Thursday, July 31, 2008

Bon Iver and Bowerbirds Blow Brooklyn Away! (+mp3)

On Wednesday night The Music Hall of Williamsburg was alive with the harmonic melodies and captivating lyrics of Bon Iver and Bowerbirds. Singer-songwriter Justin Vernon’s latest music project, folk band Bon Iver, headlined the show and left concertgoers wanting more. If you haven’t checked out Bon Iver’s debut self-released album, For Emma, Forever Ago, make sure to put it on the top of your downloading to-do list. Check out Bon Iver performing “Flume” at Music Hall of Williamsburg here:

The equally amazing nu-folk band from North Carolina, Bowerbirds, captivated audiences with their unique sound and undeniable energy. Bowerbirds, aka, Phil Moore, Beth Tacular and Mark Paulson, have previously toured with Phosphorescent, The Mountain Goats and The Rosebuds. Make sure to download Bowerbird’s exceptionally amazing debut album Hymns for A Dark Horse. Check out Bowerbirds performing “Dark Horse” at Music Hall of Williamsburg here:

ALSO, check out Bowerbird’s super cool take away shows from La Blogotheque here:,4068

-Sam Inchausti

Download: Bon Iver - "Skinny Love"

You Could Be Kanye West!

Just by popping a couple of pills you could be Kanye West, apparently.

As I was riding on the Q32 Bus (name dropping)from work to go to Penn Station (more name dropping)the other day, I noticed a strange ad above my head. As soon as the creepy old man across from me got out of his seat I took a couple of photos using my iPhone (1st generation though...I know I'm a loser) (oh yeah, another name drop).

Anyways, the ad said "Be Kanye Now" and had an interweb URL for more 411.
As soon as I got home I jumped onto my CPU and typed in! I was redirected to the Absolut Vodka Website and was told to type in my birth date. Now, when a website asks for my age I expect to see some least some boobs. SORRY! NO BOOBS THERE! Just something about alcohol or something equally as kewl. I don't really remember because I got bored with it.


Wednesday, July 30, 2008

WTBU's Offical Boston Show List!



1/24 - Elf Power @ Mid East Upstairs

1/30 - Andrew Bird & Loney Dear @ The Orpheum

2/7 - WTBU PRESENTS The Virgins @ Great Scott

2/14 - Brett Dennen @ The Paradise

2/18 - M. Ward @ Somerville Theatre

2/19 - WTBU PRESENTS The Tootaches, Pretty & Nice, Math the Band @ Great Scott

2/24 - Tapes 'N' Tapes @ The Paradise

3/11 - Fleetwood Mac @ TD Banknorth

3/13-15 - Dropkick Murphys @ House of Blues (St. Patrick's Day)

3/19 - Bloc Party @ House of Blues

3/22 - Cut Copy @ House of Blues

For more information on all of these shows, visit the venue websites:

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

New Old Crowe EP

Old Crowe Medicine Show's new record Tennessee Pusher isn't due out until September 23, but fans can get a sneak preview by checking out the band's new Caroline EP, which was released today on iTunes. The EP features three tracks off of the upcoming album, which was produced by Don Was (who has also worked with Bob Dylan and The Rolling Stones).

Was has said about OCMS: "People ask me what The Old Crow Medicine Show are all about. If I'm in a hurry, I just say that they're The Clash of bluegrass music, but that doesn't really do anyone any justice. I could tell 'em that they're a rock 'n roll band who use fiddles and acoustic guitars instead of Les Pauls and Marshal stacks, but that's only one small part of the story. They're an American Band - even more so than Grand Funk Railroad! In fact, it's not hyperbolic to say that, as musicians, songwriters and singers, they are the smartest and finest purveyors of American music to come down the pike in decades."

Catch the band on September 24 at the Berklee Performance Center, and listen to the entire EP right here:

Sunday, July 27, 2008

WTBU PRESENTS: An Elliott Smith Tribute Show.

The time, date, and line-up for WTBU's buzzed-about Elliott Smith tribute show have officially been confirmed! Don't miss this special night.

Who: Musicians from all over the country, including Michael Runion, Allison Fracis, Daniel Radin, David Wax, Steven Fiore, TW Walsh, Stephen Gruber, + Jennifer Brown, Joey Gerber, and Aviv Rubinstein.

What: A night of Elliott covers, plus WTBU staff sharing some of Elliott's memories throughout the night, including pieces from books, quotes, and photographs.


Where: BU Central (located in the basement of the George Sherman Union @ 640 Commonwealth Avenue)

Why: As a memorial in remembrance of great musician Elliott Smith, who passed away nearly five years ago.

