Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Liam Sillery: Phenomenology (OA2)

Liam Sillery: Phenomenology (OA2) - For his fourth album, trumpeter Liam Sillery straddles the line between traditional and free jazz. Within non-standard time signatures creative solos flourish. The sonic roller-coaster balances foundation and freewheeling. Grab a ticket and climb aboard. Recommended. Play 1 2 3

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Welcome to WDCE

Student-run and operated since 1960, WDCE has been the voice of independent radio in Richmond. WDCE is affiliated with and located at University of Richmond in Richmond, Virginia.

Students have used it as a launching pad to careers in radio or other mass communications as well as a fun extra-curricular activity. Non-students have also played an important role in broadcasting continuity and diversity.

Over the years, WDCE has brought many concerts to the campus including DC punk legends Fugazi, indie favorites Death Cab For Cutie, and hip-hop veteran Masta Ace.

WDCE was located in the Tyler Haynes Commons since its first broadcast, but was recently relocated and renovated to the North Court basement.

Alumni and former DJ's are encouraged to drop us a line on Facebook to reminisce about the good times they had at WDCE, so interested students and new DJ's can hear how great it can be to be involved with college radio!


As we approach the end of the school year, now is an excellent time for people interested to get involved. Students that live or will be staying locally may have an opportunity to try new or different time slots. Non-Students may also get a chance to experiment with different styles of music or fill-in for a student DJ.

Monday, March 1, 2010

Polar Bear: Peepers (Leaf)

Polar Bear: Peepers (Leaf) – London based quintet Polar Bear combines swinging modern jazz with an avant edge and post-rock. Entwined tenor saxes, guitar/electronics, bass and drums exceed the sum of their parts. Drummer / leader Seb Rochford's mix of patterns span punchy funk, jazzy offbeats and worldly-rhythms - providing a unique foundation for the ensemble to flourish. RIYL: Tortoise, Hotel X, Kammerflimmer Kollektief Recommended.

Matt Pryor: Confidence Man (Vagrant)

Matt Pryor: Confidence Man (Vagrant) - Matt Pryor (frontman for Get-Up Kids and New Amsterdams) presents his solo debut.  It’s a singular, acoustic based affair that blends Appalachian traditions with emotive Midwestern songwriting.  His quiet vocals explore both confessional and observational perspectives.  “I’ve always wanted to do something that was quieter and acoustic and could be played by one person,” says Pryor. “I just want to have my little folk moment.”  Good.

Lackthereof: Your Anchor (Barsuk)

Lackthereof: Your Anchor (Barsuk) - With pervious releases on Portland based FILMguerrero, Lackthereof is a 10 year strong side project from Menomena drummer Danny Seim.  Clearly the northwestern lo-fi, DIY aesthetic in his blood as it’s a singular effort.  His rhythmic centered arrangements are colored by guitar and keyboard accents.  Isn’t it interesting how an anchor can both pull you under and hold you steady?  Recommended. 

Delta Spirit: Ode To Sunshine (Rounder)

Delta Spirit: Ode To Sunshine (Rounder) - Cheers to San Diego five-piece Delta Spirit’s debut album Ode To Sunshine.  Self-released in 2007, it’s been re-mastered and repackaged stalwart roots imprint by Rounder.  Americana, Indie Rock and soul coalesce for a true album experience.  In an age where music production is often tailored download singles, it’s consistent strength is rather refreshing.  Road-weathered vocals, dustbowl electric guitar, spirited piano and jubilant rhythms are hallmarks.  Some harmonica, tambourine, and acoustic guitar strums add a folkier side.  Though them times they are a changing (still), it’s nice to be re-assured some things stay the same.  Recommended. 

Tricky: Council Estate [ep] (Domino)

Tricky: Council Estate [ep] (Domino) - The UK’s famed electro / trip-hop pothead Tricky awakens from a five-year haze with a hard-hitting lead single of shadowed grime off his forthcoming album Knowle West Boy due in September 2008.  The EP includes remixes to please the various sub-genera, like the dancehall inspired take from South Rakkas Crew, a club-tech blazer by Drums Of Death and more.  [Note: the CD-ep and 12-inch differ]  Recommended. 

Avett Brothers: The Second Gleam [ep] (Ramseur)

Avett Brothers: The Second Gleam [ep] (Ramseur) - The Second Gleam is a rewardingly intimate six-pack of new, acoustic based tracks from the founding duo of Scott and Seth Avett that is that is Avett Brothers.  Soft guitar strums frame their plaintive tales that capture life’s passing through death, loss, family, hope and love.  It’s a remarkable engaging [ep] modern folk music.  The bothers’ next full-length in slated for release on Rick Rubin’s American imprint. [the vinyl version includes 2 additional tracks] Recommended.

Yellow Swans: Deterioration (Modern Radio)

Yellow Swans: Deterioration (Modern Radio) - The latest soundscape from Portland duo Yellow Swans (Pete Swanson and Gabriel Mindel Soloman) is reportedly their last.  In their hands Deterioration is a beautiful thing.  Five epic tracks span some 57 minutes of layered electronics, feedback laden guitar noise, resonating drones and curious colors.  The synthesis is formidable wash of ambience – both mesmerizing and challenging.  One reviewer hit the nail on the head, calling it “some heavy shit.”  Recommended. 

