From 2010 to 2012, while many people were gambling and drinking in the city of Las Vegas, Nevada, the members of the up and coming indie group Imagine Dragons were focusing on an album entitled Night Visions. After four previously released EP’s, adding the hit “It’s Time” to the trailer for the film the Perks of Being a Wallflower, as well as allowing “Glee” to do a cover of the same song, popularity of this groups music sky rocketed. Released in early September of 2012, their album Night Visions is consists of indie rock with influences of folk, pop, and dubstep. The instrumentals and electronic rhythms by this group infused with the lyrics of vocalist Dan Reynolds offer a unique listening experience unmatched by many other albums created by today’s artists. Resembling similar styles shared by Of Monsters and Men and the Lumineers, Imagine Dragons is a guaranteed treat to listen to on stormy days, while doing homework, or when you are looking for chill out music.
-Eddie Van Osterom
XTSR Assistant Music Director
Recently, the staff of XTSR Towson was featured on MTVU’s College Radio Countdown! Check out the video here and our playlist below!
10. All Time Low For Baltimore
9. Good Old War Weak Man
8. Wiz Khalifa Black and Yellow
7. Metric Youth Without Youth
6. Biffy Clyro Black Chandelier
5. Vampire Weekend Cousins
4. fun. Carry On
3. Ed Sheeran Lego House
2. Icona Pop I Love It
1. Family of the Year Hero
Director of Social Media
Earlier this week Fall Out Boy released their 2nd of 11 music videos for their new album. Each seems to tell the story of Fall Out Boy saving rock and roll. So here is our take on the events and what may be coming next.
So here’s what we know thus far from “My Songs Know What You Did In The Dark.” Fall Out Boy is in the back of a van kidnapped by 2 Chains and two of his groupies that are having a nice Fall Out Boy memorabilia fueled fire. So what does the next video have in store for us?
WARNING SPOILERS AHEAD! Watch the video here and then read on.
THE BREAK DOWN
The video for “The Phoenix” is a prequel showing how the band members get captured. The first question we come across is what is in the suitcase. It glows it has the sound of electricity and 2 Chains groupies really want it bad enough to cut off Patrick’s hand for it. I am thinking that this is some sort of weapon or power of some sort. This is the device that will help Fall Out Boy save rock and roll. Not to rule out other possibilities it could also be the “Save Rock and Roll” Album. (That would be some sweet marketing right there.)
Now something to note, after Patrick loses his hand it gets bandaged up. So whoever is torturing him obviously wants him to live. This begs the question, why torture him if you still need him for something else? This brought me to the idea that if you notice his hand can get sliced clean off but you never see him getting poked or stabbed with anything else. Yes they did put a scalpel to his neck but they don’t cut which makes me think that either: A) They are only roughing him up a bit before this dinner and his ultimate demise or B) they are actually trying to save him from dying because it’s not his time yet. I know that the B scenario is a long shot but hey, it’s only a theory. To add to outlandish theories, perhaps they are adding something to him. Something robotic. It would be an interesting incarnation of how rock and roll is using a lot more electronic production now a days.
Something else that I noticed was when Pete gave the falcon call to the other boys in the band, he sends out 3 falcons already knowing that Patrick is hurt. Why the third for himself? Was it to watch out for him or was it meant for someone else and only foreshadowed, “Hey you’re about to get jumped,” to go along with the kidnappings. Everyone is kidnapped in suburbia. I think this is a point of saying that the war for the top of the charts happens everywhere. This includes suburbia, accessing more of the fact that the suburban kids who used to listen to Rock and Roll have now changed to pop.
Finally, the video ends with Patrick’s bloody hand snapping at a dinner table. I think this was to demonstrate two things. First Patrick is very much alive and even okay, relatively speaking. I think this shows that he is still in control. Either Patrick knows that his friends have been captured and this was the plan all along, or he still feels like he runs the place even though he is missing a hand. To support the “This Was The Plan All Along” theory, none of the band members struggle when they are kidnapped. For example, Andy just stands in front of the van knowing what’s coming. Joe backs away into the shadows (essentially walking into darkness) which is exactly what he does when he gets knocked out and kidnapped. Finally, Pete who gets a Falcon sign of “Something’s Not Right,” instead of looking around and wondering what this third mystical falcon is doing, he just stands there and accepts that he is about to be drugged.
