Monday, April 30, 2007

In House #1859: The Detroit Cobras' Tied & True

The first thing one notices when it comes to the music of the Detroit Cobras, and it'd be nearly impossible not to, is the belt-em-out vocal muscle of frontwoman Rachel Nagy. She remains the engine that drives the band on their recently released fourth album, Tied & True, out now on Bloodshot. While she remains at the top of her game when it comes to high-energy material, delivering songs like "As Long As I Have You," with an emotionally-charged swagger, the band turns it down a notch in places this go around and Nagy doubly shines as a voice that is smoky and sultry. The Detroit Cobras will be touring throughout the summer in support of the new release, including August dates in Boise and Salt Lake City.

In House #1859.
Airdate: 4/30/07
Focus: New release from the Detroit Cobras, Tied & True, plus new music from The Avett Brothers, Kings of Leon, Holly Golightly & the Brokeoffs, and more.


PLAYLIST

In House PODCAST #301

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Friday, April 27, 2007

In House #1858: Scott Von Duo Live; New Bob Dylan

It's a live in-studio visit today with Fort Collins, Colorado singer-songwriter Scott Von. He's been described as a "roots musician," for lack of a better term, and his songs get plenty of mileage out of that classification as they combine elements of Americana, folk, blues, jazz, and more. A relative newcomer, Von has quickly established himself throughout the region as a top-notch composer and performer, sharing stages with the likes of Chris Smither and Peter Mulvey while winning fans troubadour style, a handful at a time, and drawing comparisons to established masters like Greg Brown and John Hiatt. He's recently joined forces with guitarist Cary Morin to form the Scott Von Duo, which is how we'll hear his songs today. The duo is out for a brief trip to some new locations, including Vino Rosso tonight in Idaho Falls, and Portneuf Valley Brewing tomorrow night in Pocatello. Scott Von's latest full-length effort, and second overall, is last year's Moving Stones.

Scott Von

In House #1858.
Airdate: 4/27/07
Focus: Colorado-based singer-songwriter Scott Von live In House, plus new music from Bob Dylan, Scott Miller & the Commonwealth, John Prine & Mac Wiseman, and more.

BONUS MP3s from today's live set with the Scott Von Duo-
  • "Two Eyes" (MP3)
  • "Down By the Sea" (MP3)

  • Photos from today's in-studio right here.

    PLAYLIST

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    Thursday, April 26, 2007

    In House #1857: Laura Veirs' Saltbreakers; Richard Swift in Salt Lake City This Weekend

    It's been a busy four years or so for Laura Veirs. The singer-songwriter has released three excellently-crafted and well-received albums, each more high profile than the last, toured exhaustively in their support, endured a failed relationship (which is well-documented in her new material), and made the move from Seattle to Portland. Of course, it's just such a schedule that has allowed her to go so far so quickly as she has organically grown her fan-base one at a time. Her latest effort, Saltbreakers, is also the third album with her current backing band (also called, you guessed it, The Saltbreakers), and a lineup that includes Tucker Martine, who also produced the album. Understandably, the band is close and it tends to come through in the music as they flesh out Veirs' whip-smart songs to great effect. Most impressive on the new release are the instances of new sonic exploration, sounding far more removed from 2005's Year of Meteors than a mere two years. "To the Country," features Veirs' ghostly call and response with the Cedar Hill Choir, with flourishes of solo fiddle further removing the song from Veirs' past repertoire. Elsewhere, "Phantom Mountain," rocks out like she never has before, adding garage-fuzz guitars and bombast. Following a string of European dates, Veirs begins a US tour May 8th in Chicago.



    Also today, music from Richard Swift, who plays Kilby Court in Salt Lake City this Saturday night in what will be his final U.S. performance before he heads to the U.K. for a series of dates in early June. As his sound indicates, Swift is a true throwback, a pure pop songwriter that finds common ground amongst the likes of Paul McCartney (the good, 70's, songwriting version) and Tom Waits, among other artists of yesteryear. Maybe it's that circular taste thing working, but he somehow channels those retro leanings into a finished product that sounds entirely fresh and intriguing. Not one to be pigeon-holed into one decade, Swift broke ground on the 1980's earlier this year when his version of Prince's "Paisley Park," appeared as the B-side to his "Kisses For the Misses" single. His most recent full-length is this year's excellent Dressed Up For the Letdown.

    In House #1857.

    Airdate: 4/26/07
    Focus: New release from Laura Veirs, Saltbreakers, plus Richard Swift plays Salt Lake City this weekend. Also, new music from Elliott Smith, Chrisopher Blue, Winterpills, Andrew Bird, and more.

