It’s Alright: Happyness


Happyness knows how to embrace the strange.

From WVUD’s Music Director:

I talked at length with the alt-rock trio Happyness at their Boot & Saddle show in Philadelphia. They call South London home, sign ketchup packets as novelty gifts for fans, and are currently touring across the US. They shipped their first full length album, Weird Little Birthday, across the pond in March and have enjoyed an escalating positive response since. Likened to Pavement, Sparklehorse and Weezer, these three guys in baggy t-shirts and white Reeboks produce slacker rock that’s too easy to consume: it’s sedated, it’s smart, and it’s good.

The concept of weirdness permeates their debut album, and manifests itself in the boys’ lo-fi, gauzy guitar riffs and highly charming character quirks. To Happyness, yanking wigs from the Arcade fire frontman, injecting their lives with intoxicating relationships, and consuming cold cut sandwiches are all acts steeped in strangeness.

However, the oddities they pump into their work are not jarring; the music meshes comfortably. There is a blanket of reassurance and validation to accompany the wry unease. “It’s alright” is a lyric that paces the album as much as it soothes and consoles.

– Sara Sajer

The Interview

Happyness (Host, Sara Sajer)
11.9 MB

The Music

Artist / Song / Album / Date

Happyness / Montreal Rock Band Somewhere / Weird Little Birthday / 2014

Happyness / Lofts / Weird Little Birthday / 2014

Happyness / Anything I Do is All Right / Weird Little Birthday/ 2014

Happyness / Weird Little Birthday Girl / Weird Little Birthday / 2014

Due to copyright considerations, the podcast contains excerpts of the music played when the show aired on September 8, 2015.

Moore-town: Pete Moore on Motown, The Miracles

Pete Moore with The Miracles, courtesy of Classic Motown.

Pete Moore (second from right) with The Miracles, courtesy of Classic Motown.

No one has the lowdown on Motown quite like Pete Moore, bass singer and founding member of The Miracles. The group’s soulful harmonies and songwriting talents are legendary, and their success helped shape Motown into one of the most influential labels of all time. Without The Miracles, there would be no Motown.

Phil Barnes scored this incredible interview with Pete, who talks at length about Motown’s earliest days. He looks back on forming The Miracles with Smokey Robinson, and how fate brought the group to Barry Gordy, then a young, ambitious songwriter. Pete also describes scouting legendary acts like Stevie Wonder and The Supremes, as well as the kinship among Motown artists. There’s so much great, intimate, historical information here, so we spread this interview over two episodes.

The Interview

Pete Moore: Part 1 (Recorded 4/21/15, TMR premiere: 7/28/15)
18.8 MB
Pete Moore: Part 2 (Recorded 4/21/15, TMR premiere: 8/25/15)
19.7 MB
(Note: Due to copyright considerations, the podcasts contain excerpts of the Miracle songs included in the full program.)

The Music

Artist / Song / Album / Year

Part One:

The Miracles / Baby, Baby Don’t Cry / Time Out for Smokey Robinson & The Miracles / 1968

The Miracles / Bad Girl / Greatest Hits: From the Beginning / 1959

The Miracles / That’s What Love Is Made Of  / I Like It Like That / 1964

The Miracles / You’ve Really Got a Hold On Me / The Fabulous Miracles / 1962

Part Two:

Marvin Gaye / Ain’t That Peculiar / Moods of Marvin Gaye / 1966

The Miracles / (You Can’t Let the Boy Overpower) The Man In You / Single / 1964

The Miracles / The Tracks of My Tears / Going to a Go-Go / 1965



Damn Tall Buildings: Getting Back to Roots


Damn Tall Buildings

Damn Tall Buildings are not your grandpa’s bluegrass band. Hailing from all over the US of A but coming together at the Berklee College of Music in Boston, this foursome defies classification by making what they call “Guerrilla Roots.” More a movement than a genre, Guerrilla Roots rejects musical homogenization by offering a pastiche of bluegrass, blues, jazz, and western swing. Though they use traditional bluegrass instruments, their sound is fully modern.

Mandorichard and Sara Sajer had a damn good time talking to Damn Tall Buildings. The band goes in depth about the spirit behind Guerrilla Roots, their modern approach to bluegrass and other roots music, and their collective desire to change the world through music.

The Interview

Damn Tall Buildings (Recorded live 7/21/15)
29.2 MB

The Music

Artist / Song / Album  / Year

Damn Tall Buildings / Goodbye / Damn Tall Buildings (EP) / 2015

Damn Tall Buildings / The Ballad of Nigel Williams / The Loft Sessions (Video) / 2013

Damn Tall Buildings / Born to Lose / Damn Tall Buildings (EP) / 2015