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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. Click the title to hear the song!

Phantogram - Black Out Days. Phantogram's back! If you're not excited, you should be! What makes this dark, electropop duo better than other dark electropop duos? While your average electropop act nowadays is obsessed with how it all sounds, Phantogram make sure their starting point is catchy, creative and well-written songs. Only then do they make sure it sounds great. And this song speaks to that.

FUZZ - What's in My Head. This is the most radio friendly song on the first album from FUZZ, the latest in a long string of Ty Segall projects. The garage rock mastermind plays drums in this trio, and it's a slinky, boozy rock jam that suddenly blows up in a truly earthshaking chorus. Turn this one up.

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Today's Cool Kids tune is out of this world! I know, that joke was terrible. But the song isn't! Galactic is the name of the band, and "Heart of Steel" is the name of the song. It features Irma Thomas, and it's got soul, baby. Check out this awesome song and feel the rhythm.

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Happy birthday to Art Garfunkel! To celebrate the happy day, today's Cool Kids feature will be Simon and Garfunkel's hit, Cecilia. It's essentially impossible to dislike this song. Check out this version of the song done with Stomp and Jimmy Fallown if you have time. If you don't, you should make time since it's so awesome. At least make time for the original, which is posted below.

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Pittsburgh was taken over by Philadelphia last Friday.  No the Phillies or the Flyers fans aren’t in town again, Dr. Dog was hear to rock Pittsburgh with their catchy melodies and groovy rhythms.

Dr. Dog is a six piece neo-psychedelic/indie band out of West Grove, Pennsylvania (outside of Philly).  Dr. Dog has been very active since their inception.  They got their first record (Toothbrush) in the hands of My Morning Jacket front man, Jim James, after a concert and were eventually invited along for two tours.  They haven’t looked back since.  Dr. Dog has since released six records and been all over the concert circuit playing headlining tours and music festivals across the globe.

Dr. Dog is currently supporting their seventh album, B-Room and was in town to play a show for their (hopefully!) second favorite city, Pittsburgh, at Stage AE.

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The lights went out and an LED sign appeared lit up on stage reading “Dr. Dog MMM.Pittsburgh!”  The crowd roared with applause as Dr. Dog took the stage and immediately broke into the first song off of B-Room, “The Truth.”  Dr. Dog continued to roll out the hits after that, each song seemed to amp the crowd up more and more.  Every song was sung word for word by the crowd; it was one of the most receptive audiences I’ve seen in awhile.    The Singer and bassist Toby Leaman even pointed out that this was Dr. Dog’s largest crowd in Pittsburgh to date.

The PA natives continued to roll out the hits, including two of my personal favorites “The Beach” and  “Too Weak to Ramble.”  Before leaving the stage for the first time Dr. Dog, broke played one of their classics, “Jackie Wants a Black Eye.”

The lights went back out, the crowd was louder than any other point of the concert. ENCORE! ENCORE! ENCORE!

After a few moments the West Grove natives graced the stage again send Pittsburgh off with a bang.  They opened their encore with “The Girl” and another tour debut, “ Rock & Roll” before closing with “The Rabbit, The Bat, and The Reindeer.”

Dr. Dog didn’t just play a song or two for an encore they played five!  Dr. Dog’s set was certainly one to remember.  It was obvious they were feeding off of the energy put out by the crowd.

If you haven’t checked out Dr. Dog before you definitely should!  And if you have a chance to check out Dr. Dog live GO DO IT!  I know I will be there next time they’re back in the ‘Burgh.

 

 

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Vanguard and Sugar Hill have come together to comprise a Halloween themed Spotify playlist.  The two labels pulled from their respective catalogues and has music dating back over sixty years.  If you want to hear some fun and spooky tunes this is the playlist for you!  Happy Halloween from WYEP!

Check out the playlist on here.

