Tag Archive | "music"

Arcade Fire album “Reflektor” gets mythic

Arcade Fire - Reflektor

Arcade Fire – Reflektor

By Bradley Garrett Barnes

What if electronic music duo Daft Punk didn’t get lucky?

What if they had stayed up all night attempting to make music and were empty-handed? What kind of album would they have made if they went home and opened a bottle of Pernod wine and wrote a few songs about their failed attempts at the French dance clubs?  They’d probably have created something much like “Reflektor,” the latest effort from Canadian indie-rockers Arcade Fire.  The bands fourth album manages to channel a tranquil and atmospheric follow-up to their last album, Grammy award-winning “The Suburbs.”

The opening title track, “Untitled,” is an intimate, disco-driven exchange between band members and husband and wife Win Butler and Regine Chassagne, pairing the two as they trade verses in English and French.  The song sets the mood for the rest of the first disc:

“If this is heaven, I don’t know what it’s for/ If I can’t find you there, I don’t care.”

Produced by LCD Soundsystem’s James Murphy, “Reflektor” remains cohesive as it travels between the introductory crisp, rhythm-driven sound and cosmic ambience in the second half.  The two-disc concept album covers a lot of ground, and the instrumentation seems familiar without being derivative.

Centered on the Greek legend of Orpheus and Eurydice, much of the second disc explores this myth, focusing on the distance between the two. Eurydice is trapped in the underworld, and Orpheus seeking to recover his lover.

In “Awful Sound (Oh Eurydice),” the music swells in to the chorus, asserting the bard’s claim:

“I know there’s a way/we can make ‘em pay/Think it over and say/’I’m never going back again.”

His response follows in the next track, “It’s Never Over (Hey Orpheus).” The song features stacked choral harmonies calling out to Orpheus to “wait until it’s over” and asking him to bide his time:

“It seems so important now, but you will get over/And when you get over, when you get older/Then you will remember why it was so important then.”

If “The Suburbs” could be considered a critique of our previous generation’s suburban sprawl and conspicuous consumption, then “Reflektor” is a glimpse at our own time and the difficulty of managing a life of over-stimulation and bored self-awareness.  The album pumps, there’s no doubt, but, in the words of Butler himself:

“If this is heaven, I need something more.”

Related Posts:

Posted in Entertainment, MusicComments (0)

New sounds are coming from Radio Free Pensacola

By Josh Morton

Radio Free Pensacola Nick Zangari has stacks of vinyl records, CDs, cassette tapes and eight tracks of his favorite bands and comedy bits dating back to the 70s

 Fred Touchette is ready to provide an alternative to AM/FM radio and wants to highlight some of Pensacola’s local musical talents and unsigned bands.

Rick Outzen wants to put together a local politics radio show to keep the community involved and informed.

Last month, these three men put their interests and resources. The result is an internet-based radio station called, Radio Free Pensacola.

Zangari is the owner of New York Nick’s, a sports bar on Palafox Place in Downtown Pensacola. Back in the 90s, he had his own show on TK101 called “Nick at Night,” as well as a two-year stint at fort Walton based radio station 99Rock.

Touchette, owner of pizza pub The Elbow Room, is no stranger to radio either. He had his own Internet radio show 10 years ago.

Outzen is publisher The Independent News in Pensacola. While these gentlemen did have the necessary drive to get this thing started, it is going to take more than just the three of them to keep it afloat.

“This is a co-op in the sense that we want to do it to give back to the community,” Touchette said. “But in order for it to really thrive, it’s going to take the community being a part of it.”

Radio Free Pensacola is still in its testing period as the station continues to search for people who are interested in having their own time slot and are dedicated. Currently, there are only a handful of people who are doing regularly broadcasted live shows. To fill the silence between live broadcasts, Zangari put together a 365-song playlist of his favorite bands, like Genesis, Frank Zappa and Rush. The playlist stops when a DJ starts his show and the playlist picks up where it left off when the DJ signs off.

Touchette said that one of the biggest challenges the station is facing is finding DJs to do live broadcasts. While Radio Free Pensacola clearly has an emphasis on its local community, the DJs do not necessarily have to broadcast locally.

“We had one DJ broadcast from Chicago, one in New York, and a friend of mine in Argentina is interested in connecting, so it’s not all going to be from here,” Touchette said. “It’ll be from wherever. It’s for everybody.”

When it comes to covering politics and playing music of local bands, the tone of the station will mostly be tuned into the local Pensacola community.

