Posts tagged "usc"

KXSC & Trojan Farmers Market ReSCycle Store

KXSC is going green! Please start collecting your recyclables (glass containers, newspapers, magazines, cardboard, aluminum cans, plastics) and drop them off either at the station or at the Trojan Farmers Market Re’SCycle Store to support KXSC!

You can bring recyclables to the station anytime Monday to Friday from 9am to 5pm or go directly to McCarthy Quad on Wednesdays, October 8, October 22, November 5 and December 3 from 11am to 3pm. Make sure to say you’re representing KXSC!

Let’s do good for the world and the station! 

*RSVP*

WHERE: TROJAN FARMERS MARKET, McCarthy Quad

WHEN: OCTOBER 8 | OCTOBER 22 | NOVEMBER 5 | DECEMBER 3 FROM 11AM TO 3PM!

The Clash - The Clash: Everyone knows who The Clash are (hopefully not just for being sampled in MIA’s “Paper Planes”), so trying to introduce them would be ridiculous… Almost as ridiculous as the fact that we only have one of their live albums in the station right now. Anyway, their eponymous 1977 debut is the epitome of classic punk, so you should definitely add it to your personal music library if you do not already own it. ASHLEY

The 2nd KXSC x USC Spectrum show presents So Many Wizards and Dale

So Many Wizards | https://www.facebook.com/somanywizards | http://www.somanywizards.com/

Dale | https://www.facebook.com/wearedale | http://daleband.com/

WHERE: Tommy’s Place

WHEN: FRIDAY, 10/3 at 7:30 PM 

RSVP here: https://www.facebook.com/events/274963709368331/

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KXSC is USC’s official independent student-run radio station, providing the USC community with original radio programming 24 hours a day. Learn more about what we do & how to get involved at http://kxsc.org/

USC Spectrum presents an annual season of the finest in arts and lecture programs by nationally and internationally known attractions for the education and entertainment of the USC community, its neighbors in Los Angeles and abroad. Learn more at http://sait.usc.edu/spectrum/

King Tuff - Black Moon SpellBEWARE! The scuzziest motherfuzzer in LA has emerged from the hermit’s lair bearing warnings of mystic visions: “Magic Mirrors”, “Staircases of Diamond”” and further spooky delights await within the crystal ball of the Black Moon Spell! Kyle Thomas’ unmistakable Dylan-by-way-of-Jimmy Page songwriting maintains its pace, albeit with a lo-fi limp (which isn’t saying much— his previous, self-titled album was VERY polished for garage rock!). After hunkering down for some time with Burger super-producer Bobby Harlow (Cherry Glazzer, Growlers, etc) he has quickly discovered a middle ground that is both charmingly self-spun and certainly appropriate for mass-consumption (a territory that co-conspirator Ty Segall is just now arriving at). Point being- if you dig the vibe of straight-ahead rock n roll but are easily dissuaded by lackluster song structures and often laughable fidelity then you will certainly find solace in this album. Enter the fog, raise your lantern, and lace up your dancing shoes— King Tuff is here to enchant and boogie! NICK

Recommended Tracks: “Eyes of the Muse”, “Black Moon Spell”, “Eddie’s Song”

Generationals - AlixJust when I was starting to get tired of the indie synthpop craze Generationals came along with Alix to suck me back in for a bit longer! Don’t get me wrong, I love the Passion Pits and the Grouploves of the world, it’s just that the influx bands selling their guitars for synths and drum machines has made it hard to find the really good stuff. Well folks, Alix is good. And Generationals haven’t pawned their guitars yet! So if you’re in the market for some reverb drenched, beach-friendly songs, go get your Hawaiian shirt, you’ve found the mother load. Listening to the opening song “Black Lemon,” I’m on an African safari, surfing on its nautical synth-line, and rabble-rousing with my childhood friends all at once. During the song “It Took A Minute” I’m 18 again, trying to cop tickets to Lollapalooza, as the savage crunch of guitar tears holes through the chorus. Though I wouldn’t call the album itself particularly memorable, it is fun, energetic, shamelessly cheerful, and above all else it makes me remember good times and brings me back to happy memories. Not to mention, Generationals executes Alix with unmistakable charm and youthful flair that any college student would be hard-pressed to defy. AROG

