Student Podcasts to be Aired

It’s finals week at Dickinson College, and that means final essays, exams, and projects are to finally be finished!

This week, WDCV will be airing a series of podcasts from one of Dickinson’s courses, Lusomusics, a cross-listed class in both music and Portuguese studies. This course focuses on music influenced and created by the Portuguese, as well as Cape Verdeans, Brazilians, Angolans, and many other citizens of past Portuguese colonies. The podcasts present and examine four subjects that these students have learned about throughout the semester, which include Tropicalia, Bossa Nova, Coladeira, and the artist Jose Alfonso. Along with musical examples, these students explore the historical context of their music, as well as the varying instrumentation and social significance. If you are interested in world music, or want to expand your musical ear, these podcasts are perfect for you!

Tune in on Monday, May 8th, at noon to hear all about it!

Listen live by tuning your radio to 88.3 fm, or stream us at!


New Artist Spotlight: The Polychromatics

This week, the WDCV music directors added a few featured artists, and we’ve decided to shine a light on one of the newest bands.

The Polychromatics are an indie rock band based in Philadelphia, and their EP is a perfect depiction of the versatility of their talents. They’re refreshingly open to experimenting with their sound. John McKenna, the guitarist of the band and featured vocalist on two songs off the EP, describes each song on the EP as an island, but I disagree. While the songs sound sonically different – in four songs they manage to play everything from folk, to garage jam band, to psychedelic – the lyrics convey a claustrophobia and existential anxiety that feels genuine and relatable to anyone in transition.  

According to the guitarist, the band’s influences go hand in hand with their favorite music, such as Pink Floyd, Ty Segall, King Crimson, Gandalf, and The Doors (some of my favorites as well). McKenna specifically said that the song that is most prominent from his youth is The End by the Doors, which led him to pursue music. He says, “When I first heard Robby Krieger’s skill on that song, I made the decision to become a guitarist.” (He also recommends we listen to the psychedelic band Wand.)

If you’re interested in listening to them, they’ll be circulating through our automation, and they’re also on Soundcloud. When I asked how they felt about how the internet affects the music business, a controversial issue, they said, “It’s giving our band the ability to reach an audience quickly [which] we might not have had the chance to do if we took the old school method…I can’t help but see the benefits of instantaneous communication on a free platform for unknown bands like ourselves.” 

If you have any questions for the band about their work, or event opportunities, you can contact them at their email,, on twitter or on facebook.

If you have questions for the author of this article, please email or post on her facebook page

Rap Songs of the Month

Rap songs of the month:

With new albums in the past month from A Tribe Called Quest, Childish Gambino, Smoke Dza, Post Malone, J. Cole, Meek Mill, Ab-Soul, and Anderson.Paak (NxWorries), there is a whole lot of good music floating around that you can find easily through iTunes, Soundcloud, or Spotify. The songs below aren’t necessarily all from the last month, but all the new music made it easy to pick favorites. Below are my top 10 picks for songs that I’ve been jamming to for the past month or so.



Song: Suede

Artist: NxWorries

Album: Yes Lawd!

Off of NxWorries first full LP, singer Anderson.Paak and producer Knxwledge come together to put out a funky 19 song album including this jazzy gem. Coupled with a live studio session video, Suede has a simple but perfect beat for Paak to go off on talking about all the girls that are after him since his success from his second album, Malibu. Paak never really has a problem getting funky and this song definitely brings it along with the heat of his funny and slick-like-suede lyrics.



Song: Monday

Artist: EARTHGANG feat. Mac Miller

Album: Torba

Another banging piano-derived beat comes through to give us such a chill cruising song for those driving far away for break. EARTHGANG brings conscious rap to another level rapping about revolutions of the Earth, world hunger, and getting kicked out of Canada. Matched with a good feature from the new side of Mac Miller, we hear about his come up into the game. The song will have you nodding your head by the end, believe it.



