The 9:13 Buzz

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.

In case you missed it here's what he played (with commentary by Scott):

Jeff Bridges, "Maybe I Missed the Point" - Yesterday was a big day for The Dude! Along with the re-mastered Blu-ray debut of "The Big Lebowski," Jeff Bridges released his self-titled country-western album. Picking up where he left off with his Oscar-winning portrayal as a seasoned, cut-to-the-bone philosophy-slinging singer, "Bad" Blake, Bridges delivers 10 sincere, homespun tracks helmed by longtime friend/Oscar-Grammy winner T-Bone Burnett. Like a true country star, Bridges writes just 3 of the album's songs, and not this standout track penned by John Goodwin, where a guy admits life's been good, but he could of and should of done more. Bridges' weathered and wisdom-filled voice makes the song sound autobiographical on lines like, "I laid low when I could've stood high/I said nothing when I should've asked why" and "Inside I'd like to believe I'm cool/Easy to love and hard to fool/But I know there's more I could have enjoyed." In terms of Hollywood stars-turned-music-artists, I'd rank Bridges well above Russell Crowe and Kevin Costner ... though a step below Kevin Bacon.

Holy Ghost!, "Wait and See" - I saw this New York band make its Pittsburgh debut Saturday in a matinee slot on the Identity festival at First Niagara Pavilion. I liked their enthusiasm, tunefulness and the pop-rock spin they gave to techno-trance-house-EDM-dubstep (or whatever term you prefer for what many of us consider "rave" music.) A few of their songs, this one included, remind me a bit of Pet Shop Boys. The album's lead-off track has a Love & Rockets feel (remember them?)

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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 of Pittsburgh's City Paper

In case you missed it here's what he played with commentary by Andy (plus a  bonus song):

Future Islands, "Before the Bridge" - Future Islands is a formerly Baltimore-based, currently Brooklyn-based synthpop band led by the enigmatic and growly Samuel T. Herring. Their last full-length grew to be a favorite of mine; this single was released earlier in the summer in advance of their next full-length, On the Water, which is due in October.

Nikki Lane, "Gone, Gone Gone" - This is the title track from Nikki Lane's EP from earlier this year. She's a young singer-songwriter with a very classic take on country music; it's a little bit affected, but then, so is Dolly Parton, eh? She's got a full-length in the works; I'm interested in seeing how it comes together.

The War on Drugs, "I Was There" -This Philly-based band (which originally included Kurt Vile) is getting a lot of buzz for their ethereal new album, Slave Ambient. Is it wrong that I think Adam Granduciel sounds a little like Bryan Adams? Like, if Bryan Adams were the least bit cool?

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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 of The Beaver County Times.

In case you missed it here's what he played (with commentary by Scott):

Glen Campbell, "In My Arms" - One of the most remarkable albums of 2011 is "Ghost on the Canvas," the farewell effort by 75-year-old Glen Campbell. Campbell has been diagnosed with early stage Alzheimer's disease, which sets a dramatic backdrop to an album, due out Aug. 30, where the country-pop singer poignantly comes to terms with his situation. Far from wallowing in sorrow or regret, Campbell celebrates the gift of life and the love of family on the album, providing inspiration to us all. The all-star lineup of guest musicians includes Billy Corgan, Jakob Dylan, the Dandy Warhols, Teddy Thompson and Paul Westerberg, who wrote the title track, reminiscent of Campbell classics "Wichita Lineman," "By the Time I Get to Phoenix," "Galveston" and "Gentle on My Mind." I've chosen here one of the liveliest songs, "In My Arms," which gets twanged and surfed up by the guitar triumverate of Chris Issak, Brian Setzer and Dick Dale.

Yawn, "Acid" - These suburban Chicago psychedelic rockers are drawing lots of Animal Collective comparisons. They're trippy, in case the title of this debut single left you wondering. The full-length album arrives Aug. 30. Having opened shows for the likewise memorably named Yuck, not to mention Pittsburgh's Girl Talk, Yawn hits the road next month with Mates of State. The second night of their tour visits Mr. Small's Theatre.

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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, contributing writer to Billboard Magazine

In case you missed it here's what he played:

Cloud Nothings, "Should Have" - I already listed this last month as one of my extra picks, but hell, I just couldn't get away from it. Few things are better than a three minute sugar rush of some catchy, electric power pop, and this song takes the cake this summer.

White Denim, "Street Joy" - An ethereal cloud of dreamy acoustic folk, this song is alone stylistically on White Denim's album "D." That's a shame, too — the rest of the album is full of assorted rock genres, but none touch on the gorgeous ache of this brooder.

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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 of The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

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

Tedeschi Trucks Band, "Ball and Chain" - It was only a matter of time until Susan Tedeschi and Derek Trucks just chucked everything else and started a real band together. After all, they've been married for 10 years. Not surprisingly, with her soulful singing and his dazzling slide work, it's a potent combination, especially with a full 11-piece band of seasoned players. They headline the Pittsburgh Blues Festival on Saturday.

Joss Stone, "Newborn" - Like Derek Trucks, British soul-rocker Joss Stone started as a teen and had to be channeling some sort of spirit to sing the way she did. Eight years and five albums into her recording career, she's still blossoming. This is from her new album, "LP1," but you can also look forward to her work with Super Heavy, the supergroup featuring Mick Jagger, Damian Marley, Dave Steward and AR Rahman.

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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 of Pittsburgh's City Paper

In case you missed it here's what he played with commentary by Andy (plus  bonus songs):

1, 2, 3, "Work" - This is the first track on the local band's debut release on Frenchkiss Records. Two of the guys who used to be in Takeover UK spent some time revamping their stuff and have re-emerged with a more eclectic, weirdo-pop vibe.

