blog http://www.kcsn.org/blog/rss Best Of 2016 So Far http://www.kcsn.org/blog/jeff-penfield/best-of-2016-so-far/ <p>2016 has been a year marred by the passing of a number of great musicians. Fortunately we have been consoled by great new music and here's a quick look at some of KCSN's favorite albums half way through 2016.</p> <p><strong>Ray LaMontagne <em>Ouroboros</em></strong><br>Coming off of his 60’s influenced Supernova album, Ray Lamontagne remained in a throwback kind of mood. He brought in Jim James of My Morning Jacket fame to produce a very psychedelic rock influenced <em>Ouroboros</em>. From the seconds of “Homecoming” to through “Wouldn’t It Make A Lovely Photograph”, you could swear Pink Floyd recorded this album around the same time as Dark Side Of The Moon. “The Changing Man” into “While It Still Beats” is definitely a highlight.</p> <div align="center"><iframe src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/W9L0IUG8gKQ?rel=0" width="560" height="315" frameborder="0"></iframe></div> <p> </p> <p><strong>Lucius <em>Good Grief</em></strong><br>Normally a band with two or more lead singers looks to highlight their differences. Lucius, on the other hand, keeps reminding you how similar Jess Wolfe and Holly Laessig are. Good Grief is a culmination of their hard work over the years. In an age of music where dynamic range is all but forgotten, they can rock out on tracks like “Born Again Teen” before keeping you on the edge of your seat with the sparse “Dusty Trails”.</p> <div align="center"><iframe src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/Oqc7te2sitg?rel=0" width="560" height="315" frameborder="0"></iframe></div> <p> </p> <p><strong>Sturgill Simpson <em>A Sailor's Guide To Earth</em></strong><br>The country rock revolution continues with Sturgill Simpson leading the way in 2016 on A Sailor’s Guide To Earth. Sturgill has a very special ability to take an everyday country song and quite literally take it beyond this world. Who else would think of a country song like “Keep It Between The Lines” getting a horn section? Or how about a dark cover of Nirvana’s “In Bloom”? This album is rich with passion and fire, maybe more so than just about any other release in 2016.</p> <div align="center"><iframe src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/BlOk5wV0DRo?rel=0" width="560" height="315" frameborder="0"></iframe></div> <p> </p> <p><strong>Radiohead <em>A Moon Shaped Pool</em></strong><br>Is there any band who shrouds their album releases in as much mystery as Radiohead? A Moon Shaped Pool is their first album in 5 years and yet again the band surprises us with another transition. This time “Burn The Witch” previewed what was to come – strings. Compared to the last few albums, the band returned to more melodic sounds without escaping who Radiohead is at heart. Gorgeous arrangements bind the album together while the band continues to push the envelope on what constitutes a great song.</p> <div align="center"><iframe src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/yI2oS2hoL0k?rel=0" width="560" height="315" frameborder="0"></iframe></div> <p> </p> <p><strong>David Bowie <em>Blackstar</em></strong><br>The sudden death of David Bowie hit many music fans hard, yet we were consoled by his final studio album, now clearly his swan song to the world. Recorded over Bowie’s final years as cancer ate away at his health, the always adventurous artist left us with an album that is beautiful yet ugly, evocative yet mysterious, and challenging yet comfortable. Bowie’s influence on the music world is unquestioned and Blackstar was a fitting end to one of the all-time greats.</p> <div align="center"><iframe src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/kszLwBaC4Sw?rel=0" width="560" height="315" frameborder="0"></iframe></div> <p> </p> <p>So how about what's coming for the rest of the year? <strong>The Head And The Heart</strong> have already made big waves with "All We Ever Knew" off of their upcoming album <em>Signs Of Light</em>.</p> <div align="center"><iframe src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/WxyBhnbV77E?rel=0" width="560" height="315" frameborder="0"></iframe></div> <p> </p> <p>Is there anything that has blown you away so far in 2016? Any upcoming relelases you're excited to hear?</p> Thu, 30 Jun 2016 11:16:39 -0700 http://www.kcsn.org/blog/jeff-penfield/best-of-2016-so-far/ Transmissions: Pete Yorn http://www.kcsn.org/blog/jeff-penfield/transmissions-pete-yorn/ <p><strong>Pete Yorn</strong> released his 6th solo album earlier this year and took time to visit Nic Harcourt for an episode of Transmissions. Check out his performance of "Halifax" below and <a href="http://worldarts.com/transmissions/episodes/peteyorn_episode" target="_blank">click here to watch the full episode</a>.</p> <div align="center"><iframe src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/QXiGInYl7Hw" width="560" height="315" frameborder="0"></iframe></div> Thu, 23 Jun 2016 15:21:07 -0700 http://www.kcsn.org/blog/jeff-penfield/transmissions-pete-yorn/ Turn Me On: The Saint Johns http://www.kcsn.org/blog/jim-nelson/turn-me-on-the-saint-johns/ <p>At last, even vegetarians have a reason to celebrate Taco Tuesdays. Or at least one particular Taco Tuesday.