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When I was 16, I burned my first CD. Rapt to undergo this rite of passage that my fangirl predecessors all experienced, I impatiently sat on the cold wooden floor of my room while Billy Corgan and Mitski smiled down on me with encouragement from my wall. I had no doubt in my mind what would be my first CD: the unattainable self–titled EP by boygenius. I longed to possess that part of “Me and My Dog,” where Phoebe belts accompanied by Lucy's perfect harmony while Julien shreds the guitar: “I dream about it.” Admittedly, I account for half the streams of boygenius’ performance at Brooklyn Steel Pitchfork Live on Nov. 7, 2018. Since then, Julien Baker, Phoebe Bridgers, and Lucy Dacus have earned stardom in their own right as individual artists. Critically acclaimed and adored by cult followings, boygenius is the definition of the famed supergroups of the 20th century.
“BLACKPINK in your area!” goes the group’s mantra. However, for the last two years, the biggest girl group in the world has not, in fact, been in your area. Their last album, aptly titled THE ALBUM, was released in October 2020. In the K–Pop world, it’s unfathomable for a group, assuming they’re not suffering from low popularity or management issues, to wait two years for a comeback.
The Red Hot Chili Peppers are the alt–rock group that has maintained relevance for nearly 40 years. The RHCP have earned many accolades over the course of their career, including 82 music award nominations and 25 wins, six of which being Grammys. The group currently holds the record for most number one hits on the modern rock chart, with 13 number one singles. In 2012, their place in rock history was cemented when they were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.
An arts–and–crafts project may not seem like the scariest premise for a film, but make the medium a blood–thirsty cardboard monster complete with a vicious minotaur and an all–seeing paper vulva, and you get the most wonderfully absurd horror movie to exist. The 2017 picture Dave Made a Maze, directed by Bill Watterson, can't be constricted to a single genre. It combines fantasy, adventure, and horror with comedic and even romantic elements, creating the perfect choice for a Halloween movie night or just when you're craving something different.
Philadelphia’s tight–knit Chinatown community has been threatened with large–scale development in their neighborhood for decades. Ranging from proposals to build a casino, prison, and baseball stadium, each project demonstrates the City's willingness to cast Chinatown residents aside to make way for profitable new construction. The community has opposed each of these invasive projects, preventing any of them from coming to fruition. Activist movements for the preservation of Chinatown are led by local organizations with legacies of resistance and community empowerment.
Writ large, East coasters (and West, for that matter) don't seem to know much about my home state of Kansas. Whether you’re picturing endless wheat fields and grazing cows or absentmindedly humming “Over the Rainbow,” it’s safe to say that there’s another lesser—known side to this midwestern state (although the tornadoes are very real). As a Kansas girl now living in the Northeast, I'm legally obligated to defend the better parts of my hometown—and it’s a pleasure to introduce you to The Greeting Committee.
2022 may turn out to be a banner year for queer cinema. Not for melodramatic period dramas starring Harry Styles, but for films that celebrate joy and the pleasure of community. Bros, the first gay romcom from a major studio, hit theaters last week. Earlier this year, Fire Island was lauded for its portrayal of queer Asian American identity (as well as being hilarious). While it’s exciting to see how mainstream queer romcoms are finding their own identity, I’ve been reflecting a lot on my favorite movie of the genre. This honor goes to the utterly charming, trailblazing, and in–need–of–a–resurgence indie: Saving Face.
For some people, combing through their luscious locks brings on shedding and subsequent fear of hair loss and social isolation. Genetics can feel cruel and hair loss creeps up when people least expect it. Many individuals don’t anticipate experiencing hair loss or thinning in their youth, but for some, it’s an unavoidable reality. Present day ageism and judgemental attitudes only create further burdens to the experience of hair loss. It’s time to embrace our best selves, regardless of the cosmetic cards we’ve been dealt.
