Tag Archives: Rufus Wainwright

October 30 (803) Down There By The Train

8309875-railroad-tracks

Play this show

There’s a place I know
where the train goes slow
where the sinners can be washed
in the blood of the lamb
there’s a river by the trestle
down by Sinner’s Grove
down where the Willow and the Dogwood grows
down there by the train
down there by the train
down there by the train
down there by the train
down there where the train
goes slow
                     Tom Waits

Last time on Great River Radio, I played the Tift Merritt version of Tom Waits’ “Train Song” and I’ve been listening to that thing a lot in the last couple of weeks.  It is the great lyrics and the wonderful guitar playing of Eric Heywood that keep me coming back.  Then it had another effect on me, and that was to ponder why there are so many songs about trains in American music.  You could do hours and hours of train songs, even if you just limited yourself to the good ones.  But why?  Is it the lure of escape?  “My daddy told me, looking back/’best friend you’ll have is a railroad track'”… or is it the sound of the whistle and that lonesome sound of steel wheels on a steel track, long after the engine has passed?  Is it because they are going to take us to paradise?   “This train is bound for glory”?

I’m not doing train songs today – there are too many.  In some ways, it is too easy a project.  But I will be sprinkling some train songs by Tom Waits into the list, including a return of that Tift Merritt cover.  It is also Halloween tomorrow and though most of you are probably not going to be dressing up and going out trick or treating, I’ll slip a couple of ghostly songs into the mix.

I’ve also got new music from Polica, The 1975, Linda Thompson (with son Teddy) and Goldfrapp (this one is awesome.)  You’ve probably heard some of the new Paul McCartney by now, and I’ll have a typically McCartneyesque track from that one.  There is new music from The Head and the Heart and something amazing from the 2013 release by Ben Harper and the great Charlie Musselwhite.

It’s a nice mix on this gloomy day – listen in live this afternoon or later on the blog.

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

Playlist
On The Road-Tom Waits
Cecil Taylor-Jonathan Wilson
Shake-The Head And The Heart
You Can’t Be Told-Valerie June
Sex-The 1975
New-Paul McCartney
Oh, The Joy-Trixie Whitley
Down There By The Train-Tom Waits
Three White Horses-Andrew Bird
Drew-Goldfrapp
Chain My Name-Polica
Werewolves Of London-Warren Zevon
I Scare Myself-The New Standards
In A Graveyard-Rufus Wainwright
Won’t Be Long Now-Linda Thompson/Teddy Thompson
Persuasion-Richard Thompson/Teddy Thompson
Train Song-Tift Merritt
Bottom of the World-Tom Waits
We Can’t End This Way-Ben Harper & Charlie Musselwhite

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May 16 – Possums and Dandelions (616)

Image

Follow, follow the sun 
And which way the wind blows
When this day is done
Breathe, breathe in the air
Set your intentions
Dream with care
Tomorrow’s a new day for everyone
A brand new moon and brand new sun 

When you feel life coming down on you like a heavy weight
When you feel this crazy society adding to the strain
Take a stroll to the nearest water’s edge, remember your place
Many moons have risen and fallen long, long before you came

So which way is the wind blowing
What does your heart say
So follow, follow the sun
And which way the wind blows
When this day is done

Xavier Rudd “Follow the Sun”

It is the final week of this academic year on campus, and students are working through their exams and final projects – they are busy and tired and sleep deprived, surviving on coffee.  At the same time, the weather has been spectacular and all living things seem to be happy – especially the plants, but also the dog who wants to spend the day dozing in the green grass.  On a morning walk today, Finn noticed a mother opossum and several little ones squirming around her while she sat stone still.  A bit later, we passed an eagle sitting in a tree and staring at the river, looking for fish, I guess.  The scent of lilacs is heavy in the air and the dandelions have passed from bright yellow to puffs of seeds drifting off in the breeze.  We are now heading into the lightest, brightest part of the year with long warm days ahead.

