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February 12, 2016 by cindy@wyep.org

Friday mornings on WYEP, Chef Bill Fuller (Corporate Chef for big Burrito) joins Cindy Howes at 7:30am for Pairings! Bill & Cindy challenge each other to pair up your favorite music with matching menus. Let’s see what they came up with this week.

Listen to the audio:

February 10, 2016 by cindy@wyep.org

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 Patrick Bowman!

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

Massive Attack feat. Young Fathers, “Voodoo in My Blood” - The godfathers of Triphop just dropped the Ritual Spirit EP, their first release since 2010s Heliogoland, and it’s an exciting, lively, suitably tar black four songs that proves these guys aren’t over the hill yet. My favorite track is titled “Voodoo in My Blood” which features a fire guest spot from scary good Scottish hip-hop trio Young Fathers, who are only a few years removed for winning the Mercury Prize from their debut album Dead, and it also shows how Massive Attack are going out and finding new, challenging collaborators.

Bibio, “Feeling” - Bibio is the project of UK-based singer/songwriter/producer Stephen Wilkinson who has a penchant for building songs around obscure folk guitar samples that sound like they were dipped in analog recording warmth before he spliced them into his own track. His 2009 record Ambivalence Avenue was one of my favorites that year, and really puts his “folktronica” into focus. His next album A Mineral Love is due out in April and he just dropped the super funky first single “Feeling” which sounds like he was the art school brother to the Bee Gees that no one ever talked about.

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February 5, 2016 by cindy@wyep.org

Friday mornings on WYEP, Chef Bill Fuller (Corporate Chef for big Burrito) joins Cindy Howes at 7:30am for Pairings! Bill & Cindy challenge each other to pair up your favorite music with matching menus. Let’s see what they came up with this week.

Listen to the audio:

Pairings Feb 5 2016 by Cindy Howes on Mixcloud

February 3, 2016 by cindy@wyep.org

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Every Wednesday at 9:13 am, one of our most trusted music aficionados joins me (Cindy Howes) on the Morning Mix to play a couple favorite new songs and share some insight. Today we welcome Justin Jacobs!

Villagers, "Everything I Am Is Yours" - Hot damn, is this song pretty. Villagers is the moniker of Conor O'Brien, an Irish singer who has released three albums of get-choked-up-by-beauty folk music. His last album, Darling Arithmetic, was widely acclaimed when it was released over a year ago, but O'Brien decided to go back and have another crack at the songs. So now he's releasing Where Have You Been All My Life?, which takes some hushed folk rock and makes it even sparser. The result is a new album that's aimed at hardcore fans, but enjoyable by anyone.

Lissie, "Don't You Give Up On Me" - Lissie's back, everyone! The Illinois singer-songwriter's third album, My Wild West, is out this month and this track is its second single. Lissie's got a voice that could blow down a house, and she uses it on some gorgeous piano-driven ballads on the new record, with a few rockers like this one thrown in to keep things lively. Cindy tells me she's got a Pittsburgh date coming up, so if you know what's good for you you'll head to Mr. Smalls and get your socks knocked completely off.

 

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January 28, 2016 by cindy@wyep.org

Friday mornings on WYEP, Chef Bill Fuller (Corporate Chef for big Burrito) joins Cindy Howes at 7:30am for Pairings! Bill & Cindy challenge each other to pair up your favorite music with matching menus. Let’s see what they came up with this week.

Listen to the audio:

Pairings Jan 29 2016 by Cindy Howes on Mixcloud

January 27, 2016 by cindy@wyep.org

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!

In case you missed, it here’s what she played:

Sunflower Bean, "Easier Said" - This Brooklyn band released an EP last year, and its full-length debut, Human Ceremony, is due out February 5th. Also last year, they went on tour with both Wolf Alice and Best Coast, and their sound fits with both bands. The trio can do gritty riffs, indie-pop or the more ethereal vocal feel of this song, but whatever the sound, they bring energy and an amazing ear for melody.

Laura Mvula, "Overcome" - I was completely blown away by Mvula's 2013 album Sing To The Moon. It was choral, orchestra, soul, pop and a beautiful display of her gift for arranging (and her gift of a voice). This song, which is from a forthcoming album, features the great Nile Rodgers, and the extra funk and groove added to Mvula's grace and energy is a perfect combo.

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January 22, 2016 by cindy@wyep.org

Friday mornings on WYEP, Chef Bill Fuller (Corporate Chef for big Burrito) joins Cindy Howes at 7:30am for Pairings! Bill & Cindy challenge each other to pair up your favorite music with matching menus. Let’s see what they came up with this week.

