Wilmington College Blog

Top 12 of '12

January 13, 2013

Contributed by Brad Fuller
Welcome back!! It’s that time of the year again; the semester is about to begin, but its time (and has been for a while) for end of the year music lists!! For me, its always interesting to read many lists to see how everyone viewed different releases compared to my opinions of them. This year, I had considerably less time to dedicate to new music due to my busy school schedule. This year, I listened to around 35 new albums (compared to over 70 from 2011). This may be the reason I felt that there were many more solid releases in 2011 than 2012, but it could be that my perception is fact; who knows… (maybe someone that was able to get through more material than I). However, I feel as if I have selected 12 solid albums from a wide spectrum of genres in which possibly everyone can find something enjoyable. Some of the albums may force you to step out of your listening comfort zone if you aren’t listening to music that isn’t simply radio music, yet for some you will hear something much more deep than simply the sounds. Also, I apologize for the lack of elaboration on some of these albums; I had a busy year :O
If you ever want to creep on me to see what I’m listening to, you can do so here: http://www.last.fm/user/bfuller92
Enjoy Music.


[12.] Grimes | Visions
Genre: Electronica
So digital. Post-Internet.

[11.] Sigur Rós | Valtari
Genre: Ambient/Post Rock
“I don’t care if Sigur Rós lyrics are in a made up fairytale language; their sound is beautiful” – Brad Fuller

[10.] The xx | Coexist
Genre: Indie Pop
Some say they didn’t like the direction (or lack of direction) The xx took with Coexist; I personally disagree with whoever they are.

[9.]Hot Chip | In Our Heads
Genre: Elecropop
Celebrate the light that bleeds through the pain.

[8.] Frank Ocean | Channel ORANGE
Genre: R & B
Frank is the first that I know of that is true to himself in an industry full of fake personalities and unrealistic motives.

[7.] Grizzly Bear | Shields
Genre: Neo-Psychedelic Rock
Nothing really stands out on this record; Aesthetically pleasing, demanding, and interesting.

[6.] Maps & Atlases | Beware and Be Grateful
Genre: Alternative Math Rock
I first discovered Maps & Atlases at a show on Fountain Square. After the show I simply walked backstage and started talking to Dave, the lead singer. We had a nice conversation before a girl who was interested on a whole different level rudely interrupted; I wished them well and went home. Their music is so quirky, yet refined; Basic, but intriguing. I highly recommend this album, simply because the band is very nice and appreciative. They take cool Instagram pictures too.

[5.] Twin Shadow | Confess
Genre: Chillwave
Even though it may seem like a lot of relationship issues, and a lot of “hey, haven’t we heard this before?” it really is way more than that, even if you don’t wear a leather jacket and grease your hair.

[4.] Passion Pit | Gossamer
Genre: Indie Rock/Alternative Dance
I may have listened to this album a little too much this year, but not always for the right reasons; every track is so catchy! This may create a problem for some, however, because the music is so upbeat and positive while the lyrics are realistic accounts of life. Not necessarily the most negative record I’ve ever heard, but a fair statement of exploration.

[3.] Beach House | Bloom
Genre: Dreampop
Bloom is the album that you listen to and automatically think of your life, whether it actually applies. Chances are, it will apply in more than one way. We all change; we all bloom in some way. Even though I hate the word nostalgia with a burning passion, this album creates a nostalgic feeling, but in a way that will challenge you to evaluate your life and reflect on how you have become the person you are today. All while making you feel like you are dreaming.

[2.] Burial | Street Halo / Kindred EP / Truant EP
Genre: Ambient Dubstep
You may be the person that professes your love for dubstep, or you may think it sounds like a screeching broken record. However, many people will make this judgment by listening to whatever Skrillex song was played on the radio. Some advice: stop listening to the radio; Discover incredible music in genres that you always thought were annoying, because I can guarantee there is something artistic out there. When I listen to Skrillex, I understand the people that say it is annoying. Yet Burial has consistently put out records with simple messages that are easy to get into, and are written in a unique style.

[1.] Godspeed You! Black Emperor | Allelujah! Don't Bend! Ascend!
Genre: Drone/Post Rock/Experimental
We haven’t heard from Godspeed since 2002, yet they seem to have picked up right where they left off. I wasn’t quite the avid music listener then that I am now, but I was aware of major political events occurring in our country at the time. Although it came directly after a time of great unity, us as a country were furious. Today, it seems not much has changed. After the recent presidential election, we remain as divided as ever. But in the masterpiece that is Allelujah! Don't Bend! Ascend!, that seems irrelevant. The tone of the music focuses on political themes that are being experienced throughout the world, but their art shines through the politics with no detail being left behind. Sure, when we see the first track tiled “Mladic”, we are not going to think of positive, happy art. The album is very dark and gloomy, with which seems to be, in my opinion, an accurate representation of how the world is beginning to view political figures, each other, and the future. While it is gloomy, it is a beautifully accurate assessment of the world that should not be overlooked.

