Album Review: ‘Front Row Seat To Earth’

By Maddie Farr ’18

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It’s basically impossible at this point to not be aware of our incoming environmental catastrophe. What were once theoretical statistics are now tangible realities, as temperatures rise globally, natural disasters intensify, and our coastal cities are threatened by the expanding ocean. This is our world, and the bite of it sometimes keeps me up at night. Which is why I fell so hard for Front Row Seat To Earth, the new album by Natalie Mering’s project Weyes Blood. The reality of climate change never leaves Mering’s line of sight as she sings of feelings as seemingly disparate from environmental destruction as love, longing, and iPhones. This is not a social justice album. Mering is not asking you to recycle more, although I’m sure she would appreciate it if you did. This is an album about how to get up every morning and keep living and loving, even when you are aware that within your lifetime you will experience environmental changes that no humans have experienced before. This is an album about the primacy of truth and love, and the ability of humans to survive change.

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Review: Mariah’s Utakata No Hibi

By Adam Brill ’17

mariah_front.jpgMariah’s album Utakata No Hibi was basically unknown outside the local Japanese Underground when it was released in 1983 on the Better Days label. It only began to generate buzz in the late 2000’s, when DJ’s started to drop samples of it. Throughout its over 30 year history, Mariah’s album has gained a mythical status, and listening now, it’s not hard to see why. Beyond the fact that it hadn’t been in mainstream circulation until Palto Flats reissued it in 2015, Utakata No Hibi is weird. Describing music as weird probably doesn’t tell you much, because well shit, most experimental stuff is weird. But, Mariah’s album is truly hard to pin down. Part of the reason I chose to write about this album is because it’s so damn hard to describe. So here we go…

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Playlist: Here’s One, For Example

By Charlotte Freccia ’19

Inspired by this insightful WKCO playlist that traced the use of I Can’t Stand the Rain by Ann Peebles through decades of sampling in hip-hop and rap, I decided to take a look at the ingenious use of sampling in the discography of Kanye West. In eight masterful albums, Kanye has managed to sample from just about every genre and era of music in distinctive and original ways: what other twenty-first century artist could sample from Laura Nyro, Can, Public Enemy, and Michael Jackson, all in one sonically and thematically cohesive record? His use of sampling has become one of the enigmatic, protean artist’s only true signatures. Here, I look at the most effective and surprising use of sampling in each of Kanye’s full-length releases. As Rick Ross once warned/promised in his intro to Kanye’s legendary track “Monster:” “as you run through my jungles, all you hear is rumbles/Kanye West samples, here’s one for example…”

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Personality Playlist: Enid & Rebecca

By Jacqueleen Eng ’19

I’m starting a new type of playlist where I select songs I think fit characters from books, films, shows, my imagination, etc. and they will from here on out be called ~Personality Playlists~

To start, I thought I’d pick some of my favorite badass 90s girls Enid Coleslaw and Rebecca Doppelmeyer from Daniel Clowes’ comic book series Eightball and later their own novel, Ghost World (which was also turned into a cult classic movie starring a young Scarjo and Thora Birch and the charming Steve Buscemi)

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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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Playlist: September 30 (reconstructed)

By Isa Mojares ’20

When this is posted, it probably will no longer be September 30. But, as I write this, it is currently September 30th. Anyway, September 30th was one of those days for me where I sat down in a good spot, queued the right music on Spotify, and just felt good. Though the sun wasn’t shining, the weather was finally starting to feel like actual fall, and the moment was accentuated by the great music I had playing in the background.

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