Wednesday, April 30, 2008

R.I.P. Albert Hofmann 1906-2008

Albert Hofmann, who died on Tuesday aged 102, synthesised lysergic acid diethylamide (LSD) in 1938 and became the first person in the world to experience a full-blown acid trip.



Obituary

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Tuesday, April 29, 2008

No Age-- Nouns

An effing AWESOME mix of everything that's good. Dino Jr-style vocals, jangly intros, punky sections (think Husker Du or Dinosaur Jr, not Ramones), shimmery fuzzed-out bliss...

Shimmer: 1, 6, 8, 10
Jangle: 2, 5 (alternates rock and jangle), 9 (surfy)
Rock: 3 (this song rules my brain right now), 7, 5 (alternates), 11, 12

Check out all, especially 2, 3, 5, and 9.

All Clean!

Sunday, April 27, 2008

SU General Budget Joint Session NOW!!! Listen at www.kwur.com!

Right now we are doing a live remote broadcast from the SU Budget joint session! Tune in now at www.kwur.com to hear another live edition of SU-SPAN as treasury and senate explain what they plan to do with your student activities fund (besides give a good chunk of it back to Washington University).

Saturday, April 26, 2008

UPDATE: SAVE KWUR, SU General Budget Joint Session TOMORROW

Well, we all fought hard to get the SU Treasury to fix our budget for next year, and although we were moderately successful (not really), the Senate (god bless 'em) voted the proposed budget down. Now it's time for ROUND 2!

There will be an SU General Budget Joint Session tomorrow at high noon (12 PM) in Simon Hall. Please, if you have the time, come support KWUR and the exec committees in general, and voice your (educated) opinion about the shortcomings of next year's budget. The Facebook event is linked here: http://www.facebook.com/event.php?eid=11751729348. We need your help!

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Sunday, April 20, 2008

SAVE KWUR: A CALL TO ACTION

KWUR FANS:

As many of you may remember, our budget for this year was cut down to about $30,000. Last year, it was around $50,000. I wish I could be coming to you with good news, but the proposed budget for next year has another tremendous cut for KWUR. The original proposed budget for next year allocated us only $20,868, which would severely cripple the station's ability to operate next year. I just checked our allocation again this morning, and it has dropped to $18238.54. This is a slap in the face to KWUR, and it shows that this year's SU execs do not value our station. Additionally, the Exec appeals account, which we appealed to for additional funds this year was cut from $75,000 to $30,000.

Fortunately, this figure is not necessarily final. In order for the 2008-9 general budget to be finalized, it must be approved by both SU Senate and SU Treasury. Treasury meets this Tuesday (I'm a member of the body and will be vocalizing my concerns and displeasure very strongly) and Senate meets this Wednesday and will be considering the general budget. It is of the utmost importance for as many KWUR DJ's and supporters to come to these meetings, to show that people on campus care about the station and will not stand idly by as the livelihood of KWUR is on the line.

Treasury meets this Tuesday at 9:15 PM, tentatively in Simon 110.
Senate meets this Wednesday at 9:15 PM, tentatively in Simon 113.
Please show up at both of these meetings and support KWUR!

Saturday, April 19, 2008

Tune in to KWUR Right now!!!

LIVE! RIGHT NOW! DJ Ion and DJ Drew M battling for St. Louis underground supremacy. Tune in NOW!

Click for:
High Quality
Low Quality
Ogg!

Our server can handle it ;)

Go to Vintage Vinyl right now

Or Euclid Records, or whatever independent record store you prefer. Free PBR, no sales tax, and bands playing all day. You might need to read the Fugazi interview first, however.

National Record Store Day @ Euclid

National Record Store Day is an amazing creation. I just got back from Euclid Records where St. Louis alt-country legends The Bottle Rockets played an in-store. Lead singer Brian Henneman forgot the second verse to "Thousand Dollar Car," stopped the song, had an employee look up the lyrics on the store computer, and picked right back up. He later joked that the only thing the internet is good for is paying bills and looking up song lyrics, and thanked us for coming and buying his music in person instead of making a few clicks on iTunes. I love in-stores.
So go and support your local independent record store. They're good people.

