Wednesday, March 7, 2012

'Fate in a Jar' Album Review

Cicada Rhythm
Fate in a Jar
March 2012

Fate in a Jar is a five-track EP from Cicada Rhythm, a folk duo that consists of Julliard-trained bassist Andrea DeMarcus and Georgia Tech engineering student/guitar player David Kirslis with both members contributing vocals. Both vocalists have distinctive voice that contribute to the band's unique sound. DeMarcus' voice possesses the powerful quality of a 40s juke-joint singer and Kirslis' has a country-like twang, as if Billie Holiday and the Tallest Man on Earth collaborated to make a folk album. These two distinct vocal types combine for rich harmonies on each track, giving this release the feel of two friend jamming on a back porch.  Kirslis' rhythmic acoustic guitar parts are bright and hypnotizing and DeMarcus contributes melodic standing bass solos. All these elements come together to produce an inimitable sound that is an amalgamation of classical training and simple folk composition.

-Chris D.

Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Sunday, February 26, 2012

The view from an apartment building several flights up on a Saturday night is both engaging and dispiriting at the same time. The wall is all glass windows in this modern brick box, but only one opens to usher in the cool air tonight. My beloved city is spread out below me, alive and moving with precious Petri dish creatures and Petri dish cars that were cultivated in my heart and in my head with the greatest affection. Just below lie the black tops of buildings, cold and inhospitable. But out beyond, there are lights strung along, all in rows, each bloom separate: these luminescent daisy chains that were braided in the evenings walking back from cinemas and music venues and book stores and coffee shops, dizzy with the rapid warmth of a hot apple cider--stroking a cinnamon stick in its dregs--or ruddy with laughing in the black night with friends.

Out to the left I see the Arch, avoided like the plague, a dangerous black hole sidestepped each time I returned home. Down below, there are people zigzagging the streets, calling to friends--the same streets I have risked a timid toe on green. The same streets I have crossed running, and walking nonchalantly behind sunglasses, and slouching beneath a backpack. Around the corners where buskers sang and strummed for their supper or rent or maybe just lunch. The streets are buzzing and alive with the same gusto and energy that were captured this afternoon, on a brisk walk around campus, admiring the cozy and old brick buildings so full of history and life. Further down can be seen the edges of the green walks of North Campus, where blooms were flowering in droves this afternoon, blisteringly beautiful and aching to be admired. The slatternly branches of trees supported the strings of hammocks and housed bees and bushy squirrel tales barreling up and down them. All through a little window hole, the little door that eluded Alice, I call for someone to turn a head to me up here.

Behind me are clusters of people talkingandflirtingandlaughingandleaninginclosertohearwhatyoujustsaid. “But isn’t this apartment great?” Snatches of speech and house music and the pouring of drinks and the slapping of backs and the closing of doors and the wet smack of ping pong balls on the tile floor, on which party fouls were quickly committed and just as quickly cleaned up. Just below lie the black mounds of the buildings (but to see their faces instead of their bald, exposed heads!). I leave my barely-sampled drink there on the brick ledge--two hundred tiny sips wasted, twenty big swigs abandoned, toasting alone to the glowing downtown cityscape of Athens.

Photo credit: James Ryang

Monday, February 20, 2012

Video: Kishi Bashi- "Manchester"


'I haven't been this in love in a long time,' could describe the similarly infatuating way that Kishi Bashi's tender voice enters your ear, floods your brain with beautiful euphonious melodies, and leaves you with the feeling that you're floating on air. "Manchester" starts off with layered harmonies that sound as if you're being privy to a religous rite. Mimicking birdsong, the violin arrangements duck and weave above the sentimental words of Kishibashi, which is merely a moniker for K Ishibashi, a member of local favorites of Montreal. "Manchester" is a cut off of his upcoming album, 151a, which he will promote when he goes on tour with Deerhoof, of Montreal, and Swedish darlings Loney Dear. Fittingly, Kishi Bashi played a free show at the WUOG station lobby on Valentine's Day, where he melted hearts as his voice and the sweet sounds of his strings sailed over the airwaves. Here's a link to his live set in the lobby and his interview afterwards with our own local music director, Will Guerin.

-Lori K.

'Paralytic Stalks' Album Review

of Montreal 
Paralytic Stalks
February 2012

of Montreal- Malefic Dowery

The eleventh full-length from of Montreal is definitely a new step in direction for Barnes, foreshadowed by the experimentation on the previous thecontrollersphere EP. Paralytic Stalks trades in the glammed-out funk of the last two of Montreal albums for explorations into new sonic territories like no-wave and ambient music, even dabbling in country on "Wintered Debts." There are still moments where Barnes channels his inner Bowie and can captivate the listener despite the experimental approach taken here, but the jubilation and hypersexuality heard in False Priest and Skeletal Lamping aren't here, the lyrics instead being more emotionally naked and personal like on Hissing Fauna, except here it actually sound like he's on the verge of a breakdown. The album is completely cohesive as well, each song being comprised of smaller vignettes and every track flowing into the next without interruption.

-Richard H.

Friday, February 17, 2012

Reptar House Party/Georgia Theatre Show

Monday evening was a chilly, starry night filled with wild dancing, unexpected cameos and pure magic, when possibly the most extensive Reptar show in Athens history occurred. Beginning at a local house party, Reptar played some new songs off of their upcoming album after a rousing set by their pals Figboots, whipping the crowd into a strange, frenzied haze where they lost all sense of inhibitions.  However, after some noise violations and simply because the crowd couldn't get enough of Reptar, the band changed venue to the Georgia Theatre (simple solution, right?)  and played their entire discography before calling it a night. I can't think of a more perfect way to start off the week.

I spy with my little eye several WUOG staffers getting their jam on....

Sunday, January 29, 2012

New Tumbleweed Stampede Record

Tumbleweed Stampede, including WUOG alum Ben Papillon and Programming Director Eli Gaultney, recently released their album Guts, a mature full-length that showcases rich instrumental sequences (including jazzy horn sequences and bluesy guitar licks).  "Lost Boys," off of Guts, is a dancey, up-tempo number that sounds like one of Vampire Weekend's breezy Afro-pop tracks.  The guys filmed a video for "Lost Boys" that has a little bit of something for everyone: elderly people playing instruments, penguins, and what looks like a cult initiation. Do I have you hooked yet?

Flagpole Full Album Review

The album is now available at Wuxtry Records downtown.