As we walked, we listened to this new song from Australia’s Xavier Rudd, who is coming out with a new record next month.  I decided to do another Great River Radio this afternoon, one more in this odd season of irregular programs.  I’ve got a list of new stuff that has been accumulating over the last few weeks.  Since the last show, we’ve travelled to California, heard a few musical acts, and worked hard to wind down the year.  We’ll celebrate the last days of school with music from Katie Herzig, Trampled by Turtles, Anais Mitchell, Rufus Wainwright and Justin Townes Earle.  Have you seen the Volvo commercial with Laura Gibson’s version of the old Sam the Sham hit “Little Red Riding Hood”?  She’s now released that and we’ll share it with you.  We’ll do a gospel set – just because – with music from The Civil Wars, The Brothers Frantzich, Iris Dement and Delaney and Bonnie.

We’ll also include a set of neo and real soul – from The Alabama Shakes, Nick Waterhouse and The Staple Singers.

I think you’ll like it – listen while you work, or check in later and listen from the blog.  And enjoy the day!

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 and Dan

Playlist
River-Civil Twilight
Free My Mind-Katie Herzig
Sweeter Than This-Katie Herzig
From This Valley-The Civil Wars
Come Thou Fount of Every Blessing-Brothers Frantzich
He Reached Down-Iris Dement
Where the Soul Never Dies-Delaney & Bonnie and Friends
Follow The Sun-Xavier Rudd
Lil’ Red Riding Hood-Laura Gibson
Montauk-Rufus Wainwright
Unfortunately, Anna-Justin Townes Earle
Blackwind-Patrick Watson
Words-Ane Brun
Midnight On the Interstate-Trampled By Turtles
I Can Only Give You Everything-Nick Waterhouse
Boys & Girls-Alabama Shakes
Respect Yourself-The Staple Singers
Young Man in America-Anias Mitchell
The Body Wins-Sarah Jaffe
God Only Knows-Bonnie Raitt

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April 4 – Ship of Hope (614)

Down at the docks, you and me walking
Watching you watching the ships coming into the harbor
You told me again of your voyages grand
I loved you most when you spoke of the seven wonders
And you reached in your coat for your telescope
See what you could see
When your ship comes in,
When your ship comes in
When your ship comes in you’ll be happy
Anais Mitchell “Ships”

Just a quick reminder on this beautiful April day that Great River Radio be back this afternoon with a whole bunch of new music.  I’ve really been enjoying this new Anais Mitchell disc “Young Man in America” and we’ll listen to “Ships” from that, as well as another ship song sung by a woman – Lissie’s cover of Nick Cave’s great “The Ship Song.”  We’ll hear something from Dr. John’s “Locked Down” produced by The Black Keys’ Dan Auerbach.  The Los Angeles Times has said of Dr. John’s new record, “it’s the embodiment of everything he’s done but pushed in a clear new direction…one of the best of his career…”

When I read accounts of the shows at SXSW a couple weeks ago, Patrick Watson was singled out by several critics as having done the best performance that they’d seen.  Patrick Watson is a guy and a band from Canada – he’s been compared to Rufus Wainwright, Nick Drake and Andrew Bird – and I love a song that starts simple and ends with horns!  Speaking of horns, Tim Frantzich has a very Chet Baker-like horn in his new song “Dead End Angels” from his brand new “Our Lost and Wild Daughter”…and speaking of Rufus, we’ll hear an early release from his next album “Out of the Game” his first collection of new songs in five years, on which he teamed up with star producer Mark Ronson.

We’ll have a pairing from GRR family favorites Steve Early and Justin Townes Earle – Justin recently released his second album, and it is very personal – tune in for “Am I That Lonely Tonight?”  We’ll also have new music from Patti Smith (eight years since her last record!), the young neo soul group Alabama Shakes, and Brandi Carlile.   Are you one of those people who believe that Fergus Falls Minnesota is the center of the universe?  (Yes, there are some people who believe that.)  If so, or even if not, you want to hear “Fergus Falls” from Milwaukee’s Field Report.  And to close out the show, Bon Iver friends Megafaun.