Check back soon for more information about the artists. Admission is free for BU students and two dollars for each non-BU student who comes with a BU student. Join the Facebook event here.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

GSU Fall '08: One Non-Stop Dance Party

First there was the announcement of Girl Talk's show in Metcalf Hall...what next? Weekly DJ sets in the back court? With a full cash bar?

Well, yes. That's exactly what's currently being worked out by a group of BU students, who were encouraged by Dean Elmore to throw parties in the GSU every Thursday next semester. Titled "Jammin' Thursdays", these parties are free with a BU ID, and a BU student may bring one guest along. (There's a $5 cover charge and the guest needs to bring an ID.) Test runs have been taking place during orientations, and according to students, they've been a hit.

"We were so excited and amped [when Dean Elmore proposed this to us]," said Vanessa Arenas, one of the students who is working closely with BU Student Life to plan Jammin' Thursdays. "Jammin' Thursdays has an urban feel to it and will be Feat. DJ CASE who spins the best of hip hop, r&b, top 40, latin and more. We are currently working out the details to get a 21+ cash bar."

The first party will be a Welcome Back Pajama Party on September 4, from 10pm-2am.

Saturday, July 19, 2008

St. Vincent @ Castle Clinton, 7/10

Manhattan's River to River Festival, a series of free summer concerts all over downtown New York, kicked off last Thursday night with a performance from St. Vincent, Annie Clark, at Castle Clinton in Battery Park. Hundreds gathered around the modest outdoor stage in chairs and on their feet under sunny skies after waiting in line for a free ticket.

Clark came out in a simple vintage white dress paired with fishnet stalkings, looking like a tiny porcelain doll. Every band member was also clad in white—a saintly display for St. Vincent. After a short instrumental introduction, Clark went right into "Now Now," the album opener on her 2007 debut LP, Marry Me. The fierce coda found her in violent fits on her devil red guitar, which matched the shade of her bold red lipstick, looking like a woman possessed. Much like her music, St. Vincent has always seemed to be something not quite of this world; jumping from her charged guitar solos to her somewhat awkward dry humor banter between songs, her live show can be as bizarre as it is captivating.

Clark played most songs off of Marry Me. They all received the live treatment, each one playing like a grand opus, featuring some serious musicians on violin, flute, saxophone and clarinet. She also played three new songs that will most likely appear on her next album, which she said would be coming out early next year. The new material varied in style with something for all of us. There was "Movin' On," a soulful Prince-inspired number, and another lighter, beat-heavy uptempo song. The third new song, and one of my favorites of the night, was what you'd imagine St. Vincent meets Peter and the Wolf to sound like (scary brilliant). It was lovely.

Clark and the band ended with "Paris Is Burning." They then returned to the stage for one last song, the intense "Your Lips Are Red," which tends to steal the show. However, the promising new material stood out most. It's clear that Clark is not short on inspiration for the next album; St. Vincent is exploring new musical ground, and that can only mean great things.

St. Vincent comes to Boston for a show at the Museum of Fine Arts on 9/25. You can download my phone interview with her from February in .mp3 format here.

- Jessy Bartlett

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Hipsters are moving off Greylock and onto Sesame Street

Feist is teaching kids how to count and be hip all at the same time!

Guest starring on season premiere of Sesame Street (Aug. 11th) is, you guessed it (right?), Feist. Changing the lyrics of "1234" to teach alt/hipster children of alt/hipster/electro-rocker parents how to count to 4 without sounding like a total nerd. And I thought PBS was safe from hipsters.

On episode 2 of the new season Elmo teaches you how to build and maintain your fixed-gear bicycle for optimum performance. You'll be able to throw that messenger bag across your torso and hit the road in no time!

Even though this special 39th season premiere airs next month, I'm gonna hook you up with this special video.

- nhoj

Feist @ Bank of America Pavilion, 7/8

A packed Bank of America Pavilion crowd gathered last Tuesday night to experience Feist with special guest opener Juana Molina. The Pavilion is not the right venue for Feist. (It's not the right venue for anyone, really.) Regardless, the music seemed to float, carried by the summer sea breeze and a collective feeling of joy that seems to fill the air whenever Feist comes to town.

Well-known in South America, Argentinian actress and musician Juana Molina opened with a solid set of her hypnotizing alt-folk concoctions. She used a looping device, like Feist, that wrapped us up in layers of rhythm and vocal harmonies. The audience seemed to fall under the graceful Molina's atmospheric spell as she performed all of her songs in Spanish.

