Tesla... but not THAT Tesla...

So, check this video. The Legend of Zelda theme, played by Tesla coils:

SexyBack vs. Legend of Zelda Theme on Two Tesla Coils from Trammell on Vimeo.

The video is from SXSW, where the band/performance art project ArcAttack presented this in a mash-up with Justin Timberlake's "Sexyback".

Here's how the group describes their work:

Creators of the original Singing Tesla Coils, the crew of ArcAttack uses high tech wizardry to present music in a whole new light.

ArcAttack employs a unique DJ set up of their own creation (an HVDJ set up) to generate an 'electrifying' audio visual performance. The HVDJ pumps music through a PA System while two specially designed DRSSTC's (Dual-Resonant Solid State Tesla Coils) act as separate synchronized instruments.

These high tech machines produce an electrical arc similar to a continuous lightning bolt which put out a crisply distorted square wave sound reminiscent of the early days of synthesizers. The music consists of original highly dance-able electronic compositions that sometimes incorporates themes or dub of popular songs.

Joe DiPrima and Oliver Greaves are the masterminds behind the design and construction of the Tesla Coils while the music is developed by John DiPrima and Tony Smith.

Check out more on ArcAttack here.


Green Play Stage Day... or something like that

Well, I think the collective subconscious of rock music listeners expected this to happen sooner or later. Check this EXTREMELY LONG press release that hit today, about a certain 2004 Green Day album becoming a big musical production:

BURBANK, Calif.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Green Day won two Grammy Awards – Best Rock Album and Record of the Year – with its multi-platinum American Idiot, which sold more than 12 million copies worldwide. Today the band announced plans to bring that explosive album to the stage by collaborating with Michael Mayer, renowned director of Spring Awakening, which grabbed eight Tony Awards including Best Director and Best Musical in 2007. The new show – also titled American Idiot – will receive its world premiere right in the guys' backyard at Berkeley Repertory Theatre, the Tony-winning playhouse that launched last year's provocative rock musical Passing Strange.

Mr. Mayer and Green Day, along with Olivier Award-winning choreographer Steven Hoggett, recently completed a workshop of American Idiot in New York, which was also produced by Berkeley Rep. The show includes every song from the album, as well as several new songs from Green Day's upcoming release, 21st Century Breakdown. American Idiot will run from September 4 through October 11, opening Berkeley Rep's 2009/10 season in the state-of-the-art Roda Theatre. A limited number of seats go on sale today at berkeleyrep.org starting at only $32. Lower prices and prime performance dates are available as part of a subscription to Berkeley Rep's bold season, which also features five other hot new shows.

American Idiot follows working-class characters from the suburbs to the city to the Middle East, as they seek redemption in a world filled with frustration – an exhilarating journey borne along by Green Day's electrifying songs. As Time described the album, "You will hear a story about Jesus of Suburbia, his dangerous friend St. Jimmy, and a heroic girl called Whatsername, who are struggling to express their individuality in a mass-media culture." This high-octane show will blend an onstage band and an ensemble of 19 young performers with what Newsweek calls "a soundtrack for anyone disillusioned by millennial America." Yet, Time concludes, "For an album that bemoans the state of the union, it is irresistibly buoyant."

"We are really excited to be working with Michael Mayer on this project," says Green Day's frontman Billie Joe Armstrong. "We'd been thinking of bringing American Idiot to the stage, but knew we needed to find the right partners. After meeting with Michael to discuss the possibility, he invited us to see Spring Awakening. We were so impressed with that production, as well as his vision for American Idiot, that we knew we'd found the perfect collaborator. Plus, doing it in our hometown at Berkeley Rep was an obvious bonus. They're an amazing theatre group, very adventurous, and their willingness to take chances is in keeping with the spirit of the album. The end result will be terrific, and we're really proud."

"When I first heard American Idiot, I was struck by its innate theatricality," Mayer remarks. "Here was a new musical drama begging to be staged. Who would have thought that one of the most brutally honest, eloquent, passionate, funny, and poetic theatrical responses to the post 9-11 world would be a Green Day record? The connection I felt to American Idiot surprised me. I knew and liked Green Day, but had no clue that I would ever feel so inside their songs. This work of passion and vision and fierce intelligence seemed to me like the heartbeat of a generation of Americans who were fed up. I hear in these amazing songs the articulation of their frustration, anger, longing for a better world – a journey from apathy to action. Collaborating with Billie Joe and the band is a mind-blowing thrill, and I can't wait to begin production at Berkeley Rep, the perfect home for making a new kind of musical event."

