Streaming: The Internet Killed TV

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Streaming: The Internet Killed TV

Here are UU’s helpful tips for how to overcome the Internet surpassing cable television as most popular entertainment platform!


Just a few decades ago, the world was chanting along to The Buggles’ “Video Killed the Radio Star.” But in 2019, there is a new phrase that perfectly reflects our times: “Internet killed the TV Star.” When someone asks you what shows you like to watch, I bet that you will name all of the programs you watch on streaming services. Just a few years ago, one would have to turn on cable television to watch a show or a movie, unless they had a physical copy, but not anymore because you can watch anything at any time thanks to streaming. Cause, like, what even is cable?

The art of streaming is so complex and rewarding that competitive industries are unsure on how to keep up. Streaming has completely revolutionized the motion picture industry — whether it be shows, films, or music videos.

Because UU wants the best for you, here is a list of which videos streaming platforms are best and what to watch:


1. NETFLIX (unless you are looking for Disney movies, then, sorry) $8/month

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You can literally watch almost anything your heart desires on Netflix, so please, do yourself a favor a get a subscription if you haven’t (start off with the free-trial). Netflix has:

Stranger Things

Bird Box

Big Mouth

Roma

Black Mirror: Bandersnatch

Fyre: The Greatest Party That Never Happened

Orange Is The New Black

2.   HULU $6/month

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Hulu is the best streaming service when you are looking for television show that can normally be found on cable.

The Handmaid’s Tale

This Is Us

Rick and Morty

Saturday Night Live

Black-ish

Brooklyn Nine-Nine

South Park

How To Get Away With Murder

3. Youtube and Vevo

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Remember the good ole’ days of watching your favorite music videos on MTV in 2010, early in the morning before school, or on VH1? While many of you may not actually go on Vevo, without the service we wouldn’t receive the official artist music videos that we watch on YouTube. Vevo is actually responsible for issuing newly released music videos from your favorite musicians. With their partnership with YouTube, viewers just have to subscribe to their favorite artists’ YouTube channel to access Vevo content. If you haven’t spent at least eight hours on a free Saturday night watching endless YouTube videos and making your way into the dark side of YouTube, then you’re doing life wrong. From music videos and live broadcasts to nostalgic programs and DIY tutorials, you can literally watch anything on YouTube.


While the internet may have killed TV, it has also opened up a world of cheap possibilities. Oh, internet, what would we do without you.

By Desjah Altvater

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R. Kelly, Michael Jackson, and the Cycle of Abuse

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R. Kelly, Michael Jackson, and the Cycle of Abuse

Recent documentaries have exposed the patterns of abuse committed by two superstars. How should we react?

When I was in middle school, I fell in love with jazz and tap dance. I’d go twice a week to my local dance studio and learn dance after dance in preparation for our yearly show. The music my instructors played varied from Top 100 hits to years-old jazz, but one of their favorites was always Michael Jackson. The speakers would blast “Billie Jean” or “Thriller,” and we would dance our middle school hearts out to the popularly-regarded King of Pop.

I can’t say I ever was a Michael Jackson super fan, but he constantly surrounded me. I tried learning the “Thriller” dance when I was 12. I think I cried when he died; if I didn’t, my mom definitely did. One of my first DIY-ed clothing pieces was a distressed Michael Jackson t-shirt. I wasn’t so much raised on Michael Jackson, I more so grew up with him. He was everywhere; his songs played at every school dance, his image was on merchandise in every Target, and his children were always in the news. Michael Jackson was everyone’s childhood, and I never suspected the more sinister things that laid underneath his dreamlike persona.

Jackson’s captivation of young boys isn’t new information. There were allegations of sexual abuse from children in 1993 and 2003, with the ones from 2003 resulting in a trial, yet Jackson was never found guilty and was able to gloss over the drama and continue with his career. The abuse continued to be swept under the rug by the Jackson estate and fans alike, until the recent HBO documentary “Leaving Neverland.”

“Leaving Neverland” didn’t just rip out the rug from under us, it burned it up. The documentary focuses in on two men, Wade Robson and James Safechuck, who were sexually abused by Jackson when they were adolescents. The two describe the years of abuse, both sexual and emotional, they were subjected to at young ages, and the long-lasting impacts it has had on their lives. For the first time since 2003, all eyes were on Michael Jackson’s pattern of pedophilia and abusive behavior, and it’s become clear that whether the public likes it or not, it’s a part of his legacy that can’t be erased.

“Leaving Neverland” isn’t the only documentary that has thrust a popular figure’s pattern of abuse into the spotlight. The Lifetime docuseries “Surviving R. Kelly” centers around R&B superstar R. Kelly’s abuse of girls. Kelly would often lure young girls to him with promises of mentorship and fame, and then take advantage of the girls by making them perform sexual acts. The most notorious instance of this was the “tape,” in which R. Kelly videotaped himself urinating on an underage girl he had promised he would mentor.

