The Walkmen: TAS In Session

The Walkmen must be feeling pretty upbeat given the wildly enthusiastic response to the band's seventh album Heaven, a record which parallels the quintet's tenth anniversary. It has also been the best of times for The Walkmen personally; all of the guys are married with children and that tender, domestic viewpoint is quietly reflected in Heaven's gentler temperament.  The Walkmen visited The Alternate Side not long ago for a live session (check out the videos after the jump) and also tackled an historic array of subjects, from broken arms to working with producer Phil Ek. Listen to the session this Friday, June 22, on TAS on 91.5 WNYE at 11 a.m. EDT, also streaming on The Alternate Side.

Metric: TAS In Session

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Metric's slow ascent from well-kept Canadian secret to a band that headlines New York's Radio City Music Hall — which the quartet will do on September 23 in support of its brand new album Synthetica — is even more intriguing given the group's determination to create an independent business model. When Metric's Emily Haines and James Shaw recently visited The Alternate Side to play a special acoustic set (with a bonus cover of Tom Waits and Kathleen Brennan's "Strange Weather"), they discussed their forward-thinking business acumen. Listen to Metric's session when it airs this Friday, June 15, on 91.5 WNYE at 11 a.m. ET, also streaming on the TAS site. After the jump, watch videos of Haines and Shaw in performance.  

Zeus: TAS In Session

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The journey of Toronto retro-gazing rockers Zeus nearly befits their mighty name. Like one of their inspirations, The Band, the members of Zeus began life as a backing band for singer Jason Collett before venturing out on their own with their debut album, 2010's Say Us. The band's second album, Busting Visions, is out now on Arts & Crafts and the quartet recently visited The Alternate Side and talked about the evolution of the new record. Listen to the session on TAS on 91.5 WNYE this Friday, June 8 at 11 a.m. EDT (streaming on the site). After the jump, read the interview highlights and listen to Zeus performing songs like "Anything You Want Dear" and "Are You Gonna Waste My Time."

Gold Fields: TAS In Session

Looking for a sparkling summer anthem? A good place to start is the intoxicating single "Treehouse" from Australian newcomers Gold Fields who have a self-titled EP out now. The Ballarat-bred quintet will release its debut album on Astralwerks later this year and shortly after SXSW, they visited The Alternate Side and played the Gold Fields EP in its entirety. Watch the performance videos after the jump, including the effervescent "Treehouse," and listen to Gold Fields in session on TAS on 91.5 WNYE  this Friday, June 1, at 11 a.m. EDT (and streaming online).

White Rabbits: TAS In Session

Brooklyn's White Rabbits owe an undeniable debt to Spoon; Britt Daniel produced the group's 2009 album It's Frightening and for its  latest effort, Milk Famous, White Rabbits recruited Spoon producer Mike McCarthy. But on their new album, the sextet spoons with its own formula of bold, percussive assaults, buoyant guitar riffs and synth-swept storms on tracks like "Temporary,"  one of three songs the band played when they visited the Bronx wonderland of The Alternate Side's Studio A. Listen to the White Rabbits in session on TAS on 91.5 WNYE this Friday, May 25 at 11 a.m. EDT (and streaming on the TAS website), but after the jump, check out exclusive videos of the White Rabbits' riveting set.

Geographer: TAS In Session

Based in San Francisco, Geographer actually has local roots thanks to singer and songwriter Michael Deni, a New Jersey native. Following a series of family tragedies, Deni left the tri-state area and headed to the Bay area for a fresh start. He began the buoyant electro-rock infused Geographer with cellist/keyboardist Nathan Blaz and drummer Brian Ostreicher. They released their latest album, Myth, earlier this winter and not long ago dropped by The Alternate Side's Studio A. Listen to the session when it airs this Friday, May 18 on TAS on 91.5 WNYE at 11 a.m. EDT, also streaming on the TAS site. After the jump, check out interview highlights and watch the performance.

Tennis: TAS and WFUV In Session

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Tennis' 2011 debut album, Cape Dory, unfolded as a testament to Alaina Moore and Patrick Riley's love of sailing, but the couple hit choppy waters when planning their sophomore album. Determined to break from the nautical theme of their first record, the duo — now a trio with the addition of drummer James Barone — recruited the Black Keys' Patrick Carney as producer to shake up their process. The result is 2012's breezy Young and Old, set firmly on dry land and inspired in part by Moore's exploration of poetry. Earlier this spring Tennis dropped by WFUV and The Alternate Side's Studio A for a session; watch the videos and listen to the session after the jump.

