By Hannah Landers, Muse Editor
Sweet summer is almost here, which means it’s almost time for The Muse to take a vacation. But before we grab our flip-flops and short-shorts, we have a few final suggestions to make this summer the most Muse-tastic ever. Below is a list of movies to see, albums to listen to, food to nom on and lifestyle events to check out during the long, hot days. Enjoy your summer, Musies! And don’t forget the sunscreen!
Book adaptation: “The Fault in Our Stars” (June 6) — Sure, “The Giver” promises performances from the likes of Meryl Streep, Jeff Bridges and, er, Taylor Swift. But “The Fault in Our Stars” has a beautifully tragic story and a fresh-faced cast. If the trailer alone doesn’t make you tear up, you are a monster.
Epic: “Godzilla” (May 16) — Walter White from “Breaking Bad” takes on one of film’s most infamous monsters. Need I say more?
Comedy: “22 Jump Street” (June 13) — If you liked Channing Tatum and Jonah Hill as undercover cops in high school, you’re going to love them as undercover cops in college. Ja feel?
Superhero: “Guardians of the Galaxy” (August 1) — With a team of characters that includes a genetically engineering raccoon marksman and a “tree-like humanoid,” “Guardians” promises to be “The Avengers’” weird younger brother. The diverse cast is another draw, especially with a newly buff and mostly shirtless Chris Pratt leading the pack (am I right, ladies?).
Once in a lifetime: “Boyhood” (July 11) — Director Richard Linklater tells the story of a young boy growing into adulthood, but because he shot the film over a period of 12 years, the audience is actually watching young actor Ellar Coltrane age from 7 years old to 18 years old in a span of three hours.
Rock ‘n’ roll royalty: Jack White’s “Lazaretto” (June 10) — Jack White’s last solo venture was filled with a lot of good ol’ blues-tinged rock ‘n’ roll. Here’s hoping that this album is more of the same.
Girl power: Lykke Li’s “I Never Learn” (May 6) — The ethereal Swedish songstress is back after three years, promising more subtle brilliance with her one-of-a-kind voice.
Indie comeback kid: Conor Oberst’s “Upside Down Mountain” (May 20) — Bright Eyes front-man Oberst usually injects a little more of his country-tinged Nebraska roots into his solo releases and vocal assists from folk duo First Aid Kit only sweetens the deal.
James Blake 2.0: Sam Smith’s “In the Lonely Hour” (June 17) — If you caught Smith’s performance on “Saturday Night Live” in March, you know the power of this Brit’s haunting and soulful melodies. At only 21 years old, Smith is slated for a meteoric rise.
Movie mix-tape: American Laundromat Records’ “I Saved Latin! A Tribute to Wes Anderson” (May 13) — This 23-track album features a diverse array of artists covering songs from Wes Anderson’s iconic films. Muted color schemes and Jason Schwartzman not included.
Chocolate chip cookie milk shot: From the genius who brought you the “cronut,” the chocolate chip cookie milk shot is exactly what it sounds like: a chocolate chip cookie in the shape of a shot glass filled with milk. It’s a magical update on a childhood favorite.
Infused ice: Ice cubes no longer have to be the boring frozen treat of your summer. Restaurants are starting to see the potential of infusing them with herbs, fruit and other goodies in order to spice up cocktails and other drinks. Cheers!
A spot of tea: From tea leaves in entrees to tea-based cocktails, there’s plenty of ways to enjoy tea without having to sip a steaming hot cup in the middle of July.
Ice cream sandwich smorgasbord: After enduring years of the cupcake’s reign as most popular dessert, it looks as though we’ll all be screaming for ice cream sandwiches from roaming food trucks soon enough.
Adult popsicles: Booze-infused popsicles aren’t a relatively new idea, but the fun flavor possibilities and their simple prep make them a no-brainer for summer.
Music festivals: For many, summer is equated with hanging outdoors and listening to their favorite bands. Muse did a blog post earlier in April with a list of the best music festivals across the country. All you have to do is pick one (or two … or five).
Get your drink on: You don’t have to be in traditional “wine country” to take a tour of a winery. Or, if beer is more your thing, check out a brewery. Sites such as Groupon offer great rates that include tours, food pairings and of course, tastings.
