Loney Dear: TAS In Session

Emil Svanängen, who is far better known as Loney Dear (he dropped the comma a couple of years ago), is a quirky fellow with a penchant for richly textured, shimmering songs, as explored on his latest album Hall Music, out now on Polyvinyl. The Swedish singer and songwriter will be touring Europe and North America this winter and spring with Of Montreal and the trek includes a stop at Webster Hall on March 31. Not long ago he dropped by The Alternate Side and played a generous set of songs from both Hall Music and 2009's Dear John. Listen to the session this Friday, January 20, on TAS on 91.5 WNYE at 11 a.m. and streaming on The Alternate Side.

Austra: TAS In Session

Tags: Austra

One of the more intriguing bands to emerge in 2011 is Toronto's Austra, a sensually-charged electro-pop band led by the coolly insouciant, classically-trained singer Katie Stelmanis. Like her vocally distinctive Domino Records labelmates Anna Calvi and Wild Beasts' Hayden Thorpe, Stelmanis' robustly operatic voice elicits attention, but rides effortlessly and prettily upon Austra's lustrous synth-scapes. The band, now a sextet, dropped by The Alternate Side recently and played a generous mini-set, nestled between observations about censorship, their cryptic video for "Lose It" and working with dance producer Damian Taylor. Listen to the session this Friday, January 13, on TAS on 91.5 WNYE at 11 a.m. ET and streaming on The Alternate Side.

We Are Augustines: TAS In Session

Although We Are Augustines' Billy McCarthy, Eric Sanderson and Rob Allen are receiving enthusiastic praise for their powerful 2011 debut, Rise Ye Sunken Ships, the album was born from harrowing and heartbreaking circumstances. The band, cobbled together from the remains of longtime Brooklyn favorites Pela, overcame not only the abrupt and messy dissolution of that group,  but profound family tragedy, financial destitution and the darkest depths of depression. Not long ago, the trio dropped by The Alternate Side studios to play tracks from the new album, like the deeply personal "Book of James,"  and frankly discussed their determined road from utter despair to invigorating rebirth. The session will air on TAS on 91.5 WNYE this Friday, January 6, at 11 a.m., also streaming on The Alternate Side.

We Were Promised Jetpacks: TAS In Session

One of the biggest (and oldest) New Year's Eve celebrations in the world, Scotland's Hogmanay, raucously marks the end of the old year and the beginning of the new (and Scotland even has their very own bank holiday for much-needed, post-Hogmanay recovery). The Alternate Side thought that the fast-approaching holiday was a fine time to visit the very special session that Edinburgh's own We Were Promised Jetpacks did for us not long ago, marking the autumn release of their sophomore album, In the Pit of the Stomach, out now on Fat Cat Records.

TAS In Session: Flashback 2011, Part 2

Last week, The Alternate Side posted the first part of TAS in Session: Flashback 2011 featuring artists like The Drums, Laura Marling and Real Estate. This week, round two of some of The Alternate Side and our sister station WFUV's favorite performances from the last year, including the pensive wizardry of James Blake, the stirring poetry of Elbow and the sprawling pop boulevards crossed by Fool's Gold.  In addition to revisiting highlights, like Low's far-from-somnolent "Try To Sleep," or YACHT's incendiary "Dystopia," we'll also link to the original sessions and update you on what's coming up in 2012 for many of TAS' notable artists and bands.

Mates Of State: TAS In Session

San Francisco's Mates of State, the married duo of Jason Hammel and Kori Gardner, released one of the strongest albums of their career in 2011, the effusively crafted Mountaintops. Their busy year included a lengthy tour, a stint on "Late Night with David Letterman" and a festive recording of "A Visit from St. Nicholas" for Fuse (along with Robyn, Portugal.The Man and DJ Khaled) ... and a visit to The Alternate Side's Studio A. Hammel and Gardner played a mini-set of songs from Mountaintops for TAS and chatted about their love for Lars Ulrich and why "selling out" is a misnomer for today's musicians.

TAS In Session: Flashback 2011, Part 1

Over the past twelve months, The Alternate Side, alongside our sister station WFUV, has hosted dozens of live sessions in our studio with a vivid, inspiriting array of musicians and bands. We've had the chance to shift from The Antlers' luminous introspections to the muscular, shambolic rock of Man Man and end up at the gentle-but-lethal songwriting of Laura Marling. We wanted to revisit some of our favorite performances from many of those sessions, like The Naked and Famous' stirring "Young Blood" or Beirut's accordion-spurred anthem "Santa Fe," and give you updates on what's coming up in 2012 for many of these artists and bands.

