Tag Archives: music

Fall bands (not to be confused with the band, The Fall)

I didn’t have time for a show this week (and I imagine that, upon Ian’s arrival, it’s unreasonable to expect them to arrive weekly).  My friend runs an excellent coffeeshop here in Raytown and, recently, Low’s music has been in heavy rotation at his store.  That, and the leaves cluttering my yard, have got me thinking a lot about fall music.

So I decided to compile a list of artists that almost excusively release make plangent, autumnal music.  For this discussion, I’m intentionally avoiding one-off fall albums.  Someone like Beck has released a couple great fall albums, Sea Change and One Foot in the Grave, but I wouldn’t consider him a fall musician.  I wanted to make a list of artists’ who always make fall music.  You know, guys like Nick Drake, whose catalog is to this season what the second chapter of Luke is to Christmastime.

This is certainly not an exhaustive list, but it includes artists who usually appear on my annual fall mixes.  As a courtesy, I have posted a link to a song by each artist.  The songs may not be the artists’ best, but they are surely indicative of their work.  (My choices are also limited by what’s available on YouTube.)


  1. Nick Drake
  2. Bela Bartok
  3. Mark Kozelek (Red House Painters and Sun Kil Moon)
  4. Grant McLennan (The Go-Betweens and Jack Frost)
  5. Simon and Garfunkel
  6. Dean Wareham (Galaxie 500 and Luna)
  7. The Innocence Mission
  8. Low
  9. Robert Deeble
  10. Junior Boys
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Fall eletronica.

I don’t usually associate electronic music with this season of the year, but Junior Boys deliver with this sparse, chilling tune, “Playtime.”

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Episode 92: Wake that Sleepyhead in You

Anticipating Ian’s arrival in a few weeks (if he’s punctual), one of the things I’ve been considering is responding to and teaching discernment with coarse language.  And because I’ve been on a Sonic Youth kick recently, I’ve specifically thought about cussing in music.

I’ll spare you most of my thoughts and conversation with my wife, but I can say that I am convinced parents must model for children a healthy respect of language.  I don’t think this involves overreacting to my son when he inevitably drops a minor curse word…and on the other end of the spectrum, it obviously doesn’t mean I should mean that I should cuss like a sailor.  I guess I have some time to figure things out before he gets old enough that it matters.  You know, maybe I have enough time before then to write a book…

Enjoy the show.

  1. “No Room” – Two-Pound Planet (No Sense of History | Alternative/Stunt | 1992)
  2. “(I Got A) Catholic Block” – Sonic Youth (Sister | SST | 1987)
  3. “Surgeon” – St. Vincent (Strange Mercy | 4AD | 2011)
  4. “Natural Frost” – Welcome (Sirs | FatCat | 2007)
  5. “Salad of Speech” – 100 Flowers (100 Years of Pulchritude | EMI | 1990)
  6. “Okay, I’ll Admit That I really Don’t Understand” – The Flaming Lips (Zaireeka | Warner | 1997)
  7. “Listen, It’s Gone” – The Ocean Blue (Beneath the Rhythm and Sound | Sire | 1993)
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Episode 91: Phasers on Stun

A while back, I called up a record store in Indianapolis to order a super-limited edition 12″ single The Flaming Lips recorded with Neon Indian.  After giving the clerk, Dan, my credit card information, we began discussing uber-obscure, hazy and psychedelic garage bands.  During that conversation, I remember Dan saying he listens to so much music that he doesn’t really stick with one record for very long…say less than two weeks.

Whether it’s due to owning too much music or it’s a sort of musical attention deficit disorder, I feel much the same.  While this may be problematic to some, I find that wearing out new albums always points me back to my all-time favorite artists and records.

I love 60s jazz and 90s indie rock; they are like musical comfort foods to me.  Enjoy.

