New Xiu Xiu and Roy Montgomery/Grouper split

Xiu Xiu – Dear God, I Hate Myself (Kill Rock Stars)

Noisy, loud, DARK, songs, generally having more pop tendencies than not. More discordant and experimental than the last few releases, Dear God, I Hate Myself does some exploring where the debut LP Knife Play left off. A wide array of percussive elements are explored, including; a bumpin’, seemingly ragamuffin drum machine, eerie clinking chimes, clunky pots & pans, and other crazy things I’m not even sure of. Jamie Stewart’s voice is a mad powerhouse of trembling torment, displaying quite a range of of intensely scary (but catchy) melodies. Chirping and whining weird electronics make insane noises in explosions of indescribable overlapping sounds. Songs that contemplate life (possibly through death) and other heavy subject matter including eating disorders and self mutilation give the album an overall disheartened and dejected vibe that is certainly brightened by the mostly upbeat tones of the instrumentation. Through the wonderful feedbacking, whaling mess of distortion lies a modicum of hope in the horror of life, a light that is slightly brighter than it once was.

Roy Montgomery/Grouper – Split 12” (Self-Released)

Roy Montgomery’s side consists of one 18-minute flanging monster track that was recorded LIVE. It’s drony, cool, calm psych (with intensified moments of buiding anxiety) that progresses through multiple movements and manages to stay on point, with only a few subtle reversions. Though it is eighteen minutes long, it is not “jammy shit.” I assure you I do not typically like “jammy shit”. However, I do like this, probably because I do not consider it as such (even though parts were probably improvised). This is most defintely structured, each riff gradually leading to the next, strummed chords on a guitar that almost sound like a sitar. There is a bright, serious energy focused in points of this song that soothes the mind, transporting one to a place of ecstatic joy, hovering blissfully in an other-worldly realm. Dreamy, whirring notes floating in the air, bouncing around wavering with reverb’d twang, sounding an echo.
Grouper (Elizabeth Harris) begins her side of the record in a hissing haze of ambient melancholy with waves of ancient lament emerging from the fallow fog drifting around. The EP contains no guitar that I can hear, which is typically what accompanies her vocals, but rather, makes use of some electronic organ. “Vessel” and “Hold the Way” employ this, making for tremolous, dreamy, piano-like tones covered in fuzz and dust, void of much light. Liz Harris’ voice is the most impressive instrument on the record, carving out smooth melodies of angelic murmuring, opening space for more fluttering coos and harmonizations that overlap, shining in pools of painfully beautiful serenity. Her fourth track closes with an organ groove fading-out to field recordings of barking dogs and dripping rain. Sparse, crackling songs that, even though somewhat uneventful (compared to pop songs), flow down with a sorrow and strangeness that’s chilling (in an almost happy way).
WARNING: THESE ARE NOT POP SONGS, JUST AMBIENT TUNES WITH GREAT MELODIES!

Written By Antony the Tank
on WCDB Monday Nights 10pm-12am

Galactic

Since the new Galactic album has been getting a lot of attention on our airwaves (and apparently our blog), I figured it would be a good time to dig through the proverbial crates and fish out a review of their last album. Enjoy…

“New Orleans Jazz-funk-soul-jam-rock band Galactic has now got another, constricting, over-generalizing, genre label under their belts: hip-hop!  On their 6th release, “From the Corner to the Block,” Galactic collaborates with some of the dope-est emcees that you’ve never heard of—unless you’re looking—in the spirit of The Roots.  But the loose song structure that lets The Roots improvise so well live (but tends to let down the sucker who actually bought the disc) is one major difference between how the jam-band/hip-hop tradition is carried out here.  The songs on “From the Corner to the Block” feature all the components of rock and roll songwriting that make the songs songs—and not just a hot loop or catchy chorus—(i.e. bridges, buildups, and breakdowns.)  Other than four instrumental tracks (bounce baby, sidewalk stepper, fanfare, and tuff love, that all hold down the hip-hop attitude) every song features a different relatively underground emcee.  Although you may not recognize the names of the emcees themselves, most of the featured emcees Galactic chose to collaborate with, on the album, are members of socially conscious hip-hop groups that are more familiar.  (Lyrics Born and Lateef the Truth Speaker from Latyrix, Mr. Lif from the Perceptionists, Gift of Gab fromBlackalicious; Chali 2na from Jurassic 5; Ladybug Mecca of Digable Planets; Boots Riley of The Coup.)  Each track was inspired by the album title and offers different angles of perception and interpretation of what happens “from the corner to the block.”  (Whether it’s a place to “hustle in front of gramma” or a symbolic “memory lane.”)  The album is solid and worth a straight through listen but, like most hip-hop albums, is not a cohesive record (in the sense of “dark side”) but each track ultimately holds its own.  And, while I recommend all fourteen, the songs that especially stand out are “think back” with Chali 2na and “from the corner to the block” with Juvenile (also from New Orleans) who you might know and loathe from mainstream rap songs such as “back that azz up” (where the unique spelling isn’t even phonetic!) and “slow motion.”  But with the help of Soul Rebels Brass Band, the title track is fresh funky and flavorful as shit!  This is easily one of the most impressive and underrated albums of 2007.  “From the Corner to the Block” is a flawless integration of under appreciated emcees and top-notch funk-rock musicianship that should serve not only as a standard within the hipster-hop circuit but to emcees and jam bands looking to produce albums that are worthy to promote live.  The album can be appreciated by musicians and lyricists alike but stands out as a solid hip-hop record.  And from that perspective it’s goddamn refreshing!”

