Karen Mantler has felt the economic downturn. In fact, her new album is called "Business is Bad." But for Karen, less has always been more. Her jazzy songs are lean, witty, and keenly observed, without an once of fat, or an extra note. She brings her new trio, with Doug Wieselman and Kato Hideki, to the WNYC Studio, joining David Garland for performances and conversation.
Recent Episodes and Articles
Sunday, July 20, 2014
Devon Sproule's singing is honest and moving, playful and powerful. Her songs draw on folk, pop, and country influences, all in the service of her distinctive, personal, highly melodic sound. David Garland welcomes Devon Sproule to the WNYC Studio to perform and talk about her music.
Sunday, July 13, 2014
Bernice is a band from Toronto, the project of imaginative songwriter and acrobatic singer Robin Dann. Dann says of the band, "We play indie R&B - songs that breathe, sometimes dance, and have plenty of soul and body feel." David Garland welcomes Bernice to the WNYC Studio for performance and conversation.
Sunday, July 06, 2014
What do Beethoven, David Bowie, Green Day, Mozart, *NSYNC, Pete Seeger, Michael Jackson, Ray Charles, The Beatles, Bob Dylan, Duke Ellington, The Supremes, Rihanna, and many others all have in common? They all use the Andalusian Cadence, a four-note progression that's the world's most-used musical sequence.
Sunday, June 29, 2014
Composer and singer L.D. Brown records as Grey Reverend, and his songs display his reverence for the grey areas of emotion and musical style. David Garland welcomes Grey Reverend to WNYC for this in-studio performance and conversation. Along with songs from his new album, A Hero's Lie, Grey Reverend brings us his thoughts and observations on flawed heroes, skateboarding, racism, songwriting, and much more.
Sunday, June 22, 2014
Here's a serenade for a summer Sunday. Songs about patches of sunlight, heroic pigeons, country living, and time passing, from Françoise Hardy, The Unthanks, Son Lux, The Zombies, Louis Munroe, and others. Plus some mellifluous instrumentals from Alexander Turnquist, Francis Lai, Tim Kuhl's St. Helena, and the late Elodie Lauten.
Sunday, June 15, 2014
For Father's Day, David Garland presents music recorded by a father and son who both wrote beautiful, adventurous songs before meeting tragic early endings.
Sunday, June 08, 2014
Viking Moses is the musical project of songwriter Brendon Massei, and the band visits the WNYC Studio to perform and talk about their songs. With a personal take on the styles of rock and country, Massei's songs can be like short stories. Massei is a wanderer who has been on tour nearly nonstop since his first visit to Spinning On Air ten years ago. He has just returned from performances in mainland China, and talks about his experiences there with host David Garland.
Sunday, June 01, 2014
David Garland presents an hour of songs about birds, including pieces by Laura Marling and Scott Matthew recorded for Spinning On Air, and works by The Incredible String Band, The Beach Boys, Anita O'Day, and Dave Van Ronk. Plus an excerpt from Jim Fassett's "Symphony of the Birds," a tape collage constructed from recordings of bird song.
Sunday, May 25, 2014
Vocalist, composer, and multi-instrumentalist Jen Shyu performs her dramatic, unusual music in the WNYC Studio. Shyu weaves together influences from jazz, classical, and various traditions including music of Korea and Java, as well as Taiwan and East Timor where her parents were born. Shyu speaks with David Garland about her musical odyssey, and performs pieces from her new solo opera "Solo Rites: Seven Breaths." Using Taiwanese moon lute, piano, Korean gayageum, and her extraordinary singing voice, Jen Shyu addresses heritage, politics, poetry, and women's issues and experiences.
Jen Shyu "Qemaiaqaiam: Taiwanese Women’s Song of the Pinuyumayan people" on WNYC's Spinning On Air
Jen Shyu "Song for Naldo" on WNYC's Spinning On Air
Sunday, May 18, 2014
Composer and keyboardist Sun Ra studied esoteric subjects and created a vast catalog of unusual music displaying a cosmic vision rooted in jazz. To honor Sun Ra's Centenary, David Garland is joined by Sun Ra archivist Michael D. Anderson and WFMU's Irwin Chusid, who share some classics and rarities.
Sunday, May 11, 2014
The powerful, delicate music of English songwriter Nick Drake was underappreciated during his brief lifetime. But since Drake's death at age 26 in 1974, his recordings have gradually reached more and more listeners. It hasn't been entirely clear just from where he evolved his distinctive musical style. Now a brand new album gives David Garland the opportunity to show that the songwriter who had the greatest influence on Nick Drake was his mother, Molly Drake.
Sunday, May 04, 2014
The GOASTT (or more formally The Ghost of a Saber Tooth Tiger) perform and talk about their new music in the WNYC Studio. Fronted by Sean Lennon and Charlotte Kemp Muhl, the band has expanded and received an infusion of electricity. The wild spirit of the 1960s is heard in their music, continuing that decade's melding of rock songs with experimental and psychedelic influences--a melding originally led in part by Sean's parents John Lennon and Yoko Ono. David Garland welcomes the group to the studio as they sing and play ornate, rowdy, tuneful songs from their new album "Midnight Sun."
Sunday, April 27, 2014
Songwriter, singer, poet, memoirist, artist, icon Patti Smith performs in WNYC's The Greene Space. In a program of songs and poetry coordinated by her daughter Jesse Paris Smith, Patti Smith performs with Tree Laboratory (Jesse Paris Smith and Eric Hoegemeyer) and her long-time collaborator guitarist Lenny Kaye. David Garland presents these highlights from the April 23rd performance.
Sunday, April 20, 2014
27 year-old singer, songwriter, and finger-picking guitar virtuoso Will Stratton is now feeling well and creating songs, but 2013 was a rough year for him. Stratton was diagnosed with cancer and underwent difficult but successful chemotherapy treatment and surgery. Stratton joins David Garland in the WNYC Studio, with new songs to sing and a survivor's story to tell.
Sunday, April 13, 2014
There was a particular renaissance back in the 1950s and '60s, bringing together poetry and jazz. Some of those vintage experiments surely laid the groundwork for the poetry slams and rap of today. David Garland presents some classic poetry and jazz recordings, including the voices of Jack Kerouac and Langston Hughes, along with music by Charles Mingus, Al Cohn and Zoot Sims, Allyn Ferguson, and others.
Sunday, April 06, 2014
On Wednesday, April 23, Spinning On Air will present a special event in the Greene Space, "Mixing Memory and Desire: An Evening of Music, Poetry, Sound, and Remembrance," with Jesse Paris Smith, Eric Hoegemeyer, and Patti Smith. The event is sold out, but will be broadcast on Spinning On Air April 27. In this program David Garland presents some highlights of past work by Patti Smith and Tree Laboratory, to give some idea of what their Greene Space performance might be like.
Sunday, March 30, 2014
Hushed but full of emotion, eloquent with empathy and musicality, Susanna's voice is a warm fire in the Nordic night. Norwegian singer, composer, and pianist Susanna performs in the WNYC Studio with Helge Sten (Deathprod, Supersilent) on electric guitar, and Fredrik Wallumrød (El Caco) on drums and vocals.
Sunday, March 23, 2014
Josephine Foster sings about dreaming, colors, and temples built with beams of cartilage. Victor Herrero sings in Spanish of doves and horses. In 2008 Josephine and Victor were married. For the past year they've been wandering and performing. Now David Garland welcomes them to the WNYC Studio to perform and talk about their music.
Sunday, March 16, 2014
Irish guitar virtuoso Cian Nugent says his music has "Irish intentions" even though it isn't traditional Celtic music.
Sunday, March 09, 2014
The North Dakota singer-songwriter tackles such topics as being stuck on a roof, ambivalence about new beginnings, and our contemporary tendency to cradle our devices rather than our loved ones.