If you think that Australia’s Pond sounds a lot like Tame Impala, you have good reason: 3/4 of Pond is Tame Impala. But while Tame Impala’s vibe is reverb-soaked and megastony, Pond’s sound is more straight-forward classic rock. On “Elegant Design,” the standout track from the brand-new Beards, Wives, Denim, Pond shows that they’re more than Tame Impala sans washes of reverb. With straight, groovy drums and a falsetto chorus, these Aussies have created an incredibly catchy song that wears its 70s influences on its sleeves. Even with the King Crimson-esque breakdown at the end, Pond still manages to sound fresh and relevant.
Every week on The Mosaic we end with an original song and its cover. Vote for your favorite at firstname.lastname@example.org! Results for Last Week:
Kate Bush is the resounding victor of last week’s battle with Greg Laswell. I was surprised by this outcome because, honestly, Bush’s version sounds a little shrill, but after researching “This Woman’s Work” I realized that this really works for the lyrical content. Bush wrote the song “This Woman’s Work” to accompany a scene from the movie She’s Having A Baby in which the lives of a woman and her unborn child are endangered. Singing with a tremulous voice at certain points and breaking into a full-throated cry at others, Bush has much more of an emotional presence than Laswell who spends most of the song singing barely above a whisper.
This Week: Bon Iver vs. Deadwood Floats
The song this week is “Holocene,” written by the frontman of Bon Iver Justin Vernon. Vernon says the song “is a metaphor for when you’re not doing well. But it’s also a song about redemption and realizing that you’re worth something; that you’re special and not special at the same time.” (songfacts) Since its release, the song was ranked by the Rolling Stone as the 22nd best single of 2011, won 2nd place at Stereogum’s Gummy Awards, and was nominated for Song of the Year at the 54th Grammy Awards.
Now that you have sufficient evidence of the song’s awesomeness, we can go about deciding who did it better. You guys know about Bon Iver, the band who has it all in the world of indie folk. They won the 2012 Grammy Award for Best New Artist as well as the Grammy Award for Best Alternative Music Album, an album which they just so happened to record in their months living in a middle-of-nowhere cabin. Their challengers hail from the sleepy old town a few miles down the road of Columbus, Ohio. Deadwood Floats began in 2009 almost as a hobby to distract them from their day jobs. Today, the band is made up of six members and recording music like “Holocene” which I think you’ll find to be quite accomplished in its own right.
As the guitars screech to conclude a low-fi and more angsty version of Weezer’s “Undone,” Eric Harm, the lead singer of Titus Andronicus, taunts the crowd with dark images of our generation: “Think about what you want our generation to be remembered for. Shouldn’t be pictures of some dude doing cocaine in a warehouse bathroom. This is all we’re going to have left after we’re gone: just pictures of us acting like morons. Think about it.” Interpret that however you will, but one thing is clear: this band is out to make a statement.
In 23 tracks Titus Andronicus does these things:
–> Covers Weezer, The Velvet Underground, Thin Lizzy, The Clash, Television Personalities and The Replacements
–> Releases a new track, “Upon Viewing Oregon’s Landscape With the Flood of Detritus,” which will be on their next studio album
–> Releases 5 demo tracks of previously released material, including a really sweet acoustic demo of “My Time Outside the Womb”
4 live tracks
The mixtape works in so many different directions that it transcends the modern idea of a mixtape. It wasn’t even released online for publicity, but instead, the New Jersey rockers made 200 copies of the mixtape and sold them at their SXSW show for a small collection of doll hairs. Then the bloggers got a hold of it, started tapping away, and since it’s release last month, it has gone pretty viral on the indie-rock-grunge blogosphere. The result is something unique and reveals the accessible side of the band.
“Upon Viewing Oregon’s Landscape With the Flood of Detritus” is a clear standout on the mixtape. It’s the only newly released track, and even among the classic tunes like “The Boys Are Back in Town” and “Undone (The Sweater Song),” the new track holds its own.
More oddities. More bizarre sounds to enrich your cultural heritage in some fashion: this time we go in the realm of the cerebral. Drone, repetition, relaxation music, for the really rainy days of spring/future-summer.
Have you ever thought to yourself, “Gee, so-and-so used to be so good, but now they SUCK!”? I’m sure it’s happened more than once. For me, I feel like it happens all the time. That’s just how the music world works, I guess… So for this week’s playlist I decided to prove this timeless musical dilemma right: 10 songs from bands who were once awesome (and whom I used to rock out to) but now quite simply, suck.
In other words, songs from bands that make my ears hurt and my eyes cry when I listen to their new material.
Maybe you’ll agree after watching these great ol’ clips.
Although neither of the Harry Potters would ever be considered to be great musicians (okay, they’re pretty bad at actually playing instruments and singing), focusing on these minor, minor flaws detracts from the point of Wizard Rock. Which is fun. It’s fun to be in a crowd of nerds miming Hagrid having a beard and giving really good hugs and singing along to a song about being intoxicated (my enjoyment of this may possibly have something to do with my own level of intoxication, feeling of solidarity and desire to explain to the gentleman next to me that he looked a lot like Nicholas Hoult and that this was a good thing Note: If you are this person, or know him, contact me. Really.) It’s fun to be reminded of your first time reading the first Harry Potter book and expecting your own letter inviting you to Hogwarts. Its fun to pretend, at least for an evening or a few minutes listening to a song that your dining halls, like Hogwarts’, have good food.
Music is about having fun and enjoying ourselves, and that’s exactly what Harry and the Potters do themselves and for others. If you enjoy or enjoyed the Harry Potter books, drop aside your music pretension in favor of releasing your inner 12 year old nerd. Give them a listen.
The Harry Potter Alliance, which brought Harry and the Potters to Oberlin, will be hosting a Night of Horrid Fan-fiction at Slow Train on May 2nd, and an All-Day Prisoner of Azkaban Read-a-thon on May 13th.
One year ago, I slid into the soporific embrace of mononucleosis. Aside from the normal fatigue and malaise, I felt as if there was a damp towel muffling all of my senses. All of my time was spare time, and I spent it camped out on the couch playing videogames, sleeping, and listening to music.
Hopefully you never have to experience mono. It sucks. But if you’re curious, then have a listen to these s l o w d r e a m y s o n g s
2. Nosaj Thing – Us
This stuttery lullaby comes to us courtesy of LA’s Nosaj Thing. Fragile synths are supported by little clicks and twists as Mr. Thing carries the listener along, before carefully setting them down.
3. Low – Belarus
Slowcore stalwarts Low create an achingly beautiful track out of hushed vocals, minimal drums, and teasing strings that bring the song to a gentle crescendo.
4. Morphine – The Night
With their bass saxophone, baritone guitar and singer Mark Sandman’s deep vocal stylings, Morphine would’ve made the perfect backing band to my mono-induced naps.
5. Julianna Barwick – Envelop
Listening to Julianna Barwick is like sinking into a sonic Jacuzzi. Listening to Julianna Barwick is like being serenaded by a chorus of angelic whales.
6. Bear in Heaven – Dust Cloud
This hazy song from Brooklyn’s Bear in Heaven features guitar nauseatingly modulating guitar, crunchy bass, bells and keening synthesizer.
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