25 Songs That Tell Us Where The Music Is Going (released in 2016) (2023)


By Nitsuh Abebe

It's not like I made a fundamental decision not to listen to him. It's just that Beyoncé released it"Training' on a Saturday, and then I performed it at the Super Bowl on Sunday, and on Monday I hadn't for incredibly uninteresting reasons: I was doing other things, which is probably within my rights. as an American.

By then, however, music had become such a hot topic of discussion over the digital water cooler that it was difficult to turn on a computer without someone reaching out and accepting their views on "the line-up and its various aspects. of political valences - that my not listening acquired a kind of political dimension. A decision had to be made. Either I had to diligently consume this topic of conversation and form my own opinion about it, or I had to develop a defense why I still he hadn't.

The point is: here, for a moment, it was the music that actively attracted my attention, based not primarily on sound, performance or composition, but on the rolling snowball of perspectives, close reading and ideological disputes. 🇧🇷 around them.

It's the songs that do that now; individual songs and mass opinion working together. It wasn't always like this. We've spent the last century irritably and convulsively trying to figure out what music is for and how we want to use it. When and where are we going to hear it? Will other people be there? Should people own music? Who should write it, the cast? What is the normal amount released at one time? How are we going to find this out? Will there be photos? Are you absolutely sure we have to pay for this? For now, there's only one answer to these questions that seem to connect strangers in truly monocultural ways: let's gather around towering pop singles in huge, persuasive riots to exchange politicized opinions about them.

Not the worst. One of the great tricks of pop music is that, as much as we like to think of it as musicians expressing themselves, it's more helpful for the listener to discover their own identity: each song allows us to experience a new way of being in the world. 🇧🇷 For a long time, the idea was that young people could use music to shape their style: their clothes, their haircut, their fashion sense. Then came high-speed internet and a stirring enthusiasm for the idea of ​​playlists: with so much music from around the world at our disposal, we express our wits and taste by playing D.J. and curator, we commissioned music to compose our own reflections. That didn't last either. Showing off your versatile, carefully selected treasures? It has become such a common online performance that there is no one else in the audience.

So, today, it's the music and the scale of the events that surround it. A song, somewhat digestible, with millions of people forming a circle around it, pointing to it, screaming and writing about it, hosting a massive student webinar about it, and metabolizing it at nearly the same level as the cable news debate. show. political speech. 🇧🇷 This is a growing part of public musical life. A song like "Formation" isn't presented as a story or an internal monologue, it's presented as Beyoncé, the public celebrity whose biography you already know, addressing the world like a drum commentary. As such, we can't argue about what the song is saying to us, but what we think it should say to the rest of the world and whether Beyoncé is saying it correctly. What do we think of her Black Panther style of dancers? Can you work with beloved New Orleans artists or relate to the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina? What does the song sound like through a feminist lens, through a queer lens, through an anti-capitalist lens? Can we talk about your daughter's hair as well as police brutality? People were talking about these things until three days later I was quoted to the last line of a song I hadn't heard yet.

We found a way to bring together the handful of songs we all have in common, connect them with our opinions, and make some (mostly) happy noise. I don't envy Beyoncé or the world for a second. But it highlights the things we find much harder to talk about, at least with strangers: the way songs make us feel, the things we discover in them that aren't already in other people's minds, the dark pleasures we take. take a risk and try to explain it in the dark. The increasingly private life of music. how we talk about ita?

nitsuh abebeis a magazine articles editor and former music critic for New York Magazine and Pitchfork.



Justin Bieber

How the pop star brought us back with a disappearing act.

Por Mary H. K. Choi

25 Songs That Tell Us Where The Music Is Going (released in 2016) (1)full trail

The second single from Justin Bieber's fourth studio album, Purpose, Sorry, is infectious candy: a Dorito for your ears. There are two official videos for it: a dance video featuring a diverse cast of young women who look like they've been dressed by loose magpies in a Delia catalogue; and a lyric video similar to what they use in karaoke bars, but a little more polished. There have been over a billion views between the two. In no time the Canadian heartthrob appears. He just doesn't have to.

In previous years, however, it was everywhere. He went from teen star brat to adult public brat with the D.U.I. prison to prove it. It became a person's empty hashtag. When he visited the Anne Frank House, he wrote in the guestbook that he sincerely hoped that Frank would be a "Belieber". Not only did he look like Joffrey Baratheon with a Hitler Youth haircut, but his pale, bad boy demeanor exuded a desire to be nice — an abomination, as any teenager can tell you, to be really nice. But the reaction for the reaction's sake is there, and like both videos, it has less to do with Bieber, the real Bieber, than you might expect.

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Because get this: the most inspiring part of Justin Bieber's reinvention is the removal of all previously identifiable elements of Bieber. "Sorry" is unlike anything Bieber has done in the past. It's been billed as "tropical house" and "dancehall," but everyone seems to agree on one thing: it's a blast. The song is about a relationship that Bieber ruined, and in the intro hook he asks, "Is it too late to say I'm sorry?/ 'Cause I'm missing more than just your body." arrives, Bieber lets the production take over: all you hear is a lulling arpeggio that feels like a gentle breeze in your brain. It's the best part of the song, and Bieber only appears in it as an example.

Bieber has good taste and good looks, which is as important to making quality pop as true talent. And "Sorry" is a clever suspension of ego in the service of the success machine. Say what you mean about decisions surrounding your very public personal life; On his "Purpose" shopping spree, Bieber made amends after a year of terrible decisions. He became best friends with Diplo and Skrillex, together "Jack Ü", and they made an excellent song together: "where are you nowregardless of annoying umlauts. Skrillex joined him on "Sorry," but his playing is noticeably lighter there: no wobbly basslines; not even a punch.

This song is a triumph of song over storytelling in the hell that is the pop music industrial complex. Consider, for example, the bewildering and drawn-out drama of Kanye West's latest album release, which included a massive fashion show, multiple tweetstorms and title changes, all leading up to "The Life of Pablo," an album that was completed in real time. time on a platform that nobody wants to pay for.

So what exactly do we want from Bieber? Compassion? Yes, Justin Bieber is an invention. Yes, Justin Bieber's lyrics are bland, even worse, fake. Yeah, his tattoos suck. Yeah, he sucks at skateboarding. But what does all this really mean? In case you missed it, Bieber won. You used to hate it, and now it doesn't make sense. So who's sorry now? 🇧🇷

Maria H.K. Choiis the author and host of the podcast "Hey, Cool Job!"


say no to that

The cast of 'Hamilton'

Even if you can't win tickets, the cast album is its own transcendent experience.

Von Wesley Morris

25 Songs That Tell Us Where The Music Is Going (released in 2016) (3)full trail

He will be banished from heaven. Therefore, "Hamilton" is blocked. And with all due respect to Bruno Mars (and God), being banned from "Hamilton" is crueler than a hoax, but still. The musical is sold out, forever. And the resale market has reached the level of spitting hilarity. Namely, this Craigslist ad: "I bought tickets for the wrong night. These are legit tickets for Friday, March 11th at 8:00 pm "Hamilton" purchased on Ticketmaster. I just want to get back what I paid for them. Great seats $933.80 per ticket.”

Back on Earth, there's the Cast album: a 46-track throwback to an experience most of us won't live to see. However, for under $20 on iTunes, where it's been in the top 10 for months, and on Amazon, this is a more than reasonable replacement for the budget conscious. It's a gateway to obsession. To know someone who has this album is to know someone who needs a restraining order.

This means that the cast recording is your own experience. In an age where the album is fictional, the musical Tupperware, functions as a complete concept, doubling as its own jam-packed playlist. There are King George's long-distance interludes, in which White Power sings the same outdated song over and over again under mostly drab circumstances. Meanwhile, only the first five editions: “Alexander Hamilton”; "Aaron Burr, sir"; "My shot"; "Tonight's Story"; and "The Schuyler Sisters", in the midst of a greatest hits collection. Stolen drops of R&B, concert tunes, rock and rap are recombined until identifying what you think you're listening to becomes a sport of its own.

The album has a lot of jams, but notonejam for me. In any given month, one or the other will fight again and again. For now, it's Alexander Hamilton's extramarital seduction ballad "Say No to This," which he shares with a strange young woman named Maria Reynolds (and eventually her husband James). Hamilton is seduced by Mrs. Reynolds and her fake crying story, and over three years and many blackmail payments to James, they try their luck. A scandal ensues. The song presents the seduction details with the same rhyming joke with "burr, sir" and "bursar" in an earlier song. He also remixes musical styles and emotional tones that are part of the show's overall artistic output. But instead of political brilliance and outright ostentation, it's all about sex. Not only is this song funny, it's also kind of hot.

The rap that Hamilton, played by show creator Lin-Manuel Miranda, raps at the beginning of the song sounds like a sweaty couplet from LL Cool J's 1987 "I Need Love." "whoas" and "heys." " from Naughty by Nature's 1993 "Hip-Hop Hooray". helpless/And his body says 'Damn'"), handclaps and guitar licks smoothly join the percussion and bass line. And suddenly all I hear is the Champaign's 1981 love song, "How 'Bout Us." Pairing these 'knots' in the Greek chorus with the ecstatic tones of a harp, as Hamilton and Mrs. Reynolds (presumably) do, creates moral tension. bass line that Say No to This gains both its erogenous nerve and its ancient heat.Your head is spinning as the song continues to blend sounds from half a dozen old-school districts.

When some people praise "Hamilton" as a "hip-hop musical," they applaud his expanding tastes - his artistic tolerance - and mask Miranda's insatiable catholicity. The show is hip hop.erasMusical. It is not a deflector, but a sponge. The songs offer the illusion of anarchy. Everything seems to go together in each number, although there is a formal rigor that unites everything. Songwriters start with a keen awareness of melody mechanics, pop structures, and rap flow. That awareness is then brought into the same garage that equips the cars in the Fast and Furious movies. When the series' house of mirrors is more complex and brilliantly articulated, it even shows itself, deftly recalling riffs from past issues. Hamilton was made by crazy people to connect all kinds of pasts. Our obsession is relieved by your obsession.

A few months ago a friend told me that his daughters are part of the cult record of the cast. They hadn't seen the show yet, but they were dying to know what happens between songs.Oh that: ignorance.When I was 17, my "Hamilton" was called "Rent". (The first time I heard Miranda sing, I thought, This is Mark!) I didn't have the money to watch "Rent." But I had such a vivid cast recording that I never felt like I needed it. This is a bitter consolation to all who die for him.ver"Hamilton", but until they get a "yes", hearing Hamilton fail at the "no" is substitute heaven. 🇧🇷

wesley morrisis a permanent writer for the magazine.


I saw the movie, the music is still the same

Sonne Kil Mond

The Karl Ove Knausgaard of grumpy indie musicians.

Von Sam Hockley-Smith

25 Songs That Tell Us Where The Music Is Going (released in 2016) (4)full trail

Mark Kozelek, who used to front an epically bad-tempered band called the Red House Painters, is known for being something of a jerk. Onstage, when she's not singing with a voice of crumbling granite, she's saying things that would normally offend anyone: hipsters, women, journalists, the band onstage next door. But on the records she's now releasing as Sun Kil Moon, he examines her life with obvious brutality and avoids the most scathing commentary.

Watching the movie the Song Remains the Same takes up more than 10 minutes on Benji, the album he released in 2014. It starts with the story of when Kozelek first saw the Led Zeppelin concert film "The Song Remains the Same" when was child; It ends as a song about homesickness, chronic sadness, and the way people come in and out of your life. At one point, Kozelek admires the electric piano on "No Quarter"; then he shares memories of being a "very melancholy boy" or apologizes for the time he spent with a classmate in The way he writes is not so different from Karl Ove Knausgaard, also in his late 40s; both spent long careers avoiding the spotlight and then found new fame when they started doing their own biographies in search of details.

So Kozelek sings in "Benji" about his relationship with his parents, about buying lampshades, about death. The death of a second cousin makes him think of his family; James Gandolfini lets him think about his prostate problem. He approaches each subject as if flipping through a confusing photo album, and the more isolated and vivid the details, the more intriguing they seem. At the end of "I Watch the Film...", he says he is going to Santa Fe to visit a friend he hasn't seen in 15 years. Close Googlers might deduce that this friend must be Ivo Watts-Russell, who signed Red House Painters to his 4AD label in 1992; Kozelek, serious and grateful, says he's going to New Mexico just to say thanks. 🇧🇷

Sam Hockley Smithis the author and associate editor of the Victory Journal.


South Tha Kyd e Internet


How to forge your own path in a post-record music industry.

por Jenna Wortham

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eulate-night TV tapings appeal to a certain audience: tourists looking for a no-fuss thrill after a day at Universal Studios and Madame Tussauds. On a rainy January night in Los Angeles, viewers of "Jimmy Kimmel Live!" they were no exception. The intersection of the audience and fan base for the musical guest: The Internet, a six-piece black alternative boy band playing retrofuturistic R&B. – seemed to be evanescent. At the very least, it looked like the crowd would feel right at home watching Jimmy Buffett. But when the internet crashed on her first song, "Get Away," a pulsating anthem about placating an unhappy girlfriend, viewers threw up their hands and jumped to the beat.

The women in attendance seemed particularly intrigued by vocalist Sydney Bennett, better known as Syd tha Kyd, whose Tiger Beat sex appeal gave her performance a charge of depth. With tanned skin and a blond mohawk, Bennett, 23, has the cocky attitude of a teenage skater and dresses like one too: On the "Kimmel" set, she wore black Vans, a black T-shirt and jeans that draped over her shoulders. your hips. As she sang, she walked around each quadrant of the small stage, looking out at the crowd as if trying to figure out if her crush had bothered to perform on the show. To create his stage presence, Bennett studied R.&B. Singer D'Angelo, whose 2000 video for "Untitled (How Does It Feel)" shows nothing more than his razor-sharp torso, drenched in sweat for four and a half minutes. He showed. Bennett flirted with the crowd, looking up through her sternly-lashed eyes, giving her fans a sly smile and gently tipping her chin up to acknowledge those she knew, including her mother Janel and godmother Sheryl.

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The television appearance was a rarity for Internet users who, as the name suggests, live online and work from home. Two of the band's three albums were created and recorded almost entirely in the home where Bennett lives with his parents in the Mid-City area of ​​Los Angeles. But his most recent record, last year's "Ego Death," attracted the attention of the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences and was nominated for a Grammy for Best Urban Contemporary Album. (Previous nominees in this category include Frank Ocean, Rihanna and Beyoncé.) The "Kimmel" performance was a leap into the medium without which the Internet has largely thrived.

The band's name itself suggests an irreversible and inevitable change in the way music works. For decades, the music industry has thought of itself as a flavor-creating apparatus, but as technology has made the role of record companies less relevant, this is no longer the case. Listeners decide what's popular right now, and record companies have to find a way to match that. Barring a few big name acts, most artists are doomed to drown in relative obscurity with mediocre earnings. This is often seen as a tragedy, the death of a musical middle class, but it also offered artists a chance to avoid the stifling effects of the label machine. And so, the internet has a new corner of R&B. created largely thanks to Bennett: an androgyne who sings seductive incantations about falling in and out of love with women.

After the set, a small constellation of cousins, little sisters and girlfriends ran around eating donuts in the green room and helping the band pack. After loading equipment into a trailer of humble sedans and SUVs, the band formed a circle behind the studio and someone produced a celebratory thud. When the smoke cleared them, the conversation moved on to the next day.

The group had to practice for the first stop of their upcoming tour, which would start in Japan a few days later. Jameel Bruner, who plays keyboards, couldn't come until the end of his shift at Amoeba Music, where he works as a clerk. There was also drama to discuss. Guitarist Steve Lacy, 17, was photographed smoking pot and someone sent a text message to his mother, who didn't like it. Despite the cold El Niño air, the band stayed and seemed reluctant to go out and break the night's spell. They finally agreed to regroup at their home base, Bennett's house, to make sandwiches, watch her perform in "Kimmel", smoke again, and finally sleep.

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NOWvirtual reality

Smile More: A Song's Journey

NYT VR's new virtual reality film takes you into Sydney Bennett's home studio as the internet gears up for a world tour. They witness the rehearsal process as Bennett teaches his band a new song, then get onstage with the band as they play it for the first time.

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the name of the bandIt all started as a joke when Bennett was still a member of Odd Future, the recalcitrant hip-hop collective that rocked the music industry six years ago. In 2011, one member, Vyron Turner (known as Left Brain), was asked by a journalist interviewing the team where he was from. "He told me, 'I hate it when people ask me that,'" Bennett remembers. "'I'll start by saying I'm from the Internet.'" The idea drove her crazy and ended up inspiring the name of the side project she would work on in her spare time.

Turner may have responded to the banality of the question, but his response also shed light on a changing dynamic in rap, which has historically been categorized by regional sounds. Turner and Bennett's ages are defined by a completely different geography, the social media and websites they spend time on. Odd Future was the epitome of this new statelessness - they weren't developed by a record company or Heimathelden, but by something else entirely.

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Odd Future dominated much of the conversation about pop culture and the future of music in late 2010. They posted all of their early work — a flurry of clever mixtapes, flashy artwork, and outlandish music videos — for free on Tumblr and YouTube. Its sound was incredible. And it wasn't just their music that was different, they also looked different, a bunch of black maniacs who skated and moskd onstage in their spare time.

