Friday, December 30, 2005

Concerning Today's Show...

John Lennon once famously said something to the effect that life is what happens when you're busy making plans. Well, as it turns out, I was making plans-- for the top five album picks of the year to be exact-- and life, well, today it happened. Nothing catastrophic, everyone is alive and well, I'm glad to say-- but watch this space and/or tune in Monday for the Best of 2005 week conclusion. Thanks for listening.

Thursday, December 29, 2005

Show Post: In House #1524

We continue our look at the musical year that was, 2005, today as we rundown our top five releases in the roots/Americana/alt-country genre. Just to explain, traditionally we've always set aside a seperate top five for this category, not because the selections can't compete with tomorrow's top five of the year selections, but because it's really a case of apples and oranges. In any case, it was a very strong year for albums that twanged. We can't necessarily claim that these were the "best" five, but they were the five that we most enjoyed over the course of the year.

5- The Knitters: The Modern Sounds of the Knitters (Zoe)

Yeah, not at all a bad return after 19 years. The original country side off-shoot of the Los Angeles punk band X picked up where they left off long ago and then some. The Knitters circa 2005 are just that much better, particularly John Doe and Dave Alvin, delivering a set of new songs and covers of themselves and others (including "Born to Be Wild").

(MP3) "Dry River"
(MP3) "In This House That I Call Home"

4- Laura Cantrell: Humming By the Flowered Vine (Matador)

Another fine batch of songs from the New York City-based alt-country songstress found her, somewhat surprisingly, on Matador records. Perhaps it was this switch that led to a few new, less pure country sounds from Cantrell on the album, particularly on the opening track, "14th Street," probably the most pop sounding song Cantrell has ever recorded. Lest we fear she's losing her twang, elsewhere she tackles a Lucinda Williams cover as well as the traditional "Poor Ellen Smith."

(MP3) "Bees"
(MP3) "14th Street"

3- Son Volt: Okemah & the Melody of Riot (Transmit/ Sony)

While it wasn't the original Son Volt-- in fact, it was entirely new one with the obvious exception of frontman Jay Farrar-- one of the more exciting musical developments of the year was the reignition of one of the best alt-country band of the late nineties. This time around, it was a somewhat unexpectedly more muscular and politically-minded Son Volt, with Farrar taking George W. Bush to task in the less than subtle "Jet Pilot", among other places. Despite the axe to grind, it all works well, and shows that the legacy of Uncle Tupelo lives on in more than one circle.

(MP3) "Gramophone"
(MP3) "Jet Pilot"

2- Jimmie Dale Gilmore: Come On Back (Rounder)

This just sounded like a great idea, and I must confess that there's probably been a spot reserved here for this album since the day of its release last summer. Gilmore tackled the classics for this one, specifically music introduced to him by his father while he was growing up. As such, the album plays not only like an homage to the classic country era of Hank Williams, Hank Snow and the like, but also to the spirit of Gilmore's late father. Imminently relistenable.

(MP3) "I'll Never Get Out of This World Alive"
(MP3) "Pick Me Up On Your Way Down"

1- Ryan Adams & the Cardinals: Jacksonville City Nights
(Lost Highway)

Adams and his newly-formed band could easily have had two entries in the top five, considering the sprawling excellence of the Cold Roses double-album. Nevertheless, Jacksonville City Nights is the slightly darker, more honky-tonk of the two, and as such probably the album that Whiskeytown fans had been patiently waiting for Adams to release through all of his frustrating rock star poses. That's important, because it means that, at least for now, Adams is back to doing what he does best. It means that, for a change, Adams is in the news because he's put out a great album.

(MP3) "September"
(MP3) "The Hardest Part"

In House #1524.
Airdate: 12/29/05
Focus: Best of 2005: The Roots/Americana/Alt-Country Top Five.

Last Year's Roots/Americana Top Five


In House PODCAST #37

Wednesday, December 28, 2005

Show Post: In House #1523

Our march through some of the best music of 2005 continues today as we touch upon some of the best pop singles of the year-- meaning that you might hear anyone from Beck to Amy Rigby, but not Kelly Clarkson, if that makes any sense.


One thing is sure, even with those strict aesthetic guidelines to follow, there was certainly no shortage of great music to choose from for today's theme.

