Archive for the ‘St. Louis’ Category

AtM – “A Night Like This”

Monday, February 18th, 2013

Tonight (2/18) we have a stack session with a St. Louis hip-hop duo you should know by now– AtM (pronounced "atom"), whose mixtape "A Night Like This" dropped last August, are one of the more well-known local hip-hop acts in this city, and if you don't know them yet, then now is the time. Tune in at 10pm tonight for something very special.

 

You can get the mixtape here: http://atmmme.bandcamp.com

Their soundcloud: https://soundcloud.com/a-t-m-3

Upcoming shows: 

2/21: w/ G-Eazy at Old Rock House 

3/2: at The Demo

In the meantime, here's something that resembles an album review.

cover

 

    If I had a time machine, I can think of about a thousand things I might try to do with it, but one of them would involve going back to the starstruck conversation I never thought I'd be having in March of 2012, with a well-known rapper, who asked me what I knew about the St. Louis hip-hop scene; to which I reluctantly told him if there was indeed someone or something spectacular coming out of St. Louis these days, I hadn't heard it yet. 

    As it turns out, there was (and still is) something spectacular here, and if I hadn't been living under a rock at the time, I would have said to keep an eye out for A Night Like This, AtM's first mixtape, which dropped last August. I would have said what I shouted last October at the Gramophone, drowned out by the noise of a crowd, when I first saw AtM live: "These kids can actually rap."

    Amir and Malcolm have a natural and comfortable vocal pairing; they bounce off each other with ease. Sometimes their music plays a fluid game of compare-and-contrast: frenzied/calm, smooth/jagged. A Night Like This starts off with the kind of track that punches you in the face– "Year 1," backed by a beat of epic proportions, a sweeping Michael Franco production that throws you headlong into the tape, and as Amir rips through the first verse, it's obvious that AtM is not playing around. They're lucky enough to have several instances of Michael Franco's production on here; sometimes the only word truly capable of describing Franco's standalone beats is "gorgeous." (Michael Franco, another St. Louis musician, is one half of Franco-Hill, and if you catch an AtM live show you could easily be blessed by their musical backing. The other half, Jeff Hill –also AtM's music director– is unbearably talented on the drums; you'll hear him referred to as "The Best Drummer in St. Louis." The music they make as Franco-Hill is incredible and their chemistry is unmatched, but that's another review altogether.)

(It's just like this, no need to fight it/ Invite it/Try me out, you just might like it)

    It's no surprise that when AtM breaks out "That Woman" at a live show, the crowd can't help but sing along with the hook of what is probably their most well-known track– it's a rich soulful song with a complex set of verses, and the beat is downright irresistible. Probably the most interesting thing about A Night Like This is that it retains a unifying sound while the actual experience of listening can be all over the map– "Hero Troubles" is relentlessly emotional; "Odd Motivation" is dark, soulful, oddly rhythmic; "You Take Up 95% of My Brain" is far more lighthearted– like "Time Machine," it's catchy as all hell and solidifies these MCs in my mind as two twenty-year old men who deserve serious credit for the music they make, and deserving of the affections of various unnamed women they're rapping about. Amir and Malcolm's flows can blend seamlessly with all different types of beats, but they also work well with a range of topics and emotions; listening to this mixtape will make you want to know them, and by the end of it, you'll feel like you do, to some degree.

    This is hip-hop that takes itself seriously, as hip-hop should. The music feels genuine, heartfelt. These boys are young, but I don't bring that up for the usual reasons– they don't try to cover subject matter that's beyond their scope. Their content is age-appropriate, but handled with a surprisingly tongue-in-cheek sense of humor– the everyday struggles of young men are illuminated by a remarkable maturity, and it's obvious they have room to grow, both for themselves and their music. In this case, that's a good thing.

    It's the plague of young MCs (think Joey Badass) that no matter how talented they are, they've either got nothing to say or lack emotional maturity, and eventually end up spitting what sounds like the same old verse, packed with nifty little jokes and similes. With AtM, this is not my concern– like all young men, they have emotional depth and complexity; unlike all young men, they're good at talking about it without sounding corny. Their talent isn't wasted on clever throwaway rhymes and regurgitated attitudes and attributes drawn from raps of old; they use their considerable abilities to create something new. Listening to A Night Like This, you are made to understand that creating music is a thoroughly personal process, not merely producing something for others to consume–whether you're scribbling or spitting or just sitting with the music and spending time with it, it is a process that involves growth and furthering your understanding. You can tell that their next project could very well sound completely different from A Night Like This but still sound like AtM, and that by then, they will have matured somewhat, without falling off. 

