Author Archives: bcbrown

Dec. 14 – A Soulful Christmas (610)

Maybe this Christmas will mean something more
Maybe this year love will appear
Deeper than ever before 

And maybe forgiveness will ask us to call
Someone we love
Someone we’ve lost
For reasons we can’t quite recall
Maybe this Christmas
              –  Ron Sexsmith

For six years, Great River Radio has brought you an eclectic set of holiday songs as our last show of the semester and incredibly, that day has already arrived again.  Brian and Dan have spent the last few weeks gathering new and old and different songs for this show, and it is a labor of love, our holiday gift to you.

We’ve put together a list with some surprises, some songs that will warm your heart and make you smile, some that will make you think, and some that will make you sing.  This year we’ve got a beautiful and short (one minute) cover of “Christmas Don’t Be Late” for you boomers who loved the Chipmunks – you don’t want to miss this one, especially if a hula hoop is on your Christmas list.  You’ll hear Ron Sexsmith doing “Maybe This Christmas”, which will be answered by Meiko’s “Maybe Next Year.”   We’ll have soulful music from Solomon Burke, James Brown, The Flirtations, Donnie Hathaway, Lee Rogers and the Staple Singers, folksy music from Alison Rae and the Weepies, raucous music from the Ramones.   We’ve got some brand new songs, including a Mike Doughty/Rosanne Cash collaboration.  And of course, we’ll have the necessary reality-based Christmas tunes from John Prine and Robert Earl Keen.  Hey, Christmas isn’t always fluffy snow and white lights!

GRR fans, this is going to be a good one!  Whether you are preparing your final papers, or preparing to grade those final papers, baking cookies, doing your online shopping, or just procrastinating all those things, today’s playlist will work for you, we guarantee it.

Please join us today from 4:15-5:45 p.m. for this year’s Great River Radio holiday extravaganza.

The Details:
Great River Radio – Wednesdays 4:15-5:45 p.m.
Catch the live stream: http://www.stthomas.edu/ustclubs/kust/KUSTLive.html
Web/Listen Later: https://greatriverradio.wordpress.com
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/GreatRiverRadio
iChat/AIM: kustradio

Brian & Dan

Playlist
Merry Christmas (I Don’t Want to Fight Tonight)-The Ramones
Christmas Must Be Tonight-Robbie Robertson
Christmas Don’t Be Late-Hurricane Bells
Holiday (What Do You Want ?)-Mike Doughty/Rosanne Cash
December-Alison Rae
Blue Christmas-Roma Di Luna
Walking in the Air-The New Standards/Chris Koza
Christmas Time Is Here Again-The Flirtations
This Christmas-Donnie Hathaway
Maybe This Christmas-Ron Sexsmith
Why Can’t It Be Christmas All Year-Rosie Thomas
You Won’t Have to Wait Till Christmas-Lee Rogers
Presents for Christmas-Solomon Burke
The Last Month of the Year-Staple Singers
Merry Christmas from the Family-Robert Earl Keen, Jr.
Rudy-The Be Good Tanyas
Christmas in Prison-John Prine
Maybe Next Year-Meiko
Christmas Wrapping-Summer Camp
Happy Xmas-Vanessa Carlton
The Day After Christmas-Kate Miller-Heidke
Soulful Christmas-James Brown
Merry Christmas Darling-The Carpenters
Black Christmas-Harlem Children’s Chorus
All That I Want-The Weepies

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Dec. 7 – Best of 2011 (609)

 

 

Best [best] adjective, superl. of good with better as compar.
1. of the highest quality, excellence, or standing: the best work;
2. most advantageous, suitable, or desirable: the best way.
3. largest; most: the best part of a day.

It’s that time of year again – time to dig out the 1987 red roll-neck sweater you vow to replace every Christmas. Time to brave the shopping masses and dust off your cocktail party vernacular. Time to welcome home friends and family from far and near. And time to indulge in one of our favorite pastimes – browsing through dozens of “Best of” lists to see if our lives might still be relevant.

