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Hop On Pop
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Topics

9/29/2019 3:14:27 PM
The Alan Lomax of Indie music

9/11/2019 7:30:19 PM
Daniel Johnston died

8/8/2019 7:32:09 AM
RIP David Berman (Silver Jews)

6/12/2019 9:01:48 PM
A message from Ray Porter

5/21/2019 1:22:39 PM
The greatest live show I ever attended...

5/15/2019 1:53:19 PM
Jazz

5/10/2019 2:59:16 PM
Listen to me live on the radio TODAY (5/10)

2/28/2019 10:05:15 AM
Saw The Chills last night!

2/6/2019 4:01:04 PM
Booked another gig -- in May!

2/1/2019 5:15:39 PM
I'm thinking of stepping into Brazilian Pop

12/14/2018 8:06:23 AM
A great quote about playing guitar

12/9/2018 8:08:46 PM
How many of you have actually recorded to TAPE?

11/15/2018 10:12:59 AM
Anyone gonna be around Chicago for the Holidays?

10/18/2018 2:41:47 PM
SONGWRITERS: Is there a singer you would love to hear sing one of your songs?

8/27/2018 8:39:33 AM
Woke up with a completed song in my head!

8/20/2018 1:18:27 PM
I have this song about my little baby boy, Cary

7/5/2018 2:43:50 PM
HAPPY BIRTHDAY, BRYON!

6/15/2018 8:36:36 AM
Meeting IMPeople

5/8/2018 5:32:45 PM
Coming soon...the Hop On Pop BOX SET!!!

3/25/2018 9:40:15 PM
I think I have achieved my goal as a musician.

3/1/2018 2:28:05 PM
Which should I record next?

2/22/2018 6:57:58 PM
I'm gonna be a baby now

2/4/2018 10:54:01 AM
I saw a guy who looked like Scott last night

12/18/2017 7:32:11 AM
Thank you SO much for the "Best Band" nomination!

11/13/2017 6:30:24 PM
New songs are UP!!!

10/13/2017 9:48:24 AM
New songs—mixes are coming in!

9/30/2017 11:11:11 AM
Recording next week!

9/14/2017 10:46:42 AM
RIP Grant Hart

8/30/2017 9:51:19 AM
Tomorrow is my 20th wedding anniversary!

8/18/2017 9:13:28 AM
Cary turns 18 today!

7/1/2017 6:44:21 PM
I did a Facebook Live stream

5/1/2017 8:03:38 AM
The Monkees

4/10/2017 7:20:20 AM
Where did Larree's topic about The Beatles go?

4/5/2017 7:31:26 PM
I'm playing at Billy Corgan's place next week

3/24/2017 7:03:39 AM
If any of you are ever in Chicago

3/20/2017 8:08:09 PM
Vagina

3/6/2017 7:53:07 PM
Chance the Rapper donates $1M to Chicago Public Schools

12/2/2016 7:35:56 PM
The perfect Christmas gift!!!

12/2/2016 1:30:27 PM
Why is there a picture of Stoneman at the bottom of the front page?

10/23/2016 6:26:43 AM
Somewhere, Steve Goodman is smiling...

7/23/2016 6:04:51 AM
Live on the radio 7/29—stream or over the air!

7/8/2016 7:54:23 AM
I've been covered again -- this time by BEATLESEX!

5/16/2016 10:11:22 AM
I was on TV last night

4/21/2016 10:36:51 AM
Prince: Rest In Peace O(+>

3/24/2016 8:13:54 AM
Just finished writing my first song in almost 2 years!

3/15/2016 5:49:20 AM
Just catalogued my entire music collection!

2/26/2016 8:38:28 AM
Emitt Rhodes! His first album in 40 years released TODAY!!!

2/18/2016 6:34:00 PM
Writing on instruments that you don't actually play

1/7/2016 7:38:02 AM
Are there any artists whose new albums you will ALWAYS buy?

1/2/2016 5:28:44 PM
Free damn download

12/21/2015 6:24:03 AM
Happy Holidays, from Hop On Pop

12/15/2015 6:55:34 AM
Todd's top albums of 2015

11/27/2015 7:20:14 AM
In Chicago? I'm playing a show tonight (11/27)!

9/4/2015 11:17:13 AM
Twitter account from "Person Who Sits Next to Kim Davis"

8/22/2015 7:45:49 AM
My band got some airplay in Sweden!

8/14/2015 4:47:00 AM
I've been writing full-on record reviews

7/24/2015 11:09:54 AM
MY stumper questions for music geeks

5/29/2015 5:08:24 PM
#TheThankYouProject

5/27/2015 6:41:39 AM
What music is on your iPod/phone/portable device?

5/21/2015 4:20:23 PM
Rock quote of the day

5/20/2015 9:03:22 AM
A dissertation on… my lyrics?!

5/19/2015 7:20:04 AM
Looks great! So… any new features we should know?

4/29/2015 4:32:18 AM
Hooray! I've been waiting to post this NEW song!!!

3/5/2015 8:01:07 AM
New song: "We Made It To the Middle"

2/26/2015 5:01:03 AM
A couple of recipes, if you like to cook:

1/9/2015 12:24:15 PM
Sunday -- recording session

9/19/2014 7:50:00 AM
First full-band rehearsal in a long time

8/27/2014 6:14:48 AM
New way of releasing an album

6/23/2014 10:43:19 AM
Okay, so the new song is UP "Spinning, Standing Still"

6/12/2014 12:04:32 PM
Anyone in ST. LOUIS?

4/23/2014 8:35:19 AM
One of the best songs I have ever written

4/22/2014 5:07:29 AM
Muscle Shoals documentary -- you should ALL see this

3/4/2014 6:46:59 AM
Brand New FULL-BAND recording

2/26/2014 10:19:40 AM
Video from 2/21 show

2/13/2014 11:31:58 AM
I'll be on the radio tomorrow (2/14/2014)

1/2/2014 9:11:46 AM
It's been 10 years since my first album came out

12/16/2013 6:02:50 AM
The Curtis Mayfield Story

12/9/2013 12:05:06 PM
Your best of 2013?

12/6/2013 10:25:40 AM
Happy Holidays!!!

11/14/2013 10:34:41 AM
Back in the studio

11/12/2013 6:28:34 PM
Are we in a new Golden Age of mainstream pop?

10/11/2013 6:40:55 AM
This salsa...

10/9/2013 7:50:11 AM
When the demo is better than the released version

9/26/2013 5:34:43 AM
Anybody remember this guy from Garageband.com?

8/16/2013 7:44:31 PM
So, what is/are your main axe(s)?

8/8/2013 10:05:14 AM
Help me get a little press? Thanks!

7/14/2013 4:41:08 PM
It's nice to be on the Hitline

6/29/2013 12:45:14 PM
Giving it all away

6/18/2013 4:41:49 AM
Interviewed for a blog

6/3/2013 4:30:59 PM
One of those moments that keeps me going...

5/1/2013 4:53:15 PM
The one UK punk band that actually LIKED Thatcher

5/1/2013 2:02:23 PM
Money and time

4/30/2013 4:04:12 PM
My friend Phil almost died

4/18/2013 10:06:19 AM
What have I been listening to?

2/22/2013 7:31:46 AM
New single for download at my Bandcamp page

2/4/2013 7:16:59 AM
After 22 years a NEW MY BLOODY VALENTINE ALBUM!!!

1/8/2013 8:23:34 AM
Not feeling very inspired

1/2/2013 5:10:59 AM
The No-Getters - "Sympathy"

12/31/2012 6:40:42 AM
A Happy New Year song!!!

12/28/2012 11:46:03 AM
Todd's Top 10 (or so) albums of 2012

12/6/2012 6:46:07 AM
Maybe my favorite album of the year

11/28/2012 10:33:28 AM
Holiday special:

11/27/2012 7:15:20 AM
Happy 70th birthday Jimi Hendrix

11/21/2012 2:56:51 PM
A bunch of new acoustic tunes posted

11/6/2012 7:23:04 AM
In or around Chicago? Playing a show Thursday night.

10/22/2012 11:12:32 AM
A work tape of a new song

10/18/2012 6:44:58 AM
Hop on Pop is on Spotify

9/14/2012 12:17:47 PM
Dreamtown

9/6/2012 6:18:52 AM
Whiteboarding an arrangement.

8/21/2012 5:35:18 AM
I was listening to Chicken on a Bicycle last night...

7/20/2012 11:04:16 AM
Another song from the new EP -- so hard to sing

6/11/2012 6:26:08 AM
Anyone pitch their songs to "major" artists?

4/17/2012 6:20:19 AM
Another song from the new EP -- my newest composition

4/13/2012 2:14:34 PM
Just got the first bit of radio play for my new album!

4/9/2012 10:32:47 AM
I have my new EP available for download (and streaming)

4/5/2012 10:34:34 AM
A song unlike I've ever done before... or since

3/26/2012 10:30:18 AM
First song streaming from my new EP

3/26/2012 7:24:45 AM
Release date for my new EP: 4/10

3/5/2012 5:35:39 AM
CHICAGO: playing a show Thursday (3/8)

2/13/2012 10:07:06 AM
Where the hell was the love for Don Cornelius at the Grammys last night?

2/8/2012 10:15:41 AM
If you're gonna be in or around CHICAGO next month...

1/13/2012 12:50:25 PM
JESSE ADAMS! Another one who is finally getting his due on the front page.

1/1/2012 7:20:29 AM
Thanks for putting "Suckers" on the Hitline

12/22/2011 7:09:13 AM
Nice one, Phlegm and Coversation Suicide!

12/14/2011 6:22:33 AM
Another overdue artist gets theirs... congrats SILVERWOOD STUDIO

12/5/2011 11:17:54 AM
Nice work, Hugh Hamilton.

8/30/2011 8:05:58 AM
Interview with Todd at Hearts of Country Radio

7/5/2011 5:46:10 AM
More than a year and a half after its release... another review. Weird.

6/28/2011 8:01:46 AM
Thanks for (finally) paying me

5/31/2011 7:39:38 PM
The first new song that I've written in THREE YEARS?!?!

5/18/2011 5:40:25 AM
VIDEO of me playing live, on the air (5/20)!

5/9/2011 10:04:58 AM
Well, thank you!!

4/16/2011 9:42:43 AM
Chicken T-shirts!

3/22/2011 7:35:08 AM
Who here is from the Chicago area?

3/16/2011 6:50:33 AM
Recording my first official "solo" record?

3/7/2011 8:48:06 AM
I would like to get involved here again, but...

2/16/2011 8:36:45 AM
Happy birthday -- CHICKEN ON A BICYCLE

2/14/2011 5:46:13 AM
As long as we're on the subject of Facebook...

2/9/2011 6:26:28 AM
If you think that you hate rap music... think again

12/21/2010 6:37:18 AM
The nature of the creative mind:

12/9/2010 5:42:28 AM
Tribute to Alex Chilton

12/2/2010 5:48:39 AM
CHICKEN named one of the "10 Best Albums of the Year"!

12/2/2010 5:24:49 AM
Death Cab for Cutie!

11/23/2010 7:00:03 AM
New YouTube for "Here"

11/11/2010 8:55:11 AM
Money?

11/9/2010 6:48:52 AM
Whoever bought 2 songs from me today... THANK YOU!

11/8/2010 5:48:00 AM
An interview with Hop On Pop at Aussie web mag Tomatrax

11/2/2010 6:35:00 AM
Taking a page from Bryon's book: play this tune and help out Hop on Pop...

10/29/2010 5:33:31 AM
Both HoP albums AND the Cash Cow album are ALL available for DL

10/25/2010 6:59:05 AM
Hop On Pop knows egg rolls!

10/22/2010 9:04:27 AM
Playing a gig in Chicago -- 11/6

10/21/2010 7:22:23 AM
For those of you who like Jackass

10/21/2010 5:40:28 AM
"Sheila of the Worms" has crawled onto the HITLINE

10/19/2010 7:45:31 AM
New demo posted

10/8/2010 8:36:52 AM
F*cking disheartening

10/1/2010 9:08:50 AM
My label is folding

9/28/2010 6:19:20 PM
October 16 -- come see me play in Chicago

9/20/2010 5:07:03 AM
Is anybody listening? Strange.

9/10/2010 11:14:50 AM
Interviewed at Wobblehouse.com

9/9/2010 4:48:56 AM
Happy New Year!

9/1/2010 7:59:27 AM
What the hell? I'll post another song from CHICKEN...

8/26/2010 4:51:23 AM
Thanks for putting me on the Hitline

8/20/2010 12:56:22 PM
"What a Fool Believes" played entirely ON TOY INSTRUMENTS!!!

8/17/2010 12:01:10 PM
The "LIKE" buttons on our IAC pages...

8/16/2010 7:14:01 AM
I don't know what to say anymore

8/4/2010 10:26:57 AM
New rap/hip hop station... accepting submissions

7/19/2010 6:20:47 AM
Gonna record a follow-up single: A- and B-sides

7/9/2010 10:50:06 AM
Roky Erickson playing for little kids.

6/30/2010 6:01:17 AM
Heard my song on the radio last night... and IT WAS A REQUEST!

6/28/2010 5:26:48 PM
Follow me on Twitter?

6/28/2010 11:34:39 AM
Chicago -- CITY -- gig 7/24: advance ticketing!

6/25/2010 6:36:12 AM
R.I.P.: Pete Quaife (original Kinks bassist)

6/15/2010 4:04:09 PM
New Hop On Pop website!

6/14/2010 11:46:38 AM
Hop On Pop (Todd) live ON THE RADIO (streaming, too)

6/14/2010 5:47:44 AM
What's Todd Listening to in 2010? (part 2)

6/14/2010 5:13:24 AM
Back From Vacation. Hey!

6/2/2010 6:37:10 AM
What's your favorite chord? Do you have one?

5/18/2010 7:05:25 AM
I still just want to be heard

5/18/2010 5:03:38 AM
Chicken On a Bicycle -- pay what you want!!

5/5/2010 10:19:04 AM
Hey... Nashville!!!

4/23/2010 1:34:27 PM
Chicago... I am playing this weekend, if you are near here or whatever.

4/14/2010 2:23:09 PM
Bring the topics back to the front page!

4/9/2010 2:10:08 PM
IAC just feels dead.

3/30/2010 9:11:55 AM
What inspired you to start playing music? Writing music?

3/29/2010 7:51:34 AM
Just a thread to say "thank you"

3/25/2010 8:21:01 AM
Why I write songs

3/18/2010 6:42:56 AM
Alex Chilton (Box Tops/Big Star) is dead

3/15/2010 7:26:11 AM
AllMusic entry for CHICKEN...

3/8/2010 6:38:36 AM
Check out The Garden Clots -- I love these songs!

3/4/2010 7:49:23 AM
Holy crap! "HERE" is at #13 on the OVERALL charts?!?!

2/26/2010 8:31:59 PM
VIDEO: "Here" live and acoustic at the record release party 2/18

2/26/2010 2:43:36 PM
"TORTURED ARTIST" for your listening pleasure

2/22/2010 1:10:12 PM
So, I decided to post another song... "Sheila Of the Worms"

2/15/2010 7:20:41 AM
RIP: Doug Fieger (The Knack)

2/3/2010 2:35:05 PM
Second CHICKEN song on the Hitline in as many weeks?!?!

2/1/2010 9:38:23 AM
The first CHICKEN review arrived today!

2/1/2010 9:12:51 AM
Turning my 10-year-old on to music!

1/30/2010 8:56:14 PM
I PUT UP A THIRD SONG: so, which is "The Single"?

1/30/2010 10:39:05 AM
Drum solos

1/28/2010 2:05:21 PM
CHICKEN ON A BICYCLE: NOW FOR SALE (PHYSICAL CDs)

1/25/2010 1:24:01 PM
So, a tune of mine is being used on a radio commercial...

1/19/2010 12:47:48 PM
Hop On Pop - Chicken On a Bicycle: NOW AT ITUNES

1/19/2010 10:44:11 AM
So, IAC Support... did you get my email?

1/11/2010 10:54:18 AM
NEW!!! songs up at IAC... welcome the Chicken.

1/8/2010 7:14:41 AM
RECORD RELEASE PARTY!!! (if you're in or around Chicago at the time)

1/5/2010 7:38:11 PM
Do I have "The Eye Of the Tiger"? I'm gonna find out.

1/4/2010 6:51:14 AM
What is Todd Listening to in 2010?

12/31/2009 9:29:23 AM
"New Year's Eve" on New Year's Eve

12/24/2009 6:40:52 AM
Merry Christmas, you sexy people, you!!!

12/15/2009 7:56:30 AM
Just bought a new guitar last night!

12/10/2009 7:03:45 AM
Hey Larree: Who's The Guitar God NOW?!?!

12/7/2009 8:21:11 AM
CHICKEN ON A BICYCLE: official release date announcement

12/2/2009 6:22:17 PM
A Genius. And the documentary film about him!

11/29/2009 1:20:14 PM
Muppet "Bohemian Rhapsody"

11/16/2009 9:43:37 AM
I started a new blog

11/13/2009 1:56:33 PM
This song has been broken so long, I need to promote it now that IT'S FIXED!

