Taking A Trip Back “Over the Garden Wall”

Audrey Avril ’19

A chilly wind stirs across campus. The leaves start to shiver on the trees. Before we know it, we’ll be right in the middle of autumn. From brisk weather and hearty celebration to cold rain and solemn remembrances, fall’s got it all. What better way to get into the spirit of it all by taking another musical journey into the Unknown with Over the Garden Wall.

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Finals Week? The 80s Have You Covered

Audrey Avril ’19

Freaked out about finals week? Too many exams to study for? Pages and pages of papers to write? A seemingly infinite amount of work to accomplish in a painfully short timeframe? Living in the library? Sustained on coffee power alone? Ready for this cruel two week stretch to end?

Luckily, we have just the playlist that will turn you, a panicked student frantically struggling against the clock, into the cool, savvy, totally-on-top-of-things 80s action hero you always wanted to be. Here is a playlist of 80s classics that will have you montaging your work away in no time.

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Mogwai Journeys Back to the Bomb in Atomic

by Audrey Avril ’19

Earlier this month, Scottish post-rock band Mogwai released their new album, Atomic. Technically, they released a collection of songs off the soundtrack they produced for a documentary, but if you’re a Mogwai fan, you take what you can get. In this case, what you get is a pretty good album.

Tied loosely to the history of the atomic bomb, Mogwai manages to encompass destruction and creation, the past and the present, despair and hope, all in a mere 50 minutes. From the first track to the last, Atomic sends you on an otherworldly journey while keeping you tethered to the humanity of it all. Buckle up.

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How to Survive a Breakup (of a Favorite Band)

By Audrey Avril ’19

Breakups can be painful. This is no less true if the people doing the breaking up are your favorite band.

However, it is a special kind of heartbreak when your favorite band breaks up. It almost always seems to come out of nowhere. I mean, everything seemed to be going so well! You couldn’t be more shocked when you hear that things hadn’t been working out for a long time, that the “quirks” (“quality of being a completely awful human being”) of one or two bandmates finally does the relationship in, or that it was just time to move on.

I mean, you really can’t handle it. Maybe this band had been together since the dawn of time, or maybe it was just beginning to blossom into something more, but either way you are in no way prepared to deal with it. You’ve just been so invested, like some kind of musical third wheel, that as the band crashes and burns you feel like the lone tire that rolls away from the wreckage only to fall over under the crushing weight of your anguish. We get it, it’s a bit rough. Lucky for you, we here at WKCO have a list of ways you can pull yourself out of your misery and get on with your musical life.

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Back from the Beyond but Not Better: What to do When Your Favorite Old Band Makes New Music (and it Sucks)

By Audrey Avril ’19

Sometimes, old bands get back together and try to give it another shot. If you’re a longtime fan of a dead band, left to pick at the remnants of discographies like some kind of music vulture, this can be both wildly exciting, and incredibly terrifying.

Sometimes, when the new music finally drops, you get a pleasant surprise, a burst of nostalgia through new content that combines the sound you miss with new influences. You can and do quickly grow to love their new songs just as fondly as the old, or even more. Sometimes, you get an album that is not entirely the magical experience you built it up to be, but can still be enjoyed as a trip down memory lane with tunes that carry on the legacy pleasantly enough.

Sometimes, though, you get music that makes you feel like the band should have stayed dead. Instead of leaving your fave peacefully at rest, it feels (and sounds) like they’re shambling along as a shell of the music you loved. You get the distinct impression that a once majestic horse has long since passed and is being halfheartedly kicked. It’s heartbreaking. Luckily, us here at WKCO have your back with some strategies and coping mechanisms for when your old favorite comes back, and comes back wrong.

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Love and Loss and Sun Kil Moon: musings on “Jesu/Sun Kil Moon”

by Audrey Avril ‘19

              Didn’t I just review some new Sun Kil Moon? Say what you will about Mark Kozelek, the songwriter has just been turning out music at an alarming rate.

The eighth full length studio album Jesu/Sun Kil Moon sees Kozelek join sound with Jesu (Justin Broadrick), and the two pull off a collaboration that provides a new look at their respective work. However, the album, more than anything else, sees Sun Kil Moon hold the spotlight, as Kozelek brings affection to the forefront of his musings, while still flirting with his classic considerations of mortality and the circumstances of fate that affect us all.

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Metal to the Masses: Baroness Lives On

Audrey Avril ’19

Late into last year, Baroness released Purple and reminded us that we should give metal a shot some time.

The 4th full-length album from the sludge metal band from Savannah, Georgia, Purple continues the band’s journey through the color spectrum, from the electric energy of breakout Red and the unrelenting harshness it sustained into Blue, to a maturation of the experimentation (borderline indie rock vibe) found on the double album Yellow & Green. In the end, Baroness pulls from the best of their discography to craft a powerful, thrilling, and diverse sound that is well worth a listen from any fan of metal, hard rock, or heck, music in general.

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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

Fueling Fall Melancholy with Françoise Hardy

by Audrey Avril ’19

It feels like we’re closing in on winter. The leaves have fallen, the birds have flown. The days are short now, and the warm vibrancy of early  fall is long gone. You watch the sun set under a shroud of darkening grey clouds. It has gotten colder.

There is nothing like the end of fall to put you in a bit of a sentimental gloom, and there’s no one better to add a touch of sweet to your late-fall bitterness than Françoise Hardy. A more mature twist on the themes and persona of the 60s French yé-yé style of pop artist, Hardy brought a unique voice and perspective to the scene. As a songwriter, she would grow to forgo the cutesy (considered such at the time by predominantly male songwriters) innuendos and specific romance clichés of the genre in a way that transcends the decades in which she predominantly wrote. Her feelings are entirely her own, which makes it so much more passionate a listening experience. Through her often introverted,  sometimes insecure lens, she is a woman half consumed by longing and half lamenting the loss of love. A little melodramatic? Maybe, but maybe that’s what this time of year needs. Here is a short playlist to bring a little life to this dull, dark time of the year.

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