Thursday, February 28, 2008

Recap: Girl Powa! Interviews St. Vincent

Annie Clark a.k.a. St. Vincent called into WTBU from the road on Tuesday. Girl Powa! covered all the bases: the tour, Guitar Hero and why cats are so shady. To hear the interview, download the .wav file here:

And if you missed it, check out last month's review of St. Vincent's album Marry Me and preview of her show at the Middle East: Show Preview: St. Vincent @ the Middle East

--Jessy Bartlett

Reviews! Vampire Weekend! Dead Meadow! British Sea Power!

Congrats to former WTBU music director John DiSalvo whose now writing reviews for the Weekly Dig! Check out his reviews of Vampire Weekend, Dead Meadow, and British Sea Power here!

Vampire Weekend

Dead Meadow

British Sea Power

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Hey bloggers and WTBU listeners!
Here's the programming schedule for Spring 2008!

Set it as your background on your CPU so you don't miss a beat! The Beat of Boston University that is!
I'm great...

-John (programming)

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Nicole Atkins @ TT The Bear’s: Boston’s on Fire!

Nicole Atkins took the stage shortly after midnight at TT the Bear’s Place in Cambridge Friday night. Always dressed to impress, Nicole sported a shimmery black dress over black leggings with red heels to pull off the cute but dark look she wears so well. She thanked everyone for coming out on the first official night of her first headlining tour. “This is the first time we’re playing in Boston with more than five people in the crowd!” she announced to cheers from the packed room.

WTBU caught up with Nicole last week in a phone interview to talk about the album, her first headlining tour, and her plans for the future. When asked what her favorite track on the album was, Nicole said it had to be “Cool Enough,” which she described as a song about “growing up and wanting so badly to get out of the place you come from.”

Nicole and her band the Sea played a killer live version of “Cool Enough” with an extended guitar solo at the end that had everyone feeling like we were at a rock concert. She mixed up the pace with a few slower songs as well such as album standout “The Way It Is,” which she delivered with every ounce of passion from the album version and spot-on vocals. On fan favorite “Brooklyn’s on Fire,” Nicole asked the crowd to sing along on the chorus: Fourth of, July, Brooklyn’s, on fire!

After ending the show with an earnest performance of album title track “Neptune City,” also Nicole’s hometown, things went back into rock mode for the encore. Nicole and the band came back out to play a rocking cover of Patti Smith’s “Pissing in a River” and went out with a bang.

What’s next for Nicole Atkins? When asked about her next move after her cross-country tour, Nicole told WTBU that she has already begun thinking about the next album. She revealed that she would love to work with super producer Jon Brion, best known for his Grammy nominated film scores on movie soundtracks and his work with talented artists such as Fiona Apple and Rufus Wainwright.

“I hope I didn’t just jinx it by telling you!” Us too!

Check out a clip from Friday night of Nicole singing “Neptune City” here:

Visit Nicole’s Myspace at

--Jessy Bartlett

Feelings…on “The World’s Greatest Music Collection”

According to, it was “declining health and financial concerns” that ultimately forced Paul Mahwinney, owner of the nearly 3 million records, 300,000 CDs and 6 million + song title music library, to sell out.

Now on sale on eBay for an easy 3 MILLION, this has only provided me with further incentive to continue stealing from the world’s second greatest music collection: the internet.

…and those are my feelings on “The World’s Greatest Music Collection.”

--Jen Choi

(photo courtesy of ebay search)

Recap: "On Air With Captain Awesome" interviews Bishop Lamont

Last week, rapper Bishop Lamont called into WTBU from California. The rapper, who is currently signed to Dr. Dre's Aftermath Entertainment label, was interviewed by "On Air With Captain Awesome". To hear the interview, download an mp3 here:

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Music Department Update: This Week's Top Albums

Brought to you by the music directors!

Top five new adds:
1. Monade with Monstre Cosmic: Singer/lyricist Laetitia Sadier kills this album, in a good way. Most of the lyrics are in French! Monade is a side project from Stereolab and brings you enough variety to consider them a good decision on Stereolab’s part.
2. Reed KD with The Ashes Bloom: A great album with a new twist on acoustics. Reed KD mixes guitar parts with cool beats. Lyrics are friendly and enjoyable. “Empty Bottles” is one of the best tracks on the album.
3. City and Colour with Bring Me Your Love: Soft guitar with soft vocals. Great music to listen to on a rainy day. The singer has been compared to Elliott Smith and Iron and Wine. Give City and Colour a shot and see what you think.
4. Jason Choi and the Sea with Leave the Night Behind: A solid album from Planetary. Some of the guitar parts sound cliché, but the lyrics are cute and simple. Tracks 2, 3, and 4 are good to play on-air.
5. Idiot Pilot with Wolves: Two musicians with a well-produced album. The quiet vocals are delicate and sound like that of Thom Yorke’s. The louder vocals are quite the opposite—some songs on the album even include screamo! The background noise is the most pleasant.