Just as you can’t tell the meaning of a book from a single chapter or the meaning of a song from a single word, we won’t know the deeper meaning of the Fall Out Boy movie until all of the videos have been released. As for the story of our fabulous four, the next installment will either give us more answers or pull a Lost and give us more questions. Only time will tell now.
Brothers Keith and Michal Jeffery better known as Atlas Genius released their first album earlier last week to great reception. The band sounds like a blend of Vampire Weekend and Walk The Moon, two very unique sounds themselves. The result is a synth filled songs of clever lyrics and tight pop riffs. It also happens to sound similar to tour mates and recent artist Imagine Dragons. When It Was Now hits the right note for the alt rock crowd. First off the record is “Electric,” a prime example of the unique sound that Atlas has. The second single off the new album, “If So,” is very reminiscent of Imagine Dragons’ Amsterdam. The main single off the album and for the band itself for the past year has been “Trojans.” This song has everything you could want in a hit alt rock song, including catchy tight guitar rifts and a unique voice with meaningful lyrics. It’s a solid piece and considering it was written, recorded and released within two weeks and peaked at #4 on XM’s Alt-18, it’s pure talent. Bottom line, you will be hearing more of these two in the near future.
XTSR Music Director
The 55th Grammys were last night and it was filled to the brim with performances. Starting it off was Taylor Swift with probably one of the most childish and catty performances of them all. Not to say I didn’t love her dig at recent ex Harry Styles, I would comment that the Grammys are not the place for it. Your own concert, sure, but not here, keep it classy.
Keeping with class Ed Sheeran took the stage with Sir Elton John. Elton proved his ability to show up and perform at the Grammys, creating mesmerizing performances with no exception for this one. The vocal duets were beautiful and the ending high five between the artists felt like a passing on of the lyrical torch to the next generation.
Fun. picked up the mic after Ed and Elton and kept the awe-inspiring performances going. Singing “Carry On” Fun. rocked the show and visually stunned the audience as rain fell upon the band emphasizing the emotions of the song. Not to mention the fact the backdrop mimicked the Some Nights tour poster.
The Black Keys brought the energy of a rock show to the Grammys and their performance is proof of that. They looked liked they were still performing for a small venue and not the extensively massive music hall of the Grammys. The last notable performances were The Lumineers and Mumford and Sons, both showcasing their unique styles and hit songs (“Hey, Ho” and “I Will Wait” respectively). Both groups had similar performances due to the fact that they have similar instruments and sounds. Nevertheless they were both powerful performances allowing them to make their mark on the music world.
A plethora of country and R&B artists performed throughout the show, but since this is an alternative rock station we are going to pass by those. Sorry Frank Ocean, you were great though!
Mumford and Sons walked away with best album of the year (“Babel”). Fun. beat out The Lumineers for best new artist, and went home with song of the year. Record of the year fell in the hands of “Somebody I Used To Know” singer Gotye. All of these artists deserved to win Grammys after their hard work and dedication to their music, and that is what matters.
This year is proving to be a big year for ska armed with new albums from the likes of Suburban Legends and Reel Big Fish, and with their huge summer of ska tour with Goldfinger and Big D and the Kids table. There’s also Five Iron Frenzy coming back from the dead; Streetlight Manifesto VS. Victory Records; even the old timers are still kicking, with the Mighty Mighty Bosstones’ new album from last year, and a new Pietasters album allegedly in the works. It’s a good time to be a rude boy. Our favorite local ska band: Stacked Like Pancakes, is looking to make a splash with a demo for a new song, and a new album in the works, slated for Spring 2013.
“Odd Times” starts off strong and grabs you, because it’s ready to go for a ride. The horns are as strong as ever, and this new tune may remind one of “The Robbery” from SLP’s previous album. The style bounces between Streetlight Manifesto’s dark and edgy punk and Suburban Legends’ upbeat pop shtick. A bit more on the Streetlight scale, since it’s not about the up strum as much as the horns and guitar working together. Either way, it sounds cool, and breaks down in a few solos that rival the biggest names in blaring horn sections today. It’s definitely worth picking up, no matter what your musical tastes are.
