Audio Specials

Date

Bruce Springsteen 65th Birthday Set with Scott Mervis

In honor of The Boss' 65th birthday, Scott Mervis (Pittsburgh Post Gazette) shares some Bruce Springsteen songs with Cindy Howes on The Morning Mix. When Mervis was asked to be on The Morning Mix to celebrate Springsteen’s 65th birthday, he immediately searched for the closest thing The Boss has to a birthday song in his catalogue. While Springsteen never quite took on writing his own version of “Happy Birthday”, “Growin Up” is a timeless song about coming of age from early in his career. Mervis notes how this song really exemplifies the early sound Springsteen established, “There was that Dylan and beat poet, Alan Ginsberg those academic influences on him, but he was also like this bar rocker, sort of a mid-west ascetic, and I think that’s what you see early in his career and in this song you hear this surreal poetry that he picked up from those guys”. For Mervis’ second Springsteen song he thinks back to his own personal experience of seeing his first Springsteen show in 1978 at the Stanley Theater. Mervis recalls being in awe of Springsteen’s emotion fueled performance of “Something in the Night” from the Darkness on the Edge of Town tour, “I can still see him… all the lights were turned down and he did these screams at the end and I thought this guy is unreal. It was amazing. It’s one of my favorite tracks on that album”.For his 3rd pick, Mervis goes to what is one of the most highly regarded albums in Springsteen’s catalogue, Nebraska, with the song “Johnny 99”. Nebraska holds reverence as one of the great Springsteen albums but it also is noted for being the first time Springsteen became particularly political in his music. Mervis explains how it was in Pittsburgh that Springsteen took a political stand with “Johnny 99”, “Ronald Reagan had just quoted Springsteen and "Born in the U.S.A.". Springsteen had heard about it and he said ‘I don’t think Ronald Reagan heard this song’…on the stage at The Civic Arena”. Mervis also points out how "Johnny 99" was so poignant in 1984 Pittsburgh, “he saw what was happening with manufacturing and Pittsburgh and the steel mills closing…"Johnny 99" was about this disenfranchised American worker”.Mervis also discusses Springsteen’s current career as a musician, “If I were to do my power rankings of rockers who are of social security age and can still pull it off, I think Springsteen would be number one…he is still playing these long 3 hours shows”.  It’s noted how Springsteen can still be seen stage diving and pushing his performances to the limit even now that he is celebrating his 65th birthday.Mervis' Springsteen picks:1. "Growin' Up"2. "Something In The Night"3. "Johnny 99"

Chuck Prophet on The Morning Mix

Chuck Prophet joins Cindy Howes on The Morning Mix to discuss his new album, Night Surfer.  Chuck’s vision for the album was to question what the world might be 20 to 30 years from now, which he attempted to answer by observing the state of his home San Francisco (aka Startup City, USA). “At some point I tapped into this dystopian thing, looking around at life in Startup City, USA has changed a lot in the last few years”. Prophet observes that even when there seems to be economic prosperity it does not necessarily equate to a bright future, “Even in my neighborhood there has been an influx of money which is great on some levels but on other levels people have a lot tied up into their condos here and they don’t like to see the fringe element. Any day I half expect to get rounded up and chased out of town”. Prophet also notes that he loves his home, “I’m still the type of person that loves his $13 sandwich and overpriced cappuccino”.On Night Surfer, Prophet got the opportunity to work with Peter Buck of R.E.M. Prophet has been a fan of R.E.M. for a very long time and has always seen them as an influence and a band that has paved the way for others, “I always admired them, they respected each other, knew how to compromise, every challenge that came along they figured out how to do it. They led the charge for so many great bands”.  As for Peter Buck himself, Prophet says that as a guitar player it doesn’t seem like he is doing much but his contributions are indispensable, “he always adds something to the song that is hard to take out, he is just an intuitive hook machine”. Cindy moves on to ask Prophet about the first song on the album “Countrified Inner City Technological Man” and what exactly that means. To which Prophet can only say that he simply does not know, “it’s a little like be bop a loo ba she’s my baby, I don’t really know… It was fun enough for me to keep messing around with until it became a song”.Prophet also discusses his unique voice and how he uses it with his writing, “I’ve never been a singer… I think I can deliver a song and I think I can get into the head of a character” he goes on to say that despite his love of music he often prefers unique voices, “I like singers that don’t sound like singers, I don’t like to be sung at…I like to hear people talk the way they talk”.The album Night Surfer is out 9/23/2014 , Chuck Prophet performs at Club Café November 15th.

