Audio Specials

Date

20th Anniversary of Harry Nilsson's Death

 Everybody’s talkin’ about Harry Nilsson. Especially today. Joey Spehar of The Morning Mix was joined by Grammy winning record producer and musician Aaron Luis Levinson to speak on behalf of Harry Nilsson and the 20th anniversary of his death.Nilsson was born in Bushwick, Brooklyn in 1941 under striking poverty after his father left the family when Harry was just three years old. It is clear that his experiences living under these harsh conditions truly shaped his career and songwriting style. This can be seen in pieces such as “Daddy’s Song” or “1941”, Nilsson’s autobiographical song.In 1962, Nilsson reached his first big break, singing demos for Scott Turner, who paid Nilsson five dollars per song. Once the demo album was released, Nilsson was offered royalties to Scott Turner’s songs, but refused to accept them, as he felt he was already thoroughly compensated. This sets the tone for what to expect in Nilsson’s upcoming musical career. As his popularity rises, his humbleness remains just as high, no matter how commercial he becomes, or how high his music reaches in the charts.“I think for himself, he was so interested in making something that was true to his own muse that whether it was commercially successful or not, I don’t think it really mattered to Harry,” says LevinsonOne of Nilsson’s most famous love songs, “Coconut” off of the 1972 album, Nilsson Schmilsson is an excellent example of how intricate his songwriting was. The entire song has the same chord progression throughout, yet one might not notice this because the music over the chords is so dynamic.“He’s such a masterful singer, that the relative musical stasis of it, it’s not moving. It’s moving on many other levels: lyrically, vocally, and even in the way he adapts his voice to these different characters.”On Valentine’s Day of 1993, Harry Nilsson suffered from a severe heart attack while working on his final album Papa’s Got a Brand New Robe. This album was unfortunately never released, as he passed away about 11 months after, but can often be found circulating the internet today.  

Jesse Novak's Training Playlist

Jesse Novak - host of The Roots & Rhythm Mix at WYEP - joined Joey Spehar of the Morning Mix to give a run-down of his typical training playlist. Jesse is currently training for two upcoming races including the Pittsburgh Marathon, which takes place in May, and the Merge Records 25k, this March. Novak trains almost the entire year, only taking a break from November to mid-January where he still swims and does yoga- if one can truly call that a break.As both a music and fitness enthusiast, who’s better input than Jesse’s to hear an awesome training playlist? He starts off with Stevie Wonder’s “Superstition” claiming that the song is "fast enough but not too fast, and great for when you’re really ready to go. If I can stop myself from dancing to it, it makes very good running material.”Immediately after, we heared "Ezy Ryder" from Jimi Hendrix's 1971 album The Cry of Love.  Jesse will listen to this tune at the midpoint of his run once he has “caught the wave” and his “emotion is centered.”By mile 21 of the marathon, most athletes need something to keep them going to finish the race at 26.2 miles. For this point in time, Jesse chose to play us a little Iggy and the Stooges, the late-60’s formed American punk band, with their song “Search and Destroy.”  “I think he sums it up in the first line when Iggy says, “I’m a street-walkin’ cheetah with a heart full of napalm,” I mean that’s sort of the approach you have to take in running at that point because it’s probably not natural for your body to be running 26 miles. You just have to let go of your body and just do it.”All of these picks help Jesse get through marathons and their training processes and if you want to hear more from Jesse, be sure to tune into his program, the Roots & Rhythm Mix here at WYEP.

"The Times They Are A-Changin'" Turns 50

On this day 50 years ago, Bob Dylan's third album, The Times They Are a-Changin’ was released on Columbia Records. This album is the first of Dylan’s that is all original compositions. Pittsburgh singer-songwriter, Mark Dignam, joined Morning Mix host Joey Spehar to speak on behalf of The Times They Are a-Changin’ and its lasting relevance.Written when he was just 23 , Bob Dylan’s album focused on racism, poverty and social change, all topics prevalent to the sixties era of civil justice. Typically, successful protest songs are those that can be recycled through the times and still make sense generations later. There are critics who have said that Dylan’s album and title track were immediately outdated, and others who argue that the songs are timeless. Mark Dignam believes the latter.“The whole entire album you could almost swap out some of the names for some of the things that are going on right now… I think you could get up and sing that song today. And possibly could you have done it five or ten years ago, maybe not. But today it’s become relevant again.”The structure of The Times They Are a-Changin’  was loosely based off of old Irish and Scottish ballads, but Dignam, as a Dublin native, says he hears less of the influence in this album than Dylan’s former albums: Free Wheelin’ and Bob Dylan, both of which were not all original content.“The Times They Are a-Changin’, I think he started moving towards his own style. There may have been hints- there are always hints of it in everything he does, but I think less so than on the Free Wheelin’  Bob Dylan.”The Times They Are a-Changin, released 50 years ago today, continues to inspire other singer-songwriters, like Mark Dignam, concerned with social justice and its influence on society and the musical world. For more information on what Dignam is up to you can check out his website.

