My 20 favorite albums of 2017

1. American Dream – LCD Soundsystem

From the first time I heard it (when it was released Sept. 1) to the last time (about 10 minutes before writing this), American Dream was my favorite album of the year. It’s rare I like something that much on first listen without getting sick of it, and coming from LCD Soundsystem, who’s albums and songs typically go on for a bit too long, this is easily their most concise and accessible. From the opener “oh baby”, a classic LCD Soundsystem slow-build track, through “tonight,” a classic dance-punk anthem, and the pulp-inspired single ‘call the police,” to the 12 minute electronic ballad that closes the album out, there isn’t a sour moment.

2. A Deeper Understanding – The War On Drugs

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My favorite songs of 2017

Here are my favorite songs that came out in 2017, separated into Alternative, Hip-hop, and Pop lists. Full playlists can be found on Spotify and are updated frequently. As always, thanks for listening!

Alternative/rock songs

  1. Cool Your Heart – Dirty Projectors
  2. call the police – LCD Soundsystem
  3. Star Roving – Slowdive
  4. Nothing To Find – The War On Drugs
  5. Something To Remember Me By – The Horrors
  6. Guilty Party – The National
  7. ameriacn dream – LCD Soundsystem
  8. Up All Night – The War On Drugs
  9. Funeral Pyre – Julien Baker
  10. Hologram – The Horrors
  11. The Body Is a Blade – Japanese Breakfast
  12. In Undertow – Alvvays
  13. emotional haircut – LCD Soundsystem
  14. The System Only Dreams in Total Darkness – The National
  15. 12 Steps – Japanese Breakfast
  16. Gwan – Rostam
  17. S.H.C. – Foster The People
  18. Up In Hudson – Dirty Projectors
  19. Song – Sylvan Esso
  20. Hot Thoughts – Spoon
  21. No Longer Making Time – Slowdive
  22. Beach Life-In-Death – Car Seat Headrest
  23. Machine – The Horrors
  24. Don’t Delete The Kisses – Wold Alice
  25. Darling – Real Estate
  26. Slip Away – Perfume Genius
  27. Thinking Of A Place – The War On Drugs
  28. Paradise – ANOHNI
  29. Diving Woman – Japanese Breakfast
  30. Villains of Circumstance – Queens of the Stone Age
  31. Never Been Wrong – Waxahatchee
  32. Lights of Home (St. Peter’s String Version) – U2
  33. I’m So Free – Beck
  34. Sometime/Someplace – Cornelius
  35. The Way You Used To Do – Queens of the Stone Age
  36. Up All Night – Beck
  37. Mourning Sound – Grizzly Bear
  38. Simple Season – Hippo Campus
  39. Friend Zone – Thundercat
  40. Pain – The War On Drugs
  41. Plimsoll Punks – Alvvays
  42. My Old Man – Mac DeMarco
  43. Road Head – Japanese Breakfast
  44. Espiritu Olimpico – Los Planetas
  45. Silver – Waxahatchee
  46. Little Bubbles – Dirty Projectors
  47. Tonya Harding (In D major) – Sufjan Stevens
  48. How to Boil an Egg – Courtney Barnett
  49. Feet Don’t Fail Me Now – Queens of the Stone Age
  50. Everything Now – Arcade Fire
  51. Dangerous – The XX
  52. The Little Things That Give You away – U2
  53. Wall Of Glass – Liam Gallagher
  54. The End Daughter
  55. Something For Your M.I.N.D. – Superorganism
  56. Explore – Sundara Karma
  57. Bike Dream – Rostam
  58. Still Beating – Mac DeMarco
  59. Evermore – Grandaddy
  60. The Economics of Emotion Labor – Wild Year

Hip-hop/R&B songs

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2017-18 MLB Offseason Rundown: A look at all of baseball’s free agent signings and trades since the World Series

With the conclusion of the Winter Meetings Dec. 15, here’s a rundown of all the notable free agent signings in the MLB offseason so far. I’m going to try to update this list once a week as the offseason goes on, and will be adding in notable trades at as well.

At the moment, most of the players who have signed have been relief pitchers, which doesn’t make for the most fun transaction log but could really alter a team’s outlook and can point to future moves to come.

Carlos Santana -3 years, $60 million to the Phillies

Santana has been one of the most reliable batters in the business since his first full season in 2011. He might not be as exciting a player to watch or as young as Eric Hosmer, but I’m a sucker for guys who can draw walks and would prefer Santana right now if choosing a first baseman or DH for the next few seasons.

