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The Illin' Music Thread

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Tag Archives: Music

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






“Do you remember that dream you had, where the sound chips from the beloved games consoles of your youth all got together and formed a Weezer tribute band? Yeah? No? OK. That dream is about to come true whether you had it or not.”

I came across this band as I was checking out another NYC-based 8-bit group named Starscream my roommate Cosme showed me during second semester. I was immediately entranced by their interpretations of Weezer songs, all done through 8-bit gameboy blips and bloops.

8-bit music for me can be a bit of a joke sometimes. It’s hard to make videogame noises sound convincing, especially after all the hours I’ve logged on Chrono Trigger. Maybe you’ll find nordloef to be a gimmick, but I think their take on Weezer is inspired. How many people do you know take the time to mod out their old-timey Gameboys and then decide it would be a good idea to completely cover an album by Weezer?

However, as with most 8-bit music, after a while it all starts to kind of sound the same. I mean, you’re working with 8 bits of information. It can be hard to vary what you do after a while, I suppose.

Despite this, though, their songs are fun to listen through, and are definitely worth a listen. They also supply free downloads of their music, which is wicked cool. More bands should do that. Check it out, guys! Dan, do you know how to mod Gameboys? If not, you should learn, man! Could you imagine Mikel’s new album with a few bleeps added in? Maybe you should redo She, She, She with only 8-bit noises. 😛


A track of his I enjoy (you can download it, too!):

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