WUSC Gives Thanks
WUSC Gives Thanks
by Carly Mihovich
This Thanksgiving, WUSC has a lot to be thankful for. This includes our dedicated DJs, our hard-working staff, and, as always, our amazing listeners who tune into every show and turn up to every event. Of course, we can’t leave out the driving force behind everything we do: the music. We asked a couple of our DJs – new and old – what song, artist, or album they are especially thankful for this year. So, before you say “thank u, next” to the turkey and mashed potatoes this Thursday, check out the tunes WUSC is giving thanks to below.
“If you don’t know Rostam by his name, you probably know him by one of his band’s names: Vampire Weekend. But that’s not the band I want to talk about! Rostam, full name Rostam Batmanglij, is now working on his solo career and has released an album and EP in the last year and a half. His songs reveal a more introspective, thoughtful sense of world wonder accompanied by mellow yet beautiful instrumentals (nothing you shouldn’t expect from a Grammy-winning producer tab!). So stop reading me trying to describe his perfection and just go listen!!”
- DJ Rae
“Break up songs, something that I think we can all be grateful for, but who really writes the best breakup songs? I will confess “Shout Out To My Ex” by Little Mix really gets me in my feels, BUT have you ever listened to Banks? Banks, my friends, is a badass bitch. She is a goddess of dark R&B. Jillian Banks makes you pissed and angry, and ladies, she will make you love your bad self. “Fuck With Myself” has got to be one of the best self-love songs out there. How can you not be thankful for that? I saw Banks live close to three years ago for “The Altar” tour. Her stage presence is menacing and mesmerising. This was definitely one of the best shows I’ve ever been to. Not to mention how strikingly intimate her lyrics are. Her writing is so raw and honest, I don’t know what more people could ask for from her. She offers no filter and some of her songs honestly make me want to cry. Her songs are powerful and emotional. They are haunting and painful. Her sound is different and experimental, sound that’s never been done before. She’s searching for a new direction with her music. I fell in love with Banks’ music since her “Goddess” album. Jillian Banks is a strong woman, who makes listeners fall in love with her flaws and pains. I’m so thankful for Banks, and the whole music industry should be thankful for her too. No matter your gender, Banks can relate to you on so many levels.”
- Jane on Air
“One song that I am thankful for is the Nils Bech rendition of “O Helga Natt”, a Swedish-language version of “O Holy Night”. I first heard the song while watching Skam, a Norwegian television show I first watched in the summer of 2017. The song occurs at a very pivotal and emotional moment in the series, when two characters reunite and confess their love to each other. The song helps to tie together the action and beauty of the scene, which brings me to tears even when I watch it now. The instrumental elements of the song on their own are powerful, but Bech’s voice complements them in a way that still shakes me each time I hear it. Whenever I am stressed or unsure of what to do, I listen to O Helga Natt and am filled with a sense of peace that does not come from a place of religion, but from a place of recognition for the beauty the song possesses. There has rarely been any other song that has continuously impacted me as much as this one has.”
- DJ Blue
“I, DJ Short Skirt Long Jacket am thankful for my favorite noisy, angsty band, AJJ. When I first started listening at age 15, AJJ’s blend of folk and punk music was the strangest thing I’d ever heard. Now, I am so grateful that their music broke me out of my small bubble of jangly indie music, and helped me see beauty in less conventional works of art. I am also grateful for Sean Bonnette’s lyrical genius. AJJ’s discography is full of wicked humor and brutal honesty. It’s a close friend that’s always been there for me, making me laugh, cry, and never feel alone.”
- DJ Short Skirt Long Jacket
“Call me basic, but this year I’m especially thankful for David Bowie. I’ve had a lot of Bowie experiences this year, first by touring Hansa Studios and being able to stand where he did when he recorded Heroes, and then the chance to see the “David Bowie Is” exhibit this summer. After all of this my love for him was totally reinvigorated. Morphing from character to character with each album release, he is almost solely responsible for the marriage of sound and vision in pop music. A poster child for pop extravagance, his influence on music, fashion and visual art is unparalleled – as Maura Johnston wrote, “Talking about how Bowie influenced pop music is like talking about how oxygen affects the breathing process.” Nearly every conceptual artist I enjoy today has taken major cues from Bowie, and often times I take his work for granted. His epochal championing of complete personal freedom will continue to dictate our culture long after all of us are gone. I’m sure I’m not saying anything that literally everyone doesn’t already know, but sometimes it’s nice to get a reminder – this weekend kick back with your favorite Bowie album (Low) and try to name all of the artists that wouldn’t exist without it. It’ll take a while.”
“This year, I am thankful for Janelle Monáe’s Dirty Computer. All the songs on this album carry a unique retro-futuristic pop sound that is perfect to dance to, and when listening to her lyrics throughout the album, themes of racial politics (for example, “Django Jane”) and sexual freedom (“Make Me Feel”) are brought up and portrayed beautifully. This album also blesses us with another incredible collab between Monáe and Grimes, with their entrancing tune “Pynk,” which celebrates female self-love and sex positivity. A fifty minute Emotion Picture video is posted on Monáe’s YouTube channel and ties together the songs to form a futuristic sci-fi story that only enhances the Dirty Computer experience. This is definitely my go-to & favorite album of the year, and I’d recommend it for everyone!!”
Want to show your appreciation for WUSC this holiday season? Consider contributing to our Fall Fundraiser to keep the music going! Head on over to the ‘Donate’ tab to learn more about our fundraiser and donate!