Sunday, January 31, 2010

This Year's Grammy's...

Don't waste your time watching it.
Do something constructive. Watch paint dry.

January 29, 2010 (Playlist)

January 29, 2010 (Playlist):
"Our Thirty-Fifth Show: NMTM is back in 2010!"

The Breeders – New Year
Built To Spill – Car (Live)
Eels – Gone Man
Tokyo Police Club – La Ferrassie
Dirty Projectors – Ascending Melody
LA Font – Bright Red Flame
*"Allen Reed Memorial Cover Of The Week": Iron & Wine – Waitin' For A Superman (Flaming Lips Cover)
Fionn Regan – Catacombs
Arctic Monkeys – Cornerstone
The Almighty Defenders – Bow Down And Die

Them Crooked Vultures – New Fang
*"The Mighty Mighty Boss-Tune": Bruce Springsteen – Part Man, Part Monkey
Cage The Elephant – Back Against The Wall
The Smiths – Hand In Glove
*"Punk Trunk!": Wire – Mannequin
*"Punk Trunk!": Hüsker Dü – Somewhere
Vampire Weekend – White Sky
The Avett Brothers – I And Love And You
Sleater-Kinney – Milkshake’n Honey
The Mountain Goats – Dance Music

*Background music consisted of various cult classic tunes from the 1980s. They ranged from Blondie to Van Halen, from cheesy to epic, covering multiple genres.

An epic return, to say the least. It feels so great to be back! Never Mind the Mainstream and its hosts, Mike Pop and Jim Adair, started out the new year and new semester on a hot streak. We did not miss a beat! Young America demanded fresh music and they got it. We spun new recordings from Eels, Dirty Projectors, Fionn Regan, Avett Brothers, and more. Our special segments never sounded stronger: The "Cover" went mellow, Springsteen evolved, and "The Trunk" caused an unholy ruckus. Rock 'n' roll lived on college radio this past Friday and we couldn't have had a better show right off the bat. This is it, folks. The farewell tour begins now. NMTM lives every Friday, 6-8 PM only on 88.3 FM KUR (streaming live @ Thank you to all of our callers and messengers. We have the best fan community in college radio. Thanks for the overwhelming support. Tune in next week for another great set.

Tokyo Police Club - "La Ferrassie"

Them Crooked Vultures - "New Fang"

The Smiths - "Hand In Glove"

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

NMTM Is Back In 2010!

You've waited lone enough, and now, this Friday, Big Jim Adair and Mike Pop present to you the 35th installment of the Philadelphia AIR Award-nominated "Never Mind the Mainstream" college radio show! We're busting out the best in alternative and indie rock from yesterday, today, and tomorrow for our first live broadcast of the new year. We'll be spinning new tracks from Eels, Dirty Projectors, LA Font, Fionn Regan, Vampire Weekend, and much more. Tune in to hear your favorite segments of the show: "The Allen Reed Memorial Cover Of The Week", "The Mighty Mighty Boss-Tune" and "The Punk Trunk!". This will be the first show of our final semester together so be sure to catch the show in it's entirety, beginning at 6 PM and ending at 8 PM. It'll be a night chock-full of college rock, music news, celebrity phone calls, and so much more. Get ready to fall in love with radio all over again. Stream the show live via our web stream @ and call into the studio: (610)-683-4058. Catch you at the low end of the dial! We're back!

Cage The Elephant - "In One Ear"

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

I Bring You New Things

New stuff galore. Includes things I've gathered from other blogs since the weekend. Enjoy the links/tunes/videos while I catch up on some much needed sleep (beginning of semester, beginning of work 'til you drop). An update to come tomorrow regarding the first NMTM episode of the year coming up this Friday. Keep it here.

+ Pavement has a greatest hits compilation coming out on April 17: Quarantine The Past. Link.

+ The National has announced a new LP, tour dates in May. Link.

+ The Temper Trap will tour North America this spring. Link.

+ New Goldfrapp tune: "Rocket". Link.

+ New Joanna Newsom tune: "81". Link.

+ New Justice tune: "Beginning Of The End". Link. UPDATE: This is fake.

+ New Suzanne Vega tune: "Gypsy". Link.

+ Spoon cover The Damned: "Love Song". Link.