    BONUS MP3s-
    Laura Veirs, from Saltbreakers:
  • "Saltbreakers" (MP3)

    Richard Swift, from The Novelist/Walking Without Effort:
  • "As I Go" (MP3)
    ...from the Kisses For the Misses 7":
  • "Paisley Park" (MP3) (Prince cover)

    Elliott Smith, from New Moon (due 5/8):
  • "Pretty Mary K (Other Version)" (MP3)

  • PLAYLIST

    In House PODCAST #300

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    Wednesday, April 25, 2007

    In House #1856: New Martin Sexton, Playing Salt Lake City Tonight

    Over the past twenty years or so, singer-songwriter Martin Sexton has built a reputation as an artist with a consistently interesting and diverse output. One need only seek out a handful of selections from his catalog to find an artist that has rarely, if ever, conformed to anyone's expectations but his own, and he's excelled at several different genres because of it, often over the course of the same album. Seeds, his sixth studio full-length but first in seven years excluding 2005's holiday-themed Camp Holiday, is no different in this regard. Over the course of thirteen new songs and one version of a soul classic, Sexton ambles between pop, rock, folk, country, gospel, soul, and even a little jazz, showing off his trademark vocal range in the process. Whereas in the past such diversity has caused his efforts to sound pieced together, Seeds somehow keeps its overall focus amongst the genre-jumping. "Wild Angels," features Sexton backed by a choir of himself, foreshadowing the gospel inflection on the later "There Go I." "Will It Go 'Round In Circles," meanwhile, is Sexton's take on Billy Preston's classic, proving that an entire album's worth of such material from him would surely be of more use to the world than similarly-themed releases from the likes of Rod Stewart and Michael McDonald. Martin Sexton plays The Depot in Salt Lake City tonight, along with up and coming opener Jonah Smith.

    Martin Sexton

    In House #1856.
    Airdate: 4/25/07
    Focus: New release from Martin Sexton, Seeds, also playing Salt Lake City tonight. Plus, new music from Willy Mason, Mavis Staples, Wilco, and more.

    BONUS MP3s-
    Martin Sexton, from Seeds:
  • "Goin' to the Country" (MP3)

    Mavis Staples, from We'll Never Turn Back:
  • "On My Way" (MP3)

  • PLAYLIST

    In House PODCAST #299

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    Tuesday, April 24, 2007

    In House #1855: Cloud Cult's Meaning of 8; New Britt Daniel

    It's one thing to be prolific but another entirely to be prolific and brilliant. Our occasional tendencies to engage in hyperbole aside, Minneapolis' Cloud Cult has been something close to both for the better part of the decade now, while still somehow managing to be kept under wraps like a special secret. With the release of Meaning of 8, the band's fifth full-length in the past seven years, their underground darling days may soon be at an end. The nineteen-track collection is a sprawling, stuffed to the gills festival of pop, at times so lyrically and musically dense that it's impossible to believe that it doesn't fall right over on its face. But no, Craig Minowa and friends succeed where so many have failed, and their pop pastiche brings to mind the best (and long-lost) moments of the Flaming Lips, the tribal righteousness of the Arcade Fire, the nearly unhinged lunacy of Modest Mouse. Songs like "Chemicals Collide," perhaps the best example of a pure pop song in 2007 this side of Peter, Bjorn & John's "Young Folks," literally beam with...we'll call it hope (and that's OK); "Please Remain Calm," meanwhile, suggests a Beta Band heir in the land of Sinclair Lewis. Meaning of 8 is a lot to take in at once, but it's a varied and captivating lot-- what more can you ask than that? The band that passes out environmentally-minded fact sheets at their gigs and looks like your college drama troupe just might be the emerging face of American indie-pop, and it's about time. Cloud Cult play two Montana dates this week, tonight in Bozeman and tomorrow night in Missoula, before heading for the west coast.

    Cloud Cult

    In House #1855.
    Airdate: 4/24/07
    Focus: New release from Cloud Cult, Meaning of 8, playing Montana shows tonight and tomorrow night, plus new music from Britt Daniel, The National, Pela, Modest Mouse, and more.

    BONUS MP3s-
    Cloud Cult, from Meaning of 8:
  • "Take Your Medicine" (MP3)

    Spoon's Britt Daniel, from Bridging the Distance: A Portland Covers Compilation:
  • "Bring It On Home To Me" (MP3) (Sam Cooke cover)

  • BONUS Vid- Cloud Cult's "Chemicals Collide":


    PLAYLIST

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    Monday, April 23, 2007

    In House #1854: New Patti Smith, Leonard Cohen Reissues

    A busy show today features two legends of pop music, each of whom never really seems to get their full due. Fresh off of her induction this year into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame, Patti Smith returns with a covers album, entitled Twelve. Smith tackles a vast range of styles and artists, covering nearly forty years of musical output in the process. Versions of the Rolling Stones' "Gimme Shelter," and Jefferson Airplane's "White Rabbit," might almost be said to be expected, and Smith rather nails them accordingly. Also in the mix, though, are eyebrow-raising takes on Tears for Fears' "Everybody Wants to Rule the World," and Nirvana's "Smells Like Teen Spirit," given a six-minute, banjo-backed treatment the reverence of which is the yin to the original's unruly yang. Interestingly, Smith almost exclusively chooses to cover songs sung originally by male leads, trying her hand at numbers by The Beatles, Bob Dylan, Jimi Hendrix, Neil Young, and Stevie Wonder, among others. Twelve is out tomorrow on Columbia.

