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Pick of the Week: Who Are You 0

Posted: October 26th, 2011 | Author: | Filed under: Blog

In the interest of full disclosure I should credit my pick of the week this week to my mother.  I had originally planned on picking a track from  A Very She & Him Christmas as I’ve been anticipating this particular project from Zooey Deschanel and M. Ward for months.  But then I had also thought about highlighting Deer Tick’s raucous new album Divine Providence, especially the rousing “Something to Brag About.”  But before I could make my decision I got this email from my mom: “In the Arts section today, there was a piece about a woman from the New Pornographers who has come out with a new CD.  I was wondering if you had heard it.”  She was, of course, referring to Kathryn Calder, AC Newman’s neice and a newer addition to the New Pornographers’ roster.  I hadn’t been paying much attention to Calder’s solo career, but I was so impressed with my Mother’s cultural savvy I had to investigate.  Out yesterday Bright and Vivid  is Calder’s second album.  Far more interesting than her first, the album is more textured with heavier beats counterbalancing Calder’s inherent cuteness.  The album’s second track, “Who Are You” is reminiscent of the poppy up-beat New Pornographers’ tunes but with Calder’s distinctively ethereal and hazy sound.  So check it out and then tell me this, when was the last time your mother contributed to an indie music blog?

Girl on Girls: Laura Marling 0

Posted: October 12th, 2011 | Author: | Filed under: Blog | Tags: ,

On Sunday, September 25th, English folk singer Laura Marling played a concert at Brighton Music Hall.  About a third of the way through the set someone in the crowd called out, “You’re so badass!”  Having already confessed her discomfort with stage banter, she just smiled, said “Yes!” and flashed a rock on.

Not so coincidentally, SPIN magazine’s review of Marling’s newest album “A Creature I Don’t Know” described her songs as “chillingly badass.”  Last year as a newly minted WMFO DJ I played Marling on my first show whose theme was “Badass Women.”  So why is this particular recurring modifier (apologies to my mother) so fitting.

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Pick of the Week: 316 Ways 0

Posted: October 12th, 2011 | Author: | Filed under: Blog | Tags: ,

I was not inspired by the new music selection this week.  Bjork makes my head hurt.  I think Ryan Adams is almost always lackluster.  Joe Jonas….I mean, enough said.  So I was getting pretty desperate until I saw that Californian rapper, Murs released his new album yesterday.  For those of us who are maybe already bored with Watch the Throne (ahem) the album, Love and Rockets is a welcome new arrival.  Murs’ verses are edgy, emotional, often biting, and considerably more intelligent than anything Jay-Z cranks out.  The instrumentation on this particular album is also stunning, thanks to producer Ski Beatz.  As is usual for an intelligent rapper outside the mainstream, the album has gotten zero press.  So here I am telling you to go listen to it pronto.  Well, specifically go listen to “316 Ways” which is my favorite on the album.  The video is also pretty sweet.

Pick of the Week: Circles and Squares 0

Posted: October 6th, 2011 | Author: | Filed under: Blog | Tags: ,

It seems like I’ve been looking forward to Feist’s third album, Metals for ages.  So I just assumed I would highlight one of the album’s tracks for my pick of the week this week.  My plan got derailed, however, by a really funny band name.  I mean really, what hilarious genius decided We Were Promised Jetpacks would be a great name for a band?  A post-punk scottish rocker I suppose.  Anyway the point is We Were Promised Jetpacks also released an album this week.  It’s called In the Pit of the Stomach and it has a really catchy first song.  Listen to “Circles and Squares.”  Not only is it catchy, its got a nice fuzzy sound and its just bare bones rock and roll.  No synthesizers.  No frills.  Plus it’s all sung with a Scottish accent.  Enjoy! 

Pick of the Week: Stay the Course 0

Posted: September 28th, 2011 | Author: | Filed under: Blog, Freeform

You don’t need to know much about DJs or sampling or music producers to know that when DJ Shadow collaborates with Talib Kweli and Posdnuos its an event worth notice.  An eminent Hip Hop producer at the forefront of instrumental Hip Hop, DJ Shadow just released his new album, The Less You Know, The Better.  “Stay the Course,” the third track on the album is a rare combination of DJ Shadow’s artful sampling and tight beats with Posdnuos (of De La Soul) and Kweli’s keenly intelligent verses.  Listen to the track or just stream the whole album over at NPR.