Chet Vincent & The Big Bend Release New Album

Chet Vincent and Abe Anderson of the local band Chet Vincent and The Big Bend recently joined Cindy Howes of the Morning Mix to discuss their newest album, Unconventional Dog in anticipation for its release party Jan 10th at Belvedere's.  Originally a folk-rock 5 piece group, Chet Vincent and the Big Bend recently moved away from folk, and more towards rock for their newest album. Before The Big Bend came along, Chet Vincent had been playing music since he was a young boy, growing up on the Shadyside Academy campus where his father worked.  By the end of high school he started writing his own songs and thought of it as a natural progression.  Never truly confident about his own singing voice, Chet Vincent drew influence and gained confidence from artists like Neil Young and Bob Dylan and from there he took off.“Another one is the band The Silver Jews. He has a really unusual voice and he has a line in one of his songs “All my favorite singers couldn’t sing” and that really stuck with me.”Vincent says that it was not hard for him to break from his original creativity and influence to make a gritty blues-rock album because it felt natural. Unconventional Dog was not produced in a normal recording studio, but instead inside the family home of the bands’ drummer, Abe Anderson, while his parents were away for a few months. With all of this time and familiarity of the “recording studio” they tried almost everything from recording drums in the largest room in the home, to recording vocals in an elevator shaft, which didn’t end up working out too well.Chet Vincent and the Big Bend are now signed with Wild Kindness Records, a label that contains other local acts like Andre Costello and Host Skull, for the release of their newest record Unconventional Dog. For more information on what the band is up to, you can check out their website. 

Jimmy Page Turns 70

Legendary guitarist Jimmy Page recently celebrated his 70th birthday.  Scott Tady from The Beaver County Times joined Joey Spehar on The Morning Mix for an all Jimmy Page Guest DJ set.Scott Tady's Jimmy Page Playlist:Led Zeppelin - Communication BreakdownThe Yardbirds - Over Under Sideways DownLed Zeppelin - Heartbreaker

WYEP's 2013 Year in Review Show

WYEP’s Year in Review show is a four-hour countdown of the station’s top 50 albums of 2013, including songs from each album and commentary from many of the artists. Hosted by Rosemary Welsch.

2013's Departures

2013's Departures is WYEP's annual show of tributes and rememberances to many from the music world who passed away in 2013.  Hosted by Brian Siewiorek.

WYEP's 2013 Local Year in Review Show

The Local Year In Review is a brief overview of Pittsburgh's best music. From Blues, to soul, to hip-hop and rock, Cindy Howes hosts two hours featuring some of our city’s finest bands including WYEP’s top 5 local releases for 2013. 

WYEP's 2013 Live and Direct Show

A look back at the year in Live & Direct sessions in this 2 hour program.  Listen for WYEP favorites and cool covers performed in our intimate performance space. Featuring performances by They Might Be Giants, The Mavericks, Stars, Suzanne Vega, Geln Hansard,  and more! Hosted by Joey Spehar. 

