What in the World “Combat Salacious Removal” Means, and Why Abstract Lyrics Work

Sometimes I don’t know why I love the things I love. I was sitting in my room and doing homework this weekend while blasting through Interpol’s 2004 album Antics, singing along to the track “Length of Love”. It’s a great track, starting around a sinister guitar part before it shifts into the kind of ersatz-punk-disco that Interpol is known for. Naturally I’m singing along, but when I get to the chorus I stop and ask myself, “What in the world did I just sing?” See, I had to ask this question because the chorus is just a three word motif sung in Paul Banks’ ALL CAPS monotone. The words? (And I’m not making this up) “COMBAT SALACIOUS REMOVAL”.

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Five Albums from Five Different Eras

Five Albums from Five Different Eras

Saint Motel

Saint Motel

As you might be able to tell by now, I really like lists and I enjoy the number 5. So here’s to a bit of both. Lately I’ve been going through my Itunes library and come across some old favorites; the one’s I’ve been meaning to get into more but haven’t had the time or energy to. But here I am to revive that spirit and to enlighten you all about some albums you may not have heard of, but will be glad that you did.

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10 Songs to Get Ready for Festival Season

10 Songs to Get Ready for Festival Season

Photo courtesy of crienglish.com (Note the Nepali flag in the background)

Photo courtesy of crienglish.com (Note the Nepali flag in the background)

Rites of Spring was in many ways a kick-off for the summer season of music festivals. For many students, the time to go to music festivals in a hot, showerless, frenzy of music, beach balls, and girls on the shoulders of some poor soul won’t begin until a few weeks when we are done with the stresses of finals and school work. To get ready for this wonderful time of year, I have compiled a list of 10 songs that really get us into the mood for these festivals. These songs are not necessarily the most intricate or creative songs that these artists have made, but I think they really capture the carefree, no-consequences kind of attitude most people are looking for during the middle of a summer festival.

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Concert Review: Weezer & The Last Internationale

Concert Review: Weezer & The Last Internationale

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The Last Internationale opened for Weezer this past Saturday and Sunday at the Ryman, which concluded their tour with Weezer. As a recently formed band that played their first show only two months ago, The Last Internationale have garnered a reputation for playing rock music laced with politically charged lyrics.

Lead singer Delila Paz first came on stage and performed “Workers of the World Unite,” a stripped down song that showed off her soft and haunting vocals. The title, which alludes to the popular political slogan, highlights the wicked truth about the American dream. This anthemic piece prepared the audience as other band members Edgey Pires and Brad Wilk (drummer of Rage Against the Machine) took the stage and started rocking out with other songs off of their EP New York I Do. My favorite was their new single “Killing Fields,” it definitely got the crowd pumped.

I had the opportunity to speak to the Last Internationale after their set (AKA I had the opportunity to awkwardly stutter questions because I’m awkward inside and out). As a Jersey girl not too far from the city myself, I was excited to speak to them about NYC and their favorite venues to play in, as well as their experience in Nashville so far. Like most of us, the Last Internationale was definitely pumped about the ever-changing music scene here in Nashville, pointing to the Third Man Records coming to Nashville as a big turning point for the Music City. (P.S. Weezer recorded a new version of Suzanne at Third Man Records the day of the concert, which you can hear snippets of on Weezer’s Instagram account.)

Check out The Last Internationale at their website thelastinternationale.com for links to their new music, as well as a free download of their new single “Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Indian Blood.” Another link with their bio: http://www.bbgunpress.com/artists/the-last-internationale/.

Weezer were super cool to see live–Pinkerton nearly brought me to tears. It was a really special night, starting off with a set of greatest hits, followed by some old never-seen-before footage of the band during their Pinkerton tour, and then Pinkerton from start to finish. The crowd was full of die-hard fans that shouted all the words and sang all the guitar solos, and it was clear that everyone enjoyed Weezer’s night of memories. The performance was really great, and (I think) a pretty cathartic experience for all involved. 

Thanks for WRVU for sending me out to check out The Last Internationale, it was a ton of fun and I’m looking forward to following them in the future!