11/9/2009 9:29:34 AM
Is the CD dead? Am I wasting my money?

11/9/2009 8:05:06 AM
Perry Como -- this is not a joke

11/3/2009 8:33:12 AM
Strippop

11/2/2009 8:34:46 AM
You may have noticed that I removed a few songs from my page.

10/28/2009 8:28:30 AM
To those of you who have AutoPlay enabled at any of your pages...

10/19/2009 2:29:21 PM
Mojo Nixon is GIVING it ALL away for FREE!

10/13/2009 12:17:17 PM
Do you remember your first gig?

10/8/2009 2:21:33 PM
Another Todd song faceoff: "Sweet Jane" vs. "Blitzkreig Bop"

10/7/2009 12:57:05 PM
I have NO new songs up!!!

10/6/2009 9:37:24 AM
Gentlemen...

10/5/2009 9:59:06 AM
I have $25 to spend at Borders how should I spend it?

9/25/2009 8:36:46 AM
Todd's song challenge: "Waterloo Sunset" vs. "God Only Knows"

9/21/2009 12:52:48 PM
HOP ON POP versus XTC?!?!

9/17/2009 8:12:53 AM
Another new Good Stuff Station!

9/16/2009 5:01:18 PM
It's people like THIS that bring this place to a whole nother level!

9/16/2009 3:29:39 PM
Favorite LONG jams?

9/13/2009 9:42:13 PM
Jim Carroll DEAD?

8/31/2009 7:59:09 PM
I bought a piano at an estate sale this weekend

8/5/2009 7:38:06 PM
Ever have one of your best songs not make it onto the album?

8/5/2009 2:37:43 PM
My ChewToy entry in the Punk/Emo/Ska contest is top 10? Help, please?

7/31/2009 4:39:24 PM
The Takers dirtyass country in a bottle.

7/27/2009 2:40:01 PM
Okay, so a new song IS up: "I'm Pathetic"

7/22/2009 7:55:41 PM
The big number at the top of the page!

7/16/2009 4:12:59 PM
The greatest Drummer Joke EVER!

7/15/2009 10:09:55 PM
This is weird. How did this happen?

7/15/2009 2:59:49 PM
What defines a "BAND"?

6/25/2009 6:28:13 PM
Farrah Fawcett: RIP

6/19/2009 7:26:07 PM
Discovering your favorite albums in a record store. Ever happen to you?

6/17/2009 6:22:58 PM
Excellent rant on the death of music criticism

6/3/2009 2:30:30 PM
So, what is your "Day Job"?

6/2/2009 9:07:27 PM
A true demo

6/2/2009 12:43:33 PM
What's Todd Listening to Today? 2009 Edition, vol. 2

5/12/2009 7:08:31 PM
Pre-release CHICKEN ON A BICYCLE Buzz!

5/11/2009 1:34:41 PM
Not your typical High School Musical (Neutral Milk Hotel!)

5/6/2009 2:34:26 PM
Which song of yours is unfairly overlooked?

5/4/2009 6:19:29 PM
Yeah, I put it on here for streaming, but can I RELEASE it like this?

4/29/2009 2:29:40 PM
With sites like IAC, et. al., is there a need for an "official" site for your band?

4/28/2009 4:04:58 PM
Can you say CONSERVATIVE Media Bias?

4/24/2009 4:42:30 PM
Chicago tomorrow morning free festival show

4/16/2009 3:14:35 PM
Pop/Rock Suites?

4/15/2009 2:18:08 PM
Placing your music into TV/Films/Commercials?

4/7/2009 8:27:36 PM
IAC artist HAPPY ASHTRAY song on TV tonight (4/7/09)!!!

4/2/2009 2:14:10 PM
CHICKEN ON A BICYCLE!

4/1/2009 2:21:13 PM
Favorite quotes Muhammad Ali version

3/31/2009 1:02:46 PM
New song from this weekend - "Sheila of the Worms"!

3/26/2009 11:40:57 AM
"Ashes On the Water" #35 in the Underground 40!

3/19/2009 12:45:56 PM
The Killed Spirits

3/11/2009 1:15:23 PM
"I'm Pathetic" well, it's true!!!

3/4/2009 2:16:36 PM
I think I'm becoming a producer.

3/3/2009 1:47:31 PM
You like beer? I do.

3/2/2009 3:49:47 PM
Kevin White - "A Song For Holly"

2/25/2009 1:56:26 PM
NEW BEATLES SONG UNEARTHED!!!!

2/24/2009 8:31:34 PM
Favorite SINGLE LYRIC!

2/22/2009 2:50:13 PM
I might be a little absent for a bit

2/18/2009 2:47:56 PM
Writing a song? Can't finish it?

2/17/2009 6:38:06 PM
Thelonious Monk's advice to Steve Lacy

2/16/2009 5:53:11 AM
Say what you want about her boobies...

2/9/2009 8:12:52 AM
I called the radio station to request a song and...

1/30/2009 8:59:59 AM
Hey Everyone! LET'S LISTEN TO SOME MUSIC!!!

1/30/2009 6:40:00 AM
Funny thing about the blogs/internet boards

1/29/2009 6:10:53 AM
Math: the language of God, which makes Music....

1/27/2009 12:09:22 PM
This one's for Holo!

1/27/2009 6:02:57 AM
I know what's happening!!!

1/20/2009 7:20:30 AM
Licensing cover songs?

1/19/2009 6:01:45 AM
New song is only up for a short time "Come On, Let's Go"

1/15/2009 11:54:34 AM
Rob the Rich - "Forbes"

1/14/2009 6:53:30 AM
The newest GOOD STUFF station!

1/14/2009 6:30:01 AM
Not just favorite music movies, but also favorite movie quotes...

1/12/2009 6:23:50 AM
With which (non-IAC) artists do you most wish to collaborate?

1/7/2009 5:54:39 AM
The hardest song to sing?

1/2/2009 5:43:33 AM
The 2009 "What's Todd Listening To?" thread

12/29/2008 6:19:22 AM
Your favorite quotes from the film: "A Christmas Story"

12/26/2008 8:21:39 PM
Just a reminder about this excellent song

12/25/2008 7:23:21 PM
Does this work?

12/24/2008 8:54:38 PM
Something deep for you all to ponder.

12/24/2008 6:07:20 PM
New Year's Eve song

12/19/2008 11:01:26 AM
I love you all

12/15/2008 10:33:51 AM
Give me a reason to keep this song up at IAC

12/14/2008 8:12:59 PM
What would REALLY happen if you got to open for THE BEATLES?!?!?!?!

12/11/2008 8:39:39 AM
Ray Porter's interview with Phlegm

12/10/2008 11:01:36 AM
Cash Stream Buy-In value has dropped? Already?

12/8/2008 11:16:50 AM
Leo Goldberg is now available for streaming.

12/8/2008 7:36:28 AM
Bringing in an outside SINGER?

12/1/2008 10:18:38 AM
Converting .m4a to .mp3 for use here?

11/28/2008 7:06:35 AM
What I'm thankful for

11/26/2008 6:10:49 AM
So, I'm being covered... TWICE. Make that THREE times!!!

11/16/2008 10:13:26 AM
Any of you struggle with disabilities

11/16/2008 9:43:22 AM
Interview with legendary producer Jim Dickinson on Public Radio

11/11/2008 9:37:36 AM
A song for Veteran's Day

11/11/2008 6:09:57 AM
To those of you who served in the Military:

11/11/2008 5:59:17 AM
Dear Man With No Band Sam,

11/10/2008 7:36:51 AM
When an artist has a mountain of music at their IAC page...

11/7/2008 11:13:13 AM
Can you tell it's been slow at work for me?

11/6/2008 12:46:41 PM
Hear where it all started!

11/6/2008 11:20:07 AM
Adding songs to a DMD, but not to your artist page?

11/6/2008 5:19:01 AM
Those of you who noticed the new DMD at my page....

11/4/2008 1:39:49 PM
Photographic evidence that I really did vote!

10/30/2008 12:51:25 PM
I just got an AllMusic entry for me, by myself.

10/30/2008 11:46:58 AM
You who have autoplay enabled...

10/29/2008 7:48:32 AM
I am so ready for this election to be over!

10/28/2008 8:00:55 AM
You know, the great thing about democracy....

10/23/2008 6:19:23 AM
Chicago area: I'm playing a rare club show... November 13!

10/22/2008 12:18:39 PM
Chinese Democracy FOR REAL... do you care?

10/17/2008 12:16:12 PM
Levi Stubbs dead

10/15/2008 6:59:39 AM
A Year With Swollen Appendices: The Diary of Brian Eno

10/13/2008 10:39:02 AM
LISTEN TO MY NEW SONG!!!!!!! or something.....

10/9/2008 5:02:20 AM
"C'mon Angel" is at #12 on the Country charts!

10/2/2008 6:44:47 AM
So you like albums to have a consistent sound, or to sound different from song-to-song?

9/29/2008 8:30:23 AM
I am such a wuss now.

9/22/2008 10:28:37 AM
The best rock n' roll scream on IAC?

9/19/2008 6:48:21 AM
Where Todd recommends specific music for specific folks here at IAC:

9/18/2008 11:30:12 AM
The craziest, coolest song that I have yet heard on IAC

9/17/2008 9:20:47 AM
All options to promote on the web: iLike

9/8/2008 11:01:24 AM
Great new tune...

9/8/2008 5:26:32 AM
One of my favorite songs has made the Hitline

9/5/2008 2:30:10 PM
Totally psyched! My birthday concert will be...

9/5/2008 5:20:40 AM
Ricky Skaggs?

9/3/2008 5:52:55 AM
How many of you here actually entertain the idea of making a living with your music?

9/2/2008 4:32:52 AM
This is why I make music

8/20/2008 6:21:33 AM
Nick Lowe fans: LISTEN UP!!!

8/20/2008 5:11:15 AM
Brought my guitar to work

8/18/2008 12:39:27 PM
Not just spam, but I am having issues playing my songs

8/15/2008 7:42:51 AM
My top 100 albums of all-time

7/26/2008 3:35:51 PM
"Hey" remixed and up for only a couple of days.

7/22/2008 3:15:18 PM
Open Mic night: I'll be at Fitzgerald's (Chicago) tonight (7/22)

7/18/2008 12:37:00 PM
The Truth about McCain and his Bush

7/15/2008 6:20:57 AM
My station: "The Good Stuff"

7/9/2008 6:55:33 AM
Hop On Pop recording updates

7/7/2008 8:50:59 AM
Lest you all think that I was serious...

7/4/2008 9:23:22 AM
A wonderful musician who wants to TEACH

7/2/2008 7:36:38 AM
Needed: Chicago-area bluegrass musicians

6/23/2008 5:23:46 AM
Second MIXTAPE song posted... again for a short time, only.

6/11/2008 5:54:55 PM
Your favorite moment gigging?

6/10/2008 11:37:59 AM
Now YOU can listen to some of my extensive music collection

5/29/2008 7:36:41 PM
Basic tracking for MIXTAPE song #2 is done!

5/22/2008 12:16:25 PM
I'm trying to bring this guy to IAC

5/22/2008 7:52:18 AM
A NEW SONG -- well, a new old song...

5/19/2008 6:01:53 AM
What's Todd Listening to Today? -- 2008 Edition, vol. 2

5/19/2008 5:59:19 AM
Whoever bought a HoP DMD: Thank you!!!

5/16/2008 5:03:41 AM
Todd: Solo, Live, and Acoustic -- CD available

5/12/2008 11:52:17 AM
No more small shows in CHICAGO??!? --- STOP THIS!!!

5/8/2008 11:05:12 AM
Post the link to your IACer-selected cover tune here!!!

5/7/2008 12:12:52 PM
Pick a Cover for another IAC Musician

5/5/2008 10:44:30 AM
What is up with ukelele?!?!?!

5/5/2008 6:59:02 AM
Which of your songs surprised you?

4/30/2008 12:15:44 PM
Kids review Yo La Tengo

4/29/2008 11:29:40 AM
HEY BLUEGRASS MUSICIANS!!!!

4/29/2008 4:58:52 AM
Oblique Strategies

4/28/2008 12:41:23 PM
Another MIXTAPE demo is up for your perusal

4/21/2008 9:26:46 AM
CHICAGO: I'm playing a show on Apr. 24

4/11/2008 6:38:04 AM
If you like the new song...

4/9/2008 6:27:28 AM
New station - The Good Stuff, Too!

4/7/2008 5:01:58 AM
FIRST "MIXTAPE" SONG UP (for a short time only)

3/28/2008 7:28:28 AM
How do we (CAN we) search by city?

3/25/2008 11:49:47 AM
One of my best-ever songs... is incomplete. What would you do?

3/7/2008 7:35:00 AM
And... WOW!!! Thank You!

3/6/2008 4:26:12 AM
I saw The Pogues last night.

3/5/2008 5:53:30 AM
HEAVY FREAKIN' METAL!!!

2/22/2008 8:47:12 AM
A meditation for you:

2/19/2008 6:57:09 AM
Songs that you wrote around a song title.

2/7/2008 7:39:12 AM
Because we could all use a good laugh

1/31/2008 10:53:59 AM
I have been here since the beginning and never had a Top-50.

1/31/2008 9:32:30 AM
A new station: Yin/Yang

1/22/2008 7:23:26 AM
I don't wanna be famous.

1/17/2008 11:18:04 AM
You have the power... I know that I do.

1/15/2008 6:38:50 AM
Anyone see Roky Erickson on Austin City Limits the other night?

1/9/2008 6:09:17 AM
I fear that I've lost my passion

1/2/2008 7:30:12 AM
What's Todd listening to today? -- 2008 Edition

12/26/2007 9:18:07 AM
Chicago: I'm playing a show on Jan. 4

12/24/2007 7:51:19 AM
My end-of year mix

12/10/2007 9:42:27 AM
Volume control issues?

12/4/2007 9:03:58 AM
What's the most-embarassing album in your collection?

11/29/2007 10:34:20 AM
List here ALL of the projects that you have on IAC

11/27/2007 3:08:12 PM
ESSENTIAL READING FOR ANYBODY WHO RECORDS MUSIC!!!

11/26/2007 11:11:04 AM
Have you ever shared a gig with an IAC artist? How was it?

11/26/2007 9:45:33 AM
My "The Good Stuff" station is #33 on the station charts?!?!

11/20/2007 10:14:23 AM
Creating stations of entirely your own music?!?!

11/14/2007 3:15:10 PM
Who is selling HARD-COPIES of CDs here?

11/1/2007 12:12:44 PM
I'm going to play for my son's 2nd Grade class tomorrow!

10/29/2007 3:38:42 PM
Let's hook up on MySpace, too!

10/26/2007 8:49:43 AM
Let's hear your musician jokes.

10/24/2007 3:35:22 PM
Scott, add a new genre? Lo-Fi?

10/24/2007 2:14:32 PM
So. Cal. IACer check-in. Are you okay? Status?

10/10/2007 9:49:56 AM
Post your AllMusic listings/reviews

10/10/2007 9:09:26 AM
So, I won concert tickets to see... Steve Earle

10/5/2007 10:21:51 AM
I just upped the first song I ever wrote

10/2/2007 9:13:54 AM
I bought a resonator guitar yesterday!

9/26/2007 3:44:33 PM
Hop On Pop planning to record again in the near future!

9/25/2007 9:05:27 AM
New station -- BlergleFlorp

9/10/2007 1:29:16 PM
Anyone ever organize a Benefit concert?

9/10/2007 10:40:31 AM
Why I love IAC

9/7/2007 12:25:30 PM
A universal invitation to all you IACers

9/6/2007 11:45:35 AM
Drop me a line to see HoP live on TV

9/5/2007 9:44:57 AM
What was your FIRST gig?

8/31/2007 8:44:47 AM
It's my 10-year wedding anniversary!!!

8/28/2007 9:52:21 AM
Another community for IACers to take advantage of....

8/23/2007 9:18:33 AM
You know what pisses me off?

8/20/2007 3:48:31 PM
The next logical step for IAC? Their own LABEL!

8/15/2007 3:16:47 PM
CHICAGO!!! I'm calling to you!

8/9/2007 10:27:43 AM
Updated daily: What is Todd listening to today?

8/7/2007 8:12:39 AM
Anybody in Chicago wanna play with me?

8/3/2007 9:57:52 AM
I decided that i LIKE our album!

7/30/2007 3:11:33 PM
Finally got a MySpace page up!

7/30/2007 9:00:39 AM
Back from vacation -- and I'm not happy about it.

7/20/2007 12:13:29 PM
To those of you who have cover songs up here...

6/28/2007 8:26:02 AM
Anyone see the Paul Simon tribute on PBS last night?

6/19/2007 8:49:27 AM
Making "mixes" for friends... want a mix?

6/13/2007 12:08:35 PM
Is it me, or do you always see the same artists on the front page?

6/11/2007 8:52:21 AM
Perpetual member?

6/6/2007 1:45:44 PM
Just created a new, Live music-only station

5/25/2007 9:55:36 AM
Another site that I think many here could benefit from... JPFolks

5/18/2007 10:33:53 AM
I'll be playing a solo/acoustic show May 24.