-Dylan

Probably as a result of the touring that ensued (which featured the emcees’ own material with galactic as a backing band, galactic’s own stuff, covers, and awesome jam/freestyle sessions) gift of gab and lateef released “droppin’ science fiction” as The Mighty Underdogs which featured some of the other people on this album like chali 2na, lyrics born and mr. lif (among others like MF Doom). That album also did well on CDB.

Crime in Stereo

Disclaimer: I loved “Is Dead” in fact, I’ve loved everything this band has done. This record is going to get shit on EVERYWHERE. The hardcore kids won’t like it because it doesn’t sound like their old music. The indie-scene- whateverthefuckyouwanttocallit kids won’t like it because it’s too abrasive, and hipsters won’t like it because they only like it when the Dirty Projectors try punk. So if you fit into one of these groups, I say, let your guard down and listen to this record because if you come into it expecting something you’ve heard before or if you’re expecting something that can easily be pigeonholed you are wrong. Crime in Stereo just gave a big fuck you to everyone. The leap this band just made is like the leap Radiohead made from Pablo Honey to The Bends. Crime In Stereo’s days of straight up pop-punk are gone. They’ve moved on to something more experimental that immediately makes one think of the direction Brand New went. However, this is not Crime in Stereo jumping on Brand New’s success.

“I Was Trying to Describe You To Someone” starts off with “Queue Moderns” which begins with a electronic drum loop before heading and a verse before heading into a more traditional sounding CIS chorus. It continues with “Drugwolf” which sounds fractured, emotional and powerful. The vocals are strangely paired with the music—it’s off-putting at first, but after a few listens you will fall in love. The band continues the progress they made from “Is Dead” and throws in much more effect-laden guitar parts and even utilizes a lot of vocal effects. “Exit Halo” is a brooding track with soaring guitars and a pronounced bass line; the double-tracked vocals add a great amount of emotion to the build up of singer Kristian Hallbert’s screams. “Not Dead” is reminiscent of “Shape of Punk to Come” era Refused meeting “The Devil and God Are Raging Inside Me” from Brand New. There is a newfound aggression in this band that we hadn’t seen on their last effort.  The hard-to-soft dyamic of the song is a great transition without being contrived.

“Young” is a wonderful ballad-like offering whose opening chords draw you in. The standout point here is the power behind Hallbert’s vocals over the soothing guitar part. This song is bound to become a crowd favorite. CIS again demonstrate their mastery of the hard-soft dynamic. “Type one” continues and is a journey all in its own. I’d say this song is almost perfect. “Republica” is overtly political in its lyrical content, and is anathematic. Dissonance is definitely a theme of this record. The song moves in a wave-like fashion. We see CIS remake one of their older songs “Dark Island City” which is lyrically only about a paragraph long. This much slowed-down and deliberative version really hits home, and is easily one of the standout
tracks on the album. The last track “I Cannot Answer You Tonight” sounds almost like it could have came directly off of “I, Stateside”.CIS on this record kept throwing curveballs and change-ups, and to stick with a baseball analogy, some people will not be able to adapt to the changing tide of the pitches. But those who can will clearly see why this album is a massive leap forward from these 5 dudes from Levittown, Long Island. Congrats to CIS, they’ve truly made their own niche in their respective “scene” a feat done by few successfully.

-Beef Argz

The kids are back

I was talking about the crowd to Austin (our metal director, on air every Sunday 10pm-12am) between songs at the Between the Buried and Me show last night (which was awesome, by the way). He was saying how pumped he was to see so many younger—“ADD generation”—kids out and paying attention to such good music even though a couple of the songs bordered on 20 minutes long. I said true but that these songs were really schizophrenic compared to something like Desolation Row. But that was cherry picking on my part. Although prog didn’t really get going until a few years afterHighway 61 Revisited, it’s not quite fair to say that BTBAM is capitalizing on some sort of super-fast-paced-sound-bite-saturated-immediate-information-internet-generation. But it is tempting.

