Author: Jeff Giles


Desert Island Discs with Colleen D’Agostino of the Material

If you had to go away for awhile and you could only take five of your favorite albums with you, which ones would you choose? Yes, we know it isn’t a fair question, but that hasn’t stopped us from asking music fans who happen to be recording artists in their own right. This edition of Desert Island Discs comes courtesy of Colleen D’Agostino, whose latest album with the Material, Everything I Want to Say, is out now. Visit their official site and watch the video for their single “Life Vest” below — and then read her Desert Island picks, of course! Fleetwood Mac: Greatest Hits My parents were big Fleetwood Mac fans when I was growing up, so this is the sound track to my childhood in the ’80s. It’s funny how music can bring back memories. “Rhiannon” reminds me of dancing around my backyard with my sister during summertime. Definitely a CD I always want with me. Brand New: The Devil And God Are Raging Inside Me This album reminds me of being in …

Photo: Stephanie Ellis

A Fine Mess, Episode 5: Musician Dean Jones

“There were a bunch of years there where I kind of lived in tents and people’s closets.” If you’ve been a hardcore Popdose reader for any length of time (and I love you if you are), you’re probably aware that for a few years, I also ran Dadnabbit, our sibling site with a focus on kids’ culture and family entertainment. The mighty Dan Walsh has the keys to Dadnabbit now, but I still remain an unabashed fan of a number of kindie artists — including Dean Jones, who’s sort of the Joe Henry of the genre, balancing a bustling career as an in-demand (and Grammy-winning!) producer against his own artistic pursuits as a solo artist and member of Dog on Fleas. I’m always happy to hear about new music from Dean, whose solo output includes my favorite naptime record (Napper’s Delight) and my favorite kindie record (Rock Paper Scissors, recorded with the Felice Brothers), and whose work with Dog on Fleas can make a parent laugh, dance, or tear up with equal aplomb. His latest …

Bill Frisell

The Popdose Interview: Bill Frisell

One of the most distinctive and prolific guitarists of his generation, Bill Frisell doesn’t seem to play as much as he seems to exist as an effortless gateway — whether he’s delving into atonal skronk, unspooling beautifully melodic instrumental passages, or sitting in with a diverse array of other artists, Frisell gives the appearance of an artist completely in tune with his muse. That mastery is apparent on Frisell’s latest outing, Big Sur, which takes a page from earlier efforts like Good Dog, Happy Man, casting his unmistakable tone in a gently beguiling setting whose bucolic simplicity belies his usual compositional wit. Frisell spoke to Popdose on the eve of Big Sur‘s June 18 release, taking a few minutes between tour dates to talk over the phone while enjoying a hike outside his Washington home. Opening up about everything from the inspiration and process behind the new LP to his own artistic struggles and current outlook, he proved as eloquent and honest with his words as he is with his music. So where are you …

Jay-Z and Justin Timberlake Summer Tour Tickets Still Available

There are currently thousands of Jay-Z and Justin Timberlake tickets still on sale for most dates with the August 11th show at Boston’s Fenway Park currently the highest get-in price at $139 and the July 19th gig at New York’s Yankee stadium the highest overall average price at $336.  Check out more on this tour here:


A Fine Mess, Episode 1: David Baerwald Interview

If you’ve been a Popdose reader for any length of time, you probably know that talking with creative people about their art is one of my favorite things to do — I never get tired of it. But because I often tend to interview artists when they’re promoting a new release, our discussions are often constrained in a number of ways; whether it’s time, commerce, or deadlines, something gets in the way of really settling in for an in-depth conversation. So for awhile now, I’ve been mulling over the idea of a podcast that would try and slow that process down a little — create a space where we can set aside release cycles and talk about an artist’s creative journey and their current relationship with the muse. I was hung up for a long time on a title, but then it struck me that with this show, I was really trying to illustrate the fact that every artist’s approach is unique; that while we see recurring themes in the creative process, there’s no formula …


Pre-Review: Nokia Lumia 920

As some of you may know, for the past six years or so I’ve lived in the woods of New Hampshire, where things like traffic lights and cell signals have yet to rear their ugly heads. Aside from a couple of cheap Tracfones, I haven’t used a cellphone since 2006, which has honestly been kind of nice — especially in terms of not having to carry a contract. I’m still a man, though, and when the folks at M80 and AT&T got in touch with Popdose about having us review the Nokia Lumia 920, I felt the irresistible allure of the new gadget — and when none of our staffers were interested in writing up the phone, I agreed to take it and report on my findings. This little guy is supposed to show up on my doorstep tomorrow: If you pay attention to new phones, you know the Lumia 920 has been getting solid reviews — Engadget called it “Nokia’s greatest Windows phone yet” — and you might be wondering why AT&T would want …