Hayley Worthman's Yoga Guest DJ set

With the arrival of the new year, many people have made it a priority to change their health habits and a great motivator in doing so is having the perfect fitness soundtrack. Cindy Howes of the Morning Mix was recently joined by yoga instructor, Hayley Worthman, of Breathe Yoga Studio where she gave us a rundown of a typical yoga class playlist.There is a common misconception that only a certain type of person can do yoga, but Worthman says that yoga is something that can be done at all hours of the day, for every single kind of person.“Yoga is off your mat. Not sitting there, screaming in your car because the person in front of you isn’t going through your green light yet. It is sitting there breathing. It’s all gonna be okay.”Hayley starts her classes with a relaxing tune which allows her students to forget how they may have felt earlier in the day, and focus on how they feel right now. Her selection for this unwinding moment is “Mountain Hare Krishna” by Krishna Das, who is a vocalist from the United States, known for his devotional Hindu performances.In the middle of class, Worthman might keep things going with some Michael Franti & Spearhead, a multi-genre vocalist and fellow yogi from Oakland, California. Franti has influenced Hayley’s yoga classes ever since she attended a concert of his, which inspired a playlist called “True Love Radiates” and is displayed below. The particular song she chose to play was “Life is Better With You,” off of his most recent album All People. It’s upbeat spirit transitioned perfectly to the next song on the list, a dub/reggae cover of Radiohead’s “Karma Police” by Easy All-Stars featuring Citizen Cope. This song is supposed to calm the students down after they’ve reached their peak pose during the Michael Franti & Spearhead tune.“I’m starting to slow down, maybe I’m taking a child’s pose after that peak pose. It’s almost like a fetal position on your knees with your face down. I am definitely a big advocate of doing that whenever you need to.”Before making our way to Savasana and while still calming down, we hear another cover song, this time by Yael Naim of Britney Spears’ “Toxic.” Yael Naim is a French-Israeli singer-songwriter who makes Spears’ cute song a lot more intense and gives it a bit more depth, perfect for yoga.We have finally reached Savasana, also known as corpse pose, or naptime, where Hayley has chosen one of her favorites “Indian Summer” by Rice Boy Sleeps.“This is the ending of our practice. The yang of the practice was the moving around, the energy, the active, the controlled breath. Now Savasana comes around, it’s more of the yin, more relaxed, we let everything go.”If you’re interested in more of the music that Hayley has to offer, check out her spotify playlist below.(photo credit: Evan Sanders)

George Gershwin's "Rhapsody In Blue" Turns 90

In honor of "Rhapsody In Blue, George Gershwin's monumental 1924 orchestral piece, turning 90, we talk to local engineer and classial radio host, Don Maue.Ninety years ago, on January 7th, 1924, George Gershwin began writing Rhapsody in Blue, a musical composition often revered as the piece which formed American music. We asked Don Maue to speak with Cindy Howes of the Morning Mix in WYEP studios on behalf Gershwin’s musical influence. Maue is a Pittsburgh producer, engineer, professor at Duquesne University and a classical radio host.In 1924, music was popularized through live performances instead of through radio broadcasts. “The kind of music that people liked and the kind of music that George Gershwin was involved in making was popular show music. Kind of what we think of as Broadway musical,” says Maue.Gershwin originated as mostly a professional pianist who played sheet music to pitch popular tunes, but was also a self-taught composer. At this time, jazz had yet to be an existent music genre in New York, and hadn’t sprung up until 1915.Paul Whiteman, who can be characterized as the Elvis Presley, or the Kanye West, of the early 20th century, had the goal of creating a concert which introduced New York audiences to jazz music, and nearly forced Gershwin to write this rhapsody for him in just a few short weeks.  An Experiment in Modern Music, skillfully named, was expected to yield audience members of the most prominent musicians of the time like John Phillip Sousa.Rhapsody in Blue’s clarinet glissando introduction is arguably one of the most memorable pieces in music, comparable to Beethoven’s Symphony No. 5. It was influenced by life in New Orleans and Chicago; completely American, shedding light on the life of Americans in the city.We welcome you to join us in celebrating the 90th anniversary of this groundbreaking piece, Rhapsody in Blue by George Gershwin. 

