Sunday, October 19, 2014

Sunday Shuffle #345

For the first time in a few months (at least), I've added some albums to my iTunes this week. Will any of those songs show up in today's ten? Only one way to find out...

1. Broken Links/The Ladybug Transistor (4) - last played on 4/7/13
2. Where Are The Prawns/The Soft Boys (2) - last played on 4/14/13
3. Promenade/U2 (5) - last played on 1/2/13
4. Gold Star for Robot Boy/Guided By Voices (7) - last played on 7/31/12
5. No Backbone/The Lemonheads (7) - last played on 11/4/12
6. Is Love Forever?/Spoon (15) - last played on 8/3/14
7. No Reason/Nick Lowe (6) - last played on 10/27/13
8. Gimmeakiss/The Avett Brothers (6) - last played on 10/24/12
9. City With No Children/Arcade Fire (21) - last played on 9/11/13
10. Slow Jabroni/Surfer Blood (8) - last played on 12/16/12

Sunday, October 12, 2014

Sunday Shuffle #344

Three weeks in a row?

Three weeks in a row.

Here are today's ten...

1. Pollyanna/Patterson Hood (10) - last played on 1/3/13
2. Sprung A Leak/Superchunk (22) - last played on 8/15/13
3. Conman/East River Pipe (6) - last played on 12/19/11
4. Heart Of The City/Nick Lowe (6) - last played on 10/5/14
5. One in the Same/My Morning Jacket (5) - last played on 2/17/13
6. Sleepin In/The Morning Benders (12) - last played on 2/17/13
7. Behind That Locked Door/Yim Yames (3) - last played on 2/3/13
8. Half Moon/M. Ward (3) - last played on 6/17/12
9. Something Great/Haley Bonar (4) - last played on 6/2/13
10. Patterns of Fairytales (12) - last played on 6/9/13

Sunday, October 5, 2014

Sunday Shuffle #343

Last time I shuffled two consecutive Sundays was back in July of last year. Huh.

Here are today's ten...

1. Lost Without You/Rhett Miller (11) - last played on 6/27/13
2. Southern Heart/The Walkmen (17) - last played on 12/12/13
3. Tie A Rope To The Back Of The Bus/Superchunk (17) - last played on 8/15/13
4. Four Thieves Gone/The Avett Brothers (4) - last played on 2/3/13
5. Make It Right/J Mascis (20) - last played on 6/30/13
6. Man on the Moon/Sugar (9) - last played on 9/6/13
7. Fish/Wye Oak (16) - last played on 1/31/14
8. Remember Last Time/Avi Buffalo (9) - last played on 4/15/12
9. St. Peter's Cathedral/Death Cab For Cutie (13) - last played on 5/7/14
10. Money City Maniacs/Sloan (13) - last played on 3/29/14

Sunday, September 28, 2014

Sunday Shuffle #342

It's been 4 1/2 months since my last shuffle. Wait, that sounds like I'm speaking at Shufflers Anonymous or confessing my Shuffling sins. I guess what I'm trying to say is that this morning feels like a morning to shuffle, so here are today's ten...

1. The Stand Ins, One/Okkervil River (4) - last played on 10/21/12
2. Chinese Translation/M. Ward (5) - last played on 6/23/13
3. Sweetie/Josh Rouse (5) - last played on 8/19/12
4. Sawdust Man/Ben Kweller (10) - last played on 8/31/12
5. Don't Let Him Waste Your Time/Jarvis Cocker (4) - last played on 5/13/12
6. Modesto Is Not That Sweet/The Hold Steady (7) - last played on 5/5/13
7. Marie Provost/Nick Lowe (4) - last played on 3/12/11
8. No Name #6/Elliott Smith (5) - last played on 7/14/13
9. Unhinged/The Drams (3) - last played on 1/15/12
10. Deeper Into Movies/Yo La Tengo (6) - last played on 3/22/14

Friday, August 1, 2014

Anticipated: August 2014

Every month brings new pop culture goodies to enjoy. Here is what I'm most looking forward to this month...

The Magician's Land by Lev Grossman (8/5) - This is the final book in Grossman's Magicians trilogy. I liked The Magicians and loved The Magician King the first time around...that's right, I've decided to reread this series in anticipation of the new volume. I don't reread very often; in fact, the last time I reread a series like this was right before the final Harry Potter book was published 7 years ago. I'm finding my reading of the first book has changed my perception of it but that's probably a different post.