5/17/2007 1:54:52 PM
What makes for a good cover song?

5/14/2007 3:49:49 PM
THE GOOD STUFF!!!!

5/11/2007 10:37:40 AM
One time, when I was taking with the late Stanley Kubrick...

5/8/2007 9:25:49 AM
One World, One Music

5/1/2007 2:51:27 PM
What inspires me? What inspires you?

4/23/2007 9:41:25 AM
Autoplay: Good marketing, or just-plain annoying?

4/12/2007 2:45:13 PM
Getting airplay on our local station?

4/4/2007 2:53:54 PM
A special offer from Hop On Pop:

3/27/2007 11:56:06 AM
Calling Nick Lowe! Nick Lowe: you are being paged!

3/20/2007 10:43:42 AM
Back to the basement...

3/16/2007 9:18:05 AM
I'm playing a free acoustic show Sunday!

3/9/2007 2:32:17 PM
The change in season does something to me

3/6/2007 4:14:40 PM
A crazy, all-over the place mix for you

2/5/2007 8:39:15 AM
Um.. Prince at the Super Bowl... WOW!

2/2/2007 10:14:55 AM
Is there any way to convert from .m4a to .mp3 on a Mac?

1/31/2007 8:48:40 AM
Allow me to rephrase: MY STATION NEEDS SONGS!!!

1/30/2007 2:13:06 PM
The Demonstration Station!!!

1/17/2007 4:12:28 PM
The WGN vid has been taken down.

1/8/2007 12:14:06 PM
I finally got our TV performance up on the web!!!

9/25/2006 10:22:55 AM
All I want is to be heard...

7/17/2006 9:07:29 AM
Hop On Pop is on the Hitline.



IndieMusicPeople.com

IAC Prime Member

   

Hop On Pop

1/4/2010 6:51:14 AM ---- Updated 1/4/2010 8:37:35 AM

What is Todd Listening to in 2010?
So, here is my first edition of the new year. Does anybody really care?
Hell, at least it's a nice running log that I can look back on, myself.

And, of course, commentary and questions are always welcomed and, yes, ENCOURAGED.

Happy New Year, all!!!

1/4/10:
Operation Ivy - Operation Ivy
Harry Nilsson - Pandemonium Shadow Show/Aerial Ballet
Jim Ford - The Sounds Of Our Time
Uncle Tupelo - No Depression


Add Comment

Tom O'Brien

1/4/2010 12:07:18 PM


Hey Todd,
I'm always impressed at the scope of what you listen to. It can't help but inform your musical creative output. Some comments about your favorites would be a welcome addition this year. Happy listening!


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Hop On Pop

1/4/2010 12:47:21 PM ---- Updated 1/4/2010 1:12:02 PM


Okee dokee, Tom.

For today...

Operation Ivy:
The Rancid guys' pre-Rancid band. Less of a Clash sound than the newer band is known for. And, really, any punk-ska band that you have ever heard is really just trying (unsucesfully) to be Op Ivy.

Harry Nilsson:
Those are Harry's first 2 albums, remastered and packaged together. Includes the theme from Midnight Cowboy ("Everybody's Talking"). His "cover" of The Beatles' "You Can't Do That" has to be heard to be believed.

Jim Ford:
"He is Sly Stone's best friend and Nick Lowe's biggest musical influence," is what the liner notes say. And that's pretty much all you need to know. He wrote songs for Aretha Franklin, The Temptations, and he also wrote Nick Lowe's "36 Inches High", which is included here. As well as one of the greatest rock n roll songs of all time ("Ju Ju Man"), which is not.

Uncle Tupelo:
This is the first record of Jeff Tweedy's (Wilco) first band. Although Tweedy was taking more of a back seat at this point to Jay Farrar's (Son Volt) more-traditional country leanings. Of course, the whole thing is played with a very punk attitude. The best description I've heard of this record is that it sounds like "Hank Williams fronting Hüsker Dü." Yup. Pretty much.

How's that, Tom?


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Hop On Pop

1/5/2010 7:01:01 AM


1/5/10:
Continuing with Tom's suggestion that I write little blurbs about each of the records I'm listening to...

Apollo Sunshine - Shall Noise Upon
Boston psych/pop/prog band that sounds like some bastard hybrid of early Pink Floyd, The Olivia Tremor Control, and (on some tunes) Velvet Underground. Outstanding musicianship and great songs with lots of hooks.

the The - Mind Bomb
Matt Johnson's outstanding "band". This album featuring the amazing Johnny Marr (The Smiths) on guitar. Has a couple of their best-known songs: Armageddon Days Are Here (Again)" and "Gravitate to Me". Equal parts vapor and menace.

Jimmy Smith - Root Down: Live!
The king of the Hammond B3. Jazz/blues. The title track was sampled by the Beastie Boys for their track of the same name. This is quintessential greasy organ music. Take that how you will. ;-)

John Cale - Vintage Violence
The first solo record from Lou Reed's partner in the Velvet Underground. A lot more gentle than you might expect. Outstanding pop songs with a very slight edge, courtesy Cale's Welsh alto more than anything else. All dissonance is implied and that makes for a wonderfully creepy, yet palatable listen.

Dogbowl - Flan
Captain Beefheart meets Andrew Lloyd Webber after the apocalypse. Minus Beefheart's amazing voice, however. One of the oddest albums I own. Yet, it's also surprisingly listenable. I love this record.


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Hop On Pop

1/6/2010 6:53:44 AM


1/6/10:
Cate Le Bon - Me Oh My
Very pretty folky music with electronic flourishes. Sounds kind of like a druggier Latetia Sadier (Stereolab) or maybe a more-modern Nico. A female Beck (the folkier side) with an accent? Whatever it is, it is very pretty. A lovely little album.

Jonathan Richman - Havin' a Party With Jonathan Richman
My introduction to the post-Lovers JoJo. It's a mostly live recording, with a lot of his wonderful crowd banter, great stories, and terrible jokes. It's Jonathan. And, if you've seen him live you know what to expect. If you haven't, you'll probably want to after hearing this charmer.

James - Laid
Of course, it's got the classic title track (which probably annoys some of you). But it's also got many more classics. Simply, one of the best albums of the 1990's.

Nick Cave - Dig! Lazarus Dig!!!
2007 album from the remarkably consistent Mr. Cave. This one is one of his harder-rocking efforts. "We Call Upon the Author" is the obvious (to me) standout: one of those that, I am sure will be an audience singalong before long. Not as great an album as Lyre Of Orpheus/Abbatoir Blues, but a damn good one, nonetheless.

Richard Thompson - Daring Adventures
Post-Linda Richard, and I think this is his first collab. with Mitch Froom. A very solid record, with the great pop tune "Valerie".

Dig it.


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Steve Ison

1/6/2010 12:10:53 PM


Woh...Great to see comments here too Todd-You write really well..I'm curious to hear the John Cale and the Apollo Sunshine-and Captain Beefheart meets Andrew Llloyd Webber certainly sounds intriguing!


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Hop On Pop

1/6/2010 12:34:22 PM


Steve,
Several of Apollo Sunshine's records are available at Amazon for $1 US or less (plus shipping).
FYI


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Hop On Pop

1/8/2010 7:10:22 AM


1/8:
The Everly Brothers - The Very Best Of...
A great collection of their hits, although maybe not as great as it could have been, had these been all the original recordings. I mean, it's still the boys, but these are (almost) all 1965 re-recordings of their early hits. Still, those harmonies...

Naked Raygun - Understand?
When I say "melodic hardcore", this is what I mean! Great Chicago band. Hell, legendary around these parts (our shared hometown) for intense shows down at the Cabaret Metro, across the street from Wrigley Field. This one has a couple of their best songs – "Hips Swingin'" and "Treason". Guitarist John Haggerty went on to form Pegboy.

Yo La Tengo - Electr-o-Pura
While not generally regarded as their best album, it is nonetheless my favorite, and contains everything that I love about this band. Hell, it contains everything that there is to love about this band: the noisy freakouts, the gentle lilting Georgia-sung tunes, the perfectly crafted pop songs... I love this record.

Grant Hart - Good News For Modern Man
Grant was generally considered the "pop" half of the Hüsker Dü songwriting team -- the Paul to Bob's more introspective John. This record shows why. It's a sparkling pop album; all shiny chrome and sharp hooks. It came more than 6 years after his previous solo album, and then he just released the follow-up 10 years after that!!! Let's hope that it's not so long before the next one. I love Grant.

The Chamber Strings - Gospel Morning
While this is not as good an album as the follow-up (A Month of Sundays), this is still a solid orc-pop album that takes its inspiration from bands like The Zombies and The Left Banke. Well-worth your 45 minutes if you're a fan of such confections.


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Conversation Suicide

1/8/2010 7:20:01 AM


Very cool to see the reviews, man.

I'm impressed --- you've improved the concept of your
"What's Todd Listening to..." blog for 2010.

Happy New year, and may it be a GREAT one for the Todd-man..


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Hop On Pop

1/11/2010 7:23:36 AM


1/11/10:
Urge Overkill - Saturation
Tongue-in-cheek glam meets Cheap Trick. Great power-esque pop from my hometown boys; their best-selling long player. No, it does not have their biggest hit (that Neil Diamond cover), but it does have lots of great songs, like "Sister Havanah", "Positive Bleeding", "Bottle Of Fur", and lots of others. In fact, there's not a single clinker on here.

Creedence Clearwater Revival - Willie & The Poorboys
It's CCR. You know what they sound like, right? "Down On the Corner" and "Fortunate Son" are probably the big ones on here.

Shellac - 1000 Hurts
Steve Albini's most-recent band. Completely uncompromising, even as he gets close to 50. It's noisy, aggressive and abrasive. Also, an amazing listen for those of you who appreciate pure bile. For fans of: Pere Ubu, Big Black, Black Flag, Ornette Coleman, and Gary Coleman. ;-)

© - ©
Vancouver band that is a band after my own heart. Genre-hopping all over the place, and doing it with style. I have a hard time describing these guys, but I know that they are made up of former members of a band called Slow (whoever they were). For fans of lots of stuff.

Pere Ubu - The Modern Dance
AllMusic calls it "...a classic slice of art-punk." It is a classic. For fans of: Wire, Mission of Burma, Television, and all sorts of stuff like that.


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Hop On Pop

1/12/2010 7:11:49 AM


1/12/10:
2009-08-Africa Rising Mojo Sampler
This is my first listen through to this, and I am really digging it! While undeniably African, all the music on here bears some sort of Western pop influence. Amazing guitar playing on just about every song, too. The only artist on here whose name I recognized is Ali Farka Toure. Other than that, these are total unknowns to me. But I will be seeking out more. (Isn't that what these samplers are supposed to do?)

Guided By Voices - Alien Lanes
My favorite GBV album was also my introduction to the band. It's Pollard and Sprout at the peak of their lo-fi prowess and with the "classic" lineup in tow. For those of you not familiar, imagine if The Who's hooks were about 10-times hookier and that they recorded in their basement with really crappy equipment. One of my all-time favorite records, and a big influence on (at least part of) my songwriting and overall aesthetic.

Smokey Robinson & The Miracles - The Ultimate Collection
Ultimate? Yup, pretty much. 25 classics from one of the greatest songwriters of the 20th century. My only beef with the collection is that I would love to hear his original demo version of "My Girl". But no complaints with any of the music that is on here. A must-have for any fan of pop music.


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Hop On Pop

1/13/2010 6:51:19 AM ---- Updated 1/14/2010 8:21:48 AM


1/13/10:
Eno/Cale - Wrong Way Up
Brian Eno and John Cale are both gods in my book. Apparently they did not get along so well during the recording process, but the result is, well, maybe not a masterpiece, but damn close. Both have alto voices that lend a certain darkness to the preceedings, but the music seems to float on air. The first track, "Lay My Love" was a major influence on the way that I arranged "Here"; with the main theme being played constantly throughout the song.

Apollo Sunshine - Shall Noise Upon
Listening to this one again (I tend to listen to new purchases more), so here is a repeat of my write-up from last week: Boston psych/pop/prog band that sounds like some bastard hybrid of early Pink Floyd, The Olivia Tremor Control, and (on some tunes) Velvet Underground. Outstanding musicianship and great songs with lots of hooks. Ison: You would adore this!!!

Sam Cooke - The Man & His Music
An essential part of any music collection, if you care anything about rock, soul, or about any part of the popular music of the 20th century. Yeah, the man had one of the greatest voices ever. But he was also one of the greatest songwriters ever: "You Send Me", "Chain Gang", "What a Wonderful World", "Cupid", "Twistin' the Night Away", etc., etc... If you have not yet heard this album, I genuinely pity you. Just go buy it. NOW!!!

Johnny Cash - At San Quentin: the Complete Concert
The second of Johnny's prison shows released as an album and, by some accounts, his best. I think that I may still be partial to the Folsom set, but that may just be familiarity speaking, as I haven't had this one for as long. Still, this one does have "I Walk the Line" and "A Boy Named Sue", which is a major plus in its favor. I'll have to keep listening...

And, on top of these four, I also have a (mostly) jazz mix that a friend gave me; it includes:
Sonny Sharrock, Joyce Cooling, Glenn Miller, The Irwin Hefler Trio, Herbie Hancock, Ella Fitzgerald, Randy Newman, Richard Thompson, Aretha Franklin, and John Coltrane.
Pretty good mix.


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Hop On Pop

1/14/2010 6:51:06 AM ---- Updated 1/14/2010 7:05:02 AM


1/14/10:

The Clean - Anthology (disc 1)
I picked up The Clean, because I heard that they were this miraculous pop band from New Zealand. I was expecting Split Enz or something like that. I got something totally different, something a lot weirder; more like anti-pop. Jerky rhythms and spazzy hooks. More along the lines of early Feelies or even a more-organic Devo.

Relatively Clean Rivers - Relatively Clean Rivers
Imagine if CSN hadn't been quite so overexposed and had been a bit more psychedelic. Yeah, like that. (But, of course, not quite as brilliant, either.) Yeah, kinda like that.

Raphael Saadiq - The Way I See It
In my eyes, the savior of old school soul. This is a record that just makes me feel good. Kinda like a lost Smokey Robinson album, at times. But then, there are the modern touches (and occasional overt sexual references) that remind you that this was an album that was made in 2008, not 1968.

Bob Elliott - Simple Machines
Oh, hell! You all know Bob, right? Tao Jones? If you are not familiar with his sound... do yourselves a favor and listen to him!

Rodriguez - Cold Fact
A Chicano Dylan? That's how he was being promoted back when this album first came out in the late 60's. He had a minor hit in one of the South American countries (I forget which one), and then disappeared. This was just reissued a couple of years ago, and I gotta say that it's pretty damn good. Yeah, there's the Dylan influence, but also a lot of organ and psych touches, too. At times, it sounds a bit like Manchester, England in the late 80's/early 90's. But not too much.


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Steve Ison

1/14/2010 9:07:00 AM


Really enjoying reading all your reviews Todd..So cool
This is a great thread now :)


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Hop On Pop

1/15/2010 7:12:16 AM ---- Updated 3/31/2010 8:13:57 AM


1/15/10:
Jay Bennett and Edward Burch - The Palace at 4 a.m. (Pt.1)
The former guitarist/multi-instrumentalist for Wilco made this his first record after being kicked out of said band. It's a pretty great (if a bit overlong) slab of dark pop that showcases how much Bennett really was a part of Wilco's overall sound a BIG part. Features his version of the Summerteeth song "My Darlin'".

The Millennium - Begin
Pure studio orchestral pop from the studio studs that helped create the album sounds of the early Byrds records and The Association. Multiple harmonies abound, as to a dizzying variety of strings and keyboard instruments. Wonderful bass playing. For fans of The Association, 70's-era Hollies, and stuff like that.

Thelonious Monk - The Best of the Blue Note Years
These are the versions of the classics that Monk cut in the years before the invention of the LP. So, all versions had to fit into the 4:00 or so that were allowed by the 78 rpm format. On the downside, no amazing improv. On the upside, these are very focused cuts that showcase what an outstanding writer Monk really was, and how outstaning was his grasp of melody and harmony. Essential.

Rockpile - Seconds of Pleasure
The band that backed Nick Lowe and Dave Edmunds on their 70's solo albums released only one album credited as a band this one. And it's a classic that stands up to both Lowe's Jesus of Cool and Edmunds' Repeat When Necessary. Highlights include "Teacher Teacher", Lowe's "Play That Fast Thing (One More Time)", and Billy Bremner's amazing vocal performance on "Heart". The CD also has some excellent live bonus tracks, and Lowe & Edmunds playing acoustic/duo versions of Everly Brothers classics.

Blur - Parklife
A tour through the history of BritPop, courtesy Damon Albarn and the boys. IMO, this is their best record and one of the best 3 or so records of the 90's (if not the best). From Kinks-like poppy observations of everyday life, to grand, sweeping Bowie-esque statements of purpose, to 2-minute punk splatters, to electronic synth-pop a la Gary Neuman... Blur nails it all. A great, great record.


