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."

Howler: TAS In Session

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The explosive debut album from Howler, the cheekily-named America Give Up which was released in January on Rough Trade Records, has earned the Minneapolis quintet enthusiastic feedback both Stateside and in the UK. Howler kick off a North American tour on March 9 in Appleton, Wisconsin, but last month, the guys visited The Alternate Side for a kinetic live set. Check out the session on TAS on 91.5 WNYE tomorrow, March 2, at 11 a.m. EST and streaming on The Alternate Side. After the jump, watch exclusive performance videos of tracks like "Back Of Your Neck."

The Shins' James Mercer: TAS In Session

For nearly five years, The Shins' return seemed unlikely. Frontman James Mercer had disbanded The Shins' lineup in 2009 and was focused on his new project with Danger Mouse, Broken Bells. But last summer, Mercer announced that The Shins would return with a new album and lineup and he has fulfilled that promise with Port of Morrow, The Shins' fourth album. Port of Morrow won't be released until March 20, but  earlier this month Mercer visited WFUV and The Alternate Side for an intimate acoustic session. Listen to that interview and live set on TAS' sister station 90.7 WFUV on Tuesday, February 28 at 9 p.m. ET and after the jump, check out exclusive live performances of "Simple Song," "Australia" and "New Slang."

Dan Mangan: TAS In Session

Vancouver folk musician Dan Mangan has steadily built a critically-acclaimed career, receiving four nominations earlier this month for the Juno Awads, Canada's equivalent of the Grammys.. His highly-praised third album, Oh Fortune, was released on Arts and Crafts last autumn, produced by Colin Stewart. Mangan is presently on tour in Australia, but he will head to Austin for SXSW next month. A lengthy journey through Europe is planned for April. The busy Mangan slowed down just long enough to bring his band to the Bronx for a session with The Alternate Side and after the jump, read highlights of that interview and watch performances of four songs from Oh Fortune.

Peter Wolf Crier: TAS In Session

One of the many hundreds of bands headed to SXSW in a few weeks is Minnesota-born band Peter Wolf Crier, which began as the duo of Peter Pisano and Brian Moen. The group's sophomore album, Garden of Arms, dropped last autumn via Jagjaguwar. Peter Wolf Crier open for Damien Jurado on the West Coast this April following their Austin stopover in March. Pisano, Moen and new member Kyle Flater visited The Alternate Side not long ago and discussed their unconventional recording techniques (and even treated us to a surprising cover of INXS' "Never Tear Us Apart"). Listen to the session when it airs on TAS on 91.5 WNYE this Friday, February 24 at 11 a.m. and streaming on The Alternate Side.

TAS In Session: Laura Gibson

Laura Gibson's first two solo albums were noted for their hushed intimacy, but for her third release, the Portland, Oregon songwriter wanted to "err on the side of confidence" and set a new challenge for herself.  The result, the more assertive La Grande, is still bathed in Gibson's poetry and gentle observations, but the sound is bolder and more layered. Gibson and her bandmates visited The Alternate Side for a intriguing and candid interview late last month and you can listen to the session tomorrow, Friday, February 17, on TAS on 91.5 WNYE at 11 a.m. ET or streaming on The Alternate Side. After the jump, check out video performances of songs like "La Grande" and "Milk-Heavy, Pollen-Eyed."

The Barr Brothers: TAS In Session

Brothers Andrew and Brad Barr of the trio The Slip, credit a serendipitous encounter during a Montréal gig as the catalyst behind not only a life-changing move to Canada, but the genesis of their latest project, The Barr Brothers. The band released its self-titled debut last fall on Secret City Records and found themselves kicking off 2012 with an appearance on "The Late Show With David Letterman." Recently the quartet came by WFUV and The Alternate Side for a session which airs tonight, February 13, at 9 p.m. ET on 90.7 WFUV. After the jump, check out their live Studio A performances of  "Beggar in the Morning," "Old Mythologies" and more.

Hospitality: TAS In Session

A chance meeting with K Records' Karl Blau pushed Brooklyn-based band Hospitality towards their first EP in 2008, which Blau produced. More friendships landed the trio on the doorstep of Merge Records, which just released the band's self-titled debut last week. Hospitality, who open for Tennis at Bowery Ballroom and Music Hall of Williamsburg in early March, made a cross-borough visit from Brooklyn to the Bronx last month for a TAS session. After the jump, check out highlights of the interview. watch the videos and this Friday, February 10, listen to the session, which includes performances of tracks like "All Day Today" and the unreleased "Monkey," on TAS on 91.5 WNYE at 11 a.m. and streaming on The Alternate Side.

Blitzen Trapper: TAS In Session

Blitzen Trapper, which released a brand new video for its single "Taking It Easy Too Long" earlier this month, kick off a West Coast tour on March 4 in Arcata, California. During their last visit to New York, Blitzen Trapper dropped by TAS and our sister station WFUV for a live session, exploring songs off of the band's latest album, American Goldwing. After the jump, check out performance videos of tracks like "Fletcher" and "Might Find It Cheap" and listen to the archived session.

Clap Your Hands Say Yeah: TAS In Session

The nearly five-year span of time between Clap Your Hands Say Yeah's 2007 album Some Loud Thunder and 2011's Hysterical led many fans to think, during the band's dormant period, that a break-up was inevitable. That wasn't the case, despite CYHSY's many outside projects and frontman Alec Ounsworth's own 2009 solo record, Mo Beauty. The quintet recruited busy producer John Congleton (St. Vincent, Okkervil River) for Hysterical, the band's third album and they have been on the comeback trail since its release. CYHSY kick off a UK and European tour tonight, January 30, in Leeds, England. After the jump, interview highlights and performance videos, and listen to the session this Friday, February 3 at 11 a.m. on TAS on 91.5 WNYE and streaming on The Alternate Side.


Xylos: TAS In Session

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Brooklyn's electro-popsters Xylos released their self-titled debut last spring, but the melodic quintet are already working on their second album, test-driving new songs in live shows like tonight's gig (January 26) at New York's Hiro Ballroom at the Maritime Hotel with Deadbeat Darling and Roma!. Late last fall, the band came by TAS' Bronx studios for a live session and chat with Alisa Ali. After the jump, check out old and new tracks like "Summer Song,"  "X-Ray" and "Eastern Pose."  

TAS In Session: The One AM Radio

Last year,  Los Angeles pop trio The One AM Radio released their sweetly sad album, Heaven Is Attached by a Slender Thread, and in late December, the band gathered every gratis track and video they'd posted in 2011 in one convenient bundle for free download. Heaven Is Attached by a Slender Thread marked the first time that frontman and songwriter Hrishikesh Hirway had ever worked with an outside producer, Tony Hoffer of Beck and Phoenix fame, who mixed the record. The One AM Radio dropped by The Alternate Side's studio for a very special session and after the jump, check out video performances of "An Old Photo of Your New Lover," "Sunlight" and "In A City Without Seasons.

Chairlift: TAS In Session

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When one of Chairlift's founding members, Aaron Pfenning, left the Brooklyn band in 2010 to pursue his own solo career, it was a bruising blow for a young group that seemed to be doing well. Remaining members Caroline Polacheck and Patrick Wimberly didn't abandon Chairlift, but took their time recording their second album, Something, which comes out tomorrow, January 24. The band recently dropped by for a session and performed several tracks from the new record, including the tongue twisting "Amanaemonesia" and "Frigid Spring" (which seems to describe this clement winter). After the jump, check out highlights and videos. Listen to the session this Friday, January 27, on TAS on 91.5 WNYE at 11 a.m. ET and streaming on The Alternate Side.

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.

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