Music News

Let’s Not Act Like Lil Pump Doesn’t Know What He’s Doing

Courtesy of Lil Pump via Twitter

There’s no denying that Soundcloud has become the birthing ground for new hiphop artists. Some of the biggest names today, Chance the Rapper and Lil Uzi Vert to name two, began their record-breaking careers on the platform. Soundcloud’s accessibility has made it easier than ever to enter the game, but just as easy to be buried under a million other users (talented or not). How do you set yourself apart? Lil Pump’s Answer:


The Complexities of Love as Displayed by Daniel Caesar’s Freudian

(courtesy of NOW Magazine)

Freudian, Daniel Caesar’s debut album, released August 25, 2017 on Golden Child Recordings sparked discussion among music fans across all genres. It’s variety of production, a seamless fluctuation of emotion between subtle elegance and bold passion, is reflective of the intricate message the love-ridden Caesar is trying to convey. Throughout the 10 song album, Daniel Caesar spills his heart out about the complexities of love, ranging from despair to pure ecstasy.

Pitchfork Music Festival 2017 Delivers Excitement & Emotion in an Easygoing Atmosphere

Fans cheer at Pitchfork Fest 2017 (photo: Meredith Mattlin)

Pitchfork Fest was a remarkably relaxed and fun festival. The only difficult part was—as cheesy as it sounds—choosing which sets from the vast and diverse array of options to watch. Luckily, Pitchfork happens to be the rare festival that allows you to bounce from set to set with relative ease: the stages are close together which means you don’t have to walk far; the Chicago weather made for an almost too-good-to-be-true forecast to move between outdoor stages; despite the overlapping sets, the times were strategically planned such that you could catch at least a little bit of all your favorites. It seemed, in short, designed to facilitate your having your best time.

Pitchfork Music Festival Sunday Highlights: Solange, Pinegrove, Isaiah Rashad, & More

Pinegrove’s Evan Stephens Hall at Pitchfork Fest (photo: Meredith Mattlin)

The last day of Pitchfork Fest, I’d assert, was the day that had the highest concentration of crowd-pleasing favorites: in just sheer numbers, today’s lineup was the highest up in terms of hitting on almost every conceivable niche of possible audience interest all across the obscurity-to-popularity spectrum. And with Solange—Solange!—headlining, there was nothing to possibly complain about.

Pitchfork Music Festival Saturday Highlights: A Tribe Called Quest, Angel Olsen, & More

A Tribe Called Quest at Pitchfork Music Festival 2017. Click to enlarge. (photo: Meredith Mattlin)

After an eventful day one, Pitchfork Fest day two promised an even more saturated schedule. And it certainly delivered on that promise: first of all, with A Tribe Called Quest headlining, all the other bands could have tanked and this day still would have been certifiably historical. Fortunately, however, we were lucky enough that not a single one of the other acts disappointed.

Pitchfork Music Festival Friday Highlights: Dirty Projectors, LCD Soundsystem

Dirty Projectors at Pitchfork Fest 2017 (photo: Meredith Mattlin)

Friday’s lineup promised an electric start to an action-packed festival weekend. Nashville’s own William Tyler played at 4 PM on Friday, followed immediately by Frankie Cosmos and Thurston Moore. The three of these provided a perfectly well-rounded, balanced trio of acts to precede the contrastingly high-energy Danny Brown, who flawlessly delivered intensity and famously rapid rap. Dirty Projectors’ intimidating, otherworldly sounds set a new kind of mood, one that held the audience rapt for a night that culminated in an impossibly fantastic performance by LCD Soundsystem.

Paul Ryan, Speaker of the House: Emo at Heart

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Two momentous things occurred on Friday, March 24: the first was that Paul Ryan’s dream of repealing Obamacare likely died forever; the second, almost equally exciting event, was the birth of #RoachGate, an Internet rumor alleging that Paul Ryan is secretly an angsty emo kid who still listens to Papa Roach.

Why You Should Be Excited About Shoegaze in 2017

via Twitter

So perhaps you’ve seen the pink guitar album, or at the very least seen praise heaped upon Bullet For My Valentine and thought it odd that not only have they been a band since the late ’80s but that they’ve also done anything worth mentioning in the same sentence as the words “critical acclaim.”

Sun Records


When you think of Rock ‘n Roll, you think of an American phenomenon exemplified in its prime by jukeboxes and American Bandstand and later by Woodstock and Ziggy Stardust. Yet, before it was a way of life, it was an experiment in a little studio in Memphis, Tennessee.

“Shining” and the Art of Making Another One


(via 991Nation)

Released in the after-hours of the Grammys on February 12th, DJ Khaled’s “Shining” is definitely one of the best songs in its genre of this very young year, and just about everything about it works. It’s Khaled’s trademark pop production firing on all cylinders, and its arrival after last year’s “For Free” is evidence of Khaled’s sustained return to form as a hit-maker.

Dear Santa


Have you taken the time to write your “Dear Santa…” letter? Did you desperately beg for Tha Carter V, Detox, or the Chance the Rapper/Childish Gambino mixtape to drop in 2017? Unfortunately, even Santa’s elves won’t pull through for those. While you check out the pre-Christmas Cole Santa has left for you, check out the albums Santa will manage to bring for next year.