Mike Doughty on The Morning Mix

Morning Mix host, Cindy Howes, is joined by former Soul Coughing frontman, Mike Doughty to talk about his new album Stellar Motel.  It is obvious on this new album that Doughty is not afraid to explore many musical ideas, featuring many rap artists and guest appearances, Mike explains his changing perspective, “This album was all about Collaborating with [producer] Good Goose, who I did work with on the last one, the making of it was all between me and him”. DJ Good Goose is known for being a rap producer and Mike explains that through him he met many rappers, a resource that was taken advantage of as many of the tracks heavily feature various rap artists, “I was just doing whatever I could to work with great artists and enjoy their company”. Doughty's love of rap and country has been evident through his career and the blending of these two genres can be seen on Stellar Motel. “My dad was from Louisiana, and he played a lot of Hank Williams in the car, it took me a long time to appreciate it but it just got set into my bones at some point…the longer I write songs the farther I go into country music”.Mike is performing in Pittsburgh November 24th and Stellar Motel is out 9/16/2014.

Moby Guest DJs on The Morning Mix

Moby guest DJs on the Morning Mix with Cindy Howes. Moby's first choice as guest DJ is Kris Kristofferson's “Me and Bobby McGee”. Moby explains that his picks today are not reflective of the music he performs, but the music he grew up loving, “My mom was a hippie. I grew up hearing a lot of Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young, Janis Joplin and Carole King. It’s the music that I loved when I was young.” Moby says this song has a special place in his heart, “it's a beautiful, warm romantic song, I think it has the arguably the most romantic line ever written in a song”. Moby actually got the opportunity to join Kristofferson on stage and asked him if they could perform “Me and Bobby McGee” “I thought he would shut it down and says that’s Janis' song, but instead he happily agreed to play it with me." Moby’s second pick as Guest DJ is James Blake performing Joni Mitchell's “A Case of You”. “Somehow [Blake] segued from pure experimental electronic music into almost more into this new strange genre of singer-songwriter/electronic music.” Moby finds himself enamored with Blake’s vocals “His voice is so beautiful and so emotive, everything he sings just immediately sounds heart breaking”. It has been noted that Moby would like to collaborate with Blake and, in fact, tried to with his album Innocence but it simply did not work out.For his third and final guest DJ pick Moby chose “Heroes” by David Bowie. “I think "Heroes" is possibly the most perfect song ever written”. Moby reflects a time when he was going on tour with Bowie and he was joined by the musician in his apartment. “I said why don’t we do an acoustic version of "Heroes"?... And there was just the two of us… in my apartment on a Saturday morning playing an acoustic version of "Heroes".”Moby performs Sunday at the Thrival Festival, a day that is being dedicated entirely to electronic music, an idea that was actually his design.  “I choose what festivals I attend by the intention of the organizers, there are a lot of sleazy electronic festivals and I try to avoid them…when I saw the artists for Sunday and Saturday I could tell that the organizers were not just trying to make a buck and actually were really thinking about the artists they were playing, and that made me excited to get involved”.Moby’s Guest DJ Set list:Kris Kristofferson – “Me and Bobby McGee”James Blake – “A Case of You”David Bowie – “Heroes”

Portugal. The Man Guest DJs on The Morning Mix

Host of the Morning Mix Cindy Howes sits down with Zack Carothers the founding member of Portugal. The Man for this guest DJ session. Zacks first song Nirvanas “In Bloom” is what he describes as what started his playing of rock and roll. Zack says that he was always into music, “My parents had a really great record collection it was Floyd, Zeppelin, the Beatles” however Nirvana was the first Band he found all on his own through MTV, “Nobody told me to listen to them I just found them I loved it I connected with it…still on of the most influential artists for us”.For His second song Zack departs slightly from the Rock of Nirvana to “Intergalactic” one of the most iconic songs from The Beastie Boys, another song zack found in his early days discovering music in his home state of Alaska. Zack describes Beastie Boys as another example of “the reason we play music”. Zack also regales in his more recent experience of actually getting to work with Beastie Boy member Mike D on what may be a future project, "We met him, we just started talking about music and we get along very well and have been making crazy amounts of music and it has been very fun and very inspiring". when asked if this work would lead to a new album zack states simply..."We think so, we have no idea what it is actually for but we are just making music and we will figure out what its for when we are done."Zacks third and final choice as guest as guest DJ is “Shark attack” by Grouplove, the band Portugal. The Man has been touring with. “It’s been absolutely insane…our crews love each other, we are definitely drinking too much but we are having a lot of fun”.Zach's song picks:1. Nirvana - "In Bloom"2. Beastie Boys - "Intergalactic"3. Grouplove - "Shark Attack"

Jim Eno of Spoon Guest DJs on The Morning Mix

 Spoon drummer, Jim Eno, plays guest DJ on the Morning Mix with Cindy Howes. Spoon has just released “They want my Soul” in August and will be preforming in Pittsburgh this Thursday the 11th of September 2014 at the Carnegie Library of Homestead. For this guest DJ session Jim brought several of his current favorite picks.Jim starts with “Turn it Up” by London based band Factory Floor. Jim’s band mate Rob Pope originally turned Jim onto Factory Floor, a three piece band that has a very dance oriented focus, Jim describes Factory Floor as “ridiculous live”. For his second pick, Jim reaches to the 70's and chooses a Nigerian pop pseudo reggae artist, William Onyeabar, and his song “When the Going Gets Good and Smooth” . Jim has found himself really drawn to the somewhat dance oriented reggae feel to the song.  Third and lastly Jim chooses “Uncertainty” by Jagwar Ma, another three piece band originally from Australia. Jim had gotten to chance to work with Jagwar Ma and would describe their sound as… “cross of modern pop, 808 drum machines, and hip hop beats”.Jim and Cindy also discuss some of Jims other work recording and producing numerous bands in his own studio, often exclusively for Spotify. Jim Eno's song picks:1. Factory Floor - "Turn It Up"2. William Onyeabor - "When The Going Gets Good and Smooth"3. Jagwar Ma - "Uncertainty"