It's always a thrilling moment when Leslie Feist takes the stage. Watching her tiptoe from corner to corner to peer out at the audience from behind her lantern, you can tell she is as delighted to see them as they are to see her. Great performers do more than sing songs—they can lift you up and away. Feist led us on a journey through each of her thoughtful tunes, her sincere takes on the human condition (as all great art usually is).

After taking a seat at the piano, she began with a hymn-like chant: "Help is on its way." She played mostly from 2007's The Reminder, with "I Feel It All" and "1234" getting the crowd on its feet. Shadowy images of flying birds and other natural scenes served as a backdrop, projected on the back wall for all to see.

She told us it was her wish to perform while we all lie down in some grass eating ice cream cones. Later, she had us do the wave for her own amusement. Pretty standard, really... like accepting a small xylophone from a Colombian girl sitting in the front row, discussing its design with the audience, and then challenging a member of her band to find a way to incorporate the instrument into the next song (which he did throughout the night).

Feist played an unreleased song called "Phantoms" and then ended with a rocking version of "Sea Lion Woman." She came back out to play "Let It Die" and then said farewell, leaving us all in a happier place than when we entered.

- Jessy Bartlett

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Listen to Uh Huh Her's new song

Uh Huh Her, an up-and-coming electro/pop duo from Los Angeles, are set to release their debut LP, Common Reaction, on August 19 via Nettwerk. Made up of lead vocalist/guitarist/keyboardist Camila Grey and synth/vocalist Leisha Hailey, the band gained a significant amount of attention for their 2007 EP, I See Red. Their new album is being produced by Al Clay, who has also worked with the Pixies and Blur.

Listen to "Explode", a track from the new album, with this fancy little player, courtesy of Nettwerk:

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Interview: Thao Nguyen

If you were lucky enough to see Rilo Kiley this summer, you may have caught the energetic set from opener Thao Nguyen as Thao with the Get Down Stay Down. You may have also had a chance to meet her after the show and pick up a copy of her debut LP, We Brave Bee Stings and All; you may have watched her sign copies of it for fan after admiring fan, humbly accepting compliments in her sincere, easy-going manner. The budding rock star from Kill Rock Stars was kind enough to answer some questions for WTBU before she heads out on her first headlining tour. Enjoy.

- Jessy Bartlett

J: First, did you ever get your super-fly cowboy boots back from the Palladium in Worcester?

T: Next question.

NO IT'S FINE i can talk about them--- they sadly were never seen nor heard from again but i guess the most you can do is hope someone is sporting them with care and appreciation. I was devastated for a long time as i searched the ENTIRE EAST COAST AND SOUTHERN U.S. for another pair on tour and found nothing as good. but then i came to sf and got a pair the first day. they are darker brown and i hope just as fly. thank you for asking.

J: It must have been a thrill to tour with Rilo Kiley. Can you share any gems of wisdom they gave you?

T: They were all incredibly kind and gracious and hospitable. They said things like: "what size shoe do you wear? i'll keep an eye out for boots" and "hey, good show" (but in a sincere way) and "that is a really rad guitar" and "don't listen to your family, you should keep playing music"

J: Has it always been your goal to be a musician? Or is it something you've always done on the side that ended up taking off?

T: It has always been my goal to not do things i didn't want to. And music is the only thing i have always definitely wanted to do.

J: You've said you're interested in women's advocacy because of the way you grew up. I know some songs on the album are about your mother, who raised you... how has that upbringing influenced your music?

T: My mother is a woman of incredible strength and resolve and I watched her endure a lot of trespasses and indignities on our behalf-- it gave me a certain humanity and attraction to sadness i don't think i would otherwise have. I think that is where a lot of the melancholic lyrics come from.

J: You were a sociology and women's studies major, and many of your lyrics reflect that. Do you want to be seen as an artist who stands for activism & feminism?

T: Those elements surface because I write autobiographically- but I don't have a political agenda for my music and I don't intend on assuming one. That said, I do have leanings and causes I support and will do what i can to contribute.

J: Many of your songs seem to have an easy-going, brighter sound, but with lyrics that deal with more serious subject matter ("Swimming Pools," "Big Kid Table"). Is it important to you as an artist that people who enjoy your music get that whole picture? Or is it cool with you if people listen and just say "oh, this is light and fun!"?

T: I would prefer that folks form a connection with the lyrics as well, because they are a very important component for me. But really people will like and glean and absorb what they want and I have no say in the matter. Them liking the songs on whichever level is better than them not liking it. I think.

