Getting Up to Date
KUMM received a ton of CDs over break. I have taken to previewing a bunch of them so that KUMM's DJs can have lots of new stuff to play once the spring semester begins. I have barely made a dent in the enormous stack of music to go through, but this is some of what I've gone through so far:
Joel Plaskett & The Emergency, Truthfully Truthfully
Taylor Hollingsworth, Tragic City
Robert Pollard, From a Compound Eye
We Are Scientists, With Love and Squalor
Mancino, Dear International [EP]
Film School, Film School
I've also got new stuff from Revolver Modele, Cat Power, Taxpayer, and Polystar. The last band, Polystar, sets outrageous expectations in their promotional materials; their lead singer predicts that they will one day reach the same level of acclaim afforded to classic artists like "Bauhaus, Joy Division, and Squeeze." One of these things is not like the other....
I am really enjoying this Film School album. It's got an atmospheric, almost prog vibe to portions (the band cites Pink Floyd as an influence) yet is distinctly modern. They manage to incorporate parts of Interpol's sound without trying to blatantly sound like them, like many bands that have sprung up in the past few years; She Wants Revenge is a good example of one such band (Rolling Stone even mentioned SWR in its latest issue, explaining that Interpol now knows how Ian Curtis would have felt if he had seen later acts blatantly pilfering his band's distinctive sound). Film School also incorporates elements of the Arcade Fire and even My Bloody Valentine in its guitar textures. One song, "He's a Deep Deep Lake," even manages to sound like Stellastarr* covering the Smashing Pumpkins' "Soma," which should be considered quite a compliment. It's an extremely arty & dense record, but it's a refreshing statement of artistic purpose when compared with many of the countless, facile releases that come through KUMM's new section.