I’m a big fan of the ’90s college rock scene, as can be evidenced by my previous write-ups on Bee Thousand, Doolittle, and The Lonesome Crowded West. These bands all played a large role in defining alternative music and what college radio stations were expected to play and look for from that point forward, and Pavement might just be the most important one from the group because of what a stereotypical college group they were. Pavement is Lo-Fi rock which came across as cool, and the band today is still the topic of debate about just how good they actually were between diehard fans and critics who call them talentless. One thing that helps their legacy for sure is how they left their impression on the music scene both in the mid 90’s and today, inspiring current artists with qualities that began on their 1992 debut album Slanted & Enchanted.
All of our DJs have found their home at our station within a department that best fits their music tastes, but where would they be if that department wasn’t available to them? This DJ survey asks our students where they would be if they had to move to a new department in WCDB.
Enzo: If I had to be in a different department for WCDB, I would most definitely be in the hip-hop department. As much as I love my loud guitars and crazy drum fills, I really love me some clever rap lines over a classic boombat beat. Artists like MF Doom, NAS, Joey Bada$$, Capital STEEZ, Common, Tyler the Creator, and Earl Sweatshirt are always playing on my musical devices. Maybe some time in the future I’ll cover a hiphop show or something. I’d be really excited to do so!
Rich: I would join either Hip-hop or electronic since a lot of my shows feature tracks that incorporate elements from both and I would eventually like to explore both genres more deeply.
Martin: I’m not too sure… I’ve started to embrace alternative rock a bit more so I guess I would probably be in that department.
Kyle: I’d head to my second love in the Sports department. I know a good amount about the NFL, NBA and NCAAB and do a good job of staying unbiased if talking about them. I’ve done some halftime sports coverage on CDB before during our homecoming and NCAA tournament game coverage, but I don’t know if I’d be prepared to do a full show on the topic.
Robby: If I was in a different department than the Alternative Rock Department, I would be a metal DJ, because that’s what I know the most. In my youth, I was pretty into it.
Okkervil River is a terrific band out of Austin who has an actual tie in to college radio, as frontman Will Sheff was a DJ before starting Okkervil River. They’ve succeeded in distinguishing themselves from other bands by being able to play both folk-rock and pop songs with extreme declarations, and Black Sheep Boy, The Stand Ins, and The Stage Names are all terrific complete albums previously released by the group. Unfortunately, The Silver Gymnasium doesn’t deserve to be placed in the same category of those albums, as Okkervil River ends up playing folk-pop with no real bite to it, and folk-pop is a pretty awful music genre.
Continue reading Album Review: Okkervil River- The Silver Gymnasium
Death Cab for Cutie is one of the best examples of an alternative band that successfully marketed themselves to a mainstream audience after their 2005 release Plans, an album containing the popular tracks “Crooked Teeth”, “Soul Meets Body” and “I Will Follow You Into the Dark”. A ton of new attention came to the band with this release as Benjamin Gibbard’s soft voice and high range alongside the band’s energy and clever lyrics provided an easy sound to like; but the truth is that Plans was and still is a singles-heavy album that was less cohesive than other albums the band had already released. We Have the Facts and We’re Voting Yes in 2000 and The Photo Album were both great albums cover to cover, with the latter containing possibly the best Death Cab song ever in “Steadier Footing”.