This is an ongoing diary in which I will take notes about record I’m writing about in the Downloader’s Diary column (an actual literal diary, how about that). I’ll make an oath not to myself to edit myself after the fact (I’ll save that energy for the column proper), so this will be fairly loose, unstructured, unfiltered. In other words, you’ve been warned.

We’ll start with the first record of the year, by which I mean 2013 – I won’t bother taking notes on 2012 items, and probably not catalog items either. Yo La Tengo’s Fade, which everyone in my sphere of influence seems to love, but I’m not impressed, at least not just yet. I much prefer them in brighter, faster mode, but that doesn’t strike me as the specific problem – the songs are often constructed around one chord drones (the first song is titled “Ohm,” so they must be aware of this). I personally like drones, but I’m not sure these go anywhere – Ira and Georgia are murmuring more than usual, and most of the heavy lifting is done by the strings and horns, which provide the color and melody that make drones not merely “one note.” I couldn’t understand a word. The one song that stood out was faster, and sported this very nifty chord change in the chorus: “Paddle Forward.” I should probably download Popular Songs, their 2009 record which I totally missed, for a little comparison.