By Brooke Jackson-Glidden, Features Editor
Let’s be honest: MTV has sort of lost its spark. Maybe it’s because mainstream music generally falls flat once you enter college (or leave the eighth grade). Maybe it’s because MTV rarely plays music anymore.
Regardless, the mtvU Woodie Awards, which celebrate the music “college students love,” may revive MTV’s image in the eyes of the pop-apathetic 20-somethings who haven’t watched an MTV music video since The Red Jumpsuit Apparatus and Lupe Fiasco dominated the airwaves.
The Woodies, a “people’s choice” anti-VMAs, will feature acts that are hard to disregard, including hip hop goddess Iggy Azalea and hipster gospel preacher Jack Antonoff. Azalea was nominated for her video “Bounce,” in which she tours the streets of Mumbai in ornate saris and gold spandex atop an elephant.
“It’s a very surreal video,” Azalea said in a phone interview. “Because the song didn’t have a narrative element to it, I wanted that escapism.”
Azalea released the music video for her song “Fancy” Tuesday, and is set to release her next album next month.
Azalea has been on the scene for the last two years, after moving to Miami alone when she was 16 and emerging as the girlfriend of rapper A$AP Rocky. The artist exposed her past in her single “Work,” released last year.
“It’s my journey into adulthood in that song,” Azalea said of “Work”. “That’s the part of my life being chronicled.”
“It’s about desperately wanting to get better at stuff,” Antonoff said. “I think that’s a more clear version of happiness that people can relate to. It’s not exactly being happy, but wanting to be happy…My only hope for Bleachers is that [he] reaches the people who need it.”
Azalea and Antonoff join artists like Bastille, Childish Gambino, James Blake, Disclosure and Lorde at the award show, which will air on March 16 for national audiences. Voting is still open for all of the categories including best college radio station, for which BU’s own WTBU is nominated.
By Hannah Landers, Staff Writer
Awards season is the shining beacon of glamour and celebrity in an otherwise dismally dull late winter. With the pinnacle of the season – the 86th Academy Awards – happening Sunday, it’s getting harder to keep the excitement and ardor over who will win (and, equally important, what that winner will be wearing) in check. Keeping in mind that that excitement often turns to disappointment as the Academy inevitably chooses to bestow their honor on someone who (in your humble opinion) just isn’t up to snuff. Here are the official Muse Oscars predictions:
Best Writing – Adapted Screenplay
Ridley’s heartbreakingly compelling adaptation of Solomon Northup’s 1853 memoir blows all other competition out of the water. Plus, Ridley just bagged the USC Scripter award, which has predicted the Oscar sceenplay winner for five of the past six years (Sorry, “Up in the Air”).
Best Writing – Original Screenplay
With all of the powerhouses competing for Best Picture, Bob Nelson’s quiet little black-and-white story of the tumultuous but loving relationship between an aging alcoholic father and his adrift middle-aged son will, unfortunately, be lost in the shuffle—all the more reason it warrants the Oscar for its screenplay. Jonze will likely take home the prize, however, after wins at the Golden Globes and the Critics’ Choice Awards.
Best Actress in a Supporting Role
Who Should Win: Lupita Nyong’o for “12 Years a Slave”
Who Will Win: Lupita Nyong’o for “12 Years a Slave”
There is so much misery and suffering in Steve McQueen’s slavery drama – and rightly so – but the most captivatingly tragic figure is the young slave Patsey, played by Lupita Nyong’o with achingly terrific force.
Best Actor in a Supporting Role
Leto has swept the other awards in this category and most of the other contenders – with Fassy being the only possible exception – don’t hold a candle to his groundbreaking role and electric performance.
Best Actress in a Leading Role
Adams’ fiercely desperate performance was a highlight of over-hyped “Hustle,” but Blanchett has taken home pretty much every award she’s been nominated for, so an Oscar win for her is almost a certainty.
Best Actor in a Leading Role
Alright, alright, alright – There’s no stopping Hollywood’s favorite surfer from dominating the award shows this season, although veteran actor Ejiofor certainly deserves some kind of recognition for his heart-wrenching breakout performance.
“Gravity” was a stunning feat of technical brilliance and Cuarón earned his right to recognition for the film that required months of preparation, consultations with space experts and a shooting process that basically involved a more high-tech version of Photoshop-ing the actors’ faces and movements into a pre-animated sequence.
What Should Win: “12 Years a Slave”
What Will Win: “12 Years a Slave”
There’s been some buzz about “Gravity” for this category, but McQueen’s excruciating tale of free man-turned-slave Solomon Northup packs the kind of filmic impact that only makes an appearance every few decades.
