Thee Oh Sees began as guitarist and vocalist John Dwyer's side project, eventually evolving into a full band with various personnel changes along the way. Dwyer relocated from Providence, Rhode Island to California in the late 1990's. He became active in the San Francisco indie rock scene, playing in several bands, and releasing his experimental home recordings under names like Orinoka Crash Suite, OCS and Orange County Sound. Since 2008, the name has been Thee Oh Sees.
The progeny of Apple Corps Ltd. founders, The Beatles, are apples that evidently didn’t fall far from the tree. The sons have taken up their fathers' trade. Of course, the weight of such an endeavor is almost too ridiculous to contemplate, with the Fab Four holding such a lofty place in the hearts and minds of the music-loving world. With the 50th anniversary of the Beatles landing in the U.S. this year, and the release of Sean Lennon’s new project, let’s consider the work of the sons.
The Soil And The Sun are a seven-piece band from Grand Rapids, Michigan. They were in Cedar Falls on Saturday, May 3 to perform at the College Hill Music Festival, and IPR had the opportunity to bring them in to record a live Studio One set. They describe their sound as "experiential spiritual folk-rock/New Mexican space music." That's probably as good a label as any for this beautiful, intricate, grooving music. Enjoy this podcast of The Soil And The Sun!
Kludge, the follow-up to Nashville based PUJOL’s 2012 debut UNITED STATES OF BEING, continues the journey of self-discovery juxtaposed with an imaginative, uncertain future involving lizards and cyborgs along with a questionable present reality. The influence of punk and garage rock is definitely there, but it is the traces of pop and folky blues, interwoven with Daniel Pujol’s seemingly lighthearted yet heavy lyrics that make Kludge—“a crock that works.”
The Wye Oak was the honorary Maryland state tree, believed to have been over 460 years old before it went down in a thunderstorm in 2002. Perhaps aspiring to the awesomeness of their namesake, the band Wye Oak formed in Baltimore in 2006 (originally calling themselves Monarch). Jenn Wasner is the vocalist and guitarist. Andy Stack is the drummer and keyboard player, and adds backup vocals. On their fourth full-length record, Shriek, the duo feature more synths and drum machines, and less guitars.
50s female rock'n'roll pioneers, early 60s British rock'n'rollers, some instrumentals (to set the mood for the May 10 all instrumental show) and LOTS of listener suggestions that I did not have time to play during last week's Listener Picks show.
Mac DeMarco is a Canadian songwriter, vocalist and multi-instrumentalist. Born in British Columbia (and living in Brooklyn since last year), DeMarco has been making music since 2008, self-releasing a series of albums under the name Makeout Videotape. In 2011 he signed with the Captured Tracks label and began releasing his music as Mac DeMarco. Salad Days is his second full-length record. The tracks have a definite home-made, deliberately paced feel, yet his sound is tuneful and accessible. DeMarco claims to still use the same guitar he bought for $30 when he was sixteen!
Jon Hogan and Maria Moss were not on my radar until about a week before the show. A friend of a friend was organizing their concert in southern Minnesota, and knew they'd be passing through Iowa on Easter Sunday, on their way back home to Texas. A few Facebook messages and e-mails and it was a done deal. Looking like they'd be right at home in a Bonnie and Clyde movie, Jon and Maria gave us some high-energy renditions of early country music and shared their historical knowledge of the genre.
New releases from regional artists including Minnesota's Annie Mack, Milwaukee's Tweed Funk, and Christy Rossiter & 112 North Duck from Omaha/Lincoln plus exclusive IPR recordings of soul/blues singer Charles Bradley.
WILLIAM CLARKE-BLOWIN' THE FAMILY JEWELS (EXCERPT)
In the great tradition of art school bands (mainly in England, but Talking Heads also come to mind), the members of Future Islands started playing music together while they were art students at East Carolina University in Greenville, North Carolina, approximately a decade ago. There have been personnel changes along the way, and a move to Baltimore. Then came the release of the first Future Islands full-length album in 2008, establishing the New Wave-inspired synthpop sound they have been refining ever since.
Land Of Blood And Sunshine are a band from Marshalltown, Iowa with three full-length records out, and more new music on the way. They are appearing at a variety of venues across Iowa in the coming weeks, and brought their full (7 piece) band sound to IPR's Cedar Falls studios for a live set on April 16. Enjoy this Land Of Blood And Sunshine Studio One podcast!
Arriving a bit early to be a summertime record, Tacocat's second album NVM can certainly fit the bill as a fun, fun, fun springtime record! Emerging out of the Pacific Northwest and based in Seattle, the female-fronted (Emily Nokes on lead vocals, Lelah Maupin on drums, Bree McKenna on bass, lone male Eric Randall on guitar), Tacocat deliver with short, punchy power pop songs and sweet harmonies.
The Des Moines-based band (with Davenport connections) Brother Trucker brought their roots-rock Americana sound to IPR's Cedar Falls studios for a crowd-pleasing live set on April 10. Andy Fleming (lead vocals/guitar), Mike Fitzpatrick (lead guitar/vocals), Lyle Kevin Hogue (bass), Jim Viner (drums) and Matt Jesson (keyboards) showcased some of their best songs with road-refined musicianship! Listen here for the complete performance, including a song that only the studio audience got to hear!
We get a lot of mail at NPR Music, and amid the fliers for yard-cleaning services that know a big job when they see one are a slew of smart questions about how music fits into our lives — and, this week, thoughts on ways to drop musical knowledge without seeming obnoxious.