Every Wednesday at 9:13 am, one of Pittsburgh's finest music writers joins me (Cindy Howes) on the Morning Mix to play a couple favorite new songs and share some insight. Today we welcome Scott Tady of The Beaver County Times. In case you missed it here's what he played (with commentary by Scott): The Forty Nineteens, “Take Me to Vegas” - Garage-rock turbocharged with a splash of late-‘80s alternative from a SoCal band featuring Monaca High graduate Nick Zeigler on drums and vocals. Produced by David Newton (The Mighty Lemon Drops), this debut disc, due out April 17, reminds me of the Hold Steady. The Forty Nineteens make their Pittsburgh debut in late July. Van Hunt, “Character” - Dayton, Ohio, rhythm-and-blues artist Van Hunt had the fourth-best reviewed new studio album of 2011 according to Metacritic. At the suggestion of his manager, “American Idol’s” Randy Jackson, Hunt released a live album two weeks ago, from which this cut was taken. The live album showcases Hunt’s refreshing take on R&B, melding the raw sexuality and guitar virtuosity of Prince with the glam-rock dramatics of David Bowie, and a dash of P-Funk spaciness. See him Thursday night at the Thunderbird Café.
Every Wednesday at 9:13 am, one of Pittsburgh's finest music writers joins me (Cindy Howes) on the Morning Mix to play a couple favorite new songs and share some insight. Today we welcome Justin Jacobs (talking to us via Skype!), contributing writer to Billboard & Relix Magazine. In case you missed it here's what he played with commentary by Justin: Regina Spektor, "All the Rowboats" - She's back! Everyone's favorite Russian immigrant piano player will release her new record, What We Saw From the Cheap Seats, in a few months, but in the meantime she's dropped this tasty bit of dark, deeply melodic and oddly tweaked pop. This one harkens back to her weirder days of 11:11 and (my favorite) Soviet Kitsch, instead of the brighter pop of latter records. Suckers, "Turn on the Sunshine" - These dudes released my favorite record of 2010, and their second effort, the questionably titled Candy Salad, drops next month. This first single is a good teaser — more straightforward but still twisted indie pop, and happy as all hell. If you like this one, rest assured, it is not the best song on the album. Extra fun track! --> Lucero, "On My Way Downtown" - A time-tested country punk band hires a horn section and gets all Memphis-Stax-soul on us on new album Women and Work. It's a good look for the guys.
Every Wednesday at 9:13 am, one of Pittsburgh's finest music writers joins me (Cindy Howes) on the Morning Mix to play a couple favorite new songs and share some insight. Today we welcome Andy Mulkerin of Pittsburgh's City Paper In case you missed it here's what he played with commentary by Andy: Fanfarlo, "Deconstruction" - Not a lot about this fun track is Derridan in nature; it's more evocative of bleak, driving British synth pop a la New Order. Nice song from Rooms Filled with Light, the latest from the band led by a guy whose name is really Simon Balthazar. Bear in Heaven, "The Reflection of You" - I'm a big fan of these guys, and this was the first track release off their latest, I Love You, It's Cool. The soft synths combine with Jon Philpot's vocals to hypnotic effect. A friend once likened Philpot to a cult leader; it may be true, but if so it's a cult of synths and love. Retribution Gospel Choir, "The Stone (Revolution!)" - This is the other band helmed by Low's Alan Sparhawk; not everything they do thrills me, but this is from a free four-song EP they just released, and it's pretty great! When they do the Big Star-style power-pop rock, they do it better than most.