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Browsing: Turn Me On

As I sit here listening to and writing about this intriguing new band from Long Island, New York, The Lemon Twigs, I’m not really sure how to describe what I hear. Others in my position have used words like pop/rock, soft rock, baroque rock, melodic, harmony-rich, underground cool, theatrical, lo-fi, lush, modern-day, retro-leaning, divine, startlingly sophisticated, ornate and complex, and they’ve referenced The Beatles, The Beach Boys, The Kinks, and The 5th Dimension. When he first heard The Lemon Twigs, NPR’s Bob Boilen felt like he was listening to “music from a time that never was.” To all those…

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KCSN 88.5 FM’s Jim Nelson returns with another Turn Me On profile, this time highlighting Blind Pilot… ______________________________ What’s that old Yiddish proverb? Man plans, God laughs? Or as Woody Allen put it, “If you want to make God laugh, tell him about your plans.” Life certainly does have a way of letting us know that our own plans pale compared with the bigger picture, as Blind Pilot songwriter Israel Nebeker rudely discovered in 2013. Just when he was beginning to write for what would become the Portland, Oregon, folk-pop band’s third full-length CD, his own footing crumbled from the onslaught of rapid-fire losses of…

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88.5 KCSN-FM’s Jim Nelson is back with another entry in our Turn Me On category, this time shining his light on Shane Alexander… “Do you think of me once in a while?” That’s it. That’s the line where Shane Alexander reels you in on the lead single from his sixth and latest CD, Bliss. Rendered, as it is, at the climax of another of Alexander’s seemingly endless parade of hooks, you hear it several times during Something Real Never Dies. In those nine words, Alexander nails songwriting nirvana—relatability; universality—that sweet spot where a phrase can connect with absolutely everyone who…

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Jim Nelson, KCSN 88.5 FM DJ and Rock Cellar Magazine scribe, is back with another band profile for Turn Me On…this time focusing on the Shelters!  Can you imagine? You’re a young band, playing a hometown gig and you look out from the stage to see seven, maybe eight faces looking back at you. There’s your girlfriend, your girlfriend’s mom, your girlfriend’s little brother, your next door neighbor, Tom Petty, your next door neighbor’s mom, the drummer’s girlfriend…. Wait. What? Back up a sec. Seriously, your girlfriend brought her mom? And what’s Tom Petty doing here? No one’s saying…

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This month, KCSN 88.5’s Jim Nelson spotlights Catfish and the Bottlemen for our Turn Me On category… Somewhere in Sydney, Australia, there’s a busker who directly impacted the name of a rock band from a small Welsh seaside resort town. Years after the fact. This busker from Down Under, dubbed Catfish the Bottleman for the liquid-filled bottles that he used as an instrument, was pretty much the first musical memory of a very young Ryan Evan “Van” McCann, whose family had briefly traveled to Australia. Back home in Llandudno, Wales, in 2007, a teenage McCann started playing guitar with Billy…

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In 1996, Rachael Sage did something totally wacky. Things were beginning to change in the music industry, but no one knew yet just how much of a systemic seismic shift was coming, and it was then that Sage started her own New York City record company, MPress Records. As its premier offering, she issued her own debut, Morbid Romantic. It was a time when female singer/songwriters were the “in” thing: Melissa Etheridge, Ani DiFranco, Sarah McLachlan, Tori Amos, Indigo Girls, Bonnie Raitt, Sheryl Crow, and Natalie Merchant held court. Into that fray dove Sage, and here she is 20…

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KCSN 88.5 FM’s Jim Nelson is back, with another installment of his Turn Me On column … showcasing singer/songwriter Cory Sipper. ——————————— If the only requisite for scoring hit after hit was to simply write and record a slew of smart, hopelessly hooky songs, then there’d be no need to turn you on to Santa Barbara, California, native Cory Sipper here—you’d have known about her long ago. Sipper released a trio of albums before the turn of the century, beginning with 1995’s Swimology (which featured Nervous, a Top-10 hit in Japan) and there was a near-miss with a CD she…

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For his latest entry in our Turn Me On category, KCSN 88.5 FM’s Jim Nelson profiles the Record Company… Three seconds. That’s about all it took. The unrelenting, circular bass line that sends The Record Company’s Off the Ground into a sick, deep groove, got me in about three seconds. It could have been the slide that bassist Alex Stiff employs to stylistically connect his nine repeating notes, or perhaps it was the whole of that indefatigable circular riff that got me, but even before drummer Marc Cazorla and singer/guitarist Chris Vos join in I was hopelessly hooked. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H8aNK3XMP5w Vos…

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Glass Candy – Life After Sundown (Beat Box; 2007) The latest resurgence of New Wave has been years in the making, with largely underground acts like Glass Candy re-crafting the genre and enjoying the ride.  Life After Sundown incorporates it’s pulsating David Bowie electro-synth beats, with the noir-pop vibe of Depeche Mode, that comes together to create a glam, but slightly dark tone. The swelling beats, produced by instrumentalist Johnny Jewel, morph themselves into distinct segments that allow it to somehow pull off the six-minute track without feeling tired.  Ida No’s vocals are a smooth Debbie Harry meets a caricature…

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In this edition of Turn Me On, RCM will focus on two artists whose music has found inspiration in the Fab Four.  One who continues to create new music and marry the uplifting vibe with modern beats, and another from the past with a similar sound who newer generations can discover. But the fact remains that The Beatles are arguably the most important pop act of the last century, whether influencing artists from the past and present, allowing people of all ages to continue to enjoy their impact in new ways. Kishi Bashi – Bright Whites (151a, 2012) Kishi Bashi is the…

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