Fiona Apple

It was a year that was big on returns: both the long-awaited (Fiona Apple) and the long-awaited return to form (the aforementioned Beck) seemed to be in vogue. Hell, even Neil Diamond and Depeche Mode graced us with more than anybody thought they had left in them.

Neil Diamond (old school)

That having been said, there were plenty of welcome introductions as well. Martha Wainwright (Rufus' sister), Jamie Lidell, and Nic Armstrong & the Thieves all gave big hellos in 2005-- meanwhile, a solid class of fairly young singer-songwriters like Laura Veirs, Josh Rouse and Richard Hawley continued to establish themselves as consistently outstanding artists.

Josh Rouse

Elsewhere, Sinead O'Connor unretired with a reggae album, Nellie McKay told Sony to, "Get Away From Me," and Kanye West mortified Mike Meyers on national television with a public callout of the U.S. President.

In House #1523.
Airdate: 12/28/05
Focus: The Best of 2005: The Pop Singles.

BONUS MP3s from today's show:
Jamie Lidell: "Multiply" (MP3)
Pernice Brothers: "Saddest Quo" (MP3)
Magic Numbers: "Love Me Like You" (MP3)


In House PODCAST #36

Tuesday, December 27, 2005

Show Post: In House #1522

It's more of the best of 2005 on the show today, focusing on some of the best singles that fit under the moniker "rock & roll." And what a year it was for rock & roll, huh?

Harvey Danger

Sure, there were disappointments, but for every Hot Hot Heat or Broken Social Scene (come on, just admit it) release that came up short, there were unexpectedly strong efforts from old names like Harvey Danger and Black Rebel Motorcycle Club, as well as blindside blasts from heretofore unknowns like Clap Your Hands Say Yeah and the Crystal Skulls.

Clap Your Hands Say Yeah

The underground moved further into the mainstream, it seemed, largely with the help of outlets like NPR, as acts like Sufjan Stevens, Devendra Banhart and Death Cab for Cutie became household names for more than most would have ever thought possible.

Sufjan Stevens

Established indie thrived as well, with Spoon, John Vanderslice and the New Pornographers releasing just the latest in their respective strings of wonderful albums.

Jose Gonzalez

Elsewhere, Scandinavia further cemented its place as an inordinate hotspot of musical brilliance thanks to folks like Jose Gonzalez and Thomas Denver-Jonsson.

In House #1522.
Airdate: 12/27/05
Focus: Best of 2005: The Rock & Roll Singles.

BONUS MP3s from today's show:
Crystal Skulls: "No Room for Change" (MP3)
Clap Your Hands Say Yeah: "In This Home On Ice" (MP3)
John Vanderslice: "Exodus Damage" (MP3)


In House PODCAST #35

Monday, December 26, 2005

Show Post: In House #1521

We begin the best of 2005 shows today with a rundown of some of the best roots & Americana singles of the year. It was a great year for music in general, and certainly a more than solid one for music of the country-tinged persuasion.

Jay Farrar

It was a year that saw a welcome return from Jay Farrar's Son Volt, the Knitters, and the venerable Bobby Bare Sr. who, produced by his son, recorded an album with the look and feel of something outta Nashville's hey-day.

Bobby Bare Sr.

The recently-maligned Ryan Adams reasserted his talents with two solid albums with his band the Cardinals, while his former Whiskeytown partner Caitlin Cary turned out an excellent collaboration with fellow singer-songwriter Thad Cockrell.

Ryan Adams

We also witnessed the passing of some greats this year, among them giants like R.L. Burnside, Clarence "Gatemouth" Brown and Chris Whitley. Other highlights and oddities? Willie Nelson turned in a reggae album, Bloodshot Records trumped nearly everyone else with another brilliant compilation, the gap between depth and mainstream Nashville widened even more, Johnny Cash enjoyed his 75th wave of fame (60th since his death) and In House, for better or worse, kept on truckin'.

In House #1521.
Airdate: 12/26/05
Focus: Best of 2005: Roots and Americana Singles.

BONUS MP3s from today's show:
Abigail Washburn: "Coffee's Cold" (MP3)
Robbie Fulks: "Georgia Hard" (MP3)
Son Volt: "Gramophone" (MP3)

In House PODCAST #34

Friday, December 23, 2005

Friday Random Five (#15)

Oy, it's the "Holiday", or whatever you want to call it, edition of the Random Five this week (whatever lights your menora or tree or whatever). Be safe. Be happy. Enjoy.

