881 essentials

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WYCE 881 ESSENTIALS - DEER TICK

Deer Tick is a folk rock band which formed in Providence, Rhode Island, United States in 2004. The band consists of John McCauley III (guitar, vocals), Ian O’Neil (guitar, vocals), Christopher Ryan (bass, vocals), Rob Crowell (keys, saxophone, vocals) and Dennis Ryan (drums,vocals). Bassist Christopher Dale Ryan and drummer Dennis Ryan became official members of Deer Tick in mid-2007 while guitarist Andrew Tobiassen joined the band in August 2008. Keyboardist James Falzone played with Deer Tick off and on from 2006 to 2007 and Paul Marandola drummed from 2005 to 2007. WYCE’s recommended essential listening is “Easy” from the album Born On Flag Day.

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The Grand Rapids Based electronic duo Alexis could be described as a rare breed in the world of live music. Their sound rides a thin line between retro electro pop and smoky lounge and jazz. Their debut album “The Night” is filled with catchy pop hooks, sleek synthesizers, warm, seductive vocals, and sophisticated song writing. With their high energy dance grooves and crowd pleasing live show, they’ve made their way to the upper sphere of the local music scene in a relatively short amount of time.
One could say that Alexis is the name on the tip of everyone’s tongue.

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WYCE 881 ESSENTIALS - LADYSMITH BLACK MAMBAZO

Ladysmith Black Mambazo, which was formed 1960 in Ladysmith, KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa, have come to represent the traditional culture of South Africa. They are regarded as South Africa’s cultural emissaries at home and around the world. They are a national treasure of the new South Africa in part because they embody the traditions suppressed in the old South Africa. WYCE’s recommended essential listening is “Hello My Baby” from the album Long Walk To Freedom.

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WYCE 881 ESSENTIALS - NICK DRAKE

Nick Drake (Nicholas Rodney Drake, Rangoon, Burma, June 19, 1948 - Tanworth-in-Arden, England, November 25, 1974) was an English folk singer known for his gentle, enigmatic songs and his virtuoso right-hand finger picking technique. Although he recorded only three albums, critics and fellow musicians hold his work in very high esteem. Drake failed to find a wide audience during his lifetime, and had a strong aversion to performing. Since his death, however, Drake’s music has gained a significant cult following. WYCE’s recommended essential listening is “Northern Sky” from the album Bryter Layter.

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WYCE 881 ESSENTIALS - HOWLIN’ WOLF

Chester Arthur Burnett (June 10, 1910 in White Station, Mississippi, United States January 10, 1976 in Hines, Illinois, United States), known as Howlin’ Wolf, was an influential American blues singer, guitarist and harmonica player. With a booming voice and looming physical presence, Burnett is commonly ranked among the leading performers in electric blues; musician and critic Cub Koda declared, “no one could match Howlin’ Wolf for the singular ability to rock the house down to the foundation while simultaneously scaring its patrons out of its wits.” WYCE’s recommended essential listening is “Shake For Me” from the Gold Collection.

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WYCE 881 Essentials - Passion Pit

Passion Pit is an electronic band from Cambridge, Massachusetts, United States, formed in 2007. The band consists of Michael Angelakos (lead vocals, keyboards), Ian Hultquist (keyboards, guitar), Xander Singh (synthesizer, samples), Jeff Apruzzese (bass, synth bass), and Nate Donmoyer (drums). All of the band members attended the Berklee College of Music in Boston, with the exception of Angelakos, who attended Emerson College. 

“Passion Pit” was a vocabulary word used in a class Michael took in school. The band called their name from the Variety Slanguage Dictionary, a glossary of Variety’s frequently-used slang, which was provided by the Hollywood Insider publication to help not-so-savvy readers decipher its content. The magazine used the term to refer to drive-in theatres, because of their privacy and romantic allure for teenagers.

WYCE’s Essential listening is “Take a Walk”

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WYCE 881 ESSENTIALS - LILA DOWNS

Anna Lila Downs Sánchez was born in Tlaxiaco, Oaxaca, Mexico in 1968, and grew up there and in Minneapolis, Minnesota. She began singing ranchera music at an early age, and later sang at the fiestas of the towns in her mountain region, la Mixteca. She sang with the band Los Cadetes de Yodoyuxi and later with La Trova Serrana, a group of folk musicians from the Zapotec town of Guelatao, oaxaca. WYCE’s recommended essential listening is “Palomo Del Comalito”

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WYCE 881 ESSENTIALS - MARCIA BALL

Marcia Ball (born 20 March 1949) is an American blues singer and pianist born in Orange, Texas but who grew up in Vinton, Louisiana. This same region spawned other American blues greats, including Clifton Chenier, Janis Joplin, Lonnie Brooks, Stevie Ray Vaughan, The Fabulous Thunderbirds, and Kenny Neal. Born into a musical family, Ball began playing piano at age 5, and showed an early interest in New Orleans style piano playing, as exemplified by Fats Domino, Professor Longhair, and James Booker. In 1970 at age 21, she started a progressive country band called Freda And The Firedogs in Austin, Texas; in 1974 she began her solo career. WYCE’s recommended essential listening is “Big Shot” from the album Live! Down The Road.

