Song of the Day

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February 7, 2023

Slaid Cleaves: “Second Hand” [PREMIERE]

By: Jack Anderson

While we here at KUTX celebrate our 10th birthday, it’s worth revisiting the folks who were KUT 90.5 heavyweights well before 98.9 FM’s call letters were even born. Among that roster of Central Texas mainstays is a real character of the airwaves, singer-guitarist Slaid Cleaves. It’s crazy to think that his breakout fifth LP No Angel Knows came out all the way back in 1997, especially considering that Slaid’s continued to cut through the competition like a certain kitchen utensil. Which, to maintain a presence in the Live Music Capital for more than a quarter century, is easier said than done…even with a pretty consistent three-to-four-year release rate such as Slaid’s.

On that note, diehard Slaid-heads (including horror legend Stephen King) might’ve become bereaved by Cleaves’ lack of post-pandemic output. Good news! On March 3rd Slaid slides back in with Together Through the Dark, his first studio offering since 2017’s Ghost on the Car Radio, and celebrates with an album release show later that month at The 04 Center. As you can imagine from the title, Together Through the Dark champions empathy in uncertain times, mainly anchored by Cleaves’ idiosyncratic storytelling but also applicable to the sans-power solidarity we’ve had the past couple weeks in Central Texas.

However it hits you, TTtD contains some of Slaid’s most mature folk-Americana compositions to date and a beautifully flawed sense of human confidence we could all appreciate right about now. So if you want to be the first of your friends to get your mitts on the new Slaid, set the needle down on the record’s third single “Second Hand”. Like a vintage Plymouth carrying you across your routine stops, “Second Hand” steers straight with easily-navigable chord changes, gentle harmonies, and as with all things Cleaves, a relatable narrative. After all, who thinks being a thrifty family man is unfashionable?


Episodes

May 28, 2024

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May 24, 2024

The Cuckoos: “Dirty Pictures”

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May 23, 2024

Grandma Mousey: “When I’m Not There”

Ever since we first caught sight of them in 2022, we’ve continued to make room for Grandma Mousey in our wheelhouse, even after their initial nest expanded from three members to five. Yeah, Granny M’s grown on us so much over the past couple of years, that we don’t mind ratting on their talent again […]

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May 22, 2024

Carson McHone: “I Couldn’t Say It To Your Face”

No matter how much success a young artist finds down the line, there’ll always be opportunities to pay respects to their predecessors and contemporaries. Whether it’s an early choice (Nick Cave & The Bad Seed’s Kicking Against the Pricks), a mid-career reset (Souxsie and the Banshees’ Through the Looking Glass), a later vocation salute (Bruce […]

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May 21, 2024

Indoor Creature: “Cross The Line”

Although we’re bound to find a silver lining eventually, when we take the time to really look at the world we live in – gross injustices, grievous atrocities, shared struggles and all – it can make staying inside super appealing. And for sonic creators, as long as the bleakness doesn’t make the music meek, the […]

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May 17, 2024

Barbara: “For Good Measure” (co-prod. Briana Harris)

Save for those with seemingly disposable resources, often nonprofits get stuck in their original stomping grounds. So when a local endeavor expands enough to inspire, incorporate, and impact folks far beyond their initial reach, it’s cause for celebration. That brings us back to Project Traction, spearheaded by our personal favorite philogynist audiophile – Spoon drummer/Public […]

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May 16, 2024

Stephanie Rodd: “Stronger Than Ever”

For us uncultured Americans, we tend to invent a caricature when we hear about a “French songstress”. Yes, we let our assumptions automatically paint a picture of a smoky nightclub against a traumatic war torn backdrop, a slender figure in haute couture wardrobe, cigarette in one hand, microphone in the other, and lyrics toutes en […]

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