Category Archives: Archives

Episode #23 – April 23, 2014

a3528448799_10Episode 23 is a special Mid West Music Fest edition of the show that begins with roots & blues magic via live tracks from both Mike Munson and the great Charlie Parr before music from the brand new Porcupine EP, intrepid Americana artist Jillian Rae, MPLS surf-punks France Camp, hypnotic indie-psych band Enemy Planes, and madcap Winonan Marv Wilt (aka yours truly, Adam Wiltgen).

MWMF 2014 was an absolute blast! Each of the acts featured here performed at the 5th annual festival in downtown Winona. I was able to see some of both France Camp and Jillian Rae and I’ve described what I caught below. I was also honored to perform at the festival, under my pseudonym Marv Wilt. KQAL Program Director Teri Market was on hand to record an interview and my performance for an episode of the prolific “Live Feed” radio show. She did an excellent job editing and I’m very thankful to be included as one of the 27 acts KQAL recorded during the festival. CLICK HERE to listen to Marv Wilt on The Live Feed.

Coming back down to 3rd Street after catching Anonymous Choir at the Winona Arts Center, I popped into Ed’s (no name) Bar and caught France Camp’s last song. The had the room worked into a frenzy at that point. As the raucous finale came to a close, the shirtless eponymous frontman’s guitar rig blew out, prompting him to demand a few spontaneous solos from the rhythm section before calling it a night. Blown away by the high energy set. the last minute power outage did nothing to dampen the enthusiasm of the others in the room that had caught more than the single song I did.

Jillian Rae was one of the headliners of the fest’s final day, taking the stage around midnight on Saturday. With my stamina low at that point, Rae’s upbeat, polished Americana sound did much to revive my spirits and get me dancing. The sound and production in the large back room of Broken World Records were downright astonishing, allowing both musicians and attendees alike to be fully immersed in the show. This was a welcome change in my opinion and a big hat tip here goes to Ben Assef and crew at Northern Sun Productions who expertly handled sound and production at all 13 MWMF stages.

Stream or download this episode via archive.org by CLICKING HERE.

Click here to view this episode’s playlist

Episode #22 – April 16, 2014

kooEpisode 22 tees off with new music from interactive dance party duo Koo Koo Kanga Roo, before featuring tracks from veteran La Crosse songwriter Brahman Shaman, new MPLS electronic duo Tiny Deaths (feat. Claire de Lune & Grant Cutler), neo-soul & blues artist Chastity Brown, Quad Cities indie-pop act The Multiple Cat, MPLS chamber-pop collective We Are The Willows, and Decorah alt-folk singer Michelle Lynn.

What can be said about Koo Koo Kanga Roo that hasn’t already been said? (Well, to my knowledge no one has called them gorillas…at least yet.) This spring they’ll be making their indie label debut with Whoopty Whoop via Asian Man Records / Fun Fun Records. Aside from being welcome news and another much-deserved validation of their creative talents and hard work, it means that come May 13 Koo Koo Kango Roo’s music will be available on vinyl! This is very cool and certainly unique for an act that has traditionally only released their music online on a pay-what-you-want basis (not counting a recent best of-style compilation CD). No matter, their high-energy live show has always been at the forefront and, coinciding with the release of their new album, they’ll be rollin’ in the minivan all across the east coast this spring with the Aquabats. Kudos gentlemen! Can’t wait to bust out my Koo Koo themed Fischer-Price turntable…

Stream or download this episode via archive.org by CLICKING HERE.

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Episode #21 – April 9, 2014

jayboneThis week features music from the brand new Jaybone Bell solo album, in addition to tracks from celebrated early 00s Wisconsin ska band Sunshine Policy, La Crosse glam-metal act Hang Em High, MPLS wild man Mark Mallman, disbanded art rockers Run At The Dog (co-founded by current Winona resident Marshall Bolin), and the 2003 Saint Mary’s Jazz Combo (featuring Brandon Mathieus and a fresh faced Mike Munson).

While I try my best to “spread the love around” with this program, Winona singer-songwriter Jaybone Bell released his debut solo album, Tale of the Sun, less than a week after I last featured his band in episode #19. So, due to poor timing on my part, I am once again spotlighting one of the more prolific acts in the Winona area. Tale of the Sun is an intricate and stripped down take on his Americana sound. The extra breathing room showcases the beguiling gravitas of Jaybone and Amber Grace’s dueling co-ed vocals.

