Map of the WOBC Library designed by the wondrous Claire Kotarski
Library workgroup specializes in maintaining and exploring the immense and diverse WOBC Music Library on Saturdays from 4-5pm. Check out some of these gems that our librarians were able to find among the thousands of CDs, LPs, cassettes, and 45s that the station has to offer! Wanna learn more about the WOBC library or explore it for yourself? Come hang out with library workgroup or email WOBC Librarian Becca Winer at firstname.lastname@example.org!
Danny: Mogwai – Happy Songs for Happy People Happy Songs for Happy People displays a mid-period Mogwai at their finest. It boasts the rousing buildups of Young Team, but also offers electronic-tinged moments that suggest the krauty weirdness of later records. Super deep cut – I don’t know why more people don’t love this album.
Sabina: Hole – Celebrity Skin
Hole helped me get through my freshman year. In Celebrity Skin, their raw sound is more polished and upbeat than in their earlier work, but the angst is ever-present.
Julia S: Joy Division – Closer
I used to listen to this with my dad while he taught me how to drive. He’d tell me about being a DJ and booking bands at Carnegie Mellon, and I’d run a red light or forget to use my turn signal because his stories were too distracting.
Matt: Mountain Goats – Why You All So Thief?
Julia B: Talking Heads – This Must Be The Place
I chose a 45 of “This Must Be The Place (Naive Melody)” by Talking Heads. It’s one my favorite songs from one of my favorite bands and just the other day, my dad was telling me about when he saw them live at Finney Chapel when he was at Oberlin in 1979.
Becca: Talking Heads – Fear of Music
I also chose Talking Heads because if there’s anything I love more than workgroup snacks, it’s workgroup jams to Tina Weymouth bass riffs. This was the first album that made me feel like the coolest kid in school when I listened to it while romping around my middle school hallways – a very, very special connection. Finding it in the WOBC Library (in many different formats) made me want to bop and flop my way over to Social Studies just like the good ol’ days. Wow this album is the best ever.
Owen: Gong- Radio Gnome Invisible Pt. 2: Angel’s Egg
Cool record, from a very eccentric British Canterbury-Scene prog-rock band. Not the best of the Radio Gnome Invisible trilogy, but it was the only one in the vault. It’s still pretty cool nonetheless. The band’s founder, Daevid Allen, passed away recently at age 77.
The Flying Burrito Brothers – The Gilded Palace of Sin and Burrito Deluxe
“I think it was in pop.”
-special guest librarian Julia S’s twin sister
Lya: Tim Buckley – The Dream Belongs To Me
NSFW: Tim Buckley’s voice makes all of my internal organs melt into a puddle of orgasmic liquid wonder. I only recently got into him when I started looking into artists to play on my psych/prog folk radio show this semester. I think “Sing a Song For You” off this album is really beautiful. If you’re into beautiful wonderful passionate things, you should check out the better Buckley. ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤
While reorganizing the Metal Vault over the course of the last few years, Metal Workgroup got to chance to pick through a lot of forgotten favorites and new discoveries. The workgroup plans to continue featuring albums found in the vault over the course of the semester. Here are a few of the releases we’ve found noteworthy, written by the members of the workgroup:
Redemption – Snowfall on Judgment Day
Redemption are a power/prog metal band with no pretension. Let that sink in a second. Man’o’war: totally earnest power metal band with music about the pictures from DnD manuals. Dream Theater: so earnest about technicality that their name is a shorthand Guitar Center hell.
Even by the standard of sincerity for those groups, Redemption is honest. They have lyrics like “And in the solitude I’ve crafted for myself/I cry a single tear for beauty left unfelt.” Every song has keyboard solos that sound like a Final Fantasy game (Redemption are really a key player’s band). And it’s cool! It’s neat to listen to music that sounds like the people making it enjoyed it. Bonus, the drum performances are great! The technicality is there, but it avoids sounding like someone worshipped too long at the House of Peart.
The crispness of the production will be divisive. Snowfall has no dirt, and sometimes feels like it was engineered by a drum sequencer. If you need raw production, it’s not for you. Most of the songs drag a little; the median track length is about 6 and half minutes. The bloat comes from parts being repeated a few dozen times too many, so pace yourself. But the pearl is worth the price. Unironically liking earnest stuff is hard nowadays. Just give a track or two an honest shot.