Yukon Blonde: TAS In Session

Yukon Blonde's second album Tiger Talk might have been mostly written on the road, but the record reflects some home truths for the Canadian band: they really know how to write a fun, frank and ferocious rock song. They kick off a European tour on May 10, but before heading overseas Yukon Blonde dropped by The Alternate Side for a session. After the jump, watch videos and read highlights of the interview, and listen to the session when it airs on TAS on 91.5 WNYE this Friday, May 11, at 11 a.m. EDT, streaming on The Alternate Side.

Stephin Merritt Of The Magnetic Fields Plays An Acoustic Session For WFUV And The Alternate Side

Stephin Merritt's sense of humor is so deliciously dry that cactus could happily thrive in its prickly embace. The droll Magnetic Fields frontman recently dropped by WFUV and The Alternate Side's Studio A to discuss the band's new album, Love at the Bottom of the Sea, out now on Merge. Merritt played a generous, acoustic, five-song set of new tracks ("Andrew in Drag") and old favorites ("The Book of Love'). After the jump, check out exclusive videos of that memorable afternoon and listen to the session with TAS host Russ Borris on 90.7 WFUV at 9 p.m. tomorrow, May 2, also streaming on WFUV. 

Doomtree: TAS In Session

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The Twin Cities hip hop scene has local luminaries like Atmosphere and Har Mar Superstar, but the rap collective Doomtree claims a strong mix of that region's most notable MCs and producers. The six-man, one-woman crew released its second "official" album, No Kings, last fall, which they call their first truly collaborative effort. Recently the septet, which kicks off a UK/European tour this week, visited Studio A for a terrific, fun session that airs on TAS on 91.5 WNYE and streams on the TAS site this Friday, May 4 at 11 a.m. EDT. After the jump, check out exclusive videos of Doomtree's performance and interview highlights.

Cate Le Bon: TAS In Session

While it could be said that Cate Le Bon's rich voice and unconventional phrasing recalls the Velvet Underground's Nico, the Welsh singer's pastoral folk-rock, which tilts precipitously into a punk-psychedelic realm, is unique and feral. As its title indicates, Le Bon's sophomore album, CYRK, is a gentle sort of circus with sonic high-wire feats and adventurous arrangements. Cate and her bandmates recently visited The Alternate Side and played a set of songs from CYRK. You can listen to that session on TAS on 91.5 WNYE this Friday, April 27, at 11 a.m. EDT or streaming on The Alternate Side.

The Fling: TAS In Session


Add The Fling to that select circle of bands — like Megafaun and Gomez —  which alternate lead singers. The Long Beach, California, retro-gazing quintet landed a record deal with Dangerbird after self-releasing their debut, When The Madhouses Appear. Last fall they released an EP, What I've Seen, on their new label. The band just toured last month with Heartless Bastards and recently paid a visit to The Alternate Side for a live session. After the jump, check out the interview and performances of songs like  "Dogpile" and the double-barrelled "Seeds/Teeth."

Firehorse: TAS In Session

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While Leah Siegel's day job might be as a singer for jingles and commercials, she's nurtured a solo career over the last decade. In her latest guise, leading the band Firehorse, Siegel has given herself a fresh artistic start and a new album, And So They Ran Faster. Listen to The Alternate Side's session with Firehorse on TAS on 91.5 WNYE this Friday, April 13, at 11 a.m. EDT and streaming on the TAS audio player and check out interview highlights and videos from that session after the jump. Firehorse also play Brooklyn's Knitting Factory on April 25.

Lost In The Trees: TAS In Session

The powerful, tender bond between Lost in the Trees' singer and songwriter Ari Picker and his late mother has informed both of the band's albums, the latest being the stunning A Church That Fits Our Needs, out now on Anti- Records. Picker's unflinching examination of his family's tragic history is buoyed by beautiful, orchestral folk rock which comes to vivid realization in their live shows. Try to catch Lost in the Trees when they play New York's Le Poisson Rouge this Wednesday, April 11, and listen to an exclusive session with the band on 90.7 WFUV this Tuesday night, April 10, at 9 p.m. After the jump, watch the band, live in the WFUV studios, playing four tracks from A Church That Fits Our Needs.

