Sunday, October 23, 2016

This week: Old music is new again, and more

Sooner or later, many veteran artists record cover albums that pay tributes to their music roots or to artists they admire. Bob Dylan covering Sinatra tunes is one of the more unusual examples. The upcoming album from The Rolling Stones, Blue & Lonesome, is a bit less jarring, since the blues obviously paid a major role in the development of the Stones' sound, not to mention rock'n'roll as a whole.

The first track to be released, "Just Your Fool," originated as an early rhythm'n'blues song, written and recorded by Buddy Johnson and His Orchestra in 1953. It was given a Chicago-blues treatment by Little Walter, and that 1962 release on Chess Records no doubt came to the attention of the Stones and other British bands who were huge fans of American blues and R&B. Good music lives on!

While the Stones keep rolling, the American band Yellowcard has announced that its latest album and current tour are its last. From the tenth and final album, called simply Yellowcard, we're adding "The Hurt Is Gone" to our New Music rotation.

Other additions to our New Music bin this week include additional tracks from the latest albums by:

Sunday, October 16, 2016

Latest music by Jim, Joy, Johnny and more

Again this week we're adding new music by established and emerging artists alike.
Jim James of My Morning Jacket wrote "Here In Spirit" after the Orlando night club shootings. "It’s a song about speaking out and trying to be there for people in spirit even if you can’t be at every rally and battle," James said. "We have such a duty to speak out for equality and for each other." It will be on his solo album, Eternally Even, scheduled for release in November.
The Los Angeles-based duo Johnnyswim is about to release its second full-length album, Georgica Pond. Abner Ramirez and Amanda Sudano (daughter of Donna Summer) mix folk, R&B and other influences in their work. We're featuring "Let It Matter," a touching song about letting oneself mourn a healing from loss.
Keeton Coffman is a singer, guitarist, pianist and songwriter from Houston. His second collection of originals is called Killer Eyes. We've picked up a track called "Ellie," a solid addition to the long line of girl-name rock songs, from "Hello Mary Lou" to "Rosalita" and beyond.
Out of the blue came a new EP from The Joy Formidable, called Sleep Is Day. Its release followed quickly on the heels of the Welsh/British trio's third full-length album, Hitch. TBH we're just catching up with this band, but hey, better late than never. To start, we've added the EP's title track, "Sleep Is Day."
Also this week, we dip further into this summer's release from Sara Watkins, Young In All The Wrong Ways. We've added "Say So" to our New Music bin, and will also be giving some spins to the slow burner "Without A Word."

Thanks for tuning in! Let us know what you think we should add to our Marvelous Mix. And keep listening!

Monday, October 10, 2016

Another wide-ranging batch of new music

The new album from Phish, Big Boat, is getting somewhat mixed reviews, which isn't unusual for a band that enjoys trying different approaches from song to song and album to album. Not all of it is to our taste, but we've enjoyed playing the first single, ""Breath and Burning," and now that the full LP is out we'll be adding more tracks to our playlist - starting with "Blaze On."

Speaking of mixed reviews, Green Day's new Revolution Radio is being hailed by some as a rebirth of this punk-revival band and dismissed by others as just a recycling. To be honest we've always found these Rock Hall of Famers talented but a bit sophomoric, and this release fits right in. But it has its moments, and we're picking up on the keep-on-keeping-on anthem "Still Breathing."

This week brought another chance to add new music by a "classic" artist - David Bromberg. His latest album, The Blues, The Whole Blues and Nothing But The Blues. consists mainly of covers of his favorite old blues songs. But our pick for the New Music bin is a Bromberg original, the uptempo "You Don't Have To Go."

We're also adding "Same Old Blues" - but this ain't no old blues song. It's a track from Phantogram's new release, Three, with a similar sound to the previously released single, You Don't Get Me High Anymore.

Sunday, October 2, 2016

Our latest adds: Pretenders, Stoop Kids & more!

The Pretenders are back, bringing out their first album in eight years. The first single from the Dan Auerbach-produced Alone is "Holy Commotion," an I-just-want-to-dance-all-night number heavy on synths and percussion. Just a hunch, but we wouldn't be surprised if Chrissie Hynde & Co. try out a variety of sounds on this album.
To be honest we don't remember how we came upon Stoop Kids, but our instant reaction was - "OK, this is different!" This New Orleans-based band describes itself as "a psychedelic jukebox: they write and play inside a melting pot of genres, re-imagining the last 75 years of popular music."

This is music that doesn't exactly "fit" any particular radio format - so that makes it just right for us, eh? We've picked up their three latest singles: You'll hear "Motions" in our new-music rotation and "Good Enough" and "Quit You" will pop into the mix now and then.