Song: Deja vu

Artist: J. Cole

Album: 4 Your Eyez Only

Despite the controversy about whether or not this was originally Cole’s beat or Bryson Tiller’s on his song Exchange, the beat is that rainy day fire that we’ve all wanted, despite having already heard it. Cole raps about a girl who seems to have her head on wrong and talks about wanting her to give guys with real dreams a chance. Cole’s lyricism is on point and gets very into his feelings. Might not be the song you want to play at a party, but definitely get some good headphones and let it bang.



Song: Redbone

Artist: Childish Gambino

Album: “Awaken, My Love!”

Gambino’s new album was expected to be funky every single we heard what the first single sounded like and this song is no exception. Regardless of what you expected, Childish Gambino uses incredible vocals over funky guitar and bass lines to create such a catchy vibe. In the song he reminds this girl to “stay woke” for all of the guys who are creeping around. Gambino never ceases to impress and has unleashed a whole new side of his incredible talent on Redbone.



Song: 100

Artist: The Game feat. Drake

Album: The Documentary 2

One of the only songs that I’ve heard recently where the artist hasn’t used Drake during the intro to get people hyped, The Game puts in work lyrically before putting Drake on the catchy chorus. The two keep it 100 throughout this banger talking about all of the fakes in LA and how their lives would be different if they weren’t famous. Take a listen or two because either way this will be on repeat in your house or party.



Song: Dis Generation

Artist: A Tribe Called Quest

Album: We got it from Here…Thank You 4 Your service

With their first album since I was two years old, ATCQ comes hard filling in each other’s rhymes, keeping the vibe light and not letting up over an addicting guitar riff of a beat. The crew uses lyrics from the deceased member Phife Dawg (R.I.P.) and talks about the new generation of hip-hop. Not unlike any other song on the album, the song brings complex lyrics over chill beats for an overall must hear.



Song: 4r Da Squaw

Artist: Isaiah Rashad

Album: The Sun’s Tirade

On the first full song on the album, the young T.D.E. star goes off on a funky, sleepy beat full of chimes and synth claps. Talking about his new rise to fame, Rashad talks about how he goes with the flow with just a dollar and a tour stop on his mind. The swagger in his flow and his lyricism both shine, leading to a great opening for a pretty great album.



Song: 1000 Xans (ft. theMIND)

Artist: Mick Jenkins

Album: The Healing Component

Right off the bat this heavy glitch/screech beat takes you in as you feel drowned by vibe. “I mean a buzz can last a light-year” is the kind of vibe Mick is on with his album The Healing Component (THC) and goes from the mention of anxiety to social commentary about Reagan and his interference in the market for crack cocaine. Super deep and super soulful, Mick’s entire album will hit you hard and make you take a second listen.



Song: Nights

Artist: Frank Ocean

Album: blond

Again, the slow paced sleepy beat actually goes in and brought together with a twangy distorted guitar, Frank Ocean has the perfect base for his sing-song voice. Although not rap, Frank Ocean goes from RnB to some spoken word and really brings out good vibes in both totally different section of his one track. “Every night f****s every day up, every day patches the night up” sings Frank Ocean on his stand out track for his 2016 album. Even without the Grammy nomination, Frank Ocean has one of the tracks of the year on his hands.



Song: Wanna Know Remix (ft. Drake)

Artist: Dave

Album: (single)

To be released on Drake’s album ‘More Life’ in early 2017, Wanna Know is pretty much his song about his new success and those who didn’t predict it like he did. Paired with the chorus from English rapper Dave, Drake has this international vibe he’s been trying to get with for a while now. The beat, made by one of Dave’s producer’s, completely stands out to the point where you would have thought a famous, rich rapper like Drake would come up with something similar. A great single already that is supposed to be on the album, Wanna Know should be on your playlist until the album comes out.



Grumpus Visits the Whistlestop Bookshop

On November 16th, Grumpus, a Dickinson alum, visited the Whistlestop Bookshop in Carlisle as a stop on his November Tour. It was an intimate setting for a very enjoyable and personal concert. WDCV live streamed Grumpus and his opening act, Alex Dillon. Listen and check them out!


