Our Pick for Best Song of 2015

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Well it is not only that time of the year where everyone debates the “bests” of 2015 — best books, best shows, best foods, etc etc — it is time for us at Your Tuesday Afternoon Alternative to select the song that for us demonstrates the most exciting trends in indie music — and this was a task and a half.  There were so many great albums, terrific songs, and artists who stretched themselves and their audience that to select a single song as the very best of 2015 feels a little bit wrong. However, a selection like this can be emblematic and symbolic of what makes a genre or artist powerful.

So, our criteria are simple — the song must be catchy, well crafted, and becomes stuck in your head.  This song like all good ‘ear worms’ must be something that is nearly impossible to dislodge.  You find yourself wanting to hear it, needing to hear it.

There were many contenders for this spot in our opinion.  Great music from Waxahatchee, The Motel Beds, Jason Isbell, Cheerleader, Ghost Town Silence, Moira, The New Old-Fashioned, Best Coast, Smug Brothers, Line and Circle, Courtney Barnett, Soda Shop, Circa Waves, The 1984 Draft, and many others demanded to be considered.  And you will only do yourself a favor by checking into music from all of these bands.

Reflective_VinylAnd, in the end, these lists and choices are expressions of the person doing the choosing.  Yes.  Sure, these choices are partly biographic about the judge and are often more about getting a conversation started about what makes a great song or a great album or truly unique or powerful artwork.

With that said, our favorite song of 2015 is Mittenfields – Optimists.

Released this past April, optimists is a great song from start to finish. From the first hit of the drumstick to the melody line of the bass to the weaving of multiple beautiful guitar parts.  And oh what glory is in those guitar fills, leads and strums.  The weaving of three guitarists at the top of their game makes for a fantastic listening experience.  The guitar parts do not fight one another — they complement, they add to the aural experience and build upon one another.  And along with the guitar parts a drum sound that sounds like actual drums.  Not a tinny barely audible mish-mash of time keeping, but a strong hard hitting backbone for the song.  If that was not enough, Dave Mann’s clever bass play and vocals sung with an urgency that captivates the listener’s attention make the song impossible to ignore.  And as he sings optimistic lyrics that are not dripping with sappy syrup or faux sentimental — this gestalt of sounds makes an utterly complete piece of powerful indie power-pop.  It is nearly 2 minutes of indie perfection for those of us at Your Tuesday Afternoon Alternative.

How many songs can you listen to and the second that song is finished, you wished that it was still playing!  We even once played the song twice back-to-back on our program because close to four minutes seemed to give the song the length that it so richly deserved.  This song never gets old.  When every instrument is perfectly weaved in and out of the mix and it feels whole and meaningful and you find yourself singing along from the very first time you heard it — that is a great song.

And as the song starts — “We are all optimists, even on our bad days”

The only sour note here is that Mittenfields have broken up; but what a great tribute to leave behind.  We look forward to the music projects these musicians will pursue in 2016 and beyond.

DrJ

 

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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

13th Annual Holidayton

Holidayton

What do you want to do after the holiday? How about taking in some of the very best of Dayton music?  Doesn’t that sound fun.  We thought so too!

The 13th annual HoliDayton showcase will be held on Saturday December 26th, 2015 at Blind Bob’s, 430 E. 5th Street, Dayton, Ohio in the lovely and historic Oregon District. Seven dollars is all it will cost to get you in to a demonstration of the health and vitality of the area music scene.

As with all of the previous years, there will be two stages — a side stage and a main stage.  Throughout the night bands will play one stage and then the music will move to the other stage. Performances alternate seamlessly throughout the evening.

Come early as music is scheduled to start at 8pm, stay late and celebrate another complete revolution of the earth around the sun of great Dayton music with your community, friends, family, and all who are free to join along.

Once again the lineup of Dayton musicians promises to be stellar and takes a slice from several different genres and approaches to rock and roll music.

The Story Changes

Mark and Poppy not only curate Holidayton every year for over a decade, they contribute to the event in sonic fashion as well. While these artists now comprise one half of Hawthorne Heights, The Story Changes is a powerful duo with a legacy of well crafted songs and incredible ability. Their last TSC album, ‘Never in Daydream’ was one of our favorite records of 2014.  With all of the projects that Mark and Poppy taken on, honestly one has to wonder when these guys ever sleep. But as long as they keep making such fine songs with intelligent lyrics and energetic performances, does it matter?

