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In a recent interview with Teen Vogue, Norwegian wunderkind Sigrid said she “wants songs with three emotions in one,” layering pop's classic bubblegum softness with feelings of anxiety, hopefulness, and liberation. At only 22 years old, Sigrid has an ironclad grip on her emotions. Named BBC's Sound of 2018, she bounces between emotive peaks and valleys all in the span of a verse on songs like “Strangers” and “Don't Kill My Vibe,” echoing the upbeat catharsis of ABBA—the most iconic Scandinavian crossover group. Sigrid's debut album, Sucker Punch, which she co–wrote and arranged, delivers more of her signature style, exploding with the sentiments and wide–eyed optimism of a girl poised to become pop's next darling.
There are two types of people in the world: those who publicly worshipped the Jonas Brothers during their 2008 peak and those who buried their appreciation deep. The point is, if you had a pulse and access to Disney Channel, it was hard to avoid this trio of brothers, and even harder to dislike them. With a sound echoing the softer edges of late–90s and early–2000s radio rock, the Jonas Brothers infused the airwaves of Radio Disney with a pop–punk sensibility. “Year 3000,” a cover of a song by iconoclast pop punk group Busted, has all the beginnings of a pseudo–emo classic: jabs at boy bands, a pleasantly heavy guitar melody, and just enough social commentary to anger parents. Even their bigger hits, like “Burnin’ Up” and “SOS,” were reminiscent of a prior era, where boys in bands actually played instruments. In short, the Jonas Brothers used to rock—but their comeback single, “Sucker,” doesn’t.
It is the summer of 2016, I am fifteen and, like everyone else who has ever traversed through adolescence, I am knee–deep in an emo phase. My playlists cycle through the same artists who comprise the emo canon—My Chemical Romance, Fall Out Boy, Panic! At the Disco—and I beg my parents for Warped Tour tickets with desperate fervor. I mold myself to fit the stereotype of the misunderstood teenager so well, save for one detail: I am Hispanic, and Hispanic girls aren’t allowed to like punk music.
A walk down Cedar Park’s Baltimore Avenue reveals a neighborhood in transition. There’s a punk rock hair salon, an ice cream parlor known for its vegan CBD flavor, and no shortage of well–lit brunch spots. There’s also, however, a dollar store, a quiet corner bodega, and a fixture of old men who play dominoes in the park. Right now, Cedar Park is at a pivotal stage in a hard–fought gentrification process: does it want to be “attractive” or inclusive?
While 2018 saw Ariana Grande preemptively vow to wed an SNL comedian who apparently sub–tattoos his exes, 2019 begins with Grande making yet another vow, only this time to her fans. A woman of her word, Grande dropped her explosively candid fifth album, thank u, next, just six months after Sweetener. This departs from the standard industry cycle—album release, promotional stints, world tour, rinse and repeat—in a bold way.
When I walked into Union Transfer on November 7th, it reeked of adulthood—overpriced IPAs, musky cologne, and menthol cigarettes. This, I decided, meant that Sharon Van Etten didn’t fuck around. Her fanbase was full of dads who wears leather jackets on the weekend and middle–aged women with subtle tattoos. Clearly, life experience was a prerequisite for liking Sharon Van Etten and her brand of deep rock, and I was hopelessly short on that.
Despite branding herself as the music industry’s most polarizing celebrity, we can all agree on one thing—Taylor Swift knows how to write a damn good love song. Whether she’s banging out an acoustic ballad about her first crush or crooning into Auto-Tune about her first enduring love, Taylor knows how to turn her personal love stories into universal ones. To put it simply, she hits you right in the feels. In sticking close to a one note melody that lets storytelling shine, Taylor has uncovered the key to love song gold: unabashed honesty and a heavy dose of simple romance.
Sports enthusiasts have the Super Bowl. Movie buffs have the Oscars. And we music aficionados have music’s biggest night of the year—the 61st Annual Grammy Awards—to expel all that pent–up competitive energy into the universe. See how Street’s staff picks for some of the Grammy’s biggest awards measure up against your predictions and that sadly falsified list of leaked winners that surfaced on twitter last week.
In May 2017, a new–aged Lord of the Flies took place with Instagram influencers and the millennial elite ransacking an island for shelter, subsistence, and WiFi connection. The infamous Fyre Festival, a joint venture between hip–hop heavyweight Ja Rule and Bucknell University dropout Billy McFarland, recently became the topic of scathing Netflix and Hulu documentaries. These documentaries aim to answer two questions almost as large as the music festival McFarland aimed to throw: why did Fyre Festival fail so spectacularly and who’s to blame? The answer, shockingly, starts with ourselves.
Newsflash: the album is dying, but the vinyl is gaining a whole new life. A relic of the pre–Spotify era when DJing meant more than just queuing a playlist, the record represents our wildest Gen Z fears—commitment, authenticity, and fragility. And yet, we can’t stop buying them. In 2018, vinyl sales increased by 12.6 percent, while tangible album sales plummeted by more than triple that. With those statistics, it feels like everyone and their trendy little sister is getting in on this vintage trend. And you can, too, by building a vinyl collection that has everything the music section at Urban Outfitter’s doesn’t: hidden classics, genuine collectibles, and even the spare cassette tape.
