Owen Broder @ The Blues Alley

Photo by (Jesse Benitez/WGMU).

By: Jesse Benitez

On Tuesday, September 17th, 2019, New York based saxophonist, Owen Broder, took the stage with his ensemble in Georgetown’s hidden gem, The Blues Alley. Broder and his group captivated D.C. jazz enthusiasts by celebrating the 60th anniversary of Back to Back (1959) and Side by Side (1959), two incredibly phenomenal recordings by some of the most influential jazz musicians of all time: Duke Ellington and Johnny Hodges. Broder coined this performance “Hodges and Duke,” an homage giving new life to these historic tunes in the 21st century. Broder and his ensemble played two sets that night in the nation’s capital; both with honest elegance and poised dynamism. I’m not one to frequent jazz shows in the city, if anything, my experience with any sort of saxophonic composition stems mainly from passing buskers every now and then or getting funky with acid jazz loops on an occasional commute. The Hodges and Duke show redefined what little I knew about the genre, all while transporting me back in time and space. Illuminated by an indigo spotlight, the post bop flutters that Broder twitched on his sax were ethereally nostalgic. I felt as though I was in a dim, 1950s, NYC comedy club sipping on scotch and puffing a slim, illuminated by a single candlelight, all while longing for someone or something. Broder and his ensemble said so much without vocalizing at all. The transcendental melodies from the sax, powerful flecks on the keys, and subtle pulses on the bass, collectively encapsulated the blooming comfort of the polyrhythmic, musical tetris that we know as jazz. Broder and his ensemble recontextualized the spasms of vitality and pep in these albums in a way that formulated both a sense of togetherness and cognizance of solace, all while creating a renewed sense of appreciation for music within the human experience. Jazz whispers and declares, often simultaneously, and Broder organically exemplified that in the Blues Alley that Tuesday night.

 

 

 

 

Touch the Buffalo @ Velvet Lounge

Jonathan Ibarra, drummer and DJ host of The Taco’s Mix
Photo by (Jesse Benitez/WGMU).

Photo by (Jesse Benitez/WGMU).

By: Jesse Benitez

On Thursday, September 5th, 2019, indie grunge band, Touch the Buffalo, performed a powerful set in Washington, D.C. on U Street’s Velvet Lounge. Sharing the stage with three other bands, Touch the Buffalo closed the night off with tunes from their latest album release, Heart Is For (2019). Not only do these guys go hard on stage, but they’re changing the game of grunge with a ferocious electric ukulele, notable in “Heart is For,” the first track from their self-titled album of this year. They slowed things down with another track from their latest release titled, “Nerd Love,” a vigorous anthem embellished with spiffy guitar riffs and pounding rhythms materializing from the drums. The crowd in D.C. that night was incredibly supportive and vivacious during the set, cognisant of the bands successful wave throughout the indie rock world. Not only that, but Touch the Buffalo is local, with early roots based in Arlington, VA. They’ve become recognizable by fans throughout the D.C. metro area. The band has already performed at numerous venues in the nation’s capital and surrounding areas, including George Mason University for the annual Plazapalooza Music Festival hosted by the Music Productions Club of GMU earlier this year. The drummer of the band, Jonathan Ibarra, is also a regular contributor for WGMU and the DJ and host of The Taco’s Mix on WGMU Radio. The band has also released over 200 promo copies to college-radio stations around the nation. They’re up and coming- and deservingly so. Touch the Buffalo is one of many bands in the local music scene that’s making big strides in the alternative/grunge rock genre. To get more updates, you can follow the band on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter

You can now listen to tracks “Heart is For,” “Nerd Love,” and more on WGMU Radio. Your Voice. Amplified. 

 

 

 

OHMME @ DC9 Nightclub

By: Jesse Benitez

On Thursday, April 18th, 2019, Chicago’s finest took the stage at DC9 Nightclub, generating pleasantly noisy soundscapes through Washington D.C.’s already bustling 9th Street. That band is known as OHMME, a two-piece rock band consisting of musicians Sima Cunningham and Macie Stewart. The night opened with Bottled Up, a D.C. based punk quartet that ripped through rambunctious garage fusions accompanied with familiar, but refreshing vocals. Their most recent album, BU2 (2018), flashes me back to the rowdier moments in my youth as I navigated my way through the ever-changing local punk scene, so believe me when I say, I’ve had this album on repeat since.  

