Mar 232013
 

They Say It’s Your Birthday celebrates an artist’s special day with other people singing his or her songs. Let others do the work for a while. Happy birthday!

Ric Ocasek, who turns 64 today, may be best remembered for buzzing around in the “You Might Think” video, but between 1978 and 1988 he led the Cars to FM radio immortality with a string of successful singles and albums (and two quality solo albums to boot). After the Cars folded, Ocasek’s skills as a producer became much in demand, and he stood behind the glass for bands such as Bad Brains, No Doubt, Nada Surf, and Weezer’s multi-platinum Blue and Green Albums. In both musician and producer roles, Ocasek’s influence has proven huge and lasting; bands such as The Strokes, Weezer, Fountains of Wayne, and even Nirvana owe Ocasek debts of gratitude for his style and sound, melding ‘50s rockabilly to ‘70s new wave with ‘80s rock and pop sensibilities. Continue reading »

Aug 232011
 

Though they’ve never really dropped off the map completely, Jim Henson’s lovable Muppets seem to be enjoying something of a cultural resurgence lately. A lot of that probably has to do with the upcoming Jason Segel/Amy Adams film simply called The Muppets, as well as the fact that many people who enjoyed the characters as kids are now coming to the age where it’s acceptable, even desirable, to embrace their childhood loves again.

You can add The Green Album to the list of cultural artifacts presaging the return of these creatures to full-on popularity. The record’s aimed exactly at the people described above, who in the years between their childhood and now have cultivated “cool” tastes, of which the Muppets have become a part. One look at the pedigree of bands and artists contributing to this compilation can’t help but impress — Weezer, My Morning Jacket, Andrew Bird and the rest all stand in the upper echelons of their respective fields, and it’s rare that any kind of tribute album could cull such noteworthy acts together. Continue reading »

Aug 122011
 

Last month we brought you Andrew Bird’s cover of “Being Green” and My Morning Jacket doing “Our World” off The Muppets tribute The Green Album. This fun tribute features twelve tracks including covers by Weezer, The Fray, OK Go, Amy Lee and more.  Set to be released on August 23rd, you can pre-order it now with exclusive T-shirt and poster at Muppets Music. Continue reading »

Aug 052011
 

Since 1996, Illinois punk outfit Alkaline Trio has been known for its aggressive, yet emotional brand of pop punk music, which has been cherished and loved by many. Recently, 39 different pop punk artists got together to show their appreciation and love for the band with the release of A Tribute to Alkaline Trio (out on Pacific Ridge Records on August 30). The roster of bands on the album includes San Diego pop band The Material, Ace Enders’ (of the Early November) side project I Can Make a Mess Like Nobody’s Business, Pennsylvania pop punk band Punchline, and many more. Continue reading »