Tag Archives: music

A Return to Timeless Classics: Love For Sale

Love for Sale is the second and final collaborative album by Lady Gaga and Tony Bennett, as Bennett decided to step away from music in 2021 owing to his struggle with Alzheimer’s. As a big fan of their first album, Cheek to Cheek, and in light of Bennett’s retirement and the album’s acclaim, I thought that it was only fitting to listen to it and assess it myself. After giving it a listen, I can say that I was far from disappointed.

Love for Sale is a tribute album to the great American composer Cole Porter, who’s jazz standards were defining pieces of the early and mid-20th century and have been covered by the likes of Frank Sinatra and Barbara Streisand. In Love for Sale, Bennett and Gaga bring a new flair to Porter’s work, altering their renditions with just the slightest lyrical and musical changes without losing each song’s genre-defining wit and charm. With bolstering swing in “I’ve Got You Under My Skin,” smooth melodic runs in “I Concentrate On You,” and masterful instrumental solos in “Love for Sale,” Love for Sale truly has all the spunk and charisma necessary for a great jazz album.

The most enticing thing about Love for Sale is the chemistry between Gaga and Bennett. Whether it’s in their back and forth complimenting one another in “You’re the Top” or their cheeky remarks in “I Get a Kick Out of You,” the two seasoned singers masterfully play off each other and do justice to the savvy and endearing character of Porter’s songwriting style and Jazz Age music in general. Gaga and Bennett also hold their own in their solos on the album. Between their four solos Gaga’s rendition of “Do I Love You” stood out the most to me for its pensive and melancholy tone as well as her incredible vocal performance. Alongside “I’ve Got You Under My Skin” and “I Concentrate On You” made the biggest impression on me while listening to the album.

While individually, the songs on Love for Sale are all spectacular, I found that it is in its composite that the album matters the most. The renditions of Porter’s songs are done masterfully and with careful consideration for maintaining each song’s classic flair and personality, but it isn’t individual songs that stuck out to me so much as the album itself. Love for Sale is, above all things, an ode to the music of the past and a love letter to the genre that established Bennett’s career and influenced Gaga’s. While listening to the album, I felt transported to the time of jazz and swing and the suave and elegant atmosphere that defined the music of the 30s, 40s, and 50s, and in doing so, Love for Sale helped me push the bounds of my musical appreciation. In a modern musical environment defined by ever-changing genres and new technological advancements, Love for Sale carves out a space for a popular revitalization of jazz and allows us to still find appreciation for the classics that have set American music down the path that it is on today. I’m a bit of an old soul, especially when it comes to music, so I was taken by Love for Sale almost immediately. However, even if jazz or traditional pop isn’t generally your thing, I still strongly recommend that you challenge yourself and listen to the album. Doing so may open up a whole new musical world to fall in love with.

Early 2000’s Punk Rock Icons: Where are they now?

The early 2000s saw the rise of reality TV, flip phones, and low-rise jeans, trends we now look back and cringe at. But this era was also defined by the punk rock artists and bands that reigned supreme during it. So let’s take a look at these punk rock icons and see what they are up to today, almost two decades later.

My Chemical Romance (MCR)

Every emo kid knows the heartbreak and pain they felt when MCR announced that they were breaking up in 2013. The Black Parade will forever be ingrained into fans’ heads along with making the G note on the piano synonymous with teenage angst and heartbreak everywhere.

The band’s lead singer Gerard Way went on to create the well-known comic, then turned show, The Umbrella Academy. Mikey Way, the bassist and backing vocals, followed in his brother’s footsteps to work at DC Comics. Fans rejoiced as the band announced their return, initially for one show but after receiving an overwhelmingly positive response the band is slated to go on tour this year. 

Avril Lavigne

She made skinny ties and tank tops the hottest trend and provided the much-needed female presence in the punk-rock genre at the time. Unfortunately, according to an internet rumor, the real Avril Lavigne died in 2003 and has been replaced by a body double. But luckily, the singer is still very much alive and producing music to this day. Her latest album, titled; Love Sux, has bangers like Bite Me and ballads like Dare to Love Me.

