Playlist of the Week

Kyle Smith, Staff Reporter

Are you going to a party this weekend? Do you think there will be any insufferable music nerds there? Do you want to impress them with your excellent knowledge of niche music? This week’s playlist is a good place to start solidifying your hipster credibility.


“In The Aeroplane Over The Sea” – Neutral Milk Hotel


“In the Aeroplane Over The Sea” is an iconic hipster anthem with weird sexual lyrics, bizarre instrumentation and poor recording quality. The song is driven by the aggressive strumming of a heavily blown-out acoustic guitar. Above that, frontman Jeff Mangum’s distinctive, nasally vocals croons lyrics like, “Now how I remember you, how I would push my fingers through your mouth to make those muscles move.”


“The District Sleeps Alone Tonight” – The Postal Service


If you like Death Cab For Cutie but worry that music snobs will look down on you for liking such a mainstream band, The Postal Service is the solution. The 2003 side project of Death Cab For Cutie frontman Benjamin Gibbard only ever released one album, “Give Up,” which was re-released in 2013. While their sound is distinctly different from Death Cab For Cutie, showcasing a much stronger electronic influence, Gibbard’s signature vocals perfectly deliver the melancholy breakup lyrics.


“John Wayne Gacy, Jr.” – Sufjan Stevens


Stevens is one of the weirdest, most talented and most prolific artists out there right now. “John Wayne Gacy, Jr.” appears on the album “Illinois,” a musical tribute to the midwestern state. The song tells the story of the notorious serial killer. The juxtaposition of the song’s soft, folky melody and the horrific content of the lyrics create a haunting, otherworldly quality. It is easy to imagine the horror felt by those who discovered the horrible deeds Gacy committed in their sleepy midwestern town.


“Stand There Until You’re Sober” – Bomb the Music Industry!


Bomb the Music Industry! is a ska-punk band led by Jeff Rosenstock, the darling of indie punk. The band, and Rosenstock himself, is famous for its DIY ideals, giving away its music for free and sacrificing profits to ensure that the shows are cheap and open to all ages. “Stand There Until You’re Sober” features many of the staples of Rosenstock’s music, including raucous vocals, the use of a midi organ and his self-deprecating wit.


“The Best Ever Death Metal Band in Denton” – The Mountain Goats


John Darnielle has been making music as The Mountain Goats since the early ‘90s. In that time, he—plus a rotating cast of accompanying musicians—have released an astounding 16 studio albums, on top of countless singles and EPs (extended play records). “The Best Ever Death Metal Band in Denton” is not a metal song but instead draws heavily from folk and garage-rock influences. The song also draws heavily from Darnielle’s own life, as it discusses two children who pursue dreams of musical fame despite their parents’ disapproval.