#763 – December 5, 2018 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 5, 2018

The 118 Best Recordings of 2018
(Part 1 of 4)

Part-one, of our four-week special: The 118 Best Recordings of 2018. Based on playlists of this little ole radio show, we’ve compiled representative tracks from our favorite full-length and EP recordings of the year. We realize that these “Best of” lists can seem very subjective, please accept our list as a celebration of the year in music.

In 2018 we’ve played nearly 1000 different songs on the show, and we’ve played from over 400 New Releases. More than 250 of these were New MidCoastal Releases. We also conducted over 117 interviews with over 150 different guests. 75 of the representative recordings in our “Best of” list were MidCoastal Releases. Over 35 of the bands and artists in our “Best of” list have joined us as guests on WMM on 90.1 FM. It’s all good!

1. “It’s Showtime Folks”
from: Original Motion Picture Soundtrack to All That Jazz / Casablanca / December 20, 1979
[WMM’s theme song]

2.(#118) Marc Ribot & Fay Victor – “John Brown”
from: Songs of Resistance 1942 – 2018 / Noise Inc.-Anti Records / Sept 14, 2018
[Written & Arranged by Marc Ribot (Knockwurst Music). Background Vocals: Rea Dubach & Lukas Rutzen, Sax: James Brandon Lewis, Trombone: Curtis Fowlkes, Bass: Tony Garnier , Percussion: Reinaldo de Jesus , Drums: Chad Taylor. With his new album Songs of Resistance 1948 – 2018, Ribot—one of the world’s most accomplished and acclaimed guitar players—set out to assemble a set of songs that spoke to this political moment with appropriate ambition, passion, and fury. The eleven songs on the record are drawn from the World War II anti-Fascist Italian partisans, the U.S. civil rights movement, and Mexican protest ballads, as well as original compositions, and feature a wide range of guest vocalists, including Tom Waits, Steve Earle, Meshell Ndegeocello, Justin Vivian Bond, Fay Victor, Sam Amidon, and Ohene Cornelius. Ribot began working on the project at the end of 2016, responding not just to the American elections, but to the political trends he was seeing around the world. “I am alarmed by Trump and the movement he’s part of,” he says. “I’ve spent a good chunk of my life running around the world on tour—I’m kind of an accidental internationalist—and I see that he’s not an isolated phenomenon. And if we don’t deal with what is going on, it is going to deal with us.” Ribot was born in Newark,NJ in 1954. As a teen, he played guitar in garage bands while studying with his mentor, Haitian classical guitarist and composer Frantz Casseus. He moved to New York City in 1978. He was a member of the soul/punk Realtones, and John Lurie’s Lounge Lizards. Ribot also worked with Brother Jack McDuff, Wilson Pickett, Carla Thomas, Rufus Thomas, Chuck Berry, and many others. Fay Victor was born July 26, 1965. She is an American musician, composer, lyricist and educator. Originally a singer in the traditional jazz field, she has been working in jazz, blues, opera, free improvising, avant-garde, modern classical music, and occasional acting since re-settling in New York in 2003. PROCEEDS TO BENEFIT: THE INDIVISIBLE PROJECT (501c4) http://www.indivisible.org]

3. (#117) Tash Sultana – “Big Smoke”
from: Flow State / Lonely Lands Records – Mom + Pop / August 31, 2018
[Natasha “Tash” Sultana was born June 15, 1995. She is an Australian singer-songwriter and multi-instrumentalist. Described as a “one-woman band who brings new meaning to the concept of multi-tasking”. Half Australian and half Maltese, Sultana was born and grew up in Melbourne. She received a guitar from her grandfather when she was three, and has played ever since. She now can play over 10 instruments including guitar, bass, trumpet, flute, percussion and saxophone. Sultana’s teenage years were troubled. A self-described drug addict, she developed drug-induced psychosis when she was 17, and had to undergo several months of therapy to recover. Unable to find regular work, she turned to busking on the streets of Melbourne to get by.]

4. (#116) Tunde Olaniran – “Vulnerable”
from: Stranger / Magic Wheel / October 5, 2018
[Second full length album from Flint Michigan based Tunde Olaniran. In 2014, Olaniran released his first EP titled Yung Archetype (see: Jungian archetypes). Olaniran released his first full-length album in 2015 titled Transgressor. NPR’s Stephen Thompson notes, Olaniran, “presides over a bighearted sound and style that revolve around spirited statements of affirmation, a sprawling artistic palette and the pursuit of boldness in every sense of the word… It all adds up to a finely calibrated mix of purpose and playfulness, executed to stylish perfection.”]