+ New Yeah Yeah Yeahs video: "Skeletons". Link.

+ Radiohead played a sick set for Haiti relief benefit. Link.

Sunday, January 24, 2010

KUR Spring 2010 Schedule Revealed!

Current mood: Sick/sobering up/Sheetz Bros. coffee is awesome/2Pac's first posthumous album is looping in my iTunes library.

So despite my novitiate MySpace reference, there is some big news on the 88.3 FM KUR front. We've got our schedule for the spring semester! This is exciting because this all came about very quickly. Everyone on board submitted their free times to our manager and program directors so that we could work on the schedule and have it completed by the weekend. Better than the weekend - it was done Friday morning. We're seeing some significant changes to the schedule: some DJs are going solo, some are joining forces; new talk shows emerging; country coming to KUR!; and much more. Perhaps the most exciting development, in my opinion, is the power we have on Friday nights. KUR is bringing you our show, Never Mind the Mainstream, at its usual time slot of 6-8 PM ET, followed by our good friends Andy Pal. and Andy Specks. doing their alternative rock show from 8-10. You're getting double the dosage of superb college rock on Fridays, so yes, you are welcome. Here's the entire schedule. WE GO LIVE THIS WEEK! More updates to come so keep it here.

A vintage clip for your viewing pleasure.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

The Gabe Does The Fire

For Peter Gabriel's upcoming all covers release Scratch My Back, he tackles many artist we play often on NMtM, one of which being Arcade Fire. Hear the Gabe's version of "My Body Is A Cage" over at Stereogum.

But while you're here, tracklist is below along with video of the original Arcade Fire version.

01 "Heroes" (David Bowie)
02 "The Boy In The Bubble" (Paul Simon)
03 "Mirrorball" (Elbow)
04 "Flume" (Bon Iver)
05 "Listening Wind" (Talking Heads)
06 "The Power Of The Heart" (Lou Reed)
07 "My Body Is A Cage" (Arcade Fire)
08 "The Book Of Love" (The Magnetic Fields)
09 "I Think It's Going To Rain Today" (Randy Newman)
10 "Après Moi" (Regina Spektor)
11 "Philadelphia" (Neil Young)
12 "Street Spirit (Fade Out)" (Radiohead)

I'm especially pumped for the ones in bold.

Arcade Fire - "My Body Is A Cage"

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Vampire Weekend Are #1


Billboard reports that Vampire Weekend's Best New Music album Contra has sold 124,000 copies in its first week, making it the highest selling album in the country. Contra debuts at number one on the Billboard 200 today, beating out the likes of Susan Boyle (number two), Lady Gaga (number four), Taylor Swift (number eight), and the Black Eyed Peas (number ten).

According to Billboard, Contra, which was released by XL, is only the 12th independently distributed title to hit number one since 1991, when SoundScan started tracking sales.

VW, Spoon Rock Late Night

Earlier this week, late night TV got a dose of indie rock. Conan was treated to Spoon. Ferguson was introduced to Vampire Weekend. Both performances showcased the best bands to release the best albums of the month, in my opinion. What a start to 2010. Late night wars aside, I think we can all agree that it's awesome to see bands like these appear on late night talk shows. These videos are proof of that awesomeness.

Spoon - "Written In Reverse"

Vampire Weekend - "Horchata"

Both albums are out now. Vampire Weekend's Contra via XL and Spoon's Transference via Merge.

Back @ KU! (For The Last Time With Feeling)

Finally, the Pop has come back! … to Kutztown! Jim, too. The Natural arrived about a week and maybe more before classes started. I arrived Sunday evening. Classes started yesterday. We are taking KU’s first ever Pop Music Journalism course on Monday and Wednesday afternoons, so I’m sure that’ll be an exciting platform to own our peers on subjects involving pop music and … journalism. Our professor is actually pretty sweet. He was a fellow judge alongside myself and this great gal named Kristina for our Battle of the Bands last April. His name is Tony Bleach and I have him in the class prior to Pop Music Journalism (Literature & Film). So it’s safe to say I’ll be learning a lot from him this semester. My FINAL semester. Strange. Very strange. I’m getting so old.

