WMM Playlist from February 13, 2019

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, February 13, 2019

Spinning Records With Marion Merritt
+ Ada Brumback, Anna Selle & Bandwaggn

Marion Merritt

Marion Merritt returns as our special “Guest Producer.” For almost 15 years now, Marion has been sharing her musical discoveries and information from her encyclopedic brain. Marion is the creator of Records With Merritt, a small, independent, minority owned business, at 1614 Westport Rd. in Kansas City, Missouri.

1. “Main Title Instrumental – It’s Showtime Folks”
from: Original Motion Picture Soundtrack to All That Jazz / 1980
[WMM’s theme song]

2. Dimitri From Paris – “Prologue”
from: Sacrebleu / Atlantic / 2001

3. The Bevis Frond – “Lead On
from: We’re Your Friends Man / Fire Records / December 7, 2018
[26th studio album from The Bevis Frond, a British musical group whose range covers hard edge to melancholy vintage indie rock to poetic, “classic-rock” songcraft. Nick Saloman is the band’s frontman and songwriter. They have recorded many singles and albums on various independent labels since 1987. Saloman was originally in a band known as the Bevis Frond Museum in the late 1960s, and in the 1970s, whilst at college, he played guitar with a duo called Oddsocks. They released one album, Men of the Moment. In 1979 he formed a band called the Von Trap Family, who released the first single on his own Woronzow Records label. The early Von Trap Family recordings, comprising three sessions, were released on the Bevis Frond Bandcamp site for the first time in May 2010. The next release on Woronzow was in 1982, a 12″ single by Room 13 with Saloman on guitar and future Bevis Frond drummer Martin Crowley. After Room 13 reached the end of its natural life, Nick Saloman had a bad motorbike accident that left him with a constriction of movement in his left arm. True to form, he had the arm set so that he could continue playing guitar. With the proceeds from a damages claim he bought a 4 track recorder and recorded some music which he decided to press as a limited release of 250 albums, more for the sake of just releasing an album than anything else. He was very surprised when Funhouse records in Kent phoned him up and asked for a couple of hundred copies as they’d been selling the album quite briskly. Saloman’s desire was to “record the kind of music I’d like to listen to… I wanted a Hendrix/Wipers/Byrds sound but with a distinctly British feel.” Subsequent albums were also recorded in a home studio and released on Woronzow until 1988, when he signed a deal with Reckless Records for the UK and USA. All the early albums were finally re-released on CD and Reckless financed the recording and release of his sixth album, Any Gas Faster, using a professional studio for the first time, reuniting him with Drummer Martin Crowley. This is also the point that he began touring. Another 1990 album, Magic Eye, was a collaboration with Twink of the Pink Fairies. In 1990, he returned to the studio to record his next album, New River Head, which featured guest musicians including Barry Dransfield and David Tibet. The next year he recorded London Stone, but Reckless were less than happy with the album, and in the ensuing friction, Saloman decided to release the album on Woronzow again. All his subsequent albums have appeared on Woronzow.]

4. Baxter Dury, Delilah Holliday & Etienne de Crécy – “Walk Away”
from: B.E.D / Pias America / October 26, 2018
[Debut recordings of collaborative trio of French producer Etienne de Crécy on electronic textures, with vocalist Baxter Dury’s and singer Delilah Holliday (of London band Skinny Girl Diet). Baxter Dury told the press, “Etienne has created a musical background for my confessional narrative and Delilah has encouraged it to be something more emotional. It’s an unlikely mix that works because its short, simple and honest.”]