5. (#115) Digital Leather – “Same Time Tomorrow”
from: Headache Heaven / Digital Leather / January 23, 2018
[14th album and 21 song digital release from Omaha, Nebraska based Synth punk, New Wave, pop, lo-fi, and psychedelic musical project led by multi-instrumentalist Shawn Foree. Originally from Yuma, Arizona, Foree began calling his project Digital Leather when he moved to Tucson, where he studied American Literature at University of Arizona. He used student loan money to buy equipment. He managed to release his first three albums after recording them in his bedroom on labels such as Tic Tac Totally, Jay Reatard’s Shattered Records imprint, and FDH Records. He supported this “bedroom project” with several nationwide and European tours. Sorcerer, released on Goner Records in 2008, is a half-live, half-studio record. In 2009, Foree began working on a collection of songs in a fully operational studio. Released in September 2009 by Fat Possum Records, Warm Brother garnered positive reviews. After relocating to Omaha, Nebraska, a 5-piece band formed. They toured around and as a band with synth-leads courtesy of The Faint’s Todd Fink.]

6. (#114) Eggs on Mars – “Sod is Good”
from: Mama Pancake / Eggs On Mars / November 9, 2018
[KC based 3-piece, lo-fi, psych-surf-garage rock band with Brad Smith on guitars, vocals & keyboards; Justin Longmeyer on bass; and Mason Potter on drums & percussion. Mama Pancake was recorded May through September of 2018. Recorded, mixed, and mastered by Rodd Fenton. All songs by Eggs on Mars.]

7. (#113) Stacy Busch – “Why’d I Go”
from: 3-Song EP / Stacy Busch / July, 2018
[Stacy says these songs “were written for the Outskrts LBTQ Festival and performed live with live dancers. They are meant to be anthem-like in their themes of coming together as a community.” 28 year old Stacy Busch is originally from Bloomfield Hills, Michigan. She is a multimedia artist & performer. Her collaborative concert experiences are designed to be provocative and accessible to cultivate broader artistic interest and, reach under-served and/or misrepresented communities. Stacy is the founder and president of No Divide KC, an arts and social justice non-profit that creates artistic events for various social causes. Stacy’s work has been performed nationally as well as in France and Iceland. She recently partnered with Gilda’s Club KC, Owen/Cox Dance and Charlotte Street Foundation to compose and perform the music for “Collective: Our Stories of Cancer.” In 2018, her service with No Divide KC will include partnerships with the Kansas City Ballet School and the Johnson County Library. Stacy’s work has been performed at: the Kansas City Fringe Festival, Art in the Loop Kansas City, the experimental concert series ArtSounds, the Lyric Opera of Kansas City and UMKC Composer’s Guild Concerts. She has partnered with the Kansas City Streetcar, the UMKC dance program, Charlotte Street Foundation and the electronic music non-profit KcEMA. In addition to Kansas City, Stacy’s work has been featured at the University of Colorado-Boulder, the University of Michigan, Western Michigan University, Central Michigan University. It has also been performed by ensembles including: Bent Frequency, the Beo String Quartet and the Zodiac Trio. She is a two-time ArtSounds Grant recipient, a UMKC Women’s Council Grant recipient and was a CITS Scholar at the University of Missouri-Kansas City. Stacy received her Masters in Music in composition from the University of Missouri-Kansas City and her Bachelors in Music in composition from Western Michigan University. Her teachers include Rome Prize winners Paul Rudy and James Mobberley as well as Pulitzer Prize winners Zhou Long and Chen Yi. Other influential teachers include Guggenheim Fellow Curtis Curtis-Smith, Christopher Biggs and Lisa Coons. Prior to studying music, Stacy studied print journalism at Boston University.]

[Stacy Busch presenting a big solo show, January 12, 2019 at Musical Theatre Heritage Stage in Crown Center called, Mass: Multimedia performance and exhibition. Stacy is partnering with an artist from Australia who she spent a month with in Iceland. The concert will involve live music performance, dance and video.]

10:28 – Underwriting

8. (#112) Helen Gillet – “I Live Off You”
from: Helkiase / Helen Gillet / July 6, 2018
[Cover of English punk band X-Ray Spex from Germfree Adolescents, released Nov. 10, 1978. Written by Polystyrene aka Marianne Joan Elliott-Said born July 3, 1957, a British musician, singer-songwriter, frontwoman for X-Ray Spex. She died of Metastatic Breast Cancer on April 25, 2011, at the age of 53.] [Originally from Leuven, Belgium and now based in New Orleans, Louisiana. Globe Trotting, multi-faceted, jazz-based cellist, singer, composer and improviser Helen Gillet is a “mixed bag” of musical influence. Downbeat Magazine recently nominated her a Rising Star in the 61st Annual Critic’s Poll. She believes music to be an expression of the honest human condition; performing an eclectic mix of French pop, Avant Garde Jazz, North Indian, Folk and Classical styles. Helen Gillet’s 2018 solo album is Inspired by Helkiase, a cure-all medicine invented by the nuns of Notre Dame à la Rose hospital in Lessines, Belgium. (The hospital was one of Europe’s longest continually operating hospitals founded in XIII’s century). Gillet’s latest music deals with the more recent personal layers of complicated grief and finding new strength, sense of humor and inspiration. This recording captures the current spirit of Gillet’s live performance and features her newest original songs “Slow Drag Pavageau” written about legendary dancer and New Orleans bassist Alcide Pavageau, as well as “You Found Me,” “Skin,” and “Vautour,”song inspired by Israeili composer and artist Naama Tsabar. All songs are performed by Helen Gillet using a Boss RC50 Loop station and mainly cello and voice. Tracks 7 “Tonnerre” and 4 “Helkiase” use a Moog Sub Fatty synthesizer and vinyl scratching of a famous 1940 General de Gaulle speech. Live studio sessions and evening concerts recorded by Andrew “Goat” Gilchrist at the House of 1Hz on March 8th and 9th 2018 in New Orleans, LA. Mastered by Bruce Barielle.

9.(#111) Noah Davis – “Love Me (with Jessica Gray)”
from: Magic – EP / Noah Davis / April 7, 2018
[For Noah, the love of music began at a young age while his father played old gospel and blues albums. Noah recalls his late father explaining the meanings of songs by bands such as Cream, CCR, Curtis Mayfield, The Beatles, Bob Dylan and Neil Young. A multiracial kid whose parents both loved rock and soul. Noah’s parents introduced him to the Ed Sullivan Show. Noah came to realize early in his life that music is NOT about color, but about the heart and soul. Jimi Hendrix’s concept of the musical church made a lasting impression on Noah who took it to heart and fully embraced these ideals, demonstrating that music should not just entertain but speak to and heal, hearts, minds, and souls. Noah Davis released his debut full length album “100%” on March 4, 2016. Noah Davis is releasing a new EP called “A Simple Gospel” on December 8, 2018. More information at http://www.noahdavidmusic.com

[Noah Davis plays a CD Release Show for his new EP “A Simple Gospel” December 8, at 7:00 pm, at Christ Family Church, 905 S. Chestnut St., Olathe, Kansas]

10. (#110) Melody’s Echo Chamber – “Breathe in, Breathe Out”
from: Bon Voyage / Fat Possum Records / June 16, 2018
[Melody’s Echo Chamber is the main project of French musician Melody Prochet. When Prochet’s previous project My Bee’s Garden supported Tame Impala on their European tour in 2010, Prochet collaborated with Kevin Parker to produce her new solo material as Melody’s Echo Chamber. The material was recorded in Parker’s makeshift studio in Perth, Australia and Prochet’s grandmother’s seaside home in the south of France. The self-titled debut album was released on Fat Possum Records in the Fall of 2012.]

11. (#109) Femi Kuti – “One People One World”
from: One People One World / Knitting Factory Records / February 23, 2018
[Olufela Olufemi Anikulapo Kuti was born June 16, 1962 and is popularly known as Femi Kuti, a Nigerian musician born in London and raised in Lagos. He is the eldest son of afrobeat pioneer Fela Kuti, and a grandchild of a political campaigner, women’s rights activist and traditional aristocrat Funmilayo Ransome Kuti. Femi’s musical career started when he began playing in his father’s band, Egypt 80. In 1986, Femi started his own band, Positive Force, and began establishing himself as an artist independent of his father’s massive legacy. His first record was released in 1995 by Tabu/Motown, followed four years later by Shoki Shoki (MCA), which garnered widespread critical acclaim. In 2001 he collaborated with Common, Mos Def and Jaguar Wright on Fight to Win, an effort to cross over to a mainstream audience, and started touring the United States with Jane’s Addiction. In 2004 he opened The Shrine, his club, where he recorded the live album Africa Shrine. After a 4-year absence due to personal setbacks, he re-emerged in 2008 with Day by Day and Africa for Africa in 2010, for which he received two Grammy nominations. In 2012 he was both inducted into the Headies Hall of Fame (the most prestigious music awards in Nigeria), was the opening act on the Red Hot Chili Peppers’ European arena tour and became an Ambassador for Amnesty International.]

