Denison University's Student Run Radio Station

The Coffee Hour: Episode Five "Literary Coffee"

In this episode of The Coffee Hour, Adam sits down with Denison Creative Writing professor and author of If Only You People Could Follow Directions, Jessica Nelson to discuss why we tell stories, why we tell our own stories, “The Process,” why we like stories that scare us, what authors do and don’t inspire them and even humanity’s inevitable mortality.

All this and more on this week’s episode of The Coffee Hour.

The Coffee Hour: Episode Four "New Religious Coffee"

On this week’s episode of The Coffee Hour, Adam sits down with Denison Professor of Religion, Black Studies and Anthropology/Sociology, Dr. John Jackson to discuss New Religious Movements (Cults, Sects, UFO Religions.)

They talk about why people join New Religious Movements, what happens when they turn to violence, their portrayal in film and television and New Religious Movements in the age of iPhones.

All this and more on The Coffee Hour.

The Coffee Hour (Espresso Shot #1): "Vail Coffee"

by Adam Venrick

As an off-shoot of our new podcast “The Coffee Hour” we will occasionally be releasing little miniature episodes of the show, called “Espresso Shots” without the news, satire, trivia or “on this day in history” segments. These are smaller, easily digestible interviews with interesting folks about interesting things.

For our first “Espresso Shot” Adam sits down with Mike Morris and Marla Krak of the Vail series to discuss the upcoming Béla Fleck, Edgar Meyer and Zakir Hussain concert, as well as Vail’s founding, the 40th season and the new Eisner Center, as well as their work at Denison.

Please enjoy.

The Coffee Hour, Episode Three: "Bluegrass Coffee"

by Adam Venrick

On this week’s episode of The Coffee Hour, Adam sits down with Adam Schlenker and Bebe Blumenthal of the Denison Bluegrass Ensemble to talk about instrumentation, the IBMA Festival, their beginnings in the genre and what they’d like to see more of in the genre.

Also covered: Impeachment, Bernie Sanders’ Wealth Tax, a Maternity Ward Fire in Algeria and the West Nile Virus.

All this and more on The Coffee Hour.

The Coffee Hour, Episode Two "Horse Coffee"

by Adam Venrick

This week on The Coffee Hour, I sat down with Aidan Iannarino, star of Denison University’s officially licensed production of the Netflix sensation BoJack Horseman to talk about the show, the process, his acting and writing career, the highs and lows of Andrew Lloyd Webber and Alice Cooper.

Aside from that, I discussed the tensions in Saudi Arabia and Iran, continued coverage of the mysterious vaping illness and Granville’s chili cook off. All this and more on this week’s episode of The Coffee Hour

The Coffee Hour, Episode One: "Coffee & Bagels (The First Cup)"

by Adam Venrick

On our first episode of THE COFFEE HOUR "Coffee & Bagels (The First Cup)," I sat down with local business owner Jay Snyder to talk about dead rock stars, cemetery infrastructure, his business Steamroller Bagels and his city government run, as well as the importance of a good education.

I also covered the mysterious illness stemming from Vaping, National Suicide Prevention Week, Trump's attempt at diplomacy with the Taliban and Hurricane Dorian.

Song of the week was "Come September" by Anaïs Mitchell and Rachel Ries. Note: For Copyright Reasons, Not Included in Broadcast.

Don't forget to answer the five trivia questions I posed.

All this and more on THE COFFEE HOUR, listen here:

Broadcasting Returns With a Vengeance... Tomorrow!

That’s right! After a long period of waiting and waiting and waiting and summer road trips followed by more waiting, The Doobie is returning to Denison Broadcasting. We will begin our 2019/2020 season tomorrow, Monday, September 9 with a return to broadcasting you know and love and will soon be training a new wave of talent to replace our graduated seniors.

So tune in and enjoy, and to quote the great Joni Mitchell, “If you’re driving into town a dark cloud above you, dial the number who’s bound to love you.”

And as always, Vibez!

