Mostly remembered for his production on Neil Young’s albums in the late 60s, Jack Nitzsche’s varied musical talents served him well in the 70s where he rose to prominence as a film composer, which include works as varied as The Exorcist, Performance, An Officer and a Gentleman, and One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest. He initially began his career as conductor and arranger for Phil Spector, eventually having musical encounters with the Wrecking Crew, The Rolling Stones, and even Doris Day. However, Nitzsche’s musical arrangements and production skills with Neil Young were so impressive that he was given the chance to compose original orchestral music. St. Giles Cripplegate is the result.
Baltimore dream-pop duo Beach House has released a new cut entitled “Myth” via their website. Singer/keyboardist Victoria LeGrand and guitarist Alex Scally posted the track last week as a teaser for their forthcoming LP Bloom, to be released May 15th on Sub-pop Records.
If “Myth” is any indication of the sound of the new record, Beach House fans can expect a similar vibe to the group’s last full length, the critically-acclaimed Teen Dream. The song starts out with a nod to the lo-fi drum samples of Beach House’s early work, and then quickly picks up the cathedral-sized, gazey sound of their more recent music when Scally enters with a double-guitar lick moving in a slow, reverb-drenched counterpoint. Steady head-bobbing is unavoidable as bass and drums enter the mix and LeGrand’s soaring vocals fill out the soundscape. If the purpose of Beach House’s sound is to create some sort of dream or myth for the listener, LeGrand’s voice is what keeps you from waking up. The track is a promising taste of progress and high production in the Beach House repertoire, while still retaining a strong sense of the band’s lo-fi, dreamy aesthetic.
Beach House hits the road for a US and international tour in may. You can find the dates via the band’s website, beachhousebaltimore.com.
The first single off of Danish pop sensation Alphabeat’s upcoming third studio album, “Vacation” , may not be the perfect song to listen to during record high temperatures in Oberlin, but it comes damn near close. With 80’s inspired beats, vocals, videos, and color schemes, Alphabeat has consistently produced bubbly pop dance jams, perfect for any pool party anywhere, and “Vacation” keeps up the band’s previous successes with Hole in My Heart, The Spell, Boyfriend and 10,00 Nights. This time though, Alphabeat seem to be more comfortable to move further into the future, and away from their 80’s roots, all while keeping up a level of cutsey energy that seems almost impossible.
Although “Vacation” may not count among this year’s most technically prefect, or intellectually best songs of 2012, it must be in the running for one of the most enjoyable.(And after all, shouldn’t pure, unadulterated fun and joy be an integral part of music?)
Although there is a high bar for 80’s inspired songs about vacations (The Go Go’s and Madonna made sure of that!), Alphabeat’s riff on the same summery theme manages to stand its own, ready to be listened to with sunglasses on and a nice iced drink with a little umbrella in hand. By a pool. With flowers blooming. On a tropical island.
Alice In Chains was one of the great bands of the 1990s. Being a lead act in Seattle’s music scene, Alice In Chains released three albums and three EPs within the span of five years. Their music made an immense contribution to not only grunge, but rock music in general. They’ve influenced numerous bands, including already established Metallica. The harmony between lead singer Layne Staley and guitarist and backing vocalist, Jerry Cantrell was the most important asset of Alice In Chains. Their contrasts brought a compelling listen to their audiences. As Alice In Chains are mostly known for their heavy metal sound that was present in all three of their studio albums, the band, however, wanted to experiment with a softer sound, which ultimately led to the creation of their respective alter ego EPs, Sap and Jar of Flies. The band went into the studio in 1991 to record demos for their next album. However, the songs they recorded ended up being five acoustic songs. According to drummer, Sean Kinney, he had a dream about creating an EP called Sap. The band decided to leave the recordings as they were and release the short collection of songs as an extended play, Sap. Released in 1992, Sap was intended to experiment with a new sound, regardless the risk of losing fans of the band. Sap was successful and was certified gold. The EP had great acknowledgement in the light of the newly formed genre of grunge and Nirvana’s release of Nevermind in 1991. In 1994, another version of the song “Got Me Wrong” was featured on Kevin Smith’s film, Clerks. This brought more attention to the songs and the EP.
DJ Rashad, DJ Manny, J Cush and Lite Bulb will be mixing live on WOBC tonight from 8-9pm before they play at the Sco’ at 10. Keep it Locked and check out the event on Facebook and don’t forget to stream online at soundtap.com/madness to help us beat WFMU.
Nothing is Wrong is the second album released by the Laurel Canyon natives who make up the band Dawes. The quartet includes a sibling pair (classic rocking siblings) and their equally talented (and did I mention foxy) band mates. The Dawes sound comes out of a heavy tradition of singer-songwriters and rockers who found inspiration in L.A.’s Laurel Canyon neighborhood during the 60’s and 70’s. To name a few: Joni Mitchell, CSN (Crosby, Stills, and Nash), Jim Morrison, Frank Zappa, and Jackson Browne. The album relies heavily on the poignant vocals of lead singer Taylor Goldsmith matched with consistently on-point harmonies. The lyrics echo a search for identity, home and love familiar to any twenty-something but voiced in a refreshing and decidedly sensitive way. Classic rock with contemporary alt country undertones- lovin’ it.
This morning starting at 9am, WOBC’s terrestrial FM signal will cease broadcasting for two hours for scheduled maintenance. However, our programming will continue via our online stream. We ask that you help support this station and show some Oberlin pride by listening online: a great excuse to sign up & listen to WOBC online at soundtap.com/wobc.
As you may have heard through our incessant internet chatter, excessive postering, and excited conversations around town, WOBC is in the midst of a fierce listenership competition at soundtap.com: “a crowd-sourced, show-specific way to enjoy independent radio. All of the stations [on soundtap] are non-commercial (college or community) radio stations and all of the shows are added by users.” Soundtap is a really great site that allows you to listen to the best independent radio stations all in one place.
Soundtap is running an 18-day tournament that pits dedicated listeners against other dedicated listeners to see which of the “top sixty-four non-commercial radio stations in the world” can log the most hours of “air play” on the site. In the first round, WOBC held off WLUW of Loyola University in Chicago. We’re now up against WFMU, the longest running freeform station in the US, broadcasting from Jersey City, NJ (and repeated in New York). Thanks to all of you, we’re now holding on to a narrow lead. However, we have to last one more day against this freeform behemoth to move on to the next round.
Due to scheduled maintenance on our radio tower atop Wilder Hall this morning, we’ll be shutting off our FM signal briefly today. So turn off those radios, turn on your wifi gadgets, and sign-up & listen to WOBC at soundtap.com/madness.