By Joe Incollingo, Staff Writer
Speaking of swallowing until you burst: Tuesday night, Detroit Golf Club chef Kyle Hanley served a 10-course tasting menu to only 36 participants at the Elizabeth Theater above Detroit’s Park Bar. To make things more interesting, the food choices are based on and accompanied by Radiohead’s 2000 album “Kid A.”
It seems like Hanley was inspired by New York restaurant Brucie after they came up with a Beyoncé themed Valentine’s day menu earlier this month. Contrary to Brucie’s menu, Hanley’s was less about a play on words and more about the moods one might think of when listening to the sounds of Radiohead.
Costing $125 a seat, the meal begins with “pan-seared diver scallop with yuzu fluid gel, fried cellophane noodle, lemongrass ponzu and chili oil” set to “Everything in Its Right Place,” and wraps up with a “mousse duo with blackberry pâte de fruit” to accompany “Motion Picture Soundtrack”
Hanley’s already hinted that he wants to make this a regular event with other albums every month, but if you can’t wait, then here are some other meals you can eat to your favorite album:
1. Simon & Garfunkel’s “Sounds of Silence“: Black coffee and chicken soup
2. Bruce Springsteen’s “Born in the U.S.A.“: A patty melt on rye with fries and a Coke
3. Beyoncé’s “Beyoncé“: Diamond-crusted tuna tartare, followed by 22 days of hummus
4. Vampire Weekend’s “Vampire Weekend”: Bodega potato chips, paired with an ironic cocktail “invented” by your friend Levi
5. Cobra Starship’s “¡Viva la Cobra!”: Ultra Blue Monster Energy drink and spicy ramen
6. The Beatles’ “Revolver“: Piping-hot beef Wellington from the England section of Epcot
7. The Smiths’ “The Queen Is Dead“: Cold beef Wellington from a dark, dank Manchester pub, served with a side of cigarettes
8. Kanye West’s “Yeezus“: Gorilla steak au poivre, paired with a 1978 Henri Jayer Richebourg Grand Cru ($19,767.79/bottle)
9. Daft Punk’s “Discovery“: Bagel Bites
By Brandon Kesselly, Staff Writer
What comes to mind when you think of Kanye West? Do you think of “Stronger” or “Gold Digger”? The time he criticized President George W. Bush for his supposed lack of efforts for the victims of Hurricane Katrina? The Taylor Swift incident and the ensuing memes? Or maybe you really enjoyed South Park’s portrayal of him.
Monday marked the 10th anniversary of West’s debut album, “The College Dropout.”
The title was blunt and true: West did drop out of college in order to pursue his dream of music. The album’s tracks detailed his story of struggles with work (“Spaceship”), his dance with death (“Through the Wire”), and his cynical criticism of the college system through a series of humorous — albeit, in your face — skits. West also explored his socio-political side with tracks like “All Falls Down,” “We Don’t Care,” “Never Let Me Down” and “Two Words.”
It is hard to imagine that it has been only ten years since West entered the limelight. Many people who don’t listen to hip-hop or don’t know West’s music tend to ask: “What’s so great about Kanye West?”
Let me tell you: “The College Dropout” changed the genre.
Released roughly one year after 50 Cent’s debut, “Get Rich or Die Tryin’,” “Dropout” was different: it was not an album glamorizing blatant criminal activity like a majority of the genre’s high profile artists at the time. West had crafted a project that told stories appealing to the masses, discussing the struggles of a man trying to make his dreams come true despite going against the grain of society.
Dropout paved the way for artists like Drake, J. Cole and Wale to find success, and for artists like Common to return to the spotlight. In short, nothing was the same since “The College Dropout” dropped. Congratulations, Mr. West.
By Brooke Jackson-Glidden, Features Editor
Teatime is upon us: When the cold weather rolls in with the turn of the semester, there’s nothing like grabbing a fuzzy blanket, opening your laptop and curling up with a hot cup of tea.
Tea is a magical product. It can wake you up or calm you down. It can make your stomach ache go away or relieve your headache. And unlike its cousins, hot chocolate and apple cider, it happens to be calorie-free. One sip and you’re off to your happy place.
We’ve compiled our favorite teas of the season for any tea-worthy occasion, from breakfast to bedtime. So whip out your favorite mug and start brewing.
1. French Breakfast Tea
Brand: Mariage Frères
Tip: Mariage teas are loose-leaf, so make sure to steep using a tea strainer. Spitting out little twigs will ruin your morning zen.
2. Darjeeling Tea
From: United Kingdom
Tip: Let this tea steep for five minutes and then remove the bag. Otherwise, it will become too strong. Also, don’t add milk – it will cloud over the delicate flavors of this classic blend.