Other notes since I’ve returned from the heartland (Whippany, NJ): Alcohol. My housemates and our close-knit college cronies did a swell job of consuming mass quantities of booze Sunday night into Tuesday morning. We celebrated some birthdays, epic returns, and the burglary of a 12-ft sign that we took turns carrying a mile back to our apartment. Free warehouse FTW!

Music-wise, my listening has been dominated by a slue of new releases from some of my favorite artists. Firstly, Vampire Weekend’s Contra is an album I listen to pretty much everyday, from start to finish. Granted January is only half over and the year is just starting, I must say that Contra is my favorite album of the year so far. Look to see both Jim and myself playing a couple tracks off that record when the show returns. I’m also really digging the new Eels record. End Times is the first Eels album I’m really getting into and it features some great storytelling/songwriting. Other albums are Motion City Soundtrack’s My Dinosaur Life, Spoon’s Transference, and The ThermalsNow We Can See. The latter of those three isn’t so fresh, but I’m excited to announce that Jim, myself, and a handful of others are hopefully purchasing tickets to see them play at the First Unitarian Church in Philadelphia, sometime mid-April. That place is a great venue for live rock bands. We are veterans.

Finally, 88.3 KUR is pretty much in full-swing from the get-go. We had a wonderful turn-out at our first general member’s meeting yesterday morning and we even have one new member. I’ve been talking to my manager about starting student shows as early as next week. That would be killer. I’ve been itching to get back on the radio after my extraordinary learning experience over winter break at 101.9 RXP with DJ Rich Russo on his show Anything, Anything. Along with starting earlier than usual, KUR is going to feature some new talk shows, new DJs, and a new show genre: country. It’s going to be hosted by one of our shadowers from last semester, Natalie. Now, I’m not a huge country fan by any means, but I do love to see the diversity. I’m very much looking forward to this semester.

As my housemate Brandon continues to inform me: “This is it. The farewell tour.” We’re starting out the semester strong on all levels and won’t calm it down until it’s all over in May. So much more information on KUR, NMTM, and the usual alternative and indie rock music news to come on this blog!

Motion City Soundtrack - "History Lesson"

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Holy Shit Coachella 2010 FTW

The line-up has been announced. I can't decide which one of the three days is best. I would give my left arm to go to at least one day. Check it out. It's marvelous.

Sly & The Family Stone? Fuck yeah. This is the first big festival announcement of the new year. Let's hope some in the east will be just as promising.

Coachella 2009 Wrap-Up

Friday, January 15, 2010

Update On The Death Of Jay Reatard

According to the College Music Journal (CMJ), Jay died of an apparently drug overdose. Two days ago, Goner Records, one of the many labels Reatard recorded for, released a statement via their website: "It is with great sadness that we report the passing of our good friend Jay Reatard. Jay died in his sleep last night. We will pass along information about funeral arrangements when they are made public." A CMJ staffer wrote, "CMJ was told by an undisclosed source close to Reatard that he died of an overdose although according to a Matador Records representative an autopsy has yet to be conducted nor the cause of death determined." More updates to come, as now a homicide is being considered.

Matt Pond Announces New Record

Matt Pond PA is a semi-popular band that I got a firm grasp on and wouldn't let go of, beginning in the Fall of 2005. Most folks would recognize their cover of Oasis's "Champagne Supernova" for Fox's teen drama The O.C. in the mid-00s, but the band's early work is nothing to simply binge drink into obscurity. I relinquished my grip around the band in the Spring of 2007 when I drifted onto other groups, but not before witnessing them play live in Philadelphia in November 2006. They warmed the crowd up for Straylight Run, but the prom night sympathizers were simply out-shined by their predecessors. Like many artists I grew attached to in the middle of the past decade, they had a music video featured on MTV2's Subterranean, then hosted by current Vh1 employee and renown Pittsburgh Steelers fan, Jim Shearer. The band seemed very natural and fresh to me. The tunes seemed to complement every season and climate condition. The musical arrangements, the album artwork, the bristly beards - it all seemed very picturesque.

Since 2007, the band's seen many alterations, including changes in the line-up. However, frontman Matt Pond is rounding up the remaining troops for a release of the band's first record in two years. It's called Dark Leaves and it hits shelves sometime this spring, via Altitude Records.

