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Grin With Flowers And Insects This Week On Strange Currency

Friday, August 1: It’s our New Month, New Music feature with selections from Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers, Braid, and Roadkill Ghost Choir.

Saturday, August 2: Having released a series of critically acclaimed but under-selling albums in the 1980s Ry Cooder spent the late 1980s and much of the 1990s writing and performing film scores. One of his most acclaimed scores is from the 1984 film Paris, Texas; the music was largely inspired by the work of blues great Blind Willie Johnson. We’ll hear from that recording as well as from the 1975 self-titled album from Nils Lofgren.

Monday, August 4: Between 1971 and 1973 the band Grin released a series of critically-acclaimed albums featuring songs written by guitarist Nils Lofgren. The band’s sound is often categorized as country rock with touches of The Band and the British group Faces. We’ll hear from the group’s final album, 1973’s Gone Crazy as well as from Tonight’s The Night, the 1975 album from Neil Young featuring guitar work from Lofgren. Tonight’s The Night features some of Young’s darkest and most direct songs as it was written after the deaths of his guitarist Danny Whitten and friend Bruce Berry. Recorded over a single day in 1973, its release was delayed by two years, though that did nothing to relieve the immediacy and grief heard across songs such as “Tired Eyes” and “Albuquerque.”

Tuesday, August 5: Though he had recorded several albums before 1974, that year’s Paradise and Lunch is often considered Ry Cooder’s first major statement as a solo artist. The record features a blend of jazz, blues, and Americana music that would become hallmarks of the musician’s body of work. It features his arrangements of songs written by Bobby Womack, Blind Willie McTell, and the traditional song “Jesus on the Mainline.” We’ll hear from that as well as from Safe As Milk, the 1967 album from Captain Beefheart and His Magic Band, which featured a 20-year-old Ry Cooder on guitar and was more aligned with blues and R&B than many of Beefheart’s later albums.

Wednesday, August 6: In Tongues is the new album from the Florida-based band Roadkill Ghost Choir. The lyrical themes on the record include longing for home and the band’s artistic identity. We’ll hear from that recording as well as from Love Junk, the 1988 debut album from Canadian rock band The Pursuit of Happiness. Produced by Todd Rundgren, the record in some ways anticipated ‘90s alternative rock and, at times, grunge music, most notably on the minor hit “I’m An Adult Now.”

Thursday, August 7: Listen for selections from the new self-titled solo album by Kansas-based singer-songwriter Brook Blanche of the band The Calamity Cubes as well as selections from the self-titled debut from The Calamity Cubes released in 2008.

Friday, August 8: The Remaining Insect is the project of Wichita-based musician Jesse Bailey. Bailey’s music is often reminiscent of classic progressive rock bands such as Hawkwind and Gong but fused with contemporary sensibilities. We’ll hear from The Remaining Insect’s recent release A Descent Into the Brain of the Black Mass, plus music from vocalist Annie Adams who performs under the name Evasive Flowers.