The 115 Best Recordings of 2015

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The 115 Best Recordings of 2015

Version 2

The 115 Best Recordings of 2015 are based on playlists of this little ole radio show, we’ve compiled representative tracks from our favorite full-length and EP recordings of the year. We realize that these “Best of” lists can seem very subjective, however we ask that you please accept our list as a celebration of the year of music. In 2015 we’ve played over 1000 songs on the show, and from over 300 New & MidCoastal Releases. Over 40 of the bands and artists in our “Best of” list have actually joined us live and/or performed in our 90.1 FM studios. We’ve interviewed over 200 local and national guests. 70 the representative recordings on our “Best of” list were produced by artists based here in the area. It’s all good!

(1.) Madisen Ward and the Mama Bear – Skeleton Crew / Glassnote / May 19, 2015
[Singer songwriters, Madisen Ward and Ruth Ward, both play sing and guitar, harmonizing as mom and son. In the past 14 months they have garnered national acclaimed after an appearance at the 2014 Americana Music Fest, they signed with Glassnote Records and recorded their debut full length album in Nashville with acclaimed producer Jim Abbiss, they released their first single, “Silent Movies,” the same night they performed the song on The Late Show with David Letterman on CBS Television. They launched a big tour across the United States and traveled to Europe for multiple shows in London, Paris, Amsterdam, Berlin, and then did it all again. They sang and played on the influential British television show, “Later With Jools Holland” They were featured on CBS Sunday Morning, and visited many radio stations. They performed on tour with Sufjan Stevens, Rodrigo Y Gabriela, played Bonnaroo, Pilgramage, and the Newport Folk Festival, and others. In 2015 they have been representing KC all over the world, and recently joined us on WMM to talk about their appearance on NBC Television’s Today Show, on Nov 23. The band is on tour through December and they end their year performing at at the Ryman Theatre, in Nashville, on Dec. 30 and 31. Madisen Ward and the Mama Bear made their 5th appearance on WMM on November 18.]

(2.) The Grisly Hand – Flesh & Gold / Independent / October 2, 2015
[The songs on Flesh & Gold are part of a double LP to be released in 2016. The band spent a year with Joel Nanos at Element Recording, and decided to split the songs between two CD/digital releases. The second half will be released in 2016, along with the LP. The album is the first with the newest member, Dan Loftus on bass, keyboards & vocals, joining Jimmy Fitzner on guitar & vocals, Lauren Krum on vocals & percussion, Matt Richey on drums, Mike Stover on steel guitar, bass & vocals, Ben Summers on guitar, vocals & mandolin. “Regrets On Parting” features: Rich Wheeler on tenor saxophone, Nick Howell on trumpet, and Mike Walker on trombone.]

(3.) The Architects – Border Wars Episode III / Independent / September 18, 2015
[Digitally released early to supporters of their crowd sourcing. 8th release from KC band: Adam Phillips on drums, Zachary Phillips on bass, Brandon Phillips on guitar & voice, Christopher Meck on guitar. The three Phillips brothers had previously composed a successful ska and rock band called The Gadjits. In June 2004 The Gadjits ended and Architects, was formed. Mixing traditional punk, maximum R&B, Midwestern alternative rock, blues-based metal and pop melodies, the band is influenced by The Clash, The Who, Social Distortion, Green Day, The Replacements, The Jam and The Kinks. Border Wars is a a five-part concept album and graphic novel series funded by the band’s loyal fans through crowd sourcing. More info at: ]

(4.) Mikal Shapiro – The Musical / Independent / Feb. 19, 2015 (11/19/15 – vinyl release)
[Singer, songwriter, artist, filmmaker, puppeteer, ring-leader Mikal Shapiro studied Film History, Film, and Writing at Sarah Lawrence College in Bronxville, New York. She received her MFA from The School of the Art Institute of Chicago studying Film, Video, New Media, and Animation. Her full length solo releases “The Crow The Lark And The Loon from 2008, and “For Good” from 2010 have been acclaimed by local music writers. Mikal is the creator of the web television project, “Go! Go! Global Girls.” She has also created music videos for Dead Voices and Folkicide. Mikal Shapiro is also a curator, producer and co-host of River Trade Radio. Aside from performing as a solo artist Mikal also performs with Chad Brothers of the band Old Sound, as Shapiro Brothers, she is a member of the 4-piece band Royalphonic, and with Kasey Rausch as Partners in Glory. Musical is her third full length solo release, she previously recorded albums with the bands: Eudora and Boon. Mikal writes: “The Musical is a collection of stories and characters; an intersection between popular music, classical songwriting and personal mythologies. Pronouns shift between “them” and “us,” “you” and “me.” Tracks jump influences from jazz, folk, and blues to rock, country and psychedelia.” The core band includes a line-up of local greats: Johnny Hamil (Mr. Marco’s V7/The Malachy Papers) on upright and electric bass, Matt Richey (Dead Voices/Grisly Hand) on drums , Chad Brothers (Old Sound/Supermassive Black Holes) on electric guitar / harmony vocals. Emily Tummons also lends her voice to the mix creating lush three part harmonies that weave throughout the album. Special guests on the album include: Mike Stover (Dead Voices/Grisly Hand) on pedal steel, Hermon Mehari (Diverse/The Buh’s) on trumpet, Betse Ellis (The Wilders/Betse and Clarke) on fiddle, Clarke Wyatt (Trio E/Betse and Clarke) on Wurlitzer, Damon Parker (The MGDs) on Wurly and Rhodes, Erin Bopp AKA Natural E (Royalphonic) on tambourine. Long time friend and collaborator Rachel Gaither (Tullamore/The Boon) stepped in to sing and play violin on the song “Chimo.” Recorded, mixed and mastered by Joel Nanos at Element Studios, it displays a full spectrum of production. Some tracks are deep and watery. Others wide and epic. Mikal Shapiro joined us on WMM on January 21.]

(5.) Iris DeMent – The Trackless Woods / FlariElla / August 7, 2015
[6th studio album from Grammy nominated Iris DeMent who NPR said was considered ”one of the great voices in contemporary popular music.” The Trackless Woods sets 18 poems by acclaimed 20th century Russian poet Anna Akhmatova to life. Hailed as one of Russia’s finest poets, Akhmatova survived the Bolshevik Revolution, both World Wars and Stalin. She lost family, friends and fellow writers to political killings and labor in the gulags. When Iris randomly stumbled upon Akhmatova’s work in a book of poetry a friend sent as a gift, she was immediately taken by the sorrow and burden of the poems, juxtaposed with Akhmatova’s lightness and transcendence in the face of inhumanity. ”Anna’s gift of song is so strong, about alI I had to do was get really quiet and listen,” says Iris. After reading that first poem the melodies began pouring out of her, and before she even fully understood what was driving her, Iris was gathering musicians and friends, including co-producer Richard Bennett (Emmylou Harris, Neil Diamond, Steve Earle), to record ‘The Trackless Woods’ in her living room over a five-day period. The result is a breathtaking pairing of piano and voice in Iris’ style with timeless melodies that are deeply rooted in the American South. The project also fulfilled a long yearned-for desire to connect with her adopted daughter’s culture and history. Iris and her husband Greg Brown adopted their daughter from Siberia in 2005, when she was 6, and she says “I’d never have made this record were it not for her.” Iris DeMent joined us on WMM on November 18.]

(6.) Radkey – Dark Black Makeup / Strange Loop Records / August 21, 2015
[Debut full length album from Radkey, originally from St. Joesph, Missouri, now based in Kansas City, made up of brothers Darrion, Isaiah, and Solomon. Their influences include The Who and Nirvana. The band has toured Europe several times and all over North American and at multiple festivals.]

(7.) Dolls On Fire – Synesthesia /Independent / February 13, 2015
[Recorded by Duane Trower at Weights and Measures studio. Zach Hodson on lead vocals & guitar, Rachel Jaggard on lead vocals & keys, Michelle Bacon on bass, Ben Byard on guitar and Mark Johnson on drums.]

(8.) Pink Royal – Taps / Silly Goose Records / April 11, 2015
[alt-electro-rock-pop from Lawrence, Kansas, with Dylan James Guthrie on vocals, Steven LaCour on guitar, Josh Dorrell on guitar, Alex Hartmann on drums, Nick Carswell on bass guitar & keyboards, and Zak Pischnotte on Saxophones. Originally founded by Henry Burling (drums), Steve LaCour and John Killeen (bass) and the addition of Chad “Mustard” Smith of the band Dumptruck Butterlips on vocals. When Henry returned to England, and Chad Smith went on the road with his other musical projects, Pink Royal journeyed through various concoctions, eventually settling on the current line up.]

(9.) Mat Shoare – Right As Rain / Independent / May 5, 2015
[3rd full length solo release, from KC based Mat Shoare, a singer, guitarist, band leader, and record label founder. As a songwriter he has been nominated for a Pitch Music Award. He is one of our favorite Kansas City based musicians. Mat has also released several EPs with The Empty Spaces, who won a Pitch Music Award for Best Garage Band. “Murder” the first digital single release from Right As Rain premiered on Mat Shoare joined us on WMM on April 29.]

