Category Archives: Music

DJ curated music blog featuring new music, old music, good music, weird music, your music, my music, or whatever.

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An Interview with Ken Arimura

When I walked into Ken’s apartment on Friday afternoon he was in the middle of cooking himself lunch and the smell of sizzling olive oil and fresh pesto filled the room. I took a seat on the couch and when he was finished cooking he sat on the floor cross-legged, a bowl of salad in one hand and eggs in the other. He looked up at me nervously as we began talking.

Ken started playing drums when he was in sixth grade and picked up the guitar a couple years later. He currently plays guitar for the all junior band Touch It, although drums are his favorite to play.

“Ever since I was a kid I would take out metal bowls from the kitchen and use chopsticks to play with them. I decided to have a jam one day with two of my good friends and after that I figured this is what I want to do.”

When Ken came to CC he jammed casually with friends in the Mathias basement, and eventually the people who showed up to jam became consistent and Touch It gradually formed. Ken has played in a band before, specifically a death metal band called The Trees, but this is his first time playing guitar for a band full time.

“I used to only play drums, so this is a whole new thing. You’re much closer to the crowd. It makes you a lot more nervous. If I look up at the people and not at my fingers it’s like ‘ahhh’ I’m going to look over there and adjust some stuff.”

Ken’s mom has largely influenced the way he plays music. He says she has always been encouraging and open to new styles, even going as far as to listen to his death metal. She also is largely responsible for Ken’s interest in guitar; she gave him her old acoustic and introduced him to an 80’s power funk band called The Extremes that has heavily guided his style.

“I like finding repetitive patterns and milking it. I’m kind of a cheap bastard like that. To me, repeating a groove over and over again really gets you moving. It starts getting catchy and you start thinking, where can I go with this specific melody and harmony and what not, and what can I put on top of it?”

Ken plans to continue playing with Touch It but would like to start something new, too. Mainly because he wants to play drums more.

“I play guitar like a play drums, I don’t play drums like I play guitar.”

Ken is an incredibly talented musician who continues to impress his audience. Those close to him know how hard he practices and how this practice has paid off.

“Surprising yourself is worth it for me. Like whoa did I just do that? And then you try it again and you mess it up and you do that over and over again until you can add it to your dictionary. If I was jamming with someone I know that they’d throw stuff at me during the jam that I wouldn’t know how to respond to, but I want to know how to respond because then you can communicate. Learn music for the sake of sharing it with other people.”

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SONG OF THE DAY: Typhoon- “Young Fathers”

As much as I hate the term “indie rock,” I think Typhoon fits into the label perfectly. Typhoon is a band from Oregon made of about eleven members. Their music is marked by complicated orchestration that results in epic arrangements heard throughout their songs. White Lighter, their most recent album, is filled with grand songs containing percussion, violin, hand claps, whistles and a xylophone here and there. “Young Fathers” is a mix of adventurous instruments and sounds under (and sometimes over) Kyle Morton’s smooth voice. The females in the group sing some of the most interesting parts of the track, and their sound is unexpected when first heard. Overall a catchy, solid sounding song that I think most people would enjoy.

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SONG OF THE DAY: Lily & Madeleine – “Devil We Know”

Lily & Madeleine are two Ohioan sisters who write simple, quiet songs that express a depth of emotion for their understated image. Their voices match with an eery quality when they sing in unison (you can tell they’re related), and their close harmonies will make you want to listen over and over again.

Their song “Devil We Know” sings about April and incoming spring. The piano riff gently cascades throughout, but it’s the harmonies between the two that truly shine. Enjoy.

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An Interview with Jake Sabetta

I met Jake the first day of school in my FYE “Emotion and Meaning in Music.” He wore a humble grin that stretched across his face, the same grin that greeted me in upstairs Worner over the weekend as we sat down on the couches to talk.

Jake first started playing guitar when he was 11 years old after being exposed to legends like Jimi Hendrix and Eric Clapton. He became well known in the music scene at CC when he began playing with YouJazz, filling in for their guitarist Phoenix.

“I had played in front of huge crowds before but I never played to a crowd that was so receptive to the kind of music that I enjoyed playing. It gave me hope to see that kids my age like the same music that I enjoy playing.”

Jake now plays in Funkdozer, one of the four finalists in Battle of the Bands. Their group originally started as a trio with saxophone player Brian LeMeur and drummer Jake Lauer. Once they found a bassist, fellow freshman Dylan Pearl, they became a band.

“When we got back from Christmas break Brian got us our first gig above the Preserve. Kids really liked it! We were so surprised because we put all the songs together in five days, and just thought holy crap people actually liked it.”