</p> <p>If you were at this particular Taco Tuesday Party in St. Augustine, Florida, in 2008 you would have been in one of the rooms hooking up so you would not have noticed the moment when Jordan Meredith of St. Augustine and Louis Johnson from 250 miles away in West Palm Beach found themselves the last two at the party not partnered up, the moment when they began to share Jordan’s guitar, by turns playing each other song after song, that elusive moment when—if the stars align and the wind is blowing just right—two voices can find each other near the taco fixings and become one voice. In that moment, Jordan and Louis laid the foundation for The Saint Johns.</p> <p>And since this is the point in the story where everyone assumes the rest of the story, maybe now is a good time to clear that up: They don’t date. Never have.</p> <div align="center"><iframe src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/V9QOylF41uk?rel=0" width="560" height="315" frameborder="0"></iframe></div> <p>Jordan and Louis named their duo after the nearby Saint Johns River, and soon their blended voices were blowing minds in original Americana songs that rate comparison with fellow vocal bands Fleetwood Mac, The Civil Wars, The Lumineers, Delta Rae, and The Lone Bellow (with whom they’ve toured). After a yearlong hiccup in New York City they headed west for Nashville, where they’ve been a part of the scene since 2012; that same year, their free introductory EP/videos, Live Sessions, and their song Your Head and Your Heart on the Nashville Indie Spotlight compilation began to spread The Saint Johns beyond their neck of the woods.</p> <p>A year after landing in Nashville The Saint Johns officially went national with an indie EP, Open Water, followed by a record deal with Sony imprint Kemosabe Records and a shot on David “Normally My Policy Is No Beginners, But These Kids Are So Good We Had To Have Them On The Show” Letterman.</p> <p>A debut full-length CD, Dead of Night, complemented the EPs in 2016. Produced by Grammy-winner David Kahne, Dead of Night has the songs—Lost The Feeling, Coming Home, Falling, and Little Bit could all be hits—the expert performances, and the honest vulnerability—What Are You Doing Now, Shadowplay, and The Way You Did are all drowning in universal ache—to make Jordan Meredith and Louis Johnson two of this year’s more noteworthy singers and songwriters, and certain first-ballot Got Their Start on Taco Tuesday Hall of Famers.</p> <p><a href="http://www.rockcellarmagazine.com/category/turn-me-on/" target="_blank">See more Turn Me On at Rock Cellar Magazine</a></p> Tue, 14 Jun 2016 12:15:02 -0700 http://www.kcsn.org/blog/jim-nelson/turn-me-on-the-saint-johns/ Ben Harper LIVE at Amoeba http://www.kcsn.org/blog/mookie/ben-harper-live-at-amoeba/ <p><span>Back on Friday, May 6th 2016 Ben Harper &amp; The Innocent Criminals played a FREE show at Amoeba in Los Angeles... one of the best record stores on the planet. We've selected 3 songs from their 7 song set to feature LIVE on the air at 88.5 KCSN. Here's the audio as it was heard LIVE at Amoeba. Enjoy. The full interview in the green room at Amoeba can be found on </span><a rel="nofollow" href="http://www.kcsn.org/">www.KCSN.org</a></p> <p> </p> <p><iframe style="width: 100%; height: 131px;" src="https://www.spreaker.com/embed/player/standard?episode_id=8682778&amp;autoplay=false" width="320" height="240" frameborder="0" scrolling="no"></iframe></p> Fri, 03 Jun 2016 13:44:00 -0700 http://www.kcsn.org/blog/mookie/ben-harper-live-at-amoeba/ Turn Me On: Darlingside http://www.kcsn.org/blog/jim-nelson/turn-me-on-darlingside/ <p><strong>Darlingside</strong> used to have a drummer. But he sort of got in the way. Not in the spatial sense of “got in the way”; rather, in the aural sense. Basically you had these crisp, air-tight, laser-locked voices—four of them, pretending to be one—struggling to appropriately comingle with the drums. No need for a caucus to tabulate that four voices beat a lone drummer every time, so after a 2012 self-released CD the Cambridge, Massachusetts-based band reduced its number by one.</p> <p> </p> <div align="center"><iframe src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/MZo-xK4Dens?rel=0" width="560" height="315" frameborder="0"></iframe></div> <p> </p> <p>Now, whenever these Williams College grads sing together onstage or in the studio you’ll find multi-instrumentalists Dave Senft, Don Mitchell, Auyon Mukharji, and Harris Paseltiner huddled in a semi-circle ’round a shared microphone; every song is written by all four of them, so singing in unison is an extension of the way they write. With hues of ’60s folk, chamber pop, bluegrass, and even classical, organically played on rootsy instruments led by acoustic and 12-string electric guitars, banjo, fiddle, mandolin, cello, and bass, and colored with Wurlitzer, auto-chord organ, piano, and harmonium, Darlingside’s music resides not in the here and now, but smack dab in ’60s and ’70s Laurel Canyon.