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  • 8 Experimental Female Artists Performing at SXSW

    Movements in the experimental and avant-garde sects of music–as with most artistic movements–are historically written with a focus on Western male artists. Female artists have existed en masse and seen critical acclaim (evidenced by artists such as Björk, Yoko Ono, and FKA Twigs’ clear mainstream success). Yet, the eruption of experimental artists during the 21st century has been largely male-focused in media. And while resources and individuals seek to remedy this, the discovery of said artists seems tied down to those actively seeking them out.

    This year, a great deal of artists breaking the boundaries and borders of music around the world can be found at SXSW. Here are eight to keep your eye on through the festival and beyond.

    1. Francine Thirteen

    From out of this world, straight to the heart of Texas we get Francine Thirteen. The ritual pop of this Dallas native musician builds her cosmic sound from the experiences from her Baptist childhood, centering her persona on the biblical figure Lilith. “Lily”, as Francine often calls her, has gone through polarizing interpretations from demonic to pure femininity. As women around the world continue to suffer from patriarchal interpretations of religion, Francine Thirteen’s music is ultimately about freeing women from past interpretations, and owning oneself in entirety.

    1. Joan Thiele

    If there’s one positive thing the last decade has brought with it, it’s the explosion of experimental female pop artists. Artists like Carly Rae Jepsen and Charli XCX have been pushing boundaries in every direction, and Joan Thiele is another to watch. The Italian pop star is relatively new to the scene even in her home country. With disco inspired hits like “Tonight” she revives some of the sounds that gave the country a genre unto themselves just a few decades ago. But to lump her form of pop into Italo Disco is a disservice. With the songs she’s already released ranging from a dark soul fusion to full on disco revival, she escapes categorization and continues to surprise and excite with each song.

    1. Mary Ocher

    Born in Moscow, raised in Tel Aviv, and based in Berlin, there’s little that Mariya Ocher has yet to try. With multiple musical pursuits such as Mary and The Baby Cheeses and Mary Ocher + Your Government, she continually changes and subverts norms and expectations. Along with her work in poetry, directing documentaries, and visual art, she continues to show what she is capable of, all in an effort of empowering the people through her often blatant, explicit methods. She doesn’t choose to wrap her voice in the subtext artists so often hide their ideals within, but uses a blatant and covert form of illustration, pushing from all angles, emphasizing the importance of her messages so that all can hear them. Per example, her 2017 release, The West Against the People, fused influences ranging from African rhythms to cold wave, and featured an accompanying essay focusing on the issues of intersectionality and immigration. Her experiences continue to form her creatively and personally, as she pushes for a populace that works for their best interest through blended media productions.


    French singer and coder SARASARA has developed a sound of her own, with dark, mutated electronic sounds ranging from whispy, ambient soundscapes to an electronic tracks akin only to gothic blues. Taking massive inspiration from Björk, this app developer began moonlighting as a musician after her childhood fascination, and has found a way to bridge her knowledge of technology and humanity in both pursuits.

    1. machìna

    Tokyo based Electronic artist machìna combines textured, modular electronic sounds with melodically sweet, rhythmic vocals as she pulls on the influence of her life in Korea and her Jazz background. Starting in 2010 as Apple Girl, she has focused on the aspect of texture seeking continual development in her style, with an adversity to sitting still in any one sound. Illustrative ambiance of birdcalls turn into layered folk soundscapes she sings over, with visuals in performance and music videos echoing her obsession with texture, as shape and light build upon one another in beautiful ways.

    1. ELSZ

    Spending most of her life between Sydney and Sri Lanka, ELSZ has grown an evocative, raw sound through her array of skills as a harpist, producer, and singer. Currently working out of New York, ELSZ applies a great deal of her efforts to addressing and displaying the violence against women around the world. The normalization of this has been all too real with the harshest realities and extremities experienced in Sri Lanka, to the echoed, daily aggression women experience nations that claim to be more developed. Her intersection of acoustic and electronic sound provide a soulful backdrop to the scars and pain she shows through her music, a process she described as cathartic, hoping she can give other women the courage to come forward about their own abuse and fight to put an end to it.

    1. Ruby Fatale

    From Taipei, Taiwan, the self-described stoner/doom/glitch concepts of Ruby Fatale bring harsh, geometric sound that breaks down around the literary, anxiety fueling narration. The seemingly random dance beats break apart around industrial musings and reconstructions in a strangely calming fashion in a dark, glitch take on beat tapes. She focuses on ideas and memories essential to her, simultaneously ripping them up and replacing them , just as in her songwriting. Sometimes soothing, sometimes horrifying, never concrete, Ruby Fatale’s audio is as dynamic as her themes.

    1. Descartes A Kant

    The explosive sextet from Guadalajara, Mexico has developed a truly indescribably sound. A cocktail of surf, noise, shoegazey punk that touches everywhere from Rockabilly to new wave to give it a name would only be a disservice. The three front women of the group continually push back against sexism and preconceptions stacked against them in an already difficult industry. And even with three backing male members, the in-your-face female front of a trio has pit them against their own image, constantly forcing them to prove that not only are they equal to men in the industry, but that they’re in fact, better. It’s the idea of the “…for a girl” suffix being tacked onto any accomplishment that makes them fight for femininity and female empowerment in the musical industry. As they continue to evade categorization for their music, they pursue their own sound and their own image: one without boundaries in style or society.

    By Jackson Tucker

  • Interview: Joe Talbot of IDLES




    IDLES’ debut album Brutalism is an explosive, visceral catharsis. Named after the Brutalist architecture movement, wherein buildings were rebuilt cheaply with concrete after the destruction and demolition of World War II, the album represents the rebuilding of the band itself. Two years after the release of the Meat EP, the change in IDLES’ sound is as drastic as their change in tone – they are much angrier. In times of political turbulence and uncertainty, IDLES makes unwavering, bold statements with song titles like “White Privilege” and lyrics likes “Men are scared women will laugh in their face / Whereas women are scared it’s their lives men will take.” Despite the didactic nature of the album, deeply personal stories within the lyrics differentiate IDLES from other mindlessly angry punk bands and keeps them from crossing lines into preachiness or self-righteousness. Behind aggressive punk/post-punk drum and bass, Brutalism tackles the ugly with unabashed candor. Based on an encounter between frontman Joe Talbot and a friend, “1049 Gotho” paints a very real, unromanticized vision of depression with the lyricsWon’t someone help me sleep? /There’s no right side of the bed with a body like mine and a mind like mine.” He also writes about the struggle of addiction on the track “Benzocaine,” and lazy conformity in the opener, Heel/Heal.”

    Brutalism may not strike the listener as an intimate portrayal of the human experience on the first listen, maybe not even on the second or third. But past the propulsive, raw urgency of the music itself, the album is a passionate testimony of visceral, guttural hurt and emotion.

    This week, I was able to speak with Joe Talbot, vocalist and lyricist on the phone in preparation for SXSW. Read the full interview below.

    Idles played at SXSW last year, was that your first time at the festival?
    Yeah that was our first time in the states, yeah. Just kinda flew over for three days then flew back. It was a bit weird, but cool.

    Did you enjoy it?
    Yeah of course, it was magic. It’s not the first time I had been to the states, it’s the first time I’d been to Austin. It was the first time to come to America for a few of the boys so that was good. Yeah, it was hectic and it was fun. I like playing no matter where we are so that was great.

    So, what are you most excited about for this year’s festival?
    Playing. Just getting out there and playing. Its what we’re there for man, getting up in the morning and playing music. I’m sure there’s plenty to see in that, but as long as the shows get done well, that’s all I can hope for.

    Any artists you’re looking forward to seeing?
    No… ‘cause were fucking busy. I don’t know, there’s like 6 shows in 3 days in Austin so I don’t know how much time were gonna have spare. But we’ve got friends playing there, Life are playing which should be great. Andrew W.K. is apparently playing, that’ll be amazing, I’ve always wanted to see him play I think that’d be fun. I don’t know man, I’m just gonna feel out our days when we get there.

    So you guys supported the Foo Fighters at The O2 a few months back, how did that come about?
    We heard that they put us on a shortlist of bands to support them, so I told my manager to get a jigsaw puzzle made, do you know what that is? I don’t know if you call It that in America. So yeah, we got a jigsaw puzzle made of our bassist in his pants, you call trousers pants don’t you? In his briefs, his knickers. Holding up a sign saying “Pick IDLES.” We sent them the puzzle, covered up the box, and wrote on the box “If you build it, they will come,” and they liked it, and they picked us, and we built it and they came.

    What was it like playing in a venue of that size?
    It was cool man, like, if you build it up in your head before you go to a giant venue like that, I think it might swallow you up. But, I was just excited to play and I knew it would be good, like the sound would be amazing. It was cool, it wasn’t a surprise, it was exactly how I thought it was gonna be and it was great. It was surprisingly easy; do you know what I mean? I felt way more at home than I thought I would on a giant stage, not that I expect to play on one again anytime soon, but it was amazing.

    Your debut album, Brutalism – is it named after Brutalist architecture?
    Yeah. I’m a huge fan of architecture in general, always been an interest of mine and brutalist architecture is probably my favorite category, but it was more the metaphor of where we came from and rebuilding the band and doing it quickly and cheaply. And then it kind of burst the whole idea of how we sound.

    Is brutalism common where you’re from? Is that something that influenced your sound as well as just the metaphorical value?
    It’s common in Britain, yeah. Obviously the Germans bombed a lot of Europe and Britain, so post-war there was a lot of rebuilding that needed to be done. Society needed to be rebuilt and restructured, so they used concrete as the material that was quick-setting and cheap to use. So there’s a lot of it knocking about, and it serves as a great metaphor for kind of post-punk and punk music. Its got a very strict base, abrupt sound, concrete blocks of noise that are there to help society and rebuild things.

    Do you think places and surroundings have a big effect on artists and the music that comes out of a specific area?
    Absolutely, yeah. I think it’s the areas and the situation and the sentiment behind your situation. If you look at New York and what was necessary at different points, the jazz movement in New York and then the punk movement later on in New York it was very much a New York sound that also translated to people in London and you know the jazz scene translated to people in Germany and punk translated greatly to the British because there was a time of despair. So yeah, I think your surroundings, if you’re an honest writer–or even if you’re not an honest writer–I don’t think you can escape your psyche and what’s going on around you. That definitely shapes the way I write and the way I think. All over the world in America and in England there’s a real segregation separating the rich and the poor, the right and the left, in your country more so black and whites. You know this is a strange time to be alive and to be a liberal, to be forward-thinking. I think things seem to be going backwards in a lot of places.

    You also have a song, “Stendhal Syndrome,” that mentions painting and photography. Does visual art have any influence on IDLES?
    Massively, yeah. My dad’s an artist so I kind of grew up around that shit. Bowen, one of our guitarists is massively into more violent-looking imagery, like Goya, Dante’s Hell, Francis Bacon, stuff like that. Whereas I’m into more fantastic realism and realism like Lucian Freud, Michaël Borremans is probably my favorite painter, Rachel Whiteread, a British sculptor who famously filled a house with concrete and took the foundations away and the walls away so your left with the inside imprint. Yeah, I mean art is a huge part of our life and our passion, trying to incorporate it into our music, not just lyrically, but with our artwork and our outlook on how we treat things, and treat our writing and everything.

    How did you construct the album artwork?
    I knew I wanted to create something that was kind of a stand alone, abstract thing that represented the music. And then I wanted the thing that represented the music in the middle of the cover to be housed in a situation that demonstrated what the album was thematically about. So the block in the middle is supposed to be how it sounds, and then the photo of my mother and the construction of where it is and the simplistic, strict, designed poster on the right is supposed to embody the thematics of the album and our approach to music. So I did that in my dad’s studio. He helped me build it, we got a bunch of old flooring from a school and built it, and then I took some photos.

    Did you create the album artwork alone?
    Apart from my dads help, yes–and my girlfriend’s vagina. My family is very much involved in the art, but yes it was all my vision, I guess you could call it.

    Theres obviously quite a few songs on the record that are pretty political – are you trying to start a conversation or is it simply cathartic?
    Well, Brutalism is very much a visceral, explosive catharsis where I was getting rid of a lot and the politics kind of served as the purpose behind my grief, which was very personal, and about my mother. Obviously she had nothing to do with politics, but her situation did. So I wanted to start a discussion about something personal that is very important and very relevant at these times where we’re dismantling the inner chest. Something you might not appreciate in your situation, we live in a country where everyone gets healthcare, no matter how poor or their situation. Even if they’re not from this country, they get helped. It’s one of the best things this country has produced, and the right-wing government are destroying it. They’re overworking nurses, underpaying nurses, overpricing medications. It’s driven like a private co, the whole thing from the inside out. We don’t have a democratic process; they’re just doing it on their own without our choosing. So at the moment and for the next probably 50 years we’re battling with a right-wing government that are trying to change for the worse – Brexit is another example. So, my songs aren’t to lecture at all, they’re there just to give a very personal experience that hopefully opens up. I don’t want everyone to agree with me, I want people to listen, enjoy the music and disagree, agree or just dance, it doesn’t really matter.

    Notably in the song “1049 Gotho,” you explores themes of depression from some unique angles. What made you want to tackle that subject in your songwriting?
    My friend came back from a night out and I was staying on his sofa. He came back and woke me up, it wasn’t too late maybe 1 in the morning, and he was just crying. I wanted to know what was wrong. He said he was just feeling down and felt this from depression, and I unknowingly tried to cheer him up because I thought you could fix that. I thought at the time I could fix depression or someone who was feeling depressed. And he explained depression to me in a way that made it very clear what it was and helped me understand his situation and other people’s. I thought it was really such a poignant and beautiful moment that my friend helped me understand his pain. And I thought, well if he could do it I should try and pass that on, so I tried to write a song about it and just about that experience, really.

    Clearly you and the rest of the band are politically and socially conscious, what are your thoughts on the music industry?
    Its the same as a lot of other things, the rich are getting richer and the poor are getting poorer. There’s not many idiosyncrasies I think to the industry as a whole, I think its very white washed. I don’t mean that literally in race, I mean its just really a mundane collection of music, you don’t even have to look at the mercury music prize or thing like that and see that its contenders are not very interesting. Mainstream radio is just playing the same shit, but I don’t know. I don’t see that a problem for me personally because I’m just working around it. You get what you get, and you make it better or you make it worse by going along with it so I’m trying to not go along with it. On that, I think there’s room there for people to flourish. I think there are certain artists in Britain and around the world are successful, just maybe not in the major radio side of it. But they’re touring and making a living out of it which is great. So, I think its just about not really giving a shit about the industry and just getting on with it, seeing what you can do yourself. I think If you’re an artist you can act as a Trojan horse and do something interesting and get through those walls instead of standing outside the walls throwing pebbles. It is what it is, to me its not of interest because I seem to be doing alright out of it and I’m like a fat old British guy with bad teeth, shit ca writing music about depression and getting in fights.

    We’re coming up on the first anniversary of the release of Brutalism – how do you reflect on the album a year later?
    I’m glad you mentioned that. It’s actually on International Women’s Day (which is on Thursday) and the anniversary of my mother’s death. How do I reflect on it? I don’t know, I don’t think there’s a time of reflection at the moment just ‘cause I’m working on album two as we speak, and we haven’t finished with album one yet. I think its only good to reflect when you’re finished with something, and Brutalism is not finished in any way. We still got some touring to do out of it and I wanna make it the best we can. So, at the moment, it’s a great journey that were in and I can’t wait to crack on.

    What can we expect from album 2?
    Same thing but different. Again, I’m amongst it in the moment so I don’t really wanna talk about too much–I wanna get it done automatically without thinking too much about what it is. But, I can tell you that it’s better, and it’s very good.

    Watch the music video for “Mother” below

    By Jordan Smith

  • A Night at the Videodome

    Last Saturday, Soft Focus, Boo Hag, and Danger Boy performed at one of the more well-known DIY venues in Columbia, “The Videodome.” Once called “The Hyperbolic Grime Chamber” and “Brolympus,” this rickety house in the Olympia-Granby neighborhood has been a home for local and touring artists for a few years.

    Columbia’s own Soft Focus started the night off with a heavy and somewhat experimental cover of the popular indie hit “Young Folks” by Peter Bjorn and John. Heads were banging to the song that was once in every TV commercial and teen drama in 2010 – a promising start to their noisy, shoegaze filled set.

    Next up was Boo Hag, the gothic rock two-piece based in Columbia.  With a new release just days prior to the show, their set featured many songs from “Testify” – the 7 track EP all recorded in one home session. Boo Hag’s songs range from southern gothic to electric blues to swamp punk, meaning that there was never a predictable moment throughout the set. The guitarist was very interactive with the crowd, however that’s to be expected with the intimate nature of the space.

    Finally, Danger Boy takes the stage as the last band of the night. Before starting the set, the band, per the homeowner’s request, made an announcement: “Dance all you want, but no jumping, please.” Fearful of meeting the same fate as “The Capitol,” another house in Columbia where the floor caved in mid-show, and of the subsequent 6-foot drop, this request was taken rather seriously (for the most part). Nonetheless, Danger Boy pumped out high energy doomy post punk as per usual. The surreal sound of this band, combined with the enigmatic performance of Danger Boy’s front man, created the illusion of an 80’s gothic rave.


    With rumors circulating, it’s hard to say what the future holds for The Videodome. One of the tenants of the house, and a member of Soft Focus, said that their house is very well built, but with the shows getting bigger and bigger, he thinks the Videodome is “on its last leg.” We can only hope that rockstar shows like this one appears in Columbia more frequently, and hopefully, one of them will take place in our beloved Videodome (while it’s still standing).



    DJ Corduroy // Maquel Parks

  • Concert Review: Excision at The Fillmore


    Excision’s show took place at the Fillmore in Charlotte, a music venue created out of a renovated textile mill. The Fillmore is located on a strip of other clubs called the North Carolina Music Factory, that’s always buzzing with nightlife. These buildings are home to World, AvidXchange Music Factory, and the Fillmore’s second stage, The Underground. The Fillmore itself hosts many concerts from an array of artists such as Papa Roach, K. Flay, Rainbow Kitten Surprise, Baby Metal, and TECH N9NE. On top of Excision, the venue has featured a great number of amazing electronic artists like RL Grime, Slushii, Above & Beyond, San Holo, and Clean Bandit. The show started out with some amazing opening acts, each a dubstep artist with their own unique style. First up 

    was MONXX, a Riddim producer best known for his track “The Wonky Song” with Walter Wilde. His style was completely out of the ordinary with hard hitting drums and ridiculous chops that kept the audience on their toes the entire set. Everyone just arriving at the show rushed to the dancefloor to get in on the action. Although the show had only just started, MONXX brought energy and established the tone for the rest of the show from the first song he played. Dion Timmer came out towards the last five minutes of his set and debuted their brand-new collaboration for the second time live, whose title is yet to be announced.

    Dion Timmer was next up, and did not hold back at all. He has been nothing short of impressive in the last year with his release of his “Textacy EP” and his recent collaboration with Modestep, “Going Nowhere”. His mix of different genres both in his records and at his live shows is very refreshing, always keeping the crowd wondering what’s coming next. Dion’s set consisted of riddim, future bass, and traditional brostep and more, constantly changing the tempo but keeping a steady flow for the audience. He also engaged the audience physically and vocally, which is something other DJ’s and producers struggle to balance. But his connection with the crowd was just enough, keeping everyone involved but also leaving enough time for people to enjoy the music.

    The final opener was Liquid Stranger, someone no one expected to see on the Paradox Tour. But I have to say, I don’t think anyone was disappointed. The downtempo approach of his set surprised everyone, delivering deep basslines and unique mixes that provided all kinds of psychedelic and heavy vibes. He also addressed the crowd, sort of comically, describing how he had structured his set to change throughout his 45 minutes on stage. With each song played the tone got harder, ramping up the energy once again in preparation for the main performance. He also brought out Dion Timmer at the end of his set to preview a new single they had been working on together while on tour, which combined both of their styles in a very interesting way.

    Finally, the time had come for Excision. The openers had only a small stage with few lights and screens to display visuals or their handle, but Excision was very different. The Paradox Stage is a massive LED screen, equipped with an ungodly number of lasers and smoke machines. And if this is not enough to get your attention, the stage is also outfitted with pk Sound. pk Sound, for this stage, ended up outputting an earth-shattering sum of 150,000 watts of bass. At previous shows, this speaker system had drywall falling from the ceilings and buildings blocks away feeling the vibrations. The stage alone is a spectacle, however, Excision’s performance made it even more incredible.

    Excision’s style consisted of brostep, hardstyle trap, riddim, and even some bass house. The hype of his performance never died, keeping his audience headbanging the entire time. Each song had a different visual, each synced up with the music to create a very immersive experience. Songs like Sullivan King’s remix of “With You” had brand new visuals, never before seen on the Paradox Tour. On the other hand, classics like “Robo Kitty” had the same visuals seen on tour before, with added laser lights and smoke from the recently improved stage. The set had so many absolute bangers, including many ID’s that all Excision fans are anxiously waiting a release date. All in all, the Paradox is a force to be reckoned with and should be on every bass-head’s concert bucket list. 

    Written by Nicholas Gerace

  • Spice Boys – “Glade” | An Interview & Album Review

    Spice Boys are back after their 2016 “Spice City” EP with their high octane debut album, “Glade”. The Swedish garage-rock band recorded 16 tracks over a hectic weekend in their hometown of Umeå, Sweden, and perfected them over the course of the next year. The time taken to perfectly craft this album was well worth the wait, as “Glade” is a force to be reckoned with, encapsulating the sound and feeling of urban frustration.

    Heavily influenced by the San Francisco garage scene, it opens up with “Spice City Boys” – a surf rock/psychedelic chaotic romp. It’s a fantastic opener, as it sets the sound for the rest of the LP. They carry this energy almost all the way through the album, deviating only on their track “Citrus Blossom”, for a perfectly placed, serene, and melodic intermission that refreshes you for the rest of the mayhem that ensues. The highlights of this album include the aggressive jam in “I Don’t Get Around”, the brief emotional headbanger that is “Fuk Luv”, and the raucous riot of “Vessel”.

    If you haven’t listened to Spice Boys yet, you definitely will be in the future, as this band definitely here to stay and is making their mark on the garage rock scene.

    I was able to talk with Sebastian Holmlund and Adam Forsberg from the band about “Glade”, the process of making the album, as well as what the band looks towards going into the future.

    “What was it like for you guys making this album?”

    Adam: “It was trying and fun but i think that when we recorded the album but I think when we recorded the album the process was we recorded the songs over a weekend in two days”.

    Sebastian: “Yeah everything 16 songs in two days.”

    Adam: “There were a lot of unfortunate incidents like we had to borrow a lot of equipment and that took some time and then we worked on overdubs, mixing, and producing.”

    Sebastian: “We wanted it to sound more expensive than a classic garage album, like Brian Wilson. So we took a long time to do the overdubbing and finding the right sound. It sounds so wildly different than the eight tracks we started out with, it’s like night and day…I think it’s a process before it starts, and then during you’re making it, then after it’s still a process like you’re never really finished.”

    “How do you guys think your sound will change going forward and what do you look towards in the future?”

    Sebastian: “It’s always ambitious to say that. Me and Adam write songs separately as a songwriting team but not related. So we come up with a song and see what we do with it and i think that’s great because it makes for a lot of diversity in songwriting. We listen to a lot of different music so it’s always exciting and a little competing to have that kind of talent. We will see. It’s hard to say at this point. We are probably going to record a new album this spring”

    “I know that it’s forward thinking to start talking about all of that but I think it’s important to think about what’s coming next.”

    Sebastian: “Focusing on the next thing is the most important think you know? This album took a year and a half to record and produce so it’s very old songs for us. It feels very good to start with something else.”

    “How do you guys feel about the album? Do you like it the way it is? Are there any things you wish you could change about it? Or a combination of the two?”

    Adam: “We’re very proud of it! I think it’s really good and of course when I listen to it I still hear things i want to add and change maybe but in the whole I like it.”

    Sebastian: “Yeah i think we did the most with the songs we had and it’s like that’s the period that has gone from my life and it feels better now when its out and you don’t work with it so now i can feel glad about it but for a long time i didn’t feel so good about it but now when it’s released and it’s something that’s out there.”

    Adam: “Yeah and I think always it’s like that during creative processes. Feeling bad, feeling like what what you’re doing sounds like shit you know haha but that’s what pushes you to make it good and reaching.”


    Interview by Luis Rodriguez // Speaker of the House

  • Album Review: Porches – The House

    Aaron Maine, the New York synth pop musician known as “Porches”, released his third full length album in January. “The House” features many music collaborations such  as Dev Hynes (Blood Orange),  Brydon Cook (Starchild), Okay Kaya, Sandy (Alex G), and even Aaron’s own father, Peter Maine.

    However, Porches, a staple in the “sadboy” music genre, wasn’t always recognized for his depressing music that makes you want to dance. Maine began making music under that name in 2010, after his first band “Space Ghosts Cowboys”, disbanded after doing a regional tour. Like most artists, he began making music from his home, located in Pleasantville, NY, after buying a Casio CA-110 keyboard. After a year of making songs with his keyboard from four track recordings, he released 3 EPs in 2011. The following year, he was able to release a full-length record, “Slow Dance in The Cosmos”,  on the label Exploding in Sound in 2012. After playing shows in the NYC area for a few years, he signed to Domino Records in 2015, with a sophomore album, “Pool” following in 2016. This album began as a home project for Maine, but was developed into a well produced album with mixing done by Chris Coady (Beach House), and featured guest vocals from Greta Kline (Frankie Cosmos).

    The House starts off on an upbeat note which is the beginning of the misleading mood that this album sets. “Leave The House” and “Find Me” are great intros to the album. They tell us a little about Maine’s uncertainty in life through a combination of synthy melodies and ambiguous lyrics. In “Find me” the lyrics are “Think I’ll go /Somewhere else /Where I can sink/  Into myself” along with “I can’t let it find me” repeated throughout the song, and are rumored to be about anxiety attacks that Maine have experienced. The imagery in the music video for “Find Me” shows Maine exploring what seems to be his hometown, surrounded by children playing outside in old clothes with skinned knees. The video seems to be an introspective lens into his life growing up  in Pleasantville NY.

     “Understanding” a song written and recorded by the father of Porches, Peter Maine, acts as a interlude. Essentially a stripped down poem, Aaron took a recording of his father singing and arranged chords to compliment his voice. It’s a great juxtaposition to the synth heavy tracks that precede and follow it.

    “Country”, is the first single, and the last song Maine wrote for the album. He says he felt extreme amounts of optimism when writing this song, and in the context of the album, it’s a song about rebirth while he thinks of the other songs  as concluding chapters of a book. The song is pretty short and the lyrics are hard to make sense of. The music video was filmed in the lush Upstate NY, where the bombastic aerial shots display Maine in the “country” where he secluded himself before moving into the big city.

    “By My Side” is a pretty R&B song that serves as a pleasant shift in sound, and also as a halfway point in the album. With pretty straightforward lyrics, and more bass than synths, this track manages to stand out on this indie electronic album.  Åkeren” is  a  poem sang  over a shimmery electronic backing accompanied by obscure background vocals. It’s recited in Norwegian by Okay Kaya. One of the stronger tracks on the album is “Anymore”. We don’t get much from its vague lyrics, but this song is about letting things go. This is one of my favorite Porches songs, and the instrumentation of it is reminiscent of Tears for Fears and other New Wave artists.

    Sadly, it seems the album takes a downward spiral in the final few tracks. Please take note of the image below, –a disgruntled Aaron Maine in jury duty. This photo from 2015 accurately sums up how I feel about the rest of the album. Many of the songs aren’t memorable and can, in fact, become a nuisance.  “Wobble” is a sad song about someone that is missing. When I hear the song “Goodbye” I imagine myself crying In a club dancing alone, surrounded by strangers.  “Swimmer” is another song on the album with overly auto tuned vocals that don’t quite harmonize well with the instrumentation. “W Longing” seems to be a song about nearly drowning. “Ono” sounds like 3 minutes and 40 seconds of whining because the chorus is just Maine saying “oh no” over and over again, hence the title. The final track “Anything U want” mentions the characters from the Norwegian poem, Julie and Ricky, but they seem to be separated for some reason. As a narrative I appreciate this song, and in a cinematic way, they say “I love you” to each other, but then the album just ends.

    The House is definitely an album worth giving a listen to. It’s not my favorite Porches album, but it’s an artistic follow up to his last album, and I think  the collaborations on this album add a personal touch to the electronic music that we’re used to. I will say that I’m sad that mundane songs like “Car”, a poppy single from his previous album, are what attracted me to Porches’ music,  however personal growth in art is always a good thing, and I support his creative decisions in that regard wholeheartedly.

    By Maquel Parks // DJ Corduroy


  • Top Add 2/13: Shopping – The Official Body

          Shopping is all about dancing out their frustrations. Catchy and direct, they make punk music that’s never heavy-handed or overly political. Exploring themes of consumerism, queer relationships and body image over bright riffs and visuals of pool parties and pink flamingos, the London trio has always favored subtlety over didacticism.

    Their third full-length album, The Official Body, is no different. Ten danceable tracks feature angular bass lines and surf-rock-like guitar riffs, daring the listener not to dance along. For 31 minutes, they can be free from trivial stress and just have fun listening to the confident, buoyant dance-punk. The first track, “The Hype,” features primitive drums and restless guitars behind the energetic chanting “Last chance! / Don’t believe! / Ask questions!” Songs like “Discover” and “Wild Child” dip into newer territory for the band, incorporating synth and drum pad. Across sounds new and old, Shopping maintains a humorous ethos, refusing to take themselves too seriously.

    Refraining from politics may not seem characteristic of a punk or post-punk band – in fact it’s pretty unusual. Underneath shadows of particularly turbulent politics both in the US and the UK, bands like IDLES and Protomartyr have steered into it instead of distancing themselves from it. In a press release, vocalist and guitarist Rachel Aggs said “It just felt like making ‘political’ music was a bit like putting a tiny band aid on an enormous wound.” Instead of trying to fix the world’s problems in a 30-minute album, Shopping focuses on making fun, danceable music, and The Official Body does exactly that.

    By Jordan Smith

  • Interview with Guard

    This past week I had the incredible opportunity to interview Guard, a meme maker and anti-pop artist whose single “Pineapple Crush” has been featured on Spotify’s ‘Young & Free’ playlist.  With five original songs released under his belt and an EP scheduled for soon release, we talked about his relationship with the music world, how it relates to his online presence, and what he’s got in store for 2018.

    Why did you decide to get involved with the music industry?

    Music has always been my passion. I have been writing songs for as long as I can remember and started making demos to shop around a few years ago. It became more of an artist project quite early on and I just knew that this is what I was meant to do!

    What encompasses the anti-pop genre?  How would you define/describe it to someone unfamiliar with it?

    For me, anti-pop isn’t really a genre, it’s more of a concept that I am working towards. I guess it’s about blurring the lines between genres as well as focusing on concepts rather than commerciality. I love what the guys over at PC Music are doing… They take elements of mainstream music & just completely mess with them to create something totally new.

    What does your song creation process look like?  What’s your favorite step in creating a song?

    Every song is different, but usually I’ll start with melodies and just freestyle on voice notes. I get really inspired when I am driving or at like 4am when I should be asleep. I’ll often take a fully written song to a producer and work on it or else we’ll just start from scratch in a studio session. I love being in the studio. I feel complete there.

    Who are your major music influences, and what contemporary artists do you find yourself inspired from?

    My main influence is The xx – I also love Banks a lot. I listen to a lot of indie rock stuff like Tame Impala and Foster The People as well. l gravitate towards artists with cool concepts in their music. All of my songs stem from the concept of duality, more specifically the dichotomy of technology & humanity – this will be explored more in my new releases lol.

    How does your online presence relate to your music career?

    Basically, I’m a professional meme maker. I have been making memes on Instagram for a few years and have managed to gain quite a big audience. My biggest pages are @tindervsreality & @mycringe and I have used them as a platform to promote my music. Memes are so prevalent in current society… Rappers like Lil Pump, 6ix9ine etc are blowing up almost overnight because of memes & internet culture. I guess people that know me online understand my warped sense of humour. It has been great to see people that follow me for memes appreciate and engage with my music. I’m trying to tap into a new market here haha meme pop music.

    You’ve mentioned on your Twitter account that your 2018 goals include an EP and an album.  Is there anything that you can reveal so far about that progress, or the content to be included?

    Yes! My first EP is 99% finished. I experimented a lot with guitars but there are also elements of electropop. Looking forward to putting this out very soon! It’s very conceptual but also really personal to me. It will feature all previously unreleased music yay!

    Is there any song that you’re looking forward to release the most?

    I have a down tempo guitar driven song that I wrote with TYSM who is an amazing singer/writer based in Nashville. It was such a chilled session and I’m really proud of what we made. Hoping to put this one out asap!

    Do you plan on going on tour?

    Yes 100%, I am organising a live show as we speak! Going to be a lot of fun.

    “Pineapple Crush” recently hit 1 million plays on Spotify.  How did/does that feel?

    So dope!! It was really unexpected…I wrote it myself & had one of my friends in Melbourne (sb90) produce it. It’s quite an unusual pop song and I am so surprised and excited that it has found an audience. I put out a weird music video for it as well which was amazing to create. My meme followers roasted me pretty hard for my dancing in the video but I am so glad that people are digging the song. We made a follow up for “Pineapple Crush” called “Distorted” which will be on the EP!

    Do you have a favorite song that you’ve released?

    “Die Online” is definitely my favourite. That song saw so many different versions before the final release. Felix Snow really killed the production on it and I can’t wait to perform it live.

    What would you want to do for a living if you weren’t in the music industry?

    I dropped out of film school but I am trained in graphic design…. definitely something creative!


    For more information on Guard and to track his progress in the music world, you can follow his twitter (@guardsounds) or his Spotify.

    By Emme Ostrander

  • Album Review: Ty Segall – Freedom’s Goblin

    Excess is the first word that comes to mind when thinking about Ty Segall’s Freedom’s Goblin. Backed by the Freedom Band, that formed while recording his last release, Segall has produced an ambitious double album with a sprawling track-list of 19 songs recorded at five different recording studios over six sessions. Threads of psychedelic, punk, garage, surf, glam, and classic rock can be found throughout Segall’s discography. This is no different in his tenth solo studio album.


    The album kicks off with “Fanny Dog,” an ode to Segall’s pet with rowdy riffs and burly brass section that could bring the dogs home all night. While continuing to navigate the track-list there are exploratory pockets from the fuzzy cover of Hot Chocolate’s disco-funk single “Every 1’s a Winner” to cowbell laden “Meaning” featuring howling vocals from Denée Segall, Ty’s frequent collaborator and wife. The album continues to delve into Segall’s past genre explorations with the murmuring vocals of laid back folk song “You Say All The Nice Things” to the 6 minute hyperbolic metal track “She.” Though the tracks on Freedom’s Goblin may not have a cohesive sound, they are distinctly linked by freedom – the freedom Segall has to create an album due to the years he has put in as a musician with an expansive discography, and the trust he has of his listeners who eagerly wobble through the album. Those listeners are rewarded, ending with what appears on the surface as a 12-minute jam in homage of the band Crazy Horse. A quarter of the way into “And, Goodnight,” Segall’s vocals pierce through the jam, becoming an expanded version of the title track off his 2013 album Sleeper.


    Freedom’s Goblin is out now on Drag Records and is streaming on Apple Music.


    By Leslie Leonard

  • 10 Songs to Listen to While Drinking Coffee

    There’s arguably no better set of events that can occur than walking into a local coffee shop on a cloudy day, ordering your usual that costs more money than it reasonably should, and sitting down to crank out some likely-procrastinated work. But of course, none of it can even start before you tune out the world with some music to get you in the mood. So here are 10 songs to listen to while drinking coffee, from start to finish.

    1. “Mistakes” – Lake Street Dive

    The camera pans slowly on to our protagonist, and Lake Street Dive plays us into this wonderful indie-film of your life with a soulful alternative jazz number. “Mistakes” comes straight from LSD’s fifth studio album Side Pony, a treat to both the ears and soul. Anything on this album is enough to accompany those warm sips of your coffee, but “Mistakes” does a particularly good job, especially while accompanying that walk into the shop.

    2. “Waking Up Again” – Emily Hearn

    So you’ve placed your order and have your beverage of choice, but those first few sips are wearing off and you realize – you’ve yet to actually put in any work and can’t waste another $7.10 again on coffee used for nothing. It’s time to get your fingers moving with Emily Hearn’s cherry folk-backing and uplifting voice as she urges you to wake up again, and get started with whatever’s on your plate.

    3. “Mind Is a Mountain” – The Get Ahead

    OK – you’ve found your groove now. It’s zen time. No breaks. “Mind Is a Mountain” is the song to power you through that hardest part of getting started. Motivational and acoustic, it’s a song that hits even deeper with vocals that make you feel energized with every note (as if your coffee wasn’t already giving you enough of a boost, though).

    4. “Stronger Than That” – Bahamas

    You probably know the Bahamas from their hit commercial song “All The Time,” but what you probably don’t know is that their sound is a lot more diverse and rich than what you would associate with a cell phone car. “Stronger Than That” is exactly the type of song that you won’t even realize is playing until it’s ended, and it’s just what you need to soothe yourself into latte heaven (or hot drink heaven, but that’s not as catchy).

    5. “Burning Rome” – St. Paul & The Broken Bones

    “Burning Rome” delivers a delightfully bluesy sound to your ears – perfect for coffee days. Coming of their most recent album, “Sea of Noise,” this song is a strong reflect of what the band is capable of: honest lyrics, strong vocals, and instrumentals filled with smooth, fluttering jazz that somehow make you feel like you’re being wrapped in a blanket of soft brass.

    6. “Silver Lining” – Mt. Joy

    An upcoming indie-rock band, Mt. Joy is a fruitful mix of acoustic charm and sultry voices that creates a really warm sound, perfect as an accompaniment for coffee drinking. And “Silver Lining” is of course the best recommendation there is for such a time, with intense lyrics and a strong bassline, it’s hard for your stress not to melt away at such a time, which is exactly what you’ll be needing at this time while trying to get that last bit of your assignment done.

    7. “Better” – The Suffers

    The Suffers is pretty much just what you’d want to hear at this moment in your life, but you probably never knew it. “Better,” like a lot of songs on this list, is a slow, moving, and soul song about trust and dependency. Sort of like how you depend on coffee shops to be your shelter, The Suffers sing about depending on friends for shelter, and if their lines don’t move you, then I really hope your coffee will because this is only song number seven, friend.

    8. “Punks and Poets” – Elliot Root

    So you’re almost at the end of your assignment (and I might even dare to say you’ve already finished it), but you need something to get your hands working fast enough to finish before you finish your coffee. With a beautiful piano introduction, Elliot Root’s “Punks and Poets” is the uplifting track this playlist needs to get you through that last stretch. A mellow rock sock with a cool piano sound? There might not be much better in such a moment (except not having to do work, of course).

    9. “Motion Sickness” – Phoebe Bridges

    In somewhat of a sad resolution, we have Phoebe Bridges powerful song about loss and emotional… well, resolutions. If her words aren’t the same as the words running through your mind while finishing your coffee, then frankly I’m not quite sure what you’re doing listening to this playlist while drinking coffee. So just sit back, cry, and let Phoebe (and those last few blissful sips of liquid crack) move you to the end of your assignment.

    10. “Wait for the Moment” – Vulfpeck

    If the beginning of this list was a moody motown track, then Vulfpeck’s Wait for the Moment conveys just the same mood – and there’s not many other types of music to make you feel like a badder badass than walking out of a coffee shop, shades on, headphones in, and walking in sync with the beat of something as mellow and moody as this. Go take a nap, my friend. You deserve it.

    So that’s it; now you’re ready to go get your daily cup of joe and do whatever assignment it is you hate. Just remember, if you don’t listen to these exact 10 songs than you’ll probably have horrible coffee for the rest of your life. Or something like that, I don’t know.


    Post and photo by Mark Maddaloni

  • Danger Boy: Not a Shoegaze Band

         2017 was a big year for Columbia post-punk group Danger Boy. The four piece group formed, toured all over the east coast, and recorded their first EP, Lavender Realm. The album, released in January, is an epic of the hero Danger Boy, telling the first chapter in his journey through dark vocals and groovy bass hooks. The album digs through gothic, noisy spaces eliciting influences from The Smiths and Modern English, while expanding them with their own influences ranging from comic books to 90s anime.
         WUSC caught up with the group and showed them around our library. Digging through, they found everything from early 2000’s rap singles to reviews of the member’s past projects. where they talked about influences, anime, why their music isn’t shoegaze. Hear the full interview below, and be sure to check out Lavender Realm out now on Bandcamp and Spotify.










    Interview by Jackson Tucker

    Library and Studio pictures by Maquel Parks

    Live photo by Leslie Leonard

  • Artist Profile: Thundercat

    Thundercat (Stephen Bruner) is a virtuoso bass player and singer/songwriter. He is a part of the Bruner family, which includes his older brother Ronald Bruner Jr., (a Grammy-winning jazz drummer and producer) and his father, Ronald Bruner Sr., drummer for Diana Ross, The Temptations and more. He rose to fame performing with acts like Suicidal Tendencies, meanwhile gaining attention for his session work with artists such as Flying Lotus, Kamasi Washington, Mac Miller, Erykah  Badu, Childish Gambino, and Kendrick Lamar. Bruner was instrumental in giving Lamar’s To Pimp a Butterfly it’s characteristic funk revival sound, and can be heard playing bass and singing on tracks such as “Wesley’s Theory”, “Alright”, and “These Walls”. He also helped produce Kendrick Lamar’s Grammy winning album DAMN. in 2017. Needless to say, Thundercat has accrued plenty of collaborative mainstream success and critical acclaim.

    As a solo artist, Thundercat has released three full length albums and an EP. He is a part of the Brainfeeder label, which was founded by experimental hip hop producer Flying Lotus. His solo work has a characteristic “yacht rock” style, with smooth bass lines, slick production and his iconic falsetto singing. While Thundercat is a talented singer and songwriter, where he really shines is on the bass guitar, with his virtuosic talent. Songs “Uh Uh” and “Fleer Ultra” showcase his immense technical abilities.

    His most recent album was released in February 2017. The album, entitled Drunk, was #1 on the WUSC charts for over a month, including songs “Show You The Way” featuring Kenny Loggins and Michael McDonald, and “Walk On By” featuring Kendrick Lamar. Other features include Wiz Khalifa, Pharell, and Flying Lotus. Drunk was one of the most popular albums at WUSC in the past year.

    Thundercat performed at Music Farm Columbia in October 2017. He is just as good live as he is in the studio, and maybe even better – his musicianship is unparalleled when it comes to live performance. He has a cool, laid-back persona (he performed in silk boxing shorts and a kimono), paired with fierce raw musical talent.  He would play a laid back song such as “Lava Lamp”, and then go into a blistering technical song like “Fleer Ultra”. Sometimes the only thing the audience could do was stand and stare with your jaw dropped at his fingers flying around the bass. The mix of hip hop, jazz, funk, and rock made for an unforgettable experience. If he’s ever in your area, do yourself a favor and see him live! And if you haven’t listened to Thundercat yet, give his records some spins!


    By Jonathan Furnell / DJ Pooh

  • Top Add 2/6: Bekon – Get With The Times

    When Kendrick Lamar released the credits for his 2017 album DAMN., there was one name amongst the long roster of producers and features that stood out. Amid the star-studded list of U2, Rihanna, James Blake, BADBADNOTGOOD and more, the anonymous “Bekon” credited on eight different tracks left everybody guessing. A google search for his name lead to a myriad of results questioning the identity of the “mysterious DAMN. producer.” Some speculated he was Thundercat, some said it was another alias for Kendrick himself. Shortly after the credits were released, Pitchfork confirmed that the mysterious Bekon was Daniel Tannenbaum, a producer who had worked with many other artists under the name Danny Keyz. Ten months after the release of DAMN., Bekon has released his debut album, Get with The Times, and it’s as brilliant as it is unexpected.

    There’s a wide range of sounds on Get with The Times, from cinematic to psychedelic pop/rock. It begins with the familiar line “America / God bless you if it’s good to ya,” on the track “America”, with deepened vocals over an array of strings and wiggly guitar riffs. Then there’s tracks like “17,” a less political reflection on the many hardships of being 17, sounding more like a Simon and Garfunkel song than a Kendrick feature. The title track opens with a guitar riff evocative of Aerosmith’s “Dream On,” moving into a rap verse, and then a chorus sounding like a pop ballad. 
    Throughout the 16-song album there are repeating motifs of “I just wanna be famous,” and “God bless America,” hinting at some overarching political undertones. However, these themes fail to develop fully. They have the potential to be explored further, making for a really wonderful concept album, instead they recur intermittently throughout the album after 3-4 song digressions. Concept aside, Get with The Times is a successful venture, demonstrating a mastery of genre and just how talented of a producer Bekon really is.
    After accruing a long list of top-notch producer credits, Bekon is finally able to share with us his own voice – and we can’t wait to see what he does next.

    By Jordan Smith

  • Photo Blog: Creating the Bassment


    I witnessed firsthand what it takes to oversee a successful diy music event. It began as a cold, empty room, and evolved into a vibrant stage, surrounded by a crowded dance floor. In the past, I’d had experience putting together events at house shows, but this was the first time that I helped turn an empty space into something unlike anything on this planet— ok, maybe that’s an overstatement, but The Space Hall in Columbia is a master at transforming space into diverse environments. The event was called “The Bassment”, and it was put together by Anissa Christine (aka Platonic Bae). This event has been her “brain baby” for months, organizing the booking, promotions, and overseeing the creative vision of the night.  Without her, and the slept-on people at The Space Hall in Columbia, this event would have never happened. The show featured three DJs that frequently play electronic shows in Columbia, and boasted an array of mesmerizing lights and projections.












    The first act of the night was the Soda City gem, Platonic Bae. After seeing her turn out Art Bar at the official Indie Grits after party last year, I knew that The Space Hall was in for a treat. The hip hop and house inspired set perfectly set the mood for the night. A meager handful of people grew into a jubilant gaggle packed into what was once a cold, and vacant room.












    Following her success, Contour, vocalist in the Charleston band of the same title, began his set with songs that probably made everyone wonder why Netflix cancelled “The Get Down”. High energy disco anthems, hypnotic house beats, and hot latin tracks continued the trend of endless dancing for the night.











    Finally, the 3rd act of the night, DJ Celcius is known for having funky sets that are reminiscent of family reunions, and the music that your parents play at home on days spent cleaning. Despite his appearance, every song in the mix contained enough spirit energy to compel line dancing at a 4th of July cookout. Even though I’d seen all of the artists that performed at others shows in Columbia, it was interesting to see the inception of the event for the night, and experience the show as a guest and producer.


    This was also my first time getting to see the behind the scenes action of Vj’ing, which believe it or not, a ton of work goes into. I won’t get into the technicalities of what makes the video projections work, or how the 6 giant LED lights that we hung from the ceiling pulls everything together, –mainly because I’d do a poor job explaining it, but because the intimacy of the space that was created, and the sense of community that events like this spreads is more interesting. A picture is worth 1000 words, so it shouldn’t take much to convince someone how being at a show like this feels. It was truly one of my favorite shows that  i’ve been to in 2018, and hopefully, there will be many more at The Space Hall.

    Photos and Write-up by Maquel Parks / DJ Corduroy

  • An Introduction to The Space Hall of Columbia



    Space Hall Director: Sean Shoppell

    Photo Program Director: Richard Voltz















    On a random Sunday evening, I was able to visit the The Space Hall in Columbia, an ethereal venue that’s usually sci-fi themed, and got to see a place without any fancy lights, no origami hanging from the ceilings, and no bamboo-lined walls.  I was able to view the space in its raw form without being decorated for an event. Today, Garnet and Black, USC’s student run magazine, used The Space Hall as a professional portrait studio. I was able to take a tour of the place, and chat with the Space Hall’s directors, Sean Shoppell and Richard Voltz.

    What is space hall?

    “The Space Hall of Columbia is a multi-purpose arts space located in the basement of Tapp’s Arts Center. Our main focuses right now have been placed on live music events, while also developing a community dark room and photo lighting studio.”

    How did this idea form and who is responsible for the development of this space?

    “It’s a little difficult to pinpoint where the idea for this project started, but I do know that a huge influence came from all the house shows I went to or set up while I was still in college.  House shows always gave me a sense of community and freedom that I’d have a hard time finding at a normal venue.  There was a time when there were about 5 separate house show spots running in town which meant there was a show almost every day of every weekend.  But that is were the true beauty of house shows are, they can’t last forever.  

    Around the time that a couple of those house show spots started phasing out was when I went to live up in NYC to potentially drop out of college/ have an internship/pursue “the dream”.  It was a beautiful experience that helped me learn a lot about what it means to be a creative today.  As important as it is to be creative and have talent, it is just as important to have time for practice and time to relax.  For me while I was up there I was working the whole time trying to stay sort of not broke, any free time was spent on a train or in traffic. It made me appreciate what “free time” meant and that you don’t have to move to a “name brand” city to “make it.”  If anything, you should only move to one of those places after you’ve “made it” or you have a ton of money or you’re ready to really work your ass off.  Added to that I’d never found anything that gave me that feeling of community that I’d had while I was here in Columbia.  

    With the hopes to actually finish college, have free time, and pursue creative endeavors more fully, I came back to Columbia.  This was around the time that a few friends I’d worked with before decided we wanted to try and do something in Columbia. We took a record label idea and revived it as an arts collective, each of us bringing together our different strengths, ideas, and dreams of what we saw we could do to help the community.  My goal from day one was a new arts space, something that could help refresh Columbia’s artistic community.  After almost exactly a year of trial and error with the collective, we decided to dissolve and focus on our personal goals.  It was during our last event with the collective that I knew I really wanted to focus on starting up a new space and I just started thinking “Yeah Space Hall is a good name for something” but I had no idea what it would actually be.  

    For a few months I spent time looking around town for buildings that could be potential arts spaces but I realized I had no money and no plan to do anything with a space. That was when I began to think “What kind of artists could really use the help right now?” The first thing that came to mind was photographers.  Columbia has such a incredible under the radar photography scene here, and there isn’t much access to tools for them to use.  There are no public dark rooms in South Carolina and any local photo studios are going to cost too much for artists trying to get their foot in the door [except for the really dope photo studio at the Richland County Library that is completely free to use, you should definitely check it out].

    Through sheer luck of the stars aligning, my old photography professor Gordon was able to help with donations related to everything needed to start the dark room and lighting studio while at the same time Tapp’s Art Center were looking to add a dark room to their building.  Space Hall owes so much to both Tapp’s and Gordon for making this a reality.  Tapp’s especially, has been the place that give me high hopes for the future of Columbia’s arts and culture.  The sense of community with the people who work there really shows me how much potential this city has.”

    How would you describe this type of space to a prospective artist?  

    “Space Hall is best described as a raw space. Somewhere, that if you have enough time and effort, you could do close to anything you want in it.”      

    What’s unique about space hall that sets it apart from other venues in Columbia?

    “When it comes to our live events we do as much as we can to make it a unique experience each time.  We make sure that when you come to see a live performance, you’re not just coming to see the live act, you’re there to really experience something new.  With that, we also try to do all we can to give credit where it’s due.  There’s so many moving parts of a live show that kind of go unrecognized on a public level.  Everything from who sets up the sound system, to the photographer who takes pictures at the show.  It’s kind of like the show is a big cell and each different aspect plays an important role which makes it important to recognize them and their work.

    For example, my brother Michael Shoppell [aka Grawix] is the most talented VJ artist in town, and if you’ve seen a show in the past two years, where there have been crazy visual projections, it’s a very good chance that he there was standing in the back of the room making it look that cool the whole time. Chris Johnson is also another important collaborator with the Space Hall who’s talent with sound equipment has truly been a blessing on the local music scene.

    Another side of that is we want to teach people those same skills to help them learn how to do something related to live events. Zoe Hedquist, who is a talented photographer works with the Space Hall as the Dark Room Manager, has also been learning how to operate lights for live events.  Basically, the more people who learn how to do these behind the scenes kind of things only helps build for better more unique shows in the future.”

    What type of art do you want to be included in this space?

    “We want to try and do all that we can.  Our strengths continue to be live music events, but we hope to have everything from galleries to film screening.”

    What events at space hall have been the most successful / how were they successful?

    “There’s a lot of different ways to look at success, which is something this process has been teaching me. When I first started throwing shows and events a big concern for me and everyone else was numbers. Which is important but not the ultimate barometer for success. The main focus for us is to give people an experience that was fulfilling. Be it a time you danced all night, or something where you heard something that made you laugh, cry, or dream.

    Our most important and successful event to date has definitely got to be our “Venus Rising” show.  Everything from the performers involved, and everyone who came out gave me that’s “oh shit this real” moment. The line-up featured three all female fronted R&B singers. Their experience that night, and what it felt to help these incredible artists have a chance to perform, doesn’t compare to anything else when it comes to success.

    Another thing that added to that show’s success is in thanks to Lee Garrett, Space Hall’s Live Event Coordinator, who put together the most incredible collection of art for the show’s campaign. His attention to detail and his talent for original flyer art is a style of it it’s own”


    What’s to come for space hall? Are you excited for any future exhibitions/ shows?

    “We have a lot of things lined up to come — that it’s hard to say what’s most exciting, but for as of now, I know we are excited as hell that the dark room we’ve been working on is almost finished. Richard Voltz who is our Photo Programs Director, has been deep in the basement pretty much every day working on the dark room.

    We will be having a big first Thursday opening on March first. So if you have any film you want to get developed soon send it out way.”

    If you guys could host any type of exhibition/ concert/ or gallery, what would your ideal show be?

    I’ve always wanted to make a VR drone system where you can pilot a drone in outer space like around the International space station or something . There’s also the idea of making 3D visual graphics shows. So maybe one of those things could happen soon.”

    The Space Hall of Columbia is located in Studio 31 in the basement of Tapp’s Art Center.

    Interview and Photos by Maquel Parks // DJ Corduroy

  • Album Review: Joji – In Tongues EP

    George Miller, a.k.a. YouTube’s notorious Filthy Frank, is making more music. But this time not as Pink Guy, he has adopted a new alias by the name of Joji that introduces us to a side of him we’ve never seen before. As Pink Guy, he made rap music with an immature humor that originally appealed to fans of his YouTube channel. Now, Joji has taken the music scene by storm with his first EP, In Tongues. And after hearing it, all we can say is that we can’t wait to see what Joji does next.

    In Tongues is a 6 track neo-soul/lo-fi R&B masterpiece, fully produced and written by Miller himself. Every song on the EP captures a certain sadness, with tracks like “Pills” about depression and heartache and “Demons” about self-loathing. The tone is set by piano and guitar riffs layered over lo-fi beats to form a mellow atmosphere to go with Joji’s vocals. The use of reverb with this creates a feeling as if you’re floating in water. This somber vibe has coined the phrase that many music platforms are referring to as “sadboy music”, in recognition of its relatability. In Tongues has been well recognized, reaching #58 on the US Billboard Top 20, and single from the album “Will He” reaching over 23 million plays on Spotify.  

    Joji currently has 344,000 followers on SoundCloud and around 2 million monthly listeners on Spotify. He has also released amazing music videos for “Will He”, “Demons”, and “Window”, that portray the emotions of his music both graphically and beautifully. The meaning of the music video for “Window” is lost due to the overwhelming use of visuals and editing. However, the fast pace of the video works surprisingly well with Joji’s low energy music, creating a unique contrast of styles. Since In Tongues, Joji has appeared on hip-hop/rap mega-collab, “18”, which also had a music video released recently. This song marked the return of “Harlem Shake” producer, Baauer, who appears alongside Rich Brian, Kris Wu, and Trippie Redd on the same track. In addition, Joji is featured on the song “Introvert”, off Rich Brian’s new album Amen.


    Check out the music video for “Window,” as well as Joji’s SoundCloud and Spotify.

    Written by Nick Gerace

  • Consider the Source @ NBT 2/2/2018

    Consider the Following:
    NYC based progressive metal/fusion band Consider The Source blend together technical guitar and bass riffs, intense rhythms, and a Middle Eastern tonal flair to create “Sci Fi Middle Eastern Fusion”. There’s really no way to describe the band in terms of genre. While they could technically be considered progressive metal, there are elements of Jazz, Rock, traditional Arabic music, and a host of other styles in their music which combine to make up an incredible listening experience. Formed in 2004, the band has three members who all wanted to create a new sound. The band has released 5 studio albums and 2 live albums and they’ve toured extensively in North America, the Middle East, and Europe.

    Their music really is impossible to characterize. One second you’ll be hearing wailing Middle Eastern scales on the guitarist’s double necked fretless guitar (that’s right, double necked AND fretless) and then the next moment you will be hearing slap bass and funky drum licks that you can tap your foot and bob your head to. After some Middle Eastern fusion you can headbang to some technical progressive metal with a Middle Eastern flair. Consider The Source truly is one of a kind and will blow you away with their raw talent and originality.

    If you like progressive metal, jazz, or just want to hear awesome music then Consider The Source deserves a hard listen. You are definitely not going to hear anything else like this in Columbia or around the world.

    Consider The Source will be playing Friday February 2nd at New Brookland Tavern.
    $10 Advance / $12 Day Of Show

    By Jonathan Furnell

  • January, Wrapped Up

    – Rachel Minetti // DJ bread

    January, for me, has consisted mostly of long drives – through the swamps of central Florida, along the mountains of north Georgia, and endless stop and go traffic on I-26. My third year at USC and I’ve finally gotten used to the seven and a half hour drive from Columbia to Tampa, Tampa to Columbia. Hours and hours of switching lanes, merging from highway to highway, sitting alone in my Volvo with the heat blasting. A month of transitory places, wrapping it up by settling in and falling back into routine. The music that has guided me through January has mostly been songs of recent discovery – some new releases, some that have been sitting in my music library for years, waiting to come to fruition when the moment was right.

    Norah Jones has been a big mood this month, especially her work with Danger Mouse and Daniele Luppi (specifically the track “Black,” in case you were wondering). N.E.R.D.’s new album has been on heavy rotation, Portishead made a reappearance in recent playlists, and some Au Revoir Simone remixes have popped back up because I like to pretend that it’s summer in Tampa year round. Here are some stand out tracks from my January timeline, starting warm and slow, moving to heavy and soft, then crisp and chilling. I hope you can feel the stagnancy of the air, the chill of the moment in these tracks as much as I did.


    Seven’s Day – SALES

    Sales LP, 2016

    My friend Dylan introduced me to this band at the end of December, this LP traveling with me through the start of the year, still soaking in as the month wraps up, on the path to settling in throughout February. The duo consists of Lauren Morgan on guitar and vocals and Jordan Shih on guitar and programming. This song is smooth and hypnotic, like waking up past noon, unable to escape the haze until the early evening – a day gone by without taking account of reality.


    La Ballade – Adrian Younge

    Adrian Younge Presents Something About April II, 2016

    I found Adrian Younge my first semester on WUSC back in the fall of 2015, this album one of the first to play on The Dough with DJ Bread. The songs have taken their time to sink in, mesh into my music library. The lyrics are in French, whimsical and light, floating along the brink of weightlessness.


    All or Nothing – Au Revoir Simone

    Still Night, Still Light, 2009

    May of 2016 was defined by The Execution of All Things (2002) by Rilo Kiley, easily one of my favorite bands of all time, anything by Fiona Apple, and this album. I discovered Au Revoir Simone when Jenny Lewis paired up with Tennessee Thomas of The Like and Erika Forster of ARS to form a funky, 60s inspired band, Nice as F*ck, with a debut EP full of political statements and catchy hooks. While Still Night, Still Light is almost inseparable from that summer, this song came back to bask in the height of winter (keeping in mind that winter in Florida hardly reaches below 40 degrees). Quiet and stirring, this track is like tip-toeing across hardwood floors in the middle of the afternoon, “can’t you see that we’re in the middle of somewhere?”


    Royal Stare – Grace Joyner

    Maybe Sometimes – in C, 2016

    Getting her start in Charleston as a harmony singer in various bands, Joyner released her first EP in 2014 and her debut LP in 2016. The song sounds slightly muted, it doesn’t bounce back from the walls, the sound is just pumped into the air, adding weight to the room, a humidity. The pop influences are subtle, the bass line jumpy yet smooth. There is something distant she is trying to reach for, some disconnect somewhere that can never align, like listening in from another room.


    Free Room (feat. Appleby) – Ravyn Lenae

    Moon Shoes EP, 2016

    On the topic of standing on the cusp of knowing a person, the stage where there is not yet anything to owe. January, a bridge to somewhere else, forced to contemplate the free room. This song is a nice interlude piece, it sits on the surface, ending where it begins, beginning where it ends.


    Captain Stupido – Thundercat

    Drunk, 2017

    An almost seamless transition from the last track, the bass line harmonizes with the constantly changing chord progressions. Stephen Bruner, the man behind Thundercat, manages to get a bass heavy song to feel light and airy, a song about the monotony of a string of slow days. The song gets peacefully frazzled throughout, addressing the weird, the search for a lost wallet.


    Panic Drills – Sleigh Bells

    Kid Kruschev, 2017

    Sleigh Bells released this EP a little more than a year after their crushing Jessica Rabbit released last Fall. Tamer than some of the band’s other songs, “Panic Drills” is bursting at the seams, a song that just keeps building and building. The guitar shreds in true Sleigh Bells style, Alexis Krauss’ vocals absolutely piercing, desperate for something. A little more than halfway, the song cracks, braces itself, the vocals shatter through fog, “I’d like to find some other time.”


    Black Icy Stare – Pnau vs. Elton John

    Good Morning to the Night, 2012

    The Australian duo (as of 2016, a trio) released an album of remixes of songs by Elton John. Working with John, Good Morning to the Night mashed up parts of various early Elton John songs and made entirely different songs out of them. “Black Icy Stare” consists of lyrics from “Cold Highway” and “Solar Prestige a Gammon.” Around 40 seconds in, a static pulls, rips, and releases – like driving too fast around a curve on Rainbow Road, watching yourself slowly glide off into the colorful stars, weightless, the road twinkling below, will you land?


    Slowly (feat. Matosic) – Giraffage

    Too Real, 2017

    Ending the list with an energetic, just-rained feel. A song that meshes with the seasons, in the summer it will feel slow and steady, for now, sharp and short. I’ll see you in February.


    You can listen to this playlist and many more @RACHELMINETTI on Apple Music.

  • Top Add 1/30: Django Django – Marble Skies

    Django Django has art-pop down to a science. Their previous two albums combined elements of 70’s pop and 2010’s psych-pop almost algorithmically. The soaring synths, jangly guitars and meticulous harmonies pair perfectly to create happy-go-lucky indie music, evocative of the rolling style of The Stone Roses and the quirky bounce of avant-pop masters, Stereolab. In their third full-length album, Django Django turns to from science to philosophy – asking more questions without demanding answers.

    It doesn’t come as a surprise that Marble Skies is wiser than its predecessors – the band has come a long way from releasing tracks on Myspace, and a bit of change is inevitable when nearly all of the members have had children. Conceptually, the album contemplates the passing of time, asking questions like “Ever wonder why we’re put here?” and “Was it the future that you saw?” The album doesn’t provide any answers, but rather emphasizes the importance of the questions. Musically, Marble Skies reflects the constant state of change that singer Vincent Neff sings about. No man steps in the same river twice, and no listener steps into the same sonic landscape twice on Marble Skies. The 40-minute album is always mutating, with each sound rolling over onto itself, making room for whatever may come next.

    Marble Skies is the perfect follow up to Born Under Saturn. While Saturn painted pictures of grandiosity, Marble Skies simply observes the world around us, making it their best work yet.


    By Jordan Smith

  • WUSC Spring 2018 Interest Meetings

    Interest meetings for our organization will be held at the following locations and times and should be attended by any USC student or alumni with an interest in involvement with WUSC and training.

    Jan. 29th 7-8pm in RH Senate Chambers (3rd floor)
    Jan. 30th 7-8pm in RH Senate Chambers (3rd floor)
    Jan 31st 7-8pm in RH 201

    Please message us on facebook with any additional questions.

  • A Day in the Life of a #Wussyfam: Exposure, still a barbaric practice.

    So, you heard about this show. It’s a band you’ve never heard of put on by an organization you’ve never heard of but you’re new to the university and looking for something to do instead of your homework. The show is some experimental punk band at a grungy bar near downtown and you decide to really live the part. You throw on your roommates combat boots, the denim jacket you spent insane amounts of money on despite its second-hand nature, and your most contradictory “nerdy-cool” pair of glasses.

    The Uber driver was chatty but you were too concerned with anticipation and slight paranoia at attending an event alone to care. You pull up to a small brick building with big windows flooded with posters and upcoming show announcements all beneath a sign that reads “New Brookland Tavern.” You pull open the heavy wooden door, pay the small cover and… hmm… it’s smaller than you expected, but maybe that fits the vibe.

    Passing a merchandise table crowded with college students, you walk into a more open area with a bar, pool table, and a small stage. It’s nearing show time so you decide to claim some standing room as you see a man in a long dark robe begin to set up his act. In the corner of your eye, you see a fog machine and your anticipation grows.

    The man announces himself as “Baggageklaim” and you listen as a low sound begins to swell. You stand entranced by the monastic low electronic tones of the first act and as the stage clears your curiosity floods. After a brief sound check, you see a three-person band called “Pray for Triangle Zero” fill the room with a haze from both their fog machine and their sound.

    By the Time the main act of “Machin3Gir1” begins their setup you’re equally confused, scared, and excited. An almost hazardous looking drum kit is moved to the front rim of the stage and a man sets up a small laptop on a table in the floor space beneath it. He wraps a tight grip around a microphone, sends one look to the drummer (already sweating) and suddenly your ears are impaled by the sharp force of a harsh beat. Before you can adjust to the impact of sound the singer, creator, mastermind you later learn is Matt Stephenson, has crossed the room jumping, climbing, falling, and writhing on every conceivable surface. His movements are claimed by a ferocity that is only outmatched by the violence and precision of his accompanying drummer. Every time a song stops, the abrupt change in atmosphere tilts your balance slightly and you end up slumped against the wall to counteract your inner ear but also to escape the unpredictable acrobatics of the performer.

    When the show reaches its end, you stare for a second, quickly forcing your face into a casual and effortlessly cool expression to suggest “yeah I’m cultured and watch stuff like that all the time.” You slowly walk back towards the entrance and hear an enthusiastic voice from the merchandise table ask how you liked the show and if you were interested in joining WUSC.

    Written by Ellen Jones


  • WUSC In The New Year

    WUSC has served the Columbia community for over 70 years. In that time, we have strived for originality and education. It is the goal of our organization to inspire curiosity and encourage passions for music within our student body and throughout the Midlands.

    As a student organization, the leadership of WUSC is renewed every year which allows every executive staff the ability to make a mark and keeps our organization innovative and changeful. The current staff has worked tirelessly this semester to provide WUSC with a stronger professional presence within the community and in the eyes of our many distributors. Because we exist on donations, our relationships are vital. Over the past semester, we have worked to establish partnerships with local businesses and co-host our events to help ensure that they provide the most to our dedicated supporters. In the new year, we will continue to provide individuality in our programming, and we will keep working to bring new artists to Columbia to support our music scene as it has done so much to support us.

    In addition to exploring and serving our local scene, WUSC is branching out this coming semester and sending a small team of DJs to document and experience the South by Southwest festival in Austin, Texas this March. Our team will be testing their skills in music journalism and will be able to familiarize themselves with live performance from an industry perspective.

    We are also excited to announce that we now have an option for our donors to become recurring contributors. As a supporter, you can now give a small some on a more regular (for example monthly) basis. This new mode of accepting donation will allow us to make more accurate projections of future progress and help us target different areas of our organization that require development. More importantly, we hope that this will be an easier outlet for our community of listeners and alumni that keep us strong.

    As Always, Thank you for your support and happy New Year from your WUSC family!

    Written by Ellen Jones, Public Affairs Office

  • Photo Blog: Machine Girl at New Brookland Tavern

    Last week, Machine Girl, Baggage Klaim and Pray for Triangle Zero graced the New Brookland stage for one of the most energetic nights of experimental music we’ve ever seen. Thankfully, our photographer was there to document it.

    Baggage Klaim

    Pray for Triangle Zero

    Machine Girl

    Don’t miss another WUSC event! Be sure to check our website and Facebook page for news about upcoming shows.

    Photos by Christian Senf
    Instagram: @christian_senf

  • Ought at the Royal American & These 3 Things

    Montreal based four-piece rock group Ought has been playing what has been unanimously described as post-punk revival since they formed in 2012. Their first two studio albums, “More Than Any Other Day” (2014) and “Sun Coming Down” (2015) were met with high critical praise, earning them a strong international audience. Front man Tim Darcy released a solo album earlier in 2017, and the group now turns towards a third album, “Room Inside the World,” slated for early 2018.

    The stage at The Royal American was an odd one for Ought, as the group struggled to find the best way to fit all five members and their gear (thanks to the addition of an additional touring band mate). Frontman Tim Darcy stood behind the bar looking a bit confused before hoisting himself onto the table, which stood as a makeshift stage. They had to sacrifice some equipment, somewhat limiting their set list for the night, but the band chose to embrace the situation rather than become stuck in it. As the middle act of the night, Ought’s set was a highlight of their previous two records, and a greatest hits of what makes this Montreal based group so extraordinary.

    Darcy’s flippant vocals are the highlight of Ought’s music, his poignantly witty lyricism conveyed through unique vocal delivery. He swung around the stage, slinging his guitar and adjusting his microphone with theatrical restlessness.  With Darcy channeling so much of David Byrne from his vocal style to his on-stage antics, comparisons with the Talking Heads are inevitable.  However, it is unfair to paint Darcy as an imitator. His voice may be reminiscent, but it is distinctly his. As he carries himself through his always questioning lyrics of optimism and dread, he juggles his own brand of swagger and goofiness. Through songs such as “Habit” and “Sun Coming Down,” he tackles subjects of addiction and emptiness, all the while pushing lights and dancing emotively.

    Although Darcy is the focal point, something about bassist Ben Stideworthy’s performance seems so inherent to the show. Stideworthy plays with a matchless cool, serving as a backbone to the performance the same way his evocative hooks do on the band’s records. He stood side by side with Darcy on the edge of the stage, the two contrasted in aesthetic and performance, yet perfect compliments to each other.

    The short performance left audience members only wanting more, featuring a track from the upcoming record and eventually ending with the jovially grim “Beautiful Blue Sky.” The closing track built over seven minutes with audience members singing as Darcy smirked and danced along, pleasing fans and gaining the attention of those who had never heard their brand of post-punk revival.

    Ought’s new synth-laden single “These 3 Things” is their first released track off of the upcoming Room Inside the World, and has the group engaging in uncharted territory. Most obviously is the heavy addition of synthesizers and drum machines. The work of keyboardist Matt May builds an new style for the group, clearly evocative of the band’s influence by 80s new wave groups. A past component newly prominent is the sounds of drummer Tim Keen’s violin, which were often featured but typically overlooked in the group’s past work. Even Darcy’s voice is unfamiliar, with a style entirely different from any past works of his with Ought or otherwise. Still, as Darcy pleads “Will I hear my soul?” it is undeniably him, as he contorts his voice in an effort to understand these three things, their identity hidden from us. The album is a much more in studio effort Darcy commented, saying how the producer was much more involved than their previous releases, as he considered Room Inside the World unlike anything else the group has released.

    Ought’s third studio album Room Inside the World is out February 16, 2017 on Merge records. Check out the music video for “These 3 Things” below.

    By Jackson Tucker

  • Interview: Jennifer Waits of Radio Survivor

    Jennifer Waits is the co-founder, College Radio and Culture Editor, and Social Media Director of Radio Survivor, a blog that advocates for the importance of FM, AM, Short-Wave, HD and satellite radio. She is also the founder of Spinning Indie, a blog that is dedicated solely to College Radio. She has visited over 100 college radio stations, and has been a DJ since 1986.
    In this interview, she tells us about the importance of College Radio in an increasingly complex media landscape, and explains why the future of radio is more optimistic than it may seem.

    In your experience, what distinguishes college radio from other public radio stations?

    College radio is pretty diverse, with many different types of stations; but in general, it’s special because it provides opportunities to college students. At many college radio stations, students are completely in charge, running a radio station, training their peers, and creating programming.

    How has the industry strengthened since you first went on air?

    College radio is ever-changing, but differences in technology have meant that students have more ways to do radio than when I first started. Back then, it was mainly limited to licensed terrestrial radio (AM/FM), carrier current, cable, and very low power campus-only stations. In 2017, college radio stations still have AM, FM and cable, but also have opportunities to stream online, broadcast over LPFM, use HD radio channels, be heard over a few satellite radio stations, as well as through apps and streaming services. It’s a multi-media world now and one of the things that excites me about college radio is its embrace of video in order to augment the formerly audio-only broadcasts.

    What have been the biggest setbacks?

    The main challenges of college radio are as old as college radio itself: funding and an ever-changing student population. Beyond that, there’s the complex media landscape today, so some folks get the impression that radio is less relevant. In reality, radio is still one of the most consumed forms of media.

    How has the demise of the College Music Journal affected college radio?

    I don’t get the impression that CMJ’s troubles have had a major effect on college radio overall. It’s unfortunate that CMJ is no longer doing its annual music marathons, as that was a rite of passage for many of us former college radio Music Directors. I have fond memories of traveling to New York City to attend CMJ and I saw some great panel discussions and amazing live music over the years. CMJ’s college radio charts have been useful for many stations and when it started to become clear that CMJ was in trouble, a number of charting services appeared on the scene as alternatives.

    Why is it important to keep college radio stations on air?

    I believe that our airwaves should be full of a wide range of programming, including a breadth of non-commercial radio options, including high school, college, and community radio. Local radio is special and is increasingly lacking on the commercial side of the dial; which makes it even more important for college and community radio to step up and fill that void. Additionally, college radio stations can be voices for their campuses and places where students, faculty and administrators can share hyper-local stories, events, athletic competitions, concerts, and more.

    How are college stations adapting to an increasingly difficult climate?

    I’m not sure that it is an increasingly difficult climate. In fact, I’ve been inspired by the recent increase in low power FM (LPFM) radio stations, thanks to the Local Community Radio Act. College radio groups were among the recipients of new LPFM licenses, with more than 75 college radio stations obtaining construction permits following the 2013 application window. Additionally, online-only college radio stations are still being launched, which provides more evidence of the ongoing relevance of college radio in 2017.

    What is lost what a station loses their signal?

    Once a college radio station loses an FM or AM license, it’s very unlikely that it will get one again. Audiences for terrestrial AM/FM radio are much larger than for streaming-only radio stations, mainly because the radio dial is finite and the internet is flooded with audio options. In recent years a few stations that have lost full power licenses have returned to the airwaves over LPFM, including Rice University’s KTRU. Although students will say that they are most likely to tune in online, it’s also the case that having an FM or AM signal is perceived by many as a sign of legitimacy, of “real” radio.

    What should communities do to help support their local college radio station?

    Listen, donate, evangelize. College radio stations should also ensure that they are staying relevant to their campus and community. I think it’s important to document the good work that stations are doing and to share the positive impact of your college radio station with administrators. Invite them to tour the station, talk to them about why college radio is important to students, and make sure that they are on your side. Also, take pride in your station by telling your station’s story, including its history. Preserve artifacts, digitize vintage audio and ephemera, and reach out to alumni to hear their stories.

    What can students gain from getting involved in their campus radio station?

    For many of us, college radio was one of our most treasured experiences while in college. I’ve heard tales of people nearly flunking out of school because of their devotion to working at a college station. It can be one of those rare chances for students to be in charge, so it’s a powerful learning experience. Students gain leadership and communication skills in addition to all of the radio station-specific benefits. For some, it’s the place where they learn how to interact with the music industry (labels, venues, musicians, etc.), while for others it’s a chance to manage a website, control a social media feed, do sports play-by-play, or learn audio and video editing. In an increasingly multi-media world, college radio stations are the perfect place to experiment and learn.

    By Jordan Smith

  • Concert Review: Boris at Motorco Music Hall in Durham, NC

    Hailing from Tokyo, experimental band Boris has touched on just about every subgenre in the last 25 years, with albums ranging from drone metal to shoegaze to J-pop, collaborating with the likes of Merzbow and Sunn O))). Their latest release, Dear, originally planned as a farewell, is an hour long experimental doom metal epic, and a reflection on their legacy.

    With theatrical precision, the members of Boris one by one wandered onto the Motorco stage. The trio stood, each looming over their instruments in preparation for the night. Wata with an impersonal calculation stands, surveying her guitar. Takeshi towers over the audience, cloaked, with his double-necked guitar and bass, as drummer Atsuo surveyed the audience with a cooled anger.

    As the band began, “Domination of Waiting Noise” immediately overcame the cramped room, leaving audience members blown back as the group was enveloped in fog and radial light. Beginning during the first, powerful chord and never once letting up, Boris played through the entirety of their latest record, Dear, without interruption. Each members has a distinct personality, which came through so strongly in their performances, commanding the crowd. Drummer Atsuo lead the performance, berating both the crowd and his band mates to always give more.

    The performance of “The Power” saw band members Wata and Takeshi dueling with increasingly heavy riffs in response to one another, plowing through as the wall of Orange amps pressed the audience back, with intensity that only built from the call of Atsuo.

    As the night drew near the conclusion, “Dystopia” began with a chillingly sweet accordion solo by a lonesome Wata, a highlighted sole figure on the darkened stage with smoke surrounding her as she was wrapped in neon lights, the cloaked silhouettes of Atsuo and Takeshi a distant thought. A sharp contrast to the heavy sounds of the night, her modulated accordion developed from flowing chords, into a dreamy metal ballad that lead to the end of the night.

    The encore saw Boris concluding the night with “Farewell”, the dreamy intro to their celebrated record Pink, in a fitting conclusion to the night as the band looks back on the 25 year journey they’ve taken.

    By Jackson Tucker
    Photos by Christian Senf
    Instagram: @christian_senf

  • Interview with Andrew Rieger of Elf Power

    On Oct. 14 Elf Power returned to Columbia for the Jam Room Festival, and our Music Director, Jordan Smith, had the opportunity to chat with vocalist Andrew Rieger.

  • Interview with Mike Kinsella of American Football

    Last year, one of our DJs got the chance to sit down with Mike Kinsella of American Football and talk about their first new album in 17 years. Listen to the interview here!


  • Album Review: Protomartyr – Relatives in Descent

    Protomartyr –
    Relatives in Descent

    “Not by my own hand…” Casey opens up. The frontman for this Detroit Post-Punk band is dismissive and lamenting, but never understates the importance of what he’s talking about as he goes over the current state of our world. His world. But, Casey immediately denies any ownership of both what has happened in the world and what he says about it. Like brackets around the album, his opening phrase both separates himself from it and opens the following 45 minutes for analysis. Whether you like it or not, the words are not him. They’re just the way things are.

    On their fourth album, Protomartyr is fascinated with the unknown. Singer Joe Casey sings with a passionate indifference and lyrics always more concerned with exposition than action. He paints unfamiliar, complicated scenes whether it’s the bittersweet blooming cacti or the view across the river from their harrowed hometown of Detroit. It’s an emphasis of what we simply can’t know, and the instability everything is built upon, with emphasis pointed towards the US cultural and political climate.

    Protomartyr is at their best when playing to these themes, with full control over what they’re giving and withholding from listeners, conveyed even further through Casey’s dread filled voice. Pounding, droning bass drums and guitar drive his lyrics and lead songs to sweep and withdraw and weave each track into the next.

    Some of the strongest tracks in their discography appear consistently throughout. “Up the Tower” builds a soft rhythm with Casey vocally contemplative stating “What a lovely view” switching without warning into a cantankerous chant of “Throw him out” attacking the rulers that withhold something so lovely. “Night-Blooming Cereus” is as sorrowful as it is introspective, recounting the Ghost Ship tragedy from the DIY scene in late 2016. Casey’s emotions come out strongest here as he pleads to understand why the situation for these events are so undeniably American, and how easily it could have befallen the band themselves just a few years ago. Whether these opportunities for expression exist as expression or delusion he’s no longer sure. At this point, there’s little he is sure of.

    Protomartyr is as strong as they’ve ever been. The fact that even after The Agent Intellect they continue to break their molds with such upward projection is as exciting as it is impressive. Relatives in Descent is a poignant commentary for large issues told through smaller, yet somehow more painful memories. Detroit as an epicenter of United States and capitalistic disparage is the star of this album, even when it isn’t the focus. Allusions and memories are woven throughout all pointing towards an unfortunate reality that Protomartyr offers no solace to because again, this is just the way things are.

    Watch the music video for A Private Understanding, the album’s opening track below.

    Review by Jackson Tucker

  • WUSC’s Top Halloween Albums

    Hallow’s Eve is the best time of year for music. From gothic, to metal, to punk there’s albums to fit all moods of the season. WUSC has gone through and compiled just a few of our favorites over this last week for you all.


    7: Nick Cave & the Bad Seeds – Dig, Lazarus, Dig!!!
    To get into the season, we should always turn to the eternal daddy of all goth and horror, Nick Cave (sorry Peter Murphy). “Dig, Lazarus, Dig!!!” is Cave’s reflection on his terror and unease as a child when he first heard the story of Lazarus being raised from the dead, fused into that sweet 2000s Bad Seeds blues. As the world’s first zombie, the placement of Lazarus in New York has that signature mix of comedy and fear Cave has managed to craft so well in his lyric writing. It’s not the anger from The Birthday Party or the sadness of Boatman’s Call. It’s gothic rock at it’s finest, and who better to bring it in than Nick Cave. He’s an artist for the whole year, but he certainly shines best in October. The album captures a period that while not Cave’s scariest, is some of their best as it recount the horrors of reanimation and Nick’s mustache phase.

    6: Dead Man’s Bones – Dead Man’s Bones
    A gothic new wave album dedicated to classic horror, preformed by America’s Sweetheart and one of the biggest modern horror movie producers shouldn’t exist. And yet blade runner Ryan Gosling and director Zach Shield’s duo “Dead Man’s Bones” self titled release is the best Halloween album of the 21st century. With synths that put the 80s to shame and a children’s choir that would make a private school jealous, the instruments are entirely played by the duo, and they toured with the help of local children’s choirs in each city they visited. The brief history of this band is as weird as it is incredible, and it’s surprising the star power of these two didn’t make the album blow up more. Even so, with loving zombies and werewolf hearts, there’s nothing more lovably spooky to play this season.

    5: Siouxsie and the Banshees – Juju
    Real Goth Hours: Siouxsie Sioux is what we all want to be. Without her iconic style and theatrics goth wouldn’t be what it was. Maybe Juju is an easy choice given that the track Halloween is the best thing since The Monster Mash, but there’s nothing wrong with being a little cheesy this time of year.
    Juju was a milestone in the creation of gothic as a genre, and it helped establish the inseparable link with post-punk. It marked a turning point for the group as they turned towards darker themes, with everything from Sioux’s songwriting to McGough’s guitar. Juju is a piece of gothic history, and an essential for the season.


    4: Nine Inch Nails – The Downward Spiral
    Crushing anxiety fills every inch of this album by an artist who has achieved so much it’s hard to point to any one moment as his greatest achievement. A story of self destruction told through heavy metal infused industrial rock, The Downward Spiral was a massive leap from their debut Pretty Hate Machine 5 years prior. The album was a defining moment in 90s rock and solidified the legendary group as one of music’s greatest fortunes.
    Terror, depression, anger, and so much more comes out during this hour long record spiraling into what may be one of the greatest, and easily most heartbreaking songs ever written, Hurt, so famously adapted by Johnny Cash. The entire album was heavily influenced by Trent’s struggles in his personal life paralleled with a fictional scenario of a man going through the described “downward spiral” he had become so ensnared by. The industrial synths and insane levels of sampling Trent applied throughout make this album a terrifying, overpowering experience that can only be achieved by Nine Inch Nails.

    3: Electric Wizard – Dopethrone
    “It was just pure hate. It was us against the world, and we just wanted to make the most disgusting, foul, putrid record that anyone has ever recorded.”
    Dredging through an hour of some of the nastiest, most brutal doom metal ever recorded, Electric Wizard’s highlight album is a rough, fuzzy beast of sludge, laden with Lovecraftian horror. Tracks like “Funeralopolis” suffocate listeners with all of their thick layers of distortion and doom giving an odd sense of unclarity, visualized so well in the soft, blurry edges of the album artwork. The album is a mess from start to finish with bass distortion pushing through like a steamroller and never letting up until those (in)famous last few minutes of silence to finish off the record. It’s a much needed rest for you to sit back, and realize how dirty you feel from that last hour when that final, humorous skit comes on. Electric Wizard stands up as one of the heaviest bands in existence with this record as their undisputed legacy. Many lament this point as their unfortunate peak and quote the album’s underground success as a reason for their sharp drop off in quality. Still the impact this album had on doom stands, so turn up your bass and play this one loud.

    2: Bauhaus – In the Flat Field
    Was there really “goth” before Bauhaus?
    We think not. And if you say yes we get it, you know architecture, but there wasn’t goth like this.
    The namesake of the group is the glorious German Weimar school of Bauhaus Art, dedicated to the idea of unity and utility, with a single complete work of art at the center. Peter Murphy sought to do just that with music. Their style was barebones, a stripped back form of punk full of dread and despair with every piece essential and cooperative of the whole. Eerily dissonant vocals paint landscapes and images that can only be described as gothic, not to their discredit.
    And with that legendary first track, the chanting of “Dark Entries” fills speakers as a terrifying drone that builds into the everlasting legacy that Dark Entries is. Bass and drums drive the album through, with soundscapes that turned former conventions on their head and made rock into what others never thought it could be. Their debut single “Bela Lugosi’s Dead” was unlike anything else at the time and lead to the creation of gothic music with this debut album as one of the undisputed starting points.


    1: The Cure – Disintegration
    Sometimes the scariest things are the saddest. I mean fellas how many of us are about to lie and say we haven’t cried to Pictures of You? From the title this album doesn’t try to hide. Disintegration is about falling apart, and losing strength. It’s an album about the suffocating loneliness of life, and it’s never been told so heartbreakingly. Robert Smith is at his saddest, most iconic lyric writing on this album, heralded as a welcome return after their recent pop driven work, to their gothic roots of classics such as Pornogaphy. Like a shipwreck, Disintigration starts at the bottom, at our lowest points, and beats into you the hopelessness of life. Even the bittersweet single “Love Song” does nothing more than wallow in the futility of love. Addiction, abandonment, and love were powerful forces for Smith as he turned 30 and faced obstacles from inner band turmoil to his loneliness in life and struggles with addiction. It was an album he needed to make. Lengthy tracks surround listeners on all sides. We’re stuck between walls of sound, layered with some of the strongest songwriting this band has ever had. Smith’s lyrics may be noted for being heart-wrenching melancholy, but it’s the way he highlights our fear in sadness that gives this album the legacy it does. Notably Smith’s struggle with addiction tackled on Lullaby transforms his struggles into monsters. When he’s not describing the terrors of life he’s describing the sorrows, and in the end they’re one in the same for him, because to Robert Smith sadness is fear. The sadness of rejection is the fear of love and the fear of failure is the sadness of life. And yet even as the icon, there is so much more here than Robert’s singing. The album wasn’t monumental for breaking new ground or being revolutionary. Rather it was The Cure at exactly what they do best.


    By Jackson Tucker

  • Photo Blog: Beach Slang and Pet Symmetry at New Brookland Tavern

    Any given night, New Brookland Tavern is host to a bill of the familiar local bands that make up Columbia’s unique artistic culture. As the “point zero” of the cola music scene, high school bands and touring acts alike are given an enthusiastic welcome to the stage.  Last Monday, the spotlight was on The Drunk or Lust Tour, featuring Positive No, Pet Symmetry and Beach Slang.

    Positive No opened up the night, bringing a set of fuzzy dream pop to warm up the crowd and set the mood for the Monday show.

    Beach Slang delivered nearly an hour-long set of raucous, hyper noise. With one of the most energetic spirits to grace the New Brookland stage in weeks, frontman James Alex jumped around and screamed his heartfelt, youthful lyrics for the entire set, only to apologize half way through for being “a bit timid” because he wasn’t drunk enough yet. Drenched in sweat, Alex thrived in the chaos of his music and flaunted his adolescence with his pink ruffled shirt, blue blazer and red bowtie. Their most recent album’s title, “A Loud Bash of Teenage Feelings” represents them perfectly, as a wall of noise separated the band from the crowd.

    The highlight of the show however, was opener Pet Symmetry. With two full length albums and an Audiotree Live session under their belt, they have been gaining momentum recently with their clean yet rebellious sound. Fronted by Evan Weiss, (Into it. Over It.) the Chicago band wears heavy pop-punk influences such as Harvey Danger and Motion City Soundtrack, while simultaneously channeling the melancholic simplicity of emo groups like American Football and Dismemberment Plan.  Each song was performed meticulously, with extreme technical proficiency that only boosted their passionate performance. The upbeat energy was reflected in heartfelt ‘thank you’s to the crowd, a story of a rainbow, and a synchronized shirt changing skit. Watching them perform, it was refreshingly evident that Pet Symmetry is very serious about their music, without taking themselves too seriously.


    Written by Jordan Smith
    Photos by Christian Senf
    instagram: @christian_senf

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  • Charts & Adds 5.2.2017

    School is out but radio never ends.  Listen in to see which of our DJs are sticking around this summer!  Don’t worry – even if you’re on vacation you can still tune in online 😉


    2 NEW PORNOGRAPHERS, THE Whiteout Conditions
    3 UNAKA PRONG Adult Contemporary
    4 GOLDFRAPP Silver Eye
    5 TIMBER TIMBRE Sincerely, Future Pollution
    6 BLAENAVON That’s Your Lot
    7 SLUGABED Inherit the Earth
    8 PILE A Hairshirt of Purpose
    9 HAJK Hajk
    10 JESUS AND MARY CHAIN, THE Damage and Joy
    11 CLARK Death Peak
    12 SLOWDIVE Slowdive
    13 TESSA RAE Young Blood
    14 SORORITY NOISE You’re Not As ___ As You Think
    15 JAKE XERXES FUSSELL What In The Natural World
    16 BLACK ANGELS Death Song
    17 GABY MORENO Illusion
    18 DAWN RICHARD Redemption
    19 EMEL Ensen
    20 FLAGSHIP The Electric Man
    21 HAPPYNESS Write In
    22 GEOTIC Absyma
    23 MINUS THE BEAR Voids
    24 DEEP STATE Thought Garden
    26 FROTH Outside (Briefly)
    28 TUXEDO Tuxedo II
    29 REAL ESTATE In Mind
    30 THUNDERCAT Drunk


    1 THURSTON MOORE Rock N’ Roll Consciousness
    2 BLACK LIPS Satan’s Graffiti Or God’s Art?
    3 HOVVDY Taster
    4 NICK CAVE & THE BAD SEEDS Lovely Creatures: The Best of Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds 1984-2014
    5 PINEGROVE Everything So Far
    6 SYLVAN ESSO What Now
    7 LORD ECHO Harmonies
    8 KWEKU COLLINS grey
    9 WILDING Secular Music
    10 RAJ AND THE 100’’s One of The Oldest Men Who Ever Lived

  • Roswell Rodeo Concert | April 1st

    WUSC back at it again! This time we’re giving you more of that spaghetti western in space with more great music at New Brookland Tavern.

    Doors: 7:30 p.m.
    Cover: $6 Over 21 / $10 Under 21

    This time we’re featuring an eclectic lineup such as: Temple Grandin Hug Machine, The Whoops, Paper Shoes, Biruni, King Goof, Happy.

  • WUSC Bake Sale | March 30th

    WUSC will be selling their DJs baked goods on Pickens St Bridge from 10:00-1:00! You will hear our calls all throughout campus.



    1 FRATMOUTH Nursery Rhymes for the Depleted
    2 LOST BOY Growing Pains
    3 EMMA LOUISE Supercry
    4 SAM BURCHFIELD Unarmored
    5 CHRIS FARREN Can’t Die SideOneDummy
    6 BLOOD ORANGE Freetown Sound Domino
    7 AJJ The Bible 2 SideOneDummy
    8 CRYSTAL CASTLES Amnesty (I)
    9 SHABAZZ PALACES Live at 3rd Man Records
    10 DJ SHADOW The Mountain Will Fall Mass Appeal
    11 SWANS The Glowing Man Young God
    12 WILLIAM TYLER Modern Country Merge
    13 GOGGS GOGGS In The Red
    14 RUBY THE RABBITFOOT Divorce Party New West
    15 MOURN Ha, Ha, He. Captured Tracks
    16 LAURA MICHELLE “Chuck Norris” [Single] 17 CHARLIE FORSTER ANDERSON Long Story Short Banta
    18 AUDIENCE KILLERS Floating Islands Self-Released
    19 YUNG A Youthful Dream Fat Possum
    20 WYE OAK Shriek (Deluxe Edition) Merge
    21 A DEAD FOREST INDEX In All That Drifts From Summit Down Sargent House
    22 BROODS Conscious Capitol
    23 DEERHOOF The Magic! Polyvinyl
    24 JERRY PAPER Toon Time Raw! Bayonet
    25 GOTOBEDS Blood//Sugar//Secs//Traffic SUB POP
    26 AVALANCHES Wildflower Astralwerks
    27 JULIE RUIN Hit Reset Hardly Art
    28 WE ARE SCIENTISTS Helter Seltzer 100%
    29 PRETTY CITY Colorize
    30 HONEY RADAR Blank Cartoon What’s Your Rupture?


    1 LOCAL NATIVES Sunlit Youth Loma Vista
    2 Y LA BAMBA Ojos Del Sol Tender Loving Empire
    3 OVERLORD The Well-Tempered Overlord STORM TOWER
    4 WARHAUS We Fucked A Flame Into Being Pias
    5 CHRIS FARREN Can’t Die SideOneDummy


  • CHARTS & ADDS August 29/30 2016


    1. AJJ- The Bible 2
    2. DJ SHADOW- The Mountain Will Fall
    3. FRATMOUTH- Nursery Rhymes for the Depleted
    4. HONEY RADAR- Blank Cartoon
    5. SWANS- The Glowing Man
    6. WYE OAK- Tween
    7. WILLIAM TYLER- Modern Country
    8. WE ARE SCIENTISTS- Helter Seltzer
    9. JULIE RUIN- Hit Reset
    10. THE GOTOBEDS- Blood//Sugar//Secs//Traffic
    11. THE AVALANCHES- Wildflower
    12. PRETTY CITY- Colorize
    13. RUBY THE RABBITFOOT- Divorce Party
    14. MOURN- Ha, Ha, He.
    15. LAURA MICHELLE- Chuck Norris
    16. ODDITY- Settle Down
    17. ONEFORALL- Thanks for Nothing
    18. CHARLIE FOSTER ANDERSON- Long Story Short
    19. AUDIENCE KILLERS- Floating Islands
    20. ADIA VICTORIA- Beyond the Bloodhounds
    21. YUNG- A Youthful Dream
    22. A DEAD FOREST INDEX- In All that Drifts from Summit Down
    24. BROODS- Conscious
    25. DEERHOOF- The Magic
    26. JERRY PAPER- Toon Time
    27. PUP- The Dream is Over
    28. LOST BOY- Growing Pains
    29. MODERN BASEBALL- Holy Ghost
    30. FEZ THE IMMIGRANT- Cielo


    1. SNEAKS- Gymnastics
    2. TERRA LIGHTFOOT- Every Time My Mind Runs Wild
    3. MEGAFAUNA- Welcome Home
    4. CASS MCCOMBS- Mangy Love
    5. JOHNNY NICHOLAS- Fresh Air
  • CHARTS & ADDS August 22/23 2016


    1. BLOOD ORANGE- Freetown Sound
    2. OF MONTREAL- Innocence Rises
    3. AJJ- The Bible 2
    4. THE AVALANCHES- Wildflower
    5. SWANS- The Glowing Man
    6. THE OH SEES- A Weird Exits
    8. LAURA MICHELLE- Chuck Norris
    9. HONEY RADAR- Blank Cartoon
    10. FEA- FEA
    11. RUBY THE RABBITFOOT- Divorce Party
    12. DEERHOOF- The Magic
    13. JERRY PAPER- Toon Time
    14. ONEFORALL- Thanks for Nothing
    15. THE JULIE RUIN- Hit Reset
    16. PRETTY CITY- Colorize
    17. FRATMOUTH- Songs for the Depleted
    18. YUNG- A Youthful Dream
    19. ANOHNI- Hopelessness
    20. ODDITY- Settle Down
    21. SARA WATKINS- Young In All The Wrong Ways
    22. MODERN BASEBALL- Holy Ghost
    23. PUP- The Dream is Over
    24. THEGOTOBEDS- Blood//Sugar//Secs//Traffic
    25. WILLIAM TYLER- Modern Country
    26. TWIN PEAKS- Down in Heaven
    27. FEZ THE IMMIGRANT- Cielo
    28. TACOCAT- Lost Time
    29. WHITE FANG- Chunks
    30. PEARS- Green Star


    1. BLOOD ORANGE- Freetown Sound
    2. TOBACCO- Sweatbox Dynasty
    3. OF MONTREAL- Innocence Rises
    4. SLOW CLUB- One Day All Of This Won’t Matter Anymore
    5. THE CHAIRMAN DANCES- Time Without Measure
  • CHARTS & ADDS August 15/16 2016


    1. THEE OH SEES- A Weird Exits
    2. AJJ- The Bible 2
    3. THE AVALANCHES- Wildflower
    4. RUBY THE RABBITFOOT- Divorce Party
    5. JAMES BLAKE- I Need a Forest Fire
    6. THE MIKE ELDRED TRIO- Baptist Town
    7. WE ARE SCIENTISTS- Helter Seltzer
    8. PANTHA DU PRINCE-The Triad
    9. DUVCHI-With the World
    10. THE SO SO GLOS- Kamikazie
    11. BLACK BLACK BLACK-Altered States of Death and Grace
    12. ROGUE WAVE- Delusions of Grand Fur
    13. TWIN PEAKS-Down in Heaven
    14. KING GIZZARD & THE LIZARD WIZARD-Nonagon Infinity
    15. MODERN BASEBALL- Holy Ghost
    16. ROLLERCOASTERWATER- Umami Sounding Fireball
    17. PUP-The Dream is Over
    18. SUMMER CANNIBALS- Simple Life
    19. THE COATHANGARS-Nosebleed Weekend
    20. MEAN JEANS- A Tight New Dimension
    21. A GIANT DOG- Pile
    22. POOKIE & THE POODLEZ-Young Adult
    23. PEARS-Green Star
    24. JULIAWHY?-Wheel
    25. THE NEW RESISTANTS-Hey, New York!
    26. SONNY & THE SUNSETS-Moods Baby Moods
    27. WHITE FANG- Chunks
    29. TACOCAT- Lost Time
    30. SUPERMOON- Playland


    1. NEW ORLEANS SUSPECTS- Kaleidoscoped
    2. CHESIRES- Love This Feelin’
    3. JOHN PAPA GROSS- River’s on Fire
    4. AVALANCHES- Wildflower
  • CHARTS August 01/02 2016


    1. THE JULIE RUIN- Hit Reset
    2. DUVCHI- Sleep
    3. BROODS- Conscious
    4. PANTHA DU PRINCE- The Triad
    5. SWANS- The Glowing Man
    6. DEERHOOF- The Magic
    7. LUH- Spiritual Songs for Lovers to Sing
    8. BLACK PISTOL FIRE- Don’t Wake the Riot
    9. CHARLIE FOSTER ANDERSON- Long Story Short
    10. MOON HOOCH- Red Sky
    11. VICTOR TAIWO- Juno
    12. ODDITY- Settle Down
    13. BLACK BLACK BLACK- Altered States of Death and Grace
    14. HOLY- Congrats
    15. AUDIENCE KILLERS- Floating Islands
    16. POOKIE & THE POODLEZ- Young Adult
    17. ANGRY ANGLES- Angry Angles
    18. THE TALLEST MAN ON EARTH- Time of the Blue
    20. AESOP ROCK- The Impossible Kid
    21. BEAR HANDS- You’ll Pay for This
    22. WE ARE SCIENTISTS- Helter Seltzer
    23. TWIN PEAKS- Down in Heaven
    24. SARA WATKINS- Young In All the Wrong Ways
    25. PUP- The Dream is Over
    26. FEZ THE IMMIGRANT- Cielo
    27. GREYS- Outer Heaven
    28. MODERN BASEBALL- Holy Ghost
    29. LASER BACKGROUND- Correct
    30. ROGUE WAVE- Delusions of Grand Fur
  • CHARTS & ADDS July 25/26 2016


    1. SWANS- The Glowing Man
    2. DUVCHI- Sleep
    3. PANTHA DU PRINCE- The Triad
    4. LUH- Spiritual Songs for Lovers to Sing
    5. BLACK PISTOL FIRE- Don’t Wake the Riot
    6. CHARLIE FOSTER ANDERSON- Long Story Short
    7. DEERHOOF- The Magic
    8. MOON HOOCH- Red Sky
    9. VICTOR TAIWO- Juno
    10. ODDITY- Settle Down
    11. BLACK BLACK BLACK- Altered States of Death and Grace
    12. HOLY- Congrats
    13. AUDIENCE KILLERS- Floating Islands
    14. POOKIE & THE POODLEZ- Young Adult
    15. ANGRY ANGLES- Angry Angles
    16. THE TALLEST MAN ON EARTH- Time of the Blue
    18. AESOP ROCK- The Impossible Kid
    19. BEAR HANDS- You’ll Pay for This
    20. WE ARE SCIENTISTS- Helter Seltzer
    21. TWIN PEAKS- Down in Heaven
    22. SARA WATKINS- Young In All the Wrong Ways
    23. PUP- The Dream is Over
    24. FEZ THE IMMIGRANT- Cielo
    25. GREYS- Outer Heaven
    26. MODERN BASEBALL- Holy Ghost
    27. LASER BACKGROUND- Correct
    28. ROGUE WAVE- Delusions of Grand Fur
    29. TWIN PEAKS-Down in Heaven
    30. KING GIZZARD & THE LIZARD WIZARD-Nonagon Infinity


    1. DINOSAUR JR- Give a Glimpse of What Yer Not
    2. RUBY THE RABBITFOOT- Divorce Party
    3. WHITE NIGHT- Weird Night
    4. CORE- Core
    5. RAFFERTY- Apple Pie
  • CHARTS & ADDS July 11/12 2016


    1. NITE JEWEL- Liquid Cool
    2. BLACK PISTOL FIRE- Don’t Wake the Riot
    3. MUTUAL BENEFIT- Getting Gone
    4. BLACK BLACK BLACK- Altered States of Death and Grace
    5. HOLY- Congrats
    6. LUH- Spiritual Songs for Lovers to Sing
    7. PANTHA DU PRINCE- The Triad
    8. POOKIE & THE POODLEZ- Young Adult
    9. ANGRY ANGLES- Angry Angles
    10. THE TALLEST MAN ON EARTH- Time of the Blue
    11. DEERHOOF- The Magic
    13. AESOP ROCK- The Impossible Kid
    14. BEAR HANDS- You’ll Pay for This
    15. VICTOR TAIWO- Juno
    16. WE ARE SCIENTISTS- Helter Seltzer
    17. TWIN PEAKS- Down in Heaven
    18. SARA WATKINS- Young In All the Wrong Ways
    19. PUP- The Dream is Over
    20. FEZ THE IMMIGRANT- Cielo
    21. GREYS- Outer Heaven
    22. MODERN BASEBALL- Holy Ghost
    23. LASER BACKGROUND- Correct
    24. DUVCHI- Sleep
    25. ROGUE WAVE- Delusions of Grand Fur
    26. TWIN PEAKS-Down in Heaven
    27. KING GIZZARD & THE LIZARD WIZARD-Nonagon Infinity
    28. MODERN BASEBALL- Holy Ghost
    29. ROLLERCOASTERWATER- Umami Sounding Fireball
    30. PUP-The Dream is Over


    1. THE JULIE RUIN- Hit Reset
    2. SWANS- The Glowing Man
    3. DEEPAKALYPSE- Floating on a Sphere
    4. HELIOTROPES- Over There That Way
    5. MISS KRYSTLE- Woman in Motion
  • CHARTS & ADDS JUNE 27/28 2016


    1. MEAN JEANS- Tight New Dimension
    2. WE ARE SCIENTISTS- Heltzer Seltzer
    3. MUTUAL BENEFIT- Getting Gone
    4. ADIA VICTORIA- Beyond the Bloodhounds
    5. BEAR HANDS- You’ll Pay for This
    6. PANTHA DU PRINCE- The Triad
    7. AESOP ROCK- The Impossible Kid
    8. CLAIRE- The Great Escape
    9. JAY ARNER- Jay II
    10. ROGUE WAVE- Delusions of Grand Fur
    12. THE SO SO GLOS- Kamikaze
    13. SUMMER CANNIBALS- Simple Life
    14. KING GIZZARD & THE LIZARD WIZARD- Nonagon Infinity
    15. ANDY SHAUF- The Party
    16. GOLD PANDA- Good Luck and Do Your Best
    17. HEAD WOUND CITY- A New Wave of Violence
    18. HOLY- Congrats
    19. FEZ THE IMMIGRANT- Cielo
    20. HURRY- Guided Meditation
    21. FASHION WEEK- Murfreesboro
    22. DUVCHI- Sleep
    23. BEN DE LA COUR- Midnight in Havana
    24. TWIN PEAKS- Down in Heaven
    25. ULTIMATE PAINTING- Live at Third Man Records
    26. DIRTY CLERGY- Rattlesnake
    27. THE COATHANGARS- Nosebleed Weekend
    28. SPRAY PAINT- Feel the Clamps
    29. SARA WATKINS- Young in all the Wrong Ways
    30. PUP- The Dream is Over


    1. BRO DYLAN- Crisis
    2. HOT HOT HEAT- Hot Hot Heat
    3. MISS SOPHIE LEE AND THE PARISH SWEETS- Traverse this Universe
    4. CLIPPING- Wriggle
    5. JJ THAMES- Raw Sugar
  • Charts & Adds May 30/31 2016


    1. MODERN BASEBALL- Holy Ghost
    2. POOKIE & THE POODLEZ-Young Adult
    3. PUP-The Dream is Over
    4. THE COATHANGARS-Nosebleed Weekend
    5. MEAN JEANS- A Tight New Dimension
    6. TWIN PEAKS-Down in Heaven
    7. A GIANT DOG- Pile
    8. PEARS-Green Star
    9. JULIAWHY?-Wheel
    10. THE NEW RESISTANTS-Hey, New York!
    11. SONNY & THE SUNSETS-Moods Baby Moods
    12. THE SO SO GLOS- Kamikazie
    13. WHITE FANG- Chunks
    15. TACOCAT- Lost Time
    16. KING GIZZARD & THE LIZARD WIZARD-Nonagon Infinity
    17. SUPERMOON-Playland
    18. FRANKIE COSMOS-Next Thing
    19. NEW MADRID-magnetkingmagnetqueen
    20. CELLARS-Phases
    21. BOULEVARDS-Groove
    22. TEEN SUICIDE- It’s the Big Joyous Celebration, Let’s Stir the Honeypot
    23. EMBODY-Dreamin’
    24. MIKE & THE MELVINS-Three Men and a Baby
    25. YNDI HALDA- Under Summer
    26. THE RANGE-Potential
    27. .GIF- Soma
    28. HOLY WAVE- Freaks of Nature
    29. MODERAT- III
    30. BLACK BLACK BLACK-Altered States of Death and Grace


    1. SPRAY PAINT-Fill the Clamps
    2. ULTIMATE PAINTING-Live at Third Man Records
    3. NICO YARYAN-What a Tease
    4. KRISTIN KONTROL-X-Communicate
    5. GATES-Parallel Lives
  • Charts & Adds May 16/17 2016


    1 TIM HECKER Love Streams 4AD
    2 EXPLOSIONS IN THE SKY The Wilderness Temporary Residence Ltd.
    3 BIG BLACK DELTA Tragame Tierra Master Of Bates
    4 SUMMER TWINS Limbo Burger
    5 ANIMAL COLLECTIVE Painting With Domino
    6 VIOLENT FEMMES We Can Do Anything Pias
    7 HAELOS Full Circle Matador
    8 NEW MADRID Magnetkingmagnetqueen New West
    9 MOTHERS When You Walk A Long Distance You Are Tired Grand Jury
    10 MIIKE SNOW Iii Atlantic
    11 NIGHT MOVES Pennied Day Domino
    12 CALLIOPE MUSICALS Time Owes You Nothing Self-Released
    13 HOLY WAVE Freaks Of Nurture Reverberation Appreciation Society
    14 HAMMOCK Everything And Nothing Self-Released
    15 LIONLIMB Shoo Bayonet
    16 LUCIUS Good Grief Mom And Pop
    17 KIRAN LEONARD Grapefruit Pias-Moshi Moshi
    18 CELLARS Phases Manifesto
    19 ADAM GREEN Aladdin Totally Gross National Product
    20 THE RANGE Potential Domino
    21 GUERILLA TOSS Eraser Stargazer DFA
    22 TACOCAT Lost Time
    23 HERON OBLIVION Heron Oblivion SUB POP
    25 NEW TRACK CITY Spring Exceeds Winter
    27 IVAN AND THE PARAZOL The All Right Nows Modernial
    28 BRING BACK JOEL Bring Back Joel Colossal Squid
    30 NEW RESISTANTS Hey, New York!


    1 MODERN BASEBALL Holy Ghost
    2 THE SO SO GLOS Kamikaze
    3 MARK PRITCHARD Under the Sun
    4 POLLYN Distress Signals
    5 BLACK PISTOL FIRE Don’t Wake the Riot

  • Charts and Adds Update 5/17/2026

    Don’t worry folks! We’ll be updating our Charts and Adds in the coming weeks!

  • WUSC covers removal of confederate flag from South Carolina State House grounds


    On July 10, after flying on the South Carolina State House grounds for 54 years, the confederate battle flag was lowered in a ceremony broadcast around the world.

    Here at WUSC, we brought you full team coverage of the events that saw thousands descend on the State House for history in the making.

    WUSC aired a special show on the flag debate on Friday June 19, as debate began on the flag in Columbia, in South Carolina and all across the country after the events in Charleston.

    WUSC News was at the State House Thursday July 9, when Governor Nikki Haley signed the bill that allowed the flag to come down, and spoke with USC President Harris Pastides and others. Hear our 90.5 Seconds of the News newscast on the event here.

    We, along with an estimated crowd of over 10,000, were at the State House the morning of Friday July 10 when the flag came down and spoke with USC students and alumni who were in attendance. Hear our 90.5 Seconds of the News newscast on the event here.

    We presented a retrospective on the issues and history surrounding the flag at the State House, and the timeline of events that led to it coming down, on a special edition of 90.5 Minutes of the News Saturday July 11. Click here for the full broadcast.

    Thank you to all our listeners for calling into the station with your opinions, insights and stories on the flag, and thank you for your support of the station – support that allows us to bring you programming like these past few weeks.

    Thanks also to former WUSC News Director Nick Vogt, WUSC DJ Tony Miranda (aka DJ Nomad, host of Southern Wasteland Wed. 3-6) and WUSC Station Manager Kaylyn Middleton for all their hard work and help.

    WUSC News will return with regular newscasts and programming in the fall, barring any other major historic events in Columbia.

    – WUSC News Director Ben Turner

  • Uncle Gram Retires

    Uncle Gram

    Today, WUSC had to do what we have put off for weeks: we announced that Uncle Gram has retired. Many of you may have already known this. Automation has played in the place of Red Bank Bar and Grill this whole semester, while we in the studio crossed our fingers that Uncle Gram would come back from a prolonged hiatus that began in December. This February, he corresponded his wish to hang up his hat for good. Uncle Gram, aka Mark Lyvers, has devoted an unprecedented amount of time to WUSC. He began broadcasting in 1978, and has kept the Red Bank Bar and Grill show running intermittently ever since.

    Outside of the studio, Mark was a truck driver and a folk music enthusiast. He always promoted local events and shows on the air, and even had a hand in hosting some of them. Red Bank Bar and Grill appealed to listeners in the local area and beyond, and Uncle Gram’s fanbase is one of the most devoted the station has ever seen.

    In part to ease our own woes about Uncle Gram’s departure and to give his fans a final farewell, a group of WUSC DJs will be hosting a tribute show for Uncle Gram during his regular time slot. On Saturday, April 4th from 10am to noon, we will be playing some of his favorites, as well as accepting requests over the station’s phone line. Help us say a hearty thank you to Uncle Gram, and give the Red Bank Bar and Grill an amazing send-off.

    To call on April 4, dial 803-576-9872. To stream online, visit our “Listen” page.

  • A Special Thank You


    This week wrapped up WUSC’s bi-annual Fundraiser. Each semester, we endeavor to raise half of the money necessary to pay our $14,000 licensing fees. We do this through donations, fundraiser events, and underwriting. As Station Manager and on behalf of everyone at WUSC, I want to express a hearty thank you for all of the calls, letters, and online visits we’ve received in the past week. Our events saw huge turn outs, and Fundraiser Week proved to be a great way to welcome our newest recruits to the station. Thank you to everyone who contributed their time, money, and support to our humble college radio this week.

    As many of you probably heard throughout the week, WUSC is more than just a platform for broadcasting great music. We bring students, faculty, and alumni together. We conduct interviews, cover special topics, and bring you the news. This semester has seen the greatest changes in WUSC, along with some of the most exciting additions. With a staff change halfway through the year, this semester has proved challenging. We lost our beloved Director of Student Media, Scott Lindenberg, in September to the Treasury Department. Our devoted graduate assistant Rachael also moved on once her studies came to an end in December. With a reduced staff, our executive body has had to adapt to new roles, take on fresh duties, and work harder than ever. The addition of 25 new faces to our body this semester helped counter these losses, and help make our jobs that much more fun. We trained the newest DJs in February, and were happy to welcome them to the fold this past week.

    Throughout Fundraiser Week, our old and new DJs alike brought you their favorite “Spring Break Mixtapes.” As you could probably tell, each DJ brought a different spin on this theme, and exemplified the diversity of tastes we’re proud to represent. Campus radio may be a mixed bag, with jostling music genres and personalities, but it’s a community nonetheless. I am proud to be at the head of WUSC, and am so pleased to recognize how much the station means to not only those who work for it, but to the listeners as well.

    The steps we’ve taken to reach our $14,000 goal have been great indeed thanks to your help, but we still have a long way to go. We’ve raised a little more than half of our total, and with only two months left in the semester, it will be a feat to meet the final figure. If you have not donated yet, please consider doing so, either online or by mail. You can learn more about how to donate and the steps involved on our donation page. If you have donated, I encourage you to share this letter and promote the work that WUSC currently does and hopes to continue doing for many years to come. If you operate a Columbia-area business and have not spoken with our Public Affairs office about an underwriting contract, they can be reached at and would be happy to set up an arrangement.

    We rely on our community to support us and keep us thriving, and your help does more than just keep us on the air. WUSC was my first true home at the University of South Carolina. My show, Dress Up, has been a wonderful outlet for my passion and musical interests. The same can surely be said for any DJ on WUSC, and without you, our home in campus radio is lost. To those of you who have stuck by us from the beginning, we cherish your listenership and support. And to those of you who are future donors, partners, or listeners, I hope you come to see what makes us so special.

    Thank you for reading, sharing, and donating.

    Humbly yours,
    Ari Station Manager
    Ari Robbins
    WUSC Station Manager and DJ Paper Doll

  • WUSC Talks About Free Speech Around the World

    Free Speech

    As part of WUSC’s Free Speech Initiative, News Director Nick Vogt and myself interviewed Randy Covington on 90.5 Minutes of the News.

    Covington is the Director of the World Association of Newspapers and News Publishers Newsplex and a professor at the School of Journalism and Mass Communication. He has worked at television stations across the United States, for the Associated Press and in radio. As part of the Newsplex, he travels around the world to present workshops on investigative journalism and new media.

    In our conversation with Professor Covington, we focused on free speech around the world. “Generally, the medium that has the largest audience is television,” he said. “It’s not by coincidence that in much of the world television is government owned and government controlled.”

    Covington, who has experience training reporters in Russia, cited the country as an example. According to him, once Vladimir Putin took power, he moved to limit independent television stations in Russia in order to silence dissenting opinions.

    We also talked about the role of governments in restricting the newest place people are expressing themselves – the Internet. With the Arab Spring and the “Umbrella Revolution” in Hong Kong, the Internet took center stage. “They try their best,” Covington said of authoritarian regimes. “This Internet thing – it’s like whack-a-mole. You think you’ve got it under control, but all of the sudden this information is getting out. People will seek the truth.”

    Another role of the Internet and new media is citizen journalism. How do citizen journalists fit in with free speech? According to Covington, “traditional media organizations have yet to embrace the power of the crowd. As a result, we suffer. But it’s not like they are going to do our story about why this government agency is corrupt. We’re gonna have to do that story – but they’re going to help us.”

    Towards the end of our interview, we focused on an incident that made headlines last October. Covington, along with his colleague Joe Bergantino, was arrested in Russia on alleged visa violations. Covington suspects it was attempt by the FSB (the successor to the KGB) to stifle their workshop on investigative journalism because it was just a little too much free speech for the government to handle.

    The pair were hauled into court. “The thing that struck my attention when I walked in was this big iron cage that they used to put the defendants in,” he said. “Fortunately they trusted us and didn’t put us in the big iron cage.”

    Covington recounted how the session began. “[Bergantino] was up first and he’s trying to make the argument ‘I have a visa from the U.S. embassy’…and the judge cut him off and says ‘you don’t really need to make that argument, because you’re guilty.”

    Ultimately, neither was jailed or fined, but they were ordered to stop the workshop.

    Covington says one of the most jarring things about the whole incident was the reaction he got from two hotel employees when he asked their opinion on his arrest as they were checking out. “I have never seen such fear in my life as the fear I saw in their eyes,” he said. “For me, that…really hammered home what we take for granted.”

    As Covington and Jay Bender both pointed out during our Free Speech Initiative interviews, we do take free speech for granted. Hopefully our conversations about it on WUSC have helped to educate about the need for and importance of free speech.

    You can hear part of our interview with Randy Covington here.

    For WUSC News, I’m Ben Turner.

  • WUSC Talks Media Law and the First Amendment

    As part of WUSC’s Free Speech initiative, News Director Nick Vogt and myself interviewed Jay Bender on 90.5 Minutes of the News.

    Bender is the Reid H. Montgomery Freedom of Information Chair at the School of Journalism and Mass Communication, where he teaches media law. He also teaches media law at the School of Law and is a practicing attorney specializing in first amendment law. He has represented the South Carolina Press Association and the South Carolina Broadcasters Association, as well as various reporters and media outlets.

    We talked with Professor Bender about free speech. He stressed that the right of free speech is always a struggle. “During times of turmoil, the government puts great pressure on unorthodox speakers and speakers who urge a view contrary to government policy and it’s been that way throughout our history,” Bender said.

    Most people know free speech in America isn’t absolute. The classic example is not being allowed to yell “fire” in a crowded theater when there’s no fire. According to Bender, “the Supreme Court has seen the first amendment as a right or a protection to be balanced against other interests the government might have.” This balance includes restrictions against obscenities and speech likely to incite violence.

    Professor Bender brought up something we are acutely aware of at WUSC – the Federal Communications Commissions (FCC) restriction we must obey against airing swearing on the airwaves. This limits the music we can play and the on-air commentary we can offer, but it’s one of those restrictions the government has deemed in the public interest.

    Many people believe individuals abuse their rights, such as the Westboro Baptist church or the KKK. Bender agrees “free speech could certainly be abused in a private context…but the government cannot be offended by speech, particularly where it’s commentary on the operations of government and criticism of government officials.”

    He pushed back against the recent push to limit criticism of religion or try to limit “hate speech” against groups. “What is hate speech?” Bender asked. “How do you draw the line between hate speech and protected speech?”

    Bender tackled the issue of campus protests, comparing the protest at USC after the events in Ferguson with the protests on the campus of Coastal Carolina. He praised the reaction of USCPD, who worked with protesters and criticized campus police at Coastal, who arrested several students for defacing property when they drew chalk outlines on sidewalks.

    Bender praised USC on free speech, arguing “this university in recent times has been tolerant of speech and I applaud the administration for that. It was not always the case.”

    He encouraged students to speak out, noting “one of the beauties of being young is you have the opportunity to explore a lot of things and the limits of free speech would be one of those.”

    Throughout the interview, Bender offered a spirit defense of free speech. “Citizens benefit when problems can be exposed and discussed,” he said. “One of the philosophical justifications of the first amendment is that it is a safety valve. It allows the society that has unhappiness to express itself and discuss possible solutions.”

    You can hear our full interview with Jay Bender here:

    For WUSC News, I’m Ben Turner.

  • CMF Advanced Screening: Perks of Being a Station Manager

    Here’s a little lesson in networking: if you do something for someone, there is a strong chance he/she will do something for you in return. “You scratch my back, I’ll scratch yours.” This kind of reciprocity is what got me in a dark room with nine other people while we watched an advanced screening of the Campus Movie Fest finale. I had helped record a Public Service Announcement for CMF to be played on WUSC, and this was my repayment. Pretty cool, right?

    If you want a little sneak preview of what you’ll see tonight during the actual CMF Finale, here’s a hint: a mood stabilizer may be required. The tones of the films vary drastically, from funny to thrilling to contemplative. After watching the selections back to back for an evening, I was left reeling. The themes explored had a wide range: dealing with death, survival in an apocalyptic world, self-exploration, or the humor in the every day. So prepare to feel a variety of emotions, and to remind yourself “My peers made that.”

    That was the best part for me. I have a hard time sitting quietly through movies as it is, but it was especially challenging not to jump up and shout “THAT’S A DJ! THAT’S MY DJ!” during the screening. As Station Manager of the radio, being a Mother Hen comes with the territory. The DJs at WUSC are already busy, talented people–they plan a two hour show each week, they cultivate on-air personalities, and they become musical connoisseurs in their preferred genres. Now add to that list qualifications like “scriptwriter,” “cinematographer,” and “filmmaker.” WUSC DJs run the gamut. We don’t seek out these creative types; they come to us, with bright ideas for specialty shows and unique contributions that make the station greater than it already is.

    That’s what the Campus Movie Fest is all about. It capitalizes on the creativity that pulses on college campuses. It tests its participants to make a movie in a week. Script it, shoot it, score it, and edit it in just a few days. As I was able to glimpse this week, USC students definitely rose to this challenge. There were some films that blew me away with their superb camera work, or highly polished script (or both). Anyone watching the finale tonight will undoubtedly feel proud to know that the students behind these films walk among us every day. I know that’s how I felt. I’m lucky enough to not only call many of the CMF contributors fellow DJs, but also friends. In that case, if you’re in the crowd tonight, kindly ignore any outbursts from yours truly. Though I have already seen all of the films before, my good friend Mother Hen isn’t the quietest.

    The Campus Movie Fest Finale Screening is Thursday, 2/12/2015 at 7:30pm in the Russell House Ballroom. Entry is free with a Carolina Card.

  • Fear and Torture: an editorial from the Desk of the News Director

    Nick Vogt 90.5

    It’s that time of year: the kids are coming home, the stockings are hung by the chimney with care, and our favorite football teams are playing for a wild-card spot. I wish everyone reading this the merriest holidays for you and yours; but I would like to talk for just a minute about something serious. I’d like to talk to you all about fear.

    On September 11th, 2001 the United States of America changed in immeasurable ways; out of pain, confusion, and most of all fear. On that day in September, I was in second grade at St. Mark’s School in Catonsville MD, about forty minutes from Washington D.C. and the Pentagon. I don’t recall what I considered fear to be before but ever since then the high-water mark of fear in my life has been that day in September.

    In order to protect our way of life, and out of fear, we as a nation changed in whatever ways we deemed necessary to survive. It was out of this fear that the Central Intelligence Agency commenced their Detention and Interrogation program, which most Americans would identify as the torture programs ended by President Obama’s Executive Order 13491.

    At the beginning of December, the summary of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence study of the CIA’s Detention and Interrogation program was declassified. This study, prompted in 2007 after the CIA’s destruction of interrogation videotapes under investigation by the Attorney General, is highly critical of the CIA’s actions in their Detention and Interrogation program. Included in the study are the gruesome and shocking details of the atrocities involved in the program, the lack of oversight and communication, and the general ineffectiveness of the program. While the entirety of the study (6,700 pages) remains declassified for the time being, the 500-page declassified Executive Summary contains more than enough information on the shortcomings and wrongdoings involved in the program.

    Before 9/11/01 the CIA had concluded that torture programs were generally ineffective and could also produce bad intelligence. This same conclusion has been reached over a decade later by the Committee in their study; not only were the “Enhanced Interrogation Techniques” incredibly cruel, the quality and importance of the information gained through these techniques was repeatedly exaggerated and misconstrued by the CIA in their reports to The White House, Congress, the Department of Justice, and the American public. Much of the information gained through torture procedures was already available in the U.S. Intelligence Network, and most of the original intelligence gained through torture was either bad or non-useful.

    Through the study it was also found that the CIA used methods of torture that were far more brutal than the ones laid out to The White House and the Legislature. The CIA officials leading the operations also repeatedly avoided and impeded internal, Congressional, and Executive oversight of the program.

    The Executive Summary lays out twenty main findings and conclusions, supported with evidence and examples. The summary has been declassified and is readily available all over the Internet.

    Because of the damning nature of the report, apologists have already come to the defense of the Central Intelligence Agency’s actions with the same arguments that were made in favor of torture in the first place: the intelligence that can be extracted is too vital and possibly life saving to ignore.

    Fear is terrifying. It can freeze us, it can break us down, and most terrifying of all it can change us. I can still feel the stuffy, pervading sense of fear that engulfed the nation for years after 9/11, the same fear that still lingers in airports and crowded stadiums today. But I refuse to make exceptions and excuses on the basis of fear anymore, and I refuse to accept the “necessity” of inhumanity in the face of terror.

