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Tunesday: UFO-gazing

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JANUARY 26, 2016

When it comes to spending a pleasant night scanning the sky for UFOs, there are no rules to hold you back. There are, however, some important criteria for a good playlist to keep you company on your vigil. UFO-gazing takes lots of patience and enthusiasm — it’s like fishing, but you’re even less likely to catch something. Accordingly, each song really must be either eerie or upbeat, and feasibly related to aliens. After all, it’s important to keep up the mood.

“Genesis” by Grimes

Both upbeat and a little eerie, “Genesis” is the perfect mood-setter for all sorts of eerie festivities. With Grimes’ high, airy vocals over an atmospheric synth background suggestive of what might happen if Björk wrote a video game soundtrack, “Genesis” combines pop sensibility with hints at the chrome-bright futures of a sci-fi daydream.

“4 Walls” by f(x)

If this isn’t a song about falling in love with an alien, I don’t know what it is. Catchy, ‘90s-influenced art-pop with a shimmery, ethereal sonic presence, “4 Walls” is both danceable and mysterious. The icing on the cake: All of the alien subtext in the lyrics, such as “An unfamiliar blue light shines, / the thing that makes me dizzy.” A mysterious blue light? Beam me up, Scotty. While you gaze intently into the night sky, practice your moves to impress the aliens.

“Maps” by Yeah Yeah Yeahs

Many of us are familiar with this alt-rock classic‘s melancholy tune, yearning lyrics and notoriously tricky minimalist instrumentals. If you’ve ever gazed longingly at other stars, “Maps” gives you just the words to woo any extraterrestrial being into sweeping you off the planet: “My kind’s your kind / I’ll stay the same.”

“Corcovado (Quiet Nights of Quiet Stars)” by Stan Getz and João Gilberto

“Corcovado” has been recorded by many, but no other artist can rival Getz and Gilberto’s rendition of this bossa nova staple. It is quite a stretch to read aliens into the picture with this song, but “Corcovado” has a place in any respectable playlist for night-gazing activities. Plus, a night of UFO-watching can definitely be called a “quiet night of quiet stars.” Mellow and smooth with a gorgeous and instantly recognizable sax line, “Corcovado” is perfect night music. While you gaze at the stars, enjoy listening to Astrud Gilberto’s beautifully husky voice, which is as cool, rich and velvety as the night itself.

“At Your Best (You Are Love)” by Aaliyah

One of the more mellow songs in Aaliyah’s debut album “Age Ain’t Nothing but a Number,” “At Your Best (You Are Love)” features Aaliyah crooning honey-sweet lyrics that speak to the hearts of alien enthusiasts around the world. To the aliens: “At your best, you are love / you’re a positive motivating force within my life.”

You can listen to this week’s Tunesday above. Follow Daily Cal A&E on Spotify!

Lindsay Choi covers literature. Contact her at [email protected].

FEBRUARY 09, 2016