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

Hey ho music lovers! It's a big week in music, so let's get down to it with a bunch of fragmented sentences. Of course U2 dropped Songs of Innocence this week. Ryan Adams released the self-titled, Ryan Adams. Metal band In Flames had Siren Charms. Veteran pop-rock band Better Than Ezra with All Together Now. New pop up-and-comer Banks released Goddess. Rock legend Robert Plant keeps us all guessing with Lullaby and... The Ceaseless Roar. American Idol alum Lee Brice released I Don't Dance. Former Destiny's Child member Michelle Williams released Journey To Freedom. Loudon Wainwright III  is back with Haven't Got the Blues (Yet).

Then there are all the alternative/Playground of Rock releases this week. The Kooks are back with Listen - and you should, it's pretty good. Delta Spirit is bringing it with Into The Wide. Interpol - they're back! They made an album! It's El Pintor. Julian Casablancas + The Voidz released another single, "Where No Eagles Fly," in the lead-up to the new album. Speaking of singles, Ariel Pink put out "Put Your Number In My Phone" ahead of the November 18th, pom pom. Most importantly though, Karen O released Crush Songs which is kinda like an entire album of the end of Yeah Yeah Yeah's Fever To Tell. So pretty much awesome.

Watch it - it's the List

Sure, there's all that but what about...

Popular Classical artist duos? Dos! Francesco Tristano, Scandale and Chris THile & Edgar Meyer, Bass & Mandolin

World music perfect for a dinner party or a romantic evening? Moreno Veloso, Coisa Boa

something synthy? Try Megan Washington, There There; Ballet School, The Dew Lasts An Hour; Lemonade, Minus Tide

Mumford & Sons sounding? Judah & The Lion, Kids These Days

Some angsty music? Tiny Moving Parts, Pleasant Living

Noise Rock? PC Worship, Social Rust

if Wilco and Flaming Lips combined? Avi Buffalo, At Best Cuckold specifically the track "Oxygen Tank"

if Conor Oberst fronted Sigur Ros? Maybe it'd sound like Vio/Miré, You Will Be Spending Time Outdoors, in the Mountains, Near Water

Well that's about all I have. Though it is a lot, so much big stuff and all. Mainly I was distracted all week. Distracted by what you might ask? Well, like where did candy corn come from? Why don't they just have plain shortbread cookies at Trader Joe's?  Is grapefruit the best fruit ever? (yes is the answer) And trying to figure out how long it will take me to remove all the staples and reupholster a chair in my garage. You know, a real nail-biter of a week. Happy listening!


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

Happy first Friday of September! There is a chill in the air, the leaves across from us are turning yellow and it seems that the seasons are ready to change. I love fall, it's my favorite season. I love the crunch of fallen leaves under my feet. The air smells wonderful. Apples, pumpkins, nights gathered around a fire, there is so  much to fit into such a short season.

We're in the home stretch of music for this year as well. It's a pop heavy week this week. Maroon 5 released V. Nick Carter teamed up with Jordan Knight to release Nick & Knight. Counting Crows are back with Somewhere Under Wonderland. On the more alternative side of the pop/rock spectrum, Blonde Redhead released Barragán - which made me super excited. However everytime I tried to listen to the album, I kept getting interrupted so you can bet that this girl is going to be unplugging from everything, putting on the headphones and not giving up until I have listened in full to the new album. (I might really really like Blonde Redhead a lot, and can't even believe I saw them the first year I went to Lollapalooza oh so many years ago...) I digress. The Vines released Wicked Nature also this week. Macy Gray is gearing up for her new album out in October with the release of the single, "Hands" this week.

Bam. The List.

A few more I'll be tossing on this weekend

TOPS, Picture You Staring - Listen to the first track "Way To Be Loved." The guitar riffs are fun and playful, just a great song. I noticed that future tracks lean a bit more 80s but I still think this will pair nicely with the new Blonde Redhead album this weekend.

Coves, Soft Friday - It's got that rocky vibe with shimmering synths and reverbed vocals on the top.

The Canyon Rays, West Coast Babes - I bet you can guess the sound of this album just by looking at the band and album names.

Zeus, Classic Zeus - Psychedelic and fun. Give it a try if you like later MGMT.

Serenata Guayanesa, Canta Con Venezuela! - Acoustic Venezuelan music, yes.

Los Angeles Police Department, Los Angeles Police Department - Not what I was expecting. With the band name, I figured something harder not the hippie laid back music that came on.

Alexis Cole, A Kiss In The Dark - some jazz for your weekend. Seems like a good dinner party prepping segue to beginning of dinner party music.

To-Listen (the list of those I didn't give a good listen or need a second listen)

The Roys, The View

Jim & Jesse, I'm Gonna Sing, Sing, Sing

Homeboy Sandman, Hallways

Helado Negro, Double Youth

Half Japanese, Overjoyed

Grey Gordon, Forget I Brought It Up

Anthony D'Amato, The Shipwreck From The Shore

Mutual Benefit, The Cowboy's Prayer


Well that's it for this week. I hope everyone has lovely weekend and happy listening!


