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The Friday Refrain: A bit of what's new in music...

This is going to be short. There was an insane downpour of rain and the little ninja is awake suddenly. Also I had too many donuts this morning and not enough real food and I'm having a bit of a donut hangover. However, I counteracted it with garlicky food and that seems to be working. Mmm... Donuts. But now the day is over and I'm back. Adventures of buying fabric with cats on it and feeling pretty awesome about my standard curry now, I'm ready to talk music.

OH. MY. GOOD. NESS. I almost cried during my donut hangover when I was compiling today's releases. Paul Simon released Stranger To Stranger today. The Strokes released a small ep Future Present Past. The second most adorable twins, Tegan & Sara, released Love You To Death. And Michael Franti & Spearhead Soulrocker is available as well today. Let's swing back to the alternative indie scene for The Kills's's's's Ash & Ice. I always forget how to possessify a plural name. Plus Ladyhawke's Wild Things. Surprise Speedy Ortiz Ep Foiled Again rounds out the news for today and this has been really hard to put together. I am still feeling the effects of eating too many donuts this morning.

Donut this List.

Half Pints week. We talk a few of my favorites from last Friday even. Seriously, I flung a ton of albums at Josh last week, and so today's list.

What Was Left On The Seedy Basement Cutting Room Bar Floor

(aka, things we couldn't fit into the episode)

Maria Usbeck, Amparo - this latin album is quite good. Poppy yet listenable.

Outer Spaces, A Shedding Snake - low key playground of rock stuff here. Pretty sweet

Yung, Commercial - We just don't do singles so I'm hoping that the full release will intrigue me as much as this fuzzy rock song.

PUP, The Dream Is Over - there are certain angsty emotional rock sounds that make me get lost in the music and want to just be absorbed and then spit out and that's what this is for me.

Christian Naujoks, Wave - Instrumental guitar that I find really interesting and well done.

The Prostitutes, Ghost Detergent - Electronica that I was digging this week.

Weaksaw, The Wretched of the Earth  - My Metal Pick of the week.

The Myrrors, Entranced Earth - Meditative Rock?

Muscle and Marrow, Love - Another playground of rock pick that I think would've made the cut if we weren't so darned enchanted by onDeadWaves. Flows in the similar veins.

(I still can't sit still. I just realized that i'm frenetically bouncing my knees from one side of the bar to the other on my bar stool.)

All right so there it is. I might not be posting next week because Bonnaroooooooooooooooooooooo! If time ( yeah right) I'm going to try to prewrite something early in the week I just have to hit publish on later. But we'll see. In the meantime, stay hydrated, reapply sunscreen and Happy Listening (with earplugs for your hearing's sake!)!


The Friday Refrain: A bit of what's new in music...

Welcome back to the Refrain everyone! Tis that time to talk music new and almost new. Though I picked a terrible week to not listen to music and read 2 books instead... There were a lot of releases last week that I found, so I didn't even get half listened to yet. But there are things to discuss, things to bend your ears towards, tunes that will get your toes tapping.

Toes, dig this List!

Today, what have we here today?

The Monkees are celebrating 50 years with Good Times! Country star Dierks Bentley released Black and I heard tell that in Nashville there was(/is?) a pop-up store for his album. Jarvis Cocker wrote some music for this BBC Neil Gaiman thing and that's out today, Likely Stories. If you're a My Morning Jacket fan, they rereleased It Still Moves today with bonus tracks and demos and the like. And. Just thought I'd throw one more in for fun. And stuff. And. Robert Glasper is celebrating Miles Davis' birthday with Everything's Beautiful. Indie rockers Flume release Skin today. And half of Dum Dum Girls, Kristin Kontrol, released X-Communicate. Acapella fans unite in song for fifth Harmony's 7/27. And that's what i've got. Well, there's also Catfish & the Bottlemen back withThe Ride; Pokey LaFarge has a 7" with a new B-side, Goodbye, Barcelona; Prog-rock super group The Jelly Jam's Profit; Thrice came up with To Be Everywhere is to be Nowhere and Yumi Zouma, Yancalla.

Depressing Nautical References

Mutual Benefit, Skip A Sinking Stone

onDeadWaves, On Dead Waves

Half a sentence titles subsequently answered with the title of the first or last track.

Misha, All We Will Become - "This is how it must begin" (Pop)

Bird of Youth, Get Off -"River Monster" (classic playground of rock indie rock)

Sanzu, Heavy Over the Home -"Old Orchard Floor" (metal)

Saosin, Along the Shadow - "The Silver String" (metal)

Blake Shelton, If I'm Honest -"Straight Outta Cold Beer" (country pop)

Nick Moss Band, From The Root to the Fruit -"before the night is through" (bluesy rock)

Tiny Moving Parts, Celebrate - "Good Enough" (angsty rock kinda like i like it, kinda emo)

Paul Reddick, Ride the One -"Moon And Star" (singer-songwriter with a band)

Lonely the Brave, Things Will Matter - "wait in the car" (popular sound style of rock)