- Your Friends at the Doobie

Getting Ready For Fall (With Playlist)

by Adam Venrick

Well, it’s that time again. Fall has… fallen. And in just a few days, Denison will be back in session and Doobie broadcasting will resume shortly thereafter. Yes, it’s just about Autumn, THE BEST SEASON, and you can celebrate this yearly seasonal change by bundling up for the weather, enjoying the leaves changing color, hitting the books (you know, if you wanted to) and enjoying a nice Pumpkin Spice… anything. And if you need another way to enjoy the season, and need some more WDUB to tide you over until broadcasting resumes, please enjoy this tailor-made Autumn playlist.

In Line for the Masquerade: A Review of 'Let's Rock' by The Black Keys

Adam Venrick, August 9, 2019

There are certain times when a work of art offers a provocation just in its very name, whether it’s Leonard Cohen challenging: “You Want it Darker?” Or David Sedaris suggesting “Let’s Explore Diabetes With Owls.” The Black Keys do the same thing with their new release ‘Let’s Rock,’ released just this summer. And really, though it may seem almost a cliché, the title really is suiting for the album. Not only is it an invitation, but in it’s stylized quotation marks, it becomes a rallying cry.

Looking at it objectively, one would almost have hard time believing that this was the same duo that came onto the scene in 2002 with The Big Come Up. The sound is so much more polished than their early records, perhaps even more so than on 2010’s Brothers. And certainly it’s different. The Black Keys of old were an almost straight up Blues band, much like Fleetwood Mac. And like Fleetwood Mac, they have come into a commercial peak in their career playing more album oriented rock. In fact, there’s probably more of bands like Fleetwood Mac (late 70s era), The Eagles, The Little River Band and possibly even Electric Light Orchestra in ‘Let’s Rock’ than there is B.B. King, Howlin’ Wolf or Elmore James. Not that that’s a bad thing. In writing the past three reviews for this blog, I’ve covered artists that have (or purposely haven’t) evolved substantially throughout their career. And really, it’s not hard to see full-fledged rock and roll from the group. Turn Blue, El Camino (perhaps their best album) and Brothers all seemed more and more rockish, with Brothers (and its famed single “Howlin’ For You”) being the best example of Blues-Rock.

But ‘Let’s Rock’ doesn’t pretend to be like The Big Come Up or the wonderfully titled Thickfreakness. It’s title is more than just something to shout, it’s an invitation to something different. Like so many bands of our time that get labelled as alternative, The Black Keys has one foot in the past and one foot in the future. Nostalgia is a big part of their act, whether it’s in blues or rock and listeners here will be quick to find shades of the 1970s in this album. Even some of the song titles feel familiar. “Shine a Little Light” reminds one of “Shine a Little Love” by ELO and “Tell Me Lies” seems so reminiscent of the chorus to Fleetwood Mac’s “Little Lies.” But that’s not to say the band feels unoriginal, disingenuous or overdone (and there are certainly pleanty of bands today that do.) Rather than just a fetishism for music of years-gone-by, there’s a genuine love for the music that Auerbach and Carney were raised on.

Which brings me to another point. As someone born and raised in Ohio, a state which (possibly somewhat accurately) gets labelled as boring, static or otherwise “second run,” there’s something utterly thrilling about knowing that the kind of music which shapes out pop-culture is finally starting to come from here. (Admittedly, the album was recorded in Nashville, but still.) Some of the songs are truly wonderful, too. The leading single “Lo/Hi,” (a perennial favorite on the station’s “New Music Show” this past spring) is a strong foot forward, bound to be coming to a cell-phone commercial near you soon. “Eagle Birds,” is also a fantastic rocker, along with great slower songs like “Sit Around and Miss You” and “Every Little Thing.” “Fire Walk With Me” is pretty good (though perhaps a different song would’ve made a better closer.) The album’s best song, though, is not a single, but rather, the mid-album “Get Yourself Together,” which even now is stuck in my head as I type this.

