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Thursday, April 30, 2009

Club Trillion

I don't want to study, so I am going to blog about a blog. After trolling the Internet, going through every site known to man, I stumbled upon Yahoo! and saw an article about the NBA forcing this guy from Ohio State, Mark Titus, to drop out of the NBA draft. I got interested since for once Yahoo! posted something interesting besides their constant lists about which are the most polluted or cheapest or most dog-friendly places to live in America. Anyways, David Stern felt that Mark Titus was making a "mockery" of the process. This season he played in two games for one minute each, he has one defensive rebound and one steal, far from the trillion points for which he strives. The article on Yahoo! compares Mark Titus to Tucker Max, so I decided to check out his blog, ClubTrillion.com.

He appears on Bill Simmons' BS Report every now and then, so you check that out as well. But one of the funniest posts he wrote was about the team's trip to Minnesota when a few of the guys got stuck in the elevator.

Apparently this blog recently got to a million hits, which is pretty impressive. And though this guy is the 12th man on the Buckeyes, people all over the Big 10 chant "Titus" whenever Ohio State shows up. Needless to say, this guy has made a name for himself all over this country by writing about his experiences on the bench. And though Ohio State has recently returned to the college basketball spotlight, the 12th man has become one of the most popular, famous guys on the team. I guess he tried to translate this fame into an NBA career, but alas, no such luck. Thankfully, he'll be returning for his senior year next year to continue his chances at reaching a trillion.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Last Show Recording (4/28)

Today was out last show for a long time. Since I'm going to be studying abroad all of next year in London and Decker will be studying at the Villa this Fall, the earliest you'll get to hear either of us on WGTB will be January 2010. But, if all goes well, we'll keep updating this blog with music news and other awesomeness.
Until then, keep listening to our recordings, there are a bunch of them on the site.
For today's show, click the title above or right here to download or stream the show below:

Last Show Playlist (4/28)

Freeway- When They Remember
The Game- LAX Files
Rick Ross- Usual Suspects
Eazy E- Player's Club
Lupe Fiasco- Gold Watch
Cold World- Hot Boys
Lil Wayne- Best Rapper Alive
Gang Starr- Above the Clouds
Jay-Z - D'Evils
Wiz Khalifa- Say Yeah
N.E.R.D.- Lapdance
Redman- DWYCK
Craig Mack- Flava in Ya Ear
Hilltop Hoods- Recapturing the Vibe Restrung
Dilated Peoples- Worst Comes to Worst
The Beatnuts- Off the Books
Method Man- You're All I Need
San Quinn- San Francisco Anthem
311- Transistor
311- Come Original
Stroke 9- 100 Girls
The Subways- Rock and Roll Queen
The Zombies- She's Not There
Cage the Elephant- Ain't No Rest for the Wicked
Handsome- Dim the Lights
Bloc Party- Flux
Cat Power- He War
Silversun Pickups- It's Nice to Know You Work Alone
Muse- Time is Running Out

Street Sweeper Social Club

So, a few weeks back, we premiered the track "Clap for the Killers," by Street Sweeper on the show. Since then, the band, which includes Tom Morello of Rage Against the Machine and Audioslave fame and Boots Riley from the Marxist hip-hop group The Coup, has changed their name to Street Sweeper Social Club. Of course, they made this announcement through twitter on April 14th.

Anyways, recently the band put up a new track (their 4th to be released) on their myspace. The track called "100 Little Curses," sounds like their other 3 tracks, but a little less hip-hop. It's got the punk rock echo-y chanting and Morello's classic screwed-up guitar riffs. I think the track may need a little work before the album comes out on June 16th. You can pre-order the album from Amazon.com now.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Best Rapper Alive?

There are many competitors for this title: Andre 3000, Jay-Z, Eminem, Lil' Wayne, Kanye. Some would even make the argument for Rick Ross or t-pain, but these people are clearly wrong. For my money, I think the absolute best rapper alive is Lupe Fiasco. He flows nonstop, and if you don't believe this, tell me when he breathes on the track "Intruder Alert." On top of that, his lyrics are so much better than every other rapper's. Instead of stooping to the lowest common denominator, Lupe accepts his intelligence and offers educated lyrics that deal with justice, tolerance, and the perils of the typical rap game. Don't get me wrong, I still love gangsta rap from The Game and the nonsensical humor of rappers like Ludacris. But if I could only listen to one rapper for the rest of my life, I'd choose Lupe, and I think the main reason is his ability to construct a story throughout his songs. Similar rappers such as Murs and Atmosphere do the same, which also places them in my Top 5.

