20 Alt-Rock Songs For Your 2016 Election Playlist

20 Alt-Rock Songs For Your 2016 Election Playlist

These catchy tunes perfectly sum up the election so far.
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As election day creeps closer and closer, we all need a break from the constant drama of domestic politics. At least, I know I do. However, in keeping with the seasonal theme of politics, I've put together an election time playlist that goes perfectly with your whole "I wish I lived in Canada right now" vibe. So sit back, relax, and let the sweet sounds of alt-rock drown out the deepening sense of panic in your soul. Enjoy!

1. "It's the End of the World as We Know It" by R.E.M.

Ah, yes, it's the quintessential addition to any doomsday playlist. This catchy '80s tune will surely distract you from the eminent disaster we're speeding toward, at least for a little while.

2. "Ain't No Rest for the Wicked" by Cage the Elephant

Sure enough, these candidates just won't stop, no matter how much we may want them to. Neither age, nor medical diagnoses can keep these two down. This could be due to the rigorous campaign schedule, or it could be that any hint of rest will surely be interpreted as weakness. Either way, Hillary and Donald are in it for the long haul. Sadly.

3. "Bigmouth Strikes Again" by The Smiths

If you've been following along with the wonderful world of American politics, then you'll have no doubts as to whom this is referring to. Donald Trump is seemingly incapable of censoring his speech, which has lead to numerous public scandals. The most notable one being the recent "Hot Mic" bus incident, where Mr. Trump described how he would sexually assault women. Believe me, this old rock tune is much easier to listen to than a misogynistic, hate-filled rant.

4. "Good Ol' Fashion Nightmare" by Matt and Kim

Do you ever think that maybe this entire election season has been part of some extremely elaborate lucid dream? Unfortunately, this is one nightmare that you can't wake up from, no matter how hard you try.

5. "Hell" by Tegan and Sara

Yeah... I think this one speaks for itself.

6. "I Will Buy You a New Life" by Everclear

It's no secret that neither presidential candidate is wanting for money. The difference is that one has spent years building her career as a politician, while the other has centered his entire reputation around the fact that he lives in a lavish state of immense wealth. His legal dealings make it obvious that he handles many problems by simply throwing money at them and hoping for the best. However, allegations of bankruptcy may throw a wrench in his plan to buy the American people a "new life."

7. "I'm Not Over" by Carolina Liar

This one's an shout-out to the current POTUS, President Barack Obama. I'm so sorry I didn't appreciate you fully for the last eight years. I realize now just how much this country needs a leader like you. Please don't go, Sir. "I'm not over you just yet."

8. "Ignorance" by Paramore

Ignorance will always have a place among people who are unqualified for a job to which they are applying. Mr. Trump has spent his entire life in business, and has even garnered support by proudly declaring that he is not a politician. However, sometimes there are jobs that politicians are just best suited for, like President of the United States, for instance. In the interest of saving space, I won't even go into his ignorance of women, race, and sexuality. That could merit an entire book.

9. "Liar (It Takes One to Know One)" by Taking Back Sunday

What? These songs aren't all about Trump? Nope, sorry. While Mr. Trump does tend to lie whenever his mouth is open, I chose this one with Hills in mind. Perhaps the most memorable instance of lying throughout this campaign came when Hillary was caught using a private internet server. While she has owned up to her mistakes, it took a while to get there.

10. "Madness" by Muse

This one mainly refers to the election season as a whole, rather than any one person (no matter how apt that association may be). These past couple of years have sure been one weird and wild ride. However, Muse is here to ease your troubles with some smooth synth tunes.

11. "Megalomaniac" by Incubus

Attempting to obtain the highest office in the US is bound to be accompanied by at least some lust for power. However, Trump seems to be the true embodiment of this. His despotic rhetoric has even gained him support from Vladimir Putin himself. That's some high praise for anyone who dreams of tyranny.

12. "Regret" by New Order

How did we get here? Was this really the best America had to offer? We had so many chances to vote for different candidates, and now it appears that we have squandered them. With decreasing GOP support for Trump, it certainly seems like at least a few high-ranking Republicans regret their decision.