Chef Kevin Sousa Guest DJ

Chef Kevin Sousa plays Guest DJ and talks about his Superior Motors project in Braddock. Award winning Pittsburgh chef, Kevin Sousa, recently joined Cindy Howes of the Morning Mix in WYEP Studios to give listeners a taste of what he enjoys listening to while working in the kitchen. Sousa is the owner of local restaurants including Salt of the Earth, Union Pig and Chicken, Harvard & Highland, and Station Street. His most recent endeavor is a huge project, funded by Kickstarter, called Superior Motors.  Superior Motors will be a Community Restaurant and Farm Ecosystem located in Braddock, an area otherwise lacking in fresh and local food.Sousa decided to play songs that he either loves, or what has been frequently played in previous kitchens from which he has worked.  His first choice this morning was “Almost Was Good Enough” by Songs: Ohia, front by the late Jason Molina, who also lead Magnolia Electric Company. This song is usually played early in his shift, while doing prep work and getting ready for the day.Directly after, we heard Devo’s “Gates of Steel” which Kevin claims is widely accepted by everyone in the kitchen and is usually played during pre-service.“New guys in the kitchen- they don’t touch the chefs' knifes and they don’t touch the radio…that’s a rule. From that mentality, there are only a certain amount of acceptable albums that everybody listens to.”We continued into a song by Japandroids, a Canadian band, with the song “The Boys are Leaving Town” from of their first album Post Nothing. Sousa was introduced to this band by the younger cooks in the kitchen and describes them as a power pop/punk band whose music has become an anthem for Salt of the Earth.The set with Kevin Sousa was finished with an old school hip-hop group, Gang Starr, whose appropriate music competes with Wu Tang Clan in the kitchen.“I’ve won over a lot of young cooks that say they don’t like hip-hop with Gang Starr… If I had to describe kitchen music it’s heavy metal and hip-hop, and everything in between. “To see what else Kevin Sousa is up to, you can check out his website SousaPGH.com or follow him on twitter @SousaPGHMore on Superior Motors.Chef Kevin's selections1. Songs: Ohia "Almost Was Good Enough"2. Devo "Gates of Steel"3. Japandroids "The Boys are Leaving Town"4. Gang Starr "Take It Personal"

Interview With Rich Engler

If you've gone to a concert in Pittsburgh in the last 40 years, chances are the name Rich Engler rings a bell. The former co-owner of DiCesare-Engler Productions recently released "Behind The Stage Door" - a book about his experiences. He joined Joey Spehar on The Morning Mix to talk.

Johnny Angel's Holiday Doo Wop Guest DJ Set

Johnny Angel from Pittsburgh's Johnny Angel & The Halos played a set of Holiday Doo Wop songs for The Morning Mix.

Keith Richards 70th Birthday Tribute

Keith Richards – the iconic guitarist for The Rolling Stones – recently celebrated his 70th birthday.  It’s a major accomplishment for any human to live for 7 decades, but it’s an extra-special milestone for Keith, because, really, who’da thought he would have made it this far?This morning Joey Spehar welcomed WYEP’s Midday Mix host and Music Director Mike Sauter to discuss the life and work of this truly legendary axeman.

Devon Allman On The Morning Mix

Devon Allman recently spoke with Joey Spehar of The Morning Mix about his forthcoming albums, his plans for Christmas, and his charity work.

Holiday Hootenanny Guest DJ set from Andy Mulkerin

Andy Mulkerin, Music Director for the 2013 Holiday Hootenanny, lined up some excellent local musicians to perform at this years show. His own band, Neighbours, are the house band for the evening, and other musician Joy Ike, Casey Hanner, Kate Cunio, Josh Verbanets, Billy Price, Andre Costello, and others! They’ll be covering traditional songs, some more modern ones, and as Andy says, “some novel stuff.” Be sure to attend the Holiday Hootenanny if you want to see this awesome show. It’s starts at 7pm (doors at 6:30pm) at Stage AE! Andy Mulkerin’s Guest DJ Set List: The Carpenters - “Christmas Waltz”The OJs – “Christmas Ain’t Christmas”Kate Bush – “December Will Be Magic Again”

