Karen O “Crush Songs” Album Review

Karen O

Crush Songs

By: Erin Ben-Moche

10/1/2014

“When I was 27 I crushed a lot. I wasn’t sure if I’d ever fall in love again,” Karen O, singer of The Yeah Yeah Yeahs, expresses on the inside cover of her debut album, Crush Songs.

This record is extremely short, clocking in at just over twenty five minutes. The length of the songs range from 57 seconds to 3 minutes, but all capture her feelings of each “crush.” She starts each song with “One…Two…Three…” to set the tempo, but her soft voice sets the mood for the songs. Karen O’s Karen-O-Crush-Songscalming melodies and airy vocals perfectly describe who she is as an artist: simple and to the point. Her poetic lyrics don’t have to be over the top in order to be romantic. Each song’s minimal instrumentation and vocal percussion adds to the simplistic nature of the album.

“Ooo” opens the album with the words “Don’t tell me they are all the same.” This song provides an introduction to the album, showing that each person she fell for was different and each one made her feel a certain way. “NYC Baby,” only 57 seconds in length, discusses how O loathed leaving her former crush and letting their long-distance relationship consume her.

Crush Songs also includes a cover of “Indian Summer” by The Doors. It is a beautiful cover that mixes classic rock with O’s own unique touch of Indie soul. It gives the song a new perspective coming from a female’s point of view.

“Native Korean Rock” is another highlight from the album, providing an anthem for those having a hard time getting over their own soured romantic endeavors. Fortunately, it leaves a silver lining of hope towards new beginning.

What is interesting is that Crush Songs took four years to record and produce. Recording started in 2006 and ended in 2010. During this time, Karen O released three albums with The Yeah Yeah Yeahs and was also nominated for her Oscar winning work “Moon Song” from the film Her.

If you need a slow playlist, or are in the mood for love, heartache, and raw emotion, you should check this out this album. Karen O should be celebrated for her raw, breathy sound and smooth guitar melodies that are haunting to listen to. Anyone who has ever been in a head-over-heels relationship, brutal breakup, or yearned for hope will enjoy this album. Karen O leaves us wanting more of her and the passionate lyrics that tell the story of her search for love.

4/5 Rating

A New Den on Campus: Oak View Hall Dedicated over Homecoming Weekend

By Timothy Pontzer

@timothy_pontzerIMG_3401

500 Golden Grizzlies have a new den as the newest dormitory on campus was officially dedicated on Saturday afternoon.

While Oak View Hall has been open since the debut of the fall semester, Saturday’s ceremony allowed for faculty, students and family members the chance to celebrate the new building.

“Oak View Hall is an amazing addition to campus and a great new way to build community for our residents,” said Kate Bergel, a Resident Assistant at the new facility. “I’m so excited to see the residents and staff blossom as the year continues.”

Large crowds were able to see the building for the first time as well tour the recently completed $30 million project. OU President George W. Hynd addressed the audience, citing the new site as progress towards the future.

“We now have about 14 to 17% of undergraduates living on campus and we’d like to drive that number up to be more of residential institution over time,” Hynd said. “Oak View is a wonderful step in that direction. It’s also a wonderful new home for our Honors College, which is another important part of our campus community.”

The Honors College took over a large share of the first floor of Oak View. The new space now allows for more students to join the specialized club as well as room to host events and activities. Previously, the HC was located on the ground level of Vandenberg Hall.

“The new Honors College facilities enable students to better connect to their studies through expanded study spaces and new technologies,” said Walter Lashar, a senior student in the HC. “It really helps solidify us as one of the best in the state, if not the entire nation.”

Students who were residents of the new dorm buzzed about some of the offerings, including amenities not seen in other living quarters on campus.

“I feel lucky to get to live here as a freshman,” Pharmacy major Nate Murray said. “It is really clean, has a mini café downstairs, and there are really cool places to hang out throughout the place. My room has great air conditioning, comes with its own fridge, and has a private bathroom, which is definitely the best feature.”

Located across from Vandenberg, Oak View Hall was built as a response to a near 40 percent increase in housing rental agreements.

“Today, we have been able to enjoy the celebration of the new beginning of this truly fantastic building,” Hynd said. “Students are going to have a great on-campus experience living in Oak View.”

A Tall Order: Elliott Tower Dedicated To Kick Off Homecoming Weekend

Elliott Tower

Elliott Tower

By: Timothy Pontzer (@Timothy_Pontzer)

Photos By: Anthony Spak (@SpakDaddy)

The Oakland University skyline gained its newest and most prominent member, as the Elliott Tower was officially dedicated on Friday afternoon.

