In a recent interview with NPR, Ahmir “?uestlove” Thompson, drummer of legendary hip-hop group The Roots, said that rap artists age in dog years. This statement rings true as many rappers seem to peak in their mid-20s, saying all that is on their mind by the second or third album. Once the audience knows the […]
Author Archive | Johnathan.Guest
On “Monster,” a highlight from Kanye West’s previous album, “My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy,” West raps: “What you gonna do now? Whatever I wanna do, gosh, it’s cool now.” That album was certainly cool when it was released two and a half years ago. It was a critical and commercial smash, and it felt like […]
1990s nostalgia is everywhere these days. All college kids today (plus the past 10 years of graduates) are members of Generation Y and are reminiscing about the arts and entertainment of their respective childhoods. Perhaps the most notable musical trend of the ‘90s was the emergence of alternative rock as a mainstream force. The genre […]
By: Johnathan Guest and Nora Goldberg No matter how magical classic albums throughout popular music history may seem, none were made overnight. Concept albums align even more to this trend. Not only does the band have to make a cohesive set of quality songs, but it also has to arrange them in a way that […]
There may be no feat as improbable in the music industry as making a supergroup equal the sum of its parts. A band that forms with members who are superstars in their own rights is unwillingly raised to high expectations and bound to disappoint somehow. That being said, there are a few bands such as […]
To many great artists, the reward of success comes with the heavy burden of fame. Every new fan, new record sold and new piece of media exposure adds to the pressure and scrutiny. If an artist gets popular enough, it seems as though they never get a moment to themselves. Some may think it would […]
A common theme throughout popular music history is that artists borrow from other artists. Plagiarism and overt stylistic trends in a slew of bands (see: British Invasion) aside, the influence of other musicians may be an inescapable reality of making music. There are many people who despise that most music is no longer original, but […]
If you’ve been reading my column this year, you may know that I tend to jump between genres. One week I’m talking about The Doors, and the next week I make a huge left turn to Aphex Twin. In my defense, I enjoy covering and listening to popular music of all kinds, but as a […]
When it comes to a genre’s move from the underground to the mainstream, there are always growing pains. The original instrumentation and overall feel can rapidly change so that the best qualities of the genre become lost or muddled (see dubstep as a current example). Some fans who adored the genre at first lament that […]
When music and politics collide, their relationship tends to be fiercely antagonistic. Artists who have a strong political viewpoint will be critical of the government — whether or not they have the legal freedom to do so — if they disagree with its actions or leanings. Wars (especially the Vietnam War), racial injustice (the charged […]
In the career of any musician, talent usually comes before artistic credibility. This trend is especially true for artists who sign to a major label and are marketed to be pop stars. Think Justin Bieber, who was discovered through a series of YouTube videos and is now a teen pop superstar but is not someone […]
The genre U.K. garage (rhymes with carriage when using the British pronunciation) came about through the introduction of Chicago house music in London in the early 1990s. Soon it became house’s restless younger cousin, with faster tempos and skipping rhythms. The genre has since been warped and succeeded by offshoots such as Grime, 2-step and […]
There are few bands that manage to define a music genre, but when they do, they pave the road for bands to come. Alternative rock band Radiohead paved the way for countless alternative rock bands and created a musical niche of its own because of its unique, cutting-edge sound. Now I won’t get too far […]
It’s been said that musical influence occurs in cycles of 20-25 years, creating a direct line between past and present. Consider the prevalence of synthesizers originally heard in the ’80s that dominate popular music today, not to mention the frequently made connection between Madonna and Lady Gaga, whose careers emerged roughly 25 years apart. Rock […]
When it comes to Beatles history, nothing has been left unsaid. They are quite possibly the most beloved musicians the world has ever known. From books to video games, they have been documented religiously, and their music has been treated as a priceless gem. Simply put, The Beatles are an institution. So before I continue […]
Throughout popular music history, it is a common trend that even a great band has growing pains. A great deal of hard work is needed in order to decide what you want to sound and look like and to polish that aesthetic to perfection. Of course, getting there is only half the battle. The legendary […]
A common theme among great musicians and their albums is that they are rarely directionless. If an artist fails to change his or her tune for years, it’s going to become stale no matter how good it really is. An evolving sound — and with that, an image — turns a good band into a […]
The classic status of an album can be based as much on its influence to future generations as its own musical merit. That statement may sound unfair to you, but it’s true. The Beatles sure wrote fantastic songs their entire career, but their importance is greatly diminished if future bands were not inspired by them. […]
Breakthrough albums are a fascinating thing in that they often change the perception of a band forever, no matter how many years it was relatively unknown before or after its sudden popularity. And when I say breakthrough, I really mean breakthrough — as in a first-time Grammy winner with a multi-platinum record. This incredible success […]
When it comes to observing general trends in electronic music, there seem to be two polarized sections that some of its famous musicians inhabit. The first, and most popular, space is occupied by Deadmau5, Skrillex and their contemporaries — chart-topping dance-fillers who deliver the euphoria of pure entertainment. Then, there are the forward-thinking types who […]
- Puppies bring cuddles to ease stress December 6, 2013
- Pennoni staff writer awarded $50,000 for art critiques December 6, 2013
- Dragons pull out two triple-OT victories December 6, 2013
- Moo Over This | Vitamins for vegetarians December 6, 2013
- W. basketball drops third consecutive game, 65-60 December 6, 2013
- How to save the USPS February 1, 2013
- QE3 on horizon for US economy August 17, 2012
- University responds to tuition dispute January 13, 2012
- Law school delays plans for new building April 29, 2011
- Occupy Wall Street dying down April 6, 2012
- Matt: I'm a liberal arts student, and no I don'...
- Drexel ENGINEER: So where do you suppose we find time in the alread...
- Marko: Indianapolis had 42,000 fans an st louis had close...
- @that_was_random: this movie was horrid. ...
- Edz: Congratulations both of you! You are a great honor...