Tags: Music

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Field trip to Yellow Springs

October 02, 2012

Provided by Afiara String Quartet website. Check them out @ http://afiara.com/ !

Provided by Afiara String Quartet website. Check them out @ http://afiara.com/ !

Contributed by: Lynnea Kraft

Sunday, September 29th my Music of Western Cultures II class ventured outside the classroom and into a church. Our Professor Liz Haskins arranged for us to see and listen to the Afiara String Quartet. My class gathered at 6pm Sunday evening in BCAC (Boyd Cultural Arts Center) parking lot – a welcome change from our typical class time from 6:30pm to 9:00pm on Tuesdays in class room -- to start our educational outing. We piled in the school vans and arrived in a small town called Yellow Springs about 25 minutes away. 
                First Presbyterian Church of Yellow Springs hosted this event. The Afiara String Quartet is based out of Canada and have travelled all over the globe. For those of you who don’t know what a string quartet is, that’s okay. I didn’t know exactly what it was until my class with Liz Haskins. A string quartet typically involves four instruments: 2 violins, a cello, and viola.
Normally, classical music is not my go-to music choice, but I found it really interesting to read about these artists’ backgrounds. Of the musicians in this string quartet, two of them had studied at The Julliard School, one of the prestigious, if not the most prestigious musical school in the world. The other two had studied at the New England Conservatory, another well- renowned music school. Of the two who studied at Julliard, one of them was playing on a violin that was from 1737! I can’t imagine playing an instrument almost 300 years old, I’d be too worried about breaking it, rather than playing music!  
The quartet played two pieces by Beethoven and one by a recent composer who wrote a piece for one of the members’ mother. The Beethoven pieces were very expressive and lively. The other was a bit eclectic, but by the end of the piece I appreciated the variety of feelings this creative endeavor elicited.  After the concert, Liz Haskins treated us to Subway for dinner - a lovely way to end an educational experience outside the classroom.

Tags: Application , education , Music , Wilmington College

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Brit lit + music = learning

September 19, 2012

Beowulf, as depicted by the 2007 film

Beowulf, as depicted by the 2007 film

Contributed by Brad Fuller


This morning, I was writing a paper for my British literature class. The paper dealt was a reflection on a couple articles about the modernization of Beowulf, including some film adaptations of the epic poem and some other outlets of expression. For some reason, I connected the articles with Nick Drake’s 1972 album Pink Moon. The album is very simple with limited amounts of poetic lyric and only Drake on acoustic guitar. If you have not heard this classic, I highly recommend it. There are several different ways the album can be interpreted, similar to the way Beowulf can be portrayed in many different ways. Since the author of the poem is unknown, there is little we actually know about the poem except for the exact Old English text. Similarly, we know very little about Nick Drake’s music due to his quiet personality, posthumous popularity, and vague lyrics. Drake also studied English Literature at Cambridge University, which makes a neat connection between an album I love and a class that I am taking outside of my Athletic Training major. Nothing helps me learn more than somehow connecting class material to anything outside of class that I can.

Now listening: 

NIck Drake - Pink Moon

(Island; 1972)


Tags: beowulf , class , music , nick drake

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Day 6? .. Day 1

August 27, 2012

Twin Shadow - Confess : 
A solid 2012 release..

Twin Shadow - Confess : A solid 2012 release..

Contributed by: Brad Fuller 

Although today is the sixth day of classes of the 2012 fall semester at Wilmington College, I feel as if class actually began today. The first week of class is always generally easy, with professors going over the syllabus and reviewing from previous classes (within your specific major, specifically). In my athletic training classes specifically, we reviewed the basics that apply to every class in the program, such as evaluation techniques, basic terminology, and Athletic Training Room (ATR) paperwork information. Today, however, was different than the first week. After class, I went to work in the ATR from 2-9 for football treatments, as well as winter and spring sport physicals. At 9 I began duty in alternative housing (which I am currently in the middle of) and will run until 1 a.m. This is providing me some time to relax, catch up on studying, and listening to music, but it is still a long day. Part of being in the athletic training program here requires a great deal of time management skill. If you are passionate about learning the material for a career or for graduate school preparation, it is a great experience; you just have to expect some long days/nights along the way.


