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Ariana Grande Releases First Single Since Manchester Tragedy — No Tears Left to Cry

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After the bombing that took the lives of 22 people at Ariana Grande’s Dangerous Woman concert in Manchester, one can imagine the amount of tears and pain that has come from Grande and her team. Now almost a year later, Grande is back with rainbow prisms, upside down aesthetics, and the liberation of moving forward with No Tears Left To Cry (NTLTC), her first single since the tragedy.

Fans were speculating to hear a mournful ballad after listening to the teaser of NTLTC that was posted onto Grande’s social media before its release. However, after hearing the full track, it is clear that Grande is over the tears and is moving on to a state of optimism and happiness. “Ain’t got no tears left to cry / so I’m pickin’ it up, pickin’ it up / I’m lovin’, I’m livin’, I’m pickin’ it up” the 24-year-old sings.

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Meditations: Judging by the Cover

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Badlove (1999)

If you were an album sitting in a record store up until about 1995, the only thing that got you out of the door and into the hands of some bell-bottom wearing teenager that wasn’t the quality music, but whatever the hell was displayed on your cover. Didn’t matter if you were the Rolling Stones or Engelbert Humperdinck; all were at the mercy of whatever the hell the artist had decided they wanted their potential customers to see decorating their records.

Still, dozens of artists broke this rule like it was going out of style, and you can find about a million awful covers with a quick google search. While taking a deep dive into that rabbit hole of awful fringe album covers would truly be magical, I’d actually like to look at a few records that I think are great as far as the music is concerned, but leave a few metric tons to be desired as far as the visuals are concerned.

But before diving into this, what qualifies as a “good” album cover? Some of you might respond by saying that “all art is subjective and up to interpretation”. Some of you are stupid.

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Battle of the Bands 2018

 

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UIC band New House rocking the stage in the South Terrace.

On March 16, UIC Radio held the Battle of the Bands, which is a competition against local bands for a spot to play in next year’s Spark in the Park. The event was held in the East Terrace from 6 p.m. -9 p.m.

Man. Spark In The Park has had some fire lineups in years previous. We had Nick Jonas and DRAM this year. 2015 had Twenty One Pilots, 2014 had J Cole, and 2013 had both Kendrick Lamar and Chance the Rapper. These are just a few of the notorious artists and bands that have performed here in UIC’s backyard.

Imagine opening for one of these artists as a performer or band in your own right. Sounds amazing, right? Well, local band New House was the winner for this year’s Battle of the Bands.

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Burial of Talent Who Get Over By Themselves?

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WWE has various talent among its ranks such as: Daniel Bryan, AJ Styles, Shinsuke Nakamura, Charlotte Flair, Becky Lynch, Bayley, Asuka, The Authors of Pain, The Revival, Gallows & Anderson, Finn Balor, and so many more. However, there have been various talent that has been buried for various reasons. Some have been buried for their social media, older wrestlers refusing to put young talent over, issues with management, set aside for the golden boys of the management, and one very surprising one is for getting themselves over without the help of management.  Continue reading “Burial of Talent Who Get Over By Themselves?”

Meditations: The Gang Makes a Top Ten List

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So I’ll just come clean and say that I really don’t watch The Office. Now hold on, before you reach for that molotov cocktail, let me make it absolutely clear that I have seen a good chunk of its episodes and have found most of them to be pretty enjoyable. While I do like the show, I could never really get into it too much. Call me an intolerable postmodern pseudo-nihilist sludge hipster, but, I like my sitcoms a little bit spicier than your average bear. That’s why when I’m looking for something to watch while eating an amount of Chick-fil-a most doctors would call “questionable”, my first choice is always FX’s black comedy sitcom, It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia.

Created by Rob McElhenney in 2005, the series has graced us with twelve full seasons worth of the depraved and twisted adventures of, “The Gang”, which is basically what would happen if you were to boil the very worst that humanity had to offer down into five people named Charlie, Dennis, Frank, Mac, and Dee who own a bar called Paddy’s Pub. From musical theater to cannibalism, the gang does just about everything but actually run their bar as they try to find more and more depraved ways to bide their time. While each of the show’s 134 episodes share an equally warm little spot in my heart, the title of this article says that I’m going to rank them, and that’s exactly what I’m going to do. Keep in mind that this is just my own list and that opinions are normally pretty awful so break out your finest rum hams and milk steaks, because things are about to get extreme.

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Event Review: GAS at the Art Institute

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Live ambient music has a tendency to come off as underwhelming. I’ve always found watching a producer manipulate tracks on their laptop insufficient to warrant the title of “live” performance. However, every once in a blue moon I’ll see an ambient performance that proves all of my assumptions wrong. Last week’s performance by producer Wolfgang Voigt’s GAS alias was one of them.

I’d like to make note of the way his performance highlighted the importance of setting when viewing live electronic music. GAS’s music at home is primarily a headphone listen, where you are completely sucked in to the music’s world. In order to replicate this feeling live, it needed to be experienced in “wide-screen” so to speak, and this is exactly we got. The months leading up to the show, I worried we would be stuck seeing GAS perform on a make-shift sound system, forced to stand for 90 minutes in a tiny room shoulder to shoulder with fellow techno nerds. Luckily we got the opposite, as the Rubloff Auditorium at the Art Institute proved to be the ideal venue for Voigt’s soundscapes. The audience was able to sit down while taking in both a massive video projection and immaculate sound thanks to the theater’s excellent PA and acoustics.