(10.) La Guerre – Sapphires / The Record Machine / January 20, 2015
[La Guerre is the French for “war.” Sapphires was produced, engineered by Joshua Browning who also played bass. Percussion: Beau Bruns, Chris Brower. Guitar/Additional Vox: Charles Calhoun, Gavin Snider; Trombone: Joshua Landau; Additional Vox: Will Weinstein. All songs written by Katlyn Conroy. Katlyn Conroy, is based in Lawrence, Kansas. She was part of the critically acclaimed band, Cowboy Indian Bear. She was the recipient of the 2013 Pitch Music Award for Best Singer-Songwriter. More info at: at Katlyn Conroy joined us on WMM on March 4, and August 26.]

(11.) Lauren Anderson – Truly Me / Independent / July 24, 2015
[Lauren Anderson is originally from Chicago. She first started performing solo gigs around Kansas City after completing her masters in music therapy, from The University of Kansas in 2012. Lauren then formed her own band and released her debut EP “Do & Hope” in August 2014. Lauren Anderson is the 2015 Female Vocalist of the Year from Midwest Music Awards. Lauren Anderson played live on WMM on August 19.]

(12.) Scott Hrabko & The Rabbits – Biscuits and Gravity / Independent / Jan. 24, 2015
[Scott Hrabko on vocals, guitar, keyboards & drums, with Emily Tummons on accordion & vocals, and Josh Arnold on bass & vocals, and Kirk Scott on lead guitar. Kansas City based, singer-songwriter Scott Hrabko has played with Kansas City’s oldest garage band, The Original Sinners, as well as various incarnations of the 1980s bands: The Splinters, and The Andersons. In the 1990s he performed in coffeehouses and open mics with Iris Dement and Howard Eisberg. Scott Hrabko ‘s critically aclaimed solo release, “Gone Places” is said to be 30 years in the making.]

(13.) Bloodbirds – MMXlll / Independent / January 27, 2015
[Bloodbirds 2nd full-length from KC based Psychedelic post-punk trio featuring ex-Ad Astra Per Aspera member Mike Tuley, his wife Brooke Tuley and Anna St. Louis.]

(14.) Dreamgirl – Illuminaughty – EP / Independent / February 14, 2015
[6-piece band from St. Josesph, Missouri, formed in 2013, by members of the band, Lets Talk, Lacey Hopkins on lead vocals, Zach Sauls, Skylar Smith and Bryce Shoemaker and the St. Joe band Eyelit, Austin Marks on guitar and backing vocals, Sam Stephen on keyboards and bass. The band plays with ‘60s-inspired psychedelic & surf rock.Their new EP was self-produced, and recorded over two days, at the home of Austin Marks.]

(15.) Be/Non – Mystic Sunrise Sunset Magic / Haymaker Records / October 17, 2015
[Released by Haymaker Records on cassette for International Cassette Store Day. To be released on vinyl sometime next year. 5th full length from Be/Non a band founded by Brodie Rush, a songwriter, musician, singer, organizer, artist, film maker, music video creator. Over 20 years ago KC native, Brodie Rush formed the experimental, psychedelic, prog-pop band, Be/Non, The band has had more members than Spinal Tap, but Brodie has remained the only consistent member, songwriter and producer. Be/Non also contributed a song for: Fairgrounds, a collection of experimental and indie music from the KC area, that represent releases on the Haymaker Records, with future Haymaker releases, and other recordings from friends. Brodie Rush joined us on WMM on September 30.]

(16.) Alabama Shakes – Sound & Color / Alabama Shakes – ATO Records / April 21, 2015
[Formed in Athens, Alabama in 2009. The band currently consists of lead singer and guitarist Brittany Howard, guitarist Heath Fogg, bassist Zac Cockrell, keyboard player Ben Tanner, and drummer Steve Johnson. The group rose to prominence from virtual obscurity in the early 2010s with their distinctive and soulful roots rock sound. The band began their career touring and performing at bars and clubs around the Southeast for two years while honing their sound and writing music. They recorded their debut album, Boys & Girls, themselves in Nashville while still unsigned. Online acclaim led ATO Records to sign the band, which released Boys & Girls in 2012 to acclaim. The album had a hit single, “Hold On,” and was nominated for three Grammy Awards. After a long touring cycle, the band recorded their sophomore record, Sound & Color, which was released in 2015 and debuted at number one on the Billboard 200.]

(17.) Rev Gusto – Burnt Out Friends / High Dive Records / July 2, 2015
[Debut full length album, released on vinyl. Jerry Frederick on Vocals & Guitar, Sam Frederick on bass, Shaun Crowley on lead guitar and keys; Peter Beatty on guitar & back-up vocals; Quinn Hernandez on drums. Members of the Rev Gusto joined us on WMM on July 15.]

(18.) John Moreland – High on Tulsa Heat / Old Omens / April 21, 2015
[Tulsa, Oklahoma based singer-songwriter John Moreland was born June 22, 1985 in Longview, Texas. The son of Robert Lloyd Moreland and Connie May, Moreland’s father worked for Sunoco as an electrical engineer, and because of this job the family moved a lot. When he was a baby they moved to Northern Kentucky, across the river from Cincinnati, Ohio. Moreland credits his love for Cincinnati Reds to this time in Kentucky. When Moreland was 10 years old Moreland’s family moved from Boone County, Kentucky to Tulsa, Oklahoma and, with the help of his father, started playing the guitar. When he was 12 he started playing with a kid he went to church with who wrote songs and inspired him to start writing songs “that made sense.” Moreland grew up in a conservative Southern Baptist family. “From the time I was born up until about age 16, my entire worldview and all my opinions were pretty much solely influenced by the evangelical church. All the years since then have sort of been this slow process of figuring out where I stand now that I’m not an impressionable kid anymore. I feel like I’m done with that at this point, but it keeps showing up in songs. I guess that stuff stays in your psyche forever.”]

(19.) Howard Iceberg & The Titanics – Smooth Sailing / Independent / May 9, 2015
[The Titanics are: Gary Paredes on electric and acoustic guitars & vocals, Dan Mesh on electric and acoustic guitars & vocals, Matt Kesler on bass, Pat Tomek on drums & percussion. With contributions from over 15 local artists participating in Howard’s “on going recording project” conducted in Pat Tomek’s Largely Studios, KCMO. Recorded and mixed by Pat Tomek. Scott Easterday on bass, Michelle Gaume Saunders on vocals. Howard Iceberg, Pat Tomek and Matt Kesler joined us on WMM on May 6.]

(20.) Calvin Arsenia – Prose / Independent / February 3, 2015
[Recorded over the course of three live sessions at Edinburgh’s Napier University. Produced by Graham Coe. Engineered by David O’Leary. Music and Lyrics: Calvin Arsenia, with Fiona Reid & Liselot Van Oosterom on Vocals, Graham Coe on Cello, Mark Smith on Percussion, Lyle Watt on Guitar Calvin Arsenia on Vocals & Guitar & Piano. Calvin Arsenia joined us on WMM on March 18, August 5, and October 28.]

(21.) Berwanger – Demonios EP / High Dive Records / December 11, 2015
[On September 2, 2015 it was announced that Josh Berwanger band was signed to High Dive Records. Recorded at Element Recording. The current line up includes: Josh Berwanger, Ricky Salthouse, and Brian Klien. Josh Berwanger was previously in The Anniversary, a Kansas band that released, 2000’s Designing a Nervous Breakdown & 2002’s Your Majesty and sold over 100,000 records before breaking up on tour in Japan. Berwanger put together a new band, The Only Children, and released, 2004’s Change of Living & 2007’s Keeper of Youth. When Keeper of Touth ended Josh Berwanger took a break and became a high school basketball coach. In the 2012 Josh formed the Josh Berwanger band. Josh Berwanger recently recorded a 7 ” Split Single with Dwight Twilley for Good Land Records. In September the band went on the road as Berwanger, opening for Get Up Kids, and in October opening for Boys Life.]

(22.) Beautiful Bodies – Battles / Epitaph / June 12, 2015
[Alternative rock band from Kansas City, Missouri featuring Alicia Solombrino on vocals, Thomas Becker on guitar and drums, and Luis Arana on bass. Beautiful Bodies have shared the stage and toured with The Smashing Pumpkins, My Chemical Romance, Jane’s Addiction, Paramore, and The Yeah Yeah Yeahs. They’ve played Warped Tour, Kanrocksas,and SXSW, and have toured the U.S. and Canada extensively. Beautiful Bodies won Ernie Ball’s 2013 Battle of the Bands for Warped Tour, beating out 32,000 bands. In May 2014, the band signed a record deal with Epitaph Records.]

(23.) Digital Leather – All Faded / FDH Records / June 23, 2015
[Omaha, Nebraska based Synth punk, New Wave, pop, lo-fi, and psychedelic musical project led by multi-instrumentalist Shawn Foree. Originally from Yuma, Arizona, Foree began calling his project Digital Leather when he moved to Tucson, where he studied American Literature at University of Arizona. He used student loan money to buy equipment. He managed to release his first three albums after recording them in his bedroom on labels such as Tic Tac Totally, Jay Reatard’s Shattered Records imprint, and FDH Records. He supported this “bedroom project” with several nationwide and European tours. Sorcerer, released on Goner Records in 2008, is a half-live, half-studio record. In 2009, Foree began working on a collection of songs in a fully operational studio. Released in September 2009 by Fat Possum Records, Warm Brother garnered positive reviews. After relocating to Omaha, Nebraska, a 5-piece band formed. They toured around and as a band Digital Leather recorded All Faded. The record sounds huge in comparison to the earlier efforts. Big drums,thick bass, great guitars, and of course biting synth-leads courtesy of The Faint’s Todd Fink.]

