Friday, July 31, 2009


Aaaand we're back. Langhorne Slim played a sold-out show with Josh Ritter at Off Broadway this week, but before he took the stage he dropped by our humble station to lay down a few tracks. They're all cuts from his new album "Be Set Free" - out September 29th on Kemado - and they're acoustic. This, in itself, is pretty cool; Mr. Slim has filled out his sound with more instrumentation throughout the past few releases, and when you hear these songs on the album, they won't sound quite like this (as is, they sound great). So whether you're a fan of the newer stuff or the older stuff, you'll probably dig these. Thanks again to Langhorne and crew for hanging out!


The whole thing

Back To The Wild (new!)
I Love You, But Goodbye (new!)
Land Of Dreams (new!)

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Monday, July 27, 2009

Steve Shelley Interview

Steve Shelley, who drums for Sonic Youth, answers all of my questions, save one dumb one.


Saturday, July 25, 2009


If you're into dance music, you're aware that the sounds of disco and electro are starting to get over-saturated with too many artists and remixers all treading over the same ground, and that rhythmic traditions like Dubstep and Kuduro are taking over a share of the dance floor real estate (big acts like Major Lazer and Buraka Som Sistema for example.)

Enter Zombie Disco Squad, two London DJs breaking out of the mold with a fresh sound that just has to be heard to appreciate - house, african rhythms, and haunting melodies combine to create something I can't quite put my finger on. At first glance, these guys would appear to be a couple of electro hipsters with big neon sunglasses, a funny band name, and who cite "808 kickdrums and disco hand claps" as influences on their myspace page. But on the same page, they say they're not into people jumping onto the disco "bandwagon" and say they are against the bloghouse and new-rave phenomena associated with the world of electro/disco. Let's have a listen, shall we?

Here's their track Straight Boy, and make sure to wait until the synth horns come in halfway through. This is some tribal King Arthur house music shit right here.

For another solid track try Eurovision (Mowgli remix).
It's immensely mix-able, and shows up in this set by the Sick
Girls, for example:

They have a few singles out and will be touring the US in
October, so watch for big things from these guys.

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Thursday, July 23, 2009

Sonic Youth At The Arch

A post by M. Thomas Stevens

In an attempt to describe the Sonic Youth concert under the arch last Friday, I flatly told a friend that Sonic Youth made international news by destroying the national monument with acoustic resonance. Now, I doubt that the massive metal catenary would show the slightest perturbation, even when pummeled by the most acute feedback burst, but it’s a fantasy straight from my 9th grade school bus ride. I thought then, as I ecstatically piped in “Daydream Nation” day after day, that this was music I would never hear performed. But what vaults Sonic Youth above other bands is their potential to draw from their catalogue of almost thirty years of music. Moreover, while different epochs of their work are fairly dissimilar, they don’t negate their evolution as a band by refusing to play earlier tunes, rather they dust them off with gusto that would probably rival that of their original performance.

It pains me to say that I missed the opening of the concert because I was scarfing my friend’s animal crackers that security, for whatever important reason, would not allow in the vicinity. Sauntering down the amphitheatre steps full of crusty giraffes, I was immediately struck by my first glimpse of the band. They all appeared as effortlessly hip as ever, typified by the towering Thurston with dark glasses and swishable mop, joined now by Mark Ibold (former bassist of late Pavement, Dustdevils). As I understand it, Ibold is a fixture in the group who had a role in developing much of the latest release, “The Eternal”. On stage, he mainly octaved or doubled Kim’s bass, which may have allowed her to focus on her vocals, which I thought were markedly improved from the last performance I saw in Chicago two years ago. On the whole, the musicians seemed like they had just come from a stint of rigorous rehearsals, playing almost all of the material on “The Eternal” with a distinguished precision for a band to which some critics append the word “jam”. Notably, there were several cuts on which Thurston, Lee, and Kim shared and harmonized vocal parts, an arrangement tactic I had never heard them employ before.

