Playlist: Music Station Picks for March '10
Compiled By: PRX Curators
Here are March picks for music stations from PRX Music Format Curator David Srebnik of Virtuoso Voices.
Suggestions from David:
"Are you on Twitter? PRX is on Twitter — I've found it to be an invaluable programming resource, providing information and updates on new program that are available on PRX. It's like getting an instant update from PRX without having to go to the PRX site.
"One PRX Twitter feed contains a link to each new PRX piece.
"The second PRX feed tells you which programs have been bought in real time."
From Alex Goldmark | 04:14
This is terrific.
For radio professionals and lifelong radio learners, this is a template for the first-person vignette, audio postcard and radio story telling.
For your listeners, it’s a way in to meet Joshua Nelson, an African-American Jew (aka “The Prince of Kosher Gospel”), who brings additional soul to Jewish soul music.
Covers all of the musical and theological bases – like, how do you merge the gospel, or gospel music, with Jewish liturgical songs.
It would be a sin to only air this piece during Black History Month, Jewish History Month etc.
From Feet in Two Worlds | 07:27
Ewa Kern-Jedrychowska profiles the contemporary music group from Poland, The Warsaw Village Band. Their music treads wonderfully on both sides of the Polish music tradition - creating an enchanting look into the past, while also moving the traditional harmonies and story telling forward by calling on a variety of "World Music" influences including Indian Ragas and a lot of American Blues.
Suitable for news/music stations, eclectic music and AAA formats. If there's a strong Polish community in your market...jackpot(!).
The Warsaw Village Band Inspires Fans, But Some Polish Immigrants Turn a Deaf Ear
Can traditional Polish music sound funky? Or Asian? Or bluesy? The members of the Warsaw Village Band think it can. When the six-piece band was founded 12 years ago, its young members visited Polish villages to gather vanishing songs from elderly musicians. Later these melodies became the inspiration for a new modern and eclectic style of music.
Today the Warsaw Village Band has fans all over the world. They call themselves barbarians playing hardcore folk. Recently the American magazine PopMatters named the band’s latest CD “Infinity” the top World Music album for 2009.
But while American audiences welcome the band’s innovative ideas, New York’s Polish immigrant community has had a mixed reaction.
Young Poles are enthusiastic, but older immigrants are skeptical, seeing the Warsaw Village Band’s innovative mix of styles as a blow to traditional Polish folk music.
From Boyce Lancaster | 58:57
This is a recently produced bio of a music-maker and history-maker featuring rare performances by pianist Earl Wild. (He died January 23, 2010.)
Although pianist Earl Wild is rarely placed at the top of the list of keyboard giants from this or recent generations, he does own a place in music history and American history. (He played for six presidents and played the National Anthem at Eleanor Roosevelt’s frequent speaking events.)
WOSU Host Boyce Lancaster profiles Earl Wild's historic place and brand of musicianship in performances from a 2005 recital. This mostly music bio also includes Wild’s thoughts and reflections on his musical development and career path, including his fun, virtuosic but artful, piano transcriptions.
Technically, the performances (Beethoven, Albinoni, Chopin and Liszt) are, at times, uneven. But the Wild stamp, musical understanding and personality are all there.
Earl Wild was a serious musician who never pushed himself on the classical music world. But when that world called on him, he knew what and how to deliver.
Suitable for all stations with a classical music component – ideal for afternoons, evenings and all weekend long.
Pianist Earl Wild Performed for six U.S. Presidents fromHerbert Hoover to Lyndon Johnson, including a memorable performance at J.F.K.'s inauguration. Mr. Wild performed before royalty and heads of state, but he was happy to play for anyone who loved music. Earl Wild received an enthusiastic welcome at the Concertgebouw Amsterdam as he presented a recital to celebrate his 90th birthday. Here is that performance, recorded by Radio Netherlands Worldwide. Boyce Lancaster has produced this 59:00 special interspersed with comments by Earl Wild about his life and career.
From Media Mechanics | 58:59
That ultimate musical question...what if the composers-who-died-too-young had lived longer, what would they have done next?
Rock legend and icon Jimi Hendrix died when he was 27 – what was next?
If you've only heard of him, but never heard him play...if you've only heard "Purple Haze," "Are You Experienced" or the Woodstock closing anthem, "Star Spangled Banner," then this program offers both plenty of welcome, and there's plenty of juice for Hendrix fans and those of your listeners hungry for substantial music.
"Valleys of Neptune" is the title track from a soon to be released CD, and the name of this Hendrix tribute program from Ben Manilla.
It answers the “what was next” question, laying out the new direction Hendrix was taking with his music.
Never-before-released songs are heard here -- some of which are on the “miss” side of “hit and miss”, but most often these new songs are within the "must hear" realm.
Family, friends, colleagues, mentors and engineers associated with this music (1969 - 1970) tell Jimi’s story, and it’s absolutely riveting.
