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):
Yuck, “Chew” - Exhilarating U.K. band specializing in shoe-gazing guitar-rock, which like this new single, has a proper balance between sludgy and spacey. Not sure what they’re getting at with a chorus that says, “We chew it together.” Probably doesn’t matter.
2:54, “You’re Early” - And you’re early if you get hip now to this British duo’s brooding, atmospheric debut single. They’re two sisters, Colette and Hannah Thurlow, who have toured with the aforementioned Yuck and Melissa Auf de Maur of Hole. I understand why this song makes Cindy Howes recall her gothic days :)
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:
Yuna, "Live Your Life - Is there a cooler sounding lady out there right now? No, the answer is no. Yuna is from Malaysia, and her story is pretty wild: singing in Malaysian pubs, becoming a Malaysian celebrity, courted by an American producer via email and then flown to America to record this debut. The track was produced by Pharrell Williams, he of great Neptunes and N.E.R.D. fame. Together, they make this laid-back, incredibly sexy and life-affirming track that'll be stuck in your head for the next 10 to 12 business day.
Oberhofer, "Awy Frm U" - This song was originally released as a single in 2010, but it finally shows up on this months "Time Capsules II," the debut LP from Oberhofer, band of frontman Brad Oberhofer. It's sloppy, playful but sincere kitchen-sink pop, and the band members play their instruments to death. I don't know if I've ever heard more piano bashing than on this record. It's a whole lot of fun, and you should probably buy it.
Reggae! I know WYEP isn't huge on the genre, but it's almost summer and you deserve some good jams. Sure, every almost summer barbecue will play some Marley or Tosh, but introduce your friends to two new bands and become more popular than ever. The first is from Nigeria: Nazarenes, making fuzzy, deep grooves. The second is Morning Sun and the Essentials, making more pop-friendly, sunshine-y reggae. You can find both on the internet.
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 Mervis of The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.
In case you missed it here's what he played with commentary by Scott:
Cloud Nothings, "Stay Useless" - This starts out like so many indie-rock songs, sounding like the Strokes, but once the vocals get going, Dylan Baldi's personality takes over and you get that more raw emotion the Cleveland rocker injects into his tunes. Although this one is tight, poppy and, admittedly, repetitive, it lays the groundwork for some of the longer sonic jams on the band's explosive third album, "Attack on Memory."
Big Snow Big Thaw, "Red Hollow Road" - This Pittsburgh trio may not be rewriting the book on Americana, but this song showcases the unique vocal range of Jim Sabol, who also plays banjo. In his travels to Alabama, he took the windy Red Hollow Road and was inspired to write this mysterious Southern gothic tune with a melody manages to lodge into your head.
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:
Wooden Wand, "Winter in Kentucky" - It's not a seasonal song at this point, but it's a good one. James Jackson Toth records under the name Wooden Wand, and put this album out last fall, but it's being re-released, and I'm only now getting into it. You should too. I think some reference points for his rambling, storytelling style would include Bob Dylan and Craig Finn.
Good Night, States, "Tired of Making Sense" - This is the most straightforward guitar rocker on the local band's long-awaited new full-length. Not unlike the last one from GN,S, this one has grown on me a little each time I've listened -- and that's a good sign for an album.
If you’re a fan of the Block Party (weeknights from 8pm-12am EST) on 91.3fm, each month we feature one of the artists featured on the Block Party as an Album of the Month with a New or Renewing Membership to WYEP. The Block Party Featured Album is available in CD format for a $60 donation to WYEP or on vinyl for your gift of $75.
April''s Block Party Featured Album of the Month is Arrow by Heartless Bastards. Become a WYEP Member at wyep.org and grab a copy as your thank you gift this month.
Arrow review by WYEP Programming Intern Arielle Klein:
With new producer Jim Eno of Spoon, Heartless Bastard’s fourth album, Arrow, highlights the unity of the reformulated band.
Through Erika Wennerstrom’s minimalist lyrics, the album tells the tale of a band on tour, of the necessity of a solid rock beat, the open road, and someone to share it with. The album starts out punchy with songs like “Parted Ways” and “Got To Have Rock and Roll”. The excitement and momentum of the band’s recent success is evident with their new found conventional rock sound.
As the album progresses the band utilizes more profound lyrics and sprawling instrumental sections. Wennerstrom’s nostalgia for the old days in the second half of the CD cues in the banjo and the Bastards’ original blues inspired twang. While Wennerstrom’s voice is usually the focal point, the instrumental sections are powerful, overshadowing the forlorn lyrics with crisp entrancing interludes.
The Heartless Bastards may still be finding where they belong in the rock schema, but wherever they are headed Arrow makes their listeners ready to stay on for the ride.
Pick up a copy of Arrow by Heartless Bastards with your Membership today at wyep.org.