The excitement surrounding Odd Future peaked in 2011: Cartoon Network gifted the group with their own TV show; Plans for an Odd Future retail store were in the works. Labels were eager to sign deals with the group, and Sony Music Entertainment was successful. The team got the upper hand and convinced the label to give them their own label and give each member a convenient solo recording contract. Bennett the DJ has one too.

Music came naturally to Bennett. Although her parents have between 9 and 5 people (Janel is a city employee and her father Howard owns a production company based in China), her uncle Mikey Bennett is a producer in Jamaica. (He co-wrote Shabba Rank's 1993 hit Mr. Loverman.) When he was young, the family would vacation on the island and Bennett would be in the studio watching his uncle work. "At some point, I started listening to music that was a little bit different," Bennett said. "Instead of saying, hey, that's cool, who did that? It started to be like, I wish I had done that."

When she was 16, her parents allowed her to convert their guest house into a studio, where she worked on her own songs and recorded with local musicians. In high school, he took music technology and piano lessons; At night, I devoured beat-making tutorials and played with music software. He downloaded tracks from LimeWire (a file-sharing network like Napster) and remixed them using Pro Tools and GarageBand. I didn't need a lot of capital to be a producer, just a good knowledge of Google and a lot of persistence and patience.

Bennett was drawn to artists pioneering entirely new sounds: the sonic breadth of Missy Elliott, the stinking soul of Erykah Badu, and the acid jazz of Jamiroquai. Pharrell Williams, the original black manic skater, is his patron saint. And like most music-interested kids living in Los Angeles in the mid-2000s, Bennett knew a teenager named Tyler Okonma, who called himself Tyler the Creator. He had a huge following on MySpace where he released his music. "Your production of it appealed to me," he told me. "It didn't look like what everyone else does, it was different and warm." Bennett noticed that one of the people at the top of his friends list was a guy named Matt Martin (whom the Martians call him Matt). She flipped through his page and also listened to the songs he posted. She admired his ability to create extremely complex soundscapes and ended up writing him a message asking for advice on how to further develop her own style.

The two became friends and exchanged commentary on songs that launched them into Okonma's orbit. And when Okonma needed a place to record the first Odd Future mixtapes, Bennett offered him his home studio. She produced some of her first tracks and ended up becoming a DJ. On old recordings of Odd Future's early shows, Bennett plays songs from a laptop on a table at the back of the stage. Tomboy, dressed in a muscular T-shirt and short haircut, seethes with the manic energy Odd Future shows are famous for. He was generally indistinguishable from the boys in the group.

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From the beginning, Odd Future was conceived as a galaxy of loosely connected projects; The point is that the members are collaborating and investing in solo efforts. Christian Clancy, one of the group's managers, was also head of marketing for Interscope Records, and around 2011, he noticed the close friendship between Bennett and Martin and encouraged them to record together. After all, they liked the same sounds: jazz, old-school slow jams, neo-soul. So they started doing experiments, and those experiments eventually led to the birth of the Internet.

Odd Future was a rare example of a viral sensation with lasting power; The music industry is full of ghosts of web talent who don't quite make it to megastars. The terms of Sony's Internet deal "allowed us to shape ourselves," says Bennett. The band morphs artistically and tries to create what they believe is an entirely new style of R&B that encompasses all kinds of desires. "It wasn't a conscious thing," she says. "I only like women."

was alwaysan open secret that Bennett was a lesbian, and the oblique openness of her sexuality added to Odd Future's source of contradictions. It wasn't a big deal because it wasn't a big deal. However, Bennett often had to defend her inclusion in the group because Okonma's lyrics were laced with homophobic slurs and rape jokes, and her presence was interpreted as tacit approval. Bennett thought it was a little unfair since she, as the DJ, was the least involved with the lyrical content. "When I first heard his lyrics, I was as shocked as everyone else," she told me. "I kept listening. I looked up to him. He was a very artistic guy and I looked past the few words he chose and never really felt like he was."

In a way, she says, Odd Future's lack of sensitivity helped prepare her for public life, even if it made her a controversial figure. "The gay community hated me for being a part of Odd Future," says Bennett. “They thought Odd Future was homophobic because they tend to use homophobic slang, and they said, 'How can you work with and support homophobes?' But they did.they are nothomophobic; They just don't care if you're offended or not."

Bennett personally addressed the themes that gave Okonma's music its emotional weight: alienation, isolation, loneliness. She felt that they shared a connection, which came from "not being a typical black kid or even a popular kid". But eventually, hypermasculinity and a caustic sense of humor wore down Bennett, who is naturally reserved. Tearfully, she called her mother down the street and debated aloud whether she should stop. Bennett also struggled with depression, exacerbated by the stress of touring and feeling separated from his family and girlfriend at the time. She says that no one in the group, except Martin, seemed to care. "I couldn't talk to any of them about it," she says. "We weren't that close and they never seemed to want to know that."

Not long after, Bennett began training his little brother Travis, who goes by Taco, to take his place as Odd Future's DJ. His musical experimentation with Martin began to solidify into the core of his first album, Purple Naked Ladies, an amorphous but promising collection of experimental jam sessions and vibrant distorted tracks. One morning, while Odd Future was on tour as the group watched the sunrise on a beach in Australia, Bennett broke the news that she was leaving. She says it didn't go down well. It felt like a divorce, like a family breaking up, even if it's dysfunctional.

"They weren't happy about it," she says. "I was their exit card. It's easy to tell they're not homophobic because Syd is there."

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She felt left out of the band for a while, but a few years later, any lingering resentment or hurt feelings seem to have faded. "He followed his instinct and it worked," says Okonma. Okonma compared the space Bennett occupies now to Lauryn Hill in her prime. "During that time, as a rapper, you were either wearing boy briefs or using [expletive] on stage," he says. Of Hill, "you had a girl who wasn't smart, didn't know how to rap, and was musically inclined. Syd is more like that. She's just there."UdsAfter the Grammy nomination for "Ego Death" was announced, Okonma was one of the first to text Bennett to congratulate him.

Bennett's departure came at a time when gender norms were blurring. Artists are now more encouraged to indicate sexual fluidity; It's cutting edge, if not downright modern. Musicians like Wiz Khalifa and Jaden Smith have been photographed wearing skirts and dresses. Angel Haze and Shamir came out as genderqueer. But being openly gay in the hip-hop and R&B world can be tough. they still feel particularly hard when artists suspected of being pulled face closer scrutiny. Lesbianism is often fetishized, turned into hypersexualized performance. While Young Thug might wear nail polish, female artists who have a slightly masculine appeal, like rapper Dej Loaf, are being hounded for their sexual orientation.

Minya Oh, the hip-hop journalist dubbed "Miss Info," believes Bennett has benefited from the turmoil in the industry. "I'm sure there are executives and agents at some level in the recording and wealth industries who believe that homosexuality is a disadvantage," she says. On the other hand, she adds: "There are more and more coaches, mentors and facilitators who see a new artist who is gay as an opportunity to break into a new market or, in the worst case, just as a topic of conversation." 🇧🇷 But more important than all of that, says Oh, is that artists like Bennett may no longer need to bow to the mainstream: "As fragmented as music audiences are these days, it would be difficult to alienate fans who are already clustered in nomadic tribes. ."

Indeed, Bennett seems to have attracted an audience that appreciates the way his stage presence transcends a specific genre. "If you think I'm a kid singing these songs, you fool," she says. "Go ahead". As Martin said, "I'd rather try and fail than Syd sing about boys or something". At that, Bennett laughed and sang, "inferno, not!"

(Video) Guess the Popular Song from 2010 - 2020 Music Quiz

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during the handfulDuring our meetings, I tried to talk to Bennett about the importance of his visibility as a gay singer. And each time she seemed uncomfortable with the idea of ​​being an icon. But she can't help it, there's practically no one like her in the public eye. The last time I saw her, we were having breakfast at the Hotel Hacienda Cocoyoc in Cocoyoc, Mexico, a few hours before the internet hit a local festival in a forest, and I hit on the subject. Did she see herself as a symbol of something bigger than herself?

Bennett's demeanor is so casual and polite that it might come off as affectation, but as soon as the words were out of my mouth, Bennett put down his pancake fork and gave me a sideways look, the kind you give someone when you're patient. but you still feel compelled to be courteous.

"Maybe I just see things differently," he told me, speaking slowly, as if he were a child who has difficulty absorbing a series of simple commands. "I never really thought I was aTimbre🇧🇷 Do you know? As if I didn't think it would be that important." I agreed that it wasn't, saying I was surprised at how open she is to living her life at such a young age, when so many women I know, myself included, have come to terms with his sexuality much later in life. The cloud lifted. Now we saw each other clearly.

The internet, the web, has a way of normalizing marginal ideas, marginalized identities and emerging artists who tend to ignore old media. He did such a good job, it could be argued, that people like Bennett (black, queer, and queer) can exist without the burden of having to represent something bigger. Bennett will never be someone he is not. She doesn't seek endorsement from record labels or even the public. Later that night, as thousands of Mexican teenagers stormed the stage singing in English and calling their names, Bennett looked completely at home and herself. 🇧🇷

Jenna Worthamis a permanent writer for the magazine.


one sunday morning


A song like ointment in the age of grudges.

Por George Saunders

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How does a song work? What does it do? It does not necessarily teach or teach accurately. A song, I would say, makes the listener take a certain attitude. Through some kind of overlapping melody/lyrics/arrangement, it causes a dark being in us to adopt a certain facial expression and posture. (Argent's Hold Your Head Up, for example, would have my 1970s teenage self adopt a Thor-like attitude: stoic, windswept, able to withstand any hardship while holding his head.)

In my favorite songs, this postural causality is essentially ethical-moral: it makes me feel better about going out and living. In today's bombastic and terrifying political situation, I listen obsessively to Wilco's 12-minute piece One Sunday Morning, which evokes in me a range of feelings that could describepatient serenity+decide to love betterand serves as an antidote to the hardness of the moment; a reminder that, with enough patience and compassion, things can sometimes become workable, even if you disagree.

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How does music do this? Was it on purpose? I'm not sure. Like much of Wilco's work, it is basically very good folk music (simple chords, catchy melody), interpreted symphonically through a process in which the music, seemingly rebelling against its own simplicity, seeks higher levels of emotion through the complexity of the sound. This led me to believe that the song must be the result of weeks of arranging. But the band supposedly recorded it in one take and learned from songwriter Jeff Tweedy while the tape was being made. The song opens with a catchy eight-note guitar riff that he keeps coming back to like a well-meaning guy going back to his mantra. Through imaginative instrumental fill-ins and a false ending (from which it tapers with new intent), it achieves the odd task of sounding reflective while building up madly. It reminds me of a group of lifelong friends on a porch trying to musically solve an existential problem they can't quite articulate.

what music means Well, great music means more than just meaning. Thismeanshe likessons🇧🇷 The lyrics, already beautiful (Jeff Tweedy is one of the great talkers of our time), are made even more beautiful (“beautiful songs”) by the way Tweedy sings them. Her voice is that of a good friend singing the story of a strange journey from which she has just returned: reserved, dear, crooked voice, rich with love for the world. The journey cost him something, but it was so profound that he has to share. The song is, yeah, okay, "about" father and son, "about" religious beliefs, but really "about" that's the way it is.sons, and with what joy it floods the formal margins that it spontaneously creates again and again.

The effect of all this on the listener, this listener, in short, is transformative. Listening to "One Sunday Morning" (always) heals me, like a kind of hearing medicine. I feel a positive shift in my body and mind: a renewed sense of humility in the face of the world's sadness and a corresponding determination to keep trying to improve; I was reminded again of what is at stake in being alive and that I have more positive resources at my disposal than I currently use. For me, “A Sunday Morning” serves as a reliable 12-minute one-liners. 🇧🇷

george saundersHe is the author of the collection of short stories “El Diez de Diciembre”.



vince hairpins

The radical act of finishing an album in mid-sentence.

Von Jace Clayton

25 Songs That Tell Us Where The Music Is Going (released in 2016) (17)full trail

At first I thought my MP3 file was corrupted. There's a bouncy, up-tempo beat that kicks off '06, the final track on Vince Staples' 2015 debut double album, Summertime '06, whose 20 tracks are grim portraits of a childhood trapped between gangs and the police incarcerated in the South. California. A long instrumental snippet on "'06" gives the listener pause. When Staples bursts out with an exuberant "Good morning! Hope you had fun last night" and starts rapping, it's one of the liveliest moments on the album. gonna bring the gang into the building-") as the music descends in a burst of loud hiss, followed by silence. The effect is so irritating that it could easily be mistaken for an error, a glitch in the transmission.

When I found out that this white noise clipping was intentional, I was shocked. This was beyond breaking the rules. "'06" plays a very different game than most songs. Your words and sounds don't matter. What counts here is rest. The track uses white noise to represent some kind of death, but it's also the sound of a channel change or a TV or radio turning off - someone is turning the switch on. A young man was unexpectedly silenced. When it's over for him, it's over for the listener.

In recent years, 22-year-old Vince Staples, who became famous for his collaboration with Earl Sweatshirt of Odd Future, has established himself as a unique new voice in rap whose urgency is matched by his precision. "'06" and "Summertime '06" refer to the season when Staples turned 13 in Long Beach, California.in an Instagram postlast June, which presented the cover of the album and named the friends lost in jail or in the cemetery. Out of that need, Staples has become an insightful everyman whose lyrics and music production are lean and unsentimental in equal measure.

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Its condensed rhymes are full of aphoristic details. The opening lines of "Summertime '06" are "Hey, I'm just a nigga till I line my pockets/And then I'm Mr. Black, they follow me to the stores/I feel like Mick and Richards, they" Muddy Waters/So tell me what's the difference, so tell me what's the difference?/My mother was a Christian, Crip walking on blue waters." The references multiply until they reach great depth. from the Rolling Stones to the blues, or like churches and gangs might offer similar types of belongings or whatever, Staples was quick to finish the verse in one fell swoop: "Uber drivers in the Cockpit look up to Jeffrey Dahmer / But he looks at me like a madman when we get to projects. 🇧🇷

No radio-ready singles here. Staples likes to call it what he is, but he's not a strict moralist; If it were, he probably wouldn't have gotten his job as a Sprite brand ambassador. ("Different because I'm like you," he says in a recent national television ad for the drink.) The preternaturally talented rapper wears understated T-shirts and jeans. He is straightforward (no alcohol or drugs), an astute experimenter of complex politics.

The song "Like It Is" that precedes "06" gives us a hint of what the shocking signal drop could mean. Over a swinging industrial beat, Staples explains, "You look at a person and tell them their story doesn't matter, it's no better than me / Walking the streets trying to shoot somebody." , says he, is to deny him life. And even if you're free to speak your mind, being a successful black rapper means flaunting your personality in front of a mostly white audience, whose general opinion determines your worth. It's a theme that Staples constantly touches on, whether in interviews or in songs like "Lift Me Up," about how one of his ambitions is to get out of the rap game (and into more credible ways to make a living): " Everybody These white people sing when I ask 'Where my homies at?' / I've gone mad, I've gone mad, I can't take it. Rapping about it only compounds the paradox; these lines are among the most quoted in his album reviews and are used to praise his confidence.

Then comes the static.

Staples knows that opportunities for black visibility in the mainstream are few and far between. Black performers in the celebrity spotlight mark one extreme, grainy videos of African Americans dying at the hands of police, whose name recognition is always posthumous, mark another. How do you speak against? Can not. You can only pull the plug.

'06 joins a growing body of black artists flirting with extinction to challenge the very idea of ​​representation. In Concerto in Black and Blue, David Hammons' 2002 work for a series of pitch-black rooms in a large SoHo gallery, visitors were invited to explore them by means of tiny blue lanterns. His gaze was all that could be seen. When dancer and choreographer Storyboard P performs for video, he exploits the two-dimensional limitations of the camera to create movement on screen that feels awkward and incredibly fluid at the same time. He dances like he doesn't want to be caught, in gravity-defying spins and dodges, all escape, no center. Poet Claudia Rankine, in her 2004 book Don't Let Me Be Lonely, opens each section with an image of a television displaying still images. "Years passed and people only died on TV," he writes. “If they weren't black, they would dress in black or have a terminal illness.”

The snappy conclusion to '06 asks what it might mean to move away from sonic self-expression. White noise is a spray of pitch and volume that contains all audible frequencies. It is constant and without pattern. It is literally the sound of undifferentiated possibilities. One might think of Staples' provocative noise as the opposite of stereotype, or freedom in sonic form. His signal turns to noise with a hopeful grunt: noise and silence mark the limits of what can be considered music. Finishing a record like this points to a world beyond the music and the hands that manipulate the transmission. What can be said outside of the culture's limiting expectations, and who can we become if we learn to listen to it? 🇧🇷

Jace Claytonis an artist also known for his DJ/breakup work.


margo price

Hurting (in the bottle)

A unique voice that ached with desperation and determination.

by Carlo Rotella

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oOn a January afternoon, Margo Price was rehearsing "Hurtin' (On the Bottle)" at the Ed Sullivan Theater in Times Square in preparation for a performance on Stephen Colbert's "Late Show." The song begins with the chorus: "Put a sore on the bottle/Baby, now I'm blind enough to see/Drank whiskey like it was water/But it touches the pain you put in me." the various technicians, publicists and bums who circulated through the theater turned to them with expressions that said:That's what I'm talking aboutas if they just had a heated argument about what a true country singer should sound like. The following night at the Union Pool in Williamsburg, onlookers who looked straight out of their jobs at Vice Media or Kickstarter exchanged similar glances:Case closed my bearded craft beer drinking friend– when he started to sing.

