Tuesday, October 31, 2006

In House #1736: The 2006 Halloween Special

In House #1736.
Airdate: 10/31/06
Focus: The Halloween Special, featuring music from Tom Waits, Evangelicals, The Cure, Petra Haden, The Marbles, and more.

Evangelicals: "Halloween" (MP3)

The Postmarks: "Everyday Is Halloween" (MP3) (Ministry cover)

Petra Haden: "Thriller" (MP3) (Michael Jackson cover)

The Misfits: "Halloween" (MP3)

Lylas: "Miss Halloween, 1953" (MP3)


In House PODCAST #199

Monday, October 30, 2006

In House #1735: Willie Nelson's Songbird

It's not every week, or even every month, that we're greeted with new music from an icon. Color us lucky, I guess-- on the heels of Bob Dylan's September release and in front of Tom Waits' Orphans in November comes the latest from Willie Nelson out tomorrow. Songbird finds Nelson produced by Ryan Adams in addition to being backed by Adams' Cardinals over the course of eleven tracks, including well-selected covers, reworkings of some older originals, and a new thing or two. The result is easily Nelson's best effort since 1998's Teatro, which saw him working with Daniel Lanois and Emmylou Harris. In this case, Adams seems the perfect choice to produce Nelson as he plays toward a sound that is classic but updated, understated but packing a muscle that hasn't been heard in Nelson's music for a while, if ever. The covers here, particularly the rather astounding reinventions of Fleetwood Mac's "Songbird," and Leonard Cohen's "Hallelujah," are the album's gems-- a solid version of Gram Parsons' "$1000 Wedding," among others, is also included. In short, it's a refreshing late career highlight from one of the greatest living creators of American music. It's Willie Nelson as he should be heard: no gimmicks, no Toby Keith appearances, just an icon doing what he does best.

Willie Nelson

In House #1735.
Airdate: 10/30/06
Focus: New release from Willie Nelson, Songbird, plus new music from Jerry Lee Lewis, Micky & the Motorcars, The Be Good Tanyas, Joan Osborne, and more.

Willie Nelson, from Songbird: "Songbird" (MP3)


In House PODCAST #198

Friday, October 27, 2006

In House #1734: Myshkin's Ruby Warblers Live

Portland, Oregon-based artist Myshkin's Ruby Warblers is today's live in-studio guest, returning to the area for a performance tonight at MarCellar's in Idaho Falls. The band is led by singer-songwriter Myshkin, who formed the trio in 2002 after relocating to the northwest following several years garnering acclaim as a solo artist based in New Orleans' Ninth Ward. The Warblers, also consisting of bassist/multi-instrumentalist Sailor Banks and drummer Leila Chieko, released their second full-length corvidae in 2004 and have recently issued the Sigh Semaphore EP, self-described as "7 quiet, hard, & gorgeous political songs about lying leaders, stolen resources, and drowning cities." For obvious reasons, Myshkin has taken more than an observer's interest in the events in the Crescent City following Hurricane Katrina, and it shows through on the new EP, particularly on songs like "Lied," and "Bywater." The recording itself, in fact, was made within the week immediately following the breaking of the first levy. With a rare voice reminiscent of Rickie Lee Jones and a sound evoking the smoky bars of long lost eastern European nights, Myshkin's Ruby Warblers are easily one of the more unique regularly touring acts around.

Myshkin's Ruby Warblers

In House #1734.
Airdate: 10/27/06
Focus: Myshkin's Ruby Warblers live In House, plus new music from Erin McKeown, Greg Laswell, Andrew Bird, and more.

Myshkin's Ruby Warblers, from corvidae:
"Gypsy Town" (MP3) and "Drunk" (MP3)

From today's in-studio set:
1- "Arsenal" (MP3)
2- "Peace" (MP3)
3- "Gypsy Town" (MP3)


In House PODCAST #197

411 on MP3s

In case you happen to be wondering, EZ Archive, the hosting service we use for our MP3s, is currently undergoing some sort of metamorphosis thus temporarily disabling all of the MP3s we host. We've been assured this will be remedied soon. Off site hosted MP3s will still work, of course, as well as our podcasts.

As you were.

Thursday, October 26, 2006

In House #1733: Viva Voce & The Silversun Pickups in Boise

The Robinsons, Kevin & Anita, make up the Portland, OR-based Viva Voce, joining Mates of State and The Rosebuds as indie couples united in love and music. The band's fourth album, Get Yr Blood Sucked Out, was released earlier this year on Barsuk, and introduced some interesting new elements to the duo's occasionally jangly, occasionally shoe-gazing neo-psychedelia. One need look no further than the fuzzed out onslaught of sound "We Do Not Fuck Around," or the 70's blues rock leanings of "So Many Miles," to know that there's something else entirely going on here. It's layers upon layers, including handclaps and harmonies, and it's easily their best and most complex work thus far. Viva Voce play with The Silversun Pickups tonight at The Neurolux in Boise. For a complete rundown of all the tour shenanigans, visit the tour-blog here.

