Audio Specials


Interview with Jessi Zazu of Those Darlins

Cindy Howes of the Morning Mix was recently joined by Jessi Zazu, frontwoman of Those Darlins, a rock band from Nashville, Tennessee. Those Darlins just released their third studio album, Blur the Line an album that differs a bit from their previous work.The original three band members of Those Darlins met at the Southern Girls Rock and Roll camp in Tennessee about seven and a half years ago. This was the place that Zazu performed for the first time and felt a real sense of belonging. Jessi grew up as somewhat of an outcast for enjoying rock music while everyone else’s interests resided solely in country music. The people at the Girls Rock and Roll camp encouraged Jessi to do whatever she wanted to do, going for whatever she felt was right and has since kept these values with her throughout her music career.The band members of Those Darlins felt a lot more vulnerable with the newest album Blur the Lines. Many of the themes in the record reminisce back to some of the subjects of Jessi’s childhood and how she grew up. The record’s tone also shadows their experience on the road over the last eight years. These themes have been explored in previous albums by Those Darlins but have never appeared this dark.To portray the bands’ vulnerability and strength with Blur the Lines the album cover is a tasteful, naked photograph of the bottom half of the member’s bodies. “The album cover is just to represent laying it there. Being naked is your most vulnerable state but also there’s something really powerful about it.”This album cover got quite a bit of national attention after a blown up promotional poster was hung up in Nashville. Many people were upset and claimed it was pornographic, risque, and something that should not be hung for everyone and their children to see. Jessi claims that although this time was relatively stressful, it got the point across that they were aiming for.“The whole purpose of it was to create some curiosity about what the image is. It served its purpose just by creating a conversation about it and the question, what is the difference between pornography and art? But it was definitely blown out of proportion in some ways.”Those Darlins played at the Brillobox in Pittsburgh the next night. For more information on Those Darlins and their newest album Blur the Line check out their website.  

San Fermin Interview

 San Fermin is the latest musical project of composer and songwriter Ellis Ludwig-Leone who recently spoke with Morning Mix co-host Joey Spehar about San Fermin's self-titled album. Right out of school at Yale, Ellis Ludwig-Leone has writen and assisted in operas, ballets, feature films and orchestral works with acclaimed Nico Muhly. Ludwig-Leone started a solo project in school and retreated to Canada after graduation to write what would eventually become San Fermin. The record features 22 musicians including a string player and an entire brass section. Allen Tate, a close friend of Ludwig-Leone, acts as the primary male vocalist on San Fermin while Jess Wolfe and Holly Laessig of Lucius perform the female parts. Since the two girls have recently released their own album and are also on tour, Rae Cassidy fills the spot excellently when San Fermin performs live with eight members. In the interview with Ellis, Joey brings up how the album reads like a book with the lowest of lows and highest of highs. While each individual song is great on its own, to get the full effect of San Fermin, the album should be listened to in full."One of the reasons that I wanted to write it was because I was getting a little numb to new experience and I wanted a call to wake up a little bit. I think that's one of the reasons there's such extreme diversity on the record," says Ludwig-Leone, while claiming he wanted to "...make something as intense as your experience of life in the universe."While many people are just hearing San Fermin right now, Ellis wrote the album almost two years ago and at this point has the next album almost fully written. The band plays of few of these songs each show to change it up and keep moving forward. San Fermin will be performing at The Warhol Museum this week with special guests Son Lux. More information on San Fermin can be found on their website.  

WYEP's Celebration of The Beatles' First Appearance in America

On the 50th anniversary of The Beatles' historic first appearance on The Ed Sullivan Show, WYEP's Mike Sauter presents a special hour-long program celebrating the occasion with interviews, music, and archival sound clips.

