4/10/2013, 9:36pm

Matt on Music: 15 favorite songs of the '90s

The early ’90s was one of the best times for alternative rock and the late ’90s was one of the best times for pop singles. The ’90s were just an awesome time for music overall, so here are my 15 favorite songs of the decade.

4/10/2013, 9:32pm

Bands play tribute to the ‘Mats

Bastards of young, dope smokin’ morons, girls who play make-up and wear guitar. If any of that describes you or you’d just like to hear a group of bands pay tribute to one of the greatest American rock groups of all time, come to Woodruff’s, located at 36 E. Cross St. in Ypsilanti, on Saturday at 9 p.m. for ‘Mats Fest.

4/7/2013, 8:31pm

Matt on Music: Low's 'The Invisible Way'

“Mormons can’t rock. There, I said it,” a friend of mine quipped about Low after I posted my overview of the band on Facebook. In response to that statement, I must bring up the Butler brothers of Arcade Fire and New York Dolls bassist Arthur Kane, as well as the fact that Low isn’t a particularly rocking band. Their style is mainly based around minimalism, harmony and beauty; three things that many people, including my friend, love about The xx, and what I love about Yo La Tengo’s “Fade.”

4/3/2013, 11:10pm

Matt on Music: Low

Low is a Duluth-based slowcore band fronted by married couple Alan Sparhawk and Mimi Parker, both practicing Mormons. Although Sparhawk and Parker have been consistent members since the band’s formation in 1993, they’ve changed bassists three times.

4/3/2013, 10:37pm

Guitarist overcomes disability to play well

Guitarist Donald Lajiness, a sophomore at Eastern Michigan University, steps to the front of the Alexander Music Building’s auditorium to a burst of ecstatic applause. He sits down in the proper classical guitar position— foot up, fretboard raised —and begins to strum the opening chord of the mysterious-sounding “Koyunbaba,” a modern piece with Turkish influences composed by Carlo Domeniconi. After a nearly flawless recital, the musician basks in the glow of his fellow music majors’ collective cheering and praise.

3/29/2013, 8:17pm

Ranked by hilarity: Worst album covers

Awful album covers are incredible. For every “Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band” or “The Velvet Underground & Nico,” there’s a few amateur (or even, sometimes, mainstream) artists whose album cover designs are just absurd. Sometimes, this turns out quite disturbing (every Cannibal Corpse album cover) or just creepy (“Julie’s Sixteenth Birthday”).

3/24/2013, 9:04pm

Ypsilanti musician Watabou works on new projects, shows

Travis Jarosz is a pretty common name in the Ypsilanti music scene. He’s been involved in a few musical projects, ranging from metal bands to some short-lived jazz projects. He’s currently working with indie band Walk Your Bike, electro-punk Crochetcatpause and his electronic side project, Watabou. Watabou started in April 2009 as a general outlet for Jarosz’s musical ideas. He was involved in a couple of bands, but many of his bandmates were focused on the sound their band was creating or weren’t able to fully dedicate themselves to being in a band.

3/24/2013, 9:00pm

Matt on Music: Justin Timberlake's 'The 20/20 Experience'

While it’s often believed (especially by people who hate pop music) Justin Timberlake first came into his own as an artist with 2006’s “FutureSex/LoveSounds,” that can really be traced all the way back to ’N Sync. If not on their debut, Timberlake at least began to come into his own on “No Strings Attached.” It was there that he began to stand out as not only the finest lead singer in the boy band scene, but one of the finest singers in music.

3/20/2013, 11:26pm

Matt on Music: Corsair

Virginia-based rockers Corsair initially seemed like the type of group whose every idea represented something I dislike. They are typically described as heavy metal, their name is boring (although, to be fair, so are the names of the majority of bands I like), the cover of their self-titled album appears to be a failed attempt at epic imagery (which, in heavy metal, is often used to compensate for a lack of imagery and epic qualities in the songs), and they open the album with an instrumental called “Agathyrsi” that nears six minutes in length. Everything was in order for me to hate this band.

