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

Okay so I lied, I didn't come back Monday with last week's list. I don't know what I was thinking when I said that. We were hosting a party on Saturday, Sunday was recovery/hang out with baby day, and then it was suddenly Monday. So apologies but here I am back and at it! This week is crazy with releases over 150 and counting, and I just had to call it. I don't even think I'm going to get all of the big ones in the recap. I'll forget somebody, I know I will... I had a taste of almost half the list though. I'm pretty impressed by that and will toot my horn. (though I don't know what I have to eat for lunch so that takes me down a peg) I'm a little all over the place because 1. coffee. and 2. I've been playing with the a very up-down teething baby this morning. Currently he is entranced by a cold washcloth and the fact that he can hold it in his mouth with no hands. But previously we were working with the zany zoo, pictured above.

Zany list! Watch out, it's a big one.

All right, releases of note this week - we've got Mumford & Sons back with Wilder Mind going with a different sound than before. Alternative/Indie rockers (is that even a term anymore, but what replaces it? Diverse sounding rock group that is popular but not like arena popular?) My Morning Jacket released The Waterfall and you can look forward to some discussion on that one in the next Half Pints Whole Notes. Ciara is back with Jackie - I don't know I've always had a soft spot for her. I at least check out each release. California rockers Best Coast bring that sunshine even into the sad songs of California Nights. And I would walk a hundred centimeters, maybe even 100 inches to my computer to turn on the new Proclaimers album, Let's Hear It For The Dogs. I once saw them in concert when I was younger and couldn't understand much because of their accents. But I still had fun. And another of my favorites with their odd harmonies and sounds, Django Django released Born Under Saturn.

Other things out this week

Andreya Triana, Giants - the first song reminded me of Adele

Ducktails, Headbanging in the Mirror - just a single but a fun peppy fuzzy rock single

Oddisee, The Good Fight- I like this rap album.

Granger Smith, 4x4 - some country pop about back roads and drinking

Downtown Boys, Full Communism - Punk with horns. Horns as in the instrument, that is.

Hop Along, Painted Shut- if you need some female singer-songwriter music for this week

Jacco Gardner, Hypnophobia - If you're digging the Django Django sound, check this out too. Not the same harmonizing but it's got some similarities.

Okay there are so many more great releases this week, just throw a dart at the list and pick something to listen to. But did I mention a teething baby? Yeah, turns out those need more attention than normal. It has taken me over 2 hours to write this post. And I had so many other ideas to throw into today but I don't think they're getting included. Happy Mother's Day to all the mothers out there. You know, these holidays like this, ones for mothers, teachers, grandparents, nurses - what they are isn't just another way for card companies to make money (though yes it does make them money) but really the thought behind this is to make sure we take a minute in our busy world to stop and actually appreciate, voice that appreciation, show it in some way to those who help us. Yes, some people can remember to do that and are good at it but I think most of us really do need a reminder, a day set aside to help us make sure we've stopped what we're doing and said thank you. So instead of getting all glib or snooty, just make sure you've stopped to appreciate those around you and in your life who help you get done what you get done. That's why I'm not concerned about celebrating Mother's Day, per se, in my household unless by using this date that is printed on most calendars helps as a reminder. Does that make sense? I hope so. Well, there you go. ANd with that Happy Listening!


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

All right, it's one of those weeks. Party tomorrow, podcast last night, 90% full work week, and Hugo make it so I'm not ready with the refrain just yet. But check back Monday for a late update on this past week's releases.

In the meantime, check out the new episode of Half Pints, Whole Notes hosted by my friend, Josh, and me. I surprise him with a seasonally appropriate beer and we talk Alabama Shakes and more. 

Happy Listening!... ?


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

Today is our 6th wedding anniversary which is pretty crazy. And we're still having fun. So the zoo and Irish bar food are on the docket because that's how we celebrate.

Flying jahoosaphats! It's The List.

So many albums I want to sink my teeth into this week: Alabama Shakes are back (finally! I've been looking forward to this one) with Sound & Color. Goes a little Otis Redding, then there's this rock track and the end is new territory for them. They Might Be Giants released Glean. Mavis Staples released an EP titled Your Good Fortune. What else? Passion Pit, Kindred and Built To Spill, Untethered Moon.

I'm going to play a game. I listened to one or two tracks and then wrote down the first thing it made me think of. Which may or may not be accurate. Go.

Girl Band, The Early Years EP - noisier Dismemberment Plan

Speedy Ortiz, Foil Deer - Liz Phair

10 Years, From Birth To Burial - Mars Volta

A Silent Film, New Year - U2 and Muse

Good Riddance, Peace In Our Time - The Offspring

Hardcore Superstar, HCSS - Jane's Addiction (I was listening to "The Ocean," I'm just saying it because I listened to another track and I didn't get that but "The Ocean" was very much Jane's Addiction)

Bright Like The Sun, Bright Like The Sun - Explosions in the Sky

Roadkill Ghost Choir, Keep It Under Cover - the guy sounded like Jim James.

Miniboone, Bad Sports - Elvis Costello (actually that was my husband but only because he paid attention first)

All right the animals at the zoo are calling my name. Time to bolt. Happy Listening!



