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As homecoming looms large over the Indiana University of Pennsylvania campus, many party throwers will overlook one important detail: choosing good music.
Of course, the easiest thing to do is hop on Pandora Internet Radio, type in Jay-Z, Rihanna, Drake or another major radio artist (maybe save “Wagon Wheel” for a little later in the night).
However, if you’ve grown tired of the same old party music, the same old bass drops and the same old beats, don’t fret.
There are alternatives.
For those unfamiliar with the current resurgence of ‘80s pop hits, one of the top Pandora playlists is titled “80’s Pop.”
Songs like Outfield’s love-gone-missing anthem “Your Love” and Dexy’s Midnight Runners’ triumphant song of seduction “Come On Eileen” are amicable companions to any party mix.
These songs are best played when people know the words and can belt the neck-bendingly high vocals without shame (a la “Don’t Stop Believin’”).
Indie synth-pop also serves up smiles for those seeking alternatives to the tunes played at every party across the town of Indiana.
An excellent group with which to start is Passion Pit. With melodies so catchy that you’ll have trouble not mindlessly humming them for days after and arrangements so sweet that they could be used to flavor children’s cereal, this band can deliver a well-deserved break from tired dance music.
The song that befits the partying spirit more than any other from this act is their floor-pounding, saw wave riffing “Sleepyhead.”
Similar acts from this genre include Empire of the Sun, and up-and-coming Scottish act Churches (stylized as CHVRCHES).
For all you laid-back partiers out there, rhythm and blues tunes can be a welcome addition to the mix.
The R&B rabbit hole goes down much further than R. Kelly’s “Ignition (Remix)” and Justin Timberlake’s “Suit & Tie,” however.
Artists like Ne-Yo, the largely forgotten Usher and the late, great Michael Jackson can add a splash of smoothness to any party playlist. Passion Pit also dabbles in R&B with their slow jam “Constant Conversations.”
If your aim is an unhittable musical curveball that is sure to weird out some guests, offbeat groups that offer up at times accessible, at times strange and at other times downright infectious music are also plentiful and readily available with a few clicks of the mouse.
Animal Collective, whose songs “My Girls,” “Summertime Clothes” and “Fireworks” could very well be dessert after your beefy musical entree of Jay-Z and Ke$ha, is just one of many groups like this.
Holy Ghost!, LCD Soundsystem and Sleigh Bells can offer a plausible outlier in the event that your playlist needs one.
There is absolutely nothing wrong with tossing on the same familiar party standards during IUP’s Homecoming festivities. Popular, catchy songs are always a safe bet when choosing party/ dance music.
If you want to spice up your homecoming playlist with a few new tunes, these bands and songs are some suggestions to help get you started.
Happy Homecoming, IUP.