"Green Day is a band that we've long admired here in Berkeley and championed as one of our own," says Tony Taccone, artistic director of Berkeley Rep. "American Idiot is an iconic album, and having the opportunity to bring it to the stage is a bit of a dream come true. To preserve the original intention of the album while creating a stage-worthy experience is a challenge that we relish, and bringing a director with the skill and experience of Michael Mayer into our theatre makes it that much sweeter."

It is apropos that the show will premiere in Berkeley, which is where the band got its start. " The transfiguration of Green Day from punk-pop jesters into outspoken political agitators was mystifying – except to those who knew anything about the band members' respective childhoods, and their early forging as a band in the cauldron of the gritty Berkeley, California, punk-rock scene, a back story that, in retrospect, makes the emergence of American Idiot, and its attendant rebel-rousing riot of a stage show, seem all but inevitable," asserts Rolling Stone. "When they were 15 years old, Armstrong and Dirnt first ventured to the punk-rock all-ages club 924 Gilman Street Project, and everything changed. Located beside a canning shop in the gritty warehouse district of Berkeley, 924 Gilman was a graffiti-etched nonprofit drop-in center for legions of tattooed and mohawked punkers who ran the place on a volunteer, co-op basis. Gilman was where Armstrong and Dirnt first fell in love with punk music, and it's where they cut their political teeth... Apart from their political awakening, something else happened at the Gilman that would have an incalculable effect on their future. They met a fellow teenager, and Gilman regular, who already bore the stage name Tre Cool... By 1990, Armstrong, Dirnt, and Tre had coalesced into Green Day."

The band's seventh CD earned effusive praise from the press upon its release. "The ambitious American Idiot joins an elite list of albums, such as The Who's Tommy, Pink Floyd's The Wall, and The Beatles' Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Heart's Club Band, that successfully weave a narrative through music," asserts Amp. It is "a fearless and politically astute rock album, a richly melodic song suite that gives voice to the disenfranchised suburban underclass of Americans ," declares Rolling Stone. " What most fans – Democrats, Republicans, and anarchists alike – seem to be connecting with is the irresistible passion, intensity, and hookiness of the music," adds Entertainment Weekly. "And Idiot's brash sound has done more than just connect with the public. It's also struck a decisive blow for rock music – make that loud, butt-kickin' rock music, the kind that shakes your nerves and rattles your brain." Now this music hits the stage at a nearby theatre that also earned a national reputation following its unlikely birth in a Berkeley storefront.

Green Day – vocalist/guitarist Billie Joe Armstrong, bassist Mike Dirnt, and drummer TrĂ© Cool – were loud, snotty, scrappy kids from working-class backgrounds who came of age in the underground punk scene in Berkeley. Even though they had released two records prior (1039 / Smooth Out Slappy Hours and Kerplunk), they announced their arrival with 1994's Dookie, a dynamic blast of exuberant three-chord punk-pop that spoke to bored teenagers everywhere. The album eventually sold 15 million copies, earned the band their first Grammy Award, and inspired a raft of imitators. Over the years, Green Day continued to top the charts with their subsequent studio albums Insomniac, Nimrod, and Warning while entertaining millions of fans with their frenetic live shows. But it was their landmark 2004 album American Idiot that launched Green Day into the stratosphere. "Jesus of Suburbia" set the tone by telling a tale of the choice between self-destruction and redemption that resonated with listeners of all ages, nationalities, and political persuasions. American Idiot debuted at No. 1 on the Billboard chart. It spawned five hit singles, earned seven Grammy nominations (winning two, including Rock Album of the Year), and raised the bar for modern rock and roll. This year, in addition to the premiere of this show, Green Day will release its new album, 21st Century Breakdown, on Friday, May 15, and then launch a world tour.

For more information on Green Day, visit greenday.com.

All Points West 2009


(So this is why Coldplay hadn't been showing much love to the NYC this summer)


Guitar Hero: Wallet Muncher

So, reviews are starting to hit for Guitar Hero: Metallica. Mostly positive, but I'm wondering why we really need to pay so much for what's essentially a fleshed-out track pack with some extras. Yes, Metallica is awesome blah blah blah, but we did it with Aerosmith too, and if it keeps going we might start getting Guitar Hero editions without innovation.

