ObviousPopCast 39 - WE ARE BACK! New Music!

Obviouspopcast39logo
Episode 39 of the ObviousPopCast is finally ready for you! We've been stockpiling fantastic new music that we will now release out into the world. A cornucopia of new music awaits! Featuring new songs from Aqualung, Guster, Nate Ruess and more! Give it a listen and please let us know what you think! You can stream or download it right now as a high quality MP3, and most importantly, it's free!

 

To stream it now click play:

 

Download it now: ObviousPopCast Episode 39

 Add it to your iTunes podcasts: CLICK HERE

(If you use the link to download it to iTunes, it may go into your podcast folder or possibly be listed in the main music library under the title: ObviousPop or the artist name: Dr. Tony Shore.)

EPISODE 39 TRACK LISTING

Song – AlbumArtist

Champions of Red Wine - Brill Bruisers - The New Pornographers

Distant Past - Distant Past Single - Everything Everything

Palarium - Secret Powers 6 - Secret Powers

I Wanna Get BetterStrange Desire - Bleachers

The Girl With X-Ray Eyes - Chasing Yesterday - Noel Gallagher's High Flying Birds

ELO Forever - Beyond Time - Bubble Gum Orchestra

Simple MachineEvermotion - Guster

New Low - 10 Futures - Aqualung

Lucky Day - Time for Tea - 11 Acorn Lane

Nothing Without Love - Nothing Without Love Single - Nate Ruess

Everybody Knows It Was Me - Pop/Art - Adrian Bourgeois

Hide Away - The Winter Blue - Jesse And The Sprinkles

Freaky GnomesFreaky Gnomes Single - Dr. Tony Shore


Tech Review: Finally hear in-ear with great sound for the iPhone!

I150_1 I am not a fan of in-ear headphones. None of them seem to fit in my ears very well and they are always falling out or won't fit in far enough. I've found one or two that stay in but they still make everything sound like it's being played on a mono cassette player from the 70's through tin foil. It's a new day though and the search is finally over. The fine folks at KOSS have come up with a winner, the i150 earbud stereophones, specifically designed for the iPhone. These in-ear headphones fit even my freakish ears thanks to the 3 size options of changeable ear pieces. That's the first hurdle and it's a big one, but then onto the main function of sound. KOSS has always had good sounding headphones, but in-ear phones are a big challenge. I've never heard any I've liked before now. The sound of the i150 actually have a range, there's bass and they do not suffer from that horrible high pitched treble that most earbud headphones have. They work with both generations of Apple's iPhone and the built in mic on the cord along with the call answer button allows you to take calls and talk using the headphones. Super cool and convenient. They also come with a carrying pouch. The one negative thing is the price. They retail for a steep $150, which is too much, even for these cool headphones. Amazon has them at a slightly more affordable price of $90. CLICK HERE FOR MORE INFO