That being said, the album doesn’t come without some problems. For one thing, the album does feel like a tailor-made comeback album. It’s designed to be catchy, toe-tapping and most importantly, profitable. Now granted, there’s nothing wrong with that, music is a career just like any other, it should pay the bills. The thing about come-back albums, whether it’s after five years or twenty, is that there’s a fine line between great and slightly underwhelming when compared with the things that came before it. For instance, when Steely Dan made their come back with Two Against Nature, it was great. When Bowie made The Next Day, it was underwhelming. This album is somewhere in the middle of great and underwhelming. It’s got all the right boxes checked. Most of the songs are really, really good, it flows nicely (in most spaces) and it’s not overly long. (It’s under forty minutes and doesn’t feel much longer or somehow shorter.) It has the same advantages that albums like Rumours or The Velvet Underground & Nico have. The difference being that those albums were pioneering the kind of music The Black Keys make here and, moreover, those albums had utterly fantastic songs, not really, really good songs. V.U. & N is fifty-two this year. Rumours, forty-two. Today, everyone can groove along to the jazzy bass of “Dreams” and every high school senior to ever read Naked Lunch knows “I’ll Be Your Mirror” and “Venus in Furs.”

Forty years from now, it’s probable that Lo/Hi might the one that survives. This, incidentally brings me to my last point. Remember when I said that the album manages not to be derivative? That’s true in every case but its third single “Go,” which sounds, not like a great classic rocker, or like a smokey, blues-infused tune, but like a million other subpar pop songs that receive so much extra radio play today. In that case, the song, which begins with the line “In the summer time, when it’s hot outside…” is designed to be just something that someone can crank up in their car while they ride down the highway. Nothing wrong with that at heart. But also nothing original. It’s a summer pop song, and to be fair, it’s a summery album, but I have to identify this song in particular as one of the weaker links.

So, to be fair, one should listen to The Black Keys and ‘Let’s Rock’ is a great starting point. It’s accessible to people who like pop and rock and who might be interested in something bluesier. Start here, work to their early stuff and then some B.B. King. And regardless of how I may disparage “Go,” I have a good amount of respect for this group. Dan Auerbach and Patrick Carney are two Midwesterners who have shaped much of American pop-culture in the twenty-teens, (Carney composed the theme for BoJack Horseman after all.) I think that for all of it’s fault’s, ‘Let’s Rock’ is still a great album and proves that we should continue to pay attention to what the duo has to say.

Final Score: 85%

"A Drunk in a Midnight Choir:" Leonard Cohen's "Songs From a Room" at 50

(This Review Written by Adam Venrick)

Many times in the careers of famous musicians, there comes an album that can be classified as “the shrimp between two whales.” Bob Dylan’s Another Side of Bob Dylan, which fell between The Times They Are A-Chainging and Bringing it All Back Home is an example. So is Joni Mitchell’s For the Roses, which fell between Blue and Court and Spark. And Leonard Cohen’s sophomore album Songs From a Room is another good example. But the thing about these shrimp is not that they’re bad (most of the time.) And I would argue, not that they’re small accomplishments. They just happen to fall between works that overshadow them (often for reasons other than quality.) Another Side of Bob Dylan, for instance, was a border album between Dylan’s protest-song period and his famed (and hotly contested) electric period. For the Roses came between Mitchell’s two best selling works and, like the former album, represents an artist in the middle of evolving their style (in this case, folk to folk-jazz fusion) that hasn’t quite fully arrived.

But this doesn’t seem to be the case for Songs From a Room.

Indeed, Leonard Cohen did nothing drastically different between his first and second album. He did nothing drastically different throughout much of his career. He was a brilliant songwriter, well belonging in the company of Mitchell, Dylan and Paul Simon (but more on that later) as the four best songwriters of their time. And while Cohen is constantly (and I would argue, wrongly) compared to Dylan, I would argue he’s much more similar to the other two. It might be pointless (though I try) to argue that Cohen is a superior musician to Dylan. But I believe it’s true. He’s more thoughtful, less boastful and more concentrated on making music than notoriety. His sound is often more minimal, less charged and less turbulent. Maybe the best comparison is to say that Dylan is like Miles Davis and Cohen is like Thelonious Monk. They played the same genre at the same time, with similar people in the same places. End of similarities. Dylan, like Davis, changed his musical style considerably through his career either to experiment or to keep his consumers satisfied. Cohen, like Monk, updated his basic approach to music making very little. His style evolved a little bit as he went on, and his instrumentation modernized, but his basic principles stayed the same. He waited for the public to catch up to him, not the other way around.