How about we just fast-forward:

Next time: Guitar Hero: Rockapella edition

3/29/09 Playlist

Here's this week's playlist:

Aluminum Park - My Morning Jacket
A Place to Hide - White Lies
The End Has No End - The Strokes
Blood - Editors
Albatross Albatross Albatross - Mount St. Helens Vietnam Band
I Couldn't Love You - Cursive
What Have I Done? - Cursive
Whatever happened to Cory Haim? - The Thrills
Human - The Killers
Annan Water - The Decemberists
Drop Dead Blues - Anya Marina
Acid Tongue - Jenny Lewis
Enjoy the Silence - Keane
Pale Bride - The Von Bondies
Only to Haunt You - The Von Bondies
Black Cloud - Morrissey
Chicago - Ingram Hill
Come Downstairs and Say Hello - Guster
Tonight, Tonight - Smashing Pumpkins
Chimera - Howlies
The Fragile Army - The Polyphonic Spree
You Don't Know Me - Ben Folds f/ Regina Spektor
Haven't Got A Clue - The Flaming Lips
Club America - The Cure
The Well and the Lighthouse - The Arcade Fire


Great Indie Remixes

There's a lot of great remixes out there. Here's just a few of my favorites.

Kings of Leon - The Bucket (CSS remix)

Keane - The Lovers are Losing (CSS remix)

Lykke Li - Little Bit (CSS remix)

Klaxons - Gravity's Rainbox (Soulwax remix)

Metric - Monster Hospital (MSTRKRFT remix)

MGMT - Electric Feel (Justice remix)

Let me know what you guys think.

New Music Preview: The Postelles

A lot of people compare The Postelles sound to The Strokes. I can see what they’re saying, but to me The Postelles are more Brian Wilson and less Julian Casablanca. By the way what’s so wrong with sounding like The Strokes anyway. Nonetheless The Postelles are four guys from New York with a sweet sound. Their songs feel more influenced by Phil Spector’s Wall of Sound and less by grungy garages. Songs like “Stella” and “Boys Bestfriend” sound like something off your parent’s old doo-wop records. In one video on the bands Myspace for the song “White Night” the drummer is sporting shades much like the drummer character from Tom Hanks movie “That Thing You Do”. Coincidence? I think not! The Postelles have been putting the finishing touches on the Albert Hammond Jr produced full length LP that’s set for release sometime in the late spring/summer time.

The Postelles


Los Blogesinos!

I have to get to class, so let's keep this brief:

Los Campesinos... NEW ALBUM!

Blogging about the recording process HERE.



REVIEWED: The Decemberists' "Hazards of Love"

When the The Decemberists got into the writing process for their new album, Capitol Records must have known they had struck musical gold again with the band. Why else would their management, promoters and label have encouraged the recording and upcoming release this 17-track, 59 minute long, meandering epic entitled The Hazards of Love? Especially since there was a two and a half year gap since their last album, The Crane Wife, one might not expect Capitol records to take such a risk unless the material was good. Even the title alone, which is shared by four of its tracks, screams this word of caution to any record executive with business sense. In today’s iTunes world, the radio single may not be as important, but the individual track is even more important, so when a band asks its listeners to listen to a seventeen-track concept album with several principle characters to follow, the order is a pretty tall one. For anyone able to stop sending updates to their twitter long enough to sit down for an hour and listen to through the new Decemberists album, they will find that the band delivers, and while it may not have been their goal to prove prog rock can still be relevant in the 21st st century, they might have done that too.

This album was meant to be listened to from front to back. It’s got an overture and a sort of epilogue track that sits alone after the grand finale of the album, and the interior of the album’s track lineup is structured almost like a symphony, with movements and reprisals and contrasting voices. The Decemberists have always developed complex arrangements in their music, but they’ve stretched their sound to include some grungy, bluesy sounds that introduce the Queen in the story, a creepy zombie-child chorus, and even some sludgy metal riffs to top it all off.

The album isn’t flawless. It is a little slow to get moving, and there's one track I consistently cringe while listening through ("Isn't it a Lovely Night") The album introduces a bunch of characters to a narrative that can be understood if you listen hard and maybe cheat by looking at the lyrics, but might not have the accessibility that their previous work had in terms of storytelling content. That’s kind of ironic, considering the Decemberists are known for their storytelling capabilities, and this is their biggest endeavor yet. If the Decemberist were looking to have their cake and eat it to by writing a mega concept album and craft a Billboard chart single, they didn’t manage it. Their last album had "O Valencia" but this album’s best candidate is probably the song "Hazards of Love 2 (Wager All)", which still is not exactly named for radio consumption. So, let us just assume that Decemberists are trying to make it big, just not the traditional ways of the music industry. No fault of theirs, just... different.

