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In case you haven't noticed, we are big fans of Edward Sharpe and The Magnetic Zeros here at O&B.

Their breezy debut, Up From Below, topped our Best of 2009 list, and it's still in heavy rotation here at O&B headquarters. The album has just been given the iTunes Deluxe Edition treatment, with three bonus tracks and two music videos added to sweeten the deal. You can purchase it here.

We had the pleasure of sitting down with messianic frontman Edward Sharpe, né Alex Ebert, to discuss his personal transformation, hadron colliders, and the new solo album he just finished recording. Read More...

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http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=my14xP07Lcc

Friday kicked off with an acoustic set by Dr. Dog -- a good start to any day. O&B favorites Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros put on a standout performance that had the entire crowd singing and foot-stomping along to "Home." Unfortunately, their set was unusually short -- clocking in at just over half an hour. Read More..

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Let me paint a picture for you: it's at Friday 7:10 a.m., you're sleeping in your tent, face buried in an air mattress. The sun is screaming at you to wake up or suffocate. You went to bed three hours ago while hardcore techno music throbbed in the distance. You consumed about ten beers the day before -- that's a low ballpark estimate -- and you're already sweating profusely. You smell the way you feel. Read More...

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Well, the acts featured in The Local News for July all coincidentally have long complicated titles. All quality artists and all available on The Local News Podcast. You can also check them out on-air Monday-Thursday at 9 pm (starting tonight). Let me know what you think: cindy@wyep.org
Thanks!
Cindy

Joy Toujours and the Toys Du Jour - "Touchez Moi"
I have to say the name of this band very slowly: Joy Toujours and the Toys Du Jour. They've been playing for a few years and have a new record entitled Onward. Definitely of the experimental indie persuasion, Joy Toujours' new record would please fans of bands like Morphine, Jonathan Richman & The Modern Lovers and Talking Heads.

Meeting of Important People - "Leap-The-Dips"
Last year, WYEP named Meeting of Important People our local act of the year for their excellent self-titled debut. They boys are back this month with a new EP titled Quit Music, which hopefully they don't plan on doing. The seven song release further demonstrates the pure talent of lead singer Josh Verbanets in songwriting and performing.

B-Rad and The Best of The West Players - "Oh, My Baby"
B-Rad and The Best of The West Players is lead by Brad Ladik. The new B-Rad CD features players from local favorites like Donora, Meeting of Important People and Mariage Blanc. It also covers a broad sonic spectrum with clear influences of country, garage rock, punk, soul and funk.

Thomas Jefferson's Aeroplane - "This Changes Everything"
Thomas Jefferson's Aeroplane consists Bill Deasy and and Rich Jaques- who led two of the finest bands to come out of Pittsburgh in the late 90's- The Gathering Field and Brownie Mary. Together, they've created very catch music with skillful songwriting and creative interesting electronic instrumentation. This is their second release.

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The UK group Mumford & Sons album Sigh No More is an excellent release full of songs that will please fans of Fleet Foxes, CSNY and Arcade Fire. They were recently featured on WYEP as our CD of The Week and also they recorded a live session for the French music blog, La Blogtheque. Give it a watch here, the music starts around 2:40:

Mumford & Sons - The Banjolin Song / Awake my soul - A Take Away Show #105 from La Blogotheque on Vimeo.

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With more than 100 musical acts and six stages to choose from, it's easy to fill your day at Bonnaroo. And then there are movies, comedy (Conan O'Brien, Aziz Ansari, Margaret Cho and more), even World Cup soccer or NBA finals to watch if you need to get a sport fix beyond seeing people deal with the inevitable muddy conditions. (The weather people are calling for mid to high 80s and thunderstorms. Every day of the festival.)

This will be my first trip to Bonnaroo, so naturally I will be cramming as much music into my days there as possible. I have to see Stevie Wonder, b/c he's Stevie Wonder! I'll be going to see Brandi Carlile, either her full set at That Tent, or her 30 min appearance at the Sonic Stage. Oh, who am I kidding, I'll probably go to both, despite the fact that I'll will be seeing her again two more times summer.

I trekked to Chicago to see Calexico a few years back, and I'm excited to see them again, as well as my 2nd show by The Gossip. I'll kick myself, or my fellow 'Roo-er Amy, if I miss the Dave Rawlings Machine, Carolina Chocolate Drops, or Edward Sharpe & the Magnetic Zeros.

Two TRAF acts, Ingrid Michaelson & Kris Kristofferson, are at Bonnaroo, so I'm going to try to make it to see them. And I have a chance to get a preview of what Joshua James will play at the WYEP Summer Music Festival.

My big decision happens on Friday, when The National, Tori Amos, Steve Martin & the Steep Canyon Raiders, and Michael Franti & Spearheadhave sets that overlap at some point. What is a girl to do? Ultimately, I'll probably try to see as much of Michael Franti's set as possible, and the others are going to have to fight for a piece of me.

And, surprise, surprise (if you know me) I am probably going to see my first DMB concert, as they're closing things out on Sunday night. Never say never, I guess.