Party at the Pier Guest DJ with Stephan Bontrager

Cindy Howes sits down with  Stephen Bontrager for today’s guest DJ session, Stephen is the Communication Director for Riverlife, a non-profit organization dedicated to developing and restoring Pittsburgh’s beautiful river fronts, creating an interconnected system of parks and recreational hubs for the denizens of Pittsburgh and guests in our great city. Riverlife is celebrating its 15th anniversary in a big way on Friday the 5th of September with a Party at the Pier, with a Gold and Glam theme.The party will be gushing gold and glam and that includes the fashion, the food, and even the music. To start Stephens first picks the song “Gold on the Ceiling” by The Black Keys; rocks right along to the theme and is certain to make any partygoer move. Stephen then chooses “Band of Gold” by Freda payne, despite being the “happiest breakup song” its upbeat rhythm and Freda’s own high-flown vocals fits perfectly with the gold and glam theme. Veering away slightly from the theme of gold, Stephens third pick is aimed more towards rivers which is of course the very reason and name sake of riverlife. “I Follow Rivers” performed by Lykke Li.“This party gets bigger every year and it’s great to see that community of support” says Stephen. The partiey is tonight Friday the 5th of September and includes boat rides refreshments and live music. More information can be found at partyonthepier.com and wyep.org under community connections.

Bobby Spehar Teacher Guest DJ

Joey Spehar took the opportunity to sit down with his very own brother, Bob, for a Guest DJ session.Bobby teaches English at Sto-Rox High School as well as at Robert Morris University.  Bobby begins his session with a track that hits very close to home for him as an educator. “Children's Potential” by Tony Duggins, is a long a capella piece that begs the listener to really consider the ways in which educational programs becomes funded and just how imbalanced and unfair it often appears to be. Bobby suggests while listening to the song to, “contemplate what we as a society value and maybe how we can better serve our citizens in most need” citing the songs themes of education “who better to help than children?” Bob's second song “Popular” by Nada Surf is one that Joey and Bobby both recall listening to as they were entering the world of high school and Bobby feels that he can make a parallel between “Popular” and Kanye West's “The New Workout Plan”  pointing out the “pseudo-ironic advice” as a satire that he loves to instill in his own students. As an english teacher any song that is influenced by a classic work of literature is likely to turn his ear. “Afternoons and Coffeespoons” by Crash Test Dummies (influenced by T.S. Elliot's poem "The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock"), is a much more light hearted take on what Bobby describes as “not a very happy poem” but he admires the way the song juxtaposes the unhappy themes with a up-tempo attitude, saying  “if we spend all of our time worrying then we’re not really living” something that he feels good teachers need to recognize and pass onto their students.  The Song “Satellite Radio” by Steve Earle might, at face value, seem to be more relevant to WYEP’s own Spehar Brother, but Bobby would cite the songs opening lines which describe the many trials of waking up in the morning and having to do one’s job, as a great description of his daily routine as an educator, “sometimes your tired, sometimes your throat hurts…but at the end of the day you have to put on your radio show, and I have to teach my class, and we both have to make things happen”Bobby’s final pick “Hurricane Season” by Trombone Shorty to him personifies his passion of school when it is really good. Bobby says “If a song can do that if a song can show that if a song can breathe that out of its self then this is that song”. Bobby Spehar’s Guest DJ Setlist:Nada Surf – PopularCrash Test Dummies – Afternoons & CoffeespoonsSteve Earle – Satellite RadioTrombone Shorty – Hurricane SeasonT. Duggins - Children's Potential

John Doe (X) Guest DJs on The Morning Mix

In this Guest DJ session Cindy Howes sat down with a member of the seminal punk band X, John Doe. John’s first selection is from a man he first saw at a festival while communing with nature in the dirt and the woods, which he felt “enhanced the experience” of listening to “Your Love will Blow Me Away when my Heart Aches” by Son Little. John Doe’s second pick is “Cradle your Device” by Tom Brosseau. When asked what he likes about this song he says “Tom is from another time as we both know…I love that he is writing about someone who is not paying attention to him…because they are to wrapped up in their damn phone, and he still makes it sound like it’s from another time”. He goes on to say how much he loves Tom Brosseau sense of humor.Johns third and final pick is “Ragetime” by Neko Case, a song he describes as what could have been the “Cross over hit of 2013…it’s like someone told her to go write a tom petty song”.  It’s a song he describes as powerful song that may have been intimidating to main stream music sources but deserves nothing but praise.Cindy and John go on to talk over what types of shows can be expected from his live shows with his band X and the new things they have trying on their tour.John Doe's song picks:1. Son Little - "Your Love Will Blow Me Away When My Heart Aches"2. Tom Brosseau - "Cradle Your Device"3. Neko Case - "Ragtime"

