New Music Monday – August 3, 2015

homepage_large.f81f39b6In two years, Wilco’s Jeff Tweedy will be turning 50 years old. With that in mind, it only makes sense that the former folkster-gone-indie rocker made one of the most delightfully discordant records of his career. It’s like a sonic mid-life crisis. Star Wars was released on July 17 on Anti- Records, and it makes its’ way to the KSDB line-up this week.

Wilco established themselves as one of the forerunners of what we now call “modern indie” in 2002 with Yankee Foxtrot Hotel. While Wilco’s previous work may seem forgettable to anyone who wasn’t a pretentious 22-year old back in 2002, Star Wars is an invigorating jolt of energy. “Random Name Generator” boasts a fuzzy guitar riff with a catchy saw tooth hook, while “The Joke Explained” feels like a 1950’s prom shuffle-beat gone awry. At times, the album can seem a bit derivative, but when you step back and consider the different influences (rockabilly and even electronica on “Pickled Ginger”) you realize that a legitimate artist put a great amount of work into this.  Slower ballad-esque cuts like “Your Satellite” and “Magnetized” are even masterfully pulled off. If you are looking for an interesting and artful record to listen to this week, you should definitely consider listening to Star Wars. It’s what the cat on the cover of the album would probably want.

Other albums we’re listening to this week:

HEALTH - Death MagicHEALTH released their first album in six years, titled Death Magic. The noise-rock group’s latest album serves up 12 dense avant-garde tracks that incorporate a variety of sounds and styles including synthpop and even R&B elements. Listen for “Dark Enough” and “Life” on KSDB.

La Luz      Will Seattle ever stop being the epicenter of all things bright and beautiful? Probably not. This  week,  we’re vibing a few albums from Emerald City. La Luz is a vibrant surf-rock band, and their latest  effort, Weirdo  Shrine, was graced by the production genius of the garage rock king Ty Segall.   Seapony’s Falling is the perfect  album for a sun-kissed, late summer adventure. Be sure to look for it this  summer from Hardly Art records.

Mac DeMarco released over half of the tracks to his upcoming Another One. At the end of the album, Mac DeMarco gives away the address to his home in Queens. So far, he says about 30 people have taken him up on his offer to make them coffee. For a cool track-by-track from the Canadian himself, check out his interview on NPR’s All Songs Considered.

Last but not least from the Great North, Slim Twig lets all stops loose on Thank You For Sticking With Slim Twig. It’s a Moog-laden analog adventure accompanied by fat bass and dry drumming. It falls somewhere between the psychedelic jam band sounds of the ’70s and Digital Ash In A Digital Urn. 

To get an idea of what the buzz has been lately, make sure you check out the weekly Spotify playlist:

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KSDB’s Top Albums of 2015 (So Far)

It’s been a great year in music thus far. Our exec staff weighs in on their favorite albums through the first half of 2015 (Spoiler alert: a lot of us like the Kendrick record).


Willy Evans – Production Director

5. Courtney Barnett- Sometimes I Sit and Think, Sometimes I Just Sit

I could have easily put Sleater Kinney, Drake, Sufjan, Young Thug, or even Shamir in this slot, but I decided to go with Courtney Barnett’s debut full length album. This album is the kind of post-grunge music that we here at KSDB pound back like an overweight tourist at an all you can eat oyster bar, but this oyster had just enough pearls in that I was forced to hack it back up and examine it more closely. Featuring some of my favorite tracks of the year, Sometimes I Sit and Think, Sometimes I Just Sit is a wonderful album.