Recommended Tracks: “Black Lemon”, “It Took a Minute”, “Reading Signs”, “Heart in Two”

Julian Casablancas + the Voidz - TyrannyAll I can say is WTF. Ok, I’ll elaborate. AAM downloads email told me this would sound like the Strokes, either they didn’t bother to listen to the album or they just lied. Tyranny is just about as far from the Strokes as Casablancas could possibly get. It’s weird, it’s experimental, and apart from the nasal vocal workings of the Strokes front man, Tyranny bears absolutely no resemblance to Is This It or even to his first solo effort. Either this is an identity crisis or Casablancas has finally let go of his inhibitions and begun making the music that he has always wanted to make. The music is disjointed to say the least, at times it even sounds as if Julian and his voidz are all trying to play different songs on the same take.Attempting to label this amalgamation of tunes with any one genre is quite impossible, but imagine a stew of dark psychedelia, synthy afrobeat, and baroque pop. It’s like a radioactive box of trinkets and oddities that has been soaked in a slick of grime and left in the gutter to decompose. Track three, “M.Utually A.Ssured D.Estruction”, plays like the soundtrack to a video game that Budgie and the Misfits might have composed together. Track six, “Father Electricity” sounds like a synth-charged light saber fight to the death with a conga beat going in the background, all facilitated by Connan Mockasin. SAM

Recommended Tracks: “M.Utually A.Ssured D.Estruction”, “Where No Eagles Fly”, “Father Electricity” 

Alt J - This Is All YoursUpon being assigned to review Alt-J’s new album This Is All Yours, I was initially hesitant to analyze a band I had a rather poor impression of. So, I began to listen to This Is All Yours with these negative expectations, that although sometimes the music would sound pretty, it wouldn’t necessarily strike me in anyway.  After reaching the third track “Nara”, which builds up and hits you like a snowball rolling down a mountain, I began to become way more interested in the band’s history, wondering if this really was the same band I initially thought it was.  That statement became far more literal than I intended, as I finally made the critical discovery that Alt-J was not responsible for the radio dwelling song  “Pompeii” by Bastille.  Anytime I heard the opening of Pompeii start up on alt 98.7, I would get slightly disgusted and immediately switch channels as I muttered indignantly “eff Alt-J”.  This was probably the most significant development made towards me liking Alt-J, as I stopped associating them with that corny male choir chorus and the animated movie Mr. Peabody & Sherman. And after giving the album a listen, I must say I am very sorry to Alt-J for such an insult. 

With the release of their first studio album An Awesome Wave, Alt-J saw wide exposure on the radio and indie rock blogs.  Many a times I would give their tracks a listen, be impressed with the musical composition, but remain unsatisfied with the singer’s airy, unchanging voice and the lack of drive that would keep me invested in their message or a certain feeling.  Their second album seems make some progress on enveloping the listener into minds of Alt-J, as much of the lyrical content surrounds experiences on tour and reflections on the ever changing landscape of the music industry in the an Internet-driven world.  Although “Every Other Freckle” comes off as a very uncomfortable seduction attempt, with “Hey’s” on the upbeat that remind me of a rap beat produced by DJ Mustard.  For the first ten minutes however, Alt-J falls into the same crutch they struggle with, which is saying absolutely nothing.  That being said though, Alt-J’s lush layer of sounds, featuring everything from electric guitars to muffled horns, distorted bass lines, echoing acoustics, strings, to a Miley Cyrus sample on “Hunger Of The Pine”, all come together naturally and effortlessly.  Although I am not encapsulated by the voice of the band, their emphasis on songs that are dynamic and moving helps Alt-J escape drawing out their songs far too long as they have before. I learned Alt-J is incredibly good at painting a beautiful picture that is a bit too smeared and unfocused to really understand the true message behind it.  And thankfully I also learned of my ignorance of their discography, because it would make me seem very dumb if I were writing an album review or something. DYLAN

Recommended Tracks: “Nara”, “Choice Kingdom”, “Hunger Of The Pine”, “Bloodflood Pt II”

Aphex Twin - SyroI’d like to pull back the curtain and reveal our very special guest in this installment of the music email. You know him, you love him. HI ZACH. Henry is here too. Hey begs ~~~~~

Let’s talk Syro.