Jenn Wu

John and Jacob Brought the Dancing Shoes: Concert Review

John and Jacob Brought the Dancing Shoes: Concert Review

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“You better dance with us, even if it’s bad” John and Jacob said to a friend and I before the show. Apparently the whole crowd overheard this as swing dancers were in full motion by the first note of their vibey, fun music and they didn’t show any signs of slowing down. As the night went on, John and Jacob decided to share a little secret with us. Having an album all recorded and ready, they were only missing a release date. They decided what better way to release an album than exclusively to this Nashville crowd that night. The album is not available to anyone other cities or states right now except Nashville showing John and Jacob’s love and thankfulness for the supportive Nashville crowd.

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5 Tips for Getting the Most Out Of Rites

Image from Rites of Spring Facebook Page

You may remember my blog post from back in January giving my predictions for some of the artists I thought would be coming out to this year’s Rites of Spring festival. If you do remember that post, you probably have figured out that I bombed all of my predictions except for the big one: I correctly guessed that 2 Chainz would be a Rites 2014 headliner. Today, I write again about our school’s beloved spring music festival, because it starts tomorrow. My fellow staff writer Zach Blumenfeld has given you a great preview of tonight’s unofficial Rites kick-off, the annual Battle of the Bands, by giving an overview of each artist you’ll be hearing. Instead of giving y’all an artist-by-artist breakdown, I’m going to take a step back and give more of an overview on how to get the most out of the Festival based on my own personal experiences the past three years.

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A First Look at the Rites of Spring Battle of the Bands

A First Look at the Rites of Spring Battle of the Bands

The Rites of Spring Battle of the Bands provides a great opportunity for local bands to play on a big stage--and for you to discover their music!

The Rites of Spring Battle of the Bands provides a great opportunity for local bands to play on a big stage–and for you to discover their music!

It’s that time of year again at Vanderbilt.  The Student Alumni Board is passing out free shirts at Rand; there are dozens of garbage bins lounging pell-mell on Alumni Lawn; the fraternities are gearing up for their crawfish boils and pig roasts; fierce debate regarding 2 Chainz’ arraignment echoes across campus.  What else could it be but Rites Week?

Love it or hate it (and, as always, there’s been a lot of both emotions in reaction to this year’s lineup), the week of Rites of Spring is the best time for music at Vanderbilt every year.  Though the main event will be an epic spectacle that should trump last year’s in terms of debauchery and Dionysian life force–after all, NEEDTOBREATHE probably played before the most sober Rites crowd ever–my favorite part of the week is the Battle of the Bands, which will take place this Thursday at 7:30 PM in Rand Lounge/Dank New Rand.  The Battle of the Bands is easy to overlook, especially with the winners’ prize being the chance to play on Friday afternoon before most students will want to arrive, but it’s a great showcase of some local talent (including a number of Vanderbilt-based acts) and winning would be a tremendous affirmation for any of the competitors.  And this year, you as an audience member have an opportunity to play a pivotal role in determining the battle’s victor, as the crowd’s vote will account for two-fifths of the final decision (alongside the three judges).  The idea seems to be that the winner should be able to draw a crowd to Rites as early as possible, with the ability to do this on a Thursday night supposedly predictive of the ability to follow suit the next afternoon.  So if you are friends with one or more of the contestants, the most important thing you can do for them is to show up at the battle on Thursday night and bring a pack of friends along for the ride.

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Who is Le Youth?

Photo courtesy of leyouth.com

American DJ and producer Wes James, otherwise better known as Le Youth, first came to fame last summer with his debut track C O O L, a groovy R&B/House track heavily sampling Cassie’s song Me & U. The single received enormous attention on his SoundCloud played and was a huge hit in the UK and Denmark. Since his first single he has only come out with one additional track, a techno dance track named Dance With Me sampling TLC’s No Scrubs (which has been a very popular track for DJs to sample recently) and featuring the young, popular rapper Dominique Young UniqueDance With Me is just as brilliant as his debut single and has received ample attention from listeners and DJs/producers around the globe.

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A Crazy-Loud Rock Record

A Crazy-Loud Rock Record

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“11 bullshit-free rock songs about getting past the bullshit in your life”

Being one of the biggest Andy Hull fans out there, you better bet I’m pretty excited about today.

If you’re not exactly sure who Manchester Orchestra is, you might want to take a second to get comfortable because you might end up falling in love and then subsequently facing heartbreak. Bear with me.

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Rap for a Reason: A Conversation with Shadower

Rap for a Reason: A Conversation with Shadower

Shadower is a Nashville-based rapper who released his single "Bully Me" last Tuesday.  All proceeds from the single will go to charity.

