Tag Archives: strfkr

50 States, 50 Artists, 50 Songs

Alabama

Alabama Shakes- “Hold On”

Alaska

Volcano Choir- “Alaskans”

Arizona

The Beatles- “Get Back”

Arkansas

Of Montreal- “Little Rock

California

Foxygen- “San Francisco”

Colorado

Bob Dylan- “Man of Constant Sorrow”

Connecticut

Superchunk- “Connecticut

Delaware

Continue reading 50 States, 50 Artists, 50 Songs

WCDB’s Top Albums of 2013

Reflektor

1. Arcade Fire – Reflektor

Voting Points: 213

The spectacle of the album release was a wonder in itself, and Arcade Fire’s experimentation into Disco was the top voted album of the year by a wide margin in our poll.

Acid Rap

2. Chance the Rapper – Acid Rap

Voting Points: 157.5

The second mix tape from Chance the Rapper caught the attention of multiple departments in our station, helping it be named the top hip-hop album of the year on our list.

Modern Vampires of the City

3. Vampire Weekend – Modern Vampires of the City

Voting Points: 142

The sound matured for Vampire Weekend, solidifying their role as one of the premiere pop artists in today’s music scene.

Hummingbird_(local_natives_album)

4. Local Natives – Hummingbird

Voting Points: 112

An inspired and experimental album from the group garnered them a lot of attention this year from media publications, and our DJs viewed it with a similar level of admiration.

FIDLAR

5. FIDLAR – FIDLAR

Voting Points: 106

The debut album for the California Skate-Punk band brought a ton of energy with it during their screamed stories about drugs and youthful ideals.

Wakin On A Pretty Daze

6. Kurt Vile – Wakin’ On A Pretty Daze

Voting Points: 102

A relaxing and pretty listen, Wakin’ On A Pretty Daze gave Kurt Vile a lot of artistic freedom to create long songs about his past experiences that have led up to this point.

II

7. Unknown Mortal Orchestra – II

Voting Points: 92

The sophomore album by the group tended to get mixed reviews from critics, but our DJs were supporters with it finding it’s way onto numerous lists.

220px-Trouble_Will_Find_Me

8. The National – Trouble Will Find Me

Voting Points: 90

One of the more consistent alternative bands out there released another very good album this year, while also having a documentary about them made by Berninger’s brother aptly named “Mistaken For Strangers” receive favorable reviews at film festivals. 

Foxygen

9. Foxygen – We Are the 21st Century Ambassadors of Peace & Magic

Voting Points: 87

Foxygen found themselves getting talked about a lot this year with We Are the 21st Century Ambassadors, and they were the most played artist on our station in 2013.

Yeezus

10. Kanye West – Yeezus

Voting Points: 77.5

Probably the most polarizing man in music added a new album to his discography this year and debate ensued about where the album actually stood in his discography. Our DJs liked it enough to have it round out the top 10.
Continue reading WCDB’s Top Albums of 2013

Kyle’s Best of 2013

2013 wasn’t an amazing year for music, but a lot of cool things did happen. There were artists who re-emerged on the scene in Daft Punk, My Bloody Valentine, Boards of Canada, and The Pixies, and then there was a movement headed by Daft Punk and Arcade Fire to try and revive disco in a modernized way. The reason for my semi-disappointment is that a lot of the artist’s efforts this year to set a new standard for their peers failed in my eyes to create something overly significant and lasting (with one exception). Motives aside, and favoritism thrown out the window, here are my top 25 albums to get released in 2013

+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-

220px-Lousycover

25. Of Montreal- Lousy With Sylvianbriar

Release Date: October 08, 2013

Grade: B

I’m really interested to know if this album’s stripped down and more accessible approach was a choice made by Barnes or his management. A part of me hates it because I view him as one of the most fascinating artists out there and really enjoy hearing what he creates when he tries to make electronic masterpieces, but Lousy With Sylvianbriar serves as a reminder to earlier Of Montreal days when he made his living off making pretty pop songs and displayed his thoughts in a less bizarre way.

Track Pick: “Triumph of Disintegration

+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-

220px-Floating_Coffin

24. Thee Oh Sees- Floating Coffin

Release Date: April 16, 2013

Grade: B

One of the better noisy rock albums that came out this year, Thee Oh Sees is a band that must be an absolute blast to see live and tries to capture that energy on the album. When that does happen it’s an awesome thing to hear, but it happens inconsistently as interest tends to fade during the second half of the album, but there are some gems on it like the one suggested below in “Toe Cutter – Thumb Buster”.

