MELISMA TUFTS JOURNAL OF MUSIC
Charlie Billings Katie Fielding Diana Hernandez
MANAGING EDITORS Kaitlyn Meslin Laura Wolfe
FOREIGN CORRESPONDENT Katie Sanna
CONTRIBUTING WRITERS Chloe Amouyal Trisha Cox Ethan Lam Michael Norton
ILLUSTRATOR Laura Wolfe
Bianca Capretta Amelia Hern Nate Hirsch Vedant Kothari Ella McDonald Teddy Obrecht Siddharth Jejurikar Sofia Wolfson Evan Zigmond
FROM THE EDITORS
It’s great to be back here on the ranch just in time for the harvest. We’re pleased to serve up a fresh, homemade Summer Issue chock full of articles by our friendly writers and some new faces. It may be short, but it sure packs a punch! First up, we have an article comparing and critiquing the careers of two mad geniuses of the music industry: Serge Gainsbourg and Kanye West. Next, we were fortunate enough to receive a whole bunch of summer playlist submissions by first-years. A number of them are reprinted here, accompanied by explanations in the words of their creators. Finally, you’ll find a think piece on the crucial role of female fans in artists’ success. We’re always looking for individuals who are passionate about music in any form. Whether you write, take pictures, design, or bring something entirely new to the table, we want you to be involved with our publication! Even if you cannot make it to our GIM on September 19th at 9pm in the Crane Room, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org and we’ll invite you to our next meeting! Until we meet again, Charlie Billings, Katie Fielding, and Diana Hernandez Editors-in-Chief
Interested in writing, art, or design? Questions, comments, adulation, or hatemail? Email email@example.com
MELISMA | SUMMER 2018 | 3
MELISMA TABLE OF CONTENTS 4
KANYE AND SERGE: UNSTABLE GENUISES
Connecting the personalities of these mad men and their music Chloe Amouyal and Charlie Billings
We asked incoming first years to create playlists that embody their summer. Here are our favorites. Trisha Cox, Ethan Lam, and Michael Norton Art by Audrey Carver
The legitimacy of young women and their impact on the industry Katie Fielding
Our artist and concert picks for this fall
ON THE COVER
Design by Laura Wolfe Melisma Magazine is a non-profit student publication of Tufts University. The opinions expressed in articles, features, or photos are solely those of the individual author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the editors or the staff. Tufts University is not responsible for the content of Melisma Magazine. If you would like to submit a letter to Melisma Magazine, please send it to melismamagazine@gmail. com. Please limit your letter to four hundred words or less.
KANYE AND SERGE: UNSTABLE GENIUSES “
BY CHLOE AMOUYAL AND CHARLIE BILLINGS
They say ‘he going crazy and we seen this before,’ But I’m doing pretty good as far as geniuses go” –Kanye West, “Barry Bonds” Kanye rapped these lyrics back in 2007 on his third album, Graduation. Eleven years later, he remains a global rap superstar with twenty-one Grammys, eight solo albums, and innumerable collaborations under his belt. In addition, his life outside of music is just as noteworthy: his famous marriage to Kim Kardashian, multiple fashion lines, and many public outbursts. At a time when his life is eclipsing his art, how has Kanye fared as a self-proclaimed genius. Kanye is not the first iconoclastic musician to have a lengthy and controversial career. Serge Gainsbourg emerged as the Kanye West of post-WWII France. The singer-songwriter was equally fascinating and just as contrived as our beloved—and hated—Kanye. Serge and Kanye followed somewhat similar career paths. They each created groundbreaking art that demonstrated a mastery of controlled chaos. However, both artists have struggled to contain the chaos of their own personalities. The similarities between the 20th century French and 21st century American icons begin with their origins. Serge was born Lucien Ginsburg to Jewish parents in Paris in 1928. His experience as a young Jew rejected by society in Nazi-occupied Vichy France instilled in him a permanent feeling of isolation. Years later, Serge would recount his trial of wearing the yellow star: “Even at 13, 14 years old, I had already become an outsider.” These painful experiences contributed significantly to what would become Serge’s trademark nature as an introspective observer on the margins of society. Born in Atlanta in 1977, Kanye moved to the South Side of Chicago after his parents’ divorce. At age 10, he and his mother, an English professor, moved to Nanjing, China, where he
