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

The days are getting shorter, and the music list grows longer, and my posts arrive later and later in the day. But there's so much to listen to! Plus it doesn't help that I rewrote a significant portion of today's post after realizing my tone might have been a little more negative than I like to use. So anyway, Round Two! (but it's like round one for you because you're never going to see the real round one.) Starting to feel like I'm writing in a hamster wheel, time to make a break for it - Highlights of the week!

Stevie Nicks and Jackson Browne released new albums, 24 Karat Gold - Songs From The Vault and Standing In The Breach, respectively. Both albums are old songs revisited by the songwriters, like they somehow individually both decided to go out to the backyard and dig up that time capsule they buried way back when and share it with the rest of us. Weezer released Everything Will Be Alright In The End as well, which I haven't had the chance to give a full listen to but am intrigued by the 3 part suite at the end. It's hard to pull that off, and I'll give them the chance to succeed.

Later today though or maybe tomorrow, I mean there's like 150 releases on the list this week and my attention was focused on two artists: 1. Macy Gray's new album finally came out this week, The Way, and after being teased by all the singles I was ready for a listen. It's light, poppy, and switches between talking about drugs/lack of drugs and love. 2. Ex Hex, Rips. I really liked the EP and was hoping this would be another slam dunk like Clear Plastic Masks earlier this year. It's on my To-Listen list for another go-around. I need another go-around before I jump on the bandwagon I think. Or I have to see them live, not sure which. But it's one of those things. On the EDM side, Flying Lotus released You're Dead. New Found Glory released Resurrection, Bush has another new single promoting their upcoming album, and Yellowcard released Lift A Sail. Finally, Bela Fleck & Abigail Washburn cleverly titled their album, Bela Fleck & Abigail Washburn, tune in here for your banjo and Americana fix.

Are you ready for this? The List.

80s Flashbacky
Peaking Lights, Cosmic Lights
High Ends, Super Class
Tosca, Outta Here
Yumi Zouma, "Alena"
Palate Cleansing Simplicity
Broods, Evergreen
O'Death, Out Of Hands We Go
Vashti Bunyan, Heartleap
Something Fun and Poppy
Streets of Laredo, Volumes I & II
Macy Gray, The Way
Alex & Sierra, It's About Us
Nikki Yanofsky, Little Secret
Odds and Ends
Shakey Graves, And The War Came - It has the same groove as the Macy Gray album but with less instruments and production. Might be fun to juxtapose the two by each other.
Tr3, Like Some Kind Of Alien Invasion - I really enjoyed the Latin-inspired guitar lines on "Mystery Calling"
Field Report, Marigolden - Is it Bon Iver meets David Gray? Maybe. I don't know. The wall I usually bounce these ideas off on was out of town before I wrote this.
Wampire, Bazaar - Again, bear with me, the wall I throw my spaghetti on to see if it's done was MIA, a jazzier T.Rex?
Dark Blue, Pure Reality - Who does the vocalist sound like? It's driving me bananas! It's on the tip of my tongue. I know I'll think of it after I post this. So I'm just going to move on.
Oh man, that Dark Blue thing is going to bother me the rest of the day. Hopefully it won't distract me from giving the shrubs a haircut, or a shrubcut I suppose. We've let them go all year and one of them is trying to take over the driveway. Unfortunately, the shrub doesn't realize we actually do own clipping utensils, we just never use them. Until today. Today, you shall meet your match driveway-taking-shrub! No more will you try to block us from our garage! Muahahahaha! Happy listening!