On Saturday night Emily, Charles, Kriston, Becks and I staked out a table at Temperance Hall. And, while engaged in the larger project of noticing how much I like the bar’s jukebox, I was reminded how god-damned great Wolf Parade is.

Or how great they were, anyway. It’s been a while since that album came out. In between then and now most of the attention directed to Wolf Parade has been transferred to Sunset Rubdown, the incredibly self-indulgent side project masterminded by Spencer Krug, one of the band’s two founders. I did not approve.

WP is getting ready to finally release a new album (due to what I can only assume is a hilarious swapped-briefcase incident with the folks who run Pancake Mountain, it’s called At Mount Zoomer). And, as these things must, it’s trickled onto the internet and today, finally, onto my ipod. Stereogum gave it a review and liked it; I’m not so sure. It’s too early to say, really — these tracks sound to my uneducated ear like a rough mix. Either that, or the production is going to fall far short of the mark set by their debut’s trademark “being pursued in the dark through the wreck of an abandoned spaceship” timbre.

But even if that’s fixed, I doubt these songs are going to live up to Apologies to the Queen Mary. I need to give it a few more listens, though.

More cheerfully on all fronts: you can legally stream the forthcoming Mates of State album on MySpace right now. It’s short but excellent. Not as good as Bring It Back, maybe, but that record is one of my favorites. This new album, Re-Arrange Us, seems to me to be a little more emotionally one-dimensional — at least at first listen — but the band is continuing to avoid repeating itself while maintaining a beautiful pop center that somehow fails to be embarrassing. Not, of course, that I’m very good about being embarrassed by pop music, even when I probably should be.

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