Impact 89FM

WDBM-FM 88.9 East Lansing, MI

Student Radio at Michigan State University

electronic

One college junior’s 6-month journey to see Phoenix, and what happened along the way

My story starts on a rainy April Sunday, sitting in a coffee shop, not studying for exams. My friend from the impact (and also live music aficionado) and I were having a deep chat that led to the subject of my future study abroad in Spain and anticipation of leaving for friends and family for the whole summer. Some extreme sappiness ensued but after shaking off our silly sentiments (exam stress induced, I’m sure) she suggested I attend Primavera Sound, a music festival in Barcelona that Phoenix was to be headlining

The problem: it was happening two days after I would arrive.  After some frantic Google mapping, I discovered the feat of traveling across a foreign country right after a 12-hour journey would be close to impossible. I felt sorry for myself for a good 10 minutes while I watched their line-up video and stalked their website, but eventually got over it and got back to trying to study—and for the most part, totally forgot about it.

Fast forward four months and I’m back in East Lansing sitting in the same coffee shop, coincidentally not doing my homework, when I get a message notifying me of the possibility of getting tickets to see Phoenix at Eastern Michigan University on Sunday, September 29.

This was golden, considering the ugly truth that just the week before I resorted to texting a local radio station to win tickets, only to receive a “better luck next time” response and the loss of my dignity. So when I finally did get tickets to go the show, my heart was bursting.

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Dead Girlfriends – On Fraternity

If you’re a huge fan of squealy, noisy, and dark electronic pop, then Minneapolis, Minnesota’s Dead Girlfriends is perfect for you. Formerly known as Elite Gymnastics, James Brooks makes the kind of ambient, melancholy pop that is perfect for any indie dramedy that’s ever even thought about being in Sundance. With a strong, decidedly feminist and political message, the lyrics are often just as interesting as the music. Be sure to check out the brand new track “On Fraternity” off the 2013 Stop Pretending EP below. Read More…

Grouplove – Ways To Go

Los Angeles’ Grouplove are back with the first single off of their upcoming album Spreading Rumors to be released on September 17th. The dance-y, poppy, upbeat indie juggernauts are back with a decidedly more electronic take on their wild, dual-vocaled romps. Check out the slightly odd music video for the new single “Ways To Go” off the upcoming Spreading Rumors below. Read More…

The Postal Service – This Place Is a Prison

In honor of them playing their last live show ever this past weekend, this is The Postal Service at their finest. Ben Gibbard (Death Cab For Cutie, All-Time Quarterback!, etc.), Jimmy Tamborello (Dntel), and, at times, Jenny Lewis (Rilo Kiley, Jenny and Johnny, etc.) spent years and years sending ideas back and forth through the United State Postal Service to finally get a full-length album together in 2003. A decade later, they play their last show at a Lollapalooza after-party to a completely packed and elated crowd. Unfortunately, from now the only Postal Service we get to deal with is the one losing our mail. Check out a track off Give Up called “This Place Is A Prison” below. Read More…

Fuck Buttons – The Red Wing

Bristol, England’s Fuck Buttons have finally released their first album in almost five years. The whacked out electronic duo create drone-y, experimental music along the lines of Tobacco. While the live show may not be something to gawk at (trust me, it’s not), it does make for some good, fun, and generally strange dance music. If they’re playing a festival you’re going to, check ‘em out. If not for the music then for the people watching. Check out their track “The Red Wing” off their new album Slow Focus below. Read More…

Forest Swords – The Weight of Gold

British music producer Matthew Barnes, better known as Forest Swords, makes the kind of downtempo electronic music that you can get lost in for hours. With ambient textures and creative rhythm sections, the music is a very cool mix of post rock and electronic. His choppy, computerized vocals soar and gently carry you from the beginning of the song to the end. Though typically slow to build, it is the peaks and troughs of his music that create such emotionality and expression. Check out the first single off of his debut full-length Engravings (out August 26th) below. Read More…

Jamaican Queens – Kids Get Away

Michigan’s own Jamaican Queens could be one of the biggest things to come out of Detroit since Dale Earnhardt, Jr. Jr. With a unique mix of indie and electronic elements, JQ comes across as a blending of Hot Chip and dubstep. Their music is a pretty good representation of just how weird these fellas are, and if you’re really interested, check out the website (it’ll throw you for a loop). With their self-titled album being the first release in what will hopefully be a long career, the band has nowhere to go but up. Check out the video for the track “Kids Get Away” from their self-titled album below. Read More…

Kitten – G#

Despite the level of cute that their name suggests, Los Angeles’ Kitten doesn’t make sweet and bubbly indie pop, but some pretty gnarly electronic-infused rock. The soft female vocals mixed with over-fuzzed instrumentation sitting atop a bed of ethereal beats and nosies makes for an interesting listen. Plus, it’s pretty easy to rock out to. Check out their song “G#” off their 2012 release Cut It Out EP below.

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Boards of Canada – Cold Earth

With their first album in eight years, Scotland’s electronic act Boards of Canada have had their listeners on quite the anticipation ride. After anonymously releasing a short clip of music and spread rumors that it might be theirs. With this clip came a six-digit code, though its purpose was unknown. Over the following few months, more codes were released through outlets such as BBC, Adult Swim, and NPR. Their website wouldn’t allow access to anyone without a password, which was also unavailable. Once the user entered all six codes, it revealed a video announcing their new album. So after all that work, is it really worth it? Short answer: yes. Check out the track “Cold Earth” off of Tomorrow’s Harvest below. Read More…

The Album Leaf – Thule

One of the best names in Ambient Electronic music, The Album Leaf has been making music since 1998. Solo project of Jimmy LaValle (ex-member of Grindcore band The Locust), The Album Leaf makes the most placid, positive, and heart-warming music you can think of. You might think that five albums of this music would get bland and drawn-out, but LaValle finds every way possible to keep things new and interesting. Check out the song “Thule” off their 2004 release In A Safe Place below. Read More…

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