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.
This month, we're asking our music writers about their favorites from 2012. In case you missed it here's what he played (with commentary by Scott):
Grizzly Bear, “Shields” – Just the right amount of weirdness, aggressiveness and fragile beauty from a band we might as well proclaim as America’s answer to Radiohead. The sonic blend of trippy and challenging chamber-pop melodies and vulnerably voiced, tension-filled songs command attention. The drums are more pronounced and the sound is rawer than their 2009 album “Veckatimist” (which also had made my Top-10.) My ‘YEP pick: “Yet Again.”
Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band, “Wrecking Ball” – Like his last masterpiece, 2002’s “The Rising,” this is an album perfectly suited for our times. The Boss wants people back to work, cleverly and poignantly railing against 21st century Robber Barons, greedy bankers and their ilk. Not a “Nebraska”-ish downer, but more of a call-to-arms for working class heroes. My ‘YEP pick, “Death to My Hometown” embodies Springsteen and Co.’s recent dabbling in foot-stomping Celtic-rock. The new songs sounded great live, too, at Springsteen’s Consol Energy Center debut, one of my three favorite concerts of the year.
Sean Rowe, “The Salesman and the Shark” – Such a rich, powerful, emotional bass baritone voice… I’d pay to hear him sing a cell phone contract. The depth of Rowe’s songwriting makes this a Top-3 finalist, as he steps out from backwoods alt-folk scene for an album that’s got textural diversity, without sounding like he’s reaching too far. The slow-burning album opener “Bring Back the Night” and my ‘YEP pick, the surf-rock twangy, psychedelic-finishing “Downwind,” are good entrance points for the uninitiated. If you like Tom Waits and Leonard Cohen, you’ll dig Rowe.
The rest of my Top-10 is still jockeying for position. Count on Jack White, Fiona Apple, Riverboat Gamblers and Field Report being in there.
New Music Personal Picks
Bruce Springsteen Grizzly Bear Morning Mix Scott Tady sean rowe The 9:13 Buzz