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Sean Phipps

Stories by Sean

Well, this is it. I’m moving to a more limited role here at the Times Free Press and, for better or worse, that means no more MUSICcast and blog.

We lost two greats over the holiday season. Vic Chesnutt took his own life at the age of 45 after a lifelong battle with depression. I was introduced to his music several years ago and he was one of my favorites. The other, arguably more obscure, artist we lost was Rowland S. Howard.

CASEY PHILLIPS 1. Phoenix. "Wolfgang Amadeus Phoenix." Glass Note. The moment the electrified, bopping strains of "Lisztomania" start popping out of your speakers like musical candy, it's obvious this French pop/rock quartet's fourth album is something special. From the upbeat, danceable opener to the more subdued, dreamy two-part "Love Like a Sunset," Phoenix's command of your ears and feet is unassailable.

First, Merry Christmas (or whatever it is you celebrate on this day, even if it’s nothing at all). This week’s MUSICcast features Casey Phillips and myself discussing our Top 3 albums of the year. You’ll also hear tracks off those albums. 2009 was a great year in music, as the 00’s were a great decade. Here’s to a new year, decade and happy listening.

Quite simply, 2009 was a year we’d all like to forget. I know I would. The music helped ease the pains, however, of the difficult economic situation, the job uncertainties, the ongoing war etc. On this week’s MUSICcast, I’ll focus on my favorite songs of 2009. A tracklist is available below the link.

Tonight marks the 3rd annual Butch Ross Christmas Show at Market St. Tavern downtown. He’ll be joined by local singer/songwriters for a show “loosely” based on songs from the holiday season. This week’s MUSICcast previews the show and features Butch Ross (and Casey Phillips) in performance. The show is at 8pm. tonight at Market Street Tavern.

The only thing I like about the Holidays is the music. That’s it. I couldn’t care less about Christmas or the Yuletide (what is that?) or trees etc. The music, however, is something I look forward to every year. Some of my favorite songs are about the month of December: The chill in the air, the turning over of a new year, cuddling. And some of my favorites are a little weird and non-traditional. On this week’s MUSICcast, we’ll take a look at music from the mysterious “javier,” a wonderful song from the Sonics, Sally Shapiro’s take on Christmas and more. I hope you enjoy this eclectic mix.

Ah, Thanksgiving. This holiday marks the transition into my least favorite holiday of the year (christmas) and seems somewhat like a non-holiday to celebrate (why shouldn’t we give thanks everyday?) but whatever. I’ll bite. As a music fan, I’ve assembled some of my favorite songs from artists I’m thankful for on this day of thanks. Here’s to Gillian Welch, Bob Dylan, John Hartford and Antony and the Johnsons. Thanks.

Thanks one more time to everyone who participated in the extremely successful FYI Awards on Friday, the 13th. Gratitude is in order for all of the bands and presenters. Thanks so much. On this week’s MUSICast we’ll do a sort of Redux of the show. I’ll be joined by Casey Phillips and we’ll hear some recorded performances from the show.

Firstly, I want to remind you all about the FYI Music Awards taking place tonight at Rhythm & Brews downtown. The show starts at 7pm. Performers include the Distribution, Slim Pickin’s, Roger Alan Wade and more. Tickets are $5 at the door. It should be a blast.

Local dirty-blues artist, Husky Burnette, stopped by Studio ‘99 this week to perform a few new songs and to promote his upcoming album. On this podcast, you’ll hear 5 live songs featuring Burnette on guitar/vocals and Burma Shave on drums/file cabinet. This was a blast to record and is a blast to listen to. Enjoy.

I love Halloween. This MUSICcast reflects that love. I’ve provided a mix of tunes, some scary, some funny that reflect that strange duality of Halloween. I do hope you enjoy it and I hope your Halloween is, at the very least, interesting.

Charlie Sexton is a good guitar player. But that’s not the only reason he’s a member of Bob Dylan’s current band on the NET (never ending tour). Charlie and Bob have “it,” a certain chemistry that electrifies and challenges both performers to be their best. On this week’s MUSICcast, we’ll hear a few selections from some recent shows in the past month. You’ll hear “Gonna Change My Way of Thinking,” “Don’t Think Twice, It’s Alright” and “Working Man Blues #2.” I hope you enjoy.