The Great River Radio staff has been sifting through another year of new releases, ticket stubs and playlists to bring our own twist to the Best of 2011 lists. Be sure to listen today from 4:15-5:45 p.m. CST to hear insightful commentary and select cuts from the lists below. So, strap it on, lock it in and let’s get to work.

Best Live Show
Dan: St. Vincent
Brian: St. Vincent @The Walker, Lucero in Alaska,  My Morning Jacket @Rock the Garden, @Cloud Cult @St. Thomas

Most Disappointing Release
Dan:
Brian: Bjork, Death Cab for Cutie, Rachael Yamagata

Unexpectedly Strong Releases
Dan:
Brian: Wilco, Ryan Adams, Joe Henry

Trends in 2011
Drumming and too many bands with the word “Black” in the title – Black Box Revelation, Black Lips, Black Kids, Black Rebel Motorcycle Club, Black Moth Super Rainbow, Black Eyed Peas, Sounds of Blackness. Only one band matters in the club: The Black Keys

Best Artists You Didn’t Know About Before This Year
Dan: Other Lives
Brian: Gary Clark Jr, Ólafur Arnalds, Alabama Shakes

Best New Artists (First or Second Release)
Dan: The Civil Wars
Brian: Lana Del Rey, The Weeknd, tUnE-yArDs

Best Young/Neo/Retro Artists
Dan: Alabama Shakes
Brian: Raphael Saadiq, Alabama Shakes

Best Local CDs
Dan: Haley Bonar – “Golder” and 4ontheFloor – “4×4”
Brian: Howler – “This One’s Different EP” and Low – “C’Mon”

Best Albums of 2011

Dan (Alpha Order):
Black Keys – “El Camino
”Haley Bonar – “Golder”
Bon Iver – “Bon Iver”
The Civil Wars – “Barton Hollow”
Dawes – “Nothing Is Wrong”
The Head and the Heart – “The Head and the Heart”
Amos Lee – “Mission Bell”
Lykke Li – “Wounded Rhymes”
Low – “C’mon”
Other Lives – “Tamer Animals”
Over the Rhine – “The Long Surrender”
Paul Simon – “So Beautiful or So What”
St. Vincent – “Strange Mercy”
Tom Waits – “Bad As Me”
Gillian Welch – “The Harrow and the Harvest”
Lucinda Williams – “Blessed”

Brian (top to bottom):
1) Bon Iver – “Bon Iver”
2) Black Keys – “El Camino”
3) PJ Harvey – “Let England Shake”
4) St. Vincent – “Strange Mercy”
5) Washed Out – “Within and Without”
6) Ryan Adams –  “Ashes & Fire”
7) Joe Henry – “Reverie”
8)Girls – “Father, Son, Holy Ghost”
9) Wilco – “The Whole Love”
10) Radiohead – “The King Of Limbs”
11) Low – “C’mon”
12) M83 – “Hurry Up, We’re Dreaming”
13) Tom Waits – “Bad As Me”
14) tUnE-YarDs – “W H O K I L L”
15) Wild Flag – “Wild Flag”
16) Raphael Saadiq – “Stone Rollin’”

The Details:
Great River Radio – Wednesdays 4:15-5:45 p.m.
Catch the live stream: http://www.stthomas.edu/ustclubs/kust/KUSTLive.html
Web/Listen Later: https://greatriverradio.wordpress.com
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/GreatRiverRadio
iChat/AIM: kustradio

Brian & Dan

Playlist
Lost In My Mind-The Head and the Heart
Holocene-Bon Iver
Let England Shake-P J Harvey
Dust Bowl III-Other Lives
Seeing Black-Lucinda Williams
Rich Kids Blues-Lykke Li
Cheerleader-St. Vincent
Lucky Now-Ryan Adams
The World and All I Know-Joe Henry
Whole Love-Wilco
Kid October-Haley Bonar
Especially Me-Low
If I Wanted Someone-Dawes
Infamous Love Song-Over The Rhine
Honey Bunny-Girls
Lotus Flower-Radiohead
Eyes Be Closed-Washed Out

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Nov. 30 – Lonely in a Crowd (608)

You’re not alone
I’m with you, I’m lonely too
What’s that song
Can’t be sung by two?
            Jeff Tweedy

After our short Thanksgiving weekend break, Great River Radio will be back in the studio this afternoon.  Whether you spent your last weekend in line during the wee hours of the morning waiting for your favorite retailer to open its doors, or were hiding from Black Friday in the woods, we think that today’s program will help get you ready for the crazy weeks ahead.

As many of you know, we almost always plan this show separately and then bring it together on Wednesday, often mixing the order on the fly in the studio.  What we’ve noticed is how often our playlists work so well together, and sometimes, like today, are as coordinated as if we’d worked all weekend to plan it that way.  Neither of us is sure how that happens.  It is apparently just Great River Radio magic.

Today GRR will include a wonderful mix of artists, from Mavis Staples (doing the Jeff Tweedy song quoted above) proclaiming that you are not alone, an answer, perhaps, to “Lonely Boy”, music from the upcoming Black Keys album.  In fact, there will be a wonderful set on the whole idea of loneliness and crowds.  We’ll also have a new song from Ingrid MIchaelson’s January release which fits nicely with that theme – “Ghost.”  If you are fond of Bon Iver (who some say released the best album of 2010) you’ll want to hear “Real Slow” from Megafaun, his former bandmates from Chippewa Falls, Wisconsin.

Dan’s treat this week:  “John Lee Hooker for President”, a new track from the legendary Ry Cooder, which you have to hear to believe.  All this and a Ryan Adams/Laura Marling duet, something from Belgian singer/songwriter Selah Sue, Lissie’s wonderful cover of the Nick Cave tune “The Ship Song” and more.  It will be a wonderful show, I can just feel it in my bones.

Don’t let us be lonely!  Please join us today from 4:15-5:45 p.m. for another episode of Great River Radio.

Brian & Dan

Details:

Great River Radio – Wednesdays 4:15-5:45 p.m.
Catch the live stream
Web/Listen Later
Facebook
iChat/AIM: kustradio

Playlist
Mississippi-Ray Bonneville
Ghost-Ingrid Michaelson
Oh My Sweet Carolina-Ryan Adams and Laura Marling
Miles On A Car-Rachael Yamagata
This World-Selah Sue
Real Slow-Megafaun
John Lee Hooker For President-Ry Cooder
If Ever I Stray-Frank Turner
Try to Sleep-Low
Odetta-Joe Henry
Stone Rollin’-Raphael Saadiq
Lonely Boy-The Black Keys
I Found You-Alabama Shakes
You Are Not Alone-Mavis Staples
Back In The Crowd-Tom Waits
Bright Lights-Gary Clark Jr.
The Ship Song-Lissie
Here To Stay-Milagres

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Nov. 16 – Protest Songs (607)

“There is the idea that a pop star has no right to voice their opinion.
But I was a person before I was a pop star,
and I’m due my opinion as much as anyone.”

–  Michael Stipe (R.E.M.)

For as long as there have been wars and civil injustices, there are have been artists giving voice to the powerless. Protest songs have been a well-documented and crucial part of our social dialogue and cultural fabric since as far back as the 1381 English Peasant Revolt. Since then, protest songs have taken many forms: Irish Rebel Songs, Algerian Rai, field hollers, Anti-apartheid anthems, Vietnam folk and rock music, 1960s civil rights ballads and Post-9/11 laments, to name a few. Even today, we have artists such as Pete Seeger, Tom Morello, Michael Franti, Jay-Z, Kayne West and Jeff Mangum visiting Occupy Wall Street sites across the country.

But protest songs have an inconsistent history. Some have been effective agents for change. Others have been labeled propaganda, fascist/socialists/hippie tripe, utopian or a reason for treason. Some have incited violence and hatred (Dixie Chicks, anyone?). And many others – well well-intentioned – have just been bad music.

It’s our semiannual Social Justice Awareness Week (SJAW) here again at KUST, and Great River Radio will be taking a listen to protest songs throughout history. What makes an effective protest song? Can a song be a protest song without deliberately saying as much? We’ll look into this when we play protest songs from some of our favorite artists (Bob Dylan, Neil Young, Woody Guthrie, Pete Seeger, Tom Waits Arcade Fire, R.E.M., Bruce Cockburn, Jeff Mangum, Tom Morello, Bruce Springsteen, Radiohead, U2, Bright Eyes, The Staple Singers and Steve Earle). We’ll also play a few songs that might surprise you as protest songs. And finally, we’ll have a candid discussion about the current state of protest songs.

