Strange Ranger In-Studio

Stranger Ranger joined WCDB for an in-studio and interview a few weeks back. DJ Ronnie had the pleasure of hosting them and below is her take on the event:

I’ve been a huge fan of Strange Ranger since their last year’s release “Rot Forever”. It was such a pleasure to host them at our station. As they walked in, they immediately noticed the massive Bruce Springsteen record on the wall they made note of how all college radio stations are pretty similar but in the end, unique in their own ways. They enjoy playing DIY shows and having them at WCDB felt like a real “do it for the culture” moment. They could have ignored our request to stop by but they went out of their way because supporting the scene is what they love. When they began to set up I recognized two familiar faces in the band and 3 new ones. They got a new drummer named Asher and had Fiona on the keyboard. Isaac and Fred were the 2 members apart of the original line up. The last was Nathan, a member that had played drums for them on Rot Forever but just began touring with them as the second guitarist this Summer/Fall. As they set up the equipment, a casual jam session broke out. These guys love to jam, there are intense jam breakdowns all over Rot Forever. It was something that obviously came very naturally to them. Isaac fumbled around with headphones and snapped one of the earpieces off, and as the band collectively roasted him for being a klutz, we began to jump into some questions about their upcoming album. I’m sure they get asked about the name change a lot but they wanted us to know not only did the name Strange Ranger come out of respect and accountability of Sioux falls but what also joined it was a shift in their sound. They played a couple songs off their upcoming album and recently released singles. It was a nice mixed bag of old and new stuff from their older EPs, Rot Forever and Daymoon. I begged them to play Dom as they tried to decide what to play next. It must have been a song that wasn’t rehearsed in a while, and as they laughed through the small sloppy mistakes and rocky start, debris from the ceiling began to fall. Dom shook the entire station in a great way. As we got into more questions about their influence everything began to make sense as to why I loved these guys so much. Songs: Ohia, The Microphones, Elliott Smith and Alex G were all listed as influences of their upcoming album being released October 6th on Tiny Engines. After the show, we chatted about the Albany DIY scene and our local bands. They knew quite a few people involved in it and seemed excited to return back to Albany.

A live recording of the performance can be heard below:

Stay tuned for more planned in-studios, including a performance by Jouska and Hate Club on Oct. 6th as they join us for College Radio Day!

Peach Pit- Being So Normal

Peach Pit, a four-piece act from Vancouver, released their sophomore album Being So Normal on September 15th. In February 2017, a YouTube channel sent their self-titled track, “Peach Pit” viral after discovering it on their Bandcamp. The group quickly started to amass a following, and are now on a worldwide tour (stopping in NY at Baby’s All Right Oct. 8th!). Self-described as ‘chewed bubblegum pop’, their latest album flows along with melodic guitar riffs and dreamy vocals. Each track sounds a bit different than the last, a clear experimentation with sound while progressing in their music-making.

Listen to a track off the new album below:

Song of the Day: Soft Sounds From Another Planet -Japanese Breakfast

Today’s song of the day is hand-picked from Japanese Breakfast’s sophomore album Soft Sounds From Another Planet, released this past July. Melodic and dreamy, this title track encapsulates the feeling of closing your eyes and laying in the warm sun. Paired with layers of masterfully crafted cosmic arrangements, the depth of the lyrics hit hard as Michelle Zauner paints a tale of an abusive ex-lover. While seemingly melancholic, the theme of this album centers on healing and release, in contrast to her 2016 debut album Psychopomp, which journeyed her mother’s emotional battle with cancer. A lap steel guitar solo and floaty vocals package this track up into a perfect cozy nighttime listen.

You can listen below, along with the rest of the album:

 

Vinyl On The Rise?

Written by: Audra Colliton

As a collector of vinyl for 8 years, I can easily say it’s on the rise. However, I can also attest to the fact that I am biased. I have seen an increase in people my age shopping at my record store, younger people at events like the Record Riot, and the release of cheap turntables everywhere in every color can defend that opinion.

Vinyl is on trend right now, but as a musical format, I find it to be the most tactile. As a music enthusiast, I have collected my fair share of CDs, tapes and digital downloads. CDs are often too small to fully appreciate the small booklets in the covers, tapes are even smaller, and digital is subtracted from the physical environment entirely. Vinyl is different; it’s tactile and large enough to fully appreciate. For that reason, covers are more elaborate, the inner sleeve may contain more things like posters, calendars, and even large booklets or paper stands. Zeppelin had pop up effects on Led Zeppelin III, the Rolling Stones incorporated an actual, zippable zipper on Sticky Fingers, Alice Cooper’s Love it To Death came with a calendar from 1971 with a picture of Alice being hung with a noose. There are so many additional things to vinyl in comparison to CDs it’s impressive.

Vinyl also has a different sound quality and lasts longer when cared for properly. I cannot fully describe the sound it has, but it feels more real. That might just be my bias shining through, but I’ve heard similar statements from other collectors. They also last longer in comparison to tapes, which, after several uses, will expel their tape and get worn out. CDs, after a number of years, literally rot, which is another thing to take into consideration. It’s true that vinyl can be severely damaged and can skip, but proper care is crucial.

Besides that, we have to consider how we take in music day to day in the digital, divided era that we live in. We take everything segmented, taking out the terrible and only focusing on the “good” music, or the singles of an album. CDs and tapes you can easily skip through. Skipping songs on vinyl takes some skill and when I first started I never did it in fear of damaging my albums. So, as time went by, I listened to my albums fully, taking the good with the bad. And I realized that albums are merely storytelling devices, some stories are good, some stories are bad. Sometimes the story is not linked up, sometimes the stories intertwine perfectly.

An example of an album that does this is Arthur by the Kinks. Sure, you probably know “Victoria”, however, the tracks that follow are vital to the story, and the discontent felt in the story doesn’t fully echo through “Victoria”. Discontent is felt through songs like “Some Mother’s Son” and “Shangri La” due to the sad and sarcastic nature the Kinks instill into the lyrics. Albums are a composite piece of work, and to fully grasp the art, it must be taken whole before zeroing into songs. I’ve come to find some of my favorite songs are my least favorite in comparison to the album as a whole.

Some stories are terrible, like Their Satanic Majesties Request, that tried to rival Sargent Pepper’s and horribly failed, however the album is still sought after by collectors that value the art, and can actually be worth money just because of the art.

In general, vinyl is an experience that cannot be replicated on a digital platform.