Listen to the audio:

Pairings Jan 22 2016 by Cindy Howes on Mixcloud

January 20, 2016 by cindy@wyep.org

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:

Bob Mould, "Voices In My Head" - Thirty-plus years since pioneering noise-pop with Husker Du, Mould still consistently churns out songs with great guitar hooks and relatable lyrics. He's done it again with this debut track from his "Patch The Sky" album due out March 25. Here, Bob addresses the voices in his head, noting they multiply and amplify his fears. He reaches the conclusion he can either play the victim, or get on with his life.

Violent Femmes, "Memory" - If you saw them last summer at Stage AE, then you know the Violent Femmes are still as off-kilter, twisted and fun as ever. Thing is, they haven't released a new album in more than 15 years, though that will change come March 4 with the long-awaited arrival of "We Can Do Anything." This is the single, with Gordon Gano still resplendently quirky and agitated, lamenting he can't conjure specific memories of someone who once mattered in his life. The band's still got that rowdy folk/sparse punk/frat-house rock feel.

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January 15, 2016 by cindy@wyep.org

Friday mornings on WYEP, Chef Bill Fuller (Corporate Chef for big Burrito) joins Cindy Howes at 7:30am for Pairings! Bill & Cindy challenge each other to pair up your favorite music with matching menus. Let’s see what they came up with this week.

Listen to the audio:

Pairings Jan 15 2015 by Cindy Howes on Mixcloud

January 13, 2016 by cindy@wyep.org

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 Patrick Bowman!

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

Wild Nothing, “Reichpop” - Wild Nothing is the brainchild of singer/songwriter/producer Jack Tatum who has consistently made jangly, beach rock with ambitious flourishes since his 2010 debut Gemini. He kind of got lumped in with similar sounding bands like Beach Fossils and Real Estate around the same time but was quietly more ambitious. That ambition has manifested itself with the third track he’s released off his forth coming full length Life of Pause, titled “Reichpop” which unsubtly references legendary minimalist music pioneer Steve Reich. The song really does a good job of combining pop instincts with repetitive, meandering sonics to produce an unusually powerful song.

White Denim, “Holda You (I’m Psycho)” - Austin rockers White Denim new track “Holda You (I’m Psycho)” from their upcoming album, Stiff which is coming out in March is just a lot of fun. It’s a song that feels of the same ilk as the classic 70s rock they have embraced their entire career, including their last album, the bluesy guitar lick heavy Corsicana Lemonade, or the Quicksilver-esque head trips of 2011’s D, which is one of my favorite albums of the past few years. “Holda You (I’m Psycho)” wastes no time kicking down doors and kind of sounds like a garage rock take on Blue Sky by the Allman Brothers, from the crazy guitar licks to lead singer James Petralli’s soulful howl.

Check out The Filtercast, which discusses, dismantles, and celebrates the best of Pittsburgh's music scene.

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January 8, 2016 by cindy@wyep.org

Friday mornings on WYEP, Chef Bill Fuller (Corporate Chef for big Burrito) joins Cindy Howes at 7:30am for Pairings! Bill & Cindy challenge each other to pair up your favorite music with matching menus. Let’s see what they came up with this week.

Listen to the audio:

Pairings Jan 8 2016 by Cindy Howes on Mixcloud

January 6, 2016 by cindy@wyep.org

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Every Wednesday at 9:13 am, one of our most trusted music aficionados joins me (Cindy Howes) on the Morning Mix to play a couple favorite new songs and share some insight. Today we welcome Justin Jacobs!

For today's 9:13 Buzz, we asked Justin to bring in his favorites from 2015.

Favorite songs:

Beck, "Dreams" - Even though Beck won tons of accolades for his last album "Morning Phases," I couldn't help thinking it was a little, well, boring. The world just didn't need a less-good "Sea Change." So when he dropped "Dreams" this summer, I was thrilled. Here's the Beck I know and love: off-kilter, endlessly funky and catchy as all hell. I probably listened to this song 50 times this year, and it never gets boring. Maybe even cooler is that "Dreams" isn't attached to an album — Beck just dropped this red-hot little gem as a teaser, to get us excited for whatever it is that comes next. Whenever he decides that will be.

Kurt Vile, "Pretty Pimpin" - Kurt Vile's been releasing laid back odes to Neil Young for a handful of albums now. But with this year's "b'lieve i'm goin down," he dusted off the edges of his folk into something with a bit more modern momentum. "Pretty Pimpin" is the album's lead single: a gorgeous, gentle, thumping, meditative guitar anthem with tons of delicious Vile lyrics: "I wonke up this mornin', didn't recognize the man in the mirror, then I laughed and said, 'oh silly me, that's just me,'" he sings. "Then I proceeded to brush some stranger's teeth."

