All posts by Music Director

Review: Kellarissa – Moons of Neptune

Kellarissa - Moons of Neptune
Kellarissa - Moons of Neptune

Kellarissa (nèe Larissa Loyva) is hardly a new face on the music scene, but she’s new to WOBC. An alum of P:ano, The Choir Practice, and Gigi, she’s currently on tour with Destroyer in support of her sophomore effort, Moons of Neptune. It’s a distinctive, keyboard-and-vocal driven album that immediately sets itself apart from, well, nearly everything that I’ve heard this semester.

The formula for these songs is easy enough: angular synth or vocal line is introduced, but it’s fleshed out over a normal pop-song timeframe (3 to 5 minutes). Apart from that, there’s room for a ton of variation. It’s a very sparse record – there’s little else beside Loyva’s dark soprano (multitracked), her synthesizer, and a drum machine, but the lack of bells-and-whistles means that her compositions take center stage. This kind of parsimony lends Loyva’s music a kind of slick, sleek quality. Rather than lumbering through these cuts, each one feels effortlessly crafted (a masterful trick, no doubt). Less is more on this album; Loyva seems to take sonic cues from Nico’s chilling organ opus The Marble Index, but not emotional ones. Rather than the Bergmanesque, nightmarish quality of Marble Index, Moons of Neptune has pleasant moments. Even the more unsettling moments – “Blood + Sand,” “Sisu” – don’t terrify in the way that Nico does.  That’s a credit, not a knock: her voice is flat-out gorgeous, and it’s a pleasure to listen to.

This is not a pop album, per se; there are choruses, there are hooks, but they don’t take center stage the way they would on other pop records. That’s not to say that the songs are subpar: far from it. Kellarissa knows what she’s doing, and she does it better than most people working in her territory. “Flatlands” is even radio-friendly. But unlike a lot of pop songs, you can’t fast-forward to the chorus – or even to another verse – without missing something interesting. Overall, one of my favorite releases of the semester, if not my favorite.

Flatlands – Kellarissa, from “Moons of Neptune”

RIYL: Zola Jesus, Juliana Barwick, Nico’s Marble Index

(Matt Orenstein)

Top 30: 3/22/11

Those Darlins
Those Darlins

Top 30 is  a weekly section of the blog where we show the 30 most played artists and albums on WOBC. Each entry links to the artist’s MySpace (or other free music player) so you can check out some of this music for yourself!

1. Toro y Moi – Underneath the Pine
2. Lykke Li – Wounded Rhymes
3. Dum Dum Girls – He Gets Me High
4. Asobi Seksu – Fluorescence
5. Matt & Kim – Sidewalks
6. PJ Harvey – Let England Shake
7. Deerhoof – Deerhoof vs. Evil
8. James Blake – James Blake
9. Wanda Jackson – The Party Ain’t Over
10. Yuck – Yuck
11. Sims – Bad Time Zoo
12. Those Darlins- Screws Get Loose *^
13. Gil Scott Heron & Jaime xx – We’re New Here
14. Lupe Fiasco – Lasers *
15. The Pains of Being Pure at Heart – Belong *^ You know, I’m not a big fan of naming your band after what your songs are about. That’s what album titles are for. Can you imagine how we’d feel about the Beatles if they’d only sang about entomology? There are exceptions to every rule (The Beach Boys come to mind), but for the most part it rubs me the wrong way. That said, I’m glad I didn’t let my own personal prejudices get in the way of checking this band out. Belong has been one of my favorite records to come across my desk in a very long time. Given the Alan Moulder and Flood production credit, comparisons to the Smashing Pumpkins are all but inevitable. But that doesn’t do this record justice. The songwriting and the sound take more cues from My Bloody Valentine’s early stuff (Ecstasy, namely), or Belle And Sebastian’s Boy With The Arab Strap. I’m a sucker for solid, honest songwriting and a razor-thin veneer of reverb and fuzz–if your tastes are like mine you’ll like Belong as much as I do.
16. Papercuts – Fading Parade
17. Teengirl Fantasy – 7am
18. Fashawn – Higher Learning vol. 2 *
19. J Mascis – Several Shades of Why
20. Royksopp – Senior *
21. Nite Jewel – It Goes Through Your Head *
22. Cloud Nothings – Cloud Nothings
23. Jad Fair – Beautiful Songs: The Best of Jad Fair
24. Mike Watt- Hyphenated Man
25. Kellarissa – Moon of Neptune *^
26. A Classic Education – Hey There Stranger * They’re coming to the Grog Shop on March 25 (that’s this Friday)!
27. David Lowery – The Palace Guards
28. Psychic Paramount – II
29. Carolina Chocolate Drops /Luminescent Orchestrii – Self Titled *
30. Computer Magic – Electronic Fences *^

* = New to the top 30
^ = new to WOBC

(Matt Orenstein)

Top 30: 3/15/11

Asobi Seksu
Asobi Seksu

Top 30 is  a weekly section of the blog where we show the 30 most played artists and albums on WOBC. Each entry links to the artist’s MySpace (or other free music player) so you can check out some of this music for yourself!

