KGSR Broadcasts Vol. 14

Texas Platters

KGSR Broadcasts Vol. 14

(107.1 KGSR Radio Austin)

It's no PlayStation Wii, but Broadcasts, KGSR's annual dual-CD collection of live, in-studio hootenannies recorded September to September, will fly off shelves like it does every year. And with good reason. Upon first listen, the uninitiated might wonder at the curatorial imperative behind this Austintatious collection. Who's the genius behind Tony Joe White's roadhouse blues "Ice Cream Man" coming hot on the heels of Death Cab for Cutie's wistful, hipster "Soul Meets Body," an intimate rendition recorded backstage at the ACL Music Festival? Later, the Blind Boys of Alabama's savory gospel trifle, "Go Tell It on the Mountain," segues into Beth Orton's acoustic navel gaze, "Safe in Your Arms" and Spoon's perfect "I Summon You." Such disjointed syncopation is clearly not the work of an expert mixtape architect. Peek at the liner notes, though, and all is revealed: Broadcasts is a chronological arrangement of recordings enabling listeners to revisit the musical high-water marks of the past year. Eliza Gilkyson's "Borderline" is selfish in its brevity and beauty, while Alejandro Escovedo's jaded, menacing "Arizona" invokes all the mystery and danger at the periphery of sanity and sobriety. Producer Jody Denberg possesses an unparalleled eye for the magnitude and scope of this city's presence on the global music stage, and he compresses it gracefully into 38 songs. ****

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