(1) Last week I couldn't stop rocking Russenorsk in the Civic stereo. This week the same has been true of Deer Tick. I unfortunately missed the Providence/Brooklyn band when they played Rumba Cafe last Friday, but I've more than made up for it by listening to several hours' worth of War Elephant this week. It's such a strong record from front to back, the sort of album I rarely come across these days... the kind where a different track becomes a new favorite every day or so. (Currently that would be the swoon-worthy country ballad "Long Time.") Thank God they'll be playing countless shows at SXSW next week. I would be really bummed to have completely missed my chance to see them.

(2) I sat down with Andrew Graham of local weirdo folk rockers RTFO Bandwagon earlier this week to chat about the band's new LP Dums Will Survive. If Deer Tick has dominated my car stereo, this one has been blasting in my office headphones nearly as much. It's so spunky and raw without sounding like a complete mess. And the quiet stuff might even be better. I was jazzed to find out they put my two favorite tracks, the staid "Like a Dan Shearer Over Troubled Water" and the scatterbrained "Skipper Bunkum" on their MySpace page. Please listen. I'm looking forward to catching up with them in Austin as they play some shows and parties around SXSW next week. Look for some coverage of that, as well as a preview of their album release "ceremony" in our March 26 issue.

(3) At home, it's been the recently leaked new albums from Grizzly Bear and Yeah Yeah Yeahs, especially that new Grizzly album, Veckatimest. You must purchase a copy of this on May 26. More on these records coming upon their official release.

(4) That Receiver video from yesterday is still flickering in the recesses of my brain. Really well done, guys.