Concert Review: Weezer & The Last Internationale

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The Last Internationale opened for Weezer this past Saturday and Sunday at the Ryman, which concluded their tour with Weezer. As a recently formed band that played their first show only two months ago, The Last Internationale have garnered a reputation for playing rock music laced with politically charged lyrics.

Lead singer Delila Paz first came on stage and performed “Workers of the World Unite,” a stripped down song that showed off her soft and haunting vocals. The title, which alludes to the popular political slogan, highlights the wicked truth about the American dream. This anthemic piece prepared the audience as other band members Edgey Pires and Brad Wilk (drummer of Rage Against the Machine) took the stage and started rocking out with other songs off of their EP New York I Do. My favorite was their new single “Killing Fields,” it definitely got the crowd pumped.

I had the opportunity to speak to the Last Internationale after their set (AKA I had the opportunity to awkwardly stutter questions because I’m awkward inside and out). As a Jersey girl not too far from the city myself, I was excited to speak to them about NYC and their favorite venues to play in, as well as their experience in Nashville so far. Like most of us, the Last Internationale was definitely pumped about the ever-changing music scene here in Nashville, pointing to the Third Man Records coming to Nashville as a big turning point for the Music City. (P.S. Weezer recorded a new version of Suzanne at Third Man Records the day of the concert, which you can hear snippets of on Weezer’s Instagram account.)

Check out The Last Internationale at their website thelastinternationale.com for links to their new music, as well as a free download of their new single “Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Indian Blood.” Another link with their bio: http://www.bbgunpress.com/artists/the-last-internationale/.

Weezer were super cool to see live–Pinkerton nearly brought me to tears. It was a really special night, starting off with a set of greatest hits, followed by some old never-seen-before footage of the band during their Pinkerton tour, and then Pinkerton from start to finish. The crowd was full of die-hard fans that shouted all the words and sang all the guitar solos, and it was clear that everyone enjoyed Weezer’s night of memories. The performance was really great, and (I think) a pretty cathartic experience for all involved. 

Thanks for WRVU for sending me out to check out The Last Internationale, it was a ton of fun and I’m looking forward to following them in the future!

Jenn Wu

5 Tips for Getting the Most Out Of Rites

Image from Rites of Spring Facebook Page

You may remember my blog post from back in January giving my predictions for some of the artists I thought would be coming out to this year’s Rites of Spring festival. If you do remember that post, you probably have figured out that I bombed all of my predictions except for the big one: I correctly guessed that 2 Chainz would be a Rites 2014 headliner. Today, I write again about our school’s beloved spring music festival, because it starts tomorrow. My fellow staff writer Zach Blumenfeld has given you a great preview of tonight’s unofficial Rites kick-off, the annual Battle of the Bands, by giving an overview of each artist you’ll be hearing. Instead of giving y’all an artist-by-artist breakdown, I’m going to take a step back and give more of an overview on how to get the most out of the Festival based on my own personal experiences the past three years.

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A Crazy-Loud Rock Record

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“11 bullshit-free rock songs about getting past the bullshit in your life”

Being one of the biggest Andy Hull fans out there, you better bet I’m pretty excited about today.

If you’re not exactly sure who Manchester Orchestra is, you might want to take a second to get comfortable because you might end up falling in love and then subsequently facing heartbreak. Bear with me.

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Nashville’s New Country


Many of you have probably seen this popular video posted by Grady Smith reminding us how mainstream and non unique country music was in 2013. What most of you probably don’t know is why this video exists. This video was actually made in response to the negative comments on his top 10 country album list that readers penned “not mainstream enough.” I don’t think his goal was to bash mainstream country music, but to open listeners eyes to songs they won’t hear every 5 minutes when stuck in Nashville traffic at rush hour. I have always loved some of the lesser known, genuine, country crossover artists, but didn’t realize how big of a genre they were becoming until my dad pointed out a Reddit post to me last week. Someone started dissing country music and one clever Reddit user retaliated with a Spotify playlist full of the best country songs he could find that aren’t about girls, trucks and beer. This playlist, featured below, includes some of my favorite new artists in Nashville that really have the potential to change country and triple A radio.

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5 Famous Songs That Are Actually Covers

Most people are familiar that Johnny Cash’s famous “Hurt” is actually a Nine Inch Nails song, that Led Zeppelin took much of their catalog from early blues recording, or that all of the various recordings of “Hallelujah” owe themselves to Leonard Cohen’s original.  But what about those song’s that we associate with one artist entirely when they are actually the creative genesis of another artist entirely?  These five songs fall in that category; that a listen to the original versions.

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Rap for a Reason: A Conversation with Shadower

Shadower is a Nashville-based rapper who released his single "Bully Me" last Tuesday.  All proceeds from the single will go to charity.
Shadower is a Nashville-based hip-hop artist who released his single “Bully Me” last Tuesday. All proceeds from the single will go to charity.

It’s safe to say that regardless of whether or not you think Kendrick Lamar got robbed at the Grammys, Macklemore and Ryan Lewis accounted for a significant shift in the scope of issues dealt with in mainstream rap music.  Into a culture dominated by the elegant hedonism of Kanye West and Jay-Z was infused a dose of reality–”fifty dollars for a t-shirt” (or, as famously offered by Yeezy, $120) is beyond the fiscal considerations of most Americans and shouldn’t be a standard to which ordinary folks are held.  The challenges that The Heist issued to the industry’s status quo opened up lines of dialogue that had been confined to the independent outskirts for much of the past decade, particularly regarding the materialistic, misogynistic, and heteronormative culture that has dominated mainstream rap.

In this rapidly changing paradigm, any social issue can be captured and crystallized into a song with the potential to move millions of affected listeners and inspire the unaffected to take corrective action.  With his new single “Bully Me,” Nashville hip-hop artist Shadower attempts to take the serious issue of childhood and adolescent bullying and preach empathy as the cure.

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T-Bone Burnett and the Americana Film Soundtrack

On the Friday before spring break, I had the pleasure of seeing the Vanderbilt Core Choir perform their home concert that began their week long tour to Florida.  The front end of the program was a typical classical repertoire, featuring works from Bach, Mendelssohn, and Brahms.  Via short sets focusing on international pieces and original compositions by choir members and friends, there was a gradual transition into what I found to be an absolutely stunning performance of Americana songs at the tail end of the program.  There was a complete change in atmosphere of the concert, and it was in no way related to the quality of the music going up for some strange reason.  The performance level was stunning throughout; in the roots set, it was just like the music stopped being a performance and began to be a warm and welcoming conversation.  It focused strongly on spirituals, arrangements of songs by The Wailin’ Jennys to highlight some of the ensemble’s remarkable sopranos and altos, and a selection for the male vocalists to shine on that happens to be one of my current favorite songs.    This was an adapted arrangement of Marcus Mumford and Oscar Isaac’s recording of “Fare Thee Well (Dink’s Song)” for the 2013 Coen Brothers film Inside Llewyn Davis (you can listen to a recording of the choir’s men performing the selection above).  The film follows a week in the life of Llewyn Davis, a fictional folk artist in Greenwich Village in the early 1960s struggling to make it by, providing a dreary reminder to the audience that for every Bob Dylan or Joan Baez success that came from this vibrant folk movement there were countless careers that failed to start.  Again and again in this dismal setting, the film’s music shines through, punctuated by performances from Oscar Isaac in his titular role.  The man that put that soundtrack together was T-Bone Burnett.

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