Monday, September 28, 2009

Get To Know El Rio Humano

This Friday, NYC-based 3-piece rock band El Rio Humano will perform at WTBU's Michael Jackson Tribute show. As a band that usually appeals to fans of bands like The Mars Volta or Queens of the Stone Age, their interpretations of MJ songs will undoubtedly be interesting and awesome.

Over the past year, the band's frontman, Mike McManus, and drummer, Johnny Hoblin, have played a couple of house shows in Allston under the name Fastizio. They also did an in-studio performance at WTBU last year as Fastizio. Now playing with their new bassist, Nick Lee, the guys decided to change their name from Fastizio to El Rio Humano. Their upcoming EP, Das Boneyard EP, is set for release on Dinosaurs in Vietnam Records later in the month.

Mike took a few minutes today to answer some questions for WTBU:

WTBU: How has Michael Jackson influenced El Rio Humano and why did you guys want to play this show?

Mike McManus: Michael Jackson has always been a huge influence. John and I grew up on his music (my grandparents had a VHS of the Thriller video, which I used to dance along to as a child) and still rock out to it. I don’t think mainstream listeners really understand how dense and insane his recordings are. It was a real challenge preparing these cover songs. He is a beautiful singer and dancer as everyone knows, but his song structures and lyrics are often very far out there. We wanted to play this show to give our love to his music and his memory.

WTBU: What does the new El Rio Humano EP sound like and how does it differ from how you guys sounded as Fastizio?

MM: The new EP is reflective of what we’ve been through as a band since our first album came out two years ago. Basically, the name change was to signify a new momentum and to exorcise the bad energies that have held us back throughout that time. So I’d say the new EP is still us (Fastizio), but it shows a band that is stronger and less afraid to do exactly what it wants to.

WTBU: What have your experiences with Boston shows been like and are you guys excited to be coming back?

MM: Boston has always been very good to us. The people are so sweet and are really respectful of what we’re trying to do. Every time we make the trip up to play a house party or at a café it seems like everyone treats us like family. John and I have been joking that Boston has become our band’s second home. I really feel that’s true. So Of course, we are very excited to be coming back and I hope we can even be back again before the end of the year.

Stream tracks at or download mp3s from Fastizio's WTBU in-studio performance here.

-Liz Pelly

Saturday, September 26, 2009

IT'S ALMOST HERE: The Michael Jackson Tribute Show!


A Michael Jackson Tribute Show
@ BU CENTRAL, Friday, October 2nd
doors @ 8 PM
with DJ Brothers & Nooka Jones
Featuring NYC bands The Rosies & El Rio Humano
and the Boston bands Black or White & The Novel Ideas
And BU a cappella groups Chordially Yours & The Bostones
FREE W/ BU ID, $5 without

Thank you to Dellaria Salons for their support!

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

The New Collisions on BU in the Morning!

The Cambridge new wave indie pop band The New Collisions will be joining the DJs on BU in the Morning tomorrow! Check out BUITM from 10 am to 12 pm to hear an interview with the band.

The New Collisions are playing a show, presented in part by WTBU, at the Middle East Downstairs THIS THURSDAY NIGHT! The band has been making a splash recently, opening for Blondie and spending the summer touring with The B-52s. They will be releasing their first CD, going on another national tour, and doing two CMJ showcases this fall.

The lineup for Thursday night is, from headliner to first:

The Luxury
The New Collisions
Hot Protestants
Muy Cansado

There will be DJing before, after, and between sets is the always awesome ROGUEWAVES.

Doors at 9pm, 18+, and admission is $7 w/ a student ID, $10 without.

It's a "Back to School" show, featuring the best of the Boston scene. So get educated on BUITM tomorrow, then come dance with us on Thursday!

Monday, September 21, 2009

Eric Johnson From FRUIT BATS and THE SHINS Gives Me A Few Minutes While On His Way To An In-store...

The Sub Pop band The Fruit Bats toured through town last week. I was able to catch a few words with them before they left Boston and then did a quick phoner with the lead member Eric Johnson while he was on his way to a Chicago in-store yesterday in Wicker Park. The Fruit bats have been number one on the CMJ charts with their new well-received album, The Ruminant Band.

