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

Well, it's Friday. And it's an odd day here at the Refrain headquarters. Of course, Prince died yesterday. I was in the car listening to our local awesome station The Current when they said there had been a medical emergency at Paisley Park but no names were released. And as I stared out my windshield, child crying in the backseat, looking at the St. Paul downtown as I descended 35E Southbound I thought, "This is going to be one of those moments where I remember exactly where I was."

There's a new Half Pints up. Josh wanted to throw out all the music and just talk Prince but I had to admit that I'm not a huge fan. So we invited over the biggest fan we know to talk Prince for 20 minutes with Josh. Which was pretty interesting, as a show about two friends drinking beer and talking music - it's fun to invite another friend in to talk music. We should do that more. But knowing I had to talk about Prince somehow on the show, I started thinking. And then I've kept thinking. (Woah. Prince influenced my dreams and that's why I was at a cabin with the Queen of England and her family! It was as odd as it sounds.) I *do* like a lot of Prince songs, but there are so many Prince songs and it seems that everyone else likes *a lot* more Prince songs than I do. Especially since I seem to like silly ones and oddities, and with the rampant fandom and level of fandom surrounding me I guess it made me feel like my casual fandom made me not a fan. Does that make sense? Anyway, I did get his style. And his perfectionism. So in awe of how he could pull it off. That takes so much effort and stress. Details are almost impossible to keep from unraveling and the man was a genius at it. At everything. So I know everyone's just going to ensconce themselves in Prince's music this week but he also was a huge proponent of new music - so here are somethings to listen to when you feel ready to expand your Prince rotation to other music.

Today's releases. Singer-songwriter who makes the masses swoon, Rufus Wainwright, released Take All My Love: Nine Shakespeare Sonnets. Veteran rockers Guided By Voices appear in one of their formations on Please Be Honest. Blue Man Group released Three today. I hope it comes with a bag of marshmallows. Rapper A$AP Ferg is here with Always Strive and Prosper. and that's the really big big releases.

The List of Yore (or at least last week)

Stuff I liked last week

Free Cake For Every Creature, Talking Quietly of Anything With You - There is a person posing for a picture in front of a dinosaur statue. So I obviously listened and it's sweet fun rock.

Eskimeaux, Year of the Rabbit - Laid back singer-songwriter

Dave Harrington Group, Become Alive- This is kinda one of those background music ones and I think I put it on while doing some thinking work.

Ernie Watts Quartet, Wheel Of Time - Jazz

Amber Rubarth, Scribbled Folk Symphonies - Kinda what it says it is. Singersongwriterish with acoustic instruments and it's intimate and interesting.

Prism Tats, Prism Tats - I'm not good at describing this kind of rock. And the album cover is freaking me out with the weird eyes so I just have to move on.

Clairy Browne, Pool - There are some good fun poppy tracks on this.

Marcus Stricklands' Twi-Life, Nihil Novi - Another album I really like some tracks on while I could do without a few others. I'm a bit picky with my jazz though. Especially more modern jazz stuff.

Check out The Hackensaw Boys or The Del McCoury Band for some americana/country/such stuff if you like.

Well that will do it for this week. I'm trying to finish up old projects and start new ones. Tis Spring! Plus I drank all my coffee and ate my snack. Happy Listening!