    Also today, music from the first three releases from the legendary French-Candian singer-songwriter Leonard Cohen, each of which gets a deluxe reissue treatment tomorrow courtesy of Sony Legacy. On the occasion of the 40th anniversary of the release of Cohen's debut, the label will issue remastered, deluxe versions of Songs of Leonard Cohen (1967), Songs From a Room (1969), and Songs of Love & Hate (1971), each including bonus tracks. A true giant amongst both musical and literary circles, Cohen's artistic influence has been incalculable on many of those that have come after him. This initial trio of releases shows him in top form as it includes such staples of his catalog as "Suzanne," "So Long, Marianne," "Bird On a Wire," and "Famous Blue Raincoat," among others. Still going strong at 72, Cohen's most recent release, his eleventh, was 2004's Dear Heather.

    In House #1854.

    Airdate: 4/23/07
    Focus: New covers album from Patti Smith, Twelve, plus music from three new Leonard Cohen reissues out tomorrow, as well as from the new Nonesuch release, A Tribute to Joni Micthell.

    BONUS MP3s-
    Patti Smith, from Twelve:
  • "Everybody Wants to Rule the World" (MP3)

    Leonard Cohen, from the reissued version of Songs of Leonard Cohen:
  • "Blessed Is the Memory" (MP3) (bonus track)
    ...and from Songs of Love & Hate:
  • "Famous Blue Raincoat" (MP3)

  • PLAYLIST

    In House PODCAST #298

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    Friday, April 20, 2007

    In House #1853: Los Straitjackets' Rock En Espanol, Vol. 1

    For over a decade, the Nashville-based quartet Los Straitjackets has taken to stages donning Mexican wrestling masks, concealing the faces behind the guitar-fueled instrumental powerhouse. Theirs has been the sound of Dick Dale, Link Wray, and The Ventures heard through a modern filter, a mysterious, slightly ironic blend of retro surf and twang. Rock En Espanol, Vol. 1, the band's latest out on Yep Roc, marks their first spanish language album and features guest vocal turns by Thee Midniters' Little Willie G., Big Sandy, and Los Lobos' Cesar Rosas, who also produced the album. Though the thirteen songs (+1 instrumental) are sung in Spanish, most of them are imminently recognizable '60's pop songs, some of which are directly modeled here after Spanish versions of the time recorded by the likes of Los Freddys, Los Rockin' Devils, Los Teen Tops, and Rebeleos de Rock, among others. The Kinks' "All Day and All of the Night," therefore, becomes "De Dia y de Noche," while Jackie Wilson's "Lonely Teardrops," (given an excellent turn here by Big Sandy) is "Lagrimas Salitarias." Others, meanwhile, are given less literal translations, including Larry Williams' "Dizzy Mizz Lizzie," known here as "El Microscopico Bikini," and The McCoys' "Hang On Sloopy," which is changed to "Hey Lupe." The collection also features songs made popular by The Troggs, The Coasters, and Marty Robbins, among others. It's a fresh take and a new perspective on a genre that has always been English-dominated. Los Straitjackets are currently touring along with Big Sandy.

    Los Straitjackets with Big Sandy

    In House #1853.
    Airdate: 4/20/07
    Focus: New release from Los Straitjackets, Rock En Espanol Vol. 1, plus music from The Tornados, Band of Bees, The Detroit Cobras, Jon Rauhouse, and more.

    BONUS MP3s-
    Los Straitjackets, from Rock En Espanol, Vol. 1:
  • "El Microscopico Bikini" (MP3) (with Cesar Rosas)
  • "Lagrimas Solitarias" (MP3) (with Big Sandy)

    The Tornados, from Vampires, Cowboys, Spacemen, & Spooks: The Very Best of Joe Meek's Instrumentals:
  • "Ridin' the Wind" (MP3)

    The Detroit Cobras, from Tied & True (due 4/24):
  • "As Long As I Have You" (MP3)

  • PLAYLIST

    In House PODCAST #297

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    Thursday, April 19, 2007

    In House #1852: New Cowboy Junkies, Playing Boise Tonight

    Twenty-one years ago, the Cowboy Junkies issued a fairly unassuming debut made up almost entirely of covers, featuring songs by the likes of John Lee Hooker, Bruce Springsteen, Robert Johnson, and others. Whites Off Earth Now!! was marked in its hazy, almost drugged-out take on classic country and blues, the beginnings of a signature sound from a band that has been called "country on valium." Low meets Neil Young might have been an apt descriptor if the band hadn't predated the former. The Junkies released their twelfth studio album earlier this week, entitled At the End of Paths Taken, and while they've certainly branched out and expanded their sound over the past two decades to include rock, pop, and folk, the deliberate pace remains in many cases, not to mention the cool coo of Margo Timmins. The album, however, also continues a recent trend with the band's music to eschew traditional song structure resulting in the kind of extended jams and meditations that are the anti-3-minute-pop songs. One need look no further than the 7-minute plus "Mountain," for proof, as it spreads an atmospheric soundscape over a recording of the Timmins' (Margo and Peter, who are both in the band) father reading from what sounds like it could a personal history piece. It's a long way from Robert Johnson, to be sure, but there are plenty of more traditional moments here, including the electric blues dirge "Cutting Board Blues," and the stunning "Spiral Down." The Cowboy Junkies play the Egyptian Theatre in Boise tonight.

    Cowboy Junkies

    In House #1852.
    Airdate: 4/19/07
    Focus: New release from the Cowboy Junkies, At the End of Paths Taken, also playing Boise tonight. Plus, new music from the Golden Smog, Ian Hunter, Grant-Lee Phillips, Patti Smith, and more.

