Vandy Unplugged: Jen Bradham


For this week’s article I’m trying something new. Thinking about music and how it fits into my life, I thought about how I relate to a lot of my friends and family through music. My dad and I like listening to Neil Young on long drives, my best friend and I love going to see Manchester Orchestra whenever they come to town, and I’ve made a lot of close friends based on our mutual affinity towards certain artists.

Everyone has some sort of preference for music, it’s a very human process, and it can help them to relate to others. Going off of that idea, I thought, “I wonder what sort of music Vanderbilt faculty and staff members listen to.”

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The Great Unknowns


Everyone knows the big influential names in music: Led Zeppelin, The Beatles, Radiohead, yada yada yada… Their influence is undisputed, and any sort of music fan knows their music.  But there’s a whole plethora of influential artists out there that were your favorite bands’ favorite bands, and you may have never known that they existed!  Some artists, no matter how ahead of their time, never seemed to hit it big.  Whether it was due to their lack of popularity, stage fright, or just plain lack of a top-selling single, they never sold out stadiums like The Who or Nirvana.  This list goes through some of my personal favorite influential artists that fit that exact mold (not necessarily the least popular or anything pretentious like that).  If you’ve ever wondered where the revolution of electronic music was started, where so many singer-songwriters got their inspiration (besides Bob Dylan and the like), and who helped to start the post-rock genre that you listen to during late-night studying sessions, read on.

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Animal Sounds

The Glorious Goat
The Glorious Goat

As I have been browsing through my music collection, I have come to realize that I have an affinity for bands that have a name referencing animals. Is this a coincidence? Perhaps. I’ve been trying to figure out what else they all have in common, but alas, they are all excellent in their own right. I would like to share some recent artists I have come across with this theme and hopefully you can decide for yourself if they truly resonate unique styles of animalistic music.

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What is Dubstep and Other Musical Questions You’ve Been Too Afraid to Ask

So for this post, I thought I would tackle some of the more difficult music questions. Not the ones that are difficult in content, but rather the ones that you’re afraid to ask your musical friends because in all honestly, the window of opportunity to admit that you didn’t know the answer passed quite possibly years ago. Now, to try and make this as helpful as possible, I opened up the floor to you guys. Here are the questions you wanted answered (as well as one of my own):

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This Is All Yours For Your Listening Fitzpleasure: Alt-J Album Review


Leaving us with high expectations and wide-eyed anticipation, Alt-J’s first album, An Awesome Wave, burst onto the music scene making a name for the English indie rock band with singles “Breezeblocks” and “Fitzpleasure.” Living up to and exceeding our expectations, their sophomore album, This Is All Yours, was released Tuesday offering us a different side of Alt-J that had not been shown in the past.

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Periphery @Exit/In Tonight #MetalIsMusicToo

Periphery will be melting faces at Exit/In (not Rand) tonight.  Doors open at 7pm.
Periphery will be melting faces at Exit/In (not Rand) tonight. Doors open at 7pm.

For those of you there on that fateful afternoon in Rand almost two years ago, you remember it as one of the oddest sensory juxtapositions in your Vanderbilt career.

It was, at first, an ordinary lunch hour for the students in our campus dining hall.  Some were studying, their laptops and notebooks strewn about, taking up four-person tables all by themselves.  Others were casually munching on their Randwiches and “gourmet” Chef James meals and chatting with friends.  Many were multitasking.

Then, the music started.  At first, it was just a rush of distortion in the background, barely registering in ears so unaccustomed to hearing it.  But it soon became clear that this was no mere technical accident.  The speakers in Rand were playing metal–replete with screams and growls of vocals and guitars and lacking any consistent melody or rhythm.

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Aphex Twin – Syro Review

The Aphex Twin blimp over London, the harbinger of the return of Richard D. James.

On August 16, 2014 this mysterious blimp, sporting the iconic Aphex Twin logo and “2014″, appeared over London.  Soon after, the same logo appeared in street art graffiti-ed onto the sidewalk in front of New York’s Radio City Music Hall.  While many refused to buy into the hype, discussion exploded in the music community about the possibility of a new Aphex Twin album this year, which would be 43-year-old beatsmith Richard D. James’ first full release since 2001′s Drukqs.  Just two days later, Syro was announced via James’ twitter, and just one month after that music fans found themselves experiencing an Aphex Twin comeback.

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Cello, You Got a Bass

On September 18th, virtuosic bass player Victor Wooten premiered his unprecedented electric bass concerto entitled “The Bass Whisperer: Concerto for Electric Bass and Orchestra” with the Nashville Symphony Orchestra. The concert attracted an interesting conglomeration of regular symphony-goers as well as jazz and R&B fans, which for someone like Victor Wooten, who has preached how music is the perfect medium for peace, love, and even diplomacy, must have been the ideal sight to see. However, for us concert attendees watching someone who many believe is the best bassist of our generation, maybe of all time, perform with such soul and passion, that was the ideal sight to see. In the spirit of Wooten’s complete disregard of “genre” for the sake of musical exploration, it is only appropriate to try to learn from him and maybe delve into the orchestral world ourselves for a little bit.

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