Friday, June 30, 2006

In House #1653: New South Fork Live; New Eilen Jewel

Tomorrow's Bluegrass On the Greenbelt event in Idaho Falls features some of the finest string players in the region, with styles ranging from folk to bluegrass to straight up oldtime stringband. Among the longest-running and most well-known of these is New South Fork, the Idaho Falls quintet that has been treating the region to authentic, well-played blugerass for the past six years or so. Three-fifths of the band join us in the studio today for a performance and interview, as well as a first peek at their new recording, entitled Used.

New South Fork

Also today, new music from the Boston-based singer-songwriter Eilen Jewel. Boundary County was released by Jewel earlier this year and has recently been picked up for distribution by Signature Sounds. She brings her easy-feeling, throwback style back to Idaho (she began her career in Boise) next month for the Music On the Rocks Festival in Idaho City.

Eilen Jewel

In House #1653.
Airdate: 6/30/06
Focus: New South Fork live In House, plus new music from Eilen Jewel, Ramblin' Jack Elliott, Chatham County Line and more.

Eilen Jewel, live in St. Barth's, French West Indies: "Blood For Wine" (MP3)

From today's live in studio session with New South Fork:

1- "I'm Not Gonna Cry Anymore" (MP3)

2- "Can't You Hear Jerusalem Moan" (MP3)

3- "In the Twinkling of An Eye" (MP3)

4- "(Put More Water In the Soup) There's Better Times a-Comin" (MP3)


Thursday, June 29, 2006

In House #1652: Sonic Youth in Missoula Tonight; Rogue Wave, Black Heart Procession In the Area This Weekend

It's difficult to say whether or not Sonic Youth has ever played Montana, but it seems fairly likely that tonight's show at the University of Montana in Missoula is their first. It only took twenty-five years. The band is currently touring in support of their fifteenth full-length, the excellently sparse Rather Ripped, and recent reviews have shown the band's live show to be as electric as ever.

Sonic Youth

Watch Sonic Youth's recent performance of "Incinerate," on Late Night with David Letterman.

Elsewhere this weekend, Rogue Wave drifts into Salt Lake City's Kilby Court tomorrow night. The San Francisco band released their second album, Descended Like Vultures, last year and it was easily one of the best-sounding releases of 2005.

Rogue Wave

San Diego's Black Heart Procession plays two shows in the area this weekend, touring in support of their recent album The Spell. Boise's Neurolux plays host on Saturday night before a funereal parade down I-84 to the Urban Lounge in Salt Lake City on Sunday night.

Black Heart Procession

Closer to home, Salt Lake City's Starmy makes their first Pocatello appearance Saturday night at the First National Bar in Old Town.

Related content: here and here

In House #1652.
Airdate: 6/29/06
Focus: Sonic Youth in Missoula tonight, plus Rogue Wave and the Black Heart Procession in the region this weekend. Also, new music from White Whale, Cansei de Ser Sexy and more.

Sonic Youth: "Incinerate" (MP3)
Black Heart Procession: "Not Just Words" (MP3)


In House PODCAST #130

Wednesday, June 28, 2006

In House #1651: The Court & Spark Tonight in Salt Lake City; New Bonnie Prince Billy

From where we sit at least, San Francisco's Court & Spark remain a criminally overlooked band, at least as deserving as My Morning Jacket or the Drive-By Truckers of NPR praise, festival dates, and album sales. Their catalog includes four solid releases, including this year's Hearts, which continues the sonic adventurousness the band displayed on Witch Season and the Dead Diamond River EP, both released in 2004. Currently touring through mid-July, the Court & Spark plays Kilby Court in Salt Lake City tonight. More on the band is here.

Court & Spark

In House #1651.
Airdate: 6/28/06
Focus: The Court & Spark in Salt Lake City tonight, plus new music from Bonnie Prince Billy, Scott H. Biram, the Theatre Fire and more.