40th Anniversary of CBGBs

On December 10th in 1973 CBGB, the famed New York City music venue, opened to the public. Hilly Kristal opened CBGB with the intent to play Country Bluegrass and Blues bands, hence the name. But unfortunately for him at the time, and fortunately for everyone else, those acts were difficult to find in New York City. So other bands were booked, and CBGB essentially launched the punk and underground music scene in the United States.Randal Miller and Jody Savin are responsible for the new feature film called and about CBGB, and Joey recently interviewed them about their project and the beloved music venue. Miller and Savin had been to CBGB in its glory days. Savin was a self-proclaimed starving poet in New York City back then, and says she spent a great deal of time at CBGB since it was one of the few venues she could afford.Inconveniently for the filmmakers, the modern location of CBGB on Bowery and Bleeker is much nicer looking than it once was. “New York is tough these days because it’s so gentrified, it’s so nice. The Bowery is beautiful, so we needed to find places it looked like back in the day.” So not only did they film in New York, but also in Savannah, Georgia. “One thing that was really fantastic for us is that when they shut down the club in 2006, they tore out the bar, the bathroom urinals, everything, and that was all in a storage facility in Brooklyn. We had that shipped to us and we built the club on a soundstage using the actual bars and urinals even, which was pretty cool. That was pretty fortuitous.”Joey wanted to know how difficult it was for them to cast such iconic musicians for their film, and Savin had the answer. “It was definitely a challenge. Some were easier than others. You know, Malin [Ackerman] had always wanted to play Blondie, and her reps called and said “Malin wants to play Blondie,” and we said “fine!” She was our very first choice. In our dreams we had Malin playing Blondie,” Savin said. “Some of the characters were much harder to find.” Alan Rickman, who plays Hilly Kristal, actually has some famous musical friends including Sting, who is played in the movie by Keene McRae. McRae is from Alabama, but apparently his English accent fooled even Alan Rickman.The soundtrack to the movie is incredible. They put a wish list together of the iconic Blondie and David Byrne songs that should be in the movie, but they realized they needed to have a large amount of fairly unknown songs in the film so that they could have that sense of discovery. The film can be found on Amazon and iTunes now, and DVD and Blu-ray soon. Find out more at their website here. 

Velvet Underground Reissue White Light/White Heat

The Andy Warhol Museum is celebrating the rerelease of The Velvet Underground’s White Light/White Heat album by having a listening event. Cindy Howes of The Morning Mix interviewed Matt Wrbican, Chief Archivist, and Ben Harrison, Curator of Performing Arts at the museum about the event, and about White Light/White Heat.The listening party idea came about shortly after Lou Reed died in October. It will feature the reissue played in its entirety, as well as several of Warhol's movies starring The Velvet Underground.Lou Reed and Andy Warhol began collaborating at the Café Bizarre. The Velvet Underground played a gig there, and Andy thought they were great. The band was fired from the gig for playing the “Black Angel’s Death Song” despite the venue’s protests. Andy Warhol hired them then to be the Factory’s house band. Warhol managed the band for two years, and was very involved.At the time of its release, the Velvet Undergound’s first album was received very poorly. This caused the band’s relationship with Andy to be stressed, and the band began pushing Warhol away.Billy Name, the studio photographer for the Factory and the Silver Factory, did the album art for White Light/White Heat. Lou and Bill were very interested in magic and the occult, and at the time they were reading a book on white magic. The book talked about white light and white heat, and that’s how the name of the album came about.Universal is putting out a limited edition 7” of the song “Booker T”, a track that was never released on a studio album by the Velvet Undergound. It was performed at the Gymnasium, and the Warhol Museum will be getting a few advanced copies. The song references Booker T and the MGs, and it was the precursor to “The Gift”, a song from White Light/White Heat. “The Gift” is basically a spoken word song over the music from “Booker T”.

