Staff Picks

Staff Picks: September ’17

Cue the Earth, Wind & Fire playlists! But besides listening to September on repeat, this is what we’re listening to as we enter the new school year.

 

Kendall Stormo – Production Assistant

Frank Ocean – Provider

Frank Ocean aired his new track “Provider” on his “blonded RADIO” show on August 27. This track has the classic Frank Ocean feel with his beautiful vocals. He also posted a lyric video for the song on his website, with Hello Kitty directing each word, bless up!

 

 

 

Jeanette Sweetman – Program Director

Milo – Who Told You To Think​?​?​!​!​?​!​?​!​?​

 

“I wanna suggest that the poets
Are finally the only people who know the truth about us
Soldiers don’t, statesmen don’t, priests don’t, union leaders don’t
Only the poets, that’s my first proposition
I think in a country like ours, in a time like this
When something awful is happening to a civilization
When it ceases to produce poets
And what is even more crucial
When it ceases in any way whatever to believe in the report
That only poets can make”
(James Baldwin, opening and closing the premiere track)

As an extroverted/introspective August winds down, I am making attempts to reign in my focus. Gotta stay grateful for rainy day music and today’s poets. This recommendation comes from a dear friend who has long been a Rory Ferreira (milo) fan. Thanks Ethan! Milo’s sound is a soup of million-dollar vocabulary, philosophical ramblings, and “many a useless tchotchke.”

He examines nihilism, capitalism, tenderness, masculinity, and racist police brutality. His verses are earthy and cerebral, comedic and incensed. Dude’s a nerd who doesn’t shy away from the malaise of being a human being. who told you to think!?!!!!?!?!?!?!? is brilliantly full of small wonders/big ideas, “driving across god’s kneecaps to lord knows where”. Here’s one of my favorite tracks.

 

 

 

Joshua Bezona – Marketing & Underwriting Coordinator

Beach Fossils – Somersault

 

Somersault is a huge leap for Beach Fossils and includes some of Dustin Payseur’s most nuanced songs to date, with features from Slowdive’s Rachel Goswell and Cities Aviv. –Philip Cosores

Released over the summer, Somersault follows their 2013 album Clash the Truth – who’s title track is one of my all time favorite songs. Staying true to that Beach Fossils vibe, this album is perfect for those late night study sessions. ACAB.

 

 

 

AJ Colding – Volunteer Coordinator

Taylor Swift – …Ready For It?

I am beyond excited to see what Taylor has been cooking up these past few years …Ready For It? gives me 1989 Taylor vibes and if this new album is anything like 1989 I’m excited

 

 

PSA: this Staff Pick was not approved and AJ’s health and well-being is currently being evaluated.

Wright Franklin – Station Manager

dvsn- Mood

Oh boy. I can tell dvsn is gearing up for another album, and I’m SO excited! Sept 5th was one of the best (and most slept on) albums of 2016, so I’m stoked for these new moody jamsssss.

James Kendall – Music Manager

LCD Soundsystem – American Dream

Last to submit my staff pick means bottom of the list… oh well! LCD Soundsystem returns with American Dream after their “last show ever” in 2011. That aside, their return was prompted by James Murphy’s work on David Bowie’s Blackstar, and the album is just as solid as LCD’s earlier albums, albeit a little darker in tone.  One of my favorite lyrics is from the title track: “Look what happened when you were dreaming,
Then punch yourself in the face,” Brilliant. Never change, James Murphy.

Also, I featured and reviewed the album on Edge Essentials Episode 10.

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Staff Picks: August ’17

WHOSE READY FOR ANOTHER GREAT SEMESTER?! All of here at KRUA sure are! Or at least we’re doing a good job pretending to be… Anyways, this is what’s on our end-of-summer playlists 🏝️

 

Wright Franklin – Station Manager

Jay Z – 4:44

Jay Z’s 13th studio album has proven to be a classic in my rotation already. Every song is so well-written and full of emotion. This album is a true example of hip-hop as poetry, and I think one of Jay-Z’s most endearing works. Coupled with the strange and meaningful visuals Jay has been releasing for each of the songs on the album, this is definitely one of the best albums of 2017.

