This morning, over a light meal with my friend Natasha, I reminisced about the time I inexplicably thought the American Chinese restaurant chain P.F Chang’s was a local family run business in Waikiki.
While the details surrounding my theory have nothing to do with why I’m sharing this anecdote, I’ll mention them anyway because they are funny. My parents, along with my two older brothers and I, went to Waikiki in 2009 for our first family holiday as full-grown adults. The trip was an absolute shit-show littered with arguments, personal revelations, and Mai Tai hangovers. At one point, the tension reached such a catastrophic level that my brother threw a tortilla chip loaded with guacamole at my father’s favourite shirt.
By the third day of our trip, we pretty much ate separately. One afternoon, I found my dad devouring a plate of chicken lettuce cups at the P.F Chang’s close to our hotel. He loved them so much he went there the next three days in a row. Fast forward about a year and I’m driving through St. Louis, Missouri when I notice a P.F Chang’s in a strip mall to my left. “Oh my god, the Chang family have a restaurant here, too?” I exclaimed to my American boyfriend at the time. Needless to say, savage mockery ensued. Turns out P.F Chang’s operates in 214 locations in the U.S and has franchised 93 stores in 24 countries.
Anyway, when I recounted that story this morning, I referred to it as happening ‘pretty recently’ when it in fact happened in 2009. In my mind, 2009 wasn’t all that long ago, but Natasha was quick to point out that 2009 was actually almost a decade ago. In response, I laughed dismissively and pretended I was joking. Then I asked to be excused and locked myself in the bathroom, where I wept uncontrollably for the next four hours. I have only now re-emerged from the bathroom, bloody-eyed and parched beyond belief. But I had a revelation in there while I tried to reconcile what the absolute fuck I have done with the last ten years of my life. I’ve decided I’m going to embrace 2019 with excitement and vigour and look forward to all the riches the near future will bring, beginning with these five albums rumoured to be dropping next year. There we go. Got there in the end.
For those among us with exceptional music taste, you will recognise the above track as the opener of Tool’s last album, 10,000 Days. Speaking of a number of days, guess how many it’s been since Tool released said album? 4,586. Guess who cares? Me, and millions of other achingly desperate fans across the world with exceptional music taste. Since releasing their last album in 2006 (lol, not a joke) there have been countless rumours about a follow-up. Back in 2014, bassist Adam Jones cruelly joked to fans at a meet-and-greet in Portland that not only was the Tool album finished, but that it was coming out the very next day. The band posted a statement to their Facebook in March of this year confirming that they had officially moved into the studio before cruelly pranking everyone again on April Fools Day by pretending to release a new song. But now the band have started to release images from inside the studio as proof of their progress, and last month the band announced a slew of 2019 tour dates which one can only assume will coincide with an album release. SURELY.
Speaking of musicians who take their sweet-ass time to release records, remember when we all waited 14 years between D’Angelo’s Voodoo, and his 2014 follow up, Black Messiah? It turned out that D’Angelo was dealing with some pretty serious substance abuse issues throughout that time, and Black Messiah was totally worth the wait anyway. It looks like we won’t be cooling our knees for much longer though, with the soul singer cancelling a performance earlier this year because he was “deep in the recording process”. Fans have put the rumour mill into overdrive ever since, and I’m not too ashamed to admit I’ve been caught up in the hopeful hysteria.
In October of 2016, the world received a truly magical gift: Solange’s third full-length album, A Seat at the Table. Oh, what I wouldn’t give to pull up a chair at one of Solange Knowle’s dinner parties. I bet she’s a fantastic cook, too, because is there anything she can’t do? She even managed to rock hives at her wedding. Seriously, the amount of cool she omits is almost offensive. Anyway, earlier this year, New York Times journalist Ayana Mathis published an article saying we should expect a Solange release “this fall, probably sometime soon.” Alas, fall has come and gone, so Solange updated her Instagram bio last week to respond to the increased speculation. It reads: “prolly next year.” Suddenly 2019 can’t come soon enough.
Okay, so I’ll admit that this one might be more of a personal wish than a well-informed rumour. BUT, hear me out. In April of this year, Chris Douridas of LA-based KCRW radio announced on his show that Tom Waits is “at work on a new album.” I know because I listened to the audio posted here. Is a ten-second audio clip enough evidence to make such a declaration? No, but I’m doing it anyway because there’s only so many times I can listen to “Bad As Me” before I quite literally go crazy.
Back in July, The Leo Weekly published an interview with Jenny Lewis where she is quoted as saying “I’m actually finishing up a mix on my record this week.” So, unless The Leo Weekly is lying, this news comes straight from one of America’s most beautifully voiced mouths. Alert your appropriate Kleenex stockists: tears incoming.