This and more coming to you this afternoon.  Please join us today from 4:15-5:45 p.m. for Great River Radio or later on the blog.  I think you’ll like it.

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 and Dan

Playlist
Swanee River-Hugh Laurie
Big Shot-Dr. John
Into Giants-Patrick Watson
April Fool-Patti Smith
That Wasn’t Me-Brandi Carlile
Dead End Angels-Tim Frantzich
Lord, I Just Can’t Keep from Crying-The Barr Brothers
Cry, Cry, Crow-The Pines
Ships-Anais Mitchell
The Ship Song-Lissie
Goodbye-Steve Earle
Am I That Lonely Tonight?-Justin Townes Earle
I Found You-Alabama Shakes
Out of the Game-Rufus Wainwright
Fergus Falls-Field Report
Worried Mind-Megafaun

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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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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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Dec. 15 – Annual Holiday Show

Saxophone on the radio
Recorded forty years ago
All I get for Christmas is blue

White lights on the Christmas tree
Thank God you are here with me
All I ever get for Christmas is blue
(Over The Rhine)

So many of the feelings we have during the holiday season seem to revolve around memories.  Our childhood experiences come back to us stripped of any frustrations or anxieties, now just warm and lovely recollections of snow, decorated trees and the anticipation of gifts and the many foods that seemed to be enjoyed only in December. Among the memories many of us cherish are the songs and music of the season – whether it is Bing Crosby or Handel or the Ronettes.

For others, Christmas music can be incredibly annoying.  As you stand in the cold pumping gas into your car you hear someone singing over the tinny outdoor PA – “it’s the most wonderful time of the year…” and you spill gas on your cold hands and wonder how you are going to pay the bills.  Or your holiday memories just make you a little blue and you find yourself wishing  for a different kind of music.

Great River Radio today offers our fifth annual holiday music program for your enjoyment and we hope that we’ll cover the bases for our listeners.  We’ve found some old tunes and some obscure tunes (since it seems virtually every musician has made a holiday record) and some brand new stuff.  We’ve got music from Artie Shaw, Coconut Records, Ella Fitzgerald, Smokey Robinson, Best Coast, Shelby Lynne, The Civil Wars, Little Jackie, Rufus Wainwright and Haley Bonar.  You’ll hear some songs that are familiar and, we hope, several that are new to you.  Every year, it seems, there is a new song that becomes a classic – we hope that one is on today’s playlist.

Join us this afternoon for some great music that just might get you into the spirit of the season.

Details:

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

Peace, Brian and Dan

Playlist
River-Haley Bonar
There’s Frost on The Moon-Artie Shaw
I Love The Winter Weather-Jo Stafford
It’s Christmas-Coconut Records
The Christmas Song-Catherine Feeny
Got Something For You-Best Coast
Time of the Season-Isobel Campbell and Mark Lanegan
All I Ever Get For Christmas Is Blue-Over The Rhine
Ain’t Nothing Like Christmas-Shelby Lynne
Presents for Christmas-Solomon Burke
Mrs. Claus Ain’t Got Nothing On Me-Little Jackie
I’ll Be Your Santa, Baby-Rufus Thomas
Back Door Santa-Clarence Carter
Good Morning Blues-Ella Fitzgerald
Christmas Every Day-Smokey Robinson
Tracks In The Snow-The Civil Wars
Angels We Have Heard On High-The Brian Setzer Orchestra
Angels We Have Heard On High-Sara Jackson-Holman
Baby It’s Cold Outside-Glee Cast
Last Christmas-Glee Cast
It’s The Most Wonderful Time of the Year (Shrift remix)-Andy Williams
God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen-Annie Lennox
Come Thou Fount of Every Blessing-Sufjan Stevens
Spotlight on Christmas-Rufus Wainwright
I Was Thinking I Could Clean Up For Christmas-Aimee Mann
Merry Christmas-The Ramones

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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

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