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Staff Picks November 2015!

Welcome back to Staff Picks! It has been a (long, long) while since the last Staff Picks update, so we hope that these amazing albums make up for it.

Rococode - Panic AttackRococode – Panic Attack

by Dylan Blankenship, News Reporter

This is a quirky little something from the delightfully named Rococode, a boy/girl duo hailing from Vancouver BC. Produced in an isolated cabin somewhere in Canada this album definitely has some traces of that cabin fever vibe. A strange blend of synths, guitars, loop, and drums this album almost seems like it was written as a soundtrack for the next Sundance Film Festivle winner. If you like indie music then you will love Panic Attack.  Also a side note, those familiar with Civil Wars will appreciate the boy/girl duo done right in this album along with the nostalgic feel it has with it.

 

 

 

 

rustie-evenifudontbelieveRustie – EVENIFUDONTBELIEVE

by Michael Stormo, Production Manager

Ten minutes til my last class before a much needed recess from this semester, and here I am, hastily drafting this staff pick. Like many tasks that have come before me in the realm of education/work, this was saved for the last minute; No pressure, no diamonds.

EVENIFUDONTBELIEVE… What a trip. It’s an eclectic mesh of various noises; synths, trill hi-hats, a little wub-wub, and sounds of the sea.

My first listen of this project took place late this past weekend in my bed. I was likely asleep within the first 10 seconds of the album (no shade to the music), and was rudely shocked awake minutes later as track #2, “First Mythz **” began, signaled by the shrill clicks of a dolphin. Really terrifying thing to have blast in your ears while you’re half asleep.

But I digress. After a couple of listens, my determination is so: solid album, right up the alley of sounds that I enjoy. Made me pretty mad that I skipped over his set at Bonnaroo this summer.

If you’re into electronic music of any kind, I’d give it a try. Feeling a decent to strong 7 on this. Have you given this thing a listen? Did you love it, did you hate it, why? Michaely Stormtano, out.

 

kingsarmyresurrectionKing’s Army – Resurrection

By David Blake, Production Assistant

King’s Army Resurection was Initially released online as King’s Army Riddim. Evereasy Music Entertainment took on the challenge to rerelease it under the inherently talented Rob Darling who re-mixed and mastered it to perfection at the Harms Way Studio. This 12 track compact disc compalation is now released globally. It features some of Jamaica’s finest vocalist, which share there own thoughts over this distinguished melodic beat. This creation spans from one’s self-motivation to forward thinking of self worth.

 

The King’s Army Resurrection riddim typifies a mixture of a slick one-drop and initially abrasive-sounding saw-toothed synth keys. They contrast with the sweet emotive singing voices of Wayne Wonder (Better Day’s) and Tanto Metro & Devonte (I’m a Fighter). Likewise the more conservative dancehall fan should enjoy artist like Shuga (Good Suh) and Capital D (Herbalist). And for Roots head there’s Petah Morgan (Guns &Armor) and Sizzla Kalonji (Love Alone).
Even though this album has a wide range of artist it is still an album that you can feel the everforward message of struggle, peace. and love.

 

a1428304161_10Sun Club – The Dongo Durango

by Taylor Hodges, Music Manager

Alas, just a little late to use as a soundtrack for summer. “The Dongo Durango” by Sun Club would have been the perfect background music to have on during some late teens/early 20s summer fun. Sun Club, a five piece band from Baltimore, seems like they would be really fun to hang out with. I tried to get some more info from their facebook page, but basically all they have listed on the “About” section is the names of the band members: big snack, d-mac, special K, petunia, and triscuit.

Slightly angsty at times, there are plenty of Indie Pop riffs to keep the album appropriately lighthearted. Percussion is nothing too crazy, and really there is nothing crazy or new about this album. I’m not familiar with anything else Sun Club has done, but this was a fun and enjoyable album all the way through. 3/5, worth checking out if you want a fun album for summer outdoor activities.

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UAA Athletics Student Fee Increase Request Withdrawn

Courtesy UAA Athletics
Courtesy UAA Athletics

Athletics Director Keith Hackett, his hair more salt than pepper, walks down the hall to his office in the Alaska Airlines Center. Along the way he stops to greet the office staff, he seems to know all their names. He pauses to discuss the lovely Alaskan art on the walls and explains that the long, lonely and plain wall without art is meant to showcase student art in the near feature. Reaching his office Keith, jovial and friendly, takes a seat ready to talk about why he withdrew his request for a $5 per credit increase in the Athletics student fee.

Earlier this semester Director Hackett met with the UAA Union of Students (USUAA) to request a $5 dollar per credit increase in the Athletics student fee, which would have come to a $14 fee per credit hour. Director Hackett tells KRUA the fee increase was meant to meet student needs, expand programs like the cheerleading program which he considers an asset to sporting events, and help the athletics program as it faces and deals with hefty state funding cuts.

From the start Young Americans for Liberty, a University club had spoken out in opposition to the proposed increase. Ben Edwards from the group tells KRUA the group opposed the increase because the Athletics Department’s proposed fee increase caters to a select student population and the not the totality of the student body; those who would be paying the fee.

In lieu of the Board of Regents’ considering a proposal to raise tuition, Director Hackett withdrew his request for a student fee increase, which he says was out of respect for the student body.

Was Keith Hackett right to withdrawal his request for an increased student fee? Should other departments, following Hackett’s lead, withdraw their own student fee increase requests? We would like to know what you think, drop us a line and let us know!

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Darkstar – Foam Island

10 30 2015 Darkstar - Foam Island

I had no clue what to think when I put this album in and hit play. Darkstar, an electronic duo based in the UK, start their newest album “Foam Island” with looped statements, segments taken from interviews conducted and recorded by the artists themselves. “… kindness and honesty. Just… basic things.” says one of the interviewees, likely reflecting on relationships and the state of life in North Yorkshire, where the interviews took place.

The melancholy vocals interact with the upbeat, almost poppy melodies and help Darkstar build a facade to mask all problems, a parody and commentary on the state of government affairs in the UK. “Youth is too proud to strike a balance/the hold of fate has swung”, a dark lyric from “Stoke The Fire” which then fades into “Cuts”, a song featuring a spokesperson tasked with positively spinning budget cuts.

Sadness persists throughout the album, through the instrumental “Tilly’s Theme” and the last track “Days Burn Blue”. Evocative imagery and heartfelt responses from the interviewees are littered throughout the entire album, contributing to the atmosphere of vibrant people with deep feelings being painted onto a gray background. The insert that came with the promotional copy of the CD also contributes to that atmosphere by featuring portraits of distinctly UK individuals.

This album reminds me of the latest Silicon release “Personal Computer” which I also reviewed, so if you liked that then I definitely recommend this. I would also challenge anyone who isn’t necessarily into electronic music to give this a shot, as it has shoegaze, pop and punk influences. As an aside, I am asking all readers and KRUA listeners to send me a list of albums that have had significant influence in their lives, and you can send those lists to uaa_krua9@uaa.alaska.edu (make the lists as long or as short as you’d like).

Rating: 4/5

Track Listing:

  1. Basic Things
  2. Inherent In The Fibre
  3. Stoke The Fire
  4. Cuts
  5. Go Natural
  6. A Different Kind Of Struggle
  7. Pin Secure
  8. Through The Motions
  9. Tilly’s Theme
  10. Foam Island
  11. Javan’s Call
  12. Days Burn Blue