Celebrate Black History Month on Pop! The Beat Bubble Burst

When I first considered doing four shows on Pop! The Beat Bubble Burst I didn’t think I could pull together somewhere in the neighborhood of 7 hours of material of R&B, soul, blues and early rock ‘n’ roll covers done by artists I regularly play on PTBBB. I generally spin British Invasion, Mersey Beat, Power Pop, Pub rock, garage, folk rock and stuff that fills the cracks between those genres. Once I started getting material together I found that I had miscalculated — not only did I have plenty for four February shows, but I could easily do two more years of February shows and not repeat a single song.

It goes to show the enormous impact African Americans and their music have had on a wide range of genres and styles. It’s also given me an even greater appreciation for that music. I had to do a lot of research and fact checking when looking to see who wrote the songs, who sang them, who do we most associate with them. I’ve learned a lot and I hope to continue gathering content for future Black History Month celebrations — after all, isn’t that one of the reasons for Black History Month? To learn more, and understand more?

I have two shows in the can for the month (which can be heard for the next few weeks via the streaming audio archive at my program page) and two more planned for the February 19 and 26 shows. I hope you can tune in.

Charitable downloads from Propagandhi

It’s always reassuring when anti-imperialist-anarcho-syndicalist-vegan-punk bands walk the walk. Manitoba, Canada’s Propagandhi have been doing just that since the early ’90s. Good thing. If they weren’t so committed to their commitments it would be hard to take songs like “We Thought Nation States Were a Bad Idea” and “Nailing Descartes to the Wall.”

So, you’d think these ultra-lefties would just give their music away, right? No chance. They’ve got a better idea: To get advance downloads of two songs from the forthcoming Supporting Caste album you’ve got to pony up a small online donation to non-profit organizations like the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society, Partners in Health or PETA 2. It’s a great idea, one I’d love to see more bands emulate.

New music from Camera Obscura

Photo courtesy of Donald Milne

Photo courtesy of Donald Milne

The Glasgow indie pop band Camera Obscura released a flurry of singles, EPs and one album between 2006-2007, but then went quiet for most of last year. Tracyanne Campbell and company are back, however, with a new album, My Maudlin Career, out on 4AD on April 20. The band recorded in Sweden and Campbell has this to say about the results: “Some people who have heard it say it’s intense and quite dark. I suppose it is in a way. We were even more open and brave when making it than we were with the last record. I’ve never been so brutal when its come to writing lyrics. I wouldn’t even call them lyrics. Just documentation of what was going on with me for a while. I truly believe it’s the best we’ve done so far.”

If you head over to their home page, you can exchange your email for a download of the title track, which nicely captures the band’s Spector-twee sound. Camera Obscura will be at SXSW this year, though other US tour dates remain scant.

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Richard Buckner Gets Reissued

Rumors of Richard Buckner‘s retirement from music appear to be somewhat exaggerated. The San Francisco, Alberta, Brooklyn, who-knows-where-he’s-living-now songwriter has a few spring dates lined up and three digital reissues forthcoming on March 10 on the Merge label. The most important is Bloomed, his first album, and one of the best debuts of the ’90s. Produced by Lloyd Maines, it’s a near-flawless collection of songs, the kind of record that you can get lost in for a long time–that is if you love pealing steel guitar and images that sear the air around you. Along with that 1994 album, Merge will be reissuing The Hill, Buckner’s 2000 reading of Edgar Lee Masters’s Spoon River Anthology and also the dense and much overlooked 2002 album Impasse.

Here’s a track from Bloomed. Head over to Merge for two more free downloads.

Gauzy Dress

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Love and Murder: Folk School Benefit at the Sheldon

Among the uncountable reasons that I love living in Maplewood, Missouri is the Folk School of St. Louis. The nonprofit organization teaches and disseminates the traditional folk gospel with soul and class, no pun intended.

This Tuesday, February 9 at 7:30 pm, some of its teachers and fellow travelers will be holding a benefit for the School at the Sheldon Concert Hall. The theme is “Love Songs and Murder Ballads” and the line-up includes the Buckhannon Brothers (old-time, ragtime), Kim & Jim Lansford (old-time/folk), Swing DeVille (western swing, gypsy jazz), Kevin Buckley & Eileen Gannon (trad. Irish), Tom Hall & Charlie Pfeffer (acoustic blues) and Geoff Seitz, Jeff Miller and Jim Nelson (old-time string band).