1. Esperanza Spalding – Chamber Music Society
2. Warpaint – The Fool*
3. Toro y Moi – Underneath tbe Pine
4. Asobi Seksu – Fluorescense
5. Julianna Barwick – The Magic Place
6. Lykke Li – Wounded Rhymes
7. Kurt Vile – Smoke Ring for my Halo *^
8. Dum Dum Girls – He Gets Me High
9. The Babies – The Babies
10. Brian Eno – Small Craft on a Milk Sea
11. Colleen Green – Green One
12. Lamb of God – Wrath
13. Panda Bear – Last Night at the Jetty
14. Wanda Jackson – The Party Ain’t Over *^
15. PJ Harvey – Let England Shake
16. Matt and Kim – Sidewalks
17. Shad – TSOL
18. Baths – The Nothing Nightly/Daily EP
19 . J Mascis – Several Shades of Why
20. Oneohtrix Point Never – Memory Vague
21. And You Will Know Us by the Trail of Dead – Tao of the Dead
22. Sims – Bad Time Zoo
23. James Blake – James Blake
24. Psychic Paramount – II *^
25. Jad Fair – Beautiful Songs: The Best of Jad Fair
26. Deerhoof – Deerhoof vs. Evil
27. Tim Hecker – Ravedeath, 1972
28. Papercuts – Fading Parade
29. Air Waves – Dungeon Dots
30. David Lowery – The Palace Guards *^

* = New to the top 30
^ = new to WOBC

Top 30: 3/7/11

Toro y Moi
Toro y Moi's Chazwick Bundick

Top 30 is  a weekly section of the blog where we show the 30 most played artists and albums on WOBC. Each entry links to the artist’s MySpace (or other free music player) so you can check out some of this music for yourself!

1. Toro Y Moi – Underneath The Pine
2. PJ Harvey – Let England Shake
3. Slayer – World Painted Blood
4. Brian Eno – Small Craft on a Milk Sea
5. Crystal Castles – Crystal Castles II
6. Generationals – Trust EP
7. Rosetta – A Determinism of Morality
8. James Blake – James Blake
9. Faust – Something Dirty
10. Oneotrix Point Never – Returnal
11. Radiohead – The King of Limbs
12. Baths – The Nothing Nightly/Daily EP
13. Das Racist- Sit Down, Man
14. Blu & Exile – Seasons
15. Gil Scott Heron & Jaime xx – We’re New Here
16. Sam Amidon – I See The Sign
17. Tim Hecker – Ravedeath, 1972
18. Colleen Green – Green One
19. Sims – Bad Time Zoo I’m always glad to see Doomtree artists on our charts. I grew up just outside Minneapolis — Doomtree’s stomping grounds — so I’ve got a soft spot for them as I do for most Twin Cities music that we get around here. I’ve been passively keeping tabs on a lot of the label’s artists for a while, and I have yet to find a bad Doomtree record. Check out the link above if you want to get deeper into some solid Midwestern Hip-Hop.
20. Parting Gifts – Strychnine Dandelions
21. Jad Fair – Beautiful Music: The Best of Jad Fair
22. DVAS – Society
23. Dum Dum Girls – He Gets Me High EP
24. Deerhoof – Deerhoof vs. Evil
25. Cloud Nothings – Cloud Nothings
26. Julianna Barwick – The Magic Place
27. Asobi Seksu – Fluorescence
28. Papercuts – Fading Parade
29. Hype Williams – One Nation
30. Lykke Li – Wounded Rhymes

Top 30: 2/28-3/1/11

Julianna Barwick - The Magic Place

Top 30 is  a weekly section of the blog where we show the 30 most played artists and albums on WOBC. Each entry links to the artist’s MySpace (or other free music player) so you can check out some of this music for yourself!

