Monday, December 14, 2009

Reviews: December Roundup

Music Board members and WGTB DJs Ella Mitchell and Alina Levine weigh in on some new releases.

Tegan and Sara
Album: Sainthood
Rating: B
Power Pop but a bit more intense than previous albums. Chris Walla of Death Cab produced it. Overall its a good power pop/new wave albums if you like female singers.

Artist: Built to Spill
Album: There is No Enemy
Rating: B+
Good solid BTS album - no surprises but its an enjoyable alt rock/indie rock album.

Artist: Sunset Rubdown
Album: Dragonslayer
Rating: B+/A-
If you like Spencer Krug's other bands (Wolf Parade, Swan Lake) you should like this album accessible than their previous records - interesting lyrics over cool rock tracks.
-- Ella Mitchell

Artist: Tinted Windows
Album: Tinted Windows
Rating: F
I was hoping for some at least interesting type pop from Taylor Hanson's new project, but it was absolutely awful.

Artist: Wyclef Jean
Album: From the Hut to the Projects to the Mansion
Rating: A-
Lil Kim, Eve and Cyndi Lauper actually work well with Wyclef. Good, clean, respectable sound.
-- Alina Levine

Live: The Whigs, The Features, Mean Creek at The Black Cat, 12/10

Before the show, WGTB spoke to Whigs drummer Julian Dorio on-air. Listen to the whole interview and a new Whigs track here.

Athens, Georgia band The Whigs brought their brand of boisterous rock to The Black Cat on Thursday night, filling up the modest-sized venue with what seemed to be a large constituent of Georgia natives. The band made its entrance to the Atlanta Braves theme song while the crowd performed the signature tomahawk chop. They launched into their hour-plus set with “In the Dark”, the title track from their forthcoming third studio album. Highlights of the show included one of the band’s biggest hits, “Right Hand on My Heart,” a rendition of “Already Young” with a killer drum solo, and a two-song encore. The performance seemed to be the perfect soundtrack for a backyard party down South, and it played great in such an intimate setting. The three-man band was loud, tight, and full of energy, and they left the crowd buzzing, both in their ears and of excitement.
-- Jared Iversen, "Jive Talkin'," Thursdays 12-2 p.m.
Check out more pictures of Mean Creek, The Features, and The Whigs after the jump!

Review: Son Volt, American Central Dust

Artist: Son Volt
Album: American Central Dust
Released: July 7, 2009 on Rounder Records

As a fairly hardcore devotee of alt-country music, I cannot avoid the importance of Son Volt and the work of its bandleader Jay Farrar. Son Volt has stuck to their roots throughout their existence, avoiding the more divergent path into different genres taken by Jeff Tweedy and Wilco. With American Central Dust, it’s very evident that Son Volt has not abandoned that unmistakably American sound, woven together once more by Farrar’s lyricism built on a nostalgic obsession for the past and the inevitable presence of fiddles, pedal steel guitar and piano. There are some gorgeous tracks on this latest effort—that can always be counted on with Farrar.

Nonetheless, that predictability also seems to be my one critique of Son Volt and especially this album. I don’t think it would be fair to call American Central Dust static but it quite simply sounds like everything else they’ve ever recorded. Son Volt has a great sound and Farrar is one of the best songwriters of all time, but there seems to be a lack of energy or spontaneity to his group. In any case, it doesn’t I mean I won’t enjoy listening to it or that the intensely proud Americana music fan base won’t universally praise it. Fans can count on the usual mix of melancholic ballads and easy rockers with heavy imagery and wistful hints of twang.

-- Cole Stangler, "The Cosmic American Music Radio Hour," Tuesdays 12-2 p.m.

Sunday, December 13, 2009

The Whigs: On-Air Interview

In case you missed WGTB's recent on-air conversation with Julian Dorio, drummer for The Whigs, you can now listen to it here. This interview aired Thursday, Dec. 10.
WGTB: Interview with The Whigs by wgtbmusic

WGTB also enjoyed seeing The Whigs, The Features, and Mean Creek perform at The Black Cat Thursday night-- comments on the show and photos coming soon.

The Whigs are an indie rock band from Athens, GA, on tour right now with openers Mean Creek. With two albums under their belt and a third one on the way in early 2010, the Whigs have made a name for themselves through their upbeat, fun, hard-rocking sounds and southern-rock influences. You can score a free download of a new Whigs song, "Hundred/Million," on their website:

Friday, December 11, 2009

Review: Tyler Blanski Out from the Darkness

Artist: Tyler Blanski
Album: Out from the Darkness
From his twangy, folksy guitar sounds to his slight Southern drawl, Tyler Blanski seems to thoroughly embody the style of country music. However, it is the creative touches that set him apart, such as the flurry of typewriter keys that accompany the opening strains of the first song on the album, “Two Inches Apart” and his beautiful yet ordinary lyrics. His songs tell everyday stories fraught with emotion—for example, in “Two Inches Apart” he laments that he has forgotten “the way you taste / when we kissed by the car” but still remembers that, when drinking coffee, “you always added cream / and stirred it with a knife.” These little snapshots provide the simplest details of the stories told in his songs, and to great effect: they make the songs lovelier and more memorable for the listener. As Tyler Blanski himself has said, I want to write songs that people can relate to…songs that convict and inspire, songs that make a grown man want to swing on a swing set.

Wednesday, December 09, 2009

Review: Lissy Trullie, Self-Taught Learner

Artist: Lissy Trullie
Album: Self-Taught Learner
Released: Oct. 20, 2009
Call it the renaissance of the New York Underground scene.  Before recognized as a band, this troop was recognized as another part of the sprouting gang of models, DJs, and rising socialites.  Even in Lissy Trullie’s music video of their first single, “Boy Boy,” front girl and band title, Lissy Trullie is observed strutting the streets of Downtown New York in the token skinny jeans and, a novelty Lower East Side designer, Alexander Wang, jacket.  The rest of the up-and-coming crowd joins Trullie with cameos by: Chrissie Miller (Sophomore clothing designer), Harley Viera Newton (NYU student-turned-underground-DJ), and the princess of the scene, herself, actress/model Chloë Sevigny. 

Monday, December 07, 2009

Review: Dirty Projectors, Bitte Orca

Artist: Dirty Projectors
Album: Bitte Orca

From the opening song on Bitte Orca (the somewhat creepily titled “Cannibal Resource”), the listener can immediately tell that Dirty Projectors wants to stand out in every way possible. Along with echoing, almost twangy guitar and David Longstreth’s mournful-sounding voice comes almost poppy background rhythms and, oddest of all, a eerily harmonious chorus of disjointed female voices—band members Angel Deradoorian and Amber Coffman—singing wordlessly. This song is a mélange of such different elements that somehow all work together, indicative of the band’s quirky style. Even the lyrics represent an innate kookiness, ranging from the lovely (“Two Doves”) to the fantastical (“Stillness is the Move”). As “Stillness is the Move” asks, “Isn’t life under the sun just a crazy dream?” Isn’t the life just a mirage of the world before the world?”

Sunday, December 06, 2009

Become a fan of WGTB on Facebook

Here's the link to our Facebook page. Post comments, check out our American Eagle Playlist, and stay updated on the cool news and events we have coming up, and what we're listening to.

Become a fan of WGTB Georgetown Radio!

Saturday, December 05, 2009

WGTB now playing in American Eagle Stores nationwide!!!

Thanks to the hard work of our Tech director, GT Wrobel, WGTB compiled a playlist of hip, upbeat tunes for American Eagle Outfitters to be played in their stores nationwide. These songs will be playing (along with voiceovers from WGTB) in American Eagle stores until Christmas Eve. Check out our picks while you're shopping. For Georgetown students, there is an AE store nearby on Wisconsin Ave. right near M St.

