Lockwood Barr and a Cloud Control Review

I "discovered" Cloud Control this week.  According to Christopher Columbus, I can claim them for Spain and force them to mine my gold and farm my crops.

I “discovered” Cloud Control this week. According to Christopher Columbus, I can claim them for Spain and force them to mine my gold and farm my crops.

Hey everybody,

One of the benefits of hosting The VU Backstage for a year is that you develop friendships and solid connections with the artists you invite on the show.  This is especially nice when you are scrambling for a guest for the show on the day of.  You call up a friend–in this case Lockwood Barr–and you do the show.  And the interview is easy because there’s already an established rapport there, making conversation a delight and bringing more personality out of both you and the guest.

That was what happened last night.  Lockwood and I had fun discussing everything from her new band and extensive tour plans to The Catcher in the Rye and gourmet cooking.  It was fittingly awkward when I whiffed on two straight Napoleon Dynamite references, but there was also substantive insight into Lockwood’s songwriting and attitude towards music.  Of course, there was also the music itself, which was fantastic.  You can catch the full show here.

In other news, I discovered a new band (for me, at least; you’ve probably heard of them for a few years).  Generally, I look to the past for my music; Rush, the Beatles, and the Red Hot Chili Peppers with John Frusciante are my three favorite bands.  Any current music I consume has to be introduced to me by someone else, either because a recommendation is a sure sign that a band is worth my time or because I am too lazy to seek out the music myself.  Luckily, I work at WRVU and cannot avoid being introduced to new and unfamiliar music. [Read more...]

Jillian Stein and a New Project

I have a second music child to look after now--RVU Records, Vanderbilt's student-run recording company.

I have a second music child to look after now–RVU Records, Vanderbilt’s student-run recording company.

Hi everybody,

Thanks for your continued support of The VU Backstage!  Jillian Stein was a phenomenal guest last night.  Her music gives off a very retro, late 60s-early 70s folk vibe, and you can easily draw comparisons to Joni Mitchell (who, as it turns out, is her chief influence).  Catch the full episode right here.

This next bit of news is extremely exciting and relevant both to the show and to WRVU.  It has taken weeks of development on my part and involved a litany of other people, both students and fully grown adults.  It required a fairly large investment by the Vanderbilt Student Communications board.  It has the potential to change the music scene at Vanderbilt FOREVER.

Jillian Stein played a great show on The VU Backstage last night.  Also, building suspense for the "bit of news" I'm about to drop.

Jillian Stein played a great show on The VU Backstage last night. Also, building suspense for the “bit of news” I’m about to drop.

Have I built you up sufficiently?

HAVE I???

Irrelevant picture of a cat, to further build suspense.

HAVE I????????

[Read more...]

Michael Pollack and Singing Your Own Lyrics

Michael Pollack and Singing Your Own Lyrics

Michael Pollack has always had confidence behind a piano; only recently did he gain confidence behind a microphone.

Michael Pollack has always had confidence behind a piano; only recently did he gain confidence behind a microphone.

Hello everybody!

My name is Zach Blumenfeld and each Sunday at 9pm central I host The VU Backstage, which features a live performance by and interview with a Vanderbilt student musician.  This week’s guest was Michael Pollack, who gained fame when he played New York State of Mind with Billy Joel on January 30th.  He’s really come a long way from where he was the last time I had him on the show, in February.  Since then, Michael has gone viral on YouTube, appeared on nationally broadcast talk shows like Today and Jeff Probst, recorded and released an eponymous EP, and played in front of a sold-out crowd at the Best Buy Theater in Times Square.  If you missed the show, you can catch the whole thing here.

[Read more...]