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Hop On Pop

1/18/2010 7:00:32 AM


1/18/10:
John Fogerty - Centerfield
So, we all know the classic title cut, right? But the fact is that there isn't a stinker on the entire record. It's a plate that holds up to just about anything that he did with CCR back in the 60's. The world need more music from this man.

Built To Spill - Keep It Like a Secret
Noisy pop from the hight of the golden age of indie rock -- when indie was still a bit of a secret from the public at-large. Doug Martsch is a guitar hero for anyone who has ever heard him. And this is BTS's most pop-oriented effort to this point. Equal parts Neil Young, Dinosaur Jr., and Pavement. "You Were Right" should be as much of a classic as the songs that it quotes.

The Exploding Hearts - Guitar Romantic
Speaking of should-be classics.... I suppose that this band is known as much for the tragedy that befell them, as they are for the small amount of amazing music that they left behind. Only 10 songs in 28 minutes (don't tell me that the HoP record is short!), each one is a garage punk mini masterpiece. For fans of The Clash, New York Dolls, Ramones, and Buzzcocks. Damn, what could have been...

Gilberto Gil - O Sol De Oslo
Not sure how to describe this one. It's Gil, so of course it's got his Brazilian swagger and some great guitar playing. It's MPB. Modern. For sure. Pop. Oh yeah, it's got the beat and the hooks. And Brazil. Definitely from Brazil. If you're familiar with David Byrne's attempts at MPB, this sounds pretty similar. Comes down to the fact that you either like Brazilian pop or you don't. If you do, this is worth checking out.

Glenn Gould - The Goldberg Variations (1955)
This is the recording that turned the classical world on its ear and made a superstar of Gould. Basically what he did was take this series of Bach pieces for harpsichord, and reinterpret them for piano. Doesn't sound like that big a deal, right? But then consider that the piano has a range of dynamics and coloration that the harpsichord is not capable of (the harpsichord has no pedals, and can only be played at a single volume) and you might be able to understand the implications. Insane virtuosity combined with an entire new palate of tonal colors... But even for those not familiar with classical (or, in this case, Baroque) music, this is one hell of an impressive display and engaging listening experience.


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Steve Ison

1/18/2010 10:01:40 AM


Love your reviews Todd...So much love and enthusiasm...I'm really curious to check out The Exploding Hearts from what you've said...


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Hop On Pop

1/18/2010 10:09:52 AM


You will love the Exploding Hearts, Steve.
It actually sound a lot like what Greed Day were trying to do with their Foxboro Hot Tubs side project, but the Hearts are a lot more successful at achieving that sound.
Pure garage.


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1/19/2010 8:00:03 AM


1/19/10:
Martin Newell - A Summer Tamarind
Equal parts XTC, Robyn Hitchcock, Syd Barrett, and Kinks. The once, and future leader of The Cleaners From Venus is getting older now and his subject matter reflects that fact. Still, the melodies are there and so is the cheeky attitude. A smartass that just keeps getting smarter with age. Great stuff... one of my favorites.

New York Dolls - New York Dolls
Like the Rolling Stones, but scummier. A lot scummier. And in drag. This is a classic and, if you are a fan of punk at all you have already heard it. If you haven't, you need to.

Def Leppard - YEAH!
2006 release of all cover songs -- all the songs that inspired the boys to pick up an instrument and form a band in the first place. It's also a reminder of what a great straight-up rock band Def Leppard really is. And the choice of bands to cover? Could not be more aces: T. Rex, Kinks, ELO, Badfinger, Faces, Ian Hunter, The Nerves... Damn! A seriously great record and one of my favorites of the '00s. Surprise!!!

My Morning Jacket - It Still Moves
Modern psychedelica. Beautiful melodies. Drenched in reverb. You know the MMJ sound by now. Just a beautiful record.

Los Lobs - Kiko
Forget La Bamba, these guys are simply one of the best damn bands in the world. And this record proves it. Along with Blur's Parklife (which I reviewed earlier) this is one of my favorite albums of the 1990's. It's not just rock, but it gets downright weird in some places. Surprises all over the place. But songwriting (and instrumental) chops coming out of every orifice. An amazing record.


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1/20/2010 7:09:25 AM


1/20/10:
Paul Simon - Rhythm Of the Saints
Moving from Africa to South America, Simon moved on to exploit the talents of the indigenous people of the Amazon river valley for the follow-up to Graceland. So, this one is no Graceland, but it still stands up on its own merits. Excellent ensemble percussion is all over the place. Songs like "The Obvious Child" and the title track are reason enough to listen to this. But, really, up-and-down, it's a rock-solid record.

Massive Attack - Mezzanine
Arguably the Trip-Hop masterpiece, in a genre with several masterpieces. Creepy, creeping beats and oozing synths, with just the right mix of male and female voices to create a sexual tension. It's all just so unsavory-sounding. Sounds like slow, dirty sex.

Songs: Ohia - The Magnolia Electric Co.
The transition record for Jason Molina and, company, from one project to the next. It's a wonderful modern underground take on traditional country music. Gothic and dark, and projects like this tend to be. Like a Hank Williams/Kurt Weil/Roxy Music collaboration. For fans of Will Oldham, Freakwater.

Teenage Fanclub - Songs From Northern Britain
Perfect pop music, plain and simple. With three master songwriters, the Fannies have an embarrassment of riches. I've used the imagery before, but it's apt here, too: the songs sparkle. Magnificent harmonies and melodies sound like they were wrung straight out of the comb. For fans of Big Star, Jellyfish, Matthew Sweet.

Jimmy Cliff - The Harder They Come
So, this soundtrack features a whole lot more folks than just Cliff, but he is more or less the featured player here, with several rockseady reggae classics. But, other classic songs from Toots & The Maytalls, Desmond Dekker, Scotty, The Slickers, and The Melodians mean that this is nothing BUT classics. It is perhaps the definitive document of 1970's Rocksteady. Every song is perfect. YOU NEED THIS!


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1/21/2010 6:59:20 AM


1/21/10:
Roy Wood & Wizzard - Archive Series
For those of you not from the UK, Roy was the leader of The Move - the 60's band that would later morph into ELO. He is a very strange man and a total genius; can play just about any instrument. This documents some of his post-ELO material (Lynne kicked him out after the second record, because they wanted to take a different path.) Anyway, there is some very fine (if weird) rockabilly, pure pop, and some other things that really can't be described, except that they fall somewhere within of the "rock" genre, even if it is way out on the fringes.

Rancid - Let's Go
Pretty much pure punk, with hints of ska, from a band pieced together from the remains of Operation Ivy (see my 1/4 comments on them). This is their second album, I believe, and it's a great one. Instant punk anthems like "Radio" and "Salvation" are not so easy to come by. This record has probably 10 or so songs of that caliber. Oh, and they just happen to have a page here at IAC, too! One of the best albums from one of the best bands from the second wave of punk.

Richard Hell & The Voidoids - Blank Generation
So, now into the FIRST wave of punk. This one is all New York sneer and street poetry: "I was sayin 'Let me outta here' before I was even born/It's such a gamble when you get a face...". How's that? Plus, Ivan Julian and the late Robert Quine (both played on Matthew Sweet's records) were at their best here. So amazing.

Camper Van Beethoven - Telephone-Free Landslide Victory
Their debut, and my favorite. Includes the quintessential 80's college rock song "Take the Skinheads Bowling". Acoustic guitars, chiming clean electrics, violin... It's the Byrds meet Eastern European folk, with a goofy charm that is unique to this band. At least it was until others started ripping it off, themselves. Lead singer and primary songwriter later went on to form the better-known Cracker. But this is his best work, here. And his best band.


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Steve Ison

1/21/2010 9:41:32 AM


Harder THey Come is such an ace album Todd..THink i first heard it 20 years ago and was totally blown away
UB40 had a single with terribly insipid version of the sublime Johnny too bad which ruined it a little for me Grrrr


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1/22/2010 7:18:06 AM


1/22/10:
Just a couple with me today...

Yo La Tengo - I Am Not Afraid Of You and I Will Beat Your Ass
Another one, like Electr-o-Pura, that shows off all of the band's range. The opening track ("Pass the Hatchet, I Think I'm Goodkind") is a nearly 11-minute jam with a great pulsating bassline and splashes of feedback. But then, the very next song is the super bouncy pop song "Beanbag Chair". And on and on like that... one contridiction after another. No wonder I love these guys. This is probably my second or third favorite album of theirs -- after Electr-o-Pura and Fakebook.

James - Whiplash
I just got this in the mail yesterday, so I have not yet had a chance to listen. But, if I can expect anything from them like what I have heard before, it's going to be atmospheric, shoegaze-y pop with great choruses. We'll see...

And then, I'll be listening to: YOU, IAC!!!


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1/25/2010 7:05:31 AM


1/25/10:

Shrimp Boat - Something Grand (disc 3)
Part of a 4-disc box set documenting the history of this great, great Chicago band: one of the godfathers of post-rock. This disc compiles scads of unreleased and stuff from the band's final year or two together. Here the band has settled into their sound -- a seamless combination of traditional American country, Afro-Brazilian jazz, RnB, punk, and anything else that they feel. Basically, you have to hear it. It's beautiful (and, at times, really ugly -- but in a beautiful way). There are both studio outtakes and live tracks and, thank God, somebody saw fit to keep it all.

Margo Guryan mix
A friend of mine compiled this collection of Margo's tunes for me and I'm glad that she did. On the surface, it's syrupy-sweet schmaltz-pop. But upon further listens, the melodies take hold and the brilliance behind the songs makes itself known. I still cannot listen to this one too often because Margo's fey little girl voice does tend to get under my skin with too much exposure. But there is no denying that there are some great songs here. For fans of Nancy Sinatra, Dusty Springfield, and Carole King -- only not so tough.

Richard Thompson - 1000 Years of Popular Music
He means "1000 years." Richard covers songs from the last millennium, from ancient English (Welsh?) ballads ("Summer is Icumen In") to Cole Porter ("Night and Day") to Britney Spears ("Oops... I Did It Again"). But, of course, no matter which song he's playing, it's always Richard... so it's going to be interesting. And, even cool. A brilliant collection. Oh, and it's all live, solo, and acoustic.

Thin Lizzy - BBC Radio One Live In Concert
There are a couple of songs that the band didn't include on this collection that I would have loved to hear. But still, they are one of the best bands of the 70's and one of the best rock bands, ever, PERIOD. If you just rolled your eyes at that last statement, go back and listen to Jailbreak or Black Rose (I mean really listen) and then come back and tell me that I'm wrong. Hell, even I think that Phil Lynott is sexy and I'm not even attracted to men! A great songwriter fronting a great band.


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1/26/2010 6:55:16 AM


1/16/10:
Fantomas - Amenaza al Mundo
Not totally sure what the concept is behind this one -- maybe a soundtrack for a comic book? I think that's what it is. Anyway, it features Mike Patton of Faith No More and Mr. Bungle, Buzz Osborne of The Melvins, and Dave Lombardo and Trevor Dunn (whose names I recognize, but I can't remember what bands they're from). This is only my first listen, so the description will be brief (as if you need much of one knowing who's involved)! It's a mostly instrumental affair, with vocals used only as another instrument -- a lot of scat singing. It ranges from heavy, heavy, heavy to Marcone-esque reverbed-out guitars. And, like I said, scat singing that sounds like it was sung by the devil. (No, not Cookie Monster, but the devil. This is Mike Patton, remember.) It's very cool if you're into the heavy stuff.

Joe Pisapia - Daydreams
Maybe the best album of the '00s. Mostly acoustic guitars and pianos, with beautiful melodies and lyrics that just get you. Imagine what Nick Drake might be doing today. It would probably be something like this. And "Dancing Partner" may be the saddest song ever recorded. So beautiful it hurts.

Self - Gizmodgery
Self is Matt Mahaffey. And this is an album that sounds like a novelty record, and it would be, if it weren't so damn well-done. You see, every instrument used on this record is a TOY. Toy guitars, toy drums, toy keyboards, and various dolls and electronic toys. Thing is, that Mahaffey can flat-out play, and despite the medium, he plays it straight, for the most part. On top of that, the songs, themselves, are top-drawer. Includes an amazing cover of The Doobie Brothers' "What a Fool Believes". Even if the concept turns you off, you owe yourself a listen to this. You will be shocked. I was.

Wire - Pink Flag
An album in my top-5 of all time. From blistering punk to creeping atmospherics, to pop songs, there are no 2 songs on this record that are anything alike. It was a big inspiration for Chicken On a Bicycle, only Wire is (of course) a lot more ambitious. It's an album that does not sit still long enough to loose your interest. And it is still one of the great debut albums of all time.

Souled American - Around the Horn
A Chicago band that was a part of the same scene as Shrimp Boat back in the 1990s. Souled American has a much heavier emphasis on the traditional American Country thing, however. Spattered with accordians and the occasional horn, and sung with a slow, Midwestern drawl. These are languid, lazy art country tunes that sound like the songs that you've always known your whole life, only twisted and warped like Silly Putty. It took a couple of listens to grown on me, but then it did. And when it did, it got under my skin at the same time, and I mean that in a good way.


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1/28/2010 7:00:01 AM


1/28/2010:
Danger Doom - The Mouse and the Mask
This is my first listen-through to this collab. between Danger Mouse and MC Doom. Honestly, this is just a damn fun record. The rhymes flow like honey and the beats hit hard. Also, the appearance of Adult Swim cartoon characters (Aqua Teen Hunger Force's Master Shake is particularly hillaious) makes this record something extra special. I'm loving this.

The Waterboys - The Best Of ('81-90)
Not many people can write a song like Mike Scott; or can write a line like , "If you see her, send my love, and a bang on the ear," and get away with it; even elicit a sigh. Totally affecting and engrossing. Also completely original. No, not many can write a song like Mike Scott, but more people should.

Sam and Dave - The Very Best Of
And, then again, not many folks can sing a song like Sam and Dave. It's just hit after hit: "Soul Man", "Hold On (I'm a Coming)", "I Thank You", "Soothe Me", "Wrap It Up", etc. You know the songs. If you don't, where the hell have you been for the last 45 years?!?!

Mr. Bungle - California
Brand new acquisition. I have yet to give this a single listen. However, I am certain that, given Mike Patton's history, this will completely spin my head around. (See my Fantomas review from a couple of days ago.)

Green - The Planets
Chicago power pop band that's been around since the early 80's. This, however, is their 2009 release. It's a bit unfocused and, at times uneven. Thing is, the high points are super high and it has their most-ambitious production yet. Kinks, Beatles, Zombies, and Kingsmen influences all over this thing. But, mostly Kinks. A damn good record.


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Tao Jones

1/28/2010 10:05:08 PM


This is one way we are different. If I had just finished that killer album you just finished, I'd just be listening to that.


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Hop On Pop

1/29/2010 7:19:29 AM


Thanks, Bob. But I've been listening to that album for the last 2 years! I hope that you like it, though!

As to what I have today:

1/29:

Toots and The Maytalls - Funky Kingston/In the Dark
This is not the Bob Marley reggae that one tends to think of when thinking of reggae. This is something totally different. This is Jamaican deep soul; think Otis Redding in the islands. Littered with classic songs like "Pressure Drop" (once covered by The Clash), "Funky Kingston", "Pomp and Pride" (a simply perfect song and one of my favorites, ever), and "Love's Gonna Walk Out On Me", as well as a brilliant cover of "Take Me Home Country Road"(?!). If there is even so much as a passing interest in reggae/rocksteady anywhere in your soul... this (along with The Harder They Come) is the collection to own!

Talk Talk - Laughing Stock
How does a synthpop band get taken seriously? Throw out the pop trappings and get seriously ambient on yo' ass. This one is all atmosphere... a precursor to what Radiohead did some 10-15 years later. Check it out if you are into that later Radiohead stuff, or any of Brian Eno's ambient works.

Dusty Springfield - Dusty In Memphis
Yeah, this is the one with "Son of a Preacher Man". But don't mistake it for a soul album, this is pure 60's schmaltz-pop -- and I mean that in a good way. The material for this record was supplied by some of the best songwriters of the day, including Randy Newman, Goffin/King, and Bacharach/David. And damn that woman can sing! The late-90's remaster (which is what I am listening to) more than doubles the original running time of the album with FOURTEEN bonus tracks. Damn good fluff. Um.... I mean stuff!!!

Dinosaur Jr. - You're Living All Over Me
The logical punk rock extension from Neil Young and Crazy Horse: even more-warbly singing and even hairier guitars. This is an 80's college rock classic. As noted earlier, guitars to the front, which is good because (also as noted) J. Mascis really cannot sing. But it somehow retains a certain DIY charm. Includes their classic cover of Peter Frampton's "Show Me the Way". Larree: you may find this one fun to listen to.

The La's - The La's
Yes, this one has "There She Goes" -- this is their only album. WHY?!?! Fact is, that is album is so much more than that one perfect pop song. This album is 12 perfect pop songs! One of the first big albums of the 90's BritPop movement and still one of the very best. Sadly, this is the band's only album. Lee Mavers come back! (Maybe he'll make a record with Kevin Shields and Jeff Mangum someday.)


