Stream-of-consciousness lyrics, Aussie accent, rolling guitar licks, sharp drums, and slacker-rock singles, with comparisons to everyone from Bob Dylan to PJ Harvey to Pavement. 

Conclusion:
Courtney Barnett is so freaking cool.
 
 
Another Soundtrack pick, this one attributed to one of my main guys, Theron.  Suitably dramatic, I think, particularly as his story goes along; BUT, rather than being some morose piano lament, it's a fast-paced, fuzzy guitar fest with a driving beat and some great riffs:

I caught a glimpse of professional evil on the day our poor hearts died
I fell in love with professional evil on the day you left my side
I seen tons of people, looking lost and lethal, and I think we're all the same
So I scale the steeple and I take a leap, but I just can't keep the stain from my soul....

 
 
The Kid picks this new release from Weezer's latest album "Everything Will Be Alright In the End."  Your standard hooky, sing-a-long, crunchy-rock Weezer sound, but with the added delight of the male/female duet, with the vocalist from Beach House (who I wrote about here) joining in to sneer at the "stupid boy."
 
 
Everyone has heard Hozier's "Take Me To Church" by now, right?  I have to confess: not a big fan of that single.  I know it's super popular, and I appreciate Hozier's distinctive voice, but the tempo, or the key the chorus is sung in, it grates on me for some reason.  I far prefer this more obscure track of his: so down south and bluesy and slick.  What a great title, too. I heard this once on the radio yesterday and I've been singing along to it ever since.
 
 
Here's a song that's tailor-made for two of my main characters, their stormy, complicated relationship, and the events of Book Three. Piano, delicate vocals, strings, and a romantic, frustrated, tumultuous breakdown: "run away with me....."  Listening to it on repeat as I write.
 
 
I realized that I've had "September" up as the Kid's #1 Pick for some time now, and I never wrote an entry!  It's still one of his favorites, known as the "tember" song, and he gets really excited when it comes on shuffle.  Synth-pop ecstacy, fun, danceable, another great pick from a band that I hear is incredible live; alas, the word is getting out about St. Lucia - upcoming Boston show already sold out! 

Speaking of Boston shows, I make my way to the Sinclair tonight to see Danish musician Agnes Obel.  I've been to concerts alone, but this is my first club show on my own.  Still, if I were a dude, this wouldn't be a big deal, and I'm a big believer of doing what you want, regardless of company, so onward into the big city.  Report to follow.
 
 
One of my all-time favorite "heartbreak" songs, by the  underrated country-folk singer-songwriter Patty Griffin. Oh, how this song gets me right in the gut, and has for years; how deeply I connect with every twist of her heart, and the quiet anguish in the way she sings:

"I love you but I don't / even know why,"

or the crescendo of:

"he says his love is all gone / every move I make is all wrong / says he never gave a damn for me / for anything / for anyone....." 

Warning: might make you cry, despite the title.
 
 
Holy 1980s pop-rock!  A nod to MANNEQUIN in the music video, and the lead singer reminds me of John Cusack with the dark hair and long trenchcoat.  Awesome, super dance-able, brand new single, and still very much under the radar, going by the 25K hits on this video!
 
 
I saw BEGIN AGAIN with Keira Knightley and Mark Ruffalo a few days back (good pick, nicely unexpected ending). From the maker of ONCE, and very reminiscent of that focus on musical performance and emotion, I was struck by "Like a Fool," created by Keira's character on a drunken night, left as a voicemail on her ex's phone.  It's not the greatest singing voice, it's a little bit hippy-dippy, but in that last line (not safe for kids), it made me want to listen again.
 
 
A  straightforward request from the Kid, on the way to daycare this morning: "Soul Meets Body" comes on AltNation, and he very politely asked when it was done: "Can I hear it again?"   That repeated once more, until we got to our destination.  I'm tickled.  I've always liked this 2005 release; it's another song that's perfect for driving on the highway, amidst "a melody softly soaring through my atmosphere."