The Wacky And Weird You Need to Hear: IRONTOM

First Things First: Why the Wacky and Weird?

Let’s talk about the weird side of music. Those random groups you happen to find while surfing the depths of YouTube. That opener at the concert you went to last week. Yes, even that band your second cousin showed you at your last family reunion. The Wacky and Weird You Need to Hear aims to enlighten you on all things strange and NOT mainstream. This series will set out to open your eyes to the big wide world of music. Music isn’t just today’s top 20 or Cardi B‘s newest album. Music should be something that individuals connect with and can relate to you personally. That’s why we’re here, to enhance your relationship with music. Welcome to the depths of alternative music my friends. Welcome to IRONTOM. 

The indie-rock group debuted in Los Angeles, California in 2012. It’s five members can bring serious hype during their live performances. I saw them at The Complex in Salt Lake City accompanying AWOLNATION at their show in March. It isn’t very often I see openers make a crowd go crazy, but IRONTOM knocked concert junkies’ socks off! Their sound is reminiscent of a classic 90’s garage band mixed in with synthesizers creating a modern vibe. Rehashing old musical themes with modern technology is something that is seen in a good portion of today’s alternative music.

Now, let’s talk about stage presence. As I said earlier these guys have serious skills. Their main vocalist, Harry Hayes, is an INSANE performer. He moved from one end of the stage to another putting his all into the music. His hands flailed about the air and along his body with an amazing energy that showcased the tenacity of IRONTOM. The other band members fed off his energy and before long everyone in the crowd had their hands in the air as IRONTOM rocked the house.

From their eccentric vocalist to their classic 90’s vibe, IRONTOM is one of those groups you find and don’t want to share. Their music is so gold you wanna keep it all to yourself. So listen, don’t tell your friends, and I will hear from you next time.

Song suggestions: “Be Bold Like Elijah”, “Brain Go”, “Hookers”

Reflections of a Former K-UTE Station Manager

In the beginning…

When I first started at K-UTE I had no intention of progressing through the organization. In fact, I only intended to stay for a year, if not less. I actively tried to distance myself from extracurriculars when I came to the University of Utah. Four years of high school had been marching band and economics club. I was pretty burnt out on extracurriculars and the politics that came with them, wanting to throw myself into my school work.  As a sophomore I even said, “I do not want all of the responsibility and work of being station manager”. Yet, here I am finishing my tenure as Station Manager.

I felt incredibly lost my first semester of college. Not being from Utah, I had gone to school with the same people since I was five years-old, and I knew exactly one person in the greater Salt Lake area. I had friends and a lot of them are now really close friends. But at the time I felt extremely isolated. Without the confines of a group activity, space, or goal, I did not know how to interact with most people and it was difficult to find people who shared similar interests. I seriously considered transferring my first semester, enough to look into the paperwork. And then I became involved with the K-UTE.

Venture into inspiration

I was always a fan of the Adult Swim series The Venture Bros. I watched my first episode when I was seven, which is way too young to be watching The Venture Bros. But sometime in my junior year of high school, I became obsessed with it.  I must have gone through all four seasons at least five times. One of my favorite characters, Pete White, was a DJ in college and I had always thought how cool it would be to work at a college radio station. When I realized that transferring was not the answer to my isolation, I began to seriously look into K-UTE. I skipped class to attend my first meeting and never looked back.

The next four years at K-UTE

Over the next four years K-UTE became my life in many ways. I was one of the first producers, wrote the first K-UTE blog, and built the Crimson Venue brand. The station became my home away from home and out of all the buildings I spent time in at the U of U. The Union is easily the one where I spent the most of my time with all of the tabling, paperwork, interviews, music, and just hanging out. That doesn’t even include all the time  spent hauling gear, tabling at events, and attending concerts. I could go on, but the point is clear, for the past four years I have lived and breathed K-UTE Radio.