12. (#108) Bernice – “Passenger Plane”
from: Puff: In the Air Without a Shape / Arts & Crafts / May 25, 2018
[Toronto-based experimental soul-pop group includes; robin dann, thom gill, dan fortin, felicity williams, and phil melanson. “Puff: In the air without a shape,” is that band’s airy, minimalist follow up to their 2017 kaleidoscopic maximalist EP. Puff was produced by Grammy Award-winner Shawn Everett). Reminiscent of recent records by Feist and Frank Ocean where soulful vocal melodies take the lead over sparse, airy arrangements, Bernice’s new album attempts to reproduce the playful intimacy of the band’s live show.]

13. (#107) Timbers – “Rosalee”
from: Timbers / Timbers / March 1, 2018
[Timbers first professionally recorded, mixed and mastered release. Recorded in the basement of Jacob’s Well Church in Kansas City, Missouri. Tracked, mixed and mastered by Mike Crawford. Timbers includes: Aaron Mitchum on guitar & lead vocals; Abigail Jones on banjo, guitar & vocals; Devon Teran on guitar, lap and pedal steel guitar, & dobro; Riley Taylor on upright bass & electric bass; and Nate Lewis on drums.]

14. (#106) Erin Eades – “Free From Prison”
from: Diary / Erin Eades / October 19, 2018
[Debut EP from Erin Eades on acoustic guitar, cigar box guitar, vocals; Lucas Parker on electric guitar, bass (tracks 1, 2, 4, 5); Kenny Carter on bass (track 3); Colby Earlywine on drums; Jamie Malone on background vocals; Jay Vern on piano, B3 organ. Erin Eades is a singer-songwriter in Kansas City, MO. Originally from the mountain state of West Virginia, Eades began making music at the age of 12, when out of boredom her father handed her a 1950’s Gibson that had been stored away, waiting for someone to play. It wasn’t long before she began writing songs, recording her first album at age 17 as part of the duo Special Guest. After a more than decade-long hiatus from music, Eades began playing music again after moving to Kansas City and began her solo career in 2015. She has since played dozens of venues in the Kansas City area, won the 2016 HRC Kansas City Battle of the Bands Acoustic Stage, and has started to play more regionally, sharing her heartfelt lyrics, classic melodies, and percussive guitar style with audiences in the Midwest. Her music is genuine, and shares bits of her story, drawing from experiences that many find relatable. Influenced by the strong female singer-songwriters she listened to growing up, including Joni Mitchell, Carole King, and Jewel, she followed their lead and added her own tinges of twang, angst, and blues. Eades released her debut single, “Looking From the Bottom” in 2017.]

15. (#105) Foxing – “Nearer My God”
from: Nearer My God / Triple Crown Records / August 10, 2018
[Third album from the critically acclaimed St. Louis based band formed September 2, 2011 with: Conor Murphy, E.M. Hudson, Enrique Sampson, Jon Hellwig. Pitchfork writes: “The band’s previous albums, The Albatross and Dealer, were bookended by muted introductions and finales, hand-crafted keepsakes meant to be dog-eared and footnoted. Nearer My God is likewise a closed system bound with melodic and lyrical leitmotifs, but designed more like a multimedia extravaganza. About two minutes into the opener “Grand Paradise,” Murphy is “shock-collared at the gates of heaven” when the drums finally come in and it’s a legit drop for light shows they’ll never afford at festivals that have never considered booking them. Nearly an hour later, he cries, “Heaven won’t take me in”.” Produced and Engineered by Chris Walla and E.M. Hudson. Additional production by Mike V. Davis. Additional Engineering by Conor Murphy, Enrique Sampson, Joe Reinhart, Mike V. Davis. Editing by Ryan Wasoba, Mike V. Davis. Mastered by Joe Lambert. Arrangements by E.M. Hudson. Lyrics by Conor Murphy.]

11:00 – Station ID

16. (#104) Wade D. Brown – “Home Country Pie”
from: From A Child / Wade D. Brown / May 25, 2018
[Debut album from Wade D. Brown on vocal, guitar & harmonica; Colby Earleywine on percussion, Katie West on bass; Mike West on banjo & mandolin. Produced, recorded, mixed, and mastered by Mike West at 9th Ward Pickin’ Parlor in Lawrence, KS February 2018. All words and music Copyright 2018 Wade D. Brown. Wade D. Brown grew up in small town rural Kansas and describes having a “dreamers disease” from a very young age. He quotes Kerouac, Woody Guthrie, and Waldo Emerson for developing his curiosity about being a “life long freedom seeker.” The notion of “self obtained freedom” is the central issue at the heart of Wade D. Brown’s music. With primary influences from pre-war delta and ragtime blues, medicine show music, bluegrass, vaudeville, and country folk, Wade D. Brown’s music is a contrast of light and dark themes. Songs like Home Country Pie and Summer Bliss paint pictures of simple happiness, while songs such as Old Habits and Paper Cups evoke a sense of complex loneliness. Wade D. Brown says that his goal as a songwriter is to “use music rooted in traditional forms with a poetic lyric to create an original sound that challenges the listener emotionally and conceptually.”]

