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 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):

The Morning Benders - Excuses
The Morning Benders have steadily been gaining buzz ever since the release of their second LP Big Echo. Their sound has been called baroque pop because of the use of strings and orchestral arrangements. The band met while going to school in Berkely California and recorded their first album Talking Through Tin Cans in 2008. The album was named iTunes best alt/indie album that year and landed on many prominent 2008 Editors Pick lists. Josh says: "With Big Echo, The Morning Benders teamed up with Chris Taylor from the band Grizzly Bear to create a gorgeous album that us sure to land on many top lists by the end of 2010. "Excuses" is the first single off of Big Echo and showcase the band at their best with tons of strings and sing along chorus'."

Phantogram - "When I'm Small"
Phantogram are from Saratoga Springs, NY and  fancy themselves a "Street beat psych pop" duo. A description that makes sense once you've heard their songs. Their sound relies heavily hip hop leaning beats with spacey electonic sounds layered on top to create a sound all their own. Throw in Sarah Barthels angelic but ominious vocals are you have a winning recipe. Josh says: ""When I'm Small" is a song that immediately grabbed my attention and allowed me to give the rest of their debut album "Eyelid Movies" a chance. It has such a cool vibe and is unlike anything i'm hearing out there right now. If Portishead and Zero 7 had a love child it would be named Phantogram."

The Love Language come to us from Chapel Hill N.C. and are project born out of lead singer Stuart McLamb's heart break. The new album Libraries will be released on Merge Records July 13th and is full of upbeat, toe tapping goodness. Josh says: "The first single "Heart To Tell" is a great introduction to the Love Language and will have you humming the hook all day."
Caribou - "Odessa" Caribou is a one man electronic/dance project that has been evolving for more than a decade. With his new album Swim he his sound has fully evolved into a perfect blend of electronic/ambient/dance music that is multi-layered and undeniably catchy. Josh says: ""Odessa" has been on repeat for more than two months now and I never seem to tire of it. There are just so many sounds to be discovered within the song."

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Music News Personal Picks

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Caribou Cindy Howes Josh Walkos Phantogram The 9:13 Buzz The Love Language The Morning Benders

A friend recently point out comedian Morgan Murphy to me. She's a writer on Jimmy Kimmel and has a very funny stand-up routine. Her humor is dry and her hair is awesome. I looked up her Wikipedia page (something I do when I start forming a new obsession about someone/thing) and it mentioned she appears in Aimee Mann's "31 Today" video. I have not laughed this hard in a long time. Check it out:

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31 Today Aimee Mann Cindy Howes Morgan Murphy Video


Can you please stop what you're doing and listen to Royal Wood? Fans of Rufus Wainwright, Ron Sexsmith & Andrew Bird please advise: Royal is right up your alley.

I've been waiting for Royal to release a follow up to his 2007 A Good Enough Day and it is finaaaaallllyyyy here! The Waiting (appropriate title, eh?), is the (Toronto!) Canadian singer's third release and from the album. It will be available digitally on June 29th, this is the video of "On Top Of Your Love":

Here ---> If you want catch up and hear him featured on "You Gotta Hear This" (the very first one! eek!)

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Music News

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Cindy Howes On Top Of Your Love Royal Wood The Waiting 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 news 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):

Black Keys,  "Next Girl" - New album from the Akron, OH duo, Brothers has the band producing themselves with help from Danger Mouse on one track. Scott says: "You guys are spinning a different tune, I believe, but this is the gem of the album."

Jason and the Scorchers,  "Moonshine Guy" - Nashville Cowpunk band returns with new release after a 15 year absence. They also return with a new Swede drummer named Pontus Snibb. Scott says: "The most fun song of the year!"

Rising Regina,  "Sheets" - A young bluegrassy band from Pittsburgh, PA. Scott says: "Another fun one. Bluesy sass from Pittsburgh's Celtic-newgrass band. Why aren't they on Lilith Fair? :-)"

Local Natives,  "Wide Eyes" - Great new band coming out the Silver Lake scene in Los Angeles (Rilo Kiley, Elliott Smith, etc). This band's sound is a great combination of Fleet Foxes and Vampire Weekend. Scott says: "Already penciled in for the year-end Top-10."

