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Entries by Becca Ruiz (202)


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

Good morrow to you all! It is an odd day here at the roost. There is something in bloom or growing around our house that I'm extremely allergic to. Noted that it was neighborhood based when I realized I was miserable all morning, left neighborhood for a haircut and was completely fine, came back and started blowing my nose every 10 minutes and sneezing constantly. yay.So let's just get lost in some tunes.

Hey if you're in the Twin Cities, don't forget it's Pride weekend and Jazz Fest, so there are an insane amounts of opportunities to go see some music. Just wear ear protection, hydrate and listen to your body. Anyway,

The Avett Brothers  are back today with True Sadness. You know it's kinda a light headliner day, but there are some others out there. DJ Shadow released The Mountain Will Fall today. On the indie/alt scene, we have Hot Hot Heat, Hot Hot Heat and Deerhoof, The Magic. Also, I will be checking out Alice Bag's eponymous album which came out today as well. I apologize if I'm missing things, I feel like a brick is sitting where my brain used to be. At least my hair looks good.

Here read this List while I blow my nose.

Things I Liked Last Week so far

JAMBINAI, A Hermitage - I don't know what this is, but it's interesting. It's kinda like instrumental metal but it doesn't build to the harsh sounds often or for much.

Told Slant, Going By - you know those weird old low-key Modest Mouse songs? This is kinda like that.

The Hot Sardines, French Fries & Champagne - Jazz like 20s/30s jazz

M. Craft, Blood Moon - low key singer-songwriter kinda pretty and neat

Hailu Mergia, Wede Harer Guzo - It may be a reissue but man this is simply delightful funk/jazz of the 60s

CCR Headcleaner, Tear Down the Wall - I think that any album with a track called "Eat This Riff" should get a nod of respect.

And that's what I've got this week. I was trying to make clever lists but then I already used some of those bands for ones I like and... it just felt like such a thing. Especially when your brain turns into a brick. I hope your brain doesn't turn into a brick. Happy Listening!


The Friday Refrain: Saturday Edition!

There comes a point every week when I just need to sit down with my marshmallows and my coffee and hash this out. So here goes. Happy return from Bonnaroo! It was a good time. The little guy did amazingly, much better than me. For all my worry of him staying cool and hydrated, I guess I should have worried about myself. It seems the dust, the heat, the allergies - it all combined to basically just overpower my system and I found myself hanging out in the Medical Tent for an hour or so last Friday afternoon. I know I talk a lot about staying hydrated and wearing sunscreen but even if you're doing all of that, you may find yourself sitting at a table with your friends and calmly realizing you need to see a medical person. These medical people might try to find out what drug you're on, even if you're not, but they'll help you. So if you're out in the elements and there are resources to help you and you start to feel like maybe you need some help, Go. Get. Help. Especially if words are starting to seem weird and you can't find the right ones. Get out of the heat and into somewhere cold. Put some icepacks under your arms. I feel better that I did it before I was unable to walk, had passed out or worse. but then I'm a bit proactive about my health.

So enough of that. MUSIC! Which is why I didn't post last week because I was definitely in tentative-Bonnaroo mode after all that. There were some pretty notable releases last Friday so we'll hit those up first and chat a bit about yesterday. Allen Toussaint released  American Tunes and it's beautiful. It sounds like his fingers don't even touch the keys, but he just wills them to play. Band of Horses released Why Are You OK. Shawn Colvin and Steve Earle teamed up for Colvin & Earle with delightful collaborations on it. I love hearing Ruby Tuesday and they're rendition is fun. Pop dancing funness Fitz and the Tantrums released Fitz And The Tantrums. Garbage come back with Strange Little Birds. Speaking of pop, Nick Jonas is out on his own explaining, Last Year Was Complicated. Alt/Indie Rockers Peter Bjorn And John, well known for their whistling hit, released Breakin' Point. And now for some new old news, yesterday's releases included: The Low Anthem, Eyeland; Jake Bugg, On My One; country singer Luke Bell, Luke Bell; The Tragically Hip, Man Machine Poem; Sarah Jarosz, Undercurrent; Red Hot Chili Peppers, The Getaway; case/lang/veirs, case/lang/veirs; and Bassnectar, Unlimited.

List me the 10th.

It's a Half Pints week so head over to to hear all about that. And I did get some other listening done besides that. So here goes:

Things I liked last week

Flamingods, Majesty - it's got a hot summer's day sound to it that is going well with this warm office space of mine I'm sitting in. Office space? Workroom? Studio? Something. My room. My hot 2nd floor room I'm in

Bichkraft, Shadoof - Noisey experimentalish rock

Elza Soares, The Woman at the End of the World - Brazilian legend and it's a good album that covers a lot of musical ground

Chevalrex, Futurisme - I'm in a bit of a worldly mood. This one is in French and it's good. Low-key upbeat hangout outside good.

