Saturday, December 13, 2008

Ode to Fandom: Of Trashcans, Traditions, & The Delta Spirit

The Delta Spirit share stories; but most of all, they share themselves. Gritty and generous, the young California-based band have crisscrossed the continent playing shows for any who’ll hear them, carving an adventurous mythology that matches the more epic aspects of their viral melodies and visionary messages.
Referencing Americana and soul in a denim-pants-and-checkered-shirts package that is undeniably rock and roll, this five-piece breathe a fiery altar call to the sodden glories of the road. From cop troubles to car troubles to stolen laptops, this band has seen it all. Rather than hated as hardship, such travails teach the lessons of a life as lyrical as the band’s poetry. While tales of busking and dumpster-diving make good copy for the awed critics or the awful cynics, with these guys, the legends lack pretense; they’re just part of the daily program. The stuff is so real—too real with spiritual echoes of Springsteen and Steinbeck, made for dirt roads and dive bars. The timeless truths that populate the songs drink from the tap of a pure source.
While some of our favorite bands rarely if ever make it to Nashville, Delta Spirit have given us plenty of their time and have built up a fanbase in the process. Windy, wet, and cold, we welcomed winter much too early to Tennessee this year. Weather or not, we packed ourselves into the car with a special gift for the band, a trashcan lid. Heading to the show, we felt like the lyrics to “Trashcan”: “My love is coming I can barely hardly wait.” During that track, singer Matt Vasquez says he’s found the cure for his own cancer. That Wednesday night, we knew he’d certainly cure our hunger for more great music.
The Mercy Lounge filled up slowly at first, but by the time the second of two opening bands was onstage, the crowd was solid. Nashville’s Canon Blue tore it up with a highly original and percussive blend—brimming with tribal references to new wave, psychedelia, and experimental. By 11pm on a weeknight, we were ready for Delta Spirit to hitch a ride on the train driving directly into our fanboy and fangirl brains.
With “Strange Vine,” they tell the story of planting their own garden—which really defines the entire earthy ethos of the band. Infected with irresistible rhythms and real prayers for freedom, “Streetwalker” solidifies as one of the already timeless classics in the band’s repertoire. As up-front and heart-tugging as each song is on the album Ode To Sunshine, once translated for the urban temples of clubs and bars, the tracks attack the spirit and stick to the gut. Whether he’s smiling or growling, wailing a line or nailing a riff, there’s simply no denying the magic charisma of Matt Vasquez and has compañeros.
From its opening harmonica howl to each and every word Matt emotes, “People, Turn Around” proves itself simply as one of best songs we’ve ever heard. Its intoxicated and churchy qualities inspire fans to wave their arms and raise their beers and sing along really loudly. Its universal message inspires Matt to tell us he’s never meant anything more than he means this song right now, and he doesn’t care how cheesy that sounds. The fans, we believe it. We believe in the images of guns and grades, of needles and snow, of light and love, of blood and a beard, of angels and bones. We believe it so much that we keep singing long after the show is over. We believe it so much, that we’re still singing it now.
Delta Spirit’s debut album Ode to Sunshine was (re)released this year on Rounder Records. Delta Spirit appear to always be on tour. Please visit:

Monday, December 8, 2008

TOTR 42: Teacher On The Radio & Friends Annual All-Nighter!

The best of 2008 and much, much more with many, many guest hosts including WTTU's own Kassi Thomas!!!

Andy's main playlists for tonight and the morning. Many more ideas planned.

Set one 8pm
MGMT - Weekend Wars
Black Mountain - Queens Will Play
Vampire Weekend - A-Punk
Vampire Weekend - Campus
Bon Iver - Skinny Love
Bon Iver - For Emma
The Raconteurs - You Dont Understand Me
R.E.M. - Until The Day Is Done
Plants and Animals - New Kind Of Love
Elbow - One Day Like This
Fleet Foxes - Blue Ridge Mountains
Blitzen Trapper - Black River Killer
My Morning Jacket - Librarian
My Morning Jacket - Smokin from Shootin
Billy Bragg - O Freedom
Tea Leaf Green - Dont Curse at the Night
Dr. Dog - The Rabbit, The Bat The Reindeer
Frightened Rabbit - Good Arms vs. Bad Arms
Frightened Rabbit - Old Old Fashioned
Tom Gäbel - Conceptual Paths
Tom Gäbel - Random Hearts
Okkervil River - Singer Songwriter
The Gaslight Anthem - Miles Davis The Cool
Kings of Leon - Revelry
TV on the Radio - Halfway Home
Michael Franti & Spearhead - Hey World (Dont Give Up Version)

Set two 11pm
The Doors - Break on Through (To the Other Side)
The Doors - Light My Fire
The Doors - Hello, I Love You
The Doors - Not to Touch the Earth
The Doors - Five to One
The Doors - Roadhouse Blues
The Doors - Peace Frog
U2 - Help
U2 - Instant Karma
John Lennon- God
John Lennon - Watching the Wheels
John Lennon - Imagine
John Lennon - Power to the People
John Lennon - Give Peace a Chance
John Lennon - Happy Xmas (War Is Over)

Set three 2am
Peter Gabriel - Down to Earth
Kanye West - Love Lockdown
Flobots - We Are Winning
Tom Gäbel - Cowards Sing At Night
Mountain Goats - Heretic Pride
Wye Oak - I Don't Feel Young
Annuals - Hardwood Floor
Grand Archives - Sleepdriving
Goldfrapp - Monster Love
Margot and The Nuclear So & Sos - Cold, Kind, and Lemon Eyes
Mercury Rev - Senses On Fire
Headlights - So Much For The Afternoon
Pete and the Pirates - Song For Today
Marah - Jesus In The Temple
Old Crow Medicine Show - Motel In Memphis
Ani DiFranco - Present Infant
Bob Mould - Walls In Time
Ruby Suns - Morning Sun
The Raveonettes - Hallucinations
Ryan Adams - Cobwebs
Keane - Love Is The End
Snow Patrol - Lifeboats
Tony Allen - Where The Streets Have No Name
STS9 - Late For Work
TV on the Radio - Family Tree
TV on the Radio - Shout Me Out

Monday, December 1, 2008

Little Joy, Born Into A Light: TOTR 41

Little Joy - Brand New Start
Little Joy - Unattainable
Little Joy - How To Hang A Warhol
Little Joy - Dont Watch Me Dancing
Gentleman Jesse - If I Can See You (Youre Too Close To Me)
Gentleman Jesse - Put Your Hands Together
Annuals - Hot Night Hounds
The Fireman - Dance Til Were High
Hot Chip - One Pure Thought
Deerhunter - Never Stops
Los Campesinos! - Youll Need Those Fingers For Crossing
The Killers - Glamorous Indie Rock and Roll
The Killers - Andy, You're a Star
The Killers - Read My Mind
The Killers - Joy Ride
The Killers - Romeo And Juliet
Snow Patrol - Lifeboats
Snow Patrol - The Planets Bend Between Us\
Snow Patrol - Make This Go on Forever
Snow Patrol - Somewhere a Clock Is Ticking
Ryan Adams - Born Into A Light
Ryan Adams - Cobwebs
Ryan Adams - Let Us Down Easy
Ryan Adams - Easy Plateau
Ryan Adams - I Taught Myself How To Grow Old
The Tallest Man On Earth - The sparrow and the medicine
the Old Believers - Thats All