November 2013

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! In case you missed it here's what he played with commentary by Scott. Click the title to hear the song! Kurt Vile, "Wakin' on a Pretty Day": You know the Philly psych-rocker plays by his own rules when he starts his fifth album, "Wakin' on a Pretty Daze," with a 9-minute track. Whether you like Lou Reed or Dylan or Neil Young, this warm, sprawling slacker jam is like putting on a comfortable old shoe. Mutual Benefit, "Advanced Falconry": Here's something for your chilled-out chamber-pop playlist from a Brooklyn band with a name like an insurance company and melodies to make you feel like you're floating. Savages, "City's Full": The stand-out debut album of the year came from this all-girl London band that kicks it real hard, in the post-punk tradition of Gang of Four, Joy Division, Siouxsie and the Banshees, et al. The live set at Mr. Smalls was so electrifying even the hardened old punks were blown away.
beck specs Beck has been busy as of late. He's working on a new album, he recently staged a performance of his Song Reader sheet music album, and he designed a pair of glasses. The concert at the Walt Disney Concert Hall in Los Angeles was presented by glasses company Warby Parker who recruited Beck to design a pair of custom frames. The spectacles - called The Carmichael - have been described by GQ as such: "The lenses and keyhole bridge on the design toe the line between nerdy and artsy, but ooze with style points for sure." For sure, indeed! Also in Beck news, at the above-mentioned concert, the singer-songwriter debuted a song that is rumored to be appearing on his upcoming album - Morning Phase. The song "Wave" sounds somber, orchestral, and gorgeous to say the least. Watch the performance of "Wave" here:
We've got a classic for this morning's Cool Kids song! The King of Cool, Dean Martin, made this swanky tune way back in the 50s, but it still has the power to make us move even today. Dino was the original crooner, and if any kid is going to learn how to be the coolest kid in their class, they should definitely do their research on this member of the Rat Pack. Today's song is called "Wham Bam Thank You Ma'am", and it can be found below. The song is one of love and heartbreak, as so many of this singer's songs are. Have a listen to the song and let the band carry you away to another time.
If you're a fan of The Hold Steady, you may already be aware of the Unified Scene, the unofficially official The Hold Steady fan club. Well, last year, the unofficial leader of this unofficial club passed away, and to honor his passing, The Hold Steady is crowdfunding a new EP! In order to donate, you must join their new and improved, more official version of the Unified Scene. The new Unified Scene will have all kinds of neat perks for joining. News and insider information about The Hold Steady as it happens, exclusive content and music, and tickets on sale in advance. The first act of the new Unified Scene will be that all donors get the new exclusive 12" EP, available only to members. Pledging gets other unique gifts also, including handwritten lyrics, t-shirts, and more. If you think you'd like to contribute to the project, you can do so at If you've never listened to The Hold Steady, or you've already heard their stuff, the vaguely Anchorman-esque music video for "Chips Ahoy" is posted just below to inspire your fandom. Check it out, and make this EP happen!
Today, we had a special guest for Cool Kids! Singer-songwriter Grant Lee Phillips told us about what he listens to with his kids, and he named "She Said" by The Cramps. He wanted to introduce her to music, and "first impressions, they count for a lot," according to Phillips. "She would really respond to something primitive, raw." The song is real primal, having a chorus that goes "ooh, eeh, ah, ah". If your kids like imitating growly chimpanzees, they would probably love The Cramps. "Everybody needs The Cramps," Phillips says, definitively. Have a listen to the song below and unleash your wild side with The Cramps.