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If you were somehow unaware, today is the scariest holiday of the year, Halloween! "This Is Halloween", by the citizens of Halloween is the "Jingle Bells" of the holiday, except that it's not quite as antiquated and it's way more fun. The Nightmare Before Christmas is a favorite film for many people, but few can actually decide whether it's a Halloween movie or a Christmas movie. For today, at least, let's call it a Halloween movie and dress up in our best Jack Skellington, Sally, and Oogie Boogie costumes.

Happy Halloween from WYEP!

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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. Click the title to hear the song!

Diego Garcia, "Start with the End": He only sounds like a Nickelodeon character. Rather, he's an Argentinian singer from Detroit who's made this nice, chill folk-rock record called "Paradise." This song, the opening track, starts like Rusted Root's "Martyr," and moves into a different direction from there.

Butch Walker, "I've Been Waiting for This": When he wasn't producing major hits for Taylor Swift and Fall Out Boy, this former frontman for Marvelous 3 was working on his latest EP, which allows him to indulge his own power-pop and pop-rock talents. This song begins with a reminiscence of his father, who died two months ago.

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Dear parents everywhere, today's Cool Kids song is awesome for your kid if they're dressing up as a vampire for Halloween. The beauty of it is that it's awesome even if they're not being a blood sucking fiend tomorrow night. Pretty much anyone can join in the love for this song, which was featured on the Juno movie soundtrack. The song is called "Vampire" by a band called Antsy Pants, and it even sounds like it was sung by kids.

Tackling the important issue of fanglessness in the vampire world, Antsy Pants sings, "I am a vampire and I am looking in the city, Pretty girls don't look at me Don't look at me Cause I don't have my fangs." If anyone could understand what vampires without fangs go through, it could probably be imaginative kids without fangs. And post-Halloween, most kids will be in that exact situation. Hopefully their regular teeth hold up to all the sugar they've consumed for the holiday! Make sure they brush those chompers or they'll wind up just like our friends Antsy Pants.

 

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Sometimes on Cool Kids we will pick songs that our adult listeners might identify with more than kids. Well, today's Cool Kids pick is for the inner kid in all the adults out there. "I Like Gumby" is the name of a cool song obviously about the classic claymation icon. Gumby, a superstar in his own right, used to be the spokes-figure for the Library of Congress too, so use that to your advantage when trying to get your kids to read!

The song is also a little spooky, since it is almost Halloween after all. Follow this link to hear the song!

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I’ve always had a very complicated fandom with Lou Reed. But I can truly say that he had a profound impact on my life. Early in High School, when I had no taste in music at all, I worked in a library. Filing the library’s CD’s was one of my jobs, and one day I discovered this album with an Andy Warhol banana on its cover. I was curious, so instead of filing it, I took it home. The Velvet Underground & Nico is that album that changed my life. I never listened to music the same way, and it spawned my curiosity to discover more.

In college I saw Lou Reed in concert. After the show, my friend and I followed some other people to meet him. There he stood, behind a box office window. I was excited, yet terrified. It was awkward. He didn’t smile, no hand shake. He didn’t say a word. I didn’t have anything for him to sign, so I slid my concert ticket over to him and he scribbled on it and slid it back. Walking away, I thought, “what a jerk.” But, I framed that concert ticket, it sits on my desk as a reminder that heroes are not perfect.

This was Lou’s way. He wrote the songs he wanted to write and made the albums he wanted to make and all along the way people gave him a hard time for it. But, he always had the last laugh. “Walk on the Wild Side”, a song with subject matter that would make a modern-day censors’ head spin, became a radio hit. In 1975, he got his label to release, “Metal Machine Music”, an album featuring an hour of guitar drones. More recently he released another drone album intended for his Tai Chi meditation. Reed blazed a trail and made it easier for other artists to take risks.

It chills me to read in his New York Times obituary that in his last hours he continued to practice Tai Chi in order to remain strong. Death was the one thing he couldn’t control, but he left this life the way he went about every day, not compromising and fighting against the way things have to be.

Long live Lou.

- Brian Siewiorek, Production Director at 91.3fm WYEP
October 2013

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