Four Years/Forty Songs: A Spotify Playlist For The Class of 2013

From the makers of previous gems such as “#ariparty,” “Boner Jamz,” and “Loner Jamz,” comes the latest NYU Local Spotify playlist: Four Years/Forty Songs. This time, the concept is simple: Class of ’13 Local staff writers chose forty songs that defined their four years at NYU, and then we put them all in chronological order. If you’re a senior, listening to this in order will probably induce the scariest “life flashing before your eyes” moment that you’ve ever experienced at this point in your young life. But also, nostalgia = fun.
For contextualization, we’ve included some senior staff writers’ memories of a few of the songs on the playlist:

Freshman Year:

“Girls” by Animal Collective
“I think the first ‘real’ hipster I met at school was a girl who saw my friend’s copy of Animal Collective’s Merriwather Post Pavillion, grimaced and said, ‘oh my god, you own that? Suuuch a typical NYU frosh move.’” – Patrick Lyons

“TiK ToK” by Ke$ha
“I remember coming into first class of 2nd semester, Writing the Essay, and my professor going on a half hour rant about how Ke$ha would be the downfall of modern civilization.” – Aaron Marks Read more…

Strawberry Fest Is Tomorrow, Or, How I Learned To Stop Bitching And Love Program Board

Dear NYU Program Board,

Though we’ve had a rocky relationship over the past year, with Local editors calling your shows “weak,” and your members retaliating with Local hate, Strawberry Fest is tomorrow, and we believe that it’s high time to bury the hatchet. Though some would rather see big-name performers grace the stage, you’ve assembled quite a deep lineup of punk-indebted acts, and if some of the more mainstream-minded NYU students were to attend the festival with open minds and ears, we’re sure they’d leave with a new favorite band or two.

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Cartoon Network Is The Best Place On TV To Find Great Music

Last week, avant-electronica legends Boards of Canada decided to tease their upcoming album with a short TV commercial, a promotional strategy that’s becoming increasingly popular with musicians. Unlike Daft Punk’s recent barraging of NBC’s SNL audiences, BoC’s ad aired during Cartoon Network’s anime-friendly Toonami programming block, and was the latest in the long line of the channel’s collaborations with Warp Records.

Warp, Stone’s Throw and Ninja Tune, three of the most envelope-pushing labels in modern hip-hop and electronica, have all enjoyed exposure courtesy of “bumps” on CN’s Adult Swim network (as has NYU Local). In the years since MTV became irrelevant to alternative music, television is not the first place one would think to look for cutting edge tunes, but Cartoon Network is changing that in a major way. Check out a brief history of the channel’s promotion of awesome music after the jump.

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The Internet Hates Beyoncé and André 3000′s Amy Winehouse Cover

On Saturday, the fourth song from the soundtrack to Baz Luhrmann’s upcoming adaptation of The Great Gatsby hit the web, and boy did it make a splash. Whereas previous songs by Lana Del Ray, The xx and Florence & the Machine were received warmly (comments on The xx’s Soundcloud page include, “awwsome,” “Perfect,” and “Haunting… Love”) but maybe a little quietly due to their lack of “potential hit” status, Beyoncé and André 3000′s contribution was guaranteed to have the star power to make waves on the internet.

When it dropped, it became clear that the internet was not giving Bey and Dré the kiddy wave pool it gave to previous Gatsby musicians. Their cover of Amy Winehouse’s “Back to Black” created an earthquake under the feet of both artists’ fans, who in turn produced a tsunami of hate that permeated nearly every entertainment website.

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Mac Miller Forsakes Frats For FlyLo

Earlier this week, my perception of frat rapper Mac Miller was shattered when he released “S.D.S.,” the first single from his upcoming album. Much of that has to do with Flying Lotus’ ace production on the track, but Mac considerably steps up his lyrical game as well. The Miller I knew and loved was content with boasting about his “most dope” life, going “bananas like it’s Donkey Kong,” and referring to himself in scholastically-informed, alpha male terms like “class president.” His career, music and identity all seemed like attempts to capitalize on the post-“I Love College” frat craze of blacked-out cypher sessions where “bitch” and “dick” make up half of the rhyming schemes.

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Ghostface Killah’s New Album Is The Closest We’ll Get To 36 Chambers In 2013

This November, 20 years will have passed since the Wu Tang Clan released Enter the Wu-Tang (36 Chambers), the group’s first album. Fans of the Clan will know that they’ve spent at least the last 15 years trying to eclipse the success of that album, and while some of their solo ventures stand out as classics, the group has never been able to release something that felt like a worthy successor to their debut.

That is, until now.

Ghostface Killah’s Twelve Reasons to Die, released last Tuesday, bears little resemblance to his other solo joints, but carries the torch of grimy, cinematic rap that the Wu lit back in ’93. Twelve Reasons is two things that 36 Chambers was not: a concept album, and a collaboration with an “outside” producer (an oddity among the intensely insular Wu crew). In fact, these differences act to bring the album closer to the Wu’s debut, as the crime family concept adds cohesion and a violent tone, and producer Adrian Younge churns out warped retro-soul beats like he’s RZA’s little brother. (Side note: the mask featured on Twelve Reason‘s cover bears striking similarity to the ones on the cover of the Wu-Tang’s first album)

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NYU Local’s Guide To Record Store Day: From WTF To Weed Heaven

Ah, Record Store Day, the annual event that brings bearded man-children out of their moms’ basements and into the world, questing for limited vinyl and acting more harried and vicious than moms at Black Friday sales. But is it really that nerdy?

The short answer is no, even though you will find your fair share of pale basement-dwellers and obscuro pressings should you venture out to one of our many local record stores this Saturday (4/20!!). RSD was created to keep independent record stores afloat in an age of economic downturn for most of the music industry, and attempts to do so by releasing a ton of exclusive albums. In years past, most of these releases would struggle to attract attention from anyone but obsessive music nerds, but this year, there seems to be an increased variety of RSD exclusives.

The full list is available on RSD’s site here, but you don’t want to scroll through hundreds of albums to find the few that matter to you, do you? NYU Local’s done the heavy lifting for you and broken down RSD releases into more manageable chunks, namely “Classics,” “Cool New Shit,” “WTF,” “4/20 Friendly” and “Über-nerdy.” Peruse at your convenience, without the presence of sweaty hipsters to distract you.

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Your 12 Year-Old Sister Reviews Fall Out Boy’s New Album

Have you ever felt like something was made especially for you? Not like the dorky card your parents made for you on your birthday, obvi, but like something that you connect with on so many levels that it’s crazy. Today, four men named Fall Out Boy gave that to me.

Their new album, Save Rock and Roll, does exactly what it promises in its title. No more boring Mumford and Sons or lame Imagine Dragons for me. Fall Out Boy (along with Maroon 5, who I love!!!) are pumping life into a musical style that’s been dead a long time. More fun than AC/DC, more epic than Queen and more likely to get stuck in your head than “Somebody That I Used to Know,” this album rocks, period.

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Spring Albums You Should Listen To, And The Ice Cream You Should Eat While Listening To Them

Warm weather is finally here! With it, as usual, comes a bunch of albums from bands looking to tour the festival circuit that begins with Coachella this weekend. Another inevitable aspect of rising temperatures is a profound craving for frozen desserts, especially when you live in a city that’s constantly raising the bar in terms of ice cream creativity.

While you can match music with its most appropriate alcoholic beverage online, no such option exist for the pairing of chill jams with even chiller treats. By using intense flavor science that’s usually reserved for wine-and-cheese tastemakers, NYU Local has done the unthinkable and created an algorithm that perfectly matches new music and frozen desserts. Here are some of our favorite results:

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Thatcher’s Gone, But She’s Survived By A Bunch Of Angry Punk Songs

A key part of any obituary is the “survived by…” section that lists the deceased’s living relatives. In the case of the late Margaret Thatcher, Prime Minister of the UK from 1979-1990, any “survived by…” section would be remiss without mention of the hundreds of songs written about her.

While it’s too soon to expect anything as elegiac as Elton John’s ode to Marilyn Monroe (and later Princess Di), there probably won’t ever be a song dedicated to Thatcher that isn’t completely loathsome of her.

Thatcher gained prominence in the UK’s conservative party during the explosion of Punk music, which may have been the worst time in the 20th century to be a conservative politician. Punk was political, angry and often anarchic, which led to its frequent run-ins with law enforcement and even more frequent critiquing of the political right. If children were formed via hatred rather than love, Ronald Reagan and Margaret Thatcher would be the parents of Punk. While a few bands in America (like the Dead Kennedys and the Ramones) were lyrically skewering Reagan, Thatcher produced exponentially more angry punk songs. Listen to some of the best below. Read more…