Monthly Archives: May 2009

BTR Live Studio: Chase Pagan

On today’s show we’re featuring an in studio performance and interview with songwriter and multi-instrumentalist Chase Pagan. His new album Bells & Whistles will be available on June 9th! Chase recently visited our studios while in New York City and performed a handful of live in studio songs for us. He is a true delight! I think you’re going to really dig today’s broadcast so do stay tuned in. Check out the session here!

You can catch Chase Pagan live in the flesh for youself at these upcoming shows:

6/4 @ George’s Majestic Lounge – Fayetteville, AR

6/5 @ Vinos (CD RELEASE) – Little Rock, AR

6/6 @ Uncommon Grounds (CD RELEASE) – Harrison, AR

Enjoy! –  Maia

Bay Area Live: The Blank Tapes, Paranoids and more!


The Blank Tape

The first Bay Area Live with DJ Olivia Parriott joining DJ Mike G! As such, Olivia digs into her archives and plays us some oldies but goodies, as well as brand new live tracks from record release parties for the Bay Area’s hottest new albums. Check out the show here!

More Blank Tapes live dates:

May 28 2009 – cloud hidden house – Las Vegas, NV
May 30 2009 – Back to the Grind – Riverside, CA
May 31 2009 – TRASHed @ the CAMP – Costa Mesa, CA
Jun 20 2009 – NXNE @ cadillac lounge – Toronto, Ontario Canada
Jun 28 2009 – Blue Six – San Francisco, CA
Jul 1 2009 – Jupiter lounge – Oakland, CA
Jul 11 2009 – Mission Creek Music Festival @ Abco Art Space – Oakland, CA

Citizen Radio: Full Hour with Janeane Garofalo!

May 27, 2009

Comic and activist Janeane Garofalo joins Citizen Radio to talk about the media, Republicans, feminism, and what makes her happy. Check out the show here!

Janeane talks about her own experience with crazy right-wing protesters, Wanda Sykes, censorship, and being an anti-war voice in the mainstream media.

Though she’s a proud liberal, Janeane also has a few harsh words for Barack Obama about his timidity in prosecuting Bush officials for war crimes, and his abandonment of the gay community.

Upcoming guests on Citizen Radio include Howard Zinn, Matt Taibbi, Glenn Greenwald, and Jeremy Scahill.

Artist of the Week: Blake Miller

Until a few short weeks ago, I’d never heard of Blake Miller.  I was going through my usual Tuesday ritual of going through all the new albums and songs on the roster for that week.  I listen to quite a lot of new music, so an artist or band I’ve never heard of needs to stand out quickly, in order for me to stay interested.  Most times, I’ll listen to the first minute of a song and hit next without giving it another thought.  When I saw Blake Miller’s Burn Tape, I assumed it would be some sort of singer/songwriter nonsense.  In a sense, that was true.  But, instead of switching to something else after a minute into the first track, I listened to “This Morning” in its entirety, and in fact, the rest of the album.  I couldn’t stop listening, and it’s been on pretty heavy rotation ever since.

Miller is a twenty-two year old artist from Portland, Oregon who received his first Pitchfork review when he was nineteen.  They gave his first album a 7.4 in 2006, and he’s gone almost entirely under the radar since then.  His 2008 release, Burn Tape, received rave reviews on a few random blogs, but Miller is otherwise virtually unknown.  This is completely ridiculous, and if there’s any justice in the music world, it will hopefully change soon.  As for influences, Miller usually garners comparisons to Devendra Banhart.  They have similar projects, though I hear him more as a cross between Destroyer, and early Bright Eyes.

The reason Miller’s album captured me so quickly was the unspeakably gentle production and philosophical subtlety of the first song, “This Morning.”  The guitar track and two layers of vocals quickly make a beautiful chant of a song, repeating over and over “Maybe this is what life is all about- meaningful and complex.”  Miller never says what he means by “this,” but you can hear what he’s thinking in his voice and in the music.  The second track on Burn Tape is what truly hooked me.  “In the Danger” is a little less, ethereal, but still begins with a strange human whistling in the distance.  Then, suddenly, a happily arpeggiated acoustic guitar comes in, and before you know it you’re in the middle of an upbeat chorus with dreamy vocals and a sugary-sweet whistled melody.  It’s the perfect mixture of teenage hopefulness and post-collegiate melancholy.  Ultimately, Miller’s music does what great music ought to do: it expresses something about the human condition that words alone can’t quite articulate.