ANYWAY,

Students are back at SUNY Albany for Spring semester which means we’ve got a new Schedule and a bunch of cool new programs for you to check out every week. The whole schedule is available onwww.wcdbfm.com (where you can also stream the radio live, in case your at work or in Kentucky or something).

Note: We gave away a bunch of free tickets to that BTBAM show and of course we’re not stopping there. Be sure to tune into CDB for information about upcoming shows and maybe even a spot on the guest-list.

Dylan
Mondays 12-2pm

Rock

B-Fargz’s lists/thoughts

In regards to this whole decade thing—the mid to late 90’s were infinitely better than the 2000s. FACT

Here’s to you 2009!

Of The Year (in no particular order):
1. Propagandhi – Supporting Caste
2. Me Without You- It’s All Crazy! It’s All False! It’s All a Dream! It’s Alright
3. Another Breath – God Complex
4. Dear Landlord – Dream Homes
5. Converge – Axe to Fall
6. Owen – New Leaves
7. Thursday – Common Existence
8. Summer People – Good Problems
9. Bomb the Music Industry – Scrambles
10. Russian Circles – Geneva

Honorable mention:
Brand New – Daisy
Chuck Ragan – Gold Country
Dinosaur Jr. – Farm
Dan Deacon – Broomst
House Boat – The Delaware Octopus
Japandroids – Post-Nothing
Polar Bear Club – Chasing Hamburg
Strike Anywhere – Iron Front
Between the Buried and me – the great misdirect

Most Overrated:
Animal Collective – Merriweather Post Pavilion (I just don’t get this band at all)

Most Disappointing:
Mos Def – The Ecstatic (talk about lame)

Thing about this year I found most confusing:
the fact that sarah palin is still relevant

If I had money I would have heard and probably placed:
The Banner Pilot
Kevin Devine

Best things to happen this year:
turning 21
discovering beer that wasn’t keystone light
being WCDB’s Rock director!!!!!!!
Polar Bear Club at the SUNY Chapel House
Seeing Have Heart’s last tour show

Worst things:
Having to say goodbye to my pup
Knowing I’m one year closer to death, and probably after finals are over, 5 years closer to death
Have Heart breaking up
Thorns of Life not releasing a record
twitter
Sarah Palin writes a book (she can write?)
graduating into the worst recession since the great depression (technically next year but I still want to bitch about it)
Senior thesis

top ten of the decade:
1. Radiohead – In Rainbows – No explanation needed. If you don’t think “Reckoner” is the most beautiful song you ever heard, you may not have ears.
2. Thursday – Full Collapse – Changed the way I looked at music. Still love it. An almost perfect album.
3. Against me! – Reinventing Axl Rose – Raw, honest, and awesome.
4. Elliott Smith – From a Basement on a Hill – Elliott Smith is probably my all-time favorite singer-songwriter. These songs are sad, and brutal to listen to sometimes. Incredible
5. Cursive – Domestica – Lyrically amazing and musically incredible.
6. The Lawrence Arms – the greatest story ever told
7. Sigur Ros – ( )
8. Broken Social Scene – You Forget It In People
9. Everytime I Die – Hot Damn!
10. Modest Mouse – The Moon and Antarctica

I’m sure there’s something (multiple things) I’m forgetting but here are some honorable mentions:

The Gaslight Anthem – the 59 Sound — too new to decide whether or not it makes my personal album of the decade list. Definitely loved it.
Ryan Adams – Love Is Hell
1905 – Voice
Dearly Departed – Believing in Ghosts — This band is criminally underrated
Hot Water Music – Caution
Explosions in the Sky – Earth is Not a Cold Dead Place
Converge – Jane Doe
Bane – Give Blood
Godspeed you! Black Emperor – Lift your skinny fists like antennas to the heavens
Latterman – No matter where we go … !

Belong on here but not doing two bands twice:
Radiohead – Kid A
Cursive – The Ugly Organ (I had a really hard time choosing between the two)
Broken Social Scene – S\T

B-Fargz
Rock

3 top 10 Lists from Jared C.

