Whoever Gets the Ball Last Will Win Super Bowl LI

Kaleel Weatherly

WGMU, Sports Blogger

Monday January 30, 2017

super bowl 51Super Bowl LI is now set. The Atlanta Falcons will face the New England Patriots to battle for the NFL’s richest prize, a Super Bowl victory. While both teams have high-octane offenses, this game will come down to which team gets the ball last.

Atlanta’s offense, led by quarterback Matt Ryan, has been lethal throughout the entire regular season and postseason. For example, the Falcons had the third-ranked pass offense and the fifth-ranked rushing offense in the regular season. This team can light up the scoreboard with ease.

The 31-year-old quarterback is the favorite to win the NFL’s Most Valuable Player of the Year Award. He threw for 4,944 yards to go along with 38 touchdowns and seven interceptions in the regular season.

However, Ryan has an outstanding supporting cast. Julio Jones is considered one of the best receivers in the NFL. He possesses a combination of superb route-running skills, size, and speed. In 2016, he hauled in 83 passes for 1,409 yards and six touchdowns.

For the most part, Ryan always looked in Jones’ direction when the team needed a big play. It’s clear that Jones is Ryan’s go-to receiver. Atlanta’s rushing attack, led by running backs Devonta Freeman and Tevin Coleman, is dangerous as well.

Freeman and Coleman combined for 1,581 rushing yards and 19 rushing touchdowns in 2016. They both have a rare blend of power, speed, and agility.

Indeed, New England’s defense has done a great job of limiting big plays and creating turnovers. But there are too many weapons on the Falcons’ offense to take account for. The Patriots are only surrendering 16.5 points per game in the postseason. But they haven’t played a team who has an offense like Atlanta.

New England defeated the Houston Texans and the Pittsburgh Steelers to reach Super Bowl LI. Houston’s defense is what got that team to the postseason. Pittsburgh has a great offense, but it does not have as many game-changers like the Falcons.

The Patriots will have a tough time containing Atlanta’s offense. But the Falcons’ defense will also struggle against New England’s offense. Patriots quarterback Tom Brady gets better as the years go on.

After serving a four-game suspension due to his involvement in DeflateGate, the four-time Super Bowl-winning quarterback returned to the field and dominated. New England went 11-1 with Brady under center this season.

This year, Brady has thrived with receivers like Chris Hogan and Malcolm Mitchell. When tight end Rob Gronkowski went down with a season-ending ruptured disk injury, many thought New England’s offense would suffer.

Well, it didn’t. New England had a top-five offense in 2016, and Brady threw for 3,554 yards, 28, touchdowns, and two interceptions. Along with Brady’s strong play, running back LeGarrette Blount ran for 1,161 yards and a league-high 18 touchdowns.

Atlanta had the 25th-ranked defense in 2016, but this unit has been playing well in the postseason. However, the Falcons’ secondary is inexperienced, and Brady will look to take advantage of that.

Both teams are great on offense, and Super Bowl LI will be a shootout and a close game. Neither defense will be able to stop the opposing offense from scoring. This means that whichever team gets the ball last in the fourth quarter will win the game.

 

The Capitals – The NHL’s Most Complete Team

Nick Colletti

WGMU, Sports Blogger

Tuesday January 24, 2017

capsThe Washington Capitals have been the league’s hottest team for nearly a month. A potent offense, strong special teams, and the impenetrable Braden Holtby between the two posts have made the Caps on top of many league analysts’ power rankings. Last night against the Carolina Hurricanes, the Capitals would score six goals and only allow one on a power play.   The goal scoring has been distributed by every line and even with defenseman John Carlson out the defense has remained to stand tall.

Before the season started, the Capitals were stronger on paper and even deeper than the previous season and it’s starting to show. With the addition of former Montreal Canadien Lars Eller, the third line center position was filled by a player that would easily be a first/second liner on most squads around the league. Eller has also shown his value for the Capitals for his penalty-killing ability and sacrifice.

Philip Grubauer, the Caps backup goaltender to Braden Holtby, has fulfilled his role magnificently. Grubauer has gone 9-0-2 this season and has given his team confidence when Holtby needs the night off. With a dynamic duo in the net it is much harder for a team to steal two points away from Washington.

