Aphex Twin – Syro Review

syroblimp
The Aphex Twin blimp over London, the harbinger of the return of Richard D. James.

On August 16, 2014 this mysterious blimp, sporting the iconic Aphex Twin logo and “2014″, appeared over London.  Soon after, the same logo appeared in street art graffiti-ed onto the sidewalk in front of New York’s Radio City Music Hall.  While many refused to buy into the hype, discussion exploded in the music community about the possibility of a new Aphex Twin album this year, which would be 43-year-old beatsmith Richard D. James’ first full release since 2001′s Drukqs.  Just two days later, Syro was announced via James’ twitter, and just one month after that music fans found themselves experiencing an Aphex Twin comeback.

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Cello, You Got a Bass

victorwooten.com
victorwooten.com

On September 18th, virtuosic bass player Victor Wooten premiered his unprecedented electric bass concerto entitled “The Bass Whisperer: Concerto for Electric Bass and Orchestra” with the Nashville Symphony Orchestra. The concert attracted an interesting conglomeration of regular symphony-goers as well as jazz and R&B fans, which for someone like Victor Wooten, who has preached how music is the perfect medium for peace, love, and even diplomacy, must have been the ideal sight to see. However, for us concert attendees watching someone who many believe is the best bassist of our generation, maybe of all time, perform with such soul and passion, that was the ideal sight to see. In the spirit of Wooten’s complete disregard of “genre” for the sake of musical exploration, it is only appropriate to try to learn from him and maybe delve into the orchestral world ourselves for a little bit.

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A River That Does A 180°

An album two years in the making finally presented itself this past August. Dry the River’s Alarms of the Heart exudes a confidence that wasn’t as obvious in listening to the band’s first album. Actually, in a lot of ways, the two albums are super different.

(The Guardian)
Dry the River (theguardian.com)

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Progressive or Regressive Rock?: Opeth’s “Pale Communion” Reviewed

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Anyone familiar with the name Opeth most likely knows the Swedish band for being innovators in the progressive metal genre.  Their extremely unique sound has led them to worldwide acclaim in the metal community, and the band has had much praise from the modern progressive rock community as well.  Albums such as Blackwater Park and Still Life have become some of the most heavily-praised metal albums of the modern era.  Many fans, myself included, love Opeth for their ability to change from an extremely heavy metal riff to a beautiful acoustic guitar with the creativity and skill that few bands can even manage to pull off a few times, let alone as consistently as the band has proved.   [Read more...]

Beyond Pitchfork: 5 Online Resources for the Budding Indie Music Fan

pitchfork cover

So you’re a brand new DJ.  A little excited, a little nervous to talk aloud to who knows how many listeners.  You know the words to every song on The Essential Billy Joel, both discs.  In high school, you rode shotgun down two-lane country roads in your friend’s doorless Jeep, sticking your bare feet out the side while the first Mumford & Sons album drowned out the cicadas.  No one else in 11th grade had heard of The Decemberists or Regina Spektor.  You thought you were pretty cool; you went to public school.  But now, in college, the older DJs in WRVU are intimidating, and you don’t know any of the bands they’re talking about.  You’re me, freshman year.

Two years ago, I spent a lot of time hunting for new music, though I wasn’t very efficient at it.  Pitchfork was the only music journalism site I’d heard of, and I spent lots of time there without understanding the context of most of the articles.  If I could do it all over again, here’s the resources I’d have used.

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The Best Of Live On The Green

LOTG

Boasting crowds approaching 20,000 each week, Nashville prides itself in having one of the best free music festivals in the country. You heard me right, free. Lightning 100, the only local independent radio station, brings in the best live acts for four Thursday nights full of food, fun and music then continues the party the last weekend by extending this Thursday night show into a whole weekend festival spicing up our Friday and Saturday. This year the lineup was better than ever with bigger bands and the same long sets. All of these Thursdays and weekend performances add up to 22 live sets by Cage the Elephant, The Head and the Heart, Capital Cities, Ingrid Michaelson, City and Colour, Jake Bugg, G. Love and Special Sauce, The Wild Feathers, Augustana, Delta Spirit, The Lone Bellow, Wild Cub, The Features, The Weeks, Spanish Gold, Johnnyswim, LP, All Them Witches, Goodbye June, Daniel Ellsworth and the Great Lakes, Sugar and the Hi-Lows and Phin.

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Tom Krell Shows Exit/In How to Dress Well

How to Dress Well performs in Nashville. Source: the author's phone.
How to Dress Well performs in Nashville.

By most metrics, How to Dress Well still has a lot of room to grow in the music industry. This past Tuesday, singer/songwriter Tom Krell’s first appearance in Nashville meant a twelve dollar Tuesday show at Exit/In that maybe half sold out. The intimate crowd size and locale seemed much more befitting to How to Dress Well’s early lo-fi work than to 2014’s immaculately produced “What Is The Heart?” While his music is influential to similar indie-R&B peers like The Weeknd and Frank Ocean, Krell is several orders of magnitude behind the breakout recognition those two have enjoyed. Critical appeal has grown with each full-length release, and so has both the production quality and amount of potential breakthrough singles, which makes it hard to say why Tom Krell has yet to experience a higher level of cultural significance.

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