5. Big Wild – “6’s to 9’s (feat. Rationale)”
from: Superdream / Counter Records / February 1, 2019
[Debut album from Big Wild who is Jackson Stell, an electronic DJ, producer, composer, and engineer. Stell was born in Lancaster, Massachusetts. Stell set out on his own tour in Spring 2017, hitting 27 dates around America. Rational is Matthew Cameron Brotzel, a Canadian hip-hop artist from Saskatoon, Saskatchewan. On March 30, 2010, RationaL released his debut single “Cocaine Cowboy” from his debut album, The BirthWrite LP. The song garnered a 2010 Sphere of Hip-Hop award for “Song of the Year”, co-winning the honor alongside 2011 Juno Award winner and fellow Canadian rapper, Shad (“Rose Garden”). July 17, 2012 the rapper released The BirthWrite LP under his own independent imprint, Ear RationaL Music. The album featured guest appearances from Quannum Projects recording artist Pigeon John, former Rawkus Records artist and member of The Procussions, Mr. J. Medeiros, Relic, Theory Hazit and Ohmega Watts. In the fall of 2007, RationaL began the writing and recording process for his debut album, The BirthWrite LP. The album charted as high as #2 on the !earshot hip-hop charts. Although The BirthWrite LP is officially considered RationaL’s debut album, there was a free promotional album released on July 20, 2010 entitled Hard Labor: The BirthWrite Prequel that circulated locally and was made available online. The BirthWrite LP is most notable for the award-winning lead single “Cocaine Cowboy”. On July 23, 2013, RationaL reached an exclusive agreement with the Toronto Blue Jays and Major League Baseball to release his new single, “A Swing and a Belt”, dedicated to the late Hall of Fame voice of the Blue Jays, Tom Cheek. Cheek called a Major League record 4,306 consecutive games for 28 straight seasons on the Toronto Blue Jays Radio Network from April 7, 1977 to June 2, 2004. Produced by Imperial, “A Swing and a Belt” received high-praise from former World Series hero Joe Carter. Former Jays manager and current Sportsnet play-by-play man Buck Martinez also raved about the song. Martinez stated, “RationaL has captured everything that Tom Cheek was in regards to baseball. He had his passion, he understood his love of the game, he understood all the great moments in Tom Cheek’s broadcasting career. He weaves them into “A Swing and a Belt” in such a way that it brings back so many memories for fans, baseball people and media people that really captures the essence of Tom Cheek’s career with the Blue Jays. I don’t think it could have been done any better.”[citation needed] In addition, Sportsnet aired a clip of the song during the Blue Jays game versus the Houston Astros on July 27, 2013. “A Swing and a Belt” is also the lead single from RationaL’s upcoming album entitled Hell or High Water, scheduled for release soon on Ear RationaL Music. Confirmed collaborators for the record thus far include Mr. J. Medeiros, Factor, Imperial, Josh Palmer and Juno Award-winning producer and emcee, Relic.]