Green Day

Who hasn’t sung along to American Idiot or cried as they felt existential dread while listening to Boulevard of Broken Dreams? This iconic band has been making music since 1986 and shows no signs of slowing down. They were going to go on the Hella Mega Tour, which was postponed due to COVID, and will now be touring in June 2022. Their latest album was titled Father of All… and was released in 2020 along with Billie Joe Armstrong’s album No Fun Mondays.

Fall Out Boy

This iconic band will be joining Green Day on the Hella Mega Tour. Fall Out Boy went on a hiatus in 2009, and even though we have had members release solo work, it’s just not the same! However, fans are thrilled to see their favorites like Sugar, We’re Goin’ Down and Thnks fr th Mmrs in person again and given the reunion, there soon may be new music to look forward to.

Paramore

It was Misery Business when Paramore announced they were going on a hiatus in 2019 since fans believed they were The Only Exception to the mass exodus of emo-pop bands. But, in 2021 Hayley Williams, the band’s lead singer, announced they were going to end their hiatus in a Rolling Stones interview. Fans are eagerly waiting for new music that the band has promised will be out sometime in 2022.

 All Time Low

Stream Once In A Lifetime to keep up with the great music this band has released. After announcing a break in 2017, the band came back with a bang, and their 2020 single Monsters with Demi Lovato and black bear proves that they are here to stay and not a distant memory of the past! 

In conclusion, the pop-punk icons of our past are making a resurgence, at least when it comes to their music. So, put on your darkest eyeliner, skinny jeans, and crimson smile to march along with the Black Parade.

Featured Image by Allison Geddie

 

Permission to dance in la: a review of bts’ online-offline concert

On November 27th and 28th and December 1st and 2nd, BTS held in-person concerts for the first time in over two years. Over the course of the four days, the band performed in front of over 200,000 people at SoFi Stadium in Inglewood, California. Of course, this excludes those watching live at the Youtube Theater right next door.

For the last concert date, December 2nd, the concert was officially live-streamed for those who purchased tickets. This allowed fans to view the concert in HD and from multi-view angles. 

Unfortunately, I could not attend the concert in person, but I did watch it online, and it was exciting nonetheless.

I will premise that this wasn’t my first online BTS concert, but it was the first with ARMYs watching them live in-person too.

The concert started at 7:30 PM PST (9:30 PM CST) and lasted two and a half hours. 

The concert opened with an electric performance of their song “ON”, which they have waited almost two years to perform in front of fans. The hard-hitting beats and choreography made it the perfect concert opener and excited the fans.

Right after, they performed a remix-medley of their songs Fire and Dope, both popular songs from 2016. Behind them, the stage screen was brightly lit with fiery red-orange color, fitting for the song Fire. They danced around freely, but once the music transitioned into Dope, they soon formed to perform the key dance moves from the choreography. 

The members would take a break every few songs and give little “ments”, a Konglish word about the little speeches K-pop groups often make after performances. For longer breaks and for costume changes, there would be pre-recorded videos, called VCRs in the K-Pop community, usually taken in artistic ways that pertain to the concept of the concert or the songs being performed.

In total, for this last concert, BTS performed twenty-five songs. Not all of these songs were performed in their full-lengths, and often they would be performed as remixes or medleys, but all seven members performed the songs. BTS concerts typically have unit songs or solo songs, where only a few or just one member would perform. However, because it had been so long, they wanted to show all seven of them, member SUGA saying on day two, “we wanted your attention on all of us.” https://twitter.com/nicolemagicshop/status/1465197216163786752?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw

One of my favorite performances included their song entitled “Black Swan,” with the choreography and visual performance being one of the most beautiful I’ve seen in a while. The dancers that joined them on stage had these costumes with white feathers on the sleeves, emulating a white swan, with the rest of their costumes being in black for the sleeves to stand out. With the BTS members’ costumes were in all black, one of the moves was to lift one of the members up, and the dancers’ feathered arms emulated a pair of wings. The visual left me breathless, and I couldn’t get over how beautiful they were able to make a performance look on stage, live. 

At some point, as they sang their song “Telepathy” which was written last year during the pandemic and was about the moment BTS reunited with their fans, ARMY, the members got on these carts that allowed them to be closer to fans watching from level two of the stadium, allowing them to see more of the crowd.