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

Happy Labor Day weekend! The last hurrah, the final countdown, the end of a season, the time of hot dogs and beer. And for me the end of a decade. I hit 30 this week. I am no longer in my twenties. It's a whole new bold frontier and I am ready for it, I think. I like to reflect around my birthday, seems like a good time for it, and so this week you're getting a couple lists of reflecting. Maybe it will inspire a bit of music for your weekend, maybe it won't but it's what you're getting.

First though, let's make you smarter in the new music of the week. Ariana Grande, that one with the "Problems" song co-starring Iggy Azalea, well she released My Everything this week. Billy Idol joins the leagues of veteran acts releasing new material with the single, "Can't Break Me Down." Go listen. Country fans -  Brad Paisley released Moonshine in my Trunk, but you probably already knew that. On the alt-rock/playground of rock field, we've got a couple of big ones: Cymbals Eat Guitars, LOSE, and The New Pornographers, Brill Bruisers. More? Okay, Ty Segall, Manipulator; The Bad Plus, Inevitable Western; Robyn Hitchcock, The Man Upstairs; and J Mascis, Tied To A Star all came out this week or so as well.

Duck! It's the list! (birthday/vacation/work-on-the-house week has made this list not the most complete and without genres, but don't worry, it will be back to all its glory next week.)

30 albums I liked this year, in no particular order

1. Clear Plastic Masks, Clear Plastic Masks

2. BRONCHO, Try Me Out Sometime/Please Try Me

3. Hell Beach, Welcome To Hell Beach

4. Cherry Glazerr, Haxel Princess

5. Señor Flavio, Nada Especial

6. Stephen Malkmus and the Jicks, Wig Out At Jagbags

7. Fulhäst, Broken (I really thought I'd get sick of this album but I keep putting it on from time to time. Not often, but once a month)

8. Quilt, Held In Splendor

9. Vertical Scratchers, Daughter of Everything

10. Moonrise Nation, Moonrise Nation

11. Bombay Bicycle Club, So Long, See You Tomorrow

12. Exmortus, Slave To The Sword

13. Ex Hex, "Hot and Cold"

14. Ruby The Rabbitfoot, New As Dew

15. "Get My Dough," Ester Dean

16. Damon Albarn, Everyday Robots

17. Natalia M. King, Soulblazz

18. Lovey James, "Rollercoaster"

19. My Bubba, "Feverish"

20. Shawn Amos, The Reverend Shawn Amos Tells It

21. De Lux,  Voyage

22. WV White, West Virginia White

23. The Bamboos, Fever in the Road

24. La Dame Blanche, La Dame Blanche

25. Yonatan Gat, Iberian Passage

26. Walter Martin, We're All Young Together

27. Sylvan Esso, Sylvan Esso

28. Barrows, Red Giant

29. Big Freedia, Just Be Free

30. Bobby Patterson, I Got More Soul!

30 songs or albums that transport me back

1. "How Bizarre," OMC

2. "Song 2," Blur

3. "In Particular," Blonde Redhead

4. "New York I Love You, But You're Bringing Me Down," LCD Soundsystem

5. The Microphones

6. "Saeglópur," Sigur Rós

7. "Batdance," Prince

8. I'm From Barcelona, I'm From Barcelona

9. They Might Be Giants, They Might Be Giants

10. "Pumpin Blood," NONONO

11. "No Duh," K.Flay

12."Put Your Arms Around Me," Pearl Jam

13. Run Lola Run soundtrack

14. "Uncle Ray," Looper

15. "Kiss From A Rose," Seal

16. Sea Change, Beck

17. "Art Star," The Yeah Yeah Yeahs

18. II, Led Zeppelin

19. Stars For A Summer Night, Various Artists, 1961

20. Brother For Sale, Mary-Kate & Ashley Olsen

21. Symphony #40, Mozart

22. "Let's Pretend We're Bunny Rabbits," The Magnetic Fields

23. Arcade Fire

24. "Victory Dance," My Morning Jacket

25. "Too Many Rappers," Beastie Boys (and "Sabotage")

26. "Rainy Day Woman," Bob Dylan

27. "Wonderful (The Way I Feel)," My Morning Jacket

28. "Live And Let Die," Paul McCartney

29. "Old Friends," Simon & Garfunkel

30. Stevie Wonder's whole set at Bonnaroo.

Oh my goodness, do you ever touch a hot pepper and are forever paranoid thereafter to touch anything, especially your eyes, lest you start to feel that burning sensation? Then awhile later, you do touch your eye and suddenly you're ultra sensitive and wondering, "Oh no. Does my eye feel weird? Didn't I wash my hands 20 times? But still, maybe I should go look at it.." Yeah... So be careful with those spicy peppers this weekend and happy listening!


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

Happy Friday all! Well let's take a look-see at the happenings of the week... Dr. John released Ske-Dat-De-Dat: Spirit of Satch containing, you guessed it, Louis Armstrong tributes. Wiz Khalifa came out with Blacc Hollywood and Imogen Heap is back again with Sparks  The buzzing bees are all about Kimbra, Golden Echo; and Benjamin Booker, Benjamin Booker. The former is a dancey pop album heavily early-90s influenced with some catchy grooves. The latter is a bluesy rock reminiscent of earlier years, but who can get enough of that vintage rock? Not this girl. Maybe you, and then you should give it a whirl because you never know, but you probably won't be as into it and ask "Why does everyone like this anyway?" and then frustratedly walk out of the room, despairing you have lost your connection to the world. But don't worry, it's just this music and it's not you. Go put on something you like and dance happy-like.