3. Earl Grey
Brand: Kusmi Tea
Type: Black (also available decaffeinated and infused with citrus)
Tip: Make sure you buy this tea in bags – they use the old-fashioned method with mesh bags, which is as close to loose-leaf you can get without the hassle.
4. Yorkshire Gold
Brand: Taylors of Harrogate
From: United Kingdom
Tip: Make sure you let this bold tea hang out for five minutes and then add just a splash of milk. It can hold up against a little bit of cream and it will taste just smashing.
5. Chai Tea Latte Concentrate
Tip: Heat up a cup of this Portland classic with just a bit of milk: It’ll taste a bit like the Chai Latte you pick up at Starbucks.
6. Gypsy Rose Organic Tea
Brand: Zhena’s Gypsy Tea
Tip: Rose and honey are naturally a nice pair, and a simple spoonful will mellow out the bite that comes from over-brewing black tea.
7. Raspberry Quince
Brand: The Republic of Tea
Tip: Even though this tea is technically black, it tastes milder and more robust, like a red tea. With just three minutes of brew time, you’ll have a very mild, easy-to-drink tea.
8. Cinnamon Spice
Brand: Harney & Sons
From: New York
Tip: This tea is available for purchase with convenience points at the Barnes and Noble bookstore. Its complexity of flavor comes from orange peel and licorice, paired with the aforementioned cinnamon.
9. Peppermint Tea
Brand: Celestial Seasonings
Tip: No need to add additional sweetener to this peppermint tea – mint has natural sugars which mature as the tea steeps. It tastes particularly delicious with a cookie, however, and it happens to be Girl Scout cookie season!
10. Sleepytime Vanilla Herbal Tea
Brand: Celestial Seasonings
Type: Blend (decaffeinated)
Tip: Sleepytime tea, which combines chamomile, lemongrass and vanilla for a sweet, mild flavor, is perfect for curling up at bedtime. Feel free to leave the bag in – this tea hardly ever gets too strong.
By Hannah Landers, Staff Writer
Dear Musies and Freepers alike,
Welcome to 2014: Year of the Muse (if you want to get technical, 2014 is the Year of the Horse). A new year always brings to mind the phrase “out with the old, in with the new” and, though it does apply here in a superficial staff sense, that’s not really what this semester of Muse is about. In fact, Muse is turning instead to the old, in a way, and we’re excited to do so.
One of the biggest changes of 2014 for Muse is that we’re only publishing one day a week now, on Thursdays. Diehard Musies jonesing for their arts and entertainment fix need not fret, however, because now Muse will be publishing one story online every day from Monday to Friday. This ultimately means more Muse. Who wouldn’t want that, right?
The Muse staff is also working on developing beat contacts within the BU and larger Boston community. This will allow writers to form a stronger bond with that which they’re covering, giving the Muse more of a personal touch and strengthening local coverage. The Daily Free Press is a college newspaper, after all, and its arts and entertainment section should be covering the exciting things that students and student groups are doing nearly every day on campus.
Ultimately, more of this in-depth coverage will build a stronger foundation for the Muse within Boston University and Boston. Sure, it’s fun to read a review of the latest Sandra Bullock movie or coverage of that electronic concert you went to last night, but that’s the kind of content you could find on just about any news site. Muse is special because it’s an integral part of BU, responsible for making the arts a prominent part of this university’s culture. In 2014, we want to get back to our roots by celebrating what the hard-working and multi-talented students of BU have to offer.
Cheers to a new year of Muse!
Your Muse Editor,
By Alexandria Chong, Staff Writer
Berlin’s own musical powerhouse Thomas Gold graced Bijou with unforgettable beats and a vivacious energy on September 24. A frequent DJ at Bijou, Gold has the innate ability to have everyone in the club singing, dancing and all just raging together to his tracks. Gold is a DJ known for his versatility and creativity and has been effortlessly creating a name for himself through live performances and his energetic style.
Gold dropped his first release in 2006 and played at Miami Music Week in 2011. Over the years, he has been signed to labels such as Toolroom Records, Phazing, Spinnin’ Records and Size Records. Catching the ears of esteemed DJs such as Tiësto and former Swedish House Mafia member, Axwell, Gold was signed to Axtone. His debut compilation album, Axtone Presents Thomas Gold, was released in 2012 and hit the number one spot on Beatport. His tracks have grown to over 14 million views on YouTube. Since then, Gold has been performing his tracks at some of the most popular clubs and festivals around the world such as Electric Daisy Carnival New York and Las Vegas.