17. (#103) Oh Dear Oh My – “Bon Appetit”
from: ASHDLA’ / Oh Dear Oh My / July 11, 2018
[KC synth/drum duo, is made up of Rani & Curt. This is their 2nd release. They’ve been playing locally for 3 years. This EP Ashdla’ is named for the Navajo word for Five. There are five tracks on their EP, as Curt is himself Navajo. Oh Dear Oh My tend toward dark & dancy but can’t seem to commit to a single rock genre.]

18. (#102) The Sexy Accident – “Sneaky [Steve Fisk Gotta Sift Seasoning Mix]”
from: Chamcakes Babypagne / The Sexy Accident / September 8, 2018
[Chamcakes Babypagne is a selection of songs from The Sexy Accident’s sixth full-length album, Champagne Babycakes, re-imagined and reconstructed by Steve Fisk, namelessnumberheadman, Akkilles and many talented guest musicians. All songs written by Jesse Kates / Halaster Music [ASCAP] except You’ve Got To Ride Your Bicycle Ha Ha Ha by Jonas Kates. Mastering by Mike Nolte at Eureka. The Sexy Accident is a pop band from Kansas City. They’ve released over 70 songs on six albums and four EPs. Their September 23, 2016 album, Chanpagne Babycakes included 12 songs produced by Seattle legend Steve Fisk, and a game deck of 45 cards designed by Gavin Snider. The current line up consist of: Jesse Kates on guitar & vocals, Ramone Hall on drums, Jamie Lin on vocals, Pete Marten on bass, and Ryan Leip on keys.]

19. (#101) Joan As Policewoman – “Tell Me”
from: Damned Devotion / Play It Again Sam / February 9, 2018
[Joan As Police Woman, is Joan Wasser, born July 26, 1970), she is an American musician, singer-songwriter and producer. She began her career playing violin with the Dambuilders and played with Black Beetle, Antony and the Johnsons, and Those Bastard Souls. Since 2004 she has released her solo material as Joan As Police Woman. She has released five regular studio albums, one EP, a number of singles and a collection of covers. Throughout her career, she has regularly collaborated with other artists as a writer, performer and arranger. “Tell Me,” is the first single from the new album. Joan Wasser talked about its plea for openness and intimacy, “I am always wanting more intimate dialogue,” she says. “Fear of being vulnerable, future tripping and feelings of shame, paranoia and jealousy get in the way. You got to separate now what’s real, what’s not real – stop using jealousy (not real) as a way to avoid having to clarify and tell me what you really want (real). Why don’t we try trusting each other enough to be fully transparent? What is there to lose?”]

20. (#100) Car Seat Headrest – “My Boy (Twin Fantasy)”
from: Twin Fantasy/ Matador / February 16, 2018
[Twin Fantasy (Face to Face) is the eleventh studio album by indie rock band Car Seat Headrest, released on February 16, 2018. It is a complete re-recording and reworking of the band’s sixth studio album, Twin Fantasy, released in 2011. Originally a started as a solo recording project by 26 year old, Will Toledo, in Leesburg, Virginia. Toledo chose the name “Car Seat Headrest” after recording the vocals of his first albums in the back seat of his car, for privacy. Car Seat Headrest released 12 albums on Bandcamp. Toledo’s production has gradually grown less lo-fi, but he still remains an effective example of the DIY ethic. Toledo saw a large influx of new fans with his 2011 release Twin Fantasy, which has become the most popular of his self-released albums. In September 2015, Car Seat Headrest announced on his Facebook page that he had signed an album deal with Matador Records. In October 2015, Car Seat Headrest released the compilation album, Teens of Style under the label. This was his first album that was not self-released via Bandcamp. The new album, Teens of Denial, was created with traditional studio processes. Car Seat Headrest is currently on tour in the Northwest, and after a May 8 show in Brooklyn, the band travels to Europe for dates in May and then will be back touring the state through June and July.]

21. (#99) Superorganism – “Everybody Wants To Be Famous”
from: Superorganism / Domino Records / Expected: March 2, 2018
[Superorganism is an indie pop band that formed in early 2017. The group is made up of 8 members, one of which is a 17-year-old Japanese girl only known as Orono. The 7 other members go by the names of Harry, Emily, Ruby, B, Tucan, Soul, and Robert. The group, started with members from all over the world including The United States, Japan, South Korea, London, Australia, and New Zealand, makes original internet-age electronically-tinged indie pop music. Bandmembers Harry, Emily, Ruby, B, Tucan, Soul, and Robert were all longtime friends who decided it was finally time to work together. Harry and Emily met Orono during one of their old band’s Japan shows (she attended as a fan), and they struck up a Facebook friendship with their future bandmate. After discovering she could sing, they invited her to add lyrics and vocals to a demo they’d been working on for a new project at the beginning of 2017.]

