Frank: The Beauty of Citypop


I started doing radio at WTBU as soon as it was literally possible for me to join. All the shows I’ve been on, however, have mostly been talking shows, so for my last semester I kinda wanted to change things up a bit and instead do a music show. Sure, I talk on the show but the main focus is the tracks I’m playing and the tracks I’m playing aren’t just any tracks.

Let me introduce you to citypop.

Citypop is a bit of a loose genre, in the sense that it’s a bit of an umbrella term. In essence, citypop refers to more of a particular time-period and attitude than actual structure or melody. It’s music from a bygone era and an attitude that not many can say they have experienced.

The place? Japan. The time? Late 1970s to 1980s.

1980s Japan is currently experiencing what we know now as a bubble economy. Entering the 1980s, Japan had become incredibly rich, incredibly fast. From this, a new sort of attitude began forming. The money is plenty and now the people of Japan can afford to live and experience things that their parents who lived in a post-war Japan could only imagine. Car stereos and Walkmans became commonplace. Music could be heard everywhere and a never-before-seen production value was given to these songs, thanks to new advancements in digital recording. The music takes inspiration from jazz, funk, disco, R&B and rock. Yet, citypop is much more than the sum of its parts. The music talks of living a cosmopolitan life, looking forward to the riches of the future while also subtly longing for a simpler past.

For some reason, I was really attracted to this music. I’m not Japanese and I certainly wasn’t around during the 1980’s, but somehow the music resonated with me. There’s something really beautiful about how people in the past imagined what their future would be. Maybe I’d like to live in that idealized future…

Explaining the scope and beauty of citypop is something I’m trying to do on my show Fridays from 10pm to 12am. But if you want answers to get a taste of just how much I love this genre, please watch this video by Michael Saba. He puts it in words better than I ever could.


Frank: Is Abroad Really That Cheap?

You’ve heard the tale. “A semester abroad is cheaper than one at BU.” I heard it on my first tour of COM. I’ve heard fellow COM Ambassadors say it on their tours. I’ve even said it on my tours and now that I’m abroad in London, I’ve gotta say the rumors are true. A semester abroad is definitely cheaper than one at BU. Well, um, it’s technically cheaper. 

It’s true that when the semester bill came I did end up paying less, but I failed to account for a few things when I applied for my abroad semester. The first one being maybe the most obvious: airfare. I’m from Puerto Rico. I’ve been hoping on planes all the time to get back and forth between home and BU, but for some reason the fact that I’d have to pay for an even more expensive plane ticket to Europe completely slipped my mind during the whole process. Imagine my surprise when the modest $160 plane tickets I usually bought so far off in advance had become almost $800 ones. Buying these tickets also proved to be a terrifying endeavor. Like, I know Boston and I know Puerto Rico. They each have like one airport and a half. London has three airports. Three full airports. Can you even imagine how terrible the headaches me and my mom had while trying to buy these tickets? Thankfully BU offered a group flight, or else I really would have not figured it out... Like really? Three airports? Do you really need three airports?

Another thing I just fully blanked on was the fact that both the UK and Europe have their own currency. “What? They don’t use American dollars?” Yeah, they don’t. I know. Crazy. A non-american country that won’t take American dollars? It’s honestly preposterous. The thing that stings most about it though is that you essentially have to become an economist while you’re abroad. Every single day, you wake up, brush your teeth, check the updated conversion rates, and cry because you’re not living in the parallel world without borders and a shared currency. Oh and also: did you know that banks have a thing called “international transaction fees”? It’s as terrifying as it sounds. Essentially every time you pay for something with your American card the higher ups at your bank go “hmm, this poor fool seems to be out of the States, how about we make them pay for the mere attempt to use their money, won’t that be a hoot!,” and then they have a big ol' laugh as they strip between 25 to 50 cents from your bank account. Yeah, well I’d like to see you laugh when I decide to start Venmo-ing all my friends for groceries. You’ll get these 25 to 50 cents from my cold dead hands. 

