November 2, 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:

The Commonheart, "Who Dat Mama" - They're an exhilarating live act, including a dazzling performance this summer at Stage AE as a last minute opening act addition for Gary Clark Jr. On Nov. 12, Pittsburgh band The Commonheart  releases its first album with a show at Mr. Smalls. The album, "Grown," is chock-full of rocking, soulful goodness spearheaded by the testifying vocals of Clinton Clegg. There's a reason he gets so many Joe Cocker comparisons. The Commonheart also call to mind Nathaniel "S.O.B." Rateliff & the Night Sweats, with such an intoxicating mix of full-bodied organ swirls, spirited horns and piercing, perfectly-timed guitar licks. A must-see/must-hear band deserving of national stature.

Paul & The Tall Trees, "React"Soul-stirring, pleading vocals are a specialty of Paul Schalda, frontman for this Brooklyn indie-rock band that released an excellent debut album on Oct. 21. Formerly the guitarist for acclaimed, late-blooming soul singer  Robert Bradley, Schalda hearkens a bit to Jeff Tweedy, and on at least one other song, Paul Westerberg. Though this revved-up album leadoff track, with its urgent, train-like harmonica and keys, is a bit of a standout, with an "It ain't too late" to hold politicians accountable message that seemed a perfect fit with election day dawning.

 

 

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October 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: 

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October 26, 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 Jess Phaneuf from WUMB in Boston!

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

Jonny Fritz, "Are You Thirsty" - Thankfully he's ditched the moniker Jonny Corndog and Jonny Fritz has also enlisted the help of Jim James and members of Dawes for his new album Sweet Creep. His sound is killer and his lyrics are clever...I'm really digging this song in particular. For fans of Devendra Banhart, Father John Misty or Edward Sharpe.

Hiss Golden Messenger "As The Crow Flies" - MC Taylor has admittedly injected a lot of personal struggle in his new album Heart Like A Levee and it shows. These songs breath with life and have made for a wonderful soundtrack as the seasons change. I particularly love this track, which reminds me of Robert Plant.

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October 21, 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: 

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October 19, 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:

Honeyblood, "Babes Never Die" - This Scottish duo is set to release its new album on November 4, called Babes Never Die. Its title intrigued me and the title song didn't let me down, mixing rebellion with humor, and some White Stripes with a bit of the Letters to Cleo/Best Coast continuum into pure pop rock.

Hope Sandoval & The Warm Inventions, "Let Me Get There" - There's an element of nostalgia and a November 4 release date with this song too, as the voice of Mazzy Star once again steps out with her band The Warm Inventions. The new album is called Until The Hunter and on this song Sandoval is joined by Kurt Vile, creating a duet that's a doubly laid-back beauty. 

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October 14, 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: 

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October 12, 2016 by mike@wyep.org


 

Paul Simon has been a hugely influential figure in music history. He's been successful with the public, earning four chart-topping songs and three number one albums to his credit. He's been acclaimed by his peers in the music industry, winning twelve Grammy Awards. And he's been inducted into the Rock 'n' Roll Hall of Fame both as a member of Simon & Garfunkel and as a solo artist. Simon was born October 13, 1941, so in conjunction with his 75th birthday we're discussing his career and impact. Some of the WYEP staff had an online chat about some of our favorites in Simon's extensive catalogue.

 

Mike Sauter: (Director of Content and Programming) What songs from any part of Simon's career do you consider his most important, either culturally or to you personally?

 

Joey Spehar: (Morning Mix Co-Host) This will always be my favorite Paul Simon album.

Paul Simon, Paul Simon

It's completely perfect from beginning to end. I'm sure it has a lot to do with my mom playing it a ton around the house when I was a kid. When I "discovered it" on my own in my 20s, it all felt so familiar. There's a great mix of styles on the record and it's (without a doubt) the best use of a coat on an album ever.

 

Mike: That is a nice coat!

 

Cindy Howes: (Morning Mix Host) I agree with Joey about Paul Simon, Paul Simon. It's a perfect album. I always knew "Me and Julio Down By The Schoolyard". A friend of mine pointed out the song "Armistice Day" to me for being a really special song. The dynamics and lyrics were amazing to me. I also love that you can hear creaky chairs and face scratching on the record.

This song will always remind me of living in Somerville, MA with my roommates playing music in our kitchen. We had a cranky older woman living below us that would bang on our door or use a broom to bang her ceiling when we were disturbing her. She was the worst! She would leave nasty notes on our door and was never a pleasant person to deal with. We would turn up the volume to loud and dance around to this Paul Simon song. It was very cathartic.

