Singer, writer, pianist, and activist Amanda Palmer is also a listener, a “love-lover, rule-hater and co-founder of the Brechtian punk cabaret duo, The Dresden Dolls” ( ). She has a way of connecting with people and directly asking for what she needs, as well as giving back to her fans. Her latest record, There Will Be No Intermission , is a “five hanky” record, full of dark songs on abortion, miscarriages, cancer and grief, all the while in a way that hints at hope and delivers community. Amanda Palmer brings an abbreviated version of her TED talk, with accompanying piano and ukulele songs, to perform in our studio. -Caryn Havlik
Watch the session here:
Listen to one of the singles from the record:
Captivating Chamber-Electro-Pop by Emily Wells with Metropolis Ensemble
Composer, producer and multi-instrumentalist Emily Wells works in the space between art-pop and neoclassical chamber music using electronic and acoustic instruments: synths, strings, and hip-hop production in elegant layers to support her singular and dramatic vocals. For her latest, This World Is Too _____ For You she has expanded her sonic palate to include a string quintet and French horn for a collection of swirling and dramatic chamber-pop showpieces.
Together with the Grammy-nominated chamber orchestra, the New York-based Metropolis Ensemble, and drummer Shayna Dunkleman (Xiu Xiu, Peptalk), she performs some of these new songs, in-studio. Emily Wells and Metropolis Ensemble perform at House of Yes on Thursday, Feb. 28.
Watch the session here:
Crafty, Charismatic Chamber Jazz of Allison Miller’s Boom Tic Boom
New York-based drummer Allison Miller is also a composer, teacher, and the leader of the band Boom Tic Boom, a group featuring violinist Jenny Scheinman, cornetist Kirk Knuffke, clarinetist Ben Goldberg, bassist Todd Sickafoose and pianist Myra Melford, who celebrate ten years of working together this year.
Miller's experience in leading this specific group of improvising collaborators, along with the openness in her compositions, gives each member of the band space to shine. And shine they do - from the skilled interplay between cornetist Kirk Knuffke and clarinetist Ben Goldberg, dynamic rhythms and exploratory runs from pianist Myra Melford, the way that violinist Jenny Scheinman explores the frisky possibilities of the violin on "Malaga", Todd Sickafoose’s well-chosen melodic low-end, where he is sometimes joined by Goldberg on bass clarinet, along with Miller's own propulsive, playful grooves; there’s a healthy amount of what she calls “organized chaos” as well as cinematic beauty. Allison Miller and Boom Tic Boom join us in-studio to perform tunes from the 2019 release, Glitter Wolf. - Caryn Havlik
Here's a tune called "Malaga":
Adia Victoria Carries The Legacy of the Blues
Nashville-based singer-songwriter, guitarist, and poet Adia Victoria crafts Southern Gothic pop deeply rooted in the blues. On her new record, Silences , produced by The National's Aaron Dessner, she clothes her plaintive melodies with a velvet-robed ferocity, like a self-dubbed “Dope Queen”; the fully fleshed, orchestral-pop arrangements of woodwinds, brass, strings, and electronics are simply majestic. Adia Victoria and her band perform these new songs, more “in touch with her Southernness”, and definitely in touch with the legacy of the blues, in-studio . - Caryn Havlik
J.S. Ondara Says Hello To The 'American Dream'
J.S. Ondara is a Minneapolis-based singer-songwriter whose love for Bob Dylan spurred him to move to Minnesota from Nairobi, Kenya in 2013. Since he won a Green Card lottery that allowed the move, he learned to play guitar and has lived the so-called “American Dream.” He learned English both in school and because he wanted to understand the lyrics in music by Pearl Jam, Radiohead, Nirvana, Death Cab for Cutie Neil Young, and Dylan.
Ondara, in an interview with , describes his music as “old troubadour style,” that is “until I go electric and make everyone upset”, like his inspiration Bob Dylan. The DIY-musician, still in his 20’s, has just released his debut record, Tales of America and he joins us to play some of these songs, in-studio.
Set list: "Saying Goodbye", "Torch Song", "Days of Insanity"