</p> <p> </p> <div align="center"><iframe src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/WCLkOAQxumI?rel=0" width="560" height="315" frameborder="0"></iframe></div> <p> </p> <p>For their sophomore release, Birds Say, Darlingside holed up in a Boston studio and together with engineer/co-producer Dan Cardinal created a 13-song treasure that boasts oodles of grace and style, and a maturity rare in a recording career so young. Written, Mitchell says, as they reflected on their “childhoods, our transition into adulthood together, and the complexities of life that we all have to grapple with now,” Birds Say mostly belies the clever and witty personalities these guys effortlessly present onstage; for a peek into that cleverness, look at their name, Darlingside. What is that? It’ll hit you when you blend the suffix cide, meaning killer or the act of killing in words like pesticide and insecticide, with the “kill your darlings” advice given to fledgling writers—i.e., if you fall in love with a word or line that you’ve written, kill it to prevent overuse. Darlingside, then, is shrewdly a softer spelling of Darlingcide.</p> <p><a href="http://www.rockcellarmagazine.com/category/turn-me-on/" target="_blank">See more Turn Me On at Rock Cellar Magazine</a></p> Fri, 27 May 2016 11:43:37 -0700 http://www.kcsn.org/blog/jim-nelson/turn-me-on-darlingside/ Rogue Wave on KCSN http://www.kcsn.org/blog/mookie/rogue-wave-on-kcsn/ <p><span>Zach from Rogue Wave came to the KCSN studios to talk to Mookie and perform some songs off the Delusions Of Grand Fur record, weeks before the release date. Zach was joined by his daughter Ren in-studio for the interview and Pat on drums for the performance... this session was truly a family affair. Here's the exclusive audio. Enjoy.</span></p> <p><iframe style="width: 100%; height: 131px;" src="https://www.spreaker.com/embed/player/standard?episode_id=8307012&amp;autoplay=false" width="320" height="240" frameborder="0" scrolling="no"></iframe></p> Thu, 26 May 2016 15:54:35 -0700 http://www.kcsn.org/blog/mookie/rogue-wave-on-kcsn/ Michael Bernard Fitzgerald on KCSN http://www.kcsn.org/blog/mookie/michael-bernard-fitzgerald-on-kcsn/ <p><span>Michael Bernard Fitzgerald came to visit Mookie at the KCSN studios in Los Angeles to play some music and talk about the release of the record "I Wanna Make It With You". This audio captures a three song stripped-down performance, interview and more. Here's the audio.</span></p> <p> </p> <p><iframe style="width: 100%; height: 131px;" src="https://www.spreaker.com/embed/player/standard?episode_id=8617585&amp;autoplay=false" width="320" height="240" frameborder="0" scrolling="no"></iframe></p> Thu, 26 May 2016 15:50:10 -0700 http://www.kcsn.org/blog/mookie/michael-bernard-fitzgerald-on-kcsn/ Turn Me On: Kaleo http://www.kcsn.org/blog/jim-nelson/turn-me-on-kaleo/ <p>We was fooled by <strong>Kaleo</strong>. Set up the way a pool shark tones it down before mercilessly blindsiding you with mad skills. When the four-piece Icelandic band snuck into the U.S. consciousness late in 2014 with “All the Pretty Girls,” a gentle acoustic lament on romantic loneliness, the set-up was under way.</p> <p>In 2015, “Way down We Go” took the moodiness and intensity up a notch from “All the Pretty Girls” so we probably should have seen the surprise coming. And then Kaleo relocated to the musical hotbed of Austin and started playing concerts in America, and Bam! That’s when we knew we’d been had. This unknown from a faraway land, this Kaleo, was a force so much more epic than anticipated. We were slapped upside the head by this masterfully performed explosion of blues and rock and twin guitar attacks and sheer mass of sound, the heavy dark side balanced with occasional whimsy and whispery softness.</p> <p>So yeah, we was fooled by Kaleo. Snookered. Lured right into their trap. And it was transcendent.</p> <p> </p> <div align="center"><iframe src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/9WIU5NN1Q0g?rel=0" width="560" height="315" frameborder="0"></iframe></div> <p> </p> <p>Kaleo—it’s Hawaiian for the voice or the sound—was started by three friends from grade school in Mosfellsbaer, a small town in southwest Iceland commonly known as “the green town.” Singer/guitarist JJ Juliusson, drummer David Antonsson Crivello, and bassist Danny Jones were 17 at the time, and after a few years of gigging in nearby Reykjavik they added guitarist Rubin Pollock in 2012.</p> <p>By early 2013 they were getting a little love from radio and the press back home, and by the end of that year they’d had a #1 single and signed to the nation’s largest record label. Before you could say Bob is Bob spelled backwards, they’d soared to phenomenon status in their homeland, propelled by five #1 singles. It was time for America.</p> <p> </p> <div align="center"><iframe src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/FNwgOkl5nRY?rel=0" width="560" height="315" frameborder="0"></iframe></div> <p> </p> <p>Kaleo expects to have their still-in-progress first US full-length release out later in 2016, to join the All the Pretty Girls EP and a pair of singles already available in the states. On it, Kaleo will exhibit the depth and chops on display in the disparate styles of songs like the probably-recorded-at-the-crossroads guitar workout “No Good” (from the HBO series Vinyl) and the frolicking, California-centric “Automobile,” which would just kill as an otherworldly singalong with Kaleo, Louis Armstrong, Roger Miller, and Lou Rawls.