Stuff your face: Food festivals happen nearly everywhere, and they’re a great place to expand your palette and maybe even find your new favorite restaurant. Some of them are even tailored to a state’s signature dish, such as the Maine Lobster Festival.
Pay homage to your favorite author: Okay, this one is kind of a stretch, but if you happen to be in Florida this summer, why not remember a famous author who used to live there? Hemingway Days is a five-day festival in July that includes book signings, readings, a fishing tournament in honor of the author’s favorite sport and a look-alike contest (Google some pictures and thank me later).
By Danny McCarthy, Staff Writer
With the thrum of Spring in full swing, it’s easy to believe that the end of school is nigh! But fear not, because although the semester is winding down, the world of pop culture will never die as long as there are people to care about celebrity Instagrams (aka me). So as is my duty and pleasure, let’s get down to “bidness.”
We’re starting off with the King of Cute and the Duke of Darling: Prince George! At his first royal engagement since his birth, the little prince went on a play date with the children of notable dignitaries in New Zealand. The parents were all first-timers like Will and Kate, and included both single mothers and same-sex couples. The tiny future King of England was adorable in an overall onesie and is possibly the only person who can trump his glamorous mother, Kate Middleton! I’m looking forward to a lot of cute photo-ops in the future!
We knew that when David Letterman announced his retirement, we could start expecting a flurry of potential replacements in the late night world. And it came as a bit of a surprise when Stephen Colbert of “The Colbert Report” was announced as Letterman’s successor. The shock mostly comes out of Colbert’s distinctive style and comedy, which has some people wondering how it will translate to the iconic late night show. Colbert has assured us that the show will not be done in any sort of “character” and that the public will get to see him being himself. I’m looking forward to Colbert and his take on “The Late Show.”
4. Anne Hathaway and Jimmy Fallon Broadway-ify Rap Songs:
So this is the thing that I never knew I needed until I discovered it. Anne Hathaway and Jimmy Fallon sang show tunes versions of rap songs. It is times like these that I am reminded that Hathaway, despite her impressive repertoire of serious roles, can easily change into a comedic actress. It’s a nice reminder, especially when it comes wrapped up in a Broadway ribbon of “In Da Club.” Brava, Anne Hathaway. Brava!
Is winter coming? You should probably ask the cast of “Game of Thrones” in their fourth season premiere on Sunday. The hit show, which has captivated audiences with its complex story-lines, nuanced characters and sweet amount of naked butts, premiered on the HBO Go website. The colossal amount of traffic, about 6.6 million people tuning in, promptly crashed the site. The newest premiere marks the largest audience yet, up from 4.5 million in 2013. Word of mouth made “Game of Thrones” popular, and it seems like the fire has not diminished.
The past week has been quite the roller coaster for Cyrus. Last Tuesday, her beloved dog Floyd passed away. But now she has a new puppy to ease the pain. Her mother, Tish Cyrus, got her an adorable pooch named Moonie. But sometimes a new love cannot dull old pain. Cyrus is grieving for Floyd, and her new Elle cover showcases her sad side. In the photoshoot, Cyrus rarely cracks a smile, preferring to smolder sullenly in beautiful Yves Saint Laurent and Christian Louboutin pieces. While the photos turned out stunning, we miss our fresh and wildly fierce Miley Cyrus.
Amy Poehler and Old Navy have teamed up again and the result is glorious. In the newest ad, Poehler is grilling a woman in an Old Navy dress while making the worst burrito of all time. Poehler is also due to team up with bestie Tina Fey for a new movie called “The Nest,” which will feature the two comediennes as sisters having one last party in their childhood home. If their last project together, “Baby Mama,” is any indicator, this movie will be amazing.
That’s all for this week. If there was anything I missed, put it in the comment section below!
Summertime means warm weather, no classes and — most importantly — the best music festivals of the year. Here’s a list of just a few of them, including where, when and, of course, who is going to be there. No matter what genre of music you like to jam to this summer, Muse has you covered.
