Better Oblivion Community Center-Better Oblivion Community Center

Do you ever sit up late at night watching videos about how close we are to global catastrophe?  Are you bothered by the creeping inevitability of death? Have you ever sat and read the Wikipedia page for predictions for the day the world will end and contemplate your own existential meaning?  If you answered yes to any of these, Better Oblivion Community Center is the band for you!  Phoebe Bridgers and Conor Oberst’s new collaboration finds solace in nothingness and sees it as an excuse to indulge in the spectrum of life’s emotions. Continue reading

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Kanye West-ye

The nature of waiting on Kanye West’s ye has been conflicting.  In some sense, it was nerve-racking: Kanye West, already the most polarizing artist of the decade, had recently come out as a Trump supporter (suspected to be the product of a mental breakdown).  The first track released from this album cycle was the meme-birthing “Lift Yourself,” arguably Yeezy’s most cringe-worthy lyrical work to date.  This also comes as the world of mainstream rap is enthralled by a Drake and Pusha T beef that seems to only be growing.  With that being said, there’s still the excitement that comes with being a Kanye fan.  It’s not exactly at the same level of The Life of Pablo, with the Yeezy Season 3 showing at Madison Square Garden or surprise album drop on SNL.  Reading about the listening party in Wyoming and getting the album a few hours later, I felt the same exhilaration as hearing that Life of Pablo dropped on SNL, seeing the Yeezus artwork, and first hearing “Runaway.”  From the time Kanye announced this album until now, it’s been a period of wrestling with wanting the new album to be good from a fan’s perspective but also struggling to come to terms with Kanye’s politics.  Surprisingly, there was little to be worried about on either front. Continue reading

Frank Turner-Be More Kind

               Frank Turner isn’t exactly a musician out of time.  He’s made a career embracing the past while making fairly relevant music.  He’s also noted for having a diverse taste in music.  If one had to guess, he has an equal affinity for ABBA and Queen as he does for Rancid.  He also will unashamedly speak his political views and point a finger at those he sees as fallacies and evil.  Be More Kind sees Turner seeking empathetic people while taking a step away from his folk and punk roots and leaning into a more radio-friendly indie rock sound. Continue reading

Franz Ferdinand-Always Ascending

Franz Ferdinand’s latest album Always Ascending has a great recipe to become a fan favorite. Franz Ferdinand has been on the scene for over 15 years since their creation back in 2002 and their first self-titled album in 2004. In classic Franz Ferdinand fashion, they made fans wait for this album. It’s been a long five years (sans a Sparks collaboration), but it was well worth the wait. Continue reading

My Next Guest Needs No Introduction-Barack Obama

David Letterman takes the stage of the Amsterdam Campus of the City College of New York in My Next Guest Needs No Introduction looking more biblical than his CBS days.  Letterman comfortably sits opposite President Barack Obama. In a format more intimate than Late Night, Letterman seems at ease in this new role. Still, some things feel familiar from his light comedic tone to bringing on Paul Shaffer as the composer of this series. Continue reading

Eminem-Revival

When I was first late to the Eminem fandom, I really went hard for Em’s technical skill, which was perfect, because he was about to put out Recovery.  Very shortly after, I was drawn to the Slim Shady persona that spoke to the angry, young man that I was.  Now, I could take or leave them both.  Some of the ~inspirational~ Eminem songs hold up better than I thought they would, and the better Slim Shady tunes were ever so self-aware.  I don’t care about Eminem as passionately as I once did.  He’s in the same folder as Marilyn Manson: take a look when there’s something new, but it’s probably not good.  Revival was unsurprisingly bad, but offensively so in its length and jingoism. Continue reading

Marc Maron-Too Real

            Only Marc Maron could get away with telling the same joke twice in a row.  It’s easy to be sick of Maron’s rote display of emotional honesty, because he’s been in comedy for decades, and he brings one of the best podcasts to listeners twice a week.  He’s been bringing listeners a manic energy regularly for years now, and Too Real is a perfect culmination of all the best aspects of Maron. Continue reading

Views from the Women’s March: New York, 1/21/17

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Still to this day you hear people saying, “I thought it was a joke that he was running.” But to me, it was never a joke. When you hear hateful rhetoric, it cannot be taken as a joke.

I remember the days leading up to the election feeling a mixture of dread and giddiness. On the one hand, we could be pushing women’s rights in this country further than ever by electing not only the first female president but one with a progressive campaign promise. On the other hand, we ended up with a man with no experience, spewing hate and making enemies with whomever he could.

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When the news hit, when they sent everyone home from the Javits Center in the middle of the night, when he made is acceptance speech, I cried well into the night. I had friends who took the next day off. The unthinkable had happened, and not in the way we all wanted. And, while ‘we’ sounds like an oppressive term, remember, that he did not win the popular vote. Hell, forty percent of eligible voters did not show up.

Then came announcements of a Women’s March on Washington and it started growing, soon there were sister marches from Denver to New York being planned, and I knew that no matter where I was I would show up.

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What I did not realize was that ‘we’ would show up. This was everyone’s march.  This was our time to come together, as Americans, and show what ‘we’ believe in. As a woman, I expected it to be mostly women and a few bad ass guys. Yet, the New York sister march was almost 50/50. I went to the march with three of my guy friends, which in it of itself was powerful. There was so much energy in the streets. According to the Mayor’s office, over 400,000 people marched from 42nd and 2nd Ave to 55th and 5th Ave. For us, it took over five hours.

This march was for so much more than women’s rights. The official organizers announced a radically progressive agenda they were marching for, and the people came through with signs about everything from sexual assault justice to ending the Electoral College to climate change to simply promoting love and kindness. This march stood up for ‘we’ the people and our major and legitimate concerns about the next four years.

Some of the chants that resonated through the canyons of buildings were, “My Body, My Choice!” Followed by, “Her Body! Her choice!” Some other popular ones were, “We are the popular vote!” Our voices all blended together and filled up all the air. Every way you turned there was someone holding up a sign and “fighting for their rights”.

At the end of the march, I was filled with hope and energy and a renewed faith that this is who my country is. And at the same time there was desperation, that not only were we marching for women’s rights, but LBGTQ rights, for a right to fair education, the legitimacy of climate change and our acceptance of all immigrants to our nation of immigrants.

As I rode the train home that night, the numbers began to spill in. Almost 800,000 in Los Angeles, 200,000 in Denver and a march too large it turned into a rally in Washington DC, not to mention the cities globally that joined in. ‘We’ the people had come through and shown we will not back down.

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Nina Mascheroni