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A few years ago Conor Oberst, Jim James (My Morning Jacket), M.Ward, and Mike Mogis toured together and the outfit was labeled 'Monsters of Folk' by fans and bloggers alike.  The name apparently was to the guys liking and it stuck.  They spent the better part of two years recording and their debut effort will be out on September 22nd.  It will be interesting to see what the creative minds of Oberst, James, Ward, and Mogis come up with. 


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For Crying Out Loud, the new CD by Scott Miller is out, and he'll be doing songs from it in our first of 3 Final Fridays at Schenley Plaza shows on Friday, July 31st at 7pm. Scott's new cd was financed by the sale of initial song demos and an enhanced CD with video presold to the fan base, a truly an independent record and the debut on Scott's own label, F.A.Y. Recordings. 

You may recall Scott's song 'Amtrak Crescent' airing on WYEP.  This past May Scott did an Amtrak tour on that included 5 dates that began in New Orleans on the 30th anniversary of Amtrak and National Train Day. The tour concluded in New York City.

Join us for the free event on July 31st at Schenley Plaza. The Final Fridays at Schenley Plaza  schedule can be found at


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Allen Klein, powerful figure in music world, dies at 77:

Allen Klein, the brash music mogul whose five-decade career included stints as the business manager for the Beatles and the Rolling Stones, died Saturday in New York. He was 77.

Klein died after a lengthy battle with Alzheimer's disease, according to Bob Merlis, a spokesman for Klein's ABKCO Music & Records. The independent label owns or controls the rights to music by the Rolling Stones, Sam Cooke, the Animals, the Kinks, Chubby Checker and Bobby Womack, among others.

John Lennon once called Klein "the only businessman I've met who isn't gray right though his eyes to his soul." George Harrison concurred in a way, saying "Because we were all from Liverpool, we favored people who were street people." Klein co-produced Harrison's Concert for Bangladesh with the Beatles guitarist. Klein also co-produced a 1971 movie, Blindman, which featured Ringo Starr)

Klein's hardnosed tactics, however, managed to alienate himself from his clients in a haze of acrimony. The Rolling Stones fired him as manager in 1970, sparking lawsuits back and forth. Lennon was Klein's major champion within The Beatles, but by 1974, Lennon was so disenchanted with Klein that he unleashed his trademark vicious wit on Klein in the song "Steel and Glass."

Watch Klein's persona satirized in The Rutles' All You Need Is Cash parody (and note that one of the henchmen to the Klein character, Ron Decline--played by John Belushi--is new Senator Al Franken):


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Singer-Songwriter Ari Hest  opened for The Clarks June 13th.  Hest brought his band, performing for nearly an hour, just a few days prior to his 30th birthday (June 16th).  Hest mentioned he would be back in Pittsburgh this fall.  This interview was conducted prior to that concert.

Barb WYEP's Sunday Mix Host (WYEP):  Hi Ari!  Thanks for taking the time to respond to some questions via email for the WYEP Music Blog!

Ari Hest (AH):  My pleasure Barb, thank you!

WYEP:  You were in Pittsburgh in March at Club Café, out on the road promoting your newly self released CD “Twelve Mondays”.  How did the tour go?  Have you reached a comfort level yet with the songs?

AH:  The tour was one of the best I've had in a long time. I hadn't been out with a band in a couple of years. I almost forgot how much fun that can be. The long drives from city to city don't seem as long when you're in the right environment. My only regret is that we didn't stay out longer. I think musically we were getting better and better with each show and unfortunately it had to end right when things were really going well. The crowds were great and I was pleasantly surprised at their knowledge of songs from 52, some of which i hadn't played live before we left.

WYEP:   Please tell us more about the ‘52’ Project that you embarked on during 2008 which led up to the recording of “Twelve Mondays”.  It was quite an ambitious project to write, record, produce and release one new song per week, for 52 weeks in a row and have your fans vote for those that would end up on “Twelve Mondays”.

AH: After leaving Columbia Records I knew I had to do something unique to stick out among the droves of singer/songwriters out there. I've always written a lot of music in my career but was never able to release it as quickly as i would've liked. An album every two years just didn't work for me. When i came up with the idea, i realized it was gonna be very difficult, but something about the challenge appealed to me. So for every monday of 2008, I recorded a new song and released in to subscribers to 52. For $20, anyone was able to get access to these songs as well as comment on them on the website built by my management. Earlier this year the subscribers voted on their favorite 12 songs and those songs appeared on "Twelve Mondays" remixed and, in some cases, re-recorded.

WYEP:  You wanted artistic control over your music, so do you have a new sense of freedom now?  Will you continue to self-release future recordings?