1- Jill Sobule returns to the Five once again this week on the strength of the generous offering of holiday tunes she recently posted on her website. "Merry Christmas From the Family" (MP3) is her version of a Robert Earl Keen song.

2- A blast from Christmas past: the Ramones' "Merry Christmas (I Don't Wanna Fight Tonight) (MP3).

3- Yo La Tengo: "It's Christmas Time" (MP3).

4-Marah: "New York Is a Christmas Kind of Town" (MP3).

5- Reverend Horton Heat: "Santa On the Roof" (MP3).

BONUS- Despite their name, the Decemberists sing no holiday songs. However, because they are Random Five residents all month long, we offer up this live version of ELO's "Mr. Blue Sky" (LIVE) (MP3), recorded this year in San Francisco.

unwrap. enjoy. break. forget about. attempt to return. throw away.

Show Post: In House #1520

It's the annual holiday edition of In House today, which means genre goes out the window in a gaudy, tinsel-strewn celebration featuring both the ridiculous and the sublime (no doubt resembling the mall about now, minus the Manheim Steamroller tunes). The bells are on.

In House #1520.
Airdate: 12/23/05
Focus: In House Holiday edition, featuring music from Low, Yo la Tengo, Reverend Horton Heat, Tom Waits and scores more.


Thursday, December 22, 2005

Show Post: In House #1519

We close out the last of our 2006 preview shows this week with a look at the Strokes' upcoming First Impressions of Earth, due out January 3rd. Like their most recent release, 2003's Room On Fire, the newest effort doesn't necessarily stray that far from the formula they established with their 2001 debut. Which is not to say that the music is derivative or formulaic-- simply that the band has a story and is more or less sticking to it. Most importantly, despite small tweaks in the band's sound (i.e. more keyboard, more tempo variation, etc.), they still bring plenty of hooks to the table.

Show Post: In House #1519.
Airdate: 12/22/05
Focus: Preview of the Strokes' upcoming First Impressions of Earth, plus new music from Sigur Ros, Robert Pollard and more.


In House PODCAST #33

Wednesday, December 21, 2005

Show Post: In House #1518

It's more upcoming music today as we continue our week of 2006 previews with music from Beth Orton's Comfort of Strangers, due out February 7th on AstralWerks. Recorded with former Sonic Youth and Wilco collaborator Jim O'Rourke at the production knobs, the new album is what we've come to expect from Orton, notably the rare voice, while adding some new sonic textures on tracks such as "Heartland Truckstop" and "Countenance."

In House #1518.
Airdate: 12/21/05
Focus: Upcoming release from Beth Orton, Comfort of Strangers, plus new music from the Minus 5, Belle & Sebastian, Brett Dennan and more.

BONUS- from Comfort of Strangers: "Conceived" (Real Audio).


In House PODCAST #32

Tuesday, December 20, 2005

Show Post: In House #1517

Preview week continues on the show today, as we spend some time with Rabbit Fur Coat from Jenny Lewis & the Watson Twins, and The Greatest from Chan Marshall's Cat Power. After spending her formative years as a child-actor, Lewis, of course, first made her name as the voice of Rilo Kiley. Rabbit Fur Coat is said to be modeled after "great white soul classics of the past" and features Lewis backed by newcomers Leigh & Chandra Watson, who themselves are said to have a new album out sometime in 2006. The album also features guest appearances from Ben Gibbard, Conor Oberst and M. Ward.

Along much of the same musical lines comes Cat Power's The Greatest, already being called her Dusty in Memphis moment. Indeed, the album was recorded in Memphis and features backing work from a cast of legendary Memphis sidemen. It's also an (almost) entirely new direction for Cat Power musically, the cold, hard edges buffed to a warm glow. Both releases are due out on January 24th.

In House #1517.
Airdate: 12/20/05
Focus: Previews of new releases from Jenny Lewis & the Watson Twins, Rabbit Fur Coat, and Cat Power, The Greatest, plus new music from Isobel Campbell & Mark Lanegan, the Mendoza Line and more.

BONUS- from Rabbit Fur Coat: "Rise Up With Fists!" (MP3),
and "Melt Your Heart" (MP3).

From The Greatest: "Where Is My Love?" (MP3),
and "The Greatest" (MP3).


