On November 13th, Shahida Nurullah performed live in front of a full house in Afrikan Heritage House’s Lord Lounge. The event was organized as a part of Kuumba Week, a celebration of the arts and culture of the Oberlin Africana community organized by the MRC. Shahida Naurullah, a veteran Jazz vocalist and native of Detroit, was accompanied by the Oberlin Jazz Ensemble directed by Dennis Reynolds. The two-hour event was hosted by longtime WOBC DJ Meeko Israel and broadcast live on The World Famous Meeko Show. The event was the first live broadcast on WOBC this year. -Will Floyd
tuesday is a generally nasty day of things, so here’s something to clear your main mind-thing. it’s a cover of ghost town dj’s classic hit, “my boo”, off of the college sampler by friends. this was one of our top 5 adds this week, so when you’re trying to figure out how to play it on your show (which, trust me, you will be), grab it from the digital library. i’m feeling tranquilized by these horse-diva vibes. check it out for yourself, and stay strong for wednesday!!
1 BUILT TO SPILL There Is No Enemy
2 REAL ESTATE Days
3 TORO Y MOI Freaking Out [EP]
4 GIRLS Father, Son, Holy Ghost
5 BEACH BOYS The Smile Sessions
6 ST. VINCENT Strange Mercy
7 M83 Hurry Up, We’re Dreaming
8 ATLAS SOUND Parallax
9 JAMES BLAKE James Blake
10 BJORK Biophilia
11 NEIL YOUNG
12 PURE X Pleasure
13 KATE BUSH Hounds of Love
14 COCTEAU TWINS Heaven or Las Vegas
15 ZOLA JESUS Conatus
16 CANT Dreams Come True
17 WASHED OUT Within And Without
18 TWIN SISTER In Heaven
19 BEIRUT The Rip Tide
20 DUM DUM GIRLS Only In Dreams
21 FEIST Metals
22 BONNIE PRINCE BILLY Wolfroy Goes To Town
23 WISE BLOOD These Wings [EP]
24 NEON INDIAN Era Extrana
25 JOHN MAUS We Must Become The Pitiless Censors Of Ourselves
26 BRILLIANT COLORS Again And Again
27 ARCHITECTURE IN HELSINKI Moment Bends
28 OTIS REDDING Dreams To Remember: The Otis Redding Anthology
29 WILCO The Whole Love
30 EMMYLOU HARRIS Hard Bargain
No one could really know what Pearl Jam would come up with next with the releases following their 1994 album, Vitalogy. Binaural, released in 2000, follows Pearl Jam’s tradition of attempting to explore new grounds with their music. Binaural was the first album to include the drummer, Matt Cameron, who at the time was a former member of Pearl Jam’s grunge contemporary, Soundgarden. The departure of Jack Irons inevitably lead to a change in the band’s music. However, albeit an amazing drummer, Jack Irons departure did not leave Pearl Jam in the dust. Matt Cameron brought a new ingredient, making Pearl Jam more focused and stronger than before. Cameron ultimately added a new back bone to the band without any sacrifice. At this point, Pearl Jam was ahead and matured from their grunge years during the early 1990s. Maintaining what makes Pearl Jam unique, they continued their string of experimentation with the introduction to binaural recording, which attempts to use 3-D stereo sound in order to place the listener in the same room as the performers of the music. Binaural recording is used for the intent of listening to it with headphones, rather than stereo speakers, hence the use of the technique, “Dummy head recording”. Pearl Jam also integrated sounds of psychedelic and post-punk sounds into this album. In addition to Pearl Jam’s progression to new grounds, bassist, Jeff Ament, and guitarist, Stone Gossard, contribute their own lyrics to the album, making it the second album that singer, Eddie Vedder, gives lyrics rights to other band members since their previous album released in 1998, Yield. Along with the new experimental sound to the instrumentation, the lyrics featured in Binaural are darker and focus on social criticisms. Lyricist and singer, Eddie Vedder explained that the album is about the importance of freedom in humanity and how people should be comfortable with their own existence. Risking the loss of fans, Pearl Jam wanted their audience to listen with new ears without any expectations. Read More →
I recently had the pleasure of catching up with saxophonist and composer Bobby Selvaggio. Bobby’s playing is well known in the Cleveland area for being fresh and innovative, as well as being highly emotional and athletic! I was beyond pleased to see that as of recent, Bobby’s music has begun to reach a wider audience through his most recent recording Grass Roots Movement on Arabesque Records.
