KAFM Music Blog

KAFM Music Blog

The KAFM Music Bureau Top Picks for 2016 - Alexa's selections

January 13, 2017
No doubt 2016 was a terrific year for new music!  We play a broad range of genres here at KAFM. A lot of it passes through the dedicated and diverse members of the Music Bureau, overseen by KAFM's Staff Music Director, Tori Miner.  It is catalogued, reviewed and rated before ultimately finding it's way to our on-air studio. Looking back on 2016, here are some of the Music Bureau's members top picks of 2016.  Up next, Alexa, who hosts KAFM's "Puttin' Down Roots".  Alexa notes that these are not in any particular order.


1   Kaleo | A/B

"...Screams Black Keys/Cage the Elephant/Gary Clark Jr....give these Icelandic-Texan transplants a listen...every song is great for airplay..."

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#2   Ryan Shupe | We Rode On

"...Mix of adult alternative, rock, reggae and more all infused with a wee bit of bluegrass..."




#3   Kishi Bashi | Sonderlust

"...master of blending pop, classical training and beauty...gorgeous vocals, looping instrumentals that blend so well together and create poppy, fantastic soundscapes..."




#4   Grouplove | Big Mess

"...so much going on, it's like being hugged by a giant-wave of pop backgrounds. Male and female vocals with pretty solid harmonies. ...upbeat, energetic, and creative. Neat instrumentals & arrangements..."




#5   How to Dress Well | Care

"...gorgeous vocals...R&B stylings, pop song structures and swirling melodies...pretty, fun, and soulful tunes scattered all over this record..."




Alexa's Best of 2016 | Honorable Mention:

1. Hayes Carll | Lovers and Leavers
2. Avett Brothers | True Sadness
3. The Wood Brothers | Paradise
4. Bon Iver | 22, A Million
5. Balkan Beat Box | Shout It Out

Keep your radio tuned to KAFM as we continue to present the best in new music and emerging artists for 2017!
 
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The KAFM Music Bureau Top Picks for 2016 - Tori's selections:

January 9, 2017
No doubt 2016 was a terrific year for new music!  We play a broad range of genres here at KAFM. A lot of it passes through the dedicated and diverse members of the Music Bureau, overseen by KAFM's Staff Music Director, Tori Miner.  It is catalogued, reviewed and rated before ultimately finding it's way to our on-air studio. Looking back on 2016, here are some of the Music Bureau's members top picks of 2016.  And up next, our very own, fantastic Music Director and "Champion of New Music", Tori, who hosts KAFM's "Fresh Tracks".  


#1   Kyle Craft | Dolls of Highland

"...an album full of riveting story songs, glam rock, twang, harmonica, and surprisingly fantastic Quick read more or view full article vocals...Great use of piano and horns on this album..."



#2   Whitney | Light Upon the Lake

"...A few horns here and there, easy going guitar (little bit of slide), great vocals, great lyrics, modern day americana with a bit of indie rock thrown in there. I can't get enough of this album..."




#3   LVL Up | Return to Love

"...Great lo-fi vocals and melodies, full feeling instrumentals, and the mid-tempo driving style of Pavement. I love this. LOVE it..."




#4   Bon Iver | 22, a Million

"...electronic elements, extreme emotions and beautiful/tragic melodies to create his songs...features his GORGEOUS voice, and he uses seemingly-iffy audio quality the same way someone might use an instrument to add layers..."




#5   Flock of Dimes | If You See Me, Say Yes

"...Jenn Wasner has the most feeling, expressive, beautiful voice in Indie rock these days...where she gets to expand more onto her pop-ideals and creative rhythmic habits...it gives me chills..."




 Tori's Best of 2016 | Honorable Mention:

1. Blood Orange | Freetown Sound
2. Marlon Williams | Marlon Williams
3. Carseat Headrest | Teens of Denial
4. Empty Houses | Daydream
5. Andrew Bird | Are You Serious

Keep your radio tuned to KAFM as we continue to present the best in new music and emerging artists for 2017!
 