Viva Voce

In House #1733.
Airdate: 10/26/06
Focus: Viva Voce and The Silversun Pickups in Boise tonight, plus new music from Harvey Danger, Johnny & the Moon, +/- and more.

Viva Voce's "From the Devil Himself":


In House PODCAST #196

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

In House #1732: Fiona Apple in Salt Lake City; New Tanya Donnelly, Bert Jansch

When Fiona Apple emerged with Tidal back in the mid-1990's, she immediately impressed many with a voice and style belying her teenage years. While the jazz-tinged playing and husky singing were a far cry from anything her similarly aged peers were doing, her writing and by now well-known stage fits and breakdowns were the trademarks of a still unmatured artist. Ten years on, Apple has clearly come into her own, her writing having become experienced (if still bitter), metaphor-filled takes on the crimes of love and relationships. Musically, her compositions are as sophisticated as anything around, even on the slightly dumbed down version of last year's Extraordinary Machine that was finally released, with Mike Elizondo's production work far more subdued and mainstream than its original and adventurous Jon Brion tweaked doppelganger. Word is she's also cut down on the stage tantrums. Apple appears at the University of Utah's Jon M. Hunstman Center in Salt Lake City tonight, during the same week that also saw the re-release of the soundtrack to Tim Burton's The Nightmare Before Christmas, which feature's Apple's version of the Danny Elfman-penned "Sally's Song."

Fiona Apple

In House #1732.
Airdate: 10/25/06
Focus: Fiona Apple in Salt Lake City tonight, plus new music from Bert Jansch, Tanya Donnelly, Erin McKeown, and more.

Fiona Apple, from Tim Burton's The Nightmare Before Christmas:
"Sally's Song" (MP3)


In House PODCAST #195

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

In House #1731: The Silent Years in Salt Lake City; New Pas/Cal

Chances are that it's baseball that comes to mind when one thinks of Detroit right at the moment. Either that, or a reversion to Detroit's default image of burning automobiles (or, okay, the White Stripes). In any case, such a discussion could soon include The Silent Years, a Motor City-based quartet (occasionally quintet) who released their self-titled debut today on the Minneapolis-based No Alternative label. Since reforming a couple of years back, they've been gaining attention on the strength of their energetic live performances, in particular the set they played at this year's SXSW festival, which had people buzzing. Theirs is a diverse mix of hook-filled indie-rock, melancholic pop, and periodic tinges from the folk side of things, bringing to mind the likes of everyone from Wilco to Sloan to the French Kicks. The range of styles may be the sound of a young band still trying to establish themselves, but it's all done so well it hardly matters. As chance would have it, The Silent Years are playing tonight at Salt Lake City's Kilby Court before returning to the region for late November dates in Boise and Missoula.

The Silent Years

In House #1731.
Airdate: 10/24/06
Focus: Self-titled debut from The Silent Years, playing Salt Lake City tonight. Plus, new music from The Dears, Pas/Cal, Albert Hammond Jr., The Awkward Stage, and more.

The Silent Years, from The Silent Years:
"Someone to Keep Us Warm" (MP3)
"Sharks" (MP3)

The Silent Years' "Someone to Keep Us Warm":


In House PODCAST #194

Monday, October 23, 2006

In House #1730: Bloodshot's Bloodied But Unbowed; New Willie Nelson

Aside from their consistently outstanding regular releases from artists like Robbie Fulks, Kelly Hogan, Wayne Hancock, and scores of others, Chicago's Bloodshot Records has also developed a reputation as a purveyor of some of the more generous and substantive compilations around. Whether they've been celebrating the music of Rockabilly legend Wanda Jackson (Hard Headed Woman), making sure the kids have cool music, too (The Bottle Let Me Down), or throwing parties for milestones of longevity (Making Singles Drinking Doubles, For a Decade of Sin), the label has periodically delivered collections spilling over with the likes of the Waco Bros., Jon Rauhouse, Trailer Bride, and more. Now, on the occasion of their 12th anniversary, Bloodshot has recently released their first ever DVD, Bloodied But Unbowed: Bloodshot Records' Life In the Trenches, featuring (you guessd it) hordes of videos, live performance footage, short films, photos, and more with an impressive stable of roster artists past and present (Ryan Adams, The Sadies, Old 97's, Neko Case, Paul Burch, Graham Parker, Bobby Bare Jr., Scott H. Biram, etc.). As if that were not plenty, there's also a companion 18-track digital soundtrack that features audio versions of the live performances found on the DVD, as well as bonus non-DVD cuts from Wayne Hancock, Jon Langford, and others. In short, indeed, a veritable orgy of insurgent country and hillbilly tunes from one of the finest labels running today.