Gold’s favorite thing about creating music is that he can express himself in a very creative way with literally no limits, he said in a Daily Free Press interview. He attributes his style to inspiration from the entire dance music industry.
“That’s the thing, I can get so much fresh and ‘beyond-the-border’ inspiration from hanging out with friends in the clubs here just listening to the music,” Gold said.
When not performing his own show, Gold said he loves hanging out at other DJs’ sets, especially when its unplanned and he has a day off in the city to check out other talented DJs.
Going into each show with immense enthusiasm, Gold said he wants to “give the people the best time of their life and have a big party.” His show at Bijou holds this motto true. Accompanied by an intricately designed lightshow consisting of swirls and diamonds behind him, Gold’s beats range from mashing current top 40 EDM hits to some mixes of his own. With talent such as his, it is hard for the crowd not to connect and have a great night celebrating with him.
Considering his musical role models are the guys from Swedish House Mafia – Sebastian Ingrosso, Steve Angello and Axwell, it’s not hard to see how Gold has become such a phenomenon. Inspired by their unique story of combining different styles to form one group, it is clear that the music scene Gold is now a part of has helped influence and shape him into a top name on the radar. Gold is currently rounding out the end of his North American #RememberTheLight tour.
Listen to Thomas Gold’s sound below:
By Brandon Kesselly, Staff Writer
Over the last few decades, the genre of hip hop has slowly been evolving. With each year, each new artist that has risen to ‘mainstream’ status has brought something new to the table (for better or for worse). Certain artists constantly push the boundaries either lyrically, sonically or both. Others tend to fly under the radar with a few notable songs. Sometimes, the producer has even outshined the artist, but one thing has remained clear: the genre has been progressing every year.
During the ‘90s, which has been dubbed the “Golden Age of Hip Hop,” the rise of popular rappers such as the Notorious B.I.G (Biggie), Tupac Shakur (2Pac), Nas or Jay-Z showcased the different directions in which the genre could progress. After the deaths of B.I.G. and Shakur, who were already locked in a deadly feud, Jay and Nas had their own feud.
Biggie and 2Pac are the most controversial artists of the era and the genre – with Biggie perfecting Big Daddy Kane’s braggadocio rap style and 2Pac adapting Slick Rick’s storytelling to fit his own tales. Jay succeeded Biggie as the big bragger, and Nas succeeded 2Pac as the dark storyteller and preacher as the 90s became the new millennium, what I like to call the New Age of Hip Hop.
New Age hip hop artists that became crucial movers and shakers were Eminem, Lil Wayne, 50 Cent and Kanye West. Eminem – who sold more albums than anyone else in this era – was the former protege of NWA rapper/producer Dr. Dre. Wayne was the adopted son and rising young rapper of Birdman; 50 was discovered by Eminem and became a hitmaker; and Kanye was the underdog producer-turned-rapper with an attitude that wanted to outshine his mentor, Jay-Z.
As the years went on, these names constantly popped up all over the genre as the biggest names in “the game” (despite OutKast and Lauryn Hill snagging DIAMOND albums). But eventually Eminem took a break and 50 lost his album duel to Kanye West as both released their 3rd studio albums on the same day. In the meantime, Wayne had released a stellar series of albums and mixtapes that had him claiming to be the “best rapper alive.” By 2010, Kanye and Lil Wayne were arguably the biggest names in hip hop during the 2000s.
2011 proved to be a good year as well for both of these titans as Kanye collaborated with Jay-Z for Watch the Throne and Lil Wayne released the best-selling hip hop album of the year with Tha Carter IV (which went double platinum). Both had also put together strong labels in West’s G.O.O.D. Music and Wayne’s Young Money Entertainment – a move that rising titan Rick Ross soon mirrored in his Maybach Music Group.
But with the rise of these new labels and their respective talents, I ask one question: who’s next? Who will be the big hip hop star of this decade?
Some names have already been thrown onto the table, names such as Drake, Nicki Minaj, J. Cole, Big Sean, Kendrick Lamar, Meek Mill, A$AP Rocky, the list goes on. What I am asking is that in another 10, 20 or 30 years, who will be controlling the genre?
As of August 2013, only three hip hop artists that debuted in the current decade have gone platinum: Drake, Nicki Minaj and Kendrick Lamar. Drake has two platinum albums. Nicki has two platinum albums. Kendrick has one. These three are the current stars of the genre. Who will join them? Who will end at the top?
By Hannah Landers, Staff Writer
Violence. Drugs. Family values. No, this is not a game of “one of these things is not like the other.” This is Breaking Bad. For about five years now, Breaking Bad has given us some of the most earth-shattering moments in television history, and come Sunday, it will all come to an end. And though this is a voluntary departure initiated by BreBad creator and principle writer Vince Gilligan, viewers are – quite understandably – heartbroken.
