Afghan Whigs- Do to the Beast
Apr 10, 2014
Elk’s Justin Stein had an important decision to make while working on Let’s Get Married. He had to choose between replacing his computer and paying rent. Stein moved in with his parents and chose instead to replace his computer. As a result, he presents to music world a distinctive album that touches just about all genres.
By switching gears of a soft medieval, courtly sound to an electronic wave of sound, the first track, “Let’s Get Married,” immediately demonstrates what Elk’s album is all about. Adventurous jumps are synonymous with Let’s Get Married.
An African melody backgrounds “Volleyball.” The initial feel-good beat layers with an almost anxious fuzziness mid-song. A voice enters out of nowhere, speaking unintelligible English. Quickly, the song switches back to harmony African modernized with electronic bops.
The adventurous, short album sends listeners on a journey. The repetitiveness and playfulness of Let’s Get Married is the contradiction of typical music. Rather, it is the collaboration and combination of sounds and efforts. And while it is an acquired taste of sound, there exists a level of appreciation and awe for a musician who rejects the typical and looks for his own sound.
Listen to Elk's music below:
Classically trained in opera music, Alex Winston’s musical diversity is extensive. Winston, a Detroit native, grew up listening to MC5, Iggy Pop and The Stooges and the best in Motown and Americana. She opened for Chuck Berry in St. Louis and has recently worked with The Knocks to produce her debut mini-LP on HeavyRoc Music.
Scheduled to release Feb. 22, Sister Wife has the perfect combination of old and new with Winston’s unique touch to live up to the high expectations of all the “Big in 2011” lists her name appeared.
Standouts include “Choice Notes” with its feel good piano beats and catchy chorus; “Sister Wife” and its lofty but carefully arranged drums and Winston’s distinct vocals; “Sweet James” as it puts a fashionable spin on her Motown and Americana influences; and “Locomotive” with its catchy lyrics and airy melody.
Winston takes her musical whimsy and makes it accessible to just about any listener. She describes it best herself, “It’s feel good music.”
Listen to "Choice Notes":
WSBU ADVANCES TO TOP 10 FINALISTS FOR MTV AWARD
ST. BONAVENTURE, FEBRUARY 16, 2011 – WSBU, St. Bonaventure University’s student-run campus radio station, has been voted into the top 10 finalists for mtvU’s 2011 College Radio Woodie Award.
An email sent by MTV said, “With much research and a tremendous response from your listeners, we’ve narrowed down the top 50 College Radio Stations.” Listeners casted their votes online until February 8, when it was announced that WSBU had made it into the top 25 nominees. On February 15, after more voting, MTV announced that WSBU had made it into the top 10 finalists.
The sixth annual mtvU Woodie Awards will air live on Wednesday, March 16 at 12 a.m. on MTV, MTV2 and mtvU from the Austin Music Hall in Austin, Texas, during the South by Southwest Musical Festival, according to the MTV email.
Listeners can vote online until March 1 at http://radiowoodie.ratemyprofessors.com/ as many times as they want.
In addition, WSBU has compiled PDF files of its current and older publications and has hosted them on its website at http://wsbufm.net/. These include past issues of The WSBU Beat, The Buzz Beat and The Buzzworthy, all available for download for free. St. Bonaventure alumni are encouraged to email the station at email@example.com with any past publications WSBU may be missing on the website.
They're back. More than three years since the ground-breaking pay-what-you-please release of 2007's In Rainbows, Radiohead unceremoniously announced their eighth studio album, The King of Limbs, less than a week before its downloadable release. CD and LP versions of the album will be available in March, while what the band calls the first "newspaper album," including 600 small pieces of artwork, will ship in May.
As for the music itself, it's pure Radiohead. It's more the spacey, spooky Kid A sound than the tighter rock of Hail to the Thief and In Rainbows, starting with the loopy "Bloom."
The album showcases Phil Selway's drumming as well as any, and the album's second track, "Morning Mr. Magpie" is no exception. Frontman Thom Yorke's voice induces chills as he shrieks "You've got some nerve, coming here."
It may take many more listens to fully evaluate and understand this latest effort, but all early signs look positive to me. Few acts know how to generate excitement over their material like Radiohead.
Listen to the album's first single, "Lotus Flower":
Shoegazey beach pop seems to be the name of the game in indie music these days, and who better to lead it than some crazy cool surfer chicks with dreamy voices?
Is/Is fits right in with contemporaries Best Coast and Dum Dum Girls, with the fuzzy guitar layers and pretty half-whiny vocals, but also recalls the early dream pop of My Bloody
Valentine. Ethereal and cloudy, this trio of garage-beach thumpers transcends the trivial and aims a bit higher than just the lifeguard’s lookout tower.
“So Long” is a swirly dreamer with a steady backbeat, perpetuated by groovy percussion. “Pretty Girl” rolls along with a pounding fuzz-bass riff atop crashing cymbal-snare sex. The punky “Eating Hourglasses” is a beach-punk anthem straight from the garage that will have all the stoned surfers bobbing their heads at the show.
Is/Is is loud, aggressive and a tad angry, but, most importantly, Is/Is is euphonious—the prime example of a beautiful mess of sounds fitting together perfectly.