Punctuating all of the songs from “The Eternal” were a few well-placed surprises, namely “Stereo Sanctity” from 1987’s “Sister”, which has some of the group’s most cochlea-scraping riffing in the chorus, closed by powerful falling glissandos that pound the body. To me, it is one of their most thematically memorable songs, with echoes of cyberpunkish/post-apocalyptic assignment of divinity, soul, or life to the machine, or even to their own overdriven amps. Then, with an ethereal, arpeggiated intro began “Malibu Gas Station”, one of the picks from “The Eternal” that really shined live. The layers of instrumentation on the album translated perfectly to the stage, from the surf-y modal warp of Lee’s guitars coupled with Thurston’s dense chording in the verses, to Kim’s harrowing vocals at the apex, to the shimmering denouement. And all this set against the last rays of sunset crossing over into twilight. The closed the set out with the apt choice of their album closer, “Massage the History”, with Thurston on an acoustic guitar accompanied by Lee on a warbling slide. To me, it feels like a merger of the American folk tradition, Eastern traditional, and ambient electronics, like an expansion of the textures on “Trees Outside the Academy”.

It was at this point where I was unsure of the audience’s level of interest. In this quiet piece I was surrounded by vapid chatter and choice concert sound bytes like “Hey, man, roll that one fat, this is, like, Sonic Youth!” Much to my relief, the final cheers were enough to garner two more encores. The first consisted of two favorites from “Daydream Nation”: “The Sprawl” and “’Cross the Breeze”, which to me exemplify the versatility and uniqueness of their sound. From the driving haze of “The Sprawl”, with its chorus of cro-magnon percussion from Shelley, to hypertempo dissonant polka in “’Cross the Breeze”, to both of their expansive feedback-laden melodic codas, they bring to mind everything I enjoy about listening to Sonic Youth.

The second encore was absolutely thrilling, but was capped by the ultimate anti-orgasm. It began with the somber “Shadow of a Doubt” from “EVOL”, which sees a whispery, distracted Kim mutate into a banshee in a sinister guitar forest. Though I am not as well-acquainted with this record, as I understand this song is an epic fave out of their whole discog. My doubts about the crowd were quashed when there were rampant lyric shouts during “Death Valley ‘69” from “Bad Moon Rising”, which is heralded as one of their first “hits”, and whose Richard Kern-directed video is a masterful gore-filled recounting of the Manson murders. It was a chilling, macabre timbre to bring the evening to the close, but the sensation was almost trounced by the blatant display of disrespect that followed. At the end of the final song, when Thurston and Lee proceeded to launch into the ritual guitar abuse and feedback finale, the stage speakers were mysteriously faded out and replaced by Top 40 while a spray of fireworks went off behind the band. I was confused beyond belief, and the most mortifying part was that their earpiece monitors still gave them the illusion of being heard. It was a bizarre spectacle of performance art, perhaps like watching Jackson Pollack fling invisible paint on a canvas from all four sides whilst blasting Beyonce or comparable fare on a nearby boombox. After it was clear to them that they had been cut off, the band went around to the back of the stage to watch the pyrotechnic display. I could only hope that this didn’t mar their perception of the city for all time.

But honestly, what was the sound brigade thinking? If the crowd begged for dual encores, it’s clear they wouldn’t be averse to ending the show with waves of obliviating noise pricked by the occasional firework burst. In fact, I think it would have been unanimously awesome. I walked away with a bad taste, but it was soon refreshed by the more savory moments the rest of the evening brought. Besides, Sonic Youth’s quality output and commitment to touring seems to show no signs of coming to a head anytime soon.

(Video thanks to Sensored Media)

Sunday, July 19, 2009


So folks, yesterday, as promised, I tweeted my entire Sirenfest experience, complete with inanities of all sorts, and if you caught that, you know that I found out that I bit my tongue the night before and only figured it out that morning. Today, I deliver a narrative assessment of the shows and the experience, and I hope it'll have a little bit more substance, and will edify you, the ignorant reader. Or I might tell you about the time that I threw up at Coney Island (only amusement park related vomit incident I've ever had, proud to say).

