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Illinois: The Soundtrack for the Weekend

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Because after an entire week of Illinois, what you really need is a playlist to keep the party going.

2013 Bonnaroo Music & Arts Festival - Day 2 Photo by Jason Merritt/Getty Images

As is tradition, we continue the music for the weekends a day later than anticipated. For the Illinois Fighting Illini, I bring you the most Illinois song ever by a Michigan native, a bunch of Chicago acts, and some very big missing artists because I’m going to need bands for Northwestern too. #ChicagoIsRealBigThough

(1) I am trying to break your heart - Wilco

I love/hate Wilco. Love in the idea that it’s one of those bands I generally like. Kind of chill, good multi-faceted production, guitar and piano and whatever... Look, I get that I should love Wilco. Here’s the problem. I just sort of don’t like them that much. They’re eminently listenable and wicked talented, but I don’t get the fawning. Sort of like how I feel about University of Illinois athletics.

(2) Come On! Feel the Illinoise! - Sufjan Stevens

Listen to Sufjan, feel the Illinoise! I understand he is a Michigan man by birth, but there might not be a more celebratory Illinois album than Illinoise, so it’s getting included. Plus, I like this song.

(3) Summer Friends - Chance The Rapper feat Jeremih

Did you know Jeremih went to University of Illinois? Probably. But I didn’t. Also, Chance + Jeremih is one of the most Chicago pairings ever. This track doesn’t have a title tie-in to Illinois as easy as the past two, but I like it nonetheless.

(4) Overnight Celebrity - Twista

Speaking of songs I just felt like adding. How about a Kanye West produced Twista track? Talk about REALLY Chicago. The best part of doing an Illinois playlist is the wealth of songs to choose from.

(5) I Won’t Let You Down - OK Go

Illinois will probably let its fans down - as is tradition - but OK Go won’t. Here’s another Illinois based band who has done well for themselves, though. Sure, it’s a bit of theatrics, but this is a catchy tune.

(6) Ain’t no Sunshine - Buddy Guy

GREAT cover right here. Plus, Buddy Guy is one of the greatest blues artists of all times. Bonus points for basically playing the theme song for the Fighting Illini football team in the best version possible.

(7) Down To The River - Alison Krauss

So apparently Alison Krauss grew up in Champaign, which means she’s probably the best export from Champaign ever? I vote yes.

(8) Everything We Had - The Academy Is...

And we have reached the weekly “Jesse owned this album” portion of the playlist. For the record, this was an amazing, not-regretted, purchase on my part. For pop-punk/post-punk type music, it didn’t get much better than this one. I didn’t like any other music that they put out other than the Self Titled, but I still listen to all of these songs.

(9) Orange Colored Sky - Nat King Cole

Listen to that gorgeous voice. Nat King Cole puts a smile on your face no matter what your mood was before.

(10) Take It On the Run - REO Speedwagon

Another University of Illinois product, and now a band that plays casino amphitheater tours, REO Speedwagon cashed in on the early 80’s sound. I’m not exactly a fan of the music, but I do respect the success.

(11) Mellon Collie and the Infinite Sadness - The Smashing Pumpkins

Finish the list and enjoy the weekend with the Smashing Pumpkins. I’m going to be over here listening to this entire album now.