Wednesday, January 31, 2007

In House #1797: Clap Your Hands Say Yeah's Some Loud Thunder

Oh, the dreaded sophomore slump, perhaps even more diffcult than getting your debut noticed and subsequently adored is following up that unexpected gem with something that improves upon it. Two notable cases facing this music, as it were, early in 2007 are Montreal's Arcade Fire (Neon Bible drops March 6th), and Brooklyn's Clap Your Hands Say Yeah, each of whom came out of nowhere over the past couple of years to capture hearts and minds. Clap Your Hands Say Yeah, as you may recall, are the poster boys for what a band without a label can achieve these days. Their self-titled, self-released debut has at last count sold over 200,000 copies, with the online buzz created largely through the blogosphere propelling them to a national tour, major festival appearances, and a performance on Late Night with Conan O'Brien. Now, with the release this week of their second album, Some Loud Thunder, the theme appears to be that the blogosphere giveth and the blogosphere taketh away (likely meaning that a solitary blogger somewhere had detracting words for the new effort and everyone else said "Yeah," without hearing much of the music). In any case, it's a different kind of outing, with the distorted low-ends of the title track opener and the deliberately cavalier production values throughout signaling anything but more of the same. It's a bold move for the band to make at this point, the kind of move that a label, even an indie, may have frowned upon. As good a reason as any for why it just might work.

In House #1797.
Airdate: 1/31/07
Focus: New release from Clap Your Hands Say Yeah, Some Loud Thunder, plus new music from the Arcade Fire, The Shins, Ted Leo & The Pharmacists, Cloud Cult, and more.

Clap Your Hands Say Yeah, from Some Loud Thunder:
  • "Love Song No. 7" (MP3)
  • "Underwater (You & Me)" (MP3)

    Ted Leo & The Pharmacists, from Living With the Living (due 3/20):
  • "The Sons of Cain" (MP3)


    In House PODCAST #249

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    Tuesday, January 30, 2007

    In House #1796: Heartless Bastards in Salt Lake City, Boise; New Tribute to The Band

    Cincinnati's Heartless Bastards are a rare musical creature. It's not a lot of bands, after all, that manage to toe the line between indie, rock, and blues, and please fans of all of those styles when all is said and done. Then again, it's not a lot of bands that are fronted with a vocal powerhouse like Erika Wennerstrom, who garners comparisons to the likes of Janis Joplin and PJ Harvey for her emotionally-driven delivery. Last year's All This Time, the band's second album on the Fat Possum label, has caught the attention of a growing number of listeners thanks to steady touring and more than a few appearances amongst "Best Overlooked" types of year end lists. Much like fellow Buckeye staters The Black Keys (who also brought the band to the attention of Fat Possum), The Heartless Bastards do a lot with a little, and the trio has no problem raising a respectable ruckus. The band brings its loud and blue hues to the indie venue in Salt Lake City, Kilby Court, tonight before playing Boise's Neurolux tomorrow night.

    The Heartless Bastards

    In House #1796.
    Airdate: 1/30/07
    Focus: The Heartless Bastards in Salt Lake City tonight and Boise tomorrow night, plus new music from Xavier Rudd, John Hammond, and selections from the new tribute album Endless Highway: The Music of The Band.

    BONUS MP3s-
    Heartless Bastards, from All This Time:
  • "All This Time" (MP3)
  • "Into the Open" (MP3)

    John Hammond, from Push Comes to Shove (out today):
  • "Push Comes to Shove" (MP3)


    In House PODCAST #248

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    Colin Meloy Meets Terry Gross

    The Decemberists' frontman joined yesterday's edition of Terry Gross' Fresh Air program on NPR to discuss shankhill butchers, Stephen Colbert's Guitarmageddon, "hyper-literate prog-rock," and more. Hear it here.

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    Monday, January 29, 2007

    In House #1795: Debut From The Good, The Bad, & The Queen; New Youth Group

    Probably best known as the frontman of Blur, Damon Albarn has nevertheless maintained a busy and diverse schedule of side acts, many of them coming off sounding decidedly better than mere musical diversions. Forays into spaced-out hip hop with Gorillaz (alongside Miho Hatori, Dan the Automator, De La Soul, and Danger Mouse, among others), and Afro-World Beat with Mali Music (featuring names like Toumani Diabate, Afel Bocoum, and Lobi Traore), have not only served to showcase Albarn's eclectic musical palette, but also revealed him to be a master collaborator (disagreements with his regular band aside).

    As Blur continues to sit on the shelf, Albarn's latest is The Good, The Bad, & The Queen, a project that finds him joined by former Clash bassist Paul Simonon, Verve guitarist Simon Tong, and drummer Tony Allen, who has played with Fela Kuti's band, among others. Those names and backgrounds alone put a lot of sonic possibilitites on the table, and The Good, The Bad, & The Queen doesn't disappoint with its subdued, occasionally bleak sounding blend of pop, rock, dub, and world rhythms. Each of the musicians here brings a characteristic component to these brand new surroundings, notably Albarn's vocals and roughed up organ, Simonon' s shades of dub-leaning Clash, and Allen's subdued afrobeats. Unmistakeable is the bleak global-political theme of the album, with war and armageddon popping up in more than a few places in songs with telling titles like "Kingdom of Doom," and "Soldier's Tale." While the almost brooding detachment throughout is something of a surprise given the personnel (including Danger Mouse producing), the less is more approach ultimately works; The Good, The Bad, & The Queen is a relistenable mood piece heard best as a whole. The collaboration/band is scheduled to play this year's Coachella Festival on April 28th.