Yellow Ostrich: TAS In Session

An evolution from laptop-in-bedroom dabbling to full-fledged, fast-rising band seems to be the biographical trajectory of every other fledgling group these days, but for Yellow Ostrich frontman Alex Schaaf, the transition from solo act to trio appeared to be an effortless one. Yellow Ostrich's sophomore release, Strange Land, is a confident leap from loops to an aggressive live sound. The band embarks on a tour on April 7 — they play New York's Mercury Lounge on April 8 with TEEN — and Schaaf, Tapper and Natchez recently came in for a iive session which airs on TAS on 91.5 WNYE this Friday, April 6, at 11 a.m. EDT, streaming on The Alternate Side.

Dry The River: TAS In Session

Although the genesis of British band Dry the River was rooted in Americana, folk and gospel, there's a muscular, harder-rocking edge that also defines the quintet. That heavier alter ego shows up frequently on Dry the River's confident debut, Shallow Bed, out now in the UK and set for release on April 17 in the States on RCA Records. The band, wrapping its Stateside tour this month, recently played a session for WFUV and The Alternate Side which you can hear now in WFUV's archives. After the jump, check out a live video of Dry the River's  "New Ceremony" and an audio stream of "Bible Belt."

Waters: TAS In Session

When Port O'Brien fell apart in 2011 after a six-year run, fans were saddened. Fortunately, one of the band's two founding members, Van Pierszalowski, regrouped quickly with a new band, Waters, and a debut album, Out in the Light, which was released last fall. Waters is in the midst of a North American tour and plays New York's Webster Hall this Thursday, March 29 supporting Delta Spirit. Not long ago Pierszalowski and his bandmates visited The Alternate Side for a session which you can hear this Friday, March 30 on TAS on 91.5 WNYE and streaming on The Alternate Side. Check out highlights of the interview and videos of live performances of tracks like the sublime "Mickey Mantle."

Friends: TAS In Session (SXSW 2012)

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Along with other generically-named bands, like Real Estate and Girls, Brooklyn's Friends play hard-to-get when it comes to Google searches, but this quintet of longtime friends has generated a lot of interest despite their nascent, two-single career thus far.  They launch a tour with Metronomy this month, playing two dates at New York's Irving Plaza on March 29-30. Friends' still-untitled debut album doesn't drop until May, but the band, which just played SXSW, recently visited The Alternate Side for a terrific five-song session, airing Friday, March 23, on TAS on 91.5 WNYE at 11 a.m. ET and streaming on The Alternate Side. After the jump, check out videos of that set and highlights of the interview.

Michael Kiwanuka: TAS In Session (SXSW Artist)


Michael Kiwanuka's first trip this week to SXSW in Austin marks one of the higher-profile debut appearances at the festival. The soft-spoken Londoner, who cannily channels soulful influences like Otis Redding and Bill Withers, has had a startling career trajectory over the last year, seguing swiftly from an unknown session musician to the top pick of the BBC's Sound of 2012. His debut album, Home Again, is out today, March 12, in the UK, but won't drop in the States until July 31 on Cherrytree/Interscope Records. Earlier this winter, he dropped by WFUV and The Alternate Side to play a tender set of songs from Home Again. After the jump, watch Kiwanuka's live performance, read highlights of his interview and listen to the archived session.

Perfume Genius: TAS In Session

The raw, devastating intimacy of the music of Mike Hadreas, who works as Perfume Genius, first garnered the Seattle-based singer and songwriter notice with his startling debut, 2010's Learning. His unflinching, vulnerable examination of addiction, despair, sexual abuse and self-discovery remains as vivid on his sophomore album, Put Your Back N 2 It, out now on Matador/Turnstile, but as Hadreas admitted when he visited The Alternate Side last month, there is a more buoyant approach to the music on this record, despite its troubling undertow. Listen to Perfume Genius' excellent session on TAS on 91.5 WNYE this Friday, March 9 at 11 a.m. EST, also streaming on The Alternate Side. After the jump, read highlights of the interview and watch exclusive live performances of "Hood," "Seventeen" and "Take Me Home."

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