I was not thrilled last semester when I heard that The Pussycat Dolls would be performing on Slope Day. I have no desire, however, to resurrect the long and painful battle that ensued prior to the performance between the Doll lovers and haters. I simply want to use this scuffle as a basis to lay out my intentions. Or, more precisely, to explain what my intentions are not.
NEWPORT FOLK FESTIVAL This article was originally published online on July 8 in a different format.
The Newport Folk Festival — having endured Dylan’s controversial ’65 burst of electricity, financial turmoil and an addiction to corporate sponsorship — has come a long way from its folksy, populist incarnation of 1959. But at this 50-year benchmark, Newport’s architects have struck gold in grafting the Festival’s roots to anachronisitc, serene Fleet Foxes and progressive-folk-rock showmen The Decemberists. Seeger’s even leading a sing-along at age 90, for Pete’s sake.
This past Saturday night, the Cornell Concert Commission welcomed both new and old students alike with a free concert at Barton Hall. The contenders were Ithaca’s own Hubcap and California based Rogue Wave. While the former tried to intrigue new and old students with their alternative rock music and mentions of the ever so fine tastes of Ithaca, such as the all day music festival in Stewart Park next Sunday, the latter spent the majority of their set trying to rouse the Cornell corpses from their zombie like trance, which could have been attributed to the bleak weather outside or a general dissatisfaction with entering into or coming back to Cornell life.
It has come to my attention that not enough people have heard of Discovery, a band whose album became my go-to for everything from running, pre-gaming, partying, post-gaming, driving and just going to bed this summer. It’s one of those rare all weather albums created in part by Rostam Batmanglif, the keyboardist of Vampire Weekend, and in part by Wes Miles, the lead singer of Ra Ra Riot, and as a whole it sounds nothing like the former or the latter. Though the line up of musicians alone should have driven hoards of music listeners to this group, I fear Discovery has been flying a little too low on the radar for such a stellar album released back in July.
The members of Steady State are an eclectic group of Cornellians with majors ranging from communications to chemistry, and interests ranging from crew to chess. In fact, the band originally started up in the most unlikely of contexts — the crew team. Members play multiple instruments; one, Gretchen Craig ’11, even playing an instrument not typically found in most bands — the cello. Daisy Glazebrook ’11 is responsible for the lead vocals and also plays the guitar. Mike Meubusch ’11 does vocals as well and can be found on the drums, guitar or even the tambourine. Neal Murphey ’11 plays the piano. Deke Hill ’11 does vocals and plays the bass as well as guitar.
Last week, I did an unprecedented thing. I changed, for the first time in almost two years, the music on my iPod. I realize that this is a sad confession for a music columnist to have to make, but I blame it entirely on laziness. I even blame my reason for finally changing the tunes on laziness. I was procrastinating. As usual.
Buenos dias, Cornell peeps! Well. It has been a rather epic weekend for the arts on our campus far above Cayuga’s waters. Cornell designers wowed audiences at Once Upon a Runway, and Girl Talk presided over a massive dance party in Barton Hall (I, unfortunately, could not attend, but I hope ya’ll got to shake your groove things). However, there was another show this weekend that maybe many of you were not aware of — which is your loss, because the Fanclub Collective made a little bit of history Saturday night. I’m talking five bands for five bucks kind of history. What now, brown cow?
Attention music listeners: If you have more Animal Collective on your iPod than you do Bruce Springsteen, if you can name ten shoegaze bands, if you were into Vampire Weekend way before anyone else was, then you, my friend, are most likely a music snob. And let me make one thing clear — you need to reform your ways.
It’s safe to say that most members of the audience at the Johnson Museum’s screening of Heima Friday night have been dreaming of rolling tundra, dramatic skies and fair isle sweaters ever since. The documentary follows the band Sigur Ros during their two-week series of free, unannounced concerts across their native Iceland in the summer of 2006. The Iceland concerts marked the end of the band’s world tour for Takk …, their fourth album.
I’m sitting in Libe Café, my column is due in two hours and, to be totally honest, I have absolutely no idea what to write about. There’s a new Andrew Bird album out that’s most definitely worth a listen or three, and a soon-to-be released Neko Case recording that my sources tell me is quite stupendous. (Does talking about “my sources” make me seem mysterious and “in-the-know?”) But in general, I try to leave new albums to those who write the handy-dandy Arts “Test Spins.” Someone pick those up, eh?