    Albarn, Simonon, Tong, Allen

    In House #1795.
    Airdate: 1/29/07
    Focus: Debut release from The Good, The Bad, & The Queen, plus new music from The Earlies, Apostle of Hustle, Youth Group, Beirut, and more.

    BONUS MP3s from today's show-
    The Decemberists, from the iTunes exclusive Live From SoHo EP:
  • "The Perfect Crime #2 (LIVE)" (MP3)

    Youth Group, from Casino Twilight Dogs (due tomorrow):
  • "Forever Young" (MP3) (Alphaville cover)

    Forro In the Dark (with David Byrne), from Bonfires of Sao Jao:
  • "I Wish (Bundle of Contradictions)" (MP3)


    In House PODCAST #247

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    Friday, January 26, 2007

    In House #1794: Ron Sexsmith in Salt Lake City This Weekend

    Perpetually underrated singer-songwriter Ron Sexsmith makes a couple of rare appearances in the area tomorrow as part of his on-going tour for his eighth solo release, Time Being. Following an afternoon performance for the Sundance Film Festival at Park City's Star Bar, Sexsmith takes his show to Salt Lake City's Urban Lounge tomorrow night. Time Being finally saw a release this month in the U.S. on Ironworks Music, the fledging label started by singer-songwriter Jude Cole and Mr. Jack Bauer himself, Kiefer Sutherland, after being issued to much acclaim last summer in Europe and Canada. In a return to form of sorts, the album sees Sexsmith once again working with Mitchell Froom, the producer behind early stalwarts like Other Songs (1997) and whereabouts (1999). Songs like "Ship of Fools," and "I Think We're Lost," show Sexsmith in vintage form, with songwriting built around the kind of thoughtful observations upon which he's built a career. Elsewhere, "Jazz at the Bookstore," and "The Grim Trucker," find Sexsmith in what is for him strange musical territory, the latter sounding as if it could have been recorded during sessions for The Beatles' White Album. It's yet another solid outing from the Toronto-based musician, and yet another reminder why his praises have been sung over the years by everyone from Elvis Costello to John Prine.

    Ron Sexsmith

    In House #1794.
    Airdate: 1/26/07
    Focus: Ron Sexsmith plays Park City and Salt Lake City tomorrow night, plus new music from Rickie Lee Jones, Elvis Perkins, Andrew Bird, and more.

    BONUS MP3s-
    Ron Sexsmith, from Time Being:
  • "The Grim Trucker" (MP3)
  • "And Now the Day Is Done" (MP3)

    Rickie Lee Jones, from The Sermon On Exposition Boulevard (due 2/6):
  • "Elvis Cadillac" (MP3)


    In House PODCAST #246

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    Thursday, January 25, 2007

    In House #1793: New Release From Of Montreal, Playing Park City Tonight

    A few years back, somewhere about the time of 2004's Satanic Panic In the Attic, Of Montreal mastermind Kevin Barnes aborted planet Earth for unknown celestial regions, and his creative vision went with him, producing lush, swirling, frenetic numbers that were nevertheless cohesive and accessible. Three years and two releases later and Barnes still hasn't come down-- in fact he may be less grounded than ever on his band's latest, Hissing Fauna, Are You the Destroyer?, out this week on Polyvinyl. Whereas in the past Barnes has more or less projected his songwriting outward, all wry observations and imagination excursions, the new material is uncharacteristically personal, inspired by a Norway-induced bout of depression and subsequent separation from his wife and newborn child (they've since reconciled, which makes for no awkwardness at all when it comes to public delcarations found on the album like "She's a Rejector," to be sure). In any case, despite the dark matter the album is anything but a moper, and Barnes at times seems too desperately manic to do anything but explode with it, which he does again and again. Songs like "Gronlandic Edit," and "Faberge Falls for Shuggie," move along to a surprising disco-funk beat, revealing shades of vintage Prince added to their established British Invasion meets psychedelia meets synth-pop pastiche. Not that Hissing Fauna is a breeze of a listen-- its twelve minute midpoint, "The Past Is a Grotesque Animal," would certainly suggest otherwise, and some may find the mere sonic bombardment, the bombast of it all, intimidating or worse upon initial listens. Ultimately though, the pop bliss (or, more accurately, pop bliss through non-bliss) shines through, and one will undoubtedly find themselves humming "Heimdalsgate Like a Promethean Curse," or "A Sentence of Sorts in Kongsvinger," like they never thought they could have. Really. Of Montreal plays Music On Main at the Sundance Film Festival in Park City, UT tonight before jetting out to L.A. like the rock stars do for the beginning of a massive national tour tomorrow night.

    Of Montreal

    In House #1793.
    Airdate: 1/25/07
    Focus: New release from Of Montreal, Hissing Fauna, Are You the Destroyer?, also playing Park City tonight. Plus, Menomena's Friend & Foe, and new music from David Vandervelde, Yoko Ono, Young Galaxy, and more.

    BONUS MP3s-
    Of Montreal, from Hissing Fauna, Are You the Destroyer?:
  • "Heimdalsgate Like a Promethean Curse" (MP3)
  • "Faberge Falls for Shuggie" (MP3)

    David Vandervelde, from The Moonstation House Band:
  • "Jacket" (MP3)


    In House PODCAST #245

    Get Of Montreal's Hissing Fauna, Are You the Destroyer? at Insound.