13. "Rich Kid Blues" by The Raconteurs

Don't you just hate it when all you have to get your business started is a small loan of $1 million? So sad. How is anyone able to survive on such scraps as this? Whether or not you sympathize with the plight of a humble millionaire just trying to make a new start in politics, this folksy alt song is perfect for drowning your sorrows.

14. "Rules Don't Stop" by We Are Scientists

Neither candidate in this election is averse to breaking a few laws. From Hillary's email fiasco to Trump's multiple lawsuits, these two obviously have some experience with circumventing the rules, whether through outright lying or by shelling out a few thousand dollars.

15. "The Sound of Settling" by Death Cab for Cutie

While this one may not be written specifically for the election, like the new Death Cab jam, "Million Dollar Loan," it sums up a sentiment that really hits home, especially for millennials like myself. If you're like me, you were probably feeling the Bern pretty strongly. However, after realizing that Hillary is our only hope for avoiding a Trump presidency, we've had no choice but to head for the Hills. Hey, she's better than nothing.

16. "Typical" by Mutemath

As much as I hate to say it, this really is what politics has come to. A lifelong politician legitimately struggling to outpace a pop culture icon. This is the new normal. Besides, although people may think that liking neither candidate is some new phenomenon, this happens every four years. Every time the election rolls around, people become disenchanted by the caliber of politicians we've produced. It's not a new sensation, sadly. It's "typical."

17. "Would You Fight for My Love?" by Jack White

Some people will say or do anything they can to get approval, especially politicians looking for your vote. Although it's certainly true that personal values can be very polarizing when candidates are concerned, that doesn't mean that either is going down without a fight. The past few months have truly shown that these two are willing to do what ever it takes to get the vote.

18. "Promises, Promises" by Incubus

Speaking of doing whatever it takes to get the vote, how about empty promises? Both candidates seem to be full of them. Is Mexico really going to pay for a racist symbol of oppression (aka, the wall)? Is anyone really going to solve the problems with our healthcare system? We can probably guess the answers to both of these questions right now, but that won't stop the candidates from saying otherwise.

19. "You've Got to Hide Your Love Away" by The Beatles

Come on, you didn't really think I'd get through 20 alt-rock songs without a shout-out to the most famous rock band of all time, did you? Here, The Beatles sum up what quite a few voters might be feeling right about now. Namely, the fact that they are afraid to say whom they're voting for. Really, there's no right answer to the question "Who are you voting for?" anyway. You're guaranteed to upset someone either way. The Beatles were definitely on to something here.

20. "You Just Can't Win" by Them

This '60s rock tune perfectly describes how many Americans feel this election season. It seems like many people don't want to vote for Trump or Hillary; yet, they may also feel like voting for a third party candidate is akin to not voting at all. No matter what the outcome, there's only going to be one real winner this year, and it's not the American people.

Cover Image Credit: Patrick Semanski

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Why High School Musicals Should Be As Respected As Sports Programs Are

The arts are important, too.
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When I was in middle school and high school, I felt like I lived for the musicals that my school orchestrated.

For those of you who don't know, a musical is an onstage performance wherein actors take on roles that involve singing, and often dancing, to progress the plot of the story. While it may sound a little bit nerdy to get up in front of an audience to perform in this manner, this is something you cannot knock until you try it.

For some reason, though, many public schools have de-funded arts programs that would allow these musicals to occur, while increasing the funding for sports teams. There are a few things that are being forgotten when sports are valued more than musical programs in high schools.

Much like athletic hobbies, an actor must try-out, or audition, to participate in a musical. Those best suited for each role will be cast, and those who would not fit well are not given a part. While this may sound similar to trying out for say, basketball, it is an apples to oranges comparison.

At a basketball try-out, those who have the most experience doing a lay-up or shooting a foul shot will be more likely to succeed, no questions asked. However, for an audition, it is common to have to learn a piece of choreography upon walking in, and a potential cast member will be required to sing a selected piece with only a few days of preparation.

There are many more variables involved with an audition that makes it that much more nerve-racking.

The cast of a school musical will often rehearse for several months to perfect their roles, with only several nights of performance at the end. Many sports practice for three or four days between each of their respective competitions. While this may seem to make sports more grueling, this is not always the case.

Musicals have very little pay-off for a large amount of effort, while athletic activities have more frequent displays of their efforts.

