Summer's winding down and those of us who are students are gearing up for another tough year. Even if you've been in school for years, something about the first few days always makes ya nervous–like summer camp, but perhaps with more sex, booze, and drama. It still feels like summer, so maybe you're not so motivated to get back into an academic mindset, but never fear, your lazy brain will make the change once it realizes that you're nose deep in work. Here are some songs about being back in school, being reunited with your besties, finding new friends, basking in the last days of freedom, and of course, school spirit (but not really). Tracklist after the jump!
In the spirit of collaboration, as this entire concept for this post was dreamed up by commenter Green, I asked the friend I'm currently visiting if I could pick her brain on the topic. I launched the Adele question. There was a long pause. "What about…. Frankenstein?" she asked. And then, as though I was the Joey character from Blossom, I was all like, "Whoah! Whoaaaah." She'd come up with such an interesting take on this revenge business.
Despite the impressive amount of revelers who came out to enjoy last weekend's 8th annual Afropunk Festival in Brooklyn's Commodore Barry Park, there were looming criticisms about how this year's festival deviated from the nonconformist and anti-consumerism philosophy at the heart of the Afropunk scene.
Today, the mash-ups that came to mind—Katy Perry, Maya Angelou, and Sylvia Plath—are a tiny smidge more controversial than usual, but all I mean to do is share some works that I believe have echoes of each other and start a discussion. Just a bit of a Tuesday shakeup. Are you ready for some shaking? Shukka shukka, here we go!
Although it's often used as a stand-in for elevator music, bossa nova really doesn't deserve the square reputation it's somehow acquired. When it began, it was actually considered cool and bohemian (bossa nova literally translates to "new trend"). If you've never listened, it's time to give bossa nova another try, and what better way than to check out the many great ladies of bossa nova past and present? It's super '60s, the perfect soundtrack to your Mad Men kick and ideal mellow end-of-summer music. This mix can only provide a small sampling of the bossa that's out there, but it's enough for you to temporarily pretend you're lounging on the beaches of Brazil, wearing a retro swimsuit and sipping a daiquiri.
If there's one pop star who can make me nearly swerve off the road while driving, due to wild one-armed dancing action paired with a silent weep, it's my good friend Kelly Clarkson. Here is my confession: I am a big blubbery emotional softie smoosh. Like, the emotional equivalent of Dairy Queen. Many things set me off, but nothing moreso than a good impassioned pop tune. I like to play such hits on my banjo, but I often have to take breaks for my voice to crack when I start to sob ever so slightly at the chorus or bridge. And "Stronger (What Doesn't Kill You)" by Kelly Clarkson is one of those that brings a tear to my eye almost every time.
Not a welcoming space for women? Why would you say that?
Pitchfork released its People's List of the top albums since 1996 today, and it is chocked fuller o' white males than the Augusta National. Now, saying that you're surprised Pitchfork readers like Radiohead is like saying you're surprised Todd Akin doesn't have a uterus, but lists like this one still reinforce the notion that indie music—and the street cred that comes with it—is Just For Men.
Temperatures are still in the mid 90s and the sun's still setting after eight o'clock, but we need to brace ourselves for the eventual changing of the seasons. Luckily, we've got the perfect cure for, or accompaniment to, the end-of-summer blues: Brooklyn's Katie Crutchfield, better known as Waxahatchee. Her quiet tape echo ballads seem borne of the universe found sandwiched between two sheets and covered by a well-worn duvet.
For today's installment of RetroPop, the groove-friendly series in which I invite you to join in on my mashing of lady-driven Top 40 pop songs with great female works of art from the past, I suggest you flip the switch. Turn out those desk lights, turn off your overhead chandeliers, snuff your candles and for goodness' sake unplug the lava lamp. Because today we're going deep into the dark with sisters in song, Ellie Goulding, Ella Fitzgerald, and Emily Dickinson.