(24.) The Decemberists – What a Terrible World, What a Beautiful World / Capitol / Jan. 20, 2015
[Seventh studio album from the Portland Oregon based band, formed in 2000 by Colin Meloy (lead vocals, guitar, principal songwriter), Chris Funk (guitar, multi-instrumentalist), Jenny Conlee (keyboards, piano, Hammond organ, accordion), Nate Query (bass), and John Moen (drums).]

(25.) Barrel Maker – BLK FLANL – Barrel Maker X D/WILL / Indep. / March 5, 2015
[KC producer/emcee D/WILL switched from focusing on solo material to going behind-the-boards for to produce the debut recording of upstart artist Barrel Maker who is Morgan Cooper, 23, who grew up in a lower middle class neighborhood in Grandview, Missouri. He first started writing poetry and music in middle school and after high school he began apprenticeships in film and photography instead of college.]

(26.) Viet Cong – Viet Cong / Jagjaguar Records / January 20, 2015
[Canadian indie rock band formed in Calgary, Alberta in 2012. The group consists of two ex-members of the rock band Women, vocalist/bassist Matt Flegel and drummer Mike Wallace, as well as guitarists Scott Munro and Daniel Christiansen. The group’s musical style has been described as “labyrinthine post-punk.”]

(27.) Beirut – No No No / 4AD / September 11, 2015
[4th studio album from indie folk band Beirut, which was originally the solo musical project of Santa Fe native Zach Condon, and later expanded into a band. Beirut’s music combines indie-rock and world music]

(28.) Julia Holter – Have You In My Wilderness / Domino Records / September 25, 2015
[4th studio album from 32 year old Julia Holter who has been compared to: Laurie Anderson, Julianna Barwick, Kate Bush, Joanna Newsom, and Stereolab. Her father once performed with Pete Seeger. Her mother, Carole Shammas, is a prominent academic and currently holds the John R. Hubbard Chair in History at the University of Southern California. Besides playing and recording music, Holter tutors students and works with a nonprofit organization for teenagers in South Central Los Angeles. A graduate of CalArts, where she studied composition, Holter released her debut studio album, Tragedy, in August 2011.]

(29.) Light Music – Ocean’s Daughter / The Record Machine / August 21, 2015
[Electronic rock / psychedelic-pop / euro-house. We first played them on our show on April 15. Debut album recording of Milwaukee, Wisconsin based band, founded in June 2012, with: Brendan Benham, Shae Lappen, Dan Mena, Ed Zuehlke. The band members have played together in various forms for the past decade. Written over the course of two years, Ocean’s Daughter was recorded and mixed in 2014 by acclaimed producer and engineer Beau Sorenson (Death Cab for Cutie, Bob Mould). “The album is a tonal and emotional exploration into the depths of love, worship, and forgiveness. The loosely conceptual album follows the oceanic heroine Aphrodite as she travels through a saga of love in modernity, exploring from different angles the strength, power, beauty and independence she embodies unequivocally through her manifestations of love.” Light Music played The Middle of The Map Fest, Friday, April 24 at Ernie Biggs.]

(30.) GAV7D – Thanks for Everything / Independent / June 21, 2015
[Johnny Hamil is one of the founding members of Mr. Marco’s V7, a band that has reinvented themselves with each release, and changed and evolved with different line-ups. Johnny told us that for ALL of the music he has composed for the band it originally came to him in his dreams. 4 years ago Johnny’s dream compositions included lyrics for the first time, and this set him on a new path to create, the GAV7D project, which is not Mr. Marco’s V7 proper, but includes members of the V7, from throughout the long history of the band. The concept was to collaborate a vocal version of a composition with musical friends and then have various lineups of the V7 family interpret the material in different ways. Selections from the GAWD project first premiered at the Folk Alliance International Conference. One particular song features Anna Cole, Steve Tulipana and 25 others – “For Those Who Breathe” which was inspired by Abigail Henderson. Victor & Penny join in to sing “The Privilege” a song inspired by Anne Winter. This collaborative work of art was written & arranged by Johnny Hamil, and produced by Chad Meise. Johnny Hamil joined us on WMM on February 18, and June 17.]

(31.) Betse & Clarke – Bird Notes / Independent / June 4, 2015
[Betse Ellis on fiddle, and Clarke Wyatt on banjo. Recorded at home by Clarke Wyatt, mixed by Clarke Wyatt, and produced by Clarke Wyatt and Betse Ellis. Includes the traditional “Give the Fiddler a Dram” with Btese’s original song “Pig on a Stone.” ] [Betse & Clarke also released Two Forks Acrylic on Cardboard, Independently, in very limited release,during Folk Alliance International Conference, February 2015. Betse Ellis on fiddle, and Clarke Wyatt on banjo. Recorded January 2, 2015. Arrangements by Betse & Clarke. Engineered and produced by Clarke Wyatt. Betse Ellis joined us on WMM on February 4, June 3, and October 7.]

(32.) She’s A Keeper – Westside Royal / Independent / January 17, 2015
[KC based band includes: Fritz Hutchison – vocals, banjo, percussion; Zac Jurden – vocals, guitar; Colin Nelson – vocals, guitar; Elliott Phillips – bass, mandolin. Recorded and produced by She’s A Keeper and Joel Nanos at Element Recording in KCMO. She’s A Keeper played the Wednesday MidDay Medley – 90.1 FM Day Party at Middle of The Map Fest, April 25, at TheWestport Saloon.]

(33.) Shamir – Ratchet / XL / May 19, 2015
[Debut album from Shamir Bailey, born November 7, 1994, known by his stage name Shamir. An American singer and songwriter from Las Vegas, Nevada, his debut EP, Northtown, was released in June 2014 to positive reviews. In October 2014 Shamir signed to XL Recordings and released the single “On the Regular.” Shamir is known for his androgynous countertenor voice. wrote that his singing voice, “like Joplin’s, stops you in your tracks.” Shamir has said that he does not mind having his voice described as androgynous, but notes that “countertenor” is the correct term: “It’s not feminine, it’s not masculine. It’s a happy medium … I feel like if the world was more like that, our problems would be gone.”]

(34.) Sterling Witt – Satyagraha / Grand River Records / October 17 2015
[Produced by Steve Albini in Chicago. Sterling Witt on vocals & guitar, Davy Langerak on bass, Jesse Gilpin on drums. Satyagraha, (Sa tea yah gra ha) is loosely translated as “insistence on truth” or “holding on to truth” (satya “truth”; agraha “insistence”), a particular philosophy and practice within the nonviolent resistance or civil resistance. The term satyagraha was coined and developed by Mahatma Gandhi. He deployed satyagraha in the Indian independence movement. Satyagraha theory influenced Nelson Mandela’s struggle in South Africa under apartheid, Martin Luther King, Jr.’s campaigns during the Civil Rights Movement in the United States, and many other social justice and similar movements. Sterling Witt joined us on WMM on August 12.]

(35.) The Electric Lungs – Don’t be Ashamed of the Way You Were Made /Indep/ Oct 20,15
[Their new album recorded mastered with Joel Nanos of Element Recording. KC based 4-piece band formed in 2012 by Tripp Kirby, Marc Bollinger, Eric Jones, and Jason Ulanet The Electric Lungs play a special CD Release show, at Davey’s Uptown Rambler’s Club, Friday, November 13, at 8:00 pm, with Bone Spur, Haunted Creepies, and Kodascope.The Electric Lungs joined us on WMM on April 8.]

(36.) Psychic Heat – Lighter and Brighter / Whatever Forever Tapes / March 13, 2015
[Cassette reissue of Psychic Heat’s 2013 EP “Lighter and Brighter” re-release with bonus track ‘Waters’ and full “Live EP” performance on side B. Put out through Whatever Forever Tapes. Limited physical run of 200 Cassette Tapes (100 White tapes and 100 Pink tapes.) Original cover art by Tanner Spreer Lighter and Brighter Recording Musicians: Steve/Evan Herd – Guitar/Vox, Tanner Spreer – Guitar , Sam Boatright – Bass , Joel Coon – Drums/Keyboards/Guitar/BackingVox/Production. Several other drummers have played with the band including Ricky Barkosky and Kliph Scurlock. You can learn about their music at: Psychic Heat played live on WMM on March 11.]

(37.) Kodascope – Kodascope EP / Independent / May 12, 2015
[Debut release from six-piece KC band. Matthew Hayden on drums, percussion; Justin Skinner on percussion, drums; Michael Tipton on vocals, guitar; Ashleigh Guthrie on keyboards; Brent Jamison on bass; and Andy Kirk on guitar. Joining the band on back up vocals for several songs: Megan Zander (Dream Wolf, REN) and Camry Ivory on backing vocals. Members of Kodascope joined us on WMM on May 20.]

(38.) Good Time Charley – Cautionary Tales / Good Time Charley / March 3, 2015
[Debut album from KC based 6-piece with: Barb Corley on vocals & ukulele; Melissa Butler on vocals, guitar, & kazoo; Matt Cathlina on bass; Grant Buell on keyboard & accordion; Shawn Wright (Klaus) on drums.]