Cliff Judd has a show called “The Lost Sandal,” in which he plays a mix of both local and national indie acts and provides listeners with the latest information about concerts happening around town. He broadcasts from his home office in Pensacola.

In addition to the freedom of being able to broadcast from wherever you want, there is also the freedom to say and play whatever they want. Radio Free Pensacola is licensed by Broadcast Music, Inc. (BMI) and the American Association of Composers, Authors and Publishers (ASCAP). The only limits that these organizations place on them are in regards to licensing. This includes such parameters as not being able to play three songs by the same artist within three hours. Other than that, the station have no other regulations as the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has no control over what happens on the internet.

“The beauty of it is we can do what we want, when we want, and how we want,” says Zangari, who plans to eventually have both local and national acts stop by his studio in New York Nick’s to do live acoustic sets.

To listen to Radio Free Pensacola, visit www.facebook.com/rfpensacola and find the icon labeled “Click Here to Listen.” You can also download the Winamp app for Androids and search for Radio Free Pensacola. The app is not available for iPhone. Anybody interested in having your own slot on Radio Free Pensacola is encouraged to contact Fred Touchette via email, at rfp@inweekly.net.

Related Posts:

Posted in Entertainment, MusicComments (0)

Dig this: Jazz band blows at UWF Music Hall

By Amanda Shaffer

Stage lights glistened on trumpets, basses, a keyboard, bongos, piano, guitar, a drum set, and of course, a saxophone in the University of West Florida’s Center for Fine and Performing Arts Center Music Hall on Sunday afternoon.

An Afternoon with En’Trigue filled the hall with the smooth sounds of jazz, along with about 150 audience members, who bobbed and swayed their heads to the soulful rhythms.

“None of the songs that we played are original,” said Mike Riley, one of three founders of the band. “We play songs that encompass smooth jazz, like songs by Ne-Yo.”

En’Trigue formed in 2011 by Riley, Rodney McGhee and Roderic Cannon. With so many of their group members coming from different parts of the United States, they pride themselves in delivering a “unique sound of jazz that has extra flavor.”

The band has played with Grammy-winning vocalist Danny Clay and saxophonist Elle Michelle.

The band performed in black slacks, dress shoes and either a white or chocolate brown button-down shirt with a gold swirled applique on the front. The vocal artists swung and danced to the groove on the side of the stage, causing their uniforms to shimmer under the stage lights, encouraging the audience to do the same.

“En’Trigue’s performance was excellent,” said Lusharon Wiley, senior associate dean of students. “The interplay of the musicians along with their smooth style made the evening enjoyable and left the audience wanting to know more about this intriguing group.

“The choice of music was right on target.”

Vocalist Kevin Wilson sang a few numbers, while the band played with him. Other songs involved solos by the artists. Keyboardist Gino Rosaria played the entire time, with a few solos that were loudly encouraged by the audience.

“I just love jazz,” Cathy Brown, director of diversity said. “I saw them previously and thought that they would be wonderful to bring to the university.”

Throughout the performance Riley kept shouting, “Are you having a good time?” The audience hooted and hollered every time in response.

The band had a variety in their sound. One song would be a high number, filled with playful variations in the keyboard. The next song would be a more “do-duh, do-duh” bass-filled number.

The rhythmic claps echoed through the Music Hall, even through intermission.

“We do nothing but positive things- that’s all we do,” Riley said. “There is so much negative is in this world. Interracial conflicts. Teach your children to do right.”

The Center for Fine and Performing Arts hosts many different multicultural shows and events through out the year.

On Nov. 4 the Music Hall will continue its Artist Series with Eva Amsier and Read Gainsford.

Jan. 26 a one-time presentation of “The Sons of Africa” will be performed at the Music Hall. The presentation will include music, song, dance, poetry, speeches and essays on the celebration of black men in America. For more information, contact Mamie Webb Hixon at 850-433-3324.

Related Posts:

Posted in Entertainment, Event, MusicComments (0)

Stuck inside of Mobile: One man’s experience of Bayfest 2013

Bayffest 2013

By Jesse Farthing

My BayFest expectations were low to begin with. I knew almost none of the bands, but, hey, there were so many playing I thought that I could assure myself that someone wouldn’t suck. Those expectations hit rock bottom when the organizers announced that only the headlining stages were going to play because of safety concerns over the approach of Tropical Storm Karen.

Thanks, Karen.

There’s only one way to enjoy a music festival composed of bands you don’t know anything about. Well, maybe there are several ways, but there’s only one legal way.