was the only foreigner in his class. Later, Kanye attended high school as a black man in a largely white suburb of Oak Lawn outside Chicago. Whereas most rappers of his era were focused on their personal experiences of growing up poor in neighborhoods where crime and drugs were constant presences, Kanye used his experiences as a black middle-class outsider in white America to create a new sort of rap persona. Instead of making ‘gangster rap’ about life in the streets, Kanye wrote about things to which he related closely, like dropping out of college. Serge began his career as a cerebral chansonnier and pianist performing in nightclubs in the Left Bank arts scene of Paris. It was in this alternative environment that he garnered attention for his witty lyrics, filled with scathing sarcasm, double entendres, and innuendo. However, beyond the Left Bank and related critical successes from the literary community, his early personal work was not commercially successful. The public initially dismissed his experimental sound and condemned his unusual looks, notably his big ears and striking nose (“I have what they call…. an unattractive face” he once said on television). Kanye moved to New York City in 2001, where he gained traction as a hip hop producer. He developed a signature production style called “chipmunk soul,” utilizing sped-up vocal samples from 1960’s soul hits. His big break came from production credits on Jay-Z’s influential album The Blueprint. The album showcased Kanye’s style of soul sampling. He went on to produce for more stars, like Beyoncé, Ludacris, and Janet Jackson, but also aspired to his own rap career. Capitol Records denied him a record deal because he did not project the ‘gangsta’ image popular in the genre at the time. The nonconformity that isolated Serge and Kanye in childhood and stalled their early careers made them undeniably great musicians. Both Kanye and Serge largely refused to modify their sound or character to fit industry tastes
MELISMA | SUMMER 2018 | 5 because they were used to going it alone. They were charming and talented, but lacked the suave yet tough attitude desired in a superstar. They circumnavigated conventional appeal with their creativity. Eventually, the public adapted its ears to fit their style.
both artists have struggled to contain the chaos of their own personalities.
In his first small-scale hit, “Le poinçonneur des Lilas,” Serge takes the perspective of a metro ticket puncher whose life is so mundane he wants to punch a hole in his own head. Once he gained attention, Serge began to experiment with musical genre, moving beyond the hipster stylings of the Left Bank. Serge desperately wanted to be famous, and saw a key role for himself behind the scenes in the burgeoning genre of yé-yé. This peppy pop genre, a sort of lite version of American R&B made for teens, seems antithetical to Serge’s image as a cerebral outsider, but Serge decided to innovate within the genre. He composed teenybopper yé-yé music for artists like France Gall, using the framework of the genre but with lyrics full of innuendo. For example, his “Les Sucettes” features thinky veiled lyrics about licking “lollipops,” a provocative song to compose for an innocent 16-year old girl. Serge finally become a prominent figure in French pop culture in the late 1960s through relationships and artistic collaborations with two French actresses turned chanteuses. First, he began a passionate affair with Brigitte Bardot, a global sex symbol, known for her controversial acting roles and liberated persona. They sang together on “Bonnie and Clyde” (1968), a cinematic hit that turned infamous bank heists into a love epic. When Brigitte returned to her husband, Serge began his next, even grander, affair with Jane Birkin. They released the famously sensual hit single, “Je t’aime… moi non plus” (1969). The song is still famous for its explicitly sexual nature, conveyed mostly through Jane’s breathy, cooing vocals and groans. After being condemned by the Vatican and banned in the
