January 2015

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!

In case you missed it here’s what he played with commentary by Scott:

Mini Mansions "Any Emotions" - The psych-pop band's bassist, Zach Dawes, was doing session work on a Brian Wilson record. Zach's bandmates wondered, "Gee, wouldn't it be amazing if we could get Brian to sing on one of our songs?" A few phone calls were made, and to the band's surprise Brian Wilson said "Sure thing," and the next thing they knew, Mini Mansions had a stellar guest vocal track from the Beach Boys legend. This digital single is targeted for the band's March 24 release on T-Bone Burnett's label. Mini Mansions supported Arctic Monkeys on tour dates last year, and lists among its musical friends Haim.

Keath Mead, "Polite Refusal" - The 25-year-old South Carolina singer with the curiously spelled first name lists among his influences '60's and '70s pop, The Shins and Jack White. Though it's a not-so-hidden nod to Lou Reed and "Sweet Jane" that emerges on this track from a debut album he says is thematically tied to the anxiety and loss-of-innocence that's associated with coming-of-age.

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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 Andy Mulkerin of City Paper!

In case you missed it here's what he played with commentary from Andy.

The Juliana Hatfield Three, "Ordinary Guy" - This band returns with its first record in over 20 years; it's a simple power-pop-meets-'90s-alt-rock tune about a topic that surely resonates with many -- shitty boyfriends. It's slightly silly, kinda serious, and just generally enjoyable. Welcome back, Juliana Hatfield Three!

Pops Staples "Somebody Was Watching" - The patriarch of the Staple Singers has been gone for over 15 years, but daughter Mavis Staples and Jeff Tweedy got together recently to breathe new life into some of his last recordings. The Mavis-and-Tweedy-produced disc will come out later this year; this is the first tune Anti- Records released.

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New Music

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On the occasion of MTV Unplugged's 25th anniversary, Joey Spehar and Cindy Howes discuss their favorite moments on the monumental music show. Listen to the conversation below:

Joey and Cindy MTV Unplugged 25th Anniversary by Cindy Howes on Mixcloud

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Personal Picks

Oscars

Joey Spehar and Cindy Howes review and talk about the nominations for Best Original song at this years Oscars. Listen to the audio:

Joey and Cindy Review Oscar Best Orig Song Noms 2015 by Cindy Howes on Mixcloud

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Music News

Every Wednesday at 9:13 am, one of WYEP’s trusted music experts joins me (Cindy Howes) on The Morning Mix to play a couple favorite new songs and share some insight. Today we welcome Sarah Wardrop from WFUV in New York!

This month, we asked Sarah to bring in her favorites from 2014. In case you missed, it here’s what she played:

The Decemberists, "The Wrong Year" - The title of "The Wrong Year" had me wary of the new year's prospects, but the sound of the song quickly put me at ease. This is Colin Meloy at his hopeful melancholy best, lightening the mood (a bit) with lilting melodies that, as the lyrics say, "won't leave you alone." A band that could always venture into concept album or rock opera territory has hit a songwriting sweet spot, and there's more to hear soon with the album What a Terrible World, What a Beautiful World, due out next week.

Rhiannon Giddens, "Black Is The Color" - You may know Rhiannon Giddens from Carolina Chocolate Drops, The New Basement Tapes, the latest Apple commercial, or her appearance at 2013's "Another Day, Another Time" concert which grew out of the Inside Llewyn Davis film. At the show, she impressed the crowd as well as T Bone Burnett, and he has now produced her debut solo album, Tomorrow Is My Turn (out February 10th). Her band has incorporated beat boxing with Americana sounds, and this version of "Black Is The Color" takes that combination another step, putting a traditional song Nina Simone frequently performed in the able musical hands, voice and spirit of a present day song interpreter whose future will be exciting to watch.

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New Music

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Joey Spehar & Cindy Howes review and discuss the songs nominated for "Best Original Song" at this year's Golden Globes. Listen to their conversation below, leave your opinion in the comments and find out who won this Sunday on NBC with hosts Tina Fey & Amy Poehler.

Golden Globe Best Orig Song 2015 by Cindy Howes on Mixcloud

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Uncategorized

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 Pop City's Patrick Bowman

In case you missed, it here's what Patrick played:

Broncho, "What" - Norman, Oklahoma proto-punks Broncho have homed in on garage rock aesthetic that melds together the work of bands like Television, The Pretenders, and The Buzzcocks. The first track off their sophomore album Just Enough Hip to be Woman swaggers with attitude, giving the impression that Broncho were a long lost act from the Lower East Side punk scene of late 70s New York.

Lady Lamb the Beekeeper, "Billions of Eyes" - "Billions of Eyes" is the first single from After, the sophomore release from Lady Lamb the Beekeeper, aka Brunswick, Maine, singer songwriter Aly Spaltro. Along with acts like Angel Olsen, Sharon Van Etten, and Waxahatchee, Spaltro has infused her folky songwriting with nods from classic 90s alternative rock. "Billions of Eyes" is rife with noodly guitar lines, poppy choruses, and the sort of disaffected, surreal lyrics that recall Frank Black's weirdness from the Pixies.

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New Music
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