Dr. J’s Singles Club at Off Shelf

106799389_605906167029120_7523683373463049191_nEvery month Dr. J write a run down of 8 to 10 singles that came out the previous month.

The latest Singles Club column covers some pretty spectacular releases from June! Do yourself a favor and go check it out over at OffShelf.net!

Many thanks to the fine folks over at Off Shelf for giving us the opportunity to share some exciting new music every month! And you can listen to these selections by going to the spotify playlist each month as well. Its truly a win-win!

Tomorrow’s YTAA Playlist

your-tuesday-alternative-new logoYTAA 07-07-2020 Playlist is set for tomorrow over there at Spotify!

This week the playlist includes music from The SighsThe Motel Beds, Reno Bo, The OverturesThe Nautical ThemeSaul Glennon, ShrugTijuana PanthersMike Bankhead Music, Brandi Ediss, BenchmarksThe Vapour TrailsThe Corner LaughersWussy, Sam at Eleven, The Foreign FilmsDr. PantsFlyaway Minion, Ken Sharp, SlumberjetNo AgeThe New Old-Fashioned, DonoraBribing SenatorsDebra DeviCold War KidsJasper the ColossalJosh Joplin and The 1984 Draft

We also have some looking back indie with Sisters of Mercy, Archers of Loaf and GUIDED BY VOICES!

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11 Questions with… Nick Leet

101714517_10163801825875154_1076073664824213504_nThis latest interview with songwriter, singer and guitarist Nick Leet of the Minneapolis band High on Stress is the fourth installment in our 11 questions column. High on Stress have recently released their incredible record ‘Hold Me In.’ As frequent readers of this ‘blog on our radio show know well, this record is a highlight of musicianship and uncompromising lyrical word play that draws accurate picture of real life.

Taking time to reflect on the creation of art and music is critically important in these challenging times.

As always we wish to thank the busy musicians and artists for taking the time to answer these questions for our readers/listeners on YTAA! We greatly appreciate the opportunity to learn about the process of creating music from those involved in songcraft.

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Photo by Paul Lundgren

Dr. J:  What can you share with us about when and how you started recording your latest record, “Hold Me In”?

Nick Leet (NL): High on Stress started in 2003 and ended in 2014. We released our final album (at the time), “Leaving MPLS” the same night as our final show at the Parkway Theatre in MPLS which happened to an unbelievably memorable show. I hold that one close to me. I drove home that night exhausted and proud but also excited to do something else. I played in a couple of bands for 4 years (Pasadena ’68 & Dakota Shakedown) but somehow we were lead back to High on Stress in 2018.

We re-released our debut album “Moonlight Girls” on vinyl and started to write and record the new record. I could feel there was something special happening with these songs. The band needed a break when we called it a day but we came back stronger and better than ever with this album. Super proud of it.

Dr. J:  The band has evolved over the years. How has the changes in the relationships between the band members affected the music? How have those relationships shaped your music?

NL: “Moonlight Girls” (2005) was recorded with a different line-up. Ben “Country” Baker was on guitar and Jon Tranberry was on bass. Jon left the band the year after it’s release and Ben Baker moved to China during the making of “Cop Light Parade”. Jim Soule joined on bass and brought some high powered backing vocals. Chad Wheeling joined the band and brought his rock guitar background with him. Ben’s style was very country based where Chad is allergic to acoustic guitars. The style has evolved to more of a power pop rock n’ roll band but we’ve never lost the Americana side of it. Mark Devaraj has always been trusty behind the drum kit. He also specializes in great ideas and suggestions.

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Dr. J:  “Hold Me In” is a very different record than “Leaving MPLS”, how do these records compare? What influenced your work on each of them? I’m glad you noticed that.

NL: I’m a big fan of “Leaving MPLS” but it really is the sound of a band facing it’s ending. It was a difficult and stressful record to make. I think the difference really is found in the years between. We all went off to play with some different people. When we got back together it was fresh and exciting and we all had new perspectives. I truly felt like “Hold Me In” was going to be our best record from the moment we started. You could feel that positive energy throughout the process.

