#868 – December 16, 2020 Playlist

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

Wednesday, December 16, 2020

The 120 Best Recordings of 2020
(Part 2 of 4)

Wednesday MidDay Medley presents part-two, of our four-week special: The 120 Best Recordings of 2020. Based on playlists of this little ole radio show, we’ve compiled representative tracks from our favorite full-length albums and EP recordings of 2020. We realize these “Best of” lists can seem subjective, so we ask that you please accept our list as a celebration of the year in music.

In 2020 we’ve broadcast nearly 900 different tracks over our 100,000 watts of 90.1 FM Community Radio Airwaves. Over 500 of these tracks were from New & MidCoastal Releases. We played tracks from 112 National Releases, and 209 MidCoastal Releases. 75 of the representative tracks in our “Best of” list are from MidCoastal Releases. In 2020 we’ve conducted 131 live interviews with 156 special guests. 48 of the bands and artists in our “Best of” list have joined us as guests on Wednesday MidDay Medley.

  1. “Main Title Instrumental – It’s Showtime Folks”
    from: Orig. Motion Picture Soundtrack All That Jazz / Casablanca / December 20, 1979
    [WMM’s theme]
  1. (#90.) Free Nationals – “Shibuya (feat. Syd)”
    from: Free Nationals / OBE, LLC – Empire / December 13, 2019
    [Free Nationals are best known as Anderson . Paak’s live band, until now. Band members include: Kelsey Gonzalez on bass, Ron “Tnava” Avant on keyboards & vocoder, Callum Connor on drums, and José Rios on guitar. Free Nationals have graced the stage at Coachella, opened for Beyoncé and completed World Tours alongside J. For this track Free Nationals ecorded with Sydney Loren Bennett was born April 23, 1992. Known professionally as Syd (formerly Syd tha Kyd), Syd is an American singer and songwriter from Los Angeles, California. She is a founding member of the band The Internet, and was a member of the alternative hip hop collective Odd Future.]
  1. (#89) Les Amazones d’Afrique – “Love (feat. Mamani Keita)” from: Amazones Power / Real World Records / January 24, 2020 [2nd album from Les Amazones d’Afrique, a contemporary world music supergroup formed in Mali in 2015 featuring Kandia Kouyaté, Angélique Kidjo, Mamani Keita, Rokia Koné, Mariam Doumbia (of Amadou & Mariam), Nneka, Mariam Koné, Massan Coulibaly, Madina N’Diaye, Madiaré Dramé, Mouneissa Tandina and Pamela Badjogo. The name of the refers to the Dahomey Amazons, which was a female elephant hunting group and a military regiment from the 17th century thru 19th century in what is now Benin. Les Amazones d’Afrique performed their first concert at Fiesta des Suds in Marseilles in October 2015. The 1st track they released was “I Play The Kora,” a track that goes well beyond the often-reductive term of “world music”. Its message is to encourage women coming together to sing about why they should “rise up and fight injustice because we’re all equal,” and profits from the sale of the track are be donated to The Panzi Foundation, led by Doctor Mukwege in Bukavu (DRC), which has provided healing support to more than 80,000 women, nearly 50,000 of whom are victims of sexualized violence and female genital mutilation. The kora, a harp-like instrument native to West Africa, works as a metaphor: playing the kora was denied to women for years; only men were allowed the prestige. Following their first UK performance at WOMAD Charlton Park in July 2016, Les Amazones d’Afrique were signed to Real World Records for the release of their 1st album, Republique Amazone (2017). Real World Records is a British record label specializing in world music. It was founded in 1989 by English musician Peter Gabriel and original members of WOMAD. In 1999, the label had sold over 3 million records worldwide & released 90 albums. In 2015, it had reached the mark of over 200 albums.]
  1. (#88.) Rae Fitzgerald – “Lonely Listener”
    from: Lonely Listener – EP / Rae Fitzgerald / August 28, 2020
    [Lonely Listener was written & arranged by Rae Fitzgerald who is based in Columba, MO. Produced by Rae Fitzgerald & Wil Reeves. Recorded at home & at Centro Cellar Studio in CoMO. Mixed & mastered by Will Reeves. Last time Rae was in our Countdown for her album Popular Songs For Wholesome Families released June 3, 2016 Recorded at Centro Cellar Studio in Columbia, MO, and Good Danny’s in Austin, TX, between October 2014 and September 2015. Rae Fitzgerald joined us on WMM on February 3, 2016.]

5. (#87.) Eliza Gilkyson – “Peace In Our Hearts” from: 2020 / Red House Records / April 3, 2020
[20th album from Eliza Gilkyson who was our guest on WMM on Aug. 26, 2020. Gilkyson was born August 24, 1950, in Hollywood, California. She is an Austin, Texas-based folk musician. Gilkyson is a two-time Grammy Award nominee, receiving a nomination for Best Contemporary Folk Album in 2004 and Best Folk Album in 2014. Eliza Gilkyson is a politically minded, poetically gifted singer-songwriter who has become one of the most respected musicians in folk & Americana music. She is the daughter of songwriter and folk musician Terry Gilkyson and his wife, Jane. Eliza first recorded as a teenager as a vocalist on demos and soundtracks produced by her father, who wrote several hits in the 1950s and early 1960s and is also known as a singer-composer for 1960s Disney films and an Academy Award nominee for “The Bare Necessities” from the 1967 animated film The Jungle Book. Since then she Eliza has released 20 recordings of her own, and her songs have been covered by Joan Baez, Bob Geldof, Tom Rush and Rosanne Cash. 2020 was produced by Cisco Ryder Gilliland (Eliza’s son) with Eliza Gilkyson on acoustic guitar, national steel guitar, electric guitar, harmonica; Cisco Ryder Gilliand on drums, percussion, harmony vocals; Mike Hardwick on electric & acoustic guitars, slide guitar, pedal steel, dobro, 12-string; Chris Maresh on bass; Bukka Allen on Wurlitzer, Hammond Organ, Nord, Piano; Warren Hood on mandolin; Betty Soo on harmony vocals. Recorded in Austin, TX Dedicated to Eliza’s grandkids: Riley, Bellarosa, Santi, Rex, Benito. She released Eliza ’69, her first album, in 1969 while raising a family in Santa Fe, New Mexico, and did not come out with her second, Love from the Heart, until ten years later. She moved to Austin, Texas in 1981 and released the commercial album Pilgrims before moving to Los Angeles in 1987. After a brief stint in Los Angeles, she returned to New Mexico in the early 1990s, releasing several albums of original material. In 1993 she collaborated with New Age artist Andreas Vollenweider on his recording, Eolian Minstrel. She has been with Red House Records since 2000, although she also worked on three albums independently, recording on her own label, Realiza Records. In 2003 she was inducted into the Texas Music Hall of Fame. Land of Milk and Honey, 2004 release on Red House Records, was Grammy nominated. In 2005, she released Paradise Hotel with the song “Requiem” about the 2004 Indian Ocean earthquake and tsunami in December 2004. Coinciding with Hurricane Katrina’s devastation of the Gulf Coast region in August 2005, this song found its way to listeners as a song of prayer and comfort. The same year she was recognized with 3 Austin Music Awards and 4 Folk Alliance Music Awards, one of which was for her song “Man of God” about the Bush administration. In 2008, her album Beautiful World came out, again on Red House Records. The songs vary from pop to folk and points in-between, with songs ranging from intimate ballads to rallying cries against the imperialist machine. She recently collaborated on a new album entitled Red Horse with tRed House Records label-mates John Gorka & Lucy Kaplansky. In 2011, she came out with Roses at the End of Time, and in 2014 released The Nocturne Diaries which was Grammy nominated for best Folk Album. Both CDs were recorded at her home with her son and co-producer Cisco Ryder. She tours about 150 dates per year in the US and overseas, and hosts annual songwriting workshops in Taos, New Mexico.

