Musician-artist-icon Grimes (Claire Boucher) is looking down at the rest of our own top 30 charts, and the music video from her smash hit single Oblivion is YouTurbulence in the making. A lot to celebrate for someone who turned 24 this past St. Patrick’s day. This ascending star is devastatingly alluring. Her climb has been inevitable: Who can resist the quirky girl in a cloak with pink hair squeaking electronic gasps into the part of our hearts we didn’t know existed?
-I plead guilty.
She’s a one-woman band, but it is not clear band is the right word here. She paints her own album art, she directs her own music videos, etc. She and her ex-boyfriend tried to float down the Mississippi River in a house-boat with potatoes, and they got as far as Minneapolis. And she’s not quite pursuing a noise so much as a generational anthem. Take her video for example: in Oblivion she sings to herself in headphones alongside shirtless jocks at a motocross track, a high school football game, and in a men’s locker room. Lean with a few dreadlocks, she is a sore thumb, and loving every second of it. Her glance is hopelessly lost in the grime of twenty-first century, but her voice has a reconfiguring, transformative power. The long chipmunk squeals turn the jumps of the motorcyclist into heaps of optimism. The letters painted on the brutish football fans scramble into poetry. In her own othering and her impeccable immanence, she unites the Montreal landscape and grasps a collective identity deemed impossible in late capitalism. We are now together as grimes, rather than mere grime.
Last week, the Oberlin Improvisation and Newmusic Collective (affectionately known as OINC) hosted CarnivOINC: a series of lectures, workshops, and concerts on campus, focusing on the art of improvised music. Visiting Professor of Electronic Music Per Bloland, Director of OINC, organized the five-day event, and helped to bring professional improvisers to campus to work and perform with students. These special guests included duo Tim Feeny and Vic Rawlings, duo Mike Strauss and Dana Jessen, duo Mike Bullock and Seth Cluett, and local musician Aaron Dilloway (founding member of the noise group Wolf Eyes).
From Tuesday through Saturday, the visiting improvisers worked in various capacities with Oberlin students, members of OINC, and community members. Public workshop events included an electroacoustic instrumentation and hardware workshop with Vic Rawlings, and a lecture entitled “Rehearsal Techniques of the BSC” given by BSC members Rawlings and Tim Feeny. The visiting professionals also worked privately with OINC members and TIMARA students in rehearsals and workshops throughout the week, showing examples of their work both inside and outside the realm of improvisation.
The first CarnivOINC concert took place Wednesday night in Fairchild chapel. The show began with a set from Feeny and Rawlings, and was followed by a set from the duo with eight members of OINC. Thursday night’s show featured one set from Mike Strauss and Dana Jessen with seven members of OINC, and Friday night’s show featured a set from local ensemble WAM (Women’s Art Music), followed by a set from Mike Bullock and Seth Cluett with seven members of OINC. Saturday night’s concert was the CarnivOINC grand finale, beginning with a set by Aaron Dilloway with nine members of OINC, followed by two sets from Dilloway with the OINCestra, which featured every member of OINC alongside all of the event’s visiting guests.
This legendary event was the first of its kind at Oberlin, and did an extraordinary job of both showcasing and strengthening Oberlin’s improvised music scene. Find more information about CarnivOINC here.
Gotye vs. Walk Off The Earth: Results!
So I know you all have been lying in uncertain agony on your dorm room floors after the battle between Gotye and Walk Off The Earth. Well, I’m glad to announce I can finally end your suspense and declare (drumroll) BOTH bands as victors of last week’s caged match. I wasn’t totally surprised with that outcome. Walk Off the Earth’s rendition is so similar to Gotye’s I sometimes forget which I’m listening to. I am, however, somewhat partial to Walk Off The Earth’s because the female singer (I still don’t really know any of their names) puts all the other singers—in both versions—to shame. Give it another listen if you don’t know what I’m talking about.
This Week’s Battle: Elton John vs. Ellie Goulding
Elton John, the man who merits no introduction. He made all the papers a couple months ago for his boxing match with Madonna at the Golden Globes. Just some good old-fashioned American entertainment. (It wasn’t a real boxing match in case you were wondering. How awesome would that be though?) Anyway, he’s a pretty cool guy from what I’ve heard. I have to judge him from what I’ve heard because strangely I don’t know him personally. Okay enough with the silliness.
This time, the match is with Ellie Goulding, a pretty fresh face in the music world. She’s British (Those Brits. They’re all so much cooler than us. Sometimes I think Emancipation wasn’t such a good thing after all.) She took a gap year from University of Kent. I’m guessing she never went back because it never says anything about her getting her bachelors. Fun Fact: She runs six miles a day. If I ran six miles a day, I’d never have time to eat let alone be a super cool musician. But there ya go.
Here are the respective sound clips. Send in your vote before March 19 at firstname.lastname@example.org or just leave it down there in the comments!
She’s here! She’s family! Loretta Lynn’s album “Don’t Come Home A Drinkin’,” has been added to WOBC’s folk vault! It’s an exciting time. For all of y’all who don’t know Loretta Lynn- this lady is a real gem. Lynn’s music is characterized by its honesty; set against the classic country twang of the late 60’s and 70’s are lyrics that discuss domestic abuse, alcoholism, and poverty.
“Don’t Come Home A Drinkin’,” hit Billboard’s #1 on the country album chart in 1967 and was given a “Gold” certification by the RIAA, the first album from a female country singer to receive this.
This album will not disappoint. Look for it on the new folk shelf, yay!
Broken Flowersis an independent film by director Jim Jarmusch. The main role was written for Bill Murray, who is a superlative and well established actor. Murray, who plays the role of Don Johnston, finds himself alone once his girlfriend leaves him. Having wealth from a successful career, Don feels empty and often sits alone with a bottle of Moët & Chandon. One day he finds that a pink letter has been mailed to him by someone who claims that Don is the father of her son. Don gives the letter to his neighbor, Wilson, who fancies activities that deal with deciphering codes and playing detective. Wilson finds much interest in the letter, unlike Don. He finally gets Don to agree to make a list of all the names of his former girlfriends and their addresses and find out which one of them had his child. Not to spoil this brilliant film, Don goes through a journey that will leave you speechless. The soundtrack to this film reflects the plotline perfectly as it includes various genres including classical, rock, metal, reggae, and Ethiopian music.
For this week, it’s more new blood for your ears. More odd stuff, different things, bizarre tunes, annoying but catchy hooks, riffs that overstay their welcome, cheesy production, and anything that makes you feel slimy all over after you listen to it (but in the best possible way.)
This week’s playlist for all your private devotions, private lives, and private times, is the best kind of early house/techno. I know, I know, you’ve been there AND come back, maybe not always for the better (those long evenings and cold showers in the morning…)
But sometimes, its okay to go back, and visit an old friend…
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