Sunday, January 31, 2010

Congratulations to all the Febs!

WRMC would like to congratulate all the Febs on their recent graduation.  Especially Dave, Nate, and Sam.  WRMC wouldn't be where it is today without them and their tireless efforts.  Thanks so much guys and best of luck in the future!

Saturday, January 30, 2010

Yes. This is real.


Friday, January 29, 2010

Mysterious Music Fridays featuring RxRy

So I have been wanting to post about this since Wednesday.
I have listened to it as I sleep and let me tell you, it's quite relaxing
My friend passed this along to me over Facebook and described it as "Super under the radar."
This got me super excited.
Now I have researched on the blogosphere and no one is exactly certain who this is. All we really know is that it is somehow connected to Animal Collective's Panda Bear AKA Noah Lennox (AKA RxRy?) Who knows. If you go to his (or her? or their?) MySpace you'll find Panda Bear as one of their few friends... which leads me to think.
My speculation is that it may be Noah Lennox's brother? The one that is mentioned in Brothersport and Bros?
It could just be someone who is a fan of Panda Bear, though. That'd be disappointing.
Anyway, it is very reminiscent to The Field and Portishead. Stuff that can play in the background of some suave party in Montreal, or when you just want to forget your thoughts and fall asleep. Spawning from Panda Bear, but definitely different. He says he is dropping this "new EP" SNWMLTR in February so keep watch (we will too). For now check out the original self-titled EP and a track from the new one.

CREDIT: JHERI EVANS - Great Blog: Do it to it!

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Dr. Dog Live Tomorrow at Higher Ground

Now let's be honest... Higher Ground's concert selection this January has been a bit lackluster to say the least. I say this because of the excellent selection that was offered right before Winter Break. I was excited when I was back home to see what more they would have to display and sadly I found nothing.... except Dr. Dog.

Dr. Dog was like the light at the end of a long January tunnel. A drop of rain during a draught, if you will. To have this "folk-psychadelic" band play at Higher Ground before the release of their new album, "Shame, Shame" is quite a treat. These guys look like they have so much fun on stage from some recent YouTube videos I was scoping. Here's one to share so maybe you'll consider attending before leaving to wherever the hell you might end up during February Break.

Saturday, January 23, 2010

New Music Wednesdays featuring High Places

(This morning, checking the blog, I found out that this never posted on Wednesday. My Apologies.)
I was introduced to this Brooklyn Duo by a friend maybe... 1 year ago after they released their "03/07-09/07" album. What struck me upon first listen was their unique lo-fi psychedelic sound where the lead female voice resonated from far away on the track. They would go from a very spaced-out melody to this primitive beat with bells, shakers, and sticks. Here is a video of them from 2007 to give you an idea:

Recently though, High Places released a new single from their upcoming album High Places vs. Mankind. Listening to this track, you can see this band going in a new direction with their music. I would say this album could be the band's In Rainbows as they enter a new dimension in their music where the vocals and beats become more pronounced losing their lo-fi appeal. At first I was a bit put off listening to it, but the more and more I do hear this track, the more and more I want to see it performed live as I am sure they would throw a killer concert. Check it out and let us know what you think:

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Asteroids Galaxy Tour on One-Takes

I've been producing a music webshow under the Rick and Rad alias. Check out a new episode below:

OK Go Gets Frustrated

So I have been spending day in and day out in the library working on my thesis and a friend sent me a very topical opinion piece by Damian Kulash of the band OK Go. You see, I'm writing about online piracy and how piracy is moving from individual crimes to a movement of pirates protesting the record industry. A major effect of piracy is that the record companies can't control music like they used to and make ridiculous profits. Thus, they are looking for different ways to make profits, namely by controlling everything bands do.

OK Go, who made themselves crazy famous by coordinating some sick treadmill and dance workouts, are now a little pissed at EMI. Apparently EMI won't let their newest video for the song, This Too Shall Pass, off of the album "Of The Blue Colour of the Sky" be embedded on blogs like this. Why, you ask? Cause EMI isn't making any money off of it. So, we will post the video until EMI asks us nicely, with some sugar on top, to take it down.

Here's the video:

OK Go - This Too Shall Pass from OK Go on Vimeo.

