Categories
Blog Playlists

On Melancholia

Melancholic music knows no genre bounds but rather manifests in the minds of people with similar thoughts and feelings. I’ve put together a playlist that includes some of my favorite “sad” music that makes use of insightful, personal, or simply raw lyricism. There’s quite a bit of genre mixing as the first line of this post implies, so I hope there’s a track or two (or fifteen) for everyone. 

  1. “Drive All Over Town” by Elliott Smith
  2. “Giving Up” by Corbin
  3. “And I Love Her” by Kurt Cobain
  4. “Milk and Honey – 2001 Remaster” by Jackson C. Frank
  5. “Mis” by Alex G
  6. “Agony” by Yung Lean
  7. “Novocaine” by Fog Lake
  8. “Half Right” by Heatmiser
  9. “I Love How You Love Me – Live” by Jeff Mangum
  10. “Some Things Last A Long Time” by Daniel Johnston
  11. “The Moon (Acoustic)” by The Microphones
  12. “Hands” by Joy Again
  13. “Notches” by Crywank
  14. “In Love” by Alex G
  15. “I’ve Seen It” by ARTHUR

Click here to listen on Spotify.

I hope you all aren’t feeling melancholic, but as winter approaches rapidly and with a cold bite, maybe this playlist will keep you warm when you’re not feeling so right.

Here’s to plugging Elliott Smith into WKNC content as often as possible,

Silya Bennai

Categories
Blog Playlists

Fear Bathroom

My roommate and I (and our third friend who doesn’t technically live here but has a key and essentially could) are throwing a Halloween party at our apartment. We made an extremely long and dance-inclined playlist for the main area (Check out my last party playlist post for some ideas: “Oh, To Be At A Party” ), but we also created the Fear Bathroom. We will be playing a separate playlist full of creepy music in the bathroom during the party. Check out a shorter version below:

  1. “Cow Song” by Meredith Monk, Collin Walcott
  2. “Janitor Of Lunacy” by Nico
  3. “#11” by Aphex Twin
  4. “Dreams Made Flesh (Remastered)” by This Mortal Coil
  5. “Xen” by Arca
  6. “Memory Gongs” by Cocteau Twins, Harold Budd
  7. “Beachy Head – Remastered” by Throbbing Gristle
  8. “Chimeras” by Tim Hecker
  9. “Mantra 1” by Popol Vuh
  10. “Black Light” by BJ Nilsen
  11. “POLLUTION” by JACKIE EXTREME
  12. “Sycamore Trees” by Jimmy Scott
  13. “Kurt Ambiance” by Kurt Cobain

Click here to listen to the playlist on Spotify. Have a safe and fun Halloweekend and beware of the bathroom.

Here’s to the singular red bulb that will shed light only from behind the shower glass,

Silya Bennai

Categories
Playlists

A Playlist For The End of The Day

At the end of some days, all I want to do is invite my friend Josh over to talk and hang out while we listen to music. These evenings are some of my favorites: relaxing, pure, and full of laughter. The two of us made a very long playlist for these sort of get togethers, so I’ve decided to make a shorter version to share with you all. What’s better than decompressing musically with one of your best friends? Nothing. Check it out below:

  1. “Ur2yung” by Machinedrum
  2. “Spookie Coochie” by DOECHII
  3. “It’s Possible” by Piero Piccioni, Catherine Howe
  4. “Clementine” by Elliott Smith
  5. “Friday (Strip Club)” by SpaceGhostPurrp
  6. “Bobby James” by N.E.R.D
  7. “Beautiful” by Snoop Dogg, Pharrell Williams, Uncle Charlie Wilson
  8. “Go2DaMoon” by Playboi Carti, Kanye West
  9. “Sour Times” by Portishead
  10. “Short Circuit” by Daft Punk
  11. “What More Can I Say” by The Notations
  12. “LA” by Boy Harsher

Click here to listen to the playlist on Spotify.

It’s an eclectic playlist to say the least, but that means there may be something for everyone. I hope you find what you didn’t even know you were looking for.