Remembering JJ Cale

JJ Cale would have turned 75 today, but unfortunately he passed away in July of heart failure. In honor of the legendary composer, Joey Spehar interviewed Jesse Novak of the Roots and Rhythm show here at WYEP.“It’s understated and laconic, and laid back, and he has nothing to prove,” says Jesse of JJ Cale’s style.  “He has nothing to prove. His vocals are almost a whisper at times, but there’s such a coolness to them. I wish I could be as cool as JJ Cale’s music.”In the early 1960s, Cale moved to Los Angeles to do some studio work. There he worked with Leon Russell, but after only a few years, a discouraged Cale moved back to Tulsa. Fortunately, he got a big break in 1970 when one of his songs was covered by a popular artist. JJ Cale was the author of the song “After Midnight”, made famous by Eric Clapton. “He was talented and had his own sound and was really unique, but it took someone like Eric Clapton to tweak things ever so slightly with a song like “After Midnight” to make it a little more commercially accessible, because as great as J.J. Cale’s music was, I think it lacked accessibility.”In 1972, Cale released his first album Naturally. “I think with Naturally and the follow up albums, especially Troubadour, theres just such a great blend of music that’s so natural. It’s country and it’s rock and roll, its blues and jazz, and theres not many people that blend things so effortlessly,” says Novak. “He was a special musician.”Joey comments that Cale wasn’t ever really a household name. Jesse agreed, saying, “He really saw himself as a backup guy. He was a guitar player, and reluctantly started singing and being a frontman. He really got pushed into that realm when Clapton was covering his songs. Then he got signed and he really had to step into that role.” But JJ Cale really stuck to his style and stuck to his guns of what he did best, and that was his mellow delivery.”JJ Cale recorded a number of albums between 1972 and 1996’s Guitar Man. In '96 he teamed up with Clapton to do an album called Road to Escondido. “Eric Clapton requested JJ Cale to do a record with him, and Cale was originally brought on to be a songwriter and producer and to guide the project, but Eric Clapton really championed JJ Cale as an artist.” Cale didn’t really want to be involved as a performer, and had gone into the project thinking it was a solo Clapton record. “I don’t think he went in kicking and screaming, but it was intended to be a Clapton project.” The album later won a Grammy, which was an honor he hadn’t received before.“I think JJ Cale’s legacy is just as a fantastic songwriter. He gets passed up probably as a performer, but those songs live on. How many times growing up in Pittsburgh did you hear Eric Clapton doing “Cocaine” on the radio, and “After Midnight”, and Lynard Skinard doing “Call Me the Breeze”. Those songs live on and that’s his legacy.” He was innovative and a fantastic songwriter, and he combined so many things to make his own style. His recorded music wasn’t anything that would catch on in mainstream radio, but the covers of his songs definitely got some airtime. “He claims to have always wanted other people to cover his songs and to just be a songwriter. It wasn’t for him to be in the forefront, he wanted other people to do that. I think he was more than happy to have Clapton do all the hard work and just wrote the songs.”Listen to the Roots and Rhythm Mix with Jesse Novak each Sunday from 11-2 on WYEP.

Dweezil Zappa Guest DJ

“Without music to decorate it, time is just a bunch of boring production deadlines or dates by which bills must be paid.” 20 years have passed since Frank Zappa passed, and his legacy lives on. Joey Spehar got to talk to one of Zappa’s legacies, his son Dweezil, for a Guest DJ set.The fist song in the set was “Sleep Dirt”, the title track to his 1979 album. “You listen to it and you think somebody just pressed record and this is two people playing, you know my dad playing a solo and the other guy playing the accompaniment. And if that’s what happens when he’s improvising, its amazing to me, his ability to spontaneously compose in that way, because it’s an amazing guitar solo in every way,” says Dweezil. It’s the only entirely acoustic piece of music in Frank Zappa’s catalogue.The second song of Dweezil’s set is “Dog Breath Variations / Uncle Meat”. “The musicians had a bit more of an ability to also add what my dad would call “the eyebrows”, meaning they were open to performance suggestions and things that were nontraditional for orchestras,” says Dweezil.“Having grown up around him making his music, the stuff that made a huge impression on me was everything from the middle 70s going forward into the 80s. As a kid, I remember him working on "St. Alphonzo’s Pancake Breakfast". As a kid, it’s a great song about pancakes, but it has all this musical interlude stuff that is really detailed. That kind of almost cartoon-esque, cinematic sounding music sparked my imagination as a kid.”The last song in Dweezil’s playlist was “Black Page #2”. Rather than introduce it, Joey had Frank Zappa introduce it as he did on Zappa In New York.“We’d have fun games at home, simple games that were fun things to do, like make up words that should be in the dictionary but aren’t. For example, there was a time I was trying to stump him with a word for the kind of individual that wears rock n’ roll tee shirts, and he said without even batting an eye “insignoramus”, which is a combination of “insignia” and “ignoramus”.” Joey asked Dweezil if there were any Zappa reissues in the works. “We’ve been looking for rare performances with bands that are mostly under released, and that would be a period from 1970 to 73. At that time there weren’t that many multitrack recordings of live things,” Dweezil said. “There’s things that we’re looking at from different eras, but the Roxy performances, and the film of the Roxy show, we’ve been working on that for a long time, and that seems to be getting ready for an imminent release date, so that’s important since that record is 40 years old this year.” Dweezil Zappa’s Guest DJ Set “Sleep Dirt”“Dog Breath Variations / Uncle Meat”“Black Page #2”