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WYCE Essentials - Sigur Rós

Sigur Rós are an icelandic post-rock band. The name is derived from the name of lead vocalist Jónsi Birgisson’s little sister, Sigurrós. They hail from the same creative and vibrant Icelandic music scene as múm and Amiina. They released their first ever foray into film-making with their tour documentary, Heima in late 2007.

Jón Þór Birgisson (Jónsi), Georg Hólm, and Ágúst Ævar Gunnarsson formed the group in Reykjavík, Iceland in August 1994. They soon won a record deal with a local record label, Smekkleysa (Bad Taste). In 1997, they released Von (Hope) and in 1998, released a remix collection named Von Brigði. The name is Icelandic wordplay: Vonbrigði means “disappointment,” but Von brigði means “hope alteration.” (In English, the album is sometimes known by the alternative name “Recycle Bin.”)

After the release of Ágætis Byrjun, the band became perhaps most well known for Birgisson’s signature style of playing guitar with the bow from a cello, accentuated with reverb, creating a sweeping, fluid sound that is unique for an electric guitar.

WYCE’s Essential listening is “Hoppipolla”

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WYCE 881 ESSENTIALS - MARK LANEGAN

Mark Lanegan (born November 25, 1964 in Ellensburg, Washington) is an American rock musician and songwriter. Lanegan began his music career in the 1980s. In 1985, he became the vocalist for grunge group Screaming Trees; the group broke up in 2000. Lanegan would start a low-key solo career, but in 2004 Lanegan released his big breakthrough album Bubblegum. WYCE’s recommended essential listening is “Flatlands” from the album Imitations.

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WYCE 881 ESSENTIALS - LUCKY PETERSON

Lucky Peterson was born in Buffalo New York and played his first gig at age three. By the time he was five, he had already recorded his first single, produced by none other than the legendary Willie Dixon. Before Lucky turned six, his career had been propelled into the national spotlight with television appearances on The Ed Sullivan Show, The Tonight Show with Johnny Carson and even What’s My Line? WYCE’s recommended essential listening is “Tin Pan Alley” from the album Move.

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WYCE 881 ESSENTIALS - SERENA RYDER

Serena Ryder is a Canadian singer/songwriter who is from Millbrook, near Peterborough, Ontario. She performed in many venues around Ontario from the age of 18, including being showcased at the CBC Women’s Blues Review 2002 at the Music Hall, Danforth Avenue, Ontario at 19. She has a “fearless” approach to performing. Her voice is mature beyond her years, with tremor and vivacity of a seasoned blues singer. Promotional CDs (‘A Day at the Studio’ and others) were available at some of her early performances and since then she has released three albums. WYCE’s recommended essential listening is “Just Another Day” from the album Unlikely Emergency.

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WYCE 881 ESSENTIALS - JACK WHITE

Jack White (born John Anthony Gillis on July 9, 1975 in Detroit), American rock musician, producer, and actor. He is best known as the guitarist and lead vocalist of the rock duo The White Stripes (1997-2011) and more recently guitarist and vocalist of The Raconteurs, and drummer and vocalist for the band The Dead Weather. Jack White first played as a professional musician in the early 1990s, as a drummer for the Detroit cowpunk band Goober & the Peas. White produced Loretta Lynn’s Van Lear Rose in 2004, which won them a Grammy for best country album, and an additional Grammy for best country collaboration for the song Portland Oregon. WYCE’s recommended essential listening is “I’m Shakin” from the album Blunderbuss.

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WYCE 881 ESSENTIALS - LIGHTNIN’ HOPKINS

Sam Hopkins was born on March 15, 1912 in Centerville, Texas. In 1920, at the age of eight, Hopkins met and played with the legendary Blind Lemon Jefferson, even becoming Jefferson’s guide for a short time. Hopkins’ cousin, the great bluesman, Texas Alexander, was another influence. Their musical partnership was broken up by Hopkins’ time in Houston’s County Prison Farm during the 1930s. WYCE’s recommended essential listening is “Mojo Hand” from the album The Texas Bluesman.