DEVO at SXSW - Devolution Dominates

Photo Over the past 22 years South by Southwest (SXSW) in Austin, Texas has grown to become one of the biggest music gatherings in the world. As far as the U.S. music industry is concerned it does not get any bigger. Over 2,000 bands perform in more than 65 venues, all packed into less than a 2 mile area in downtown Austin. Every year it grows, although this year they said attendance would be down and I wondered if the overall mood and vibe of the event would be affected by the economy or the state of the music industry. Surprisingly these things seemed to have very little negative impact, other than the overall attendance being down a bit. Spirits were up, bands were playing and there were plenty of showcases and label events. No one was handing out money and no one had a magic pill cure for the music industry woes, but there was a great exchange of ideas and art that is a real shot in the arm, especially for those attending. Bands and labels alike are starting to get it…starting to try to work out a new way of doing things. Some of the live highlights were: Tinted Windows, Anathallo, Mother Mother, Black and White Years, Airborne Toxic Event, White Lies and more. Ironically, the band that exemplified this and rose above the rest was none other than Devo. When it was announced that Devo would play SXSW most, myself included, assumed this would be a nostalgic trip down memory lane. One could naturally assume that this was just a reunion show for the industry and SXSW fans sponsored by their performance rights company BMI as a thank you for all the money “Whip It” has made for them. Imagine everyone’s surprise when Devo showed up for their press conference and artist panel in uniforms with their patented Energy Domes on their heads. They came with big ideas and big announcements about a brand new album and documentary. They wanted to talk about the industry, how to promote music in the “new world” and how their theory of Devolution started out as somewhat of a tougne-in-cheek joke but has now been proven true and is relevant to everything happening. They still talk with a wink and a nod about their ideas, but when it comes to man’s role in the world and technologies shortcomings, no one puts it better than Devo. One of the 4 new songs they debuted at SXSW is “Don’t Shoot I’m A Man.” I think that about says it all. Every single song they sing I laugh and smile, and then I think about the meaning behind the joke and I go “oooooohhhh!” All this talk about concept and ideas…SXSW is about the music, the live performance. Surely these old guys couldn’t bring it like the hot young trendy acts at SXSW. This is where the biggest surprise of all happened…this is where DEVO came out and kicked everyone’s butt. They blew away critics, fans, casual fans and yes, even conquered the indifference of the music industry elite. The VIP area full of music business execs stopped their witless chatter and cocktail hour and remained transfixed to the stage for the entire 80 minute set. During this time the (original) members of Devo pranced, danced, rocked and rolled with more energy than any other band I saw that week. My friend Jim just looked at me when it was over and shook his head and said “That was one of the best shows I’ve ever seen.” I agreed. It seems like everyone packed in there at the Austin City Music Hall felt the same way. Then Jim said, “There’s no way they can take this show on tour though.” He didn’t even need to finish that thought. I was thinking the exact same thing. There’s no way guys their age could do that every night. I couldn’t have even done it for one night. Most young bands couldn’t pull that show off on the road. The interaction with the huge video screen behind them just added to the amazing energy. This show combined all the elements, art, performance, musicianship, humor and technology. The 4 new songs more than held their own with the classics and “What We Do” actually stood above anything else they did. They are planning on releasing various songs from the project at various times in various ways and then after a few months releasing them all with a video documentary in some final format on a grand scale. These guys have somehow ended up on the cutting edge of relevance and all while delivering one of the best live shows I’ve ever seen. But don’t take my word for it, see what the Billboard critic had to say CLICK HERE

For a video interview and live clips from SXSW click the player below:

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SXSW

SXSW has been great! Check out the pictures...DEVO in concert, Devo at their press conference, Dr. Shore with Mark and Jerry of Devo and last but not least, Dr. Shore with industry legends Bob Clearmountain and Bob Ludwig along with the lead singer of Fastball. Bob and Bobhave worked on some of the greatest albums of all time.


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SXSW




ObviousPopCast Episode 15 - World Premier Power Pop!

Obviouspopcastlogo Episode 15 of the ObviousPopCast is here and full of brand new music, including the new song from power pop super group Tinted Windows, featuring members of Cheap Trick, Fountains of Wayne, Smashing Pumpkins and Hanson. Episode 15 also includes an exclusive world premier of the brand new Doug Powell track "Equivoque" from his upcoming album. Put that all together with even more new music and you've got yourself 47 minutes of fun that can be streamed or downloaded as a high quality MP3.

To stream it now click play:

Download it now: ObviousPopCast Episode 15

Add it to your iTunes podcasts: CLICK HERE

(If you use the link to download it to iTunes, it may go into your podcast folder or possibly be listed in the main music library under the title: ObviousPop or the artist name: Dr. Tony Shore.)


Jake Dilley & The Color Pharmacy

Jake Dilley & The Color PharmacyThe Fine Line music club in Minneapolis has never sounded so good or had such a cool looking show, thanks to Jake Dilley & The Color Pharmacy. They are on right now, just finishing up there set and I couldn't wait to post about this amazing live show. Each member is wearing a white hazmat style suit with video projected onto it...a different video showing on each member. The music is a great mix of psychedelic alt-pop with lots of great instrumentation included xylophone, keys, accordion and more. They're better live than their recordings but from what I've heard of their next record that will catch up soon. In the meantime see them live! A key element is multi-instrumentalist and vocalist Karin Haase. Her voice blends beautifully with Jake's and she's an amazing singer. She's finishing up a new album now and they played one of the songs and it was a highlight of the show. She's definitely and artist to watch.

