11.02.2012

Review: Kendrick Lamar’s “good kid, m.A.A.d. city”

I’m really into rap right now, probably a little too much. After last month’s A$AP Rocky concert, I can’t stop listening. It got to the point that my friends had to sit me down and remind me there is more music to be heard than solely Danny Brown. I realized I had to broaden my pallet; there is such a thing as overplaying an artist. But while staying within the confines of my beloved rap genre, I began to expand, listening to various other artists. In my expansion, I began listening to Kendrick Lamar. As his 2010 album, Section 80, was critically acclaimed, immense hype surrounded his latest release, good kid, m.A.A.d. city. I had to give it a listen. And though I can’t call it groundbreaking, “good kid, m.A.A.d. city” is nonetheless a great album.

Kendrick Lamar – Swimming Pools (Drank)

Although I don’t agree that “good kid, m.A.A.d. city” is the instant classic it has been deemed by various music publications, it still is ultimately a success. The production is varied, encompassing pseudo- electronica and hard guttural beats, with Lamar effectively
navigating his way lyrically through each song. The lyrical content on the album is varied, and while contained mostly in today’s usual rap themes of women, money, poverty, there is creativity in all he says. The sole problem I have with “good Kid, m.A.A.d. city” is that it forces the listener to ask, is Kendrick Lamar really that good or is hip-hop today just that bad? Rappers are often given too much credit; if an artist manages to say something mildly creative or original they are excessively praised. Kendrick Lamar embodies this to an extent. Although in “good kid, m.A.A.d. city,” Kendrick is able to avoid the Lil Wayne pitfall of rhyming “hoes” with “hoes”, overall he struggles to say something new. His lyrics are indeed good, but occasionally formulaic: while Kendrick strives for so-called “intellectual hip-hop,” lines like “I pray my dick get big as the Eiffel tower/so I can f*ck the world for 72 hours” don’t help his cause.

With my “Lil Wayne is killing hip-hop” rant aside, I need to emphasize that, while I don’t view “good kid, m.A.A.d. city” as wildly original, it still is to me the best rap album of the year.
I have no clue what that says about the hip-hop genre as a whole, but regardless, “good kid, m.A.A.d. city” is definitely worth a listen.

-Robert Cornell

10.30.2012

Featured: We Are the Catalyst // Crash Symbols

We Are the Catalyst and Crash Symbols in partnership with WOBC present:

“Dope Mountain Sound”
–a mix tape featuring a cross section of old, new, and unreleased music from the Crash Symbols catalog.

Crash Symbols is a casette label with headquarters in West Virginia and North Carolina. Founders Jheri Evans and Dwight and Liz Pavlovic efforts have gained the attention of publications such as WIRED Magazine, NBC, Altered Zones, Rebel Magazine and many more. Their extensive catalog features recording artists such as Blackbird Blackbird, Beggars in a New Land, SPORTS, Born Gold, Honeydrum, and MillionYoung.

We Are the Catalyst is an emerging network and publication with content generated entirely by and about young artists. The We Are the Catalyst website launches December 5th. Until then catch Catalyst Radio on the air, Thursdays 11am-12pm on WOBC 91.5 FM and check out the We Are the Catalyst Facebook page for media and information about these rising artists.

<3

10.29.2012

WOBC Cover Band Showcase This Friday!

 

The 2nd WOBC showcase is coming up! It’s November 2nd, this Friday!

Cover bands rule, and you can make one with just a few easy steps. First, corral your friends, give them instruments and some wigs (optional), then think of a band name. This part is the most fun. Next, you’ll (probably) want to practice a few times, so you’ll make a big splash on the big stage. WOBC has some big shoes to fill after last year’s event, but this one should be a load of fun!

The showcase will start at 8PM, Friday @ Above Subway and will see 20 student cover bands including:

Rew Reed

Creed Paradise II: Studio on the Park

Avril Ravine

and many more!

And here are some sample ideas for inspiration:

Becker (Beck)

Cockblock Twins (Cocteau Twins)

Crosby, Pills, and Cash (Crosby, Stills, and Nash)

Juggalo Wrestling (Insane Clown Posse)

Smells Like American Spirits (Nirvana)

Steve Chiller Band (Steve Miller Band)

Email kthornto@oberlin.edu for more info and be sure to come out this Friday to the 2nd Annual Cover Band Showcase!

10.28.2012

TOP 30 10/23

MARK FELL Sentinel Objectif Actualite

The Top 30 is a weekly section of the WOBC blog where we highlight the 30 most-played new albums each week. Check out what our DJs are spinning!

1 MARK FELL Sentinel Objectif Actualite
2 DANIEL BACHMAN Seven Pines
3 WILLIAM HOOKER STRINGS 3 A Postcard From The Road
4 DEERHOOF Breakup Song
5 DINOSAUR JR. I Bet On Sky
6 ARIEL PINK’S HAUNTED GRAFFITI Mature Themes
7 SIC ALPS Sic Alps
8 SANTIGOLD Master Of My Make Believe
9 DAN MELCHIOR The Backward Path
10 CULT OF YOUTH Love Will Prevail
11 FUSHITSUSHA Hikari To Nazukeyo
12 SPIRES THAT IN THE SUNSET RISE Ancient Patience Wills It Again Part II
13 BRETT NAUCKE Home By Now
14 CAN The Lost Tapes
15 ROBERT TURMAN Flux
16 THE ORB The Orbserver In The Star House The End
17 DJ RASHAD TEKLIFE Vol. 1: Welcome To The Chi
18 TAME IMPALA Lonerism
19 TRAXMAN Da Mind Of Traxman
20 GODSPEED YOU BLACK EMPEROR Allelujah! Don’t Bend! Ascend!
21 LIGHT ASYLUM Light Asylum
22 MOUNT EERIE Ocean Roar
23 HOW TO DRESS WELL Total Loss
24 DUM DUM GIRLS End Of Daze
25 CAT POWER Sun
26 DAVID BYRNE AND ST. VINCENT Love This Giant
27 C S YEH Transitions
28 LA SERA Sees The Light
29 KAKI KING Glow
30 HOLY OTHER Held