Top five albums:
1. Hot Chip’s Made in the Dark. Excellent indie rock vocals teamed with beats hard and funky enough for the dance floor, check out the breakdown on track 2. Comes complete with a great British sense of humor.
2. Stars’ In Our Bedroom After the War. The latest from the five-member Canadian group, Stars. This album sounds similar to past albums by the band, but has an even more intimate feel. The female/male vocals continue to attract fans in songs like “Midnight Coward,” “My Favourite Book,” “Personal,” and “Barricade.”
3. VHS or Beta’s Bring Out the Comets. Noisy dance-punk with matured songwriting and melodies and a polished production. If you like Daft Punk and the 80’s you’ll love this band.
4. Louis XIV’s Slick Dogs and Ponies. The subject matter gets a little darker in this effort but still overall good fun. Frenetic, angular melodies and rhythms with eccentric vocals.
5. Sons and Daughters’ This Gift. Singer Adele Bethel gives us some of the most interesting vocal parts in music today. Backed up perfectly by the catchy guitar riffs and driving drums.

--Jenn Brown & Keith Simpson

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Preview: Who Are The Cribs?

The Cribs are from the UK. They are three brothers who have beeing making sweet indie rock music together since 2004. The band has three albums out, the latest being 2007's Men's Needs, Women's Needs, Whatever. Last month, the band was nominated for a four NME Awards, including Best British Band and Best Live Act. (NME stands for New Musical Experience-- it's a big music magazine in England.)

To hear more from The Cribs, check out their MySpace and Hype Machine. Then, tune in to WTBU this Saturday at noon, when bassist/vocalist Gary Jarman will be calling in to do an interview with Alicia Zweig and Ben Bailey, on "The Initial Countdown". And then, go see them at the Paradise later this month.

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Music Department Update: This Week's Top Albums

At WTBU, we are constantly getting tons of new music in, and our rotation records change frequently. Can't tune in long enough to hear them all? You are in luck. Starting this week, music directors Jen Brown and Keith Simpson will be picking out overall top albums in rotation, and the best new additions. Check out their picks for this week:

Top five albums:
1. The soundtrack to the film I’m Not There. The movie is a tribute to Bob Dylan and the soundtrack includes Dylan covers from artists like Sonic Youth, Cat Power, Jenny O, Sufjan Stevens, Steven Malkmus, and more. Listen and enjoy—the album includes two discs.
2. Stars: In Our Bedroom After the War. The latest from the five-member Canadian group, Stars. This album sounds similar to past albums by the band, but has an even more intimate feel. The female/male vocals continue to attract fans in songs like “Midnight Coward,” “My Favourite Book,” “Personal,” and “Barricade.”
3. The soundtrack to the film Juno. Indie-movie lovers are all falling for this indie-music album. Kimya Dawson and her duo, The Moldy Peaches have some great tracks on the album. Listen to “Anyone Else But You” on air. If you want to hear “Loose Lips", check out Kimya's myspace. (You probably won't hear it on air because it’s not AQ.)
4. The Fashion, by The Fashion. This album was last week’s number-one add, and has been played enough to earn the station’s fourth slot. The fashion has some great dance beats, including the first track entitled, “Like Knives.”
5. Roots and Echoes by The Coral. This album is The Coral’s fourth and was recording at Oasis’ home studio in Buckinghamshire. Check out their classic Kinks and early Stones vibe on “Dreaming of You,” “Not So Lonely,” and “Don’t You Think You’re the First.”

Top five new adds:
1. Hot Chip’s Made in the Dark. Excellent indie rock vocals teamed with beats hard and funky enough for the dance floor, check out the breakdown on track 2. Listen to it on the electronica shows.
2. Louis XIV’s Slick Dogs and Ponies. The subject matter gets a little darker in this effort but still overall good fun. Frenetic, angular melodies and rhythms with eccentric vocals.
3. The Grand Archives’ debut album. A new project from Mat Brooke of Band of Horses. Adds a 70’s folk and Americana vibe to their Seattle indie sound. Listen for this on classic rock shows.
4. Times New Viking’s Rip it Off. Pure and simple song-craft submerged under entrancing layers of guitar fuzz. Perfect for a punk or experimental theme.
5. Crushed Stars’ Gossamer Days. Intimate, mournful acoustic guitar ballads. Spotless production and haunting arrangements.