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3 Wrestlemania Weekend Predictions

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This weekend in New Orleans is Wrestlemania weekend with Wrestlemania and NXT Takeover: New Orleans, but those are not the only wrestling shows on this weekend as Ring of Honor Supercard of Honor XII, Impact Wrestling vs Lucha Underground, Revolution Pro, Evolve, Crash, and many other promotions happening in New Orleans for Wrestlemania weekend.

Bullet Club Will Be Fine
Bullet Club at the moment has a very interesting feud in the works between leader Kenny Omega and fellow member Cody for leader of Bullet Club. It was started after Kenny helped his former Golden Lover tag team partner Kota Ibushi, but has seeds planted at a feud since last year at NJPW Dominion. The build up has been great with Being the Elite, New Japan, and Ring of Honor with all other Bullet Club members choosing sides, such as Tama Tonga staying out of it with the rest of Bullet Club OGs, but Marty Scurll and Hangman Page choosing to side with Cody, and the Young Bucks still being undecided, but Kota who isn’t a member on Kenny’s side. Whatever the outcome of the match between Kenny and Cody the Bullet Club will be changed, maybe Tama Tonga and the Bullet Club OGs coming out and attacking Kenny, Cody, the Bucks, Marty, Kota, and Hangman to set up the Elites vs OGs.

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The Daily Blend’s March Top Ten 2018

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Yo, people of the internet! I am BACK for the month, and I’m so excited for this blog. March is one of my favorite months of the year, and this year’s March just happened to be an amazing month for music!

With everything that is played on my show, you all probably think I have way too much happening in the skull area of my body. So, I want to give everyone a little insight as to what’s going on in my brain, without having to look at the “Recently Played” section on my Spotify. The solution I came to was to tell everyone about the hidden (and not so hidden) gems in my music library for the month. Some of the music I post will be at the top of charts, some of the music won’t be your style, some will be a band’s biggest hit that I’ve just been happening to listen to a lot, and some will be completely unknown to you!

So, to start it off, here’s just a couple of my favorite artists for March, a little bit about them, and some song suggestions:

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Meditations: Some Quick Updates on The Longplay

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Fellas, it’s been a good time and a half since I’ve updated all of you beautiful sea urchins on the status of my beloved weekly radio show, “The Longplay”. Seeing as this lack of updates on the status of the show wasn’t really a big deal to anyone I was just going to let it slide, but that was before I woke up screaming in the middle of the night last night after I remembered that the deadline for my blog was today… so here we are.

Now let me be clear, the Longplay is still dedicated to bringing you full length classic albums accompanied by commentary from the show’s very handsome and talented host (me), but instead of that being the game plan 100% of the time, it’ll probably go down to a nice and kosher 60% of the time.

If the past few panel shows that I’ve done have taught me anything, it’s that I like having people in the studio to banter with, so expect more of that in the future. Don’t worry though, these guests won’t entirely consist of my stupid friends. In fact, having actual local musicians as guests for semi formal interviews is something I’m also going to try and incorporate. Basically my goal is to appeal to the people who hate my voice by filling my show with people who aren’t me. It’s ideas like this that earn me the big bucks.

All that being said, it will still mostly just be me in the studio, so you have nothing to fear if you’re one of those regressive mofos who fear change. I’m trying to spice up the variety of albums I pick, as I’ve been a little worried that things are getting a little samey. Expect more EP showcases, live albums, films scores, and possibly even comedy albums in the near future. I’m also due in for another local music showcase, so keep an eye out for that as well. Episodes are also going to start going longer because there isn’t anyone after me.

And finally, I must mention that The Longplay does have a facebook page, which can be found right here https://www.facebook.com/longplayUIC/. Now I would say that i’m trying to expand the show onto other social media platforms, but I don’t feel like lying right now. Give the page a like, and I promise that I will make Zuckerberg give your personal information away to only the finest Azerbaijani opioid smugglers.

If the parts about local musical guests and local music showcases made you say “hey, I’m a semi established local musician or comedian with music released on Spotify, maybe I should speak to this man”, than feel free to contact me through the facebook page. Be warned though; I’m incredibly unlikable.

And that’s about it. Make sure to tune into The Longplay every Tuesday from 9pm to 10pm on UIC Radio to watch me go back on all the promises I made here in real time.

Noteworthy 1st Quarter Check-In (Jan. – Mar. 2018)

Ivan from Noteworthy here again (Mondays 6PM-8PM).  I refuse to believe it, but the calendar doesn’t lie: we’re already 1/4 of the way in to 2018. My internal musical clock is usually stuck on trying to discover stuff that slipped through the cracks from the previous year for the first few months and it really isn’t until spring that I turn my mind on for the current year. While past 1st quarters might have been the dead zone between the holiday rush to get music to consumers and the spring, where the seeds for summer dominance are planted, we’re now in a year-round culture our need for quality content never goes on hiatus.

As we leave March, I feel great about what 2018 has offered us so far, so I’ve decided to count down my ten favorite singles from the 1st quarter. If you’ve been listening to Noteworthy, some of these songs here won’t surprise you. Side note: I included some December 2017 tracks here since songs and albums released that late in the year can only have so much impact if they’re limited to a time frame of just a few weeks.

#10. N*E*R*D feat. Kendrick Lamar – “Don’t Don’t Do It”

The melody here is one of those classic, gliding Neptunes chord progressions that have made me a stan for nearly two decades. Not sure if it’s because it feels so familiar, the topicality of it, the addition of Kendrick Lamar or a combo of all three that’s kept me coming back.

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