First, a short description of the setting. Coney Island is a really, really odd place. It is the southernmost part of Brooklyn, home to some of NYC's beaches. The beach itself is hopelessly filthy; I stopped swimming in Coney Island when I once found a used tampon in the water. Next to the beach is a boardwalk and a bunch of barely safe, incredibly dirty and sleazy carnival games and rides. Coney Island is also home to several freak shows, the original Nathan's Hot Dogs (where the 4th of July hot dog eating contest is held every year) and the oldest wooden roller coaster still in operation, The Cyclone, which is also barely safe. Since the fall of the Soviet Union, the area has become increasingly dominated by Russian immigrants, and as a result, increasingly controlled by the Russian mob. It is also home to some of the roughest projects in the city. Nearby Abraham Lincoln High School (Stephon Marbury's alma mater) is virtually a war zone, with students submitting to random weapons searches by the police. As is, it makes for an interesting place to have an indie rock festival. Main stage is located right next to the Cyclone, and every five minutes or so, the band is drowned out by the rumblings of the coaster and the screams of the passengers. I also love to see locals and beachgoers stumble into the festival and wonder what the fuck they've come across.

Sirenfest itself is an odd festival in an odd place. Started in 2001 on one stage, you rarely hear good things about the festival, although some past shows (particularly the Liars' set in 2002) have gained a legendary reputation. First, Siren suffers because it tends to be the weekend of or the weekend after Pitchfork, and inevitably loses out when it comes to both booking and buzz. Second of all, I'm quite convinced that the festival is a death trap. The asphalt magnifies the summer heat (which is usually at its worst around Siren time) to an unbearable, dangerous degree. People are shoved into two fairly narrow streets, and there aren't many exits out; if a fire or a riot or something broke out, there would be a significant risk of trampling. Finally, sound is consistently shitty, most likely because the festival takes place in a public, municipal setting and they can't pump the volume up to the point where you wouldn't lose it in the neighboring amusement parks. But I kind of like Sirenfest, or at least, I have a long tradition of going. My first year there (I'm pretty sure) was 2004, and I have good memories of shows there. Despite its limitations, Sirenfest brings in some fun acts, usually the ones who are just on the cusp of hitting it big. Also, it's the only true summer festival that NYC has, and I like the fact that I can take the train out and get a day's worth of a festival (which is about as much as I want anyway) without having to deal with a drive and grass and mud and hippies and smell. Also, I like the fact that I can get a ride on the log flume in between sets.

My personal setting this year was that I had just done an epic pub crawl the night before. I wasn't hungover exactly, but I definitely had this head-not-where-it-should-be feeling. I also was getting over a bad cold I had (eh, still have) this week, so I was talking like a frog and phlegmmy as all hell. YEAH ROCK.

So, with that in mind, the acts! I got to Siren on time for the first time ever - usually I make plans to catch an early set but then get up late and have a lengthy breakfast and get there late. This time, I actually managed to get there on time, and I was glad I did, since this first show was probably one of the best I saw all day, a band called Micachu and The Shapes. Micachu makes one of my favorite kinds of music: no-wave, experimental tinged reimaginations of what pop means. This kind of stuff presents a fun cognitive challenge. You're teased and engaged with what you've always identified with pop, clear, identifiable rhythms, the inklings of melody, singalong vocals. But while the outlines look like pop, the music is filled in with elements that push the brain; in Micachu's case, you've got melodies played on an out of tune toy guitar and sung by a child and rhythms produced by the blats of a programmed keyboard and what looked like some sort of drum device fashioned out of plastic bottle. It was damn original, damn fun, and hell, a little bit dance-y. I find these kind of shows inherently watchable. It's fun just to play the "how are they making this weird sound" game. In any case, keep an ear out for these guys, I bet they're going somewhere. Also, what is with the new trend in child-like voices (see: Ponytail)? Is it some sort of artistic regression? Or is it just that we find the voice of a child unsettling on some deep level?

