What comes to mind when you think of music from Louisiana? For most, probably not a whole lot. You may be aware of New Orleans as the birthplace of jazz, or the Southern Louisiana favorites of zydeco and Cajun music if you are especially shrewd. Although it is true that these genres have a huge impact on the musical culture of Louisiana, there are a surprising number of artists that do not adhere to these more “typical” Louisiana genres and can hold their own against bands and artists across the nation. I find out more and more about the rich and diverse music scene in my own backyard all the time, and just recently I was informed by a Louisiana musician and friend that many of the members of Neutral Milk Hotel, who just recently sold out the Ryman, are in fact from the quaint town of Ruston, LA. Just to give you all a little taste of what I am talking about, I have compiled a list of five artists/bands that I think give insight into a different spice that Louisiana offers.
27 year old Hudson Mohawke (HudMo), real name Ross Birchard, has become quite the DJ and producer over the last several years. Most people probably know his name because he makes up one half of the duo TNGHT, or because he helped produced Kanye West’s most recent album, Yeezus (him and Lunice, the other half of TNGHT, had the most influence over Kanye’s track Blood on the Leaves which is my favorite track!). Over winter break I was most fortunate and spent nearly a month in Glasgow, Scotland, where HudMo is from, and (almost!!) ran into him several times in the small but vibrant city. Call me ignorant but I hadn’t heard his name before winter break although I knew and listened to TNGHT’s music, and as he’s a “local celebrity” in Glasgow, I had to catch up on all the gossip and news going around town concerning HudMo.
I’m a Chicago kid. Born in the city and raised on the Southside. It’s what I know, it’s what I rep, it’s the place I love and call home. We get a bad rap on the national media for the violence, the public schools and the corruption (at least, in part, rightfully so) but all in all, I’m proud of where I’m from. So when something good comes out of where I’m from, I have to bump it. [Read more...]
2013 is coming to a close, and that means it’s time to select our station’s top album of the year. Our DJs have nominated the 16 albums in the image above, but we’re leaving it to our listeners to vote for their favorites within this group. Head over to our Facebook page every day this week to weigh in!
Bilal is a son of the funk. Though born in ’79, he rolls with the swagger of a proper 70’s child drawing influence from Blaxploitation films and funkmasters Sly Stone, George Clinton, and Curtis Mayfield among many others. [Read more...]
I go on a lot of road trips. I have to drive between Albuquerque, NM and Nashville, TN twice per year so I can have access to my car in my two homes. I drive to retreats and district events for Tau Beta Sigma, the band service organization I am a part of. I drive to various music festivals. I’m going to be driving to Mardi Gras this spring. And while some people may not understand it, I love all of these long drives, and one of the main reasons for that is having a good road trip playlist. Having been fortunate enough to be travelling to festivals for two of the past three weekends, I’ve decided to share a few of my current favorite road trip albums.
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...]
Jip Jop formed sometime between 2006 and 2008 (depending on which online bio you trust) when front man Ben Gershman- Benny Nice behind the boards and on the mic- noticed a few standout students in Indiana University Bloomington’s Jacobs school of music. They each had jazz training, they all liked hip-hop and so naturally they melded the two. [Read more...]