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2/1/2010 7:13:48 AM ---- Updated 2/1/2010 7:29:34 AM


2/1/10:
Broadcast - Ha Ha Sound
This is my first listen to this one, so I'll try to sum it up without too much editorializing. For the most part, they sound a lot like Stereolab, if that means anything to you. Almost too much. It sounds pretty good, but if I grab for anything like this, I'll most-likely grab for Transient Random Noise Bursts With Announcements. Still, it sounds nice this morning.

The Flavor Channel - Plexicom
Chicago band from the 90's that should have made it bigger than they did. Combined punk, pop, skronk jazz saxes, and stride piano with a touch of Roy Orbison and some surf guitar to make something totally original. They were an incredible live band ( I saw them probably 10 times). So, while this record is good, it still was a small disappointment to me, just because I know that some of their best material wasn't included on it, their only album. Still well-worth checking out.

Beto Villares - Beto Villares
Apparently Beto is a young, hotshot producer in Brazil, and also a guy who writes songs for other Brazilian artists. On this album (his debut) he shows why. There are a variety of popular Brazilian styles represented here, but all are rooted in the Tropicalia style that is so popular with the hipster crowd up north. (I won't make any apologies for being a part of that crowd, whether I am a hipster or not). I dig this record. Any interest in Brazilian music? You could do worse than this one.

The Format - Dog Problems
If you thought that it would be impossible to create an entire album full of nothing but hooks and perfect pop songs that still resonate, emotionally... think again. This record is it. Written in the wake of two breakups both with a girlfriend and a record label this is pretty much a perfect record. With singalong choruses that have lines like: "I love love/I love being in love/I don't care what it does to me...", this is one of the best of the '00s.

Sex Pistols - Never Mind the Bollocks
Listened to this for the first time in a long time this weekend and I forgot just HOW great it is. It was like having a glass of water after a long walk in the desert; just completely energized me. Filled me up like no other music has in a long time. A shot of pure adrenalin. POW!!!!! Played it for my 10-year-old, too. He insisted on listening to it while taking a shower last night. I heard him rocking out in the bathroom, and, at one point, poked out his head, sporting a shampoo mohawk. No joke. Told me, "Dad, this is now one of my favorite albums, ever!" I love being a dad.


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2/2/2010 6:51:04 AM


Meat Puppets - Meat Puppets II
"The classic." Right? It's actually not my favorite of theirs, but this is the first album where the Pups really started to get it together. Where their songwriting started to crystalize. And where that psychedelic country desert punk really started to take form. Highlights include "Plateau", "Lost" (later covered by the Minutemen), and "Lake of Fire" (later covered by Nirvana).

Bloque - Bloque
Columbian rock band that infuses their music with elements of hip-hop, punk, and whatever else they feel like throwing into the mix. (Of course, that includes some traditional Columbian music, as well.) It sold basically nil for David Byrne's Luaka Bop label, but that just makes is an underappreciated/underrated great. I wouldn't call it a "classic", but it is a whole lot of fun.

Jeff Mangum - Live @ Jittery Joe's
The leader of Neutral Milk Hotel, solo and acoustic at a hometown coffee shop, after the release of On Avery Island, and before the release of In the Aeroplane Over the Sea. Hell, probably even just before the recording of that second album, as some of the songs from that album are played here in incomplete versions. It's great hearing these songs in this format -- they totally stand up; and the banter between the reclusive singer and his friends in the crowd. A music for any fan of NMH.

The Judy's - Washarama
Imagine a bastard hybrid of the B-52's and Violent Femmes and you've got The Judy's. A cult band from the Dallas, TX area, they had a couple of minor regional hits down there, including "All the Pretty Girls". Primitive Dork Pop of the highest order. This is nothing but hooks and snot. (And I don't mean Sex Pistols snot, but the kind of snot that the geek in the really thick glasses keeps wiping away with his sleeve because every season is allergy season for him.)

Guided By Voices - Isolation Drills
The lo-fi gods' best effort for a major label, in a real studio. Here is where their Who fixation too full bloom, with hooks larger than the skies on songs like "Chasing Heather Crazy" and "Glad Girls" being the obvious high points. The "classic" lineup had been long disbanded by this point, but the new guys were more than capable, even if their professionalism did strip away some of the band's initial charms. Probably the only late-period GBV record worth owning, IMO.


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2/3/2010 7:15:26 AM


2/3:
Paul McCartney & Wings - Band On the Run
So much better than I thought it'd be. It renewed my faith in Paul's solo output and... damn. This is just one hell of an album. Besides the title track there's "Jet", "1985", "Picasso's Last Words", "Let Me Roll It", and every other damn song on here. Aces from top to bottom.

Them Crooked Vultures - Them Crooked Vultures
Supergroup power trio featuring Josh Homme (Queens of the Stone Age), Dave Grohl (Nirvana/Foo Fighters), and John Paul Jones (Led Zeppelin). When they hit that Led Zep, heavy blues groove, this is an excellent album. But when they slide into a more modern sound, the record starts to falter a bit. Still, it's worth a listen, if only for the curiosity factor to see how that generation gap is bridged.

Cesaria Evora - Rogamar
The diva of Cabo Verde. African island music, Portugese language. Bottom line is, this woman has a beautiful alto voice that is somehow simultaneously husky and smooth. It wraps itself around you like a warm blanket and makes you feel good. One of my favorite singers.

Beach Boys - Pet Sounds
Best album ever. Period.

Judas Priest - Living After Midnight: The Best Of
PRIEST!!!!


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2/4/2010 7:02:41 AM


2/5/10:
Bettye LaVette - The Scene of the Crime
I wanted to love this one; I really did. Bettye has a great old soul shouter's voice. It was recorded in Muscle Shoals, AL with both members of Drive-By Truckers and some of the old session guys from down there (including Spooner Oldham). Thing is, it's just not a great record. There's a great voice. There's great musicians. The production is excellent. So, what's missing? The great songs. With one or two exceptions, the only reason that these songs exist is to showcase Bettye's gritty voice. Not that it's not a great voice, but without a great song, it's not enough. Still I give it a spin every now and then.

Bon Iver - For Emma, Forever Ago
Simply a perfect album. Gorgeous, haunting songs that sound like they were recorded in a snowed-in cabin in the dead of winter. And, you know what? They were. Hushed melodies. The hooks don't need to be brash to grab you. This is an album that very simply resonates; it creates a mood from the beginning and does not let you go until long after the last note has faded. A great, great record that I think will stand the test of time.

Butterflies - Butterflies
The sound is pure late-80's/early-90's underground. Compare it to Pavement, or anything from Boston that is not punk rock. I love it for the nostalgic feel that it gives me... brings me right back to my college days.

Big Star - #1 Record/Radio City
Some call it ground-zero for power pop. No matter what, these are some of the greatest overlooked gems in the entire history of rock and roll. And it's great that the band is finally getting their due, no mater how belatedly. This collection contains the original version of "In the Street" (also known as the theme song to "That 70's Show", when it was covered by Cheap Trick).

The Wonder Stuff - Never Loved Elvis
Another overlooked gem (at least in the US), this time it's from a BritPop band. Early 90's. This record is as nearly good as anything that Oasis or Blur put out around the same time. Actually, this came out before either of them put out a record, I think. Like I said, BritPop, but this has some acoustic/folk flourishes, with some great little mandolin and flute bits on songs with great titles like "Welcome to the Cheap Seats" and "Size of a Cow". And yeah, the songs themselves are every bit as good as the titles.


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2/8/2010 7:17:56 AM ---- Updated 2/8/2010 12:36:39 PM


2/8/2010
Tomahawk - Tomahawk
Weirdo Mike Patton's (from Faith No More and Mr. Bungle) hard rock side project is pretty cool. This is my first listen so, I don't have anything really deep to say about it, other than it reminds me a little bit of Queensryche, but weirder; or Jane's Addiction, but less screechy. (FYI - I am a fan of J.A., but not of Q.)

Faith No More - Who Cares A Lot? (Greatest Hits)
So much more than a one-hit wonder, these guys are like what the Red Hot Chili Peppers could have been if they decided to go prog instead of pop. Equal parts Chilis, ELP, Zappa, and mescaline, FNM are just too cool. Hiring Mike Patton was the best decision that they ever made.

Tom Zé - Fabrication Defect
Um... weird crap from Sr. Zé. Brazilian influences, of course, as the guy is Brazilian. But Tom Zé grabs anything and everything within his reach to make music. Anything he can hold, pound, pluck, blow into, or turn on or off can become a musical instrument in his hands. Wildly inventive, weird, and yet oddly melodic. Tom Zé rules my world.

The La's - BBC In Session
Now, the La's first (and only) proper studio album is a perfect slice of perfect pop songs from front to back. But, apparently, bandleader Lee Mavers thought that the production was horseshit and that it totally ruined his perfect pop gems. He wanted a more raw, more-immediate sounding album. Now, I never thought that any of those songs were anything close to ruined. But then, I had no idea what Mavers had in-mind for those songs. Until now. These live recordings are, apparently, a lot closer to what was envisioned by the bandleader. It just arrived in the mail and I am about to give it a first listen. So, I will be the judge as to whether or not the tunes on that one perfect album were, in fact, ruined. So excited for this one!

there are too many discs in front of me now, so I will add more to this post, as I listen to more today...


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2/9/2010 7:12:53 AM ---- Updated 2/9/2010 8:35:52 AM


2/9/2010:
Once again, a pile of CDs. (I'm just trying to get through this huge mess.) So, I will post my listening and commentary, piecemeal.

various artists - The Late, Great Daniel Johnston: Discovered, Covered
Daniel Johnston's voice and performance style is not exactly palatable to the majority of the listening public. Which is why this is such a valuable collection. With folks like Clem Snide, Eels, T.V. On the Radio, Tom Waits, Beck, M. Ward, and Flaming Lips, among others performing Daniel's brilliant songs, folks can finally appreciate what an outstanding songwriter Johnston really is. Of course, as a long time Daniel fan, I've known this all along!

Pere Ubu - The Modern Dance
(See my 1/11 posting. Not much else to say.)


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2/12/2010 7:46:07 AM


2/12/10:
The Left Banke - There's Gonna Be a Storm
You may not recognize the name of the band, but then I'll tell you that they had a pretty big hit with "Walk Away Renee" and you'll say, "Ooohhhh! That's who sang that song!?!?!" This is a collection of the "complete" recordings. And really, there is a lot more out there than just the one hit. There are a lot of really great songs on here, lush and orchestral. One of those bands whose influence extends far beyond what their sales would suggest. Just gorgeous.

Belle and Sebastian - If You're Feeling Sinister
One of those bands whose sound reflects the influence of The Left Banke. This is one of the high points of music in the 1990's. A truly great album chock full of wonderful twee pop with lush arrangements (of course) and kinda fey singing. Outstanding lyrics tell great stories and make wonderfully sly self references ("Nobody writes them like they used to, so it may as well be me..."). I love this record.

Jane's Addiction - Nothing's Shocking
At one point, this was my favorite album of all-time, ever. However, those days are gone, and this album doesn't hold quite the same mystique for me that it used to. That's not to say that it doesn't hold up, it does; I've just moved on. Still, an excellent punk/metal album that contains a lot of drama and has an incredible sense of dynamics. Just listen to the way the band builds up the intensity of "Summertime Rolls." It's almost imperceptible, while you're listening to the song, but then, by the end, you realize that they have taken it from a whisper to a scream without you ever consciously noticing. Pretty brilliant.

Bonnie Prince Billy - Beware
A great songwriter, in the same gothic country tradition as The Handsome Family or Souled American (whom I reviewed at an earlier date). The sound is somewhere between acoustic Neil Young, the Violent Femmes, and Johnny Cash. Haunting, beautiful, and a little uneasy.

The Arcade Fire - Funeral
Majestic. That's pretty much the only word for it. Okay, so "swirling" and "kaleidoscopic" also come to mind. But this Montreal band has so much magic in them, that the first word there, is really the only one needed. You may have heard their song "Wake Up" when it was used in the trailer for the movie of Where the Wild Things Are. I recently saw them on the PBS live music show Austin City Limits and was completely blown away. Do a search for "Arcade Fire Austin City Limits" over at YouTube and you'll see what I mean. Just... wow.


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Hop On Pop

2/15/2010 7:05:13 AM


2/15/10:
J. Giles Band - Full House: "Live"
Apparently considered by many to be one of the great live albums of all time, this is the sound of a first-rate bar band doing what they do... really well. It's mostly covers of songs by the likes of Smokey Robinson, Otis Rush, Juke Joint Jimmy, and folks like that. Hard blues and RnB. And yeah Peter Wolf had some of the hokeyest stage banter that I've ever heard -- like Little Steven on steroids. But Magic Dick is one of the greatest harp players that I have ever heard, period.

Paper Airplane Pilots - The History Of Flying
Rock-solid power pop by my friends and fellow Spade Kitty labelmates. Think Guided By Voices crossed with Teenage Fanclub. Yes, it's straight outta the 90's, despite the 2003 release date. Still, hooks as undeniable as the ones in "She's Magnetic" or "The Guilt Must Weigh a Ton", are timeless. Great, great stuff.

Cate Le Bon - Me Oh My
See my entry for this one back on 1/6.

The Wolfgang Press - Queer
Dark, gothic, electronic pop. Like Bauhaus meets Erasure. Amazing stuff here, including a great version of Randy Newman's "Mama Told Me Not To Come" and a couple of sly references to the Velvet Underground. I told Popikok that they reminded me of WP and, if you know them, this is pretty similar.

The Coctails - Peel
Speaking of the 1990's, this is one of the bands that helped define that decade for me. A Chicago band (that started in KC), and basically the house band at my favorite club that ever was -- the now defunct Lounge Ax. The sound of "Indie" before "Indie" was called "Indie". Equal parts early R.E.M. and Charlie Mingus, with a touch of Camper Van Beethoven thrown in for good measure. Guitarist Archer Prewitt has gone on to play guitar with The Sea and Cake.


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Hop On Pop

2/18/2010 7:00:03 AM


Prince & The Revolution - Purple Rain
I had a voice in my head this morning that was saying, "Dearly beloved, we are gathered here today to get through this thing called 'Life.' Electric word 'Life', it means forever..." And I just had to bring it in.

The Dukes Of Stratosphear - Chips From the Chocolate Fireball
The Dukes are actually the psychedelic alter-ego of XTC, one of the greatest bands in forever. This collects everything that they ever released as the Dukes, and it holds up to anything that they ever released. Just pitch-perfect psych pop. Colin's "Vanishing Girl" is the obvious high point on here, along with "25 O'Clock", "The Mole From the Ministry", "Have You Seen Jackie?", and every other damn song on here. For fans of Syd Barrett, The Strawberry Alarm Clock, and (duh) XTC.

Sly & The Family Stone - There's a Riot Goin' On
This is the album where the band really started getting into a darker sound; more ominous and foreboding. Don't expect to hear anything like "Dance to the Music". This is a heavy, heavy album. And yet, you can still shake your ass to it. Songs include "Just Like a Baby" and "Family Affair".

Harry Nilsson - Nilsson Schmilsson
Ever hear an album and say to yourself, "This person is my soulmate! Just like me!"? That's how I felt, when I first heard this one. The willingness to try anything. The pop sensibility. And, most importantly, the sense of humor! This album has both "Coconut" and "Without You". So, that should tell you how far-reaching are the influences on here. A great, great album. I'm just angry that I haven't been listening to it for longer.

My Morning Jacket - It Still Moves
Modern psychedelic from probably the biggest current band in that genre. Jim James and company know how to write a song and then, they play the SHIT out of it!!! "Golden" was the biggest hit on here: a beautiful acoustic psych tune.

Leadbelly - Where Did You Sleep Last Night?
If you don't know Leadbelly, you're wrong. You know more of these songs than you don't. Of course, the title track was famously covered by Nirvana on their MTV Unplugged appearance. But then, you have songs like "Irene" and "Pick a Bale of Cotton" and "Ha Ha This a Way" and "Rock Island Line" that have always been a part of your musical vocabulary and you hardly even know it. It's nice to put a name to the voices in your head.


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Hop On Pop

2/22/2010 7:17:13 AM ---- Updated 2/22/2010 8:13:10 AM


2/22/2010

Apollo Sunshine - Shall Noise Upon
See the 1/5 and 1/13 entries for this one.

Anthrax - Return Of the Killer A's
This is my first listen through to this one. Borrowed it from my 10-year-old, who has great taste in music, for the most part. However, I have heard the Public Enemy collab. on "Bring the Noise" and it kicks all kinds of ass, as does the Temptations cover ("Ball of Confusion") and Beastie Boys cover ("Barrel Of a Gun" which is actually not on this disc). Basically, this is a metal band that rocks balls, and has an appreciation for just about every kind of (Western) pop music out there. Can't wait to dig deeper into this one!

Brazil - The Philosophy of Velocity
Melodic noise rock, along the lines of Sonic Youth or ...And You Will Know Us By the Trail of Dead. Excellent songwriting and wonderful attention to detail in the production, courtesy of Dave Fridmann (Flaming Lips, Mercury Rev). I suppose that I should also note that singer/songwriter Jonathon Newby did a bit of work on the new Hop On Pop record (sang "I'm Pathetic" and mixed "Happy Days" and "Leo Goldberg's 2-Step"). But it's his talent that inspired me to invite him into the project in the first place. This is a really good record.

