Exec Files: Vol. IV
by WRMC Middlebury College on October 16, 2014
Posted in: Eclectic, Electronic, Hip Hop, Music, Pop, Rap, Rock
The WRMC executive board presents their favorite tracks, albums, artists, and/or music videos of the week, old and new, but mostly new.
TRACK: Tei Shi – “Bassically”
Nothing indicates a genuine up-and-comer more than an artist playing a dutiful slew of shows at the annual CMJ festival, and this year the recently signed Tei Shi (Valerie Teicher), is doing just that. Her the latest single, “Bassically”, is made up of all the components that signal a bonified WRMC dance party hit: sultry vocals (see: FKA Twigs, Beyoncé, Lorde), a thumping, dark-pop bassline (à la Grimes, Mø, Zola Jesus) and hooky synthesizers galore (CHVRCHES, Disclosure, Reflektor) Simultaneously seductive and sardonic, Tei Shi sings about behaving within the confines someone else’s desires with empowered grace. Aside from sharing an unfortunate name association with the official Fall 2k14 bane-of-my-existence, top 40 hit “All About that Bass“, this song nails it. -Kate Leib, Creative Director
TRACK: Jessie Ware – “12 [Demo]”
Jessie Ware‘s sophomore album, Tough Love, was released this past Monday in the UK, but we folks in the US have to wait a few more days to listen. She did just leak this sexy demo, “12,” which a collaboration with Rhye’s Robin Hannibal. It will not be included on the album, but it will definitely keep us going until the album drops in the US on the 21st. As Jessie says, “play it late and go kiss someone x.” Will do, Jessie. -Julia Welsh, Programming Director
TRACK: Run the Jewels – “Close Your Eyes (And Count to Fuck)”
Three days ago, Run the Jewels released “Close Your Eyes (And Count to Fuck)” and obliterated any weak-ass accusations of excess hype surrounding their upcoming RTJ2. Even better, along with it came the joyous realization that I no longer have any need to convince you the reader of the outright dopeness of these guys’ music. At this point the impetus is on you to listen or you’ll be the one missing out on what will without a doubt be the best rap record of the year rather than it being me pleading for anonymous screens to validate my words with a pity play or two. And the best part is that I say all this and still I fall miles short of the smooth blend of extreme arrogance and swagger that pervade El-P and Killer Mike’s essence of cool.
This week’s edition of “Run the Jewels Kill The Competition” features the masterful duo pulling an aged rap-metal icon out from the shadowy cycle of irrelevancy, chopping up a line of testimony into a ferocious sound bite, layering it on top of an absolutely murderous beat and continuing to do what they do best: wax anarchic back and forth with steady self-assurance, over-enunciate the word ‘dick’ at least once, whip out some chuckle-worthy wordplay, spew a slew of critical quips and bulldoze through your headphones one note at a time. Rage Against the Machine frontman Zack De La Rocha’s guest verse is the cherry-on-top with its insanely clever references (“I’m miles ahead of you / You can sip my bitches brew”; “Done dyin’, Phillip A.K. Dickin’ you”) and deliberate reminder of, yo, ‘fuck the system.’ It’s balls-to-the-wall, balls-in-your-face, balls in one hand and a middle finger up on the other. It’s pride substantiated and its bravado is contagious. Sit tight, y’all – countdown is down to eleven now. -Chad Clemens, Music Director
TRACK: The World Is A Beautiful Place & I Am No Longer Afraid To Die – “Autotonsorialist”
It is only every so often that a band comes along who appeals both to your nostalgia for middle-school malaise and your oh-so “mature” appreciation for Biblical allusions. In 2010, The World Is A Beautiful Place & I Am No Longer Afraid To Die did just that. A week ago, TWIABP returned with an 8-track collaboration between the band and spoken-word artist Chris Zizzamia. The EP, Between Bodies, oscillates between lush string arrangements and the familiar droning guitar movements, between David Bello’s desperate crooning and the lulling rhythm of Zizzamia’s poetry. By the EP’s final track, both TWIABP and Zizzamia are at their best, playing off of and leaning into one another. Here, Zizzamia is in the company of post-hardcore greats like La Dispute’s Jordan Dreyer, screeching verses that are at once raw and tactful, and TWIABP refuses to sacrifice the gritty sincerity that made them kings of the forth-wave emo scene. -Dylan Otterbein, Music Director
NOTE: The World Is A Beautiful Place & I Am No Longer Afraid To Die is playing with The Hotelier and Rozwell Kid this Thursday 10/23 at Signal Kitchen. See our full concert schedule here for more info.
