Live Hip Hop Comes to the Cat's Cradle

It's a Saturday night and a couple of thousand people are cheering as our Tarheels destroy UConn in a game of football. Not so far down the way a handful of people are spread throughout the floor at the Cat's Cradle, listening as opening act Mosadi Music appropriately opens the show with their vocally smooth and instrumentally abrasive hip hop. Poet and lyricist Shirlette Ammons trooped onwards alongside her band mates, giving an amazing performance to a sparse crowd. Guitarist Chris Boerner was especially impressive with his guitar solos, which were reminiscent of Eddie Hazel, guitarist for Parliament-Funkadelic. The rhythm section served as a backbone for Shirlette's machine gun vocal delivery. They closed out the set the same way they started it: strong and with a vibrant intensity. It was a shame that so few people actually got to watch them.

This was an important night for the Urban Sophisticates, since it was their CD Release Show for Classic Material, their third studio release. The floor got more crowded as the football game let out, and Urban kicked into the set with their usual intensity. Urban's live show definitely stands strong to the reputation, delivering a selection of both old and new songs, alongside a few surprise covers. Front-man Benton James eased through each tune as his brother, Aaron, offered soulful crooning intermittently throughout the night. The band, including a trumpet, trombone, bassist, guitarist, and drummer, crowded the stage and served as the perfect vehicle for Benton's smooth, laid back vocal style.

All in all, the show was amazingly fun and the only disappointing aspect was the fact that more people didn't get to see it.

Mosadi Music: http://www.stumphole.com/ ; http://www.myspace.com/mosadilive

Urban Sophisticates: www.urbansophisticates.com/ ; http://www.myspace.com/theurbansophisticates

Vote for WXYC!

Hey! Voting for the mtvU Woodie Awards is going on right now, and voting is open for WXYC in the "Best College Radio Station" category. You can vote an unlimited amount of times, and voting is open for our region until Sunday, so let's get a head start!

Here is the link to vote. No registration is needed, only one simple click and your vote has been gathered! This is the round that will help us move on to finals, so all votes are appreciated.


There is also a comment area - if you have an anecdote about why you love the station or something particularly interesting pertaining to WXYC, be sure to share it!

P.S. Every time you vote, we smile exactly like this ->

Thanks so much!

Not Quite First Class

As has been heard in the past, the Feedback Farmers love to host a birthday party. So when they heard the US Postal Service was turning 219, they jumped on the opportunity to fête our nation's mail system.

Of course, in typical Feedback Farm fashion, the party was about as exciting as a barrage of junk mail. Things started off slower than Parcel Post, and the first time they turned on the microphones they seemed as nonplussed as a soldier who has just received a Dear John letter. (I realize that using nonplussed in a sentence is nearly as pretentious as using vis-à-vis (which reaches the pinnacle of pretense when the effort is made to include the grave accent diacritic), but, really, how often does one have an opportunity to use the word?)

From there, the show dragged on for the balance of the nine o'clock hour. Although the Feedback Farm only lasts for sixty minutes, trudging through a programme with this crew can sometimes feel like an eternity. It's too bad they can't follow in the footsteps of their guests of honor for the night, the USPS. How wonderful it would be to be able to say that "neither snow nor rain nor heat nor gloom of night stays these DJs from the SWIFT completion of their appointed rounds."

Don't believe me? Download the episode here (26MB MP3).

Processing + Audio = Remarkable Visuals

Processing is an open source programming language for people who want to program images, animation, and interactions. I've seen it applied in a bunch of situations, but my favorite iteration (and the iteration most relevant to this blog) is when it is used to program relations to audio.

For example:

A video compiled using Radiohead's "Weird Fishes / Arpeggi"

From the author: "it is Processing from start to finish. There is no post processing (oooh, a literal pun!) or editing after the fact. I import the audio data from the analysis, augment it with the direct FFT data from the Sonia analysis, press play, and after it is done, I have the finished piece."

Next, a video by the same author, flight404, with Helios's "Sons of Light and Darkness" as the audio source
If you're curious, this guy helped develop what would eventually become the new iTunes visualizer (featured in iTunes 8)

Finally, a slightly more impressive application of the software is featured in this video from the Milan Furniture Fair in April of 2007. The floor seen in this video is designed to respond to the audio being emitted by the Kef Muon Speakers (which are purported to have "the best sound quality in the world")

So there you go. Processing at its finest. Did I mention it's free software and apparently easy to use?

