#401 – December 28, 2011 Playlist

Wednesday MidDay Medley
TEN to NOON Wednesdays – Streaming at KKFI.org
90.1 FM KKFI – Kansas City Community Radio
Produced and Hosted by Mark Manning

Wednesday, December 28, 2011:

The 111 Best Recordings of 2011
(Part 4 of 4)

The 111 Best Recordings of 2011 are based on the playlists of Wednesday MidDay Medley. In 2011 we’ve featured hundreds of New & Local Releases, we’ve featured dozens of LIVE, in-studio performances from area musicians, and we’ve interviewed over 150 local and national artists. Over 40 recordings on our list are from the KC & Lawrence area. All December we’ve been playing nearly 8-hours of music that represent: The 111 of Best Recordings of 2011!

Howard Iceberg's 7-CD collection of over 100 songs, "Welcome Aboard" tops our list of The 111 Best Recordings of 2011

The Wilders also make our list with their 2011 release, "The Wilders"

1. (27.) Dale Earnhardt Jr. Jr. – “Morning Thought”
from: It’s A Corporate World / Warner Brothers / June 3, 2011
[A project started by Detroit based Joshua Epstein and Daniel Zott, recording in a basement without the benefit of expensive microphones or big-name producers.]

2. (26.) The Low Anthem – “Boeing 737”
from: Smart Flesh / Nonesuch / February 21, 2011
[The follow up to their critically acclaimed “Oh My God, Charlie Darwin” where the three original band members-Jocie Adams, Ben Knox Miller, and Jeff Prystowsky took over a Block Island cabin in the dead of winter. To record Smart Flesh, the group expanded to a quartet with the addition of drummer Mat Davidson and they found a former pasta factory in Central Falls, Rhode Island, a cavernous loft space that became crucial to the shape of the album. Says vocalist Miller, “We knew right away when we stepped into the factory that the space was really the main instrument for the whole record. The resonance was chilling. We were able to experiment with new recording techniques to capture the sound at different distances. Mics 100-200 feet away caught the sound barreling across the room.” Additional tracks were recorded in a garage that had previously been home to a reptile breeder, another unconventional studio space that the quartet dubbed “the gator pit.”]

3. (25.) Dengue Fever – “Cement Slippers”
from: Cannibal Courtship / Concord Music / April 19, 2011
[Newest release from 6-piece band formed by brothers: Zac and Ethan Holtzman in 1981 after being inspired by a trip to Cambodia.]

4. (24.) Thee Oh Sees – “Crushed Grass”
from: Carrion Crawler – The Dream / In The Red Records / Nov. 8, 2011
[From San Francisco. It began as an outlet for John Dwyer to release his instrumental, experimental home recordings, and over the course of several albums evolved into a full band. We first played The Oh Sees on Sept. 28.]

5. (23.) David Kilgour & the Heavy Eights – “I’ll Climb Back Up That Hill”
from: Left By Soft / Merge Records / April 26, 2011
[8th album from former leader of legendary New Zealand band, the Clean.]

6. (22.) Tom Waits – “Chicago”
from: Bad As Me / Anti Records / October 21, 2011,
[17th studio album and Waits’ first album consisting completely of new material in seven years since Real Gone (2004). Waits’ label, ANTI-, recently agreed on a distribution deal with Warner Music Group allowing them to release the album internationally. This marks Waits’ first release through the Warner organization since Heartattack and Vine (1980). Upon its release, Bad As Me received widespread critical acclaim.]

7. (21.) Austra –“Lose It”
from: Feel It Break / Domino Records / May 17, 2011
[Co-founder and lead singer, and songwriter Katie Stelmanis, draws upon her classical and operatic upbringing and mixes it up with drummer Maya Postepski and bassist Dorian Wolf to create what Amazon calls, “a stark, danceable masterpiece suitable for both ritual incantations and clubs.”]