After Micachu, I caught about fifteen minutes of Japandroids, who've been getting a lot of buzz lately. While they performed a hell of a show, pounding drums and roaring guitar, and they had a charming stage presence (thrown off both by the crowd and the occasional pass of the roller coaster next door), I was relatively unimpressed. In general, I'm not a big fan of twosomes, since there's just such a limit on the complexity that can be added to the music. There are some exceptions, of course - Matt and Kim and Mates Of State come to mind - but there are very few twosomes that I think wouldn't be better off with a bassist. Also, c'mon, guys, what's wrong? Do you have no other friends? This was definitely the case with Japandroids. They can rock out and deliver some pretty fun pop songs, but when it's just drums and guitar, it all kind of sounds the same.

I left about fifteen minutes into their set and went to catch Thee Oh Sees. In general, I'm a fan of Thee Oh Sees's hustle. Their music sounds like an old reel-to-reel recording of a long lost 60s garage act that has been purposely tampered with, a retro sound that has been stretched and warped until it becomes something new. Plus it has honest-to-goodness tambourine. And they're a fun show to watch. John Dwyer, the frontman/lead guitarist, holds his beat-up guitar (which has his initials pasted on in big silver letters) in the crook of his elbow and plays it right under his chin, which is something I've never seen before. During solos (and most other times, actually), he has an endearing habit of treating his guitar with a casual disrespect, sometimes leaning on it during a keyboard part. Thee Oh Sees have a very strange stage energy. On Saturday. they looked like they had been beaten in prison, with a nicotine filled, vaguely felonious air about them. Dwyer, in particular, has a stage manner that suggests "I am now doing, or have done in the past, a large quantity of drugs". One thing that disappointed me was the set length - Thee Oh Sees were terrific until they ended, about twenty minutes in. I really can't abide by that kind of thing. If Ted Leo can do an hour and a half performing his songs at full speed with only the shortest pauses, you've got no excuse doing less than a half hour. Do some covers or some shit, just make it to a half hour.

I waited forty minutes at that stage for a fairly disappointing set from Future of The Left. I ought to balance that by saying that it was mostly disappointing just because I saw them last weekend at a small bar, and it was probably the best show I've seen all summer. Future of The Left delivers some brutal yet melodic political punk, at high speed and high volume, and sometimes with keyboard. It feels like the perfect political music for this time, appropriately cynical, recalcitrant, smart, not heavy-handed, mostly just tired of the old bullshit. It definitely helps that these guys do not fuck around. Insane drumming, wailing guitars and surprisingly, a rarity: a terrific bassist. Plus, they do the best stage banter. At the show I saw last weekend, they repeatedly excoriated the venue for smelling like fish and the crowd for "fruity dancing" and dedicated a song to Michael Jackson, "because he's fucking dead". At one point during the Sirenfest set, the bassist threw out a handful of candy to the crowd, and said, "I hope you enjoy that, especially once you realize it's sweaty from sitting in my ass pocket for forty-five minutes". But something about Sirenfest didn't really work for them. Part of it might have been that they were flagging under the oppressive heat, which was at its worst during their set, but mostly, I think it was the bad sound system that did them in. When their roar was blowing out eardrums in the club, it just clicked a lot better then when their sound was loosely dispersing over the crowd. Eh, oh well.

Having seen them before, I did not give a shit about A Place To Bury Strangers, but wanted to stay on Stillwell Stage to get into position for Monotonix. A Place To Bury Strangers actually isn't a terrible live show, but they're just not particularly interesting: My Bloody Valentine redux, and not much else to it. So I went off stage to buy an Italian Sausage from a street side vendor and a Blue Rasberry Slushie. That sausage was a revelation; it reintroduced to me not only what a street sausage is but also what it could be. It was like listening to the Beatles for the first time. Ladies and gentlemen, I have seen the future of food and it is that sausage, or was until I ate it. Solid A plus.