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    The Shins Play Letterman

    The band celebrated Tuesday's new release by stopping by Late Night with David Letterman and offering up this version of (surprise!) not "Phantom Limb," but "Turn On Me." Oh, and James Mercer shaved the beard.

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    Wednesday, January 24, 2007

    In House #1792: Greg Laswell, Jill Sobule at Sundance; New Lucinda Williams

    In what is quickly becoming something of a companion music festival to the events surrounding the Sundance Film Fest in Park City every year, a bevy of musicians will once again descend upon northern Utah for performances-- not all of which are intended for the likes of you and your unwashed masses. While many of the dates are not even made public, as with the case with Apples in Stereo and M. Ward shows over this past weekend (because, you know, Ben Affleck is a BIG fan), others hold a more open (if you can get in) kind of status. Whatever the case, the majority of these take place at Park City's Star Bar and are arranged through ASCAP. This year's list is impressive, as usual, and includes Alexei Murdoch, Rosie Thomas, Chuck Prophet, Ron Sexsmith, Donovan, Silversun Pickups, The Bird & the Bee, and The Album Leaf, among others, while DeVotchka, Richard Swift, David Vandervelde, Two Gallants, Brazilian Girls, and Of Montreal are/were scheduled to play other locales as part of the festival.

    Two acts standing out on today's list of performers are singer-songwriters Greg Laswell and Jill Sobule, each of whom will be playing two or three sets over the course of the week. At this point the lesser known of the two, Laswell released a solid, sometimes stunning, second album on Vanguard last year entitled Through Toledo. The San Diego-based artist has also recently made a subdued take on Cyndi Lauper's "Girls Just Want to Have Fun," available via iTunes (hear it on today's podcast). Laswell performs today, tonight, and tomorrow at the Star Bar.

    Jill Sobule has become known over the past decade or so for her wry and witty observations in songs that rarely shy away from topical content, from lesbian chic to the Christian Right to Mary Kay Letourneau. She counts five studio full-lengths to her name, the most recent coming with 2004's Underdog Victorious. Sobule plays the last of two Sundance performances this afternoon at the Star Bar.

    In House #1792.
    Airdate: 1/24/07
    Focus: Artists playing this week in Park City at the Sundance Film Festival, including performances today from Greg Laswell and Jill Sobule. Plus, Laura Gibson in Salt Lake City tomorrow, and new music from Lucinda Williams, Norah Jones, Martin Sexton, Eleni Mandell, and more.

    BONUS MP3s-
    Greg Laswell, from Through Toledo: "Sing, Theresa Says" (MP3)

    Jill Sobule, live In House (recorded 2/27/04): "Mary Kay" (MP3)
    ...and live at WFUV-NYC (recorded 12/06): "Mexican Wrestler" (MP3)

    Eleni Mandell, from Miracle of Five (due 2/6): "Girls" (MP3)

    Norah Jones (w/M. Ward), from Not Too Late (due 1/30): "Sinkin' Soon" (MP3)


    In House PODCAST #244

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    Tuesday, January 23, 2007

    In House #1791: Field Music's Tones of Town; New Dean & Britta

    Among the myriad of new releases out today is Field Music's Tones of Town, available on Memphis Industries. The Sunderland, UK trio, made up of Andrew Moore and the brothers Brewis, Peter & David, revel in schizophrenic tempos and retro textures, evoking thirty-five years of British pop, McCartney's Wings to XTC to contemporaries like The Futureheads (who hail from the same hometown and once called Peter Brewis their drummer). Already lauded by critics as a cosmic jump forward over Field Music's 2005 debut, Tones of Town represents the pop end of the spectrum opposite peers like Bloc Party on the post-punk end with layers of piano, strings, and guitar swirling in and out of occasionally unpredictable changes in time signature. Opener "Give It Lose It Take It," sounds downright prog-like, while "Working to Work," apes some of the better instances of McCartney's mid-70's output and also gives a slight nod to... is that Hall & Oates? Cookie-cutter Brit-pop this isn't, and while 2007 may have begun with Field Music taking a backseat to more well-known acts like the Kaiser Chiefs or the aforementioned Bloc Party (each of whom has new albums on the way), if enough people hear Tones of Town it won't end that way. (Edit: In this time of digital downloads, not to mention domestic vs. international release dates, there appears to be some confusion about when it is exactly that Tones of Town will be receiving a U.S. release. Some sources have pinned it as late as March 20th, while Amazon claims it's the 13th of February. Memphis Industries, meanwhile, has it as February 20th. Draw your own conclusions, in any case, it's not today. Sorry for the mislead.)

    Field Music

    In House #1791.
    Airdate: 1/23/07
    Focus: New release out today from Field Music, Tones of Town, plus new music from Dean Wareham & Britta Phillips, Loney Dear, David Kilgour, The Postmarks, and more.

