This Week on KDHX Talk: July 27 – 30

As with most shows during this pledge drive period, the first order of business is the Radio Relief summer membership drive, which will take up quite a bit of the talk air during this week. One show, however, is dedicating a chunk of programming to a guest, and here’s that info:

Post-Dispatch columnist Bill McClellan visits Collateral Damage at 7 p.m. Monday July 27 to share his take on local media, politics, and the rest of the current STL scene.

Discovery: The Layaways

No one would accuse the Layaways of being original, but no one would be right to say they’re strictly derivative. The Velvet Underground and its prime apostle, Yo La Tengo (but only at YLT’s most song-based) echo through the fuzz and chime of a lovely little song like “Come Back Home,” but the casual harmonies take the tune some place else, maybe to Nuggets-land, maybe to a miniaturist Oasis, maybe to some place where reference is no longer necessary.

So, the Chicago trio of Nathan Burleson Mike Porter and David Harrell make modest, moving, refreshingly un-mentalist guitar pop that if they had mod-pretensions would have the Yellow Pills anglophilic faction hooked and strung out. As it stands, they use the internets brilliantly (no surprise, as Harrell is a longtime blogger at Digital Audio Insider). All of their albums are available for free download at their web home, and they tweet and Myspace and Jango and effectively, but unobtrusively.

Discover the Layaways for yourself.

“Come Back Home”

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KDHX Youth Education In Focus

It’s been a busy summer for creative youth around Saint Louis! More than 40 teenagers have spent a large part of their summer writing scripts, learning to operate cameras, holding boom mics, creating original music, and editing in Final Cut Express on KDHX’s MacBooks. Three camps were held during June and July in conjunction with Saint Louis County Library at Natural Bridge, Florissant Valley and Cliff Cave branches. Teens brainstormed and created PSA’s for the library, as well as video book trailers for Judy Blume’s Fudge series, Twilight, and Harry Potter. Jakobi, 15, said he participated because he wanted to learn more about filmmaking. He thought the PSA was the most fun because they laughed and had a good time while they were filming. Check it out to see why eating fried chicken isn’t appropriate in a library.

Florissant Valley Library Youth PSA

While those teens were creating PSA’s and book trailers, a group of 16 teens were working in Mid-town to document summer apprentices in Saint Louis Artworks programs. For 6 weeks during the summer, high-school students are selected as apprentices and paid to learn about a form of art and produce a commission, such as a bike rack for Forest Park, a dance performance, or a raku ceramic mural for health offices. Where else can you create art, learn from professionals AND get paid to do it, especially when you’re 16? KDHX apprentices have learned about photography, video production and the practice of documentation. Their work culminates Thursday, July 23 in a public performance, open house, and sale of their photography at the Commerce Bank Education Center on Kingshighway (free and open to the public). It’s stunning what these kids have learned in such a short period of time. A KDHX apprentice took the water photo below. If you get a chance, take a look at what these teens are creating; they’re making KDHX proud.


Written by Allison Trombley.

Doc Challenge Film Nominated for Emmy + More KDHX Film News

Believe it or not, but a Doc Challenge film has been nominated for an Emmy! Ars Magna, made as part of the 2008 International Documentary Challenge, has received a nomination in the 30th Annual News & Documentary Emmy® Awards, announced July 14 by the National Academy of Television Arts & Sciences (NATAS). The film, directed by Cory Kelley and produced by Sean Roach of Team Juicebox in Seattle, qualified for the Emmy’s by receiving a national broadcast on PBS’ POV series, a presenting partner of the Doc Challenge.

About the film: Ars Magna, which means “great art” in Latin, is an anagram of the word “anagrams.” Enter into the obsessive and fascinating world of anagrams with Cory Calhoun, who took the first three lines of Hamlet’s “To Be or Not to Be” soliloquy and made them into what’s been called the “world’s greatest anagram.” View the film at:

Congratulations to Cory, Sean and all of Team Juicebox — what an accomplishment for a film made in 5 days!
Read more

A Phat New Release from Fattback

At Off Broadway on July 31st, Fattback premieres its second official CD, Canary, at a release party. The group from the wrong side of the tracks has put together a collection of tight, powerful, growling rock songs that will take you by surprise. This is not your mother’s Fattback. This version is mature and polished — if you dare to associate those words with these Saint Louis rockers. Known primarily as a party band, given to silly lyrics and dance anthems of a southern grunge nature, the members of Fattback have begun to stretch out and show their chops.

