Phantogram – Eyelid Movies

Tuesday, February 23rd, 2010 by Ryan Nisley

Phantogram is an electronic-indie duo that hails from Saratoga Springs, New York.  Josh Carter and Sarah Barthel have been best friends since high school and have been on tour for only a few years.  However, they are getting major attention from popular labels with their self-proclaimed “street-beat psych-pop” that makes listening irresistible.  While listening to “Mouthful of Diamonds,” the first track on the album, one may think that this duo is just a simple Indie band with a hint of electronic flavor.  But there is much more to this band than meets the eye (not to mention that a phantogram is a 2-D image enhanced by 3-D glasses).  As soon as “Turn It Off” kicks in with synthetic beats and turntable effects, the listener feels compelled to finish the track.  Barthel’s delicate voice is complimented by Carter’s simple, shimmering guitar, but behind them are hip hop beats that launch the music into something special.


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Mr. Gnome – Heave Yer Skeleton

Monday, February 22nd, 2010 by Ryan Nisley

When I started listening to Mr. Gnome, I was vaguely reminded of the Pixies. Mr. Gnome has the sound of an indie band from the late 80’s to early 90’s that resonates through the wailing vocals and distorted guitar. The band is composed of Nicole Barille (guitar and vocals) and Sam Meister (drums). They create a ghostly sound in Heave Yer Skeleton that derives from the echoes of Barille’s lonely voice. The songs are not necessarily catchy but become memorable because they haunt the listener. The first track, “Spain,” slowly drifts with a dreamlike quality, while “Searider Falcon” hits hard with distorted guitar riffs that demonstrates their ability to really rock. (more…)

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Woodhands – Remorsecapade

Thursday, February 18th, 2010 by Eric Loose

Look at that futuristic spider-monster blasting away at the western wild horses with a glimmering, flawless rainbow in the background. You heard me… look at it! So epic… and I can’t tell if the album cover has nothing to do with Woodhands’ album, or if it has everything to do with Remorsecapade. I honestly did a triple-take when I saw the names of the duo that created this synth and drums mish-mash. Ever heard of The Rural Alberta Advantage, the folky indie-rock band from Canada? Their drummer, Paul Banwatt, joined synth specialist Dan Werb to create an unlikely duo of electro-pop funkiness- Woodhands. This interesting combination led me to believe that Remorsecapade would be… well, interesting, to say the least. (more…)

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Maps – Turning the Mind

Thursday, February 18th, 2010 by Ryan Nisley

Maps, the singular identity of James Chapman, release a mysterious flow of electronica into your head like a dark fairytale.  Chapman’s voice slides through your ears and into your head like a melodic whisper.  His voice is nowhere and everywhere at once.  Most of the songs start with him singing with a calm electronic melody behind him, until it opens up with echoing vocal harmonies and shimmering sounds that generate “Turning the Mind.”  This CD is interesting because each song seems to open up near the end of the track, which leaves you wanting more. (more…)

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Letting Up Despite Great Faults – Self-Titled

Thursday, February 18th, 2010 by Ryan Nisley

Despite the complicated name of the band, this quartet delivers a simply sweet sound.  Their self-titled CD resembles a fusion of Silversun Pickups and Postal Service with a lighter and dancier edge.  When I put on the first track, “In Steps,” it took me exactly where I wanted to go: into a state of relaxation.  The guitar is lathered across the electronic static and steady beat, which instantly melted away any stress I felt before listening.  The voices and words seem to fade away, emphasizing the melody of the guitar.  What I found interesting was that some tracks focused more on guitar than electronic sounds, and others seemed to be an equal blend of both.  “Pause” carries on that relaxing feeling with humming voices and atmospheric guitar.  The electronic sounds are so soothing that I forgot they were there.  The track is quite mellow until it suddenly picks up with a strong synthetic dance beat that really caught my attention. (more…)

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The Insomniacs – At Least I’m Not With You

Thursday, February 18th, 2010 by Ryan Nisley

Insomniacs ALINWY If you feel lonesome on a late night, don’t worry, because The Insomniacs will be up with you all night long, singin’ the blues.  From the first song on the album, “Lonesome,” the listener knows exactly what this band is about.   The Insomniacs introduce themselves with a stylish organ along with jamming guitar riffs and harmonica solos all under the silky-smooth voice of Vyasa Dodson.  This guy is a triple threat: piano player, singer and songwriter.  If Michael Buble ever sang the blues and meant it, he’d fit right in. (more…)

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Andrew Bird – Armchair Aphocrypha

Wednesday, February 17th, 2010 by Eric Loose

Andrew Bird - Armchair ApochryphaImagine, if you will, the climax of gruesome plane crash. The plane dives lifelessly through the sky and back towards the earth as gravity begins to assert its strength. Now, picture this scene with a lovely beat to accompany it, complete with a violin, a piano, perhaps an optimistic tune with whistling, a choir, and maybe some horns and lively vocals to compliment. Armchair Apocrypha elicits a powerful feeling of contrast and contradiction as Andrew Bird has a knack for making the terrifying into beautiful, or the mundane into captivating. (more…)

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Skindred Interview

Sunday, June 28th, 2009 by The Professor

Interviewed by Rob Domingo ’06.


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Carl Filipiak Interview

Friday, April 7th, 2006 by The Professor

WLOY’s Tom Whittaker caught up with guitarist Carl Filipiak ahead of his annual Jimi Hendrix tribute show at the Recher Theater in Towson. They talked about Jimi, Carl’s recording and record label. While the Hendrix tribute is an amazing piece of guitar artistry, Carl’s main focus has been in the world of Jazz. He’s has earned critical acclaim as one of today’s most dynamic jazz guitarists, and not just in the Baltimore area. Jazziz Magazine has included him among a renowned list of guitar players in their nominations for “New Fusion Blood,” and JazzTimes calls him “a dazzlingly versatile guitarist.” Don’t miss the Hendrix show, but also make sure you check out his fantastic Jazz catalog!

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