cindy@wyep.org's blog

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 Relix Magazine, AOL's Spinner.com and Pittsburgh's City Paper

In case you missed it here's what he played:

Mark Ronson, "Somebody To Love Me" - This is one of the best tracks from Ronson's new "Record Collection" album that came out yesterday. It's a dancey, synth-y, 80s spin on his retro-soul sound he perfected with Amy Winehouse. Totally an in-your-car, shameless sing-along.

Drink Up Buttercup, "Young Ladies" - These dudes are nothing short of insane. Like, actually crazy. Their live show involves trashcans, tribal chanting and playing in the middle of the crowd. Listen to this Beatles-gone-evil psychedelic track and it'll all make sense.

Lohio, "Leave the City, Leave your Room" - Easily one of Pittsburgh's best bands, Lohio is releasing a new EP, "Family Tree," this week. This track encapsulates their growing sound — beautiful harmonies, fun melodies, Sufjan-esque orchestration and, as always, Greg Dutton's light, folky voice. If the world is a good and fair place, Lohio will blow up something spectacular.

Justin Rutledge, "Be A Man" - One of my favorite country-folk finds of this year. Guy's got a great, wounded-heart type voice, and his songs are equally as deep. Plus, what a fantastic name!

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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 (plus a bonus song):

Black Angels, "Telephone" - Even though I vowed not to embrace any more bands that start with the word Black, this Austin psych-rock band is too good to ignore. I always love songs, like "Telephone," that sound like they could have been on the "Nuggets" box. The album also expands on this idea with Doors and Stooges influences. One caution: as a live act, the band needs something more than a frontman that clings to a keyboard.

Maximum Balloon, "Communion" - Dave Sitek, the brilliant guitarist and producer for TV on the Radio, indulges his poppier instincts on this debut album with such guests as Kyp and Tunde (from TVOTR) and David Byrne. Here, Karen O of the Yeah Yeah Yeahs takes front and center on a cool hypnotic dance track.

Robert Plant, "Silver Rider" - Robert Plant could be cashing in right now on a Led Zep reunion tour, but for some reason — perhaps to spare his vocal cords — he chosen to reinvent himself as an Americana artist. He makes a bold, tasteful choice here with a song by slowcore band Low that finds guitarist Buddy Miller exploring his inner Neil Young.

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New Music Personal Picks

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Black Angels Maxium Balloon Robert Plant Scott Mervis The 9:13 Buzz

Check out Dr. Dog's sweet new video for "Shadow People" (from Shame, Shame):

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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):

Someone Still Loves You Boris Yeltsin, "My Terrible Personality" - This track from the middle of the band's new release, Let It Sway, is a fun mid-paced number with the added appeal of a "Go!" breakdown in the middle. What's there to say, really? It's just catchy.

Mariage Blanc, "Move On" - This local band has always danced on the line between upbeat and introspective, between Beulah and Elliot Smith. This is from their new LP, to be released next month. Watch out for my piece on them in your City Paper in a couple weeks!

Darker My Love, "Split Minute" - This is an L.A. band with a weird pedigree: the drummer used to be in that Hellcat streetpunk band The Distillers, and two of the other members have backed up Mark E. Smith in The Fall. Darker My Love is about as far from those bands as possible -- with a laid-back California rock vibe, they're reminiscent of American Beauty-era Dead, perhaps, or later Byrds.

Marianne Dissard, "Les Confettis" - This is probably my favorite track on Dissard's latest, Paris One Takes. She takes the French take on rock a little further, incorporating Americana sounds into her tunes. Frenchicana? Sure.

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New Music

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Andy Mulkerin Darker My Love Mariage Blanc Marianne Dissard Someone Still Loves You Boris Yeltsin The 9:13 Buzz

Video for "Always" from Junip. José González seems like he's got a pretty swell sense of humor. This video is highly entertaining!!

Full album from Junip (Fields) is out on 9/14/2010 (next Tuesday)

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Always Fields Jose Gonzalez Junip Video

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 of The Beaver County Times

In case you missed it here's what he played with commentary by Scott (plus some bonus songs):

Ryan Bingham & the Dead Horses, Junky Star - Now that he’s an Oscar-winning songsmith, Bingham can’t swoop under the radar. Yet, “Crazy Heart” success didn’t make him sell his soul, judging by this artistically bold album released Aug. 31. Sparse melodies evoke the wide-open spaces of the Southwest where the 29-year-old ex-rodeo bull-rider was raised. Native American-sounding kick drums, jolts of slide-guitar and Bingham’s wisdom-worn vocals paint an absorbing if not overtly commercial landscape.

Shonen Knife, Perfect Anthem - Japan’s legendary pop-punk girl-band Shonen Knife just released the English-language versions of its latest album, “Free Time,” and 2007’s “fun! fun! fun!”  That latter title perfectly describes this single. Kurt Cobain was a big fan, you know, once saying about Shonen Knife, “When I finally got to see them live, I was transformed into a hysterical 9-year-old girl at a Beatles concert.” See Shonen Knife Sept. 24 at the 31st Street Pub in Pittsburgh.