  1. (#86.) Black Stacey – “Happy Music”
    from: Lose The Peace – EP / Sharaden Staten / June 2, 2020
    [“Lose the Peace” is the second release for Soul/Rock trio Black Stacey. Co-produced/Mixed/Mastered by Joel Nanos at Element Recording Studios, the album features performances by Julia Hail, Christine Grossman, Michael Raehpour, and Grant Morgan. The album tells the story of Joe “Slim” Portero, a petty hustler, and his daughter Jessica park. Wrapping up with the title track, “Lose the Peace,” provides insight into the tense relationship and a tragic end. With themes of drug use, race relations, and depression, this album is a deep dive into the creative expression of songwriter/Guitarist Sharaden. Black Stacey is Sharaden Staten, a Missouri native, who release his album “Electric Church” in 2017. Part of WMM’s The 117 Best Recordings of 2017. Sharaden, a 25-year-old, having grown up in the back woods of central Missouri, and couch surfed his way into the KC metro, pairs subtle notes of R&B, funk, soul, and rock; dramatically blending it into a raw eclectic mix. In 2015 Sharaden began writing, recording and producing Black Stacey’s debut, “Electric Chariot”. A project that has given him a solid foundation in the KC music scene, gaining him spots on local radio and the opportunity to work with producer Joel Nanos. More info at: http://www.blackstacey.com.]
  1. (#85.) Lyra Pramuk – “Mirror”
    from: Fountain / Bedroom Community / March 20, 2020
    [Lyra Pramuk’s debut explores a post-human, non-binary understanding of life. Lyra fuses classical training, pop sensibilities, performance practices and contemporary club culture in what may best be described as futurist folk music. The American opera-trained vocalist and electronic musician releases her album via Iceland’s Bedroom Community label. Created entirely from her own voice, although often shaped and structured by electronics, Fountain is an emotional, sensual, and devotional journey. The title is derived from her family name, Pramuk, which translates from Czech as ‘well spring’ or ‘fountain.’ Often wordless, these songs evoke a new wholeness sustained by the ritual force of drowning, immersion, cleansing, and bathing – also referred to in the album artwork by acclaimed visual artist Donna Huanca. Fountain plays with the perception of music, rhythms, speech, body, and the relation between technology and humanity, exploring a post-human, non-binary understanding of life and the fragile ecosystems it depends on. The work documents a healing that is still in process, and a full circle-moment that reunited Lyra with her sound engineer twin brother, Ben, for the final mix, which they completed in tandem. As a vocal activist and member of the queer community, Lyra moved to Berlin in 2013, following her degree at the Eastman School of Music in New York. Since then, she has also been awarded residencies at Elektronmusikstudion EMS Stockholm, Open Port Club Residency in Tokyo and Sapporo, and Future Music Lab of the Atlantic Music Festival in Maine. Her interests also encompass writing, poetry, and fashion, where she is sometimes called upon as a model. As a performance artist, she has collaborated extensively with Donna Huanca and at events such as Glasgow International and the Rochester Fringe Festival. Music composed and produced by Lyra Pramuk. Vocals recorded by Lyra Pramuk and Ben Pramuk in Berlin and at EMS Elektronmusikstudion in Stockholm. Mixed by Ben Pramuk in Berlin. Mastered by Valgeir Sigurðsson and Francesco Fabris at Greenhouse Studios.]
  1. (#84.) Deerhoof – “Damaged Eyes Squinting into the Beautiful Overhot Sun”
    from: Future Teenage Cave Artists / Joyful Noise / May 29, 2020
    [Pitchfork went so far as to label Deerhoof as “the best band in the world.” From their humble beginnings as an obscure San Francisco noise act, they’ve become one of indie music’s most influential bands with their ecstatic and unruly take on pop. Formed in San Francisco in 1994. Deerhoof currently consists of founding drummer Greg Saunier, bassist and singer Satomi Matsuzaki, and guitarists John Dieterich and Ed Rodriguez. Initially performing improvised noise punk, Deerhoof became widely renowned and influential in the 2000s through prodigious and self-produced creative output combining “noise, sugary [pop] melodies, and an experimental spirit into utterly distinctive music”. They have released 15 studio albums since 1997. Their live shows are characterized by minimal gear, maximal volume, and surrealist banter.]