Bell is also joined on the album’s first two tracks by Restless Light banjo man Isaac Samis, as well as Kitchen Dwellers guitarist Kyle Shelstad on tracks 3, 4, and 5. The record was recorded by Chad Wardwell at Natural Recording Company in La Crosse and produced as part of regional music maven Parker Forsell’s Ocooch Mountain Sessions. Bravo!

Stream or download this episode via archive.org by CLICKING HERE.

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Episode #20 – April 2, 2014

4fc6d1d78b470.preview-620This week the show features music from La Crosse alt-country quartet Shot To Hell, Winona garage rockers Tippler, heartfelt Americana duo Switchback, Decorah’s Klezmer & Balkan music collective Maritza, Winona indie pop act Driftwood Bones, and now-defunct MPLS baroque indie-rock 7-piece Capitol Jay.

The Shot to Hell song featured in this episode is the first track off their 2011 album Somehow Forever. The group has been on and off for over a decade now and is currently busy wrapping up production on a new album, which will hopefully be out in time for the band’s gig opening up for Austin country act Wanye “The Train” Hancock at the Cavalier Theater in La Crosse on June 13, 2014.

As Jason Crider of the Second Supper wrote, “[The band blends] rock and roll bluntness with country twang and a no-holds-barred punk rock delivery; depicting some very dark subject matter in an indirect and sometimes lighthearted way.

Stream or download this episode via archive.org by CLICKING HERE.

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Episode #19 – March 26, 2014

jaybone_bellEpisode 19 revisits the new EP from Winona’s roots-rock & bluegrass collective Jaybone Bell & Restless Light, in addition to featuring music from Rochester reggae-rock act Push & Turn, MPLS post-hardcore trio All the Way Rider, electronic multi-instrumentalist Dosh, MPLS techno duo Complicit, Appleton WI folk-rockers Cory Chisel & the Wandering Sons, and Québec roots trio De Temps Antan.

It’s been a pleasure to witness the development of Jaybone Bell & Restless Light over the past year and a half. Defying the somewhat unfair “flash in the pan” stereotype of college bands, this six piece has demonstrated an applaudable level of commitment to both their music and the community. Not content performing only in front of friendly college-aged audiences, the band has performed throughout the region for new, diverse, and unfamiliar audiences alike. The group’s various members are also involved in a variety of other community projects, events, and ensembles.

Most importantly, their sound, songs, and stage show have gotten tighter and more polished along the way; showcasing a refreshing and unique take on a genre that sometimes seems over-saturated in our area. From front man Jason Ziebell’s Dylan-esque crooning to guitarist Kelly Blau’s virtuoso noodling, The Wind Shine EP is a satisfying snapshot of a credible young band that’s found its voice.

Stream or download this episode via archive.org by CLICKING HERE.

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Episode #18 – March 19, 2014

sapsucker1This episode gets off on the right foot with new music from Viroqua’s charming old-time country duo The Yellow-Bellied Sapsuckers, MPLS indie-pop shoegazers Strange Relations, and Winona’s high-energy 7-piece Americana act Gravy Train; in addition to vintage cuts from mind-melting electronic folkie Jeff Mitchell, lyrically-driven alt-country group The Oh Eeks, Winona electro-rockers Apartment 4, and MPLS roots duo The Floorbirds.

The aforementioned Yellow-Bellied Sapsuckers are a charming, and frankly adorable, duo that performs both original and traditional old-time fiddle tunes with tight harmonies, while bringing a light musical touch and a great sense of humor. The are involved in other musical projects in the Viroqua-area, including the Pie City Ramblers and the Kickapoo Barn Dance radio show on WDRT. They will be performing in Winona for Mid West Music Fest in the front room of Broken World Records on Saturday, April 26th, 2014 at 6pm.

Stream or download this episode via archive.org by CLICKING HERE.

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Episode #17 – March 12, 2014

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Episode 17 features brand new music from Winona’s preeminent pixie-goth sludge rockers The Ultrasounds, in addition to tunes from Duluth alt-country crooner Old Knifey, battle-ready melodic post-hardcore act Boats vs Manatees, MPLS synthpop Depeche Mode devotees CLAPS, now-defunct Americana aces Roma Di Luna, and Winona’s favorite fiddling clogger Matthew St. Francis (AKA Matthew Francis Byrnes).

