Pride Month – Queer Artist Spotlight

Olly Alexander
Olly Alexander of Years & Years

I’ve always thought that lists or profiles of anything queer or LGTBQ+ related in the month of June, which is Pride month, were super corny. Themed content can come off as pandering or as trying to profit from the exposure of a particular group. However, I’ve come around, in a sense, because representation and visibility are important. This rings especially true for marginalized communities

But for me what’s important is accurate representation. I want to profile artists  from all of the LGBTQ+ spectrum that use their respective voices. But I don’t want this to be me exploiting gender identity and sexual orientation. My goal is to profile artists who aren’t defined by identity but incorporate it in their music and represent it realistically and don’t stick to stereotypes or fetishize anything.

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Sneaking Brockhampton Into Jaden Smith’s Show And Drinking $50 Water — Not Clickbait

 

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photos taken by myself

Third eye: Opened. Chakras: Aligned. Just: Water. After waiting for this day to happen since Never Say Never, I finally got to see Jaden Smith perform live.

I took a lyft to Lincoln Hall around 11 a.m. , made small talk with the driver:

Who are you seeing tonight?”

“Jaden Smith.”

“The karate kid??”

“….Yeah…”

“Strange…”

“…Yeah.”

“So .. uhhh what are you going to watch him do exactly????”

“… um .. perform his music, he raps…lol.”

“The karate kid raps??….I don’t like it.”

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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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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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In Defense Of Pop Music — Pop Music Isn’t Boring, You Are

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You can learn a lot about a person from their favorite music. For example, if you look through my March ‘18 Spotify playlist, you can learn that I’ve been repressing my latest existential crisis with excessive partying. Shuffling through Marina and the Diamonds, Are You Satisfied? to Tyler, The Creators, I Ain’t Got Time! to Lorde’s, Liability, and back around to Charli XCX’s I Got It, clearly I’ve been on a rollercoaster of highs and lows this month.

A lot of that stems back to being in a creative rut. The hard part about being a visionary with absolutely no talent is feeling the need to create and put out into the universe, but not feeling confident enough to actually put out the work. It’s a cycle of feeling frustrated that I’m not expressing my creative needs, creating something to express it, hating it, throwing it out, and then going back to phase one of frustration. And instead of sitting myself down and forcing myself out of this rut, I’ve just been becoming bff’s with four lokos.

luv feeling like im 16 again < 3

But my current love-hate relationship with creating music isn’t the point of this post. Going back to my first statement, you can learn a lot about a person from their favorite music.

Over the past weekend I hung out with a new group of people, just to find out that they all completely despise any form of pop music. Including Lorde and Charli XCX. tragic.

I love pop music. Pop girls especially. A pop girl could breathe and I’d be like ‘okay, wig

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Troye Sivan Releases An Apologetic Lullaby – The Good Side

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A week ago I posted an article on Troye Sivan’s first single, My My My! from his upcoming Sophomore album.  Today, Troye released another new song  (co-written by Leland, Bram Inscore, Allie X, and Ariel Rechtshaid   ) and this time, it hurts in the most bittersweet way.

The new single, The Good Side, shows the most tender side of Troye that we have been able to see throughout his music career so far. The acoustic song plays out the apologetic side of growing out of a relationship, and falling in love with someone new. Serving us a much more organic production and honest intimacy within the lyrics, it’s almost impossible to not fall into your feelings while listening to this one. 

Troye offers up a lullaby of an apology to his ex-boyfriend with lines such as, Found arms to fall right into, I know how it looked, it wasn’t the plan, and some day I hope that you’ll understand that I sympathize, and I recognize, and baby, I apologize that I got the good side, the good side of things,” and the most heart-wrenching part, “I’m sure we’ll meet in the spring and catch up on everything, I’ll say I’m proud of all that you’ve done ,you taught me the ropes, and you taught me to love.

This gentle syrupy song was a side of Troye that I was not expecting to hear, but I am so here for it. With the whimsical acoustic guitar chords and the soft vocals, The Good Side, is reinvigorating to breakup anthems everywhere. While most breakup songs stand bitter and angsty, this one reaches for closure, growth, and healing.   

Again I say, I will always be inspired and awed by Troye’s talent. I can’t wait to sob all night with The Good Side on repeat. 

You can watch Troye perform his new singles live this Saturday on SNL.

 

My name is Tara and I put out articles for UIC Radio every Thursday. I’m a communication and professional writing major at the University of Illinois at Chicago. If you want to keep up with my saucy life you can follow me here:

twitter –  https://twitter.com/tarabolar

instagram – https://www.instagram.com/tarabolar/

spotify-  https://open.spotify.com/user/taraanoellee

Kendrick Lamar and Top Dawg Entertainment To Produce ‘Black Panther: The Album’

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2017 was easily a successful year for Top Dawg Entertainment.

With SZA’s rise to stardom with her debut album “CTRL” that as an album, showcased a woman’s growth throughout to becoming an individual that is more independent and requiring less validation from others. Many of the songs did very well on the charts and SZA is now on the forefront for the label with great potential to be a great artist. Also with legendary artist: Kendrick Lamar dropping his 4th LP: “DAMN.” that solidified the artist’s ability to delivery from all forefronts of Hip-Hop. “DAMN.” was easily his most successful album in terms of sales to date with many tracks such as DNA, LOVE, and HUMBLE charting very high on the Billboard Hot 100. The way Kendrick was able to appeal to a more mainstream audience without sacrificing his quality of music was incredible.

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How Troye Sivan Saved 2018

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Troye Sivan brought the music scene off to an iconic start this year with the release of his first single, My My My!, from his highly anticipated sophomore album, due for a spring release.

My My My! is a romantic banger  with dreamy vibes and iridescent synths, full of love, liberation, and confidence. Produced by Oscar Görres, and written by Troye Sivan, Brett ‘leland’ Mclaughlin, and James Alan Ghaleb, this first single has all of the makings of a major hit. My My My! Is an anthem for love that is unapologetically honest. The 22-year-old delivered us the sultry track I was hoping for with lines such as, I got my tongue between your teeth; Go slow, no, no, go fast, you like it just as much as me.” Wig…incinerated.

It’s clear how much Sivan has matured since the release of his 2015 debut album, Blue Neighbourhood. With more defined vocals, amped up production levels, and pure confidence, this is going to be a game-changing era for Troye.

It’s been a sentimental journey for me watching Troye go from posting quirky videos on Youtube, to the release of his first EP, TRXYE, to him dropping his freshman album, Blue Neighbourhood, and to now hearing his first single from the upcoming second album.  

I’m always amazed by Troye’s raw talent and by all of the energy he puts out into the world. I cannot wait to hear the rest of the new album and see all of what Troye has to offer in 2018.

You can watch Sivan perform My My My! Live on SNL on January 20th.

Buy My My My! – https://itunes.apple.com/us/music-video/my-my-my/1333296573

Follow Troye – https://twitter.com/troyesivan 

 

My name is Tara and I put out articles for UIC Radio every Thursday. I’m a communication and professional writing major at the University of Illinois at Chicago. If you want to keep up with my saucy life you can follow me here:

twitter –  https://twitter.com/tarabolar

instagram – https://www.instagram.com/tarabolar/

spotify-  https://open.spotify.com/user/taraanoellee

 

Looking For New Music?

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in the midst of procrastinating to study for finals, i put some playlists together on spotify.

i highkey have a bomb taste in music, so if you’re looking for something new, or something to fit a certain mood, check these playlists out:

(i PROMISE these are good)

1.)

for nights out with the girls / pregaming / promiscuous and saucy moods

2.)

f*ck boy rap, but like, good f*ck boy rap

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Best Albums Of 2017

2017 is almost at an end and though it has been a terrible year for politics, and basically everything else, 2017 however, has been an incredible year for music. 

Back in March, I put out an article highlighting some of my favorite albums that had been released early on in the year. Since then, we have been graced with even more outstanding, 10/10, listen-from-start-to-finish albums, so I would like to take a moment to showcase my top 15 picks (in a very particular order) of 2017: 

15.) Ariel Pink – Dedicated To Bobby Jameson

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Dedicated To Bobby Jameson is Ariel Pink’s 11th studio album. The album is an intimate and humble piece, containing a combination of pop and rock anthems.

TOP SONGS:  I Wanna Be Young // Bubblegum Dreams // Do Yourself A Favor 

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