To sample the output of the Oberlin rock renaissance, start with these
One Time Bells
Obies: Nick Stumpf '97 and Matt Stinchcomb '97
On this album, the Kicks temper the sleazy, Stones-meets-Clash sound
of their earlier EPs with an almost baroque sense of intricate arrangements.
It's the exquisite detailslike tiny doos in three-part harmony,
a sly rhythm on a cowbell, or slight variations that keep a riff fresh
as it repeatsthat make the band's art-rock swagger stand out
from the pack.
Band page (MP3s available): http://www.frenchkicks.com
For years, Karla Schickele '88 brought her earthy bass playing and
precise voice to the indie band Ida. In k., her solo project, her
songwriting and piano playing take center stage in songs that go from
quietly tumultuous to disarmingly homey.
Band page: http://www.southern.com/southern/band/KK000/TGS34.html
Dying in Stereo
Obies: Correne Spero '98 and Julie Potash
Above the old-school beats and samples, three Long Island-bred ladies
free-associate giddily about Johnny Cash, Dorothy Parker, and dental
floss. The gleeful vibe is infectious, and their feminism is more
than just talk; this hip-hop trio makes many of their own beats and
Band page (audio clips available): http://www.northernstate.net
Each One Teach One
Obies: Fat Bobby '95
This double CD redefines psychedelia by layering repetitive guitars
and organ chords with a heavy, never-ending beat, creating mood music
for the sped-up 21st century.
Band page: http://www.enemyhogs.com
Obies: Jeannie Kwon '00, Brian Chase '00, and Zach Lehrhoff '00
Hearkening back to post-punk pioneers like Gang of 4 and new wave
giants like the B-52s, the Seconds serve up jerky, edgy, three-minute
songs shot through with guitar riffs that sear, bass lines that growl,
and vocals that yelp.
Band page (MP3s available): http://www.killrockstars.com/bands/factsheets/theseconds/
Magnolia Electric Co.
Obies: Jason Molina '97
Jason Molina assembles a different band for every album, and his sound
morphs accordingly. On this album, his newest and finest, country-flavored
songs are swirled with ghostly, ancient-sounding vocals. Certain to
become a classic.
Band page: http://www.secretlycanadian.com/secretlycanadian/songsohia/
Yeah Yeah Yeahs
Touch and Go
Obies: Karen O and Brian Chase '00
The YYYs hit it big without ever releasing a full-length record. Their
self-titled EP ranges from the exuberantly dirty "Bang"
to the triumphant anthem "Our Time." Karen O belts out five
songs over a single rock guitar, and Brian Chase tackles powerfully
complex drumming. Their debut album, Fever to Tell, was released in
Band page (MP3s available): http://www.yeahyeahyeahs.com
Because of Your Melodic Nature (the moonlight never misses an appointment)
Obies: Jackie Linge '97, Jeremy Broomfield '97, and Jumee Park '99
This Obie band has been together for six months, playing with other
artists such as Mary Timony, The Mendoza Line, Mayday, Cordero, and
Band page (MP3s available): http://www.stationsoundstudios.com/scobee