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 cindy@wyep.org


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"

April 21, 2010 by barbmstein@aol.com

The opening act is the entertainer who performs at a show before the featured entertainer. The opening act's performance serves to "warm up" the audience. The opening act will usually be an up-and-coming performer with a much smaller following than the featured artist.

I attended two shows recently, based upon the opening act.

Sunday night, Luke Brindley was the opening act for Willy Porter. Brindley is a Washington, DC based singer-songwriter, who was making his 3rd visit to Pittsburgh in a span of about 7 months.  He immediately grabbed our attention by playing an instrumental.  During his set he tried out some new material (for a yet un-named "fan funded" CD) along with older material like "Wrecking Ball" and another instrumental "Dervish"; as he alternated playing  his two guitars.

The Willy Porter show was re-scheduled from November (Porter cancelled then due to illness).  I was mesmerized the entire evening by Porter's finger-style guitar playing.   He told stories in a humorous style, took requests, and got us to sing-along.  Brindley did join Porter on a song.

Tuesday night 21-year-old Seth Glier was the opening act for Maia Sharp.  He plays the keyboards and guitar.  He writes his own songs. In this reality TV make a star overnight world, it's refreshing to see a young singer-songwriter doing it the old fashioned way with mature lyrics and a stage presence way beyond his years.  Glier began his short set singing a cappella, showcasing his amazing voice.  Glier also told stories about living with his parents and 99-year-old grandmother in a small town in MA and how it has influenced his writing. Ryan Hommel joined Glier on stage playing guitar and backing vocals.

Maia Sharp immediately caught my attention by doing a new song ("Sorry") that I had just heard her frequent co-writing partner Edwin McCain sing at his recent show in Cleveland.  Sharp also thanked WYEP for their support (applause applause).  She sang quite a few songs from her most recent CD "Echo" with Linda Taylor on electric guitar and backing vocals.  Sharp not only played the guitar, but keyboards and saxophone as well.  She shared songs and stories that she wrote that were sung by Bonnie Raitt and The Dixie Chicks.  Sharp also brought up on stage local singer-songwriter Bill Deasy to sing "Say Anything".  Deasy was aided by a lyric sheet to sing with his long-time friend. Sharp expressed her gratitude for all the fan support over the years and truly seemed to enjoy playing in Pittsburgh.

Barb S. - Sunday Mix Host

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April 20, 2010 by cindy@wyep.org

Infinite Arms

Infinite Arms from Band of Horses is out on May 18th. You can now stream two new tracks, "Laredo" and "Factory", at BandOfHorses.com
Have you heard "Laredo" on WYEP? Listen for it and let us know what you think: newmusic@wyep.org or leave a comment!

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April 19, 2010 by Josh W

Photo credit: Josh W.

Roots rock, alternative country, folk, and indie are all terms to which Wilco's sound has been likened. Most bands loathe being pigeonholed into a particular sound, and if you ask them what genre they fall into, you can actually see them cringe. Yet we all feel the need to relegate bands to made up genre names, and in recent years defining a band by a specific sub-genre (chillwave, anyone?) has become the norm. But, for me, Wilco are an American rock and roll band: plain and simple. Continue reading... -->

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April 17, 2010 by cindy@wyep.org

Something you gotta hear --->

Anaïs Mitchell - Hadestown

Anaïs is truly a genius. She conceived and wrote Hadestown (in collaboration with Ben Matchstick and Michael Chorney), a folk opera based on the myth of Orpheus and Eurydice. She recorded and released a star studded version of the opera- including Ani Difranco and Greg Brown.

Do yourself the pleasure of listening to a song from the recorded version. This features Ben Knox Miller from The Low Anthem and Justin Vernon from Bon Iver - "Wait For Me"

Anaïs Mitchell all alone was already at genius status in my book. Her CD The Brightness was one of my favorites in 2007. This is the lead track "Fonder Heart":

Both Hadestown and The Brightness are available online from Righteous Babe & your favorite local record store

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April 17, 2010 by Josh W

Once in a great while you hear music that just makes you feel cool.

Every time it comes on, you feel like you should be walking in slow motion, dark shades on, gliding into a room as all eyes fix on you. Maybe you're wearing an old, black, leather jacket and flicking a cigarette as smoke billows from your mouth.