I bring this up because Vibe magazine put out a best rapper alive bracket similar to the ones we all make during March Madness. The voting ended last year, but I still think it's interesting to see the matchups. I filled out one of these brackets because as a college student I have absolutely nothing better to do. In my final four, I had Lupe, Lil' Wayne, Nas, and Andre 3000. I doubt all of these guys would have been in the final four if more underground rappers like the guys from Rhymesayers and Def Jux were in the bracket. Honestly, throw Brother Ali in at a 16 seed, and he'd probably make it to the final four. Soulja Boy...really? How are Wale, Murs, Slug, Aesop Rock not on this bracket? It doesn't really matter in the end though because, in either case, Lupe would end up winning. In the end, I had Lupe beating Andre 3000 to win the crown of best rapper alive.

So, despite Lupe only having 2 albums (Food & Liqour, The Cool), his songs are so much more memorable and interesting than the 5 or 6 albums that Jay-Z has put out. The problem for me is this: Jay-Z is a great rapper, but he constantly raps about the coke trade and living on the streets. He represents "The Game" that Lupe discusses in his albums. On the other hand, Lupe mixes in metaphors and themes into his songs, which deal from everything about racial prejudices to the perils of the black community's high likeihood of consuming fast food. I accept the fact that most rappers simply couldn't rap about anything besides the drug game. Imagine Clipse rapping about something about coke. That's absurd...they couldn't rap about terrorism, or Islam, or racism, unless it related to coke. Most rappers are precluded from rapping about anything and everything as Lupe can, and I don't hold it against them, it just means that Lupe comes out on top.

There is good news on the horizon though. In his second album, Lupe stated that he would only be putting out one more album entitled LupE.N.D. This obviously disappointed Lupe fans, but he eventually announced that this "final album" would be three discs released in three waves. So, it would in effect be three more albums. The first album was going to be called Everywhere, the second Nowhere, the third Down Here. He stated, “I just don’t really feel like rapping anymore. I’m going to write a book and put out [other artists'] albums like Matthew Santos.” Lupe is the CEO of his own record label: 1st & 15th (FNF), and has claimed multiple times that he wants to grow his label and his skateboarding line. In the end, despite separating himself from most other rappers with his lyrics and style, Lupe really does just want to be a label exec, mogul, and entreprenuer.

But earlier this year, Lupe announced that he would be postponing this ambitious project indefinitely ("consider it cancelled") to instead focus on another album called The Great American Rap Album. This album would be released in June of this year, followed by another album in December, than another in June 2010. And then LupE.N.D. would be released. This means Lupe has 6 more albums slated for us. Rap-Up.com speculates that "Lupe owes his label Atlantic Records three or more albums before his contract expires." So, this may be good news for us, or not if Lupe loses his edge that makes him different.

In the mean time, check out palm of ice's mashup which combines Lupe with jazz, Kind of Lu.

Check out Lupe's outdated retirement announcement, followed by an acoustic version of "Superstar":

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Flaming Lips

Having "lived" in DC for about two years now, I really haven't had a chance to hang out on the National Mall all that much. Come to think of it, the only times I have actually been to the Mall were to see Ken Burns speak, the We Are One concert, and the Inauguration. Usually the Mall is just a large, untended, weedy, rocky lawn that's filled with hobos, protesters, and Hari Krishnas. So, the fact that the Flaming Lips performed on the Mall this Sunday and I had to miss it was infuriating. If only I didn't have schoolwork. Well, I guess I got the next best thing: the awesome DC blog BrightestYoungThings put up some video and a ton of pictures of the Green Apple Festival for you to check out.
P.S. Check out Wayne Coyne's double-necked guitar.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Decker Hardcore Show

Unfortunately, I (Akshay) had a project to work on today that forced me to miss today's show. In lieu of our normal show, Decker put on a two-hour hardcore show, which was not recorded (maybe for the better). We'll be back next week though, with more rap and indie fare for our normal listeners.