As I stumbled my way from my hotel room to the gates, I was determined to have a good time. I most certainly did, though it was dampened with rain, confusion and a serious lack of beer selection.

When BayFest organizers shut down the four smaller stages, consisting of over 50 acts over the course of the weekend, only three main stages were left – each stage with its own distinct flavor of music: hip-hop, country and rock.

I’m sure the street closures made sense if the four smaller stages were set up. I expect it was designed to guide you through the festival in a way that you would constantly be passing music from somewhere, but without them, it felt more like a drunken snake had laid out the path full of dead ends, questionable fences and empty streets. Navigation was difficult.

I needed to find the rock stage. My map in the festival guidebook only showed me that I needed to go north but didn’t bother to explain that I first needed to go south, then east and then west just to make my way through. There are no straight lines at BayFest.

The rock stage became my white whale. I searched far and wide only to consistently be turned around and end up back at the country stage, where grown men would ask me to buy them beer. I’m sorry you left your ID in your truck, sir, but that’s not really my problem. I have bigger concerns. Namely, where in the hell am I and why do I keep ending up back here?

It was much later in the evening before I finally located my white whale. Getting into a similar mindset as a drunken snake helps, it turns out. I did have trouble finding it again the following day, if that’s any indication.

While I was unfamiliar with most of the music at BayFest, that didn’t stop me from diving in head-first and enjoying the hell out of it. I saw countless bands. I rocked out. I drank my face off. I danced with cowboys and punk rockers. I loved every minute of it, even through the soaking rain on Sunday.

Music festivals aren’t just about the music. It is really about the experience. No matter what the festival happens to be, you will have experiences and meet people that you would never otherwise encounter in your normal life. BayFest is no exception.

From the country band that announced they were going to play “the greatest fishing song of all time,” before launching into a cover of Nitty Gritty Dirt Band’s “Fishin’ in the Dark,” to the singer of a rock band calling me out in the crowd to tell me that he loved me, there are just so many experiences that are impossible to replicate outside of a music festival environment.

I take back what I wrote at the beginning. One doesn’t have to drink to have fun, even if you don’t know any of the music. Fun will find you unless you’re actively avoiding it.

If Friday night was amazing, Saturday night was spectacular. I regret that I was unable to make it to Zac Brown Band or Godsmack, but being physically trapped in a two-block-thick crowd for R. Kelly was pretty cool in itself. Sunday started out dreary because Karen finally brought her tropical depression to town. The sun came back out eventually, and though several bands were canceled or delayed, BayFest still ended with a bang.

If I had any complaints, I’d only say I wish it were longer. It’s hard to go back to real life after three days of madness. Thankfully, there’s always next year.

Related Posts:

Posted in Entertainment, Event, Music, StageComments (0)

Rhymes drop at Rap Battle

James Davis of MTV's Wild 'n Out hypes up the crowd.

James Davis of MTV’s “Wild ‘n Out” hypes up the crowd.

By Alisa Festagallo

Neon and black lights lit up the center stage as students packed in, jamming out to the latest rap music. Judges sat on couches ready to hear rappers spit their rhymes, while contestants were in their separate corners getting ready for battle.

The Campus Activity Board hosted a Rap Battle in the Commons Auditorium on Sept. 26. Because of the good turnout of past events, it was decided that they would do it again this year.

“Major shout out to tech and production crew,” Karli Sherman, student activities coordinator, said. “I had someone tell me that this looks like a real setup that you would see out in a convention center or arena.”

After students were eagerly waiting for the event to start, an unexpected guest host entered the stage. When students found out it was James Davis, cast member of the MTV show “Wild  ‘N Out ,” the noise level rose even higher.

Davis introduced the rappers after a twerk contest to get the students pumped. While the DJ played instrumentals from rap artists like Lil Wayne and 2 Chainz, contestants had one minute each to get their raps out.

“It was packed in here,” Davis said. “When I see a lot of students come out it excites me. We could have done eight rounds and it wouldn’t matter because I was having fun.”

Rappers went back and forth, students started cheering for their favorites, and the judges finally came up with a unanimous decision on the winner.

Andrew Johnson, a freshman marine biology major, won the battle and took home a new pair of Beats by Dr. Dre headphones.

“These are $200 headphones and I can’t afford that,” Johnson said excitedly.

Johnson said all he wanted to do was showcase his talent. Before the event started, he sat in the back, thought of some rhymes and just went with it.