Gallery 4 Columns. Right Sidebar

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Ben Arthur

Desert Island Discs with Ben Arthur

Parker Paul, Wingfoot This is one of my favorite albums, not just because Parker’s lyrics are lovely and inventive (he compares his ex-girlfriend’s orgasm to a fluttering origami crane), but because the music is so fantastically contradictory. At once beautiful and brutal, furious and humble. Rachael Yamagata, Elephants…Teeth Sinking into Heart I remember the ache I felt the first time I saw Rachael play. She walked offstage and before I had even introduced myself, I asked her if she’d sing on my next album. (Luckily for me, she is as generous as she is talented.) Danger Mouse, The Grey Album The collaboration you always want to see between monstrous, world-shaking talents, except that you almost never do. Brian’s ability to seamlessly merge rock and hip hop is incredibly rare. And most artists quail before such giants, but he (then almost entirely unknown) has chutzpah and talent to match. Aesop Rock, None Shall Pass Aes inhabits a world of his own. His lyrics are fierce, brilliant, and alternate easily between caustic deadpan, and sweetness. His music …


New Music: Preservation Hall Jazz Band, “C.C. Rider”

We’re seeing a small army of essential box sets come out this fall, but for my money, the most essential of the bunch is The Preservation Hall 50th Anniversary Collection — a four-CD stroll through the storied archives of the Preservation Hall Jazz Band, one of American music’s most vital, enduring institutions. You can’t get your mitts on the discs until September 25, but to whet your appetite, here’s a quick glimpse at some of what’s on offer. This previously unreleased version of “C.C. Rider” dates from 1981, falling smack in the middle of a track listing that spans the ’60s through the aughts, and includes a number of recordings that were saved and restored following the devastation of Hurricane Katrina. There’s more where this came from, and you need all of it:

Ronnie Fauss

New Music: Ronnie Fauss, “The Night Before the War”

There are a lot of things Texas can’t seem to get right — weather, politics, race relations, Presidential hospitality — but Texans don’t have to make any apologies for their music. Texas rocker Ronnie Fauss had me at the words “Texas rocker” in the email I just received announcing his new single, “The Night Before the War,” which is awesome in a rootsy, lived-in, faded denim sort of Texas rocker way. Listen below, and look for Fauss’ new album I Am the Man You Know I’m Not on October 9. Ronnie Fauss – The Night Before the War


New Music: Benjamin Gibbard, “Teardrop Windows”

I’m still a little disappointed that it isn’t a concept album of duets with Shirley MacLaine, but whatever — Death Cab for Cutie’s Ben Gibbard is stepping out as a solo artist with Former Lives on October 16, and he’s been kind enough to give everyone a free sneak preview with “Teardrop Windows.” You can pre-order the record in one of several deluxe configurations at Gibbard’s site, or just check out the song below:

Johan Reinhold

New Music: Johan Reinhold, “Heart in a Jar”

Not that there are any body parts I’d want to keep in a jar, but the heart seems like a particularly grody choice, what with all of its aortas and ventricles and whatnot. Also, the title “Heart in a Jar” reminds me of Hayseed Dixie’s deadpan masterpiece “Keeping Your Poop in a Jar.” But none of these things really have anything to do with Johan Reinhold’s new single “Heart in a Jar,” which deserves to be enjoyed on its own merits — and it boasts a number of merits, including Reinhold’s pleasantly creepy vocals and a melody that slowly, confidently burrows its way into your brain. Like what you hear? Set your alarm for October, when he’ll return with the rest of his new EP:

Vigo Thieves - EP review

New Video: Vigo Thieves, “Forever”

I’m not necessarily advocating watching it unless you have a hankering for blood and mud, but the Vigo Thieves have released a video for their new single “Forever” — and while the video is grimy and herky-jerky in that unique 21st century music video way (it sort of reminds me of the clip for Rihanna’s “We Found Love”), the song itself is a thing of anthemic, old-school rock ‘n’ roll grandeur. Close your eyes and imagine that this is a lost track from The Joshua Tree. Feels good, doesn’t it? Now go listen to the additional songs we’ve embedded below.


New Music: Liz Wood, “Ruin”

“I don’t need to talk / You fucked up, not me,” sings Liz Wood in her new single, “Ruin” — our first glimpse of her upcoming EP, Into My Own, due October 16. And all we can say is “We’re sorry, baby. We didn’t mean it.” Oh, and also embed the track below — check it out here and make a mental list of all the ways you’ve disappointed Liz Wood.