1) You know why The Hold Steady's new album sucks, and why they're not what the Felchfork overhype says what they are? Girls don't like them.
2) The Decemberists' The Crane Wife is only slightly better than the Hold Steady's new one. Meloy writes lyrics and sings, rather than reciting rant poetry. The band is better, too. And yet I fell asleep, like I always do during Amy Tan novels.
3) The new Dears record, Gang of Losers, is only listenable on a great system. Otherwise only about five songs leap high enough to transcend bad speakers. This is disappointing.
4) The new Changes' record, Today is Tonight, is that one fey pop record you need.
5) The new Clinic is sadly limp. Like watching your parents become slowly, physically debilitated.
6) The Ike Yard reissue is the shzzzt. Harsh, expansive. Creepy. This Heat was their only true contemporaries.
7) Tap Tap'sLanzafame sounds like nothing in particular, and then everything. Clinic at its best. The young Clinic.
8) Takka Takka is now opening for Clap Your Hands Say Why Don't You Fuck Off. Enough with the band names like Tap Tap, Takka Takka. Someone name a band Fuck Fuck, please. They all sound like Ewok music, anyway.
9) I'm thinking of starting a band called This Band Has 23 Members Because I'm Too Much of a Pussy to Tell My Untalented Friends That They Can't Be in My Band.
10) Grizzly Bear's newish one, Yellow House, is a smart one, picking up on Eno's longstanding, muted, and usually ignored fascination with 50s doo-wop. It sounds like the haunted ghost of Another Green World, slower and quieter.
11) The new hyped Westerberg song, from the Open Season soundtrack, is quality.
12) And while I'm at it, let me place before you another entry in the sweepstakes for who can make the best album inspired by Kate Bush, but not Tori Amos (not really). I'm talking to you, My Brightest Diamond, El Perro Del Mar, and Frida Hyvonen. You're not doing a bad job, just no one will ever remake something like The Dreaming.