Have you scavenged through the folk vault recently? Dusty but thrilling. These compilation records are a real jam for those admirers of alternative country from the late eighties. The albums were released separately and a few years later combined in CD form. (Note: Volume 3 was also released but not in the WOBC vault) The musicians featured were rising alt country stars in Bakersfield, California. Bakersfield has cultivated the sound of a few notable country music stars, Buck Owens and Merle Haggard for example. The city is even noted for a ‘Bakersfield sound’ which originated in honky-tonk bars in the 50s. Take a listen.
About a month ago the Nashville five-piece Honey Locust played a show at Fairchild Chapel with Calvin Johnson and the Hive Dwellers and Erin Earthling. The band also kindly came by the WOBC studios and played a few new tunes off of their new release Fear Is A Feeling EP.
We got a chance to talk to the band about their favorite experiences on tour and how they each know how to play so many different instruments. Honey Locust’s five members never seem to play the same instrument twice. During the live broadcast we saw a viola, banjo, piano, organ, accordion, guitar, ukulele, cello, mandolin, percussion, and bass.
You can find more information about the band and get a copy of their EP at their website. You can also stream the EP on their bandcamp.
Elbow recently released their follow up to the Mercury Prize winning and highly successful The Seldom Seen Kid in 2008. Their latest effort, Build a Rocket Boys!, is a different take on their last, arena anthem record. Before the recording process, Guy Garvey, the lead singer and primary songwriter of the group, moved back to his hometown where he grew up, which is thought to have inspired Build a Rocket Boys! Many of the album’s themes reflect on the ideas of nostalgia, missing the warmth of family life and generally setting a more reflective and introspective mood. Though struggling to live up to their previous success, Guy along with band members Mark Potter who’s on guitars, Craig Potter on keyboards, Pete Turner on bass, and Richard Jupp on drums, embark on a creative journey that takes them to places they have not explored before. Guy writes about the realities of being middle aged, about childhood dreams, and how everyday people seek something much grander throughout life. This record is proof that Elbow still knows how to use textures to create a beautiful ambiance that is always different from what they have done before. What differentiates this group from many others is the propensity of the lyrics to being real and genuine with harmonies that can touch many people on several different levels. This is an imaginative, yet heartwarming record that echoes with textured guitars, organs, electronics, orchestral percussions, and of course the staple to most of Elbow’s music, the frequent use of the youth choir.
Well, the King of Pop has triumphed once again. Elvis beat Ingrid Michaelson with the original version of “Can’t Help Falling In Love.” Honestly, Michaelson’s version is great, but it’d be difficult to come from left field to beat the King himself.
This Week: Animal
This week the battle is between Miike Snow and Sky Ferreira. Miike Snow is a band from Stockholm formed in 2007. Two of the members, Christian Karlsson and Pontus Winnberg, have been friends since childhood. While they were working on writing a new Britney Spears album, they met Andrew Wyatt. The three decided to collaborate and thus Miike Snow was born. Sky Ferreira, on the other hand, is an American singer, songwriter, and—who would’ve guessed?—model and actress. She grew singing gospel songs at her church and was acquainted with the music industry from an early age through her family friend Michael Jackson. She sent Christian Karlsson and Pontus Winnberg a message through a social networking site and they saw enough promise to decide to work with her. This was all she needed to jump into the industry. The song this week is Ferreira’s cover of Miike Snow’s “Animal.” Has Ferreira risen above and beyond the band who discovered her?
Every Wednesday morning at 11 here on WOBC , Le Whatever flails every which way, and somehow, someway, whatever it is you want to feel, seems to curl its way under those folds and seams of your summer T-shirt. Somber and strolling as it is, this cartographic venture pays homage to a milieu of genres and times. Its sophistication lies in its seeming arbitrariness. Becca Nieto’s show is certainly eclectic-tronic, twenty minutes in you think it must be top heavy, but it perseveres. So strong. ESG’s Hold me Right: no strings attached here, holds on so tight. Synthy Blondie-inspired bopping, electrifies your nervous system. This hump-day roster is catalytic energy, light at the end of the work/school-week tunnel. Exuma’s Dambala has that circle-chanting energy, ‘Melts Down Our Walls’. Lyric after lyric, total sway-your-head vibes here. The stuffing of this curatorial form exudes ‘the world is your oyster’. Esoteric Tapioca makes us remember just how deep those big (hardly-cliché) piano chords hit us in the stomach. And then Yo La Tengo hits. Coffee spills at this heart-clench. But don’t worry WOBC, Whatever has its bases covered. Fleetwood Mac’s appearance takes us back to our station, ironically poses that we have come right back to one of our all-timers. Heart’s ‘Crazy on You’, with its frisky guitar riffs, takes us back to early peaks into the coming-of-age, the after-school car rides, your favorite soundtrack, whatever. Sleater-Kinney sweeps up this kitchen, it’s the grunge sweater that you put on top of that messy pile. And Le Whatever is perhaps best described as a pile, a materialization of past and present icons that choreographs via improvisation, that circumlocates around a generational schema that cannot be isolated through words, but perhaps through these songs.
Nina Simone- Angel of the Morning
The The- This is the Day
Blue Hawaii- Blue Gowns
ESG- Hold me Right
Hazel- Day Glo
Excuse 17- 5 Acres
Esoteric Tapioca- Stay
Yo La Tengo- You Can Have It All
Fleetwood Mac- Can’t Go Back
The Fruit Bats- So Long
Heart- Crazy on You
Aimee Man- Save Me
Sleater-Kinney- Modern Girl