New Pornographers at Union Transfer, Phila. 11/20/14

By Aurora Wetherill of LightsOn w/ Aurora, Thursdays at 10pm.

Last Thursday, 11/20/14, a darling friend of mine took me to see the New Pornographers in Philadelphia at Union Transfer, a show at the end of their “Brill Bruisers” tour. It was fantastic. Herein lies the account of my experience.

First off, I’ve got a bone to pick with Philadelphia. I’m from Philly, and I love the place dearly, but god these people do not understand concert conduct. At a Philadelphia show, you either encounter a bunch of drunk under 21 year-olds being generally raucous and disrespectful, or you end up with a bunch of sullen hipsters who refuse to demonstrate their joy. There is almost no crowd action in Philly and it’s been like this my whole concert-going career. I went with an older friend and he says it wasn’t always like this. My friend, half way through the show, said to me “jesus christ, Aurora these people should be jumping up and down in unison, this place should reek of sweat and everyone should be so excited to be here. This show is amazing, what is wrong with these people?!” You can never tell if a Philly crowd is into the show until you hear their applause. I think they liked the show. They definitely should have liked the show. But we’ll never know. Moving on.

A poor quality photo of The Pains of Being Pure at Heart.

A poor quality photo of The Pains of Being Pure at Heart.

So the intro band was great. They were The Pains of Being Pure at Heart, and they kicked ass. The Pains of Being Pure at Heart have accompanied the New Pornographers on their tour, and have received acclaim from such outlets as Pitchfork and the New York Times. They were so energetic, utilizing the male high tenor vocals I miss from the “scene” era of my teenage years, the gorgeous harmonies that only a pitch perfect mixed gender vocal duo can deliver, and a unique and vivacious indie-pop style all their own. (By the way, I should mention that I deplore the label “indie.” Does that simply refer to independent labels? Is it a genre of music that all shares a common theme or style? No, it’s neither of those, damn it. Fun’s music is definitively indie, but they’re popular and currently signed to Fueled By Ramen, a subsidiary of Warner Music Group, a decidedly major label. What I’m saying is that indie is a meaningless term and we should stop using it.) They were loud, talented, and adorable; I felt like I could have gone to school with them. The highlight of their set was their penultimate song, Eurydice (link here.) I’ll be interviewing them soon so, stay tuned, folks.


The author and Kip Berman, lead singer and guitarist; bros.

I guess I’ll finally talk about the New Pornographers. That sounded morose; I do not feel morose about this band. They are amazing. (The photograph at the top is the only one I could snap of the NPs before the bouncer shut me down; “no photos allowed” meant a much more engaging experience, on the whole, anyway.) The New Pornographers are a Canadian band hailing from British Columbia, formed in 1999, and interestingly they are one of our featured artists this semester! If you know anything about this band, you know that it’s full of amazing, talented performers and songwriters, all driven to create great albums; you probably also know that their individual careers have on many occasions absconded with them. This show, however, included all of the the elusive contributors, including Neko Case, Carl Newman, and Dan Bejar, who have rarely performed all together since 2005. It was so exciting! They also played 26 songs. 21 of the songs were their regular set, and then they did a three song encore, and then they did a two song encore. The played for two hours! That is insane. The really neat thing about the New Pornographers’ music is that every song features one or two heavily repeated lines, allowing even new listeners to sing along with pride. There were plenty of Neko songs, Carl songs, and Dan songs, and we even got a song by their lovely keyboardist Kathryn Calder, who is, as it turns out, Carl Newman’s niece. Their show was marked by the constant flow of performers onto and off of the stage. Newman stayed on pretty much the whole time, but Neko Case and Dan Bejar ran on and off, to either recover or drink beer. About half way through the show, Bejar brought Newman a beer, and Newman took the opportunity to mention something along the lines of: “ah yes, Canadians are weird, but we are American…yes we are American.” They are silly. Musical highlights from the show were the introductory song, the titular “Brill Bruisers,” and also off their new album, “Marching Orders.” Their two encores were also brilliant, although I found the length of the whole show rather exhausting. But that’s probably because I was the only person dancing. After the second encore, the ever-bizarre Neko Case left us with this: “take care of yourselves, and take care of each other.” Thanks, Neko.

twitter: @rortortle


A Very Tropical Interview w/ Thero

By Aurora Wetherill, of LightsOn w/ Aurora, Thursdays@10pm.