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WYCE 881 ESSENTIALS - HANK WILLIAMS

Hank Williams (September 17, 1923 – January 1, 1953), born Hiram King Williams, was an American singer-songwriter and musician regarded as the most important country music artist of all time. Williams recorded 35 singles (five released posthumously) that would place in the Top 10 of the Billboard Country & Western Best Sellers chart, including 11 that ranked number one. Born in Mount Olive, Butler County, Alabama, Williams moved to Georgiana, where he met Rufus Payne, a black street performer who gave him guitar lessons in exchange for meals. Payne had a major influence on Williams’s later musical style. During this time, Williams informally changed his name to Hank, believing it to be a better name for country music. After moving to Montgomery, Williams began his career in 1937 when WSFA radio station producers hired him to perform and host a 15-minute program. He formed as backup the Drifting Cowboys band, which was managed by his mother, and dropped out of school to devote all of his time to his career. When several of his band members were conscripted to military service during World War II, Williams had trouble with their replacements and started drinking heavily, causing WSFA to dismiss him. Williams eventually married Audrey Sheppard, who became his manager for nearly a decade. WYCE’s recommended essential listening is “There’s A Tear In My Beer” from the album The Original Singles Collection.

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WYCE 881 ESSENTIALS - SKIP JAMES


Nehemiah Curtis “Skip” James (June 21, 1902 – October 3, 1969) was an American blues singer, guitarist, pianist and songwriter. James was born near Bentonia, Mississippi. As a youth, he heard local musicians such as Henry Stuckey and brothers Charlie and Jesse Sims and began playing the organ in his teens. He worked on road construction and levee-building crews in his native Mississippi in the early 1920s, and wrote what is perhaps his earliest song, “Illinois Blues”, about his experiences as a laborer. WYCE’s recommended essential listening is “Devil Got My Woman” from the album She Lyin’.

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WYCE 881 Essentials - Phish

Phish is an American rock band most noted for its extended improvisations, elongated song compositions and the varied genres represented in their song repertoire. The band was formed in 1983 in Burlington, Vermont, United States where they all attended college. The band’s lineup consists of Trey Anastasio (guitar, vocals), Page McConnell (keyboards, vocals), Mike Gordon (bass, vocals) and Jon Fishman (drums, vocals, vacuum cleaner). The band went on hiatus in 2000, but returned in 2002 only to split for what seemed for good in 2004. However, on September 30, 2008, the band announced, via their website, that they would reunite for three shows on March 6th, 7th and 8th, 2009 at the Hampton Colosseum. Later the band announced a summer tour for June of 2009 beginning with a night at Fenway Park and later added more dates in late July and August, featuring 4 nights at Red Rocks to begin the tour. The band has continued to be active since with continued touring and a new album.

Although the group received little radio play or MTV exposure, Phish developed a large following by word of mouth. Phish’s music has elements of many genres including jazz, bluegrass, country, heavy metal, reggae, folk, rock, ska, pop, blues, progressive rock, show tunes, classical, acoustic, barber shop quartet and calypso.

WYCE’s Essentials is “Farmhouse”

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WYCE 881 ESSENTIALS - MARTIN SEXTON

Martin Sexton is a musician originally from the Syracuse, New York area. Sexton migrated to Boston in 1990 where he built a following singing around Harvard Square and gradually working his way into the club scene. In the Journey, his 1992 collection of self-produced demo recordings, as well as his captivating live appearances earned him a number of Boston Music Awards not to mention The National Academy of Songwriters “Artist of the Year”. WYCE’s recommended essential listening is “Fall Like Rain” from the album of the same name.

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WYCE 881 ESSENTIALS - DJANGO REINHARDT

Jean “Django” Reinhardt (23 January 1910 - 16 May 1953) was a Belgian guitarist and composer credited with popularizing gypsy jazz, as well as conceptualizing the style together with several other Gypsy musicians. Reinhardt, the meaning of whose nickname was “I Awake” in the Romani language, severely injured two of the digits on his left hand as a youth, and changed his guitar playing style to adapt to his handicap. Together with violinist Stéphane Grappelli, he founded the Quintette du Hot Club de France, regarded as one of the most innovative recording groups in the history of jazz music. WYCE’s recommended essential listening is “Honeysuckle Rose” from his self-titled album.

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WYCE 881 ESSENTIALS - ARLO GUTHRIE

Arlo Guthrie (born 10th July 1947, Brooklyn, New York ) is an American folk singer who is the son of folk singer and composer Woody Guthrie. Arlo is known for singing songs of protest against social injustice. He graduated from the Stockbridge School of Massachusetts in 1965.His song “Massachusetts” was named the official folk song of the state in which he has lived most of his adult life. WYCE’s recommended essential is “Motorcycle Song (Significance of the Pickle)” from the album The Best Of Arlo Guthrie

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