And here's what Damian has to say:

The catch: the software that pays out those tiny sums doesn't pay if a video is embedded. This means our label doesn't get their hard-won share of the pie if our video is played on your blog, so (surprise, surprise) they won't let us be on your blog. And, voilá: four years after we posted our first homemade videos to YouTube and they spread across the globe faster than swine flu, making our bassist's glasses recognizable to 70-year-olds in Wichita and 5-year-olds in Seoul and eventually turning a tidy little profit for EMI, we're - unbelievably - stuck in the position of arguing with our own label about the merits of having our videos be easily shared. It's like the world has gone backwards.

Let's take a wider view for a second. What we're really talking about here is the shift in the way we think about music. We're stuck between two worlds: the world of ten years ago, where music was privately owned in discreet little chunks (CDs), and a new one that seems to be emerging, where music is universally publicly accessible. The thing is, only one of these worlds has a (somewhat) stable system in place for funding music and all of its associated nuts-and-bolts logistics, and, even if it were possible, none of us would willingly return to that world. Aside from the smug assholes who ran labels, who'd want a system where a handful of corporate overlords shove crap down our throats? All the same, if music is going to be more than a hobby, someone, literally, has to pay the piper. So we've got this ridiculous situation where the machinery of the old system is frantically trying to contort and reshape and rewire itself to run without actually selling music. It's like a car trying to figure out how to run without gas, or a fish trying to learn to breath air.

Monday, January 18, 2010

Hockey Night

Starting tomorrow at 9pm EST, WRMC will be hosting a hockey show, featuring expert commentary from an ex insider in the business. Check it out on or on your local 91.1 FM.

Shadows All Around Us

Deejaying is an arena of constant debate. Who deserves the job description and who doesn't? We at WRMC consider ourselves Deejays for throwing on a few mp3s, maybe occasionally using one our 3 high-tech CD players. Some of us even use our turntables when they are working. Does this make us Deejays?

Hellz yes.

One man who might question the skill that is taken in arranging the perfect iTunes playlist is none other than DJ Shadow. Last November he tinkered with a crate of vinyl, 3 turntables, and an impeccable ear to create a nonstop hour and fifteen minute set at the Park Plaza Hotel in L.A.

Shadow displays some animosity for us peon Deejays:

"I'm not immune to playing a hit or two; sometimes it's necessary to show the audience that I'm not conducting an educational seminar. But here we are in the Serato age, with access to millions of songs and DJ's are still playing the same fifty over and over again... FROM THEIR LAPTOPS. There's something wrong with that. That's why to the extent that I am able, I insist on playing vinyl. After all, some songs went out of print for a reason."

Snatch this HERE in mp3 (v0) or HERE in FLAC (for you discerning readers).

Oh, and go support the artist.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Jay Reatard

Reports have come in that Memphis garage rocker Jay Reatard was found dead at 3:30 this morning at the age of 29. I'm sure more news will come in soon about it but in the mean time I wanted to share a few of my favorites.

Monday, January 11, 2010

Vetiver's tight knit : what I listened to over christmas break

Visiting my Dad at work used to be beat. I couldn’t ever tuck my shirt in without making the dang boxers constrain my Netherlands. All the receptionists wanted to marry me, but being nine I knew I was safe. Dad’s friends would crush my hand letting me know that they were big shot lawyers, but would then throw in a wink to make sure I knew they sat at the cool table during lunch. “Nice to meet you, oh right, nice to see you again.” And plus, getting dizzy in dad’s office chair was only fun until you got dizzy.

This changed. As the room circled around me I saw Dad grab paper and slide it into the printer. This was no color printer used to make birthday cards for grandma though, this printer destroyed things. Legal documents turned into fortunes for giants with a satisfying whir of the engine. This was no color printer at all actually, it was a paper shredder, and I needed one.

Seeing this beast in action changed my outlook on life. Spelling book? I could shred that easy, social studies text book? Cover would be tricky but yeah, shreddable, trapper keeper? Would never shred my trapper keeper ever but I totally could if I wanted to.

It was safe to say, the AC-450 shredder was on my Christmas list, and heck it is also safe to say that the 25th was a let down that year. How mom didn’t see the need, the desire and the importance that shredding crap all day everyday was going to be is beyond me. Did she expect me to ride my bike to Dad’s office 7 times a day?

I visited my Dad at work a month later. With me I brought my list of “Things to Shred” complete with leaves, carrots, ice cubes and the tighty whities I don’t wear anymore. The dream was gone, at least no one would ever know what I was planning. I was not going to leave a paper trail.