In House PODCAST #31

Monday, December 19, 2005

Show Post: In House #1516

In a notoriously dead time of year for new releases, we look forward today to one of several much-anticipated albums out early in 2006, Nellie McKay's Pretty Little Head. Featuring guest spots from the likes of Cyndi Lauper and k.d. lang, Ms. McKay's second full-length is, much like her first, an unlikely combination of post-cabaret and pop-culture, alongside her youthful but sharp-tongued wit. The release, set for January 3rd, will also no doubt be helped out by the staggering amount of pre-release press it's gotten-- thanks for the most part to McKay's public protestations. To make a long story short, it appears that the Sony "intelligentsia" finally caved and allowed the new release to include 23 tracks, as per McKay's request, as opposed to the 16 they had wanted it whittled down to. Someone get her a deal with Nonesuch, quick!

In House #1516.
Airdate: 12/19/05
Focus: Sneak preview of Nellie McKay's upcoming Pretty Little Head, plus new music from Neil Diamond, Marah, Fuck You Sony and more.

Friday, December 16, 2005

Show Post: In House #1515

There's not a lot of information around about today's In House live guest, singer-songwriter Travis Shipley. He's originally from Idaho but now resides in Alaska. His appearance today comes in anticipation of this Saturday night's (7p.) performance at Portneuf Valley Brewing (232-1644) in Pocatello, ID.

In House #1515.
Airdate: 12/16/05
Focus: Travis Shipley live In House, plus new music from Brett Dennan, Merle Haggard and more.


Friday Random Five (#14)

Well, never let it be said that In House doesn't love its listeners/readers. That's why, in addition to the five-pack of midweek mp3s, we're also bringing you the (mostly) regular installment of the Friday Random Five. It's definitely a mixed batch this week, full of timely music news and yuletide glee.

1- Let's begin with month-long Random Five residents,
the Decemberists, who made a lot of news this week aside from being included here. In case you didn't hear, frontman Colin Meloy announced that the band has signed with Capitol Records, thus ending a fruitful relationship with indie kill rock stars. While I, for one, am skeptical at best about the move, let's hope it turns out well for the band. In addition, Meloy revealed that he and his longtime girlfriend, artist Carson Ellis, are expecting their first child. Young females in cardigans everywhere wept. Anyway, it's cold, thus, we give you "July!July!" (MP3), dating back to the band's full-length debut, Castaways & Cutouts.

2- In other news, somebody somewhere leaked a new Elliott Smith song, or at least a version no one had heard before. The studio version of "Stickman" (MP3) was apparently recorded during the From a Basement On the Hill sessions.

3- Thus begins the yuletide section of the post: No word yet on whether or not this is included on his upcoming solo release Bitter Honey, but Clem Snide frontman Eef Barzelay brings us this rather haunting and lo-fi rendition of "Joy to the World" (MP3).

4- Ever the fan-friendly one, Jill Sobule has posted a new trio of holiday tunes for download on her website. This one's of particular interest, billed as "quite possibly the only punk Hannukkah song ever written": "Jesus Was a Dreidel Spinner" (MP3).

5- We close it out this week with one from short-lived Idaho country cover act wanda nevada, of whom you will find nothing anywhere in cyberspace. This version of the Squirrel Nut Zippers' "I'm Coming Home for Christmas" (MP3) appeared on the 2002 reissue of the band's only release, the whiskeysoaked ep.

enjoy. rinse. repeat.

Thursday, December 15, 2005

Show Post: In House #1514

You may recognize these guys from some place or another. They used to look like this and later, this. Yes, U2 hits Salt Lake City's Delta Center this weekend as part of the Vertigo tour. The band's obviously been through an incarnation or two over the past 25 years or so, though lately that hasn't necessarily included making great music. Still, few musicians can claim such a legacy and fewer still can claim the kind of recognizability that goes along with being U2. Kanye West, oddly enough, opens the show.

In House #1514.
Airdate: 12/15/05
Focus: U2 in Salt Lake City this weekend, plus music from the National, Pernice Brothers and more.


Wednesday, December 14, 2005

Chaos, etc.

I must apologize for the recent lack of podcasts, as well as for the general quality of the show over the past few days. Technical difficulties as well as general chaos at the base station have made it very difficult to put out a product I'm satisfied with as of late. I won't here go into the general pattern of mismanagement and lack of accountability that has led to the current situation, but it's frustrating on many levels. Your patience and continued listening are appreciated.

