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!
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 Danny McCarthy, Staff Writer
There are some videos that beg to be watched, and when you do watch them, an obligatory “Awwwwww” slips out.
Enter Jackson, 4, who is determined to listen to A Great Big World’s “Say Something,” even though it saddens him. Apparently, he is a proponent of the idea that just because something makes you sad, it doesn’t mean it isn’t worth the pain.
Jackson is emotionally deeper than I am, and I’m not even mad.
Wearing an adorable pilot’s outfit, complete with a hat and goggles, Jackson is crying from the get-go, but refuses to have the song changed. His dad, who is doing a pretty great job of capturing the moment, makes sure that Jackson is okay.
“If it makes you cry, then I don’t want to play a sad song for you,” his dad reasons, but Jackson is committed. “Give me a thumbs-up that you’re okay,” his dad says, and Jackson’s thumbs go right up.
This video has quickly gone viral, with over a 1.3 million in the past week. And after watching, it’s easy to see why. Jackson’s sweet sensitivity will make your heart hurt in the best way possible. Enjoy!