Jenny Lewis's new album, The Voyager, comes out today and we are lucky to have her as our guest playing live with her band.
From child actor to co-head of Rilo Kiley and thru some spectacular solo albums (Rabbit Fur Coat and Acid Tongue) plus working with Ben Gibbard in The Postal Service, we already know Jenny is a trooper. This weekend her story was chronicled in a profile in The New York Times Magazine.
One of the many instruments you may hear Saintseneca play — beyond the banjo, baglama, bulbul, balalaika, bowed banjo, baritone ukulele, bass and bouzouki — is a stomp box. Basically, it's a roughly 2'x2' plywood floorboard meant for pounding the beat. At a show just before this Tiny Desk Concert, craftily bearded singer Zac Little put his boot right through that floorboard.
This week's Feature CD is "The Nocturne Diaries," which is the latest from folkie Eliza Gilkyson. Not only can you hear this CD in its entirety at noon on Friday — and win lunch at Zia Taqueria if you answer our trivia question — but you can also see Eliza's trio perform live at the Mancos Opera House on Thursday, Aug. 7 and hear her trio live in the KSUT Studios at 2:30 p.m. on Thursday, Aug. 7.
How do you know you are in East Nashville? Follow the beards, a current joker might say. If you do, you'll find yourself in an area tucked in between Nashville's neat downtown and the city's eastern edge, separated from each by the twisting Cumberland River. To the west, tourists flock to the Country Music Hall of Fame and Ryman Auditorium — the "Mother Church of Country Music." The Opryland complex — the venerable stage and radio show's comfortably suburban home since 1974 — is to the east, where the city sprawls into malls, hotels and tourists attractions.
For our World Cafe: Next this week we are featuring the music of Sam Morrow's debut album, Ephemeral. Morrow is from the South. He's in his early 20s. His songs are almost all influenced by his recent struggle with addiction and the insights of its aftermath. But by no means is the album depressing — particularly the tracks we'll play today. Meet Sam Morrow.
Courtney Barnett may prefer the mundane, but that doesn't mean we have to. In the songs on her debut album, The Double EP: A Sea of Split Peas, really two early EPs mashed together, the young Australian singer-songwriter relates with hyperfocus the details of a day and moments of simply average significance. A failed attempt at gardening, an invitation to a friendly gathering, a post-breakup rant, an after-party adventure, a concerned call from mom — this can all happen to you!
There are a couple moments in "Where Mountains Pierce the Sky" — after nine minutes of acoustic guitar, fiddle and Native American flute, what could conceivably be called a black metal riff with a pop-punk bounce and flurry of twin lead guitars — that clue you into Roads to the North's M.O. (As if the first nine minutes weren't enough.) First, the key-change climax, which may not seem like much, but this tectonic shift is the sound of a mountain piercing the damn sky. Then there's the chugga-chugga breakdown, the enemy of all that is grim.
To music obsessives of a certain age, the current generation of listeners sometimes appears as lightweight grazers at the Internet smorgasbord who seem unwilling (possibly unable) to focus attention at depth on a single piece of music. The summary dismissal: The kids today, they can't handle all of what somebody like a Frank Zappa (or a band like King Crimson) throws at them.
Upon the dissolution of his old, great New Jersey punk band, the DC Snipers, Dan McGee's two former band members went the way of Horatio Alger, with Eric Holmgren running the Daggerman label in the boom-bust heyday of late '00s garage punk, and Mike Sniper helming the wildly popular Captured Tracks imprint. McGee stayed the course with music, moving down to North Carolina and toughing it out with his follow-up group, Spider Bags. Following multiple lineup and label switcheroos, McGee has stripped the group down to a trio and made another fine rock 'n' roll record in Frozen Letter.