Athletes are not encouraged to but are allowed to make mistakes. This is simply not allowed for someone in a musical, because certain lines or entrances may be integral to the plot.

Sometimes, because of all the quick changes and the sweat from big dance numbers, the stage makeup just starts to smear. Despite this, an actor must smile through it all. This is the part of musicals that no sport has: introspection.

An actor must think about how he or she would respond in a given situation, be it saddening, maddening, frightening, or delightful. There is no sport that requires the knowledge of human emotion, and there is especially no sport that requires an athlete to mimic such emotion. This type of emotional exercise helps with communications and relationships.

Sports are great, don't get me wrong. I loved playing volleyball, basketball, track, and swimming, but there were no experiences quite like those from a musical. Sports challenge the body with slight amounts of tactic, while musicals require much physical and mental endurance.

The next time you hear someone say that it's “just a musical," just remember that musicals deserve as much respect as sports, since they are just as, if not more demanding.

Cover Image Credit: Cincinnati Arts

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10 Shows To Watch If You're Sick Of 'The Office'

You can only watch it so many times...

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"The Office" is a great show, and is super easy to binge watch over and over again! But if you're like me and you're looking for something new to binge, why not give some of these a try? These comedies (or unintentional comedies) are a great way to branch out and watch something new.

1. "New Girl"

A show about a group of friends living in an apartment in a big city? Sound familiar? But seriously, this show is original and fresh, and Nick Miller is an icon.

2. "Crazy Ex-Girlfriend"

Ya'll have been sleeping on this show. It's a musical comedy about a girl that follows her ex boyfriend across the country. I thought it sounded horrible so I put it off for WAY too long, but then I realized how incredible the cast, music, writing, and just EVERYTHING. It really brings important issues to light, and I can't say too much without spoiling it. Rachel Bloom (the creator of the show) is a woman ahead of her time.

3. "Jane the Virgin"

I know... another CW show. But both are so incredible! Jane The Virgin is a tongue-in-cheek comedy and parody of telenovelas. It has so many twists and turns, but somehow you find yourself laughing with the family.

4. "Brooklyn Nine-Nine"

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Brooklyn Nine-Nine has been in popular news lately since its cancellation by Fox and sequential pickup by NBC. It's an amazing show about cops in, you guessed it, Brooklyn. Created by the amazing Michael Schur, it's a safe bet that if you loved "The Office" you'll also love his series "Brooklyn Nine-Nine".

5. "The Good Place"

Another series created by the talented Micael Schur, it's safe to say you've probably already heard about this fantasy-comedy series. With a wonderful cast and writing that will keep you on your toes, the show is another safe bet.

6. "Fresh Off The Boat"

Seriously, I don't know why more people don't watch this show. "Fresh Off The Boat" focuses on an Asian family living in Orlando in the mid 90s. Randall Parks plays a character who is the polar opposite of his character in "The Interview" (Yeah, remember that horrifying movie?) and Constance Wu is wonderful as always.

7. "Full House"

Why not go back to the basics? If you're looking for a nostalgic comedy, go back all the way to the early days of Full House. If you're a '98-'00 baby like me, you probably grew up watching the Tanner family on Nick at Night. The entire series is available on Hulu, so if all else fails just watch Uncle Jesse and Rebecca fall in love again or Michelle fall off a horse and somehow lose her memory.

8. "Secret Life of the American Teenager"

Okay, this show is not a comedy, but I have never laughed so hard in my life. It's off Netflix but it's still on Hulu, so you can watch this masterpiece there. Watch the terrible acting and nonsense plot twists drive this show into the ground. Somehow everyone in this school dates each other? And also has a baby? You just have to watch. It might be my favorite show of all time.

9. "Scrubs"

Another old show that is worth watching. If you ignore the last season, Scrubs is a worthwhile medical comedy about doctors in both their personal and medical life. JD and Turk's relationship is one to be jealous of, and one hilarious to watch. Emotional at times, this medical drama is superior to any medical drama that's out now.

10. "Superstore"

I was resistant to watch this one at first, because it looked cheesy. But once I started watching I loved it! The show is a workplace comedy, one you're sure to love if you can relate to working in retail. If you liked the Office, you'll like Superstore!

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