May 19, 2010 by

Sorry.  I can’t resist the cliché.  It was a swell evening of music Monday night as The Swell Season (Glen Hansard, Markéta Irglová and The Frames) returned to Pittsburgh to perform at the Byham Theatre.

The set-up was very similar to their September 2008 concert.  The Frames were in a semi-circle on the stage with white back-drops and back-lighting essentially framing the performers.  The front of the stage up-lighting  was very effective throughout the well paced two-hour and fifteen-minute plus performance.

Irglová quietly opened the show center stage with “If You Want Me”.  Hansard, talking about their drive in to town, sang the “Ohio River Boat Song”.  “Low Rising” came next with Hansard sampling Marvin Gaye’s “Sexual Healing”.

When I get a cold, I lose my voice.  When Glen Hansard gets a cold, he doesn’t cancel a show, instead he takes lots of drugs and still performs at the top of his game.

During “Leave” Hansard showed no signs of a cold.  Back in 2008, The Swell Season opened up with “Into the Mystic” and they didn’t forget to include it again this year, providing a stunning moment in the middle of their show.

Recently, American Idol brought “Falling Slowly” to the forefront again, but it will probably be most remembered for winning the Academy Award for Best Original Song from the movie “Once”.  Hansard said “Falling Slowly” was their final song.  He apparently meant before the long encore.

Hansard was talkative during the ending moments of the concert, but they still kept those heartfelt songs coming.  He sang “Say It To Me Now”, after sharing a story of meeting a woman in Chicago in a hotel elevator who lost her son in the 9/11 attacks.  Irglová debuted a new song called “Crossroads”.  We all sang “There” on the chorus of a new song (which apparently has already has been covered and can be found on YouTube).  They included a song from The Frames, with Hansard still able to give his all on the “Red Chord”.  The show ended with a traditional Irish song “The Parting Glass” and an extended standing ovation.

It was just, swell.

Glen Hansard’s friend, who is now a resident of Pittsburgh, Mark Dignam opened the show with a well received 40-minute set of 7 songs and also joined The Swell Season on stage for a song during the encore.

Barb S. - Sunday Mix Host

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May 18, 2010 by Josh W

Darwin Deez and his band have been known to break out in choreographed dance routines. To some, that alone would be worth the price of admission. But Deez is much more than just loose feet: his saccharine pop bounces around in your head and leaves you with a dizzying sugar high.

His self-titled debut was just released in April on Lucky Number Music, and it's a winner. We caught up with Deez as he prepared to embark on an opening gig for the 2010 NME Radar Tour with Hurts and Everything, Everything. Read More..

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May 4, 2010 by Josh W

The lineup at Mr. Smalls on Tuesday night was a confusing one, with Here We Go Magic sandwiched between garage rockers Tokyo Police Club and grunge-punk band The Edukators. Here We Go Magic’s brand of psych rock was the stylistic opposite of the other two acts, and I was curious as to how they would handle their odd placement. Continue Reading...

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May 4, 2010 by

It's been seven years since Natalie Merchant's last album (2003's The House Carpenter's Daughter). That's a pretty big gap in albums, but it all makes sense, now that she has revealed the story behind her latest, Leave Your Sleep. It's a research-based project that had Merchant digging into 19th and 20th century poetry about childhood (sometimes composed by children) from America and England. Check out the making of video and pay your respects to this incredible concept album!

May 3, 2010 by

You Gotta Hear This features an inside look into a new release you may have missed, hosted by Cindy Howes. Lissie is a bad@$$. She's got a ferocious cover of Lady Gaga's "Bad Romance" and history of spitting in people's faces. Those two facts are not related, but they're reasons to turn your head/raise your eyebrow when you get to know Lissie- a midwestern girl who's been living in the LA area for a few years. Soulful, rootsy, and a bad@$$. Update: since this podcast was made, a release date for her debut Catch A Tiger has been announced for June 21st. YES!.... You can hear a review and clips from her EP Why You Running on the latest YGHT.

Check your podcasts for an update or listen right here:
YGHT :: Lissie

YGHT is also heard on The Music Lab.

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May 1, 2010 by Josh W

Besides having a rad hair do and hipster sensibility, Darwin Deez also makes some of the catchiest songs I heard in some time. His MO is three minute poppy songs about heartache and everyday life. Oh ya throw in some hand claps for good measure. What can I say I'm a sucker for hand claps.

His self titled debut album clocks in a 31 minutes and is jammed packed with enough sing along chorus' that you will have a scratchy throat by spin number two. His popularity has sky rocketed in the UK and its only a matter of time before the indie crowd here in the US catch Darwin fever. Have a looksee at his hilarious and oddball video for his single "Radar Detector".

April 30, 2010 by Josh W

Dan Snaith a.k.a Caribou has been creating psychadelic electronica for quite sometime now. He was originally called Manitoba but was forced to change his moniker to Caribou because of a trademark dispute. His music has progressed from ambient, trance like electronic to progressively more multi-layered and poppy.

He just released his new tripped out album entitled Swim along with a video for his new single "Odessa". In the dreamlike clip a woman stumbles around with a head injury while images presumably tell the story of how it happened. Although your guess is as good as mine. I think the video doesn't exactly match the vibe of the song, but hey its not my song.

The one thing I will say is that this song is quite interesting with all its sound effects and underwater sounding beat. It's a booty shaker that has been on repeat for me for going on a couple weeks. Check it out.

