This last week, Twitter shocked its users with the announcement that they would be shutting down Vine, a loop-based video platform that was a source for some of modern internet’s most iconic memes to date. Given the broad appeal and use of Vine by teenagers and Black Twitter, it was clear why Twitter shut the service down: the content generated by these communities was not profitable or fitting to Twitter’s investors.
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“I am not going to get in,” was my first thought as I veered around the corner to see The Frequency and a line of eager attendees extending halfway down the next block for Snake On The Lake. As the queue slugged forward, I realized that this was going to be more than a free Whitney/Hoops/Carroll/ Trophy Dad show. Friday night, The Frequency had served as an epicenter of Madison’s rock scene.
WSUM will host the ninth edition of Snake On The Lake music festival at The Frequency Friday, Sept. 9. Chicago rising stars Whitney are headlining alongside Carroll, Hoops and local favorite Trophy Dad, making this year’s lineup full of dreamy psychedelic guitars fit for the waning summer.
Fresh off of their annual music festival in Chicago, Pitchfork will be in Madison from July 18-22 to broadcast the latest iteration of Pitchfork Radio, an Internet station broadcasted in week-long sessions from various cities around the world. Hosts Elia Einhorn and Ted Shumaker will be taking up a residency at the High Noon Saloon, where they’ll be broadcasting alongside a plethora of local and international guests.
First, you go to a WUD show. There are many ways to enter and explore the Madison music scene, but no first step comes close to being as encompassing and helpful as this one. WUD Music’s events are free and wonderful, and it’s impossible to imagine UW having such a tight-knit music community without them. You’ll find local indie pop stars hanging at the Vince Staples show, house party DJs swaying to Alex G and every mishmash of listener and performer in between. The instant you get to campus, pick a WUD show and go to it. The faces you’ll see there will become markers for your music journey in Madison for years to come.
Both of the headlining acts of Revelry made the most out of a rough situation. The afternoon rain had given Madison a cold, damp grey hangover from the early-morning Mifflin festivities, and the Orpheum was the least habit- able place for those seeking refuge. Not only was the sound quality questionable close to the stage, which was the only section of the theater where anyone stood, but security made a point of asserting themselves into crowd’s festivities that would have otherwise gone ignored for a bigger show. But that deterred neither the performers nor the crowd.
Students can look forward to a much-needed break this summer and there is no better way to spend that time than to kick back in a cinema to enjoy the blockbusting lineup of summer movies. Just as final exams kick off, so too does “Captain America: Civil War.” The third installment in the Captain America saga is already garnering critical acclaim, giving a jolt of adrenaline to summer moviegoers. Fans of the superhero genre also have DC’s “Suicide Squad” coming on August 6. The action genre can also bolster films like “Jason Bourne,” the highly anticipated continuation of the popular Bourne Trilogy. For those of us looking for something a little more light-hearted this summer, Steven Spielberg may have an answer to that in “The BFG,” a film adaptation of Roald Dahl’s novel. Other adaptations set for release include “Me Before You,” a love story starring Sam Claflin and Emilia Clarke, and “Alice Through the Looking Glass,” a sequel to the 2010 film “Alice in Wonderland.” No matter the genre preference, there is always something new coming around the corner for moviegoers this summer.
It’s been roughly a year since I put out a column filled with skepticism for a then-infantile Tidal. It was a tumultuous time for both of us: Its launch party becoming the running gag on Twitter and beyond, while my writing was laden with enough snark to suffocate even the most reactionary of bloggers. The last year has fostered growth for all parties, and I think it’s time to take a more level-headed look at the increasingly competitive streaming service.
One of my favorite mixes of the last few years is WHY BE’s "Juice Infinite (YB Myspace Mix)." Every song in the 45-minute set was ripped from Myspace pages dating as far back as 2007, when the website was considered one of the leaders in both online music and social media. While the scope of the mix isn’t even 10 years away from present time, it sounds almost scarily dated, undoubtedly sending some listeners into flashbacks of their days pursuing Myspace under questionable web handles.
When a longstanding publication such as The New York Times goes out of its way to make a sweeping claim about the state of the music industry, it often reads like a crotchety music man wagging his finger at millennials from the comfort of a velvet recliner chair. But an article published in March, “Why We’re Not Making Plans for Coachella and Bonnaroo” by Jon Caramanica, Ben Ratliff and Jon Pareles, caused many to pause and reconsider the value of the festivals they’ve held true to heart.