The Court & Spark, from Hearts:
"Your Mother Was the Lightning" (MP3)

"We Were All Uptown Rulers" (MP3)

Scott H. Biram, from Graveyard Shift:
"Been Down Too Long" (MP3)


In House PODCAST #129

Tuesday, June 27, 2006

In House #1650: John Hiatt & the N. Mississippi All-Stars Tonight in Salt Lake City

Back in the early years of his career, it may have seemed to singer-songwriter John Hiatt that it just wasn't in the cards for him to make it as an artist. Sure, songs he had penned had scored hits for the likes of Bonnie Raitt, Iggy Pop, and Three Dog Night, but the public seemed to ignore him when he released an album of his own, leading to his being dropped by his first label despite critical acclaim. Thirty-two years and eighteen albums into a career that has seen more than a couple of different phases, it seems safe to say that Hiatt has cemented his place in the music world. Hiatt hits Salt Lake City's Red Butte Garden tonight, touring in support of last year's Master of Disaster.

John Hiatt

Serving as both opener and backing band for Hiatt are the North Mississippi All-Stars, two-thirds of whom are the sons of legendary producer and performer Jim Dickinson. They released their first album for Dave Matthews' ATO label last year, entitled Electric Blue Watermelon.

North Mississippi All-Stars

In House #1650.
Airdate: 6/27/06
Focus: John Hiatt & the North Mississippi All-Stars in Salt Lake City tonight, plus new music from Dave Alvin, Johnny Cash, Todd Snider and more.

BONUS MP3 from today's show-
North Mississippi All-Stars: "Be So Glad (MP3) (Live at WBOS-Boston)


In House PODCAST #128

Monday, June 26, 2006

In House #1649: Grant-Lee Phillips' nineteeneighties

Due out tomorrow, Grant-Lee Phillips' fourth release is a covers album paying homage to some of the songs and artists that influenced him during his musical coming-of-age in the 1980's. nineteeneighties more or less features the A-list (as opposed to the Motley Crue and Poison covers some were hoping for), as Phillips covers New Order, The Smiths, Robyn Hitchcock, The Church, and Echo & the Bunnymen, among others (sorry, no Wham!), with consistently interesting results. Things are kept simple for the most part, never getting more exotic than a harmonica intro (Nick Cave & the Bad Seeds' "City of Refuge") or a toy piano (the Cure's "Boys Don't Cry"). Despite the new wave and alternative origins, Phillips flavors the songs with the folk-roots found on his most recent album, Virginia Creeper, as opposed to the poppier, more produced sounds of his second album, mobilize. As such, New Wave purists might hate it-- but the rest of us will probably find it hard not to like.

Grant-Lee Phillips

In House #1648.
Airdate: 6/26/06
Focus: New release from Grant-Lee Phillips, nineteeneighties, plus new music from Frank Black, the Watson Twins, Elvis Perkins and more.

BONUS MP3s from today's show-
Grant-Lee Phillips, from ninteeneighties:
"City of Refuge" (MP3) (Nick Cave & the Bad Seeds cover)
and "Boys Don't Cry" (MP3) (Cure cover)

Elvis Perkins in Dearland, from Ash Wednesday:
Several tracks, including "Ash Wednesday" available here.


In House PODCAST #127

Springsteen & Band Bring Down Conan's House

In case you missed it, Friday night's Late Night with Conan O'Brien featured this barnburning rendition of "Pay Me My Money Down" from Bruce Springsteen and his Seeger Sessions band. Yep, that's Conan himself, Thomas Hayden Church, and Jimmy Fallon all sitting in, not to mention the Max Weinberg 7. Historical? Safe to say.

Also, from the same broadcast, catch the performance of Pete Seeger's "Bring 'Em Home," not included on the recent We Shall Overcome release, here.

Friday, June 23, 2006

In House #1648: Kris Delmhorst's Strange Conversation; New Will Kimbrough, Grant Lee Phillips

Boston singer-songwriter Kris Delmhorst's upcoming release Strange Conversation is based on an interesting premise: all songs draw inspiration from the work of classic poets. As her website puts it,"Some of the poems are set verbatim to music, some dimantled and reassembled in significantly new renditions, others merely used as the jumping-off point for Delmhorst's own literate lyrical take." The collection includes the work of e.e. cummings, whose "Pretty How Town," becomes a rootsy swing in Delmhorst's hands, as well as Lord Byron, Edna St. Vincent Millay, Robert Browning, and George Eliot, among others. The interpretations take on a surprisingly wide range in form and flavor, with playful helpings of blues and Dixieland brass ensuring that the songs are not near as stuffy and formal as some may have treated them. Delmhorst's fourth album comes out next Tuesday on Signature Sounds.

