New Music

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 Shins, "So Now What" - OK, Natalie Portman isn't Nostradamus, and The Shins' "New Slang" didn't exactly change our lives like she predicted 10 years ago in "Garden State." Though fess up: That's where most of us discovered the dreamy pop beauty of The Shins who last week debuted their new single "So Now What," another lovely slice of yearning, hope and renewal that appears -- surprise, surprise, on "Garden State" director Zach Braff's upcoming movie, "Wish I Was Here." The Shins' James Mercer wrote this soundtrack song after seeing the film about a 30-something father seeking a new purpose in life. I can't vouch for the movie, but I'm digging this song, and look forward to the rest of the soundtrack (out July 15) which includes Bon Iver, Paul Simon and a Coldplay-Cat Power collabo.

Tijuana Panthers, "NOBO" - The SoCal garage-punks' new single has been stuck in my head for a month, so watch out. This song is both chill and tension-filled, hazily sung from the point of view of a guy questioning choices of bohemian friends. Hailing from Long Beach, a sketchier side of the fun-in-the-sun California dream. I'm guessing the Tijuana Panthers have listened a lot to the Velvet Underground.

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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!

In case you missed it here's what he played with commentary by Andy:

Wye Oak, "Before" - This is the lead track from the Baltimore duo's latest album, Shriek, which sounds considerably different from their past work, because it was written without any guitar. It's still a pretty great record, and that speaks to Wye Oak's songwriting capabilities.

Pujol, "Circles" - The latest from the Nashville garage-rocker is called Kludge, and this song is one of the highlights. Good, smart writing laid over hard-rocking guitars, and a great tune for summer.

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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!

In case you missed it here’s what he played with commentary by Justin!

Timber Timbre, "Curtains!?" - Canadian act Timber Timbre plays bluesy rock with a jilted twist, like Nick Cave downing a few and playing the local pub stage. These guys are perfectly unnerving, and their latest record, Hot Dreams, is damn near perfect - lyrically weird, melodically haunting and musically loose and shuffling. Give Timber Timbre a chance. Promise you won't regret it.

Timber Timbre - Curtains?! from Full Time Hobby on Vimeo.

Greensky Bluegrass, "Windshield" - Sure, they don't have the subtlest name of all the bluegrass bands out there, but don't let that deter you. This Illinois band is the real deal, pumping traditional bluegrass jams into hard-driving, emotional and affecting tunes. On the band's latest "If Sorrow Swims," Greensky's songwriting is as great as their picking. A bluegrass band on the way up, for sure.

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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 Tady!

In case you missed it here’s what he played with commentary by Scott.

Jack White, "Entitlement" - Jack is sick of spoiled people who act entitled, and he's tired of being told what to do. Modern rock's top guitarist takes out his frustrations on piano on this countrified slow-burner and standout track from White's bold and fascinating new album, "Lazaretto," arriving June 10. Yes, there's explosive guitar; though some of the quieter, more spacious moments on the highly anticipated album yield many of its most memorable hooks. I haven't read any reviews yet, though my preliminary mark is an A-.
Stream Jack White's new album in full here.

Grand Piano, "Punk Rocker" - Trumpet and sax assert themselves on this eclectic and compelling debut full-length from the Pittsburgh rock-folk-jazz-honky-tonk band. Singer Zak Kane has a languid, lived-through-a-lot delivery that counter-balances the instrumental ambitiousness swirling around him. "I dreamed about my travels and I traveled though my dreams," he says in this soul-searching song recalling a former life as a punk rocker. Sharp lead guitar, boisterous bass and a fuzzy layer of rhythm guitar all hop along for the ride on what the Violent Femmes might sound like if they covered They Might Be Giants (or vice versa.) Tough to peg, easier to listen to, Grand Piano's "Leap Year," album arrives June 17. The CD release show, June 13
at The Rex, includes special guests Chet Vincent & the Big Bend, Roger Harvey & the Wild Life and Morgan Erina of Broken Fences.

Also check out: Tijuana Panthers' "Nobo" from the garage-surf-punk band's new album released yesterday. Sounds like the Velvet Underground filtered through a West Coast haze.

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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!

In case you missed it here's what he played with commentary by Andy:

Lee Bains III and the Glory Fires, "The Company Man" - This is a new-to-me band out of Alabama that just released its first record on Sub Pop. All of the energy and class politics of good Southern rock, but with a more progressive cultural sense, and lots of name-checking of specific types of weeds and wildflowers. Skynyrd meets garage punk meets the Audubon Society Guide to Wildflowers, Southern U.S. edition.