    BONUS MP3s-
    Field Music, from Tones of Town:
    "Give It Lose It Take It" (MP3)
    "Sit Tight" (MP3)

    The Postmarks, from The Postmarks (due 2/6): "Goodbye" (MP3)

    The High Llamas, from Can Cladders (due 2/20): "Winter's Day" (MP3)

    Memphis, from a little place in the wilderness:
    "Incredibly Drunk On Whiskey" (MP3)

    BONUS Vid- Field Music: "A House Is Not a Home"


    In House PODCAST #243

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    Monday, January 22, 2007

    In House #1790: The Shins' Wincing the Night Away; New Rob Crow

    Approaching four years since the release of their previous effort, Chutes Too Narrow, The Shins return tomorrow with Wincing the Night Away, their third full-length out on Sub Pop. Perhaps the pressure of being declared life changing music in a major motion picture had something to do with it, but the band has clearly been refashioning themselves along the lines of a template that includes an 80's jangle reminiscent of The Smiths or even XTC, to go alongside previously-established leanings in the direction of The Beach Boys and The Beatles. While The Shins still manage to sound like The Shins-- and how could you not with James Mercer singing the songs-- there's a discernible difference that doesn't exist between their first two albums. Less immediately mind-blowing, there's a quiet complexity to many of these songs that rewards upon repeated listenings. "Sea Legs," is a vamp of sorts that fans will likely be shocked to hear, while "Split Needles," is a synth-layered mid-tempo tune with the kind of catchy, minor-key chorus for which the band has been known. It's a tweaking of the formula as opposed to a reinvention, in other words, an addition at home in The Shins catalog as much as it stands opposed. After playing Letterman tomorrow night, the band will be touring extensively, including dates in Salt Lake City (In the Venue, Feb. 16th) and Boise (Egyptian Theatre, Feb. 17th).

    The Shins

    In House #1790.
    Airdate: 1/22/07
    Focus: New release out tomorrow from The Shins, Wincing the Night Away, plus new music from Rob Crow, Modest Mouse, The Good, The Bad, & The Queen, Menomena, and more.

    BONUS MP3-
    The Shins, from Wincing the Night Away:
    "Phantom Limb" (MP3)

    Clinic, from Visitations: "Family" (MP3)


    In House PODCAST #242

    Get The Shins' Wincing the Night Away at Insound.

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    Friday, January 19, 2007

    In House #1789: Colorado's Whitewater Ramble Live

    Fort Collins-based jamgrass (dancegrass? technograss?) quintet Whitewater Ramble return to the show today, in town for a performance tonight at Portneuf Valley Brewing in Pocatello. Relative newcomers to the scene having formed in 2004, the band has steadily gained a following through heavy touring and opening slots for names like the Dark Star Orchestra, Jerry Douglas, and the David Grisman Quintet. While the band's live show tends toward a progressive form of bluegrass, complete with electric mandolin shredding solos, they're not afraid to strip down (instrumentally speaking, of course) and bring out the classics with gusto. Case in point: today's set sees them performing high energy renditions of a genre standard, a Stanley Brothers classic, and a rootsy original. The band will be touring Idaho, Montana, Wyoming, South Dakota, and Colorado through the end of February, with a trio of DVD release shows at the end of the month as the band issues its first audio/visual product, commemorating a hometown show on Halloween of last year.

    Whitewater Ramble

    In House #1789.
    Airdate: 1/19/07
    Focus: Whitewater Ramble live In House and in Pocatello tonight, plus music from the Old Crow Medicine Show, Cracker, Railroad Earth, and more.

    BONUS MP3s from today's in studio with Whitewater Ramble-
    1- "Purgatory Shuffle" (MP3)

    2- "Sitting On Top of the World" (MP3)

    3- "Clinch Mountain Backstep" (MP3)

    BONUS in-studio vid-


    Thursday, January 18, 2007

    In House #1788: The Chieftains in Idaho Tonight

    While they're not exactly our regular schtick, we could hardly let the date pass without acknowledging the presence of the legendary Irish band The Chieftains in the area this week. In their 44th year of existence the band plays Idaho Falls' Civic Auditorium tonight, one night after a performance in Boise. Paddy Maloney continues to lead the band he formed four decades ago with his signature tin whistle and uillean pipe, the mournful sounds of which have become an identifiable foundation of their songs. While they have, over the years, essentially become synonymous with traditional Irish and Celtic music, they've also made deliberate attempts at becoming more of a "world music" band over the past twenty years or so, which has seen them collaborate with everyone from Mick Jagger to Willie Nelson, Carlos Nunez to Diana Krall. After forays into Celtic-styled pop (1995's Long Black Veil) and latin sounds (1996's Santiago), The Chieftains have spent much of the current decade in collaboration with American roots artists like Gillian Welch, Emmylou Harris, Tim O'Brien, and Del McCoury with two volumes attempting to locate the spot where traditional Celtic music became Americana (2002's Down the Old Plank Road and 2003's Further Down the Old Plank Road). The latter of those two releases also marked a seismic shift in personnel, as it contained some of the final recordings featuring longtime harpist Derek Bell, who died the same year. Still, the group has soldiered on as a quartet, releasing a tribute to Bell, Live in Dublin, in 2005, which received a Grammy nomination for Best Traditonal Folk Album. The Chieftains continue to tour regulary in North America, with 2007 dates scheduled through March.

    The Chieftains

    In House #1788.
    Airdate: 1/18/07
    Focus: The Chieftains in Idaho Falls tonight, plus music from Ron Sexsmith, The Pogues, John Wesley Harding, Tom Waits, and more.

