Lit&Live with Chaand Soorij

Local artist and producer Talha Mirza (aka Chaand Soorij) talked with WGMU’s Jackie Reed to share details about his upcoming projects and recent performances.


By: Jackie Reed

Local artist and producer Talha Mirza (aka Chaand Soorij) talked with WGMU’s Jackie Reed to share details about his upcoming projects and recent performances.

For more information, go to chaandsoorij.bandcamp.com/.

Feature Photo By (Chaand Soorij/Facebook).


 

Unknown Mortal Orchestra at 9:30 Club

Photo By (Jesse Benitez/WGMU).

Photo By (Jesse Benitez/WGMU).

Right off the bat, I could sense that this wasn’t going to be just like any ordinary show.


By: Jesse Benitez

Following the release of their fourth studio album, Sex & Food (2018), New Zealand-American psychedelic rock band, Unknown Mortal Orchestra (UMO for short), embarked on a full-length international tour with London-based, electro-dance artist, Makeness. On Friday, April 27th, the musicians stopped in the nation’s capital to play an electrifying show at the iconic 9:30 Club. Right off the bat, I could sense that this wasn’t going to be just like any ordinary show. My anticipation for their performance stemmed from my previous experience back in 2016 during their Multi-Love (2015) tour, and let me just tell you, these guys don’t fool around when it comes to stage presence. Every euphonic melody makes an impressive statement on its own, but along with the band’s magnetizing energy, Unknown Mortal Orchestra is indisputably remarkable.

A feature that’s worth noting about UMO’s takeover of the club Friday night was how they managed to visually encompass the whole aesthetic of their latest album. The venue’s stage was constructed to have a personality of its own, complete with white faux fur rugs, a mod plastic swivel chair for frontman Ruban Nielson, and a minimalistic, achromatic turntable sitting atop a sleek, coffee table. Beneath a couple of bookshelf speakers sat one of their long-play, instrumental SB-01/SB-02 vinyl records, ready for a spin on the groovy player. The stage itself embraced all the good things of my low-key fascination with modern/retro-inspired living space fusions, and my slightly pretentious dream of hanging in a contemporary abode listening to strictly analog recordings-

Good thing the song that started it all, “Ffunny Ffriends,” off their first and self-titled album, Unknown Mortal Orchestra (2011), snapped me right out of my grandiose daydreams and back into the nostalgia of UMO’s humbly memorable beginnings. The band continued with some fan favorites, featuring delicate tunes like “Swim and Sleep (Like a Shark),” from their second studio album, II (2013), and “Necessary Evil,” the eighth track from their critically acclaimed, third studio album, Multi-Love. I have to give credit to the amped crowd as well, for just flat out being incredible and going wild for Ruban when he produced shrilling riffs along the neck of his guitar. The electric lo-fi solos were notable in “From the Sun,” and “So Good at Being in Trouble,” both of which are featured in II (2013). From there on, the band continued with blasting energy, powering through “Nerve Damage!” off their self-titled album, and into a personal favorite of mine, “American Guilt,” the sixth track off Sex & Food (2018) that was released as a single prior to the official album release. The illumination on stage went from kaleidoscopic to fiery, misty reds, thematically appropriate for “American Guilt” and reminiscent of the cover art on the single itself.

I still cannot believe how engaging UMO was with the audience. Drummer Kody Nielson revved up the fans during their performance of “Not in Love We’re Just High,” the eleventh track from Sex & Food (2018), while frontman Ruban Nielson sang the song from within the crowd- all while perched on a fan’s shoulders! The sense of community and love in the crowd manifested itself even more so in tender tunes of the night such as, “Chronos Feasts on His Children,” and “If You’re Going to Break Yourself,” the final track from their latest album. The show could not have been complete without an opalescent version of “Can’t Keep Checking My Phone,” a hypnotically dance-inducing jam off Multi-Love (2015). I looked around hoping nobody was actually checking their phone because not only would that be painfully ironic, but Unknown Mortal Orchestra is the one band you wouldn’t want to miss a second of.

 

Lit&Live with Mason Day Performers

WGMU’s deejays interviewed 2018’s Mason Day performers prior to their shows on April 27.


By: Jesse BenitezChristian Hernandez, Jonathan Ibarra, Kate Klajbor, Saige MacLeod, Jackie Reed, and Fielder Wise

WGMU’s deejays interviewed 2018’s Mason Day performers prior to their shows on April 27.