  1. “Knife Rape” – Mothguts (III | Thor’s Rubber Hammer | 2009)
  2. “Spectrum” – Andrew Hill (Point of Departure | Blue Note | 1964)
  3. “Mykologics” – Mouse on Mars (Niun Niggung | Thrill Jockey | 1999)
  4. “Kazuality” – Blonde Redhead (Fake Can be Just as Good | Touch and Go | 1997)
  5. “Phasers on Stun/Sola Kola” – Yatsura (We Are Yatsura | Che Trading | 1996)

Radio Free Raytown – Episode #91 (9/28/11)

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This week’s rotation.

I’ve been listening to a lot of good records lately, in no particular order.

  1. Strange Mercy – St. Vincent (4AD | 2011)
  2. Tango Boys – Motel Beds (Fictionband Mechanics | unreleased)
  3. Unknown Pleasures – Joy Division (Factory | 1979)
  4. The Law of Things – The Bats (Flying Nun | 1990)
  5. The HMV/Parlophone Singles ’88-’95 (disc one) – Morrissey (EMI | 2009)
  6. Home Cookin’ – Jimmy Smith (Blue Note | 1959)
  7. Siberia – Echo and the Bunnymen (Cooking Vinyl | 2005)
  8. Bounce Around – Minisnap (Magic Marker | 2008)
  9. Don’t You Rise – The Bats (Slumberland | 2009)
  10. Lo-Fi Feeling – The Tambourine Club (independent | 2011)
You can get Lo-Fi Feeling for free from The Tambourine Club’s website.
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Episode 90: All Forgotten Youth

A short drive from Dayton, Ohio, Yellow Springs is the perfect town for autumn.  Lots of trees, old timey shops along a main street and a small, private college.  One of the attractions used to be a music store called Dingleberry’s in the middle of town.

I clearly remember my first visit to Yellow Springs.  (While dating, Katy and I took turns traveling to see one another, she in Dayton and I in Raytown.)  I had made the trip to Dayton, and Katy wanted to take me to get ice cream at Young’s Dairy Farm on the outskirts of town.  On our way through town, she introduced me to Dingleberry’s, which was convenient as Echo and the Bunnymen had just released a live album that I needed to buy that would, in turn, introduce her to the band.

Fast-forward almost nine years, and we’re expecting our first child.  We’ve decided upon the name Ian (which, coincidentally is the name of Echo and the Bunnymen’s frontman).  This week, I dedicate my show to music made by guys named Ian.  Enjoy.

  1. “Proud to Fall (Extended Mix)” – Ian McCulloch (“Faith and Healing” single | Sire | 1989)
  2. “Do It Clean” – Echo and the Bunnymen (Crocodiles | Korova | 1980)
  3. “Merchandise” – Fugazi (Repeater | Dischord | 1990)
  4. “Lucky You” – Lightning Seeds (Jollification | Epic | 1993)
  5. “Interzone” – Joy Division (Unknown Pleasures | Factory | 1979)
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Episode 89: Keep on Dreaming

One wall from Danny Gibson's show, Quietly Contributing

Danny J. Gibson's show, Quietly Contributing, at 1819 Central.

Attending the opening of Danny Gibson’s new art show, Quietly Contributing, last week was quite the tear-jerker.  Gibson created posters for so many of my friends’ shows.  (And many of those folks were in attendance.)  Eventually, I also employed him for some work on posters and album artwork.

To accompany and promote the show, 35 artists have donated songs to a free digital compilation album.  If you don’t already have it, get it now.  I play one of the album’s songs, from my friend Dan Billen, this week.  It’s a cute, classy tune, begging for inclusion on the soundtrack to the next Jared Hess flick.

Oh yeah, and then there’s Eddie Hazel, one of my favorite guitarists.  This is the dude responsible for Funkadelic’s 10-minute masterpiece, “Maggot Brain,” a song so overpowering that I want it played at my funeral.  I’ve been rocking his lone solo album, Games, Dames and Guitar Thangs, a lot recently.  I don’t know why it’s taken me 89 episodes to play on of his songs, but I finally did.   And you’re welcome.  Enjoy.