Guest DJ Ironman Bill Palermo

Ironman triathlete and softball coach, Bill Palermo, recently joined Morning Mix host, Joey Spehar, to talk about the kind of music that keeps him motivated during training. At age 65, Palermo has qualified for the 2014 Ironman World Championship in Mont-Tremblant, Quebec. Bill is the winningest coach in WPIAL history and was the softball coach at Sto-Rox High School for years.  He's now influencing the athletic experiences of his grandchildren by running and swimming with them.Bill started his guest DJ set off with Bob Dylan’s, “Summer Days” off of his 31st studio album Love and Theft which was released in 2011. During the summer months Bill heads to the water and runs up and down the beach and really likes to listen to summer themed tunes. Despite the fact that his family likes to poke fun at his summertime soundtrack, Bill is happy to share with us a song off of this specific playlist.Afterwards, we heard “Living Loving Maid” off of Led Zeppelin’s second self titled album released in October of 1969. This song gets Bill pumped up and keeps him going throughout the race, similar to the other music by Led Zeppelin which he reserves for those 60 mile bike rides.“The tempo, the cadence, the motivation, the energy that they [Led Zeppelin] give you, I put them into my legs and try to make those hills”The last song Bill played for us was one inspired by his time coaching softball, and what enthused his kids to work their hardest. Tom Petty’s “I Won’t Back Down” came to mind.“I used music in preparing my kids. We had a playlist every year with a theme, it might be a theme of fight songs, it might be a theme for having heart, being strong, being tough,” says Bill right before he tells the story of a young man who made a speech about Bill at a banquet. The young man claimed that Palermo had their back and if they had a game in hell, he would be right behind them and their team would be the victor. Tom Petty’s song serves as a memento from this speech.Bill ends his guest DJ set and leaves WYEP listeners with a word of advice on staying active, which was to simply get out and do anything at your own pace.Bill's Ironman Playlist:Bob Dylan - Summer DaysLed Zeppelin - Living Loving Mad (She's Just A Woman)Tom Petty - I Won't Back Down

GRAMMY Review with Scott Tady

Scott Tady - Entertainment Editor from The Beaver County Times - joined Joey Spehar on The Morning Mix to make sense of the 2014 GRAMMY Awards.

Alex Dezen of The Damnwells: New Solo EPs and Future Damnwells LP

Alex Dezen of The Damnwells recently joined Morning Mix host Cindy Howes to talk about the new Damnwells album and Dezen’s four upcoming solo EPs. No One Listens To The Band Anymore, released in 2011, was the last record that The Damnwells released which didn’t feature two out of the four original members, David Chernis and Steven Terry, but fans can rest assured that the original lineup is back together for the new album.No One Listens To The Band Anymore was funded by Pledge Music through fan support, and although the band’s original intent was to not use the site again, you can find yet another Damnwells Pledge page for this upcoming record.“We swore we would never do it again, not because it wasn’t a great experience, just because, how many times can you really go back to the watering hole and ask your fans for money to make records? But then I realized you can kind of keep going back as long as the fans are interested and they want to help out.”Dezen wrote a number of songs that were originally intended for the new Damnwells album, but once the original members decided to reunite, there was an inspiration to write all new music. The former songs are going to be released as The Bedhead Series under Alex Dezen’s solo career, to give fans something to listen to in anticipation for the Damnwell’s album. The first of these EP’s was released January 21st and features a common theme of breakups.“That’s kinda the theme for the course of my career. They’re all kind of breakup or love songs, but these are definitely more personal than other songs I’ve released on Damnwells records. Because they’re a solo effort, it allows me to say things that maybe I wouldn’t say if I was with the Damnwells, or at least say things without having to really be that clever.”Alex also works at Warner/Chappell Music as a songwriter for pop musicians and actually has a co-writing credit on Justin Biebers hit “Take You” off of his 2012 album Believe which was performed at the 2013 Billboard Music Awards. Luckily, Dezen gets Justin Bieber text updates from his mother, letting him know exactly what Bieber is up to.The first EP from the Bedhead Series is available, and to see what else Alex Dezen or The Damnwell’s are up to you can check out their website.