In House #1730.
Airdate: 10/23/06
Focus: Selections from the soundtrack to the new Bloodshot Records DVD, Bloodied But Unbowed: Life In the Trenches, plus new music from Willie Nelson, Gob Iron, Solomon Burke, Jesse Sykes, and more.

Waco Bros., from Bloody But Unbowed: The Soundtrack:
"See Willy Fly By (LIVE)" (MP3)

Willie Nelson, from Songbird (due 10/31): "Songbird" (MP3)

BONUS vid-
"Blood, Sweat & Beers: A Bloodshot Primer" from the Bloodied But Unbowed DVD:


In House PODCAST #193

Friday, October 20, 2006

In House #1729: Nellie McKay's Pretty Little Head; New Ben Folds

If today's show sounds a little familiar, there's a perfectly good explanation. Nellie McKay's Pretty Little Head (which, despite her fetchingness, is actually the title of her new album) was all but released last January by Sony, only to be shelved by the label because of a combination of brass shake-ups and on-going disagreements with McKay over the album's content. It seems that the suits at Sony, despite having already hacked the opus down by seven songs or so, were still not pleased with McKay's product (too original? too different? who knows?). Anyway, the short of it is, after the label balked at actually releasing Pretty Little Head, McKay eventually bought her album back (ala Wilco) and walked. On Halloween, it finally sees the light of day as McKay originally intended: 23 tracks over two discs, including guest appearances from the likes of k.d. lang and Cyndi Lauper. The engine driving it all, of course, is inside the unique witticisms and observations of Ms. McKay, who's been described as Doris Day meets Missy Elliott. Whatever the descriptor, it's clear that she's taken the whole chanteuse with piano thing somewhere else entirely.

Also today, music from next week's new Ben Folds release, Supersunnyspeedgraphic, which is actually only new in this particular form. Culling material from three limited edition EPs he's released over the past three years or so (Super D, Sunny 16, and Speed Graphic), as well as from his collaborative EP with Ben Lee and Ben Kweller (The Bens), Folds returns with a solid if slightly uneven collection of originals and unlikely covers, the latter of which includes intriguing versions of The Cure's "In Between Days," The Darkness' "Get Your Hands Off of My Woman," and Dr. Dre's "Bitches Ain't Shit." Folds will be playing this weekend's Vegoose Festival in Las Vegas.

In House #1729.
Airdate: 10/20/06
Focus: Nellie McKay's upcoming double album, Pretty Little Head, plus Ben Folds collects his EPs for a new release, and new music from Andrew Bird, Joseph Arthur, Fiona Apple, Eliza Carthy and more.

Nellie McKay, from Pretty Little Head: "There You Are In Me" (MP3)


In House PODCAST #192

Thursday, October 19, 2006

In House #1728: Darren Smith & Douglas Cameron Live

It's two for the price of one singer-songwriter day on the show as we enjoy an in-studio visit from Darren Smith and Douglas Cameron. The northwest-based pair (Smith in Seattle, Cameron in Boise, respectively) are in the midst of an acoustic tour together, each contributing backing vocals and guitar to the other's tunes. Smith and Cameron go back a ways, originally to Moscow, ID before going on to both be a part of the band Stranger Neighbor.

Darren Smith

Since those days, they've both bounced around a bit-- Smith to Seattle, where he's previously released three albums with the band Straw Dogs, Cameron to Phoenix and Seattle before settling into the solid Boise music scene, forming the Douglas Cameron Band. Both musicians have new solo albums out: Smith's Last Drive is the first of his career and recently came out on the Crafty label; Cameron's Remedies was self-released earlier this year. The duo plays Pocatello's Mocha Madness tonight (7p.) before wrapping up the tour tomorrow night in Twin Falls. Of note, Smith will also be opening for fellow Moscow native Josh Ritter in their hometown on the 29th of October.

Douglas Cameron

In House #1728.
Airdate: 10/19/06
Focus: Singer-songwriters Darren Smith & Douglas Cameron in town for a performance tonight, and live in the studio today. Plus, William Elliott Whitmore, Rocky Votolato, Lucero, and Bonnie Prince Billy all in Salt Lake City tonight.

From today's in-studio set:
1- "Last Drive" (MP3)
2- "Let Me Show You How" (MP3)

Darren Smith, from Last Drive: "Dogtown Mines" (MP3)

Douglas Cameron, from Remedies: "Afterthought" (MP3)


Wednesday, October 18, 2006

In House #1727: Jeremy Enigk's World Waits; New Robert Pollard

This week sees the return of Jeremy Enigk, whose previous solo effort Return of the Frog Queen came out a decade ago. World Waits is the new release from the former voice of Sunny Day Real Estate and The Fire Theft, and it finds Enigk in a decidedly more mature frame of mind. The tones here are subtle and deliberate, occasionally rising to the kinds of crescendos for which his voice seems tailor-made, but often reminiscent more of Peter Gabriel rather than anything Enigk has done with his past bands. Enigk will be touring the U.S. throughout the month of November in support of World Waits, out on his own Lewis Hollow Recordings label.