6. Kristen Hersh – “Lax”
from: Possible Dust Clouds / Fire Records / October 5, 2018
[The 11th solo album from Martha Kristin Hersh was born August 7, 1966, in Atlanta, Georgia. She moved to Newport, Rhode Island when she was six years old. Her father was a professor at Salve Regina University in Newport and her mother a special educational needs teacher. She was interested in music at an early age and wanted to learn guitar chords so her father gave her a guitar when she was nine. Her parents separated when Hersh was 11 and her mother married the father of her best friend Tanya Donelly. Hersh talked Donelly into starting a band, then called The Muses when they were 14. Throwing Muses was formed in 1981 when Hersh and Donelly were freshmen in high school. Friends from school, including Elaine Adamedes, Becca Blumen, Leslie Langston and David Narcizo, were part of the group with Narcizo becoming a long-term member. Hersh initially wrote and sang most of Throwing Muses’ songs, often in changing tempos. Donelly also contributed songs and lead vocals. Hersh attended Salve Regina University, majoring in archetypal psychology and philosophy, and the Rhode Island School of Design, but dropped out shortly before graduating to establish the band in Boston, Massachusetts, where they had been playing on weekends. While at Salve, Hersh befriended film actress Betty Hutton, who was attending the school in her 60s; Hutton also attended several early Throwing Muses shows in Newport. The Throwing Muses were signed to 4AD, the first American group to be signed on the British label, and released their first EP Chains Changed in 1986. Two releases followed, The Fat Skier and the album House Tornado. The 4AD Throwing Muses biography describes its sound at the time as “… joining the dots between elliptical post-punk, harmonious folk jangle and rockabilly thunder without ever settling into standard genre patterns.” For the Throwing Muses 1986 UK tour, the Boston-based Pixies, embarking on their first European tour, was the opening band. The band signed a U.S. deal with Sire/Reprise Records in 1987 and began touring the U.S. and Europe while recording albums, with Hersh writing most of the songs. The band became a trio when Donelly left the group after 1991’s The Real Ramona. In 1994, Hersh began a solo career on Sire/Reprise and 4AD as an acoustic performer, beginning with Hips and Makers, an album sparsely arranged around her vocals, guitar, and a cellist, in contrast to the volatile, electric sound of her band work. Michael Stipe of R.E.M. made an appearance on this first solo album. After receiving some airplay and major media coverage for the Throwing Muses album University in 1995, Hersh moved to Rykodisc for the band’s 1996 album, Limbo, and released her solo album, Strange Angels in 1998. To better control her career and the distribution of her recorded material, she created the ThrowingMusic label with then-husband and manager Billy O’Connell in 1996. This enabled her to co-release some of her projects, including an ongoing download-subscription service called Works in Progress (WIP) for releases available through the label’s website. Hersh continued to offer her solo releases online, releasing “Sky Motel” in 1999. By the mid-90s, David Narcizo became Throwing Muses’ permanent drummer, still playing in the band whenever they tour. Throwing Muses functions as a noncommercial musical enterprise, focusing on touring over record sales and airplay. In a 2014 interview, Hersh stated, “As far as I’m concerned, music is not a commodity. It’s something that people have earned by being human. They have a right to hear it, and a right to share it, as they always have in churches and parties. That’s how music happens. Hersh has said her parents’ album collections, featuring Patti Smith, the Carter Family, Stevie Wonder, Robert Johnson, Talking Heads, The Clash, Steve Miller, The Beatles, Philip Glass, and traditional music all influenced her when she was growing up. Among her early contemporary musical influences are The Raincoats, The Pretenders, Talking Heads, Violent Femmes, Meat Puppets, Dead Kennedys, Hüsker Dü, Velvet Underground, R.E.M., and X. Hersh was married to her former manager Billy O’Connell for 25 years until they divorced in 2013. She has four sons. Hersh has talked openly about her bouts with mental illness and its role in her musical process. A car accident at age 16 while she was riding her bicycle gave her a double concussion that affected the way she heard sounds. She described it as hearing ambient sounds continuously and “…the sounds would alter their sonic vocabulary until I was hearing syllables, and drums. And then all these words would come.” She’s stated that hearing “pieces of songs” in her mind compelled her to take the pieces apart and craft songs from them. She also claims that she doesn’t remember writing her early songs—that “they wrote her.” She’s had more than one diagnosis (and misdiagnoses) for her condition, including schizophrenic disorder, bipolar disorder, and most recently post-traumatic and dissociative disorders, which she says have been successfully treated with eye movement desensitization and reprocessing (EMDR) therapy.]

7. Kristen Hersh – “No Shade in Shadow”
from: Possible Dust Clouds / Fire Records / October 5, 2018

10:32 – Underwriting

8. Antena – “Camino del So”
from: Antena: Camino del Sol / Numero / 2019
[Originally released in September, 1982] [Antena: Camino Del Sol is the second compilation album by The Numero Group (NUM002), based on a mini-album originally released in September 1982. It features tracks by French-Belgian trio Antena who were then signed to Belgian label Les Disques Du Crepuscule. Antena featured Isabelle Antena, a pseudonym for Isabelle Powaga, who is a cult figure known for her song “Say I Believe In It.” The re-release contains re-mastered tracks, B-sides and two previously unreleased songs.]

9. Boogarins – “Onda Negra”
from: Lá Vem a Morte / OAR / June 9, 2017
[Boogarins are a Brazilian psychedelic rock band formed in 2013 by Dinho Almeida (vocals, rhythm guitar) and Benke Ferraz (solo guitar). Later they were joined by Hans Castro (drums) and Raphael Vaz (bass guitar), forming a four-piece. In 2014, Ynaiã Benthroldo replaced Hans as drummer. Boogarins was formed by Benke and Dinho, two childhood friends who got together and recorded an EP at home (As Plantas Que Curam) while they were still at school. After the release of the EP, Boogarins signed a contract with Other Music, the debut album As Plantas Que Curam was released in 2013. A second album followed in 2015. The band took their name from a jasmine flower in Brazil. On June 7, 2017, the band’s third album Lá Vem a Morte was released on YouTube as a surprise for the fans. It was elected the 9th best Brazilian album of 2017 by the Brazilian edition of Rolling Stone. They have a new album titled Sombrou Dúvida to be released in 2019]

