Jonesing for Jonas: Why the Jonas Brothers had one of the best albums of all time

by Lydia Felty ’17

On a recent application, I was asked what I thought the best self-titled album was. So many brilliant and classic albums came to mind: Hannah Montana, Hannah Montana 2: Meet Miley Cyrus, NSYNC, Backstreet Boys, Aaron Carter, Britney (by Britney Spears), Jonas Brothers, Nicholas Jonas, Nick Jonas & The Administration Live at the Wiltern January 28, 2010, Nick Jonas, Raven-Symoné, Hilary Duff, MKTO, and ABBA, just to name a few. Although any of these would obviously be fabulous choices, careful deduction makes it clear that Nick, Kevin, and Joe Jonas reign supreme. It would be easy to revert to the idea that either Nick Jonas or Nicholas Jonas could top Jonas Brothers, as they keep Nicholas Jerry Jonas (affectionately referred to as “Nick”) in the spotlight and lump his other brothers in with Franklin Nathaniel Jonas (unaffectionately referred to as “Frankie” or “the other Jonas”). What this reversion would fail to recognize is the nature of Nick Jonas’s solo albums (obviously discounting Nick Jonas & The Administration Live at the Wiltern January 28, 2010 — everyone knows it wasn’t the best career move for Nick), which tend to embody strong values (or a lack thereof). The overt messages in these albums, especially compared to the brilliance that appears when Nick collaborates with his brothers Paul Kevin Jonas II (“Kevin” or “K2”) and Joseph Adam Jonas (“Joe”), undeniably make Jonas Brothers the best self-titled album of all artists and eras. Continue reading

Horn Gallery Spotlight: Mitski

by Adelaide Sandvold ’18

Screen Shot 2015-03-26 at 1.50.36 PMThis Saturday, the Horn Gallery will welcome New York singer/songwriter Mitski. Her sound is familiar yet unique, blending genres like folk, punk, pop, and blues. Her most recent release, Bury Me at Makeout Creek, showcases Mitski’s pure voice and bright melodies while also undercutting her sweet style with sharp guitars and intense drums. These qualities create an utterly satisfying and intriguing product. When it comes to lyrics, Mitski has mastered the technique of making her subject matter relatable but also undeniably personal. Her show is sure to thrill all in attendance and be a Horn highlight of the semester.

5 songs to check out before the show:

  1. “first love / late spring”
  2. “Abbey”
  3. “townie”
  4. “Liquid Smooth”
  5. “Square”

Kenyon’s own Addie Pray will be opening.

Doors open at 9:30 p.m. The show starts at 10 p.m.

The Case of Mac DeMarco

by Stephanie Holstein ’18

MACDEMARCOTo the less sentimental listener, Mac DeMarco may be considered old news. However, those who stick around to see where DeMarco will take his weird and wonderful musical career find that he is a Canadian national treasure. Hailing from Edmonton, Alberta, Macbriare Samuel Lanyon DeMarco moved to Vancouver after high school and formed the band Makeout Videotape with his friend Alex Calder (their album Ying Yang is very special and can be found in full on YouTube). DeMarco’s solo career took off in 2012 when his first EP, Rock and Roll Night Club, captured the attention of Pitchfork Media and Brooklyn label Captured Tracks. Since then, he has created two more full-length albums, 2 and Salad Days.

DeMarco once told Georgie Magazine, “I like people to be confused, first and foremost,” and in that respect he certainly succeeds. In his four short years of full-blown fame, he has been named the king of “dad rock” and has created his very own genre, “slacker wave”—two seemingly incompatible qualities that he manages to pull off so well. It’s not just the fact that his unaffected cool oozes off of his worn and torn baseball caps and oversized flannel shirts, but his musical aesthetic has also given our ears something new to feast on—a radical combination of music akin to Steely Dan and the lazy 20-something punk bands of our time like FIDLAR. He’s easy-listening for those who want something simple, yet weird enough that you have to turn your brain on a little to understand the genius that lies underneath the well-mixed layers of guitar and bass and drums.

Continue reading

Playlist: SPRING HAS ARRIVED

by Stephanie Holstein ’18

As of March 21, spring is officially here—a day we thought would never come. While that does not necessarily mean we can store our winter coats, it does mean we can replace the music we have listened to during the seasonal dark age with happier, more upbeat songs that sound best when the sun is out and the windows are open. Here are nine songs that I believe sound better now that the snow has melted.

1. “Take it Easy” – The Eagles

This is a classic feel-good song. Within the first few seconds, the guitar riff lifts your spirits and make you nod along. Especially after the cold weather, The Eagles’ laid-back, West Coast vibe warms your soul and reminds you to take it eaaaaasy.

2. “Wakin’ on a Pretty Day” – Kurt Vile

This song has been stuck in my head since spring break. I think its staying power rests in the amazing guitar solos that are woven throughout this nine-minute song, allowing you to get so lost in the music that you’re surprised, and a little sad, when it’s over.