10:30 – Underwriting

  1. (#83) Eems – “Gave You My Everything”
    from: Sweet Dreems / Eems / January 10, 2020
    [Eems started 2020 with the 8-track release “Sweet Dreams on January 10. Eems also released four new singles in 2020 including: the two song release “Spacelord” on February 29, 2020, “Middle” on May 4, 2020, and “Unbreakable” on October 11, 2020. Eems is Phillip Jackson, a KC based ukulele loop artist, singer songwriter, rapper, pianist, drummer, The resonance of his bright musical sounds, and lyrical calls, are woven through genres of folk, hip hop, pop, and dance influences. He has shared the stage with notable hop hop artists, and KC Folk Music Fest, Middle of The Map Fest. For Eems, a ukulele is a jumping off point that leads to an uncharted and often unpredictable world of sound and inspiration. Blending it with loops and effects to achieve a captivating blend of R&B and pop music, Eems has used his unique sounds, voice and sense of humor to reach crowds across the country. Eems has opened up for” Slick Rick The Ruler and GLC form Kanye West’s G.O.O.D music label. Eems released his EP Dreems on June 26, 2018. Eems released Rocket Shop EP on August 11, 2017. Eems released IIID on June 17, 2016.]
  1. (#82.) X – “Water & Wine”
    from: ALPHABETLAND / Fat Possum Records / April 22, 2020
    [Billy Zoom on guitar, saxophone & piano; DJ Bonebrake on drums & percussion; Exene Cervenka on vocals; John Doe on bass & vocals. Produced by Rob Schnapf and engineered by Rob Schnapf & Matt Schuessler. Mastered by Mark Chalecki @ Little Red Book Mastering. Additional guitar on All The Time In The World: Robby Krieger, Rob Schnapf, additional guitar. Recorded at Sunset Sound, in Hollywood, CA & Mant Sound in Glassel Park, CA in 2019 & 2020. While everyone is social distancing, closing ranks and donning masks while they shop, life can seem somewhat surreal to the senses. Yet, through all of the chaos, one thing is constant, music brings us together. Now, on the 40th Anniversary of the landmark, Los Angeles, and 35 years since the original band have released an album – X, one of the greatest Punk Rock bands in music history, releases ALPHABETLAND today via Bandcamp. The original foursome – Exene Cervenka, John Doe, Billy Zoom, and DJ Bonebrake have now made the album available for fans to purchase and by adapting to this moment, X continues to embody the same spirit they did when they began in 1977. “When your heart is broken you think every song is about that. These songs were written in the last 18 months & it blows my mind how timely they are,” explained John Doe. “We all want our family, friends & fans to hear our records as soon as it’s finished. This time we could do that. Thanks to Fat Possum & our audience.” The bands record label, Fat Possum, listened and agreed. Plans were quickly set in motion to release the new music via Bandcamp and have said they’re working to get the record available elsewhere as quickly as possible.]
  1. (#81.) Scabb – “Legs”
    from: Nada / Manor Records / November 6, 2020
    [Nada is the debut 6-song EP solo release from Scabb, aka Sammy Hernandez. From this EP “Honey Dew” released as a single on Oct. 29, and “Champagne Chutney” was released as a single Oct. 15. Scabb, is a KCK native and multi faceted artist seasoned heavily in soul and experimental samples. His love/hate relationship with himself and society with the mix of his obsession with word choice and mood switch add range to his malleable style bringing you back for a second listen. Scabbs nostalgic melodies, raw lyricism and self centered banter will you keep you feeling engaged and refreshed. Earlier this year Scabb released the single “Mount” on Manor Records on May 25, 2020. Scabb & Strings is Sammy Hernandez (Scabb) and Shaun Crowley (Strings). Sammy Hernandez is the younger brother of Quinn Hernandez of the band Momma’s Boy. Shaun Crowley is the lead guitarist for Momma’s Boy and founder of Manor records and the Manor Fest. Produced & engineered by Scabb. ]
  1. (#80.) Ondara – “Mr. Landlord”
    from: Folk n’ Roll Vol. 1: Tales Of Isolation / Verve Forecast / May 29, 2020
    [J.S. Ondara, professionally known as Ondara, is a Grammy-nominated Kenyan singer-songwriter whose debut album, Tales of America, was released on February 15, 2019 via Verve Forecast. The critical success of the debut led to a follow-up deluxe edition, Tales of America: The Second Coming, in September 2019 featuring the original lineup plus five bonus tracks. // Ondara was born in August 1992 in Nairobi, Kenya. As a child, he wrote poems and stories as well as songs despite not having an instrument to play them on because his family couldn’t afford one. He was inspired by Radiohead, Nirvana, Death Cab For Cutie, Jeff Buckley, Pearl Jam, Guns N’ Roses, and Bob Dylan. // Ondara grew up listening to rock songs on his older sisters’ battery-powered radio. Having discovered The Freewheelin’ Bob Dylan following a dispute with a friend over whether “Knockin’ on Heaven’s Door” was a Guns N’ Roses song, Ondara resolved to travel to the United States to pursue a career in music. // In February 2013, after winning in the green card lottery, Ondara moved to Minneapolis, Minnesota at the age of 20. He taught himself to play guitar and perform during open mic nights. Eventually, he decided to study music therapy in college, but dropped out of school to return to playing small shows at coffee houses after attending a concert. // After moving to Minnesota, Ondara tried his hand at making music and performing in small venues. His big break came when Minneapolis radio station KCMP 89.3 The Current played one of his songs on air by pulling audio from his YouTube channel, where he had been uploading covers of his favorite songs. // Ondara’s debut album, Tales of America, was released in February 2019 by Verve Label Group. Despite only 11 tracks making the final tracklist, Ondara wrote more than 100 songs for the album, all based on an immigrant’s life in America. The album was produced by Mike Viola of the Candy Butchers. In support of the album, Ondara embarked on his first headlining tour in March 2019. After the release of the album, Ondara debuted on Billboard’s Emerging Artist chart at No. 37 in March 2019. The album also landed on the Billboard Heatseekers Album, Americana/Folk Album Sales, and Rock Album Sales charts. He was nominated for Best Emerging Act at the 2019 Americana Music Honors & Awards. // Ondara cites Bob Dylan as his musical hero, which is why he chose to live in Minnesota and why he wears his signature fedora. // He has toured with the Milk Carton Kids, Lindsey Buckingham and in 2019, he opened for select dates on tour with Neil Young. In early 2020, he opened for The Lumineers on their III world tour. // Ondara was nominated for Best Americana Album at the 62nd Annual GRAMMY Awards for his album, Tales of America.]