Carl Newman of New Pornographers on The Morning Mix

Carl Newman front man for The New Pornographers sits down with Cindy Howes on the morning mix to discuss their new album Brill Bruisers.  When asked what keeps himself and his bandmates who have their own projects coming back to tour and work with The New pornographers Carl simply says it’s easy, “we’re friends…we actually look forward to seeing each other which is a rare thing in bands.The name of the album Brill Bruisers is a nod to the Brill building in New York City that was a recording studio for many classic hits.  Carl ultimately says… “We have a lot of respect for those old song writers, I think we all do… but ultimately I just liked how Brill Bruisers sounded.Carl describes Brill Bruisers as a celebration album. He says that this album was a great departure from some of his other work that felt which heavier and personal; Brill Bruisers is “let’s just make a cool rock and roll album…return to the way we sounded in the past but with a more stream lined different new elements.”Cindy and Carl also discuss the ways in which the New Pornographers find who will be singing the tracks in a group that has many great voices, as well as the contributions his band mates make to the music. Brill Bruisers is available wherever music is sold.

Tom Brosseau on The Morning Mix

Cindy connects with Tom Brosseau while he is in his home state of North Dakota. While Brosseau has been living and performing in Los Angeles for more than 11 years there is something about North Dakota that always brings Brosseau back, “Physically I guess I just feel so much a part of the fabric there every fiber of my body is North Dakotan, I know that even though I enjoy going to other places I’ll probably return to North Dakota when I am old and gray”.For Grass punks Brosseau recorded with Sean Watkins of Nickel Creek, a project where he not only made a colleague but also a great friend, “it wasn’t until 2011 or so that Sean and I started hanging out and playing, and as a result this record came together and it was a lot of fun because I knew him but through this process of making a record together we became good things” he also points out how Watkins added a welcome element to his music, “what he brought to my record was kind of everything that my songs needed, I write very minimalisticly and Sean just has a knack for filling in the blanks”.  Brosseau has also been playing and working with actor John C. Reilly who he connected with at a show, “he happened to be in the audience at the time…he said if you ever want to sing together just for the love of singing and playing I’m a huge Everly Brothers fan, so we have this foundation that we connected on”. John C. Reilly and Friends is Reilly’s band that features Brosseau. The group focuses on preserving old time folk tunes, a genre of music that is a long time passion of Brosseau, “I think it needs to be carried on…this is what a lot of my family did for fun and I’m honoring that and I hope that other people will continue to do that, it is such a great thing we have these American folk songs”.Brosseau discusses his unique guitar style and those who have influenced him. Many of his big influences include Maybelle Carter, Elizabeth Cotton, and Etta Baker. Tom has a particular love for artists of the 80’s and was taught Guitar by his Grandmother an act that help set him on his musical path, “I appreciated having a family member sit down and spend time with me that way”Tom Brosseau’s newest album Grass Punks is now available.

WYEP Celebrates the 45th Anniversary of Woodstock

The Woodstock Festival was one of the watershed events of not only the counter-culture revolution of the 1960s and 1970s but in all of rock history. The audience of hundreds of thousands made Woodstock as memorable as the music from some of the most iconic bands of rock and folk of the day. To celebrate the 45th anniversary of this event, WYEP produced these short features to share facts, dispel myths, and play music performed at the original festival, chock full with audio clips from and related to the festival.1) topics: Sweetwater/Richie Havens; featured song: Richie Havens, 'Freedom'2) topics: Bert Sommer/Arlo Guthrie; featured song: Arlo Guthrie, 'Every Hand In The Land'3) topics: Quill/The Who; featured song: The Who, 'Pinball Wizard'4) topics: Melanie/The Band; featured song: The Band, 'Ain't No More Cane'5) topics: Ravi Shankar/Joan Baez; featured song: Joan Baez, 'Drug Store Truck Drivin Man'6) topics: programming between bands/Jefferson Airplane; featured song: Jefferson Airplane, 'Volunteers'7) topics: Sunday rainstorms/Joe Cocker; featured song: Joe Cocker, 'With a Little Help From My Friends'8) topics: Grateful Dead/Sha Na Na; featured song: Sha-Na-Na, 'At the Hop'9) topics: Mountain/Canned Heat; featured song: Canned Heat, 'Going Up The Country'10) topics: Keef Hartley Band/Creedence Clearwater Revival; featured song: CCR, 'I Put a Spell on You'11) topics: The Incredible String Band/John Sebastian; featured song: John Sebastian, 'Rainbows All Over Your Blues'12) topics: backstory to Woodstock/Sly and the Family Stone; featured song: Sly and the Family Stone, 'Everyday People'13) topics: acid/Country Joe and the Fish; featured song: Country Joe & the Fish, 'Feel-Like-I'm-Fixing-to-Die-Rag'14) topics: traffic problems/Santana; featured song: Santana, 'Evil Ways'15) topics: artists who DIDN'T play Woodstock/Janis Joplin with The Kozmic Blues Band; featured song: Janis Joplin, 'Piece of My Heart'16) topics: Tim Hardin/Blood, Sweat & Tears; featured song: Blood, Sweat & Tears, 'You've Made Me So Very Happy'17) topics: stage announcements/Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young; featured song: Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young, 'Marrakesh Express'18) topics: food stands & ferris wheel/Paul Butterfield Blues Band; featured song: Paul Butterfield Blues Band, 'Everything's Gonna Be Alright'19) topics: Max Yasgur/Jimi Hendrix; featured song: Jimi Hendrix, 'Red House'20) topics: stages at the festival/Ten Years After; featured song: Ten Years After, 'I'm Going Home'21) topics: audience recordings/Johnny Winter; featured song: Johnny Winter, 'Leland Mississippi Blues' 