(39.) Ivory Black – Ready Get Set EP / Independent / June 23, 2015
[Ivory Black was born in 1986 in Peoria Illinois, as Devin James Miclettet. Ivory’s birth mother put her up for adoption at the age of four. Ivory speaks about how it was difficult to find trust in people offering their home to someone denied of it for so long, Ivory had lived with eight different families, before running away at 15, moving from Indiana to Oklahoma and eventually ending up in Seattle. In 2011, after a friend sent a plane ticket, Ivory landed in the Kansas City area, and became a part of new family where she was able to have solid ground and over the past several years has been performing in singer-songwriter showcases and in June released her debut EP, Ready Get Set. Ivory Black joined us on WMM on May 6, and September 23.]

(40.) Yo La Tengo – Stuff Like That There / Matador Records / August 28, 2015
[Formed in Hoboken, New Jersey, in 1984. Since 1992, the lineup has consisted of Ira Kaplan (guitars, piano, vocals), Georgia Hubley (drums, piano, vocals) and James McNew (bass, vocals). Their new record, the band’s 14th, features re-recorded versions of some of their old songs as well as covers of the Cure, Hank Williams, the Parliaments, Sun Ra, the Lovin’ Spoonful, Darlene McCrea, and others.]

(41.) The Fog – Darkness USA / High Dive Records / December 11, 2014
[Ian Teeple on guitar & voice, Brendan Dulohery on bass, Frazier Krohn on drums. Featuring Fritz Hutchison on backup on Evol. Recorded in 2014 with J Ashley Miller & Jonathan Kraft at Infoaming Vertex in KCMO. The Fog also released: THE FOG ON TOUR IN AMERICA, Independently on March 20, 2015. All of the members of The Fog joined us on WMM on June 10, 2015.]

(42.) Leon Bridges – Coming Home / LisaSawyer Records – Columbia / June 23, 2015
[Gospel and soul singer from Fort Worth, Texas who began his career by writing songs and learned guitar in order to play simple chords to accompany his lyrics. He played locally at open mic nights in the Fort Worth area while working as a dishwasher until being signed by Columbia Records in 2014. It was his song Lisa Sawyer, a soul song he wrote about his mother’s baptism in a river, that became his music style. Bridges began writing and performing 1950s and 60s style soul music that was described by Austin 360 as “a transmission straight from the heart.” Bridges’ began his first national tour in January 2015, playing shows in Texas as well as playing support for Sharon Van Etten in New York. His first official single, Coming Home was released on Columbia Records in February 2015.]

(43.) Heidi Lynne Gluck – The Only Girl in the Room EP / Lotuspool / April 28, 2015
[Debut solo release from Lawrence, Kamsas based Heidi Lynne Gluck is a songwriter, singer and multi-instrumentalist originally from the middle of Canada. After transplanting herself from the plains of Manitoba to the midwestern United States, Heidi quickly became an in-demand player, performing on stage and in the studio both as a solo artist and with renowned musicians including Juliana Hatfield & Some Girls, Margot & The Nuclear So and Sos, Lily & Madeleine, The Pieces, The Only Children, and others.Heidi Lynn Gluck also plays bass in The Roseline.]

(44.) The AM Trio – As of Now / Independent / June 30, 2015
[Alyssa Murray (Vocalist/Pianist/Songwriter), Joel Stratton (bass), and Josh Blythe (drums/vocals) have crossed paths and joined forces to create unique, multi-dimensional songs. Murray’s writing style has drawn comparison to Joni Mitchell as well as Fiona Apple. Alyssa Murray joined us on WMM on October 21.]

(45.) Jessica Paige – Sweet Nothings / Independent / September 18, 2015
[Jessica’s band includes: Jessica Paige on vocals & guitar, Coleen Dieker on keysboards & violin, Jerod Rivers on drums, Damon Bailey on guitar, and Ben Byard on bass & viola.]

(46.) Connor Leimer – Postcard / Like It’s June / October 2, 2015
[Musician, singer, songwriter Connor Leimer released his debut EP “Like It’s June” on November 1, 2013. His follow up EP “Coast To The Sea” came out Sept. 24, 2014. While finishing his senior year in high school, Connor Leimer was adding the finishing touches on his debut album, Postcard, recorded at Weights & Measures Soundlab studio in Kansas City. With contributions from KC based singer Gracie Schram, 21 year-old producer Max Griffith, banjo player Fritz Hutchison (of She’s A Keeper) and a three-piece horn section of UMKC Music Conservatory graduates, Connor calls his new release a “team effort.” Connor Leimer played The KCPT Stage at The Tank Room, Saturday, September 12, as part of the 11th Annual Crossroads Music Fest. More info at: Connor Leimer joined on WMM on June 3, and on September 9.]

(47.) Courtney Barnett – Sometimes I Sit and Think, And Sometimes I Just Sit / Mom+Pop / March 23, 2015
[Debut full-length from Singer-songwriter and guitarist from Melbourne, Australia. In 2012 Barnett started her own label, Milk! Records, and released her first EP I’ve Got A Friend Called Emily Ferris to glowing reviews around Australia. From 2011 – 2013 Barnett was a member of Australian psych/country band Immigrant Union, a musical project founded by Brent DeBoer of The Dandy Warhols and Bob Harrow. Along with sharing vocal duties Barnett predominantly played slide guitar and features on their second studio album ‘Anyway’. DeBoer also played drums on her first EP ‘I’ve Got A Friend Called Emily Ferris’. Barnett received international critical acclaim in 2013 with her second EP How To Carve A Carrot Into A Rose. Barnett combined these two releases into one and called it The Double EP: A Sea of Split Peas. Courtney Barnett played The Uptown Theatre on on June 18, 2015, opening for Belle and Sebastian.]

(48.) Sufjan Stevens – Carrie & Lowell / Asthmatic Kitty / March 31, 2015
[Seventh studio album from Sufjan Stevens, born in Detroit, Michigan, July 1, 1975. Stevens first began releasing his music on Asthmatic Kitty, a label co-founded with his stepfather, beginning with the 1999 release, A Sun Came. He is best known for his 2005 album, Illinois. Unlike Stevens’ last studio album, the electronic Age of Adz, Carrie & Lowell is sparsely instrumental and returns to the performer’s indie folk roots. The album was recorded in 2014 at Stevens’ home studio in Brooklyn. The songs were inspired by the 2012 death of his mother Carrie (the album title also references his stepfather) and the family trips they took to Oregon in Stevens’ childhood.]

(49.) Mbongwana Star – From Kinshasa / Nonesuch – World Circuit / May 5, 2015
[Mbongwana Star is a band from Kinshasa, the capital city of the Democratic Republic of the Congo. Of the seven members of the band, two of them (Coco Ngabali and Theo Nzonza) were among the founding members of Staff Benda Bilili. The band is signed to the World Circuit label, on which they released their debut album, From Kinshasa, in 2015. The album received “universal acclaim” from critics, according to Metacritic.]

(50.) the author and the illustrator – A Minor Component to a Cold November / Independent / January 6, 2015
[Alternative dreamo indie rock midwest post punk shoegaze from Kansas City based The Author and The Illustrator: Schuyler Bates – Bass, Ian Dobyns – Drums, Zack Hames – Vocals / Guitar, Josh Legler – Guitar. Recorded Live at BRC Audio Productions in Kansas City, Kansas October-November 2014. Recorded/Mixed/Mastered by The Author and The Illusrator and Chris Schmidt.]

(51.) Sleater-Kinney – No Cities To Love / Sub Pop Records / January 20, 2015
[8th studio album from Sleater-Kinney, formed in early 1994 in Olympia, Washington, by Corin Tucker and Carrie Brownstein. The group’s name is derived from Sleater Kinney Road, Interstate 5 exit number 108 in Lacey, Washington, the location of one of their early practice spaces. Tucker was formerly in the influential riot grrrl band Heavens to Betsy, while Brownstein was formerly in the queercore band Excuse 17. They often played at gigs together and formed Sleater-Kinney as a side-project from their respective bands. When Heavens to Betsy and Excuse 17 disbanded, Sleater-Kinney became their primary focus. Janet Weiss of Quasi is the band’s longest lasting and final drummer, though Sleater-Kinney has had other drummers, including Lora Macfarlane, Misty Farrell, and Toni Gogin. Upon Tucker’s graduation from The Evergreen State College (where Brownstein remained a student for three more years), she and then-girlfriend Brownstein took a trip to Australia in early 1994. Their last day there, they stayed up all night recording what would become their self-titled debut album. It was released the following spring. They followed this with Call the Doctor (1996) and Dig Me Out (1997), and became critical darlings. The lineup features: Corin Tucker (vocals and guitar), Carrie Brownstein (guitar and vocals), and Janet Weiss (drums). Sleater-Kinney played The Uptown on April 26.]

(52.) Sinple – “0” (Zero) / Independent / June 26, 2015
[Sinple is the electronic music project of Jesse Bartmess who plays synths, drum machine, and vocals. The project has recently grown to include: Natasha Derakhshanian on violin, Chris on guitar, and Allan Jones on vocals. Sinple played a special “O” Album Release Show at The Brick, on June 26, with La Guerre, and Jorge Arana Trio. More info at Members of Sinple joined us on WMM on June 24.]