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The KAFM Music Bureau Top Picks for 2016 - The Beat Junky selection's:

January 5, 2017
No doubt 2016 was a terrific year for new music!  We play a broad range of genres here at KAFM. A lot of it passes through the dedicated and diverse members of the Music Bureau, overseen by KAFM's Staff Music Director, Tori Miner.  It is catalogued, reviewed and rated before ultimately finding it's way to our on-air studio. Looking back on 2016, here are some of the Music Bureau's members top picks of 2016.  Next up, The Beat Junky, who hosts KAFM's "The Eclectic Ear".  


#1   Balkun Brothers | Balkun Brothers

"...hard hitting guitars & monstrous drums in this fusion of blues, funk and rock n' roll. Influenced by Led Zep, Johnny Winter, Black Keys Quick read more or view full article and Hendrix..."



#2   Moreland & Arbuckle | Promised Land Or Bust

"...gritty heartland and delta blues from roots trio.  Propulsive percussion, killer guitar rifts and frenetic harp playing characterize their almost primal garage band quality...Dirty and raw music with attitude."                                        




#3   Cage The Elephant | Tell Me I'm Pretty

"...catchy hooks...in a more raw, unfiltered way. Bluesy at times, channeling feelings of Crosby Stills & Nash on "That's Right", even throwing in a latin feel "Cold Cold Cold"...pulls influences from all across the board leaving a feeling of Rock-through-the-ages..."




#4   Ned And The Dirt | Wild Pack: Haunt These Woods

"...southern rock and New England alt. rock fusion.  Commanding, euphoric band centric tracks with driving six string chords, solos, bass, and big, powerful percussion...solo and choral vocals..."




#5   The Marcus King Band | The Marcus King Band

"...rough-hewn vocalist, soaring guitar wunderkind, songwriter and bandleader...influences of jazz, blues, and soul.  Good horn section...A band definitely on the rise..."

 


The Beat Junky's Best of 2016 | Honorable Mention:

1. Curse Of Lono | Curse Of Lono 
2. Altered Sky | Without Wonderland
3. People's Blues Of Richmond | Quit Or Die
4. Mick Rhodes & The Hard Eight | Paradise City
5. Augustines | This Is Your Life

Keep your radio tuned to KAFM as we continue to present the best in new music and emerging artists for 2017!

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The KAFM Music Bureau Top Picks for 2016 - Lance's selections:

January 1, 2017
No doubt 2016 was a terrific year for new music!  We play a broad range of genres here at KAFM. A lot of it passes through the dedicated and diverse members of the Music Bureau, overseen by KAFM's Staff Music Director, Tori Miner.  It is catalogued, reviewed and rated before ultimately finding it's way to our on-air studio. Looking back on 2016, here are some of the Music Bureau's members top picks of 2016.  Next up, Lance, who hosts KAFM's "Radio Rapture".


#1   Rogue Valley | Radiate / Dissolve

"...near perfect fifth release for Mpls. MN quartet.  Band centered indie rock\ pop fusion built around the perfectly pure lead and harmony vocals...featuring ambient western guitar riffs, unexpected Quick read more or view full article melody turns,  background brass chorus, and meticulous yet prudent production..."



#2   The Lumineers | Cleopatra

"...brilliant second effort from Denver folk/rock band...picking up where they left off, with perhaps a bit more polish, it leaves me wondering...what drives this phenomenon...purity and simplicity?...the easy warmth and intensity of the music?...does it matter?" 




#3   Ryan Sheridan | Ryan Sheridan

"...assertive, infectious, high energy roots influenced acoustic centric rock/pop from Irish s/s...Sheridan started on the fiddle at age 7 and at 16 toured the US four years with the 'Riverdance' ensemble, later taking up the guitar and forming bands in Dublin..."