Click here to access MediaFire and hear the interview/listen to the title track of the album.

--Jen Brown

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Ever wanted to be on a morning talk show?

BU in the Morning staff is looking for new voices!  We want to add fresh opinions and outlooks to the dynamic of our show! BUITM djs always have great interviews, interesting conversations, and a damn good time!

If you didn't know already, you can do your own show and BUITM!  Plus, you get station involvement points!

If you are interested in joining the BUITM staff, please contact me at!

BUITM airs every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday from 10am-12pm!



Wednesday, September 16, 2009

WTBU Named in Top 50 College Radio Stations Nationwide

WTBU was voted among the Top 50 Best College Stations in the Country yesterday!

The voting is part of MTVU's College Radio Woodie Awards, which "recognizes the music voted best by college students from around the country. The College Radio Woodie recognizes the best of the best in college radio." ...Hey, they said it; we didn't.

Check out the folks up in Ithaca who won last year:

But the race is far from over, WTBUers! To make the top 25 we need our friends, family, and fans to keep voting... so continue to spam your friends until September 28!


NOTE: You can vote as many times as you want, so go ahead, sit and click until your fingers are sore!

Thanks, everyone! and spread the news to everyone you know!

The winner will be honored on MTV November 18th 2009.


On Wednesday September 30, help WTBU celebrate the release of The Bynars’ “3rd and greatest record yet,” Party All Nite. The record's artwork and poster art were created by talented Boston artist and friend Vanessa Irzyk. Also premiering that night is The Bynars' first music video, created by video mastermind Steve Schinnerer/Quarter Productions.

Joining The Bynars will be Yoni Gordon & The Goods and the Young Leaves. Yoni is described by the Bynars as “an amazing songwriter, performer, and friend, guaranteed to melt your heart with rock and roll.” The Young Leaves, likewise, will “make you wince in rock delight.”

To hear more about the Bynars, check them out:

on Myspace
on Facebook
on Twitter
on Sonicbids

Boston Music Conference 2009

Conference Brings Music Industry's Attention to the Region's Talent

BOSTON, MA - The second annual Boston Music Conference (BMC) will be held September 24 and 25, 2009. The mission of the Boston Music Conference is to educate and empower aspiring artists by providing them with information and tools necessary to pursue a career in music.

The Boston Music Conference is a two-day event that includes workshops, showcase performances, panel discussions and various networking and social events. Topics to be covered include “Brands, Bands and Fans”, “Deals and Distribution”, “Breaking into Crossover Markets and International Deals”, “The Digital Age of Music”, “Getting Your Music in Games”, “Audio Engineering”, “Songwriting” and more. Complete information is available at

The overarching theme of the conference this year is the impact of digital technology on the music industry. Some of the subcategories to be covered include how new digital distribution platforms are creating opportunities, new channels of digital revenue and some of the innovations that are fueling growth.

The BMC brings the attention of the music industry on a national level to the talent and opportunity that exists here in Boston. Top music industry executives and A&Rs from major labels including Sony, EMI, Universal and Motown will be present to share their experiences and advice with attendees, view the talent Boston has to offer during the showcases and talk one on one with attendees.

Some of the industry’s top music industry companies, iZotope, Harmonix, SonicBids, Nimbit, BMI and the Recording Academy will be present at the Boston Music Conference as well.

Artists who would like to participate in the showcase performances are encouraged to submit samples of their music through or via email at

The conference is $99 in advance and $150 if purchased at the door. Students at Berklee, New England Conservatory, Emerson, AI and Northeastern can receive a 40% discount by sending an email from their school email address to and they will receive a discount code. To get your school added to the list of schools eligible for a discount call (617) 834-0552 or email Attendees are encouraged to bring their bio and promotional kit to the event because this is a rare opportunity to meet top music industry executives.

Workshops for the event will be held Thursday September 24, from 11 to 5:30 at Mojitos at 48 Winter Street in Downtown Crossing, followed by Showcase Performances from 6 to 11 at Mojitos at Pearl in the Roxy Complex located at 279 Tremont Street. The conference will be held at the Roxy Tremont Ballroom at 279 Tremont Street in the Theatre District, Friday September 25 from 11 to 6.

