Nothing But Net: The Battle of the Bluegrass and the No Bias Breakdown

wall.sosaSaturday, January 2nd, 2010, is the day basketball fans across the Commonwealth have had circled on their calendars for months, when the University of Louisville Cardinals visit Rupp Arena to battle the Wildcats of the University of Kentucky. And for the UK faithful? Revenge; payback for Edgar Sosa’s last second 3-point dagger that sent the Wildcats home with an L. This year, UK’s a winner in every category with new coach John Calipari, the return of All American Patrick Patterson and the most exciting player in the college game today, John Wall. Is the game over before it’s begun? Or can we expect another thrilling rematch in the Battle of the Bluegrass. Matt Anthony and Mark Bacon break it down for you, with their No Bias Breakdown, plus a look ahead to this weekend’s contests nationwide. Please join us for this week’s Nothing But Net, the Thinking Person’s College Basketball webcast.

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Michael Young’s Top 20 Americana Albums of 2009

Pizza BoxOkay, here’s my guidelines. Live albums, tribute albums and albums of all covers RARELY make my lists because I’m all about the songwriting as well as the performance. Had to leave a lot of great stuff off this year. Without further ado, here are my top 20 AMERICANA albums of 2009.

1. Danny Barnes: Pizza Box [ATO] – Wry, sly, and a banjo genius. Dave Matthews and Robert Earl Keen call this guy up to play on their records.
2. Son Volt: American Central Dust [Rounder] – A welcome return to form from “the voice” reminiscient of Trace.
3. Levon Helm: Electric Dirt [Vanguard] – Yes, a lot of covers but it’s THAT good. Thank God for Levon’s return.
4. Magnolia Electric Co.: Josephine [Secretly Canadian] – Beautiful, beautiful record. Was my favorite for a good part of the year.
5. Gurf Morlix: Last Exit To Happyland [self-released] – Ace producer (Lucinda Williams, Patty Griffin, et. al.) and amazing guitarist has songwriting chops and good taste in vocalists to collaborate with.
6. Buddy & Julie Miller: Written In Chalk [New West] – No album had higher high points, but too many middling tracks kept this one out of the top spot.
7. Daddy: For A Second Time [Cedar Creek] – Bowling Green’s Tommy Womack and buddy Will Kimbrough do not disappoint with their second effort. One of the best live shows I saw this year was Daddy at The Basement in Nashville.
8. Eilen Jewell: Sea Of Tears [Signature Sounds] – Unbelieveable step forward for this Boston-based artist. Walking the line between rockabilly and country. “Shaking All Over” might be the cover song of the year.
9. Patterson Hood: Murdering Oscar (And Other Love Songs) [Ruth St.] – With Drive-By Truckers’ relentless tourning, it’s hard to imagine Patterson having any time to write and record. “I Understand Now” is about the catchiest thing he’s ever done. This album has been sadly overlooked.
10. Israel Nash Gripka: New York Town [self-released] – This transplanted son of a Baptist minister from Missouri has real songwriting chops. Comparisons to Ryan Adams are inevitable.
11. Dawes: North Hills [ATO] – This album really grew on me. Some say CSNY, but I think Band & Buffalo Springfield.
12. Alela Diane: To Be Still [Rough Trade] – Haunting, gorgeous album from this California singer with an extensive following in Europe.
13. The Devil Makes Three: Do Wrong Right [Milan] – Heir to Old Crow Medicine Show? Compares favorably, and will get your feet moving.
14. Corb Lund: Losin’ Lately Gambler [New West] – Canadian musician with just the right number of beautiful ballads and up tempo alt-country rockers.
15. Scott Miller & The Commonwealth: For Crying Out Loud [F.A.Y.] – This man has the Midas touch. For a guy with his track record, he is sorely underrated. The pride of Knoxville.
16. Tom Gillam: Had Enough? [Smith] – Austin by way of Philly, this guy has the right blend of heartland rock a la Tom Petty with a country sensibility. Tim Krekel fans take note!
17. The Gourds: Haymaker [Yep Roc] – “Country Lovin” indeed! Austinites put on a terrific party record. Too bad some of the fun can’t be played on the radio!
18. Mark Olson & Gary Louris: Ready For The Flood [New West] – Long live the Jayhawks. These guys NEED to make music together. Their Louisville visit was one of my live music highlights of 2009.
19. Mickey Clark: Winding Highways [ear X-tacy] – Hey Louisville, you have a country legend. One of the very few who can sing a Townes Van Zandt tune and NOT make you miss Townes.
20. Ryan Bingham & The Dead Horses: Roadhouse Sun [Lost Highway] – In my book, this is much better than his debut. “Bluebird” alone is worth getting the album.

Apologies to those great albums that didn’t make it. I chose to go with a lot of newcomers this year. Keep twangin’ and have a great 2010!

Nothing But Net: Holiday Edition

NBN.webgrfxPlease join Matt Anthony and Mark Bacon for a new Holiday Classic—Nothing But Net. We survey the college basketball landscape heading into Christmas 2009. Topics addressed include Bob Knight’s assertions regarding integrity in college basketball, and how it relates to John Calipari. Is Black-White is the new 22 for the Louisville Cards? And a look at Kansas, Texas, and their challengers for college basketball supremacy in the next week.  Season’s Greetings from Matt and Mark.

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Christmas Showcase Live Lunch Video

Here is the one that kicked it all off.

Happy holidays form all of us here at WFPK and Louisville Public Media.

Duke’s Voice Rest

IMG00016-20091218-0732     Shut Up! Don’t say a word. Write it on the white board.     

     Well we’re caught up. That’s been my life since October 23rd.

     I want to thank you for your concern about my absence. You’ve been calling Kyle, I’ve been getting emails and cards asking how I’m doing and it makes my day everytime it happens.

      Breifly here’s what happened. The day after the Fall Drive I began coughing and it was violent enough to hemorrhage my vocal cords.  I was told it may take two or three months to heal. I’m really hoping to be back next week or at least the first week of January.

      Not talking isn’t easy. It dosen’t help that my hand writing is barely legible. Man not being able to communicate really sucks.

      I wish you a wonderful and safe Holiday Season…I miss you and will be back as soon as I can. 

      Have Fun…Duke

Nothing But Net, with UK’s Mike Pratt

180px-Mike-PrattPlease join Matt Anthony and Mark Bacon for this week’s webcast of Nothing But Net, and our very special guest, former UK basketball All-American, former member of the ABA’s Kentucky Colonels (remember them?), and the current analyst for the Wildcat Radio Network, Mike Pratt. Mike will share his insights into the UK Wildcat cagers this season, Coach Calipari, and a look back at his career playing under The Baron—the legendary Adolph Rupp. It’s an episode all Cat fans, and basketball junkies in general, will want to catch.

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