Top Albums of 2009

1.  Propagandhi – Supporting Caste
2.  Japandroids – Post-Nothing
3.  Phoenix – Wolfgang Amadeus Phoenix
4.  Animal Collective – Merriweather Post Pavilion
5.  Converge – Axe to Fall
6.  Dinosaur Jr. – Farm
7.  Cymbals Eat Guitars – Why There Are Mountains
9.  Tortoise – Beacons of Ancestorship
10.  Dear Landlord – Dream Homes

Best EPs of 2009

1.  Animal Collective – Fall Be Kind
2.  The Lawrence Arms – Buttsweat and Tears
3.  Bon Iver – Blood Bank
4.  Modest Mouse – No One’s First and You’re Next
5.  No Age – Losing Feeling
6.  Paint It Black – Amnesia
7.  Torche – Healer/Across the Shields
8.  Snowing – Fuck Your Emotional Bullshit
9.  Pelican – Ephemeral
10.  The Loved Ones – Distractions

Honorable Mention

Banner Pilot – Collapser
Baroness – Blue Record
Brand New – Daisy
Built to Spill – There is No Enemy
Lucero – 1372 Overton Park
Shrinebuilder – Shrinebuilder

Top Albums of the Decade

1.  Modest Mouse – The Moon and Antarctica
2.  Radiohead – Kid A
3.  Hot Water Music – Caution
4.  Wilco – Yankee Hotel Foxtrot
5.  Against Me! – Reinventing Axl Rose
6.  The White Stripes – Elephant
7.  Arcade Fire – Funeral
8.  The Flaming Lips – Yoshimi Battles the Pink Robots
9.  The Weakerthans – Left and Leaving
10.  Queens of the Stone Age – Songs for the Deaf

Jared C.
Rock
Thursday 10pm-12am

Dylan’s top 10 albums of the DECADE

Yesterday on my show I counted these down and gave away tickets to see thursday and dillinger escape plan on the 18th. Awesome, I know. Next week (for my finally show of the semester) I’ll have, Music Department Chair, Dr. Albin J. Zak, III, (who happens to teach an awesome rock history course here at UAlbany) on the show.

Anyway, here’s the list:

10) hot damn! – every time i die
9) elephant – the white stripes
8) in rainbows – radiohead
7) francis the mute – mars volta
6) leviathan – mastodon
5) songs for the deaf – queens of the stone age
4) marshall mathers lp – eminem
3) miss machine – dillinger escape plan
2) stankonia – outkast
1) de-loused in the comatorium – mars volta

Dylan
Rock/News

Deep Children’s top ten of 2009

Mycon Deep’s Top Ten Tracks of 2009 That Combine(Or Completely Ignore) Every Hyped Club Genre of 2009

1.)  joy orbison – wet look (hyph mngo/wet look single, hot flush recorings)
2.)  ghosts on tape – predator mode (predator mode ep, wireblock)
3.)  mat cant & scattermish – hornbo (hornbo ep, scatter music)
4.)  marcus price & carli mat, bira, kvinnor, weed (kingdom remix) (unreleased)
5.)  bok bok – ripe banana (night slugs ep, dress 2 sweat)
6.)  major lazer – pon de floor (toadally krossed out remix) (unreleased, mad decent blog)
7.)  gremino – it’s working (unreleased)
8.)  dubbel dutch – throwback (unreleased)
9.)  joker – do it (do it/psychedelic runway single, kapsize)
10.)  ac slater – party like us (party like us ep, party like us records)

Mycon Deep
Deep Children Radio

RPM
Friday 8pm-10pm

Austin Power’s Top Ten Albums of 2009

1.)  animals as leaders – s/t (best album of the year by far IMO)

2.)  alice in chains- black gives way to blue
3.)  pestilence- resurrection macabre
4.)  obscura- cosmogenesis
5.)  urchins of the night- reentry
6.)  baroness- blue record
7.)  isis- wavering radiant
8.)  between the buried and me- the great misdirect
9.)  appleseed cast- sagarmatha
10.)  sunlight ascending- all of the memories, all at once

Honorable mentions go out to:

black math horseman- wyllt
buried inside- spoils of failure
cult ritual- LP
the bakerton group- el rojo

Word life.

Austin Powers
Metal
Sunday 10pm-12am

Howdy

WCDBlog is entirely edited and updated by us (WCDB DJs)—just like we handpick all the music that you hear on 90.9fm. We’ll have: previews and reviews for CDs and shows; pictures, audio and a combination of both (video) from in-studio and out-of-studio performances; irrelevant and irreverent rants. After Thanksgiving, we’ll start posting our top 10 albums and/or songs of the year and of the DECADE! Each post will be signed by the DJ so you can judge each of us. (DJ profiles on our website wcdbfm.com is also a great place to start.) More to come soon.

Dylan
Rock/News

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