Halloween 2011, Matt Pond PA and more

When I was a kid, we got to go trick or treating, unlike some of the other home-schoolers we knew in the 6th grade. So, as an adult, I’ve never really been all that into Halloween, unlike some of my peers who got over their repression by dressing up like the opposite of good Christian school kids. Overall, though my kids were bouncing up and down earlier in anticipation of getting some candy from the neighbors, I can take or leave Halloween, but I try to be a good neighbor. It’s in that spirit that I present to you a couple of songs about Halloween, mentioning Halloween or maybe they’re just scary.

First up, Matt Pond PA’s excellent “Halloween.”

Followed by the arena rock, “All Hallows Eve” from Holy Soldier.

How about Tumbledown performing “The Butcher of San Antone” live on Halloween 2010, in costume?

Honorable mentions: “Halloweenhead” by Ryan Adams. “Halloween” by The Misfits. “Armageddon” by Alkaline Trio.

Goodnight, stay safe out there.

Days as dark as the night is long for U2, The Killers, Jack White

“You bury your treasure where it can’t be found but your love’s like a secret that’s been passed around.”

This week marks the release of the 20th Anniversary of Achtung Baby, either the second best or greatest album from U2, one of the few bands I think we could call a unanimous POPHEART favorite. To celebrate, Q Magazine in the U.K., has put together an all star covers album, featuring Jack White, Garbage, The Killers, Glasvegas and more. Here are two of my favorites so far. More on Achtung Baby to come, for me it was a monumental album, easily surpassing The Joshua Tree in impact and scope for me as a music fan and semi-pro critic. It’s especially good to hear both artists surface with some excellent interpretations that do justice to the source material while stretching and straining for new heights.

New Orbital: Never

British duo Orbital, made up of brothers Paul and Phil Hartnoll, hasn’t released new music since the Blue Album in 2004, but have announced plans to release a new album in April of 2012. Just this week they released a track from the forthcoming record and accompanying Never is a video featuring a car driving through the streets of London.

Visit: The Orbital Blog

http://player.soundcloud.com/player.swf?url=http%3A%2F%2Fapi.soundcloud.com%2Ftracks%2F25973976 Never by ORBITAL

R.E.M. calling it quits, not going quietly

Though I’ll always love the band, I’ve felt increasingly sorry for R.E.M. ever since Michael Stipe and Co. released Up, a brilliant, sad, we-lost-our-drummer-but-don’t-need-him-anyway album that was received with a collective yawn by the mainstream in 1998. One of the first alternative-rock acts to make the jump from indie to bigtime stuff, R.E.M. seemed to peak with Automatic For The People, though individual songs like “Electrolite,” and “At My Most Beautiful” were serenely epic. You could pretty much count on them for one or two great songs per record which is more than can be said for most bands. Even though it’s hard to forgive them for releasing way too many compilation albums in the last decade, I still get teary eyed when I hear Stipe say “I found a way to make you smile” accompanied by some fine Beach Boys-inspired harmonies. Thirty-one years is nothing to shake your fist at.

In spring 1999, Jason Nill (blog co-founder) and I went to see R.E.M. in St. Louis. Wilco was the opener, supporting the sublime Summerteeth. That was one great road trip. Here’s the latest video from R.E.M. for “We All Go Back to Where We Belong,” featuring a Warhol-esque Kirsten Dunst screen test. And two of my favorite R.E.M. songs not on Automatic For The People.

MP3: R.E.M. “Electrolite”
MP3: R.E.M. “At My Most Beautiful”

Buy all things R.E.M. at the Headquarters Store

M83′s Hurry Up, We’re Dreaming out today.

M83′s Hurry Up, We’re Dreaming is out and available on iTunes. You can still stream the entire album over at Urban Outfitters and if you haven’t seen the video for Midnight City, check it out below.

http://vimeo.com/moogaloop.swf?clip_id=30549152&server=vimeo.com&show_title=0&show_byline=0&show_portrait=0&color=00adef&fullscreen=1&autoplay=0&loop=0

M83 – Midnight City from naiverecords on Vimeo.