The Ultrasounds’ Lost My Mind EP is a solid debut recording that leans heavy on deft distorted guitar work — just like their raucous live performances. The EP is a polished snapshot of this co-ed quartet’s 90’s rock-influenced sound. And while the guitars are indeed prominent, the mix shifts from song to song, and Megan Hanson’s bittersweet vocals never lose their inherent dreaminess. Coinciding with the release of their EP, the band also embarked on a mini-tour that took them into Wisconsin, Illinois, and Iowa — no doubt winning over some new converts to the holy gospel of Winona-bred pixie-goth sludge rock.

Stream or download this episode via archive.org by CLICKING HERE.

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Episode #16 – Feb. 19, 2014

vlcsnap-2013-02-19-13h47m30s281Episode 16 shines a spotlight on brand new music from Eau Claire indie rock quintet Adelyn Rose, in addition to anti-folk acoustic blues from Winona puppetmaster Robert “Dr. Bob” Armstrong, dark-wave “witch-house” from Winona to MPLS transplant Breakaway, post-rock Winona throwbacks Good Luck And Godspeed, indie soul from 9-piece SMUMN alum act Ali and The Scoundrels, indie rock from up and comers Bad Bad Hats, and last but not least a pair of heart-on-their-sleeves tracks from Winona’s Amanda Grace and La Crosse’s (now defunct) Elliot Arms.

Robert “Dr. Bob” Armstrong is known along the Mississippi River and beyond as a singer, songwriter, puppeteer, psychic surgeon, and taco provocateur. He also used to operate the former Green Lantern Coffeehouse in Winona. In collaboration with filmmaker Noah Hauser of “Little Noah Productions”, Dr. Bob created an attention grabbing music video for his song “Eyeballs”, which is featured in this episode. The video is a prime example of the irreverent creativity and uniqueness found in all of Bob’s projects.
Click here to view the music video for “Eyeballs.”

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Episode #15 – Feb. 12, 2014

0002317850_10Episode 15 tees off with music from La Crosse alt-rock trio Porcupine, before settling into some funky folk from Minnesota-proud solo act Adja Gildersleve, and music from Duluth folk/roots duo The Hobo Nephews of Uncle Frank, Winona acoustic duo Tour Funk, and Twin Cities shoegaze/psych/indie/drone acts Chatham Rise and Gospel Gossip.

I kick off the show with music from Porcupine, because they’ve been so prolific, creative, and consistently awesome for at least the past six years. But for whatever reason, they have flown relatively under the radar in the Twin Cities area. Their vinyl releases and high-quality music videos really make the act standout here in the Driftless, but Dan Tennyson of [Twin Cities blog] Rift Magazine sums up Porcupine’s appeal and cred in a review of “The Sensation of Being Somebody” by saying:

“The mark of any band worth their creative salt knows how to utilize their influences and achieve an original sound but also how not to be redundant when they capture that sound. The 3 musicians that comprise LaCrosse,WI’s Porcupine have become so adept at this skill that the recordings are both effortless to listen to but also challenge the listener in a way few rock acts are able to. It’s true that in all likelihood none of the members of Porcupine have a phone number that begins with 612, 651, 952, or 763. But the Twin Cities music scene would do well to accept and embrace this band as adoptive sons. It’s been almost 4 years since the release of Porcupine’s last full length “The Trouble With You”. In that time they satiated appetites with “Live at the Warehouse” and a split 7” with Copenhagen duo Metal Ghost. But anyone that followed the band was intently awaiting their next complete studio recording.”

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Episode #14 – Feb. 6, 2014

Charlie-Parr-HollandaleEpisode 14 begins with a francophone folk-gem from De Temps Antan, a traditional Quebec music trio, who’ll be performing at the MN Marine Art Museum in Winona on March 14th. Music is also featured from Charlie Parr‘s new instrumental album with Alan Sparhawk (of Low, Retribution Gospel Choir, et. al), in addition to tracks from now-defunct Winona instrumental progressive rock trio Brass Lamp and Winona bluesman Mike Munson.

Here’s how Charlie describes “Hollandale” on his website:

“Hollandale is an all instrumental record of 5 songs featuring mostly 12-string with a bit of National resonator and a banjo improv based on “Barnswallow.” The songs are all improvised around 5 different open tunings and are enhanced by the electric guitar of Alan Sparhawk, who also produced the album. I’ve always wanted to do a record like this, I’ve always been real chicken to do it until Alan encouraged me and gave me an opportunity to sit in the house he was renovating and just play whatever I felt. The songs will never come out that way again, but that’s alright, they’ll come out some other way and that’s what I love about this style of music. No one gets hurt, all the air you moved while playing this music just goes back to where it was when yr done.”

Stream or download this episode via archive.org by CLICKING HERE.

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