20 Watts

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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City Sounds 4/5: Stockholm by krkuchta

Listen to WERW'S Sounds of Stockholm Monday from 11pm-1am


City Sounds goes abroad once again, and this time we’re going to the Venice of the North: Stockholm, Sweden.

As we discovered from when we went to Paris, the history of music in a European city is way harder to cover than music from an American city. I mean, some of these places have hundreds of years on us. Nevertheless, we will venture into Stockholm and see what we can gather. There will most definitely be some ABBA–I can guarantee that.

Besides ABBA of course, Stockholm has many artists that have caught international attention. Bands like The Knife, Those Dancing Days and Lykke Li have found success around the globe, shining some light on Stockholm and Sweden in general.

Stockholm is home to a variety of musical genres. But, like every city, there are a few that it’s known for. Metal is huge over in Sweden, and Stockholm has put out big names like In Flames and Opeth. The general alternative rock sound is found in bands such as the Concretes and Shout Out Louds. Don’t forget the indie pop explosion that includes Stockholm natives Miike Snow and Peter, Bjorn and John.

Stockholm has been blowing up the music world for the past few years with this mass distribution of amazing artists, and City Sounds is going to take a gander at them all. Listen to City Sounds on WERW, Monday nights from 11pm-1am.

–Kyle Kuchta

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City Sounds 3/29: New York No Wave by krkuchta

Listen to WERW's New York No Wave Monday night from 11pm-1am


New York City is one of the most influential cities in the world. Pick something culturally common; whether it be food, architecture, art, etc., and New York is famous for something in those respective categories. Music is no different. In fact, New York is known for MANY types of music. But one of the most unique genres that was born in NYC is No Wave. It’s about time for a City Sounds History Lesson.

First came New York punk. Artists like Patti Smith, Ramones and Television all had their own styles. Punk was defined by diversity and distorting the view of what music was. Blondie and Talking Heads came in to the picture, and by 1980, punk became a household name.

A rebellion against a rebellion arose in the form of No Wave. Punk really only took common musical rhythms and sped them up while singing about rebelling against the status quo. But if they take something as culturally significant as music and don’t rebel, are you really “punk?” No Wave went out to change this idea. Almost every No Wave artist went out to break every rule they could. Teenage Jesus and the Jerks with their frantic, out-of-tune guitar strums; The Contortions with their schizo-jazz; DNA with something indescribable.

This movement only lasted about 3 to 4 years, but still inspires generations later. New York natives from Sonic Youth all the way to Yeah Yeah Yeahs drew from No Wave. So we should go on and celebrate this incredible time in musical history, just for the hell of it. Listen to City Sounds Monday night from 11pm-1am on WERW. It’s about to get noisy.

–Kyle Kuchta

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City Sounds 3/8: Austin by krkuchta

Listen to WERW's Sounds of Austin, Texas


This Monday is City Sounds’ last show before Spring Break, and where are we going this vacation? Cancun? Key West? The Bahamas? No, no screw that, City Sounds is going to AUSTIN for South By Southwest (SXSW)! Seriously, where else would we go?

Music from Austin, TX has never been just one genre or just one scene. It’s been diverse ever since its start, so to speak. From the garage rock of 13th Floor Elevators, to the Lo-Fi strangeness of Daniel Johnston, to the indie rock of Spoon, Austin has had its variety of great musicians.

The variety only grows with the coming of SXSW every spring. A festival of film, music and all around cool shit, SXSW has put Austin back onto the map in a big way. Artists this year include Austin natives like Neon Indian, White Denim and Woven Bones.

Those bands will be playing the festival, but we can’t forget the Austin bands that aren’t, such as Explosions in the Sky, The Greencards and Belaire.

All parties will be covered. The past, present and future of the music of Austin will be explored by City Sounds Monday, March 8th from 11pm-1am on WERW.

–Kyle Kuchta

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City Sounds 3/1: Portland, ME by krkuchta

City Sounds travels to Portland, Maine, this week!


You know, most people would be asking, “What the hell? Portland, Maine? Why not Oregon, you dumbass?” Well first off, City Sounds’ first show was Portland, O.R, and there aren’t any repeats in this series. Second of all, I think our very much alive listeners will be pleasantly surprised to hear the interesting and unique artists coming from that state way up in the tippy-top, east side of the United States.

I stumbled across some of Portland’s music when I realized that I accidentally played Brown Bird as an artist from Providence, R.I. At first I was ashamed, but that shame turned into curiosity as I started to find that Portland had quite a few Americana and folk artist. Besides Brown Bird, there are Fire on Fire, Gypsy Tailwind and Over a Cardboard Sea, all with their own “American” style.

But besides this Americana music, there are also some other artists that can fit right into the category of good old alternative. Rustic Overtones and The Cambiata keep Portland rocking along with a strong singer-songwriter presence from Lady Lamb The Beekeeper and Dilly Dilly. Honestly, there is nothing Portland, ME doesn’t have. It compares to Portland, Oregon with this neo-folk influence, but as we all know, East and West Coasts differ quite a bit.

To find out more about Portland’s booming music scene, listen to City Sounds on WERW Monday night from 11pm-1am.

— Kyle Kuchta

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City Sounds 2/22: Vancouver by krkuchta

Listen to WERW's sounds of the Vancouver Winter Olympics


City Sounds is hitting all the marks this month. First it was Paris, The City of Love before Valentine’s Day.  Then we went to New Orleans for a Mardi Gras with some Superbowl celebration on the side.  And now we’re going to Vancouver for some Olympics and great music!

The Winter Olympics have put Vancouver in the headlines for the last week or so, but that’s not all the world is watching there. Vancouver has had a thriving indie rock scene since the early 2000s with bands like The New Pornographers and DestroyerLadyhawk and Black Mountain/Pink Mountaintops have kept the scene going, while creating a diverse style all their own.

That isn’t all Vancouver has, of course.  A large number of singer/songwriters have come from the area. From the poppy Michael Buble to the folky Veda Hille to members of the New Pornographers who have gone on solo, like Neko Case. And let’s not forget industrial wizards Skinny Puppy or pop-punk greats Hot Hot Heat from Victoria (which close enough for now).

City Sounds will be the soundtrack to the Winter Olympics this Monday night from 11pm-1am. Listen in on WERW.

-Kyle Kuchta

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City Sounds 2/15: New Orleans by krkuchta

Listen to WERW's City Sounds: New Orleans


Not only did New Orleans win the Superbowl last weekend, but Mardi Gras is this week as well. So why not celebrate with City Sounds as we explore The Big Easy’s distinct musical history?

New Orleans is the widely considered the birthplace of Jazz, and with good reason.  Some of the most prominent faces of jazz like Jelly Roll Morton and Louis Armstrong, not only called New Orleans their home, but their entire style.  It was the hotspot–and to this day still is–for blues and jazz.

Jazz turned in funk, blues into rock ‘n roll and New Orleans didn’t give up it’s limelight.  Fats Domino, The Meters and Professor Longhair held their own when Detroit and Chicago ruled the airwaves with their own styles of music.

But N’awlins isn’t just all about jazz and voodoo and cajun food. There has been quite the metal presence as well–with bands like Down and Eyehategod. And don’t forget the rap game down there with Cash Money Millionaires Lil’ WayneBirdman, Juvenile and Mannie Fresh.

There’s so much music in The Crescent City that we’ll be exploring Monday night from 11 p.m.-1 a.m. on WERW, it’d be almost ridiculous not to kick of Fat Tuesday this way.  We’ll be on the French Quarter and we got beads!

–Kyle Kuchta

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