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

Oh my gosh taxes got me last weekend. I totally had half a post done but never hit publish. So I'm going to take a bit of that and a bit of this week and mix it together and make a thing. But last week I realized I have a problem. I think I like too much music. Here I was worried I wouldn't like enough music as I aged, and I've gone and done the opposite. Also, I get heavily emotionally invested in some of these bands I like that don't get as much attention and I think should. I just saw that Teleman released an album today and I was ready to jump on the couch and freak out like a kid with candy. Which is great. I love that I can get excited like that. It's just funny. I feel like my team won the Superbowl. so odd... Anyhoot.

Rewind to last Friday and had I been on top of my stack, here's what you would've read: "Deftones and The Dandy Warhols have releases this week, Gore and Distortland respectively. Some popular names up next The Lumineers with Cleopatra and Mayer Hawthorne has Man About Town. EDM act M83 released Junk into the hearingsphere this week. Let's hit up that indie scene a bit more: Parquet Courts (I swear they release something every April) return with Human Performance, and Tokyo Police Club submit Melon Collie and the Infinite Radness (Part 1) into the release stream. We also have Ben Watt with Fever Dream and Ben Harper & the Innocent Criminals with Call It What It Is." Which brings us to today. Hold onto your butts, I've got a bit to say. Let's hit up old school, starting old and getting newer: Santana released Santana IV, Graham Nash of Crosby Stills and Nash is soloing it out with This Path Tonight, Marie Osmond thinks Music is Medicine and PJ Harvey is kicking it with The Hope Six Demolition Project. Last year we talked Cate Le Bon on HPWN and perhaps we will next week again with Crab Day out today. A posthumous release for John Carpenter's Lost Themes II. I have odd metal tastes and one of my favorites is Otep who present Generation Doom to the masses today. Let's hit a little more indie-alt-stuff with this list: Har Mar Superstar, Best Summer Ever; Edward Sharpe & the Magnetic Zeros, PersonA; and Wild Belle, Dreamland. Old-sounding country maker Sturgill Simpson is back with A Sailor's Guide To Earth and rapper J Dilla released The Diary. One more fun one: odd one Xiu Xiu Plays the Music of Twin Peaks. Given that both of those things have their own little fandom, figured it was worth a note today. Phew. 

Not much else to list after that, but here's April 1st and April 8th. Sugarsugarpoppopbang.

Lots of old-school-like Country

I don't know about you, but I love this traditional country/older country revival that is happening. Margo Price has a crazy thing going on but there were also a few other releases last week that are in the folksier vein of country...

Teddy Thompson & Kelly Jones, Little Windows

Steve Dawson, Solid States & Loose Ends

Robbie Fulks, Upland Stories

Other things I liked on April 1st, no fooling

Kyson, A Book of Flying

The Herms, Welcome All Tourists

Nisennenmondai, #N/A

Operators, Blue Wave

Bossk, Audio Noir

Trapper Shoepp, Rangers & Valentines

Tancred, Out of the Garden

Hiromi, Spark

Elephant Revival, Petals

Frankie Cosmos, Next Thing

Anoushka Shankar, Land of Gold

Actuallly that's all the list-making I did last week... And i haven't really listened to much of last Friday but tomorrow's Record Store Day so really you should all be making your lists and checking them twice, planning your plan of shopping and get to it. In the spirit of Record Store Day, here are some records we've been spinning around here lately. Mainly because The Littlest is obsessed with records and will throw tantrums when we refuse to put one on. And we will say no, but even saying yes half the time means we are listening to 4-5 records a day. Which is great, I'm really getting reacquainted with some old favorites and getting around to listening to many I haven't heard yet. So without further adieu:

Records My Son Makes Me Make Time To Listen To

The Music Machine- this is one of my ultimate favorite nostalgic records from my childhood. At least 75% of my siblings and me sing "The Patience Song" regularly in our lives.

The Music From M Squad - I brought this home from my parents' and don't think I've ever listened to it before. Man, this is some great jazz. Love.

The Domestics, The Domestics - Yep. I'm still all about this album and we put it on regularly.

Ferrante & Teicher, Soundblast - This is more experimental than some of their other albums I think.

The Dave Brubeck Quartet, Dave Digs Disney - another nostalgic album for me. I have always loved this Brubeck album.I am a sucker for Disney music.

