-Billy Scully, Business
“A Good Feelin’ to Know” by Poco
This album must be the happiest accident of my life. I was sifting through my dad’s old records and saw this; before I could disregard it, a friend told me I needed to have Poco in my collection. Within the first two measures of the album, I knew that this was some of the best music I’d never heard before. The rest of the album continued to amaze me - every song is great on its own, and the album as a whole is simply incredible. One of my favorite aspects of Poco is how unheard-of they are… upon closer inspection you’ll find that most of Poco’s lineup went on to be in CSNY and the Eagles. If you want to hear what nature intended country-rock to sound like, spin this record.
“Live and in Living Color” by Tower of Power
Tower of Power is a funk/soul/jazz fusion band that fully lives up to its name. ToP is as tight as any power trio, but has three times the members. The sheer musicianship and raw funk power on display here is too much not to move your feet to. The band is equally at home doing choppy, fast funk as doing soulful R&B ballads. They also REALLY know how to jam; side two is a 24 minute funk/rock epic called “Knock Yourself Out.” Here’s another great band people forgot about over the years. If you want to smile for the rest of the day, check out “Down to the Nightclub” - BUMP CITY!
“Illmatic” by Nas
On the complete opposite side of the spectrum we have “Illmatic.” Ask anybody who knows rap what a good rap album is, and “Illmatic” is guaranteed to be on the top of the list. Each track was made by different producers, which keeps the album fresh while maintaining continuity from Nas’ impeccable rhythm and rhyme. I had my eye on this vinyl for a long time, and as soon as I got it this summer it was in heavy rotation.
“Deja Vu” by CSNY
I’ve been listening to Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young since I was a kid, and this album was my own essential mix of CSNY. Towards the end of the summer, I rediscovered this classic. The combined talents of the songwriters come together flawlessly on this album; standout tracks would be “Almost Cut My Hair” (Crosby) and “Carry On” (Stills). Fun fact: Jerry Garcia plays lap steel on “Teach Your Children.”
This summer was pretty uneventful, but music wise I was very happy. Here are MY top 5 albums of my summer
5. Harvey Milk : “Life…The Best Game In Town
I worked in a freezer warehouse most of the summer repacking shrimp. As you can imagine, it was as terrible as it sounds. This album really got me through many of those work days. Easily their best album (though most of the members say that this was their worst effort) this is probably their most accessible album as well. Any fan of doom metal, with mixes of stoner rock and blues, will enjoy every track off this album.
4. Boris : “Heavy Rocks (II)”
In my eyes, Boris really can’t do anything wrong. The fact that they can go from garage metal to softer, ambient tracks really shows that this band knows how to be versatile and still sound awesome. For their umpteenth release, Heavy Rocks (II) will sound slightly different for fans who know of their previous effort. The album still has the classic heavy fuzz fans love, but it also has slower, more atmospheric tracks as well. If you ever get a chance to see this band live, do it. Wata (their guitarist) rips face during a solo.
3. Mike G : “Ali”
The best mixtape to come from the OFWGKTA gang (though Tyler’s “Bastard” was really impressive as well). Very layed back and just nice to drive to on a warm summer night
2. Truckfighters : “Gravity X”
This band literally defines the term “fuzz” in every track on this album. Sometimes I hate to say it, but this is what I want Queens of the Stone Age to sound like on every album. These guys took what QOTSA did in 1998, and dare I say, did it better. Every track is filled with energy and of course, gratuitous amounts of fuzz.
1. Beastie Boys : “Hot Sauce Committee Part Two”
Hearing MCA had throat cancer was pretty upsetting, as he is my favorite Beastie Boy. Luckily, he pulled through nicely, and the boys were able to release what I feel is their strongest effort since “Hello Nasty”. Now that they’re all almost in their 50’s, it’s impressive to see that they have lost NONE of their charm when they make music. Every track is golden on here, so if you’re a big fan, take a listen!
