Unmasking Zappa: A Primer to the Music of Frank Zappa

When talking about weird, avant-garde musicians, Frank Zappa’s name is usually thrown around.  I say “thrown around” because I feel like not many people who know his name really known much about his music.  Too many times I’ve heard someone say something like, “Oh, Zappa?  Yeah, his music is kind of weird, I’m not really a fan.”  There’s some truth to this statement; his music is, generally speaking, weird, but I feel as though many people don’t understand the spread of genres that Zappa incorporated into his own music.  Truthfully, I think that there’s at least one Zappa album for almost everyone.

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Turkey Tunes: Music for a Holiday That’s Largely Dismissed

Before you crank up “I’ll Be Home For Christmas” and start decking the halls with boughs of holly, take few minutes to heave up some enthusiasm for the holiday that cuts between “The Monster Mash” and “Jingle Bell Rock.” While largely ignored by convenience stores, TV specials, front yard decor, and the radio waves, Thanksgiving has just as much of a right to be celebrated as the other holidays do!

thanksgiving

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Vinyl to MP3: A History of Music Formats

daft punk vinyl

If you’ve been in Urban Outfitters recently, odds are you’ve seen some vinyl records. These dinosaurs of the music world have been making a comeback in slightly more hipster circles for a while, hence their appearance in one of the most hipster clothing stores of them all. These records aren’t just the oldies that your parents listened to either. In fact, new albums are still being released as vinyl records as well as in more contemporary formats. So in honor of this resurgence, I hereby present to you a history of music formats, from vinyl to MP3.

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10 Diss Songs More Sincere Than Mark Kozelek’s War

 

Photo Courtesy of stereo gum.com
Photo Courtesy of stereogum.com

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.

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6 Artists That Make Great Study Music

It’s that time in the semester.  Things are starting to get crazy.  Those projects are piling up.  Finals are just over the horizon.  Right now you’re probably halfway through an intense study session, your study playlist is exhausted, and you find yourself checking WRVU for your emerging music needs.

Luckily for you, I have some great artists to bolster the ranks of your depleted library as you take on the end of the semester.  As a general rule, these artists don’t feature many lyrics in their songs as I generally find lyrics to be distracting from my work.  If you can get into the studying zone while listening to music with prominent lyrics, then I envy you.

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Is It OK To Use Your Smartphone At A Concert?

Earlier this week, another one of WRVU’s staff writers talked about Concert Do’s and Don’t’s. One of the suggest modes of concert etiquette was “Don’t experience the concert through the lens of your camera.” I feel like this has become a hot topic among my friends and me throughout the past few years; increasingly so as apps like Snapchat and Instagram have become more and more popular. So I’m here to talk about what I think, what the good people of the Internet think, and what artists think about smartphones at concerts.

(1920x800)open-source-concerts-an-idea-in-progress

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Album Review: Run The Jewels 2

This week was a good one for Run the Jewels fans in Nashville.  This morning, two days after their sold-out show at Exit/In, Run The Jewels 2, the duo’s long awaited follow-up to their self-titled debut, appeared on my news feed.  I ate up this fresh musical morsel as soon I could.  What I found when I dove into this album was one of the best collection of dope beats, club bangers, and vicious verses I have heard out of the rap scene this year and a continuation of the trademark style that El-P and Killer Mike have developed.

El-P (left) and Killer Mike (right)
El-P (left) and Killer Mike (right)

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