</p> <p>Let the anticipation begin.</p> <p><a href="http://www.rockcellarmagazine.com/category/turn-me-on/" target="_blank">See more Turn Me On at Rock Cellar Magazine</a></p> Mon, 23 May 2016 11:51:29 -0700 http://www.kcsn.org/blog/jim-nelson/turn-me-on-kaleo/ Transmissions: The Rubens "Hoops" http://www.kcsn.org/blog/jeff-penfield/transmissions-the-rubens-hoops/ <p>Australia has been a hot bed of new music the past few years, with acts like Courtney Barnett, Gotye, Boy &amp; Bear, and more receiving praise as they come over to America. The Rubens are looking to be added to the list. Nic Harcourt sat down with the band and recorded a few songs for Tranmissions. Check out "Hoops" below and <a href="http://worldarts.com/transmissions/episodes/rubens_episode" target="_blank">click here to see the full session</a>.</p> <div align="center"><iframe src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/LFw_AVllbnE" width="560" height="315" frameborder="0"></iframe></div> Tue, 17 May 2016 10:09:45 -0700 http://www.kcsn.org/blog/jeff-penfield/transmissions-the-rubens-hoops/ New Music From Fruit Bats: Absolute Loser http://www.kcsn.org/blog/mookie/new-music-from-fruit-bats/ <p><iframe src="https://w.soundcloud.com/player/?url=https%3A//api.soundcloud.com/playlists/174272616%3Fsecret_token%3Ds-cjqhe&amp;color=ff5500&amp;auto_play=false&amp;hide_related=false&amp;show_comments=true&amp;show_user=true&amp;show_reposts=false" width="100%" height="450" frameborder="no" scrolling="no"></iframe></p> <p>Eric D. Johnson was ready to drive the car off the cliff. He bristles at the memory and the metaphor. Instead, he recalls, he and his wife drove their Toyota Echo—so old it lacked power locks—through the Redwood forest the day they got the bad news. Their baby, due on his wife’s 40<sup>th</sup> birthday, didn’t make it past the first trimester.</p> <p> </p> <p>“I was so grief-stricken,” recalls Johnson. “I wanted to blow up my life.”</p> <p> </p> <p>And so he started over. He abandoned the Fruit Bats band name that carried him for 16 years and five successful studio albums. He ditched the moniker that connected him to stints playing with The Shins and Vetiver and Califone. Instead, Johnson continued pursuing other musical passions. He focused more on scoring films (having already contributed to works like Smashed and Our Idiot Brother). He produced Breathe Owl Breathe’s 2013 album Passage of Pegasus and grew his Huichica Music Festival in Sonoma, California.</p> <p> </p> <p>Then, in 2014, Johnson released a solo album. That record, released under his own name and simply titled EDJ, “was the outpouring of grief” resulting from those experiences.</p> <p> </p> <p>“The EDJ record was about how making something—like a person—is really easy for some people and really not for some people,” he says. “I was so sad about that, but also fearful to discuss it.”</p> <p> </p> <p>In the process of grieving, reflecting, and resigning himself to his new realities, Johnson realized how much weight a name can carry and how much of his sense of self was contained in just two small words.</p> <p> </p> <p>Eric D. Johnson is Fruit Bats. And Fruit Bats is back.</p> <p> </p> <p>“I’m finding my identity again,” he begins, “which is somehow, weirdly this dumb fake punk rock name that I put on a four-track tape.”</p> <p> </p> <p>Fruit Bats’ sixth album Absolute Loser represents a triumphant return to name, form, and self. Despite implications, its title refers to the furthest depths of loss itself, rather than the state of those who have lost something. It’s the most honest, most confessional album of Fruit Bats’ career.</p> <p> </p> <p>Johnson draws from deeply those personal experiences, yet Absolute Loser encapsulates universal themes and emotions. While “My Sweet Midwest” could be taken completely literally, it addresses the holistic nature of finding your center during turmoil. “Baby Bluebird” stings in its portrayal of losing what you never really had. Album closer “Don’t You Know That” is about picking yourself up, even when no one seems to care how far you fell.</p> <p> </p> <p>Musically, Absolute Loser retains the same structural pop elements that made Fruit Bats so beloved in the first place. Its simple sounding melodies belie such thick musical textures, as some tracks incorporate up to 10 guitar tracks layered on top of each other. Johnson also hearkens back to his days teaching banjo at Chicago’s Old Town School of Folk Music, and that instrumentation adds a folksy, Americana spirit to record.</p> <p> </p> <p>Fruit Bats’ rebirth parallels Johnson’s resiliency, and Absolute Loser is his treaty on how to redefine oneself after tragedy. Although he maintains that he doesn’t have it all figured out quite yet, Johnson acknowledges that with that self-awareness comes some sort of acceptance.</p> <p> </p> <p>“I am what I am,” he says. “And that’s freeing in a way.”