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

Happy Friday to all! Once again, it was a week without too many headliners, but some good music nonetheless. Bob Dylan released Shadows in the Night, and Diana Krall with Wallflower. Like I said, not so many headliners.

Onwards to The List!

Every other week I cohost a podcast about beer and new releases with my friend Josh, and since this week was our recording week, I didn't get a good chance at this week's batch of new stuff. It all turned out okay though because the A's really have it this week:

All We Are, All We Are - If you're a fan of The XX, you're going to want to give this one a try. And if you want to hear a little more about this album, Josh and I discuss it in our podcast, Half-Pints Whole-Notes. Follow the link, visit or search for it on your preferred podcast service.

Anakin, Celestial Frequency Shifter - Rock with a 90s vibe of Hum and the like. At least the first part I listened to, who knows maybe it changes halfway through and becomes something else entirely, I'll find out this weekend. But it's good if you like that sound.

Andrew Bird, Echolocations: Canyon - This is an interesting thing by Andrew Bird in concept, but I still need to listen. I didn't have the block of time to devote listening beginning to end like I wanted, so I'll be accomplishing that as soon as I can. Anyhoo - he is creating albums and short films(?) for specific places but it didn't mention what's next in the series on the website yet. I'm such a sucker for Andrew Bird, and this is exactly my type of experiment.

Andy Shauf, The Bearer of Bad News - Singer-songwriter with multiple instruments and an Elliot Smith melancholy to it.

Asaf Avidan, Gold Shadow - This woman belts out the songs with the intent of Shirley Bassey and the songs have the feel of a hazy darkened club. Not what I expected when I put it on and I was pleasantly surprised. And then it gets all americana-y. So strange but good.

A few other curiosities of the week...

John Carpenter, Lost Themes - yes, John Carpenter the director horror/sci-fi movie guy. These are stand alone pieces not from movies but themes in themselves.

The Notwist, Messier Objects - instrumental tracks intended for use as background music. Isn't it just odd and fun to have two albums of songs for movies or stories that don't exist yet? Anyway, breaking away from that theme...

Mount Eerie, Sauna - this is the guy who did The Microphones, one of my all-time favorite bands ever. Ever. But I didn't know about Mount Eerie until a year or two ago. Anyway, this is on my To-Listen list as well becuase i want to listen front to back uninterrupted.

"2328628," Pollyester, City of O - I love this track. It's peppy, catchy and fun.

East End Radicals, Zero Hour - Check this out if you're a fan of Dropkick Murphys for that same punk feel.

Sun Hotel, Rational Expectations - on the To-Listen list and it caught me with its not-too-notey guitar licks, tasteful guitar licks.

By the way, I so don't believe Punxsutawney Phil. At least here, winter is wrapping itself up and kicking itself out. I feel it in my bones. Maybe I should be a groundhog and try to find my shadow every February 2nd. Yeah, take that groundhog. Okay, I just threw on that Pollyester song, feel like dancing and eating chocolate cake now, time to wrap it up for the week. Have a great weekend and happy listening one and all!