    BONUS MP3-
    Cowboy Junkies, from At the End of Paths Taken:
  • "Spiral Down" (MP3)

  • PLAYLIST

    In House PODCAST #296

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    Wednesday, April 18, 2007

    In House #1851: The Rosebuds' Night of the Furies; Elk City's New Believers

    United in love and music, the married duo that make up North Carolina's Rosebuds returned last week with their third full-length for Merge records, entitled Night of the Furies. To hear it, though, you'd hardly know it was them. After two albums of sometimes blissful, sometimes wistful indie pop laden with hooks, Ivan Howard and Kelly Crisp perform a musical about-face with a collection of songs glossed over by synths, drum machines, and dance beats. They've traded in their Go-Betweens records for New Order and even the Pet Shop Boys, in other words, and once one gets over that shock it works quite well. Often dark and occasionally deliberately kitschy, anthemic choruses abound on Furies, notably on both the title track and the dancefloor leaning, "Get Up Get Out." Elsewhere, "Silja Line," rides the only naked guitar passage on the album to a slow burn and eventual choral climax with guest vocals from the Shout Out Louds. The Rosebuds begin an extensive U.S. tour in mid-May.

    Also today, the first new release in five years from Elk City, New Believers, which came out yesterday on Friendly Fire. The band announced their arrival back in 2000 with the promising if uneven status, and returned a couple of years later on Touch & Go with Hold Tight the Ropes. A few line-up changes later, including the addition of Luna's Sean Eden, and Elk City sounds better than ever. Renee LoBue's siren vocals continue to lead the charge, as she makes more than good on the "female Bowie" comparisons she's enjoyed over the years. Look no further than one of this year's best singles, "Los Cruzados," for definitive proof of Elk City's rebirth.














    In House #1851.
    Airdate: 4/18/07
    Focus: New releases from The Rosebuds, Night of the Furies, and Elk City, New Believers. Plus, new music from The Concretes, Feist, Blonde Redhead, and more.

    BONUS MP3s-
    The Rosebuds, from Night of the Furies:
  • "Get Up Get Out" (MP3)

    Elk City, from New Believers:
  • "Los Cruzados" (MP3)
  • "Cherries In the Snow" (MP3)

  • PLAYLIST

    In House PODCAST #295

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    Tuesday, April 17, 2007

    In House #1850: New Live Scott Miller; Ray Price in Idaho Falls

    It's a common complaint: a band is a bring-down-the-house, whirling dervish of raw energy live, but for whatever reason can't sustain that mojo when committing their sound to a recorded product. Indeed, there have been more than a handful of post-gig impulse buys made by folks who are later disappointed when the same magic doesn't happen in their respective living rooms. Some bands are just better taken live, it seems. While similar complaints may, or may not, have been directed toward the Knoxville, Tennessee-based Scott Miller & the Commonwealth, they wear live well on the new Reconstruction, recorded over three nights last December at the Down Home in Johnson City, TN. While it's been difficult to quibble with the results of the first three studio releases from Miller and his band, they truly sound in their element here as they tear through their back catalog including stellar versions of "Amtrak Crescent," and "Eight Miles Per Gallon," as well as Neil Young's ever-pertinent "Hawks & Doves." The album is now out on Sugar Hill.



    Also today, music from the legendary country singer Ray Price, who plays the Colonial Theatre in Idaho Falls tonight. As you may recall from our recent feature, Price, along with Willie Nelson and Merle Haggard, issued Last of the Breed last month on Lost Highway. After recording his first single in 1949, Price later single-handedly founded the 4/4 country shuffle on his 1956 version of "Crazy Arms," and the form would go on to dominate the country recordings of the late 1950's and early 1960's. Other hits included "Don't Let the Stars Get In Your Eyes," "Release Me," and "City Lights." Price will also play several dates in Montana later in the week, before joining forces with Nelson and Haggard for The Last of the Breed Tour later this year.

    In House #1850.
    Airdate: 4/17/07
    Focus: New live album from Scott Miller & the Commonwealth, Reconstruction, plus the legendary Ray Price plays Idaho Falls tonight. Also, new music from Willie Nelson & Merle Haggard, Asleep At the Wheel, and more.

    BONUS MP3s-
    Scott Miller & the Commonwealth, from Reconstruction:
  • "Amtrak Crescent (LIVE)" (MP3)

    Ray Price, recorded in 1956:
  • "Crazy Arms" (MP3)


  • PLAYLIST

    In House PODCAST #294

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    Monday, April 16, 2007

    In House #1849: Bill Callahan's Woke On a Whaleheart; New Clientele

    Now the man formerly known as Smog (or, alternately, (Smog)), Bill Callahan releases the first effort under his own name, entitled Woke On a Whaleheart, tomorrow on Drag City (edit-Actually, that's only if you're in Texas. Everyone else has to wait until next week). A prolific, previously mysterious artist, Callahan has released no fewer than twelve previous full-lengths over the past seventeen years or so. His frayed-edge, lo-fi beginnings have gradually been polished up and expanded, though his work has remained consistently dark and interesting, much of it built on the foundation of his caustic sense of humor. The latest takes the general direction of his last few albums, the most recent being 2005's A River Ain't Too Much to Love, a step or two further with nods to gospel and Americana-based folk. "Diamond Dancer," meanwhile, lays a looped string chorus over a fat bass-line of the Stax variety and ends up light years away from the bedroom hiss of his early output. It's fitting that this is the album's standout track, as it sums up the evolution of an artist who has nevertheless managed to remain edgy and captivating through it all.

    In House #1849.
    Airdate: 4/16/07
    Focus: New release from Bill Callahan, Woke On a Whaleheart, plus new music from The Clientele, Apostle of Hustle, Julie Doiron, and more.

    BONUS MP3-
    Bill Callahan, from Woke On a Whaleheart:
  • "Sycamore" (MP3)

    The Clientele, from God Save the Clientele (due 5/8):
  • "Bookshop Casanova" (MP3)


  • PLAYLIST

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    Sunday, April 15, 2007

    Live: John Vanderslice with St. Vincent
    Kilby Court, Salt Lake City, UT 4/9/07


    Singer, songwriter, producer, and all-around nice guy John Vanderslice made his annual return to Salt Lake City last week, among the first dates on a tour that sees him joined by Dallas-based one woman band St. Vincent through the second week in May.


    Leaving most of the members of his now regular band at home, JV did bring along drummer and longtime co-conspirator Dave Douglas, who also managed to somehow play sound samples and a bit of Moog. The duo served up plenty from the back catalog, while also premiering a couple of songs from the upcoming full-length album, due out in August on Barsuk.



    Among the high interest points from a show that also included a duet with St. Vincent and an unplugged rendition of "Me & My 424," (performed with, and from the middle of, the audience) Vanderslice also made good on his website offer to host a sort of Vanderslice Idol. This is "Jason" from Salt Lake City, who laid down a rather impressive vocal turn on "Radiant With Terror."

    Plenty more photos from Vanderslice's set here.


    Her live introduction to most in the area, St. Vincent took to the stage in striking red leggings and delivered a unique and varied set, moving between charming and intense. Most of the songs performed appear on her upcoming Beggar's Banquet debut Marry Me, due out in July, though she also delivered a stunning reading of Nico's "These Days." All stage-stomped beats, disarming vocals, and unexpected flourishes of distorted guitar, it's not difficult to see why the blogosphere has been in love with St. Vincent for a while now.



    See a few more from St. Vincent's set here.

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    Friday, April 13, 2007

    In House #1848: Bright Eyes' Cassadaga; New Holly Golightly

    For whatever reason, be it his past precocious earnestness or his premature crowning as New Musical Savior by journalists hungry for another Dylan, Conor Oberst has always been something of a polarizing figure. Add to the equation those instances where he has appeared to be trying too hard to be just that savior, and his detractors have had ammunition to use. Cassadaga, Oberst's sixth release as/with Bright Eyes, seems to find him turning lyrical and musical corners as he offers up a surprisingly straight-forward collection almost entirely devoid of the kind of self-indulgence that has weighed on his work in the past. M. Ward, Janet Weiss, Gillian Welch, and David Rawlings all appear in the mix in one capacity or another, helping Bright Eyes to what is at once their slickest-produced yet most traditionally-oriented work to date. Oberst and company appear to have benefited from finally moving the recording side of things outside of their Omaha-based studio, as the mix here is easily their most varied to date with plenty of strings, horns, pedal steel, and female backing vocals. Inevitably, the detractors will remain (some, no doubt, will even count themselves as former fans), but Oberst at 27 finally sounds like a guy at least somewhat worthy of that early Dylan hyperbole. Bright Eyes plays Salt Lake City's Kingsbury Hall on April 29th with opener Oakley Hall.

    Bright Eyes

    In House #1848.
    Airdate: 4/13/07
    Focus: New release from Bright Eyes, Cassadaga, plus new music from Holly Golightly & the Brokeoffs, Kristy Kruger, Paul Duncan, Centro-Matic, and more.

    BONUS MP3s-
    Bright Eyes, from Cassadaga:
  • "Four Winds" (MP3)
  • "No One Would Riot for Less" (MP3)

    Holly Golightly & the Brokeoffs, from You Can't Buy a Gun When You're Crying:
  • "Devil Do" (MP3)

  • PLAYLIST

    In House PODCAST #293

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    Thursday, April 12, 2007

    In House #1847: Ron Franklin's City Lights; Blues Traveler in Pocatello Tonight

    There's not a wealth of information around about singer-songwriter and multi-instrumentalist Ron Franklin. He's been in a few bands, managed to play with some Memphis legends here and there, and self-released a handful of albums. Though some sources call him Memphis-based, others describe a permanent itinerant, spending time far and wide in whatever towns his fancy takes him. Franklin's general demeanor is little help. He's unforthcoming with personal details in interviews, from his early background to his exact age, in the process creating a bit of mystique around this guy that sings something like early Dylan and plays a mix of country, blues, gospel, boogie woogie, and R&B. City Lights, his first release with a proper label, distribution, and promotion, was released earlier this year on Memphis International. In addition to the songs themselves (nine originals, an arrangement of a traditional, and Chuck Berry's "Thirty Days"), the album is impressive in its production values, or decided lack thereof. The result is a true "oldness" to the sound, primal, sincere, almost as if recorded by accident. In the mix is none other than the legendary player and producer Jim Dickinson, lending his considerable talents to keys. Franklin, meanwhile, seems to be a man out of time, with one foot on Leadbelly's porch and the other in The White Stripes' garage.



    Also today, music from Blues Traveler, playing tonight on the campus of Idaho St. University. First rising to fame in the mid-90's on the strength of songs like "Run Around," and "Hook," the band has maintained a loyal following of fans despite a diminished presence on commercial radio. The band is fronted by the heavily armed John Popper, who also knows his way around a gob iron. Showtime is at 7:30 in Holt Arena.

    In House #1847.
    Airdate: 4/12/07
    Focus: Debut full-length from Ron Franklin, City Lights, plus Blues Traveler plays Idaho St. University in Pocatello tonight. Also, new music from The Mother Hips, Wilco, Tori Amos, and more.

    BONUS MP3s-
    Ron Franklin, from City Lights:
  • "Little Suzie" (MP3)

    The Detroit Cobras, from Tied & True (due 4/24):
  • "As Long As I Have You" (MP3)

  • PLAYLIST

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    Wednesday, April 11, 2007

    In House #1846: The Long Winters & The Broken West in Salt Lake City

    It's a triumvirate of indie pop tonight at Salt Lake City's Kilby Court as The Long Winters, The Broken West, and Stars of Track & Field all take to the stage for one of the final shows on thier current tour together. By far the most established of the three, The Long Winters released thier third full-length album, Putting the Days to Bed, last year on Barsuk. The band serves as a showcase for the smartly-written, classic pop tunes of frontman John Roderick, who seems to contain no shortage of wit, in or out of his songs. Their When I Pretend to Fall was one of this show's top five album picks of 2003, and remains an utterly relistenable masterpiece of pop music.



    The other two acts on the bill are both technically classifiable as "up-and-coming bands," though they have each managed to come a long way in a short period of time. The Los Angeles-based Broken West issued their debut album, I Can't Go On, I'll Go On earlier this year on Merge, and have not taken long to capture the attention of a diverse audience with power-pop leaning tunes that sound like that place where Big Star never met up with Gram Parsons. The Stars of Track & Field, meanwhile, hail from Portland, Oregon, where they must stand out easily among that city's generally more lo-fi musical element. Their's is a big sound full of swirling guitars, ethereal vocals, and electronic blips, making comparisons to the likes of Radiohead apt. They begin a tour opening for Joseph Arthur later this week in Montreal.


    I
    n House #1846.
    Airdate: 4/11/07
    Focus: The Long Winters, The Broken West, & Stars of Track & Field play Salt Lake City tonight, plus new music from Grand Archives, The Ponys, Sea Wolf, and more.

    BONUS MP3s-
    The Long Winters, from Putting the Days to Bed:
  • "Pushover" (MP3)
    ...and from When I Pretend to Fall:
  • "Stupid" (MP3)

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


  • PLAYLIST

    In House PODCAST #292

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    Video: John Vanderslice & St. Vincent Together, Unplugged

    A live, un-amped version of Vanderslice's "Nikki Oh Nikki" from Monday night's performance at Kilby Court in Salt Lake City.


    As you may recall from Monday's show, the pair are currently out on tour together. Plenty more to come from that night's festivities here, including photos and a (hopefully) upgraded video of this song. Edit- So this version is a little better, but not much, thus beginning in earnest the Buy In House a New Camera Pledge Drive. Any little bit helps. Thanks in advance.

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    Tuesday, April 10, 2007

    In House #1845: The Asylum Street Spankers Play Boise Tonight

    The irreverence of the Asylum Street Spankers makes a rare appearance in the region tonight, as they play The Neurolux in beautiful downtown Boise. The Austin, TX-based outfit has been bringing their unique and varied sound (marked by instances of political smart-aleckry, blue humor, and assorted strains of retro) to the people since 1994. Their seventh and latest studio full-length, Mommy Says No!, is a bit more "child-oriented," shall we say, than we've heard from The Spankers in the past, but still manages to come across like they might sound if Shel Silverstein joined the group. Still, for a band whose past catalog includes EPs with titles like Naughty Novelties and Dirty Ditties, not to mention the full-length ode to substance use Spanker Madness, the new release represents uncharted territory.

    Asylum Street Spankers

    In House #1845.
    Airdate: 4/10/07
    Focus: The Asylum Street Spankers in Boise tonight, plus new music from Asleep at the Wheel, Jon Rauhouse, John Doe, and more.