Ari: My branium cranium was swirling after first listen. I couldn’t quite describe the experience of the album, but I knew I dug it. I can say that it’s not something you should listen to in pieces. 

Zach: For me, the most immediately striking thing about this album was how it operates on a purely subconscious level the first time around. Your mind can’t possibly keep up with all of the zig-zagging rhythms, chords, and melodies that RDJ throws at you, so you basically have to let the enormity of the thing wash over you. It’s only through repeated listens that you can really squint at the music and pick out individual parts and how they relate to the overall construction of these pieces.

Henry: Yeah I feel pretty much the same way, just listened to the whole thing for the first time and it’s just so big and vast and ever-shifting that it’s hard to pin down. I think it really continues what he was doing with Drukqs in that it’s like a ride through all these weird sonic environments. i think sonically it’s hugely impressive and I’m really looking forward to going back to it a bunch of times and being able to hear everything in more detail cause I feel like I only absorbed about a 10th of it. I honestly don’t feel qualified to speak on it right now.

Didn’t process many individual songs but “PAPAT4” is absolutely beautiful. Wasn’t super impressed by the first few songs but the album really opened up around track 4 or 5 for me.

Also this album is sooooooo funky. Can really draw a line from Detroit techno to this shit.

Ari: I like that Henry, sonic environments. It feels like the shifts are constructed to tap into every zone of the brain to heighten the listening experience. The shifts can be so stark and simultaneously organic, HOW DOES HE DO IT? I agree, need to keep listening and listening. Zach are you on your, what, 15th run of hearing the album? What point are you at with the evolution of the listen? Also wooooooow, the ballad at the end. It’s so different from the rest of the album, but really has its place and left me with an emotional pang. “It’s over.”

Zach: Every song is just immaculately constructed - to the point that I can’t even believe a human being actually envisioned the ways these songs evolve. It feels like you’re hearing the birth of a new organism or even a civilization that exists in another dimension, beyond our traditional conception of time and space. It’s transporting, bizarre, heady stuff.

After listening to this album way too much over the past few days, I now have a basic understanding of how these tracks function. Instead of being completely overwhelmed, I can focus on smaller details and enjoy all the tiny harmonies, rhythms, and throwaway sounds that RDJ has tucked away in this music. It’s also really fun to anticipate certain sections of songs and then have the satisfaction of hearing them played out (for example, the DIRTY synth line at 4:49 of “XMAS_EVET10”).

Interesting that Henry is connecting more with the 2nd half so far - I’m much more partial to the first as of now, but maybe that’s because my brain gets exhausted by the time we get to the crazier jungle-esque tracks near the end. The piano ballad at the end is indeed beautiful, and serves as a necessary decompression after this intense journey. I find it no less interesting than the rest of the pieces - you never know exactly where he is going to take that melody line with each repetition. And lovely bird sounds too!


Henry, maybe offer your thoughts on how your perspective changes from the first to second/third listens? I think those spins were most crucial in terms of piecing together how this record works.

(god that was too long sorry)

 Ari: Okay I just listened to it for the first time on good headphones. Changes thangs. An album that can physically suspend you, hold you captive, bitchslap you, then nurture you, you relax and soak in its noise. I haven’t listened to something that has grabbed me like that in a long time. Don’t try to understand it, just surrender. I laid my head back, closed my eyes… chromesthesia~~~ 

Henry: One minor complaint: I get that he’s trying to rewire people’s brains and that but i do find myself wishing these songs had at least something to grab on to. He’ll introduce something really cool sounding and then 4 bars later it’ll be gone forever, which I’m sure is the goal but it makes it really hard to remember anything about the songs! Cool when you’re swept away in them but I completely forget how most of them go. The pure sound experience is really neat but I think one of RDJ’s best qualities is his gift for melody, which I’m not hearing very much on this record.