Decorations, Have Fun - Yes I am listening to the list in alphabetical order and so I may not have any recommendations for anything after F today, but so what? Put on this for some good old indie rock such stuff

The Deslondes, Tres Grand Serpent/What Are They Doing in Heaven Today? - fun two song country single

Dominick Farinacci, Short Stories - your jazz fix of the week

The Everymen, These Mad Dogs Need Heroes - More CA or sunny rock

So there you go. Maybe next week I'll do backwards alphabetical. Ha. All right, so what did we learn today? If you can't get yourself right, go get help. Even if you're staying hydrated and wearing sunscreen. Maybe the elements are conspiring against you and your poor body. But still stay hydrated, wear sunscreen, bring that ear protection and use it and HAPPY LISTENING!


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

This is going to be short. There was an insane downpour of rain and the little ninja is awake suddenly. Also I had too many donuts this morning and not enough real food and I'm having a bit of a donut hangover. However, I counteracted it with garlicky food and that seems to be working. Mmm... Donuts. But now the day is over and I'm back. Adventures of buying fabric with cats on it and feeling pretty awesome about my standard curry now, I'm ready to talk music.

OH. MY. GOOD. NESS. I almost cried during my donut hangover when I was compiling today's releases. Paul Simon released Stranger To Stranger today. The Strokes released a small ep Future Present Past. The second most adorable twins, Tegan & Sara, released Love You To Death. And Michael Franti & Spearhead Soulrocker is available as well today. Let's swing back to the alternative indie scene for The Kills's's's's Ash & Ice. I always forget how to possessify a plural name. Plus Ladyhawke's Wild Things. Surprise Speedy Ortiz Ep Foiled Again rounds out the news for today and this has been really hard to put together. I am still feeling the effects of eating too many donuts this morning.

Donut this List.

Half Pints week. We talk a few of my favorites from last Friday even. Seriously, I flung a ton of albums at Josh last week, and so today's list.

What Was Left On The Seedy Basement Cutting Room Bar Floor

(aka, things we couldn't fit into the episode)

Maria Usbeck, Amparo - this latin album is quite good. Poppy yet listenable.

Outer Spaces, A Shedding Snake - low key playground of rock stuff here. Pretty sweet

Yung, Commercial - We just don't do singles so I'm hoping that the full release will intrigue me as much as this fuzzy rock song.

PUP, The Dream Is Over - there are certain angsty emotional rock sounds that make me get lost in the music and want to just be absorbed and then spit out and that's what this is for me.

Christian Naujoks, Wave - Instrumental guitar that I find really interesting and well done.

The Prostitutes, Ghost Detergent - Electronica that I was digging this week.

Weaksaw, The Wretched of the Earth  - My Metal Pick of the week.

The Myrrors, Entranced Earth - Meditative Rock?

Muscle and Marrow, Love - Another playground of rock pick that I think would've made the cut if we weren't so darned enchanted by onDeadWaves. Flows in the similar veins.

(I still can't sit still. I just realized that i'm frenetically bouncing my knees from one side of the bar to the other on my bar stool.)

All right so there it is. I might not be posting next week because Bonnaroooooooooooooooooooooo! If time ( yeah right) I'm going to try to prewrite something early in the week I just have to hit publish on later. But we'll see. In the meantime, stay hydrated, reapply sunscreen and Happy Listening (with earplugs for your hearing's sake!)!


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

Welcome back to the Refrain everyone! Tis that time to talk music new and almost new. Though I picked a terrible week to not listen to music and read 2 books instead... There were a lot of releases last week that I found, so I didn't even get half listened to yet. But there are things to discuss, things to bend your ears towards, tunes that will get your toes tapping.

Toes, dig this List!

Today, what have we here today?

The Monkees are celebrating 50 years with Good Times! Country star Dierks Bentley released Black and I heard tell that in Nashville there was(/is?) a pop-up store for his album. Jarvis Cocker wrote some music for this BBC Neil Gaiman thing and that's out today, Likely Stories. If you're a My Morning Jacket fan, they rereleased It Still Moves today with bonus tracks and demos and the like. And. Just thought I'd throw one more in for fun. And stuff. And. Robert Glasper is celebrating Miles Davis' birthday with Everything's Beautiful. Indie rockers Flume release Skin today. And half of Dum Dum Girls, Kristin Kontrol, released X-Communicate. Acapella fans unite in song for fifth Harmony's 7/27. And that's what i've got. Well, there's also Catfish & the Bottlemen back withThe Ride; Pokey LaFarge has a 7" with a new B-side, Goodbye, Barcelona; Prog-rock super group The Jelly Jam's Profit; Thrice came up with To Be Everywhere is to be Nowhere and Yumi Zouma, Yancalla.