Continue reading

Playlist: Motivation for Midterms

by Lydia Felty ’17

Let’s face it: most of us are beat. The past week has illuminated just how incredibly little we’ve read this semester, we’re digging through backpacks and drawers in an earnest attempt to find the crumpled up notes that have to be somewhere, and anything is so much more interesting than the studying we’re supposed to be doing. I, for one, have taken to finding excuses to use Photoshop and am usually blaring music in an attempt to work up the courage to study. Because I’m such a nice person (and not at all because I’m trying to procrastinate), I have attempted to compile the perfect motivational playlist for you kind folks. In order to compose the the most inclusive list (and find an excuse to socialize), I asked friends what they listen to for inspiration before adding in my own picks. Whether the music will be a pre-study motivator or the background to a battle against coursework, I hope this playlist will provide a spark of inspiration to help get you through the last days until break. Continue reading

Break a leg to our newest a cappella group, Broken Legs

by Tess Dugan-Knight ’18

Names Alexandra Seidel ’18 (Lexie) and Jonathan Bornstein ’18 (Jono)

Hometowns

Lexie: New Canaan, Connecticut

Jono: New Rochelle, New York

Majors

Lexie: Undeclared

Jono: I’m undeclared too, but I’m planning on doubling in English with Creative Writing and Sociology.

What inspired you to start an a cappella group? 

Lexie: It was all Jono’s idea!! He had this vision and I wasn’t sure at first but he has absolutely killed it as president so far in terms of execution!

Jono: Thanks Lexie! I’ve always loved singing musical theater and starting this group seemed like the best way to do so regularly with people I love. Kenyon really is a great environment for being bold, and I like to think that a lot of the courage and ambition to start this group came from the community that surrounds me.

Continue reading

The Music of SNL 40

by Lydia Felty ’17

SNL 40 — a celebration of the 40th anniversary of Saturday Night Live — opened with Jimmy Fallon and Justin Timberlake rapping their way through a tribute to past musical performances, from the Blues Brothers to the Lonely Island, and giving a quick overview of guests to come. As soon as it started, I knew we were in for a good show, and they did not disappoint.

jimmy-fallon-justin-timberlake-snl-40

Justin Timberlake and Jimmy Fallon

After Fallon and Timberlake finished, Steve Martin led the classic host monologue, wondering aloud how everyone who had taken the SNL stage could be honored during the 3.5-hour show. He then answered his own question: “We leave them out.” Although they certainly had to be selective in choosing the night’s acts, they did an excellent job of incorporating a variety of great musicians, young and old. Within the monologue alone, some of the night’s performers — Miley Cyrus, Paul McCartney, and Paul Simon — were introduced, and the two Pauls sang a quick duet of “I’ve Just Seen a Face,” giving the audience a taste of the excellent music to follow. Continue reading

Playlist: A February Mood

by Adelaide Sandvold ’18

“Going Out” — Dinner

A trippy reincarnation of 80’s techno glam-pop, this song confidently coasts along with whispers, echoes, and beautiful melodies.

“Heartbreaker” — Alabama Shakes

Maybe it’s just because Valentine’s Day makes February a very love-conscious month, but this song—soulful, heartwrenching, and glorious—is the perfect soundtrack for this time of year.

“Con te Partiro” — Vampire Weekend

A newly beloved cover of a long beloved classic, Vampire Weekend bring a gentle reggae feel to this operatic tune. The added strings and angelic background vocals only make the song soar even higher.

 “haunt me (x 3)” — teen suicide

This song is an ode to the acceptance of melancholy. It is somber with a touch of yearning, but its upbeat drums make it irresistible.

“School Spirit” — Kanye West

As many Kenyon students are currently participating in the whirlwind of Greek life, this track is fitting. It also provides some good sass that serves to at least somewhat dissolve the monotonous tone of winter. “Ooh hecky naw” still remains one of the most relevant phrases out there.

“Little Fang” — Avey Tare’s Slasher Flicks

With sweet lyrics and unique sound mixing, this track builds and builds to construct a thoroughly thrilling and playful tune. It’s hard to listen to this just once.

 “Prince Johnny” — St. Vincent

As it lilts along, this song evokes the colors of February—the pinks, purples, and whites that seem to drift through the air. Annie Clark’s perfectly pure but tough voice and the edgy guitars laced in shape the tone of this song into one that encapsulates the signature formidable beauty of St. Vincent’s music.

“10 Lovers” — The Black Keys

The squeaky synths in the foreground and pure piano in the back are only two elements of the rich production of this song. Its dark drums contribute to its depth and the lovely chord change at the bridge makes it feel complete.

“This Charming Man” — The Smiths

Lively, but with the usual aching provided by The Smiths, this song practically personifies the confusion of having a crush—a feeling already emphasized this time of year.

“I Can’t Stay” — The Killers

Here the Killers give us upbeat Caribbean flavors (complete with steel drum), while maintaining a wondrously delicate song overall. Hints of both euphoria and sorrow in Brandon Flowers’ voice contribute fantastically to the intrigue of this track.

If you want to hear these songs and more, tune in to Lady Life with Adelaide on Tuesday at 5 p.m. EST on the one and only WKCO 91.9 FM or wkco.org.