Follow Grumpus on Instagram and like him on Facebook!

Instagram: @grahamofgrumpus

Facebook: Grumpus


Grouplove’s New Big Mess Album


Big Mess


September 9th, 2016


Grouplove’s third studio album, Big Mess, brings this exciting band back to the front stage of indie rock. It is unlike any of their albums in the past because Big Mess is much more eclectic in sound. It plays more into the realm of pop than it does to the realm of alternative music, a change that was happily accepted by the band’s huge fan base. The songs are much more excited and upbeat, expanding upon the group’s extraordinary colorfulness. This album is inspired partly by two new additions to the Grouplove family: a new bassist, and the two lead singers’ newborn daughter. Their music has developed to reflect this new monumental change in their lives. Songs like “Goodmorning” and “Standing in the Sun” highlight their upbeat rhythms and catchy, repetitive lyrics, which in a way differs from their traditional individualism represented in their earlier songs. While tracks like “Traumatized” stay true to their initial sound, this new album marks a new direction for Grouplove. Although this album has redefined their sound, their old and new music alike still has a place in all of our hearts.

David Bowie Retrospective/Blackstar Album Review

I think it would be self-indulgent to spend more than a paragraph or two writing about what David Bowie meant to me. I was just at a bar the other night talking about how he’s my all-time favorite artist, and how I was disappointed that I’d probably never get to see him perform live, although I always held out hope that he’d return to headline a big festival like Coachella. Bowie was the first queer icon I latched onto, before I even really knew what queer was, and definitely before I felt comfortable with my own relationship to the term. There was something, at once both sexy and a little scary, about the worlds his music inhabited. I was the kind of kid who got lost in those worlds, the polished landscape covered in grime covered in a second layer of polish, to the point where I wrote a musical (in the vein of Jersey Boys or Mamma Mia!) about them when I was about 14. My short-lived junior high band (consisting of me on guitar and my friend on vocals) debuted by playing a cover of “Space Oddity”.

I don’t think I’m alone in having these kinds of stories, because I think you could ask all manner of artists, musicians, and general creative-types about David Bowie and get similar memories shared. He had that kind of broad influence, as a musician and actor, as a fashion icon and a queer one, as an artist who never felt dated or aged, even as he approached 70 years old. When he performed with Arcade Fire in 2005, he stood alongside the band not as a desperate hanger-on clinging to relevance, but as a kind, paternal figure using his own status to help lift others up. Even in his musical prime, the breakneck pace with which he shifted genres never felt disingenuous. Whether he was tackling soul music, German-inspired avant-garde, glam, folk, new wave, or pop, Bowie came across as someone with such limitless passion for so many things that it was a struggle to pick just one.

It’s also easy to forget how prolific he was. From the release of his self-titled album in 1969 (not to be confused with his debut album, also self-titled, in 1967) to Scary Monsters in 1980, Bowie released 12 studio albums of original material, as well as an album of covers. Moreover, there’s not a bad album in that stretch. Lodger might compare unfavorably to Low and “Heroes”, as Diamond Dogs might to Ziggy Stardust and Aladdin Sane, but effectively all of Bowie’s material during that period is great. He also released a handful of non-album singles, wrote songs for other artists, and performed on and produced albums by the likes of Iggy Pop and Lou Reed during the same period.

Furthermore, he was no passive frontman, contributing heavily to the writing and arranging of his music and playing over a dozen instruments including most notably guitar, piano, harmonica, and saxophone. Even his covers feel uniquely his, whether he was covering old 50’s and 60’s standards, or his rock contemporaries. Compare the Johnny Mathis original cut of “Wild is the Wind” (itself, a great track), with Bowie’s sprawling, 6-minute epic, or compare Bruce Springsteen’s “It’s Hard to Be a Saint in the City”, a working class anthem (like all great Springsteen songs), with Bowie’s glitzy, campy, danceable version. He even had the bold audacity to cover “Across the Universe” only five years after the breakup of the Beatles, and with John Lennon himself in the studio.

Bowie’s passing has shifted the nature of this article from a review of his newest album, Blackstar, to sort of a retrospective, but it should be noted that once he found his stride again in the mid 90’s, Bowie never slowed down. Blackstar is just the final chapter in the modern Bowie canon, and it’s every bit as exceptional as Reality or Heathen before it. Conventional wisdom holds that Bowie’s greatest strength has always been his ability to reinvent himself, but I think to boil his quality down to that is disingenuous. Yes, there are great differences between glam Bowie and soul Bowie, between folk Bowie and late 90’s drum-n-bass Bowie, but there are similarities as well. There are subtle homages to older work, but never to the point where one gets the sense that Bowie’s moved backwards.

There are brief, fleeting instants during the title track, “Blackstar”, where the instrumentation sounds like it could be from Earthling. The harmonica that echoes in the background of “I Can’t Give Everything Away” is extremely reminiscent of “A New Career In A New Town” off of Low. The 12-string guitar on “Dollar Days” recalls a lot of tracks Bowie put out in the early 70’s. Yet, Blackstar never rests on these brief moments of homage. The moments of comfortable familiarity are just the opening act for what Blackstar has to offer. Jazz dances throughout Blackstar, paired with Bowie’s avant-garde leanings and rock sensibilities into a dense, artsy declaration of purpose.

It’s haunting, too. Bowie hid his illness well, but after passing away only two days after Blackstar’s release, it’s hard not to feel like he was just holding on until the album came out. Knowing this, lyrics like the opener from “Lazarus”, which goes, “Look up here, I’m in heaven / I’ve got scars that can’t be seen / I’ve got drama, can’t be stolen / Everybody knows me now” or the first lines of “I Can’t Give Everything Away”, “I know something’s very wrong / The pulse returns for prodigal sons / The blackout’s heart with flowering news / With skull designs upon my shoes” take on a new meaning. Whether intentional or not, Blackstar seems supernaturally imbued with a sense of finality, as if it were silly to ever think there could be anything else after it.

There won’t be anything after it. Depending on Bowie’s last wishes and back catalogue, there might be some loose tracks that might come out, or perhaps archival footage or demos, obscure b-sides that were only released in Japan and then fell to obscurity, but in terms of a complete, fully-realized work, Blackstar is the endpoint. If there had to be one, then at least it was something as sweepingly beautiful as Blackstar.

Embedded below is the music video for “Lazarus”, the second single from Blackstar. In addition, I’ve taken the liberty of compiling a playlist of Bowie tracks spanning from his 1969 album to 2013’s The Next Day, in chronological order, that can be viewed here. It’s funny to call anything Bowie released a “deep cut” given his legendary status, but these tracks were generally not singles, and are probably less popular than Bowie’s most famous songs. If you’ve never really listened to Bowie’s work, or haven’t in a while, this playlist might  give you an idea of the scope and diversity of his music.

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Best Albums of 2015 – WDCV DJ Picks

As we get ready to ring in the new year, we at WDCV took a look back at our favorite albums of 2015. Here are some of the albums we had on repeat this year.

Courtney Barnett – Sometimes I Sit and Think, Sometimes I Just Think
Speedy Ortiz – Foil Deer
Kendrick Lamar – To Pimp a Butterfly
Grimes – Art Angels
Mountain Goats — Beat the Champ
Sleater-Kinney – No Cities To Love
Lianne La Havas – Blood
Leon Bridges – Coming Home
Deerhunter – Fading Frontier
Mac Demarco – Another One
Pile – You’re Better Than This
UGK – Hard to Swallow
Chris Lightcap’s Bigmouth – Epicenter
Alex G – Beach Music
Waxahatchee – Ivy Tripp
Chvrches – Every Open Eye
Sufjan Stevens — Carrie & Lowell
Surfer Blood – 1000 Palms
Built to Spill – Untethered Moon
Kishi Bashi – String Quartet Live!
Alabama Shakes – Sound & Color
Public Service Broadcasting – The Race for Space
Viet Cong – Viet Cong
Purity Ring—Another Eternity
Jeff the Brotherhood – Wasted on a Dream

Black Lines – Mayday Parade Review

For the past ten years, Tallahassee-natives Mayday Parade have been pumping catchy, emotional pop-punk into the alternative music scene. Through hits such as “Three Cheers for Five Years” and “Miserable at Best”, Derek Sanders and company have poured their hearts out into emotional lyrics and soaring melodic lines that evoke sadness and exasperation from their audiences, taking the listener by the hand and letting them know, “you are not alone.”


With their new full length album, Black Lines, Mayday Parade has taken that same message, but has attacked it from a different angle. This time around, they are a little more angry and aggressive, instead of sad and desperate. Starting with the first track, “One of Them Will Destroy the Other,” Mayday Parade delivers high tension vocals and guitars, with pounding drums that only let up for the occasional ballad. Producer Mike Sapone (who also produced albums by Taking Bach Sunday, Brand New, etc.) used his experience with other alternative/emo bands to help them achieve the grittier, edgier sound that the band was striving towards on this album.


From the first track to the last, this album is both a departure and a return for Mayday Parade. They isolated themselves from the rest of the world, including their friends, family, and label executives, and found an aggressive, emotional, and honest sound that they have been searching for since their debut.


For more on Mayday Parade, like them on Facebook, follow them on Twitter, and tune in to

88.3 WDCV.



Author Jonathan Northridge is an avid defender of pop/punk, plays guitar in an Irish folk band, and can beat anybody at Guitar Hero. Check out his show, Head Above Water, on 88.3 WDCV.

Inspirational Electronica to Wake You Up

Fatima Al Qadiri’s recent EP Genre-Specific Xperience, released originally under a pseudonym, brings an eclectic taste the table. Mixing cultural sounds as broad as Islamic chants, Catholic hymns, and steelpans, this relatively short album leaves you both entranced and frightened. The eerie mix of the ever-present electric steel drums and elevated chants imagines a horror film set at a tropical resort. The head track “Hip Hop Spa” especially recalls some sort of religious evocation that the next track answers with a high-tempo percussion hurricane. Don’t miss out on “Vatican Vibes” or “Corpcore,” the former bringing Baroque-style firmly into Al Qadiri’s art while the latter’s pulsing march of beats invokes industrial beats. For those new to Fatima Al Qadiri, she’s an electronic musician (read: DJ) currently living in Brooklyn, originally born in Senegal, and grew up in Kuwait during the Gulf War. Her work across constantly recognizes her trans-cultural history, as her album last year Asiatisch worked off themes of “the China” viewed from a Western lens through pop culture and the ways these cultural forms are exploited until they lose all meaning. Her political meaning behinds Xperience seems less obvious, but listeners won’t be disappointed if they pick either album up.

WDCV Alums Release New Albums

Two WDCV Alums have released free albums over the past month that you should check out.  Dwight Dunston (Sterling Duns), ’10 and Ryan Sarno, ’09 are coincidentally both located in Princeton, NJ.  Here’s hoping we can convince them to come back and play a show together at Dickinson College.  

Ryan Sarno:
Stuck in the Present, the third volume in my History Lessons series which features improvised compositions determined by the recording process, poems, and buckets of veryryansarno guitar – check the neutron bomb guitar solo in “Infant”, the slippery, faltering groove in “Like Thirty” and “Biggerthatinmylife”, and the loop pedal snatched, snowball development in “Waypayja”.

Dwight Dunston (Sterling Duns):

For the last few months I have been collaborating with some of my former athletes turned friends/music companions on one of the most exciting projects I’ve been a part of. It is a 9 track album mostly featuring myself (Sterling Duns) my friend Aqil (Qilo) and my other friend Aqeel (Qubicity). Together we go under the name QDQ, and we are very excited to premiere our first full length project. There are also features from my lil sis (Debby Duns) good friend from college (Keys) and good friend in high school/now even better friend today (Rick Banks).

Here is a little more about Dwight from a Dickinson article a few years back.

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