There are only a handful of groups in recent memory that have given me that feeling: Autolux, Black Rebel Motorcycle Club, and Leonard Cohen, to name a few. And now, thanks to their new album, Eyelid Movies, Phantogram have joined those hallowed ranks. Read More.

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April 15, 2010 by barbmstein@aol.com

Singer-songwriters came into popularity in the early 1970’s and they are still sharing their stories with us today. One such singer-songwriter is Washington, DC based Luke Brindley.

Barb WYEP’s Sunday Mix Host (WYEP): Luke thanks for taking the time to answer some questions via email for the WYEP Music Blog.

WYEP: There are many singer-songwriters out there today pursuing their passion for making music. How do you differentiate yourself from the others?

Luke Brindley (LB): i think what differentiate me is my lyrics and my guitar playing and also my life situation and perspective is different that most of the singer/songwriters out there - i'm supporting a large family doing this.  that responsibility and life experience informs my music.

WYEP: It’s interesting that you put a bonus instrumental track “Dervish” on your CD “Luke Brindley” and recently put out a five-track instrumental CD “Solo Guitar”. As a singer-songwriter, do you enjoy writing songs without lyrics and sharing what you can do with just your guitar (which you built yourself)?

LB: yes!  it's a nice break for me and the audience to have instrumentals in the set.  instrumentals like "dervish" really grab peoples attention because it's something unexpected.  i enjoy playing it every night.  i studied music in school and it's nice to be able to focus on the instrument without words once in a while! 

WYEP: You began recording with your brother Daniel and released a couple of albums as The Brindley Brothers. So how is it out there being a solo act?

LB: it's harder to get attention as a solo act i think - there are so many great singer/songwriters out there!  i enjoy the flexibility of touring solo but i miss the camaraderie of being in a band.  

WYEP: You are in the process of recording a new album. Why did you decide to go the fan financing route to make The New Record?

LB: i debated doing it for a while but then a few of my friends had done it successfully and that was inspiring.  i had put out the last couple records on my own with zero budget and i knew that i needed a budget behind me to record and promote this next record properly.  these are some of the best songs i've ever written and my fanbase has grown a lot since the last release.  the support of the fans has been incredible! knowing that i have them on my side every time i sit down to write or head into the studio is a fantastic and encouraging feeling!

WYEP: Did you ask for advice from other artists who have been down the “fan funding” road? If so, what has been the best piece of advice that you have received so far?

LB: i did.  i talked to a few of my friends who had tried fan funding and without exception they said it's a great way to go.  they gave me advice on how to structure the incentives, how to keep in touch with supporters along the way, etc.  i kind of took all the advice, what had worked for them and made it my own.  i think that's one of the attractive things about the process is each artist's program can reflect his/her personality.

WYEP: You maintain a food blog called What Exit?. What type of food do you look for when you’re on the road?

LB: yeah i did that for fun but i think i'm going to make it a little bigger soon - invite other artists to participate etc.  i'm always on the lookout for inexpensive food that's indigenous to the region  - like primanti bros in pittsburgh,  the nj style sloppy joes at the millburn deli, in millburn nj. philly cheese steaks, bbq in memphis, etc.

WYEP: You were born in Philly, raised in NJ and now call Northern VA home. You also have family in Pittsburgh. What’s it like for you to perform here with family in the audience?

LB: i love it.  my music is very much influenced by family and the spirit of family.  they're very supportive of me when i come to the area and it's cool to see them when i can.  sometimes even my grandparents will come out to the clubs!  

WYEP: Thanks for your time Luke and see you soon!

LB: thanks barb - see you sunday!!!

Luke Brindley will open for Willy Porter on April 18th.

Barb S. - Sunday Mix Host

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April 14, 2010 by Josh W

Every once in a while you hear something instantly raises your eyebrows and you must know who is creating it. That is what happened to me when I first heard Fitz & The Tantrums.

Mainly because in this day and age soul music isn't nearly as popular as it once was in the 60's. And that's a real shame if you ask me. Some of the best songs ever made are soul songs. "Change Is Gonna Come" ,"My Girl" and "Where Did Our Love Go" just to name a few and I could go on and on.

