December 2012

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).

Out with the old, in with the new,eh? Here are two interesting bands with early 2013 album releases

Ginger and The Ghost, “One Type of Dark” - Fans of Kate Bush, Bjork and Tegan & Sara might best appreciate the vocals here from the Ginger half of this Australian experimental-pop duo. I dig how this song meanders slow and dreamy-like until halfway through when an acoustic guitar riff makes a surprise appearance, and hastens the vocals into a quick, punchy interlude that melts away. That slow-fast tug-of-war repeats at song's end. Good hook.

Gold Fields, “Dark Again” - Another new Aussie act (maybe it's their year!) releasing its first full-length Feb. 26. Propulsive guitars, bright synth and tribal beats forge the grooves to make you move to this pop-rock jam.

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New Music Personal Picks
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.
In case you missed it, here is what Justin played - this time around he shared some favorites from 2012!


Frank Ocean, "Pyramids" - I know, I know. I'm not special at all for being in love with Frank Ocean and all his songs. But when music is this good, there's nothing wrong with joining the masses. "Pyramids" is a nearly 10 minute, multi-part opus about the sexiest Egyptian stripper ever. Sounds over the top, and it is - perfectly so. Cumulatively, I've spent the better part of six days listening to this song.


Cloud Nothings, "Stay Useless" - Rock bands made more complicated and more technical and skillful records this year, but none captured the same 'Fck you, and you, and you, and you' spirit of Cloud Nothings' "Attack on Memory." This is ragged, raw, punk rock rage at its finest. And what's amazing: just a few years ago, Cloud Nothings was simply one guy making lo-fi bedroom pop. In 2012, Cloud Nothings was a beast. Hey, thanks, Steve Albini!


Alt-J "Tesselate" - If your girlfriend is shaped like a triangle or a square, there was no more fitting song to get her in the mood than "Tesselate." The track is one of the best from Alt-J's "An Awesome Wave," the Mercury Prize-winning debut from this English act. For my money, the most interesting debut release of the year. I can't wait to see where they go next.


Bonus: Here are some of my other favorite records of the year, in no particular order.
Cody ChesnuTT "Landing on a Hundred"
Passion Pit "Gossamer"
Kendrick Lamar "Good Kid, M.A.A.D. City"
Chris Robinson Brotherhood, "Big Moon Ritual"
Sharon Van Etten "Tramp"
Aesop Rock "Skelethon"
Kaki King "Glow"
Grizzly Bear "Shields"
Hot Chip "In Our Heads"
Justin Bieber "Beliebe"

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New Music Personal Picks

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.

This time around, Scott brought in his favorites of 2012. In case you missed it here's what he played with commentary by Scott:

Bob Mould, “Star Machine” - The formidable Husker Du/Sugar frontman puts aside the electronics and just rocks — with the old fury — on his 10th studio album. “Star Machine” opens the album and sets the tone in vintage fashion.

Jack White, “Freedom at 21” - “Blunderbuss,” the first Jack White solo album, is one he couldn’t have made with the late White Stripes or either of his spinoff bands, The Raconteurs or The Dead Weather. This is the guitar-slinging rock star’s chance to throw himself into a full-on, lash-out breakup album.

Japandroids, “Nights of Wine and Roses” - The album opens with the popping of fireworks and they shoot off like mad on “Celebration Rock,” the third album from this Canadian punk duo. “We yell like hell to the heavens” is the spirit throughout this noisy celebration.

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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.

This time around, Andy brought in his favorites from 2012. In case you missed it here's what he played with commentary by Andy:

Jenny Owen Youngs, "Already Gone" - This song has two amazing pop hooks. It's almost unfair. Why wouldn't she save one of them for another song? I feel like there are other songs out there that are jealous. Anyway, this is from Jenny's early-2012 release An Unwavering Band of Light, which is worth having.

Pujol "Providence" - I've been a fan of Pujol since I heard the band's 7-inch on Third Man. This is their first full-length, issued on Saddle Creek, and it includes re-records of some earlier stuff in addition to some new material. Daniel Pujol is one of the great young lyricists. They place at Club Cafe on Dec. 14!

Hospitality, "Friends of Friends" - This band was new to me this year -- their Merge-issued debut came out in January. I managed to catch them live twice, and they're a fun bunch. Cute, clever, well-written songs.

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