After a particularly illustrious few years on records and on tour with Elvis Depressedly, Mathew Lee Cothran has put out another tape under his self-titled solo project via Joy Void Recordings. Cothran dedicated this tape, Judas Hung Himself in America, to his recently departed grandfather and father figure. The tape itself is as beautiful as it is haunting. Several tracks ask unanswerable questions: Where does our shame go while we sleep? (“Judas in America”) How do I give in with grace? (“Liquor Store”) You could move a mountain, but where would it go? (“Who Did Pull the Pin of the People?”) Likewise, Cothran uses Judas as a platform to grapple with his recent sobriety, especially in the tracks “Cherry High” and “Liquor Store.” In all, I’d say Judas is concrete proof that some of the most prolific artists create some of their most resonant works in the midst of immense trials and tribulations.
Most people agree that 2016 was a terrible year with an amazing soundtrack. Here’s to hoping that 2017 can be an incredibly good year with a similarly sweet soundtrack. I asked the staff at WKCO to describe what they’re anxiously awaiting this year in New Music, and here’s a snapshot of our Anticipated Releases!
Devon Chodzin ‘19: XIU XIU- FORGET: “Already, ‘Wondering’ has proven to be wildly entertaining. Xiu Xiu Plays the Music of Twin Peaks was a lot of fun, and I’m always so impressed with Xiu Xiu’s productivity. I can’t get enough!”
At time of publication, the album has been leaked. It was originally set to be released on February 23rd.
Much like the internet-borne musical fads I wrote about last semester, chillwave refers to another passing fancy in the music blogosphere. In truth, the term itself, coined in 2009 off Hipster Runoff, has always been something of a pejorative, but the movement itself is seen as significant. Chillwave, a hypnogogic, layered pop style heavy on the synths and the reverb, often evokes in its listeners an imaginative visual effect.
When I was coming of age at the end of chillwave’s influential years (like, 2009-2011, oozing into 2012), I fell in love with that visual effect. It’s been interesting to see how those same artists labeled as “chillwave” producers have moved on into the worlds of nu-disco, synthpop, and even vaporwave. We live in a hyperculture, with passing fancies like chillwave and nu-disco, shoegaze and seapunk, and many other “genres” getting essentially 15 minutes of fame before the next big thing hits the blogs.
Warning: This article is partially devoted to my coming to terms with my middle/high school existence. Be prepared for a little emotion.
Full disclosure: My middle school years were turbulent, with friendships coming and going and new hormones introducing themselves every other day. I was gross and I looked the part. Even pre-9th grade me knew this, so when it came time to settle on an aesthetic, a clique, an identity: I did the last thing you’re supposed to do, and chose “hipster.”
The word, the concept, the identity reappeared on Meme-Touting Sites during middle school, and by 8th grade, I was turning the tides away from a weird gothic phase (ask about THAT if you dare) into some softer, more lighthearted pop-
This is a playlist of those bands I needed to get familiar with before 9th grade rolled around so that I could walk the walk and talk the talk. As you’ll be able to tell from this playlist, I couldn’t.
Also, valid question: what are these bands up to now? We’ll find out!
For many artists, the third time’s the charm. There’s no doubt that Solange fits in this pattern. Solange’s third full-length solo album, A Seat at the Table, is a miraculous and expansive suite which is a privilege to hear.
People have known it as a sort of “fact of life” for some time now – that many gay men idolize prominent female entertainers in music and film. From the Bette Davises and Judy Garlands of early Hollywood to the Chers and Madonnas of the New Wave to the Ariana Grandes and Carly Rae Jepsens of today, there appears to be a trend amongst many queer men to adore famous leading ladies. I, for one, love and strongly identify with Canadian synthpop singer and visual artist Claire Boucher, better known as Grimes. But why?
That’s tough to pinpoint. If it were all about trying to claim and come to terms with femininity, either exogenously assigned or self-determined, why are there only a handful of women who are identified as “gay icons?” What about those women who achieve icon-status sets them apart?
I’m physically upset by what I have to do right now.
This week, I tasked myself with reviewing M.I.A.’s latest release, AIM, the fifth studio album from the London-based rapper. Before I dive into discussing AIM, allow me to preface this by explaining that, regardless of the contents of this album, M.I.A. has still proven herself to be a worthy favorite and a beacon of inspiration for women of the South Asian diaspora, whose art is frequently and unduly discounted from the mainstream. In addition to her music, M.I.A. has made a huge name for herself as a fashion icon and a radical activist for oft-overlooked South Asian causes. M.I.A. (aka Mathangi “Maya” Arulpragasm) spent much of her youth in Sri Lanka as well, and uses her fame to amplify the voices of the most oppressed groups in Sri Lanka. She’s a jack of all trades and a master of all of them, which is a combination tough to find in the contemporary age, where specialization is so heavily enforced.
That being said, AIM was not very good, musically.
Fans of Footwork, get ready again, because on Saturday night, The Horn Gallery is featuring Jlin, a Gary, Indiana-based producer who sets herself apart from many other Footwork artists by using all original content (no sampling/plunderphonics). She is one of only a handful women Footwork artists to gain the notoriety she has and there is no doubt she deserves every ounce of attention she’s received.