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TAS In-Studio

Los Campesinos!: TAS In Session

Over the last eight years, the music of Los Campesinos! has straddled both the irreverent and serious, the wise and the witty. Frontman Gareth "Campesinos" Paisey's lyrics briskly percolate with personal and pop culture references, leapfrogging from soccer puns to romantic strife.

The Welsh band's latest album, No Blues, might be their strongest to date and Los Campesinos! has been touring steadily since its release, recently announcing a batch of UK and European festival dates for this spring and summer including Live at Leeds, the Truck Festival and Festival No. 6.

Earlier this winter the sextet stopped by FUV and TAS for a session and a conversation with The Alternate Side's Alisa Ali. Watch videos of Los Campesinos! in Studio A below, listen to the songs and interview now in the FUV Vault or hear the band's session this Friday, March 7, on TAS on 91.5 WNYE at 11a.m. EST, also streaming online.



The Fratellis: FUV Live

Glasgow's The Fratellis made a big splash in Britain with their boisterous debut album, Costello Music, which earned them the 2007 BRIT award for Best Breakthrough Act and support slots opening for the reunited Police and Kasabian and eventual festival headliner status.

The scrappy Scottish trio went on to release one more album, Here We Stand, before going on a three year hiatus in 2009, enabling frontman Jon Lawler to collaborate with female vocalist Lou Hickey as Codeine Velvet Club, releasing one surprisingly lush, brassy and romantic self-titled debut in 2009 before that duo disbanded as well.

With Codeine Velvet Club behind him, Lawler has reunited with his Fratellis brethren — Barry "Fratelli" Wallace and Gordon "Mince Fratelli" McRory — and the three released a third album last year, the swaggering, We Need Medicine. The Fratellis are also bound for North America, kicking off a brief five-city tour on February 21 that takes them to Atlanta, Orlando, Seattle, Vancouver and Toronto. Tours of Japan and Europe follow this spring.

Not long ago, The Fratellis stopped by Studio A to share a couple of new songs from the album and talk about their rambling journey that has stretched nearly  nine years and three albums. Watch videos of The Fratellis live below and listen to their session now via the FUV Vault or on TAS on 91.5 WNYE this Friday, February 21, at 11a.m. EST, also streaming online.



Emiliana Torrini: FUV Live

Emiliana Torrini's fourth album, Tookah, has earned the ethereal singer four nominations at the upcoming Icelandic Music Awards, including nods in the categories of Composer, Album and Song of the Year.

This March, she'll be competing against fellow artists like John Grant at the awards show. But her real reward is the evolution of Tookah itself. Torrini took her time recording the follow-up to 2008's acclaimed Me and Armini, focused on motherhood (she just posted her toddler son's first portrait on her Facebook page) and also her own artistic conundrums.

She recently visited FUV for a session and discussed that winding journey. Watch the videos and listen to Emiliana Torrini's songs and conversation now in the FUV Vault or catch the session on TAS on 91.5 WNYE this Friday, February 14, at 11am EST, also streaming online.

Emiliana Torrini also visited the FUV studios in 2008 on the heels of Me and Armini and you can watch that session here.



Yuck: TAS In Session

Yuck has more than persevered following the departure of frontman Daniel Blumberg in early 2013. Guitarist Max Bloom, who wrote the bulk of the music on the band's 2011 self-titled debut, is now at the helm, and the London-based band released a bold and dreamy sophomore album, Glow & Behold, last fall.

They've expanded from a trio too, with the addition of guitarist Ed Hayes, and will release a new EP, Southern Skies, later this year. In addition, Yuck is touring North America this winter, playing Bowery Ballroom on Saturday, February 15.

The refreshed lineup of Yuck came by Studio A not long ago for a session and a conversation. Watch the videos below, listen to the interview in the FUV archives now, or catch the session on TAS on 91.5 WNYE today at 11a.m. EST, also streaming online.



Arctic Monkeys: FUV Live

Arctic Monkeys have lost none of their cheek and swagger, but the band's fifth album, AM, reaches for a more mature layer of self-examination and romantic contemplation.

Upon AM's release last year, Arctic Monkeys collected critical kudos, commercial success (it's their best-selling album to date) and a Mercury Prize nomination.

When the band traveled to New York last fall, The Alternate Side's Eric Holland caught up with them for a chat. Listen to Arctic Monkeys in conversation now in the FUV archives or on TAS on 91.5 WNYE on Friday, January 31, at 11a.m., also streaming online.


