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.