Representing a mix of top 40, local top favorites and KUGS 89.3 favorites that serenaded and shocked us in 2013, we formulated a playlist that we played for the AS Pop Music Coordinator Caitlyn Glinski, KUGS Music Director Nick Thacker and KUGS Specialty Music Director Drake Wilcox. Here’s what they had to say:

 

Robin Thicke - Blurred Lines featuring T.I., Pharrell

Nick Thacker: “Sounds like they’re playing on cook wear.”

Caitlyn Glinski: “It’s definitely catchy.”

Drake Wilcox: “Girls on the way to the subway would be dancing to this.”

Nick: “Oh, I know this song. I mean, I don’t because I can’t tell you what it is.”

Caitlyn: “You guys didn’t recognize it?”

Nick: “No. So you know what this is?”

Caitlyn: “Yeah, it’s one of the ones I haven’t even gone out of my way to listen to, but it’s just everywhere.”

Nick: “Where do you hear this at?”

Caitlyn: “T.V., public places… I don’t even watch that much television, but it’s everywhere.”

Drake: “I think I’ve heard it on a jukebox.”

Nick: “So it’s really weird that I haven’t heard this before?”

Drake: “Yeah, I think it was on a commercial too for candy.”

Caitlyn: “And this song is really controversial, so I’m surprised.”

Nick: “This song is controversial? What’s controversial about it?”

Caitlyn: “Well, some people say it’s about date rape. I honestly never listened to the words that much. There are a lot of songs that are offensive towards women, so I always wondered why this song got all the crap.”

Drake: “I feel like there’s the common theme among the top 40 where I’m just going to go to the club and pick someone randomly and go home, and there’s a lot more offense than this.”

Caitlyn: “The video is naked women and clothed men. The video got a lot of crap, and there was a remake of the video where there were naked men and clothed women, and it’s silly. The controversial is that that movie got taken off of YouTube, but the original didn’t.”

Nick: “Well I like the beginning when it was just pots and pants. So this is the guy Miley twerked on? Now it’s all coming together.”

 

Jay-Z - Holy Grail ft. Justin Timberlake

Nick: “Wait, 'took the food out of my mouth, and I watched you eat it?'”

Caitlyn: “I can’t say I recognize this.”

Nick: “I mean, my top ten albums aren’t even on most lists.”

Drake: “I haven’t heard the Jay-Z, but I’ve heard the JT and am a fan of that one.”

Caitlyn: “I didn’t know Jay-Z had a new album.”

Drake: “I think it got pushed under because of the new Kanye record. He tried to release it at the same time as a competitive time, and his had a religious reference in the title, ‘Yeezus.’ Jay-Z was ‘Magna Carta Holy Grail.’ They were both were trying to do this thing, ‘I am God,’ almost.”

Caitlyn: “I recognized it once I heard, ‘Holy Grail.’”

Drake: “JT’s voice changes a lot. He’s going for more of the R. Kelly vibe.”

Nick: “Is a Jay-Z a fan of the Da Vinci Code? Because I feel like it’s called ‘Holy Grail,’ and ‘I can’t crack your code.’ Are they going for that?”

Drake: “I feel like there’s a weird obsession with illuminati. People thought Jay-Z and JT were part of the illuminati and also Rihanna.”

Caitlyn: “It’s all part of the conspiracy.”

 

Washed Out - It All Feels Right

Caitlyn: “I think I should be able to come up with a name in a second.”

Drake: “Is this the new Washed Out?”

Caitlyn: “I haven’t listened to the new album yet. I’m so behind.”

Nick: “This is a great record.”

Drake: “I think it’s interesting how much of an influence Animal Collectives had. A lot of people had a sound that didn’t quite fit the beat, so it caused a circular sound in the background. I feel that record has a big influence on indie electronic.”

Caitlyn: “Animal Collective was one of the first weird gateways.”

Drake: “I like this a lot.”

Caitlyn: “A lot more upbeat and melodic. I like it.”

Nick: “This is one of the songs I’m happy made the top 40.”

Drake: “It has that vibrato delay sound that’s really popular. Its’ really in and it has been for the past four years. When they don’t have something to say, they add effects to their vocals. It can be cool, but it can be used as a crutch. I think it depends on the intention.”

 

Vampire Weekend - Step

Drake: “This is one that is going to hit the top 10 in most popular of the year.”

Nick: “I had a rough time with this one, and probably just because I felt so bombarded with it. I don’t think I’ve ever sat down and just listened to it.”

Drake: “This is a lot more toned-down than their earlier stuff.”

Caitlyn: “Yeah, I’m not sure I like it. I really liked their first two albums.”

Nick: “I mean it is nice listening to it now that I’ve had some distance from it, but I think this is grade-A pop music.”

Drake: “Yeah, I said this when I listened to the Arcade Fire album, that I’m surprised this isn’t more popular. It’s really catchy.”

Nick: “It’s with this kind of album that does so well on a commercial station like ‘The End,’ that it makes me question whether or not it’s really our job to play that because it’s kind of one of those things that straddles the line between independent and big label.”

