End-of-summer fun with Liars, Animal Collective, Thurston Moore

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By Sean Manning

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Ah, the end of summer. A time to wake back up to reality - be it the impending school semester, a new work opportunity, or simply the realization that you’ve been lying face down in a pile of your own dirty laundry for the past few months. It’s the year’s second wind, a time for renewal and our last chance to come out on top.

It’s also, as you may have noticed, as great time for stuff in general. From movies trying to land their way onto Roger Ebert’s goo-rag to a flurry of albums being unleashed on an unsuspecting public, our wallets never seem too deep. Here’s just a few things to salivate over in the coming weeks.

Liars, Liars (Aug. 28): Every guy I know loves the Liars, and each guy’s respective girlfriend seems to hate them. What’s the deal with that? These guys are heavy, though, and this new one proves that Drum’s Not Dead was no fluke. In addition to the face-melting stuff, you get a couple of nice melodic tracks, including the bouncy “Houseclouds,” which is everything Beck wishes The Information was.

Animal Collective, Strawberry Jam (TBA): This band came back on my radar in a big way earlier this year with Panda Bear’s terrific Person Pitch, so there’s plenty of expectation surrounding this release. While not quite as joyously blissful as that album (or even Feels), Strawberry Jam is an adventurous album that further expands Animal Collective’s range (wait til you hear “Unsolved Mysteries,” which sounds like it was pulled straight of Super Mario Sunshine).

Thurston Moore, Trees Outside the Academy (Sept. 18) Good old Thurston Moore is going unplugged on this one. Gasp! Does that mean he’s winding down, getting ready for his golden years John Denver style? No, it pretty much sounds like Sonic Youth, with some nice folkly flourishes. And a gem of a recording of Thurston at age 13, experimenting with a tape recorder, hitting random objects, and narrating for your listening pleasure.