Check out their website: www.myspace.com/jakedilley

Karin's website: www.myspace.com/karinhaaseacoustic



New Power Pop from Nashvegas

Who knew that Nashville, Tennessee was a haven for brilliant power pop? I guess there's a bit of a history there, it's not all country and gospel. The list of power pop genius that resides in that area grows and grows with Rick Altizer, Ben Folds, Bill Lloyd, John Davis, Self and more. Now there are two more that I just discovered recently and they may be amoung the best. It never fails, I post my year-end Best Of List and then I discover some brilliant records. You can see my picks for the best CDs of 2008 in the post below, but I've discovered two new releases that are so good they should have been included.

Blueskysecret
First is The Blue Sky Secret. It is more than just a great band name. It is an album that defines power pop. This new EP is called What We Are and it is full of amazingly melodic and sweet vocals layered over hooks and instrumentation that will leave you wanting more...and more. Check out "In Your Eyes" (no, it's not a cover of the Peter Gabriel song) and "11 Years," you wil be glad you did.
CLICK HERE to go to their website.

Geoff Ones and Os
Somehow I missed this one. Geoff Smith has apparently been wowing fans in Nashville and all over the world via the net for awhile now. Thanks to his song that's a tribute to Leo Laporte's Twit.tv Geoff is an internet phenom' amoungst bloggers and the geek set, but I have a feeling he's going to be a hero in the world of power pop in general. His influences seem to range from Queen to The Beatles to Squeeze and beyond. His latest is called Ones and O's which is in keeping with the internet and computer geek theme. Quirky vocals and keyboards with real piano, layered vocals and handclaps abound, with sugary hooks and unforgettable melodies in every single song. Highlights include "Dig The Code," "Ones and O's," and "Hello Hello."
CLICK HERE to go to his site.


ObviousPop Best CDs of 2008

As the sub-zero wind whips across Minnesota and new release Tuesdays slow to a full stop, we labor over our year-end lists. Top 10 CDs, Best albums, concerts and more. After pouring over all of my CDs that came out in the past 12 months, I can officially declare that 2008 was a great year for music. Making this year’s list was a blast. I really enjoyed going back through all of these albums. Seeing everyone else’s lists is where the real fun is at, because each year I end up reading about things I’ve missed. So please click on the small comments link at the bottom of this list to post your own list.


The ObviousPop Top 20 CDs of 2008


1. Tally HallMarvin's Marvelous Mechanical Museum

There is finally another major power pop group that can rival Fountains of Wayne. Tally Hall came out of nowhere for me when Rick Altizer sent me a link to their video and told me to check them out. This is for any fan of power pop. To use the clichéd comparisons, this CD is for fans of Jellyfish, FoW, ELO, Queen,Wings and The Beatles, yet they have their own unique style. This album is definitely fun stuff with hooks o’ plenty. This is easily the best power pop release and my favorite CD of 2008.


2. The FeelingJoin With Us

If you’re not on The Feeling bandwagon yet you have my sympathy because you are missing out on two of the best CDs of the past decade. After the brilliant Twelve Stops and Home they manage to avoid the dreaded sophomore slump with amazing songs and vocals. They wear their influences on their sleeve at times with heavy doses of 10cc and ELO, but this is a rip off or a cheese fest.


3. David Byrne & Brian EnoEverything That Happens Will Happen Today

This could have been just more meandering art for art sake or world music influences replacing actual melodies, but not this time! David Byrne of the Talking Heads and Brian Eno of production fame have collaborated to make an amazing album with well written songs and melodies that feature David’s best performances since going solo and Eno’s amazing production and sounds. Fans of both artists should love this one, but I am hoping it draws in some new listeners as well. The beautiful opening track, “Home” is one of my favorite songs of the year.

