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Ben and Tom’s Musical Malaise

Courtesy of Rough Trade

If the ubiquitous lanyards, stuffed cornucopias and burnt ocre leaves on the ground really chafe your cheeks, grab a Chai and stoke your fall feels with some of Ben and Tom’s favie tracks.

Courtesy of Rough Trade

“On Fire”Galaxie 500

Drugs and nostalgia, or “Why Harvard Will Always Be Cooler Than Stanford.” Key tracks: “Blue Thunder,” “Tell Me,” “Ceremony.”

 

 

“I Can Hear the Heart Beating as One”Yo La Tengo

“When I heard the knock at the door / I couldn’t catch my breath / Is it too late to call this off?”—so begins “Autumn Sweater,” one of the highlights off Yo La Tengo’s aggressively eclectic 1997 release. The definitive fall feels genre—‘90s indie rock—materializes in its poster child, “I Can Hear the Heart Beating as One.” Sure, it’s not “In the Aeroplane Over the Sea,” but we’ve got to move on from listening to albums about Anne Frank. And let’s not forget the feels. This album might have them all—the melancholy, the awkwardness, the nervous anticipation, the blissed-out nighttime drives with the qtpi of your dreams and the memories of summer. Take a late-night walk around campus with this ditty for a genuine feels frenzy. Or perhaps pour yourself a drink or two and zone out to “Return to Hot Chicken,” “Damage,” and “Green Arrow.” A true fall feels gem.

“Yankee Hotel Foxtrot”Wilco

Courtesy of Nonesuch

I don’t care if this album is cliché; these feels are quintessentially autumnal. I know of few songs that are as simultaneously depressing, cacophonous, moving and soothing as the album’s opener, “I Am Trying to Break Your Heart.” Add in the alt-country jam “Jesus, Etc.,” with its pedal steel, soft strings and melodic grooves, and you’ve got yourself a genuine overcast autumn afternoon fiesta. Some call it boring—plebs. “Ashes of American Flags” and “Reservations” delve deeper into the album’s deeply contemplative feels—perfect for afternoon tea/coffee with gf (or without, most likely).

 

Ben is a 6’2” symbolic systems major who appreciates how “Blade Runner” is “philosophical, but not in a cheap, annoying way.”

 

 

Courtesy of DGC Records

“Vampire Weekend”—Vampire Weekend

Though it may be too late for you to stroll through the streets of Cambridge with a crimson cardigan draped over your shoulder, qtpis on your arms and freshly fallen leaves beneath your feet, through Vampire Weekend’s 2008 release, you can try, dammit. Get playfully spunky next to the fuzzy “It’s vintage” organ on “Campus” and Graceland-inspired yelps on “One (Blake’s Got A New Face)” and try to forget for a minute that you go to an expensive, top-tier, post-secondary institution situated far away from both Cape Cod and South Africa. To fully feel the fall feels of Vampire Weekend, clinking g&ts on the pier with a few newfound friends as the sunset bounces off your pomade’s sheen and “The Kids Don’t Stand A Chance” softly plays from someone’s car is recommended, but you might have to settle for Gatorade and vodka on the roof of Stern.

 

“Let It Be”—The Replacements

Unlike the identically named album by The Beatles, you’re not guaranteed to find at least one album cover poster of this gem by The Replacements in every freshman dorm. With determined direction, “Let It Be” immediately marks its college-aged anti-establishmentarianism and general grunginess with Paul Westerberg’s salt-and-pepper vocals crooning over simple, driving drums and a borrowed guitar that sounds like it just crawled out of bed on the opening track, “I Will Dare.” The album’s lyrical bent centers around blue-collar love and despair among the flannel-cloaked younger crowd, but songs about tfw no gf like “Unsatisfied” and “Answering Machine” hit home with even those who have just broken it off with a high school beau. Best felt while not-so-discreetly pounding a domestic brew in the green felt-covered basement of a Duluth Rambler. If this is not a viable option, slumping through the Quad on a slightly overcast day with a jean jacket and stale hair will suffice.

 

“Crooked Rain, Crooked Rain”—Pavement

Along with The Replacements, Pavement is often grouped in as a heavyweight of college rock classics. And rightfully so—both groups share feels-heavy lyrics and vocalists whose respect for proper pitch is nearly absent. “Crooked Rain, Crooked Rain” marks Pavement’s transition from the noisy summer feels of “Slanted and Enchanted” to the slightly more polished sound of ‘90s Pacific Northwest alt rock. Although the album keeps a pretty traditional instrument and time signature lineup, unusual bits like the spacey jaunt through 5/4 and 6/8 time in “5-4=Unity” keep the sleepy listener on his toes. Best felt during sunny afternoons, so if Bay Area rain is getting you down, close your eyes and visualize yourself in blond, center-parted hair on Columbae’s balcony with some nice headphones pumping out the warbly guitar solo on “Cut Your Hair” or the instrumental breakdown on “Gold Soundz.”

 

Tom is a persnickety night owl whose music collection spans at least five media.

 

 

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