October 2013

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Vanguard and Sugar Hill have come together to comprise a Halloween themed Spotify playlist.  The two labels pulled from their respective catalogues and has music dating back over sixty years.  If you want to hear some fun and spooky tunes this is the playlist for you!  Happy Halloween from WYEP!

Check out the playlist on here.

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Halloween Spotify Sugar Hill Vanguard

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If you were somehow unaware, today is the scariest holiday of the year, Halloween! "This Is Halloween", by the citizens of Halloween is the "Jingle Bells" of the holiday, except that it's not quite as antiquated and it's way more fun. The Nightmare Before Christmas is a favorite film for many people, but few can actually decide whether it's a Halloween movie or a Christmas movie. For today, at least, let's call it a Halloween movie and dress up in our best Jack Skellington, Sally, and Oogie Boogie costumes.

Happy Halloween from WYEP!

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Cool Kids Halloweentown Joey Spehar

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Congratulations to James Blake, winner of the 2013 Mercury Prize! His album Overgrown beat out contestants like David Bowie, Arctic Monkeys, Laura Marling, and eight other's for the coveted award for musicians from Britain and Ireland.

Blake was nominated once before in 2011 for his eponymous debut album, but lost it to PJ Harvey's album Let England Shake. All the artists nominated for the Mercury Prize inevitably receive huge boosts in album sales due to the prestigious nature of the award. In addition to publicity, the winner of the Mercury Prize gets 20,000 pound, or $32,000.

Below is the music video for "Retrograde", the lead single from James Blake's album Overgrown.

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Arctic Monkeys David Bowie James Blake Laura Marling Mercury Prize Morning Mix PJ Harvey

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Broken Bells, the collaboration between musician/producer Brian "Danger Mouse" Burton and singer/guitarist of the Shins, James Mercer, are back again!  The duo have recently released a short sci-fi film that features music from their upcoming album, After The Disco.  Although a full track listing and official release date have not been confirmed, After The Disco is due to be in stores by January 2014.  Small snippets of the upcoming release are used throughout the video.

The short film is based on a story written by Burton and was directed by Jacob Gentry (The Signal, Last Goodbye).  The film also features Anton Yelchin (Star TrekLike Crazy) and Kate Mara (House of Cards). The story follows a lonely and tired office worker named Oliver who encounters a batter and abandoned astronaut, Helen.  The two spark a romance while curiously traveling the terrain.

You can check out the short film below.

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After the Disco Anton Yelchin Broken Bells Danger Mouse Jacoby Gentry James Mercer Kate Mara

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Music News New Music

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!

In case you missed it here's what he played with commentary by Scott. Click the title to hear the song!

Diego Garcia, "Start with the End": He only sounds like a Nickelodeon character. Rather, he's an Argentinian singer from Detroit who's made this nice, chill folk-rock record called "Paradise." This song, the opening track, starts like Rusted Root's "Martyr," and moves into a different direction from there.

Butch Walker, "I've Been Waiting for This": When he wasn't producing major hits for Taylor Swift and Fall Out Boy, this former frontman for Marvelous 3 was working on his latest EP, which allows him to indulge his own power-pop and pop-rock talents. This song begins with a reminiscence of his father, who died two months ago.

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Dear parents everywhere, today's Cool Kids song is awesome for your kid if they're dressing up as a vampire for Halloween. The beauty of it is that it's awesome even if they're not being a blood sucking fiend tomorrow night. Pretty much anyone can join in the love for this song, which was featured on the Juno movie soundtrack. The song is called "Vampire" by a band called Antsy Pants, and it even sounds like it was sung by kids.

Tackling the important issue of fanglessness in the vampire world, Antsy Pants sings, "I am a vampire and I am looking in the city, Pretty girls don't look at me Don't look at me Cause I don't have my fangs." If anyone could understand what vampires without fangs go through, it could probably be imaginative kids without fangs. And post-Halloween, most kids will be in that exact situation. Hopefully their regular teeth hold up to all the sugar they've consumed for the holiday! Make sure they brush those chompers or they'll wind up just like our friends Antsy Pants.

