WOBC has a lot of records. It’s a well-known fact that if you line up all the vinyl the WOBC vault has, it will circle the equator three times. If you stacked all of the records on top of each other, you will reach the exosphere. The weight of all of our vinyl will crush the Eiffel Tower. The combined speed of the RPM of our vinyl is enough to go back in time. So what to do with all these records? Well, sometimes they sit around on the third floor of Wilder — lonely… unseen… untouched. Sometimes, though, they get taken out and played on air! And sometimes, they’re corralled and examined and analyzed by “Vinyl Workgroup,” or “those geeky losers.” Well here’s a quick sampling of stuff you might not know is in the WOBC vault…
So the vault has, among other things, an incredible selection of Anthony Braxton records, something like 10 or 15 of his most important stuff from the 70s and 80s. This is fantastic. “For Alto” was maybe his first big record, from 1968 — it’s more than an hour of just him and a saxophone. An alto saxophone. I’m bad at writing about music I like, so I’ll just give it to you. This one is “To Pianist Cecil Taylor.” (We have some of Cecil in the vault too.)
There’s this section at the end of all the pop stuff that’s called “Anthologies.” Mostly it’s record companies in the 60s and 70s sending samples of their artists to WOBC. Warner and Reprise happened to do one of these in 1971 called, for whatever reason, “Non-Dairy Creamer.” There’s usually a reason these people needed some extra publicity on the labels’ parts, but it’s always a great artifact. Here’s a prog-rock band called “Curved Air,” and it quickly becomes pretty obvious that the song is called “It Happened Today.”
Clarence Clemons made a solo album. He actually apparently made quite a few, and of course in the vast ocean of mostly anonymous, mostly mediocre 80s rock the vault contains it would stand to reason that you’d find a Clarence Clemons solo album. This one is from his debut effort, with “The Red Bank Rockers.” This song’s called “A Man in Love,” and yeah, it kind of sounds like Springsteen. It’s not bad.
The cover band showcase was great. Not only was it fun, but the bands seemed to have genuinely put some work into actually sounding good. I can’t say I had any favorites, but the Shakira cover band, Shakir A’neal sounded awesome.
After the show, I caught up with lead singer, Carla, and lead Guitarist, Maxim, and asked them a few cover band related questions:
Why did you choose to cover Shakira and how did the band name come about? Max and Carla were sitting out in wilder bowl, postponing our midterm studying, and as soon as we started talking about the cover band show case, we immediately thought of Shakira. We knew the energy was right. There were really no other options, just Shakira. It was perfect. We asked a few passerby if they’d be in the band. None of them ended up in the band. But they were all extremely interested. The band name is just a hybrid between Shakira and Shaquille O’neal. There’s really not much to it.
What songs did you cover and why did you pick those particular songs? We covered “Wherever, Whenever,” the Spanish version of “Objection (Tango),” and “Hips Don’t Lie,” which medley-ed into “Underneath Your Clothes.” The first song was a given. For the second song, we thought it was necessary to do a true Spanish ballad, given that our singer was well versed in Spanish, and Shakira herself is practically fluent. “Hips Don’t Lie” was a crowd pleaser. And then Max was hanging with a Shakira fan late into the night at Tank, and she expressed the need for “Underneath Your Clothes.”
What was your general impression of the cover band showcase and how did you feel about your performance? Wow! Wow! Wow! We wished that we could be more aggressive in the venue, but given the floor was nearly breaking, we understood that this wasn’t an option. Other bands were great. [We] couldn’t hear any vocalists. Maroon Four killed it. We really messed up “Hips Don’t Lie,” but the crowd was too drunk to care, so that was awesome.
Will we see Shakir A’neal again? You’ll definitely see us hanging out on campus. And we might not all be together again, but individually you’ll definitely see us.