Friday, April 18, 2008

From the Archives, Part I: Sample Interviews Fugazi

Today begins a series of entries aimed at diving into the archives to reveal interviews and insights from KWUR's past, published in Sample Magazine or recorded live. For example, a recently found programming guide, had this to say about KWUR:

kwur.
we aren't ticklish
in the least.
really.

Anyway, this series will start with an interview titled "What You Think Is Wrong" by Charles Long, first appearing in Issue 2 of Sample Magazine, originally published September 1991.


[ArchiveEntry]

Don't label, them, don't categorize them, and don't assume anything about Fugazi, because, as Charles Long found out, you'll probably be wrong. Singer Guy Picciotto reminds us that no one is right all of the time.

Sample: It was really crowded tonight; is every place you play as crowded as this?
Guy Picciotto: No. I mean we've played in places like Poland, Sweden, other countries -- we've played shows which were like a hundred and fifty kids, four hundred kids -- smaller than this, definitely.
S: Do you get a good response abroad and the places no one has heard of you?
GP: Well, I don't really know how to define a good response. Like for us, a good evening, a really successful evening, is if we played well and we delivered. So I mean, yeah, sometimes people like us, sometime they don't know us. I don't know. It's really hard for me to judge, I mean, I can only judge it on the way that we play, I can't -- you would have to interview the people who come to see how they receive us.
S: Many tours are a prelude to material about to be released -- I noticed you played some songs that I had not heard before -- are you about to release a new album?
GP: Yeah, we don't tour in conjunction with releases or not, we tour when we have time and it just so happens we recorded in January a eleven song album which should be out, I guess -- I hope, in July, but we'll see. Either July, August, September . . . It's called "Steady Diet of Nothing" and it's eleven songs.
S: Will it be different in any way from your previous albums?
GP: I think the biggest difference is that we produced it ourselves which we've never done before and we did it pretty fast. And it's got a much different feel and sound than I think the last record [had.] But in terms of themes, I mean, I think all the records have many many different themes and so does this record. So I would just say, we wrote a bunch of songs, we went in, we recorded them, and this is it.
S: Why did you produce it yourself this time? Are you not working through Dischord?
GP: Oh, no -- we're doing it through Dischord. I'm talking about the production, I'm talking about in the studio. Usually we use a guy named Ted Nicely or a guy named John Loder to produce our records and this time we couldn't get it together with Ted becuase he was busy doing another job. So we said we'll just try to produce it ourselves and see if it works and then it actually turned out pretty good. And so then we decided to release it.
S: Most of the members have been in other bands before -- do you feel that Fugazi is a culmination or do you feel that there is something further that you might be able to do in the future?
GP: That's a tough question. I've been playing n bands since I was sixteen, every band has been with Brendan, the drummer and so, obviously the music has changed. And different bands that Ian has been in, obviously the styles have changed, take[n] different approahces. But the way I look at this band, this is the most functional band that I have been in -- we're able to tour, we're able to release records, we're able to get along for more than one year at a time which is kind of novel for me being in a band. And I think whatever challenges we want to put to ourselves musically, whatever, I think, at this point, we're going to try do it with this band. And when it no longer functions, it no longer challenges us, we'll just disband and do something else.
S: How did Fugazi come together?
GP: Brendan and I were in a band called Happy Go Liky and at the same time Joe and Ian were playing together in a basement and Brendan was just sitting in as part time durmmer. They had gone through a bunch of drummers and Brendan was just helping them out. And then Happy Go Licky was gradually falling apart and Brendan kinda decided that he was going to join Fugazi and I joining kinda as a roadie at first and then as sometimes singer and then finally as a member.
S: A lot of your music carries a great deal of meaning. Is there a particular mesage you try to get across or is it just a general social/political theme that you try to portray? I could ask about particular songs but that would take all night. Is there anything in particular you feel you want to say?
GP: No, really there's not. I mean if there was one message or whatever we could have put on a slab of vinyl, released it and be done with it. We're musicians, we've a lot of interests, a lot of ideas and the music reflects that. If we were a one message band I don't know why people would want to bother coming to see us. I mean, they're in the songs. I don't write , I don't paint -- I do music. So what I want to say is in the music so, there it is.
S: So, music to you is an art form; it's not just getting up and playing for money.
GP: It's not getting up and playing for money. I don't know if it is art or not. It's what I do and if it was something I was doing for money I would have stopped maybe about five or six years ago because it wasn't paying off back then, I'll tell you that.
S: Is this a full time job for you then?
GP: About a year ago, I stopped working. Before that, for the first three years of this band, I was working in record stores, bookstores, and washing dishes. And then - now we're touring to keep the point where it is impossible to keep a job at home so, . . . and it's paying for itself. So, yeah, I do this full time.
S: You have reached a great deal of acceptance; what do you think might be some of the reasons for this?
GP: I don't know ad I don't really think about it that much. I mean, you really need to talk to some of the people coming out and buying our records or come to see our shows. I think all it is -- we're a band and we do things exactly the way we want to do them and if people respond to that, great, and if they don't respond to that, that is something that's too bad. We just basically carry ourselves as we want to, so I'm glad people like it.
S: A lot of DC music and a lot of the bands that you have been in have set a nation-wide trend. Do you feel yourself as a trend-setter?
GP: I don't see a DC music trend. I think that there are a lot of bands in DC that are good and they all do different things. OS I don't recognize a trend. I don't really care too much about trneds. We play music that we're able to -- we go, we practice , we write, and this is what we do.
S: Final question: What would you call your music -- hardore, punk, what?
GP: I don't call it anything.