AH:  Definitely. I love the control as I am a control freak. As far as future recordings go, i'm open to seeing what's out there, but right now this system works for me and i have no intention of changing it up.

WYEP:You were on the inaugural Cayamo songwriters cruise in 2008, any chance you will return as a performer in 2010?

AH:  I really hope so. I had such a great time in 2008 and was bummed to miss last year's trip. What a great idea that boat is. It's the perfect vacation for music lovers. I wish it were up to me but I know the powers that be want to give some other musicians a chance to play as well, so we'll see.

WYEP:  Your next record is being produced by Alex Wong, who co-produced and arranged Vienna Teng’s most recent release “ Inland Territory ”.  When can we expect to hear some tracks from this effort?  Also how do you have anything left to write about after the ‘52’ Project?  You will also be doing some shows with Vienna Teng this summer, will this open up the chance for some collaboration on stage?

AH:  The time schedule has not been worked out yet but all i can say is I am truly excited and challenged to be working with such a talented musician as Alex. Vienna and I had our first show together last week and sang a bit on each other's material which was a treat. She's also a tremendous musician that I'm honored to play with each time.

WYEP:  The Amphitheatre at Station Square is situated along the Mon River and some railroad tracks. Well, sometimes trains go by during a performance. Do you have any songs to sing about trains?

AH:  "Dead End Driving"? "Ride The Brake"? Not exactly train songs but some of the lyrics fit. "The Weight" has a train beat, so hopefully the train will come by while we're playing that one.

WYEP:  I’ve always wanted to ask a singer-songwriter what it was like to record someone else’s song, especially when it was a hit for the other artist.  You do this amazing version of Fleetwood Mac’s “Little Lies “ on “The Green Room Sessions EP”. How did you choose that particular song to cover?  It really suits your style.

AH:  I didn't plan on it. I happened to hear "Little Lies" earlier that day on the radio and thought it might sound cool given a darker musical mood. It also happened to be around the time I began to do some home recording. Fleetwood Mac is a big influence. I learned to play guitar right around the time "The Dance" came out and it got me to listen to a lot of their previous albums. Incredible songwriters.

WYEP: Thanks for your time!

AH:  You got it Barb, thank you again!

Ari Hest belting out his last song 06.13.09 at The Ampitheatre at Station Square:

ari hest

Previous posts:

"Twelve Mondays" - A CD review:

03.17.09 Ari Hest concert review:

Barb S. - Sunday Mix Host


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ari hest

It's been a week now since my last dose of Gov't Mule and I am still content.  As a longtime fan I had gone to the show with a touch of apprehension.  This would be my first time seeing the Mule since the departure of recent bass fixture, Andy Hess.   The Kinder Revolution tour, which runs through a two-night stand at the Fillmore in San Francisco on November 22nd, is Jorgen Carlsson's first trip out with the group.  I confess to not digging up any info on the man, because I didn't want to form an opinion before hearing him live.

This was my first trip out to the Carnegie Music Hall of Homestead and I have to say that I am thoroughly pleased with this venue.  Dig this:  once inside you can actually leave the venue and re-enter.   Let me repeat that.  This venue has no code against re-entry.  I was dumbfounded by this.  It seems every venue in town refuses to let you go outside and catch a breath of fresh air or take a little walk around the block if the mood strikes you.  Some venues are even charging you to get a wristband so you can take a cigarette break (without naming names, I'm looking at Carson Street on that one).  The absolute freedom of the venue was refreshing.  The two bands performing within it even more so.

Back Door Slam, a blues-rock power trio from the Isle of Man, who fit perfectly with Gov't Mule's sound opened the night.  It's easy to see why Warren Haynes and company chose them to open.  They have the same spirit and level of talent of the early trio version of Gov't Mule.  They must have played a thousand notes and each one of them was the right note.  I'm looking forward to the next Pittsburgh show from this group.

I do miss Hess's dirty rock 'n roll groove, but was not disappointed by Carlsson's playing.  The band came out fired up with a rendition of Black Sabbath's "War Pigs," despite the one-song absence of Danny Louis on keys.  Then they jammed on their own composition "Painted Silver Light" from their debut disc.  The set covered a lot of ground, but had a definite early-Mule bent.  They reprised "I Think You Know What I Mean" (from Life Before Insanity) into Zeppelin's "When the Levee Breaks" back into "I Think You Know What I Mean" like they did at their Byham Theatre show a few years back.

In the second set, after a nice leisurely walk around the venue of course, "Temporary Saint" was another highlight.  Warren's voice had that cool Southern ache that only his guitar could match for emotional force.  A few tunes later the band left Matt Abts to stun the audience with ten+ minutes of primal drumming.  He rocked his first solo with sticks, his second with mallets, and his third with his bare hands.  The theatre went nuts.  The band's encore saw the return of Davy Knowles of Back Door Slam trading solos with Warren on the Muddy Waters tune "Champagne & Reefer" and Cream's "Politician".