So, Thero is amazing. “Who is Thero?” you might ask. Well, he’s the man. He’s producing some of the most innovative and invigorating tropical house music to date. He’s the man out-doing his heros. And you definitely haven’t heard of him yet.

You might also be wondering what tropical house music is. It’s house music characterized by synthetic bongos, steel drums, and flutes, and it floats somewhere around 110 beats per minute. It essentially makes you feel like you’re lying in the shade of a palm tree sharing a cool drink with the love of your life. If you don’t like it, you probably don’t like anything lovely and you probably don’t use your vacation days either.

Thero, which is the tropical house moniker of Connecticut-born TJ Sarda, has been twisting lesser songs into full on badass sax-infused low-BPM tropical bangers for about 6 months now, although he has been producing for three years. He says he really only found his sound this past Spring, and that he was heavily influenced by tropical house innovators Kygo and Klingande. He has no formal musical training, but he has an obvious comprehension and proficiency with his material. He began producing after he saw Avicii play at Red Rocks (in CO) back in 2011– he says something just clicked, and he knew he needed to make music.

So this guy is pretty young. He only graduated from Notre Dame University this past May, with a degree in entrepreneurship. He’s got a day job as an innovation consultant at a small firm, and says that music is just his “side hustle.” I asked him if he felt like he was about to get mega-famous, and he responded with great humility: “I’m just doin what I love and people dig it. What more could you ask for?”

We talked a little about the state of music these days, and how there’s really only money in live performance. He gives all of his music away for free on his Facebook and his Soundcloud, by the way. These days, people don’t just want to see their favorite artist perform; they want to see him blow their damn minds with insane lasers and confetti and champagne showers. I asked Thero if he was ready for it, to which he responded, “if people want to see me play, I’ll play. That’s how it’ll be.” Thero is going to do Thero and he doesn’t care if the world isn’t into it. But for reference, the world is totally into it. He’s got over 800,000 plays on Soundcloud.

Thero’s two all-time favorite bands are the Dave Matthews Band and Slightly Stoopid. I asked him if he would assess himself as a “bro” and he gave me a hard “maybe.” I think he would have been an IBNM major if he had attended Dickinson. His current jam is the sweet soul song, “Coming Home,” by Leon Bridges, and he says he’s been into Filous and Snbrn lately as well. He also mentioned that he’s a dog person, which he followed up with “sorry.” He’s definitely not sorry.

I’m personally a mega-fan of this guy, and when I nerd out to him, he always responds to my messages and sometimes he sends me his works in progress. The man knows how to build rapport. Thero gained a fan for life.

I asked Thero how he keeps it tropical on frosty days like today, and he gave me some truly wise words: “Just remember to smile. People get so caught up in life. Sometimes you just need to step back and appreciate everything.” Keep it tropical, folks.

Oh, and in case you were wondering, he’s got plans for a Spring ’15 tour. You can find out more and download all of his sweet tropical beats here:

Thero’s Facebook, Soundcloud, Twitter.

I highly recommend his mix of “Comes and Goes,” by Greg Lasswell, and his mix of “Mrs. Cold,” by Kings of Convenience. 

Don’t forget to follow him on twitter! @TheroMusic

Follow Aurora @rortortle


NEW Featured Artists (11/18/14)

Hello WDVC-ites.

The Music Directors had a few new featured artists that we’d like to share with you this week, so look out for these awesome bandz!



DOROTHY (picture from


DorothyDorothy EP

Currently obsessed with her wicked vocals and hard-hitting sound, Dorothy is reckless and cool. You can download the band’s EP off of this page, but also catch them on air! (especially if you like the idea of Kurt Cobain paired with Janis Joplin)





The Liberty Underground

The Liberty Underground (picture from their website)


The Liberty Underground Three Feet from Gold

Loving considered grunge by one of our music directors, this band will rock your socks off, and you can even get a free download of one of their songs off of their website!

The Lib­erty Under­ground is a high energy Amer­i­can Hard Rock band based in Arling­ton, TX by way of Scran­ton, PA. The core tenets of the band are free­dom, per­sonal respon­si­bil­ity, hard work, and the belief in the power of the human mind.




Screen Shot 2014-11-18 at 3.11.55 PM(Pictured above) Jess Reimer – The Nightjar and the Garden

From her artist page:

With a voice that combines the grittiness of Lucinda Williams with the pure power of Neko Case, it’s hardly a surprise that Jess attracted the attention of legendary Blue Rodeo founding keyboardist (and Manitoba native) Bob Wiseman, who produced The Nightjar and The Garden. Wiseman’s fondness of vintage sounds and a live approach in the studio emphasizes the raw beauty of Jess’ vocals, as well as the wide range of emotions in her songwriting, from the hard twang of “Maggie The Retriever (Bang Bang)” to the gospel-infused “I Want To Believe.”



Flying Lotus; You’re Dead! tour, Tower Theater, Phila. 10/13/14

by Aurora Wetherill, of LightsOn w/ Aurora, Thursdays@10pm.

I have seen Flying Lotus, a.k.a. 31 year old Steven Ellison, perform live three times now. Everytime, he changes my life. This is not an exaggeration.

The venue is kind of weird; Id never been to the Tower Theater before. Its enormous, complete with two floors and rows on rows of some kind of semi-permanent folding theater chairs that you could disrupt irreparably with a misplaced step. The chairs ended up going largely unused once FlyLo came on, but provided a safe place to retreat to if an audience member got (understandably) overwhelmed.

Thundercat opened the show, wearing a big wolf pelt on his head playing a 6 string electric bass, putting on an incredible jam with one of the best synth/keyboard players Ive ever seen. Thundercat is always spectacular, and a supreme warm up for whats coming.

A FlyLo performance is neither all music or all show. He stands in between two screens, one in front of him, and one behind him. His visual team constructs the most impossibly mind-bending, beautiful displays and projects them through him. I have seen this particular performance twice. His most recent show incorporates a new element; the front screen is now cubically shaped, allowing for intimidating visuals centered on a spinal meridian in the middle of the stage. Most of the visuals were new, like in Sultans Request where the new front screen projected a lightning box around Mr. Lotus on each heavy beat. The visuals for Getting There (ft. Niki Randa) were the same as the last two sets, but they are incredible so there were no complaints. Galaxy In Jakobi, towards the end of the show, served to show the audience that Mr. Lotus is their God. No one took issue.

Unfortunately, neither Mr. Lotus nor Thundercat came out after the show, although not for lack of throngs waiting for them.

Follow @rortortle

Kygo w/ Thomas Jack, Endless Summer Tour, Union Transfer, Phila. 10/17/14

By Aurora Wetherill, of LightsOn w/ Aurora, Thursdays @10pm.

Have you heard of this tropical house music? It’s this new thing all the kids are listening to, heavy on the synthetic flutes and steel drums, with epic drops remixed into familiar media. If you know tropical house, odds are you know the name Kygo. Kygo is a 23 year old Norwegian man with a funny voice and a great relationship with his fans. He has remixed such gems as Marvin Gaye’s “Sexual Healing” and The Weekend’s “Often.” People like him. I like him. I saw him and his compatriot, Thomas Jack, on their Endless Summer tour at Union Transfer on the Friday of fall pause.

First off, Union Transfer is an excellent venue. They keep the place cool, the bathrooms are accessible, and water is fairly cheap. I got in before the rest of the patrons because I am over 21, which is pretty sweet. The bouncers remember faces, so you can drop in and drop out as you please.

We arrived shortly before Thomas Jack went on. He came on, and everyone pushed forward to get a closer look at his goofy curly locks and smile. He did a fairly good job of keeping the audience’s attention, and he played a goodly number of original mixes. He played his spectacular mix of “Somewhere Over the Rainbow,” and we went crazy on our own, a distance away from the awful crowd, tucked in near the exit. An underage EDM crowd is a terrible sea to try to swim; you have been warned.


Thomas Jack, spinning wonderful house jams.

Kygo himself was excellent, and extremely engaging. He only played a couple of new mixes, and didn’t do any real mixing during the show, at least from what I could tell. But he ordered the songs well and provided pleasant tropically themed visual backdrops for the set. The crowd was very emotionally responsive and was the most lively I’ve literally ever seen at a Philly show. For the finale, he played his mix of The Weekend’s “Often,” and the crowd just melted. It got fairly sensual in there.

Basically: tickets were cheap (20$,) parking was REALLY cheap, and I got to hear some of my favorite jams pumped at levels usually wildly unacceptable for my surroundings. Overall, a pretty solid night.

