Music

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.

Enough Already: Has Lady Gaga Gone Too Far?

Sandra Canosa

From her lightning-bolt makeup to her penchant for science fiction imagery, it’s clear that Gaga draws significant inspiration from Bowie. But the obvious difference between Ziggy Stardust and Lady Gaga is that the latter is not a fictional character. Lady Gaga is not a mask or a façade for Stefani Germanotta, or so she insists in various interviews; Gaga is Gaga is Gaga. Inseparable from her public persona, the distinction between fantasy and reality in her performances becomes hazy at best. When she prostrates herself in one video, only to reappear glamorous and unscathed in the next, does it cheapen the effect? 

Hedley Continues Its Climb Up the Charts With New Smash Hit

Alysia Stern

Hedley is a popular Canadian pop-punk band that has been performing since 2004. They just released their fourth album, Storms. “Through thick and thin we are a band, but we are brothers. If we are not having fun doing this, there is no point in doing this at all.” Their new smash hit “Kiss You Inside Out,” continues to climb the charts. The YouTube video itself has more than 1.7 million hits. Hedley released four consecutive double-platinum albums in Canada and their songs are in demand more today than ever. Guitarist Dave Rosin recently spoke with Highbrow Magazine.

Taproot: Melting Faces and Mending Hearts With New Album

Christopher Karr

Taproot’s new album, The Episodes, is a like a one-act rock opera. It tells a fragmented story that centers around a funeral and examines themes like grief, isolation, loss, and death through a Lynchian lens. “I don’t like throwing the ‘Lynch’ word out there very much because I do admire the dude,” Taproot’s drummer, Nick Fredell, said in an interview with Highbrow Magazine. The Episodes mixes the past and the future with the present, and the result is a harmonious success. 

Sarah Darling and the Nashville Dream

Alysia Stern

Sarah Darling is one of today’s up-and-coming country music artists. She dabbled in acting and dancing growing up , which landed her spots in several country music videos. In fact, she was the mannequin in a Big and Rich video. Sarah has performed several times at The Grand Ole Opry.  Sarah flew to Long Island on September 21st. She sang in New York City on “Fox and Friends,” performed at the Vets Rock Concert at the Pennysaver Amphitheater and was the musical artist at Citi Field during the Met’s game on September 23rd.  She recently spoke with Highbrow Magazine.

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