Leggy is a dreamy surf rock/lush punk trio from Cincinnati, Ohio, all about friendship, chill vibes and inclusive ‘posi’ rock ‘n’ roll with a little party sprinkled in. They are currently on tour in the UK with legendary all-female Japanese pop punk group Shonen Knife, whose 90s alt prowess is in the same ranks as Nirvana, The Ramones and Sonic Youth. Leggy is on the rise too, having been featured in publications such as Noisey and Stereogum, and quickly gaining a fan base far beyond its home circles. We spoke with the members while they are on tour: Continue reading “Artist Spotlight: Leggy”
It is spring. That is to say, it is approaching THE BEGINNING.
Yes, The Beginning. Welcome, spring! This mix sits squarely in the 10-ish year period of 1966-1977, plus an irresistible tune from 1987—the year of the mystical collaboration of Dolly Parton, Emmylou Harris, and Linda Ronstadt—and the wonky, dulcet tones of Josephine Foster in 2005. At its center, Merle Haggard’s “Ramblin’ Fever.” RIP!
It is spring. That is to say, it is approaching THE BEGINNING.
Yes, The Beginning. Welcome, spring! This mix sits squarely in the 10-ish year period of 1966-1977, plus an irresistible tune from 1987—the year of the mystical collaboration of Dolly Parton, Emmylou Harris, and Linda Ronstadt—and the wonky, dulcet tones of Josephine Foster in 2005. At its center, Merle Haggard’s “Ramblin’ Fever.” RIP!Continue reading “Big Sound Saturdays: Spring and All”
Tom Waits, harbinger of Good Morning Blues, was so delicate in the nineties. Like Blind Willie Johnson, he threw his voice in multiple directions, dug underground for theMad-Meg-style scratchy gorging sound that definitely doesn’t owe, entirely, to the cigarettes, and rose above the surface for the croon that he sustained throughout his early years. “Blue Skies,” a sweet, lovesick prayer for the morning, is Waits at his upper-register prettiest.
It’s not really a “pretty mix,” though; Jimmie Rodgers’ “Sleep, Baby, Sleep” is lovely (and, I admit, something I’ve used before), The Beatles’ 1966 instrumental warm-up of “I’m Only Sleeping” has a lounge-y xylophone thing that’s very pleasant, Leadbelly’s “Good Morning Blues” is a peripatetic affront of an instruction book—how to fight the blues—and the song of my youth, Belle & Sebastian’s “Sleep the Clock Around,” is kind of aggressively nice, but the rest are much more unsettling. Sticking mostly within the late 1960s to the early 1990s, this mix is meant for the all-powerful and totally movable witching hour: can’t go to sleep, can’t wake up, early old morning and late late night.
Lee Hazelwood, whose music’s is so disorienting in the morning, all sexy and string-y and smarmy and full, sings back and forth with David Bowie (RIP): “The Bed” to early Bowie’s mono version of “Let Me Sleep Beside You.” Then across to Randy Newman—famed LA-lover and composer of one of the greatest cartoon movie theme songs ever—Randy Newman (“Last Night I Had A Dream”), and back out to the vibing and sufficiently wobbly Incredible String Band’s “No Sleep Blues.” Anchored by Rolf Harris—a comedian in Australia, once famous for being funny and for imitating the didgeridoo with his voice in “Sun Arise,” track 7—and rounded off with Marvin Pontiac, John Lurie’s very talented and “very elusive” alter ego, Good Morning Blues charts the sun in orbit. Good morning, sweet dreams ~
A thing I wondered about as I combed through 1960s girl groups, gris-gris, freak folk, regular folk, prewar blues, classic blues, The Basement Tapes, the Lomax collection, and the big 1970s—all in the service of making your Saturday night sadness (definitely a thing) into something soothing—is this: how best to listen when you’re feeling kinda low? Continue reading “Big Sound Saturdays: Lonely Saturday Night”
We’re excited to bring you a guest post from brilliant music writer A.G., who brings together queens and titans of 2015 for a year-in-review playlist you’ll love.