Still really feeling the jungle tracks, recognize a few classic samples hidden away in “s950tx16wasr10 (Earth Portal Mix)”. We really need to find a better way to refer to these track titles haha.

Zach: The melodies are there, but you really have to wait for your mind to grab them! I didn’t truly grasp the chord progression on “4bit” until my 4th or 5th listen, and now I salivate every time it comes on.

The true beauty of this record unfurls when you begin to race alongside these songs rather than trying to play catchup. The curlicue patterns of “CIRCLONT14” will get stuck in my head randomly during a day at work…it’s the strangest thing to actually find myself humming something that I originally found so bizarrely atonal and un-catchy.

 Your rewiring process has only begun, Henry! Keep digging deeper because there is much to grab onto here. And yes, headphones are indeed a different ballgame when it comes to this stuff. It’s the only way to find yourself truly immersed in the Syro Dimension.

 *DIALOGUE CLOSED*

The one thing you can take away from this is that Zach Nivens has found his soulmate. There will be a wedding in the spring and errbody is invited!!!

Recommended Tracks: All

Girlpool - GirlpoolGirlpool, a DIY two piece band, combines an attitude of brutal honesty and a stripped down, raw sound. The duo’s shouty vocals deliver catchy melodies and tight harmonies over the bare sounds of just a bass and guitar. Their lyrics often address topics of feminism and youth. Their music is unapologetically vulnerable and highly relatable. Previously on Big Joy, but Wichita is putting out their remastered album in November. KATE

RIYL: Speedy Ortiz, Slutever, Frankie Cosmos, other good music

Eagle Nebula - Call Me Nebs EPP cool rapper, associate of Ras G, among others. Really off-kilter swung beats and a good flow. Eagle Nebula seems like a really chill human being. Short but sweet! HENRY

RIYL: Knxledge, Samiyam, Jeremiah Jae

The Drums - EncyclopediaThe Drums’ new album Encyclopedia shows the band continuing to push their sound into new directions. This album has a far more complex tone as opposed to the band’s previous releases. There is a plethora of synth pop work mixed into the bands usually guitar based indie rock. This album also contains a deep rooted postpunk element that carries on throughout with its dark themes and sounds, but the album shifts from these dark moments to more traditional indie pop that the Drums are known for. The band recorded the album in what they described as a very uncomfortable location. This discomfort can definitely be felt throughout the album. If you are a big fan of the drums you might be taken aback by this album but it is still worth a listen. WILL

RIYL: Beach Fossils, The Smiths, Wild Nothing

Recommended Tracks: 1, 4, 7, 2

This Will Destroy You - Another LanguageTWDY may hate the label post-rock, but I can’t think of a more accurate way to describe this album. The haunting melodies and soul-crushing walls of sound that coarse through Another Language could just as easily serve as the soundtrack to a post-apocalyptic thriller. Not only is this post-rock at its finest, it is an exercise in the music that might exist post-humanity. Due to the cinematic nature of Another Language one can easily envision what events the music might accompany. “New Topia” for instance can be seen as a process of reconstruction, like a phoenix arising from the ashes, society (portrayed by the haunting aria of a female vocalist) begins to rebuild itself after some catastrophic event. The new topia evidently does not last long as we begin to encounter metaphorical and literal dissonance on “Dustism”. In the following track, all hope once again crumbles; the track begins to skip as if an internet stream is buffering, progress halts, and a tidal wave of crashing cymbals and overdriven guitar washes over us. The cacophonous assault leaves us in ear-bleeding despair. The graphic destruction of such crippling crescendos is expertly coupled with eerie yet beautiful melodies throughout the album. In the last track, “God’s Teeth”, a general undercurrent of waffling overdrive finally takes center-stage, like a hydrogen bomb that has detonated far off in the distance. War sirens begin to blare as the noise draws ever closer. The album ends, and we are left in a silence almost as marvelous as the music itself. SHILL

