Music You Should Be Listening To: March 2013

I’m just gonna get right to introducing the music this month because after last months post I had quite a few complaints.

@2indastink wrote, “Quit messing around and get to the music!”

@5nuckshuff wrote, “Todd sux. Space shuttle rules!”

@peaceandlove wrote, “I fucking hate your guts. Who gives a shit about your thoughts and feelings?!! Get to the music already.”

And that is just a small sample. Now, far be it from me to keep you all from the music you long for, so here you go…

Because I don’t want to be the guy that upsets your day. I know you’re in a hurry and have limited time at the computer/tablet/smartphone for exploring interesting new things. I too hate having to wait one maybe two whole minutes for something that I should have access to immediately. It’s like when you’re at the local grocery store, fast food restaurant or Gap-type clothing outfitter and waiting in line to pay. The people in front of you should just get out of the way. We have shit to do! Instead, they selfishly pay for their own items and make us all wait. Insufferable. That’s why I’m getting straight to the music today, no messing around…

No waiting. No delays. No sifting through poorly written stories about music and non-music related topics. Who wants to read that stuff? Not me. livinNo sir, I will not read for enjoyment. I’ve read too much already. Besides, there’s no time to read when you’ve got livin’ to do…“L.I.V.I.N.”… We should be out having real world experiences. Back packing through exotic locals. Meeting new and interesting people. Having great love affairs. Sleeping in hostels. Nearly dying in said hostel because it is actually a backer packer slaughterhouse. Come to think of it, because I’ve taken time to read things in the past, I’ve not lived my life to its fullest. I’ve never been caught with a pound of hash duct taped to my belly in a Turkish airport. I’ve never done time in a Malaysian prison for a crime I didn’t commit. Do you know how many criminal plots I’ve foiled with just my wits and my never say die attitude? Two. Only two. I’m 38 years old. My father had twice as many under his belt at that age. But it’s a different time now. My father didn’t have things like video games, the internet and Honey Boo Boo re-runs to distract him from his destiny. I’ll not be to blame for your wasted lives. So I’m getting right to it…

Well, is anyone ever really to blame for something like this? To quote the late great Howard Jones, “No one is to blame.”…Wait…This just in…Turns out Howard Jones isn’t dead. Who knew? Well the sentiment is still the same. Some things are just out of our hands. We can’t control time. We can only do the best with what little free time we have. There never seems to be enough of it does there? So to avoid any anxiety attacks à la Jessie Spano from Saved by the Bell

I’m getting right to the music this week…

Dig right into it. Immerse yourself in the awesomeness. You need a little “Me Time.” Put the kids to bed early. Wear your headphones so they can’t distract you. Listen while you drink a latte from Starbucks. Treat yourself. You deserve it. Life is fleeting. Me? I’m going to be listening while simultaneously training for the Iron Man Triathlon, learning Japanese and teaching my son how to throw a curveball. Well, I may have to shorten that list. There’s probably not enough time for everything. Uh oh. Anxiety attack time. No time. No time! Never any time!

I’m so excited
and I just can’t hide it
I’m so excited
I’m so…scared

Ok… Took my Lexapro… I feel better now.

Crap. Looks like I really am out of time. Didn’t get to the music.  Well, I don’t want to leave you hanging. Here’s a quick list of some albums you can check out. Enjoy…

Palma Violets, 180

Waxhatchee, Cerulean Salt

Youth Lagoon, Wondrous Bughouse

CHVRCHES, Recover EP

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MoSS? Monthly Mixtape: January 2013

101

Side A : Todd’s Picks

1. Solange, “Losing You”

2. Haim, “Don’t Save Me”

3. Wampire, “The Hearse”

4. Youth Lagoon, “Dropla”

5. Lily and Madeleine, “These Great Things”

Side B : Chris’ Picks

1. Colleen Green, “Time in the World”

2. Iceage, “Coalition”

3. Bird Call, “Phantom Limbs”

4. Glass Theory, “Take Your Time”

5. Burial, “Truant”

MoSS? Presents… Albums to Watch for in 2013

Albums 2013

Seems like every website is putting together a guide for upcoming album releases in 2013. Why should MoSS? be any different? We aren’t going to bore you with an endless list of shitty albums coming out this year. Instead, we are just going to share a few of our most anticipated albums.

Todd’s Most Anticipated Albums of 2013

January is a big month for me because four albums I’ve been not so patiently waiting for are being released.

