Sunflower Bean’s Tour Van Playlist

Sunflower Bean 2

Sunflower Bean’s latest album ‘Human Ceremony’ has been creating quite a buzz nationally, and getting lots of spins at WFPK. The New York-based trio is currently busy taking their show on the road and will be appearing at Zanzabar on June 11. We asked them to share with us what they’ve been listening to lately while touring in the van. Here’s a few of the tunes that Julia, Nick & Jacob put together for us. Enjoy!

Dam that River- Alice in Chains                                                                                         Love this song.  Alice in Chains is kind of corny but also very amazing.

Dum Dum Boys- Iggy Pop

This song, along with the rest of “The Idiot” has been on repeat in the tour van for a while now

Somersette- Tonstartssbandht

This is kind of a crazy song but is also so awesome.  If you aren’t familiar with Tonstartssbandht, definitely check them out.  They’ve been making some of the most ethereal music for a while now and are always the best live band.

Pizza Pasta- Night Manager

Night Manager is unfortunately no longer a band.  But through their short existence they released a bunch of songs that left a impression on me and Nick.


Magical Date Night- Total Slacker

After the first time I saw Total Slacker live at Cheap Storage my life was changed.  I was instantly hooked on the music and infinitely more excited about the future because I finally saw a future with rock n roll.


What You Want- Sheer Mag

Sheer Mag is also a constant in the tour van.  Some of the best riffage in recent history.


Frightened Rabbit’s Scott Hutchison Guest DJ Playlist

Scott Hutchison

Frightened Rabbit front-man and songwriter Scott Hutchison knows a thing or two about great songs and songwriting. The band’s latest album ‘Painting Of A Panic Attack‘ is proof of that. In anticipation of Frightened Rabbit’s upcoming Louisville appearance May 3rd at Headliners, we asked Scott to share with us a few of his favorite songs, and what it is about them that speaks to him. Check out his very special guest DJ playlist:

Nada Surf-Love and Anger                                                                                              

This is an amazing cover of the Kate Bush song. It reminds me of warm Californian drives, making the occasional escape from the city and the excitement at getting the heck out of LA from time to time. I love Nada Surf, they don’t really seem to give a damn about being “current”, they just continue to write great songs and present them very honestly.

Sharon Van Etten-Afraid Of Nothing

Taken from one of the most beautiful albums I’ve ever heard, Are We There, this song is one of very few that can bring a tear to my eye. Almost every time. I love the way Sharon’s music lilts almost woozily and pulls you along like a gentle current.

New Order-Your Silent Face
This song is the perfect combination of beauty and ugliness. Warm, serious synths sit next to the childish melodica, and Bernard Sumner’s vocal is one of his most plaintive and brilliant. Proof that you should sometimes sing out of tune if you want to make humans listen.

Primal Scream-Accelerator

Sounds like the whole song was put through a crazy distressor, it’s f@*#!ing insane. I love how confrontational Primal Scream can be on an album like this, then they go back to being the nice guys again a few years later, singing about country girls. Always surprising, one of the best British bands around.

The Delgados- American Trilogy

A Scottish classic. This album taught me a lot about what music should do to the listener. I think this was the first time I “swooned” when I heard a song. There’s a certain romance to it all but it’s tempered with a longing sadness you can drown in.

The New Pornographers-The Bleeding Heart Show

Still the greatest outro of all the outros, and let me tell you I know my outros. I’m not usually one for showy drum fills but the playing on this track is outstanding, just a pure 2 minute joyfest. Makes me want to join a commune and just sing “hey-laaa” all day with my new friends.

Vandaveer’s Studio Session Playlist


In honor of Vandaveer’s tenure as February’s artist in residency and the release of The Wild Mercury this week, frontman Mark Charles Heidinger put together this playlist. “I opted to go with tunes/albums that were in regular rotation during various studio sessions for our new record,” Heidinger told WFPK. “One must put fuel in the tank if he expects his engine to run.”

Sun Kil Moon – Sunshine in Chicago

Mark Kozelek’s combative and cantankerous ways are well documented. He holds little back and regularly veers into uncomfortable terrain. There’s a directness and immediacy to his songwriting that I find magnetic and arresting. This album was in regular rotation during the first phase of tracking for our new record. I think it probably influenced me in a number of ways, from trying to write less abstractly to the manner in which we tracked our vocals. The Sun Kil Moon catalog is gorgeous and unsettling. Kozelek can endear and offend in a single verse. Strangely compelling. I could pick just about any track from this record.

Beck – Paper Tiger

Sea Change might be a desert island disc for me, assuming said desert island had electricity, stereo equipment, non-perishable goods and a way for me to stay hydrated long enough to relax and think about listening to music. The complementary talents of Beck and producer Nigel Godrich are nearly unmatched. My bandmate J. Tom Hnatow introduced me to a Serge Gainsbourg record called Histoire de Melody Nelson on a recent tour. Beck openly admits to borrowing liberally from the production and arrangement of that record, specifically on “Paper Tiger.” Art imitating art, not theft. It’s inspiring. And a standout among standouts on this record. The strings are so frenetic and dramatic. Great depth of field on this tune.

Phosphorescent – A Charm/A Blade

Another record we had in regular rotation during the early sessions for our new record. Such a pleasing experience, listening to this album, especially underneath a pair of quality studio headphones. We’d fire up the console, put on a few records and drink our morning coffee before tracking. invariably we’d turn to this album — so much so that we started to irritate Duane, our producer man. Matthew Houck layers his vocals one atop another but maintains that delicate, vulnerable quality he does so damn well. It’s an army of voices, but they still sound tender and intimate. The delivery of the line “Cut my heart but do it fast / Don’t want that hurt to last” from “A Charm / A Blade” is just perfect.

Bob Dylan – Most of the Time

It doesn’t get much better than Dylan and Daniel Lanois. I know Time Out Of Mind is considered their high water mark together, but I find myself turning to Oh Mercy more. The progression from demo to album cut of this particular tune is stunning. We spent a lot of time listening to this record during The Wild Mercury sessions, too. We borrowed liberally from the Lanois playbook with re-amped guitar tones. The studio had this huge empty warehouse space next door. We left a speaker out there and would regularly send guitar tracks, organs, whatever out to it at blistering volumes. Then we’d put a mic 50, 100 feet away in the far corner of the warehouse and re-record the whirlwind of sound that it produced. “Warehouse it!” became a common phrase we blurted out during these sessions. Thanks, Bob & Dan. We owe you one.

Sturgill Simpson – Just Let Go

Sturgill is doing Kentucky proud. It’s inspiring to see someone from your old hometown ride a serious wave to real success, and — more importantly — to do it with fantastic songs. This is country music, sure, but it’s also much more than that. The man can flat out sing. And lyrically I find myself regularly digging in for more. “Gonna transmigrate to my destination / Far beyond time in an eternal dream” isn’t standard country fare. He can also give a hell of an interview. Entertaining on so many levels. And then there’s that guitar player — Laur Joamets from Estonia… an absolutely phenomenal player. I’m excited to hear the next record. I expect it to confuse minds and furrow brows in the country world, just as it should.

Randall Bramblett’s Fall Playlist


Randall Bramblett is coming to town on Friday, just as fall feels like it’s kicking into high gear. In honor of the changing weather and Bramblett’s Live Lunch set, here is his fall 2015 playlist.

Sad-Eyed Lady of the Lowlands – Bob Dylan

Fill up the whole side of an LP why don’t you? One full on beautiful elegiac surreal masterpiece that changed the way I thought of songwriting forever.

Oh, Mary Don’t You Weep – Aretha Franklin

From her Amazing Grace live album. This one just gets to me. The powerful voice of the Queen and the choir behind her with Bernard Purdie and Chuck Rainey. As the Reverend C.F. says, “Aretha has never left the church.”

Get Off In It – Eddie Hinton

Blue eyed soul from one of the Muscle Shoals greats. What is he saying at the beginning? No one knows. “A wise man once told me” is how the verse starts out. It’s a swirling mystery of a song about getting off in it (the mystical world. love, getting high?) He left us too soon for me to ask him.

Concierto de Aranjuez – Miles Davis

This one is from Sketches of Spain. I always thought this is one for the desert island. Gil Evans’ harmonies and Miles’ sparse melodies still affect my song writing today. Genuis!

My Lagan Love – Van Morrison & The Chieftans

Irish blues delivered with such power and freedom by the master and his soulmates from the Old Country. Sounds like he finally came home on this one. Love the way it ends. Classic Van ad-libing into the mystic.

Chris Robinson’s Turkey Feathers in the Leaves Playlist


The Chris Robinson Brotherhood is playing the Mercury Ballroom Tuesday, Sept. 22. In anticipation of the show, Chris gave us his Turkey Feathers in the Leaves playlist.

The Advisory Circle – Further Starry Wisdom

“Incredible experimental electronic music. The artist behind The Advisory Circle is Jon Brooks who had an obsession with public information films from the 1970s. These records are always on in the bus at just the right time.”

Gabor Szabo – 3 King Fishers

“Everyone who knows, knows that every record by him through 1973 is genius. He’s a Hungarian guitarist that I’m obsessed with. My favorite jazz guitarist of them all.”

Jessica Pratt – Game That I Play

“Jessica is a young singer/songwriter currently based in Los Angeles who’s made two beautiful, melancholy, baroque records. A great guitarist and my favorite lyricist of anyone that’s not deceased or still in their 20s.”

John Mayall – Saw Mill Gulch Road

“The great John Mayall from his 1969 album Turning Point. Beautiful pastoral English blues. Your perfect Fall day kind of record.”

John Sebastian – Face of Appalachia

“A gorgeous song written and produced by Lowell George. A smoky, morning song.”

Gentle Giant – Black Cat

“As the days grow shorter and sunlight fades, this is the perfect autumn twilight number.”

Tuesday Featured Artist: Calexico


Calexico is playing Headliners Sept. 22. In anticipation of the show, John Timmons dialed up Joey Burns of the band to chat about the new Edge of the Sun LP and some songs that Burns wants you to hear.

More information: Official Site | Wikipedia | Allmusic | Facebook | Twitter

Mexican Institute of Sound – Es-toy

“Camilo Lara is the s***. In his project Mexican Institute of Sound he combines samples, loops, instruments and delivers a potent party mix. This song comes from his 2012 album release Politico and his latest album is also badass made together with Toy Selectah called Compass. He is an inspiration on many levels. ”

Ceci Bastida – Una Vez Mas

“One of my favorite writers and singers with a new album, a new solo career, a new child and a fresh take on life and all of its beauty and chaos. I like the contrast between electronic keyboard blips and brass section phrases. They provide a cool backdrop for the once punk rock singer from the band Tijuana No to build her vocals. By the chorus they converge in a glorious way. I keep returning to her work and look forward to hearing more from her.”

SaintSeneca – Visions

“I heard this song on local Tucson radio KXCI and was immediately hooked. The first opening riffs reminded me of an acoustic chunky Sonic Youth motif which leads you into a series of dynamic shifts centered around a well written verse and celebrational chorus. Love the lines ‘You’re the ghost that I was born to know, and you’re the throat from which the echo’s thrown.’ There is plenty of slow motion, stop time and catch breath before submerging into wondrous wash of color and enthusiasm.”

Natalia Lafourcade – Hasta la Raíz

“Before traveling to Mexico City to start work on writing new material with Calexico, our keyboardist turned me on to this singer songwriter from Mexico. Her last album was a duets performing works from the great composer Augustin Lara. She keeps getting better and better. On her new album of original material which was partially recorded at Sonic Ranch in West Texas, she goes deep. Here is one of the first songs released from her album.”

Sonido Gallo Negro – Chamula (Métete)

“This is a good example of an interstellar cumbia in overdrive with call and response-style farfisa organ blasts together with time-warp-tremolo electric guitar. I play this song in my kitchen and there is not a soul who does start swaying and getting out of their chair. How can you deny the charm from the guira which is a percussion instrument that sounds like someone is grating car parts into a large metal bucket. Hypnotic and psychedelic with a touch of sci-fi, makes for a good combination plate.”

Lhasa de Sela – Con Toda Palabra

“One of my all time favorite singers and songwriters, Lhasa taps into the realm of classic singers such as Nina Simone and Portugal’s queen of Fado Amália Rodrigues. Lhasa sang in at least three different languages and unfortunately passed away too soon. This is one of my favorite songs from her critically acclaimed album The Living Road and a great way to conclude this mix. Thanks so much for listening.”