You might think I’m having a miserable time abroad. That honestly couldn't be farther away from the truth! I’m truly enjoying my time here in London! London is a great city that I honestly wouldn’t have been able to visit were it not for BU. I’ve gone to Spain and Ireland, I’ve met some really cool people here in the abroad program and in the general London area, and I’ve taken some of the most fun and interesting classes in my entire college experience. I can’t really put into words how much of a great time I’m having. Honestly, I think every BU student should go abroad AT LEAST once! But only if they can afford it. What I’m trying to say with all this is that you should really think beforehand if you should go abroad. As much fun as I’m having, if I didn't have a job during the summer I would probably be struggling really hard to get by. Going abroad is actually a bit of a strain on your wallet and like every big financial decision you make, you should really think it over. If I started saving up money for abroad earlier than this past summer, I would honestly be less stressed about the whole experience. So before you pay that $55 non-refundable application fee remember that when COM Ambassadors say it's cheaper to go one semester abroad, they only mean it technically. Really think about if you want to go abroad before actually going. Or go to DC or LA. Those might be actually cheap. I hear they take US dollars.

Frank: Satire @ BU

I’m a journalism student and as such I’ve written my fair share of articles. From op-eds to features, to listicles to reviews, I’ve written all different kinds of pieces. This semester, though, I started writing something a bit funnier-- I started satire.

During the summer, I applied to join The Bunion, Boston University’s satire news publication. Now satire has always been a thing that interested me, I’ve been a fan of The Onion for a long time and about a year ago I found out about The Hard Times and Hard Drive, who make fun of punk music and video game scenes respectively. I was bit by the satire bug last year and when I saw The Bunion was looking for staff writers, I submitted my application almost immediately. I say almost immediately because there was a very important part of the application I was having a hard time with: the article submission.

I had to write an article to finish my application. Luckily, I zeroed in on what I was gonna write about pretty quickly. At the beginning of the summer, I got a notification on Facebook about a post somebody made on the Official Boston University Class of 2020 group. I hadn’t checked the Class of 2020 Facebook group since my Freshman year, so I clicked on the notification and browsed the group to see what my fellow rising juniors were up to. As I found out, the group had become a wasteland. Nobody had posted anything on the group in a long time, I guess like me a lot of people had forgotten about it. Essentially the Facebook group was now a ghost town, people were still in the group but nobody posted anything. I thought this might be something funny to write about so I took it and ran with it.

Choosing a topic to write about was easy, the hard part was actually writing it. At first I wrote the article with the idea of the Facebook group being a literal ghost town, a remnant from the Wild Wild West, and there was a sheriff of sorts that would protect the group from any new posts. I worked on it for a couple of days until I finally gave up on making it work. The whole cowboy-sheriff thing proved to be too complicated, since I realized I knew absolutely nothing about cowboys. I scrapped the whole thing. I settled on just writing down my raw thoughts and put a sort of journalistic spin on it. That was easier, but it really wasn’t funny. It kinda just read as a rant that didn’t really go anywhere, but I guess the editors liked it enough to have me join the team.

I got a chance to rework the article a couple weeks ago. After going to writer meetings, talking to fellow Bunion Staff Writers, and getting to write pieces of satire on other topics, I finally got what it took to make my first article work. The first thing I did was pretty much erase most of it. A lot of what I wrote down just didn’t work, or only I found funny. I then made my target more specific and I gave it actual jokes. I basically reworked the whole thing.

It felt nice working on my first article again; it was almost as if I had come full circle. In the short time I’ve been with The Bunion, I’ve really learned a lot. If you’re interested in reading my articles and other articles made by even funnier people, check them out over at

P.S. Here’s a link to my reworked first article:


Frank: The 6 Types of Music You’ll Listen to in College

College is a place for self-discovery, for experimentation, and for an almost deafening amount of music. Times change and with it, what you think makes for good music. Here are the Six Kinds of Music You’ll Listen to in College:

  1. The Radio Hits

You’re young, you’re fresh, you’re new in town-- you also don’t know anything about music. The radio has been curating what you listen to for almost two decades, but it’s been doing the same for everybody else too. And when you’re the fifth person in a row to say they like ‘everything but rap and country’ in an icebreaker, it’s not a good image. It’s time to let go of the past and reinvent yourself. Time to listen to some new music.

