The Daily Blend’s September Top Ten 2018

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Hi friends! I’m alive! That is, I’ve come back from the worst city in Illinois and am currently in the best city in Illinois. It has been a very long summer, and I have oodles of new music for y’all. I wish I could say that this blog is solely based off of my music choices in September, but unfortunately, I’m not that creative and a good portion of this music is stuff I enjoyed over the summer as well. Also, a bunch of new albums just came out as this blog is being published, so while you all read this post, I’ll be listening to new albums to rave or rant about in about a month. 🙂

Continue reading “The Daily Blend’s September Top Ten 2018”

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Why Riot Fest Is Still Chicago’s Best Music Festival

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It was touch and go there for a while, but Riot Fest did return this year, and it was another great one.

The daily schedules were not announced until about a week before the fest was to start due to a number of factors, including Blink 182’s late cancellation.

About a year ago, I posted here that Riot Fest is Chicago’s best music festival, and it remains so. 

My reasons for asserting that is basically the music is just better. Riot Fest highlights actual musicians playing and singing music that they have written, unlike some of the other fests in town.

This year was no different, with great sets from Elvis Costello, Blondie, and Johnny Marr, and a bucket list appearance (at least for me) by Mr. Jerry Lee Lewis, still tickling the ivories with the best of them.

The location at Douglas Park is a perfect setting. Plus, Riot Fest is a bargain.  You could buy a three-day ticket this year for less than $100. I am already looking forward to next year.

Artist On the Rise: Carlie Hanson

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photo taken by myself

This past weekend I had the honor of seeing up-and-coming pop star, Carlie Hanson, perform live at Chop Shop.

Hanson definitely won over some new fans Friday night in Chicago, myself included, with her energized performance and clean vocals.

Currently opening for Jeremy Zucker on her first tour, the Wisconsin native has come a long way from working at a McDonalds drive thru.

The 18-year-old played a 30 minute set including her hit singles, Only One, and, Us, — and even gave us a glimpse at new music.

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PopTara’s Artist To Know: Allie X

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Hey sisters,

I’ve recently pushed myself out of the comfort of hiding behind a blog and onto the air! Live! Every Wednesday I’ll be hosting my own music show, PopTara from 8:30pm-10:30pm.

I’ll be playing new pop tracks and showcasing underrated pop talent. PopTara was born to say, “hey world, pop music is good, and we all know it.”

Half way through my show I’ll be serving tea on the Tea Time with Tara segment about a pop artist who I think is super sick and everyone else should as well.

I’ll still be blogging every Thursday, so for those of you who weirdly like to read, don’t worry, I’ll still be here in written form.  : – )

Last week was my first show! It was a fun experience and I want to thank everyone who was listening along, I appreciate you sisters. < 3

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The Tea Time with Tara artist from last week’s show was miss Allie X. Allie X is a dark electro pop artist who could also pass as the gothic version of Ellie Goulding. She was recently featured on the Netflix original, Sierra Burgess is a Loser, soundtrack, with numbers such as Kid Wonder and Sunflower. The Canadian singer / songwriter has written for other artists such as Troye Sivan and Lea Michele. Allie X currently has two full length albums out, and has a third being released in October titled, Super Sunset. Her sound is often airy yet edgy and knows how to put on  highly unique performances. Be sure to check her out!

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To All The Boys I Loved At North Coast

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We’re a good two weeks removed from North Coast Music Festival, summer’s proverbial “last stand”. I had the pleasure of going this year all weekend. The weather might have not been great, but the acts were. Sadly the festival line-up was a tad male heavy, not a lot of love to the female acts. But if you’re boy crazy then the performers, mixed with the sweltering heat, makes for a great time. An endless supply of free drinks in the VIP section also helped matters.

I went into North Coast with no agenda or real expectations. I wanted to hear some artists I was unfamiliar with. As well as see Miguel, Friday’s headliner, and Mura Masa, who would be playing on Sunday. Things did not go as smoothly as I hoped. The festival was evacuated early on Friday before Miguel even went on stage and similarly on Saturday before DJ Snake’s headlining set. But I was still going to make the most out the weekend!