10.28.2012

TOP 30 10/9

Swans - The Seer
The Top 30 is a weekly section of the WOBC blog where we highlight the 30 most-played new albums each week. Check out what our DJs are spinning!

1 FLYING LOTUS Until The Quiet Comes
2 ARIEL PINK’S HAUNTED GRAFFITI Mature Themes
3 WOODS Bend Beyond
4 SWANS The Seer
5 DEERHOOF Breakup Song
6 ANIMAL COLLECTIVE Centipede Hz
7 CULT OF YOUTH Love Will Prevail
8 DINOSAUR JR. I Bet On Sky
9 DRAINOLITH Fighting
10 GRIZZLY BEAR Shields
11 HOLY OTHER Held
12 DAN MELCHIOR The Backward Path
13 SUN ARAW The Inner Treaty
14 FRESH AND ONLYS Long Slow Dance
15 DUM DUM GIRLS End Of Daze
16 HOW TO DRESS WELL Total Loss
17 AARON DILLOWAY/JASON LESCALLEET Grapes And Snakes
18 NEIL YOUNG AND CRAZY HORSE Americana
19 RANGDA Formerly Extinct
20 TEENGIRL FANTASY Tracer
21 MOON DUO Circles
22 THEE OH SEES Putrifiers II
23 TOMUTONTTU HYLYT
24 JOSEPHINE FOSTER Blood Rushing
25 MOUNT EERIE Ocean Roar
26 DAVID BYRNE AND ST. VINCENT Love This Giant
27 GUIDED BY VOICES Class Clown Spots A UFO
28 ALFONSO LOVO La Gigantona
29 OUTER SPACE Akashic Record
30 THE XX Coexist

10.18.2012

My Search for New Music: 50s and 60s Country

School is great, Oberlin is fun, but it’s easy to get sick of everything. I spent about two weeks in a hazy, caffeinated state in a corner of Mudd preparing for finals and writing papers, effectively listening solely to either Girls’ Father, Son, Holy Ghost, James Blake, or Ariel Pink’s Before Today. After finals ended, I started summer with a tired, college-sucks mentality, and above all, I was completely sick of my music library. In trying to relax and de-stress, I went to a lot of movies, laughed a lot, and heard some intriguing soundtracks. Moonrise Kingdom, Wes Anderson’s latest film, particularly helped me in my search for new music, by essentially delving into music of old.

Although Hank Williams is considered the “father of country,” I had never heard his music. As I finished watching Moonrise Kingdom, the two Hank William songs featured in the film, sparked my curiosity; I essentially spent my entire summer listening to 1950’s and 1960’s country. The songs are simple, stripped down, but have meaning and purpose, whether it be the insatiable urge to “hit the road,” or the cliché of finding lost love. This music seems so natural, so pure, and there wasn’t a synthesizer or drum machine to be found, which I found too appealing. I got so enveloped in 1950’s and 1960’s country that I now have a radio show on WOBC solely dedicated to this genre. It’s on at 6am on Wednesday. Below is some good music from the time period, somethings you might hear on my show.

Hank Williams Ramblin’ Man

Lefty Frizzell Saginaw, Michigan

Glen Campbell Wichita Lineman

Marty Robbins El Paso

10.16.2012

The Name Game – Pop’s List of the Week 10/15

p-pop b-bop banana nana bo-bop POP!!! This week is names….roll call!!!

1. Stacey Grove – Marc Bolan & Tyrannosaurus Rex

::: So self-indulgent! This song evokes the classic ‘nice guys finish last’ archetype in a draining, mundane manner. That Stacey Grove must be quite the catch for Bolan to refer to her by her actual name instead of some weirdo 70′s sweet talk. Then again, I think most of us would prefer to partake in some hot love rather than have him get our name straight.

2. Angie – The Rolling Stones

::: The name Angie has never sounded so tragic.  It evokes memories of crying in my car after saying goodbye to my great love.  Just kidding, it only reminds me of the fact that I’ve never had a great love to say goodbye to.  Great song–what a jam.

3. Jocasta – Noah and The Whale

::: I like this song mostly for the clapping.

4. Madeline – Yo La Tengo

::: Slow and sad, but has a warmth to it that still brings a smile to my face.

5. Jasmine – Jai Paul

::: THIS SONG IS HOT. LIKE, REALLY HOT. THERE ISN’T MUCH ELSE TO SAY OTHER THAN HOW HOT THIS SONG IS

6. Vanessa – Grimes

::: Grimes is the queen of pop and the intergalactic princess.  You already love her and you probably already love this song so go ahead and give it another play.  Vanessa is pretty cool too. GRIMEZ4EVR.