A few years back we started the tradition of holding a “listen party” for some of our favorite releases. We were living in Rwanda, so it was a good excuse to get some like-minded people together and reconnect back to our home culture. We would always do it the day the album was officially released and would usually purchase the album via iTunes. We would start the download first thing in the morning to make sure it had the whole day to download, pending connectivity interruptions, power outages, and the like. If it was an album we really liked we would have two or three downloads going on different computers (from different wifi sources – school, home, coffee shop) just in case one of the computers crashed or got stolen or dropped or mysteriously stopped working. (All of these things happened at least once in our four years). We were dedicated. It was awesome. Albums we had parties for included The Low Anthem’s Smart Flesh, Hayes Carll’s KMAG YOYO, and Joe Pug’s The Great Despiser.
Tonight is our first 2014 listen party and it’s for Hurray for the Riff Raff’s latest release. I guess that would make it the album I’ve been most excited about since January (really since I saw them for my birthday in October). Excited as I was for other releases (Damian Jurado, Broken Bells, and Against Me!), they did not earn a listen party slot. I haven’t even listened to the songs at the WNYC Soundcheck link below because I just don’t want to spoil it.
At 8:00 tonight after the kids are asleep my wife and brother-in-law roommate and I will all pour drinks of choice and sit down on a couch. I will plug our sound system into my laptop, and we will give the album a complete listen before any words are uttered. Then after silence returns once more, we will discuss the finer points of the record, maybe even giving it another go if it’s super awesome. It will be kind of sacred. Care to join?