Mason Some Noise: masonsomenoise.com/
Rare Fruit: @rarefruitmusic
WusGoodTJ: www.youtube.com/channel/UCbhMuvxc-rvQ3b1SatMqVVA
Chud Music: @chudmusic
A.S.K. (King Khalafalla): @kingkhalafalla
Ray Maj: @callmemaj
ÁVON DESÍAR: @avondesiar
Apprehension Engine: apprehensionengine11105.bandcamp.com/
StormmxTony: stormmxtony.bandcamp.com/releases
Timberbrooke: timberbrooke.bandcamp.com/

More information can be found at si.gmu.edu/masonday/. Feature Photo By (Student Involvement/Official Website).

Lit&Local with Twin Shadow

Dominican-American singer and producer George Lewis Jr. (Twin Shadow) talked with WGMU’s Jesse Benitez to share insight about his most album Caer (2018), out April 27.


By: Jesse Benitez

Dominican-American singer and producer George Lewis Jr. (Twin Shadow) talked with WGMU’s Jesse Benitez to share insight about his most album Caer (2018), out April 27. He will be performing at U Street Music Hall on April 27.

For more information, go to http://www.twinshadow.net/.
Feature Photo By (Twin Shadow/Official Website).


9:30 Presents at U Street Music Hall: Twin Shadow

Featuring Yuno

GA: $30

Tickets

Fri, Apr 27

Doors 7:00pm // Show 7:00pm

U Street Music Hall // Washington, DC

WGMU Exclusive: Opioid Crisis Symposium

On April 19, a slew of researchers, scholars, and politicians visited George Mason University to propose solutions toward ending the opioid crisis in Northern Virginia.


By: Jackie Reed

FAIRFAX, VA – On April 19, a slew of researchers, scholars, and politicians visited George Mason University to propose solutions toward ending the opioid crisis in Northern Virginia. At 8:15 a.m., panelists, researchers, and politicians gathered in Dewberry Hall to begin the all-day symposium.

Opening the dialogue was William Hazel, senior advisor for strategic initiatives and policy at Mason. As former Virginia Secretary for Health and Human Resources, Hazel is greatly familiar with initiatives that fight against the opioid crisis. First speaker after Hazel’s introduction was David Wu, the university’s provost and executive vice president. Wu emphasized Mason’s commitment to developing “trans-disciplinary research” – starting at the collegiate level can have an impact on public health issues today.

After Wu’s introduction, governor of Virginia Ralph Northam presented his call to action to eradicate such an epidemic, by defining it as the “largest challenge” Virginia faces today. He stated, “we lost 1,227 – 1,227 Virginians to opioid overdoses in 2017. And I would like to tell you that the numbers are going down but they are not.”

As a governor and a physician, Northam explains how attainable narcotics are, whether prescribed or sold otherwise. “Access to heroin is not difficult in this day and age, and as you know, that heroin is now often laced with either fentanyl or par fentanyl, which is about 100 times as potent than fentanyl,” Northam said. Once consumers have access to these drugs, even after one use, they can become addicted.

According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), “roughly 21 to 29 percent of patients prescribed opioids for chronic pain misuse them.” Wilson Compton, deputy director of NIDA, considers the market increase of drug usage and exposure as “an extraordinary situation.” Compton noted, “Dr. Hazel and the governor reminded us that this did start with over-prescribing. That was the spark that started this fire – through a really well-intentioned desire – treat pain more effectively. That is our goal. We need to make sure that we do a good job of taking care of patients with pain.” Because of the easy access and prone nature to drug addiction, physicians and pharmacists have an integral role in educating patients and preventing misuse of such prescriptions.

Prevention, acute management, and general management are the main takeaways from the symposium. Programs hoping to eradicate the epidemic require innovation, collaboration among several perspectives, and dissemination of backed and current statistics.

Feature Photo By (Sasha Toophanie/WGMU).

Lit&Local with Crashing Hotels

Brooklyn-based dark electro-dance duo Crashing Hotels talked with WGMU’s Christian Hernandez and Jesse Benitez to share details about their most recent album, Exploration Exploitation (2018).


By: Christian Hernandez and Jesse Benitez

Brooklyn-based dark electro-dance duo Crashing Hotels talked with WGMU’s Christian Hernandez and Jesse Benitez to share details about their most recent album, Exploration Exploitation (2018). The artists added insight about redefining band merchandise and future endeavors.

For more information, visit www.crashinghotels.com.
Feature Photo By (Crashing Hotels/BandCamp).