    BONUS MP3s-
    The Chieftains with Gillian Welch & David Rawlings, from Down the Old Plank Road:
    "Katie Dear" (MP3)

    The Chieftains with Mick Jagger, from Long Black Veil:
    "Long Black Veil" (MP3)


    In House PODCAST #241

    Wednesday, January 17, 2007

    In House #1787: The Broken West's I Can't Go On, I'll Go On; New Menomena

    Rock n' roll albums with a lasting sense of uncontrived cohesion are a rare enough thing. When one of those albums also doubles as a young band's debut, that's practically unheard of. Such is arguably the case with The Broken West's I Can't Go On, I'll Go On, out next week on Merge. The Los Angeles (Silver Lake)-based quintet's first full-length follows an acclaimed self-released EP with hook-filled songwriting and classic arrangements. While contemporaries like labelmates Spoon or even Wilco may be touchstones for the band's music, one is better served to notice the classic flavors The Broken West serves up: Big Star's sugary power-pop, The Byrds' SoCal canyon twang. Add to those leanings a precocious intellect (the album's title is lifted from a novel by the very un-rock n' roll Samuel Beckett), and you've got anything but a trend-toeing flavor of the week. Indeed, the artists formerly known as The Brokedown appear to have the controls set for the center of the California sun.

    The Broken West

    In House #1787.
    Airdate: 1/17/07
    Focus: Debut release out next week, from The Broken West, I Can't Go On, I'll Go On, plus new music from Menomena, Harlem Shakes, The Shins, The Ponys, and more.

    BONUS MP3s-
    The Broken West, from I Can't Go On, I'll Go On:
    "Down In the Valley" (MP3)
    "Brass Ring" (MP3)

    The Harlem Shakes, from the Burning Birthdays EP:
    "Old Flames" (MP3)


    Get The Broken West's I Can't Go On, I'll Go On at Insound.

    Tuesday, January 16, 2007

    In House #1786: The Smithereens Cover The Beatles; New America

    It's being hailed as the Jersey Beat Meets the Mersey Beat as New Jersey's Smithereens kick it 1964 style with a note for note re-creation of The Beatles' classic Meet the Beatles! release. Necessary? Probably not. Gutsy? Absolutely. Known predominantly for their 80's output consisting of albums like Especially For You and Green Thoughts, The Smithereens pull off versions of oft-heard numbers like "I Want to Hold Your Hand," "I Saw Her Standing There," and "All My Loving," with few liberties taken, although some of the arrangements are given a louder, fuller treatment. While the album is meant as a tribute to the music that first inspired members of the band in their formative years, what's more notable is the state of The Smithereens themselves. Meet the Smithereens! represents the band's first new output in nearly eight years, yet many of the elements that made them enjoyable in the first place (here, largely frontman Pat DiNizio's vocals) are not far off. While a set of Beatles covers may be little more than a practice in nostalgia, a Smithereens return to form would not be unwelcomed.

    In House #1786.
    Airdate: 1/16/07
    Focus: The Smithereens' Meet the Smithereens!, plus new music from America, Death Cab for Cutie, Field Music, and more.

    BONUS MP3s from today's show-
    The Smithereens, from Meet The Smithereens!: "I Saw Her Standing There" (MP3)

    America, from Here & Now: "Indian Summer" (MP3)

    Death Cab for Cutie, from Endless Highway: The Music of The Band (due 1/30):
    Rocking Chair" (MP3)


    In House PODCAST #240

    Monday, January 15, 2007

    In House #1785: Music in the Spirit of MLK; Alice Coltrane, 1937-2007

    The week starts off with something a little different as we offer up a selection of music celebrating the spirit and legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. (also, food for thought here). One can hardly overestimate the important role that music played in the cause of the civil rights movement, whether it was coming from the church pews, the street marches or, thanks to voices as diverse as Marvin Gaye and Simon & Garfunkel, the pop mainstream. Indeed, whether it was Sam Cooke veiling pleas for racial harmony within the context of a lovesong, or John Coltrane capturing the chaos of the turbulent times with an unsettling composition, popular music was and always has been an echo, if not a component, of the civil rights movement.

    Also today, music from Alice Coltrane, who died over the weekend at the age of sixty-nine. Aside from being married to the finest saxophonist in the history of jazz, Coltrane was an outstanding musician and composer in her own right. After replacing McCoy Tyner in her husband's band in 1966, she later formed her own bands with the likes of Pharaoh Sanders, Jimmy Garrison and others, releasing her final effort Translinear Light in 2004, produced by her son Ravi. Not unlike her husband's late work, her recordings are characterized by an impassioned spiritual searching, an unflinching journey inward, outward, and back again.

    In House #1785.

    Airdate: 1/15/07
    Focus: Music celebrating the spirit and legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. featuring Nina Simone, the Holmes Brothers, Marvin Gaye, Odetta, Blind Boys of Alabama, and more. Plus, Alice Coltrane remembered.

    BONUS MP3s-
    Nina Simone: "Mississippi Goddamn (MLK Suite, Part 3)" (MP3)

    Freedom Singers: "Ain't Gonna Let Nobody Turn You Round" (MP3)


    In House PODCAST #239

    Friday, January 12, 2007

    In House #1784: The Reverend Horton Heat, Legendary Shack Shakers in Salt Lake City

    In House #1784.
    Airdate: 1/12/07
    Focus: The Reverend Horton Heat with The Legendary Shack Shakers and Junior Brown tonight at Saltair near Salt Lake City, plus new music from The Silos and more.

    BONUS MP3-
    The Silos, from Come On LIke the Fast Lane (due 2/20): "Behind Me Now" (MP3)


    Friday Random Five (#21)

    The Random Five makes (yet) another random appearance today with an emphasis on upcoming releases-- not really a problem this time of year. But enough chit-chat.

