With summer officially winding down, I wanted to share a few of my 2012 summer finds.
Purity Ring: Formed in 2010, this electronic Canadian duo has received a lot of hype recently. While iTunes describes the duo’s music as “chilly synth, arctic beats and space-aged vocals,” the popular music blog Pitchfork has listed the band’s 2012 debut album, Shrines, on their “best new albums” page. With a pop-song edge, Purity Ring makes for some fun summer listening. Check it out for yourself: Fineshrine by Purity Ring
Too Insistent by The Dø: Although not new to the music scene, I discovered the Finnish/French indie pop group this summer. If you’re looking for a new tune to sing along with, take a listen to The Dø’s song “Too Insistent.” From their 2011 album, Both Ways Open Jaws, “Too Insistent” stands out as The Dø’s catchiest songs. Too Insistent by The Dø
I Feel Better by Hot Chip: All I have to say is that once I discovered this song, I listened to it for 30 minutes straight. I Feel Better by Hot Chip
Nothing Compares 2 U by Capital Cities: If someone asked me last year if I wanted to listen to a pop version of Sinéad O’Connor’s hit “Nothing Compares 2 U,” I might have laughed. But here I am, jamming. Nothing Compares 2 U by Capital Cities
Hope you enjoy! Stay posted.
Over the past weeks, the station welcomed local students and the Lisbon Boy Scout troop 109 to Bates for official tours of WRBC. Here at WRBC, we understand that radio is top notch, but It is even more amazing to see youngins agreeing!
Two students from the local area came by last Thursday to better understand the inner workings of our grand ol? station in order to explore future careers in broadcasting and journalism. With expanses of CDs, these students were blown away by the possibilities of radio communication.
Tuesday a troop of 30 boy scouts from Lisbon came by in the hopes of learning about the technical aspect of radio in order to gain a merit badge. WRBC?s own Technical Director Alfie was on sight to lay his extensive knowledge on the troop, covering everything from A to Z and something about the electromagnetic spectrum (all things that left WRBC?s own Publicity Director a.k.a. myself baffled and slightly embarrassed by my own lack of knowledge). It was a truly awesome experience to see engagement and appreciation for our beloved, yet understated, mode of communication.
At WRBC, our goals are not just simply concerts. Our pride and joy is our self-run station with the power to broadcast ideas, news and great music to the masses. With a tye-dyed t-shirt in hand given to me by the appreciative troop, I left the tour feeling inspired by our own ability to connect, not just through our radio tower, but with outreach and a connection to our college and the community abound.
If anybody is, or knows of any organization, that would like to tour the station to learn more about radio, contact Alex Fiorille at firstname.lastname@example.org to set up a time to tour. We hope to inspire you as much as you all inspire us!
Peace, love, WRBC
Okay, so that’s not exactly how the lyrics of Big Tree‘s song This New Year go. But the point is, when it comes to heartfelt music the band known as Big Tree has got the tunes for you.
Born from Sarah Lawrence College, Big Tree has set itself apart from other college bands through their poetic lyrics and uniform-esque (yet, complexly layered) instrumentals. This ‘genre-bending’ band considers themselves to be an “indie pop quintet,” and have self-described their music as being part of the “indie pop psychedelia” genre. This description comes as no surprise once you pop their CD in and take a listen.
It’s hard not to listen when music is this good. Check out their Facebook ( http://www.facebook.com/bigtreesings?sk=info ), or stream through their Myspace ( http://www.myspace.com/bigtreesings ).
My top two tracks are:
1) This New Year: This New Year
2) Whole Wide World
Peace out, but stay tuned for more reviews to come,
I write this on the eve of the Big Storm, but it’s still safe to say this winter has been seriously lackluster weather-wise. Unfortunately, the same’s been kind of true as far as live music is concerned. There’s always great local music to see, especially with the opening of Washington131 — Portland’s newest DIY venue (although they had to cancel the You Won’t show scheduled earlier this month which was a HUGE bummer) — but as far as big names, climate change might also be having some unforeseen effects on winter live music. No fear, though, spring is coming up kind of and it looks like our venues are heating up too!
March 6 — Black Keys and Arctic Monkeys @ the Civic Center
March 16 — The Head and the Heart/ Drew Grow and the Pastors’ Wives/ Black Girls @ State
April 12 — Dinosaur Feathers / Grandchildren @ Empire (note: for those of age, Empire also does $5 beer, whiskey and a burger…get it)
April 17 — Passion Pit @ State
May 3 — M. Ward/Lee Renaldo Band @ State
For a complete list check out: http://hillytown.com/showlist/
Almost a year later and I have only learned one thing new about cars — AAA responds faster when you crash into a ditch on a highway rather than on a back-road. So here we go — a shorter playlist than last year’s of songs that I enjoyed while stuck in a snow bank (eventually I will learn how to drive in the snow). You’ll notice this one is a little less winter folk and a little more “I’m kinda grumpy about my new car spinning off I-95.”