 

PJ and Tommy (of The Motel Beds)

The ‘Beds released an incredible record this year with Mind Glitter! While the full band was not able to play Holidayton this year, an acoustic set from PJ and Tommy is one of those rare oft-discussed musical moments that you will need to see.  And between PJ’s charisma and Tommy’s fantastic guitar prowess – everyone in the audience will not be able to take their eyes off of these musicians who are at the height of their power.

 

Moira

Moira is one of the most exciting new bands in town.  This band is part dream pop, part atmospheric psychedelia with a healthy mix of keyboards and electronic effects that are only used to serve the songs.  Their EP – ‘Asleep//Repeat/Awake’ is one of our favorite CDs from 2015.  Intelligent lyrics that are cleverly constructed and beautifully performed is the hallmark of Moira.  Add to that the band is fronted by Alicia Grodecki who is well known for her captivating performances.  This band is not to be missed.  We have seen this band play on the street during Cincinnati’s Midpoint Music Festival and as they played people stopped what they were doing and were engrossed in the music created by this talented trio.

 

The 1984 Draft

What can be said about The ‘Draft that has not been said elsewhere?  Some of the most authentic and emotional performances in Dayton were created by Joe Anderl, Justin Satinover, Eli Alban, and most recent addition Chip Heck.  Their new EP ‘Heisman Trophy Winner’ includes a new version of ‘Capo’ and the standout tune for us at Your Tuesday Afternoon Alternative – ‘Sinking.’  The raw feeling and connection that this band creates with its audience demonstrates the necessity of seeing them on Saturday night.  Community and connection are created every time The 1984 Draft play.  Every. Single. Time.  Do yourself a favor and go see them!

 

The New Old-Fashioned

The New Old-Fashioned released two of our favorite records of 2015.  The powerful ‘Low Down Dirty Summer Nights’ and the split EP with The Repeating Arms – ‘Hilltops and Highways.’  Both are on our best of list for this year.  The harmonies, arrangements, and skill shown on both of those records leads any music lover to wonder “why hasn’t this band blown up big!”  If there is any justice in the world, The New Old-Fashioned will take their Midwestern country-infused rock and roll to the same level that Jason Isbell and others in the Alt-Country movement have accomplished in the last few years. And the single, ’27’ is one of our very favorite songs of 2015.

 

Manray

This groove focused power trio not only has the talent and skill to command attention wherever they play, they have great songs. Remember songwriting?  This band reminds us what a well written song sounds like, feels like, and demands to be noticed.  Their new songs from the forthcoming record, ‘Classic Jurassic’ promise to leave audience members shocked that such a young band can play with such finesse.  The local music scene in Dayton is in great shape if this band is any indication of the future of Dayton music.

 

Bribing Senators

As one of Dayton’s finest rock and roll band’s, Bribing Senators bring a relentless heavy indie attack to all that they do.  Their uncompromising approach is characteristic of their songs and their performances.  This is what real down and dirty authentically played rock and roll is supposed to be.

 

Jetty Bones

From Springfield, Ohio – Jetty Bones deconstructs the archetype that indie music has to be created according to a particular playbook.  This band is focused on making music that speaks to all of us in terms of the missed opportunities, real connection, and long lingering that holds us together when we should be coming unglued; that is what Jetty Bones captures.

Tombstone Tremblers

Intense, fuzzy, evocative arrangements including incredible work on guitar. Not to be missed. Imagine if Roky Erickson had not been institutionalized and continued to make music in his ‘middle period’ with members of The Stooges and The Rolling Stones — that is The Tombstone Tremblers sound and possibly their wake up call to the slick overproduced music found on the so-called Top 40.

Goodnight Goodnight

Atmospheric shoegazing indie rock from one of Dayton’s most interesting bands. The arrangements will remind you of the Cocteau Twins at a party for Robert Smith hosted by Radiohead.  Some of the most interesting deconstruction of indie music in the Dayton area.

So, yeah you should go to the show on Saturday.  See you there.

ALT Monster

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