But what ended up happening was me falling for and crushing hard on most of the acts I saw. So in the same vein as Lara Jean Covey from To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before I have decided to write a blog post for these intense crushes.  Continue reading “To All The Boys I Loved At North Coast”

UIC Brings First Female Headliner to Spark in the Park

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UIC’s annual Spark festival is coming up this Friday! Spark will be held this year in Granderson Field, doors open at 2:30. Tix are $10 for UIC students, $25 for staff and alumni, and $45 for non UIC guests. Ticket prices will go up at the door so buy them now!

Purchase tickets here: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/uic-spark-2018-tickets-49491523479?aff=erelexpmlt 

Line-Up:

  • 2018 DJ Battle Winner @ 3:30pm
  • 2018 Battle of the Bands Winner – New House @ 4:15pm
  • FemDot @  5:00pm
  • Jussie Smollett @ 6:15pm
  • Rich The Kid @ 7:30pm
  • 2018 Cultural Showcase Winner – EKC @ 8:30pm
  • H.E.R. @ 9:00pm

This year Spark is proud to announce we will be having our first ever female headliner!

H.E.R. (Having Everything Revealed) is a 21-year-old contemporary R&B artist, who surfaced into the music scene in 2016. H.E.R. offers both a vulnerable and assured sound through the production and writing in her music. The California native artist has collaborated with other prominent musicians such as Daniel Caesar, Khalid, and Bryson Tiller.

Spark is also excited to give a festival experience to attendees this year. We will be having multiple acts, great food options, face painting stations, out door games and more! Come find out for yourself!

Wanna get familiar with all the Spark artists before the show? Check out this playlist!

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The Release of Bloom and How Troye Sivan Impacted My Youth

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With heart filled synths and a story of newly found confidence and love, Troye Sivan breaks his way into the world of mainstream pop with his sophomore album, Bloom.  

The lustfully melodic album — which was heavily influenced by his boyfriend — is an ethereally storybook that feels so personal to Sivan, while also feeling relatable to his fans.

The ten track album brings much needed queer representation into the music scene with hits such as “Seventeen,” which tells his story about a relationship with an older man, and the album titled track, “Bloom,” which is literally about gay sex.

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Are You Ready For Summer’s Last Stand?

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Photo courtesy of Marque Magazine

North Coast Music Festival is the unofficial farewell party to summer and welcome into fall and the new semester. The festival is the perfect blend of rising artists and established artists performing for a post-Lollapalooza crowd over three days.

NCMF returns for its ninth year. Taking place in Union Park from August 31st to September 2nd, and the 2018 lineup is stacked and the headliners are going to cap off their respective days with a bang.

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Queer Artist Spotlight: Kelela

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Some important points you should know about Kelela at the start is how to pronounce her name and that her music videos always deliver. Kelela is not pronounced how it may appear, sound it out like  Kuh-luh-lah. Addressing my second point, her video for “Frontline” is the best music video of the year. The song is a jam and secondly it look Sims inspired. It took me back to the Playstation 2 days, and I was fully present for it.

A queer identity undoubtedly can impact someone’s life overall and in the day to day, but it is not all that defines a person. That identity can just be one small piece of a puzzle. Especially for a woman of color this identity is just an added layer of oppression from society. Kelela embraces her identity in her music so her audience and women like her feel they can relate to her.

Kelela is an artist to admire. She followed her love for music into a career fairly late into the game, given most artist now want to get a head start and get into the music industry at young age and capitalize on youth to get promotion. Kelela’s journey into the music industry was a slow burn that payed off once she debuted. She’s gotten widespread praise from critics and her peers. Including high profile collaborations with Solange and the Gorillaz.  Continue reading “Queer Artist Spotlight: Kelela”

Queer Artist Spotlight: Holland & A Slowly Changing K-Pop Landscape

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With the major success that K-Pop has seen here in the U.S. and a growing international audience, it should come as no surprise that new idols and groups are getting more exposure. One idol that made headlines with their debut this year was Holland. Holland saw a lot of attention come his way because he is the first K-Pop idol to be openly gay at the start of their career.

Holland debuted at the start of this year with “Neverland” and the accompanying music video which featured him in a relationship with his male co-star. This received a lot of internet buzz due to the open portrayal of a gay relationship that isn’t often seen in Korean culture or music. However, a lot of this buzz seems to be from outside of South Korea. In South Korea Holland’s video received the equivalent of an R rating, due solely to the kiss between two men, this means his video will get zero airplay on television.

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