Music

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.

The Weird and Wonderful Literary World of Bob Dylan

Benjamin Wright

On September 11, 2012, Bob Dylan released his 35th studio album, Tempest. The reviews poured in, many hailing the album as an instant classic, and simultaneously labeling it Dylan’s darkest album to date, filled with tracks about death and disaster, including the nearly 14-minute long title track about the sinking of the Titanic. When the album’s title was revealed, a firestorm of speculation broke out, particularly among music historians and Dylanologists who hypothesized that Tempest might be the last album in the “Bard from Hibbing’s” 50-year career, as The Tempest was what many critics believe to have been Shakespeare’s final play. 

Henry Rollins Discusses ‘Dark Prophet,’ Clint Eastwood, and Musicians Today

Sam Chapin

Henry Rollins wears many hats. He has his musician hat (that he no longer wears), which he earned from singing with State Of Alert, Black Flag and the Rollins Band.  He has his acting hat (which still uses) that he’s worn on two dozen film sets and several television shows, including Sons of Anarchy and the forthcoming Dark Prophet. And finally, he wears his activist hat (which he never takes off). Highbrow Magazine writer Sam Chapin recently had the chance to ask Rollins a few questions about the broad spectrum of his interests and endeavors. 

Meet Brooklyn’s Own Ambassadors of Music

Sam Chapin

Indie and Soul are two words that don’t often meet, much like Gospel and Electronica. But all of these genres, and a host of others, feel right at home in the spectrum of Ambassadors’ influences. Hailing from Brooklyn, the four-man band has been making music together for more than five years. Comprised of lead singer, bassist, and sometimes drummer, Sam Harris, keyboardist and brother of Sam, Casey Harris (who is legally blind and has been since birth), guitarist Noah Feldshuh, and drummer Adam Levin, Ambassadors are quickly gaining traction and becoming a prominent presence in the New York music scene as well as the country at large. Sam Harris recently spoke with Highbrow Magazine.

 

Remembering John Cage

Liz Appleby

If he were alive, Cage would have celebrated his 100th birthday last week. In this, his centenary year, as events are staged across the globe to celebrate his life and work, 4’33” has lost none of its radical edge. Describing 4’33” is fraught with difficulty. Cage wrote the piece in three movements totaling 4’33”. No instruments are played, if performed at a piano, as it often is, the lid of the piano is raised and lowered to indicate the end and start of each movement, the performer may have a stopwatch or timer (of course - how else to gauge 4 minutes 33 seconds), there are no musical notes, and yet, there is a musical score. It is not silent, though it is often referred to as such. 

Dance-Pop Act anon Focuses on the Power of Sound, not Trappings of Fame

Snapper S. Ploen

Somewhere between happiness and fury, lies the music of anon. Choosing to go virtually nameless in a sea of up-and-coming talent, this British dance-pop act is taking an unusual route to exposure -- one which avoids the trappings of pre-judgment or the distractions of an overbearing personality. By identifying only as “anon” (short for “anonymous”), the electronic rhythms of the artist become the focal point rather than the typical celebrity ego. 

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