List List (& short reviews!): March 20

Of this week’s new releases, I listened to The Black LipsUnderneath the Rainbow and Kevin Drew (of Broken Social Scene)’s Darlings. Drew’s album is more acoustic while The Black Lips presented a more country-influenced album.

There is also the debut album from Perfect Pussy called Say Yes to Love. This is a ferocious punk-rock album from the girl-fronted group an definitely recommended to fans of that genre. The album was streaming on NPR First Listen, but you can also stream some of their songs on Bandcamp.

Taking Back Sunday released their Happiness Is album. It is a solid emo effort from the band, who is back to their “classic” lineup.

And finally, War on Drugs released Lost in the Dream, which is a very enjoyable follow up to 2011’s Slave Ambient. This album was also on NPR First Listen last week (the associated story is a good read).

Stay tuned for next week when I post my initial thoughts on The Hold Steady‘s Teeth Dreams (streaming now on iTunes).

Links List: Feb 28

  • Arthur Chu is still winning Jeopardy. He talked to The AV Club. I’m still undecided about smug Mr. Chu but good for him, I guess.
  • And for all my fellow former Long Island bargin shoppers: RIP Loehmann’s. I have so many memories of those strange shared dressing rooms & purchases of Joe Jeans and Michael Star shirts.  This is very sad.

Links List: Feb 7

  • As an avid Jeopardy-watcher for almost my entire life, I enjoy when contestants are suddenly thrust into the media spotlight. Like this guy. Go Arthur!
  • And, finally, Phillip Seymour Hoffman died this week.  My first memory of his work was as Lester Bangs in Almost Famous.  At that time, I wanted nothing more than to be a rock critic. This role, and this movie, prompted my research into Lester Bangs’ writing. Each of Hoffman’s roles were great in their own right. He will really be missed. RIP.  

Links List: Jan 24 + new singles from The Both & The Hold Steady

Some tracks from upcoming albums were released online.

Links List: January 17

I used to read McSweeney’s religiously.  This week I rediscovered their signature fantastical wit. Here were some of my favorites:

For some reason, this was the week experts claimed that having children ruins lives.  New York Magazine published a feature entitled “The Collateral Damage of a Teenager” and Gawker reported on researchers who surveyed childless and non-childless couples. The results were frightening.

Full disclosure. I fell into a Couples Therapy Black Hole last week. The saga of Farrah Abraham is getting better and better.

[Ed. note: Since it is the beginning of the year, new releases are still pretty scarce.  Instead, I will start highlighting some notable singles]

Real Estate‘s “Taking Backwards” is dreamy and light.  It could fit on 2011’s Days. With a lead single like this, it seems the band is headed in the dream-indie-pop direction. The album, Atlas, is set to be released at the beginning of March.
Taking Back Sunday went back to the “classic” lineup.  This song, “Flicker, Fade,” is just what one would expect.  It is quiet and then loud. The chorus is catchy and John Nolan’s signature whispery parts are there. Happiness Is will also be released in March and as a old-school TBS fan, I can say I am looking forward to it.

Links List: Jan 10

And in case you missed it, check out my Best of 2013 playlist, featuring last year’s stand-out tracks from this year’s releases.

Happy New Year! Here are some videos that just “get it”

  • Ring in the New Year with Rilo Kiley’s “Glendora,” a classic song from their The Initial Friend EP (2000).

 

  • Death Cab for Cutie captures the eventual disappointment of New Years “newness” with their song “The New Year.”

 

  • Hardcore/emo band Thursday has a different take on New Years Eve with “Jet Black New Year.” Man, that song is just so early-2000s.