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Nick at First Avenue 2010. Photo by Steven Cohen

Dr. J:  ‘Wish This Moment Gone’ seems to address loss or concerns with loss – is that a correct interpretation of some of the lyrics? In addition, if that is correct, did you intend to address a sense of loss or did the song evolve in that direction over time?

NL: “Wish This Moment Gone” addresses my feelings on the current state of the country and humanity. We have eroded into deeper resentment, division and outward racism. It’s my hope for better things in November.

Dr. J:  How did the song ‘Wish This Moment Gone’ come together musically for you? A friend commented that Trump was asking America to hold his beer. That comment inspired the song and it wrote itself very quickly. We were very fortunate to have our friend, Laurie Lindeen, from Zuzu’s Petals join us on backing vocals.

Dr. J:  Where do you often derive inspiration to make music? I’ve thought about this a bit over the years.

NL: Honestly it’s not something you plan. It’s something that keeps me grounded and helps rid myself of negative energy. It’s not a hobby and never will be. I don’t feel whole if I stay away from it for too long. I’m very thankful that I have it.

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Dr. J:  How would you describe the music that you typically create? How has that process evolved or changed over time (especially as you think about your journey from
“Cop Light Parade” to “Leaving MPLS” to “Hold Me In”)?

NL: Power Pop Americana Rock n’ Roll. I’ve always kept one foot in the Replacements and Big Star and one foot in Wilco.

I love music. Whether it’s Babes in Toyland, Nirvana and Archers of Loaf or something like Son Volt or Billy Pilgrim. There is beauty in all kinds of music as long as it’s honest. It HAS to be honest.

Dr. J:  What is next for you musically? How would you describe your thoughts at this point for your next project after Hold Me In?

NL: Oh man. It’s tough to think about. I love “Hold Me In” so much that I just want to hang with it for as long as possible. I truly feel like it’s the record I’ve wanted to make since I picked up a guitar. There will be more High on Stress music in the future. We’ve been writing and recording a few things with Andrew Hyra. There could possibly be an EP or full length collaboration record with him down the line. Who knows, only the time machine will tell.

20108487_10155470533697145_3062558666245833092_nDr. J:  What is your favorite song to perform? What makes it a current favorite in your performances? Do you enjoy Live Streaming?

NL: Favorite song to perform…hmmm. I think that’s a two part answer. “Gold Star” and Eyeliner Blues” from “Moonlight Girls” are up there. I think right now it would probably be “Relax” from “Hold Me In”. I like the instant communication of live streaming. It doesn’t replace being in a sweaty room with drums behind you but it serves a purpose and really allows for more direct communication.

High On Stress Band Photo
photo by Paul Lundgren

Dr. J:  What is one message you would hope that listeners find in the unique nature of your latest music?

NL: I hope they connect with it. I’m a lyric guy. The music I love the most sticks with me and I find new meaning to the lyrics all the time. That is always my hope. I want to do the same for other people. I also hope it inspires them to rise up and think about others.

Dr. J:  As a musician, how are you adapting to the challenges of the Coronavirus?

NL: It’s tough. There’s nothing I want more than to get in a loud room with the guys. I don’t think I’m adapting. I think I’m managing but it isn’t easy. I miss it.

Thanks again to Nick for answering these questions! If you would like to participate in a future ’11 Questions with…’ column, please feel free to email us at drjytaa@gmail.com.  All pictures and images of High on Stress courtesy of the band and photographer Paul Lundgren and Steven Cohen.

High on Stress on Facebook     High on Stress on Twitter    High on Stress Website

High on Stress on Instagram

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Video Of The Day: Tiny Stills – Craigslist Bed

Kailynn West as Tiny Stills is making some of the most infectious indie power pop that captures the sadness and melancholy of choices and consequences of this thing we call life. The fact that she does so without being trite or condescending is something that should catch on! In the best tradition of post-punk, Tiny Stills explores twists and turns with catchy melodies and crunchy guitars. It does not get better than that. You should also explore the excellent “Everything is Going Great” which speaks to us in this current moment of time.