Spoon/They Want My Soul (8/5) - Spoon is one of my favorite bands, so it's not a surprise I'm excited to listen to this album (you can stream it on iTunes right now but that's not my favorite option). I've liked the 3 songs that have surfaced so far - the classic stomp of "Rent I Pay," the sunny pop of "Do You," and the cool drone of "Inside Out" - and have high hopes for the rest.

Garfunkel & Oates (8/7) - I feel like Riki Lindhome and Kate Micucci have taken the idea of a singing comedy duo ala Tenacious D and Flight of the Conchords and made it completely into their own thing. Now, like those other groups, they will have their own TV show (on IFC). The few clips I've seen have made me laugh and I'm hoping that will continue.

Let's Be Cops (8/15) - Yes, I realize this movie could be terrible. Really really terrible. And yet. I like Damon Wayans Jr. and Jake Johnson (who are both on New Girl). The premise of the movie is so simple it could work with the right approach (and jokes). Maybe we'll get lucky and it will turn out to be as entertaining as Hot Tub Time Machine and The Other Guys, for which I once had the same hopes. We shall see.

The Multiversity (8/20) - Grant Morrison has been working on this comic, which will present many alternate realities of the DC Universe. It predates the "new 52" continuity that DC has been under the last three years and goes completely outside of it. I have always been a fan of alternate realities and of Morrison, so this is a must-buy even before I factor in such artists as Cameron Stewart, Frank Quitely, and Chris Sprouse.

Doctor Who (8/23) - The new iteration of the Doctor, Peter Capaldi, makes his debut in a few weeks. I think we're going to see a completely different tone to the show with this change and embracing these changes are what the series has been about since it came back (he's already our 4th Doctor after Eccleston, Tenant, and Smith). Jenna Coleman stays on as Clara, the Doctor's companion, and I imagine will be tracking the changes in the Doctor's personality through her eyes.

New Pornographers/Brill Bruisers (8/26) - Hard to believe it's been 4 years since we've had a new album from this band (same as Spoon, come to think of it). They are a band you can enjoy on first listen but I think true appreciation comes after several spins. Case in point is "War on the East Coast," the second song released ahead of the time (after the title track). It's a Dan Bejar tune and upon first listen I thought it was decent. Now I've listened to it five or six times and it has its hooks into me. The video is pretty cool too.

Lock In by John Scalzi (8/26) - I read and enjoyed the heck out of Scalzi's Redshirts when it came out two summers ago and since that time, I've read every book in his Old Man's War series (including last year's The Human Division). He writes SF that makes you page-turn but doesn't sacrifice character and ideas. This novel is a stand-alone about a virus that "locks" people into their bodies. Sounds interesting.

Sunday, May 11, 2014

Sunday Shuffle #341

Just feel like doing a shuffle this morning...

1. Hysterical Strength/St. Vincent (12) - last played on 1/13/13
2. A Cunning Latch/Portastatic (4) - last played on 8/26/12
3. Comfortable/Frankel (4) - last played on 6/9/13
4. Tell Me What You Want Me To Do/Mary Weiss (5) - last played on 2/17/13
5. Colony Collapse/Telekinesis (7) - last played on 9/1/13
6. Lights/Josh Ritter (14) - last played on 12/10/13
7. Not Turning Off/Spoon (5) - last played on 9/23/12
8. Snowsuit Sound/Sloan (14) - last played on 9/28/13
9. Melody/Elk City (3) - last played on 5/26/13
10. Come Home Loaded Roadie/Amy Millan (6) - last played on 3/17/13

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

The Mix #5: You Gotta Get Back Out There

This mix mostly traffics in songs from the first three months of the year, though there are a few holdovers from last year (plus, a track from 1996). I think 2014 has been strong so far and am looking forward to a handful of April albums in the immediate (Split Single, The Both, Afghan Whigs, and Old 97s for starters).

1. It's Your Choice/Brendan Benson - Benson's latest album came out in early December and it's full of his brand of power pop, of which I'm a big fan. This is the lead track from his album and seemed perfect to open this mix as well.

2. Shit Shots Count/Drive-By Truckers - It's been a few years since the DBTs put out a new album and this is the first of a new era - they are back to just two songwriters, Patterson Hood and Mike Cooley. I'm really liking this album, which is balanced between the two songwriters. This many Cooley songs is unprecedented and this blast of Rolling Stones rock with a horn section and his typical wit is just great.