22. (#98) Cat Dail – “Wonder Love”
from: Fight For Love / Lucky Magnet Records / April 6, 2018
[Singer-songwriter, multi-instrumentalist, & producer Cat Dail, lives some of the time in NYC and some of the time in Chesterfield, NH. She’s released 5 albums on her label Lucky Magnet Records. Cat has been active in the Indie rock scene since the 1990s, leading her NYC band, Cat played a residency at the Bitter End, and most colleges and clubs from Vermont to Virginia, Colorado to California. More info at: http://www.catdail.com]

23. (#97) Those Far Out Arrows – “Be Alright”
from: Part Time Lizards / High Dive Records / November 2, 2018
[Omaha, Nebraska band formed in 2013, by brothers Ben Keelan-White & Evan Keelan-White wbo perform with Derek Levasseur & Tanner Rogerson. Recorded & mixed by Those Far Out Arrows in Fall of 2016. Mastered by Jon Ochsner at ARC Studios in Omaha, Nebraska music writer Tim McMahan said, “They (Those Far Out Arrows) unapologetically cross ’60s British psychedelic with Bowery proto-punk a la Velvet Underground.” Those Far Out Arrows were recently signed to KC record label, High Dive Records.]

11:28 – Underwriting

24. (#96) Adrianne Lenker – “symbol”
from: abysskiss / Saddle Creek / October 5, 2018
[Adrianne Lenker has been writing songs since she was 10 years old. Her “back story” has been well documented in various interviews and profiles for Big Thief over the last 3 years. Despite, or more likely because of, the constant touring and studio work, the last few years have been some of the most prolific for Lenker as a writer. Songs pop out at soundcheck. They pop out on late night drives between cities. They pop out in green rooms, hotel stairwells, gardens, and kitchens around the world. In the hands of Lenker, songwriting is not an old dead craft. It is alive. It is vital. With little regard for standard album cycle practice or the idea of resting at all, Lenker set out to make a document. Songs can be slippery and following 2+ years on the road with Big Thief, Lenker felt a growing need to document this particular time in her life in an intimate, immediate way. The result is her new album, abysskiss, out October 5th via Saddle Creek. “I want to archive the songs in their original forms every few years,” explains Lenker. “My first solo record I made was Hours Were the Birds. I had just turned 21 and moved to New York City where I was sleeping in a warehouse, working in a restaurant and photographing pigeons. Now five years later, another skin is being shed.” Following a two week road trip through the southwestern United States, Lenker headed into the studio with longtime friend Luke Temple. Temple put on his loosely fitting, bright orange, 100% wool producer hat and for one week they made music. The songs chosen for this collection were the songs that felt the most alive in the room. These are not castaways or B-sides. Some of these songs have been alive for years while some were written just days before the session. Some will appear in different future forms, some will not. The thread that connects these songs is not something that can easily be put down in words. Intuition connects these songs. They are a record of a time. With this collection, Lenker further illuminates to the listening public what those close to her already know; here we have a songwriter of the highest order, following her voice and the greater Voices that pass through her with an unflinching openness and clarity of translation.]