Also recently out, also from the former frontman of a band associated with the 1990's, is the second release of 2006 from the ever-prolific Robert Pollard. Normal Happiness is the latest from the former Guided by Voices frontman, and it finds him in familiar territory: lo-fi, guitar-drenched, hook-filled tunes averaging two minutes a (power) pop. In many ways the release recalls the best of Pollard's Guided by Voices days, what with its breeze by length (16 songs in 35 minutes) and occasional off-the-cuff-ness. For those who may have thought that the dissolution of GBV also meant an end to Pollard's career as a songwriter, there are now two compelling pieces of evidence that suggest otherwise. Normal Happiness dropped last week on Merge.

Finally today, Chicago's Chin Up Chin Up recently released their second full length, This Harness Can't Ride Anything, on Suicide Squeeze. The release is their first since the tragic death of bassist Chris Saathoff in 2004, and features bass parts culled largely from his demos. The band is currently out touring in support of the new album with Cursive and The Thermals, and hits The Venue in Boise tonight.

In House #1727.
Airdate: 10/18/06
Focus: New releases from Jeremy Enigk, World Waits, and Robert Pollard, Normal Happiness. Plus new music from Chin Up Chin Up, playing Boise tonight, Bishop Allen, The Silent Years, and reissued Pavement.

Jeremy Enigk, from World Waits: "Been Here Before" (MP3)

Robert Pollard, from Normal Happiness: "Supernatural Car Lover" (MP3)

Chin Up Chin Up, from This Harness Can't Ride Anything:
"This Harness Can't Ride Anything" (MP3)

Pavement, from Wowee Zowee: Sordid Sentinels Edition (reissue, due Nov. 7th):
"Rattled By the Rush" (MP3)


In House PODCAST #191

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

In House #1726: Califone and Peter & the Wolf in Salt Lake City Tonight

The ever-unclassifiable Califone returned last week with Roots & Crowns, the band's third release on the Thrill Jockey label. One again they defy musical pigeonholing, with far reaching influences that, for the most part, are only briefly traceable back to their origins. The thing is, Tim Rutili, Brian Deck, and company don't create songs so much as soundscapes, with ambient noise, field recordings, and mysterious DIY instrumentation transporting their compositions to far off locales. Not to overstate it, but the shapeshifting mini-suite "Black Metal Valentine," is a prime example of the stretched out musical exploration of which Califone is capable-- it almost feels as if the listener has come through something themselves by the time it's all said and done. Prepared metaliphone in tow, Califone plays Salt Lake City's Urban Lounge tonight. Joining them, also touring in support of a new release, the intriguing Peter & the Wolf opens things up. The band is anticipating the release of their debut, Lightness, on October 31st.


In House #1726.
Airdate: 10/17/06
Focus: Califone and Peter & the Wolf both touring in support of new releases, playing Salt Lake City tonight. Plus, new music from Herman Dune, Summer Hymns, Akron/Family, and more.

Califone, from Roots & Crowns: "Black Metal Valentine" (MP3)

Peter & the Wolf, from Lightness: "The Bonsai Tree" (MP3)


Sunday, October 15, 2006

In House #1725: Wayne Hancock's Tulsa; New Bobby Bare Jr., Jerry Lee Lewis

While there may be a handful of country swing revivalists around these days, few have done it as well for as long as Austin, TX-based artist Wayne "The Train" Hancock. To be more precise, it's not just country swing Hancock's reviving, but a tasty hybrid that also includes elements of honky tonk, blues, rockabilly, and jazz-- a blend his label has termed "juke joint swing." Released last week on Bloodshot, Tulsa is the first studio album in five years from Hancock, and his fifth overall. The life-on-the-road-themed release takes things from Texas to Tulsa and back home again, along the way capturing the spirit of the old Route 66, complete with its dusty desert straightaways, smokey diners, and cheap motels. Hancock's double-edged highway is both exhilarating ("Highway Bound," "Gonna Be Flyin' Tonight") and lonesome ("Drinkin' Blues," "This Lonely Night"), and he's able to paint an authentic picture of each, likely because he leads a touring life that is no stranger to either. There are once again nods to jazz and big band music here, particularly on the title track, as wind instruments blare solos between Hancock's personnel call-outs. It's this marriage of jazz and country that has led some to label Hancock "equal parts Art Blakey and Bob Wills." Elsewhere, he goes back to his Texas roots on honky-tonkers like "Goin' to Texas When I'm Through," and the self portrait "Shootin' Star From Texas." In short, it's nothing we haven't come to expect from Wayne "The Train"-- and thank god for that.

Wayne Hancock

In House #1725.
Airdate: 10/16/06
Focus: New release from Wayne "The Train" Hancock, Tulsa, plus new material from Jerry Lee Lewis, Bobby Bare Jr., Robbie Fulks, and more.

