At a freeform radio station like WMFO, we support all sorts of creative endeavors – large, small, and in-between. However, some stand out. Some people and organizations make headway in the creative world at astounding rates and experience astounding growth because of it. They’re cropping up more and more often of late, these meteoric rises, with companies like Netflix expanding their brand to include their own TV shows, indie bands like Young the Giant going from a Facebook page of 3000 likes and a few free songs floating around the internet to almost half a million likes on Facebook and an endlessly full tour schedule, and devices like the Kindle and iPhone making it easier to be a content creator than possibly ever before.
This ease of spread, however, comes with some pitfalls. More and more people are creating things, so competition to actually succeed is stiff and it can seem like many people are out of the running before they even begin. When there’s so much talent out there, we tend to devalue our own, even though the people who make the media that we are constantly inundated by had to start somewhere. With that in mind, what is it like to make something wildly successful from scratch, after all?
“Great,” according to Joseph Gordon-Levitt. “It feels great.”
On Monday May 21st we will be off air and offline from 10AM until 4PM while we upgrade key components of our station’s infrastructure.
Additionally, the University’s annual electrical grid maintenance is scheduled for Saturday May 26th. We will be off air and offline from 5AM until 7PM while the University’s grid is offline. This shutdown may be postponed to the 27th or 28th depending on the weather conditions on the 26th.This website will continue to operate during the shutdowns and we will post updates as they become available.
-The WMFO Ops Team
We are currently undergoing some maintenance work on our critical systems.
Please pardon any interruptions in our services.
-The WMFO Ops Team
Remember Fiona Apple? You know, that impossibly slight singer from the late 90s, the one with the huge blue eyes and the even huger voice? Maybe you remember Tidal, her first, awesome album from 1996 and it’s bad-ass single “Sleep to Dream.” After her 2005 release, Extraordinary Machine, Apple effectively disappeared, dropping out of the general music consciousness and leaving the throaty soulful singing to a new crop of British songstresses. Fortunately Apple is back with a vengeance this year. After her much lauded SXSW appearances, Apple has released the first single off her upcoming album The Idler Wheel, set to drop on June 19th. “Every Single Night” is extremely minimal, keeping the focus on Apple’s remarkable voice and the interior monologue expressed in the lyrics. For the most part she keeps her voice soft and tremulous, allowing it to shake and even break occasionally before breaking into her full throaty belt in a near yodel at the end of each verse. Its a strange and thoughtful new track from a strange and thoughtful performer whose presence we’ve been missing, whether we knew it or not. The track is available on Apple’s Soundcloud.
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-The WMFO Exec Board
Back in 2003, a roommate of mine told me that there was an actual band that only played old school Nintendo theme songs. This was equivalent to saying “Hey Evan, Alyssa Milano is in our living room” or even “These dentists want to pour vats of mustard all over your body!” (tmi?). I mean, a rock band and video game music? All people who are masters of the A and B buttons would certainly appreciate a group of men from Arizona who dedicate their skilled musicianship to make us headbang in 8 bits. This band is called the Minibosses.
Sometimes a level in a video game is a lot more appealing if the backing soundtrack helps to stir up the player. Did you ever find yourself feeling outnumbered against the machine gun guy (!!) at the end of “Double Dragon”? How about the countless times when you had no idea what fuzzily graphic’d creature was going to pop out of the darkness at you in “Castlevania”? The themes from those games, as well as ones from “Mega Man 2”, “Mike Tyson’s Punch Out” and even “Super Mario 2”, have been turned into fast, accurate rock ‘n roll renditions by the Minibosses. It’s like you’re in the game … except the game is going by more quickly and you really shouldn’t be taking those mushrooms that pop out of boxes.
Up to now, the Minibosses have released a full album and a live album. Unlike some of other bands that we recommend here on the WMFO blog, the Minibosses will allow you to listen to their entire first album for free. I highly recommend “Double Dragon” for a quick idea of what the band is about. However, for something more epic, check out “Mega Man 2”. There’s tons of levels featured on that ten minute track, including my favorite of the Airman stage. Yeah, I know, I know … I have a favorite Mega Man 2 level theme. Get frustrated by dropping to your death 100+ times as a clumsy blue robot and you’ll get to liking such songs as well.
Photo by Maxine Builder
I have never feared for my life more than I did on Thursday, October 21. A grown man landed on my head while he was trying to crowd surf, my ponytail got pulled in all sorts of directions, and I was sure that I was going to be crushed on by a hoard of sweaty, moshing and angsty men. But that’s par for the course when going to see Odd Future Wolf Gang Kill Them All (OFWGKTA).
Photo by Maxine Builder
One look at the members of Neon Indian, and it becomes abundantly clear how these five kids from Denton, Texas became hipster darlings. Three out of five of the band members sport well-maintained beards, and the other two compensate for their lack of facial hair with perfectly hip hair-dos. Their look when combined with their synth-heavy indie pop music makes for a killer amalgamation, and they let their hipster flag fly at their October 20 show at the Brighton Music Hall (which is the hippest venue in Allston, which is the hippest neighborhood in Boston. Duh).
