This Saturday May 19th is the Zen Tapes Traveling Sleepover–a mini music festival featuring artists from Ann Arbor, Boston, and Oberlin. Eastman Presser a.k.a. Steamship has kindly put together a fantastic mix featuring artists from the lineup. It is a privilege for such talented and critically acclaimed musicians from the D.I.Y. sector of Electronic music to be joining us to wrap up the semester. Come out and enjoy this unorthodox crossroads of musical personalities from 6 pm – 11 pm in Fairchid Chapel. Set time slots to be posted soon!
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.
Well, the King of Pop has triumphed once again. Elvis beat Ingrid Michaelson with the original version of “Can’t Help Falling In Love.” Honestly, Michaelson’s version is great, but it’d be difficult to come from left field to beat the King himself.
This Week: Animal
This week the battle is between Miike Snow and Sky Ferreira. Miike Snow is a band from Stockholm formed in 2007. Two of the members, Christian Karlsson and Pontus Winnberg, have been friends since childhood. While they were working on writing a new Britney Spears album, they met Andrew Wyatt. The three decided to collaborate and thus Miike Snow was born. Sky Ferreira, on the other hand, is an American singer, songwriter, and—who would’ve guessed?—model and actress. She grew singing gospel songs at her church and was acquainted with the music industry from an early age through her family friend Michael Jackson. She sent Christian Karlsson and Pontus Winnberg a message through a social networking site and they saw enough promise to decide to work with her. This was all she needed to jump into the industry. The song this week is Ferreira’s cover of Miike Snow’s “Animal.” Has Ferreira risen above and beyond the band who discovered her?