25. (#95) Cris Williamson – “Motherland”
from: Motherland / Wolf Moon Records / November 14, 2017
[Produced by Julie Wolf. Legendary singer songwriter Cris Williamson recently released her 32nd album, Motherland. Cris Williamson is a brilliant songwriter, poet, pioneer, and renegade who recorded her first album in the 1964 when she was sixteen. Cris Williamson’s groundbreaking album, The Changer and the Changed, was released in 1975, and became one of the best-selling independent releases of all time, selling over 500,000 copies. The sales of these records allowed the independent label Olivia Records to release music from a whole new movement of diverse female artists, all overlooked by mainstream music. Cris Williamson helped to forge a historic movement in the male dominated music industry, fostering the creation of completely female owned record labels, touring companies, and music festivals. The movement, (often misclassified as a genre) was about opening the doors, and smashing glass ceilings, for so many women to follow, who had been shut-out of the game, simply because of their gender. Cris seemed to shrug all of that off with an earthy sexy confidence that makes audiences swoon for her. She wrote music for people desiring to find their own identities in modern folk and pop music. No one had ever courageously written and performed so many brilliant full length albums of songs by women, about women, for women. At the same time, these songs are universal to us all. These songs were all impeccably and professionally produced and have stood the test of time and could go up against any of the songs by Jackson Browne, Bonnie Raitt, or James Taylor. Only difference is mainstream radio and television has almost completely ignored Cris Williamson. Despite this injustice, through her amazing voice, and spirit, and open heart, Cris has helped make the world a better place for all female and LGBTQIA artists who follow the path she cleared. We owe her for that. Cris Williamson was part of NPR Music’s 2017 feature on The 150 Greatest Albums Made By Women with The Changer and the Changed: A Record of the Times (Olivia Records, 1975) Ann Powere of NPR Music writes: “Produced by Williamson and featuring dozens of the era’s finest women musicians — including guitarists Meg Christian and June Millington, bass virtuoso Jacqueline Robbins and vocalists Holly Near and Margie Adam — Changer blended pop, country and folk elements in songs that were both cuttingly intimate and generously communal. (A few featured large choruses inspired by the sing-alongs women’s music artists inspired in concert.) Williamson’s own keyboard playing ranged from contemplative to dance-floor funky. The clear and confident lesbian desire behind love songs like “Sweet Woman” and “Dream Child” made Williamson a sex symbol; her philosophical side made Changer a record of spiritual growth, too. Speaking what at the time remained mostly unspoken in pop, this album truly changed lives. ” The Cris piece from NPR Music’s The 150 Greatest Albums Made By Women (7/24/2017): “I’m kind of hand-carried, person to person,” Cris Williamson told the journalist Ben Fong-Torres in 1981, when asked how people discovered her music. “There are secretaries who’ve told me they can’t get through the day without running home during lunch hour and playing it.” Such was the impact of the Wyoming native’s voice, clear as a mountain stream, and her empathetic songwriting, which made this album one of the best-selling independent releases of all time and the cornerstone of the feminist “women’s music” movement. Produced by Williamson and featuring dozens of the era’s finest women musicians — including guitarists Meg Christian and June Millington, bass virtuoso Jacqueline Robbins and vocalists Holly Near and Margie Adam — Changer blended pop, country and folk elements in songs that were both cuttingly intimate and generously communal. (A few featured large choruses inspired by the sing-alongs women’s music artists inspired in concert.) Williamson’s own keyboard playing ranged from contemplative to dance-floor funky. The clear and confident lesbian desire behind love songs like “Sweet Woman” and “Dream Child” made Williamson a sex symbol; her philosophical side made Changer a record of spiritual growth, too. Speaking what at the time remained mostly unspoken in pop, this album truly changed lives. —Ann Powers (NPR Music) From http://www.smithsonianmag.com – Ginny Berson belonged to the Furies collective, a radical, separatist household that published journals, taught classes, and advocated communal living apart from men. Judy Dlugacz, 20, had postponed law school to pursue lesbian activism and was interested in finding an economically workable means of serving the women’s community. Performing as a folk musician at area clubs and coffeehouses, Meg Christian was eager to meet other women songwriters like Cris Williamson—who had released her first album in 1964 at age 16. When Williamson came on tour to D.C., Christian and Berson not only arranged to bring other women’s music fans to the concert; in a gesture that changed history, they also scheduled a follow-up interview on Georgetown University’s “Radio Free Women” program. On the show, Berson spoke about how she and other members of the Furies collective were searching for a bigger project to invest in— “something that’s for women, by women, and supported by women’s money”—and Williamson responded with a simple yet provocative suggestion, “Why don’t you start a women’s record company?”]

26. (#94) Sunny War – “If It Wasn’t Broken”
from: With the Sun / Org Music – Hen House Studios / Feb. 2, 2018
[“Los Angeles-based singer, songwriter and guitarist Sunny War (née Sydney Lyndella Ward) was born to a single mom in Nashville. She had what’s she’s described as a nomadic childhood, moving around from Michigan, Colorado, and living on the streets of San Francisco. Now in her mid-20s, War settled down in Los Angeles as a teenager, and became known for her street playing in Venice Beach. War is a fantastic guitar player. She learned her plucking style by playing “Blackbird” by The Beatles, and by falling in love with the blues. “I feel like I am a blues guitarist, but I don’t think I’m a blues artist,” she says. “I only use the scales and techniques that I know, and the only time I was trained in music was on blues guitar. I really love Elizabeth Cotten and Mississippi John Hurt,” says War.” – from NPR Music]

27. (#93) The UK’s – “The Poison Squad”
from: American Way of Death – EP / The UK’s / November 17, 2018
[Kansas City based band formed in July 2010 with Noah Bartelt on lead vocals & guitar, Scott Combs on guitar & vocals, Katelyn Miles on bass, Tarquin Eugene Kellough on drums. This EP is their follow up release to their 2016 debut album “Bad Seed”, featuring their single “The Poison Squad” released in March of 2018 and four more tracks. More info at: http://www.theuksband.com]