3/20/2013, 11:22pm

EMU professors will play weekend recitals

Music will be in the air this Friday, and this time it’s an Eastern Michigan University faculty member creating the melody. Professor Joel Schoenhals, an EMU music professor of piano, will be performing part two of Beethoven’s Sonata No. 32 at Pease Auditorium.

3/17/2013, 10:48pm

Matt on Music: Kacey Musgraves' 'Same Trailer Different Park'

The title of country singer-songwriter Kacey Musgraves’ new album, “Same Trailer Different Park,” comes from her acclaimed country hit “Merry Go ’Round,” which was released in September 2012. It was a surprising masterpiece, displaying a blunt kind of cynicism rarely seen in country music. It was such a contradiction to the genre’s rural obsession that it might as well have called “Miserable in a Small Town.”

2/28/2013, 5:37pm

Dutch DJ Tiësto rocks Convocation Center

Thousands of concertgoers packed Eastern Michigan University’s Convocation Center Wednesday night, in various stages of undress and states of mind (some of which probably weren’t legal), to get lost in the heavy bass lines and thumping beats of electronic music powerhouse Tiësto.

2/27/2013, 10:24pm

Matt on Music: 10 greatest artists (whose greatest hits suck)

While researching this list, I had a stunning realization: The music-buying public is not stupid. This was a hard list to research, mainly for that reason. When an artist stops being good, they typically stop having hits. This list, however, is about the flukes—the strange instances where an exceptional artist’s biggest hit on the Billboard Hot 100 was one of their worst songs. These are the 10 greatest artists (whose greatest hits suck).

2/24/2013, 10:27pm

Matt on Music: Bettie Serveert's 'Oh, Mayhem!'

It’s interesting to look into what happened to all of the ’90s indie bands after the ’90s ended. Pavement broke up, of course, while Modest Mouse’s success continued to grow. A lot of them lost much of their popularity, but how their later discography held up varies from band to band. R.E.M.’s later music never held a candle to their older stuff, while The Magnetic Fields released many great albums after their 1999 classic “69 Love Songs.”

2/20/2013, 11:32pm

DJ Tiesto brings ‘electro’ to EMU

For electronic dance music fans all across Michigan, the anticipation to see Tiësto has been building since tickets went on sale last summer, but the wait is finally over. The famous Dutch DJ is coming to rock the Eastern Michigan University Convocation Center next Wednesday.

2/20/2013, 11:30pm

Matt on Music: New Skrillex EP “Leaving”

Sonny Moore, also known as Skrillex, is in a very convenient position in his career. He may not be making the most money in the music industry, he doesn’t have the most Facebook fans and he definitely isn’t the most critically acclaimed artist. Still, there are few musicians who are in the same spot he’s in; the spot where he can do practically whatever he wants because nobody’s going to change their mind about him.

2/17/2013, 11:33pm

Things to do around EMU

Looking for something to do? Here are a few on-campus activities to keep your week interesting. Join presenter Diane Brookins and Students for Life for the Black History Month event, Life of a People, Monday at 6 p.m. at Halle Library. The event is Learning Beyond the Classroom credit approved.

2/17/2013, 11:31pm

Matt on Music: Christopher Owens’ solo debut “Lysandre”

If you were to look at a list of my favorite instruments, you would see a lot of diversity. Saxophone and steel drum are my top two, and also high up on the list are the bass guitar, combo organ, violin and ukulele. What you won’t see on my list, however, is the flute. On Christopher Owens’ solo debut, “Lysandre,” the first sound heard is that of a flute. And I have never heard the instrument sound as horrendous as it does, opening this record.

2/13/2013, 10:48pm

Tongue-in-cheek band Electric Six to play at Blind Pig

It’s Valentine’s Day, and you’ve probably seen enough images of topless cherubs and rootless flowers with three-day shelf lives to last a lifetime. Why not enjoy your Valentine’s Day this year by spending it with Electric Six at the Blind Pig in Ann Arbor?