Favorite Albums:
Allen Stone "Radius"
Tame Impala "Currents"
The Weeknd "Beauty Behind the Madness"
Courtney Barnett "Sometimes I Sit and Think, Sometimes I Just Sit"

Favorite Show:

Kanye West, Tel Aviv, September 30 - We don't get a ton of amazing international shows here in Tel Aviv (I mean, thanks for coming Bon Jovi...), but I would've been hyped for this one no matter where I was. Who else can rip through a 2-hour set alone onstage — and make it completely captivating? And who else can get a stadium of people shouting obscene one-liners in their second language? Nobody looks quite as dedicated onstage (dude can sweat like nobody's business) quite like Yeezy.

December 23, 2015 by cindy@wyep.org

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! We asked Sarah to bring in her favorites of 2015. In case you missed, it here’s what she played: Favorite Song: Nathaniel Rateliff & The Night Sweats, "S.O.B." - I picked this song, partly because of seeing people's reactions to it. When it comes on, it's hard not to stomp, clap, sing or shout along. Even though the story it tells is on the bleak side, there's a side of satisfaction too, knowing that Rateliff has come out of some dark times and into hard-earned and well-deserved success.

Favorite Album: Courtney Barnett, Sometimes I Sit and Think, and Sometimes I Just Sit - "Avant Gardener" built the buzz about Barnett and her debut album hopefully made any doubters sit and think. As a wordsmith, she meanders with intention and wit, and as a guitarist, her mix of rhythm and lead expands and contracts to suit the songs. The song "Small Poppies" knocked me over with its smirk of a title, gritty lilt and expansive sound, but I thought I'd pick this track in honor of holiday party season.

Favorite Shows: This category is a tie for me. The Sleater-Kinney show was my first time seeing them live, so add that fact to the crowd-wide glee of knowing "they're back," and the energy in the room was palpable and incredible. With the musical Hamilton, there's not a lot that hasn't been said about how good it is, so I will just add that I was blown away, I've had several songs from it stuck in my head all year, and do try to see it if you can. Sleater-Kinney at Terminal 5 (2/26) This is from a different show, but a good one!:

Hamilton at The Public Theater (1/30)

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December 11, 2015 by cindy@wyep.org

Friday mornings on WYEP, Chef Bill Fuller (Corporate Chef for big Burrito) joins Cindy Howes at 7:30am for Pairings! Bill & Cindy challenge each other to pair up your favorite music with matching menus. Let’s see what they came up with this week.

Listen to the audio:

Pairings Dec 11 2015 by Cindy Howes on Mixcloud

December 9, 2015 by cindy@wyep.org

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! This week, we asked Scott about his favorites from 2015.

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

Favorite album of the year: Courtney Barnett, Sometimes I Sit and Think, And Sometimes I Just Sit -  Spry, smart, sassy and self-deprecating fun from the Australian singer-songwriter's full-length debut. Her "Nobody Really Cares If You Don't Go To the Party" is also my song-of-the-year -- refreshingly indecisive in a world of social surety. Chorus: "I want to go out, but I want to stay home." The cleverness of her prose and exuberance to her brash delivery, often matched with full-on rock arrangements, is delightful. Signature lyric (from "Pedestrian at Best"): "Put me on a pedestal and I'll only disappoint you/Tell me I'm exceptional and I promise to exploit you/Give me all your money and I'll make some origami honey/I think you're a joke but I don't find you very funny."

Favorite song of the year: Kacey Musgraves, "Family is Family" - Funny and true tune with the typical bright tones and jaunty delivery from the 26-year-old Grammy-honored country singer. How can you argue with lines like "Family is family, in church or in prison/You get what you get, and you don't get to pick 'em/They might smoke like chimneys, but give you their kidneys/Yeah, friends come in handy, but family is family."

Favorite concert of the year, The Mavericks at Carnegie of Homestead Music Hall - A sleeper of a show -- I've seen 'em before and enjoyed them, but wasn't expecting to be blown away like this. Raul Malo's voice was exquisite as you'd expect, and the horns were full-throttle and the Tex-Mex-Cuban rhythms so alluring. It was Saturday night, and the crowd was feeling good and totally engrossed in the music (translation: Not yakking and constantly checking their cell phones.) We got up and danced in unison, not because Raul told us, but because the music made us, and we were grateful.

I reviewed 75 national act concerts this year for the Beaver County Times. Also in my Top-10: The Rolling Stones, Taylor Swift, Damien Rice, Foo Fighters, Old Crowe Medicine Show, Ed Sheeran, Stevie Wonder and The Decemberists.

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