10. Sharon Van Etten – “I Told You Everything (Edited)”
from: Remind Me Tomorrow / Jagjaguary / January 18, 2019
[5th studio album from Sharon Van Etten (born February 26, 1981 in Belleville, New Jersey and lived in Nutley, NJ before moving to Clinton as a pre-teen. Later, she moved to Tennessee to attend Middle Tennessee State University and studied recording, but dropped out of college after a year. Van Etten ended up working at the Red Rose, a coffee and record shop and music venue in Murfreesboro, for about five years. In 2004, she moved back to New Jersey, where she worked at Perryville Wine and Spirits. Van Etten moved to New York City in 2005. Van Etten self-released handmade CDs until 2009, when her debut studio recording was released. Before her studio debut, she worked at Astor Wines and as a publicist at Ba Da Bing Records. Van Etten’s debut, Because I Was in Love, was released on May 26, 2009, on Language of Stone, and was manufactured and distributed by Drag City. This is her third album from Jagjaguar]

11. Hand Habits – “placeholder”
from: placeholder / Saddle Creek Records / March 1, 2019
[Meg Duffy grew up in a small town in Upstate New York and they cut their teeth as a session guitarist and touring member of Kevin Morby’s band. The Hand Habits project emerged after Meg moved to Los Angeles; it started as a private songwriting outlet but soon evolved into a fully-fledged band with Meg at the helm. Hand Habits’ debut album, Wildly Idle (Humble Before The Void), was released by Woodsist Records in 2017. The LP was entirely self-produced and recorded in Meg’s home during spare moments when they weren’t touring. Wildly Idle (Humble Before The Void) is a lush, homespun collection of folk songs that found Meg in an exploratory state as an artist moving out on their own for the first time. Two years later, Hand Habits has returned with their sophomore album, placeholder. To make this album, Meg chose to work in a studio and bring in collaborators, entrusting them with what had previously been a very personal creative process. Over the course of 12 tracks, Meg emerges with new confidence as both a bandleader and singer. This album is as tender and immediate as anything Meg’s ever written, but it’s also intensely focused and refined, the work of a meticulous musician ready to share their singular vision with the world. The name placeholder stems from Meg’s fascination with the undefinable. Their songs serve as openings — carved-out spaces waiting to be endowed with meaning. As a lyricist, Meg is drawn to the in-between, and the songs on this new album primarily confront the ways in which certain experiences can serve as a stepping stone on the road to self-discovery. “A big aspect of my songwriting and the way I move through the world depends on my relationships with people. The songs on placeholder are about accountability and forgiveness,” Meg says. “These are all real stories. I don’t fictionalize much.” Meg describes these songs as their most direct to date, crafted with clear intention, and unlike Wildly Idle (Humble Before The Void), placeholder doesn’t meander. “It’s less of a submerged landscape and more a concise series of thoughts,” Meg explains. Instrumentally, placeholder can be situated alongside some of Meg’s folk-adjacent contemporaries like Angel Olsen or Big Thief, and the guitar work on this album proves that Meg continues to be one of the finest young musicians working today. placeholder is another entry in the Hand Habits songbook, but it’s also a valuable testament of our time. While placeholder inspires a sense of ease, simple questions rarely beget easy answers and Meg honors the indescribable joy and profound sorrow that comes with figuring things out, one step at a time.]