  1. (#79.) LK Ultra – “Pussy Hat”
    from: You’re Not Gonna Like This / LK Ultra / October 2, 2020
    [This track was originally released as a single on July 7, 2020 and now included n the band’s second 4-song EP release that was recorded, mixed, and mastered by Griffin Nelson. Lawrence, Kansas based 4-piece indigenous-fronted, queer music, straight from the birthplace of emo. Formed by Lily Pryor, Inez Robinson, Aoife Conway, and August Hyde. The band is now a 3-piece, Their debut EP “Demos for Bangal was released on March 19, 2019 and was mixed and recorded by Mitchell Hewlett in The Coop.]
  1. (#78.) Thighmaster – “Dick Simmons”
    from: Between The Knees And Squeeze / High Dive Records / January 10, 2020
    [Thighmaster is a Lawrence, Kansas based band formed by Maxfield Yoder (formerly of the bands: Dean Monkey & the Dropouts, Plains) on guitar & vocals, Max Lock on vocals, Max Smith on tambourine & vocals, Esteban Gomez –on bass, Jennifer Graham on drums, and Jake Little on guitar.Thighmaster recently signed with KC based label High Dive Records. The band is resurrecting the song-writing demons that have long haunted Mayfield Yoder. Thighmaster truly is garage pop for cool grandparents. Now you too can have shapely thighs in minutes a day. Tracked, Mixed and Mastered by Ross Williams and written by Thighmaster.]
  1. (#77.) Kris Delmhorst – “The Horses”
    from: Long Day In The Milky Way / Kris Delmhorst / August 14, 2020
    [Kris Delmhorst is originally from Brooklyn, New York,, she now lives in Western Massachusetts, is an active member of the Boston folk scene, and tours internationally. She has released 9 full-length solo albums and two EPs on Signature Sounds Recordings. Delmhorst released Appetite, her first album, in 1998, the same year she was involved in producing the Respond compilation, a fundraiser for domestic violence groups. It included her song Weatherman. In 1999, she released a live album with The Vinal Avenue String Band, consisting of herself, Sean Staples, and Ry Cavanaugh. Her second solo album, Five Stories, was released in 2001 and was well received. In 2005, Delmhorst, Jeffrey Foucault, and Peter Mulvey released an album entitled Redbird. The trio released a live album in 2011. In 2006, Delmhorst took the words of poems by writers such as Lord Byron, George Eliot and Edna St. Vincent Millay, and set them to original music. Delmhorst released Shotgun Singer in 2008, a collection of original recordings noted for its artistic vibe, instrumentation and alternative aesthetic, compared to previous recordings that focused more heavily on vocals and lyrics. In 2011, Delmhorst gathered instrumentalists and singers from across the Boston/Cambridge music scene, including The Cars’ keyboardist Greg Hawkes, to record a covers album dedicated to music by the new wave band The Cars. Delmhorst’s seventh album, Blood Test was released on Signature Sounds on May 13, 2014. It is her first of original music since her 2008 album Shotgun Singer. Delmhorst has recorded vocals, fiddle and cello on over 50 albums from artists such as Peter Wolf, Mary Gauthier, Chris Smither and Lori McKenna. Delmhorst is married to fellow singer/songwriter Jeffrey Foucault, with whom she had a daughter in 2008.]
  1. (#76.) Kristie Stremel – “I Love You”
    from: Sky Crew / Stemeltone Records / November 13, 2020
    [This is Kristie Stremel’s 11th full length release. “I Love You” was written by Kristie Stremel (Stremeltone Songs ASCAP). Recorded at Stremeltone Studio, Kansas. Mixed by John Hobson. Mastered by Paul Malinowski. Kristie Stremel on vocals & guitar, Lance Gilchrist on drums, Jason Hammond on bass, Ryan McCall on keyboards, and John Hobson on guitar & vocals. Described as “Joan Jett & Tom Petty’s love child,” and armed with her guitar, fueled by coffee, and over 85 published songs, singer, songwriter, producer, rock & roll mom, Kristie Stremel has 11 full-length releases in her musical career of over 20 years. She has recorded as a solo artists and also on the bands Frogpond, and The 159ers. In October, 2013 Kristie and her partner, Lori Isabell, welcomed their adopted baby son, Charlie, into their family. In April 2014 Kristie released her 6th solo record, and the 9th full-length release of her musical career of over 20 years. SONGWRITER was released on her own label, Stremeltone, it was Kristie’s first self-produced album. Stremeltone Records, was created in her home in Lawrence. The last track, “It’s Enough” was released early, as a video, featuring photos of couples in partnerships, relationships, marriages, unions, families. The video was Kristie’s response the the KS House of Representatives passing HD 2453 allowing businesses the right to refuse service to LGBT customers. In 2015 Kristie released, WILDFLOWERS, her children’s book of song and poems with accompanying CD recording with contributions from Victor & Penny, Kelley Hunt, Ron Megee, Kasey Rausch and more. In 2016 Kristie released the single “Orlando (Keep Dancing).” The song was written by: Kristie Stremel in response to the Pulse Nightclub massacre on June 12, 2016, when Omar Mateen, a 29-year-old security guard, killed 49 people and wounded 53 others in a hate crime inside Pulse, a gay nightclub in Orlando, Florida. Pulse was hosting Latin Night and most of the victims were Latino. About 320 people were inside the club, which was serving last call drinks at around 2:00 a.m. After arriving at the club by van, Omar Mateen approached the building on foot, armed with a SIG Sauer MCX semi-automatic rifle and a 9mm Glock 17 semi-automatic pistol and bypassed security and began shooting and taking hostages. After a three-hour standoff, he was shot and killed by Orlando Police Department officers. It was both the deadliest mass shooting by a single shooter and the deadliest incident of violence against LGBT people in United States history. It was also the deadliest terrorist attack in the US since the 9 /11 attacks in 2001. “Keep Dancing” was included in the new release SKY CREW. More info at: http://www.kristiestremel.com]

11:00 – Station ID

  1. (#75.) Julianna Barwick – “Healing Is A Miracle”
    from: Healing Is A Miracle / Ninja Tune / July 10, 2020
    [From her BandCamp page: “Healing Is A Miracle” is a record built on improvisation and a close affinity to a couple of trusted items of gear, from which she spins engrossing, expansive universes. Additionally, Barwick draws on the input of three collaborators with whom she has nurtured deep friendships with over the years: Jónsi (Sigur Rós), Nosaj Thing and Mary Lattimore; who each gently nudge out at the edges of her organically-evolved sound. // Recorded in the wake of a seismic shift in her life following a move from New York—where she had lived for 16 years—to L.A. where she is now based, the title of the record came to her after thinking about how the human body heals itself, of the miraculous processes we pay little attention to: “You cut your hand, it looks pretty bad, and two weeks later it looks like it never happened… That’s kind of amazing, you know?” It’s a sentiment that feels particularly apt for the moment. From there, she conceived of the record’s simple statement title, ran it past a couple of friends, and it was settled. Like with the record itself, and all of her work, it’s about following her gut, and seeing where it takes her. // “Healing Is A Miracle” began life in spring of last year, when Barwick sat down with her vocal looping set-up and began sketching out some ideas for new solo material. “It had been so long since I had done that,” she recalls, “making something for myself, just for the love of it… it was emotional, because I was recording music that was just from the heart, that wasn’t for an ‘assignment’ or project… it brought me to tears a little”. // Part of the joy also came from a small but significant switch up to her recording process: the addition of some studio monitors—a birthday gift from Jónsi and Alex (Somers)—having previously recorded all of her music on headphones. “The first song I remember making with those was the first song on the album, Inspirit.” she explains, “When I added the bass I really felt it in my body, you know, in a way you just wouldn’t with headphones… it was kind of euphoric and fun. I got really excited about making the record in that moment, and I think that really had an impact on the sounds I ended up making.” // Excitement too came from the chance to work with three dream collaborators. Her connection to Jónsi began via producer Alex Somers, when Barwick flew to Reykjavík to record some sessions with him for her 2013 record “Nepenthe”, a trip which would begin a long-standing affinity with Iceland and the people she connected with there. “I think he has the best voice in the world,” she says, “and hearing my voice with Jonsi’s is one of the joys of my life.” Nosaj Thing—the highly respected electronic producer and stalwart of the LA scene who has worked with the likes of Kendric Lamar—had gotten in touch to express his affection for her 2011 album “The Magic Place”, and they’d since been trying to find a way to work together. Barwick and Lattimore had struck up a friendship over many years performing live together, and had moved to LA around the same time. Finding herself in the same city as all three for the first time, it felt natural to include them in her process, and added to the feeling of newness, support and friendship she had while producing the record. // Beyond her records, Barwick’s impressive live shows have gained incredible praise over the years from the likes of The Guardian—who described her performance as “exquisite in its eloquence, reflection and compassion” —The New York Times, NPR, and more. She has also supported and performed with Bon Iver, Grouper, Explosions in the Sky, Sigur Rós, Sharon Van Etten, Angel Olsen, Perfume Genius, Mas Ysa, and Nat Baldwin. // Barwick has additionally been involved in some head-turning collaborations over the years. In 2015 she took part in The Flaming Lips’s Carnegie Hall show, performing music from their reimagining of “Sergeant Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band”, alongside Phillip Glass, Debbie Harry, Laurie Anderson and Patti Smith. That same year she was invited to play two shows with Yoko Ono, one at MoMA (“my favorite thing ever”) and one in Central Park. In 2012 she released a collaborative album with Helado Negro as OMBRE, and has also released a collaborative single with Rafael Anton Isarri, on the super-limited Thesis label, and most recently, the “Command Synthesis” EP, on RVNG Intl. sub-label Commend There, which employed AI to build five tracks that responded to the airborne environment outside a hotel room. In 2019 she teamed up with Doug Aitken on his nomadic art project, and created stunning performances in the Massachusett wilderness. // The album’s artwork was shot in Iceland by Joel Kazuo Knoernschild and is taken from a series of aerial films shot by drone above the country’s breathtaking coastline, which also make up the video for ‘Inspirit’.]
  1. (#74.) Til Willis & Erratic Cowboy – “It’s A War”
    from: Dirtflowers / Til Willis / December 6, 2019
    [Til Willis on guitars, vocals, percussion, Rhodes, Bass, and more; Eric Binkley on bass, Austin Sinkler on drums. With Troy Thill on saxophone, Dave Flomberg on trombone, and Paul Maley on trumpet. Plus, Jeff Jackson on pedal steel for “Blood Moon Song” and Jake Staab on keyboards for “Outlast The Moon” Til Willis was born in the heat of 1980, and has been making music for a long time. On March 19, 2020 Til Willis & Erratic Cowboy released the 5-song EP Confidential Bedroom. On June 5, 2020, Til Willis released Live at KVPH, a 13-song release recorded live at Kaw Valley Public House in Lawrence, Kansas on January 25, 2020. On October 30, 2020 Til Willis released Small Guarantees his 6-track EP collaboration with experimental music-maker Selvedge aka Chance Dibben.]
  1. (#73.) Gemini Revolution – “Pure Air”
    from: Supernova Remnant / Kosmic City Records / August 6, 2020
    [Dedric Moore on synthesizer, bass, drum programming, dub guitar; Delaney Moore on synthesizer, Krystof Nemeth on baritone guitar on 4, 5, and 6; Mikal Shapiro on lead vocal on 6; Teri Quinn on backing vocal on 6; Alexander Thomas on drums on 6. An alternate timeline side of Monta at Odds. Gemini Revolution explores the dark ambient side of sonic space exploration digging deep into sounds from beyond slowly enveloping everything it comes into contact. Gemini Revolution finds brothers Dedric and Delaney veering from their duties in Monta At Odds and into the uncharted star-field. Their album Supernova Remnant yields expansive results — kosmiche tones and analog textures blending into an intense brand of ambient extraction. Throughout Supernova Remnant, Gemini Revolution masterfully execute a push/pull effect with layers of sound, planting a feeling of time’s motion stuck in place. The opening “Slow Stars” sets up the project, inspired by a challenge from fellow 8Di’er San Mateo and morphing into a blossoming 17 minutes that surround in a sonically colorful haze. From there, Supernova Remnant tours the sizzling remains of celestial objects, with Dedric and Delaney’s intertwined instrumentation guiding the way. Krystof Nemeth, of darkwave band Emmaline Twist, supplies his remote ‘baritone guitar’ on a few key tracks. And drummer Alexander Thomas and vocalists Mikal Shapiro and Teri Quinn appear for the epic finale, “Children of Collisions.” Together the six tracks complete Gemini Revolution’s orbit, floating through the darkness as a cosmic whole. Listen as Supernova Remnant traces the distance of imagination. More info at http://www.kosmiccity.com]
  1. (#72.) Special Interest – “All Tomorrow’s Carry”
    from: The Passion Of / Thrilling Living / June 19, 2020
    [“But would you bat an eye waiting for war machines to pass you by? But aren’t we going out tonight? Aren’t we going out? “ Special Interest have returned with their sophomore LP. A dual release from Night School (EU) and Thrilling Living (US). The Passion Of… combines elements of glam rock and no wave pushed through a mangled filter of contemporary electronic forms. Special Interest present a precise and deranged vision of punk, an apocalyptic celebration, a step forward into a perverse and uncertain landscape. Recorded & mixed by James Whitten. Mastered by Rashad Becker. Cover painting by Tamara Santibañez. Special Interest is baed in New Orleans and is made up with: Alli Logout on vocals & lyrics, Nathan Cassiani on bass, Maria Elena on guitar, and Ruth Mascelli on electronics. Front and center are Alli Logout’s commanding vocals and razor sharp lyrics moving from high camp satire to insightful political imperatives often within the course of one song. Special Interest initially formed in 2015 to play one show in a basement. Originally a two-piece with Alli Logout and Maria Elena playing guitars and power tools over the beat of a 70’s Univox drum machine. Soon after they ditched the power tools and were joined by Ruth Mascelli on electronics and Nathan Cassiani on bass. Special Interest quickly gained a reputation for their intense and energetic live shows. A dense wall of sound oscillating from aggressive and noisy to joyous and danceable punctuated by the no holds barred on stage persona of their vocalist. Special Interest have embarked on several short tours of the southeast and have traveled to play festivals such as Suoni Per Popolo, Slut Island, and Not Dead Yet. Their debut album Spiraling w as recorded in New Orleans in 2017 by organist, inventor, and fixture of the local underground music scene Quintron. The first new release on Brice Nice’s Raw Sugar label since 2011, Spiraling is perhaps the sum of its members influences. Which is, to say, everything. They are currently working on a follow up LP to be released in the US on Thrilling Living and in the UK/Europe on Night School Records.]
  1. (#71.) The Magnetic Fields – “Favorite Bar”
    from: Quickies / Nonesuch Records / May 15, 2020
