Broadcasts Vol. 25
Broadcasts Vol. 25 (93.3 KGSR Radio Austin)
Reviewed by Doug Freeman, Fri., Dec. 1, 2017
When KGSR released its debut Broadcasts compilation in 1992, a single platter bookended by local songwriters Darden Smith and Sarah Hickman, CDs were supplanting cassettes and Austin's skyline didn't defy gravity. The local frequency's annual stocking stuffer has since raised over $3 million for homegrown charities. This year's dual disc dishes live performances from the past year then plumbs the archives for unreleased tracks.
Portugal the Man's stripped-down "Feel It Still" warms up for the early highlight of Britt Daniel's howl ripping Spoon's "Hot Thoughts." Cheers break the intimacy and segues, but that serves Mondo Cozmo's mellow folk rock well on "Shine" via an audience chorus, and the 1975's "Somebody Else" pairs well with Walker Lukens' local jolt "Lifted," as does Valerie June's arresting twang on "Astral Plane," Iron & Wine's plaintive "Call It Dreaming," and Bob Schneider's "Blood & Bones" backed by Tosca Strings. Austin/Iceland blues rockers Kaleo close as KGSR favorites roaring "No Good."
Disc 2 offers a powerhouse archival roster digging beyond hits. Ed Sheeran opens with "Lego House" and Sara Bareilles' piano pops playfully backstage at ACL Fest 2010 with "King of Anything." Last year's leading lady Andra Day encores on the immaculately smoky "Forever Mine," and X Ambassadors' "Unsteady" and Vance Joy's "Georgia" hold center with keening croons. The back end closes rootsy (Hayes Carll, Avett Brothers, Shakey Graves), but Elle King's banjo bite on timely takedown "Good to Be a Man" secures best cut.
Wild Child's "Bullets" gives proper close, and though more ATX artists would be welcome, the star power selections leave little to fault.