Wayne Hancock, from Tulsa: "Shootin' Star From Texas" (MP3)


In House PODCAST #190

Friday, October 13, 2006

Friday Random Five (#20)

1- Jill Sobule has unearthed another lost gem: this version of "Texas" (MP3) also features Steve Earle on vocals and guitar and dates back to the reign (rain?) of a certain Texas governor (not Ann Richards, rest her soul).

2- Now three-quarters of the way to their year of monthly EPs, Bishop Allen returns with the September EP, which, as always, is available at their website for a mere five bucks. "Like Castanets" (MP3) is included.

3- The end of the saga surrounding Nellie McKay's latest release appears to be near an end. As you may recall, her Pretty Little Head (that's the album) was originally scheduled to be released on Sony early this year. However, upon hearing the recording, the label balked, as labels of such behemothic size tend to do when they are approached with something that is different, challenging, and/or interesting. A stand-off of sorts ensued, the end of which was McKay buying back her album and walking. Now comes word that Halloween will finally see the double album be released on her own Hungry Mouse label, with some distribution help from spinART. Included are duets with k.d. lang and Cyndi Lauper, as well as "There You Are" (MP3).

4- Brooklyn's Oxford Collpase made their Sub Pop debut this week with Remember the Night Parties, the third overall release from the band. The band takes a slightly poppier route for the most part this go around, making for a varied and enjoyable listen. "Please Visit Our National Parks" (MP3) is included.

5- Last but not least, another new Tom Waits song! "Road to Peace" (MP3) is another selection from Orphans: Brawlers, Bawlers, & Bastards, due out November 21st on Anti.


In House #1724: Whitewater Ramble Live

The Fort Collins, Colorado quintet Whitewater Ramble has been something of an overnight success. Formed in 2004, the band has already enjoyed headlining status at several festivals throughout the west, and has opened for the likes of the Dark Star Orchestra, Karl Denson's Tiny Universe, the David Grisman Quintet, and Jerry Douglas, among others. They self-describe themselves as "jamgrass" (or occasionally, "technograss"), but their music runs the gamut of stringband repertory-- from tradtional Appalachian porch music to oldtime, country-flavored bluegrass to envelope-pushing, electric mandolin-led jams. Their high-energy live sets include original compostitions as well as songs by everyone from B.B. King and Johnny Cash to George Clinton and the Grateful Dead. We welcome Whitewater Ramble into the studio today for a performance and interview, ahead of tonight's show at Portneuf Valley Brewing in Pocatello.

Whitewater Ramble

In House #1724.
Airdate: 10/13/06
Focus: Whitewater Ramble live In House, in town for a performance at Portneuf Valley Brewing in Pocatello. Plus, the latest from the Old Crow Medicine Show, The Be Good Tanyas, and more.

BONUS MP3s from today's in-studio set-
1- "Big River" (MP3) (Johnny Cash cover)
2- "Gypsy Funk" (MP3)
3- "Pack Mule Blues" (MP3)


Thursday, October 12, 2006

In House #1723: Yo La Tengo in Salt Lake City Tonight; Live Music Galore This Weekend

There's plenty of live music to be had throughout the region this weekend, beginning tonight at Salt Lake City's In the Venue with a rare appearance in the area from Hoboken, New Jersey's finest, Yo La Tengo. The trio is, of course, touring in support of their recent release, the stellar I Am Not Afraid of You & I Will Beat Your Ass. The album is something of a mix of the louder, early days of Yo La Tengo, and the more melodic, subdued, occasionally faux-bossa nova tones of their more recent work. The band has aged nicely, integrity intact, and have become elder statespersons of independent rock after 22 years on the job. More here.

Also today, music from Baltimore's Two If By Sea, currently touring in support of the new J. Robbins-produced full-length Safety. The quartet draws inspiration from the likes of post-punk's salad days, with names like the Psychedelic Furs, Echo & the Bunnymen, and Peter Murphy coming readily to mind. Comparisons to contemporaries like Interpol and Editors are apt-- in short, not the kind of sound that Southeast Idaho hears live often. They play the Ziel Company in downtown Idaho Falls on Saturday night.

Also Saturday night, The Killers, maligned as they seem to be, visit The Great Saltair, located literally on the dead shores of the Great Salt Lake. The band is touring in support of the almost universally-panned Sam's Town, though it doesn't seem to us to be any worse than certain recent and overhyped releases. And speaking of Salt Lake, that city's music scene has produced another great-sounding band: The Brobecks. They play tonight at The Venue in Boise before moving on to Rexburg, Idaho and a place called (no joke) the Senior Center (one would hope that's the silly-ironic name of a venue, though if you've ever been to Rexburg you know it probably isn't).

In House #1723.
Airdate: 10/12/06
Focus: Yo La Tengo in Salt Lake City tonight, plus The Killers, Two If By Sea, and The Brobecks all in the area this weekend. Also, new music from Robert Pollard, Oxford Collapse, Albert Hammond, Jr., and more.