The ceremony kicked off OU’s annual Homecoming and Reunion Weekend. This year marks the first time in school history that the festivities are taking place in the traditional fall season. Previously the events were celebrated in the winter months.

“This is truly a historic day thanks to Hugh and Nancy (Elliott),” said George W. Hynd, President of Oakland University. “This gift they have given to us all is now the icon of the institution.”

Hynd spoke to a crowd over 1000 students, alumni, staff and others who gathered on the newly laid lawn surrounding the steeple.

“The Elliott family is truly visionary and has made many indelible contributions to Oakland,” Hynd said. “Their legacy will forever be woven into the fabric of our school.”

The tower was the brainchild of Nancy Elliott. She and her husband Hugh donated $6.5 million dollars for the project, which began construction in April of last year.

“We’ve come to consider this as an extension of our home,” Hugh Elliott said. “We hope you enjoy this tower for generations to come.”

The highlight of the ceremony was the structure itself filling the crisp fall air with music. Dennis N. Curry, the official University Carillonneur, showed off the power and melodies of the 49-bell landmark.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

James P. Lentini, the Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs and Provost at OU, composed an arrangement specifically for Friday’s unveiling. Entitled Ulysses’ Sail, he honored one of the most prevalent Oakland logos with the song. It pays homage to the school’s motto, “Seguir virtute e canoscenza,” quoted from Dante’s Inferno. That epic poem features the Greek hero Ulysses aboard a sailing ship where he tells his men to “seek virtue and knowledge.”

“I was honored to do this piece,” Lentini said. “I think this tower brings great meaning to the whole university as we seek our future.”

Curry also played a joint venture with members of the Oakland University Brass Band, directed by Kenneth Kroesche. The finale included the carillon playing the school’s fight song as the entire crowd clapped and sang along.

“I’ve been looking forward to this day all year,” Oakland University Student Congress President Annie Meinberg said. “This tower is now the focal point of unity here, and will allow all of us to really take ownership of the university.”

WXOU Alumni Weekend

In conjunction with Oakland University’s homecoming celebration, WXOU alumni will hit the airwaves Friday, 9.19 to Sunday, 9.21 with all of your old favorite shows! Regularly scheduled programming will not be interrupted.

Friday

4-6pm: “Turning Down the Bro” with Kyle Bauer
6-7pm: “Friday Night Groove” with Roosevelt Belton
8-9pm: “Bell and Whistle Party” with Marty Shafer and Emily Cutlip
9-11pm: “The Erik Anderson Program”

Saturday

8-9am: “The Oval Office” with Mike
9-10am: “Out of Bounds” with Adam Swensen
10am-12pm: “Drinking, Women and Tragedy” with Justin Lee
4-5pm: “The Graveyard” with Justin Rumenapp
5-6pm: “Technology Today” with Chuck Kanouse
6-7pm: “A Face for Radio” with Phil Berard
7-8pm: Ryan Z
9-10pm: “On the Real with EJ and Porkchop”

Sunday

5-7pm: “Star Sail” with Paul Piazza
7-9:30pm: “The Weekly Serving” with Andrew Grieve

WXOU Alumni Weekend Promo by Wxou on Mixcloud

Iggy Azalea and Magic! Concert Review

Iggy Azalea and Magic! at Meadowbrook Music Festival

Photo Credit: Lelia Cotton

Photo Credit: Lelia Cotton

 

Written by: Music Director Anthony Spak (@Spakdaddy)

Photos by: Music Director Anthony Spak

Program Director Lauren Barthold (@bylaurenb)

SVP President Lelia Cotten (@RhymesWTequila)

9/14/2014

Rochester, MI – Iggy Azalea and Magic! warmed up Meadowbrook Music Festival on a chilly Friday night at the Student Program Board’s annual Fall Concert.

Attendees began to congregate outside of the venue an hour and a half before doors opened. Most of the early arrivers were OU students.

The WXOUmobile

The WXOUmobile

While they waited in line, concert-goers were treated to music and free-giveaways from three local radio stations: AMP 98.7, Channel 95.5, and 88.3 FM WXOU, Oakland University’s on-campus station.

At 6:30 the doors opened and fans quickly filed in to the outdoor venue. Not long after, Magic!, the opening act, took the stage. The Canadian band’s first few songs were brimming with their energetic blend of reggae and rock. Magic!’s rhythm section immediately got the crowd to wiggle in time to their deep grooves. Drummer Alex Tanas laid into his golden-sparkle Gretsch kit with cutting, half-time beats and funky offbeat fills that were reminiscent of another famous reggae-rock drummer, Stewart Copeland of The Police. Bassist Ben Spivak (sporting a vintage Grateful Dead t-shirt) laid on deep, thick reggae bass lines alongside Tanas’, and together they got the crowd dancing.

