This week we hear music from all the Blues Foundation's nominees for Band of The Year and Song of the Year (this program originally aired 2/1/15) (except for the final 15 minutes, which is brand new for 3/1/15!)
WILLIAM CLARKE-BLOWIN' THE FAMILY JEWELS (EXCERPT)
Rockville, Maryland native Joshua Tillman has been recording music for over ten years under his given name, as well as J. Tillman, and most recently as Father John Misty. He was also a member of Fleet Foxes from 2008-2012. It was after leaving Fleet Foxes that Tillman began releasing albums as Father John Misty, for the Sub Pop label. I Love You, Honeybear is his second full-length under that moniker. Tillman is a vocalist, multi-instrumentalist and songwriter with a distinct narrative voice. He has described the new record as a concept album about himself.
Live At A Flamingo Hotel is the new live record from the Philadelphia band, Dr. Dog. The group has been around since 1999, but this is their first official live album. The performances are spirited, with 19 songs spanning Dr. Dog's career. The material was recorded during the six-piece band's 2014 tour, drawn from shows in different cities, with devoted and enthusiastic Dr. Dog fans in the audiences. You may have seen Dr. Dog last July in Des Moines- their 80/35 set was a highlight of the festival!
The Iowa City trio Milk Duct Tape played an energetic live set for Studio One on Feb. 17, in IPR's Cedar Falls studios. In the great rock tradition of guitar/bass/drums, the band played songs from their new release Styrofoam Tombstone and more. Milk Duct Tape describe their music as "grunge rock from the Iowa desert." Have a listen and find out what that means!
Belle and Sebastian formed in Glasgow, Scotland in 1996. Of course, the first thing to mention is that there is no Belle and no Sebastian in the band. The name comes from a French children's book that later was adapted for television. Long-time critical favorites, Belle and Sebastian have released their ninth full-length record, Girls In Peacetime Want To Dance. Stuart Murdoch is the lead singer and songwriter in the group, lending his distinctive vocals and literate lyrics to their songs.
Conventional wisdom has it that the voters participating in the Grammy Awards are often out of touch with current music. Those voters work in various creative and technical areas of the recording industry, nominating the finalists and determining the winner in each category. One theory is that they vote based on name recognition, therefore they may be biased toward artists that have been around longer. A famous example of this is Jethro Tull winning the Best Hard Rock/Heavy Metal Performance award over Metallica in 1988.
The Portland, Oregon band The Decemberists have been creating their own particular brand of folk-rock/baroque pop since 2000. What a Terrible World, What a Beautiful World is their seventh full-length release. The Decemberists have maintained their folky traditional instrumentation and idiosyncratic approach to writing lyrics, even as they have edged closer to being a "mainstream" band. Lead vocalist and principal songwriter Colin Meloy is the frontman in the group.
Sleater-Kinney formed in Olympia, Washington in 1994, and by the turn of the century the trio had come to be recognized as one of the best rock bands in America. They released seven studio albums between 1994 and 2005. In 2006, Sleater-Kinney went on a hiatus to work on individual projects and also to simply live their lives. Corin Tucker (vocals and guitar), Carrie Brownstein (guitar and vocals) and Janet Weiss (drums) quietly reunited about a year ago to write and record the songs for a new album, No Cities To Love. Their common aim was to reinvent the band.
Hey, does anyone remember the Shadow? The mysterious crime-fighter with psychic powers began his long-running career in the 1930's, as a pulp magazine character, and also as the subject of a memorable dramatic radio program (voiced for a time by Orson Welles). The radio shows and the striking visual image of The Shadow have never really gone away, just faded into the...shadows. The character certainly made an impression on Minneapolis/St Paul-area brothers Pat and Larry Hayes, who founded their band in 1969 and named it after The Shadow's alter-ego, Lamont Cranston.
Panda Bear Meets The Grim Reaper is the fifth full-length album Noah Lennox has released under his nom de plume Panda Bear. Baltimore native Panda Bear is a co-founding member of Animal Collective, a band known for their musical creativity and experimentation. The multi-instrumentalist has indicated that death and personal growth are lyrical themes of the new record. The music has been aptly described as "swirling" and "as pure as a babbling brook."
NPR Tiny Desk Concerts are intimate video performances, recorded live at the desk of All Songs Considered host, Bob Boilen. Boilen's desk is located at NPR headquarters in Washington, DC. Past performers have included Lucinda Williams, Rubblebucket, St Paul and The Broken Bones, J. Mascis, Tweedy, Pixies, Neko Case and many more!