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AFI Releases First New Track Off Their Next Album, “Burials”

Posted by Kayla Tooma on 08/02 at 04:33 PM

California rock band, AFI (A Fire Inside), recently released the track “I Hope You Suffer,” giving us the first taste of their new ninth album Burials which is due for release this October.  Shortly after the song was available on iTunes, the band released a lyric video (below).  Their last album, Crash Love, did not get the same mass attention as the two before it did, Decemberunderground and Sing The Sorrow which yielded hits like “Miss Murder,” “Girls Not Grey,” “Silver and Cold,” and “The Leaving Song, Pt. 2.” It is unclear if AFI will reappear in the mainstream spotlight, but after listening to “I Hope You Suffer,” it is very possible.

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Lady Gaga has Recovered from Surgery and Has Some Huge Announcements

Posted by Kayla Tooma on 07/26 at 05:55 PM

This year has been quite tumultuous for Mother Monster.  Some people have been wondering why they haven’t heard from her or seen her throughout the media lately.  For Gaga, 2013 began with such promise—she was nearing the end of her global Born This Way Ball Tour and was finally back in North America, her third studio album ARTPOP was rumored to be out by spring, and her career was going steady on success.  However, in February of this year, Gaga suffered a labral tear in her right hip, a serious injury that resulted in her having to cancel the rest of her tour, go through surgery, postpone her new album, take a break from all media, and be confined to a wheelchair for some time.  Like most of her fans, and someone who had awesome tickets to two of her shows, I was upset by the news.

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Regina Spektor Records Main Title Theme for Netflix’s Orange is the New Black

Posted by Kayla Tooma on 07/24 at 06:26 PM

Regina Spektor has a new song and a new sound. She recorded the song “You’ve Got Time” to be used as the main title theme for the new Netflix Orginial series, Orange is the New Black. The song is much heavier than her usual sound that is piano dependent and has an interesting mix of a jazz, indie, and folk feel. However, “You’ve Got Time” is fast and has a cool rock and roll vibe.  She takes a moment in the bridge to slow down and soften up, followed by some haunting instrumentals. The song is kind of reminiscent of something the Yeah Yeah Yeahs would release.

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EP Review: The Used’s “The Ocean of the Sky”

Posted by Kayla Tooma on 07/17 at 12:52 PM

Grade: A

Alternative rock band The Used has been hard at work lately.  After a three-year break after their fourth album in 2009, they released their fifth album Vulnerable and are preparing for their sixth album release this winter.  In addition to the upcoming album, the band just released a five-track EP titled The Ocean of the Sky.  The band will also be playing as a part of this summer’s Vans Warped Tour.

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Justin Timberlake has a controversial new music video, “Tunnel Vision”

Posted by Kayla Tooma on 07/14 at 07:34 PM

We all know Justin Timberlake is the man bringing ‘sexy back’ but his music video “Tunnel Vision” has been causing quite a stir. It was even banned from YouTube until a few days ago. Many are calling the video misogynistic, while others call it artful. That may be due to the fact that the video is nothing but a fully clothed Timberlake and three completely naked women. Of course nudity is a tremendous tool used in art for various types of expression and celebrations of the human form, however it is debatable whether or not this particular use was art or just a cheap trick.

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Album Review:  HIM’s New Album, “Tears on Tape”

Posted by Kayla Tooma on 07/11 at 05:51 PM

Grade: B-

Finnish masters of gloom and doom, HIM, are back!  The ‘love metal’ band is entering its twenty-second year and recently released its eighth studio album, Tears on Tape.  As a long time fan of theirs, I was excited when I heard about the new album after three years since their last one, Screamworks: Love in Theory and Practice.

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“Ooh La La,” Britney’s Got a New Song

Posted by Kayla Tooma on 07/09 at 02:55 PM

It’s Britney, guys. And two years after the release of her most recent studio album, Femme Fatale, the pop princess has recently been collaborating with will.i.am, has had rumors fly about her next studio album to be released this fall, and just released a new song, “Ooh La La,” that will be featured in The Smurfs 2 movie soundtrack!

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Some Popular Music From Around the World

Posted by Kayla Tooma on 07/08 at 02:26 PM

There tends to be a lack of music in the American mainstream that is not sung in English.  Meanwhile, if you listen to, for example NRJ, a French radio station, more than half of the music is English with French and other European songs sprinkled in.  Other countries seem to incorporate more diversity into their mainstream than the US.  The last non-English song that made it big was the Korean hit “Gangnam Style” by Psy, and let’s face it, the only reason that made it big was because it was kind of perceived as a novelty.   Shakira is an example of an international singer making it big in the US, however it is only because of her English songs, not her Spanish songs that originally launched her career.  There are some really great artists in the global mainstream we are never introduced to simply because they don’t sing in English.  To list artists from every single region would turn this into an extremely exhausted list, so I decided to focus on Europe, the Middle East, and East Asia.  Here is a list of some artists from around the world who are worth a listen:

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Lana Del Rey Covers Leonard Cohen’s “Chelsea Hotel No. 2” and Other Classics

Posted by Kayla Tooma on 07/01 at 04:20 PM

Lana Del Rey has been covering quite a few classic songs lately including the Bernie Wayne and Lee Morris 1950s classic “Blue Velvet” and - alongside her beau Barrie-James O’Neill vocalist and guitarist of the band Kassidy - the 1960s “Summer Wine” made famous by Nancy Sinatra and Lee Hazelwood. But perhaps the most beautiful cover she has put out is of Leonard Cohen‘s “Chelsea Hotel No.2”.

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Cher:  Almost 50 years in the business and still proving it is a “Woman’s World”

Posted by Kayla Tooma on 06/28 at 11:22 AM

Rejoice! Cher is back with a new single “Woman’s World” and she’s getting ready to release her first album since 2001! Cher has to be one of the most amazing performers to date - she is a chameleon,constantly reinventing herself, and always seems to find a way into the musical trends of any given time while still preserving her style andvoice. At sixty-seven years old, she is still performing, releasing popular dance albums, and is a major pop culture figure. She has won an Academy Award, Golden Globes, an Emmy, and a Grammy. She’s also been on Broadway, released twenty-five studio albums, is a political activist, and if all that wasn’t enough, in total Cher has been nominated for 315 awards and has won 285 awards.

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MIKA Knows Popular in Single “Popular Song”

Posted by Kayla Tooma on 06/26 at 05:11 PM

Easily one of my favorite pop artists, British singer MIKA always seems to come out with fun, creative, visually appealing music videos for his poppy, sometimes deceivingly happy-go-lucky songs.

Following his last two singles, “Underwater” and “The Origin of Love,” - which are perhaps two of his most mature and impressive tracks to date (and my personal favorites) - is his latest single and video, “Popular Song,” from his latest album The Origin of Love. In this track, MIKA moves from declarations of magnificent love and moving music to high school bullies and some serious pop sounds.

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Backstreet Boys Release New Single, “In A World Like This”

Posted by Kayla Tooma on 06/24 at 11:06 AM

Backstreet’s Back (Alright)!  With their eighth studio album, In A World Like This, coming out July 30th, the Backstreet Boys have released their single as the title track of the album.  The song is absolutely Backstreet: harmonies, fun/cute lyrics, and so catchy it hurts. However, while sticking to their old aesthetics, they also incorporate elements of today’s pop like the dance beats that have wiggled their way into all current pop songs.  While I enjoy the track, one drawback is that I feel like it sounds like it could easily be a One Direction song and perhaps not that slightly more mature boy band sound that they had.

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A Review of Arthur Goldstein’s June 15 Concerts at The State Theatre

Posted by Kayla Tooma on 06/18 at 05:35 PM

Archie Blue (far left, Arthur Goldstein)


Local artist and professor of music history at Penn State, Arthur Goldstein, had quite a busy Saturday this past weekend, as he was performing in his own miniature music festival, Intersections. He performed three separate shows at 4pm, 7pm, and 9pm at The State Theatre consisting of a piano recital, a jazz quartet performance, and lastly a reunion of his progressive-rock band, Archie Blue, respectively. I had the pleasure of attending the first two performances.

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June 15: Arthur Goldstein Festival, Intersections, at The State Theatre

Posted by Kayla Tooma on 06/14 at 05:53 AM

Spend this Saturday at The State Theatre listening to some local music! On June 15th, Arthur Goldstein will be playing three separate shows, each one featuring a different style of music. There is surely to be something for everyone! At 4pm he will be performing classical music in a solo piano recital, at 7pm he performs in his jazz quartet, and at 9pm he plays in his progressive-rock band, Archie Blues. Tickets are available online HERE and also at the State Theatre ticket booth on College Ave. You can buy tickets to any show individually or to all three for a Saturday full of fun!

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10 Underrated Beatles Songs

Posted by Kayla Tooma on 06/13 at 10:31 AM

What’s the first Beatles song that comes to mind? “Hey Jude”? “Let it Be”? “Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds”? It seems like the majority of The Beatles’ work is often overshadowed by their songs that get far more radio attention. By granting overwhelming attention to only a handful of songs, perhaps some have become disenchanted and even bored by The Beatles. However I would like to present to you a list of songs that are just as good, if not better, but don’t receive the same wide-spread appreciation and treatment as their more well known counterparts. I tried to pick one to two songs per major album so as to provide some kind of variety. Also, if you’re one of those who find themselves burnt out on the same Beatles songs, hopefully this will provide some breaths of fresh air.

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