Are we in the new revitalization of a genre that, in my opinion, really needs more attention? Maybe, there are plenty of dedicated fans who would want to rave about the next big thing, and it does my heart good to see a local ska band standing up and playing what they want to play. Stacked Like Pancakes are even getting some real recognition too, as they played with Ballyhoo at the Baltimore Soundstage last Friday, and the Skalloween show at the Ottobar on the Tuesday before Halloween. I’m excited for the new album, which is in the works and will be coming out this spring. You can download this early version of the demo for free on their new website: http://stackedlikepancakes.com
Mumford & Sons, the hit folk group from West London best known for songs such as “the Cave” and “Little Lion Man,” has just released their second album, Babel. The record hit shelves in late September of this year and retains what fans from all over the world have loved about their music.
With the release of the single “I Will Wait,” the wait for the album became almost unbearable. Followers everywhere reveled in the beauty of the lyrics and the emotions evoked from the fusion of percussion and acoustics. At long last, when the album finally was released, listeners everywhere gathered together around their iPods, stereos, laptops, and turntables to listen to Babel.
In comparison to their first album, Sigh No More, Babel lacks the new taste and originality many listeners were searching for. It felt more like a continuation of Sigh No More as opposed to a new album. The songs on the album are fairly hit and miss if listened to as singles, but when listened to in one sitting, the album speaks volumes. The songs show the feelings of the band as they are on tour, the basis of the album, and allows fans to join them in their longing for home and their personal lives.
The band shows their true talent and ability as they seamlessly go from heavy folk to relaxed tones, which is what many felt made Sigh No More so enjoyable and moving. Babel shows the same display of talent throughout its journey, which gives it the signature feel of a Mumford & Sons album. Each song is diverse from the others, but without them, the album would not be complete.
If you are searching for a new side of Mumford & Sons, don’t expect it from Babel, but if you are searching for the same perfection in sound and lyrics of Sigh No More, definitely take the time to listen to listen to this record. Fans will not be disappointed, unless they longed for more diversity and a new sound, which was not the path taken with Babel.
-Eddie van Osterom
Watch out Baltimore, All Time Low isn’t the only band giving our city a little love. The song “Baltimore” premiers off of Go Radio’s third studio album, “Closing The Distance,” as a ballad of lovers trying to make it work in this crazy world. The new album follows the familiar structure of Go Radio’s previous album, “Lucky Streets.”
“Close The Distance” feels less like something brand new and more like a fine-tuning of a sound that is already exceptional. On this album Go Radio managed to keep their songs sounding consistent without being repetitive, something the band has run into in the past.
Go Radio spices up their sound on this album; the sound that many associated with their previous album takes on a brand new feel. Taking that into account, none of the singles from this album seem to be able to touch their predecessors. “Goodnight Moon” and “Fight, Fight” are top songs from the band, but this album’s line-up is nothing to be laughed at. Jason Lancaster lends his voice and breathes his emotion into this album, far more than he has done in the past.
“Collide,” the first single, has a catchy melody and lyrics to match. It is nothing shy of great. “Go To Hell” on the other hand raises the bar and has a unique take on a break-up, before it happens. Both singles will quickly become fan favorites.
“Close The Distance” manages to be a solid album and won’t take long to find its way into your CD collection. With seven less songs than the deluxe edition of “Lucky Streets,” it ends up being a more concise album and the band gives a better performance all around. Fans of the band have no need to fear and newcomers, this is a perfect place to be introduced.
We are back in the station and raring to go here at XTSR Towson! We are now on the flip side of 2012 and things are starting to cool down around campus, but they sure aren’t in the station, that is for sure. The Fall 2012 schedule will be up, newscasts will start to pop up, the tumblr will begin to rumble, and of course, brand new music will be going into rotation for your listening pleasure!
That is a lot for you to look forward to, but if that isn’t enough, just keep reading! Our wonderful and fearless Manager and Program Director, Megan Conway, has been working all summer to make this the best year at XTSR ever. To do that, she needed to expand the team! With the addition of a position overseeing sports content here at XTSR, we are guaranteed to be your number one spot for all of your sports news. Expanding is always exciting and with the expansion comes an increased need for helpers around the station, yep, that means you loyal listener! If you are interested in joining the XTSR Team at any level, feel free to stop by the station in the Media Center on campus, or shoot us an e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org!
Okay, now that you are as pumped for this year as I obviously am, tune into the station if you aren’t already and give us a shout out on Twitter, post on our wall, or start filling out that application to join the team!
Be sure to stay up-to-date on all your XTSR news by checking the blog and our other social media outlets regularly. We have a lot of exciting things for you this year and we think you are going to love it!
Chow for now!
Director of Social Media