Aside from the album's shortcomings, there's lots to love here. I found myself humming at least a half-dozen different melodies from HoL, tapped a few of its percussion breaks on my knee and otherwise found myself defaulting to it on my computer whenever I needed music. "The Wanting Comes In Waves/Repaid" is probably one of the highest points on the records, as Colin Meloy's leading man debates with the Queen of the forest, harpsichords and bluesy guitar dueling all the way, and a soaring chorus to complement it all. "The Rake's Song" is decidedly creepy and percussion heavy, but "Hazards of Love 3 (Revenge!)" beats it out for the creepy factor. While themes are repeated across the album, the content never feels stagnant, much to the credit of The Decemberists.

In the end, there’s little question about it – The Decemberists will floor their devoted fans with the content on this album. It's an infecting, well-produced piece of music; There's no denying that. Whether it will get extensive crossover appeal is hard to say because this album is not very easily subdivided into single tracks for someone to grab off of iTunes. Maybe they’re trying to make a statement to the mainstream by doing this, or maybe they just got a great idea and went with it. Either way, this album can’t be judged by the number of copies it may or may not sell, because if it tanks, that’s just too bad. This album is an experience, and a pretty darn good one at that. If you have an hour to kick around, give Hazards of Love a listenthrough in one sitting. Do it again a second time, and you’ll pick up more nuance. That’s music appreciation at its best, and Hazards of Love delivers on that front. It’s not Top 40, nor is it extreme – it’s Decemberists doing what they know how to do, and doing it to epic proportions. It’s got a few flaws, but it’s the best thing I’ve heard so far in 2009.

I give it a 9 out of 10.


3/22/09 Playlist

Here's this week's playlists. New music in orange, as always:

Off the Record - My Morning Jacket
Could Well Be In - The Streets
Fields of Coal - ...Trail of Dead
Today - Smashing Pumpkins
Brother Sport - Animal Collective
Arc of Time - Bright Eyes
Hollow Man - REM
Gone Like Rain - Tom Morello, The Nightwatchman
Angeline - Howlies
Romulus - Sufjan Stevens
Anchors Dropped - Mt. Saint Helens Vietnam Band
In Order - Halloween, Alaska
Yeah, Sapphire - The Hold Steady
Dashboard - Modest Mouse
Vacant Moan - O'Death
The Wanting Comes in Waves/Repaid - The Decemberists
An Interlude - The Decemberists
The Rake's Song - The Decemberists
A Place To Hide - White Lies
Song for the Girl - Vox Jaguars
Lovers in Japan - Coldplay
Pressure - Company of Thieves
There There - Radiohead
Radio Song - The Felice Brothers
It's Summertime - The Flaming Lips
Sleeping In - Postal Service



Looking to get away to somewhere with wide open spaces?

Want some music and shenanigans to go with it?

Come to my neck of the woods.

Rothbury, the fledgling, 4-day outdoor Michigan music festival (practically in my backyard) just announced most of their lineup a few days ago. 2008 was its first year, and it has gained speed in the offseason despite some trouble with the owners of the property.

Here's just some of what you'd be missing if you didn't go to Rothbury this year:

The (Grateful) Dead
Bob Dylan
Willie Nelson
The Black Crowes
The Hold Steady
The String Cheese Incident
Les Claypool
Cold War Kids
Disco Biscuits
Ani DiFranco
Toots & The Maytals
Broken Social Scene

Speaking from experience, this is a pretty chill festival. Low key, relaxing, incredibly eclectic, and plenty of the great outdoors. Western Michigan's a beautiful place, and the beach is not that far away. The area isn't one you'd think of for an event such as this, but then again -- where is Coachella? Bonnaroo? (The Double JJ Ranch is within striking distance of Chicago, by the way.)

The grand shindig is July 2-5. For more information:



Howlies Music Video: Angeline

Alright, I professed my love for this song on air this past Sunday. Now, I want to share the video with you.

"Angeline" by Howlies. Enjoy.


3/15/09 Playlist

Hey everyone,

Here's the 3/15/09 playlist:

Blasphemy - Yves Klein Blue
A-Punk - Vampire Weekend
Paranoid Android - Radiohead
Brother Sport - Animal Collective
Hey Dad - Major General
Secrets for the Well - Beep Beep
Nothing to Worry About - Peter, Bjorn & John
She's Electric - Oasis
Skinny Love - Bon Iver
One Day Goodbye Will Be Farewell - Morrissey
Teenager - The Thrills
Swagger - Vox Jaguars
My Friend Goo - Sonic Youth
Breakdown - Blackgold
Shuffle Your Feet - The Kinetiks
Angeline - Howlies
Life Boats - Snow Patrol
Acid Tongue - Jenny Lewis
I Couldn't Love You - Cursive
Same Old Thing - Black Keys
Rental Car - Beck
Relentless - Audrye Sessions
Light And Day - The Polyphonic Spree
Running Away - The Polyphonic Spree
Not A Through Street - Anya Marina
Never Had Nobody Like You - M. Ward
Saint Isabelle - Tom Morello, the Nightwatchman
No Cars Go - Arcade Fire


Klaxons have to re-do second album.