This week’s MUSICcast is a mix of several new songs from familiar artists and a couple of songs from artists you’ve never heard before. We’ll kick things off with new music from Built to Spill which is possibly their best work in a decade. The Flaming Lips have a new album out and it’s great, though not every critic agrees. True Widow is an up and coming band that will surely turn some heads. An old favorite in Vic Chesnutt returns with more morose melodies. Finally, the seductive Bebel Gilberto returns with an ace album that is sure to tickle every fancy you need tickled.

This week’s MUSICcast will feature a discussion between Casey Phillips, music writer for the Times Free Press, and myself about the upcoming FYI Music Awards on Nov. 13th at Rhythm & Brews. Voting for the Awards show is taking place from now until Oct. 23 at

We’ve got a few new releases to promote on this week’s MUSICcast and a couple of reissues. First, Yo La Tengo’s new album “Popular Songs” is my pick for album of the year so far. It literally has a bit of everything. I think it’ s the perfect “autumn” album and I think you’ll find something to like about it regardless of your musical tastes. Rain Machine’s self-titled debut is interesting too. The vocals can be a bit off-putting at first, but they quickly grow on you. The beats are infectious. We’ll also hear just one (of about 80 or so ) of the new tracks from the new BIG STAR box set. And finally, we’ll wrap it up with new music from the Mountain Goats, Nick Cave & Warren Ellis and a killer demo recording of Bob Dylan’s “Lay Lady Lay” from the unreleased Nashville Skyline sessions.

Considering this week’s major flooding the MUSICcast is a collection of songs about the rain. Some are particular favorites of mine including “Settled Down Like Rain” from the Jayhawks and “High Water Everywhere” by Charley Patton. You’ll also hear a song of a more upbeat note from The new Beatles remasters.

Ya’ll are going to love this band. Michael Ford Jr. and the Apache Relay are a conglomeration of, well, Michael Ford Jr. (songwriter extroidinaire) and bluegrass trio the Apache Relay. All members are from Nashville and all attended Belmont university. Their music is a mixture of bluegrass sentiment with deep songwriting a la the Avett Brothers. The best part? They’re young...real young. The recently released album called “1988” represents the birth year of lead singer Michael Ford Jr. Expect great things from this band.

CASEY PHILLIPS: “9” may be the most-confusing animated film since “Coraline.” It’s clearly message-driven, but what message it’s trying to convey is difficult to surmise.

With the release of ROCKBAND - the Beatles version this week and the coinciding release of the Beatles entire catalogue of music in crisp, digitally remastered goodness, I thought it might be appropriate to listen to a few of my favorite Beatles covers. Whew, long sentence. On this podcast, you’ll hear music from Ella Fitzgerald (Can’t buy me love) and my favorite Beatles cover from Jerry Garcia and his band. Enjoy.

The heat was getting to me. I’m like a snowman in the heat, but I never melt even though I wish I would. Suffice it to say, it’s bad. But now the temperature is tumbling and my mood is much more kiltered. This MUSICcast is a reflection (projection) of the coming Autumn months, my favorite time of year. Included are songs that illicit emotions of comfort, chilly weather, cuddling and other “C” words. I do hope you enjoy it.

This week’s MUSICcast features a live, in-studio interview with Sky Tells All from Pensacola, Fl. The band recently performed at JJ’s Bohemia. Their new record “Go Ahead, You Try It!” is available on I-Tunes beginning today and will soon be available in Hot Topic stores throughout the south. If you like your rock with a bit of a punk element and have a penchant for catchy hooks, you’ll probably want to wrap your ears around Sky Tells All.

This will be short and sweet. I have compiled some new songs for your listening pleasure. Those songs include new music by Yacht, The Antlers, Bark Cat Bark, XX and Jay Reatard. I hope you enjoy.

Even if you’re not a fan, the name “Bob Dylan” conjures memories for most of us. I recall seeing my first ever Dylan show in 2001 at Nashville’s Municipal Auditorium. Honestly, I hated the show. His voice was weirdly caustic, his songs were unrecognizable and his fans were, I though, a bit too eager to put the man on a pedestal. But then I started listening...I mean REALLY listening. Now, years later, I can honestly say I’m one of those “fans.”

I’ve been in a down-tempo, groovy kind of mood lately. I’m not sure if the heat is getting to me or if it’s something to do with my love of the looming Fall months. My mood has greatly affects how I listen to music and the kind of music I listen to. This mix is a mis-mash of songs I’ve been enjoying throughout the week. Enjoy.

David Mayfield is not a household name to most, but many of you may be familiar with his work via his band, Cadillac Sky. David is the lead guitarist and a vocalist for the group. But when he’s not gigging with band he performs as a solo act, which was the case this past Wednesday night at Charles N’ Myrtle’s Coffeehouse. Before the show, he stopped by Studio ‘99 to pick a few songs and talk about music, life and the upcoming album.

This week’s MUSICcast is another one of my famous “mixes” for your listening pleasure. All of these songs are relatively new releases and, in my opinion, worthy of a listen on your part. The whole podcast is just 15-minutes long too, which is a departure from my normal lacking brevity. We have new music from Ty Segall (really good garage rock) and Spoon (just really good rock/pop/krautrock) and a few other surprises. My favorite track is the new 7” from Crystal Stilts called “Love is a Wave.”

A treat on this week’s MUSICcast for all you fans of traditional music. Multi-intrumentalist, Christie Burns, performed a few tunes on the Hammer Dulcimer for our listening pleasure in Studio ‘99. Christie is a major contributor to the local music scene both in performance and instruction. She is incredibly talented and will be a force to be reckoned with for a long, long time.

I’ve been digging through a bunch of old shows recorded at various venues around town.

MUSICcast: Bad 80’s Music for the 4th of July in Studio ‘99 07/03/09 MP3 Download SUBSCRIBE

On The Air: Sean Phipps 07/03/09

On The Air: Sean Phipps 07/02/09

What do the Beach Boys, Kiss and China Crisis have in common? Well, in my opinion, they all three have some great songs in their musical catalogs. But more importantly, they all released some really, really bad music in the 80’s. The Beach Boys issued a horrible album called Keepin’ the Summer Alive, which featured this awful song called When Girls Get Together. KISS released their most critically-lauded album called Crazy Nights, which featured My Way.

On The Air: Sean Phipps 07/02/09

On The Air: Sean Phipps 07/01/09

On The Air: Sean Phipps 07/01/09

On The Air: Sean Phipps 06/30/09

On The Air: Sean Phipps 06/26/09

On The Air: Sean Phipps 06/26/09

MUSICcast: Sizzlin’ Tunes for the Heat of Summer in Studio ‘99 06/26/09 MP3 Download SUBSCRIBE

This may be my favorite mix of music to date. I have for you this week: the Ventures, Nite Jewel, Ganglians, The Oh Sees, Disrupt, St. Vincent and a few more. Most of these tracks share a common theme of being completely infectious earworms. I included the Ventures as a tribute to the group’s lead guitarist, Bob Bogle, who passed away a few weeks ago. Enjoy the mix and let me know what you think.

On The Air: Sean Phipps 06/25/09

On The Air: Sean Phipps 06/24/09

On The Air: Sean Phipps 06/23/09

On The Air: Sean Phipps 06/22/09

On The Air: Sean Phipps 06/19/09

On The Air: Sean Phipps 06/19/09

Casey Phillips, our own wee-little music/entertainment reporter for the Times Free Press, is turning 24-years-old this coming Saturday. I thought it would be fun (probably not for him) to invite him up to play a few tunes and talk about himself for a while. It is his birthday after all. On this week’s MUSICcast, we’ll hear Casey perform a few songs, including the song that got him excited about Celtic music in general. Sit back, strap in and prepare for an onslaught of the one, the only Casey Lyons Phillips.

MUSICcast: Happy Birthday, Casey Phillips! in Studio ‘99 06/19/09 MP3 Download SUBSCRIBE

On The Air: Sean Phipps 06/18/09

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