Fitz & The Tantrums come to us from Los Angeles and began when the groups leader Michael Fitzpatrick purchased a old church organ for $50 from a friends roommate who needed money for a last minute move.

Fitzpatrick found that the organ inspired his songwriting and began writing what was to be Fitz & The Tantrums first EP Songs For A Breakup Vol.1. Once friend James King was brought into the fold to add horn arrangements they knew they were onto to something and Fitz & The Tantrums were born.

These sharply dressed gentlemen have a sound that would fit nicely into any Stax or Motown Records catalogue and I think you'll agree their first single "Breakin The Chains Of Love" is a undeniably catchy song and once you've reached the first hook your eyebrows will be raised as well. Its yours to download below.

Fitz & The Tantrums - Breakin The Chains Of Love

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April 12, 2010 by Josh W

Ready or not, don't fret. This deceptively-named band actually comes from the land down under -- Townsville, Queensland, Australia to be exact.

They create music as beautiful and diverse as the Great Barrier Reef itself. Their strings, harmonies, and layers have delighted audiences worldwide, yet they remain one of Australia's best kept secrets.

But now, they have their sights set on America. Read More.

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April 8, 2010 by cindy@wyep.org

Colonizing The Cosmos are a great new local band with a stellar debut (The First Frontier). The fellas in the band were kind enough to send us this video of "Dear Citizens" from their CD release.

Check 'em out live on the Morning Mix on Wed May 5th at 9am. CTC are also on tap for the May 20th Third Thursday, so you can catch them for free. Details on Colonizing The Cosmos Third Thursday are here

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April 6, 2010 by cindy@wyep.org

So.... this is pretty much how I spent my weekend... with Lissie's Lady Gaga cover stuck in my head. I also downloaded Lissie's EP Why You Runnin' and spent a good amount of time trying to figure out when her full length will be out (got nowhere). She's a new favorite, for sure. Hope you like it, too.

More on Lissie is here

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April 5, 2010 by kyle@wyep.org

Broadcasting every Saturday latenight from 1am - 5am since 1998 on 91.3fm WYEP, the Dubmission is a weekly 4 hour mix of broken soul, downtempo, nujazz, house and rare grooves.

On Dubmission #591 - Sunday, April 11, 2010 - This week tune in for Kerem In Conversation w/DJ Vadim - His music has been a staple on Dubmission since his 2002 release U.S.S.R. - The Art of Listening, with 9 albums under his belt, the Russian-born British-bred DJ Vadim aka Daddy Vad stops by the WYEP Community Broadcast Center to discuss music, technology, life & more.

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April 1, 2010 by cindy@wyep.org

Wilco performed a very intimate and haunting version of "Country Disappeared" for the French-based blog, La Blogotheque. Take a moment to watch this, it's pretty sweet:

Wilco - Country Disappeared - A Take Away Show from La Blogotheque on Vimeo.

Visit La Blogotheque for more videos from some of your favorite indie bands and say goodbye to your afternoon

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April 1, 2010 by cindy@wyep.org

New local music featured on WYEP's The Local News. Podcast it or tune in to The Local News (Mon-Thurs @ 9 PM).  

Nik & The Central Plains - "You're The Blues" (Nik & The Central Plains)
Nik Westman fronts this twangy/indie band. He's one of the best songwriters in Pittsburgh, noted for his meandering flow of conscious lyrics. You'll like this album if you are a fan of The Grateful Dead, Bob Marley or Pavement. The songs on the record range in dynamics- this one is a fairly breezy back porch folk number.

Larkin Mayberry - "In The Parlour" (IV)
Paul Rouse uses the moniker Larkin Mayberry. The recordings are sparse, but his voice is quite striking. Fans of Devendra Banhart may like this. Seems like he is just getting started on something with great potential.

Mark Rice - "Maybe This Time" (Topography of a Bird)
A native of Weirton, WV and now living in Pittsburgh. Mark has a nice gentle Josh Ritter type of voice with writing skills like Glen Hansard. The CD is very well produced and his band compliments his sounds quite well.

The Sparrows - "Hitchhiker" (Back In The Red)
This is a fun band with a classic Americana/Rock sound. The lyrics are nothing deep, but they are not trying to be. It seems like this band would put on a good live show- their guitar player is killer on the CD. Also features a former member of The Cynics.

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