From the opener “No Account,” you are immediately awash in swirling guitars that make you hold your breath. “Sorry” has a vibe that will make you remember the days of lying in your room with headphones on, hiding out as you wait to sneak off to a show. The musicianship on this recording is worth noting. Dave Haggerty and Sean Dalmeyer create the sonic bed of guitars. Mike Apperson’s in-the-pocket bass lines compliment the rock-steady thunder of John Joern on drums. Grady Briedenbachs keys weave a texture that fills the spaces with pure power. No longer are there any glitches in sound: This is serious music. Having followed this band from its earliest stages, I find Canary to be one of the finest locally released discs I have ever put in my player. The production quality is near perfection. Their first release (Briefly a Zombie, 2007) had high expectations and had many great tunes, but missed the mark sonically. The boys have a real winner with this issue; the album will stand up against anything dropping nationally right now. The music business has lost sight (or hearing) of this kind of recording. What Fattback has done is harness soul and emotion in a harder rock model and made that soul accessible through a variety of genres. After hearing this recording I am already waiting for the next one. Canary was definitely worth the wait.

This Week on KDHX Talk: July 13 – 16

Late in getting this one up; less than two hours until the first show we’re plugging. A good opportunity, then, to note that the KDHX talk shows stream for four weeks after originally airing. Catch up on some today!

Collateral Damage, 7:00 p.m., Monday, July 13: Shane Cohn, the newly elected 29-year-old alderman from the 25th ward representing Dutchtown and Carondelet, stops by Collateral Damage to talk about the incoming new energy on the city’s board of aldermen. Cohn became the city’s first openly gay alderman by winning 46 percent of the vote in a four-way election to replace City Hall veteran Dorothy Kirner who decided not to run for re-election. Dorothy Kirner had replaced her late husband Dan as 25th Ward alderman in 2004. Cohn is the city’s second-youngest alderman, less than a year older than Kacie Starr Triplett, the alderwoman of the 6th Ward. He has stated his priorities are neighborhood safety, youth engagement and development.

Topic A, 7:30 p.m., Monday, July 13: July’s theme continues on Topic A: “The Life Creative”; folks of all stripes are getting down with DIY, whether knitting scarves for charity, planting victory gardens to avoid corporate food conglomerates or self-publishing conspiracy theories while wearing the tinfoil hats. What’s behind our impulse to make stuff, to do stuff, to get more self-reliant and creative? We’ll talk about it all month with a variety of voices.

Monday, July 13, we’re joined by Washington University professor Dr. R. Keith Sawyer, whose work in the fields of creativity and collaboration are informed, in part, by his own backgrounds in improv theater and jazz piano. He’s made some scientific studies of the seemingly unscientific nature of creativity, and has plenty of myths to explode. Think you’re not creative? Or think you are? Tune in and find out if you’re right!

Literature for the Halibut, 7:00 p.m., Thursday, July 16: tune into literature for the halibut for 2 thursdays in july when our featured writer is Flannery O’Connor. on july 2, you’ll hear Janie Ibur & Ann Haubrich read one of the celebrated southern writer’s mordantly funny short stories. and on july 16, tune into an interview with Brad Gooch, author of the first full length biography of our dear Flann. Gooch’s book “Flannery: A LIfe of Flannery O’Connor” recounts plenty of anecdotes from Flann’s life, as Gooch followed the trajectory of O’Connor’s life from Savannah, Georgia, to the Iowa Writers Workshop, Yaddo Artists Colony in upstate NY, Lourdes, and Andalusia. It’s a Flannery Fest! with violence & humor, sin & god, language both spare & vivid.

Discovery: Angel Olsen

Chalk this one up to Grace and Nomadic Reverie. I never would have heard of Angel Olsen were it not for the in-studio session at KDHX set up by Grace (a session you can hear in its entirety tonight at 9:00 pm CST on 88.1, streaming live at and also streaming thereafter). Olsen is young, all of 22, a Saint Louis native, recently moved to Chicago. She has a record but you’ll never find it, unless you Myspace her. Her songs are confessional and communal, getting the balance just right. She sings with a high, rich, jazz-estranged voice, distant from the grade-school affectation that is the fashion of too many young female (and male) indie folk troubadours. My only regret is that she didn’t bring her accordion.

Here’s an mp3 and a Flip video from the session.

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This Week on KDHX Talk: July 6-9

Each week, we’ll round up the guests and discussions feature on KDHX talk shows. Or at least those shows that send along notes! We’ll kick things off with info about this week’s Topic A. Look for more blurbs next week.

Monday, July 6 on Topic A, 7:30 p.m.: Tonight we kick off a month of conversations on “The Life Creative” — folks of all stripes are getting down with DIY, whether knitting scarves for charity, planting victory gardens to avoid corporate food conglomerates or self-publishing conspiracy theories while wearing the tinfoil hats. What’s behind our impulse to make stuff, to do stuff, to get more self-reliant and creative? We’ll talk about it all month with a variety of voices. Tonight’s guest is Faythe Levine, author and film director of the book/documentary movie project “Handmade Nation: The Rise of DIY, Art, Craft and Design.” We’ll talk about her 19,000-mile journey to document the resurgence of indie craft and its implications for sustainability and subverting traditional capitalism… and the movement’s limitations.

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