Magnetic Fields - Get Lost
Imagine if Cole Porter had synthesizers to play with. Very simply, great, great songwriting, with cheezy synth sounds thrown in for good measure. And singer/songwriter has an outstanding gay baritone voice, to boot. (I don't know how else to describe it). Also, not sure if he's on this record, but some MF records feature Daniel (Lemony Snickett) Handler on accordion. Give you a hint of the darkness within the music.

Supergrass - I Should Coco
The first record from now BritPop stalwarts. At the time they were just a bunch of snotnose kids (19 or so) who really wanted to sound like the Buzzcocks. They did a pretty good job at it, too. But then, they also added some other dimensions that weren't so expected, like the joyful pure piano pop of "Allright". A classic of 90's BritPop.


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Hop On Pop

2/23/2010 6:53:51 AM


2/23:
The Creation - Our Music is Red With Purple Flashes
The Who meets The Kinks. or something. Mid-60's mods with some pretty good hooks and some great riffs. The first 5 seconds of this record will grab you by the throat -- that opening riff to "Making Time" (also featured over the opening credits to the movie "Rushmore") is undeniable and unfuckwithable. Some of the songs are less than stellar, but there are enough good-to-great ones to make this a worthy addition to my collection.

Aimee Mann - Whatever
The former leader of Till Tuesday ("Voices Carry") knows how to write 'em and knows how to sing 'em, too. On her debut solo album, she somehow knows how to write an instant hook while avoiding all cliches -- a really hard thing to do. The production (by Jon Brion) is just as inspired as the songs.

Pulp - Different Class
If you're from the UK, you know all about this album. If not, you need to. Although, to be fair, a lot of the subject matter is explicitly British; a lot of songs about class relations and such. But then, there are also the relationship songs that are completely universal in their appeal. A brilliant, brilliant, brilliant, (etc.) record. On a side note (to make you UK folk jealous): I saw Pulp on their "His 'n Hers" tour -- OPENING FOR BLUR AT A SMALL CLUB! God Bless America!

Miles Davis - Birth Of the Cool
No, it's no Kind Of Blue, and there's a vocal track at the end of the album that's kind of embarrassing, but there is still plenty of great jazz on here. Melodic and inventive, all at the same time.

Kevn Kinney - MacDougal Blues
The former leader of Drivin' & Cryin' has an appealing Tom Petty quality to his voice that cannot be overlooked. This is his first solo album, and it's just Kevn and his acoustic guitar and some pretty great songs, including the great title track about a folk singer's struggle to make it in Grenwich Village. Solid songwriting and playing, period.


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Steve Ison

2/23/2010 7:53:39 AM ---- Updated 2/23/2010 8:05:02 AM


Still loving reading the reviews Todd...

Easily my favourite Supergrass album is 'In It For The Money'...Amazingly creative and inventive pop...'Specially f you get the version with added B sides etc...Along with Jeff Buckleys 'Grace' easily my favourite albums of the 90s-Daring to be as great as classic Bowie and The Beatles..Have you heard it?


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Hop On Pop

2/23/2010 8:06:29 AM


I have the vinyl, Steve.
Which means that I haven't listened to it since my turntable went bye-bye. I need to re-buy it on CD. And, I will look for the version with the extra tracks.

Yeah, I love that band too.


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Hop On Pop

2/25/2010 8:26:34 AM ---- Updated 2/25/2010 2:29:06 PM


2/25/2010:
I had training yesterday and again today, so I really don't have time to listen to much. But, what I did listen to/am listening to is great!

The Knack - Get The Knack
The classic, with "My Sharona" and "Good Girls Don't" may be one of the most misogynistic records ever recorded. But it's also one of the most gleeful slices of power pop. A simply great record with a lot more to offer than just the classics that you already know. A great, underrated guitar player in Barry Averre, too. Love it!

Mark Sultan - The Sultanic Verses
Primitivism at its finest. Flat-out garage rock with simple chord changes, shaggy vocals and songs about girls and dancing. Made in the 21st century without so much as a whiff of irony; this is rock and roll, plain and simple. Pure fun on a small, shiny silver disc (although a larger, grooved black disc would be more appropriate). Like White Stripes, but more primitive. Just about everybody here would love this.

Dwight Yoakam - The Very Best Of
Don't cringe. This guys is one helluva singer, songwriter, and performer. Very simply, some of the best damn country music of the last 50 years. And yeah, I am including Buck Owens, Waylon, Willie, Dolly, Johnny, and all those folks in the mix. The man is top shelf. Also, let's give props to his guitar player/producer Pete Anderson, who just so happens to have his own page here at IAC.


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Hop On Pop

2/26/2010 12:23:33 PM


2/26/2010:
Kirsty MacColl - Electric Landlady
This is my first spin for this one, but I know from hearing songs here and there, that this woman knows how to write a song! She wrote hits for Tracey Ullman back in the 80's (yeah, that Tracey) and sang a duet with Shane MacGowan on the greatest Christmas song ever. Simply put, Kirsty was a serious talent whose life was cut way too short. Looking forward to really digging into this one.


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Richard Scotti

2/26/2010 1:37:38 PM


Have you heard an oldie but a goodie called: "Introducing The Beau Brummels?" It was produced by Sly Stone!
I


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Hop On Pop

2/26/2010 1:52:46 PM


I know that I've heard some Beau Brummels before, but don't know if any of what I've heard is from that record. And yeah, I do need to fix that hole in my collection.
Thanks, Richard!


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Hop On Pop

3/1/2010 7:26:36 AM


3/1/10:
The La's - BBC In Session
(see the 2/8 write up)

The Hives - Veni Vidi Vicious
Pure adrenaline. Muscular sound is reminiscent of the MC5, but transported to the 21st century. Fist-pumping rock that you don't have to be a punk to appreciate.

British Sea Power - The Decline of British Sea Power
David Bowie meets Trail Of Dead. Anthemic, epic songs with great melodies that are equal parts sequins, cocaine, and dirt. The sound of desperation played with supreme confidence.

Ike Turner - I Like Ike!: The Very Best Of...
A great, overarching compilation that proves to the uninitiated that Ike was so much more than just a wife-beating asshole. He is also, among other things, a great guitar player, first-rate songwriter, and musical pioneer who (arguably) wrote and recorded the first ever rock n roll song ("Rocket 88"). No, Tina is not to be found on here, even in passing, and yes this is an excellent collection. She is not needed.

Zumpano - Goin' Through Changes
Carl Newman's pre-New Pornographers band. Sounds pretty much how you would expect it to sound, if you are familiar with his newer band. If you're not: it's indie pop, well-endowed with hookage. Imagine late-period Guided By Voices (when they finally made it into decent studios) with a Kinks fixation instead of a Who fixation. That's pretty much it.


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Hop On Pop

3/1/2010 12:38:32 PM


3/1/10:
just arrived in the mail:
Supergrass - In It For the Money
One of the greatest 90's BritPop bands at the height of their power. They expandthe pallate and expand upon the promise of their debut on this, their Sophmore record. Wheras the debut showed the band were great songwriters with a Buzzcocks fixation, on this record they show that they are a great BAND, as well as great songwriters. Chalk one up for the importance of production, here. Not that the first album was anything less than outstanding, but this one is wonderous. A big bonus: the extra disc of extra tracks, including acoustic versions of tunes from the debut. So great.


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Hop On Pop

3/2/2010 6:43:56 AM


3/2/2010:
MOTO - Single File
A CD collection of all the singles that this great Chicago punk band released from 1985 to 2000 or so. (Get it? Single File?) Anyway, these are mostly 2-chord punk songs so catchy that you will find yourself singing "Crystallize My Penis" and "Dick About It" at all the most inappropriate times. Brilliant, hilarious, fun, fun, fun punk rock.

Wings - Band On the Run
Simply, the very best thing that Macca has done since the Beatles called it quits. And, it's better than a lot of the stuff that he did even with the Beatles.

The Stiff Records Box Set: Disc 2
One of the best box sets ever. Early 80's new wave, punk and pub rock... the best the UK had to offer, for the most part. Disc 2 (of 4) features great tracks from Nick Lowe, Ian Dury, Elvis Costello, Devo, Wreckless Eric, The Rumour, Kirsty MacColl, Madness, and many more.

Kings Of Leon - Youth & Young Manhood
The debut record from what is (surprisingly) one of the most-popular bands in the world now. I didn't see that one coming. Anyway, this is a really, really great album. Has the familiar sound, with Caleb Followhill's familiar-sounding vocals; just a little rawer production.

Eric B. & Rakim - 20th Century Masters
It's one of those 20th Century Masters collections that you see all over the place. And, this is a great, great, great collection from one of the greatest rap acts of all time. Rakim is the MC that inspired the whole New School. If you like any rap at all, this is an essential collection. Features "Lyrics Of Fury", "I Know You Got Soul", "Let the Rhythm Hit 'Em", "Follow the Leader", etc., etc...


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Hop On Pop

3/4/2010 6:50:42 AM


3/4/2010:
Harry Nilsson - Son Of Schmilsson
One of the most-eclectic singer/songwriters of the 70's, and one of his most-eclectic albums. It's Harry's off-the-wall humor that shines through here, just as much as his 4-octave range and beautiful songs. Weird nonmusical interludes punctuate gorgeous songs like "Remember Christmas," which sounds like something from a sentimental 1940's musical (but in a really good way), and "You're Breakin' My Heart" (...you're tearin' it apart, so fuck you"). This album is one of the moments that not only turned me on to Harry, but made me something of an obsessive.

Flatt & Scruggs - The Songs of the Famous Carter Family
Exactly what it sounds like: two of the most virtuosic bluegrass virtuosos playing some of the most cherished songs in American music. "Keep On the Sunny Side", "You Are My Flower", "Foggy Mountain Top", etc... There's a reason they call that type of banjo playing "Scruggs-Style" picking. Damn.

The Cars - Candy-O
Their second album isn't quite as packed with hits as the debut, but it ain't no slouch, either. "Let's Go" and the title track are the two big ones here. But you cannot argue with any part of this... especially the album cover! And, Elliott Easton is one of the most sadly overlooked guitar players in rock; seriously amazing.

Eleventh Dream Day - Zeroes and Ones
2006 album from one of those 90's underground bands that should have made it big, but just never did. I think that they were maybe just a little too smart and a little to good to actually make it with a wider audience. Kinda artsy; definitely rock, with very cool guitar playing that's reminiscent of Television, if they had gone to art school in the 80's, listening to themselves and Sonic Youth. I'm proud to claim the same hometown as these guys.

Sonic Youth - Daydream Nation
The 1988 classic. This is the album where SY showed just how beautiful noise could sound. Strange tunings and some of the oddest riffs ever recorded. It's haunting, noisy, occasionally abrasive, and always beautiful, even at its ugliest moments. Just plain essential.


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Hop On Pop

3/5/2010 8:00:14 AM


3/5:
Just a lot of IAC, iTunes, and YouTube stuff. (For some reason, YouTube has become unblocked here at work. I hope that it's not a trap!)


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Hop On Pop

3/8/2010 6:58:11 AM ---- Updated 3/8/2010 1:24:52 PM


38/10:
Prince & the NPG - 0+(->
His last album before changing his name to that symbol. Although he has released some great songs since then , this is his last truly great album (IMO). Forget the hokey attempt at making this a "concept" album, with songs as strong as "My Name Is Prince", "Sexy M.F.:, "I Wanna Melt With You", and "7" there is no arguing with the quality of the tunage. Hell, "3 Chains O' Gold" is his "Bohemian Rhapsody"... for real.

The Move - The Best Of
Roy Wood & Co. deliver the goods. Pop never sounded so odd and so wonderful at the same time. There was always just something a little off about their songs, and that's what made them so interesting. I love this band.

Super Furry Animals - Rings Around the World
Some folks say that this is their best album (I, personally, think that it's Radiator), but no matter your choice, this is one of the best bands of the 90's. They take pop music, infuse it with techno elements, and play it with the intensity of the best punk bands. Or, on this album, they are actually a bit mellower. Still, the melodies are there. And so is the ingenuity.

Tim Armstrong - A Poet's Life
First solo album from the leader of Rancid and Operation Ivy. Thing is, this is not the least bit punk, except in approach; the music is pure old-school ska a la Desmond Dekker. The guy knows how to write a song, and here he lets that other side shine. There are actually tracks from this album posted here at IAC: Tim's page.

Tom Waits - Frank's Wild Years
Some of Tom's most tender and touching songs are included as a part of this "operetta" that was originally performed on-stage by the Steppenwolf theater company in Chicago. Loosely based on the young life of Frank Sinatra, there are some stone-cold classics on here, including ""Hang On St. Christopher", "Temptation", Yesterday Is Here", "Cold Cold Ground, and my personal favorite: "Innocent When You Dream." If you're interested in getting into Tom Waits, there are worse places to start than here.

just arrived:
Barry Adamson - The King Of Nothing Hill
Dark, funky jazz-inflected film music for a film that doesn't exist. On first listen, it doesn't hit me as hard as Oedipus Schmoedipus or As Above, So Below, but it's still got that sound that I love so much. I'll be listening to this one again, I'm sure. See how it grows on me.


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Hop On Pop

3/9/2010 7:23:30 AM


3/6/10:
Got an all-day meeting today, so I only have a little music with me.

Material Issue - compilation from a friend
These guys just flat-out knew how to write a great pop song."Valerie Loves Me", "What Girls Want", "Diane"; and who couldn't love songs called "Goin' Through Your Purse" and "What If I Killed Your Boyfriend"? I actually met M.I. leader Jim Ellison a couple of times (we had mutual friends) and he was incredibly nice and gracious. The day I heard about his suicide, it hit me like a ton of bricks. So talented, so sweet, and with so much talent... he had too much to offer to go so soon. But he did. And at least we have these songs.


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Hop On Pop

3/11/2010 6:39:14 AM ---- Updated 3/11/2010 6:54:15 AM


3/11:
Tonio K. - Life In the Foodchain
Think of Graham Parker on a really pissed-off night, drunkenly singing to a former lover who has jilted him. That's pretty much what you got here. Boozy songs that are filled with hate in the most fun ways. "H-A-T-R-E-D", "How Come I Can't See You In the Mirror?", and the title track are all classics, in my very obscure book.

My Bloody Valentine - Isn't Everything
The immediate predecessor to the classic Loveless isn't as fully formed as the later, but still possesses many great merits in its own right. Whereas Loveless is a total blur, Isn't Everything is hazy. But the melodies are still there and so is the playing. In hindsight, you can hear what Kevin Shields and co. were building towards and it still sounds pretty damn good.

Los Lobos - Colossal Head
The follow-up to Kiko takes that experimentation even farther. (Am I detecting a theme to today?) Although, this one isn't as strong as it predecessor, it's still Los Lobos, damnit, and that is a pretty damn good thing. They're only one of the best bands in the world... and you should know it.

De La Soul - 3 Ft. High and Rising
Another masterpiece. De La's debut and one of the great albums in hip-hop history (also, on some days, my favorite hip-hop album in history). Hilarious bits, kaleidoscopic sampling that, in today's legal atmosphere, would not be possible today, and creative rhymes.... unlike any other rap album before. Or since. All hail Pos, Mase, and Kilgoy (and Prince Paul, too). Three is the magic number.

Kirsty MacColl - Electric Landlady
See the earlier entry I'm giving this one a second spin after enjoying the hell out of the first one.


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Hop On Pop

3/12/2010 6:41:10 AM


3/12/10:
Kanye West - Graduation
Say what you will about the guy -- he's done and said some pretty damn stupid things -- but he can sure as hell make a great record, and this is one of 'em. The rhymes are tight and the production is way musical. Do you dig any hip-hop? Dig this.

Bruce Springsteen - Born To Run
Do I really need to say anything about this one?

Jeff Buckley - Grace
A 3-octave range and great songwriting chops. There are shades of both Nick Drake and Led Zeppelin. Great drama and beautiful melodies. Maybe Ison can expound on this record a little more. But, at any rate, we lost this one way too soon.

The Rosenberg Trio - The Rosenberg Trio
Gypsy jazz. Crazy ass acoustic steel string playing. Speed up and down the neck, with crazy time sigs and modal runs. Like if Django were still kicking it.

Also, a great mix of songs about Portland and by bands from Portland.


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Hop On Pop

3/15/2010 7:00:19 AM ---- Updated 3/15/2010 9:07:35 AM


3/15/10:
The Brokedowns - New Brains For Everyone
Hardcore from west of Chicago Aurora (check it out, Wayne's World fans). Great energy and catchy-ass shout-along choruses. I went to see them play over the weekend, but they went on too late for this old man. Rumor has it that they kick every kind of ass imaginable.

X - Los Angeles/Wild Gift
Two-fer of the first two albums from the great L.A. punkers... both produced by Ray Manzarek of The Doors. Billy Zoom in his full pompodoured rockabilly glory, laying it down behind John Doe and Exene Cervenka's boy/girl/sleaze menage a trois stories. "We're desparate, get used to it."

