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

Howdy everybody! It's Friday once againa and you know what that means - time to lasso up the new music and corral it back on the ranch of easy listening.


Yeah, that's what I just typed out my fingers. So I'm keeping it but I'm counting that as one of my weirder introductions. By the way, nothing's more disappointing than sitting down for your coffee break and biting into an inferior baked good. I kept taking bites because I thought it had to get better, it never did. So here I sit with my coffee getting cold and disappointment staring at me. Ah well.

What's big this week? Well... Let me see here... The Oak Ridge Boys released Rock of Ages: Hymns & Gospel Favorites. Prolific Robert Pollard of Guided By Voices released Faulty Superheroes. He's like the James Patterson of music, or maybe a modern day J.S. Bach in his output. Rapper A$AP Rocky is back with A.L.L.A. And then we've got a bunch of other stuff.

 There are a ton of singles out this week in anticipation of upcoming releases but overall it's a pretty light week. This List is light as a feather, stiff as a... spreadsheet? 

Other things of this week

Alesso, Forever - some EDM for your weekend pleasures.

Icona Pop, "Emergency" - I'm a sucker for her.

Os Noctambulos, Outsider - Turned it on thinking it would be some sort of dark metal due to the band name but no it's psychedelic. I liked it.

Icky Blossoms, Mask - Good rock

Shana Cleveland & the Sandcastles, Oh Man, Cover the Ground - Like a Cat Power and Jack White love child

Shopping, Consumer Complaints - they really like Sleater Kinney.

Kenny Barron, Interplay - I liked what I sampled of this album of jazz. Good cocktail music. And old-fashioned movie dancing about love.

Eilen Jewell, Sundown over Ghost Town - pretty good.

Joseph Fonseca; Eso, Eso, Eso - and we'll end this round up with some Latin music.

All right my sister has taken the boy so I can get some housework done and so I need to vamoose. I'm going to try to set a record for how much I can clean in less than two hours. Plus, my ears always get all wonky at the beginning of June and can make listening to music kinda disorienting. So time for some silence. Which is the opposite of how I normally clean. We'll see how this goes. Onward I go, toward a cleaner home, better pastries and a lovely weekend. Happy Listening!



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...

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...

What an up and down week this week. Baby stuff, podcast, a stubborn cold, but also a good massage, sporadic spring break days (travelling to students means many different school districts and many different days off - Yay? or Yay!) - so yeah. But one thing I know, when The List has been in the hundreds for a few weeks, one week of 60-some feels like a breeze. A springy breeze even. *insert cough fit* Sigh.

Ah ah ah choothelist!

What have we got here? Well, rapper Kendrick Lamar released To Pimp A Butterfly and if you catch Half Pints Whole Notes this week, you'll know I feel the need to relisten to this album again. Modest Mouse is back with Strangers to Ourselves having crossed the ocean of indie/alt rock to pseudo-pop fame they now bring back that old familiarity of Modest Mouse with them but it's different now. Popular Electronic Rock and what other genres can they muster with their music? AWOLNATION released Run and it's got some goods in there. Poppy and fun Marina & the Diamonds is back with Froot and all I can think is Toucan Sam when I see that. Oh and if you're a Glen Hansard fan, you might have missed this covers ep he did, It Was Triumph We Once Proposed... Songs of Jason Molina. So go check that out to get your charming Irish fix. Speaking of covers, Seth Avett & Jessica Lea Mayfield cover a bunch of Elliott Smith in the aptly named Seth Avett & Jessica Lea Mayfield Sing Elliot Smith.

My head is cloudy no cute lists but here's some things...

Is Tropical, Black Anything Pt. 2 - a conundrum of sound: crunchy gritty guitar, dancey kind of sounds, simple vocals, but all together so complex.

Django Django, "Reflections" - Oh man, each single makes me more and more excited for this full release. I love Django Django. I am waiting in anticipation.

San Cisco, Gracetown - If you were a fan of this band previously with their last album or just that super catchy song, "Awkward," go ahead and find more catchy fun songs on this new album.

William Elliott Whitmore, "Civilizations" - Americana singer-songwriter and a good song. So go to it if you like those first descriptors.

Marcus Miller, Afrodeezia - jazzy and upbeat

Wand, Golem - psychedelic but more than that rock. It's tied with Houndmouth for hands down favorite of the week.

Houndmouth, Little Neon Limelight - We say it on the podcast, but I'll say it again, my husband pinned it right - heavily influenced by The Band but they take that and make it their own and it's good. I could just keep listening.

Moonspell, Extinct - a little metal for the weekend

Tobias Jesso Jr., Goon - There's something more to this charming indie rock singer-songwriter

Nic Hessler, Soft Connections - not singer-songwriter. Full up band on this one with some songs with pep. Need to give it a full listen but it caught my ear.

The Bomb, The Axis of Awesome - do you like The Offspring or that sort of rock? Then you should give this a go.

Songs and albums abound springing from the aural atmosphere with aplomb. Grab one and take it home with you. You'll be glad you did.

Man, this cold. It's got me all foofy and cobwebs. Happy Listening!