“I don’t like to think of myself as a rapper, because I’m not like a rapper,” Johnson said. “I just have been good at putting words together ever since I was little.”

Contestants prepare to battle.

Contestants prepare to battle.

Davis said he wanted to talk to Johnson about pursuing rapping because that’s how he started with comedy. “Traveling to different colleges, grinding, cussing at shows and stuff,” Davis said.

“I was like ‘man you can rap, pursue it along with whatever else you want to do and if it works out, it works out. If it doesn’t, you are young so it doesn’t matter,’” Davis said.

After Davis and Johnson talked and took pictures, students rushed on stage to get pictures with Davis. One lucky student received Davis’ ”Wild ‘N Out” shirt, and CAB members threw out free shirts to the audience.

Demetria Sherrod, a freshman sports management major, said she heard about the event when she would go to the Nautilus Market for lunch every day.

“I don’t have a car so I was glad to hear this event was on campus. When the events go on off-campus I usually don’t get to go to them,” Sherrod said.

To find out about more CAB events, visit uwf.edu/cab.

Related Posts:

Posted in Campus Life, Entertainment, MusicComments (0)

Crowds jam in silence with Headphone Disco

By Morganne Lennig

The crowd at Vinyl Music Hall pulsates and gyrates to the Headphone Disco.

The crowd at Vinyl Music Hall pulsates and gyrates to the Headphone Disco.

A newly installed disco ball helped light up the crowd of pulsating bodies as people gathered at Vinyl Music Hall in downtown Pensacola Saturday night to experience the “surreal spectacle” that is a headphone disco.

Downtown Pensacola is accustomed to music and high energy coming from the corner of Garden and Palafox streets, but Saturday night was a different story. The only thing radiating from Vinyl was silence.

“This is it?” a stumbling man said to the bouncer outside. “Is this where the headphone disco is?” This was a question even I held as I waited for the busy downtown traffic to clear so I could cross the street to the venue.

Unlike most music and dance events, the music at a headphone disco plays through a set of wireless headphones that comes with the ability to switch between two channels that two DJs spun separately on stage.  Channel A pumped the latest hip-hop, rap and electro dance music while channel B mixed alternative tunes with pop throwbacks from the 80s, 90s and today.

“The event has a promising future for tonight,” said disco attendee Derrick James. “It should be a good time.”

A good time is exactly what Connie and Jim Miller were having.

“We come to Vinyl all the time for different types of music,” said Connie Miller. “This is our first time attending the Headphone Disco.”

The pair said they would definitely come again.

DJs David Taylor (left) and Graham Ferguson (right) drop the beats at the Headphone Disco

DJs David Taylor (left) and Graham Ferguson (right) drop the beats at the Headphone Disco.

Saturday was the fourth time that The Silent Party People brought their internationally played headphone disco to Vinyl. The shows have been doing so well that the founder and owner Graham Ferguson flew in to Pensacola and made a guest appearance as a DJ.

UK-based Ferguson is in the US for three months and said he “heard this was really kicking off in Pensacola and wanted to come and see for myself.”

Ferguson said the idea for the headphone disco was “born out of necessity.”

“We were asked to DJ a festival in the UK, and we weren’t allowed to play any amplified music beyond a certain point,” Ferguson said. “We thought about this idea for headphones. We did it, it worked really well and we thought ‘let’s try this in other venues,’ and it just grew legs from there.”

The Silent Party People host headphone discos all around the world with 20,000 pairs of headphones in 9 different global locations.

“Headphone disco is definitely something cool for our college and college aged demographic,” Vinyl Music Hall’s talent buyer and box office manager Chris Wilkes said in an email.

Campus Activities Magazine labeled Headphone Disco as the 2013 Best Novelty Attraction.

Next headphone disco is a Halloween special on Saturday, Oct. 27.

Related Posts:

Posted in Entertainment, Event, featured, MusicComments (0)

Don’t call it a comeback with RadioLive

By Antonio Jones

Music Lovers have been enjoying RadioLive performances for 25 years. The show returns Sept. 5

Music Lovers have been enjoying RadioLive performances for 25 years. The show returns Sept. 5

Get ready to jam to some great music because RadioLive is live again on WUWF Public Media after a two-year hiatus.

RadioLive was around for 20 years before repeated budget cuts put it to rest. Now thanks to the Clark, Partington, Hart, Larry, Bond and Stackhouse law firm, RadioLive will be back Sept. 5 at 6 p.m. to bring many more  musicians.