WXYC has been nominated for a Woodie Award

WXYC has received a nomination in the category of Best Campus Radio Station from MTVu. More info:
Best Campus Radio Station
For the first time ever, mtvU is honoring 20 pioneering college campus radio stations committed to bringing students the latest indie and emerging music. Lauded for championing artists before they achieve mainstream success, these student-run radio stations represent the new music vanguard long since abandoned by traditional FM radio. The top stations were chosen based off accolades from CMJ College Radio Awards, Princeton Review Nominations, and independent questionnaires completed by a cross-section of record labels. One station will bring home the inaugural Woodie for Best Campus Radio Station, as voted on by their peers.

Radio Woodie - (Best Campus Radio Station)
For the station out there breaking the latest, emerging music, acting as pioneers in the industry.

KALX, University of California, Berkeley
KZSC, University of California, Santa Cruz
KSSU, Sacramento State University
KZSU, Stanford University
KCSU, Colorado State University, Fort Collins
WSOU, Seton Hall University
WERS, Emerson College
WICB Ithaca College
WBSR Brown University
WUSB Stony Brook University
WUTK University of Tennessee
WRAS Georgia State University
WEGL Auburn University
WWVU West Virginia University
WXYC University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill
KSLU St. Louis University
KUOM University of Minnesota
WGRE DePauw University
WDBM Michigan State
WITR Rochester Institute of Technology

The winner is selected by online voting on the MTVu website. Finalists are selected by a week-long regional vote. The blog will be updated with more information once full voting procedure and info is revealed.

Founding Pink Floyd Member, Richard Wright, Dead at 65

Founding member and keyboardist for Pink Floyd, Richard Wright, died today at the age of 65 after a long battle of cancer. Be sure to pull out that old vinyl or play some Pink Floyd on your ipod in memory of a true innovator.


Speaking of Poetry...

People tune in to WXYC and don't necessarily realize that the DJs they hear have talent that goes beyond merely spinning records.

Take DJ Kevin Clark, for example.

Perhaps a lucky few of you heard his live, free-stylin' rap a few weeks ago. If you did, I'm sure you were impressed. He did a dam fine job impromptu and under pressure.

If you missed his performance, no problem. Simply click here (3MB MP3) to hear. Enjoy. WXYC DJs are encouraged to play this on the air. Often.

Iambic Pentameter, etc

The Feedback Farmers tried to get all high-brow last week but instead got in over their heads. They don't know much when it comes to the finer things, and they sure don't know nothin' about POETRY. And anyway, I thought it was a MAN from Nantucket. I don't even know what the next line would be if it was a GIRL from Nantucket.

Hear with your own ear here (29MB MP3).

PS I vaguely remember deleting a file from my hard drive I didn't think I needed. I am coming to the realization that that file was the Feedback Farm Back to School Special. It's never a great loss when a Feedback Farm episode is lost to the aether. This programme was no exception.

Going for Gold

Posting in world record time, here's a recap of the Feedback Farm programme from mere hours ago.

Filling in for Bret D (who recently relocated to Chicago or San Francisco), the Feedback Farmers guest-hosted a special edition of SportsRap by covering the Games of the XXIX Olympiad, live from Beijing. With in-depth, behind-the-scenes looks at the athletes, the events, and all the scuttlebutt from the Olympic Village, the Farmers' insightful commentary made clear the reason they were chosen to take the helm of SportsRap full-time beginning this fall.

Click here (30MB MP3) to hear.

PJ wanted me to add the following: Sorry Bret, somehow the interview with you was completely blank! And sorry Steve, the phones wouldn't work so we couldn't get you on the air to talk about your experience training the US Olympic field hockey team!

Trippy Autechre Vid Delivers

Rabid Autechre fans have always described the venerable duo as composing "architecture for sound," roughly. It sounds pretentious, but the title track video to the group's 2002 EP "Gantz Graf" nailed the synesthetic fix perfectly: Alex Rutterford, the video's director, admitted swallowing a hard dose of hallucinogenics before starting work. If you don't believe me, see for yourself:


And if you're left pining for more delicious sound squiggles, director Lucio Arese gives us possibly Gantz Graf's direct followup, though he has no official ties to the band or their label. A sound production all around: