Tuesday, December 29, 2009


Out of all the fantastic new music spun this year by WTBU's DJs, here are the charts for our most-played rotation albums and tracks...

WTBU's Top 10 Most Played Albums of 2009:

10. Monsters of Folk - Monsters of Folk
9. Passion Pit - Manners
8. Built to Spill - There Is No Enemy
7. Metric - Fantasies
6. Vivian Girls - Everything Goes Wrong
5. Of Montreal - Skeletal Lamping
4. Dark Was The Night compilation
3. Girls - Album
2. Yo La Tengo - Popular Songs
1. Animal Collective - Merriweather Post Pavillion

RUNNERS UP: The Decemberists - The Hazards of Love, Dan Deacon - Bromst, Why? - Eskimo Snow, Matt and Kim - Grand, The Pains of Being Pure at Heart - The Pains of Being Pure at Heart.

WTBU's Top 10 Most Played Tracks of 2009:
10. Girls - "Hellhole Ratrace"
9. Vivian Girls - "Walking Alone at Night"
8. Monsters of Folk - "Say Please"
7. Yo La Tengo - "Here To Fall"
6. Girls - "Lust For Life"
5. The Pains of Being Pure at Heart - "Higher Than the Stars"
4. Animal Collective - "Summertime Clothes"
3. Matt and Kim - "Daylight"
2. Passion Pit - "Sleepyhead"
1. Animal Collective - "My Girls"

RUNNERS UP: Sondre Lerche - "Heartbeat Radio", No Age - "Losing Feeling".

Sunday, December 27, 2009

Interview: I Love You

Last month a radio promoter sent me Bell Ord Forrest, the new album by Kansas City band I Love You. It said "RIYL These Are Powers, Abe Vigoda" and those bands are both pretty cool. On their MySpace, I saw they'd be playing in December at Whitehaus, who I also like. Then I actually listened to their album, and it was really fun. I unfortunately had something else going on when they played Boston but was intrigued enough to interview the band about their music, Kansas City, and their Boston show. I totally recommend reading their responses and downloading that free mp3 down there!

How would you explain I Love You to someone who has never heard your music?
Art punk African house, or art punk African kraut rock dub punk. Loud obnoxious and weird.

What is I Love You's mission?
Be Your Own Boss

What is it like to live and play music in Kansas City?
Living here can be great. It's extremely inexpensive and there's a huge/supportive art scene. Lots of great things are happening here now because of bad things that happened earlier. Land here has always been cheap and at one point the cheapest in the nation; therefore, white flight hit us hard and now Kansas City is one of the most vacant cities in the nation. But that also means that half of the people I know bought a house or warehouse space for about $1000-$3000 at the land auction or through land trust. Urban farming is huge. Really though, the greatest thing about this city is that if you want to do something and need help there is always someone willing to help you out and that's how most of KC's finer points survive, like the bike collective or co-op housing.

If you had to make a 5-song mixtape of essential bands from Kansas City, what 5 bands would be on there?
Abbe Findley, Expo 70, New American Trance, Ad Astra Akrestra, Gross Plank

How was your recent Boston show?
It was a lot of fun! We were able to play with our friends in the band CAVE and the Whitehaus people are super nice. I've (Justin) have played with I Love You in Boston once before Charlie had joined the band. We played at P.A.'s Lounge. It was a nice place, but the show was not too awesome. Are you aware that the 'P.A.' stands for Portuguese American?

What were some high and low points of your recent tour?
Low: Having a cup of tequila go into a laptop and being told it would cost $1255 to fix it. High: Fixing the computer with a $5 can of electronic connection cleaner.

Free mp3: "The Colloquialism is simply Gas" - I Love You

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Taken Out of Context on Blabbermouth.net!

As we mentioned before, Josh Friedman of the Metal/Talk show Taken Out of Context interviewed the guitarist from Killswitch Engage last Thursday night. His interview was picked up by Roadrunner Records and Blabbermouth.net! Check out the audio recording of the interview here.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Get to Know: Inspector 22

Free MP3: Inspector 22 - "Hey Man"

Inspector 22 is the Chapel Hill, NC-based project of Todd Emmert, who has been making music under this name since 1997. He has released several records, including 15-20 cassettes, an avant-garde a cappella album, a best-of album, and various others. His most recent album is the home-recorded Hey Man, I Understand, which was released on October 13, 2009 via Carrboro, NC-based label Odessa Records. Todd answered some questions for WTBU about his new album, North Carolina, and recording cassettes.

How would you describe Inspector 22 to someone unfamiliar with your music?
I would describe Inspector 22 as "home-recorded-avant-garde-folk-rock". Sometimes pretty sounding, sometimes not.

What is your favorite track on "Hey Man I Understand"? What is it about?
"Of Broom And Bride" is my favorite. It's about how not having a wife can make you feel sad and alone and fed up.

