Category Archives: Music

Music Reviews from WOBC staff. Includes Best New Music and From the WOBC Vault.

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)

Concert Board Presents: Northern Ohio Hip-Hop @ The 'Sco 4/12/2011

On Tuesday, April 12, Concert Board presents a night of local underground hip-hop featuring Mista Leo, Yung Slink, Gator & Kidd, Srill Gates, Pro, and J-Storm. The show costs $2 w/ OCID and $4 without, and will take place at the ‘Sco. All artists hail from either East Cleveland or Lorain. Facebook Event

Mista Leo – Mista

Gator & Kidd – Smoke House

Yung Slink – Still Counting

Srill Gates – Stunt When I Wanna

-Brian Becker

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)

Interview with Steve Lampert

Steve Lampert - Venus Perplexed
Steve Lampert - Venus Perplexed

Part of what I love about my show, Somethin’ Else, on WOBC is that I am able to share music of relatively unknown, and certainly under appreciated, jazz musicians with a diverse audience of listeners. This past week I featured the profound music of Steve Lampert on the show.

Mr. Lampert has two albums out under his own name. The first, Venus Perplexed, was released on Steeplechase in 2004. The second, Music From There, was released on Bridge Records in 2007. I do believe that both of these albums are essentials in any jazz or new music collection. They are vastly unique and exciting pieces of music.

I was also fortunate to be able to be in touch with Mr. Lampert to ask him a few questions about his music, which draws on very diverse influences. He very willingly responded and I am happy to share this interview with the WOBC community.

-Aidan Plank via WOBC Jazz

Aidan Plank: Is there anything you’d like the WOBC audience to know about your music?

Steve Lampert: I’d like the audience to know that it really means a great deal to me that they would take the time to listen to my music and/or read this interview.

AP: Do you think of yourself as a trumpet player or a composer?

SL: I think of myself as a composer/trumpeter in that order.

AP: I love your music and it also perplexes me (which is part of what I love about it). I can’t pin you down. When I hear a lot of musicians play I can often say, “well, this person has listened to a ton of so-and-so’s music”. When I hear your compositions and your improvising, I can’t do that. So what I want to know is, who influences, or has influenced your music?
Continue reading Interview with Steve Lampert

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

Sugar Ray Ballard Live on "It's About Time"

Tune in to WOBC this Thursday from 2-4PM for Sugar Ray Ballard’s live performance on “It’s About Time” with Mr. P, Baby Blue, and Betty Crocker. On Sunday Stella, Elissa, and I got a chance to see Ray bring down the house at Richard’s Premier Lounge in Lorain. We had a great time and can’t wait to hear him on the radio. Make sure to check out these videos of Sugar Ray on youtube.

-Will Floyd