OHMME began their performance with the songs, “Icon” and “Liquor Cabinet,” some of the most prismatic harmonies off their debut studio album, Parts (2018). There’s nothing that makes me appreciate musicians more than witnessing how they translate their recordings on the stage. Maybe I’m just overly dramatic, but OHMME configured their euphonic lyrics into some of the most lively and angelic melodies I’ve heard this year in the nation’s capital. Even in some of their more feedback-inducing tunes such as “Grandmother,” every turbulent and explosive electrical warble blaring from their guitars was beautifully rhythmic. The duo also performed their own roaring take on a B-52’s classic, “Give Me Back My Man,” a jam limited to 545 hand-numbered copies pressed on a bright orange 7” vinyl. Luckily, I managed to take one home that night. As OHMME assembled the loopy and glazy riffs of “Woman,” from their self-titled EP released back in 2017, I spotted a familiar face in the crowd: Bob Boilen, the creator and host of NPR’s Tiny Desk Concerts and All Songs Considered! Boilen carefully maneuvered his way around the stage, photographing the energetic artists; capturing the boisterous, as well as the most tender moments of the show 

One of the most vivid tracks from Thursday night wasFingerprints,” as Cunningham and Stewart bounced multiplying echoes, atmospherically throughout the chorus. The final moment that transported me through an ethereal cosmos was in “Sentient Beings,” the seventh track off their latest album. Every hit on the drum, slash through a chord, or bow to the violin was pure, weightless resonance. It has always been their asymmetric rhythms, buoyantly recoiling through my ears that shaped my admiration for experimentation. That could be the explanation for why I had once kept Ohmme (2017), on non-stop repeat to this day. 

Rosemary’s Reviews| When We All Fall Asleep, Where Do We Go?

By Rosemary Idisi

Billie Eilish, a girl that grew up being homeschooled and joined a children’s choir when she was eight years old is now a seventeen-year-old pop sensation. The singer and songwriter just released her debut studio album titled When We All Fall Asleep, Where Do We Go? (2019). 

 This album has fourteen songs and is a mixture of electropop and trap. Every track on the album was written by Eilish along with her brother, Finneas O’Connell who produced all the tracks as well.  

When this album was released, it received widespread praise and debuted at number one on the U.S. Billboard 200. This made Eilish the first artist born in the 2000s to have a number one album. 

In just the first week of its release, this album had 313,000 album sales, which made it the second-largest sales week for an album in 2019. The first being Ariana Grande’s Thank U, Next (2019). This album also had been pre-ordered 800,000 times on Apple Music before its release and if that doesn’t impress you, just know it also topped charts in fifteen other countries.  

Billie Eilish has a sort of jazz-like sound when she sings. She throws vocals like that over trap beats and piano asides and makes sinister sounds seem classy. Eilish gives whispering vocals and chilling melodies in this album and pairs them with very creepy music videos.  

This isn’t the average album. That can be understood as soon as you play the first track on the album titled !!!!!!!. This is the introduction to the album and isn’t just any introduction… This intro is fourteen seconds long and contains slurp sounds of Billie taking out her Invisalign and saying things like, “I have taken out my Invisalign and this is the album.”  

The lead single for the album titled You Should See Me in A Crown” was released in July 2018, way before the album was released. This single reached number 41 on the Billboard Hot 100 and was inspired by the BBC show Sherlock. This track has a very dark tone combined with dubstep music and is truly a unique sound.  

The second single released for the album is When the Party’s Over“. This track is slow and gives off a very sad mood. It opens with the lyrics, Don’t you know I’m no good for you? I’ve learned to lose you, can’t afford to- and is basically about Billie putting distance between herself and her lover. The music video for this single featured Billie crying thick and inky black tears. The video reached #1 on YouTube and was trending in several countries.  

The third single released titled Bury A Friend” contained Eilish detailing her confusing relationship with the monster under her bed. This track has a Prismizer effect, which is known to manipulate pitch and frequency. This track was like a goth-R&B and had very unique sounds. The visual released for it was very creepy and contained Billie’s face being grabbed by multiple gloved hands.   

The song Wish You Were Gay” is Eilish singing about what it felt like to be rejected by a boy she liked and selfishly wishing he was gay. The lyrics, “-I just kinda wish you were gay-” were repeated in the song over a slow tempo of beats. 

A lighter, more playful track on the album is Bad Guy”. This single is the opening song for the album after the introductory track and is Billie’s farthest reach toward pop. The lyrics, “-I’m that bad type, make your mama sad type, make your girlfriend mad tight, might seduce your dad type, I’m the bad guy, duh-” are thrown over an electric chime and snaps. Billie gives off Harley Quinn vibes in this song and this single topped charts in several countries.  

A word to describe this album? Different. This album is so different than the current norm in so many aspects and it is brilliant. Give it a spin.  

