Staff music picks: October

“While it’s not new, the 2009 ‘BlakRoc’ album by The Black Keys is still on my iPhone playlists and has one of the highest play counts of any album I own (and I have over 20,000 songs in my music library). Hip-hop producer Damon Dash, cofounder of Roc-A-Fella Records, initiated the recording project because he wanted to work with The Keys, so he brought hip-hop artist Jim Jones into the studio to record with them.

“The project really took off when rappers Ludacris, Mos Def, NOE, Pharoahe Monch, Q-Tip and Wu-Tang Clan members RZA, Raekwon and Ol’ Dirty Bastard (posthumously) became involved. Rhythm and blues singer Nicole Wray also lent her sultry voice to the raunchy guitar grooves and eerie keyboard sounds The Keys laid down, adding yet another genre into this oddball mixture.

“While I respect Run-DMC, Public Enemy, Eminem and a number of other musicians who have tried to mix the genres of rock ‘n’ roll and hip-hop, most of those mashups never hit the mark for me, until the ‘BlakRoc’ album that is. It’s the exception that shows what can happen when the right mixture of talent from different musical genres get together and pull off an amazing feat. In my opinion, there’s not a bad track on the whole album.”

-Bryan Alfaro, Editor-in-Chief

“I’m kind of drifting to that weird zone of music; I’ve been listening to Radiohead and Muse.

“Radiohead is straight up bizarre. They have their own unique ambient sound.

“Muse is similar to Radiohead, but catchier. They have the same ambient sound with a more defined beat.”

-Christine “Crass” Deneweth, Comics Editor

“P!nk: There are few artists whose passion is not only heard in their music but also felt. P!nk is one of them. ‘Perfect’ is one of P!nk’s songs where her passion is felt through her vocals as well as through the story the song tells: It’s about a girl who doesn’t fit in starting in kindergarten and through high school. Then, after a near-tragic event, begins loving herself for who she is.

“American Head Charge: For those who enjoy watching boys and girls prance around in pink tutus while listening to the local symphony play Tchaikovsky, I suggest you cover your ears now. American Head Charge is an industrial metal band whose lyrics might repulse most, however, for those of us looking to vent anger and aggression out on heavy weights or other forms of intense exercise, I find ‘Seamless’ from ‘The War of Art’ album a good warm up.

“Antonín Dvo?ák: Dvo?ák’s Symphony No. 9 is hands down my favorite classical work. When I hear this classical piece, it tells an epic tale of the struggles and subsequent triumph of the American frontier. As the horns yield to the string instruments, I can envision the sun rising over a Kansas wheat field, adding to its already vibrant, golden color.”

-Sammy DeMarco, Opinions Editor

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