The goal of the Boston Music Conference (BMC) is to educate and empower the city’s aspiring talent who are interested in pursuing a career in music by bringing the resources and information to them in Boston. The BMC is part of an organized long-term initiative to bring national attention to Boston as a source of major talent within the music industry and develop local talent.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Staying Pretty (and nice) While Touring

The Boston indie-rock group Pretty & Nice just left Beantown Saturday afternoon to go on tour with The Getup Kids.

The band had a couple East Coast intro shows to start up the tour (played a festival with Deerhoof), but they're currently on their way to Denver for their first Getup Kids show at the Marquis Theatre Wednesday night.

If you're a Pretty & Nice fan, you probably know by now that they're trying out a new website design and that they've unveiled secret downloads on the site over the past month. If you didn't know about the new design, now you know.

In addition to fun downloads and other media the band will be posting on the site, they're going further and creating a tour blog for all to see. It's a friendly day-to-day update on behind-the-scenes happenings for Pretty & Nice. It'll be interesting to read--especially once the band joins The Getup Kids and tours large venues for the first time. The tour is no easy task; the guys are up first out of three bands (Australian band Youth Group being second). Let's hope for fun and success as they embark on this West Coast venture and conquer all crowds!

For a detailed list of their tour dates, check out
More importantly, check out their new tour blog at!

The David Wax Museum's CARPENTER BIRD

The David Wax Museum, a Mexo-Americana folk band from Somerville, is releasing their first full-length album titled Carpenter Bird on September 18 at Club Passim in Cambridge. It's no surprise the band chose the well-known Cambridge folk venue for its release considering the profound mark they've made on the local music scene over the last year--particularly with the crowds at Passim. Tickets have sold so fast that the venue decided to create a second show for the release, selling tickets for both 7 and 10 P.M. slots.

Led by multi-instrumentalist David Wax, the folk group consists of five musicians who play various instruments (including a few Mexican guitars) and sing in often echoed call-and-response form. Carpenter Bird is void of technical studio embellishment; the details of the album are incorporated amongst the numerous instruments played and the complexity of the songwriting.

The opening track, "Jalopy Heart," is about an emotionally worn person still looking for love. With lines like, "What could you want with my antique-music-box voice?" the male and female vocalists question whether love is still an option. Instrumentally, the track features mandolin and piano parts that stream in and out between verse and chorus.

Interpretations of traditional Mexican folk songs, the tracks "Colas," "The Persimmon Tree," and "Carpenter Bird," all draw from the son jarocho tradition. Wax wrote new lyrics for the songs, but kept some of the themes, melodies, and chord progressions. "Colas" is an upbeat track with lighter lyrics--"You couldn't get out of Mexico / But you got in / Now you're gonna have a baby / It should be a Mexican." Part of the song is also in Spanish.

"Beatrice" is another quick-strum song with playful, clever rhyming about a female love interest. The song relies on a catchy chord progression accompanied by fiddle and mandolin. The song is full of "if only" lines, such as, "If you only you hadn't bloomed like a jacaranda tree / If only things were up to me / If only I were the sand of the wide Balsas River / Where I watched you dry off and shiver."

The fiddle/mandolin duo then take the lead in "Beekeeper." Lyrically, the track unfolds detailed imagery full of metaphors about love; it's a slower, more classic folk song with bouts of horns in the verses. The male/female chorus harmonies are their purest in "Beekeeper."

The title track, "Carpenter Bird," is another one of the slower songs on the album and features a second male lead vocalist for the first time. Exemplifying Wax's Mexican influence, the song reaches out to listeners and tells the story of the "Carpenter Bird," which is the literal translation of the Spanish word for woodpecker--"el pajaro carpintero." The new male vocalist in "Carpenter Bird" also sings in the delicate and nostalgic "Be Like A Ghost."

Beginning with an isolated low bass line and growing to include colorful bar-room piano, "I Have Wasted My Life," is a song much less melancholy than the title suggests. It brings the band back to signature echoed lines and long vowels that carry a country influence, making the song stand out amongst the others.

