Pride Month – Queer Artist Spotlight

Olly Alexander
Olly Alexander of Years & Years

I’ve always thought that lists or profiles of anything queer or LGTBQ+ related in the month of June, which is Pride month, were super corny. Themed content can come off as pandering or as trying to profit from the exposure of a particular group. However, I’ve come around, in a sense, because representation and visibility are important. This rings especially true for marginalized communities

But for me what’s important is accurate representation. I want to profile artists  from all of the LGBTQ+ spectrum that use their respective voices. But I don’t want this to be me exploiting gender identity and sexual orientation. My goal is to profile artists who aren’t defined by identity but incorporate it in their music and represent it realistically and don’t stick to stereotypes or fetishize anything.

Continue reading “Pride Month – Queer Artist Spotlight”

Anatomy of a Playlist (Noteworthy 05-14-2018

Ivan from Noteworthy here again (Mondays 6PM-8PM) to break down a recent edition of the show. This is just a small peek into what my thought process is to make sure that you’re entertained for two hours every week.


The previous week, I dealt with how to cope when your favorite artists are problematic people outside of their music. It was a conversation mostly centered on Kanye West, and this week provided another opportunity to delve into it with Spotify enforcing their new hateful conduct policy. This resulted in artists such as R. Kelly and XXXTentacion being removed from their playlists and opened up a bigger discussion about who else should receive the same treatment. I appreciated the sentiment of what Spotify did, but it was a flawed process, as they are even starting to admit now.

I talked about how the perception of these artists would be if they were even one bit remorseful of their transgressions, which led me to opening the show with Al Green’s “Take Me To The River.” It’s one of his greatest songs and was also a hit for Talking Heads, but ultimately, the song is about an affair with an underage girl and the guilt that Green deals with it.

Continue reading “Anatomy of a Playlist (Noteworthy 05-14-2018”

The Daily Blend’s March Top Ten 2018

march blog pic

Yo, people of the internet! I am BACK for the month, and I’m so excited for this blog. March is one of my favorite months of the year, and this year’s March just happened to be an amazing month for music!

With everything that is played on my show, you all probably think I have way too much happening in the skull area of my body. So, I want to give everyone a little insight as to what’s going on in my brain, without having to look at the “Recently Played” section on my Spotify. The solution I came to was to tell everyone about the hidden (and not so hidden) gems in my music library for the month. Some of the music I post will be at the top of charts, some of the music won’t be your style, some will be a band’s biggest hit that I’ve just been happening to listen to a lot, and some will be completely unknown to you!

So, to start it off, here’s just a couple of my favorite artists for March, a little bit about them, and some song suggestions:

Continue reading “The Daily Blend’s March Top Ten 2018”

Meditations: Some Quick Updates on The Longplay

Image result for bill murray crossroads

Fellas, it’s been a good time and a half since I’ve updated all of you beautiful sea urchins on the status of my beloved weekly radio show, “The Longplay”. Seeing as this lack of updates on the status of the show wasn’t really a big deal to anyone I was just going to let it slide, but that was before I woke up screaming in the middle of the night last night after I remembered that the deadline for my blog was today… so here we are.

Now let me be clear, the Longplay is still dedicated to bringing you full length classic albums accompanied by commentary from the show’s very handsome and talented host (me), but instead of that being the game plan 100% of the time, it’ll probably go down to a nice and kosher 60% of the time.

If the past few panel shows that I’ve done have taught me anything, it’s that I like having people in the studio to banter with, so expect more of that in the future. Don’t worry though, these guests won’t entirely consist of my stupid friends. In fact, having actual local musicians as guests for semi formal interviews is something I’m also going to try and incorporate. Basically my goal is to appeal to the people who hate my voice by filling my show with people who aren’t me. It’s ideas like this that earn me the big bucks.

All that being said, it will still mostly just be me in the studio, so you have nothing to fear if you’re one of those regressive mofos who fear change. I’m trying to spice up the variety of albums I pick, as I’ve been a little worried that things are getting a little samey. Expect more EP showcases, live albums, films scores, and possibly even comedy albums in the near future. I’m also due in for another local music showcase, so keep an eye out for that as well. Episodes are also going to start going longer because there isn’t anyone after me.

And finally, I must mention that The Longplay does have a facebook page, which can be found right here Now I would say that i’m trying to expand the show onto other social media platforms, but I don’t feel like lying right now. Give the page a like, and I promise that I will make Zuckerberg give your personal information away to only the finest Azerbaijani opioid smugglers.

If the parts about local musical guests and local music showcases made you say “hey, I’m a semi established local musician or comedian with music released on Spotify, maybe I should speak to this man”, than feel free to contact me through the facebook page. Be warned though; I’m incredibly unlikable.

And that’s about it. Make sure to tune into The Longplay every Tuesday from 9pm to 10pm on UIC Radio to watch me go back on all the promises I made here in real time.

Noteworthy 1st Quarter Check-In (Jan. – Mar. 2018)

Ivan from Noteworthy here again (Mondays 6PM-8PM).  I refuse to believe it, but the calendar doesn’t lie: we’re already 1/4 of the way in to 2018. My internal musical clock is usually stuck on trying to discover stuff that slipped through the cracks from the previous year for the first few months and it really isn’t until spring that I turn my mind on for the current year. While past 1st quarters might have been the dead zone between the holiday rush to get music to consumers and the spring, where the seeds for summer dominance are planted, we’re now in a year-round culture our need for quality content never goes on hiatus.