“Our firm is committed to improving the quality of life in the Panhandle for our clients, employees and the community,” Scott Remington, president of the law firm, said in a WUWF press release. “Furthermore, we wholeheartedly support WUWF’s mission of enhancing the vibrancy and the arts in Downtown Pensacola.”

Lynne Marshal, the director of Promotions and Outreach for WUWF, said CPH Law are contributors in the communities, and they really enjoy WUWF’s programming.

“It was just a way to give back to the community,” Marshal said. “Right now it’s for a season and they will be the main sponsors for that year.”

This comeback also marks the 25th anniversary of RadioLive’s first live broadcast and will feature musical guests Grant Peeples, Smithfield Fair and Callaghan.

“I think I do a total of six songs, and that is one of the things that is really interesting about how Pat Crawford produces this show, it’s one of the most interestingly produced shows I have ever played,” Peeples said. “In other words he’s got three acts,  and each act plays a total of six songs. Every night I have ever played, the room as been packed, I mean wall-to-wall people, and I can only assume that it is going to be that way this time and that it will continue to be that way.”

Anyone who has attended RadioLive in the past will remember these guests Marshal said. She went on to say it is not just artists who are known in the area,  but some even come from out of state.

“Just come out and have a good time,” Marshal said “As far as I am concerned there is nothing that can beat live music and being in the audience.”

People can also bring canned goods to help support  Manna Food Pantries and RadioLive has generated four to five thousand pounds of food for Manna Food Pantries every year.

WUWF FM has been around for more than 30 years and has converted the televised performances to high definition. RadioLive is not the only showcase  on WUWF. They also have its own television station, which launched in 2003, which is streamed on wuwf.org, where you can find more information about RadioLive and WUWF programs.

“Not a week goes by when someone doesn’t stop and ask me at a restaurant or the supermarket when we will be able to bring RadioLive back,” Pat Crawford, WUWF executive director and RadioLive host said in  the press release. “Now I can say, thanks to the generous and community-minded firm of CPH Law, RadioLive will be coming back in September 2013.”

Related Posts:

Posted in Entertainment, featured, Music, StageComments (0)

Chainsaw Kelly

With new EP, Pensacola’s Chainsaw Kelly cuts to the bones of the blues

I am always surprised by people’s ability to reinvent the blues, but I am often disheartened by bands who don’t know what they’re doing.

Pensacola’s Chainsaw Kelly is a band that gets it. Though schooled in the classics, they don’t try to sound retro. On their soon-to-be-released EP, “Dog Days,” they strip the blues down to its bones.

Pensacola natives Brandon Smith and Michael “Chainsaw” Daw founded Chainsaw Kelly about five years ago.

They speak fondly of those early days, when they played on the street for change and recorded in random bathrooms and hallways.

“We played a lot of Delta blues,” Smith said, “just jamming on banjo, guitar, a lot of harmonica.”

The band has shifted over the years to a fuller, electric sound, with Brandon on guitar, Daw on bass and harmonica, and new-comer Chris Whinskey behind the drums.

“Dog Days” was recorded half at home, and half by Sean Peterson of the Third Floor Studio in downtown Pensacola.

The title track of the new EP recalls the beautiful irony of the blues: You can sing about bad things, and it makes people feel good. Daw plays harmonica on the track. Through most of the song, his notes creep and slither around the lyrics like a black snake.

As Brandon delivers the final lines of the song, former drummer Matt Nichols starts to ride the snare with no mercy, and Daw plays the harmonica like it’s the night before prohibition. The groove builds to a climax and ends abruptly, leaving the listener wanting more.

“Pinecone Blues” is the stand-out track on the EP. It was recorded less than a week after the band’s original drummer had quit, but they didn’t let this slow them down.

Daw and Smith recorded all the instruments on this track themselves, including percussion. The song is simpler and folkier than the others on the EP. Just like the lyrics say, the band is “going home,” both lyrically and spiritually.

Daw said this is one of his favorite tracks on the album. “It’s kind of how the band started,” he said, “just me and Brandon.”

Chainsaw Kelly will hold an EP release show on Sept. 2 at the  Handlebar, at 319 N. Tarragona St. The Show starts at 10 p.m. with opening acts Pioneers O’ Pioneers and Lucid Lions. There will be a $5 cover charge.

Future plans for the band include releasing a full-length album and moving to Birmingham, Ala., where Smith currently lives. The band said they still plan to stay current in the Pensacola scene and will return to play shows from time to time.

Chad Sanders
contributing writer

Related Posts:

Posted in Entertainment, MusicComments (1)