On October 2nd at 8:40 PM, we lost one of Rock and Roll’s greatest icons, Tom Petty. Petty died at the age of 66, after he went into cardiac arrest in his home in LA. The singer and guitar player has been influencing music with his California rock style since the mid 70’s when he started releasing music through Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers. He came to the conclusion that he would rather be a solo artist than in a band, however he preferred performing with the same musicians. Therefore, Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers was born. With the release of their first single, “Breakdown”, the band did not gain much momentum, however, after relentless touring, the song finally broke through in the states. In 1979, Petty’s music would be forever written in stone through the album Damn the Torpedoes, which reached number two, and is considered to be one of his best albums. Petty released a number of albums throughout the 80’s however, his work in the supergroup The Traveling Wilburys, which includes Jeff Lynn, Bob Dylan, Roy Orbison, George Harrison, and himself, seems to stand out the most, as this group of incredible musicians came together to make something special. In 1989, Tom Petty released Full Moon Fever, which consists of the monumental track “Free Fallin”. Going into the 90’s, Petty had a great amount of support due to his recent releases, however he knew that he would have to forge a new fan base for a new generation. He did so with the solo release of Wildflowers, which kept the rock star’s magic around in a time where rock music had taken a much different turn. Going into the 2000’s Tom Petty’s new music fell out of radio favor as he entered the later years of his career. This last year marked the 40th anniversary of the creation of Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers. This legend’s influence will forever be felt in rock music around the world, and he will be greatly missed by all those that he touched. Tom Petty, thank you.
The War On Drugs have released their forth album after working on some side projects including Sharon Van Etten's "Are We There." It has a very smooth quiet sound. Be sure to listen to "Up All Night" and "Pain"
This week’s Album Spotlight is “The Far Field” by Future Islands. Released on April 7th this album and the title comes from a Theodore Roethke poem. By sure to listen to their focus track “Run”
This week's Album Spotlight is "Whiteout Conditions" by the New Pornographers. With their 7th album and first since 2014, "Whiteout Conditions" will be released on April 7th. This is their first album with Concord Records. Listen for their focus track "Play Money."
This weeks Album Spotlight is “Everybody Works” by Jay Som. This is Jay Som or Melina Duterte’s second album in just a year. After the success of “Turn Into,” her first album, she appeared on NPR and Pitchfork and quickly produced a second album. She writes and records everything from her bedroom but put out this newest album with Polyvinyl Records and Double Denim Records. Check out the focus track “The Bus Song”
This week's Album Spotlight comes from one of the most successful and acclaimed indie rock bands from the past decade, Real Estate. Since their 2014 release, Atlas, there have been a few changes to the band including the replacement of Matt Mondanile, who left to lead his project Ducktails, with Julian Lynch. Also, keyboardist Matt Kallman was added to the group before recording In Mind. Real Estate has spent years developing their easily identifiable laid-back guitar sound. These recent band changes have seemed to push the band further towards Martin Courtney's lead which he displayed on his solo project album, Many Moons. Courtney's lyrics paint a similar picture seen on previous records of the anxieties of living in a lethargic suburban town, but he does so without the cohesiveness that once seemed effortless for Real Estate. Nevertheless, In Mind certainly should find its place on your summer playlist.
The Shins have come out with their first album in 5 years. Their last release was Port of Morrow in 2012. Heartworms has more of an electronic feel than their usual rock sound. Look for their focus track Name For You.
We're finally back at it with the recurring web feature you've all come to know and love! Our first Faculty Spotlight of the semester is Dr. Geoffrey Bateman of the Peace and Justice Department who teaches classes ranging from Writing for Social Justice to Peace and Justice in Catholic Social Thought.
What's the first album you bought?
I bought three albums (as cassette tapes) at the same time from Musicland in the Vancouver Mall: Janet Jackson's Control, A-ha's Scoundrel, and Duran Duran's Notorious.
Who was your first concert?
When I was a summer exchange student to Germany in high school, I went to see one of my host brothers perform in a heavy metal band. More notably, I think my first real concert was Lilith Fair in the late 1990s, and I'm pretty sure Sarah McLaughlin performed.
Who is an artist you enjoyed listening to in college?
My senior year of college we were all obsessed with Alanis Morrisette's Jagged Little Pill.
Do you play any instruments?
Not so much now, but in high school and college I sang in the Adelphians, which was a concert choir.
Song You Can't Not Sing Along to/Go to Karaoke Song
"Love Shack" by the B-52's
Odious Artist/Song You Just Can't Stand
Hmmm...not much is coming to mind. I'm not really the biggest fan of country music, but my husband does like it, so I've learned to appreciate it.
What artists and types of music do you listen to now?
Musical theatre. I'm obsessed with Hamilton, Fun Home, and The Book of Mormon. I also listen to a lot of classical music. Lately, that's meant a lot of string quartets, especially those composed by Schubert. Also, Beyoncé.
To learn more about Dr. Bateman, check out his faculty biography on the main Regis website.