Playlist: “Game On”

by Sonia Calzaretta ’18

Whether you’re working out or just working, video game music can help you focus! It’s designed to keep players immersed in the game, so it’s the perfect background to any activity that requires concentration. This is a playlist I made for my radio show a few weeks ago, and it’s one of my favorites!

  • “Solar Collector” by Grant Kirkhope (Sid Meyer’s Civilization: Beyond Earth)
    • This song starts with the quiet hum of a space station in motion. A string section soon joins in, and the machinery is replaced by a chorus of human voices. I love the way this song builds from start to finish.
  • “First and Last” by Michael McCann (Deus Ex: Human Revolution)
    • This song jumps right in with a whining something (I can’t quite identify the instrument) and a drumbeat that reminds me of something out of Mad Max.
  • “In Case of Trouble” by Darren Korb (Bastion)
    • I love the way this song comes right on the tail end of “First and Last,” although the instruments are different the pacing is very similar. Also, Bastion’s entire soundtrack is the most beautiful thing I’ve ever heard and I can highly recommend any song on it.
  • “Silver for Monsters” by Percival Schuttenbach (Witcher 3)
    • This song plays on the same musical themes at the one before it, although this one moves at a faster pace and with a higher intensity than the song from Bastion. I loved it the moment I heard it and just had to put it on this list.
  • “Nascence” by Austin Wintory (Journey)
    • There’s only one thing to say about this song and it’s that it will take you on a freaking trip. I don’t know how to describe it. I only know I love it.
  • “Leaving Earth” by Clint Mansell (Mass Effect 4)
    • This song starts in a similar way to “Solar Collector,” except that the quiet piano here is mixed with a blaring blastoff alarm and suddenly becomes a lot more threatening. You know it’s about looking into the darkness of space and seeing nothing but breathless fear and endless wonder.
  • “Far Cry 3” by Brian Tyler (Far Cry 3)
    • This song starts with weird static, almost like a flickering dial tone, and the ticking of a nearby clock. If you listen with headphones it feels as though the noise is coming from all around you. It’s ominous, but really cool.
  • “Subject Name Here” by the Aperture Science Psychoacoustic Laboratories (Portal 2)
    • This song is pretty much just a whole lot of beeps and boops, but I still like it. I think it provides a nice change of pace.
  • “Waterfall” by Tobyfox (Undertale)
    • There are too many good songs in the Undertale soundtrack. I had the hardest time choosing between this song and “Spear of Justice” (the theme for Undyne, my favorite character). I eventually picked “Waterfall” at the behest of one of my friends whom I’d asked for suggestions.
  • “Sacred Grove” by Video Game Players (Legend of Zelda: the Twilight Princess)
    • This song is so memorable and catchy that when I played it in the car all of my friends starting trying to “sing” along, by which I mean we all sat there trying to make ocarina and flute noises.
  • “Climbing the Ginso Tree” by Gareth Coker (Ori and the Blind Forest)
    • I’ve never played the game that this song comes from, but it was recommended to me by someone I know and it turns out that the entire soundtrack is really, really good. The art style is beautiful, too.
  • “Fable Theme” by Danny Elfman (Fable)
    • As far as I can tell, this song is a classic among people who know video games. I was going through my playlist to prepare it for broadcasting and my friend Henry perked up from halfway across the room like “Wait, is this Fable?” The answer is yep, it sure is. Not only is it well-known, it’s also just a great song with sweeping strings and thunderous drums.
  • “The Knight’s Theme” by Jason Graves (The Order: 1886)
    • This one starts with a multitude of slow strings, suggesting a creeping fog and political intrigue. It eventually deepens, adding a chorus of human voices and a rolling drum in the background, building the tension all the way to the end.
  • “A Thief’s End” by Henry Jackman (Uncharted 4)
    • I like the way this song mirrors the ones at the beginning of the playlist, using strings and drums to indicate someone running across rough terrain. I get an image in my head of a fast-moving aerial shot that tracks the movement of a lone person dashing headlong through a thick jungle.
  • “We Are the Division” by Ola Strandh (The Division)
    • I’m not sure what The Division is about, but from the cover it seems to be some kind of apocalypse scenario, possibly with zombies in it. The song is dramatic and dark, but with hopeful undertones and sweeping strings that carry us high over the city for a bird’s-eye view of the devastation — and, just possibly, the reconstruction of humanity.
  • “The Last of Us” by Gustavo Santaolalla (The Last of Us)
    • I’ve never played The Last of Us, but I’m told that it’ll make just about anyone cry. This song certainly points to that. The guitar and strings are just slightly off-putting, as is the sound of crunching gravel that’s used as percussion. I’d like to play this game if jump scares and zombies didn’t terrify me so badly.
  • “Born Unto Trouble” by Bill Elm & Woody Jackson (Red Dead Redemption)
    • This song has a Wild West-esque sound to it that I really love, plus it moves really nicely out of “The Last of Us” because of that earthy-sounding fiddle and whistling. The way the whistle echoes makes me think of a vast, empty canyon, which again draws me back to the crunching gravel in the song we just heard.
  • “Assassin’s Creed IV Black Flag Theme” by Brian Tyler (Assassin’s Creed 4)
    • If I’m being honest, this song doesn’t really come that well out of “Born Unto Trouble.” I just wanted it to go last because it’s my favorite song on the playlist and I like to play my favorite song last. The violins connect it somewhat to the previous few songs, but we also eventually get a rollicking drumbeat that makes the song dynamic and fluid. It calls back to the songs from Bastion and Witcher that we had at the top of the playlist.