 

 

Joshua Bezona – Marketing & Underwriting Coordinator

The Districts – Popular Manipulations

I had to pick between three different albums this month. There was Everything Now by Arcade Fire, Boo Boo by Toro Y Moi (go listen to my fav song: “Labyrinth“) and Popular Manipulations by The Districts.

I choose The Districts because not only did I listen to this album in full, I listened to their entire discography and became their latest and greatest fangirl.

This four-piece indie rock band from Pennsylvania sound like the hail from over-seas, but their hair cuts affirm their east coast roots. I loved the songs “Young Blood” from their 2015 album, A Flourish And A Spoil, and “Funeral Beds” from the 2013 album, Telephone, but there’s not one song that really stands out to me from this latest release – which isn’t necessarily a bad thing. It’s feel good indie rock album that’s easy to sing along to.

 

 

AJ Colding – Volunteer Coordinator

Charlie XCX – Boys

Boys-Charlie XCX

As I’m writing this I’m thinking to myself, AJ what is you doing baby?!?”

Oh well. Here it goes…

We all have those guilty pleasure songs and “Boys” by Charlie XCX is definitely one of mine at the moment.

Not because of the content, but because of the feel. The stylistic choices she made and the color of the song. The most popular songs of the 2000’s have approximately 1-3 word choruses. Boy’s fits right in with all the other hits just repeating the word “Boys” in harmony. The way the beat carries through on the verse demands the mandatory upper body bounce we all do in the car while driving. Definitely a good song to end the summer season with just in time for the cuffing season (winter/fall semester fling season).

5/5 stars for my baby girl Charlie XCX

 

 

James Kendall – Music Manager

Arcade Fire – Everything Now

So this is Josh… I know this is James’ Staff Pick this month because he had to fight Max and I over who got to choose this album. He, however, failed to send me his staff pick so I will tell you what I love about this album: Everthing. Everything Now (with the exception of the songs Peter Pan (sorry Max I know you like that song) and Chemistry) is a S O L I D album from start to finish and I probably listened to it (at least) 30 x in the first two weeks that it was out. If you put it on repeat it actually sounds like a never-ending album and I was A-Okay with that.
Infinite Now and Infinite_Now are probably my favorites right now, but they all have been.
Thank you, Arcade Fire. ♥️😭

 

**Check out James’ review of the album from Edge Essentials here.

Grant “The New Guy” Kniefel – Newest News Reporter

Mom Jeans. – Best Bud

Hi, I’m Grant. I’m the new guy. My first Staff Pick is one that I have had on repeat for a few weeks now. Best Buds by Mom Jeans is probably one of the best albums that came out of 2016. Most people haven’t heard of Mom Jeans, but with this they make a splash onto the punk pop scene. With rockin’ anthems like “Death Cup” and melancholy tunes like “Scott Pilgrim v. My Gpa,” this is among the very best in indie right now and I can’t get enough of it. While it may not be everyone’s cup of tea, Mom Jeans has created a modern classic and I can’t wait to see where they go with it.

 

 

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Staff Picks: July ’17

We’re packing our bags and headed out to go camping! There’s Forest Fair out in Girdwood this weekend (7/7 – 7/9) and the Crow Creek Mine Summer Concert Series is also happening this Monday — and every Monday from now until forever (forever: 8/28/17)! This is what we’re listening to on the road:

Wright Franklin – Station Manager

Young Thug – Beautiful Thugger Girls

Originally titled Easy Breezy Beautiful Thugger Girls, the thirst for this album was real. Almost one year since Jeffery, Young Thug’s head-turning 8 song mixtape, this album is a welcome return for the Atlanta rapper. BTG is a very dynamic album, full of guitars, unexpected instruments, hypnotic beats, and crooning from Thug. My favorites are “For Y’all”, “You Said”, and the unexpected country vibe of the opening track, “Family Don’t Matter”. Yeehaw!