#4   The Bones of J.R. Jones | Spirit’s Furnace

"...uncorrupted, stripped down tracks of rootsy mountain folk and dirty blues incorporating stomp percussion, picked and slide frets occasionally spiced up with additional keys, drums, and bass backing Linaberry's earthy, bobbing and soaring baritone..."




#5  Vaudeville Etiquette | Aura Vista Motel

"...Killer... sophomore release from Seattle quintet...band centered country rock featuring some fantastic paired frets (six string and pedal steel) and terrifically strong, tight and gritty m/f harmony vocals...nice production and tempo mix..."  




Lance's Best of 2016 | Honorable Mention:

1. Nate Currin | The Madman and the Poet
2. Parker Millsap | The Very Last Day
3. Smooth Hound Smith | Sweet Tennessee Honey
4. Skinny Lister | The Devil, The Heart & The Fight
5. Mick Lynch | Aliens, Ghosts and Lovers  

Keep your radio tuned to KAFM as we continue to present the best in new music and emerging artists for 2017!
 
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The KAFM Music Bureau Top Picks for 2016 - Alan's selections:

December 28, 2016
No doubt 2016 was a terrific year for new music!  We play a broad range of genres here at KAFM. A lot of it passes through the dedicated and diverse members of the Music Bureau, overseen by KAFM's Staff Music Director, Tori Miner.  It is catalogued, reviewed and rated before ultimately finding it's way to our on-air studio. Looking back on 2016, here are some of the Music Bureau's members top picks of 2016.  Up next is Alan who hosts KAFM's "The Fuzz Garage" and "Saturday Night Showcase".  He also does quite a bit of subbing for other programmers.  Here is what he and others had to say:


#1   Fruition - Labor of Love

 "Great Quick read more or view full article 3 part harmonies and some inspired guitar and mandolin picking. These folks can play..."


Note:  Fruition's "Labor of Love" was Alan's favorite song of the year.


#2   Rogue Valley - Radiate / Dissolve

"...near perfect fifth release for Mpls. MN quartet.  Band centered indie rock\ pop fusion built around the perfectly pure lead and harmony vocals...featuring ambient western guitar riffs, unexpected melody turns,  background brass chorus, and meticulous yet prudent production..."




#3   The Congress - The Game

"...very strong album...formed in  Denver but now based in Richmond...beautiful harmonies, infectious melodies..." 




#4   Suzanne Dean - Come To Paradise

"...very listenable album that cuts across the genres of jazz, folk and funk.  All originals.  Dean is an educator, composer, keyboardist and guitarist....happy music...very good..."



#5   The Westies - Six On The Out

"...bold and broad in scope...masterful and exquisite storytelling...stories not for the faint of heart...The Westies will take you on a journey of an America in desperate times - one that few people see, yet everyone knows exists..."


 

The Alan's Best of 2016 | Honorable Mention:

1. Switchfoot | Where The Light Shines Through
2. Gonzalo Bergara | Zalo's Blues
3. Baked Potatoes | Loaded
4. Nora Jones | Day Breaks
5. The Head And The Heart | Sign Of Light

Keep your radio tuned to KAFM as we continue to present the best in new music and emerging artists for 2017!

 


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The KAFM Music Bureau Top Picks for 2016 - Veta Bluegrass selections:

December 24, 2016
No doubt 2016 was a terrific year for new music!  We play a broad range of genres here at KAFM. A lot of it passes through the dedicated and diverse members of the Music Bureau, overseen by KAFM's Staff Music Director, Tori Miner.  It is catalogued, reviewed and rated before ultimately finding it's way to our on-air studio. Looking back on 2016, here are some of the Music Bureau's members top picks of 2016.  Up next is Veta Bluegrass who hosts KAFM's "Bluegrass and Beyond".   


#1    Bryan Sutton | The More I Learn  

"...finest record yet 3... sounds like a well worn pair of jeans...you dont want it to wear out...co-writers include Tim Quick read more or view full article O'Brien, Nick Forster, Mike Barnett."