Some midweek mp3s, to serve as both a letting of my frustration and a token of my appreciation:

Clap Your Hands Say Yeah- "In This Home On Ice" (MP3).

Quasi- "Merry Xmas" (MP3).

Cordero- "Close Your House Down" (MP3).

Brett Dennen- "The Holidays Are Here (& We're Still at War)" (MP3).

The Kinks- "Father Christmas" (MP3). (courtesy The Smudge of Ashen Fluff.)

Show Post: In House #1513

Guerolito is, of course, the new remix album of Beck's Guero, featuring remixes of every song on the album by the likes of Air, Boards of Canada, E-Pro and others. As with any project of this sort, there are hits and misses. In the best instances, the songs are given a whole new dressing that works well while not taking away from the appeal of the original version-- Octet's stripped down remix of "Girl," for example. If nothing else, Guerolito reminds us that its original version was one of the more interesting releases of 2005 for little else than its Beck-ness.

In House #1513.
Airdate: 12/14/05
Focus: New remix album from Beck, Guerolito, plus new music from the Go! Team and more.

BONUS- from Beck's Guerolito: "Girl (Octet Mix)" (MP3).


Tuesday, December 13, 2005

Show Post: In House #1512

Austin, TX-based singer-songwriter Bob Schneider, who also occasionally looks like this and this, returns to the area this week with shows throughout the region. Tonight he plays the Big Easy in Boise; tomorrow night he's at the Mangy Moose near Jackson Hole, WY; and Thursday he plays at Port O'Call in Salt Lake City. Schneider has more or less done it all musically, fronting rock/rap and Phish-y acts alike. These days his solo material is in more of a singer-songwriter/confessional/Americana vein. His third and most recent full-length, I'm Good Now, came out last year on Vanguard.

In House #1511.
Airdate: 12/13/05
Focus: Bob Schneider in Boise tonight, plus new music from Ryan Adams, Merle Haggard and more.


Monday, December 12, 2005

Show Post: In House #1511

A few years back, Jets to Brazil bassist Jeremy Chatelain decided to try something completely different, recording a twang-flavored solo EP under the name Cub Country. Two full-length releases later, Cub Country has now evolved into a full-time quartet, with their most recent release being last year's Stay Poor/Stay Happy. Chatelain returns home to the Wasatch Front tonight as Cub Country opens for David Dondero at Salt Lake City's Kilby Court.

In House #1511.
Airdate: 12/12/05
Focus: David Dondero & Cub Country in Salt lake City tonight, plus new music from Cat Power, Riviera and more.

BONUS- from Cub Country's latest: "Missed the Train" (MP3).


Friday, December 09, 2005

Show Post: In House #1510

If the Rubes sound familiar to you, it might be because we featured them earlier this week. Then again, maybe it's because they borrow from so many different musical palettes, you're bound to recognize something. Good old fashioned punk rock? Check. Retro R&B grooves? Check. Classic country rockabilly? Mmm-hmm. Combine all of that with the manic unpredictability of the band's stage show and you've got the ingredients that would suggest a fairly enjoyable time. Showcasing their new album, Mutiny to a Revolution, the Rubes visit us live in the studio today ahead of tonight's show at the 1st National Bar in Pocatello.

Photo: Tim Roberts

Also? These guys hit Salt Lake City this weekend.

In House #1510.
Airdate: 12/09/05
Focus: The Rubes live In House, plus the Dandy Warhols in Salt Lake City tomorrow night and more.

BONUS- posted earlier this week, but the Rubes here, from Mutiny to a Revolution- "Pheromones" (MP3).


Friday Random Five (#13)

Oh, we've got the good stuff this week, chiseled out of solid ice so you know it's fresh (high temps hovering in the single digits all week, get it?). Speaking of cool, the list of musicians in this week's line-up reads like an indie honor-roll, outside of the band I'd never heard of before yesterday. Easy on the nog and nutmeg this weekend...

1- As previously promised, the Decemberists resume their month-long residency in the Random Five this week with a B-side we've chosen for its thick irony: from the Decemberists in the month of December, we offer "Sunshine" (MP3).

2- Only BRAND NEW M. Ward is next. I saw him do this live last spring and thought he was kidding around-- which, perhaps he was. Nevertheless, he's recorded a new version of CCR's "Green River" (MP3) and released it as a single.