Zodiac Mprint, Ride the Stars - "Nova" (rap/hip-hop)

Dannika, For Peaches - "goodbye darling" (That female singer-songwriter style I like a lot)

Richard Ashcroft, These People - "Out of my body" (singer-songwriter with a band)

Tim Heidecker, In Glendale -"Ocean's Too Cold" (tongue in cheek solo songs, but not singer-songwriter style)

Eric Clapton, I Still Do -"Alabama Woman Blues" (if you don't know Clapton, you should go to the library)

Zig Zags, Running Out Of Red -"They Came For Us" (garagey punkish rock)

Terry Reid, The Other Side of the River - "Let's Go Down" (unreleased material from the sessions of the River)

Rez Abbasi, Behind the Vibration - "Holy Butter" or "Matter Falls" either works (jazz)

Dave King Trucking Company, Surrounded by the Night - "Don't Be Suspect of a Gift"


Chop Juggler, More is less- "Paradox of Choice" (electronic dancey)

Against the Current, In Our Bones -"Running With The Wild Things" (pop)

Anna Tivel, Heroes Waking Up- "Look Away" (rural singer-songwriter)

Sepalcure, Folding Time - "Ask Me" (electronica, good thing I checked figured it'd be metal)

Albertos, This Is A Serious Party - "Sweet Dreams" (Klezmery Gypsy Punk?)

Chico Mann, Nobody Wants To - "Nobody Wants To"  Period. Just stop asking. (Pop)

Yes! I finally used that old mind of mine to get some weird lists together again. I hope you might enjoy it and have some fun with the music. Stepping out of the music box and exploring the landscape a little with lists like that. Anyway, 2 weeks to Bonnaroo! Happy Listening!


The Friday Refrain: Sunday Edition!

Good weekend to you all! Hope you're having the same amazing weather and fun times as we are here at the Friday Refrain and Seedy Bar Headquarters - speaking of the seedy bar, new Half Pints Whole Notes is up over at and I think it's a pretty good one.

Friday had some cool releases to talk about. First and foremost - Mr. Bob Dylan Sir released another Sinatra covers album and I'm pretty excited to go check that out. I was raised on Sinatra. I love Mr. Bob Dylan Sir. Win Win Win. Also, I was wrong last week. The So So Glos did not come out on the 13th, they came out this past Friday instead. So I still had to wait. But what was one more week? So go check out that out for reals now. The National spearheaded a Dead tribute album titled Day of the Dead and there's some cool sounding contributions on there. Of the comedy duo, Tim & Eric, Tim Heidecker released a solo album titled In Glendale. Eric Clapton, not to be outdone by Dylan, released I Still Do. This is an interesting tidbit Car Seat Headrest released Tears of Denial on Friday, but only digitally. Due to sampling copyright issues, all physical copies have been destroyed. Country star Blake Shelton is back with If I'm Honest. And Ariana Grande is here with Dangerous Woman.

Hot hot hot off the press - it's the List.

By the way, anybody else notice all the unfinished phrases above: In Glendale, If I'm Honest, I Still Do... Strange.

Here are a couple albums I dug from last week:

Oxenfree, Beacons - Garage rock?

Oscar, Cut And Paste - He's got this really deep voice which is pretty nice dichotomy to the poppy beats on some tracks.

Family Atlantica, Cosmic Unity - Get your Latin fix here.

Al Scorch, Circle Round The Signs - Bluegrass folksy type thing

Adia Victoria, Beyond the Bloodhounds - that singer-songwriter indie sound I like.

Yak, Alas Salvation - kinda  like a more intense Radiohead

And I'm also jumping on the Twin Peaks, Down in Heaven and the Wolf Parade, Apologies to the Queen Mary bandwagons. Pretty enjoyable stuff.

So there you go, a few things to groove the rest of your Sunday with. And as always, Happy Listening!


The Friday Refrain: A bit of what's new in music...

I'm back. Apologies. I had the spring recital, home improvements and then prep for our annual Cinco de Taco party. Quite hectic. This week has been so uneventful and lethargic compared to what I had been up to, but I think it was bound to happen. You can only forge ahead at 100% for so long. Anyway, what a doozy of a couple weeks in music! Beyonce! Radiohead! The Goo Goo Dolls! Cyndi Lauper! Keith Urban! A De La Soul placeholder EP for the album that got pushed back! Aesop Rock! The Jayhawks! Rogue Wave! Rob Zombie! Sixx:A.M.! Brian Eno! Yo Yo Ma! Candlebox! Oh wait, now I'm caught up. Good, I'm out of exclamation points.

Or am I? The List April 29th Bambam! The List May 6th Bambambam!