Here’s to good music and good friends,

Silya Bennai

Categories
New Album Review

New Album (EP) Review: “Red Hand Akimbo” by Paris Texas

ALBUM (EP): “Red Hand Akimbo” by Paris Texas

RELEASE YEAR: 2021

LABEL: Paris Texas LLC

RATING: 8.2/10

BEST TRACKS: “girls like drugs” and “BULLSEYE”

FCC: Explicit language

Paris Texas, the musical duo consisting of producer Louis Pastel and rapper Felix, brings a fullness and humor to alternative rap that’s proven exciting and inventive. The two met in community college in South Central, Los Angeles and have worked together officially as Paris Texas for over three years now, but their music tells a different story. “Red Hand Akimbo” is so tightly-crafted that you’d think these two had been working together for most of their lives. While their sound has remained consistently vibrant and interesting, “Red Hand Akimbo” sees Pastel and Felix pulling together a work far more cohesive than their previous project, “BOY ANONYMOUS.” Their new EP flows together seamlessly, even making use of comedic interludes that make me laugh a bit every time. The EP has only five tracks, but I still had trouble choosing my top two.

The second song on “Red Hand Akimbo” is pure fun. “girls like drugs” brings together rap and rock, layered with what reads as grunge inspiration (despite Paris Texas’ denial of any influence from the Seattle sound), which all makes for a unique and high-energy experience. If girls like drugs, then this track is the best medicine on the market.

“I’ve been smokin’ cigarettes until my lungs bleed,” is the moody and heavy opener that sets the tone for the fourth track of the EP just for it to be turned around with an Assassin’s Creed reference in the next line. “BULLSEYE” is angry, loud, funny, and passionate. I can imagine a crowd jumping around at a Paris Texas show, screaming these lyrics, and sweating a little too much. The vocal distortion in the chorus is King Krule-esque with just enough pop in the background to keep the energy up. The last forty seconds drop the vocals completely and showcase that specific brand of lo-fi hip-hop study beats that somehow just works in this song.

Overall, the project is criminally short, coming in at just under thirteen minutes, but I swear it’s worth every second. I can’t wait to see what the duo puts out next, and perhaps they say it best themselves on “Epilogue,” the spoken final track of the EP: “And the only path these two will follow is up, and if it is up, then it shall remain stuck.”

Here’s to getting stuck on good music,

Silya Bennai

Categories
Blog Concert Review Festival Coverage

Hopscotch Music Festival 2021 Series: My Experience

Now that I’ve had some time to reflect, I’m finally ready to share my 2021 Hopscotch experience. While I didn’t see all of the performances, I did get to see most of the major acts: Helado Negro, Animal Collective, Flying Lotus, Hippo Campus, and Caroline Polachek.

I was somewhat surprised by how much I enjoyed Helado Negro; I’d never heard his music before, but his performance was lively, kind, and felt like home. I cannot say the same about Animal Collective. They played almost exclusively new music and the crowd was clearly disappointed. That being said, the unique vocals and skilled instrumentals were undeniable. Flying Lotus, while a whole lot of fun, was nearly too loud to enjoy. With my Photo Pass, I was able to shoot most of the performances from in front of the barrier, but I wasn’t able to shoot Flying Lotus because of the volume of his music. From the barely audible crowd mumblings, I could sense that I wasn’t the only one struggling with the volume. Hippo Campus was easy and enjoyable, and for the big fans, I’m sure it was the best. They even took to the floor after their set to meet people and explore the festival which I appreciated. Finally, Caroline Polachek. I am certainly in the minority with this opinion, but I just do not like her music. The performance was contrived (though I did like her outfit) and most of the songs had no appeal for me. 

Aside from the music, I was surprised by the lack of food and drink vendors. There were certainly some present, but a small amount compared to what I expected. That being said, it was the first Hopscotch of the COVID era so some things were just smaller. 

I appreciated the opportunity to attend Hopscotch and I’m looking forward to seeing Hopscotch return even bigger and better next year.