Kris Delmhorst

In House #1648.
Airdate: 6/23/06
Focus: New release from Kris Delmhorst, Strange Conversation, plus new music from Grant Lee Phillips, Will Kimbrough, Greg Graffin and more.

Kris Delmhorst, from Strange Conversation: "Galuppi Baldessare" (MP3) (courtesy of Womenfolk)


In House PODCAST #126

Thursday, June 22, 2006

In House #1647: The Essex Green's Cannibal Sea; New Mojave 3, Lady & Bird

The Essex Green's third album is something of a pleasant surprise. The Brooklyn quartet recently released Cannibal Sea, a rather astounding assortment of songs influenced by everything from Motown and 60's pop to Greenwich Village and Fairport Convention. In addition to the wide range of sounds, the band seems to have turned the chipper control up a bit, ala recent releases from Belle & Sebastian and Mojave 3, and are that much more enjoyable for it. From the opening strains of "This Isn't Farm Life," it's clear that this will be no mope-fest, and the band shines throughout whether the lead vocal is being delivered by Chris Ziter, Sasha Bell, Jeff Baron, or some combination thereof. Cannibal Sea is available on Merge records.

The Essex Green

In House #1647.
Airdate: 6/22/06
Focus: Recent release from The Essex Green, Cannibal Sea, plus new music from Mojave 3, Camera Obscura, Matthew Friedberger, Lady & Bird and more.

The Essex Green, from Cannibal Sea:
"Rue de Lis" (m3u stream)
and "Don't Know Why (You Stay)" (m3u stream)


In House PODCAST #125

Wednesday, June 21, 2006

In House #1646: Frank Black's Fast Man Raider Man; Jolie Holland in Salt Lake City Tonight

Frank Black continued the dusty travels he began a few years back with the Catholics this week with the release of the new double album, Fast Man Raider Man. The new collection features 27 new songs spread over 94 minutes, and much of the same personnel that joined Black for last year's Honeycomb.

Frank Black

As with that release, this means legendary Memphis and Nashville sessions players like Spooner Oldham, in addition to the likes of Bobby Bare Jr., Levon Helm, Buddy Miller, and Catholic Lyle Workman. The result is a solid, if not necessarily groundbreaking, mix of rock, blues and Americana on Black's eleventh post-Pixies release. High points include his version of Ewan MacColl's "Dirty Old Town," on which he's joined on lead vocals by Marty Brown; and the brass-laden, genre-bending "Dog Sleep," perhaps the most adventurous tune in the group. Black will be playing a month's worth of European dates beginning in mid-July, before returning for several shows in the U.S., including August 9th at Salt Lake City's Urban Lounge.

Speaking of the Urban Lounge, indie-americana chanteuse Jolie Holland plays there tonight, touring in support of the fine new album Springtime Can Kill You. One of the more interesting young musicians around, Holland has a voice and a sound that feel as if they were lifted from a bygone era, sort of a female version of M. Ward. Her new album meanders in and out of rhythms, rarely satisfied with a traditional verse-chorus-verse song structure. It's occasionally unsettling, and always gorgeous, listening.

Jolie Holland

Related content: here

In House #1646.
Airdate: 6/21/06

Focus: New double album from Frank Black,
Fastman Raiderman, plus Jolie Holland and the Yonder Mountain String Band in Salt Lake City tonight and new music from Grant Lee Phillips and more.

Frank Black, from Fast Man Raider Man: "In My Time of Ruin" (MP3) (courtesy A Plague of Angels)

Jolie Holland, from Catalpa: "Black Hand Blues" (MP3)
...and from Springtime Can Kill You: "Crazy Dreams" (MP3)


In House PODCAST #124

Tuesday, June 20, 2006

In House #1645: Tapes n' Tapes in Salt Lake City Tomorrow Night; New Mountain Goats

If you've visited even a handful of the multitudes of music blogs that make up the vast blogosphere over the past six months or so, then chances are good you've come across Tapes n' Tapes and their debut full-length, The Loon. One might say they're this year's Clap Your Hands Say Yeah.

Tapes n' Tapes

Indeed, the hype for the Minneapolis band has been so blown up that it seems almost unfair to listen to them afterwards-- it's unclear whether or not the likes of the Beatles would have been able to live up to such pre-praises. In any case, they've recently signed to XL recordings, and The Loon will be getting the re-release treatment late next month. The band hits Salt Lake City's Kayo Gallery tomorrow night with openers the Cold War Kids and Figurines.