But all of that’s to say nothing about the record itself. Songs From a Room was Cohen’s second album, coming two years after Songs of Leonard Cohen and two years before Songs of Love and Hate. It’s easy to see why, of the three, it may be the least respected. It lacks the sonic ambition of the latter and may not be as good (may) as the former. It’s a sparse, spare album, often with just Cohen’s guitar as accompaniment. His famous background singers are absent this time around. It’s just him. Even the cover should give you a sense of how lonely the album can feel. It’s a black and white picture of Cohen (almost totally faded), small against a white background. Indeed, there’s something almost hibernal about the album. It’s cold and lonely and is almost the sonic version of an Ingmar Bergman movie. And Cohen delves into similar topics as Bergman.

Unlike his first album, which mainly consisted of love songs, this album deals more with themes of God, war (and the god of war.) It is perhaps his most probing album into these topics until the much fuller Various Positions in the eighties. (The record that contained “Hallelujah” and “If It Be Your Will.”) But unlike Various Positions, Songs From a Room offers far less solace. It is no great, sprawling celebration. It is a whisper into a dark and all-consuming void. And yet, it feels almost as oddly comforting as it does truly desolate and haunting, like lullabies sung by a ghost. It’s an album that’s best enjoyed on a Winter day, with snow falling deeply outside.

What’s striking about this album is that, aside from all that, it’s oddly one of Cohen’s most accessible. It’s themes, while personal, mirror society’s psyche (especially in 1969.) The second track “Story of Isaac” is an anti-war (specifically anti-Vietnam and the draft) song. While “The Partisan” (adapted from a French poem) tells the story of French soldiers in the holocaust. “A Bunch of Lonesome Heroes” addresses the futility of societies misplaced worship of war, and the album’s possible best track “The Old Revolution” has themes that are as relevant in 2019 as they were in 1969. Other great songs include “Seems So Long Ago, Nancy,” the story of a tragic young woman looking for love through sex (and ending in suicide) and “The Butcher” a grappling with life, God, addiction and death. It’s worth noting that while Cohen wrote ballads through his entire career, this album contains possibly his most balladic songs. They are about people, often in the first person, but often not. “Seems So Long Ago, Nancy” is told both in the second and third person.

It’s also worth noting that, while I do think that this album is better than Songs of Love and Hate, I do think the the latter album contains Cohen’s most underrated (and possibly best) track “Avalanche.” While the former album contains one of Cohen’s most overrated and worst songs in “Bird on the Wire” (from which this article takes its name.)

So why does Songs From a Room get the short end of the stick. Aside from it’s opener, all of the songs are fantastic and it’s truly a good kick-start into themes Cohen wrote about throughout his long (and very poetic) career. Life, Death, God, Love, War and Being Remembered. These are primal themes told in a blunt (and bleak) way. Perhaps no other album in his catalogue is as beautiful in its bleakness as his last album, You Want it Darker, which dealt with the same themes in a similar way, at the opposite end of a career (and a life.) Cohen, who began his recording career in the mid sixties, was thirty-five when Songs of Leonard Cohen came out in 1967. At thirty-seven, well travelled and approaching middle-age, Cohen had a better handle on life than did Dylan, SImon, Mitchell or any of their contemporaries, (though Mitchell probably came the closest.) Moreover, Cohen does a kind of reverse of what Simon and Mitchell do. While they make ordinary topics poetic, Cohen makes poetic topics ordinary, and Songs From a Room is perhaps one of the best examples.

So it’s clear to me that the apathy directed towards this album stems from a very specific place. It is too spare in between two very rich albums that for whatever reason have become better known. Perhaps it’s because, as time has gone on, we’ve preferred richer albums. But with that said, this reviewer urges listeners to go out and see for themselves. I believe they will not be disappointed.

Final Score: 91%

Bringing it All Back to Town: The Velvet Underground's "Squeeze" Re-Evaluated

(This review by Adam Venrick)

When a fantastic group releases a subpar album, blame can usually be attributed to one (or more) of a few factors. Either poor communication by the members, poor supervision (or micromanaging) by the record company or poor management. Lack of talent is also a possibility, but for a band like The Velvet Underground, lack of talent appears not to be the sole explanation. After all, the V.U. is a fantastic group, and by most accounts, their 1973 fifth album Squeeze is a subpar album.

