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????????

Good.  The news is that Vanderbilt finally has its own record label–and I am the director.

RVU Records, as it’s called, is going to have an immediate impact on campus.  The project was conceptualized as a student-run recording studio, and in fact such a studio was built over the summer, in the space that used to house the WRVU studio.  (The WRVU has been moved next door and actually thrives in its new location, which has windows and thus doesn’t feel like a cave.)  The RVU recording studio will be run by student recording engineers and producers, who will focus mainly on recording Vanderbilt students.  This is why I wanted the position so badly; I see it as an extension of what I’m trying to do with The VU Backstage.  By giving student musicians the space and time to record their projects on campus, and by having other students doing the recording, Vanderbilt’s musical efficacy will grow by leaps and bounds.  Musicians will meet other musicians hanging around the studio.  Everyone involved will have tremendous experience to use, whether on a resumé or for their personal projects.

Yes, that is me howling into the mic in the new RVU Records studio.  Jared Rubens on guitar.
Yes, that is me howling into the mic in the new RVU Records studio. Jared Rubens on guitar.

The studio will also be used to greatly enhance the quality of WRVU’s in-studios.  As you all know, I have recorded my shows for over a year using the simplistic Garage Band setup in the WRVU studio, which works decently well but has the potential to mess up and doesn’t afford me the best ability to mix the recording.  In addition, the WRVU studio is fine for a single artist with a piano or a guitar, but for groups things get more complicated.  The Melodores were particularly tricky to record, as there were 13 of them (they barely fit in the room!) and only three mics.  We made it work, but there’s now a better way.  The RVU Records studio will provide the space and the proper recording equipment, as well as a ballin’ Logic Pro/Pro Tools rig, to record bands or large groups that appear on WRVU shows.  We also plan to take videos, so hopefully we will soon have the capacity to do something like this, which was made at Duke.

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FC1TDk5npiY&w=560&h=315]

The attempts to open up the label arm of RVU Records are moving more slowly, but are carrying along steadily.  Our goal is to sign three Vanderbilt artists by the end of the year and help each produce, record, distribute, market, and promote an EP.  In this capacity, RVU would again provide a great opportunity for learning the workings of a label in a low-pressure environment.

Overall, the Vanderbilt music scene has never been more vibrant, and RVU Records has the potential to catalyze and unify it to a degree never before seen.

As always, check out The VU Backstage on Facebook and follow us on Twitter, and stay tuned for another great performance next week!

-Zach