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The Illin' Music Thread

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Tag Archives: pop

Long time no see! I’m in the middle of finals, and to prolong my procrastination, I’m posting on here. Fun times!

Wye Oak, a folk-tinged indie rock band from Baltimore, came to Colby a few weeks ago and put on the best coffeehouse show of the semester. It was also probably the least well-attended show of the semester, due to two school groups performing at the same time.

These guys are awesome. The band is composed of Jenn Wasner singing and guitar-ing, and Andy Stack drumming with one hand and playing synth bass with the other hand (baller!). Jenn has a haunting, beautiful voice that really stuck with me after the show was done and over. (and maybe Mikel will develop a new celebrity crush on her)

If you can see these two live, do it! It was awesome to see two people so passionate about their music. They also rocked the fuck out for just twenty people or so, which was also cool because sometimes bands get pissed off at low turnouts. I think it would be interesting to compare how they play when the crowd is bigger and can give more energy to them during their performance with their Colby show.

I bought The Knot, their new album, after the show. My favorite song off it is “Siamese”. It’s dreamy, and really reminds me of driving in the winter. Check it out!


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Well! It’s been a while. Let’s get to it, eh?

I remember my friend Brittany Grabel was obsessed with folk artist Josh Ritter in high school. We talked about him in our Modern Lit class. It was good times. I just recently remembered him and started listening to some of his music. I rediscovered my favorite song of his, “Harrisburg”, and felt like it’d be a good song to put up on the Thread.

This song really reminds me of my second semester of senior year. The song is really melancholy, and that time of my life wasn’t, so I’m not exactly sure why this song reminds me of it (other than the fact I listened to it a lot back then).

Anyhow, for your listening pleasure: Josh Ritter’s “Harrisburg”. I usually never understand the lyrics the first time I listen to a song; I enjoy the melody and its composition before getting into the lyrics and the meanings derived thereof. His voice is really honest, and he does a great job of communicating the lyrics to the listener, so with this song, the lyrics were the first thing I noticed. It’s a similar thing with Sunset Rubdown–their lyrics were the firs thing I noticed before anything else. Interesting, I guess.

Hope everyone’s doing well! Take it easy, y’all.

Also, P.S.–Lucas, Josh Ritter is an Oberlin alum! Cool connection! Yeah!

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There are so many layers of irony to this that I don’t even know where to start.

Essentially, this song is a mash-up of “Party and Bullshit” by Notorious B.I.G. with “Party in the USA” by Miley Cyrus. Oh. My. God. So amazing.

I’m not sure why or how Miley Cyrus became popular with college students all of a sudden. At Colby (and, according to Mikel, at Bowdoin too–but then again, what’s even the difference between the two, really?), this song blew up, and if you go to a party this year at good ol’ Colbs, you are guaranteed to hear “Party in the USA” at least three times.

Even if it is Miley Cyrus, you have to agree that “Party in the USA” is SO catchy and SO well-written. Now, throw in Biggie’s impeccable flow to this perfect pop song, and BAM. Pure gold.

Mash-up artist hathbanger slammed together these two songs, and I’m not sure whether to thank him or just wonder at it. I think I’m going to go with thanking him.


Oh, and this song is up here in TRUE Illin’ Music Thread style. Gabe posted this song on Mikel’s wall. I chill with Mikel tonight, he shows me this song, and I post it up here. Thanks so much to Gabe and Mikel for this song! Holla!

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I was recently listening to The Faces’ “Ooh La La”, and it made me think about how we (the writers of the Thread) would listen to music at full blast while driving around Cambridge. We’d be obnoxious and blast hip hop and electro with the windows down, but every once in a while that song would come on, and it would have Lucas, Mikel and Dan harmonizing away. Indie/Folk group When I Was 12’s “Explicit Content”, I’m sure, would (and will) do the same thing.