Shadower is a Nashville-based hip-hop artist who released his single “Bully Me” last Tuesday. All proceeds from the single will go to charity.

It’s safe to say that regardless of whether or not you think Kendrick Lamar got robbed at the Grammys, Macklemore and Ryan Lewis accounted for a significant shift in the scope of issues dealt with in mainstream rap music.  Into a culture dominated by the elegant hedonism of Kanye West and Jay-Z was infused a dose of reality–”fifty dollars for a t-shirt” (or, as famously offered by Yeezy, $120) is beyond the fiscal considerations of most Americans and shouldn’t be a standard to which ordinary folks are held.  The challenges that The Heist issued to the industry’s status quo opened up lines of dialogue that had been confined to the independent outskirts for much of the past decade, particularly regarding the materialistic, misogynistic, and heteronormative culture that has dominated mainstream rap.

In this rapidly changing paradigm, any social issue can be captured and crystallized into a song with the potential to move millions of affected listeners and inspire the unaffected to take corrective action.  With his new single “Bully Me,” Nashville hip-hop artist Shadower attempts to take the serious issue of childhood and adolescent bullying and preach empathy as the cure.

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8 (+1) MORE Songs That Are Hauntingly Beautiful

8 (+1) MORE Songs That Are Hauntingly Beautiful

Photo courtesy of kicswila.com

Photo courtesy of kicswila.com

So, my friend Lucas did a post on this same subject a while ago; I liked the idea so much, I wanted to create my own spin on the subject of hauntingly beautiful music. Many sources define “haunting” as “remaining in the consciousness” or “not quickly forgotten;” however, the significance of this term surpasses its somewhat shallow definition. Music that is haunting doesn’t just remain in the consciousness for a long time, it transforms it. The moment this music enters our ears, it lifts us to a higher plane of existence. We begin to contemplate, as The Shins put it in one of the songs I will reference, “the bitter mechanics of life.” We forget how and why we exist. The only thing that matters, in that moment, is the music that is filling us, and we are forever changed by it.

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Recent WRVU Rotation Adds Profiled: The War on Drugs, Schoolboy Q, Wild Beasts

Recent WRVU Rotation Adds Profiled: The War on Drugs, Schoolboy Q, Wild Beasts

As anyone involved with WRVU knows, we’re constantly trying to showcase new musical talent while also keeping our station’s output connected to industry buzz. Let’s take a look at a few of the recent albums that have made it onto the airwaves at WRVU.

The War on Drugs – Lost in the Dream

The War on Drugs specialize in their own unique brand of “heartland rock” that is a little like Bruce Springsteen mixed with a more urgent version of Real Estate. Lost in the Dream stands as their best release yet, from rip-roaring cuts like “Red Eyes” to more pensive jams like “Suffering”.

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Irish Music Is Alive

Irish Music Is Alive

24075_1167251239917_1787018830_318342_7210598_n copyDidn’t get enough Irish this St. Paddy’s Day?

Yes, I know, St. Patrick’s Day was yesterday. Believe me, I don’t think the holiday should be dragged out any longer (especially after the endless weekend of St. Fratty’s Day celebrations) buttttttt I do think the day after St. Patrick’s day, while the orange and green dust settles, is a great time to discuss Ireland’s impact on modern music.

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Introducing…Your All-2000s Bad Music Squad!

Introducing…Your All-2000s Bad Music Squad!

Mathematicians call this the "empty set."

Mathematicians call this the “empty set.”

I spent the majority of my spring break plastering the walls of a cinderblock building in the Puerto Rican rain forest.  The only way to possibly get through a task as mind-numbing as plastering walls is to have an upbeat, driving playlist of music blasting from a decent set of speakers.  Luckily, for the most part, that was the situation; our work crew leader had impeccable and eclectic taste, and about 100,000 songs in his iTunes library.  One day, though, we made the call to switch it up.  My buddy Matt had concocted a playlist entitled “Ridiculous Rap,” mainly comprised of one-hit crunk wonders from the mid-2000s.  The first couple songs were hilarious and everybody sang along.  By song five, the high had disappeared and it dawned on us that we had been ingesting pure crap for the past fifteen or so minutes.

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WRVURoo: Win Two Tickets to Bonnaroo!!!

WRVU is going to Bonnaroo this year, and you can too!  Read on to find out how you can win a pair of tickets to one of the nation’s biggest music festivals.

WRVU

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