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    Wednesday, February 25, 2009

    WASU Top 10 & Adds: Feb 24th - Mar 2nd

    WASU TOP 10
    1. Nickel Eye - "Brandy of the Damned"
    2. Fires of Rome - "I'll Take You Down"
    3. Andrew Bird - "Fitz and Dizzy Spells"
    4. Matt & Kim - "Daylight"
    5. Cotton Jones - "Little Ashtray in the Sun"
    6. Los Campesinos - "Ways to Make It Through the Wall"
    7. A.C. Newman - "Like a Hitman, Like a Dancer"
    8. Cut Off Your Hands - "Happy As Can Be"
    9. The Pains of Being Pure at Heart - "Everything With You"
    10. The Von Bondies - "This Is Our Perfect Crime"

    Vetiver - "More of This"
    The Vines - "Braindead"
    Metric - "Help I'm Alive"
    U2 - "Get On Your Boots"
    ...And You Will Know Us By the Trail of Dead - "Fields of Coal"
    K'Naan - "If Rap Gets Jealous"
    Robyn Hitchcock & the Venus 3 - "Up to Our Nex"
    Nico Vega - "So So Fresh"

    Friday, February 13, 2009

    WASU Top 10 & Adds - February 10th-16th

    WASU Top 10
    1. Tom Gabel - "Anna Is A Stool Pigeon"
    2. Kings of Leon - "Closer"
    3. BPA ft. Iggy Pop - "He's Frank"
    4. J. Roddy Walston & the Business - "Stop Rip and Roll"
    5. Nickel Eye - "Brandy of the Damned"
    6. Fires of Rome - "I'll Take You Down"
    7. The (International) Noise Conspiracy - "Arm Yourself"
    8. Kaiser Chiefs - "Never Miss A Beat"
    9. Oh No Not Stereo - "Can't Trust Anyone"
    10. Andrew Bird - "Fitz and Dizzyspells"

    Yves Klein Blue - "Silence Is Distance"
    Dan Auerbach - "Street Walkin'"
    Sam Roberts - "Them Kids"
    Iran - "I Can See The Future"
    Elusive Parallelograms - "Benzedrine"
    The Naked Hearts - "Only For You"

    Monday, February 9, 2009

    Auto-Tune: The Imperfection of Perfection

    By: Dave Edscorn

    It’s not often that I get too upset about new trends in pop or hip-hop. In my opinion, both of them are too far gone to waste too much time complaining about, but I feel that the time has come to rant a bit about the monstrosity that is the pitch-correction program Auto-Tune.

    My first conscious experience with Auto-Tune was listening to T-Pain’s guest spot on “The Good Life” off Kanye West’s Graduation album. I didn’t think much of it at the time, my reaction was most likely akin to “Who is this man and why does he sound like a robot?”

    Since then, I feel like I hear Auto-Tune everywhere in hip-hop. T-Pain may have invented the technique of using the program to distort his vocals, but it didn’t stop there. Last November it went from fad to full-blown movement with Kanye’s album 808’s and Heartbreak, where West sings every song through Auto-Tune. He uses the technique to provide a cold and emotionless effect, which is exactly what makes it inaccessible to me. What is music when you take emotion out of it?

    Even more disturbing is when the program is used as its creator, Andy Hildebrand, intended. As a pitch-correction program, Auto-Tune allows notes to be bumped to a perfect pitch, ensuring that any singer can release a song that is perfectly in-tune.

    According to a recent article in Time Magazine (,9171,1877372,00.html?iid=digg_share, check it out, it’s very informative), this is done more often than most people realize. Most pop songs these days have been run through Auto-Tune, making the vocals far more perfect than most artists can achieve on their own. The side effects? Singers may be getting lazy, assuming that they can get by with a few lousy takes and still produce a great-sounding track. As consumers, we may be getting lazy as well. We expect every song coming out to be a little pitch-perfect gem, making it difficult for dedicated artists that actually try to sing well on their own to get proper recognition.

    Personally, I prefer a little grit in my music (the day that Lucero or the Hold Steady start using Auto-Tune is my last), and don’t have much time for musicians that see digital alteration as perfection. However, what about my kids? Are they going to dig through my records and complain that Pete Townshend is out of tune and Mick Jagger is a little pitchy? Auto-Tune may be taking the emotion out of hip-hop, but it’s also taking the soul out of everything else.

    Thursday, February 5, 2009

    Review: Naked Gods - Welcome Home

    Every time I hear the guitar solo in "Stranded/Poor", the eighth track on the Naked Gods' debut full length Welcome Home, I feel like the that melody is the most important thing happening in the world. I hum it for days. Welcome Home is full of moments like that, and the record almost comes close to the live energy exuded by Naked Gods.

    The first time I saw the band, and consequently downloaded their EP It Ain't Just Cold Outside from their website, I was hooked. Short and sweet. The full-length is not as immediately catchy, but after spending several days listening, the songs don't leave your head. Naked Gods play rock and roll to put it simply. There are country and folk influences and touches of The Band and The Boss. Live comparisons to Akron/Family are less present on the recording, and the punk rock energy of former bands is manifested more in a small room with live instruments than on the small plastic disc, but it makes for two different experiences.

    "Mothersun" and "Blah Blah Blah" have both morphed from early sing-along stompers to a beautiful sparse arrangement and soulful Rhodes- and bass-led tune, respectively, which makes the record flow smoothly. "Slow Dogs" and "Mountain Smashing Song of Joy" are standouts, but nothing beats "Stranded/Poor". It has the quickest tempo of the collection and plays itself off as a simple major key pop song until it slows into the simple and effective guitar solo and wordless group backup vocals. Welcome Home is an exciting, and even cathartic, rock and roll record from Boone's best band, and I'm excited to see where they go from here, they could do big things if they wanted to.

    Wednesday, February 4, 2009

    WASU Top 10 & Adds - Week of February 1st

    WASU Top 10
    1. Tom Gabel - "Anna Is A Stool Pigeon"
    2. The Killers - "A Dustland Fairytale"
    3. Kings of Leon - "Closer"
    4. Foreign Orange - "Another Suggestion"
    5. The BPA ft. Iggy Pop - "He's Frank"
    6. J. Roddy Walston and the Business - "Stop Rip and Roll"
    7. Nickel Eye - "Brandy of the Damned"
    8. Kaiser Chiefs - "Never Miss A Beat"
    9. Fires of Rome - "I'll Take You Down"
    10. Oh No Not Stereo - "Can't Trust Anyone"

    WASU Adds
    Franz Ferdinand - "No You Girls"
    Ladyfinger (ne) - "Little Things"
    Black Lips - "Short Fuse"
    Audrye Sessions - "Julianna"
    Ida Maria - "Louie"
    Broken Spindles - "I've Never Been This Afraid"
    Umphreys McGee - "Red Tape"
    Spiral Beach - "Made of Stone"
    Loney, Dear - "Airport Surroundings"
    The Love Language - "Sparxxx"
    Bruce Springsteen - "Working On A Dream"