CSS: Donkey (Sub Pop)

CSS: Donkey (Sub Pop) – Apparently São Paulo, Brazil, quartet CSS’s sophomore album is their attempt to cliff-dive into crossover commercialism.  Needless to say, dives of this nature are inherently dangerous.  It remains to be sees if the splash will be spectacular or fatal.  The synths, snappy rhythms and sterilized chorus driven vocals have more sheen than a body-oiled beauty.  Thankfully the sun drenched sand adds some saving grit.  Good. 

Boy in Static: Violet (Mush)

Boy in Static: Violet (Mush) - The sophomore album from Boy in Static (aka Alexander Chen) seems frozen in the icy atmospheres of dream pop.  Ethereal shoegaze guitar scrawls, verbose viola, cello, bandonion and vibes accentuate the rhythmic tundra, while mostly over-dramatic lyrics are delivered with whispered, breathy restraint.  Though the twilight sounds seldom truly engage, the textured soundscapes tickle the aural sense in subtle ways.  Good. 

Soltero: You're No Dream (La Société Expéditionnaire)

Soltero: You're No Dream (La Société Expéditionnaire) -  Soltero is Tim Howard, a troubadour with a knack for penning forlorn yet clever laments about insecure people struggling with regret and broken relationships.  The singular recording was made amid his travels in Pennsylvania, France and New York.  I suppose that brought inspiration for the unusual imagery, while those days in Philadelphia channeled the doo wop influences.  Musically, the sound is timid, sparse, atmospheric, and stripped down.  RIYL: Silver Jews, Stephin Merritt.  Recommended. 

James Jackson Toth: Waiting In Vain (Rykodisc)

James Jackson Toth: Waiting In Vain (Rykodisc) – For his first release under his proper name, James Jackson Toth (aka Wooden Wand) has set aside the psychedelic ramblings for more concise song-forms that combine blues, country, soul and some punk swagger into a vintage album-rock journey.  Toth’s weathered, world-weary drawl heightens the evocative inter-linked story-based tales of hope and misfortune, romantic trials and spiritual yearning.  His wife Jexie adds atmosphere to the vocal arrangements, as several friends add musical support: guitarists John Dietrich (Deerhoof), Nels Cline (Wilco) and Andy Cabic (Vetiver); alt-country multi-instrumentalist Carla Bozulich (Geraldine Fibbers); bassist Shayde Sartin (Giant Sunflower Band) and drummer Otto Hauser (Vetiver/Devendra Banhart).  Recommended. 

WDCE office (-2008)

Famous WDCE office sticker wall, demolished Fall 2008 as part of the Commons renovation

new WDCE studio (fall 2008)

On Sunday November 2, 2008 WDCE began broadcasting from our new studio located in the basement of North Court.

Behind the heavy, steel, soundproof doors awaits a musical wonderland… an amazing new studio, DJ lounge, extensive library shelving and management office. The DJ lounge has been equipped to double as a live performance space with three feeds connected directly to our broadcast board.

The studio is fully outfitted with multiple computers, CD players, turntables, mixer, massive digital library and more. There are also several inputs to allow our DJs to easily connect their personal laptops and music players into the broadcast board. The three microphone setup and U-shaped console makes guests feel welcome.

These pictures will give you an idea of how incredibly nice it is.

View of broadcast board and main equipment rack.

Our lounge and performance space lies beyond the insulated glass.

U-shaped console with three microphone setup.

A view of CD library.

Still more CD shelving.

WDCE studio construction (summer 2008)

Over the summer of 2008 a new studio was constructed for WDCE.

It is located in basement of what’s now known as North Court. Located on the south side of Westhampton Lake, across from the Greek Theater, the building was built in 1913. At the time, it served as the entire Westhampton College for women.

WDCE and the Collegian (URs student newspaper) vacated Tyler Haynes Commons to make room for Career Development offices and expanded meeting / flex space. Though it’s sad to say goodbye to the Commons, our home since the 1970’s, it’s exciting to welcome a new chapter in WDCE history.

The transformation of the space was quite a challenge.

· After environmental and structural issues were addressed, demolition of brick and block walls began to open the space.

· Numerous pipes and wires had to be relocated.
· The concrete ceiling had to be repaired and the floor re-pored.
· New mechanicals, electrical and communications systems were installed.

· The space was then built-out to include an entirely new broadcast booth, office, lounge/performance space and efficient library arrangement.

These pictures will give you an idea of the work involved:

Pre Construction – Early March 2008

Progress – Mid July 2008 – walls / floor removed, ceiling repaired

Progress – Early August 2008 – new floor, pipes being relocated

Progress – Mid August 2008 – new pipes entering, framing underway

Progress – Late August 2008 – mechanicals run, new pipes tied in, framing

Mid September 2008 – pipes insulated, electrical rough-in, framing complete

Pedro the Lion, Seldom, Scientifc at the Pier November 5, 2002

Mercury Program, Zetamale, Peru at the Pier October 24, 2002