Here’s to the loose pug that ran around outside the Moore Square venue,

Silya Bennai

Categories
Blog Miscellaneous Non-Music News Playlists

It Feels New To Me: A Playlist

Something feels new. Yes – fall just started, my roommate got a new laptop, and I dyed my hair bluish. I still think it’s something else. There’s something going on that has me thinking things could simply start anew. A new attitude, new approach, new anything. To reflect all this newness, I made a playlist of songs I like that are new to me:

  • “Watch” by Arca, Shygirl
  • “You Go to My Head – Take 1” by Billie Holiday
  • “Asmr” by Only Fire
  • “Bring” by Randomer
  • “No More Shubz” by Klein
  • “HAD TO DID IT ON EM” by Human Part
  • “The Man” by N.E.R.D
  • “Call For Help” by Pearly Drops
  • “Frenchcore Loca – Original Mix” by Randy, Radium
  • “It’s Possible” by Piero Piccioni, Catherine Howe
  • “Kamala” by D.R. Hooker

There’s no true rhyme or reason to this playlist other than that it suits this newness that I know exists but that I cannot explain. I hope this makes sense to someone.

Here’s to feeling new and acting accordingly,

Silya Bennai

Categories
Festival Coverage Miscellaneous

Hopscotch Music Festival 2021 Series: Bag Tour

WIth one day of Hopscotch under my belt, I’m looking forward to the rest. Hippo Campus and Caroline Polachek put on fun shows, and I’m looking forward to Dr. Dog and Animal Collective, among others.  With my photo press pass, I’ve been lucky enough to get close to the stages to shoot different sets. Speaking of cameras, I thought I’d give you all a bag tour of what I take to Hopscotch.

  1. Canon HD Camcorder (with charger): I’m taking shots of the music sets I attend, the crowds, my WKNC coworkers/friends, and the two “venues.”
  1. Nikon Nice Touch Zoom 35mm Point & Shoot Film Camera (with extra film & batteries): For pictures of the acts and my friends.
  1. Wallet: With my ID, vaccine card, and money.
  1. Inhaler: I have asthma.
  1. Sunglasses: To protect my precious eyes.
  1. Face Mask: Obviously. 
  1. Phone: Always on me.
  1. Gum: I’m anti-mask breath.
  1. Photo Pass: For a better chance at better shots. Side note: Being super close to the stage is pretty surreal.

Here’s to the NCSU library for letting me borrow the camcorder,

Silya Bennai

Categories
Band/Artist Profile Concert Preview Festival Coverage

Hopscotch Music Festival 2021 Series: Animal Collective

Animal Collective is difficult to pin down and a lot of fun to consume. Luckily, the band is performing this year at Hopscotch Music Festival on Saturday, September 11th at 9:30 pm at City Plaza. Keep reading to learn a little bit about the band and their discography.

The American experimental band came together in Baltimore, Maryland in 2003. Animal Collective, consisting of Avey Tare (David Portner), Panda Bear (Noah Lennox), Deakin (Josh Dibb), and Geologist (Brian Weitz), weave genres through their unique vocal combinations, ambiance, and pop foundations. The members began to musically collaborate when they met in school before the band was officially formed. Their discography consists of a variety of retroactively added music, studio albums, extended plays, live albums, visual albums, and a soundtrack album. 

Check out their full discography below:

Studio Albums:
– Spirit They’re Gone, Spirit They’ve Vanished (2000) (as Avey Tare and Panda Bear)
– Danse Manatee (2001) (as Avey Tare, Panda Bear and Geologist)
– Campfire Songs (2003) (as Campfire Songs)
– Here Comes the Indian (2003) (also known as Ark)
– Sung Tongs (2004)
– Feels (2005)
– Strawberry Jam (2007)
– Merriweather Post Pavilion (2009)
– Centipede Hz (2012)
– Painting With (2016)

Extended Plays:
– Prospect Hummer (2005) (with Vashti Bunyan)
– People (2006)
– Water Curses (2008)
– Fall Be Kind (2009)
– Keep + Animal Collective (2011)
– Transverse Temporal Gyrus (2012)
– Monkey Been to Burn Town (2013)
– The Painters (2017)
– Meeting of the Waters (2017)
– Bridge to Quiet (2020)

Live Albums:
– Hollinndagain (2002) (as Avey Tare, Panda Bear and Geologist)
– Animal Crack Box (2009)
– Live at 9:30 (2015)
– Ballet Slippers (2019)
– 2 Nights (2020)[112]

Visual Albums:
– ODDSAC (2010)
– Tangerine Reef (2018)

Soundtrack Album:
– Crestone (Original Score) (2021)[113]

I know I’ll be at the Animal Collective set at Hopscotch and I hope you will be, too.

Here’s to my favorite Animal Collective track, “Who Could Win a Rabbit,”

Silya Bennai

Categories
Blog Miscellaneous Music Education

Some of My Favorite Movie Soundtracks

I love movies. Who doesn’t? That being said, I took it so far that I’m now a film major, and I’m convinced I will make movies for the rest of my life. There’s an unbelievable amount of components and sheer work that go into creating a film, much less a good one, and one of those aspects is the soundtrack. Some films have songs made just for them and some curate from outside sources. Regardless, it’s usually very clear when soundtracks are good. Here are some of my favorites:

Good Will Hunting (1997)

1. “Between the Bars (Orchestral)” by Elliott Smith

2. “As the Rain” by Jeb Loy Nichols

3. “Angeles” by Elliott Smith

4. “No Name #3” by Elliott Smith

5. “Fisherman’s Blues” by The Waterboys

6. “Why Do I Lie?” by Luscious Jackson

7. “Will Hunting” (Main Titles)” by Danny Elfman

8. “Between the Bars” by Elliott Smith

9. “Say Yes” by Elliott Smith

10. “Baker Street” by Gerry Rafferty

11. “Somebody’s Baby by Andru Donalds

12. “Boys Better” by The Dandy Warhols

13. “How Can You Mend a Broken Heart?” by Al Green

14. “Miss Misery” by Elliott Smith

15. “Weepy Donuts” by Danny Elfman

Pride & Prejudice (2005)
***Composed by Dario Marianelli and performed by Jean-Yves Thibaudet (piano) and the English Chamber Orchestra.***

  1. “Dawn”
  2. “Stars and Butterflies”
  3. “The Living Sculptures of Pemberley”
  4. “Meryton Townhall”
  5. “The Militia Marches In”
  6. “Georgiana”
  7. “Arrival At Netherfield”
  8. “A Postcard to Henry Purcell”
  9. “Liz on Top of the World”
  10. “Leaving Netherfield”
  11. “Another Dance”
  12. “The Secret Life of Daydreams”
  13. “Darcy’s Letter”
  14. “Can’t Slow Down”
  15. “Your Hands Are Cold”
  16. “Mrs. Darcy”
  17. “Credits”

Mad Max: Fury Road (2015)
***Composed by Tom Holkenborg a.k.a. Junkie XL.***

  1. “Survive”
  2. “Escape”
  3. “Immortan’s Citadel”
  4. “Blood Bag”
  5. “Spikey Cars”
  6. “Storm Is Coming”
  7. “We Are Not Things”
  8. “Water”
  9. “The Rig”
  10. “Brothers in Arms”
  11. “The Bog”
  12. “Redemption”
  13. “Many Mothers”
  14. “Claw Trucks”
  15. “Chapter Doof” (Extended Version)
  16. “My Name Is Max” (Extended Version)
  17. “Let Them Up”

Trainspotting (1996)

  1. “Lust for Life” by Iggy Pop
  2. “Deep Blue Day” by Brian Eno
  3. “Trainspotting” by Primal Scream
  4. “Atomic” by Sleeper 
  5. “Temptation” by New Order
  6. “Nightclubbing” by Iggy Pop
  7. “Sing” by Blur
  8. “Perfect Day” by Lou Reed
  9. “Mile End” by Pulp
  10. “For What You Dream Of” (Full On Renaissance Mix) by Bedrock featuring KYO
  11. “2:1” by Elastica
  12. “A Final Hit” by Leftfield
  13. “Born Slippy .NUXX” by Underworld
  14. “Closet Romantic” by Damon Albarn