10:59 – Station ID

12. Cass McCombs – “I Followed the River South to What”
from: Tip of the Sphere / Anti / February 8, 2019
[Produced by Cass McCombs & Dan Horne. Engineered by Sam Griffin Owens. Mixed by Dan Horne. Mastered by Heba Kadry. Vinyl cut by Carl Rowatti. Recorded at Figure 8 Studios, Brooklyn NY. Additional engineering on The Great Pixley Train Robbery by Jason Quever. All songs Cass McCombs (BMI)Cass McCombs was born 1977 in Concord, California) is an American musician, best known for blending genres such as rock, folk, psychedelic, punk, and alt country, he has played in numerous bands in the Bay Area and Pacific Northwest during the 1990s, often in DIY spaces, before relocating to New York City. He moved to San Francisco in 2001, where he recorded his debut E.P., entitled Not the Way E.P., released on Monitor Records in Baltimore. McCombs then recorded a Peel Session for John Peel in 2003, and that year released his first LP A, also touring with Baltimore’s OXES as his backing band. McCombs and his band spent much of 2003 and 2004 touring, performing everywhere from the All Tomorrow’s Parties festival to house shows. McCombs otherwise divided his time amongst the Pacific Northwest, England and Baltimore. In spring 2005 he released PREfection on Monitor Records and 4AD, and in support of the album he toured with Modest Mouse. Later that year, he moved to Southern California to begin work on his third full-length, Dropping the Writ, which was released on October 9, 2007, by Domino Records. It was named one of Amazon.com’s Best Albums of 2007. Also in 2007 he toured with Ariel Pink’s Haunted Graffiti. He signed a multiple-album deal with Domino Records, who released his following four records including Catacombs (2009), which was voted one of the “50 Top Albums on the Year” by Pitchfork. It was followed by Wit’s End (2011), Humor Risk (2011), and Big Wheel and Others (2013). He toured with John Cale in 2012, and also performed at the benefit concert Occupy Sandy. Other bands he has performed or toured with include Ariel Pink, Cat Power, Band of Horses, Andrew Bird, The Decemberists, Arcade Fire, Peter Bjorn and John, Papercuts, The Shins, Iron and Wine, Deerhoof, The Walkmen, Jana Hunter, Thurston Moore, Joe Russo and The War On Drugs. His single “Bradley Manning” premiered on the Democracy Now News Hour in 2012. His songs have been featured in films including the surf film The Present (2009), and Ralph Arlyck documentary Following Sean, as well as notable skate videos featuring Jason Dill, Jerry Hsu Chima Ferguson and Dylan Rieder. His song “Bobby, King of Boys Town” appeared in HBO show Girls (Season 2, Episode 9 – “On All Fours”). In 2014 he did a co-headlining fall tour with the Meat Puppets. McCombs is a member of The Skiffle Players, who released their debut LP, Skifflin’ on February 12, 2016. In June 2016, McCombs performed at the Primavera Sound and Field Day music festivals. McCombs ANTI- Records debut, Mangy Love was released on August 26, 2016.]

13. M. Ward – “Shark”
from: What a Wonderful Industry / M. Ward Records / June 8, 2018
[Matthew Stephen “M.” Ward was born October 4, 1973 and raised in Ventura County, California. He moved to Portland, Oregon after college. Growing up, Ward taught himself songs by The Beatles on his brother’s guitar, and began recording demos on a four-track analog tape recorder when he was about fifteen. Ward continues to only record analog, and starts all of his songs as demos on the same recorder he has had since his teens. M. ward is a singer-songwriter and guitarist who is known for his folk and blues-inspired Americana analog recordings. He has released nine albums since 1999, primarily through independent label Merge Records. In addition to his solo work, he is a member of pop duo She & Him and folk-rock supergroup Monsters of Folk, and also participates in recording, producing, and playing with multiple other artists. More info at: http://www.mwardmusic.com]

14. The Glands- “Lovetown”
from: The Glands / Capricorn Records / 2018
[Originally released on August 1, 2000 on New West Records][The Glands were an American indie rock band from Athens, Georgia, United States. Their first CD, Double Thriller, was self-released in 1996 and reissued on Bar/None Records in 1998. Their self-titled album was first released in 2000 on Capricorn Records and reissued on Velocette Records in August 2001. The Glands’ unique sounds recalled a variety of influences, including the Kinks, the Who, and The Rolling Stones. The song “Livin’ Was Easy” was featured in the DVD Let America Laugh by comedian David Cross. The band reunited for a brief east coast tour in late 2011, playing several dates with Yo La Tengo. Ross Shapiro, singer, guitarist, and founding member of The Glands, died in March 2016 following a battle with an illness.]

