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Offbeat and On Rhythm

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Feb 27

Minutia: Pile - "You're Better Than This"

By Cameron Stewart

Courtesy of The Fader.

You’re Better Than This is not the album that will allow the uninitiated to understand the cult appeal of Pile. If anything else, it’s the complete opposite. Song structures are labyrinthine, relentlessly challenging any convention or formula tacked onto the group. Pile’s mastery of dynamics and tension are used to keep the listener in complete disarray. Pipe bomb outbursts of noise shatter serene silences. But when you brace to be flattened underneath ten-ton chords, the band substitutes soft finger-picked guitar.

Feb 25

Homemade: Nashville

By Alli Vega

Courtesy of  TripAdvisor.

Home of the Grand Ole Opry, Music Row and other legendary institutions, Nashville is known by many as Music City, U.S.A. As a city teeming with fresh talent, it’s overflowing with various labels, venues and artists, and while it may be known primarily for its country music, Nashville also has a vibrant community of rock artists ranging from indie to metal presently emerging into the spotlight. 

Feb 25

Pop Exodus: So, You’re Writing a Thesis about Pop Music?

By Carson Bear

Courtesy of The Independent.

Instead of actually writing the first 10 pages of my thesis due this week, I decided I would just write about writing about it as a bizarre act of masochism. When you’re a literature major, you have a year to write a 25+ page paper arguing about a text of your choice. I’ve started getting two basic reactions when people ask me about the nature of my thesis: 

1) “Woah that is so sick, tell me more!” 

2) “Oh...that’ So. What does that have to do with literature?” Which, you know, is actually a fair question. 

Feb 24

Feedback: Melodic Mongolian Folk Metal

By Austin Ryan

Mongolia’s rich roots of conquest and constant, often epic, raiding of sedentary societies makes it an amazing target for metal’s Asian storytellers. Pair the slams of a double bass drum and the aggression of snarling guitars with a loud vocalist and you have a method prime to tell stories of plunder and societies torn asunder. So perhaps it’s no wonder that metal made its way to Mongolia! All the same, this nascent subgenre aims to stand out by putting folk alongside electric.

Feb 24

The Tough Crowd: Goodwill Goodies

By Christina Kelly

Courtesy of World In Photo.

The most underrated place in the world to get vinyl has got to be Goodwill. Really, any thrift store carrying mostly musty grandpa sweaters and old shoes will oftentimes have one lonely box of records right under the VHS collection. The greatest part about finding records at thrift stores, besides the usual $1 per LP price tag, is that there is no one to jack up prices based on condition or rarity. The employees just slap 0.99 cent stickers on them toss the disks of wax in a crate to collect more dust.

Feb 22

Porque no los Dos: Paquita’s Journey

By Andrea Diaz

Courtesy of NPR.

Does a memory ever come back to you so faintly and broken into such undecipherable pieces that it becomes hard to tell if it was a dream or an actual occurrence? I have this very faint memory (or dream) that I am in a restaurant with Spanish-style chairs, carved out of honey wood and long embroidered mantels draped over tables. Warm hues of red and maroon cover the room except for a blue and neon jukebox in the corner. I am seven-years-old, I think, and I drop two coins inside the jukebox slot, flipping through its pages to play Paquita la del Barrio.

Feb 20

The Current: David's Songs

By Lauren Peressini

Courtesy of New York Times.

When I first picked current events as the theme of my column it seemed rather simple. Just talk about what’s happening right now. But sometimes that isn’t so easy. Sometimes really horrible, dark, morbid, things are happening right now. Things you don’t want to be happening. Things that you don’t want to be current.