  1. The Obscure

The Drake’s, Cardi B’s, and Ariana Grande’s of the music scene are too superficial for you. Music has lost its true meaning to commercialism and big record labels. Real music is the kind of music that refuses to sell out. Your music taste has become as refined and articulate as an aged cheese, but a cheese that only you and about five others around the world know about. Fingers crossed these bands you're listening to don’t hit the big time, or else you’ll develop one heck of a lactose intolerance.

  1. The Soundcloud Rap

The Drake’s, Cardi B’s, and Ariana Grande’s of the music scene are too soft for you. I mean, you only live once so you might as well listen to the best bangers the internet has to offer. It doesn’t matter the occasion, be it studying for finals at Mugar or just trying to relax and fall asleep, the sickest of Soundcloud raps are there to keep you up and drown out all those pesky ‘responsibilities’ you should definitely be on top off.

  1. The Foreign

American music just isn’t what it used to be. I mean you’re not sure what it ‘used’ to be either, but you can say with certainty that it’s not the same. You know what’s stayed consistently good, though? All the music scenes from literally every other country. Listening to this kind of music will make you a full-fledged cosmopolitan! Sure, you won’t understand a single word being sung… But you can just feel it; you know what am I saying?

  1. The Experimental

Music composition as a whole is overrated. You’ve grown past the need of instruments, or harmonies, or appealing sounds to listen to music. Now it’s all about that subversion! Actually enjoying music is for chumps. The way music is meant to be experienced is as a chore. Listening to this music is a complete pain, but imagine how cool you’ll sound when you mention you listen to this kind of music! Nobody has to know you hate every second of it.

  1. The Favorites

This aimless charade of music types has left you tired and unhappy. Somewhere along this musical journey, you’ve forgotten who you are and what you really like. You’ve realized that for some reason you've been trying to impress an audience that really isn’t there. Who cares what you listen to? As long as you enjoy it, it’s good music. So listen to your favorites, regardless of what anybody else says. You’re gonna be in college for a while, might as well enjoy your time here.

Frank: Four of the Worst Tracks of 2017

2017 was... a time. A lot of things happened. We made some friends. We learned a couple of new things. We had some fun. We also listened to a lot of songs— many of them so overplayed, and so downright terrible they deserve to be buried for eternity and never brought back. Here’s some songs that should definitely stay in 2017.

Imagine Dragons: Believer

I’ll be the first to admit it: Imagine Dragons has some legit bangers. Demons and Radioactive are mighty good tracks. But Believer is not a banger; it’s absolutely not a banger at all. This song is bottom of the barrel, generic trash. I honestly cannot stand this song— it’s grating, it’s annoying, and it’s still being played in Jeep car commercials 10 months after its release. 

Lil Pump: Gucci Gang

A chorus can make or break a song. But sometimes, like in the case of Gucci Gang, it can utterly and fundamentally destroy it. Pump says ‘Gucci Gang’ a total of 53 times in this song. 53. Let that sink in. That’s 52 more times anybody should say the words “Gucci” and “Gang” together in a sentence. Yet, everybody went with it. Everywhere you’d go those two words would follow. Gucci. Gang. Gucci. Gang. Make it stop.

Ed Sheeran: Shape of You

Genius describes this song as an island-tinged smash. I say it’s more of an island-tinged limp, a stagger from beginning to  end. Sheeran’s unmotivated singing makes for an uninteresting listening. Pair that with an irritating and incessant marimba and you’ve got yourself an incredibly annoying song. If just hearing the song doesn’t make you wanna hate it, listen to one of the millions of parodies it got. Oh, you’ll hate it then. You’ll despise it.

Katy Perry: Bon appétit

Bon appétit is probably one of the most monotonous and boring songs I’ve heard all year. It’s filled to the brim with innuendos that only immature middle school students can appreciate. The chorus is grating, the beat is wack, everything is wrong. Not even Migos could save this one. More like Bon no thank you pls. 