TRACK: Taylor Swift – “Out of the Woods”
Written by fun. guitarist Jack Antonoff, this is the second song released from her new album 1989. She says it was inspired by a snowmobile accident with one of her ex-es. Fans are speculating this ex is Harry Styles. The song itself is much more pop than country, and is reminiscent of Sky Ferreira‘s style. I like it but then again I like TSwift. Sari not sari. -Aashna Aggarwal, Business Director
Preview “Out of the Woods” on iTunes here.
ALBUM: Alvvays – Alvvays
Alvvays played in Burlington at Signal Kitchen this weekend and I missed the show. Not only is SK one of my favorite venues in Burlington but Alvvays came out with one of my favorite albums this summer. Needless to say I’ve been listening to a lot of them recently, pent up in my room with teary eyes and a heavy heart. If you’re looking to listen to some chilled out music after a long weekend, check out Alvvays’ self titled album Alvvays. If you just want a taste then try “Red Planet” or “Archie, Marry Me.”
Also, it’s that magical time of year again~~**_**~~midterm elections~~**_**~~so we should seriously think about unionizing and writing to our political talking heads about creating a three-day work week. 4Day weekends 4ever. –Aaron Slater, Concerts Committee
TRACK: First Aid Kit – “My Silver Lining”
Swedish sisters Klara and Johanna Söderberg craft a song fit for a road trip out in the wild wild west with “My Silver Lining,” released at the end of March 2014 as the first single off their most recent album Stay Gold. “My Silver Lining” could be the theme of a western flick; imagine a modern, more polished and more instrumentalized take on Leonard Cohen‘s opening track for McCabe & Mrs. Miller, “The Stranger Song”. The duo’s sweet harmonies lead some to dub First Aid Kit a female Fleet Foxes. Funny enough, First Aid Kit’s cover of Fleet Foxes’ “Tiger Mountain Peasant Song” back in 2008 led to their big break on the international music scene. #keeponkeepingon -Halley Lamberson, General Manager
TRACK: Felt – “Sunlight Bathed the Golden Glow”
Felt began as tribute to Television and went on to influence bands like Belle & Sebastian, R.E.M. and Girls, yet they’re generally left out of discussions of important 80s alternative rock bands (perhaps because of a similarity to The Smiths, perhaps because they only existed for ten short years). While The Smiths’ introversion can be too whiny for some, Felt goes deep into less divisive jangly guitar melodies. “Sunlight Bathed the Golden Glow”, released three times by the band (in 1984 originally, then again in ’87 and ’92), typifies the intersection of jangle, pop and post-punk that went on to be so popular in alternative and indie rock, and serves as a good starting point for those looking to get into the criminally underappreciated group.
ALBUM: Weezer – Everything Will Be Alright In The End (2014)
Label: Republic Records // Genre: Alternative Rock, Power-Pop // RIYL: Cymbals Eat Guitars, Ultimate Fakebook, Jets to Brazil // Best Tracks: 2, 4, 5, 7, 8, 9, 12 // Grade: A/A-
Good news everyone, it’s cool to like Weezer again! They finally put out an album that kicks ass as much as their 90s stuff and stopped their string of mediocre at best work. It’s still nerdy and actually quite uncool, with a 44 year old man named Rivers singing lines like “Even Da Vinci couldn’t paint you / Stephen Hawking can’t explain you / Rosetta Stone could not translate you,” but that’s exactly what’s awesome about Weezer, it’s a bunch of old nerds who think they’re thirteen year-olds, rocking out to hair-raising power-pop. Between those name drops and the songs “Cleopatra” and “The British Are Coming,” it would be fair to guess that Weezer opened a middle school history text book, flipped around some pages and wrote half the album. But it’s alright in the end (ha!), because while at worst, Weezer cares too much about current pop tastes and panders too hard, at best they do stuff that they and most pubescent rock fans think is cool, regardless of judgments.
And for the first time in a long time, Weezer seems comfortable just being Weezer. They’re not cynically using their gift for pop song form to write crappy hits like “Beverly Hills”, rushing for and failing to find clever lyrics like on Hurley or staying (completely) adolescent (I mean, there’s a song about being a father on here, give the band a little credit). The song structures are carefree and familiar, and the guitar riffs that are meant to make you dance around fully deliver. Oh, and most importantly, they finally learned to stop fucking around with hip-hop influences. -Charlie Dulik, Concerts Committee
- 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 thinks Paul Westerberg is god.
- Kate Leib was born in a mosh pit with a full head of hair and a sense of impending doom.
- Chad Clemens is REALLY looking forward to Run the Jewels forthcoming cat-sounds concept album, Meow the Jewels.
- Charlie Dulik is a yung weezer apologist.
- Aashna Aggarwal is not sari and she never will be.
- Julia Welsh loves lanyards.
- 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.