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June 2009
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August 2009

New Music Review: Ian Tanner - Things Never To Say Out Loud

Those of you that listen to the ObviousPopCast know him as the artist that wrote and performed the ObviousPop theme song. The rest of you need to get to know Ian Tanner. This brilliant songwriter, performer and producer is Canada's best kept musical secret. Ian is a multi-instrumentalist, singer-songwriter with a long career as an artist and as a studio musician. He was a founding member of a band in the 80's called The Awakening and the band One Hundred Days in the 90's. For the past 5 years he's been writing and recording his own material in between his studio and live work. He's finally releasing his first solo project, appropriately titled, Things Never To Say Out Loud. Ian's varied influences are evident and the album showcases numerous musical styles, the most prominent of which is power pop. The highlight of almost every track are the vocal arrangements and hooks. Ian's love of The Beatles and Beach Boys is in evidence, but the group I think of the most while listening is Crowded House. That probably has a lot to do with the fact that Ian's voice is similar to Neil Finn's. Then there are the lyrics. From sad songs about a tragic divorce and relationship issues, "A Broken Part of You" and "Signed, Witnessed and Delivered," to hilarious novelty songs about relationship issues "That's It, I'm Going Gay" and "Blow Me Kisses." But the best songs here are the trilogy of tunes on the first part of the record, "Ten Cartwheels," "Jade" and "Always True."

Every song here is well worth the price of admission and you can stream the entire thing on the widget below. The only negative about this release is that it is digital only, so you'll have to download it from iTunes or Amazon.


Concert Review: Fountains of Wayne | Live at the Cedar

FoWlivePic After releasing a somewhat lackluster live performance on DVD to horrible reviews from critics and fans alike, they proceed to blow fans away with their new full band acoustic tour. I was fortunate enough to get great seats at their performance in Minneapolis at the Cedar "Cultural" Center. I put "cultural" in quotes for the same reason the band ripped on it all night. It's got a long and great tradition in the Twin Cities and has been home to legendary live shows, but it's basically a night club with some folding chairs and the band had some fun with the name. They were on fire with entertaining sarcasm all night and they tailored their comments to the Twin Cities. This is only one of the things that had the crowd eating out of the palms of their hands the entire night. All 4 members mastered their instruments and delivered their parts with zest, talent and flair. They were technically good while also entertaining and they just seemed to have fun. The crowd was as into the show as any audience I've ever seen. I'd say the closest thing I've seen are the last couple of Brian Wilson tours. This is one of the greatest American bands currently making music. The show was great and the selection of songs seemed like something that was handpicked...by me! All my faves were played! 3 of the best songs they played were brand new! They're recording a new album and they've got another classic song called "Summer Place" that I would put up against any song they've written. Other highlights included the lounge version of "Stacy's Mom," "Bright Future in Sales," "Someone To Love," and the medley of covers which included songs from The Cars, Blue Oyster Cult and of course, Peaches and Herb!

Here's the set list...This is roughly from memory...And there was the cover medley somewhere in there!

Set list

  1. Please Don't Rock Me Tonight
  2. Little Red Light
  3. Someone to Love
  4. The Summer Place
  5. Fire Island
  6. Cold Comfort Flowers
  7. Hey Julie
  8. A Road Song
  9. Red Dragon Tattoo
  10. Valley Winter Song
  11. I-95
  12. Hackensack
  13. Fire in the Canyon
  14. Bright Future in Sales
  15. Radiation Vibe
  16. Survival Car
    Encore
  17. Cemetery Guns
  18. Troubled Times
  19. Stacy's Mom
  20. Joe Rey


The 88 records entire song using an iPhone

The88pic The new single from 80's influenced inovators The 88 is good...but it's great if you consider the entire song was recorded on an iPhone using the killer new app "FourTrack." The song is called "Love Is The Thing" and it is available now on iTunes. While not quite as quirky as some of The 88's catchier singles, it's a good tune with plenty of harmonies, guitar and keys, all recorded on an iPhone. There is a great "making of" video that shows the process: http://the88.net/love.htm

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The list of things you can't do with an iPhone is shrinking rapidly!

88ipod


New Mew EP - No More Stories

Mewepcov

Weaving strands of progressive art rock around elements of alternative, eletronic and modern music, Mew is a group that creates a unique sound that has already influenced scores of other bands and earned them a large following of dedicated fans worldwide. I love their music and if you haven't heard Frengers or And The Glass Handed Kites, start with either of those. You won't be disappointed. Now they're back with a brand new EP. You can download it on iTunes and a few other places on the net and the buzz is good and the music is great. It's usually the other way around but once again Mew does not dissapoint. Apparently there is a CD version of this EP available overseas but not in the U.S. The full length album is set to be released on August 25th.


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Here's the track listing for the EP:

No More Stories EP

1. Introducing Palace Players
2. Repeater Beater
3. Owl (B-side)
4. Start (B-side)
5. Swimmers Chant (B-side)