The Billboard Hot 100 is a weekly chart that draws from a variety of factors to evaluate the most popular songs in America. Obviously for many listeners this kind of evaluation for the quality of a song is wholly unreliable because what usually makes a song accessible to millions of listeners also makes it highly derivative, uninteresting, etc. However, we should be careful not to discredit a song simply because it is accessible and achieved mainstream success, and in honor of that I have compiled a list of 10 songs released in 2014 that have all appeared on the Billboard Hot 100 that stood out amongst their peers on the lists (in no order).
Most likely many readers are already familiar with the famed “feud” between Sun Kil Moon frontman Mark Kozelek and the indie-rock band War On Drugs. For the most part, the exchange between the two groups has been grossly over-scrutinized, with no shortage of music websites and blogs commenting on this issue. The overall vibe appears to be that some people do not find any kind of humor in Kozelek’s attack and see him as an immature jerk, or people that believe that he is simply tired of how media loves to sensationalize things out of context for the sake of a story. As demonstrated from the lyricism in Sun Kil Moon’s Benji, Kozelek has no problem in painting surprisingly honest, introspective, and strikingly vivid images of what is going on in his mind, so something about hoping the War On Drugs “don’t have lice”, and other uncharacteristically juvenile lyrics in his songs about the War On Drugs make it clear that Kozelek’s original intentions in this “conflict” were not to bring about the demise of War On Drugs, but perhaps simply to poke fun at the entire situation. To contrast, we will look at 10 songs, in no order, where the intention of the artist is clearly to call out a target.
On Tuesday, October 21st, concert goers at the Exit/In were one of the first to witness GIVERS, with opening act Kind Cousin, perform on their most recent tour. The bands only left their hometown of the wonderful Lafayette, Louisiana earlier this month, and so curiosity for what the indie pop groups had to offer was high. GIVERS has not released anything since their debut album In Light came on the scene in 2011. Having taken a break after their last batch of touring, there was definitely an unspoken expectation from the crowd to see what the quintet had been working on since their last foray in the spotlight. GIVERS did not disappoint, with the show at the Exit/In providing a solid, if not majority, representation of their new songs.
New artists, new albums, and new songs are constantly being produced, and it can get quite confusing keeping track of what you have and have not listened. But often times, a band comes along and drops an album named after the band itself, making our job of keeping track of it all a bit more easy. It is surprising to see just how many bands have eponymous albums, and below I have compiled a list of just a fraction of the bands that have one. Best part is, if you like any of them you only have to remember one name! Wow!
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.
Hey, we’re back. That’s right, the writers here on wrvu.org are ready for another semester to report/analyze/fangirl/discuss musical topics that we find interesting. However, over the summer there was a full three months of activity that we left untouched. For this reason, I have outlined some of the interesting headlines and releases of the summer.
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.
On this day in 1979, one of America’s most beloved singer-songwriters was born. Through her down-to-earth voice and introspective lyricism, Norah Jones has been a powerhouse in the music industry since her multi-platinum debut album, Come Away With Me, was released in 2002. Her nine Grammys demonstrate how Norah Jones has been able to create a name for herself. However, this name is not the one she was born with. Her birth name is reflective of a very musical genealogy, but probably not from a source that would be your first guess. Or your second.