Tuning the dials

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October 17, 2011

11:33 PM

Every week, WCWM will bring you the best from today’s indie music scene in the form of this feature. Some of our juiciest, albums will be awaiting your perusal every Tuesday either in print or online. For more musical discoveries, tune in to WCWM, hosted by your own classmates and possibly even you, or come to our listening meetings, which are every Friday at 4 p.m. at the station in the basement of the Campus Center. Now read on for this week’s freshest records.

Ryan Adams-Ashes & Fire:
Yes, it is another Ryan Adams album. But come on, it is Ryan Adams. The guy has serious songwriting talent, and it is undeniable that he has his own unique sound, whether you love it or hate it. In this album Adams seems to have finally dropped the falsetto he’s been playing with for so long in what appeared to be an attempt to sound like Neil Young. The album is more stripped down and folkish than the country rock of Cold Roses albums. Good for a drive through the country or for drinking a couple of brews with that special someone near a roaring fire.
Release Date: October 11, 2011
Interesting Information: Adams had to completely relearn music after being inflicted with a painful inner-ear disease called Meniere’s. Ashes and Fire is his first album since taking a break from music in 2009.

Loney Dear-Hall Music:
Ever heard of Sigur Ros? No? Go listen to Sigur Ros. Not just one album, all of it. Trust me, you won’t regret it. After that you’ll be ready for Loney Dear. Basically the Swedish equivalent of the aforementioned band, Loney Dear also has that beautiful atmospheric post-rock that makes you happy about life and want to go dance in a forest. Or meadow, I’m not prejudiced. Except against tundra, worst biome ever. Emil Svanängen is the clear leader of the band, with his vocals playing an important part in the music. The songs are significantly shorter than their Icelandic counterparts, so I like to think of them as Sigur Ros Lite or Sigur-Ros-When-I-Don’t-Want-to-Listen-to-Post-Rock-for-13-Minutes-Straight.
Release Date: October 4, 2011.
Interesting Information: It’s his sixth album.

Caged Animal-Eat Their Own:
Surf rock-synth pop. Try saying that three times fast. Ok fine, it isn’t that hard, but this band rocks hard. They’re relative newcomers to the music scene, having only been around for a year, and are just starting to break ground in terms of popularity. And they’ve earned it: You can tell that they have honed a sound that, while reminiscent of The Wavves, is unique in its hybridization of the two genres it emulates. And you gotta love the track titles: “Teenagers In Heat,” “Teflon Heart” (get better Rick Ross), and “Lips That Turn the Light to Fire” show that the band can be funny, creative and downright pretty. This album was definitely my favorite for the week.
Release Date: September 26, 2011
Interesting Information: The album was lead singer, Vincent Cacchione, debut album with Caged Animals.

Jonti – Twirligig
This guy is Australian and sounds like the Beach Boys if they were influenced less by the beach and more by an intergalactic space party somehow happening in the land Down Under. Jonti unfortunately doesn’t sound like Men At Work or kangaroos and doesn’t even feature a didgeridoo solo, but I’d still recommend the album. Obviously the number one concern you’re having right now is whether you have to be Australian or at the very least have eaten at an Outback Steakhouse to enjoy Jonti. This is a very valid concern. But even if you’ve never even seen a real boomerang before or hung out at an authentic Australian family’s place (I believe they call them “opera houses”) I’m sure you’ll find something to like about Twirligig.
Release Date: August 23, 2011
Interesting Information: Twirligig is Jonti’s debut album, though he has recorded with Mark Ronson, Santigold, Sean Lennon and the Dap-Kings.

Real Estate – Days
Perfect music to listen to while buying a new home, but listening to the album outside of that context works well, too. Listen to Real Estate while doing your taxes. Listen to Real Estate while purchasing antiques. Listen to Real Estate while listening to other music. Really, all contexts work. I first saw them in a concert in New York City a few years back where I talked to a student from California who wasn’t sure if Washington D.C. was north or south of New York City. Even listening to Real Estate while your brain secretly facepalms works.
Release Date: October 18, 2011
Interesting Information: The band members are childhood friends from Ridgewood, New Jersey who reunited after their college graduations elsewhere.

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