 

4. Bryan Scary and the Shredding TearsFlight of the Knife

Remember what I just said about Tally Hall? Dito that. This is power pop at its best. It is as if Queen had recorded Sgt. Peppers. Flight of the Knife has lots of quirks, hooks and instrumentation, with even more production. In this case more really is more. I think I came across this one surfing new releases on the iTunes store and after about 30 seconds of the first track I went out and bought the CD. You have to hear it to believe it. One of the best finds of the year! They have one other record but it’s not quite as good. This one is pure brilliance.


5. Josh FixFree At Last

Power pop fans need to get this album now! You can hear Jellyfish, Self and more on this great album full of hooks. The song “Don’t Call Me In The Morning” wins best hook of the year.


6. Sparks Exotic Creatures of the Deep

I love it! I think it’s a return to form for Sparks . Right now I may be alone in my love for this album, but if you would just give it a chance. This one needs to be owned, listened to and enjoyed. Tracks of layered vocals, keyboards and strings with super hooky songs with lyrics so witty and clever that you will laugh out loud. If you don’t want your music to have a sense of humor then this disc isn’t for you. But if you like They Might Be Giants or really clever lyrics, you will not find anything better. “Let The Monkey Drive” is a definite contender for song of the year for me.


7. ColdplayViva La Vida

Do I really need to comment on this release? If you haven’t heard the title track you haven’t been near a TV or radio for the past year. It’s an amazingly beautiful record with great songs and orchestration. This is easily the best Coldplay album to date.


8. Brian WilsonThat Lucky Old Sun

No, it’s not as good as SMiLE, but that is about the highest a bar could possibly be set, so to say this is ‘almost’ as good is huge. Anyone who loved SMiLE should fall in love with That Lucky Old Sun, a suite of music that has some of Brian’s best songwriting in decades.


9. Kyle AndrewsReal Blasty

Is Kyle Andrews an alias for Matt Mahaffey of Self? This record is full of that fun and jerky style of production with a lot of power pop thrown in. Yet it is also one of the most original and unique records to make the list this year. Keyboards, guitars and some serious production accent all the catchy melodies to make this one a must hear.


10. KeanePerfect Symmetry

For the love of the 80’s. Keane fully embraces the new wave and hooky pop of that decade while maintaining their trademark vocal style that makes me say “mmmmmm good!” It’s up there with their first 2 releases.


11. Starflyer 59Dial M

12. The KillersDay & Age

13. The Black and White YearsThe Black and White Years

14. The Submarines - Honeysuckle Weeks

15. Shiny Toy GunsSeason of Poison

16. Snow PatrolA Hundred Million Suns

17. Kaiser ChiefsOff With Their Heads

18. Senor CoconutAround The World

19. DetektivbyrånWermland

20. Midnight JuggernaughtsDystopia


Also loved…

Vampire WeekendVampire Weekend

Jeremy MessersmithThe Silver City

The Seventy-Sevens –Holy Ghost Building

OasisDig Out Your Soul

PendulumIn Silico

Phantom PlanetRaise The Dead


Best Reissue: Daniel AmosDarn Floor Big Bite

Best Live Show: Brian Wilson, State Theater, Minneapolis

(Was (Not Was) at SXSW in Austin, TX was a close 2nd)


Best Movie: Wall-E

 

Please post your own lists or comments by clikcing the "comments" link below...


Strands.com and More...

Evolution VS Revolution

This weeks webcast of Are You Really Experienced is a great one! Michael Sean Wright of Nice Fish Films and I talk about the latest in music and tech. Warner Music Group reports strong but cautious numbers. While Atlantic is putting the spin on the news of good digital sales, is this the answer to the industry's problems? Not by a long shot.

We explore Strands with Drew Olanoff. Strands offers great ways to stay in touch with what your friends are listening to. This is the online social networking solution for music fans!

Sign up for Strands by using the beta code: Drew

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