Unknown Mortal Orchestra’s third studio album, Multi-love, isn’t something you’ve heard before. If I had to sum up Ruban Nielson’s newest effort in a few words, it’d be this: Listening to Multi-Love is like traveling in a Prince powered rocket ship of psychedelia through the fringes of sanity, deep into disco-space. If that doesn’t sound confusing enough, may I also inform you that the memories of a failed polyamorous relationship forms the inspiration behind most of the album’s lyrical content. Certainly, Multi-Love isn’t your average indie-pop record. It’s a dense, haunting vision with a groove that unravels at the seams. However, that groove always finds a way to keep tight. By the end you will have danced your way to somewhere far past mental stability, and you’ll be happy to have made the visit.
Erica Sponberg is a PhD student in the College of Education. She hosts What’s Happening In Your World?, a specialty program focusing on public affairs on campus and in the surrounding community. You can hear the show every Sunday at 4:00.
How would you describe your program to a new listener?
I like to think of What’s Happening as a casual interview show. I talk to people in the community, and they share their experiences and the music that inspired those experiences.
How did you get started with college radio? With KSDB?
When I was an undergrad, I used to do video work and news story writing for my university TV station, but it didn’t put me close enough to music or people; there is an honesty about radio that doesn’t exist with television. When I got to graduate school, I decided to join the radio station and finagled my way into doing a late night show where I interviewed friends and played music they liked or were making. My dad also had a show on our community station reading classic American stories. After some time, I moved back home and got involved there by interviewing international community members about their music, culture, and folktales.
When I was accepted at K-State, I checked out KSDB online and liked the music I heard. I knew it would be a way for me to meet like minded people and maintain a creative outlet outside of my coursework, so I sought it out.
Nashville has a new alt-rock group drawing some deserved buzz. Bully brings a not-exactly-new sound to 2015 but a sound that is undeniably catchy, fun, and easy to listen to. It took me a while to figure out why they sounded so familiar until I saw them play a set at Brooklyn’s Northside Festival this summer. A girl at the merch booth was rather stoked to have seen them play. “Don’t they sound just like Hole?” She hit the nail on the head. It’s as if Courtney Love has been reinvented. The 1990s Courtney when Hole was putting out some of the best music of the decade. The 90s may have been over 15 years ago, but Bully brings some of the best highlights back from a decade of low-feeling, depressing music from the grunge era. Bully is different than their 90s predecessors, however. Alicia Bognanno sings a more upbeat, happier, seemingly more hopeful tune. Sure, she drags up old relationship woes in the first track on their debut, “I Remember,” a fast paced, screamingly angry affair. There’s even talk of pregnancy scares and severe problems with herself on “Trying” where Bognanno howls “I am trying to hide from my mind.” Somehow through all of this, Bully conveys a feeling that everything is going to be alright, that sometimes you have to get through some really nasty stuff before things get better. There’s just a lot more nasty stuff in the way than previously thought. “You make me feel like trash,” Bognanno states on “Trash,” the track which gives Bully’s debut its name. Sure, this sounds depressing, hopeless even. But there is beautiful simplicity in such harsh words that bring out a certain level of humanness. The pain, the suffering, the fighting, it’s all there, all human. But what this record is about above all else is how it makes Bognanno feel. (more…)