Sorry, but it went down to the wire as to whether the band was going to make it or not, but it’s a go! They recorded their set late this afternoon (before thier gig at Off Broadway tonight) and will air just after 11 a.m. Friday, March 12 on the Interstate. The Band of Heathens is an Austin group whose star is rising fast, with their 2009 album One Foot in the Ether hitting #1 on the Americana music charts, as well as one of my personal favorite Top Ten albums of last year. If you miss it, the show will be streaming online at KDHX.org for the next 2 weeks, so check it out!
The Magnolia Avenue Studios of KDHX have been humming with some amazing performers. Just this Fall, White Rabbits, Elvis Perkins in Dearland, Peter Yarrow, Jason Isbell, Lou Barlow, Joe Pug and the Bottle Rockets have all performed live, exclusive sets for 88.1.
And now we’ve got videos — in HD, to be exact.
Check out the KDHX YouTube Channel for recordings of all those artists (and dozens more). Subscribe to the feed or become a friend, and never miss a single upload. There’s lots more video to come.
Richard Buckner is in town for a solo show at the Billiken Club at St. Louis University, and he came down to the Magnolia Avenue Studios today to tape a few songs and chat with Grace of Nomadic Reverie. You can hear the whole performance and interview tonight at 9 p.m. Central on 88.1 FM or streaming live @ KDHX.org.
Check out a video from the session, a lovely song called “Put Up.”
I can’t say that I’ve attended every year, but the Lot Festival, which started up in 1998, is one of my favorite ways to wind down the summer. Sponsored by Metropolis St. Louis (and co-sponsored by KDHX), it’s a low-key, hype-free, locally produced, outdoor concert on the parking lot of the Schlafly Tap Room. It’s free and all ages.
This year there will be booths with art and non-profit organizational folks, local restaurants with food, guest DJs and a solid line-up of Saint Louis bands: Luca Brasi, the Hibernauts, Jon Hardy & the Public, Soulard Blues Band, the Dock Ellis Band, Hazard to Ya Booty, the 75s, and the Blind Eyes.
I’m especially fond of the group that goes on around 9:20 pm, Jon Hardy & the Public, a band that hit my radar in 2007 with the album Working In Love, one of the finest records to come out of Saint Louis since, I dunno, Nellyville. They’ve also become a hellacious live act, with a hard and soulful horn section, keyboards, a deeply grooved rhythm section and Hardy’s street-tough baritone front-and-center. In the band, two southern genres come together–soul and power pop—and then burst apart with emotional songwriting.
Hardy and Co. recently released a four-song EP of Randy Newman songs, which is available for exclusive, free download here, and just cut a cool video for the title song, “Little Criminals.” They’re working on songs for a new record (release date unknown), and were kind enough to stop by the Magnolia Avenue Studios of KDHX to play some music and chat about where things stand.
Below you can listen to a sneak preview, the new song “Worst I Ever Had,” and catch the whole session on 88.1 FM or streaming live @ KDHX.org, this Wednesday morning at 9:00 am CST, on my show Feel Like Going Home. And don’t miss them down at the Lot Festival on Saturday evening.
Jon Hardy & the Public – “Worst I Ever Had” – Live @ KDHX
I guess I was 15 when Scott, my best friend and idol (he was a year older and had the best beer can collection in town), showed me a record he’d just bought with his lawn mowing money: The Blasters. “I don’t know why I bought this,” he said. “It sounds like Sha Na Na.” The album cover was wild, a crazy, sweaty cartoon grimace, and I wanted to hear it. He played it for me, and I remarked that it sounded more like Elvis. Scott let me have it and I still play that album, and it always takes me back to the way rock & roll really, really felt as a kid.
Dave Alvin wasn’t the singer in the Blasters. That was his older brother Phil, but Dave played guitar and was already writing songs that are American classics. Since then Dave has moved in a more songwriterly direction, and if I often miss the rockabilly blues punk, I don’t regret the way his lyrical voice has opened up to harrowing stories like “California Snow” or mysterious portraits like “Everett Ruess.” And he’s still one of the best guitar players you’ll ever have the pleasure of being blown through the back of a club by.