Handsome Furs: TAS In Session

It's not been an easy month for Handsome Furs. The married duo of Dan Boeckner and Alexei Perry had to cancel shows in Bucharest and Vienna last week due to what they called a "personal trauma." But this devoted couple, who make a point of touring far-flung locales from Myanmar to Sibenik, have always persevered. Their third album, Sound Kapital, reflects that wanderlust and determination. Earlier this fall Boeckner and Perry dropped by The Alternate Side for a fascinating live session, dipping into songs from their latest album. You can hear that session on TAS on WNYE this Friday, December 16, at 11 a.m. or streaming on The Alternate Side.

Twin Sister: TAS In Session

Twin Sister is a clever exercise in duality. The band is from Long Island and Brooklyn. They love a good disco tune, but relish a melancholy twist. After releasing their crafty 2010 EP Color Your Life, which featured the breathy kiss of "All Around And Away We Go," Twin Sister signed with Domino Records. Their debut album, In Heaven, came out earlier this  year. The band plays Bowery Ballroom on December 17 and they  dropped by The Alternate Side not long ago for a session, playing In Heaven selections like "Bad Street" and "Daniel." You can hear the session this Friday, December 9 on TAS on 91.5 WNYE or streaming on The Alternate Side.  

Fool's Gold: TAS In Session

Throw together a mélange of Afrobeat, Congolese grooves and even a slice of Smiths-style pop and you'd have a vague idea of the sparkling sound of L.A. rockers Fool's Gold, who released their accomplished sophomore album Leave No Trace earlier this year. Taking a left turn from Luke Top's Hebrew-sung vocals of their debut, opting for English lyrics this time, Fool's Gold have also trimmed themselves down to a tight quintet. The band recently came by The Alternate Side's Studio A to play a shimmering four-song set. You can hear the session on TAS on 91.5 WNYE this Friday, December 2, at 11 a.m. or streaming on The Alternate Side.

Elbow: TAS In Session

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It took nearly two decades, but Manchester rockers Elbow have become one of the most critically praised, beloved bands in the UK.. The group, just picked to provide music for the BBC's coverage of the  2012 London Olympics, has three prestigious Mercury Prize nominations to their name, including one win in 2008 for The Seldom Seen Kid. The quintet recently visited WFUV and The Alternate Side for a very special session where they performed songs from 2011's build a rocket boys! and The Seldom Seen Kid and discussed their extraordinary, 20-year history as friends and bandmates. Listen to the session in full on TAS' sister station, 90.7 WFUV, tomorrow, November 29, at 9 p.m. ET or streaming on WFUV.

TAS In Session (Video): AM & Shawn Lee

Electro-popsters AM & Shawn Lee released their debut album Celestial Electric earlier this year,  a bold, retro-gazing splash of psychedelic soul. The quartet, who've already earned celebrity love (actor Joseph Gordon-Levitt is a fan), just dropped a new remix EP, featuring knob twiddling from Thievery Corporation's Rob Garza and Brooklyn's Captain Planet. AM & Shawn Lee recently visited The Alternate Side for a low-key, laidback session and after the jump, watch videos of live performances of tracks like "Sombody Like You" and "City Boy."

Active Child: TAS In Session

Not many bands claim the harp as one of their defining sounds, but Active Child's Pat Grossi has brought that ethereal instrument into the mix to accompany his thoughtful, choirboy vocals. The band, now a trio, released its debut album, You Are All I See, in August and they have been steadily touring in support of that dreamy release, supporting M83 on the road this fall (including two sold-out gigs at Webster Hall on November 22 and  Music Hall of Williamsburg on November 23). Not long ago, Grossi and his bandmates visited The Alternate Side to chat about the very personal nature of the new album and performed new songs like "High Priestess" and "Hanging On," one of the new tracks now featured on the deluxe edition of You Are All I Need. Listen to the session this Friday, November 25 on TAS on 91.5 WNYE at 11 a.m. ET or streaming on The Alternate Side.

 

Real Estate: TAS In Session

Local band Real Estate might not have the easiest name to navigate on Google (although you'll find some intriguing New Jersey house listings when looking for tour dates), but the savvy rockers are becoming far easier to find, thanks to their accomplished sophomore album, Days, out now on Domino Records. Real Estate are touring the States now and arrive at New York's Bowery Ballroom on November 23, but they recently dropped by The Alternate Side to play a four-song set and chat about the days it took to make Days. You can hear the session on TAS on 91.5 WNYE this Friday, November 18, at 11 a.m. ET or streaming on The Alternate Side.