Apparently, the top brass Brookyln-(escape to)-Philly band is trying out what I claim to be the "Bon Iver" style of recording; meaning, abandoning formal studio technology for a more stripped-down and raw engineered sound. It's all the rage in Wisconsin.

With this new record comes another EP, following 2007's Freeep (Free EP, get it?). Aura Sacra Fames is being released in three installments, the first of which came out in November. The other two installments are due before long.

Here's the track listing for Dark Leaves:

1. Starting
2. Running Wild

3. Specks

4. Remains

5. Sparrows

6. Brooklyn Fawn

7. Ruins

8. Winter Fawn

9. The Dark Leaves Theme

10. First Song

My guess is we'll be hearing some tunes about how life is much more peaceful amongst Bambi, little birds, and other woodland creatures in a forest. How serene.

Matt Pond PA - "Closest (Look Out)"

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Arcade Fire For Haiti

Going along with yesterday's post, things are looking worse for Haiti every hour. The true devastation of the earthquake has yet to be determined in the number of causalities, but the country's capital is in shambles. Buildings and homes, along with cultural landmarks, have been reduced to rubble. Win and Regine Butler of Canadian rock band and NMTM popular Arcade Fire, posted this message on their web site:


Haiti needs your help in her darkest hour.

We just got off the phone with our friends at Partners in Health. Most of the medical infrastructure in Port-au-Prince is down.

Since Partners in Health's clinics are in situated the surrounding areas and haven't been damaged, they are mobilizing their resources towards the capital, setting-up field hospitals to treat the injured on the ground.

Also, Paul Farmer (the founder of PIH) is at the UN and has access to the best information on where to direct the money... so for the moment if you want to help, we suggest sending funds to:

Please be generous as time is of the essence.

Win and Regine

these photos convey some of what is going on:

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Help Haiti

A 7.0 magnitude earthquake struck the island nation of Haiti yesterday, near the capital city of Port-au-Prince. Tens of thousands are feared dead. It is the worst earthquake to rock the Earth in 200 years. Musician Wyclef Jean is there now to help in the relief effort. This is truly a cruel and catastrophic event and our thoughts are with the people of Haiti. To donate, visit here.

Arcade Fire - "Haiti"

R.I.P. Jay Reatard

Jimmy Lee Lindsey Jr., a.k.a. Jay Reatard, died last night in his sleep. The cause of death is unknown. This modern garage punk musician was 29 years old. The entire music scene in his native Memphis, along with the faithful fans around the country and world, mourn the death of this truly unique person. It was a privilege to play his music on our show. Rest in peace, Jay.

Jay Reatard - "I'm Watching You"

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Contra Out Now!

Critically-acclaimed New York City buzz band Vampire Weekend released their second full-length album, Contra, today on XL Records. It's the first of many records I'm looking forward to this year and it sounds awesome. I'm spreading the word: pick up this album now. I know for a fact it's at Best Buy right now. Or you can just buy it here. Enjoy.

Monday, January 11, 2010

Dirty Projectors Offer Free Download

I'm still trying to work out the bugs, like the "password required", but apparently, this is free. Remember a while back on the this blog when I posted about the relatively new Dirty Projectors tune "Ascending Melody"? Well, now it's free. Download it at the band's site (here), along with another track, "Emblem Of The World". It's a great single and because it costs you nothing, why not add it to your library? Enjoy.

Dirty Projectors - "Emblem Of The World"

Saturday, January 9, 2010

Running Playlists

Indie rockers love running.

Any time of year is a great time to begin a commitment, especially a healthy one. It just so happens that once the new year hits, it's all about resolutions. One of mine this year was to get back into solid running shape (like, to run 4-5 miles at a good pace and not be winded). For those who don't know me that well, I was a pretty serious runner for a number of years; I ran cross country and track in high school and reminiscent about it constantly. It's tough to stay dedicated to the regiment in college, with the demanding schedule, workload, and ... the beer. But I'm going to reach my goal, that's for certain. Running long distances is very soothing, once you build your base. It's mostly a love/hate relationship for me, but the euphoric feeling you get from finishing a long run is like none other. R
unner's high, baby. So how does this correlate with music?