Both special teams have been impressively efficient as well. The penalty killing has been strong, consistent, and clutch in crucial segments of a game. The power play has found its mojo with clean tape-to-tape passes and rocketing shots from everywhere on the ice. As of now, it is very hard to see the power play start to recede when the chemistry between all the players is this synchronized.

Last year’s Vezina winner Braden Holtby has been close to perfect ever since he was chased out of the net weeks earlier. Rebound control, flexible leg pad saves and watching the puck through screens have been executed tremendously by Holtby, getting in his opponent’s heads and frustrating them endlessly. Holtby will be a Vezina candidate again and most likely the favorite to win it if he keeps this performance going.

Last year’s Presidents Trophy winning team ended in yet another disappointing postseason for this snake-bitten D.C franchise. Will this year be different or will it be another premature exit with the Stanley Cup just out of reach? I am a strong believer in this year’s team to go all the way judging by their play over the last month. If they can bring this consistency and momentum into the spring it’s hard to see any team beating them, even those birds from Pennsylvania.

 

Mike On The Mic’s Top 5 Albums & Songs of 2016

Michael Bamarni | Top Five Albums

  1. Radiohead – A Moon Shaped Pool

e3c43867Radiohead’s first release in five years will stand the test of time as being one of their best releases ever. For a band that has been around for over twenty years and with multiple classic albums already in their discography that is quite a great feat.

It also might be their most personal album to date. Thom Yorke’s lyrics throughout are full of sadness and openness not seen by many current artists nowadays. With all that being said the album isn’t just a tear fest, the music’s simplicity keeps the listener fully engaged and there are some crazy string sections, guitar solos, and choir chants to keep you rocking too.

Stand Out Tracks: Burn The Witch, Daydreaming, Identikit, True Love Waits

  1. Frank Ocean – Blonde

frank-oceanOne of the biggest music jokes on social media over the past few years has revolved around the release of Frank Ocean’s follow up album to the wildly successful Channel Orange. Release dates were switched so many times, whether by the man himself or just the media reporting inaccurate information. Finally though, four years after his last album, Blonde was released and it did not disappoint.

Much like Radiohead’s album, Blonde does more by doing less. There are very few songs with actual drumbeats or loud production; instead you get more guitars and pianos. It’s a great release because while it is an R&B album at heart, Ocean is not afraid to explore other genres and sounds. If Ocean’s going to continue to release albums of this high quality, I don’t mind waiting another four years for a follow up.

Stand Out Tracks: Ivy, Self Control, Nights, White Ferrari

  1. The Growlers– City Club

maxresdefaultThis is the album that might get the most polarizing response out of any on the list, but if you give this new Growlers album a proper listen, and maybe even a few more listens after that, you will see why this album is as high on this list as it is.

An album that sounds modern and also extremely reminiscent of 60’s/70’s rock, it gives the listener an incredible mix of funky bass lines, catchy choruses, and somber ballads. Brooks Nielsen’s voice is incredibly unique, and his lyrics are no joke. It may not be the stuff you hear on the radio, or an album you hear much about in general since the truth of the matter is that rock music that is this upfront with its influences isn’t as commercial as it was maybe 20 years ago, but that doesn’t stop the fact that it is still heavy on killer tracks, and few on the filler.

Stand Out Tracks: City Club, I’ll Be Around, When You Were Made, Too Many Times

  1. The 1975 – I like it when you sleep, for you are so beautiful yet so unaware of it

the-1975-i-like-it-when-you-sleep-for-you-are-so-beautiful-yet-so-unaware-of-it-2016-officialTake a rock band creating an album over an hour long, plus an album title longer than anything seen in modern music, an album full of instrumental tracks, and that’s being released in the year 2016, what could go wrong? A lot is the answer, especially since it was coming from the same band whose debut album was shut down by many critics for being too poppy and radio friendly just three years prior.

The 1975 went bold, and as what might be the biggest musical surprise of the year, it paid off. The album is a journey that is almost better to listen to in it’s entirety instead of just picking and choosing songs. The lyrics are very self aware but also very poetic. The genre changes are constant and invigorating. Overall this album is fantastic, and even if you’re not the biggest fan of “rock” music, that doesn’t mean this album won’t work for you. It has it all. You’re bound to like some of it. You might even like it when you sleep.

