Exec Files: Vol. III

by on October 7, 2014

Posted in: Album Review, Eclectic, Electronic, Hip Hop, Jazz, Music, Pop Punk, Punk, Rock, World

The WRMC executive board presents their favorite tracks, albums, artists, and/or music videos of the week, old and new, but mostly new.execpicks_bannerexecpicks_banner


TRACK: Run the Jewels – “Oh My Darling Don’t Cry”

Barring the fact that it has run rampant underground for the better part of a decade, industrial-inspired house-tinged rap has blown up these past few years on the mainstream. Yet like many abrasive genre fusions that bubble up from below, its time appears to be waning. With the dissolution of Death Grips this past July and the hype from (#praise) Yeezus winding down, what will fill the void of belligerent bombastic experimental shit upon which frustrated college kids like myself thrive? Enter Run the Jewels, the hip-hop collective comprised of Rap Game Veterans El-P of Brooklyn and Killer Mike of Atlanta who together have been churning out some of the sickest beats and silliest digs since they first shacked up for the latter’s excellent 2012 release R.A.P. Music. Last June, the duo released one of the best records of the year with their self-titled LP Run the Jewels free of charge online. Not two months ago they dropped the grumbling smash hit “Blockbuster Night Part 1,” the first single from the forthcoming album RTJ2; and now, hot on its heels comes “Oh My Darling Don’t Cry,” a monster track that reigns down with unapologetic, apocalyptic fury. Released as one of the Adult Swim’s 2014 Singles Program, it showcases El and Mike’s perfectly synced chemistry as they tag-team on bars rife with hypermasculinity, glitchy stomps, thunderous baselines, and effortlessly jovial braggadocio. Then, out of nowhere, an aggressively mind-numbing volta births an entirely new song some three-fourths of the way in, reminding you just how versatile and talented these two are. Essentially a teaser promising another stellar release to come later this month, “Oh My Darling Don’t Cry” is a full-frontal assault that pays little mind as to whether it offends your pansy ass.  -Chad Clemens, Music Director


TRACK: Made in Heights – “All the Places” 

Themes of memory and self-reflection surface in the dreamy “All the Places,” off Made In Heights 2010 album Made in Heights. This hypnotic track is fitting if you feel like daydreaming at your desk. Lines like “All the wild horses/ All the tigers with the stripes” provoke the imagination. It’s got a good beat to boot, so be prepared to dance. If you want to stand and bob around the room, be my guest! -Halley Lamberson, General Manager

PLUS++ MADE IN HEIGHTS is opening for Tokimonsta at Higher Ground this Tuesday, Oct. 7, 8:30pm.


ALBUM: Iceage – Plowing Into the Field of Love (2014)
Label: Matador // Genre: post-punk, goth, hardcore // RIYL: Television, Joy Division, The Replacements, Ought, Bauhaus, Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds // Best Tracks: 8, 3, 12, 4, 2, 10, 5 // Grade: A-

In book 11 of Homer’s Odyssey, Odysseus travels to the land of the Cimmerians–a dark, fog laden region that lies on the very edge of the world near Hades.  It’s a place where mortals mingle with gods, goddesses, and wandering souls by way of libations and sacrifice.  In short–goth paradise. I’m pretty sure that if the Danish punk band Iceage were to hail from anywhere other than Copenhagen, this is where they would be from.

Iceage’s latest album, Plowing Into The Field of Love, is chock full of ominous guitar riffs, hellfire percussion, religious imagery, and, of course Elias Bender Rønnenfelt’s distinct, moaning vocals.  Nearly 50 minutes in length, the album more flaunts the young band members’ fine musicianship and well versed knowledge of the hardcore-punk-post-punk tradition in a grandiose and euphoric fashion.  This time around the band’s usual guitar/drum heavy set up is backed by a clamoring orchestra of pianos, mandolins, violas, and organs, elevating the record above past releases in its complexity, clarity, and accessibility.

Each track of Plowing Into The Field of Love is a gem in its own right, and the album as a whole is a cohesive, immediately beautiful and devastating listen.  The distinctive urgency felt on past Iceage songs is tempered throughout with occasional soft moments and downtempo ballads like “Against the Moon” and the album’s title track.  The title track also happens to be the album’s closer, and it’s a doozy. Rønnenfelt sings over Big Star-esque guitars from a high pedestal built up by fans and critics alike “All those brash young studs / They have no idea what it’s like up here“.  A few years back, the boys in Iceage were nothing but that, brash young studs thrashing about with their heads above water in a sea of buzzbands.  Three releases deep in the post-punk game, Plowing Into The Field of Love is Iceage’s largest and most swaggering step forward. –Kate Leib, Creative Director

Stream the full album here.


