The Final Hour
Every so often, I’ll gather up some of my favorite tracks from the last sixty minutes of my three-hour radio show and create an entire episode of The Final Hour, this one being the third such installment. This is the music that is played between 11pm and midnight, and it’s generally darker, more instrumental, sometimes even experimental, and this is an opportunity for the chronologically challenged to experience some of that closer to their regular waking hours.
The Hold Steady
I always admired The Hold Steady’s narrative approach to songwriting, but I didn’t imagine it could be applied to this particular Western Colorado town, and tonight’s opening track clearly shows my lack of imagination. Elsewhere tonight, I’m happy to bring you new music from The No Ones, featuring the unmistakable holler of one Scott McCaughey of the Young Fresh Fellows, R.E.M., The Baseball Project, and so much more.
The carefully curated collection of artists performing tracks made famous by other artists continues, in the third annual Version Control. Some of these could be so obscure as to ask “is it a cover if I never heard the original” but we can leave the answering of that to the armchair philosophers. I’ll go on the record saying a good song is a good song no matter who performs it. Also, to the listener and fellow cassette afficionado that complained about Maxell and Memorex being mentioned in the same breath: my point is that neither one of them is TDK.
The new album from Jen Cloher is magnificent, and when her Twitter account favorited the playlist entry for the lead track tonight, I near swooned. I recommend you listen to I Am The River, The River Is Me from start to finish, and enjoy something you’ll be doing for years to come for the first time. In other news, our recently adopted cat Princess Otoboke Beaver (aka Pris) gave birth to four healthy kittens on St. Patrick’s day — Ziggy, Stardust, Spider, and Mars.
The Nude Party
As it happens, if yours truly has a Valentine’s gig, it’ll be followed by one on Pi Day. Except on leap years. But the point here is that I thought about doing a show themed on circles, spheres, and other such expressions of the number and decided against it, but keep your ears peeled for some future incarnation of a “Round and Round” playlist. Instead, tonight we kick things off with the sort-of eponymous track from The Nude Party’s latest release, and wrap things up with about 30 seconds of Railroad Jerk, because technical difficulties.
It’s a bitterly cold night, though the thermometer is not the lowest it’s been this winter. Warming things up is King Tuff, whose twisted bedroom psychedelia is heating up my house in the manner of an unexpected early spring. It’s a strong start for an extended set of sounds simultaneously catchy and powerful. Technical note: The Mixtape sounds best when recorded on TDK SA90 cassettes. Do not attempt to do this on Maxell XLIIs.
Every six years or so, Valentine’s Day lands on a Tuesday, and it’s a grand excuse to update and refine the Fight Night playlist, featuring two hours of music about verbal, physical, and emotional aggression. Why go the opposite way? I’m sure those with dates have better things to do than listen to the radio, and those without might appreciate the theme. Tonight’s Final Hour is a replay of tracks from another Final Hour from about a year ago, with all-new live commentary from yours truly.
It’s a formula as old as time — take four Japanese ladies, dress them up in color-coordinated dresses and makeup, and have them play aggressive earworms featuring kawaii harmonies and the lethal precision of a veteran death metal band. And yet somehow Otoboke Beaver rise above the rest of the entrants in this crowded field. Who am I kidding, they are one of a kind, and if you’re not listening to their latest album on repeat, you are missing out on a lot of endorphins.
Maybe it’s the lackadaisical groove she can effortlessly establish, or her warm confident voice, but listening to Madison Cunningham is like sinking into the sofa for a new episode of your favorite show, a general feeling of ease, comfort, and complete enjoyment. Also, maybe you thought you heard a dirty word during “Tounge-Clucking Grammarian”, but you didn’t — let’s face, there’s a lot of rhymes for “clucking” that could register a false positive.