Late one Friday night, buzzed and carrying packs of sour candy from the Wa, I wandered to a room in Whitman. As my host and I sat on her bed, alternating handfuls of Sour Patch and some other Technicolor monstrosity, her roommate decided to show me a video for “Beauty and a Beat,” performed and directed by everyone’s favorite cultural punching bag: Justin Bieber.
We cannot presume that Rick Ross is a mastermind, a genius or even sober. We cannot attest to his level of education, his employment history, or his net-worth. We have no idea where he came from: he claims to be Mohammed, the son of Moses, and the reincarnation of Haile Selassie. But, as he tells us on his latest album: none of that matters.
The first time I saw the band Yuck perform live, I had never heard of them. They were simply the group warming up for Smith Westerns on a Friday night at a hole in the wall in downtown Nashville. I saw their name on the marquee above the venue and thought “Yuck” sounded weird and off-putting. When they took forever to set up on stage, I went from skeptical to hostile: “Who do these guys think they are? They’re just the warm-up act!”
Bombay bicycle club is one of scores of bands with a slightly ridiculous name that falls loosely into the category of “alternative,” and can be counted on to release albums frequently with subdued critical approval. This group, like its Pitchfork-friendly peers, has a healthy fan-base, instrumental competency, and a distinctive lead vocalist, but falls through the cracks all too easily.
Their new album, Give a Glimpse of What Yer Not, doesn’t reinvent the band’s sound; however, it does contain some of their best work. This is a natural extension of a long career, not just a cute or tired continuation of it.
In 1998 the hip-hop community was reeling from the mysterious and tragic murders of two of its biggest, and most beloved, stars: Tupac and Biggie. Questions swirled around their deaths, the role of rap in their killings, and the future … Read More
It happens more often than perhaps it should: a celebrity, be it rock star, movie icon, or stud athlete, is upheld on a pedestal for many years during his or her career, only to come crashing down at some shocking revelation that leaves fans disappointed and disenchanted. Sunday, February 4th left me with a similar feeling, when it was proclaimed over various social media outlets that Oscar-winning actor Philip Seymour Hoffman was found dead in his New York apartment with a needle in his arm and significant amounts of heroin in the vicinity.