Best of the West: Western Soundtrack Playlist

By Audrey Avril ‘19

A vast open vista. A rattlesnake gives you the serpent equivalent of the middle finger. A bandit has his own fingers a little too close to his gun for your liking. The screeching hawk sound effect cries overhead, looking for a bone to pick too. The sun’s beating bullets down onto what is apparently the only street in town, and you’re trying to keep your cool, but it’s really tricky when all you’ve been doing for the past ten darn minutes of screen time is getting a camera shot all up in your face. You wonder when you can stop making eyes at this guy and just get to shootin’ already. You draw and-! Oops he’s dead it literally took .2 seconds.

Back in the day, Westerns were very popular by way of fantastic wish fulfillment. Now, we’ve sort of fallen into disillusionment about the genre. Maybe, once we finally got to watching all of those old films, we realized that being a cowboy consisted of a lot of sun exposure, a disappointing amount of actual gun exposure, wandering around the desert for an eternity of screen time (think Lord of the Rings, except only scenes of hobbits walking across New Zealand. So, essentially, Lord of the Rings), and having a grumpy-stoic persona so on point that no one will actually have a decent conversation the entire movie. Thank god, then, that these movies had some pretty kick-butt soundtracks. These songs are so suspenseful, so epic, so nostalgic, and so wonderfully invigorating, it can make even a boring weekday too intense. Here are just a few of my favorites.

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Backtracking: Old Music Eclipses New in 2015

by Audrey Avril ’19

Maybe we were busy last year. We had Horn shows to see, Sports albums to fawn over, and shrines to build to our lord and savior, Adele. Whatever the case, when we turned back and looked at 2015 honestly, we realized something. For all the great new music we got, there wasn’t that much going on where sales were concerned. Even more startling, we realized after climbing out from under our indie rocks (get it? Because we were so underground… under rocks… rock… it’s been a long first week, you guys), was that older releases were topping charts once again. For the first time recorded, old albums outsold new releases.

According to Nielsen, a research group who have been tracking US music sales since 1991, the sales of catalogue albums (those that were released more than 18 months prior) outsold new releases. But what does this change in the market of music mean? Does it just say something mean about 2015? Or something more profound about the music we listen to, or even who is listening to what, and how? Are our parent’s golden oldies coming back from the beyond the grave to haunt our music charts once more? Scarier thought; has dad finally learned how to use the internet? Continue reading

Interview with Frankie Cosmos

(Interview conducted) By Maddie Farr ’18 and Emma Klein ‘17

On Wednesday, November 18th, we (Emma Klein and Maddie Farr) had the pleasure of sitting down with Frankie Cosmos (Greta Kline, David Maine, and Luke Pyenson) after their show at the Horn Gallery with All Dogs. They were gracious enough to take ten minutes to chat after playing an amazing hour-long set to an unusually packed house at our tiny college. We discussed astrology, the writing process, and the Justin Bieber-reptile conspiracy, among other things. Read our interview below.

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QUIZ: Which Alanis Morissette Song Are You?

By Charlotte Freccia ’19

Picture me on a Thursday evening in a booth at Wiggin. I’m all alone save for the textbooks, loose papers, and other academic paraphernalia that surround me. It’s been an exhausting week. I’m surviving––barely––on Amish granola and caffeinated beverages. I haven’t seen a dog in weeks.

Suddenly, by fate or God or Spotify’s spooky sixth sense: “Hand In My Pocket” by Alanis Morissette comes on. And I’m crying. I’m crying. In Wiggin. I don’t have it all figured out just yet, either, Alanis. But you’re right. It’s gonna be fine, fine, fine. In the days to follow, I rediscover the wonder that is “Jagged Little Pill” and realize that the wildly-underrated Alanis has created a sassy, spunky song to fit just about any early-adulthood emotional situation.
How can you come enlightened, as I now am, to her infallible wisdom? Take this quiz to find out which of the Canadian songstress’s classic works is right for you.

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Horn Gallery Spotlight: Frankie Cosmos and All Dogs

By Maddie Farr ’18

I am really excited for Wednesday’s Horn show – and you should be too. This week Kenyon will be welcoming indie star Frankie Cosmos and Ohio-bred All Dogs. If you are familiar with these groups, you are probably thoroughly thrilled by now. If these are new names to you, read on to discover why, this Wednesday, the place to be is the Horn Gallery.

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Album Review: All of Something

By Maddie Farr ’18

I (like many Kenyon students) have been a big fan of SPORTS for a while. I fell first for their debut album Sunchokes, which still perfectly recalls the fidgety anxiety and promise of freshman year. Seeing them perform live was always an experience, a sweaty room of bouncing kids singing every line back to the band. It’s not an overstatement to say that this album soundtracked my first year at Kenyon.

A lot has changed since tPromoImage-1-560x560hen. Four of the five of SPORTS’ members have now graduated–Catherine Dwyer ’14, Carmen Perry ’15, James Karlin ’15, and Benji Dossetter ’15–leaving Jack Washburn ’16 still at Kenyon. But before they scattered, SPORTS recorded a sophomore album — this time in Philadelphia, with rising producer Kyle Girlbride. The result is the rousing 20-minute All of Something, which proves that both everything and nothing has actually changed.

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Musical Horoscopes: November

By Maddie Farr ’18

I am obsessed with astrology.

I acknowledge that this makes me a little crazy and witchy, but I’m embracing it. Astrology isn’t something you have to believe 100% all the time, but it can provide a useful lens through which to view yourself and those you care about. Or at least, it can be pretty fun.

This month, I have decided to read your horoscopes WITH MUSIC. Take everything I say with a grain of salt, as I have absolutely no actual authority in astrology. But, I give pretty good advice.

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Girl Band’s Absurdity Shows Progress in “Holding Hands with Jamie”

By Devon Chodzin ’19

This past week, specifically on Wednesday afternoon, I accidentally discovered the Irish four-piece no wave group Girl Band. I was immediately entranced by the haunting noise patterns that the recently released track “Paul” hurdled at me through earbuds. As it turns out, the group just released their debut album Holding Hands with Jamie via Rough Trade Records.

This album is a doozy.

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Horn Gallery Spotlight: Eskimeaux and Told Slant

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Eskimeaux.

By Maddie Farr ’18

This is going to be a tough week. Most of us will have enjoyed our breaks thoroughly, and the transition back to a week that is actually five days long is sure to be difficult. Come Wednesday night, you’re going to be looking for a way to let off some steam … and you should come to the Eskimeaux and Told Slant concert at the Horn Gallery! Seriously, do. And here’s why.

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The Wake ‘n’ Drake Playlist

By Charlotte Freccia ’19

Hangover? Headache? The onset of that punch-in-the-stomach, holy-shit-what-happened-last-night feeling? The sudden realization that your Philosophy midterm is tomorrow and you haven’t cracked a book? Drake ain’t care much for that.

Keep your head up, though, and behold the “Wake and Drake” playlist: an expertly curated mix of tracks and features from hip-hop’s resident sadboy that will help you actualize your inner 6 God and prepare you for anything that comes your way this week.

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