Sounds of Animals, Folkways Records - not an album to play during dinner unless you find animal noises at the dinner table pleasant conversation.

Phil Harris, That's What I Like About the South - Also from my parents', my sister remembered this one so we put it on and I definitely liked the B Side. Also, Phil Harris is the voice of Baloo and Lil John! Wa-bam, Disney again.

Welp that sums it up for the Refrain this week. Because 1. this got a little long, 2. what is playing from my albums right now? Holy cow this is some noise music, 3. Record Store Day EVE! Happy vinyl hunting y'all and I'll see you all back here next week for more Friday Refrain. Happy Listening!


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

Happy post-Easter everyone! I know what you were all thinking, "She died. She died from not eating chocolate. I knew it was possible!" But I didn't. I just can't juggle really well. Metaphorically and in real life as well in fact. I have been eating a lot of chocolate this week though. Making up for lost time... And it's post-Easter, there's just a lot of chocolate around at this time of year. But on with it. I have bags to pack before the end of the day. Might make a pair of cool pajama/lounge pants too... FIRST MUSIC!

Oh my goodness people. It's here and it's not a prank. Violinist, beautiful, perfect whistler Andrew Bird released Are You Serious today. I think. The preview was on NPR but it's not Spotify. So maybe that was is a prank... Ha. Bombino that awesome guitarist and songwriter from Niger released Azel. Cheap Trick is back with Bang, Zoom, Crazy... Hello. My favorite instrumental rock band Explosions in the Sky returns from their soundtrack creating sabbatical with The Wilderness. Brit Pop Dance music makers Pet Shop Boys released Super today and that is exactly what I think of the first track on the album by the way. Weezer have made their own The White Album. Ahem. And indie rockers Yeasayer are here with Amen & Goodbye. Which would be cool to end like that but I forgot about Lukas Graham who I have already had to learn a single for a student so probably going to be a popular thing going on there. What a day. Will I even have anything else to discuss next week? Tune in. but don't tune out because

It's time to tune into last week's List of what I gathered that came out. Genrefied by moi.

Invasion of the 3 letter names

It just seemed like a ridiculous amount.

Blu, Crenshaw Jezebel - some three lettered rap

Bri, Keys To My Heart - a little Christian R&B

CB-R, DRSL - even the EDM scene got into this three letter action

Céu, Tropix - what do we do with these singular entities? Keep calling it singer-songwriter or folding it into the other genres. I mean, sometimes it's singer-songwriter for sure just a musician and they're instrument. But with so many multi-instrumentalists and those who get bands or have guests, what do we do? I dont' know. Sometimes I fold them in. I think this is more Playground of Rock material.

SOV, Aklamerad Kalamitet - Metal. I'm only missing country at this point, but no dice. Here ends the list of 3s.


Other Interests..

Beastmaker, Lusus Naturae - if you listened to Wolfmother's latest album and was like, "I wish it had more Sabbath." Then check out Beastmaker.

Blood Ceremony, Lord of Misrule - Never have I loved a flute solo more than on the amazing track, "Half Moon Street." Classic heavy rock style and extra points for amazing flute material.

Skating Polly, The Big Fit - Not telling Josh about this one because this is just Half Pints material written all over it. Female rock.

Khun Narin, II - I'm sure I've talked about this before but my husband and I are pretty obsessed with SE Asian psychedelic rock. Not obsessed but generally pick it up when we find it. And this one's not some odd we don't know the track listing cd from the library! This guy's making this music now. Anyway, this is pretty awesomesauce.

Margo Price, Midwest Farmer's Daughter - Not always old-style country sounding musically but Margo's voice is classic country. Love this.

Bayonne, Primitives - Remember when Animal Collective was eclectic in sound but had some restraint? This harkens back to those days. It's interesting, wasn't sure if I was into it at first but I like it.

Faith I Branko, Gypsy Lover - I'm also a sucker for gypsy music.

Brian Bromberg, Full Circle - Jazz. Let's be well rounded today.

The Sun Days, Album - if you like Best Coast maybe check this out. Not quite CA Rock straight up but in the alley.

And that's what I got this week. So try those on for size. Me? I'm going to pack up a weekend's worth of supplies and gallivant northerly. And hopefully make some pants. With that, good day to you and Happy Listening!