The Brobecks, from Goodnight & Have a Pleasant Tomorrow:
"Aeroplanes" (MP3)

Two If By Sea, from Safety: "Report From Damage Control" (MP3)


In House PODCAST #189

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

In House #1722: Robyn Hitchcock's Ole! Tarantula; Lloyd Cole's Anti Depressant

Today we get to music from a couple of old friends as we spotlight new releases from Robyn Hitchcock and Lloyd Cole, each of whom made their marks with memorable 80's material. Hitchcock's latest finds him joined by a band dubbed the Venus 3, made up of R.E.M.'s Peter Buck and Bill Rieflin, and the Minus 5's Scott McCaughey, resulting in an album that in places brings to mind Hitchcock's early days with The Soft Boys. "Adventure Rocket Ship," blasts things off, immediately signaling that Ole! Tarantula will be a decidedly different affair than his last outing, Spooked, on which he collaborated with Gillian Welch & David Rawlings. While there's ample Hitchcock rock to be had, he also finds space for harmonica-driven pop ("Ole! Tarantula"), surreal and sprawling storytelling ("Belltown Ramble"), and a rather moving elegy ("N.Y. Doll," inspired by the excellent documentary of the same name about the late New York Dolls bassist Arthur "Killer" Kane). Guests spots include former Soft Boys Morris Windsor and Kimberley Rew, Harvey Danger's Sean Nelson, and The Faces' Ian McLagan, among others. The album marks Hitchcock's second for the yep roc label.

This week also saw the return of singer-songwriter Lloyd Cole with the American release of Anti Depressant. Cole's sixth proper full-length since the disbanding of The Commotions finds him in typically sophisticated and self-deprecating territory. Cole has never been too shy to broadcast his mistakes and shortcomings in song, and there's plenty to go around here. The man who once upon a time moved a generation to find out who these Arthur Lee and Norman Mailer guys were now questions the naivete of those years in "The Young Idealists," before concluding that the bigger crime was the selling off of those ideals for the materialism of the "neo-con economic dream." Frequent Cole collaborator Jill Sobule guest stars, and former Commotion Neil Clark (who'll also be on board for the forthcoming tour) contributes slide guitar.

In House #1722.
Airdate: 10/11/06
Focus: New releases from Robyn Hitchcock & the Venus 3, Ole! Tarantula, and Lloyd Cole, Anti Depressant. Plus, new music from Nellie McKay, Joseph Arthur, Stephin Merritt, and more.

BONUS MP3s from today's show-
Robyn Hitchcock & the Venus 3, from Ole! Tarantula: "N.Y. Doll" (MP3)

Lloyd Cole, from Anti Depressant: "Travelling Light" (MP3)

Andrew Bird, from Fingerlings 3: "Dark Matter" (MP3)


In House PODCAST #188

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

In House #1721: The Pernice Brothers' Live a Little; Portastatic's Be Still Please

In some ways, it's easy to take the Pernice Brothers for granted. All the band has done is create whip-smart, hook-filled indie pop over the course of five albums since 1998, and at times it seems like more people would take notice if the band suddenly stopped making great music. Luckily, that doesn't appear to be happening anytime soon as they've just released Live a Little, their second album in two years. As always, things are led by the literate writing and trademark singing of Joe Pernice, both of which might ever be described as wounded but hopeful. The songs are vintage Pernice Brothers-- if that can be said for a band that's been around for less than a decade-- even going so far as to work with producer Michael Deming, who was last behind the controls for the band's debut, Overcome By Happiness. The decision manifests itself in a warmer, fuller sound than recent albums have shown, with classic pop surges of strings and keyboards. Songs like "Somerville," and "High As a Kite," the latter of a nostalgic longing for the days of Joe Strummer (among other things), are as strong as anything the band's ever done, while "Grudge F*** (2006)" is a remake and welcome return of a song from Pernice's Scud Mountain Boys days. In short, it's business as usual: yet another stellar Pernice Brothers effort-- only as expected as the Fall leaves.

Pernice Brothers

Also today, the new release from the band that is supposedly Mac McCaughan's side act, Portastatic. Be Still Please is the latest from the pop outlet for the frontman of both Superchunk and Merge Records, and the second full-length in two years (actually, it's the third if you count this year's Who Loves the Sun soundtrack score). While Superchunk hasn't released anything since 2001, Portastatic has been kept busy in recent years by McCaughan, releasing seven full-lengths this decade alone. As has generally been the case, the new album explores pop in several forms: power, string-laden, tender, and rootsy, among others. Things work well throughout, from the Superchunk-esque guitar of "You Blanks," to the surprising Americana vibe of "Song For a Clock" (a flavor the band has recently been hinting at, see their cover this year of Ryan Adams' "Oh My Sweet Carolina" (MP3). Be Still Please is yet another delectable listen from a band that is simply much too good to be considered a side act anymore.


