Best of 2019: Mike Bankhead’s Picks and Thoughts

Shrug – Easy is the New Harda1766992202_10

Shrug are stalwarts of the Dayton music scene, having been around for 25 years.  This is their first album to be released on vinyl, and as if that’s not enough, it’s a double.  Some of the songs on the track list that showed up in their sets 15 years ago (“New Amsterdam” and “Bender” being the oldest) coexist beautifully with new music that didn’t get played live until the album release show (“Powder” and “Follow the Captain”).  The result is probably the best, most eclectic work of their tenure, and certainly my favorite since 2002’s self-titled release.

    *favorite songs: “Powder”, “New Amsterdam”, “Follow the Captain”, “Blue Blanket”

 

220px-Sleater-Kinney_-_The_Center_Won't_HoldSleater-Kinney – The Center Won’t Hold

About the same time that Shrug was getting going here in Dayton, this band started up in Olympia, Washington.  This is their 9th album, and heads off in a different sonic direction from everything else in their catalog. This new direction cost them the powerful services of drummer Janet Weiss, as she departed the band just before they went on tour to support the album.  There is synth here, extra slick production, and pop sensibility, but it still sounds like a Sleater-Kinney album. That’s enough for me.

    * favorite songs: “Reach Out”, “Bad Dance”

 

911IuEsTDWL._SS500_Big Wreck – … but for the sun

Here’s a third band that formed in 1994.  Ian Thornley’s voice is the closest I have ever heard to Chris Cornell’s, and it’s still as powerful now as it was when I first discovered this band.  If you enjoyed Soundgarden in the past, I think you would like Big Wreck as well. This new effort is a big, loud, swaggering rock and roll record. You want guitar solos?  There are plenty of them here. You want riffage? There is plenty of that here. You like shouting along whilst driving? These songs are perfect for that.  

   *favorite songs: “In My Head”, “Give Us a Smile”,  “Alibi” 

 

767870659522_mainGuided By Voices – Sweating the Plague

How about a band that was already more than ten years old in 1994?  Indie rock royals Guided By Voices released three albums this year, because of course they did.  This one is the last of the three. I have had a hard time keeping up on all of Bob Pollard’s music over the years, and would only consider myself somewhat well-versed on the albums that came out between 1994 and 2004.  With that caveat in mind, this album isn’t what I was expecting. I heard tempo changes, a brief Boston-esque lead guitar harmony, a song that starts a capella, all paired up with the usual amount of fantastic hooks.

   *favorite songs: “Street Party”,  “Your Cricket Is Rather Unique”, “Immortals”

 

elbow_giantsofallsizes_mainElbow – Giants of All Sizes

Apologies to Oasis, but Elbow are now my favo(u)rite Manchester band.  This is their 8th studio album. Lyrically, it’s darker than what we normally get from them, but personal tragedies and these modern times will have that effect.  Guy Garvey’s pristine voice, the band’s orchestral use of dynamics, and at least one song with massive audience sing-along potential on the hook… those things are still here.  Also, Pete Turner continues to bring interesting choices to the bottom end, along with solid grooves from which most of the other instruments hang.

  *favorite songs: “Empires”, “White Noise White Heat”, “Weightless”

 

idlewild---interview-musicIdlewild – Interview Music

Let’s stay on the island of Great Britain for a moment, but head up north to Scotland.  I have five of this band’s first six albums on CD (I don’t have the first one). There was a time when I would listen to something from Idlewild just about every day.  Somewhere around 2008, I completely lost track of them. It wasn’t them, it was me. I’ve missed a couple of their albums, and nearly missed this one, only recently having discovered that it came out this year.  Other than the vocals (not the high ones), this doesn’t sound like the Idlewild I remember… there are plenty of atmospheric additions here, strings and reverb-drenched guitar and piano, and it’s all very lovely. I need to spend more time with this album, but I know that I’ll like it more with each listen.

   *favorite songs: “Dream Variations”, “I Almost Didn’t Notice”, “Forever New”

 

The-Cranberries-In-the-EndThe Cranberries – In the End

A short hop West across the Irish Sea brings us to the home of The Cranberries.  This mention is kind of like a career achievement mention, as the band decided not to continue after frontwoman Dolores O’Riordan died in January 2018.  This is their final album, released this year. The vocals come from demos instead of normal studio takes, but if I hadn’t read that online, I wouldn’t have known.  Some of the music would easily fit in among the songs on their first two albums. I feel like most folks probably don’t know this band beyond their hit singles, and that’s too bad, there is some songwriting brilliance in their career, and this is a satisfying final statement.

