 
3. Fools 
4. Concrete Bed (original) 
5. Au Fond Du Reve Dore 
6. Whose Authority (acoustic) 
7. I Like What You Say (acoustic) 
8. I Wanna Take You Home 
9. Everyone’s On Tour 
10. Je T’Attendais 
11. The Future (acoustic) 
12. Looking Through (acoustic) 
13. When I Was Young (acoustic) 
14. Waiting For Something (acoustic) 
15. Clear Eye Clouded Mind (acoustic) 

Nada Surf's B-Sides is out at your favorite digital retailers on September 23.

Official | iTunes | Amazon

Monday, September 01, 2014

Before It All Turns Sour

Twelve years after their last studio album was released, Del Amitri reunited for a UK tour this year, which is culminating in the release of their first live album. If enjoying a band's greatest hits performed live is your thing, Into the Mirror will be released October 20. Check out the full tracklist here. A limited amount of pre-orders may even be signed. Here in the states I would speculate it will only be available as an import, but who knows in this crazy 21st century global economy. Is a new studio album next?! Nah.

BTW, US fans won't get the full band just yet, but frontman Justin Currie is doing a solo tour. The details are here.

Official Site | Pre-Order

Monday, August 25, 2014

Let The Fire Fill My Eyes

Toad The Wet Sprocket really made a statement with last year's crowdfunded comeback New Constellation proving that they deserve to be more than a nostalgia act. They've just released their newest video for one of my two favorites tunes on the album. Here's California Wasted premiered by Paste...

iTunes | Amazon | Official Site

Saturday, August 23, 2014

Was It Always This Magnificent

Guster's new single, Long Night, is out. Check it out below. Awesome.

Friday, August 22, 2014

We Don't Want To Be Defeated

The Inspiral Carpets are back with their first single in quite a while, Spitfire.  They haven't lost their touch.  Classic IC.  Enjoy!

Download on iTunes
Pre-Order the New Album

Inspiral Carpets - Spitfire on MUZU.TV

Monday, August 18, 2014

The Stage Is Set And The Show Is Beginning

Jason Falkner. Roger Joseph Manning, Jr. Brian Reitzell. All names that Too Poppers are likely familiar with. For context, how about Jellyfish, Moog Cookbook, The Grays, Imperial Drag, Air, and Beck? All three have been in or worked with those artists and together, they are TV Eyes.

I've been covering TV Eyes since the early days of Too Poppy. She's a Study was the first tune we all heard, instantly hooking us with the keyboards and beats that uncannily sound more authentic 80s than merely reverential 80s. Their debut album was finally released in 2006 after several months and years of being teased. Sadly, it was only released in Japan, as was their follow-up EP.

We should've seen this coming. Omnivore Recordings clearly must be run by fans of Jellyfish and its many branches - er, tentacles - given their ongoing reissue campaign. Indeed, on October 7, Omnivore is finally releasing TV Eyes' debut album stateside complete with most of the Softcore EP. CD. Digital. Yellow vinyl! I'll let the trailer finish this post off...


Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Opportunity, The American Dream

Guster is the latest to request crowdfunding prior to the release of their brand new album in early 2015. Not sure how many times a single band could go to the well so it'll be interesting to see if this is the new reality or just a necessary stopgap for now.

Kudos to Guster for getting creative however! Of course you'd expect to find the perks like digital downloads and autographed copies of CDs and vinyls, but unique for Guster's loyal fans are spending a day camping with the band, a personal confessional session with Adam, and a karaoke party with Brian. I would regret not mentioning the opportunities to "Shit Your Pants With Guster" and to receive a new Tesla bought by Guster (for a mere $150,000).


Me gusta Guster!

Saturday, June 28, 2014

It All Comes Back In Good Time

Shockingly, The Posies released their debut album way back in 1988! Yep. Failure is 26 years old. I am way older than that and feeling it when I learned that they recorded this when they were teenagers! Seriously? At Least For Now and Longest Line were written and recorded by teenagers?

Failure is a fun listen because of how raw and homemade it sounds, yet it is absolutely the dawn of one of the greatest power pop artists of our generation. Just like they've done with their Jellyfish releases, Omnivore Recordings is memorializing this benchmark in the band's history with a deluxe reissue due August 19. The album is "restored" and includes an extra batch of rare tunes with one previously unreleased.

This is history, Too Poppers. Educate thyself.


Friday, June 27, 2014

You Wish That I Would Write For You

Anybody have $5k to spare? I'd really like my very own Matthew Sweet song!

That's one of several incentives in his new Kickstarter campaign for a brand new "serious" album and "3D Art Project." Digital download, CD, vinyl, Skype call, a produced song, and a live house party are all available from between $8 and $10,000 as well as some original art. The custom song is a steal at $5,000!

Matthew is back home in Nebraska and needs your help. If Toad the Wet Sprocket can succeed at crowdfunding, I sure as hell hope Matthew does as well. Let's show him some good ol' Midwestern love. I'm in. You?