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

And Good Morrow to all! What a gorgeous day it is here, hope it's all right where you are as well. Kind of an interesting release week with Record Store Day tomorrow. Conveniently for my husband and I, it occurs around our anniversary each year so it makes gift giving a cinch. We're hoping to score a Blitzen Trapper Harvest album, but we'll see.

As for the Tuesday (and such) releases though... Country star Reba McEntire is back with Love Somebody. Singer-songwriter Dwight Yoakam released Second Hand Heart. Classic Rock guy Bachman of Bachman Turner Overdrive released Heavy Blues. Rapper Tyler the Creator hits the shelves with Cherry Bomb. Another rising pop star from Canada Shawn Mendes is driving Handwritten up the Billboard charts. What is it with Canada and these home grown pop stars? Oh and this is crazy, The Von Trapps, as in yes those Von Trapps (great grandchildren of Maria) have an album out too, Dancing in Gold.

What's that scratching at my door? Why it's The List.

Sound of Albums made obvious by band or album name

Little Texas, Young for a Long Time

Gallows, Desolation Sounds

Kenny Lattimore, Anatomy of a Love Song

Amy Grant, Be Still and Know... Hymns & Faith

The Sax Pack, Power of 3

Band or Album names I wish reflected the album's sound

Stealing Sheep, Not Real - 30 minutes of frightened baaing with interludes of songs from the kidnapped sheeps' perspectives. Instead you can expect some eclectic trippy CA rock with a bit of synthy dance stuff mixed in.

Robert Bearsby, This One's For You - He's not a bear which means this album is not a bear singing love songs. Instead it's a pop singer. And not a bear pop singer

Jello Biafra, Fannie Mae/Just A Little Bit - I don't know what Jello would sound like, or would it be love songs Jello sings to Fannie Mae chocolates?

Villagers, Darling Arithmetic - yes. I'm going with a gaggle of people reciting their favorite math problems, properties or theorems. "A squared plus B squared oh the mystery! Could it really be the square of C?" But it's pretty good. The second track reminds me of "How To Fight Loneliness."

And that'll do it from the Friday Refrain this week. I'm feeling pretty good about this one I think, it's been kind of a disappointing week. Maybe I just had high expectations or maybe it's the fact that I tried to replace morning cake with something healthier. Quash that, I'm going back to morning cake. Until the next time my friends, Happy Listening!


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

I don't even think I need to go into smaller releases of the week with the bounty that released on Tuesday. Thinking back on it today, I couldn't believe it was all the same week. Brian Wilson was this week? I thought as I was sketching out what to write. And Lord Huron? Phew. Carefree rockin Matt and Kim are back with New Glow. Mountain Goats are storytelling their way through Beat The Champ. There's been some buzz around Waxahatchee and her album, Ivy Tripp. And really? Blues Traveler exists with Blow Up The Moon as well. Chalk that one up on the board of "Didn't realize they still make the go arounds."

Okay okay Okay... The List

"Hey Becca, what would you recommend for some tax crunching this weekend?"

Well, I'll tell ya...

Pokey Lafarge, Something In The Water, waxes nostalgic with his uber retro sound - like prior to rock eras.

Get your country on with Kristian Bush's Southern Gravity (Really just including it because I always ready Southern Gravy instead and then I think what if Bush's Beans made Bush's Gravy and people just bought cans of Southern Gravy? Would the dog share that recipe too?)

GABI, Sympathy, is kinda Bjorkesque but I guess that's really just saying its's kind of out there layered music and fun.

The London Souls, Here Come The Girls, have some blues, some old school rock, some good stuff going on.

All Time Low, Future Hearts, take that 00's heavier rock of the popular type sound and do that thing.

Remember how there was that one hardcore-ish band in high school with the screaming guy and everyone was really into it and all? Well, Soda Bomb remind me of that only they're legit. So check out Wanna Jam? if you're into that sort of thing.

Need some sort of repetitive slowly developing music to percolate behind all those number crunchings? Try Colleen, Captain of None

Just looking for some rock? DTCV is out with Uptime! this week. I haven't gotten a full listen on it yet, but I'm excited because this was one of the first bands I "discovered" for myself when I started this crazy experiment of listening a year and a half ago.

I started to really dig Jessie Baylin, Dark Place, for a singer-songwriter vibe or try Josh Rouse, Embers of Time who has just a sprinkle of Mason Jennings to his voice. Not much, just like a dash. A glimmer or shine of it.

And I don't know what this sounds like but I like the name Life Size Maps.

And jeez, the man doesn't do anything for years and now it's just like an Aphex Twin avalanche. This week introduced the official release of the Japanese bonus tracks titled for us MARCHROMT30A Edit 2B 96. Super catchy. Rattled right off the fingertips.

Back here after listening to some Life Size Maps. it's kinda upbeat and fun.

Okay I have to eat dinner now. Hope that gives your ears something good to groove upon. And HAPPY FESTIVAL SEASON! Coachella kicks off today and I consider it the opening of the outdoor festival season. I love this season. Someday can I be a millionaire and just go from festival to festival to festival? Maybe. I'll let you know if that happens. Happy festivals, happy taxes and Happy Listening y'all! Stay hydrated and use sunscreen!