Decker Hardcore Show Playlist (4/21)

Agnostic Front- One Voice
Biohazard- Shades of Grey
Breakdown- Sick People
Bold- Speak Out
Cro-Mags- The Paths of Perfection
Crown of Thornz- Icepick
Outburst- Intro
Warzone- Intro/Bust
Floorpunch- Intro/Changes
Dmize- Intro
Dmize- Soul Search
Gorilla Biscuits- High Hopes
Judge- Just Like You
Killing Time- Fool's Die
Leeway- All About Dope
Madball- True to the Game
Madball- Hold it Down
Merauder- Life of My Own
Sick of it All- GI Joe Headstomp
Straight Ahead- Straight Ahead
Supertouch- Climbing Aboard
Mental- Climb Aboard
Underdog- Back to Back
Underdog- Say it To My Face
Ten Yard Fight- First and Ten
In My Eyes- On My Side
Count me Out- Another Year
Ten Yard Fight- The Only Way
Bad Seed- Cheated
Cold World- Liars, Thieves
Title Fight- Western Haikus
War Hungry- Tip Your Scale
Rick Ross- Maybach Music 2
RZL DZL- High Rollers
Fabolous- It's My Time
Clipse- Kinda Like a Big Deal

Cage the Elephant

Until this morning, I had never heard of this band. But my local radio station's summer concert features this band from Bowling Green, KY, so I thought I'd check them out. Despite what they look like in the picture above, these guys rock. Their sound is like a mixture of The White Stripes and Kings of Leon. Garage rock with a southern, relaxed twang. They also clearly take a lot of their sound from the Arctic Monkeys. It amazes me how Matt Shultz is able to transform his voice in each song to create a different sound. Each track reminds me of another alternative band I like. Besides BFD in California, they'll be playing All Points West in late summer, but that's all that has been announced so far. All in all though, these guys are incredible, definitely check them out.

Monday, April 20, 2009

Happy 4/20!

It's April 20th, a Monday. Yet Asher Roth decided to release his debut album today instead of tomorrow on the 21st, a Tuesday, when albums are typically released. If you've listened to any of Asher Roth's songs, it's obvious why he made this decision.

We've played a few Asher tracks on the show ("I Love College," "Lark on my Go-Kart," "As I Em,"...), so it's easy to think without hearing the rest of the album that he only raps about college, sex, weed, and parties, in what Decker refers to as "bro music." But after listening to the album, it's clear that Roth does have more to say that just what he loves about college. His track "His Dream," is reminiscent of a slowed-down Atmosphere track. It deals with family drama and the difficulties of fatherhood.

Kind of like Lil' Wayne's Tha Carter III, Roth's album plays around with many different hip-hop styles instead of sticking to one primary sound. Some tracks sound like pop rap (i.e. "I Love College), some sound liek they were produced by T-Pain or Akon (i.e. "She Don't Wanna Man), others sound like Murs track (i.e. "Bad Day"). On the one hand, I like his pop sensibilities and his unique, white-boy flow, but I wish he had executed a more conceptual style instead. My boy Garrett and I had discussed this the other day, this album could have been epic if it had been a concept album akin to The Street's A Grand Don't Come for Free. Imagine this: Asher begins with a track about the boredom of school, but then he sees a girl. Then he pre-games. He heads out with his friends and goes to a party. Maybe he sees this girl again. You get the point. If the album had had this sort of concept and continuity, it would be more enjoyable, kind of like watching Can't Hardly Wait, but in a college setting. Honestly, if any artist were to make the quintessential college hip-hop album, it'd be Asher Roth.

In general, these are good tracks, with a few really good singles. And clearly Asher Roth shows that he is more complex than anyone previously thought. Perhaps in the future, we can expect more development and an even more complex, unique sound.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Flaming Lips this Sunday

This Sunday is Earth Day, which means the Green Apple Festival will be occurring on the National Mall for free! This year's headliners are The Flaming Lips, so you know it's going to be a great show. They are one of the few bands on my list of "Bands to See Before I Die," the others being Muse, Daft Punk, and Radiohead.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Best Album of the Year (So Far)....

I'm not the biggest indie rock fan out there, but I am really into heavy alternative rock, so it should come as no surprise to anyone that I love the Silversun Pickups. Their first LP, Carnavas was the quintessential high school album. Tracks like "Lazy Eye" and "Well Thought Out Twinkles" were epic and thoughtful. And yesterday, the Silversun Pickups released their long-awaited follow-up, entitled Swoon. Honestly, after a few listens, I can definitifely say that this album is the best album of 2009 (so far). The band has upped the distortion and the synth-rock that was pioneered by their main influence, My Bloody Valentine. It's easy to see the alt-rock 90's influence in the Silversun Pickups' work. If it weren't for singer Brian Aubert's vocals, I could have mistook this sound for the old Smashing Pumpkins. (Weird how both bands have female bassist?)  But what I personally love about this album is how the heavy guitar riffs and raw drum beats contrast with lead singer Brian Aubert's soft, melodious vocals. Sure, he can belt it out if he needs to, but most tracks involve him almost humming or mumbling the lyrics over heavily distorted guitars and bass. And the production is wonderful. The mix of elegant pianos and airy, wispy strings with shoegazer riffs is perfect. Yet, the distortion that was ubiquitous in the first album, is much more refined now, which makes for a much more enjoyable sound. All together, the album creates an eerie mood and has a great flow of calm, almost-depressing tracks and powerful, violently loud tracks. As David Fricke writes in his Rolling Stone review, the Silversun Pickups "know how to have fun with fuzz and where to find the beauty in noise." Even the album art is awesome. Like with their first album, the album art comes from a Darren Waterson painting.

