I can’t hold my tongue any longer. 

After seeing more and more blogs (even DIY??) call Halsey “the most exciting unsigned artist in the U.S.” and not understanding the hype at all, I couldn’t take it anymore. 

Blogs have been comparing this track to CHVRCHES and even Lorde—if anything, I see it as an over-produced imitation at best. The dark, haunting use of synths has potential, but ultimately is trumped by its beyond cringe lyrics. 

"We are the New Americana/high on legal marijuana/raised on Biggie and Nirvana"

If Halsey is trying to redefine Americana music, it’s not working. It’s contrived as a rip off of the electronic music trend right now. Her online following is strong, but I’m not sure how long these tunes will satisfy a fan base.

I don’t think she has paid her dues as a musician yet. After a round of gigs maybe she’ll get a better grasp on who she is as an artist. Until then, I’ll pass.

Mike Posner is a Slam Poet

…or attempts to be.

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In a bitter twist of fate, my friend and I ended up at the Mike Posner show at Schubas last night. We are not Mike Posner fans—we joked about seeing him and then went too far and entered a contest and won tickets to his sold out show. (I will however, admit I had “Please Don’t Go” on my iPod in maybe the 9th grade and did enjoy a bit of nostalgia when he sang it during his encore).

It was a seated show, and a few bros and women over 25 sat around us. With fairy lights atop a piano and around the guitarist’s stool, the stage was decorated aptly for the stereotypical acoustic set. 

The last time I (accidently) saw Mike Posner at a Summerbash show one year in high school, he was wearing black athletic shorts and black ankle socks on stage. He seems to have cleaned up his act, coming on stage looking like Justin Timberlake’s awkward cousin, wearing some nice shoes and even buttoning up his shirt to his neck.

Here’s a bulleted list of things I learned:

  • He speaks openly about his struggles with depression. Good for him on that—being brave and all. He and Demi Lovato should collab.
  • He treated his depression with meditation and now makes the audience take two meditative breaths before he begins his acoustic set.
  • I have never seen any musician so egotistical as Mike Posner. I can’t quite figure out if there’s an underlying struggle with low self-esteem or if he genuinely believes he is a talented, original, breaking-the-boundaries musician. See his song where he sings about how he “can write one hell of a song.” He also made sure that we all knew he owned his own house, rakes in a profit, (No, Mike.) Maybe he glorifies his voice (full out gestures and “check it out”s before belting out in falsetto) and his lyrics because few others will.
  • The feminist in me came out in full force when he started joking about how he wrote a song about fooling around with two girls at once and made the audience laugh about it, too. Am I missing the punchline? Is there actually anything funny about cheating on girls and glorifying it in your music?
  • Mike Posner could lead a cult with his voice. There’s something hypnotic about the rasp of his voice, and also something very very creepy. It kind of feels like it’s invasive, as if his voice literally crawls underneath your veins.
  • Seeing him bust out some spoken word poetry was a little bizarre, but, gratitude.
  • As my friend put it, his song “Bow Chicka Wow Wow” is Posner’s version of  “Blurred Lines” but a little less catchy but equally as rape-y.
  • The final uncomfortable moment was when he sang “Boyfriend” and decided to throw in a hip thrust/move that was far too intimate for the venue and I’m going to say it—I felt a little sexually violated.  

Mike Posner is a caricature of a combination of a stoner, hippie, frat boy. He would rattle off something he wanted to pass as philosophical, and I was just waiting for the moment when he would say, “…alright so here’s ‘Wonderwall’” (unfortunately this didn’t happen). This show was like a bad car accident—I couldn’t look away. 

I’m glad he has seem to reinvented himself and is using whatever fame he has left to send good vibes and inspiring messages out to others. Maybe I’m not giving him enough credit, but he just doesn’t do it for me. At all.