What I have always enjoyed about Bobby’s playing is his deep appreciation for and understanding of the jazz tradition. I also admire his ability to capture the creative and courageous essence of jazz and his way of placing it within the context of his own personality and the whims of the present moment. Bobby does not play solely for his own enjoyment, though it is easy to hear and see the joy that can come from his music. He is a leader of numerous ensembles, a mentor to many students, and is also a good friend.
An Interview with Bobby Selvaggio
Aidan Plank: Is there anything you would like the WOBC audience to know about your music?
Bobby Selvaggio: Most everything I record is original music and very personal to me. I’ve always been a composer and an improviser that let’s the music guide me, hearing shapes and sounds and reacting to those shapes and sounds. The tag line in my email signature sums it up best:
Be soft in your practice. Think of the melody as a fine silvery stream, not a raging waterfall. Follow the stream, have faith in it’s course. It will go on it’s way, meandering here, trickling there. It will find the grooves, the cracks, the crevices. Just follow it. Never let it out of your sight. It will take you.- Sheng-yen
With Grass Roots Movement in particular, it’s similar to other things I’ve done, but from the standpoint of being electric in nature versus being acoustic.
AP: I really enjoy both your strengths as an improviser and composer, and I’m curious what your process of composing is like? Do you have a method to your composing? How does the process differ from your improvising or how is it the same?
BS: My composing process really varies. I’m a big fan of letting the music guide you and letting it take you where it wants to go, both with composition and improvisation. But, there are times I’ll start with a bass line, build a harmonic structure around it, and build a melody around that like with Return to Sender and Fish Food (from Grass Roots Movement). Sometimes I’ll take a simple melodic theme like the first 4 bars of movement and build a whole tune around that. I started Dust Bunnies with an opening vamp, with the harmonic progression, and the tune flowed from that. I mostly compose at the piano, not my saxophone. And rarely do I have a compositional technique in mind that I try to fit in. Usually when I try and make something fit in, it doesn’t work.
Once or twice a week, a member of pop workgroup will review an album that was recently selected to be put in WOBC’s vault. Today, Michael Stenovac writes about Atlas Sound’s Parallax.
I’m often wary of exploring solo projects from my favorite bands because they tend to be quite masturbatory. Thankfully, Deerhunter frontman Bradford Cox’s band Atlas Sound does not fit into this category. Perhaps it’s his nature as a tenuous romantic that prevents him from falling into the trap of self-indulgence – at times, Cox seems too self-conscious to strut. But if Bradford ever feels the need to brag, he certainly could: he possesses an incredible talent for fashioning misery into gorgeous and twisted 60s-influenced pop. Every reverb-soaked moment is immaculately constructed and his stream-of-consciousness lyrics are both unnerving and touching. While Cox is guilty of liberally borrowing sounds from his previous works alone and with Deerhunter, Parallax is so damn well-done that it doesn’t even matter.
Squirrel Nut Zippers’s album, Hot, which was released in 1997, brought about much success to the band that was not conceived to come true. Similar to their previous album, The Inevitable, the Zippers come back with a postmodern, big band sound. Unlike their contemporaries, Big Bad Voodoo Daddy, Royal Crown Avenue and Cherry Poppin’ Daddies, they deliver a raw and humorous set of songs that reminisce of the jump blues and swing era of the 1930s and 1940s without over producing their music. The Zippers do not easily fall under the genre of Swing-Revival of the mid 1990s, which brings back the sounds that made Louis Prima popular. Hot showcases a mixture of various influences including Cab Calloway, Fats Waller, Django Reinhardt, Tom Waits and Delta Blues music.
The album kicks off with “Got My Own Thing Now”, which sounds as if it was pulled out from a swing record collection from the 1940s. This fun, jumpy ditty hooks the listener and gives a reason why they should listen to this album and start swinging. The next track introduces Katharine Whalen on “Put A Lid On It”. This catchy tune creeps in with a call and response between Ms. Whalen and the rest of the band with its waling muted trumpet. The Zippers come back on their feet with the raunchy instrumental, “Memphis Exorcism”. Next up, Tom Maxwell and Ms. Whalen give a sweet, slow dance tune that floats above Ken Mosher’s soft, rhythmic saxophone and James Mathus’s jazzy guitar riffs in “Twilight”. “It Ain’t You” breaks into a dark disposition, which embodies elements of rockabilly. Read More →