131120-wes-anderson-black-francis If you enjoy Wes Anderson films, you'll certainly enjoy this upcoming cover album. The tracks are each songs that have appeared in a film by Wes Anderson, be it the Royal Tenenbaums, the Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou, or others. There are some really amazing songs covered by great artists that appear on this record. The entire tracklist can be found below. Black Francis – “Seven and Seven Is” (Love) [Bottle Rocket] Elk City – “Play with Fire” (The Rolling Stones) [Darjeeling Limited] Escondido – “Strangers” (The Kinks) [Darjeeling Limited] Freelance Whales – “Let Her Dance” (The Bobby Fuller Four) [Fantastic Mr. Fox] Generationals – “Making Time” (Creation) [Rushmore] Grand Hallway – “I Am Waiting” (The Rolling Stones) [Rushmore] Joy Zipper – “Ooh La La” (The Faces) [Rushmore] Juliana Hatfield – “Needle In The Hay” (Elliott Smith) [Royal Tenenbaums] Kristin Hersh – “Fly” (Nick Drake) [Royal Tenenbaums] Matt Pond – “These Days” (Nico) [Royal Tenenbaums] Mike Watt & the Secondmen – “Street Fighting Man” (The Rolling Stones) [Fantastic Mr. Fox] PHOX – “The Way I Feel Inside” (The Zombies) [Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou] Santah – “Five Years” (David Bowie) [Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou] Sara Lov – “Alone Again Or” (Love) [Bottle Rocket] Solvents – “Nothing In This World Can Stop Me Worryin’ Bout That Girl” (The Kinks) [Rushmore] Someone Still Loves You Boris Yeltsin – “Margaret Yang’s Theme” (Mark Mothersbaugh) [Rushmore] Tea Cozies – “Here Comes My Baby” (Cat Stevens) [Rushmore] Tele Novella – “Stephanie Says” (The Velvet Underground) [Royal Tenenbaums] Telekinesis – “This Time Tomorrow” (The Kinks) [Darjeeling Limited] The Ghost in You – “Oh Yoko!” (John Lennon) [Rushmore] Tomten – “30 Century Man” (Scott Walker) [Life Aquatic] Trespassers William – “Fairest of the Seasons” (Nico) [Royal Tenenbaums] William Fitzsimmons – “The Wind” (Cat Stevens) [Rushmore] In addition to the album, there is some sweet Wes Anderson themed merch to go along with the record. My personal favorite is the Steve Zissou style beanie, but there are also buttons, t-shirts, a limited edition 7", and more! The tribute album will be coming out in the spring, but you can preorder the album here. In the meantime, get your fill by watching Wes Anderson flicks, like The Royal Tenenbaums. This clip features Elliot Smith's "Needle In the Hay".

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! In case you missed it here's what he played with commentary by Andy. Broken Fences, "Stormy Clouds" - This is the title track off the local folky duo's new EP, which comes out Friday. Morgan Erina's vocals remind me a bit of Sharon Van Etten early on, and also always bring to mind some of those mid- and late-'60s songstresses like Joni Mitchell. Beautiful stuff on this record. Triggers, "Ambulance Chaser" - This one's off the local rock band's new EP, What Part of Strangers Don't You Understand? Triggers keep building their reputation as one of our best indie-rock outfits; great vocals, catchy melodies and cool synth stuff going on here. This one's also out Friday.
Today's Cool Kids song is meant to brainwash you and your kids! Just kidding, kind of. "Satellite Radio" is a song by Steve Earle that compels you to listen to radio, specifically of the satellite variety. We at WYEP of course would like you to keep it locked on our frequency of course, 91.3, to enjoy a more traditional approach to broadcasting. A lyric from the "Satellite Radio" go thusly: "Is there anybody out there? One-two-three on the satellite radio? Big daddy on the air, are you listenin' to me? On the satellite radio At the galaxy's end where the stars burn bright, are you tunin' in and turnin' on? Is there anybody listenin' to earth tonight on the satellite radio?" We'd love to ask if anyone is listening like Steve Earle, but shouting "I'm listening!" at your radio probably won't get your message across. Instead, prove to us that you listen by coming to some of our community events, like this month's Third Thursday event featuring the Red Western for example. In the meantime, check out Steve Earle below!
outkast-bet-awards It's been rumored for years, but it seems like it has finally arrived! After having not performed together for 7 years, Outkast will be reuniting at Coachella in 2014. The duo of Andre 3000 and Big Boi will be another group that has reunited at the scene of Coachella, being added to the growing list of musicians that include the Pixies, Rage Against the Machine, and Pavement. Although Andre 3000 and Big Boi have been busy doing making solo records and playing Jimi Hendrix in movies, Coachella will be the first opportunity to see them perform hits of theirs like "B.O.B." and "Hey Ya." Idlewild, the last album released by Outkast, came out in 2006, and while there has been no announcement of any new album from the duo, we'd love to see something fresh in the future. The Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival will be happening in Indio, California for two weekends in April. If you're going to be on the west coast April 11-13 or 18-20, maybe you should go see this cooler than cool reunion. Listen to Outkast's "Hey Ya" below, and get ready for what's sure to be an awesome new year of concerts and festivals.
The music video for today's Cool Kids song is pretty cool. The backdrop sort of grows up around the band, and it looks like paper mâchè mountains and volcanos and all sorts of stuff. Any kid can make paper mâchè, and it could be a fun activity for you and your kids to do while you listen to Ra Ra Riot's "Too Dramatic" on repeat. All sorts of stuff can be made out of paper mâchè, and considering the vastness of childish imagination, even the simplest balloon mold becomes something like the death star or the head of their favorite TV character. Hopefully not an Annoying Orange though. We've all had enough of him.