8. (20.) Victor & Penny – “Exactly Like You”
from: Antique Pop / V & P Productions / December 9, 2011
[Victor & Penny performed LIVE on our Sept. 7 Wednesday MidDay Medley. This Chicago / KC based duo is Jeff Freling of the Chicago Blue Man Group; and Erin McGrane of the cabaret group Alacartoona. Antique Pop which contains 8 vintage songs plus 2 original songs written by Jeff Freling and a song written by Barclay Martin.]

9. (19.) Pieta Brown – “Mercury”
from: Mercury / Red House / September 27, 2011
[Born in Iowa City, Iowa in 1973, she is the daughter of two preachers’ kids. Her early upbringing in Iowa was in a rural outpost with no furnace or running water. There, Brown was exposed to traditional and rural folk music through her father, singer songwriter Greg Brown. Brown spent her childhood living in 17 different residences between Iowa and Alabama. While living with her mother in Alabama, Brown began writing poetry and composing instrumental songs on piano. She has released four critically acclaimed albums and three EPs in the last decade. She has performed with artists such as Mark Knopfler, John Prine, Amos Lee and Calexico. Collaborator Bo Ramsey produced her 2002 debut record, Pieta Brown and co-produced her 2005 album In the Cool which was named one of the year’s best by Amazon. Pieta and Bo are now married.]

10. (18.) Low – “Something’s Turning Over”
from: C’Mon / Sub Pop / April 12, 2011
[9th full-length album from the band formed in Duluth, Minnesota, in 1993. C’mon was recorded in an old church in Duluth, MN and mixed in an apartment in Hollywood, CA.]

11. (17.) Wire – “Adapt”
from: Red Barked Tree / Pink Flag / Jan. 10, 2011
[12th studio album from Wire, formed in London in 1976 by Colin Newman (vocals, guitar), Graham Lewis (bass, vocals), Bruce Gilbert (guitar), and Robert Gotobed (drums). They were originally associated with the punk rock scene. Wire’s debut album, Pink Flag from 1977, is one of my all-time favorite recordings.]


12. (16.) Deer Tick – “Main Street”
from: Divine Providence / Partisan Records / October 24, 2011
[from Providence, Rhode Island led by guitarist and singer-songwriter John McCauley]

13. (15.) tUnE- yArDs – “Gangsta”
from: W H O K I L L / 4AD Records / April 19, 2011
[2nd studio release by Merrill Garbus’ experimental solo-project tUnE-yArDs. When performing live, Garbus creates drum loops on the spot, and layers these w/ ukulele, voice, & electric bass played by Nate Brenner. tUnE-yArDs played The Jackpot Lounge in Lawrence on November 7.]

14. (14.) John Vanderslice – “Sea Salt”
from: Whte Wilderness / Dead Oceans / Jan 25, 2011 [9 new songs captured live over 3 days in a collaboration with the Magik*Magik Orchestra, a collective of classically trained musicians in the Bay Area led by artistic director Minna Choi who arranged and conducted White Wilderness with 19 members of the Magik*Magik playing strings and horns, vibraphone, pedal steel and piano, an assortment of reed instruments, and with the voice of Minna Choi singing backup at key moments throughout the album.]


15. (13.) The Empty Spaces – “Mind Over Matter”
from: Low Noise / Golden Sounds / 2011
[Debut EP from a KC based band formed from a studio band that recorded Mat Shoare’s solo album The Empty Spaces in 2010. The three piece began to collaborate more with song arrangements and came up with a kind of “retro-punk rock” that is fronted by an energetic, yelping vocal style. One writer described their sound as “charming fuzzed-out slacker rock.” The band has been touring to support the release. Mat Shoare is also a founding member of Everyday/Everynight and a founding partner in Golden Sound Records.]

16. (12.) Cass McCombs – “County Line”
from: Wit’s End / Domino / April 26, 2011
[Born in Concord, California in 1977. Famed DJ John Peel called his music “unobtrusively brilliant.” Cass McCombs has received widespread critical acclaim. He has led a nomadic existence for most of his adult life, moving from one city to the next, living in cars, on couches and at campsites. McCombs spent time developing his music bouncing between New York City, San Francisco, the Pacific Northwest, England and Baltimore. McCombs has stated that his tombstone will read “Home At Last.”]