   *favorite songs:  “Lost”, “Wake Me When It’s Over”, “Illusion”, “In the End”

 

Charly-Bliss-Young-Enough-1557243931-640x640Charly Bliss – Young Enough

Back much farther West across the Atlantic, Brooklyn’s Charly Bliss dropped their second full-length album this year.  Full disclosure, I really wanted to like this album because I have met the members of this band, and they were pleasant and engaging young folks.. I like them as people.  (They also put on a very energetic live show.) My first couple of listens to this album, well, I wasn’t enthused… lots of synth, some drum machine sounds, the guitars and rock had taken a back seat to sugary pop.  Then I paid attention to the lyrics, listened closer to the songwriting, and focused on the harmonic choices. These songs are painfully confessional and personal, and I wonder how Eva manages to sing them on tour night after night without bursting into tears.  Further, this band’s gift for arrangement and hooks persists behind the pop sheen… and these songs sound excellent live, right alongside their older guitar-heavy work. Go get this album.

   *favorite songs: “Capacity”, “Camera”, “Young Enough”, “Chatroom”

 

61470138_554840258255776_5954152654669086720_oJohn Dubuc’s Guilty Pleasures – Where Have I Been All Your Life?

Don’t let John Dubuc’s “aw shucks”, self-effacing demeanor fool you.  He is one of the best songwriters in Dayton. His lyrics oscillate between witty and silly, pointless and profound. He doesn’t feel the need to be constrained by the idea of genre, as there are sounds borrowed from reggae and country and fifties rock and power pop and folk.  Several songs from this album will absolutely get stuck in your head.  

   *favorite songs: “It Ain’t That Far”, “Crazy Days”, “By the Ocean”, “Peace Love and Hamburger Helper”

 

a2717136637_10Me & Mountains – Dream Sequence Volume One

This a very brief EP, so I feel like my comments here have to also be very brief.  I love everything this band does, their sound is right up my alley, and I want them to give me more music ASAP.

  *favorite song: “Demolish Me”

 

a0393637519_10Amber Hargett – Paper Trail

Amber is lovely and genuine and sweet, comes armed with a powerful voice and a knack for songwriting, and once told a story that will ensure I never look at a submarine hatch the same way again.  Oh, and her album is great.

   *favorite songs: “Broke”, “Carolina Blue”, “Stay”

 

0009715440_10Mike Bankhead is a writer and deeply thoughtful musician. Mike does not just create songs he curates sound. His latest record is Defacing the Moon, a split album with The Paint Splats, available now. Mike’s latest song is an impressively powerful narrative that he calls “Little Light” that was released this past May and is available on all digital platforms. He is on twitter at    @mbankheadmusic and Instagram at mikebankheadmusic.

His website is https://mikebankheadmusic.com/ We suggest you check it out! 

Once is Not Enough: Best of 2015 Shows

imagesThere was so much great music in 2015 that we are planning on two back to back radio shows celebrating that music!  We will even be joined by some special guests!  We will have our list of some of the most interesting music from 2015 — well, at least for Dr. J and Mrs Dr. J but we think that we will have at least a few things you will enjoy!

It was an amazing year for Dayton and local music with new releases from Andy Gabbard, Good Luck Year, The New Old-Fashioned, Brat Curse, The Repeating Arms, Moira, Ricked Wicky, Smug Brothers, Tim Gabard, Motel Beds, The Werks, The 1984 Draft, and many more!

We also had some new music from Me & Mountains – a few sneak peeks at their upcoming record ‘Gold’ which included the title track and a fantastic tune in The Only Way To Be.  The later tune written by a father to his young son.  There was also new music from Good English who had a big year in 2015 as well as a few peeks at the new Manray record.  There were many fantastic live shows that we will have to discuss as well

This was a year that gave us new music from outside of Dayton too!  For music lovers across genres there was some great music from:  The Bottlerockets, Lightouts, The Decemberists, Mittenfields, Bad Bad Hats, Low, My Morning Jacket, Ryan Adams, Sleater-Kinney, Sea of Bees, Jason Isbell, Timeshares, Steve Earle & The Dukes, Ultimate Painting, Turbo Fruits, Wilco, Mikal Cronin, Waxahatchee, Varsity, Father John Misty, The Worriers, Pocket Panda, White Reaper, Twin River, a live records from The Drive-By Truckers and The Jayhawks and a fantastic 20th anniversary re-release from Son Volt.

So, join us as we celebrate some terrific music from 2015 beginning this coming Tuesday on WUDR from 3-6pm (e)!

DrJ

Excited for a show filled with new music!

Such an amazing time for new music in the Gem City that we can barely contain ourselves – it all feels like an incredible dream!

