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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Tod Weidner Helps Us Celebrate Ten Years of YTAA

Very Final Band_Poster_CJS_final (2)_Page_03Fine fellow and great musician Tod Weidner joins Your Tuesday Afternoon Alternative this week as we celebrate 10 years of the show. Tod plays in some mighty special Dayton bands – SHRUG and The Motel Beds! The ‘Beds will play our tenth anniversary show this Friday with Ghost Town Silence!

You can expect music from all of those bands as well as an assortment of new tunes and music that spans the anniversary of the show!  Ten years gives us quite a bit to fall back on for the set list but you can always suggest songs and bands by connecting with us on twitter or gmail at drjwudr.  And, hey remember those old analog ways of making connections?  Sure, us too.  Give us a call during the show at 937-229-2774 – we would love to hear from you.

So, join us Tuesday, November 18 from 3-6pm on WUDR and then come to the anniversary concert on Friday from 10pm -1am at the Very Final Band_Poster_CJS_final (2)_Page_04McGinnis MultiPurpose room at the University of Dayton. Remember if you can’t make the concert although you should – you can catch it on the live stream at wudr.udayton.edu because who loves ya?  Yeah we know that was way too much.  What can we say?  You have excellent taste in music and radio programming!

Countdown to Ten… A Decade of Your Tuesday Afternoon Alternative

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We begin our celebration of ten years of YTAA this week with music over the last ten years of the radio show! Expect great new, indie, local, Dayton, and alternative music today! And we will preview our up coming 10th anniversary show on November 21st!

Next week Tod Weidner from The Motel Beds will be on the show as we gear up for a terrific musical celebration of a decade of independent radio!

Expect some music from the new Boxcar Suite songs and we promise that we will be playing some of them today! Because they are amazing! Tim Pritchard and the Boxcar Suite!  You can also support that band here as they get ready to release ‘Across the Vast & Deep.’

Join Dr. J and Mrs. Dr. J as we preview, dance, and new and a decade of independent music!

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1World Preview Show on Your Tuesday Afternoon Alternative

ImageOn April 25th from 7 to 11pm — several great Dayton bands, The Motel BedsOh CondorAl HolbrookJayne Sachs, and Orange Willard will play at the ArtStreet Complex of the University of Dayton! We are celebrating this terrific show by playing music from all of these bands! You can also expect tons of new music.

You can also expect some music from The Broken LightsSHRUGSmug BrothersKing ElkBuilt to SpillThe PastelsOld 97’s, Manchester Orchestra, The Capsules, Ex Hex, Real Estate and Absinthe Junk. In case all of this was not fun enough — we have brand new music from Sad Cadillac – they just played out at The Canal Public House! What a show! 

Yeah, whew… But wait because if all of this was not enough we have a preview of some new music from Andy Smith‘s new project, Me Time!

Me Time is playing out this coming Friday with the always amazing Human Cannonball — get the info here: http://ow.ly/vuFI4 705397_1404170076515664_1014899179_o

 

 

 

So, join Dr. J and Mrs. Dr. J as we preview the upcoming Popthrillz---Alternative1World show. Join us as we play some great music from The MotelBeds, Oh Condor, Al Holbrook, Jayne Sachs, and Orange Willard and discuss the 1World event on April 25th! This event is not only awesome — its free! Remember you can listen on wudr.udayton.edu or via the new UD Mobile App or those ol’ radio waves at 99.5 and 98.1fm in Dayton! You can get the UD Mobile App here!

Your Tuesday Afternoon Alternative Goes 1984 Draft

ImageThis week we are joined by Joe Anderl of The 1984 Draft talking about music, shows, and stuff Joe wants to talk about! Expect new music from The Afghan WhigsThe War on DrugsThe New Old-Fashionedc.wright’s Parlour TricksThe Rebel Set, Crackpot, William The AccountantThe Motel BedsWussy, and much more!

Expect some classic indie with The Replacements and Dayton’s own SHRUG!

So, listen online at WUDR or 99.5 and 98.1fm in Dayton!  Send us requests @ drjwudr on gmail and tweet us @ drjwudr on twitter!  See you soon!

Popthrillz---Alternative

 

Looking Forward to Days to Come

ImageThere are bands that become successful because of intense and expensive record company promotion that repeatedly tell us that this entertainer is a musician, regardless what your ears may tell you.  There are bands that dominate the radio, the ‘net stream, and iTunes because they have a look.  There are bands that become well known because of the producer that records the music, even before we hear that first chord.  And there are bands that become successful for the simple reason that they are good, they successfully write music that captures the often ignored inner need we all have for a great song.  Dayton’s own Motel Beds are one example of a band that is simply a good band that consistently delivers great songs.

With the Misra Records recent release of their recent collection, These Are The Days Gone By, PJ Paslowsky, Tommy Cooper, Ian Kaplan, Derl Robbins, and Tod Weidner remind us that even without the music industry machine, without some hypoallergenic created look, great music can not only be consistently created – it can be created in your home town.

Days starts with the eponymous album track, a rocking reminder that art and commerce should connect when the time is right. And for this band, the time is right with every song you hear on this collection.  These are the Days Gone By – a standout track from the ‘Beds Tango Boys album – demonstrate the way that the guitars-bass-drums approach of rock and roll can still be made fresh and exciting.  If you do not start to sway when you hear the twin guitars of Cooper and Robbins, you should check your pulse; and if the bass does not make you dance… “Well, how you feeling right now? Are you still with us?”

The next song Ocean Flows from the ‘Beds 2009 EP Go For A Dive connects the listener to the best in high intensity yet rocking lofi-ish sound.  Songs such as this recall the early and best of bands like R.E.M. when the vocals did not have to be so highly mixed as to over-power the music.  While this lesson is repeatedly ignored by Top 40 radio, The ‘Beds are able to make the most out of a mix that encourages the listener to feel the different instruments of the song.  It is important to note that the current arrangement of Ocean Flows illustrates the impressive drop-your-jaw drumming of Ian Kaplan that becomes a full out attack on later ‘Beds recordings such as Sunfried Dreams and Dumb Gold.  And live, wow… you will wonder how Kaplan can lift his arms after a show.

With Skymade Suit and Cactus Kiss the band reveals early ideas that will be more fully realized on later work.  Skymade Suit was the first track on the ‘Beds 2003 EP Hasta Manana and show a different side to the band.  Suit was recorded with only Paslosky, Cooper and Kaplan before being joined by current members Derl Robbins and Tod Weidner.  The evolution of the band is demonstrated when comparing songs such as Skymade Suit and more recent work such as Surfjerk, Smoke Your Homework, and Valentimes.   Cactus Kiss originally appeared on the 2007 collection Local Losers – a release to benefit WWSU radio — and then on The ‘Beds Moondazed album and more importantly helps place The ‘Beds into a constant evolving swirl of Beach Boys influenced rock psychadelia.

The alternative version of Sunfried Dreams is a welcome visit into the creative process of the band.  It is one of only two songs on the album to include keyboards; the alt version of Dreams has a different all around feel than the version that ended up on the album of the same name.  One has to wonder if this alternative version is a glimpse of a band that would have moved along a different path than the road taken.

Standouts on the record include Tropics of the Sand that include the vocals of the always terrific Kelley Deal (R. Ring, The Breeders), SurfjerkLights On and Smoke Your Homework –  Songs that have long been featured on local radio, all four songs in rotation on WUDR.  It is impressive how Paslosky and Deal wrap their vocals around the song.  They sing and sound as if they have been singing together for years!  When their cascading vocals hit the song title together, you believe that they are yearning for a tropic somewhere together.  You feel it.  With Lights On and Surfjerk you hear the welcome addition of Tod Weidner (Shrug and heck too many projects to list here).  The additional strength on bass and on vocals on other tracks greatly strengthens the overall sonic texture of The Motel Beds.  And if you have seen the band live, you know firsthand how much Weidner adds to the performance!

One of the best discoveries on the album is the cover – and it is the only cover on the album – of Matthew Sweet’s I’ve Been Waiting, an often overlooked track from his terrific album Girlfriend!  The ‘Beds demonstrate their understanding of indie-college music by tacking the song and infusing urgency in the song that Sweet’s focus on classic indie-pop melody understates.  The Motel Beds make the song feel more immediate and more plaintive than Sweet ever could.  And considering that Matthew Sweet once had an indie hit with a song called Sick of Myself – that is really saying something.

Throughout all twelve tracks on this album you almost miss noting the captivating vocals of PJ Paslosky. Instead of grand standing and singing in some strange grandiose manner, Paslosky extends his voice in ways that draw the listener into the songs.  Whether listening to an early song by the band or something from their latest album of new material, Dumb Gold, you find yourself drawn to him.  Drawn not because of an industry manufactured buzz or some odd notoriety, but a gravity that a gifted vocalist creates.

Do not miss this collection – part retrospective, part review, and part exploration – consider this a road map of good songs for your music loving soul.

Information about the band can be found at motelbedsmusic.com and misarecords.com.

Track List for These are the Days Gone By: 

1. These are the Days Gone By
2. Ocean Flows
3. Skymade Suit
4. Cactus Kiss
5. Surfjerk
6. Valentimes
7. Lights On
8. Western Son
9. Tropics Of The Sand
10. Sunfried Dreams (alternate version)
11. I’ve Been Waiting
12. Smoke Your Homework

Cross posted at DaytonMostMetro  drj-1-crop1.jpg

Sometimes being a real Dr. can be cool

ImageThe coolest part of the UD Self, Community, and Society in the 21st Century Living and Learning Community this year…

From discussions on religion and social media, the C21 LLC turned our attention to entertainment, music, identity, and techniques of the use of social media in our community. On Tuesday, October 29th from 6:30-8:30pm the members of C21 met with local Dayton musicians in the Science Center Auditorium. What is Dayton music like? How do local musicians share information about their music, concerts, and other events? We learned that the independent music scene in the Miami valley is not only incredibly diverse and active but that they use social media and traditional media to share information with the larger community.

Speakers included:
Burris Dixon, Me & Mountains, Swim Diver
Tom Gilliam, The Rebel Set, TCB Hit Squad
Andy Ingram, Kris N., Poptek Records
M. Ross Perkins, Goodbye, Esther Caulfield Orchestra
Liz Rasmussen, Good English
Tifani Tanaka, Dear Fawn
Tod Weidner, Motel Beds, Shrug