Wednesday, December 21, 2011

PPSquare X-Mas Tape 2011

So, only a few days til christmas eve, here is my Mixtape for Xmas 2011 - hope you like it:

01 - Mike Viola - Give Me A Second Chance For Christmas
02 - Ron Sexsmith - Maybe This Christmas
03 - She & Him - The Christmas Waltz
04 - Bleu - Cold, Cold Christmas
05 - Jim Boggia - Christmas Baby Please
06 - The Nines - It's Christmas
07 - The Pogues - Fairytale Of New York
08 - Travis - Alone On Christmas Day
09 - David Mead - Christmas Is So Far Away
10 - Coldplay - Christmas Lights
11 - Aimee Mann - Whatever Happened To Christmas
12 - Ben Folds Five - Stumblin' Home Winter Blues
13 - Eels - Everything's Gonna Be Cool This Christmas
14 - She & Him - Baby, It's Cold Outside
15 - The Nines - Winter Song
16 - Billy Mack - Christmas Is All Around
17 - The Darkness - Christmas Time (Don't Let The Bells End)

Most of the songs are streamed here:
I made this tape not downloadable for copyright reasons and for protecting the artists. Some artists where already filtered by soundcloud. If there's still a problem with streaming the songs, I'll remove them immediately by request.

Saturday, December 17, 2011

+ + + New Music for 2012 + + +

Bleu - Besides 

Seems to be delayed, probably it'll be out in early 2012. Besides is a collection of unreleased songs (a long time ago they would have been called B-Sides...). You only can buy it HERE.

Jellyfish - Spilt Milk & Bellybutton (January 10) 

The vinyl re-release from Omnivore Recordings. Preorder it HERE.

Nada Surf - The Stars Are Indifferent to Astronomy (January 23)

The first single "When I Was Young" for free download HERE 

Goldfrapp - The Singles (February 6)

Well, it's a .. Singles collection. - with a great selection of tracks - and two new songs. More info's HERE.

AIR - Le Voyage Dans La Lune (February 7)

‘Le Voyage Dans La Lune’ (A Trip To The Moon) is a classic black & white silent short film by French director Georges Méliès from 1902. It is widely considered one of the most important works in film history, and the very first to use science fiction as its theme, incorporating special effects that were very state-of-the-art at the turn of the 19th century. Restored in 2010 the producers decided to ask AIR’s Nicolas Godin and Jean-Benoit Dunckel, to compose an original modern soundtrack. AIR decided to develop the project into a full album inspired by the film. There will be also a special edition including the short movie itself.

The Shins - Port of Morrow (March)

It's their first record since 2007′s Wincing The Night Away.

Ocean Grove (May)

Their debut album is crowd funded via

Ben Kweller - Go Fly A Kite (February 2) 

It's the first record since Changing Horses (which I REALLY didn't like!). But the sound samples show its musical direction is more like the 2006 Ben Kweller LP (which I REALLY did like!).

Listen here: 

Paul McCartney - My Valentine (February 7)
Macca says:  “This will sound like the years between 1920-1940, the time when my father was 20. These are songs I heard. My family, my uncles, everybody sang.”  

Brendan Benson - What Kind Of World (May)
Everytime a new Brendan Benson record is out I get a little excited. He's such a good songwriter. Read more HERE.

Aimee Mann 
Aimee tweeted on December 2: Just finished my new record!!!! WOOO!!

Ben Folds Five 
Ben confirmed it: there will be a new Ben Folds Five record

And then there are new records from Bleu, Keane, Travis and Phoenix in the pipeline for 2012 (no album name, no release date).

Saturday, December 3, 2011

Ben Lee - Deeper Into Dream - Review

Yesterday Lojinx, an independent record company based in the UK (love them for bringing artists like Bleu and Fountains Of Wayne to Europe) posted a review of the new Ben Lee record Deeper Into Dream. It's in German, so I did a little translation:

A record about dreams is what Ben Lee wanted to do. It became an unusual mixture of a folk record, guitar pop a mini audiobook.

At certain points of the record songs are fractured by small stories or dialogues from friends of some experiences – in dreams or reality. They keep a record thematically together which offers a broad range for a singer songwriter album. Other than on some of his so far eight other records, the Australian works with a complete band. He develops songs than remind more of Death Cab For Cutie or Ryan Adams than a dreamy singer, which tilt into too much sweetness - whenever he tempts to do a song for format radio. He’s entitled to make money with his music, but these straightness offensives irritate because they form a direct contrast to his little, sometimes spaced-out meandering odes for which one holds him in high regard. Paired with his crystal clear voice he forms so many moments of high intimacy. And it was a clever move to break up these stylistic contrasts with dialogues. So you could blame Lee for undecidedness – or you adjudge that he shows the illimitability of our dreams with the greatest possible musical range. What counts in the end are the songs, and they fit. There’s not one that is needless or ordinary, because he is a genuine master in writing songs.

