Concert Crowd
Music festivals are a fantastic way to revel in your favorite bands and stumble upon some brand new ones. There are even those huge outdoor ones that fill an entire three days with live music. It’s an exhilarating experience for sure, but it’s not for everyone. For one, you’re on your feet practically all day, sometimes in scorching temperatures (Coachella, eh?). And on the music side of the coin, some bands’ live shows just work better in an intimate indoor venue rather than in outdoor settings that could drown out the sound.

These festivals surely get more publicity in the long run, but if you’re looking for a different festival experience right here in the Bay Area, check out the Noise Pop Festival in San Francisco! In its 21st year, the festival — happening from February 26th to March 6th — presents a plethora of shows in the city at a variety of different venues. You can attend as few or as many as you wish and with the festival pass you can score some sweet deals if you choose to milk the festival for what it’s worth. There are also some film, art and culture events as well! Here is a playlist highlighting some of the best of this eclectic shindig:

  1. Ramona Falls, “Fingerhold
  2. !!!, “Must Be the Moon”
  3. White Arrows“Get Gone”
  4. Toro y Moi, “New Beat” read more »

Enjoy the music discovery of Pandora and the playlist creation capabilities of Spotify or 8-tracks, but want something new to spice up your music life, especially now that we’re in the hectic heyday of school life once again? Here’s this little gem: Songza. It will quickly become your best friend.

At its core, it’s a gigantic collection of playlists curated by all sorts of companies, important music people, users and of course, the self-proclaimed ‘music-experts’ of the Songza team. But the way they are indexed is just the niftiest thing. It’ll likely put all your other music-streaming sites to shame.

First, you can skim through the popular playlists of the year to see what everyone else has been enjoying. You can also skim through playlist indexed by genre, decade (well, that’s typical), and even by activities (driving in the left lane, breaking up, etc) and moods! But here’s the real kicker. The music concierge option takes all these options to the next level: they’re catered to you. Let’s take a look:

Right now it’s Tuesday evening. Songza thinks that, based on the day of the week and time of the day, we’re most likely be doing one of these activities.

songza
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You’re right Songza! We are working. You smart little thing, you. Since we’re writing, we’d prefer no lyrics.

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2012 was without a doubt a great year in music from breakout debuts to soaring sophomore releases and everything beyond. Before we dive headfirst into the 2013 music world, let’s reminisce on some of the best releases of the past year (in no particular order) …

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12 Jan 2012 - Songs

  1. Tame Impala, “Feels Like We Only Go Backwards,” Lonerism
  2. Best Coast, “The Only Place,” The Only Place
  3. Saint Motel, “Puzzle Pieces,” Voyeur
  4. Patrick Wolf, “Overture,” Sundark and Riverlight
  5. Delta Spirit, “California,” Delta Spirit
  6. First Aid Kit, “The Lion’s Roar,” The Lion’s Roar
  7. Divine Fits, My Love is Real,” A Thing Called Divine Fits
  8. Alt-J, “Tesselate,” An Awesome Wave
  9. The Vaccines, “Teenage Icon,” Come of Age
  10. The xx, “Angels,” Coexist
  11. Sufjan Stevens, “Christmas Unicorn,” Silver and Gold
  12. John Mulaney, “Terrible Driver,” New In Town (not music, but a hilarious comedy album from the SNL writer who brought us Stefon!)

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Check out the whole playlist on Spotify, and be sure to share with us your favorites of 2012 below!

Image source: S John Davey, under Creative Commons


2368346202_05edffd868_zClasses start today, so we thought you might like some tracks to explore your feelings regarding this newest development. Yeah, we’re bummed that winter break is over. But we’re also glad to be going to the best school in the world.

Here are the 13 songs to kick off 2013:

1. Wizard Flurry Home, Mariee Sioux — If you saw snowfall this break, you’ll understand what she’s talking about here. But even if you didn’t, you’ll like the way she makes you feel. All Native American and shit.

