Thursday, May 24, 2007
In House #1877: The Hold Steady in Boise Tonight
The Hold Steady
In House #1877.
Focus: The Hold Steady with The Heartless Bastards in Boise tonight, plus Patti Smith covers The Decemberists, and new music from Buffalo Tom, Superdrag, and more.
Wednesday, May 23, 2007
In House #1876: New Bloodshot Records Tribute to Larry Brown
More via Bloodshot.
In House #1876.
Focus: New Bloodshot Records tribute compilation, Just One More: A Musical Tribute to Larry Brown, A Great American Author, featuring cuts from Greg Brown, Alejandro Escovedo, Robert Earl Keen, Vic Chesnutt, and more. Plus, new music from Ryan Adams, The Avett Brothers, Robbie Fulks, Mark Olson, and more.
From Just One More: A Musical Tribute to Larry Brown:
In House PODCAST #314
Tuesday, May 22, 2007
In House #1875: The National's Boxer; New Adult Swim Compilation
A couple of years ago, The National released what would prove to be a truly slow burn of an album with their third effort, entitled Alligator. Although it hit stores early in 2005, it received little more than a casual reception. By the time the end of the year lists were upon us, however, Alligator had worked its way into more than a handful of top fives. Others still wouldn't discover its brilliance until well into 2006. No chance of a similar scenario unfolding this time around, as The National's Boxer has been at the top of the "much anticipated" list for many for the last couple of months. A bit moodier and more reserved than its predecessor, the album is marked in its brooding dignity, as Matt Berninger's words and vocals once again cast a dark musical hue. Songs like "Fake Empire," "Mistaken For Strangers," and "Start a War," are moving even before one deciphers the cryptic lyrical snippets which comprise them, and the deliberate intensity is perhaps best coupled with the liquor of your choice. Measured, intelligent, and occasionally caustic, Boxer is music that requires listening. The rewards will follow. The National embarks on a North American tour beginning next week in New York.
In House #1875.
Focus: New release from The National, Boxer, plus selections from a new compilation from Adult Swim, featuring music from Broken Social Scene, The Raveonettes, TV On the Radio, Sound Team, and more.
The National, from Boxer:
Selections from Warm & Scratchy, presented by [adult swim]-
In House PODCAST #313
Monday, May 21, 2007
In House #1874: The Meat Puppets Play Salt Lake City Tonight
Just ahead of their first studio release in seven years, The Meat Puppets play Salt Lake City's Urban Lounge tonight. The rather legendary trio, including the brothers Kirkwood, Curt and Cris, return in July with Rise to Your Knees, perhaps an apt description following a 25+ year career that has seen the band hit plenty of low points. Cris Kirkwood, in particular, has weathered his share of stormy events, including a well-publicized heroin addiction and the overdose death of his wife, and a bizarre run-in with a post office security guard that left him shot in the back and in prison. Following his release last year, the Kirkwood brothers announced plans for a regrouping of sorts and began work on the new album, their eleventh. The album finds them settling back in to the comfortable sound of much of their more polished, post-SST work, with songs like "On the Rise," and "Enemy Love Song," playing to the pop side of things before the psychedelic guitar noodling of "Disappear." Rise to Your Knees drops July 17th to be exact on the Anodyne label.
The Meat Puppets
In House #1874.
Focus: New music from The Meat Puppets, playing Salt Lake City tonight. Plus, new music from The Shaky Hands, Backyard Tire Fire, The Mendoza Line, and more.
The Meat Puppets, from Rise to Your Knees:
Two Gallants, from The Scenery of Farewell (due 6/19):
In House PODCAST #312
Friday, May 18, 2007
In House #1873: Julia Dawn Live; New Utah Carol
Today's in-studio guest is Fresno, CA-based singer-songwriter Julia Dawn, in Pocatello for a performance tonight at Portneuf Valley Brewing. The up and coming artist recently released the Falling EP, an effort that features a disparate mixing of sonic elements that led one reviewer to compare her sound to Bjork if she performed in the 1930's. Indeed, Dawn's music is easily described as genre-shifting, moving between pop, folk, americana and speak-easy jazz to create emotionally-charged numbers like "Darwin's Fall." Also included on her latest is a rare minor-key take on the classic "You Are On My Sunshine," slowed to a crawl and utterly changed in meaning. Julia Dawn's been out on the road for the past month, playing solo dates in California, Arizona, Texas, Colorado, Wyoming, and Utah before being joined by Joe Simpson on keys and trumpet for remaining dates in Idaho, Oregon, and Washington.
In House #1873.
Focus: Fresno, CA-based singer-songwriter Julia Dawn live in the studio, plus new music from Vermillion Lies, Utah Carol, Kristy Kruger, Rocky Votolato, and more.
BONUS MP3s from today's live set-
Thursday, May 17, 2007
In House #1872: Page France's ...and the Family Telephone
In House #1872.