Now listening: Twin Shadow – Confess
(4AD; 2012)

Tags: athletic training , music , school , sleep , wilmington college

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Music and school life

February 25, 2012

Contributed by Brad Fuller


Over the next few weeks, I will be listening to Grimes’ new album entitled “Visions”. The album just came out the past week, and I am very impressed after a couple listens. Grimes is the stage name of Montreal based Claire Boucher, and she describes the latest album as “post-internet”. Whatever this means to you, her music is heavily influenced from electronic sounds she has heard growing up. There are layers, loops, and catchy rhythms with human-emotion based lyrics. I still have a lot to listen for, but so far this album is great!

In the Wilmington College Athletic Training world, the new week brings another rotation switch for the sophomores and juniors in the program. Next month, I will be with the Baseball team. I have never worked with baseball, so it should be a good experience! The week after next will be spring break, and I couldn’t be more excited. I never understood what a break really meant until this year, but I will fully embrace nine days without class. My schedule is very difficult this semester, with 14 credit hours of athletic training classes, but I guess I can’t expect it to get any easier in the future. I hope I can adjust soon!

Tags: , AT , ATC , Athletic Training , Break , Busy , college , Music , Time management , Wellness , Wilmington College

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Busy times

January 30, 2012

Contributed by Brad Fuller 


So far, this semester is by far my hardest and I’m starting to feel the effects of it. I’m getting tired and worn down, but I can also feel myself acquiring a vast amount of knowledge. Yesterday was the first time in my life when I did homework from the time I woke up until the time I went to bed, only breaking for meals (this is not a common occurrence and it was partially preventable, so no worries). In my athletic training classes, we are learning how to do ankle evaluations, the basis of theory of rehabilitation, and different muscles of the body. Today is also the first day of my new clinical rotation, softball. They either practice at 5 in the morning inside or in the afternoon outside. Today they will be outside, so I got a little extra sleep! However, I am looking forward to what this rotation has to offer, since I have never worked with the softball team. This week should also be a nice slow down after last week(end), but I do have that research project to start… In other news, I’m looking forward to some new music in February. The two biggest releases I’m looking forward to are Grimes – Visions and Of Montreal – Paralytic Stalks. I will share my opinion as soon as its available!

Tags: Athletic Training , Busy , Music

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Top 20 Albums - 2011

December 04, 2011

Contributed by Brad Fuller

When I went to College, I started listening to more music than I ever had. I can't explain why, but it is something that is very comforting to me and will always be a part of my life. I may be a little annoying when analyzing new music, but I believe I have come up with a solid "Top 20" albums list that encompasses a wide spectrum of genres. Feel free to comment or contact me at bfuller@wilmington.edu for further clarification, questioning, criticism, agreement, or any other concerns. Also, you can check out my last.fm page to see what I am currently listening to. http://www.last.fm/user/bfuller92. 

Enjoy music. 


[????] Radiohead | The King of Limbs
Radiohead may be the greatest band of all time, so it is hard to ignore when they post on their Facebook page on a Monday that they will be releasing a new album on Friday of the same week. It was a complete surprise, and I was completely excited when I read it at 6:30 in the morning. However, this album may be the most confusing one I have ever heard. I didn’t understand anything about the album; the music, the lyrics, the cover art, or the “newspaper edition” of the album. Nonetheless, it is a Radiohead album and it deserves to be mentioned. I hope Radiohead does not end with this album.

[19.] Talib Kweli | Gutter Rainbows
Turn on any popular music radio station and you may hear the likes of Lil Wayne and Soulja Boy rapping about a superficial fantasy life that will more than likely never exist for anyone and in my opinion should never exist for anyone. What you won’t hear is Talib Kweli, who creatively rhymes about truth in the lives he encounters. I think in General, society tries to avoid truth in every way possible, including music, and this pushes them away from seeking out more quality works such as Gutter Rainbows. If you are dead set on listening to only hip-hop/rap, give this album a shot and you won’t be disappointed.                                                                                                                                                   

[18.] Toro y Moi | Underneath The Pine
Chillwave: the subgenre that several popular indie bands fit the criteria to but none of them want to be associated with. For me, I don’t need the genre of an album to be set in stone to know it is a solid work. From Start to finish, Underneath The Pine contains catchy grooves and fairly plain vocal lines, yet the homemade electropop feel is warm and welcoming. I can’t wait to hear what the future has in store for Toro y Moi.                                                        


[17.] Girls | Father, Son, Holy Ghost
Remember that time you were riding with your parents on a long road trip when you were eight years old? You were in the backseat staring out the window thinking about present time and possibilities, dad driving, mom sitting in the passenger seat, and classic rock on the radio? This album brings you back to this time, but in a whole new way. Girls is one of the few bands I can think of that makes plain old “rock” music interesting again while creating that nostalgic feeling everyone longs for.                    