This modest attitude that surrounds the all freshman band keeps them practicing, playing, and gaining more popularity on campus. Jake continues to shy away from compliments and shakes his head when anyone tries to give him one.

“We all think we suck.”

After their win at Battle of the Bands Jake and the rest of Funkdozer are still reeling. They played a risky set, choosing a 20 minute long jam session instead of a preset list of songs, that ultimately propelled them to tie with YouJazz for the most votes.

“Guitar is an instrument that is unexplored. With a lot of instruments there’s a method to how you get good at them, but with guitar it’s up to the player to figure it out themselves. You have to mess around and explore the fret board yourself. That’s so cool to me. I’ll sit down and figure new stuff out every time I play. I kind of don’t understand why I like it so much, but I just know the instrument has done a lot of good to me and that’s why I love it so much.”

SONG OF THE DAY: Fit$gerald

Before coming to CC, I heard so much about the outdoorsy culture, liberal mindsets, ski-lovers, and hippie lifestyles, but the music scene was not mentioned at all.

As a result, I was always curious about the music scene at Colorado College and how it thrived. Fortunately, I’ve been pleasantly surprised. Not only does SOCC play a major role but there is a wonderful music department, music ensembles, numerous student bands (Battle of the Bands was amazing by the way!), Open Mic Night, Llamapalooza, and other groups of students who are contributing to music and creating a community.

Good for news for me, my curiosity has allowed to me to find amazing people who have the same passion as me, inspiring me to continue to create music whenever I can.

Because of this I thought it’d be a wonderful idea to share the song Fit$Gerald by CC Students Romell, Sherman, Clay, Mamoun, and Alejandro.

 

 

 

 

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SONG OF THE DAY: Blondie- “Heart of Glass”

I would say that ‘pop’ is not something that catches a lot of my interest, however Blondie’s 80’s single “Heart of Glass” is everything that’s  right about this genre of music. It’s upbeat, catchy, and well produced. Her smooth high pitched vocals are deliciously combined with melodious instrumentals and a peppy background beat. Everything about it screams 1980 (in a good way). I can assure any listener that it is impossible to not tap your foot and/or nod your head while listening to this tune. Blondie is and will always remain a total babe, and “Heart of Glass” is a truly great song that demonstrates her striking talent. 

 

 

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YOU ME & APOLLO Rocks Out @ CC

Yet again, The SOCC brought an awesome band to campus. I would be really bummed if I hadn’t made it to the You Me & Apollo concert on Thursday night in Shove Chapel. You Me & Apollo is a band based in Fort Collins, CO, started and now led by the talented singer/songwriter Brent Cowles, a Colorado Springs native. With great variety in their musical repertoire, their songs range from country-ish, almost folky music, to a more mellow bluesy vibe. Only half-way into the first song, CC students couldn’t resist getting up and rushing the stage to dance along with the band. While listening, I was trying to place who Cowles sounded like from other bands I know. Finally, I figured it out. His voice and overall vibe was a mixture between Dan Auerbach of The Black Keys, Nathan Willett of Cold War Kids, and even Brittany Howard of the Alabama Shakes (because, lets face it, we all thought that her voice was a man’s the first time we heard it). Great combination if you ask me. They seamlessly interacted with the audience which I always appreciate, because what’s worse than awkward interactions between band members and their audience? They especially appreciated the animated dance moves of the students and called attention to them more than once.

The band released an album entitled Cards for Cheats back in 2011 which I highly recommend. They are expected to release their second album on May 9, so be sure to keep an ear out.

 

 

 

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EP OF THE DAY: Alpenglow – “Solitude”

Alpenglow /alp?n?gl?/ – “the rosy light of the setting or rising sun seen on high mountains”

Vermont-based band Alpenglow, formed at Middlebury College a few years back, released their debut EP “Solitude” this past October. Their atmospheric sound paired with the soaring vocals of Graeme Daubert place this band in a ripe spot for future success in today’s indie folk-rock scene.

I had the good fortune of seeing Alpenglow this past summer at a small music festival in Burlington, and I came away with one word: POLISHED. Although this band is in its beginning stages, they have a definitive, artful sound. The songs on this EP will inspire you to go bask in the glorious wilderness of Colorado and perhaps find that rosy glow on the snow-capped mountaintops.

On the title track, the fiddle and three-part harmonies contrast heavily with the amplified sound of the rest of the band, creating a country vs. city dynamic, also present in the lyrics: “If I wanted my solitude, I’d move to the city.”

The band bends these genres and images together with a delicious result.