Heartless Bastards encapsulates that all too classic story of the small Midwest band who quickly found an audience and rose to prominence. In their case, it was a hard-hitting approach to blues rock and frontwoman Erika Wennerstrom's lyricism which got them their accolades. The niche in music they helped to fill in the early aughts hasn't lost its importance - Heartless Bastards is still on the forefront of a scene which seems to be exploding in popularity.
When you think of Amy Winehouse, you may think of the tragedies of her short life that played out right in front of us. It's hard not to think about the multiple times we read about her substance-fueled performances or the performances cancelled because she was unfit to take the stage.
This July, The Black Keys were kind enough to drop in and do a Theft Of The Dial session with us before playing a long Sold-Out show with Cage the Elephant.
After college at Northwestern University, Rachael Yamagata got her music start with Chicago band Bumpus. After six years of touring, she decided to go solo releasing her first self-titled EP in 2003, which she followed up with her first full-length "Happenstance" a year later.
Music runs in the family for Alan Palomo, frontman for the electro-indie band Neon Indian. Born in Mexico, his father was a pop star in the '70s and '80s, which influenced his band now based in Denton, Texas.
For someone who has said he doesn't spend a great deal of time in front of a computer, Tom Waits knows how to use the internet to get his message across. Remember the 2008 "press conference" for his Glitter and Doom tour?
Brooklyn band The Drums serve up a master class in wired guitar-pop. Their infectious music is sourced in everything from '60s garage-rock to '70s power-pop and '80s post-punk and new-wave.
This is one of the most visual recordings I've ever had the pleasure of listening to. Full disclosure -- when I heard about this project for the first time I was very excited... but I was excited more about Nick Hornby than Ben Folds!
Kevin and Anita Robinson are a husband and wife team that call Portland, Ore. home. They have been playing together for over 15 years as both Viva Voce and as part of Blue Giant. The band was in town for a show on the U of M Campus last week, and they dropped in for a very special, rare acoustic set.
In addition to his solo work, Ken Stringfellow is, or has been, in R.E.M., Big Star, The Minus Five, The Disciplines and The Posies, just to name a few.
This amazing collection of songs highlights the musical legacy of an artist who was taken from us much too young.
Maybe you know Heavenly States because you saw them featured on CNN for playing in Lybia in 2005, shortly after the ban on western artists was raised. Maybe you discovered them recently because Britt Daniel of Spoon is featured on their latest single, "Berlin Wall." Maybe you've picked up one of their recordings over the last few years, or maybe you've known one of the members since high school.
Unusual for most artists, each member of the band Sloan, which has maintained the same lineup for decades, contributes equally to songwriting. And at their live shows, each member switches instruments accordingly. They got their name from a friend, who was nicknamed "the Slow One" by his boss, but in the man's French accent, it sounded more like "Sloan."
Cake was in town for a very special "Evening With Cake" a couple of weeks ago. John McCrae and Xan McCurdy took the time to drop by before the show for some chat and to play DJs.
Brothers Chris and Curt Kirkwood formed Meat Puppets nearly 30 years ago. They were "grunge" before it was a genre and "alternative" before it was a format. They were a major influence on Kurt Cobain and Nirvana's music. They've been through the ringer with record labels, touring and drugs, yet somehow they're still around to release Lolipop, their 13th studio album.