Another big favorite of the concert was when they performed their 2015 song “Save Me” with some of its choreography. One of the most fun moments of this song was during the dance break where the fanchant of their names was shouted, but through the Livestream, it was really difficult to hear the crowd, which made the energy feel a bit low; but that didn’t stop me from shouting the fanchant myself!

As we neared the end of the concert, songs that weren’t performed on the other dates were sung, including a personal favorite of mine called “HOME” and their 2019 song “Mikrokosmos” which was their ending song for their 2019 Speak Yourself world tour. There was something so sweet about hearing the song performed in front of thousands of fans for the first time in two years, and member V even shed a few happy tears. Seeing the expressions of the members close up due to the camera angles from the Livestream made the experience as emotional as it would have been in person, and even though I was alone in my room, I never once felt completely alone.

Also on this day, as it was two days prior to member Jin’s birthday, fans did a surprise event where they covered their lightsticks called ARMY Bombs with boxes that had a crescent moon cutout, a callback to Jin’s solo song from their “Map of the Soul: 7” album, “Moon.”

Before their last song, “Permission to Dance,” the seven men give their ending ments. I’ll provide highlights from each members’ ments.

J-Hope (who spoke in English for the final night): “I hope this concert is not the end; I hope that it’s another beginning. Let’s always remember today until we meet again, ARMY.”

Jimin (who decided to speak in Korean. They also have a live translator for the concert, as they did for their previous tours so that all the fans in person can understand too): “…Of course, we will meet again, and there will be a time where we will meet ARMYs watching online too, but it will take some time, but I don’t think that wait will be so difficult.”

RM (the wonderful leader who also happens to be fluent in English): “I feel so blessed and grateful that I could [perform] in this crazy time. I love you, and I’m so blessed to have you here. I love you.”

Jungkook (in English): “This is the end of our concert in LA, but this is definitely not our end. Four days I spent with you; I’ll make sure they never fade away from my memories. Okay ARMY- let’s all stay healthy, let’s all stay happy, and then- let’s meet again. Borahae!”

Jin (with an RJ plushie tied to his head, cutely): (in English) “Cute?” (proceeds in Korean) “To be honest, being thirty and putting [RJ] on my head is a little embarrassing, but because you guys like it, and now that I’ve gotten an event back, I know how it feels. It’s a little embarrassing but I’ll keep thinking about new things I can do.” (back in English) “I. Love. You. ARMY!”

SUGA (in Korean): “Preparing for this concert, I wondered ‘it’s been two years, will it be okay?’ but you guys remained the same.”

V (in Korean): “I had an English ment prepared but I’ll say what I want to say in Korean instead. For the past two years, it’s been hard as hell. But for these past four days doing the concert, I realized how much love we receive from ARMY.”

RM wrapped up the ments with a few last words, and “Permission to Dance” began to play. The members and backup dancers joined in on the fun, and when the song ended, they surprised fans with a performance of “My Universe” with Coldplay.

With that, the concert ended with all seven members holding hands and bowing to the crowd from different parts of the stage, and as they went behind the screen, they called out once again to ARMYs, saying they’ll meet us again someday.

BTS will have three more in-person concerts for “Permission to Dance On Stage,” set to take place in their home country of South Korea, in Seoul on March 10, 12 & 13 at the Olympic Stadium.

Featured Image By Talisa Trevino

Moody Center Upcoming Concerts

Have you heard? A new concert venue is coming to Austin this spring, and it’s right here on campus. Opening in April 2022, the Moody Center will be the new home to The University of Texas at Austin Women’s and Men’s basketball and the place to be for concerts bringing in people of all ages. Here is a list of all the artists coming to the Moody Center that you don’t want to miss. 

  1. John Mayer

John Mayer will be the first of many artists to come to the Moody Center on April 20 and 21. He will bring people of all ages,  mostly young girls in their 20s. Be sure to get a group of friends together for this concert so you won’t be the only one crying to his songs.

  1. Bon Jovi

Bon Jovi, the amazing rock band from the 80s, is next. Who doesn’t love Bon Jovi? This artist will bring down people of all ages. You might run into your parents at this concert, who knows?  But, everyone who goes will be able to scream at the top of their lungs that they-re “Livin’ On A Prayer” on April 23.