Dark Sisters Composer Nico Muhly Guest DJ Set

Composer Nico Muhly is making his Pittsburgh Opera debut with Dark Sisters. Muhly doesn't work in opera exclusively, though.  His orchestrations can be heard in songs by Grizzly Bear, Jonsi, and Usher to name a few.  Muhly shared some of his work with Joey Spehar of The Morning Mix.Nico Muhly's Guest DJ Set:Grizzly Bear - CheerleaderJonsi - TornadoAntony & The Johnsons - Cripple & The Starfish

Interview with Todd Snider of Hard Working Americans

Todd Snider of the recently formed Hard Working Americans joined Morning Mix host, Joey Spehar to talk about the band's new album and his transition from folk music to jam band music. Originally an American singer-songwriter, Snider has put together what he sees to be his very own jam band. Although the folk scene has treated him well, Snider tells Joey he has to try something new, go out and live some stories so that he can tell them again.The band has a slightly different view on the definition of what a true hardworking American is. As the general population sees the term as a classification of one who gets up and goes to work everyday, Snider sees it as a person who explore the bounds of the freedom which this country was founded upon. Like when you go to an art show and none of the art makes any sense, or the kids on the street who jump trains and have tattoos on their faces.“Not tea party people, to me. Not the normal person that waves a flag and thinks of themselves as hard-working American because they go to work everyday. We all do that. Even the hobos do that. Some people work all day to get out of the cold.”Todd spoke on behalf of his recording experience at TRI Studios, a recording facility formed by Grateful Dead founding member, Bob Weir, and had nothing but great things to say. “The coolest studio I’ve ever been to,” says Snider as he transitions to the type of music we can expect to hear on the first self-titled album. Technically it is an album full of covers, but Snider feels differently on the topic.“Every song on the record, except for maybe one, is on an album that really only sold five thousand of them...There are so many guys in Nashville that write great rock songs, like Will Kimbrough, if The Band or The Dead or somebody was looking for a song they’d have it… There’s all these songs that are never gonna get out of the 200 seat venue”Snider has big goals for Hard Working Americans, as he plans for them to release at least three albums within the next year, the second one to be expectedly denser and less catchy, as Snider puts it. For more information on the new supergroup and what they’re up to, check out their website. 

Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra pays Tribute to John Williams

Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra conductor, Lawrence Loh, recently joined Cindy Howes of the Morning Mix to talk about the music of John Williams. The Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra is paying tribute to John Williams until the end of the week, structuring the show into three parts, starting with music of the Olympics, transitioning to scores made for Spielberg movies, and finishing strong with the scores from Harry Potter and Star Wars.With word of a potential costumed character debut at the show, Loh gets on the topic of how John Williams often writes his music specifically with his characters in mind. He does this so that the audience can connect to each character emotionally, and whenever the music for the specific character starts playing, the audience can feel this sense of familiarity and connection.“…So we can take Luke’s theme, and you can hear it as he is staring at the Twin Moons, sitting on Tatooine.  We have this ‘off-in-the-distance’ kind of theme, and then you hear it at the same time when Luke is going in at the Death Star in the trenches, it’s the same theme in a totally different way, so the audience can connect with that theme… and that’s one of the reasons that people have such a strong emotional connection to this music.”John Williams and Stephen Spielberg have a special relationship when it comes to music and film collaboration. In the earlier days when Sugarland Express and Jaws were just being released, their huge success can be partly attributed to the way John Williams can write music to tell a story. From then on, Spielberg knew he could rely on Williams whenever a special storyline needed special enrichment. It got to a point where Williams’ music completely affected the way Spielberg wrote his films.Loh finds some of John William’s most quintessential scores to be the introduction to Superman, the introduction to Star Wars, and the flying scene at the end of E.T. The Extra Terrestrial. He claims he is going to have to fight off the urge to quote lines from the movies during the speeches between each song. For more information on the show and what Lawrence Loh is up to you can check out his information here.  

Greensky Bluegrass Interview

Joey Spehar of The Morning Mix recently spoke with Mike Devol - bassist for Greensky Bluegrass - about the band's new album, cool covers, and what it's like to be in a band without a drummer.