David Ruffin - David
The lead singer for The Temptations' first solo album is a classic slice of 70's soul - Motown style. Maybe not as great as Marvin Gaye's What's Goin' On?, but certainly in the same league.

Velvet Crush - Teenage Symphonies to God
An overlooked classic. Power pop done to perfection, with twelve mini masterpieces in less than 40 minutes. Shades of Gram Parsons, The Byrds, and Matthew Sweet all rolled into one beautiful package. Love this album. In my top 20 of the 90's, for sure.

Bird Sounds - Girl Sounds EP
Post-hardcore a-la Fugazi, Jesus Lizard, or Shellac. Really well done. I saw them this weekend and their live show is really freaking great, too. Apparently they have a new full length coming out sometime soon. Let's hope so.


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Hop On Pop

3/17/2010 8:23:13 AM


3/17/10:
Can you believe that I forgot to bring any Irish music for St. Paddy's day?!?!
Oh well, here is what I did bring:

Jim Ford - Point of No Return
The second of Bear Country's outstanding reissues (finally first issues?) of Jim's amazing music. While this collection is a little bit heavier of the country sound, the Sly influence is, ironically, more apparent here, as well. Just flat-out fantastic songs for fans of Sly & The Family Stone, Nick Lowe, The Band. And "If You Can Get Away" is an amazingly complex song about heartbreak... one of the best ever at looking at just how NONsimplistic it all is.

Elastica - Elastica
Mid-90's fem-led BritPop/Punk band that takes a lot of crap for ripping off this riff or that. And, while it's true that there are certainly quotes from other bands here (Wire and The Fall come to mind), the songs are catchy, immediate, and ballsy in their own right. Still a classic of the period.

Joe Pisapia - Daydreams
Probably still my favorite album of the 00's. I think that I commented on this one before, but it's pastoral folk/pop – like an updated version of Nick Drake, if he were a Beach Boys and Power Pop fan. Oh, and Joe is also a member of the wonderful pop band Guster (although this doesn't really sound like that band).

Urge Overkill - Saturation
The boys from Chicago with the Cheap Trick and Neil Diamond fixations finally hit it (kinda) big with their major label debut. Great production, with huge guitars and excellent hooks. Yes, it is like Neil meets the Trick. The big hit on this one was "Sister Havannah", and maybe "Positive Bleeding."

The Cure - The Head On the Door
Stone-cold classic. Peak-period Cure. Songs you will know are: "In-Between Days" and "Close To Me." Love, love, love this one.


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Hop On Pop

3/18/2010 8:06:18 AM


3/18/2010:
Big Star - Pick Some Posies & Let's Play
Not something that I was planning on listening to today, but, as Alex passed, I had to throw it on. It's a bootleg of a 1994 show that I was at with my wife (then-girlfriend). And it's one of the best shows that I've ever seen. Pure power pop with a heavy Byrds influence and melodies so pure that they simply become a part of you the first time you hear them.

the others...

Blur - Parklife
See my 1/15 write-up.

Grant Hart - Good News For Modern Man
See my 1/8 write-up.

I'll be adding additional albums as I actually listen to them.


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Hop On Pop

3/19/2010 6:55:31 AM


3/19/2010

John Fogerty - Centerfield
So, we all know the classic title cut, right? But the fact is that there isn't a stinker on the entire record. It's a plate that holds up to just about anything that he did with CCR back in the 60's. The world need more music from this man.
(write-up from 1/18)

The Wonder Stuff - Never Loved Elvis
Another overlooked gem (at least in the US), this time it's from a BritPop band. Early 90's. This record is as nearly good as anything that Oasis or Blur put out around the same time. Actually, this came out before either of them put out a record, I think. Like I said, BritPop, but this has some acoustic/folk flourishes, with some great little mandolin and flute bits on songs with great titles like "Welcome to the Cheap Seats" and "Size of a Cow". And yeah, the songs themselves are every bit as good as the titles.
(write-up from 2/4)

Smoking Popes - At Metro
Chicago punk band that, according to a conversation that I had with their bass player, "had a couple of songs that made the emo kids love us." But with songs like "Need You Around", which sounds like a classic Sammy Kahn song (think Frank Sinatra) with really loud guitars, I don't care what you call them. This is the real deal. And this is a very, very good live album.

Paul Weller - Wild Wood
The Modfather's second solo album and the beginning of his getting back to a more-organic sound, after the 80's synth pop of The Style Council. You UK guys and gals know what this one is all about. Those of you from elsewhere, this is a great, great record (I think it's his best solo album) in the style of Traffic, and the early Rod Stewart albums. Both pastoral and rocking at the same time. Another one of my favorites of the 90's.


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3/25/2010 7:02:48 AM


3/25:
It's been a few. Hi.
I just got a few discs, and that's what I', listening to today...

Latin Playboys - Dose
The second album from David and Louie from Los Lobos in their side project with producers/engineers Mitch Froom and Tchad Blake. If this is anything like the Playboys' first outing, it's gonna be weird; taking the experimentation of Kiko and Colossal Head even farther out there. Latin rhythms, with dark psychedelic undertones, garbage yard percussion, and industrial clangs. Yeah, those wolves are more than "La Bamba" and if you didn't believe it before, this'll prove it.

The Sonics - Boom
G-A-R-A-G-E-R-O-C-K. Loud. Noisy. Sloppy. And fired up. This is what happens when a bunch of pissed off teenagers get together in the mid-60's and start making a racket with guitars. An inspired noise. Pure, nasty, rock n' roll.

Harry Nilsson - A Little Touch Of Schmilsson In the Night
The opposite of The Sonics. Except for the inspired part. Harry had one of the greatest voices to ever grace a popular song. On this record, he uses it to grace the pop standards, from Lieber and Stoller to the Gershwins. Yes, the backing (a 37-piece orchestra) can be a bit schmaltzy at times, but Harry's voice saves the day. And, yeah, these songs didn't become standards for nothing. Not my favorite of his, but still fun to listen to, if you can stomach this much sugar.


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3/26/2010 7:45:45 AM


3/26:
Magnetic Fields - The Charm Of the Highway Strip
In case you missed it: Stephen Merritt is one of the best pop songwriters of the last part of the 20th century (and the first part of the 21st). The electronic instrumentation, cheap synths, and drum machines can sometimes mask the Cole Porter-esque elegance and wit of his compositions. This is one of his earlier albums and has some pretty amazing songs: "Two Characters In Search Of a Country Song", "I Have the Moon", Born On a Train"... Just listen and learn how to write.

Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds - Live Seeds
Another great songwriter. His live show brings a new intensity to a batch of songs that are already so intense that they're about to explode. Live, they DO explode. Dark, dark subject matter, and the blunt, rough language to tell those stories. If you can handle it, these are great songs.

Richard Davies - There's Never Been a Crowd Like This
A part of the Orchestral Pop revival, these are lush, beautiful, peculiar songs in the tradition of Zombies and Left Banke. The thing is that, upon closer listen, the lush orchestration is really more implied than anything else, as the arrangements are fairly bare-bones. A pretty neat trick. And still a very enjoyable and (at under 30 min.) a very quick listen.

The Dirtbombs - Ultraglide In Black/Chariots of the Gods EP
Imagine the MC5 playing classic Motown songs by Stevie Wonder, The Temptations, and the like. That is exactly what this is. Except the members of THe Dirtbombs were never in the MC5. Dirty, nasty versions of "Livin' For the City", "Kung Fu", "Chains Of Love", and other soul tunes are a real treat. A lot of fun.

Gang Of Four - Entertainment!
Noisy. A lot of shouting. And grooves out the ass. Mostly political and social commentary set to a driving, pummeling beat. Guitars are just another percussion instrument, clanging about the mix like so much industrial noise pollution. Adding exclamation points to the rants and raves. Oh, and this album is a lot more listenable than this description would lead one to believe. Another classic of the early 80's UK punk scene.


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3/29/2010 6:55:34 AM


Gorillaz - Plastic Beach
Gorillaz have always had a pretty major hip-hop component to their music, but on the new album, it's even more present. More guest artists (including Lou Reed and Bobby Womack!!!) and, just a really really good album. I have always been a big Damon Albarn fan, from his early days with Blur. And, while this record doesn't hold up to that first band's best, this is Gorillaz best album yet.

The Exploding Hearts - Guitar Romantic
See the earlier write-up.

Cate Le Bon - Me Oh My
See the earlier write-up.

Shrimp Boat - Something Grand (disc 2)
Pure joy. This is the disc in the (chronologically organized) box set where the band's songs really started taking shape -- emerging from the primordial ooze of their early soundscape experimentation -- to become something recognizable as "songs". Equal parts folk, skronk jazz, RnB, pop, and Eastern European folk music. All at once. Beautiful stuff. And, as I said earlier, pure joy.

13th Floor Elevators - The Psychedelic Sounds Of...
Perhaps the world's first psychedelic album (1965)? Roky Erickson and company's first recorded output and a pure classic... garage rock with weird overtones. Like if Syd Barrett were from Texas. Roky in strong, full-throated howling glory on here. Classics include "You're Gonna Miss Me" and "Roller Coaster".


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3/30/2010 7:15:45 AM


3/30:
Trainspotting (OST)
Soundtrack to the great, disturbing Scottish drug flick of the 90's. Features some of the great BritPop artists of the day (Blur, Primal Scream, Elastica, Pulp), and a few older guys like Iggy Pop, Brian Eno, and Lou Reed. Pretty much all you need to know. It's great.

Spoon - Kill the Moonlight
Voted "Best Band Of the Decade" by some music rag or other, this is their third full-length and it's a really good one. Sharp, dry production lets the melodies cut through. There's no fat in there and the music is all the better for it. The aural equivalent of a cleaver, with hooks just as sharp.

Bon Iver - For Emma, Forever Ago
Reviewed elsewhere in this thread.


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3/31/2010 8:02:32 AM


3/31:
Boo Radleys - Giant Steps
How to describe the Boos? Maybe Oasis meets My Bloody Valentine? But that really doesn't begin to describe the breadth nor originality of this band. Songwriter Martin Carr doesn't have much use for traditional song structure, but has quite an affinity for studio experimentation. So, while the feel may be something akin to either of those two bands that I mentioned, there is something else going on that makes these guys utterly unique. A great band. And this is one of their best albums.

Robert Johnson - The Complete Recordings (disc 2)
Pretty much ground zero for the blues, and by extension, rock and roll and modern country. Just a man, his acoustic guitar, and his demons. This is like no other blues that you have ever heard. Because no matter how hard folks try to sound like Johnson, they just can't do it. Really incredible stuff.

Blue Ruin - Flame
Phil Calvert, former drummer of The Birthday Party went on to form this band after TBP broke up. This combo more or less stays in the same basic framework as the earlier band, but there is more of a hard blues edge here. Kinda like if The Jon Spencer Blues Explosion were actually serious about what they did. Dead serious. Some pretty great stuff on here and a hidden classic from Down Under.

Wire - Pink Flag
BOOM! The first song is here and gone.BOOM! BOOM!!! There go the second and third tunes. They all come and go before you can blink, and, despite sounding nothing like one another, they all flow seamlessly to create a perfect album. It's one of the great art punk albums of England's first wave of punk, and one of my favorite albums of all-time. Top-5 for sure.

Elvis Costello & The Attractions - Best Of...
From the first album, through King Of America. Do I have to really tell you anything else about it?


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Bryon Tosoff

3/31/2010 9:20:43 AM


Man Todd you really do a lot of listening and provide some excellent tidbits about the bands or artists, great stuff......or good stuff for us I should say to follow your lead


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4/1/2010 6:40:03 AM ---- Updated 4/1/2010 6:41:35 AM


The La's - BBC In Session
I've now listened to this a couple of times and have determined that Lee Mavers, while a brilliant songwriter, is not necessarily the best judge of his own work. Yes, the raw takes on these songs are great to hear, I still think that the Lillywhite-recorded album is a freaking classic. These are... well... raw. Still great, but raw. They're pop songs. They need to be shiny and clean. But a great song is still a great song. And these are all great songs, and the urgency with which they are played is still something pretty special.

Barry Adamson - The King of Nothing Hill
Probably the least of the BA records that I've purchased so far. That said, there is nothing bad about it. Dark, jazz-inflected soundscapes with complex, funky arrangements that get under my skin.

Eels - Electro-Shock Blues
Pop songs in the vein of Magnetic Fields, with little electronic flourishes. Written in the wake of the death of E's sister, after a long, painful struggle with cancer. It resonates deeply. Song titles like "Elizabeth on the Bathroom Floor" and "Going to Your Funeral" pretty much sum up the mood. Yeah, it's depressing, but you somehow feel better for having listened to it; like you have just helped out a friend going through a tough time.

Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds - Lyre of Orpheus/Abbatoir Blues
Probably the best album(s) of 2006. Contains both some of his most-wicked tunes and some of his most-beautiful. It's ridiculous how consistent this guy is, churning out great song after great song and great album after great album.


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4/2/2010 6:44:18 AM


4/2
Big Audio Dynamite - Megatop Phoenix
It's been a while since I've this album and it's sounding really good this morning. I forgot how many songs on here I really liked. It's Mick Jones (formerly of The Clash), playing dance pop, heavy on the samples and the beats. But, as the pop sensibility of his old band (Jones was responsible for "Train In Vain" and "Should I Stay or Should I Go?"), he shows here that he still knows how to write a great hook, no matter the context.

The Chamber Strings - A Month of Sundays
Orchestral pop a la The Zombies or Left Banke ("Walk Away Renee"), but with a more modern sensibility. The songs are lush and gorgeous and I am proud to hail from the same town as these guys. Now, if I could only find band leader Kevin Junior and slap him around until he releases a new album... For fans of Kinks, Cardinal, and the bands mentioned above.

Freakwater - Feels Like the Third Time
Another Chicago band, featuring Catherine Irwin and Eleventh Dream Day's Janet Bean on vocals. It's undeniably country, but it sounds like it's coming out of the urban gutter. Great originals like "My Old Drunk Friend" and a wonderful cover of "You've Never Been This Far Before."

Songs: Ohia - The Magnolia Electric Co.
More of the country flavor here. See the write up on 1/20.

Teenage Fanclub - Songs From Northern Britain
Also see the write up on 1/20. (Boy am I consistent, or what?!)


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4/5/2010 7:44:55 AM


4/5/10
Nick Drake - Five Leaves Left/Bryter Layter/Pink Moon
Nick's entire "official" output during his lifetime. If you're not familiar with Nick, let's just say that, without him, there would be no Elliot Smith. A voice like no other, quietly spectacular guitar playing (no pyrotechnics, but YOU try to play some of that stuff). Odd time sigs that sound as natural as breathing. Somewhere between Van Morrison, Richard Thompson, and Dave Brubeck. To hear him is to fall in love with him.

The J. Giles Band - Full House (Live)
Perhaps the greatest bar band there ever was, playing the SHIT out of some great classic RnB and early-style rock-n-roll songs. Really nothing more. But, certainly nothing less.

De La Soul - De La Soul Is Dead
One of the most-creative rap/hip-hop groups the world has ever seen, performing at their peak. Yes, the debut is "the classic", but this just may be a better album. Maybe not, but it absolutely belongs up in the pantheon of the greatest Hip-Hop albums of all time and should not be overlooked for the earlier album the was it so frequently is.

The Webb Brothers - Marroon
The sons of Jimmy Webb do their daddy proud. This is pop music that is cinematic in scope, but that focuses on its emotional target like a laser beam. Razor sharp observations about what it's like to be an aimless young adult, living for the next party or night out on the town, trying to convince themselves that this is what life is all about; and that the party will go on forever. Poignant to the point that it's painful to listen to, but in a really good way.


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Hop On Pop

4/5/2010 12:34:22 PM


What are you looking to sample, Lar?


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Hop On Pop

4/5/2010 1:06:21 PM


It would be cool, but just writing those summations takes quite a bit of time, as it is. So, going and grabbing those links, and then formatting them for the post would probably double my time on these things. And I don't think I can really afford to do that (here at work).

But, I suppose that I could find links, if anyone wanted to hear something.


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Hop On Pop

4/5/2010 1:46:36 PM


You wanna be my links-gettin' beyotch, Lar?

;>)

(Thanks for that, by the way. You listen? You like?)


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Hop On Pop

4/7/2010 8:45:10 AM


4/7/10:
Kirsty MacColl - Electric Landlady
This woman knows how to write a song! She wrote hits for Tracey Ullman back in the 80's (yeah, that Tracey) and sang a duet with Shane MacGowan on the greatest Christmas song ever. Simply put, Kirsty was a serious talent whose life was cut way too short.

Jarvis Cocker - Further Complications
Jarvis' second solo album, after dissolving the brilliant Pulp. The man still knows how to write a song, and this is a really good album. But, as good as it is, there is just something a little bit lacking. Maybe he does better with observations of other folks then when he makes it personal? Better at looking outside himself to learn about us all... But nonetheless, this is a very, very good record of smart pop music that, if you don't compare it with his brilliant work with Pulp, will not disappoint.