    St. Louis has been hungry for this, for kids who can actually rap. And they have been here for twenty years, calmly waiting to blow up. 

 

 

follow them on twitter

-NG

KWUR Hustle Week!

Wednesday, November 16th, 2011

It's the most magical time of the year! That's right folks, it's KWUR HUSTLE WEEK! Hustle Week is a beautiful time where you, our favorite listeners, get to show your favorite radio station a little love and affection. Radio isn't cheap, and we need your support to keep bringing you the great alternative music you love. As one of the last completely free-form stations in the country, KWUR needs your help to keep rocking as Washington University's best radio station. Anything you give will be a huge help in our quest to keep radio in St. Louis free.

We're hosting some fun and unique events, so be sure to tune in, stop by, and show your support!

Monday, November 14th-Friday, November 18th
Mix CD Exchange and KWUR Apparel Tabling in the DUC
11:00 AM-2:00 PM
Want to discover some new tunes? That's our specialty. All week KWUR will be hosting a mix CD exchange where you can trade a mix CD that you create with a mix created by somebody else. We'll have blank discs too, so feel free to take one home and bring it back with some excellent music. Sharing is caring! And we'll be selling some brand-new, fresh KWUR gear to boot.

Sunday, November 13th-Saturday, November 19th
DJ Date Auction
Some of our DJ's will be auctioning off the opportunity to spend a little quality time with them. The highest bidder will not only win a great date, but will also graciously donate to KWUR! Score! Check out our event page to see the dates and make your bid: http://www.facebook.com/#!/event.php?eid=135398289896721

Thursday, November 17th
All-Night Broadcast!
Be sure to tune in to 90.3 FM or www.kwur.com to listen to one of the greatest KWUR traditions, the All-Night Broadcast. Your favorite DJ's will be spinning the best of KWUR and staying on the air all night for your entertainment! Call in to donate and receive some excellent gifts!

Don’t forget to check out the KWUR-themed meals, provided by Bon Appetit, which will be served in the DUC this week! Rock n’ roll ribs, Fleetwood Mac n’ Cheese… you can even show KWUR your love while you eat.

Want to donate? Here's how!

You can send a check to:

KWUR 90.3 FM
Campus Box 1205
One Brookings Dr.
St. Louis, MO 63130

Or call KWUR at 314-935-5952 or email underwriting@kwur.com with your name, contact information, and the amount you would like to donate. DJ's will be manning the phones and get you squared away. We have some great items we'll give you in thanks for your donation. Here are some gifts you can receive:
$10 = A free Stack Sessions Sampler, offering the best band performances from our in-studio sessions
$25 = An awesome KWUR t-shirt
$50 = A personalized KWUR t-shirt created by our DJ's
$75 = A personalized song written about you!
$100 = We'll name any part of the station after you for an entire year
$150 = We'll create a custom station ID with you that will live in the annals of KWUR history forever!

Thank you so much for your support, and please consider donating to KWUR so we can keep bringing you the best of free-form radio!

Stack Sessions: Blood Pony

Monday, September 20th, 2010

On September 11, 2010 St. Louis band Blood Pony joined us in the studio for a live performance in our Stack Session series. Check out this video of their song “We Are Lost.” Listen to the whole session here.

If you like what you hear, check them out at Off Broadway on October 7.

Stack Sessions: Art Majors

Thursday, August 26th, 2010

We had the pleasure to feature St. Louis band Art Majors at our station on the evening of August 16. They played three songs, including 2 brand new ones. We will have the complete session posted shortly, but until then, please enjoy two videos that we shot. They have a new EP out, so check it out if you like what you hear.

Album Review: Beth Bombara and the Robotic Foundation

Wednesday, August 25th, 2010

St. Louisian Beth Bombara has a new band and a new sound on her recent self titled EP Beth Bombara and the Robotic Foundation. With the addition of bass and drums, her sound has matured considerably from her last EP. Expect tight bass lines, smooth drumming, and soaring vocals on every song. On “Not the World” the group proves they can do rocking pop songs as well as they can do mellow organ-driven numbers like “Beautiful You.” The instrumentation plays beautifully, but it is still the arching vocal that captures your attention on each song. I understand Beth and Co are working on a new full length, so keep an eye out for that in the coming year.

Your next chance to see Beth Bombara and the Robotic Foundation live is on September 17 at the Map Room in St. Louis.