Wax strips the last two songs on the album clean and focuses on singing and guitar playing. "When You are Still" is written carefully and with precision; the song creatively alludes to other tracks on the album. It prepares listeners for the final track, "Let Me Rest." The only song on the album that directly references the "Lord," "Let Me Rest" is simple with soft chord progression and building vocals. The band sings a Cappella at the end--a fitting complement to an album that relies so much on its lyrics.

Check out The David Wax Museum at and

To purchase a ticket to the album release show, click here.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

You Can Be a Wesley and You: Another Assessment by Joe DiFazio

Once upon a time I was in Allston following the bassist of You Can be a Wesley and his friends. They decided hopping a fence was better than going around a street. He got my jeans ripped and he got me drunk on Gin, which I later puked out with an alarming amount of blood.

I was not ready for their fun, but you should be. You Can Be A Wesley is an indie-pop gem bred at BU and on the streets of Allston.

The twee pop essence of the music is given backbone by Nick Curran’s bass that he sometimes punches through a distortion pedal. He takes his cue from bands like the Pixies and Joy Division. Winston McDonald too finds influence in these indie pioneers. The music swells and calms because of his lead guitar which goes anywhere from sharp riffs to gentle finger picking. Dan Goldberg’s steady drumming provides the backdrop for everything going on up front. He too drags the music from the gentle to frantic with soft steady light high-hat and snare based beats that transition through tight fills into crashy cymbals and loud snare pops. Saara the lead singer plays a driving rhythm guitar with power chords galore. Her singing is a unique combination of sweet and sad. She exudes a wistful kind of sexy. Winston jumps in to sing when the songs climb in to sing-a-long choruses that make you want to scream with them. These guys are indie-pop with a serious spine. They are the kind of band that if you throw things at them they will throw and spit right back.

Over the summer the band released their album Heard Like Us (on vinyl and CD). If you want to be happy in a sad sort of way, this is an album for you. You Can Be Wesley is yet another gem in the rough of the Boston music scene. Lucky for you, you can catch them Friday at WTBU day at BU Central.

Magic Magic & Me: An Assessment by Joe DiFazio.

Am I friends with Magic Magic? Semi-sorta. Sometimes I would call up Mike Hlady (drummer) to hang out. He was always with Dylan Gough (other drummer) and they were always playing Street Fighter, watching Mortal Combat the movie, or building a knife shooter out of an umbrella to pierce muffins with. John Murphy (singer) once took me to a video arcade and also tried to gyp me out of the money we made playing a show together. Demitri Swan (bassist) once video taped a consumer research study I did on condoms. Brendan Hughes (lead guitarist) I don’t know as well.

Many publications say that they are from Salem. This is wrong. They are from Dedham, a crappy, depressing suburb of Boston. The Salem thing was a hair-brained scheme thought up by their British booking agency. Many publications say they sound like Arcade Fire. This, too, is wrong. They do create gigantic and intricate sounds but are nothing like Arcade Fire. They are grittier, more accessible, better.

Their music is rhythm-based. They have two drums, a bass, and a guitar dedicated to rhythm. From this base they derive a powerful, colossal sound. Sometimes the two drummers will play the same thing just to make the beat louder and accentuate it. Slid over this is Brendan’s biting guitar, distorted and drawn out by delay pedals. Amid all this carefully planned noise is John’s anxious vocals. He sings and moves like a child who really has something to tell you, with a voice so high and desperate you can’t help but want to listen. His lyrics are weird and beautiful, ranging from becoming a jellyfish to acid to odd odes to people he loves.

Raised on every start-up indie band of the nineties such as Built to Spill and Modest Mouse, and going back a little further, The Cure, this band takes on the same sort of dark ambiance. Magic Magic is not yet signed and are in a shameful sort of limbo as a result of being from Boston instead of NYC or LA. Still, Magic Magic are making are making a name for themselves and are the next big thing from here, and hopefully soon the next big thing to grace all hipster-indie blogs. Screw Passion Pit.

-Joe DiFazio

Sunday, September 6, 2009

Bored To Death HBO Screening at Harper's Ferry this Wednesday, 9/9

Have you heard about the new HBO show called Bored To Death?

It'll start airing on September 20th, but Bostonians get to catch the premiere early at Harper's Ferry in Allston this Wednesday from 8-11 PM! All you have to do is go to and RSVP down at the bottom of the screen!

