Post-Finals Summertime Playlist

Here’s a playlist to be listened to only when you’re done with finals. It’ll guide you through your whirlwind of post-finals emotions: relief (the feeling you experience immediately after you’ve taken your last final), elation (you realize you’re done with school!!), grief (you’re gonna to miss Oberlin…and listening to WOBC 24/7), euphoria (you get to lie out in the sun all day without worrying about tests and papers)…and then reality hits you when you realize that you summer will consist of working a probably boring job.
1. “At Last” – Etta James
2. “Untitled (How Does It Feel)” – D’Angelo
3. “Ain’t This The Life” – Oingo Boingo
4. “Here With Summer” – The Microphones
5. “My Block” – the So So Glos
6. “Welcome to the Working Week” – Elvis Costello

-Eve Peyser-Sappol


Illustration of the interior of the proposed studios in Wilder Hall, courtesy Oberlin College Archives

WOBC is hosting open alumni broadcasting hours on Friday and Saturday from noon-5pm. Alumni are encouraged to stop by the station, in Wilder Hall Room 319, to sign up.

Also stop by the WOBC Open House this Saturday from 2-6 pm to re-live your WOBC experience, have a new one, or connect with present, past and future WOBC DJs!

Beards and Bass Live on WOBC

Beards and Bass playing at the Oberlin College observatory
Oberlin students Nathan Swedlow (bass), Matt Gold (guitar), Saul Alpert-Abrams (guitar) & Julian Cartwright (violin)

Sporting the playful moniker Beards and Bass, this Oberlin quartet has been seen and heard playing hot club jazz (or gypsy jazz) tunes on a regular basis around campus and in town, including at the twice-monthly Observatory Open House events on the rooftop deck of Peters (pictured above).

On April 9th, WOBC jazz director Adam Hirsch invited the group into Studio B to play live on his show, Shades of Blue. You can listen to the three classic standards they played below. Fans of Django Reinhardt will be right at home.

I’m Confessin (That I Love You)
All of Me

—Tristan Gordon

New Music: Daniel Rossen – Silent Hour/Golden Mile EP

Daniel Rossen, the guitarist/composer of Grizzly Bear and Department of Eagles acclaim, has been relatively inactive in the record world in recent years. Since the release of Grizzly Bear’s electrified masterstroke Veckatimest in 2009, Rossen has released a collection of old Department of Eagles demos and contributed a cover to Crayon Angel, a Judee Sill tribute album. After a three-year drought of new material, Rossen has finally released his long-awaited debut release as a solo artist on Warp Records: Silent Hour/Golden Mile, a five-track EP of all-new Rossen originals.

One of the most refreshing aspects of this release is that Warp gave Rossen free reign over the creation of the music; besides the help of some brass players, a lap-steel guitarist, a drummer on one track, and the masterful mixing of Nicholas Vehrnes at the Rare Book Room in New York, Rossen played almost every role on the record: composer, producer, performer, and engineer. The result is a personal, intimate product of Rossen’s solitary creative process.

“Up on High” kicks off the EP in classic Rossen style: soft acoustic guitar and vocals reverberate with huge force, painting a wide-open soundscape filled with fresh air and soothing chords. Other instruments are gradually brought in and out of the mix: tom-toms pound, a bowed upright bass moans, cymbals sizzle and fade away, all suddenly filling up the space and clearing away like waves on a shore. The whole situation seems like an expression of Rossen’s new freedom to create holistically, without any pressure from producers or collaborators; he seems to be talking to himself when sings, “In this big, empty room / Finally feel free / To sing for me”.

Daniel Rossen – “Up On High”

The whole EP really sticks to this idea of the music being a kind of emancipation for Rossen. Compared to the earlier music of Grizzly Bear and Department of Eagles—in which Rossen’s vocals are double-tracked and muddled beneath electronics and his own slippery articulation—Silent Hour/Golden Mile is a crisp, clean statement of his lyrical and musical ideas. The record tables a lot of the more abstract sounds heard on previous Rossen releases and adheres to a stripped-down, acoustic presentation of his songs. You can really hear this restrained economy of ideas on “Saint Nothing”, the fourth track on the EP: the slow, steady pulse of three simple piano chords recalls “Herring Bone” from Department of Eagles’ In Ear Park, while a gorgeous array of french horns, trombones, and trumpets meander softly in the background, confirming and responding to Rossen’s solemn vocals. The music is infinitely spacious and reposed, breathing in the fresh air of the blue desert twilight pictured in the EP’s cover.