After three songs and a bit of a temperature drop, lead singer and guitarist Nasri complimented the audience’s enthusiasm, saying “You guys are really warming this place up!”

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

After playing a cover of Cyndi Lauper’s 1983 anthem “Girls Just Want to Have Fun”, dedicated “to the ladies” by Nasri, the front man took a moment to address the crowd on a more personal level. “Can I say something serious? Positivity is the key to happiness in life,” he said.

Magic! closed their set with “Rude”, their hit song that spent six straight weeks at the top of the Billboard Hot 100 charts in the USA this past July and August. The crowd erupted as the opening chords sounded and sang along to the familiar tune.

The minute Magic! left the stage, the young and rowdy crowd immediately began asking for more music, chanting “I-GGY! I-GGY!” After a half hour wait, the main act finally walked onto stage to thunderous applause.

Amethyst Amelia Kelly, better known to the world as Iggy Azalea, took the stage around nine p.m. The Australian-born rapper has been riding a hot streak of popularity since the release of her debut album, The New Classic, which spawned four hit singles, including her ubiquitous mega-hit “Fancy” that also went to the top of the Billboard Hot 100 charts over the summer.

Iggy was much taller than expected. The Aussie towered over her four backup dancers as they shimmied and twerked through a short, highly-choreographed set.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Azalea and her onstage crew of four dancers, two backup singers, and a DJ played through 17 songs, including her four singles from The New Classic. Azaela spoke very little during the show between songs, only instructing the DJ a number of times to “drop that shit”, or begin the beat for the next song.

While Iggy’s music is popular and the crowd sang along to the hits, the music was not the main focus of the crowd or the performer. Azalea’s butt was her greatest weapon in terms of controlling the audience; her

Azalea's greatest asset

Azalea’s greatest asset

backside has taken on a life of its own with help from social media networks like Twitter and Instagram, where advertisements and pictures of “Iggy Azalea’s Ass” are shown and shared regularly.

Azalea was certainly aware of her valuable asset, and knew how to work the crowd with just a simple shake of her hips. Fans went into frenzy when Azalea would slowly bend down mid-song and shake her butt, more so than they did for any line or beat of any of her actual songs. Simply put, it was all about the booty for Azalea.

The rapper’s voice was raspy through most of her set, which may seem to negate recent accusations by Buzzfeed of her lip-syncing onstage during a performance with Jennifer Lopez. Still, her performance suffered a bit because it appeared that she was losing her voice the longer her set went. Again, the audience didn’t seem to mind as long as Azalea and her dancers continued to twerk on and around each other.

Azalea closed her set with “Fancy”, her biggest hit. Friday night’s version seemed watered-down, which is understandable considering that her backup singers had to sing the hook, rather than Charli XCX, who sings on the recorded version. Azalea saved a special gesture for the last song, waiting until the last few minutes of the set to actually touch her own behind. The audience roared its loudest at this moment when Azalea grabbed her own butt cheek and briefly fondled it. Soon confetti shot out of the side of the stage over the crowd, Azalea thanked the crowd “for the support”, and exited the stage without an encore.

In terms of popularity and current relevance, the Student Program Board landed a great headliner that created lots of excitement around campus. In terms of talent, character, and musical quality, however, one has to wonder whether or not Iggy Azalea was the right choice for the Fall Concert. Sure, Azalea’s music is bumpin’ and easy to drunkenly bob one’s head to. But should we as a student body support an artist who

Azalea's set list

Azalea’s set list

so shamelessly relies on her own fake sexual gestures in order to garner attention from the media and applause from a crowd, rather than from her actual music? Should we support a female entertainer who reinforces negative stereotypes of both woman with her hyper-sexualized performances and hip-hop artists with her lyrics that focus on cash, ass, and nothing else?

 

Empire! Empire! (I Was A Lonely Estate) “You Will Eventually Be Forgotten” Album Review

Empire! Empire! (I Was A Lonely Estate)

You Will Eventually Be Forgotten

By: Sam Boyhtari

9/8/14

The sophomore release of Michigan’s own Empire! Empire! (I Was a Lonely Estate) is challenging, in that it asks listeners to do something that few albums do: to experience a series of very honest, tangible stories. How closely you pay attention to these stories is, of course, up to you, but there is a tremendous amount of emotional depth woven into the eleven tracks of You Will Eventually Be Forgotten, and I find myself returning time and again to experience them all, because the pureness of their telling is beautiful.