United Kingdom, the song went Top 10 in 15 countries. Thus Serge entered celebrity as a provocateur, evoking admiration, disgust, and jealousy. In much the same way, Kanye’s major debut, The College Dropout, broke down the conventions of late 90s and early 2000s rap with his unique honesty about his middle class life experiences and personal hardships. Rather than discussing the life in the streets that he did not lead, Kanye defined his own rap by admitting he was “so self-conscious.” Kanye’s famous admission comes in “All Falls Down.” He tells the story of a self-conscious young woman who, like him, dropped out of college and feels ashamed of her socioeconomic status and the pressures of being black in America. Kanye then compares her struggles to his own addiction to spending, showing the world that even rappers could publicly struggle with feeling secure in society, even with the fame and wealth ostensibly provided by their profession. In the final verse, Kanye mounts full-scale social commentaries, discussing the struggle of African-Americans with the penal system and materialism, before tying the entire song in a bow with his bombshell assertion: “I got a problem with spending before I get it / We all self-conscious, I’m just the first to admit it.” Here Kanye not only admits his own faults, a rare thing in the hypermasculine and competitive world of hip-hop at the time, but actually brags about being the first to admit his own internal struggle. In a way, this sets up Kanye’s career; he can brag about anything and get away with it. Kanye’s station at the top of the rap game affords him the ability to speak his mind with little consequence. This revolution in braggadocio is a hallmark of Kanye’s unique brand of genius. Kanye and Serge followed their debuts with even bigger hits, but without pattern. They circumvented the need for a popstar niche in favor of grander artistic statements. Serge, always the iconoclast, broke even more
boundaries with his next LP, the concept album Histoire de Melody Nelson. The record tightly mixes orchestral elements, a rock trio playing a novel style of subdued funk, and Serge’s low rumbles of narration. In the astonishing plot, a narrator suspiciously similar to Serge crashes his Rolls Royce into a teenage cyclist, Melody Nelson. A bizarre love affair between the underage girl and the middle-aged narrator ensues in subsequent songs, with a perverse climax when they consummate the relationship at a hotel, before a tragic plane crash kills Melody, leaving the narrator heartbroken. If the vaguely pedophilic storyline of the record was not shocking enough, the cover, featuring Birkin posing topless as “Melody” with only a doll covering her torso, pushed the record over the edge into truly creepy territory. While at the time, the record was not a huge hit like “Je t’aime… moi non plus,” it has come to be seen as a major achievement in French popular culture, both for its music and its shock value. The record has been praised by everyone from French artists like Air to indie legends like Beck. In 1979, Serge brought reggae to mainstream France for the first time with the help of Bob Marley’s backup singers and band. “Aux armes et caetera,” recorded in Jamaica, was a reggae reinterpretation of the French national anthem, “La Marseillaise.” By proudly singing the national anthem in the unfamiliar style of reggae, Serge outraged segments of the French public. Kanye followed College Dropout with Late Registration and Graduation, albums that cemented his status as a self-proclaimed “creative genius”. He reiterated chipmunk soul to bring forth new, lush sounds that would make for grander live performances. After three successful solo albums under his belt, Kanye finally became a premier player in the music industry. But in late 2007, his whole life changed with death of his mother, Donda, and the subsequent breakup from his longtime girlfriend. The next year, Kanye released 808s & Heartbreak, another revolutionary record and perhaps Kanye’s most influential album today. 808s presented a stark and cold opus mainly produced mainly with electronic elements rather than Kanye’s usual soul samples and prominently featuring Kanye singing with heavily-processed Auto-Tune. The album was a complete stylistic 180°. Its emphasis on heartbreaking emotionally-charged lyrics inspired by his personal losses and electronic production has gone on to influence everyone from longtime rap superstars like Drake to members of the SoundCloud rap generation like Lil Uzi Vert. Kanye followed 808s with My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy, considered one of the best hip-hop albums of all time. MBDTF combines his previous innovations in
Serge and Kanye share a status as musical innovators, nonconformists, and genre-benders.
hip hop to explore themes of love, celebrity, and social exile within a maximalist framework. The stark and emotional “Runaway” pushes the innovations of 808s to the next level, while “All Of The Lights” is the logical successor to any of Graduation’s neon-tinted pop hits.