28. (#92) Noname – “With you”
from: Room 25 / Noname / September 14, 2018
[Debut album from Fatimah Nyeema Warner who was born September 18, 1991, and is better known by her stage name Noname. She is an American rapper and poet. Warner is from the Bronzeville neighborhood of Chicago, Illinois, where she began rapping and performing slam poetry in 2010. In 2013, she gained wider recognition following her appearance on the track “Lost” from Chance the Rapper’s popular mixtape Acid Rap. Noname released her debut mixtape, Telefone, on July 31, 2016, to widespread critical acclaim. Noname grew up in the Bronzeville neighborhood of Chicago. She was raised by her grandparents; as a teenager, she listened to blues musicians Buddy Guy and Howlin’ Wolf, and spent time in her mother’s bookstore. She first started writing poetry after taking a creative writing class in high school. As a teen, she spent time in the YOUMedia project—a space for young artists to create and network—then based in the Harold Washington Library. There, she befriended many local talents, including Chance the Rapper. Noname’s interest in poetry led her to compete in local open mics and slam poetry competitions; she placed third in Chicago’s annual Louder than a Bomb competition. Noname gradually turned her talents to freestyle rapping with friends, collaborating with many local Chicago artists including Chance the Rapper, Saba, Mick Jenkins, and Ramaj Eroc. Recorded in about a month’s time, the album chronicles the two years since the release of Telefone, most notably her move from Chicago to Los Angeles and an intense, short-lived relationship. On the experience, she compared her maturity on Room 25 to Telefone, saying “Telefone was a very PG record because I was very PG. I just hadn’t had sex.” Unlike Telefone, Room 25 was created due to a financial obligation. Noname said in an interview, “It came to a point where it was, like, I needed to make an album because I need to pay my rent. I could’ve done another Telefone tour, but I can’t play those songs anymore. Like, I could, but I physically hate it because I’ve just been playing them for so long.” Noname paid for the entire album herself using money from touring and guest appearances on Chance the Rapper projects.]

29. (#91) Miki P – “Broken Hearted People”
from: Dome of Swallows / Miki P/ September 1, 2018
[Debut full length album from Miki P containing 10 original songs. Kansas City, Missouri Miki P. She started playing guitar in middle school,. She taught herself to play the drums, while listening to Mitch Mitchell, Keith Moon and Ringo Starr. As a teen she played drums for various groups including the band American Slim. She wrote songs for their first full-length album Irreplaceable in the Spring of 2017, followed by a single “Queen of Hearts” released April 11, 2018. She also plays ukulele & piano, teaching herself how to play both the instruments and using them frequently in all projects she is involved in. She has played Middle of the Map Fest, Royal’s Kaufman Stadium, the Record Bar, Uptown Theater, Arrowhead Stadium, Nelson Atkins Museum, the Crossroads Music Festival and the SXSW Music Festival. More info at: http://www.mikipmusic.com]

30. (#90) Sona – “Pop Song”
from: Sona EP 2 / Something Sounds Weird Records / September 14, 2018
[Sona began as the love child of husband and wife Brian and Jenna Goodman. Add Bobby Reeves on drums makes this alternative indie rock shoegaze post-punkLawrence Kansas based band a “power trio.” The EP was recorded at Fire & Ice Studios Baldwin, KS and was engineered/mixed by Steve Squire and mastered by Duane Trower with all songs written by SONA]

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

Next week on Wednesday December 12, we present part two of our four week series The 118 Best Recordings of 2018. We’ll count down #89 to #60 with representative tracks from: Duncan Burnett, Dreamgirl, Khrystal., Blue False Indigo, Heidi Phillips and Danny Krause, Stephonne Singleton, Warm Bodies, The Project H, HighWesthus, John Keck, No Magic, Salty, Daisy Bücket, Chess Club, Jake Wells, Doby Watson, The Fey, Thee Devotion, Serene Fiend, Sauce, The Matchsellers, Supa Flower, The Breeders, Anna Calvi, The Internet, The Beths, Joan Baez, Tune-yards, Christine and the Queens, and St. Vincent.

Tune into 90.1 FM, Wednesdays in December, as we present our 4-week series: The 118 Best Recordings of 2018. December 5th, 12th, 19th, and 26th. We’re packing 8-hours of radio with music that represent: The 118 of Best Recordings of 2018!

Our Script/Playlist is a “cut and paste” of information.
Sources for notes: artist’s websites, bios, wikipedia.org

Wednesday MidDay Medley in on the web:

Show #763