5/31/09 Playlist

Here's this week's playlist!

O Valencia! - The Decemberists
The Great Defector - Bell X1
Keep the Car Running - Arcade Fire
Don't You Evah - Spoon
If Nobody Moves Then Nobody Gets Hurt - We Are Scientists
And Then I Dreamt Of Yes - The Dandy Warhols
Guns & Ammo - Minus the Bear
Pale Bride - The Von Bondies
If You Would Come Back Home - William Fitzsimmons
Lake Michigan - Rogue Wave

(This is where Alphabet Soup really seemed to start going)

Apple Candy - Ben Lee
Death By Diamonds & Pearls - Band of Skulls
Scarecrow - Beck
Cabbagetown - Conor Oberst & The Mystic Valley Band
Violet Hill - Coldplay
Grapevine Fires - Death Cab for Cutie
Munich - Editors
The WAND - The Flaming Lips
Careful - Guster
Chimera - Howlies
Cities Burning Down - Howling Bells
Call Your Boys - Iron & Wine
Carpetbaggers - Jenny Lewis f/ Elvis Costello
Is It Any Wonder? - Keane
Bleed Together - Lovedrug
Anchors Dropped - Mt. St. Helens Vietnam Band
5 years Time - Noah & the Whale
Failure - Operation Aloha
The Shock of the Lightning - Oasis
Get Up & Go - The Polyphonic Spree
The Lost Art of Keeping A Secret - Queens of the Stone Age
House of Cards - Radiohead
Pilgrim - Red Collar
The End Has No End - The Strokes
The City Lights - Umbrellas
Mansard Roof - Vampire Weekend
One Headlight - The Wallflowers
Swagger - VoX Jaguars
The Summer - Yo La Tengo
Goodnight - Zox

See you next week!

West Gate Street Date

Got a tip from Chris the Mad Scientist that the NJ powerhouse (and WSOU alumni-filled) rock act West Gate has a street date in place for their debut album. The record will be titled "Daylight" and can be pre-ordered now at www.westgateband.com.

(Chris seems to think they'll outsell the new Dream Theater album that drops the same day. Thinking big is grand)


Phil Spector: Wall of Shame

CBS reported late yesterday that Phil Spector has been sentenced for 19 years to life for murder, after being found guilty by jury last month.

More here


Pork and Keane

I thought I knew Keane before Sunday, but we might as well have been strangers.

Jokes aside, the band I saw this past Sunday May 24th in Cleveland, Ohio is a complete transformation from the choir boy Brit-rockers I overheard in Borders, circa 2005. Wrapping up a late tour this week for their fall 2008 album Perfect Symmetry, the boys proved through a varied set list that they are still embracing past success while proceeding without hesitation towards a more mature sound.

Original Keane band mates, Tim Rice-Oxley, Richard Hughes, and Tom Chaplin were joined onstage by guitarist Jesse Quin. The tour site confirms Quin as an official member of Keane, now that they have expanded beyond a drum set, a microphone, and a Casio keyboard. Do not be mistaken, I am in no way mocking Casio rock.

The boys kicked off the set with “The Lovers Are Losing.” Not what I was expecting, I predicting “Spiralling,” but the show was defined by unexpected song ordering, always giving the audience another hit to look forward to. The boys’ energy was transferred to the audience through an unfurled Perfect Symmetry art backdrop, and strobe lights strong enough to fill Time Warner Amphitheater.

The band followed up their new hit with a solid block of music off of Hopes and Fears. Amped from songs they know better than their social security numbers, the crowd surged throughout the rest of the performance, treating each song as if it were the band’s biggest hit. More than once, Chaplin had to ask the crowd to stop clapping so he could continue singing.
Oh, and I forgot about the ribs.

Because this is Cleveland, Ohio, and nothing is really planned for any particular reason, Keane was headlining the annual rib cook off. Initially the atmosphere seemed a little off, Mat Kearney (who opened for Keane) remarked it was the only time he could ever read the words “Texas Thunder” from the stage while performing.