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Price usually drops in key when he sings the second syllable of "Bottle," but sometimes he takes a bluesy break, turning a honky tonk wail into a call to arms. The two line installments reproduce opposing qualities of desperation and determination in her voice. Together, they make it seem like she's mustering considerable strength of character to stop desperation and bad luck from taking her song from the street to a telephone pole. That immediately noticeable tension in her voice keeps listeners on their toes, even alarmed, once she breaks into song.

"Hurtin'" is the first single from Price's Midwest Farmer's Daughter album, which will be released March 25 via Jack White's Third Man Records. Colbert's appearance suggests yes, but he's not on the right country track. At the age of 32, which he has had a tough time and almost lost, he is yet another uncompromising classic. Her album title is reminiscent of Loretta Lynn's "Coal Miner's Daughter", and her diction, particularly the way she chews the word "pain", is reminiscent of Tammy Wynette; his bar mask displaying tender vulnerability is reminiscent of Merle Haggard; and his band, The Price Tags, favor old-school arrangements, with Luke Schneider's pedal steel guitar prominently around his vocals.

As attention has increased around Price, he sometimes finds himself in a cohort with Chris Stapleton, Sturgill Simpson and other sleazy mavericks who have recently invaded the bro-act rule currently promoted by Nashville's major labels and ruling country radio. As underground rocker turned country/garage producer Jonathan Bright has hinted, if today's Nashville stars like Luke Bryan and Florida's Georgia Line are the equivalent of Motley Crüe and other glam pop bands that dominated rock in the late In the 1980s, Price and Company could be part of the country's long-awaited answer to a return to basics. The roots music pushers keep trumpeting that the inevitable cyclical shift back to a heavy country drawl has begun, but listening to Price, or seeing Stapleton snarling and embarrassing himself at last November's Country Music Association Awards, would you believe it really could happen? .

"They want aFemale, being a model, which I'm not," says Price, rejecting conventional gender expectations in commercial country music. "First, there's my broken nose. afraid of ruining my voice." Injuring her nose was pretty much the first thing that happened to Price, who came into the world during a grueling 28-hour journey. Work was "at a standstill". Then she broke it when she fell off the playground equipment in grade school and then again a few years ago when, in a moment of drunken hilarity at an East Nashville backyard party, a good friend accidentally smacked him in the face with a huge bullet weighted belt buckle.

The songs on "Midwest Farmer's Daughter" have the strongest experience. Her parents lost the family's corn and soybean farm in Buffalo Prairie, Illinois, and her father worked as a jailer. After arriving in Nashville in 2003, Price experienced a series of professional disappointments and personal suffering. failed attempt at writing commercial country music. Rejected in series, stolen and abandoned by operators in the music industry, she got into the habit of selling her meager possessions to take them and start over as a waitress and hope for a little luck. "I can't count all the times I've been betrayed," he sings on "This Town Gets Around," his ode to the lewd executives, fraudulent advertisers and other Music Row animals who exploited them.

Five years ago, she gave birth to twins, one of whom died two weeks later from a rare heart condition. Then he sank deep and could not get out. Drinking didn't help. "It just snowed," she says. “I felt like I was cursed, some kind of cosmic hoax.” A long weekend at the Davidson County Jail after a drunk driving incident convinced her to seek help and reverse the downward trend. "Weekender", a prison song on the album, is a good girl's sad admission that the women in prison are tougher and less fortunate than she is. "They were rough and I was really scared," she says. "You could tell by your shoes it was only a weekend away."

She and Ivey sold the car to finance the recording of "Midwest Farmer's Daughter" at Sun Studio in Memphis. The album was rejected in Nashville and eventually picked up by a label they hadn't even thought of. Although Third Man Records has an office in Nashville, it is not well known for producing country music (although Jack White produced a 2004 comeback album for Loretta Lynn). But Price's habit of infusing soulful vocal overtones into even the most straightforward country songs makes her an impure traditionalist, and therefore a surprisingly good choice for the Third Man. Ben Swank, who co-runs the company with White and Ben Diz Blackwell, from an indie rock punk rock background who discovered the blues and American music in reverse", an aesthetic that tends to evoke the emotional power to put orthodoxy over the stylistics.

Swank believes that problems in Price's career may have delayed his album enough to allow Third Man to enjoy a new opening for "a classic sound" in country music. Another name for this sound is Americana: the earthiest leaf and partner of the bright corporate land, embracing not just the folkloric traditions but also the old business styles that appealed to the magpie fashions of bygone eras. Swank specifically points to Stapleton's career, which went from writing pop-tinged radio shows for established stars to becoming a big-record juggernaut singing outlaw country and blues songs. Says Swank, "Now there are others knocking on the door. If I had come two years earlier maybe" - the next big thing - "it wouldn't have happened."

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February 5th was thefirst day on the job for the security guard guarding the backstage entrance to the Grand Ole Opry. "Me too!" said price. He directed her to the Into the Circle dressing room, reserved for performers making their Opry debut. Its walls are lined with quotes from country music stars about how intimidated they were when they played country music's Valhalla for the first time.

Price's son, Judah, rocked in his lap as a stylist increased the length of his blond hair. Friends and family were temporarily freaked out as she dressed in something form-fitting and fringed. Other locker rooms along the hall were crowded with walkers, and one of them exploded into a frenzy as a bluegrass band warmed up.

Price gathered in a rehearsal room with the Opry's house band to play "Hurtin'" and "Tennessee Song". As she began to sing, veteran musicians who, unlike "The Late Show" employees or Brooklyn's information economy workers, have heard and played with everyone else and know a lot about country music, exchanged knowledge, exchanged glances. and smiling through his instruments as if to say:Well, the right thing.

On the main stage, Price sang his two assigned songs, ending with "Hurtin". 🇧🇷 🇧🇷 the dornnnn. 🇧🇷 🇧🇷 you put. 🇧🇷 🇧🇷 on . 🇧🇷 🇧🇷 meeeeee," with a two-note flourish slowly rising on the last word. There was a roar of applause, and then Mike Snider, the banjoist who serves as one of the main traditionalist voices on the Opry, said, "Good job, Margo, sweet old lady . Somebody better come out here and sing country again." There were chuckles, some knowing and some a little too warm, in the crowd and among the house musicians onstage and the insiders filling the wings. "Oh my God," Snider said, " that was louder than a new string."

Carlos Rotellais the Director of American Studies at Boston College.


Mate Chamberlain

John Cougar, John Deere, Johannes 3:16 (Keith Urban)

The world's greatest session drummer takes on the machine age.

By Jeff Himmelman

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euLast spring, country star Keith Urban sent a text message to Matt Chamberlain, one of music's busiest and most respected drummers. Urban was working on a song that would become his hit single "John Cougar, John Deere, John 3:16" when it was released in June. I was looking for a special blend of electronic and acoustic drum sounds to make the song stand out. Would Chamberlain be willing to fly from Los Angeles to Nashville to test it out? The two worked together for several years, and Chamberlain was good friends with Dann Huff, a producer on the project, so he packed up his sticks and a newly acquired Elektron drum machine and headed east.

Chamberlain, 48, is a pay-by-project musician, a low-key rock star, often appearing only in the liner notes. If you watched MTV in the '90s, you heard him drumming with Pearl Jam in their "Alive" video or with Fiona Apple or Tori Amos or The Wallflowers. He's appeared on records from Bruce Springsteen and David Bowie to Frank Ocean and Kanye West, toured with the Indigo Girls and Soundgarden, and spent a stint playing drums with Saturday Night Live. He played drums on the Frozen soundtrack for Disney. In a world of shrinking recording budgets and ever-increasing automation, you may very well be the last drummer before the software completely takes over.

At Blackbird Studio in Nashville, Urban told Chamberlain that he had "John Cougar" on his guitar, but he felt too formulaic. He had heard rapper Kendrick Lamar and wanted a beat that would not only propel the song forward, but also give it a whole new sound. Chamberlain set up a drum loop, a little mechanical repetition borrowed more from hip-hop than country, and then played live over the loop, deepening the timbre as well as providing accents and fills when the movement of the verses seemed to demand it. Urban called the overall package "sexy"; in the moment of inspiration he was looking for, he switched from guitar to electric bass. Within hours, the opening drums, bass and vocals, and the overall vibe of the song were pretty much complete. The catchy arrangement and obvious country twang of the title and chorus eventually propelled "John Cougar" to No. 2 on the Billboard US Country Airplay chart.

This is the job of the modern drummer, which is why Chamberlain is often the first point of contact for producers when a major-label project calls for drums. When we met in Los Angeles in February, he framed his value proposition as a question: "What can you add to a situation that is totally out of context but works?" Chamberlain is good enough at playing his instruments, and he also reads what producers and artists want - who are willing to pay handsomely to make those kinds of decisions for them. And so he lives at a strange crossroads, or perhaps a vanishing point; part virtuoso whose skills have never been more relevant, part John Henry character who works hard as the music is increasingly composed and performed by machines.

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in your youthFor days, Chamberlain, with his shoulder-length mess of hair, looked a lot like a touring musician with a penchant for recreational drugs. But lately she has been keeping her hair a little shorter. When he left his rented studio at the Sound City complex in Van Nuys, California, to take a break during a recent recording session, his landlady called out to him, "Nice haircut!" across the parking lot. Chamberlain, middle-aged, still boyish, like many people who are very passionate about what they do, and dresses in the understated California style: black Vans, dark jeans, faded shirts. He rarely misses an opportunity to crack a joke at his own expense, but there's a seriousness to it, a seriousness that never fades. He drives a Volvo.

"I work more and more in my studio because nobody else has a budget," he told me. "The Keith Urbans of the world can take me to the studio because people still go to Walmart and buy country records." He's set up a complete recording studio: a control room with vintage equipment and a large soundproof recording room where two drums are miked and ready to play. Drums are everywhere, more than anyone should have a right to, stacked on top of each other and hanging from shelves: various rock kits, a Brazilian tambourine, Tibetan bells, a spring-loaded 40-gallon oil canister that Chamberlain hit with obvious delight, and a built-in cupboard with 20 slots for different traps, each filled. He's got an old Ludwig Supraphonic ("What John Bonham Would Have Played"), a 1930s Slingerland Radio King ("Fat and Dead"), a 1900s calfskin snare drum. When my tour ended, he said, "You know the sample libraries? These are the physical versions of the samples."

As I passed, Chamberlain was recording drums for a British singer named Hattie Webb. The first track already had some programmed drum machines attached to it for guidance; Webb's producer emailed Chamberlain to "build it up, make it electronic with some acoustic elements". Chamberlain listened to the song twice, sketched its structure on a pad, and then went to the recording room, where he had a small piece of equipment he called "electronic/analog equipment": a small bass drum, a box made specifically for that job, and a cymbal with holes to sharpen the sound.

He called the track and then followed it without practicing, sounding so much like it was programmed that it was almost hard to believe it was a live performance. And yet, his playing also ebbed and flowed in ways that programmed drums didn't or couldn't. After that flawless take, Chamberlain went back to the control room, listened for about 30 seconds, and said, "That sounds great." He then proceeded to make a drum loop that matched the part he was playing. Within an hour or two, the track was greeted with maracas, tambourines, and four gibberish-filled runs on a full set, just to give the production team a few other options.

Chamberlain is a stylish player; no movement is wasted. He plays with a traditional feel more associated with jazz than rock. Sometimes when you look at it, you can't believe the range and volume it produces. By 6:30 pm, Chamberlain had finished the second of the tracks Webb sent him and uploaded both to his Dropbox account for producers in England to access. So he went home to make pasta with his wife.

war waiter 15when he decided to learn to play the drums. As a kid in Los Angeles, he had access to some real talent. He found David Garibaldi, the drummer for the soul band Tower of Power, and started taking lessons. After that, he hung out at the Professional Drum Shop on Vine Street, picking up drum books and listening to older local drummers discussing business at the bar. "I was so obsessed with being a drummer," he says, "that I never thought about whether I was good or not."

North Texas State (now the University of North Texas) accepted him into their music program on a scholarship, but it lasted less than a year. One of the percussion teachers threw a piece of plastic excrement at him as he played; another struck a gong in the middle of a piece and shouted, "Go practice!" It wasn't quite the atmosphere he'd imagined. "I just wanted to play the drums," he says. It didn't help that he got kicked out of his dorm for smoking pot. For a while he slept in his practice room with his head on the pillow on his bass drum.

After leaving school, Chamberlain moved to the Deep Ellum neighborhood of Dallas, about 40 miles away, where he played in various bands, often just for food or money to fill his car. He ended up living with Brad Houser, bassist for Edie Brickell & New Bohemians, and after some problems with the original drummer during the recording of their first album, the band signed Chamberlain to tour with them. "What I Am," the lead single from Shooting Rubberbands at the Stars, exploded so quickly that their first big show with the band outside of Dallas was on Saturday Night Live. Chamberlain had just turned 21. He toured with Brickell for a few years and recorded a second album with the band, Ghost of a Dog, which broke up when Brickell married Paul Simon. (The band, minus Chamberlain, has since reunited.)

Chamberlain spent a summer touring with Pearl Jam, then returned to Saturday Night Live as the drummer in the house band, a job that would end the careers of many musicians. General TV appearances and the "S.N.L." in particular, they offer the kind of steady, high-paying work that musicians are hard pressed to find anywhere else. However, after a year, Chamberlain decided to move to Seattle. "I had a whole house with a friend of mine in a decent part of town, we could play music all day and pay $250 rent each," he told me with a laugh. "How do you get it right?"

In 1994, Chamberlain got a call from a little-known band called the Wallflowers, fronted by Bob Dylan's son, Jakob. The band liked Chamberlain's drumming on Ghost of a Dog and wondered if it would help them in the studio. This work resulted in a single called "One Headlight" that helped the band sell millions of records. The Wallflowers' manager also represented an up-and-coming artist named Fiona Apple and asked if Chamberlain would also play drums for her. Both albums "did really well," he told me in characteristically reserved fashion. “That's how you become a studio musician. If you're not in a band, you're the guy who played on those records."

Chamberlain's network of producers and friends has continued to grow, which is mostly how he gets his work. Over the past 15 years, he's played hundreds of sessions with some of the biggest names in music, released several side-project records, and toured with Tori Amos and others whenever he could. A high-ranking Los Angeles studio musician like Chamberlain can earn as much as $2,000 a day of work, though Chamberlain's fees vary wildly depending on who he's working with. He acknowledged that, with changes in the music business brought about by streaming and other technological innovations, "the pack is getting thinner" in terms of the number of artists with significant recording budgets. But demand for his services remains strong. In a poll published later that year, Modern Drummer readers voted him the best studio musician in the business.

in another perfectOn the California day, Chamberlain was back in his Sound City studio creating beats for a company called Loop Loft. The work was particularly notable for not involving any members of the musical team. Loop Loft pays virtuoso drummers to create massive beats, which the company sells for a flat fee. Each of Chamberlain's beats would be split into 30 or 40 loops that buyers could use as they pleased, with no royalties or credit obligations. The software is intended for people who record in their garages and basements, or for commercial producers who add music to an advertisement or the end of a TV show.

Ryan Gruss, general manager of Loop Loft, showed me the sheet he prepared for an earlier session with legendary drummer Omar Hakim, who has played for Michael Jackson, Madonna and Miles Davis. For Hakim, Gruss wrote rhythm descriptions and suggested appropriate tempos, but such a list did not exist for Chamberlain. While an engineer played equipment in the control room, Chamberlain wandered around the drums, establishing a rhythm that Gruss liked. They created a click track, a metronome playing through Chamberlain's headphones, in time, and then let Chamberlain loose for about five minutes, running through rhythms, chorus sensations, different patterns of the same basic beat.

Over the next four hours, Chamberlain cycled through nine more rhythms and five different settings, swapping drums and cymbals in search of new sounds and textures. For a rhythm set, he switched to the small "electronic/analog kit" and played with Brazilian maracas instead of sticks. The calfskin 1900 snare drum appeared, and somehow it sounded almost entirely synthetic and computerized, which Chamberlain wasn't expecting. The Loop Loft crew were happy to just sit back and watch, one of them muttering under his breath "Jesus" as Chamberlain really took off.

"I'm a working musician," Chamberlain once told me, with an emphasis on "work." Because he's not a songwriter or a band member, he doesn't receive many checks or royalty payments, what musicians call "letterbox money." Even in good times you have to make an effort. Sometimes he's in the studio with Loop Loft; sometimes he's the guy Adele's producers call when she's writing in LA (for a song that didn't make it on her latest album); sometimes he's the guy billionaire Paul Allen hires for a vain rock project that includes Eagles guitarist Joe Walsh, among other top musicians. (Title of sample song: "Six Strings From Hell".) Even on his days off, Chamberlain goes to his studio and practices for a few hours.

When the Loop Loft session ended, Chamberlain walked through the control room, packing up his gear for another recording session with Keith Urban. The sessions this time featured Welsh bassist Pino Palladino, one of the most respected musicians. Rather than adding drums to a previously recorded track, Chamberlain played it live with Palladino in the studio. Chamberlain prefers to play live, for those moments when the music takes an inexplicable turn but somehow everyone comes together. No machine could keep up with that. "With great musicians," he said, "you get the feeling you can't go wrong." 🇧🇷

jeff himmelmannis a contributing writer to the magazine.




A pop star takes time out for herself.