Dr. Strangelove or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb (1964)
***All tracks performed by Prague Philharmonic Orchestra.***

  1. “Also Sprach Zarathustra” by Richard Strauss
  2. “Spartacus-Main Title” by Alex North
  3. “Ode to Joy” by Ludwig van Beethoven
  4. “Women of Ireland” by Traditional
  5. “Sarabande”
  6. “Full Metal Jacket-Themes” by Abigail Mead
  7. “Surfin’ Bird” by Bob Harris (Performance feat. The Trashmen”
  8. “Main Title/The Robbery” by Gerald Fried
  9. “Murder ‘Mongst the Mannikins” by Gerald Fried
  10. “A Meditation on War” by Gerald Fried
  11. “Madness” by Gerald Fried
  12. “The Patrol” by Gerald Fried
  13. “March of the Gloved Gladiators” by Gerald Fried
  14. “The Shinning-Theme” by Wendy Carlos / Rachel Elkind
  15. “Midnight, the Stars and You (The Shining Blue Star)” (Performance feat. Al Bowlly
  16. “Lolita-Love Theme” Bob Harris
  17. “On the Beautiful Blue Danube”
  18. “The Bomb Run” by Laurie Johnson
  19. “We’ll Meet Again” by Hughie Charles / Ross Parker (Performance feat. Vera Lynn)

Here’s to music in movies (just not musicals),

Silya Bennai

Categories
Blog Miscellaneous Music Education Playlists

Oh, To Be At A Party

Parties. There’s nothing else like them. After a long week of classes, work, and stress, dancing and talking without having to put in much effort is a welcomed experience. Beyond the space, people, drinks, and lighting, one of the most important aspects of a party is the music.

I don’t claim to know how to make the perfect party playlist, but I do have a few ideas. First, make it collaborative. When there’s multiple people contributing to the playlist, you’re almost guaranteed that there’s going to be enough variety to satisfy everyone at the party at some point or another. Second, a good mix of electronic, grunge, throwback, and joke songs (that aren’t really joke songs because everyone loves them) makes for a great time. Finally, I’d recommend keeping the music loud enough that you can’t make out anyone’s conversation but your own, but quiet enough that you don’t get a noise complaint.

For some party playlist ideas, check out my playlist below (inspired by a real collaborative party playlist I recently made with some friends):

  1. “Bicep” by TR/ST
  2. “A.M. 180” by Grandaddy
  3. “Opus3” by dapurr, The Hellp
  4. “The Book Lovers” by Broadcast
  5. “Celestica” by Crystal Castles
  6. “Tu Tu Neurotic” by The Hellp
  7. “Rapp Snitch Knishes” by MF DOOM, Mr Fantastik
  8. “PHONKY TOWN” by PlayaPhonk
  9. “Miss Camaraderie” by Azealia Banks
  10. “Motion” by Boy Harsher
  11. “999” by PlayaPhonk
  12. “Go2DaMoon” by Playboi Carti, Kanye West
  13. “Linger” by The Cranberries
  14. “Idioteque” by Radiohead
  15. “What’s Important” by Beat Happening
  16. “Disparate Youth” by Santigold
  17. “Lake of Fire” by Meat Puppets
  18. “Hunker Down” by Corbin
  19. “EAST” by Earl Sweatshirt
  20. “Brick” by Alex G
  21. “Going Deeper” by Tree Threes
  22. “Melaleuca” by Yu Su
  23. “Call For Help” by Pearly Drops
  24. “Can You Feel It” by Mr. Fingers
  25. “vs Reality” by AYA GLOOMY
  26. “DotA” by Basshunter
  27. “Making Up” by Dead Mellotron

Click here to listen to the playlist on Spotify.

Here’s to Emma, Molly, and Gabe for their epic contributions,

Silya Bennai