       Rating: 6/7                                               Sascha Krüger

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Beatles Museum in Germany

Now for some advertising for my hometown Halle an der Saale: The city has the privilege to present visitors The Beatles Museum, it's only some minutes to walk from the birthplace of Georg Friedrich Händel. The house itself was built in 1708 and restored in 1999.

The museum front

The museum offers more than 2500 exhibits including rarities, curiosities and known stuff of the Beatles era (until 1970) and solo stuff (1970 until now). The complete musical development of the band with words, sounds and pictures. 
Almost every room has a sound station or movies.

Three floors which are fully packed (no exaggeration!) with everything you need to get back to these days: first gigs in Liverpool, photos and autographs from the Hamburg era, rare vinyl, posters and also a fully equipped Beatles Rock Band to play Beatles songs as a full band.

The founder of the museum has excellent relations to Beatles surroundings: Beatles-photographer Astrid Kirchherr contributed photos of her private archives and Heinz Edelmann - main designer of the movie Yellow Submarine - draw a littles sequel especially for the museum.

Here are some impressions of the exhibition:

Abbey Road
Ringo - the cop
The Fab Four
Beatles dolls
A room in the 60s
Rock Band Beatles - Play as a whole band (drums, guitar, bass, vocals) - much fun,
especially in this environment

The Official Museum page and shop (sadly only in German - but I could help you there ;-) is HERE.

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Top Ten Records Of 2011

Maybe it's a bit early this year, but here they are - My Top Ten Records of 2011:

1. Mike Viola - Electro de Perfecto 
The long awaited follow up to Lurch: 10 songs. No filler. Fab.
More info here.

2. Bleu - Besides
It's still not released, hopefully it will in 2011. Most of the songs are known to the fans - it's great compilation. More info here.

3. David Mead - Dudes
The kickstarter - crowd funded record from Mr. Mead. More info here and here.

4. Brandon Schott - 13 Satellites 
Brandon Schott's new, indiegogo - crowd funded record, filled with beautiful songs! More info here.

5. Teitur - Let The Dog Drive Home
A strong album, breathtaking melodies and lyrics. More info here.

6. Jeremy Messersmith - The Reluctant Graveyard
Though the record was out in 2010, I discovered it not until this year. More info here.

7. Jay Clifford - Silver Tomb For The Kingfisher
More info here.

8. Feist - Metals 
Darker tunes than on The Reminder. More info here.

9. Hotel Lights - Girl Graffiti 
More info here.

10. Ivy - All Hours
Released 6 years after their last record - finally. More info here.

Special award: Ben Folds - Best Imitation Of Myself 
It's a Best Of, so it doesn't really count. But the compilation has three new Ben Folds Five songs - and there's probably a whole new record coming in 2012! More info here.

Jeremy Messersmith

Some days ago I stumbled upon the name Jeremy Messersmith. (Thank you Brandon!)
He is an indie pop musician from Minneapolis.

Messersmith released 3 LPs:
  • 2006 The Alcatraz Kid 
  • 2008 The Silver City 
  • 2010 The Reluctant Graveyard 

Let's see what the press says:
"It's hard to listen to The Silver City, the new CD from Minnesota chamber-pop artist Jeremy Messersmith, without thinking of Sufjan Stevens. Both artists have strikingly similar voices and a love of richly orchestrated story songs." -NPR Second Stage

"Imagine Elliott Smith driving in a convertible, the wind flying through his hair, singing about sadness and somehow creating joy enough to forget his troubles for a while." -The Onion

"His second album, The Silver City (...) is a breathtaking work of craftsmanship and heart. Picking up where his delicate and profound debut The Alcatraz Kid left off, The Silver City adds layers of instrumentation and harmonies to Messersmith's signature gentle croon. (...) Critics are calling the Dan Wilson-produced Silver City a "love letter to the Twin Cities" and "perhaps the best local album of the year." - Citypages

You can listen to all three records on Bandcamp - and also buy them (like I did instantly, and I don't do this very often).

Official Site:

Mike Viola - Live in Brooklyn

Here's a live stream of the Mike Viola concert in Brooklyn on November 4 2011 (feat. Todd Jasko) - thank you Yoshi:

There's also a download of this stream - just contact me as usual.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Poll - Which artists you would like to see performing together again? - Results

A month ago I started a poll - "Which artists you would like to see performing together again?".

So here are the results:

1st place
Jason Falkner & Andy Sturmer & Roger Manning Jr

Jellyfish -80%   


2nd place

Bleu & Mike Viola - 28%

Mike Viola
3rd place
Justin Currie & Ian Harvie & Andy Alston

Del Amitri - 12%

Del Amitri

So, a conciderable first place for Jellyfish - which is no surprise. It seems as if also a new Bleu/Viola project would be very welcome.

Well, Jellyfish and Del Amitri will be unlikely (but you CAN prove me wrong), but maybe Mike Viola with Bleu?

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Ocean Grove - First Full Length Album @

Ocean Grove is recording their first full length album. And they ask you for your support. At you can pledge for this project. In return you can get amongst other:
  • the digital album
  • a tour poster
  • a t-shirt
  • white vinyl
  • a day in the studio
  • a photo shoot
  • a private concert