Please join us today from 4:15-5:45 p.m. for another informative and entertaining SJAW show from Great River Radio.

Details:
Great River Radio – Wednesdays 4:15-5:45 p.m.
Catch the live stream
Web/Listen Later
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iChat/AIM: kustradio

Brian and Dan

Playlist
This Land Is Your Land- Pete Seeger, Doc Watson, Sweet Honey In The Rock
How Can A Poor Man Stand Such Time and Live-Bruce Springsteen
Ohio-Crosby Stills Nash  & Young
Let’s Impeach The President-Neil Young
When The President Talks To God-Bright Eyes
If I Had A Rocket Launcher-Bruce Cockburn
Talkin’ Bout A Revolution-Tracy Chapman
Final Straw-REM
Sunday Bloody Sunday-U2
Masters of War-The Staples Singers
Rich Man’s War-Steve Earle
Day After Tomorrow-Tom Waits
We Are The Many-Makana
Suburban War-Arcade Fire
Yell Fire!-Michael Franti & Spearhead
We Stand As One-Joseph Arthur

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Nov. 2 – 1968 (605)

 

Early morning, April 4
Shot rings out in the Memphis sky
Free at last, they took your life
They could not take your pride
              “Pride (In The Name of Love)” – U2

The year 1968 was a turbulent one in America’s history. The Vietnam War staggered on – with the My Lai Massacre and Tet Offensive abroad and increasingly violent protests at home. We had The Poor People’s Campaign March on Washington, D.C., a Zodiac killer in California and a Black Power salute in Mexico City. And sadly, we had the assassinations of two great civil rights leaders – Robert F. Kennedy and Martin Luther King Jr. The Minnesota History Center debuted the national “The 1968 Exhibit” in October – offering a comprehensive and fascinating view of one remarkable year. Great River Radio recommends taking an informative field trip during a cold winter’s day to catch the exhibit before it closes in February 2012.

So why do we mention 1968? Well, it also happens to be an notable year for music. We heard “Hey Jude” for the first time, got to know “Mrs. Robinson” a little bit better, and Marvin Gaye gave us a lesson on rumors and broken hearts long before Facebook with “I heard It Through The Grapevine.”  We’re going to take a little dip into 1968 nostalgia today, with tracks by Laura Nyro, Janis Joplin, John Mayall and The Band.

We’ll also have some incredible new music by Rachael Yamagata, The Black Keys (!), Beirut, M83, Wilco, Alabama Shakes, Shelby Lynne and Deer Tick.

Join us for another Great River Radio show today at 4:15–5:45p.

Details:

Great River Radio – Wednesdays 4:15-5:45 p.m.
Catch the live stream
Web/Listen Later
Facebook
iChat/AIM: kustradio

Brian & Dan

Playlist
River-Lights
I Found You-Alabama Shakes
Lonely Boy-The Black Keys
Most Likely You Go Your Way (I’ll Go Mine) (Mark Ronson Remix)-Bob Dylan
Heaven’s Only Days Down The Road-Shelby Lynne
Passenger-Lisa Hannigan
The Ship Song-Lissie
Whole Love-Wilco
Raindrops On The Kitchen Floor-Mason Jennings
Astronaut-Blitzen Trapper
Eli’s Comin’-Laura Nyro
Combination of the Two-Big Brother and the Holding Company
Chest Fever-The Band
Miles On A Car-Rachael Yamagata
Goshen-Beirut
Midnight City-M83
Here To Stay-Milagres
Miss K.-Deer Tick
Crystalline-Bjork

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Oct. 26 – Lucky Now (604)

I don’t remember were we wild and young
All that’s faded into memory
I feel like somebody I don’t know
Are we really who we used to be
Am I really who I was
               Lucky Now (Ryan Adams)

Ryan Adam’s is now about 36, but it is never too early to start reminiscing about being wild and young, is it?  In fact, Adams has been very prolific and has had lots of experiences as a musician, including a fairly long absence from music as he coped with hearing loss and dizziness as a result of Meniere’s disease.  So he can reminisce.

We’re going to reminisce a bit, too.  Brian just finished “Life” – Keith Richard’s recent sprawling autobiography and that has made us think of the Rolling Stones.  We’ll be taking a look back at their music and some newer interpretations of their music, including from Ryan Adams himself.

We’ll also give you a taste of the new Tom Wait’s cd – his first set of new songs since 2004.  As the NYT said this weekend, “Mr. Waits is acclaimed as an American marvel: a songwriter who can be smart and primal, raucous and meticulous, ethereal and earthy, bleak and comical…”  We’re going to hear “Last Leaf” from this record which was released last week.

Tune in for music from a hot and energetic young band from Alabama, the Alabama Shakes, along with Lana Del Rey, M83, Shelby Lynne (playing the Dakota tomorrow night), Laura Marling (credited by Ryan Adams as inspiring his return to songwriting), Dessa and others.

Whether you listen live today or to the archived edition, we look forward to doing this show for you this afternoon!

Details:
Great River Radio – Wednesdays 4:15-5:45 p.m.
Catch the live stream
Web/Listen Later
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iChat/AIM: kustradio

Brian & Dan

Playlist
Helpless-Arcade Fire and Neil Young
Medicine Bow-Peter Ostroushko
Little Red Rooster-The Rolling Stones
Some Girls-The Rolling Stones
Best of Burden-Wild Flag
Brown Sugar-Ryan Adams
Last Leaf-Tom Waits
Revelation Road-Shelby Lynne
Sophia-Laura Marling
The Beekeeper-Dessa
Lucky Now-Ryan Adams
Hold On-Alabama Shakes
Don’t Owe You A Thang-Gary Clark Jr.
For 12-Other Lives
Fixed-Stars
Persuasion-Richard Thompson and Teddy Thompson
Video Games-Lana Del Rey
Wait-M83

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Oct. 19 – California Stars (603)

I’d like to dream
My troubles all away
On a bed of California stars

Jump up from my star-bed
Make another day
Underneath my California stars
They hang like grapes

On vines that shine
And warm the lovers’ glass
Like friendly wine

So I’d give this world
Just to dream a dream with you
On our bed of California stars
 – “California Stars” – Woody Guthrie/Wilco

Like ships passing through the night, I’ll be taking over for Dan in the studio this week. As many of you know, Meghan and I had an opportunity to take a little vacation to wine country/San Francisco to celebrate our anniversary. California is indeed a land of contrasts. Rolling, grapevine-lined hills slowly merge into the Pacific before the sea water gives way to brilliant sunsets. But inland, massive cities bustle and brine in a mix of financial districts, locale flavors, homeless neighbors and high art. It’s no wonder California is often the songwriter’s muse.

What’s your favorite California-inspired song? Today on Great River Radio, I’ll play a few of mine, including tracks from Semisonic, Warren Zevon, Rufus Wainwright, R.E.M., Wilco and Dawes. I may even take a request or two. I also had a chance to listen to some great new music on the trip, so expect to hear a few tunes from Ryan Adams, Marketa Irglova, Gary Clark Jr, Kathleen Edwards, Beirut, Wild Flag and Mates of State.

Details:
Great River Radio – Wednesdays 4:15-5:45 p.m.
Catch the live stream
Web/Listen Later
Facebook
iChat/AIM: kustradio

Playlist
Invisible Riverside-Ryan Adams
California-Semisonic
California-Rufus Wainwright
California Stars-Billy Bragg & Wilco
I Remember California-REM
Time Spent in Los Angeles-Dawes
Desperado Under the Eaves-Warren Zevon
California-Low
How Come You Never Go There-Feist
At Least I Have You-Mates of State
State/Meant-Megafaun
Now You Know-Marketa Irglova
Don’t Owe You A Thang-Gary Clark Jr
Goshen-Beirut
Change the Sheets-Kathleen Edwards
Dixon’s Girl-Dessa
Romance-Wild Flag

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