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August 2023 Notebook

Welcome to The Notebook. Every month explore the new sounds that the Hult Center team (and some special guests) are listening to.

Instrumentals, jazz & country, alternative classics and more shine in this month’s notebook –  have a listen and discover your next favorite song!

Greg – House of Records

Mainly instrumental downtempo beats with just a few short spoken interludes in Japanese. Some of the best wallpaper of the year. Very easy to listen to while working, writing, exercising, or just plain living. Some of the beats sound like variations on the James Brown “Funky Drummer” pattern, with very tasteful minimalist samples of guitar, keyboards, and horns mixed in. Unique and strangely addicting.


The jazz world lost a major new star last year with the passing of trumpeter Jaimie Branch at the age of only 39. This was the last album she was working on with her band Fly or Die. Her loss is especially tragic because she made great music, hard to classify (although “psychedelic jazz” gets used by many music lovers), and filled with the joy of collective New Orleans ensemble playing. The focus is on the groove; Branch was not a virtuoso, but her trumpet is essential to these compositions. This record is full of surprise and discovery–there’s even a Meat Puppets cover!

Bodikhuu – Tokyo

Jaimie Branch – Fly or Die Fly or Die Fly or Die ((World War))

Daniel Olbrych – Content and Design Coordinator

It’s crazy to think Metric have been around for 25 years and lots of people don’t know who they are. You might have heard their song “Black Sheep” performed by the fictional band The Clash at Demonhead in the “Scott Pilgrim” movie. Although, I guess a lot of people might not have seen that movie… Well, Metric is a great band. And add “Scott Pilgrim” to your watchlist too!

Is there another composer in the past 100 years that’s more influential than Philip Glass? Is there another cartoon in the past 100 years that tells the story of a family who runs a burger shop better than Bob’s Burgers? And what would happen if you combined these two forces? Niagara Falls, that’s what. I don’t know if there is a more tear inducing episode than Bob’s Burgers Season 13, Episode 10, The Plight Before Christmas.

Metric – Nothing is Perfect

Philip Glass – Mishima

Abbey Aronica – Marketing Manager

I have loved The Front Bottoms ever since I was in high school driving around in my best friend’s car, and this album is no exception. This is a true coming-of-age album that gives you a glimpse into the (sometimes harsh yet hilarious) realties of young adulthood. I think the highlight off of the album is “Outlook” which gives you The Front Bottoms’ classic sound but if you’re looking to experience the grungier side of the group, “Clear Path” definitely showcases their pop-punk side. From start to finish, you can’t really go wrong so give it a listen & you’ll see what has kept this band so popular for over 15 years.

I’ve been going through a heavy Americana phase this summer so naturally, I stumbled across Gregory Alan Isakov’s latest album. This album is loaded with stunning melodies and reminds me of home during this time of year, driving through the countryside. I think that means he really did his job, considering we both grew up in Pennsylvania. This folk-rock album flows seamlessly from song to song and feels effortlessly majestic. I honestly don’t think I can pick a favorite song, but highlights would include the title track, “Watchman”, and “Sweet Heat Lightning”. I highly recommend sitting back on a cool evening and letting these soothing songs wash over you. (Side note: I never thought I would describe banjo playing as stunning until I listened to Isakov – HIGHLY recommend).

The Front Bottoms – You Are Who You Hang Out With

Gregory Alan Isakov – Appaloosa Bones

Dusty Adair – Talent Buyer

“Something’s Gonna Kill Me” is one that I play on repeat! It popped up on my playlist and I immediately was hooked. The rhythm of this song is a real attention getter. The song is about taking risks in life and putting yourself out there because we are all going to fade away someday and you should do what you love why you can. If you like Country music you should absolutely add this to your song list.

This song is on Zach Bryan’s new self-titled album and is one of my favorite songs on the album. Zach has a gruffness to his voice and Kacey compliments this song so well with her beautiful vocals. 

Corey Kent – Something’s Gonna Kill Me

Zach Bryan – I Remember Everything (feat. Kacey Musgraves)

What are you listening to?

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