Due to lots of requests, here's our playlist:

The Handsome Furs - All We Want Baby, Is Everything
Princeton - Calypso Gold
Phoenix - Girlfriend
The Rifles - Great Escape
Free Energy - Free Energy
TV On The Radio - Golden Age
Throw Me The Statue - Hi-Fi Goon
White Denim - I Start To Run
Kate Nash - Merry Happy
Florence And The machine - Kiss With A Fist
Ryan Adams & The Cardinals - Let It Ride
The Drums - Let's Go Surfing
Brett Dennen ft. Femi Kuti - Make You Crazy
Vetiver - More Of This
Matt Costa - Mr. Pitiful
Someone Still Loves You Boris Yeltsin - Oregon Girl
The Soft Pack - Right and Wrong
Fruit Bats - Ruminant Band
Blitzen Trapper - Saturday Night
Stephen Kellogg and the Sixers - Shady Esperanto and the Young Hearts
Two Door Cinema Club - Something Good Can Work
Harlem Shakes - Sunlight
Islands - Switched On
Bishop Allen - the ancient commonsense of things
Coconut Records - The Summer
Trevor Hall - Unity
Spoon - You Got Yr. Cherry Bomb

Friday, December 04, 2009

A Conversation with Julie Peel

Julie Peel is a charming up-and-coming singer-songwriter hailing from France and Canada. She recently released her first full-length record on American Laundromat, Near the Sun, and has been on tour with Joe Purdy throughout the U.S. this fall, stopping by The Jammin' Java in nearby Vienna on Nov. 19.
Near the Sun features acoustic, sunshiny pop enhanced by Peel's pleasant no-frills vocals, and sweet lyrics about life and love. The first track, "Living in a Movie," calls on Kimya Dawson-type up-front delivery and beachy rhythms, while "Innocence" takes minor chords to a new level with a raw-sounding violin. The album's best folksy anthem, "Once More With Feeling," was a hit live with its uplifting chorus. Peel took the stage at 8 p.m. and delivered a quiet but enjoyable set, offering slightly nervous stage banter between songs. But the audience took to her unassuming approach and appealing accent, and though most were there for the main act, Arkansas singer-songwriter Joe Purdy, many walked away Julie Peel fans.

WGTB got a chance to sit down with Peel before the show and talk to her about her love for the Pixies, her fall tour, and her upcoming punk-rock side project.

WGTB: How did you get started playing music? That’s a big question…
Julie: (laughs) Like the worst [question]! When I was 14, I guess, I started playing the drums for a band, a punk band, and then I was like, the drums are not creative enough, not good enough to compose songs. And I had wanted to write songs and stuff so I decided to start with the guitar, and I listened to the Pixies and bands like this, and all these bands influenced me a lot and so I started to learn the guitar.
WGTB: What are the biggest things that inspire your writing right now, on this album?
Julie: On this album…I guess everything, like relationships of course, but everything like growing up. I think these are the main themes, growing up and relationships, these two things.
WGTB: So how did you get into touring with Joe Purdy, how did that happen?
Julie: Last month I played Hotel Café in Los Angeles, and they really liked me over there apparently, that’s what I heard. And so Joe asked them, do you know anybody that is good and could support me? And apparently they said Julie Peel.
WGTB: Cool.
Julie: Yeah, I feel really flattered. It’s really nice.
WGTB: So how has the tour been going so far?
Julie: Oh, its great, its awesome, really. Joe is amazing and is a brilliant artist as you know, but is also so sweet and everything, its been like a blast to be with him.
WGTB: That’s awesome. So what’s next, are you going to record another album do you think?
Julie: Yes, definitely, its in the process. I’m writing songs right now and its gonna be—do you know The Paper Raincoat or Vienna Teng? Well there’s a girl actually, Amber Rubarth, she’s playing here on the first of December, and she’s in the Paper Raincoat, you should check her out. And this guy Alex Wong was in the Paper Raincoat, he is gonna produce the album, he produced Vienna Teng's last album.
WGTB: That’s exciting!
Julie: Yeah! It’s really exciting. I can’t wait.
WGTB: Is there anything else that you want your fans to know? About your music?
Julie: Do I have fans?
(Julie’s manager interjects: She doesn’t even know she has fans!)
Julie: (laughs) I don’t know, I’m just so happy to be touring, it’s been so good and we’re selling a lot of CDs and I didn’t expect that. I'm collaborating with people, I have another side project, a rock project.
WGTB: Oh really? What's that like?
Julie: I don't have a name yet, but its going to be kind of like a Nada's in process, in Brooklyn with people from Brooklyn.
WGTB: So that will be a different sound?
Julie: Yeah, very different. Like big guitars, and stuff like that. It's pretty exciting, I can't wait.