    BONUS MP3s-
    Asylum Street Spankers, from Spanker Madness (2000):
  • "Winning the War On Drugs" (MP3)
    ...and recorded live in Rochester, NY (2004):
  • "Asylum Street Blues" (MP3)

    John Doe, from A Year In the Wilderness (due 6/12):
  • "The Golden State" (MP3) (with Kathleen Edwards)

    The Linemen, from Through Side One:
  • "Through Side One" (MP3)


  • BONUS Vid-
    Asylum Street Spankers' "Stick Magnetic Ribbons On Your SUV":


    PLAYLIST

    In House PODCAST #291

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    Monday, April 09, 2007

    In House #1844: John Vanderslice & St. Vincent Tonight in Salt Lake City

    W
    e like to call him the busiest man in indie rock, and it's a case that can be well-argued. San Francisco's John Vanderslice has kept up a hectic schedule of producing, recording, and touring over the past decade or so, while still finding time to feed his passions for photography and cinema. He recently announced the release of a forthcoming album, his sixth, this August on Barsuk. Currently in the opening stages of a spring U.S. tour, Vanderslice and longtime collaborator Dave Douglas play Salt Lake City's Kilby Court tonight as part of a bill that will also feature the results of the duo's invitation to sing or play bass with them on stage (Vanderslice Idol, perhaps?).



    Touring with Vanderslice this time out is the one-woman band St. Vincent, who is Dallas, TX's Annie Clark (erstwhile member of the Polyphonic Spree). She's parlayed a quirky, somewhat mysterious persona, a debut EP, and much blog-love over the past year or so into a debut full-length, Marry Me, out in July on Beggar's.




    In House #1844.

    Airdate: 4/9/07
    Focus: John Vanderslice & St. Vincent play Salt Lake City's Kilby Court tonight. Plus, new music from Elk City, Ted Leo & the Pharmacists, The National, Bill Callahan, and more.

    BONUS MP3s-
    John Vanderslice, live on Studio Brussel, Antwerp (Oct. 2006)
  • "Angela (LIVE)" (MP3)
  • "Trance Manual (LIVE)" (MP3)
    ...and from mass suicide occult figurines:
  • "Big Band Stars" (MP3)

    St. Vincent, from Marry Me (due 7/10):
  • "Marry Me" (MP3)
  • "Now. Now." (MP3)

  • PLAYLIST

    In House PODCAST #290

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    Friday, April 06, 2007

    In House #1843: Guitarist Bill Mize Live; Iris Dement in Montana







    In House #1843.

    Airdate: 4/6/07
    Focus: Guitarist Bill Mize live In House and in Pocatello tonight. Plus, Iris DeMent plays Montana this weekend, and new music from Lucinda Williams, Richard Thompson, and more.


    PLAYLIST

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    Thursday, April 05, 2007

    In House #1842: Willie Nelson, Merle Haggard, & Ray Price Release Last of the Breed

    The trio of musicians behind the new 2-CD release Last of the Breed hardly need introductions. Between the three of them, Willie Nelson, Merle Haggard, and Ray Price have amassed a century and a half's worth of recordings, many of which are unarguably some of the most important and influential in the history of country music. They're hardly relics, however-- Haggard and Nelson in particular have managed to stay busy and musically relevant with a number of new projects and recordings over the past few years (though you'd never know it if you listened to mainstream country radio). Prior to this release, Haggard issued last year's Kickin' Out the Footlights...Again with George Jones and 2005's Chicago Wind, while Nelson's two new releases in 2006 were part of a period that saw him offer four full-lengths in a span of three years. Price, meanwhile, has seemed more content with his legend status in recent years, playing the Branson circuit but hardly diminishing his standing as a true living legend. The new collaboration from the three (plus guest additions from Vince Gill and Kris Kristofferson) features new versions of a host of classic country tunes from the likes of Harlan Howard ("Pick Me Up On Your Way Down"), Cindy Walker ("Goin' Away Party," and "Night Watch"), and Lefty Frizzell ("Mom & Dad's Waltz"). Haggard and Nelson also contribute an original or two along the way. With tasteful, classic production from Fred Foster, the results are what one might expect: musically solid updates far removed from mere nostalgia. Last of the Breed is out on Lost Highway.



    As long as we're hearing from country music legends, we also get to music from Charlie Louvin. Touring in support of his recent self-titled comeback, Louvin plays Boise's Neurolux this Saturday night following an in-store performance at the Record Exchange earlier in the day. Louvin originally made his name five decades or so back with his brother Ira, as the Louvin Brothers. Beginning in 1940, the duo set the standard for close harmony duet singing with classics like "The Christian Life," and "Cash On the Barrel Head." Louvin's inspired return this year on Tompkins Square features guest appearances from the hipster set (Lambchop's Kurt Wagner, Wilco's Jeff Tweedy, Will Oldham), as well as long established and respected pop (Elvis Costello) and country artists (George Jones, Tom T. Hall, Bobby Bare Sr.). Louvin turns 80 in July.

    In House #1842.
    Airdate: 4/5/07
    Focus: New release from Willie Nelson, Merle Haggard, & Ray Price, Last of the Breed, plus Charlie Louvin plays Boise this weekend. Also, new music from Jon Rauhouse, Dale Watson, and more.