I Dare You To Understand What Makes Me a Woman: A Review of Angel Olsen’s album “MY WOMAN”

By Maddie Farr ’18a1136135788_10.jpg

On “Sister,” one of the B-sides off of Angel Olsen’s recently released album MY WOMAN, she sings, “I want to live life / I want to die right…” Olsen then allows the music to swell and pause before she croons the end of her sentence: “…next to you.” When I first heard this song, I didn’t realize the two phrases were connected, that a you was being directly addressed in the first line. The distance between the two sentiments suggests a desire for a closeness that is both elusive and necessary. It is exactly this complexity that defines Angel Olsen’s musical project.

Throughout MY WOMAN, Olsen immerses herself in these questions: what do we want from life? What are we seeking? Love, satisfaction, intimacy, artistic expression, some sort of elusive sense of adventure and truth? Can these qualities coexist, or does being a woman who loves men and also an artist mean that your life will always be delineated by sacrifice and compromise? These are the concerns that have defined Angel Olsen’s rich career thus far, and I see MY WOMAN as another gorgeous and wise attempt to grapple with them. In the process, she has created a sonically impressive and diverse album that offers a strong, if prismatic, definition of how to be alive, and a WOMAN.

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Monstrous: Queer Men, Feminine Icons, and Misogyny

By Devon Chodzin ’19

Lady Gaga, a queer woman herself, shows pride for herself and for her fans

People have known it as a sort of “fact of life” for some time now – that many gay men idolize prominent female entertainers in music and film. From the Bette Davises and Judy Garlands of early Hollywood to the Chers and Madonnas of the New Wave to the Ariana Grandes and Carly Rae Jepsens of today, there appears to be a trend amongst many queer men to adore famous leading ladies. I, for one, love and strongly identify with Canadian synthpop singer and visual artist Claire Boucher, better known as Grimes. But why?

That’s tough to pinpoint. If it were all about trying to claim and come to terms with femininity, either exogenously assigned or self-determined, why are there only a handful of women who are identified as “gay icons?” What about those women who achieve icon-status sets them apart?

