Recent WRVU Rotation Adds Profiled: The War on Drugs, Schoolboy Q, Wild Beasts

As anyone involved with WRVU knows, we’re constantly trying to showcase new musical talent while also keeping our station’s output connected to industry buzz. Let’s take a look at a few of the recent albums that have made it onto the airwaves at WRVU.

The War on Drugs – Lost in the Dream

The War on Drugs specialize in their own unique brand of “heartland rock” that is a little like Bruce Springsteen mixed with a more urgent version of Real Estate. Lost in the Dream stands as their best release yet, from rip-roaring cuts like “Red Eyes” to more pensive jams like “Suffering”.

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Irish Music Is Alive

24075_1167251239917_1787018830_318342_7210598_n copyDidn’t get enough Irish this St. Paddy’s Day?

Yes, I know, St. Patrick’s Day was yesterday. Believe me, I don’t think the holiday should be dragged out any longer (especially after the endless weekend of St. Fratty’s Day celebrations) buttttttt I do think the day after St. Patrick’s day, while the orange and green dust settles, is a great time to discuss Ireland’s impact on modern music.

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Remixes of Four Tracks You Need

Photo courtesy of daily-beat.com

Alright, spring break is long gone, St. Patty’s Day has past, and Rites is a whole four weeks away, not to mention that the weather in Nashville has been the biggest tease ever, giving us 70 degree weather one day and then cold rainy weather the next. What is there to look forward to anymore??? Well don’t worry, I’ve collected some fresh new remixes for you all to listen to when you’re writing that essay or studying for that quiz. These tunes will get your spirits up and remind you that the weekend is never that far away.

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Under the Covers: Part 1

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Doing a cover of  song can be risky business. There is the constant threat for comparison, and if the cover does not live up to a certain standard in comparison to the original, most people do not even give it a second thought. With that being said, here are some covers/remixes/arrangements that I find do a great job of updating an old idea into a new product. These new renditions are not necessarily better than the original, but they do seamlessly incorporate another person’s work into the new artist’s own style to make an interpretation of the song that is worth our attention.

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The Faces Behind The Songs

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My favorite week of the year is quickly approaching, Although every week in Nashville has it’s fair share of loaded writer’s nights and stellar concerts, one week has a special place in my heart. Songwriters Festival, Tin Pan South, takes place at local venues in Nashville, for a week, every March. The lineup never ceases to disappoint as they utilize 10 of the most intimate venues in Nashville and host two shows a night.  Every night attendees get to watch the songs they all know come to life in a somewhat backwards way. There is something magical about hearing a song stripped down, as it was originally written, and learning the stories behind them. The only way to understand is to experience this yourself! This is my advice and the shows you don’t want to miss (all in my opinion of course).

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T-Bone Burnett and the Americana Film Soundtrack

On the Friday before spring break, I had the pleasure of seeing the Vanderbilt Core Choir perform their home concert that began their week long tour to Florida.  The front end of the program was a typical classical repertoire, featuring works from Bach, Mendelssohn, and Brahms.  Via short sets focusing on international pieces and original compositions by choir members and friends, there was a gradual transition into what I found to be an absolutely stunning performance of Americana songs at the tail end of the program.  There was a complete change in atmosphere of the concert, and it was in no way related to the quality of the music going up for some strange reason.  The performance level was stunning throughout; in the roots set, it was just like the music stopped being a performance and began to be a warm and welcoming conversation.  It focused strongly on spirituals, arrangements of songs by The Wailin’ Jennys to highlight some of the ensemble’s remarkable sopranos and altos, and a selection for the male vocalists to shine on that happens to be one of my current favorite songs.    This was an adapted arrangement of Marcus Mumford and Oscar Isaac’s recording of “Fare Thee Well (Dink’s Song)” for the 2013 Coen Brothers film Inside Llewyn Davis (you can listen to a recording of the choir’s men performing the selection above).  The film follows a week in the life of Llewyn Davis, a fictional folk artist in Greenwich Village in the early 1960s struggling to make it by, providing a dreary reminder to the audience that for every Bob Dylan or Joan Baez success that came from this vibrant folk movement there were countless careers that failed to start.  Again and again in this dismal setting, the film’s music shines through, punctuated by performances from Oscar Isaac in his titular role.  The man that put that soundtrack together was T-Bone Burnett.

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Introducing…Your All-2000s Bad Music Squad!

Mathematicians call this the "empty set."
Mathematicians call this the “empty set.”

I spent the majority of my spring break plastering the walls of a cinderblock building in the Puerto Rican rain forest.  The only way to possibly get through a task as mind-numbing as plastering walls is to have an upbeat, driving playlist of music blasting from a decent set of speakers.  Luckily, for the most part, that was the situation; our work crew leader had impeccable and eclectic taste, and about 100,000 songs in his iTunes library.  One day, though, we made the call to switch it up.  My buddy Matt had concocted a playlist entitled “Ridiculous Rap,” mainly comprised of one-hit crunk wonders from the mid-2000s.  The first couple songs were hilarious and everybody sang along.  By song five, the high had disappeared and it dawned on us that we had been ingesting pure crap for the past fifteen or so minutes.

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