Gilberto Gil - O Sol De Oslo
Gil brings on the guest performers here and makes a very good record of Brazilian pop. It doesn't really hold up to his best work, but it's a damn fine record, nonetheless.

Small Faces - All Or Nothing
Steve Marriott had a way of making every song he sang sound like The Most Important Song In The World. This is a collection of a bunch of A's and B's that are well-worth hearing and owning for any fan of soul-inflected British Invasion pop music. Hell, the title track alone is worth the price of the disc.

Uncle Tupelo - Anodyne
By this, their final album (and first for a major label), UT had lost a lot of that punk rock edge that made their first two records so exciting. In its place, however, they had honed their craft and found a professionalism that could have played well on the radio (had anyone actually decided to play this record). The split between Jay Farrar's traditionalism and Jeff Tweedy's pop leanings finally came to the breaking point after this record, as Farrar went on to form Son Volt, and Tweedy to Wilco. This record really shows the first small buds of both bands starting to poke through the soil.


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4/12/2010 7:02:08 AM


4/12/10:
The Move - The Very Best of The Move
Emmitt Rhodes - Daisy-Fresh From Hawthorne, CA: The Dunhill Years
Neutral Milk Hotel - On Avery Island
Latin Playboys - Dose


No energy to write reviews today. I think I wrote about all of these before, though.


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4/12/2010 12:30:14 PM ---- Updated 4/12/2010 1:19:46 PM


Just arrived (4/12):
Lindsey Buckingham - Out Of the Cradle
A first listen to this one, and I am very disappointed with this purchase. Lindsey's guitar prowess is still intact: one of the best guitar players in the history of rock. Unfortunately either his songwriting chops were at a low here, or the production is so dated-sounding as to obscure whatever songs there were there. It sounds so... early 90's adult alternative. Just not digging this one. And I had real high hopes for it, as I'm a big fan of Lindsey's.


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4/14/2010 7:05:27 AM


Harry Nilsson - Harry/Nilsson Sings Newman
I could listen to Nilsson every damn day. Period.

Andrew Bird - The Mysterious Production of Eggs
Classically trained violinist, Bird has a very firm and intimate knowledge of melodic and harmonic theory. He puts it to excellent use in creating mini post-pop masterpieces. One of my favorite albums of the '00s. And, one of my favorite single lyrics: "There will be snacks, there will... there will be... snacks"

Fugees - The Score
Kaleidoscopic hip-hop from Wyclef Jean, Lauryn Hill, and Pras. Grabs influences from all over the musical map. An excellent record.

David Ruffin - David
The former leader of the Temptations goes the Marvin Gaye route on his first solo album and gets all jazzy and introspective. Still a lot of toughness there, though, thanks to Ruffin's wonderfully gruff voice.

Hüsker Dü - The Living End
Recorded live on their final tour in 1987, this excellent recording captures just how ferocious a live beast the punk trio was. Great performances of some truly classic songs, such as "Celebrated Summer", "New Day Risin", "The Girl Who Lives on Heaven Hill", "Books About UFOs", and a lot more. Essential punk.


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4/15/2010 7:51:52 AM


4/15:
The Byrds - Mr. Tambourine Man
A full-on classic and one of the greatest debut albums of all-time. The classic Dylan covers are all here, including the title track, "All I Really Want To Do", "Spanish Harlem Incident", and "Chimes of Freedom". But then again, Gene Clark was at the peak of his prowess here, as well: "Here Without You", "I Knew I'd Want You", and, of course, "I'll Feel a Whole Lot Better" standing up to anything that Dylan contributed.

My Morning Jacket - It Still Moves
Some folks argue that MMJ are the best band in the world right now. On this record, you can see why. (Although I might put Drive-By Truckers against them, but that's for another time.) Still, great playing, excellent melodies, and atmosphere to spare. This is modern psychedelic pop music the way it should be. And the jams are kept in-check, which always helps the flow.

Charles Mingus - Mingus Ah Um
Simply among the very best 5 or so jazz albums of all time. One generally doesn't think of a bass player being the main guy in most jazz combos. But through his outstanding compositions and sheer force of personality, Mingus puts his stamp all over this record, even without playing so much as a lick of melody. "Goodbye Pork Pie Hat" and "Jelly Roll" have become jazz standards, of sorts, being covered by Jeff Beck, among others. Seriously great melodies, and challenging playing that can be listened to casually or much more rigorously. Everything jazz should be.

Gram Parsons - GP/Grievious Angel
The first two solo albums from the man who finally helped push The Byrds completely into country music before going on to form the Flying Burrito Brothers. He left us way too soon, but thank God at least he left us with these two records. What Gram lacks in vocal range, he more than makes up for with soul and depth of feeling. These are also the albums that helped introduce the world to one Emmylou Harris, and her voice of the angels. There has never been two voice that have so perfectly melded as those of Gram and Emmylou. "We'll Sweep Out the Ashes In the Morning" and "Hearts On Fire" are enough to make me want to cry. Essential stuff, here.


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4/16/2010 7:37:14 AM


Paul McCartney & Wings - Band On the Run
Arguably the best of any of the Beatles' post-Beatle albums. (For me, it's a toss-up between this and All Things Must Pass.) But, "best" or not, it is, inarguably the most cohesive of any of the post-Beatle albums... leave it to Paul to write the suite, eh? If you have never listened to this album all the way through... DO IT!!! It's pretty shocking how many flat-out classics are contained therin.

King Missile - Mystical Shit/Fluting On the Hump
Mostly spoken-word, all hilarious. From the band that brought you the classic college tune "Detachable Penis" (which is not contained herin), come songs like "Jesus Was Way Cool" ("he could've played guitar better than Hendrix..."), and "The Sandbox" -- a story told by a child about the crimes committed against his favorite toy. One of the funniest collections that I can think of. Although, admittedly, not for everybody.

Roky Erickson - The Evil One
In 1981, the howl was as intact as ever. The songs about zombies, aliens, and ghosts may seem a bit over the top, but... that voice! It don't hurt that the hooks are there, too. Songs may seem silly at first blush, but they are great songs. And they do provide a small, harrowing glimpse into Roky's brilliant, but troubled mind. As a final note: WHY is Duane Aslaksen not a household name among guitar geeks, or music geeks, in general? The guy is a monster, coming up with some of the greatest licks and riffs that I have ever heard. Just listen to his playing on "I Think of Demons" and the solo on "If You Have Ghosts". Wow. He also produced the record, which adds to his cred.

Violent Femmes - Hallowed Ground
The self-titled debut is the classic, and rightly so; but their sophomore album is almost as good. A lot darker, it opens with the tale of a father who takes his daughter out for a walk with the sole intention of pushing her down a well. I can see why it's maybe not considered the same good-time record as the first. Still, the songs stand up to just about anything else that the Femmes have done. A more than worthy follow up. If you haven't heard this one, you need to.


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The Man With No Band

4/18/2010 9:36:41 PM


Always enjoy this thread Todd ... and I've listened to some great talent because of it ... thx man ...


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4/19/2010 8:33:51 AM


Thanks, Sam!
The discovery and the sharing is the whole point of this thread! I love sharing my music with friends.

Today (4/19), this is what I got:

Robert Pollard - From a Compound Eye
Absolutely a quality album from the former frontman of one of my all-time favorite bands -- Guided By Voices. This one doesn't quite carry the hooks of the old band, but is absolutely worthy, nonetheless. Uncle Bob has a page here at IAC, as well: check it out. It's even got a couple of songs from this particular album.

The Boo Radleys - Giant Steps
Check out the write-up on 3/31

Caesaria Evora - Rogamar
Reviewed on 2/3.

Richard Davies - Telegraph
The second album from the former leader of Cardinal and The Moles. Still absorbing this one, really, although it does have the same sort of implied lushness as his debut, without really having a whole lot of instrumentation. Wonderful, very melodic songs that taste really good going down. Sadly, I find that they are a bit like Chinese food, you find yourself hungry just a couple of hours later. Still, they're a nice pop fix, when you need one. Good stuff.

Tenpole Tudor - Swords of a Thousand Men: The Best of...
Shout-along pub rock of the highest order. More fun than music should be allowed to be, seriously. Edddie Tudor-Pole is NOT much of a singer, at all, but boy-oh-boy can he write a great hook . You WILL be singing along by the end of just about every song on here: Swords Of a Thousand Men, Three Bells In a Row, Throwing My Baby Out With the Bathwater, and especially Wundubar! Loud, silly, and proud. Get this record, get a pint, and get happy.


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4/22/2010 7:17:26 AM ---- Updated 4/22/2010 7:20:40 AM


4/22:
It's been a couple of days, so I'll tell you about today, and then try to remember what else I've been listening to.
Today:

Deee-Lite - World Clique
Yeah, this is the album with "Groove Is In the Heart", but there is so much MORE to it than just that song. Front-to-back, it's packed with songs that should've been hits. Every song has great hooks, great beats, and is packed with vibes that just make you feel good. I'm sure that you can find this in bargain and cut-out bins all over the world; when you see a copy, pick it up! You will not be sorry.

Brian Eno - Before and After Science
Not as pop-focused as his debut, not as atmospheric as some of his later stuff. Does it matter? It's both song-focused and atmospheric. It's Eno and it's brilliant. If you are a fan of Radiohead, do yourself a favor and get schooled.

Willie Nelson - To Lefty, From Willie
When a master songwriter pays homage to another songwriter, you'd better pay attention. Willie is undeniably a national treasure, via his own songs. But on this record, he pays homage to one of his biggest influences as a songwriter, by recording an entire album of Lefty Frizzell's tunes. It's all undeniably Willie, though; there is no mistaking that voice and that guitar.

Harry Nilsson - A Little Touch of Schmilsson In the Night
Speaking of master songwriters who are also master interpreters... (see my writeup from just 3/25.)

The Sonics - BOOM!
Also written about on 3/25. Garage rock at its garagey-est.



What I heard recently:

Suede - Coming Up
The neo-glam BritPop band's third album, and first without founding member/ace guitarist Bernard Butler. This one proved that the band really did belong to Brett Anderson, after all. Song after song of pure sparkle, strut, and sex that reeks of mid-70's Bowie and Mott the Hoople. It totally holds up against the first two albums. Magnificent is the only word for it.

(I'll add more write ups as I have time.)


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4/26/2010 7:08:59 AM


4/26/10:
The Kinks - BBC Sessions: 1964 - 1977
I love the BBC. They have opened their vaults and released some pretty amazing stuff in the last 10 years or so. The best thing about this collection is that it covers the band for such a long stretch of their career: and it covers most of the best stuff. The interview portions are just okay and serve their purpose to set the mood, I suppose. Thankfully, there are only two of those. The performances are wonderful and the songs, of course: magnificent.

Magnetic Fields - Realism
Just bought this yesterday and have yet to listen. But, if history gives any clue, this is going to be another brilliant set of melancholy, wryly observed, gloriously melodic tunes from Stephen Merritt and company. Dry wit set to beautiful tunes. Like the Kinks meet Cole Porter at an Erasure concert.

Oasis - (What's the Story) Morning Glory?
In my opinion, their best album. One of those bands where the melodies can completely save even the worst of lyrics. Do I really need to say much about this one? "Don't Look Back In Anger", "Champagne Supernova", "Some Might Say", and (of course) "Wonderwall". Oasis doesn't get much better than this.


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4/27/2010 7:13:08 AM


4/27/10:
Roky Erickson - Don't Slander Me
The second of his two brilliant early-80's albums with The Aliens. Flat-out great, inspired garage rock. Howling vocals and screaming guitars. The title track sounds exactly as you would expect a song called "Don't Slander Me" to sound: DON'T SLANDER ME, MAMA!!!" Some slightly metallic guitars and a heavy Buddy Holly influence.

Caviar - Caviar
Not a great album, by any stretch, but I am giving this one another shot. It's 90's alternative pop, with some electronic flourishes. From the description, it sounds a bit like Super Furry Animals, but it's nowhere near as inspired. Still, I went to Hebrew school with their drummer, so I'm gonna try this one out again.

The Feelies - Crazy Rhythms
"Fa Ce La" and "The Boy With the Perpetual Nervousness" are a couple of titles that kinda sum this up: a lot of jerky rhythms and nonsense. But, it's a pretty amazing record, nonetheless. Very similar feel to Devo and highly influential. Jump-around and be stupid fun record.

The Plimsouls - The Plimsouls/Everywhere at Once
Speaking of jump around and be stupid fun... One of the great, underappreciated power pop bands of all time. The one song that you may know is "A Million Miles Away". Just classic-power pop with a slightly nervous edge. Loud guitars and great melodies that verge on the anthemic.

Shonen Knife - Shonen Knife
Japanese girl punk band. About half of the songs are sung in Japanese, the rest in (extremely) broken, (strongly) accented English. "Punk" is a term used loosely here. I mean, they're as punk as a band singing about flying jelly beans and playing with Barbie dolls can be. Definitely not for everybody, but for those who do "get it", they are charming as hell. (And they're still doing it, only now they can actually play pretty well.)


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Richard Scotti

4/27/2010 8:08:55 AM


Hey Todd - Thank you for taking the time to give us this great "tip sheet" on such great music. I feel like I really know you better through your tastes in music as many of your selections are also favorites of mine and after listening to some of the stuff I hadn't heard it made me feel like even more of a kindred spirit of yours. You have great taste in music and an amazing ability to discuss the positive attribute of each band. It's evident that you use this expertise to inform your own writing and I can see the various influences in your songs on Chicken On A Bicycle. One of my favorite bands of all time is Mott The Hoople. Like you, I loved a lot of bands from the "British Invasion" like the Kinks, Zombies, Dave Clark Five, Billy J. Kramer and the Dakotas, The Animals and so many more. That was quite an era.


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Hop On Pop

4/27/2010 12:58:16 PM ---- Updated 4/27/2010 1:02:52 PM


just arrived, and jumping to the front of the queue:
The Boo Radleys - Wake Up!
(will report back on this one sometime in the near future)

and, Richard:
I am glad that you are enjoying the thread and finding it useful in finding new things to listen to. That's the point. I just like to share.

In fact, I believe that I have coined a term. You see, when I have a CD here with me at work that I want a friend to hear, sometimes I will BORROW IT ON THEM.

I say to them, as I wave the disc in their face, or place it on their desk, "Have you heard this album? I think that you'll love it. Tell me what you think!"

They generally have no choice but to listen to the album, and then report back to me. Usually they like it. But, fact it, that I all but force these people to listen to the disc, albeit with the most benevolent of intentions.

I like borrowing things on people; especially when it makes them happy.


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The Man With No Band

4/27/2010 3:33:28 PM


That's cool Todd ! ... I've been "forcing" Dick Aven on a few people ever since his CD arrived ... lol ... plan on getting my very own "Chicken on a bicycle" very soon ... then I'll be forcing a little Todd on people ... :)


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Hop On Pop

4/28/2010 9:24:56 AM


Brinsley Schwarz - Cruel To Be Kind (BBC Sessions)
Nick Lowe's early- mid-70's band. Really pretty much straight-up pub rock, with strong influences from The Band, Buddy Holly, and Chuck Berry. This is an amazing live collection, of performances the band did at and for the BBC during their peak years. Great early version of the song that would become Nick's biggest solo hit -- "Cruel To Be Kind", and also, of one of the greatest rock and roll songs of all-time: "Ju Ju Man" (written by Jim Ford, who I've reviewed earlier in this thread). Big time essential stuff here (especially for Bob Elliott, Hugh Hamilton, SamCat, and... well.. most of you!!!)

Johnny Cash - At San Quentin
Speaking of essential... This is the second of Johnny's 2 classic prison shows and most people seem to think it the superior one. Personally, I am more in the Folsom camp, but there is no denying the power of this performance, nor of Johnny's voice.

P.M. Dawn - Dearest Christian, I Am So Very Sorry For Bringing You Here. Love, Dad
Trippy, melodic hip-hop. Set adrift on a memory bliss, indeed. Although that particilar song isn't on here, there are more than enough great tracks to make up for it: "Art Deco Halos" is pretty much a straight-up T. Rex ripoff, but in a very good way. And then the closing suite is masterfully done. Light-as-air vocals cary the heaviest of themes: a father's apology to his beloved child for bringing him into a world that is broken. But there is optimism too, as addressed in "Faith In You"... faith that his son, and others of his generation will be able to fix what it is that we have broken, given enough love, the right outlook, and the benefit of a parent's hindsight. A really great, overlooked album.


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4/28/2010 3:48:55 PM


I am mostly listening to the sounds of one hand clapping in stereo


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Hop On Pop

4/30/2010 8:10:05 AM


4/30:
Blur - Modern Life Is Rubbish
This is the album where Blur really became... Blur. On their second album they stepped out of the whole "Madchester" thing that they had kinda been thrust into (because it was the popular scene at the time) and started producing the smart, genius pop that they would become known for throughout the 1990's; it's sorta the prelude to Parklife. Songs like "Star Shaped", "Pop Scene", "Turn It Up", and "For Tomorrow" really raised expectations (which they later met and then some). The first of the great Blur albums. And one of the first great BritPop albums of the 90's. I love this band.

Iron Maiden - Killers
Surprised? Maiden (along with Judas Priest) we