What is it like to live and play music in Chapel Hill? Is there a supportive DIY music community there?
Living in Chapel Hill is nice. It can be real laid back and easy going. There are quite a few people who play music in the area, so finding people to play music with is relatively easy. There is a supportive music community here, quite a few clubs, bars, and house shows to play and people that are genuinely interested in hearing your music.

Who are some of your favorite bands/artists from Chapel Hill?
My favorite bands from the Triangle area are Waumiss, Spider Bags, and Whatever Brains.

Your initial recordings were on cassettes. Why did you record to cassettes instead of pressing CDs or vinyl? What are the benefits to recording to cassette?
Cassettes for me were the cheapest way to duplicate and trade music with friends at the time. Cassettes can provide a different sonic and textural atmosphere than CD's or vinyl, sometimes a murky and more intimate vibe. All formats have their advantages and disadvantages I guess. Now I record mostly with a digital 8-track that I am very happy with.

How does recording cassettes affect your ability to distribute music? Why do you think so many artists are ditching CDs and going straight to vinyl/mp3s?
When I made cassettes, I really had no problem distributing them because the editions were all so small. Distributing the music was more dependent on postal rates than the listening format. A vinyl record seems more fun to interact with than a CD to me, cassettes seem better as well. CD's can seem cold and disposable sometimes. Adding a digital download of an album to the vinyl just seems like the decent thing to do.

If this sounds intriguing, read more about Inspector 22 and other cool North Carolina bands on the Odessa Records website, and/or tune in to Left of the Dial on WTBU next semester, where Inspector 22 will certainly be getting some spins.

Free MP3: Inspector 22 - "Hey Man"

Thursday, December 3, 2009

In-Studio Performance: REDEEMER'S CROSS on Re:defined, Fri 12-2a.m.

Tune in tomorrow night (Friday) to RE:defined from midnight to 2 a.m., to hear a live, in-studio interview and on-air performance by Redeemer's Cross, a new Christian band out of New Jersey!

Review: Russian Circles @ Middle East Upstairs, 12/2

Before you assume you would never like a metal band, consider seeing Russian Circles live. They’ll take you on a unique, orchestrated journey—without any lyrics. The instrumental metal trio from Chicago headlined a sold-out show at Cambridge’s Middle East Upstairs Wednesday night.

Hailing from Louisville, The Phantom Family Halo opened the show with “Blackouts and Runaways” off their double LP entitled “Monoliths and These Flowers Never Die” which came out in October. The song’s eerie, monotone verses are grow increasingly ominous when vocalist and drummer whisper lyrics like “saw you dancing in your dreams wearing a dead man’s shirt; saw you sleeping like a queen, your crown was covered in dirt.” Their music can be described as rock laced with LSD—meshing psychedelic bells and pumping whammy bars with classic 1970’s battle cry, rock chants. This oxymoronic juxtaposition results in surprisingly catchy music with a strong percussion backbone.

Fellow Louisville natives, Young Widows, followed with a more direct metal sound. Steady, pounding drumbeats and screeching guitars exemplified the rougher and heavier sound Young Widows aggressively bring to the table. The epitome of this loaded style was their performance of “Old Skin;” in which, lung-emptying screaming and almost mechanical guitar sound sufficiently riled up the crowd and the hardcore head banging ensued. Once Young Widows finished, I couldn’t help but feel overwhelmed by lyrics being screamed into my face, rampant crying guitars, and the constant swelling of the drums thumping.

Russian Circles provided the pleasantly surprising alleviation from the smothering math rock of Young Widows. Their music was refreshingly narrative and it constantly developed into something bigger and better within each song by itself.

Their songs are epically progressive, beginning like an elementary, dreamy lullaby evolving into a full-blown, melodious medley. Russian Circles take their listeners through the transformation from a simplistic, intimate moment into a fully developed symphony. The band was like a three-member orchestra, conducted by the pulsing energy of the audience. Intricate guitar riffs, packed drum patterns, mile-a-minute bass lines, and looping all fused together seamlessly to create a musical ensemble much like a classical orchestra. A combination of this synthesis and the music’s natural ability to connect with the live audience without the band having to utter a single word on stage is the pivotal factor that makes them unmistakably more than just another metal band.

So don’t deem off metal until you hear to Russian Circles play live. Their newest album, “Geneva,” frankly cannot stand up to their live versions of their title track and “Malko.” As a member of the audience accurately said, “The thing about falling in love with live bands is that listening to their album almost always breaks your heart.”

-Renée Trilivas

Video: WTBU Presents The Static Jacks @ the Middle East

Check out this video from Tuesday night's cosponsored show at the Middle East, featuring New Jersey band THE STATIC JACKS! More videos to follow!

The Static Jacks - My Parents Lied from Peisin Yang Lazo on Vimeo.

Killswitch Engage on Taken out of Context Tonight, 8-10pm!

Tune in to Taken out of Context from 8-10 p.m. EST tonight to hear an on-air interview with Joel Stroetzel, guitarist of Killswitch Engage!