[/ArchiveEntry]

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Wednesday, April 16, 2008

HEY, HEY, THERE'S GONNA BE A SHOWDOWN!: DJ BATTLE

Tune in to KWUR this Saturday from 10 to 12 to hear an electroclash of the titans, between DJ Ion and DJ Drew "On The" Mark, the Honorable DJ Tara Pham presiding. Two highly skilled dance DJs doing it up at your very own underground radio station. Even if y'all are at a party, turn us on and groove!

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Record store day

This Saturday, 4/19, is record store day. Yesterday, Vintage Vinyl had "no sales tax" and "free beer" on its marquee, but today it just says a bunch of free stuff. Whether or not yesterday's marquee was accurate, you could probably find a use for some new records on the day after record store day...

Sunday, April 13, 2008

WFMU Calls "St. Louis Whirl" the "Greatest Newspaper Ever Printed"

One of our favorite blogs, WFMU's Beware of the Blog from WMFU 91.1 FM Jersey City, NJ, just featured a lengthy post about St. Louis' own crime fighting newspaper, the "Evening Whirl"...

Check out the post here

-Klax

Saturday, April 12, 2008

Fela Kuti's son to release album...

...no word if he is as massive as his father.

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Wednesday, April 09, 2008

Andrew Bird's new album sounds horrendous

"The record I want to make here and now — the one I wish I could find in my local record store — is a gentle, lulling, polyrhythmic, minimalist yet warm tapestry of acoustic instruments. No solos, just interlocking parts. A little Steve Reich, but groovier. A little Ghanaian street music, but more arranged. Thick and creamy vocals like the Zombies’s Colin Blunstone. The bass warm and tubby like Studio One dub."

...but seriously, read this. It's a great behind-the-scenes look at making an album.

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Monday, April 07, 2008

Subversive Cinema: Hip Government Propaganda

Vincent Collins' 200

"This trippy tribute to our country's 200th birthday was funded by a Bicentennial Project Grant and animated by Vincent Collins who made other psychedelic cartoons. This film was produced by the United States Information Agency--the government's propaganda agency."



Since this is an official government film, it is in the public domain. Download your own (legal) copy at Archive.org

-Klax

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Sunday, April 06, 2008

Bofum!

The KWUR Kickballers beat pseudo-rivals KSLU in kickball today in Tower Grove Park, 10-4. This was a double-or-nothing game, as KWUR won the last match-up. And they/we prevailed again today.

