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On Air Next

On Air Next 4.25.18

Hannah Morrison

By Jolie Klefeker

Finals is right around the corner, and I always like to use stressful times like these to recommend some practical music for studying or just getting stuff done. Today's mix features instrumental music or music with gentle, muted vocals to serve as a non-distracting backdrop to a hopefully productive finals season.

Ethiopia's Hailu Mergia was a pretty influential guy on the Addis Ababa scene back in the 70s. He played accordion and organ in the influential Walias band that, due to strict curfews, would often play through the night until 6 a.m., when the curfew lifted. These guys were rockstars, and Hailu Mergia still is. He had kind of fallen off of the music map for a while, living and working as a cab driver in the Washington, D.C. area, but recently he's had his music reissued and he's making some new stuff. "Wede Harer Guzo," recorded in 1978, is my study pick. It's a raw soul-jazz record that has a lovely, warm, vintage feeling and features unobtrusive, gentle but groovy vocals. This one is hard to dislike: It's passionate, easy to listen to and a classic in my books.

Maria Teresa Luciani is a mystery. There isn't a lot known about her, and original copies of her music are basically near impossible to find. It's understandable why she is in such high demand, "Sounds of the City" is an impossibly complex maze of tape loops, samples, found sounds and a genre-breaking suite of experimental sounds. This record is difficult to describe. It's simultaneously everything and nothing but best imagined as a landscape — an immersive environment ripe for exploration. Prepare for hypnotic layers of repetition and so much great, spacey, echoey, reverb. Take a mental vacation from finals, put this one on and walk around inside a parallel universe.

Pram's "The Stars Are So Big, the Earth Is So Small... Stay as You Are" is whimsical, experimental and beautiful. Taking on a cinematic feeling, the album incorporates a wide range of instruments and timbres, navigating us through some a confusing dreamscape. Influences of jazz, krautrock and early experimental rock are clear throughout, however their sound is difficult to place. It's avant-dream-pop, it's neo-psych and shoegaze all at once while maintaining a sense of subtlety and a very well-curated sound. This album gets extra credit for being named after a quote from Marshall McLuhan's "The Medium is the Massage." For fans of Broadcast or Stereolab.

I will start by saying that I have never seen the French film "La Scoumoune," but that does not stop me from recommending its soundtrack. The movie is about getting tangled up with some bad people, being sent to prison and planning an escape, which is why this is the perfect soundtrack to a week of finals. Composer Françoise Roubaix crafted a very distinct sound for the film. It's dynamic, with a very tinkery, playful sound, and is based entirely around a principal melody that sneaks its way into most of the songs, giving a cohesive, not monotonous, feeling. For something a little mischievous and lighthearted, throw this one on.

On Air Next 4.18.18

Hannah Morrison

By Jolie Klefeker

I've acquired a handful of bangers off Bandcamp over the past few weeks. They aren't the newest, but these are new to my MP3 library and hopefully to you as well.

Bloomington, Ind., duo Nice Try released their self-titled record back in 2016. And with all but one of the tracks clocking in at under two minutes, it's a bedroom, DIY pop record at heart, complete with minimal chord progressions and crushy lyrics. Sounding like something along the lines of a cuter P.S. Eliot or early Girlpool but with drums, Nice Try is perfectly imperfect, charmingly disheveled. "President" kicks things off with a lively pace and sleepy harmonies, both of which are kept up throughout the record. However, "Wet Willy" stands as my favorite on the record with the backup vocals mimicking somewhat of a dialogue along with the distorted, almost '90s guitar tone. Nice Try is cute, slacker pop. If you dig Frankie Cosmos or Snail Mail, you'll like this.

D.L.M.I.C. is the solo project of Mark Winter, who is somewhat of a weirdo punk legend and has been in bands like The Coneheads, CCTV and liquids. He's come out with quite a lot under this moniker, and it's all really hot stuff, so I'm not suggesting a specific track, I'm just suggesting him. The unbridled rip into insidious gentrification hipster culture on the track "Wicker Park" off his "November Cassingles" release is what really got me excited. I honestly wish that I could publish every lyric to you right now, as it reads like a report on what's currently happening in Denver and likely in every city. "Oh I'm so cliche / The city and my suburb are the fucking same / I'll move to Logan Square, shop in Wicker Park / American Apparel and latte art / Staying inside after it gets dark / I love the city, just not the poor parts.

" Hints of classic retro pop-rock seeps into an angry, modern sound, think toned-down Sheer Mag. Winter's voice sounds like that of a snotty, LA punk, dark and deeply sarcastic. The tracks "Fest Punk" and "I hope B.P. Explodes" are also real hits. This is my favorite thing I've heard in a really long time. Check it out.

Austin's Institute fuses anarchic punk with a dark, post-punk expanse, some moments hectic and slightly evil while others find a striking melody inside of the noise. Having all of their full-length releases on Sacred Bones, it's clear why things work — there's something slightly occult about Institute's music. There's always something intangible about it: It's creepy, it's overcast, but why is it so pretty? I think that's what is so attractive about their music. It's truly punk in ethos, not conforming to anything. They are truly men of mystery. They've got two great full-lengths out, "Subordination" being the most recent, coming out last summer. But 2015's "Catharsis" is just as intricate, slightly more upbeat and bright. For post-punk fanatics looking to go a little more in the hardcore direction, this is up your alley. For fans of Crisis or Lack of Knowledge.

On Air Next 4.11.18

Hannah Morrison

By Jolie Klefeker

Radio 1190 has been bombarded with several exciting releases the past couple of weeks. Here's a look into three of the records we've recently added to our library and why we dig them.

Hop Along's "Bark Your Head Off, Dog" is the group's third studio album. This record seems like somewhat of a stepping stone for the Philly quartet. It's certainly branching out, taking on a more polished, produced sound. It lacks the subtle punk grittiness that colored 2015's "Painted Shut" and attempts to replace it with a poetic subtlety. Lead singer Frances Quinlan thrives when her incredibly vast vocal range is combined with instrumentals that require such diversity from her. While some tracks begin to set a new standard of both complexity and catchiness for indie rock-pop, others fall flat. Despite its less successful moments, when this record is good, it's great. "Look Of Love" is a dynamic roller coaster. Starting out gently fuzzy, it carries you through crescendo, eventually slamming you into a completely unexpected universe of vocal harmony where the rhythm kicks in and its raw feeling envelops you. "How Simple" brings to mind '90s alt-rock classics like Built To Spill or solo Stephen Malkmus with a wistful, meandering pace.

Boasting acts like FUZZ, The Urinals, Jay Reatard, and The King Khan and the BBQ Show, In The Red records has been on my radar for quite a while. One of their latest releases, Shark Toys' "Labyrinths" is a hot and fast, rock 'n' roller of a record. Their frenzied, tension-laced post punk falls somewhere between Parquet Courts and Wire, with unexpected moments of skronky noise littered throughout. "Labyrinths' " guitars have a kind of gritty angularity, calling to mind acts like Gang Of Four or The Soft Boys. "Three Dogs," "Jazz Suss" and "Maze" stand out as the obvious hits of the record. They take a low-key, playful approach to the more dissonant fragments that maintain a punk ethos. It's not contrived; it's loud and it's fun.

