Tag Archives: R.E.M.

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
Facebook
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

Leave a comment

Filed under Great River Radio - Wednesdays 4:15-5:45 p.m.

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

1 Comment

Filed under Great River Radio - Wednesdays 4:15-5:45 p.m.

May 18 – Five Years of River Songs


The river to the ocean goes,
a fortune for the undertow.
None of this is going my way.
There is nothing left to throw
of Ginger, lemon, indigo,
coriander stem and rose of hay.
Strength and courage overrides
the privileged and weary eyes
of river poet search naivete.
Pick up here and chase the ride.
The river empties to the tide.
All of this is coming your way .
“Find The River” – R.E.M.

As humans, we are taught early in life to gauge success with tangible tools of measurement – grades, height, wealth, etc. But these measurements rarely take into account the intangible – emotions, happiness, satisfaction, love and friendship. Even music sets a structure of time, rhythm and beat. But the very best music makes us feel something else, something transcendent and beautiful. Today marks the end of the 5th season of Great River Radio. On our best days, we hope you discovered a song or two that made your heart swoon or allowed you to be lost in the moment – if just for a minute or two – during a busy day.

The constant, reliable flow of a river can also conjure up feelings of solace and grace, transporting us to places unexpected. But this spring we are again reminded that rivers can devastate and destroy, too. Perhaps, that is why so many artists are drawn to the river metaphor. Rivers represent a life cycle – often unpredictable – of birth, baptism, life, death and rebirth. Rivers run deep symbolism. For the last five years we have started most of our shows with a “river song.” Not surprisingly, we have had many wonderful songs to choose from. So, to celebrate the close of our fifth year, Great River Radio is pleased to present a very special afternoon of river songs.

Today you will hear deep south river songs by Bessie Smith, Aaron Neville and The Bottle Rockets. Great River Radio favorites Johnny Cash, Bob Dylan, John Hiatt, Uncle Tupelo, Cloud Cult and The Decemberists will offer their take on the river song. And we’ll have river tracks from such diverse artists as Los Lobos, Brian Eno, Mavis Staples, Carrie Rodriguez, Robert Johnson and Richard Thompson. An eclectic mix to be sure. But would you expect anything less from the Great River Radio music staff?

As always, we are grateful that so many of you are able to tune into Great River Radio – either live or via the website. Please take a moment to join us today for our final show of the season. And have a great summer!

Peace … like a river.

Brian and Dan

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

Playlist
Going Down To The River-Fred McDowell
Backwater Blues-Bessie Smith
Louisiana 1927-Aaron Neville
Get Down River-The Bottle Rockets
A River Runs Through It-Mark Isham
Especially Me-Low
I Follow Rivers-Lykke Li
By This River-Brian Eno
Big River-Johnny Cash
Big Sun Falling In The River-Richard Thompson
Green River-M. Ward
Down On The Riverbed-Los Lobos
High Water-Uncle Tupelo
Down By The Water-The Decemberists
Find The River-REM
Wide River To Cross-Carrie Rodriguez
River Knows Your Name-John Hiatt
Black River-Amos Lee
Harlem River Blues-Justin Townes Earle
Travelling Riverside Blues-Robert Johnson
Many Rivers To Cross-The Walkmen
Ballad Of Easy Rider-The Byrds
Watching The River Flow-Bob Dylan
When Water Comes To Life-Cloud Cult

Leave a comment

Filed under Great River Radio - Wednesdays 4:15-5:45 p.m.

March 9 – Time is On My Side

The history of a song can be interesting and the actual story of a song is often different than what is known or understood by the public.  It is one mark of a musichead that he or she knows who really wrote the song, and who first recorded it, and even who was playing piano or singing in the background.  This week we’ll be hearing at least one song might test your musical knowledge.  “Time is On My Side” – quick, whose song is it?

If you immediately thought of the Rolling Stones, join the club.  In fact, the song was written by Jerry Ragavoy for jazz trombonist Kai Winding in 1963.  In 1964, within a month of each other, the “Soul Queen of New Orleans” Irma Thomas and The Rolling Stones both recorded the song. The lyrics were penned quickly – the original song only used “time is on my side” and “you’ll come runnin’ back.” The Stones’ version became their first top ten hit in the US (and got them in trouble when they performed it on the Ed Sullivan show).  It also became “their” song in the minds of most listeners.