Roadkill Ghost Choir on The Morning Mix

Andrew Shepard of Roadkill Ghost Choir talks to Cindy Howes about the band's debut In Tongues on The Morning Mix.  Roadkill Ghost Choir is a family affair and features three Shepard brothers including our guest Andrew. Shepard says that this was not always the plan but it has been working well for him, “when I first started the band I didn’t really have them in mind to be in it, it was a one off show…I brought them along to play that first show but then it rolled into a whole band thing”.  While it was never originally part of the plan Shepard claims that working with his brothers offers some unique advantages, “the dynamic is completely different when you’re playing in a band with your brothers me and my brothers can yell at each other and someone can say ‘hey man that’s a terrible part’ and no one really gets their feelings hurt because we have been doing it our whole lives, so it’s just easier”.  Roadkill Ghost Choirs album In Tongues often deals with rather dark themes but often sounds rather up beat and happy, Shepard says this duality often comes naturally, “I don’t want to make a record that is just pure bleakness you know? That can be a burden, I don’t think it’s something we try to do it just sort of happens I guess”. “A Blow to the Head” is a long song on In Tongues that proves to be a creepy epic that ultimately dealt with Shepard finding the bands identity, “I was confused about where the band was going and what people expected from us as a band, we have been compared to a lot of bands I don’t really think we are peers with…I wrote that song to let everybody know that we can’t really be compared to those bands”.  The band started in the small town of DeLand Florida which Shepard says is a beautiful place but ultimately did not provide the musical outlet that the band needs to grow, “musically I don’t think we were ever influenced by it… it did give us a lot of down time to develop our sound and the music we listen to so that was helpful”. The band has since moved to Athens Georgia, “we just love this town, there is a lot of good music and a lot of good bars, and it’s a very creative place to be”.Roadkill Ghost Choir’s new album In Tongues is now available.

Scott Miller Guest DJs on The Morning Mix

Cindy Howes is joined by recording artist Scott Miller for this guest DJ session, Scott Miller came onto the music scene in the early 90’s in Tennessee. For his first pick as guest DJ is “9,999,999 Tears” by Bruce Robinson and Kelly Willis. He had recently played with Bruce in Colorado…”I had not forgotten but I needed to be reminded of what an awesome song writer that guy is and that song is just like wow this is awesome”.Scott Miller’s second choice as guest DJ is “Patchwork River by Jim Lauderdale. Scott chose this song not only because he had been listening to it frequently of late but also because he personally owns and operates a 200 acre cattle farm and “patchwork River” resonates with him the fact the he wears many hats in his life, care taker for his parents, worker on his farm, musician and performer.Third and final choice from Scott as Guest DJ is “Tennessee Waltz” by Pee Wee King. “in my opinion the best song ever written… it’s all subjective but I like songs that tell a story, go from point a to point b and invoke an emotion and  this is the king of it”.Cindy and Scott discuss Scotts immediate musical future and when a new record might be expected, “It’s time for a new one” Scott says between all of his other work he does find time to escape and work on his music as much as he can.1. 9,999,999 Tears - Bruce Robinson and Kelly Willis2. Patchwork River - Jim Lauderdale 3. Tennessee Waltz - Pee Wee King 

Jonny Lang Guest DJ on The Morning Mix

Jonny Lang plays guest DJ with Cindy Howes and shares some of his favorite blues songs. For his guest DJ set, Lang picks some of his favorite blues songs that he feels are a great introduction to the blues genre.  For his first song Lang picks Albert Kings “Blues Power”. “Blues Power” is from a live recording that Lang feels has a fantastic guitar sound, “maybe the best recorded guitar tone of all time…it’s a pretty amazing sounding recording”. Lang's second pick is “Honey Hush” by Albert Collins.  Lang feels that Albert Collins is likely his favorite guitar player, “if there is anybody that I have tried to emulate on guitar it’s him, something about his style and the way he attacks the guitar is unique”.For his final selection guest DJ, Jonny Lang picks “Hellhound on my Trail” by Robert Johnson. “You hate to give a rundown of blues songs without putting Robert Johnson in there” states Lang. He feels that it is both a great piece of music and American history, “even though we have so little from him as far as recordings, this is one of my favorites”.Jonny Lang's latest album is Fight For My Soul.Jonny Lang's song picks:1. Albert King - Blues Power (Live)2. Albert Collins - Honey Hush3. Robert Johnson - Hellhound on My Trail

Sam Herring of Future Islands Guest DJs on The Morning Mix

Sam Herring, frontman for Future Islands, Guest DJs on The Morning Mix with Cindy Howes. Future Islands released their latest album Singles earlier this year.Herring first chooses “Reason to Believe” by the “amazingly haunting” Karen Dalton, a song that, he says, is her way of begging someone for reason to believe in them but also saying “I want to believe in you.” Herring says he’s found her three LPs, and they really bring him peace.Out of Chicago, the dreamy hip-hop artist Serengeti, has caught Herring’s ear for the past few months. “’Kenny and Jueles’ came off an LP put out last year called the Kenny Dennis LP which is Serengeti performing in this character called Kenny Dennis,” he says. “He’s singing about the time he was on American Gladiator in the early 90s, and he beat Nitro and Powerball, and he had the chance to become a gladiator, but he didn’t want to be away from his love because he loved her so much.” It’s so funny but so real, he says, and the way he paints the character Kenny Dennis is the same way.Appearing on Letterman a few months ago, performing the song “Seasons (Waiting On You,” Herring and Future Islands made quite a stage presence that caught the eyes of many, but as far what’s going through his mind onstage, Herring is “trying to be aware of the audience.” “I think that performance would have been a bit different had there not been an audience in the room,” he says. “I think as long as you’re connecting with your audience, for me, that’s what music is all about.”Sam Herring’s Guest DJ Setlist:Karen Dalton – “Reason to Believe”Serengeti – “Kenny and Jueles”Future Islands – “Seasons (Waiting On You)”

New Local Music Guest DJ set from HughShows

Local music photographer and a staple in the local music scene Hugh Tyman (aka Hughshows) shares some of his favorite new local songs with Cindy Howes on The Morning Mix.Howes cites Tyman as one of the first people she met in the local music scene who has had a great impact on it. Tyman, having been involved for 15 or 20 years, chooses his set with the local music scene in mind. The first track he picks is “City Deer” by Roger Harvey & The Wild Life which sounds like a cross between Neutral Milk Hotel and Bright Eyes. “This one is more melodic, but it still rocks a bit.” Tyman then talks about his friend and partner in the Hughshows concert series Jay Vega. “Without him it would be bongos and kazoos.”Many bands fade out and are reborn as other projects; such is the case with local band Yarn Wallows who came from The Slant. “[The Slant] is like the Joy Division or Uncle Tupelo of Pittsburgh,” he says. “I like the vibe that they give off that’s bombastic, self-described as bombastic, fun, groovy sing-along.” Tyman then talks about his last pick John O'Hallaron, a.k.a. Chalk Dinosaur, a one man, studio only musician. “He changes his vibe with each track with each album. He’s very prolific, but I just love the spirt of the song [“Pittsburgh I Love You”].”Hughshows is celebrating its tenth year and occurs every second Saturday of the month in 2014. This month’s show on August 9 will run from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m., featuring Rob Gray (authentic Appalachian dark folk), Action Camp (Electro-doom pop), Essential Machine (indie-folk), and Balloon Ride Fantasy (fantasy rock).Hughshows' Guest DJ Setlist:Roger Harvey & The Wild Life - “City Deer”Yarn Wallows - "We Abound/We Are Bound (Puppeteering)"Chalk Dinosaur - “Pittsburgh I Love You”

Marissa Nadler on The Morning Mix

Boston-based singer Marissa Nadler released her sixth studio album this year, entitled July and also recently released a 7’ inch split with American folk singer-songwriter Father John Misty. Nadler talks to Cindy Howes on The Morning Mix.Nadler has been compared to artists like Joni Mitchell and Mazzy Star, and it turns out these were the kinds of artists she was inspired by but takes after Mitchell’s patterns even moreso than musically. Nadler, like Joni Mitchell, is a painter and went to Rhode Island School of Design for painting. “If you’re an artistic person or an artist, it can cross many different media,” she says. “That’s affected the way I write song lyrics.”Randall Dunn, best known for working with metal bands, produced Nadler’s newest album, and Nadler says she thinks her music was thrown in the same community because it was pretty goth, with titles like Ballads of Living and Dying.” “Black metal has a lot of overlap with acoustic music,” she says. “A lot of black metal is just very ambient, beautiful music.”The new 7’ split with Father John Misty will feature him and Nadler covering each other’s songs. Nadler covers “Hollywood Forever Cemetery Sings” and Misty covers Nadler’s song “Drive” which she says she hasn’t heard yet and is waiting to hear it on vinyl.

