Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Flight of the Conchords and Last Radio Cure

Fans of the Flight of the Conchords' HBO show need no introduction to "New Zeland's fourth most popular folk parody group," but for those unfamiliar, it is the dynamic duo of Brett McKenzie and Jermain Clement. Having already showcased a dozen songs on their TV show, their live performances and stand up specials, and BBC radio show, it's about time these guys got a proper full length in the States. The album features some of my favorite Conchord tracks including "The Most Beautiful Girl in the Room," in which Jermaine romances a woman at a party by crooning, "you're so beautiful, you could be a waitress." On "Hiphopipotimous vs. Rhymenocerous," the two blend hip hop conventions and rapping with acoustic guitars and keyboard beats to create a song that's not only hysterically funny, but pretty catchy. This ultimately shows that even though these songs are pretty goofy, they're also good songs. A must have for any fan of the guys and a good starter for those just getting started.
Here's a nice little clip from the show:

On a different note, tonight is the last Radio Cure of the semester, so be sure to tune in on WDUB from 5:30-7:30 PM EST!

Monday, April 14, 2008

R.E.M. - Accelerate: Review

When drummer Bill Berry left R.E.M. following 1997's New Adventures in Hi-Fi, the band seemed to have lost it's way. Though 1998's Up and 2001's Reveal had good songs, they were a far cry from the R.E.M. that wrote songs like "Losing My Religion" or even going back further, "Sitting Still." Their 2005 album Around the Sun was widely panned by fans and critics alike for it's dull, adult contemporary radio feel. On their tour in support of the album, the band stayed away from playing many of the album's tracks in favor of older material. Now, after two best of compilations and a Rock and Roll Hall of Fame induction, R.E.M.'s newest album, Accelerate marks a return to form for the college radio pioneers. From the bouncy opener, "Living Well's the Best Revenge," the band seems to have shaken off the dust and gone back to rockers. Most notably, the album features more of the guitar of Peter Buck and a larger role for bassist Mike Mills. Michael Stipe's lyrics aren't as mysterious as they once were, but they still carry a power unmatched in a lot of pop music today. The band has gone back to some of their older sounds, noticeably on "Until the Day is Done," which features an intro reminiscent of "Sweetness Follows." R.E.M. is no doubt one of the most important bands of the last 25 years, and after a few miscues, it's good to know they're back.