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:
Au Revoir Simone, "Crazy" - This Brooklyn all-lady trio is back with their first record since 2009, and boy is it catchy! They nail a late-night, dreamy vibe but make it danceable - like if Beach House were less boring and liked to party. This track is about as up beat as the new album, "Move In Spectrums" gets, but the whole thing is well worth your time.
Best Coast, "Fear of My Identity" - Best Coast is back with a mini-album - and it's a shame there aren't more songs here, because the 7 included are great. Seriously, it took me half my workday to pick which track to play here. The record is all fast hooks, great vocals, crunchy guitars and the band's usual lyrics about being kinda-heartbroken while sounding all sunshine-y.
R E S P E C T. Tell your kids what it means to you. There are so many kids running wild these days, it seems like none of them have received a lesson in respect from the Queen of Soul. If kids can't learn respect from a Queen, hopefully a parent will suffice. Today's Cool Kids is Respect by Aretha Franklin, and this song would be a good opportunity to teach kids to respect everyone. Men and women, people of all classes and genders, Pirates or Reds; Everyone deserves just a little bit of respect.
Wanna hear some crazy awesome latin music? How about some crazy awesome Irish music? Well, today's Cool Kids track is kind of both. Ireland-based Mexican band Rodrigo Y Gabriela released an eponymous album in Ireland in 2006, and man is it on fire! The track Joey picked for today is called "Tamacun", and like the rest of the album, it uniquely straddles world music and rock n' roll. It's exciting, like it should be part of a montage in some southwestern movie. We know you and your kids will love it, so have a listen, and move your feet!
In July of 2012, Alastair Moock learned that one of his five-year-old twin daughters, Clio, had leukemia. Alastair and Clio sang and wrote together while she was in the hospital, and over the next year Alastair continued to write and collect songs. With the help of an amazing fundraising campaign, those songs came together in an album called Singing Our Way Through: Songs for the World's Bravest Kids. Now Alastair is bringing that album — and live performances — to hospitals, clinics, and camps around the country.
For today's Cool Kids selection, Alastair shared one of the most powerful songs on his new record. "When I Get Bald" takes a look at one of the most visual parts of cancer - losing one's hair.
This installment of Cool Kids features a classic and historic song by Bo Diddley. "Hey Bo Diddley" is a rockin' track, and it will really get your feet moving. You can hear how excited the ladies are in the clip below from 1964. Check out the women on backup vocals too. One of them is even playing a guitar! How cool is that? The B-Side to this record featured a song called Mona (I Need You Baby) that was covered by the Rolling Stones for their first album!
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 of Pittsburgh's City Paper.
In case you missed it here's what he played with commentary by Andy:
Bear's Den, "Agape": This trio from London opened for Mumford & Sons
and also brought along a banjo. The difference was, Bear's Den (yes,
another animal band name) didn't try to play to the last row. Instead,
the group pulled us in with tender, beautiful harmonies like you hear
on this song from the new EP, also titled "Agape."
Bill Callahan, "Spring": This guy is no stranger to the indie scene.
He worked for 15 years under the name Smog before becoming a solo
artist in 2007. His new album, "Dream River," is some of his best
work, and should be all over Top 10 lists at the end of the year. This
song, which has touches of Marvin Gaye soul, is indicative of his
honest and assured delivery.
Today on Cool Kids, we bring you I'm My Own Grandpa as recorded by Willie Nelson. Originally written by Dwight Latham and Moe Jaffe, who were inspired by a book of Mark Twain anecdotes. Twain had discovered a way that, through a series of marriages, a man could become his own grandfather. It's a very complicated process, but wikipedia has the whole thing figured out. Maybe you could turn this into an exercise where you teach your kid about everyone in the family and how they're related. If your family is as complicated as Willie's, though, maybe you should keep some headache meds around.
This video is cleverly done in The Sims 2, and having a visual for the family is actually very helpful. Enjoy!
September is kind of a huge month for Nirvana. It's the month that two of their biggest albums were put out. Today, in fact, is the 22nd anniversary of Nevermind, Nirvana's breakout album. Nevermind features awesome tunes like "Smells Like Teen Spirit", "Lithium", "Come As You Are", and "In Bloom".
Also today is the release of the 20th anniversary edition of In Utero, Nirvana's last studio album, which was released on September 13th of 1993. The reissue of In Utero actually has some more content than just a remastering of the original album. The deluxe version features all kinds of treats, like unreleased demos, B sides, and live tracks. One of the tracks included is a complete live performance from 1993 featuring the final touring lineup of the band from Seattle’s Pier 48. Steve Albini produced the album, and he is the one responsible for crafting In Utero's raw and unpolished sound, relative to Nevermind. Scott Litt, who produced for R.E.M. was brought in by Nirvana to alter Albini's mixing though, and changed "Heart Shaped Box" and "All Apologies" to something the band was more approving of.
If these two events aren't enough to convince you to listen to Nirvana all month long, then you're just being silly. Here is a clip, you silly person.
Today's Cool Kids song is actually a cover! Pavement originally did "Spit on a Stranger" on their 1999 release Terror Twilight, but Nickel Creek covered it only three years later on This Side. The Nickel Creek version is a bit less atmosphere-y, but it's also more lighthearted and fun for your kid! Don't encourage them to actually spit on strangers though. That's just rude!
Some of the last lyrics of the song are "I see the sunshine in your eyes, I'll try the things you never try". Just imagine all the things that our children will be able to do that we've never dreamed of!
Today, we have another cool guest for Cool Kids! WYEP listener Rachel Kizielewicz chose K'naan today's Cool Kids jam. The song she chose was "Wavin' Flag", a super cool anthem that was featured prominently during the 2010 FIFA World Cup. The song comes from K'naan's album Troubadour, which falls into many genres including rap, world music, and reggae fusion. If you and your kids like competition of any kind, this song is sure to kindle some team spirit.
If you'd like to be featured on Cool Kids with Joey, send him an email (firstname.lastname@example.org) or send him a tweet!