music

Courtesy photo / Red House Records

The Pines find comfort in rural and urban America.

Iowa natives Benson Ramsey and David Huckfelt formed the band The Pines after a chance meeting in Arizona. The pair quickly relocated to Minneapolis, Minn., where the band is based today.

Ramsey says that he and Huckfelt were first drawn together by a love of regional music and the blues.

“We were obsessed with blues music and folk music,” Ramsey says of his early days with Huckfelt.

The move to Minneapolis exposed the pair to the music of St. Paul’s “Spider” John Koerner—who Ramsey calls “a huge influence."

Makers of pop music have always engineered their songs to sound big and loud. Motown records, for instance, have a legendary, huge sound. Sometimes, though, loudness can be overdone, and this problem seems to be getting worse.

The technology behind this is a device called a compressor. Its job is to keep a volume level consistent. This is great when you want, say, a vocalist to remain audible above the other instruments.

Courtesy / Sound City

Sound City marks musician Dave Grohl's directorial debut and a fine introduction it is. The former Nirvana drummer and present day Foo Fighters frontman takes us inside the Van Nuys, Calif., studio where his former band recorded its 1991 breakthrough release Nevermind and where Tom Petty and The Heartbreakers tracked Damn The Torpedoes and where Fleetwood Mac tracked its 1975 self-titled release­­the album that brought Steve Nicks and Lindsay Buckingham into the fold and sent the quintet on the road to superstardom.

Courtesy / Moreland & Arbuckle

Dustin Arbuckle first teamed up with musical partner Aaron Moreland in 2001 after they met at an open mic night. Soon after that they recorded under the name The King Snakes before changing the band's name to Moreland & Arbuckle circa 2005. The pair has recorded four albums as Moreland and Arbuckle, including 1861 (2008), Flood (2009), and Just A Dream (2011). The trio (rounded out by drummer Kendall Newby) will release a new album this summer, which was produced by Matt Bayles (Mastodon, Minus the Bear, Russian Circles).

This year marks the 40th anniversary of Chaka Khan's career in music and entertainment. The year-long celebration will include the release of a series of new albums, titled the iKhan Project. Khan's latest single, "It's Not Over," was released February 14, 2013.

For two decades now, Beck Hansen has been keeping his music fresh and compelling by never letting it be defined by genre or convention. He gets his listeners to rethink pop formulas by deconstructing, combining and transcending them. Every release by Beck is different from the last one; previous albums have merged and reexamined rock, hip-hop, latin and folk styles. With his latest release, Song Reader, Beck has outdone himself.

Carlie Armstrong / Matador Records

1. The group, which was founded in 1984 in Hoboken, New Jersey, takes its name from a sporting anecdote: Legend has it that during the 1962 season two members of the New York Mets––center fielder Richie Ashburn and shortstop Elio Chacon––collided on an all-too-frequent basis. A native of Venezuela, Chacon was confused when Ashburn would yell, “I’ve got it!” as he was going after a ball. A teammate intervened and told Ashburn that he might have more luck yelling "¡Yo la tengo!" (Spanish for “I’ve got it!”) instead. He did––only to be knocked about by left fielder Frank Thomas, who allegedly quipped, “What’s a yellow tango?”

freakgirl / flickr

“Happy Birthday to You” is one of the best known songs in the world, but one rarely hears it in a movie or on TV.

There is a monetary reason for this: “Happy Birthday To You” is copyright protected, and to use it can cost a producer as much as $30,000.

It is incredible to me that the song is not in the public domain, but this is one of those strange stories born at the intersection of popular music and copyright law.


The tune was written for a song "Good Morning to All" in 1893 by Louisville kindergarten teachers Patty and Mildred Hill.

Musical Space: Merch

Feb 5, 2013
Split Lip Rayfield

Now that CDs aren’t making money, more of a musician's income is from selling "merch" - merchandise: T-shirts, stickers, guitar picks, etc.

Merch might not be the main part of a band’s revenue stream, but I think it has become a bigger part of the musical experience since the beginning of the digital age.

Merch is essential for the true fan. An MP3 is a transitory and abstract thing; a concert T-shirt on the other hand is tangible and enduring.

Michael Gomez

For more than two decades, Carla Williams has worked as a gospel music executive. She’s helped manage the careers of platinum and Grammy award-winning gospel artists.

A couple of years ago, she started her own company, CW Creative, and recently returned home to Wichita to start a new initiative to help area artists.

KMUW’s Carla Eckels talked with Williams about her expertise in the industry and launching The Gathering Network.

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