15. The Glands – “I Can See My House from Here”
from: The Glands / Capricorn Records / 2018 [original – Aug. 1, 2000 on New West Records]

16. Lucy Dacus – “Night Shift”
from: Historian / Matador / March 2, 2018
[Lucy Dacus was born 1995 and grew up in Richmond, Virginia . She is an indie rock singer-songwriter who has has released two albums, both on Matador Records: 2016’s No Burden and 2018’s Historian. She started studying film at Virginia Commonwealth University but left to pursue her music career. She first performed in New York in March 2015. Sasha Gessen in Pitchfork wrote about Historian: ” It’s not an easy album to wear out. It lasts, and it should, given that so many of its lyrics pick at time, and the way time condenses around deep emotional attachments to other people.”]

17. boygenius – “Me & My Dog”
from: bygenius / Matador / October 26, 2018
[indie rock supergroup formed by Julien Baker, Phoebe Bridgers, & Lucy Dacus. Their self-titled debut EP was written and recorded in four days at Sound City Studios in Los Angeles. In November 2018, Baker and Bridgers hit the road in North America for a co-headline tour, with Dacus opening. Each artist played her own individual set of tunes. The tour kicked off at Nashville’s Ryman Auditorium on November 4th, and traveled through the Northeast, Midwest, and West Coast, culminating at The Wiltern in LA on November 30.]

18. Better Oblivion Community Center – “Dylan Thomas”
from: Better Oblivion Community Center / Dead Oceans / January 23, 2019
[Better Oblivion Community Center is an American indie rock duo composed of musicians Conor Oberst and Phoebe Bridgers. Oberst and Bridgers first met in 2016 when Bridgers performed at a secret showcase Oberst hosted at the Bootleg Theater in Los Angeles. They collaborated on the duet “Would You Rather” from Bridgers’ 2017 debut album Stranger in the Alps. The duo’s album received critical acclaim upon release.They performed “Dylan Thomas” on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert the day before it’s release. On January 29, 2019, the band announced their initial concert tour of the United States and Europe along with releasing a music video for their initial single, “Dylan Thomas”, directed by Michelle Zauner a.k.a. Japanese Breakfast.]

11:37 – Underwriting

11:39 – Interview with Ada Brumback & Anna Selle

Ada Brumback & Anna Selle of Bandwaggn Kansas City on the February 13, 2019 edition of Wednesday MidDay Medley on KKFI 90.1 FM

KC based musician, freelance videographer and editor, Ada Brumback, plays guitar, bass, and some keyboards in the band, Chase The Horseman. Ada Brumback used to play drums in the band Bedroom Wounds. Ada has collaborated with the Springfield, Illinois band, Looming: the Chicago band, Cold Country; and area singer songwriter Doby Watson.

Anna Selle is editor and founder of HearQueer, an online and print publication that amplifies queer voices in music. The first issue was launched June 30, 2017, and Anna is getting ready to release issue #4 this spring. Anna also serves s staff photographer for Playlistplay. She studied Art History at Truman State University. Anna is one of the co-founders of Bandwaggn. More info at: http://www.hear-queer.com

Ada Brumback and Anna Selle join us today to talk about Bandwaggn, a youth-centered arts and social justice organization aspiring to be a 6-day summer music camp serving girls, gender nonconforming, and trans youth.

Ada Brumback and Anna Selle thank you for being with us on Wednesday MidDay Medley

Their first fundraiser: Valentine’s Day Formal: A Benefit for Bandwaggn, February 15, at Stray Cat Film Center has been rescheduled due to unforeseen circumstances and a surprise extreme snow forecast, this event will be RESCHEDULED to a later date TBA!

Bandwaggn’s mission “…is to create a youth-centered arts and social justice organization, creating a Kansas City chapter of a 6-day summer music program under the national umbrella “Girls Rock Camp Alliance.”

The camp will serve kids who identify as girls, gender nonconforming, and trans, ages 8-17. Bandwaggn’s goal is to host at least 20 kids at the camp June 2020.

Bandwaggn strives to be inclusive and reach as many deserving young folks who want to participate as possible. Outcomes they hope to see include community building and empowerment among our youth participants.