Father, Son, Holy Ghost by Girls 0

Posted: September 22nd, 2011 | Author: | Filed under: Blog | Tags: ,

Gone are the fuzzy lo-fi sound, the two man group simplicity, and the snide yet tentative vocals from lead singer Christopher Owens, all of which made Girls’s first release, Album, so appealing.  Girls is now a full fledged band with three new members, keyboardist Dan Eisenberg, guitarist John Anderson, and drummer Darren Weiss, filling out the sound.  Inevitably this sophomore album is more textured.  Taking advantage of a larger pool of musicians, bassist and producer, Chet JR White, has built eleven richly layered tracks, more streamlined than anything on the first album.  Even Owens’ vocals are different, more confident and consistent.  Simply put, Father, Son, Holy Ghost is a whole different animal.

What the group maintains on its second album is its delightful ability to pilfer from such frothy genres as 50′s pop-rock or retro beach-rock and yet create tracks that are gritty and unique.  “Honey Bunny,” the album’s sunniest track, includes a recurring”Wipe Out” riff but updates the Beach Boys sound with lyrics about picking up girls who, “don’t like my skinny body, they don’t like my dirty hair, or the stuff that I say or the stuff that I’m on.”  The song takes a turn for the sentimental on the bridge as Owens sings longingly about his relationship with his mother.

At the other end of the spectrum the album’s first single, “Vomit,”  is dark and tempestuous, a study of an unhealthy relationship stretched out over six and a half minutes.  From the soft and slow finger picking in the intro, the song builds to a climactic wall of sound with multiple guitar lines, organ, and even a gospel choir, contrasting with Owens voice which remains dramatically muted to a near whisper.

“Vomit” is one of a few tracks on the album to clock over five minutes but even the shorter tunes develop and change unexpectedly.  It is this element of surprise in Girls’ music that makes the group so compelling.  Listen to Father, Son, Holy Ghost, and every song may remind you of something you’ve heard before.  At the same time you’ll somehow come away thinking you’ve never heard another album like it.

Also check out this awesome video for Honey Bunny

 

Pick of the Week 0

Posted: September 21st, 2011 | Author: | Filed under: Blog | Tags: , , ,

Last week was a huge week for indie music releases, from Neon Indian to The Kooks, everyone seems to have decided that September 13th is the magic release date.  That being said to kick off our “Pick of the Week” series we’re actually offering three picks….from last week.

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Album Review | “The King is Dead” by The Decemberists 0

Posted: January 30th, 2011 | Author: | Filed under: Blog, Reviews

The Decemberists’ newest album, “The King is Dead,” opens with the words, “Here we come to a changing of the season” aptly introducing a new sound for the Portland based folk-rock band. Having toyed with orchestral and operatic rock, produced albums with grand over arching themes, and gained notoriety for songs lasting upwards of 10 minutes, the Decemberists have turned their attention to the simplicity of American folk.  With shorter, simpler songs, new instrumentation, and clear influences of blue grass and country, the album is a large departure from the Decemberists’ earlier work especially their last project, Hazards of Love, a dark, operatic and extremely complex concept album. (more…)

The Awkward Pre-Frosh Playlist 0

Posted: November 10th, 2010 | Author: | Filed under: Blog, Columns

We have all seen the sad looking pre-frosh tour groups tromping around campus in the rain. It is easy for us to forget, now that we’re comfortably established at college, that it is actually application season; In fact the Tufts ED deadline just passed this week. In honor of those poor souls back home who are feverishly writing their supplements, I thought I’d make this week’s post about my Tufts pre-frosh experience with music.

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The Awkward Freshman Playlist | Overheard In RezQuad Caf 0

Posted: November 2nd, 2010 | Author: | Filed under: Blog, Columns

Every college student needs a spot on campus. You know the kind I mean; a spot where you can go whenever you need to get out of the dorm, a spot where you can get homework done but you don’t have to, a place that is comforting and safe, and is unquestionably yours (even if others go there too). For some this spot is a special nook in the extremely quiet music library. For others it is at the base of a certain tree on the President’s lawn. For others still it is a spot in a tree on the president’s lawn. For me this spot is The RezQuad Caf. I go in most nights between 10 and 11 with my laptop and a pile of work. I order my skim chai latte to stay (it comes in a big mug but for the price of a small) and set up a work station in one of the comfy chairs.

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