Promise Nothing Interview

By Robert McGreevy

Promise Nothing is a up and coming band from Northern Virginia revitalizing old school and 90’s Rock. Sean Gorena, Mike Holland,  Fabio Rubiera, and Ivan Stoykov created Promise Nothing in 2018, and they’ve been performing live venues all across Washington, D.C. since. Recently, they played Plazapalooza at George Mason University and they have agreed to tell us their story. Their upcoming performances are Pre-Mason Day Fest April 25th, 7:00-7:30 and Mason Day Fest April 26th. Come on out and show your support for Mason’s own musicians!  

WGMU Panda Fundraiser | April 30th, 2019

Hi WGMU, come out to Panda Express in Merten Hall on Tuesday, April 30th, 2019 from 12-4pm and show the cashier this flier to give us a portion of your purchase! We’d love to see you there supporting your on-campus radio station!

Rosemary’s Reviews | Free Spirit by Khalid

By: Rosemary Idisi 

American singer and songwriter Khalid dropped his second studio album Free Spirit (2019) last week on April 5th. The singer teased this album in various posts on social media for months before its release and fans praised the highly anticipated release. 

Free Spirit has seventeen tracks on it, including the singles from Khalid’s 2018 EP Suncity “Better” and “Saturday Nights.” The album’s lead single “Talk” was released in early February.  

 “Talk” was made in collaboration with electronic production duo- Disclosure and gives off major R&B dance vibes. This single is about a relationship moving too fast and the need to talk about it.  

 Another single from the album, “My Bad’ was released in early March and reached the Hot 100 charts, becoming the artist’s twentieth song to make the chart. “My Bad” is contextually similar to “Talk.” The song deals with problems with communication between Khalid and whoever his lover is. This track was called an “apology track” because Khalid is basically saying sorry for not replying to a text, which as we know, drives women crazy.  

 The track “Self’ was released later in March as another single for the album. This song focuses on Khalid addressing his anxiety and self-reflecting, which we get from the lyrics, “-I don’t need another hand, I need a couple suggestions. Always had a little trouble with self-reflections.” The rhythm of this song is so mellow, almost hypnotic, and the beat just adds to the vibe of the entire album. 

 The last single that was released for the album is titled “Don’t Pretend” featuring Safe. The single dropped just two days before the album was released. In this song, Khalid’s voice is so soothing and melodious with the guitar in the background. 

 Khalid has quite the ear for melodies and beats and he mixed them together with beautiful lyrics to make this album. If you’re looking for something to listen to while on a road trip, laying on the beach, or to just vibe to, Free Spirit is the album for you.  

 Not only did Khalid drop this amazing album, he accompanied it with a short film that was released in theaters worldwide for one night only. This gave fans a chance to hear the entire album while watching a short film titled “Free Spirit” created by the singer. In the film, Khalid used the music to tell the stories of what it was like growing up. What other artist has ever done this?  

 Khalid is such a creative artist and his work and ideas are very unique. He is real, you can hear it in every song on this album. Khalid will be going on a world tour which will take him to major venues across the United States and Canada starting June 20th 

Rosemary’s Reviews: Nipsey Hussle

By: Rosemary Idisi

Nipsey Hussle, Grammy nominated rapper and songwriter from Los Angeles, California, was shot and killed on Sunday March 31st. The world lost a brilliant artist, philanthropist, activist, entrepreneur, and family man. 

 The last album Hussle produced was titled Victory Lap and was released in February of 2018. This album was his first full-length album and major commercial release after dropping several his entire career. 

 When Victory Lap first debuted, it reached number four on the Billboard 200 and received a Grammy nomination for Best Rap Album.  

 Prior to Nipsey’s death, Hussle had almost two million streams on iTunes and just one day after his death, Victory Lap became number one on iTunes and had 57 million music streams. The day he died, Nielsen Music told The Associated Press that 2,000 copies of his albums were purchased that day, followed by 9,000 copies the next day, 4,000 copies the day after that, and sales keep increasing.  

 Nipsey’s album Victory Lap has sixteen tracks on it and pays tribute to the rappers’ hard work and achievements. It also looks ahead to the future and all he has yet to build and those he can still inspire. 

 This album featured many guest artists such as Kendrick Lamar, Puff Daddy, YG, Buddy, CeeLo Green, and more. This is more than the typical album would have but all these collaborations added depth to the songs and painted a lot of pictures with the different voices. 