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Playlist: Everything’s Better Live

By Isabella Mojares ‘20

Oh, live music. There’s something about hearing a song live (or even a live recording) that captures a level of emotion that studio recordings just can’t maintain. Maybe it’s the blood, maybe it’s the sweat, maybe it’s the crowd. Hearing an artist perform their music live transports you into their world, even if just for a moment. Not only do you hear the notes, but you hear the lyrics, wrought with all the feelings they were originally penned with.

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Playlist: Come One, Come Deb Ball

By Charlotte Freccia ’19

Oh, Deb Ball. Oh, Deb Ball. Oh, Deb Ball.

That seems to be all I can say. It was said with a kind of defeated-but-still-wistful wink and sigh, if the implication was not strong enough. If I may, I’d like to quote from the event Facebook page:

Though I’d be more down for a “Blue Ivy Carter, Biotchhhhh” party than just about anything else, and though Deb Ball and the PEEPS have always been about doin’ you in the most you way possible, the fact remains that traditionally, Deb Ball has been an excuse for young, fresh, Kanyon Kollege undergraduates to loosen the laces of those $100 sneakers and shed those brand-name fleeces and get a little out there in terms of their gender performance. Self-identified dudes in dresses, self-identified ladies in boxer-shorts: anything goes at Deb Ball. Here’s a playlist to celebrate that young-wild-and-freaky spirit. Raise your glasses to the formal dismantling of the gender binary, y’all, one Old K rager at a time.

Sexy Drag Queen/Ru Paul


Queen Bitch/David Bowie

I Wanna Boi/PWR BTTM

Polythene Pam/The Beatles

Dude Looks Like A Lady/Aerosmith

Walk on the Wild Side/Lou Reed

Royal Orleans/Led Zeppelin

I’m A Boy/The Who

Lola/The Kinks

If I Were A Boy/Beyonce

Crazy Rap (Colt 45 & 2 Zig Zag)/Afroman

Do My Thang/Miley Cyrus

Who Wears The Pants???/Soko




15 Songs From 2015

By Ted Boggess ’19

So who else is nostalgic for 2015 already??? It all seems so long ago: I was a freshmen, just starting my first semester of college, there was something called a “Left Shark”, Frank Ocean was just getting ready to release his new album, for real this time….

Plus, if nostalgia for the previous year has already set in, perhaps I can be excused for the timing of this list. I’ve been thinking about the top songs from 2015 more or less since the calendar flipped but only just now got to putting these thoughts to words. It’s been, what, like 9 months since the year’s ended, so I’ve had plenty of time to make sure I didn’t miss anything. Anyway, the songs, in classic bottom-to-top order:

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Rabbit Wilde’s “The Heartland” Exceeds Expectations

by Sonia Calzaretta ’18

As anyone who knows me will tell you, I’m a huge fan of music with an indie folk sound. Songs with haunting harmonies and that twangy banjo/ mandolin combo that reminds me of childhood summers.

Liking this kind of music means that I’ve become pretty proficient at recognizing an indie folk album cover when I see one. “The Heartland” looks exactly like what you’d expect an inside folk album cover to look like: a watercolor painting of a city in purples and grays, blocky band name, cursive album title. It came out in February of this year, so it’s fairly new, and Rabbit Wilde has only been making music since 2014. I found the album when I was walking through the hallway between the WKCO office and the broadcast booth, alphabetized among the hundreds of CDs we have down there. It looked interesting, so I took it home. I’m so glad that I did. The plain cover hides an album of surprising merit, one that I’m sure will be among my favorites for years to come.

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Go Away, Come Closer: A Playlist

By Maddie Farr ’18

Over the summer, I had the privilege of taking a short writing class with the talented poet Anna Ziering, which centered on the theme of “go away, come closer.” The desires for intimacy and distance, and how they fight each other in our bodies. That resonated with me, so I made a playlist about it. I hope it resonates with you.

Left Alone – Fiona Apple (The Idler Wheel…)

“How can I ask anyone to love me, when all I do is beg to be left alone?” Really, what else is there to say?

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