Serge and Kanye share a status as musical innovators, nonconformists, and genre-benders. Kanye infuses his rap albums with diverse influences from his samples and instrumentation, including gospel, soul, and electronic. He made rap music without being a an archetypal “rapper” of his era. Similarly, Serge made genre-nonconforming pop music without being a “pop star”. Sonically different but conceptually similar, they focused on the human voice as a tool for more than just conveying words. For example, Kanye creates the impression of a heavenly, ethereal space with a reverb-soaked gospel choir singing in “Ultralight Beam.” Similarly, in “Comic Strip,” Serge has Brigitte Bardot speak the kitschy action words used in graphic novel word bubbles (bang, whizz, blop, etc.) to place listeners literally inside a comic book. Kanye and Serge were extremely aware of their status as racial and ethnic minorities in countries that have historically abused their respective identity groups, adding more subversive meaning and critique to their personal messages. Serge’s 1975 concept album Rock Around the Bunker revolves around Hitler and the Nazis, set to the nostalgic sounds of 50s rock’n’roll. The album is not only irreverent in a way only Serge could pull off, but also deeply personal. On the track “Yellow Star,” Serge breaks through the satire to reminisce on his personal experiences during WWII, when the “struggle for life” was “difficult for a Jew.” Kanye has also discussed issues related to the African-American experience, both in his music and in interviews. In “Diamonds from Sierra Leone (Remix),” Kanye juxtaposes African-American materialism and drug culture with the plight of Sierra Leonean diamond miners in the midst of a chaotic civil war. Explaining that the American drug trade and obsession with jewelry has had negative consequences in Western Africa, Kanye openly wonders, “How can
MELISMA | SUMMER 2018 | 7 something so wrong make me feel so right?” Kanye’s most famous comment on race, however, came in a 2005 Hurricane Katrina Benefit Concert telecast. In response to the inadequate response of the American government to the natural disaster, he said on live TV that “George Bush doesn’t care about black people.” This iconic comment became national news and symbolized an era of minorities pushing back against the conservative Bush administration of the 2000s. It also marks a brief era in which Kanye was essentially a voice for the greater left. For Serge and Kanye, the personal wisdom and social commentary they exhibited in their earlier careers eventually morphed into out-of-control narcissism. They created alter egos to explore the darker sides of their personalities. Gainsbarre was Serge’s dark side personified. He first emerged in “Docteur Jekyll et Monsieur Hyde,” a sonic interpretation of the the classic novel Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde, the story of a kind doctor overtaken by a malevolent alter ego. Similarly, on Yeezus, Kanye explores his God complex. On the track “I Am A God,” Kanye directly compares himself to God, which provides an ominous, out-of-control, and irreverent viewpoint. Even at the height of their careers, they were simultaneously adored and berated. For those who don’t listen to their music, but follow the headlines, Serge and Kanye seem nonsensical and overrated. After all, unpredictable music is synonymous with unpredictable behavior. Used to being vilified celebrity figures, they
Serge and Kanye demonstrate that you cannot separate the men from their music.
branding himself as a dirty Frenchman. He avoided live performances for much of his later career, feeling uncomfortable as his own frontman. Kanye and Serge embarrass themselves for crossing a line. Serge once almost burnt down a bar in the Caribbean. In 1986, he told Whitney Houston “I want to fuck you” on live television. Of course, no witness will ever forget Kanye’s “Imma let you finish but…” outburst at the VMAs interrupting Taylor Swift’s acceptance speech. And now, Kanye is apparently another Trump supporter with vague, bigoted opinions of United States history. Kanye has reached the point on Serge’s path where his TV interviews make little sense. For Serge, this occurred when Jane Birkin left him after 13 years, his alcoholism began to take over life, and his new music became too eccentric for even his biggest fans. Kanye is also at a crossroads: at 41, he is at the tipping point where many rappers either launch into greatest hits tours or fall off into obscurity. However, there are a few key differences in Kanye’s current life that indicate he may follow a different path than Serge: his honesty about his mental health, immensely popular fashion brand, cohesive family unit, and significant remaining respect from fans are powerful, beneficial forces for his career. Kanye remains extremely conscious of his own genius and its dangerous repercussions. Serge and Kanye demonstrate that you cannot separate the men from their music. Even at its most superficial, their art is a deeply personal reflection of themselves. In supporting their music, we fuel the egos that allow them to produce it. The more we appreciate the music, the more we indulge the personality. It is this dilemma that, in the end, has propelled these artists to their superstar level of success in spite of and because of their instability. “I can’t let these people play me Name one genius that ain’t crazy” -Kanye West, “Feedback”
don’t care who they offend. In 2013, Kanye summed it up on Jimmy Kimmel Live!: “You’re gonna love me or you’re gonna hate me, but I’m gonna be me.”