Stand Out Tracks: Love Me, Change of Heart, Somebody Else, The Sound

  1. Kanye West – The Life of Pablo

ca9xf0eweaapibgThis man doesn’t stop. Call him anything you want, but you definitely can’t say he’s lazy. Kanye West had a year for the record books. He released and rereleased the same album at least three times, each time with mixing changes, added tracks, added vocals, etc.

First the album was solely available on Tidal, then eventually went on all the big streaming services (yet there is still no physical copy available.) Then he created a tour stage unlike anything ever seen before. Not only that, but he returned to the Yeezus-era Kanye by going on huge concert rants which while fun at first, ended up being a sign of mental exhaustion along with who knows what else, but here’s the thing, with all that being said…the album is fantastic.

With 20 tracks to its name, it is by no means a quick listen.  That doesn’t stop it from being amazing. It has influences from all of his other albums, while still pushing his sound forward. To some it may not be his best album-there are some tracks here that are really unnecessary, but that’s kind of what makes it work. The album fits the person, a genius, but one with flaws and mistakes that even he can sometimes admit to having. This is Kanye’s White Album. It has a little bit of everything and for the most part, it’s all incredible.

Standout Tracks: Ultralight Beam, 30 Hours, No More Parties in LA, Fade

 

Michael Bamarni | Songs of the Year

  1. Burn The Witch

You ever hear a song for the first time, and think to yourself that you’ve never heard anything like it before? That was how Burn The Witch was for me. By using a string instruments instead of guitars and also building a slow but steady intensity that ends up reaching it’s climax just as the song ends, you never really get a chance to breathe. It’s okay though, because suffocating never sounded so good.

  1. Miracle Aligner

For those who don’t know, Alex Turner is one of the greatest musical minds of the past 10 years. His albums with the Arctic Monkeys show that he not only knows how to make a catchy song, but that he is an incredibly intricate and detailed lyricist who can make you laugh or cry at a moment’s notice. Miracle Aligner, the stand out track from the overall somewhat disappointing second Last Shadow Puppets album is a beautiful track that has an extremely fun chorus and lyrics throughout that make you think how a man who just hit 30 years old can be so lyrically creative.

  1. Somebody Else

Many people thought The 1975 were a joke after their first album. They were even voted worst band by NME back in 2013 so to see them ranked as the number one album of the year by the same magazine is quite incredible. The song on the album that stands out the most is the R&B inspired Somebody Else. It’s on the longer side and is definitely not super loud or energetic, but what it does have going for it are beautiful lyrics and an overall vibe that is hard to describe, but once you hear it you know. It’s almost as if Matt Healy is aware that he has created his own unique sound on this album, and this song in particular does the best job of showing off the sound.

  1. Oblivius

What side you standing on? I haven’t heard Julian Casablancas sing this impassioned on a Strokes song since 2006. Clearly a comment on the current political climate of  mid-2016. He asks the listener to make a decision on what they want out of their country.  Not only do the lyrics stand out, but the breakdown might be the best musical moment of 2016. It builds and builds until you reach that loud chorus once more. Then it ends with a Casablancas yodel. What else could you ask for?

  1. I Feel it Coming

Daft Punk have a gift. The gift is that they make really good songs, and I mean REALLY, REALLY good songs. Sadly, they don’t release much music nowadays. So when Starboy dropped, the lead single from The Weeknd’s new album, and it had (feat. Daft Punk) at the end of the song, it was good news.

I Feel It Coming is a better Get Lucky, and it has Daft Punk written all over it. In an interview with The Weeknd he admitted that the song was finished when he entered the studio and that it was really just a matter of writing lyrics and a melody. While The Weeknd might not be the best lyricist in the world, his voice is so soothing and reminiscent of Michael Jackson, that you can’t help but smile while listening to the track. It’s the song of the summer, guys.