Each day this past week, I listened to a different band's album each time I hopped on the treadmill (f.y.i, I have a 30-day membership at a gym owned by some variation-of-Christianity Church and they blast Christian rock like Jesus is watching). Here are some bands that got me pumped up while racking up the miles. Give them a listen next time you lace up and hit the road.

Monday: Nirvana - Live At Reading Festival
Started the week off with some live, grunge fury. The band opens with "Breed", and then goes into "Drain You", "Aneurysm", "School", "Sliver" and "In Bloom". That's as far as I got, but other notable tracks from this '92 show are "Come As You Are", "All Apologies", "Dumb", and "Stay Away".

Tuesday: Alice In Chains - The Essential Alice In Chains
I needed some hard rock on the most unattractive day of the week. Songs like "Man In The Box", "Would?" and "Rooster" helped me out during a run that felt to have lasted 6 miles, not 2 and a half. Layne's painful moaning let me know I wasn't the only one doing something hard. A great "Essential" compilation.

Wednesday: The Replacements - Last Show Ever! (Bootleg)
Something about live recordings really gets me moving. The Mats bring out the rockin' guitars on their final gig, opening with "I Will Dare". Then it's on to "Bent Out Of Shape", "Achin' To Be", "Merry Go Round" and others. At this point, I'm a sweaty mess, but it feels good. A must-own bootleg for the serious Westerberg fan.

Thursday: The Clash - Live At Shea Stadium
Punk rock running. Recorded when they opened for The Who back in the early 80s. I will admit that some of their reggae tunes made me want to slow down and take a breather, but tracks like "London Calling" and "Rock The Casbah" got my legs revved up. Also, I daydreamed a bit during "Police On My Back" about being chased by cherry-tops.

Friday: Day off. (What? I needed it.).

Saturday: Say Anything - ...Is A Real Boy
Their only good album, which was also their first studio record. And good album - I mean great. One of my favorites of the decade. It had a bite to it upon first listen and it still does. Standouts on this Saturday afternoon jog were "Belt", "Woe", and "Spidersong". I should've listened to "Admit It!!!", a song about arrogant hipsters lights my fire.

Well I'm writing this, isn't that enough of a strain?

The Clash - "Police On My Back"

For more information on running and working out, visit That's my brother's site, which he should update more frequently. Maybe that will be his resolution. Oh, and check this out for more information regarding the benefits of music and fitness.

Vampire Weekend Unplug For MTV

"Ivy-League indie rockers Vampire Weekend refine all the energy, wit and charm of their songs for this pitch-perfect 'MTV Unplugged' performance."

So says, where you can watch the boys play a six song set, featuring three new tunes and three oldies: "A-Punk", "White Sky", "M79", "Run", "Cousins", and "Oxford Comma". A string section joins the band on stage, surrounded by candles, Persian rugs and audience members sitting Indian-style, in usual Unplugged fashion. The band's second studio album, Contra, has leaked already and I've heard most of the songs. I'm really digging it so far. Stereogum has a "Premature Evaluation" of the album on their site and we'll have a full album review here once it hits the shelves. Unplugged seems to be making a bit of a comeback, if only on It's fun to watch. Though I would've hoped to have heard a cover in the set (how about their version of "Everywhere" by Fleetwood Mac or "Exit Music (For A Film)" by Radiohead?), beggars can't be choosers. Here's an early favorite, in my opinion, from the new record, "Run".
Watch the entire show here.

Vampire Weekend
- "Run"

is out via XL Records this Tuesday (1/12).

Monday, January 4, 2010

Top 20 Albums of the 00s

Allow me, on behalf of the two of us at NMTM, to introduce the final installment of our own listomania. For the past couple of weeks, we've been taking a break from the usual reporting on our blog, I.E. music news, new releases, gossip, and above all, recaps of the radio show itself. Instead, we've been putting lists of our favorites (songs, albums) of 2009 and the decade as a whole. Lists are a lot of fun. Who doesn't like a list? Well this is it. Here are our 20 albums of the decade.