Leonard Cohen — There is a War
Dead Kennedys — California Uber Alles
Defiance, Ohio — Anxious and Worrying (you bet I am)
Velvet Underground — Heroin
Violent Femmes — Kiss Off
Lou Reed — Street Hassle
If you find yourself in a similar situation, these will definitely help make the wait better! Or if you just want to look at a banana and listen to Lou Reed being awesome:
This is my very biased Best Albums of 2011 list (note: no Bon Iver or Beirut- sorry, folks, just didn’t love them).
10. Destroyer: Kaputt
Kind of an interesting and new sound going on here that’s definitely different from anything I’ve heard– some kind of gypster in a good way, if possible.
9. Idaho: You Were A Dick
I just like this band a lot.
8. Mountain Goats: All Eternals Deck
I didn’t know this album came out until about two months after it did, but it kind of just fit in with the Mountain Goats collection. I hadn’t heard new music from him in a while and was really glad that he made some!
7. Bill Callahan: Apocalypse
From that opening lone voice “the real people went away” to closing lone guitar strum it’s nothing but classic Bill Callahan throughout.
6. Bonnie “Prince” Billy: Wolfroy Goes To Town
See review below!
5. Andrew Jackson Jihad: Knife Man
Fun, folky, punky, generally a great band and great album. It’s different enough from older stuff to be interesting but along the same track enough to not warrant a “I like their older stuff better…”
4. Radiohead: King of Limbs
This album is only 8 songs — chances are Thom Yorke wrote more than 8 songs since In Rainbows. It might not be your favorite Radiohead sound, but the select songs make this an excellent cohesive album, rather than just a collection of songs (which, it should be obvious from previous reviews, is one of my biggest music pet peeves).
3. Deer Tick: Divine Providence
Just listen to it. You’ll know why.
2. Wilco: The Whole Love
These guys can do no wrong.
1. Okkervil River: I Am Very Far
See earlier review. This is just the best.
Putting the finishing touches on a new home is like putting the icing on the cake.
After months of building and decorating our brand new home, we couldn’t wait for
the best part: the basement.
Our plans for the basement included a full home theater installation, snack station,
exercise room and full bathroom. In short, we had a lot of work to do.
We had the entire scene thought up in our minds. It included a rainy Friday night,
cozy blanket, popcorn, chocolate (salted chocolate preferably) and maybe a bottle
of wine or two. For comfort and entertainment we envisioned a brand new home
theater, fresh leather chairs and sparkly TV. The movie? Maybe an action thriller or
suspense thriller-perhaps even a RomCom.
There’s the amazing feeling of getting settled, hearing the THX noise rev up and
shake the floor, sipping wine, popping popcorn and parking in a recliner for the next
two and half-hours. Yes, we were sold.
First Things First
We put a priority on the theater installation because, honestly, who wants to work
out when you could sit and watch movies?
We knew the basics of what we wanted for our theater. We wanted the wiring
hidden inside our walls, permanently fixed with wall bushings or wall plates, a
mounted TV and 5.1 surround sound system.
Furniture wise, we definitely wanted to do individual chairs. Leather recliners
with cup holders, to be exact. We tested out several models instead of just ordering
blindly online. Carpet and wall insulation squares are great for theaters to help
absorb the sound. If you can enclose your theater to cut down on noise, we suggest
There are a few pretty common mistakes people make when designing and
outfitting their home theaters. You should get a TV or screen depending on how
far away you plan to sit from the screen. You should be about 2 times the distance
from your TV as the width of the screen. For instance, if you have a 42-inch TV, you
should sit about 5 or 6 feet back.
Avoid having windows in your theater as it causes glare, this one typically isn’t a
problem for basements. After you shell out the money for the theater, don’t skimp
on the speakers. You may think that sound quality is a good place to save money, but
the truth is, your ears will know the difference.
Make sure you only buy equipment you’re confident you’ll be able to use, read the
manual and pay for any service plans or warranties. That way, if you have problems
down the road, a professional can come out and fix it without you having to shell out
more money than you already have.
And the biggest blunder: telling people that you’ve just installed a home theater.
They’re going to want to come over all the time now.
Richard is from the Hoosier state so all styles of music appeals to him. He also has a website called artroommelody.com where he writes about art in every form.
Bonnie Prince Billy
Wolfroy Goes to Town
Drag City, October 2011
Every finals “season” brings me an new album to put on repeat for about two weeks straight. It’s a tricky business– the choosing of a whole album that at times acts as non-intrusive background but at other times provides a break from the work, demanding whole concentration on the song. I have been saving Bonnie “Prince” Billy’s Wolfroy Goes to Town just for this time – and the wait was totally worth it.