Now this list, sure isn’t comprehensive. I’m pretty sure some even more terrible tracks flew under my radar. But you know what? Some pretty good music also got released in 2017! And if you’re one of those people that like good music, why not tune into WTBU Radio? WTBU is BU’s very own college radio station, broadcasting from 6am to 2am! WTBU’s got a show for every genre out there, from alternative and indie to jazz and ska. Tune in at or download the WTBU app! 

Frank: Midterms

Tired, sleep depraved, but victorious. I’ve done this before, and I did it again. I gazed into the abyss and won the staring contest. I am done with my midterms.

Wow, it feels so weird putting it in text. “Done with my midterms.” But am I really? I mean, yeah, I’m not taking another test anytime soon, but does that mean I’m completely done with them? I wonder what my grades will be. I studied my butt off; I hope I get good grades. Oh, now I’m anxious. I’m gonna be thinking about my grades all week. Oh gosh, now I know for sure: I am not done with my midterms.

I should really find something to take my mind off them. Oh, I know! Music always puts me in a nice, relaxing mood. Let me hop on YouTube real quick... Hmm, what’s this? “Relaxing Pokémon Music Compilation?” Just what I needed!  Wow, this music really brings me back… I remember playing these games all the time when I was a kid. Little ol’ Frank capturing monsters and trading them with his friends. Nothing could keep me away from that Gameboy; I just had to become the Pokémon Champion! Haha, I kinda miss those times! I remember having to hand over my Gameboy to my mom when an exam was coming up so I could study without distractions. Oh no, there I go again thinking about exams. I am so not done with my midterms.

Maybe I’m just too tired. This music has really put me in a sleeping mood. Some shut-eye will definitely calm my anxiety. Ahh, this bed sure is comfy. Time to count some sheep and go to the land of make believe. 1, 2, 3, 4, was question 5 true or false? I’m pretty sure it was false. Did I answer false? I’m pretty sure I did not. Maybe it’s actually true? Let me double-check in my notes real quick… Yep, definitely true. Wait, did I really answer false? I think I actually answered true on that one. Yeah, the one before it was the false one. Or maybe I’m just misremembering… Agh, I am 100% not done with my midterms.

Wait, what am I doing? I already took the midterms. I already handed them in. There’s nothing I can do about them now. You know, I gave it my all studying these past few days. I did my very best in those midterms. There’s no use worrying on what might be. Gosh, I’m losing my mind over an uncertainty. Heh, I wonder what little Frank would think of me if he saw me now? Life was so carefree back then, now all I seem to do is worry. It doesn’t have to be that way. I could afford some relaxation time. Some time for myself, some time for fun. I hear there’s a new Pokémon game coming out real soon. I wonder how the new Pokémon look. Maybe I could hit up some of my friends back home, maybe get the game together and trade Pokémon like old times… Yeah, just like old times… You know, I guess I am done with my midterms.

“When we are children we seldom think of the future. This innocence leaves us free to enjoy ourselves as few adults can. The day we fret about the future is the day we leave our childhood behind.”

                                                                                                                                                     -Patrick Rothfuss, The Name of the Wind


Frank: Summer Jams Come and Go, But Please Don’t Replay Despacito

Hey what is up guys, Frankthony Hernantano here, and I’m just gonna go ahead and say it: I really did not keep up with songs this summer. Like at all. So, we’re going to fix that right here, right now. With summer winding down and fall just around the corner, I think it’s time to listen to the summer anthems of 2017 one last time before the cold makes us forget. Now, since I personally don’t know which songs were the top summer hits this year, I asked a couple of friends back home to come up with a list. Here are my first impressions on the top 5 summer songs of 2017 (as picked by two pretty cool dudes in Puerto Rico):

  1. Calvin Harris feat. Pharrell Williams, Katy Perry, and Big Sean – Feels

Off to a great start since I’ve actually heard this one before! Calvin Harris’ newest album, Funk Wav Bounces Vol. 1, is filled with bangers like Slide and Heatstroke, but the only song that really encapsulates the summer is this one, Feels. Harris’ funky beat, mixed with Pharrell’s angelic voice, and Katy Perry’s excellent delivery on the chorus almost make me forget how out of place Big Sean feels in this song. Like, the guy takes all the momentum and energy of the song and just ruins it with this deadpanned rapping. Big Sean aside, this is one heck of a summer jam. Hearing it gives me some feels.

