song of the day

Anticipation (By Carly Simon, but not really)

Image result for near to the wild heart of life

I went on a run this morning. It’s what people do on New Years Day. Before my run I made playlist full of rock n roll music to pump me up because, lets just say it’s been a few months since I’ve exercised. The playlist was good, but as I reached mile two I hit a wall. My knees were weak, my legs were shaky, I was ready to quit. I was ready to walk. I was ready to throw in the towel.

But something inspiring happened. The most perfect rock n roll song I’ve ever heard traveled from my iPhone, through my headphones and into my ears, “Near To The Wild Heart Of Life” by Japandroids. I felt like Coach Taylor (Friday Night Lights) was giving me an inspirational speech as I finished up. I wanted to keep running, so I did. Japandroids rocked me though another half mile.

I’ve been planning for a while to write about how excited I am for their new album. Their last album, Celebration Rock, was hands down the best pure rock album of 2012 if not the best rock album in the last decade. Five years is a long time to wait, but if “Near To The Wild Heart Of Life” is any indication of the whole album then the wait will have been worth it.

The album (Also titled Near To The Wild Heart Of Life) comes out on January 27.

Other Notable albums coming out in January:

The XX – I See You: Jan. 13

Foxygen – Hang: Jan. 20

Cloud Nothings – Life Without Sound: Jan. 27


Zach’s Song of The Day

Thank goodness for staying up past 10:00 pm. If I would have gone to bed at my usual 9:30 time I would have missed the band FIDLAR’s performance of “West Coast” on Jimmy Kimmel. Now I know what you’re thinking, “Zach, you’re a Kimmel man?” To that question I would respond with an emphatic no! Guys, I watch the Late Show with Stephen Colbert, but his musical guest on Friday night was t-e-r-r-i-b-b-l-e, so I started flipping channels. Just as I switched stations, Jimmy Kimmel was announcing the closing musical act and with a name like FIDLAR I almost kept flipping.

An then a little man started belting out some of the best pop punk melodies I’ve heard (since at least last year). It reminded me of music I listened to my freshman year of college (all that emo stuff). You can enjoy it too, by clicking play on the YouTube video below.

Zach’s Song of The Day

My song of the day is from Leon Bridges.  The tracks I’ve heard are throwbacks to 60s soul and gospel music. The song that stands out the most is a song called “Better Man”. The way he enunciates the words Mississippi River in the song was enough to suck me in. You’ll have to listen to know I mean.

His debut album,Coming Home, comes out later this month (June 23), and from the four songs that have been released it’s going to be good. Listen to “Better Man” below.

Zach’s Song of The Day

My song of the day hails from band/duo, (It’s just electric guitar and drums)called Diet Cig from New York. That’s about all I know about them. I listened to their EP, Over Easy, and . . . it’s okay. It’s pretty simple and I like simple. It’s not like the best thing I’ve heard this year, but it’s okay. There IS however one song on the EP called “Harvard”t that’s packed full of angst. I could listen to it over and over. Sometimes I do.


Zach’s Song of The Day

Jason Isbell's new album, Something More Than Free, comes out July 17.


Jason Isbell released a new song from his album due this summer. It’s more up beat than his mostly acoustic songs from his last LP, Southestern, but it’s up beat in tempo only. The mood of this song seems really existential. It’s a, “Why does anything matter if it all gets taken away?” kind of song. It’s gut wrenching stuff.

You can hear it on NPR Music by clicking on the link below.


Of Course We Know (Xtina’s Song of the Day)

Do you know what it’s like when your favorite band (a band who hasn’t put out an album in over five years, mind you) announces a new album and releases song after song in just a few short weeks? It’s like heaven. I think, if heaven exists, that feeling just floats through the air all the time.

Well, that has happened to me three times already this year (Modest Mouse, Brand New, Sufjan Stevens). Anytime I get bummed about less than desirable things, I have to remember this beautiful string of events. I am here to share the newest Modest Mouse song, “Of Course We Know.”

It’s a lazy (in a good way), lolling type of song, and I love it. Listen and enjoy:

New Muzak Monday (Xtina’s Songs of the Week)

This week has been the best and the worst. Wrestling season is over, so my fears of talking to a volleyball are over, but my purse was stolen, so that sucks. During this time of suffering and joy (RED ROBIN!), I have been listening to some great music. We may have already shared a few of the songs (e.g. Sufjan Stevens), but I have been listening to it non-stop, so I put it on this playlist.

Best Coast has a new song out, and I really like it. It’s about my favorite place (California). It feels very Best Coast-y, but it also has an India-era Beatles sound to it*. Also, have you guys heard about Colleen Green? She’s the new queen of music, I think, and rightly so. She is a badass guitarist, and her lyrics straddle that fine line between lightheartedness and sadness that Best Coast is also known for.

Calexico has a new song as well. The song, which features Ben Bridwell of Band of Horses, sounds very Belle and Sebastian-esque, which I am not angry about. The playlist, aptly titled “Cool New Tunez Xtina Likes,” also features a new Toro Y Moi song. I haven’t listened to them very much in the past, but I am going to have to start because this song is legit. Also, Lady Lamb the Beekeeper? She is incredible, and I can’t stop listening to this song. I want it to play on a loop in my head 24/7.

Finally, Panda Bear’s new song, which sounds like it could be on an Animal Collective album, is really great. AND: No one told me a new Built to Spill album was coming out!!!! I can’t believe it. I am so happy. You should be, too. Listen to “Living Zoo” forever.

*How did the Beatles go through so many phases in such a short amount of time? And they were all influential! I’ve been in the same angry at the world/teenage phase for 12 years, and no one ever listens to me!!!

“I’m Nothing Without Love” (Zach’s Song of The Day)

Nate Ruess of the band FUN. and The Format announced that he’s releasing a solo album. That’s great news if you’re a Nate Ruess fan. He’s got the best voice in the biz in my opinion. The name of his new song is called “I’m Nothing Without Love” and I would call it a fusion of both bands Ruess has fronted. It’s most definitly a pop song. The hooks, chorus and oohs and ahhs are as catchy as ever. If Harry Nilsson were alive and making music this is what it would probably sound like.

New Death Cab for Cutie (Xtina’s Song of the Day)

Death Cab for Cutie released a song off their new album today. I can’t say for sure what “No Room in Frame” is about, but it feels like a sassy breakup song with L.A. and the person who brought him there as well as a return to Gibbard’s native Seattle. It’s fairly poppy as far as Death Cab songs go, but I love it. Ben Gibbard is one of my favorite writers, as I have said again and again, and this song didn’t let me down. Give it a listen.