This record draws from a lot of the greats but still manages to do it's own thing. The dark but anthemic, upbeat chord progressions fuse in a purposefully abrupt way with crazier interludes of noise to make a banger of punk rockin' record.

When Hinds first broke onto the U.S. indie-rock scene around 2014, they brought a much-needed wave of sunny, carefree imperfection with them. Their music has grit, it's completely unafraid to sound real, the vocals are pitchy, their Spanish accents proudly shine through, their guitars sound the slightest bit untuned and that's exactly what makes their music so good. Casual moments like these make room for the oddest instances of suspense and relief, and for a warm feeling of familiarity. A summery, beautifully nostalgic testament to youth, parties, heartbreak and uncertainty, "I Don't Run" is a shaggy garage-pop record I will be bumping all summer long. For fans of Chastity Belt, Devendra Banhart, Tijuana Panthers and Black Lips.

On Air Next 4.4.18

Hannah Morrison

By Jolie Klefeker

The world is coming to life once again after a long, grey winter. The same can be said about music: After the typical slow, release season, new music is flooding in and there's a ton of exciting stuff. This week features two standout records from old favorites Frankie Cosmos and The Voidz.

Greta Kline aka Frankie Cosmos has been shaking up the indie singer/songwriter genre for a while now. Her music is deceptively complex, pairing almost over-used chord progressions with subtle melodic flourishes, deeply poetic lyrics centered around the seemingly empty. There's something off about Kline's songwriting, and that's what makes it magical. Recurring motifs of insecurity, heartbreak, friendship and her dead dog JoJo are peppered throughout her latest, "Vessel." Her third studio album, this record is the bittersweet, slightly jaded, cluelessly naive, edgy older sister to 2016's "Next Thing." It's still Frankie Cosmos, but this record is far more mature, diving deeper into moments of louder and faster, underproduction and intense vulnerability that we haven't heard before.

Frankie Cosmos is a modern poet for the shy, uncomfortable millennial age. She finds profound moments in banal ones and packages them into tiny indie-pop boxes, which we can find either deeply emotional or just catchy, take your pick. My favorite tracks are "As Often As I Can," "Bus Bus Train Train" and "Cafeteria." Frankie Cosmos is playing at the Fox Theatre in Boulder at 9 tonightwith Lomelda and Colorado's own Ashley Koett. Stop on by!

Julian Casablancas has never really taken that much of a break since the explosive, early 2000s success of The Strokes, but every time he releases something new, it feels so long awaited. Perhaps it's the hype, but I personally attribute it to songwriting. In his solo work and on this latest release with The Voidz, Casablancas seems to balance perfectly atop an extremely thin line that divides the indulgent replication of all successes past from the need to do something new. What I'm really saying is that The Voidz's latest record, "Virtue," maintains that balance, featuring some glorious bits of Strokes nostalgia and some delightfully new, weird bits as well.

The subdued, dreamy, distorted pop gem "Leave It In My Dreams" kicks off the album and is immediately contrasted by a slew of tracks featuring heavy electro-guitars and synths. Ultimately, the record has a sci-fi, dystopian, rock 'n' roll kind of feeling with the occasional toned-down, broken, pop-rock track thrown in. This record isn't particularly cohesive; it just kind of doesn't care. Indie-rock, new-wave, noise and hardcore all come together seamlessly because of the fact that this record really doesn't want to be seamless. It's a manic collection of psychedelic synth-punk that will both entice you and drive you away. "Virtue" is eccentric, freaky and totally refreshing. Give it a listen.

On Air Next 3.14.18

Hannah Morrison

By Jolie Klefeker

I don't think spring is anywhere near sprung yet, as I'm sure that snow will fall the second I finish writing a column inspired by the nice weather we've had lately, but I'm choosing to ignore this possibility and do it anyway. It's warm! The world is alive again! And when that happens, springy, warm, bright music is on my mind. So here you go: a premature spring playlist from Radio 1190.

'Tender Buttons' by Broadcast

"Tender Buttons" is a jumbled blend of vintage-pop melody and blown-out synth noise which fuse to create something retrofuturistic in nature: a space-age, whimsical, alien, wistful, cinematic combination of '60s pop, art electronica and psychedelia. This record is microcosmic — it creates a tiny word full of excitement and wonder, and it traps you inside. Listen for colorful, dreamy pop.

'Ceres & Calypso in the Deep Time' by Candy Claws

When non-Coloradans talk about Colorado music, they probably mention Devotchka or The Lumineers, and that's all well and fine, but I'm bewildered as to why Fort Collins' Candy Claws isn't up there with them. Combining dream-pop, shoegaze and synth-pop to deliver lush psychedelia, the local duo produced a ton of refreshing indie pop with distortions and fuzz alongside the more expected reverberant sound.

'Loving' by Loving

Loving is a natural iteration on Devendra Banhart's sunny, eclectic and casual style of indie in the age of lo-fi psych pop a la Mac Demarco, Mild High Club and Walter TV. A woozy, lackadaisical tinge falls in line with a timid, cute indie pop sound of yesterday, like Little Joy and Beirut. This record is particularly warmer than the rest and would be perfectly suited for spring fever daydreams of beaches and frozen fruit beverages.

'Apple O' LP' by Deerhoof

I suppose apples are an autumnal thing, but other than the title, this record is perfectly seasonal appropriate. Bursting with life and exuberance, "Apple O' LP" fuses the saccharine with volume to throttle an unstoppable, bright and raw energy straight into your ears. It's not all birdy chirps and wildflower meadows on this one, but when it is, it makes the noisier moments all the more weird and exciting. In a typical Deerhoof fashion, this record is a little all over the place, but that just means that there's more exciting content to discover. Give it a listen.

'Enter The Vaselines' by The Vaselines

The Vaselines' simple and childish sound is potentially inappropriate, reductive and oddly beautiful. Fans of Beat Happening or even Dear Nora would dig "Enter The Vaselines" for its deceptively simple song structures and maybe creepy allusive lyrical content. The Vaselines are a perverse version of innocent and elementary pop — this record hooks you with catchy melodies and then draws you in, forcing you to listen and actually consider the lyrics. You may find yourself singing along before you get to what they mean though. This is a darn good record.

Check out the above playlist of more springtime music over at featuring music from the artists I mentioned today and tons of other hits from Television, The Voidz, Marnie Stern and more.

Of course, as always, tune in at 1190 AM, 98.9 FM or online at radio1190.org.

On Air Next 3.7.18

Hannah Morrison

By Jolie Klefeker

This week features a weird jumble of tunes. From a super catchy indie-pop record to two great local releases, we are really mixing things up this week, so let's just get into it.