He’s an asset that any team would be lucky to have, except the fit here with the Phillies doesn’t seem exactly logical for the club. Rhys Hoskins, the team’s most exciting player last season, already mans first base, and without a DH in the NL, it looks like he’ll have to learn the outfield or be dealt, neither of which should make fans too happy.

Zack Cozart – 3 years, $38 million to the Angels
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Favorite Songs of January 2017

by Nicholas Cicale

Here are my favorite songs from the last month.

  1. Star Roving – Slowdive
  2. Hot Thoughts – Spoon
  3. Dangerous – The xx
  4. Tranquillo – Lupe Fiasco
  5. We a Famly – The Flaming Lips
  6. Land of the Free – Joey Bada$$
  7. Little Bubble – Dirty Projectors
  8. Lips – The xx
  9. High Ticket Attractions – The New Pornographers
  10. Way It Goes – Hippo Campus
  11. High For Hours – J. Cole
  12. Darling – Real Estate
  13. Doomsday – Ryan Adams

Best Songs Of 2016

by Nicholas Cicale (@nickcicale)

Here are my 25 favorite Alternative, Hip-hop, and Pop songs from 2016. Full playlists can be found on Spotify and are updated frequently. Thanks for listening!

Alternative/Rock Songs

  1. The Ballad of the Costa Concordia – Car Seat Headrest
  2. Tinker Tailor Soldier Sailor Rich Man Poor Man Beggar Man Thief – Radiohead
  3. All That Heaven Allows – Mercury Girls
  4. 33 “GOD” – Bon Iver
  5. Burn The Witch – Radiohead
  6. True Love Waits – Radiohead
  7. Wow – Beck
  8. Vincent – Car Seat Headrest
  9. Drone Bomb Me – ANOHNI
  10. Fill in the Blank – Car Seat Headrest
  11. Your American Girl – Mitski
  12. Drunk Drivers/Killer Whales – Car Seat Headrest
  13. Ariana – Mercury Girls
  14. Daydreaming – Radiohead
  15. Kick Jump Twist – Sylvan Esso
  16. I Need A Forest Fire – James Blake, Bon Iver
  17. Romantic – Mannequin Pussy
  18. Stranger to Stranger – Paul Simon
  19. Pain – LVL UP
  20. Roma Fade – Andrew Bird
  21. In Heaven – Japanese Breakfast
  22. Destroyed By Hippie Powers – Car Seat Headrest
  23. Apple Cider, I Don’t Mind – Modern Baseball
  24. Degraded – Preoccupations
  25. I Can’t Give Everything Away – David Bowie

Hip-Hop/R&B Songs

 

  1. Nights – Frank Ocean
  2. Ultralight Beam – Kanye West, Chance The Rapper
  3. All We Got – Chance The Rapper, Kanye West
  4. We The People… – A Tribe Called Quest
  5. THat Pat – ScHoolboy Q, Kanye West
  6. Real Friends – Kanye West
  7. Nobody Speak – DJ Shadow, Run The Jewels
  8. Really Doe – Danny Brown, Kendrick Lamar, Ab-Soul, Earl Sweatshirt
  9. Groovy Tony/Eddie Kane – ScHoolboy Q, Jadakiss
  10. War Ready – Vince Staples
  11. Parking Lot – Anderson .Paak
  12. Wat’s Wrong – Isaiah Rashad, Zacari, Kendrick Lamar
  13. Space Program – A Tribe Called Quest
  14. Devastated – Joey Bada$$
  15. Good As Hell – Lizzo
  16. Call Ticketron – Run The Jewels
  17. Untitled 02 – Kendrick Lamar
  18. What The Fuck Right Now – Tyler, The Creator
  19. Frankie Sinatra – The Avalanches, Danny Brown, MF Doom
  20. Weston Road Flows – Drake
  21. Wrist – Logic, Pusha T
  22. Overtime – ScHoolboy Q, Miguel, Justine Skye
  23. Two Birds, One Stone – Drake
  24. Come Down – Anderson .Paak
  25. Black Beatles – Rae Sremmurd, Gucci Mane