By Doreen St. Felix

25 Songs That Tell Us Where The Music Is Going (released in 2016) (24)full trail

Musical duos are usually classified by heterosexual differences and their various dramas. As in: she gives, he takes. He asks, she refuses. They can reconcile, but performers always observe the classic gender distinction: make the singer's situation a good barometer of the state of female speech in general.

But Rihanna, Pop's masturbation grandmaster, is a well-known loner, and she ignores this kind of mutual identity all the time. It follows that even for the true duet on his last album, he would choose a voice mirror, not a vocal contrast. In "Consideration", the first song of "Anti", Rihanna and singer SZA are two arms of the same river that intertwine. The women adopt their respective versions of a laid-back attitude: Rihanna sings brazenly, SZA sings joylessly. Everyone is calm, but you suspect they are heading for a possible commotion. They sing to each other; Their vocal ranges are so similar that when you first hear them you might miss the fact that Rihanna doesn't sing alone. The proximity approaches the sinister, suggesting an eroticism of the self. Rihanna's voice drops to SZA and back to Rihanna, the voices intersecting first with these: "Why don't you ever let me grow/When I look out the window/I can't get peace of mind." a thesis, then this sassy statement.

(Video) Guess the Song | 2010-2020 Music Quiz | 100 Songs!

I used almost the usual expression: a "Declaration of Independence". That's when I remembered how mysterious the two women sound, how completely uninteresting the lyrics convey. The way Rihanna compares herself to our culture's toughest child, Peter Pan: "I came vibrating from Neverland / Time can never stop me." I hear a clear departure from the typical female arrogance of power. "Consideration" doesn't give a damn about sounding like a feminist anthem in the right sense, one that telegraphs passive misandry in the service of enforced female communion. It's an anti-hymn, a song for the individual in a world full of cheap sympathetic calls: a misanthropic chorus created for people who'd rather be alone, invisible and isolated from a girl's job. (“Would you mind giving my reflection a break / From the pain it feels now?”) That kind of audacity may have been engendered by Michael Jackson, long insulted by his identification with the boy Peter Pan, who refused to relate so much to society. Society wanted to associate with him.

Rihanna often returns to Barbados, the landmass where she was born. Like this island nation, "Consideration" doesn't connect to anything outside of itself; It is a balm for those of us seeking spiritual and political tranquillity, an adult lullaby that detonates the spectacle of public life. The song is arrogantly directed against the "outside"; evokes the private air of an enclosed space. I would also like to stay indoors, look out the window and hear the echo of my own voice. 🇧🇷

Doreen San Félixis a writer from Brooklyn.


blue boy

mac demarco

Put on a semi-fame lo-fi sound.

por John Wray

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"I sometimes see forum threads online about the sound I get from my guitar," said Mac DeMarco on an overcast February afternoon as we drove through Far Rockaway, Queens. "Mostly it's kids trying to figure out, 'How do you get that crazy tone? What pedals? What amp? '" He turned to me and smiled, showing the gap between his teeth. "What they don't know is that the guitar I've been playing since I was 16 is a no-name piece of junk I picked up at a pawn shop for about $30. It has a loose neck, the pickup magnet is broken to smithereens. , and the pickguard is a piece of siding I bought at my Hasidic neighbor's house in Montreal." He laughed. "Bugs lived in it for a while. Real bugs. It was good."

We were driving down Rockaway Beach Boulevard in a borrowed car because DeMarco's truck wouldn't start. At the owner's request, DeMarco sorted the CDs in the glove compartment with a ballpoint pen: B+ for Morrissey, C- for Belle and Sebastian, an enthusiastic A+ for Grateful Dead. "My life is stupid now," he told me. "I put a pair of sneakers on eBay a while back, partly to raise money for a girls' rock camp in Brooklyn, but mostly just for fun, and one guy upped the bid to $21,000," she smiled again. “It so happened that I didn't have any money because I was about 13 years old. But that's still pretty sick."

Given the turn DeMarco's career has taken, his attitude of giddy disbelief makes perfect sense. Over four albums in as many years - "Rock and Roll Night Club", "2", "Salad Days" and "Another One", all released on the small Brooklyn label Captured Tracks - DeMarco has almost evolved. From squatter to true indie rock star, he plays sold-out shows from New York to Los Angeles and enjoys Internet fame on a scale he finds difficult to fathom. In "Backer," a darkly hilarious clip that doesn't feature any of his songs, DeMarco portrays a depressed Edmonton loser who makes a living driving cars in parking lots. It received around 400,000 views on YouTube. His 2014 album Salad Days had over five million views on YouTube, more than the Wu Tang Clan album A Better Tomorrow released the same year. However, DeMarco's brand of fame is a far cry from the exquisite, untouchable diversity enjoyed by stars like RZA or Jack White: the more famous DeMarco gets, the more approachable he seems to become. "Kids see me as a guy who hangs out with them and really has a good time," he told me. "And they're basically right."

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Al finalon DeMarco's latest EP, Another One, he gives his full address, house number and all, with an invitation for a cup of coffee. This invitation, like many from DeMarco, may seem tongue-in-cheek, but it's actually heartfelt.

The house he rents in Arverne, Queens, is a nondescript four-bedroom cabin in a lower-middle-class neighborhood with cigarette butts in the grass. When I rang the doorbell, he came to the door in boxer briefs and a wrinkled Hugo Boss T-shirt, greeted me with a slightly weary courtesy, then led me past guitar cases, mountains of dirty laundry, and a bunch of party balloons. half inflated in the kitchen, where Kiera McNally, his friend of five years, was making gluten-free banana bread. Over a restaurant-style cup of coffee from an industrial Steady-Drip machine that DeMarco proudly showed me, I asked what the impact was of inviting hundreds of thousands of fans into his home.

"It's cold outside right now, so it's not too bad," DeMarco said. "Right after the EP came out in August, we averaged about 50 kids a day." He glanced at McNally, who was diplomatically concentrating on the banana bread. "The only thing that bothered me personally was the feeling that some of them hadn't even heard my music. I'm basically a meme to a lot of these kids. It can be a little weird."

The music DeMarco makes has been enthusiastically received by critics, but reviews of his albums can be frustrating: they tend to lean heavily on labels like Slacker Rock, Chill Wave, and Blue Wave, to name a few. "What the hell does 'blue wave' mean?" said DeMarco. "I have no idea."

The first song I heard from him, "Blue Boy" from "Salad Days," is a light and airy little thing, almost a lullaby, in which a heartfelt advice to an insecure friend: "Don't play too high/low, honey ." , and grow” - is subtly emphasized by the very light camp vocals and even more so by the lead guitar, which seems to move in and out of the mood in a trance. King Sunny Ade came to mind as I listened, as did Jerry Garcia, a recognized influence, but I found it nearly impossible to identify, let alone date, the music I was listening to. Like many of DeMarco's best songs, "Blue Boy" sounds like the work of someone who spent his formative years sifting through record store dumpsters, carefully eliminating anything that could be called good taste. It's an approach that has already paid off for musicians in the internet age (Washed Out comes to mind, as does Ariel Pink), but none of these artists' albums can claim five million YouTube views.

Part of the explanation for DeMarco's outrageous success may lie in his considerable comedic talent, comfort in front of the camera, and almost preternatural lack of social boundaries — a delightful combination in the age of Instagram. In a memorable scene from "Peppers-Playboy', a Pitchfork-produced documentary about his band's 2013-14 tour, a hotel bathroom door slowly opens to reveal a fully nude DeMarco, who appears unfazed by the intrusion, washing his hair with a handheld showerhead. while sitting on the toilet. The tone of the scene is vintage DeMarco, less John Lennon than John Belushi. "I've always been a donkey," he told me during our trip. "My friends and I made weird movies whether anyone was watching or not. There's only this thing called the Internet. Why shouldn't we do whatever we want with it?"

Samuel McBriareLanyon DeMarco was born Vernor Winfield MacBriare Smith IV in a small town called Duncan, British Columbia, and grew up in Edmonton, Alberta. His great-grandfather served as the province's secretary of railroads and telephones, but DeMarco grew up in far more humble circumstances: the eldest of two children to a single mother, Agnes DeMarco, who now (figuratively and literally) commands the Mac DeMarco fans. 🇧🇷

The family has musicians on both sides: an operatic soprano, a jazz saxophonist, an uncle who lives in London and sings classics. Agnes herself sang at parties and weddings in Edmonton for a while as a teenager.

At 16, Mac started recording songs alone in his bedroom, which is how he still records all his music, and playing in a band called Belgium with two high school friends, Alec Meen and Peter Sagar. "We tried to sound melodic and indie, like Pavement or Dinosaur Jr., although I could only play Jeff Beck-style blues riffs," he told me. “They kept the band going after I moved to Vancouver, which was fine with me; it was pretty much his thing anyway. I always hated the name Belgium."

In Vancouver, where he lived for a time in the boiler room of a printing studio for CA$200 a month, DeMarco continued to record songs and post them to Myspace under the name Makeout Videotape. "The first time you're walking somewhere, a guy walks up to you and says, 'I heard that song you put online. Cool, that's the weirdest thing,'" he told me, shaking his head. “I was part of a scene that started around this club called the Emergency Room with bands that were already touring the States. They were great, loud, lo-fi bands, and I kind of fell for it, mostly because I had no idea how to record it. But I was trying to write Beatles songs the whole time."

While performing at a Calgary music festival, DeMarco reconnected with McNally, whom he had met in high school, and within a year they had moved to Montreal together. "We had a hard time in Montreal," he told me. "I worked the night shift at a cheap grocery store called Segal's, a 50 cent Brie kind of place." of cheesy classic rock. "Listening to that kind of music all the time, Dire Straits, Toto, Van Halen, it just moved me," he said. "You can take it or let it drive you crazy." He stopped for a moment. "To tell you the truth, I'm not even now a huge Dire Straits fan. But I found something in those songs that I can use."

on a valentine's dayA one-day benefit for Planned Parenthood, DeMarco took the stage at the Williamsburg Music Hall to thunderous applause. He was wearing what I described to someone as a "Mac Standard Edition": a Carhartt straw hat and an oversized T-shirt tucked into his jeans that read "D.A.R.E." to keep kids off drugs.” He was the last cast member of the bill, which had the loose theme of covers; It had been a long night and the audience was clearly restless. This posed a problem, because the two songs DeMarco wanted to cover, "December 1963 (Oh, What a Night)" by the Four Seasons and "Just the Way You Are" by Billy Joel, demanded more silence than the crowd. inclined to deliver. "You're white!" a drunk woman shouted from the crowd, an odd shout given that nearly everyone in the venue qualified.

After the slightest hesitation, he played the songs with delicacy, sincerity and with a passion and skill that his smile or jokes never concealed. ("The D.U.I.? I don't think so. I'm flying to work by helicopter. I'm Billy Joel!"). Before his third and final song, "Still Together", the end of "2", he took McNally, smiling like a schoolgirl, onto the stage and kissed her affectionately but chastely on the cheek. As I watched them together, I remembered something DeMarco had told me on our trip. "Growing up in Edmonton, the skyline is so far away you don't even realize it's there," she said. "It could all be over in six months, but there's nothing wrong with my life right now. Nothing." He nodded to himself for a moment. "All I have to do is fix my car." 🇧🇷

Juan Wrayist Autor des Romans „The accidents of lost time“.


marvin gaye

charlie heart

Let's do it. Or not.

Von Jia Tolentino

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Charlie Puth's trademark is sweetness: he's a pop star in the age of sponsored content. A Berklee-trained, vanilla-flavored 24-year-old, Puth scored three top 40 radio singles in the year leading up to the 2016 release of his debut album, Nine Track Mind. His style is infused with a retro aesthetic and an almost eerie level of smoothness, as evidenced by his first single, the recent radio hit "Marvin Gaye."

You might think you've never heard "Marvin Gaye," but chances are you just haven't. It's music that is usually perceived by other senses, a wetness on the neck or a sweet taste, like a child's cough syrup, in the back of the mouth. The platinum-selling doo-wop duo features singer Meghan Trainor (who, like Puth, has thus far used her considerable songwriting talents to create songs so profound they look like wax figures).

It's a song about sex that evokes not lust but a sense of desperation. "Come to Marvin Gaye and get to work," Puth and Trainor sing happily. "You've got the cure I want. Just like they say in the song, 'Till Dawn Come on Marvin Gaye and let's get started."

The chorus sounds like a bouncy castle inflated with hot air and ghosts, but it's technically perfect. Its phrasing follows the classic AABA doo-wop format, and its four-chord progression (I, vi, IV, V) is emblematic of the genre: these are the icy chords of "Heart and Soul", "Blue Moon" and "Bitte Herr Postboat." Tuned, the same progression can bring depth and gain: with a seventh added, you get "Unchained Melody", and with a ninth, you get "Every Breath You Take". But with the exception of a verse where Trainor sings over a beat that Puth describes (incorrectly) as a "doggedly distorted 808" drum machine, the track plays late-'50s with unimaginative servitude. Sonically, it predates the music it references by a decade and a half; Marvin Gaye released Let's Get It On in 1973.

Gaye's historic single contains the seduction of a lifetime in the first two bars; It's a last call, a first promise, beads of sweat on the cellar walls, a monument to darkness, hot and torn, explosive with love. "Marvin Gaye" erases Marvin Gaye symbolically ("as they say in the song," the chorus gleefully insists) and practically, taking the place where a new generation of listeners might find him. If you type "Marvin Gaye Let's Get It On" into a search box, you'll likely find Trainor and Puth first, who insisted on the comparison and will now suffer as a result. "Marvin Gaye" sounds like the jukebox in a separate restaurant; is practiced sexnosomeone, and with your clothes.

In 1965, Gaye recalled to his biographer, he was listening to one of his songs on the radio when he was interrupted by a news report about the Watts riots. "When the world explodes around me, how am I supposed to go on singing love songs?" Puth, who wrote his track as a "musical icebreaker," doesn't mind those qualms, he told Billboard. "If you hear it on the radio or in a bar, it's a way of saying, 'Hey! Let's go Marvin Gaye and let's go.'" And so, "Marvin Gaye" gained its new usage and meaning as a phrase for Conquer, conceived by an artist whose middle is flexibility and the end is comfort, who can't imagine that Gaye's love struggle was constructed this way, sings about sex as his own and not as a focal point in the storm ♦

Jia TolentinoHe is Jezebel's deputy manager.


Kendrick Lamar

The blacker the berry

Who can say how black people see themselves?

by marlon james

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norteEvery rap album starts with that moment you can't control. If you are a woman, at least five. It's been nearly a year since I first heard Kendrick Lamar's "To Pimp a Butterfly," an ambitious and catchy masterpiece of a rap album, and it's taken me nearly a year to appreciate it. The main reason: the 13th song "The Blacker the Berry". So far, musically, if not lyrically, "Butterfly" is almost a silent storm of an album, an album that looks inward rather than outward, even as it grapples with institutional racism and neighborhood politics. Next comes "The Blacker the Berry", all drum beat and NWA-style fury. For the first time, Homeboy is angry, as if he's just realized that the only response to the stereotype of the angry black man is to get even angrier. It's the part I thought I'd be most involved in, but it's become the part that shuts me out.

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"Butterfly" came at an unprecedented moment in pop. As black artists entered the mainstream, they became even blacker. Kanye may have been first (or so he thinks) with "New Slaves" and "Black Skinhead," and now even Beyoncé has her eye on the image of New Orleans and the Black Panthers. But Kanye still spoke with that white look, hate and lust in him, and he got his revenge by bringing the whole black sex machine to somebody's white wife. "Butterfly" is, on the contrary, Toni Morrison towards "Sula": without seeking confirmation or resistance from the outside. Black love, black empowerment, black history, and black wisdom are explored so deeply and intelligently that you assume the conservative media fetish, black-on-black crime, will never appear. But then, in the third verse of "The Blacker the Berry," when Kendrick becomes lyrical about Trayvon Martin's death, it becomes implausibly logical to cram two ideas into the same thought. I was with him until the third verse.

You can't be hip hop and not get hit by The Blacker the Berry. It brings the boom-bap right from the start and drops the funk as an update to the drum break that opens NWA's Straight Outta Compton album. And while he was tired of charting people's rage in the dark, Lamar's burst of rage and intelligence was (and still is) unrivaled in hip-hop. She grabs clichés as if they are about to slip out of her hands (“My hair is windy,” she says. “My nose is round and wide”) and throws them at the wearer. He doesn't even hit, he breathes fire, jumps a line, chases, throws it back like boxer Jack Johnson did when he said, "I'm black, they'll never let me forget it." I'm black, that's fine, I'll never let him forget that." Kendrick feeds his "I'm black" knowing nothing's changed. It's up to DJ Assassin from Jamaica to bring reinforcements on the chorus, trace the line from the crop to the corner and the switch that controls black self-determination from the "whips that scarred my back" to the "great ones..." whip parked on the block.

The second verse widens the focus and increases the power. Part of the thrill of being a listener is listening to you.walkthere, go further than everyone else. ("Greet me with your false prophecy/I'm more a slave to my head/Institutionalized manipulation and lies"). He takes the church, the sacred cow of the black community, and cuts it down, turning the noun into a verb meaning "spread deceit". This is Cousin Kendrick, outside and inside at the same time, global and street, sometimes in the same vein.

The final couplet of the second verse is reminiscent of the first, with one key change: 'You sabotage my community by killing' / you made me a murderer turns into 'How can I say I'm killing? '?/You turned me into a murderer' – and the different interpretation of 'killing' weighs a ton. Exploitation and indifference make him a killer in the first place. Second, its success stems from America's obsession with assuming it looks like one. It was hard to bear what this prophet of wrath would bring down next.