So it was a coup for KDHX to have Dave Alvin and Christy McWilson (formerly of the Picketts) stop by the studio for an unscripted, live-without-a-net acoustic session on the Back Country this past Saturday. The two were in town for a Dave Alvin and the Guilty Women show at the Duck Room. That project finds Dave with a cadre of some of the finest musicians in roots music (Cindy Cashdollar, Amy Farris, Lisa Pankrantz, and Sarah Brown for starters), who also happen to be women. It also finds him having more fun than he has in years.
For the in-studio session, Alvin and McWilson turned to three covers: Kate Wolf’s “Here In California,” Moby Grape’s “805″ and Doris Day’s “Que Sera Sera.” He agreed to video but McWilson, feeling a bit underdressed, preferred the camera steer clear of her. But her voice, as you’ll hear on the videos, is a soulful clarion call.
Scott H. Biram stopped by KDHX on his way into town this afternoon to perform a few songs.
This is “Sinkin’ Down” from his new album, Something’s Wrong / Lost Forever, on Bloodshot Records:
North Carolina Afrobeat band the Afromotive performed live at the Magnolia Avenue Studios this past July, and Ebony Hairston, the KDHX Blog’s newest contributor, was in attendance. Photos by Chabel Caler Jiménez.
“Music is universal. I played with different bands, funk, jazz, mixed bands. Life is a big city and we are a village,” Adama Dembele of the Afromotive explained. Demebele learned the ajembe from his father and has played all his life. He hails from the Ivory Coast and has been traveling with the Afromotive for around two years now.
The sound of this band makes you feel like you just took a vacation to a heavenly riot of drums. Its improvisational wall of sound features guitars, trumpets and keyboards. Coolest people ever; everyone speaks and sings in a multilingual groove. Thank you, or (E-ne-che) for taking time out for the KDHX audience.
The Afromotive – 7/8/09
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On Saturday May 16, KDHX had the pleasure of welcoming to the Magnolia Studios a true guitar virtuoso: David Fiuczynski. Now David may not be a household name to most, but on the underground jazz punk scene he is a legend. The driving force behind the Screaming Headless Torsos, an experimental-free-jazz-punk ensemble from the mid ’90s, “Fuze” has paved the way for spoken-word heavy music. But a different faction (more like the Headless Torsos) visited us on this day.
David is touring behind his newest release, KiF Express, and brought in a trio consisting of Jovol “Bam Bam” Bell on drums and Evan Merian on bass. Both members of the rhythm section are recent grads of the Berklee School of Music in Boston, where David is a professor in the Guitar and Ensemble department. Expectations were very high. They did not disappoint! Jovol made the house kit from the station sound as if it were a custom-made Yamaha or the likes of some big name kit. Using an interesting array of modified cymbals on the heads to create a metallic sound, he caressed the skins in a blaze of fire and sensitivity that was amazing to behold. The crystal-clear, precision bass lines of Merian also made for a lively performance.
All three musicians are among the nicest people anyone could ask to meet. So humble, yet displaying all those monster chops, it’s amazing they even took the time to stop by. It took several hours after the session to finally get the tunes out of my head.
Unfortunately, I had to cover the Grateful Dead Hour, so I was only able to catch the last song of their Gramophone show on May 16. But given the sight of a nearly packed room of sweaty people, I imagine they rocked the house. Speaking with the band afterwards, I learned that they’ll be back later in the summer to bring their unique blend of heavy jazz to the masses. Many thanks to David for taking the time to stop by and share his amazing chops with us. I can’t wait for his return.
Check out the entire live performance late tonight (technically Wednesday morning, 3:45 am CST) on 88.1 FM KDHX’s The Smoking Lounge, listen to the show live on the web, or visit KDHX.org to stream the session after it airs.
And enjoy this sneak preview mp3 of tonight’s exclusive, in-studio performance. Let me know what you think!
“Shiraz” by Screaming Headless Torsos, Live at KDHX: