Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Repetition Kills

A few years ago a male/female duo of experimental punk rockers caught my ear with their second album No Wow, the follow-up to 2003’s Keep On Your Mean Side. After a three year absence the band is back with Midnight Boom, now available in stores everywhere.

On the album, The Kills sound has not changed a whole lot with their trippy tunes and cynical lyrics continuing to pervade each track. This kind of thing of course is the reason the phrase “double-edge sword” was invented. On one hand you have indie rockers who continue to stay true to their roots. On the other hand you have another album that can be at best described as repetitive and at worst flat out boring. Luckily The Kills unique style keeps the album enjoyable even if it is extremely repetitive. The first single “U.R.A. fever” followed by the albums best track “Cheep and Cheerful” start the album off very strong. From there though the album descends into what feels like one long albeit highly listenable, track. When it’s all said and done however, it’s hard not to feel the Midnight Boom is missing something as there is almost nothing enticing the listener to play the album again.

I would still recommend this album to anyone who is a fan of the earlier stuff as well as anybody who wants to hear a nice compliment to a band like The White Stripes. If you are looking for versatility though, I would spend my money elsewhere.

2.5/5 stars

This review was written by
Paul Matyasovsky from Providence College

Sunday, February 17, 2008

nice! top tens!

hey all, (eric here), so this year albums were released, listened too, bought at shops, pirated on-line, and purchased on itunes. let me ask you all something, why would you pay money for files that you cant even share like itunes music? unless your an idiot, you have no excuse. seriously, just download it for free, or find a friend with it. anyways, back to my point, music, its awesome, and heres what i think was pretty awesome.

1. the go! team
proof of youth

this was definitely my favorite album this year, and definitely the most anticipated. for me. still has the same energy as the last album, still the same thought and care in it. awesome.

2.ted leo and the pharmacists
living with the living

ted leo does not disappoint. what a wonderful man.

3. bomb the music industry
get warmer

man, these guys are still pissed and totally whinny. so this is bomb the music industry's first actually CD release. all the other album are only available as free downloads at their sites. what nice guys. still, this album is a little more thought out than other albums by them, which is ok, but they're better at the "off the cusp" kinda explosion of self loathing and hatred of the stupid part of the world. still, the album is really good.

4. panda bear
person pitch

is the beach boys took alot of drugs (or none at all) and loved hip hop. solo project by the dude from animal collective. fun and weird.

5. the twilight sad
fourteen autumns and fifteen winters

Scottish accents? awesome! a surprisingly good album out of nowhere. a little sad, but sad is in he bads name.

6. Andrew Bird
armchair apocrypha

ahh, now here is what music should be. well made, well thought out, well played, carefully crafted, and awesome. this album gives me hope for music.

7. VHS or beta
bring on the comets

i dont really know anything about these guys, but i like this album. i can dance to it, sorta.

8. animal collective
strawberry jam

ahh, another album by these guys. lots of loops and chanting and words i cant really understand. even after numbers of albums, changing their sound a little, and having their fan base grow a shit load, they still do not suck.

9. the aggrolites
reggae in LA

why is there no good ska and reggae anymore? well, this is a great effort or well made reggae thats not from 1969. these dudes are clearly not hacks, and they dont have that gross, washed out white guy trying to make reggae sound that most bands suffer from.

10. frightened rabbit
the greys

another great album out of nowhere. i picked this up not knowing anything about these guys and was really impressed. indie music that no ones heard of thats not terrible. what a great idea.

i like these albums alot, and those 10 are pretty awesome. in no order though. except for the go! team, thats number one. the rest tie for 2nd.

Thursday, February 14, 2008

2007? More like 2000 I am in heaven! Not really it was a pretty mediocre year.

Natasha here, with her TOP TEN ALBUMS OF 2007 THATS RIGHT, but first, some thoughts....

2007 turned out to be a confusing year of music when it came to making 'best of' type lists. I think it was for these 3 reasons:

1. Digital Release! wtf?
Which year do you count Radiohead's In Rainbows? 2007 when it was released online, or 2008, the year it was released in stores in North America? MGMT's Oracular Spectacular is in the exact same prediciment. Why make a simple simple thing like a top ten list so complicated!?

2. Lazy Re-Releases!
Pippettes I am looking at you. This one isn't as common, since only The Pippettes were daring enough to re-release an album that had already been released stateside with two half assed new songs, and a new intro here and there. What gives?

3. American Release Dates!
Amy Winehouse topped most American music critics' top-albums-of-2007 lists, which at first confused me since I counted Back To Black as a 2006 album (which actually it completely is, since it was released in America in December 2006, but what evs), but I guess it is good, since it does deserve the critic's attention, since it was a good album. This might have happened on a couple more albums but I forget...

also: I would like to reiterate what Lorenna said down there: people don't listen to full albums anymore, and in turn artits are beginning to not make full albums anymore, because I have listened to some albums lately and some songs are simply just filler. Also, I am guilty of having not listened to some albums in full myself and I am sorry for that.

That being said, here are my top 10 of 2007. Some may seem missing, but that is because of the reasons stated above, and some may not be perfect albums, but yeah I went over that already.

1. The Go! Team - Proof of Youth

2. Beirut - The Flying Club Cup

3. Patrick Wolf - The Magic Position

4. 1990s - Cookies

5. Andrew Bird - Armchair Apocrypha

6. Shout Out Louds - Our Ill Wills

7. Klaxons - Myths of the Near Future

this one goes out to you matt j. yer welcome!

8. Jay-Z - American Gangster

9. The Cribs - Mens Needs, Womens Needs, Whatever

10. Kylie Minogue - X

Ok ok, whatever, I loved that 2 Hearts song, get off kylie's back! She is amazing!

and the award for "best song intro's of 2007" goes to The Good, The Bad And The Queen - The Good, The Bad And The Queen, like seriously, every intro was amazing. some were better then the songs they proceeded.

Oh! again,
The best song/music video of 2007 was mos def, D.A.N.C.E by Justice. Justice didn't get any love on my top ten list, because I didn't listen to the whole album, and our resident french-dance-music-devotee Steph trashed it.

Sorry, that was way long than it should've been.

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Top Ten '07

Band of horses is first...everything else just follow it all down.
We are all effected by what came before us. So where as this is
only a portion of the top albums of 2007 you could only imagine
that if someone hadn't started with just top ten...how many other albums
I would've had to have illustrated...phewf!

Monday, February 11, 2008


so im sitting down about to write this entry and im picking out the perfect font to sum up what went through my ears in 2007 and i had yet another case of deja vu. this happens to me always when im doing the most mundane things. brushing my teeth, brushing my hair, or brushing my feet. Anyway 2007 feels like a lifetime ago and i feel like climately speaking weve experienced a whole years worth of seaons in one week.
the way music comes at you these days you just gotta stick your hand out into the air and hope you pick something good. even if its not that great the chances of the entire album remaining checked in your itunes and contstantly syncing with your ipod are highly likely waiting to be discovered 3 years later.
i rant
i rant a lot
i rant and i sometimes make no sense
i rant but i often make perfect sense
so grab your breverage of choice and try to stick this one out.
hi i am Lorenna and I am constantly movin and groovin...



best heard in my Honda Civic on long drives to nowhere, it will probably also sound great in your pile of tin.


Arcade Fire has a way of just getting you hooked.


catchy soothing happy light coolness


who can deny a heart throb like Chris Conley? Check out this latest release and listen closely


this album is complete FIRE start to finish. bumpin bangers for your car, for your street rhythm, for your dance parties, or for pure enjoyment alone.


mind blowing.


bright sunny happy sad moving beautiful


if you havent heard this then you dont even know what youre missing. youll discover just how fancy your footwork is after your first listen



latest but not the greatest but still Pinback so its awesome

Thursday, February 7, 2008

2007 A Music Odyssey

Can you hear the digital champagne bottle cracking on the side of this post?

This is WSVA's resident robot here with my first Xzyquinty post and my top albums of 2007. Although only a small percentage of the music that graced my iPod this past year actually originated in '07, they'll all be classics soon enough.

I could have stretched the following list to the customary ten, but every other album I enjoyed this year had at least a few hiccups.

Here are the flawless releases.


5. Kanye West - Graduation

Kanye's done wonders for mainstream hip hop, not to mention men's fashion!


4. Burial - Untrue

Beautiful and haunting. An opaque soundtrack to after dark desperation.


3. Daft Punk - Alive 2007

This album will never leave my shelf. I get to relive one of the greatest nights of my life forever! But aside from personal nostalgia Daft Punk's incredible concert experience transfers perfectly to disc.


2. Stars - In Our Bedroom After The War

Nails the highs, the lows, and everything in between. It's survived multiple iPod regime changes.


1. Just Jack - Overtones

One of the most solid albums I've heard in years. Everyone I've played it for, no matter what genres they're particular to, loved it. On the surface it's upbeat, dancy and impeccably produced, but when you stop and regard the lyrics you'll realize that Just Jack has many an insightful word.

Buy it now!

Since I didn't satisfy you with a full ten, here are a few other categories.


Best Mix: Deep Train 5 mixed by The Timewriter

Not quite the soundtrack for a dream...or a nightmare, but perfectly crafted for an endless subway ride. Beautifully paced from sundown to sunup.

Close But No Cigar:


Cassius - 15 Again

The first half had me rocking, but the second put me to sleep.


Underworld - Oblivion With Bells

A great moody release with one too many unmemorable tracks.


Tracy Thorn - Into The Woods

It's quality, but I find myself missing Everything But The Girl even more.

Biggest Let Down:


Chicane - Somersault

I waited five years for...that? Thoroughly disappointing particularly in the face of the brilliant Far From The Maddening Crowds.

Tuesday, February 5, 2008

Hi, Yall!

Hi Xzyqunity readers, I am Natasha, an employee at WSVA home of the rock, aka the best thing that ever happened to college radio....
This is my first post on this here blogg thing, but that is because I didn't know how to write. But in a lifetime special of the week, I overcame this huge hurdle and managed to get into lit and writing 1, which changed my life to say the least.
So now I can finally write the album reviews that the dear WSVA Station Manager has been asking me to write for many a year now and I will start off the lovely Kate Nash - Made of Bricks.

When I first heard Kate Nash’s first single from her new album ‘Made of Bricks’, it definitely evoked happy type emotions from me. The adorable pop-ness of the song ‘Foundations’ is infectious, and upbeat while at the same time sentimental and melancholy. I was also excited, because I thought that it signaled the maturing of Kate Nash, and a new direction from that ‘Caroline’s a Victim’ shit she put out earlier. So with that in mind I listened to her album, and tried to ignore all the tedious hype that surrounded it.

An introduction track for any artist is a bold statement. It says, “hi, I am ____, get to know me through clip of music that isn’t a full song, because I am underestimating your attention span”. And when done right, it can be a marvelous thing, unfortunately Kate Nash’s intro “I Like To Play” is crap. It is similar to ‘Caroline’s a Victim’, because she inanely repeats a term over and over with out really singing it, but in ‘Play’ she took out the old and tired electro drumbeats. It is still a pretty weak example of a song, even if it is only supposed to be an intro. The album goes on, and has some happy, playful, and unpretentious moments with “Foundations” and “Mouthwash” but then falters and never really regains the upbeat yet nostalgic quality that first captured my interest. For the rest of the album Kate Nash returns to some sort of comfort zone, forcing her accent, and repeating insignificant words and terms over and over again.(And yes, I can recognize that I do like Damon Albarn, and I can see the hypocrisy in letting Nash’s mockney accent really get to me… but still!!!!)

A lot of the songs on the ‘Made of Bricks’ album are so very LiteFM that Nash feels forced to save them by adding lame quirks, be it a cuss or a inflection in her voice ala Regina Spektor, and often the addition of these quirks just feels cheap. A good example would be ‘Dickhead’, a song that is oh so very ordinary that nothing really stands out, until the term ‘dickhead’ is inexplicably added a mere 76 times. Don’t check those facts, that was a estimated guess. Not that I am against bad language or in anyway a music prude, but after a while it just gets kind of 'ok we get it you can throw swear words around, you are really edgy'.

Of course now that her album is being released state side, which is why I am only now writing this review, all of this has pretty much been said before, and the comparison of Nash with the two songstresses she simultaneously rips off (Lily Allen and Regina Spektor) has been made a thousand times (again, don’t check those facts, that was a estimated guess). But I am happy to say that I am over the initial rage I felt at the fact that a pretty ordinary and not so talented person could capture the love of a nation I hold so dear to my heart – and also the love of The Cribs Ryan Jarrman- but whatevs, I really am over it. And now that Nash is slated to be the “next big thing” over in the USA, by several institutions that I already didn’t have very much respect for, ahem, Rolling Stone, I only find it mildly annoying that some one would use the “I’m indie, see I am dressed different!” card when their music is so regular and reminiscant of churned out pop, as well as using the I am British-Working-Class-innit? card (she is middle class, but whatevs!), it would just be preferable if she wasn’t on my telly and went back to being that localized problem overseas.

Tune in next week for another special episode of Tasha-Hates-Women-In-Music: Episode II - Sia!
Only Joking these are the only two women in music that I don't like. Have a happy day!!