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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...

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!


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

Happy Friday to all! Do you feel it in the air? Spring is on its way and the bitter cold is retreating. I love that day we turn the corner and put the below zero weather behind us (hopefully). Well, it's been another two weeks, so it was time for my friend Josh and I to hole up in the seedy basement bar and record another episode of Half-Pints, Whole-Notes. This week, we talk about new releases and Pre-1900 music. Check it out at the website or through your favorite podcast listening thingy.

Purity Ring finally released Breathing World this week. Brandi Carlile is back with The Firewatcher's Daughter and it's a pretty great album. She is a force to be reckoned with live and I think this album showcases her talent well. Noel Gallagher's High Flying Birds released Chasing Yesterday and staying on that indie rock side we've got Of Montreal with Aureate Gloom. Pop star Kelly Clarkson released Piece By Piece as well. And I think that about does it for the big guys.

And even though you still haven't finished last week's, here is the list.

Invasion of the Singer-Songwriters

Just seems like there are more than usual this week. In order from country/americanaish to rockish. Okay, so maybe I'm a little loose with the idea of singer-songwriter this week. It's just the word that keeps popping into my head.

Liz Madden, Legacy - folksy and Irish at times.

Gill Landry, Gill Landry - for some old-style americana

Ryan Culwell, Flatlands - more country sounding

Dorthia Cottrell, Dorthia Cottrell - A lady, a guitar and some singing. A little twang hangs around in there.

Lady Lazarus, Miracles - a lady and a piano and sparsity

Dom La Nena, Soyo - Simple sweet and beautiful.

Best Girl Athlete, Carve Every Word - Another sweeter sound with more instrumentation but still has that singer-songwriter vibe to it I think.

Buxton, Half A Native - Alt rock americana sound.

Best Girl Athlete, Carve Every Word - probably one of those that isn't really singer-songwriter but I just felt it so I went with it.

Lilly Hiatt, Royal Blue - Picking it up now, adding some oomph and pep to the music.

Holly Miranda, Holly Miranda - only one track is available on Spotify but this shows promise.

Lady Lamb The Beekeeper, After - A force to reckon with. Love her voice, her lyrics, her style.

Something else...

Gateway Drugs, Magick Spells - rock.

Eula, Wool Sucking - one of the examples of why I invented the term "Playground of Rock"

Prinze George, Prinze George - Not what I thought it would be. It's a poppy little thing.

Yung, Alter - Again, rock.

Coastal, Beneath the Snow and Streetlights - Keep this in mind for next winter. It will be great for that first snow.

July Talk, July Talk - It's a deep gritty guy and a sweet sounding female. At first I wasn't sure but then I kept listening and I think I started to get it.

Vincent D'onofrio/Dana Lyn, Slim Bone Head Volt - Oh I wish this was on Spotify but it's not. You can hear two tracks on soundcloud. Go here to read about this. I want it. So great.

And now it's time to take off my writing shoes and put on my hanging out shoes, switch my cardigans out and sing a song as I leave through the door. Hopefully you'll find the right level of singer-songwriter for your weekend and Happy Listening!


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

As busy as last week was for big names in releases, this week is not. Let's see here, we've got Kenny G saxophoning it up with Brazilian Nights and Papa Roach with their new album F.E.A.R. Gov't Mule is out with Sco-Mule and americana country Punch Brothers released The Phosphorescent Blues. That's all I have for this portion of the Refrain, but that's not to say there isn't a lot of good stuff out there this week, because there is a lot of good stuff out there this week. I just hadn't heard of most of it.

So dig it - it's The List.

Surprises of the Week

Bettye Lavette, Worthy - Okay so I should have put this in the big names list but I wanted to single it out. From what I sampled, this is worth a listen.

Derek Minor, Empire - Good Christian rap. Wait, did I just link those three words together? Yeah, that's the surprise.

If you're looking for...

...something a little folksy, a little bit of americana? Try out the eponymous Jake Xerxes Fussell album or Danny Kroha, Angels Watching Over Me

...a little World music? Zomba Prison Project, I Have No Everything Here or The Khoury Project, Revelation

...some rock? Zun Zun Egui, Shackles' Gift; Purple, 409 or Menace Beach, Ratworld

...something completely the opposite of its name? Ghastly Menace may lead you to think of a metal band or eerie ethereal noise band but instead its easily palatable indie rock. So check out their album Songs of Ghastly Menace if that sounds like your thing.

... other easy going albums? Natalie Prass, Natalie Prass; or Jib Kidder, Teaspoon To The Ocean

...something psychedelic? Pond, Man It Feels Like Space Again

...a Jack Johnsonish sound? George Ezra, Wanted On Voyage

...reminscent of the 90s? Unlikely Friends, Solid Gold Cowboys combines Pavement, TMBG and the Magnetic Fields? or Dirty Dishes, Guitly brings me back to the female rock bands of yore.

... reminiscent of the 80s? Amason, Sky City with a Phil Collins-esque lead with an 80s twist on early Blonde Redhead; or Desperate  Journalist, Desperate Journalist

...something Michael Buble-esque? Jamie Cullum, Interlude

Other things I'm giving a deeper listen this week

The Dodos, Individ

toyGuitar, In This Mess

Lord Dying, Posioned Altars

Emmy The Great, S

Zs, Xe

Xibalba, Tierra y Libertad

Jorn Lande, Jorn Lande & Trond Holter Present DRACULA Swing of Death

Twerps, Range Anxiety

All right, well that'll do it for this week. My theory on Christmas decorations is to leave them up until Valentine's Day or when the grass shows. It's been warm up in these parts lately and unlike the NE, we've got ground showing, so I guess the jig is up. Time to take down the holly and the mistletoe. At least, I've got some new tunes to groove to while I do it. Happy Listening all!