"♫Makin' a soundtrack for another planet to hear♫" on Episode110 - Smokin' which features brand new sounds from Bob Mould, The Bamboos, La Santa Cecilia, Ray Lamontagne, The Hold Steady, Pink Mountaintops, Eels, Chet Faker, The Woodentops, Ben & Ellen Harper, Kan Wakan, Kelis, Chimurenga Renaissance, Thee Oh Sees, Little Man, Battleme, Fear Of Men, Fujiya and Miyagi, Anthony Valadez, Beaty Heart, Sohn, Metronomy, Haley Bonar and Cheap Star...
Previous: Episode109 - Taking Chances
♬Liner Notes♬: Since I went to Los Angeles last weekend to see Morrissey and Tom Jones (and great old friends), we're putting together a super-sized episode and it's gonna be a goodie. We've got a lot of return appearances from artists like Eels, Chet Faker, Kelis, Thee Oh Sees, Little Man, Battleme, Anthony Valadez and Haley Bonar + exciting new sounds from Bob freakin' Mould, the Bamboos, La Santa Cecilia and much, much more... So sit back, buckle up, put on your headphones AND your sunscreen cause we're "Smokin'"!
"Hey Mr. Grey"
'Beauty & Ruin'
Notes: "Well into his fourth decade of writing and performing, Bob Mould is both an elder statesman reflecting on his past and a still-thriving songwriter in a late-career renaissance... Mould announced that he and his current backing band of drummer Jon Wurster [Superchunk] and bassist Jason Narducy [Split Single] had recorded Beauty & Ruin, his eleventh solo album, in late 2013 for release this summer. The first single from that album, “Hey Mr. Grey”, plays to all of Mould’s strengths: it’s fast, hard, melodic, and incisive."
'Fever In the Road'
Notes: It kinda sounds like they've been listening to Little Dragon... "Not the usual hard funk that Melbourne’s The Bamboos supply, “Avenger” feels as if it waltzed out of an early James Bond film, martini and all. Armed with a thick bass line and a steady drum-beat, the track has a total sixties feel a bit like early B-52s... In fact, Fever In the Road seems to be a total artistic re-visioning for the band, leaving listeners entangled in their smooth wake." And with their sixth record, they make the leap to mighty indie, Nettwerk.
La Santa Cecilia
"Someday, Someday New"
Universal Music Latino y Arju, 2014
Notes: "The alternative rock group “La Santa Cecilia” took home a Grammy for “Best Latin Rock, Urban or Alternative Album” for their album “Treinta Días” [EP] – and promptly dedicated their win to the approximately 11 million undocumented immigrants currently living in the U.S."
Notes: "Ray LaMontagne is arguably part of the current wave of talented, root-rock artists who are thriving in a commercial atmosphere where many fans are seeking a respite from digitized percussion, Auto-tuned voices, and cold synth atmospheres. LaMontagne released his first major label record in 2004 and had success... " LaMontagne's fifth full-length is Dan Auerbach's 347th production job this week ;p
The Hold Steady
Washington Square/Razor and Tie, 2014
Notes: "It’s reassuring that after a three-year break, everything is not right in the beer-soaked, crowded-at-2 a.m., anthemic barroom universe of The Hold Steady. When the Brooklyn band emerged in 2004, lead singer Craig Finn’s songs caught acclaim for their detailed morning-after retellings of the night before... “Spinners” is a reminder that The Hold Steady are great at sending dispatches from the gutter, but more than that, it’s a sign that they’re ready to discover what happens when you leave that life behind."
Notes: "Originally started by Black Mountain's Steve McBean as a dreamy, more lo-fi alternative to the hearty rock thrills of the day-job, Pink Mountaintops have evolved across their career to fit the whims of their frontman. Here on their fourth LP, the band seem to be hung up around some sort of second adolescence, crafting a set of fizzing, nostalgic songs that aim to capture that particularly exciting, nihilistic time of life." This is the Vancouver, B.C. band's fourth record (all on Jagjaguwar) and they also share members with Godspeed You! Black Emperor, Silver Mt. Zion, Delta 72, Black Angels, Cat Power, Cold War Kids and more!