K.T. Tunstall, Tiger Suit - This third studio album is a crucial one for the diminutive Scottish singer with the mighty vocal pipes. There’s nothing on here that’ll get as much radio or movie soundtrack action as her 2004 rookie album’s twin hits, “Suddenly I See” and “Black Horse and the Cherry Tree.” But give “Tiger Suit” grows on you after a few listens, owing to Tunstall’s feisty lyrics and singing, and imaginative, occasionally techno-ish rhythms.

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New Music

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KT Tunstall Ryan Bingham Scott Tady Shonen Knife The 9:13 Buzz

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 Josh Walkos of the music blog Owl & Bear

In case you missed it here's what he played with commentary by Josh (plus some bonus songs):

Villagers, “Becoming A Jackal” - The title track to a brilliant and richly orchestrated debut album complete with soaring string arrangements, piano runs and horns. Yet, singer/songwriter and Ireland native Conor O'Brien makes it sound as warm and intimate as a lo-fi bedroom recording. Villagers were recently nominated for this year's Mercury Prize which is a short list of the best releases of the year in the UK and Ireland. This track  immediately caught my ear with the very deliberate sounding delivery O’Brien employs, its very brooding and elusive and kind of leave you with a sense of nostalgia.

Cut Copy, “Where I’m Going” - An Australian band known for their hypnotic electronic dance tunes, but not so much for their Beach Boy-esque psychedelic rock. Which is precisely what we have with their sneak peak single “Where I’m Going” from the as-of-yet-untitled forthcoming LP. The record was mixed by hot commodity producer Ben Allen, the man behind the mind bending mixing on Animal Collective's widely acclaimed 2009 release, Merriweather Post Pavillion. If this single is just a warm up then their new album is undoubtedly one of my most anticipated of 2011.

Toro Y Moi, “Leave Everywhere” - Usually known for his hazy synth driven tunes , Toro Y Moi sheds the synths in favor of instruments. The results are a great summer song that keeps conjures the endless summer romantic in all of us. And with summer just about behind us, this song may help you to hang on for just 3 minutes longer.

Tennis, “Marathon” - Husband-and-wife duo Patrick Riley and Alaina Moore make up much buzzed about band Tennis. A band that burst onto the national scene with their single “Marathon”. Its a Brian Wilson meets Daniel Johnston lo-fi gem of a song. They just released a 3-song 7-inch on Underwater Peoples that will only serve to wet the appetite of the indie masses until they release their first full length in 2011. They are definitely a band to watch in the coming months.

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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 Paste Magazine, AOL's Spinner.com and Pittsburgh's City Paper

In case you missed it here's what he played with commentary by Justin (plus some bonus songs):

Lissie, "When I'm Alone" - She started off a folkie, but her debut album Catching a Tiger is pretty rocking. Doesn't matter her genre, though - Lissie's got one of the strongest, most beautiful voices I've heard in a long time. Bonus trivia: director David Lynch is a huge fan and Tweeted Lissie his phone number. And now they're friends.

The Thermals, "I Don't Believe You" - Unshakable proof that all rock'n'roll needs is a few chords, a lot of energy and some lyrics about how much love sucks. Plus, Thermals jams always have lots of 'Whoa's and 'Yeah's, so singing along is fun and easy. Their new album, Personal Life, is more fun than a winning Pirates game.

Perfume Genius, "Mr. Petersen" - Just one man and a piano, but the whole thing seems haunted by ghosts. This is a song seemingly about an older man introducing our young narrator to Joy Division and smoking pot, as well as some far, far less appropriate things. Beautiful, but scary.

The Love Language, "Brittany's Back" - This band is all about swooning romantics and the sweeping dramatics. But if you love love, you'll love The Love Language.

Lost in the Trees, "Love on my Side" - This band is half folk rock, half classical music; several of their songs are simply instrumental movements played by a mini-orchestra. This tune falls way more in the former genre, though, and is a catchy, touching little ditty.

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Justin Jacobs Lissie Lost in the Trees Perfume Genius The 9:13 Buzz The Love Language The Thermals

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):

Jaill, "Everyone’s Hip" - This band’s first Sub Pop release just came out, and while on the whole it’s pretty solid, this is the real stand-out track. Hooky, poppy, and with an entire verse in Spanish (Does it actually mean something? Not sure.), it’s been on repeat on my MP3 player and in my head.

Sambassadeur, "Days" - My friend Brian won’t stop talking about this band. And rightly so – simple pop constructions draped with lush string orchestration and a vocalist who sounds like a Scandanavian Chrissie Hynde? Yes, please!

Satin Gum, "Flea Markets & Libraries" - This local band is a fun one to catch live, and writes catchy pop-oriented rock with a lot of stop-start action and time changes. I tend to think they’re going somewhere – either rising to fame or going back to the bar for another few drinks, or, most likely, both.

Modern Mothers, "Allison" - There’s not much information around on this Philly-based garage-glam band, which released Berserker with the help of the venerable Bada Bing label. Their imagery and aesthetic are weird to say the least, but this song is a pop gem – starting out with a poppy Ramones/Screaching Weasel feel then progressing into a Diamond Dogs-era Bowie-style bridge.

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New Music Personal Picks

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Andy Mulkerin Jaill Modern Mothers Sambassadeur Satin Gum The 9:13 Buzz

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