Cuckoo, formerly knows as Coo Coo Bad Brains, is a Boulder/Denver-based indie pop-rock, slow-core trio that just released its latest album "Big" on the local First Base Tapes label. For the most part, "Big" is melancholy, sedated and a little off-kilter, sounding like something in between Duster, Galaxie 500 and Pavement. Tracks like "Colony Park," "Cover Girl" and "Leg Day" are my favorites because they highlight the balance this record keeps between the fuzzy and the pretty. Interlaced between the pretty moments are the weirder, tenser moments that have a bouncy unevenness. These two elements contrast really well against each other to create an album that maintains a cohesive sound while still offering some surprises. If you're into contemporary lo-fi rock like Alex G or Peaer, you should look up Cuckoo on Bandcamp.

"A Kaleidoscope of Butterflies" by Denver's Wrinkle is a collage of different sounds like the title suggests. It has several things going on, and it all works really well. This record offers a refreshing variety — it kicks off with "Ice Cream Shop," a tame and melodic pop song, then quickly launches into tracks like "Brighter," which brings an awesome '90s rock-pop feeling. Wrinkle gives us some true bangers as well as really nice indie-pop tracks. There's something for everyone here: It's at times fun and energetic and other times thoughtful and calming. This is another record to come out on First Base Tapes and features tons of talented Denver creatives in the lineup. Give it a listen!

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As open-minded as I try to be when it comes to new music, I wasn't expecting to like Superorganism. While their stuff is crammed full of weirdo interludes and accents, their self-titled debut is an electropop record as far as I'm concerned but an exceedingly good one. Superorganism crafts broken pop music — it's dancey and catchy beyond belief, however they lack a certain effort that pop music clearly has. The vocals are casual and carefree; they sound perfectly in tune yet not at all beautiful but rather normal. They interrupt the most important escalations of their songs to throw in random spoken segments and tend to sample organic, found sounds quite often. Certain moments in this record remind me of the brightly colored, indie haziness of groups like MGMT, poppier Deerhoof and even Animal Collective, while others remind me of "Warrior"-era Kesha. If you don't typically listen to contemporary pop music, this record may really hook you or let you down as much as other pop music may have. I'm under the belief that Superorganism is doing something completely new, influential and generally fun. If you're on the lookout for an acid-tinged pop trip, you'll probably dig this. Check out their music videos as well.

You know the drill: 1190 AM, 98.9 FM or online at radio1190.org.

On Air Next 2.28.18

Hannah Morrison

By Jolie Klefeker

Midterms have been hitting me hard this semester. When school has me really stressing, it's always hard to find that perfect balance with music: uplifting, but not so happy it reminds you of how unhappy you are; relaxed, but not too calm as to make you lazy. It's a difficult balance. Luckily for you, I've got an arsenal of albums that manage to walk that line, so here are a few solid records to get you through that mid-semester slump.

Philly indie rockers The Spirit of the Beehive craft the brilliantly unclear — a hazy jumble of psychedelic indie folk that at times punches you in the gut and other times flies over your head. The sound on their latest, "Pleasure Suck," is dreamy and lazy yet incredibly well rounded, bridging the gap between the delightful and the fuzzy. I had the immense pleasure of seeing these kids live the other night, and let me tell ya, it didn't suck at all. Their sound was incredibly cohesive. The songs, much like the album, flowed effortlessly into each other. What stood out to me was how incredibly dynamic their sound is. They've mastered this balance of gentle and hard, somehow perfectly maintaining this homeostasis in which the quiet moments make the loud ones feel blissful and rewarding and vice versa. This is especially apparent to me on the songs "pleasure suck I," "ricky (caught me tryin')" and "big brain." Give this record a chance; it's really great.

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Eddy Current Suppression Ring is kind of an oldie at this point, but 2009's "Primary Colors" has kind of been haunting me lately. The Australia based group's sound borrows from classic garage and punk roots but seems to add touch of irreverence and nonchalance that is just harder to come by these days. "Sunday's Coming" and "Memory Lane" stand out as the hits off this record for me. They're exceedingly simple but commit to their minimalism in such a confident way that there's no need to question it. If you like anyone from the Troggs to the Fall to Parquet Courts, there's something for you to appreciate in ECSR's discography.

"Denton After Sunset" is a record I frequently lean on for the late afternoon bus ride home. It offers a certain suburban ennui and melancholy that just seems to fit the bill. While Teenage Cool Kids is mostly known as the pre-Parquet Courts band, I think this record very much holds its own. It's timid, insecure, and vulnerable in a way that Parquet Courts never has been. "Denton After Sunset" offers an authentic and unpretentious window into Andrew Savage's songwriting and delivers garage-tinged indie rock — accented by unexpected yet well-fitting notes of country music — that's hard to dislike. Ranging from meandering lyricisms of "Landlocked State" to the driving guitars on "Kachina Doll," this album brings a lot to the table. If you dig P.S. Eliot, Milk Music or maybe even Built To Spill, check this one out.

As always, tune in: 1190 AM, 98.9 FM, or online at radio1190.org.

On Air Next 2.21.18

Hannah Morrison

By Jolie Klefeker

The past few weeks have seen the release of a ton of rockin' new music. From Palm's "Rock Island" to the re-recording and release of Car Seat Headrest's "Twin Fantasy," there's a lot going on. That being said, you've likely heard of these albums already, or if you haven't, you could look them up and read a review by someone far more eloquent than myself. This week, I thought I'd throw some of the smaller-time acts I've really been digging out there, and hopefully you'll enjoy them as well.

Haord Records is home to brightly hued, weirdo-freak, synth-rock compositions of acts like Macula Dog and Cabo Boing. Notes of Devo are heavy throughout Cabo Boing's " Blob on A Grid," with toy-like synth and robotic vocals. And as the name suggests, abstract beachy elements such as reggae-like upstrokes on the guitar are littered in between the more electronic moments. This record is experimental, playful and slightly demented — everything I could ask for and more. For an "R2D2 covers Disneyland music" or "Kraftwerk plays in Pee Wee's playhouse" kind of sound, "Blob On A Grid" is the obvious choice. If you're a fan of this one, check out the rest of Haord's releases as well. They're equally as wacky and just as fun.

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Gecko's "Enter the Gecko" is the only thing they have listed on their Bandcamp page, which makes me sad, but listening to this record makes me happy. Gecko throws together harcore riffs with a lil' bit of post-punk dissonance peeking through. Drips and drops of slimey sludginess a la Lumpy and the Dumpers or Toxic State Records seep through to make something gritty, dark and chaotic. Gecko is a local hardcore band, and the art for this tape is pretty dang sick. My personal favorite track is "Flowers." Give 'em a listen and check 'em out on Bandcamp.

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American Pleasure Club is the latest project of Sam Ray, the force behind Teen Suicide and Ricky Eat Acid. He's had a fair amount of hype in the lo-fi community for quite a while now, touring with acts like Elvis Depressedly. The new record " A Whole Fucking Lifetime Of This," features some heavier, rock-poppier moments among the band's more popular, quieter sound on tracks like "this is heaven & id die for it" and "new years eve." Sam Ray is well known for his all-over-the-place musical stylings, so it comes as no surprise that the record does a complete 180 on tracks like "just a mistake," featuring a complete drum and bass, very EDM rhythm. All in all, this record has some really serene, beautiful moments and some completely unexpected, out-there moments as well. It's a weird variety but a nice one. Generally, it's nice to hear all of their influences and projects flowing into one record to form something cohesive (in context) and well-rounded.