You can check out the new album at MTV here.
Check out the video to "Panic Switch" below:

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Show #I've Lost Count Recording (4/14)

Though Obama came to campus today, I think the most exciting event of the day was yet another High Fidelity radio show. That's a lie. Today's show was filled with mostly music as Decker and I had work and soccer to watch. Perhaps that's a good thing.

Anyways, click the title above or right here to download the show or stream it below:

Show #? Playlist (4/14)

Outkast- Return of the "G"
The Throwbacks -American Phenomenon
Pharoahe Monch -Body Baby
Rakim- New York (You Outta There)
Balance & Composure- Alone for Now
Rancid- Time Bomb
Morrissey- Shoplifters of the World Unite
Stone Roses- I Wanna Be Adored
Lily Allen - The Fear
Que Billah feat. The Cool Kids - I Got Colors
Bad Brains- With the Quickness
Burn- New Morality
Kid Cudi- I Poke Her Face
Lemar- I Believe in a Thing Called Love
Asher Roth- As I Em
Fugazi- Bad Mouth
The Stone Roses- So Young
Texas is the Reason- Back and to the Left
The Knux- Hush
311- Hey You
Hot Water Music- Russian Roulette
Jawbreaker- Accident Prone
Cage- Blood Boy
Sage Francis- Makeshift Patriot
Juelz Santana- I Am the Club
Turning Point- Behind This Wall
Chad Smith, Tom Morello, Wu-Tang Clan- Wu-Tang Clan Ain't Nothing to Fuck With

Monday, April 13, 2009


SUP, hope everyone's Easter Break was fun. Anyway, I just found out that Rancid put up a new song, so I thought I would post it. The track is called "Last One to Die", and definitely contains some traditional Rancid elements i.e. Tim Armstrong's trademark growl, upstrokes, and singalong.
Rancid has a lot of haters, but whatever. Few bands are as fun to throw on and sing along to while driving or chilling, and And Out Come the Wolves is an incredible record. Hope to catch them at a gig this summer, skank it up.

Peep the new track here.

In other news, one of the best bands from Scranton, PA, The Menzingers just posted a new and much anticipated track. They are a cool band who take influences from diverse acts like the Clash, the Smoking Popes, Billy Bragg, and Bruce Springsteen. Anyway, check their new track here, and make sure you check out their tour schedule because they are a fun band to see live.

Friday, April 10, 2009

Download 311's New Single

Decker and I don't always agree when it comes to music, but one band that we both love is 311. So, I was excited when I found out that the Omaha, Nebraska/Los Angeles, CA band is putting out another album on June 2nd called Uplifter. It's been over 4 years since they put out their not-so-great Don't Tread on Me, so it's needless to say that I'm pretty anxious for this album. In the meanwhile though, the band has released their new single, "Hey You" as a free single with Spin Magazine. Check it out here or the title above.

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Akshay in Boston

It's Easter break, so I'm up in Boston visiting my boy Garrett, host on the great, award-winning, show inspiring radio show High Fidelity up at BU. And this Sunday, you can check out the show when I guest appear on the show. Check it on Sunday, 6-8 PM on http://wtburadio.org/

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Show #8 Recording (4/7)

Another Tuesday, another show.

Click the title above or right here to download or stream below:

Show #8 Playlist (4/7)

Tiger Army - Forever Fades Away
The Pimps - Rocket Science
Von Bondies- C'Mon C'Mon
(+44)- Cliff Diving
Blink 182- Violence
Silverchair- Spawn Again
Cat Power- He War
Godspeed- April
Rage Against the Machine- Microphone Fiend
The Kooks- Naive
Fireworks- Detroit
Tiger's Jaw- Heat
Brother Ali-Faheem
RHCP- Give it Away
Cockney Rejects- I'm Forever Blowing Bubbles
The Get Up Kids- Holiday
The Vines- Ride
Trevor Hall- The Lime Tree
Green Day- When I Come Around
The Mighty Mighty Bosstones- Break So Easily
DJay- Whoop that Trick
Three 6 Mafia- Get Fucked Up
Common- Drivin Me Wild
Lostprophets- Make a Move
Justin Timberlake- Cry Me a River
Blue Scholars- 50,000 Deep
Velvet Revolver-Headspace

A Preview of Today's Show

It's Tuesday and we have a show in two and a half hours. Tune in! (This was just an excuse to post a clip from Hustle & Flow).