Soilent Green – A String of Lies
Clocking in at 11 minutes and 26 seconds, this 1998 EP from grindcore mainstay Soilent Green packs a fierce punch. The band sounds tight as hell, and they have no trouble making split-second transitions from brutal, straight grind sections to slow, sludgey riffs that you can’t help but bang your head to. The vocals, split between high pitched shrieks and deep growls, are unrelenting, and their consistency ties the various changes in tempo/energy within each song together. A String of Lies sums up pretty well what I love about good grindcore: concise, no-frills songwriting, excellent musicianship and a fearless intensity which makes it a lot of fun to listen to. Favorite track: Cat With Nine Claws.
Ana Kefr – Volume One
2009 was a time of transition for new NWOAHM bands. Artists found themselves unsure how to present themselves, caught between the fading remnants of groove and metalcore, the derivative but ever-popular crush of deathcore, and the pretension of the burgenoning djent movement. The lack of a clear direction led bands to develop previously unheard-of genre-bending, for better and for worse LINK. LA’s Ana Kefr were one such band that successfully managed to cobble together seemingly disparate elements. Volume One, their 2009 debut, is technical but not ostentatious, melodic but not pandering, heavy but not contrived. Don’t let that make you think that the albumis an easy pill to swallow: it’s all over the place, sliding back and forth between gritty Animosity-esque breakdowns, baroque riffs & vocals that reek of Nekrogoblikon, and keyboards that wouldn’t be out of place on an Ovid’s Withering album. Unconventional and underproduced, Volume One might not appeal to all, but its unique blend of stylistic elements will undoubtedly resonate with those who do take the time to delve into the album.
Samael – Solar Soul
Samael are a Swiss black/industrial metal group. While on our dangerous excavation into the vault we stumbled across their album Solar Soul. As the genre would suggest, Samael combine elements of black and industrial metal. The instrumentals are slow but heavy, combining guitars and drums with elements of middle eastern music (such as the oud). The vocals are smooth and honeyed with just a few bees left in to pack a sting.
Did you know that the WOBC station houses thousands of vinyl records? 12″ and 7″, 33 and 45, pressed in 2014 and 1964, pop and rock and jazz and folk and R&B and classical and punk, world famous and unimaginably obscure. Every week, vinyl workgroup convenes to search through the depths of the WOBC vinyl vault and find some hidden gems you otherwise would never discover. Here’s a recent sampling of the best we’ve found.
Luther Allison: “The Little Red Rooster” from Bad News is Coming (1973). Arkansan blues guitarist – began by playing with Howlin’ Wolf and Freddie King in the late 50s, eventually found himself as one of the few blues artists signed to Motown in the early 70s, when he recorded his album.
Every week, vinyl workgroup dives into the deepest depths of the labyrinthine world of WOBC’s vinyl vault. The collection, stretching back to the 60s, is of a rare kind – it doesn’t just have the hits and the classics, it has the albums singles companies wanted to be hits, the double albums they wanted to be classics, the strange compilations, the complete musical failures that quickly went into obscurity, the undiscovered gems that never saw much light. Here are some particular interesting ones we picked out – and DJs, if you want to play these on your show, you can find them on the “best of vinyl” shelf in the public affairs room.
“Daydreamers” by Nelories, off of Daisy (1994, Sugarfrost) | Japanese alt-indie-ACCORDION-pop duo from the 90s. Weren’t expecting that part, were you.
“Elephant Stone (7″ Single Version)” by the Stone Roses (1988, Silvertone) | An acid indie rock jam.
“Holotelani” by Nelcy Sedibe off of The Indestructible Beat of Soweto (1985, Shanachie Records) | An important compilation from the 80s of a wide variety of South African artists – never disappoints!
Soul to Soul (1971, Atlantic) | Soundtrack from a film of a 1971 concert in Ghana of American soul, R&B, and rock musicians – Wilson Pickett, Ike & Tina Turner, Santana, Roberta Flack, The Staples Singers and more.
Not a clear win by any means, but The Durutti Column‘s original version is flawless. The intro seems to drag on forever, but it totally works. Sort of goes by the idea of just enough, no more + no less; sparse strings, sparse vocals + the overall being deserted on your honeymoon in a cabana vibe. Compare this to Espers‘s take — the wind pipe or whatever… very nice. Psychedelic, airy, but a bit too “emotional”. I prefer the original — super melancholic but not too burnt about it. That said, the wooden chimes at the end are pretty cool too.