(53.) Barrel Maker & LION – Continuity EP / Intelligent Sound / October 30, 2015
[Barrell Maker is Morgan Cooper, who is 23, and grew up in a lower middle class neighborhood in Grandview, Missouri. He first started writing poetry and music in middle school and after high school he began apprenticeships in film and photography instead of college. He recorded and released his debut record Blk Flanl, earlier this year with area producer and hip hop artist D/Will, (Denzil Williams). LION is Brian Rogers an Electronic Hip Hop multi-instrumentalist and producer from Lawrence, Kansas. More info at Continuity was recorded at Prosidio Records in Lawrence, Kansas. Produced by LION. Mastered by Approach (Sean Hunt).]

(54.) Joanna Newsom – Divers / Drag City / October 23, 2015
[4th album from harpist, keyboardist, vocalist, songwriter and actress, Joanna Newsom who was born and raised in the small town of Nevada City, California. Speaking about the album’s creative process in an interview with Entertainment Weekly, she said “I … spent a year or two on the instrumental arrangements and overdubs. I wanted the character and colors of the instrumentation to shift definitively, from song to song, which entailed a wide pool of collaborators and a lengthy collaborative process with each person.” She further described the process of making the album as “probably the most fun I’ve had making a record”. Entertainment Weekly also reported Newsom “as using an arsenal of nearly a dozen keyboards and synths including clavichords, mellotrons and Marxophones” for the album while members of the City of Prague Philharmonic Orchestra feature as players on the album.]

(55.) Victor & Penny – Live At the Living Room Theatre / Independent / January 10, 2015
[3rd release for Kansas City based duo, and sometimes quartet. Victor & Penny are Jeff Freling (Blue Man Group, Chicago) who attended Berklee School of Music, and Erin McGrane (George Clooney’s, “Up in the Air” and the cabaret troupe, “Alacartoona”). Erin is a recipient of an Inspiration Grant from the Arts Council of Metropolitan Kansas City as well as a Mid-America Arts Alliance Grant for Professional Development. Victor & Penny have been touring the USA for the last three years and were awarded a 2013 Escape to Create Artist Residency.]

(56.) The Matchsellers – Kosciusko County / Independent / December 27, 2014
[First full-length original album from The Matchsellers. Classically trained violinist Julie Bates from Kansas City, and a Chicago blues guitarist from Warsaw, Indiana, Andrew Morris. Kosciusko County is a county in Indiana with a town called Warsaw as it’s county seat. Formed in 1836. It was named after the Polish general Tadeusz Kościuszko who served in the American Revolutionary War and then returned to Poland. The Matchsellers played live on WMM on July 22.]

(57.) Pops Staples – Don’t Lose This / dBPM – Anti / February 17, 2015
[Previously-unreleased music with new production by Mavis Staples and Jeff Tweedy of Wilco. The album features 10 songs, originally recorded and produced by Pops in 1999, but left unfinished at the time of his death in 2000. The album, which also features newly recorded vocals by Mavis Staples, takes its title directly from the instruction Pops gave to his daughter as the two listened to the unfinished recording before his death: “Don’t lose this.” Mavis didn’t, and in 2014 brought the tapes of her father’s last work to her recent collaborator, Tweedy, for completion. The two had previously teamed up on Mavis’ recent solo releases, One True Vine and the Grammy-winning You Are Not Alone.]

(58.) Low – Ones and Sixes / Sub Pop Records / September 1, 2015
[11th studio album by Low, indie rock group from Duluth, Minnesota, formed in 1993. As of 2010, the group is composed of founding members Alan Sparhawk (guitar and vocals) and Mimi Parker (drums and vocals), joined by newer addition Steve Garrington (bass guitar). Music writer, Denise Sullivan writes that Parker and Sparhawk’s vocal harmonies are “as chilling as anything Gram and Emmylou ever conspired on—though that’s not to say it’s country-tinged, just straight from the heart.” Ones and Sixes was co-produced by the band and engineer BJ Burton, at Justin Vernon’s April Base Studios in Eau Claire, Wisconsin.]

(59.) Rex Hobart and The Misery Boys Long Shot of Hard Stuff EP / Little Class Records / March 6, 2015
[Rex Hobart & the Misery Boys are…Rex Hobart on vocals, Blackjack Snow on bass, J.B. Morris on guitar, T.C. Dobbs on drums, and Solomon Hofer on pedal steel.

(60.) The Depth and The Whisper – Unrequited EP / Every Little Bit / Sept. 22, 2014
[2nd EP release from Albert Bickley & Dave Tanner who formed TDaTW in June 2011, as a way to share new songs. Dave Tanner plays bass, guitar & vocals, Albert Bickley plays guitar & vocals, with friend:s Troy Van Horn, Kelsey Cook, Go Go Ray, Aaron Crawford, & Erik Voeks, joining frequently. Albert Bickley, is a KC native, who’s been writing, recording and performing original music for many years., is currently is living in NYC. Dave Tanner, is a Canadian who calls Parkville, MO, home, has played bass in numerous bands through the years.]

(61.) Sara Morgan – Easy To Dream EP / Independent / June 9, 2015
[KC based Singer/Songwriter, originally from McGehee, Arkansas. She plays piano, saxophone, guitar, banjo, ukulele, and piano. Sara has opened for BJ Thomas, John Michael Montgomery, John Corbett, Sean Rowe, Chuck Mead, Ben Taylor, and was the preshow at the Industry Bar inside the Uptown Theater before Loretta Lynn, took the main stage in November 2014. Ms. Lynn hosted Sara on her tour bus after Sara’s set and prior to Ms. Lynn’s performance. Sara Morgan played Apocalypse Meow 8, November 8.]

(62.) Deco Auto – The Curse of Deco Auto / Indep. / February 14, 2015.
[New music from Kansas City based alternative pop-punk / power-pop trio. Guitar/vocals: Steven Garcia; bass/vocals: Tracy Flowers; drums: Pat Tomek. All songs written by Steven Garcia, $tudent Loans For Life Music (ASCAP). Recorded, mixed and mastered by Pat Tomek at Largely Studios, Kansas City, MO.]

(63.) Jamie xx – In Colour / Young Turks / May 29, 2015
[Debut studio album from Jamie Smith known as Jamie xx, born Oct. 28, 1988. Jamie xx is an English music producer and remix artist who is known both as a solo act and as a member of the London-based band The xx.]

(64.) Riala – Be Here | Be There / Haymaker Records / September 4, 2015
[Nick Turner on Voice & Guitar, Kalo Hoyle on bass, Morgan Greenwood on drums. Recorded, mixed.and mastered by Joel Nanos at Element Recording Studios. Members of Riala joined us on WMM on July 29.]

(65.) HMPH! – Headrush / Haymaker Records / August 21, 2015
[Ryan Lee Toms on guitar, Jonathan Thatch on drums. Recorded by Dedric Moore. HMPH! joined us on WMM on August 12.]

(66.) Campdogzz – Riders In the Hills of Dying Heaven / Independent / July 13, 2015
[Chicago based Mike Price on drums, bass, guitar; Jess Price on vocals, guitar. They left their home in Logan Square, to live in a converted school bus and tour the country. Songwriter, Jess Price, is an Oklahoma native and multi-instrumentalist. Jerad Tomasino played bass for Campdogzz on their big tour through September. The band is stopped and camped in some of the most beautiful places across the country.]

(67.) Ernest James Zydeco – Automatic Harvester / Jam Rat Records / July 13, 2015
[From KC Missouri, the band lineup has been constant since 2008: Ernest James on accordion and vocals, Barry Barnes on washboard, Jaisson Taylor on drums, Mike Stover on bass guitar, and Tony LaCroix on guitar. This song features Jaisson Taylor on lead vocals and Betse Ellis on fiddle. Recorded and mixed in KC at Markosa Studios, with Mark Thies. The album was mastered by Collin Jordan at The Boiler Room in Chicago. Ernest James and Jaisson Taylor co-wrote and co-produced the songs. ]

(68.) Emmylou Harris & Rodney Crowell – The Traveling Kind / Nonesuch / May 8, 2015
[Produced by Joe Henry. Distinctive and legendary solo artists, who have also been masterful collaborators with so many others were able to join together for the 2013 release Old Yellow Moon, winner of the 2014 Grammy for Best Americana Album.]

(69.) Chris Meck & The Guilty Birds – Chris Meck & The Guilty Birds EP / Indep / February 10, 2015
[KC based trio with Chris Meck on lead guitar & vocals, Michelle Bacon on drums, and Calandra Ysquierdo on bass guitar & vocals. Tor this recording, Camry Ivory was on keys & vocals. Recording with Chad Meise. Chris Meck & The Guilty Birds played recordBar, Friday, November 6, for Apocalypse Meow kick off show with Drop A Grand, and Amy Farrand and The Like.]

(70.) Death And Vanilla – To Where the Wild Things Are / Fire Records / May 4, 2015
[Experimental-psychedelic-dream-pop trio formed in Malmö, Sweden, by Marleen Nilsson and Anders Hansson. Death and Vanilla utilise vintage musical equipment such as vibraphone, organ, mellotron, tremolo guitar and moog, to emulate the sounds of 60s/70s soundtracks, library music, German Krautrock, French Ye-ye pop and 60s psych. They revel in the warmth of older analogue instruments to create a more organic sound, each loose wire and off-kilter noise adding to the rich atmosphere. The band recorded the new album themselves in their rehearsal space, using just one microphone – a 70’s Sennheiser – which they bought at a flea market for a tenner. It is this unconventional recording process that gives Death and Vanilla their unique personality; using a trial and error approach to recording has rewarded the album with a strangeness that would not have otherwise been achievable.]

