Cadenza’s picks: Spring WILD and comedy surveys

On Sunday, Social Programming Board released its Spring Talent Survey for WILD and the semesterly comedy show. Here are Cadenza’s favorites from the survey:

X Ambassadors

Everyone heard “Renegades” at some point this summer, but you might not have known the new band behind this slam hit. X Ambassadors have only released one album, but it’s full of the same flair that made them famous.

With a mixture of smooth alternative and more classic dance rock, this up-and-coming band would be a great pick for WILD. Being such a young group, they are known for bringing intense enthusiasm to the stage and a genuine love of their audience. Go listen to “VHS” and think about hearing it (mixed in with some interesting covers) vibrate over the quad in the spring. It’s about time we bring in a real band—guitar, bass, drums and all—to rock Brookings Quadrangle with some style and passion. —Kendall Carroll

Carly Rae Jepsen

If you even remembered who she is, you may have rolled your eyes when you saw Carly Rae Jepsen’s name on the WILD ballot. “The ‘Call Me Maybe’ girl? Really?” the haters scoff in disapproval. “I hate fun, incredibly danceable, well-produced pop music!”

But allow me to let you in on a secret: Jepsen’s third album, “E•MO•TION,” released this year, is seriously underrated. It didn’t perform fantastically commercially, most likely due to the somewhat juvenile lead single “I Really Like You.” Critics, however, loved it—Vulture was even brave enough to declare “E•MO•TION” better than Taylor Swift’s “1989.”

Any given track on Jepsen’s newest record (save “All That,” an ’80s-tinged ballad) is guaranteed to make you want to dance. The lyrics aren’t super complex, but they’re perfect to scream along to with your friends—even if you’re in the aforementioned category of haters. —Jessie Colston

Rae Sremmurd

In the music industry, when a new sound/style/genre becomes popular, labels rush to flood the market with as many imitators as possible before people don’t like it anymore. This happened in the early ’90s, when Nirvana and Pearl Jam’s massive success sent A&R men hunting for dudes with ripped flannel who didn’t enunciate clearly. This also happened about five years ago, when Mumford & Sons came out of nowhere and we got a bunch of bands that wore bowler caps and played washboards.

This is about to happen again, except with teenagers from the South who write hooks that sound like Instagram captions and rap and sing in a way that you can’t tell if they’re rapping or singing. Rae Sremmurd is patient zero for this experiment, and chances are we’re about to be inundated with about a million young rappers trying to get their song titles trending on Twitter. There are already a couple of them—iHeartMemphis, Silento—but there are about to be a lot more, and we’re all going to hate this trend in about 10 months.

For now, let’s enjoy these squeaky-voiced tykes before it’s too late. —Mark Matousek

All-American Rejects

Did somebody say throwback?! Oh yes they did. An All-American Rejects performance at WILD is the equivalent of revisiting your glory days from past summers. “Dirty Little Secret” screams with teenage angst, plus it’s quite fitting for WILD, as everyone will be trying to keep his or her one-night other on the DL in the following days. Also, I’ve been saying this forever now, but can we please have a somewhat alternative rock artist at WILD?! It’s quite embarrassing how I have never seen a guitar on the Brookings Quad. Anyway, the All-American Rejects are the clear throwback choice for WILD, because who wouldn’t love to see the entire student body belting the lyrics to “It Ends Tonight”? —Tyler Friedman


A “Parks and Recreation” alum, Retta has yet to receive the attention she deserves. Riding on the heels of former co-stars Nick Offerman and Aziz Ansari’s successful stand-up specials, Netflix ventures and best-selling books, Retta will surely be the next squad member to achieve cult status. Her deadpan humor and sassy retorts, as well as impressions, are fresh and funny.

 Recently, SPB has focused on comedians that already have a degree of fame and (often) a Netflix special, but shedding light on a comedian with a niche audience who is on the rise would be a welcome break. Most importantly, Retta would be the first female comedian to be chosen for the show in several years, and many on campus agree that this needs to change. —Kimberly Henrickson

Kumail Nanjiani

You might recognize Kumail Nanjiani from the amazing HBO series “Silicon Valley,” in which he plays Dinesh, an uber-sarcastic and slyly hilarious Pakistani programmer. Or, you might know him from his hosting duties on the Comedy Central stand-up series “The Meltdown,” or from his own stand-up specials, including 2013’s “Beta Male.” No matter where you’ve seen Nanjiani, you can probably agree that he is incredibly funny. His stories about his upbringing in Pakistan and immigration to the U.S. are an endless source of amusement, and his nerdy persona will surely go over well with a Wash. U. crowd. —Katharine Jaruzelski

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