And then, the best show of the night, Monotonix. I've seen (and written up for the blog) Monotonix's garage rock insanity a few times before: the band in the crowd, the drums in the air, the lead singer in his underwear. But I thought that they'd tamp it down just a little bit for Sirenfest, because that kind of show would be, um, stupidly dangerous with a crowd the size of Sirenfest. Fat chance, they set up the drums in the crowd and blew the place up. It's hard to say where the pit ends and the crowd begins in a Monotonix show. You're kind of just one solid mass, pushed around and getting covered with water and beer and throwing your body around to the most insane (in multiple senses of the word) drummer on the planet. The crowd went absolutely nuts. I can't count how many people I carried over my head, or how many times my feet got stepped on by the bouncing crowd. During a Monotonix show, the whole crowd becomes a sweaty, throbbing mess of sex and rock and the best part is seeing the corporate stiffs on stage watch in horror. Some particularly memorable moments of this show: there was a parking meter up front near where they were set up that presented a danger to the crowd surfers, which of course included the band themselves. The frontman acknowledged it in a break between songs, saying, "I think you should know, don't park here on Saturday". And at one point, the band accomplished the insane feat of getting a huge chunk of the crowd to sit down while he explained how they should respond to the next song. When that show ended, once again, I had no clear idea what hit me. I was sweaty, dirty, tired and pretty much satisfied. After the show, I got my program signed by them, and I was really charmed, they're very nice, down-to-earth guys. Which goes to show that what they do ultimately is about democracy. They perform as one of the people, and that's one of the most rock and roll things you can do.

I caught just a couple of songs from the Stillwell headliner, Spank Rock. Sorry, DB, my experience has been that it's pointless to switch stages at Siren after the second act, so I didn't even try to catch Built To Spill. Spank Rock's brand of vulgar booty bass is pretty fun, but it's not particularly unique or intelligent. I also can't bear to see hip-hop with a non-hip-hop crowd. Hip-hop lives or dies on the response of the crowd, and when the crowd doesn't get into it, the show tends to just fall apart. Plus, I was tired. So I took off at that point, after a full day of music.

Overall, good experience, maybe one of my best at Siren. Even though it was hot and I got sunburned pretty bad, it wasn't as unbearably hot as it usually is. The bill was solid, and there wasn't a band I saw that I absolutely hated. Here are my rankings on the day, from best to worst:

1. Monotonix
2. Micachu and The Shapes
3. Thee Oh Sees
4. Future Of The Left
5. Japandroids
6. Spank Rock
7. A Place To Bury Strangers

Oh, and the time I threw up at Coney Island: I was about 10 or 12, there with my summer camp for a day trip, and I was riding in one of those metal things that spin around. But it got so hot that immediately upon exiting, I puked all the fried food I ate into a trash can. I still say it was the heat that did it, I'm not a ride puker. And that's the way it is.

Thursday, July 16, 2009


Ben and Seb stopped by to play a few tunes and chat for a bit - check the interview for tidbits on their new album, what they've been up to in the mean time, and them stealing my ideas (you'll be hearing from my lawyers, guys). Anyway, it was a great, if short, session as well - they acousticized the single from their self-titled debut, "Gold And Warm," as well as what will probably be the next single, "Falling Tide." Both are of the utmost sound quality, and as always, you can download everything right here.

The whole thing
Bad Veins - Gold And Warm (live)
Bad Veins - Falling Tide (live)

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Did you hear this? Album from the last five years.

Tom Ewing got me thinking about some really good probably unheard of albums from this past decade. Because this list was already so long, I’m only doing the past five years. Here is a list I have come up with. Some of these probably won't be news to you if you follow KWUR, but I would say these are albums that aren't that known.

The Mae Shi - HILLYH: If you ever need something fast-paced or upbeat, you have to check out this album. Full of fun and speed, my favorites include “The Melody” and “Run to Your Grave”. Bonus points for watching this cover of “See You Again.” Yes that song.

Olafur Arnalds - anything this guy has made. From his Found Songs toVariations of Static anything this guy has made so far amazes me. I remember putting on headphones in Luna Music to listen to Variations. Within seconds I knew that I had to have this album. He is currently working on a new album.

The Long Winter - Putting The Days To Bed: This album is great from start to finish. “Honest” is a song about loving a singer. “Hindsight” might be my favorite. Bonus for checking out “The Commander Thinks Aloud” off the Ultimatum EP.

Corey Dargel - Other People’s Love Songs: Corey Dargel spent some time by having people commission love songs for their loved ones. He’d go interview the person and ask them about their relationship. He would then create some very amazing songs based off of what they told him. You can just feel the love n this one.

