Quarterly Report: WRVU Picks 2015’s Best Songs So Far

It’s hard to believe it, but 2015 is already a fourth of the way done. It was not a light musical quarter by any means: in the past month we’ve seen high-profile releases from Sufjan Stevens, Kendrick Lamar, Death Grips, and many more. But what tracks stood out above the rest? We asked our staff to tell us a little bit about their pick for favorite song of 2015 so far. Read on for their selections, and be sure to check them all out in the Spotify playlist at the end.

Dan Deacon — “Feel the Lightning”

“Feel the Lightning” by Dan Deacon makes you do just that — feel an electrifying force pass your entire body. It is the perfect mixture of upbeat and hypnotic, catchy but complex, and successfully maintains the typical “Dan Deacon vibe” of collectively bizarre, yet intriguing electronic music.
–Julia Anderson

[Read more…]

Your Guide to Summer Music Festivals

Summer is just around the corner, and that means that thousands of music fans will be attending the music festivals taking place all across the country. But with tickets to these festivals typically costing $200 or more and lots of artists playing multiple festivals, it can be hard to decide which festival you should go to. Here’s my recap of who is playing which festivals so you can decide where to spend your hard-earned cash.

Music Festival Chart

[Read more…]

Remixes and Refixes and Extended Mixes, Oh My!

Even though I like to pretend I’m a music aficionado, let’s face it: I seriously have no idea what’s going on when it comes to titling remixes. Sure, I have every song in my iTunes library labeled to a tee. I take care to list who’s featured on a track, who produced it, what label it’s on (if any), and most importantly, what the artist labeled the track. As a result of this OCD tendency combined with my love for all things electronica, my music catalog is brimming with words like “refix,” “original mix,” and “flip.” Despite this need for classifying these songs with various descriptors, I have no clue what most of these words actually mean. I’m sure many of you guys are in the same boat. So, after a few days of digging on Reddit and a few Google searches, let’s see if it’s possible to clear up some of this jargon.

One of the primary differences between tracks is length. Each different length has a different name. In a sense, every song in its purest form is an original mix, but some songs come in multiple versions. Although it seems intuitive, it’s still helpful to clarify that original mix denotes the first complete mix by the original artist. Simply put, it’s a song by an artist with no other changes; it can be of any length. If an artist prefers the track to be longer, he or she will produce an extended mix. In the extended mix, the track usually includes a longer intro and outro and is longer than the original mix. This type of mix is how the original artist imagines a song without time constraints — usually too long for radio. The last type of mix in this temporal category is the radio edit. In the radio edit, expletives are taken out and the length of the track is cut between 3 and 5 minutes in length (but usually closest to the three minute mark). Intros and outros that may bore radio listeners and take up valuable advertisement time are cut down.

[Read more…]

Jazzmaster Jams

I’m a guitarist.  Like most guitarists, I have a favorite model of guitar: the Fender Jazzmaster.  First, just a little history about the guitar.  Fender first released the Jazzmaster in the late 1950s as a mode of reaching out to jazz musicians.  However, most jazz musicians ended up still using the other brands due to the Jazzmaster’s innate ability to produce feedback, something that jazz doesn’t really call for.  But the model gained a huge following among surf rock bands of the 1960s, the first place where the instrument came to prominence.  Still, with a warm tone and a lack of sustain, most 70s rock guitarists favored the mighty Gibson Les Paul, while Fender purists went back to the Stratocaster.  That left Jazzmasters as pawn shop guitars, cheap yet high quality.  So, many notable bands have picked Jazzmasters up since the 1950s, and many guitarists use primarily Jazzmasters.  Below are some of my favorite songs recorded using the model.

[Read more…]