April 23, 2009 Volume CXXV Issue 11

Tiger band revs up for Spring

Band looks to cap off a productive year with a special Spring performance
Band Enthusiast
The Tiger Band has performed at a variety of events over the past year, includingthe visit of former President George H.W. Bush.

The Tiger Band has performed at a variety of events over the past year, including the visit of former President George H.W. Bush.

Tonight at 8 p.m. in John L. Hill Chapel, the Georgetown College Tiger Symphonic Band will play, marking the 164th year of Tiger Bands. The highlights of this year’s Tiger Symphonic Band are student soloist Taras Golditchuk and student conductor Lauri Hensley. This has been an exciting year for the band, as documented on their website. There, one can see pictures and details about the various events that the band has been involved in.

Taras Golditchuk will be playing the djembe on a Congo classic, “Amani-A Song of Peace,” that involves singing in Swahili and French, dancing, chanting and clapping. The message of this song, composed by Jim Papoulis, is loosely based on peace and universal brotherhood. Taras is the son of Taras Golditchuk and Anke Horn of Hennigsdorf, Germany (a suburb of Berlin).

Lauri Hensley will be conducting “A Time to Dance,” by Julie Giroux, which is based off of Ecclesiastes 3: “For everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven: a time to be born, and a time to die… a time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance.” Lauri is the daughter of Michael and Katherine Hensley of London, Kentucky.

Some other sections of the band that will be featured are the Flute and French Horn sections. Two chamber works will highlight the Flute Quartet and the French Horn Quartet, which will not be worth missing.

Another important part of the concert will be a slide show honoring the Class of 2009 Band Scholars. This has become a tradition of the Tiger Bands and the presentation is always to the tune of “Old Scottish Melody” by Charles Wiley.

On top of that, the Outstanding Band Scholar of the Year will be announced along with other special awards. It shall truly be as the band motto goes, “An evening of delightful music.”

All attendees will receive CEP credit for coming to the concert.

Summer heating up for Phoenix

Band hopes their newest album will soldify their presence in the American music scene
A&E Editor
The band recently performed on American television to boost their profile.

The band recently performed on American television to boost their profile.

This summer, one of the hippest bands in America may not even be from the States. Phoenix, a rock band from France, has been steadily developing a foothold in the U.S. for a few years now, and are poised to make a splash in the indie community.

On May 25, the band will release their newest album, “Wolfgang Amadeus Phoenix” to much fanfare. Advance copies of the album have already leaked online, as is the norm, and the music community is embracing the tracks with an excited fervor. Fans of the band often point to the 2005 album “It’s Never Been Like That” as the breakthrough moment, with the track “Long Distance Call” becoming a widespread under-the-radar hit. The band’s connections to pop culture are well-established.

Early in their career they were joined by Laurent Brancowitz, a friend that helped round out the lineup and came up with the band name. He joined after disbanding his previous group, who then went on to become Daft Punk, the wildly popular electronica duo. More recently, the band made a cameo in the 2006 film “Marie Antoinette” as a band of French musicians, fully decked out in garb from the era. A few weeks ago, the band made an appearance on Saturday Night Live, performing two tracks from their upcoming album, the bouncy first single “1901” and the driving “Lisztomania.”

The band itself formed well over a decade ago, comprised mostly of childhood friends. The band often performed various musical tasks, such as providing the backing music for song remixes, before settling into their own sound, a unique blend of rock, dance and soul. If there is a characteristic that sets their newest album apart from the rest of their discography, it is undoubtedly the polished production. While other albums come across as decidedly lo-fi or rock-oriented, “Wolfgang Amadeus Phoenix” sounds more like a rock album produced like a dance record. The bass tones are smooth and pulsing, while the keyboards shimmer, fuzz and soar over the tight rhythm section.

Lead single “1901” is by far the most immediately-grabbing song on the record, but that isn’t to say the rest of it isn’t catchy. The song itself is more synthesizer-driven than anything, but the live version performed on “Saturday Night Live” featured a driving guitar riff that effectively doubled the synth line, and with pleasing results. The band shows its diversity as the album progresses, following “1901” with the smooth, soul-minded “Fences.” This track features one of the band’s great strengths: the ability to transition effortlessly between rhythmic, pounding verses into atmospheric choruses without sounding forceful.

Phoenix’s new album has been leaked online in advance of the release.

Phoenix’s new album has been leaked online in advance of the release.

While the fun continues on upbeat numbers such as “Rome,” it is the nearly 8-minute “Love Like a Sunset” that serves as the breathing point of the record. The mostly instrumental track ebbs and flows for nearly 5 minutes before transforming into an earnest pop song. The only real downside to the album is its relative brevity. The entire disc clocks in at right around a halfhour of music, which could be seen as good or bad. The band hardly has time to overstay its welcome, of course, but it does end rather abruptly.

For a band that is based out of Versailles, France, they have managed to make quite an international splash. Versailles has been a rather important hotbed for music in France, producing such notable acts as Daft Punk and Air. In early 2005, Phoenix embarked on a tour that spanned three continents and saw the band play over 150 shows. Their album sales were steady, if not spectacular, but their success on the charts in France revealed that the band had potential to make an impression on the American scene. Since then, their American appearances have been limited, affording few opportunities for fans to catch them in the States.

Perhaps that is all the band really wants: to keep you wanting more.


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