2. When the Roses Bloom Again, Billy Bragg and Wilco — A chance to give a sorrowful farewell to the days of skiing and family feasts, this song’s almost upbeat tune clashes gloriously with its moody lyrics. Wilco’s distinctive voice dominates the vocals and is complemented by Bragg’s folk influences.

3. Submarines, The Lumineers — Filled with angst and youthful loneliness, this simple yet meaningful ballad is filled with folk energy.

4. Newlands, Justice — The key point of this song is not to think too hard. Just move to the prog beat, and don’t worry about the muffled disappointment that was Audio, Video, Disco.

5. Said So What, French Kicks — Reminiscent of The Beach Boys, it’s easy to groove to the warmth of repetition and jangling.

6. Half Gate, Grizzly Bear — This song resonates with beauty. It’s a mastery of composition and eloquently rich with meaning. It’s about barriers between people and the past. Such a good listen when you’re feeling sentimental.

7. One Pure Thought, Hot Chip — A dance track like no other, these guys just want you to smile. Don’t stress the ugliness that pops up — it’s on purpose, and the feels are ultimately satisfying.

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Now that the dust has settling down, and the initial shock — just kidding — is wearing off, we can make some light of Tedford’s departure from Cal Football. To be paid as much as he was, for an embarrassing three wins, Tedford was no million dollar man, even though it costs over six million to let him go. We thought it would be interesting to take a look in retrospect of the legendary Tedford, and recall how it used to be.

Tedford was one of those classic gentleman coaches, who was pure of heart and demonstrated good sportsmanship in a way that has been missing for too long.  Back in 2006, with Tedford at the helm, there was nothing to worry about, we had a hell of a season and Tedford made it look easy. When Cal was getting far ahead, the team would loosen up, taking a knee at the two yard line instead of building a disgusting lead. It was Tedford’s coaching that allowed Cal football fans to come together. Tedford was a hard worker, and his notable successes and multiple PAC-10 Coach of the Year Awards were well deserved. In those days, Cal’s players were the stars of track and field, with a speed and strength that reflected good coaching.  Tedford was the comeback kid, starting as an underdog and becoming a force of constant win.

But like all good things, time puts everything in ruins, and Tedford could only keep it up for only so long. It seemed to all Cal fans out there that Tedford was asleep at the wheel . The problem was that so much winning had led Tedford to rest on his laurels, and he needed more than just a shot in the arm. Near the end, Tedford’s elephant ego had led him to become a one man wrecking machine. When we lost against Nevada, it was clear there was no hope. We watched Maynard get blindsided yet again and again, and it took something out of all of us.

What we need now is a revival, and a coach with the drive to get us there.

Image source: avinashkunnath under Creative Commons


As the Finals issue features a great article on study-friendly instrumental tracks, we got inspired to explore the relationship of music and focus a bit further. It’s no surprise that while studying, many students prefer white noise or music to the jarring sound of chairs scraping throughout Moffit. But are there particular types of music that are more conducive to learning or focus? Some research suggests there are.

Studies in music and cognition receiving most media attention are those focused on what many dub the Mozart effect. The term usually refers to several similar theories, all centered on the idea that classical music may aid in temporary or long-term learning enhancement. In one experiment, students exposed to classical music showed increased — but temporary — spatial-temporal reasoning ability.

Similarly, gamma waves can describe a specific pattern of neural oscillations — brain waves — at a frequency of around 50 Hz. Researchers such as György Buzsaki have published evidence suggesting that the nature of the frequency of these waves may aid conscious attention through facilitating activity within the thalamus, a brain structure partially involved in alertness and consciousness. While the theory remains in need of further support, we still suggest trying out gamma-wave music therapy for yourself!

Our favorite tracks
We love Youtube tracks (1) Biaural Beats: Study, Focus, Concentrate and (2) High focus – Gamma brainwaves in particular, because they’re repetitive enough to discourage distraction. For those who might prefer classical music, we suggest the (3) Study Music Project, also on Youtube. Happy finals prep week!

