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City Sounds 4/12: Omaha by krkuchta

Listen to WERW's sounds of Omaha this Monday from 11pm-1am


I never thought that any location in Nebraska would be considered a paradise. But in the realm of music, Omaha, Nebraska is an indie paradise. Home of Conor Oberst, Saddle Creek Records and…Conor Oberst (again), who almost hyped up the Omaha scene all by himself. But, of course, one man can’t do it all.

Besides Conor Oberst’s many projects like Bright Eyes, his solo career and the Mystic Valley Band, there have been other huge acts from Omaha. Dance-punk’s The Faint along with the alternative funkiness of 311 have thrown a bit of variety into the Omaha sound. But Omaha’s roots are fairly well planted in alternative, indie and emo. From Cursive to Broken Spindles, it’s heaven out there for any music lover.

That’s not all of course. There’s Digital Leather and the lead singer from Iron Butterfly from the capital of Nebraska! So there isn’t anything you could possibly dislike.

I figured we deserve a trip back to the States after our gig over in Stockholm last Monday. For some good old fashion American emo, listen to City Sounds Monday night from 11pm-1am on WERW.

–Kyle Kuchta

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News of Note: Monsters of Folk at The Greek Theater, Passion Pit Remix Yeah Yeah Yeahs, Arcade Fire Go Orchestral and More! by jluposello
Monsters of Folk

Monsters of Folk played a great set at Greek Theater in L.A.

Indie rock’s Monsters of Folk played a rather monstrous set at the Greek Theater in L.A. this past Sunday, reports RS. The band burned through an impressive 35 songs in less than three hours. The group’s debut full length release dropped about a month ago and was the object of their promotional efforts at the show. The group’s lineup is equally impressive, consisting of My Morning Jacket’s Jim James, She & Him’s M. Ward, and Bright Eyes’ Connor Oberst and Mike Mogis. Their set sampled material from each of the members’ other bands, which alternated with tracks from Monsters’ catalogue.

Stereogum gives us a look at another Passion Pit remix, this time of the Yeah Yeah Yeah’s “Heads Will Roll”. While Karen O was busy at work on the soundtrack of Spike Jonze’s Where the Wild Things Are, Passion Pit turned out a rather dark club rendering of the original, which you can get here.

Arcade Fire’s Richard Peer Parry will be debuting an orchestral piece on October 29th, reports Pitchfork. The piece, entitled “For Heart, Breath, and Orchestra”, will be performed by Parry, Nico Muhly, and the Kitchener-Waterloo Symphony at Toronto’s Royal Conservatory of Music. Parry has announced that, “During the performance, many of the performers wear stethoscopes which enable them to play in sync with their own heartbeats.”

MGMT’s label has confirmed reports by the San Francisco Examiner regarding the title of their upcoming release, says Pitchfork. Little is known about the record, except its title, which is now confirmed to be Congratulations. The duo is reportedly recording in Malibu with Spaceman 3’s Peter “Sonic Boom” Kember. MGMT has been playing a few of the record’s tracks during their gigs this past summer. Check out the videos here.

— John Luposello

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20 Watts Reviews Monsters of Folk’s Self-Titled by Irina Dvalidze
Conor Oberst, Jim James, M. Ward and Mike Mogis Release their first album as Monsters of Folk

Conor Oberst, Jim James, M. Ward and Mike Mogis Release their first album as Monsters of Folk

PREVIEW: DOWNLOAD Monsters of Folk’s “Magic Marker”
WE GIVE IT: 16/20 Watts

In an environment where album release dates are constantly postponed, music is fluffed up with unnecessary clutter and money-making schemes clog releases, it is novel to see noted musicians getting together to not only produce a worthwhile album, but one that exceeds expectations.  Yet, that is precisely what Monsters of Folk, a.k.a. Jim James (Yim Yames) of My Morning Jacket, Conor Oberst and Mike Mogis of Bright Eyes and M. Ward have done with their debut under the moniker.

Monsters of Folk’s self-titled release drops September 22, 2009. While the album was initially slated for release in 2010, this hardworking foursome cranked it out before 2009 ended. Continue reading

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20 Watts Free Beach Playlist by carlywolkoff
20 Watts free beach download is a perfect blend of warm-weather hits.

20 Watts' free beach mix is a perfect blend of warm-weather hits.


I’m going to follow Alex’s lead, but not because I’m an unoriginal poseur, but because I sincerely believe in the power of a kickass playlist.  There is absolutely nothing more precious than music perfectly coinciding with your surroundings, which is why I’m going to share my ideal beach playlist.  Trust me, I tested it this past weekend, and a playlist capable of transforming the Jersey Shore into the ultimate island getaway is worth a listen.

Continue reading

Conor Oberst, “Outer South” (2009) by Trevor Kiv
April 14, 2009, 5:33 pm
Filed under: Free 4 All | Tags: , , , , , , ,

Here we have it, Outer South (Merge 2009), the second album released by Conor Oberst since dropping his Bright Eyes moniker and fully embracing his true identity.

Unlike the unforgivingly emo repertoire you are most likely to associate with this young, heartfelt troubadour, Outer South gives us a refreshing taste of Oberst’s folky Omaha roots.

Replete with pedal steel, brushed drumming and juste a twist of mandolin, this album is ideal for those long, rural summer days, sippin’ chilled whiskey on the porch.

Okay so perhaps that doesn’t sound so appealing after all, but make sure to peep the album regardless.

— Trevor Kiv

Emerging Artists: Titus Andronicus by carlywolkoff

Titus Andronicus has gone through eighteen band members in just three years.  From this fact alone, one could deduce that the band is far more influenced by Shakespeare’s most gory, volatile play than even the band name implies. Just kidding. Shakespeare is not the only one to influence Titus Andronicus—the band’s debut album, The Airing of Grievances, eclectically references Camus and Brueghel, as well as Hunter S. Thompson and Seinfeld.

Like fellow Jerseyans, Bruce Springsteen, Yo La Tengo, and Akon, Titus Andronicus successfully manages to encapsulate the Jersey experience in their fiery music. Each song off the album builds off the previous one, constructing never-ending thunderous excitement. Lead singer, Patrick Stickles’ voice reaches Conor Oberst-like wailings, without reaching Oberst-like pretentiousness — in fact, the band reminds me a lot like early Bright Eyes, but rawer, more fun, and without the obnoxiously inscrutable lyrics. Definitely check out their Daytrotter session.

-Carly Wolkoff

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