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

Today I typed a word and for some reason my mind eliminated all multiples of a letter. For example, that previous sentence would become: "Today I typed a word and for some reason my mind elimnatd al multipes of a letr." On its own. For no reason. Except to remind me to constantly question sanity. Maybe it was overwhelmed by the releases this week. It's big. Let's go people.

It's a vintage week, musicians of multiple eras releasing new material so let's follow the trek (an odd choice of word unless you had filled it into 4 crosswords in the past week): Iggy Pop is back with  Post Pop Depression, and I haven't sampled it yet so I have no clue what I'm in for. I just know that he is remarkably in shape. Then the 80's attacks! Electronic duo Underworld are back with Barbara Barbara We Face A Shining Future. Minneapolis rockers Soul Asylum with Change of Fortune. Plus Primal Scream has Chaosmosis, and Silk's here with Quiet Storm. Then let's jump to the 90's for Gwen Stefani and she triumphantly sets down This Is What The Truth Feels Like. And I'll have to wait either for the library to get it or Spotify. Whichever first. And another Minnesotan musician, Mason Jennings released Wild Dark Metal.

Lest we forget our past, here's what I scraped together of last week: the List

It was a light list. So is this week. Not sure if I need more sources or if it's just March. *twiddles thumbs* Let's make weird lists, shall we?

The Weird List

Yeah, I'm making a weird list of a weird list.

Information Society, Orders of Magnitude - I found out that these guys have been around for awhile and had a bit of a hit in the late 80's. The album is interesting. I specifically like "Heffalumps and Woozles" and "Kiss You All Over."

Shooter Jennings, Countach (For Giorgio) - which is an album in tribute of Giorgio Moroder featuring Brandi Carlisle singing "Neverending Story" and Marilyn Manson doing "Cat People."

AA Wallace, In Alpha Zones - this goes all over the map wiht sounds and I wasn't really ready for it so I need to give it another listen when I'm not distracted and am open to it.

Do You like...

I really am not list inspired lately I guess. I'll be back. I've already started an odd one for next week. But here you go:

Mumford and Sons and The Lumineers? Maybe you'd enjoy Penny And Sparrow, Let A Lover Drown You

Marilyn Manson heavier stuff? Try Merlin, Electric Children

Lighter Marilyn Manson fare? The KVB, Of Desire

Coldplay-like pop? The Wild Feathers, Lonely is a Lifetime

Elliot Smith if he had a bit more drive and uptempo? Little Green Cars, Ephemera

the song "Counting Stars?" Try the album Get 'Em Next Time from Star & Micey

some fun Latin? Give La Yegros, Magnetismo or Systema Solar, Systema Solar a whirl.

A little something for everyone. That's the refrain after all. So with that, I bid you adieu and Happy Listening!


The Friday Refrain: Saturday Edition!

Happy weekend everyone! Sorry for the delay but I was on the couch for most of the week with about the motivation and strength of a... I wanna say snail but I feel like to drag around those shells they must actually have more strength than I did this last week. Basically, I was able to click play on the next Criminal Minds episode but lacked the strength to tappity tappity the keys as I do. But now I'm better. I'm taking care of the next sick one in the household, but I'm better with energy and resolve to do things. Like that one Hyperbole and A Half where she's like "Clean all the things!" Yep.

So Friday was kinda a big fun music day for me. Lots of things that I've been waiting for came out. Country icon Loretta Lynn released Full Circle. And Violent Femmes dropped We Can Do Anything, their first new album in forever. Christian rock veterans Newsboys released  Love Riot. And then we have a glorious slew of indie/alt rock to delve into: Thao & The Get Down Stay Down's A Man Alive; ever evolving singer-songwriter Ray LaMontagne's Ouroboros; girls gonna swoon singer-guitarist M. Ward and More Rain; Pearl Jam's bass player's RNDM with Ghost Riding; Nada Surf's You Know Who You Are; Miike Snow, iii; and Poliça with United Crushers. Yeah, preetty crazzy.

Gyrating Googly Eyes! It's The List!

And now for my oddities and wonders of the last week of music...

Odd coincidence of the week

So if you are looking for an album by a band named crater last week, make sure you have the spelling correct. Use a K and you will be delighted by the fast hard metal of Krater's Urere. Spell it with a C however and you will be delighted by the electro indie sweetness with a slight edge of Crater's Talk To Me So I Can Fall Asleep. If only I had found an album by a band named Meteor and Meteoroid this week... I could have had fun with all of that. Anyway!