Grammy U Soundcheck and Q&A with BASTILLE

Last Monday I had the chance to meet Bastille and see part of their soundcheck through Grammy U. It was the first soundcheck I got to go to, and since I love Bastille so much, I was so stoked to have this experience. I’ve also always been weird about wanting to stand in during a soundcheck, and I finally got to do it! Here’s my story: 

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Before we joined the soundcheck, we got to listen to Virgin Record’s General Manager Ashley Burns talk about her journey to her current position and her experience in the music industry. It was so awesome to hear what she was saying—inspiring, really. It was so cool to see how she had eaten lunch with Bastille during sxsw one year and now she’s working with them on the label. While she was talking, the band was sound checking “The Draw” and I almost started hyperventilating. 

Then we said hello to the band and they soundchecked “Overjoyed,” “The Silence,” and “Icarus,” which my friend and I were adamant about requesting. Dan always sounds flawless it’s amazing.

After they finished, they jumped down to talk to us. Last December the couple I went to the Lansing concert with meet the guys and said they were awkward and uncomfortable—but our Q&A totally reversed that. They were awesome. It was interesting to listen to them talk about their start and how they’ve progressed as a band together, especially the transformation from it being Dan’s brainchild to more of a band collective. They were talkative and funny and warm. 

I got to ask about his reaction to Matt Healy of The 1975 prank calling him on BBC Radio 1’s Call or Delete, which was a fun story. Really, only Dan, Kyle and I knew what it was about. The best part was how before I asked the question they all walked further into the circle to make sure they heard me. It was just nice ok. 

And note to anyone who is in a group Q&A: please don’t take up the whole time talking about how to further your music career. It’s tacky. 

Their tour manager and live engineer talked about their experiences and how they got to where they are now too, which I basically learned one thing from: blag. Bragging/lying, I believe. Fake it til you make it. You only have to know what you’re doing about 5 seconds before you actually do it.

Love it.

The guys were great, and I was bummed I couldn’t get to see the show that night, but it was an amazing experience. 

And, I couldn’t help but feel cool as I walked out of the venue with a badge:

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The Orwells // Twin Peaks // Chicago // Lincoln Hall, April 1

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Seeing The Orwells and Twin Peaks’ hometown show was a lot of things. 

I’ve been to a good amount of shows at Lincoln Hall, but this show felt a bit like an out of body experience for me. Maybe it was because I was by myself, watching these two bands I had fostered some weird love-hate relationship with, or because as soon as I got there I was watching a bunch of fans flocking to Mario. I’m also fairly certain these three girls wearing matching tie-dye shirts were screaming over meeting one of the guys outside. Like, near hyperventilating.  I stood in the corner near the stairs, away from most of the action so I could just observe the madness, and while Mario was leaving after watching one of the opening acts, I watched him take picture after picture like a little popstar. 

Read more
  

Cause sometimes things just don’t turn out as you meant for
And that’s what late night city lights are there for

I’ve just consciously discovered MØ and I am so excited about it. She is amazing.

Check out the March issue of Local Wolves with the amazingly creative blogger and JacksGap member Charly Cox

I’ve also got an interview with producer A-Rod, who has worked with R&B artists like Ariana Grande and Fantasia. 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pB-5XG-DbAA

My love for Sam Smith is starting to turn into an obsession. His voice is brilliant. This song is brilliant. I want his voice to narrate the daily rumblings of my life. He is flawless and I cannot wait until I can listen to his album for the rest of my life. 

Music Monday Ep. 1

SPRING BREAK

  1. Cooking Up Something Good // MAC DEMARCO
  2. No Buses // ARCTIC MONKEYS
  3. Amber Veins // EAGULLS
  4. You Keep Showing Up // DROWNERS
  5. Twin Size Mattress // THE FRONT BOTTOMS
  6. The Righteous One // THE ORWELLS
  7. Nirvana // SAM SMITH
  8. Change // BANKS
  9. Julian // SAY LOU LOU 
  

indie-music-choice:

Hozier - Take Me To Church

  • Track n°32 from Playlist JDK#43 (March 2014)
  • EP : Take Me To Church
  • Origin : Wicklow (Ireland)

"Take me to church 
I’ll worship like a dog at the shrine of your lies 
I’ll tell you my sins and you can sharpen your knife 
Offer me that deathless death 
Good God, let me give you my life”

Jamming to this a lot lately.