</p> <p> </p> Thu, 05 May 2016 14:23:40 -0700 http://www.kcsn.org/blog/mookie/new-music-from-fruit-bats/ Transmissions: LP "Death Valley" http://www.kcsn.org/blog/jeff-penfield/transmissions-lp-death-valley/ <p>Nic Harcourt's new web series <strong>Transmissions</strong> premiered earlier this year and has already welcomed legends like Lucinda Williams and hot new Los Angeles bands like The Record Company. His next episode features new music from KCSN favorite LP! Check out her new song "Death Valley" performed live for Transmissions below and <a href="http://worldarts.com/transmissions" target="_blank">click here to watch the full episode premiring May 3rd</a>.</p> <p> </p> <div align="center"><iframe src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/qgIiNUm5B2c" width="560" height="315" frameborder="0"></iframe></div> Mon, 02 May 2016 12:39:53 -0700 http://www.kcsn.org/blog/jeff-penfield/transmissions-lp-death-valley/ A Visit to Hitsville USA - Motown Museum in Detroit http://www.kcsn.org/blog/mark-shovel/a-visit-to-hitsville-usa-motown-museum-in-detroit/ <table style="margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;" border="1" cellpadding="0" cellspacing="0"><tbody><tr><td valign="top" width="396"> <p> </p> <img style="display: block; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;" src="http://www.mrshovel.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/11/photo2-768x1024.jpg?r" data-url="http://www.mrshovel.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/11/photo2-768x1024.jpg" data-width="400" data-height="533" data-class="left" data-thumbnail="http://www.mrshovel.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/11/photo2-768x1024.jpg?r" data-cssclass="left" height="519" width="390"></td> </tr><tr><td valign="top" width="396"> <p> </p> <p>Hoping you had a decent Thanksgiving. I was very fortunate to make a rare late November trip back to the Motor City to spend the holiday with my family. During my brief visit I made a stop at Hitsville USA, the original headquarters of Motown records on West Grand Blvd in Detroit. The building was a house that Berry Gordy Jr. converted into a recording studio and office facility. There is also an upper floor apartment that Gordy lived in, which looks like it could be the creation of a set designer from Mad Men – But it’s the real deal, even the orange sofa that Marvin Gaye used to crash on.</p> </td> </tr><tr><td valign="top" width="396"> <p> </p> <img class="alignright size-full wp-image-3301" style="display: block; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;" src="http://www.mrshovel.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/11/MotownReception.jpg" alt="MotownReception" height="276" width="388"></td> </tr><tr><td valign="top" width="396"> <p> </p> <p>The building is now operated as a museum and it is literally a time capsule into the 1960’s. Everything has been left exactly as it was, from the rolodexes which sit on the lobby desk next to the three black phones that Mary Wells and Diana Ross once answered as receptionists, down to the candy machine, still stocked with the Baby Ruth bars in slot number 4 for the 11 year old Little Stevie Wonder.</p> </td> </tr><tr><td valign="top" width="396"> <p> </p> <img style="display: block; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;" src="http://www.mrshovel.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/11/MotownControlRoom.jpg" alt="MotownControlRoom" height="265" width="391"></td> </tr><tr><td valign="top" width="396"> <p> </p> <p>The Studio A control room still houses the board and tape machines that all of the great Motown music we know and love once passed through. The floor under the console where the producers and engineers sat has holes where the tile and wood beneath have been worn through from the stomping of feet and tapping of toes.</p> </td> </tr><tr><td valign="top" width="396"> <p> </p> <img class="alignright wp-image-3326 size-medium" style="display: block; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;" src="http://www.mrshovel.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/11/Stevie-Wonder-in-session-with-the-Funk-Brothers-inside-Motowns-Snakepit-in-1967-300x235.jpg" alt="Stevie-Wonder-in-session-with-the-Funk-Brothers-inside-Motowns-Snakepit-in-1967" height="303" width="387"></td> </tr><tr><td valign="top" width="396"> <p> </p> <p>Stepping down into the main studio room, I was overcome with a deep reverence for the enormous spirits who had created such timeless, universal magic in that small space.</p> <p>Everything was exactly as it was, including the mic cables hanging down from the ceiling, the headphones the artists had worn, and the hook where they had hung their coat in the winter.</p> </td> </tr><tr><td valign="top" width="396"> <p> </p> <img class="alignleft size-thumbnail wp-image-3325" style="display: block; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;" src="http://www.mrshovel.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/11/bilde-150x150.jpg" alt="bilde" height="208" width="208"></td> </tr><tr><td valign="top" width="396"> <p> </p> <p>The 1877 Steinway concert grand piano had recently been restored thanks to a generous donation from Paul McCartney after he had visited the studio and taken the same tour.</p> <p>Brian Ray, long time guitarist for McCartney saw this picture I had posted on Facebook and he offered this tid-bit about the restoration,</p> <p>“…nice touch, huh? I was standing next to Paul when he asked if he could play the piano and they said, “no it needs restoration and is unplayable” w plexiglass over the keys. Paul got a gleam in his eye and later asked what we thought of gifting them with true restoration in NYC.. I hope it is played and enjoyed. B”</p> <p>I am so extremely grateful for having the opportunity to visit this mecca of American music. These rooms, small, basic and simple would be nothing without the creative expression of the songwriters, musicians, producers and performers who poured themselves into the records that will stand forever as a testament to their greatness.</p> <p>If you're ever in the Motor City, do yourself a favor and visit this hallowed ground.</p> <p> -Mr. Shovel</p> </td> </tr></tbody></table><p style="text-align: center;"> </p> <p style="text-align: center;"> </p> <p style="text-align: center;"><br> </p> <p style="text-align: center;"> </p> <p> </p> <p> </p> <p> </p> Mon, 01 Dec 2014 11:00:20 -0800 http://www.kcsn.org/blog/mark-shovel/a-visit-to-hitsville-usa-motown-museum-in-detroit/ My Dream Concert for 2014 http://www.kcsn.org/blog/robert-hilburn/my-dream-concert-for-2014/ <p>One frequent question during my 35 years as pop critic at the Los Angeles Times was, "What's your favorite concert ever?"</p> <p>And I always had a hard time answering it because I saw an average of 100 concerts a year during that time, and there were so many magical moments each year.</p> <p>The shows that usually came to mind landmark performances by such varied figures as Johnny Cash, Elvis Presley, Janis Joplin, James Brown, the Rolling Stones, David Bowie, Bruce Springsteen, Prince, U2 and the White Stripes.</p> <p>Yet I was never able to boil it down to a single favorite show.</p> <p>It’s much easier answering this question: “What concert are you most looking forward to seeing this year?"</p> <p>My choice, by far, is the Oct. 5 pairing at the Greek Theater of two of my favorite singer-songwriters ever: John Prine and Conor Oberst.</p> <hr><p>John’s self-titled debut album was a classic the moment it hit the shelves in the early 1970s—songs filled with convincing portraits of people caught in various stages of joy, acceptance and despair. I was so hooked that I went around for months quoting the lyrics—lines like these from “Sam Stone,” a song about a child’s horror at seeing his father return home from Vietnam combat with a heroin habit:</p> <p style="padding-left: 30px;"><em>There’s a hole in daddy’s arm, where all the money goes.</em></p> <p style="padding-left: 30px;"><em>Jesus Christ died for nothin, I suppose.</em></p> <p style="padding-left: 30px;"><em>In a sweeping change of pace, John, 24, wrote with equal empathy about the way old people are often shunned aside in a youth-obsessed culture. In “Hello in There,” he wrote:</em></p> <p style="padding-left: 30px;"><em>You know that old trees just grow stronger,</em></p> <p style="padding-left: 30px;"><em>And old rivers grow wilder every day.</em></p> <p style="padding-left: 30px;"><em>But old people just grow lonesome,</em></p> <p style="padding-left: 30px;"><em>Waiting for someone to say, “Hello in there, hello."</em></p> <div align="center"><iframe src="http://www.youtube.com/embed/Sl9ZkYViEIs?rel=0" width="420" height="315" frameborder="0"></iframe> </div> <p>More than 30 years later, Conor’s “I’m Wide Awake, It’s Morning” album—which he released under the group name Bright Eyes--hit with similar force. Conor, who had been making records in his native Omaha since his teens, was also 24 and his best songs conveyed an innocence and intelligence that enabled him to see the world with fresh and fearless eyes. He weaved his findings into intimate songs whose melodies are as timeless as a hymnal and whose images are hauntingly poetic.</p> <p>In “Lua,” one of my favorites Conor spoke about a night in New York with a girl who was moving close to the edge—a gripping reflection on the sometimes recklessness of youth:</p> <p style="padding-left: 30px;"><em>I got a flask inside my pocket</em></p> <p style="padding-left: 30px;"><em>We can share it on the train</em></p> <p style="padding-left: 30px;"><em>And if you promise to stay conscious</em></p> <p style="padding-left: 30px;"><em>I will try and do the same.</em></p> <p style="padding-left: 30px;"><em>We might die from medication</em></p> <p style="padding-left: 30px;"><em>But we sure kill all the pain.</em></p> <p style="padding-left: 30px;"><em>What was normal in the evening</em></p> <p style="padding-left: 30px;"><em>By the morning seems insane.</em></p> <div align="center"><iframe src="http://www.youtube.com/embed/5aZh261KZWI?rel=0" width="420" height="315" frameborder="0"></iframe> </div> <p>Conor’s latest album, “Upside Down Mountain,” released this spring under his own name, is his finest collection since “I’m Wide Awake,” which makes his Greek appearance doubly appealing.</p> <hr><p>Being a fan of both artists, I was delighted during Conor’s show in 2007 the El Rey Theatre when he sang a song that was blessed with so many of the same warm, human touches that made his work so compelling that most people in the theater figured it was one of his new songs. It was in fact “Crazy as a Loon,” a Prine song, about a man who keeps blaming the rest of the world for his problems. It was thrilling to have these two generations of songwriters joined however briefly.</p> <p>By sharing the bill for the first time ever in Los Angeles, the link between Prine and Oberst will be more notable at the Greek, and the results should be more thrilling.</p> <hr><p>Tickets on sale now at <a href="http://www.greektheatrela.com/events/event_details.asp?id=2863">Greek Theatre's website</a>.</p> Mon, 01 Sep 2014 11:20:38 -0700 http://www.kcsn.org/blog/robert-hilburn/my-dream-concert-for-2014/ CALIFORNIA CONVERGENCE http://www.kcsn.org/blog/sky-daniels/california-convergence/ <div align="center"><img class="center" title="" src="http://www.kcsn.org/assets/Uploads/The-FabForum.jpg" alt="The FabForum" width="300" height="182"></div> <p class="p1">It may seem fitting, or perhaps, ironic, that Beck has released “Blue Moon”, the first track from his self-proclaimed  new album of "California music…the songs are coming out of a California tradition. I'm hearing the Byrds, Crosby Stills and Nash, Gram Parsons, Neil Young – the bigger idea of what that sound is to me." During the heralded launch of the renovated Forum with a six night stand by The Eagles. </p> <p>Beck has held province as cutting-edge stalwart since his first release. As he examines the history of ‘California rock’ in his forthcoming record “Morning Phase”, The Eagles are documenting it in their concerts at The Forum. </p> <p>Industry pundit, Bob Lefsetz, in one of his more sincere proclamations, reveled, “Take the 405 to Manchester. Or La Cienega from downtown. Southward as you go. Because five more times this month the biggest band in Southern California history, in American history, is demonstrating what it was once like. When we were addicted to the radio, when going to the record store was a pilgrimage as important as a trip to Mecca or Jerusalem. When we couldn't wait to get home and break the shrinkwrap and hear what our favorites had to say.” </p> <p>When it was announced that The Forum would re-open, it was destiny that The Eagles would be the choice to revive this great Los Angeles institution. Irving Azoff, their manager and long-time Svengali, has a considerable financial interest in the building.  But, after witnessing one of their opening nights concerts, only a cynic would focus on finance, rather than the romance of the event. </p> <p>Everything you may have heard about the renovated facility seemed accurate to me. The sound was impeccable, the gigantic 4K screens were dynamic, the seats plush, and, yeah, the beers still cost a car payment.  The Forum’s walls are covered with celebratory photos of all the legendary acts that played the hallowed hall. </p> <p>The Eagles understood that history, and how it is entwined with their own, in their performance. Starting out with just Glenn Frey and Don Henley sitting on amps, they reminisced about their own ‘long road to Eden’.  Subsequently, each member of the band gradually made their way to the stage. At times, augmented by long-standing sidemen, they delivered stunning eight-part harmonies on a list of their most memorable compositions.  The Forum’s new sound system was integral to hearing those amazing vocals. </p> <p>The Eagles, like Beck,  paid homage to their own heroes, citing Linda Ronstadt, The Flying Burrito Brothers, Beach Boys, Jackson Browne, and, yes, The Byrds, as they took us all back to a time when  ‘the California sound’ was being birthed.   My own memories of those days seemed to have been perfectly stored, not only in my mind, but in that “Fabulous’ hall…</p> Mon, 20 Jan 2014 15:40:46 -0800 http://www.kcsn.org/blog/sky-daniels/california-convergence/ "Christmas in LA" with Owen Wilson & Harry Dean Stanton & The Killers http://www.kcsn.org/blog/mark-shovel/christmasinla/ <p>For those of us who know the joy of experiencing Christmas in Los Angeles, this video will hit home.</p> <p>This collaboration between The Killers and Dawes is an instant LA Holiday classic!</p> <p>To top it off, this video stars Harry Dean Stanton and Owen Wilson, epitomising the holidays in Hollywood.</p> <p>Enjoy this worthwhile LA Christmas gem.</p> <p> </p> <p>Happy Holidays!</p> <p>Shovel</p> <p> </p> <p><object bgcolor="#000000" data="http://videoplayer.vevo.com/embed/Embedded?videoId=USUV71302719&amp;playlist=false&amp;autoplay=0&amp;playerId=null&amp;playerType=embedded&amp;env=0&amp;cultureName=en_us&amp;cultureIsRTL=False" type="application/x-shockwave-flash" width="575" height="324"><param name="wmode" value="transparent"><param name="allowFullScreen" value="true"><param name="allowScriptAccess" value="always"><param name="src" value="http://videoplayer.vevo.com/embed/Embedded?videoId=USUV71302719&amp;playlist=false&amp;autoplay=0&amp;playerId=null&amp;playerType=embedded&amp;env=0&amp;cultureName=en_us&amp;cultureIsRTL=False"><param name="allowfullscreen" value="true"><param name="allowscriptaccess" value="always"></object></p> Fri, 13 Dec 2013 12:46:31 -0800 http://www.kcsn.org/blog/mark-shovel/christmasinla/ Nightmare AIr, The Foreign Resort, Light FM http://www.kcsn.org/blog/mark-shovel/nightmare-air-the-foreign-resort-light-fm/ <p style="text-align: justify;">KCSN is happy to be presenting this line-up on Nov. 20 at Loaded in Hollywood. On the bill are two of our local faves and a great band from Denmark.