Interpol – Interpol

I put on my headphones and started listening to Interpol’s self-titled release with the sole goal of reviewing it. Thirty minutes later, as my mind was off daydreaming, it suddenly occurred to me that I was still listening to the album. That should say something about how interesting Interpol is.

Interpol’s latest effort isn’t engaging in the least. To say it’s a bore would be saying too much, because at least boredom is a reaction.

The main problem is the pacing and mood of the album. Interpol has succeeded brilliantly in the past by either plodding slowly and glibly along (the 2002 debut Turn On The Bright Lights) or having a sly pep to their step – dark but sleek (2005’s Antics). Interpol splits the difference and the results are tedious at best. It’s just not a feel which the band can thrive playing. Continue reading

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Syracuse Game Day Music Piece from The Syracuse Post-Standard

Meet Roger Springfield: the man behind the music at Carrier Dome

Another season of music has begun for one of Syracuse’s mainstays. But the sounds aren’t emanating from a concert hall — they’re echoing off the walls of the Carrier Dome. While music isn’t the reason that fans pour into the Carrier Dome to watch Orange athletics, it’s a vital part of the game experience. And Roger Springfield is the man who makes the calls on what music the fans hear.

Music “accentuates the flow of the game,” said Springfield, director of media properties and production at Syracuse University. “It’s something that if it’s being done well you don’t notice it consciously. You just react to it.”

Unlike the Wizard of Oz, Springfield stays safely tucked out of sight — it’s his second year on the job. From his perch in the press box during home football and basketball games, he coordinates the flow between canned or recorded music and the live music played by the SU marching band. He wears a headset to communicate with the Director of the SU Marching Band, Justin Mertz. Continue reading

Big Emotion – Mouse Fire

It’s hard to put a finger on Big Emotion, the latest release by Mouse Fire.

The album is clearly dance rock, but it falls somewhere between Hockey (the more indie side of things) and Cobra Starship (the more whatever you define Cobras Starship as). The problem is this midpoint Mouse Fire has landed on is shaky ground, never establishing a firm foothold on either the side of the slightly over-thought hipster rock or that of blissfully careless teen pop. The band seems to be pulled by each end of the spectrum, and unfortunately staying in the middle just doesn’t sound great.

Mouse Fire employs a cavalcade of sounds. While the guitar riffs are funky and fun, the synth is the driving force of the album, mostly for the worse. The production has resulted in a sound that is incredibly glossy. It lacks any warmth and doesn’t let the listener grasp anything fully. To underscore this point, I didn’t realize the acoustic-based “But, It’s Not What You Think” was in fact an acoustic track until it was directly pointed out to me via band’s bio on the Lujo Records’ website. The production and surrounding synths completely bury the simple emotional humanity of the acoustic guitar.

Oddly enough, the best track is probably the messiest of the bunch, “True, I May Have Lost It.” It combines random rattles and multiple key sounds into something that is just chaotic enough to work. The eccentricity isn’t as frustratingly middling. Continue reading