We simply could not be more excited about the show tomorrow… premiers from so many great bands that we keep pinching ourselves because we just have to be dreaming, right?

We will be playing a great new songs from Dayton’s own Moira – ‘Midwestern Waste’ off of the Asleep/Repeat/Awake EP which you can download tomorrow night after our show because they are giving it away as a free download on their Bandcamp page moirabandofficial.bandcamp.com!  If you have not seen one of their recent concert – trust us, you want this song and you want it badly!  Oh yeah.

GOLDcover2One of our favorite Dayon bands Me & Mountains have new stuff for all of us.  ‘Gold’ is from their yet untitled upcoming fourth record recorded with Micah Carli at Popside Recording Studios.  The band is several songs into their recording with Carli and based on this track alone – the future looks good for Me & Mountains and your ears!

GLYWe are also fortunate to have a track from Good Luck Year‘s Tinder for the Fire EP with ‘Temporary’ which they will release during their set at Dayton’s Music Art and Film Fest!

Low downAnd not to mention the guys in The New Old-Fashioned have their sophomore record, Low Down Dirty Summer Nights headed our way on September 26th!  You can go see these Midwestern barn burners at Gilly’s in Dayton, Ohio on the 26th and pick up a copy of this fine record! The band has captured the intensity of their live sound without sacrificing the harmonies and soul that make them a band not to be missed!

That is enough reason to listen right there music lovers!  Solid music craft is alive and well!

We will also discuss the upcoming Dayton Music Art and Film Festival slated for September 18th and 19th as well as playing new music from many diverse and exciting bands such as The Bottle Rockets, Line & Circle, COLD BEAT, Sink Tapes, Wilco, La Luz, The Wheel Workers, Bad Bad Hats, Sea Of Bees,Grenades!?, McGuff and the Dumpster Fires, The Apache Relay, and The Fratellis to name a few of the bands with new tunes that we will spin for your listening pleasure!

Of course, what is a Tuesday without some cool interpretations of past music?  We have an amazing cover from Robyn Hitchcock and a surprisingly atmospheric lo-fi 80s cover from Tashaki Miyaki!  Where else would you get all of this indie musical goodness?  

Join Dr. J from 3-6pm on wudr.udayton.edu!  Remember you can always call in requests to 937-229-2774 too!  See ya!

ALT Monster

Show Alerts for Dayton this Saturday!

Popthrillz---Alternative

A Dayton Community Event

Dayton-Ohio_smallThis coming Tuesday — October 29, 2013 at 7:00 – 8:30PM Dr. J will host a discussion on Dayton music!

Join us as we celebrate Dayton music and the Dayton Community!  The event will be held at the University of Dayton’s Science Center Auditorium.

Everything you wanted to know about Dayton Music but were afraid to ask!

Speakers include:

M. Ross Perkins, Goodbye
Tifani Tanaka, Dear Fawn
Burris Dixon, Me & Mountains
Andy Ingram, Kris N.
Tom Gilliam, The Rebel Set
Liz Rasmussen, Good English
Tod Weidner, Motel Beds, Shrug

Brand new song from Dave Mann and More this Week

A new show tomorrow as Your Tuesday Afternoon turns Alternative featuring music and a premier from our friend Dave Mann – Tiny Spark.  The song will make your day!

Hold on tight for bands like Fast Years, King Elk, Motel Beds, Me & Mountains, POP-ETC, Southeast Engine, Dear Fawn, Homemade, PowerFlower, Water Liars, Japandroids, Smashing Pumpkins, Soulsavers, Harper Blynn, A Place to Bury Strangers, The Black Cadillacs, Iskaa & the Red Cars, Good Sir Con Artist, Wussy, Mittenfields, Seedy Seeds, Royal Headache, Guided by Voices and more.

We will be talking about YTAA T-shirts, bumper stickers, and stickers…

So, tune in if you can because we would really appreciate it and you will discover great independent music on wudr.udayton.edu or 99.5 and 98.1 in the Dayton area!

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Update on Me & Mountains’ KickStarter Project

Me & Mountains' Feral
Me & Mountains' Feral

The outpouring of support for Me & Mountains‘s effort to release Feral on Vinyl is gaining traction!  And it has only been a few days!

The band has passed the $1,000 point and are very close to the goal of $1,700!  Keep the support coming oh kind and generous music folks!

Again, what can you do?  You, fan of all around great music can contribute to the KickStarter page for Me & Mountains and support their effort to release their new album, Feral on vinyl.  You can for an incredibly small effort still support great local music!

You can listen and enjoy fantastic music and be part of the collective experience!