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April 29, 2010 by

On Thursday April 15, 2010, City Dwelling Nature Seekers blew the roof off The WYEP Community Broadcast Center for Third Thursday. They played stuff from their self-titled EP (including "Will and A Way" which was featured on The Local News) and also an upcoming release. Check out the recording from that night on the recently posted Third Thursday podcast. It's on your Mp3 player or listen below. More photos here.

MP3: Third Thursday with City Dwelling Nature Seekers

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April 28, 2010 by Josh W

If you haven't had a chance to hear Seabear, drop everything and go purchase their new LP. Aptly titled We Built A Fire, it's the perfect album to keep you warm on a chilly night. With its lush arrangements and soothing vocals, you can't help but be whisked away to "Seabearia" on a wave of trumpets, strings, and pianos.

Sindri Már Sigfússon is the creative force behind the Icelandic band's beautiful melodies and heartfelt lyrics. He took some time out from mixing the new album for his solo project, Sin Fang Bous, to answer some questions for us. Continue Reading...

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April 26, 2010 by Josh W

Everyone's favorite Indie super-group is back with thier new album Together and our friends over at NPR Music have it streaming it in its entirety for your listening pleasure.

Together picks up right where all thier previous albums left off, with joyous harmonies and toe tapping goodness just in time for summer. So click the link already, you know you want to. Listen Here.

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April 23, 2010 by

Official music video for Jack Johnson's single "You And Your Heart" off his new album To The Sea (2010).

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April 23, 2010 by

You Gotta Hear This features a monthly inside look into a new release you may have missed, hosted by Cindy Howes. Teen Dream is the new LP from Beach House. The Baltimore duo's highly anticipated third release does not disappoint! You can hear a review and clips from the album on the latest YGHT.

Check your podcasts for an update or listen right here:
YGHT :: Beach House

YGHT is also heard on The Music Lab.

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April 23, 2010 by

New local music featured on WYEP’s The Local News during the month of May. Podcast it or tune in to The Local News (Mon-Thurs @ 9 PM). These tracks begin airing on Monday April 26th and will posted to the 'cast very soon :D
--- Cindy

Scott Weitzenfeld - "Helps Ease My Pain" (Born An Outsider)
SW grew up outside Washington, D.C. and played in bands that covered acts like The Stones and Van Morrison. All the while, he had to keep his haircut short in order to participate in his other life passions, baseball and football. His guitar playing is a skilled soulful blues while his voice is reminiscent of Steve Forbert. From the looks of the video for "Helps Ease My Pain", he's adjusting quite well to his new hometown.

Justin Andrew - "Fuses" (Transplant EP)
This little gem of an EP will appeal to fans of modern indie Americana (The Watson Twins, Deertick, The Low Anthem). It comes from Massachusetts-transplant, Justin Andrew, who's been making a name for himself in the local scene since this CD was released last year. You may have seen Justin working the soundboard at your favorite local rock club or your favorite local children's radio show or walking his cute little dog, Parker.

Caleb Murphy - "Oil Lamp Life" ([digital single])
Not quite sure how old this Indiana, PA resident is, but he's definitely got talent that's beyond his years. He's a fan of The Beatles, Switchfoot and Iron & Wine- 3 acts that have very different sounds. "Oil Lamp Life" has cutesy indie instrumentation and a bountiful amount of hand claps (!). It's available as a free download at

Horse Or Cycle - "Oh Captain My Captain" (Flood Season)
Not a supergroup, HoC is made up of former and current members of Lohio, Boca Chica and Mariage Blanc. It first served as a solo project for Liam Cooney, but has now transformed into one of the most exciting slowgrass bands to rise out of the East End music scene. If you like My Morning Jacket, Nickle Creek or Band Of Horses, chances are Horse or Cycle are right up your alley. Produced by Jake Hanner (of Donora).

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April 22, 2010 by Josh W

In 2009, The Love Language released their brilliant self-titled debut. It went largely overlooked.

I take some pleasure in loving an under-appreciated band -- a secret treasure that you don't want to share, for fear that its meaning might be taken away from you. They're bands that teeter on the edge of obscurity, armed with great songs that beg to be heard, and for at least a little while, they're yours alone. But you know that the day will come when everyone gets wise and flocks to them too.

And there's nothing you can do about it.

On the other hand, how can these bands get their deserved adoration if I keep them to myself? Continue Reading..

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April 22, 2010 by

May 25th Bettye Lavette releases Interpretations: The British Rock Songbook, featuring interpretations of 13 classic British rock songs.

Interpretations: The British Rock Songbook tracklist:
1. The Word (John Lennon/Paul McCartney)
2. No Time To Live (James Capaldi/Stephen Winwood)
3. Don't Let Me Be Misunderstood (Bennie Benjamin/Gloria Caldwell/Sol Marcus)
4. All My Love (John Baldwin/Robert Plant)
5. Isn't It A Pity (George Harrison)
6. Wish You Were Here (David Gilmour/Roger Waters)
7. It Don't Come Easy (Richard Starkey)
8. Maybe I'm Amazed (Paul McCartney)
9. Salt Of The Earth (Michael Jagger/Keith Richards)
10. Nights In White Satin (David Hayward)
11. Why Does Love Got To Be So Sad (Eric Clapton/Bobby Whitlock)
12. Don't Let The Sun Go Down On Me (Elton John/Bernard Taupin)
13. Love Reign O'er Me (Peter Townshend) [BONUS TRACK]

FIRST LISTEN: Cover of The Rolling Stones "Salt Of The Earth"


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