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 news songs and share some insight. Today we welcome Justin Jacobs, contributing writing to Paste Magazine, AOL's Spinner.com, City Paper, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, etc.
In case you missed it here's what he played with commentary by Justin (plus some bonus songs):
Deer Tick, "Twenty Miles" - Providence, RI band that will most likely be a breakthrough act this year. They will appeal to fans of The Avett Brothers, Steve Earle, Lucinda Williams, etc. Justin says: "I didn't dig the first two albums by these guys, but the third one - The Black Dirt Sessions, which came out yesterday - blew me away. This is the record's highlight, a plaintive, longing love song, with an aching chorus: 'If you're running away, I'm looking for you; if you've lost your way, I'm seeing you through.' Not overstated or gimmicky, this is their vintage Neil Young moment."
Janelle Monáe, "Cold War" - With advocates like P. Diddy, No Doubt and Outkast on her side, Kansas City native, Janelle is poised to be a big deal this year in the crossover world. While her album is sonically diverse, this song evokes comparisons to Duffy and The Noisettes. Justin says: "I usually wouldn't think twice if P. Diddy was talking up an artist, but he was right when he said that Janelle was the most important artist he's ever signed. This is what great pop music should be: bright, unique, catchy and most importantly, weird as hell."
Mynabirds, "Numbers Don't Lie" - This is Laura Burhenn post-Georgie James. Burhenn's worked with Richard Swift on the debut of her new project. People are saying this album sounds like Neil Young's Motown record. The name of the project even references a very famous R&B band that Neil Young was once in. Justin says: "This record came out just a few weeks ago, and it hasn't left my music rotation. I doubt it will for awhile. If you dig Cat Power, but blame her for your deep depression, this is for you. It's a soulful, bluesy, no-tears singalong."
Best Coast, "When I'm With You" - A 22 year Bethany Cosentino old from Los Angeles is Best Coast. She plays sunny surf rock with a scratchy edge. She was once groomed for stardom as a teen, this project combines her obsession for the Cocteau Twins and sappy love songs. Justin says: "This song came out last fall, but it's a perfect summer jam: simple, loud and filled with the syllable 'woo.' You might take her "When I'm with you, I have fun" chorus as sarcastic, because her voice is pretty deadpan, but if you take her seriously it's a total 'us against the world' rocker."
Sleepy Sun, "Rigamarole" - A band that is from all over California, Sleepy Sun have just released Fever, their second record- a quick follow up to their debut (2009's Embrace). Their sound has been described as "summery folk jams with thunderous sludge". Justin says: "This track is probably the most accessible one Sleepy Sun ever wrote: hushed, hummable acoustic folk. If it turns you on, though, dig deeper — this band creates huge, crazed psychedelic anthems. It'll scare you, and you'll love it."