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!