Daniel Rossen – “Saint Nothing”

Although Rossen has been hard at work developing his solo material, he is still keeping busy with his other projects. He has commented that some of the music on the EP was originally supposed to be on the new Grizzly Bear record (which is currently in the works), so we may expect the band’s new music to be influenced by Silent Hour/Golden Mile’s stripped-down vibe. The new EP, while showcasing a newfound spaciousness in Rossen’s sound, is also a great example of his development as a producer and engineer. With this release, Rossen is joining the ranks of people like Sufjan Stevens and Chaz Bundick (Toro y Moi), who play the solo musician-as-producer role better than most. With Rossen’s growing versatility as not only a musician but a creator of records, we can only expect his other projects to become more diverse and independent as a result.

-Adam Hirsch

New Music: Spiritualized- Sweet Heart Sweet Light

Spiritualized’s new album Sweet Heart Sweet Light is the newest addition to the band’s  outer-spacey psychadelic oeuvre.  Together for 22 years, Jason Pierce & Co’s rocket ship is still a flight.  Out of Rugby, England, the band’s newest album comes off of Fat Possum Records.  It’s a nice return, their last album came out in 2008.  Their clanky epic high-school marching sweetheart jam-inspired work gives twirls and twirls of dream speech.  Hazy lo-fied bellows fill this crisp spring burst, and Pierce’s return brings an ecstasy-ringing melancholy that we could all use right about now.  ‘Get What You Deserve’ is a laid back jam with phases of guitar murkiness and tambourines.  Then comes some stringy mom homage in ‘Too Late’.  Fire up the grill for 8 minutes of shoegazey-inaudible-groan heaven in ‘Headin’ For the Top Now’.  ‘Mary’ has minimal instruments, so as to be more of a cry out, a ‘take me back, take me back’ kind of outburst.  This album certainly has spaceship earth aspirations: everything you could want is here and ready to be fed into you via tubes and wires.  Certainly a warm and cozy ride chalk full of beautiful views of the sun, nebulae, etc.


1.  Huh? (Intro)

2.  Hey Jane

3.  Little Girl

04 Get What You Deserve

5.  Too Late

6.  Headin’ for the Top Now

7.  Freedom

8.  I Am What I Am

9.  Mary

10.  Life is a Problem

11.  So Long You Pretty Thing

New Music: Passion Pit — “Take a Walk”

Passion PitYou know the financial crisis has been going on for too long when bands as generally uplifting as Passion Pit can’t help but write songs about it. That’s not to say Passion Pit, founded and lead-singered by Michael Angelakos, did not just release a soundly uplifting and catchy new single. “Take a Walk” continues to perfect the upbeat, unabashed pop sound of the band’s music but is captured through a wounded and more personal filter.

The song opens with a sober introduction of flutes, accordions, and bells, that together sound sorrowful but are almost immediately replaced by a loud driving kick, happy organs and synths, and toy pianos. The song is not disjointed. It’s well-written, well-arranged pop, that leaves room for dancing, singing, reflecting, and most of all listening. In my opinion one of the best aspects of Passion Pit’s debut EP, was that it interested me as a student of music theory and player of music and as a dude in car with loud speakers.  In an interview with Pitchfork, Angelakos mentions his love of trying to craft perfectly written songs, cited his major influences as Irving Berlin and Harold Arlen, among others, and mentioned his love of honesty, which apparently he claims is more and more absent from indie music nowadays.

Angelakos writes from the point of certain players in the recent financial meltdown, singing of ‘cowards’ blaming ‘socialist pigs’ for not ‘[admitting] they’re in need.’ It may sound contrived but he pulls it off simply through honesty in his lyrics. He’s telling the story of which we’ve been all been a part over the last few years and manages to convince us we might be okay, though times are still pretty shitty.

Passion Pit – Take a Walk

Take a Walk video

-Kevin Messinger

Who is R. Stevie Moore?

Remember when this guy came to the Sco? You know, everybody’s favorite DIY pioneer, R. Stevie Moore! You don’t know who he is? That’s probably because he’s “criminally underexposed.” Here’s a brief timeline of some of the (really cool) things he’s done throughout his life and also some of the sad things that have happened along the way.

1952: born in Nashville, TN

1968: started smoking, lost virginity to a 39 yr-old married woman, 1st job at Lazy Suzan Restaurant

1971: dropped out of Vanderbilt University

1975: recorded Beatles’ instrumentals

1976:  first album Phonography released by Uncle Harry, toured midwest with Billy Anderson’s band

1978: released Delicate Tension, with new songs and sound experiments that he wrote after moving to Montclair, New Jersey

1981: began fulltime DJing at WFMU (Jersey City)

1982: launched the R. Stevie Moore Cassette Club

1988: got first VCRs, began making home videos, cocaine era

1999: got online, designed website

2006: aged atheism, personal savings running out fast, Tonic DVD (with Ariel Pink), multiple tooth extractions & partial dentures

2012: R. Stevie Moore played at Oberlin’s Dionysus Discotheque (sometimes people call it the ‘Sco) Thursday May 9 at 10PM.


–Victoria Velasco

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