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April 13 – Get Yer Fresh Music

Tuesdays don’t always have a very good reputation – the fun of the weekend past is fading and the coming weekend seems to be far away. The day does have one saving grace, though – it is the day that new music is released. The advent of digital music has relieved many of us (but not all – Paul) of the need to run over to the nearest record shop to grab a new CD at lunchtime on Tuesday, though we bet some of you check the iTunes store before you go to work on Tuesday mornings. Producing Great River Radio on Wednesdays allows us to add a lot of very new, less than 24 hours old, music on our playlist.

We’ve got fresh music this week, just picked in fact. We’ll have new songs from Pains of Being Pure at Heart, The Weeknd, Alison Krauss, Panda Bear, Seattle’s Shelby Earl, Canadians Ron Sexsmith and Robbie Robertson, British indie rockers Art Brut, and a special two-fer from San Diego’s own Dirty Gold and TV Girl.

In addition to liking fresh music, we like locally grown – we are musical localvores.  Yesterday, Low and Haley Bonar both released new records which have been highly anticipated. Haley was just called one of Minnesota’s best unsigned artists and Low’s song “Silver Rider” was one of the highlights of Robert Plant’s show last night at the State Theater.

Finally, to note this weekend’s String Theory Music Festival which will be taking place at several venues around the Twin Cities and will feature many local artists as well as visiting acts, we’ll have music from Owen Pallet (formerly known as Final Fantasy). He’s one of the artists who has helped to bring the violin back into popular music.

Yes, it is a busy week in the Twin Cities, but we invite you to take 90 minutes to spend with us as we play songs and chat about them during this week’s Great River Radio.

Peace.

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
Everyone Belongs to Someone-Shelby Earl
Our Hearts Are Wrong-Jessica Lee Mayfield
Heart In Your Heartbreak-Pains of Being Pure At Heart
Scandal At The Parkade-Owen Pallett
Surfer’s Hymn-Panda Bear
Try To Sleep-Low
Wave Of Mutilation-Pixies
The Words That Maketh Murder-P J Harvey
Silver Zephyrs-Haley Bonar
Great Escape-Sister Hazel
Barton Hollow-The Civil Wars
So What-Jeremy Taylor
Love Shines-Ron Sexsmith
Lost Weekend-Art Brut
My Opening Farewell-Alison Krauss and Union Station
He Don’t Live Here Anymore-Robbie Robertson
Bob Dylan’s Dream (Live at Brandeis University, 1963)-Bob Dylan
High For This-The Weeknd
On Land (TV Girl Cover)-Dirty Gold
Overboard (Dirty Gold Cover)-TV Girl
Statesville-Lucy Wainwright Roche

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March 30 – Women. World. Music.


As we come marching, marching in the beauty of the day,
A million darkened kitchens, a thousand mill lofts gray,
Are touched with all the radiance that a sudden sun discloses,
For the people hear us singing: “Bread and roses! Bread and roses!”
As we come marching, marching, we battle too for men,
For they are women’s children, and we mother them again.
Our lives shall not be sweated from birth until life closes;
Hearts starve as well as bodies; give us bread, but give us roses!
– James Oppenheim

In March of 1911, a fire at the Triangle Shirtwaist Company in New York City took the lives of 146 women garment workers who were unable to escape the building because managers had locked the doors to the stairs and exits.  The tragedy, one of the worst industrial accidents in U.S. history, lead to new safety standards, legislation and unions which advocated on behalf of workers, and women’s rights.  A few days before the fire, International Women’s Day had been celebrated in a few European countries where more than a million women and men attended IWD rallies to campaign for women’s rights to work, vote, be educated and elected.  The Triangle disaster made International Womens’ Day a truly global phenomenon. James Oppenheim’s poem became a rallying cry for the women’s movement.

This year, we celebrated the 100th anniversary of IWD and today on Great River Radio we join the party by taking a global tour of music by women, covering our favorite artists from Africa, the Caribbean, the British Isles, Scandinavia, continental Europe, Canada and Australia.  You’ll hear great songs by Miriam Makeba, Angelique Kidjo, Lykke Li, Ane Brun,  PJ Harvey, Feist, Portishead and even the Ensemble of the Bulgarian Republic.

Help GRR celebrate the achievements of women during the last 100 years with song today!

