03.13.2012

FROM THE VAULT: Kyp Malone – Rain Machine

Kyp Malone of the independent rock band, TV on the Radio, worked on a project that was unexpected and released this as his solo album, Rain Machine, in 2009. Malone uses elements from the musical style of TV on the Radio, and incorporates his own ideas and thoughts much more in depth on his solo effort. He explores many of the sounds and themes that were found on releases of his previous projects. Malone played almost every instrument on this record, making it an interesting listen to what he wants to convey in his music. This record is different from any of his previous efforts in that it infuses acoustic sounds into the music rather than relying heavily on electric guitars.

Rain Machine – Smiling black face

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03.13.2012

From the Neumann Collection: Elvin Jones and Richard Davis, Heavy Sounds

The James and Susan Neumann Jazz Collection is the largest privately owned collection of jazz materials in the United States, and possibly the world. James Neumann, proprietor of the collection and an Oberlin Alumnus, decided last year to donate all of the materials to Oberlin. So far, the school has received about 45,000 vinyl LPs along with thousands of jazz periodicals and collectibles, which does not event amount to half of the entire collection. The recordings will not be available for students for some time, which is why WOBC has decided to give followers a regular taste of the collection’s rare gems. Disclaimer: Information and music posted are sourced from WOBC copies of albums also included in the Neumann Collection.

This week’s dig from the sea of Neuman’s jazz wax is Elvin Jones and Richard Davis’ Heavy Sounds, recorded and released in 1967 on the legendary Impulse! Records. Jones, who made his name as the drummer in John Coltrane’s Quartet of the mid- to late-fifties, and bassist Davis, who recorded with names as diverse as Eric Dolphy and Bruce Springsteen, are in top form on this exemplary hard-bop session. Jones and Davis are joined by tenor saxophonist Frank Foster and pianist Billy Greene on most of the tracks.

Overall, this record swings hard and gets weird just at the right moments. You can hear serious avant-garde intentions in the playing of Jones and Davis, but their music is still deeply rooted in jazz and blues traditions.

Elvin Jones and Richard Davis: “Summertime”

The record begins with a mid-tempo latin-swing rendition of Foster’s “Raunchy Rita”. This 11-minute, blues-drenched jam immediately confirms the album’s title; Jones’ groove layers dark rhythmic textures over Davis’ low-rounded bass tone, providing a heavy background for Foster to improvise with serious force. But perhaps the heaviest moments for this record come three tracks later on a 12-minute bass-drums duo version of “Summertime”, on which Jones takes an intense, pitch-oriented drum solo. Davis colors the track with exceptional bowing and subharmonic techniques, making for a highly unusual and improvisational journey through the classic Gershwin tune. Other highlights include Jones’ delta-blues style guitar playing on “Elvin’s Guitar Blues” (his first and only recorded performance on the instrument), and Foster’s heartbreaking lyricism on the Van Heusen ballad “Here’s That Rainy Day”, a welcome relief from the weight of the preceding tracks.

-Adam Hirsch

03.12.2012

VERNIEW HET BLOED

FEELINGS

An experiment: every week I’m gonna get some new blood for your ears; a playlist to get you through the rainy days of March/spring/whatever: bizarre collage pieces, everyone’s favorite Italo-disco, Moog grooves, weird video game music, and spoken word things.

This week its anything synth related, mixed in with some more recent but hard to find (yet not hard to find?) oddities. Seek them out; SEEK THE NEW BLOOD.

1. Gen Ken Montgomery – “Enchantment”

2. Telex – The Voice

3. les 5-4-3-2-1 – “Bond Street”

4. Laugh and Beats – “Laugh and Peace”

5. Vicious Pink – “Can’t You See”

6. Señor Coconut – Upper Mambo/Lower Funk

7. E Bello – “E Bello”

8. Zuntata – “Darius Gaiden: End Titles”

9. VC People – “Danse Macabre”

10. Haruomi Hosono – “GALAGA”

-Robben Munoz

03.10.2012

Community Art & Media Literacy

This week on “Radio On!” Amanda Mummery and Maira Clancy interviewed Claudio Orso and Zach Moser about the Big Parade, the Apollo Outreach Initiative, and institutions of collective art in Oberlin.

Listen to the show: Radio On! 3/5/12

“Radio On!” is produced by the Community Radio Exco, and airs Mondays from 6:00-6:30pm on WOBC 91.5FM.

03.10.2012

FROM THE VAULT: Fantastic Plastic Machine – beautiful

the most beautiful.