Rubblebucket, "Raining" - I saw this band at the Rex a few weeks back; it's an eight-piece with a lot of energy and some great tunes. Maybe slightly too jam-bandy for the hipsters and too avant-garde for the traditional jam-band types, which makes them all the more appealing to me.

Jolie Holland, "All Those Girls" - One of my favorite artists, Jolie Holland released her latest, Pint of Blood, last month. This is the lead track. She's continued her trajectory toward bigger orchestration and more straightforward beats -- almost playing rock music -- and on the record she revamps "Littlest Birds," which was on her debut demo and that Be Good Tanyas record. Perhaps the third time's the charm?

White Wives, "Indian Summer, Indian Summer" - Anthemic art-punk from members of Anti-Flag and Dandelion Snow. This local band released its debut, Happeners, last month; it's an original mix of old-style emo and singer-songwriter stuff that could be one of the definitive records of the year in relation to what the "kids" are listening to.

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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 of The Beaver County Times.

In case you missed it here's what he played (with commentary by Scott):

Digitalism, "2 Hearts" - This German dance-punk duo bolsters its club-thumping beats with indie-rock structure. This single from their sophomore album slips a straight-forward, poppy chorus into a whirlwind of icy keyboards, drum machines and pulsating bass beats. With well-received appearances at Lollapalooza, Coachella and South by Southwest, Digitalism has a buzz brewing. Another standout track on the day-old album, "Forrest Gump," was co-written by Julian Casablancas.

Julian Casablancas, "Rave On" - Did somebody mention the Strokes' frontman? Casablancas supplies the bold title track to the new Buddy Holly tribute album that features an all-star cast including Paul McCartney, Justin Townes Earle, Lou Reed, Graham Nash, My Morning Jacket, Florence + the Machine, Nick Lowe and the Black Keys. Casablancas resorts to a heaping dose of reverb mixed with layered vocals and spry, retro organ riffs to inject an edginess and quirky sophistication to Holly's genius-in-simplicity songwriting. For Casablancas, the risk works; something that can't be said for every track on this album. The best cut on "Rave On Buddy Holly" is ("You're So Square) Baby, I Don't Care" by Cee Lo Green, currently in rotation on 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 Justin Jacobs, contributing writer to Billboard Magazine

In case you missed it here's what he played (plus bonus songs):

Tune-Yards, "You Yes You" - The lady behind this noise is Merril Garbus, and she is awesome. Her voice? A scratchy, passionate yelp that's more rhythmic than melodic. Her music? Heavy grooving, stripped down and incredibly catchy. Wait till you start yelping along at work.

Rubik, "Laws of Gravity" - These dudes are Finnish, and that's pretty much all I know about them. Well, aside from the fact that they make songs like a shiny, outerspace Peter Bjorn and John.

Cloud Nothings, "Should Have" - This is the most infectious slice of scrappy guitar pop I've heard all year. Like Wavves but with oh so much less hype. The band is really young, so there's tons of promise here.

Death Cab for Cutie, "Codes and Keys" - When I started listening to this new record, I thought it sucked. But in just two days, I've grown from thinking it sounded like a bad Death Cab for Cutie cover band to sounding like a good Death Cab for Cutie record! Who knows, at this rate, in days this may grow to be my favorite. I don't think so, but it's possible.

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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 of The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

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

Cults, "Abducted" - Continuing with the ‘60s girl-group theme — last month I played the Love Me Nots — this is a New York duo that takes a cooler, more ethereal approach with plenty of reverb. Madeline Follin provides the white-hot vocal, backed by her boyfriend Brian Oblivion (who took his name from the David Cronenberg movie "Videodrome"). It’s only appropriate that the song begins like it’s on a faraway AM station before launching its sonic explosion. Thematically, it leads nicely into ...

Pump Fakes, "Heal" - A band is only as good as its influences, which makes the Pump Fakes pretty good. The Pittsburgh band, which has been bouncing around since the mid-’00s, isn’t going to win a lot of points with the Pitchfork crowd, but if you love Stonesy rock ’n’ roll, they deliver. In fact, this soaring midtempo heartbreaker practically sounds like a long-lost Stones track, with a soulful vocal by Patrick Maloney.

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Cults Pump Fakes Scott Mervis The 9:13 Buzz

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 (plus  bonus songs):

The Cynics, "Circles Arcs and Swirls" - This track comes from the venerable Pittsburgh garage-rock band's new album, Spinning Wheel Motel. The record shows the band's range -- from all-out distorted rock to jangly Byrds-style power-pop. This song belongs in the latter category.

Haley Bonar, "Raggedy Man" - Haley Bonar is a talented and congenial young lady from Minneapolis; this is from her new record, Golder. She's also got a pretty neat Pittsburgh connection, which you can learn about when you read my interview with her in this week's City Paper!

Pujol, "Black Rabbit" - Pujol is the project of Nashville's Daniel Pujol. They've got the aesthetic of the new wave of garage (Jay Reatard, Thomas Function) but Pujol's writing is the best I've heard from that crop. This song has a video here, featuring a girl with a flaming hula hoop. My summer jam so far.

Des Ark, "Bonne Chance, Asshole" - Des Ark is the name of any number of permutations of musicians centered around North Carolinian songstress Aimee Argote. Her first record was an all-out rocker in 2005; since then, she's put together a few demos and splits, but this is technically her official follow-up -- a much softer, more epic record, but equally emotional.

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