Gerry D’Apollo (Production Manager)
3. Laura Stevenson & The Cans - Sit, Resist
I’ve been a fan of The Cans for a while now, having absolutely adored their informal debut A Record and the subsequent seven-inches released, and as such had some pretty lofty expectations for what they were calling the band’s proper debut. And, unsurprsingly, it blew me the hell away. Stevenson has the most arresting voice, and this record is a wonderful testament to that. Backed by a litany of instruments, she commands The Cans into a territory of pure indie-pop bliss. Absolutely beautiful.
2. EMA - Past Life Martyred Saints
I. Love. This. Album. Kyle Murphy (WQAQ’s General Manager) can attest to how much I just will not shut up about it. Solo artist Erika Anderson (ex-Gowns) has crafted an intensely personal album that is as dense lyrically as it is sonically. Buried beneath stories of sounds is a portrait composed equally of strength and sorrow. It’s dreamy and depressing. Anderson is an incredibly skilled musician and songwriter and I’ll continue to follow her career closely. It looks promising.
1. Bomb The Music Industry! - Vacation
While I do love Past Life Martyred Saints, nothing released this year made me as immediately giddy as Vacation. Again, I’ve been a huge fan of Bomb! for a while and their last album Scrambles had been a staple in my “Finals Study” playlist. But Vacation blows everything out of the water. It’s surfy, angry, optimistic, defeatist, aggressive, noisy, but more than anything it is catchy as all hell. It is decidedly less bitter effort than previous endeavors, but it is a great change of pace. I’m so glad I can finally say I feel happy after listening to a Bomb! album. Vacation to me in 2011 is what The Monitor was to me in 2010. Incredible.
This summer was probably one of the best summers I have had in a while. I went to Bombfest, Bonnaroo, and the Newport Folk Festival and they were all great!! Not only did I go to all three of those it was the first time I had ever been to a music festival. So with that said I enjoy all types of music and listened to a lot of albums this summer. My favorite types of music would probably have to be blues, folk, and Jack White. One of my favorite albums of all time and probably most played of the summer was by a band called The Devil Makes Three.
The Devil Makes Three
If you couldn’t tell by the name the band consists of three members that like to sing about the devil drinking lots of whiskey. Something that I sang along to everyday driving to work ( I worked as a camp counselor). Although it didn’t put me in the mood to take care of children, their songs did get stuck in my head all day. This particular album actually came out in 2002 when the band formed in California. Since then they have come out with 3 more awesome albums. The best way to describe their style is folk punk influenced by blues, bluegrass, old time country music, ragtime, and just getting folked up. (pun intended) The group members are guitarist Pete Bernhard, upright bassist Lucia Turino, and guitarist and tenor banjo Cooper McBean(who has not only an awesome name but a great beard and looks like he should be in a metal band) I had the pleasure of seeing them at the Newport Folk Festival and they were amazing! I have never seen so many old people moshing/dancing…in fact that was the first and most likely the last time time I will ever seen old people mosh. I would highly recommend this band and all of their albums.
My other most played album of the summer was Sway by Rumspringa
This is a newer band who formed in California in 2005. Sway was released in 2010 and their first full length album and its great all the way through. The best way to describe this band is a mixture of band of skulls and cold war kids. Their singer is great and they are a very riff based band. My favorite song on the album is Casper. Definitely check both of these bands out!
Adam (Programming Manager)
Titus Andronicus- The Monitor
I first heard Titus towards the end of my sophomore year when I and (former Music Manager) Fred Hoxsie and (now General Manager) Kyle Talbot Murphy saw them headline the small room above Toads. It was May of 2010 and The Monitor, their sophomore effort had just been released a few months prior. I was blown away by the amount of energy Titus brought to the stage, which in this venue was just an invisible barrier separating artist and audience, and fell in love with their catchy, chanting choruses which sound more like battle cries than lyrics. But, for some STUPID FUCKING REASON I never got around to listening to their album in its entirety until after I saw them a SECOND time, more than a year later, in the same venue. Even after listening to this album countless times over the past few months I still get chills when I hear
Everything makes me nervous and nothing feels good for no reason
Waking up, it’s rarely worth it - the same dark dread every morning
Senior year here in Mahwah, a new world just around the corner
Leave me behind, let me stagnate, in a fortress of solitude
Smoking’s been okay so far, but I need something that works faster
So all I want for Christmas is no feelings, no feelings now and never again..