Vampire Weekend: Contra (XL)

This review is also posted on:

Released January 12, 2010, Contra is Vampire Weekend’s second album. Gone is the occasional pseudo-intellectualism of Ezra Koenig’s lyrics, replaced with a literary style reminiscent of J.D. Salinger. Musically, the album is a departure from and an expansion of their previous effort. The production values are much better than their self-titled debut, and the risks they take in terms of instrumentation are much greater. These are my thoughts on first listening to Vampire Weekend’s Contra.

Pre-released “Horchata” seems to set an electronic opening tone for the record. However, on a more grand level it introduces the album’s experimental impulse. The band still is heavily African-influenced, especially in the percussion department, but the songwriting and instrumentation attains a new, stronger balance between professionalism and youthful ambition. The record is exciting and feels fun throughout, like cranking and watching a music box dance in a hip, cluttered apartment.

Ezra Koenig’s words fluctuate between understandable and indiscernable, yet his melody lines remain beautiful regardless of lexical comprehension. When his word are identifiable, they reflect a maturity and wisdom less present in the lyrics of Contra’s self-titled predecessor. Gone on the new record is the Ezra Koenig that “sleeps on the balcony after class”—from “Campus”—and he is replaced with an awake, more pointed, observer. There is something less youthfully naïve about this record, both instrumentally and lyrically. They play with auto-tune on “California English”, which sounds like Animal Collective dueling with a strings ensemble. They let a mariachi band go to town on “Run”. Keyboardist/guitarist Rostam Batmanglij rocks punk like Dave Longstreth on the frantic single “Cousins”.

The calculations would seem contrived if each ingredient on the record didn’t feel so natural and sincere. Even on the relatively mediocre “Giving Up the Gun”—too long without a climax, in my opinion—Koenig’s vocal lines always stand out as some of the most unique in moderrn music. “Diplomat’s Son” kicks in with strings seemingly borrowed from Dirty Projectors’ “Two Doves”, which is a reimagined cover of Nico’s “These Days”, which is a cover of Jackson Browne’s “These Days”… Listening to this album I have to imagine that the band was influenced by the Dirty Projectors’ release Bitte Orca (the guitar licks on “Cousins” mirror a number of DP tracks). Whereas Longstreth’s songs are always heady and sometimes immediately accessible, accessibility and entertainment is the prime goal of Vampire Weekend’s Contra.

The band writes songs that always sound like candy, and to deconstruct them theoretically almost seems counter-intuitive. Something complex and strange with the time signature is happening in the bridge of “Diplomat’s Son”, but it is so easy and pleasant to digest, and therefore analysis seems unnecessary. By introducing minimal allusions through the record—one explicit, in my mind—the band is distancing themselves from the intellectual pretention that might be associated with their Ivy League pedigree. That sort of overt academia has little place on the surface of Vampire Weekend’s music, which is spectacular in its seeming simplicity. There seems to be no high concept on the record other than to make fun, pop music, and the band does just that on Contra. I think Vampire Weekend has made the first great record of 2010.

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

New (Midd Student) Music Wednesdays featuring Change Your Plans ('13)

Meet Greg.

Ladies man. Otter Nonsense Player. Mash-up Artist?

Indeed it is true. Middlebury joins the ranks of Case Western (Gregg Gillis AKA Girl Talk) and Hampshire College (Ethan Ward AKA E-603) with having a Mash-up artist to call its own (Greg Dorris AKA Change Your Plans).

New Music Wednesdays are already awesome enough, but we at WRMC love it when we get the chance to rep a Middlebury Student. But of course, we wouldn't praise just any old Middkid who decides to poorly put an acapella over some 90's pop melody.

Greg indeed knows what he is doing. There are plenty of "mash-up artists" on the interweb to become quite tired of the entire genre, but Greg successfully cuts samples to keep your head nodding while still delivering the classic "ah-ha" moments that true artists like Girl Talk are famous for. Rather than constantly sticking with the trite "Dem Franchize Boys" acapella, you can tell Greg definitely has a love for rap music while also being well-versed in popular indie rock (Dirty Projectors, Phoenix, Passion Pit to name a few) in his samples.

I could go on and on as to why his debut album is worth listening to, but I'll instead just let you give a listen yourself. Check out one of my favorite tracks (including a Midd student cameo) and if you dig, proceed to downloading the album in its entirety by clicking below.