Bucknell Music Culture: First Impressions

When I arrived on campus I was overwhelmed by all of the popular party music; 3OH!3 was booked for Fall Fest, everyone was singing the cup song around a capella audition time, and top 40s are blasted from every fraternity on the weekends.  At first glance Bucknell is musically stereotypical, but there are many opportunities for students with every musical preference. 
7th Street Café hosts open mic nights, Bucknell’s radio station (WVBU 90.5 FM) is home to a diverse group of DJs, and the music department sponsors many different groups including the Opera Company and Gamelan Ensemble.  The following five songs are examples of how my impression of Bucknell’s music culture reversed over the past month.

1.       “Hoppipola” by Sigur Ros


A friend introduced me to this little gem during one of many music sharing sessions I’ve had with other students.  Sigur Ros is a band from Iceland and their songs are written in a combination of Icelandic and a made-up language they call Volenska.  “Hoppipola” is Icelandic for “Jumping into Puddles.”


2.       “Shoegazer” by Pasteboard


Shoegaze is a style of music classified by heavy guitar effects and hazy vocals, dubbed “shoegaze” because musicians stereotypically look at their shoes while performing (probably because they use so many guitar pedals).  WVBU has its very own show, Showgazed (Monday 8:00-9:00 pm), dedicated to the genre.


3.       “Sunrise Requiem” by Apparitions of Myself


Justin Eyster is one of the many examples of musical talent at Bucknell.  “Sunrise Requiem” is off his second album, Of Love & Loss, released in 2012.  Justin is currently recording his third album, Reach You.


4.       “She’s Losing It” by Belle and Sebastian


Belle and Sebastian performed their entire first album Tigermilk live at open mic nights before it was released.   I was ecstatic when this song - one that I’ve been jamming to all summer - started playing over the speakers at the Craft Center.


5.       “Piano Man” by Billy Joel


One of my favorite Bucknell moments thus far was when a majority of the Bingo Blingo attendees sang along to “Piano Man” as it played over the cafeteria loudspeakers.  As with any type of interest, the many subdivisions of musical tastes each have their own niche at Bucknell, whether it takes the form of a common room jam session or a Weis Center performance; but students will still come together to sing an old classic at the caf.