From the Laszlo EP: Turning Tide: candyrat.com
Performed by the Lydian Collective: facebook.com
Aaron ‘Laszlo’ Wheeler - Keyboards, MPC, Kalimba (Composer)
Todd Baker - Guitar (Audio / Visual Production)
Ida Hollis - Bass Guitar
Sophie Alloway - Drums
The Lydian Collective are a group of London-based musicians that perform live versions of the diverse instrumental music released under the Lydian Label. Featuring arrangements from the likes of Laszlo and Musicbox, the Lydian Collective explore the compositions in a more organic context, hopefully giving you a deeper insight into the compositional roots of the studio music.
Some straight-up white people folk music, with a dry North Dakota edge to it, from Tom Brosseau, a true original.
Tom Brosseau possesses one of the most arresting voices in folk music today. Many people who hear him sing, without knowing his name or face, assume the voice belongs to a woman, as he hovers somewhere around the countertenor range, with an unusually pure tone.
The beauty of Brosseau’s voice is magnified in this Tiny Desk Concert by the spare accompaniment of two acoustic guitars. Brosseau is on rhythm, accompanied by Sean Watkins. Watkins, who also plays and sings with Nickel Creek, produced and plays on Brosseau’s new album, Grass Punks.
Brosseau is unabashedly sentimental and earnest. It informs his plainspoken story-songs, which find beauty and light in heartfelt themes of love and yearning. But Brosseau also possesses a wry sense of humor; you can hear as much in “Cradle Your Device,” a playful take-down of modern technology. The next song he performs, “Stuck on the Roof Again,” tells a true story about the octogenarian newspaper columnist Marilyn Hagerty, who got stuck on the roof of her home in Grand Forks, N.D., after a heavy snowstorm.
Brosseau closes his set with “Today Is a Bright New Day,” a wistful reflection on lost love and the belief that no matter our past disappointments or missteps, the future is full of hope and opportunity. —ROBIN HILTON
“Cradle Your Device”
“Stuck On The Roof Again”
“Today Is A Bright New Day”
Producers: Denise DeBelius, Robin Hilton; Audio Engineer: Kevin Wait; Videographers: Denise DeBelius, Gabriella Garcia-Pardo, Olivia Merrion; photo by Jim Tuttle/NPR
Courtney Barnett can tell you a story like she’s your best friend — provided your best friend is a funny poet with an Australian accent. Listen to “Avant Gardener,” an autobiographical account of trying to turn a life around through gardening, only to be foiled by a severe allergic reaction. The tale that follows at this Tiny Desk Concert, “History Eraser,” is a ramble in an alcohol-fueled dream state; it features some of the best lyric-writing in music today. Here’s a sample from that song:
“I found an Ezra Pound and made a bet that if I found a cigarette I’d drop it all and marry you. Just then a song comes on: “You can’t always get what you want” — The Rolling Stones, oh, woe is we, the irony! The Stones became the moss and once all inhibitions lost, the hipsters made a mission to the farm. We drove by tractor there, the yellow straw replaced our hair, we laced the dairy river with the cream of sweet vermouth.”
The only downside for a fan like me is that these songs have been kicking around my head for more than a year. As she played them, I found myself hoping for something new, too. And so it was that Barnett graced the Tiny Desk with a brand-new tune, not yet on a record, about a suburb near Melbourne known as Preston; it’s a song about house-hunting that she appropriately calls “Depreston.” The song is thoughtful, acerbic and funny, just like the woman who sings it. —BOB BOILEN
Producers: Bob Boilen, Denise DeBelius; Audio Engineer: Kevin Wait; Videographers: Denise DeBelius, Gabriella Garcia-Pardo, Olivia Merrion; photo by Jim Tuttle/NPR
Soul singer Mayer Hawthorne was one of the most played artists on KCRW last year. He brings a full band for his live performance on Morning Becomes Eclectic.
Watch / Listen to the full session here: kcrw.com