Before we dissect what it is that does (or doesn’t) make Squeeze a subpar album, let me first say that I have a tremendous amount of respect for artists that change their style over the course of their career. Fleetwood Mac did it, Miles Davis did it and the Velvet Underground did it, dramatically. In fact, I would argue that the group’s final aforementioned album probably sounds less like their first album, The Velvet Underground & Nico than albums by other bands. What started out as a combination of art rock, noise rock, proto-punk and possibly freak-folk (especially with Nico’s input) finished as something that almost feels like a knock-off of The Kinks or the Beatles (and not the tracks by either group that are particularly loved in most cases.) All of this took place, over five albums in a seven year period. And really, what led to such a dramatic change in style, was a dramatic change in membership (only two of the five albums bore the same main lineup and even so, the work done by each member was drastically different. The first album was the culmination of the psychedelic sixties. The group was formed with the help of Andy Warhol and with Lou Reed and Nico as the two front people of the first album, it seemed to go against any kind of commercial possibility. (Not surprising, given that the group’s original drummer Angus MacLise left the group before they began recording as he felt that making a record would be selling out.) After the first album, Nico left to pursue her solo career and co-founder (and my favorite Velvet) John Cale took a more front seat role on the grating (and largely overrated) White Light/White Heat. After Cale’s departure, Doug Yule joined as a vocalist to replace him and the group took a more folk-rock oriented sound on their second self-titled album and by 1970’s Loaded, they were working with full-fledged pop.

All four of these albums (though I might argue Loaded doesn’t deserve it, but for it’s fantastic A-Side) are today regarded as masterpieces. Squeeze is regarded as an embarrassment, often not included in any way, in box-set collections. Like a prodigal child, it has been cut off from the group’s otherwise immaculate family tree. I would argue, firstly, that this is a mistake. To write this article, I re-listened to Squeeze. Not a hard task, it’s a little over the thirty-three minute mark. Certainly good for a car trip or cleaning the house. And reflecting on the album, I have to note that, while it may not be exceptional, it isn’t that bad. Critics love to savage the 1973 album, with AllMusic giving it a star-and-a-half out of five and Rolling Stone only one. But I would argue that’s unfair. The album contains many serviceable tunes including “Caroline,” “Send No Letter” and “She’ll Make You Cry.” And two songs that probably deserve to be listed among the group’s best, the oft-covered folk-pop song “Friends,” and the album’s closer “Louise,” likely the last vestige of the original group (it concerns a burlesque dancer.) But even these two songs are flawed. The first is sentimental to a degree that John Cale likely never would’ve allowed and the second is not up to par with even some of the more mediocre songs on the first three albums by the group.

So what makes Squeeze so bad. I would argue: Nothing. Nothing is the general feeling one gets from this album. It leaves very little mark and seems unlikely to burn itself in one’s memory. But there’s also nothing technically wrong with it. It’s as good as some of the best albums by lesser bands. So maybe it isn’t that Squeeze is a bad album. Maybe it’s that it is not a good Velvet Underground album. If the band itself is an honors classroom, then the first four are students who showed up well prepared, while this one feels like the student who complains that his dog has eaten his homework.

But it’s regrettable to think what the album might have been. With Lou Reed and Sterling Morrison gone, the last vestige of the group from the first album was Maureen Tucker. But she was fired by the group’s manager prior to production. With no one but Yule involved, it puzzles one to think of why it was even called a Velvet Underground album. It likely would’ve faired better as Doug Yule’s solo debut. Throughout the album, he’s shown to be a capable musician (not of the inventive level of Cale) and a serviceable songwriter (not of the literary quality of Reed.) Had Tucker remained, or had Yule been allowed to lean more into himself, it could’ve been a fine (not perfect, but fine) album. Instead, it feels like a sort of Dr. Moreau type creature. Neither man nor beast. Neither good, nor catastrophically bad.

But perhaps the biggest complaint that can be made about the album is its length. As previously stated, it runs about thirty-three minutes, and yet it feels at least twice as long. It’s an album you can easily get through in one sitting and yet you’d be forgiven for not being able to do so. And truly, I can’t explain why it feels so long. Perhaps it’s because the album doesn’t feel like one cohesive thing, but rather songs that were made. It has no flow, just contents. That, and when it’s bad, it’s bad. Take it’s second song “Crash.” While this song is not even two minutes long, it feels like an absolutely mountainous affair. That’s the thing about the album, really. One can’t even say that it starts strong, ends strong and has its weakest few songs shoved in the middle. It’s thoroughly mixed and undecided all the way through.