Follow her on twitter and Facebook

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End of June YTAA Playlist

Hey there music lovers! We have today’s playlist! Featuring new music from Tiny Stills, HUM, The Orange PeelsCharlie & Amanda, exciting live music from JAPANDROIDSNick CaveFontaines D.C., Mourn, Nada SurfMike Bankhead MusicTrue LiesSports TeamHAIMKyleen Downes, Tino, The Rentals, Corb Lund and Owen.

Plus songs care of The Boxcar SuiteDavid PayneXL427BRAT CURSEThe ConnellsSmug Brothers, Kris N., The Mayflies USAhuman reunionThe Beths, ESP Ohio, Jordan Hull, Me Time, Buffalo TomJim Basnight and The 1984 Draft!

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Today’s YTAA Set List

Our playlist for today includes new music from The Jayhawks, TINO, Zoon, The Yellow Melodies, Wire, The Gabbard Brothers, Viceroy Kings, Gum Country, Wells & Watson, Kyleen Downes, Maxwell Stern, Healing Potpouri, The Bye Bye Blackbirds, Permanent Collection, Bob Dylan (yeah, that Bob), The Vapour Trails, Braids, Phoebe Bridgers, Mike Bankhead, Dave Payne, Elvis Costello and Neil Young — well its new and not so new! Plus just some great songs from The Boxcar Suite, Hello June, The Veldt, Wussy, Neo-American Pioneers, Allah-Las, Son Volt, Steve Makofka and The Turtle Chasers and Dr. Pants.

And we have a cool Smiths cover care of GoodnightGoodnight AND a Son Volt cover courtesy of Age Nowhere!

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Chad Well’s Short Takes

Short TakesToday’s Short Takes come care of the Reverend Chad Wells.  He is in many ways a polymath — songwriter, artist, musician, tattoo artist, business owner, reverend and more. Chad is an accomplished musician with his band Cricketbows, as a duo with Aarika Watson (Wells & Watson) and as a solo artist. During the current Coronavirus challenge, he has been live streaming every day at 4pm on Facebook to share thoughts, reflections, live music and his honest concerns about the world around him. Part meditation, part emotional inventory, part agent provocateur, these videos have become widely viewed on Facebook.

Reaching out to Chad to ask if he would give us a few ‘Short Takes’ of music that he is listening to lately was an easy call for us to make here at YTAA. Take a few minutes and review his excellent recommendations!

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Alice CooperLove It To Death: This album is sheer perfection. It is a meticulously crafted Rock And Roll car crash. This is what I secretly wish Bowie’s Ziggy Stardust album sounded like (and I love that album).

 

 

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The Be Good TanyasBlue Horse: This album is like an amazing, fluffy, warm, cozy blanket that’s riddled with a subdued and subtly related – but vast, and epically varied – array of threads that run through it’s landscape. This should be positioned somewhere near The Cowboy Junkies Trinity Sessions…

 

sddefaultAnd On That note… Cowboy Junkies: The Trinity Session. In 1988 the Canadian band Cowboy Junkies released the most truly beautiful sounding and heart-string pulling album that ever was. Just a greatly matched bunch of musicians in a historic old church standing around one microphone playing the songs live. They play their instruments, they play the room, they play off of each other in the most beautiful, natural and liquid way. A desert island recording for me.

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And on an entirely unrelated but equally masterful note: Wall of Voodoo: Call Of The West. This album gets zero love. Because of their quirky style and their outlandish music video hit “Mexican Radio“, the band was dismissed as a novelty by most critics. But this album is just pure hot fire. Spaghetti western New Wave turns into wasteland noise-scapes and emotional electronic dirges flow into weird-pop masterpieces.

 

Many Thanks to Chad for sharing the music that he is listening to right now!your-tuesday-afternoon-alternative-color copy

‘Slide It My Way’ – The Great Serpent Mound of Ohio

The Great Serpent Mound of Ohio Band has been hard at work on a new record. Today’s video of the day comes from this terrific Dayton, Ohio band! Their upcoming album “De Temporum” (2020) on WoodyFaz Records promises to be a compelling new release!

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Neal Casal Music Foundation: A Worthy Effort

Neal Casal FoundationThe Neal Casal Music Foundation is an exciting effort to support a number of charitable initiatives that were a part of Neal Casal interests, most notably provide music instruments and lessons to students in New Jersey and New York state schools where Neal was born and raised. The NCMF is also seeking to strengthen mental health care among musicians.