Monday, April 6, 2009

Green Day Returns

So Green Day has a new album coming out. Their last release, American Idiot, a self-proclaimed "rock opera" was a little too radio and not enough raw for my tastes. Dookie is an incredible and classic album, which could perhaps be credited with the creation of mainstream "pop-punk", paving the way for some of my other favorite bands such as Blink-182 and Jimmy Eat World. Green Day's albums after Dookie, like Insomniac, and Nimrod were mediocre, while Warning was a pretty big step away from their punk roots. I hate to label anyone or anything "sell-out", because I think pretty much everyone, except Ian Mackeye, would accept major label success and international fame for changing their sound a little. For me, however, Green Day sort of softened their sound and took away their true punk edge, which paid homage to earlier California punk-rockers such as the Descendents, Dance Hall Crashers, Unwritten Law, (the UL & DHC from Blink's Josie lyrics), Operation Ivy, Rancid, etc. Their later albums, however, mainly American Idiot, pushed beyond the punk formula. Obviously many critics and fans took this as "growth", but to me the band was just trying too hard to be sophisticated and be intellectual, by going after easy topics (Bush, Iraq). I've heard it before, and frankly, when the Dixie Chicks are making the same political statements, you know the topic is contrived.
Back to the point. Green Day's new single, 21st Century Breakdown is regrettably bad. The cheesy keyboard intro and a tooth-achingly sweet choruses are a little to familiar for me. So, when it comes to Green Day, I will forever stick to my well worn copy of Dookie.

The single is available for preview at Green Day's website.

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Drake-The Leavey Center Bird

Here's an article by Sarah Harman in today's Georgetown Voice about our friend, the Leavey Center bird, which I've named Drake:

To all those who watch, feed, coo over, or otherwise encourage the black squirrels on Healy Lawn,

Please stop. Those stupid squirrels are nothing but furry attention whores. Don’t even get me started on their “cute” little antics—reading newspapers, pretending to get caught in the chips bag—GAG! A sparrow like me can’t get no love! All day long, all I hear is “Look at the squirrels! Look at the squirrels!” We sparrows are birds of song, bringing joy and melody to the world. Squirrels are nothing more than harbingers of disease; they’re basically rats with fluffy tails. Yet those bastards get all the attention—gawking tourists taking pictures of them, sweet little freshman girls offering them breadcrumbs. If I have to see another one of ‘em scamper playfully into John Carroll’s lap, I’m going to peck out their beady little eyes.

That’s how I came to live in Hoya Court. Well, ok, not at first. I initially tried to live in the library. But as soon as I get through the door, that Jamaican security woman at the front desk says,”GO card, please,” and I’m like, “Lady, I’m a bird. I don’t have a GO Card. Where would I put it? In my pocket-sized Vineyard Vines bag?”

So I flew into the Leavey Center. It was easy. At first, I thought I’d just stay until winter, until those stupid black squirrels migrate to some trailer park in south Florida, or wherever furry attention whores go to die, but no—they don’t budge. It’s cool, though; I like it here. The guy at Uncommon Grounds leaves me bagels at night, and I steal little morsels of medical residents’ Subway sandwiches after their Red Bull wears off and they fall asleep on the couches in Sellinger Lounge.

The only thing that bothers me is KFC. It’s the smell, really. At the rate they’re deep-frying my feathered friends, they’ll find me way before the end of the semester. Although, if that happens, I happen to know where Colonel Sanders can find some small mammal meat that tastes JUST like chicken. You just let me know.


The Hoya Court Sparrow.


KINGS- Is Anybody Feeling This?

Just finished catching up on NBC's new show, Kings, which is about the world's strongest nation (America?) being a kingdom, instead of a democracy.
First couple episodes are pretty cool, some cool characters and plot lines. At times though they almost hit you over the head with Biblical symbolism, as the show, so far, seems to be a modern take on the story of King David. Anyway, I recommend watching in HD, because there are lot of cool city and setting shots that look great in high definition. Guess this will be the second show I regularly watch on TV, the other is LOST which is probably the most frustrating show of all time. Anyway, worth watching, you can get caught up on back episodes at Hulu.