Originally published on Fri August 31, 2012 6:35 am
"If you aren't angry, you aren't paying attention." The unattributable but ubiquitous phrase provides a rallying call for activists, especially those in the punk scene. If I've learned anything from years spent crushed into poorly lit basement shows and scouring xeroxed lyric sheets, anger doesn't amount to much without level-headed passion and a willingness to get dirty. If the Baltimore/Washington, D.C.-based hardcore band Sick Fix only has a couple tapes and seven-inch singles to its name until now, it's because vocalist Michelle Northam was out there, walking the talk.
The Brooklyn-based ambient-folk duo Family Band is a collaboration between visual artist turned frontwoman Kim Krans and her husband, former heavy-metal guitarist Jonny Ollsin. Together, they craft beautifully dark, folk-influenced songs, which they fittingly describe as "heavy mellow."
Originally published on Wed October 17, 2012 8:59 am
Bob Boilen and I were out in Portland and Seattle last week on our summer listening party tour, so we didn't post a new poll of albums everyone can love. Fear not: To make up for the week off, this week we've got 40 albums for you. In the coming weeks we'll let you know which records have been doing the best and have some sort of runoff between the highest vote-getters to come up with a top ten we all can agree on (well, most of us, anyway).
Here's this week's double-size poll. Just tell us whether you love, don't love or haven't really heard each album.
Originally published on Wed August 29, 2012 6:22 am
The L.A. band Beachwood Sparks took a decade-long hiatus before releasing a fantastic new album, Tarnished Gold, earlier this year. A standout on a set of easygoing alt-country, the title track is sure to appeal to fans of The Grateful Dead and especially cosmic-country hero Gram Parsons.
All Songs Considered hosts Bob Boilen and Robin Hilton are back from their 2012 World Tour, which is to say they visited Seattle and Portland, Ore. last week, and have returned with a batch of new songs and stories to share. On the west coast Bob and Robin hosted a couple of listening parties, where they played music for an audience, the audience got to rate the songs, then everyone talked about them, just like hardcore music fans.
Matthew E. White is an old soul conversant in music's past. On the cover of his debut album, Big Inner, his aesthetic is reminiscent of 1970 John Lennon on the cover of Abbey Road. The Manila-born, Virginia-raised musician was heavily influenced by the early works of Randy Newman — specifically Newman's 1972 album Sail Away.
KSUT will be featuring a second CD this Friday at 12:35 PM, in celebration of the 17th Annual Four Corners Folk Festival, this one from a little known, but wonderful duo called The Milk Carton Kids. Their debut CD "Prologue" was released last summer, and they perform at the festival Saturday afternoon at 1:45.
Singer-songwriter and producer Joe Henry wrote this foreward to Prologue: