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WYEP Live Performances Coming Up

March 19th, 2012

Just like it started, March is ending on a busy note as far as live performances here at the WYEP Community Broadcast Center. Tune in or sign up for these sessions very soon at wyep.org.

Jennifer O’Connor – March 22 – In-Studio (no audience) listen at 91.3fm or wyep.org
Fanfarlo – March 26 – Studio Session – sign up soon at wyep.org
Joe Louis Walker – March 30 – Studio Session – sign up soon at wyep.org

And, check out previous archived Studio Sessions of past performers at wyep.org anytime!

March Block Party Featured Album of the Month

March 1st, 2012

If you’re a fan of the Block Party (weeknights from 8pm-12am EST) on 91.3fm, each month we feature one of the artists featured on the Block Party as an Album of the Month with a New or Renewing Membership to WYEP. The Block Party Featured Album is available in CD format for a $60 donation to WYEP or on vinyl for your gift of $75.

March’s Block Party Featured Album of the Month is Clear Heart Full Eyes by Craig Finn. Become a WYEP Member at wyep.org and grab a copy as your thank you gift this month.

Clear Heart Full Eyes review by WYEP Friday Block Party Host Joey Spehar:

Craig Finn is a storyteller.  Well developed characters, detailed settings, and crystal clear descriptions of both make Finn’s songs read like a Bret Easton Ellis novel – drugs, sleaze, and debauchery included.  On his first solo album, Clear Heart Full Eyes, the Hold Steady front man pulls no punches. He just doesn’t hit quite as hard.

Fans of The Hold Steady and Lifter Puller will appreciate hearing Finn’s signature speak-sing style and references to bars and their parking lots.  People who don’t really care for either band will appreciate the scaled back rock and country twang of this record.  Finn’s gravelly voice and literary lyrical style feel at home in either setting.

The characters we meet in Clear Heart Full Eyes are not the same characters we have come to know through the years from listening to Lifter Puller and The Hold Steady.  Or maybe they are.  Maybe they’re just a little older.  Maybe they’ve just moved away from the Twin Cities.

In the opening of the song “Jackson”, we meet Jackson and Stephanie.  “Jackson was an actor / At least he was when he was well / Stephanie was good to me / But not so much to herself”.  In “Terrified Eyes” we meet Sean and Shannon.  Finn sings about Shannon as if she were another lost youth trying to find light in the daytime.  “In the middle of the day, she mostly feels okay / But when nighttime comes, she just feels terrified”.  These guys could easily be reincarnations of Charlemagne and Holly – two of Finn’s most beloved characters.  Or maybe it is them and they’ve just entered the Witness Protection Program.

And then there’s Jesus.  Mentions of the big guy abound in all of Finn’s stories, but here he – and his stigmata – really takes the front seat.  In “New Friend Jesus”, Finn tells us, “People say we suck at sports / But they don’t understand / It’s hard to catch with holes right through your hands.”

Clear Heart Full Eyes isn’t necessarily a departure for Craig Finn.  It’s more a variation on a theme.  The blazing electric guitar bombast warms the bench while moody slide guitars, tremelo, and reverb hit the home runs on this effort.  The rockers don’t rock as hard.  The characters aren’t as outspokenly scummy.  But at the end of the day, we love Craig Finn for the way his stories makes us feel better about ourselves.

Pick up a copy of Clear Heart Full Eyes by Craig Finn with your Membership today at wyep.org.

Upcoming WYEP Studio Sessions

February 24th, 2012

The programming staff at WYEP has been busy, scheduling a slew of great new Studio Sessions for March. Stay tuned to 91.3fm and wyep.org on information on how you can sign up for seats to our Studio Sessions with:

moe. (March 8) – WYEP MEMBERS’ ONLY
Jennifer O’Connor (March 22)
Fanfarlo (March 26)

And, check out previous archived Studio Sessions of past performers at wyep.org anytime!

Bonnaroo 2012

February 23rd, 2012

Re-Visit Bonnaroos past with a visit to the WYEP Bonnaroo flickr page, and make sure you check out the full roster of performers for this year’s festival, June 7-10 in Manchester, TN.

Wednesday, February 29 Programming

February 17th, 2012

Every four years, we get an extra day in February. On Wednesday, February 29, WYEP will be having some fun on Leap Day.

Beginning at 6am, we’ll be exclusively featuring songs that reference time, days, seconds and hours. Tune in for some Leap Day music festivities on Wednesday, February 29 on 91.3fm or online at wyep.org.