Tullycraft - Every Scene Needs It’s Center: I remember the day I saw this in our station with the review “and with the kind of wit and irony that a Pitchfork writer wished they had.” I don’t know who wrote that, but they hit it dead on. It’s Twee-pop, but who can fault that. Check out “Dracula Screams of Tiger Style.”

Ryan Bingham - Mescalito: This is a country album that I would recommend for anyone who doesn’t like country. Pure and twangy. “Other Side” is worth a first look.

Narrator - All That To The Wall: It’s energetic and punk and you’ve never heard it. They have some fun with songs like “Surfjew” and “Son of the Son of the Kiss of Death.”

Elvis Perkins - Ash Wednesday: When I first heard “While You Were Sleeping” which is the first track off this album, I was entranced. I in fact wake up to this song everyday during the school year. A deeply personal album that I heard deals partially with his mothers death on one of the 9/11 planes.

White Flight - White Flight: This album was made after the artist spent some time in the rainforest doing local drugs. Weird yet entrancing and slightly folkish. “The Condition” is my favorite.

13 & God - 13 & God: Bizarre yet peaceful. Somewhat unsettling at points at high volumes. This one has been a personal night favorite for a while. “Afterclap” is my recomendation.

The Gunshy - There’s No Love In This War: This is an amazing album that is based off of letters written by the singers grandfather to his grandmother during the war. “May 14th, 1943” is my favorite.

Pitchfork Music Festival

As you probably know, KWUR gave away tickets to the Pitchfork Music Festival. Well if you didn't win, and you're not going, we wanted to let you know that we have you covered. I personally will be doing a daily write up, and I know other DJs will be there and might just let you know how it goes.


8:40 (A) Built to Spill
7:20 (C) The Jesus Lizard
6:10 (A) Yo La Tengo
5:00 (C) Tortoise

8:40 (A) The National
8:30 (B) The Black Lips
7:30 (B) Matt and Kim
7:25 (C) Beirut
6:30 (B) Lindstrøm
6:15 (A) Doom
5:30 (B) Wavves
5:15 (C) Yeasayer
4:30 (B) Ponytail
4:15 (A) Final Fantasy
3:35 (B) Bowerbirds
3:20 (C) The Pains of Being Pure at Heart
2:40 (B) The Antlers
2:30 (A) Fucked Up
1:45 (C) Plants and Animals
1:45 (B) The Dutchess & The Duke
1:00 (A) Cymbals Eat Guitars
1:00 (B) Disappears

8:40 (A) The Flaming Lips
8:30 (B) The Very Best
7:30 (B) Mew
7:25 (C) Grizzly Bear
6:30 (B) Vivian Girls
6:15 (A) M83
5:30 (B) Japandroids
5:15 (C) The Walkmen
4:30 (B) DJ/Rupture
4:15 (A) The Thermals
3:35 (B) Women
3:20 (C) Pharoahe Monch
2:40 (B) The Killer Whales
2:30 (A) Blitzen Trapper
1:45 (C) Frightened Rabbit
1:45 (B) Dianogah
1:00 (A) The Mae Shi
1:00 (B) Michael Columbia

Anyone that we absolutely must go see?

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

notes from the road

reporting from minneapolis-- the deep blues festival is gonna start in about an hour..

en route I listened to the grand ole opry on wsm nashville 540 am, and got stuck in an "extreme storm" - as the radio announcers phrased in

since my arrival I've gotten in a car accident (not my fault), eaten some bad falafel, bought some comic books and saw the awesome george grosz hand-colored lithos at the weisman art museum.

stay tuned for exciting updates - first band of the night is finland's own Black River Bluesman and The Croaking Lizard, followed by australian kirk special one man band. needless to say, excited.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009


In case you missed it, last Sunday St. Louis' very own Gentleman Auction House performed a set on the air in the KWUR stacks. The band braved a torrential downpour, cramped into our tiny studio, and busted out five songs, including a brand new track! Full disclosure: the session was controlled chaos at best, but I had a hell of a lot of fun, GAH were amazing to work with, and the recording is one of our best yet.

