Ghetto Pug

CONTRIBUTORS-------------------------------------------------------
Jake Cheriff--------------------------------------------------------
Bernardo Ochoa--------------------------------------------------------
Dan Hemerlein ----------------------------------------------------
Brandon Gell-----------------------------------------------------------
Justin Wolf---------------------------------------------------------

March 5, 2014 11:57 pm

ARTIST: RAC

TRACK: Hollywood (feat. Penguin Prison)

GENRE: Indie Pop

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There’s all sorts of negative connotations that are associated with “pop music.” The term is used for so many different kinds of music in so many different contexts that it’s hard to even know what it means.

Regardless, when I hear this song, I identify it with pop music in the best of ways. It doesn’t beat around the bush—vocals, bass and drums break the initial silence with clarity and precision. Penguin Prison (Chris Glover) delivers lyrics with a punch. The lyrics themselves aren’t anything flowery—direct and too the point, they pose with style among the rest of the instruments.

But the best part of the song is the chorus, and the oh-so-catchy synth riff after. It’s sunny and warm, yet there’s something about it that makes me feel wonderfully… *incomplete*. Dynamically, the chorus is much more impressive than the verse, a fitting place to go after all the building the verse has done. And the bridge provides the contrast that the rest of the song suggests - ambient and moody, complete with ghostly echoes and reverb.

All in all, this song could be taken as a metaphor for the title—Hollywood. There’s so much glamour, so much intrigue—you begin to wonder if there’s anything deeper behind the shiny glare.

“Strangers Part 1” is RAC’s newest album, a prelude to full-length EP, “Strangers Part 2.”

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GROOVE: 5/5

LYRICS: 3/5

OBSCURITY: 4/5

INTRICACY: 3/5

DOPENESS: 5/5

SOUNDS LIKE: Miley Cyrus, Phoenix

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-Nardo

February 26, 2014 9:36 pm

ARTIST: Boy & Bear 

TRACK: Southern Sun

GENRE: Indie Rock

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Boy & Bear is a 5 piece Indie Rock group from Sydney, Australia. The band really hits the nail on the head describing their own sound as “…a combination of drivey indie folk and choral harmonies.” There’s something very southern (USA) about their sound though. Between Dave Hosking’s raspy soulful voice, the banjos and mandolins, a single called “Southern Sun,” and the fact that there are no bears native to Australia, something tells me that I’m not the first person to make false assumptions about the band’s origins. Boy & Bear’s newest record, “Harlequin Dream,” is relaxing, introspective, and groovy. The band’s effortless delivery on the album seems to suggest some sort of enlightened authority - It’s like each song is saying “this is just how it is…” and I believe it. 

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GROOVE: 5/5

LYRICS: 4/5

OBSCURITY: 2/5

INTRICACY: 2/5

DOPENESS: 4/5

SOUNDS LIKE: Fleet Foxes, Dr. Dog, Houndmouth

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-Jake

February 19, 2014 7:01 pm

ARTIST: Foxygen

TRACK: San Francisco

GENRE: Psychedelic Indie

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Often I’ve heard the phrase “I was born in the wrong decade” tossed around with not a lot of merit. But although Foxygen sounds deeply steeped in the proverbial tea of the 60’s, they are just gritty enough, vibey enough, and “I-don’t-give-a-fuck” enough to be making music in the 21st century too.

It’s hard to find a right place between not saying enough and saying too much about Foxygen. They have the same vibes as the first two Strokes records, mashed together with Bob Dylan’s carefree vocal style and The Doors erratic lyricism. It’s happy, laid back music that at the same time is full of surprises. Every listen yields something slightly different, but I think it’s best to let the music speak for itself.

The boys from LA are Sam France and Jon Rado.

