Concert Review– Bad Bad Hats, Basement, and The Front Bottoms

By Jordan Raivel

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Over Thanksgiving break I had the great opportunity of attending a concert at the Fillmore in Silver Spring, Maryland. I had been at the venue once before as a young teen to see Cody Simpson (the greatest Australian teen singer of our generation) and the atmosphere was definitely different seeing acts that aren’t geared towards middle school girls. I had seen Bad Bad Hats, one of the opening bands, in DC two years prior which was a good time in a small venue. Although they played the same set as before, it was still a great show with a bigger, more enthusiastic crowd. The show consisted of favorites such as “Super America” and “It Hurts”. A trio from Minneapolis, Minnesota, Bad Bad Hats produces a fun and funky sound, propped by the quirky personality of lead vocalist Kerry Alexander. Their collective personality shines through in both their stage presence and music videos on YouTube, which are definitely worth checking out.

I had listened to Basement and the Front Bottoms briefly on Spotify before the concert, and have to admit I was not too jazzed about either of them. Thankfully, I was proved wrong when the Front Bottoms took the stage with a fun attitude, cool background videos, and enthusiastic band members. I now really enjoy some of their music, including “Peace Sign”, “Bae”, “Don’t Fill Up On Chips”, and “Raining”. They certainly have a large and enthusiastic following in the DC-metro area, and the crowd’s passion really enhanced the set.

On the other hand, I was not as pleased with the second opener, Basement. A pop punk group from Ipswich, England, Basement has been described as “melodic hardcore punk”, and I guess that’s just not my cup of tea. They had a fan base at the venue as well, but certainly not the size of the Front Bottoms’.

Check out some of Bad Bad Hats’ YouTube videos for songs such as “It Hurts”, “Shame”, and their cover of Shania Twain’s “That Don’t Impress Me Much”!!

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Your WHWS 2017-2018 DJs!!

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Broadcasting live from Hobart and William Smith Colleges… it’s the DJs of the 2017-2018 academic year!! Be sure to tune into 105.7 fm & be on the lookout for dj profiles, here on the blog!!

DJ Profiles — Jane & Lex

Meet two of our lovely WHWS DJs, Jane Lawrence & Lex Jones!
What are they studying? 
Jane is majoring Psychology and Education, but her minor is still “Undecided.”
Lex is majoring in Media and Society.
Where are they from?
Jane hails from Lexington, Massachusetts.
Lex is from from Saratoga, New York.
Both DJs are first year students at HWS and plan to graduate in 2021.
Astrological Signs???
Jane is a Pisces — and probably worried right now.
Lex is a ~moody~ Cancer.
When’s their show, and what’s it called?
Thursday at 6 p.m. tune in to hear their radio show, “Jex”!
What’s their show all about?
“Jex” (a clever combination of Jane + Lex) features weekly themes that range from movie soundtracks, to hits from past decades, to seasonal music!
What would they have written on their tombstones?
Jane: “Can I get a second chance?”
Lex: “At least I tried.”
What 1 artist would they listen to for the rest of eternity?
Jane: Tom Petty or Led Zeppelin
Lex: Nothing More
Favorite planet??
Jane: Pluto, because it’s misunderstood
Lex: Pluto because he’s small and trying
Cam’s or Mark’s? 🍕🍕🍕

Both: Mark’s

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Who is the Soul Eraser?

By Laurel Brown

 

Have you listened in to our newest DJ, the Soul Eraser? Well we were lucky to contact him for an interview in order to learn a little more about him and his radio show!

Q: How did the Soul Eraser come about?

A: “I came up with the persona this semester before starting WHWS again. Since I started doing radio my fall of Freshman year, I’ve always been trying to improve the quality of my show and get more creative with it. One thing I realized is that I get sort of self-conscious while trying to speak into the mic, and I would always come off as a little awkward. I think the persona gives me a little buffer, and it allows me to become another figure that is not just [me] doing radio. It makes me more comfortable speaking on air and it lets me have fun with the audience too. The name comes from a Grouper song.”

Q: Would you consider it a persona, a character, an entity, a mood even?​

A: “I would say that the Soul Eraser is more of an ethereal being. I like to imagine him as a ghostly figure who haunts the airwaves, and can’t really be reached unless you tune into the show. I’m a very spiritual person and I find listening to music to be very connected to my spirit too. The Soul Eraser allows me to express my music taste in a way that comes straight from my heart without the constraints of human consciousness.”

