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 Pop City's Patrick Bowman
This week, Patrick brough in his favorites of 2014. In case you missed, it here's what he played:
Best Show - Sharon Van Etten, "Your Love is Killing Me"
- The best live shows enhance all the things you love about the band's recorded work, and considering Sharon Van Etten's excellent 2014 sophomore record Are We There was even more emotionally devastating than her 2011 debut record, her incredible performance at Mr. Small's in late June was absolutely heart-wrenching. So, when Are We There centerpiece "Your Love is Killing Me" arrived in the middle of her live set, a track in which Van Etten howls lyrics like "break my legs so I won't run to you," it basically leveled the entire building.
Best Song - Perfume Genius, "Queen"
- As Perfume Genius, singer/songwriter Mike Hadreas made his name on his first two records by crafting delicate, emotionally bare, usually piano-driven songs about heartache, spiritual disillusionment and sexual alienation. But for his third album Too Bright, Hadreas has turned the vulnerability he exhibited in his songwriting into a source of edgy power, writing compositions that vibrate with energy and confidence, displayed excellently in the blaring organ-laden lead single "Queen."
Best Song - Flying Lotus Feat. Kendrick Lamar, "Never Catch Me"
- Los Angeles-based producer/DJ Flying Lotus is basically a genre unto himself, combining acid jazz, hip-hop, and cutting edge electronic music into headphone symphonies that seem infinitely complex. On his sixth solo album You're Dead, Fly Lo enlisted the Greatest Rapper Alive, fellow Los Angeles native Kendrick Lamar, to drop some light speed bars on the track "Never Catch Me," which sounds like Bitches Brew-era Miles Davis producing an Outkast Record. Fly Lo's beat is bonkers, replete with jazz guitar freak out, but Lamar's verse is damn near other worldly in its technical perfection and emotional resonance.
Best Album - Cymbals Eat Guitars, "Jackson" from LOSE
- East Coast indie rockers Cymbal Eat Guitars take an expansive approach to impressionistic 90s slack rock, crafting two albums that were noodly and anthemic and ambitious and somewhat uneven. But on their third album LOSE, all the ideas they kicked around and almost pulled off in their earlier work have snapped into place, creating a constantly shifting soundscape that Cymbals Eat Guitars appear to be in complete control of. Side one, track one "Jackson" is basically a microcosm of all the best parts of LOSE: gorgeous melodies and transitions sung by lead singer Joseph D'Agostino, a deceptively dense composition, and incredible guitar and piano work.