"Mistakes of My Youth"
'The Cautionary Tales of Mark Oliver Everett'
E Works/PIAS, 2014
Notes: "Throughout recording 10 studio albums in nearly 20 years, he’s called himself E, the Dog Faced Boy, and Hombre Lobo, and has appeared bearded and bandana-ed, goggled and jump-suited, bespeckled and formally attired, and in a variety of other guises, but on his 11th LP, Mark Oliver Everett takes off the mask. On The Cautionary Tales of Mark Oliver Everett, the Eels frontman eschews fictional narratives and rock ethos for raw introspection and individual pathos. As his “tales” explore personal loss and the potential for recovery and growth, Mark Oliver Everett hopes they might “serve as some sort of example for others. To learn from my mistakes.”" We previously heard a double shot from Eels back on Episode045.
"Talk Is Cheap/Gold"
'Built On Glass'
Notes: "Behind the grizzly beard and stoic eyes of Chet Faker is an emotive voice and an engaging songwriter who crafts his smooth, low-key electronic/R&B hybrid one mellifluous vocal line at a time... As “Gold” and Talk is Cheap prove, sometimes the most affecting music is also the most understated." Making his third appearance on PUTV, the Melbourne man gives us a double shot form his latest release.
Cherry Red, 2014
Notes: "As they traveled through the 1980s UK indie scene, The Woodentops’ adventurous musical spirit and constantly vital live performances embodied the shifting nature of the era... the band continued touring through 1992 before calling it a day. In 2006, the band regrouped to put on sporadic live performances, and earlier this year, released their first album in 25 years, Granular Tales... “Smokin’” is appropriately heady, riding a midtempo groove..."
Ben & Ellen Harper
"A House Is a Home"
Prestige Folklore, 2014
Notes: "Three-time Grammy Award-winner Ben Harper travels the world performing his music, but he always returns to a special place in California, and to his mother, Ellen. For 30 years, Ellen Harper has been running the Folk Music Center in Claremont, Calif., which her parents founded in 1958. "It's a lot of things: It's a retail store, it's a museum, it's a educational institution," she said... During his nearly 20-year professional career, Ben Harper has released 15 albums. This week, he released his 16th and latest album, a collaboration with his mother Ellen -- just in time for Mother's Day. It's called "Childhood Home.""
"Like I Need You"
Notes: "Kan Wakan combine deep soul, dramatic folk, and orchestral pop for a noir-kissed sound that could re-score a vintage James Bond flick with ease and grace. At the heart of the Los Angeles band are Bulgarian-born composer Gueorgui I. Linev, bona fide chanteuse Kristianne Bautista, and ace guitarist/producer Peter Potyondy, and...you can hear their combined might." They're also riding the wave of having this track be "that song on the HBO commercial," too!
Ninja Tune, 2014
Notes: "Kelis’s sixth album is a moveable feast of old-school soul, ballsy blues, breathy doo-wop and a folk ballad. Food was forged from an unlikely partnership with Dave Sitek from TV on the Radio, and it provides a completely different flavour to the Kelis who rapped about her milkshake with The Neptunes, or a capella-ed over David Guetta’s EDM beats." Kelis is making her second bow on PUTV with another slice of 'Food'.
"The B.A.D. Is So Good"
'riZe vadZimu riZe'
Brick Lane, 2014
Notes: "Since the inception of Shabazz Palaces, and with the release of Black Up on Sub Pop and the forthcoming, highly-anticipated Lese Majesty, Tendai “Baba” Maraire and Ishmael Butler have been receiving a lot of positive press for their involvement in the experimental rap scene. They’ve also both have been involved with other projects around [Seattle] town... “The B.A.D. Is So Good,” the second track on riZe vadZimu riZe, is a socio-cultural critique, commenting on the status of the American Dream." Whoa, their website drops knowledge bombs about Cecil Rhodes and conspiratorial imperialism!
Thee Oh Sees
Notes: "The Bay Area’s most prolific contemporary thrashers, Thee Oh Sees, are a force of strange nature. Led by mastermind John Dwyer, the amorphous group seemingly record and perform constantly, producing brilliant, sharp garage ditties virtually around the clock. As a consequence, the ragtag group has conjured a revival for psychedelia and ushered in a further appreciation of music rooted in early garage sensibilities." The mega-prolific band is one of our most played on PUTV and this is their sixth appearance!