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And then he dropped it.

I could feel the verse pulling away from me when I was halfway through. It became call and response, me, and this third verse that went something like this:

"It's funny how Zulu and Xhosa were able to go to war. ...

Reminds me of those Compton Crip gangs that live next door."

Me: Wait, K-Point, what are you dropping? No, friend, these are two nations at war. And well, war is hell, but if Britain and France aren't labeled Waterloo bandits, if Lancaster and York aren't labeled bangers even though they literally kill families, then why compare Zulu vs. Xhosa with a gang war? Why did you weaken them both in the face of the real enemy? Either every war is hell, or every war is a fight. I agree with both, but not with any special distinction if Africans do.

Kendrick continues:

"No matter how many times I say it, I love preaching with the Panthers.

Or tell the state of Georgia that "Marcus Garvey has all the answers."

Or try celebrating February like it's my birthday

Or have watermelon, chicken, and Kool-Aid on weekdays.

Or jump high enough to be endorsed by Michael Jordan

Or watch BET because city support matters

So why did I cry when Trayvon Martin was on the street?

If the gangbang make me kill a nigga blacker than me?


Me: No, bro, no! Here was a black man invoking the heinous slogan of black-on-black crime to avoid mourning the wrongful murder of a black child by a neighborhood vigilante. All I could think was, where the hell did Kendrick go?

Things can get complicated when the dark gaze turns inward to that thing called personal responsibility. Personal responsibility. Personal seriousness. bootstrapism The black man who uses the sleazy liberal "but" and announces a step to shame victims. A woman has the right to wear whatever she wants.Is that🇧🇷 Black men can wear hoodies and leave their pants hangingIs that🇧🇷 Rap was never afraid to be contrary, and that's when I thought maybe he was toying with the idea on purpose, consciously incorporating perspective, to finally show what it was. Nas once wrote a song from the point of view of a gun. But then Kendrick, of all people, dropped a "but" in a conversation with Billboard magazine shortly before the album's release.

"What happened to [Michael Brown] should never have happened," he said. "Never. But if we don't respect ourselves, how can we expect to be respected? It starts from within. Don't start with demonstrations, don't start with looting. Start from within."

Kendrick was not the first, nor will he be the last, in making the claim that the deaths of black people are somehow the fault of black people and that the lives of black people could be a question of personal responsibility, until the election of the clothes. The idea that a sudden dose of self-esteem is part of what it takes to stop the police from killing us is not only ridiculous: Amadou Diallo was not a member of a gang, but he was shot 41 times; I think we can assume that the Reverend Martin Luther King Jr. he was fine inside, but that didn't protect him from brutality at the hands of all kinds of authorities, nor did his impeccable clothing prevent arrest: he's old too. It is a belief that the black person has a role to play in eradicating self-hatred. That kind of thinking almost suggests that racism makes sense.

But racism makes no sense. It's eccentric and quirky, but it's so integral a part of American makeup, so normalized in all its forms, that it's no surprise that the Negro craves answers as to why he exists. And as you search for answers, look everywhere, including within yourself: Did I do something to cause this? Was part of this outcome even remotely my fault?

The fact is that blacks have always believed in the politics of respectability. It is also at the heart of the non-American Black perspective on race, and you should know this because as a non-American Black I changed that belief for years. For us Jamaicans, it's particularly terrible. Our stories are everywhere: how we worked hard to stand out and gain respect despite racism, or rather the self-defeating perception of African Americans. We achieved. Everyone knows how hard we Jamaicans work. That's why I have this job and you African American don't. Maybe you should stop complaining about your problems and acknowledge your laziness. If you do what I did, maybe you'll manage that corner of Chase like me.

Bootstrapism is the chocolate echo of white racism. You'll find it in black self-help books and how to be a millionaire. Prince with "America", Ice Cube with "Look Who's Burning". Lauryn Hill scolds black girls who braid their hair to look European. Almost every time Steve Harvey addresses black people. President Barack Obama told Morehouse College students when they began their studies in 2013 that "there was no time for excuses," a lesson that demonstrated the fact of their existence that they didn't need them. It's a path that leads back to Bootstrap's grandfather, Bill Cosby, who declared in a 2004 speech that black children were being shot for stealing Coke and brownies.

But Kendrick's conclusion is far more sophisticated than anything Cosby has ever said. It's not actually a conclusion. It was Kendrick who did what he does best: complicating an argument exactly where everyone, myself included, tries to simplify it. And that's what he intended from the beginning, questioning what not even many black people would dare to question, and arguing that yes, all arguments, including this one, have two sides. More pages. The addition of layers we may need but don't want. And that's what he did next, not on wax, but on MTV.

"First, I know who I am," he said. And then he said further:

"When I say, 'Gangbang made me kill a blacker than me,' I'm talking about my life. I'm not telling you; they might not even be on the street. I'm not talking to the community, I'm not talking about the community ’ he continued. "I am the community."

Fast forward to the end of 2015 and I'm on a flight to New York. Thirty thousand feet above everything I put in "Butterfly" and something happens that never happened before. This incredible clarity, like I've been listening to my soul brother all year, but it's only now that I finally hear him. And then I got to this song, number 13, the tipping point, the only reason I couldn't participate in the best of the year awards, and I realized something that felt sudden but inevitable. That this song was the loudest on the album, with its thunderous beat that seemed to foreshadow it as a global political statement, was actually something deeply personal to Kendrick. Almost implosion. That the moment wasn't about us, it just felt like it. It's his "I" moment that reflects a reality I can't connect with, just witnessing and trying to understand. It's as personal as Ice Cube's Dead Homiez. He does not speak for the community or for the community. He speaks for himself, or rather a version of himself. The wiser me looked in the mirror and asked, “Well, who's doing acting politics here? Who expects the black man to be an ordinary man, a black man who reflects universal goodwill, or at least carefully curated black anger directed at a carefully identified target?

Hip-hop has always been about inventing clever fiction and doing what great storytelling does: inventing stories that tell the real truth. But after Biggie and Tupac, it's so easy to fall for hip-hop's insistence on keeping it real that it surprises me how easily I keep falling for it and thinking "Butterfly" is cult or news when it isn't. We do this over and over again, judging colorists based on a warped notion that legitimacy can only come from experience. You'd think I'd know better since, as a novelist, I'm faced with the same assumption in nearly every interview. One journalist even congratulated me on escaping the ghetto "by the power of the pen and not the gun."

My last novel was about Jamaican gang members being manipulated by politicians into trying to assassinate Bob Marley. Boys, murderers before age 15, murderers before age 18. Most everyone thought I'd been through something like that. In fact, I first heard a live take when I saw Martin McDonagh's "A Handling in Spokane." And once all the interviewers were convinced that there was no blood on my hands, skepticism, disbelief, doubt set in: with what authority do I tell these stories? As if knowledge, talent, and imagination weren't enough for a writer of color to make art; as if a work of art could not be both personal and fictional, invented and meaningful at the same time.

And here I did the same with Kendrick. He was just a man wondering how anyone could be part of the Black Lives Matter conversation when black lives didn't matter to them. How can someone be angry about murder while agreeing to commit suicide. He looked at these themes as concepts, you know, what artists do. He asked complicated, complicated questions that had no answers, dove right into his music, felt it, breathed it, and made it up anyway. I wonder how much of what I felt was my problem with "The Blacker the Berry" was because I did what I still do: question the black gaze and accept that it must come from more than just the gift of storytelling. Which has to be an autobiography or a documentary. I've never heard Radiohead's "A Wolf at the Door" and was wondering if Thom Yorke ever rescued his kidnapped children. Either he thought that Johnny Cash had already murdered someone, or he knew someone who had. Like those songs, "The Blacker the Berry" is several things at once, but essentially it's what we call art. 🇧🇷

James Marlon, a novelist, was awarded the 2015 Man Booker Prize.



run the jewels

Rap and politics, inseparable as ever.

By Bijan Stephen

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Rap is rooted in space and time as well as rhythm and bass; it's hyperlocal and organic, though not always cage-free. (Free Max B!) You can tell where a song comes from by its sound; You can hear what happened when the puck was pressed. A cultural yeast frozen in amber.

Killer Mike and El-P, the rappers who record as Run the Jewels, released their second album Run the Jewels 2 on October 24, 2014 to rave reviews - it was a muscular and reflective album. What took the longest were the political leanings of the songs. Since the album was released, Killer Mike has become a prominent political speaker, appearing and writing at the White House Correspondents' Dinner last year.Opinions on police brutalityypunching aggressively for Bernie Sanders🇧🇷 El-P has been less public with his views, but I can't imagine he could help create music like this without following similar policies. It would be hard to write a song like "Early," which paints an indelible portrait of police shooting an unarmed black woman without considering the forces that brought her there. Her husband, who was arrested for possession of a small amount of marijuana, comments: “I could see my other relatives / And I heard my son scream / As he ran to the police, he begged them not to hurt his mother. 🇧🇷

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(Video) Lady Gaga, Bradley Cooper - Shallow (From A Star Is Born/Live From The Oscars)

NOWvirtual reality

Picks NOW: Krone

Killer Mike and El-P, aka Run the Jewels, continue to innovate with their latest music video. Watch in virtual reality. Download our NYT VR app.

25 Songs That Tell Us Where The Music Is Going (released in 2016) (33) 25 Songs That Tell Us Where The Music Is Going (released in 2016) (34)

At the beginning of the album, in "Close Your Eyes", Killer Mike, El-P and Zack de la Rocha, former lead singer of Rage Against the Machine, talk about a prison riot. Hearing it makes the blood rush to her cheeks, her heartbeat pounding behind her eyes. The album's value lies between these two songs: It captures the various aspects of black life in America and its specific emotion, a giddy mix of frustrated helplessness and blissful survival.

It's perhaps not surprising that the group's aesthetic choices are very Public Enemy, which is to say, very "retro". Public Enemy was one of the first artists to realize that rap, while enduring as an art form, is inescapably linked to the black experience. It's always political, because being black in America means being politicized. Run the Jewels understands this. If you listen carefully, you can hear the radical politics through their clever staging. That's another way of telling the truth; Hear and hear how the world is changing. 🇧🇷

stephanis associate editor of The New Republic.


the colors of life


Sounds like music from a holistic medicine website, but great.

Read by Max

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Before, if you wanted to vibrate at the same frequency as the Mayan astronauts, you had to move to a town in the southwest that specialized in the art of horses. In the old days, if you wanted to photograph your aura, you had to go to a crystal shop in Chinatown. These days, there's a boutique with a pop-up tent for aura photography right around the corner from my apartment in Brooklyn. On a whim, I wanted my aura photographed, only to find that the photographer was booked days in advance. New Age is back and showing up where you wouldn't expect it just a few years ago, in places where the young and culturally sophisticated congregate. Places that, for lack of a better word, are trendy.

Back in the day, when you bought an album from a small electronic music label in Vancouver, you might expect some sort of weird minimal techno. Nowadays? You get CFCF's "The Colors of Life," a 40-minute instrumental suite that combines airy synths, grinding guitars, marimbas and, God help us, panpipes over simple, rousing rhythms. One could talk about it in terms of touchstones for disco nerds: "The Colors of Life" sounds a bit like minimalist songwriter Steve Reich or krautrock god Manuel Göttsching, but it actually feels like it should be announced in the base cable with images file. candles OR like a cassette you would buy at a bookstore that has an entire section dedicated to "angels". Or like the seductive music played by a barefoot European with a soul bandage. Understand me? It's cool, but it sounds like it was recorded with a dreamcatcher as a pop filter. Sounds like the music for a 40-minute director's cut of an airline commercial. It looks like a poster for a wolf. It looks like a hologram sticker of a dolphin. It looks like an open eye tattoo. It looks like writing on papyrus. It's also really, really good.

The assumption always seems to be that the New Age revival is oddly, if not in some unspecified way, "ironic" fake. Why would the gentrified Brooklyn types who live in the city embrace the atavistic philosophies of conspiracy theorists and eponymous sitar players? One answer is that this is how cool works: things that weren't cool before become cool, and vice versa.

But I think maybe that's the wrong question to start with. We live in an age of aggressive positivity, a world dominated by metrics and markets. To accuse New Age revivalism of insincerity, reducing the possibilities of belief to a binary form, is wrong. The soft woo-woo spirituality of New Age is appealing because it denies itself the harsh realities of life spent in the shadows of Wall Street, Hollywood and Silicon Valley. Why shouldn't people, dominated by a sophisticated and well-capitalized cultural machine, seek pleasure in something defiantly kitsch? You can lie and make up books, but you can't fake a mood. If a 40-minute New Age symphony can make you feel good, rather than rushed, judged, or excited, why should you care if it sounds like the soundtrack to an '80s nature documentary? 🇧🇷

read as muchis a senior editor at New York Magazine and co-founder of the IRL Club.


anthem for the weekend

cold game

Is Coldplay boring? The future won't care.

Von Jeremy Gordon

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A band signing up for the Super Bowl halftime show expresses tremendous confidence in their ability to command attention. It would be counterintuitive for this band to immediately cede the spotlight, but Coldplay did just that. They signed on to headline this year's game, but wisely let Beyoncé and Bruno Mars, both infinitely more charismatic, take over. When these two stars took the stage, ready to share hits and dance moves, the band's lead singer, Chris Martin, clung to the back as if afraid he'd catch fire if they all appeared in the same frame.

Coldplay's tribute belies an enduring success: For nearly two decades, they've penned a plethora of memorable songs that blend serious Hallmark sentiments with epic melodies, winning over impressionable hearts and climbing the charts. They are the successors to U2, another band that crystallized the elusive grandeur of the human experience into countless radio-ready four-minute rock songs. Millions of Super Bowl viewers knew what it meant when Martin sat down at the piano and prepared to play the first few chords of "Clocks." As rapper Future said in a widely shared tweet, "#Coldplay Legendary Forever."

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This kind of widescreen pop appeals to slightly underdog crowds: rimless, kitschy, white. But the song was never short of corn balls to ease the pain, which only gained their support years later. Phil Collins used to epitomize the worst of '80s excesses, but over time he's been recognized for his pop craftsmanship and technical innovations (especially the big drum sounds, you know, that fill half of "In the Air Tonight". million rappers). Jokes about how grumpy he looked in the '80s are increasingly irrelevant to young people who care so much about how things look before they're born.

This is likely to be the trajectory for Coldplay as well. As with Phil Collins, Michael McDonald, Abba or any number of desperately modern artists, his "image" will erode as his songs stand the test of time. In 2009, Brooklyn band Grizzly Bear teamed up with McDonald to sing a cover of one of his singles, "While You Wait for the Others," at the height of his rare cool. Chris Martin may be asked to take on a similar role in tomorrow's Grizzly Bear. Imagine: sincerity will disappear from music again, only for a familiar and tender voice to resound in the blogosphere of the future. Because when you're not sure what's good anymore, what's more comforting than an elderly statesman who never cared?

A few weeks before the Super Bowl, Coldplay and Beyoncé released a music video for "Hymn for the Weekend", a collaboration from the band's last and possibly final album. Top-notch pop songs like this are designed as events nothing less, ready to be performed at big events like the Super Bowl halftime show. The real Super Bowl halftime show featured Coldplay and Beyoncé, but not the music. Martin said that "Hymn" was too new and not "quite right".

What his audience wanted was the warmth of intimacy. They wanted "watches". Playing live would have been an event, but Martin knows there will be plenty of opportunities in the future. The band is built to last. 🇧🇷

Jeremy Gordon is an Associate News Editor at Pitchfork.


trap queen

Fetty wap

Yes, honey, but is that feminist?

By Jamie Lauren Keiles

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As the Christian morality of good and evil goes out of style among women in my social universe, a new dichotomy emerges that organizes our perspective. There's everything feminist in heaven: Beyoncé's singles, the selfie, the subway period ads, and a woman's dream in the White House. In hell there is everything else. There are no non-believers and there is no limbo. As new things emerge, we categorize them accordingly, asking ourselves, "Is this feminist?"

In June 2015, Fetty Wap's "Trap Queen" regained its spot as the hot song of the summer. Beyond the joys of a classic party anthem (an infectious chorus, breathtaking synth chords), the song offers an American love story for the times. Fetty is a weak girl drug dealer who can keep up with her hustle. If he cooks crack, she cooks crack with him. When you dream of Lamborghinis, you dream of matching pairs. Fetty's Queen doesn't ride in the passenger seat. The couple earns and spends money together: on strip clubs, on marijuana, on gifts for each other. It's a vision of a love we can believe in, even outside the dreamland bubble of a rom-com conspiracy. What could be more romantic than two equals coming together to pursue their fantasy in a harsh and unfair world?

For one summer, "Trap Queen" was ubiquitous. Eventually, it would stay in the Billboard Top 3 for 25 weeks. We sang about doing crack with our babies in the halls of Duane Reade and on the dance floor at bat mitzvahs. Like Fetty himself, we had seasonal crushes with "Hey, what's up? Hi!" as our deceptively simple opening line. The noise of the trap ropes drowned out the sound of the ice cream trucks clinking, and summer was best for that. But finally, the time has come to ask the inevitable: Is Trap Queen a feminist?

The opinion necessary for its evaluation was gathered. Blogs weighed the evidence. On the one hand, the song was an ode to the working woman of a man who certainly loved her. On the other hand, a pop-rap song about drug dealing, written and performed by a man, seemed like an unlikely entry into the feminist canon. At the Philadelphia Inquirer,Sofia Ballin analisouThe evidence is reasonable: "Fetty Wap is not a feminist, and 'Trap Queen' is definitely not a feminist anthem, but that hasn't stopped women from identifying with its core message." Elite Daily, the self-proclaimed voice of Generation Y, took issue with a post titled "10 times Fetty Wap lyrics were actually secret feminist rants🇧🇷 Like the song itself, the issue of her feminism seeped into the culture, culminating in a White House women's council.Girls Summit in November, where rapper MC Lyte declared that, barring a few caveats, Fetty Wap is the most feminist man in hip-hop..

The women he knew, most of whom had never sold or seen crack, sighed with relief. We received the necessary authorization to enjoy. "Trap Queen" was not only good as a catchy song, but also in terms of our feminist morals. MC Lyte's statement about the feminism of music grew out of a conversation about women in hip-hop and the nature of black love, but we could make it a universal statement. An explanatory industry has sprung up to help those of us who need help connecting with song lyrics. Women's interestBustle blog published a posttitled "What does 'Trap Queen' mean? All your questions about the slang have been answered, including how to tell if you're one." Instagram and new Twitter display names - apparently anyone can be one.

I wonder what the purpose of this exercise is. For Trap Queen to be good, why do we have to find a way to fit it into the narrow confines of white feminism? Not good enough on its own? Both feminism and the "trap queen" have spent the last year creeping ever closer into the mainstream, and in both cases, we're still struggling to define exactly what they mean. Is the pop feminism eviscerated in this noisy publication the same one that prompted a group of black women to declare Fetty Wap a feminist? Or perhaps the bigger question is: if the "trap queen" is declared a feminist in one system, does she suddenly belong to all feminists, regardless of race, class or circumstance?

In the year that the conversation about identity has finally turned into small talk, we seem to have lost sight of the fact that not everything is made for us, not even all things feminist. Identity policy is not always about identification. "Trap Queen" is a flawless song: a captivating love story and a true club hit. Maybe in the future we'll find a way to say it without having to claim it. 🇧🇷

jamie lauren keilesis a writer based in Queens.



Lionel Richie

A deliciously cheesy ballad that one will never stop listening to.

by jodyrosen

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Lionel Richie's "Hello" begins quietly, almost stealthily, floating a tart little synth melody over toe-swaying piano chords. Music penetrated the collective consciousness in an equally insidious way. It was released in late 1983, buried on Richie's Can't Slow Down, the former Commodores frontman's second solo album. Reviewers barely recognized "Hello"; Richie was ambivalent, cutting the song to "Can't Slow Down" at one point during the recording sessions before reinstating it. But when "Hello" was released as a single in February 1984, it reached No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100 and topped charts around the world.

In the following decades, "hello" never said goodbye. It's one of those adult contemporary ballads that has settled into the ether, popping out of dentist office walls and blaring over phone lines while you wait for a customer service representative. In other words, it's a song considered calming and harmless enough to serve as a muzak, not necessarily an insult, but definitely a misnomer of the fearsome beast that "Hello" is. The song's narrator is a madman in love who is both unhappy, "Tell me how to win your heart / Cause I have no idea / But let me start by saying, 'I love you,'" and a little sinister. The chorus "Hello? Are you looking for me?" It seems harmless, but in the video, a dazed-looking Richie wanders the halls of an art school, circling a blind sculptor at least 15 years his junior.

Recently, "hello" seduced a new generation that discovered itold video not youtube🇧🇷 The climax comes in its final scene, when the sculptor heroine reveals a hideous terracotta bust of Richie. (When Richie complained that the bust didn't look like him, the video's director, Bob Giraldi, responded, "Lionel, she's blind.")

Today you can find a "Public Figure" page on Facebook dedicated to "The tape header of Lionel Richie's "Hello" video." There was a viral Craigslist post titled "Wanted bald ceramic bust of Lionel Richie,', which called for an artist's recreation of the sculpture, with a twist: 'I'd like to go bald because I plan to recreate [Richie's] adorable afromullet with some kind of cream cheese sauce at parties.' A Google search turns up hundreds of “Hello” trinkets: cushions, teapots, cutting boards (“Hello, can you cook for me?”). The October arrival of Adele's blockbuster 'Hello' - same title, different music - has once again rocked the online world, spawning dozens of Richie Adele mashups.

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The revival of "Hello" is a rarity: a fluctuating piece of pop returned to the mainstream by the internet maelstrom. But it's also a testament to the appeal of the 66-year-old Lionel Richie, a more enduring presence and a better musician than most were willing to admit. The "Hello" meme coincided with a broader resurgence for Richie. Tuskegee (2012), Richie's tenth studio album, was a surprise hit that reunited the singer with country stars on new versions of "Easy", "Say You, Say Me" and other nuts. Richie spent several years breaking into arenas and quietly re-emerging as a top-grossing tour. Last June, he played the Glastonbury Music Festival in England, attracting raves and nearly 200,000 spectators, the biggest festival ever.

Back in the '80s, he had mixed feelings about Richie: affection for his inevitable hits and respect for his prowess, mixed with the disdain he'd acquired from rock critics. He had been the Commodores' resident mellow, soulful voice on "Three Times a Lady," almost too gentle for the band's docile funk soul. Critics expressed respect, but contempt prevailed: "unctuous", "milk toast", "white bread". Bottom line: Richie had talent, but he was too skinny and scrawny to be taken seriously.

Today, he's considered the biggest pop star of the 1980s who hasn't yet been fully canonized. He sold tens of millions of records worldwide, most of them in the 1980s when he reached great heights alongside Michael Jackson, Madonna and Prince. But Richie couldn't match the charisma of those dynamos and, unlike all of them, he didn't even come close to being inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. The industry is celebrating his success: There was an all-star tribute to Richie at the Grammys last month. However, he is denied the highest esteem.

A reassessment may be appropriate. What strikes me most is the robust beauty of Richie's voice, a smooth, gritty baritone with a hint of sand, and the easy virtuosity with which he uses it. Listen to Diana Ross' 1981 duet "Endless Love" as Richie wraps his partner's rather colorless voice in luxuriously precise harmonies and propels the song to where it belongs: the honeymoon suite of a very elegant hotel. . That mix of subtle and over the top is pure Richie. He puts one of pop's subtler skills to the service of cheesy songs.

Lard bubbles over Richie's lyrics, the most ardent pledges of devotion this side of Chrétien de Troyes. "Lady, I'm your knight in shining armor and I love you," is the first line of "Lady" (1980), the hit Richie wrote for Kenny Rogers. To keep the message from getting muddled, Richie cuts to the chase: "My love, my love, there's something I want you to know / You're the love of my life."crazy Love🇧🇷 his poetic mode is: pour it out. To Richie, you're not just a lady. You're a lady once, twice, three times. Richie loves love but more than that he loves saying "I love you" and he loves saying how much he loves saying "I love you". Consider a couplet for "Hello": "I wish to see the sunlight in your hair / And say over and over how much I care." This is the Richie way: start with "I love you" and when in doubt, say it again. Say forever, of course.

The miracle is that Richie picks up on those feelings. Credit to his melodic genius and talent for arrangements that wash over listeners in waves that rise and fall. "Hello" is typical, with majestic verses leading into a windswept chorus. As the song builds to the final chorus ("Because I wonder where you are..."), the effect is that of a unicorn rearing up on its hind legs, mane gleaming, to meet the crimson dawn.

In short, Richie is a great singer-songwriter and a world historical cheese ball. More than a century of pop history hasn't taken away the apprehension we feel when we come across ballads like Richie's. Today's music critics have largely abandoned the old snobbery and embraced commercial pop in all its sinister glory. Still, songs like "Hello" remain too much of a bridge for some, a musical pleasure we still take with a hint of guilt.

But pop culture has developed an elaborate system that allows us to enjoy the music we intend to stay away from. The cheesy karaoke performance, the TV comedy parody, the “rickroll” - all this brings us back to songs in the guise of irony. It's 2016-style cannon-making: We revere old records as kitsch, and lo and behold, they're making their way into the Celestial Songbook.

Richie knows how to play this game: how to laugh at himself, politely and with the bank. Last fall, he appeared on "The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon," or rather his disembodied head: Richie played the role of Lionel Richie's bust and duetted with Fallon on a parody of "Hello." However, when Richie appears, the irony disappears.

That's what happened at Glastonbury, where a crowd of mostly white rock fans greeted Richie with a sharp wink and waved banners with meme slogans. But when the opening notes of "Hello" played, the crowd exploded, joining Richie in a chant that's as blissfully cathartic as you can hear it. Suddenly, "Hello" wasn't some cute '80s artifact: the song was a shared home that lifted 200,000 souls to a rosy glow. It was an example of the mysterious magic of pop, the way certain alchemical mixtures of music and words hit us in the pit of the stomach, circumnavigating our lofty aesthetic ideals and rehearsed postures. It was a reminder that some of the most powerful songs are the most insipid, mixing beauty and vulgarity, exquisite craftsmanship and terrible taste, sublime and chivalrous pledges of love and the dizzying innuendos of an idiot in mullet. As for the clay head in Lionel Richie's "Hello" video, it works equally well as a source for your cream cheese sauce and as a bust in Mount Rushmore pop. 🇧🇷

jody rosenis a freelance reviewer for T: The New York Times Style Magazine.


Pharrel e J Balvin


The master producer opens his workshop.

Photos by JR

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Dduring the lastFor the week of February, J Balvin, the Colombian singer behind hits like "Ay Vamos" and "Yo Te Lo Dije," joined Pharrell Williams at Conway Recording Studios in Hollywood.

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jris an artist and filmmaker who works with large format photo prints.


carolina shaw

Partita for eight voices

A "classic" musician with legions of non-classical admirers, including Kanye West.

by Mark Levine

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ONEA few months ago, I attended a concert by the avant-garde string quartet JACK in Iowa City. It coincided with the Big Ten football season featuring the undefeated University of Iowa Hawkeyes, and as I walked toward it, the city seemed eerily silent. Despite this, the venue was packed, with a significant number of cariocas in skinny jeans. This youthful foray into the well-established realm of classical audiences was due, it seems, to the promised appearance of a guest star, Caroline Shaw.

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A few years ago, Shaw, then 30, shocked the world of classical music by becoming the youngest Pulitzer Prize winner in music. Shaw won for a play he wrote for and of which he is a member, the iconic vocal group Roomful of Teeth, which specializes in otherworldly sounds that barely suggest the word "classic." Shaw quickly became the face of a thriving scene of young songwriters, including Nico Muhly, Gabriel Kahane and Missy Mazzoli, blurring the lines between classical and indie music. For the past two months, a raw video has been circulating the internet of a Democratic National Committee fundraiser in San Francisco, attended by President Obama, and shows Shaw singing a long, hypnotic, wordless intro to Kanye West's rendition of his song "Power". 🇧🇷

In Iowa, Shaw took the stage and sat cross-legged in his chair between the ropes. Short and thin, she could easily pass for a college student. He introduced his work "By & By", a three-song gospel setting, saying he hoped to bring some authenticity back to the commercial music of the past, and then broke into singing in a simple, haunting alto that was overshadowed by sadness and sadness. .sadness. fervor. Its slow, ribbon-like phrases, floating just this side of harmonic resolution, could be as medieval as mid-Appalachian. Players strummed their pointed instruments banjo-style, occasionally breaking into strange, excited strums or sawing their strings with the wooden part of the bow. Shaw and JACK seem to float into different songs, Shaw's voice fading into wails as the quartet fight in bouts of improvised chaos. But the scattered bits of sound always came back together. Despite all the hints of interruption in the song, this was a crowd pleaser and the young crowd responded with cheers.

Not long after the show, Shaw and I corresponded via phone and email. He grew up in Greenville, North Carolina. where his mother, a violin teacher, taught him to play the instrument at the age of two. "I was a simple suburban girl from Suzuki," she told me, who grew up on a strict diet of classical music. “I lived under a rock for many years.” He went to Rice University to study violin and then went to Yale for a master's in acting. There he sang in church choirs for $15 an hour to pay the bills and took a job as an accompanist in dance classes, a job that required him to improvise music on demand for a variety of rhythms, tempos and movement styles. "If you're a good partner", she says, "nobody will notice you. It's a way of making music in the service of something bigger than yourself, but something very human and simple, which is dance."

After Yale, he moved to New York and found himself on the fringes of the classical music scene. She has played a lot of prickly contemporary music, often leaving behind her desire for the full-bodied delights of traditional harmony, leading her to wonder what she might have done differently if she had written the score herself. He also became an expert on the Baroque violin and sang early music in the choir at Trinity Church in Lower Manhattan. In 2009, she heard of an a cappella group formed to explore singing practices rarely found in standard classical music. "It was a gig, yes, but what a crazy adventure learning things like singing and singing," he says.

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This summer, Roomful of Teeth came together for the first time during a three-week residency at Mass MoCA, the contemporary art museum in North Adams, Massachusetts. The eight young members settled down to learn from a master throat singer from Tuva, a region of southern Siberia. The group's leader, Brad Wells, asked her to write a song for her first performance. Shaw would work late into the night after rehearsing each day, "trying out those chords," as she puts it, "and changing things up. I had in mind that I wanted to hear a lot of people say things that had no substance. So I wanted to hear the conversation ends in a hoarse sound, "Vocal Fry", no words, just vowels, the kind of thing kids do, just play with sounds. And then I wanted to hear that weird sound turn a split second later into a big and beautiful chord sung by the eight of us”.

After 10 days Shaw had a rough draft of a play, "Passacaglia", to take to rehearsal. This gave the group a chance to practice some of the effects they'd been working on, like the throat-cutter-like textures and the sudden head-to-chest transition that characterizes yodeling. There was a spoken word, from Sol LeWitt's "Wall Drawing 305" on display at Mass MoCA, which, taken out of context, seemed surreal and slightly threatening. However, the opening harmonies of the work were directly inspired by the classical tradition. The audience at the first concert screamed and cheered as the bubbling, searing sounds of the vocal fusion in “Passacaglia” suddenly and triumphantly resolved to revert back to the piece's opening D major chord.

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Over the next two summers, Roomful of Teeth returned to Mass MoCA, and Shaw wrote three more pieces, which he compiled into a four-movement work entitled Partita for Eight Voices. The range of vocalizations has been expanded to include whispers, sighs, grunts, gasps, murmurs, screams and heavy breathing. For a work written by a relative novice, "Partita" exuded confidence. On a whim, Shaw wrote a check for $50 and sent "Partita" to the Pulitzer Committee, believing it would be a useful way to get high-profile judges to listen to Roomful of Teeth. She was walking along the Hudson River one spring afternoon when a friend called to say that she had won the award. Nine months later, Roomful of Teeth, which launched a Kickstarter campaign to fund its first recording, which included "Partita," won a Grammy. The group now has reservations for nearly 75 performances this year.

Last May, Kanye West heard Roomful of Teeth perform "Partita for Eight Voices" at the Walt Disney Concert Hall in Los Angeles and then went backstage to meet the group. "He seemed like someone who was really curious and interested in finding something new," recalls Shaw. "We exchanged phone numbers and started a conversation." West asked Shaw to produce a new version of his song "Say You Will", a song from his 2008 album 808s & Heartbreak. "No orders were placed," says Shaw. "I just did what I wanted and he really liked it." West dropped the remix on SoundCloud, adding Shaw to the legion of collaborators on his new project The Life of Pablo, which they've been following in the studio for three weeks. Los Angeles brought He ended up writing, co-producing or contributing vocals to several songs.

"I'm really not allowed to talk about it," Shaw told me. But he continued: "He was so much fun to work with. It was like they gave me a big coloring book and told me to use all the crayons, paints, scissors, everything." Shaw was initially unfamiliar with West's music. he recognized an affinity. "Everything is tightly controlled, contained, contained. And then the moment comes and everything explodes, everything explodes." Shaw paused grimly for a moment, then laughed. "I love that. ." 🇧🇷

Mark LevinHe is a professor at the Iowa Writers Workshop.


The taxi


'Sir. Worldwide” speaks in pan-Caribbean code.

Pastor Von Julianne Escobedo

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There's a reason Pitbull calls himself "Mr. Worldwide": the bombastic party rapper is a global phenomenon. He also tends to get a global dose of anger. In February, he closed out the Grammy Awards with his reggaeton single "El Taxi", in a place usually reserved for rock music (and the occasional rock-rap hybrid); towards the end of the song, several Twitter users, including "Broad City" comedy writer Chris Kelly, compared the performance to the Zika virus.

This isn't the most progressive insult hurled at a Latin artist. But it is precisely this kind of rejection, the fear of Latin music as a violently captivating menace, that paradoxically helps the music to transcend so many boundaries. Pitbull, who was born Armando Christian Pérez in Miami to Cuban immigrants, became Mr. Worldwide for understanding exactly how virality works, and "El Taxi" is a fantastic example: they released the song in July 2014, but this year alone - 400 million YouTube views later, it reached #1 on Billboard's Latin Digital Charts ? Like most of the artist's biggest hits, it takes an older, more popular song and samples it, fades in, and interpolates it into a conversation across multiple languages, nationalities, and cultures. In this case, the starting point is Chaka Demus and Pliers' 1993 hit "Murder She Wrote," a classic Jamaican dancehall riddim featuring artists Pitbull (Cuban-American megastar), Sensato (Dominican-American rapper) and Osmani GarciaReggaetonero) in a kind of pan-Caribbean dialogue.

Jamaica and Cuba have maintained a friendly relationship since the early 1970s, when the former joined the Organization of American States on behalf of the latter. More important, however, is Miami, the spiritual home of the "El Taxi" sensibility, where for decades Caribbean immigrants have fused and blended culture and influence, with itinerant communities that cross-fertilize and strengthen each other. Chaka Demus certainly agreed that "El Taxi" is based on his original, "the greatest dancehall song of all time", as he told The Jamaica Star. (He also said, "I've lost count of how many people they've copied the song.")

Diasporas live and thrive in this sound exchange that works almost like a code between the communities they create, a talking point between very different peoples that the mainstream equally keeps at bay. Pitbull described himself in a 2015 Billboard interview as "the quintessential American Dream, the underdog, the fighter, the always hungry, eternally grateful". Some may be quite allergic to the strobe light pulse of their Miami party zone. But each hit clearly shows how immigrants learned to use that scorn to their advantage. 🇧🇷

julianne escobedo pastorais Jezebel's culture editor.


I really love


The return of the perfectly imperfect soul.

By Amanda Petrusich

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R&B singer D'Angelo once withdrew from his audience for 14 years. After a tour for the platinum-selling "Voodoo" in 2000, which reportedly had grown women screaming at D'Angelo every night to reveal his chiseled stomach, which was by then so well defined that it looked unreal and ghostly, he broke up for consuming alcohol. Drugs and loneliness to dampen his disappointment with a deal that seemed to be going backwards. "I go into the woods, drink alcohol, grow a beard and gain weight," he told his friend and collaborator Questlove.

The decade of pop music that D'Angelo sat in was driven in large part by neurotic precision. Part of that can certainly be attributed to Swedish super-producer Max Martin, who favors a symmetrical, airless, blunt approach to beats. You hit the rhythm and you hit it straight. Martin's aesthetic is omnipresent — he's worked with Taylor Swift, Katy Perry, Adele, Maroon 5 and dozens more — and he doesn't allow for much creative rambling. Much of Martin-era pop music was violent in its vulgarity: no stumbling, no faltering, no careless exhalation.

But "Really Love," the lead single from D'Angelo's late 2014 comeback album Black Messiah, sometimes seems to just ooze: "Girl be patient with me," D'Angelo gently admits in a later verse. His falsetto is all rock and cute. The music goes down the river with no discernible path. When that little jump in the voice comes on the chorus – “doo doowah– looks like a pure signal.

It's not that "Really Love" is obscure or imprecise, though by Martin's standards it probably is, but it's smooth, unencumbered and forgiving. This isn't all that uncommon in R&B. and soul, genres formative for D'Angelo, but within pop he became anomalous. Whereas a listener might initially find it easier to scream along with a more sophisticated singer like Taylor Swift (It's extremely satisfying! Scream every syllable! Participate in one! And solo! Get out! The song! Allowed!), D'Angelo's voice acting encourages something softer and less predetermined. Even the crunchy few seconds at the end (the needle of a record player skipping to an exhausted beat) suggests a way to calm the mind, blur the edges a little, like accidentally falling asleep on a lounger by the pool, drinking still under control. 🇧🇷 🇧🇷 Now it's hard not to read D'Angelo's departure as a reiteration of a creative spirit, in capital letters; Slowness isn't ignoble or archaic here. Instead, it looks like a subversive act: a revolution in patience. 🇧🇷

amanda petrusichHe's a music critic. He teaches writing at New York University.


oh they feel

avoid the cartels

From an imprisoned star, the soundtrack to cynical Jamaican politics.

By Miriam Markowitz

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In December, Dwayne Vaz, the new representative of the People's National Party in Jamaica, made a serious miscalculation. At a rally that followed the destruction of a party office in an alleged arson attack, Vaz speculated that the act was politically motivated. 🇧🇷Is that you?Vaz asked the crowd, "Did they do that?", before answering his own question with the opening tease of "Weh Dem Feel Like", a song by jailed dancehall star Vybz Kartel. "They're baby strength," Vaz said. 🇧🇷chica[to mean. "Girls"] unique strength you have."

That is, the party's political opposition, the Jamaica Labor Party, was too weak to commit the crime. In another line of "Weh Dem Feel Like", Vaz urged his listeners to "load your guns" before a D.J. played a few bars of the song. In the newspapers, politicians and private individuals continued to denounce Vaz for his negligence days later: on the eve of an election, a time when violence has historically plagued Jamaica's fragile political peace, Vaz channeled the threat of Vybz Kartel.

Kartel was arrested on suspicion of murder in 2011 and convicted in 2014. He is Jamaica's leading artist and a dilemma for the political class, which has long opposed the country's popular music: first reggae and now dancehall, its gruff following. and squeaky. Jamaican artists like Buju Banton, Bounty Killer and Beenie Man popularized dancehall overseas in the 1990s, and crossover stars like Sean Paul and Shaggy scored US hits with "Gimme the Light" and "Boombastic". But dancehall's influence runs even deeper, having evolved from an indigenous genre to a ghost in the pop music machine. It fueled the development of rap, drum and bass, and electronic music, and it seeped into American pop from Justin Bieber to Beyonce. Barbadian superstar Rihanna's latest single "Work" is practically dancehall, as is her first hit "Pon de Replay" in 2005.

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Here in Jamaica, where dancehall is the soundtrack of life, playing late into the night from car stereos and home speakers, in rum bars and barbershops, Kartel remains the reigning monarch of dancehall, despite having passed the last five years in prison. Kartel, who was born Adidja Palmer, built her reputation on explicit songs about guns, sex and uncompromising social transgressions like skin bleaching. Her empire has expanded beyond music to products, including a line of "Dagger" soaps and condoms, named after a dance move in which a couple simulates rough sex on the dance floor. In 2014, he was convicted of the murder of an associate, Clyde (Lizard) Williams, who disappeared in 2011 and whose body was never recovered. Kartel, who claims he is innocent, continues to dominate the airwaves and the award show, somehow appearing to be recording music in prison; A new album, Viking (Vybz Is King), was released last year.

"Weh Dem Feel Like", first released in 2007, is one of Kartel's enduring hits: apparently every man, woman and child in Jamaica can recite the lyrics from memory, even if they disapprove of the message. Each note is its own spore, like the dancehall itself, which, in Kartel's words, "Poster- "can't stop" - "forever and ever" Dancehall can't stop, and neither does "Weh Dem Feel Like"; It is a force that goes into battle with Kartel as supreme commander. "We kick like a centipede," sings Kartel, "and take the lead in a war."

As the two political parties struggled to form the next government, Vaz wasn't the only politician to draw inspiration from the cartel and dancehall. In November, Jamaica Labor Party leader Andrew Holness visited Montego Bay wearing Clarks, Jamaica's most fashionable shoe, whose prices doubled on the island in 2010 after Kartel penned an ode to the British brand. Holness tweeted a photo of himself cleaning a brown shoe in Kartel's favorite style, the "desert boot", and Twitter went crazy. "Um weh yuh hol dah new Clarks deh daadi?" Holness wrote down and repeated the question that Popcaan, another dancehall superstar and now Kartel's protégé, had asked Kartel.

The Popular National Party, in turn, has its own resident DJ. Foot hype. Enero, Lisa Hanna, Minister of Youth and Culture of the party and former Miss Jamaica, published on Instagram the lyrics of "School", one of the most recent songs by Kartel, in which she urges students to study much and not to fade the skin. Hanna may have returned a compliment heaped on her by Kartel, who released a song late last year, "Boss Lady," praising both Hanna and Portia Simpson Miller, then prime minister.

With their appeals to dancehall fandom, these politicians hoped to inspire an electorate weary of empty promises. Since 1989, when the former Socialist-leaning National Popular Party turned to economic neoliberalism, the ideological divide between the two parties has collapsed. Jamaica's debt-to-GDP ratio reached 125%, making it one of the most debt-ridden nations in the world. The austerity measures imposed by the IMF resulted in high unemployment rates and declining living standards. For young people, nearly half of whom, according to a recent survey, would give up their Jamaican citizenship to live abroad, partisan politics is increasingly daunting. Dancehall is the perfect accompaniment to your mood: a bacchante lament about the future of Jamaica envisioned by the youth.

In "Weh Dem Feel Like", Kartel asks about his enemies: "Dem skin too hard fbleed?", also an appropriate question given Jamaica's often violent politics. In all, at least four people were shot dead and dozens injured in a stampede at campaign events ahead of the vote. When the votes were counted last month, the nation got what it expected: a virtual tie between two nearly identical parties, with the Jamaican Labor Party winning a narrow majority. Vaz, Holness and Hanna easily won their places. It was considered a peaceful election by Jamaican standards. 🇧🇷

Miriam Markowitzis a writer based in Jamaica and Brooklyn.



twenty one pilots

110 million views and counting.

Von Jayson Greene

25 Songs That Tell Us Where The Music Is Going (released in 2016) (59)full trail

Where the hell is monoculture in 2016? He is clearly not dead. There's a song now: it's called "Stressed Out" and it's by a group called Twenty One Pilots. I recently discovered this while surfing online during an office lunch. As he watched the video on his little YouTube window, he was dismayed to discover something. This song by this group, which I didn't even know existed, has been viewed 110 million times.

Overwhelmed, I checked the Billboard charts and saw that Twenty One Pilots' "Stressed Out" was the No. 3 song in the country. (And seriously: Twenty One Pilots? Was that name made up by a spam bot? Was their Twitter icon an egg?) A strange feeling crept in: What didn't I know? Where was I in relation to everyone else? Researching further, I discovered that the duo would often hang out outside a Chick-fil-A in their hometown of Columbus, Ohio, selling tickets to their shows. Now, just a few years later, they're set to play 75 stadiums in 2016 and counting. There's a certain "Alex von Target" feel to their hit, in which incomprehensible, unseen forces conspire to elevate an arbitrary phenomenon into the national spotlight.

In pop culture, "incomprehensible invisible forces" can be abbreviated to "teenagers." And indeed, delving into Tumblr, Vine and Twitter, again alone on my office lunch hour, shows that the band has a deep and devoted fanbase with permission to learn. The appeal of "Stressed Out" to teenagers is easy to understand: It sounds like a turn-of-the-century MTV Happy Telegram, a sort of rap that morphs into emo-pop in the chorus. The backbeat is immediately reminiscent of Eminem's "My Name Is" and the verses take you right back to Crazy Town's "Butterfly". Sometimes Tyler Joseph, their singer, picks up the ukulele like so many YouTube stars. It's all like a micro-history of the last 20 years of white suburbia.

The real mystery is increasingly my own point of view. Those 110 million browsers that opened this little YouTube window are playing "stressed' are an insignificant part of humanity. Now I join them. Perhaps the monoculture continues unabated outside of us as we gaze at it through tiny holes in our homemade huts. The only evidence we find of the other's existence is a lone counter that goes up, one view at a time. 🇧🇷

jayson greeneis a senior editor at Pitchfork.


sunday sweets

rapper opportunity

Music can take you to unexpected places.

von jasmine hughes

25 Songs That Tell Us Where The Music Is Going (released in 2016) (60)full trail

The day after Michael Jackson's death in 2009,Helen Brown wrote an elegy for The Telegraphabout his life and legacy, which I return to whenever someone suggests that Bruno Mars could be the new King of Pop. Brown is rightfully effusive, but one line still haunts me: "The first single he released with the Jackson Five, 1969's 'I Want You Back,' is arguably the greatest pop record of all time and arguably the most speed that has already given way to pure joy.”

I've stuck with this idea ever since: a song as a route. The trick with music, however, is that it doesn't really get you anywhere; you take yourself Music is just the ticket, the map, the queue. You arrive at your destination alone.

When I first heard "Sunday Candy" I couldn't quite put my finger on what it was about.It's a love songIt certainly sounded like that: the piano melody of blue sky and sunshine, Chance the Rapper's sweet, careful way of singing endearments. (Technically, the music is by Donnie Trumpet & the Social Experiment, a Chicago collective led by trumpeter Nico Segal, but Chance is the driving force behind the project.) Horns, rhythmic handclaps, silver vocals, and then: My heart was in the church organ, such a rarity in contemporary music that I could have looked around to see where the sound was coming from.

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That sound takes me straight to my grandmother's church in Roanoke, Virginia, where I received my first blessing as a human baby (I don't remember), learned my first real hymn (I don't remember), and, as a little boy, she climbed into the pew and interrupted the service where my meme received special awards from the pastor (can't remember but wish I had). Listening to an organ is my vibrant Sunday morning: slicing through the stale air with a paper fan, flexing my abdomen to drown out any noise until lunch, trying not to sweat my freshly squeezed hair, looking for a lesson in the sermon in what I can believe Music made me 2 again, then 5, then 12, then (and now) 24, in the room but a little out of place, seeing love and trying to feel it. "Sunday Candy" took me south, took me back, put me in my grandma's lap for four luxurious, holy minutes. Church is still a strange sort of haven: I never want to go there, but I'm always glad I did. I really only go when I'm visiting my grandma.

"Sunday Candy" ends the way my grandmother used to start my church service: with the choir. The gorgeous slower version Chance played on "Saturday Night Live" in late 2015 is the closest thing to a hip-hop gospel song I've ever heard, largely due to the massive presence of that chorus with its so-called e-play approach. . reply. to repetition. Chance ends the performance with a breathtaking ecclesiastical freestyle not unlike a sermon climax, marrying the spiritual transcendence of a Sunday service with its artistic side.

The next time I heard "Sunday Candy", I actually heard, "I have a future, so I'm singing it to my grandma", and I realized:Oh, it's a song about your grandma.(opportunity recentlyposted on instagramthat her grandmother, Mama Charlie, passed away. Condolences, Chance.) A love song for all occasions: anchored in familial love, charged with devotion and gratitude and a hint of guilt, mixed with romance. He is subtly selfish and proud ("You sing too / But your grandmother is not my grandmother"), sincere in his intentions. Right. I was wondering what Mema would think of that. Maybe I'll call her when I get home from church. 🇧🇷

jasmine hughesis co-editor of the magazine.




A viral sensation in low-key Bulgaria, breaking all taboos.

Von Mac McClelland

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Arabic guitar scales and soulful chants that open "Habibi" are the kind of sounds you might associate with Turkish markets or gypsy caravans. But they are really Bulgarian.Tschalga, a pop-folk genre popularized and perhaps best exemplified by its singer Azis, whose video for "Habibi" amassed over 20 million views on YouTube four months after its November 2015 release. so far for the so-called King of Chalga, but the clothing he is wearing is definitely his chest. Azis is dressed like a "Faith"-era George Michael rather than his signature style: sexpot drag.

"My original intention was to show Bulgarians that people are different and help them accept those who are different," the singer explained recently as she leaned back against a pile of pillows for a Skype video interview. She was wearing a tight black T-shirt with a low neckline, her eyebrows plucked to perfection. "My idea was that they would accept us, like us for who we are." There were also less profound reasons: "In 2012 I had lost weight, so I wanted to show off my new body and make sure thatnosaw my legs."

Born in Bulgaria's only women's prison (his mother was arrested for selling imported clothes before the fall of communism), Azis was, as he puts it, born "to be different". He was gay in a culture that rejects homosexuality and a gypsy in a country - one of many - that continues to persecute the group. "Being gay and Roma is highly discriminated against in Bulgaria," continued Azis. “Both are words people here hate. For me, I carry the burden of both.”

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Still, Azis' mother was determined to make her son a star, and after he was released from prison, she dragged him through endless auditions. But "no one wanted a Gypsy child," continued Azis. “The only thing they didn't want was a gypsy in the choir, a gypsy in front, on TV, anywhere; It was unimaginable to have someone like me there.” Finally, this series of humiliations "destroyed" his mother. When Azis was 8 years old, they moved to West Germany. A few years later, after the fall of the wall, he returned to Bulgaria; His mother's dream came true the night she sang in a restaurant with live accompaniment. "I felt really intoxicated by the performance," he recalled. When he was in his early 20s, he signed with a music agency in Sofia and a year later was awarded best artist at a Bulgarian music festival. Within two years, the biggest stadium in the country was sold out, where, after more than a decade of communism, she took the stage in crotch-high red leather high-heeled boots.

Azis, 38, has ditched what she calls her "diva" look. Partly because he's "too tired and too old for anything" (it takes him three hours to cross-dress), but also because he no longer feels the need to make statements. “Today you see guys in skinny jeans holding hands on the street. And there is a street in Sofia where you can have sex with a transsexual. He laughed, a deep, guttural laugh, like a glamorous Disney villain. "I did what I could to change people's perceptions," he later added. “I showed you that you can be a gypsy and you can be smart, you can be gay and you can be cool. That is. I can't do the same thing for 20 years."

In 2015, Azis was the most Googled person in his country, but this was barely mentioned in the Bulgarian press. "They are willing to embrace foreign gay artists rather than admit they have their own gay fame," he says. And yet he remains philosophical. "There are people who stop me on the street and say: 'I can'tBeYou. I can't look at you, but I close my eyes and hear you sing.' Even if people hate gays and gypsies, they can still appreciate my singing."

"Habibi" may have taken his name from an Arab endearment, but he insists he does not mean to imply that Arabs in Bulgaria might suffer a similar fate to the Roma. (A recent Amnesty International report found that migrants live in fear of "xenophobic hate crimes" and urged Bulgaria to address this climate of fear.) Instead, Arab hairdressers are all the rage in Bulgaria, he explains. She saw young people talking about her on Facebook.

One day the diva look will come back, she promises. In the meantime, he is considering recording a song entirely in English for an American audience, for those with a message, even if not a political one. "I want them to know about Bulgaria," he said. “I want to tell you that it is a small but very beautiful country, the nature here is great, the people are very friendly, especially in the countryside, and we have the richest feta cheese.” 🇧🇷

Mac McClellandis the author of the memoir Irritable Hearts: A PTSD Love Story.


Black Star

David Bowie

About composing music and your dying death.

By Will Hermes

25 Songs That Tell Us Where The Music Is Going (released in 2016) (64)full trail

When David Bowie died in January, just two days after the release of his Blackstar album (the title was really just a funerary Black Star icon), fans started looking for coded messages in songs. Some have pointed out that a "black star" could refer to some type of injury. Others pointed to a deep cut of one of Bowie's idols, Elvis Presley, also titled "Black Star". And when news broke of Bowie's prolonged battle over his health, his latest burst of creativity hinted at some sort of brilliant choreography.the art of dying, a dying art. On "Lazarus," which was also the theme song to a career-long musical completed shortly before his death, Bowie sings, "Look up, I'm in the sky," adding with a cosmically avuncular wink, "I left drop my phone."

There is a tradition of "death poems" in some Asian countries, and as a generation of outspoken musicians shuffles our roll, the farewell album has become its Western equivalent. John Coltrane's "Expression" can be considered a forerunner. Warren Zevon made The Wind after he was diagnosed with inoperable cancer. On the last series of Johnny Cash's American Recordings released during his lifetime, he played Trent Reznor's "Hurt" as a deathbed confession of sorts, then closed with "We'll Meet Again," a WWII-era send-off. Mundial that was the smiling end of Dr. Strange Love."

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Other late works tend toward solemn summaries like Bach's "Messe in B minor," or Loretta Lynn's new album, still 83, featuring standout favorites like "Everybody Wants to Go to Go to Heaven." Nobody wants to die." /Age has withered and changed him," he growled on "Junior Dad," a song as relentlessly clear as Reed's signature "Heroin." own musical output plans.

In an age when our deaths are often determined by a for-profit medical establishment, these thoughtful farewells are inspiring. Death is one of life's major events: shouldn't it be our very constitution? Reed died at his home, surrounded by friends and family, with an invitation-only posthumous memorial at the Apollo Theater. There was no public memorial service for Bowie, just a final Instagram photo taken shortly before his death: the ageless Ziggy Stardust looking dapper in a designer suit, chic hat and bare feet, smiling broadly, ready for his next appearance. 🇧🇷

Will Hermesis an associate editor at Rolling Stone.

(Video) Music Studio


What songs dropped in 2016? ›

  • "Formation" by Beyoncé
  • "One Dance" by Drake feat. Wiz Kid and Kyla.
  • "Work" by Rihanna feat. Drake.
  • "Too Good" by Drake feat. Rihanna.
  • "This Is What You Came For" by Calvin Harris feat. Rihanna.
  • "Panda" by Desiigner.
  • "Cheap Thrills" by Sia.
  • "Closer" by The Chainsmokers feat. Halsey.
Dec 31, 2016

What is the most played song in 2016? ›

The Official Top 10 most streamed songs of 2016:
5 more rows
Dec 30, 2016

How do you find songs that you don't remember? ›

Hum to search for your earworm

On your mobile device, open the latest version of the Google app or find your Google Search widget, tap the mic icon and say “what's this song?” or click the “Search a song” button. Then start humming for 10-15 seconds. On Google Assistant, it's just as simple.

What was the No 1 song in 2017? ›

"Despacito" by Luis Fonsi and Daddy Yankee featuring Justin Bieber was the longest-running number-one of the year, leading the chart for sixteen weeks and tying the then-record for longest-running number-one single in the history of the chart; despite this, Ed Sheeran's "Shape of You" topped the Billboard Year-End Hot ...

What were the top 5 songs in 2016? ›

Most Streamed Tracks
  • "One Dance (feat. Kyla and Wizkid)" by Drake.
  • "I Took a Pill in Ibiza (Seeb Remix)" by Mike Posner.
  • "Don't Let Me Down (feat. Daya)" by The Chainsmokers.
  • "Work (feat. Drake)" by Rihanna.
  • "Cheap Thrills" by Sia.
Dec 1, 2016

What song was number 1 in July 2016? ›

Chart history
Issue dateSongWeekly sales
July 16"Can't Stop the Feeling!"107,000
July 2398,000
July 3092,000
August 6"Rise"137,000
49 more rows

What are some 2016 hits? ›

Pop Hits: 2016
  • One Dance (feat. Wizkid & Kyla) Drake. Drake. ...
  • Love Yourself. Justin Bieber. Justin Bieber. ...
  • Hello. Adele. Adele. ...
  • Black Beatles (feat. Gucci Mane) Rae Sremmurd. ...
  • Closer (feat. Halsey) The Chainsmokers. ...
  • Cheap Thrills. Sia. Sia. ...
  • CAN'T STOP THE FEELING! Justin Timberlake. Justin Timberlake. ...
  • 24K Magic. Bruno Mars. Bruno Mars.

What were the hits in 2016? ›

Top Hits of 2016
  • StarboyThe Weeknd, Daft Punk.
  • One DanceDrake, Wizkid, Kyla.
  • Love YourselfJustin Bieber.
  • CloserThe Chainsmokers, Halsey.
  • HelloAdele.
  • PandaDesiigner.
  • Pink + WhiteFrank Ocean.
  • Cheap Thrills (feat. Sean Paul)Sia, Sean Paul.

What was the song of the Summer 2016 Billboard? ›

1 Song of the Summer. Summer '16 officially belonged to Drake, as the superstar's "One Dance," featuring WizKid and Kyla, is Billboard's No. 1 song of the summer of 2016.

Do people with dementia forget music? ›

Many people with Alzheimer's may struggle to remember recent events or conversations. They may forget the names of loved ones. But despite these impairments, remarkably, they are still able to tap into musical memories long after other types of memories fade.

Why do I randomly remember old songs? ›

The most common one was music exposure, either recently hearing a tune or repeatedly hearing it. A second reason was memory triggers, meaning that seeing a particular person or word, hearing a specific beat, or being in a certain situation reminds you of a song.

Can songs trigger memories? ›

Music is a very strong tool to induce emotions and therefore, to evoke memories. Listening to a song is not a lonely action. When you listen to a song while being in a place where you can find peace like a forest or a beach, you are saving that moment in your memory as a whole.

What song was number 1 june 2017? ›

Chart history
Issue dateSongArtist(s)
June 10"Despacito"Luis Fonsi and Daddy Yankee feat. Justin Bieber
June 17
June 24
July 1
48 more rows

What song was #1 in April 2017? ›

Chart history
Issue dateSongArtist(s)
April 1"Shape of You"Ed Sheeran
April 8
April 15
April 22"Humble"Kendrick Lamar
48 more rows

What is the 10 most popular songs in the world? ›

Top Songs - Global
  • FlowersMiley Cyrus.
  • Kill BillSZA.
  • Shakira: Bzrp Music Sessions, Vol. 53Bizarrap, Shakira.
  • Unholy (feat. Kim Petras)Sam Smith, Kim Petras.
  • Creepin' (with The Weeknd & 21 Savage)Metro Boomin, The Weeknd, 21 Savage.
  • As It WasHarry Styles.
  • La BachataManuel Turizo.
  • Yandel 150Yandel, Feid.

What song was number one in June 2016? ›

Chart history
Issue dateSongArtist(s)
May 21"One Dance"Drake featuring Wizkid and Kyla
May 28"Panda"Desiigner
June 4
June 11
49 more rows

What was the #1 rap song in 2016? ›

Kanye West

Drake Cha Cha'd at the top of the Hot 100 for 10 weeks with the Wizkid and Kyla-featured jam “One Dance” while Chance The Rapper notched his first No. 1 on both the Mainstream R&B/Hip-Hop and R&B/Hip-Hop Airplay charts with the carefree track “No Problem” featuring 2 Chainz and Lil Wayne.

What was the best selling song of 2016? ›

1. Justin Timberlake, “Can't Stop the Feeling!” Justin Timberlake's exuberant “Can't Stop the Feeling!” is the year's top-selling digital hit.

What was number 1 december 2016? ›

Clean Bandit bring home the most coveted chart accolade of the year – the Official Christmas Number 1 2016, with their huge chart smash Rockabye, the OfficialCharts.com can confirm.

What was the No 1 song September 2016? ›

1: The Chainsmokers feat. Halsey - 'Closer'

What was the biggest song of summer 2016? ›

Topping the overall list, based on combined sales and streams between June and August, is Drake's One Dance. The song logged a mammoth 15 weeks at Number 1 on the Official Singles Chart (eight of which fell in the June to August 'Songs of the Summer' period) and notched up 654,000 combined chart sales.

What good events happened in 2016? ›

13 undeniably good things that happened in 2016
  • Physicists confirm existence of gravitational waves. ...
  • Catholic and Orthodox leaders meet for first time in 1,000 years. ...
  • World tiger count rises for first time in 100 years. ...
  • Harriet Tubman will appear on $20 bills. ...
  • Teen birth rate reaches all-time low.
Dec 26, 2016

Who was the biggest artist in 2016? ›

Drake has been named Spotify's most-streamed artist of 2016, with his single One Dance the site's biggest song of the year. The Canadian star racked up 4.7 billion streams this year, more than half of which were for his album Views.

What was Spotify most streamed song 2016? ›

"One Dance" became the first song to hit 1 billion streams on 12 December 2016, and held the streaming record for almost a year before being surpassed by "Shape of You" on 21 September 2017, which went on to become the first song to reach 2 billion streams in December 2018 and 3 billion streams in December 2021.

Who is the Queen of Pop 2016? ›

Madonna may rule as the Queen of Pop, but her kingdom stretches over the whole last calendar year, according to Billboard.

What was the biggest album of 2016? ›

Here is the full list of the top 10 bestselling albums in the world in 2016:
  • Beyoncé - Lemonade, 2.5 million.
  • Adele - 25, 2.4 million.
  • Drake - Views, 2.3 million.
  • Metallica - Hardwired...to Self-Destruct, 2.1 million.
  • David Bowie - Blackstar, 1.9 million.
  • The Rolling Stones - Blue & Lonesome, 1.8 million.
Apr 25, 2017

What song was number one on February 14 2016? ›

1. Lukas Graham - '7 Years' Here are your Valentine's Day No. 1 chart toppers!

What song was number one August 26 2016? ›

Cheap Thrills

If playback doesn't begin shortly, try restarting your device.

Do dementia patients ever get their memory back? ›

The study found that the memory loss associated with dementia may not be a case of memories being "erased," as has been the long-held belief in the scientific community. Instead, patients with Alzheimer's may still have those memories but are just struggling to retrieve them.

What kind of music do dementia patients like? ›

Best Music To Play For Dementia Patients
  • “You Are My Sunshine”
  • “She'll Be Comin' Round the Mountain.
  • “You Are My Sunshine”
  • “This Land is Your Land”
  • “Amazing Grace”
  • “Over the Rainbow” – Judy Garland.
  • “Pennies from Heaven” – Bing Crosby.
  • “Moonlight Serenade” – Glen Miller.
Feb 23, 2021

What stage of dementia is forgetfulness? ›

During the moderate dementia stage of Alzheimer's disease, people grow more confused and forgetful and begin to need more help with daily activities and self-care. People with the moderate dementia stage of Alzheimer's disease may: Show increasingly poor judgment and deepening confusion.

Why do I hear songs in my head at night? ›

MES occurs when you hear music even though there isn't any playing. It's a creation of the brain, but it's not a psychological problem or symptom of dementia. It's usually due to some degree of hearing loss, but the cause can't always be determined.

Why am I always singing in my head? ›

Earworms or stuck song syndrome

Recurring tunes that involuntarily pop up and stick in your mind are common: up to 98% of the Western population has experienced these earworms. Usually, stuck songs are catchy tunes, popping up spontaneously or triggered by emotions, associations, or by hearing the melody.

Why does my brain keep repeating a song? ›

Earworms can occur due to the brain's attempt to fill a gap in the auditory cortex, which is located in the temporal lobe. When you hear a song over and over, the brain transmits that sound information to the “phonological loop,” a short-term memory system in the auditory cortex.

Can music trigger anxiety? ›

5) Anxiety

In fact, most people I have talked with have certain genres, songs, or artists on their personal "no listen" list. Hearing that song, artist, or genre—even in an open public space—can induce negative responses physiologically and/or emotionally. In my experience this is commonly felt as anxiety.

Can music trigger PTSD? ›

Sounds: Hearing specific noises, songs, or voices may bring back memories of the trauma. For example, hearing a car backfire may remind a veteran of gunfire. Tastes: The taste of something, like alcohol, may remind you of a traumatic event.

Can music trigger dreams? ›

Music has been shown to directly impact our dream state and can even be used as a trigger for lucid dreaming.

What song was number 1 november 2017? ›

Number 1: Post Malone Featuring 21 Savage "Rockstar"

It's the fifth rap track to top the chart in 2017, following hits by Migos, Kendrick Lamar, DJ Khaled, and Cardi B.

What was the No 1 song in January 2017? ›

There is truly NO stopping Clean Bandit's collaboration with Sean Paul and Anne-Marie. 'Rockabye' equalled the most weeks at No. 1 (7) on the 1st January 2017.

What song was number 1 may 2017? ›

Kendrick Lamar - HUMBLE.

What song was #1 in July 2017? ›

Chart history
Issue dateSongArtist(s)
July 1"Stay"Zedd and Alessia Cara
July 8
July 15
July 22"Despacito"Luis Fonsi and Daddy Yankee featuring Justin Bieber
48 more rows

What song was number 1 on april 22 2017? ›

Number 1: Ed Sheeran "Shape of You"

Speaking of repetition, Ed Sheeran extends his championship run to 12 weeks with “Shape Of You.” How common is this?

What was the number one song April 17 2010? ›

Chart history
Issue dateSongArtist(s)
April 10"Hey, Soul Sister"Train
April 17
April 24
May 1"Nothin' on You"B.o.B featuring Bruno Mars
48 more rows

What are the top 20 songs of today? ›

Today's Top Hits
  • FlowersMiley Cyrus.
  • Kill BillSZA.
  • Boy's a liar Pt. 2PinkPantheress, Ice Spice.
  • Escapism. RAYE, 070 Shake.
  • Love AgainThe Kid LAROI.
  • Creepin' (with The Weeknd & 21 Savage)Metro Boomin, The Weeknd, 21 Savage.
  • Shakira: Bzrp Music Sessions, Vol. 53Bizarrap, Shakira.
  • Calm Down (with Selena Gomez)Rema, Selena Gomez.

What song was #1 the longest? ›

"Old Town Road" holds the record for the longest stretch at No. 1 with 19 weeks.

What's the top 50 songs right now? ›

Top 50 - USA
  • Kill BillSZA.
  • Boy's a liar Pt. ...
  • FlowersMiley Cyrus.
  • Last NightMorgan Wallen.
  • Just Wanna RockLil Uzi Vert.
  • Creepin' (with The Weeknd & 21 Savage)Metro Boomin, The Weeknd, 21 Savage.
  • Superhero (Heroes & Villains) [with Future & Chris Brown]Metro Boomin, Future, Chris Brown.
  • Die For YouThe Weeknd.

What music dropped in 2016 rap? ›

Hip-Hop/R&B Hits: 2016
  • One Dance (feat. Wizkid & Kyla) Drake. Drake. ...
  • Panda. Desiigner. Desiigner. New English. ...
  • Black Beatles (feat. Gucci Mane) Rae Sremmurd. Rae Sremmurd. ...
  • Broccoli (feat. Lil Yachty) DRAM. ...
  • Hotline Bling. Drake. Drake. ...
  • Work (feat. Drake) Rihanna. ...
  • 24K Magic. Bruno Mars. Bruno Mars. ...
  • Starboy (feat. Daft Punk) The Weeknd.

What famous thing happened in 2016? ›

August. August 5–21 – The 2016 Summer Olympics are held in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, the first time in South America. August 24 – A 6.2 earthquake hits central Italy, killing 299 people. August 31 – The Brazilian Senate votes (61–20) to impeach the President of Brazil Dilma Rousseff.

What was popular in summer 2016? ›

The Official Top 20 most streamed songs of 2016 are...
16 more rows
Aug 31, 2016

What was popular in 2016? ›

As predicted, it was a big year for nostalgia. The golden age of television invited O.J. Simpson, the best of '80s cinema and Lorelai and Rory Gilmore back into the pop culture conversation, while Bridget Jones, Harry Potter and Darth Vader returned to the big screen.

What rappers blew up in 2016? ›

Lil Yachty, 21 Savage, Lil Uzi Vert: In 2016, the Kids Took Over Rap - SPIN.


1. Céline Dion - I'm Alive (Official HD Video)
(Celine Dion)
2. "The Day Beyoncé Turned Black" - SNL
(Saturday Night Live)
3. Meghan Trainor - All About That Bass (Official Video)
(Meghan Trainor)
4. TOP 40 Songs of 2021 2022 🔥 Best English Songs (Best Hit Music Playlist) on Spotify #SkyMusic 05
(Sky Music)
5. Maroon 5 - Girls Like You ft. Cardi B (Volume 2) (Official Music Video)
(Maroon 5)
6. Butlers Empire CHRISTMAS LIVE SHOW Dec 23rd 2022 8PM Start


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