The straightforwardness of Keith Latinen’s lyrics is, in many ways, jarring to ingest. As a listener, I expect and prefer, for the most part, a very cryptic style of narration from songwriters—a constant effort to encode what could otherwise be a very plain and uneventful story. You Will Eventually Be Forgotten takes this conception and challenges it at every turn, relatingempire empire very sincerely a group of dark and personal narratives that feel like prose poems read to a very somber and powerful soundtrack.

It is doubtless that this style will likely turn off some listeners, as it initially did me. But as I continued to listen to these songs, so true and unconventional in their telling, I became enthralled by it all: the oscillating nature of the instrumentation, rising and falling with the drama of each story; the unabashed lyrics, boasting little symbolic or metaphoric content to speak of, save to paint more vividly an already clear narrative.

This style of writing does have its downfalls. At times, the lyrics seem forced into the song structure in a way that makes their transference less than dramatic, and the straightforwardness of the content sometimes leaves me yearning for more poetic embellishment—more encrypting. But it’s moments where Keith sings about being stranded in the middle of a lake during a storm, or trying to circumvent a fatal car crash, where this LP shines bright, capturing a level of emotional depth that less honest creations cannot attain. The opening line of the album’s second track, “I almost died at 21,” is one of the most impactful moments of the entire journey, leading into an account of a near-death experience, amidst which Keith proclaims: “my life did not flash before my eyes.” The narration is very powerful, and moments like this outshine some of the less impactful spots on this LP.

You Will Eventually Be Forgotten feels like a collection of journals and photographs, selected tediously and lovingly from a larger cache of untold stories. The narration of these stories may push fans of more convoluted music away, but there are so many powerful moments worth exploring within these songs—these stories—and I am quite glad that Keith and Cathy have chosen to share them with us.

4 out of 5 Lucky Stars

King 810 “Memoirs Of A Murderer” Album Review

King 810

Memoirs Of A Murderer

By: Neil Hazel (@iamneilhazel)

9/1/2014

Listening to King 810’s debut full length album, Memoirs of a Murderer is like stepping into a heavy metal time machine. The 16 tracks are some of the most varied I have heard from any metal band in recent memory. Some tracks invoke some of the 90’s biggest metal bands like Slipknot and Korn, while others show what the future of metal could be.

The album starts with three heavy hitting songs led by “Killem All” that are certain to grab your attention and make you bang you head. Vocalist Dave Gunn displays raw energy and emotion in both his lyrics and vocals that is equal parts intriguing and haunting to listen to. Just when you think you have King 810 figured out, they throw a curveball with “Take It” an acoustic song that is reminiscent of Johnny Cash. King 810 displays their mastery of metal with songs like “Fat Around The Heart”,king 810 pic featuring verses filled with ambient guitars that build into the chorus with hard hitting drums. “Treading and Trodden” is one of the most interesting songs on the album, incorporating subtle electronic elements into the background and vocals. Memoirs of a Murderer is paced by two spoken word tracks “Anatomy 1:2” and “Anatomy 1:3” which display Gunns vocals and nothing else. They are chilling pieces that allow the listener to hear just how enthralling the vocals can be even without music.

Each individual track on the album has stand-out moments that make any one a worthy listen, but when Memoirs of a Murderer is taken as a whole piece, it becomes an entirely different beast. Each track flows into the next both thematically and musically. “Carve My Name” is a slow march to war, that begins with a whispered chant, with a marching drumbeat that slowly grows louder and louder. The song eventually explodes into one of the most brutal parts of the cd, before fading back out. Gunn then recites The New Colossus the inspiring poem displayed on The Statue of Liberty, before “War Outside” begins with a fury of guitars and drums. When the album finally reaches its conclusion in “State Of Nature” it is in almost the opposite place from where it started, a slowed down analysis of the way of the world, played over an acoustic guitar that slowly builds into a full band ballad.

Another important aspect of King 810 outside of their music is their background. All four members were born and raised in Flint, Michigan, one of the most violent and dangerous cities in America. Gunn’s lyrics demonstrate the hardships that he has faced, and the music itself is filled with the struggles of a dying city. Memoirs of a Murderer is a fantastic metal album, and with the diversity in the tracks, it ensures that it is one that is interesting and exciting on each listen. With a debut as ambitious as this, King 810 is a band that every metal fan should pay attention to.

You can see King 810 on tour with Slipknot and Korn, November 29th at The Palace of Auburn Hills.

4.5/5