Have you scavenged through the folk vault recently? Dusty but thrilling. These compilation records are a real jam for those admirers of alternative country from the late eighties. The albums were released separately and a few years later combined in CD form. (Note: Volume 3 was also released but not in the WOBC vault) The musicians featured were rising alt country stars in Bakersfield, California. Bakersfield has cultivated the sound of a few notable country music stars, Buck Owens and Merle Haggard for example. The city is even noted for a ‘Bakersfield sound’ which originated in honky-tonk bars in the 50s. Take a listen.
About a month ago the Nashville five-piece Honey Locust played a show at Fairchild Chapel with Calvin Johnson and the Hive Dwellers and Erin Earthling. The band also kindly came by the WOBC studios and played a few new tunes off of their new release Fear Is A Feeling EP.
We got a chance to talk to the band about their favorite experiences on tour and how they each know how to play so many different instruments. Honey Locust’s five members never seem to play the same instrument twice. During the live broadcast we saw a viola, banjo, piano, organ, accordion, guitar, ukulele, cello, mandolin, percussion, and bass.
You can find more information about the band and get a copy of their EP at their website. You can also stream the EP on their bandcamp.
Elbow recently released their follow up to the Mercury Prize winning and highly successful The Seldom Seen Kid in 2008. Their latest effort, Build a Rocket Boys!, is a different take on their last, arena anthem record. Before the recording process, Guy Garvey, the lead singer and primary songwriter of the group, moved back to his hometown where he grew up, which is thought to have inspired Build a Rocket Boys! Many of the album’s themes reflect on the ideas of nostalgia, missing the warmth of family life and generally setting a more reflective and introspective mood. Though struggling to live up to their previous success, Guy along with band members Mark Potter who’s on guitars, Craig Potter on keyboards, Pete Turner on bass, and Richard Jupp on drums, embark on a creative journey that takes them to places they have not explored before. Guy writes about the realities of being middle aged, about childhood dreams, and how everyday people seek something much grander throughout life. This record is proof that Elbow still knows how to use textures to create a beautiful ambiance that is always different from what they have done before. What differentiates this group from many others is the propensity of the lyrics to being real and genuine with harmonies that can touch many people on several different levels. This is an imaginative, yet heartwarming record that echoes with textured guitars, organs, electronics, orchestral percussions, and of course the staple to most of Elbow’s music, the frequent use of the youth choir.
Last week the annual WOBC Block Party was moved indoors due to rain. But Knomadik didn’t let that dampen our spirits: the septet broadcast live on the air from the lounge at the WOBC studios to an audience of dedicated WOBC listeners and DJs. The band creates a unique sound borrowing elements from hip-hop, electro, funk, gospel, progressive rock, and jazz. Check out their live set on WOBC below!
De’Sean Jones: Saxophone, EWI, Synth
Aaron Janik: Trumpet, Effects
Conrad Reeves: Electric Guitar, Effects
Chase Jackson: Vibraphone, Electric Bass, Synth
Shea Pierre: Keyboards, Synth
Matt Adomeit: Electric and Upright Bass
Peter Manheim: Acoustic and Electronic Drums
Listening to Vacation is like taking a nighttime walk through a dark forest and breaking up with your girlfriend at the same time. It’s soft, slow, perfectly melodic and filled with organic nature sounds. With only 3 songs and just under 15 minutes, Shlohmo’s gives us his tokened low-fi beat junkie nod-alongs, but in a more cohesive way than ever before.
It has been less than a year since the young L.A. producer’s Bad Vibes was releasedbut the improvement is clear.The 3-song EP takes his producing to a new level. Rather than a full album that is filled with long stretches of ambient noise relatively inaccessible music, Shlohmo gives us a shorter set that is pure melodies and hazy beats.
“The Way U Do” opens the album with a driving beat and the trademark synth-guitar melody, reminiscent of “Places”. “Wen uuu” and “Rained the Whole Time” are slower, less driving beats, but maintain a constant feeling throughout the album. Give it a listen.
This is an album that I completely forgot existed until it magically appeared on my new ipod. The knowledge that I did not listen to it at all for several years pushes me into a deep despair and feeling of loss that can only be rectified by listening to this album.
Unlike many pop-punk albums, “All Killer, No Filler” doesn’t try to be anything but itself. It’s not hardcore, and doesn’t pretend to be. None of the members have any sort of real life experience to write about, and it shows in the lyrics. The album was clearly fun to write (“Pain for Pleasure” was allegedly written in several minutes on the toilet) and fun to record, and because of this, is fun to listen to as well. Everything, from the joking (I hope) introduction to the unnecessary and disjointed ending track, to the continually self-depreciating lyrics contributes to a cacophony of nostalgic experiences and pure enjoyment.
Listen to “All Killer” again, and pay particular attention to “Fat Lip”, recounting the feelings of intense identification and teenage rebellion that you felt listening to the song when it first came out, even though you were like 11 years old, and the furthest you would actually go in begin rebellious was maybe not spending as long as you should have on your math homework that you were doing a couple of days early just in case. Also ignore that fact that Whatshisface, the lead singer, married Avril Lavigne. That shit’s just embarrassing.
All Killer, No Filler
01. Introduction to Destruction
02. Nothing on My Back
03. Never Wake Up
04. Fat Lip
07. In Too Deep
09. Handle This
10. Crazy Amanda Bunkface
11. All She’s Got
12. Heart Attack
13. Pain For Pleasure
It’s almost that time of year again, and I think you know what time I’m talking about. No it’s not National Brain Tumor Awareness month or time for the annual Eurovision Song Contest to start up again (though both of these things do happen in May… thanks, Wikipedia). It’s something to the average college student that’s perhaps microcosmically speaking as ominous as the condition associated with the former, and in terms of absurdity correlated to level of workload, probably on par with the latter. What I’m talking about is some scary stuff. In fact, I’m dreading its imminence this very second as I’m typing these words to you (I really should be working on my art history paper!)…
Yeah, I’m talking about FINALS…
Ah dreaded, dreaded finals. How I loathe thee. You only come twice a year yet every time you make me want to rock back and forth on the floor of some dark corner of Mudd in a fetal position. Thanks a lot for that. You may be back to wreck havoc on my life in a matter of a few short weeks, but this semester, I have a plan in the form of a playlist. Full of ambient jams, this mix will lull any tendencies towards academic masochism into submission. I’m calling it “Hey You, Stop Breathing Into That Paperbag Or Music to Listen to When You Really Just Want to Crawl Into a Hole But You Should Actually Try to Be Productive”. Pull yourself up off the floor, put on your headphones, and listen in.