Kid Freud: A Rising Vandy Band

Kid Freud, formed five months ago, is poised for a successful 2014-2015 campaign.
Kid Freud, formed five months ago, is poised for a successful 2014-2015 campaign.

It’s rare that you find a prodigious band coming out of Vanderbilt.  Vampire Weekend met at Columbia and Tom Schulz met his Boston bandmates at MIT, but here the music scene centers around singer-songwriters—Belmont produces the bands, they say.

With Kid Freud, though, Vanderbilt may have these rock titans’ future equals on its hands.

Despite forming only four months ago, the three-piece outfit is taking its place at the head of the burgeoning music community on West End, regularly packing venues like The End and fresh off earning the opportunity to open Rites of Spring after winning the festival’s Battle of the Bands.

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What in the World “Combat Salacious Removal” Means, and Why Abstract Lyrics Work

Sometimes I don’t know why I love the things I love. I was sitting in my room and doing homework this weekend while blasting through Interpol’s 2004 album Antics, singing along to the track “Length of Love”. It’s a great track, starting around a sinister guitar part before it shifts into the kind of ersatz-punk-disco that Interpol is known for. Naturally I’m singing along, but when I get to the chorus I stop and ask myself, “What in the world did I just sing?” See, I had to ask this question because the chorus is just a three word motif sung in Paul Banks’ ALL CAPS monotone. The words? (And I’m not making this up) “COMBAT SALACIOUS REMOVAL”.

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Five Albums from Five Different Eras

Saint Motel
Saint Motel

As you might be able to tell by now, I really like lists and I enjoy the number 5. So here’s to a bit of both. Lately I’ve been going through my Itunes library and come across some old favorites; the one’s I’ve been meaning to get into more but haven’t had the time or energy to. But here I am to revive that spirit and to enlighten you all about some albums you may not have heard of, but will be glad that you did.

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10 Songs to Get Ready for Festival Season

Photo courtesy of crienglish.com (Note the Nepali flag in the background)
Photo courtesy of crienglish.com (Note the Nepali flag in the background)

Rites of Spring was in many ways a kick-off for the summer season of music festivals. For many students, the time to go to music festivals in a hot, showerless, frenzy of music, beach balls, and girls on the shoulders of some poor soul won’t begin until a few weeks when we are done with the stresses of finals and school work. To get ready for this wonderful time of year, I have compiled a list of 10 songs that really get us into the mood for these festivals. These songs are not necessarily the most intricate or creative songs that these artists have made, but I think they really capture the carefree, no-consequences kind of attitude most people are looking for during the middle of a summer festival.

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Concert Review: Weezer & The Last Internationale

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The Last Internationale opened for Weezer this past Saturday and Sunday at the Ryman, which concluded their tour with Weezer. As a recently formed band that played their first show only two months ago, The Last Internationale have garnered a reputation for playing rock music laced with politically charged lyrics.

Lead singer Delila Paz first came on stage and performed “Workers of the World Unite,” a stripped down song that showed off her soft and haunting vocals. The title, which alludes to the popular political slogan, highlights the wicked truth about the American dream. This anthemic piece prepared the audience as other band members Edgey Pires and Brad Wilk (drummer of Rage Against the Machine) took the stage and started rocking out with other songs off of their EP New York I Do. My favorite was their new single “Killing Fields,” it definitely got the crowd pumped.

I had the opportunity to speak to the Last Internationale after their set (AKA I had the opportunity to awkwardly stutter questions because I’m awkward inside and out). As a Jersey girl not too far from the city myself, I was excited to speak to them about NYC and their favorite venues to play in, as well as their experience in Nashville so far. Like most of us, the Last Internationale was definitely pumped about the ever-changing music scene here in Nashville, pointing to the Third Man Records coming to Nashville as a big turning point for the Music City. (P.S. Weezer recorded a new version of Suzanne at Third Man Records the day of the concert, which you can hear snippets of on Weezer’s Instagram account.)