Listen to "Once More with Feeling" from Near the Sun:
<a href="">Once More With Feeling by Julie Peel</a>
Check out Julie Peel's album on BandCamp
Listen to Julie Peel on MySpace Music

Thursday, December 03, 2009

WGTB's Top 200 Report for 12-1-09

Here are our Top 200 submissions for this week! Along with a few reviews. Let us know what you think and what you've been listening to lately.

1. GIRLS Album
Read our review here
2. REAL ESTATE Real Estate
Read our review here
3. ISLANDS Vapours
5. WILD BEASTS Two Dancers
6. THE MANTLES The Mantles
7. RAIN MACHINE Rain Machine
"While the music is both heartfelt and complex, in the end one can't help thinking Rain Machine is merely the songs Kyp Malone could never convince TV on the Radio to record."
--GT Wrobel, "GT's Show," Sunday 12-1 p.m.
8. JON AND ROY Another Noon
9. WHY? Eskimo Snow

10. DODOS Time To Die
"Totally grows on you! Frightened Rabbit meets Vampire Weekend."
-- Emi Koch, "Girl, Please," Fri. 4-6 p.m.

11. YO LA TENGO Popular Songs
12. SURFER BLOOD Astro Coast
13. TOM WAITS Glitter And Doom Live
14. BEST COAST "When I'm With You" [Single]
15. ANTLERS Hospice
16. CASS MCCOMBS Catacombs
"Hilarious genne odyssey, though some tracks don't translate too well to CD."
--Gerard McCarthy, "Artists in Exile," Fri. 12-2 p.m.

18. COLD CAVE Love Comes Close
"Sounds like Joy Division. Inventive and intelligent synth pop but too cold and
droning to really connect with.
" --Jared Iversen, "Jive Talkin," Thurs. 12-2 p.m.

19. WALE Attention: Deficit
20. BUILT TO SPILL There Is No Enemy
21. LITTLE GIRLS Concepts
22. FLYING MACHINES Flying Machines
"The end of the world has never sounded so joyful. Raw, eager vocals and folk-rock rhythms make this one of the most pleasant apocalyptic albums ever."
--Caroline Klibanoff, "Melodious Intoxication," Thurs. 10-12 a.m.

24. BLAKROC BlakRoc
25. SWELL SEASON Strict Joy
26. EXTRA GOLDEN Thank You Very Quickly
27. SPIRAL STAIRS The Real Feel
28. VIVIAN GIRLS Everything Goes Wrong
29. VULTURE WHALE Bamboo You [EP]
30. BAD LIEUTENANT Never Cry Another Tear

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Review: Weezer, Raditude

Artist: Weezer

Album: Raditude
Released: Nov. 3, 2009 on DCG Records

Weezer’s brand new album is certainly a unique contribution to the music industry and many argue that it is simply a horrendous piece of work. However, I feel that the lens that you view Raditude from will completely alter the way you feel about the piece.

1. The first way you can view the CD is from a view that hasn’t been influenced by any of Weezer’s previous works. By listening to the album from this very serious point of view independent of Weezer’s previous success, one will listen to this album and wonder “why?” There is zero continuity in the sequence of songs, the songs are mediocre at best, and the songs are musically predictable. THEN, when you find out that Rivers Cuomo is 39 years old and Patrick Wilson is 40 you automatically get a visual of a 55 year old woman walking through a mall sporting leopard prints, tight jeans, and showing too much midriff – middle aged people trying to act hip is a major turn off. I don’t want Rivers saying “I’m Your Daddy” or singing that “The Girl Got Hot” because it will simply make you feel as awkward as an under developed kid in Sex Ed Class. All of these factors would give the album a C.