I’ll admit, I was a little selfish in my music consumption at SXSW. I wasn’t about to wait in line for an hour and a half to see 15 minutes of Drake, or even tough out an unbearable Crystal Castles set to catch Charli XCX and Sophie. Not only do I hate lines, but I was not about to spend my first South By following the scent of hype that drives many of the rumors and reporting of the fest online. Instead, I took a particular effort to witness as many artists as possible that I knew would very rarely, if ever, make an appearance in Madison. So the following shows I will describe are by and large international, up-and-coming and, oh baby, they’re electronic.
It didn’t take long after leaving Austin, Texas, for me to start reflecting on The Daily Cardinal’s experience at South by Southwest. Twenty minutes into my returning flight, the oxygen masks of our small regional plane fell from the ceiling, and our plane hastily turned around due to a compression malfunction in the cabin. As someone with a deep-seated fear of flying, the adrenaline surge to my body granted me the innate ability to look back on the last week with the clarity one might have before plummeting to the ground in a smoldering jet.
I am pleased to report that a number of predictions I had regarding my first day of South by Southwest proved to be absolutely true, the first being that my first day at SXSW would be a total emotional overload. I saw several of my favorite current artists in a time span of about three hours, dancing without any regard for my energy capacity or physical well-being.
This time of year every year, just as things start to thaw here in Wisconsin, everything is already ablaze in every way possible down in Austin, Texas. I’m not just talking about their fiery temperatures or spicy food. The film portion of South By Southwest begins tomorrow, followed shortly by the music festival, and it will indeed be lit—and we're about to join.
It had clearly been a long week for Michael Penn II. As we discussed The Frequency’s recent decision to place a moratorium on hip-hop shows for a year, the writer, rapper and activist laid sideways on a dilapidated couch, more out of necessity than comfort. “Too many old white people running this shit; it’s tiring,” he said, regarding the forces behind fiascos like recent events at The Frequency. And it is tiring—the fight to keep hip-hop alive in Madison is one that’s been fought too many times, and this latest iteration of the struggle has many members of the hip-hop community wondering why this exact scenario keeps happening, over and over again.
Back in the ‘80s, digital life was glorified by electronic musicians. Kraftwerk's song “Pocket Calculator” perfectly embodies this golden era where humans and computers were working together for a better future. “I’m adding and subtracting, I’m controlling and composing.” The words evoke a symbiotic relationship between man and machine, where a person could create numbers and sounds from a machine whose entire existence was dedicated for such functions.
The music industry thrives off of hierarchies. From billboard charts to reviews to album of the year lists, musicians become successful in the eyes of the public only once they enter discussions in which they are pitted against their peers. This perpetual competition forced upon the world of music, which reflects countless economic, racial and historical backgrounds, values approval from a few powerful tastemakers over inspiring those who don’t have as influential of a voice.
“I love you like Kanye loves Kanye” was one of the standout lyrics belted from the speakers of Madison Square Garden at the Yeezy Season 3 reveal, the event that nearly ruptured the Internet with its completely left-field presentation of fashion, music and Kanye West himself. The phrase has floated around the Internet in the form of cheeky memes and Valentine’s cards, but its revival in The Life of Pablo perfectly summarizes the event that’s sure to be a climactic point in future Kanye documentaries and biographies. How exactly does Kanye love Kanye? By creating an impossibly detailed self-portrait, complete with all of his greatness and imperfection and presenting it in the only venue large enough to hold his vision. Yeezy Season 3 was a reflection of not just Kanye himself, but of our current culture’s fixation of self-portraiture and self-realization.
For many musicians, music enthusiasts and writers like myself, the labelling and categorization of music is often a necessary evil for navigating the massively diverse world of Earth’s sounds. Assigning a song to a genre is much easier than having to assess the individual essence of an artist’s identity, background and voice, all of which are key components in the formation of their sound. The Wikipedia page for “Punk rock subgenres” lists 37 separate categories for various punks, almost as if it was some sort of biological classification for an animal kingdom. On the Wikipedia page “List of electronic music genres,” house music boasts a dizzying 29 separate subgenres, while sounds like hardcore, electronica and techno sport several classifications of their own.
Fans of any sort of music in 2015 were greeted to one of the best years for music genres to date. Hip-hop enthusiasts were spoiled if they couldn’t recognize how fortunate we were to have Kendrick Lamar bestow a historical achievement in his first and second album. Those that wanted party rap were bestowed Atlanta trap music’s banner year, with a rainfall of mixtapes from the peach state. Rock fans in 2015 got tastes of several niche genres entering the spotlight with releases from bedroom pop superstars Girlpool and Alex G. Overall, it was a year for highly localized artists to make their voices known globally, through viral sharing or otherwise.