Campus Connections: Eugene Shotgun

9 Feb

So last semester I showed you guys a video by brit-rocker Eugene McGuinness by the title of “Lion”. Well, he has done another one with the same directors, this time titled “Shotgun” (simple titles).

The best part about this video is that it follows the same exact pattern and formula as “Lion”. Eugene just sings and oozes with cool confidence and general bad-assery. Even as he’s thrown through the air and shit blows up, he manages to stay classy in his threads and cool, unaware of the apartment blowing up behind him (not a very perceptive guy). The only difference with this video is that directors Thirtytwo choose to do this video in black and white, rather than vibrant colors in “Lion”.

In terms of the music, Eugene’s british with rockabilly infused sound is played brilliantly in this track. A hook that gets stuck in your head, and backup parts that add the right amount of flavor to the track. In both song and video form, “Lion” and “Shotgun” go hand in hand with each other.

enjoy

Tyler

Lambert the Queen

8 Feb

So apparently on the 3rd of February, it was announce that 2009 American Idol winner and always controversial rocker Adam Lambert will be joining rockers Brian May and Roger Taylor of Queen for Europe’s Sonisphere festival as Queen’s latest front man.

As everyone on the face of the planet knows, no one can replace or replicate Freddie Mercury’s voice for some reason. I mean, there’s a Filipino Steve Perry….

Anyways, I guess they are looking for a new sound on old songs after experimenting with Bad Company’s Paul Rodgers.

So, anyone want to discuss? Por favor?

Tyler

Campus Connections: Machine Gun B-Sides

8 Feb

So as most of us know, the White Stripes are no more. Though they no longer exist, Jack White is still continuing with his other projects known as The Raconteurs and The Dead Weathermen. Yet as we have seen and known about Jack White, he can’t sit still. He has often flitted with solo careers, but almost always returned back to his other projects or starting a brand new one. Regardless, it seems as if Jack White is testing the waters of solo-dom with a recent single release.

About a week or so ago he released the first part of his Love Interruption single, with the titled track “Love Interruption”. I took a listen when it came out, but I wasn’t necessarily digging it. However, this week Jack put out the b-side of the single titled “Machine Gun Silhouette”.

The proclaimed “Nashville Music City Ambassador” by Nashville’s mayor truly lives up to the title. This southern rock song follows the sound of Blitzen Trapper, complete with fiddles and all. The guitar playing is still consistent with what Jack has been known for. If you’re a Jack White fan this song will not upset, and even if you’re not a huge fan, (like me) this is a track to pick up.

Jack’s solo album titled Blunderbuss is set to drop April 24th.

enjoy!

Tyler

Campus Connections: Eyeoneyeoneyeoneye

1 Feb

Ok, so haven’t posted in a while, but Im making considerable effort to keep tabs on the indie world this semester, it was weird last semester not being able to know whats going on.i

So in my efforts to stay hip and up to date I have come across a song by Andrew Bird titled “Eyeoneye”. And when I say come across, I mean, it’s come up on blogs and radios so often that I’ve had no choice but to listen every single time it comes up.

The former Squirrel Nut Zippers collaborator turned solo artist is releasing his new album Break It Yourself set to drop March 6th here in the states, and on it is this single “Eyeoneye” which is definitely catching attention everywhere. The song starts off with the hook that you will hear the entire song through. Bird’s vocals still have a rawness in the sound, meaning that the song will probably have the same quality live as it does in the recording. It also helps that there’s a couple moments after the chorus with whistling and bells, which is always welcome no matter how cliche it might be. He also brings in some old school classic rock chord progressions in the middle that make it sort of different.

And even if you don’t like the song you’ll be finding yourself singing the title to yourself often. (Eyeoneyeoneyeoneyeoneyeoneye………..)

Anyways check it out, enjoy

http://w.soundcloud.com/player/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fapi.soundcloud.com%2Ftracks%2F33820987&show_artwork=true

Tyler

Bublé SNL Duets

26 Dec

So I finally have a chance to go through Stereogum, looking for some new interesting stuff. I then come across a post about an SNL skit. Now usually SNL leaves me flat, they try too hard to be funny. Yet this skit intrigued me, why? Well, mostly because it had Michael Bublé.

The skit was about how Bublé’s christmas album is the top album in the country right now, (and rightfully so, it’s awesome). So what better way to keep that going, than to invite some of the top pop artists of today and ask them to sing duets…

hilarity ensues.

Anyways, here’s the link to the vid, I hope you enjoy it as much as I did.

Link to vid

enjoy

Tyler

Campus Connections: Hello Sadness Review

26 Dec

So, as promised, I will review Los Campesinos! new album Hello Sadness for you all. So in my efforts to be unbiased, I will give you what I think and feel, but as you all know, me being unbiased towards LC! is quite impossible…

Anyways, the first track off the album is “By Your Hand”, and for anyone that has followed up on me knows how awesome this track is. An homage to their old sound whilst keeping their new style. The evidence of that is shown throughout the album. It was really sad that Harriet left the band, but when she left the band wasn’t really specified, yet it is highly obvious that there is a lack of strings throughout the entire album. Unlike Romance Is Boring which has Aleks in the entire album even though she took the same leave Harriet did.

Regardless of that, the loss of Harriet did not cripple LC! in their sound, even though their creativity and direction was changed. The addition of Rob Campesinos! to the group has proved time and time again an excellent choice. Not only is he featured vocally on “By Your Hand” (though unfortunately thats it) you can hear his prescience in the entire album. The absence of strings leaves a major musical hole in the sound, something that was easily filled by Rob’s talents. You probably can’t hear it in most of the tracks, but Rob is usually adding the extra instruments, whether it be percussion or synths (mostly synths) which would have sucked if he wasn’t there.