CD Live! Presents Glen Campbell “The Goodbye Tour”

February 16th, 2012

Legendary performer Glen Campbell performs a CD Live! concert at the Byham Theater Sunday, May 20 as part of his Goodbye Tour. Tickets go on sale Friday, March 2 via www.trustarts.org or by calling 412.456.6666.

Jill Sobule Live On-Air Valentine’s Day

February 9th, 2012

Jill Sobule will drop by the WYEP studios on Tuesday, February 14 around 3:30pm for a live performance and chat with Afternoon Host Rosemary Welsch. Sobule will be performing that evening at Club Cafe.

Tune in to 91.3fm or listen live at wyep.org.

Blind Pilot Live On-Air 02.10

February 2nd, 2012

The Portland based band Blind Pilot (currently touring in support of their second full-length release We Are the Tide) will be stopping by the WYEP studios for an interview and performance at 1pm this Friday, February 10.

Tune in to 91.3fm or wyep.org tomorrow at 1pm (EST) for live music and conversation with Blind Pilot.

February’s Block Party Featured Album

February 1st, 2012

If you’re a fan of the Block Party (weeknights from 8pm-12am EST) on 91.3fm, each month we feature one of the artists you’ll hear on the Block Party as an Album of the Month with a New or Renewing Membership to WYEP. The Block Party Featured Album is available in CD format for a $60 donation to WYEP.

February’s Block Party Featured Album of the Month is Undun by The Roots. Become a WYEP Member at wyep.org and grab a copy  as your thank you gift this month.

Undun review by WYEP Afterhours Host Alex Gordon:

If there’s any one thing you’ve heard about The Roots’ 13th album Undun, it’s likely that it involves the term “concept-album.” But that label can be misleading. “Concept-album” conjures expectations for operatic epics, a grand ambitious departure from the expected. In that sense, Undun isn’t really a “concept-album” at all.

What people mean when they call Undun a concept album is simply that the songs tell a story. That story follows a fictional character named Redford Stevens, (named for a song by Sufjan Stevens, who contributes on several tracks), as he struggles to make sense of the crime and poverty that have come to define his life. Redford, ever the self-reflective protagonist, is both a product of the streets and a critic of the values they’ve instilled in him.

The songs trace Redford’s evolving perspective on his life and his choices as he matures, like in “Make My,” where he reflects on his obsession with money and the dissatisfaction he feels once he acquires it. “Addicted to the green, if I don’t ball I’ll get the shakes / I’d give it all for a peace of mind, for Heaven’s Sake,” raps Black Thought, as Redford.

There are songs on Undun like “Make My” and the single “The OtherSide” that sound relatively safe for a “concept-album.” Like any of The Roots’ albums, there’s a strong presence of pitch-perfect organic instruments, concise songwriting and as always, the greatest snare sound in hip-hop.

But peppered throughout the moments of structure and accessibility on Undun are interludes of avant-garde brilliance, like on the intro “Dun,” which finds the group treading dark soundscapes before plummeting into the ominous, straight-faced hip-hop of “Sleep.” One of the wonders of Undun is the way it layers the straightforward hip-hop with the “high-concept” stuff, producing a result that is neither straightforward nor “high concept.”

But back to Redford. With the character inspired by Sufjan Stevens and the album name derived from the eponymous song from The Guess Who, it’s easy to characterize the work as concept-driven, as with the final four tracks which re-compose and translate Steven’s song into an orchestral, sweeping tour through the album’s musical themes (they’re called “movements”). But Redford’s narrative isn’t imposed on the listener in any overbearing way. In fact, you can easily enjoy the album without acknowledging the “concept” aspect at all.

Redford isn’t the driving force of the album’s content; he’s not blind, deaf, or dumb, he doesn’t play pinball. Redford is simply the character through which the group can say what they want to say. And in that sense, he takes a backseat to the trademark style and intelligent composition that have come to define The Roots for their 15 year career.

Undun isn’t a great concept album, it’s simply a great album.

Pick up a copy of Undun by The Roots with your Membership today at wyep.org.

Kathleen Edwards Guest DJ

February 1st, 2012

Kathleen Edwards will be joining Kyle Smith on this Saturday’s Music Mix at 1pm. Kathleen will be playing guest DJ and discussing her new record Voyageur – February 4 at 1pm on 91.3fm and streaming live at wyep.org You can catch her later that night when she performs at the Rex Theater on the South Side.