Just last week, pop star Taylor Swift bought up two new websites: TaylorSwift.porn and TaylorSwift.adult. I doubt it will surprise many of you to hear that neither of these sites will be utilized for their implied purpose. Instead, this is another instance of “domain squatting”, where an individual purchases a domain name either with the intent to profit off of a large amount of ads placed on a legitimate-sounding domain, or in this instance to prevent others from having the domain title. With Swift’s high degree of visibility, it was probably a good PR move. Not all celebrities have been that lucky, however.
After months of anticipation, Death Grips’ second half of their final two-part album, The Powers that B, is finally available to the public. Entitled Jenny Death, this album was uploaded to YouTube months after the first half of the album, N***** on the Moon, was released for free (reviewed here by WRVU DJ Brett Tregoning). After their break-up announcement via napkin last summer, fans have been on edge to listen to what could potentially be the final installment in their discography. As always with the painstakingly unpredictable group, things have not always been very transparent with the band. However, the band always delivers on their album promises, and this time the wait was worth it.
Sufjan Stevens has never been afraid to bear his heart to an audience. Even at his most thematic and theatrical–2005’s masterpiece Illinois–he wasn’t shy about including a line like “I cried myself to sleep last night” as the centerpiece of a song before asking the listener to question “are you writing from the heart?” But while Illinois buried its confessional nature amidst richly arranged baroque pop playgrounds, Carrie & Lowell is a thoroughly intimate affair; all you’ll find here are fluttering guitars, double-tracked vocals delivered with a whisper, and haunting synthesizer elegies bookending the album’s brisk tracks. It is an album that is simple and anguished to its very core.
I was recently curious as to why I know so many people who enjoy sad music. It seems especially in times of grief or extreme sadness, like after a rough break-up, everyone wants to listen to a stranger wail about lost love.