One other thing that sets this album apart is Kim Campesinos! Before, we had never really heard her sing except in octaves way too low for her, because a song was never actually written for her. Yet on a couple of tracks like one of my favorites “The Black Bird, The Dark Slope” Kim is featured, and she is actually really really good. She does a fantastic job with the chorus and has her own unique quality, an excellent replacement for Aleks, even if it took about a year for her to finally have a chance to come into the limelight.

One last thing that separates this album is the ballads. LC! has had some pretty good ballads in their time, songs like “The Sea Is A Good Place To Think About The Future” to “Heart Swells”, yet none of them really stood out. Yet there is one ballad on here that has so much power and raw emotion in it that you can’t help but love it. That track would be “To Tundra”. Yes, the song may take a little while to get going, but once it does Gareth pushes his voice to the volume and emotional limit. It’s brilliant.

Anyways, I love the entirety of this album. I know me and a couple other people were worried about the bands direction when their first edition of Heat Rash came out. Yet as soon as “By Your Hand” and “Hello Sadness” came out, I knew the direction would be different, yet they are still paying homage to their old style that all of us love so much with some of their tracks.

I completely suggest picking up the album, but if you don’t, besides the two I already mentioned, check out “To Tundra”, “Songs About Your Girlfriend” and “The Black Bird, The Dark Slope”. All fantastic tracks.

enjoy

Tyler

Campus Connections: Paradise

20 Dec

Hello folks,

So it’s been a while since my last post, been busy being a college student and all. But now it’s break and I have all of this “spare time” to put back into this blog. Yayyy. Anyways, missed you all. All like, 17 of you. I haven’t been keeping good track on the indie world, but I haven’t completely fallen out.

Matter of fact, in one of my writing classes, the assignment was to write a paper on a specific genre, like album reviews. Oh no, and album review…… So I reluctantly dragged myself onto Stereogum and Pitchfork and painstakingly listened to all of this indie bands, and totally suffered through listening to albums. To unfortunately do a review on this band called Slow Club.

Can you sense my sarcasm? Anyways, did the project, got an A, and got to listen to a kick ass album in the process. So let me indulge on you, an abridged version of my original review of Slow Club’s latest album Paradise.

Slow Club’s first album Yeah, So, was an album full of campy and fun songs that would get stuck in your head. It was a peppy, and full of youthful energy. That created a perfect first album for this “twee-folk” group out of Sheffield, England.  None the less their next album Paradise would be assumed to follow that same line, bright, catchy, and full of lovely immaturity. However, using some techniques similar to that of Arcade Fire and Battles, Slow Club’s sophomore album is far from sophomoric.

Even if the subject matter of Yeah, So had dark connotations, they were masked by the cheerful spirit or brighter tones. Paradise does not follow the same formula, yet it still maintains some of the aspects we know and love about Slow Club. Some tracks like “Where I’m Walking”, “If We’re Still Alive”, and “The Dog” still maintain the up tempo style. Yet tracks like “Hackney Marsh” and “You, Earth, or Ash” deliver ballads that blow the ones on Yeah, So out of the water. Paradise gives some of the ballads that are more focused on power, powerful vocals, powerful guitars, powerful electrics. The purpose of these ballads are not to lull you into a comfort zone, but to get you to feel emotionally what they want to portray.

If We’re Still Alive – Slow Club

Overall the album is bigger and louder. Yeah, So was loud enough, but it was cutesy and avoided the subject matter, whereas this album is throwing everything at you. Take a song like “Never Look Back” off of Paradise, the song is about a dead brother and the pain that accompanies the fact that a sibling is gone. The song is along the same style as the first song, however, though the song starts off slower, it is more emotional and eventually the song builds into this big power ballad where the two singers are just belting it out.

Another technique that gives this album a different identity is the use of percussion. In most of the upbeat tracks in Yeah, So it felt like you could throw a hoedown at any moment, which contributed to the youthful energy. This album uses more syncopation in both the snare beats and bass hits, which gives this a more pulsing, driving feeling. It’s like they’re frustrated and just trying to get somewhere now but they’re emotions are keeping them stuck behind somehow, and they are expressing that through the music.

One of the things that I am impressed with the most for this album is Rebecca Taylor’s voice. When listening to Yeah, So, you heard her voice, but she never really showcased it. However, she does in fact showcase it on this album. In “You, Earth, or Ash” she absolutely wails in her upper octave and it’s so pure and clean, her range is absolutely phenomenal, in the song she hits a G as her lowest note but then manages to hit an E three octaves higher, and she belts out a D right under it for a majority of the song. It adds so much more emotion to the song when she is pouring everything into the song. Now they were not unfair, and Charles did get some solo time, and it is very interesting to hear him on his own. Most of the tracks of Yeah, So were either too soft to get a real feel for his voice or the songs were sung in tandem with each other. Even though Charles’ voice isn’t that great, the fact that he is putting himself out in the open adds to the vulnerability of the song and the emotions. It is still impressive that his falsetto voice can match Rebecca’s, or even go higher in some cases.

You, Earth, or Ash – Slow Club

I believe the purpose of Paradise was to in fact show that the two of them are mature musicians and not just another cheery and charming duo. The group could have still stayed on the “wahwahwahfitallthewordsin!” path as Rebecca likes to describe it. However, the two were adamant on showing that their music and their art is more than just the “twee” folk label. They managed to achieve that goal without alienating their regular fans. They even went as far as still showing their previous styles as proof of their musical journey in a small amount of time. So if you haven’t picked up either Yeah, So or Paradise, there’s no time like the present.

Enjoy

Tyler