    1- Jill Sobule's written a new song about global warming that doesn't suck despite that description. The timing was about right, too, since up until the last couple of days (which have cruelly reminded many of us what season this is), most parts of the U.S. were experiencing what some deemed shuffleboard weather. In any case, it was nearing 70 in New York City: "Manhattan in January" (MP3).

    2- The upcoming tribute to The Band, entitled Endless Highway sports a fairly schizophrenic set of artists, from the Allman Brothers to Gomez to Death Cab for Cutie, who contributed a subdued version of "Rockin' Chair" (MP3). The release is out January 30th.

    3- Speaking of covers-- and we're suckers for covers, particularly people we like covering the songs of other people we like-- Rosie Thomas, joined by Sufjan Stevens and Denison Witmer, does a rather haunting version of R.E.M.'s "The One I Love" (MP3) on her upcoming release These Friends of Mine. The March release from the trio also includes a version of Fleetwood Mac's "Songbird."

    4- As for new original material, or give me death is the title of the second Barsuk release from David Terry's Aqueduct. The same band that brought you nostalgia with the song "Growing Up With GnR," now brings you pop bliss on "As You Wish" (MP3) from the new album, out February 20th.

    5- Finally, one of the consistently good bands out there whose stuff we will always buy is Duluth, Minnesota's Low. While the band opted for a meatier, guitar-drenched sound for their last outing The Great Destroyer, this go around there appears to be another new element in the mix: the atmospheric blips and bleeps of electronica (not that you'll mistake them for Stereolab). Drums & Guns is out in March on Sub Pop, "Breaker" (MP3) is on it.

    enjoy. rinse. repeat.

    Thursday, January 11, 2007

    In House #1783: My Morning Jacket in Salt Lake City; New Cloud Cult

    Kentucky's My Morning Jacket is back on the road for the Okonkos Tour, supporting their 2006 double live album of the same name. Few could have predicted the places the band has gone, musically and otherwise, since the humble but promising debut The Tennessee Fire was released on the indie Darla back in 1999 (an album that opens with what is still one of their best songs, "Heartbreakin' Man"). Since, they've transcended their bearded indie underdog status and become a favorite of Built to Spill and Phish fans alike by creating music that blurs lines bewteen labels like alt. country, jam band, and indie rock. My Morning Jacket plays tonight at The Depot in Salt Lake City.

    Opening for MMJ on their current tour is Elvis Perkins in Dearland, led by none other than, you guessed it, Elvis Perkins (apparently, however, they're a late scratch tonight and won't be playing Salt Lake City due to what they've called "scheduling issues"). Words like "brooding" and "thoughtful" are used often when describing the music of Perkins, whose emotionality may bring to mind the late Jeff Buckley in places. The band will be having their debut Ash Wednesday released by XL Recordings on February 20th, after already receiving plenty of attention in 2006 for the self-issued version. The son of actor Anthony Perkins and photographer Berry Berenson, each of whom were lost in tragic circumstances, Elvis Perkins is quickly establishing himself as something more than famous offspring.

    In House #1783.
    Airdate: 1/11/07
    Focus: My Morning Jacket with Elvis Perkins in Dearland tonight in Salt Lake City, plus new music from Cloud Cult, Mark Kozelek, The Frames, and more.

    BONUS MP3s-
    Elvis Perkins in Dearland, from Ash Wednesday: "Ash Wednesday" (MP3)
    ...and "All the Night Without Love" (MP3)

    The Autumn Defense from the upcoming self-titled release (due 1/16):
    "Canyon Arrow" (MP3)


    In House PODCAST #238

    Wednesday, January 10, 2007

    In House #1782: Erin McKeown's Sing You Sinners; New Patty Griffin

    Over the course of four previous studio albums, singer-songwriter Erin McKeown has established a spunky, occasionally eccentric sound fortified by her bright and crystalline vocals. In places along the way she's hinted at a jazzy, pop standard flavor, and now takes it full-blown with the wonderful new Sing You Sinners, out this week on Nettwerk. Included are twelve songs written by some of the greatest tunesmiths we've ever seen: Harold Arlen, Johnny Mercer, and Cole Porter, among others, plus one original that sounds as if it was culled from the same places. McKeown's voice seems made to sing numbers like, "Get Happy," originally made famous by Judy Garland, and Fats Waller's "If You a Viper," probably the least Tin Pan Alley sounding of the set. And while the songs themselves are outstanding, this ain't no standard McKeown Sings the Standards kind of recording. Indeed, she takes plenty of liberties in putting her own stamp upon the compositions, managing to accomplish the feat without being ridiculous about it (read: no techno beats added). Instead, it's an airy and refreshing sound that emanates from Sing You Sinners, recorded almost entirely live with a studio band that included Sam Kassirer (keyboards), Todd Sickafoose (bass), and Alison Miller (drums). Erin McKeown hits the road this month for a full U.S. tour, including February 21st at the University of Montana in Missoula.

    Erin McKeown

    In House #1782.

    Airdate: 1/10/07

    Focus: New release from Erin McKeown, Sing You Sinners, plus new music from Patty Griffin, Sarah Shannon, Tom Brosseau, and more.

    BONUS MP3-
    Erin McKeown, from Sing You Sinners: "Get Happy" (MP3) and "Melody" (MP3)


    In House PODCAST #237

    Tuesday, January 09, 2007

    In House #1781: New Austin City Limits Live Releases From Neko Case & Johnny Cash

    In case you haven't noticed, we're in love with Neko Case. Fresh off of crowning the golden-throated redhead's Fox Confessor Brings the Flood as one of our top five albums of 2006, we get to New West's new issuing of her August, 2003 performance on PBS' Austin City Limits show. The album is the latest in an on going series of Live From Austin, TX releases from the label, all culled from performances on ACL. Past volumes have included the likes of Dwight Yoakam, Willie Nelson, Lucinda Williams, Steve Earle, and Merle Haggard, among others. Case's edition captures her on tour in support of her Blacklisted release backed more than ably by vocalist Kelly Hogan and multi-instrumentalist Jon Rauhouse. The fourteen tracks include material from throughout Case's catalog (including an early take on "Maybe Sparrow," only just released on her latest effort), as well as versions of Bob Dylan's "Buckets of Rain," and Hank Williams' "Alone & Forsaken." Aside from the outstanding sound quality what's most impressive about the performance is undoubtedly Case's singing-- no studio tricks, no pitch adjusters, just pipes like you'll rarely hear.

    Also out today from the same series is a January, 1987 Austin City Limits performance from Johnny Cash. The recording captures the man in black in a sort of career-limbo stage, long after mainstream country radio had turned its back on him, but still seven years before he began his late renaissance with producer Rick Rubin and the American recordings. Nevertheless, a downright youthful Cash, without a gray hair on his head, burns through signature tunes like "Ring of Fire," and "Big River," with gusto, elsewhere foreshadowing his nineties work with more traditional selections like "Long Black Veil," and "(Ghost) Riders In the Sky." Also included are covers of John Prine's "Sam Stone," Kris Kristofferson's "Sunday Mornin' Comin' Down," and Tom T. Hall's "I'll Go Somewhere & Sing My Songs Again," in addition to a version of "Where Did We Go Right?" that finds Cash joined by his wife June Carter. Available for the first time after twenty years in the can, Cash's Live from Austin, TX is another fine addition to the legacy of a legend.

    In House #1781.

    Airdate: 1/09/07
    Focus: New Austin City Limits Live releases from Neko Case and Johnny Cash, plus new music from Wayne Hancock, Paula Frazer & Tarnation, and more.

    BONUS Vid-
    Neko Case's "Behind the House," from her Live From Austin, TX DVD and CD:

    BONUS MP3s-
    Neko Case, from Live From Austin, TX: "Alone & Forsaken" (MP3)

    Johnny Cash, from Live From Austin, TX: "Big River" (MP3)


    In House PODCAST #236

    Monday, January 08, 2007

    In House #1780: Kristin Hersh's Learn to Sing Like a Star; Bowie Turns 60

    It's Happy Birthday, David Bowie as the Great White Duke hits 60 today. We celebrate with a handful of the new and the old from the iconoclastic musical chameleon and all-around brand name. While he hasn't released a proper full-length since 2003's Reality, he made no fewer than two interesting cameos in 2006: 1) As the voice of Lord Royal Highness, to be aired on an upcoming episode of SpongeBob SquarePants; and 2) Providing vocals, backing and otherwise, on "Province," from TV On the Radio's Return to Cookie Mountain. A votre sante, Mr. Bowie!

    Also today, music from the upcoming seventh solo release from Kristin Hersh, entitled Learn to Sing Like a Star. The album marks the Throwing Muses and 50 Foot Wave frontwoman's first for yep roc and features Hersh often surrounded by lush string arrangements, though that doesn't mean that she doesn't rock out angry-like in places. Hersh plans an extensive tour with a full band to coincide with the release, out January 23rd.

    In House #1780.
    Airdate: 1/8/07
    Focus: Upcoming release from Kristin Hersh, Learn to Sing Like a Star, plus Davie Bowie turns 60 today, and new music from David Kilgour, Apostle of Hustle, Grinderman, and more.

    BONUS MP3s-
    Kristin Hersh, from Learn to Sing Like a Star (due 1/23): "In Shock" (MP3)

    David Kilgour, from The Far Now (due 1/23): "BBC World" (MP3)

    Youth Group, from Casino Twilight Dogs (due 1/30): "Sorry" (MP3)

    Magnetic Fields: "Heroes" (MP3) (David Bowie cover)

    David Bowie, from Black Tie White Noise:
    "I Know It's Gonna Happen Someday" (MP3) (Morrissey cover)


    In House PODCAST #235

    Friday, January 05, 2007

    In House #1779: 2007 in Preview (Part 3)

    It's the last in our series this week of sneak peeks at some of the interesting and/or promising releases to be issued in the first quarter of 2007. We tweak the flavor once again today, however, and get to new material from Rickie Lee Jones, The Holmes Brothers, Erin McKeown, Mark Erelli, and more. Sermon On Exposition Boulevard is Jones' first album since 2003's The Evening of My Best Day, and also marks her debut for the New West label. The new material riffs off of some of the social and political content she's turned to in recent years in addition to a decided spiritual overtone. February 6th is the street date.

    Elsewhere, State of Grace marks the return of New York City's Holmes Brothers, whose gospel-tinged blend of blues, country, and soul continues to suggest that they hail from somewhere much further south. They're joined by the likes of Roseanne Cash, Joan Osborne, and Levon Helm on entirely reimagined versions of songs by Nick Lowe, Lyle Lovett, John Fogerty, and others. The album is out January 16th on the legendary Alligator blues label.