Altering Tracks: A Perspective



Originally, this blog post was going to be a review of Tinashe’s newly released commercial mixtape Nightride. While I quite like the mixtape, something so atrocious happened during its production that it entirely consumed the contents of this post.

Young Thug was removed from “Party Favors”.

“The Wilderness” is Explosions in the Sky’s Newest Musical Journey

The Wilderness.Explosions in the Sky

Post-rock quartet Explosions in the Sky released their seventh studio album, “The Wilderness” early this April. As a fan and avid listener of their early material, I was skeptical that the group could deliver as engaging and original music as “Those Who Tell the Truth Shall Die, Those Who Tell the Truth Shall Live Forever” or ”The Earth Is Not a Cold Dead Place.” Their soundtrack material in the interim, such as “Friday Night Lights,” and also tracks off of “All of a Sudden I Miss Everyone,” begin to sound cookie-cutter in their almost melodrama, due only by the group’s early masterful sound.

A Musical Comeback: Vinyls Earn More Than Free Streaming

Row of old records

It would appear that vinyls are not nearly as old fashioned as my grandfather would have me believe. Earlier this week, the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) released the statistics from the past year and the sale of vinyls for 2015 was the highest it has been since 1988. The sales brought in a total of $416 million, a small fraction of the $7 billion the entire industry brings in. However, what’s notable is that vinyls, the old men of the music world, surpassed free streaming, which only made $385.1 million last year.

The Life of Kanye West’s Career

 (Written by Corey McCloud and Linzy Scott)

Nobody will ever imitate Kanye West. Not even Kanye himself. With the release of his most recent effort, Life of Pablo, the eclectic rapper-producer megastar proved once again that he isn’t afraid to change his style and push rap forward with every release. So against the cries of his fans demanding old Kanye, against people saying he was getting too artsy, or too egoistic with Yeezus, and against everybody who thought he might actually be losing his mind, Kanye dropped the a-bomb with Pablo. The album’s sonic range alone is impressive and the first six tracks are among the best stretches of tracks in hip-hop history. I hate to sound like a fanboy, but at this point we are 2 weeks removed from the release of the album. It’s been a week and a half since I first bit the bullet and got a Tidal trial account to try it out, and yet I somehow find myself going back to this album multiple times a day.

And one of the most well-deserved Grammys goes to…

LOS ANGELES, CA - January 26, 2014 Winners of the best R&B Album Snarky Puppy and Lalah Hathaway (at the mike) at the 56th Annual GRAMMY(R) Pre-telecast show at Nokia Theater L.A. Live in Los Angeles, CA. Sunday, January 26, 2014. (Robert Gauthier / Los Angeles Times)
LOS ANGELES, CA – January 26, 2014 Winners of the best R&B Album Snarky Puppy and Lalah Hathaway (at the mic) at the 56th Annual GRAMMY(R) Pre-telecast show at Nokia Theater L.A. Live in Los Angeles, CA. Sunday, January 26, 2014. (Robert Gauthier / Los Angeles Times)

Snarky Puppy earned their second Grammy on Sunday for their ninth album “Sylva,” an instrumental masterpiece of composition. Michael League, bassist, bandleader, and the group’s main composer has been aiding in the redefinition of big band jazz-fusion on a mainstream level for over 10 years. An art form that has been slowly escaping the public’s ears, Snarky Puppy is successfully bringing big band music back into the spotlight.

The Problem of Dropping Names

Screen Shot 2016-02-13 at 2.11.09 AMThe cover art of T. L. O. P., the album that has stirred up so much controversy in its short life. Source

Kanye West’s new album has been in the news many times in the past couple of weeks. First, there was the issue of what it would be called. He changed album titles a few times before settling on T. L. O. P., which stands for The Life of Pablo. Then, there was the question of when it would be released.

Today, the album is in the media for a very different reason. After premiering at Madison Square Garden on February 11 during the Yeezy Season 3 fashion show, the album has been a hot topic due to a reference to another celebrity. In his song “Famous,” West had a couple of questionable lines that featured Taylor Swift. The lyrics say, “I feel like me and Taylor might still have sex/ Why? I made that b***h famous.”

Alex Turner and Miles Kane back with The Last Shadow Puppets revival

Miles Kane (L) and Alex Turner (R) in cringeworthy tracksuits. Source
Miles Kane (L) and Alex Turner (R) in cringeworthy tracksuits. Source

I think it is safe to say that we all had that one band at one point in our lives that really got us into music. The one band that made us go, “Wow, so that’s how listening to music is supposed to feel.” For me, it was Arctic Monkeys. When I was in high school, I used to go to my local library to rent CDs and burn them onto my computer (sorry, iTunes). One of the first albums I obtained was Arctic Monkeys’ first full length debut, “Whatever People Say I am, That’s What I’m Not” (among other gems, including “Is This It?” by The Strokes and “The Queen is Dead” by The Smiths). That album, and the subsequent ones that I devoured later, became the soundtrack to my high school experience; my go-to answer to the feared “what’s your favorite band?” question.