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GROOVE: 5/5

LYRICS: 4/5

OBSCURITY: 4/5

INTRICACY: 4/5

DOPENESS: 5/5

SOUNDS LIKE: 60’s music, The Strokes, Dr. Dog

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-Nardo

February 12, 2014 7:14 pm

ARTIST: Lo Fang

TRACK: Look Away 

GENRE: Indie Electronic Pop

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Hailing from Maryland but currently based out of Los Angeles, Matthew Hemerlein aka Lo Fang is preparing for the release of his debut album on 4AD records titled Blue Film. Trained classically in string instruments, Hemerlein’s talent as a musician is highlighted not only in his songwriting and vocal delivery but also through his performance of every instrument on the album. One can’t help but notice the dense contrapuntal string lines underneath the programmed drums and synthesizers. But also consider the dynamic world that this track in particular embodies. It’s dynamic peak is at the very beginning. Something that is very uncharacteristic of popular music. The first time we hear the chorus, Hemerlein’s falsetto sits atop a heavy beat and pulsing keyboards. The last time the chorus comes around the orchestration has shifted to feature acoustic guitar and string section while retaining the same melodies - a dynamic irony of sorts in musical structure and performance. Lo Fang is a bold new voice on the scene. Pre-order Blue Film on iTunes and catch Lo Fang on tour opening for Lorde this spring. 

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GROOVE: 3/5

LYRICS: 4/5

OBSCURITY: 3/5

INTRICACY: 4/5

DOPENESS: 4/5

SOUNDS LIKE: Lorde, Chet Faker, SOHN, Bon Iver 

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Dan

February 5, 2014 7:28 pm

ARTIST: The Wood Brothers

TRACK: Luckiest Man

GENRE: Americana, Folk

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I was quick to ask my sister what she was listening to when I heard this song coming out of her speakers… I spent the rest of the day listening to The Wood Brothers’ entire discography. The interesting thing about their music, in my opinion, is that it belongs to a genre that we, as a generation, society, culture, don’t normally listen to. That said, this band of brothers (Chris Wood and Oliver Wood) presents an updated americana sound which maintains its southern growl but introduces smooth riffs that kind of remind me of something you might here by the band Spoon. On top of that, their lyrics actually mean something, which is amazing…

Check out this jam Luckiest Man, it’s hard not to enjoy. 

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GROOVE: 2/5

LYRICS: 5/5

OBSCURITY: 3/5

INTRICACY: 2/5

DOPENESS: 4/5

SOUNDS LIKE: The Sheepdogs, James Taylor, The Revivalists

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-Brandon 

July 18, 2013 1:26 pm

ARTIST: Terraplane Sun

TRACK: Get Me Golden

GENRE: Indie Rock

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“Well I got a plan in the palm of my hand, to keep me rolling,” sings Ben Rothbard of Terraplane Sun. Honestly, I’ve been going through a bit of a musical dry spell; not much more than comfortable 50’s tunes and some nice John Mayer and maybe some gangster rap to keep me afloat. But still, there’s always that nice indie tune than renews my interest in today’s scene and keeps me hopeful. Terraplane Sun is an aptly named 5 piece sunny band from Venice, California. 
I wonder what attracts me to this song. Could it be the opening keyboard hook that makes me nostalgic for a summer I never lived through? Or the perfectly gritty guitar that makes me feel proud to play my own? No, it’s both of those, but the chorus makes me think of my own plans for the future and makes me realize that we’re all striving for the same things, whether in lonely old Jersey or over in bright Cali.

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GROOVE: 5/5

LYRICS: 3/5

OBSCURITY: 5/5

INTRICACY: 3/5

DOPENESS: 4/5

SOUNDS LIKE: Leagues, Cuckoo Chaos

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-Nardo

July 16, 2013 5:29 pm
ARTIST: Zach Deputy

TRACK: Into The Morning 

GENRE: Jamband / Funk / Soul 

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If its summer, you best believe that my Zach Deputy mix tape is in rotation on my car stereo. This music is seriously chill. An excellent contemporary singer/songwriter, Deputy stands apart from the pack in that he plays around 250 shows a year in the United States. Following his posts on Facebook, it seems that Deputy is on an endless tour hitting coffee shops, restaurants, bars, festivals and beaches all over the country. Following up a hit successful debut album is a challenge that many young bands and artists struggle with, but Zach Deputy’s sophomore release ‘Sunshine’ which boasts crowd favorite tunes like Real (Gimme Somethin’ That’s Real) and Dr. Doctor, solidified Deputy’s place as an underground heavyweight. And he’s as all over the place with his genre influences as he is with his touring. A bit of reggae, a dash of motown and whole lot of souther soul all work to make Deputy’s one man show entertaining to watch and pleasurable to hear. 
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GROOVE: 3/5