Look! In the sky, it's a bunch of words strung after each other, it's THE LIST!

Get your americana/country on!

Various Artists, Look Again To The Wind: Johnny Cash's Bitter Tears: A tribute album with a host of names on it recorded in a live style in a relative-short amount of time.

Catherine MacLellan, The Raven's Sun - winner of my favorite album cover for the week, this album straddles the line between singer-songwriter and americana.

Rob McCoury, 5 String Flamethrower - I am a sucker for banjos.

Haven't I seen you on tv?...

Colton Dixon, Anchor - this pop heavy album is from American Idol alum

Chase Rice, Ignite the Night- 2nd place winner of Survivor: Nicaragua, you should at least read this dude's bio. It's pretty interesting.

If you want... just try something new? Zigtebra, The Brave

...your life to suddenly sound like an action/suspense movie? William Ryan Fritch, Heavy EP

...something lo-fi? Twerps, Underlay

...fusion/prog rock? Trioscapes, Digital Dream Sequence

...California Rock?Beach Day, Native Echoes

...some fiddle music? Smoke Dawson, Fiddle

...a little jazz? Michael Carvin, Flash Forward

...a speed metal cover of "Ring of Fire?" Dragonforce, Maximum Overload

...a little Abba inspired music? Music Go Music, Impressions

To-Listen, aka I need another/full listen before jumping on the bandwagon

Smokey Robinson, Smokey & Friends

Electric Wurms, Musik, Die Schwer zu Twerk

Dan Svizeny, Every Weekend

Sleeping Bag, Deep Sleep

Say Yes, Say Yes

*Ruthie Foster, Promise of a Brand New Day

*Literature, Chorus

Kyle Hollingsworth, Speed of Life

*Jessica Hernandez & the Deltas, Secret Evil

*leaning towards the like pile on these.

Well that wraps it up for the week. The summer is winding to a close and for me that only means State Fair time and my birthday! For those who are catching one last vacation before it's too late, safe travels; and for those who are just going to ride this week out in style taking in the transition as it happens, have fun. Remember to stay hydrated and reapply sunscreen. No one wants to return to school with stories of overheating and representing a funny sunburn. Happy Listening!

Friday Refrain is a weekly post regarding what new releases have caught my ear for the week. I try to compile a pretty comprehensive list of releases of the week and see what is available for me to listen to on the web. This is just my non-scientific, highly-subjective, randomly-listened-to list of stuff from the week. Oh, and I don’t always listen to lyrics or look at album art/music videos, so appropriateness is left up to the listener


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

It seems that mid-August is a bit of the doldrums when it comes to new releases because this was one of my easiest listening weeks in months. Note that future musicians of the world - yes, people are all on vacation and stuff but not much competition to rise above in mid-August.

For the heavy-hitters we've got Sinead O'Connor with I'm Not Bossy, I'm The Boss; the reggae/dub band SOJA released Amid the Noise and Haste; Gaslight Anthem put out Get Hurt; and Brian Setzer rounds up the week with Rockabilly Riot! All Original.

What's that there? It's so small, could it be? It is. It's The List.

In theme with this week, let's keep it short.

Do You Need...

Electronica? Porter Robinson, Worlds - This is a great album to throw on. I liked it, my husband said it brought him back to college days, Clyde approved. (as in, my cat hasn't glared at me to turn it off or left the room while it's playing)

some banjo? Frank Solivan & Dirty Kitchen, Cold Spell

a little world music? Antibalas, Tattletale

chill-out music? Dragon Turtle, Distances - the first track is titled "Narwhal."

a singer-songwriter fix? Try Chris Staples, American Soft or Mirel Wagner, When The Cellar Children See The Light - I think the album titles do all they need to let you know what sort of mood you're getting into.

To Listen (what I need to dig into but on first listen liked something about it)

Body Futures, Brand New Silhouettes - it's rock. Sometimes you just need some rock.

Bunji Garlin, Differentology - need to capture a few songs out of this for my upcoming birthday party

Rivergazer, Random Nostalgia - if you need your retro-rock fix

Also, I have Thurston Moore on the list because it was there on Tuesday but now it's not and everyone says later this year. Hum.... It's a mystery. What's not a mystery is why my keyboard is kinda goopy. I've been eating a cheesecake topped with strawberry topping as I write this. Which is why I am glad my husband and I don't share computing devices anymore. Happy listening!

 Friday Refrain is a weekly post regarding what new releases have caught my ear for the week. I try to compile a pretty comprehensive list of releases of the week and see what is available for me to listen to on the web. This is just my non-scientific, highly-subjective, randomly-listened-to list of stuff from the week. Oh, and I don’t always listen to lyrics or look at album art/music videos, so appropriateness is left up to the listener


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