In House #1645.
Airdate: 6/20/06
Focus: Tapes n' Tapes in Salt Lake City tomorrow night with Figurines and the Cold War Kids. Plus new music from the Mountain Goats, Built to Spill, Evangelicals, Cansei de Ser Sexy, and more.

Tapes n' Tapes, from The Loon: "Insistor" (MP3) and "Cowbell" (MP3)

Cold War Kids, from Up In Rags: "Hospital Beds" (MP3)

Figurines, from Skeleton: "The Wonder" (MP3)


In House PODCAST #123

Monday, June 19, 2006

In House #1644: Hank Williams III in Salt Lake City Tonight

Touring in support of Straight to Hell, his third and most recent release, Hank Williams III hits The Depot in Salt Lake City tonight. The newest album is another batch of tunes combining the vocals and retro sounds of his famous grandfather with the themes of his slightly less famous father, those themes mostly being drinking and rambling. Straight to Hell is also another round of country-tinged numbers-- not the kind of country that will get him play on mainstream country radio (and we're all grateful for that)-- but country as opposed to his musical alter-egos as the bassist for the metal act Superjoint Ritual, and the frontman of the hellbilly act Assjack. Needless to say, there's more than one side to Hank III, and his grandpa wouldn't necessarily approve of all of them. Still, his true heart seems to lay in classic country, as his song "Country Heroes," would suggest, name-dropping the likes of Johnny Cash, George Jones, Merle Haggard, and others along the way.

Hank III

Related content: here

In House #1644.
Airdate: 6/19/06
Focus: Hank Williams III in Salt Lake City tonight, plus new music from Johnny Cash, the Bottle Rockets, and more.

Hank Williams III, from Straight to Hell: "Country Heores" (MP3)


In House PODCAST #122

Friday, June 16, 2006

In House #1643: Neko Case in Park City Tomorrow Night; New Court & Spark, Oakley Hall, M. Ward

Indie songtress Neko Case makes a rare appearance in the area tomorrow night, playing Park City, UT's Club Suede. Case, of course, is touring in support of her fourth studio release, Fox Confessor Brings the Flood, out earlier this year. Aside from her stunning mane of red hair, Case is also one of those rare untrained voices that is nevertheless nearly unrivaled in tone and pitch. In short: she's got pipes, and she's not shy about using them-- whether that means within the progressive roots of her own music, or lending them to the indie-pop ubergroup the New Pornographers. Crooked Fingers' Eric Bachmann opens things up.

Neko Case

In House #1643.
Airdate: 6/16/06
Focus: Neko Case in Park City tomorrow night, plus new music from the Court & Spark, Oakley Hall, M. Ward, Ladyhawk and more.

Neko Case, from Fox Confessor Brings the Flood:
"Star Witness" (MP3) and "Hold On, Hold On" (MP3)

...and from her live album, The Tigers Have Spoken:
"If You Knew" (MP3) and "Train From Kansas City" (MP3)

Ladyhawk: "The Dugout" (MP3)


In House PODCAST #121

Thursday, June 15, 2006

In House #1642: New Self-Titled Yonder Mountain String Band; New Jesse DeNatale, Greg Graffin

Colorado's Yonder Mountain String Band aren't your everyday bluegrass act. Over the course of three previous studio albums and a handful of live recordings they've shown a tendency to spice things up a bit, adding elements of alt-country and jam-band sounds, among others, into the mix. The band has just released their first studio effort in three years, a new self-titled album out on Vanguard records. It pairs them with the production of Tom Rothrock, who has in the past worked with the likes of Beck and Elliott Smith, in what would seem to be a move designed to remove them even further from the sometimes stuffy porches of "old-timey." The band begins an extended tour this Friday night and hits Salt Lake City's Port O' Call on June 21st.

Yonder Mountain String Band

Also today, music from a new album on the way from singer-songwriter Jesse DeNatale. His second release, Soul Parade, comes out July 11th on the Jackpine Social Club label. Why should you pay attention to this? Only Tom Waits has called him "a unique and original American voice." DeNatale will be touring this summer in support of the new release.

Jesse DeNatale

In House #1642.
Airdate: 6/15/06
Focus: New release from the Yonder Mountain String Band, Yonder Mountain String Band, plus new music from Greg Graffin, Neil Young, Jesse DeNatale and more.