4. Vince Staples- Summertime ’06
Vince Staples’ followup to last year’s Hell Can Wait- EP is an hour long 20 track behemoth of an album, and its final track cuts Vince off mid-sentence. From start to finish this album is packed to the gills and it hits far more than it misses. I’ve had less than 2 weeks to listen to this album, and I’m sure it’s only going to improve with repetition.
3. Earl Sweatshirt- I Don’t Like S**t, I Don’t Go Outside
I Don’t Like S**t, I Don’t Go Outside is a completely different animal from 2013’s Doris. It’s almost like Earl is trapped in slow motion. By far the darkest album on my list, Earl is like the weird squid creature in The Fellowship of the Ring who is going to grab you by the ankles and drag you down into the depths. You can fight it all you want, but giving in is so much better. After all, if Inside Out taught me anything, it’s that it’s okay to be sad sometimes.
2. Bully- Feels Likebully
The first time I heard Bully was during their performance at Brooklyn’s Northside festival. They opened for bands like Alvvays, Built to Spill, and Best Coast and for me they were on par with (and occasionally better than) all three. Their debut album Feels Like feels like it was taken from 1990 and magically transported here. Frustrated and self depreciative while simultaneously remaining catchy and upbeat, Feels Like is a modern call back to what made 90s rock great. (Also not to brag, but Alicia Bognanno and I touched the same copy of Surfer Rosa nbd)
1. Kendrick Lamar- To Pimp A Butterfly
The moment the beat kicks in on the first track to Kendrick’s third album feels like sinking into a warm bath. The fluidity of the album consumes you and transports you to Kendrick’s wonderland. It’s a murky world of injustice and outrage, but there is also hope, love, and pride there as well. It’s a hyper-reality, but it never dips into fantasy because it’s always grounded in the real world. To Pimp A Butterfly is easily the album I’ve listen to the most this year. This album is so consistent from top to bottom that 11 of the album’s 16 songs are vying for my favorite track (on the album and of the year).


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Video Game Review: Batman Arkham Knight

arkhamWell it’s finally here. After four years since the critically acclaimed Batman Arkham City came out, fans have been eagerly awaiting the end to what has been referred to as the Arkham Trilogy. Arkham Knight was originally slated for an October 2014 release date but was pushed back a whole eight months to June 2nd, 2015 and then three more weeks to June 23rd, 2015. After all the wait, all the hype, and all to excitement, does Batman Arkham Knight live up to all of it? It is safe to say…yes.


Batman Arkham Knight is the third and final installment in the Batman Arkham series by Rocksteady and WB Games. In the game you take over the role of Batman and take down Gotham’s most wanted with brutality and fear. Arkham Knight takes place nine months after the events of Arkham City and the city of Gotham is doing just fine. With the death of the Joker, crime rates have fallen and the people of Gotham City feel safe. That is, however, abruptly ended when the villainous Scarecrow launches a chemical attack on the city with his new and improved Fear Toxin. Scarecrow threatens the city of Gotham that he will release his toxin across the city and gives everyone 24 hours to leave the city. All of the citizens leave except the criminals who love the chaos, the police sworn to protect the city at any cost and of course the Batman.

That’s about all I’m going to say about the plot without spoiling anything, but I do have to say that while this is a fantastic send off and overall story, it just isn’t as grand and thrill seeking as the story from Arkham City and is pretty straightforward with a few plot twists and OMG moments that are still good. (more…)

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Program Feature: Movie Madhouse

Willy Evans is a graduated senior in Journalism and Mass Communications. Kari Bingham-Gutierrez is a graduated senior in English. They host the Movie Madhouse, a show focused on film reviews and discussions. You can hear the show every Sunday at 5:00.

How would you describe your program to aMovie Madhouse Picture new listener?

Willy – The Movie Madhouse is a show dedicated to exploring movies both as works of art and entertainment. We tend to be very eclectic in our movie choices. One week we’ll talk about the latest Marvel movie, and the next we’ll talk about the work of Wong Kar Wai or David Cronenberg. We try to avoid giving simple reviews (thumbs up, thumbs down, star ratings, etc.), but instead try to center our show around discussion.

How did you get started with KSDB?

Kari – Like many students, I brought my car with me to college my Freshman year. Most of the stations I listened to back home didn’t work in Manhattan, so I tried to find something new. Luckily for me, I stumbled upon 91.9. Through the station and friends in JMC classes, I learned that I could be on the radio, too. However, since I’m extremely timid and shy, it took me about three semesters to actually enroll in the class. It’s been the best experience I’ve had at K-State. 

Willy – I had heard people talk about KSDB in a lot of the JMC classes I was taking. After trying, and not particularly enjoying, other student media groups on campus I joined KSDB, and immediately wanted to get involved in as many ways as possible. It felt like the only place on campus where you could truly follow your passions.


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