    Meanwhile, the fifth album from singer-songwriter Erin McKeown is physically due out next week on Nettwerk after receiving a digital release late in 2006. Sing You Sinners is an airy, stylish take on several classics from the Great American Songbook, including numbers like "Get Happy," "Paper Moon," and "Rhode Island Is Famous For You." McKeown's voice seems tailor-made to cover terrain previously visited by Judy Garland and Anita O'Day.

    In House #1779.

    Airdate: 1/5/07
    Focus: 2007 in Preview (Part 3) featuring music from Rickie Lee Jones, The Holmes Brothers, Erin McKeown, Mark Erelli, and more.

    BONUS MP3s-
    Holmes Brothers, from State of Grace (due 1/16):
    "(What's So Funny 'Bout) Peace, Love & Understanding?" (MP3)

    Erin McKeown, from Sing You Sinners (due 1/9): "Get Happy" (MP3)

    Gomez, from Endless Highway: The Music of The Band (due 1/30):
    "Up On Cripple Creek" (MP3)

    Xavier Rudd, from Food In the Belly (due 1/30): "Fortune Teller" (MP3)


    In House PODCAST #234

    Thursday, January 04, 2007

    In House #1778: 2007 in Preview (Part 2)

    It's the second part of our look at some of the more promising releases due out in the first quarter of 2007, as we get to upcoming releases from Super Furry Animals frontman Gruff Rhys, Sondre Lerche, The Frames, The Earlies, and Canadian singer-songwriter Ron Sexsmith, whose Time Being finally gets a U.S. release next week. Also, a new single from Sinead O'Connor representing her first output since 2005's reggae effort Throw Down Your Arms.

    In House #1778.
    Airdate: 1/04/07
    Focus: 2007 in Preview (Part 2) featuring music from Gruff Rhys, Sondre Lerche, Ron Sexsmith, Sinead O'Connor, The Frames, and more.

    BONUS MP3-
    Ron Sexsmith, from Time Being (due 1/9): "The Grim Trucker" (MP3)

    Gruff Rhys, from Candylion (due in the UK 1/8): "Candylion" (MP3)

    The Earlies, from The Enemy Chorus (due 1/23): "No Love In Your Heart" (MP3)

    Alasdair Roberts, from The Amber Gatherers: "The Old Men of the Shells" (MP3)


    In House PODCAST #233

    Wednesday, January 03, 2007

    In House #1777: 2007 in Preview (Part 1); New Bishop Allen EPs

    One of the most interesting things to happen in music was undoubtedly Bishop Allen's unprecedented EP-a-month project. The Boston-based band recently issued the final two of the twelve self-recorded, self-designed, self-mailed EPs, November and December, together bringing a perfect end to the impressively diverse and consistent series. Let's hope for a new full-length sometime in 2007.

    Also today, the first part of our eary 2007 preview as we get to music from a few of the more promising releases out in the first quarter of the year. The extensive list includes the likes of The Shins, Of Montreal, Low, Aqueduct, Apples in Stereo, and Menomena, among others.

    Bishop Allen

    In House #1777.
    Airdate: 1/03/07
    Focus: 2007 in Preview (Part 1) featuring new music from The Shins, Aqueduct, Rob Crow, The Broken West, Low, and more, plus Bishop Allen and the final two EPs in their 2006 EP-a-month series.

    BONUS MP3s-
    Bishop Allen, from the November EP: "Tea For Two" (MP3)
    ...and the December EP: "Calendar" (MP3)

    The Shins, from Wincing the Night Away (due 1/23): "Phantom Limb" (MP3)

    Of Montreal, from Hissing Fauna, Are You the Destroyer? (due 1/23):
    "Heimdalsgate Like a Promethean Curse" (MP3)

    Menomena, from Friend & Foe (due 1/23): "Evil Bee" (MP3)


    In House PODCAST #232

    Tuesday, January 02, 2007

    In House #1776: The Best of In House Live, 2006

    On the first show of 2007, it's one final look back at 2006 as we highlight some of the more oustanding and interesting interviews and performances caught live in our studio. From locals like New South Fork to current buzz artists like Josh Ritter to legends like Wanda Jackson, 2006 was perhaps the best yet for live, original content on the show. Not that it was all planned that way: the Bay Area's Free Peoples dropped by the studio ten minutes before air time on a day back in February and managed to talk their way on to the show. The result was only one of the tightest, most innovative performances we've ever seen in that tiny studio space on the version they laid down of their "One Less Greedy Man." Regional talent also shined throughout the year, with great in-studio performances from Boise's The Invasion, Portland's Myshkin's Ruby Warblers, and Flagstaff, AZ's Brian DeMarco, among others. Again and again, the show was graced with an array of musical talent; again and again we were lucky to be in ts presence.

    In House #1776.
    Airdate: 1/02/07
    Focus: The Best of In House Live, 2006 featuring Josh Ritter, Wanda Jackson, Free Peoples, Whitewater Ramble, and more.

    BONUS MP3s from today's show-
    Free Peoples, live In House, 2/10/06: "One Less Greedy Man" (MP3)
    The Invasion, live In House, 2/24/06: "The New Rules" (MP3)
    Snake Oil Stompers, live In House, 3/30/06: "Shake Your Curios" (MP3)
    New South Fork, live In House, 6/30/06: "In the Twinkling of An Eye" (MP3)
    Whitewater Ramble, live In House, 10/13/06: "Big River" (MP3)

    Wanda Jackson's In House guest DJ set, 4/27/06

    An interview with Josh Ritter, 8/20/06


    In House PODCAST #231