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, contributing writer to Billboard Magazine, Relix Magazine and Pittsburgh's City Paper In case you missed it here's what he played (plus two bonus songs): The Low Anthem, "Hey All You Hippies!" - These folks are WYEP (and Cindy Howes) favorites, so I'd expect to hear some more of them once their fourth album drops. It's called Smart Flesh, and it's full of ragged rockers like this one, as well as beautiful, hushed folk tunes. If you like folk, gospel, country or, really, any music at all, I think you'll dig The Low Anthem. Jay Reatard, "My Shadow" - Last week marked the one-year anniversary of Jay's death. He was found in his home in Memphis last year, dead of an overdose at 29. Jay was, hands down, one of the most important voices in punk rock in the last 20 years - he released dozens of albums, 7"s and EPs in his short time here, and it was all raging, 77-era, speedy punk that fit right alongside The Buzzcocks and Sex Pistols. Here's to you, dude. Callers, "Life of Love" - Picture a slower, more sultry Florence and the Machine. This new band creates some sexy chamber-pop just in time for Valentine's Day. Even the record is called Life of Love. Lead one yourself and check out this band. Mister Heavenly, "Mister Heavenly" - This sorta-supergroup features band members from Islands, Man Man and Modest Mouse. The band calls their music 'doom-wop,' but I call it awesome. No record out yet, but this track just dropped and is 3-minute party perfect for weird-ing-out by yourself or with friends.
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: Gang of Four, "She Said" - Gang of Four is one of my favorite bands ever, despite the British post-punkers only having about three albums worth of stellar material. It's been 16 years since we've heard anything new from them, so the appearance of "Content" is a thrill. From the sound of this lead track the new rhythm section sounds as solid as the original and guitarist Andy Gill is as menacing as ever. Social Distortion, "Alone and Forsaken" - These are hard times, so it's a good time for this vintage Orange County band that delivers its punk rock with a bluesy edge. "Hard Times and Nursery Rhymes" doesn't break any new ground (why would it?), but it rocks from start to finish and Mike Ness brings the same old passion to these tales of woe.
The first show of the second season of what is usually a quarterly event, the Songwriters Spotlight, took place Saturday night at the New Hazlett Theater.Hosted by Joe Grushecky and Rick Witkowski. The guest songwriters were Greg Joseph (The Clarks), Maddie Georgi and Jeff Schmutz (Good Brother Earl). The format: Each singer-songwriter performs two to three of their original songs, then each performs a cover of a song that they wish they wrote, and the two hours of music ends with a group collaboration / sing-a-long. The hosts Mr. Grushecky and Mr. Witkoswki are at each end of a semi-circle with the guest singer-songwriters in the middle. Mr. Grushecky offered "The Sun is Going to Shine" (East Carson Street), "Another Rainy Day in Pittsburgh (Fingerprints) sounding like it was from Jimmy Webb/Burt Bacharach 1960's era, "Beauty Fades" (A Good Life), along with his cover of The Rolling Stones "Wild Horses". He also reminisced, on the anniversary of Elvis Presely's birth, about a visit to Graceland before it was open to the public, which gave way to an impromptu short medley of Presley's songs. Mr. Witkoswki sang the rocky hip hop Gothic "Do You Have it (Guts)" and a song from the "Prog Rock" group Crack the Sky's 3rd album that he wrote with his wife that had the 1940's feel to it "A Night on the Town" (played on the ukulele). He covered the Carole King and Gerry Goffin penned "Will You Love Me Tomorrow". Mr. Joseph performed "Mississippi Mud" (with a sampling of "Delta Dawn" at the end), "Snowman" (a children's song about cocaine), and "Magazine" along with a cover of David Gray's "Babylon" which was spot on. Ms. Georgi is a freshman in college, who found herself center stage amongst the more seasoned songwriters. She sang "Shades of Green", "I Like The Way That Feels", and "Already Gone" (about your senior year of high school going by too quickly). Ms. Georgi's cover of Leonard Cohen's "'Hallelujah" was simply breathtaking. Mr. Schmutz songs included "Glass Tiger" and "Firefly" with a cover of the Hank Williams Sr. song "Long Gone Lonesome Blues" which gave him a chance to yodel. The final number was Bob Dylan's "Like a Rolling Stone" with the audience accompanying the talented singer-songwriters each time on the chorus. It was the 3rd Songwriters Spotlight I was able to attend and I look forward to future installments to discover more local singer-songwriters. Barb S. - Sunday Mix Host