These records and a bunch more are spinning on Radio 1190. As always, tune in and stop by: 1190 AM, 98.9 FM and online at radio1190.org.

On Air Next 2.14.18

Hannah Morrison

By Jolie Klefeker

A lot of great music has come out in the past couple of weeks. A couple of new records have me excited because they both seem to draw something from the '80s but still manage to sound like themselves. If you're in the mood for a little something retro or just want a dance fix, definitely give these a listen.

While there's certainly an anti-capitalist political statement running though their music, what grabs me most about Shopping's music is their undeniable post-punk dance groove, which instantly calls to mind legends like The Slits, Bush Tetras and Delta 5. Without being overly repetitive, Shopping has managed to identify the catchiest, most iconic elements of the post-punk movement and polish it all up with their own contemporary sheen. Angular guitars, dominant bass and sharp guitars throttle us into almost spoken, unmistakably British vocals. Shopping's latest, "The Official Body," is the London trio's third release and boasts a fuller, more put-together feeling. It's an all-around tight record: I mean that in the colloquial, "cool" sense but also in a technical way.

Every detail, note and beat line up to form a perfect balance between a strict complexity and a punk nonchalance. This record packs it all in. This dexterity seems especially obvious on tracks "Wild Child," "The Hype" and "My Dad's A Dancer." If you're not familiar with the old stuff, I would recommend this to fans of Sneaks or even LCD Soundsystem, on the record's heavier synth moments.

I feel like every writeup about MGMT starts with the same spiel, something along the lines of: "The unlikely indie rockstars who were quickly launched into popularity" or "a couple of college kids unprepared to handle the precedent they set for themselves" or "a band that's spent the past 10 years ineffectively trying to recreate the record that brought them short-lived success." I'm not trying to roast them, but MGMT has had a hard time because it felt like they never really branched out. Well, now they have, and I'm pleasantly surprised. "Little Dark Age" is the MGMT record I've been waiting for. It finally seems like they're gaining distance from "Oracular Spectacular" and bringing us something a little less bright, more mature and informed. Tracks like "Little Dark Age," "One Thing Left To Try" and "Me and Michael" immediately invoke a new wave kind of nostalgia through their driving synths and upbeat pop energy that almost sounds corny but isn't. For the most part, a dreamy sort of danciness acts as the glue of this release, sticking together darker synths with the warmer, groovier moments. This record is certainly still an MGMT record — one that borrows from indie traditions and fuses it with pop to make something a little off-kilter with mass appeal. But it seems to let go of the rainbow-colored, stoner, college-town energy they carried with them through their previous two releases. Notes of contemporary influences like Ariel Pink and John Maus seem pretty present across the board, as both of them seem to exemplify what it means to make indie music in a "post-Animal Collective" era. This doesn't qualify as an underground record, but as a pop album, it's pretty dang good and you should give it listen.

Tune in to 1190 AM or 98.9 FM, or online at radio1190.org.

On Air Next 2.7.18: New music from Hovvdy, No Age and Porches lives up to the hype

Hannah Morrison

By Jolie Klefeker

All three of the albums I'm talking about today are albums that I, and everyone else, have been talking about for a while. They've been much anticipated and for very good reason. I'm here to tell you that they all live up to the hype.

 "Cranberry," Hovvdy's second album, is masterfully simple. ( Courtesy photo )

"Cranberry," Hovvdy's second album, is masterfully simple. (Courtesy photo)

Hovvdy have been a station favorite with a cult following for quite a while now, delivering a seemingly effortless package of slow — a la Alex G — no-frills indie rock. At times cozy, at times wistful, the slow-core duo manages to craft a sound that, despite being exceedingly simple, never seems to bore. Consisting of Will Taylor and Charlie Martin, the Austin-based pair has slowly been gaining momentum in underground music circles. "Cranberry" is being released on Double Double Whammy and comes in the wake of Hovvdy's first release, "Taster" (which I also really recommend, by the way). "Cranberry" is adorned with unexpected pockets of intricacy where notes of Americana drift through their meandering guitars and accents of banjo and piano. And tiny moments of vocal harmony add emphasis to their gently spoken, almost whispered lyrics. This is a great record. It's masterfully simple. Listen to it.

 "Snares Like a Haircut" by No Age invites you to dig through noise and abstraction to find underlying moments of subtlety and harmony. ( Courtesy photo )

"Snares Like a Haircut" by No Age invites you to dig through noise and abstraction to find underlying moments of subtlety and harmony. (Courtesy photo)

With a distinctively loud, distorted and abrasive sound, No Age have cemented themselves as the veterans of this mix; their 2008 release, "Nouns" has become somewhat of a classic. However, they've been pretty quiet for the past couple of years, so I was pleased to hear they were releasing a new record, "Snares Like A Haircut," on Drag City. While their music is glazed with an surprising, almost sugary indie-pop sound, No Age is for the most part loud, fuzzy and hard. Combining elements of hardcore, noise, lofi and pop, No Age lives for the juxtaposition, and "Snares Like A Haircut" is no different. Their sound is fresh, manic, lurid and deceptively noisey. This deception is a good thing; it's the reason I love noise music.

There's a beauty in digging through noise and abstraction to find underlying moments of subtlety and harmony. This record isn't monumental, but it coaxes that interaction out of you, and that's why I like it.

 Porches' third studio album, "The House" features prominent techno beats and lots more Auto-Tune than their previous release, "Pool." ( Courtesy photo )

Porches' third studio album, "The House" features prominent techno beats and lots more Auto-Tune than their previous release, "Pool." (Courtesy photo)

New York's Porches are back it again with their third studio album, "The House." While they've always had electronic energy, they've come out with something even more dance influenced than their previous release "Pool," featuring prominent techno beats and lots more Auto-Tune. Porches blend of indie bedroom pop with soft electro offers something for fans of Blood Orange, "Blonde"-era Frank Ocean, Alex G and Frankie Cosmos. On the whole, "The House" is cool-toned, serene and groovy pop beats perfectly suited for those early-evening, pre-going-out-late kinds of times. Two of the singles from the record really shine: "Find Me," which is jarringly and successfully upbeat, and the more toned-down "Country." The in-between tracks serve more as experimental buffers than standout songs. When this album does well, it's contagious and unexpected, and when it doesn't do as well, it's still bearable. You'll have a chance to catch the new tracks live when Porches play Feb. 26 at the Larimer Lounge in Denver

Tune in to 1190 AM and 98.9 FM or online at radio1190.org.

On Air Next 1.31.18: February CD of the Month

Hannah Morrison

By Jolie Klefeker

Popcorn of Fear's self-titled record is Radio 1190's CD of the month. The album is a blend of light, intricate pop. While mellow synths dominate, the record is laden with tiny pockets of flute, violin and guitar playing. The whole thing is a gosh darn gift that keeps on giving, with each listen revealing another layer of complexity. It's sunny and amazing. This Tuesday, I hung out with my friend Ben Donehower, the man behind it all, at his house in Denver. In between playing with his loyal and adorable dog Karate, we talked about the record, Boulder, and Justin Bieber.