The show features Jason Schwartzman, Ted Danson, and Zack Galifianakis. Jason Schwartzman (AKA Coconut Records) performs the theme song to the show which he wrote along with Jonathan Ames. Check out to for more info and sign up for the show's newsletter!

See you at Harper's Ferry!

Saturday, September 5, 2009

WTBU & (RED)TM VIP Ticket Giveaway: Ingrid Michaelson & Sondre Lerche

WTBU & (RED)TM are giving away a pair of VIP tickets to two (RED)NIGHTS shows this time: Ingrid Michaelson and Sondre Lerche!

Ingrid plays the Paradise Rock Club on Saturday 9/12 and Sondre follows at the same venue the next night, on Sunday 9/13.

As a VIP for either show, you'll get to meet the artist, score some (RED)NIGHTS goods and check out the concert.

Here's how this one is going to work. The first TWO fans to call in to the show ALPHABET SOUP on THURSDAY, SEPTEMBER 10, from 10pm-12am, will win the VIP tickets!

Good luck, WTBUers! The contest winner will be announced here on Friday (Sept 11) morning.

(RED)NIGHTS is a concert series that saves lives. A portion of the proceeds from every (RED)NIGHTS show goes directly to Africa to help those affected by AIDS.

Must be 18 or older and a legal resident of Boston or the surrounding areas (within 75 miles) to win. Please click here to view official (RED)TM sweepstakes rules.

Friday, September 4, 2009

"Drop Whatever You're Doing" and Listen to The Big Big Bucks

Crucial Schmooze, the first full-length LP from the local band The Big Big Bucks, has been circulating the underground Boston music scene for months now. When I say "underground," I mean the band hasn't officially released the album yet and only a few lucky listeners have a copy.

A release date is in the works for the new year, but until then The Bucks will be touring around Boston and the East coast. The band's shows are what have generated the buzz for the album. The guys make an effort to be heard, playing far more local gigs than other Boston bands that abide by an unsigned two-week and sometimes one-month rule in order to not lose attendance. It's a commonality of the Boston music scene: Bands don't want to play shows lined up too close together and risk the chance of being too familiar to local bookers and crowds.

The Bucks seem to be a band more worried about quality than quantity.

Crucial Schmooze deserves the buzz. The album took years to prepare and finish; the progression and flow from track to track are evidence that the band spent careful time finding the right sound. With blunt lyrics like Pavement's and dragging vocals like Kurt Cobain's, the album showcases the group's personal experiences with post-college life and being in a band.

The intro track, "Lemons and Limes," wastes no time informing the listener of the band's style. Beginning abruptly, the song shoots right into every part of the four-piece band, rebelling against the typical intro track and allowing no space for an instrumental "welcome" to the album. The song tells a story of a troubled girl struggling with identity. "Lemons and Limes" demonstrates the lead singer's ability to capture the essence of the characters in his stories. The use of pronouns in the lyrics helps listeners relate to the singer because there are no specific people named in most of the songs, allowing listeners to draw from stories in their own lives.

The best string of songs on Crucial Schmooze are tracks three, four, and five. "New Socks, New Sneaks" is another teenage-true track about girls and materialism. "Summer Bummer" and "Do It or Die It" are two songs that weave signature lines between catchy guitar riffs and constant beats, similar to popular Weezer tracks. "Do It or Die It" magnifies a sloppy relationship with lines like "Take me home, I'm done / You get Pushy when you're drunk / And like all the best improv / Your lines are worst rehearsed." All three songs reach past the local music scene and into mainstream realm by featuring memorable lines and melodies.

Changing the speed and tone of the album, track seven, "Midwest Twister" picks up the pace and features louder, more abrasive vocals. It shows a harder side of the band--especially juxtaposed with track eight, "Two For You." Embellished with strung out guitar chords and lighter singing, "Two For You" is the carefree song you play when you're getting over a long weekend on a Sunday afternoon.

The last three tracks of the album are yet another combination of style and sound. Technical and full of detail, "Sweaty and Desperate" mixes themes of alcohol and romance. The following track, "Plug In Your Gun" is another harder-sounding song about the lows and highs of band life and social settings. Memorable due to its swirly Pulp Fiction-like guitar riffs and the line "Hold me on your hips when strangers talk," the song demands that listeners take notice.