ALBUM: Rich Gang – Tha Tour Part 1 (2014)

Label: self-released // Genre: Hip-Hop, Atlanta // RIYL: Future, Migos, Lil Durk // Grade: A- There’s really not much to say about a project this perfectly conceived and executed. Of course Birdman would combine rising Atlanta auto-tune stars Young Thug, a crooning ATLien weirdo, and Rich Homie Quan, a melodically uplifting gangster. And of course the 20 songs would be the exact mix of ATL thug rap and romantic auto-tune artistry that you didn’t even know you needed. The combo makes so much sense it seems like it was predestined to occur. Neither artist has dropped a subpar project in the last two years, and this release might be the best of them all.

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Download Tha Tour Part I Here: http://www.hotnewhiphop.com/rich-gang-tha-tour-part-1-new-mixtape.115498.html

 

TRACK: Panic! At the Disco – “I Write Sins Not Tragedies

If you don’t have fun while you’re listening to this song, you have no heart. Recommended for times when you need to turn up (the angst) as much as in middle school, this blast from the past never fails to hit the pop punk spot. -Charlie Dulik, Concerts Committee 

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ARTIST: Charles Mingus

I’ve been listening to a lot of Charles Mingus as of late. Mingus is a jazz icon of the 50s and 60s, and one of my favorite musicians of all time. I highly recommend listening to “Haitian Fight Song” off of his album The ClownIf you’re interested in more Mingus I suggest listening to “Adagio Ma Non Troppo“, “Moanin’“, “Better Git It In Your Soul“, and this live version of “Take the A Train” (Mingus is the one playing bass) -Aaron Slater, Concerts Committee


TRACK: Kabira from the movie Yeh Jawaani Hai Deewani

Quick plot summary of the movie: Girl falls in love with boy, boy has wanderlust, boy leaves. Boy comes back for marriage of mutual friend. Girl and boy spend time together but boy is going to leave again. Girl and boy sad. Eventually, boy does not leave.  How does this relate to the song? Kabira is sung from the perspective of the girl who is lamenting on how selfish the boy is. She’s telling him to realize what he’s missing out on. Though it may seem corny, it sounds beautiful. It’s the kind of song you’d play on repeat. Numerous times. Trust me, I’ve been there. -Aashna Aggarwal, Business Director


ALBUM: D’Cantu – Some Kind of Strange (2014)

This is Ann Arbor-based producer D’Marc Cantu’s third outing on Sequencias, a new techno label in NYC run by JM De Frias, whose track “Intrinsic Motivation” on Levon Vincent‘s Fabric CD provided many a head-scratcher moment, both for the unfamiliarity of the producer’s name amid a sea of credits that started with “L”, ended with “T” and had a whole lotta “evon Vincen” in between, and the track itself’s weirdo offkilter programming, courtesy of Jose Miguel, who collaborated with dmarc on the excellent I Have No Eyes, and I Must See EP from last year, which introduced a sort of spirally seasick acid-indebted futurist techno sound that keens and wails like a long-forgotten guitar solo salvaged from a rock relic’s dusty master tapes in his ex’s basement/wine cellar/home theater, which in fact is probably the opposite of where you should listen to this, D’Marc Cantu’s latest, which will induce frantic optimism as the A1’s melody tireless crests hills of pitch and the kick lurches like halting steps over slippery stones…the B1 is more of a banger…by all rights, that vocal sample should enter your brain and remain there for about 3 or 4 minutes…maybe after fall break, or during if you’re lucky…the B2 I don’t need to say much about, it’s called “September” and we probably all have the same feelings about that temporal phase being gone as D’Marc does.  -Eric Hass, Tech Director


  • Halley Lamberson rules WRMC with an iron fist and hosts a show called Punk n’ Funk 9-11 PM on Wednesday nights. 
  • Eric Hass pushes buttons and makes noise Tuesday nights 10-11:30 PM on Kicks and Snares: The Reckoning.
  • Dylan Otterbein is most likely brewing a delicious cocktail right now.
  • Kate Leib was born in a mosh pit with a full head of hair and a sense of impending doom.
  • Chad Clemens is looking forward to Run the Jewels forthcoming cat-sounds concept album, Meow the Jewels.
  • Charlie Dulik is strong.
  • Aashna Aggarwal is not sari and she never will be.  
  • Julia Welsh likes music.  
  • Aaron Slater is the frontman of an all-male Sleater-Kinney cover band called Slater-Kinney.  They perform live on WRMC every Wednesday night from 11 PM-1 AM

You can find these people plus the rest of the WRMC general board in the station lounge every Monday at 5 pm.