    [The Magnetic Fields’ Quickies vinyl box set is five 7” EPs comprising twenty-eight new short songs by Stephin Merritt, ranging in length from thirteen seconds to two minutes and thirty-five seconds, performed by Merritt and band members Sam Davol, Claudia Gonson, Shirley Simms, and John Woo, along with longtime friends and collaborators Chris Ewen, Daniel Handler, and Pinky Weitzman. he Magnetic Fields (named after the André Breton/Philippe Soupault novel Les Champs Magnétiques) are an American band founded and led by Stephin Merritt. Merritt is the group’s primary songwriter, producer, and vocalist, as well as frequent multi-instrumentalist. The Magnetic Fields is essentially a vehicle for Merritt’s songwriting, as are various side-projects including The 6ths, Future Bible Heroes, and The Gothic Archies. Merritt’s recognizable lyrics are often about love and with atypical or neutral gender roles, and are by turns ironic, tongue-in-cheek, bitter, and humorous. The band released their debut single “100,000 Fireflies” in 1991. The single was typical of the band’s earlier career, characterized by synthesized instrumentation by Merritt, with lead vocals provided by Susan Anway (and then by Stephin Merritt himself from The House of Tomorrow (EP) onwards). A more traditional band later materialized; it is now composed of Merritt, Claudia Gonson, Sam Davol, and John Woo, with occasional guest vocals by Shirley Simms. The band’s best-known work is the 1999 three-volume concept album 69 Love Songs. It was followed in the succeeding years by a “no-synth” trilogy: i (2004), Distortion (2008), and Realism (2010). The band’s most recent album, 50 Song Memoir, was released in March 2017. The band began as Merritt’s studio project under the name Buffalo Rome. With the help of friend Claudia Gonson, who had played in Merritt’s band The Zinnias during high school, a live band was assembled in Boston, where Merritt and Gonson lived, to play Merritt’s compositions. The band’s first live performance was at T.T. the Bear’s Place in Cambridge, Massachusetts in 1991 where they played to a sparse audience that was expecting to see the Galaxie 500 spin-off, Magnetophone. The 1999 triple album 69 Love Songs showcased Merritt’s songwriting abilities and the group’s musicianship, demonstrated by the use of such varied instruments as the ukulele, banjo, accordion, cello, mandolin, flute, xylophone, and the Marxophone, in addition to their usual setting of synthesizers, guitars, and effects. The album features vocalists Shirley Simms, Dudley Klute, L.D. Beghtol, and Gonson, each of whom sings lead on six songs as well as various backing vocals, plus Daniel Handler (who has written under the pseudonym Lemony Snicket) on accordion, and longtime collaborator Christopher Ewen (of Future Bible Heroes) as guest arranger/synthesist. Violinist Ida Pearle makes a brief cameo on “Luckiest Guy on the Lower East Side”. The band’s albums, i (2004) and Distortion (2008), both followed the album theme structure of 69 Love Songs: The song titles on i begin with the letter (or, in the case of half the songs’ titles, the pronoun) “I”, whilst Distortion was an experiment in combining noise music with their typically unconventional musical approach. The liner notes claim the album was made without synthesizers. According to an article: “To celebrate the release of Distortion, Merritt and The Magnetic Fields played mini-residencies in cities around the country, culminating with six shows at Chicago’s Old Town School of Folk Music.” Realism was released in January 2010, concluding what Merritt termed the “no-synth” trilogy (following i and Distortion). The next album produced would feature synthesisers “almost exclusively”. In 2010, the documentary film Strange Powers: Stephen Merritt and the Magnetic Fields made its debut in film festivals around the world. It was directed by Kerthy Fix and Gail O’Hara. Shot over a period of 10 years, it discusses the formation of the band, Stephin’s friendship with Claudia Gonson, the production of various albums, and Stephin’s move to California from New York. It won the Outfest 2010 Grand Jury Prize for Feature Documentary. The band was chosen by Jeff Mangum of Neutral Milk Hotel to perform a rare festival performance at the All Tomorrow’s Parties event that he curated in March 2012 in Minehead, England. The band released its tenth full-length album, Love at the Bottom of the Sea, on March 6, 2012 to critical acclaim. This album, sometimes compared to 69 Love Songs, brought back the use of a synthesizer. Merritt told fans on his website, “I was very happy to be using synthesizers in ways that I had not done before. Most of the synthesizers on the record didn’t exist when we were last using synthesizers.” The song “Andrew in Drag” has garnered much attention, receiving play from entities such as CBS News and NPR’s All Songs Considered. In 2012, the Magnetic Fields celebrated its new album by launching a North American and European tour. It began on March 6, the release date of Love at the Bottom of the Sea, and continued for two months. In 2016 it was announced that the band’s eleventh studio album, 50 Song Memoir would contain fifty songs, akin to the 69 Love Songs concept, one to commemorate each year since Stephin Merritt was born. It was released in March 2017. On May 15th 2020, the band will release the album Quickies – twenty-eight songs under three minutes long through Nonesuch Records. The first single “The Day The Politicians Died” was released on February 25th, followed by “Kraftwerk In A Blackout” on April 1st and “I Want To Join A Biker Gang” on April 16th.]
  1. (#70.) Howard Iceberg & The Titanics – “A Jukebox in a Bar”
    from: Kansas City Songs Vol. 3 / Howard Iceberg & The Titanics / June 10, 2020
    [More songs certified to have been written, performed, and recorded in Kansas City by Howard Iceberg. All words and music by Howard Iceberg. Recorded and mixed by Brendan Moreland at Temple Sounds Studio; except “Natalie,” recorded and mixed by Pat Tomek at Largely Studios. Players: Howard Iceberg on lead vocals (except as noted), guitar; Chad Brothers on lead vocal (By Your Side), harmony vocal, guitar; Betse Ellis on lead vocal (Bottle of Rye), fiddle, harmony vox ; Clarke Wyatt on banjo, guitar, keyboards; Andrew Mojo Morris on lead vocal (Promises To Keep), harmony vocals, guitar, mandolin, banjo; Julie Bates-Motel on fiddle, harmony vocals; Chris DeVictor on bass; Phil Wade on dobro; Brendan Moreland on electric guitar; Brett Hodges on lead vocal and guitar (Natalie); Roger Eilts on guitar and harmony vocal (Natalie); Leo Eilts – bass and harmony vocal (Natalie); Erin Corriveau on harmony vocals. In additon to these 12 new songs, Howard also released “Welcome Aboard! Vol. 8 on November 25, 2020 which contains 12 more songs from his collaborations from the last decade that was originally released in June of 2011 as a 7 CD set of 15 songs each containing 105 new songs. AND Howard also released “Absentee Ballads” on Novenber 25, 2020, containing 15 new songs as recorded by the Hermanos Brothers which are: Howard Iceberg, Chad Brothers, Julie Bates, and Andrew Morris. Kansas City’s most prolific singer songwriter Howard Iceberg releases a total of 39 new songs to add to his catalog of hundreds and hundreds.]
  1. (#69) Scott Hrabko & The Rabbits – “Last Dance”
    from: Last Dance EP / Scott Hrabko / August 7, 2020
    [Scott Hrabko calls this new EP release a “bit of a departure …” Scott writes on his bandcamp page: “For some time now, ideas for dance/experimental rhythms have been knocking (in syncopation!) on the doors of my dreams, with a growing sense of urgency. Eventually I had no choice but to heed the call, so I got busy and recorded this EP. In this time of social distancing I played all of the Rabbit parts except as noted below, with my friends, Chris Tady (in person, pre-pandemic) and Jason Beers (via remote). My son, Sam Hrabko created the beautiful image on the cover. Chris Tady on lead guitar on “45 Spiders,” Jason Beers on slide guitar on “Last Dance,” all other sounds and utterances by Scott Hrabko. Produced by Scott Hrabko. Mastered by Mike Nolte at Eureka Mastering – Portland, OR. Earlier this year Scott Hrabko released the singles “Free” on August 7, and “Dog In The Backyard” on April 3, 2020. These singles followed the single “Pretty Good Day,” released November 2, 2019. Scott Hrabko released the EP Smash Hits From A Parallel Universe, on February 14, 2019, with Scott Hrabko on lead vocals, backing vocals, acoustic 6 and 12 string guitar, electric guitar, keyboards, & percussion; Jason Beers on bass guitar; Tim Higgins on drums, Marco Pascolini on junior electric guitar. Scott called this release: 4 songs for the new age of anxiety. Scott Hrabko & The Rabbits released the albums: “Summer,” in 2017, and “Biscuits and Gravity” in 2015. Scott Hrabko’s 2013 critically acclaimed solo release, “Gone Places” was said to be 30 years in the making. Singer-songwriter Scott Hrabko has played with KC’s oldest garage band The Original Sinners, as well as various incarnations of the 1980s bands: The Splinters, and The Andersons. In the early 1990s Scott performed as a solo artist in coffee houses with Iris Dement and Howard Eisberg. More info at: http://www.scotthrabko.com]
  1. (#68.) Hermon Mehari – “Eritrea (feat. Peter Schlamb)”
    from: A Change For The Dreamlike / Hermon Mehari / June 5, 2020
    [Hermon writes: “I spent “le confinement” creating this album in a barn in the French countryside. Like many people during this period, I wasn’t able to think much about the future, only the present and the past. These songs are therefore personal journal entries, versions and visions of my wishes, fantasies and memories. Together they create a kind of modern mixtape of dreams, in every sense of the word, in which my trumpet, all alone in that barn, is a vulnerable presence, virtually and masterly supported by some of my closest musical collaborators around the world.” Follow up to his debut solo release Bleu, from 2017. Hermon Mehari grew up in Jefferson City, Missouri, home of Lincoln University. He is a 2010 graduate of the University of Missouri – Kansas City Music Conservatory. In 2015 he finished first, at the prestigious Carmine Carusa International Jazz Trumpet Competition at Sam Houston State University in Huntsville Texas. Hermon was a semifinalist in the 2014 Thelonious Monk Jazz Competition. In 2014 he released the CD “Our Journey” with Diverse, which was recorded in Paris featuring Logan Richardson on alto saxophone. Hermon was also the winner of the 2008 National Trumpet Competiton and placed second in the International Trumpet Guild competition in Sydney, Australia. He splits his time between touring and playing all over the world and creative projects in Kansas City. Hermon has collaborated with Cat Mahari on BAM! the Workshop, he is also a founding member of Diverse Jazz, Diverse Trio, and The Buhs. He has played with Peter Schlamb, Making Movies, John Velghe & the Prodigal Sons, Mikal Shapiro, Krystle Warren. Hermon was featured on the world-renowned saxophonist Bobby Watson’s 2013 release, “Check Cashing Day”. More information at: http://www.hermonmehari.com]

