On January 31st of this year, a Japanese tabloid magazine published pictures of 20-year-old Minami Minegishi, member of popular all-girl group AKB48, leaving the apartment building of a member of a local Japanese boy band. Because AKB48 prides itself on an overly cute (or kawaii) mystique, the group’s supposedly innocent reputation could be tarnished by the publication of scandalous pictures of one of their lead singers which hint at both a one-night stand and a walk of shame. Continue reading
The final issue of OPENWIDE volume 12 is on stands now in NCB and the UCC! We’re going out with a bang this year with tons of great articles, student spotlights, poetry, and more. Between those two beautiful covers you’ll find a heartfelt letter from your outgoing FIMSSC executives Jordan Coop and Kelly Mark and an interview with the incoming crew, Jordan Pearson and Steven Wright. You’ll get the low-down on why bar photography as a form of free creative labour sucks, why we need a little of that “FSU” spirit back, Access Copyright, Girl Talk, and way more.
Pick up your physical copy today or read it after the jump:
It’s that time of year again: spring cleaning. I’d recommend starting with your iTunes. Here are a few must-have tracks to start off, from me to you: Continue reading
A little ways down Richmond (or for the beer educated, kitty corner from the Labatt Brewery) exists a musical treasure meets mothers kitchen-esque array of tapes, vinyl, and DVDs known as Hot Dog: Musique and Cinema. Don’t worry: if you feel like you might get lost, it’s bright pink. I got the opportunity to chat with the two co-creators, Mike Bott and Pam Haasen, about their unique concept, their love for APK and Bill Murray, how important it is to support local talent, and how they’re not actually a hot dog restaurant (they’d like to take this opportunity to apologize for the mix-up). All unintentional false advertising aside, I think they’re onto something a little more fascinating than hot dogs: making people happy by always creating. Continue reading
Top 10 lists are problematic for anyone writing them because it’s like they require us to imagine there’s some kind of objective criterion by which we can measure pieces of music. That’s really not true, despite the stock we often place in them – the works themselves and the lists we quantify them in. Certainly, I – like any other music listener – have my own reasons for critiquing pieces: aesthetic value, texture, production, and lyricism all play a part. But also the artist’s validity as an “artist” in terms of the part they play in the music industry machine. I’m comfortable situating a piece of music within the context of political economy and critiquing it on those grounds. Others are not, and that’s fine. Continue reading
N E Kind Entertainment
Because the hip-hop industry is dominated by mainstream artists, it’s hard for underdogs like Gescha to shine. This Saskatoon-based rapper invites the listener to dive in and learn more about his life in his 13-track debut album, Crayon Politics. On this album, produced by Factor and Muneshine, Gescha collaborated with many artists including Moka Only, Kay the Aquanaut, and Tom Pickett. The name of the album derives from Gescha’s comparison of crayons with his life. Like crayons that constitute a wide spectrum of colours from light to dark, Gescha’s life has contained a range of emotions and stories that are both bright and gloomy. In an interview with Hip-Hop Canada, Gescha expressed that the album is, “a representation of life in all its colours”. Continue reading
Siri is our next big star.
She’s featured in The Flaming Lips’ new song “Now I Understand” alongside African singer Eryka Baduas as they join in gracefully singing, “Wayne, I don’t understand,” and, “The moon, the stars, and the sun,” during the first half of the song.
While Siri is very compliant with producers’ demands and will sing anything they like, she lacks a few crucial attributes of the traditional pop sensation – namely, stage presence and a human figure.
In case you hadn’t guessed, we’re talking about Siri – the iPhone application – not a real person (How many people did I fool?). Continue reading
Lana Del Rey
Born to Die
January 31, 2012
On June 29th, 2011, Lana Del Rey posted her first single, “Video Games,” to her YouTube channel. The song, often referred to as one of the best tracks of 2011, juxtaposes Del Rey’s haunting vocals with dazzling strings and lyrics that question the value of life if you spend it alone. What followed could only be described as a cyclone of internet buzz. “Video Games” achieved commercial success, critical acclaim, and the accompanying music video garnered over 24 million views on YouTube. Lana Del Rey’s rise to internet fame was a phenomenon that fascinated many (myself included), however, it also promised us more. “Video Games” painted a portrait of an artist that looks much different than the one we see today. Continue reading
John K. Samson
January 24, 2012
John K. Samson is a man obsessed with the minutiae of everyday life in small-town Manitoba. His debut solo record, comprised of tracks from his previous EPs as well as new songs, paints a beautifully detailed portrait of life in Western Canada, and specifically, Winnipeg.
To anyone familiar with Samson’s work in his critically acclaimed and revered indie band, The Weakerthans, much of the album’s musical and lyrical content won’t come as a surprise. If anything, Provincial follows Samson’s trend of moving farther away from the punk influences of The Weakerthans’ earlier material and into full-on alt country and indie Can-Rock territory. There’s songs about snowplows, legendary hockey players, lonely master’s students, and the feeling of being stuck in a town you hate. As with all of Samson’s writing, Provincial captures otherwise ephemeral moments and feelings in surprising ways. His affecting lyrics take the listener on a journey of loss, isolation, love, and hope through the snowy landscape of the province he calls home.
Top 10 lists are hard, especially with something as open to personal preference as music. Should one include their personal favourites, or the albums one sees as innovative and daring, even if they weren’t on the iPod rotation as often? 2011 was a great year for musical experimentation – concept albums abounded and the noble saxophone experienced somewhat of a renaissance. In light of this, I decided to go with route #2. Even though there were other albums that contained one single I had on repeat for a week, these records were the products of the true visionaries of 2011. Their scope, vision, and innovation were unmatched, in my opinion. And that’s all it really is, isn’t it? And I know you have one, too, so read my picks for the top 10 albums of 2011 after the jump and leave your opinions in the comments! Continue reading