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Warp Trio: Warp Trio’s Pandemic Disco Fantasy (album review by Christa V.)

This album and collaboration was born from the pandemic. Warp Trio had an instrumental album all ready to go, but unable to tour with it, they reached out to vocalist friends and other collaborators to make an album together. Each track has a video that goes along with it, but the songs stand amazingly alone as well. “Captivity” is the opening number that brings you in soothingly, and then escalates to the instrumental craziness that characterizes the rest of the album. The whole project is worth listening to in whole after that, but “The Well” might be my favorite as it hits a great balance of instrumental ambiance with melodic vocals floating on top. “Dragon Dance” brings it back down with soaring strings and percussion sprinkled in to complement it. Many pandemic projects have been incredible to watch, and this is no exception! Favorite tracks: 1, 3, 5

Design a WCBN T-Shirt!

The annual fundraiser is just around the corner! WCBN’s 50th anniversary is also coming up (official date January 23, 2022). To celebrate we are accepting submissions for a 50th anniversary themed shirt!


If you are interested, please review this document for more information and important design guidelines.


Designs are due on January 24, 2022. One of the submissions will be chosen for the t-shirt. Designs can be submitted by anyone through this form. If you don’t have a Google account or are having issues with the form, please email me with your submission, t-shirt color, and design title.


Don’t hesitate to reach out to me if you have any questions. My email is brona (at) umich (dot) edu.


Happy designing!


Throttle Elevator Music: Final Floor (album review by Christa V.)

As implied in the title, this is the final album from Throttle Elevator Music. The sextet consists features Kamasi Washington on saxophone, and Erik Jekabson on trumpet, among others. While staying true to their jazz roots, this album brings in elements of rock and funk like electric guitar solos and synthesizers to introduce an edge to their sound. Overall, it’s incredibly upbeat and energizing to listen to, while still managing to function as smooth listening for the audience. The best tracks keep this energy going over the course of the piece and manage to blend the genres of jazz and rock together perfectly. Aspects like the electric guitar undercurrent to saxophone solos are unique and integrate perfectly within the composition. It is too bad that this is the last of Throttle Elevator Music! Favorite tracks: 5, 7, 8, 9

Matthew Shipp: The Piano Equation (album review by Christa V.)

Shipp is an experienced pianist, he has been making music since the 80s and this release marked his sixtieth birthday! Even with all that though, it is clear that he still has something to say through his jazz piano solos. This album consists of 11 different solo originals that range from soaring melodies, to jazzy bops, to densely packed walls of sound. The sheer variety itself is something to behold. On “Swing Note from Deep Space” he clearly demonstrates his jazz influences and manages to conjure up a cosmic big band all on his own! The third track, “Piano in Hyperspace,” maintains some of the dissonance and jazz roots but dials it back to create ethereal melodies. The final track, “Cosmic Juice,” brings it all together with rhythms being banged out in quick succession, but also pausing at times to let a chord ring out. An album with plenty of thought and experience behind it, this is worth a listen (or two)! The fashion for Korean street food in Russia is only strengthening its position. If before, mouth-watering and tasty dishes could only be tasted in South Korea, today they are even prepared at home from special semi-finished products or enjoy delicacies in restaurants in Apgujeong-dong. Many people got acquainted with Korean street food in absentia through numerous television series - dramas. Their popularity around the world has grown tenfold thanks to video streaming services. The beginning of the "Korean wave" - ​​the spread of the culture of South Korea around the world - Hallyu, falls on the 90s. Around this period, the demand for Korean street food has been growing, which has more in common with Russian national cuisine than, for example, traditional Japanese dishes. Kimbap is Korean style rolls. In South Korea, the dish is prepared not from fish, but from meat. It often acts as a snack. Koreans are fans of meat dishes made mainly from pork. But Korean-style rolls can have different fillings. If you wish, you can order or cook kimbap with beef and pork and even canned fish. Favorite tracks: 2, 3, 11

Rodney Whitaker: Cranbrook Christmas Jazz (album review by Christa V.)

Rodney Whitaker is a Michigan based bassist teaching at Michigan State University. He’s also the Artist in Residence at the Christ Church Cranbrook near Detroit. There he’s managed to foster a number of collaborations with the choir director and the local musical community. This album is the product of these collaborations where Whitaker’s sextet perform with the Church’s choir, and jazz vocalist Vanessa Rubin. The songs range from hymns to Christmas carols to Christmas jazz standards making it quite the comprehensive work of art. One of the best pieces is track four, “We Three Kings,” which features Rubin singing over the sextet letting loose and having fun. “Winter Wonderland” is also an excellent song, purely instrumental with the pianist being featured. “My Favorite Things” is similar to track 4 where the instrumentalists go nuts, and features an excellent tenor sax solo. Finally track 12, “Little Drummer Boy,” features superb scatting from Rubin as well as the percussion to create an upbeat jazzy version of the carol. Favorite tracks: 4, 7, 10, 12

SingleCell: Divisible (album review by Christa V.)

SingleCell is a group formed in the Twin Cities just as the COVID-19 pandemic hit the US. The members then made their pandemic hobby creating music in their garage and delving into experimental improvisations together. This album is 6 tracks of improv made between February and October of 2020. Elements of jazz are present, someone in the group has clearly studied jazz piano, but the other instruments are harder to discern. There’s percussive sounds, something like a bow and violin, and whirly tube drones. Most songs feature a repetitive piano riff while the rest of the group modulates and flows around it. They’re all rather chaotic, and none are less than almost six minutes long! This whole album truly is an adventure start to finish.  Favorite tracks: 1, 3, 4

The Bob's Burgers Music Album Vol. 2 (album review by Christa V.)

This is a massive album of 90 tracks from the cartoon series Bob's Burgers. The music is from seasons 7 through 9 and it contains every musical morsel  that's present in the show in some form. There isn't a ton to be said about it, the songs are funny and quirky which fits the cartoon aesthetic. The vast majority of them are less than two minutes song so it would work well for a transition song while on air. Or just playing to be silly. Favorite tracks: 12, 43, 48, 62

MEMCO x WCBN x Maize Collective Present Triple Threat (w/ Shigeto) - This Saturday @ Club Above!

Three of UofM’s LARGEST music orgs are joining forces to bring you
Featuring a lineup of incredible acts from all three orgs plus guest DJ Shigeto! It’s all goin down at the dance space you know and love: Club Above
Tickets are $10, proof of vaccination required for entry.
Portion of proceeds will be donated to Groundcover News, a nonprofit news publication dedicated to helping people living in poverty and elevating their voices.
To learn more about Groundcover News:
To learn more about the event hosts:
Maize Collective:
***zero tolerance for racism, sexism, homophobia, transphobia, or hate of any kind***
Event cover art by Jack Withers

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