  1. “Wall Street” – Battles (Gloss Drop | Warp | 2011)
  2. “California Dreamin'” – Eddie Hazel (Games, Dames and Guitar Thangs | Warner Bros. | 1977)
  3. “Corner of the Sky” – Cut Copy (Zonoscope | Modular Recordings | 2011)
  4. “Let a Dreamer Dream” – Dan Billen (DJG Was Here | independent | 2011)
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Episode 88: The Light on a Stranger’s Face

Halstead, jockin' my style.

Finishing the field experience for my master’s degree in school leadership had me pretty stressed out two years ago.  So Neil Halstead’s mellow show during spring break at the Jackpot Saloon in Lawrence came at precisely the right time.  (Although the timing meant all the college kids had fled for the week and only a handful attended, the quiet atmosphere fit my mood and the show.  Halstead didn’t come to rock, but to sooth us with melodies.)

This week, I focus on Halstead’s work.  As could be expected, a 25-minute podcast cannot cover everything an artist creates in 20 years, but I hope you get a glimpse of his genius.  He doesn’t bludgeon the listener with his cool artsyness, instead he relies on melody, songcraft to convince.  Enjoy.

  1. “Brigther” – Slowdive (Just For a Day | Creation | 1991)
  2. “Alison” – Slowdive (Souvlaki | Creation | 1993)
  3. “Who Do You Love” – Mojave 3 (Out of Tune | 4AD | 1998)
  4. “Seasons” – Neil Halstead (Sleeping on Roads | 4AD | 2002)
  5. “Kill the Lights” – Mojave 3 (Puzzles Like You | 4AD | 2006)
  6. “No Mercy for the Muse” – Neil Halstead (Oh! Mighty Engine | Brushfire | 2008)

Radio Free Raytown – Episode #88 (8/26/11)

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No agenda.

“…it’s impossible to completely separate any kind of art–or any kind of product–from the preoccupations of its time. I like to say that i have no agenda. I say it because I don’t run with any particular gang, and because agendas are often no more than defensive postures we take up against other people’s agendas. But I do have an agenda of sorts, or a guiding conviction, and I may as well be honest about it. Music is either an art form or it isn’t, and I say that it is: the greatest of the arts, and one of the closest approaches we mortals have to the divine. And try as I might, I can’t seem to reduce it to the level of the matching handbag that goes with this year’s jacket. Nor can I inflate it to the level of tribal warfare.”

-Joe Jackson, from his autobiography, A Cure for Gravity

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Episode 86: Too Much on My Mind

A couple weeks ago, I re-loaned This is Where I Belong: The Songs of Ray Davies and The Kinks to a friend.  He’s been playing it in his koffeeshop, re-reminding me of Davies’ genius.  (As if I ever forgot, right?)  Since then, I’ve been on a krazy Kinks kick.  It’s almost as if I’m back in kollege when I discovered the band.

The funny thing about my musical discovery process is that because my parents kared so little about rock and roll (they, in fact, were decidedly against it), I didn’t take any usual path to the important albums.  I didn’t start with Rubber Soul or Are You Experienced? to learn about the 1960s.  I heard about The Kinks are the Village Green Preservation Society, and dove into that.  My discovery of The Beatles’ albums would come much, much later.

Anyway, on to the show.  If you live in Raytown, you have to love a guy named Ray, right??  Enjoy.

  1. “Till the End of the Day” – The Kinks (The Kink Kontroversy | Reprise | 1965)
  2. “Sunny Afternoon” – The Kinks (Face to Face | Reprise | 1965)
  3. “Village Green” – The Kinks (The Kinks are the Village Green Preservation Society | Reprise | 1968)
  4. “Shangri-La” – The Kinks (Arthur (Or the Decline and Fall of the British Empire) | Reprise | 1969)
  5. “Too Much on My Mind” – The Kinks (Face to Face | Reprise | 1965)

Radio Free Raytown – Episode #86 (8/5/11)

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