Bandwaggn sees a need for this in Kansas City because most extracurricular opportunities often exclude the most marginalized children and most music camps require previous musical skill and experience.” It’s our goal to become a member of the national Girls Rock Camp Alliance https://www.girlsrockcampalliance.org/

Valentine’s Day Formal: A Benefit for Bandwaggn, originally scheduled for Friday, February 15, at Stray Cat Film Center, has been rescheduled due to unforeseen circumstances and a surprise extreme snow forecast, this event will be RESCHEDULED to a later date TBA!

11:56

19. Mercury Rev – “Big Boss Man”
from Bobbie Gentry’s the Delta Sweete Revisited / Partisan Records / February 8, 2019
[It slipped out of a Mississippi of hot biscuits, genteel table manners and working-class sense, suddenly overturned by a grave sinning and suicide. Carried on an evening breeze of strings and a supple, foreboding voice like sensually charged breath, “Ode to Bilie Joe”—Bobbie Gentry’s 1967 debut as a singer-songwriter and a Number One single for three weeks in the late Summer of Love—was the most psychedelic record of that year not from San Francisco or London, as if Bob Dylan, Neil Young and Brian Wilson had conspired to make a country-rock Pet Sounds. Except Gentry, just 23 when she wrote the song, got there first, in miniature. // Gentry’s hit was a revolutionary act, a quietly thorough feminism in vision, deed and success amid the strict, paternal order of the country-music industry. And it was her license to thrill again. In October, 1967, while “Billie Joe” was still in the Top Five, Gentry began recording The Delta Sweete, a connected set of a dozen songs that extended the narrative dynamics of that single with personal reflection and set her folk-siren charisma in a richer frame of dream-state orchestration, swamp-rock guitars and big-city-R&B horns. // In her eight original songs for the album, Gentry drew from her childhood and church life on her grandparents’ farm in Chickasaw County, Mississippi: the girl-ish craving for a beautiful dress in “Reunion”; the rise-and-shine of “Mornin’ Glory”; the stern Sunday lessons in “Sermon,” based on a traditional hymn also known as “Run On.” The covers were boldly chosen: Mose Allison’s chain-gang blues “Parchman Farm”; “Tobacco Road”’s litany of trial; the Cajun pride in Doug Kershaw’s “Louisiana Man”. Gentry also turned them to new purpose and even gender. “Gonna get myself a man, one gonna treat me right,” she sang in Jimmy Reed’s “Big Boss Man” with heated assurance. // But The Delta Sweete—released in March, 1968, only three months after Dylan’s John Wesley Harding and right as the Byrds came to Nashville to cut Sweetheart of the Rodeo—was too soon in its precedence. Gentry’s LP, the first country-rock opera, was ignored on arrival, not even cracking Billboard’s Top 100. It was as if Billie Joe had risen out of the Tallahatchie River and thrown that record off the bridge instead. // This Delta Sweete is her long-delayed justice—Mercury Rev’s committed and an affectionate resurrection of an album that anticipated by three decades their own pivotal expedition through transcendental America, 1998’s Deserter’s Songs. From their recording lair in New York’s Catskill Mountains, the founding core of Jonathan Donahue and Grasshopper with Jesse Chandler (previously in the Texas group Midlake) honor Gentry’s foresight and creative triumph with spacious invention and hallucinatory air. And they are not alone. Gentry’s stories and original resolve are brought to new vocal life and empowerment by a vocal cast of women from across modern rock and its alternative paths: among them, Mazzy Star’s Hope Sandoval; Laetitia Sadier, formerly of Stereolab; Marissa Nadler; Margo Price, the fiery new country star with a punk-rock heart; and Norway’s Susanne Sundfør, who cuts through “Tobacco Road” with arctic-Nico poise. Phoebe Bridgers, whose first record was a softly stunning 2015 single for Ryan Adams’ PAX AM label, hovers through the acid- western suspense of Gentry’s “Jessye’ Lisabeth” with floating calm, like a comforting angel. // On the 1968 LP, Gentry opened with a call to jubilant order, “Okolona River Bottom Band,” like she was leading a barn-dance union of the early Rolling Stones and Louis Armstrong’s Hot Five. Norah Jones takes that entrance here with her own sultry command, like Sarah Vaughan at the head of a slow-blooming choir. In “Sermon,” Price—who has known real struggle up close—sings like a survivor through Mercury Rev’s explosion of color and groove: a specialty throughout the band’s history as recently as 2015’s The Light in You, going back through All Is Dream in 2001, the whirling iridescent soul of 1995’s See You on the Other Side and the sumptuous turbulence of the 1992 single “Car Wash Hair.” // Gentry is still very present in the changes. Her seesaw of pride and hurt in the melancholy blur of “Penduli Pendulum” (“When goodbye serves as/My one amusement”) is even more explicit with the seasoned intimacy of Vashti Bunyan—a once-elusive voice from Britain’s psychedelic-folk boom—set against the younger, brighter arc of Kaela Sinclair, now in the electronic project M83. And in “Courtyard,” a despairing finale of strings and guitar arpeggios on Gentry’s LP, Mercury Rev build a striking Delta Krautrock in which the English singer Beth Orton wanders, like Gentry, through a ruin of profound loss and treasured memory. // “Ode to Billie Joe” was not on the ‘68 Delta Sweete. But Mercury Rev go back to that dinner table with Lucinda Williams of Lake Charles, Louisiana, and it is an inspired bond, calling up the ghosts and questions of a South still very much with us. Indeed, Gentry—who retired from recording and performing in the Seventies—reportedly lives only a couple hours’ drive from the bridge that made her famous, while the spirits she set loose in The Delta Sweete are as restless and compelling as they were 50 years ago. This album is a loving tribute to that achievement, one of the greatest albums you have never heard. It is also a dozen new ways to walk that land. -David Fricke]