J: We Brave Bee Stings and All is a hit with critics and bloggers everywhere. It seems like you've found a lot of success in a short amount of time. How are you dealing with this new-found fame?

T: I would say quite smoothly because i don't think any degree of fame has been reached. certainly no one is taking pictures of me in a nightgown with boots and big sunglasses on at the drugstore. Nothing much has changed really- we're still in a van driving around endlessly and looking for places to pee. It has, however, been an absolute honor to see more and more people at shows and singing along and it makes us think we are not totally wasting everyone's time and gas money.

J: One of my favorite lines on the album is from the end of "Geography": "My blood is thin with aspirin/ I throw you in, I throw you in." Can you give any clues as to where that line came from or what it means to you?

T: UM this line is sort of about a person whose very existence gave me angina and all sorts of body and head pain and i required over the counter relief but for some reason i wanted them in my body. FIGURATIVELY. mostly.

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Thorburn Carries On

The frontman of the indie band Islands, Nick Thorburn, is definitely not the sanest man in the business. When asked by Stereogum what inspired the cover art on Islands' newest album, this is what ensued:
Interviewer: I wanted to ask about the Arm's Way album cover. Most of the reactions I saw to it were pretty perplexed. To me it suggested that if you opened up your chest there'd be some sort of 70's classic rock utopia inside. Is that fairly on-base?

Nick: No, it's a vagina.

On second thought, maybe he's saner than the rest of us. He seems to respond to the world quite bluntly, without hesitation, and, most importantly, absolutely truthfully. It'd be nice if we had more people like Nick in the world.

But if he was, in fact, the sanest of us would we know?

All that aside, Thorburn is releasing a new side-project album with Jim Guthrie (they call themselves Human Highway) later in August. I listened to a few tracks on their Myspace, and was promptly placated by a sampling of the abounding talent I've come to expect of the man. Jim Guthrie (formerly of some band called Royal City, whoever that is) is a pleasant, surprise complement to the already-familiar crooner of Islands. If you wanted more (which I know you do), here's an interview Thorburn had with Pitchfork, posted yesterday. Enjoy yourself.

- Devon Maloney

Saturday, July 12, 2008

Johnny Cash Remixed

Still, the most bad ass thing I have ever done was seeing Johnny Cash with my parents at the ripe old age of seven.

Sure, I didn't know who the guy was, but whatever, at least I can say I saw him.

Set for release through Compadre/Music World, this coming October 14th, artists including The Heavy, Snoop Dogg, Machine Drum, and Sonny J have teamed up to remix your favorite Cash hits! Sounds a little ridiculous but from what I have heard, they really succeeded in preserving Cash's originals.

It's really not too bad...almost..good? Listen for yourself.

"I Walk the Line" - Johnny Cash (1956 Sun Records)

Friday, July 11, 2008

Programming Council Brings Girl Talk To BU (+ interview, mp3)

For those who cringed at the sight of Three Six Mafia and Cobra Starship taking the stage on Nickerson Field last semester, have no fear: next year's Programming Council-booked concerts are looking excellent already. Last night, PC announced that Girl Talk has been booked for Metcalf Hall (in the GSU) on September 20. WTBU caught up with Rachel Richmond, co-manager of the Entertainment Committee on PC, to talk about what went into booking the show and what the council has been up to this summer.

Was it a difficult process for Programming Council to convince Girl Talk to play in the GSU?

I had been in talks with Girl Talk to come to Boston University since Summer 2007 so his booking agent and I are very familiar with each other. I always felt like Girl Talk would be a huge hit and with all the hype he is getting now, I feared he would be impossible to book at this point. However, both Girl Talk and his agent were ecstatic about playing BU. Of course there are always a couple of headaches when you are booking (negotiating price, working around tours) but everyone was so willing to accommodate to pull this off.

When did you guys start planning this?

As soon as I was told to think up ideas for concerts, the first thing that popped up into my head was Girl Talk. That was probably back in the beginning of June. I literally screamed in the middle of the SAO when the idea hit. Awkward! Girl Talk is an artist who we at PC feel is perfect to get the student body amped for the next year of programming that we have in store.

What are you expecting the response by BU students to be like?

I want 1,500 students to pack Metcalf Hall. And we haven't done a full PR push just yet but the incoming freshmen are excited and those who have found out through Facebook are thrilled that Programming Council is bringing Girl Talk. Basically, I am expecting mayhem. All out dance party mayhem. And I'm pumped to see it.

What exactly does PC do? What are your responsibilities, and what have you been doing over the summer?