3- Speaking of Mr. Ward, he had a hand in overseeing the upcoming I Am the Resurrection: A Tribute to John Fahey release, out early in 2006 on Vanguard. The line-up features the likes of Ward, Devendra Banhart, Calexico, and the Fruit Bats, among others, as well as this typically titled contribution from Sufjan Stevens: "Variation On 'Commemorative Transfiguration & Communion at Magruder Park'" (MP3).

4- In case you missed the 3,000 other blogs pointing this out, John Vanderslice has recently posted the entirety of his November 5th show at the Independent in San Francisco on his website. All 22 songs on the setlist are available as high resolution mp3s right here. Alternately, here's that night's version of "Pale Horse" (LIVE) (MP3).

5- As for the band I'd never heard of before yesterday, Chicago's Riviera has released the second album on the Glorious Noise imprint. At the End of the American Century is also the band's second release, "Your American Past" (MP3) is from it.

enjoy. rinse (scrape). repeat.

Thursday, December 08, 2005

Show Post: In House #1509

In case you don't already know, it's been twenty-five years today since the death of John Lennon. His was a death that not only altered many lives at the time, but continues to do so to this day. My own personal take has always been that there was an unbelievably tragic cosmic mistake of space and time that left Lennon dead in late 1980 and Ronald Reagan alive in early 1981. I'm being slightly facetious, but we can only wonder how the world might be a different place had the outcomes been reversed. We revisit the legacy of John Lennon on today's show, with selections from his solo and Beatles catalogs, as well as some covers along the way.

In House #1509.
Airdate: 12/08/05
Focus: The music of John Lennon on the 25th anniversary of his death.


In House PODCAST #29

Wednesday, December 07, 2005

Show Post: In House #1508

Ryan Adams is at it again. Having already released the double album Cold Roses and the stellar Jacksonville City Nights earlier in the year with his band the Cardinals, Adams returns with his third 2005 release, 29. The new album, due out December 20th on Lost Highway has little in common with the first two, with Adams presenting stripped down, solo compositions in a smoky late night vein-- most of which top five minutes. In short, maybe not exactly radio friendly, or even everyone's cup of tea, but an album that has its place in lonely Saturday nights with the lights turned down. It also ranks Adams as perhaps the most prolific songwriter this side of Robert Pollard.

In House #1508.
Airdate: 12/07/05
Focus: New release from Ryan Adams, 29, plus new music from BR5-49 and more.


Tuesday, December 06, 2005

Show Post: In House #1507

The Rubes are a quartet out of Salt Lake City that are rather difficult to describe. Their own self-description sheds little light on this problem, starting out to say that they "formed like Voltron in 2002," before going on to declare that "we don't sound like no one." In any case, they've just released their second full-length, Mutiny to a Revolution, an unholy union of Chuck Berry, Camper Van Beethoven, gutter punks, boogie woogie and robots. Or something like that. What is slightly more assured is that they have proven to be a polarizing act in the regional music press, garnering glowing and outlandishly harsh criticism alike. The band hits the 1st National Bar in Pocatello, ID later this week.

In House #1507.
Airdate: 12/06/05
Focus: New release from the Rubes, Mutiny to a Revolution, plus new music from Apollo Sunshine and 2006s from Cat Power, Jenny Lewis and more.

BONUS- from the Rubes new album: "Pheromones" (MP3),
and live In House last April 22nd: "The Guru Song" (LIVE acoustic) (MP3).

The Rubes playing this year's 5th Annual KISU Really Big Show.


In House PODCAST #28

Monday, December 05, 2005

Show Post: In House #1506

Massachussetts-based bluesman Albert Cummings began his solo career by essentially fronting Stevie Ray Vaughn's Double Trouble on his 2003 debut, From the Heart. Not a bad beginning, to be sure, and while it fueled the inevitable Vaughn comparisons all the more, it also brought Cummings to the immediate attention of many in the blues world. For the most part, Cummings writes songs based in the working-class world from which he hails, all backed by guitar playing that has been called exhilarating, though the word is that he remains humble about it. His most recent release is last year's True to Yourself, out on the Blind Pig label.

In town for a performance tonight at Michele's City Lights in Pocatello, ID, Albert Cummings stops by our studio for an interview and acoustic set.

In House #1506.
Airdate: 12/05/05.
Focus: Albert Cummings live In House.