 

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Capital Records reeled in the big one this time.  Beck recently announced that he signed with the label and would be releasing his 12th studio album, Morning Phase, in February 2014.  Beck's upcoming release will be his first since 2008's Modern Guilt.

Morning Phase is full of remarkable harmonies, song crafting, and emotion.  Morning Phase has actually been described as a "return to the Sea Change days."  The album actually features a lot of the same musicians present on Sea Change including one of Beck's longtime collaborator Smokey Hormel.

There has been no official track listing or release date for Morning Phase have been announced.  More details will come in the near future.

Here is something to tide you over from Sea Change.

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Beck Capital Records Morning Phase

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Music News New Music

Sometimes on Cool Kids we will pick songs that our adult listeners might identify with more than kids. Well, today's Cool Kids pick is for the inner kid in all the adults out there. "I Like Gumby" is the name of a cool song obviously about the classic claymation icon. Gumby, a superstar in his own right, used to be the spokes-figure for the Library of Congress too, so use that to your advantage when trying to get your kids to read!

The song is also a little spooky, since it is almost Halloween after all. Follow this link to hear the song!

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Cool Kids Gumby Joey Spehar Jonathan Richman

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Fleetwood Mac, a perennial favorite of music fans everywhere, have unfortunately cancelled 14 dates from their of their Australia tour. This is due to John McVie, a founding member of the legendary band, being diagnosed with cancer. McVie will receive treatment during what would have been the Australian and New Zealand leg of their tour.

A statement from the band's Facebook page reads, "We are sorry to not be able to play these Australian and New Zealand dates. We hope our Australian and New Zealand fans as well as Fleetwood Mac fans everywhere will join us in wishing John and his family all the best.” The tour in Europe started just a month ago, where Christine McVie, bandmate and former wife to John, finally returned to the stage with Fleetwood Mac. This past spring, the band released their first collection of new music in ten years in the form of a four track EP, simply titled Extended Play.

This is the song "Sad Angel" from the new EP. Listen, and join us in wishing John McVie and Fleetwood Mac the best.

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Christine McVie Fleetwood Mac John McVie Morning Mix

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lou-reed

I’ve always had a very complicated fandom with Lou Reed. But I can truly say that he had a profound impact on my life. Early in High School, when I had no taste in music at all, I worked in a library. Filing the library’s CD’s was one of my jobs, and one day I discovered this album with an Andy Warhol banana on its cover. I was curious, so instead of filing it, I took it home. The Velvet Underground & Nico is that album that changed my life. I never listened to music the same way, and it spawned my curiosity to discover more.

In college I saw Lou Reed in concert. After the show, my friend and I followed some other people to meet him. There he stood, behind a box office window. I was excited, yet terrified. It was awkward. He didn’t smile, no hand shake. He didn’t say a word. I didn’t have anything for him to sign, so I slid my concert ticket over to him and he scribbled on it and slid it back. Walking away, I thought, “what a jerk.” But, I framed that concert ticket, it sits on my desk as a reminder that heroes are not perfect.

This was Lou’s way. He wrote the songs he wanted to write and made the albums he wanted to make and all along the way people gave him a hard time for it. But, he always had the last laugh. “Walk on the Wild Side”, a song with subject matter that would make a modern-day censors’ head spin, became a radio hit. In 1975, he got his label to release, “Metal Machine Music”, an album featuring an hour of guitar drones. More recently he released another drone album intended for his Tai Chi meditation. Reed blazed a trail and made it easier for other artists to take risks.

It chills me to read in his New York Times obituary that in his last hours he continued to practice Tai Chi in order to remain strong. Death was the one thing he couldn’t control, but he left this life the way he went about every day, not compromising and fighting against the way things have to be.

Long live Lou.

- Brian Siewiorek, Production Director at 91.3fm WYEP
October 2013

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