Author: Jason Hare

Weepies

The Popdose Interview: The Weepies

Five years may be a long time to wait for a new release from Deb Talan and Steve Tannen — better known as The Weepies — but there probably aren’t any fans begrudging the time they’ve taken. Since the release of 2010’s phenomenal Be My Thrill, the band has embarked on a sold-out tour, rallied for this guy, had a third child (Nicholas, joining siblings Alexander and Theo) and moved from California to Iowa. Oh, and near the end of 2013, Deb was diagnosed with Stage 3 breast cancer. Following almost a year of Deb being in remission, the duo is making their long-awaited return. Today marks the release of Sirens, a beautiful album that, like previous releases, contains haunting melodies, wistful lyrics, and gorgeous harmonies and instrumentation. Though packed with 16 songs, the album still somehow feels too short. It includes gentle lullabies like “My Little Love” and “Sunflower,” darker ethereal tracks like “River From the Sky” and “No Trouble” and even a pair of covers, a first for the band: Tom Petty’s “Learning to …

The Weekly Mixtape: Ethan’s Mix

Hi! This is Ethan. Well, technically, he’s Super Ethan in this picture. Which makes sense, ’cause Ethan is my super-awesome nephew. Ethan turned nine years old last month. Which means that he’s approximately six years older than I remember him being yesterday, but that’s besides the point. He’s nine. I remember being nine. Don’t you? I was big into music. I saw the Monkees that year. Weird Al opened. It was awesome. So it’s a formative time (for better or for worse). And Ethan needs some awesome music to accompany being nine years old. Only problem is, the most current thing I’ve listened to is that song Christopher Cross wrote for 30 Rock. (Which is totally wicked!) So perhaps I’m not the best judge of current music that a nine-year-old would dig. Thankfully, there are a lot of people on the Popdose staff who either listen to current music, or know what nine-year-olds dig (or should dig), or all three. So I asked them to help put together a mixtape to join Ethan in his …

CD Review: Indigo Girls, “Staring Down the Brilliant Dream”

As the story goes, the initial scene backstage at Lilith Fair in 1997 was a somewhat lonely one: many of the featured artists stayed in their individual dressing rooms with their respective bands until showtime. Until Indigo Girls showed up, that is, and began knocking on everyone’s doors, asking if anybody wanted to join them for any number of songs within their set. The atmosphere opened up and a community formed, and the duo fostered what can only be described as a hootenanny. This vibe seems to surround the Indigo Girls concert experience, both for artists and audience, and is plenty present on their new solid live release, Staring Down the Brilliant Dream. A two-disc set, Dream is the third live release in the Girls discography (preceded by 1991’s Back On the Bus, Y’all and 1995’s 1200 Curfews). While that may seem like at least one live album too many, Amy Ray and Emily Saliers have been so prolific since the release of the last one that there’s barely any overlap at all. And for …

The Friday Mixtape: 6/4/10 — Queen Edition

Last year I reviewed the phenomenal book Queen: The Ultimate Illustrated History of the Crown Kings of Rock. Although I spent a couple of hours reading it before my review, there wasn’t enough time to read every single word — so the book currently sits on my nightstand, and when I get a chance, I read a few pages before turning out the light. Apart from the usual songs, it’s been a while since I really delved into my Queen collection — as I said in my review, my days of obsessive fandom were in my early teens — and reading the book has really revived my interest in the band. I’ve gone back to my old CDs and listened to a lot of the “deep cuts” from the album, with tremendous enjoyment. As has also been mentioned, the band has now released eight “greatest hits” compilations, and none of them really bring anything new to the table. So enjoy this week’s mixtape: a collection of some (but not all!) of my favorite underrated Queen …

CD Review: Barenaked Ladies, “All in Good Time”

In a 1995 interview with Canada’s MuchMusic, Barenaked Ladies’ vocalist Steven Page attempted to describe his band’s new philosophy following the departure of keyboardist/percussionist Andy Creeggan. For a while, he said, the band was trying to figure out how to operate as four-fifths of a group. But, he explained, they soon realized they didn’t have to look at themselves as four-fifths; they could merely redefine the equation as four-fourths. This time around, though, it’s different. Most fans of the group didn’t lose much sleep over Andy’s exit, but it’s absolutely impossible not to notice the gaping hole left by Page, who recently quit the band he co-founded in 1988 with vocalist/guitarist Ed Robertson. All in Good Time (2010) is the sound of a band undergoing re-invention after losing half its heart.

Popdose Contest: DKNY Delicious Candy Apples Collection

Back in August, we here at Popdose were happy to run a contest sponsored by DKNY, featuring their DKNY Be Delicious fragrance. As I said back then, I love the smell of this stuff. No, not on me, silly readers — on my wife. It’s one of her favorite scents, and it does a good job of overpowering my natural odor, which is a cross between Old Spice “After Hours” deodorant and a bottle of Drakkar Noir that I accidentally spilled all over myself in 1993. So when DKNY contacted me again recently to announce a new trio of fun scents entitled the DKNY Delicious Candy Apples Collection, and asked if I’d be interested in sharing the news with all of you (and giving away a batch, valued at $165!), I eagerly accepted. I mean, hey, I’m not going to use them, but people around me might be interested, and who couldn’t use a scent overhaul every once in a while? (By the way, if your wife/girlfriend/significant other asks you why you bought them this …

Exclusive: Popdose Reveals Wikio’s Top Music Blogs for February!

Here at Popdose, we’re proud to say we’re both growers and showers: as our roster of ever-phenomenal writers (writing ever-phenomenal stories) increases, so does our popularity within the blogosphere. And Wikio, known for publishing a monthly list of the top blogs in various categories, has chosen us to reveal their top music blogs for the month of February. Thanks, Wikio! We love you too, though the last box of chocolates you sent had a disproportionate amount of coconut, and we hate coconut. Here they are: 1 PopEater Music Blog 2 Stereogum 3 Spinner.com 4 Nah Right 5 Brooklyn Vegan 6 The Fader Magazine 7 Idolator 8 MTV Newsroom 9 Sound of the City 10 Matablog 11 The Smoking Section 12 Gorilla vs. bear 13 HipHopDX.com 14 Ill Doctrine 15 WFMU’s Beware of the Blog 16 SOHH.com 17 Grandgood 18 Passion of the Weiss 19 Line Out 20 Lefsetz Letter 21 Popdose 22 Discobelle.net 23 Arjan Writes 24 You Ain’t No Picasso 25 The KEXP Blog 26 Punknews.org 27 Chart Rigger 28 Tiny Mix Tapes 29 …