Keep reading as Josh from Owl & Bear weighs in with some of his show picks later today. As for me, I have to go re-watch The Lost Boys so that I can skip the temptation to watch it Thursday afternoon...

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Since its inception in June 2002, Bonnaroo has become the premiere North American music festival. This year's outing will be my third excursion to the farmlands of Manchester, Tennessee -- I was there for Wilco and Bob Dylan in 2004, and I returned for Beck and Radiohead in 2006.

Each year challenges attendees to survive three days of camping, sweating, and drinking with 80,000 of your strangest friends. So, in part one of Owl and Bear's Bonnaroo preview, we'll let you in on a few secrets to surviving a sweltering -- but inevitably fun-filled -- weekend at Bonnaroo. Continue Reading.....

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The Singer-Songwriter

A musical genre that can be acoustic and introspective.  Driven by the simple craft of songwriting.  It’s all about the song.  From the troubadours in the 1970’s through today, singer-songwriters are still keeping it real.  Bob Dylan, Joni Mitchell, Jackson Browne, Van Morrison, Leonard Cohen, Cat Stevens, Tom Waits, John Hiatt, Morrissey, Randy Newman, Shawn Colvin, Bonnie Raitt, Bruce Springsteen, Neil Young, Warren Zevon, Norah Jones, Brandi Carlile, Paul Simon, just to name a few [Feel free to insert your favorite singer-songwriters name here]. 

Join me Memorial Day weekend on May 30th during the Sunday Mix from 2p-5p for a salute to the Singer-Songwriter.  Where the Music Matters, 91.3 WYEP.

Barb S. - Sunday Mix Host

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You Gotta Hear This features an inside look into a new release you may have missed, hosted by Cindy Howes. Nik & The Central Plains are a great Pittsburgh band. Their self-titled debut features the masterful songwriting of Nik Westman. His meandering lyrics and dynamic folky vocals give you that back porch summer-time feel. Fans of The Shins, The Kinks and Pavement would enjoy.... You can hear a review and clips from the self-title debut on the latest YGHT.


Check your podcasts for an update or listen right here:
YGHT :: Nik & The Central Plains

YGHT is also heard on The Music Lab.

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The 3rd installment of the Songwriters Spotlight, hosted by Joe Grushecky and Rick Witkowski, featuring Karl Mullen , Margot B., and Jon Belan was held Saturday night at the New Hazlett Theater.

The format: Each of the five songwriters shared stories about their original songs and then performed them. Then, each songwriter chose a song they wish they had written, talked about why they selected it and then performed it.

As one of the hosts, Joe Grushecky began the evening with "I Remember It" from 2002's “Fingerprints”, following up with "Don't Give up the Ghost" and "Talking to the King” from "End of the Century" (which was ironically released in 1992). "Talking to the King" came to him in a dream - he found Elvis Presley looking into his fridge.

The other host, Joe Witkowski said that he was now big with the 3 to 6 year old age group thanks to Nick, Jr. and we sang along on "Happy". Witkowski also did a song that he and his wife wrote with Ann Wilson of Heart in mind. She did not end up recording "The Last Heartbreak", but B.E. Taylor did.

For Karl Mullen (Carsickness, The Ploughman's Lunch) "Love Don't Walk Away" was his first choice. On the second go round, Mullen told a long story about a 13-hour train ride to record a folk album and then couldn't remember the lyrics, so he sang "Family Life" before going back to "True Romance". Mullen lives in Philadelphia now (via Dublin, Ireland) and in 1976 was a fixture at The Electric Banana.

Margot B.'s soulful songs all had one-word titles "Cool", "Timeless" and "Complete". She resides in New York City and had much praise for The Boogie Hustlers.

Jon Belan (of Gene the Werewolf) was introspective, selecting songs from Gene the Werewolf's debut EP. He sang "Superhero", "Light Me Up" (title track) and "I've Got the Love" (which became the 6th song on the EP; even though they recorded 12 songs, this was a new song written just for the EP).

Then the spotlight was put on a song that each songwriter had wished they had penned.

Joe Grushecky choose a Muddy Waters song "Champagne & Reefer". Karl Mullen selected an Ewan MacColl (father of the Kirsty MacColl) song from 1949 that was recorded by among others, The Pogues and Johnny Cash that reminded him of Pittsburgh, "Dirty Old Town". Margot B. went to the Top 40 for "Breakeven" by The Script which she said gives her the chills no matter how many times she hears it. Jon Belan performed a Pink Floyd Song "Wish You Were Here". The Beatles were again the choice for Joe Witkowski.

The final group number was another Beatles song. "Hey Jude", in which the spotlight shown brightly on Joe Belan as he sang and played the piano.

There was then a standing ovation for the songwriters. It was another wonderful two hours of great live music.

Also check out the post Singer-Songwriters Shine... for my review of the January 2010 Songwriters Spotlight.

The next Songwriters Spotlight will be held September 25th.

Barb S. – Sunday Mix Host

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