It’s a little bizarre to realize that this is it. I noticed last week when the director’s meeting shifted focus towards next year that my time was up. For the past four years I have been intimately involved with K-UTE, but if I stay any longer, I can only hurt it. Not just because I am graduating but because this station is about to make a huge leap and it’s time for us to part ways. It’s like when your Uber drops you off from a long night out with friends. You’re sad it’s over, but you’re tired, it’s now Sunday, and at some point you have to take a serious look at that backpack full of homework on your desk. I’m really happy with how I am leaving this place. It has given me so much and in turn I have helped ensure that it has bright future. This is my stop, hope you have a good time without me 😉

 

-Just Geoff

 

What’s On My Playlist: Indie Rock

I know finals are just around the corner, so if you’re stressed out here are a couple of my favorite songs to help calm you down and get ready to bullshit your way through some final project. If the playlist doesn’t help, you can always cry to the same songs on your way back to campus this summer.

“The Glow, Pt. 2”, The Microphones (2001)

“The Glow, Pt. 2” is the second song off the album of the same name and the continuation of “The Glow” from It Was Hot, We Stayed in the Water (2000). Phil Elverum’s boyish voice sings of opening himself up to love and it blowing up in his face. He is now left to deal with his own mortality when he would rather curl up and die. The Microphones have a way of making me feel so small and insignificant, but they do so in the most beautiful way. The “my blood flows harshly” part is so haunting and intense and gives me chills every time.

“Oh Comely”, Neutral Milk Hotel (1998)

The longest track off the album In An Aeroplane Over the Sea, “Oh Comely” is a stirring ballad that is dark and slow. Most of the song is a single acoustic guitar and Jeff Mangum’s unpolished voice. The melody slowly rises multiple times before dropping back to the sullen guitar barely staying alive. The horns appearing near the end add an exquisite touch. Lyrically this song is so elegant, but its the non-lexical singing during the bridge and outro that leave me in tears as the song slows to a halt.

“Wasp Nest”, The National (2004)

The National begins their EP Cherry Tree with this simplistic beauty. Soft shaken bells jingle in the background giving the song an almost holiday feel, as if you’re riding in an open-sleigh. The graceful guitar riffs and deep lazy vocals create the most peaceful sound sculpture. This song just makes me want to cuddle up next to someone under a blanket sipping wine.

“Bad Diary Days”, Pedro The Lion (1998)

This track is so heartbreaking and gorgeous. The lyrics tell the story of a man figuring out his girlfriend has been cheating on him. Pedro The Lion creates a feel that is like “this sucks and hurts a lot… what do I do now?” Musically this song is not overly complex but the opening guitar note and intermediate riff are moody and alluring. The song slightly picks up in the last minute but retains its overall calm feel.

“Staring at the Sun (Demo)”, TV On The Radio (2004)

This is a bonus track from the album Desperate Youth, Blood Thirsty Babes with the full song appearing earlier on the record. Being just a demo, it is super lo-fi using little more than looped vocals. The song begins and is sung through the first verse. The loop suddenly stops, a couple words are muttered and they start the song over, using beatboxing to give it a stronger feel. Lead singer Tunde Adebimpe showcases his range with beautiful falsetto throughout the track. The simplicity and originality of this demo are excellent and leave me electrified.

“Still”, Volcano Choir (2009)

Volcano Choir formed in Wisconsin in 2005 as a collaborative project between the members of Collections of Colonies of Bees and Justin Vernon of Bon Iver. “Still” is the re-recording of “Woods” from Bon Iver’s Blood Bank that was released earlier in 2009. This version features a full band as opposed to the Bon Iver’s version which is sung acapella. Long drawn out synths are accompanied by tiny glitches and little dings as Vernon sings the repeated moving phrase “I’m up in the woods, I’m down on my mind, I’m building a still, to slow down the time.” I’m can’t say this version is better than the original, but it is definitely worth a listen.

 

 

 

 

Sportsmanlike Conduct April 5th – Best Time of the Sports Year

On this week’s episode of Sportsmanlike Conduct, hosts Damon Ngo and Bennett Johnson return from a short break to keep you updated on the latest in Utah sports. Topics discussed include Utah men’s basketball, women’s gymnastics, women’s softball, Utes baseball, and the Utah Jazz’s playoff outlook.

Intro Music by Brooke Johnson