A new year is here, and KXUA is fully embracing the opportunity to change and grow for the better. While we are still heavily focused on bringing you the best in music, we’ve done a bit of thinking and have decided to expand beyond your car radio.
You’ve likely already seen some of the results of our experimentation: We’ve introduced more journalistic programming like Newswave and Minority Report to our schedule, our latest selections are shared on Spotify, and there’s more tweeting than before. We’re pleased with the feedback that we’ve gotten, so now we’re going even further to better serve the University of Arkansas and the community at large.
Our first big change for the year is an exciting one: We’re joining Spinitron. This means that you can see on our website what’s playing live on the radio and stream and also have the ability to look back at previous shows and see the playlists. This has been a major request and we often get emails and calls asking what songs were playing, so we’re very excited to be bringing this to you. Our Spinitron playlists and live playlist will become publicly available in the coming weeks while we train our DJs to use it and fine tune a few things.
Second, we’re diving deeper into podcasting and news programs to help students and others learn and be active in the community. This means we’ll be working on producing more shows like Minority Report and Newswave to share with you, and we’ll also be looking to make these programs accessible on more services to make them easier than ever to listen to. You’ll see a progress report on these efforts here later on this semester.
Lastly, we’re opening up KXUA to people who would like to be involved with our station but aren’t keen on being on the air. If you want to do blogging, reviews, interviews, photography, whatever have you, we’re welcoming you on board. KXUA is here to be a creative outlet to help those at the University of Arkansas learn, share and experiment, no matter what you do. We’ll be putting out applications for this new creative team soon.
As always, we welcome your feedback. If you have something to share with us, you can email us at firstname.lastname@example.org, call our office at 479-575-4273, tweet/message us at KXUA on Twitter and Facebook, or just drop by our office in person. We look forward to hearing from you.
It looks like it's finally my turn! But we're still not done yet. We'll have at least one more top music article soon enough. -Ed.
2016 marked my first anniversary with KXUA in October and my first semester as the station manager. It's been nothing short of exciting, and music has been even more present in my life than ever before. With that in mind, I'm glad to present my first albums of the year list.
- Mitski - Puberty 2
Mitski created the best album of 2016 without a doubt. Puberty 2 feels incredibly raw but carefully honed to perfection simultaneously. My favorite tracks from the album, "My Body's Made of Crushed Little Stars" and "Your Best American Girl," have some of the absolute best lyrics I've ever heard, and I don't think I could adequately do them justice in this review. I eagerly look forward more from Mitski in the future, and to catching up on her previous albums that I've missed.
2. case/lang/veirs - case/lang/veirs
This album passed mostly under my radar when it was originally released this past summer, admittedly eclipsed by Mitski's album released around the same time. Looking back, it was me that decided to put this album into rotation, describing it as "like smoking a Marlboro light." I'm not sure that I agree with my own previous assessment, but I can say that this album's sound and lyrics make me nostalgic for when I used to only listen to country music.
3. Michael Mayer - &
I think I speak for a lot of us at KXUA when I say that there's a great appeal to a clean electronic music album that's mostly instrumental. Michael Mayer's contribution this year with just that sort of album is greatly appreciated, especially so in a year where no other such album has lived up to expectations. "&," however it is pronounced (ampersand? or just and?) has become one of my go-to albums when I'm not sure what to listen to.
4. clipping. - Wriggle
I used to think of clipping. as "discount Death Grips" before this EP landed in our office this summer and proved me dead wrong. The title song, "Wriggle," was one of my favorites this year. The percussion sounds like it's punching your ears in the best way possible. Another favorite from this EP, "Shooter," features some of my favorite wordplay I've heard in 2016.
5. Animal Collective - Painting With
While I missed Animal Collective's show in Fayetteville at George's this past year, I'm glad I got into Animal Collective with this year's album "Painting With." When this album came out, our station manager at the time became frustrated that the first track, "Floridada," was being played so often, but I was partially responsible for that. Of the Animal Collective albums that I've listened to repeatedly so far, this is among my favorites.
The new year is here, but we still have some lists to go to keep things interesting here during the winter break. Today's Top 5 list comes from our Associate Music Director Nick Logan, who tends our electronic/hip hop rotation. -Ed.
1) James Blake - The Colour In Anything
Now that finals have finished and the station is once again operating smoothly, we're proud to present our next top 5 list from our other Co-Music director, Ethan Owen. A disclaimer from him: "Making this list is extremely difficult for me and I am not confident in my choices. I love all of them."
1. El Perro Del Mar - KoKorro: I really enjoyed everything about this album, from beginning to end. Awesome sounds and influences and great songs.