First off, happy New Year to all, and to all a good, peaceful, and sonically interesting 2016! As 2015 fades to a dusky glimmer in our rear-view mirrors, let’s take a moment to pump up our speakers and bow down before some of the ladies who made badass, game-changing music over the past year. Before I get into it: no knocks at either of the musical juggernauts referenced in my title, whose albums have been devouring the pop charts of recent memory. In a year that was, commercially speaking, terrible for female musicians and producers, it’s unquestionably rad that Adele’s 25 is smashing basically every sales record available to a seven-week-old album and that Taylor has extended the singles-studded comet trail of 1989 for so long that it’s easy to forget “Shake It Off” was released back in the dark ages of 2014. Continue reading “Big Sound Saturdays: Best of 2015”
I was reminded of this great cover because of the music selection on the show we’re featuring today: Aziz Ansari and Alan Yang’s Master of None. Ansari included a song by The Slits during an explicitly feminist episode dealing with the differences between men’s and women’s experiences, both in the acting world and just in the world at large. Props to that show for bringing up this issue without mansplaining or hitting us over the head. And now, take some time for yourself and enjoy this dirrrty cover of “I Heard It Through the Grapevine,” which is kind of a departure from our normal dreamy dance breaks—but a great one!
Ushering in a month of guest mix-ers, P.F. gives us an extensive collection of heavy jams that are either tuberculosis related or T.B.-proximal. Check out @digamericana and digamericana.com to see some of the other stuff he’s working on, and settle in for the night – this one’s a doozy.
Sanatorium Blues is dedicated to the 1.5 million people around the world who die from tuberculosis-related causes each year.
I am beyond excited to present this spotlight on an all-around amazing feminist nonprofit organization, Girls Rock Camp! Their work in several cities, including Atlanta, is a perfect example of the positive impact that occurs when empowerment, education, and opportunity go hand in hand. I had the privilege of attending the end-of-camp concert for this past year’s Girls Rock Camp in Atlanta. The energy and excitement made the walls vibrate, and the performances by these young stars-in-the-making were beyond inspiring. It was invigorating seeing so many families and community members (enough to fill the theater and more) come together to celebrate this camp’s efforts toward music education, girls’ empowerment, and of course, ROCK!
I guess it’s probably true that even if there are things in the world that are inherent goods, weather isn’t one of them. Winter people confuse me and I don’t want to talk about it. Fall and spring people make sense, opinion-wise, but the whole thing seems ultimately kinda milktoast; why not just go for it? I’m for the summer, and not just its beginning—the long haul, California’s dry desert heat, New York’s simmering trash swamp, Virginia when it feels like the literal surface of the sun. I like that body-bake feeling that makes you want to lie down and toast forever in the sun rays, I never want it to end!
Finding the best jams for deep summer proved trickier than I thought it’d be. No formula for vibes, I guess. Inspired by my best friend in California, who covers herself in literal olive oil when we lay coast-side and bakes her body like a big pasta, by ghost towns swimming in desert people and ants, swampy crocodiles and livid punk rock, noble pups panting in the sun, lazy Sundays and The Hawaiian Craze, I couldn’t decide on a single sound so I put them all together. Riding into the sun with Lou Reed (no truer words than “it’s hard to live in the city”), Hot Meat comes from Bjork’s early punk band The SugarCubes’ eponymous title—this mix is truly of Songs To Bake To.
Listen here, then, for Shadow Music from Thailand, Hawaiian tunes from Kalama’s Quartet, Kenyan guitar jams from the Mombasa Swingsters and country guitar twangs from Speedy West, Cambodian Bodega Pop from Touch Saly, soul-crushing reggae from the Soulettes, heavy rock from Pavement and swamp pop from Rod Bernard and Myron Lee & the Caddies. Hot jazz from the Nite Owls! Detroit R&B! Kurt Vile! The late and ever-great Townes Van Zandt! In truth, this mix is a little bit of an excuse to make public once more TVZ’s gut-wrenching and ever-so-small “Don’t Let the Sunshine Fool Ya,” but Hot Meat, in its thrust for sounding deep summer, sings the opposite, too. I kinda like getting duped by the summer. Maybe it’s a good exercise in letting yourself go.