New Music Review: Bjork – Biophilia

Bjork – Biophilia
Nonesuch Records
Released October 10, 2011

No matter how you look at it, Biophilia is simply a bizarre album, or rather “multi-media project,” if you want to acknowledge it as such. While by Bjork standards a bizarre approach is expected and even welcomed, for a project with such strong conviction to a grandiose concept it seems to be weakest where it matters most; the music. Bjork’s all-important solipsistic nature seems to have diminished and taken with it her distinguished ear and ability to filter her myriad ideas.

The album is centered on scientific concepts and how they can translate into music. While this sounds like a promising focus fertile with potential for out-there sounds, no single track seems to achieve the sense of bio-musical synthesis that Bjork has promised. Rather, they seem to be vehicles for an educational iPad suite teaching things you might find in a high-school physics textbook.

I have to wonder if the four years spent making the record were focused more on the creation of imaginary instruments and the iPad app suite than on actual songwriting. Most of the songs are packed with disparate sounds that never seem to congeal or form a driving rhythm or make a point. Worst of all, the sounds are all damn-near-silent most of the time, leaving only Bjork’s lonely vocals. Loudness isn’t by any means necessary and space can be a great tool for making a musical point, but usually as a means of accentuating the parts where the arrangement is full and moving. The sounds on this record are simply disinterested and lost. Even the few sounds which manage to stick out for brief moments faultily pander to movements already far back in most people’s rear-view mirror, namely dubstep and ‘90s-era-IDM.

Everything seems to be minimal right down to Bjork’s vocals, arguably the most crucial element of her songs. She doesn’t seem engaged or interested in the works, and the playful attitude she brings to her best pieces is altogether absent from the entire record. If she can’t hold our attention, I doubt an instrumental Tesla-coil will, especially if you remove the visual element from the mix.

In short, many of the concepts present in the project as a whole would have been best transcribed into a musical form. It’s a shame the record was envisioned as being ensconced in this multi-media scaffolding from its inception, as this approach seems to have constricted what it can achieve on its own, and at the end of the day I’d wager most people will only know the music exists and wonder what happened upon hearing it.

-RK.

Coaches Corner: ODU Women’s Head Coach Karen Barefoot

Karen Barefoot is a new head coach in the CAA, she recently took over the woman’s basketball program at Old Dominion University.  New but familar, Karen was a fromer  assistant with this ODU squad back in the  2005-2008 season winning three CAA Championships.  Her recent stint with Elon University was a success as she helped coach them to thier first ever Division I playoff appearance.  A pretigous career record of 286-166, she has been an icon of winning and changing programs for the better. 
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Coaches Corner: Interview with Towson Men’s Basketball Coach Pat Skerry

On Friday WGMU continued its Coaches Corner segment with an interview of the 1st year head coach of Towson, Pat Skerry. Coach Skerry took over a Towson squad that was 0-18 in the Colonial Athletic Association last season, winning just 4 games overall. The Towson Tigers have started this season 0-6, but they have faced two nationally ranked teams in Kansas and Michigan. He candidly says that even though the talent level may not necessarily be there to compete this season, the program at Towson is defiantly on the rise.

Coach Skerry notes throughout the interview that with the eventual completion of the state-of-the-art Tiger Arena in 2013, Towson will have the finest facility in the conference.  Coach Skerry goes on to say that even with only one scholarship senior on the team,  that he is very optimistic about the future of the program  because of what he describes as “possibly one of the best recruiting classes in the mid majors” coming to Towson next season.
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Coaches Corner: WGMU’s newest sports segment

If you’re part of the Mason faithful, you know feeling of desire, passion and praise for your athletic teams.  But haven’t you ever wondered what rival teams think when they go up against your Patriots?  In the newest segment to hit WGMU air waves, “coaches corner” is all about getting to know the competition.  WGMU sports directors sit down before every men and women’s basketball game to talk with rival coaches about their upcoming match-ups with George Mason.  If you want the inside scoop on what the opposing coach is thinking, check out WGMU before every basketball match-up.

Follow the link below to catch up on interviews you may have missed:

Coaches Corner archives

Mason vs Stony Brook: A Coaches Take

Coach Beth O’ Boyle enters her first full season at the helm of the Stony Brook women’s baketball program.  Tonight her team heads home for thier first homestand of the season, as they prepare to take on George Mason at Pritchard Gymnasium.  Led by Coach Jeri Porter the Patriots are comming off back to back wins over Oakland and Longwood Universities.  The last time the two programs met Mason pulled out a dominating 74-48 win at the Patriot Center.    Even though Mason has dominated play as of late  you cant overlook that  Stony Brook has  a new coach, its a new year and a road game.  WGMU  sat down with head coach Beth O’Boyle to talk about her take on tonights game and the direction of the Stonybrook program.

Coaches Corner: Interview with Brown Head Coach Jesse Agel

Brown University will clash with George Mason for only the second time in program history.  The Patriots took the first contest in 2008 by a score of 89-52 on thier home floor, a game Brown will look to forget.  Since that contest Mason has undergone some changes, they have new players and a new coach.  In a sit down interview with Brown head coach Jesse Agel, he talks about tonights contest, his expectations for this Brown squad and the “new look” Patriots.

Interview: Coach Agel

Women’s Basketball takes on Longwood: Chat with LU Head Coach Bill Reinson

  In a sit down interview, right here on WGMU, Lancers Head Coach Bill Reinson talked about his teams strides over the last few season and into tonights contest.  This evening Longwood, an independent Division I school,  sets themselves up for a match up  at 7pm  with the Patriots.  Currently George Mason holds the overall series record at 8-2.  Both loses coming on the road at Willet Hall in Farmville, VA. 

George Mason’s next women’s home game will be Sunday, November 27th at 2pm.  Tune in to WGMU  for radio coverage by the Gomason digital network.

Andre Cornelius Addresses Mason Nation on TMB

Mason Basketball Point guard Andre Cornelius discusses the start of the new season on The Morning Breakdown with John Powell, Cody Norman and Dan Zimmet before the first game tonight. Cornelius is slated to play his first game in December after a 10 game suspension. Listen here for more:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

(OffWing Photo)

WGMU Is The Flagship Station for Mason Basketball!

It’s that time of the year and WGMU is once again excited to announce that it’s the flagship station for George Mason Men’s and Women’s Basketball as a part of the Go Mason Digital Network!

Be sure to tune into wgmuradio.com 45 minutes before all Women’s games for The Coaches Report, Pride of the Patriots, and be sure to stay tuned for the halftime report, and for all Men’s games tune in 15 minutes before for the Pregame Report!

Make sure to download the GoMason app so you can tune in to hear all the Men’s and Women’s Basketball games on your iPhone, Android or Blackberry and also check out www.gomason.com to stay up to date with all Mason Athletics.

Live Broadcasting Mason Madness!

It’s that time of year again! Mason Madness starts Friday at 9:30pm in the Patriot Center and signifies the start of the basketball season!

 

Sports Director Tyler Mauro and some others will be LIVE broadcasting Mason Madness courtside at the Patriot Center. Look out for them and if you can’t make it, tune in at www.wgmuradio.com as always!

 

This year again WGMU is excited to announce that it’s the flagship station for Men’s and Women’s Basketball! We’re part of the Go Mason Digital Network! Make sure to download the app so you can tune in to hear all the Men’s and Women’s Basketball games on your iPhone, Android or Blackberry. Also check out www.gomason.com to stay up to date with all Mason Athletics.