2. The next view you can have when looking at the album is looking at it from a serious perspective again, but this time with the knowledge of Weezer’s past music. If you are looking for another Weezer album, then Raditude should meet your expectations. The songs are catchy, typical and melodious. With the exception of a few key tracks on the album, the CD would meet your expectation. Songs like “Can’t Stop Partying” and “Love is the Answer” however will simply confuse you. “Can’t Stop Partying” is a sad attempt to try and make it on the iTunes top 10 and “Love is the Answer” must have been an outtake from the Mike Myers move The Love Guru. The songs however do provide the classic unimpressive Rivers guitar solos and predictable vocal harmonies. For this view, I give the album a solid B-.

3. The final lens that one could view this CD, my personal favorite, is to look at it as a joke. Obviously, some of the songs are hilarious! “Can’t Stop Partying” is obviously a mockery of the Hip Hop Industry and that one went right over Lil Wayne’s head. Just like Taylor Swift mocked the industry with T-pain, Weezer is doing the same thing. Lyrics like, “Your mom cooked meat loaf even though I don’t eat meat” is certainly evidence that this album is meant to be a joke. In this context, I certainly give the album an A+.

--Alexander Podkul
Nothin' But a GOD Thang, Tuesdays 2-4 p.m.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Review: Girls, Album

Artist: Girls
Album: Album
Released: Sept. 22, 2009 on True Panther Sounds
Rating: A
Girls have a sound reminiscent of the Beach Boys mixed with Elvis Costello, but with more distortion and grittiness. Christopher Owens emotive voice and introspective lyrics elevate their music beyond simple beach pop, while his vulnerability makes Album truly special.
--Jared Iversen
"Jive Talkin'," Thursdays 12-2 p.m.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

This Saturday: Global Hip-Hop Concert on Campus

Don't miss Georgetown's first Global Hip-Hop concert, this Saturday in Bulldog Alley at 10 p.m.
WGTB is providing DJ equipment and support for this event, so please check it out!

In addition to student talent, acts for the evening include:
Baay Musa
Hired Gun
DJ Boo
sponsored by Nomadic Wax
DC's Young Women Drumming Empowerment Project

The concert benefits Nothing but Nets, for which optional donations will be accepted at the event. Nothing but Nets provides misquito nets to prevent the spread of malaria.

RSVP to the Facebook Event here.

Review: Real Estate, Real Estate

Artist: Real Estate
Album: Real Estate
Released: Nov. 17, 2009 on Woodsist Records 
Rating: A- 

The debut album from New Jersey band Real Estate has established them, amongst fellow lo-fi beach rockers like Girls, Cymbals Eat Guitars, and Rainbow Bridge, as a promising band within this burgeoning genre of indie rock. Just as the leaves are changing color and the weather is getting colder, and the arrival of winter is creeping closer, Real Estate is here to remind you of those hours spent with friends soaking up the sun and having a good time. And whether you do this by kickin back some Budweiser and Sprite on the Jersey Shore, or with some other combination of substances that will make you feel alright, the album will undoubtedly make you nostalgic for those nights in the warm summer air.

Musically, the songs are comprised largely of sweeping arpeggio guitar riffs and hazy vocals, and they wash over you like the summer itself. Although the songs all sound quite similar, one can listen to the album numerous times without it feeling repetitive or worn out. The opener, Beach Comber, is one of the album’s more upbeat songs, and its catchy guitar riff and powerful vocals make it one of the album’s stand out tracks. For similar reasons, track 6, Fake Blues is also one of the album’s best songs. Perhaps the most intriguing though, is the albums’ longest song, Suburban Beverage. Although it only repeats one lyric for the entire six minutes, the tempo changes propel the song forward, and capture the excitement of a long summer night. So, when the snow days of winter have you down, holiday shopping has you stressed out, and those cold nights have you longing for the freedom of summer, put on Real Estate’s album and, at the very least, you’ll feel warm on the inside.

