Tag Archives: Palberta

Better Know a College Radio Station: Princeton University’s WPRB

college radio, wprb

For many obsessive fans who grew up in the pre-Internet era, their passion for music was sparked in the dingy basements and dark booths of college radio stations. Despite soundboards that are decades out of date and tastes that are rapidly changing, the collegiate airwaves tradition has endured. The best college stations remain dedicated to delivering music that falls outside the purview of Billboard-charting mainstream radio.

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Album of the Day: Palberta, “Roach Goin’ Down”

Palberta’s scruffy punk songs have such a sense of unvarnished hospitality that it can sound like the band is playing them in a room just for you. The New York trio’s fourth album, Roach Goin’ Down, builds on the off-the-cuff humor that populated their first three, piling on sung/screamed lyrics and sour guitar chords with an irreverent glee. It’s the longest record they’ve ever released, and also their most considered—for the first time, Palberta actually edited their songs after laying them to tape. But that doesn’t diminish the feeling of immediacy that has become the group’s trademark.

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Terminal Consumption: The Best Punk Albums of 2017

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In this installment of Terminal Consumption, our monthly reviews column focused on the margins of punk and hardcore, Sam Lefebvre recaps year’s best releases.

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The Best Albums of 2017: #60 – 41

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We’ll be revealing the full list, 20 albums at a time, this whole week.

Last year, the Bandcamp Daily staff put together our first “Best Albums of the Year List,” 100 albums we felt defined 2016 for us. At the time I remember thinking, “This is tough, but it will probably get easier as the years go on.” Now, one year later, I’m realizing that I was wrong. The truth is, the world of Bandcamp is enormous, and it contains artists from all over the world, in every conceivable genre (including a few who exist in genres of their own invention), and at every stage of their career. The fact of the matter is, any list like this is going to fall short because, on Bandcamp, there is always more to discover. Right now, there’s probably someone in their bedroom in Buenos Aires, making a record on their computer that is going to end up on next year’s list. So as comprehensive as we’ve tried to make this list, we realize that, even at 100 albums, we’re only scratching the surface of what’s available. The albums that made this list, though, were the ones that stayed with us long after they were released—the ones we returned to again and again and found their pleasures undimmed, and their songs still rewarding. These are the Best Albums on Bandcamp in 2017.

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Hi Bias: Notable Cassette Releases on Bandcamp, September 2017

Hi Bias

Nicole Ginelli

Welcome to Hi Bias, a monthly column highlighting recent cassette releases on Bandcamp, and exploring the ideas behind them with the artists who made them. Rather than making sweeping generalizations about the “cassette comeback,” we prefer here simply to cover releases that may escape others’ radar due to their limited, cassette-focused availability.

Ailbhe Nic Oireachtaigh, Oreing [Fort Evil Fruit]

The music on viola player Ailbhe Nic Oireachtaigh’s first solo work, Oreing, is constantly ambitious. As she mines her instrument for new sounds, her emphatic songs swing from subtlety to repetition to fiery noise. Each of the tape’s four pieces is a journey through intense peaks and calm valleys, seeming to hint at an unspoken narrative. So, what exactly is Oreing about?

“I don’t think that the music is about anything,” Oireachtaigh insists via email from her home in Glasgow, Scotland. “I don’t think of anything specifically when I’m playing this music—[it’s] more that the notes come first and then an emotional reaction or feeling will follow, as opposed to basing a piece off a particular emotion. I like to think of them as pretty abstract and open-ended, though someone listening might think the total opposite about them.”

Oireachtaigh built the songs on Oreing from what she describes as “small fragments that I chanced upon just from playing around.” After recording those bits, she let them sit a while, then improvised on the original ideas. She performed the resulting pieces a few times live before committing them to tape, which only took a few hours including mixing. That no-frills process created music that feels considered and developed, but also retains the rush of her original spontaneity.

It also created lengthy pieces, all hovering in the 10-minute range and beyond, but they seem to go by fast. “I was a bit surprised each time I finished a take and saw how long each one was!” Oireachtaigh says. “I always lose track of time when I’m playing these pieces. I feel now that the more I play them, the longer they have the potential to be, and I’m enjoying getting drawn into the possibility of extreme repetition and very gradual change when playing them live. That is something that I enjoy and admire so much in other musicians—the control and focus and assurance that it takes to shape an improvisation without giving it all away too soon. I’d really love to develop that ability.”

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Album of the Day: Palberta, “Bye Bye Berta”

Palberta’s seventh release, Bye Bye Berta, opens with “Why Didn’t I?,” a song built on sparse percussion and out-of-sync guitars that serve as a foundation over which the trio of Lily Konigsberg, Anina Ivry-Block, and Nina Ryser can harmonize. “Why didn’t I/ Say a thing like that?/ My Friend, didn’t I/ Say a thing like that?” It takes a full two minutes for the lyrics’ anxiety and insecurity to fully seep in and, as soon as they do, an irregular guitar scale moves in from the back of the recording, ending the song in a far different place from where it began. In that respect, the song acts as a perfect encapsulation of the album’s aesthetic: No track is too similar, but each is made up of distinct parts that build a complicated—but cohesive—whole.

Palberta met at Bard College and spent playing in and around Hudson Valley before ending up in Philadelphia. That transitory history colors the album; “Jaws” has an industrial quality that mimics the pace of a new city. “Bells,” the song that immediately follows, has a ringing, pastoral feel. New York City no-wave skronk is revitalized in the first half of “Trick Ya.” Bye Bye Berta is 20 tracks long, with most songs clocking in around a minute—in other words, it goes a lot of places but it doesn’t stay in any of them for too long.

Palberta are often compared to legendary acts like the Raincoats and Kleenex/LiLiPUT, but on Bye Bye Berta, Palberta seem more fascinated with movement and structure than either of those groups. Their sinister songwriting showcases individual musicianship while crafting something bigger and  much more harmonious. At times, it’s a challenging listen, but it’s by forging new paths that cult heroes are made.

—Maria Sherman