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Mira’s Top Five Absurd Comedy Videos

1. Eugene Mirman--How to Nab a Husband
Eugene Mirman is a Russian demi-god. This video was the inspiration for me and Clare’s Spring/Fall 2010 show, “So You Wanna Nab A Husband.”

2. Dave Chappelle--Aids and Monkeys
I’m just gonna stay in with my monkey.

3. Zak Galifianakis--on Physical Comedy
Watch till the end for half-naked Brian Posehn and Patton Oswalt.

4. Todd Barry Insults Louis CK in a Car
I love Louis CK, I’m not crazy about Todd Barry--but I think he’s pretty funny here. Once I talked to him at a bar and asked him what his sign was.

5. Stella--Pizza
Real f*cking New York pizza!

Madeline's Top 5 Songs to Wake Up To

There’s no better way to start a good day than with good music, right? Some songs just get you pumped up to do whatever you’ve gotta do! If I didn’t have a roommate, you would probably hear one of these five songs blasting through the Quad every morning.

5) “Send Me On My Way” – Rusted Root

Maybe it’s just because of Matilda (ok it’s definitely because of Matilda), but this song makes me want to make pancakes. Also the album it’s from is called When I Woke. Coincidence? Maybe, but it works.

...and the Matilda version, of course:

4) “Good Morning Good Morning” – The Beatles

It literally says “good morning” to you! And it even starts with the classic rooster crowing sound-effect.

3) “Death to Los Campesinos!” – Los Campesinos!

If the gentle sounds of the guitar intro don’t wake you up, the drum entrance will. And then you’ll have an awesome wake-up dance party.

2) “Electric Feel (Justice Remix)” – MGMT

It just has an epic vibe. Good for days when you’ve got to save the world or something.

1) “I Believe In A Thing Called Love” – The Darkness

I’m totally serious. They used to play this to wake us up at summer camp, and ever since then, I’ve adored starting my day with this song. Try it, I promise you’ll have a good day!

Natalie’s review of SBTRKT and AraabMuzik at Bowery Ballroom, Oct. 31st

SBTRKT, also known as Aaron Jerome, is the masked DJ/producer from London who has been making waves with his ever so “now” combination of 2-step, dubstep and good ole’ R & B. He cut his chops remixing the likes of Basement Jaxx and Modeselektor, gaining popularity in 2011 off the back of “Wildfire,” a single featuring Little Dragon’s Yukimi Nagano.

Very much a bedroom producer – he’s said that he wears a mask to create a musical identity separate from any individual identity – SBTRKT’s live performances see him teaming up with Sampha, the angel-voiced singer who strains and croons his way through SBTRKT’s self-titled debut album.

Having missed SBTRKT’s previous U.S. shows at PS1 this summer, I was eagerly awaiting his set on October 31st. Hallowe’en at the Bowery Ballroom – what better time and place to watch two masked performers spin a beautiful, danceable set.

A word about his support act – AraabMuzik, the self-proclaimed MVP of the MPC. AraabMuzik gained fans – SBTRKT among them – from a host of YouTube videos that show him making an awful lot of noise with one MPC drum machine. Check this: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JBOM53ASrDg&feature=mfu_in_order&list=UL

Following a kerfuffle with cabs and parades, we arrived after AraabMuzik had already begun. It didn’t matter though, because he killed it. Inspired by SBTRKT’s dark basslines, AraabMuzik played a dubstep-heavy set full of massive drops that made you, well, drop. By the time AraabMuzik left the stage, I’d already worn out my dancing shoes.

It was only the beginning. During the break, the PA played the majority of Little Dragon’s latest album, making my friend sure that Yukimi was “definitely gonna come out” (she didn’t). Free masks were handed out to the audience – fantastic tribal faces that glowed in the dark and were mad trippy.

Soon enough, SBTRKT came on and for the next hour proceeded to play most of the debut album. Their set up was simple – Sampha on one side playing keys, singing vocals which he occasionally looped, and SBTRKT on the other with a turntable and some electric drums.

Each song was utterly beautiful, with what felt like the whole crowd dancing and singing along. The highlight of the set was the intensity with which Sampha sung “Something Goes Right,” questioning whether to let go over sweeping synths and ticking hi-hats. I had previously considered SBTRKT’s music headphone tunes, but it translated perfectly to the intimacy of the Bowery.

It was the breaks between the songs that revealed the only flaw in the set – SBTRKT’s poor, or rather, non-existent, transitions. For a DJ whose earlier EPs were full of twitchy breakbeats and excellent mixes, the lack of audio linkage between songs was disappointing. The choice of set – though it had the audience singing along – skipped SBTRKT’s incredible earlier remixes, such as the Fantastic Mr. Fox “Sketches” redo I’d been hoping to hear. They even avoided the newer Radiohead remixes, in favour of a solid but – dare I say it – more commercial set. This was exemplified by the choice of “Wildfire” as an encore – and they even decided to play the Drake remix!

Still, I left content, thinking that SBTRKT’s music is a combination of old and new that just works. Throbbing with postdubstep sensibilities, it remains rooted in breakbeats and bass wobbles and memorable choruses that still get crowds singing along. It’s pleasing to the ear, highly danceable, and damn good live.

Chuck's 5 Favorite Things She Has Knit

Just to keep things relevant I’ll include the music I was listening to at the time of knitting these things:

Yellow socks for my mom: My mom always accuses me of stealing her socks when I’m at home so I decided to knit her a few pairs of socks to make up for it. I mostly knit these socks while I was at work so I guess I was listening to one of the supremely boring “Dinner Jazz” cds that Barnard AV is always asked to play at events. I’m not going to provide a link to this Dinner Jazz. You don’t want to hear it.

Grey alpaca scarf: This was the first scarf I ever knit. It was your basic garter stitch scarf in a really soft alpaca. I knit it for the dude I was dating at the time. I listened to Wild Nothing so much last fall that my roommates started to complain. Ex-dude was born in late May so hence, Wild Nothing - Gemini.

Grey cotton sweater: One of my goals last summer was to knit myself a sweater for the first time. That sweater is currently hanging up in my closet with only about a quarter of a sleeve left to go because at some point during Hurricane Irene I ran out of yarn and I haven’t been able to find the same yarn anywhere in New York. I took my sweater with me everywhere last summer, so it spent a lot of time sitting in the passenger seat of my car. The speakers were blown in my car when I got it and most music sounded pretty awful coming through the stereo system. Not Big Troubles though.

White angora gloves for Justine: My roommate Justine works as a door-to-door canvasser for a political party and last winter she kept complaining about how cold her hands were at work. I guess that was her way asking for a pair of gloves. I listened to Let England Shake a lot last semester when Justine and I were sharing a room and I guess it rubbed off on her. She and I don’t share a room anymore but I hear PJ drifting from her room all the time now. That’s a huge step up from the Grey’s Anatomy soundtracks that she used to play in our room last year, although she still won’t listen to any older PJ in which she sings in her lower voice register because she thinks it's “angry girl music.” Baby steps.

Red lace socks for Ana: I’m currently knitting a pair of red socks with a leaf lace pattern and listening to Veronica Falls. That’s really all I’ve been doing all week. I take short breaks from those two things to do some reading and my Russian homework, but really it’s all socks and Veronica Falls in my life right now. In other words, things couldn't get much better.

Josh Faber’s Top 5 Songs to Watch Fall Pass By

Where did fall go? I’m really not sure but I am putting the blame on Cody and Eli, those Fall stealers, I won’t stand for this! Here’s some music!

#1 The Accidentals – Wolves
This is one of those really chill songs that I find putting on repeat time and time again and goes well with hot cider

#2 From Ashes Rise – Reaction
The break down proves that minimal parts, if used correctly can be highly effective. Best for walking through wet leaves at night with a slight breeze at your back.

#3 Radical Face – Welcome Home
The concept of this album is as mesmerizing as the flow of this song. Works well with pumpkin pie with whipped cream.