RIYL: Explosions in the Sky, Mogwai, Bardo Pond

Recommended Tracks: “New Topia”, “Dustism”, “Serpent Mound”, “God’s Teeth”

Goat - Commune: This is a musical round-trip calculated to delight anyone who has previously enjoyed Can or Amon Duul’s loose-limbed walks on the cod-tribal wild side—(and enlighten anyone who hasn’t). Goat’s debut World Music catapulted the mysterious Swedish voodoo-rock outfit onto the world stage with its mixture of frenetic wah-riffing, energetically chanted vocals, mystical polyrhythms, with colorful and hyper-kinetic live rituals to match. Thankfully, this is a band with ambition to match their hype, and Commune is far from simply World Music part two. It’s joyous and explosive and repetitive and strangely moving; an exasperated primal howl for unity that descends into soaring string abuse amid a backbone of stellar drones. There are some fuzz tones that are just so gnarly and righteous that they make you glad to be alive! The signature moves from the first album are still present, but the emphasis here is much more on repetition: drones and deeply danceable tremolo indulgences often reveal a darkness that was previously unheard. If you’re willing to set sail afloat a sea of tumultuous rhythms and open-water jam sessions, spin Commune until you reach the horizon… Nick

RIYL: Can, Dungen, Loop

Recommended Tracks: “Words”, “Gloat Slaves”, “Hide From the Sun”

Soft Shadows - Reverb Is for LoversThis is ostensibly unrelated to my reception of this album, but my roommates are BLASTING that Jessie J/Nicki Minaj/(someone else) song, and it is reallystressing me out. I mention this only because “Reverb Is for Lovers” is maybe the perfect song to take me to a psychological “happy place” with its catchy indie guitar melody similar to that of “What a Pleasure” [again the song, not the album] by Beach Fossils. It’s light and fun and makes me want to bust out my mom dance moves (specifically the one where you make peace signs in front of your eyes followed by the one where you plug your nose and pretend to go underwater… I can demonstrate if you need a visual). While much of the album incorporates the same type of indie-inspired guitar sound, the majority of the songs have a much more post-punk, distorted sound – exemplified by the energetic “Cheap Signals,” the guitar accents in the soothing “Whatever You Say,” and the combination of vocals and layers of guitar melodies in the mellow and almost discordant (though not in a bad way) song “A Soft Night.” A couple of the songs have some seemingly out-of-place semi-electronic intros (namely “Love Is a Dog from Hell” and “Gamma Collider”), but although I find them a little confusing, the songs greatly improve and seem more cohesive with the rest of the album once the singing actually starts. In other words, I can dig. ASHLEY H

RIYL: The Raveonettes, Beach Fossils, post-punk music in general

Recommended Tracks: “Reverb is for Lovers”, “Cheap Signals”, “A Soft Night”

The Juan Maclean - In A DreamThe Juan Maclean is the lovechild of John Maclean of Six Finger Satellite and Nancy Whang of LCD Soundsystem (she gets egged in the Drunk Girls music video). This is some real spacy, groovy shit. Her voice is perfectly suited for this meeting point of booming grooves and dance-punk. In “A Place Called Space”, Maclean is master of synth, layering house-y beat over el electric guitar, his and Whang’s voices in conversation. I WANT TO SEE THIS LIVE. The LCD influence is strong in that one. This album is the lovechild of a duo that has definitely found its sound. They present to us a callback record that’s simultaneously timeless. Not every track is entirely on point, but it always remains fun! FUN. I really really like “Running Back To You”, super funky. In A Dream is a good time the whole way through, ending with a 10-minute juicy, fruity jam of a track. AA

RIYL: Junior Boys, Discodeine

Recommended Tracks: “A Place Called Space”,”Love Stops Here”,”Running Back to You”