Music

Melissa and Nick’s wedding song bracket: Round 1

Melissa and I are getting married on Feb. 15, 2020, and we would like our friends to help us pick our wedding song!

We set up a March Madness-style bracket with 32 songs and will open up a different survey every week or so with the next round of match ups. The last song standing will be our wedding song!

You can find the survey for the first round of voting below, as well as a link to a playlist with the original 32 songs. Thank you for voting!

My favorite songs of 2018

Here are my favorite songs that came out in 2018, separated into lists for the 50 best Alternative, Hip-hop, and Pop song. Full playlists can be found on Spotify, are updated frequently and include additional songs. As always, thanks for listening!

Alternative/rock songs

  1. Cute Thing – Car Seat Headrest
  2. Ullswater – Hookworms
  3. Your Dog – Soccer Mommy
  4. Last Ride – Beach House
  5. Bodys – Car Seat Headrest
  6. Art of Doubt – Metric
  7. We’re Not Done (End Title) – Mogwai
  8. Breadwinner – Everything Everything
  9. Nobody – Mitski
  10. Six Wave Hold-Down – Hot Snakes
  11. Nameless, Faceless – Courtney Barnett
  12. If You Really Love Nothing – Interpol
  13. Fly – Low
  14. Silhouettes – American Football
  15. Noid – Yves Tumor
  16. Suspirium – Thom Yorke
  17. Let Them Win – Jeff Rosenstock
  18. Fast Slow Disco – St. Vincent
  19. Lemon Glow – Beach House
  20. Dark Saturday – Metric
  21. When You Die – MGMT
  22. Sober to Death – Car Seat Headrest
  23. Leave It In My Dreams – The Voids
  24. Now or Never Now – Metric
  25. Dancing and Fire – Low
  26. Need a Little Time – Courtney Barnett
  27. Right Now – Dirty Projectors, Syd
  28. Drunk In LA – Beach House
  29. Tenderness – Parquet Courts
  30. Decompose – Preoccupations
  31. I Need a Doctor – Hot Snakes
  32. Burn – The Soft Moon
  33. Wide Awake – Parquet Courts
  34. Talking Straight – Rolling Blackouts Coastal Fever
  35. Far Away Truths – Albert Hammond, Jr.
  36. Risk – Metric
  37. She Works Out Too Much – MGMT
  38. Pain Killer – Iceage, Sky Ferreira
  39. Mardi Gras Beads – Parquet Courts
  40. Never Fight A Man With A Perm – IDLES
  41. Two Slow Dancers – Mitski
  42. Loading Zones – Kurt Vile
  43. 60 & Punk – Death Cab of Cutie
  44. Danny Nedelko – IDLES
  45. Dissarray – Preoccupations
  46. Funeral Singers – Sylvan Esso, Collections Of Colonies Of Bees
  47. Honeycomb – Deafheaven
  48. Science Fiction – Arctic Monkeys
  49. Pontiac 87 – Preoccupations
  50. Never Ever – Lord Huron

Hip-hop/R&B songs

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My 11 favorite albums of 2018

I don’t think 2018 produced nearly as many great albums as the previous 3 years had, making it an average or somewhat below average year. It felt like there was an endless supply of albums that I felt were fine but didn’t fully capture my attention. That said, there were 11 that stood out to me over the crowd. For a Spotify playlist of highlights from each album, scroll to the end of the article.

Double Negative, Low

It’s rare, but ever once in a while you find an album that for whatever reason hits on everything you’re looking for in music, even if you can’t explain why. Double Negative did that for me, and reminded me a lot of how I felt the first time I listened to Radiohead’s Kid A in high school. The sparse and vast soundscapes Low is able to create are powerful and awe-inspiring. I don’t think any of the individual songs are classics on their own, but as a collection the record really works on a level that’s different than any album in a long time. Double Negative is not an album I would ever call fun or uplifting, but its one I’ve loved listening to and appreciating, and are a cut above the rest of the 2018 pack in my book.  

Cocoa Sugar, Young Fathers

Young Fathers is a group that really can’t be defined by a standard genre—they loosely make songs that mix hip-hop and R&B over alternative and electronic beats—so it’s hard to describe their appeal to someone who’s never listened to them. I hate using the words “unique” or “experimental” when talking about music, but there really isn’t much out there like them. On Cocoa Sugar pianos, organs, MIDI horns, and vocal harmonies and rounds create the melodies, while drum machines and samples drive the music. Frantic songs like “Wow,” “Wire,” and “Toy” are panicked-sounding dance tracks with fantastic beats and telling lyrics.  “In My View” and “Lord” are tortured-sounding gospel songs, with grand instrumentals and subdued, reflective vocals.  Cocoa Sugar also made me appreciate how creative the trio has been since day one. I love when an album forces me to go back and listen to an artist’s older works I hadn’t really given much of a chance. Ever since hearing “LOW” on Minnesota Public Radio back in 2014 I’ve liked most of the Young Fathers songs I had heard but never bothered with their albums. That was a mistake I rectified in 2018.

7, Beach House

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List: All the concerts I’ve ever been to

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By Nicholas Cicale

I love going to concerts, and this article lists every concert I’ve ever been to!

2019

3/29/19: Taking Back Sunday with Frank Lero and the Patience at Emos Austin

3/15/2019: SXSW Day Party-Japanese Breakfast with Cherry Glazerr, Nothing, The Nude Party

3/15/2019: SXSW Alex Di Leo at Tiniest Bar in Texas

2/23/2019: Car Seat Headrest with Naked Giants at The Otpheum, Tampa

2/8/2019: Vince Staples with Buddy and PNTHN at Emo’s Austin

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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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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