 

 

Joshua Bezona – Marketing & Underwriting Coordinator

Kevin Morby – City Music

 

“Kevin Morby’s captivating fourth album feels spacious and intimate at once. It possesses an elegant, dusky atmosphere and Morby’s hopelessly optimistic songwriting is the best it has ever been.” – p4k

I wholeheartedly agree with you Miss Laura. There aren’t too many albums out there that I can sit down and enjoy thoroughly from start to finish – this is one of those albums.

It was the last festival I’ve ever been to, FYF down in LA, where I had first fallen in love with listening to this dude sing. I was with one of my closest friends and while we were there, we simultaneously transformed into two tired, grumpy old (wo)men. We were over the scene.. but we had paid a ton of money to be there so gosh dang it we were going to enjoy ourselves… from the beer garden. I was leaning on the fence, sweating my ass off and enjoying my beer when Mr. Morby took the stage. His sophomore album, Still Life, had just been released and just two songs in to the show, I was overwhelmed with joy and the old grumpy lady curse that fell over me had been lifted. Without a doubt one of the best sets I’ve ever seen.

“Really, Morby’s city is a stand-in for a heart, for community; his band’s nuanced interplay is living proof of the fact that he knows how good it feels to be part of something bigger than yourself. He sings about the childhood friends who bring out your best parts, about how we’re all made up of the people who pass through our lives, however briefly, and wishes for laughter, dance, freedom and connection for everyone. It’s hopelessly naïve and optimistic, which is what makes it so beautiful, particularly now. It’s not hard to hear City Music as a lament for lost innocence, a pledge to maintain optimism and humanity at a time when those qualities don’t just feel like vestiges of youth, but of some better civilization that’s rapidly disappearing. In his best album yet, Morby makes a prayer out of the squall.”

 

 

AJ Colding – Volunteer Coordinator

SZA – CTRL

At this point in life, having control is something we thought we have all mastered. Well when you really sit down and think about it we have the least bit of control over anything in our lives. Rather it’s my career, love life, or my internally vocal insecurities; I come to figure out the biggest attribute in life that I lack is control. My staff pick for July is SZA’s newest album, CTRL.

On this album, SZA speaks directly to us millennials.

“That is my greatest fear,

That if, if I lost control,

Or did not have control, things would just , you know

I would be… fatal”

Since I could literally speak to all 14 tracks on the album, I will highlight one of my favorites.

Maybe it’s just me, but I rarely know anyone who is 100% committed to their partner. Call it what you want, but we are all humans and we all are curious and even Jay-Z cheated on Beyonce so who are you to even think your man/woman should be 100% faithful. I guess this is me telling all y’all just to get comfortable with sharing, because after all; Sharing is caring (insert shoulder shrug emoji).

SZA’s sixth track on her album is titled ‘The Weekend’. This song is the side chick/dude anthem. I am a very honest person and I will even admit to knowingly playing the side role (sorry mom!). However, in this track SZA speaks to the obvious.

“You say you got a girl, how you want me? How you want me when you got a girl? The feelin’ is wreckless…”

SZA goes on to explain how his girlfriend can keep him Tuesday-Friday, while she keeps him satisfied on the weekend. They girlfriend is like 9 to 5 and SZA is the weekend.

It is such a taboo that we have to remain faithful and there is so much pressure to be the perfect couple and live the perfect life however in reality even a blind man has a wondering mind.  SZA instantly became my favorite song writer after hearing this track. When it comes to songwriting for me I love and appreciate anyone who can tell a story in a different way. With R&B music we always hear about the guy who is sorry, or the bitter battered woman who is hurt because he cheated, but we never hear from the side chick. Im not saying SZA is giving the side pieces a voice, but I am saying that she is sharing the perspective of the side piece. I’m not her for love or compassion. I have needs and so do you, let’s do this but let’s be adults about it. When we are done, life goes on. See you next weekend!

Rate: 5/5 music notes

 

 

James Kendall – Music Manager

Amber Coffman – City of No Reply

I love this album! One of the vocalists from Dirty Projectors quit the band and went solo and this is the result. I reviewed this album on Edge Essentials, checkout the review here. Here’s my favorite track from the album, “Dark Night.”

