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The Greatest Playlist Of All Time (GPOAT)

(07/20/09 2:18am)

I am driving from North Carolina to Colorado next weekend, and to get ready for this roadtrip, I decided to amass a collection of all the songs released since 1955 that I am confident I could sing along to.  The end result is a 234-song, 15-hour playlist that does not feature the same artist twice*. The entire playlist is listed in chronological order after the jump.

Pop Psychology Honors Michael: "Remember the Time"

(07/03/09 9:10pm)

The final installment of the five-part series on Michael Jackson discusses the 1991  hit, “Remember the Time.”  Aside from an incredible nine-minute long video, featuring cameos form both Eddie Murphy and Magic Johnson, the song is an excellent example of a widespread cognitive phenomenon.   For the full Pop Psychology series Michael Jackson series, visit Part One on “Man In The Mirror,” Part Two on “Don’t Stop ‘Till  You Get Enough,” Part Three on “Black Or White” and Part Four on “They Don’t Care About Us.”

Pop Psychology: Lil Wayne and Birdman's "Always Strapped"

(06/27/09 6:27am)

Although it may be number 65 on the Billboard Hot 100, Lil Wayne’s latest collaboration with Birdman has garnered little interest from most radio stations. And probably for good reason. In all honesty, it’s a rare miss from rap’s King Midas. The song sounds stilted and cluttered, while also lacking the driving beat that usually characterizes Wayne’s work. "Always Strapped" is probably a throw-away track on Tha Carter III, but for the increasingly irrelevant Birdman, it’s the first single off his fourth studio album, Priceless.

Pop Psychology Special Edition: LDOC and Jamie Foxx’s “Blame It (On The Alcohol)”

(04/22/09 6:00pm)

Every year, I think the music on LDOC gets less and less important. After all, whether it’s sap-rock, granola-rock or just plain old nostalgia-rock, few people really seem to remember the performances. Instead, we remember obnoxiously waking up our hall at 8:00 to “Since You Been Gone,” inventing drinking games on the fly and, let’s be honest, regrettable hookups. Hell, LDOC might as well stand for “Loosening the Definition Of ‘Consensual’” (kidding!).

Who's Bad, Duke University, 4/16/09

(04/17/09 9:29pm)

Who's Bad, a Michael Jackson cover band from Chapel Hill, played last night to a moderately interested crowd on Duke's Bryan Center Plaza.  It was apparent that the concert was not best suited for an outdoor stage with an audience consisting mainly of Duke students on their way to Panda Express.  Showgoers were mainly of a rotating selection of people all stopping with a look on their faces that read, "Wow.  A Michael Jackson cover band.  Isn't that neat?"  Unfortunately, many did not stay for more than one or two songs.

Pop Psychology: Akon's "Lonely"

(04/13/09 5:00pm)

Alright, even if Akon is a reported polygamist, his 2005 single proves that the man can still get lonely. Apparently, even successful pop stars feel the sting of social and emotional isolation. The video shows a depressed Akon turning down an invitation from friends to ruminate on a relationship that went awry, as he wanders the streets to mourn his lost love. The Senegalese singer admits that “Ever since my girl left me/My whole life came crashing down.” A heavily sampled chorus reinforces this anguish that Akon is feeling:

Former Stella Star's New Project

(04/09/09 7:59pm)

Shuhei Yamamoto, a founding member of Duke band Stella by Starlight, recently finished Soft Right, the new EP for his Chicago-based project, Pet Lions. For the full story about Pet Lions, read the recess story here. As a special feature for The Playground, readers can listen to tracks from the EP by following the links below. For more information about the band, including all upcoming shows, look to the band's Myspace here.

Pop Psychology: “Welcome To Heartbreak”

(04/06/09 6:00pm)

Okay, okay. I am aware that there are other musicians aside from Kanye West, and I promise that this will be the last Kanye/Kid Cudi-related “Pop Psychology” entry for a while. That said, I think the most recent single from 808s and Heartbreaks tackles a very important issue. In a polarizing (and perhaps seizure-inducing) video, Kanye explains how all of his success has come at the expense of any meaningful familial connections. More specifically, he expresses his disappointment in not having kids of his own. In the opening lines, Kanye sings, or I guess Autotunes:

Pop Psychology: Kid Cudi's "Day n Night"

(03/30/09 6:00pm)

Not straying too far from last week’s entry, I decided to keep Pop Psychology within Kanye West’s inner circle. Kid Cudi’s first single is a bit of a surprise hit, considering that this time last year, Cudi was only known by the most diehard mixtape enthusiasts. Not only has the man played a hand in the three most successful songs off West’s 808’s and Heartbreaks, he has fully embraced the rap lifestyle by announcing he would retire from hip-hop after the upcoming release of his debut album (better known in the rap world as “pulling a Jay-Z”). Fortunately, he has since rescinded his alleged retirement.