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

Next week on February 20, Claire Adams joins us to talk about her show on Friday, February 22, at 8:00 PM at The Rino, 314 Armour Rd, North Kansas City, with string quartet, Rewound, performing Adams’ original songs as arranged by Peter Lawless with special guest Alyssa Murray opening the night. ALSO…Frank Alvarez joins is to talk about the new record store Sister Anne’s – Records and Coffee that he has opened with Jim Oshel at 901 East 31st Street, KCMO named after Anne Winter who owned Recycled Sounds a record store where they both worked. ALSO next week, Wick Thomas joins us to share details about A Tribute to Queen at The Granada Theatre, 1020 Massachusetts St. in Lawrence, Kansas, on Friday, February 22 at 7:00 PM.

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:
http://www.kkfi.org,
http://www.WednesdayMidDayMedley.org,
http://www.facebook.com/WednesdayMidDayMedleyon90.1FM

Show #773

WMM is Spinning Records With Marion Merritt + Ada Brumback & Bandwaggn

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, February 13, 2019

Spinning Records With Marion Merritt
+ Ada Brumback & Bandwaggn

Marion Merritt

Mark welcomes Marion Merritt, of Records With Merritt, who joins us as “Guest Producer” to share sonic discoveries and information from her musically-encyclopedic-brain. Records With Merritt is located at 1614 Westport Road, KCMO. More info at: http://www.recordswithmerritt.com.

Marion will play tracks from: The Bevis Frond, Baxter Dury, Delilah Holliday & Etienne de Crécy, Big Wild, Kristin Hersh, Antena, Boogarins, Sharon Van Etten, Hand Habits, Cass McCombs, M. Ward, The Glands, Lucy Dacus, boygenius, Better Oblivion Community Center, Conor Oberst & Phoebe Bridgers, Throbbing Gristle, The Daktaris, Mulatu Astatke, and more!

At 11:30 Mark and Marion talk with Ada Brumback about Valentine’s Day Formal: A Benefit for Bandwaggn, Friday, February 15, at 7:00 PM, at Stray Cat Film Center, 1662 Broadway Blvd, KCMO. This is the first official fundraiser for Bandwaggn, a youth-centered arts and social justice organization aspiring to be a 6-day summer music camp serving girls, gender nonconforming, and trans youth.

On your local radio dial 90.1 FM or
STREAMING LIVE at: kkfi.org

Show #773