Fair Game music segment selections
My latest downloadable radio-show obsession — are we really still calling these “podcasts”? — is Fair Game from PRI with Faith Salie, an hour-long “satirical news and entertainment program” distributed four days a week by Public Radio International, the same folks who brought me my first true podcast love, This American Life. Each show features a music segment — usually a live in-the-studio performance and interview. Fair Game’s Web site, www.morefairgame.org, offers downloadable 64 kbps MP3s of the recent music segments in their entirety and higher-quality MP3s of individual songs; older segments are available as streaming MP3s. The selection of bands is varied. Here are some highlights.
Sharon Jones & the Dap-Kings
Sharon Jones and the Dap-Kings, “Keep On Looking”
Big-voiced Jones and her shit-hot soul/funk octet the Dap-Kings (who play a sold-out show downstairs at the Middle East Friday) almost capture the freneticism of their live show — not an easy thing to do in the clinical confines of a radio studio. The mix isn’t great — I’d like to hear more of Homer Steinweiss’s drums — but it’s impressive for a radio recording.
St. Vincent, “Human Racing”
Annie Clark, who’s played guitar with Sufjan Stevens and goes by St. Vincent in solo mode, is an absolute beast on the six-string and a pitch-perfect singer to boot. If I hadn’t seen her live, I’d say there’s no way she’d be able to play those complex jazzy guitar parts while simultaneously singing this song from her St. Vincent debut, Marry Me.
Grizzly Bear, “Knife”
GB strip one of the best songs from their excellent 2006 album Yellow House down to just multi-part vocals and reverby rhythm guitar — gorgeous.
Peter Bjorn and John, “Let’s Call It Off”
Acoustic guitar and piano sub for electric guitar and bass, and being the near-perfect construction that it is, the song holds up. The performance, along with Grizzly Bear’s “Knife,” offers a fresh perspective on a familiar song — the best thing about recordings like this.
, Sharon Jones & The Dap-Kings
, Sharon Jones
, Annie Clark