WTMD is listener-supported radio from the campus of Towson University.

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Secret Mountains Revealed on Baltimore Unsigned

The psychedelic rock band Secret Mountains formed in the wake of The Owls Go, a duo featuring guitarist Jeffrey Lewis Silverstein and vocalist Kelly Laughlin. "There were some conveniences to being in a duo, but I think we were getting bored," Silverstein says. "We had these nice songs that people liked, but we wanted more rhythm."

In their quest, Silverstein and Laughlin rounded out the ensemble to include bass, percussion and keyboards. The additional personnel built a fuller sound--and a shift in the songwriting. "Our songs have gotten a lot less linear," says Laughlin. "We have to have everyone else because they all are an integral part of our music."

The resulting five-song E.P., Kaddish, garnered raves from the local music press, including City Paper and Aural States
Tune in at 8 p.m. Tuesday (with an encore edition at 9 a.m. Saturday) and discover Secret Mountains for yourself.

Secret Mountains performs at The Hexagon on August 23rd.

Secret Mountains - Dead Sea from Secret Mountains on Vimeo.

Friday, July 9, 2010

Altered Freebies: Blonde Redhead; Jukebox The Ghost; Best Coast

What's better than music? Free music. Producer Nick Jackson has scoured the Interwebs to bring you the best free downloads featured on this week's Altered Fridays, 4-7 p.m.

Blonde Redhead, "Here Sometimes"

Blonde Redhead returns with a new song off their upcoming album Penny Sparkle, set for release in September. By the sound of it, this album will be a nice lead-in to fall.

Jukebox The Ghost, "Empire"

WTMD favorites Jukebox The Ghost have finished their sophomore LP, Everything Under The Sun and are treating us to the first single off it. It's fun, quirky, and it's sure to please.

You may remember them performing this song when they were on Morning Sessions last year...

Best Coast, "Boyfriend"

Best Coast creates a fun little jingle for those summer crushes that you'll find during these hot days down at the beach. More will be available on their Crazy For You release, due out July 27th.

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Hot August Blues Preview on the Roadhouse

Host John Mathews opens the TMD Roadhouse to everyone promptly at 7 p.m. Friday. But this week he'll keep a special eye out for Brad Selko, the force behind the annual Hot August Blues Festval at Oregon Ridge Park.

During the second half of the hour, John and Brad will adjourn to the Roadhouse back porch to partake in some cornbread and sweet tea and discuss all things HAB

In addition to featuring artists from this year's lineup, including Jackie Scott and the Housewreckers, Black Joe Lewis and the Honeybears, and Keb' Mo', John and Brad will share some breaking festival news and give one listener an opportunity to win a festival prize pack.

The WTMD Roadhouse airs from 7 to 10 p.m. Fridays.

Hot August Blues takes place 12 to 10 p.m. Saturday, August 21st at Oregon Ridge Park in Cockeysville, MD.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Good Old War Returns to Morning Sessions

In a summer full of great acoustic music, Good Old War's "My Own Sinking Ship" stands out. Although the band has been described as Americana, their sound is closer to the folk rock of Crosby Stills and Nash. Like CSN, the band's three-part harmony forms the nucleus of the music. And their upbeat arrangements wrap around the vocals, creating a very laidback listening experience.

Good Old War formed from the ashes of the progressive emo outfit Days Away. Guitarists Tim Arnold and Keith Goodwin hooked up with Dan Schwartz of Unlikely Cowboy and released their debut album in 2008. The band's self-titled sophomore release marks a turning point for the band according to Schwartz.

"When we were making our first record, we were about six months old as a band and we were escaping a lot of situations that we were in musically," he said. "That one was an experiment and we found out what we sounded like. And this one, we felt like we had become a band; that we knew who we were and we wanted to represent that."

The band has toured with The Gaslight Anthem and is currently on the road with Brandi CarlileTune in a 9 a.m. Friday as Good Old War drops by the WTMD studios for Morning Sessions.

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Kenny Liner on Stuck in the Jam

Tune in at 9 p.m. Wednesday as Bug counts down to the All Good Music Festival in Masontown, WV, with an encore broadcast of The Bridge co-founder Kenny Liner's Stuck in the Jam takeover. Liner showcases some of his influences with tracks from Townes Van Zandt, My Morning Jacket, The Avett Brothers and Larry Williams.

Plus, in the second hour, Bug's Phresh Phish segment features selections from Phish's second night at Merriweather Post Pavilion on Sunday, June 27th. 

The Bridge kicks off the first full day of All Good at 1 p.m. Friday on the Dragon Stage

Monday, July 5, 2010

Victoria Vox Brings Exact Change to Baltimore Unsigned

In September 2009, singer/songwriter Victoria Vox found herself at a career crossroads. She just finished paying off her last album, Chameleon, and she couldn't afford to record a new one. When her fanbase kept clamoring for new music, she appealed to them through her website.

"I set a goal for about $4,000 and told the fans 'If you guys help me raise $4,000, I'll be able to put something out,'" she says. "We reached the goal at the end of the day and by the end of the week, we had over $8,000. So I doubled the goal to $16,000. Within a month, I'd raised over $21,000. It felt like the fans were telling me that I wasn't done yet. It was like a bolt of energy."

She rewarded her supporters with the new album, Exact Change, contained in some limited-edition cover art. "The designer . . . came to me with a shadowbox made of clear plastic that you could look in and see the back of [a washing] machine," she says. "At first I thought about putting in some socks that you could tumble around, or maybe an old school ball game. Then he was like, 'What about water?'" 

The resulting design features a fish skeleton swirling around Victoria's visage. And the final recording combines Vox's accomplished ukulele playing with elements of jazz, folk and traditional French pop.

Tune in at 8 p.m. Tuesday (with an encore at 9 a.m. Saturday) to hear Victoria perform selections from Exact Change and speak with host Sam Sessa about the recording process.

Sunday, July 4, 2010

CD of the Week: Infinite Arms

Last summer when Band of Horses played Rams Head Live, the show had the feel of a backporch jam session. Band members casually switched instruments between songs, showcased some of the best selections from Everything All The Time (2006) and Cease to Begin (2007), and threw in a sweet Gram Parsons cover for good measure.

A few years after exploding on the strength of the standout single "Funeral," Band of Horses seemed comfortable developing its sound in a relaxed, live setting. Three years after their sophomore release, Ben Bridwell and company return with Infinite Arms, and the laidback country rock sensibility on display during last year's live show is front and center.

Bridwell's slightly off-kilter falsetto floats over echoing guitars and the tremendously catchy choruses are highlighted by rich harmonies that would do Parsons proud.

Check out the video for "For Annabelle," which Bridwell wrote for his two-year old daughter.