Kishi Bashi Stops By WRVU Studio

Kishi Bashi performs for WRVU on Thursday.
Kishi Bashi performs at WRVU.

 

Last Thursday, WRVU hosted Kishi Bashi for an in-studio performance ahead of his Cannery Ballroom show that evening. The acclaimed chamber pop solo artist, real name K Ishibashi, played three stripped-down songs from his 2014 album Lighght: “Bittersweet Genesis for Him AND Her”, “Q&A”, and “Philosophize In It! Chemicalize With It!”. You can check out the three-song performance below via RVU Records.

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Lots to Like on Surprise Drake Mixtape

Early-career mixtapes are often exciting event releases with production quality indistinguishable from a studio album. Think Acid Rap, The Weeknd’s remarkable 2011 mixtape trilogy, or Drake’s own So Far Gone. Once the major label contract is signed, however, “mixtape” doesn’t really connote high-quality, important work. One can argue mixtapes are rawer versions of more calibrated studio releases, but it’s hard to shake the nagging thought that mixtape tracks weren’t good enough to hold over for the album. Often when it comes to mixtapes, only the most dedicated fans need apply. So what’s this mean for If You’re Reading This It’s Too Late?

Drake quietly dropped a new mixtape/album on iTunes late Thursday.
Drake quietly dropped a new mixtape/album on iTunes late Thursday 2/12.

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Yonder Mountain String Band Performs at WRVU

On Friday January 24, DJ Ben Fensterheim hosted bluegrass group Yonder Mountain String Band in the WRVU studio. Check out the full interview and in-studio performance at our Bandcamp and embedded below. The group played a concert that evening at Marathon Music Works. Their upcoming album Black Sheep is completed, and will be released in 2015.

For more on Yonder Mountain String Band, check out their website.

Music that Sounds Like 2015

The farther you are from past events, the more they blend together. Time periods – years, decades, centuries – make for easy, automatic categorization of those events. “Take on Me”, “Just Like Heaven”, and “Don’t You (Forget About Me)” are distinctively “eighties” music in the public consciousness; today anything that sounds like synth-pop, from 1989 to “Seasons (Waiting On You)”, is an ‘80s throwback. Decades are efficient, well-defined genre descriptors, to the point where decades like the ’80s and ’90s feel so musically distinct that phrases like “1985-1994 in music” sound meaningless to someone who wasn’t around back then.


2015 Kanye moves away from the industrial anti-pop star seen on Yeezus (2013) for a sentimental team-up with Paul McCartney.

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AOTY Tournament: Recap and Individual Lists

aoty

When WRVU announced the winner of 2014′s edition of our annual AOTY (Album of the Year) tournament, hardcore rap duo Run the Jewels emerged on top. Run the Jewels joined the ranks of Vampire Weekend and Tame Impala, who won the tournament in 2013 and 2012, respectively.

The tournament isn’t the whole story though. While its an exciting way to narrow down an overall winner, it doesn’t completely explain why we liked what we did. Additionally, there’s a worry that popular voting is biased against niche releases; it’s certainly not required that voters listen to each and every one of the 32 contenders to better inform their decision.

In the interest of calling out as much great 2014 music as possible, this post compiles the individual top 10 lists from our DJs. But first, a few tournament-related consolation prizes.

The Alternate Universe WRVU-AOTY Award

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aoty

Top 32

For us college kids, 2014 was consumed by late nights studying, barely passed exams, countless job and grad school apps, and maybe a few parties, concerts, and vacations to keep us sane. 2014 meant we were one year closer to the real world, except we didn’t feel older.

For music fans, 2014 meant a continuous stream of new music to sift through: a lot of it good, more of it bad, and some of it downright confusing. At the end of the day, it’s the good we remember, and 2014 had plenty. A pop left turn from America’s best-selling artist. A disconnected folk artist’s rumination on aging and death. Celebrated hip-hop producers and emcees honing their craft. These artists all made it to WRVU’s collection of the 32 best 2014 albums, but now they compete to be crowned album of the year.

Click to see bracket!
Click to see bracket

Tournament seeds were awarded based on rankings from our DJs. Higher ranked picks received more points. Over 100 unique albums received votes, and the top 32 appear in this tournament. 16 will advance past the first round. Your favorite albums need your votes to advance. Your least favorite albums need your votes against them to be stopped. At the end of the day, only one will remain: the 2014 WRVU Album of the Year.

VOTE HERE

Design credit to William Doran.

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http://wrvu.org/aoty-tourney/