It’s an angry break-up song, but sung so sweetly and cutely you can’t help but feel happy and fuzzy. “I think I’ll write a song with some explicit content/ so if you don’t want to hear it shut your ears,” is lead singer Adrianne Gold’s scathing-yet-sweetly-sung opening to this intelligent, folk-y, poppy tune.

Twee, quirky and cutting, Gold sings lines such as “I know you left your sweater here/ the one that was hunter green/ the one that I’m keeping forever/ the only thing I liked about being together” that are completely as relatable as they are adorable and funny.

I know this song could have be written by any one of the multitudes of indie/folk artists in the world, but it’s still fun to listen to. Is it one of the best songs ever? No, but it is catchy, worth a listen and it makes me happy. So there. Sew buttons!

Here’s the link for the download. Enjoy! And guys–when we’re all back in town, get ready to waste gas and listen to music. YEAH!

(Be sure to check out their song “S is for Subway”. So good!)

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A contender for perhaps the happiest, twee-est song ever written, Owl City’s “Hot Air Balloon” never fails to put a smile on my face. It’s completely over-produced, hyperbolic, autotuned, and full of sappy, cute lyrics, but that’s what I love it for.

An electropop artist (with emphasis on the “pop”) hailing from Seattle, WA, Owl City is actually a single artist named Adam Young. According to Wikipedia (that ever-expanding encyclopedia of questionable acceptability), his main influences are “disco” and “European electronic music”.  I would argue that Owl City’s closest contemporary is the powerpop group hellogoodbye. Although Owl City is, indeed, more electronic than hellogoodbye, perhaps it’s the autotune and careful, bright production that brings them to mind. Owl City’s other single, “Hello Seattle”, has a breakdown which truly reminds me of them.

Maybe I should stop mentioning what this band sounds like compared to this or that band. It’s all fun, nonstop happiness anyways! Download Owl City’s “Hot Air Balloon” here!

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PHISH-Joy-cover-art or or

Before I actually start the post, let me just say that I am a phishhead. Okay. Cool.

I’ve been hesitant to write this post, because, as people who know me will attest, I’m known to preach the virtues of this band. I used to have 15 gigabytes of their music before my external hard drive crashed. Yeah, it was a bit much. However, I’ve come down a bit in terms of the intensity of my preaching! For example, instead of screaming “LISTEN TO PHISHSHSHS” at people, now I write about them on a blog. Baby steps.

Anyhow, I listened to this song once in the beginning of the summer and, as many of my ilk are prone to do, promptly wrote it off as Phish attempting to be poppy and accessible. However, I’ve been listening to it nonstop in the past few days. Maybe other phans will get down on me for liking this song, but I just can’t help it!

I mean, yeah, I love Phish’s crazy compositions like You Enjoy Myself and Guelah Papyrus which are full of intricately written, music theory-filled passages. They’re one of the few rock bands that can make a fugue sound awesome. But I like this song because they just completely forget about trying to make it complex, and they do it without sounding like they’re selling out. It’s a catchy, bouncy, fun pop song. The chorus has officially kicked Magic Magic out of my head, and is now stuck in my cranium. It also wouldn’t be a Phish song without a searing guitar solo from Mr. Anastasio. The solo is incredibly melodic and full of joy (lol lol lololol lol).

The song is just so HAPPY. It originally started as a poem written by Phish’s lyricist Tom Marshall as a birthday present to Trey Anastasio. As with many of the other songs on Phish’s new album Joy, BDTNL is full of appreciation of close friends who stick with you through rough times (in this case, perchance Anastasio is referencing the band sticking with him through his struggle with drugs? Mm?).

This song makes me want to hug all my friends. I get chills every time I hear Trey sing “Do you know why we’re still friends?” Even if you don’t like Phish, you may like this song. Their new album Joy comes out on the 8th. The entire album is on their myspace page, available for streaming. BDTNL is available for download via iTunes, and can be streamed for free (in high quality–not shitty myspace quality) here.

You decide what it contains
How long it goes
But this remains
The only rule is it begins
Happy happy, oh my friend

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