New Music Fridays – Hayden Thorpe

Now that the Wild Beasts are done as a band (sadface), the lead falsetto of the group has emerged from the ashes with his new solo album called Diviner.

The first song I heard was Love Crimes and I was instantly hooked. It sounded reminiscent of Wild Beasts, but stripped down with a deeper intimacy.

After listening a few times, I like the flow of how there are some catchy pop numbers and then there are some moody tracks that reach a bit further.

Hayden’s voice is very unique and, while I’m sure there are some people who don’t like the sound, I think it is fantastically appropriate for the type of music he writes.

I was crushed when Wild Beasts broke up, but now that I have this album and the hope that there will be more Hayden Thorpe music in the future, I don’t have to cry myself to sleep on my huge pillow anymore.

New Music Fridays – Lydia Ainsworth

I saw this Canadian artist open for Yeasayer a couple years ago. For an opening performance, it was exciting and refreshing. She did everything herself with a couple keyboards, a computer, and a sequencer. The songs were fun and equally enjoyable as Yeasayer. The best part was that she was using some sort of vocal effect that made it sound like little leprechauns were singing backing vocals on a couple songs.

This new album, Phantom Forest, continues in the tradition of infectious synth pop with warm vocals. The first single, Can You Find Her Place, is the kind of song you just have on repeat all day. Then here are slower, lighter numbers like Tell Me I Exist and Kiss the Future. It’s got something for everyone, even the kids!

Streaming options:

New Music Fridays – Big Thief

Well, it’s a little past Friday, but this album called U.F.O.F. by Big Thief came out and it is worth a listen (or actually two).

The best way I can describe it is folksy with a tad of emotion. But wait, there’s more! The opener, Contact, starts with a plucky riff under airy vocals, and by the end, distorted guitars perfectly parallel cavernous screams.

Adrianne Lenker’s voice is what keeps the whole thing together. From quiet intimate moments in From to the bubbly energy in Cattails, her singing style ranges from subtle to forceful, but never in-your-face.

Places to stream:

The Corporations Are Winning

The grocery store where we live has a fuel rewards program where you get a point for every dollar spent in the grocery store. For every 100 points, you get 10 cents off each gallon of gas you buy at the grocery chain’s gas stations.

I started using this program as it seemed fair at the time. The rules being any remaining unused points in a calendar month would carry over to the next month. A couple years ago, I noticed the rules had changed and the unused points no longer carried over to the next month.

There would be times when I would look at my point totals and it would say I had 85 points for the previous month, but I was already past the cutoff day, so those points were useless. Oh, and to add insult to injury, I would go to get gas and my point total for the current month was only 99.

Anyway, this is bullshit. As a customer of this grocery store, I feel cheated and I’m not going to buy fuel from their gas stations anymore. I’m seriously thinking about getting groceries somewhere else, too. You want to mess with me? I’ll boycott yo ass.

New Music Fridays – Local Natives

After their third album in 2016, Sunlit Youth, I was hooked on the refreshing melodies of Local Natives that felt like a distant cousin of Radiohead and Grizzly Bear’s love child.

Much to my surprise and happiness, I saw this new one called Violet Street was coming out today.

I’ve already listened to the album three times and it is delightful. The sonic feels make for great driving music or nighttime relaxation. It has a wide range including the catchy pep of When Am I Gonna Lose You and the bittersweet melancholy of Tap Dancer.

The full album can be found here: Violet Street YouTube Playlist

Or any of your favorite streaming services:

The Party

I have been chosen to represent the elves in a special council of the five kingdoms. Personally, I cant think of a better choice. Being a paladin of noble blood I perfectly embody the task. So I have left Boismere with my loyal attendants, Greenburn, Violet and Leonidas. Before leaving the motherwood we meet up with another elf called Liana Nectar who would also be at the summit. As a druid she if often found quietly observing what is going on around her but from time to time she will carry on and on unconstrained by norms or expectations.

Upon reaching Stavrodromi, which Im told this is an ancient human word for crossroads, clearly whoever named the city is very clever, at any rate… Upon reaching the gates we are greeted by the local watch and escorted to the city hall where we are to meet up with the rest of our party.

The first of our companions is already there waiting for us. The dragonborn Heskan, native of Stavrodromi, is a strange creature. But then this is a strange town with all manner of beings living within its boundaries. Perhaps it is fitting that they chose an urchin to represent them on such a noble quest.

The next to arrive is the dwarf, Kokic, representative of the nation of Throg Duthrum. While I will never understand the ways of the dwarven people, it is apparent that Kokic is loyal to his comrades and true to his word, no matter the cost.

Our party is rounded out by a human who could be named nothing other than Monocle D. Tophat. He represents the kingdom of New Brunswick and, much like his home land, is shrouded greatness, mystery and chaos.

In the morning we set off on our journey to the summit. We are to meet with a great Amethyst dragon. Very little is known about this species of dragon. In fact, the only references of them is in ancient texts that have long been deemed obsolete. All modern accounts of dragons have removed this breed because it was believed the had been extinct.

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The 5 Kingdoms – Prologue

The Great Ridge, a mountainous region that is nearly impossible to traverse, splits the kingdoms into three regions. To the far west there is the great Elven forest of Boismère. Closer to the ridge, the humans and halflings call Old Brunswick their home. Just south of the ridge the land of Stavrodrómi serves as a gateway between the east and west. Here you will find the most tolerant and diverse collection of people including half-orcs and dragonborn. In the east you will find the radiant human town of New Brunswick. Not to be mistaken for its inferior predecessor, the dirty and smelly Old Brunswick. Far to the northeast is the mountains kingdom of Throg Duthrum. Here the dwarves have build their mighty castles and forges.

These 5 kingdoms lived in peace for centuries. Then, nearly 64 years ago, a great gold deposit was found in the Great Ridge by the humans of New Brunswick. With the help of the dwarves they mined the vein and became very prosperous. Soon after the western kingdoms started mining the vein as well. This led to a great war. Many died as the greed of men enveloped the realm. But this greed attracted a new danger, dragons.

While the war raged a group of 7 dragons came to the region and began claiming the mines and the gold within as their own. Unable to stop them, the kingdoms retreated back to their home lands. Since then there has been no war but there has been no peace either.

Episode 003 – Oscar the Grouch Did Not Win An Oscar. Sadface.

Episode 002 – The Phantom Oscars


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