LYRICS: 3/5

OBSCURITY: 3/5

INTRICACY: 2/5

DOPENESS: 4/5

SOUNDS LIKE: Jack Johnson, Amos Lee, John Butler 

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-Dan
July 10, 2013 4:48 pm

ARTIST: Lorde

TRACK: The Love Club

GENRE: Indie Pop

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I bet I wasn’t the only one surprised to find out that Ella Yelich-O’Connor (better known by her stage name Lorde) is only 16 years old. Her first EP consists of five polished songs with irresistible hooks and honest introspective lyrics that fall into no particular genre. Her voice sounds like that of someone twice her age; she delivers each lyric with a confident and classy quality that matches artists far more established than herself. This indie pop New Zealand singer songwriter is undoubtedly headed for the main stage.
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GROOVE: 5/5

LYRICS: 4/5

INTRICACY: 2/5

DOPENESS: 5/5

SOUNDS LIKE: Carroll, Lana Del Rey, The Neighbourhood    

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-Jake

July 1, 2013 4:46 pm

ARTIST: The Hood Internet 

TRACK: Just Wanna Dance Yrself Clean

GENRE: Indie/ Hip Hop/ Mix

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I want to put you, readers, into a mindset that I find myself in almost every weekend while at Middlebury. Imagine that you are in a sweaty basement overflowing with people of all sorts of backgrounds. You dont have much room to move around, let alone dance… until this song comes on. Then, imagine that without notice, a select few people on the dance floor transform themselves into what they believe their spirit animals are. That is what this song, and specifically the LCD Soundsystem song, Dance Yrself Clean, will do to you. 

What I’m trying to express is that you dont need to move your body to this song, it will move your body for you. If you get a chance, have a listen to the original LCD soundsystem song. Give it one listen on some good speakers with your friends and it will become an instant hit… I promise you.
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GROOVE: 5/5

LYRICS: 5/5

OBSCURITY: 5/5

INTRICACY: 5/5

DOPENESS: 5/5

SOUNDS LIKE: The Talking Heads

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-Brandon

June 28, 2013 9:02 pm

ARTIST: Fialta

TRACK: Cars

GENRE: Central Coast Literary Pop 

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There’s a beach in New Jersey called Cape May that I recently visited. It’s also a lively little town, bolstered by years of boating, saltwater-taffy making, and beautiful people from all over New Jersey (yes, they exist!) that come to enjoy the vibes and the sun. The reason I mention it in a music review is that, although Fialta is a band hailing from San Luis Obispo, California, they capture that nostalgic summeriness that you can only find in the hot, hot days in June on the road and the shore. I first heard their EP, 3p, on Spotify over the last year and was struck by the intermingling of male and female vocals, electric guitars so mellow that they lose themselves among their acoustics, and raw sounding thumping kicks from the bass and drums end.
You may write off Fialta as too similar sounding to many other artists. But what makes their music different is their vibe. The sound on their new song ‘Cars’ is contingent with their other material—genuine. It sounds natural. It’s soft, mellow music that doesn’t hit you in the face with over-production and instead asks you politely for a dance. 

Oh, and they have a new album next month. 

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GROOVE: 3/5

LYRICS: 4/5

OBSCURITY: 5/5

INTRICACY: 4/5

DOPENESS: 4/5

SOUNDS LIKE: Dr. Dog, Local Natives, Rubblebucket

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-Nardo