Patrick Jordan of the Motherf-er with The Hat Guest DJ

Patrick Jordan, founder of the Pittsburgh theater company Barebones Productions, who is currently presenting and starring in "The Motherfucker With The Hat" came in to share some songs about hats for his guest DJ set. His first song was “Leopard Skin Pillbox Hat”, by Bob Dylan.The second song of Patrick Jordan’s set was “You Can Leave Your Hat On”, by Randy Newman. “What’s funny about Randy Newman is, people forget that he could get dirty too. He’s doing all these cartoon songs now, but he’s got some down and dirty roots,” Jordan says.The third song is one that is more significant in relation to the play. It’s called “Who the Cap Fit”, by Bob Marley.The fourth and last song in Patrick Jordan’s set is by Merle Haggard. “I feel like if you listen to this song, and you’re not familiar with Patrick Jordan, you’ll know what its like to be Patrick Jordan,” says Cindy. The song is “My Own Kind of Hat”.“At its heart it’s a love story, and it’s a comedy. So don’t let the name scare you away. It’s actually very funny. I’m telling people it’s about love and other addictions,” says Patrick about his play, "The Motherfucker with The Hat".“Jackie, the character that I play, just gets out of prison and he’s coming home to his long term girlfriend. Jackie is in AA, and his girlfriend is still using. He is very excited, he just got a job, everything is looking great, he’s thinking about plans, he’s thinking about marriage, about getting his life in order, when he finds a man’s hat that is not his hat in his apartment. Then he goes on a journey to find out whose hat it is, and he learns a little more than he wants to know.”Jordan says he wanted to create a show were most people understand the humor, but some of those people are sitting next to audience members that are offended. “The majority of the people that are coming to the show get the humor, they understand that it’s actually really fun. Once you get past the language, and its not horrible language, its just, they say the f-word. It’s in the title. One of the best things about this play is that the title of this play is the disclaimer. You know what you’re going to get.”Patrick Jordan’s Guest DJ Set List:Bob Dylan – “Leopard Skin Pillbox Hat”Randy Newman – “You Can Leave Your Hat On”Bob Marley – “Who the Cap Fit”Merle Haggard – “My Own Kind of Hat”More about Patrick Jordan and Barebones Productions. 

Jordan Lee of Mutual Benefit on The Morning Mix

Jordan Lee has never been one to stay in one place. This musician, who goes by the moniker Mutual Benefit, grew up outside of Columbus, Ohio, but moved as quickly as he could to Austin, Texas. There he studied how to record rock musicians. He says that since then, he hasn’t lived in one place for more than 3 months, having moved back and forth from Boston, New York, Saint Louis and back to Austin. “A lot of the time, moving is an easy way to find inspiration when you’re just surrounded by different people and imagery and things like that. At least with this record I tried to draw from a lot of different influences and also that idea of almost alienation, but maybe the positives of it where everything is new around you and you have to get your bearings,” Lee says.The do-it-yourself method is very important to Jordan Lee. He says, ““There are some times when professionalism is important, and some times it’s important to just be with your friends in your basement making sounds.” But he isn't as confident in this ideal as he might seem.  “Actually sometimes I lay awake at night afraid that maybe I’m betraying that with how I’m going right now. The idea is not waiting for anyone else to give you opportunities, and to build communities and work with peers, a lot of collaboration. I didn’t have any sort of plans of going through any sort of record label, I was actually just planning on coming out on cassette tape.”Mutual Benefit has a sweet, breezy sound to it, especially on the new album, Love’s Crushing Diamond. Lee drew inspiration from Elliot Smith. “With this record, the biggest element was incorporating field recording and maybe before we did 20 minute jams that sound ridiculous but taking five or six seconds of that and cutting it up, making that the basis of the song, looking at each sound and seeing that it has the potential to be something else.”Love's Crushing Diamond is out now. Check out Mutual Benefit's bandcamp page for more information.

