All posts tagged: Jason Falkner

Popdose 2010: Will Harris’s Top Albums and Songs

I don’t even know why I’m here, frankly. I think it’s pretty well documented that all I do these days is write about television and interview people for Bullz-Eye ’til the cows come home. I’ve barely had time to write my columns for Popdose. (In case you’ve forgotten, “Hooks ‘N’ You” and “You’re the Voice” are mine.) Once upon a time, though, I used to be a music critic, dammit…and once you’ve had opinions about music, you’ll always have opinions about music. As such, here are my thoughts on the albums and songs that grabbed me this year. This may be the first time I’ve actually written about most of them, but you can damn well be sure that I’ve spent plenty of time listening to them. Favorite Albums 1. Tom Jones: Praise & Blame It’s a pretty consistent tradition that my #1 slot on my Best Albums list of any given year belongs to an artist whose career I’ve followed for quite some time, but Sir Tom earned his spot fair and square. Kicking …

Bootleg City: Jellyfish

According to an article I found on Magnet magazine’s website, Jellyfish’s lead singer, Andy Sturmer, wasn’t afraid to sting people. “I was told that Jellyfish would be an equal three-piece, with us writing and playing everything,” said the band’s original guitarist, Jason Falkner. “That turned out to be a total joke. I felt like I was duped.” And keyboardist Roger Joseph Manning Jr., whose 2006 song “You Were Right” will never leave your brain once you let it inside, had this to say: “Except for Andy, we all speak to one another. Some of us make music together. But nobody is interested in working with Andy in a personal or creative capacity. It would serve no purpose, but I don’t say that with any animosity or sadness.” Yeah, but it’s still sad, because the band’s second and final album, 1993’s Spilt Milk (an appropriate title, it seems), left me wanting more. Then again, a smart band is supposed to leave its fans wanting more. Roger Joseph Manning Jr., Andy Sturmer, Chris Manning, and Jason Falkner, …

Freshly Unwrapped: New Music Releases, 6/17/08

Chicago – Stone of Sisyphus (Rhino) Fifteen years after Warner Bros. rejected Stone of Sisyphus, leading to Chicago’s departure from the label and kicking off over a decade of crass, fan-bilking compilations, the band’s “legendary lost” album finally sees the light of day…on Warner-owned Rhino! Hey, why is the record industry in the tank again? Coldplay – Viva La Vida (Capitol/EMI) Speaking of “in the tank,” here comes EMI’s great white hope for the second quarter of 2008! Are garish artwork and echoes of U2 enough to keep the label’s top shareholders from having to sell off their third chateaus? Judging from the second single (and title track), the answer is an unqualified “yes.” Judging from most of the rest of the record, on the other hand… Jason Falkner – Bedtime With The Beatles 2 (Adrenaline) In which the terminally underrated power-pop superhero follows up his wonderful (and stupidly out of print) Bedtime With the Beatles, offering nine more lullaby renditions of classic tracks from the Fab Four, including “Norwegian Wood,” “Penny Lane,” and — …

Cutouts Gone Wild!: The Grays, “Ro Sham Bo”

The Grays – Ro Sham Bo (1994) purchase this album (Amazon) You’ve known this was coming since last week, when I promised an album from the great lost power-pop group of the ’90s. (Well, most of you did, anyway. I’m not sure what the person who guessed “Damn Yankees” was thinking.) If you’ve never heard of the Grays, well, you’re in pretty much the same boat as everyone else; despite a stellar pedigree, a generous helping of Epic-assisted buzz, and no shortage of fawning from critics and pop nerds all over the planet, Ro Sham Bo was a commercial nonstarter. There were good reasons for this. First, and probably most importantly, the guys who made up the Grays — Jason Falkner, Jon Brion, Buddy Judge, and Dan McCarroll — were, and had always been, out of step with commercial trends. Falkner was a member of the Three O’Clock and Jellyfish, and Brion had done time with ‘Til Tuesday (not to mention session work for — surprise! — Jellyfish), which should tell you everything you need …