To me the evening's two sets played out like a sweet long road trip.  I'll most likely be picking this up from Mule Tracks and playing it in my car religiously.  Now I just need a destination...

reprinted from

Set 1
War Pigs Trio-without Danny Louis
Painted Silver Light
A Million Miles From Yesterday
Slackjaw Jezebel
I Think You Know What I Mean->
When The Levee Breaks->
I Think You Know What I Mean
No Need To Suffer
I Shall Return
Lay Your Burden Down
Little Wing

Set 2
Get Behind The Mule
Temporary Saint
Left Coast Groovies

Champagne & Reefer with Davey Knowles
Politician with Davey Knowles


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awesome blues Carnegie concert Gov't Mule groovy guitar Homestead rock

This summer we asked WYEP listeners to vote for their 10 favorite songs from the 1990's. We tallied the votes, and turned the list into a countdown show that aired on Labor Day. There's some surprises here, along with some "sure things". Overall, we think its a pretty good list, our listeners have good taste.

Here it is...

100 Cake - The Distance "Fashion Nugget" 1996
99 Grant Lee Buffalo - Mockingbirds "Mighty Joe Moon" 1994
98 Natalie Merchant - Wonder "Tigerlily" 1995
97 Midnight Oil - Blue Sky Mine "Blue Sky Mining" 1990
96 Cracker - Low "Kerosene Hat" 1993
95 Depeche Mode - Policy of Truth "Violator" 1990
94 Liz Phair - Polyester Bride "whitechocolatespaceegg" 1998
93 Richard Thompson - 1952 Vincent Black Lightning "Rumour and Sigh" 1991
92 Nirvana - Come As You Are "Nevermind" 1991
91 Dave Matthews Band - Two Step "Crash" 1996
90 Goo Goo Dolls - Iris "Dizzy Up the Girl" 1998
89 No Doubt - Don't Speak "Tragic Kingdom" 1995
88 Pavement - Summer Babe "Slanted & Enchanted" 1992
87 Presidents of the United States of America - Peaches "Presidents of the U.S.A." 1995
86 Counting Crows - Round Here "August & Everything After" 1993
85 Pearl Jam - Better Man "Vitalogy" 1994
84 Aimee Mann - Save Me "Magnolia Soundtrack" 1999
83 Beck - Devil's Haircut "Odelay" 1996
82 Blues Traveler - Run Around "Four" 1994
81 Concrete Blonde - Joey "Bloodletting" 1990
80 R.E.M. - Man On The Moon "Automatic for the People" 1992
79 Jane's Addiction - Been Caught Stealin' "Ritual De Lo Habitual" 1990
78 Dar Williams - As Cool As I Am "Mortal City" 1996
77 Pulp - Common People "A Different Class" 1995
76 Red Hot Chili Peppers - Give it away "Blood Sugar Sex Magik" 1991
75 Smashing Pumpkins - Disarm "Siamese Dream" 1993
74 Tori Amos - Silent All These Years "Little Earthquakes" 1992
73 U2 - Mysterious Ways "Achtung Baby" 1991
72 Weezer - Buddy Holly "Blue Album" 1994
71 Wilco - Misunderstood "Being There" 1996
70 Ben Folds Five - Battle of Who Could Care Less "Whatever and Ever Amen" 1997
69 Blur - Song 2 "Blur" 1997
68 Counting Crows - Rain King "August & Everything After" 1993
67 Dave Matthews Band - Crash Into Me "Crash" 1996
66 Elliot Smith - Waltz #2 "XO" 1998
65 Iggy Pop - Candy "Brick by Brick" 1990
64 KD Lang - Constant Craving "Ingenue" 1992
63 Lemonheads - It's a Shame About Ray "It's A Shame About Ray" 1992
62 Tori Amos - Crucify "Little Earthquakes" 1992
61 Portishead - Sour Times "Dummy" 1994
60 Bush - Glycerine "Sixteen Stone" 1994
59 Cranberries - Zombie "No Need to Argue" 1994
58 Foo Fighters - Everlong "The Color and the Shape" 1997
57 Spin Doctors - Two Princes "Pocket Full of Kryptonite" 1991
56 They Might Be Giants - Istanbul (Not Constantinople) "Flood" 1990
55 Pearl Jam - Even Flow "Ten" 1991
54 Belly - Feed the Tree "Star" 1993
53 Billy Bragg & Wilco - California Stars "Mermaid Avenue" 1998
52 Mazzy Star - Fade into You "So Tonight that I Might See" 1993