VV Brown, "Leave!" - Released last year in her native U.K., this album didn't arrive in the States until six weeks ago. Her influences are early-'60s girl groups, electronica and video game sound effects. Scott Says: "Gotta throw one curveball at you. This song, while bubblegummy, reminds me of something Duffy would sing if she let her hair down ... or Amy Winehouse would sing if she sobered up."

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New Music Personal Picks

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Beaver County Times Black Keys Cindy Howes Jason and The Scorchers Local Natives Rising Regina Scott Tady The 9:13 Buzz VV Brown

You Gotta Hear This features an inside look into a new release you may have missed, hosted by Cindy Howes. Bonnie "Prince" Billy is basically singer songwriter Will Oldham. He's been recording under Bonnie "Prince" Billy since 1999 and before that was involved in a few projects like The Palace Brothers and Palace Music. This new release is an excellent collection of minimalist indie-folk songs that are made nice and dark by Oldham's unique voice, but stay positive with his inspirational, yet intense, lyrics. You can hear a review and clips from his new self-titled release on the latest YGHT.

Check your podcasts for an update or listen right here:
YGHT :: Bonnie "Prince" Billy

YGHT is also heard on The Music Lab.

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Bonnie "Prince" Billy Cindy Howes You Gotta Hear This

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."

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New Music Personal Picks

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Best Coast Cindy Howes Deer Tick Janelle Monáe Justin Jacobs Mynabirds The 9:13 Buzz

On Thursday May 20, 2010, Colonizing The Cosmos PACKED the WYEP Community Broadcast Center and played an amazing set. 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.

Third Thursday: Colonizing The Cosmos

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Music News

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Cindy Howes Colonizing The Cosmos Local Pittsburgh Music Third Thursday

Wednesday June 1,2010 (Today!) marks the debut of The 9:13 Buzz, a brand new segment on The Morning Mix. 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. First, we welcome Andy Mulkerin of Pittsburgh's City Paper

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

Poison Control Center “By The Wave” - This is from PCC's second full length 'Sad Sour Future'. The band is from Ames, Iowa and is on well respected indie label, Afternoon Records. Andy says: "This song has a very '90s indie sound – the verses sound like David Berman (Silver Jews) could have penned them, the airier chorus vocals sound like Mercury Rev. This is one of those unsolicited CD sends I get on my desk that actually pan out; I've been listening to the album non-stop lately."

Beach House “Zebra” - Baltimore-based Beach House is a duo that concentrate on dreamy pop music. This is from their second release Teen Dream. Andy says: "I liked Beach House's last album, Devotion, but I wasn't sure if they could maintain the quality for another full-length; Teen Dream proved me wrong. It's more lush, more mature, and I hear they're touring with a full band now, which makes me, as a drummer, happy."

Aloha “Search Light”Aloha began summer 1997 in Bowling Green, Ohio. The four members of Aloha are scattered across the eastern half of the country, but spend most of their time making music together. Andy says: "I wrote about Aloha's new album, Home Acres, when they came through town in April; they never fail to disappoint. Tony Cavallario is a top-notch lyric writer, and a former Pittsburgher to boot!"

Retribution Gospel Choir “Hide It Away” - From of Duluth, MN, RGC plays short, driving songs that often start out poppy melodic and then turn into psychedelic improv and drum & bass-heavy dub. Current members of the band include, Alan Sparhawk and Steve Garrington- both are also in the band Low. Andy says: "On the whole, Retribution Gospel Choir's new album is so-so; there are a number of tracks that are basically studio silliness, and a few that just don't appeal to me. But a few – including “Hide It Away,” are amazing power pop tunes that should be on everyone's driving mix."

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New Music Personal Picks

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Aloha Andy Mulkerin Beach House Cindy Howes City Paper Low Morning Mix Poison Control Center Retribution Gospel Choir The 9:13 Buzz

Eli "Paperboy" Reed perfects an OUTRAGEOUS sound similar to James Brown or Sam Cooke. Check out the video for the smokin' lead track on his forthcoming release Come and Get It, out August 10th on Capitol.

Recommended if you like: Amy Winehouse, Black Joe Lewis & The Honeybears, Sharon Jones & The Dap Kings

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New Music

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Boston singer Cindy Howes Come and Get It Eli "Paperboy" Reed James Brown Sharon Jones Soul revival Video

We're featuring the new Donora video for "Shhh" on our main page (in the right corner). The video was directed by the incredible Casey Hanner (lead singer of Donora). Can you spot the drummer for Big Hurry?

More about Donora

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