Tag Archives: Lucinda Williams

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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April 20 – The Beauty of Imperfection

Why are we drawn to music? It’s a perplexing question, and one we’ve addressed on a personal level on Great River Radio. Is it simply a matter of taste? Or is it a desire to hear or witness perfection? After all, the general public seems to be in awe of the artist who can deliver a “clean” performance. It’s how we judge our athletes, mathaletes, celebrities and even parenting skills. Flawless = success. But there is new evidence that suggests that although we may be impressed with perfection, our emotional connection to a song arrangement may have more to do with the imperfections – or the unexpected – than a perfect rendition of that song. Dr. Daniel J. Levitin has been studying this phenomenon at McGill University in Montreal with the assistance of many of Great River Radio’s favorite recording artists. And the findings are fascinating.

In an interview, the singer Rosanne Cash said the experiments showed that beautiful compositions and technically skilled performers could do only so much. Emotion in music depends on human shading and imperfections, “bending notes in a certain way,” Ms. Cash said, “holding a note a little longer.”

She said she learned from her father, Johnny Cash, “that your style is a function of your limitations, more so than a function of your skills.”

“You’ve heard plenty of great, great singers that leave you cold,” she said. “They can do gymnastics, amazing things. If you have limitations as a singer, maybe you’re forced to find nuance in a way you don’t have to if you have a four-octave range.”

Before you dismiss Levitin as just another academic trying to force all of his “bias and complicated science stuff” on a favorite subject we’d prefer to just experience without thinking about too it too much, you might be interested to know that he once worked as a producer and engineer for rock legends Stevie Wonder, Steely Dan, Blue Oyster Cult, the Grateful Dead and many others. Not impressed? Well, he’s also played sax with Sting (one of Dan’s favorite artists) and Mel Torme (one of Brian’s), and some guitar with David Byrne. In other words, he comes at this from a performer’s perspective as well as a scientist.

Levitin may just be discovering what many of our most successful artists have always intuitively known: it is the elements of unique character and unexpected notes and rhythms that we often connect with.

Geoff Emerick, a recording engineer for the Beatles, said: “Often when we were recording some of those Beatles rhythm tracks, there might be an error incorporated, and you would say, ‘That error sounds rather good,’ and we would actually elaborate on that.

“When everything is perfectly in time, the ear or mind tends to ignore it, much like a clock ticking in your bedroom — after a while you don’t hear it.”

Perhaps, this is a lesson for all of us? We tend to get caught up in the rhythm of life, humming along in a ceaseless succession of regular tasks, duties and activities. It is only when that beat becomes altered that we pay attention to the music around us.

Take a little time today to embrace the imperfections in our lives – the unexpected moments that give meaning to our day. And tune in to Great River Radio to discover some of those voices who continue to surprise us in unexpected ways.

You can read the full article Levitin’s research in The New York Times: http://www.nytimes.com/2011/04/19/science/19brain.html

In a new Great River Radio programming twist, Dan and Brian were engaged in a music-library showdown this week. Brian challenged Dan to come up with favorite five songs from 1966 (the year Brian was born). Dan accepted and volleyed his own challenge, asking Brian to come up with five songs inspired by works of art or artists. You’re going to love the music we’ve come up with for these setlists.

And as always, we have a plethora of great new music. You’ll hear from Haley Bonar’s new LP, “Golder.” We’ll check in again with Lucinda Williams and play new tunes from Marissa Nadler, The Mountain Goats, The Belle Brigade and The Raveonettes.

Join us live this afternoon from 4:15-5:45 (CST) for a great new session of 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
Black River (Live)-Amos Lee
Where Not To Look For Freedom-The Belle Brigade
Running With The Wolves-Cloud Cult
Kid October-Haley Bonar
I’ll Tag Along-Richard Thompson
War In Heaven-The Raveonettes
Baby, I Will Leave You In The Morning-Marissa Nadler
Fade Into You-Mazzy Star
The Age Of Kings-The Mountain Goats
96 Tears-? and the Mysterians
19th Nervous Breakdown-The Rolling Stones
Eight Miles High-The Byrds
God Only Knows-The Beach Boys
Two Trains Running-Paul Butterfield Blues Band
The Art Teacher-Rufus Wainwright
Painted From Memory-Elvis Costello
In The Gallery-Dire Straits
Art School-The Jam
Painting By Chagall-The Weepies

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