Track Pick: “Toe Cutter – Thumb Buster

+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-

Afraid of Heights

23. Wavves- Afraid of Heights

Release Date: March 16, 2013

Grade: B

I like listening to Wavves because their music is fun, and that’s why Afraid of Heights gets mentioned here despite it’s struggle to be substantial. They can do much better than this and have shown potential to write interesting songs, but they haven’t quite gotten to their peak yet in my opinion and I’m hopeful that they do soon.

Track Pick: “Cop

+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-

220px-Trouble_Will_Find_Me

22. The National- Trouble Will Find Me

Release Date: May 17, 2013
Grade: B

The product was still good on Trouble Will Find Me, but it’s a difficult one to get inspired by because it sounds uninspired in comparison to the previous three releases. I do enjoy Berninger’s delivery and cadence in their music a lot though, and it appears that even a sub-par record by The National is a quality album when you compare it to it’s peers.

Track Pick: “Don’t Swallow the Cap

+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-

peace-in-love-album-leak21. Peace- In Love

Release Date: March 25, 2013

Grade: B+

This was the debut album for the group and it was a great success by a lot of standards. Their sound has evolved already from their first EP, and In Love is a more consistent album than most bands will achieve in their entire discography, let alone on their debut. This group has a ton of potential but I still have some questions about which genre they ultimately gravitate towards, because they’re stuck in between pop and rock right now and that’s not a good place for them to be because they’re completely different approaches.

Track Pick: “California Daze

+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-
Continue reading Kyle’s Best of 2013

I Don’t Like Receiving Song Requests

strfkrRegardless of where music is being played, there’s usually a good amount of people prepared to suggest which song should be played next. This can be a fun communal process where everyone gets to learn a little bit about the other music tastes in the room and possibly get introduced to great new artists, but in my experience that’s a pretty rare happening unfortunately. That’s not to say that everybody has bad tastes in music, because most people I end up hanging out with have awesome music tastes, but whenever somebody takes over the next track it’s usually because a song’s been stuck in there head and they need the relief of it being played. I’ve been there too, this weekend I played STRFKR’s “Pop Song” at a friend’s house, not because it fit in with the set list or mood of the party but just because I wanted to change the music to a sound that I thought was more fitting for the environment.

I stand by the fact that it was a good song choice for people hanging out to listen to, but the fact of the matter is that it’s not a fair mentality to carry to attempt to change the sound of the room to whatever you want to hear. For one it’s a selfish act since not everybody there is going to like what you will, and it leads to the problem of everybody trying to get priority on the next track choice so that they can change the sound of the room yet again. What this leads to is a playlist full of awkwardly arranged songs that don’t really go together but were selected for individualized purposes, or a sound that’s disjointed and therefore not pleasant.

This is actually not that big of a problem at parties because the music should be primarily in the background anyway and no one really ends up minding to much if the music isn’t fantastic (though I love gatherings where it is), but the problem actually can carry over into radio shows too. Sometimes we’ll get awesome requests of what to play, for example: I was playing a ton of 90′s rock on my show one day and as I was playing an early Modest Mouse track I got a request to play Built To Spill. Two artists that have very comparable sounds and can segue into each other pretty damn easily, and a song request to help me because I’m still not nearly as familiar with Built to Spill as I should be (which sucks because I know that I am going to love them some day). If there’s a request which lets me know a track that fits into my set really well, especially for an artist which I don’t play to often, then that is extremely appreciated and one of my favorite parts about making radio shows. That’s not usually the case though, as most song requests I’ve seen are closer to the previous mindset where somebody just had a song stuck in their head and wanted that song to get played on the radio. It doesn’t matter what was playing, and that mindset drives me nuts as someone who always pre-plans what I’m going to play on the radio.

 

If I still do decide to play the song then it becomes a challenge of how to actually work my way back to what I was doing before, usually solved by an awkwardly placed PSA (thanks FCC) and a quick re-introduction to what was going on before. I think most people actually feel the same way about this, but the mindset is a bit funny because there’s a mentality out there that DJs love receiving song requests. That’s not really true though, I only like them if they fit.

Alt Rock Mixtape V.2

Back in November our Alt. Rock department compiled an Alternative Rock mix tape of our favorite songs that were currently in rotation. Because of the difficulty in compiling a good representation of our department in a small amount of songs, and the even more difficult challenge of making hard copies of the mix tape, we’ve used that experience as something to learn from. The changes this year for the mix tape are going to be that it’s only available on our blog(that makes this exclusive!) and that we release it four times a year.

And so we arrive at our first mix tape of 2013, this one’s representative of everything that has caught our attention so far that’s been released this year. Tune in to WCDB to stay up to date with all of the best new releases!

Continue reading Alt Rock Mixtape V.2