 

The Plugs w/ Pro Boxer SETH ‘Killa Bee’ BILLUPS

img_0341This was Seth’s 3rd appearance on the show & it didn’t disappoint! We caught up with Seth to preview his upcoming fight on Saturday, December 10, 2016 at the ABC Sports Complex in Springfield, Virginia. We then touched on some upcoming pro boxing bouts, such as the controversy behind the WBC/WBO Super Lighweight Title fight between rising star Terrance Crawford (29W-0L, 20 KO’s) & John Molina (29W-6L, 23 KO’s), which is on Saturday, December 10 @ Century Link Arena in Omaha, Nebraska. We also touched on Seth’s fellow Philadelphia native & current WBC World Welterweight title holder, Danny Garcia (33W-0L, 19 KO’s), who takes on Keith Thurman (27W-0L, 22 KO’s) on March 4, 2017 for Garcia’s WBC title and Floyd Mayweather’s vacated WBA Super World Welterweight Title . Seth then gave his thoughts about the controversy behind Andre Ward’s victory by unanimous decision over Sergey Kovalev for the Light Heavyweight Title on Nov. 19.   We lastly touched on UFC 206, the main card getting cancelled, & Becker’s issues with how the UFC resolves those problems.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Lit&Local: Sweater Beats, Getting Cozy & Ready “For The Cold”

14046145_1159632220777778_4720892689247195437_nMaryland native Antonio Cuna, better known by his DJ name Sweater Beats, debuts his For The Cold tour this holiday season, stopping by U Street Music Hall in D.C., November 23rd. His singles and mixes are a bundle of sharp production, textured sound bites, and modal elements of EDM rooted with R&B and pop undertones. He has opened for EDM superstars Flume and Chet Faker (now Nick Murphy), along with rap gods like Chance the Rapper. His experience working with big name artists, along with years of work in production and remixed tunes, will make for a noteworthy performance next week. It is a show you do not want to miss.

 

Below is a conversation Local Music Director Jackie Reed had with Antonio Cuna, talking about his upcoming show at U Street:

 

Sweater Beats’ Did You Wrong (feat. MAX)

Sweater Beats is performing at U Street Music Hall, Wednesday, November 23rd. Tickets are $20, Doors open at 10:30pm.

DJ Bearson and Different Sheep will be opening the show.

Link to show tickets: http://www.ustreetmusichall.com/event/1349547-sweater-beats-washington/

Facebook/SoundCloud: https://www.facebook.com/sweaterbeats/ / https://soundcloud.com/sweaters

Twitter/Instagram: @sweaterbeats / @sweater_beats

Website: http://www.sweaterbeats.com/

Lit&Local: The Strokes’ Valensi, Sheds “New Skin” With CRX Tour

14909901_1667412903570447_7619501183182998757_nNick Valensi, NY-native and Frontman of CRX joins WGMU staffers Jackie Reed and Mikey Barmani in an exclusive phone interview to talk about his fall tour. Known as the guitarist for headlining band The Strokes, having him a part of WGMU is something that Reed and Barmani assumed to not just let go, or “Give [It] Up”, if you will. The album, New Skin (2016), is a cutting-edge presentation, with an abundance of deep basslines and pop undertones, and a diverse expression of creativity reminiscent of discographies’ the band members have built up over the years. Literally an “On Edge” collection of pop hits and colorful mixes, the new album is an experience Valensi will surely enjoy, something that will keep him musically active during his time off with The Strokes.

Below is an interview with Nick Valensi, facilitated by Local Music Director Jackie Reed and Assistant to the Program Director Mikey Barmani:

 

CRX’s “Ways To Fake It”

CRX is performing at U Street Music Hall, Wednesday, November 16th. Tickets are $15, Doors open at 7pm.

The Streets of Laredo and The Gloomies will be opening the show.

Link to show: http://www.ustreetmusichall.com/event/1338683-crx-washington/

Social Media Sites:

Facebook/YouTube: https://www.facebook.com/CRXmusic/?fref=ts / https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCHSvaQrqHSVrHuHy6mGmLPQ

Twitter/Instagram: @crxmusic / @crxmusic

Snapchat: @crxmusic

Website: http://www.crxmusic.com/

WALLS Kings Of Leon Album Review by Mikey B.

walls-30Kings of Leon have been around now for quite a while. Their debut album was released all the way back in 2003 when rock music was popular and able to reach pop radio stations. Many radio stations and magazines said they were like the Southern Strokes due to their melodies that could fit perfectly on The Strokes first two albums. They also added twangy guitars and country vocals, making them unique.

