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The Illin' Music Thread

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Author Archives: ohbeone

Wow, it’s been a while. I got back from 5 weeks singing opera in Italy last week, with a layover in London. On my flight home from London, I sat next to a philosophy professor from UMass Boston. We spent quite a few of our 9 hours on the plane (lots of delays) trading music, and she showed me a bunch of really wonderful singer-songwriters.

The first one who really peaked my interest was a girl named Vienna Teng. I seem to have a predilection for female singer-songwriters. Her voice is beautiful, without the cutesy-ness of Regina Spektor (and all her sound-alikes). Her songs make me want to take a bubble bath with scented candles and let the sound wash over me. At the same time, they make me want to drive with all the windows down on Martha’s Vineyard at the end of summer when the leaves are starting to not be so green anymore.

My plane buddy recommended Teng’s album Inland Territory. It’s a perfectly crafted album about so many things that form a totally coherent whole. There’s “Grandmother Song,” a song from her judgmental grandmother’s point of view sung without any instruments behind her, “No Gringo,” a song about if the racism issues in Arizona were the other way around, and white Americans were the targeted group, and countless other excellent tracks (actually only 12).

My favorite of the moment is called Antebellum. I hope you like it. If you do, support her and get one of her many albums on Amazon, or iTunes, or from her website. She has to pay for grad school somehow. Her grandmother will be very happy.

Vienna Teng – Antebellum




My mom clearly embarrassed this girl who works at Trader Joe's.

Hey guys! So it’s almost Thanksgiving and I’ll be seeing all of you soooo soon and I can’t wait. To that end, I’ve made myself a mix of (mostly) relevant music to me right now, and music that gets me excited to see you all! The mix is called Finally Fall, because Ohio is being crazy and has basically been warm until nowish. Last year it had already snowed a few times before November! But the point is that I’m so excited to come home!!! Also, no judging on some of the choices…


1. Volare – Vitamin C (from the Lizzie McGuire Movie soundtrack)

2. America’s Suitehearts (Remix feat. Lil Wayne) – Fall Out Boy

3. Party In The U.S.A. – Miley Cirus (this plays on the radio to and from my job every Thursday and Sunday)

4. What Dreams Are Made Of – Hilary Duff (yeah whatever I love Lizzie)

5. Crush’d – Say Anything

6. TFO – Harlem Shakes (the guys who opened for Passion Pit that time)

7. This Must Be The Place – Miles Fisher

8. Full Spectrum Bulbs – Deaf Country (Grant, this is soooo good!)

9. Raphael: Her heart is trembling – Daniil Shtoda

10. The Promised Land (live) – Bruce Springsteen

11. Please Come Back Home – Glasvegas

12. Autoclave – The Mountain Goats

13. Babys – Bon Iver

14. The Lamplighter – Timothy Parsons (Tim rocking out in April at MSM)


You guys probably already have most of these, and some are from the Thread, but I hope you enjoy them in this particular order!

Here at Oberlin, people use a program called Shakespeer (or DC++ if you’re a Neanderthal) to share files. This means that in seconds I can download albums, discographies, movies, TV show seasons (I’m almost done with 30 Rock season 3). So I’m always downloading random stuff, and clicking on things just to see if people have things I want. To that end, I present to you Fall Out Boy’s “America’s Suitehearts (Remix feat. Lil Wayne).” If you like-a da Fall Out Boy, then I’m sure you’ll love this. I’ve been listening to it since this morning. So twice really, but I like it a lot.

I’ve never really been big on remixes, but I’m starting to get into them… between operas anyway.

America\’s Suitehearts (Remix feat. Lil Wayne).mp3

In honor of this most hallowed of days (and most weened of days) I offer up “Werewolf Bar Mitzvah” by Tracy Morgan. It’s a whole song he recorded for a 5second spot in 30 Rock. And it’s fantastic. Sorry I haven’t posted much, but basically all the new music I’ve been finding has been classical, and I haven’t thought it would be fit for the Thread. Instead, comedy! Here’s the text of the chorus:

“Werewolf Bar Mitzvah,

Spooky, scary!

Boys becoming men!

Men becoming wolves!”


Happy Halloween!

Werewolf Bar Mitzvah

P.S. For Halloween, I’m dressing up as a banana.

Today in Music History 101, we had a guest lecture from an ethnomusicologist. She played us examples of Qur’anic recitation (readings from the Qur’an, the holy book of Islam) and we discussed whether or not it was music.

After listening to that for an hour, it made me really want to listen to my favorite piece of non-Western tonality music: Praising Bogd Mountain, performed by Altai KhairKhan from their album Whistle In The Wind. Altai KhairKhan are a group of Mongolian overtone singers, which is similar to tuvan throat singing.

I don’t really know much else about it, other than the fact that it’s really awesome, and that listening to the whole album through gave me a migraine! But you should still listen to the one track. Second favorite goes to The Yellow Camel With A Quick And Pliable Pace.

Altai KhairKhan:

Praising Bogd Mountain

So here’s the story. Last January, when I was home from school for Winter Term, that glorious period when a student doesn’t spend a whole month in the Ohio Winter, we went to Club Passim a lot for open mic nights. One of those nights, a short cute girl went up to the piano and basically blew everybody away. I spent a long time that night attempting to figure out how to spell her name to find her online (it’s pronounced [nI-lIs] for those of you who know IPA, and Nih-liss for those who don’t). When I did, I discovered on her touring schedule that she was playing in Oberlin on some random night in March.

Flash forward 2 months: It’s the night of Stephanie Nilles’ performance. I ask lots of people to go, but everybody is busy studying and generally being lame; I don’t care though because I’m just really excited. I walk over to the Cat in the Cream, the coffeehouse/delicious fresh cookie place on campus, order a chocolate chip cookie and a glass of milk, and sit down at a table near the piano. Well, 8 o’clock rolls around, and nobody else has shown up. Stephanie walks up onto the stage, sits down at the piano, looks around at her audience of one, and starts to play. She was incredible, as expected, and afterward we chatted for a while and bought her EP even though she tried to give it to me for free.

Flash forward to last Wednesday: She came to play at Oberlin again! This time, I got about 15 other people to come, and some more came too. By the end, there were 10 left, but that’s ok! It was a really good time, and afterward we chatted again and I bought her new CD.

The new CD, called The Off-White Album & Waltzes in the Key of Gypsy McGee, is really good, but I liked the old one more. It’s a little more produced and more political than the previous one, reDemo. Some of the tracks are the same, but rerecorded.

Anyway, here’s a track from the old CD, and one from the new CD!

From reDemo:

My Favorite Things

From The Off-White Album & Waltzes in the Key of Gypsy McGee:

Beacon of Liberty

If you guys like them, I’ll post both albums. She told me to spread them around, so I’m more than willing! Enjoy!