Tag Archives: Sufjan Stevens

December 18 (806) Christmas Moon

moon_snow

Play this show

And that old Christmas moon
Shining softly on snow so white
As he brightens a special night
That old Christmas moon

Soft snow is silvery white
With moon glow shining so bright
It lights up this glorious night
It’s that old Christmas moon

            Leon Redbone

Just a quick reminder that GRR will be back this afternoon with a set of holiday tunes that ranges from contemplative to raucous, joyful to moody, sacred to secular, nice to naughty and some that are harder to classify.  Check us out to hear Leon Redbone, Nick Lowe, Mindy Smith, The Be Good Tanyas, The Punch Brothers, Dawes, Cantus, the Roches, Billie Holiday, Tom Waits, Paul Simon and others.

I hope you can listen this afternoon as you take care of business, or check it out later on the blog.

And I wish you the best for the coming days and in the new year – Happy Holidays from Great River Radio!

Details:

Great River Radio – Wednesdays 4:15-5:45 p.m.
Catch the live stream:
http://www.stthomas.edu/ustclubs/kust/live/liveStream.html

Web/Listen Later: https://greatriverradio.wordpress.com

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/GreatRiverRadio

Playlist
Another Silent Night-Douglas Spotted Eagle
The Winter Solstice-Sufjan Stevens
17th Century Canon-Paul McCandless
Getting Ready For Christmas Day-Paul Simon
That Old Christmas Moon-Leon Redbone
Jingle All The Way-Lena Horne
Children Go Where I Send Thee-Nick Lowe
Maybe Next Year-Meiko
All I Ever Get For Christmas Is Blue-Over The Rhine
Snowed In-Mindy Smith
Silent Night-Priscilla Ahn
O Magnum Mysterium-Cantus
Rudy-The Be Good Tanyas
Come Thou Fount Of Every Blessing-Sufjan Stevens
I Heard The Bells On Christmas Day-The Civil Wars
What Do Bad Girls Get?-Joan Osborne
Christmas-Clarence “Gatemouth” Brown
Christmas in L A-The Killers with Dawes
O Come, O Come, Emmanuel-The Punch Brothers
Gaudette-Medieval Babes
Saviour of the Nations Come-Cantus
For Unto Us A Child Is Born-Roches
The Christmas Song-Aimee Mann
I’ll Be Seeing You-Billie Holiday
New Year’s Eve-Tom Waits

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December 19 – Heartbreak and Holidays (704)

winter moon

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

[audio http://personal.stthomas.edu/drgjelten/shows/GRR704.mp3]

Where is the dwelling place of light? And where is the house of darkness?  Go about; walk the limits of the land.  Do you know a path between them?  — Job 38:19-20

Lines Written In The Days Of Growing Darkness
(Mary Oliver)

Every year we have been
witness to it: how the
world descends

into a rich mash, in order that
it may resume.
And therefore
who would cry out

to the petals on the ground
to stay,
knowing as we must,
how the vivacity of what was is married

to the vitality of what will be?
I don’t say
it’s easy, but
what else will do

if the love one claims to have for the world
be true?
So let us go on, cheerfully enough,
this and every crisping day,

though the sun be swinging east,
and the ponds be cold and black,
and the sweets of the year be doomed.

I Heard The Bells On Christmas Day
(Henry W. Longfellow)

And in despair I bowed my head
“There is no peace on earth,” I said,
“For hate is strong and mocks the song
Of peace on earth, good will to men.”

Then pealed the bells more loud and deep:
“God is not dead, nor doth He sleep;
The wrong shall fail, the right prevail
With peace on earth, good will to men.”

I’m going to do something different today.  For the last six years, Great River Radio has done a holiday music show in December, and this year will be no exception.  But today’s music will be special in light of the tragedies that we are experiencing.  There is sadness in the world, public sadness and private sadness, and I know that for many this time of year isn’t the “most wonderful” but a time of deep loneliness.

At the same time, I am daily reminded of the beauty around me, in the faces of people, in the sparkling lights on trees, and the stars in the sky.  This afternoon’s music will reflect the sadness and the beauty of the holidays this year.  There will be more sacred music than typical for GRR, and music that is thoughtful and perhaps a bit moody.  We’ve got songs from Sufjan Stevens (of course), the Twin Cities men’s vocal group Cantus, Over The Rhine, Priscilla Ahn with the most beautiful version of “Silent Night” and Joshua James reinventing “God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen.”