As we leave March, I feel great about what 2018 has offered us so far, so I’ve decided to count down my ten favorite singles from the 1st quarter. If you’ve been listening to Noteworthy, some of these songs here won’t surprise you. Side note: I included some December 2017 tracks here since songs and albums released that late in the year can only have so much impact if they’re limited to a time frame of just a few weeks.

#10. N*E*R*D feat. Kendrick Lamar – “Don’t Don’t Do It”

The melody here is one of those classic, gliding Neptunes chord progressions that have made me a stan for nearly two decades. Not sure if it’s because it feels so familiar, the topicality of it, the addition of Kendrick Lamar or a combo of all three that’s kept me coming back.

Continue reading “Noteworthy 1st Quarter Check-In (Jan. – Mar. 2018)”

Trash Talk: A Rose Without A Thorn


Golden Girls is a timeless classic. Period. There will be no debates. This show is just a good time for two friends, who may or may not host a radio show together, to have with each other on a chill day.  This is the start of a new blog series reviewing random Golden Girls episodes and relating them to the present day.

The most endearing main character amongst the ladies is hands down Rose Nylund, played by Betty White. Rose is often seen as very innocent and naive, which Betty White plays perfectly as she exudes this warmness. This is likely why everyone loves Betty White. When Rose has a struggle or is clearly in the wrong about something it makes the lesson she learns hit home a bit more because it is this well meaning person trying her best. This was apparent in episode 8 of season 1, “Break In”.

Continue reading “Trash Talk: A Rose Without A Thorn”

Meditations: Look Who’s Back

Related image

We’ve all been curious about how it would go down if he came back. How would people react? Would he manage to get to the same level of influence that he was back in his heyday, or would he barely even be able to function due to the shock of seeing the modern world? Who exactly am I referring too? Adolf Hitler, of course.

This question is answered in the 2015 German film “Look Who’s Back”, (known in Germany as “Er Ist Wieder Da”. The film was directed by David Wnendt, and is based off of the satirical novel of the same name by Timur Vermes.

The film opens with Adolf Hitler, played damn near perfectly (or perfectly to me at least, I’ve never met Hitler) by German actor Oliver Masucci, suddenly waking up in a park where his bunker used to be. Disoriented and in shock, Hitler wanders the streets of Berlin and asks random people for information on his situation, but everyone thinks he’s just some crazy street performer. Eventually, he manages to be taken in by the owner of a small newsstand. From there, Hitler spends his time reading about what the world has gone through in the last seventy years. After staying a few nights in the newsstand, Hitler eventually meets a small time director named Sawatzki, played by Fabian Busch. The two then go on a cross country journey to make something that can be pitched to the TV network Sawatzki used to work for.

Continue reading “Meditations: Look Who’s Back”

The Daily Blend’s February Top Ten 2018

february blog pic.jpg

Hey guys! So, uh, sorry in advance for the lack of variety in this month’s edition of good music. It’s been kind of a pain to put this together because I’ve been REALLY into like three bands all month, so I was definitely scrambling to get all of my eggs together for the month (did you see what I did there??). Regardless, I would never leave you guys hanging; I promise, I’ll always have some good music on here, and I won’t just put stuff on here to fill the blank spots. BUT ANYWAY, let’s get into the prerecorded message for every single one of my blogs!

Continue reading “The Daily Blend’s February Top Ten 2018”

Anatomy Of A Playlist (Noteworthy 02-05-2018)

Ivan from Noteworthy here again (Mondays 6PM-8PM). I’m back with another edition of Anatomy Of A Playlist, which is a great way to pull back the curtain and show you the thought process of putting together a 2-hour show.

Things stay pretty eclectic on a weekly basis, so in order to keep things smooth while varied, I take special care into making sure the playlist feels cohesive while also hitting on some topics and themes that caught my attention from the previous week. Just look at how I began things for this show.

NW 1 02-05

If you recall, the day of the Super Bowl LII was deemed #JanetJacksonAppreciationDay on social media as a response to Justin Timberlake being chosen as the halftime show performer, despite his involvement with the “wardrobe malfunction”  seen ’round the world. Count me in as one of those who felt that his inclusion at this year’s Super Bowl was problematic. Janet Jackson, one of the great pop icons of our time, was demonized to the point of practical invisibility as Timberlake managed to keep his career and image intact while absolving himself of any culpability in the incident until the damage had already been done.

I carried on with #JanetJacksonAppreciationDay at the beginning of my show since I strongly feel that her window of impact would have been extended a few more years without the controversy and her discography is among the most influential of the past three decades.

Continue reading “Anatomy Of A Playlist (Noteworthy 02-05-2018)”

Trash Talk: Stay Golden, Girl(s)

Thank you for being a friend

Throughout the month of February Trash Talk has been dedicating episodes to different kinds of love and relationships. And last week’s episode highlighted one of the most important types of relationships people can have, friendship. It sounds super cheesy, and that’s because it is. But friends are very important people in your life and they should get the same recognition as a partner does on Valentine’s Day.  Give a shout to the pals and the confidants in your life.

Miki and I had a hard timing finding the perfect song about friendship, considering most of the songs about friendship that we heard dealt with some sort of underlying romantic desire. But then it hit me! The greatest theme song ever written and best 40 second song about friendship was right under our noses the entire time. The Golden Girls theme song!

Continue reading “Trash Talk: Stay Golden, Girl(s)”