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Etown is an exciting weekly radio broadcast heard from coast to coast on NPR, public and commercial stations. Every etown show is taped in front of a live audience and features performances from many of today's top musical artists as well as conversations and information about the world around us. At etown, we build community through music.

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The Collision of Many Worlds Under One Roof

Fri, 11/21/2014 - 05:21

For me, this taping for this week’s broadcast/podcast was a huge deal for so many reasons. Both musical guests that are with us have impacted my life in so many ways. For them to come together on the evening of the taping, under the same roof, was surreal to me.

IMG-1004First up – from Austin, TX – the Greyhounds make their first visit to eTown. Now with more than 15 years under the hood, Greyhounds is still trucking along, and earning lots of new fans with their new release – ACCUMULATOR – out on the rejuvenated Ardent label that carried such bands like Big Star (Alex Chilton) a few decades back. Greyhounds is the moniker for the music of Andrew Trube and Anthony Farrell. I first met these two around 1999 or 2000 and have enjoyed their close friendship ever since, and have been very lucky to work with them off and on throughout their long ride. It was an incredible treat to step aside from my normal duties as eTown’s director of video to fill the drum chair for their performance on the show this week. Sometimes musical matches are determined by greater powers within the universe, and I definitely think that the dynamic between Andrew and Anthony, and the stuff they create together is divine in some intangible sense. I’ve always felt like the two of them were my brothers – and that is a nice feeling to have, the longer you know someone.

IMG-1162Guitar legend, punk innovator and poet Thurston Moore is also with us in this week’s episode. Thurston first caught my ear around the year 1987, when I became fascinated by Sonic Youth’s Sister album. I was really into skateboarding at the time, and Sonic Youth fit perfectly with the discord that was going on with me internally as a teenager during that time. Over the years since, I probably caught Sonic Youth seven or eight times at various venues around the country. Meeting Thurston was a real treat, watching him make sounds out of his Fender Jazzmaster on the eTown stage was like going to church, and being asked to play a song with him as a drums/guitar duo is where we get to the surreal part for me.

The eChievement Award story is really cool this week too. Ever find something valuable in the dumpster? Well this week’s winner came down from Jackson Hole, Wyoming to share her story of how she turned dumpster diving into a way to provide food for thousands of folks in need.

Be sure to tune in, podcast and check out the videos this week!

– Zack

The post The Collision of Many Worlds Under One Roof appeared first on eTown.

Categories: E-Town

Some Serious Music ‘Slinging’ This Week

Wed, 11/12/2014 - 16:00

We’ve been fortunate, here at eTown, to develop relationships with artists over the years that have been coming back, time and time again. Once they come on the show the first time, we like to think that they had a great time, and will come back and join us again. Each taping day goes by quickly, despite the amount of work that goes into it. We work together all day long dialing in what will later become the radio broadcast and podcast. By the end of the night, it feels like one big family. Now that I’ve been with eTown for a few years, I’ve noticed that when artists return, it’s like seeing an old cousin or uncle again. It feels nice to be a part of something like this.

On this week’s show, we have two great artists, and some surprise special guests – none of which have been with us until now. Lot’s of fun was had, and we are excited to share this very special episode with you this week!

IMG-1111First up is Austin-based guitar slinger, Shakey Graves. His real name is Alejandro Rose-Garcia, but he started going by “Shakey” as soon as he started wearing hats. A few other band members have had more challenging nicknames. (Listen to his interview with eTown host Nick Forster, for more on that topic.) Shakey is joined on stage by his drummer Chris Boosahda and bassist Macon Terry, who both lend some tasty chops to Shakey’s juke joint sound. Later in the evening, the taping audience was treated to a very special guest appearance by Denver-based singer, Esme Patterson. Folks around her know her from her work with the popular Folk/Baroque pop group Paper Bird (who bassist Macon Terry is also a part of) but she is now out on tour with Shakey, and the matchup fits like a glove!

IMG-1078Also with us is singer/songwriter Heather Maloney. If you haven’t heard Heather’s music just yet, now is the time. The caliber of songwriting already coming from Heather this early in her career is hard to believe. You’ll hear her joined by the eTones on a few songs, and you’ll also get a taste of how she can command a room as a soloist. One particular moment in the show that will give you chills, is her rendition of Joni Mitchell’s “Woodstock” (Check out the video below).

Each artist offers more insight into their careers and influences during the interview portions with Nick, and we also have a great eChievement Award story about a woman who has found a way to provide educational opportunities for women in parts of the world where those opportunities do not exist.

All in all – a great broadcast/podcast for you this week.

Be sure to check it out!

– Zack




The post Some Serious Music ‘Slinging’ This Week appeared first on eTown.