My friend and I entered the fest with the mentality that we were going to be the only “real” Keane fans. I mean if Cleveland schedules the band for a rib burn off, they couldn’t fill a regular venue right? Everyone was thinking the same thing. After “The Lovers are Losing” the audience examined itself, surprised at the reaction. Chaplin kept repeating that the reception was far exceeding the band’s expectations. Maybe the low expectations from the audience and the band made it an incredible show, maybe everyone was just extremely satisfied from BBQ ribs? Regardless, the strange venue made for an incredible show dynamic. Maybe you had to be there to believe me.

Set List
1.The Lovers Are Losing
2. Everybody’s Changing
3. Bend and Break
4. We Might As Well Be Strangers
5. Again and Again
6. This is the Last Time
7. Spiralling
8. Your Eyes Open
9. Try Again
10. Early Winter
11. You Haven’t Told Me Anything
12. Leaving So Soon?
13. You Don’t See Me
14. Perfect Symmetry
15. Somewhere Only We Know
16. Crystal Ball
17. Encore: My Shadow
18. Is It Any Wonder?
19. Bedshaped
Total Time about One hour and forty-five minutes.

Standouts include “Your Eyes Open” performed acoustic by Chaplin while the remainder of the band exited the stage. “Try Again” which was accompanied by retro video game graphics and scenarios designed by the band on the bookend big screens. The boys only performed a few songs from Under the Iron Sea, they know their strengths.

Before playing “Perfect Symmetry” Chaplin opened up about the inspiration for the song: not following the golden rule. He also stated that the song was his favorite that the band had ever written. The varied melodies in “Perfect Symmetry” (similar to Killers songs like “Sam’s Town” and “Read My Mind”) show diversity beyond Hopes and Fears. I can’t wait to hear them expand more on this new sound.

They ended with the underground hit “Bedshaped” leaving an Amphitheater of satisfied and slightly bemused fans. And the ribs weren’t too bad either. Cheers.

Note: I must say, I’m always impressed with Keane’s commitment to fans. Each member of the band stayed well past midnight to visit, sign autographs, and take pictures with every fan that waited by their tour bus. Nice chaps.

Videos galore!


First off... hot off the net, Yeah Yeah Yeahs' "Heads Will Roll" premiered online HERE!

Next, watch Trent Reznor (always the cranky one on Twitter it seems) cover the shit out of "Kick Out the Jams" with Boots Riley:

Next, check this... Iron & Wine (we're playing it this week on CB! New stuff!) performed on Late Night with Jimmy Fallon:

Speaking of late night TV, here's an odd combination: David Letterman + Mastodon. I think Letterman just looked skeptical the whole time. Darn whippersnappers and their music, right?

Lastly, Modest Mouse. Enjoy:

Satellite Skin


We're back!

After being inactive for about two weeks, we're live again. Let's start it out with a bit of Beastie Boys news:

They announced yesterday that they have completed their next album, which will be called "Hot Sauce Committee", which is finally coming out two years after their 2007 instrumental collection "The Mix-Up" and several years after their last vocal release (2004's "To the 5 Boroughs").

Hot Sauce Committee? Yum.


Mike Skinner's song machine

Mike Skinner's songwriting explosion on Twitter has continued this week, including this song:

Where My Heart Has Been (MP3)

Also, if you liked the "...Swine Flu" from last week, you can now download it as an individual track:

He's Behind You, He's Got Swine Flu (MP3)

Check it!



West Gate @ Starland this Saturday!

Local NJ band West Gate is opening up for Monster Magnet @ the Starland Ballroom!



As I've said before, a few outgoing WSOU staffers are in the group (Georgeroskos.com, Pete "P-Money" Kelly, and Kurt Andrews a.k.a. Eaglerock). I've had the distinct pleasure of seeing them perform three times so far this year, and they've been great live.

They're finishing up an album due to hit this summer, and their tour dates are starting to trickle out on Westgateband.com.

IF YOU WANT TO GET TICKETS TO THIS SATURDAY'S SHOW: Go to Westgateband.com and get in touch with the band members. They will be able to get them for you!




Read the title: Flaming Lips. Double Album. This September.

Thanks fellow WSOU dj Maria Burks for the tip!



5/10/09 Playlist!

Here's this week's playlist. New music is in orange!

Today - Smashing Pumpkins
Harold Weathervain - Cursive
I Couldn't Love You Anymore - Cursive
Mistakes We Knew We Were Making - Straylight Run
Automatic Stop - The Strokes
DC Comics & A Chocolate Milkshake - Art Brut
Anchors Dropped - Mount Saint Helens Vietnam Band
Map of the Problematique - Muse
Death By Diamonds & Pearls - Band of Skulls
Ode to the Sun - Dredg
Fight Test - The Flaming Lips
It's the Sun - The Polyphonic Spree
Just the Past - Peter, Bjorn and John
Cabbagetown - Conor Oberst & the Mystic Valley Band
Let Down - Radiohead
Up to You Now - Ben Harper & the Relentless Seven
Shimmer & Shine - Ben Harper & the Relentless Seven
Perfect Symmetry - Keane
Ain't No Rest for the Wicked - Cage the Elephant
Wonderwall - Oasis
I'm Throwing My Arms Around Paris - Morrissey
Hazards of Love 2 (Wager All) - The Decemberists
Pale Bride - The Von Bondies
Movies of Antarctica - Stars of Track & Field
Wrong - Depeche Mode
Spanish Metal - Kaiser Chiefs
Song for the Girl - The Vox Jaguars
Against All Odds - The Postal Service
Zero (NASA Bloody Lobo Remix) - Yeah Yeah Yeahs

Programming notes:

-Raggedy Annie & I will be MIA for the next two weeks. Give Alexis-Not-On-Fire all of your love and requests!
-ALSO, remember that next week starts our 3-hour block of programming! 7-10 PM on Sunday nights through the whole summer! Tune in an hour early for more great music!

Peace and Love, Peace and Love (Ringo style)



The Street's "He's Behind You, He's Got Swine Flu"

Mike Skinner went above and beyond with this week's new Streets track by making a video for it and everything. It's timely, and it's got vaguely Cantina-esque horns in the background!


REVIEW: Volbeat/Nightwish @ The Nokia 5/2/09

I went into the Nokia this past Saturday night hoping to confirm a few things.

1) I wanted to know if Volbeat, a new powerhouse of spins on WSOU, could support their new found success at WSOU with a good live show

2)if Nightwish could sound as good live as they do on their albums (since you can't fit a symphony orchestra onstage, I was a bit concerned).

3) if Anette Olzen could pull off old Nightwish tunes that Tarja so dominatingly wrote to showcase her operatic skills.

I think I came away from the show with relatively positive responses to all of those questions. This show rocked.

Volbeat opened with a really short set. Mike rocked a pompadour that was somewhere between Elvis and Morrissey (take your pick). Now I know where they got their epic Elvis-Skull-on-Wings logo. Mike was also very sick, and he made it known in his humorous breaks from playing. The band's personality really comes through onstage -- you can tell they have fun doing what they do. They dished on Amy Winehouse, they craftily deflected Slayer requests from the audience, and Mike even cheekily dished on Nightwish when he said "You don't f***ing cancel when you're in New York!", alluding to Nightwish's unfortunate cancellation last September due to Anette's loss of voice.

I think they only played 7-8 songs, but they included some of their biggest hits: "Radio Girl", "A Moment Forever", "Sad Man's Tongue", and "Mr. & Mrs. Ness". The devil horns quotient wasn't very high -- I think that people really haven't gotten full exposure to these guys. However, a few lighters (not phones) did pop up, and "Mr. & Mrs. Ness" got some jump action from the crowd.

Their groove and sometimes rockabilly sound is quite versatile. Honestly, I think they could open up for all sorts of acts until they get some more exposure, then they need to start headlining.

Moving onto Nightwish:

Their opening was awesome. Guest musician Troy Donockley played Sibelius' "Finlandia" on the Uilleann pipes in a bolero fashion as each band member came out one by one. Once they all got out, they drove straight into "7 Days to the Wolves", which was powerful, but felt a little rough. The band's stage presence was a little off. Annette's new look (Blonde hair, a dress that looked like an ill-fitting newspaper) and her stage moves (bad air guitar, lots of fist pumping into the air) just felt off. Whereas Tarja pretty much stood in place and let the band work around her, Anette is the polar opposite - she's prancing around stage, almost too much though. To add to the roughness of their stage presence, Marco and Erno seemed to have a hard time figuring out where to place themselves onstage, often scurrying back and forth and tapping each other on the shoulder telling them when they needed to move. It was as if half of their duo was consistently forgetting some sort of choreography they had planned on doing.

A few songs in, their stage presence evened out, and their music quality went up. "The Siren" showed Anette is more than capable of performing vocals written for the much more operatic Tarja. A few songs later, "Higher than Hope" further proved this. The song was dedicated to a friend of the band who died 6 years ago that day, and the performance was worthy of dedication - I think it was the best song of the night.

Of course, "The Poet and the Pendulum" was played, and it was serviceable, but there were higher points. Like I said, "Higher than Hope" was up there, but also the two-song set of "The Islander" and "Last of the Wilds" with Troy on the pipes again was a showstopper. I have not seen that many lighters in a venue, indoor or outdoor, in a long while. These two songs, when contrasted with "Romanticide", "Dead to the World" and their disco-metal-thump encore "I Wish I Had and Angel" show that this band is versatile in their sound, a lot of which can be chalked up to Tuomas, their principal songwriter.

The last song of their main set was "Dark Chest of Wonders", which answered my third question - Anette is worthy and capable of singing Tarja-geared vocals. They sound different, don't get me wrong. Anette is NOT an opera singer. But I think "Dark Chest..." is, oddly, Tarja's unexpected gift to her successor. Tarja always sounded like she was phoning it in on that song (album and live). Anette, who trended upward in enthusiasm and vocal quality as the show progressed, went out on a high note, singing it better than Tarja ever had. The song just seems more geared toward Anette than it ever was toward Tarja. A fantastic way to end the show.

While their overall sound is versatile, one thing jumped out at me during Nightwish's mid-set performance of "Nemo" - Anette started to improvise. I think her voice had gotten tired by then and she sang some parts as a sort of counter-harmony, and then at the end she broke down the melody into something new entirely. I realized that for most of their set that they hadn't done this yet. Now, some bands use the stage to mix up their tracks, while other play their tracks pretty much straight like the album cuts. Nightwish falls into the second category squarely. There's nothing wrong with that, because what's on the album is multi-layered and meaty to begin with. It's good to know that their sound translates perfectly to the stage, and maintains all of the energy it has on the record (example: my heart raced when Anette jumped back in after the mid-song instrumental breakdown of "7 Days...") But there wasn't a crazy, extended drum or guitar solo anywhere to be found in this show. It was quite straightforward, which was only slightly disappointing. Maybe I was hoping for too much and my bar was set too high though.

Nightwish set list:

Intro - Finlandia
7 Days to the Wolves
Dead to the World
The Siren
Higher than Hope
Poet and the Pendulum (complete)
The Islander
Last of the Wilds
Dark Chest of Wonders

Encore: I Wish I Had an Angel

In conclusion, this was a fantastic two-band billing at a fantastic venue. I wasn't feeling very well that night so I sat in seats at the back. I took it all in while nursing a bad case of something-that-wasn't-Swine-Flu, yet I still felt like I was a part of the action where I was sitting. Volbeat got the crowd's blood pumping, and probably surprised everyone who hadn't heard of them before. Nightwish played a more-than-solid set overall, even after a rocky start. Both groups were very personable with the audience (Marco had some especially hilarious introductions to songs, including setting the scene for "Romanticide" by making the audience picture a farting husband and his unshaven wife) and just generally seemed like they wanted to be there.

So, to loop back and answer my three starting points:

1) Volbeat can hold their own onstage. They could probably have done even better if Mike wasn't sick.

2) Nightwish sounds great live. The whole group appeared to need a song or two to get into form (both physically and musically) but once they were on-point they were fantastic.

3) Anette's vocals were solid overall and she sang the old Nightwish material just as well as the new. Her vocals outclasses her goofy stage presence.