17. (11.) Cut Copy – “Where I’m Going”
from: Zonoscope / Modular / Feb. 8, 2011
[3rd studio album by electronic band Cut Copy, formed in 2001 in Melbourne, Australia. It was originally a solo-project of Dan Whitford, a DJ and graphic designer. The band now includes: Tim Hoey on guitar and sampler, Ben Browning on bass guitar and Mitchell Scott on drums. Zonoscope has also been nominated for Best Dance/Electronica Album at the 54th Grammy Awards.]


18. (10.) The I’ms – “Bully Fight”
from: Second MIXES / Independent / 2011
[from their Facebook Page – Collin Rausch, Kyle Rausch. Hearing Collin Rausch and his cousin Kasey Rausch performed together at Barry Lee’s night of Beatles music was a real treat. Kyle Rausch also plays with The ACB’s.]

19. (9.) Greg Brown – “The Lovinest One”
from: Freak Flag / Yep Roc / May 10, 2011
[Accomplished songwriter, co-founder of the influential indie roots label Red House, and former musical director for Garrison Keillor’s A Prairie Home Companion radio program,. While recording what was to be his next album lighting hit the studio where he was working, and Greg Brown lost the recordings. Greg, used the experience to turn inward and write more songs that comprise his 24th album: Freak Flag, the title track is all that remains of the lost original album. Greg wrote ten new songs, recording them at Memphis, Tennessee’s legendary Ardent Studios. Produced by Bo Ramsey, the album also includes a cover of Brown’s wife Iris Dement’s ”Let the Mystery Be” and Brown’s daughter Pieta’s song ”Remember the Sun.” Greg Brown played LIVE on our Nov. 9 WMM.]

20. (8.) Sara Swenson and The Pearl Snaps – “Windows and Doors”
from: Never Left My Mind EP / Independent / Nov. 19, 2011
[The Pearl Snaps are: Ian Davidson, John Flynn, Brandon Graves, Sarah Magill and Roger Strong. Their new EP, “Never Left My Mind,” features five tracks recorded and produced in Kansas City by Mike Crawford and Beau Davidson. Sara Swenson & The Pearl Snaps EP Release was November 19 at The Brick.]

21. (7.) Mr. Marco’s V-7 – “Sweet 2”
from: Sparkin’ Your Mama / Independent / 2011
[drummer Kent “Precious Metalz’ Burnham, bassist Johnny “License Bolt” Hamil, guitarist Marco “Hair Party” Pascolini and console/steel / Theremin / moog man Mike “Creeping Death” Stover. 3 0f the 4 members were our guests, Feb 16, on Wednesday MidDay Medley.]


22. (6.) Atlantic Fadeout – “Traveling Girl”
from: Better Run of Bad Luck / Flyover Records / May 23, 2011
[Debut album of Atlantic Fadeout featuring: the great…Abigail Henderson on lead vocals and guitar; Chris Meck lead guitar, steel guitar, vocals; Dutch Humphrey on bass, vocals; and Amy Farrand on drums. The new band was created from the ashes of The Gaslights, combined with the super powers of Amy Farrand who plays bass in American Catastrophe (amoung several other bands) and Dutch Humphrey who sings lead in Cherokee Rock Rifle.]

23. (5.) Everyday/Everynight –“Breathe Deep”
from: Etc. / Golden Sound Records / May 3, 2011
[Nominated for a Pitch Music Award for “Best Emerging Act” this is the brand new release from Evan Ashby on Guitar, Mat Shoare on Guitar/Keyboard/Vocals, Austin Lyon on Drums, and Jerad Colton Tomasino on Guitar/Keyboard/Vocals of Everyday/Everynight. The band includes three of the members who sing and write songs. Golden Sound Records is a new local recording company who also release the music of Oriole Post. The Fullbloods, and The Empty Spaces, as well as the solo works of Jerad Colton Tomasina and Mat Shoare.]