Tamiah Bridgett Zumba Guest DJ

Cindy Howes of the Morning Mix was recently joined by Zumba Fitness instructor, Tamiah Bridgett, to talk about the perfect Zumba playlist. Tamiah instructs a class every Wednesday night at 6 o’clock at the Union Project and has a lot of great music to offer the dancers which pair well with the dance moves. Zumba is a type of fitness workout that combines elements of aerobics and dance into an environment that can be summarized by it’s tagline- Ditch the workout and join the party!Tamiah might warm up her class with the first song she showed us, “Senorita”, by Justin Timberlake. The song isn’t too fast but it definitely puts you in the mood to get your heart pumping and your adrenaline rushing. After J.T.’s song, we heard Celia Cruz’s song “La Vida es un Carnaval” off of her 1998 album Mi Vida es Cantar. In class, Tamiah likes to do a bit of Salsa to this classic tune to honor Celia Cruz and the influence she has made in the world of music and dance. We then heard a song that is a little bit less traditional, pulling in the hip-hop facet to the Zumba studio with some Salt N Peppa and their song “Push It.”  Tamiah was sent the remixed version of this song by the Zumba Instructors Network but decided to use the original version in class to really do the song justice. Switching paces again, we turn to Gloria Estefan and the classic song, “Conga” which makes a lot of Zumba students happy to hear. “There are different cross sections of age groups that come to the class. If you remember the 80’s and remember where you were when these songs were popular…even when I hear them it reminds me of being a young girl and loving to dance to these songs. “ This playlist placement of this song really depends on the mix that she is playing that day. Tamiah tries “…to choose song selection very strategically because the way you play songs are also a part of a Zumba formula” creating the ultimate workout experience.Tamiah finished off her Zumba Fitness set with the song “Techno Cumbia” by Selena and says that she will usually play this song within the first 30 minutes of class. In an hour long class the dancers will experience several points of high and low heart rates and this song is to help bring the heart rate down a bit before raising it more. Tamiah wants all of her students, present and future, to know that Zumba is really for everyone as long as you take it at your own pace.“You have to listen to your body and know what feels good to you. I don’t encourage you to do everything like me, I encourage you to things the way you feel them in your body, organically. “Tamiah Bridgett hosts a Zumba Fitness class every Wednesday night at the Union Project and you can check out their website for more information. Check out Tamiah's Latin/Dance Fitness Playlist on Spotify: Listen to Tamiah's Guest DJ spot on WYEP below.

Rhett Miller Interview

Rhett Miller of The Old 97s has been working on plenty of new music.  He caught up with Joey Spehar recently on The Morning Mix. Rhett recently paired up with the band Black Prairie, a five piece bluegrass band from Portland, Oregon for the release of his new solo album, which started when the two played a show together at Club Cafe. Rhett is also preparing for the release of an Old 97’s album, which is supposed to be more raw than usual.“It’s pretty great if I do say so myself. It is a raw record, there’s a lot of electric guitar, a lot of big fast rock songs, a lot of cursing, a lot of adult themes… it’s pretty fun.”Handling both a solo career and a full sized band can be tricky especially if you’re the main songwriter for both. In Rhett’s circumstance, he gives first pick to his band after all of the songs have been written. Whichever they decide not to choose for their own, Rhett adds to his own repertoire. Often times when working on a solo album, though, Miller will have a song that the band has never heard just because it is specifically intended for his own project.Miller finds himself writing both songs and prose (with the occasional awful movie live-tweet), but shared with us that he has found himself more focused on songwriting with the two upcoming record releases. In the upcoming year he expects to have a big year of fiction writing, and maybe he’ll live tweet more Pauly Shore movies.With the addition of his new show, Wheels Off: The Rhett Miller Show, which is a comedy program that has previously hosted acts like Rob Delaney and Zach Galifianakis, Miller still finds time to frequent Pittsburgh on tour playing acts like Club Cafe.For more information on what Rhett Miller is up to you can check out his website.

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 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.