I want to make a controversial statement before I begin. In modern times, the album is a difficult thing to achieve. And I'm not saying that artists don't put out full-length LPs anymore, because they certainly do; but a true album, enjoyable from start to finish, is a rare breed. CDs will continue to exist for a while, but the album, now that's tough to come by. This list indeed ties into my decade's top song's list from last week. I also feel the need to reiterate that these are my favorite records of the decade; not saying these are the greatest records of all time, but all were ones that I was highly interested in and took control of me. Seriously, I listened to these albums so much it drove me to insanity (kind of, but not really).

2005 was year one for me, it's when I started to get serious about music. And since then, I've been moving in two directions in consideration to my music fan-hood: one venturing back to the roots of rock music in the early 00s and the other blazing into the future. I hope you enjoy the list. The final list.

Mike Pop's Top 20 Albums of the 00s:

20. Blink 182 Blink 182 (2003)

Suggested Tracks: Not Now, Violence, Asthenia, and Always

19. Pinback Blue Screen Life (2001)

Suggested Tracks: Offline P.K., Concrete Seconds, Penelope, and Seville

18. Arctic MonkeysWhatever People Say I Am, That's What I'm Not (2006)

Suggested Tracks: I Bet You Look Good On The Dance Floor, Fake Tales Of San Francisco, Mardy Bum, and When The Sun Goes Down

17. Sonic YouthMurray Street (2002)

Suggested Tracks: The Empty Page, Disconnection Notice, Rain On Tin, and Karen Revisited

16. Big D & The Kids TableStrictly Rude (2007)

Suggested Tracks: Steady Riot, Noise Complaint, Shining On, and She Knows Her Way

15. Tokyo Police ClubElephant Shell (2008)

Suggested Tracks: In A Cave, Tessellate, Sixties Remake, and Your English Is Good

14. The KillersHot Fuss (2004)

Suggested Tracks: Jenny Was A Friend Of Mine, Mr. Brightside, Smile Like You Mean It, and All These Things That I've Done

13. Vampire WeekendVampire Weekend (2008)

Suggested Tracks: Cape Cod Kwassa Kwassa, M79, One (Blake's Got A New Face), and The Kids Don't Stand A Chance

12. Bright EyesI'm Wide Awake, It's Morning (2005)

Suggested Tracks: At The Bottom Of Everything, We Are Nowhere, And It's Now, Lua, and First Day Of My Life

11. Say Anything…Is A Real Boy (2004)

Suggested Tracks: Belt, Woe, An Orgy Of Critics, and Admit It!!!

10. Death Cab For CutiePlans (2005)

Suggested Tracks: Marching Bands Of Manhattan, Your Heart Is An Empty Room, Crooked Teeth, and What Sarah Said

9. InterpolAntics (2004)

Suggested Tracks: Evil, Narc, Take You On A Cruise, and C'mere

8. Motion City Soundtrack Commit This To Memory (2005)

Suggested Tracks: Everything Is Alright, Feel Like Rain, Time Turned Fragile, and Monsters Invisible

7. The StrokesRoom On Fire (2003)

Suggested Tracks: Reptilia, Automatic Stop, 12:51, and The End Has No End

6. Coheed & Cambria In Keeping Secrets Of Silent Earth: 3 (2003)

Suggested Tracks: In Keeping Secrets Of Silent Earth: 3, Three Evils (Embodied In Love & Shadow), Blood Red Summer, and The Velourium Camper I: Faint Of Hearts

5. Daft Punk Discovery (2001)

Suggested Tracks: One More Time, Digital Love, Something About Us, and Voyager

4. The Postal Service Give Up (2003)

Suggested Tracks: The District Sleeps Alone Tonight, Sleeping In, We Will Become Silhouettes, and Brand New Colony

3. Bloc PartySilent Alarm (2005)

Suggested Tracks: Helicopter, Blue Light, This Modern Love, and The Pioneers

2. Arcade Fire Funeral (2004)

Suggested Tracks: Neighborhood #1 (Tunnels), Neighborhood #2 (Laika), Wake Up, and Rebellion (Lies)

1. RadioheadKid A (2000)

Suggested Tracks: Everything In Its Right Place, Kid A, Optimistic, and Idioteque

Who’s ready for the next decade?

Bloc Party - "The Pioneers"

Arcade Fire - "Rebellion (Lies)"

Reflections On Kid A
(Thom Yorke)