(71.) Yes You Are – A Dream EP / Independent / November 8, 2015
[Kianna Alarid, Jared White, Willie Jordan, and Jacob Teemeyer. Yes You Are lead singer Kianna Alarid was also lead singer and bassist for the critical acclaimed band, Tilly and the Wall, who released 4 albums on Saddle Creek Records, toured the world, and appeared on the Late Show with David Letterman. After Tilly and the Wall ended, Yes You Are was formed in 2014. This past summer they toured nationally with Neon Trees and released their first music video. The band is currently working on their debut full length album.]

(72.) Of Montreal – Aureate Gloom / Polyvinyl / February 27, 2015
[13th studio album from Athens, Georgia based rock band, founded by Kevin Barnes in 1996, named after a failed romance with a woman “of Montreal.” The band is one of the bands of the Elephant 6 collective. Of Montreal’s musical style has evolved from vaudeville and Beatles-influenced psychedelic twee pop to a mixture of electronica, funk, glam, & afrobeat music influenced by Prince & David Bowie.]

(73.) Sie Lieben Maschinen – June Gloom / Independent / January 1, 2015
[Steve Tulipana on vocals; Josh Newton on guitar, bass, synth; Chris Bolig on drums. Recorded and mixed by Scott Evans at Sharkbite Studios and Antisleep Audio. Vocals for “The Man Laughs”, “Postcards” and “Public Image” recorded by John Bersuch at Innerhorse. All other vocals recorded by Duane Trower at Weights & Measures Sound Lab in Kansas City, MO. Mastered by Carl Saff. Steve Tulipana joined us live on WMM on March 25.]

(74.) Thunderclaps – Cookin’ Up a Good Time EP / Independent / October 16, 2014
[Thunderclaps is a band formed by two cousins, Bryce Jones who lives in Salina Kansas and is a high school english teacher, and Colin Blunt who lives in Kansas City and host a Late Saturday Night Music program called The Pipeline. Cookin’ Up a Good Time was produced and engineered by Lennon Bone at Element Recording and mastered by Joel Nanos. Thunderclaps joined us on WMM on October 14.]

(75.) Rachel Mallin – The Persistence of Vision EP / Independence / September 12, 2014
[During the summer of 2014, this EP was written, recorded, mixed, and produced by Rachel Mallin, at the age of 19, in her hometown of Kansas City, MO. The songs were recorded in her basement. Co-mixed by Michael Kessler. Mastered by William Reeves at Centro Cellar Studio. This year Rachel formed a band called The Wild Type, currently with Jesse Bartmess on bass, Austin Edmisten on drums & voice, and Justin Walker on lead guitar. Rachel Mallin & The Wild Type also revealed a new song: “Something Wicked” on the new compilation series How To Keep Dreaming from The Record Machine, released September 10, 2015, celebrating the music that is inspiring us with proceeds benefiting Midwest Music Foundation. More info at: Rachel Mallin has shared the stage support of musical acts such as Metric, Panic is Perfect, The Lonely Wild, Pan Astral, and The Architects. Rachel Mallin just released “Dropout” a celebratory indie-rock dance anthem recorded two weeks ago with Joel Nanos at Element Studios, and plan to follow it up with an EP tentatively set for February 29th, 2016.]

(76.) Pieta Brown – Drifters / Lustre Records / November 20, 2015
[Drifters, it is a collection of outtakes from the sessions for Brown’s 2014 album Paradise Outlaw. Recorded at Bon Iver frontman Justin Vernon’s studio April Base, Paradise Outlaw was another new spin on the ethereal folk sound Brown has crafted over six albums. The six-track Drifters EP is released on Brown’s new, in her words, “underground label” Lustre Records and is currently only available from her website and from her at shows. Playing with Brown on the EP are Outlaw session musicians: Bo Ramsey, Jon Penner, Michael Rossetto, JT Bates and David Mansfield. Greg Brown, Constie Brown and Iris DeMent sing back up vocals for “Goin’ Up The Country.” The EP also includes a remix of the instrumental track “Little Swainson” by Justin Vernon and BJ Burton which was sacrificed when the album changed from being a double to a single. Pieta Brown was born in 1973 in Iowa City, Iowa. Her early upbringing was in Iowa. There, Brown was exposed to traditional and rural folk music through her father, singer songwriter Greg Brown. Brown spent her childhood living in 17 different residences between Iowa and Alabama. While living with her mother in Alabama, Brown began writing poetry and composing instrumental songs on piano. As a musician and singer-songwriter she has released five albums and four EPs. Collaborator Bo Ramsey produced her 2002 debut record, Pieta Brown and co-produced her 2005 album In the Cool, which was named one of the year’s best by Amazon. Her next album Remember The Sun was released in 2007 and was cited as one of the year’s best in a The Wall Street Journal article. After the release of her next album, One and All, Brown joined Mark Knopfler’s North American tour, had a string of performance dates with John Prine, participated in a full orchestral show with Brandi Carlile, and embarked on her own performance tour in Australia. Brown’s 2009 EP, Shimmer was produced by Don Was after hearing her on his car radio in a live solo performance. In addition to Mark Knopfler, John Prine and Brandi Carlile, Brown has shared stages with JJ Cale, Emmylou Harris, Richard Thompson, Ani DiFranco, Calexico, Neko Case, Mason Jennings, Shawn Mullins, Carrie Rodriguez and Jim Lauderdale. She has performed at festivals throughout North America including Bonnaroo, Mountain Jam, Edmonton Folk Music Festival and more. Her national radio credits include performances on eTown and Mountain Stage. Brown is married to guitarist and producer, Bo Ramsey.]

(77.) Megan Slankard – Running on Machinery / Independent / May 19, 2015
[Fifth album from San Francisco indie alt-rock musician Megan Slankard. She calls her new release “…a healthy mix of stories about the end of the world, bank robberies, prison escapes, failed relationships, and other adventures.” More info at: Megan Slankard played live on WMM on February 18]

(78.) Laura Marling – Short Movie / Ribbon Music / March 23, 2015
[Laura Beatrice Marling was born Feb 1, 1990, from Eversley, Hampshire. Her debut, Alas, I Cannot Swim, her 2nd album I Speak Because I Can, and her 4th album Once I Was An Eagle were all nominated for the Mercury Music Prize in 2008, 2010, and 2013. She won the Brit Award for Best British Female Solo Artist at the 2011 Brit Awards, and was nominated for the same award at the 2012 and 2014 Brit Awards. The youngest of three daughters, Marling learned guitar at an early age. Her father, Sir Charles William Somerset Marling, the 5th Marling Baronet, ran a recording studio, introduced her to folk music and shaped her musical taste, an experience that Marling later described as, “a bit of a blessing and a bit of a curse….[because] I couldn’t slot myself into the age-appropriate genre”. Marling received a scholarship to attend Leighton Park School, a private Quaker school in Reading, Berkshire. During her secondary school years she felt uneasy around other people and was afraid of death. Marling dated Noah and the Whale singer/guitarist Charlie Fink briefly before the pair separated in 2008. She also dated Marcus Mumford of Mumford and Sons until late 2010. She moved to Silver Lake in Los Angeles, California in 2013, before relocating back to London in December 2014. In September 2013, Marling explained: “I am a solitary person but I love people, I’m not a misanthrope. I like the idea of speaking only when it’s strictly necessary. The closest I ever feel to people is in shared experience. I’m still exploring that, I don’t know where it’s going to lead me.]

(79.) Darondo – Listen To My Song: The Music City Sessions / Big Beat Records / 2015
[10-track LP on brown translucent vinyl, limited to 1200 copies and features Darondo’s most well-known songs, “Didn’t I” and “Listen To My Song” and previously unissued songs from the 1973-74 sessions. William Daron Pulliam (October 5, 1946 – June 9, 2013), who performed in the 1970s under the name Darondo, was a funk and soul singer from the San Francisco Bay Area. Although he is not widely recognized today, serious enthusiasts of the soul genre consistently rate him in high regard. The mythology surrounding Darondo describes him as a pimp, although he has denied this claim. His performing name is said to have originated as a compliment from a waitress who was fond of his generous tipping habits. Darondo has received more attention in recent years thanks to London DJ Gilles Peterson playing his 1973 single, “Didn’t I” on his BBC Radio 1 program. Recordings of Darondo are available from Luv N Haight, an imprint label of Ubiquity Records. Other works can be purchased from Omnivore Recordings. He also hosted a public broadcasting music video program where he did comedy skits and gave love advice in a segment called “Penthouse Letters” which can be found on YouTube. He died of heart failure in 2013.]

(80.) Wire – That’s My Bike / Pink Flag / April 13, 2015
[14th studio album from English rock band, formed in London in October 1976 by Colin Newman (vocals, guitar), Graham Lewis (bass, vocals), Bruce Gilbert (guitar), and Robert Gotobed (drums). They were originally associated with the punk rock scene, appearing on The Roxy London WC2 album—a key early document of the scene—and were later central to the development of post-punk.]

(81.) Via Luna – Heavy Light EP / Via Luna / June 26, 2015
[2nd EP from instrumental post rock – math rock band from Kansas City. from by Gregory Baker on guitar, Christopher Gordon on guitar, Mike McDonough on drums, Blain Bridges on bass. Heavy Light was engineered, mixed and mastered by Mike McDonough at Clockwork Audio Production.]