(Check back every Monday for Jen and Keith's weekly update.)

Sunday, February 10, 2008

Getting Lied To: Liars with No Age @ Paradise, 2/8

After catching word of Angus Andrew’s (Liars’ front man) back injury last month, many speculated whether or not Paradise’s flannel clad Allston hipsters would miss Andrew’s notorious stage antics nevertheless have a chance to see Liars play at all.

Fortunately, the show went on with the opener, No Age, an LA based lo-fi band consisting of two former members of Wives.

“I was impressed by the depth of their [No Age] performance especially without a bass,” said BU COM junior Nick Curran on his first No Age experience.

Playing tracks from their 2007 album Weirdo Rippers, and a couple of new songs, No Age’s energy got the crowd going with amazing performances of “Neck Escaper” and “Everybody’s Down.”

Liars’ set up was more reminiscent of an intimate poetry reading then a rock show with a leather chair and petit table taking the front and center. As Andrew’s emerged from the back his banter with the crowd about the Super Bowl and other Boston sports was entertaining but there was clear speculation of just how much they would be able to “Freak Out” that Friday.

Yet, by their third song “House Clouds,” off their album, Liars, it was obvious that Andrew’s possessed convulsions were out in full force. There was no question that these NYC rockers could back up one of the best album of 2007 with a jaw-dropping performance.

After “Plaster Casts of Everything,” Liars left the crowd wanting more and encored with two songs from their earlier albums reminding us all of just how good it really feels to be lied to.

--Jen Choi

(Photo courtesy of

Saturday, February 9, 2008

Recap: MGMT on "Indie 500", 2/8

After making my poor/awesome intern, Sam, tell her life story on air not once but three times, the call light flashed and on the line, Ben Goldwasser of MGMT. Although awkward, I managed to get though a 20-minute interview where I learned:
1. Although it is listed on that they bonded over a mutual “love of mystic paganism” they aren’t practicing.
2. They like cats and their 2007 hit single “Time to Pretend” was inspired by their deceased pet mantis.
3. Capes come in handy when playing on a 43-degree stage on the Letterman Show.
(Left: Andrew Vanwyngarden and Ben Goldwasser of MGMT, in their interactive music video for “Electric Feel,” demonstrating their appreciation for the animal kingdom.)

Intrigued? Catch them at Great Scott in Allston this coming Tuesday, February 12, 2007, with Yeasayer or buy their album Oracular Spectacular off Columbia/Sony Records.

--Jen Choi

Friday, February 8, 2008

Recap: Stephen & the Intangible on "You Are What You Love", 2/7

A new local band called Stephen and the Intangible made their debut performance last night on "You Are What You Love". The four members (guitarist/vocalist Stephen Gruber, guitarist Travis Lund, bassist Jordan Alegant, and drummer Seth Botos) are all currently students at Berklee College of Music. According to Stephen, the band's music is influenced by Ryan Adams and mid-70's Bob Dylan.

To hear the three original/awesome songs they played last night, download a recording here:

Recap: "On Air With Captain Awesome" interviews Lonelygirl15 star

Last Thursday night, WTBU was lucky enough to recieve a phone call from actress Melanie Merkosky. Although Merkosky and the other actors on the "Lonelygirl15" web-series may not be household names, their videos have attracted millions of views on YouTube. (There are over 200 of them.) The series was originally believed to be a video blog by a real 16-year old "lonely girl", but later was it was uncovered to be fictitious.

To learn the rest of the story, download the interview by Andy Hoglund & Matt Kakley, which aired originally on January 31st:

Thursday, February 7, 2008


(click picture to enlarge)

Walking the thin line between writing and not writing a paper, I take time to consider my night’s possibilities:
1. Write my paper
2. Take a probably disappointing trek through the Godless Boston Winter
3. Further develop my social awkwardness and risk a restraining order due to Facebook or real-life stalking

Naturally drawn to the third option, I suddenly recall being pleasantly surprised by a find called by the folks at Seeqpod.

With, instead of listening to my lame iTunes or talking to real people, I can simply type in a song and its respective artist and, like a brisk baseball to the teeth, finds and plays my song within seconds!

Not sure what you exactly want to listen to but hell bent on a song from one of your almost favorite bands? Type in the artist’s name and leave the song bar blank! does the rest of the work for you.

Really the only down fall, after extensive research, is the fact that you can’t play made up songs like “teehee haha” by A’;jfgv[eo.

