Left Shark or Right Shark? The Music of Super Bowl XLIX

Walking into class this afternoon, my professor proceeded to explain that today she was feeling more left shark than right shark. If you don’t understand the reference yet, get excited because a lot of strange and awesome (music) things happened this Super Bowl that we are going to get to discuss.

If you’re reading this from quite possibly anywhere in the United States, I am going to assume that you are aware of the major sporting event that occurred just this past Sunday. For those of you who are unaware though, Super Bowl XLIX was this Sunday, and as always, it was quite the event. To be completely honest, I did not watch the entire game but I did manage to glean a couple of important facts from it. First, apparently there was some kind of upset towards the end of the game. I’m not really all that concerned with it. Secondly, apparently Nationwide killed a kid in their commercial. That’s also not something I’m going to go into here. Instead, I figured why not talk a little more about the important parts of the Super Bowl?

katy-perry-14-super-bowl-halftime-xlix-2015-billboard-650

[Read more...]

The Dodos / Individ

PRC-284LP-COVERART_HIres

Indie rock is a fickle playing field, rivaled only by rap perhaps, in terms of its endless hum of hyped artists rising up only to evaporate into the void. So in terms of indie longevity, The Dodos are doing pretty well it would seem. With six albums and almost 10 years of experience touring, recording, and writing music, Meric Long and Logan Kroeber have led a confident path of exploring the ranges of their own sound, while also releasing excellent music. 2013 saw the release of Carrier, a quiet stunner of a record, one that grappled with the death of Christopher Reimer, former guitarist of the terrific and now defunct Calgary band, Women. Reimer had joined the Dodos and his influence on the band can be heard in Carrier‘s precise electric guitar lines and its understated melancholy.

[Read more...]

Music that Sounds Like 2015

The farther you are from past events, the more they blend together. Time periods – years, decades, centuries – make for easy, automatic categorization of those events. “Take on Me”, “Just Like Heaven”, and “Don’t You (Forget About Me)” are distinctively “eighties” music in the public consciousness; today anything that sounds like synth-pop, from 1989 to “Seasons (Waiting On You)”, is an ‘80s throwback. Decades are efficient, well-defined genre descriptors, to the point where decades like the ’80s and ’90s feel so musically distinct that phrases like “1985-1994 in music” sound meaningless to someone who wasn’t around back then.


2015 Kanye moves away from the industrial anti-pop star seen on Yeezus (2013) for a sentimental team-up with Paul McCartney.

[Read more...]

Maybe Jack White is Justified in Being a D*ck

If you’re a fan of Jack White or The Black Keys, then you’re probably well aware of their little rivalry. In the last couple of years White has made a real ass out of himself over The Black Keys. Not only did he bash on the band in a Rolling Stone interview and accuse them of riding on his coattails and being unoriginal, he also pulled his kid out of school to avoid association with Dan Auerbach’s child. Sure he went on to post an apology to The Keys and other artists on his website but come on, he said some pretty shitty stuff about a band that shares much of the same audience as his own, with nothing to provoke him other than his ego.

Like a lot of folks my age,  I went through a pretty intense garage-rock phase the first few years of High School and was super into both Jack White’s work as well as that of The Black Keys, for I, unlike Mr. White felt as if I shouldn’t have to choose a side.So when I was given the opportunity to see Jack White play at Bridgestone Arena on Wednesday, I had a couple of thoughts racing through my brain. Firstly, the 15-year-old version of myself trapped inside my head started peeing his pants with excitement. But simultaneously I was thinking back to The Black Keys arena show I witnessed a couple years ago on their El Camino tour and how it left such an awful taste in my mouth. Could Jack White, the man that truly believes he is a head above bands like The Black Keys, really outshine them? Did this guy actually have something to back up his claims? Was Jack White Justified in being a dick?

[Read more...]

Joey Bada$$- “B4.DA.$$”

B4DA$$

 

B4.DA.$$ is a record made for rap purists, which is a welcome change of pace in the era of personalities and quotability (see Shmurda, Bobby) taking the genre’s center stage. However, as a result, the record can get uncomfortable when it leaves Joey’s comfort zone of self-exploration and braggadocious wordplay over boom-bap beats. Joey’s natural flow and mastery of the craft of hip-hop over meticulously-crafted laid-back beats makes for an album with a definite confidence and direction, even if the 90′s rap sound feels disingenuous at times.

I first discovered Brooklyn rapper Joey Bada$$ with “95 Til Infinity” off of his 2012 mixtape “Summer Knights.” The most jarring aspect of the song was the reference to his birth year, 1995: the same year I was born.

[Read more...]

What Is Death Grips Up To?

If you have heard a Death Grips song before, you may have described the experience as shocking, unnerving, electrifying, or just plain weird.

While the group (supposedly) disbanded on July 2, 2014, they have been quite active on social media and have actually come out with an album since then. So, what are they really up to?

[Read more...]

2015 Grammy Awards – Who Should Win?

grammys-624-1368462679

With the Grammy’s less than two weeks away, there is lots of speculation surrounded who will win. I’m here to tell you who (in my humble opinion) should be taking home those golden statues on February 8th.

Record of the Year

Nominees: Fancy (Iggy Azalea feat. Charlie XCX), Chandelier (Sia), Stay With Me (Sam Smith), Shake It Off (Taylor Swift), All About that Bass (Meghan Trainor)

My Pick: Chandelier

In terms of overall song quality, Chandelier is the song that encompasses the best lyrics, music, and overall performance by Sia. It also seems like Sia is a bit overdue for some recognition – she’s been making music (really really good music) longer than any of the other nominees in the category, especially considering 3 out of the 5 nominees are newcomers. Overall, Chandelier takes the cake for me.

Album of the Year

Nominees: Morning Phase (Beck), Beyoncé (Beyoncé), X (Ed Sheeran), In the Lonely Hour (Sam Smith), Girl (Pharrell Williams)

My Pick: Beyoncé

With it’s incredibly successful surprise release, Beyoncé’s self-titled was undoubtedly one of (if not the most) buzzed about albums of the year. Not to mention Beyoncé managed to do what few artists do anymore – focus on creating songs that work together as a cohesive album, not just a few hit singles. If this is the direction music is headed, I’m all for it.

[Read more...]

Tame Impala’s Weird Cousin: WRVU Reviews Pond’s “Man It Feels Like Space Again”

Many fans of old 60′s music and psychedelia will know names like Tame Impala and Foxygen due to their neo-psychedelic sound and influences, but also because of the critical acclaim and publicity that they’ve received in recent years.  Even more music-oriented people will know The Flaming Lips as they’ve been around for 30+ years and have managed to keep themselves in the public eye with tricks, gimmicks, and, most importantly, a steady stream of music (while it sometimes seems hit or miss).  But many people aren’t aware of Pond, or at least haven’t heard any of their material.  Some are far too quick to judge and claim Pond as simply a “Tame Impala offshoot” when the truth is that they have been around since the time of Tame Impala’s inception.  With a similar style to those aforementioned psychedelia-influenced groups, Pond have managed to come a long way since their debut, Psychedelic Mango.

[Read more...]