In House #1721.
Airdate: 10/10/06
Focus: New releases from the Pernice Brothers, Live a Little, and Portastatic, Be Still Please, plus new music from The Silent Years, The Decemberists, Andy Partridge, and more.

Pernice Brothers, from Live a Little: "High As a Kite" (MP3)

Portastatic, from Be Still Please: "Sour Shores" (MP3)

The Silent Years, from The Silent Years (due 10/24):
"Someone to Keep Us Warm" (MP3)


In House PODCAST #187

Monday, October 09, 2006

In House #1720: The Be Good Tanyas' Hello Love; New Old Crow Medicine Show

It's been an eventful three years for Vancouver, B.C.'s Be Good Tanyas since they released their second album, Chinatown. Despite stepping back from the band a bit after that release, the trio involved themselves with a handful of outside projects, including the birth of Frazey Ford's first child. Ford, along with Samantha Parton and Trish Klein, returns this week with the third Be Good Tanyas full-length, entitled Hello Love, out on Nettwerk. The release finds the trio sticking with the formula that made their first couple of releases so successful: namely, classic arrangements, old-timey flavors, and disarming harmonies. The latest collects thirteen songs in all, six of which are originals highlighted by the banjo-laden "Ootischenia," and the Old Crow Medicine Show-backed "A Thousand Tiny Pieces." As in the past on intriguing interpretations of "Oh, Susanna," "The House of the Rising Sun," and Townes Van Zandt's "Waiting Around to Die," the Be Good Tanyas once again show they have a way with the songs of others, most notably in this case Neil Young's "For the Turnstiles." Also included is a laidback re-realization of Mississippi John Hurt's "Nobody Cares For Me," and a curiosity-raising, if somewhat out of place take on Prince's "When Doves Cry" (although it's also the only unexpected sound on the album). The band plays selected U.S. dates throughout October beginning tomorrow in Portland, OR, before heading out for a November tour of the U.K.

The Be Good Tanyas

In House #1720.
Airdate: 10/9/06
Focus: New release from The Be Good Tanyas, Hello Love, out tomorrow, plus new music from the Old Crow Medicine Show, Jerry Lee Lewis, Solomon Burke, The Duhks, and more.

The Be Good Tanyas, from Hello Love:
"Human Thing" (MP3)
"Scattered Leaves" (MP3)


In House PODCAST #186

Friday, October 06, 2006

In House #1719: Brian DeMarco Live; New Be Good Tanyas

Flagstaff, AZ-based singer songwriter Brian DeMarco, along with his musical partner Lisa Leann, join us live in the studio today for a performance and interview. Their Winnebago, which doubles as their living quarters, is passing through the area for performances tonight at Vino Rosso in Idaho Falls and tomorrow night at Portneuf Valley Brewing in Pocatello. DeMarco's latest full-length, Angel Face, is a song cycle exploring "the death, journey, and resurrection of the modern-day poet."

Brian DeMarco

In House #1719.
Airdate: 10/6/06
Focus: Brian DeMarco live In House, plus new music from the Be Good Tanyas, Ramsay Midwood, Old Crow Medicine Show, and more.

Brian DeMarco with Lisa Leann, from today's in-studio set:
"Raving Mad (LIVE)" (MP3)
"Nobody From Nowhere (LIVE)" (MP3)
"Straw House (LIVE)" (MP3)
"Catch a Dream (LIVE)" (MP3)

...from Everything Nothing (2004):
"Straw House" (MP3)

...from Angel Face (2006): "Catch a Dream" (MP3)

The Be Good Tanyas, from Hello Love (due 10/10): "Scattered Leaves" (MP3)


Thursday, October 05, 2006

No Show Today...

We're pre-empted (again) today by women's soccer action on the home station. In House will be back in its usual spot and (presumably) its usual form tomorrow. In the meantime, MP3s for your enjoyment...

Tom Waits, from Orphans: Brawlers, Bawlers & Bastards (due 11/21):
"You Can Never Hold Back Spring" (MP3)

Juana Molina, from Son: "Micael" (MP3)

Andy Partridge (xtc frontman), from Fuzzy Warbles Collector's Album (due 10/24):
"Sonic Boom" (MP3)

Johan, from THX JHN (due 10/30): "Oceans" (MP3)

Sparklehorse, from Dreamt For Light Years In the Belly of a Mountain:
"Shade & Honey" (MP3)

Yo La Tengo, from I Am Not Afraid of You & I Will Beat Your Ass:
"Black Flowers" (MP3)

The Hold Steady, from Boys & Girls in America: "Chips Ahoy!" (MP3)

Jay Bennett, from The Magnificent Defeat: "Replace You" (MP3)

Plus, it's October! Why not buy a super-cool t-shirt from Threadless and support the content you enjoy here at the same time? Fresh new designs are in...