They simultaneously project hubris and insecurity. Kanye had the confidence to call himself a legend before he became one, but “Kanye loves Kanye” memes overlook his tendency towards scathing self-criticism. After all, he built his career on embracing insecurity. Similarly, Serge flaunts his sex-symbol partners while
SONGS OF SUMMER ETHAN
LAM BABY I’M BLEEDING - JPEGMAFIA RE:ANIMIST - MILO LEAN 4 REAL (FT. SKEPTA) - PLAYBOI CARTI PURITY (FT. FRANK OCEAN) - A$AP ROCKY PRETTY GIRL - CLAIRO MON AMOUR (FT. MILENA LEBLANC) - REJJIE SNOW 1000MPH - ROME FORTUNE & TORO Y MOI MARDI GRASS BEADS - PARQUET COURTS WELCOME - HALES CORNER PLANTS - CRUMB CARIÑO - THE MARÍAS
A BURNING HILL - MITSKI STATIC BUZZ - SNAIL MAIL SUGAR - BEACH FOSSILS THE BODY IS A BLADE - JAPANESE BREAKFAST DON’T MISS IT - JAMES BLAKE SWITZERLAND - SOCCER MOMMY SMALL WORLDS -MAC MILLER LAST WORDS OF A SHOOTING STAR - MITSKI LITTLE UNEASY - FAZERDAZE ALL MY FRIENDS - LCD SOUNDSYSTEM ADO - THUD PEDESTRIAN AT BEST - COURTNEY BARNETT MIRROR - SAMIYAM ALLERGIES - SISYFUSS
NORTON TURN - THE WOMBATS THE WRITING’S ON THE WALL - OK GO GIANTS - SURE SURE VOWELS (AND THE IMPORTANCE OF BEING ME) - HUNNY MIDDLE OF NOWHERE - HOT HOT HEAT SEVENTEEN - SJOWGREN LOOK AT YOUR HANDS - TUNE-YARDS MIRACLE MILE - COLD WAR KIDS NAKED KIDS - GROUPLOVE BACK SEAT DRIVER (SPIRIT GUIDE) - BEAR HANDS WE ARE THE TIDE - BLIND PILOT DANCING ON GLASS - ST. LUCIA
MELISMA | SUMMER 2018 | 9
PLAYLISTS BY THE CLASS OF 2022
Visit our website, melismamagazine.com, for Spotify links to these playlists and more.
he summer before college is the conclusion to adolescence—it is the one summer you don’t have to spend worrying about academics or professional life. 3 months of unfettered freedom, a time to spend freely pursuing your passions, or with your friends before bittersweet goodbyes and sendoffs. All things that I didn’t consider when I sold my summer to a 9-to-6 desk job. The last thing I wanted to do was to stand on the sidelines watching as others enjoyed the summer that I couldn’t have. I desperately wanted to create my own memories from the vestiges of my teenage years, but I was constantly so drained after work that I wanted nothing more than to be left alone. I blew off requests to hang and ignored messages, indulging myself in my desire for solitude. My isolation, in addition to my exhaustion, birthed a quiet sadness that swallowed me whole. The songs on this playlist reflect the feelings that ran rampant through my mind— of uncertainty, inadequacy, and lost ambitions. James Blake’s “Don’t Miss It” sent me reeling as I bore witness to his withdrawal from the world. I struggled to hold back tears on the subway after hearing the tired resignation in Mitski’s voice on “A Burning Hill” as she sings about “being tired of wanting more”, accepting the realities of a quiet life. As odd as it may sound, these songs helped me reckon with my sadness— they helped me realize that I wasn’t alone in feeling alone.
If you don’t have much soul left and you know it,” wrote Charles Bukowski, “you still got soul.” For me this summer, music has been a refuge for my mind and soul—which I can feel being battered. Someone tries to explain to me that an “entrepreneurial spirit” is to be valued above all else. Silicon Valley techbros are trying to invent a new Uber or something that will inevitably isolate us and further dismantle the already crumbling solidarity between humans. Entitled suburban authoritarians would like to speak to my manager. (And just wait until you see the Yelp review.) At a certain point, I begin to feel less human, everything I touch feels fake, my head hurts. I’m spinning, dizzy in a world of empty commerciality. But all is not lost. Some of the songs on my playlist fill me with an eager energy, a courage to fight against a soul-sucking vacuum. It’s important to find some room to breathe, some feeling or vigor. Jpegmafia’s piercing samples and exasperated scream are quite effective and particularly cathartic. Reenergized, I turn to a different sound; soft, lo-fi alternative and rap have a lull me to a state of contentment. Gentle guitar carries me to a place of peace. I float on my back atop a smooth current—Clairo’s “Pretty Girl” or Crumb’s “Plants”—inhaling deeply; the setting sun makes the sky a dreamy purple. I feel whole again. Everything is being commodified, sized up for sale and marketing, but with the right music, one is reminded that soul, beauty, and feeling are priceless.