HIGHS: Both acts were great with audience, "A Moment Forever", "Mr. & Mrs. Ness", "Higher than Hope" (and the accompanying sea of about 5 dozen lighters), watching Tuomas drain about 2/3 of a 30 oz mid-song, a show that actually started on time for a change.

LOWS: Volbeat's less-than-40-minute set, Anette's wardrobe (what was she wearing?), "Sahara" was weak.

ONE WORD: Energetic.

West Gate + Chris the Mad Scientist

Some WSOU happenings to report:

1) Chris the Mad Scientist had a class project due recently and he decided to work it around West Gate, the NJ band that includes WSOU DJs Kurt Andrews (aka Eaglerock), Georgeroskos.com and Pete "P. Money" Kelly. Check out his work at West Gate's homepage, or snag a direct link here.

2) Speaking of Chris the Mad Scientist, tune into his last show this Saturday, starting around 7 pm and going till way late in the AM... probably 3. It'll be a lot of fun. Off-format for a bit probably (though I bet he'll stay on-format a fair amount, seeing as it's his standard fare). We've had a few the past few weeks (Big Daddy Brad, Eaglerock, Georgeroskos.com) and this weekend is the next big one! Tune in!

3) Spring classes are over and finals are going on through Thursday, then we enter the skeleton crew of summer at WSOU. That means the programming schedule will be changing up starting Friday at 6 am, with DJs on all different shifts. Specialty shows will stay the same, including Campus Buzz on Sunday nights. If you wanted to catch me or Annie on air, here's when to tune in (tentatively):


Mondays 1-4 pm


Wednesdays 4-8 pm
Fridays 10-1 pm

(Campus Buzz will remain the same, 8-10 pm on Sunday nights. In fact, all specialty shows will remain the same)

Comments? Questions? Concerns? Drop a comment. Check wsou.net in the coming weeks for a full programming schedule for the summer months!

ANOTHER "Viva La Vida" plagiarism scandal?

Apparently, Cat Stevens has decided to take a bite out of Coldplay.

The Creaky Boards controversy hit last year, where the Brooklyn band claimed Coldplay's "Viva La Vida" was too close for comfort to their aptly-named tune entitled "The Songs I Didn't Write".

Now, Cat Stevens claims that his song "If I Could Fly" was ripped off by Chris Martin and crew for VLV. Listen in below, tuning in at about 5:14:

This isn't the first time Cat has cried foul. He did it to the Flaming Lips for "Fight Test".

More news as we hear more.


Flaming Lips cover Madonna

This is beautiful. It's gorgeous to watch. Like the Yoshimi album art came alive.


5/3/09 Playlist

Here's the 5/3/09 Playlist:

Angeline - Howlies
Closer - Kings of Leon
Index Moon - Grand Archives
Start a War - The National
I Don't Wanna Die (In A Hospital) - Conor Oberst
Ash - Murder By Death
Hollow Man - REM
Whatever it Takes - Tom Morello, the Nightwatchman
Saint Isabelle - Tom Morello, the Nightwatchman
I Got Mine - Black Keys
Rocketman - My Morning Jacket
If You Would Come Back Home - William Fitzsimmons
Pictures of an Only Child - ...Trail of Dead
Swagger - Vox Jaguars
Backyard - Guster
Could Well Be In - The Streets
I Know What I Am - Band of Skulls
In Order - Halloween, Alaska
One Day Goodbye Will Be Farewell - Morrissey
One Horse Town - The Thrills
Don't Listen to the Radio - The Vines
Mansard Roof - Vampire Weekend
The Underdog - Spoon
The End of the World - The Cure
Rebellion (Lies) - Arcade Fire
Saturday Morning - Eels
Nothing to Worry About - Peter Bjorn & John
Read My Mind - The Killers
Not Over You - Chester French

See you next week!

Remember, check www.twitter.com/skinnermike tomorrow for more free Streets tracks!


Breaking to Regular Format: At The Gates

This is a cover of At The Gates' "Blinded By Fear", done by a group called Slaughter of the Bluegrass.



Hope to see you at the Volbeat/Nightwish show tonight! I'll be there sporting my WSOU colors!