[16.] Balam Acab | Wander/Wonder
Balam Acab’s psychedelic outfit creates a sound that is more visual than auditory; whether you are in a dream or underwater or flying, this album will take you somewhere else and the intimate sounds are liberating and free-spirited… Wait, its not raining outside?                                                                     

[15.] Grouper | A | A
Divided into two parts, A | A is an ambient masterpiece that will continue grow on you. When listening, you will never hear the album the same way twice, and it always finds a way to develop new thoughts across the spectrum. Be warned: This is not homework or sleep music; the ambience will get to you sooner than you think if you are not accustomed to it.                                                                           

[14.] PJ Harvey | Let England Shake
This album is disturbing, grotesque, and frightening, yet most of it is based on truth in the word we live in. Topics range from agriculture to war, seeing “soldiers fall like lumps of meat.” This may turn some away, but truth in general tends to turn people away. While the album is not forceful or urgent, PJ gets her point across quite effectively.                                                                                                                                                                                    

[13.] Iron & Wine | Kiss Each Other Clean
Iron & Wine was criticized for changing his style on Kiss Each Other Clean, yet I embraced the change. His first album was a collection of loosely recorded simple folk-guitar tunes with a fuzzy sound and raspy vocals. These songs were beautiful in themselves, but the expansion of sound allowed Iron & Wine to evolve as an artist and remain interesting and relevant.                                                             

[12.] The Paper Kites | Woodland – EP
The shortest work on the list, The Paper Kites, a band out of Melbourne, Australia, expresses real human emotions in a traditional upbeat folk outfit; Perfect for the fun and carefree spirit. 

[11.] The Weeknd | House of Balloons/Thursday/Echoes of Silence  
I’m usually not a huge R&B fan, but this is a good exception. I think the music and image gets me more than the lyrics, but this Trilogy of albums makes me feel really chill. Yeah.                                                                        

[10.] tUnE-yArDs | w h o k i l l
I don’t really understand why I like this album. I enjoy that the album touches on issues such as body image, race, inequality, and injustice and that Merrill Garbus is so confident in her ability to sway opinions and views. I also enjoy the fact that this album doesn’t fit the mold at all (starting with the stylization of the name of the group and album name). Maybe I really do understand why I like this album. i DoN't KnOw.

[9.] Neon Indian | Era Extraña
The Neon Indian project started [somehow] after front man Alan Palomo missed a date in which he and a girl were supposed to spend an afternoon on acid. Knowing this, you know that the music is way out there. However, he writes about relationships and emotions felt by normal people, it just so happens that he does it in a very intellectual way with a crazy sound.                                                                  

[8.] Cut Copy | Zonoscope
A modern day 80’s dance floor anthem, Zonoscope remains interesting throughout its entirety. This is the album that you want to listen to out loud when it is warm and sunny outside and it will bring instant joy, and perhaps even some childhood nostalgia.                                                                       

[7.] Nicolas Jaar | Space Is Only Noise
Nico Jaar plays live sets in clubs and dance venues, but he doesn’t necessarily play what you would think of as “dance music”, it is more of a distantly ambient electronic sound with a beat and lyrics in some songs. The sounds come from a variety of sources and open-ended lyrics keep the listener thinking. I was immediately interested after hearing on the first track, “ Look, it’s a body, floating into the land. Now it’s a body swimming out into the water. Now it’s the land itself, here, that is a body; a body of land. It’s the water itself that’s a body of water”. In general, the album will force you to search for meaning in more than just the music itself.                                                                                                                                                       

[6.] MC Lars | Indie Rocket Science/Lars Attacks!
MC Lars truly embraces what being an independent musician is all about. He Created his own subgenre (Post-Punk Laptop Rap), started his own label, paid for the production of this album through a Kickstarter campaign (which I donated to and was rewarded with physical copies of the album), tells people to “illegally” download his music because he would rather them hear the music and potentially come to a show than to simply not buy the music and never hear it, and writes songs that are blatantly political and socially driven. Some may listen to MC Lars and think, “wow, this guy is a nerd.” But if you give these two simultaneously released works a chance, you will realize that his songs are about the same things you complain about or get excited about or read about. He also writes songs about his whole music philosophy idea that he is huge on promoting, and to me, it is a seller (no matter how bad he wanted me to download his albums).                                                                                               