Haley Bonar, "No Sensitive Man" - I was just recently thinking about Haley Bonar (as she says, "rhymes with 'honor'"), and how she's a great songwriter and a fun person to interview. And I wondered, "When will she have a new record?" The answer: last week. Her new "Last War" just came out on Graveface Records (which is run by a guy who's really into psych rock and works with Black Moth Super Rainbow); it's a little different from her older stuff, but in a great way.

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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!

In case you missed it here's what he played with commentary by Scott.

Pixies, "Another Toe in the Ocean" - At first (and maybe second) glance, this sounds like Bad Religion. But it's actually a song from the first Pixies album in 23 years! Although "Indie Cindy" has been getting slagged by some critics, I like it, even if it's not the Pixies in groundbreaking mode. This is a fun summery song with typically surreal lyrics and a chorus that sticks in your head.

Ingrid Michaelson, "You Got Me" - Not a big Ingrid Michaelson fan, per se, but the new album, "Lights Out,' has some good songs, like this duet with Storyman, who opens for her at Stage on May 25. Michaelson's sound has been expanded since she arrived as the quirky ukulele girl, so it might be time for pop radio to take another look.

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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!

In case you missed it here’s what he played with commentary by Justin!

La Sera, "Losing to the Dark" - Boy, oh boy, Katy Goodman is better on her own. The former Vivian Girl just released a new album as La Sera, and it's full of catchy choruses, tight guitars and her light, rocking voice. Think of Best Coast but a little bit less about lovey-dovey stuff and you've got La Sera.

Modern Baseball, "Fine, Great" - This Philadelphia band makes tight, pop-punk for the jilted 90's generation that loved The Promise Ring and Pinkerton-era Weezer. This track is a wonderfully, self-effacing confessional blast of energy. Check out the band's whole second album, You're Gonna Miss It All, for more of these short gems, and relive your sexually awkward teens and early-20's all over again.

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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 Tady!

In case you missed it here’s what he played with commentary by Scott.

Tiny Victories, “Drinking With Your Ghost” – First single from the debut full-length by this synth-y duo drawing comparisons to MGMT (sonically) and The National (vocally). Lush, with lots of little unexpected melodic moments. Lyrically, the singer is losing sleep, haunted by a former relationship. It’s as if the specter of that ex-lover is “shaking chains, making sounds, rattling this old house to the ground.” Must be a theme to the album, called “Haunts,” due out June 10. Interesting trivia: singer Greg Walters, spent six years as a foreign correspondent journalist in Moscow, before meeting bandmate Cason Kelly in a Brooklyn bar.

Fever High, “That’s So Typical” – Forget posting one of your big-haired high-school photos. Celebrate the next Throwback Thursday instead by sharing this savory slice of retro dance-pop from Fever High, another Brooklyn duo. The blonde twosome of Anna Nordeen and Leah Cary take a tip from The Waitresses, with this catchy, bouncy tune, urging a cynical someone to quit being such a grump. A double-barrel blast of girl group harmony gets right to the point on lines like “Do you ever lighten up? No, no. Nothing’s good enough. Do you ever shut your mouth? Your logic wears me out. Oh…. Outside here the sun is shining. But you spend the whole day whining.” You go, girls! Just about everyone needs to lighten up.

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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!

In case you missed it here's what he played with commentary by Andy:

The Both, "Milwaukee" - Who doesn't love both Ted Leo and Aimee Mann? Seriously. If you don't like them, I'll fight you. They have a new band together called The Both and it sounds like Ted Leo and Aimee Mann and so that's a good reason to love it. They play Small's on May 5, if you like seeing good things live.

Sharon Van Etten, "Taking Chances" - This is the first single from Sharon Van Etten's new album, Are We There. The big news about this album is going to be the synths, but when the full album hits your ears, I want you to listen for the tastefully done saxophones and clarinets. This particular song sounds like it could be a Beach House song; the rest of the album sounds more like a Sharon Van Etten record, I promise you.

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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!

In case you missed it here's what he played with commentary by Scott.

The Julie Ruin, "Just My Kind" - Although this more subdued song might not fully demonstrate it, Riot Grrrl Kathleen Hanna is back with a force with this new band, which just released its debut album. She's her screamy, punky self again after spending the past decade fighting the effects of Lyme disease. On this song, better for morning radio, she hits more of a Motown kind of soul groove.

Eels, "Where I'm From" - There are few singers who pack as much feeling into a phrase as Mark Everett. He's in a folky, reflective mode on this song from the forthcoming album "The Cautionary Tales of Mark Oliver Everett." Let's hope he follows that with his first show here since opening for Tom Verlaine at the Three Rivers Arts Festival in 2006.

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