When: May 23–25
Lineup highlights: Jack Johnson, Death Cab for Cutie, Modest Mouse, The Decemberists, Bastille, The Neighbourhood
Why you should go: Why venture far when there’s a great music festival right in Boston University’s own backyard? Boston Calling also offers the chance for concertgoers to get their fix twice a year — once in May and once in September. So if you’re leaving Boston for the summer, look out for that September lineup come move-in weekend.
When: May 23-25
Where: George, Wash.
Lineup highlights: Outkast, The National, Queens of the Stone Age, HAIM, M.I.A., Kid Cudi
Why you should go: Although Sasquatch! usually sticks to indie bands and singer-songwriters, it still has a rather varied lineup. It also boasts a pretty great view: The Gorge Amphitheater, carved right into the cliffs above the Columbia River Gorge, was voted “Top Amphitheater” in the 2013 Billboard Touring Awards.
When: May 24-25 (New York City), June 20-22 (Las Vegas)
Where: New York City and Las Vegas
Lineup highlights: Tiësto, Bassnectar and Afrojack are included in New York; the Las Vegas lineup has yet to be announced
Why you should go: For the electronic music fan, this one’s a no brainer: EDC Las Vegas is the biggest electronic music festival in the world. Last year’s festival certainly seemed to promise more good things to come too, and year’s EDC in Las Vegas has sold out before even releasing a lineup.
When: June 19-22
Where: Dover, Del.
Lineup highlights: Outkast (again), Foo Fighters, Imagine Dragons, The Lumineers, Arctic Monkeys, Weezer
Why you should go: One of the smallest states is packing some major festival game. Firefly is a relative newcomer to the world of music fests, but has gotten everything right so far with its killer lineups and pleasant, woodland setting.
When: June 25-29, July 1-6
Lineup highlights: Neon Trees, B.o.B., A Great Big World and Pentatonix are all performing on the general admission stages; Bruno Mars and Lady Gaga are among those performing in the Marcus Amphitheater
Why you should go: Though those from the coasts may never have heard of Summerfest, it holds the title for world’s largest music festival. Last year, attendees could buy a pass for all 11 days of the festival for just $60. The pass offered admission to any concert on any day, excluding the performers in the headliner arena, the Marcus Amphitheater.
When: Aug. 1-3
Lineup highlights: Eminem, Lorde, Foster the People, The Kooks, Chvrches, Jacob Plant
Why you should go: Lollapalooza is one of the biggest music festivals in the country — and notorious for selling out before half of concertgoers even get a chance to look at the lineup. With those kinds of stats, they must be doing something right.
When: June 12-15
Where: Manchester, Tenn.
Lineup highlights: Kanye West, The Avett Brothers, Jack White, Vampire Weekend, Elton John, Neutral Milk Hotel, Lionel Richie
Why you should go: Bonnaroo is the holy pinnacle that all music festivals strive toward. An extravaganza that can attract indie royalty like Vampire Weekend, hip-hop messiahs like Kanye West and kings of music in general like Elton John really needs no further explanation.
When: June 14 to Aug. 3
Where: Various cities throughout the U.S.
Lineup highlights: Less Than Jake, K.Flay, Bayside, Yellowcard, Anberlin, The Devil Wears Prada (lineup varies from city to city)
Why you should go: This year let the festival come to you! Warped may have strayed from its punky roots in recent years, but a diversified lineup has only made it stronger as it approaches its 20th birthday.
By Hannah Landers, Muse Editor
I could say that it was hard to narrow my life down to just 20 songs, that I struggled and debated and agonized over every track. But when I really sat down and thought, when I really contemplated which songs have had real impact and given my life real substance, it was easy to knock off the ones I simply replayed for weeks on end and then forgot about.
In the end, my playlist is surprisingly centered about my family. I have vivid memories of singing Van Morrison’s “Brown Eyed Girl” with my father, erroneously insisting that Morrison said “Casper” at one point in the song, in reference to my favorite children’s movie featuring a friendly ghost. And I was first introduced to the weird mind of David Byrne through my mother. Whenever “Psycho Killer” comes on the radio, we take turns yelling the “fa fa fa’s” and “aye-aye-aye-aye’s” at one another.
My younger brother, a rich wellspring of music with an iTunes library that would take a couple months to get through, has expanded my music tastes more than anyone. He took the sunny indie music preferences of my teenage years and gave me a healthy dose of grunge in the form of noisy surf punk like Wavves and the kings of grunge themselves, Nirvana.