BONUS MP3 from today's show-
Grace Potter & the Nocturnals: "Toothbrush & My Table" (MP3)


In House PODCAST #120

Wednesday, June 14, 2006

In House #1641: Sonic Youth's Rather Ripped; New Evangelicals, Pela

Celebrating their 25th year together as a band in 2006, Sonic Youth have just released their 15th studio album (and fifth in the past seven years), entitled Rather Ripped. Once again a quartet after Jim O'Rourke's opt-out, the sound is perhaps as sparse as the band's ever created, though it still fits nicely into a trilogy with previous releases Sonic Nurse (2004) and Murray St. (2002). High points include Thurston Moore compositions "Incinerate," and "Do You Believe in Rapture?" as well as Kim Gordon's "The Neutral." Sonic Youth began a summer U.S. tour last night in New York City and will be hitting Missoula, of all places, playing the University of Montana on June 29th.

Sonic Youth

In House #1641.
Airdate: 6/14/06
Focus: New release from Sonic Youth, Rather Ripped, plus new music from Evangelicals, Pela, Twilight Singers and more.

Sonic Youth, from Rather Ripped: "Incinerate" (MP3)

Evangelicals, from So Gone: "Here Comes Trouble" (MP3)


Tuesday, June 13, 2006

In House #1640: Cracker's Greenland; New Watson Twins, Frank Black

Cracker returned last week with Greenland, their first album of new material in four years. Though the material is still largely based in that roosty-alternative-pop flavor the band has always mined, there are moments that branch out promisingly: the countrified opener, "Something You Ain't Got," (with harmonies from Caitlin Cary); the unexpected dirty blues of "Gimme One More Chance"; and the off-kilter, vaguely Middle Eastern rhythms of "Better Times Are Coming Our Way," which is perhaps the closest the band has ever veered into sounding like their older brothers and alter-egos Camper Van Beethoven. At the same time that David Lowery is still the guy behind the humor and smart-aleckary of "Take the Skinheads Bowling," in new songs like "I Need Better Friends," and "I'm So Glad She Ain't Never Coming Back," there is also a new depth and darkness to his songwriting, most notably on "Night Falls," and "Darling We're Out of Time." As usual, Cracker is touring exhaustively, with an eye toward the annual Cracker & Camper Van Beethoven Campout and Music Festival in September, featuring the likes of John Doe and Neko Case, among others.


Also out recently is the debut EP from the Watson Twins, entitled Southern Manners. The sisters, Chandra & Leigh, initially announced their talents to most of the world on this year's Jenny Lewis release, Rabbit Fur Coat, for which they contributed ethereal, soulful backup vocals. Southern Manners finds them in a slightly less ironic vein, though the vocals are no less stunning. Based in Los Angeles, they've somehow remained unsigned to this point and released the debut themselves.

Watson Twins

Related content: here and here

In House #1640.
Airdate: 6/13/06
Focus: New releases from Cracker, Greenland, and the Watson Twins, Southern Manners, plus new music from Frank Black, Oakley Hall, the Bottle Rockets and more.

Oakley Hall, from Gypsum Strings: "Lazy Susan" (MP3)


In House PODCAST #119

Monday, June 12, 2006

In House #1639: Zero 7's The Garden; New Thom Yorke, Regina Spektor

British producer duo Zero 7 returned last week with their third full-length, entitled The Garden. Once again employing outside vocalists with unique but accessible styles, the new release feels like a fairly deliberate move towards a more pop-oriented album, as opposed to isolated singles placed amongst club-flavored filler. A major new element is the presence of Swedish singer-songwriter Jose Gonzalez, who contributes vocal duties to several tracks, including a re-dressing of his song, "Crosses," orginally from last year's excellent Veneer release. Elsewhere, Sia fills the chanteuese role wonderfully, reprising her role as the voice of Zero 7, ala Elizabeth Fraser's collaboration with Massive Attack before them. Gonzalez and Sia are currently touring with Zero 7 for a list of European dates before hitting the U.S. at the end of the summer.

Zero 7

In House #1639.
Airdate: 6/12/06
Focus: New release from Zero 7, The Garden, plus new music from Thom Yorke, Regina Spektor, Phoenix and more.

