There’s s(no)w place like home

vanderbilt winter

As the icy tundra continues to plague (or bless) Tennessee, students throughout the state have been rejoicing for the past two days and pray for similar circumstances in the coming days. The fact is snow days are the gift of time: time to do work, time to relax, time to finally watch SNL40. Here are 45 songs to rock out to the next time the skies look happily down upon you. (I’m hoping that day is tomorrow).

From rollin’ with your homies to sleeping in, snow days are just the best.

The Hype, The Chance, The Rapper

500_1395870762_chance_61

“What did you think of the Rites lineup?”

This question has reverberated around Vanderbilt’s campus since February 11, 2015. Rock purists celebrated the appearance of Young, the Giant at the top of the bill. Fans of psychedelia and indie rock were surely excited to see Portugal. The Man make the trip. Music fans of every walk of life are singing the praises of T-Pain’s inclusion.

However, the first name on the bill has generated the most buzz. Chancelor Bennett, known to the world as Chance the Rapper, whose profession, as it turns out, is in fact rapping, has taken the hip-hop community by storm over the past two years. His rise to fame has been exponential, and his headlining position at Rites should not come as a surprise.

[Read more...]

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.

[Read more...]

Azealia Banks’ Island of One

Azealia-Banks

Open up Twitter, type in “azealia banks”, and witness the 23 year-old rapper-singer-songwriter’s solitary crusade against any soul that she sets in her sights. A lot of artists talk huge game about being above caring about the public’s opinion of what they do or say but make no mistake, they, like many of us, shiver when they hear the phrase “did you hear what Azealia Banks said this time?” She utterly embodies the term “outspoken”; her Twitter is essentially a platform through which she unleashes barrage after barrage of unfiltered passion.

Banks is seemingly inexhaustible when it comes to her unflinching hostility, and the list of targets who have been unfortunate enough to come under her heat reads like a who’s who of key music industry figures and past and current stars. There’s T.I., Lil Kim, Diplo, Nicki Minaj, Rita Ora, The Stone Roses (?) and of course, Igloo Australia, whom Banks reserves a singular hate for. No one is too large for her to size up and attack, proved most recently by her brief spar with Erykah Badu, an indisputable hip-hop/r&b/soul/black music dignitary. Her long list of enemies made in her short career garnered Banks the reputation of an unproductive troublemaker during the period of time in which Banks’ debut Broke With Expensive Taste languished in label hell. As Hazlitt writer Sarah Nicole Prickett notes, Banks had been seen as more famous for her acidic insults than her actual music.
[Read more...]

I Love You, “I Love You, Honeybear”

Father John Misty. Probably a fitting moniker for a man who claims to have “discovered” himself while sitting naked, atop an oak tree. Josh Tillman is the real name of the shroomed-out, van-driving, gentleman we came to love in 2012 when he released his hilarious, honky-tonkish debut, Fear Fun.

Father John Misty's second album, "I Love You, Honeybear," available as of February 10th.
Father John Misty’s second album, “I Love You, Honeybear,” released February 10th.

 

With his first album as Father John Misty, Tillman came out unadulterated and charmingly honest, a man free of any obligation to take himself seriously. Before that, he was only known as the unenthusiastic drummer of Fleet Foxes, who opened his own shows as folk singer, J. Tillman playing morbidly depressing songs that, frankly, weren’t very good. But Fear Fun marked a transformation for the man. He cast himself as a comedian doing standup at a rock n’ roll concert, and somehow he fit the role. It seemed as if he had finally found what would make his music brilliant: his sense of humor. Something he could surely stick to.

[Read more...]

Nate Banks’ Debut Single a Valentine’s Day Treat

Today belongs to the love songs.  And with his debut single “Some People,” Nate Banks has made his play to make his way onto your playlist.

Nate Banks, a Vanderbilt junior, released his debut single "Some People" today.
Nate Banks, a Vanderbilt junior, released his debut single “Some People” today.

The junior from Fairfax, VA has been involved in the Vanderbilt music scene since a brief stint with the Melodores as a freshman, but this is his first foray into the world of solo artistry.  And “Some People” makes a strong statement about his potential.  The song is driven by a playful, carefree ukulele riff that causes your mind and muscles to relax upon first hearing it.  Banks’ smooth, youthful voice beckons to you over the jaunty beat, entreating you to forget worldly troubles and stay by his side, where you’ll inevitably find the most comfort.  It’s the perfect message for a song being released on Valentine’s Day, particularly if you have a significant other in whose love you can lose your worries until you fall asleep.  And if you are celebrating Singles’ Awareness Day instead, perhaps “Some People” will remind you not to fret, and that as long as you have friends to keep you company, you too can find a way to release the worldly troubles that might be bothering you.  Check out the song on Nate’s website, or just listen via Spotify right here!

I had a chance to talk to Nate about the release of his single and his place within the Vanderbilt music scene.  Read on for the full interview:

[Read more...]

Electronic Trumpets from Brooklyn


You may be wondering, what kind of a name is Moon Hooch? Well, they are a trio of extremely talented musicians straight out of Brooklyn that specializes in something one could call “jazz fusion.” The genre right now is still just hitting the mainstream, but I wanted to put the spotlight on this group that I think, or at least hope, will make it big time.
[Read more...]