Notes: "The album is a cohesive romp through the best of glam rock minus all the pretense. Skillfully recorded at Minneapolis’ Flowers Studio...the album could have been on the soundtrack for the movie Velvet Goldmine... The highlight of the album is the track “Medicinal”, Perricelli channels the glam rock vocal stylings of T.Rex and Bowie perfectly." We first heard from the successfully crowd-funded 'Original Face' album back on Episode097.
"Don’t You Worry About Me Tonight" (Live on KUTX)
'Future Runs Magnetic'
El Camino, 2014
Notes: "There aren't a lot of frills or gimmicks surrounding Battleme's second album Future Runs Magnetic because, simply put, the music speaks for itself. Bombastic, driving and powerful, the album is a timeless collection of rock anthems." It's the second slab from Battleme on PUTV, but my buddy got the boot as their drummer 🙁 So he's on the album, but not this on live cut from KUTX...
Fear Of Men
Notes: "Brighton-based indie band Fear Of Men has decided to give the world a little sample of...their first full-length... the U.K. group is streaming the two tracks that will open the album, “Alta” and “Waterfall.” “Alta” is a ghostly and bare 50-second intro that seamlessly builds and resolves into “Waterfall” — a track packed with melodic guitar riffs, steady drum beats, and whimsical lyrics."
Fujiya and Miyagi
"Vagaries of Fashion"
Yep Roc, 2014
Notes: "Brighton-based trio Fujiya & Miyagi has long existed as a lower-calorie take on Hot Chip and Junior Boys, albeit with a secret ingredient...a few licks from Krautrockers past... This fifth studio LP certainly has plenty of highs to keep the good times coming on strong."
"Searching For" (w/ Miles Bonny)
'In Search Of...'
Plug Research, 2014
Notes: "“Searching For”, the first single off LA airwave champion Anthony Valadez‘s sophomore LP In Search Of... Its a feathery slow jam laced with clean 808s, fluttering hi-hats, a candied Rhodes groove and Miles Bonny‘s mid-range croon. Originally intended as a straight instrumental LP, In Search Of.. morphed into the organic soul review that it is..." It's the third time we've heard from Valadez, just one of KCRW's multi-talented jocks.
Notes: "Beaty Heart’s name, quite possibly a self-fulfilling prophecy, signifies the way the group approaches composition. The UK trio strives to enliven, awaken, and re-animate through filtered psych-pop and heavily-layered percussion... “Lekka Freakout,” a track from their upcoming debut album, serves as a prime example of their sonic capabilities. Asynchronous vocals, a marimba-influenced back-beat, and fuzzy guitar..."
Notes: The London singer "established a reputation for producing, after rolling out remixes of a laundry list of the 2013’s best artists: Rhye, Lana Del Rey, Haim, Banks, and Angel Haze... For his first solo album...Sohn turns his focus inward, offering a distillation of the seductive, deeply cool flavor that give his remixes their distinctive edge."
Notes: "“I’m back out on the Riviera”, Joseph Mount sings on “The Upsetter”, the first track on Metronomy’s new album, Love Letters. The line is, of course, a coy reference to The English Riviera, Metronomy’s breakthrough 2011 album... “The Upsetter” does really read like a love letter, from a marooned ex-lover who is “stuck in 1992 here…Playing ‘I Will Always Love You’, yeah”. Melancholy acoustic guitars and an emotive, Lindsey Buckingham-like coda solo underscore Mount’s wounded sincerity, despite his quirky falsetto."
"No Sensitive Man"
Notes: "Haley Bonar [pronounced "Bonner"] first reached a national audience as a teenager, when fellow Minnesotan Alan Sparhawk heard her perform and offered her a spot on tour, opening for his band Low. At the time, the pairing made sense: Her recordings were sweet and lovely, but also frequently dour. Over time, though, Bonar...has brightened and polished her sound to a glistening shine. With nine songs in just a shade past half an hour, her new fifth album, Last War, is tough to set aside." We heard the title track "Last War" from Haley back on Episode097.
'Rosetta Stone' EP
Z & Zoé, 2014
Notes: "Cheap Star may not all be from Seattle, but they have a strong local connection, as their latest EP, Rosetta Stone, was produced and recorded by both Ken Stringfellow and Jon Auer of The Posies, who also contribute bass and additional guitar to the songs... “Kelly Slayer”, is dynamic and rich with moving parts: big guitar solo, rolling drums (thanks to Fountains of Wayne’s Brian Young)..."
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