Lissie Guest DJs on The Morning Mix

Lissie’s first song is “Wharf Rat” by the Grateful Dead. “That’s a song that I love the way the dynamics filled, and I’m a huge Grateful Dead and Jerry Garcia fan.”The second song of Lissie’s set is Lana Del Rey’s “Ride”. “You know, Lana Del Rey was someone that when she initially came out I wasn’t quite sure what I thought, but as I got into more of her material I think she’s just absolutely brilliant. She almost reminds me of Johnny Cash in this song, “Ride”, and the video for it is amazing. If you haven’t seen the video you should definitely check it out.”The last song Lissie picked was Andy William’s version of “Moon River”. “Because that’s just a beautiful song, no matter how many times I hear it. It puts me into a nice mood, it’s kind of sentimental and mellowing. It make’s me feel kind of nostalgic.” Cindy asked Lissie what she thought of Audrey Hepburn’s character in Breakfast At Tiffany’s, and it turns out that Lissie isn’t a fan.  “I saw that movie for the first time just a couple years ago, and I actually found her character quite irritating.” Lissie has a new album out called Back to Forever. She recently released a music video for her song “Further Away Romance Police”. The video was filmed in Rock Island, Illinois. “I left there when I was 18 to follow my dreams, but within the last 5 years I’ve been drawn back to Rock Island. And my dog stays there with my parents when I tour.” Cindy asked what it was like to film the video back in her hometown, saying that if she were in Lissie’s place, she wouldn’t be able to do that. By a happy coincidence, an English guy she knew in LA was friends with someone from Lissie’s highschool that had become a successful video director. “It took this British guy to reintroduce us to one another, and not a lot of people from Rock Island would be out in LA doing this kind of thing, so it was cool that we got reconnected and decided we’d love to work together to shoot something in Rock Island, since its both our hometown.” The video is very DIY, but still has some cool effects. “We got so lucky with the weather. It was like a double rainbow, I mean we couldn’t have asked for a better situation considering we were just kind of winging it. I think it’s my best video.”Cindy says the new album has a kind of shiny rock sound, which is a bit of a departure from her last album. “If I’m 100% honest, I wasn’t really trying to go for anything. I had just written these songs, and the live sound I’ve developed with my band is pretty rockin’, you know the folk stuff that I do from time to time, which is in my nature, isn’t really what I’ve been focusing on.”Lissie's song selections:1. Grateful Dead "Wharf Rat"2. Lana Del Rey "Ride"3. Andy Williams "Moon River" Lissie's latest album Back to Forever is out now on Columbia Records. 

Lord Grunge of Grand Buffet Guest DJs

Cindy Howes recently invited Lord Grunge of Grand Buffet to play Guest DJ on The Morning Mix. Cindy tasked him with bringing Hip Hop to people that might not otherwise like the genre.Grunge’s first song was Run DMC's “It’s Like That”. “Run DMC is overall probably the most influential group for me, personally,” Grunge said.The second song in Lord Grunge’s set list was Ice-T’s “Reckless”. “That track in particular is awesome, some older Ice-T stuff of the soundtrack to the movie Break In,” Grunge said. He highly recommended Cindy add the film to her queue. The last song Lord Grunge played is “50 Ways” by Kool Moe Dee, a song that samples “Fifty Ways To Leave Your Lover” by Paul Simon, someone people that might not be as familiar with rap will likely appreciate. “I’m always going to side with [Kool Moe Dee] between him and LL Cool J, I think he won that battle with Deathblow, but I wanted to play something a little more mellow." Both members of Grand Buffet, Lord Grunge and Grape-A-Don, have new solo albums out and they’ll be showing off their new material at sold out shows at Brillobox. Grand Buffet has been around for a really long time in Pittsburgh, and they’ve been touring a ton. “We traveled quite a bit and established little pockets of fans all over the western world. We’ve kind of been on hiatus for a few years now, and I’m just excited now that we’re both middle-aged losers, we’re back with solo albums. It’s like the perfect time in someone’s life to come out with a solo album, when you’re old and no one cares about you,” Grunge joked.Cindy asked about the new solo records from the Grand Buffet members. “Well, mine is great, the other guy’s is good. Definitely worth buying if you’re a Grand Buffet fan, but mine’s worth buying if you’re alive.” Additionally, Cindy asked about new Grand Buffet music, and Grunge revealed that there will be a new Grand Buffet record next year.Lord Grunge’s Guest DJ setlist:Run DMC – “It’s Like That”Ice-T – “Reckless”Kool Moe Dee – “50 Ways”

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