What exactly is Popcorn of Fear?

Popcorn of Fear is the band name, and I just happen to be the band. It was really just something that I came up with five years ago. It's just kind of been the band I've always wanted to be, and it had a sound to it. It felt like I heard what the music sounded like when I said the name.

Your music has a poppy energy to it, maybe not contemporary pop. But do you like pop? Do you make an effort to listen to what's popular these days?

I love pop. Pop is life. I've been thinking about this a lot and, like, all my shit is pop: Popcorn of Fear, Population Control (Donehower also makes music under the name DJ POP CTRL). Pop is people. Justin Bieber is important. His music is ubiquitous. He's a powerful image. Pop is the spectacle, and I'm so fascinated by pop as the spectacle but also pop as a form. And I spend a lot of time navigating between those two — this idea of "low art" or whatever and then also pop form: verse-chorus-verse. So yeah, I do really love who the kids are listening to, and I'm trying to keep up, but I'm feeling increasingly irrelevant.

in addition to Justin Bieber, who else do you listen to?

I love the new rap that's mainstream — Lil Yachty and Young Thug. It's all absurdist. It's all unique, and that's what the kids love, which is so weird. Robyn comes to mind as well. She's a great songwriter. I love her songs and her energy. You know what, though? There's not a lot of popular rock music I can think of. I mean, what's the biggest rock band right now? The thing about rock now is it's just an ironic representation of what it was 20 years ago. They say Nirvana was like the last huge, real rock band to happen, and everything else is just recreating this form that is decadent and not relevant. It's lost its mainstream appeal, and it can't compete with Young Thug, I don't think. The kids are telling us what's important these days. So people making rock music are just kind of mastering this form that's no longer in the conversation. It's like you restore an antique clock and you're really good at it, but there's digital clocks now, and you don't need to do this. But it's still really fun to pick apart a form, and you do come to the realization that you're not going to get a contract, there's no future. It's the process that's important.

Popcorn of Fear's self-titled record just came out on United Worker's Party, U.S.A. Check out the label and the album at Bandcamp. And as always, tune into Radio 1190 to listen to Popcorn of Fear and a buncha other stuff: 1190 AM, 98.9 FM and online at radio1190.org.

On Air Next: A shout out to truly unique artists Yesol, Don Gero and Uranium Club

Hannah Morrison

By Jolie Klefeker

While I could use this column to write about another big-budget fake independent record that Pitchfork gave an 8.5 or that some dude recited the Anthony Fantano review of to you at a party, I'm trying to promote music that's a little different. And for entirely selfish reasons, I want Radio 1190 to sound better, sound fresh, and give back to people who work hard to make music in a way that's actually unique and unpretentious. So this is my goal for the semester. I hope I can live up to it. Also, if you make music, or if your friends, parents, teachers, crushes, baristas, etc., send it over to md@radio1190.org.

All three of these artists have been blowing my mind lately, so let's dive in.

Yesol, also known as Cory Feder, is a local artist who works in all sorts of mediums from ceramics to animation to textiles. Her art is whimsical, delicate and personal, and I really like everything she's done, including this album. "Telluric" is unexpected in every way. It's haunting, ethereal and has a grounded sort of earthliness as the title suggests. The harp is the driving force of "Telluric," giving rise to an intricate and enchanted feeling. The airiness of the harp pairs perfectly with Feder's gentle voice. The addition of simple, semi lo-fi drum machine beats anchors the songs, pulling them toward the realm of dreamy, bedroomy pop. This album is incredibly beautiful and refreshingly unique. Give a listen and buy it on Bandcamp.

I had the pleasure of seeing Don Gero at a house show in Brooklyn over the break, and boy does this stuff bang, literally! Don Gero's drum-based hypnotic, psych-noise fusion is like doing guided meditation but really loud. I wish I had the musical knowledge to describe to you how crazy this experience is live and why, but some combination of synths and drums creates something fast, circular, chaotic and dizzying in the most exhilarating kind of way.

Don Gero gives me low-key Lightning Bolt or Hella vibes, but he's definitely still got his own thing happening. He's got two recent releases, "Wizarding" and "Weirding," both of which are awesome. Check em' out for sure.

I've also really been digging Uranium Club lately. They put out their latest record "Human Exploration" in late December, and it's really got me hooked. They're music calls to mind contemporaries like Liquids or Lumpy and the Dumpers but also classics like early Wire or Swell Maps' "International Rescue." At it's heart, "Human Exploration" is a good ol' rock n' roll/punk record, but it incorporates some freakier moments through their DEVO-esque talk-singing absurd lyrics. Not taking themselves too seriously — but not a joke — Uranium Club manages to maintain a balance between irreverence and catchiness brought forth through quality. Their previous album, "All of them Naturals," is a slightly less classic punk influenced and slightly more off-kilter, but it remains a banger as well. These tracks are fast, rockin' and a heck of a good time.

As always, tune in at 1190 AM, 98.9 FM. Or come in to volunteer. Find information on the website, radio1190.org.

On Air Next: Jello Biafra on Fashion, Electronic Music, and “Terminal City Ricochet.”

Hannah Morrison

By Jolie Klefeker

I had the chance to chat with Boulder native, ex-Dead Kennedys singer, Alternative Tentacles founder, and all-around freak, Jello Biafra. He’s showing the film “Terminal City Ricochet” at the Boulder Public Library this Friday at 6pm and it’s FREE! We talked about a ton and I can only fit so much into 600 words. For a chance to meet the guy yourself, or at least hear what he has to say, check it out! 

Your outfits in all your music videos are pretty dang cool. Can you offer any fashion advice?

Salvation army..and some of the goodwill and the arc stores around here are pretty good too, you know I still find some interesting vinyl in the stores too. Some people claim it’s all gone but all you have to do is stay curious and you’ll find something that might blow your mind or warp other people’s brains if you suggest it to them. The Sal Army in Boulder was just sitting there with an immaculate copy of one of my favorite movie soundtracks of the Fifties: it’s like Dan Fogelberg, Dan Fogelberg, Dan Fogelberg and then “Man with the Golden Arm!” What?! And it’s playable? Cool!

As a punk musician I’m curious to know what your thoughts are on electronic music? 

Well electronic music is a pretty wide term... and I don’t really pay much attention to what they now call “EDM” but sometimes I hear something I really like...One of the best and most important electronic bands in the world, if you even want to call them that, is Colorado’s own itchy-O. You can’t just say "aw, it’s not as good as the live show."  What about people who have never seen the live show and even if you have it’s a completely different experience. A very, very powerful experience. Not everything is electronic, they have guitar, bass and anywhere from fifteen to twenty drummers, but I have noticed a lot of people at their shows, dancing as if they’re kind of hypnotized. The same way people do at EDM shows. That kind of danceable quality is very much there. You can’t get that from just a rock band, or somebody who is just pushing buttons onstage. itchy-O is a marching band so they surround you, it’s like nothing else in the world. 