Q: What kind of topics do you discuss on your show? What kind of music do you play?

A: “I mainly talk about the music as is and what kind of feelings it conveys to me. I like playing Ambient, Post-Rock, and any sort of moody or emotional guitar-orientated music. The music I’m really into is typically very dramatic and melancholy, which I think matches the late-night hour really well too.

Q: What is your goal in approaching broadcasting from this perspective?

A: “My goal with this is to explore my capabilities as a DJ and a creative. I think my show and my vision has always been unique. I also love picturing the image of some random person flipping through the stations at night, coming across some heavy drone track, having the cackling voice of The Soul Eraser follow, and just being totally thrown off. That’s something you would never hear on the radio! I like coming into the space of radio and just totally dropping it on its head.

Q: Do you ever invite/plan to invite guests on your show?

A: “I experimented with having guests on my show before, but I think I prefer doing my show alone. I like being in control of the atmosphere, and carefully planning which track should follow which. I treat the show as my own personal space where I can express myself as I want.”

Q: Favorite part about WHWS radio?!

A: “I love everything about WHWS. I think it’s a really great outlet for students on this campus who want to let their creative and musical voices ring out. Going through everyone’s playlist and getting to see everyone’s selections is so beautiful to me. I think music taste says a lot about people, and having a space like WHWS where students can come and choose what they want to broadcast is truly amazing. Being able to listen to and share music is a gift.”

Q: What should listeners be prepared for before tuning into your show?

A: “Do not expect a typical college radio show. The Soul Eraser takes you on a sacred journey that will be sure to open your Third Eye.”

Q: Any other important comments about your show/persona?

A: “Listen at your own risk.”

Intrigued? So are we! Be sure to tune in to WHWS 105.7 FM on Wednesdays at 10 pm to listen to The Soul Eraser Hour!

Robert Plant Releases New Album ‘Carry Fire’

By Laurel Brown

Calling all Zeppelin fans!

Renowned singer and Led Zeppelin frontman Robert Plant has released a brand new solo album! Released on October 12, his album Carry Fire stays true to the bluesy, ballad-style singing that landed Plant in one of the greatest rock and roll bands of all time.

This, he claims, is due to his return to Britain and his roots after living in Austin, Texas for many years. Why did he suddenly return home? “It was my own inability to deal with the rabid attention that was paid to me – and there was kind of no way to hide it,” he told Independent.

Opening with the song “The May Queen,” Carry Fire has all the elements of the twangy rock and mountain music Zeppelin was known for, with more of a Plant-centered twist. His lyrics carry narrative forms and are delivered in a half-rasp, half-screech of emotion, backed by layered guitars and echoing vocal effects that give Plant a transcendent sound. This album is a pure fusion of blues and rock, of soul and folk.

One of the strongest tracks on the album, “New World…”, calls for freedom and a return to organic coexistence, driven by quiet guitar rips and gentle percussion. “I don’t think I write to suite anybody,” Plant said of his lyrics. “I just write to suit my mood.”plant2

“Heaven Sent”, my personal favorite, leads in with solemn violins and weepy, reverbed guitar notes drawn out to create an eerie, haunting sound. Plant’s voice drifts across the song, whispering hints of despair and a broken heart: “Now shadows fall, the hour is late/ Still hear your songs and time won’t wait/ Once heaven sent above the world an eagle and a dove.”

One of the songs on the album called “Carving Up the World Again… A Wall Not a Fence” even makes a strongly political statement, using rhetoric from both President Trump and post-Brexit issues. The title itself, in fact, is a portion of a quote from Trump regarding the refugee crisis. “There’s progress in many areas of humanity, but it’s juxtaposed with doors slamming and pain,” Plant said.

Living in America, Plant revealed, was a great experience. “It was one of the most rewarding, classic periods of my life. And it was just such a tear to leave America and return to Britain,” he said.

Now, back in Britain, he is ready to perform his new material. Fractured hip hop beats mask funky synthesizers on Carry Fire and, when paired with his lyrics of contradicting hope and despair, these songs breathe a new kind of life to the musical community.

As for a future Led Zeppelin reunion? Plant told Independent that probably was not in the cards. “I’m in the middle of my own joy. I don’t need anything else.”