Hello. I usually write music reviews but, when I’m not writing there or DJing on WMFO, I write here! As one of the cadre of very capable and interesting DJ/Blogger music enthusiasts signed on to dish out some words to the Interworld, I think I’ll start by relating a conversation I had with a friend this past weekend. After a long discussion driving in the rain, we determined that people don’t care about new albums by practically anyone.
But wait, wait, when I say “don’t care” perhaps I should add “nearly enough” to the phrase, because obviously with new music people get quite excited. We all listen to new music whether it be a single, a random track, or a few random tracks. And uh, well wait, people do listen to full albums sure. But c’mon, how many? I’m sure some may disagree, but I think that most people these days might listen to a few songs and quit. Or, if a band is really lucky, someone uses Amazon (ooh, clips!) or Spotify (ooh, free!) to preview an entire record and then quit. A second full spin is unheard of! We are all very busy people, you know.
A new record is like a struggling actor going to audition after audition after audition, only to get lucky with a select few. Even those few may fire the album and send it off the set after a day or two anyway.
There was nothing particularly odd about Wild Beasts front man Hayden Thorpe coming on stage wearing a tiny red beanie—it really didn’t look that out of place. Nevertheless, at every concert there will always be that proverbial “guy” in the audience that absolutely needs to comment on any eccentricity that’s present in the performance.
“Nice hat,” he boomed sarcastically from under the balcony in the rear of the Paradise.
Thorpe, unfazed, and with too much naiveté to realize the facetiousness behind the comment, responded quickly and rather humbly, “thanks.”
It was at that moment—not the hours spent listening to the band’s albums at home, or the churning synergism between guitars and bass and drums at the show—that I truly fell in love with this band from tiny Kendal, England.
I arrived at the venue on Tuesday night right as the opener, ambient pop collective Bobby, began their set. The material was far enough of a departure from their headliner that it didn’t seem like a copycat act, yet close enough that they had the audience ensnared for the duration of their time. At 9:52 the band came on to an impassioned applause, considering how many people were there (the place was only slightly over half capacity; I was at the tUnE-yArDs concert there this past Wednesday, where you could barely find a spot to breathe).
After an extremely grateful but rushed salutation, the droning bass line of “Lion’s Share,” the opening track from the band’s brilliantly paced and most recent album Smother, began. Thorpe’s vocals here—and for the rest of the night—were spot on. Quite honestly, I didn’t know what to expect from the show. An uninitiated listener could very easily accuse Wild Beasts’ repertoire to be nothing but grandiloquence, but I held out hope that the sensuality that pervades each song would translate well live.
It did. Thorpe’s bass and vocal counterpart, Tom Fleming, sounded equally as breathtaking. I can’t quite place my finger on it—maybe it’s the lack of reverb in the mix—but there’s a certain staleness, albeit minute, to many of the vocal tracks on the studio recordings of Wild Beast’s albums. On Tuesday, that wasn’t the case at all. The duel crooning between the two singers remained powerful and resounding throughout the night. Chris Talbot’s remarkable finesse on the drums, while understated and largely unacknowledged throughout the show, was something I kept a close eye on. Talbot is in my mind one of the most underrated drummers working today; his arrangements aren’t exceptionally dense or virtuosic, but he makes outstanding use of auxiliary percussion and tom drums.
As one would expect, the songs that got the crowd the moving the most came from their sophomore effort, Two Dancers, the funkiest of their three albums. “This is Our Lot,” “Hooting and Howling,” and “All the King’s Men” all were performed with expert precision, and got the audience in a dancing mood. My lone complaint came from Thorpe’s lack of enunciation on “The Fun Powder Plot,” a song that’s so much fun because of its lyrics. The highpoint of the night came from the sonically simple and beautiful jam that came in the set (and Smother) closer, “End Come Too Soon.” The ambient bass was at its heaviest and most sustained, and it resulted in my whole body vibrating cathartically for a full four minutes.
Personal opinions notwithstanding, it’s hard to pinpoint any genuine “highlights” of the show—there was an intense and mutual appreciation shared between band and audience that welcomed every song with extreme satisfaction. In an interview with British online music source, The Quietus, Thorpe told the website, “It’s about saying, are you going to come in and listen or not? Because if you’re not, we’re not going to accommodate you, to let you be part of and involved in this intimacy.” It’s a line that may come off as bombastic, but it’s in actuality more of a warm sentiment towards its existing fans. Whereas the tUnE-yArDs concert certainly had its share of fanatics, many were there for the indie spectacle that surrounds Merril’s current hype. At the Paradise last Tuesday though, everyone was united in a love for a band that has been terrifically maturing with each album and tour that they pump out.