Regina Spektor, from Begin to Hope: "On the Radio" (MP3)
(courtesy Water Cooler Gossip)


In House PODCAST #118

Saturday, June 10, 2006

Friday Random Five (#19)

Another random five random appearance here, and yeah, we know it's technically early Saturday-- don't hold us to that and we won't necessarily hold to the random or the five parts either. We go far and wide for this one, tending toward the new and (we think) interesting.

1- Jolie Holland has called her latest, Springtime Can Kill You, "a picture of a lovesick, convoluted mind." Maybe that's how it manages to be so lovely and unsettling at once. The voice is beautiful, but the off-kilter changes never let you get too close. Like "Crazy Dreams" (MP3).

2- To Brazil! Home of Carnival, a 900 ft. Jesus and, apparently, Cansei de Ser Sexy. The Sao Paulo band's self-titled debut is out July 11th on Sub Pop and "Let's Make Love & Listen to Death from Above" (MP3) ain't bossa nova.

3- And now, Pela (no, not Petra, that's something completely different). Who or what is Pela? A promising-sounding band straight outta Brooklyn, it seems, and it would appear they've been at it a little while now. "Lost to the Lonesome" (MP3) is new from them and we like it.

- Since we don't want to get crackerfied Stephin Merritt style, here's a bone: Dr. Octagon (aka Kool Keith) returns June 27th with The Return of Dr. Octagon. The neat part is that "Ants" (MP3) is so good this ain't a bone at all. It just happens to come from that small segment of the hip-hop genre that values creativity over crass materialism. Plus, John Darnielle likes it.

5- Good lord, how good is Midlake and The Trials of Van Occupanther? One of the first shoe-in top ten of 2006 releases and it's (still) not even out yet. "Roscoe" (MP3) has been available as a download for a while now but here it is to help celebrate the anticipation (July 25th). Plus, Jason Lee likes it.

6- So this is a bit of a surprise: Bad Religion's Greg Graffin has a solo release due out July 11th on Anti entitled Cold As the Clay. Judging from "Don't Be Afraid to Run" (MP3), it's going to sound nothing like his band. Jolie Holland and the Weakerthans guest star.

7- Speaking of Winnipeg, Manitoba's favorite band, here's the Weakerthans' "Plea From a Cat Named Virtue" (MP3) going back to Reconstruction Site.

8- Finally, something new from the Chicago-based duo The Like Young. Last Secrets was recently released on the Polyvinyl record label and includes the song "For Money Or Love" (MP3).

enjoy. rinse. repeat.

Friday, June 09, 2006

In House #1638: Mojave 3's Puzzles Like You; The Invasion In Pocatello This Weekend

Having formed in the mid-90's out of the ashes of shoegaze act Slowdive, Mojave 3 represented a musical about-face for Neil Halstead and company to say the least. Swirling guitars and waves of sound were replaced by largely folk-based compositions and twangy balladry under the new moniker, which would soon become known for its plaintive sound. Ten years later, Mojave 3 has released what for them equates as a "party album" with Puzzles Like You, out this week on 4AD/Beggar's. The band let's their hair down, so to speak, on their fifth album, with many of the songs in a 3-minute up-tempo pop vein. "Truck Driving Man," (not the Terry Fell-penned tune made famous by everyone from The Byrds to Buck Owens, but a Halstead original) sets the tone as the album's opener to a set already being called "frisky" and "summery" by reviews.

Mojave 3

Also, Boise's The Invasion returns to Pocatello this weekend, playing tomorrow night at the First National Bar.

Related content: here.

In House #1638.
Airdate: 6/09/06
Focus: New release from Mojave 3, Puzzles Like You, plus The Invasion in Pocatello this weekend and new music from the French Kicks, El Perro Del Mar, the Futureheads and more.

BONUS MP3 (already available in the archive, but worth a re-listen)-
The Invasion: "The New Rules (LIVE)" (MP3) (Recorded live In House, 2/24/06)


In House PODCAST #117

Thursday, June 08, 2006

In House #1637: Ron Sexsmith's Time Being; New David Mead, Jon Auer

In our opinion at least, Toronto-based singer-songwriter Ron Sexsmith has always been something of a criminally overlooked artist, despite achieving a deservedly rabid fanbase. Twenty years since the appearance of his debut, self-released cassette Sexsmith has just released his tenth full-length and third in the last three years (though last year's Destination Unknown was officially billed to he and Don Kerr), entitled Time Being. As with his other recent releases, producer Mitchell Froom is once again behind the controls, for better or worse moving Sexsmith further away from the autumnal sound of his early work (despite the fact that Froom produced most of those, too). A successful example of this is the Beatlesesque "The Grim Trucker," which sounds as if Sexsmith stopped by and recorded during sessions for The White Album. Elsewhere finds songwriting as warm and clever as ever on songs like "Jazz In the Bookstore," and "Ship of Fools." Available in most of the rest of the world, Time Being won't be released in the U.S. unitl late summer or early fall on a yet to be determined label.