24. (4.) Jacob Fred Jazz Odyssey – “Mt. Zion”
from: Race Riot Suite / Kinnara Records – The Royal Family / August 30, 2011
[from Tulsa, Ok, their 20th album, Race Riot Suite, written by Chris Combs for the current quartet of Brian Haas on piano & keyboards, Josh Raymer on drums, Chris Combs on lap steel and Jeff Harshbarger on upright bass. For this recording the band is accompanied by a horn section consisting of Sex Mob’s Steven Bernstein, Jeff Coffin (of Dave Matthews and Bela Fleck fame), Mark Southerland (Snuff Jazz, Malachy Papers), Peter Apfelbaum, and former JFJO member Matt Leland. The album is dedicated to the victims of the 1921 Tulsa Race Riot, the largest race riot in United States history. Jacob Fred Jazz Odyssey join us LIVE in the studio on March 30. ]


25. (3.) Hidden Pictures – “It’s My Fantasy (It’s Not Your Fantasy)”
from: Synchronized Sleeping / Hidden Pictures / April 1, 2011
[Richard Gintowt and Michelle Sanders first met at the Record bar and performed together in OK Jones before starting Hidden Pictures. This is their debut full length. Several songs had been previously released in two separate EPs in 2010.]

26. (2.) The Wilders – “Things They Say About Home”
from: The Wilders / Free Dirt Records / June 21, 2011
[10th release from Ike Sheldon- Guitar, Lead Vocals, Betse Ellis- Fiddle, Vocals, Phil Wade- Dobro, Banjo, Mandolin, Vocals, Nate Gawron- Bass, Vocals. Sarah Carpenter also sings back-up on this track. On December 6, Ike and the band announced that they would be taking a hiatus in 2012, after 12 years of almost constant touring. We absolutely LOVE LOVE LOVE this band and each of the members who are some of the most amazing musicians and as well as being really great human beings. Betse Ellis was our guest producer and host on march 2, in a show celebrating Cajun Music.]

27. (1.) Howard Iceberg & The Titanics – “Jacksonville”
from: Welcome Aboard / Independent / June 26, 2011
[7-CD set, includes over 100 new songs, feat. The Titanics: Gary Paredes on lead guitar, Dan Mesh on rhythm guitar, Scott Easterday on bass, Pat Tomek on drums. W/ contributions from over 70 local artists participating in Howard’s “never-ending recording project” conducted in Pat Tomek’s home studio. Howard Iceberg, Pat Tomek, Scott Easterday, Elaine McMilian & Danny Alexander joined us LIVE on June 22, before the tribute to Howard at Crosstown Station on June 26.]

Concert Calendar:
12-29 BCR at Californos
12-29 Antennas Up/Not A Planet/Margo May at recordBar
12-30 Ad Astra Arkestra/The Caves/The Grisly Hand at Davey’s
12-30 Mr Marcos V7 at The Brick
12-30 Trampled Under Foot at Knuckleheads
12-31 INK PRESENTS: NYE w/The Sex Police/77 Jefferson/DJ 2-Tone at Beaumont
12-31 Hammerlord/Walking Oceans/Mansion/Humans at The Riot Room
12-31 Minden/Capybara/Ghosty at recordBar
12-31 Katy and Go-Go/New Years Eve Happy Hour at The Brick
12-31 Split Lip Rayfield/Dumptruck Butterlips/Ashes To Immortality at The Bottleneck
12-31 The Rainmakers & The Belairs (sold out) at Knuckleheads


28. Noel Coward – “The Party’s Over Now”
from: Noel Coward in New York / drg / 2003 [orig. 1957]

Sources for note: Wikipedia.org, artist’s websites

Wednesday MidDay Medley in on the web:

Show #401


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