My younger sister, a staunch Directioner, has been far less influential. Still, I couldn’t help smiling to myself hearing her sing along to the Arctic Monkeys’ “R U Mine?” over winter break. It’s nice to know I have some kind of effect on the person she’s becoming, regardless of how inconsequential it may be.
Bright Eyes’ “Lua” belongs to my cousin and I, who spent so many of my early years with me that people used to mistake us for twins. As we grow apart, physically and figuratively, Bright Eyes will be one of the things that will always link us together.
“Aaron’s Party (Come Get It)” reminds me of my hometown friends, who aren’t technically my family but may as well be. Take it from me, there’s no better soundtrack than Aaron Carter for cruising around suburban Pennsylvania on a humid, cloudless night with the people you’ve known since kindergarten. The Killers’ “All These Things That I’ve Done” and Discovery’s “Swing Tree” were tracks on Sharpie-covered blank CDs given to me by crushes and ex-boyfriends — need I say more?
But most important are the songs that I discovered for myself. Band of Horses’ “Dilly,” Tokyo Police Club’s “Your English Is Good” and Andrew Bird’s “Fake Palindromes” are songs I can play on repeat endlessly from artists or bands that I happened to stumble upon for one reason or another. And it’s these songs, the ones that start out as a sort of special secret between the artist and you, which are most important to cherish.
By Sarah Kirkpatrick, Editor-In-Chief
My entire life has extremely music-rich. There was a constant supply of classic rock playing as my mom drove me around as a child. Growing up in the Pacific Northwest, grunge was part of the culture (I still wear flannel and beanies quite frequently, prompting plenty of reactions from my staff such as “God, Sarah, you’re SO Seattle.”).
I sang in school and church choirs, so I was exposed to a lot of gospel and soulful songs that way. I went through my rebellious Linkin Park/My Chemical Romance/Three Days Grace phase in middle school, and found myself in a brief popular music phase in high school before eventually becoming more well-rounded.
Today, I’m very much into the indie pop and indie rock scene, constantly scouring underground music blogs for new sounds and new emotions, anything that sparks my interest. I don’t return to the songs of my childhood too often, but I believe my current musical interests are shaped from the constant rock and soul to which I was exposed as a kid.
So, tasked with listing my favorite songs, I tried my best — with a few exceptions — to look at the songs that serve as the inspirations or in some way have raw connections to my present-day tastes. From spooky synths to hell-yeah-don’t-need-no-man powerful vocals, to depressing acoustics and flannel-wearing, long-haired rockers, these are the songs that in some way relate back to what I listen to now.
And, of course, Kanye. Because obviously.
By Ross Hsu, Staff Writer
The way I see it, everyone gets their music taste from his or her parents. I’ve liked a ton of different bands in my time, and most of them have lost my attention as I’ve found new loves. The ones that stay around, though, are the ones that remind me of being a kid — of leaning against the bookcase that held my mom’s old stereo, feeling the voices of Screamin’ Jay Hawkins, Mike Love and Paul Simon reverberate in my skull.
Raised on the weirdest selection of new wave, early punk, classic rock and folk, I grew up appreciating songs that either defied their genre or lampooned it. This playlist, made in honor of our music issue, is a testament to that. Traversing my tastes from childhood to now, it contains as many of my dirty new wave guilty pleasures as it does my modern electro trash guilty pleasures. I think most of my favorite songs are guilty pleasures.
Listen to this playlist of my favorite songs! It’s an eclectic mix of blues, electronic, new wave, early R&B, modern indie rock, and whatever M.I.A. is. If ever you’ve found yourself wondering what The FreeP’s music subhead listens to in his free time, now is your chance!
Hint: never trust any group of music that calls itself “eclectic.” Unless of course, you’re been given this information by an astute and informed scholar of the popular arts such as myself.
straightens tasteful tie and understated monocle.
By Jacob Carter, Staff Writer
Researchers at North Carolina State University conducted a study that highlights how a song’s lyrical theme can be a predictor of its potential popularity.