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 (plus some bonus songs): Wye Oak, "Civilian" - This is an advance track from the Baltimore-based duo’s forthcoming album, also titled Civilian. It’s a beautiful song that starts out mumbly and quiet and turns pretty raucous with an abrasive but great guitar solo. The record comes out in early March. Howlin Rain, "Burning of the Midnight Lamp" - This is one of my favorite rock bands, led by Ethan Miller, former frontman of Comets on Fire. They hope to have a full-length – their third – out later this year, but this track was released as part of a three-song EP in December. With a ’70’s-guitar-rock-cum-‘90s noise rock sound, there’s a lot to like for folks with a lot of different tastes. Lemuria, "Pleaser" - This Buffalo three-piece has been putting out sweet dual-vocal indie pop-rock for a few years now; the last time I saw them was probably 2008 or so at the late Mr. Roboto Project. This is from their brand-new Pebble LP. Asobi Seksu "Trails" - This duo from Brooklyn makes noisy dream-pop that’s just plain pretty. This is an advance track from Fluourescence, due to drop on Polyvinyl in February. They’ve already ended up in some TV shows; I imagine they’ll be ending up on some indie mix CDs as well when the new album arrives.
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-GazetteThis morning, Scott shares some of his favorites from 2010. Look for his full list in the Post-Gazette right before Christmas. Here's what we heard today: Spoon, "Transference" - Spare, driving and still filled with smart hooks, "Transference" is another winner from the Austin band. "Is Love Forever?" shows how Spoon locks into a groove and builds around it. The Roots, "Dear God" - The Philly hip-hop band didn’t make one great record this year, it made two — one as just The Roots, and one a collaboration with John Legend. "Dear God," from The Roots-only "How I Got Over," is indicative of the increasing crossover with hip-hop and indie-rock as The Roots take a sample from the Monsters of Folk song "Dear God," featuring the angelic voice of Jim James, and add their touch of conscious-hip-hop. Steve Wynn + and the Miracle 3, "Resolution" - Bound to be overlooked, the latest album from the former leader of the Dream Syndicate, "Northern Aggression," could have been made back in the post-punk/paisley underground era of the ’80s. And that’s a good thing. Taking its cues from the Velvet Underground, it’s a guitar record well stocked with melodic tension and dizzying jams, like this one that leads it off.
~~Bruce Springsteen,from the stage the day ofter John Lennon's murderHere's the list of songs aired during our special "John Lennon: A Life in Song."
- The Beatles, "In My Life" (Rubber Soul, 1965)
- Rainbo, "John, You Went Too Far This Time" (single, 1968)
- The Beatles, "The Ballad of John & Yoko" (single, 1969)
- Tom Paxton, "Crazy John" (Tom Paxton 6, 1970)
- Blossom Dearie, "Hey John" (That's Just the Way I Want to Be, 1970)
- John Lennon, "God" (Plastic Ono Band, 1970)
- George Harrison, "All Those Years Ago" (Somewhere in England, 1981)
- Paul McCartney, "Here Today" (Tug of War, 1982)
- Elton John, "Empty Garden (Hey, Hey Johnny)" (Jump Up!, 1982)
- Christine Lavin, "The Dakota" (Future Fossils, 1984)
- Loudon Wainwright III, "Not John" (I'm Alright, 1984)
- Paul Simon, "The Late Great Johnny Ace" (Hearts and Bones, 1983)
- Paul Thorn, "Where Was I?" (Ain't Love Strange, 1999)
- Queen, "Life Is Real (Song for Lennon)" (Hot Space, 1982)
- Susanna Hoffs, "Weak With Love" (Susanna Hoffs, 1996)
- Hamell on Trial, "John Lennon" (The Chord Is Mightier Than the Sword, 1997)
- Christy Moore, "The Least We Can Do" (Ride On, 1984)
- John Lennon, "(Just Like) Starting Over" (Double Fantasy Stripped Down, 2010)