Caitlyn: “So are you guys more about introducing people to new music (at KUGS)?”

Nick: “College radio became a thing to fill a niche in the market that wasn’t being filled by commercial radio. So if this is being represented on commercial radio, then is it really our job as an educational station to showcase that?”

Drake: “Another album that is borderline between commercial radio and people-want-to-hear-it on-college-radio would be like the Kendrick Lamar album and Daft Punk record. We almost didn’t add that because it was playing pretty heavily on commercial radio. However, half of the album was not.”

Caitlyn:” It’s interesting how your job is almost the opposite of mine because I’m supposed to get the bands that are popular among students, which is often different than the population at large.”

Nick: “Yeah, and this album is definitely a prime example of that.”

 

Lorde - Royals

Nick: “Drake and I were doing some top 40 research to see what we were missing out on, and this was number one.”

Caitlyn: “It’s weird because when I first listened to Lorde, she had 1,000 likes on Facebook. It sounds like top 40 music.”

Drake: “I think it’s interesting how she was going to be a star when she was like fourteen, and then they waited a couple years. That’s what I heard.”

Nick: “Where is she from?”

Caitlyn: “New Zealand, and she’s like sixteen or seventeen. I thought it was cooler when I thought she made her own beats, but she doesn’t. That would be awesome.”

Nick: “I remember listening to this and it brought me down.”

Caitlyn: “I honestly do like Lorde, but I feel like I’ve heard this a little too much at this point.”

Nick: “And this is why Drake and I were doing research. Because why do records like the new Arcade Fire and Vampire Weekend not do as well as something like this?”

Drake: “I think it has a lot to do with the age group who listens to the radio, which is often a lot of young kids, I think.”

Nick: “Is Vampire Weekend too high-minded?”

Drake: “A lot of young high school girls very much like to listen to Lorde. But I think they would like to listen to Arcade Fire and Vampire Weekend because it’s extremely catchy.”

Caitlyn: “I think a lot of the people I know who listen to Lorde are college-aged too. She’s an interesting phenomenon. She just popped up out of nowhere.”

 

CHVRCHES - The Mother We Share

Caitlyn: “I want to say this is either Purity Ring or CHVRCHES. I get them mixed up.”

Nick: “It’s not creepy enough to be Purity Ring.”

Drake: “CHVRCHES made me aware of the weird phenomenon. I’m always bugged when bands spell their names wrong, but then I realized why. With a band like Chvrches, the Google factor has destroyed our grammar with bands. One of my favorite bands it called Wooden Sjhips.”

Caitlyn: “There’s one of my favorite band called Waters. It’s also fun to say CHVRCHES, but I don’t really like her voice. It’s kind of annoying.”

Nick: “I’m not really into this, but I can see how something like this could do really well.”

Caitlyn: “It’s interesting to see music with electronic influences are becoming really popular this year. I think this is a good example of that.”

Drake: “There’s nothing to this that sticks out to me. There’s so much electronic music. They don’t push the boundaries enough.”

 

Disclosure - White Noise ft. AlunaGeorge

Caitlyn: “I’ve listened to this song so many times. It’s my running song, pretty much.”

Nick: “It’s interesting listening to this next to CHVRCHES.”

Drake: “I find this way more interesting. I think this pushes the envelope way more.”

Caitlyn: “This one is purely catchy and danceable and awesome. I guess CHVRCHES wasn’t catchy enough to be enjoyable. This is probably in my top 20.”

Drake: “This has been pretty high on many of the lists.”

 

Odesza - My Friends Never Die

Caitlyn: “They graduated (from Western) like a year or two ago. I feel like I didn’t recognize them in this context. I have them in a different category from Disclosure and hearing it off the bat through me off because it sounded somewhat similar.”

Drake: “I thought they were saying, ‘grease monkey’ for a while. They played at the Filter Festival, I remember that.”

 

Miley Cyrus - We Can’t Stop 

Nick: “This is Miley.”

Caitlyn: “Another song that I’ve never listened to intentionally but have been exposed to way too much.”

Nick: “This is awful. She’s so contrived. We were talking about Miley Cyrus and comparing her to Lady Gaga. Lady Gaga makes an effort to do things that are entirely unique.”

Drake: “Miley has completely lost control of herself. It’s interesting to see her agents making decisions for her.”

Nick: “It’s like she’s listening to subversive pop stars and making effort to emulate that.”

 

Ylvis- The Fox (What Does the Fox Say?)

Nick: “Is this the fox song? I’ve never listened to it, so this is my first time hearing it.”

Drake: “I am still lost.”

Caitlyn: “Just keep listening.”

Drake: “I think this is horrible.”

Nick: “It’s a joke song. There are people who hold this up to Miley Cyrus, who they legitimately like.”

Caitlyn: “It’s annoying, but it’s funny how they capture those popular sounds. Not listening to the words, it sounds like a pop song, and they made a joke out of it.”

Drake: “It sounds like dubstep sounds. I like it now more that it’s a joke.”

Caitlyn: “It makes fun of the popular music and people like it.”

Drake: “It’s like double irony.”