If you listen to Great River Radio this afternoon, you’ll hear Irma Thomas and Allen Toussaint doing her version of this classic, and it is well worth hearing.  While we are not focusing especially on covers today, we happen to have a few others: Violent Femmes doing Gnarls Barkley’s “Crazy,” The Watson Twins doing an old Turtles tune “You Showed Me,” The Decemberists covering REM and Mark Growden covering Bruce Springsteen (with a banjo…)

But wait,  there’s more!  GRR offers lots of new music this week from our usual eclectic group of artists including Lykke Li, Superchunk, The Raveonettes, Adele, Drive By Truckers, husband/wife duo Tennis, and a new collaboration from The Carolina Chocolate Drops and Luminescent Orchestrii – “easily the best acoustic-hip-hop-stringband-Romanian-gypsy-fiddle-old-time-hybrid you’re likely to hear this year.”  AND if you are anxious to hear the latest from REM, we’re going to have that, too.

 

Join us today for a late winter mix, not of sleet and snow and rain, but of handpicked songs that we think you will love!

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
Hard River to Row-Delta Generators
Time Is On My Side-Irma Thomas/Allen Toussaint
Crazy (Gnarls Barkley cover)-Violent Femmes
Cuyahoga (REM cover)-The Decemberists
I’m On Fire (Bruce Springsteen cover)-Mark Growden
You Showed Me (Turtles cover)-The Watson Twins
Youth Knows No Pain-Lykke Li
Forget That You’re Young-The Raveonettes
Discoverer-REM
Someone Like You-Adele
Everybody Needs Love-Drive-By Truckers
Me Me Me-Middle Brother
Winter Daze-Papercuts
He Gets Me High-Dum Dum Girls
Where I’m Going-Cut Copy
Excuses-Morning Benders
Apothecary Love-The Low Anthem
Seafarer-Tennis
Cologne and Water-Gayngs
Blessa-Toro Y Moi
Crossed Wires-Superchunk
Kick Back-Sick of Sarah

Leave a comment

Filed under Great River Radio - Wednesdays 4:15-5:45 p.m.

Oct. 6 – We Used to Wait

and I am perpetually waiting
for the fleeing lovers on the Grecian Urn
to catch each other up at last
and embrace
and I am awaiting
perpetually and forever
a renaissance of wonder
From “I Am Waiting” (Lawrence Ferlinghetti)

The Great River Radio playlist always represents the mood of your hosts and the thoughts that are on our minds in the days before the show.   This week has been a thoughtful one for Brian and Dan.  We are in the midst of another stunning autumn day, apparently caught in some bubble of glorious weather.  In Minnesota we do not take days like this for granted, especially at this time of year.  We know what comes next…in the words of DeVotchKa –  “you already know how this will end”… so we find ourselves both savoring the present and waiting for what is around the corner.  We humans do spend a good amount of time waiting:  waiting to grow up, waiting to commence, waiting for that good thing to happen, waiting for that bad thing to stop happening, waiting for dawn to arrive, for peace, for a child to come home.

Today on Great River Radio, we’ll be doing a set of songs on waiting, from some of our favorite bands: Dawes, Delta Spirit, Steve Earle (and his sister Stacey), Arcade Fire, Mavis Staples and Patty Griffin.  We’ll also be listening and talking about the new Sufjan Stevens album “The Age of Adz”.  There’ll be a set of songs about letters (the kind you write to people, on paper…remember those?) from Arcade Fire and Wilco and others and some songs with horns – tune in to hear three of the greatest horn solos of all time.  Finally, you think you’ve heard the old Stephen Foster song “Oh Susannah”?  Think again!

We are always excited about GRR, but today will be special. (In fact, we can’t wait!)

We hope you join us.

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

Brian & Dan

Playlist
Big Sun Falling in the River-Richard Thompson
How It Ends-DeVotchKa
Futile Devices-Sufjan Stevens
Solitude Is Bliss-Tame Impala
Before I Die-Roma di Luna
Penny Lane-The Beatles
Shipbuilding-Elvis Costello
What Does It Take To Win Your Love-Junior Walker and the All Stars
When My Time Comes -Dawes
I’m Waiting-Delta Spirit
Waiting-The Feelies
I Can Wait-Steve Earle
Waiting-Stacey Earle
Waiting For My Child To Come Home-Mavis Staples and Patty Griffin
Oh! Susannah-Ruthie Foster
Pilot Light-Chris Koza
We Used to Wait-Arcade Fire
Box Full of Letters-Wilco
Letter Never Sent-REM
Conversation 16-The National

Leave a comment

Filed under Great River Radio - Wednesdays 4:15-5:45 p.m.

Sept. 22 – Harvest Moon

Here on this river
On a course for keeps
After all these years
We’re still here
This river runs deep
(Sonny Landreth)

The harvest moon will occur tomorrow (September 23) and often this autumn moon seems to be bigger, brighter and more colorful than all the other full moons of the year.  We won’t get into the science of that phenomenon, but suffice it to say this is a romantic and beautiful season in the temperate zones and the northland.  The skies are bluer, the nights are cool, and the maple leaves outside our windows are now flaming reds and yellows and oranges.  Some think this the best time of the year in Minnesota.

