This week's feature CD is the latest from Lake Street Dive, "Bad Self Portraits." The four-piece group describes their music as a blend of jazz and soul, but it's rock & roll vibe comes out front and center on this album, which is getting rave reviews. Since it's fund drive week, listen for your chance to pledge, help us complete our funding puzzle and pick up a copy. We'll play the CD in its entirety at noon on Friday, March 7.
"Are you digging our laid-back vibe?" Band of Horses band leader Ben Bridwell asked the audience during the group's recent concert at Seattle's Moore Theatre. Following their recently released live recording, Acoustic at the Ryman, Bridwell and company chose to perform very loose, rootsy interpretations of their most well-known songs, often gathering the core string players — Bridwell, Ryan Monroe and Tyler Ramsey — around a single microphone, old-timey style.
Originally published on Wed March 19, 2014 8:53 am
The instrumental music San Francisco's Scott Hansen makes as Tycho splits the difference between post-rock's melodic architecture and pop ambient's immersive, uplifting environments. Hansen's aims felt a little harder to grasp on the sprawling Dive, the 2011 predecessor of his fourth album as Tycho, Awake. The latter is a slickly constructed album that finds him streamlining both his setup and his aims — the sounds he uses and how he deploys them are more considered and purposeful.
So I'm driving down the road when I hear this incredible voice coming out of my car speakers — part Janis Joplin, part Nina Simone — and I wonder, "Who is she?"
That day, I'd ripped a number of CDs onto my phone and didn't remember which record this was. Upon a quick glance at my phone during a traffic light, I discover the name Asaf Avidan. Next traffic light, I look it up and I see a picture of a skinny, handsome white male. I figure that's a mistake — that I must have typed the wrong name — so I wait to get home.
Our guest today is songwriter and producer Butch Walker. After successful releases with the band The Marvelous 3 in the '90s, the Georgia native started getting recognized for his production skills. Since 2000, he has balanced producing people like Pink and Katy Perry with his own work.
Lo-Fang's Matthew Hemerlein writes poignant lyrics embedded in layers of acoustic and electronic elements. He's also surrounded himself with a trio of talented musicians including Paul Taylor, who crafts percussive sounds using everything from skateboard wheels to plastic frogs. It's a unique sound and an equally impressive sight. Check it out here with the song "Permutations" from his album Blue Film.
"A Rational Conversation" is a column by writer Eric Ducker in which he gets on iChat or Gchat or the phone or whatever with a special guest to examine a music-related subject that's entered the pop culture consciousness.