Categories: E-Town

Independence Through and Through – This Week’s Episode

Wed, 11/05/2014 - 08:44

My how the rules have changed, since the dawn of the Internet. It really is amazing how many tools are out there these days that have allowed artists to fully take control of their own destinies. While the Internet has certainly presented the music industry with it’s own set of new challenges, it has also opened the flood gates for the creative ones that may have been told “No” by a powerful label executive just a decade ago.

DSC_0376-EditIn this week’s encore broadcast/podcast we bring you two artists that couldn’t be more different in terms of sound, but very similar in terms of their independent spirit and approach to their craft. First up is Frightened Rabbit, an independent rock band hailing from Scotland. The band got its start when two brothers, Scott and Grant Hutchinson, started making their own recordings, and hitting the clubs to build a following. They quickly developed direct ties to their fans through the Internet – sending demo recordings to anyone who emailed the band asking for them, along with packages of biscuits. Yes, biscuits. Fast-forward 11 years and the band is everywhere, while keeping their independent spirit intact. To me, they remind me a bit of the band Big Country (from the 80’s) but with a harder edge. I loved Big Country, and I loved punk music – so this is the perfect mingling of those two worlds, according to my ears.

DSC_0263-Edit-EditAlso on the show this week is multi-talented singer/songwriter Nataly Dawn. Nataly’s rise to success all started with a home video camera, and a YouTube account. She is one half of the YouTube sensational act, Pomplamoose, but also records and writes on her own as well. The popularity of the duo’s unique twists on popular cover songs propelled the couple to Internet stardom, and now she cements the reputation with original material that is creative, unique and interesting. Nataly is joined by the eTones on a few songs during her portion of the show. I’ve seen Nick and Helen, and the band, back up countless musicians over the years, but this time they really blew me away. You’ll see what I mean if you tune in, podcast, or check out the videos below. Nataly’s songs are out of the ordinary, and are complimented seamlessly with Helen’s spot on backing vocals, Nick’s strings, Chris’s upright bass playing and so on. It was a real pleasure to see the band swing at a curve ball and knock it out of the park!

DSC_0135_2Along with all of the great music and conversation with the artists, we also have a heart-warming eChievement Award story for you this week that I’m sure you’ll all enjoy. Tune in in whatever manner you choose to, and thank the Internet for providing so many new platforms to create and share creativity!


– Zack







The post Independence Through and Through – This Week’s Episode appeared first on eTown.

Categories: E-Town

Greetings from eTown World Headquarters

Sat, 11/01/2014 - 05:03

Hi everyone,

IMG_1715Well as you can tell from these photos, its a typical day around eTown World Headquarter. Nah, just kidding, its Halloween! Have a safe and fun celebration tonight. We’ve obviously already started having fun here at the eTown offices! Nick and I always look forward to giving out candy on Halloween at our house; we literally get hundreds of kids who trick n’ treat in our neighborhood. IMG_1712Really fun. Our whole block gets into it, decorating their houses (disclaimer: except for us, we always wait till the last minute . . besides I have NO idea where people get all those cool, creepy decorations in the first place, can someone help me out with some feedback on that?!). Anyways its a blast. Hope you have a great time, wherever you are. xo Helen


The post Greetings from eTown World Headquarters appeared first on eTown.

Categories: E-Town

Child Ballads and Songs From The Well of Sparseness

Wed, 10/29/2014 - 04:47

Joe_leftEvery now and then we like to take a look back and some great things that have happened on stage at eTown Hall in recent years, and pull them back out for another listen. This week, we have another one of those back-by-popular demand shows that we are sure you will all enjoy. First up, Chicago-based singer/songwriter Joe Pug, joins us to share a heaping helping of great music and conversation. Joe draws from a well of sparse and beautiful atmospherics to back up his unique style of musical storytelling. His lyrics fall on the heavier side, and we like that! Just check out “I Do My Father’s Drugs” and “The Great Despiser” to get you started.

JeffreyHammer_rightAlso with us are musical collaborators Anais Mitchell and Jefferson Hamer. While both of them have been involved with a plethora of musical projects in their own right, Anais_leftin this episode we hear them performing as a team to share musical adaptations from Francis J. Child’s Child Ballads – folk songs from England and Scotland written during the late 19th century.

As always, we have a great eChievement Award story for you as well! This week, we check in with Kristen Walter, whose organization is taking a bite out of the problem of world hunger – one grilled cheese at a time.

It’s a great hour of music and conversation in our broadcast/podcast this week – plus a fair share of behind-the-scenes action in the video links below.

Be sure to check it out!


– Zack






The post Child Ballads and Songs From The Well of Sparseness appeared first on eTown.

Categories: E-Town