More info here.

Here’s a Carter Family tune, as reimagined beautifully by Kim and Jim Lansford.

Out in the Cold World

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It’s a Fred Friction Frenzy!

Photo from http://www.flickr.com/photos/prettywarstl

Photo by Tom Lampe (http://www.flickr.com/photos/prettywarstl)

While a recent post by Roy introduced the world to Fred Friction‘s new music venue, Fred’s Six Feet Under, the Riverfront Times recently posted a slideshow that highlights some of the heydays of Frederick’s Music Lounge. The RFT also has a nice interview with Fred by Christian Schaeffer in which he discusses both the new venue and his debut album, Jesus Drank Wine.

If you can’t wait until next week’s Fishin’ With Dynamite to get your Friction fix, just mosey on down to Off Broadway this Saturday for Fred’s CD release party. The shindig will also feature Raphael Maurice, the Dock Ellis Band, Charlie King (of the Asylum Street Spankers) and the always-elusive “special guests.”  Tickets are $5, and the fun gets goin’ at 9 p.m.


Another week, another set of charts! To see more KDHX charts dating back to 2007, visit the KDHX Music Chart archive.


1       A.C. NEWMAN     Get Guilty      Matador
2       ANDREW BIRD     Noble Beast     Fat Possum
3       LADYHAWKE       Ladyhawke       Modular
4       BRUCE SPRINGSTEEN       Working On A Dream      Columbia
5       FRANZ FERDINAND Tonight: Franz Ferdinand        Domino
6       ANTONY AND THE JOHNSONS The Crying Light        Secretly Canadian
7       ANIMAL COLLECTIVE       Merriweather Post Pavilion      Domino
8       BIRD AND THE BEE        Ray Guns Are Not Just The Future        Blue Note
9       D.O.A.  Northern Avenger        Sudden Death
10      VARIOUS ARTISTS Guilt By Association Vol. 2     Engine Room
11      GLASVEGAS       Glasvegas       Columbia
12      MODERN SKIRTS   All Of Us In Our Night  Self-Released
13      ALICE RUSSELL   Pot Of Gold     Six Degrees
14      BPA     I Think We’re Gonna Need A Bigger Boat  Southern Fried
15      LATE OF THE PIER        Fantasy Black Channel   Astralwerks
16      TITUS ANDRONICUS        The Airing Of Grievances        XL
17      THE KNUX        Remind Me In 3 Days     E Pluribus Unum
18      MIRANDA LEE RICHARDS    Light Of X      Nettwerk
19      PAVEMENT        Brighten The Corners    Matador
20      CHAIRLIFT       Does You Inspire You    Kanine
21      SPARKS  Exotic Creatures Of The Deep    LilBeethoven
22      DRAGON FLI EMPIRE       Redefine        Self-Released
23      ROKIA TRAORE    Tchamantche     Nonesuch
24      FUTURE CLOUDS AND RADAR Peoria  The Star Apple Kingdom
25      HEARTLESS BASTARDS      The Mountain    Fat Possum
26      DAVID BYRNE AND BRIAN ENO       Everything That Happens Will Happen
Today   Todo Mundo-Todomundo
27      M. WARD “Never Had Nobody Like You” [Single]    Merge
28      LOS CAMPESINOS! We Are Beautiful, We Are Doomed Arts And Crafts
29      LONGWAVE        Secrets Are Sinister    Self-Released
30      LITTLE BOOTS    Arecibo [EP]

Click below to see the hip hop, RPM, world, jazz and Americana charts.

Read more

Breaking: New album from Scott Miller in April

I have a dozen or so female friends who, at the very mention of the name Scott Miller, instantly float off into dreamy dreamland. Me, I just like his songwriting, especially as found on Thus Always to Tyrants, his best album. The former leader of the V-Roys and Twangfest regular will be out with a new record, For Crying Outloud, on his own F.A.Y. label. The album was built up around a batch of guitar and vocal demos, and along with his regular touring band the Commonwealth, features guest appearances by Patty Griffin and Tim O’Brien. Tour dates for the spring should be announced shortly.

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