“I told you everything about everything,” sings Sharon Van Etten on “I Told You Everything” — the lead track of her latest album, Remind Me Tomorrow. This simple statement foreshadows the purpose of her sixth album, which departs from Van Etten’s classic acoustic sound. It’s a confessional, capturing the cluttered emptiness of her new life. Even the album cover, which appears like a cluttered Norman Rockwell painting, hints at this chaos. There’s children and costume pieces strewn all over a floor, alluding to the children (and acting career) she had while on a musical hiatus. Remind Me Tomorrow showcases Van Etten–a near-legend in the world of folk-rock–at her most introspective.
When I was three years old, I refused to watch anything other than MTV and Animal Planet for months. Instead of playing tag and watching The Backyardigans, I worshiped at the altar of TRL and its weekly rotation of up–and–coming pop divas. First, it was Christina Milian. Then it was Avril Lavigne. However, my most enduring obsession was with JoJo, the 13–year–old wunderkind with a voice reminiscent of a young Mariah Carey—all vocal runs and vibrato. I remember choreographing dance routines to her ever–catchy single “Baby It’s You” and inventing an imaginary boyfriend so I could relate to “Leave (Get Out).” In many ways, JoJo’s commanding vocals and playful demeanor cemented my love for mainstream pop. So when she re–recorded her self–titled debut album after a dispute with her former record label that deprived Spotify of some quintessential throwbacks, I knew I had to take a listen.
This December, lots of things are taking Philly by storm—holiday cheer, Gritty, and an omakase boom that’s sweeping the nation. In case you’re not a sushi expert, omakase refers to an intimate dinner curated entirely by a sushi chef. The word itself directly translates to “respectfully leaving another to decide what’s best,” meaning that for the duration of your meal, the chef is in control. To Pod’s Executive Chef Todd Lean, this doesn’t give him permission to have the Chef Ramsey–style freak out of his dreams. Rather, it allows him to do something more noble, more creative, and more meaningful—“paint a picture on a plate.”
Hot chocolate—the drink of choice for second grade Polar Express viewings, holiday party pre–games, and every cold day ever. Essentially the official drink of winter, hot cocoa is synonymous with happiness and holiday tidings. A good cup has enough nostalgia to transport me back to Christmas morning 2007, when I wore a festive onesie, received four new Bratz dolls, and had no idea what on–campus recruiting was. In other words, hot chocolate is light and nostalgia–ridden—perfect for a college student wading through finals season.
Calling all ABBA fans and Mamma Mia enthusiasts—this one’s for you. Gone are the days of singing “Dancing Queen” into your hairbrush as you get ready for yet another Friday night of parties. For one night only, you can channel your inner dancing queen or king and bask in 1970s glamour—Parisian nightsuits optional.
Let’s admit it, Philly natives, the Bourse used to seem grand and useful but ultimately ended up being gritty and underwhelming. Luckily, the historic food court and destination for weary tourists near the Liberty Bell recently underwent a near $50 million renovation. Gone were the sticky tables and generic mall food court vibes. They’ve been replaced by 29 eclectic food vendors, seven of which are imports from the DC area, an open air space with sky high ceilings, and a flower shop.
With the first snowfall of the year hitting harder than expected, kind of like Ariana Grande’s banger “thank u, next,” chances are you’re going to want to build that winter wardrobe ASAP. I’m talking all kinds of trendy layers—shearling coats, neutral knits, and pops of winter pastels. Lucky for you, creating the seasonal closet of our girl Carrie Bradshaw’s dreams has never been easier, thanks to Fishtown Flea.
The first time I heard Hoodie Allen, I was 11 years old and hopelessly nerdy, with a music taste that started and ended with Taylor Swift. He was a breath of fresh air, with a knack for word play and sampling that, in my adolescent eyes, rivaled that of Kanye West. Just like that, I was hooked, and have been for the past six years. So when Allen dedicated his sold out November 7 Foundry headliner to the crowd, I knew I was in for a night of my teenage dreams.
In case you needed any more proof that cannabis is the greatest plant of all time, let me introduce you to CBD oil—the health trend endorsed by stoners, doctors, and Instagram fitness gurus alike. An offshoot of marijuana, CBD is a chemical found in the cannabis plant that lacks the mind–altering affects of THC. In other words, CBD has all the short–term benefits of a strain of Indica without the actual high or munchies.
The go–to spot for a cheese or buffalo chicken slice, Allegro’s Pizza and Grill is synonymous with a lot of things. Your first non–dining hall meal during NSO? Duh. Your favorite late night snack? Of course. A cornerstone of the Penn experience? Obviously. However, this neighborhood pizza joint was probably the last thing to come to mind whenever an intense milkshake craving hit. Until now.