by Jeff McCord, Music Director, KUTX
It’s a new year, which means for a few precious weeks, we can all pretend like we’re starting over. Ahhh, resolutions. Best intentions, right? As that bearded sage from Detroit once said, turn the page.
Actually, the music industry does sort of reboot around this time, mostly because of the copious amounts of time many of those in the business take off, and already, 2015 has yielded some surprises. But more on that in a moment. First things first….
ARTIST OF THE MONTH
Our January Artist of the Month here at KUTX is Austin rocker Walker Lukens. Lukens had real success with his 2013 release Devoted, which got noticed by audiences, both local and otherwise, and by organizations like NPR Music.
But despite what you might think, Walker is not a confessional singer/songwriter. “My name is Walker. I live in Texas. I’ve got a beard. I get it. I’ve got a song called The Night I Was Kissed By Patti Smith and people would ask me if I actually kissed a very famous woman who is 40+ years older than me or if this was my fantasy. (It’s neither, by the way.) I’m trying to do something with blues that won’t sound like listening to an SRV Pandora station. I’m trying to do something with R&B that won’t sound like a lost Stax track. I’ve never wanted to help people have a good time so much in my life.”
After a couple of years playing the material from Devoted, Walker knows which songs click. “I know what kind of songs are cigarette breaks and which make people lunge forward on the two and four.” And based on the song he’s sent us, Everyday (produced by local producer and Spoon drummer Jim Eno), from his new album-in-progress, Baked Goods, he’s definitely going for the latter.
2015 is jut a few days old and already we’ve had a few surprises. And one of them dropped in December. After a 14-year layoff (!!), D’Angelo has delighted music fans with Black Messiah, and album as good or possibly better than anything he’s ever done. If he really spent all this time on the one album, you’d never know it. It’s funky, and natural, and does NOT have the vibe of a work that’s been fussed over.
Locally, new stuff on the way from others who’ve been a while without something new on the scene, including James McMurtry, Gold Beach, T Bird and the Breaks, and much more. And apparently, the woefully under-recorded Texas legend Ornette Coleman has a new release with a band called New Vocabulary. Working on tracking this one down.
On the national front, look for new releases from Panda Bear, Modest Mouse, The Decemberists, Father John Misty and a reunited Sleater-Kinney.
And already out, a new song from the much-anticipated new album from Kanye West. West produced and wrote the song, but he’s not on the recording. The singer? None other than Paul McCartney.
Happy January. Stay tuned to 98.9 See you next time.
See you next time. Happy Holidays!