Follow @ourulan


You’re Dead! Flying Lotus Killed You; an Album Review

by Aurora Wetherill of LightsOn w/ Aurora, Thursdays@1opm.

Flying Lotus new album Youre Dead is at once more raw and more refined than any of his previous albums. Each note is poignant, deliberate, and clear as glass. His track with Snoop Dogg is a little grating, but it seems intentional; Snoops lyrics discuss possibilities for why your body crapped out on you to an 8-bit beat. Youre Dead also has a good deal more instrumental variation than its precursors, such as the distorted guitar and jingle bells featured in “Turkey Dog Coma”. The Japanese psychedelic artist, Shintaro Kago, created a unique set of works to accompany You’re Dead, and each songs artwork lends contextual insight and a note of black humor. The artwork for Siren Song consists of a shapely woman opening her mouth and tying up her hair, while her bottom half unravels; Turtles’ artwork features a dying woman taking a selfie. Flying Lotus says something new in each of his albums, and each album features a different theme. Cosmogramma (2010) was a cosmic dance adventure, Until The Quiet Comes (2012) was a celestial emotional voyage, and Youre Dead feels like an embrace of and meditation on the void that his previous albums only sometimes acknowledge. There is life in death and there is death in life. Youre Dead is dark, irregular, and probably perfect. Flying Lotus will be performing at the Tower Theater in Upper Darby, Pensylvania, on October 14th.

Follow @rortortle

New Featured Artists!

Music Directors here!

Today in our meeting we added four new albums to our featured artist heavy rotation, so keep an ear out for them!

Kat Edmonson – The Big Picture

“Reluctantly calling herself vintage pop, this “unconventional crooner” has made her way through coffeehouses to her new album, “the big picture” which is energetic and upbeat.” – featured in a New York Times article

Philip Selway – Weatherhouse

You know him as the drummer from Radiohead, Philip Selway second solo album is minimalist indie rock with some electronic layers.

Firestarter – Forget the Past EP

An awesome Albany, NY based pop-punk band. You can listen to their entire EP online here!

Zola Jesus – Taiga

“Zola Jesus is an intensely intellectual, reserved singer who happens to possess the pipes of a vocal powerhouse.  Her latest album, Taiga, is polished and poppy, but also ethereal and spooky, a perfect listen for brisk fall nights or burning autumn mornings.” – featured in a Refinery29 article, here

Liam Bailey “Definitely NOW” – Album Review

Definitely NOW by Liam Bailey is a great blues album that has a twinge of just about everything. In the first track “ On My Mind” he seems to be channeling a very bluesy almost 12 bar feel. However he covers quite more than a few styles as his album progresses. Early in the album he is clearly drawing from the style of The Black Keys, however at no point in time did I feel that he was simply copying them. He had such a unique voice that that alone sets him apart from anyone else. His 5th song “Villian” has a different almost hard hip hop back beat to it that could easily be used as a sample in an actual hip hop track. But don’t just hold him to hard hitting drum and guitar songs he does slow things down very well in the later half of the album. These ballads are anything but typical ballads. Where a normal rock ballad sounds a bit boring to me, Bailey however brings an almost indie funk and blues with a hint of reggae to the party. He sheds the whole band in “Battle Hym…” for an acoustic guitar and his milky voice to deliver a touching sentiment. Even though all of the tracks bring something special to the album I think the strongest track has to be one of the least noticed, “Summer Rain.” This tune allows Bailey to truly show that he truly he has the vocal flexibility to be a contender in the Big Leagues. Overall this album will not compare to anything you’ve listened to so far, not entirely though. This would be one of those albums that I would consider does it right. Bailey knows what he’s doing and is able to channel a multiplicity of feels and styles without ever sounds trope or mundane. Definitely NOW is definitely good!

~Alex Dillon


Album Art for Definitely NOW

Featured Artist Update (4/22/2014)

As 6 new albums go in, 6 old albums have to come out. Such, there is balance. This week, we added some great new music, including an EP from DWNTWN that’s sure to thrill fans of electro-style indie in the vein of CHVRCHES or Crystal Castles, and a noisy album from Pink Mountaintops that, in the words of Music Director Jon ” is good music, but doesn’t follow pop conventions”. We’ve also began keeping track of how long albums have been in the binder for. On the other side, we said goodbye to some of our favorite albums of the spring, including Night Drive’s Position 1 and Bend Sinister’s Animals. Be sure to check back next week for another Featured Artist Update.