10:30 – Underwriting

  1. (#67.) Nubya Garcia – “Stand With Each Other”
    from: SOURCE / Concord Jazz / August 21, 2020
    [Nubya Nyasha Garcia was born in 1991. She is a British jazz musician, saxophonist, flautist, composer and bandleader. Garcia is the youngest of four siblings born in Camden Town, London to a Guyanese mother, a former civil servant, and a British Trinidadian film maker father. Garcia followed her older siblings to the local Saturday music centre at the age of 5, where she first learned the violin and later played the viola in the London Schools Symphony Orchestra (LSSO). Garcia has said her home life with her stepdad, a brass player with a vast collection of instruments, and her mother a keen collector of all genres of music from reggae and Latin to classical and soul, coupled with the music activities at school, Camden School for Girls, meant she was saturated with music of all genres. Garcia began learning the saxophone at the age of 10, with Vicky Wright until attaining ABRSM G8 distinction. She very early became a member of the Camden Jazz Band, directed by jazz pianist Nikki Yeoh, before joining the junior jazz program at the Royal Academy of Music. She also attended the workshops of Tomorrow’s Warriors under the direction of Gary Crosby. While still in High School, she received a scholarship for a five-week summer program at the Berklee College of Music in Boston. During her Gap Year she studied with former Jazz Messengers member, Jean Toussaint. In 2016 she graduated with Honours from the Trinity Laban Conservatoire of Music and Dance, in Jazz Performance. In 2017, Garcia released her debut album Nubya’s 5ive via the label Jazz re:freshed. That year, her Nubya Garcia Band was an opening act at Gilles Peterson’s Worldwide Festival in Sète; the following year she played at the NYC Winter Jazz Festival and the Jazzfest Berlin.In her 2018 EP When We Are, Garcia explored how electronics can be used in a live jazz environment; the EP was created as a result of the Steve Reid Innovation Award. She is also a member of the Nérija, a collective, and the band Maisha led by drummer Jake Long. In addition, she is a collaborator on albums by Makaya McCraven, Theon Cross, Moses Boyd, the Toshio Matsuura Group and Sons of Kemet to Shabaka Hutchings; contributions from her can be found on five tracks of Brownswoods We Out Here, a sampler album from the modern London jazz scene. Garcia tours internationally, in Europe, India, Australia, and North America. She regularly performs at Greenfield festivals in the UK including Love Supreme Jazz Festival. She has headlined sell-out shows at Ronnie Scott’s Jazz Club London. Garcia also has a burgeoning reputation as a DJ, with a hit monthly radio residency on NTS Radio since November 2017. Garcia was supposed to perform at the Glastonbury Festival, but the festival had to be cancelled due to the increasing concerns over the 2019–20 coronavirus pandemic.]
  1. (#66.) This Is The Kit – “This Is What You Did”
    from: Off Off On / Rough Trade / October 23, 2020
    [Off Off On is the fifth studio album by British band This Is the Kit. It was released through Rough Trade Records, making it the second band’s album for the label. Recording sessions took place at Real World Studios in Wiltshire. Production was handled by Josh Kaufman. // This Is the Kit is the alias of Paris-based British musician Kate Stables, as well as the band she fronts. This Is The Kit were a long-time favourite among various BBC Radio 6 Music DJs, which is where the musician and presenter Guy Garvey discovered them, playing their music frequently. Fellow 6 Music DJs Lauren Laverne, Radcliffe & Maconie, Cerys Matthews, and Mary Anne Hobbs have also been major supporters; DJ Marc Riley has hosted the band for three BBC live sessions to date. BBC Radio 1 has offered the band spot plays via DJs Huw Stephens, Jen & Ally, and Phil Taggart. // As the band prepared to release their third album Bashed Out in late 2014 and early 2015, they began to receive more attention from online and print critics. Uncut, Drowned in Sound, The Line of Best Fit and The 405 awarded the album 8/10 ratings. The Mancunion rated a live show a 9/10. Finally, the American blog Stereogum wrote that “Kate Stables has been recording music as This Is The Kit for years now, but this is probably one of the first times you’re reading about her. “Bashed Out” will be her third full-length album, and…it will also likely be her breakout.” // The band received a boost in attention in August 2015 when BBC iPlayer debuted an episode of the documentary series Music Box devoted to This Is The Kit’s music and influences.[5] The show was hosted by Garvey, who argued that their second album, Wriggle Out the Restless, deserved a Mercury Prize nomination. // The band also appeared in the BBC One television series Wanderlust, playing in a night club that Toni Colette’s character Joy attended.]
  1. (#65.) Sam Prekop – “Comma”
    from: Comma / Thrill Jockey Records / September 11, 2020
    [From his Bandcamp page: Sam Prekop’s boundless imagination is guided by his strong sense of melody. For more than 25 years, as a solo artist or as part of The Sea and Cake, Prekop creates a singular sound inventive and warm. His distinctive vocals, guitar playing and work on modular analog synthesizers are inventive, delicate, and always bear his signature sense of melody. Comma finds Sam Prekop for the first time working extensively with beat programming, focusing his enveloping synthesizer pieces around a newfound rhythmic pulse. // Prekop’s creative process is a combination of preparation and improvisation. Writing sessions for Comma began with an open-ended exploration of sounds and textures from which the first fragments of songs would reveal themselves. The introduction of drum machines and additional synthesizer units to his modular setup shifted things in surprising new directions as he worked to bend them into more traditional pop song structures. Drum tracks and emergent rhythms provided the frameworks and narrative sketches to be fleshed out with lustrous widescreen synth pads and ribboning melodies. In approaching his writing with a completely open mind and letting himself be guided by the music, Prekop maintains a delicate balance between composition and chance, control and spontaneity. Comma embraces the analogue synthesizer’s often unpredictable nature, imbuing the record with a decidedly organic feel even while working within the relative rigidity of beat architectures. // Prekop’s wide-eyed sense of discovery guides his exploration of beat-driven music, pushing him to use rhythm as a narrative tool and to embrace electronic music’s romantic and emotional qualities. “Park Line” and “Circle Line” evoke the relentless forward motion of public transit and commuter routine, one propelled by juddering machine-drums, the other illuminated in glistening neon. “Summer Places” and title track “Comma” are utterly transportive in their intoxicating tropical futurism, aqueous electronic loops cascading over melodic percussion. “September Remember” is notable precisely for its lack of drum track, opening up the field of sound and obliterating all but the faintest after-echoes of skittering percussion in its astral melancholy. “Approaching” achieves an incredible depth of sound and feeling using minimal constituent parts, interlocking synth-lines revealing surprising new sonorities with every repetition. With Comma, Prekop compiles an incredible breadth of ideas into a surprisingly coherent sound-world. // Comma is Prekop’s modern minimal pop album that taps into the experimental heritage of the synthesizer. The album places Sam Prekop’s work squarely in the tradition of electronic music pioneers like Brian Eno and Yellow Magic Orchestra who brought together the unrestrained ambition of the avant-garde with the immediacy and accessibility of pop music. ]
  1. (#64.) Mike Dillon – “Beignet’s Bounce”
    from: Rosewood / Royal Potato Family / July 17, 2020