The interview is here.

BONUS ::: Check out this incredibly amazing picture from the in-studio (taken by Stephen Tomko). Sorry for all of the megaupload links (I know it blows) - we'll be switching over to WordPress soon and they'll be gone forever! But seriously, snatch that photo, it rules.

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Monday, July 13, 2009


First up, schedule changes. Exercise was not able to make it into the studio today due to work scheduling conflicts, so we're in the process of figuring out when they'll be able to drop by next - hopefully soon. Our apologies if you tuned in! HOWEVER, my favorite Cincinnati band, Bad Veins, have agreed to stop by and play an acoustic set right after Dead Confederate on Wednesday. Both bands will be playing the Firebird that night, so you should listen and then go, as it will undoubtedly be an excellent show. Check out an earlier interview with Bad Veins here - if that's any indication, the in-studio should be a lot of fun.


KWUR Audio Service extraordinaire Tara and I trooped over to the Luminary Center for the Arts to catch DC/Louisville quintet These United States on Saturday. We hung out with the guys pre-show and had a nice conversation, which included talk of their new album (titled "Everything Touches Everything"), their thoughts on these United States (the country, not themselves) and pool parties with 13-year-olds (as featured in a music video from said forthcoming album). Also, Jesse became very upset and yelled at me when I did not know what "crazy bread" was. Sorry dude.

Here's the interview.

Also, here are a few MP3s:

I Want You To Keep Everything
(via A-To-Z, and brand new)
West Won (via the TUS website, and from 2008's "Crimes")


Sunday, July 12, 2009


The (relatively) new local act Kid Scientist dropped by the station to lay down some tracks for Stack Sessions, as well as to help us work out the finer details of in-studio recording (with a lot of help from sound engineer and all around good guy Dan Ruder). They played roughly a billion songs, but we don't want to give away everything, so here are three instead:

Kid Scientist - Micro Boy (live at KWUR)
Kid Scientist - Sea Orphan (live at KWUR)
Kid Scientist - Twenty Two (new!)

These are probably the finest live recordings we've cut yet, so enjoy 'em! And many, many thanks to Kid Scientist and Dan for hanging around all day (on Andrea's birthday, no less!) to help us out.

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Saturday, July 11, 2009


First, before I even start yammering, if you haven't read the post below this one, read it now. Kenny and Thomas and the rest of the madmen in St. Louis have an insane week of Stack Sessions and interviews lined up for you guys, including some NY rock combo called Sonic Youth. Checkitout!

I'm writing to tell you about some stuff I've got planned for the blog next weekend. Now, as some of you might know, I'm originally from NYC, and I'm in NYC for the summer. Obviously, that means I lead the typical NYC lifestyle, cosmos with my three sex crazed girl friends at night, hanging around with my partner in a digi-folk duo during the day. It also means a shitload of free shows. I always mean to write them up for the blog, but then Samantha Ronson calls me to get me to come out to Bungalow and hang with Woody Allen and Soon-Yi, or Grandmaster Flash and I have to go fight a giant Stay-Puft marshmallow man, you know, the hectic NYC life gets in the way.

UNTIL NOW! OR RATHER, NEXT WEEKEND! Next weekend, while every blogger in the world heads to Chicago to clog bandwidth while covering Pitchfork, Pitchfork's younger, slightly lamer cousin, Village Voice's Sirenfest, comes to Coney Island here in my home borough of Brooklyn. And I hereby pledge to blog Sirenfest, and not only to blog Sirenfest, but to provide a live blow-by-blow account on my twitter, which can be found here. So next Saturday, on the off chance that you might not be heading to Pitchfork, checkitout! Here's the schedule:

Main Stage:
1 PM - Tiny Masters of Today
2 PM - Micachu and The Shapes
3 PM - Japandroids
4 PM - Frightened Rabbit
5 PM - Grand Duchy
6 PM - The Raveonettes
7:30 PM - Built To Spill