You’ve got an event tomorrow at the Boulder Public Library..you’re showing the film “Terminal City Ricochet”  which you acted in…Tell us a little bit about the event, and what folks can expect?

“Terminal City Ricochet” was a movie made way back in the late eighties, and it was supposed to be a worst-case scenario of the coming future... And I kind of describe it as a “Brazil” crossed with a low-budget “Blade Runner” and some rock n’ roll to go with it. Instead of the Futurama stuff going on, things got more and more crumbled and polluted and wrecked and the mayor/dictator of Eternal City, gets “elected” because he was the most popular talk show host and owned the hockey team. And had a pile of money, starting to sound familiar? Like Russia or the United States, they have to stage an election every few years to maintain the illusion of democracy... So basically, the mayor and his right-hand hatchet man played by yours truly, frame a rock musician as a terrorist, in order to get the fearful voters to keep the mayor in power for another term. As surreal as the movie is, as confusing as it may be at times, I still stand it as making an important statement; the scary part being that every presidential election since has felt more and more like “Terminal City Ricochet.” 

Here's a link to the event: 

Header photo by Elizabeth Sloan.

On Air Next 11.9.17

Hannah Morrison

By Jolie Klefeker

DFA Records has long been known as one of independent music's most reputable and influential record labels, with one of its cofounders being James Murphy of LCD Soundsystem. If you're an LCD fan, you would probably dig a lot of what DFA puts out, but they've got their fingers in many pies — dance-punk just being one of them. This month, DFA sent over two really solid records: CCFX's eponymous debut EP and a fresh record from Dawn People as well. They actually sound nothing alike but they're united through how weird and also good they are. Both of these records have a little something experimental about them, but overall they both fuse genres in a precise and innovative way without sounding too over the top. Both of these are great. Check 'em out, and give DFA a Google if you're looking for more.

CCFX immediately calls to mind The Cure and New Order upon listening. And if that's not a good sign, then I don't know what a good sign is. Featuring Mary Jane Dunphe of punk outfit Vexx and CC Dust, as well as members of Olympia's Trans FX, the EP kicks off with "The One To Wait." Sighing guitars coupled with bright yet unobtrusive synth accents make way for those signature '80s vocals: dynamic, raw and unrestrained. This record is bathed in an expansive, synth pop sound that rests in a lovely contrast with the retro post-punk elements scattered throughout. Atmospheric, dreamy guitars and an upbeat pace set up a refreshing take on dream pop. This record is easy to listen to — it's smooth and pretty and would pair well with driving on a highway late at night.

I'm not claiming to be an expert in anything, but it isn't often that I get sent a record I have a really, really hard time describing. However, when that does happen, like with this record from Dawn People, it usually means I really, really like it. Consisting of Guerrilla Toss' Peter Negroponte and Nick Forte of Raspberry Bulbs, Dawn People had a hopeful beginning. Both musicians are notorious for ignoring or altogether breaking genre labels, so it's to be expected that their new record, "The Star Is Your Future," is all over the place in the best of ways.

Fusing elements of trip-hop, free jazz, funk and kraut rock, this album rockets between noisy and psychedelic in a much more exciting and textural way rather than jarring. The highlights of the record are definitely "Be Cool Tonight," "Never Be Afraid" and "Wishing Ring." Overall, this record is groovy and slaps harder than anything I've heard in a while.

On a really random note, but a note that I cannot contain: Palm have a new single out to promote their upcoming record. It's called "Pearly," and it's ethereal, abstract, weird as all heck and so beautiful. Their unconventional use of midi sounds is unlike anything I've heard before. I really recommend.

You already know what it is: 1190 AM, 98.9 FM or online at radio1190.org. Or stop by the basement of the UMC to volunteer.

On Air Next 11.1.17

Hannah Morrison

By Jolie Klefeker

I would like to tell you all that I am originally from northwest Indiana. My home region features Lake Michigan, steel mills, The Gary SouthShore RailCats, farmland and a really bangin' punk scene. In honor of me recently booking a plane ticket home for the holidays, I thought I'd share a little about everything wonderful and cool happening in NWI. I've got three really solid bands to talk about: They're all weird, noisy and perfect.

The Coneheads' first full-length album is named "L.P.1. aka 14 Year Old High School PC-Fascist Hype Lords Rip Off Devo for the Sake of Extorting $$$ From Helpless Impressionable Midwestern Internet Peoplepunks L.P.," and I think that says a lot. The Coneheads are a bunch of self-aware, irreverent, wacko fools who pretend like they're no big deal, but really they seem to be the cornerstone of everything lovely and great coming out of NWI right now. If you think you would enjoy the sound of Wall-E doing cocaine or anything else that would resemble dystopian toy-robot stimulant use, then you will like The Coneheads. Put more simply, they sound fast, loud, fuzzy and like a bunch of evil robotic butlers.

Check it out, and start with the tracks "ALIEN & WARM" or "1982" if you don't understand my Wall-E joke.

C.C.T.V.'s four-track 7-inch is in rotation at Radio 1190. (Courtesy photo)

The Coneheads' drummer, Mark Winter, is also in a great band called Liquids. He is also in yet another great band called C.C.T.V., which I will discuss in the next paragraph. Liquids is a punk band with a deeply reminiscent yet original sound. They ricochet between the gritty, lo-fi attack of Black Flag's "Nervous Breakdown" and some neo-hard-rock moments that call to memory Thin Lizzy, ACDC and contemporaries Sheer Mag. Liquids is political and gross, with songs titles ranging from "I Killed D.T." to "Piss on Me." There's a brash, hardcore sense of confidence that controls their music. Their full-length "Hot Liqs" is really cool. I also recommend the self-titled 7-inch they put out more recently. Both are chock-full of driving chord progressions, unrestrained, piercing guitars and a lot of fun. If you like Lumpy and The Dumpers or even G.L.O.S.S., I think you'll dig Liquids as well.

I recently threw a C.C.T.V. 7-inch into rotation at 1190. It has four songs on it, it's six minutes long and it's maybe the best six minutes I've had in a while. It's like the angular guitars of Delta-5 and The Slits had a baby with a Gang of Four/DEVO kind of energy and then kicked it all up a big ol' notch. I'm naming too many names, but it's only because I'm having trouble containing my excitement. These tracks have an undeniable post-punk agility. This record is razor sharp, chaotic in an exhilarating way and frustratingly short. Due to its brevity, I'm just gonna go ahead and recommend that you listen to the whole thing.

Mosey on over to Radio 1190 to hear this stuff and more: 1190 AM and 98.9 FM or online at radio1190.org.

On Air Next 10.25.17

Hannah Morrison

By Jolie Klefeker

We've been trying to refocus our sound a little bit over at Radio 1190. And what we've generally concluded is that we want to be more selective about the big-time, bigger-label artists we play. That being said, here are two big-time artists who really make the cut, both of them capable of playing a critical role in music as we know it. St. Vincent and King Krule are tinkerers who draw from a lot of influences and cram them all under the umbrella of pop music, usually resulting in something perfectly complex, pushing limits but not enough to push people away.