So, finally I’m left to consider how Squeeze has aged. It’s a forty-six-year-old record and certainly worse records have been made since then (including Lou Reed’s Lulu.) And where it’s good, it is still good. I think it’s ultimate tragedy is that forty-six years later, it has not been memorable. The first album by the group sold practically not at all, but as the old saying goes “everyone who bought a copy started a band.” For Squeeze, the most memorable thing (aside from “Friends”) is the cover art, with a giant hand grasping the Empire State Building. And the tragedy is that there is no revanche for the band. No great studio album that re-united Cale, Reed, Nico, Yule, Tucker and Morrison. This was their last studio album, and should be the album listened to last. Let the other four wash over you (preferably in the order they were made.) But still, when taken on its own terms, with all of these provisions, Squeeze can stand on its own two feet. At least, for a short while.

Final Score: 64%

Over & Over: "Tusk" at 40; A Contemporary Review

As our friends and listeners know, we hear at 91.1 are dedicated to bringing you top quality broadcasting and access to terrific music, news and talk radio. As such, we have decided during our summer hiatus to begin bringing you reviews of albums, both current and classic. For our first review, we have decided to review a seminal album, turning forty this year: Fleetwood Mac’s Tusk.

This review written by: Adam Venrick

Released in 1979, directly following 1977’s Rumours and 1975’s second self-titled White Album , Fleetwood Mac’s Tusk represents a both a continuation and a departure of the styles and themes that had won them a Grammy on their last album. Conceptually, the album is a strange kind of a thing. It combines influences of Album Oriented Rock, Blues, Folk, Psychedelia, Punk, New Wave and Art Rock, and bares as much resemblance to the Velvet Underground and Vashti Bunyan as it does their previous two albums. Lyrically and musically, it doesn’t yield to same accessibility that Rumours or Fleetwood Mac yields. Listeners will find fewer personal hardships and romantic entanglements. (Fewer songs that might remind one of the plot of Gone Girl.) There are also fewer toe-tapping rockers to dance along to. (Though “I Know I’m Not Wrong,” “The Ledge,” and “Never Forget,” might bring out some pleasure.)

That being said, Tusk also offers a continuation of the five band members’ strengths. Stevie Nicks’ mystical lyrics shine through in each of her five songs, and though they occupy only a fourth of the album space, they are incredibly memorable, especially “Sara,” “Angel,” and perhaps the album’s best song, the tender folk-ballad “Storms.” Lindsey Buckingham shows his love for experimentation in the lyrically sparse, musically heavy songs and Christine McVie brings her tender soulfulness to soaring levels (especially in songs “Over & Over” and “Brown Eyes.”) Mick Fleetwood’s drums soar out in “Not that Funny” and “That’s Enough for Me” and John McVie’s bass playing is fantastic in “The Ledge.”

Looking at the now forty year old album through the lens of a 2019 listener, one can see that it more than holds water, and in fact, might be the album by the group (though one could argue for Rumours or Tango in the Night) that has influenced modern music the most. It is an album that makes its quirkiness accessible and its hour and twenty-minute run-time (as a double LP) fly by. Moreover, it is an album that, much like the group’s 1972 quasi-concept album Bare Trees deserves to be listened to in one sitting, preferably one overcast afternoon with a cup of coffee. Moreover, the album proves the merits of chance taking in a group that is nearly impossible to define stylistically. When the band began in 1967, under the direction of Peter Green (who makes a musical cameo on the song “Brown Eyes”) it was a British blues band. Since then, it has been shaped by Danny Kirwan’s freak-folk influences, Bob Welch’s jazz fusion influences (both in the early 70s), Jeremy Spencer’s rockabilly and the experimentation of albums like Then Play On, released a decade before Tusk. All of this before Buckingham/Nicks even got to the table.

Still, Tusk’s influence (whether consciously so or not) remains clear in this generation’s alternative music. And perhaps that’s what we can ultimately say of Tusk’s confounding nature. Though it was the group’s twelfth album, it was their third as a truly mainstream band, and rather than embracing the kind of confining safety of the popular music of the decade that would follow, the album longed to return to the group’s more experimental, more alternative roots - “back to the Velvet Underground,” as Nicks would later sing.