 

#2   Irene Kelley | These Hills

"...sweet voice and has added a great lineup of supporting musicians...she will be winning awards with this record."




#3   Sam Bush | Storyman

"Its been  several years since Sam "King of Telluride" and Father of Newgrass has released an album...Great lyrics...great songs..."




#4   Del & Dawg (Del McCoury and David Dawg Grisman) | Del & Dawg

"...friends since 1963 these bluegrass icons sing, play, and tell stories about each other. David Dawg Grisman (mandolin) and Del McCoury (guitar) both sing.Recodred live in Maine in 11/15. Excellent!..."




#5   Earls of Leicester | Rattle & Roar

"Second CD by The Earls of Leicester (play on names Earl Scruggs and Lester Flatt). The Earls sound like Flatt and Scruggs with top musicians playing Flatt and Scruggs songs."




Veta Bluegrass Best of 2016 | Honorable Mention:

1. Giri Peters | Just Whittlin' Around 
2. Section House | A Collection of Instrumentals
3. Jordan Tice | Horse County
4. The New Kentucky Colonels | Live in Sweden 1973
5. Gathering Time | When One Door Closes

Keep your radio tuned to KAFM as we continue to present the best in new music and emerging artists for 2017!
 
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The KAFM Music Bureau Top Picks for 2016 - The H-man's selections:

December 16, 2016
No doubt 2016 was a terrific year for new music!  We play a broad range of genres here at KAFM. A lot of it passes through the dedicated and diverse members of the Music Bureau, overseen by KAFM's Staff Music Director, Tori Miner.  It is catalogued, reviewed and rated before ultimately finding it's way to our on-air studio. Looking back on 2016, here are some of the Music Bureau's members top picks of 2016, starting with The H-man who hosts KAFM's "The Divided Sky" and "Enjoy The Ride".  


# 1   The Record Company | "Give It Back To You"

"...moving bluesy roots music lead by the expressive vocals of front man guitarist and harp Quick read more or view full article player Chris Vos and drummer Marc Cazoria...this thing sizzles from top to bottom and the buzz about them is justified..."



#2   Stewart Lindsey | Spitballin' 

"....what a find Lindsey is: his voice is pure magic with a vibrato and range off the charts as well as emotion usually reserved for more polished singers...a phenomenal eclectic mix of rock, blues, gospel, and country..." 




# 3   The Soul Of John Black | Early In The Moanin' 

"...soul-roots blues is cool for its beats and rhythms. Great storytelling lyrics. Super vocals and guitar playing, with backup singers and accompaniment ....this one is a total guilty pleasure..."




#4   Joe Bonamassa | Blues Of Desperation

"...contemporary rock/blues guitarist reaches new heights in song writing, vocals and of course guitar mastery. JB's epic guitar playing reaches unheard of levels...Best studio album he has ever done, which is saying something...."




# 5   Switchfoot | Where The Light Shines Through

"...the lyrics are inspirational, insightful, and creative with bombs away music that's catchy and superbly crafted..."
 




The H-man's Best of 2016 | Honorable Mention:
 
1. Rogue Valley | Radiate/Dissolve
2. Crushed Out | Alien Ocean
3. The Rides | Pierced Arrow
4. The Stumbellas | Hope
5. The Motet | Totem

Keep your radio tuned to KAFM as we continue to present the best in new music and emerging artists for 2017!
 
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Music Bureau Recommends - December 10

December 10, 2014
We're going to start something different for the next few weeks on Music Bureau Recommends...

It's the end of the year, so that means we in the MB have been racking our brains trying to contain our favorites to around 5... So keep checking in to see favorites from the Music Bureau!



Quick read more or view full article alt="" src="http://press.wbr.com/media/cms/images/201406/hypnotic-eye-extralarge_1401911105543.jpg" style="width: 100px; height: 100px;" /> Read Less
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