Living by the river gives us a particularly wonderful perspective on the ending of summer and the beginning of autumn.  We watch the leaves of the trees in the Mississippi gorge change a bit every day, reflected on the water, and we know that this will not last long, and that within weeks, as the turning of the leaves comes to an end, and they fall to the ground, we will soon see snow coming out of gray clouds overhead.

But wait!  It is still September and at Great River Radio, freshly into season five, we are still working through some the new music that has come out in the summer months –  we are, in fact, harvesting the great songs that have been growing and sweetening over the summer.  This week, we have new music from Amos Lee, The Black Ryder, Ryan Bingham, Admiral Radley, our own Roma di Luna, the long awaited Band of Joy disc from Robert Plant, as well as a few songs devoted to moons and harvest.

In case you need reminding, here are the details:

Great River Radio – Wednesdays 4:15-5:45 p.m.
Catch the live stream: http://www.stthomas.edu/ustclubs/kust/KUSTLive.html
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/pages/Great-River-Radio/112553225462710
iChat/AIM: kustradio

Peace,
Brian & Dan

Playlist
This River-Sonny Landreth
All to All-Broken Social Scene
All That We See-The Black Ryder
Dancing Barefoot-Allison Moorer
Silver Rider-Robert Plant
Listen-Amos Lee
The Poet-Ryan Bingham and the Dead Horses
Harvest Time-The Clientele
The Field-Mason Jennings
West of the Fields-REM
Fruits of My Labor-Lucinda Williams
The Moonlight Is Ours-Roma di Luna
Shine On Harvest Moon-Betty Carter
Like Rock and Roll and the Radio-Ray LaMontagne and The Pariah Dogs
Take It Down-John Hiatt
California-Rufus Wainwright
I Heart California-Admiral Radley
California Stars-Billy Bragg and Wilco
Cold War-Janelle Monae
Every Time I Eat Vegetables I Think of You-Ramones

Leave a comment

Filed under Great River Radio - Wednesdays 4:15-5:45 p.m.

Dec. 1 – Short Days and Endings

“Grapefruit moon, one star shining, shining down on me.
Heard that tune, and now I’m pining, honey, can’t you see?

‘Cause every time I hear that melody, well, something breaks inside,
And the grapefruit moon, one star shining, can’t turn back the tide.”

– Tom Waits

As we are moving into a bundle of “seasons” – transitions – the holidays, winter, semester finals, year-end, we look into the sky and see a bright and beautiful full moon.  This is the first of two full moons in December of 2009 making the second a “blue moon,”  and making this a special month which marks the beginning of the end of the first decade of the twenty first century. The days in Minnesota are short and the nights are long and perfect for listening to music.

Back from our Thanksgiving break, we will be in the studio this afternoon with Great River Radio spinning this week’s mix of songs including something from the debut album by Mumford and Sons, who can do British Americana like no one else – as well as music from Atlanta’s Deerhunter, and Minneapolis’ Halloween, Alaska.  We’ll have new music from Norah Jones, Diane Birch and Laura Veirs and favorites from GRR friends Steve Earle, Tom Waits, Randy Newman, Cloud Cult and something from the Pixie’s classic album “Doolittle” this year celebrating its twentieth anniversary.

Speaking of anniversaries, Great River Radio will soon be airing its 100th show – as we approach that milestone, we will be planning some special themes.  One idea we’ve had is to review the most important records of the last ten years.  Start to give that some thought – we’ll be interested in your ideas.

For now, please join us this afternoon as we play a mix of music about short days, endings, moons, trains, and, of course, rivers.

Great River Radio will be live today from 4-6 p.m. (CST)

Playlist
Many Rivers To Cross-UB40
99 and 1/2-Mavis Staples
The Cave-Mumford and Sons
So. Central Rain-REM
Walkabout-Atlas Sound
Never Stops-Deerhunter
Nothing But A Miracle-Diane Birch
Back To Manhattan-Norah Jones
Fetal Horses-John Vanderslice
The Ends-Halloween, Alaska
The End Is Near-The Fiery Furnaces
Never Tear Us Apart-INXS
Two Trains Running-James Cotton Band
Crash This Train-Joshua James
Little Lovin’-Lissie
Longest Days-John Mellenkamp
Days Aren’t Long Enough-Steve Earle
July Flame-Laura Viers
Everybody Here Is A Cloud-Cloud Cult
What Would I Want? Sky-Animal Collective
That Moon Song-Gregory Alan Isakov
Grapefruit Moon-Tom Waits
Feels Like Home-Randy Newman
Here Comes Your Man-The Pixies

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized