Best of 2019: Rob Perry’s Picks and Thoughts

Below Rob Perry has listed ten albums that are his favorites released in 2019.  They are in no particular order but he can tell you that they all are really fine recordings.

  1. THE GET AHEADDeepest Light – April 2019 – Jullian Records

The+Get+Ahead-7The Get Ahead calls their eclectic blend of music “Americana Soul”. The unique combination of fiddle and saxophone, best done on the title track, naturally had me dreaming of Little Feat and the late Lowell George. Lead vocalist Nathan Earle’s tone really draws you in while the accomplished band is tight and cohesive.

My favorite tracks on the album are Sister Cities, Faint Outline, Deepest Light, and Special Breed.

  1. HISS GOLDEN MESSENGERTerms of Surrender – September 2019 – Merge a4130119723_10Records

On this latest release, M.C. Taylor appears to have taken his Indie Folk collection of ‘would-be’ songs of despair and woven them into expressions of hope.  This album is filled with brilliant flashes of optimism and it’s the band’s best release in the past 5 years. Favorite songs include My Wing, Katy (You Don’t Have to Be Good Yet), and I Need a Teacher.

 

  1. NIGHT MOVESCan You Really Find Me – August 2019 – Domino Music

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Thanks to The Current, KCMP radio for turning me on to this fantastic duo. Like the radio station, “Night Moves” calls the Minneapolis area home. This is their third album and boy is it a gem of dreamy psychedelia.

Don’t miss these tracks: Mexico, Strands Align, and Keep Me In Mind.

 

 

4. SUMMER CANNIBALSCan’t Tell Me No – June 2019 – Tiny Enginesa1301309498_10

Part indie, part punk, this is an all-around razor-sharp record. This is what I imagine The Clash would be like if lead by a strong young woman. Enjoy the low-slung guitars arching upwards to Jessica Boudreaux’s weighty lyrics.

The best songs are One Of Many, False Anthem, and Can’t Tell Me No.

 

 

  1. LIZ BRASHER Painted Image – January 2019 – Fat Possum Records

a3900028213_10With a thundering voice and a soulful style, Liz Brasher dropped her full-length debut LP in January 2019. The album has tinges of country, gospel, R&B, while weaving in elements of the Delta blues. Brasher doesn’t settle on one genre too long as she seems to effortlessly move from one style to another.

Her voice remains rock-steady, though. Must listens … Love Feasts, Cold Baby, and Blood of the Lamb.

 

  1. MATTIEL Satis Factory – June 2019 – Heavenly Recordings

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I’ll bet Mattiel Brown grew up listening to all her parents’ albums. You can almost feel the Patti Smith, Velvet Underground, and Jefferson Airplane dripping from the creases of this record. It’s all-over-the-place funky-different, in a good way. I’m impressed with Mattiel’s vocal range and the way she easily seems to be able to switch vocal styles, too.

My favorite tracks are Keep the Change, Millionaire, and Populonia.

 

  1. FAYE WEBSTER Atlanta Millionaires Club – May 2019 – Secretly Canadian

a1110224198_10Faye Webster’s new album is full of what I’d call melancholy folk-pop with tinges of soul and a little country thrown in there, too. Most of the tracks are gorgeously arranged and they seem to enhance Webster’s laid-back, hushed delivery. The pedal steel that appears on a few songs helps to add a brilliant and lush, layered sound.

My top songs include Kingston, Right Side of My Neck, and Room Temperature.

 

  1. STELLA DONNELLY Beware of the Dogs– March 2019 – Secretly Canadian

a0497167441_10This is an indie pop record chock full of sweet-sounding songs, albeit with a killer bite. Donnelly writes songs that make you laugh, piss you off, and cause you to think. Plus, she’s really good at it. Guitar-driven hooks are her speciality. By the way, the title track is a stripped-down, solo anthem that’s both powerful and dreamy.

Other songs I enjoy are Tricks, Old Man, and Lunch.

 

  1. SHARON VAN ETTEN Remind Me Tomorrow – March 2019 – Jagjaguwar

remind me tomorrow_sharon van ettenYou’ve probably heard of her. But this time around Sharon’s added some moody synthesizers to the mix. She hasn’t yet become too polite or politically correct but it’s evident she’s stepped out of her comfort zone, pushing boundaries and willing to explore more personal issues. This is her deepest and most complete work to date.

Potential to become a classic. Songs to hear … Comeback Kid, Seventeen, and Jupiter 4.

 

  1. JADE BIRD Jade Bird – April 2019 – Glassnote Records

d77706-20190523-jade-bird-jade-birdLet me start by saying that this is not a perfect indie record. It is, though, a very nice debut album by an up-and-coming singer/songwriter. Her two greatest assets: Her gigantic voice and her amazing self-confidence. She won’t win album of the year awards for this record but it is a testament to what I think she’s going to become someday.

Three great songs included on this LP are Love Has All Been Done Before, Lottery, and 17.

 

Rob PerryRob Perry is an indie music superfan and one of the nicest people on the planet. His twitter account is @RobPerry64. Rob describes himself as MUSIC LOVER, Dreamer, Fly-Fisherman, USAF Veteran, LGBTQ+ Supporter from Plains GA & Raleigh NC, “Don’t get up gentlemen, I’m only passing through.”

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! 

Best of 2019: Jeremy Siegrist’s Picks and Thoughts

Hindsight is always 2020

GEA - C21ILLC Final-8Well, here we are, the end of another year is upon us. If you’re like I am, you are fighting to break out of your self-imposed  echo chamber which you have ensconced yourself in and (possibly) you are thoroughly convinced life as you know it is falling apart. Yes, 2019 has been one of “those” years. As we all watch the worlds political systems, economies and climates stretch and strain under the forces that be, it is easy to fall into a state of hopelessness and despair.  For a great many of us, however, the thing that keeps us upright and a productive part of society is an unnatural reliance upon popular music, rock n roll in particular,  and the almost mystical way it seems to be able to make life bearable. Almost like a gigantic connective web covering the world, for those of us who are tuned in, music is the prime mover, the voice of generations, the highest form of expression and ultimately, the reason behind it all. Like legendary Who guitarist Pete Townsend said, “… the elegance of pop music [is] that it [is] reflective: we were holding up a mirror to our audience and reflecting them philosophically and spiritually, rather than just reflecting society or something called ‘rock n roll.’”  Indeed, this is the way it was then when The Who was at the forefront of new music and the way it still is now.

Fortunately for almost everyone,  I am not prone to writing long pieces extemporaneously, but initially and for reasons unknown, I was asked by my friend Art Jipson, (a Dayton Ohio music legend in his own right), to write a small piece on what I have been listening to this past year and write a couple of review lines about each of the artists. Not being someone who routinely turns legends down, I agreed to the project and found that in attempting to put the piece together I was  forced into deep water asking myself why was it exactly I was listening to what I was listening to. Why was I drawn to things I was drawn to and what did they truly mean to me? The truth is, I’m not sure I came up with any solid answers and I definitely did no music reviewing in the process of writing this article, but here are some things I think are worth mentioning.

2019, for all intents and purposes, was a year of great  turmoil in the United States. Social GEA - C21ILLC Final-113upheaval and political division was at an all time high and I have found that with only a few notable exceptions, artists from previous eras have become suddenly and starkly relevant again in a way that has never happened for many of us before. For instance, 2019 saw the release of the album Colorado by Neil Young, which is objectively an amazing piece of artistry and social commentary. Take into evidence the song “Shut It Down” where the venerable Mr. Young sings:

“All around the planet There’s a blindness that just can’t see Have to shut the whole system down They’re all wearing climate change  As cool as they can be”

I was, and am, immediately drawn to this album for reasons other than just being a decidedly die hard and zealous Neil Young fan. There are things afoot which we haven’t dealt with in many years and they are starting to show in the edges of the musical spectrum of rock-n-roll.

The Drive By Truckers, the die hard stalwart hardest working rock band in the business, this year released a single and a teaser for they upcoming album with the titles being respectively, Perilous Night and Armageddon’s Back In Town. My friends, there are things moving, whether you want them to or not, which we have not seen in many years. In Perilous Night, Patterson Hood sings:

“Dumb, white and angry with their cup half filled

Running over people down in Charlottesville

White House Fury, it’s the killing side, he defends

Defend the up-ender, yes he played that tune

it ain’t the ending but it’s coming soon

 

We’re making love beneath a sputnik moon again

White House is glowing from the Red Square light

The gates at the border being slammed down tight

We’re moving into the perilous night, my friend” 

These are heady and potentially dangerous times, and Rock N Roll, maybe even all of pop music, is standing in the gap ice again ready to take up the cause. Yes, there were many albums released this year and singles which have absolutely nothing to do with the general climate in the world, for instance (and I am showing my age here) Juliana Hatfield, and Swervedriver both released albums this past year. However, I find myself continually drawn back to music which is speaking to our times, even when those times are from years which have seemingly passed out of relevance.

Bob Dylan, Neil Young, The Drive By Truckers are all in my rotation on a constant basis now because they are in the process of capturing a point in time for me. I need to post a disclaimer for everyone who has made it this far in the article. I am not living some sort of 60’s battle reenactment; (This is a line from a Frank Turner song, if you don’t know him you should look him up). I am suddenly and very acutely aware at this point in history we, in this country, and on this planet, are watching huge tectonic plates grinding and moving against one another in a way that has not been seen in many many moons. Put your antenna up friends, the truth is out there and it’s starting to be sung about out on the fringes.

Ultimately, however, and when I finally pull my mind away from the morass of the public spectacle in front of us, I gravitate back towards the people and places I love and am familiar with. For instance, local bands Like Seth Canan and The Carriers, The Boxcar Suite and the 1984 Draft.  Artists like Charlie Jackson and Amber Hartgett, and really everything Patrick Himes touches, are always somewhere in my headspace leaving sonic trails through the synapses. I miss Tom Petty more and more every day and wish I could let it all go again but did you hear? Rage Against the Machine is coming back for one more go. Coincidence? I suspect as we roll into the next year we will see an even greater resurgence of politically and socially charged music and lyrics and I for one think it is long overdue. In this case, hindsight is truly 2020.

JeremyJeremy Siegrist describes himself as “a no one, from no where, in a small band in Ohio called The Typical Johnsons, who are making as much noise is as humanly possible from his low low vantage point.”  https://twitter.com/TypicalJohnsons @TypicalJohnsons Typical Johnsons Fan Club & Website Their latest song ‘Wreckage’ is available on all platforms. We recommend checking out The Typical Johnsons’ page on bandcamp

Thank you!

g5aI_GhAWhat a weekend celebration!

I write this note with tears in my eyes and a full heart. For 15 years it has been a rare privilege to bring great often overlooked music to a radio audience. This past weekend we were able to celebrate some of that terrific music together in our music family!

This weekend has been so very special and powerful. Thank you to The New Old-FashionedNeo American PioneersThe Typical JohnsonsAmber HargettRok (the only non-Dayton band), The 1984 Draft and Ghost Town Silence for an amazing night two! From start to finish each musician, each band, each song took our breath away.

And many thanks and appreciation to The Boxcar SuiteCricketbowsAndy SmithTEAM VOID and Age Nowhere for an amazing first night! You were all magic. Lightning flash magic – each and every band.

Love to Tracey Love Jipson who as Mrs Dr. J keeps me grounded and supported this endeavor beyond my wildest dreams. I love you.

Thanks are due to all the fine folks at Yellow Cab Tavern for everything. This event was only possible because of them and their hard work! If you want to experience a real rock and roll show, you can find few better places to go.

Without our sponsors — Salon Noir and South Park Pizza Tavern — we could not have had such an amazing event! Thank you for the encouragement and support. It means the world.

We must also send our heartfelt love and gratitude to Daniel Simmons for being not only one of the finest sound managers in the business but a sweet and pleasant fellow! Thanks Dan!

We must also thank Jennifer Taylor Photography for taking photos, support and just being all around awesome! Thank you so much Jenn!

Finally without the efforts of Ten High Productions this crazy idea of a music celebration for a 15 year old radio show would never have left the ground! Anyone who has organized a show knows how much goes into an event. With Ten High this was far easier. Thank you Brian and David!

Last but far from least, to everyone who came out over two busy weekend nights to see these fine musicians perform and who showered Mrs. Dr. J and Dr. J with so much kindness. Thank you so very much.

Wow! What a weekend! Now let’s go make radio for another 15 years.

Photo courtesy of Mickey Chappell.

What is your song of the Summer?

P1020764Is it too late to choose a song of the summer? Are there any strong contenders? Thoughts? It does seem that every year there is an effort to say one song perfectly captures the feeling of the season? Is it wrong to always want to the song of the summer to be Alice Cooper’s ‘Schools Out’? What is your song for summer 2019? Or have you not picked one yet?

your-tuesday-afternoon-alternative-color copy

Video of The Day: Mark Cantwil – Pardon Me

We are excited to introduce you to the first single and title track off of the forthcoming album, “Pardon Me”!! The song is available for purchase on iTunes and all download and streaming platforms.

Video filmed and Edited by Pete Vogel at North Star Productions. Drone footage filmed by Andy Vogel at Edifice I Productions

“Pardon Me”
Lyrics and Music by Mark Cantwil
© 2019 Mark Cantwil
Mark Cantwil Music (ASCAP)
Produced by Tom Boyer and Mark Cantwil

Recorded and Mixed byTom Boyer at GBS Records/OATH Studios. Background vocals recorded by Patrick Himes at Reel Love Studios. Additional fiddle tracks recorded by Colin Murphy at Murphtone Studios. Mastered by Brian Lucey at Magic Garden Mastering.

Mark Cantwil – Lead Vocal and Acoustic Guitar
Khrys Blank – Backing Vocal
Colin Murphy – Fiddle
Brett Mullins – Electric Guitar
Tom Boyer – Mandolin
Tim Hart – Bass
Dave Fowler – Drums

“Pardon Me”
I’m hungry for a line
Haven’t slept in weeks
This new found consciousness
Is driving me to think
My eyes have never been this open
But I don’t like what I see

I’ll be driving through your town
On my way to Winnipeg
I should be there by sun down
I could use a place to stay
It be so nice to see you
If that’s ok

But pardon me
If I make for poor company tonight
The road can way heavy on a mind
I apologize if the conversations light
So pardon me

I’m so tired of walking
Down this crowded road
Full of loss souls and conmen
And broken heart winos
All watching the pretty ones
Light up the night

Do you still have that old
Simply Red 45
Put it on and I’ll pour us
A couple glasses of wine
We can hold back the years
If only for awhile

But pardon me
If I make for poor company tonight
The road can way heavy on a mind
I apologize if the conversations light
So pardon me
If you don’t know the man in front of you
You know I struggle to recognize him to
A hard luck modern day fool
Sol pardon me

Is it a blessing
To finally know the truth
Or is it a curse
To know the real you

So pardon me
If I make for poor company tonight
The road can weigh heavy on a mind
I apologize if the concessions light
So pardon me
If you don’t know the man in front of you
You know I struggle to recognize him to
A hard luck modern day fool
So pardon me
So pardon me
So pardon me

Mark Cantwil
www.markcantwil.com

your-tuesday-alternative-new logo

Today’s Program Best of 2018

your-tuesday-afternoon-color copyThe annual look back at the previous year in music is one of our favorite shows to do! This year Tom Gilliam joins Dr. J and Flower to play and discuss some of the best local, indie, alternative, folk, Americana, alt-country and more that came out in 2018!

We give thanks for great independent music by playing an assortment of local, Dayton, and indie songs! What songs have been so powerful on you that you cannot imagine your world without them?

During the show contribute to the discussion by giving us a call 937-229-2774 or a tweet for drjwudr with the songs that were released in 2018 that matter to you.

Join us online at wudr.udayton.edu or 99.5 & 98.1fm in Dayton, Ohio, USA!