I know this program will be a tough fit on some stations – the music does stand out...it isn't like a lot of music you hear today...it is loud...
You don’t have to be an old or middle-aged Hippie to feel and appreciate Hendrix, and your station might find that this showcase of innovative music from 1969-70 has a contemporary sound and place in 2010.
Jimi Hendrix was very busy in 1969. Coming off the success of the number 1 album, Electric Ladyland, Hendrix had developed a reputation as both a masterful showman and a brilliant experimentalist.
That year, Jimi built his own recording studio, closed the show at Woodstock, and recorded with a new group, The Band of Gypsys. All the while, he kept up a busy touring schedule and recorded constantly.
Unlike contemporary artists like The Beatles and Bob Dylan, Hendrix was not contractually obligated to record at a specific studio. Consequently, he could record wherever he pleased and would grab studio time where and when he could.
Valleys of Neptune is a chronicle of Jimi's studio experiments in 1969 and 70. He seemed to have two goals: to perfect some of his earlier material (which he thought to be uneven) and to find a new musical direction.
The new CD contains examples of both - updated recordings of songs like Fire, Red House and Stone Free along with studio renditions of live staples like Hear My Train A Comin' and Bleeding Heart combined with new material: Valleys of Neptune, Lullaby for the Summer, and Crying Blue.
The Valleys of Neptune radio special contains new interviews with Jimi's sister, Janie; his bass player and Army buddy, Billy Cox; his recording engineer, Eddie Kramer; his biographer, John McDermott; and Andy Fairweather Low who toured with Hendrix in 1967 and sings on the previously-unreleased version of Stone Free.
These twelve previously-unreleased recordings help answer the question: where was Jimi headed next?
The radio special provides a glimpse into a musical genius and gives listeners a behind-the-scenes look at some "new" recordings by the man who changed forever the electric guitar.
From Joyride Media | 59:01
"The reason the band stayed together is because everybody's different."
This is more of a documentary on the Chieftains and the ups, downs and historic development of Irish Music, than a St. Patrick's Day party.
Still, it's musically festive and fun, and the stories behind those ups and downs are interesting - making this a viable option for news stations with doc slots, and for any station with a world music or AAA component.
Many, many musical highlights, but Sting and the Chieftains singing the traditional Irish tune "Mo Ghile Mear" should set your table nicely, if not divinely. Ditto...Allison Krauss and "Molly Bán."
The program was originally produced in 2006, so there are a few outdated time references that are of minimal distraction.
More exceptional radio entertainment and expertise from Joyride Media.
THE CHIEFTAINS RADIO SPECIAL PLEASE CONSIDER SCHEDULING THIS PROGRAM AROUND ST. PATRICK S DAY The audio for this program is now available. PRSS Feed: Wed, March 8, 1600 ET Program ID: 06-000-00198 Channel: A72.7 Stereo One-hour music documentary salutes The Chieftains, Ireland's musical ambassadors to the world. You'll hear music they've recorded throughout their storied career, interviews with the band, comments and tributes from Celtic music historians and special guest artists who have joined them over the years - including Alison Krauss, Ricky Skaggs and Don Meade. Host: Acclaimed Celtic singer/songwriter Susan McKeown Producer: Paul Chuffo, Joyride Media Length: 59 mins with top/bottom of hour breaks Broadcast window: March - April, 2006 Terms: Free for all USA radio stations Contact: Andy Cahn, email@example.com, 201-386-1736
When the antique and the quirky collide with the 21st century and high tech, you get something called the Orchestrion, a mechanical orchestra that sounds part Wurlitzer, part circus organ and part orchestra.
John Diliberto showcases a giant modern day version of the Orchestrion, an instrument that “flourished in the 19th and early 20th century” on this edition from the Echo Location: Soundings for New Music series.
"An orchestrion is a generic name for a machine that plays music and is designed to sound like an orchestra or band." (Wikipedia)
This piece does a good job of tracing the Orchestrion's history and background, shows off its oddities and somewhat bizarre leanings. But it is also an instrument capable of rising above the bizarre, especially when the Orchestrion is being orchestrated by guitar legend Pat Metheny.
As you'll hear.
That contrast between the instrument's cavalcade of cacophony and Metheny's artistry creates the real payoff.
Well written, assembled and produced – and all in 3:30. This merging of the old and unusual with our high tech fused society has the potential to make a good fit within your local programming containing an arts, music and high tech component.
But, I would not underestimate its pure entertainment component as well.
Acclaimed jazz guitarist Pat Metheny plugs to the Orchestrion, a massive instrument based on the old player piano orchestrations of yore.
It's part of Echo Location: Soundings for New Music, the weekly digest from Echoes host and Peabody Award winning producer John Diliberto, exploring the latest in modern music with quick hitting interviews, music and commentary. Each edition of Echo Location features a beautifully edited music blend, that's combined with John's thoughtful insights and artists's comments to make a sound-rich journey for listeners. Each episode can stand on its own or be scheduled as a weekly or occasional series.