-- Jared Iversen 
"Jive Talkin'," Thursdays 12-2 p.m. 

Listen to "Beach Comber" by Real Estate:

Short Review Roundup: Modest Mouse, Those Darlins, Think About Life

Modest Mouse
No One's First and You're Next
July 31, 2009
Sony Records

Gypsy eclecticism, sometimes doesn't fuse too well with Modest Mouse's yell-rock. A-
--Gerard McCarthy

Those Darlins
Those Darlins
June 23, 2009
Oh Wow Dang Records

Gregarious girl-rock with a Johnny Cash cash twang at times at the cost of direction. B -- Gerard McCarthy

Think About Life
May 26, 2009
Alien8 Records

Groovy mix between Passion Pit, Motown, Funk. Fun and random mix of instruments and vocals. B
-- Charlotte Japp

Review: Passion Pit, Manners

Artist: Passion Pit
Album: Manners
Released: June 9, 2009 on French Kiss Records

Looks like the indietronica scene is on the move again and with Passion Pit’s highly anticipated release “Manners” (2009), fans of Ratatat, MGMT, and The Octopus Project will surely find a new favorite in this one.
Emerging onto the scene only last year, Passion Pit’s freshman EP release, entitled “Chunk of Change”, was originally meant as a Valentine’s Day gift for a girlfriend who “put up with” frontman Michael Angelakos. The songs were leaked onto the internet and through modern magic we call “blogs”, Angelakos was soon in such high demand that he needed a band. “Manners” is the first proper release from Passion Pit, and it’s filled with funky beats and samples, mixed with Angelakos’s incredibly high-pitched voice (which is an acquired taste). But this is also a very versatile album. Songs like “Little Secrets”, “The Reeling”, and “Sleepyhead” will really help get your dance groove on, while songs like “To Kingdom Come”, “Swimming In the Flood”, and “Folds In Your Heads” will remind you of softer songs by The Cure more than anything else. Don’t be surprised if you feel as though you’re listening to an 80’s movie soundtrack when all of a sudden Passion Pit randomly breaks into a disco jam. That’s the talent in this new act – they get upbeat and dancy right when you want them to be. There are definitely a couple “filler songs” on this album, but they couldn’t possibly detract from the rest of the genius in here. Plus, even in those songs I can get my boogie on.
-- Ryan Sprouls

Listen to Passion Pit's "Sleepyhead" from

Review: Andy Juhl, Tales from the Buffalo Blues Stem

Artist: Andy Juhl
Album: Tales from the Buffalo Blues Stem
Released: Oct. 16, 2009 on Andy Juhl
Rating: A-
Folk/Alt bluegrass songs. Singer has high, wispy voice. Really nice instrumental sections actually. Slightly hippy-environmentalist theme to this.

--Britt Shaw
Musical Soup for the Soul, Monday 4-6 p.m.

Review: Wilco, Wilco (The Album)

Artist: Wilco
Album: Wilco (The Album)
Released: June 26, 2009 on Nonesuch Records
Rating: A-

           I would like to start this review with a short disclaimer. Wilco is my favorite band of all-time. As I sit here typing at my computer, I am actually nervous because I am about to review Wilco (The Album), work coming from a band whose previous albums are almost indistinguishable in my mind because I consider them to all be so uniformly excellent. Nonetheless, understanding my responsibility to some semblance of objective standards, I will do my best to remain unbiased.
         Though I am confused (yet amused) by the camel-birthday-party that graces the album’s cover, it makes pretty good sense that Wilco frontman Jeff Tweedy chose to title this effort Wilco (The Album). The album is the second that the band has made with its current six-man lineup, a departure from the more hectic band-member-shuffling days and also something that may suggest the band is finding its comfort zone and its identity. You won’t hear the balls-out drinking man’s rock music from A.M. or the experimental noise from A Ghost is Born, but rather a more restrained, yet still classic Wilco incorporating both extremes of their sound.