pop

fruit collective: “walk”

Though the restrictions of COVID-19 are cautiously lifting, certain social distancing implementations have proved fruitful for some. For example, before everyone got used to living behind their laptop and collaborating remotely, it wouldn’t have been all that easy to put together a trio whose members live in different metropolitan cities, but that’s exactly what happened with fruit collective.

The Chicago-Austin-Boston three-piece bears seeds of indie, pop, and R&B for their lo-fi harvest, transplanting the berries of the late Mac Miller and contemporary KUTX favorites like Clairo and Anderson .Paak into fruit collective’s fresh sound. We all know Friday is market day, so stock up on fruit collective for the weekend with the group’s gorgeous debut single, “walk”!

Shopgirl: “Killer”

For those that remember the majesty of Austin synth-pop trio Sphynx, you’ll recall that all three members possessed the talent and presence fit for a frontman, even when the energy was apportioned out song-by-song. Well, since Sphynx went the way of the…sphinx…a couple years back, the prospect of pursuing solo projects has become more and more tempting for each player. And just months after singer-guitarist Aaron Miller launched his solo venture Josie Lockhart, keyboardist-vocalist Cory Dennis has ushered his own pop star persona, Shopgirl, into the spotlight.

Where Sphynx sank into streams of ’80s-style retro-pop, Shopgirl splurges on all the accoutrements of modern pop, complete with futuristic vocal processing, emotionally exploratory lyrics, and some slick mastering from Tame Impala engineer Greg Calbi to top it all off. Look out for Shopgirl’s debut album Waves later this year, and treat yourself this New Music Friday to Shopgirl’s first-ever studio single, one that looks back on Sphynx, the glory days, and their quiet conclusion, “Killer”!

Casie Luong: “Last Call”

As a music educator, actress, and budding non-fiction writer, it can be tough to keep up creatively with Austin’s Casie Luong, especially since she somehow always finds time for more. In the midst of penning a family memoir and overseeing operations for Mother Falcon Music Lab, Luong’s managed to connect the dots between Kacey Musgrave’s exquisite melodies and Taylor Swift’s otherworldly pop soundscapes for her first project serving as both engineer and producer, the two-part EP Freed.

Freed Pt 2 comes out tomorrow and precedes the Hero EP, out later this summer, so liberate yourself along with Luong as she lashes raw emotion, unbridled nature, and pure nostalgia together to channel acts like St. Vincent and Sarah Jaffe on incandescent originals like “Last Call”!

Calliope Musicals: “Can You Tell Me” (Social Distancing Pop-Up)

For the past few weeks (and perhaps beyond), you’ve been hearing a lot about our April 2021 Artist of the MonthCalliope Musicals. This fantastical Austin four-piece has been inching their performative alt-pop eccentricities nearer to insanity with each escalating endeavor, chiefly spearheaded by Calliope’s fearless frontwoman, Carrie Fussell.

Carrie and Calliope recently hosted their My KUTX session in anticipation of their upcoming EP, Between Us, out this Friday. And though the single “Can You Tell Me” already has a great music video, Carrie was kind enough to let the KUTX multimedia team drop by for a two-song socially distanced pop-up set (which also includes Between Us standout “Moonchaser”)!

Click Music: “Surprises”

Though he’s originally from Chicago, multi-instrumentalist David Click has decidedly snapped into place here in Austin. As a publisher, producer, engineer, and of course, singer-songwriter, Click founded his recording studio The Oven not too long ago and has fittingly recorded his material as Click Music there.

Yesterday Click Music commenced his 2021 with a bittersweet title, Cheated on Me, a three-song EP that expands out from the sound of Click’s typical discography to incorporate trip-hop, UK two-step, and pop-R&B. It seems like no matter what genre you throw at him, Click continues to navigate his affectionate arrangements with ease and incite ecstasy in listeners, statements that at this point shouldn’t come too much as, “Surprises”.

Dr Pepper: The Story of Texas’ Favorite Soft Drink

My favorite snack as a teenager was a Dr Pepper with salty peanuts. You remember: you pour the peanuts into the Dr Pepper and let them float around and season the drink. Didn’t get much better than that.

Dr Pepper is the oldest soft drink in America. Older than Coca-Cola, in fact, by a full year. It was created in 1885 by a pharmacist, Charles Alderton, in Waco, Texas. And its original name was Waco – it was served there at the soda fountain in the drugstore. The drink was an instant hit; customers would sit down on one of those old spinning stools and say, “Shoot me a Waco.”

As its popularity exploded, the makers couldn’t keep up supplying the syrup to all the other drug stores that wanted it, so a company was formed, and a new name created.

The name Dr Pepper was suggested by Wade Morrison, the owner of the drugstore. The story goes that Morrison supposedly named it after his would-be father-in-law back in Virginia, a man he wanted to impress because he was in love with his daughter.

Morrison never did get the girl, but I bet the old man Pepper regretted that rejection when Dr Pepper became a national sensation and made the not-good-enough Morrison quite rich. Maybe the saddest person in this whole affair was Charles Alderton – the pharmacist who created Dr Pepper. He simply gave away the recipe because he was more interested in medicine than marketing.

Dr Pepper’s formula is held in two separate bank vaults in Dallas. Each vault has half of the formula and no one person knows the entire secret. Coca-Cola has similar safeguards.

Contrary to soda pop mythology, Dr Pepper is not made of prune juice, nor does it have any part prune juice in it. It is made of a blend of fruit extracts. But the blend of flavors results in a uniqueness that makes many people swear that Diet Dr Pepper is the most undiety tasting soft drink in existence. And let’s not forget Dublin Dr Pepper, now sadly out of production, but once regarded as the finest Pepper of all, thanks to Imperial pure cane sugar.

Dr Pepper Poker – a version of poker where tens, twos, and fours are wild – takes its concept from the numbers 10, 2, and 4 that used to be on every Dr Pepper bottle. The label encouraged you to have three Dr Peppers a day at 10, 2, and 4 to keep you, well… peppy.

A poker purist will not play Dr Pepper. But I like it. It is the only time I have had four a kind, legitimately.

W.F. Strong is a Fulbright Scholar and professor of Culture and Communication at the University of Texas Rio Grande Valley. At Public Radio 88 FM in Harlingen, Texas, he’s the resident expert on Texas literature, Texas legends, Blue Bell ice cream, Whataburger (with cheese) and mesquite smoked brisket.

Soda: Marion Nestle (Ep.4)

In this edition of The Secret Ingredient, we talk with Marion Nestle about her latest book Soda Politics: Taking on Big Soda (and Winning).

She describes why it’s so difficult to find accurate information on soda consumption, how the industry got to where it is today, and what advocacy groups and consumers are doing to fight back.

You can find out more about Marion on her website: https://www.foodpolitics.com/

About The Hosts:

Raj Patel is an award winning food writer, activist and academic. The author of Stuffed and Starved: The Hidden Battle for the World Food System, and his latest, The Value of Nothing, is a New York Times best-seller.

Tom Philpott is an award winning food writer for Mother Jones, who’s ground-breaking work on almonds exposed a myriad of environmental and ethical issues around almond production in California.

Rebecca McInroy,is an executive producer and host for KUT Radio in Austin, Texas. She is the co-creator, producer and host of various podcasts and shows including, Views and Brews, Two Guys on Your Head, Liner Notes, The Write Up, and The Secret Ingredient.

In each episode we chose one food to investigate, and talk with the people who’s life’s work has been to understand the complex systems of production, distribution, marketing and impact, these foods have on our lives.