Another reason why Miller’s music is so refreshing is its truly lo-fi production.  There’s a lot of very young people making lo-fi music right now.  The likes of Wavves and Vivian Girls come to mind.  While I really do respect and appreciate that so-called “lo-fi” scene, at some point you have to wonder what “lo-fi” really means to them, and to us.  It seems like every band that comes out with almost unlistenable post-punk songs immediately gets attention from the blogosphere.  Should we really be holding ourselves to the standard of “if something sounds like it was recorded in a bedroom, then it’s good?”  Blake Miller certainly recorded most of his albums in his bedroom on his own, but the effect is something completely different.  His music is lo-fi because it has to be recorded on a minimal budget, not because he wants to fit into a certain aesthetic (at least that’s what it sounds like to me).  This allows him to pay incredible attention to the sounds and instrumentation, instead of making the production just sound like he doesn’t care, in the vein of Wavves’ brand of lo-fi.  The result is an album that has the intimacy of a good lo-fi record, but the kind of lo-fi that actually makes sense with kind of music Miller is producing.  A fantastic effort from an artist who I hope turns out to be a strong voice of indie folk music in the years to come.  Make sure to check out Miller’s gorgeous, pensive tunes on BTR all this week!

MB: You seem to get a lot of comparisons to Devendra Banhart and are often classified as “freak folk.” What would you classify yourself as? Who are your actual influences?

BM:
My main influence is my own emotions and situations that occur based off those emotions.  I enjoy a lot of old blues and big band jazz. I also enjoy electronic drone sounds. Weird sounds.  Subtle noises.

MB: When did you write your first song? What was it about and how were you inspired to write it?

BM:
My first song that I still remember any way, was about my little brother.  There was some family drama and I was inspired from that to write a song about what was happening.

MB: All of your songs seem very intimate and personal, and they tend to get at the big, existential questions about life. Things that are normally difficult to talk about, but work really well in your music. Is it difficult for you to be so exposed? What’s that like?


BM:
I live my life day to day. I don’t feel exposed but brutally honest.

MB: Pitchfork called you a “naturally gifted young musician.” What’s that like? Is it frustrating that people are always commenting on how young you are? Has it been helpful or interesting in any ways?

BM: I feel old, and it doesnt effect me in any way what so ever.

MB: Are you a student? If so, what’s it like going to school and being a musician at the same time?

BM: I am not a student. But maybe I should go back. I don’t really make any money playing music. But it’s something that has always been there for me and I can’t see myself doing anything else.

MB: Your latest album came out on Exit Stencil records. How did that relationship begin? What made you decide put it out on cassette?


BM:
It was through mutual friends that my demo ended up in the hands of Brandon Stevens and Ryan Weitzel. They really liked what I was doing and wanted to put out an album. I thought the cassette would be cool. A throw back to a more nostalgic time I suppose.

MB: Any plans to go on tour soon? To record some new songs?

BM: I hope I can tour soon. I like to do my own recording, but need some new gear. I’m using a tape recorder right now, maybe I will do a lo-fi album, like really lo-fi. I will always be making music, yes.

MB: What bands have you been listening to lately?

BM:
M83, Sonic Youth, The Cure, and African steel drums.

-Madalyn

BTR Live Studio: Paul & The Patients

Paul & The Patients join us today for an in studio performance and interview. Their debut EP, To The Lions, is released today on American Myth Recordings! Check out the session here!

Head over to Cakeshop in NYC on June 19th for the CD Release show. It’s not to be missed – these guys are AWESOME.

-Maia

Visit Paul & The Patients at the American Myth Site

BTR Live Studio: Katia

Today we’re in the BTR Live Studio with Katia, whose hauntingly beautiful melodies transcend genre.  You won’t want to miss this session- check it out here!

Setlist:

Crush
Interview Part 1
Where I Begin
You
Interview Part 2
Pieces
Interview Part 3
Simple Mind
Love You Right
Interview Part 4
Always Sometimes

Live from Pianos: Shilpa Ray & Her Happy Hookers


We’re totally pumped to be broadcasting a live recording of Shilpa Ray & Her Happy Hookers from Pianos NYC. Part of her residency at Pianos, this was an awesome performance that you won’t want to miss. She’s got one more date scheduled for May 27th at Pianos, so check out the show if you’re in the New York area. Listen to the set here!

Setlist:

Dames A Dime A Dozen
Stick It To The Woman
Heaven In Stereo
Pop Song For Euthanasia
Erotolepsy
Liquidation Sale
Teenage And Torture
Genie’s Drugs
The Coward Cracked The Dawn
Hookers Of Myspace
The Chelsea Clinic Physical