Thirdstory at 9:30 Club

Photo By (Rhema Johnson/WGMU).

Photo By (Rhema Johnson/WGMU).

“Tell me you want me, tell me you need me to love you. I’ve been searching everywhere!”


By: Rhema Johnson

“Tell me you want me, tell me you need me to love you. I’ve been searching everywhere!” Those memorable lyrics were written by an American band entitled Thirdstory who consists of artists by the name of Ben Lusher, Richard Saunders, and Elliott Skinner.

Thirdstory graced the 9:30 Club on April 12 at 9 p.m., a month after releasing their 11-track debut album Coldheart (2018) on March 9. Thirdstory is almost complete with their latest US tour with six shows remaining! The band is known for their remarkable harmonies and unique, electric blend of different genres which was very much shown throughout their performance that night.

At 8 p.m., the show opened with an artist named Grace Weber out of New York who made a fiery entrance with one of her tracks titled, “Through the Fire”. She was accompanied by her drummer, Alvin and keyboardist, Brandon Butler. Weber was very active with the crowd encouraging everyone to sing along with her while she showcased her dynamic vocal range. In addition, Grace premiered a song from her upcoming album with The Social Experiment called, “Water’s Edge”.  Finally, Grace ended her opening set covering Daniel Caesar’s “We Find Love” and incorporated an epic call and response with the crowd while creating a segue to the headliner of the evening.

Thirdstory began their set with “Hit The Ceiling” which is one of my favorite tracks from the album. The group’s harmonies were truly indescribable, and it is awesome to me how they found one another and their voices blend so well along with their notable instrumentation. Along with performing songs from their album, Thirdstory also took the crowd back to their youtube days by doing an amazing live acoustic rendition of Drake’s “Hotline Bling” which was definitely a crowd favorite. After paying a tribute to one of their inspirations, “Adrienne Lenker” and performing more songs from the album, Thirdstory ended the night with their beautiful song entitled, “Searching For a Feeling” which moved the audience into wanting an encore after they concluded. So, the band returned to the stage and performed their well-known song “Still In Love” ending the show in high spirits.

I recently just started following Thirdstory thanks to a good friend of mine and I cannot stop singing their songs especially after experiencing them live. Their lyrics, their harmonies, and their instrumentation is breathtaking, and I encourage each and every one of you who reads this review to listen to Coldheart and tell your friends!

Album Review: Jack White’s Boarding House Reach (2018)

jack whiteWhat did I just listen to? A crazy brain at work.

Top Tracks: Corporation, Hypermisophoniac, Ice Station Zebra, Over and Over and Over

Rating: 9/10


By: Mikey Bamarni

Jack White was losing interest and appeal over the past five years with consistently underwhelming and uninspired music, painfully awkward interviews, and comments that made the greatest guitarist of the 21st century come across as a jerk.

Lazaretto (2014), his last full-length solo album from 2014, is the worst thing he has released with “White” in the album artist’s name. After that he released a disappointing record with one of his bands, The Dead Weather. What ended up being his best song in this musically rough time period was the Beyoncé jammer “Don’t Hurt Yourself” – which, ironically enough, this is something White might have been thinking about if he kept releasing records at the quality he was.

So when there was news of Boarding House Reach (2018) coming through, the excitement wasn’t all that high. Then, he goes on to release perhaps his cheesiest and worst lead single ever, “Connected by Love.” Granted, it sounds a little better in the context of the record as a whole, but it made many afraid that Jack White was about to kill-or at least damage-his own legacy. Thankfully, that song and the album it’s on could not be any more different.

Boarding House Reach is Jack White’s most experimental album in his now 20 year career. It does so much intense and crazy s**t that there is no way someone could claim it was done by anyone else. I am not, by any means, saying it is a perfect record. Many of the tracks are nonsense spoken words. “Why Walk a Dog?” is about how dogs have made us the pet (Jack. Relax, bud.) In many ways it reminds me of Kanye West’s album The Life of Pablo. It jumps around, but also gives you little glimpses of the artist’s genius brain. A man who in the future will go down as one of 21st century’s most creative and inspiring forces.

The good songs here aren’t just good, they are crazy good. They grab you by the throat. He experiments heavily with funk, rap, and even classical sounds. The 1-2-3 punch centerpiece of “Hypermisophoniac”, “Ice Station Zebra”, and “Over and Over and Over” perhaps is the best string of three songs that Jack has ever put to record. The last two tracks on Boarding House Reach “What’s Done is Done” and “Humoresque” also stand out due to their slow tempos. These songs still explore new ground like the other tracks do, but more so by gently grabbing your hand.