A Kickstarter has been launched to help raise money for the foundation through two primary packages: a 30-plus song tribute album, ‘Highway Butterfly: The Songs of Neal Casal’ and a coffee table photography book, ‘Tomorrow’s Sky: Photographs by Neal Casal.’ We are happy to report that the kickstarter has already raised over $33,000 toward the NCMF’s good works!

Visit the Foundation’s website to investigate the campaign and to read Rolling Stone’s feature about the foundation. The site also has video premiere of Billy Strings with Circles Around The Sun performing Neal’s song “All The Luck In The World.” The Neal Casal Foundation is hard at work completing this amazing project with a full release planned for spring 2021. Also check out their Facebook page where they will share more exclusive details on this amazing album and other initiatives over the next several weeks!

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YTAA Spotify Playlist for 06-16-2020

This past week we played music from Dayton’s own Mike Bankhead, Kyleen Downes, The New Old-Fashioned, Amber Hargett, Nick Kizrnis, Seth Canan, The Paint Splats, Guided By Voices and The Boxcar Suite. Throw in some Cincinnati music courtesy of Wussy and The Magic Words and there is tons of local music in the YTAA Playlist for this week. We played tons of live music from Iggy Pop, Richard Thompson, R.E.M. and Liam Gallagher. New music from J. Marinelli, Michael Stipe with Big Red Machine, Dougie Poole, Rolling Blackouts Coastal Fever, Babbling April, The Corner Laughers and The Bye Bye Blackbirds. Check out all of our YTAA Playlists over on Spotify!

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Nick Leet’s Short Takes

Short TakesNick Leet is the principal songwriter of the excellent High on Stress who were initially known for playing with Tommy Stinson and Slim Dunlap. As the passionate vocalist for High on Stress, Leet gives life to their songs. The band came roaring back with the incredible ‘Hold Me In’ from this past April. The record captures both the energy of their musically legendary hometown of Minneapolis and the lyrical authenticity of that fertile ground that gave birth to The Replacements, Soul Asylum and Husker Du. There is realism in the songs without pretense or the sense of ideas being forced into predetermined catchphrases.

a2738656838_10It would be wrong to pigeonhole High on Stress, they pay homage to their city and at the same time transcend the categorization that comes from the label of Minneapolis music. Consider checking into their earlier records especially ‘Leaving MPLS’, ‘Living is a Dying Art‘ and Cop Light Parade.

Reaching out to Nick to ask if he would give us a few ‘Short Takes’ of music that he is listening to lately was honestly not a difficult decision. Check out his excellent recommendations!

20000000078234_(1)Jason IsbellReunions‘ – I’ve been listening to this one quite a bit since he just released it. He is one of the best writers we have out there right now. Standout track for me is the evocative ‘St Peter’s Autograph.’

Billy Pilgrim ‘Billy in the Time Machine’ is a great record that is about to be re-released.

Andrew Hyra & Kristian Bush were born to sing together. Also check out Andrew’s solo record ‘Spill‘. ‘Here I Am‘ and ‘Great Expectations’are killer tracks on that album.

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Jim Soule ‘Forget the Days’ [the record came out on June 5th] It’s Jim’s first solo record and is a great listen. Jim has a wonderful sense of melody and a big voice. Standout track: “A New Brand of Fiction.”

 

 

 

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Fig Dish ‘That’s What Love Songs Often Do’. This is a wonderful rock n’ roll record from the mid-nineties. They were a Chicago band with great hooks. The drums sound killer on here and every song is a knockout. Stand out tracks are “Bury Me” and “Quiet Storm King“. I can’t stop there…let’s add “It’s Your Ceiling” to the mix too.

 

Many Thanks to Nick for sharing the music that he is listening to right now!

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Video of The Day: Kyleen Downes

Our video of the day comes courtesy of Dayton songwriter, guitarist and all around cool person Kyleen Downes. This new song ‘Tiny Little Table‘ is from the album ‘Come On Sit Down’ which comes out tomorrow – June 12th! Check on the record at Kyleen’s store! What is more is that she is live streaming a release show tonight on her homepage!

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