    I was raised with the belief that we, the collective United States of America, are the good guys. But as I’ve grown up as a post-9/11 American it has become clear that the difference between the good guys and the bad guys is an ocean of doubt and grey. I’ve come to accept that, in such a complex and interrelated world, the lines between right and wrong are blurry. And while I believe the United States does its’ best to aim for the right side of the grey, some aspects of our national conduct certainly do not fall into the grey category.

    Truthfully, I had never considered the CIA torture programs to be completely unnecessary, and I had bought into the notion that the information was too valuable to ignore and impossible to extract otherwise. But earlier last week, I sat down for an hour and read the report. In light of the findings, my mindset changed drastically.

    The Executive Summary of the report is available for all to see, and I hope that every citizen of the United States reads it. The truth is, there is no grey area in this circumstance. Not only was the intelligence gained not as vital as we’ve been led to believe, the methods used to extract the intelligence betrays every core value to our nation that we hold so dear. For almost a decade, we allowed our nation to become unimaginably cruel and inhumane out of fear.

    It is our responsibility, as civilians in the Home of the Brave, to shed our paralyzing fear in order to reclaim our stake as the Land of the Free. A systematic operation of inhumane torture in clandestine prisons hidden inside undisclosed countries is not a “good guy” action.

    Still, it would be easy for this report to get lost in the flurry of the holidays, the racial tensions surrounding Ferguson and New York, and the NFL Playoffs. It is our responsibility as free citizens to not lose sight of this report, to read this report, and to formulate personal opinions on its implications.

    We’ve come a long way since 2001, and as a nation we are on the road back to where we once were. When my kids grow up, I hope that they’ll have no question as to who the good guys are. It’s up to us to answer that question for them now.


    Thank you, and have a Happy Holidays.

    Nick Vogt

  • Moas Collective + WUSC: Halloween 2014

    We have the best Music Directors, DJs, and friends. Here’s a video by Tucker Prescott of our most recent dance party at Lucky’s.

  • Show Review: Everywhere I Go Tour

    I had the wonderful opportunity to check out New Politics, Bad Suns and SomeKindaWonderful on the Charlotte stop of the Everywhere I Go tour.


    SomeKindaWonderful kicked off the show with a short but upbeat set, including their popular single, Reverse.  They quickly warmed up the crowed with their fun soul-funk-alternative sound.  Singer Jordy Towers and percussionist Sarah Dyer put forth particularly powerful performances, and these guys had the crowd jumping in no time.


    Bad Suns followed with a much mellower sound.  This California-based band has cultivated a certain dreamy quality to their performance that really seemed to captivate the audience, and by the end of their set the crowd buzzed with excitement.


    Finally, David Boyd, Søren Hansen, and Louis Vecchio took the stage and New Politics closed the show with a bang.  Throughout their performance, this three piece band managed to fill the entire room with their infectious energy and dance-rock sound.  Their set included everything from their hit songs Harlem and Tonight You’re Perfect to a Beastie Boys cover.  Toward the end of the show, Boyd jumped into the crowd, who happily held him aloft as he sang.  This is without a doubt a band that knows how to keep a crowd entertained.

    You can catch these great bands on the rest of the Everywhere I Go tour.  Check here for dates!




    Ladies and folks, this Saturday, local college radio station WUSC FM is gifting the city of Columbia one more shot of sunny magic vibes before the sunbeam faeries disappear for the fall. Taking place at local hot and spicy spot, El Burrito, you can saunter down and meal while you watch some mighty fine electronic, dreamy, janglin’ bands, such as:

    Michael Parallax

    Michael Parrallax is an excitement artist, with his explosive pop fueled sets often containing costume changes, sing-alongs, and a feeling of floating. Described as Floridian Dance Party / Tent Spiritual Revival Music.


    Family And Friends

    Freaky folk with a warm buzz from Athens, Family and Friends are notorious for heartfeelings and severely gutsy folk jams. Your cat would love them if it knew music apart from vacuum cleaner sounds.

    Jazzy dreamlike tenderness is the lavel, if any, that fits upon the soothing and transcendental tones produced by this New Orleans outfit. Worth a vibe or two, no doubt.
    █ 1-800-DOG-CIGS
    Jake and Josh are innovative devils. That’s all I’ll say.

    September 13th, 7:00 – 9:30
    El Burrito (934 Harden St)
    $5 Under
    $3 Over


    It promises to be quite a night. Come check it out!

  • Moogfest 2014

    Moogfest, the annual electronic music festival and production showcase hosted in Asheville, NC, began last night and runs through Sunday night. Mainstream music fans have criticized this years’ festival for it’s niche lineup, but for hardcore fans and producers of electronic music it is going to be a paradise. Moog, the iconic music company that popularized the synthesizer, has gotten underground LA favorites like Flying Lotus, Lapalux, and Tokimonsta, classic producers and performers like CHIC, Nile Rodgers, and Giorgio Moroder, and huge EDM acts like Dillon Francis, M.I.A., and Riff Raff to make the long weekend and eclectic experience. Even Chaz Bundick, a Columbia native and the frontman for Toro Y Moi, is going to be performing his Les Sins side-project during the 4th night of the festival. During the day, many of the most innovative producers in the world will be hosting production workshops and giving lectures, and at night many of these same lecturers will be performing at venues all over Asheville. It is going to be a truly unique weekend, and WUSC is excited to send representatives to the festival to cover the events.

  • Meet fk mt.

    fk mt. are an indie punk band causing a stir in Columbia’s local music scene.    You may have seen these Soda City natives play recently with of Montreal during the Indie Grits Film Festival.  If you missed it or just can’t get enough of fk mt., you’re in luck because they are joining us for the WUSC Jamboree at El Burrito next Saturday!

    Check out their track out ov it below and come party with fk mt. at the WUSC Jamboree!

  • Meet MyBrother MySister

    This exciting Columbia trio will be playing at the WUSC Jamboree on April 26th.  With their brutally catchy riffs and heavy punk influences, it’s not hard to see why MyBrother MySister are some of Cola’s favorite hometown kids.

    Check out their song Secondhand Embarrassment below and be sure to catch them at the WUSC Jamboree!

  • The Revivalists- City of Sound: 4 / 5

    City of Sound is a pretty fitting title for this release by New Orleans-based rock band The Revivalists. Each track has a sound pulling from all different genres, including jazz, ska, funk, blues, and country. This wide range of influences makes for an authentic, classic sounding rock album that reflects the whimsically playful nature of their hometown.

    Full of soulful southern charm and sprinkled with funky undertones, every song on City of Sound puts forth a different yet oddly familiar sound. With the conventional rock instruments, the band has a horn section that blows through staccato horn breaks and solos. Either with a jazz feel or a ska vibe, it could go either way. “When I Die” features a beachy-sound, as does “Navigate Below”, which contains flamenco guitar strumming and a Caribbean-style drum beat. Tracks like “BTBD” and “Criminal” features large and loud Imagine Dragon-esque choruses complete with John Frusciante type guitar solos. Groovy strumming patterns add to the buoyancy of the album that weaves it’s way through genres.

    City of Sound sound like a mixture of the Dave Matthews Band and Streetlight Manifesto, with a dash of Kings of Leon soul, combining to make a laid-back rock album for summer days. With such a unique sound, The Revivalists set out to destroy the traditional sound of indie-rock bands with their killer City of Sound. 

    Key Tracks: When I Die, Navigate Below, Criminal, BTBD

    RIYL: Dave Matthews Band, Streetlight Manifesto

  • Cloud Nothings- Here and Nowhere Else: 3.5 / 5

    Indie-rock band Cloud Nothings released their fourth album, Here and Nowhere Else, on April 1. The album is full of gritty, fast-paced punk rock that abrasively drives you to headbang along.

    Each track is filled with machine-gun drum fills that will rock your face off. The drumming is very spirited, and is what really fuels the velocity of the album. The guitars are noisy, overlapping, and distoreted, playing crunching chords of raw dissonance. The gravelly, screaming vocals add a punk feel, with youthful exasperation forcing dry emotion into the air. With no slower breaks, you may feel a bit exhausted after listening all the way through. It’s easy to get lost in the jungle of noise if you don’t pay attention. At some points, it gets a bit redundant, with no real melodic or dynamic changes, but it’s so fun and fast-paced you probably won’t even mind.

    Cloud Nothings have crafted an album that may lack true greatness, but make up for it in pure, unadultered punk rock. They’ve shown a clear maturation in their sound that will most likely have the band continuing on their road to roaring, anthemic rock noise.

    Key Tracks: Quieter Today, Psychic Trauma, I’m Not Part of Me

    RIYL: Japandroids, Real Estate, Yuck

  • SXSW 2014 Recap: Young & Sick

    Writing about SXSW is rather difficult. So much happened in such short a time and it’s difficult to wrap my head around it all. It seems as if my spring break was a fairy tale adventure that I dreamt up while I was sitting on my couch eating Oreos in my undies. We went with a group of 5 and mobbed around the city of Austin for 7 days straight, dropping into different venues and house parties, filming interviews/performances with a number of bands, and meeting more people that I can even remember. I have decided to write a few recaps like this, as the footage gets uploaded, about specific bands and our adventures that arose because of these bands.

    Firstly, we’ve got Young & Sick. He’s a genuine, talented young man who not only creates fantastic music, but also is an artist (he recently designed the art for the new Foster The People album) and involved in fashion. What a legend. We were lucky enough to interview and get an exclusive acoustic rooftop performance with Young & Sick, and from this performance, friendships blossomed like chrysanthemums blooming in the fall. We spent quite a lot of time with Young & Sick, their manager Aaron ( and his other artist Mahaut Mondino (we have a interview/performance with her that we will be posting next week) over the week and it is a bit difficult now that we are separated, not sure of the next time we will reunite. However, we had enough good times together to last at least a few months.

    They had a number of shows throughout the week, including showcases with Bipolar Sunshine, Arthur Beatrice (interview coming soon), and a massive show in Butler Park with Washed Out and Foster The People. Of course, we went to all of these. We saw the band in a number of forms, from purely acoustic in our rooftop sessions to full-band acoustic in a beautiful apartment on Rainey Street to the whole shebang at Butler Park. Every single form was something special. There are some bands that I see that I just know are going to go to great heights, and this band is one of them. I’m not just saying this because they are lovely people; but that definitely is an added benefit. My friend and I were just talking about how a band can create “forever fans” by not only having fantastic music but also being extremely personable and giving. Young & Sick is both of these, and this is going to propel the band to a top spot in the music scene. They already have secured spots at Coachella, Sasquatch, and a support run with Foster The People, and they only played their first show this February.

    This group influenced a large amount of our experience at SXSW and I am extremely excited about their future. They recently released their new single Heartache Fetish that continues the trend of sexy, passionate, and complex songs that Young & Sick is starting to be known for. Their new album will be in rotation on April 8 and I already know that it is going to secure a high position on WUSC’s charts.

  • A Spring Break Style “Thank You”

    With our spring fundraiser having come to a close March 6, and final donation calculations coming in, it is time for a simple thank you.

    From beach bum, chill jams, to stringy mountain tunes, we brought our favorites in spring break mixtape songs, while encouraging listeners to give us a call and make a donation, big or small.

    Beyond special programming, we also offered the opportunity to support us through events such as our kickoff dance party at Breaker’s, acoustic night at Red Door Tavern, percent night at Mellow Mushroom and closing show at Foxfield Bar & Grille.

    Between called-in, mailed and online donations, plus all of our events, we made about $4,000 in the week, bringing us just about $500 shy of our $13,000 yearly budget!

    On behalf of everyone at WUSC, I’d like to extend a hearty “thank you” for each and every dollar given to us–both in this fundraiser and beyond. With operating costs rising, equipment falling apart and updates being needed, our biannual fundraisers are what keep us going year after year.

    I invite you to please continue supporting us to see all the wonderful ways your dollars make an impact on WUSC!



    Kate Appelbaum

    Station Manager


  • The Relentless Pussy Riot

    I don’t speak Russian, but that doesn’t keep me from being able to hear the anger and the passion in songs like “Kill the Sexist” and “Putin Will Teach You to Love the Motherland”. It also doesn’t require fluent Russian to see that something is wrong in a country when 6 protestors get beat by the whips of paramilitary police for a brief, silly demonstration.

    Of course, I’m talking about Pussy Riot, the punk collective/political and social rights activists focused on defending the rights of the marginalized Russian people (especially but not limited to woman, prisoners and homosexuals) from the [President] Vladimir Putin led government, a regime they accuse of being a dictatorship rather than a presidency. Pussy Riot members have been in and out of jail for various protests and demonstrations, the most notable incident coming after Nadya Tolokonnikova and Masha Alekhina were imprisoned for 2 years following a demonstration music video shot in the Cathedral of Christ the Savior in Moscow.

    But Pussy Riot is relentless. Right after being released from prison early in a show of “mercy” from President Putin ahead of the Sochi Olympics, Tolokonnikova and Alekhina were again imprisoned for supporting 8 Russian protestors that participated in the 2011-2013 Russian protests (commonly referred to as the “Snow Revolution”) in a demonstration outside of the courtroom. Those arrests came after the aforementioned whippings in Sochi.

    There are punk bands, and then there are punk bands with balls. The Russian government isn’t an institution that many people choose to mess with, and President Vladimir Putin isn’t somebody you win an argument with. But Pussy Riot doesn’t care. How punk is that? Whether or not they’re being whipped, mocked, kicked, or arrested, they don’t stop. They just do not care. Punk.

    This is my country, understand?” says the male Russian Cossack (paramilitary police officer) that beat Pussy Riot with whips. The Russian “Old World” is clashing with the “New World”, and it’s tough to determine who’s winning. While Pussy Riot and other demonstrators make waves in New Media, it’s still the old world mentality that dominates politics and the social mentality in today’s Russia. And it’s the same old world forces (*Ahem* Vladimir Putin) that decided to invade Crimea, Ukraine. Yes that’s right, as I type away on my MacBook in the middle of class, the Russian military is currently occupying the southernmost island of Ukraine, and threatening to assault the rest of the country if the situation doesn’t stabilize.

    It is a volatile situation in the Eastern world. Four years removed from the Georgian invasion, and in the wake of various Ukrainian uprisings and revolts, Russia has deployed and positioned troops in the pro-Russian, yet still Ukrainian region of Crimea, and has also set in motion a massive training exercise across the northern Ukraine-Russia border, priming their forces for an invasion. Uncertain times like these invariably mean change…

    Re-enter Pussy Riot.

    Change requires strong voices. To me, it is apparent that change is required when whippings are accepted punishment for free speech, and invasion is the answer to a revolution. Pussy Riot is a voice to be listened to, a small yet growing crowd of voices screaming out for equality and the end of oppression. Russia and Ukraine now stand at a crossroads that is relevant for the entirety of the eastern world, and the rest of the world at large. We should all be paying attention, especially because Pussy Riot won’t stop screaming out until we do. (And I hope they don’t.)


    – Nick Vogt


    It’s midterm week. The professors have unloaded mountains of papers, presentations, and exams upon us. Along with this, it is cold outside, forcing us to have no excuse to stay inside and study. It is my last semester here at USC, meaning that my mountain of work due is humongous, which means that I should be spending my time thinking about the different facets of negotiation between cultures or the marketing funnel. However, all that is on my mind is the mammoth of a week that I am going to be experiencing in Austin, TX while attending South By Southwest, one of the biggest music festivals in the world (if not the biggest).

    I was lucky enough to win a Music Badge to SXSW this year through Team Clermont and I quickly assembled a team to join me on my adventure to Austin. We are rolling deep, a group of 5 representing WUSC, which will be absolutely necessary in order to experience as many aspects of SXSW as we can. The thing is, I am probably going to see about 5% of the things that I want to see at the festival, if not less than that. There is just so much to do. First off, there are over 1000 “official” SXSW acts that spend the evenings playing at a number of showcases, such as the NPR Showcase next Wednesday featuring Damon Albarn, St. Vincent and Eagulls, one of my most anticipated events. However, there are 10 other great acts playing at the same time including Stepdad and Macauley Culkin’s new band The Pizza Underground. Normally, this type of festival would create extreme fear of missing out for many, but after talking to many people who experienced SXSW in years past, I have decided to pick a number of bands that I really want to see and try my hardest to see them, then go with the flow for the rest of the time.

    The way SXSW works is extremely different from other festivals. Many of the official showcases require that you have a badge or wristband to get in (unless you want to line for ages only to get turned away), but there are just as many day parties/showcases that only require a RSVP beforehand to get in. For example, the mobile event app Applauze is hosting a number of showcases and parties throughout the festival; at least one a day. Their main event on Monday at the Scoot Inn is chock full of massive artists such as MS MR, Charli XCX (check out her new collab with Iggy Azalea), Robert Delong, among others. In order to get into this event, you have to download Applauze from the app store and RSVP on the app itself. Regardless of whether you’re attending SXSW or not, I highly recommend this app; it’s a good one. Along with their main event, they are going to have many others at the Casa de Applauze featuring free food, drinks, and bands such as Jordan Klassen, To Kill A King, and The Family Crest.

    The Fader Fort is another major event at SXSW. It is extremely hard to get into one of their day parties, as they have gotten bigger and bigger every year. So far, the lineup boasts artists such as Sam Smith (one of my must-sees), Little Dragon, Chromeo, Glass Animals, and a many more incredible acts. The fact of the matter is that pretty much every party or showcase has at least one or two amazing bands featured as there is so much talent packed into the city for the week. Other exciting events include the Spotify House (Hozier, Phantogram, Real Estate), Hype Hotel (Tokyo Police Club, Wye Oak,  SOHNanother one of my priorities), and the Harvest Showcase (Arthur Beatrice, The Preatures, Banks). As you can see, it is rather overwhelming, but exciting and crazy at the same time. Also, the MTVu Woodie Awards will be taping in Austin during this time, which is a big deal for WUSC as we have been nominated for an award. If we win, our station will be represented on stage at the awards show and receive the award for Best College Radio Station. Be sure to vote for us at

    I could write for ages on how excited I am for next week, but I should probably get back to the work that I have to finish before our trip begins. We will be regularly updating WUSC’s social media (Twitter & Facebook) with live tweets, videos, pictures, and more so be sure to keep an eye out for that. If you’re interested in heading to Austin for spring break/the festival, all the information you need can be found at SXSW’s website.

    By Rupert Hudson

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