“I’m really upset that it’s all ending,” said Ashley Cooper, a junior in the College of Arts and Sciences.
Aren’t we all? A lot can happen in five years, especially in Albuquerque, New Mexico, where the show takes place. Since chemistry teacher Walter White left the education game and became one of the greatest drug lords since Scarface, we’ve seen severed heads attached to turtles, bodies dissolved in vats of acid, pizzas thrown and subsequently abandoned on rooftops and a whole lot of rocks – er, minerals (sorry, Hank!) And even in its final season, BreBad is still surprising fans.
“Honestly, this show has been good from the start, but this last season is definitely going to be what makes it memorable,” said Kiera Blessing, a junior in the College of Communication. “The events of this last season have just been mind-boggling.”
But there’s so much more to BreBad than the insane plot twists.
“The writing, acting, production and editing are all so on-point,” Blessing said. “People are calling it the best show on television for a reason.”
Beyond this, viewers who have watched certain characters evolve and struggle for five years have come to love them with the kind of affection once reserved for family members and significant others.
Similarly, other characters have garnered a deep personal hatred from the BreBad fan base (Poor Skyler White!), especially the show’s underdog-turned-mad-dog Walter White. Gilligan has repeatedly described BreBad’s premise as “Mr. Chips turned Scarface,” and viewers seem to be following that template in their feelings toward America’s most infamous chemistry teacher.
“At the beginning Walt still seemed like a good guy while everyone else seemed bad,” Cooper said, “But that has all changed.”
As for predictions on how it’s all going to go down?
“I’m just expecting really awful outcomes for everyone involved,” said Blessing, “and then Walt to either keel over and die or commit suicide. Sunshine and rainbows and stuff.”
There’s really no telling where Vince Gilligan will decide to lead us all in those precious final 75 minutes of Breaking Bad, but like a blue-meth addict, I can’t wait to get my fix.
By Brooke Jackson-Glidden, Staff Writer
When Lady Gaga decided to tour South Africa in 2012, she landed on an opening act she thought would be appropriate for the area: Die Antwoord. Die Antwoord was a somewhat-successful local rap group with a “similar” bizarre image.
Die Antwoord disagreed. In response to her offer, they released an acidic response video where a lion eats a meat-dress-wearing Lady Gaga (Lady Gaga wore a dress completely made of meat to the 2010 VMA’s). But more importantly, front-woman Yo-Landi Vi$$er shed important light on the blatant privilege and appropriation of Lady Gaga in general.
Adorned in blackface, Yo-Landi wore yellow eyes with dollar signs pupils and berated the pop artist for assuming they would jump at the privilege to perform with her. In her Afrikaans-English fusion of a language, she talks about her upbringing as an impoverished child in South Africa and the hypocrisy in her newfound attention as a wealthy, “profitable” rapper. “I used 2 beg borrow or steal jus 2 hustle sumfing 2 eat,” Yo-Landi spits, juxtaposed next to a woman dressed in food she’s wearing just for the couture of eccentricity.
Die Antwoord offers a new, postmodern rap that captures various manifestations of poverty in South Africa with a sense of humor and social message, either intentional or not. For instance, the song “I Fink U Freaky,” at first glance, simply celebrates deviancy. The video, however, presents an aesthetic with primal elements and, again, a representation of poverty and despondence that makes you wonder what kind of world these artists came from. In another song, “Baby’s on Fire,” Yo-Landi and her rap partner, Ninja, play brother and sister in a classic lower-class white neighborhood; together, they shed a light on sexism, objectification and racism within these environments and a desperate conceptualization of ‘luxury,’ from Ninja watching girls fight in a plastic kiddie pool to Yo-Landi gasping at a gift from a male guest: a doll version of herself.
Part of what makes Yo-Landi such an interesting rap artist is her almost self-parodying over sexualized child-like presentation. Yo-Landi regularly wears crop tops and shorts in bright pastels, pigtails, and sneakers. That is, until you hear her rap. In that Micky Mouse voice, Yo-Landi spits harsh, violent rhymes that demand you see her as a force to be reckoned with. Not to mention, Yo-Landi’s almost-bowl-cut and invisible eyebrows make her seem just a bit too strange to be “heterosexy.”
So, you can see why the two would be so offended by Lady Gaga’s claim of similarity. For Lady Gaga, deviance is chic, upper-class or “special.” Die Antwoord earned its aberrancy from seeing it, living it, in all its glory and horror. Although South Africa is a world away, American fans can learn to be a little more open-minded with a dose of Yo-Landi.