Focus: Recent release from Page France, ...and the Family Telephone, plus new music from Benni Hemm Hemm, Vandaveer, Sea Wolf, and more.
In House PODCAST #311
Wednesday, May 16, 2007
In House #1871: Black Rebel Motorcycle Club Plays Salt Lake City
A couple of years back, L.A.'s Black Rebel Motorcycle Club surprised everyone with the soulful and largely acoustic musical about-face that was Howl. Immersing their music in country, blues, and even gospel flavors, BRMC essentially recreated their sound, transforming themselves from a frantically-paced, multi guitar layered, Jesus & Mary Chain-compared rock & roll act to an old world, gospel-tinged trio with a bit more on their minds. Plenty of harmonica, slide guitar, and good old fashioned soul-searching propelled Howl to one of the best-sounding releases of the year. Two years later, and the band is back to their rock & roll ways, albeit tempered with a few of the new-found elements employed with such success for Howl. Baby 81 finds the guitars plugged back in but doesn't necessarily rock with wild abandon. Instead, bluesy moments like album opener "Took Out a Loan," come across like a louder, less classic blues driven version of The Black Keys, while other moments suggest the influence of past acts like The Stooges and The Rolling Stones. Despite all of the volume, which is generally (much) higher this go around, there are moments of comparatively delicate texture to be found within: Robert Turner's piano turn that drives the rather epic "Window," for example. For the most part though, it's a loud and loose return to form, which is fine, except that Howl suggests that their real strengths lie elsewhere. BRMC plays In the Venue in Salt Lake City tonight.
In House #1871.
Focus: New release, Baby 81, from the Black Rebel Motorcycle Club, also playing Salt Lake City tonight. Plus, new music from Spoon, Electrelane, The Ponys, The Arcade Fire, and more.
In House PODCAST #310
Coming soon: Our Filter Tourzine report from tonight's BRMC show
Tuesday, May 15, 2007
In House #1870: New Releases From Feist, Rufus Wainwright
The music of Canadian singer Leslie Feist is a study in contrasts, much like the musical path she's taken since she was a teenager. The Reminder, her third release as simply Feist, jumps and mixes genres, wrapping her smooth vocals around pop, jazz, bossa nova, and indie forms, as well as hybrids thereof. With such versatility on display, it shouldn't necessarily surprise that she got her start fronting a Calgary punk band before going on to serve as one of the essential ingredients in the Toronto-based musical collective Broken Social Scene. New songs like "So Sorry," and "The Water," testify to her strength as a torch song singer, while she appropriates Nina Simone's own appropriation of "Sea Lion Woman," into something synth-tinged and glorious. For months prior to its release, the buzz was that The Reminder would be the effort that announced Feist to the world at large. It seems that it's succeeded in that capacity, and then some.
Also today, out this week is Rufus Wainwright's fifth studio full-length, entitled Release the Stars. The album once again finds Wainwright's recognizable voice skirting over lushly orchestrated, at times almost operatic, pop. As has been the case with recent efforts, he delves further into socio-political commentary in new songs like "Going to a Town," (with its refrain of "I'm so tired of America") and "Do I Disappoint You," both at least partially addressing a society that seems obsessed with topics like gay marriage, gay adoption, etc. Recorded in Berlin and London with Pet Shop Boy Neil Tennant, Release the Stars and its theatrics do nothing to diminish the reputation of an increasingly outspoken, if occasionally over-reaching, talent.
In House #1870.
Focus: New releases from Feist, The Reminder, and Rufus Wainwright, Release the Stars, plus new music from Ferraby Lionheart, Grant-Lee Phillips, The Sea & Cake, and more.
Feist, from The Reminder:
Rufus Wainwright, from Release the Stars:
Monday, May 14, 2007
Elvis Costello & the Imposters Live Webcast
Watch it here this evening live from the Ed Sullivan Theater beginning at 8:25 EST.
Costello, who this year marks the 30th anniversary of the release of his groundbreaking debut album, My Aim Is True, will perform songs from his CDs, The Best of Elvis Costello: The First 10 Years and Rock and Roll Music, a collection of hits, key album tracks, B-sides and rare, previously unreleased cuts.