  1. Justin Bieber 

Your Bieber Fever from 2010 is making a comeback. Bieber will perform on April 27, bringing in all the girls to Austin. Who knows, maybe he will bring back his “One Less Lonely Girl” tradition? Even if he is married now, we can still imagine him singing his heart out to us.

  1. George Strait 

Country legend George Strait will be performing on April 29 and 30 for the official grand opening of the Moody Center. He will be bringing in country lovers of all ages. So grab your boots and come down to sing all your favorite songs.

  1. Swedish House Mafia

After country, we are making a big switch to EDM with this artist. Making a comeback this year, Swedish House Mafia is a classic.  Bringing in mostly young adults, get ready to rave and vibe on August 25.

  1. The Killers

Ready to hear one of everyone’s favorite songs to scream on a night out live? September 9 The Killers are coming to Austin. So get ready to scream “Mr. Brightside” live at the top of your lungs. Because this song will sound better live than on your car radio.

  1. Shawn Mendes

There shouldn’t be anything holding you back from seeing Shawn Mendes on October 3. Girls of all ages will be in attendance, waiting to sing with their celebrity crush. Who knows, maybe his next girlfriend could be you.

Featured Image By Talisa Trevino

The 2014 Tumblr Revival

Certain objects have the power to take us back to specific moments in our lives. Popsicles and grass stains may remind you of playing with your childhood friends in the summer, or the smell of chocolate chip cookies might remind you of your grandma. American Apparel tennis skirts, Doc Martens and Arctic Monkeys? 2014 Tumblr. 

It seems like every month, a new trend surfaces on the internet. Over the past year alone, there were countless internet trends like cottage-core or 2000’s style clothing. Although most trends are a repeat of previous styles from decades ago, like 80’s mom jeans becoming popular in 2016, many current trends have started to draw inspiration from the last few years. With TikTok as the main source for these trends, the time periods from which the inspiration is being drawn has gotten more recent and niche. TikTok’s latest victim? 2014 Tumblr aesthetics. 

If you ask anyone ages 18 to 28 what 2014 Tumblr culture reminds them of, you’ll probably get the same answers. Flannels, black and white album covers and nonsensical “deep” quotes were all pillars of this time period. Countless hours were spent endlessly scrolling through Tumblr, reblogging Lana Del Rey quotes or grainy photos of city skylines. Although many of us who were active in the 2014 Tumblr subculture reminisce fondly about it, no one can believe that seven years later it would become trendy again. Here are three ways that I believe 2014 Tumblr culture will make a comeback:  

Clothing

Fashion is one of the biggest ways I believe we’ll see a revival in 2014 Tumblr aesthetics. When you look up “2014 tumblr outfits,” you are bombarded with tennis skirts, knee high socks and Doc Martens. Each of these items was a staple within the community, and can be seen making a comeback right now. If you sit along Speedway, almost every other person you see will be wearing one of these clothing items. 

Music 

Music was a large part of the 2014 Tumblr culture. Arctic Monkeys, Sky Ferreira, Marina and the Diamonds, The 1975, Lana Del Rey and Lorde were just a few of the coveted musicians/bands that were popular during that time. With the release of a new Lana del Rey album and rumored comeback of Sky Ferreira, it’s hard not to feel like there will be a revival of popular 2014 musicians.

Attitude

For many pre-teens and teens, Tumblr was used as an act of self-expression. Communities were created within the platform that catered to all interests. In particular, a large portion of the 2014 Tumblr community found their niche in grunge clothing, indie music and black-and-white grid patterns. Now on platforms like Tiktok, teens are creating their own spaces for self-expression– similar to Tumblr. 

The 2014 Tumblr revival won’t be a carbon copy of what some of us remember from seven years ago, however, I think that there will be tons of parallels in clothing, music and attitudes. Newer generations will put their own spin on the aesthetics that so many of us grew up on. In the meantime, I think it’s safe to say that you can bring out your Doc Martens, American Apparel tennis skirt and press play on A.M. by the Arctic Monkeys!