 

 

Also "The Only Living Boy In New York" is a favorite. I remember watching Garden State in the movie theater and being very moved by the placement of the song.

 

I know everyone loves Graceland (I love it, too!), but there is something to be said for the album The Rhythm of The Saints. The way he incorporated more Latin sounds to his songs as well as African was very effective. The drums on the opening track are incredible!

 

 

Rosemary Welsch: (Afternoon Mix Host & Senior Producer) I also love The Rhythm of the Saints and think it didn't get its due because it followed Graceland. "Can't Run, But" is one of my favorites on that album. The lyrics are so beautiful and the music so haunting.

 

Cindy: Can't even tell you how pleased I was with Paul Simon's 2011 record [So Beautiful or So What]. After the disappointment of Surprise, it was hard to say what would come next. The whole album sounds great. He sounds free and open on that album. I especially love the title track.

 

       

Kyle Smith: (Music Director & Midday Mix Host) I have many Paul Simon memories, but one song in particular always makes me stop what I'm doing, in order to listen to every note. "The Only Living Boy in New York" was playing on WYEP on a Thanksgiving evening, roughly one year after I moved to Pittsburgh. I was driving on McArdle Roadway up to Mount Washington to a gathering at a friend's house. I was the only car going up, the city was illuminated and almost empty, and the song was the perfect one at that moment.

 

Cindy: Two very impressive live albums that he's released were the two Central Park shows he recorded (one billed as a "Paul Simon" show and the other "Simon & Garfunkel):

Paul Simon's Concert in the Park

The Concert in Central Park

 

Joey: Also, I'm pretty partial to "Father and Daughter" ever since I became a dad. I can't listen to it without tearing up. Like, it's impossible to not cry for me :sob::sob::sob::sob:

 

Kyle: "Father and Daughter," over the years, has brought in some of the highest volumes of requests, reactions, and tears from WYEP listeners.

 

Cindy: This is one of my favorite music videos ever. Chevy Chase is so funny:

 

Mike: For me, I'd have to go with Bridge Over Troubled Water for my favorite album from Paul Simon's career. I mean - c'mon! Side 1 of this album is pretty perfect: "Bridge over Troubled Water," "El Condor Pasa," "Cecilia," "Keep the Customer Satisfied," and "So Long, Frank Lloyd Wright." And side 2 is no slouch either.

Simon has always been a fascinating lyricist, from "The Sound of Silence" in 1964 all the way through to his recent song "Wristband." "The words of the prophets are written on the subway walls" has to be up there among my favorite lines he's ever sung. What do you think are among his best lyrics?

 

Kyle: “Cattle in the marketplace, scatterlings and orphanages/He looks around, around, he sees angels in the architecture” in "You Can Call Me Al". Simon sees the beauty juxtaposed with poverty in South Africa.

“The way the camera follows us in slo-mo/The way we look to us all” in "The Boy in a Bubble" is even more relevant today with the 24-hour news cycle of competition and repetition of message. I think Simon was saying it's forcing us all to see ourselves through the lens that gets turned into entertainment and how we view people in other cultures.

 

Mike: I've always been impressed with his song "Old," from 2000's You're The One. Like this year's "Wristband," "Old" manages to blend his own rock and roll experiences with some social commentary and he pulls it off with a deft mix of seriousness and lighthearted wordplay. Like in the opening verse:

"The first time I heard Peggy Sue I was twelve years old

Russians up in rocket ships and the war was cold

Now many wars have come and gone, genocide still goes on

Buddy Holly still goes on but his catalog was sold..."

 

Rosemary: Another cool note about the album There Goes Rhymin' Simon is the female back-up singers were Maggie & Terre Roche. Simon went on to produce the first Roches album – just Maggie & Terre, Seductive Reasoning – shortly after this album.

People tend to focus on Simon's "serious" work. I like his humor as in "Cecilia," "50 Ways to Leave Your Lover," and "You Can Call Me Al."

 

Mike: One thing I have to say. When I was doing research in 2015 about the history of music on Saturday Night Live in conjunction with its 40th anniversary, I found that Paul Simon is the music guest who has appeared on the most episodes of SNL over the years (16, to be precise). No doubt that's partially due to his friendship with show producer Lorne Michaels and being a "local" to where SNL originates.

But it also speaks to the enormous longevity of Simon's relevance. He has been recording songs and albums that matter, and that have a life outside of his hardcore fan base, longer than the vast majority of performers.  And while there are certainly others from his generation who still make music of high quality and that resonates in popular culture, it's a very small club.

Plus, reviewing his SNL appearances, it's clear that few other musicians of his caliber would ever agree to appear on the show in a turkey costume. So there's that, too.