  1. Fifth Harmony feat. Gucci Mane – Down

Remember when Fifth Harmony was on the X-Factor? How cute and innocent they looked singing their hearts out to Miss Movin’ On? Well those days are over, say hello to a new Fifth Harmony (now with one less member). Down really doesn’t sound good: the obnoxious drums, the nonsensical lyrics, and the incessant finger snapping. The beat gets worse when Gucci Mane starts rapping; it literally just starts over-blasting for no reason. It sounds like your run-of-the-mill pop song that you hear at parties. I’m definitely not down with this song.

  1. DJ Khaled feat. Justin Bieber, Quavo, Chance the Rapper & Lil Wayne – I’m The One

I was honestly expecting to hate this song but I was pleasantly surprised. It’s a catchy song and the beat ain’t half bad. Unlike Down or Feels, all the featured artists in the song really add something interesting to the track. Bieber’s chorus is infectious and will get stuck in your head all day. Quavo, Chance, and Wayne’s verses are fresh and smooth; their distinct voices really help give the song form and variety. This is one heck of a banger. In fact, you could say it’s the one.

  1. The Chainsmokers & Coldplay – Something Like This

Now I only have one problem with this song, and it’s that I feel like I’ve heard it before. I swear I remember hearing this song last year or something, but that can’t be true since this track was released this year. It’s a nagging feeling in the back of my head that I just can’t beat. Other than that, the song’s pretty good. Coldplay’s vocals go hand in hand with The Chainsmokers’ instrumentation and the song’s lyrics are pretty sweet and cute. I wish more songs were like this.

  1. Luis Fonsi feat. Daddy Yankee – Despacito

Oh, you knew this song was coming. I knew this song was coming. Despacito is… a time. Apart from Feels, this is the only other song in the list I’ve heard before. This song was so overplayed back home. I’ve heard it so many times that now every time I hear those guitar strings at the beginning I get nausea. Nevertheless, I can’t deny it’s a pretty decent song. It has a pretty catchy tune and great singing. It’s an okay song, if you just hear it once or twice. About the tenth time you hear it, you’ll without a doubt start hating it. (I don’t know how to add despacito into a sentence without it sounding weird, sorry)

And with that our list comes to a close. But the summer of 2017 didn’t just have 5 songs, tweet me at @EfrainIsFrank with any other summer track I didn’t talk about in this blog post, and I’ll give you my first impressions on it! (But please, no more Despacito. I’m so done with Despacito.)

Frank: My Favorite WTBU Radio Shows!

The thing I love the most about Boston University is WTBU. That’s not even an exaggeration. The great amount of love I have for our student run radio station cannot be put into words. I’ve had so much fun and have made such great friends through WTBU that I feel like I owe the station in some way. So, as a way of paying WTBU back for all the good it has done in my life, I’m going to share a list of my favorite WTBU shows! This list is in no particular order since I love all of these shows about the same amount, so without further ado here are my favorite WTBU shows:

  1. #illuminaticonfirmed

#illuminaticonfirmed is without a doubt the “wokest” show on WTBU. Every Friday from 8pm to 10pm, their DJs deliver you a daily dose of conspiracy theories in an attempt to “wake you up” from your “knowledge slumber”. In addition to their talks about aliens and cryptids, they also play some experimental music between talk breaks that really helps set the mysterious and otherworldly vibe I love so much about this show. #illuminaticonfirmed is just a joy to listen to; you not only get to hear the most outrageous conspiracy theories and the spookiest of tracks, but you also get to listen to the DJs’ genuine reactions of confusion, shock, and disbelief to them! Tune in every week to find out what’s the newest thing the “big corporations” are trying to hide from us!