Join us at 4:15 p.m. (CST) today for Great River Radio.

Peace.

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
Tsiaro-Tarika Sammy
Pata Pata-Miriam Makeba
Battu-Angelique Kidjo
Veinte Anos-Buena Vista Social Club
Samba Da Bencao-Bebel Gilberto
Unissons Nous-Amadou & Miriam
Paper Planes-M.I.A.
Sprawl II-Arcade Fire
The Treehouse Song-Ane Brun
When I Grow Up-First Aid Kit
Rich Kids Blues-Lykke Li
And Now-jj
Venus As A Boy-Bjork
This Is The Life-Amy McDonald
Hold On-KT Tunstall
Sour Times-Portishead
Good Fortune-PJ Harvey
Just Like A Woman-Charlotte Gainsbourg and Calexico
Polegna E Todora-Ensemble of The Bulgarian Republic
I Feel It All-Feist
Breathe-Sia

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Dec. 1 – Favorite Albums of 2010

A quick Google search with the words “Best of 2010” returns a mere 2,720,000,000 results.

In a world where the once-rare “overshare” of personal experiences, opinions and preferences has become the norm (think Brittney, Wikileaks, Facebook and TMZ), we are now saturated with minutiae. Do you really care about your coworker’s “Top 10 Green Teas for Autumn” list? Or your cousin’s ongoing quest to order and eat every Applebee’s entrée in a calendar year?

For those who willingly contribute such intimate details to the collective conscious of public discourse through blogs, Twitter, Facebook and online forums, the motivation is simple. Documenting these once private details helps us to both define who we think we are, and how we would like others to see us. But what about those of us who readily consume this information? Why do we care about another “Year’s Best” list? And perhaps more perplexing, why can’t we stop ourselves from reading these lists?

Part of the allure is the ease in which we can take in the information. Our motivation as a consumer/audience is likely similar to the contributor’s intent – to help define our tastes, to compare desires and interests with our peers, and perhaps find a new source of material for our own lists and “must have” suggestions.

Where does that leave us today? For each of the last five years, the Great River Radio staff has welcomed the chill of December in Minnesota with great anticipation. Of course, we look forward to spending time with family and loved ones, celebrating religious rites and traditions, and even seeking solitude in these busy times. But the turn toward winter also brings two of our favorite annual radio shows of the year – the holiday music show and the “Best of” show. Today on Great River Radio we will offer our contribution to the year-end list … with a twist. Instead of adding to the meaningless cesspool of “Best Of” entries,  we will offer something far more subjective – our “Favorite Albums of 2010.” Feel free to take in the music as just another year-end list or send us your suggestion for favorite albums we may have missed (or purposely omitted). That way we can skip the music monologue and start a dialogue.

Tune in from 4:15-5:45 p.m. today and you’ll hear one of Great River Radio’s most anticipated shows as we play selected tracks & MP3s from our ”Favorite Albums of 2010” list:

Playlist
Wide River to Cross-Carrie Rodriguez  Love and Circumstance
National Ransom-Elvis Costello  National Ransom
Angela Surf City-The Walkmen  Lisbon
And Now-JJ  N° 3
The High Road-Broken Bells  Broken Bells
Rhinestone Eyes-Gorillaz  Plastic Beach
The Dreamer-The Tallest Man On Earth  Sometimes The Blues Are Just A Passing Bird
Runaway-The National  High Violet
From Above-Nick Hornby/BenFolds  Lonely Avenue
City of Night-Bruce Springsteen  The Promise
Dillinger Eyes-Jeremy Messersmith  The Reluctant Graveyard
You’ll Be Bright-Cloud Cult  Light Chasers
The Sweet Part of the City-The Hold Steady  Heaven Is Whenever
We Used to Ride-Arcade Fire  The Suburbs
Futile Devices-Sufjan Stevens  The Age of Adz
He Would Have Laughed-Deerhunter  Halcyon Digest
Someone’s Gonna Rescue You-Neil Young  LeNoise
Surely-Black Dub  Black Dub
Airplanes-Local Natives  Gorilla Manor
Sweet Talk Sweet Talk-The New Pornographers  Together

What did we miss? Send us a note and let us know!

Tune in today – to listen for pleasure or to compare.