Depressing Nautical References

Mutual Benefit, Skip A Sinking Stone

onDeadWaves, On Dead Waves

Half a sentence titles subsequently answered with the title of the first or last track.

Misha, All We Will Become - "This is how it must begin" (Pop)

Bird of Youth, Get Off -"River Monster" (classic playground of rock indie rock)

Sanzu, Heavy Over the Home -"Old Orchard Floor" (metal)

Saosin, Along the Shadow - "The Silver String" (metal)

Blake Shelton, If I'm Honest -"Straight Outta Cold Beer" (country pop)

Nick Moss Band, From The Root to the Fruit -"before the night is through" (bluesy rock)

Tiny Moving Parts, Celebrate - "Good Enough" (angsty rock kinda like i like it, kinda emo)

Paul Reddick, Ride the One -"Moon And Star" (singer-songwriter with a band)

Lonely the Brave, Things Will Matter - "wait in the car" (popular sound style of rock)

Zodiac Mprint, Ride the Stars - "Nova" (rap/hip-hop)

Dannika, For Peaches - "goodbye darling" (That female singer-songwriter style I like a lot)

Richard Ashcroft, These People - "Out of my body" (singer-songwriter with a band)

Tim Heidecker, In Glendale -"Ocean's Too Cold" (tongue in cheek solo songs, but not singer-songwriter style)

Eric Clapton, I Still Do -"Alabama Woman Blues" (if you don't know Clapton, you should go to the library)

Zig Zags, Running Out Of Red -"They Came For Us" (garagey punkish rock)

Terry Reid, The Other Side of the River - "Let's Go Down" (unreleased material from the sessions of the River)

Rez Abbasi, Behind the Vibration - "Holy Butter" or "Matter Falls" either works (jazz)

Dave King Trucking Company, Surrounded by the Night - "Don't Be Suspect of a Gift"


Chop Juggler, More is less- "Paradox of Choice" (electronic dancey)

Against the Current, In Our Bones -"Running With The Wild Things" (pop)

Anna Tivel, Heroes Waking Up- "Look Away" (rural singer-songwriter)

Sepalcure, Folding Time - "Ask Me" (electronica, good thing I checked figured it'd be metal)

Albertos, This Is A Serious Party - "Sweet Dreams" (Klezmery Gypsy Punk?)

Chico Mann, Nobody Wants To - "Nobody Wants To"  Period. Just stop asking. (Pop)

Yes! I finally used that old mind of mine to get some weird lists together again. I hope you might enjoy it and have some fun with the music. Stepping out of the music box and exploring the landscape a little with lists like that. Anyway, 2 weeks to Bonnaroo! Happy Listening!


The Friday Refrain: Sunday Edition!

Good weekend to you all! Hope you're having the same amazing weather and fun times as we are here at the Friday Refrain and Seedy Bar Headquarters - speaking of the seedy bar, new Half Pints Whole Notes is up over at and I think it's a pretty good one.

Friday had some cool releases to talk about. First and foremost - Mr. Bob Dylan Sir released another Sinatra covers album and I'm pretty excited to go check that out. I was raised on Sinatra. I love Mr. Bob Dylan Sir. Win Win Win. Also, I was wrong last week. The So So Glos did not come out on the 13th, they came out this past Friday instead. So I still had to wait. But what was one more week? So go check out that out for reals now. The National spearheaded a Dead tribute album titled Day of the Dead and there's some cool sounding contributions on there. Of the comedy duo, Tim & Eric, Tim Heidecker released a solo album titled In Glendale. Eric Clapton, not to be outdone by Dylan, released I Still Do. This is an interesting tidbit Car Seat Headrest released Tears of Denial on Friday, but only digitally. Due to sampling copyright issues, all physical copies have been destroyed. Country star Blake Shelton is back with If I'm Honest. And Ariana Grande is here with Dangerous Woman.

Hot hot hot off the press - it's the List.

By the way, anybody else notice all the unfinished phrases above: In Glendale, If I'm Honest, I Still Do... Strange.

Here are a couple albums I dug from last week:

Oxenfree, Beacons - Garage rock?

Oscar, Cut And Paste - He's got this really deep voice which is pretty nice dichotomy to the poppy beats on some tracks.

Family Atlantica, Cosmic Unity - Get your Latin fix here.

Al Scorch, Circle Round The Signs - Bluegrass folksy type thing

Adia Victoria, Beyond the Bloodhounds - that singer-songwriter indie sound I like.

Yak, Alas Salvation - kinda  like a more intense Radiohead

And I'm also jumping on the Twin Peaks, Down in Heaven and the Wolf Parade, Apologies to the Queen Mary bandwagons. Pretty enjoyable stuff.

So there you go, a few things to groove the rest of your Sunday with. And as always, Happy Listening!