Free Energy, Lovesign [Free People]. This one’s a real guilty pleasure for me. The songs can be sort of cheesy but they are catchy as hell and these guys don’t try to be anything but straight up rock and roll.

Bleeding Rainbow, Yeah Right [Kanine]. The band formerly known as Reading Rainbow.  I guess if you name your band after a beloved PBS children’s show, you can expect lawyers to come knocking at some point. Anyway, they are back with their 2nd LP. It was supposed to be released in October 2012 but was pushed back. I am hoping the delay wasn’t because the record sucks.

Local Natives, Hummingbird [Frenchkiss/Infectious]. Another group hoping to avoid a sophomore slump. I’ve heard two songs from it and both are pretty good. If the rest of the album is as good, then they should have a record of the year contender on their hands.

Tegan and Sara, Heartthrob [Warner]. I really loved the last two Tegan and Sara albums. The ladies released a single “Closer” from Heartthrob last fall and they revealed a much more dance/pop oriented sound. At first I hated it. Eventually, as my family (and its placement in my Top 10 Songs of 2012) can tell you , I wore that MP3 out.

There are a few albums I’m excited about being released this spring. The album I am most anxious for is…

Youth Lagoon, Wondrous Bughouse [Fat Possum]. I missed the boat way back in 2011. Youth Lagoon’s first LP, The Year of Hibernation, came across my desk at MoSS? HQ but I ignored it. Since then, I have listened to that record more often than several of my Top 10 of 2011 selections. Maybe this one will make the 2013 Top 10.

Other releases I’m hoping for…

Phoenix, TBA [Glassnote] 

Neon Indian, TBA [Mexican Summer]

I Break Horses, TBA [Bella Union]

Small Black, TBA [Jagjaguwar]

Release I am always hoping for but will probably never happen…

Pixies, TBA [4AD]

Chris’ Most Anticipated Albums of 2013

I don’t know why I am buying into Kevin Shields’ promises anymore, but supposedly we are getting a new My Bloody Valentine album sometime soon. Of course, Shields said it would be out before calendar year 2012 concluded. And he’s said numerous times before that something would soon follow up the 1991 masterpiece Loveless. Yep, the 1991 album. But there seems to be some concrete talk this time. Bassist Debbie Googe spoke about the album, even though she made it sound as though Kevin is channeling his inner Billy Corgan and handling a lot of the instrumentation himself. And one of these times it has to be the real thing, right? So I’ve got this to look forward to…possibly all year long (and beyond).

Also:

Toro y Moi, Anything in Return (January 22). I really liked Causers of This but was slightly disappointed by the 2011 release Underneath the Pine. I’m hoping for a return to greatness with Anything in Return.

Unknown Mortal Orchestra, II (February 5). I loved UMO’s first album in 2011; here’s hoping album No. 2 is even better. Led Zeppelin and Crystal Castles set the bar pretty high for albums titled II, though (as did Chicago, for that matter).

Iceage, You’re Nothing (February 19). Another band that released a wonderful, economic debut in 2011. Frankly, if Iceage simply releases another 12-song, 24-minute blast of dark punk, I’ll be satisfied.

Junip, TBA (April 23). Jose Gonzalez never fails to deliver.

The Weeknd, TBA (?????). If you believe his Twitter feed, Abel is dropping a new album in 2013. I’m still a huge fan of House of Balloons and found the other two parts of Trilogy to be interesting at worst and quite excellent at times, so I’m in on more Weeknd.

Also, without comment:

The Joy Formidable, Wolf’s Law (January 22)

Tegan and Sara, Heartthrob (January 29)

Sally Shapiro, Somewhere Else (February 26)

Rhye, Woman (March 5)

Marnie Stern, The Chronicles of Marnia (March 19)

Road Trip Revelations

If you’ve read any of my previous “Road Trip” posts, you may have noticed a certain pattern to them. I usually start with some thoughts on whatever new music I’m listening to. Then, I share a few observations about the road or driving in general. Finally, I close it out with some comments on a long forgotten hair metal song. If you were hoping for a change in format this time… too bad. Take heart people. Routine is good. You always know what to expect. No shocks. No surprises. Life may pimp-slap you at every turn but you can always rely on “Road Trip Revelations” for some stability. Doesn’t that make you feel all safe and secure? And away we go…

My job sometimes requires me to spend a lot of my day in the car. I don’t mind too much. It gives me time to think, reflect on my life and most importantly listen to great music. On these trips I sit back, relax and turn up the tunes. After many hours alone in the car though, I tend to have quite a few random and moronic thoughts. These are just a few of the revelations I came away with on the road.

