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 Walkaways, “Local Honey” – Baltimore alt-country band scores big with twangy, Son Volt-ish melodies and vivid storytelling. Their album “Romance and Medicine” is available digitally on Dec. 4. This song, about life in the second-biggest city of a state’s third-biggest county, includes imagery of an empty smokestack; tracks that haven’t seen a train since ’69, and families gathered for holidays, telling the same old stories then driving away in their cars with out-of-state plates. Matthew Ryan, “Stupid World” – From the alt-folk artist’s 15th album, “In The Dusk of Everything,” released Tuesday. It’s a cinematic-sounding work he compares to films like “Mystic River” and “Cinema Paradiso.” In our sit-down interview a week ago, Ryan told me, “I think this record is uniquely dependent on one’s bravery to see themselves in these stories because it’s ultimately a pretty story – a beautiful story, but it has its fair amount of struggles.” Co-produced by David Ricketts (half of David & David of “Welcome to the Boomtown” fame), the album’s key moment, lyrically, is on this song, which ends with “I showed her my scars/then she showed me her bruises/You’re someone’s salvation in a stupid world.” Ryan hits the road next month to open dates for The Gaslight Anthem. He moved his family to Beaver last year, after many years in Nashville.
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 from Israel via Skype!), contributing writer to Billboard & Relix Magazine. Django Django, "Firewater" - What do you get when you mix early psych rock, acoustic strumming, 60's folk harmonies, touches of electronics and just a bit of pretentiousness? The answer is Scottish art students Django Django! The band excels in mixing musical parts like puzzle pieces, making a satisfying and unique sound. Check out the cover of their debut album; it's what the band calls the physical representation of their music. Kaki King, "Bowen Island" - Oh, sweet, sweet lord, what this woman can do with a guitar. Her instrumental pieces range from stunningly beautiful to beautifully rockin'. As in, it's all very good and captures different moods. Her latest record, "Glow," just dropped this month. She's not a showy player, but her skills push her into the upper echelon of today's guitarists. Bonus track! Books on Tape, "Retired Numbers" - Out in November, electronic producer Books on Tape makes wonderfully schizophrenic pop music that sounds like you're tripping on acid whilst caught inside a video game. A really, really awesome video game.
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: The Rolling Stones, "Doom and Gloom": Having devoured Keith Richards' book and been blown away by Mick Jagger's 'SNL' appearance, I half-expected a new single from the Stones would be good. It's not. It's great. "Doom and Gloom" sounds like it could have come off of "Let it Bleed" or "Beggars Banquet" or one of those classic late '60s/early '70s albums. It has that dirty Stones guitar sound, and Mick is singing like he's discovered the fountain of youth. Neil Young and Crazy Horse, "Walk Like a Giant": This was the centerpiece of the band's set at the Petersen Center earlier this month. The new song from "Psychedelic Pill" is one of those distortion-heavy Crazy Horse stomps very much in the vein of "Hey Hey My My." It devolves into about 14 minutes of feedback. What we played on the air is the more reined-in single version, which is still killer.
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: Divine Fits, "My Love Is Real" - This is the first track on the indie supergroup's debut album; Divine Fits is made up of Britt Daniel from Spoon, Dan Boeckner from Handsome Furs/Wolf Parade, and Sam Brown, the drummer from New Bomb Turks. This is one of the most-toured records of this fall; expect to hear plenty from these guys in the future. Guards, "Silver Lining" - Guards came to Pittsburgh last year with that buzz-band Cults; it made sense, because the guy from Guards is the brother of the woman from Cults. Anyway: They're a pretty good band. Upbeat, fuzzy pop the like of which I often play during these segments. Enjoy!