Listen to the dreamy "So Long":
Shed any musical philosophy you may have had, because Shedding’s Tear In the Sun in an exploratory journey through the cyclical nature of time and space leaving the listener feeling like they’ve transcended to become the Buddha, himself.
One man artist, Connor Bell has been constructing cacophonies of psychedelia from his home in Louisville, Kentucky for over 10 years. His newest, Tear In the Sun, is reminiscent of Hinduism and Buddhism, taking the listener through the karmic wheel with elongated harmonies, and quivering baroque accordions.
The first song on the album, “Disconnect,” causes the listener to do exactly that, as the first minute of the song mirrors the dull continuous beep of a fire alarm. What sounds like bagpipes, accordions, and bass soon follows creating a harmony that will preface the entirety of the album. The addition of scarce lyrics is done in electronic harmony with the musical layers, keeping the voice as part of the rhythm, never breaking the overall atmosphere.
Tear In The Sun is an interesting album that shouldn’t be overlooked because of its avant garde sound. Bell’s interesting approach to the origin of sound and harmony throws something new into the mix, giving the cylindrical swirl of music a new flavor as it engulfs the senses.
Stream the album below:
Folk-rock trio The Caves Singers returns for a third full release, No Witch, following 2007’s Invitation Songs and 2009’s Welcome Joy. After two albums under Matador Records, No Witch marks The Cave Singers’ first release under Jagjaguar. Featuring a shirtless bearded man apparently counting fingers on the caver, No Witch has a distinctive soft and bohemian feel.
The first single and third track on the album, “Black Leaf” instantly jumps out as the most upbeat of No Witch’s first half. The Cave Singers adeptly use a delicate mix of acoustic and electric sounds in an almost Tallest Man on Earth-like manner.
“Haystacks” strikes as a fun, catchy folk jam with a harmonica, acoustic guitars and harmonies that will make you just want to dance. The Cave Singers do a fine job of countering the upbeat folk dance songs with soft melodies, like in “Swim Club,” that accentuate singer Pete Quirk’s gravelly delivery.
Listen to "Swim Club":
Get out your kites, and prepare to start flying, children! The indie-tronic beat and banging tune of Win Win’s 2011, self-titled album takes the psyche on quite the whirlwind adventure.
“Future Again (Oakland)” begs the question, “where are we going?” Synthesized voices swoon “Living a lie, looking for mine, standing in line, wasting my time,” taking dramatic breaks occasionally and disrupting. Listeners do not know what may come next.
Roll around on the floor, select a cuddle buddy and listen in silence to “Release RPM.” Most likely, your mind will drift away to hollow thoughts, but the thizzing feelings of (self?) discovery links themselves to the song. And so the head bobs continue.
Lacking lyrics, keyboard and synthesizers dominate “Distort Reality,” contributing to the mental rollercoaster. Nonetheless, it best exemplifies the rave energy. Crank up the volume and bass, and follow the night’s stars for a drive.
Win Win comprises of an unpredictable mix of synths, keeping it playful and leaving listeners curious enough to want to hear more.
Check out "Release RPM":
Hailing from London, England, Banjo or Freakout shows the softer side of pop with their motley mix of lo-fi electronica and gentle acoustic in their new self-titled album.
The album seeps serenity with haunting, gender-ambiguous vocals and swirling mixtures of muted piano and guitar. “Dear Me” begins with just that, emulating a trip down the rabbit hole and into a land of pop-psychedelia. The listener spins in a twirl of repeated lyrics, riffs and avant-garde intrusions of sound, with hushed hums bringing the song to a close. “Go Ahead” is the most upbeat song on the album, integrating the occasional horn section to play off the casual interludes of acoustic guitar which appear again in “105.”
Overall, the album is a nice way to just escape for a while. The smooth sounds and quiet vocals make Banjo or Freakout the perfect soothing soundtrack for relaxation and meditation.
Listen to "105":
Here’s a confident band—one not afraid to layer abrasive textures, one unashamed of palpable psychedelic-blues-folk references, one having obvious fun.
On Akron/Family II: The Cosmic Birth And Journey, things seem to congeal. There’s a certain flavor that runs its course throughout, although each track stands alone as some sort of anthem to youth and that untouchable, unmatchable, emotion of being carefree.
The imagination here instantly grabs and shakes, unwilling to let go. No more is Akron/Family dependent on soft, acoustic arrangements. The gaps and expanses The Cosmic Birth fills could span canyon-sized holes. The air in the mix leaves room enough to believe.
And yet there’s a simplicity to the creativity—to the madness. The harmonies recall late-night campfires. But there’s romp; there’s fanfare. The album pushes elders aside and calls its friends into the room. Maturity takes a backseat, yet somehow acts as a non-annoying entity; the band’s craft came from some tenure, evidently.
It’s refreshing to hear, feel, and see a band thinking in album terms. The songs reach beyond themselves far enough to hint at their followers, and none seems too intent on calling much attention. “So It Goes” immediately clutches an audience’s throat with heavy hooks and unapologetic symphony. “Silly Bears” uses hard beats and crunch. “Another Sky” employs otherworldly tones and half-moans.
And yet they mesh. Everything interlocks.
The latter half of the band’s name sticks this time around. It’s a give-and-take experience, so join in. Welcome.
Listen to "So It Goes":