Nate Banks and I Ignore Equipment Malfunctions

We’ve been pretty good about avoiding technical issues this year at The VU Backstage.  In the past, we’ve had recordings that sound like they’ve been put through a bitcrusher, Garage Band deciding that it was a good idea to peace out as the MP3 file was exporting, and studio phones that, despite the explicit directions, simply would not connect to the on-air feed.  This year, mostly due to my persistent complaints about these issues and RVU Records’ audio engineering skills, most of these problems had vanished into the dark recesses of the past.

Or so I thought until last night.

It was like a year’s worth of bad juju was being stored up in a storm that finally broke last night.  RVU Records couldn’t supply an audio engineer.  The Garage Band feed in the studio thought it would be fun to come disconnected from the on-air feed.  Microphone 4 flat-out refused to turn on.  Fortunately our videographer Tony captured the show on his two cameras (well, one of the two ran out of storage halfway through) but God knows how the audio will sound.

But as Nate Banks sings in his song “Some People,” “We don’t need to worry about all of those things, ’cause I got you, and you got me.”

Technical difficulties couldn't keep Nate Banks and me from the usual Sunday night shenanigans.

Technical difficulties couldn’t keep Nate Banks and me from the usual Sunday night shenanigans.

That was basically our attitude last night.  We had a blast talking about his victory in the Vanderbilt Star competition, his upcoming EP release (click here for info on the release party), and what can be done to improve the Vanderbilt music scene.  He’s a phenomenal songwriter and I really hope you’ll get his EP, because this is a guy to start tracking now.

We’ll be back next week with another great show, and hopefully the WRVU studio will be fully functional once again so you can actually hear what transpires after the fact.  Until then, keep up with The VU Backstage on Facebook and Twitter!

Alex Nicole on The VU Backstage

Alex Nicole and her guitarist Michael Meadows made for a dynamic interview last night.

Alex Nicole and her guitarist Michael Meadows made for a dynamic interview last night.

Callie McFee ought to be listed as the casting director of The VU Backstage.

Once again, Callie bailed us out after an eleventh-hour cancellation, and we ended up with Alex Nicole in the studio last night.  And Alex wowed us with her superb songwriting, beautiful voice, and positively bubbly demeanor.  If you met Alex on the street, you’d be best friends with her within two minutes–and then, after listening to her music, you’d be her new biggest fan.

Our conversation spanned everything from Breaking Bad to deep-dish pizza to Alex’s love for telling stories.  You can check out the full interview and performance below.

Be sure to follow The VU Backstage on Facebook and Twitter to stay updated on the Vanderbilt (and Belmont) music scenes!

Andrew Tullos on The VU Backstage

Hey y’all!

Andrew Tullos rocks the bandana, don't you agree?

Andrew Tullos rocks the bandana, don’t you agree?

Callie McFee has been the behind-the-scenes MVP of The VU Backstage this semester.  On occasions when Vanderbilt’s community of student musicians has been unable to provide us with a guest, she’s gone fishing in the Belmont pool and come up with gems almost immediately.  Last night was no exception.  Andrew Tullos was charming, authentic, and a great storyteller–not to mention a fabulous singer/songwriter.  Check out the full episode below to hear us talk about his favorite English word, his upcoming Best of the Best Showcase performance, and his love for Springsteen, among other things.  And of course you’ll get to hear five of his best songs!

Be sure to keep up with The VU Backstage on Facebook and Twitter to get all the latest updates on the Vanderbilt (and sometimes Belmont) music scene!

Julia Seales on The VU Backstage

Julia Seales brought us back from spring break with a great hour of music and talk.

Julia Seales brought us back from spring break with a great hour of music and talk.

We’re back, folks!  I spent spring break in London seeing the city’s historic sites, learning about Harry Potter and other British children’s literature, and having a jolly good time with some close friends.  But as fun as that all was, I was licking my chops to get back in the WRVU studio last night.  It’s the best way to end one week and begin another, an entertaining and enlivening conversation with a creative mind.

This time the creative mind on the air was Julia Seales, who brings her music to the arena of video production–many of her songs were written for her web series University Ever After.  We chatted about the impact of improv comedy upon her writing, her fantasy and fairy tale influences, and her skill as a harpist, among other fascinating topics.  Catch the full episode below!

Make sure to follow The VU Backstage on Facebook and Twitter!

Years & Years Is Electrifying Britain

Years & Years plays at London club Heaven, 3/6/15.

Years & Years plays at London club Heaven, 3/6/15.

Like my colleague Brandon Bout, I made sure to catch a live show over Spring Break.  For me, the destination was London and the band was electro-pop trio Years & Years.

I had heard of the group from a fellow Lightning 100 intern in December.  She had spent time working in Britain and assured me that they were on the verge of blowing up across the pond.  Her promise was confirmed when I learned that Years & Years had won the BBC’s prestigious Sound of 2015 poll–an award won in previous years by such acts as Sam Smith, Adele, and Ellie Goulding.  So when I saw that the band would be playing in the British capital during my stay there, I convinced my traveling companions that we needed to go to the concert.

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