Megafaun: TAS In Session

Megafaun has released three albums since they formed from the ashes of DeYarmond Edison back in 2006 (that band's former frontman is Bon Iver's Justin Vernon). However, it's the Durham, North Carolina/Los Angeles, California, group's quietly confident, self-titled fourth album that has earned them not only impressive crticial reviews, but a fresh start as a band. The trio, a quartet on the road, are touring the Southeast this month, but they dropped by The Alternate Side not long ago to play a mini-set of songs from their much-praised new release, including "State/Meant," "Real Slow" and "Second Friend," a song written by drummer Joe Westerlund for his wife.

The Drums: TAS In Session

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Now based in Brooklyn, The Drums have always played with various geographic — and emotional — locales in their music, swerving from infectious, sun-spashed, surf-pop to darker, Manchester-influenced rock. Their second album, Portamento, focuses more on the intimate, melancholy drift of the band's eclectic sound. However, when The Drums dropped by The Alternate Side not long ago, they were definitely in an upbeat mood, performing songs like their new single, "How It Ended," just released today, October 31. Happily, they're also on tour now, playing Bowery Ballroom this Wednesday, November 2 and Music Hall of Williamsburg the next day. You can hear the entire session on TAS on 91.5 WNYE this Friday, November 4, at 11 a.m., and streaming on the TAS site.

Man Man: TAS In Session

You have to expect the unexpected with Philadelphia's Man Man. The offbeat, experimental rockers, whose love of eclectic instruments informs their wild, unpredictable live shows, released their fourth album, Life Fantastic, earlier this year via ANTI-. The band is in the midst of a fall tour, playing Sacramento, CA tonight and wrapping up their road trip, appropriately, this Saturday, October 29, with the Hallowbaloo Festival in Honolulu. Not long ago Honus Honus, Pow Pow, Turkey Moth, Chang Wang and Jefferson — no, not their real names — dropped by The Alternate Side and delved into "Haute Tropique," "Pirhanas Club" and more. You can hear the session on TAS on 91.5 WNYE this Friday, October 28, at 11 a.m. or streaming on The Alternate Side.

 

Beirut: TAS In Session

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Beirut's Zach Condon and his bandmates are touring North America through November 13, then head across the Pacific for a sweep through Australia and Japan in December and January. According to the band's site, they're excited about the trip down under; a sense of wanderlust defines Condon. It's a restlessness that's eloquently explored in Beirut's excellent third album The Riptide. Recently Beirut joined WFUV/The Alternate Side's Alisa Ali for a very special session which can be heard on NPR Music now, but after the jump, check out exclusive videos of the band's four-song set in Studio A, including "Santa Fe," "East Harlem" and "Goshen."

Sleeper Agent: TAS In Session

The kinetic, rambunctious sound of Kentucky's Sleeper Agent is cleverly tucked into the title of their debut album, Celebrasion; it's an abrasive, celebratory and smart fusion of 60s-era, girl-group insouciance laced with Southern-slanted, punk-fanged garage rock. The sextet is in the midst of a North American tour, but recently they visited The Alternate Side's Studio A and not only discussed their almost-accidental formation — singer Alex Kandel "pestered" guitarist Tony Smith until he let her join the band — but played several songs off of their rousing debut, including their single, "Get It Daddy." You can hear the session on TAS on 91.5 WNYE this Friday, October 21, at 11 a.m. EDT and streaming on The Alternate Side.

TAS In Session (CMJ Preview): Metronomy

Tags: Metronomy

British synth-popsters Metronomy have had a remarkable twelve months. The quartet, which began as frontman Joseph Mount's solo project, released one of the best-reviewed albums of year, The English Riviera, found themselves nominated for the prestigious Mercury Prize (losing to P.J. Harvey) and they played Glastonbury's Pyramid Stage in June. Mount and his mates are also touring North America with more frequency — they played New York over the summer  — and return next week, October 20, to play the Music Hall of Williamsburg. They recently visited The Alternate Side's studios and after the jump, listen to audio of their four-song set.  Plus, you can hear the session this Friday, October 14 on TAS on 91.5 WNYE at 11 a.m. and streaming on The Alternate Side.

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