Our other latest entries in the New Music Bin are additional tracks - in fact, the title tracks - from The Wind and The Wave's second album, Happiness Is Not A Place, and Van Morrison's 36th (!) studio album, Keep Me Singing.
Remember, we want to hear from you! Tell us what you think of our mix, and what music you think we should add. Comment on this page or reach us on Facebook or Twitter.

Thursday, September 29, 2016

Introducing our new 'sister station' - Radio 1999

Tune in Radio 1999
Do you ever just feel like forgetting about the 21st Century? If so, you might like to spend a little time listening to our new sister station, Radio 1999

The Radio 1999 playlist is packed with our favorite rock from the 1960s, 70s, 80s and 90s. It's some of the music that you hear on Birch Street Radio -- but none of that 2000-2016 stuff.

It's what Birch Street Radio would have sounded like just before the turn of the century!

So take a little trip back with Radio 1999 -- the station that caught the Y2K bug and never turned its clock past 12/31/99.

One caution: Radio 1999 is on Radionomy, so there will be station breaks when you might hear (shudder) current commercials.

When you're ready to return to the present day, come on back to (commercial-free!) Birch Street Radio, where new music and classics mix marvelously together!

Sunday, September 25, 2016

Indie artists & more in our new music bin

Last week's additions to our New Music bin came mostly from well-known bands. This week we're emphasizing emerging, indie artists.

Night Talks is preparing to release its debut full-length album, and we expect it to bring a lot of attention to this Los Angeles alt-rock band. We've been playing the debut single, "Green," for a while and now we're adding the second release, "Mr. Bloom."

Lead singer and songwriter Soraya Sebghati told LA music blog GrimyGoods that "it’s the only song (on the album) that’s not based in my own reality. The song is based on the main character in the James Joyce novel Ulysses." Expect to hear more intelligent rock/pop when the rest of the album drops.

And speaking of intelligent music, Bryan Hansen Band has just released its latest full-length project, When You Stop Pulling Back.

Guitarist-singer Hansen's clever lyrics are backed by a terrific band blending jazz, pop and R&B influences.

We're putting "One More Blues" into our New Music rotation, and you'll be hearing other tracks from the album, showing off this New Jersey outfit's wide musical range,

Jumping from Jersey to western Canada, we take another taste from Wild Son's self-titled debut album. "Build The Future" Mitch Howanyk's violin gives this rock band its unique sound. Check out "Build the Future" in our new-music spotlight.

Our other new-music adds this week are just a little closer to the mainstream: Texas duo Jamestown Revival's single "Love Is A Burden" and a joyous new release by Australia's Temper Trap, "Alive."

We'd like to know what new music you think we should add to our mix! Comment here or shout out to us on Facebook or Twitter.

Sunday, September 18, 2016

Deep thoughts, robot moves & other new music

Our new-music bin is overflowing as September has brought a flood of releases. Here are the latest picks we're featuring this week.

Dawes: The new album title, We're All Gonna Die, might seem flip or jokey -- but actually, Taylor Goldsmith is just telling it as it is. While the band expands its sound on this album, Goldsmith's lyrics continue to explore uncomfortable truths - such as "Why all the people we love/Are the same as we can also hate." That's a line from "Roll With The Punches," now in our top-of-the-hour New Music rotation. Other tracks from the album will be turning up in our playlist as well.

Wilco: Likewise, the band shifts its sound a bit on Schmilco - toward the quiet, acoustic side - while Jeff Tweedy's lyrics get very personal and introspective. One review of this album said "the best way to enjoy it might be a little bit at a time." The latest bit we're spinning is "Cry All Day."

Red Hot Chili Peppers: "Go Robot" could almost be one of those songs designed to start a dance craze -- and who knows if we'll start seeing white-painted dancers turning up in clubs. Check out the video if you haven't yet. The track is a fun little disco-funk trip. "You will find your flow when you go robot."

St. Paul & The Broken Bones: Speaking of finding your flow, this Alabama retro-soul band really comes into its own with its latest album, Sea Of Noise. Our favorite track is "Flow With It (You've Got Me Feeling Like)." Now an eight-piece outfit, the Bones make good use of horns and percussion on this absolutely groovin' number.

Phish: The jam masters have a new album coming soon, Big Boat, and we're spinning the first single, "Breath and Burning." It's a bouncy, breezy number -- that also happens to reflect on mortality (have these guys been hanging out with Dawes?). "What does it matter that the end's in sight," they sing. "We'll dance in the light of the moon."

These are the highlights but we've got other new music working its way into our playlist, so tune in to our sometimes-surprising, always-interesting mix! And sends us comments/suggestions here or on Facebook or Twitter.