-R.S.

Image source: Karmalize under Creative Commons.


Funny Santa Pics
Back in the beginning of November, we could not believe the stores were already starting to churn out the holiday tunes. It’s an unspoken cultural rule that pre-Thanksgiving is too early for these things! Those greedy holiday music producers and their corporate power grabs …

But now, whether you believe it or not, we’re getting into that time the department stores thought was a month ago. Thanksgiving is over, and if you’re lucky, your food comas are too. Thus, it’s holiday music time.

The jingle-belling and sleigh-ride-together-with-you-ing is probably getting a little tiresome, so we thought we’d share some holiday tunes that are a bit left field: the more silly, outrageous, and hilarious, the better! Here’s to a jolly holiday season.

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  1. Julian Casablancas- “I Wish It Was Christmas Today” [From the classic SNL sketch]
  2. Fitz and the Tantrums- “Santa Stole My Lady”
  3. Sufjan Stevens- “Come On! Let’s Boogey to the Elf Dance!” [PS Mr. Stevens has a whole Christmas box set out now! 5 discs chock full of cheer.]
  4. Stephen Colbert- “Another Christmas Song”
  5. Garfunkel and Oates- “Present Face”
  6. The Maccabeats- “Candlelight”
  7. Bob and Doug McKenzie- “12 Days of Christmas”
  8. The Killers- “Don’t Shoot Me Santa”
  9. Adam Sandler- “The Hannukah Song”
  10. South Park- “Cartman Tries to Sing ‘O Holy Night’”

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Image Credit: Scott Clark, via Creative Commons


Marching bands are pretty cool. Also, we have to admit that video games are pretty cool as well. But what if the two were combined into one impressively well-choreographed marching band routine? Well that is just what the marching band at Ohio State University did during one of their half time shows in what is quite possibly the most entertaining performance we’ve seen in a while. However, despite the attention the video has been getting, there seems to be a mini-controversy regarding the theme of OSU’s routine. They aren’t the first ones to do it.”

Coincidentally, Cal actually did a routine very similar to OSU’s back in 2007 in a couple football games that year against Stanford and Washington State. Naturally, the controversy is coming from YouTube commenters who are arguing away about whose better and who should get all the credit. To tell the truth, we didn’t realize that our marching band had done something like this in the past (It was before our time for some of us at the Clog so you can’t blame us!) but after doing a search on YouTube of “video game marching bands,” we pulled up the video by chance.

Honestly, the question of which school did what, when and where during what moment that the planets were aligned shouldn’t be a concern to everybody. After all, we both pulled off some pretty neat and entertaining performances. Regardless, the anonymous inhabitants of the internet should just take it easy and relax. While they do that, let us enjoy these lovely homages to our childhood video games of old!


As students here, the midterm season and academic grind in general have surely worn us down. We all need something new to stimulate the senses once and awhile. So if you’re in the mood for some free (free, FREE) local art and entertainment, the Berkeley Art Museum is the place to be. This fall, the BAM (an apt acronym) is putting on a variety of different events, most notably the severely underrated [email protected] Friday Nights concert series hosted in the heart of the Barry McGee art exhibition. And to top that off, it’s absolutely free to students with Cal ID! Here’s some trivia: did you know the series is in its third year? We had no idea. This could be one of Berkeley’s best kept secrets.

We got a peek at local printmaker and graffiti artist Barry McGee’s art installation, which spans three floors of the BAM. Here are some of our favorite pieces of the exhibit, to give you a taste of his distinct style:

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In your face!

Is this a real dude? You'll have to visit to find out... *wink wink*

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Taylor Swift is a country musician right? We don’t really listen to anyone who has dated John Mayer. Even with our limited knowledge of her past, we did believe that she was mainly a country musician.

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