(82.) Christian Hankel – Silver: Music From The Noir Ballet / Money Wolf Music / July 17, 2015
[Shay Estes on vocals, Desmond Mason on keys, Johnny Hamil on upright bass, Timm Gillespie on tenor sax, Rich Wheeler on tenor sax, Brenna Hayes on bari sax, Kyle Dahlquist on trombone, Jerod Rivers on drums and percussion. Additional keys from Richard Walker, and additional drums from Terre Norton. Written and arranged by Christian Hankel. Produced by Christian Hankel and Jerod Rivers. Engineered and mixed by Jerod Rivers at Sangha Studios, KCMO, Mastered by Patrick Meagher at Fuzz Bomb, KCMO.]

(83.) stik figa x D/Will – JOBB / Independent / September 18, 2015
[All songs written by Stik Figa. All songs produced, mixed and mastered by D/WILL. Stik Figa is a prolific MC and wordsmith from Topeka, Kansas. He was raised in Memphis. He has been featured on NPR and 2DopeBoyz. After signing with Mello Music Group, he released “As Himself” a project drawing from his unique perspective and background. On March 31, 2015 he released, Stik Figa Is Not Quite Himself, produced by Leonard DStroy.]

(84.) Mysterious Clouds – Vibrations: Shake the Path / Haymaker Records / May 12, 2015
[co-released by Montamusic and Haymaker Records on cassette, with a limited run of 50. Mixed in mono “under psychedelic instructions …to capture those heavenly vintage vibes.” A project of Monta At Odds members Dedric and Delany Moore with Aaron Osborne (of Expo 70), and Jonathan Thatch of (HMPH!)]

(85.) Speedy Ortiz – Foil Deer / Carpark Records / April 20, 2015
[Northampton, Massachusetts, indie rock band that originated in 2011 as Sadie Dupuis’ solo project while she was teaching songwriting at a summer camp, recording her own material using her laptop. Two releases resulted from this solo endeavor, the Cop Kicker EP, and the album, The Death of Speedy Ortiz. The project expanded into a full band in late 2011. The group independently released “Taylor Swift” b/w “Swim Fan,” recorded by Paul Q Kolderie, which was followed by 2012’s Sports, released on Exploding in Sound Records. Their debut album, as a band, Major Arcana, was released on Carpark Records in 2013. In 2014, guitarist Matt Robidoux was replaced by fellow Massachusetts musician Devin McKnight of Grass is Green.]

(86.) Ducktails – St. Catherine / Domino Recording Group / July 24, 2015
[5th studio album from Psychedelic pop band from New Jersey, formed in 2006. Initially the solo recording project of Real Estate’s guitarist Matt Mondanile, the band also includes Josh de Costa (bass) and Ross Chait (drums).]

(87.) Jose Gonzalez – Vestiges & Claws / Imperial Recordings – Mute / February 17, 2015
[Jose Gonzalez’s first self-production and his first to feature all original material. Sessions took place in Gothenburg, Sweden, in his home kitchen and at Svenska Grammofonstudion. Swedish indie folk singer-songwriter and guitarist from Gothenburg, Sweden. González is also a member of the Swedish band Junip, along with Tobias Winterkorn.]

(88.) Sharon Van Etten – I Don’t Want to Let You Down – EP / Jagjaguar / June 9, 2015
[Brooklyn based singer–songwriter. She moved to Tennessee to attend Middle Tennessee State University and studied recording, but dropped out of college after a year. Van Etten ending up working at the Red Rose, a coffee and record shop and music venue in Murfreesboro, for about five years. Van Etten said she was writing songs then, but did not perform publicly. Van Etten said her boyfriend at the time wasn’t very supportive of her and didn’t think highly of her musical abilities. After six years of what she now describes as an abusive relationship, she moved back to New Jersey to live with her parents.After moving back home to New Jersey and working at Perryville Wine and Spirits, Van Etten saved up enough money to move to Brooklyn in 2005,where she was encouraged by Kyp Malone of TV on the Radio to pursue a career in music. Malone said she’d approached him at one of his shows and gave him a CD-R of her songs. Van Etten was friends with Malone’s brother, Colin, in high school. Malone normally doesn’t listen to fan submissions, but he enjoyed her work. “Really very arresting. She just sends me,” he said. Malone ended up playing Van Etten on his Guest DJ set for NPR’s All Songs Considered.Van Etten said that Jeffrey Davison, a deejay on WFMU who has a show called Shrunken Planet, was the first person to play one of her homemade CDs on his show. Van Etten has become close to Davison and his wife, who have her over for record listening evenings.]

(89.) Lower Dens – Escape from Evil / Ribbon Music / March 31, 2015
[3rd album from indie rock band from Baltimore, Maryland, formed in 2010 by Jana Hunter, Geoff Graham, Abram Sanders & Will Adams. Band released their debut on Gnomonsong and follow up on Ribbon Music.]

(90.) Toughies – Tough Enough EP / Independent / September 25, 2015
[4-piece, Lawrence, band formed in 2015 by, Brad Girard, Joe Gronniger, Caroline Lohrenz and Carl Smith.]
[Toughies played an EP RELEASE Show September 25, at Replay Lounge, with Dreamgirl and Maybe Not]

(91.) Arc Flash – Black Market Time Tech / Independent / March 10, 2015
[“The three members are very complex. Guitarist and vocalist James Thomblison, often clad in a vibrant sweater dress while playing, represents the neutral side of this equation. Drummer Mark Osman tends to speak more positively, while bassist Lewis Guillen is a tad touchy, moody, even pessimistic at times.” – Fally Afani, Lawrence Journal-World, May 13, 2015]

(92.) Bummer – Spank / High Dive Records / July 14, 2015
[Neanderthal music from Olathe Kansas. Bummer is Matt Perrin, vocals and guitar, Mike Gustafson bass and Sam Hutchinson, drums. Recorded at Westend Recording Studios by Justin Mantooth, who also mixed and co-produced the recordings with the band. Bummer joined us on WMM on July 15.]

(93.) The Sluts – The Sluts / Independent / June 17, 2015
[Debut full-length from alternative rock / rock & roll / garage rock / grunge pop – Lawrence based band. All songs written and performed by The Sluts. The Sluts are Ryan Wise on guitar & vocals, and Kristoffer Dover on drums. Produced, Recorded, Mixed & Mastered by Joel Nanos at Element Recording Studios in Kansas City, MO. The band is the winner of the 2014 Pitch Music Award for Best Punk Band.]

(94.) The Roseline – Townie / Independent / June 19, 2015
[4th album from Lawrence, Kansas, based alt-country/Americana rock band, formed by Colin Halliburton with friends in 2005. The Roseline has been through dozens of lineup changes. The current lineup has been together for about two months: Halliburton on guitar; Kris Losure on guitar, Aaron Pando on drums, Sam Goodellon keyboards, and Heidi Gluck on bass.]

(95.) Ghastly Menace – Songs of Ghastly Menace / The Record Machine / January 27, 2015
[6-piece band made up of: Andy Schroeder, Chris Geick, Pat Lawlor, Kody Nixon, Michael Heringhaus, and Clint Weber. Formed in Chicago, IL. in 2010, initially the group started as a recording project between two friends. Songs of Ghastly Menace, marks the group’s first full band effort. Recorded in collaboration with songwriter/producer Nigel Dennis. ]

(96.) Julian Davis – Who Walks In, When I Walk Out / Little Class Records / Dec 18, 2015
[16 year old Kansas State youth Flatpicking Champion, from Pittsburg, Kansas.]

(97.) The Waspmen – First Stings First / Independent / March 14, 2015
[Ian Griggs on vocals, Elan Portnoy on guitar, Jim McCormack on bass, and Dave Storms on drums. The Waspmen joined us live on WMM on March 11.]

(98.) Sad American Night – One of These Bright Mornings / Indep / November 6, 2014
[Sad American Night is Andrew Langford on drums, Sam Avery on bass, Chris Martin on keyboards, Rachel Christia on vocals, Gavin Snider on vocals & guitar. For more information:]

(99.) Slow Motion Commotion – The Day’s Not Over Until You Fall Asleep / Indep / November 1, 2015
[Kansas City based acoustic-folk-punk band, Slow Motion Commotion join us in the studio. on Octoer 14. Formed by Ian Johnson on vocals, banjo, & harmonica and Shane Deaver on vocals, guitar & mandolin. For their new, 15-track album, they’ve added drums, piano, violin, and Taylor Gwin on stand-up bass, making the band a trio now! Slow Motion Commotion joined us live on WMM on October 14.]

(100.) Jason Vivone & The Billy Bats – The Avenue / Independent / November 6, 2015
[3rd Release from International Blues Competition Finalists: Jason Vivone (vocals, guitar, mandolin, harp, cigarbox guitar, diddley bow, piano) Matt Bustamante (vocals, drums) Paula Crawford (vocals, guitar) Rick MacIvor (keyboards)]

(101.) Duncan Burnett & The Ministry – LIVE / Independent / July 4, 2015
[Duncan Burnett & The Ministry recorded Live At Riot Room In Kansas City, Mo. Duncan Burnett on vocals, Mandy Burnett on vocals, Justin Curry on MD/Keyboards/Programmer, Ryan J. Lee on bass, Greg Baker on guitar, Vincent Footz Williams on drums.]