King Krule: TAS In Session

Archy Marshall, who goes by King Krule, is a 19-year-old London songwriter with a caustic voice and a candid perspective. Pale and reed-thin with wary, haunted eyes, King Krule is a paradox onstage, a slight boy with a pugilist's bearing. That tone runs through his wiry, agitated debut, 6 Feet Beneath the Moon, revealing youthful bravado underscored by woe.

King Krule begins an Australian tour this week, but when he visited New York late last year, he stopped by The Alternate Side for a session.

Below, watch videos of King Krule live in Studio A playing "The Octopus" and "Cementality" from 6 Feet Beneath the Moon, out now on XL Recordings.



Midlake: FUV Live

When a frontman departs a band, there are two basic routes that a band can follow: breaking up or soldiering on. Fortunately for its fans, Midlake chose the latter option when Tim Smith left in 2012. Rather than crumbling, Midlake regrouped with guitarist Eric Pulido assuming lead vocals.

Last November, the refreshed and reconfigured Midlake released Antiphon, the group's fouth effort and first album for new label ATO. Basking in the glow of positive reviews, Midlake has been on the road in support of the record, launching an extensive UK and European tour on February 20 in Manchester.

Not long ago, Midlake visited Studio A for a session and conversation. Watch videos of Midlake in performance below and listen to the session now in the FUV Vault or on TAS on 91.5 WNYE this Friday, January 24, at 11a.m. EST, also streaming online. 



Laura Veirs: FUV Live

Laura Veirs' songs resonate with clarity, sagacity and nuanced sketches, often conjuring intriguing characters like jazz composer Alice Coltrane and outsider artist Howard Finster.

Her latest album, Warp and Weft, is a visceral and emotional journey, gracefully produced by her husband, Tucker Martine.

Back in September, Laura, with infant in tow as she did a brief tour with her band in support of the album, stopped by Studio A and you can watch videos of their performance of "This Alice" and "White Cherry" below.

Listen to the entire FUV Live session and interview  now in the FUV Vault  or on TAS in Session on 91.5 WNYE this Friday, January 17, at 11am EST, also streaming online.



Man Man: FUV Live

The Philly-based band Man Man is probably best described as “experimental." Over the course of the quintet's career they have dabbled in so many different styles, everything from carnival music to gypsy punk.

However, on their latest release, On Oni Pond, the band has recorded a melodic pop record. Of course, as always, there's a hint of weirdness in there, and we wouldn’t have it any other way.

During this session, taped in October, The Alternate Side's Russ Borris talked with Ryan Kattner, aka Honus Honus, about the making of this very radio-friendly new album.

Man Man will embark on a long tour of the States beginning on January 16 in Huntinton, WV and reaching the New York area on January 30 for a gig at Asbury Lanes in Asbury Park, NJ and Poughkeepsie's The Loft at the Chance Center on January 31.

Always a dynamic band onstage, Man Man offered up a kinetic live set of songs like "Born Tight" and "Head On" in Studio A. Watch videos below of Man Man and listen to the entire session now in the FUV Live vault or this Friday, January 10, on TAS on 91.5 WNYE at 11am EST, also streaming online.




Best Of TAS In Session 2013: Staff Picks

Over the past 12 months, the TAS staff — Russ Borris, Alisa Ali, Eric Holland and Kara Manning — has chatted with an array of bands and artists for our in-studio sessions that straddle The Alternate Side and FUV Live.

Narrowing those conversations down to three sessions that we especially enjoyed was difficult, but our TAS in Session standouts of 2013 included Nick Cave, John Grant, Chvrches, Laura Veirs, Yo La Tengo and many others.

Check out our selections (and listen to them, linked by name, in our archives) below and find out what these artists and bands accomplished since their TAS/FUV Live session took place ... and what lies ahead for them in 2014.

Russ Borris:

John Grant:
The singer-songwriter stopped by FUV in April to candidly discuss the evolution of his second solo album, Pale Green Ghosts, and his own personal struggles. John Grant's poignant, smart album topped many year-end critics polls and he'll begin 2014 on tour in Australia, traveling to Europe and the UK later in the winter.

Man Man:
Philadelphia's Man Man has always prided itself on its eccentricity and eclecticism, but the band's new album, On Oni Pond, might be their most melodic and, perhaps, straightforward release. The group visited in October and they're in New York this very week, opening for Gogol Bordello at Terminal 5 tonight, December 30, and on New Year's Eve.

Okkervil River:
For Okkervil River's seventh album Silver Gymnasium, songwriter Will Sheff reflected on his childhood in New Hampshire. In a session recorded in September, Sheff discussed his boyhood, laced with memories of bad television and cassette tapes. Sheff launched a sucessful Kickstarter campaign to fund a film, "Down Down The Deep River," and Okkervil River tours Australia in February and launches another North American tour in March. Unfortunately, no New York dates seem to be on the itinerary yet.

Alisa Ali:

Yo La Tengo
Back in July, Yo La Tengo's Ira Kaplan, Georgia Hubley and James McNew spent quality time in the Bronx for a session centered around Fade, the trio's thirteenth album. Yo La Tengo toured much of the summer, including a gig at Brooklyn's Prospect Park opening for Belle and Sebastian. They also released a deluxe edition of Fade and in December, scored a comedy Christmas video called "Toymageddon." Yo La Tengo heads — like many bands — to summery Australia and New Zealand in late winter.

The Dismemberment Plan:
Not many bands can claim a drummer who also works for NASA, but The Dismemberment Plan's resident robotic engineer Joe Easley took time off from his day job to tour this summer with his Washington D.C.  bandmates who released their first album in 12 years, Uncanney Valley. They also engaged The Alternate Side's Alisa Ali in one of our funniest TAS interviews of the year. The Dismemberment Plan played their last show of 2013 earlier this month in Los Angeles and released a commentary version of Uncanney Valley on Spotify. No tour dates have been announced yet for the coming year.

Few British bands were the focus of as much advance hype as the Glasgow trio Chvrches, but the synth-pop trio lived up to expectations with the release of their very good album The Bones of What You Believe. Back in September, Lauren Mayberry, Iain Cook and Martin Doherty visited FUV and The Alternate Side for a laid-back, amiable session, playing a couple of tracks from the new record. Chvrches are spending their New Year's Eve at Edinburgh's splashy Hogmanay celebration and then embark on a tour to Singapore, Australia and New Zealand in late January. A tour of the UK and Europe follows and Chvrches return Stateside by spring, playing New York's Terminal 5 on May 2 and May 4. As for their much-praised debut,  Google Play is currently giving away The Bones of What You Believe for free for a limited time as one of their top albums of 2013.

Eric Holland:

Nick Cave
The release of Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds' fifteenth album, Push Away The Sky, was fortuitous for FUV and The Alternate Side since our own Eric Holland had a chance to sit down with the man for an in-depth conversation back in March. Cave and his compadres toured for much of 2013 and are planning the same for 2014, returning to New York on July 26 for a gig in Brooklyn's Prospect Park. In addition, a documentary about Nick Cave, called "20,000 Days On Earth" is an official selection of the 2014 Sundance Film Festival 

Franz Ferdinand
Although the Glasgow band came very close to breaking up a couple of years ago, Franz Ferdinand soldiered on, shaking off rumors of their imminent demise, and released a confident fourth album, Right Thoughts, Right Words, Right Action, in August 2013. More tour dates are set for 2014, including a sweep through the U.S. again, focused on the West coast.

The Montréal group released their album The North in 2012, but finally made their way to FUV's Studio A in March. This past September, Stars released a doubled-sided single of two songs that didn't make it onto The North, "Wishful" and "The Light." According to their Facebook page, Stars are in the midst of recording another album and they'll play a charity gig in Toronto on January 18.

Kara Manning

Laura Veirs:
Whlie pregnant with her second child, Laura Veirs recorded her beautiful ninth album, Warp and Weft, an album fecund with songs inspired by an array of fictional characters and fellow artists, like the jazz musician Alice Coltrane and outsider painter Howard Finster. As a mother of two young children, Laura Veirs can't tour as much as she'd like, but there's always a chance she'll embark on another short road trip in 2014. Listen to the FUV Live session Laura Veirs either now or on TAS on 91.5 WNYE on Friday, January 17, at 11am.

Pure Bathing Culture:
One of the loveliest debut albums of the past year came courtesy of a couple who met while touring with Vetiver. Pure Bathing Culture's Daniel Hindman and Sarah Versprille released Moon Tides in August, a resonant collection of doe-eyed dream pop. Pure Bathing Culture head back out on the road on January 20 with La Luz for west-of-the-Mississippi jaunt.

Everything Everything:
The Manchester-based group, nominated for a Mercury Prize for their debut Man Alive, released its ambitious and accomplished sophomore album Arc in January in the UK. Everything Everything spent most of 2013 touring the world with a brief late March swing through North America — which was when they dropped by The Alternate Side's Studio A for a session. Arc officially came out Stateside in June and by year's end, Everything Everything figured out, rather impressively, that they'd played 128 shows in 88 cities in 25 countries over the last twelve months.