    BONUS MP3s-
    Willie Nelson, Merle Haggard, & Ray Price, from Last of the Breed:
  • "My Life's Been a Pleasure" (MP3)
  • "Pick Me Up On Your Way Down" (MP3)

    Charlie Louvin, from Charlie Louvin:
  • "Why Must You Throw Dirt In My Face?" (with George Jones)
  • "My Long Journey Home" (MP3) (with Paul Burch)

  • PLAYLIST

    In House PODCAST #289

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    Wednesday, April 04, 2007

    In House #1841: Fountains of Wayne's Traffic & Weather

    The Fountains of Wayne returned this week with their first album in four years, entitled Traffic & Weather. The release is once again the kind of schizophrenic but catchy pop pastiche the band has become known for over the years, in other words meaning you're in luck if hooks and harmonies are your thing, but don't come around here looking for an album that plays out well as a cohesive whole. That said, there's plenty to like here, even if the band will probably never equal the quality of their first couple of releases. Adam Schlesinger once again turns an observant, sometimes critical, often hilarious eye on the current cultural milieu of the middle class, peppering his songs with pop culture references and name-checking everything from Guns & Roses to The Gap to King of Queens. Such content has in the past helped the band nail one-liners like, "I saw you talkin'/ To Christopher Walken/ On my TV screen," and "The Buick's in the drive/ It's great to be alive," and it continues to set the band apart here, though it doesn't necessarily make for content that is relevant past next week. Still, despite a misstep here and there and an album that is four songs too long, it's hard to resist the countryish pop of "Fire In the Canyon," and the lovesong (with truckstop commentary) "I-95." The Fountains of Wayne still make pleasurably if slightly nerdy pop music, it just feels a little more guilty than it has in the past.

    Fountains of Wayne

    In House #1841.
    Airdate: 4/4/07
    Focus: New release from the Fountains of Wayne, Traffic & Weather, plus new music from Feist, TigerCity, Albert Hammond Jr., and more.

    BONUS MP3-
    Joseph Arthur & the Lonely Astronauts, from Let's Just Be (due 4/17):
  • "Diamond Ring" (MP3)

  • PLAYLIST

    In House PODCAST #288

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    Tuesday, April 03, 2007

    In House #1840: New Releases from The Mother Hips and Kings of Leon

    The first full-length in six years from Chico, California's Mother Hips drops today on the Camera label. Kiss the Crystal Flake is the sixth album overall from the band, but just the second of the decade, following 2001's excellent The Green Hills of Earth. The band took an extended hiatus following that release due in part to a shake-up in their lineup, finally reappearing with 2005's Red Tandy EP. The new effort continues the direction of the past two, eschewing the psychedelia and jam-band sounds of their 90's output for a more pop-oriented direction, built on hooks and harmonies. Taking this a step further is the oddly titled "Time Sick Son of a Grizzly Bear," a song that falls squarely in indie-rock territory as The Hips come across like an earthier version of Spoon. The band hits the road later this week, playing back to back nights in Salt Lake City on the 27th and 28th of April.



    Also out today is the third album from the Kings of Leon, the southern fried quartet composed of three brothers and a cousin. New elements creep into the music on Because Of the Times, a fact that might be attributed to touring with the likes of U2, among others, over the past couple of years. Still, reviews are calling the sound equal parts Skynyrd, ZZ Top, and the White Stripes, giving southern rock an unlikely spot amongst the hipster-certified bands of the day.


    In House #1840.

    Airdate: 4/3/07
    Focus: New releases out today from The Mother Hips, Kiss the Crystal Flake, and Kings of Leon, Because of the Times. Plus, new music from Ron Franklin, Bigsby Jones, the Avett Brothers, and more.

    BONUS MP3-
    The Mother Hips, from Kiss the Crystal Flake:
  • "Time Sick Son of a Grizzly Bear" (MP3)

  • PLAYLIST

    In House PODCAST #287

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    Monday, April 02, 2007

    In House #1839: Jarvis Cocker's Jarvis Out In the U.S.; New BRMC

    After months of state-side hand-wringing, the solo debut from former Pulp frontman Jarvis Cocker finally gets a proper U.S. release tomorrow thanks to World's Fair. Already made available to most of the rest of the world last November, Jarvis finds Cocker in classically wry form, with plenty of the kind of social commentary that made Pulp's 90's output stand out alongside their Brit-pop contemporaries. Most notable in this for its direct lyrical approach, "Running the World," included as an album-closing hidden track, calls the international powers that be on the carpet, scolding them with the only words most of them deserve. Elsewhere, Cocker's critical eye is more metaphorical, slicing up corporate culture and its residuals in the scathing "Fat Children." Other highlights here, and there are plenty, include "Heavy Weather," "Baby's Coming Back to Me," and "Black Magic," the latter of which samples Tommy James & the Shondells' "Crimson & Clover," to surprisingly great effect. It's not necessarily surprising to get such a fresh-sounding album from Cocker, though it's never clear what one might hear from an artist who's over a decade removed from his best work with his former band. Jarvis, however, shows Cocker to have aged at least as well as Blur's Damon Albarn, and certainly better than the likes of Oasis. Indeed, Jarvis has returned.

    Jarvis Cocker

    In House #1839.
    Airdate: 4/2/07
    Focus: New release from Jarvis Cocker, Jarvis, finally out in the U.S. tomorrow, plus new music from the Black Rebel Motorcycle Club, the Kaiser Chiefs, Band of Bees, and more.

    BONUS MP3s-
    Jarvis Cocker, from Jarvis:
  • "Running the World" (MP3)
  • "Don't Let Him Waste Your Time" (MP3)
  • "Baby's Coming Back to Me" (MP3)




  • PLAYLIST

    In House PODCAST #286

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