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

In House #1718: Beck's The Information; Rolling Stones Play Missoula

In House #1718.
Airdate: 10/2/06
Focus: New release from Beck, The Information, plus the Rolling Stones play Missoula tonight, and new music from Junior Boys, Joseph Arthur, and more.

Beck, from The Information: "Cell Phone's Dead" (MP3)


Tuesday, October 03, 2006

In House #1717: The Decemberists' The Crane Wife; New Robyn Hitchcock

Like everyone from R.E.M. to Uncle Tupelo before them, Portland's Decemberists make the brave venture into the major label world with their fourth full-length, The Crane Wife, out today on Capitol. Much to their credit, Colin Meloy and company don't veer far from their indie label fare, aside from a slightly glossier recording sheen and a direction toward less thematic pop tunes like "Summersong." Far from dumbing things down for the masses, the album's three part title track is based on an ancient Japanese folk tale, and the ten song collection features two tracks that clock in at right around twelve minutes in length (each of which recall 2003's epic EP The Tain in both sound and structure)-- not exactly Top 40 material. As has come to be expected, Meloy's ever-literate writing consists of war and star-crossed lovers, death and abduction, weaving tales worthy of his reputation-- let's call it "indie-Dickensian." The most striking thing about The Crane Wife, however, is the unexpected sonic territory it covers, evoking strains of Fleetwood Mac and Jethro Tull on songs like "The Perfect Crime 2" and the grandiose suite, "The Island: Come & See/ The Landlord's Daughter/ You'll Not Feel the Drowning." The emergence of the band as an instrumental powerhouse packing an unexpected muscle at times almost renders the lyrical content secondary, whereas in the past Meloy's pen was unquestionably the music's main engine. Elsewhere, the guest spot from Laura Veirs on "Yankee Bayonet" makes for the coolest lovelorn duet since Michael Stipe haunted Kristin Hersh's "Your Ghost (MP3)". In short, you'll find no major label misstep here as The Decemberists respond boldly with what is being called their most consistent and realized effort. They begin the Rout of the Paragons tour later this month, hitting Meloy's old stomping grounds, Missoula, MT, on the 16th of November.

The Decemberists

In House #1717.
Airdate: 10/3/06
Focus: New release from The Decemberists, The Crane Wife, plus new music from Robyn Hitchcock, Beirut, Pernice Brothers, Sparklehorse, and more.


In House PODCAST #185

Monday, October 02, 2006

In House #1716: The Walkmen Cover Nilsson's Pussy Cats; New Dr. Dog

Beginning in 1973, for reasons unmattering here, John Lennon and Yoko Ono split up for a period of eighteen months, later to be called Lennon's "lost weekend." Freedom restored, Lennon headed for southern California intent on relishing his liberty, if not outright abusing it, and met up with new-found friend Harry Nilsson. In the several months that followed, the pair (along with characters like Ringo Starr and Keith Moon) wreaked havoc on Hollywood and were thrown out of clubs left and right for their destructive and belligerent behavior. Somehow along the way, they also managed to record Nilsson's Pussy Cats, an album that has grown notorious over the years for both the bender of a backdrop against which it was created, and the often chaotic (but ultimately rewarding) product the situation produced. Lennon served as producer and also contributed vocals to the sessions-- Nilsson's own vocals became progressively more harsh as the recordings wore on as he attempted to sing through a ruptured vocal cord he suffered early on. There are several originals included, but also a truly random assortment of covers: everything from Dylan's "Subterranean Homesick Blues," to "Rock Around the Clock," to the children's song "Loop de Loop."

Skip exactly thirty-two years, to January of 2006. After completion of their most recent full-length, A Hundred Miles Off, New York City's Walkmen began discussing the idea of a note-for-note re-creation of one of their favorite albums: indeed, Nilsson's Pussy Cats. They proceeded to call in some of their friends, including Mazarin's Quentin Stoltzfus, Tomorrow's Friend's Alessandra Maria, Ian Svenonius, and Rockwell (later to be collectively dubbed the Saturday Night Marcata BBQ Chorus); and round up the rare musical instruments, including a glockenspiel, a table saw, a triangle, and other various and sundry music/noise makers. The result is a rather astonishing sonic copy, a true homage to the spirit of Lennon's and Nilsson's original recording. Hamilton Leithauser sounds particularly at home as the lead voice behind the songs (especially on Jimmy Cliff's "Many Rivers to Cross"), and his somewhat hoarse vocals provide a generally solid copy of Nilsson's shredded cords. Pussy Cats Starring The Walkmen comes out October 24th on the Record Collection label.

In House #1716.
Airdate: 10/2/06
Focus: Upcoming release from The Walkmen, Pussy Cats Starring The Walkmen, plus new music from the Pernice Brothers, Dr. Dog, and more.

The Walkmen, from Pussy Cats: "Loop De Loop" (MP3)


In House PODCAST #184