It appears from several reports that the Klaxons will be re-recording part of their second album, the follow-up to 2007's Myths of the Near Future.

Listen to these gems, said by Jamie Reynolds but more than likely written by someone at their label:

"We've been asked to re-record part of the album because we've made a dense, psychedelic record."

"We've made a really heavy record and it isn't the right thing for us - I understand and know that."

"First and foremost, we're a pop band. I haven't thought about that for a long time, and now it's in the forefront of my mind."

Andrew Winistorfer @ Prefix is not pleased.


Anya Marina Interview, parts 1-4

As promised, here's last week's interview with Anya Marina. It's split into four parts below:





For more Anya:



Playlist 3/8/08

The Flaming Lips - The Yeah Yeah Yeah Song
Matt Pryor - Confidence Man
The New Amsterdams - Turn out the Light
Yves Klein Blue - Blasphemy
Howlies - Chimera & Angeline
Audrye Sessions - Turn Me Off
Elk City - Close to Me
Yeah Yeah Yeahs - Zero
Trail of Dead - Fields of Coal
Black Gold - Breakdown
Anya Marina Interview - should be posted here within the week!
Anya Marina - Move You, Drop Dead Blues, & Not A Through Street
Radiohead - No Surprises
Bon Iver - Skinny Love
Morrissey - I'm Throwing My Arms Around Paris
Snow Patrol - Take Back This City
Beck - I think I'm in Love
Peter Bjorn & John - Nothing TO Worry About

Listen to Raggedy Annie's Howlies Interview!


Guess what?

Here's the Howlies interview.




So, you want more Howlies... then go here:


Also, you might have noticed that was a Campus Buzz channel on Youtube. Subscribe to it for all interviews, random CB videos, etc. A perfect peripheral for our blog here.

Check back here or on the Youtube for the Anya Marina interview in the next few days.



Anya Marina interview

Hey Listeners,

We had singer/songwriter/radio jock/actress/everything-else-extraordinaire Anya Marina up in studio yesterday for an interview. It was a great time, and she had lots to say. We talked about everything from President Obama to the cold weather (not exactly what a San Diego person likes, I don't think) to DJing and discussed her current tour (and even a little about Twitter), which will be heading to upstate NY next and eventually will land her @ SXSW!

We hope to play the interview this Sunday (3/8) on The Campus Buzz, but if it doesn't make it in time, we'll have it for NEXT Sunday (3/15). To go with it, we'll be giving away some copies of her new album, Slow & Steady Seduction: Phase Two.

Listen in! 8-10 PM Sunday night, as usual. It'll be a great time.


"Do You Realize??" named official rock song of Oklahoma

Guess what?

The Flaming Lips' "Do You Realize??" has been named the official rock song of the state of Oklahoma.




U2 Miscellany

Here's some No Line On The Horizon miscellany:

CNN's Denise Quan interviewed the band ahead of tomorrow's album release. Turns out they were legitimately trying not to sound like typical U2.

As for Austin360.com, Joe Gross has suggested in his review that you reprogram the album's tracks into a different order (while dropping a few) for maximum enjoyment. I tried it, and he's on to something -- the album could use a bit of a rearrangement..

[His order: 4-3-2-1-7-8-9-11]


3/1/09 Playlist & Howlies Photo

Stand - REM
Accelerate - REM
Pressure - Company of Thieves
Goodnight - Zox
Today - Smashing Pumpkins
Drop Dead Blues - Anya Marina
No Cars Go - The Arcade Fire
I Don't Want to Die (In A Hospital) - Conor Oberst
Nothing to Worry About - Peter, Bjorn & John
Never Had Nobody Like You - M. Ward
Holland - Sufjan Stevens
Shuffle Your Feet - The Kinetiks
Saint Isabelle - Tom Morello, The Nightwatchman
Two - Ryan Adams
Lovers in Japan - Coldplay
Valerie Plame - The Decemberists
That Beep - Architecture in Helsinki
Smoke - Howlies
Chimera - Howlies
Angeline - Howlies
I'm Amazed - My Morning Jacket
The W.A.N.D. - The Flaming Lips

Thanks to Howlies for coming up to visit! Here's a photo from their stop up to WSOU:

We'll try to post the interview soon!