Adam Duritz's 50th Birthday Tribute Set

To celebrate Counting Crows frontman Adam Duritz’s 50th birthday, Mike Sauter picks a Counting Crows themed Guest DJ set on the Moring Mix with Cindy Howes.Sauter says his first Counting Crows experience was in 1993 when their first album was released. There were many influences floating around during that period including grunge, British dance rock and American roots rock, and the culmination of all that resulted in what people at the time who heard Adam Duritz called “the new Van Morrison.” One of the first songs that got everyone interested, “Mr. Jones” had an interesting dynamic, Sauter says, that summed up everything at the time. “Half the time I don’t know what the heck is going on [in the lyrics], and I like that, because it kind of allows me to impose whatever I’m feeling at the time on the lyrics.”Sauter then talks about the musical transitions the band went through in their career, but in his opinion, everything came together with the album This Desert Life, and“Mrs. Potter’s Lullaby” is “the grand epic of that album.” Skipping forward many years to their new album, Sauter says the band sounds exciting on their newest release Somewhere Under Wonderland. Their official new single is “Scarecrow,” but another song was released, he says, called “Palisades Park.” “There are a lot of great images that, as you listen along, you can kind of correlate to things that happen in your own life.” The music video, almost like a short film, also holds no real clue to what the song is about, but it consciously tries to get a Bruce Springsteen vibe across, Sauter says.Sauter then talks about a friendly experience he had with Duritz. There was a contest online a while back to create art for Duritz’s fan album made of cover songs, with no big release planned. So Sauter says he made a bit of art but never heard anything until a few months later. He had received a piece of vinyl that Duritz sent out to the fans who participated. “In my book, Adam Duritz, not only a terrific musician, but A+ guy.”Mike Sauter’s Counting Crows Guest DJ Set:“Mr. Jones”“Mrs. Potter’s Lullaby”“Palisades Park”

Serena Ryder Guest DJ on The Morning Mix

Serena Ryder Guest DJs on The Morning Mix with Cindy Howes. Ryder released her latest album Harmony in 2012.Ryder starts off her Guest DJ set with a song she calls phenomenal and one of her favorites, "Surprise" by Sean Rowe. With a low, boomy voice like Bruce Springsteen and lyrics like Leonard Cohen, Sean Rowe has a special place in Ryder’s heart. Ryder then picks the song "Chandelier" by Sia, saying her friend first played it for her, and Sia is probably one of the coolest people, having met her. “It’s really fun to scream it and sing it at home and run around my house singing it.”Ryder’s last pick is "Good Sex" by Kevin Drew, a good friend of hers from the band Broken Social Scene. “[His] new record really is phenomenal from front to back,” she says. “This is the first kind of standout pop hit I think that came out at me on the record.”Ryder performed at a WYEP event a few years back which she recalls as a bit smaller of a stage than she can be contained. Like her upcoming gig at South Park, Ryder likes access to a big stage. “I get to run around; I’m so hyper, so that’s really fun for me.”Serena Ryder's song picks:1. Sean Rowe - "Surprise"2. Sia - "Chandelier"3. Kevin Drew - "Good Sex"

Blues Fest Guest DJ

Lisa Scales - CEO of The Greater Pittsburgh Community Food Bank - plays a set of blues music on The Morning Mix to celebrate the Pittsburgh Blues Fest's 20th year.“20 years, 287 bands and over 10 million meals have resulted from the [Pittsburgh] Blues Festival,” Scales says, talking about The Greater Pittsburgh Community Food Bank’s biggest annual fundraiser. Scales starts off with a song from Dr. John, one of this year’s Blues Fest headliners. Scales then talks about another one of the bands performing, Spin Doctors and calls their song “If the River Was Whiskey” a great traditional blues song.The Pittsburgh Blues Festival has ended up providing a staggering amount of funds to help people struggling and in the end, that’s what blues is about. “Blues music, at its heart, speaks of tough times and folks struggling with life’s challenges,” she says. “Not only is it about struggle but it’s about resilience; it’s about overcoming struggle, so to me it’s also a celebration.”To meet the Food Bank’s goal, they ask that people bring in a bag of non-perishable groceries as admission. Scales says they hope to bring in 20 tons of food this year. Scales ends her Guest DJ set with JJ Grey + MOFRO’s “The Sweetest Thing.” “We’re starting strong, we’re strong the whole way through and, I can’t think of a better band to end with than JJ Grey + MOFRO, Sunday night.”Lisa's Guest DJ Set:Dr. John - Iko IkoSpin Doctors - If The River Was WhiskeyJJ Grey + MOFRO - The Sweetest Thing