Stillwell Stage:
1:30 PM - The Blue Van
2:30 PM - Bear Hands
3:30 PM - Thee Oh Sees
4:30 PM - Future Of The Left
5:30 PM - A Place To Bury Strangers
6:30 PM - Monotonix
8:00 PM - Spank Rock

So why, the bored, demanding reader asks, should I care? There are Degrassi reruns on, after all. First of all, you will have an entertaining play-by-play of a cranky guy who loves rock but hates festivals, and finds Siren to be especially miserable. Look, I find myself going to Siren every year since, Christ, sophomore year of high school, but it's a poorly designed festival: people crammed, death trap like, into two city blocks, where the asphalt makes the heat insanely unbearable, and it's either hot or raining. But on the other hand, it's a weird, miserable tradition, linked to my adolescence, and it's at Coney Island, a bizarre place full of corn dogs and log flumes and the beach and my childhood. Plus, rock music, which we all agree is awesome. So tune in, and I promise you a barrage of tweets concerning nonstop whining, weird comments about my teenage years, and uh, I guess music. What's not to like?

But then there's the second thing, which is what's really exciting. Aware that in this internet age, the fickle reader, their minds addled by video games and the YouTube, insipidly demands to have a say in the making of their own soporific entertainment-cud, I offer YOU (yes, YOU), THE READER, the chance to dictate my schedule. What bands do I see? It's up to YOU (yes, YOU). Leave comments to this post saying, "Dylan, you have to see or do blank", and if it is a reasonable request, I will try my utmost. So do me a favor and help me shape my schedule. I wasn't planning to get there before 2 at the earliest to see Micachu and The Shapes, but maybe it's absolutely necessary for me to go see Tiny Masters of Today or The Blue Van. Probably the firmest part of my schedule is that I have my heart set on seeing the one-two punch of Thee Oh Sees and Future Of The Left, but I'll try and catch a little Japandroids, and I am tempted by Frightened Rabbit: if you can give me an impassioned speech (think some Lincoln-Douglas type shit), I might be so moved. And then the headliners: do I go with the conventional choice of Raveonettes and Built To Spill, or do I dare to go see Monotonix rip the fucking stage up and then grind up on hipster booty during Spank Rock's set? I'm really up in the air on that one, so be sure to put in your two cents. It'll be like YOU'RE ACTUALLY THERE! Except you're not. I'm there.

Friday, July 10, 2009


SO - just confirmed two more Stack Sessions - Dead Confederate (the lower picture) on Wednesday and Sonic Youth (the upper picture) on Friday. Those, on top of everything else going on this week, should keep us fairly busy. Here's the rundown in full, lest we forget:

Saturday: These United States (interview)
Sunday (2:30PM): Gentleman Auction House (in-studio)
Monday (6:30PM): Exercise (in-studio)
Wednesday (6PM): Dead Confederate (in-studio)
Friday: Sonic Youth (interview)

You can listen in online at and on the radio at 90.3 FM.


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Sunday, July 05, 2009


Zydeco legend CJ Chenier stopped by to play a few songs and chat with Zak before his show at Pop's a few weeks ago. He brought along his ballin' accordion and a washboard player, and jammed out a few tunes on air. Check the whole interview here, and download/listen to the songs below.

Louisiana Two-Step (live)

You Don't Need To Cry (live)
Got My Eyes On You (live)

oh ps we're in the process of switching over to a new blog client, hopefully something that will take megaupload out of the equation and let us host audio in-house. stay tuned for details as they unfold!

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Saturday, July 04, 2009

Happy 4th of July

Best government-sponsored film ever...

Wednesday, July 01, 2009


Ben and Bobby of the NYC outfit Benyaro hung out at the station last Wednesday, played some tunes and shot the shit about their new album, making music in New York City, and why I wasn't wearing pants during the interview (I think I was, but Bobby might disagree). The interview was excellent, and they also played a few rad new songs, which you can grab below!


Bullet Like Belief
(off their self-titled first release)
Cutting Words (new!)
Dog (new!)

Pictures (hopefully) coming soon.

Oh, and a quick shout-out/thanks to the RFT music blog, A To Z, for mentioning us. We appreciate it!

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