"Loveseat" caps the album off right, with a dreamy adieu and thanks to a lost romantic interest. Although the melodic track is about a couple, it fits perfectly at the end of Crucial Schmooze, bidding a final farewell to Bucks fans.

Check out a list of Bucks shows and stream their album in full at

They're playing a BC house show tomorrow (Saturday) night with some other killer bands that you don't want to miss. Email me at if you're interested in coming to the event.

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Thousands @ Great Scott 8/27

I was lucky to get to know the band members of Thousands this summer--an instrumental Boston band fronted by Northeastern grad, Omar Kazmi. The trio had a show last Friday (8/27) at Great Scott and it was the first time I got to see the guys live. The performance was strong and gripping with dark, angular guitar parts and a driving rhythm. Kazmi and his bandmates Brandon Phillips and Supriya Gunda only needed their music--no on-stage banter or even eye contact--to grab the attention of their audience members. Keep your eyes peeled for Thousands... they'll be releasing an album soon and we'll be keeping you informed at WTBU.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Review: Plushgun, The Main Drag & The Bynars @ T.T. the Bear's 8/28

Cambridge's T.T. the Bear's hosted a four-band dance party Friday night featuring Plushgun as headliners, a three-piece electro-pop dance group from New York City.

The Bynars, a local Boston band headed by Matt Jatkola, started off the night with a pop set including some songs from their upcoming EP (CD release show is slated for September 20 at Great Scott). The band is known for their catchy dance tunes and eccentric affinity for Star Trek. T.T's was the first Boston show for the Trekkies since they got back from their northeast/midwest tour. Bringing stories from the road, the foursome played an energetic set with tunes reminiscent of
the Beach Boys. The songs "Bone Dry" and "Party All Night" were the catchiest of their set with harmonic "oohs" and strong percussion. The high point was when a "random" member of the audience dressed in beachy gym apparel jumped on stage and accompanied the band with an impressive guitar solo.

Boston's light-hearted dance band The Main Drag was the next act of the night, showing no signs of hesitation to get down and groove. By the time the band started, the house was full and the mood fuller. Keyboardist and vocalist Matt Boch entertained the crowd with his literal "drag" getup: a black and hot-pink dress with tights and matching Nikes. The band played their famous Guitar Hero track titled "A Jagged
Gorgeous Winter" and also rekindled my love for LCD Soundsystem with their cover of "All My Friends." It was the second time I'd seen The Main Drag play and I can now confirm the band won't sing songs they don't care about. Boch always looks as if he's singing his lyrics for the first time, eyes shut and smiling genuinely.

The last local bunch to craze the crowd was the synth-rock band, The Appreciation Post. It was a special night for bandmate Roger Lussier, as it was his last on-stage appearance with The AP (Roger's next venture is a west coast tour with Pretty & Nice). The band graced T.T's stage with collared shirts and a high level of energy; the guys danced, clapped, and pumped their fists. Like The Main Drag, The AP appeared to be emotionally invested in all of their songs--whether the reason being it was Roger's last show or not, it didn't matter--their performance was solid. They delivered impassioned lyrics and played some old songs that drove fans wild, such as the track "Make Your Move."

Plushgun, a Brooklyn band known for their overwhelmly "infectious" songs, finished off the night with a storm of fan-favorite tracks. Frontman Dan Ingala carried the group with songs he wrote and released off the band's latest album, Pins & Panzers. The trio's performance was strong and well received for the most part--Plushgun fans were impressed. Others however, not so much. Perhaps it was because Plushgun was the only touring band, but I overheard a conversation between two guys debating whether a band like Plushgun has any staying power because they "sound like so many other things out there." Such is a common problem with indie groups that haven't reached a certain level of acclaim yet: Can the band stand out amongst the others, and if so, how? In this case, the listener loves Plushgun as a great one-night stand, but sees no possibility of commitment.

-Jen Brown


Actually, it started three hours ago.

As of today, listeners can once again start tuning into WTBU via, BU TV channel 6, 89.3 FM or 640 AM. Or just click that link on the side of this blog that says STREAM NOW.

Thanks for listening.