Finally, at forty years old (and as our station’s first review on this blog,) we must consider whether Tusk is truly a good album as well as a confounding one. I would argue that it is. Moreover, it is not just a good album, but in this reviewer’s opinion, belongs with its immediate predecessor as one of the most perfect albums of the last century. However, it is also likely that a casual listener would find it more alienating (the titular song was recorded at a USC halftime show, after all.) It is an album that can be both appreciated and enjoyed, provided that the listener approaches it, knowing it is (and being prepared for) an atypical listening experience. But here we are now: 40 years of Tusk and I would argue that not only has it held up well, it has aged into a position of musical apotheosis, dropped in the wrong time and awaiting a point where contemporary tastes were just so that it could truly be appreciated.

Final Score: 97%

Beating the Heat Mid-Summer

Well, here we are in late July. Summer is going by quickly (as always) and in just a little over a month, 91.1, WDUB (The Doobie) will be returning. In the mean time, we hear the Doobie want to keep our listeners and friends updated. We are still taking New Music inquiries, addressed to, however, we will not be accepting new songs until Broadcasting resumes in the Fall.

We also wish to once again offer a profound thank you to all of the wonderfully talented artists that rocked out Doobie Palooza in the Spring. 2019 has been another stellar year for music, with new content by modern artists such as Beirut, Houndmouth and The Black Keys and classic rockers such as Santana and Melissa Etheridge.

Since we will be out of commission for at least another month, we wanted to provide our listeners with temporary relief. Please enjoy this two-hour Beat-the-Heat playlist featuring a summer-friendly assembly of modern-alternative, classic rock, yacht rock, surf rock and jazz.

Stay cool, listeners, and as always: Vibez,

Your friends at WDUB

91.1 Signs Off For the Year

After a year filled with many on-campus changes, 91.1 WDUB (The Doobie) will cease broadcasting for the summer break starting May 15, and will return to broadcasting in early September (date TBD, but stayed tuned.) As usual, it has been an honor to serve as DJs and after a successful Palooza and finals, we are ready to bid out graduating DJs a fond farewell. Since its inception in the fall of 1953, WDUB has sought to bring quality radio content to our friends and neighbors in Licking County and we believe this has been a successful and innovative year, and that next year will certainly be the same. As always, as a station we would be nothing without our listeners and we’re profoundly grateful to all of you for tuning in.


Your Friends at 91.1

Getting to Know Your Artists (Topaz Jones)

Hailing from New Jersey, Topaz Jones’ love of music was apparent from an early age, with a musician father and an early talent. Since then, Jones has been carving his own place in the world of hip-hop, a feat in a time when hip-hop is available everywhere. But Jones has not only been able to rise through the ranks of rap, but also been able to maintain his own unique, artistic style in a time when music of all genres is increasingly pre-packaged, taking influence from his family’s encouragement, and according to one interview, the many funk albums he grew up around. With his debut album Arcade having been released in 2016, Jones has continued a steady output of singles since then including “Nectar,” “Toothache” and “Black and White,” which was released just last year. Topaz Jones will be taking the Palooza stage May 3rd and is not to be missed.


Getting to Know Your Artists (Active Bird Community)

With its founding members from Hastings-on-Hudson, and based in Brooklyn, Active Bird Community can only be described as a dynamic band. Coming from the world of Lo-Fi rock music that has come to define a generation of alternative musicians in the twenty-teens, Active Bird Community made its first mark on the music world with its 2015 album I’ve Been Going Swimming. Since then, the band has been an unstoppable force, consisting of four members: Tom D’Agustino (vocals, songwriting), Andrew Wolfson (lead guitar, song writing), Zach Slater (bass), and Quinn McGovern (drums). The three founding members (D’Agustino, Slater and Wolfson) have been together since high school, and with the collegiate add-on of McGovern, the band has only become stronger. In addition to their 2015 debut, they have released two more albums, their 2017 sophomore release Stick Around and 2018’s Amends. Their latest release came out just this year, a single called “Somewhere” featuring Samia. The band can be seen on May 3rd on the Palooza stage. We hope you’ll come join them.


Getting to Know Your Artists (Cousin Simple)

Columbus’ “Youngest Alt-Rock Band” is upon us! Cousin Simple consists of five members: Vocalist “Harsh” Hoag, drummer Joel Lorenz, guitarist Ryan Ulibari and guitarist/keyboardist duo Mitch Whitaker and Luke Hammrock. Though currently students at OSU, Cousin Simple has already made its mark on the Columbus alternative music scene, with their 2017 debut album And We Would Never End, which featured the hit single “Song to Emma.” Since then, they’ve continued to record steadily, releasing several singles in 2018 including “This is a Robbery” and “Rockstar” and a new song just this year called “Honeybee.” Cousin Simple blends the old and the new, combining influences such as Mick Jagger and Coldplay. Cousin Simple will be storming the Palooza stage May 3rd and are not to be missed.


Getting To Know Your Artists (Spice Lo)

At just nineteen, Spice Lo is one of music’s fastest rising talents, adding his own personal style of the world of R&B. With his debut EP Growth released in 2017 and his debut album The Cabernet Facade  released just last year, Spice Lo has been unstoppable, releasing a new single “Dothedash” a little over a month ago. We here at 91.1 are honored to welcome Spice Lo to the Doobie Palooza stage as our MC, guaranteed to get all attendees sufficiently pumped up between acts. And if you still can’t get enough Spice in your diet, you can catch him performing in the Palooza after party at the Bandersnatch.

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Getting to Know Your (Student) Arists


Putting the fun back in funky, The Ha$h Slinging Sla$her (aka, 91.1’s own tech director, Jeff Stevens (‘21,) will be kicking off this event with a soaring rendition of “The Star Spangled Banner” played on - wait for it - electric Ukulele. You may know him as Jeff, but get ready to see him in a brand new light (and not see him at all under his shadowy cloak) as he becomes The Ha$h Slinging Sla$her. The lights may flicker, the phone might ring and no one may be there, and even a ghostly bus might stop by, but you will certainly be floored by the magic of the performance.  


By their own description, “Jaden Richeson (‘20,) & Diego Rubey (‘19,) make the most of the default Ableton sounds by creating futuristic sound loops that layer in rich reverb and dense chordage by tapping into deep magicks of old to take you to a lo-fi 8-bit dreamworld full of chill beats to study and relax to and boppin' space jams to dance and bounce to.” By our description, this band will be an excellent addition to our Palooza line-up combining trip-hop and electronic psychedelia for a sound reminiscent of Tame Impala, recent Bon Iver and even the Pet Sounds era Beach Boys.


This punk supergroup combines two of Denison’s proudest pre-existing bands (Cozy Sweater and The Kenyon Animé Club) into one for a remarkable sound. Featuring guitarists/vocalists Sam Rice (‘19) and Dan Timmerman (‘19), drummer/vocalist Alex Hughes (‘21) and bassist Oscar Maldonado (‘19), this four piece set will be playing both classic punk-rock covers and roaring originals. They’re not to be missed.


This hip-hop duo comprised of Evan Brooks (‘20) and Hunter Lewis (‘20) is one of Denison’s most promising singer-songwriter/rap acts, with their original songs combining smart, sharp-tongued and often humorous and ironic lyrics with pleasing beats, the group has been performing together for over a year and a half. We here at 91.1 are honored to have them as part of Doobie Palooza.


Sam McPeak (‘19) will be taking the Doobie Palooza stage this May to perform his unique blend of hip-hop and electronica. A touring musician who studied at a performing arts high school, McPeak will be bringing his own style to Palooza, and we believe he will be a fine addition to the set list. He has two songs available on Spotify: “Lonely Summer” and “Backspace (Only a Matter of Time).”

With New Semester, Broadcasting Returns with a Passion

With a host of new DJs bringing innovative programming, coupled with the return of several perennial favorites, 91.1 WDUB has returned to Denison with a fiery passion. After a semester marked by heightened interest from the student body at large, WDUB returned to broadcasting in late January. A full list of semester showscan be found below, and suffice to say that with a program stocked with 42 shows, there will be hours of quality broadcasting throughout the week. Moreover, student outreach and promotion continues as Doobie tee-shirts are sold throughout the Slayter Student Union. The shirts, designed by station manager Rachel Weaver. The shirts are $20 and going fast at the time of this blog post.

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