There is more, but tune in to hear it.  Another departure for GRR today:  I’m going to start the music and then say nothing for the entire show – there will be only music today.

This afternoon on Great River Radio, coming to you from the University of St. Thomas’ KUST.

Tune in live, or listen later on the blog.

The details:

Great River Radio – Wednesdays 4:15-5:45 p.m.
Catch the live stream: http://www.stthomas.edu/ustclubs/kust/live/liveStream.html
Web/listen later:
https://greatriverradio.wordpress.com
Facebook:
http://www.facebook.com/GreatRiverRadio

iChat/AIM: kustradio

Playlist
Skating on a River-Lily Frost
The Heartache Can Wait-Brandi Carlile
God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen-Joshua James
I Heard the Bells On Christmas Day-The Civil Wars
All I Ever Get For Christmas Is Blue-Over The Rhine
Winter Moon-Stan Getz
Ah Holy Jesus (With Reed Organ)-Sufjan Stevens
O Magnum Mysterium-Cantus
E’en So, Lord/Dadme Albricias-Modern Mandolin Quartet
Requiem-Eliza Gilkyson
Prelude to Cello Suite #1-Michael Hedtes
Saviour of the Nations, Come-Cantus
Come Thou Fount Of Every Blessing-Sufjan Stevens
Silent Night-Priscilla Ahn
What Child Is This?-Sarah McLachlan
Now The Day Is Over-Shawn Colvin
The Day After Christmas-Kate Miller-Heidke
Auld Lang Syne-James Taylor

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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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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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Oct. 27 – Everything is Broken

Broken cutters, broken saws
Broken buckles, broken laws
Broken bodies, broken bones
Broken voices on broken phones
Take a deep breath, feel like you’re chokin’
Everything is broken
(Bob Dylan)

Do you ever get into one of those ruts where everything you own starts to break down? A broken fan belt on your car is suddenly followed by a broken dishwasher. A few days later you discover a hole in your roof and a broken juice glass tucked behind the couch. Finger nails split as winter nears and knees start to ache. Spirits break.

Broken things tend to collect like steel shards to a magnet. How do we disrupt – or break – that cycle of brokenness? Well, if you’re Great River Radio, you ward off the “broken vibe” with music – Delta Blues, sultry ballads, gospel and indie pop. There are hundreds of songs that try to heal the broken, and we’ve culled some of the best for our show today – tunes from Broken Bells, Girls, Jordan Zevon, Jeremy Messersmith and R.L. Burnside.

We’ll also have some excellent new music you’re not going to want to miss from Lloyd Cole, Rogue Valley, Drive-By Truckers, Dale Earnhardt Jr. Jr., Jens Lekman and Badly Drawn Boy. And how about a rare cut from The Rolling Stones’ newly remastered “Exile on Main Street” release? We’ll spend a little time talking about the recent Sufjan Stevens concert. How do you feel about his recent release, “The Age of Adz”? Seeing Sufjan live might change your perspective.

You might be asking yourself, “Guys, how can you fit so much music into 90 minutes?!” Well, we won’t deny that there’s a lot of music magic involved. The Great River Radio staff prides itself on delivering almost too much content to consume in one sitting. Are you ready to listen?

Playlist:
Following the River-The Rolling Stones
Not Turn Away-The Revivalists
Vesuvius-Sufjan Stevens
Simple Girl-Dale Earnhardt Jr. Jr
Birthday Boy-Drive By Truckers
The End of the World Is Bigger Than Love-Jens Lekman
From Above-Ben Folds and Nick Hornby
Wide Eyes-Local Natives
Too Many Miracles-Badly Drawn Boy
Something Is Broken-John Hiatt
Breakable-Ingrid Michaelson
Heartbreaker-Girls
Like A Broken Record-Lloyd Cole
October-Broken Bells
Broken-Gorillaz
Studebaker-Jordan Zevon
Breaking Down-Jeremy Messersmith
Everything Is Broken-R. L. Burnside
Will The Circle Be Unbroken-Delaney and Bonnie and Friends

Details:

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

Peace,

Brian & Dan

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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

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