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

Peace,

Brian & Dan

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Nov. 17 – New for Winter

Some guys they just give up living
And start dying little by little, piece by piece
Some guys come home from work and wash up
And go racin’ in the street

Yesterday there were two news items from twentieth century musical giants.  In something that was more of a business development than artistic, perhaps, The Beatles allowed their entire catalog to be sold on iTunes, the biggest of the iTunes holdouts.  Steve Jobs has been waiting for this day for many years and in a burst of a fan’s hyperbole, told the press that this would be “a day you’ll never forget.”  While many of us already had our Beatles cd’s loaded into iTunes libraries, there is a whole generation which never bought music on cd which now has access to those treasured songs.

And in another development, Bruce Springsteen released “The Promise,” a CD package containing 21 songs written between “Born to Run” and “Darkness on the Edge of Town” – two classic albums that charted Springsteen’s maturing from rebellious kid to a young adult struggling with the concerns of adulthood.  For Springsteen fans, hearing these songs, both the ones which made it on the final album and those that didn’t, can be a revelation.  I spent a fair amount of time last night listening to various versions of one of my favorite of Springsteen’s songs “Racing in the Street” – something that some might consider a little geeky.  (“Hey, he changed the car from a ’32 Ford to a ’69 Chevy!”)  But for a fan, it was a wonderful experience.

We’ll be hearing one song that was purchased from the Beatles catalog yesterday, something from Springsteen and a whole lot more this afternoon.  No real theme today, just a pile of great music, new and old.  You’ll hear from Scandinavian favorites Lykke Li,  jj, and great new music from The Tallest Man on Earth.  We have something from Pittsburgh’s Girl Talk, Matt and Kim, blueswoman Susan Tedeschi, and the Ting Tings.  Steve Earle and Alison Moorer do a song from the new Loretta Lynn tribute and we’ll have an early song from Over the Rhine’s next record, due to drop in January.

Join us this afternoon for some great music and friendly conversation.

Details:

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

Peace, Dan & Brian

Playlist
Back To The River-Susan Tedeschi
Have Mercy-Loretta Lynn
After The Fire Is Gone-Steve Earle
Let Them-jj
Get Some-Lykke Li
Triple Double-Girl Talk
Murder Weapon-Tricky
Jimmie Standing In The Rain-Elvis Costello
And Your Bird Can Sing-The Beatles
Pouncer-Pomegranates
Like The Wheel-The Tallest Man On Earth
The Only Sound That Matters-Band of Joy
Speed of The Sound of Loneliness-John Prine
Take Me Somewhere-Tennis
Hands-The Ting Tings
Silver Tiles-Matt and Kim
Blackbird-Cassandra Wilson
Infamous Love Song-Over The Rhine
City of Night-Bruce Springsteen

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May 18 – Season’s Best

The book of love has music in it
In fact that’s where music comes from
Some of it is just transcendental
Some of it is just really dumb
But I
I love it when you sing to me
And you
You can sing me anything
(The Book of Love, The Magnetic Fields)

Today, Great River Radio completes its fourth season at KUST.  If we’d been new students when we started this project, we’d now be graduating!  By our count, this marks the 114th time Brian and Dan have sat down together in the dim light of the very small KUST studio with our iPods and playlists and have started the stream and the hijack and have kicked off the show with a river song.  In the last nine months, we’ve done shows about everything from dogs to coffee to teachers to crows.  We’ve devoted one entire show to health care, one to women’s issues, and one to the best music from the Scandinavian countries.  We’ve also memorialized some of the musicians who passed away during the season: Vic Chestnutt, Alex Chilton, Kate McGarrigle, Lena Horne, and Les Paul.

Great River Radio
is a labor of love for us.  We spend a few hours every week preparing for the show, exploring the blogosphere and music journalism and our friends’ iPods looking for new artists and songs.  While we sometimes wonder (especially on Monday nights) if we really have the time for this, by the time we start the show on Tuesday, we are looking forward to the two hours we have to listen to what we’ve put together and to see how it all works out.  We hope you have enjoyed the shows you’ve heard during the last four years.  It is our intention to return in the fall for our fifth season.  Here’s a hint of something to expect for next season:  while the current Great River Radio web page gives you access to the last four or five shows, we actually have files for about seventy GRR episodes dating back to the fall of 2007.  Our project for the summer is to figure out a way to make ALL of those shows available on the web page.

For now, we’ll end this season by playing our favorite songs from the last nine months.  We’ve got music from the Avett Brothers, Frightened Rabbits, Mumford and Sons, Beach House, Ingrid Michaelson, Brandi Carlile, Lissie, Ruthie Foster, Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros and local bands The Twilight Hours, Peter Wolf Crier, Halloween Alaska and Roma di Luna.  We’ll also dip back into one of our favorite shows and bring you Scandinavian music from The Mary Onettes and The Tallest Man On Earth.

So, one last time this year, tune in for music that is transcendental (and some that isn’t dumb, but let’s say…fun!)

Brian and Dan and the whole staff of Great River Radio send you our best wishes for a safe and happy and sunny summer!  We’ll see you in September.

Catch Great River Radio live today from 4-6 p.m. (CST) at http://www.stthomas.edu/ustclubs/kust/KUSTLive.html
Or chat live via AIM or iChat: kustradio

Brian/Dan

Playlist
Maybe – Ingrid Michaelson
Little Lovin’ – Lissie
When It Don’t Come Easy – Ruthie Foster
I and Love and You – The Avett Brothers
Swim Until You Can’t See Land – Frightened Rabbit
The Cave – Mumford & Sons
First Train Home – Imogen Heap
Home – Up From Below
New York Is Killing Me – Gil Scott-Heron
Flirted With You All My Life – Vic Chestnutt
Written in Reverse – Spoon
How Long Do I Have to Wait For You? – Sharon Jones & The Dap Kings
I Will – Roma Di Luna
Queen of Tomorrow – The Twilight Hours
The Ends – Halloween, Alaska
Hard As Nails – Peter Wolf Crier
July Flame – Laura Veirs
Lewis Takes Off His Shirt – Owen Pallett
And Now – jj
Norway – Beach House
Go Do – Jonsi
Who Are You New York? – Rufus Wainwright
Coal War – Joshua James
King of Spain – The Tallest Man On Earth
In The Sun – She & Him
She’s Gone – The Bird and The Bee
This Is Real – Best Coast

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May 4 – Moody

I’ll take a quiet life…
with no alarms and no surprises,
no alarms and no surprises,
no alarms and no surprises,
Silence, silence.
–  “No Surprises” by Radiohead

Ok, if you aren’t in the business of educating the people of America, you are probably not quite as focused on these frantic weeks of May as those of us who are (in the business of educating the people of America.)  We approach commencement – or perhaps the end of fifth grade – either way, the end is nearing, and the weather being what it is, life is full of tension: study or go outside and run, read or fly a kite?  Write a paper or go dancing in the streets?  Library or a canoe on the river?  Do you yearn for escape? For surprises? For a few moments of silence?

Today, Great River Radio will reflect a variety of moods, from sadness and quiet to boisterous and lively. It’s a spring mix, like fresh new leaves in a salad.

We’ve got new music from the Hold Steady, as well as from one of our favorite 2010 releases, The National’s “High Violet”, from Sweden’s Shout Out Louds and Canada’s Caribou, from our friends Rufus Wainwright, Shelby Lynne, The New Pornographers, Regina Spektor (with her new cover of the above quoted Radiohead song) and, to celebrate the 35th anniversary of one of the greatest albums of the last…well, 35 years, a different take on “Blood on the Tracks.”

Listen: a lot of the music we are playing today is by artists who are COMING TO OUR TOWN!  This would be a great show to listen to if you are desiring to get out and hear some live music in the next few weeks.  Or if you are just in the mood for new, beautiful music to settle you down or to rev you up.  This is the place.  This is Great River Radio.

GRR is planning two more shows to wind up this, our fourth season.  Next week we’ll do another mix of fresh new music and favorites.  On May 18th, we’ll close out the year with our favorite songs from the last season.  (And then we’ll head up to the lake for the summer.)

Dan/Brian

Playlist
Red River of the North-Rogue Valley
Everybody’s Hurting-Jakob Dylan
Percussion Gun-White Rabbits
Time To Pretend-Jonsi
CEO Birthday-jj
This Is Real-Best Coast
Lights-Interpol
Afraid of Everyone-The National
Ohio-Over The Rhine
Martha-Rufus Wainwright
Stay With Me-Sarah Jaffe
Hurricane J-The Hold Steady
Laura-Mates of State
Fall Hard-Shout Out Louds
Thick As Thieves-Peter Wolf
Old Dog-Shelby Lynne
Numbers Don’t Lie-Mynabirds
Sweet Talk Sweet Talk-New Pornographers
Art House Director-Broken Social Scene
Odessa-Caribou
Nothing Will Last-Tyler James
No Surprises-Regina Spektor
Shelter From the Storm-Mary Lee’s Corvette

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Feb. 23 – Scandi Music

It’s time for a Scandinavian Music Quiz!

Q: Quick, What Swedish group is the second best-selling band in music history?
A: Everyone knows it’s ABBA!

Q: Here’s one for the “early” MTV generation: What 1985 breakthrough video combined real band members with animation?
A: Norway’s a-ha, of course! The song? “Take on Me.”

Q: Last question. What eccentric musician performed in a dress that resembled a dead swan at the 2001 Oscars?
A: Bjork from Iceland!

How did you do? Aren’t those Scandinavian musicians memorable? Just for the sake of modernizing the quiz a bit, let’s add a contemporary music question to round things out.

Q: Name a single artist or band from the broader Scandinavian region that has released a recording since Bjork’s fowl faux pas?
A: Anyone? Bueller?

It might surprise you, our most music-literate Great River Radio listeners, that Scandinavian music is HOT right now. Not ABBA hot – c’mon, no one can touch “Dancing Queen” – but Nordic music is certainly well-respected and growing in influence. In fact, if you’ve been listening to Great River Radio the last four years, you’ve probably heard us play a deliciously sweet pop music song, announce the name of the group, and in slight disbelief add, “She’s from Denmark?” or “Huh, these guys are from Iceland” or even “Another in a long line of talented artists from Sweden. What the hell is going on up there?”

So, while you’ve been immersed in Scandinavian excellence during the 2010 winter games, Great River Radio has moved beyond such household names as Ole Einar Bjoerndalen, Sven Kramer and Charlotte Kalla. We’ve pulled together a beautiful show filled with surprisingly upbeat music from a region that is known for its dark winters and difficult-to-pronounce names. And we’ll share a little insight into what makes Scandi music so popular right now.

We’ll highlight music from all corners of Scandinavia, including tunes from Jens Lekman, I’m From Barcelona, the Cardigans,  Åge Aleksandersen,  Sondre Lerche, Suburban Kids With Biblical Names and El Perro del Mar. We’ll have new music from Fredrik, Jonsi (from Sigur Ros), The Tallest Man On Earth and jj. And as always, we’ll reach back for some Great River Radio favorites from Lykke Li, Loney Dear,  Peter Bjorn and John, Ida Maria and  The Mary Onettes.

Even if these artists or bands don’t sound familiar to you – or Scandinavian music calls to mind a lur, bukkehorn or seljefløyte – you will not want to miss this show.

Catch GRR live today from 4-6 p.m. (CST) at http://www.stthomas.edu/ustclubs/kust/KUSTLive.html
Or chat live via AIM or iChat: kustradio

Rock på!

Brian/Dan

Playlist
Tonight-Lykke Li
Vinterbarn-Fredrik
Venus As A Boy-Bjork
Ae Vil Ha Dae (I Want You)-Age Aleksandersen
I Like You So Much Better When You’re Naked-Ida Maria
1999-Suburban Kids With Biblical Names
Friday Night at the Drive-In Bingo-Jens Lekman
Go Do-Jonsi
I Am John-Loney, Dear
The Tree House Song-Ane Brun
Nothing To Worry About-Peter Bjorn & John
Paper Planes-I’m From Barcelona
King of Spain-The Tallest Man On Earth
Erase/Rewind-The Cardigans
Mrs. Cold-Kings of Convenience
Just Behind A Brickwall-Tobias Froberg and Peter Moren
Mrs. Cold-Kings of Convenience
Down The Line-Jose Gonzalez
Modern Nature-Sondra Lerche
No Excuses-Air France
This Heart Is A Stone-Acid House Kings
Tick Tick Boom-The Hives
Dare-The Mary Onettes
Lake Toba-Lukestar
Change of Heart-El Perro del Mar
And Now-jj
Happy Up Here-Royksopp
Dead Sound-The Raveonettes
Like A Fading Rainbow-Jenny Wilson

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