Ron Sexsmith

Meanwhile, singer-songwriter David Mead has just released the follow-up to his very well-received 2004 album Indiana. Tangerine is the fourth effort from Mead, and finds him exploring some new sonic textures while offering up another batch of well-written tunes. He's currently touring in the northwest U.S.

David Mead

In House #1637.
Airdate: 6/08/06
Focus: New releases from Ron Sexsmith, Time Being, and David Mead, Tangerine. Plus, new music from Jon Auer, Micah P. Hinson, and Matthew Sweet & Susanna Hoffs.

Ron Sexsmith, from Time Being: "The Grim Trucker" (MP3)

Sexsmith on Time Being, the players and production.

Jon Auer, from Songs From the Year of Our Demise:
"Six Feet Under" (MP3) and "Four Letter Word" (MP3)


Wednesday, June 07, 2006

In House #1636: The Bottle Rockets' Zoysia; New Cracker, Dave Alvin

The Bottle Rockets released their first album in three years, and eighth overall, just yesterday, entitled Zoysia (apparently named after a strain of grass, hardy and creeping). The new batch of songs find the Bottle Rockets' own hardy and creeping strain as potent as ever, and rumors of a softening with age were clearly premature. Songs like "Middle Man," and the epic, album-closing title track not only deliver the musical goods that made the band Missouri's Crazy Horse, but display the lyrical spirit that has always identified the band as the quintissential midwestern-U.S., workingman's act. Zoysia is the second release for the band on Chicago's Bloodshot records label.

Bottle Rockets

In House #1636.
Airdate: 6/07/06
Focus: New release out this week from the Bottle Rockets, Zoysia, plus new music from Cracker, Dave Alvin and more.

Bottle Rockets: "Mountain to Climb" (MP3)


In House PODCAST #116

Tuesday, June 06, 2006

In House #1635: Camera Obscura's Let's Get Out of This Country; Live Music Galore Tonight in Salt Lake City

Scottish act Camera Obscura returns today with their third full-length for the Merge label, entitled Let's Get Out of This Country. Ever the twee ones, the band has nevertheless always been adept at creating music based on classic forms, borrowing from girl groups, the Beach Boys, and Motown, and running it through the scope of their ever-present Scottishness. The new release does not disappoint in that respect, as the band crafts another batch of nearly faultless pop tunes, even throwing a nod in to another long lost gem: Lloyd Cole's "Are You Ready to Be Heartbroken?" Tracyanne Campbell takes on a new starring role following the departure of John Henderson, with whom she formerly split lead vocal duties. From the sounds of things, she doesn't mind so much-- the rest of us certainly don't.

Camera Obscura

Meanwhile, it's live music galore tonight in Salt Lake City, as no fewer than three promising bills hit the town. Eels play The Depot in what appears to be a return to the more rock-based live sound of past tours following the release this year of Eels With Strings- Live at Town Hall. In any case, it's a rare Salt Lake City appearance for the enigmatic E. and company-- to make things even more interesting, Smoosh opens.

Eels' E.

Elsewhere, Michigan's His Name Is Alive hit Kilby Court in support of one of the coolest sounding releases of the year, Detrola. The small venue seems ideal for catching the recreation of the kinds of sounds found on songs like "Get Your Curse On," and "Mama, Don't You Think I Know." The band is about half-way through their first full U.S. tour in ten years.

His Name Is Alive

As if the prior two didn't present a tough enough choice, New York City's Walkmen play In the Venue, easily the worst of the three venues to catch a show. As you may recall, the band recently released their third full-length, entitled A Hundred Miles Off, and have been getting more than their fair share of attention as of late.

the Walkmen

Related content: here

In House #1635.
Airdate: 6/06/06
Focus: New release from Camera Obscura, Let's Get Out of This Country, plus Eels, His Name Is Alive, and the Walkmen in Salt Lake City tonight.

Camera Obscura, from Let's Get Out of This Country:
"If Looks Could Kill" (m3u stream)
and "Lloyd, I'm Ready to Be Heartbroken" (m3u stream)

The Walkmen: "Brandy Alexander" (MP3)


In House PODCAST #115

Monday, June 05, 2006

In House #1634: Costello & Toussaint's The River In Reverse; Blind Boys of Alabama in Salt Lake City Tonight

The chameleon-like qualities of Elvis Costello are rather well-documented at this point. Over the years, his muse has led him to collaborate with everyone from George Jones to the Brodsky Quartet, and just in the past couple of years or so he's released a rock album, a blues-roots album (with his other band, the Imposters), an orchestral work, and a live jazz album backed by a 50-piece Dutch orchestra. What's more, these projects never come across as dabbling on the part of Costello, instead nearly always sounding fresh and well thought out-- his passion that exists for seemingly all things musical no doubt a major reason for this.

Costello's latest collaboration sees him joining forces with the legendary New Orleans musical figure Allen Toussaint, an artist known for his own work, as well as numerous production and arranging projects. The River In Reverse features re-workings from the Toussaint back-catalogue (including "Tears, Tears, and More Tears"), as well as five new co-writes between the duo. Apparent throughout is the Katrina-borne streak of protest in the lyrics of Costello on songs like the title track, "Broken Promise Land," and "International Echo." It all adds up to a soulful and authentic effort protesting the treatment of a great American city, while at the same time celebrating its past and, one would hope, its future.

Allen Toussaint & Elvis Costello

Meanwhile, the Blind Boys of Alabama, on a seemingly endless touring schedule, hit Salt Lake City tonight, playing the Kenley Amphitheatre. The group's most recent release is last year's Atom Bomb, issued on Peter Gabriel's RealWorld label, and once again full of their signature gospel-blues reworkings of pop songs like "Spirit In the Sky," as well as old gospel tunes like the Cold War-era title track.

Blind Boys of Alabama

In House #1634.
Airdate: 6/05/06
Focus: New collaboration from Elvis Costello & Allen Toussaint, The River In Reverse, plus the Blind Boys of Alabama in Salt Lake City tonight and new music from the Black Keys, Prince and more.

Costello & Toussaint, from The River In Reverse:
"Tears, Tears, and More Tears" (MP3)


In House PODCAST #114

Friday, June 02, 2006

In House #1633: Chatham County Line's Speed of the Whippoorwill; New Kevn Kinney, Scott H. Biram

North Carolina-based Chatham County Line returned this week with their third full-length in just the last four years, entitled Speed of the Whippoorwill. The release features 14 brand new originals from the quartet, despite being just one year removed from their last, Route 23. The band again walks the fine line between the old and the new, bringing an indie band's approach to an old-time form. The differences are subtle, but they succeed in rustling up the beards of a genre that can be a bit stuffy at times without coming off as a novelty act. The band keeps it at home once again this go around, released by North Carolina's yep roc label.

Chatham County Line

In House #1633.
Airdate: 6/02/06
Focus: New release from Chatham County Line, Speed of the Whippoorwill, plus new music from Kevn Kinney, Scott H. Biram and more.

BONUS MP3s from today's show-
Chatham County Line, from Speed of the Whippoorwill:
"Company Blues" (MP3) and "Rockpile" (MP3)

Old Crow Medicine Show, from Eutaw: "Tear It Down" (MP3)


Thursday, June 01, 2006

In House #1632: Dave Alvin's West of the West; New Tim Easton, James Luther Dickinson

The latest chapter in the career of singer-songwriter Dave Alvin is a tribute to his California songwriting heroes. West of the West finds Alvin covering everyone from Merle Haggard to Tom Waits to Kate Wolf as his influences are as wide-ranging as one might expect. Alvin, you may recall, got his start in the late seventies as a member of the roots-infused punk band (or is that punk-infused roots band?) The Blasters. Along the way, he's also been a part of the Flesh Eaters and the X side project the Knitters, who reconvened for an excellent release last year after a twenty year hiatus. West of the West is new out on yep roc, marking Alvin's second release for the label.

Dave Alvin

In House #1632.
Airdate: 6/01/06
Focus: New release from Dave Alvin, West of the West, plus new music from Tim Easton, James Luther Dickinson and more.


In House PODCAST #113