The Antlers, Elbow And James Blake Sessions Noted As Faves...
Behind every one of 2011's TAS or WFUV sessions in Studio A was an engineer who handled the mix, charged with the responsibility of making notable bands and artists like Feist, James Blake, Elbow, The Naked and Famous, The Antlers and scores more sound as good as possible for on-air broadcast. The bulk of the sessions are also taped by a video team, who are learning to capture performances in a visually exciting way, both in the studio and during post-production.
As the year comes to an end, the TAS video and engineering teams, most of them students at Fordham University, chose the most rewarding or meaningful sessions they worked on over the last year:
Phoebe Johnson: The Naked and Famous were a band I had heard of previously, but I had never listened to any of their songs, besides "Young Blood," before they came to The Alternate Side. During the session, their song "The Sun" stuck out to me because of the rhythm, the build up throughout the entire song and the intricacy of its composition.
Alex Erker: From the James Blake session at WFUV and The Alternate Side, "Unluck" was my favorite song. This song has a soul feel with a unique drum track in the background, keeping a rhythm that feels out of synch at times but all comes together by the end of the song. James Blake creates a lot of musically diverse material that pushes the envelope with his rhythms, drum tracks, vocal effects and harmonies. And Active Child has really inspired me to create the music that I want, not letting preconceived notions of what should be done in a song dictate how I produce my own music.
Pat Moore: Although The Antlers had performed in Studio A before, their second appearance was even better. They performed four songs from their newest album, Burst Apart, that offered beautiful music layered with electronic arrangements. They have a lot of depth for a four-member band (they had another guitarist playing with them on this tour). Beirut was one of the most interesting bands to come into Studio A this year. Their brass arrangements were great. The music was an awesome mix of indie rock and brass instrumentation.
Dan Hodd: Elbow's session was amazing. Though it may not be apparent, delivering an emotional performance while retaining technical accuracy is incredibly difficult — that's why most studio albums take months to complete. Elbow delivered these moving, flawless tracks in a fraction of the time, reinforcing their reputation and leaving everyone in the control room in humble amazement. It was a privilege to record them on a quiet Sunday morning. Also, I had read up on the unique vocal production techniques used on Feist's records, but wasn't quite sure what to expect for a live take. Leslie and her crew brought it in full force. I was a fan before her visit - obsessed with her new album, Metals, after.
Tim Teeling: Fruit Bats was one of my first sessions editing video for WFUV and I'm glad to say it came out well. They played a couple songs from their new album, Tripper, but they also decided to play the title track from an older album, The Ruminant Band. I like when bands revisit old favorites as opposed to only promoting their latest material.
Tim Askerov: Despite the studio setting, there was nothing stripped down about the Man Man session. These multi-instrumentalists gave an exuberant performance with all the horns and exotic percussion present in their live shows. Honus's distinctive vocals were just as strong as ever singing dark yet upbeat songs like "Bangkok Necktie"
Claire Donovan: Gary Clark Jr. was one of the coolest artists I discovered from a session in Studio A. They also sounded different than a lot of the bands we have come in; they were more gritty rock as opposed to the many folk or electronic bands that perform in our studio. [ed. note: video to come in 2012)