Written By:

article by: Michael Canter

01 May 2012

Top 25 Spins For April 2012

(Justin Townes Earle)

This is a Listener's Poll based upon user ratings from Jivewired Radio and at Jivewired.com for the period of April 1, 2011 through April 30, 2011 inclusive. Listeners can rate songs through an application on our radio player. A minimum of 100 Total Listens for the month is required to qualify.

Total Listens is defined as the number of times a song is played times the number of listeners online when the song is aired with the number of drops (listeners who log off during the song) subtracted.  
(Total Plays x Total Listeners) - Total Drops = Total Listens

  • You can listen to the monthly Top 25 Spins each Wednesday evening on Jivewired Radio beginning at 8 PM EST.

Our mission at Jivewired Radio: Promote indie artists and their music. The music we play on Jivewired Radio (powered by Live365) is made available to you by artists and labels. If there's a particular artist or band you really dig on, show some love; click a link, buy a LP, go to a show and spread the word.

You can listen by clicking on the following link: Launch Jivewired Radio

Songs and/or albums can be purchased by clicking on any album artwork and you can use the mini-reviews as a guideline. We've notated outside sources for content, and we hope those writers are cool with that. If not, going forward, we'll write up something for each artist.

***** PROGRAMING DISCLAIMER: Our first option is to purchase music directly from the bands included in this list and for all music played on Jivewired Radio. Jivewired buys secondarily from iTunes and Amazon where albums are not available on a band's home website or designated choice for purchase.

All linkage redirects to Amazon and iTunes because we grab album art form their websites. Where you purchase your music is your choice. We encourage you to visit each band's website to purchase music from their designated online storefront.

Listener's Poll Top 25 Spins For April 2012

01. Look The Other Way by Justin Townes Earle
from the album Nothing's Gonna Change The Way You Feel About Me Now

Purchase:  Amazon | iTunes

Justin Townes Earle has always put a lot of soul into his music (when Steve Earle's your dad, can you do otherwise?), but never quite like this. The troubadour recorded his fifth studio album, Nothing's Gonna Change the Way You Feel About Me Now, in North Carolina but channeled Memphis into the mix of these 10 tracks - at least the Memphis of Stax and Hi with a little bit of Sun Studios thrown into the mix. Rich organ swells and muscular horn charts mark many of the 10 tracks, with a live, off-the-floor groove that levitates songs like Look the Other Way, Maria, Memphis in the Rain and the title track.
~ Billboard

02. In The Dead Of Summer by Desi and Cody
from the album In The Dead Of Summer

Purchase: Amazon | iTunes

The duo are based out of Tulsa, OK and they are simply magnificent.  They play off each other perfectly, which on the surface isn't as easy as it seems.  Everything flows naturally without force or coerced suggestion, which is to say that the two are more of a, you know, duet, than a cheesy nightclub performing act.  They're just two artists who dig on each other personally and musically and it shows throughout their performances.  Their music does the talking and their stage interaction underscores their talent as musicians.  And the music is amazing.
~ Michael Canter, Jivewired
  - Read The Review

03. Palm Trees & Trailer Parks by The Dustin Pittsley Band
from the album Palm Trees & Trailer Parks

Purchase:  Amazon | iTunes

I've met Dustin and on the surface he seems somewhat quiet and a bit reserved, so the big sound on Palm Trees & Trailer Parks was totally unexpected.  Pittsley's guitar solo is nearly nuclear, and it's that guitar that makes this song a repeat player.  There's also an ever-present funkified bassline that really juices up Palm Trees & Trailer Parks.  Pittsley is well on the way to national ubiquity if he keeps this up.
~ Michael Canter, Jivewired

04. 86 Me by The Wanton Looks
from the album The Wanton Looks

Purchase: Amazon | iTunes

"Bad-girl harmonies (think Shangri-La’s) meet fuzzed-up guitar and relentless tempos. Sure it’s been done countless times before, but when it’s done well – with fizzy hooks and towering sing-along choruses – who can complain? Electromagnetic Force is aptly named, Demons stomps like Motorhead, the first chord on Worst Side of Me sounds like a bomb detonating."
~ Greg Kot, Chicago Tribune

And 86 Me? It's an absolute gem.  Standing on their own merits, The Wanton Looks belong.  They're worth checking out and you should go buy the song 86 Me based on this recommendation alone.  As I've said, I am so certain you'll love this song I'll Pay Pal you the purchase price if you aren't 100% satisfied.  Guaranteed.
~ Michael Canter, Jivewired  