The band’s popularity for the first five years came mostly from overseas. They released two more moderately successful albums and maintained enough fame to keep making more records. However, their low-level status wouldn’t last. The band blew up in 2008 when they released two monster songs that got huge radio play around the world. “Sex on Fire” and “Use Somebody” made Kings of Leon a household name and one of the biggest bands of the year.

Unfortunately for the band, having an album with such successful singles led to a hype that few bands can maintain. Their next album Come Around Sundown was full of half-hearted attempts at creating another rock anthem in the vain of U2. The result was a throwaway album with only a few tracks worthy of checking back on. After that came the 2013 album Mechanical Bull, which was a solid album that combined all of their other albums’ styles into one record. Some of the songs missed the mark, but it showed signs of band improvement.

This October the band released their 7th album, WALLS, which is an acronym for We Are All Like Love Songs, which fits the album very well considering how many slow, love songs there are on the LP. Overall the album is fire… “Sex on Fire”.

The album starts off with the infectious “Waste A Moment”, hitting all the marks that “Sex On Fire” did, while maintaining a chugging guitar riff that shows that rock music is still at their core. Other highlights include “Muchacho”, a slower song which is dedicated to one of the band’s dear friends who recently passed away. It has a beat in the style of Drake’s “Hotline Bling” and a guitar solo that wouldn’t sound out of place on a George Harrison album; it’s a combination that you wouldn’t expect to work, but does so well. Another highlight is “WALLS”, the album closer, which pulses at a steady speed that builds in such a slow and gradual way that once you reach the end, you can’t help but be blown away. No song on this album is horrible, but if one track has to be called out I would probably say “Wild.” It isn’t memorable or unique, and does nothing for the album.

Overall, this album might actually be Kings of Leon’s best yet. They no longer sound like they are trying to find themselves, or that they are trying to prove themselves. It might not be an album for everyone, especially those that miss the loud and fast songs of their first two albums. It is full of catchy, somber tracks that make you want to look at WALLS over and over again.

Rating: 4/5

Best of The Nice Guys: Trick or Treating

nice-guysCory went trick or treating one time in high school. Matt expressed his strong disdain for Cory’s actions. An argument ensues…

Is it OK to go trick or treating in high school? Let us know what you think @WGMU on Twitter.

Be sure to tune in to the Nice Guys every Wednesday evening from 5:30-6:30 for more like this!

 

 

 

 

 

Lit&Local: Transviolet on Tour, Changing the Meaning of Pop

picL.A. based band Transviolet is one indie ensemble that is taking the pop revolution by storm. No less than amateur, their upbeat Cali-style classics, mixed with their dark demeanor, is an updated collection up against seemingly alliterated sounds of pop, Top 40 “hits”. Now on tour alongside LANY, coasting through the East Coast, The Kinda Tour connects viewers and ticket-buyers to a colossal experience, abundant of their underground sound that challenges the genre of modern pop. There is no perfect way to define the extraordinary, undeniable talent of Transviolet. Their limited selection of songs leave listeners in awe, curious, and eager for a new album or future collab. Songs like “Girls Your Age” is a sexy song reminiscent of relationships, innocence, and human emotion that anyone can reflect on. Noted by artists like Katy Perry and Harry Styles, “live life while you’re young, honey/don’t go chasin’ love, chasin’ love” is one of the many messages representative of Transviolet’s sultry and haunting vibes. Aside from the powerful sound, they revolutionize the pop genre with lively tunes like “New Bohemia” and “LA Love”, bringing joy and easy-going energy, along with realistic and vulnerable meaning, in a contrasting fashion.

See Transviolet opening for LANY, live at 9:30 Club, Monday, October 24. Doors open at 7pm. Tickets are $20.

Link to show: http://www.930.com/event/1227929-lany-washington/

Transviolet’s “Bloodstream”

 

FLOTUS at GMU: WGMU Coverage

AFP_G8272Listen to WGMU’s coverage of Michelle Obama’s speech at the rally for Hillary Clinton, at George Mason University. Including interviews from the crowd and highlights from the speech.

“These events offer great value to our community,” said Paul Liberty, vice president of government and community relations for Mason. “It’s an honor to have the first lady of the United States on our campus. Additionally, hosting campaign events on campus allows our students, faculty and staff to see the political process up close and unfiltered, while the university receives extraordinary exposure.”