Looking ahead: Nov. 2006-Feb. 2007

The new release season is winding down for the Christmas break, and it won’t pick up again till the spring. So there isn’t much to preview this time around.

I’m very cranky these days. Is this what happens to aging music fans? I like to think it is.

Patty Griffin, Children Running Through, Feb. 6

The strong blues influence on Griffin’s previous album, Impossible Dream, made it feel too generically Austin. The city, alas, has its abundance of blue-influenced singer-songwriters, and Griffin usually manages to rise above it.

A while back, I heard her music used in the film Loggerheads, and I keep telling myself I should check out Living with Ghosts one of these days.

Wendy & Lisa, Wendy & Lisa, Nov. 21

Wendy & Lisa, Fruit at the Bottom, Nov. 21

Wendy & Lisa nowadays earn their keep doing soundtrack work, and you can hear them on the TV show Heroes. (I dislike that show — bad writing for such a good concept. Of course, it would be a hit.)

The duo’s self-titled debut album was the first prototype for blending alternative rock with funk, which would eventually be mastered by the likes of Res. Fruit at the Bottom isn’t as strong the self-titled album, but it can grow on you.

Here’s hoping Wounded Bird manages to reissue Wendy & Lisa’s Eroica.

Zoobombs, B*B*B, Nov. 18

Somehow, I managed to listen to the fan-only release Vamos a Bailar but not the band’s previous album, New Sanfrancisco. (Thank you, JPOPSUKI!) I should just get rid of the DRM chip on my shoulder and buy it on iTunes.

Zoobombs are comfortable with who they are, and they’re wise not to fuck with a good formula. The songs are getting longer, the jams becoming more extended. But there’s no threat of the band zigging or zagging, and what better band to jam than one with punk attitude toward funk?

The Shins, Wincing the Night Away, Jan. 23

I never managed to listen to Chutes Are Narrow, but I do own Oh, Inverted World. I’m not into the Shins or Death Cab for Cutie like most of the indie cognoscenti, but I like what I hear from both bands.

Yaida Hitomi, It’s a New Day, Nov. 22

Here today, gone tomorrow was some of Yaida’s freshest writing in years. I wish she would take more time to make albums.

Hitoto Yo, Best Yo, Nov. 29

Already with the greatest hits?

U2, U218, Nov. 21

Again with the greatest hits?

(I heard a bit of the Green Day collaboration. Wow. Definitely a low point in both bands’ careers.)

Sasagawa Miwa, "Mayoi Naku", Nov. 8

As much as I love what Sasagawa Miwa does with traditional Celtic and Japanese music, I just have to say "Oborotzukyo" was one boring single. It looks like she’s gearing up for a new album, and I’m not optimistic.

Art-School, TBD, Dec. 12

Masuko Tatsuki is producing this single. Let’s hope the Supercar producer can work magic where Tony Levin couldn’t.

Tommy heavenly6, TBD, Dec. 6

Tommy heavenly6 has been incredibly productive since the release of her debut album last year. It’s like Kawase Tomoko is making up for lost time — or compensating for wasted time on Tommy february6 — and I am willing sucker to her commercial refraction of indie rock.

Nirgilis, "Snow Kiss", Nov. 22

This band is gaining momentum. Too bad it’s not with the member who actually made their music interesting.