My childhood, along with that of many other young girls, was given an extra dash of magic by the 30 minutes I’d spend each week watching the animated fairies of the Winx Club sparkle across my TV. Naturally, when I heard Netflix was releasing a live–action reboot in January 2021, I parked myself in front of my computer for six hours to binge–watch their version of the series. Although the reboot may not have gotten everything right, Netflix took an admirable first stab at a concept I’d love to see continued—creating mature versions of children’s series to parallel the original audience’s age and growth.
Rays of light seep through the branches of the aged and leafy trees, shrouding the vendors of Clark Park Farmers’ Market and their patrons. The historic space’s paved paths connect Philly residents through produce, pottery, accessories, and art. Through rows of color and chatter, encyclopedic botanical prints catch the eye.
In the years since 1988, the United States has seen an insurmountable amount of change. Same–sex marriage has become legal, the Chicago Cubs finally won their first World Series since 1908, and the iPhone was invented. But unlike the six U.S. Presidents, fourteen iterations of the iPhone, and 20 seasons of Keeping up with the Kardashians that have come and gone since 1988, one thing in American culture has stayed constant: Phantom of the Opera being on Broadway. On Feb. 18, 2023, that will no longer be true.
Gen Z is no stranger to political upheaval. Born into a world grappling with major tectonic shifts in the domestic and international political landscapes, we’ve spent our formative years immersed in a culture reckoning with its checkered past, tumultuous present, and uncertain future. The news cycle has become so rife with period–defining bombshells that we’ve adapted, out of necessity, a sense of insulation from the world around us.
While mindlessly scrolling through your TikTok feed, chances are you’ve watched a 15—second video made to the song “GASLIGHT.” The song’s iconic lyrics—“Gaslight, gatekeep / Call his new bitch mainstream”—have flooded TikTok, with over two million users posting videos using the sound, including noteworthy influencers Charli D’Amelio and Bella Porch.
It’s 2013, and this week’s episode of Dance Moms is about to start. The dancers prance onto the stage, flaunting their intricate costumes and preparing to present routines they’ve been eagerly rehearsing. The crowd applauds. You only wish that you could be one of them. Or better yet, compete against them.
Avatar is, by most accounts, a modern classic: a technological masterpiece and the arguable founder of Hollywood’s current CGI era, all while consistently defending its spot as the highest–grossing film of all time. And yet, before last week, I had never seen it. Remaining an Avatar virgin, so to speak, wasn’t a deliberate move; I just happened to miss it when it came out and never felt very compelled to catch up on it. There isn’t exactly a lack of graphics–heavy Disney content these days, after all, and there is much more media touting that the movie’s plot is mostly forgettable than singing its praises.
Summer of Soul (...Or, When the Revolution Could Not Be Televised) opens with shots of curls, coils, kinks, and fros being glazed by the New York City summer rain. Fresh presses are covered by bright, patterned scarves. Brown hands with fire engine red nails dance in the air. A sea of dark eyes bounce from corner to corner of the stage, and a different kind of light comes from the smiles of dark faces when a 19–year–old Stevie Wonder steps on stage in a cocoa brown suit.
It took a second to get everyone sitting. Not the audience, who had found their seats 15 minutes before the film began, but the Iranian family on screen struggling to take a family photo, with the full ordeal of a baby stealing a phone, a kid looking away, and someone sitting in the front row that should definitely have been in the back. The typically comedic chaos accompanying any family picture made sure to sneak its way into Penn’s annual Middle East Film Festival.
B-sides were once a byproduct of mid–to–late 20th century music distribution methods. Now a purely elective format, some modern artists have chosen to use B–side albums as a vehicle for creative exploration.
Earlier this year, a debacle among the unlikeliest of foes came about when Neil Young gave Spotify a major ultimatum: him or me. Him being Joe Rogan, the epitome of middle–aged man with a beer belly sitting in a basement making a podcast. Rogan’s wide array of guests on the Joe Rogan Experience have included Elon Musk in the blunt rotation of my nightmares, and Robert Malone, an alleged vaccine scientist turned notorious critic of mRNA vaccines. Young threatened that if Spotify continues to allow Rogan a platform, he would remove his discography from the app.
In a contemporary United States, backlash over a Black woman being chosen to play a mythical creature princess reinforces the racist undertones in our nation’s film industry.