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;"> If you listen to City of Night (Sat. 7-10pm)  you probably have heard Nightmare Air (featuring Dave Dupuis of Film School), who were one of our headliners at Tarfest this past September. Their latest album "High in the Lasers" is one of my favorites of the year.</p> <div align="center">[embed width=480 height=270 class=left thumbnail=http://i1.ytimg.com/vi/HKwpsb1kH8A/hqdefault.jpg?r]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HKwpsb1kH8A[/embed]</div> <p style="text-align: justify;">Also on the bill is long time Shovel faves Light FM, who've just released their new album "Voices in My Head".  Below is a fun video we made together a couple of years ago for their song "Mercy". </p> <p><iframe style="display: block; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;" src="https://player.vimeo.com/video/26972941?byline=0&amp;portrait=0" frameborder="0" height="339" width="460"></iframe></p> <p style="text-align: justify;">Nightmare Air is putting on this show in order to play with their past European tourmates The Foreign Resort, from Denmark. Enjoy the video below and then join us at the show November 20th. Det bliver rasende hyggeligt!!!</p> <div align="center">[embed width=459 height=344 class=left thumbnail=http://i1.ytimg.com/vi/p01g13IasAQ/hqdefault.jpg?r]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=p01g13IasAQ[/embed]</div> <p> </p> <div align="center"><img style="display: block; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;" title="" src="http://www.kcsn.org/assets/Uploads/_resampled/resizedimage458706-1146654-10152011304824769-641095200-n.jpg" alt="1146654 10152011304824769 641095200 n" height="706" width="458"></div> <p> </p> <p> </p> Fri, 15 Nov 2013 12:49:44 -0800 http://www.kcsn.org/blog/mark-shovel/nightmare-air-the-foreign-resort-light-fm/ Lots of In-studio performances happening http://www.kcsn.org/blog/mark-shovel/lots-of-in-studio-performances-happening/ <table style="width: 392px; height: 66px;" border="0"><tbody><tr><td>Taking a look at our calandar this week, we have a bunch of really great in-studio performances scheduled so I want to make sure we give you a heads up so you can tune in and hear them live. Here's a quick rundown:</td> </tr></tbody></table><p> </p> <table style="float: left; width: 345px; height: 98px;" align="center" border="0"><tbody><tr><td><img class="left" style="float: left;" title="" src="http://www.kcsn.org/assets/Uploads/_resampled/resizedimage383282-37278a.jpg" alt="37278a" height="282" width="383"></td> </tr><tr><td>Tomorrow (Tuesday 10/8) <strong>Tom Odell</strong> joins Nic Harcourt in the 10am hour. I had a chance to see Tom play at our radio convention in Boulder in August. Wow, what a great performance. Looking forward to that one.</td> </tr></tbody></table><p> </p> <table style="width: 463px; height: 288px;" align="right" border="0"><tbody><tr><td><img class="left" title="" src="http://www.kcsn.org/assets/Uploads/_resampled/resizedimage455258-03.jpg" alt="03" height="258" width="455"></td> </tr><tr><td>In the afternoon tomorrow, <strong>Lissie</strong> will be chatting and performing live with Sky Daniels in the 3:00pm hour. Lissie was one of our headliners for the 88.5 KCSN SXSW Official Radio Day Stage Showcae this past March. She'll be here to play songs from her new album "Back To Forever".</td> </tr></tbody></table><p> </p> <p> </p> <p> </p> <p> </p> <table style="width: 138px; height: 83px;" align="left" border="0"><tbody><tr><td><img class="left" title="" src="http://www.kcsn.org/assets/Uploads/_resampled/resizedimage384288-Gogol-Bordello-at-the-Aggie-Theatre-Fort-Collins-Colorado-1.jpg" alt="Gogol Bordello at the Aggie Theatre Fort Collins Colorado 1" height="288" width="384"></td> </tr><tr><td>We're very excited that Wednesday morning 10/9, Nic Harcourt will play host to <strong>Gogol Bordello</strong> in studio in the 10am hour. It's always a fun time with Eugene and the gang, with great music and entertaining anectdotes.</td> </tr></tbody></table><p> </p> <p> </p> <p> </p> <table style="width: 485px; height: 56px;" align="center" border="0"><tbody><tr><td>Wednesday afternoon <strong>Vance Joy</strong> will vist Sky Daniels for an in-studio performance, and Thursday Sky will be joined by <strong>Unlikely Candidates</strong>.</td> </tr></tbody></table><table style="float: right; width: 392px; height: 38px;" border="0"><tbody><tr><td style="text-align: left;"><img class="left" title="" src="http://www.kcsn.org/assets/Uploads/Alex+Ebert+Qwsk2CNMN5Bm2.jpg" alt="Alex+Ebert+Qwsk2CNMN5Bm2" height="329" width="494"></td> </tr><tr><td style="text-align: left;">Next week we have <strong>The Head &amp; The Heart</strong>, and <strong>Alex Ebert</strong> from <strong>Edward Sharpe</strong> will stop by</td> </tr></tbody></table><p style="text-align: left;"> </p> <p> </p> <p> </p> <table style="width: 454px; height: 36px;" border="0"><tbody><tr><td> </td> </tr><tr><td><br><p>d!</p> </td> </tr></tbody></table><p> </p> <p> </p> <p> </p> Mon, 07 Oct 2013 14:35:53 -0700 http://www.kcsn.org/blog/mark-shovel/lots-of-in-studio-performances-happening/