Fantastic Plastic Machine – Black Dada

Fantastic Plastic Machine – LOVE is Psychedelic

Tomoyuki Tanaka, better known by his stage name FANTASTIC PLASTIC MACHINE (or FPM) was once a prominent electronic music artist in the late nineties, piggy-backing off the novelty music fad known as Shibuya-kei. Created singlehandedly by Pizzicato Five, Shibuya-kei was an ironic form of pop taking cues from swinging London, Burt Bacharach, Serge Gainsbourg, and every producer driven act in sixties Europe. It died almost as quickly as it appeared.

FPM chugged along, churning out two successful shibuya-kei style albums, his self-titled debut and Luxury, a sort of bizarre concept album about commercialism. Soon he shifted from quirky, retro-pop artist into super-DJ-mega-club-house-producer. beautiful. (period included!) released in 2001, vividly represents this change.

A sort of mish-mash of 70s pop and club-soul, beautiful. is a weirdly hyper-produced album. Absurd orchestral arrangements over a battery of cut-up samples, insane lyrics that are entirely non-sequitirs, thumping club beats, grating midi strings, and porn grooves dominate. Beginning with a weird vocal sample that intones, “I, AM BEAUTIFUL”, the album opener, beautiful days, sets the tone: a summery, up-tempo club song with cheesy strings played on a keyboard. A deep voiced man and woman sing about memories, childhood and other such nonsense. This continues consistently until they recite the word BEAUTIFUL ad nauseum. It’s so annoying that it becomes stunning.
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03.10.2012

The Mosaic’s Cover(s) of the Week

This section will normally be entitled “Cover of the Week” but because this is the first post, we’ve got a little catching up to do.

Angus and Julia Stone vs. DWNTWN

The song for this week was “Big Jet Plane,” originally recorded by Angus & Julia Stone and covered by DWNTWN. I have no idea how that’s supposed to be pronounced. Here’s a little bit of background on the two bands. You can find all this great info on the wonderful site entitled Wikipedia, but I’ll save you the trouble of a Google search. Angus and Julia are siblings. They have an older sister who apparently doesn’t contribute to their awesome indie band. They all grew up in Australia. Fun fact (that I find fun but you will probably find boring): They released the single “All The Boys” on the day I turned eighteen. DWNTWN, on the other hand, appears to be nonexistent in the internet world except a couple of reviews talking about how great they are. So yeah, they’re good. That’s really all you need to know about a band anyway. Now on to the cover!

So the original version of “Big Jet Plane” is pretty simplistic. What makes it so amazing is Angus’ voice—he’s a master of “The Croon”—and his harmonies with Julia are kind of ridiculous. Just sayin.

DWNTWN spins the song into a new kind of dance music that reminds me of a more relaxed Passion Pit. Rather than crooning (which would ruin the electronic vibe), the vocals are more of a whisper. I’d say DWNTWN was pretty successful in recreating the original, but you guys were unanimous in choosing Angus and Julia Stone as the creators of the superior version.

For this week: Gotye vs. Walk Off the Earth

It’s this new song I just found (I know. I’m so behind) called “Somebody I Used To Know” by Gotye. And the cover is done by this super cool band called Walk Off The Earth. They do the whole cover on one guitar. You should watch it. It’s crazy. Just a couple notes on this awesome video because I can’t stop myself.

- The guy on the far right is a boss.

- The guy in the middle seems unnecessarily angry. I’m not really sure what’s going on there.

Walk Off The Earth – Somebody That I Used to Know

Gotye feat. Kimbra- Somebody That I Used To Know

Don’t forget to vote for your favorite by emailing wobcmosaic@gmail.com!

-Heidi Marsh

03.09.2012

Pop Picks 3/7/2012

Every week, pop workgroup shares the best additions to the pop vault. Read on!

Cheer-Accident – No Ifs Ands Or Dogs

Cheer-Accident: still looking good after seventeen

Chicago prog/avant-pop lifers continue to plough their own genre-defying furrow on No Ifs Ands Or Dogs, their 17th(!) studio album. They’ve toned down the experimentation a little bit, making this a good entry point for Cheer-Accident newbies but they still stay twisted, true to their idiosyncratic vision of rock music. Talk to metal director Charlie O’Hara about Cheer-Accident, he loves ‘em.

Cheer-Accident – Barely Breathing
 - Simon Toop

 Bobby – Self/Titled

 

There are those albums that get plucked out of the pop bin and added to the shelf immediately and then there are those that waste away for months, collecting dust in a dark corner. The self-titled, debut album from Bennington College music collective BOBBY, was unfairly relegated to the ranks of the forgotten and assumed-to-be-awful. This week, though, we gave BOBBY a chance and were impressed with their rich acoustic sound and tasteful use of electronics. We’re sorry we thought you weren’t cool, BOBBY! What really matters is we’re friends now.

BOBBY – Sore Spores

-Asher Kaplan & Aria Dean. Listen to our shows! Frequencies (9-10am Tue) and Canadian Heritage Hour (6-7am Tue)