In House #1869: Wilco's Sky Blue Sky; New Track a Tiger
Once upon a time, with efforts like A.M. and Being There under their belts, Wilco was considered at the forefront of the alt-country movement. That began to change a bit with 1999's Summerteeth, with nods to the lushly orchestrated pop of Brian Wilson in the mix, before the band excused themselves almost entirely from the genre on their two 21st-century releases, Yankee Hotel Foxtrot and A Ghost Is Born. It's ironic then that the tweak to Wilco's formula this time around, the flavor switch that differentiates their new Sky Blue Sky from their previously recent work, is at the very least a nod to the rootsy beginnings they strove so hard to get away from. The band's sixth studio album (or eighth is you count the Mermaid Ave. volumes they released with Billy Bragg) is a creation culled largely from the influence of folk-leaning material from the 1970's, The Band to The Dead to Neil Young. Which is not to say there aren't some gloriously experimental moments here: "Walken," "Impossible Germany," and "Hate It Here," all have their moments of enjoyable difficulty, though it's generally tempered with warmer tones than you'll find on most of A Ghost Is Born. Whether one takes this as a creative step backward, or more of a coming full circle, the results are once again consistently great, unpretentious pop. In short, more distinctly American music from this most American of bands, which, in the context of this discussion at least, is the ultimate compliment.
In House #1869.
Focus: New release from Wilco, Sky Blue Sky, out tomorrow, plus new music from Track a Tiger, Ian Hunter, Nick Lowe, The Mother Hips, and more.
In House PODCAST #309
Friday, May 11, 2007
In House #1868: Whitewater Ramble Live
Fort Collins, Colorado dancegrassers Whitewater Ramble return to our studio today for what's sure to be another burn-it-up live session in their third In House appearance in the past eight months. Not that we mind the regularity, their past visits have been filled with the kind of unhinged and irreverent performances for which they're quickly becoming known throughout the region. Today's occasion spotlights performances tonight in Roberts, ID and tomorrow night in Pocatello headlining Portneuf Valley Brewing's street party. The quintet is fresh off of the release of their first live DVD, entitled A, out earlier this spring.
In House #1868.
Focus: Whitewater Ramble live and in Pocatello this weekend, plus new music from John Prine and Mac Wiseman, Hayseed Dixie, and more.
Thursday, May 10, 2007
In House #1867: Elliott Smith's New Moon; New Jason Collett, Page France
It's been over three years since the mysterious and untimely death of Elliott Smith, and almost four years since his last public performance at the University of Utah in Salt Lake City. It's easy to romanticize and martyr Smith-- the delicacy of his music and often dark intimacy of his words lend themselves to an Earthly afterlife reserved for the likes of Cobain and Drake, Morrison and Joplin. That's unfortunate because it's a largely contrived and easy myth that begins to inaccurately define Smith and his work, much like it does these artists before him. What tends to be lost in all of this storytelling about the musician, ironically, is the music itself.
Out this week on the label that released some of Smith's most revered work (kill rock stars), New Moon features two discs and twenty-four tracks worth of material culled from outtakes, demos, and home recordings made during his most consistently brilliant period, 1994-1997. These were years spent in Portland near the end of his involvement with Heatmiser that saw him creating the DNA for what would later become his first two releases, Elliott Smith and either/or, each held in high regard but particularly so for fans of Smith's less polished, less produced material. There are early versions of songs here that would become well-known later on, including unadorned takes on "Miss Misery," and "Pretty Mary K," as well as some diamonds in the rough (ocasionally, very rough) like "High Times," "Whatever (Folk Song in C)," and the Americana-leaning "Georgia Georgia." Also included is a stunning version of Big Star's "Thirteen," previously made available on the soundtrack to the film Thumbsucker. New Moon is a welcome reminder, however bittersweet, of the rare and affecting quality of Smith's work, and another testament to the argument that he was the greatest songwriter of his generation. In as much as that matters.
In House #1867.
Focus: New posthumous two-disc collection from Elliott Smith, New Moon, plus a new EP from Jason Collett and new music from Page France, Shannon Wright, and more.
In House PODCAST #308
Wednesday, May 09, 2007
In House #1866: The Avett Brothers' Emotionalism
The Avett Brothers
In House #1866.
Focus: Upcoming release from the Avett Brothers, Emotionalism, plus new music from Ray's Vast Basement, Bright Eyes, Bill Callahan, and more.
In House PODCAST #307
Tuesday, May 08, 2007
In House #1865: The Clientele's God Save the Clientele; Morrissey in Salt Lake City
In House #1865.
Focus: New release out today from The Clientele, God Save the Clientele, plus Morrissey in Salt Lake City tonight and new music from Travis, Ladybug Transistor, and more.