Lake Street Dive Guest DJ set

Bridget Kearney of Lake Street Dive plays Guest DJ with Cindy Howes on The Morning Mix. Lake Street Dive released their new album Bad Self-Portraits earlier this year.Kearney says she recently discovered The Zombies by watching the show Madmen, and the song from the show’s credits was from the Zombies album Odessey and Oracle. Kearney says she loves the album and the song from it “Friends of Mine.” Lake Street Dive has performed with The Sun Parade before, and Kearney calls their music very smart and very fun. “I think Sun Parade is a great name for them, because there’s just a kind of bounce to everything that I really love.”Kearney says a long-time inspiration for her and the rest of Lake Street Dive is Bonnie Raitt and cites her song “I Can’t Make You Love Me” as a real tear-jerker. The song, she says, was written by a national songwriting team comprised in part by a former defensive lineman for the NFL. “It’s like the most tender, heartfelt ballad, and I love to picture this big lineman writing it.”Though she plays upright bass in the band, Kearney used to write rock songs in junior high that she herself performed, but by the time college came, she started writing for other singers. “You can separate yourself from the story of the song” when you’re writing someone else’s part in the band. “That allows you to be much more creative and free with what you’re writing.Bridget's picks:1. The Zombies "Friends of Mine"2. The Sun Parade "My Heart's Out"3. Bonnie Raitt "I Can't Make You Love Me"

Animal Rescue League Guest DJ Set on The Morning Mix

Janice Barnard, program director of The Animal Rescue League, plays Guest DJ on The Morning Mix.Barnard says the summer’s been busy and hectic at the shelter this summer, but that’s typical because lots of new animals are always coming in. “We’re up to our eyeballs in both cats and dogs.” Barnard picks some animal themed songs for her Guest DJ set. Her first pick, “Golden Retriever” by Super Furry Animals, is a shout-out to her dad’s dog “Pork Chop.”As far as cats at the shelter in the summer, numbers increase exponentially. There is though a large network of fosters in the community which the shelter hopes to expand to anyone who can foster. Barnard says she does sometimes sing “Love Cats” by The Cure, her second Guest DJ song, to the cats and whether they necessarily like The Cure or not is unknown, but they do like jazz, classical and even the hits from the 70s and 80s.Barnard’s last song, “Rabbit Heart (Raise It Up)” by Florence and the Machine, is a song for rabbits, a request from Cindy Howes. Barnard says rabbits are the third largest numbered animals to come into the shelter, and it’s even acceptable to bring a rabbit to staff meetings at the shelter which make them run more smoothly.Janice Barnard’s Guest DJ SetSuper Furry Animals “Golden Retriever”The Cure “Love Cats”Florence and the Machine “Rabbit Heart (Raise It Up)”

Trampled By Turtles Interview

Trampled By Turtles frontman Dave Simonett joined Joey Spehar on The Morning Mix to discuss the band's new album Wild Animals.Simonett started the string band Trampled By Turtles as a side project over ten years ago and even though it’s 2014 the traditional roots of bluegrass haven’t strayed from the progression of Trampled By Turtles.  Simonett says he can’t exactly pinpoint inspiration behind any of the new songs until after the music was already written. Family, life at home, past struggles and the context of any given time period “get boiled down into a song.”Simonett says Alan Sparhawk, of the indie rock band Low, helped on the new album but not in his usual drone-like style. “Low specifically, being is such a minimalist approach to music, really helped us become what I think is more importantly ‘all parts of the whole of a song’ instead of everyone going in their own directions at the same time.”One of the new album’s interesting aspects is the band’s ability to create an array of sounds like wind which Simonett says was did either with strings and reverb or multiple parts put together. “Instead of huggin’ the keyboard and finding a drum sound, we tried to do it with a violin and a cello or put the banjo through and electric guitar amp or something like that.”

Deutschtown Music Festival Guest DJ set

Cody Walters of The Deutschtown Music Festival shares songs from Pittsburgh bands playing at the 2014 Festival.The Deutschtown Music Festival is in its second year and was recently held again in the NorthSide, an area Walters says he is fond of and offers much to locals. Walter says with over 90 bands, performers and food trucks; the Deutschtown Music Festival has turned into a great way of exposing the neighborhood of Deutschtown.After a small bar crawl Walters organized, people started commenting, saying  “hey, you gotta do something in the spring; you gotta do something in the summer,” and because there’s already music in Deutschtown pretty much every night of the week, it would be easy to organize a big music festival like this.Along with this festival, Howes and Walters talk about the success of the Pittsburgh Banjo Club that performs in the NorthSide every Wednesday at the Elks Club. The Pittsburgh Banjo Club has spread in popularity, but also more recently to local young people which even sprouted a new leg of the Banjo Club called the Banjo Club Youth.Cody Walters’ Guest DJ Set:Meeting Of Important People “Keep Your Eyes On Me”Shelf Life String Band “Single Barrel”Chet Vincent & The Big Bend "Don't Bring It To My Table"

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