#4 Mumford and Sons – I Gave You All
Not only am I happy to see the ‘family band’ starting to really make a comeback but this also goes well with leftover stuffing, gravy and wine.

#5 The Sawtooth Grin – A 2 Minute Lecture on the Finer Points of Insanity
One of, if not the, best Math-Core bands I have ever heard. If the release from this break down doesn’t make you want to jump into a pile of leaves then nothing will!

Joanna Barnett's Top 5 Covers by William Shatner

Shatner released his newest album, Seeking Major Tom, earlier this month. In honor of this auspicious event, here's a look back at some his crowning musical moments.

1. Iron Man

Off his new album, T.J. Hooker gives Iron Man a rather cuddly feel. The track features Zakk Wylde.

2. Common People

A Britpop classic by Pulp in its original, Common People was the only cover off Shatner's 2004 release Has Been (produced by Ben Folds). This version of the song received generally positive reviews.

3. Rocket Man

Performed at the 1978 Sci-Fi Awards ceremony, this cover speaks for itself.

4. Mr. Tambourine Man

Along with Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds constituted the first exposure we had to Mr. James Tiberius Kirk's musical stylings. Setting a suitably high standard, the best moment comes at the very end of the song when Shatner's cry of 'Mr. tambourine man' embodies torment.

Mr. Tambourine Man

5. Bohemian Rhapsody

Even if you can't tolerate listening to anymore Denny Crane, watch the music video on mute because is an experience not to be missed.

Zoe Camp's Top 5 Halloween Songs That Aren't Ghostbusters

I swear to God, whenever I hear "Ghostbusters" at a Halloween party, a little part of me dies inside - so really, I must have died somewhere between the ages of 13 and 15. If you want some songs for your 'ween bash that are a little more creative, look no further, Ol Z's here to provide.

1. Queens of the Stone Age - "Burn the Witch"

It's bluesy! It's ballsy! It's got Billy Gibbons on it! It's no wonder this tune was tapped for True Blood promos this year - it's a perfect October track from the Queens.

2. Rob Zombie- "Dragula"

The first time I heard this song, it was on the soundtrack to a video game called Jet Grind Radio (anyone who is lucky enough to own a Dreamcast owes it to themselves to buy it, by the way). Ever since then, it's been in my regular rotation - it's got that perfect mix of grooves and gore and it's about A KILLER CAR. What more could you want?

3. Blue Oyster Cult- "Don't Fear the Reaper"

All "more cowbell" jokes aside, this has got to be one of the happiest, poppiest songs about death. The bridge still gives me chills.

4. Slayer- "Angel of Death"

This one goes out to good ol' Satan. You gotta love the blood-curdling screams that kick off this thrash classic.

5. Male Bonding- "Pumpkin"

A rollicking, reverb-y gem from one of the best fuzz-rock bands of late. Just don't play this while people are bobbing for apples - they might start dancing and trip over each other and that wouldn't be pretty.

Grace McCreight's Top 5 Sweet Collaborations

Sometimes people you like make music with other people you like, and it’s awesome. Here (in no particular order because they’re all mega chill) are five collaborations totally worth your time.

Idle Warship
Talib Kweli, Res, and Graph Nobel got together in 2008 to make Party Robots, a mixtape of creeping, chill-out jams . They’re dropping a new album next week, and from the single they’ve put out, it sounds like just as much of a collab delight.
Fact: At an Idle Warship show, some kid punched my co-DJ in the face and tried to pay her $2 for it.
Track: Momma May I

“Ghetto Pop Life”
An exceedingly dope album put together by Danger Mouse and Brooklyn MC Jemini the Gifted One. Honestly, I’m chill with anyone who samples a Gregorian chant, but this whole record is bomb.
Fact: Jemini sued a guy named Gemini.
Track: Medieval

Felt
Every few years, Murs and Slug team up with a different producer and put out an album under the Felt nom-de-musique. Each one is named after an actress the two rappers wanna get to know, in the Biblical sense. The lucky ladies have included Christina Ricci, Lisa Bonet, and –most recently – Rosie Perez. Each record has its own vibe, but all three are totally solid.
Fact: When I tried to buy Felt III, the cashier refused to let me pay until he had given me his opinion of every track.
Track: Woman Tonight

Bop Alloy
Last year, producer Marcus D and rapper Substantial put out a record that’s heavy on bouncing jazz samples and has a cover that looks like a portrait of Boba Fett, if Boba Fett was an DJ. The epically-named Steph the Sapphic Songstress features on most of this mellow, lazy-day listen.
Fact – Substantial’s website swears he’s really big in Japan, you guys.
Track: Another Day in the Life

Fort Minor
Fort Minor - arguably the most bro thing on this list - is Mike Shinoda’s side project. Yep, Mike Shinoda, as in that guy who raps in Linkin Park songs. He enlisted Styles of Beyond for two surprisingly rad mixtapes and an album. Put on your best fitted, pop the collar on that polo, press play, and embrace your inner super bro.
Fact: Multiple Austrians have asked my brother (Irish-American) if he’s Mike Shinoda (Japanese-American), and will he please sign some autographs.
Track: Bloc Party

Mira de Jong’s Top 5 Songs Called Creep

1) Creep--TLC--CrazySexyCool
I’m gonna start this list out strong with TLC’s version--the seminal “Creep.” This is one of my favorite TLC videos, but there’s a lot of gold as far as TLC is concerned (Ain’t 2 Proud 2 Beg, Unpretty, Scrubs, Waterfalls--the list goes on). Basically, they had me at silk pajamas.

2) Creep--Radiohead--Pablo Honey
Admittedly, Radiohead’s version came out before TLC’s. Maybe T-Boz, Left-Eye, Chilli, and Thom Yorke were pals--I like to think so. I’m gonna refrain from any judgment and let two really solid dudes speak for me.

3) Creep (Radiohead Cover)--Conan O’Brien
I don’t want this to be a “Top 5 Versions of Radiohead’s Creep” list, but I’ve gotta include Conan O’Brien’s stellar Thom Yorke impression. “Dame Judi Dench is gonna punch me in the throat, I’m gonna get bitch slapped by Helen Mirren.”

4) Just a Creep--Dum Dum Girls--Only in Dreams
Not technically called “Creep,” but I’m gonna fudge it and allow this on the list. I’m really digging Dum Dum Girls’ new album, and read in an interview with Dee Dee that she wrote this song about weird fans. DDG fanatics--take note.

5) The Creep (feat. Nicki Minaj and John Waters)--The Lonely Island
Rounding out the list, the Lonely Island’s ode to creepers everywhere. Nicki is great, as always, and John Waters’ cameo is wonderfully creepy. It seems like Andy, Jorm, and Kiv don’t want people embedding this video, so you’ll have to follow the link yourself--totally worth it. Do the creep!

Do the Creep

Madeline Steinberg's Review of Yuck, Porcelain Raft, and The Babies @ Music Hall of Williamsburg 10/14/11

Yuck's show on Friday at Music Hall of Williamsburg was awesome! The Babies started off the evening, followed by Porcelain Raft, and then of course Yuck. I was impressed by every act. What I love about The Babies is how effortless they make their music seem. They're up there just rocking out, looking like they're not even trying that hard, but the sound you hear is fantastic. It's was a pleasure to hear them play. I'm really happy to have been introduced to Porcelain Raft through this show! This guy is incredible. He's got a really unique sound, but if I had to try and describe his music in terms of other artists', I would say he's like The Mountain Goats meets Beach House but he brings the bass. Listen to his stuff and you'll know what I mean. And then there was Yuck. I just love these guys. They played almost all the songs off of their album, and a couple new ones as well. In my opinion, what's great about Yuck (or at least their live performances) is that they truly have a group dynamic. No one member appears to be "in charge." They all work together to make some really great music, and you can tell that they're all having a good time. And now that their US tour is done, Yuck's going back to London to work on a new album! I'm pumped. In conclusion, this was a really fun show.

There are some photos up on the WBAR flickr group here, and more photos up here.

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