Laughable Reads You Should Take Seriously

3/4/15 2:41pm

Women writing and producing in comedy are becoming a force to be reckoned with. With successful movies and TV shows, these comedic women have written powerful biographies with the potential to shape the influence of women writers. "Yes Please" is a concise biographical account of the life of the ...

Semester at Sea: travel playlist

11/6/14 4:22pm

Semester at Sea has provided me with countless opportunities to travel from country to country — both independently and with ship-sponsored programs. Though this has enabled me to visit places I never anticipated being able to visit, it’s also meant that I’ve spent a lot of time traveling in buses, trains and metros, getting to where I’m trying to go. For some, this time spent in transit might be frustrating, but I’ve loved every second of it.

alt-J shifts sound with ‘This Is All Yours’

9/23/14 5:59pm

The easiest way to understand the difference between alt-J’s debut album “An Awesome Wave” and their new release “This Is All Yours” is in the album art. While “An Awesome Wave’s” cover is edgier, featuring darker colors and alt-J’s classic triangle emblem, “This Is All Yours” features something lighter and more colorful — the abstract color swatches implying a switch from the defined to something more experimental. It’s no surprise that such a shift in alt-J’s sound has occurred between the two albums.

On ‘MGMT’: Fragments of psychedelia and experimentation amount to an interesting, albeit ultimately unfulfilling, listen

11/18/13 10:20am

MGMT established their music as youthful and energetic electronic pop rock with their debut album, “Oracular Spectacular.”  Their popularity grew quickly with the releases of “Kids,” “Electric Feel” and “Time to Pretend.” With great anticipation surrounding their follow-up, “Congratulations,” MGMT could have gone in two distinct directions: create more of the pop electronic music that fans so admired from them, or venture into unfamiliar musical territory. Of course, they chose the latter, creating a psychedelic rock album that still managed to infuse electronic elements into it.

Masquerading as a 'good girl' sends message of antifeminism

11/17/13 7:29pm

A few years ago, few would have expected Disney Channel’s glitzy, girly child-star Hannah Montana to be dancing onstage at the VMAs sticking out her tongue (amongst other body parts) for the world to see? Stripping down to perform is nothing new amongst artists; Madonna did it in years past, and Lady Gaga does it regularly in her performances.

On ‘Mechanical Bull’: The spark is back with Kings of Leon's sixth album

10/30/13 9:14pm

Guitars shriek at the opening of Kings of Leon’s sixth album, “Mechanical Bull.” It’s a beckoning call of a new beginning in the band’s career, and a shedding of all of the stress and pressure that came with their generally ill-received fifth album, “Come Around Sundown,” a shocking disappointment after the huge success of their fourth album, “Only By The Night,” that propelled them into worldwide fame. The Followill brothers, Caleb, Nathan and Jared, along with cousin, Matthew, clearly had fun with “Mechanical Bull,” and it’s a great return to form for the Kings. After the rollicking opener and lead single, “Supersoaker,” the band goes into a mid-tempo, groovy track, “Rock City” that has a noticeable bounce to it that was absent from their previous two albums. Vigor and giddiness surround “Mechanical Bull,” giving it a strong youthfulness and harkening back to their first three albums, which were ridden with vivacity and sparkle. The establishment of this mood is due in large part to the first two tracks, along with the no nonsense, rapid-paced third track, “Don’t Matter.” Another song that shares this sparkle and bounce is “Family Tree.” Lead singer Caleb’s laughter at the beginning lets you know right off the bat that you’re about to have some fun, and Caleb’s vocals smooth over the rumbling drums and the sneaky guitar and bass line.  Towards the end, it devolves into hugely satisfying vocal harmonies and handclaps before soaring back into its funky raucousness with guns blazing. Along with its groovy rockers, the album has its fair share of songs that are more epic in scope. One of the strongest songs on the record, “Tonight,” maintains a steady drive until Caleb’s vocals ascend to a whole new level as guitars begin to howl and drums start to thunderously hammer.

Go for the music, not the Instagrams

10/22/13 9:51pm

For the majority of the kids who attended my high school, the beginning of August was consistently defined by a single, memorable juggernaut of an event: Lollapalooza. Living in a Chicago suburb, I would’ve been considered insane to miss out on the annual weekend – happening nearly in my backyard – that always marked the steady and miserable countdown to the back-to-school blues.

On ‘AM’: Arctic Monkeys meet the desert

10/13/13 8:41pm

When Arctic Monkeys' latest album dropped last month, they’d captured the attention of everyone from Elton John to Robert Pattinson. In the ten years they’ve been together, each of Arctic Monkeys’ five albums has taken the number one spot on the UK charts, something that’s never been accomplished by any band on an indie label before. The new album, “AM,” has become the second best selling record of the year, right after Daft Punk’s “Random Access Memories.” It’s currently in the running for a Mercury Award, competing in the category with heavy hitters the likes of David Bowie. It’s undeniable that Arctic Monkeys are a success.

On ‘Hall of Fame’: Nothing is stopping Big Sean

10/9/13 10:11pm

Still Bumpin’ is a new series in which The Edge contributor Peter Walpole muses on albums still getting airplay in his personal library months after their release. More than eight months after its initially intended release date, Big Sean, GOOD Music’s first Detroit player off the bench, has finally dropped his sophomore LP, “Hall of Fame.” Sean elected to omit the originally intended subtitle addendum to the album, “Memoirs of a Detroit Player,” in the lead up to the release, but the sentiment is intact. Related: Big Sean, 3LAU keep bass pumping during Elon Spring Show 2013 The story here is that there is a story here.