Mates of State delivered their monomanias via BlackBerry, which is a Head Cheese first. But vocalist Kori Gardner's Top 5 "things that should be brought back" in keeping with the title of the duo's fourth album and first for Barsuk, Bring it Back is as thoughtful and mildly, sweetly poignant as the keyboard-driven indie pop she makes with husband Jason Hammel. Shout-outs to gallant grandfathers and Donna Dresch? That's gold, kids.
5. Four tracks: Yeah, ProTools is easy. But you had to be way more creative with a four track. I remember when every band I knew had one, and the tapes always sounded like shit even if you knew what you were doing. The songs had to be great in order to withstand the machine's crap and hiss.
4. Robert W. KehrJason never met my grandpa, but they would've been best buds. He told the world's longest stories even if he cleared the room out by the end. He read the dictionary for fun and taught himself other languages that he never used. Plus, he played the organ daily.
3. Chocolate mint Bubble Yum: The pink kind sucks, but chewing the chocolate mint flavor was like having a fresh bowl of ice cream in your mouth all day long.
2. San Francisco: We miss living there. We miss our friends there. Why did the computer industry boom have to happen in San Fran? It forced all the cool people out.
1. Team Dresch: We saw them before they broke up, and then at a recent reunion show. Both shows reside in our Top 10 live list. One of the greatest bands ever; I want to be Donna Dresch.
Sunday, Sept. 17 at the Blind Pig, 208 First St., Ann Arbor; 734-996-8555. With Starlight Mints.Send comments to firstname.lastname@example.org