his summer, my high school friends returned from college. I, who had taken a gap year, expected that nights of caffeinated cramming would surely have changed the people I used to know. To some extent they were different, but only in subtle ways: a newfound confidence when asking for directions or an esoteric interest picked up through a school club. What surprised me was that they were much the same. We fell together into our old patterns with the comfort of sinking into the faded couch on which we spent so many nights overstuffing ourselves with popcorn and gossip. I looked around to see basic essences intact. The girl who’d always lived life with abandon still forgot to look both ways before crossing the street. The boy who’d been a history geek came back spouting fun facts. Moreover, I was reminded that the sound of a person’s laugh never changes. These songs express the atmosphere of reunion. Brash, alternative rock numbers laced with heavy drums and electric guitar reflect the excitement of discovering the homes we built in other people still stood. This is the soundtrack of the California coastline, the evening pilgrimage to our old high school, the lazy day we spent listening to records in the heat, and the hours that slipped from my mind. In “Turn”, The Wombats proclaim, “The best memories are the ones you forget.” In this busy rock medley, I don’t bother to search for lost moments. I know that not only are new ones to be found, but that they’ll hold the same brilliance as those that came before.
THE LEGITIMACY OF YOUNG WOMEN AND THEIR IMPACT ON THE INDUSTRY
oung women have always been at the forefront of discovering new music. Many of the most critically acclaimed artists and musicians of all time originally found support among young women. Take The Beatles, for example. Their career took off largely in part to the women and girls who created crowds large enough and loud enough to attract media attention, spurring the phenomenon known as Beatlemania. For a long time, the female fans of The Beatles were portrayed by the media as fanatics. The media coverage discussed the screams of the women and the large crowds of them that flocked to the shows far more frequently than it mentioned the fact that these women were fueling record breaking sales. The year after “Beatlemania” was coined, The Beatles became the only rock and roll band to hold the first five slots on the Billboard Hot 100. “Can’t Buy Me Love” shattered records for most copies sold on the first day it was released in the US with 940,225 copies sold. The female fans were more than just buying concert tickets to get a glimpse of The Beatles. They were the ones breaking the sales records. Even earlier than that, Elvis Presley found support amongst young women. Many sources cite Elvis’s good looks and provocative dancing as the source of his initial rise to fame, as they claim women were attracted to him. Decades later, however, and Graceland still gets hundreds of thousands of visitors annually and Elvis holds the record for most songs charting on Billboard’s Top 40 and 100. His talent as a musician earned him the title of “King of Rock and Roll,” and yet the young women who initially supported him are still often brushed off as only being attracted to the artist and caring less about the music. A common theme has emerged; women who support an artist early on in their career were, and still are, largely disregarded as “fanatics.” Their support was attributed to their physical attraction to the musicians. The media described these fans as crazy, the phrase “Beatlemania” coming etymologically from “Lisztomania,” a similar fanatical phenomenon ascribed to mental illness. In the 1840s, Hungarian composer Franz Liszt incited similar responses: large crowds of women, many fainting or crying. A writer coined “Lisztomania,” to describe what he considered a mental illness and a “female disease” in one of the most extreme cases of discrediting women’s opinions. Female fans are often described as hysterical, an idea that has a
BY KATIE FIELDING
similar sexist connotation. It was considered a neurotic condition affecting women and was thought to be caused by a dysfunction of the uterus.