 

Dylan Blankenship – Production Manager

Rad Horror – Sad Boy

So this jewel came out last month, for you time travelers that’s June 2017. Listen to this song and you can be that person who says, “I’m not a hipster but I totally heard this before it was popular.” Mark this humble Production managers words, this song will blow up. Either that or I am just very biased. How could you not be? Rad Horror sings you an all too relate-able ode to modern pain. The uncomfortably numb existence the 21st century wrapped up in a catchy existential tune that too will vanish with time. So enjoy it why it lasts.

 

& just in case you didn’t click on the link at the top of the page 👀

 

 

Edge Update

Edge Update 6.13.17

This week, the KRUA News Department discusses Puerto Rican statehood and a new study on global obesity rates.

https://soundcloud.com/user-1001600/edge-update-11317

Staff Picks

Staff Picks: June ’17

☀️🍑 Sun’s Out, Bun’s Out 🍑☀️

Although summer doesn’t officially begin until June 20th, it started for us here at KRUA the moment we finished our last final a couple weeks ago! With that being said, these are our excuses for not keeping you as updated as we normally do:

  • went gambling in Vegas (and lost the little money we had)
  • made friends with Elephants in Thailand
  • soaked in the sun (probably rain tho) in Portland & Seattle
  • currently en route via party bus to Bonaroo 2017
  • packing up to go do stand up in Boston and explore the liveliest city sitting on the edge of the Dead Sea

Please forgive us. Also, if you too enjoy avoiding responsibilities by traveling the world, we are hiring.

Here’s our favorite new releases from these past couple of months:

 

Wright Franklin – Station Manager

Playboi Carti – Playboi Carti

I don’t know why I like this album so much, tbh, but I do. Playboi Carti’s debut is a fun ride through some video-game inspired trap beats. While Carti may lack in substance, he makes up for it with charisma and hilarious ad-libs. If you want to listen to some not-so-deep lyrics and dance, “Playboi Carti” is what you need. This kid definitely has the wave.

 

Joshua Bezona – Marketing & Underwriting Coordinator

Chastity Belt – I Used to Spend So Much Time Alone

 

Between post-punk and shoegaze live Chastity Belt, whose latest album displays a new kind of aggressiveness and gravity. Their songs relay the psychological slog of trying really hard just to be OK. -p4k

 

I Used to Spend So Much Time Alone is nothing like their first two albums, which consisted of light-hearted everything-is-okay sing-along songs (favorites being Nip Slip, Black Sail, and Cool Slut) but you know what, they still got me singing along. This time I’m just crying while I do so. Just Kidding. Not kidding. Because if you know me you’d know that I’m always crying. Anyways, this album can clear out your tear ducts and help you get over your quarter-life crisis. Check out my favorites off the album below:

 

Jeanette Sweetman – Program Director

Elliot Moss – Boomerang EP

This EP is a solid mix of electronica and chill vibes. I didn’t want to skip anything. He has quite the smooth voice and might someday grow up to be James Blake.

 

Max Jungreis – News Reporter

Los Angeles Police Department – If I Lied

Catchy lo-fi indie folk-pop fills this reflective, spacious album. Perfect for a lonely day with nothing to do when your friends don’t text you back and the cat is missing and your dog doesn’t want to play.

 

AJ Colding – Volunteer Coordinator

Harry Styles – Sign of the Times

Harry Styles from One Direction recently released his first solo single, Sign of the Times. This song gave me Bowie vibes for some strange reason. It had to grow on me; however, I can officially say that I am a fan. This song show cases the beauty in Harry’s voice, you can hear the desire and need to escape. When the song gets to the climax and sings in high pitch, it just captures you in the moment, no matter what you’re doing.
I can honestly say I was a part time One-D fan. Only listening to their singles when they came on the radio, never really interested in listening to their albums. Once Zayn went solo, I was very intrigued to hear the others. All of One-D’s solo singles/projects are pretty solid and I am excited to listen to the full albums (I have it but I have so much new stuff right now it is just sitting in the queue lol). If you have time check out Harry’s debut single and let me know what you think!
Rating: 5/5 Stars

 

Dylan Blankenship – Production Manager

Cro – Unendlichkeit

Unendlichkeit means infinity in German. It is directly about a rapper whining about how success means nothing if it doesn’t last forever. But that is surface value, honestly we can all relate, those youthful summers drunk and in love. Fast cars and white pills, all of it just painful memories now because it was oh so temporary. Anyhow, it’s a great summer jam.

