Music

Reflecting on the Music That Shaped the Los Angeles of the Rodney King Era

Kevin Morris

Because of the gang violence and drug addiction that is synonymous with the inner city and especially Los Angeles, there is sense that these type of measures are warranted for a people who commit such acts intra-communally. And police brutality stands as another repressive constant within the inner city. Something NWA summed up with their classic single F*ck Tha Police. Although some may cringe at the title and lyrics of the song, the sentiment is shared across the predominantly African-American inner cities in this country. 

Is Firefly the East Coast’s Answer to Bonnaroo and Coachella?

Kevin J. Ryan

Bonnaroo. Lollapalooza. Coachella. Firefly? That’s the goal for the second-year festival: Get mentioned in the same breath as the largest and most famous in the country. And with the success it’s had in its first year-plus of existence, Firefly might be well on its way. The Atlantic Coast has always lacked a signature festival. While the West is rife with multiday music events, Easterners have had to travel as far as Chicago or Manchester, Tenn., to get their fix. 

The Smiths Saved His Life: An Interview With Simon Goddard

Loren DiBlasi

For many of us-- and this includes those who haven’t dedicated the better part of our careers to Manchester’s mightiest quartet-- that feeling was first generated in 1983 with The Smiths’ debut performance on Top of the Pops. Still, this iconic appearance is one of the most discussed and dissected moments in televised music history. For Britain, it was a fittingly bold introduction to the band that would forever mold popular music. 

The Comeback Kids: Bizarre Ride Live Makes Its Mark on Hip-Hop

Alysia Stern

The Pharcyde is a soulful hip-hop group from the early 1990s. After a breakup, four of the original members have reunited. Fatlip, SlimKid3.  along with Pharcyde producers J-Sw!ft & L.A. Jay are now performing as Bizarre Ride Live. The animated and enthusiastic group is best known for the hit singles "Drop", "Passin' Me By" and "Runnin,'" as well as their first album, Bizarre Ride II the PharcydeHighbrow Magazine recently met with and interviewed the band.  

 

Krautrock and the West German Identity

Sandra Canosa

Tago Mago rages schizophrenically from song to song, from the two-bricks-shy of a pop song “Mushroom” to the sprawling “Halleluhwah” and everything in between. This confusion, this constant search for how best to communicate, is part of the album’s appeal. West Germany and its people had to find new ways to be heard in the world—a nation dismembered, no longer quite German, not yet fully Westernized, and always idling in the Cold War shadows of the Iron Curtain.

Paying Homage to Punk and Hip-Hop, Death Grips Rebels Against the Mainstream

John McGovern

A new independent group, Death Grips, merges punk and hip-hop, amongst a kaleidoscope of other genres, creating tracks filled with boldness, impatience, licentiousness and jolts of unfettered creativity. But the group’s chaotic sound isn’t exactly hedonistic or apathetic; it is, at its core, a call to the audience to create themselves. If Sir Philip Sidney was resurrected, he would probably approve: for not only do they delight the audience, but they move the audience to action. 

The Many Moods of Charles Mingus

Steven J. Chandler

John Coltrane, for example, told of his religious awakening through his four-part suite A Love Supreme in 1965. Two years earlier, Charles Mingus released The Black Saint & The Sinner Lady, a masterful composition in six movements (or dances) which he described in the liner notes as his “living epitaph from birth ‘til the day I first heard of Bird (Charlie Parker) and Diz (Dizzy Gillespie).” Of all jazz composers, Charles Mingus understood best the capacity for jazz to delve into the mind and spirit of the musician. 

Rap Music’s Unexpected Path to Prayer and Faith

Kevin Morris

Hip Hop's raw depictions of life in crime-ridden communities, the rise to fame and the value of material gain seem to conflict with the traditional religious ideals of love, moral uprightness, self-control and humility. Despite the noted differences, there is an inseparable relationship between hip hop and religion. These street epics situate themselves between the reality of poverty, helplessness, and the unfulfilled American Dream while still holding on to the hope of a greater power having their back in the long run. 

Irish Blood, English Heart: Morrissey and the Marginalized

Sandra Canosa

That 1983 television performance was, for many Brits, their first introduction to the Smiths. All at once, that charming man managed to offend both straitlaced society and anti-society counterculture groups. Because Morrissey was neither: His Teddy Boy quiff juxtaposed his costume jewelry and woman’s blouse; his cockiness as a frontman was offset by the quaintness and faint homoeroticism of the words he sang. The Smiths were alternative and indie in the original sense of the word. 

The Rise of K-Pop and Korea’s Obsession With Plastic Surgery

Seunghwa Madeleine Han

It's no secret that K-pop has spiked in popularity in recent years. According to Korea JoongAng Daily USA, by 2010, over 900 K-pop videos on YouTube by South Korea’s top three media companies had received over 500 million hits from Asia alone. (This was long before Psy’s “Gangnam Style,” of course.) Money Today reported that the four top-paid Korean male celebrities are in the music industry. However, even as countries around the world are reveling in the music of girl and boy bands like Girls’ Generation, 2NE1 and Big Bang, some Koreans internally are worried that K-pop may be encouraging the growth of another trend: teen plastic surgery.

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