"Masseduction" is St. Vincent's "Death of A Ladies' Man," a lonely and cynical tell-all wrapped in a sweet layer of willful pop ignorance and commercial largesse. Co-produced by Taylor Swift's Jack Antonoff and further collaborating with the likes of Kendrick Lamar producer Sounwave, singer Jenny Lewis and saxophonist Kamasi Washington, I'm not at all shocked by the mainstream appeal of this record. Annie Clark has always teetered on the edge between pop star and alternative rock 'n' roll mastermind, with a keen ability to push the limits of noise and abstraction all while maintaining a very intentional sense of catchiness and danceability.

Sharp vocals and undeniably poppy rhythms that are contrasted against angular guitars serve to construct something massive and clearly defined, while filling in the gaps of her quieter moments with an unexpected, gentle vulnerability. A lovely texture surfaces when tracks likes "New York" are placed against the impenetrable pop barricade of "Pills" and "Sugarboy." In some ways, this record is sterile: It's immaculately produced, every detail considered and perfected.

But the hermetic seal is what contains its vastness without falling apart. St. Vincent's inspirations are clear and varied; Prince, The Chemical Brothers and The Go-Go's stand out to me on first listen. This record probably won't appeal to early St. Vincent fans or those who are generally opposed to pop music, but I still ask that you give it a chance. Somewhere inside the volume of this record is something incredibly multifaceted and ingenious.

King Krule, also known as Archy Marshall, is back at it again with his latest record "The Ooz." It is dark, atmospheric, jazz-tinged and echoey, as to be expected. But compared to his previous releases, this record is tighter and more complex than ever. Marshall is an alchemist who combines anything to ultimately deliver something wonderfully new, refreshingly itself. "The Ooz" is a cocktail of dark wave, punk jazz and rap fusion complete with flourishes of stoner-pop guitar trembles and found ambient sound. Notes of Pixies, Devonté Hynes and Frank Ocean unobtrusively scatter themselves throughout. While dominated by a generally gray, mellowed-out, eye-of-the-storm kind of feeling, this record manages to serve a few bangers as well — from the spooky, slightly evil bass-groove "Dum Surfer" to the a la post-punk lament on "Emergency Blimp." This record is poignant and depressed yet warm. Two thumbs up; go check it out.

Stop by anytime: 1190 AM, 98.9 FM or online at radio1190.org.

On Air Next 10.18.17

Hannah Morrison

By Jolie Klefeker

School is hard. Midterms suck. And the hardest part of it all is finding the willpower to continue. Luckily for you, I have the one true answer: Music! Which is what this column is about. Sometimes you need to be stressed and listen to stressful music. Get it out of your system. Do that when you're not studying. When studying, listening to music can also be great, but you've gotta pick the right stuff. No singing along, nothing too loud, but also it needs to be stimulating and get you stoked to study. I've got some music for both occasions, the stressful and the studyful, so let's check it out.

Melkbelly have really got me excited. Someone told me that they sound like The Breeders and Lightning Bolt combined, and I agree. Brash guitars and sugary sweet vocals create something magical, overdriven but just melodic enough to keep you mesmerized by the thunderous hurricane that is "Nothing Valley." The first official record from the Chicago quartet, it's darker, and much fuller than their previous EP, "Pennsylvania." While they experimented with noise in the past, chaos is the face of this record. Low and driving bass tones dominate while the loose, sonorous rumble of drums and jarring guitars launch into anthemic, songful moments filtered through layers of smog and distortion.

A '90s rock feeling shines through, comparable to contemporaries Charly Bliss, Speedy Ortiz or Great Grandpa. Check out "Off the Lot," "Greedy Gull" and "Twin Looking Motherfucker," all of which happen to have more of the noisy, Lightning Bolt-reminiscent sound in addition to their general indie-punk feeling. Melkbelly's music is stressful but in an addictive, treasure-hunt kind of way. Your brain digs through the noise to discover some incredibly melodic and catchy sub-layers, all of which are an extremely rewarding find.

Women and John Maus are two common artists on my study playlist. I actually love both of the artists very much outside of studying, which is rare. Like I said earlier, it's necessary to find stuff that doesn't distract you, and liking something might be the most distracting feature of a song. But Women and John Maus have found a sweet spot where their nuanced melodies and unobtrusive vocals — or distorted in the case of Maus — create highly technical but unoffensive soundscapes.

Women craft precise, churning rhythms that you can latch onto, allowing them to propel you through the impossible sludge of midterm studying. Both of their albums are ingenious, but if I had to recommend one to start, "Public Strain" is pretty dang close to a perfect album. It's surface has a sharp, rocky texture laden with psychedelic-tinged nuggets of gold and pockets of echo-y, spacey vocal delight.

John Maus has had a fairly prolific career so far. In addition to his solo work, he's worked alongside Animal Collective and Haunted Graffiti. Of all his stuff, 2011's "We Must Become the Pitiless Censors of Ourselves" is my favorite, in addition to being a mouthful to say. Reverberations of Joy Division, Bauhaus, Nick Cave and Suicide rattle through Maus' music while still remaining entirely his own. Ethereal synths jump back and forth from a classic '80s sound to something more experimental all the while being accented by a slow-motion kind of singing. Give both of these a listen. I hope they can add something bearable to your homework experience.

You know the drill: 1190 AM, 98.9 FM in Boulder or online at radio1190.org.

On Air Next 10.11.17

Hannah Morrison

Boulder has had a longstanding reputation as a hippie mountain mecca. Home of quinoa, cannabis, yoga, tons of people on bikes, granola and kombucha. Boulder is also known as a college town with a thriving party scene. Somewhere in the middle lies an intersection, where weed-infused, psychedelic-tinged indie rock-pop is king; where frat boys, indie-rock-dude-bros and hiking club kids alike sit on their lawns every Sunday and listen to Mac Demarco. Sometime amid all of these lawn listening sessions, stoner-pop has gotten a bad rep. Well, I'm here to tell ya that stoner-pop is still alive and well. It isn't all Demarco derivative, because Reptilians and Ariel Pink are kicking out plenty of wacky-weirdo pop to satisfy all your heart's neo-psychedelic desires and more.

Ariel Pink, aka Ariel Marcus Rosenberg, is one of most influential figures in lo-fi music's. He's been releasing stuff since the early 2000s, and while it's not for everyone, there are some real hits scattered throughout his discography. I would recommend checking out "Pom Pom" and "Before Today" if you're looking to dive a little deeper than what I'm recommending to you today: "Dedicated to Bobby Jameson."

Rosenberg's latest project is an homage to a lost pop star of the '60s. Ariel Pink and Jameson seem to share a lot through their enigmatic personalities and battle with the troubling confusion of being both deeply praised and harshly criticized in the public eye. Luckily enough for Rosenberg, "Dedicated to Bobby Jameson" is faring incredibly well, and for good reason. Perhaps it's experience, maybe it's the underlying sense of melancholy, but this record is refined and cohesive.