 

What are your favorites from Paul Simon's career? Let us know via our Facebook comment thread.

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October 12, 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:

Dinowalrus, 
"Falling to The Periphery" - "Heady" and "trippy" are the go-to words anytime someone writes about this Brooklyn band. And that's understandable given the psychedelic synth and shoe-gazing guitar evident on the first 2 singles -- including this one -- from Dinowalrus' fourth album, "Fairweather". Though like peers Tame Impala, there's enough of an indie-pop groove and radio-accessible vocals to keep things from sounding too far out.


Leonard Cohen, "You Want It Darker"
 - 82-years old, and feisty as ever, the exulted songsmith returns with a new album featuring this single described in press materials as "an unflinching exploration of the religious mind". A synagogue choir from nearby his Montreal home provides celestial sounds as Cohen cuts to the bone with his deep, foreboding voice on lines like, "didn't know I had permission to murder and maim." It's dark alright, with a hypnotic groove.

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October 7, 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:

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October 5, 2016 by cindy@wyep.org

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 Patrick Bowman!

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

Joyce Manor, "Last You Heard of Me"Joyce Manor's “Last You Heard of Me,” the latest single from their upcoming fourth album Cody (out October 7) is an excellent reminder that the California based band remains the finest purveyors of emo on the planet currently. "Last Yoi Heard Of Me" is all quick set nostalgia that burns with the pants of lost youth with every down tempo guitar twang. Cody can't come soon enough.
 

Cherry Glazerr, "I Told You I'd Be With the Guys"“Told You I’d Be With the Guys,” Cherry Glazerr’s latest, is the first single for the Orange Coutny band since signing to indie rock label royalty Secretly Canadian, and sounds like a Bikini Kill track that's slowed down to a lurch and focused primarily on beating someone up. It's a great leap forward for a band who has made their name cranking out crusty So-Cal punk for a few years, and shows that they are ready for the next level.  

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October 5, 2016 by cindy@wyep.org

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 Patrick Bowman!

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

Joyce Manor, "Last You Heard of Me"Joyce Manor's “Last You Heard of Me,” the latest single from their upcoming fourth album Cody (out October 7) is an excellent reminder that the California based band remains the finest purveyors of emo on the planet currently. "Last Yoi Heard Of Me" is all quick set nostalgia that burns with the pants of lost youth with every down tempo guitar twang. Cody can't come soon enough.
 

Cherry Glazerr, "I Told You I'd Be With the Guys"“Told You I’d Be With the Guys,” Cherry Glazerr’s latest, is the first single for the Orange Coutny band since signing to indie rock label royalty Secretly Canadian, and sounds like a Bikini Kill track that's slowed down to a lurch and focused primarily on beating someone up. It's a great leap forward for a band who has made their name cranking out crusty So-Cal punk for a few years, and shows that they are ready for the next level.  

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September 30, 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:

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September 28, 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 Jess Phaneuf from WUMB in Boston!

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

Dawes, "For No Good Reason" - These guys are finally stepping beyond their Jackson Browne-like sound and I'm digging it! At first I was a little surprised at the experimental nature of the new album but the more I listen, the more I love it, especially this George Harrison-esque song, "For No Good Reason"...oh and as always, it's complete with incredibly beautiful and thoughtful lyrics.

Allah Las, "Satisfied" - This LA-based band has caught my attention with their throwback, laid back vibe. Listening to the album is like kicking back with an ice cold drink on a sunny day. Makes sense I'm diggin' the sound since I'm hanging on to the last warm days we'll have for a while!

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September 23, 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:

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September 21, 2016 by cindy@wyep.org

1buzz_web 
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

In case you missed it, here's what Justin played (commentary by JJ):

Bob Weir, "Only a River" - The Grateful Dead's godfather of jean shorts is back with his first solo material in decades, and boy does it sound nice. Still in the midst of his hot streak touring with John Mayer as Dead & Co., Weir's new album, Blue Mountain, is a slow, acoustic collection of folk and country songs. His co-songwriter was none other than Josh Ritter, and members of The National also lent a hand on these tunes. But don't worry—these aren't sad-eyed indie rock songs. 

Sampha, "Blood on Me" - You probably know this voice—British nu-soul singer Sampha sang the hook on Drake's emotionally-gooey hit "Too Much" a few years back. Since then, he's been quietly releasing unique, haunting tracks one by one. "Blood on Me," with it's echoing intro and stuttering beat is one that'll get stuck in your head for days on end. Sampha's debut LP is due out soon, but it seems he likes to keep us guessing. 

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