 

 

 

Edge Update

Edge Update 5.22.17

This week on the Edge Update, the KRUA news team sits down to discuss a massive “blob” of ice threatening to destroy an Alaskan highway, a SCOTUS ruling against racial gerrymandering in North Carolina, and an ongoing corruption investigation against the president of Brazil.

Photo via BBC.

Staff Picks

Staff Picks: March ’17

🍀 KRUA HAS SPRING FEVER 🍀

Singles from Milky Chance have been rolling out, a new album from the Shins is on the way, and the Gorillaz have announced a one day festival and will hopefully release their new album sometime in the near future. Here’s our favorites for the month.

James Kendall – Music Manager

Jens Lekman – Life Will See You Now

A follow up to Jens’ Postcards project from 2015 (where Jens recorded and released a new song every week for the entire year), Life Will See You Now is a continuation of what makes Jens so great: infectious melodies and arrangements with absurdist, almost spoken-word anecdotes turned into song lyrics. It’s Jens at his best.

Here’s one of my favorite tracks from the album, “How We Met, The Long Version.”

Jeanette Sweetman – Program Director

Brasstronaut – Self Titled

We just got this CD in and I’m digging it. I am a sucker for brass sections. Some of the more lively tracks are quite Foster the People-esque, with sections of suave horns and other instruments I don’t have the vocabulary to describe. My favorite is this curious little instrumental track.

 

Joshua Bezona – Marketing & Underwriting Coordinator

Maggie Rogers – Now That The Light Is Fading

I now share something in common with Pharrell: an undying love for Maggie Rogers 😭😍 It’s no surprise that I choose this album as this month’s Staff Pick… after already writing about two songs on this album when she released them as singles… But Maggie’s music is a wave of nostalgia and this album is full of feels. I can’t pick a favorite so check out her videos in the playlist below. 

 

Adrian “AJ” Colding – Volunteer Coordinator

Nicki Minaj – No Frauds

These past few weeks have been eventful for the Hip-Hop community. I don’t know all the facts or the logistics that go into the non-beef. However, I know Remy Ma released a dis track aiming hard at Nicki Minaj. After Nicki took shots on two new singles she was featured on. After two weeks went by Nicki released not one, not two, but three songs. One being ‘No Frauds’ feat. Lil’ Wayne & Drake. In the song, Nicki took a few shots back at Remy. To me that’s not the most shocking part of this situation. The wow moment of this situation was the fact that Nicki stayed silent and then proceeded to release three singles that will get radio play and played in various venues beyond YouTube and Sound Cloud. Three singles that will stay at the top of the charts for longer than a week. Three singles that could potentially go platinum and make her more money. Three singles that add to her long list of number one billboard hits.

Granted this was a disappointment to the Hip-Hop culture and everyone like myself that wanted to see a good rap battle between two amazing artists. However, I will take these three singles and go on my merry way.

‘No Frauds’ is my selection for March staff picks because it is a solid song. The chorus gets stuck in your head and I low key have an obsession for hearing Nicki’s singing voice. Not to mention seeing her Lil’ Wayne and Drake reunited is the best thing ever, and makes me excited to see what they have in store. If you know anything about Young Money, you know these three release some amazing music.

 

Dylan Blankenship – Production Manager

Portugal. The Man – Feel It Still

Released the second of this month, Portugal. The Man’s newest single, Feel it Still, is too. damn. catchy. Go ahead – give it a listen & just like that: that embarrassing moment in 8th grade or your first love – against your will it will creep into your head and bam! Your foots tapping and you’re humming along. Ah, and P.T.M started as a local band from Alaska.

 

Wright Franklin – Station Manager

Ryan Adams – Prisoner

If you have the blues, Prisoner is a great album to help you through. Or not. Who knows? Personally,  I am in love with Ryan Adams older stuff and this album definitely did not disappoint. For fans of simple and catchy songwriting, I would definitely recommend this guy.