Monday, May 19, 2014

Did You Forget Me, Baby?

It's all a bit under the radar at the moment, but our beloved Matthew Sweet is hitting the road this summer for a tour seemingly titled The Matthew Sweet Rock Show. I guess there's no question whether he's headlining. Via

FRI 7/11/14 Infinity Hall Norfolk, CT
SAT 7/12/14 Westhampton Beach PAC Westhampton Beach, NY
SUN 7/13/14 Sellersville Theater Sellersville, PA
TUE 7/15/14 Ram's Head Annapolis, MD
WED 7/16/14 The Birchmere Alexandria, VA
FRI 7/18/14 City Winery NYC, NY
SAT 7/19/14 Paradise Boston, MA
SUN 7/20/14 The Abbey Bar Harrisburg, PA
TUE 7/22/14 Club Cafe Pittsburgh, PA
WED 7/23/14 Beachland Ballroom Cleveland, OH
THU 7/24/14 Radio Radio Indianapolis, IN
FRI 7/25/14 City Winery Chicago, IL
SAT 7/26/14 Merchant Street Music Festival Kankakee, IL
TUE 7/29/14 Knucklehead’s Kansas City, MO
THU 7/31/14 Vega Lincoln, NE
SAT 8/2/14 SPACE Evanston, IL

Most dates already have tickets on sale. No news that I've seen about a new album, but my fingers are crossed.

Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Snug As Fuck

Liam Finn finally releases the follow-up to 2011's acclaimed FOMO next week. Pitchfork Advance is streaming the full album here with some instagrammy photos and vines short vids to go along with your listening pleasure.

Finn is pushing it to the edge again with The Nihilist, but being Neil's kid can't be easy (he even ends the album with a tune called Wrestle With Dad! Hmm). Liam is finding his way just fine!

Pitchfork Advance | Amazon

Bury Me Deep In Your Dreams

Matt Pond has released a new album via NoiseTrade called Skeletons and Friends. It's free as a thank you to supportive fans. But upon first listen, I feel a bit guilty about that. Of course you can tip on NoiseTrade and upon first listen it deserves a hefty one.

Perhaps strangely, it’s mostly about hope. Sometimes the forces surrounding will set you adrift, amiss in the sea of music.

Holy hell I can relate to that these days; a sea of music indeed. Beautiful. Enjoy.

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

It's Just A Drop Of Rain

Justin Currie is best known as the lead singer-songwriter of Del Amitri, a band sadly best known for Roll To Me. In the Too Poppy Universe, Currie is one of the best songwriters of his generation; dry, melancholic, witty, and in its ultimate meaning, lyrical.

Out today - at least in US digital stores - is his latest solo album Lower Reaches. calls it "a collection of road-ready, Scots-spun Americana that feels both loose and lived in." That's not the first time I've seen Currie called Americana and superficially I get it, but his songs are certainly more universal. Can't wait to download this one and I encourage you to do the same. In fact, dig deeper. Explore beyond Roll To Me and if you're a fan of contemplative, romantic, and often soul-crushing tunes then you will not regret it.

Official Site | Amazon | iTunes

Tuesday, February 04, 2014

Bright Are The Stars That Shine

I suppose Too Poppy is a blog 50 years in the making. Of course this month we're all celebrating the 50th anniversary of The Beatles crashing onto our shores and fundamentally changing music forever. There are plenty of celebrations online and elsewhere, but it would be tragic if you missed last night's Late Show with David Letterman performance of And I Love Her by Broken Bells (and Ringo) in the Ed Sullivan Theater...

Perfection. In less than four minutes The Shins' James Mercer and Danger Mouse collectively known as Broken Bells capture the essence of the initial revolution caused by The Beatles and the subsequent evolution of the popular music we revere today. Sting, Flaming Lips, Sean Lennon, and Lenny Kravitz are all scheduled for the remainder of Letterman's weeklong celebration.

It's also a hell of a way to promote Broken Bells' new album After the Disco, the follow-up to their fantastic self-titled debut. Disco is out today.

Official Site | iTunes | Amazon

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

You Crave Adventures

Jeremy Messersmith's new album Heart Murmurs "is no less than an attempt to craft a new batch of pop standards" according to NPR. They would know because they've heard it. Now they've made it available for us loyal public radio listeners in full streaming glory one week before it's officially released! The Reluctant Graveyard was an unexpected treat a few years ago so I can't wait to spend some quality time with Heart Murmurs' "subtle strings and sly infectiousness."

Stream Heart Murmurs via NPR

Official Site | Bandcamp | iTunes | Amazon MP3

Friday, January 03, 2014

To Me It Comes As No Surprise

Matthew Sweet moves back to the Midwest only two hours away from me and reveals plans for a 2014 Kickstarter campaign for his next album! More here!

Happy 2014, Too Poppers!

I Feel Blue In The Night

RIP, Phil.