[5.] Destroyer | Kaputt
Probably the first solid album released in 2011, Kaputt reveals an elegant surface sound that goes much deeper than what is first apparent. While there is beauty on the surface, we are reminded that the life we may want to live may not necessarily be appropriate and that while our culture may be very superficial in general, there is always a tragic complexity that lies within. Mmmmmmmmmm, cue saxophone…                                                          

[4.] Bon Iver | Bon Iver
Bon Iver is incredibly interesting. Perhaps the most poetically philosophical album on the list, it brings a new idea to the table with each listen. While no one may never know the exact intent behind each song, we can only infer what has happened in lead singer Justin Vernon’s life that lead him to his two solid albums of life stories. On another interesting note, Bon Iver was nominated for a Grammy recently, and reacting to the nomination, Vernon said, “ We should not be gathering in a big room and looking at each other pretending this is important.” This is exactly why the emotions expressed in each Bon Iver album are as credible as they are; It is all about what he wants to make the music, not what the general public wants.                                        

[3.] Tim Hecker | Ravedeath, 1972
For the past year or so, I have been really into ambient music. At first, I listened to it simply for “homework music” purposes, but then I realized that there is so much more to it. When you listen to an album with lyrics, your thoughts are generally headed in one direction based on the music, lyrics, concepts, song titles, etc… which is not necessarily a bad thing, but when there are no lyrics to work off of, and no organized rhythm, your mind starts to wander, and you never quite know where it is going to go. Tim Hecker is my favorite ambient artist, and Ravedeath is his best work yet. The assortment of layered electronic sounds and pipe organ-based drones seem to come and go throughout the albums different “sections”, leaving the listener reflecting on the past and what the future will become. Or perhaps that isn’t what the album is about at all, its up to you to decide. 

[2.] Gang Gang Dance | Eye Contact
“I can hear everything……. Its everything time.” I didn’t discover Gang Gang Dance on my own, and more than likely you did not either; consider this your open invitation. Gang Gang writes albums that are weird and abstract, and Eye Contact is no exception. Seven songs are slurred together to play as a single work without breaks in sound. They describe their music as “spiritual”, and I couldn’t agree more. I constantly search for God in music that you wouldn’t expect to find Him in, and this album does just this. For you, a completely different interpretation may be in store. At first, it may be difficult to digest but on a third or fourth listen, you will understand. While the sound may be very different, the lyrics are something that anyone can interpret in a different way. The album embraces a constant struggle for understanding, acceptance, and questioning in a way that will leave you answering the same questions revealed in the music. Without spoiling the album too much, open your mind, soul, and heart and give this incredibly unique album a chance. #LIVEFOREVER 

[1.] Fleet Foxes | Helplessness Blues
When I first heard Helplessness Blues in May, I knew it was going to be near the top of my albums of the year list. The album flows so nicely; perfect folk rhythms with perfect backing vocals. The lyrics are reflective of lead singer Robin Pecknold’s life and struggles, and are apparent to reflect him throughout the album. We learn how he has grown as a person, how he views the world, and how Fleet Foxes has grown as a band since their last album. Some artists turn these instances into meaningless fairytaleish ballads, but Fleet Foxes are real and straightforward without simply restating basic life clichés. Although the sounds seem so familiar, they are so new and different, never a dull moment from start to finish. Give this album a listen; you won’t be disappointed, I promise. 

Tags: academics , Athletic Training , college , escape , Music , peace , relief , top20 , Wilmington College

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A Nice Fall Evening

November 04, 2011

Contributed by Brad Fuller


Right now, I am on duty in Austin-Pickett Hall as a member of the Residence Life Staff at Wilmington College. It is such a strange feeling being on duty on a Friday, because this is the first week of the school year that I have not covered Friday Night Football at Blanchester High School for athletic training. Although I’ve had things to do, it has been a very relaxing evening. After leaving the athletic training room on campus at 6:00, I ate and went to watch a group perform at the South Street Coffee House in downtown Wilmington. The shop opened about six months ago and it’s about a 15-minute walk from campus. To me, this is perfect walking distance, considering that I love biking and walking places. While there, I played euchre with the couple that runs For a Song and a Story, the local music shop. I had met them before, but only briefly and through shopping in the store. Wilmington is the type of town where everyone knows everyone, so we halfway recognized each other and played some cards with some live music in the background. It was also a very nice night for a walk to and from campus with some music as well. If you are ever in town, I recommend you checking out the South Street Coffee House and support local businesses!

Tags: Coffee , Local , Local Business , Music , Peace , Time management , Wilmington College

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Twila 8:12PM 12/31/11



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