3. Badillac/Together Pangea - I heard this on J's Indie Rock Mayhem and immediately fell in love. I like shaggy rockers and the harmonica/guitar duet where the guitar solo usually is just puts it over the top.

4. Maxon/Minor Alps - I had another Minor Alps (Matthew Caws from Nada Surf and Juliana Hatfield) song on the last mix. Back in January, I watched their live session on KEXP and this song jumped out at me all over again. That keyboard riff just logs right in brain. So pretty.

5. Avant Gardener/Courtney Barnett - Smart funny lyrics, a loping bassline, and some squalling guitar. Honestly, what could be better? This is another holdover from last year, discovered just after I made the last mix. The whole album (which is actually two EPs stitched together) is worth repeated listens.

6. Greens and Blues/Pixies - How weird is it that the Pixies are back making music? Sure, Kim Deal isn't around anymore but plenty of bands don't stay completely intact as they go along (just look at Drive-By Truckers). Anyway, I really dig the riff on this song. Sometimes, liking music is as simple as that.

7. Red Eyes/The War On Drugs - This is a band I've been vaguely familiar with but never really listened to much. Their new album has been getting great reviews and I've given it a spin a few times at this point. I like it. This song is maybe the sharpest, as they do tend to meander a bit, but if you like this, I would suggest checking them out further.

8. Byegone/Volcano Choir - This one is another from last year. Volcano Choir is a side project for Justin Vernon (Bon Iver). I like the soaring nature of this one and the lyric "sexing all your parliaments" just makes me laugh,

9. Talking Backwards/Real Estate - How did I sleep on Real Estate before this? I love the chiming guitars this band brings and the new album really feels like spring. I could have picked another three to four songs that I really like too.

10. Spinners/The Hold Steady - Here's another one of my favorite bands back after a few years away. Craig Finn is singing a bit more and they've brought in a second guitarist but you still get your literate lyrics and your mix of rockers and ballads. This band just works for me. Oh, and this song gives us the title of the mix.

11. Lights Out/Angel Olsen - Olsen is another artist I was vaguely aware of before this year. Her new album is full of moody rock and this song is one of the standouts. Haven't listened to the whole thing very much but that will change.

12. Hot and Cold/Ex Hex - Ex Hex is the new band from Mary Timony, who was in Helium and, more recently, Wild Flag (which I where I first discovered her). This song flat out rocks and I hope the upcoming album is more of this.

13. Going Out/Hospitality - This moody track is from their second album, which is really really good. Again, I could have gone with several other songs but this one just strikes a chord with me. Sometimes it's hard to say why, it just works, you know?

14. Bel Air/Old 97s - Aaaaand here's the one from 1996. I consider Old 97s one of my favorite bands. I started with Fight Songs and quickly went back to Too Far Too Care (which is one of my all-time favorite albums) but somehow never dipped back to their first two albums. With a new record coming out at the end of April, I decided it was high time I went back. No surprise, I really like Wreck Your Life. God bless Murry Hammond on bass.

15. Ben's My Friend/Sun Kil Moon - Stream of consciousness lyrics, 80s-style sax, and pleasant skeletal guitar work. Also, the Ben is the title is Ben Gibbard from Death Cab For Cutie. I dig it.

16. Houston Hades/Stephen Malkmus and the Jicks - Guitar noise that eventually resolves into a steady piano-driven beat and builds back out from there with some great "doo-doo"s along the way. Seriously, this new album is really really good. Also, Malkmus has now released more solo albums than he did with Pavement. All of them are worth a listen, of course.

17. Maybe We'll Fall In Love/Colleens - Here's another song I first heard on J's Indie Rock Mayhem and dug immediately. Don't know much about the band but I have listened to the rest of the album (EP?) this comes from and I like what I heard. Catchy indie rock will always work for me.

18. I Prefer Your Love/St. Vincent - This song has echoes of Sinead O'Connor and Madonna but it's all Annie Clark. Her new album is fantastic and has many songs I could have put on this mix. This one stands out among the standouts.

19. Head/Lydia Loveless - Yet another artist I've known about but never really checked out. Her new album is so so good, full of great rock music with just enough twang. Think early Kathleen Edwards. And then turn it up.

20. Waking Light/Beck - This is the closing track to his new album, which is a sort-of sequel to Sea Change, which is my favorite Beck album. Gorgeous.