The phenomenon of discrediting women continues today. While touring in support of The 1975, Amber Bain of The Japanese House said that “I think [they] get that kind of crazed boy band fanbase, but it doesn’t seem so, like, hollow.” This comment exemplifies the issue many writers and even musicians perpetuate: young female fans aren’t respected by the music industry, not even by the bands themselves. Bain tries to distance the fanbase from the typical “boy band” fanbase in order to give The 1975 more credibility, but in doing so, she discredits the exact people who put the band on the stage. Describing fellow women as “hollow” and “crazed” is damning evidence that even women in the industry hold these opinions, making it even harder for female fans to gain acceptance. New media often tries to support women and validate their opinions, but they go about it in the wrong way. It has become more acceptable to like boy bands and socalled guilty pleasure music, but it’s still not considered a respectable critical opinion. It is justified in the sense that these women enjoy a sort of teenage rebellion or a sense of community, but people still don’t believe they’re listening to “real” music. This, however, furthers the idea that there has to be a reason to accept women’s opinions. When a man likes an artist, it is generally accepted and no one speculates as to why or how his opinion is formed. Minnesota indie-pop band Hippo Campus has taken note of this phenomenon, saying “[U]p until this point, music critics have given us, if anything, flack for our fanbase being predominantly young women. It’s been a year of re-thinking that. There’s nothing wrong with that, and in fact it’s awesome, that these girls can come out and have a great time and have this music mean that much to them… I think young women are at the cutting edge of what’s cool in music.” In an era in which female artists are claiming their spot in the music industry, it’s time that female fans get their respect too.
MELISMA | SUMMER 2018 | 11
fall PREVIEW WHO WILL BLOW UP THE LEMON TWIGS
The Lemon Twigs are Long Island-based brothers who make theatrical rock music inspired by the 1960s and 1970s. Influenced by their early careers in film and on Broadway, their new record, Go To School, is a concept album based on the story of a chimpanzee raised as a human child by adoptive parents. The music is diverse, with songs ranging from the Big Star-worshipping rocker “Queen of My School” to “The Bully,” a mashup of bossa nova and marching band that somehow works. The overarching story is at once goofy and poignant, just like their whimsical music, setting the Twigs up for greater relevance down the road.
Hailing from Jacksonville, Florida Faze Wave have been making music since they were in high school, but the band has begun to make a name in the indie rock scene with dreamy melodies and intimate lyrics that draw listeners in. The completely independent band has recorded two albums, landed themselves a spot opening for Broncho, and garnered nearly 750,000 streams on Spotify. Their latest album, Lethologica, has positioned Faze Wave to make it big.
Emerging out of the Vulfpeck orbit, Joey Dosik makes charmingly wholesome, soulful throwback R&B. Dosik became well known for his inexplicably basketball-focused single “Game Winner,” but it is his more traditional love songs, like the gorgeous “Running Away” and “Inside Voice.” The latter is the title track of his recent debut full-length, a thoughtfully composed and orchestrated exploration into slightly different retro stylings, but each song retains his distinctly light touch.
WHO TO SEE IN CONCERT
September 27-28 | Bruno Mars | TD Garden October 1 | Shame | The Sinclair October 1 | Hozier | House of Blues October 2 | The Neighbourhood | House of Blues October 4 | Nicki Minaj & Future | TD Garden October 7 | Lykke Li | Paradise Rock Club October 7 | Maroon 5 | TD Garden October 10 | J. Cole | TD Garden October 12 | Florence + The Machine | TD Garden October 12 | Troye Sivan | Boch Center Wang Theatre October 14 | Joey Dosik | Great Scott October 14 | Gorillaz | TD Garden October 14 | The Vaccines | The Sinclair October 16 | Kali Uchis | House of Blues October 16 | Kero Kero Bonito | Brighton Music Hall October 18 | Justin Timberlake | TD Garden October 18 | J Balvin | Agganis Arena October 19 | Joywave | Royale October 20 | Mitski | House of Blues October 21 | Courtney Barnett | House of Blues October 24 | The Wombats | House of Blues October 26 | Twenty One Pilots | TD Garden October 27 | Hippo Campus | House of Blues October 28 | Beach Fossils | Paradise Rock Club October 30 | Gus Dapperton | The Sinclair November 1 | Caroline Rose | The Sinclair November 2 | Billie Eilish | House of Blues November 3-4 | Hoodie Allen | Middle East November 8 | Kamasi Washington | Royale
WHO’S DROPPING ALBUMS September 28 | Alt-J - Reduxer September 28 | The Joy Formidable - AAARTH October 5 | Tokyo Police Club - TPC October 5 | Twenty One Pilots - Trench October 19 | Empress Of - Us October 26 | Julia Holter - Aviary November 23 | Hippo Campus - Bambi TBA | The 1975 - A Brief Inquiry Into Online Relationships