Since Pi Day is coming... Ready your soundtrack

Spheron, A Clockwork Universe

James Holden and Luke Abbott, Outdoor Museum of Fractals/555Hz

United Vibrations, The Myth Of The Golden Ratio - It's experimental and jazzy.

And it's a stretch, but numbers, man it's all about numbers...

(Okay so this one includes some of the big releases from last week, but seriously, so many numbers, had to put it all together as proof)

The 1975, I Like It When You Sleep For You Are So Beautiful Yet So Unaware of It

Santigold, 99 Cents

Charli XCX, Vroom Vroom EP

School of Seven Bells, SVIIB

Mefisto, - Metal. They definitely like some Metallica. And other things. Really like to do the guitar "woo-OOO-oo" thing which I can't accurately describe, just make the noise and the motion thing up and down the neck. That thing.

Louie Vega, Starring... XXVIII

And just for fun-

A list of albums or bands from last week's releases creating a landscape

(not meant to go sonically together but just an interesting word palate, because that's what my mind is doing today I guess)

Darryn Farrugia, Seeds

Holy Esque, At Hope's Ravine

Greenleaf, Rise Above The Meadow

Mount Moriah, How To Dance

DMA's, Hills End

Sarah Neufeld, The Ridge

Emitt Rhodes, Rainbow Ends

Sunburst, Fragments of Creation

So my mind has made at least 2 more of those lists but I will stop there. You're welcome. Well, with that my friends, it's been another Refrain and so I bid you Happy Listening!


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

All right my friends, it's a quick one today. Which tends to happen on Half Pints Whole Notes week - my podcast I do with co-host Josh Wodarz bi-weekly. This week we talk about The Suffers, Basia Bulat, Wolfmother, Pete Astor, Mavis Staples, The Frights and Moodymann. So check that out over at  I mean, it's not out today but it will be soon.

Today's releases! Anthrax rises to release For All Kings. Country star Bonnie Raitt has Dig In Deep and Willie Nelson covers Gershwin in Summertime: Willie Nelson Sings Gershwin. Speaking of classics, Peter Frampton plays Acoustic Classics on his new album. And Macklemore & Ryan Lewis are back with This Unruly Mess I've Made. And then it is like alternative/indie rock crazy release week: Santigold is back with 99 Cents! Mount Moriah, How To Dance; Arcade Fire violinist Sarah Neufeld, The Ridge; Yuck, Stranger Things; Quilt, Plaza; The 1975, I Like It When You Sleep For You Are So Beautiful Yet So Unaware of It; and School of Seven Bells release the final album SVIIB.

Marshmallows! It's the List!

Currently I'm listening to this dark rock album by Kal Marks, Life is Alright, Everybody Dies. Dark like brooding and growly sounding. And the track songs are pretty sad too, like "Loneliness Only Lasts Forever" so if you need that sort of thing today, check it out.

There's a sort of emo/angsty rock I like and it appears to be represented on The Thrill of Living by Mimisiku.

Vintage California rock fix for the week: The Shivas, Better Off Dead

Also digging singer-songwriter indie rock sounding Jordan Klassen, Javelin

Riding the soul and funk of last week, tune into Nigel Hall, Ladies And Gentlemen... Nigel Hall

I can't seem to stop listening to The Cave Singers with their indie rock album Banshee.

The male/female duo of Vandaveer, The Wild Mercury have some really interesting songs.

From what I've checked out so far, Hemelbestormer's Aether appears to be instrumental metal. Yes.

Discovered this one today, but will be putting it on for further listening: Michael Nau, Mowing. Simple singer-songwriter sweet songs

I wish that The Not-Its! had been around when I was little with their album Are You Listening? Specifically for the track, "Don't Fear The Dentist." Because I do. I just don't like the sound of the teeth scraping. Eegh. For a children's album, this is great. Right up there with the TMBG children's canon.

And let's get some punk in the mix this week: Scraper, Misery

When I put on Tracy Bryant I thought it would be singer-songwriter, maybe a little poppy indie singer-songwriter even. Instead it's this great indie rock album so far. A little west coast feel to it. A little warm weather in it. Oh it's called Subterranean.

Well I think that's it this week. I might be slow on the playlist this week. Need to go do other things for awhile but will get one up in the weekend for sure. In the meantime, spin a title from above and Happy Listening!