Dear Iggy Azalea,
I was a Black child of the ’90s who grew up on hip-hop and R&B. Some of my favorite adolescent memories were set to the soundtrack of the likes of Toni Braxton, Tupac, Sade, Lauryn Hill and Nas. I may have only been seven-years-old when DJ Kool announced, “Let Me Clear My Throat,” but I was always right on time with the chorus as the beat dropped. I Hammer-timed and sang along to “Baby Got Back” while shaking my booty in the mirror. These “Black” music genres gave me an identity to be proud of. It taught me how to display and be proud of my culture and heritage. These “Black” genres were dominated and represented by people who looked like me — and those “Black genres” were at the top of America’s music charts. It was a true phenomenon to behold; a very recent freedom acquired by Black Americans after a long history of musical and cultural theft by Whites. I am the byproduct of that freedom: confident, strong and unapologetically Black. Sadly, today’s Black youth will not have the chance to see themselves in the music created by their people — a cyclical, unbreakable White tradition of theft and appropriation has once again taken that from them. And you are part of the problem. Keep reading »
I was just scrolling through my iTunes music and noticed that in the last year or so, many of the albums I’ve added to my collection are from female singers, songwriters and bands. (And I’m not talking Pop 40 either, though y’all know Beyonce and Taylor Swift are also on repeat.) BANKS, Betty Who, Jenny Lewis, First Aid Kit, Mr Little Jeans (who is technically a Ms, FYI), Karen O, Sharon Van Etten, the list goes on and I’ve worn them allllllll out. Basically, if my iTunes Most Played is to be believed, the last 12 months have been fucking killer for women in music. The latest bad ass lady to join my ever-growing list? VÉRITÉ. Yes, ALL CAPS, two accents — DEAL WITH IT. Keep reading »
Indie band Pomplamoose shared their recent tour’s financial information with their fans last week, and, um, it was … Not so good. They’d like everyone to believe that it was good, but it was not good.
The band took in $97,519 in ticket sales for a 28-day tour, which is insane. That is a lot of money for a month-long tour for an indie band. They also made $29,714 in merch sales and had a $8,750 sponsorship from Lenovo. All together, that’s $135,983 for one month of touring, which is practically unheard-of, especially for a band’s second tour. Keep reading »
“I think when we first came out, it was very bold of us to have a song called ‘Ain’t 2 Proud 2 Beg’ with [the lyrics] ‘Two inches or a yard, rock hard or if it’s sagging’.’” People totally understood what type of group we were. To sing a song like ‘Creep’ wouldn’t be surprising from us. … A lot of our songs are definitely from a woman’s perspective. Guys cheat all the time — and we weren’t trying to promote infidelity — but I’ll cheat because I’m not getting the attention that I need. I’m sure a lot of guys were like, ‘Dang!’ But I think the track was so cool, and with the routine from the video, you almost forget about what we were saying and just sing along.”
Our friends over at Idolator have put together an awesome feature ranking the 50 best songs of 1994 and have done new interviews with the artists who made the top five, including Chilli from TLC, who talked about the site’s #2 pick, “Creep.” It may be hard to remember now, but in 1994, “Creep” was actually pretty controversial, as it basically gave female fans the thumbs up to cheat on their man if he’s cheated on them. “I’ll never leave him down, though I might mess around. It’s only ‘cause I need some affection,” T-Boz sings on the track. But as Chilli reminds us, TLC had long been pushing the envelope, especially when it came to female sexuality and relationships. “Creep” is hannnnnds downnnn one of my favorite songs ever and goddamn did I love that video. I still want bright-colored silk pajamas. Anyway, check out the rest of the interview, not to mention all of Idolator’s rankings at the link! [Idolator]
After studying music production, making music for several years (trust me, you’ve never heard it), booking tours, and doing scant engineering work here and there, I wet my toes in the world of music journalism for about two months, working as an intern for a startup music magazine a few years ago. It was a supremely messy operation and definitely not the field for me, but I did take away two things: First, live event photography is fun; second, and more relevant to this post, how to stay ahead of music so that you look cool when your friends are talking about music. Oh, and also so that you can listen to a vast diversity of bands and enjoy yourself doing so.
The internet makes it easy (thanks, internet!), because there are a few extremely thorough release calendars, a few of which are accompanied by reviews. My favorites, in order, are: Keep reading »
For those of you who think country music isn’t for you, here are 13 reasons you need to stop what you’re doing and try it. From country vet Tim McGraw to newcomers like Sam Hunt, country music has some of the sexiest men on the planet who can rock the hell out of a cowboy hat, wear boots with the best of them and look damn good in a tight t-shirt. Oh, and they can sing. See which hot cowboys made our top 13 and prepare to be converted, my friends.
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