05. Gettin' Tired by Shannon Labrie
from the album Shannon Labrie

Purchase: Amazon | iTunes

Industry insiders have taken notice of Shannon’s passionate vocals, her matter-of-fact grungy guitar playing and her song writing that is full of words that are both “beautiful and devastating”. Music Connection Magazine reviewed Shannon’s EP and gave it the highest possible marks in their January 2012 issue, and has become a big supporter of Shannon. BMI featured her on their Indie pages in January as an artist to watch.
~ Artist Press Release

06. The Sun Ain't Shinin' No More by The Asteroids Galaxy Tour
from the album Fruit

Purchase: Amazon | iTunes

Combining '60s lounge-pop, commercial hip-hop and Bj√∂rk-esque vocals, Fruit is the adventurous debut album from Mette Lindberg and Lars Iversen (aka the Asteroids Galaxy Tour). Produced by the Danish duo themselves, it includes the title track single from their The Sun Ain't Shining No More EP,  The Golden Age, and Around the Bend,  which was later made famous in a TV commercial for the Apple iPod Touch.  
~ Jon O'Brien, Rovi

07. Tramp Stamp by Wally Dogger 
from the album We've Turned Into Monsters

Purchase: Amazon | iTunes

The group plays straight forward pop rock in the vein of, say, Tom Petty, but with a much more youthful edge as they sing songs about their girlfriends text messaging them at inopportune moments and the timelessness of tramp stamps.
~ Omaha City Weekly

08. Serpents by Sharon Van Etten
from the album Tramp

Purchase: Amazon | iTunes

Tramp is a study in controlled power. Soft yet muscular, vulnerable yet tough, the music moves at a languid pace while also conveying urgency and unresolved tension. Sharon Van Etten’s striking voice is the album's central feature. Her vocals are commanding throughout, resonating when surrounded by ample space (Give Out, In Line), in the midst of precise arrangements using strings, keyboards, and artful drumming (Leonard, We Are Fine), or backed by a squall of electric guitar (Serpents). Van Etten closely doubles her vocals on many tracks; by hitting two closely related notes at once, this gives her voice a haunting, ethereal quality.
~ iTunes Reviews

09. Sunglasses by Crown Imperial
from the album Crown Imperial EP

Purchase: Amazon | iTunes

This EP is not only a taste of the band's Velvet Underground/Cure infused potential but also it's a tease of what could be an incredible full-length album.
~ Nathan Poppe, Look at OKC

10.  Hold On by Alabama Shakes
from the album Boys & Girls

Purchase: Amazon | iTunes

The Shakes’ musical approach is laid back — simple riffs that sway and build laid down over fertile grooves. There’s nothing elaborate and no need to be because within a few bars, Brittany Howard comes in with a voice that rattles the room and shakes the soul. Already visually arresting — it’s not often you see a bespectacled, full-figured black woman with red electric guitar strapped over her shoulder fronting a rock ‘n’ roll band — when Howard opens her mouth and sings, it’s like completing a circuit.
~ Associated Press via The Washington Journal

11.  Simple Feeling by Heartless Bastards
from the album Arrow

Purchase: Amazon | iTunes

Heartless Bastards' lead singer Erika Wennerstorm has always had the type of voice that can stop traffic and mesmerize the listener, but on Arrow, the band's fourth studio release, she displays a burning intensity that wasn't quite there on previous efforts. There’s plenty of breathing room in these arrangements – acoustic guitars, solitary bass lines, ebb and flow dynamics – but it is the key addition of new members Mark Nathan, Jesse Ebaugh and Dave Colvin, plus amazing production by the band and producer Jim Eno that puts the album over the top and makes Arrow the best release of 2012 thus far.  
~ Michael Canter, Jivewired
~ Read The Review

12. Parted Ways by Heartless Bastards
from the album Arrow

Purchase: Amazon | iTunes

Heartless Bastards' lead singer Erika Wennerstorm has always had the type of voice that can stop traffic and mesmerize the listener, but on Arrow, the band's fourth studio release, she displays a burning intensity that wasn't quite there on previous efforts. There’s plenty of breathing room in these arrangements – acoustic guitars, solitary bass lines, ebb and flow dynamics – but it is the key addition of new members Mark Nathan, Jesse Ebaugh and Dave Colvin, plus amazing production by the band and producer Jim Eno that puts the album over the top and makes Arrow the best release of 2012 thus far.  
~ Michael Canter, Jivewired
~ Read The Review

13. Friends Of Friends by Hospitality
from the album Hospitality
Label: Merge Records

Purchase: Amazon | iTunes

With its eponymous debut album, the Brooklyn, N.Y., trio Hospitality succeeds in building a new sound from templates laid down in the '90s. The sprightly rhythms and guitar strumming of Eighth Avenue recall indie bands like Heavenly, Camera Obscura, and Tiger Trap, but singer Amber Papini’s sophisticated phrasing and unique vocal timbre keep the song sounding fresh. The standout tune Friends of Friends reworks twee pop by forging slightly harder seams around the edges while flirting with proggy arrangements and New York–flavored sax lines.
~ iTunes Reviews

14.  Bear by Grace Woodroofe
from the album Always Want

Purchase: Amazon |iTunes

Heavily influenced by the early morning darkness the songs were created in, Always Want allows its somber atmosphere to transcend into grave beauty. Woodroofe’s rugged vocals guide this change, transforming with each track from a husky whisper to striking authority, thick in a sultry attitude. Her once personal memories are revealed, composing an album of standout tracks on loss, love, and growing up.
~ Consequence Of Sound

15. Protocol by Gift Of Gab
from the album The Next Logical Progression

Purchase: Amazon | iTunes

For Blackalicious frontman Gift of Gab, his artistry has always lived outside of hip-hop’s fashionable margins, his old-school cadence as nostalgic as the dusty drum breaks he prefers. Over the years, that aesthetic has worked well for the veteran MC: he’s worked with everyone from ?uestlove to Zack de la Rocha, from Ledisi to the iconic Gil Scott-Heron. Through it all, the Gift of Gab has always remained true to himself, no matter how esoteric his blend of preachy rhymes and distinctive baritone. He’s unapologetic, lyrically seasoned, and has no problems reminding you of such.
~ Paste Magazine

16.  Somebody That I Used To Know by Gotye (featuring Kimbra)
from the album Making Mirrors

Purchase: Amazon | iTunes

Gotye's fans are a patient bunch. The Belgium-born (and Melbourne-raised) musician also known as Wally de Backer took a lengthy five years between 2006’s Like Drawing Blood and 2011’s Making Mirrors. During this half-decade, Gotye was making music with Aussie indie-pop trio The Basics.   Somebody That I Used To Know is a dazzling standout single; Gotye duets with New Zealand R&B singer Kimbra, who lends her velvety voice on this quirky, catchy breakup song.
~ iTunes Review

17.  Roll Like A Big Wheel by Joan Osborne
from the album Bring It On Home

Purchase: Amazon | iTunes

Long before the world took note of Joan Osborne, she'd been building a solid following as a committed blues singer. Her turn toward pop music was a brief detour in a career that's brought out the best in the blues. One listen to her take on John Mayall's Broken Wings is all the evidence needed to explain her ear and her understanding of the deep blues. Allen Toussaint's Shoorah! Shoorah!, with Toussaint on piano, kicks up the joy at the other end of the spectrum. Muddy Waters' I Want To Be Loved turns up the flame. Slim Harpo's Shake Your Hips is equally a tribute to The Rolling Stones, who introduced the tune to rock audiences on their essential Exile on Main St.. Her road band is on fire throughout, with Jimmy Vivino directing the horns and Barbecue Bob Pomeroy adding incendiary harmonica to the obscure Roll Like a Big Wheel. The production between Osborne and Jack Petruzzelli is nothing short of spectacular, and it's clear that as a singer Osborne loves this material deep in her soul.
~ iTunes Review

18.  One Sunday Morning (Song For Jane's Boyfriend) by Wilco
from the album The Whole Love

Purchase: Amazon | iTunes

Amiably skronky, seven-minute kitchen-sink opener Art of Almost aside, there is a concerted effort to mothball the experimental tangents of recent years in favor of laconic twang, organ-driven garage pop, and tempered balladry. This is not to say there aren't moments of dissonance -- 
"I kill my memories with a cheap disease," goes the psych-lite lament Sunloathe -- but now Tweedy's showing off his journal, not his record collection. Dad's never cooler than when he's not trying to be.
~ Spin Magazine

19.  Home by Whitney Mann
from the album The Western Sky

Purchase: Amazon | iTunes

The West­ern Sky is a refresh­ing reminder of the kind of coun­try folk music that existed in hills and flat-land fields of the rural United States in the years before Nashville became a coun­try music hit mak­ing fac­tory. But the arrange­ments do also show a con­sid­er­able amount of pol­ish in their own way. The disc’s sec­ond song, Home proves that the play­ers can weave har­monies into the arrange­ment with taste and pre­ci­sion and the reprise of Been Thinkin’ A Ways that closes the disc is rich with tight vocal harmonies.
~ Buster Fayte's Rockabilly Romp

20.  Simple Song by The Shins
from the album Point Of Morrow

Purchase: Amazon | iTunes

Despite all the hullabaloo about band members getting "fired," the fact is that James Mercer isn't a member of the Shins-- he is the Shins, and he always has been. In a recent interview, he expressed his frustration over how to represent that specificity: "Bands I really loved were these auteurs who presented themselves as bands-- Neutral Milk Hotel, the Lilys-- and I just felt, 'Why am I not allowed to do that?'" Consider Port of Morrow, then, the results of an auteur's accepting that role while having a load of fun with his friends in order to realize it. Comeback stories don't get much better than that.
~ Larry Fitzmaurice, Pitchfork

21. La Grande by Laura Gibson
from the album La Grande

Purchase: Amazon | iTunes

Oregon-based folk singer Laura Gibson captures both a sweeping southwest-U.S. loneliness (courtesy of Calexico's Joey Burns, among the culprits) and a beguiling seductive nightclub romance with tunes that linger on the borders of jazz pop.
~ iTunes Review

22.  Dead Sea by The Lumineers
from the album The Lumineers

Purchase: Amazon | iTunes

The debut from this Colorado crew basically argues that a bunch of Americans can lead slowly-accelerating lovelorn singalongs just as well as UK yankophile Marcus Mumford, bringing fiddle scratching, marching-band snare rolls, parlor-room piano chords, and Kingston Trio guitar strumming to an album that’s long on nostalgic reverie.  But the central concern is present-tense lust and heartache, which this spirited band translates into a fine drunk-clogging soundtrack.
~ Rolling Stone Magazine

23.  Old Friend by Caveman
from the album Coco Beware

Purchase: Amazon | iTunes

Much in the tradition of the greatly reverbed Arcade Fire, Brooklyn's Caveman wander into the studio with what would be folk-rock in a less technologically enhanced era. The keyboards beg for the apocalypse of new wave and post-punk (check the instrumental Vampirer) at the deep end. Yet the melodies dream of rock 'n' roll radio, back when it was still on the AM band. There's a yearning jangle to Old Friend that would slot it comfortably onto a George Harrison solo album.
~ iTunes Review

24.  Untrue by Dinosaur Feathers
from the album Whistle Tips

Purchase: Amazon | iTunes

The band still has a clear affinity for the sounds of ’50s and ’60s pop hits with an abundance of backing vocals, shimmering guitars and punchy progressions, but there are definite signs of them stepping out of their comfort zone. From the jazz-inflected  Certain Times, which manages to work in a blown-out guitar solo that wouldn’t sound out of place coming from the fingers of Jack White, to the droning turned funky City Living complete with a bubbling R&B bass line, and the near-epic Beatcha, you hear a band coming into their own and having fun doing it.
~ Consequence Of Sound

25. So American by Portugal. The Man
from the album In The Mountain In The Cloud

Purchase: Amazon | iTunes

Ambitious indie-rockers Portugal. The Man created a colorful and eclectic back-catalog of music before signing to major label Atlantic Records for album number seven, In the Mountain In the Cloud. Working with big-time producers and engineers who had worked with mega-stars like Christina Aguilera in the past, the band admits to difficulties in the recording process this time around, but In the Mountain… is a shining example of beauty though struggle (band leader John Gourley feels it’s their strongest work yet). From the mellifluous, ‘70s-radio-friendly “So American” to the spiritual psychedelia of “You Carried Us” and the rubber soul of “All Your Light,” Portugal. The Man shows they clearly haven’t strayed from their core passion for big, classic-rock sounds steeped in their own view of a boldly original melding pot future. There are heavenly flights of strings and choruses; smooth, honeyed soul; lighters-in-the air grandiosity blooming out of ethereal grace; and, always, Gourley’s amazing, classic-rock vocals that are liquid gold.
~ iTunes Review

Fifteen That Just Missed:

26. Too Far Gone by Jared Lekites (Feat. KC Clifford)
27. A Warm Breeze by Thee Oh Sees
28. Sex On The Regular by Miniature Tigers
29. Eighth Street by Hospitality
30. Find You by Brianna Gaither
31. Keep You Right by Blind Pilot
32. Lonely Boy by The Black Keys
33. You Don't Exist If I Don't See You by Reverie Sound Review
34. I Got Some Devil by The Paul Benjamin Band
35. Just Say When by Brandon McHose
36. Oh So Blue by Paul Roberson of Pilgrim
37. Laser Beams by Idle Warship
38. Watertight by We Have Band
39. Hold On by The Chain Gang of 1974
40. Lost Weekend by Tiny Victories

See Also: Mike's Picks For 2011

*Note: Listening statistics are provided by Live365 as part of our contractual agreement as a Pro Station Broadcaster. Jivewired currently has a total of 23,714 songs in our library that are played randomly at any given time, with about 2,500 songs programmed for airplay in any given month.

No comments: