WHWS Year In Review


As another year wraps up at WHWS, our attention turns to the albums that defined our year in heavy rotation. While we received many CDs over the course of the past year, only a few were outstanding enough to make their way onto many of our shows. Here’s a little look at what was popular with our DJs this past year:

Of these albums, by far the most popular was 7 by the band Beach House. Released at the beginning of May, this album had enough staying power to remain in heavy rotation all the way until the middle of the fall semester. Notable as the sonically darkest album in the band’s discography, 7 still manages to maintain the characteristically transcendent sound that has allowed Beach House to achieve cult status. If you haven’t heard this album yet, you may want to check out some of its best tracks: “Lemon Glow”, “Drunk in LA”, and “Pay No Mind.”

Released only one month after 7, Moodie by Yuno managed to remain relevant over a long summer of musical releases. This record, with its strong pop sensibilities and integration of indie/emo aesthetics, was a favorite of our indie pop focused radio shows. While maintaining an upbeat aesthetic throughout the majority of its tracks, Moodie
is not a carefree work. It’s thematically centered around a breakup, working through heartbreak, uncertainty, and reflection. This album is definitely worth a listen (especially “Fall In Love” and “So Slow”).

Perhaps the most eccentric artist to make our heavy rotations list this year, Art
d’Ecco’s Trespasser made a big splash upon its mid-October release date. Falling within the genre of weirdo-pop, this Vancouver native’s record combines the aesthetics of glam rock with modern indie sensibilities. Rife with droning guitars and catchy hooks, this record was heavily featured on our indie/rock radio shows. If you’re interested in feeling this album’s undeniable groove, you should check out the standout tracks “Nobody’s Home” and “Mary”.

By far the oldest album on this list, The Houseby Porches came out all the way back in January. A followup to their 2016 album Pool, this album combines the bands distinct synthesizer indie rock with the danceability of house music. Though it’s not without its more reflective tracks (“Understanding” and “Country” for example), the majority of this album is versatile enough to not feel out of place in a dance club or a record store. It’s an addicting record and it’s no surprise that many DJs took to it so passionately. While its best experienced when heard front-to-back, “Find Me”, “Goodbye”, and “Leave the House” were some of the most popular tracks amongst our DJs.

The final album to be heavily featured on our shows this year was, Scout by the band Calpurnia. By combining the current trend of chillwave guitars and the throwback sounds of Weezeresque indie rock, Calpurnia’s debut album was a shoe-in for frequent play. This popularity feels an understatement when you add the fact that Finn Wolfhard, one of the kids from Stranger Things, just so happens to front this band. If you feel so inclined, you should try listening to “Greyhound” or “Blame”.

Looking forward to the year ahead, WHWS is excited for the flood of new albums that
will grace our airwaves. Until then, why not head on over to the listen tab for a taste of good music new and old.

Jimi Hendrix Recording Electric Lady Land

In the newest episode of the podcast The Relix Audio Hour, we roll the clock back 50 years and take a deep dive into the recording process of Jimi Hendrix’s 1968 opus Electric Ladyland.


Host Jesse Lauter sits down with the record’s engineer/mixer Eddie Kramer as well as Hendrix historian John McDermott to explore the ins and outs of the groundbreaking LP, which would be Hendrix’s crowning recording achievement.

Kramer recalls joining the project in April 1968, and witnessing Hendrix in the throws of the creative process. “It was such a rush of information being thrown at me,” he chuckles.

Courtesy of the Hendrix estate, you can also hear audio of Hendrix himself describing the LP. Much of the episode’s soundtrack comes from the recently released Electric Ladyland deluxe boxset, as well its companion film At Last The Beginning: The Making of Electric Ladyland.

“He was a man who was blessed with god-given talent, amazing talent. But he was able to focus. He had a vision. Once he got on track with a song, and he knew pretty much in his head where it was headed, he wouldn’t stop. He wouldn’t let go – it’s like a pit-bull – until he achieved the end goal,” Kramer says of Hendrix.