Programming Council is the main programming board on BU's campus. We put on the large concerts, comedy shows, dances, and special events on campus. We do Masquerade, Back Bay Ball, SpringFest, the Drive-In...we do everything! I am the co-manager of the Entertainment Committee on PC and I handle all the concerts and comedy shows for the year. During the summer, I am supposed to help assist with Orientation while also planning for the fall semester. Before I joined PC, I was the General Manager for BU Central.

MP3: Girl Talk - Play Your Part (Pt. 1)

Monday, July 7, 2008

Tonight: Screening of the Gits Movie at Newbury Comics

On July 7, 1993, the Gits were just emerging onto the Seattle music scene when their lead singer, Mia Zapata, was mysteriously raped and murdered. Tonight, in rememberance of her death, Kerri O'Kane's recently produced documentary The Gits will be screened at Newbury Comics at 6pm.

The Gits Movie- NEW TRAILER!!!

The movie comes out on DVD tomorrow. For more info on the screening, check out the Newbury Comics site, and for more info on the film and tonight's nation-wide screenings, check out today's CMJ article.

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Interview: Spitzer Space Telescope

WTBU fans should all be familiar with BU's folk/rock singer-songwriter Dan MacDonald, whose original lyrics and acoustic guitar tunes stole the show at WTBU Day this year. More commonly known by his stage name, Spitzer Space Telescope, BU students might also recognize his name from the profile that BU Today ran on him last semester. Spitzer Space Telescope took a few minutes out from his tour to chat with WTBU about life on the road, booking a tour, and people/places that he's discovered along the way.

How's life on the road?

Life on the road is interesting. This was easily the worst summer to decide to do a big tour. It ended up being pretty expensive, but it was definitely a learning experience. I met a lot of interesting people and I got to see a lot of cities. I didn't even see any touristy shit either-- I got to see all the local spots and really get a taste of each place. I am very grateful to everyone who took me around with them and let me stay in their place. It was really cool to see the differences and similarities between the town I grew up in and towns that other kids grew up in. They are all pretty much the same though.

How did you go about booking this tour for yourself?

After I worked for the Office of Conference Services at BU, cleaning toilets and shit all last summer, I decided that this summer I wanted to do whatever I wanted. So I followed through. I made preparations all year and then in February I started searching online for clubs in the midwest/east coast. I also used my recources like facebook and myspace asking my fans and friends for help finding shows, finding bands, clubs, and places to stay.

That's really how it came together. Four months of staring at my computer screen. It kind of sucked, but it wasn't that hard. Anyone can set up a tour really, you just need to put the work into it. Luckily I had made enough connections over the course of two years at BU to have places to stay and friends to meet up with and enough support to make it happen.

My friend George LeBlanc once told me that people naturally want to help, and if you let people know what you are trying to accomplish, they will help you achieve it. That always stuck with me. But I can't talk about setting up this tour without mentioning the constant help from my friend Greg Garrod who booked a lot of shows for me and helped me organize the whole thing from the first day I told him I wanted to tour. He's still my right hand man to this day getting me shows.

What's been the best show so far/why?

The best show by far was Gainesville, Florida. I met Brendan Smyth at the Cantab Lounge in Cambridge and he always kept in touch, so we ended up touring down to his town. He set up the show and got people there and everything, so there was already a good energy in the room. Basically I started playing my set and I started going crazy. I broke almost all of my strings on two different guitars until I couldn't play them anymore. And even then I just grabbed the tambourine and started doing a capella. So it was basically me rolling around on the floor of this coffee shop screaming into the microphone and a handful of people and slamming my tambourine on the floor and wall and ceiling until it broke. it was pretty metal.

Have you played with or met any great bands that WTBU listeners should be made aware of?

I played in Boston with Cryptacize. They were great and played so much better than me. I was super sloppy at that show, but I got a decent review. I also was scheduled to play with Glass of Water in Woodstock, but the van broke down in chicago and I didn't make it to that show. In Ann Arbor, MI I got this guy Mitch Vermeersch to play, definitely check out his myspace.

Photos from Dan's tour will be posted eventually. Until then, enjoy the mere photo above of a spitzer space telescope, courtesy of Google's image search. Download/stream songs at -LP

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

WTBU Goes To Bonnaroo!

WTBU's Promotions Director, Lindsey Grothkopp, was lucky enough to attend this year's Bonnaroo Music + Arts Festival in Manchester, Tennessee. Lucky for us, she took a few videos during Lupe Fiasco, Broken Social Scene, BSS and Politics, and the Grounds.

Anyone else go to Bonnaroo?