Pop Songs

  1. Go! – M83, MAI LAN
  2. Best To You – Blood Orange, Empress Of
  3. All Night – Beyonce
  4. Choose Me – James Blake
  5. Cranes in the Sky – Solange
  6. Work – Rihanna, Drake
  7. My Willing Heart – James Blake
  8. Diagram Girl – Beyond The Wizards Sleeve
  9. Augustine – Blood Orange
  10. One Dance – Drake, WizKid, Kyla
  11. Do It, Try It – M83
  12. Love Me Like That – The Knock, Carly Rae Jepsen
  13. New Song – Warpaint
  14. Never Be Like You – Flume, kai
  15. Freedom – Beyonce, Kendrick Lamar
  16. 24K Magic – Bruno Mars
  17. Subways – The Avalanches
  18. Move – Saint Motel
  19. Middle – DJ Snake, Bipolar Sunshine
  20. Into You – Ariana Grande
  21. Put That away And Talk To Me – James Blake
  22. Let Me Love You – DJ snake, Justin Bieber
  23. BOSS – Disclosure
  24. Tell Me the Truth – Lapsley
  25. Starboy – The Weeknd, Daft Punk

The Beast Incarnate Is Dead

By

The real winner on Sunday was Shane McMahon — and not because Team SmackDown defeated Team Raw in the five-on-five traditional Survivor Series match.

McMahon is the envy of the WWE Universe because he likely won’t remember the travesty that occurred to end the Survivor Series pay-per-view.

During his match, the SmackDown commissioner attempted to put away Roman Reigns by hitting his infamous Coast-to-Coast finisher. Instead, he got cut in half by a Reigns spear and appeared to suffer a concussion as a result of the impact.

While McMahon was cleaning out the cobwebs and wondering where he was in the back, the rest of us where forced to bear witness to one of the biggest travesties in WWE history.

Goldberg, who returned to professional wrestling after a 12-year hiatus, beat Brock Lesnar. More shocking, he did so by using only three moves. Spear, spear, jackhammer. Wham, bam, thank you, ma’am. Cue the house lights and let’s go home.

In the span of two-and-a-half minutes, the WWE used Goldberg as a nuclear warhead to dismantle everything it had built over the last few years.

Lesnar is a living legend of professional wrestling. He has been ever since he debuted in 2002. But over the past few years, he has reached heights much higher than the word “legend” describes.

He destroyed The Undertaker and shattered his Wrestlemania streak. He obliterated arguably the greatest WWE superstar of all-time in John Cena. A few months ago, he mutilated Randy Orton, leaving The Legend Killer pouring blood all over the mat.

With performances like those — and so many others — Lesnar had achieved a god-like status. He was invincible, immortal and, most importantly, unbeatable.

Until Saturday.

In the blink of an eye, Lesnar’s legacy was destroyed, and the legacies of those opponents he had beaten took a hit as well. A match that was a mistake from the get-go sparked a flame and set ablaze to it all.

To make matters worse, the travesty that was one of the worst moments in WWE history followed — and ultimately overshadowed — what was one of the best traditional Survivor Series matches of all-time.

Watching the team of Kevin Owens, Chris Jericho, Seth Rollins, Roman Reigns and Braun Strowman (RAW) battle AJ Styles, Dean Ambrose, Bray Wyatt, Randy Orton and McMahon (SmackDown Live) was an absolute treat. For the first time since the WWE brand split back in July, this match put me on the edge of my seat from beginning to end. In short, it was a classic.

Moments later, Lesnar’s theme music hit and the wrestler who was larger than life walked down the ramp looking to avenge a loss to Goldberg that came at Wrestlemania 20 more than 12 years ago, oozing with the confidence that comes from being the best at what you do.

Goldberg’s iconic entrance followed. Cameras followed the man who once won began his career with 173 consecutive victories as he made his way to the ring. He breathed in the pyro smoke and exhaled it through his mouth. It was nostalgic, but this isn’t 2004. Dieties from the past have nothing on the current form of Lesnar.

Or should I say the past form.

The bell rang, Lesnar drove Goldberg into the corner and was then pushed to the ground. A look of disbelief and fear donned on the mayor of Suplex City. A pair of spears was parlayed into a jackhammer. A three-count followed and Lesnar was left in pain as his manager Paul Heyman knelt over him. Together, they watched along with the WWE Universe as everything involving Lesnar crumbled.

This isn’t the first time WWE has messed up, and it won’t be the last. In the past, it has sometimes been able to salvage the careers of the superstars it destroyed, but Lesnar’s is now beyond saving. The Beast Incarnate is dead.

Hopefully nobody tells Shane McMahon.

Nick’s 2016 NFL Preview

I know it’s been a few years since I posted an NFL preview, but I really wanted to write something about sports and wrote about 3,000 words over the last two days to satisfy that urge. Below you can find the records I predict for each team in football, as well as who I think will make the postseason.  (more…)