Kramer and McDermott also recall Hendrix’s admiration of Steve Winwood, who plays organ on Electric Ladyland‘s “Voodoo Child.”

“He loved Winwood’s playing. I think at one point he asked him, ‘Hey, let’s put a band together. Or at least join my band,’” Kramer posits, adding to the myth of rock and roll’s greatest group that never was.

Listen to episode eight of The Relix Audio Hour here.

The Relix Audio Hour is a part of the Osiris Podcast Network.

Read more: https://relix.com/news/detail/the-relix-audio-hour-episode-eight-jimi-hendrixs-electric-ladyland-50th-anniversary-special/#ixzz5YMFluCVw

Joan Jett & Kenny Laguna College Radio Day Ambassadors

(Montclair, NJ) – Rock and Roll Hall of Famers Joan Jett and Kenny Laguna of Joan Jett and the Blackhearts have been named the official 2018 Ambassadors for College Radio Day, which is happening nationwide on Friday, October 5th, 2018.

For Joan Jett, the impact that college radio has had on her career has been hugely important: “College radio, when we were struggling, was one of the elements that really kept us afloat – being able to play gigs and people had heard of us because they were playing us on college radio stations. College radio was a big deal for us,” says Joan. This is echoed by Kenny Laguna, who says, “We’re definitely a product of college radio, and through the years we’ve managed to remain on college radio with the records we put out. It means a lot to us.”

After forming The Runaways, Jett has amassed an impressive string of gold and platinum albums while also breaking gender barriers in the music industry when people dismissed a girl with a guitar who was more Ramones than Joni Mitchell. Along with band member/producer/manager Kenny Laguna, they have soldiered on to great success in an ever-changing and unforgiving industry. For college radio, their toughness and journey are inspiring.

“Joan Jett and the Blackhearts have so much in common with college radio,” says CRD Vice President Anabella Poland, also General Manager of WMSC at Montclair State University in New Jersey. “They are honest, raw, gritty, unwavering to mainstream, and they put on a daily fight. College radio was there to support them from the very beginning, and we are delighted that they will be our ambassadors this year.” Jett and Laguna have recorded an exclusive interview to be played on participating stations nationwide during the day’s celebrations.

Set for Friday, October 5th, the 8th annual College Radio Day will unite college stations from around the world to bring awareness to the work and value college stations bring to the broadcasting medium. Hundreds of stations worldwide have signed on to participate. This year the theme is When All Else Fails, College Radio Speaks, which highlights how students create unique programming and content on college radio that is important to them and not heard on any other medium.

For more information about Joan Jett and the Blackhearts, please visit https://joanjett.com.CRD18-Ambassadorslogo-1-1024x576

Cayuga Sound Ticket Give Away

Dearest music fan,

It’s come to my attention that you may be looking for something to do on September 21-22. May I suggest a trip down to Ithaca’s 2nd annual Cayuga Sound festival? Headlined and curated by Ithaca’s X Ambassadors, this eclectic festival should have a little something for fans of every genre. You’re into Indie Pop? Why not come and see Matt and Kim & Young the Giant. You’re a fan of hip-hop? Come check out Talib Kweli and Buddy. That’s just to name a few- for a full list of artists, click here.

I know this seems like a lot to spring on you all at once, but you definitely have to come. All you need to do to get a ticket is to click me, and you’re all set for two days of some fantastic music. When was the last time you had that many bands condensed into a jam-packed weekend? Why not get a few friends together and make some memories you won’t be forgetting any time soon? It seems pretty clear that you want to join.

If you’re a little worried about getting the money together, I’ve got a surprise for you. Head on over to the @whws.fm on Instagram for the chance to win two tickets (for both days) of the music festival. You’re not going to want to miss this. In the meantime, head on over to 105.7 FM (or click the “listen” tab at the top of this page) to satisfy your music cravings. You’ll probably even hear a Cayuga Sound band or two.

Yours truly,


A Hard Day’s Night-Tonight!

The Smith Opera House has graciously agreed to host a mini-film festival this semester in conjunction with the HWS First Year Seminar, “Britpop: From the Beatles to Brexit.” The first film — A HARD DAY’S NIGHT, featuring the Beatles (obviously) — is screening TONIGHT at 7:00, and it is FREE for all students, staff, and faculty holding an HWS ID. Otherwise, tickets are $10 (adults) and $7 (students).




WHWS Radio Wants You!

Hobart and William Smith students looking to share their favorite music with the world are urged to join the WHWS radio team.   We’re looking for new and returning DJ’s to spin the tunes (click the file on the computer) for Geneva to hear on the air and everyone to hear on www.whws.fm!


Stop by the Scandling Center studios (next to the Post Office) and say hello!  Also stop by and grab a free t-shirt and find out more at the Involvement Expo on the quad on Friday 8/31!


The Decemberists Visit The Smith

“In the Hall of the Mountain King”, an orchestral piece written in 1875, tells the story of the dream-like fantasy of the title character standing in front the Mountain King with a great crowd of trolls, gnommes, and goblins. Then there is a tremendous uproar in the hall as the first lines are sung. “Slay him! The Christian man’s son has seduced the fairest maid of the Mountain King! Slay him! Slay him!”

The recorded song blasted from the 21-inch woofers Monday night at the Smith Opera House which opened just 19-years after the “In the Hall of the Mountain King” was written. Then there was an uproar as Colin Meloy and the Decemberists stepped up on their throne and blasted out “Everything is Awful” from their new release “I’ll Be Your Girl.”

Collin Meloy
I met Colin walking down Exchange Street.

The Portland, Oregon indie rock band has been around for 20 years and like any opera, their shows include politics and participation. Meloy sings about ‘that crashing sound” the sound of “everything is awful, everything is breaking down.” Ad-libbing “There’s white supermacist in the White House” and then pointing the microphone towards the nearly sold out crowd saying “Your being made to sing on the very first song of the concert.” And so it began two hours and 22-songs, from the band you never heard of, with sometimes flowery lyrics, lots of times dark, gothic-like lyrics.

New songs came quick “Your Ghost”, “Sucker’s Prayer” and the melodic “Cutting Stone.” Old favorites included “Grace Cathedral Hill”, “Yankeee Bayonet (I will Be Home Then)”, and the international intrigue story of “The Bagman’s Gambit.”

Photos by Jan Regan Photography-


My favorites were “Rox in a Box” when they slipped in a verse from “Blackleg Miner” then finshed again with “Rox in a Box.
Also it’s odd to like a song about infanticide, but always a crowd favorite “The Rake’s Song” from the rock opera “The Hazzards of Love” had five of the seven band members banging drums adding extra horror to the song’s dark lyrics.

More new songs including the synth-driven “Severed”, “Once In My Life” and the sing-a-long “We All Die Young.”

Add in the stars on the ceiling of the Smith, the great light show, the bands matching embroidered outfits, a floating whale ballon, and the giant skull with spinning X-ray eyes, it all made for a great show for all of us trolls, gnommes, and goblins.

Set List:

In the Hall of the Mountain King (recorded)

Everything is Awful
Your Ghost
Sucker’s Prayer
Make You Better
Cutting Stone
Grace Cathedral Hill
Yankee Bayonet (I Will Be Home Then)
The Bagman’s Gambit
Rox In The Box>Blackleg Miner>Rox In The Box
The Bandit Queen
Down by the Water
The Rake’s Song
We All Die Young
O Valencia!
Once in my Life
(Encore) Rusalka, Rusalka / Wild Rushes
Ben Franklin’s Song
I’ll Be Your Girl
The Mariner’s Revenge Song

-Greg Cotterill 4/25/18