Anyone dedicated to Will Oldham’s previous works, whether it be as Bonnie “Prince” Billy, Palace Music, Palace Brothers or other more allusive Palace side projects will find solace in Oldham’s newest album. While they’ve been used a hundred times to describe his sound, we must return to words like haunting and minimalist as Oldham has managed to stay true to “his sound” without simply producing a carbon-copy of previous work. Listening to Wolfroy Goes to Town we are reminded of “Ain’t You Wealth, Ain’t You Wise” in “No Match” or “I See A Darkness” in “New Tibet.” Listening to these songs, however, does not make you want to simply retreat into the past and put on Beware or Master and Everyone. Wolroy Goes to Town stands on its own as another work in Oldham’s repertoire, rather than simply the latest installment of interchangeable wintery folk.
The album, rather, is perhaps a caricature of what Oldham knows his audience looks for in his work. It abandons any fullness previously experimented with as it, instead, relies on the more subtle companionship of voice and guitar. The album wants to be listened to on a Maine island cabin in winter without isolation but with enough blankets to feign warmth; there, Wolroy Goes to Town is at home.
An easy album highlight is the shockingly upbeat “Quail and Dumplings.” Maybe it’s the shock factor of a second song on the album with a very noticeable “fuck” in it or maybe we’re just caught off guard by a BPM of more than 49. Regardless, it’s a welcome surprise that surely warrants your eyes to lift from work briefly to gaze and just listen.
While it’s already become my 2011 Finals album, it is sure to endure once the final paper is turned in.
Check out “Cows:”
We’ve all been there, or at least I think we have. You know what I mean, waiting patiently in line to get food (because that’s your style) while watching your Commons Crush selfishly pick all of the pineapple out of the fruit salad. Although it’s tempting to take this time to reevaluate why you’ve been crushin’ on ‘Selfish Joe,’ we both know what you’re really doing is suppressing the urge to break out in a love song.
Maybe you don’t have a Commons Crush, or maybe you think breaking out in song isn’t “cool” (although it is), but what I’m really asking is what song would you choose?
I just wrote the latter, and then reread it so now I can pretend I was the one who was asked this question.
Anyway, thanks me, what a great question!
Answer: “Will Do” by TV On the Radio. Nine Types of Light is the name of the album; it is TV On the Radio’s newest album. Will Do by TV on the Radio
If “Will Do” isn’t your cup of tea check these songs out:
1. Valentine by The Moths Valentine
2. This New Year by Big Tree (they came to Bates!) This New Year
3. How Are You by Bombay Bicycle Club How Are You
4. Dearest by The Black Keys Dearest
5. Bear by The Antlers
Want some more beats?
1. Right On by The Roots, Joanna Newsom and S.T.S.
2. Skinny Love (Das Kapital Rerub) by Bon Iver
3. Sun of a Gun by Oh Land
I was recently asked the “age-old” question, “if you were to go back in time when would you go to?” After remembering how slow rocks change, I ignored my geologist instincts to go back to the Late Paleozoic to see the Appalachian Mountains created and grow large. I decided to base my answer, rather, on what was happening musically during different times. This still proved challenging. Presented here are some of my finalists (focused rather on specific years rather than decades or eras…)
5. 1839: Pablo Casals finished recording the Bach cello suites. Before this, they were used as practice/warm-up pieces for cello. Casals made them stand-alone pieces to play. Where would Master and Commander be without Suite 1: Prelude? More importantly, where would we all be without the entire collection? Well, we’d probably all be right where we are but without some of the best cello pieces accessible.
4. ~1985: Stephen Malkmus, David Berman and Bob Nastanovich met. They all worked at the Whitney together in the late 80s. With others, Malkmus, Berman and Nastanovich, in different combinations, make up Pavement and Silver Jews. If Pavement was never a band, then Built to Spill may not have ever been a band. If Built to Spill was never a band, then maybe the Microphones wouldn’t have been a band (who knows?). And if Silver Jews had never been a band then Silver Jews would never have been a band and that’s bad enough by itself.
3. 1993: I was three and had no idea what was happening. In Seattle, In Utero was released by Nirvana. Seattle’s the best. In Omaha, Saddle Creek Records was started.While Conor Oberst has a pretty bad rep, his record label produced bands such as Cursive, The Good Life, Rilo Kiley and now is home to Rural Alberta Advantage, Big Harp, Maria Taylor and some other stars. Omaha is not the best but has created some pretty awesome music.
2. 1981: The Clash play their historic show at Bond’s. Welcome to America, boys.
1. 1983: The Smiths.
In summary, if I were to go back in time I would go back to about 1980 and stay there until about 1995. Sounds fun!