Most of my Favorite Bands Have Stupid Names

Here’s a list of a few bands I’ve enjoyed this year: Japandroids, Tennis, Youth Lagoon, Pop Etc, Bear in Heaven. All pretty dumb sounding names. Even when a group has a decent name, they have to go and spell it weird like Diiv (pronounced Dive) one of my current favorites. I don’t know why this trend is happening but my theory is that all of the good band names where used up by 1978. Post 1978 we had band names like this:

One of my favorite things in the world is when I’m listening to a new band and my wife asks me their name. I’ll answer her with the stupid band name already knowing that her response will be a sarcastic “Well of course it is”. She has a hard time getting past the stupid band name. My favorite response to her is “Aerosmith was already taken.” This usually pisses her off and we go back and forth about band names and how Aerosmith sucks. Well, new Aerosmith sucks. Hey, that’s not bad! Why couldn’t you start a band and call it The New Aerosmith? Didn’t that happen all the time back in the day? When the Yardbirds broke up wasn’t there a New Yardbirds about two minutes later? After The Animals disbanded, The New Animals came stampeding out of the rubble to help heal the world’s broken heart. Just a thought.

What’s with the Biker Wave?

Did you ever see the biker wave while driving down the road? I just recently noticed it. When two motorcyclists get close to each other while driving in opposite directions they lower their left hand down and sort of point to the ground. What’s that all about? Where did they learn that? Is it part of the motorcycle safety course? Are they pointing down to remind the other biker to watch out for the ground? “Hey man, we are rocketing across the earth at breakneck speeds on a high-powered two-wheeled vehicle. Don’t fall off. It hurts.”

1st biker waves: “Remember, the ground hurts us.”

2nd biker waves: “Yes, I understand. The pavement is our enemy.”

It is pretty cool to witness. I want a secret wave for us music-loving mid 30’s dads driving around in SUVs. Maybe we could just stick our thumbs up and then point them to the back seat. This could signify that “I would like to turn up my music louder but I got these damn kids in the back seat watching a Spongebob DVD and I can only play my music at barely audible levels.” Let’s work on that one guys.

I Don’t Care About Your Stick Figure Family

Over the last year or so you may have noticed a new trend amongst mini-van drivers. “The Stick Figure Family”. Little decals of stick figure people to represent everyone in the mini-van driver’s family. I must ask why? Why do you want the world to know that you have 3 kids? Going by the stickers, one boy and 2 girls. The boy is the oldest and based upon the baseball bat over his stick figure shoulder he must like baseball. The oldest girl must love soccer based upon the soccer ball in her stick figure arms. The youngest girl is in a stroller so no one really knows what she likes yet. In time we will know because mini-van driver idiot will update the stick figure as soon as stick figure baby slips on her first ballet shoes. One day I saw a van with two adult stick figures and 10, yes 10, variations of the stick figure kid. A standard mini-van has a seating capacity of 7. How are you getting 10 kids plus 2 parents into that Dodge Grand Caravan? The answer is you’re not. You’re taking 2 cars to the “I Have 10 Kids and Hate Myself Convention”. Your stick figure family is a fraud and I hate you too.

Europe isn’t “Superstitious”

As always, after a few hours on the road I was in need of a hair metal fix. So I flipped the station over to Hair Nation . Today I was greeted with the sweet sounds of Europe’s “Superstitious”. It had everything I wanted in a hair band break. High pitched vocals and those keyboards you’ve come to expect from Europe in other songs like “The Final Countdown” and “Carrie”. The special treat comes at the 3:20 mark when after the last scathing guitar solo, the boys slow it down a bit with a funky bass driven pre-chorus bridge. Break it down for me fellas.

Keep on walkin’ that road and I’ll follow
Keep on callin’ my name I’ll be there
And if a mirror should break it’s easy to take
Cause deep down I know that you care
I´m not superstitious

All in all it was a pretty good trip.  Plenty of tunes. So many stick figures. If you see me cruising down the interstate sometime, go ahead and throw me a “Dad Wave”. I might just “Dad Wave” back.