Friday, December 02, 2005

Show Post: In House #1505

Andrew Bird has long been regarded a fine musician, a reputation that was initially built on the work he did in the mid-90's both with the Squirrel Nut Zippers and his own band, Andrew Bird's Bowl of Fire. However, beginning with 2001's The Swimming Hour, Bird dropped the neo-swing novelty and began to be noticed as a talented songwriter as well. The more modern-pop direction continued with 2003's Weather Systems and came to full fruition with this year's The Mysterious Production of Eggs, released on Ani DiFranco's Righteous Babe label and most certainly Bird's magnum opus thus far. The release is nothing short of mesmerizing and will undoubtedly appear on many best of the year lists. Andrew Bird opens for Nickel Creek tonight at the Eccles Center for the Performing Arts in Park City, UT.

In House #1505.
Airdate: 12/02/05
Focus: Andrew Bird with Nickel Creek tonight in Park City, plus new music from Teddy Thompson, Ron Sexsmith and Don Kerr and more.

BONUS- from Andrew Bird's latest:
"A Nervous Tic Motion of the Head to the Left" (MP3).


In House PODCAST #27

Friday Random Five (#12)

Oh November, we barely knew you. Which means it's December already which is quite alright, particularly if your mantra is, by way of John Darnielle, "I am gonna make it through this year, if it kills me." In any case, another splendid five here to start off your month, capped off, obviously, by the Decemberists. We might even set up a residency for the band in the Random Five all month long given that it is their month. I ramble on and on...

1- It is, of course, that time of year where we begin to look back, to take stock of the year that was and everything it might possibly mean. Musically, this is an especially arduous task since it has been a particularly solid year for new releases in my estimation. The Crystal Skulls' debut Blocked Numbers has been very high on my list since its release last March. There's just so much here to dig, and "No Room for Change" (MP3) is very much included in that.

2- Of course, this time of year also prompts us to want to be done with this tired old number already-- the one we've been hearing and repeating for the past 11 months. For the new number holds boundless possibility, so let's get to it already. While we can't see whether or not we'll be hit by a bus or fall in love on February 7th, 2006, we do know that Belle & Sebastian's next release, The Life Pursuit, will be in stores that day. And we know that "Another Sunny Day" (MP3) will be on it.

3- As if we didn't need more proof of the generally evil tendencies of behemoth, multi-mergered record companies (you know, the ones that complain of losing 1% of their overall profits to piracy), word on the street is that Nellie McKay was recently reduced to tears on-stage by the likes of Sony. Ms. McKay is lovely and talented and precocious and, as such, the bullying isn't really appreciated. Also, she too has a new album out early in 2006, Pretty Little Head. This live version of "Cupcake (LIVE)" (MP3), from the new album, was recorded in 2004 at the Aldrich Museum in Ridgefield, CT.

4- Getting back to one of the better releases of 2005, Andrew Bird's The Mysterious Production of Eggs is outstanding (see more on him in today's Show Post). Few muscial moments this year reached the sublimely lazy bliss of "Masterfade" (MP3).

5- As promised, we close it out this week with one from this month's poster children, the Decemberists. The vinyl edition of their 2005 release Picaresque includes the all-bonus-track mini album Picaresquities. Here's one of two different versions of "The Bandit Queen (Version Prescott)" (MP3). The other one includes tap dancing.

enjoy. rinse. repeat.

Thursday, December 01, 2005

Show Post: In House #1504

Hey Sunshine is one of two new releases from New York City-based singer-songwriter Drazy Hoops. Hoops' music is every bit as enigmatic as his name might imply, as he melds a musical blend that is difficult to place. There's a bit of the singer-songwriter (Dylan, Drake, Elliott Smith, Neil Young), but something of the hipster slack about him, too (Pavement and Smog come to mind). Both Hey Sunshine and That Which Doesn't Kill You are recently out on Slow Burn records and represent Hoops' fifth and sixth full-length releases. His music has also appeared on past soundtracks, including the films Next Stop Wonderland and Hal Hartley's short The Book of Life.

In House #1504.
Airdate: 12/1/05
Focus: New release from Drazy Hoops, Hey Sunshine, plus music from the vinyl-only edition of the Decemberists' Picaresque and more.

BONUS- from Drazy Hoops' That Which Doesn't Kill You:
"Another Year Straight to Hell" (MP3), from Drazy Hoops' Hey Sunshine: "Independence Day" (MP3).


In House PODCAST #26