Tag Archives: The Decemberists

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
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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

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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

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Feb. 16 – Who the *&#$ is Arcade Fire?


“what the heck is a r k fire?”

“It’s a weird world we live in when someone called Arcade Fire can win a Grammy n Justin Bieber doesn’t!”

“I cannot believe that unknown artists will earn a world-renowned artists like justin and lady gaga for that cease to believe in the legality of prizes.”

“How can a group I’ve NEVER heard of win album of the year?”

(Unedited – and printable – comments on the new tumblr blog “Who is Arcade Fire?”)

Actually, it is a weird world we live in when the naming of the album of the year winner can ignite a culture war – isn’t music supposed to bring us together?  We’re pretty sure that regular listeners to Great River Radio know who Arcade Fire is, and join the indie music community in cheering their win over Lady Antebellum, Katy Perry, Lady Gaga and Eminem.  In the other big upset of the evening, newcomer and small seller Esperanza Spalding edged out teen sensation Justin Bieber (and GRR friends Mumford and Sons, we should add.)  Do those upset victories say anything about the music business today?  Are independent artists going to be more widely recognized?  Is quality going to win out over sales?  OK, probably not, but it is nice to see the underdogs win once in a while.

If you’ve forgotten who Arcade Fire is, we’re going to bring you a couple tunes from the award winning album this afternoon.  We’ve packed the show with lots of brand new music from (perhaps but not bloody likely) tomorrow’s Grammy winners.  Great River Radio favorites DevotchKa and Bright Eyes have new albums out; we have an early release from the upcoming album by the Strokes, along with new music from Amos Lee and Roomful of Blues.  We have songs from new (and young) artists Young The Giant and Young Man.  In one of the more interesting collaborations of the new year, we’ll have 50’s rockabilly queen Wanda Jackson performing Bob Dylan’s “Thunder on the Mountain” produced by Jack White.  (We think you’ll dig it, really.)  And from long time collaborators Gil-Scott Heron and Brian Jackson, we’ll close with “Shut ‘Em Down.”

Join us at 4:15 p.m. (CST) today for an entirely Bieber free 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

Peace,
Brian & Dan

Playlist
Tree by the River-Iron and Wine
Thunder on the Mountain-Wanda Jackson
The Suburbs (cont.)-Arcade Fire
The Suburbs-Arcade Fire
100 Other Lovers-DeVotchKa
Mermaid-Okkervil River
Shell Games-Bright Eyes
Felt-Young Man
This is Why We Fight-The Decemberists
She Walks Right In-Roomful of Blues
Anywhere But Here-Drew Holcomb and The Neighbors
My Body-Young the Giant
Violin-Amos Lee
Lever Pulled Down-Sam Phillips
All the Stars-The Wailin’ Jennys
Under Cover of Darkness-The Strokes
In the Dark Places-P.J. Harvey
Last Night at the Jetty-Panda Bear
Shut Em Down-Gil Scott Heron/Brian Jackson

 

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Decade of Influence (2000-2009)

Can you believe that we’re already approaching the end of another decade? Seems like just yesterday we were Livin’ La Vida Loca with Ricky. Those were heady times in pop music. But all good things must pass.

Like all responsible observers of the music history, Great River Radio is set to embark on a thorough examination of the music that really mattered in the Aughts (2000-2009). We’re preparing as any good student would – doing research, looking back on our notes, attending live shows and scouring the Internets.

Now we’re seeking your help with this simple question: What albums and/or artists in the last 10 years have had the greatest influence on music?

We’re not necessarily looking for your favorite CD or a critic’s “Best-Of” list. This pursuit of a “Decade of Influence” is quite different.

As many of you know, 10 years can be a long time … especially if you’ve been spending those years raising young children or touring with “Up With People.” So, we’ll leave you with a partial list below (courtesy of NPR) of some of the artists who definitely have had an impact on our music rotation in recent years.

Take a look at the partial list. Who did we miss? Who set us on another course? Who came out of nowhere to create a new sound? Who turned the world on with their smile?

* Once you’ve given it some thought, please post your entries (artist and album) on our “Decade of Influence” page. We’ll compare notes and share some of your suggestions during our Great River Radio – Decade of Influence show in early 2010. – Brian/Dan

Animal Collective
Arcade Fire
Bon Iveer
Bright Eyes
Burial
Clap Your Hands Say Yeah
Kelly Clarkson
Danger Mouse
Death Cab For Cutie
The Damnwells
The Decemberists
Eminem
Jay Farrar
The Flaming Lips
Green Day
Iron And Wine
Jay-Z
Sharon Jones & The Dap Kings
LCD Soundsystem
Lil’ Wayne
M.I.A.
OutKast
Panda Bear
Robert Plant & Alison Krauss
Radiohead
Santigold
Sigur Ros
Sufjan Stevens
The Swell Season
Ali Farka Toure & Toumani Diabate
Kanye West
The White Stripes
Wilco
Paul Westerberg
Amy Winehouse

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