…and those are my feelings on

--Jen Choi

Wednesday, February 6, 2008

Concert Review: Hannah Montana, 2/5

I have just returned from the Hannah Montana & Miley Cyrus “Best of Both Worlds” Concert Tour. Please realize two things before we begin: I am a college-aged man who RAN to purchase tickets three weeks in advance, while trying to convince both my roommate and close friends to watch with me. I also consider myself a HUGE fan of all things Disney, including the High School Musical franchise, The Jonas Brothers, and, of course, Miley herself. Try to keep this in mind as you continue reading.

The entire concert is shot in full Disney Digital 3D, and since there are no cheap 3D effects used during the concert, it really does seem as though the audience is in the front row. In addition to this, several backstage clips are shown throughout, which only add to the overall experience.

Those of you who are new to the Hannah Montana phenomenon will not know that Miley “Destiny Hope” Cyrus actually plays both parts. Her alter ego, Hannah Montana, is based off of the rockstar she plays in her hit Disney Channel show of the same name. This may seem confusing at first, but there are subtle character differences, and of course, more obvious costume changes.

True to any Kenny Ortega production, the show features ten of Hannah/Miley’s hit songs and two songs performed by guest
stars, The Jonas Brothers. As true fans will notice, her most famous song, “Pumpin’ Up The Party Now,” is nowhere to be found.

Though the overall performance is outstanding, due mostly to the fact that Disney puts on one hell of a show, some of the
vignettes of Miley and her father, Billy Ray Cyrus, are a tad long, and feel as though they eat up some of the concert.

The 74-minute show is enough for moviegoers, but if you subtract the vignettes and backstage footage, those poor parents shelled out hundreds for just under an hour of digitally enhanced pop music. And, of course, I say this as her biggest fan.

--Michael Butvinik

(photo from Disney via google images)

Interview with author Autumn de Wilde, 2/8 11:30 AM

On February 8th at 11:30 a.m., author Autumn de Wilde will be calling into "BU in the Morning" to discuss her book, Elliott Smith, which was released recently.

Autumn de Wilde was first contacted for this interview two summers ago, but it didn't work out, because at the time most people that knew him were not willing to be interviewed. This book, which is a series of interviews with Smith's close friends, family, and associates, marks the breaking of the silence that began after his death in 2003.

Miss de Wilde became a close friend of Elliott's after taking lots of his press photos, directing one of his music videos, and designing the album art for Figure 8, which means that she is in a way also behind what has since become the Elliott Smith Memorial in LA. She is an incredibly talented photographer, who has worked with important faces of the indie rock scene, such as the likes of Beck, Devendra Banhart and Jenny Lewis. Please check out her website!

The interview will also be recorded and rebroadcasted the following Tuesday from 6-8 p.m, on "Over Yonder".

Carly Nix

Tuesday, February 5, 2008

Recap: Kelsie McNair on "You Are What You Love"

On January 31, Kelsie McNair performed live and acoustic on WTBU's "You Are What You Love" (Thursdays from 6-8). Originally from Virginia Beach, Virginia, she is currently studying music production at the New England Art Institute.

McNair's music deserves a description more compelling than soulful, but the raw simplicity of her songs make experiencing sincere emotion the overwhelming effect of listening to her music. The gentle yet powerful melodies prevalent in most of McNair's songs have a tendency to stir both the mind and heart of the listener. McNair has also encouraged listeners to bob their heads on some songs, as seen in the attached video of her live performance of "Easier than 123."

Please visit to hear more.

--Allison Francis

Sunday, February 3, 2008


(click picture to enlarge)

Back in Orange County it was far from overwhelmingly difficult to be “hip,” some Fake French and an occasional trek to LA made me a cultural force to be reckoned with among my fellow Catholic schoolboys and girls.

Yet, as technology began changing the world, it also began changing me. By 14 years, I was an active Xanga, Livejoural, Myspace, Cobrasnake stalker freak. Yet, at the height of my Internet blossom, I realized that there was still something to desire:, a U.K. based Internet music community and radio founded in 2002, is the largest (most awesome), free social music platform. After signing up, members have an automatic documentation of what they listen to whether on their computers or ipods. This allows members to connect with other users all over the world with similar music tastes, discover new bands based on an automatically generated recommendation list, and also get a free MP3 every now and then.

Now hold on, many readers may be all too eager to sign up but first: think of your reputation. As they say, “it’s easy to talk the talk, but can you walk the walk?”

Looking back, if word escaped about my deep, amorous love of Black Eyed Peas’ “Monkey Business,” I would have been no better then the common folk.

And those are my feelings on

--Jen Choi