The study analyzes the most popular themes in number one songs on Billboard’s “Hot 100” over the last several decades. Based on its findings, it would appear that today’s music is best represented by the words “inspiration,” “pain” and “desperation.”
Of course, if you consider how nearly every current song involves a breakup, this revelation is hardly surprising.
In fact, the more I read into this study, the more I realize how useless it would be for a songwriter or music producer. Even if they tried to use the themes, the researchers can only predict with 73.4 percent accuracy that a new song will make its way onto the “Hot 100” list.
But don’t underestimate songwriters — there is still a large amount of creativity required in order to craft lyrics that a majority of people would find meaningful. Not to mention that there are countless people who listen to songs solely for the rhythm of the music and not so much for the words.
Personally, I am far more interested in witnessing the evolution of music since the 1960s. Fifty years ago, everyone was writing songs to the tune of nostalgia and rebellion, which led into a time of loss and confusion in the 1980s. And now all people want to hear about is how to ease the pain of their desperation with inspiration.
So, what does that mean for the condition of our country’s culture? Apparently we are in a perpetual state of dissatisfaction and constantly want more from life. How cheery!
In the end, I’m not sure exactly what to take away from the study. As mentioned, I doubt a struggling songwriter would find much use for it due to the broadness of the analysis. But I do think that the study provides a wonderful snapshot of music culture over time. It also illustrates that, despite shifts in genre and form, the music that most people connect with has remained the same.
By Jacob Carter, Staff Writer
The South by Southwest music festival was held in Austin, Texas last week, and in honor of the event, talk show host Jimmy Kimmel turned his hijinks toward the festival’s countless participants.
In a special edition of “Lie Witness News,” — a comedic segment on his show devoted to a reporter posing questions to people on the street about phony news items — SXSW attendees were asked what they thought about a variety of fictitious indie bands.
I’m not sure how many people the reporter asked in the course of her day, but it is clear that she was successful in finding a large number of individuals willing to proclaim their ardent support for an array of ludicrously named bands, some of which included “Neil Patrick Harassment” and “DJ Heavy Flow.”
Out of all the interviewees, my favorite would have to be the guy from Montreal who apparently came all the way to Texas to see up-and-coming artist “DJ Cornmeal.” That is one dedicated (fake) fan!
Of course, it would be easy to watch this video and simply label all of these people as hipsters, posers, etc. But they could just as easily be succumbing to the effects of the television camera.
After all, when cornered by a TV crew, no one wants to look like an idiot. It is a moment for a person to shine and obtain his or her brief moment of fame. In fact, it is hard to know whether I would have behaved differently in such a situation: shove a camera in my face, and I’m just as liable to spout my endless love for “Willie Nelson Mandela” as these poor suckers were.
By Negin Taleb, Video Staff
Music Enthusiast? Battle of the Bands could be your calling.
BU Central welcomed eight bands to play original music and compete for a $500 prize. If you’ve been at BU for a few years now, you may recognize some of these names:
Honey Bee Dance Language, Houseguests, The Orphic Blues, Caleb and the Carlton St. Blues Band, Paul Cappola, Palm Springs Life, Snarknado, and Titans of Industry were all on the set list. Ring any bells?
Among these bands, a few really stuck out to me. Not only does Honey Bee Dance Language have an epic name, they also have an instrument you don’t see very often with younger bands: the cello. I have been to my fair share of concerts, and no instrument has been quite so pleasing to hear live. Though there were two singers, three guitarists and a drummer playing along, nothing could overpower the heavenly chords of the cello.
What else does a band need, besides an awesome cello, to really make its mark on someone? Some would say impeccable style, flawless riffs and killer vocals. While those are important, there’s one thing that makes it all come together: passion.
The lead singer and guitarist in Houseguests represented exactly that. During my interview with the talented musician, Noah Yastrow, he was eager to talk about his band as much as he could. His passion and commitment to his band triggered some anticipation in me for his set. Once Houseguests played their set I knew it was worth it to hear what their band had to play.
While watching their set, I couldn’t help but wonder what bands Houseguests is most influenced by, and when I asked Yastrow about it afterwards, his vague answer fit really well.
“I don’t really know,” Yastrow said. “We sound like everything. Nothing and everything.”
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