Left of the Dial

Fridays at 9 p.m. and Saturdays at noon

Credit Jason Brown / KRCU

Left of the Dial takes its name from the Replacements song of the same name, and is a reference to the position of the radio dial on which non-commercial radio stations are typically located. In the era of college radio these stations were reliable sources of independent, unsigned, and otherwise “underground” artists.

Left of the Dial is a radio program molded in that tradition, with a strong focus on new music but with a flexibility to allow a variety of genres, themes, and eras to be explored.

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Jason Brown

Bon Iver's 22, A Million successfully merges the legend of the lonely cabin-dweller with a collage of found sound, autotune, and what is quite possibly a choir of Sing-A-Ma-Jigs. It is experimental in nature and therefore at first difficult to listen to, but it takes its chances with purpose and reveals itself to be a rewarding listen over time. 

Jason Brown / KRCU

I recognize that the reference in the headline of this post is ultimately misleading, as when you're small-time like me you sometimes can't get music any earlier than its release, so the new Bon Iver won't be appearing on this week's show. I am very much looking forward to spending time with it, to perhaps wander off alone with it, and see if I return as anything else. I sure hope I like autotune.

Jason Brown / KRCU

Preoccupations have a new album, their first since changing their name from Viet Cong, and it's their second self-titled album. The band's original name raised plenty of eyebrows from the start, and eventually prevented them from getting work.

Jason Brown / KRCU

This week we're featuring the mighty Helms Alee. It's not that unusual for a heavy metal band to be heart-achingly beautiful, have an intelligent loftiness, and to have a meticulous sense for song-composition, but you do have look for them, and Helms Alee fits that bill rather nicely. 

By th1098 (Own work) [CC BY-SA 3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

The Veils have a song on their new album Total Depravity titled "Axolotl." An axolotl is a completely charming and sadly endangered salamander