The xx- XX
Another album it took me much too long to discover. I blame every person I know who has listened them and not FORCED me to listen to them. This album is dark, yet still sexy and that’s the way I like it.
Blow Your Head vol. 2- Diplo and Dave Nada Present Moombahton
If you don’t recognize anything from the title of this album, that’s ok. But consider yourself lucky because you’re about to get in on the ground floor of the greatest new movement in electronic music: MOOOOMBBBAAAHHHTOOONNN. (Moombahton) Moombahton came into existence in November 2009 when DJ Dave Nada started slowing down Dutch and tropical house records to bring out a distinctly Latin flavor (the real story is actually much cooler and can be read HERE!). Anyway, over the past few years the fledgling genre of moombahton has been blowing up taking new direction and exploring interesting and dynamic sonic territories which electronic music has not ventured to before. These endeavors have been catalogued on the Blow Your Head compilation released by Mad Decent records and it CEO Diplo.
None of my records for the summer of 2011 are from 2011. Although Black Up, Dye It Blonde, James Blake, David Comes To Life and W H O K I L L were all played heavily, they really didn’t define a summer that saw my twenty-first birthday, unemployment and an amazing relationship. This past summer needed a definition through classics revisited.
Sonic Youth - Sister (1987) and EVOL (1986)
Sonic Youth is a musical institution - noise rock with a clear direction. Every summer I pick a band with an extended discography to get into. This summer I chose Sonic Youth, a band with a few perfect albums. I usually only expect two great albums from a band, in order to classify them as one of my favorites. Sonic Youth is certainly one of my favorites now. I had already fallen in love with Daydream Nation, which came after these two seminal pieces. I first started with Sister and when I first heard “Schizophrenia”, I fell in love with it. From then on out, the record is an angry, aggressive masterpiece. After I had purchased it on vinyl and spun it every day for two weeks, I moved onto EVOL. Again, the first track grabbed me and shook me, but it was the second song, “Shadow of a Doubt”, that was my favorite. From start to finish, the album rules, especially the finish with “Expressway To Yr Skull”. The vinyl record actually has a locked groove on that last song and it plays that beautiful loop until you take the needle off. Sonic Youth was definitely an awesome choice for the summer of 2011.
Broken Social Scene - You Forgot It In People (2002)
Broken Social Scene has always been one of my favorite bands and the self titled was always my favorite. I loved this album, but not as much as the self titled. This album is young love and it’s equally as organic and sloppy. The production is spot on. It’s a beautifully sounding album that is still somehow messy in places. It displays the most appropriate balance of perfection and mistakes I have ever heard. The mistakes almost seem like they were planned. The albums closing tracks “Lover’s Spit” and “I’m Still Your Fag” hit hard with me. They are emotionally driven ballads that are associated with some of the best moments of my summer. This is a behemoth of a record that I will be spinning until the needle wears through to the platter.
Fleetwood Mac - Rumours (1977)
I grew up with Fleetwood Mac, my parents being big fans, but I never really categorized their music by album. This is the album to categorize Fleetwood Mac. A masterpiece of both music and lyrics. The history behind the album almost overshadows the actual music itself, almost being the defining term. This album kind of goes hand in hand with You Forgot It In People. Broken Social Scene was my contribution and Fleetwood Mac was hers. Both of these albums were in heavy rotation over the summer and added a soundtrack to some of the best nights of my life. This is certainly an epochal record for me, despite being over thirty years after its release.
— Kyle Murphy (General Manager)
WQAQ General Staff Meeting @ 4:00 p.m. in Buckman Theatre!