Hank Williams Special

The Mid-Day Jamboree and the Back Country are teaming up to bring KDHX listeners an afternoon of Hank Williams’s music from 2:00 pm – 6:00 pm CST on Saturday, January 3, 2009.  To observe the 56th anniversary of the death of Hank Williams on January 1, 1953, Fred Gumaer and Jeff Corbin will be featuring the newly-released Mother’s Best shows originally done on WSM radio in 1951; they’ll be spinning as many cuts from this 3 CD set as they can. Tune in to the Mid-Day Jamboree at 2:00 pm and the Back Country at 4:00 pm as Hank and the Driftin’ Cowboys perform four hours of great country music you’ve probably never heard before.

New Releases for January 2009

January is traditionally a slow month for record releases, but here’s a sneak preview of some notable albums due out the first month of 2009:

January 6:
The Gourds, Haymaker (Yep Roc)

January 13:
Animal Collective, Merriweather Post Pavilion (Domino)

January 20:
Antony & the Johnsons, The Crying Light (Secretly Canadian)
BeauSoleil, Alligator Purse (Yep Roc)
AC Newman, Get Guilty (Matador)

January 27:
Andrew Bird, Noble Beast (Fat Possum)
Robert Pollard, The Crawling Distance (GBV)
Toni Childs, Keep the Faith (429) (her first studio album in 15 years)
Franz Ferdinand, Tonight: Franz Ferdinand (Domino)
Loney Dear, Dear John (Polyvinyl)
Mark Olson and Gary Louris, Ready For the Flood (New West)
Bruce Springsteen, Working on a Dream (Columbia)
Various Artists, Just Like Heaven: A Tribute to the Cure (featuring the Submarines, Tanya Donelly, Rosebuds) (American Laundromat)

Later this week I’ll have a list of some 2009 shows about which I’m psyched.

New Year’s Eve in St. Louis?

Photo courtesy of the Library of Congress

Photo courtesy of the Library of Congress

At the end of every year in St. Louis, I’m always faced with a question: To suck or not to suck? Most years, especially since the demise of Frederick’s Music Lounge, it’s the former. I know that New Year’s parties are, as if by definition, the most overrated thing in the universe, but couldn’t we at least have a good rock show in town on the 31st?

I’m probably missing something this year, and if so let me know. At the very least, there’s KDHX’s dance-tastic line up on Wednesday evening, featuring Juxtaposition, Beep Beep Boop Boop, Propaganda and the Love Mix. The hosts are banding together to spin the best remixes of the year along with other party favorites. That might just be the best party in town.

Discovery: T-Bird & the Breaks

First there was Black Joe Lewis & the Honeybears and now there’s T-Bird & the Breaks. As young Austin rhythm & blues bands go, both pack a big, horn-fueled sound, a smacking rock rhythm section and a one-two punch of West Side Chicago blues guitar and gritty Stax-influenced singing. Tim Crane started T-Bird & the Breaks a few years ago and the band has burgeoned to 11 members who (judging from the three tracks they’ve offered up on their web site) have a soulful feel that belies their years. They’re set to release their first album, Learn About It, on January 27.

They’ll be playing SXSW in March. I’m going; no way will I miss them.

T-Bird & the Breaks on Myspace.

Take Time

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Weird things I have heard on the radio: Vol. 1

1)  Columbia, MO, 1980s:  Tail end of a commercial that ended with a jingle that went “They’ve got big green numbers…and little rubber feet!”  Never found out what it was advertising.

2)  Stuck listening to Adult Contemporary station, St. Louis, mid-’90s:  During a Michael Bolton song, I suddenly heard the voice of the female announcer answering the telephone:

Announcer: “[call letters]!”

Caller: “Um, yes!  Do you think you could play something by Jewel?”

Announcer:  “I’ll see what we can do!”

Caller:  “Okay, thanks!”

A minute or two later, another call went out over the air.

Announcer:  “[call letters]!”

Caller:  “Did you know that you just had a phone call go out over the air?”

Announcer:  “Excuse me?”

Caller:  “I just heard it over the music.  Someone called and requested Jewel, and the call was audible over the radio.  In fact, I think my voice is on the radio right now.”

Announcer:  “Oh my goodness.  Thank you!  We’ll have to fix that.”

The amazing thing was that both of the on-air calls occurred during instrumental breaks in the song, timed perfectly as if it was intentional.

Emotional Rescue’s Highly Subjective List of the 20 Musical Things Worth Loving in 2008

Although web guru/fellow DJ/stern taskmaster Roy Kasten finally nagged me into providing a standard top album list for 2008, I still needed to compile a more complete, annotated list that included individual songs (and then some) in addition to whole albums. I’m not sure if David Cantwell would consider this a list with argument, but I do hope it could be considered more than randomness and arbitrary subjectivity.

There is a four way tie for the number one position, but then things are listed somewhat by whim.

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60 Records To Make Your Life Better This Year

I posted this list over at the Lockwood and Summit blog with a slightly different introduction. This coming Friday on Sound Salvation (7 am to 10 am), I’ll be counting down the albums which meant the most to me in 2008, but I’ll be doing them in alphabetical order. Oh, sure, I could create a hierarchy, but really, what does it mean that I thought Sonny Rollins was slightly better than AC/DC, or was it the other way around?

The important thing to take away from all this is we’re living in a pretty darn good time to enjoy music. I list 60 albums here that dug into my memory banks, and gave me plenty of enjoyment. I am equally sure that I missed an equivalent number of excellent albums in genres I barely perused – contemporary country, rap, r’n'b, pop, world music. I make no claims to completion, but I do know that the following 60 albums were all terrific. See the list after the jump.

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Mr. Michael on Silver Tray + Reunion Mania

Last night, while glancing at the headlines on STLtoday.com, I noticed a “frontpage” article on the band Pale Divine, penned by longtime Post feature writer Diane Toroian Keaggy. The piece caught up with the two principal members of the group in most folks’ (ahem) eyes: guitarist and vocalist Michael Schaerer and lead guitarist Richard Fortus. The piece deftly portrayed the differences in current lifestyles for the two, as well as the long-time-coming reconciliation that allowed for next week’s PD reunion at the Pageant.

After reading the article, it dawned on me that Schaerer’s a working musician around town, and might just have time to drop by the KDHX studio for some mid-afternoon chat and acoustic play. Within minutes of finding his e-mail address, he responded in the affirmative and he’s now booked for Silver Tray, on Friday, December 26 (the show airs from noon – 2 pm CST); he’ll come in for the last half-hour, or so, of the shift and will be bringing his acoustic guitar, so expect some PD chestnuts among the cuts he’ll be performing and discussing.

Because of the amount of local groups reuniting over the weekend, I’ll devote the balance of the second hour of the show to a recap of bands in town over this oncoming, packed weekend. As a primer, here’re the highlights after the jump.

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