  • Austin Plaine – Austin Plaine (3 weeks)
  • The Black Angels – Clear Lake Forest (1 week)
  • Big Scary – Not Art (4 weeks)
  • Chappo – Future Former Self (3 weeks)
  • Cloud Nothings – Here + Nowhere Else (3 weeks)
  • Dan Croll – Sweet Disarray  (3 weeks)
  • Doghouse Swine – Dogs of War (4 weeks)
  • Drake Bell – Ready Steady Go! (3 weeks)
  • Dry Heeves – Boogie Till Ya Puke (5 weeks)
  • EMA – The Future’s Void (New)
  • Future Islands – Singles (3 weeks)
  • Grumpus – Man Child (2 weeks)
  • Howler – World of Joy (3 weeks)
  • Jack Berry – Heathen Heart (New)
  • Jeremy Steding – My Own American Dream (5 weeks)
  • Jessie Clegg – Life on Mars (3 weeks)
  • Kate Tucker and the Sons of Sweden – The Shape, The Color, The Feel (3 weeks)
  • Keley Mae – Keley Mae (3 weeks)
  • Kingston Crown – Show Me Now (5 weeks)
  • Liars – Mess (3 weeks)
  • Little Lapin – Little Lapin (3 weeks)
  • Longboat – Untitled Vanity Project (New)
  • Matt Koelsch and the Allies – Epic Summer (New)
  • Mr. Little Jeans – Pocket Knife (3 weeks)
  • My Fiction – Shallow Highs (3 weeks)
  • Peter Lalush – Crash! (4 weeks)
  • Pink Mountaintops – Get Back (New)
  • RAC – Strangers (2 weeks)
  • Tijuana Bullfight –Southern California (3 weeks)
  • We Are Scientists – TV en Francais (5 weeks)
  • Wild Ones – Keep it Safe (2 weeks)



  • Phebe Starr – Zero (7 weeks)
  • Ruby the Rabbitfoot – New as Dew (7 weeks)
  • The Falls – Into the Fire (7 weeks)
  • Lone Tyger – Lone Tyger (7 weeks)
  • Bend Sinister – Animals (7 weeks)
  • Night Drive – Position 1 (7 weeks)

Featured Artist Update 4/09/14

We’re returning to a (hopefully) weekly update schedule with regards to Featured Artists. Be sure to check back here every Wednesday to get your updates on what is in the Featured Artist Binder for the week. This week, we added in Wild Ones and RAC. Wild Ones is a chill piece of female-fronted indie rock, while RAC is an electronic smorgasbord of guest stars including Tegan and Sara, Tokyo Police Club, YACHT, and Bloc Party’s Kele Okereke. Other personal recommendations from the binder include the debut album of Norwegian space-songstress Mr. Little Jeans (check out her cover of Arcade Fire’s “The Suburbs”), the new release from Future Islands, and the surprisingly good rocker from Drake Bell (yes, that Drake Bell).

Current Featured Artists

  • Austin Plaine – Austin Plaine
  • Bend Sinister – Animals
  • Big Scary – Not Art
  • Chappo – Future Former Self
  • Cloud Nothings – Here + Nowhere Else
  • Dan Croll – Sweet Disarray
  • Doghouse Swine – Dogs of War
  • Drake Bell – Ready Steady Go!
  • Dry Heeves – Boogie Till Ya Puke
  • Future Islands – Singles
  • Howler – World of Joy
  • Jeremy Steding – My Own American Dream
  • Jessie Clegg – Life on Mars
  • Kate Tucker and the Sons of Sweden – The Shape, The Color, The Feel
  • Keley Mae – Keley Mae
  • Kingston Crown – Show Me Now
  • Liars – Mess
  • Little Lapin – Little Lapin
  • Lone Tyger – Lone Tyger
  • Mr. Little Jeans – Pocket Knife
  • My Fiction – Shallow Highs
  • Night Drive – Position 1
  • Peter Lalush – Crash!
  • Phebe Starr – Zero
  • RAC – Strangers
  • Ruby the Rabbitfoot – New as Dew
  • The Falls – Into the Fire
  • Tijuana Bullfight –Southern California
  • We Are Scientists – TV en Francais
  • Wild Ones – Keep it Safe