In House PODCAST #306
Monday, May 07, 2007
In House #1864: Dinosaur Jr.'s Beyond; New Comas
It's apparently the going thing right now, this whole "gettin' the band back together" bit. From The Police to the (Smashing) Pumpkins, James to the Jesus & Mary Chain, the old are new again, and only a small percentage of reunionees seem to be doing it for reasons other than the fact that their core audience is more upwardly mobile now than they were back in the heyday. Of course, it's one thing to tour and play the summer festivals with a catalog of old favorites and entirely another to actually record new material, the sheer act of which drives ridiculously meteoric expectations destined for a fiery crash in the used bin. This is what makes Dinosaur Jr.'s Beyond such a remarkable achievement. It's a recording reunion roughly nineteen years in the making, but somehow makes good on the promise of the band's original line-up (J. Mascis, Lou Barlow, and "Murph"). And then some. In fact, one who didn't know any better would be hard-pressed to claim that songs like "Crumble," and "Been There All the Time," aren't vintage Dinosaur Jr. recordings as they feature Mascis' trademark world-weary delivery amongst an amalgam of gloriously fuzzed-out pop. Undoubtedly, the trio-- in particular the traditionally warring Mascis and Barlow-- have benefited both from touring since originally reforming a couple of years ago, and world views that are undoubtedly more nuanced and relaxed than they were in 1989. Beyond dropped last week on the Fat Possum label, while the band begins an extensive North American tour later this week beginning on the west coast.
In House #1864.
Focus: New release from Dinosaur Jr., Beyond, plus new music from The Comas, Menomena, Modest Mouse, Buffalo Tom, and more.
Dinosaur Jr., from Beyond:
In House PODCAST #305
Friday, May 04, 2007
In House #1863: Cyril Barrett Live
The story of Cyril Barrett, at least as his subject relates to this radio show, goes back a while and calls for a bit of back story. Late in 1999, when KISU was still in its initial months of operation and carried no local programming, a CD mysteriously appeared in the studio. It was modest looking, an unflashy black silhouette on brown, and from a personal standpoint I expected little if anything from it. From the first strains of Larry Barrett's The Big Slowdown, however, it was clear there was something else entirely going on (note- Larry Barrett has since taken the name of his father, Cyril). In short, I was completely floored by the album, a simply-recorded, mostly introspective batch of tunes fleshed out by guitar, cello, harmonica, and mandolin as it featured Barrett aided by a group of friends that included Pam Barger (Pretty Mary Sunshine, Two Nice Girls, Frownland), Lori Goldston (Black Cat Orchestra), Emily Marsh (Black Cat Orchestra), and Tucker Martine (production credits for The Decemberists, Laura Veirs, et. al.), among others. Needless to say, the music's been a constant for me over the past seven years or so, and it's enjoyed a generous share of spins on the show during that time.
As for the man behind it, it turns out he was born and raised in Pocatello, though the last quarter century or so found him in Seattle, serving for part of that time at least as the manager of musical watering hole Hattie's Hat. Aside from The Big Slowdown, he's released three other full-lengths on Germany's renowned Glitterhouse label, all of them prior to 1999. A couple of years back, Barrett made the switch to Tucson, Arizona, and a creative scene that finds him rubbing elbows with Howe Gelb, Calexico, and Neko Case, among others. It's an absolute treat today, then, as we're joined by Cyril Barrett in the studio for a performance and interview that represents his only performance in the area this go around. We only had to wait seven years.
Cyril Barrett in Europe, 2003
In House #1863.
Focus: Cyril Barrett live in-studio, plus new music from the Avett Brothers, the Meat Puppets, John Doe, and more.
BONUS MP3s, from today's live set-
...and from The Big Slowdown:
In-studio photos of Cyril Barrett here
Thursday, May 03, 2007
In House #1862: An Interview with The Broken West's Ross Flournoy
Easily one of the most talked about debut releases of the year, The Broken West's I Can't Go On, I'll Go On came out on Merge in February to much praise. The L.A.-borne band's first full-length mixes the indie sound of peers like The Shins with influences straight from your parents' vinyl stash-- if you had cool parents (think Big Star, The Byrds, and Gram Parsons). The band has spent the better part of the year thus far on the road, including a super-pop trifecta bill with Stars of Track & Field and The Long Winters. We caught up with Broken West frontman Ross Flournoy following a performance last month at Salt Lake City's Kilby Court to discuss their expectations prior to the debut's release, their comparatively aged fanbase, and summer touring plans (including slots opening for the Fountains of Wayne and The National).
The Broken West last month in Salt Lake City
In House #1862.
Focus: An interview with Broken West frontman Ross Flournoy, plus new music from Bishop Allen, Ted Leo & the Pharmacists, Sea Wolf, and more.
In House PODCAST #304
Wednesday, May 02, 2007
In House #1861: Robbie Fulks' Revenge!; New Dale Watson
In House #1861.
Focus: New double-album from Robbie Fulks, Revenge!, plus new music from Dale Watson, Porter Hall Tennessee, Jon Rauhouse, and more.
In House PODCAST #303
Tuesday, May 01, 2007
In House #1860: Portland's Bridging the Distance Covers Compilation
In House #1860.
Focus: 100% covers edition, featuring music from the new Bridging the Distance: A Portland Covers Compilation with selections from The Decemberists, Viva Voce, The Minders, Britt Daniel, and more. Plus, new covers from R.E.M., Golden Smog, and The Magic Numbers.
In House PODCAST #302