51 Soul Asylum - Runaway Train "Grave Dancer's Union" 1992
50 Peter Gabriel - Digging in the Dirt "Us" 1992
49 James - Laid "Laid" 1993
48 Cranberries - Dreams Everyone "Else is Doing it, So Why Can't We?" 1993
47 Whiskeytown - 16 Days "Strangers Almanac" 1997
46 Cornershop - Brimful of Asha "When I was Born for the 7th Time" 1997
45 Tori Amos - Cornflake Girl "Under the Pink" 1994
44 Radiohead - Karma Police "OK Computer" 1997
43 Alanis Morrisette - Ironic "Jagged Little Pill" 1995
42 Seal - Crazy "Seal" 1991
41 Dave Matthews Band - Ants Marching "Under the Table and Dreaming" 1994
40 Sublime - Santeria "Sublime" 1996
39 Fiona Apple - Criminal "Tidal" 1996
38 Barenaked Ladies - Brian Wilson "Gordon" 1992
37 Gin Blossoms - Hey Jealousy "New Miserable Experience" 1992
36 Indigo Girls - Galileo "Rites of Passage" 1992
35 Fugees - Killing Me Softly "The Score" 1996
34 The Wallflowers - One Headlight "Bringing Down the House" 1996
33 Lisa Loeb - Stay "Tails " 1995
32 Smashing Pumpkins - Today "Siamese Dream" 1993
31 Pavement - Cut Your Hair "Crooked Rain, Crooked Rain " 1994
30 Oasis - Don't Look Back in Anger "What's the Story Morning Glory?" 1995
29 Matthew Sweet - Girlfriend "Girlfriend " 1991
28 Bob Dylan - Not Dark Yet "Time Out of Mind" 1997
27 Radiohead - Fake Plastic Trees "The Bends" 1995
26 Jeff Buckley - Hallelujah "Grace" 1994
25 R.E.M. - Nightswimming "Automatic for the People" 1992
24 Blind Melon - No Rain "Blind Melon " 1992
23 Smashing Pumpkins - 1979 "Mellon Collie and the Infinite Sadness" 1995
22 They Might be Giants - Birdhouse in Your Soul "Flood " 1990
21 The Red Hot Chili Peppers - Under the Bridge "Blood Sugar Sex Magik" 1991
20 Rusted Root - Send Me On My Way "Cruel Sun " 1992
19 Radiohead - Paranoid Android "OK Computer" 1997
18 Live - Lightning Crashes "Throwing Copper" 1994
17 Radiohead - Creep "Pablo Honey" 1993
16 Pearl Jam - Alive "Ten " 1991
15 Ben Folds Five - Brick "Whatever and Ever Amen " 1997
14 Cranberries - Linger Everybody "Else is Doing it, So Why Can't We?" 1993
13 Sarah McLachlan - Possesion "Fumbling Towards Ecstasy " 1993
12 Sinead O'Connor - Nothing compares 2 U "I Do Not Want..." 1990
11 Pearl Jam - Jeremy "Ten " 1991
10 Beck - Loser "Mellow Gold" 1994
9 Pearl Jam - Black "Ten " 1991
8 Breeders - Cannonball "Last Spash " 1993
7 The Counting Crows - Mr. Jones "August and Everything After" 1993
6 Alanis Morrisette - You Oughta Know "Jagged Little Pill" 1995
5 The Verve - Bittersweet Symphony "Urban Hymns" 1997
4 R.E.M - Losing My Religion "Out of Time" 1991
3 Oasis - Wonderwall "What's the Story Morning Glory?" 1995
2 U2 - One "Achtung Baby " 1991
1 Nirvana - Smells Like Teen Spirit "Nevermind " 1991


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WYEP 1990 "Top 100 Songs from the 90's"

We just passed the 25th Anniversary of the release of 'This Year's Model' from Elvis Costello on August 5th and celebrated what would have been Andy Warhol's 80th birthday on Wednesday (August 6th) with some music tributes on-air.

There are quite a few Musical Milestones coming up in the next few months. Here are a few

Sept 7th 15th Anniversary of the release of John Hiatt's 'Perfectly Good Guitar'

Sept 11th 35th Anniversary of the release of Bruce Springsteen's 'The Wild, The Innocent, and the E Street Shuffle'

Sept 25th 40th Anniversary of the release of 'Astral Weeks' by Van Morrison

November is a big month
Nov 3rd is the 30th Anniversary on the Jam's 'All Mod Cons'

Beck, R.E.M., and the Beatles also have some significant anniversaries that I'm sure we'll be touching on with on-air programming.



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