by: Vivian Lee
Each month we ask one of our beloved KUCI DJs to put their iPod on shuffle, hand it over, and 'splain themselves. Today our DJ is beloved Production Assistant Jack Bartlett, who is behind those jazzy PSAs you hear 3 times an hour. You can also hear him mix some eclectic tunes on his show "Festivus Music Show" every Sunday morning from 10 A.M.-12 P.M.
From talking about singing along to a song with indistinguishable lyrics to that ONE moment where you just have to stop whatever you are doing, Jack explains why each one of these artists is so important.
My Bloody Valentine - Off Your Face
Jack Bartlett: I like the denseness of the music, I like how the vocals are not seen as an element above the music, and that they are just another layer of texture. I don't know why I like this song a lot. I heard it and I just put it on repeat for a good 10 minutes. I mean you cannot understand a lot of the lyrics (for a lot of their songs) but you kinda feel like you want to vocalize with them. Something that has that kind of an effect..that's a great song.
Vivian Lee: What kind of effect? Like a sort of just "being" in the song?
JB: Have you ever listened to something and you had to pull off the road or find spots where the radio comes in clear to hear the rest of the song because "you just have to?"
VL: Yeah, basically all of Sigur Rós' discography is like that for me.
JB: I like their new album a lot. I don't understand any of what they say, but I still feel this urge to sing along.
Murder City Devils - Rum to Whisky
JB: This is just good ass-kickin' rock and roll.
JB: Or kick ass, whatever floats your boat.
VL: Are there any specific parts to the song you really enjoy?
JB: There are three elements that I love in this song. I love the vocalist (Spencer Moody's) voice. His voice has so much depth to it...it's hard to explain. It's just a good rock and roll voice. I love the organ as well. The lyrics are kind of really depressing though: "Do you remember the beer on her breath? / Do you remember your hands on the hem of her dress? / Do you remember crying when the skirt she wore tucked under your hand? /He switched from rum to whiskey." But I've always found myself singing along in the car for some morbid reason.
VL: I feel like singing along is sort of a motif for you.
JB: Yea it has been. Well lyrics can make and break a song, but sometimes (as in My Bloody Valentine's case) if they flow well with the song its like icing on a cake.
Aaron Copland - Quiet City
VL: OK, so I'm not going to lie. I'm not really familiar with concert/film music, like what he does.
JB: Classical music? Yeah, not a ton of people are. I'm not that familair with a lot of it, but I really like Aaron Copland. He's most known probably for the music from the "Beef: it's What's for Dinner" commercial.
VL: Ha. Then how did you get into him in the first place?
JB: I went to China in 2000 with an honor orchestra and we played this. Well, I didn't...trombones in orchestra sit in the back and don't play for a good while. But I really liked this piece. It's scored for strings, solo trumpet and solo english horn. It was written for a play called "Quiet City" by Irwin Shaw. You can picture yourself in New York City in the 1940's, walking alone down the street surrounded by tall buildings, streetlamps, and people in their apartments being introverted. I always reflect about myself when I listen to it
VL: What a strange feeling: thinking about New York while you are in China.
JB: Well the part about New York came later when I was in college and I read about this piece. When I was in China I just thought it sounded cool and more modern than stuff by Mozart or Vivaldi.
Dan Deacon - Big Milk
VL: Talk about a weird transition.
JB: I know! Damn!
VL: I feel like this is music that you either hate or love.
JB: Yeah! This may be too out there for some people. You have to exhibit some goofy sense of humor to dig it. Like the song "Wham City:" it's all about bears and goats and everyone playing drums and whatnot! Totally awesome! I like this song because its just a simple arpeggiation of major 7th chords.
VL: Thanks, nerd.
JB: He apparently used to play in ska bands. I finally saw a picture of him with big goofy glasses and a turquoise shirt and i thought "Yeah....he did." Not that that's bad...I was a ska kid.
VL: How excited are you about this show that may happen at UCI?
JB: I am stoked. I joined the group and called Sam [Farzin, KUCI Music Director] to see what was going on. I don't want to jinx it though.
VL: Yeah, totally. But it'd be awesome to finally have some good acts on our campus and not just bands that pass through our station.
Boris - Rainbow
JB: This song is really droney metal except the guitar solo. [That] is very trebbly and the gain [increasing the amplitude of the singal therefore making it sound much more overdriven] is pretty high and that came out of nowhere.
VL: I heard they started off as a hardcore punk band...Which is funny because now they're all droney.
JB: Increase the ROCK! I'd like to listen to more of this band actually. Their name comes from a Melvins song, and I love the Melvins.
J.J. Johnson - Lament
JB: Yes! I play trombone and he is considered the trombonist who made the instrument work in bebop. Trombone is a slow instrument compared to saxophone, trumpet, piano, and drums, but he gave the instrument a voice in this fast-paced style of music. He found a way for the trombone to play (improvise solo) bebop.