  1. Time Signatures

Have you ever wondered how genres of music like blues, house, and jazz came to be? Do you want to discover some more obscure music genres? Well, fret (ha, music joke) not! Time Signatures has got your back. The DJs over at Time Signatures explore different music genres from their roots to their current state, every Saturday from 4pm to 6pm! They not only tackle the more popular genres, but they also talk about more unknown ones like shoegaze! The DJs also do very extensive research on each genre so you’ll not only listen to some nice music, but you’ll also learn about their composition and execution! If you’re a bit of a music nerd like I am, be sure to give Time Signatures a listen!

  1. The Blunder Years

Okay, okay, okay, you got me. The Blunder Years makes the list because, well, it’s my show! I was lucky enough to get a radio show on my second semester here at BU, so I kind of want to talk about it for a bit. The Blunder Years is pretty much a confession show. My co-DJ and I talk about those embarrassing moments we had while growing up and how we reacted to them then, and how we would have reacted to them now. It’s not only about us though, we also have a Google Doc on our Facebook page where people can share their own embarrassing stories anonymously so we can read them on air. So if you have any embarrassing story you want to get off your chest, why don’t you send it our way? We broadcast live Fridays from 10pm to 12 am!

WTBU has a great variety of programing. They have music shows, talk shows, and even news shows, so if none of the shows I mentioned interests you, you can definitely find something that suits your tastes. If you like what you hear, consider maybe becoming an intern for one of the shows! After interning on one show for a semester, you can apply for a show of your very own the next one, so if you still haven’t found a show you like on the radio station you can apply to make your own. Also, WTBU isn’t just for COM students; students from different BU colleges can also intern and apply for shows! So, what are you waiting for? Come and join the best thing BU has to offer: WTBU!

Frank: This Isn’t How I Remember It…: Video Game, Mashups, and I

Oh gee, oh my, it’s time for my first blog post! Hello my dudes, I’m Frank Hernandez—WTBU DJ, COM Ambassador, and a guy just trying his best! Today I’d like to share with you guys a story about one of my favorite hobbies: video games. Man, how I love my video games! They’ve been with me ever since I was a little kid. As a matter of fact, my earliest memory is me sitting in the living room playing GameCube with my dad! Ah… Now those were the good times…

But, here’s the thing. Ever since I came to BU, video games and I have taken a long and uncertain break. We felt like the long distance thing wasn’t going to work out... They’re back home, I’m in Boston, we just thought a break would be beneficial to both of us. However, that doesn’t mean I don’t think about them every single day. I always find myself humming the songs to my favorite games, especially between classes.

One day while walking down Commonwealth Avenue, I remembered this one song from my favorite game growing up: Super Mario Sunshine. I was immediately filled with nostalgia, so I searched the song on YouTube, put on my headphones, and tapped on the first result. The childhood memories came rushing in as the classic Mario tune began ringing in my ears. But suddenly, the song changed on me. What was once a classic Mario song turned into something completely different. It wasn’t Mario anymore… It was All-Star by Smash Mouth. Now, to be completely honest, I unironically love All-Star so the music change wasn’t unwelcome. However, I know for a fact that All-Star definitely wasn’t in Super Mario Sunshine, so what was I listening to?

What I was listening to at that moment was a SiIvaGunner rip. SiIvaGunner is a YouTube channel that uploads video game mashups with the pretense of being the actual song that plays in the game. He does this so that unassuming people that want to hear the actual song get a pleasant (and sometimes not so pleasant) surprise. His work is amazing and I recommend that everybody that likes video game music (or just music in general!) give his channel a quick listen!

To get you started, I’ll leave you with 5 of my favorite SiIvaGunner tracks! Hope you enjoy them as much as I do!

1. A Secret Course – Super Mario Sunshine

2. Gerudo Valley – The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time

3. Yogurt Yard – Kirby: Nightmare in Dream Land

4. Main Theme – Wii Shop Channel

5. Dire, Dire Docks (OST Version) – Super Mario 64