1. James Blake – James Blake
2. Toro Y Moi – Underneath the Pine
3. Generationals – Trust EP
4. Deerhunter – Halcyon Digest
5. MGMT – Congratulations
6. Jonathan Richman – O Moon, O Queen of the Night
7. Esperanza Spalding – Chamber Music Society (She’s playing in Oberlin on March 9!)
8. Tim Hecker – Ravedeath, 1972
9. Whitechapel – A New Era of Corruption
10. High Wolf & Savage Young Taterbug – Bored Fortress
11. Dntel – After Parties 1 & 2
12. Lamb of God – Ashes of the Wake
13. Dum Dum Girls – He Gets Me High
14. Asobi Seksu – Fluorescence
15. Jad Fair – Beautiful Music: The Best of Jad Fair
16. Julian Lynch – Mare
17. Ariel Pink’s Haunted Graffiti – Before Today
18. Papercuts – Fading Parade
19. Air Waves – Dungeon Dots
20. Radiohead – King of Limbs
21. Cloud Nothings – Cloud Nothings
22. Parting Gifts – Strychnine Dandelions
23. Baths – Nothing Nightly/Daily EP
24. Belle and Sebastian – Write About Love
25. Shad – TSOL (Bonus Version)
26. Neil Young – Le Noise
27. Sufjan Stevens – The Age of Adz
28. Deerhoof – Deerhoof vs. Evil
29. …And You Will Know Us By the Trail of Dead – Tao of the Dead
30. Julianna Barwick – The Magic Place

(Matt Orenstein)

Top 5 Adds: 2/28/11 – 3/1/11

Dum Dum Girls - He Gets Me High
Dum Dum Girls: He Gets Me High

Top 5 Adds is a weekly section of the WOBC Blog that displays the Top 5 most played new albums at the station. Each album links to the band’s myspace, Last.fm, or other music player so you can check them out for yourself!

1. Dum Dum Girls – He Gets Me High EP – I’d been waiting for this record for a while … those of you who saw them play with Girls in Oberlin can attest that this band is the real deal. The layer of fuzz on the DDG’s earlier releases is gone, but the clarity of this album showcases just how talented this band is. Includes a cover of The Smiths’ “There is a Light That Never Goes Out” that’s pretty faithful to the original.

2. Jad Fair – Beautiful Music: The Best of Jad Fair – This album was my introduction to Fair’s music. Never knew how much I had missed. This album is a three-disc set that runs about a hundred songs (and some change). Idiosyncratic without being cutesy, pop-y without being saccharine. Though a hundred songs is a bit much for a best-of comp, odds are you’ll find something in this bunch to grab onto.

3. Colleen Green – Green One – Solid record, but the track “Dance The Night Away” stands head and shoulders above the rest.

4. And You Will Know Us By the Trail of Dead – Tao of the Dead

5. The Babies – The Babies – Shambolic jangle-pop in the vein of The Bitters, The Mantles, and even chart-mate Jad Fair.

(Matt Orenstein)

Top 30: 2/22/11

Can you find Sexxx Luthor? He has lost himself.

Welcome to the Top 30 section of the WOBC Blog! A big part of my job is reporting to CMJ what exactly WOBC plays every week. This chart shows the 30 most played albums, while the Adds chart (posted yesterday) tells CMJ what of the most recent batch of albums we’ve been spinning most. So this post, like the Top 5 Adds, will come at you weekly. So here’s what we’ve been spinning:

1. Radiohead – King of Limbs
2. James Blake – James Blake
3. Deerhunter – Halcyon Digest
4. Baths – Nothing Nightly/Daily EP
5. Teen Daze – Four More Years
6. Sufjan Stevens – The Age of Adz
7. Homostupids – The Load
8. Memory Tapes – Seek Magic
9. Toro y Moi – Underneath the Pine
10. Ducktails – Ducktails
11. Beach Fossils – Beach Fossils
12. Teengirl Fantasy – 7am
13. Tobacco – Fucked Up Friends
14. Woods – At Echo Lake
15. Ariel Pink’s Haunted Graffiti – Before Today
16. Bassnectar – Bootleg Kutz
17. Smith Westerns – Dye it Blonde
18. Black Keys – Brothers
19. PJ Harvey – Let England Shake
20. Cloud Nothings – Cloud Nothings
21. The Arcade Fire – The Suburbs
22. Sun City Girls – Funeral Mariachi
23. Panda Bear – Last Night at the Jetty (single)
24. Air Waves – Dungeon Dots
25. Shad – TSOL (Bonus Version)
26. Salva – Complex Housing
27. Deerhoof – Deerhoof vs. Evil
28. Asobi Seksu – Fluorescence
29. Sims – Bad Time Zoo
30. Elk – Let’s Get Married

(Matt Orenstein)