Check out The Last Internationale at their website thelastinternationale.com for links to their new music, as well as a free download of their new single “Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Indian Blood.” Another link with their bio: http://www.bbgunpress.com/artists/the-last-internationale/.

Weezer were super cool to see live–Pinkerton nearly brought me to tears. It was a really special night, starting off with a set of greatest hits, followed by some old never-seen-before footage of the band during their Pinkerton tour, and then Pinkerton from start to finish. The crowd was full of die-hard fans that shouted all the words and sang all the guitar solos, and it was clear that everyone enjoyed Weezer’s night of memories. The performance was really great, and (I think) a pretty cathartic experience for all involved. 

Thanks for WRVU for sending me out to check out The Last Internationale, it was a ton of fun and I’m looking forward to following them in the future!

Jenn Wu

John and Jacob Brought the Dancing Shoes: Concert Review

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“You better dance with us, even if it’s bad” John and Jacob said to a friend and I before the show. Apparently the whole crowd overheard this as swing dancers were in full motion by the first note of their vibey, fun music and they didn’t show any signs of slowing down. As the night went on, John and Jacob decided to share a little secret with us. Having an album all recorded and ready, they were only missing a release date. They decided what better way to release an album than exclusively to this Nashville crowd that night. The album is not available to anyone other cities or states right now except Nashville showing John and Jacob’s love and thankfulness for the supportive Nashville crowd.

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5 Tips for Getting the Most Out Of Rites

Image from Rites of Spring Facebook Page

You may remember my blog post from back in January giving my predictions for some of the artists I thought would be coming out to this year’s Rites of Spring festival. If you do remember that post, you probably have figured out that I bombed all of my predictions except for the big one: I correctly guessed that 2 Chainz would be a Rites 2014 headliner. Today, I write again about our school’s beloved spring music festival, because it starts tomorrow. My fellow staff writer Zach Blumenfeld has given you a great preview of tonight’s unofficial Rites kick-off, the annual Battle of the Bands, by giving an overview of each artist you’ll be hearing. Instead of giving y’all an artist-by-artist breakdown, I’m going to take a step back and give more of an overview on how to get the most out of the Festival based on my own personal experiences the past three years.

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A First Look at the Rites of Spring Battle of the Bands

The Rites of Spring Battle of the Bands provides a great opportunity for local bands to play on a big stage--and for you to discover their music!
The Rites of Spring Battle of the Bands provides a great opportunity for local bands to play on a big stage–and for you to discover their music!

It’s that time of year again at Vanderbilt.  The Student Alumni Board is passing out free shirts at Rand; there are dozens of garbage bins lounging pell-mell on Alumni Lawn; the fraternities are gearing up for their crawfish boils and pig roasts; fierce debate regarding 2 Chainz’ arraignment echoes across campus.  What else could it be but Rites Week?

Love it or hate it (and, as always, there’s been a lot of both emotions in reaction to this year’s lineup), the week of Rites of Spring is the best time for music at Vanderbilt every year.  Though the main event will be an epic spectacle that should trump last year’s in terms of debauchery and Dionysian life force–after all, NEEDTOBREATHE probably played before the most sober Rites crowd ever–my favorite part of the week is the Battle of the Bands, which will take place this Thursday at 7:30 PM in Rand Lounge/Dank New Rand.  The Battle of the Bands is easy to overlook, especially with the winners’ prize being the chance to play on Friday afternoon before most students will want to arrive, but it’s a great showcase of some local talent (including a number of Vanderbilt-based acts) and winning would be a tremendous affirmation for any of the competitors.  And this year, you as an audience member have an opportunity to play a pivotal role in determining the battle’s victor, as the crowd’s vote will account for two-fifths of the final decision (alongside the three judges).  The idea seems to be that the winner should be able to draw a crowd to Rites as early as possible, with the ability to do this on a Thursday night supposedly predictive of the ability to follow suit the next afternoon.  So if you are friends with one or more of the contestants, the most important thing you can do for them is to show up at the battle on Thursday night and bring a pack of friends along for the ride.

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