 Nipsey’s first song on the album is the title track, “Victory Lap” and it opened with the lyrics, “-I’m prolific, so gifted, I’m the type that’s gon’ go get it, no kidding.” This was a very bold opening, but this was a bold man. From the second he opened his mouth in this first song to the last verse in the last song, you could hear the passion and determination in his voice. 

 Another track on the album titled “Dedication” featured rapper Kendrick Lamar and the perfect song for you to listen to if you’re hungry for success. If the lyrics, “-dedication, hard work plus patience, the sum of all my sacrifice, I’m done waitin-’” doesn’t motivate you I’m not sure what does.  

The track “Millions While You Young” featuring The Dream was definitely a change of pace from the other tracks on this album. The other songs were very energetic while this one was a refreshingly slower pace. In this song, it’s like Nipsey is giving advice to listeners, giving them the ropes of becoming a success story. 

 The track titled “Hussle & Motivate” on the album samples Jay-Z’s “Hard Knock Life” and talks about the bigger picture behind his hustling. Nipsey made so many declarations in each song on this album and he said things that other rappers probably want to say but are too afraid to because of backlash. That’s one thing about this rapper, he didn’t care about the backlash.  

 If Nipsey Hussle had something to say, he said it and if there is something he wanted to do, he did it. A lot of what he did was good and very beneficial to the community, which is why after his death it was announced that his contributions to South Los Angeles will be entered into the Congressional Record to be a part of U.S. history forever.  

Some may listen to the songs on this album and not find any meaning behind the lyrics but bob their heads and enjoy the tune. Nipsey knew exactly the people he was speaking to and the people he was being a voice for, and the most important thing is that they understand.  

 

 

 

 

Rosemary’s Reviews | While We Wait by Kehlani

By Rosemary Idisi

Earlier this year, Kehlani dropped her third album While We Wait (2019). This album reached #9 on the Billboard’s 200 chart when it opened and became Kehlani’s second album to be among the top 10 on the chart.  

While We Wait has a track list of nine songs and features guest artists like 6lack, Ty Dolla Sign, Musiq Soulchild, and Dom Kennedy. If you like the sound of 90s R&B, pop, or rap, this is the perfect album for you because this album contains all three of those genres.    

This album really manifests the kind of artist Kehlani is which is a down-to earth contemporary R&B artist. The songs are mellow, raw and refreshing.  

 The opening song for the album is called “Footsteps”, which begins with the sound of rushing water. Any album that begins this way is either going to be a banger or leave you crying at the end. This song starts with the lyrics, “-and when I walked away, I left footprints in the mud so you could follow.” Need a new break-up anthem? This might be it. 

There are so many songs on this album that are relatable. Do you have an ex that won’t mind their business? The song Nunya needs to be added to your playlist. Going through a moody break-up? The banger “Nights Like This” is the perfect song to drive around at night listening to (but don’t drive to your ex’s house). 

 On the song “RPG”, Kehlani and guest artist, 6lack, take on the roles of lovers. This song opens with the lyrics, “-you told me I’m beautiful ’cause I told you, you don’t tell me enough, and make the singer appear insecure and in desperate need of reassurance from her partner. The rhythm to this song is so tuneful its almost hypnotic.  

 The most relatable song of the album for many would definitely be “Morning Glory.” In this hit, Kehlani sings about men needing to be prepared to see their women stripped bare before bedtime if he plans on seeing her looking brand new in the morning. The lyrics, “-if you don’t want me at my goodnight then you can’t have me at my morning glory,” are truly iconic.    

 The song “Too Deep” is fun to listen to, but a bit repetitive. If you feel like things are going too far or getting too complicated with someone, then this song is pretty relatable. Plus, there was a reference to Candy Crush in the song which is… cool. 

 While We Wait is Kehlani telling stories of experiences through love, life, and just being a woman in general. This is the perfect album to validate your feelings and reassure you that you’re not the only one whose been through it in a relationship or possibly wanted to leave your past behind. This is definitely the album for you if you like mellow vibey music that you could possibly relate to.    

WGMU APPLICATIONS FOR EXEC STAFF 2019-2020

 

WGMU Radio’s Executive Staff positions are going live on March 27th, 2019 at 12pm (noon) via Handshake! If you’ve been a current DJ and would like to get more involved in the behind the scenes operations of running the station – please apply! The priority deadline for consideration is April 10th, 2019 at 12pm (noon), but applications will be accepted until all positions are fIlled.

If you have questions, email wgmu@gmu.edu or come in to the Office of Student Media, located in the bottom level of the Hub.

LINKS FOR THE APPLICATIONS:

Lead Supervisor

Program Director

Marketing Director

Music Director

Production Director

Audio Engineering Director