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

The world is delicious this morning. And the music is interesting. I'm realizing as I eat my brownie (thank you to my niece and her mom), that the diversity of my compiled list this week is lacking - but it's not yet 11 and I'm sitting down to write, my belly full of yummy goodness (even though the brownie had cherries), so I'll just go with it.

"Weird Al" Yankovic is out with Mandatory Fun this week and while I haven't gotten the chance to listen to it, I'm sure if you are a fan you have already listened to it at least once already. Because if there is anything I learned seeing Weird Al live in concert during a late night Bonnaroo set, it's that those who love Weird Al, love him very much. It was like watching a huge screening of a cult classic movie, people saying their favorite lines, laughing at their favorite jokes, and delighting in the new medleys.

After weeks of releasing one single after another from the his new album, Morrissey's World Peace is None of Your Business has finally been released. And if you're from Minnesota, you're probably well aware that favorites Trampled By Turtles have released Wild Animals this week. It's pretty awesome from the few tracks I sampled, and I'll be delving in for a further listen this weekend. As far as popularly known acts, that's about the news this week. Oh, wait, Jasan Mraz with Yes! and Kidz Bop 26 are also new this week. There, now I think that was all the big ones.

And now it's time for The List

And if you're hankering for something new to listen to but don't know what, here are a few ideas.

Girls playing music

Anna Calvi, Strange Weather EP - Nothing directly grabbed me while listening to this, but I also didn't turn it off. I kind of feel like she is a siren luring me back in, not letting me go. I can't believe it, but while trying to figure this out, my best stab at it was "She has that je ne sais quoi quality to her." It's haunting singer-songwriter and short, so give it a whirl why don'tcha?

Luluc, Passerby - this is the acoustic guitar playing singer-songwriter woman that gets me everytime. It's my personal weak spot. Oh, and since I've been mentioning this lately, good album cover.

Pop women releases: Marsha Ambrosius, Friends & Lovers, and Micha Ciselle, Lover's Leap

Moriah Peters, Brave - Christian pop music that sounds current.

Honeyblood, Honeyblood - You might hear more about this one. A bit more rock into it that has to have a Neko Case influence.

Upbeat Music

Little Daylight, Hello Memory - combining so many different elements Playground of Rock favorites. It has poppy hooks; the music has that jumpy Matt & Kim feel at times; that sunny modern 80s pop sound?

Melted Toys, Melted Toys - Beachy guitar sounds with a vague barely-there Smiths feel to it.

Bleachers, Strange Desire - Feels like one of those bands that could cross genres from pop to alternative stations and appeal to lots of people.

Wunder Wunder, Everything Infinite - Bright and sunny with lots of layers


Pennywise, Yesterdays - more punky and fast

TRAAMS, Cissa - Very The Strokes-like

Betraying the Martyrs, Phantom - they had me at the metal cover of "Let It Go." Which of course that song is metal, it's so obvious now.

Grave Digger, Return of the Reaper - another metal pick for the week.

You'll just know if you like it by the first or second song...

My Brightest Diamond, None More Than You

Jungle, Jungle

Landlady, Upright Behavior

Cloud Boat, Model Of You

Roman Ruins, Source of Pride

Slow Club, Complete Surrender

Vintage Sound

Viet Cong, Cassette

Reigning Sound, Shattered

Other Stuff I Was Digging

Perfume Genius, "Queen"

ODESZA, Memories That You Call/Sun Models

Merchandise, "Enemy"

Anand Wilder & Maxwell Kardon, Break Line The Musical

EULA, Orderly/Meadow

Dead Fingers, Big Black Dog

Jack Clement, For Once And For All

John Hiatt, Terms of My Surrender

Veen, "Babylon"

Well it's the weekend of the Pitchfork Music Festival, and holy cow, I just looked over the lineup - that's pretty much awesomesauce. Beck, Kendrick Lamar, Sharon Van Etten, St. Vincent, Speedy Ortiz, nice... Anyway, that about wraps it up for me. Now I just need to save at least one brownie for my husband. I think I can. I am the little engine that could. Hope you have a good weekend and happy listening!