We played to the sweet sounds of such tracks as "Raise Up," "Lipgloss," and "Bitch, I'm Broke." (The families with children playing around the game surely appreciated this soundtrack.) Some may say that the secret to KWUR's success lay in this music, but I would argue that is, in fact, our incredible athletic ability and enormous hearts that led to the win.

Picture to come!

Thursday, April 03, 2008

iTunes passes WalMart as the Number 1 retailer of music

Ars Technica has an article looking at market research firm NPD and their MusicWatch Survey. It turns out that in their most recent release, iTunes has surpassed WalMart as the number 1 retailer of music. Oh, how times have changed.

I think that this is a good thing for music listeners. I don't have that much nostalgia for when I was a kid growing up in a northern suburb of Chicago, riding my bike over three towns, looking all over for that one death metal cd i pined for, Entombed's Clandestine. And now, that I'm older and my tastes have changed and am a little more impatient, I don't have to talk to the ignorant kids and preorder it when I look for Stephanie Cooke's "Love Will." Exploring obscure genre's nowadays is incredibly simple thanks to the electronic distribution model that iTunes, Amazon, eMusic, BeatPort, Traxsource, and many others are affording us as consumers. We can buy a single without having to buy the whole album very easily nowadays, while also taking the guesswork out of it for the distributors as to what singles are going to sell. If rarity is a valuable commodity for your musical tastes, it doesn't often follow when you have to put rarity on semi trailers nationwide. Electronic distribution changes all of that and allows our tastes to follow our own individual identity.

Also, given that in any media distribution model, whether it be music, books, movies or television, when physical media is concerned, the distributors of that media often want something that will sell everywhere. homogeneity is often the result. My apologies to Stone Temple Pilots fans, but would Scott Wieland really be around if Eddie Vedder didn't make it? You could say this about Brittney and Jessica Simpson, and 98° and N*Sync and on and on and on. Then what happened? Clear Channel bought all your radio stations, and MTV ceased to be a tastemaker. iTunes and MySpace took over, getting to you your music that you might never have known existed. Case in point, if you look at Leslie Feist's career from her early beginnings with Placebo, By Divine Right, and Broken Social Scene, to rooming with Peaches, collaborating with Gonzales, doing side projects with the Kings of Convenience and Jamie Lidell, to finally get big time with '1-2-3-4' off "the Reminder," you'll see the result of a more democratic selection of a star. For an artist like her to fly under the radar for so long, building up integrity, then finally hitting mainstream without selling out, would never had happened 10 years ago. I've mad props for Leslie Feist, and I think there are many more indie acts that would never gotten a chance in a physical distribution model.

Being the Electronic Director here at KWUR, this means a lot to my genre, as the single EP has long been the parcel of choice for DJ's no matter the genre. Rarity has always been a huge commodity for a DJ, with northern soul dj's digging up old albums, and house / techno dj's getting early promo copies from their friends to build up hype on the dance floor, months before that album hits the record stores. The analogues for iTunes in my genre, Beatport, Traxsource, Juno and many other outlets have benefitted from this. They have made it less a money losing proposition when the artists don't have to press vinyl. As a result, you're seeing a large amount of collaboration between those two camps.

Is there a flipside to this coin? There certainly is. The big labels will make less profit on the big, big sellers. To a regular consumer, it isn't so bad, when you only pay a dollar for the song you want rather than 15 for that and 9 more songs of crap you don't. The profits from that inefficiency of the physical distribution model, however, often have been used to put out the more niche material that you'll pay the whole album for. What does this mean for the industry going forward? More music stores dying, and more independent labels certainly, but I also think we'll see a flatter, wider, bell curve in the acts that the big labels sign, often letting them cut their teeth first independently before letting them go mainstream. at least, I hope so.

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Wednesday, April 02, 2008

Album Review: Fuck Buttons, "Street Horrrsing"

Experimental noise duo from the UK. I dunno, it's good, better than good maybe, but it feels like a solid B+ album; nothing blows me away here, nothing sounds like anything I haven't heard before. If you like Black Dice and trance, you may dig this way more than me.

Disclaim: Name of band.

Play: 2, 3, 5, 6 if you want.