While maintaining his usual lo-fi weirdo sound, he fails to come across as contrived. Still irreverent at times, the album carries a hazy, retro-soaked pop sound throughout that seems to unify, allowing songs like "Another Weekend" to echo between the dreamy and mellow and the spacey psychedelic. There's a lot more to say about this album, but I'm running out of words. If you like Animal Collective or Deerhunter or neither, go listen to Ariel Pink.

Portland's wife/husband duo Reptaliens have recently got me back into the whole weirdo-pop thing. They just released their debut record, "FM-2030," on Captured Tracks a few days ago, and I can't stop listening — partially because it's just plain good and partly because I'm trying to figure them out. Falling somewhere between the pop groove of TOPS, the ambiguously ironic, lyrical pretense of Father John Misty, and the sunny indie sound of EZTV, there's a lot going on and it works. Circular, guitar-heavy melodies lay a foundation for airy vocals with hints of harmony and subtle synths. Their music induces a warm, fuzzy, dream-like state. It's easy to listen to but laden with subtle intricacies that make it all the more engaging. If you're looking for something smooth and groovy with a twist, check this out and enjoy your final weeks of autumn warmth wrapped in the sunny haze of Reptalien's "FM-2030."

If you dig what I'm talking about today, check out Walter TV, who just dropped a solid record last month. Also Blue Smiley (it's shoegazey for sure but has some great trembly guitar stuff happening), Boys Age and Jerry Paper might catch your ear.

If you're looking for something fun to do, arty, math rock sweethearts Palm play The Lounge in Boulder with Body Meat at 11 tonight. Tickets are $10, and both of these bands are really cutting all possible edges right now. Come hang out.

As always, tune in to 1190 AM, 98.9 FM in Boulder or online at radio1190.org.

On Air Next 10.4.17

Hannah Morrison

By Jolie Klefeker

There's always something to be discovered when digging through the stacks at Radio 1190. Our station is pretty stoked to call itself home to about 30,000 CDs as well as thousands of vinyl records. We're coming up on our 20th anniversary as Radio 1190, but we've been collecting since long before then.

I wasn't feeling the new music as much this week, so I decided to opt for something older. All of the records I encountered this week are gems, but if I had to be more specific, this one is a diamond: a Rough Trade post-punk compilation featuring some of the most ingenious bands the late 20th century produced. ESP, The Rapture, Magazine, The Fall and Au Pairs are just a few.

Rough Trade has long been known as one of the most reliably fresh and influential independent labels. Compilations are hard to describe, especially when they aren't particularly cohesive. What unites these songs isn't content or timbre but rather the fact that they're all really, really, REALLY good. So instead of trying to fit all of the wonders of this comp into a paragraph, let's dive into some favorite tracks.

Initially known as Kleenex, the Swiss post-punk band LiLiPUT provide something infectious and unexposed with their song "Die Matrosen." A heavy baseline and sharp rhythm lead you straight into an clumsy saxophone melody, circular guitars and, eventually, whistling. This song is imaginative in every sense of the word, and you just can't help but want to dance to it. Everything by LiLiPUT is solid, from their angular guitars to the pure force of their vocals harmonies. I really recommend giving them a listen.

The Raincoats were one of the first and most important post-punk acts, pioneering the genre before the heyday of punk had even ended. Frequent tour partners of LiLiPUT and equally as original, The Raincoats left a lasting impression on alternative music because they had little musical experience, so they took a fairly lax and abstract approach to instrumentation. Their style is loose and chaotic. However, the song on this compilation is a little less all over the place because it happens to be a cover of The Kinks' smash hit "Lola.

" The melody is still there, but it's deconstructed sound: The changes to the rhythm and harmonies somehow manage to be both lazy and extraordinary, reinvigorating the original song. It's different enough that you can love both versions in their own right.

Finally, a listen to Wire, with the track "Ex Lion Tamer," from the infamous "Pink Flag." I don't necessarily feel worthy trying to describe this song because it's such a classic. But I can tell you, if you haven't listened to this record, you should. Wire emerged from the punk era and withstood the test of time through their constant experimentation. While "Pink Flag" maintains more of a simplicity than the other albums pulled from for this compilation, it's familiar yet so entirely itself. The chord progressions are anthemic, rhythms are fast, and the vocals offer something so indescribably perfect when they echo back and forth as well as sing in harmony. "Ex Lion Tamer" is raw, it's unsettled, it's an unbridled wave of creative energy and maybe a little bit of rock 'n' roll freedom as well.

You probably already know what it is: 1190 AM, 98.9 FM in Boulder or online at radio1190.org.

On Air Next 9.27.17

Hannah Morrison

By Jolie Klefeker

Trump's in the White House, and I'm recommending you new music. Like President Trump, I am both unqualified and unprepared, because the task of picking the best new music to recommend to you, Colorado Daily readers, is a great one. You deserve the best of the best, and I always aim to deliver. This week, I've got two great records on the lineup. First we have something dark and loud from post-punk veterans Metz. Next up, we have something great and underground from Brooklyn DIY outfit Washer. Both of these albums have their own charm, one a little louder and one a little grittier, but if you're into punk at all, give these a listen. There's definitely something to gain.

Toronto's Metz are grating, driving and metallic. Their latest record, "Strange Peace" — produced by punk legend Steve Albini of Big Black — definitely lives up to the hype. Within the grating noise emerges a newfound maturity, a sense of direction that presents the opportunity for navigation, a clearer and more efficient approach. This isn't to say that this record doesn't absolutely bang, because it does. The songs "Lost in the Blank City," "Escalator Teeth" and "Raw Materials" embody this agility. It's clear that "Strange Peace" relies on more than volume and speed. The lyrical and melodic intricacies peppered throughout the track list accentuate the aggression, transcending angry noise to create a diverse and interesting record.

I've been loving Washer for a while. Their gut-wrenchingly real and impeccably raw sound served as the soundtrack to some of my best, angsty and introspective moments to date. And now they're back with their second full-length out on Exploding in the Sound Records. Short and sweet, "All Aboard" is a collection of gritty and casual songs, most of them clocking in under two minutes long. If you're unfamiliar with Washer, the duo makes off-kilter, garage, punk/pop with an indie tendency. They are deceptively complex and varied, and they have a knack for making the simplest melodies the slightest bit off key or that chord progression the tiniest bit too loud. It's within these subtle changes that a lovely, slacker-y timbre emerges. Some sort of hopeless, youthful ennui hiding behind the force of the at times whiney, at times distraught vocals. If you dig Pile, Krill or Speedy Ortiz, I highly suspect you'll dig this.

Also some exciting changes around the station: The legacy show Testosterone Detox has changed its name to Ladies' Night. The show is still a space for women and non-binary individuals to celebrate themselves and their music, but now it has a name that better reflects this inclusive ethic. Tune in from 8 to 9 p.m. Wednesdays to hear Shruti Kaul play her favorite music as she talks to you about social justice and why you should care. Additionally, make sure to check out our new Spotify account, radio_1190, for playlists from specialty shows like Ladies' Night and tons more!

As always, tune in to 1190 AM and 98.9 FM in Boulder or online at radio1190.org.