It is a polarizing album, one that some will not like. If you want to hear some straight up garage rock anthems like “Fell in Love with a Girl” or “Seven Nation Army” you won’t find that here. However, you will find a complete album that with all of its flaws, at its core, is brilliant.

Feature Photo By (Jack White/Official Website).

WGMU Hiring For 2018-2019 Academic Year

WGMU-Logo_newtag_0917

Join the Team!

WGMU Radio is hiring paid and volunteer executive/general staff positions for the upcoming 2018-2019 academic year. The station is looking to fill six positions.  The list of the six positions are below.  To view the job description, click on the title.

Music Director/Assistant Program Director

Independent/Local Music Director

Sports Media/Sports Programming Director

Marketing Director

Production Director

Director of Engineering (Chief Audio Engineer)

 

QUALIFICATIONS: Must be an enrolled Mason student for the upcoming year. Must maintain a 2.5 GPA and be familiar with WGMU.

TO APPLY: All interested job applicants should submit a completed WGMU Employment Application and your current resume with a cover letter (references are preferred)  to WGMU General Manager to Sasha Toophanie, WGMU General Manager by email: stoophan@gmu.edu with your name and the position title in the subject line.

Download the job application here: WGMU EMPLOYMENT APPLICATION

The deadline for submissions is Monday, April 9, 2018 at 5pm.

WGMU Radio is an employer of equal opportunity. All genders, races and orientations are encouraged to apply.

Butler Sets Another Record as Mason WBB’s Season Ends in Blacksburg

Photo By (Rafael Suanes/GMU).

Photo By (Rafael Suanes/GMU).

As the Hokies came in the favorite for this game, that did not stop the Patriots from fighting back as they tried to close the gap in late.


By: Domenic Allegra

BLACKSBURG, VA – George Mason (24-10) took on Virginia Tech (20-13) this Sunday in the second round of the WNIT. As the Hokies came in the favorite for this game, that did not stop the Patriots from fighting back as they tried to close the gap in late. However, this one went the Hokies’ way as they won by a score of 78-69. Even though the season is now over, it was most definitely one that will not be forgotten.

Let’s breakdown this game.

Marika Korpinen started again for Mason as Jacy Bolton was still out for undisclosed reasons. Korpinen struggled from the floor with only 2 points and 2 rebounds having played 30 minutes.

Natalie Butler led the team again with 26 points and 20 rebounds, breaking another record in the process, now holding the school record for most points in a season with 653 points. Nicole Cardaño-Hillary added 15 points of her own, three clutch three-pointers, and 4 helpers. Tayler Dodson finished the game with 18 points, 2 three-pointers, 6 rebounds, and dished out seven assists.

VT’s Tayler Emery led her team with 23 points, 4 rebounds, and one three-pointer. VT had almost 5 players score double digits, with Aisha Sheppard just short with 8 points. Mason turned over the ball 17 times, with the Hokies scoring almost 30 points off of Mason’s miscues.

At the beginning of the game Mason stuck with the Hokies up until the 3-minute mark of the first quarter where then Virginia Tech went on an 11-0 run, ending the quarter up 21-15. During the second quarter, Mason struggled to score more than 10 points, and VT was relentless shooting 50% of their field goals and at multiple times being up by as much as 20 points. The Secretary of Defense, Natalie Butler, was not her normal self the first half, and neither was our offense. Mason needed a spark to ignite their play.

In the second half, Mason became as close as eight points behind the Hokies with a score of 55-47. Mason shot a much better 62% from the field, but their comeback was fleeting as VT scored two three-pointers to widen the gap to 14 points. Mason’s defense was much stronger in the paint than it was in the first half, however, Mason’s weak perimeter presence was being capitalized on by the Hokies as they made 9 three-pointers throughout the game. With a minute to go, Mason closed to the gap to only five, before turning the ball over on two consecutive key possessions. Mason then played the “foul game” and VT made four of six free throws to end Mason’s tournament run and season by a score of 78-69.

This was a great season by the Mason Women’s Basketball Team, hopefully they can continue to progress next season without Natalie Butler and Tayler Dodson. They should definitely be proud of themselves as they worked extremely hard and did so many things that have not been done before in school history.

Thanks for an awesome season, ladies, I’ll still be in the Green Machine next year cheering you all on, best of luck.

Stay tuned for a Season Recap on WGMU.

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