(102.) Monophonics – Sound of Sinning / Transistor Sounds / April 14, 2015
[Psychedelic Soul from San Francisco, CA from; Austin Bohlman on drums, Kelly Finnigan on vocals & keyboards, Ian McDonald on electric guitar & electric sitar & backing vocals, Myles O’Mahony on electric bass & backing vocals, Ryan Scott on trumpet and backing vocals.]

(103.) Hot Chip – Why Make Sense? (Deluxe Edition) / Domino Recording Company / May 15, 2015
[British electronic music band formed in London, in 2000. They have released six studio albums: Coming on Strong (2004), The Warning (2006), Made in the Dark (2008), One Life Stand (2010), In Our Heads (2012), and Why Make Sense? (2015). The group has also been nominated for the Mercury Prize.]

(104.) Jill Scott – Woman / Blues Babe Records / July 24, 2015
[5th studio album by American singer, model and actress, born in Philadelphia, Pemmsylvania,April 4, 1972. Her 2000 debut, Who Is Jill Scott? Words and Sounds Vol. 1, went platinum.]

(105.) Kate Pierson – Guitars and Microphones / Lazy Meadow Music / February 17, 2015
[Vocalist, lyricist, lead singer & founding members of The B-52’s w/ Cindy Wilson, Fred Schneider, Ricky Wilson, Keith Strickland. She played guitar, bass & keyboards. She has recorded songs with The Ramones, REM, Iggy Pop, David Byrne . In February 2015, Pierson released her 1st solo album, Guitars and Microphones, featuring material co-written by Sia Furler. She is the owner of Kate’s Lazy Desert in Landers, California and Kate’s Lazy Meadow in Mount Tremper, New York, a rustic modern lodge in New York’s Catskill Mountains. She operates the businesses with her partner, Monica Coleman. Pierson & Coleman have been together since 2003.]

(106.) Eleni Mandell – Dark Lights Up / Yep Roc / July 24, 2015
[10th studio album from L.A. based singer/songwriter Eleni Mandell. Since 2000, she has published albums through Zedtone Records in Toronto, Ontario, which in 2012 began licensing her releases to Yep Roc in the United States, and Make My Day in Europe. She is also a member of folk supergroup The Living Sisters with Inara George and Becky Stark. Mandell attended punk and underground rock shows while growing up in Los Angeles in the 1980s. She was inspired as a young songwriter by Tom Waits, X, Bob Dylan, Leonard Cohen, and Randy Newman. Chuck E. Weiss, a socialite musician and associate of Tom Waits, was a mentor to Mandell. Eleni Mandell’s first album, Wishbone (1998), was produced by Jon Brion. Her second album, Thrill, was released in 2000, earning her comparisons to PJ Harvey and Tom Waits. ]

(107.) Jacco Gardner – Hypnophobia / Polyvinyl / 2015
[2nd full-length album from Jacco Gardner, a baroque pop multi instrumentalist from the Netherlands town of Hoorn. He creates a unique sound by combining the sounds of harpsichord, strings, flutes and other classical instruments with raw psychedelic effects.]

(108.) Ork Records: New York, New York / Numero Group / October 30, 2015
[The New York Times talked with Richard Lloyd, guitarist for the band Television who lived with Mr. Ork during Television’s early years. “He was a communist the way Christ was a communist,” Mr. Lloyd said. “He wanted everybody to have everything. The revolution he planned took place. Spread to England, then spread back over to America, to L.A., Minneapolis, Seattle.”” William Terry Ork was an American band manager and record producer for the new wave/punk music scene in New York City in the mid 1970s. Ork is associated with the success of the club CBGB as manager for punk band Television and musician Richard Hell. Ork arrived in New York City in 1968 to help Andy Warhol with Warhol’s movies. While working as the manager of a film bookstore called Cinemabilia, Ork met Billy Ficca, Tom Verlaine and Hell of the Neon Boys and introduced them to Richard Lloyd. Ork began managing the new band when they reformed as Television. In 1975, he founded Ork Records which released Television’s Little Johnny Jewel (1975), Richard Hell’s Blank Generation, The Marbles’ Red Light (1979) and Mick Farren’s Lost Johnny, among other recordings. Farren said, “Terry Ork was an idealist, as true to the punk ethic as you could be, which means that when it all started getting slick, and the bands were getting deals, Terry was left behind.” He died in San Diego on October 20, 2004. In the 2013 film CBGB, Ork was portrayed by Johnny Galecki.]

(109.) Laurie Anderson – Heart of a Dog / Nonesuch / October 23, 2015
[The complete soundtrack recording of Laurie Anderson’s newest film, Heart of a Dog. Anderson was recently commissioned by the European TV network Arte to create a feature film — her first in 30 years. Her response was a personal essay entitled Heart of a Dog, a work encompassing joy and heartbreak and remembering and forgetting, at the heart of which is a lament for her late beloved piano-playing and finger-painting dog Lolabelle. Scenes range from realistic footage from the animal’s life to imagined scenes of Lolabelle’s passage through the bardo. It also includes other reflections on life and death including Anderson’s experiences in life in downtown New York after 9/11. The Nonesuch album is the full audio recording of the film, including all music and spoken text. Heart of a Dog has been shown at the Telluride, Venice, and Toronto Film Festivals to critical praise, with the New York Times calling it a “philosophically astute, emotionally charged meditation on death, love, art and dogs.” The movie will be screened at the New York Film Festival on October 8, before opening theatrically at New York’s Film Forum October 21. It also will be shown on HBO in early 2016. ]

(110.) THEESatisfaction – EarthEE / Sub Pop / February 24, 2015
[2nd album from Seattle, Washington based R&B and hip hop duo formed by rapper Stasia “Stas” Irons and singer Catherine “Cat” Harris-White. Irons was born and raised in Tacoma, while Harris-White was born and raised in Hawaii and Seattle. The duo met in 2008 while attending the University of Washington. Irons, the rapper of the duo, frequented Harris-White’s open mic performances. Irons recalls, “I was attracted to Cat’s voice, I would go to the open mic and close my eyes and zone out whenever she sang. I finally had the courage to speak to her… it took a while.” In 2011, Sub Pop Records signed the duo after hearing their guest track on Shabazz Palaces’ 2011 album Black Up. The duo released their debut full length album, awE NaturalE, on Sub Pop Records March 27, 2012. THEESatifaction opened for Sleater-Kinney at The Uptown, on April 26, 2015]

(111.) Fun Home (A New Broadway Musical) / PS Classics / May 19, 2015
[Fun Home is a musical adapted by Lisa Kron and Jeanine Tesori from Alison Bechdel’s 2006 graphic memoir of the same name. As in the book, the story concerns the father-daughter relationship between Alison Bechdel and her father Bruce Bechdel. It has been called “the first mainstream musical about a young lesbian.” Writer/artist Alison Bechdel’s book Fun Home, a memoir in comics format, was published in 2006 to critical acclaim. Its subject is Alison Bechdel’s coming of age, with particular emphasis on her relationship to her father, Bruce Bechdel. Alison’s coming out as a lesbian is complicated by the revelation that Bruce had also had homosexual relationships, including encounters with males below the age of consent. Four months after Alison comes out to her parents, Bruce is killed by an oncoming truck; although the evidence is equivocal, Alison concludes that he committed suicide.]

(112.) Tall Tales – It’s Just A Game EP / Independent / May 19, 2015
[Kansas City band formed in 2014 with Jack Ingram on vocals, Andrew Hosler on drums, Rylan Fisher on guitar, and Tommy O’Halloran on bass.]

(113.) Purity Ring – Another Eternity / 4AD / February 27, 2015
[Canadian indie electronic band based out of Montreal who formed in 2010. The band consists of two members: Megan James (vocals) and Corin Roddick (instrumentals).]

(114.) Girlpool – Before The World Was Big / Wichita Recordings / June 2, 2015
[Debut album from the Los Angelous, California Punk Rock duo of Cleo Tucker on guitar, vocals; and Harmony Tividad on bass, vocals. Cleo and Harmony are 18 and 19 years old. The band does not have a drummer. ]

(115.) Daptone Gold II / Daptone Records / September 18, 2015
[Daptone Gold II, is the soul label’s second greatest hits compilation featuring Sharon Jones and the Dap-Kings, Charles Bradley, the Budos Band, Antibalas and more. The follow-up to the label’s acclaimed Daptone Gold collection in 2009, the double-LP set features many of Daptone’s favorite tracks alongside rarities and unreleased cuts. In addition to 16 of Daptone’s greatest hits from throughout the label’s 13-year history, the compilation also includes three non-LP tracks that were only released as 45-rpm singles – Sharon Jones & The Dap-Kings’ “Little Boys With Shiny Toys,” Charles Bradley and LaRose Jackson’s “Luv Jones” and the Como Mamas’ “Out Of The Wilderness” – plus two unreleased cuts: The Dap-Kings’ “Thunderclap” and Naomi Shelton & The Gospel Queens’ “You Got To Move.”]

Please tune into Wednesday MidDay Medley throughout December as we present our 4-week special: The 115 Best Recordings of 2015 on December 9th, 16th, 23rd, and 30th.

Sources for notes: artist’s websites, bios,

Wednesday MidDay Medley in on the web:,,