    [Rosewood was one of three solo albums Mike Dillon released in 2020. After his Kharma Burns 16-song release of December 6, 2019, Mike released Rosewood in July, the 10-track Shoot The Moon with Punkadelic on October 2, 2020, the 9-track Suitcase Man recorded to 2-inch analog tape by Chad Meise, the 11-track 1919 which was is third and final release of albums recorded during quarantine lockdown of 2020. With Calvin Arsenia, Mike Dillon also released the 16-track Summer in Hindsight on October 16, 2020 as a soundtrack to the film produced by Peregrine Honig for the West 18th Street Fashion Show. Mike Dillon also released the single, “Rhumba for Peregrine” on October 16, 2020. Mike Dillon’s latest album ‘Rosewood’ musically signifies transition and transformation. The 13-track collection was written and recorded during a period of profound change. Dillon found himself relocating from his fourteen year base in New Orleans to his current residence in Kansas City. This coincided with the beginning a new relationship that would result in marriage. Recorded intermittently between January 2018 and September 2019, its 13 majestic tracks swirl with the tangled and bittersweet emotions of one chapter ending as another began. Dillon created the album solely with vibraphone and percussion instruments and titled the record ‘Rosewood’ after the type of lumber used to make marimba bars. // “I started spending time in Kansas City in August 2017, where I’d previously lived in 1997,” explains Dillon. “My friend of twenty years, Peregrine Honig, invited me to see her beautiful art studio converted from an old church building called Greenwood Social Hall. By December, I brought my marimba there and would play for hours. The songs on this record wrote themselves in that sonically sacred space.” // Furthering this metamorphosis, ’Rosewood’ also finds Dillon, who’s been hailed “a punk jazz provocateur,” shifting from the freewheeling, anything goes aesthetic that informed his primary touring unit, The Mike Dillon Band, to a more conceptual and compositional approach. He’d hinted at this side of his musical personality with the 2016 album release ‘Functioning Broke,’ as well as, three performances with his 23-piece New Orleans Punk Rock Percussion Consortium at The Music Box Village. The introspective ‘Functioning Broke,’ however, relied heavily on outside material, including songs by Elliott Smith, Neil Young and Martin Denny, while the latter performance experiment required the massive energy generated by two dozen musicians on percussion and mallet instruments. On ‘Rosewood,’ Dillon boils down the essence of those two projects into a focused auditory journey, drawing almost exclusively on his own compositions with exception of two additional Elliott Smith songs, “Talking To Mary” and “Can’t Make A Sound,” along with the ghostly take on Johnny Cash arrangement of the classic Trent Reznor / Nine Inch Nails’ song “Hurt.” Dillon performed all of the parts himself with exception of contributions by drummer and frequent collaborator Earl Harvin and the guiding hand of Dillon’s old friend, recording engineer Chad Meise. // “When I decided to record in Kansas City, I immediately recruited Chad. He and I made several Malachy Papers’ records, the Go Go Jungle album ‘Battery Acid’ and the Mike Dillon Band record ‘Urn.’ Our chemistry in the middle of a really bittersweet time for me simplified the process. We layered the songs on 24-track, 2-inch tape. Some songs I would start on the vibes, other times I put on a marimba first before fleshing out the rest. My old pal, the incredible drummer Earl Harvin, visited KC from his home in Berlin during the summer of 2018 and played drum kit on several of the tracks. By recording to tape, we captured the warm relationship of the percussion/mallet family.” // All of the sounds on ‘Rosewood’ are from Dillon’s collection of mallet instruments ranging from the rare Deagan Electric Bass Marimba to the Deagan Electro Vibes, a 1942 Leedy Marimba to his primary touring instrument, the Majestic Electric Vibraphone, running through a collection of analog peddles. The only non-percussion sound was a synth on “Bonobo” that was triggered by a MalletKat. The crescendo of timpani and tabla pulsate beneath the Sonic Youth-like layers of vibes on “Drone” set against the Kraut rock drumming of Harvin. The ambient Steve Reich-inspired pulsations of marimbas on “Vibes at the End of the World” capture the feeling of being in New Orleans when the Hurricane Gustav evacuation order was given to Dillon back in 2007. There are also several moments of joyful percussive optimism with tracks like “Rumba for Peregrine” and “Beignet’s Bounce.” “Sober on Mardi Gras” was composed in New Orleans on Mardi Gras Day 2019 before Dillon marched behind Big Chief Monk Boudreaux alongside Stanton Moore and Joe Gellini. “Tiki Bird Whistle” and “Earl’s Bolero” were also composed in New Orleans in an apartment that was home for many NOLA musicians, including Brian Blade, Doug Belote and John Ellis. // Much of the feeling of this record is dealing with the sadness of moving out of a great city like New Orleans, but with the optimism of a fresh start in Kansas City,” explains Dillon. “To this day it’s hard for me not to say I live in New Orleans. However, in reality, prior to the pandemic, I lived a nomadic lifestyle in my Chevy van going wherever the next gig leads me. And yet now, in the age of Covid-19, we’re faced with change again. It is the only constant.” // Mike Dillon has been an integral member of bands including Garage A Trois, Dead Kenny Gs and Critters Buggin. He’s served as a key sideman to artists like Rickie Lee Jones, Les Claypool and Ani DiFranco. He’s amassed an extensive catalog of genre-defying recordings. He’s taken to the road relentlessly, building one of the most loyal underground fanbases on the contemporary music scene, while being invited to share bills with bands including Clutch, Dean Ween Group and Umphrey’s McGhee. For nearly three decades, Dillon has played exclusively by his own rules. With his latest work, ‘Rosewood,’ he once again embraces the philosophy of change and evolution.]
  1. (#63.) Saint Sé – “In/Out (feat. Allison Gliesman)”
    from: Spectra – EP / Benjiman Lucas Music / July 31, 2020
    [Debut EP from Saint Sé. This song was released as a single on May 22, 2020. Written by: Lucas Carpenter & Allison Gliesman. Vocals by: Allison Gliesman. Music Produced by: Lucas Carpenter. Additional Production by: Zach Thomas. Mixed/Mastered by: Mark Francis Buergler. Visualizer created by Andy Thies. Allison Gliesman (with the band Mess) released Learning How To Talk last year on March 29, 2019 and has previously releases several singes with Mess including their debut EP, heartswithholes in 2017.](#62.) Page 7 – “Not A Free Country”
    from: Rise Up – EP / Page 7 / October 6, 2020
    [Page 7. The band was formed in 2014. They are a Lawrence, Kansas based reggae, ska, soul rocksteady band with Joe Sears on lead vocals; Ryan “Rhyno” Hensley on drums; Anthony Case on bass, and backing vocals; Mike MacFarland on guitar & backing vocals; Brad Eldridge on keyboards; Chris Leopold on trumpet, and backing vocals; Dan Pem on saxophone, and backing vocals; and Mike Walker on trombone, and backing vocals. Earlier this year the band released their 7-song EP The Call, on May 26, and the single “Connectivity,” on April 10. More info at: https://page7reggae.wixsite.com%5D
  1. (#61.) Ondist – “Gather Up The World”
    from: No Coincidence / Bikiniwax Records / June 12, 2020
    [So far, this year, Ondist has released three full length albums, No Coincidence on June 12, and Electricity on August 14, and Mise en Place on November 13 totaling 41 songs, plus a 26 track Acapellas & Instrumentals Release on July 3, plus a 4-song EP entitled Resound on February 28, plus 9 singles. Ondist is Corbin Dooley, Nick Poortman, and Maya Coppola are Ondist. With divergent backgrounds rooted in Arkansas, New Zealand, and New York, the trio connected in Los Angeles. Recording in Malibu, Dallas, Kansas City, and Las Vegas brought environmental influences to the center of the Ondist sound, which is united by its cinematic vision of hope. Several of the tracks for all three albums were recorded at Weights & Measures with Duane Trower with Sam Platt on drums, Eddie Moore on keyboards, DeAndre Manning on bass, Jamie Anderson on guitar, Claire Adams on vocals, and Jillian Riscoe on vocals. Corbin Dooley signed Nine Inch nails to TVT Records in 1990. He managed Blur, and Tekronic. We interviewed Maya Coppola on the October 7, 2020 on WMM.]
  1. Noel Coward – “The Party’s Over Now”
    from: Noel Coward in New York / drg / 2003 [orig. 1957]

Next week, December 23, Wednesday MidDay Medley continues with part 3 of our 4-week series: The 120 Best Recordings of 2020, we’ll count down from #60 through #31 of our list, with music from: The Republic Tigers, Calvin Arsenia, Black Light Animals, Julia Othmer, Kemet Coleman, Monta At Odds, The Sluts, Shiner, Radkey, Sam Wells, Phylshawn, Koney, Miss Boating, Kadesh Flow, Jo MacKenzie, Nick Siegel, Molly Hammer, Jordana, Lomelda, Gregory Porter, Moses Sumney, Lido Pimienta, Bill Fry, KeiyaA, Bill Callahan, The War and Treaty, Indigo Girls, Charlotte Dos Santos, Sudan Archives, and Sylvan Esso.

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:

Black Lives Matter

Show #868