And that brings us all the way back to today. Hang on, need to get myself some water. Okay I'm back. Did you get some water? Probably should, tis the festival season and the most important thing to do at a festival is to stay hydrated, wear your ear protection and regularly apply sunscreen! Today, Chance the Rapper released Chance 3, another album of reimagined works of Bach on the theremin. No. That is not true. He raps. He's a rapper. Thus his name but wouldn't that be hilarious if someone called themselves a rapper but dabbled in some sort of existential music nerd theory tangential? My personal favorite, and one of my progeny's favorites, Fruit Bats is out with Absolute Loser. Did you see the bear music video? That was odd and silly. Fans of people in The Yeah Yeahs and two other bands I can't recall should check out the new release from Head Wound City titled A New Wave of Violence. Metal band Kvelertak is releasing Nattesfred today. Pop hit from last year Meghan Trainor is releasing Thank You. On the edge of pop, Corinne Bailey Rae releases The Heart Speaks In Whispers. Another favorite of mine, The So So Glos, is finally back with Kamikaze. I've been waiting boys. I've been waiting. *toe tapping* And one more rapper, Astronautalis, is back after a few years with Cut the Body Loose. Speaking of waiting. *cough*
Well that will be it this week for the major ones I think. That's a pretty good list. Let's move onto some fun lists.
I can't believe I had no time for this when I could make this list: Equestrian
(also, it would've been in time for the Derby! The DERBY!)
Whitehorse, The Northern South Vol 1 - kinda bluegrassy rock such stuff.
Horse Lords, Interventions - Jazzy stuff that I like.
Horseshoe Gang, Anti-Trap Music - rap
Horsepower Productions, Crooks Crime & Corruption - electronic stuff.
Okay, I was going to post more but it appears the wee one isn't going to nap today. So, there goes that. Hopefully we'll have a new Half Pints next week and that plus a good bonus list next week will make up for today. Anyway, at least I showed up. With exclamation points! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! !1!!!!!! !!! !!!!!! !! ! Just some bonus excitement for you. Happy Listening!


The Friday Refrain: A bit of what's new in music...

Well, it's Friday. And it's an odd day here at the Refrain headquarters. Of course, Prince died yesterday. I was in the car listening to our local awesome station The Current when they said there had been a medical emergency at Paisley Park but no names were released. And as I stared out my windshield, child crying in the backseat, looking at the St. Paul downtown as I descended 35E Southbound I thought, "This is going to be one of those moments where I remember exactly where I was."

There's a new Half Pints up. Josh wanted to throw out all the music and just talk Prince but I had to admit that I'm not a huge fan. So we invited over the biggest fan we know to talk Prince for 20 minutes with Josh. Which was pretty interesting, as a show about two friends drinking beer and talking music - it's fun to invite another friend in to talk music. We should do that more. But knowing I had to talk about Prince somehow on the show, I started thinking. And then I've kept thinking. (Woah. Prince influenced my dreams and that's why I was at a cabin with the Queen of England and her family! It was as odd as it sounds.) I *do* like a lot of Prince songs, but there are so many Prince songs and it seems that everyone else likes *a lot* more Prince songs than I do. Especially since I seem to like silly ones and oddities, and with the rampant fandom and level of fandom surrounding me I guess it made me feel like my casual fandom made me not a fan. Does that make sense? Anyway, I did get his style. And his perfectionism. So in awe of how he could pull it off. That takes so much effort and stress. Details are almost impossible to keep from unraveling and the man was a genius at it. At everything. So I know everyone's just going to ensconce themselves in Prince's music this week but he also was a huge proponent of new music - so here are somethings to listen to when you feel ready to expand your Prince rotation to other music.

Today's releases. Singer-songwriter who makes the masses swoon, Rufus Wainwright, released Take All My Love: Nine Shakespeare Sonnets. Veteran rockers Guided By Voices appear in one of their formations on Please Be Honest. Blue Man Group released Three today. I hope it comes with a bag of marshmallows. Rapper A$AP Ferg is here with Always Strive and Prosper. and that's the really big big releases.

The List of Yore (or at least last week)

Stuff I liked last week

Free Cake For Every Creature, Talking Quietly of Anything With You - There is a person posing for a picture in front of a dinosaur statue. So I obviously listened and it's sweet fun rock.

Eskimeaux, Year of the Rabbit - Laid back singer-songwriter

Dave Harrington Group, Become Alive- This is kinda one of those background music ones and I think I put it on while doing some thinking work.

Ernie Watts Quartet, Wheel Of Time - Jazz

Amber Rubarth, Scribbled Folk Symphonies - Kinda what it says it is. Singersongwriterish with acoustic instruments and it's intimate and interesting.

Prism Tats, Prism Tats - I'm not good at describing this kind of rock. And the album cover is freaking me out with the weird eyes so I just have to move on.

Clairy Browne, Pool - There are some good fun poppy tracks on this.

Marcus Stricklands' Twi-Life, Nihil Novi - Another album I really like some tracks on while I could do without a few others. I'm a bit picky with my jazz though. Especially more modern jazz stuff.

Check out The Hackensaw Boys or The Del McCoury Band for some americana/country/such stuff if you like.

Well that will do it for this week. I'm trying to finish up old projects and start new ones. Tis Spring! Plus I drank all my coffee and ate my snack. Happy Listening!

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