Both Jackson and Kelly used their fame to lure in adolescents. When you’re young and hungry for fame, you’re willing to take every opportunity that’s given to you, and if that opportunity is giving to you by a superstar, you’re going to discount red flags in the hopes of reaching your dreams. Children have an innate ability to trust, and to take advantage of that and abuse them is disgusting beyond words.

The details of Kelly and Jackson’s abuse have been public for years because both were put on trial, but both documentaries packaged that information in a way that a broad audience could understand and connect to. The documentaries allow you to witness the victim, their trauma, the pain in their eyes — once you put a human face to an issue, it’s harder to sweep it back under the rug. “Leaving Neverland” and “Surviving R. Kelly” were both highly publicized, garnering lots of media response and public outcry against the two artists. Suddenly, it feels like the whole world is restructuring their opinions of men they’d previously admired, something that was a long time coming.

When “Leaving Neverland” was announced, a common question was: why now? Why years after Jackson has died? Why not after his 2003 trial? Why not in 2014, when Robson and Safechuck were suing the Jackson estate? There’s no easy answer. There’s a lot of factors that play into the timing, but one of the biggest factors seems to be the emergence of the #MeToo movement. More and more artists are publicly called out for their past wrongdoings because the public is more readily prepared to hear and believe victims than ever before. Having an open-minded public is especially important in calling out Michael Jackson for numerous reasons. First, he always seemed remarkably innocent. He was known to be childish and whimsical, spending lots of time building up his now-infamous “Neverland” home to be full of wonders. Second, Jackson was the soundtrack to almost everyone’s childhood. His songs played at graduations, parties, and in teenager’s bedrooms for years. It’s hard to believe that someone you were raised on can be capable of such heinous acts, so it’s natural for an audience to be immediately skeptical. Third, this is one of the largest cases that has arisen where the victims are men. There’s not much attention on the sexual abuse of men in the #MeToo movement due to the understanding that men are seen as sexual beings who are incapable of not enjoying sexual acts. Although some people see it as too late, I think right now is the perfect time for “Leaving Neverland.” The general public seems to have become more and more liberal, which makes them a more accessible audience for stories of sexual abuse committed by an icon, and more likely to believe the victims. 

It’s refreshing to see the world stop supporting R. Kelly and Michael Jackson, from R. Kelly being dropped from RCA to the Children’s Museum of Indianapolis removing Michael Jackson memorabilia. Would it have been better if people stopped supporting these artists when the news of their abuse first broke years ago? Yes. It’s frustrating that it took a documentary and intense media coverage for people to believe the artists’ victims, but we can’t change the past. We can only look forward and construct change so it doesn’t take another Lifetime documentary for people to stop supporting abusers. Change comes from believing victims, whether it be a case as big as Michael Jackson or as small as the sexual assault of a friend.

In both documentaries, victims and other sources described how members of both artists’ teams knew about the abuse, yet said nothing. When the people around an abuser recognize what is happening and don’t say anything, they become bystanders to the abuser’s behavior, whether or not they think it’s wrong. By enabling abuse, bystanders help to make spaces, such as the music industry, feel unsafe to victims. By being a bystander to someone’s abusive behavior, you’re letting the cycle of abuse continue. We need to hold each other accountable — not only those in the music industry, but everyone. Holding people accountable doesn’t only mean speaking out when the situation gets severe. Holding people accountable means calling someone out when they talk down to the women around them, when they grope someone, when they do something that’s often see as “mild.”

It’s ridiculous that R. Kelly wasn’t convicted for the “tape”, but with the recent discovery of a video of him harassing an underage girl, he finally needs to be indicted. We need to stop supporting these artists: stop listening to their music, going to their shows, or engaging with them in any capacity, because that allows abusers to continue to stay relevant and gloss over their wrongdoings. Change comes from the public making it clear that these cycles of abuse can’t continue to go on. We need to start unwinding sexual abuse from the music industry by holding others accountable and not supporting abusers.

By Mackenzie Glaubitz

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The Coolest Women in Rap

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The Coolest Women in Rap

These female artists are breaking barriers in male-dominated hip hop industry!

Rap is one of the most popular genres right now and for a good reason; the genre is consistently evolving, with innovation at every turn. Pioneering some of the most thrilling innovation in rap is coming from women — a traditionally underrepresented demographic in the genre.

Here are our favorite female rappers worth paying attention to:

Rico Nasty

Rico Nasty has been everywhere these past few months, from walking the runway at NYFW, to releasing popular song “Tia Tamera” with Doja Cat, to dropping the sci-fi tinged video for “Roof.” It’s not hard to understand why so many people are captivated with Rico; the 21-year-old Maryland rapper’s aggressive flow and innovative visuals are fresh and exciting.

Tierra Whack

Philadelphia born-and-raised Tierra Whack dropped her debut album Whack World on May 30, 2018 to great critical acclaim. At a short 15 minutes in length, the album is groundbreaking, with Whack rapping about everything from failed love to a dead dog. Since the release of Whack World, Whack has been dropping single after single, each better than the last.

Lava La Rue

London rapper Lava La Rue is creative force to be reckoned with. As one of the founding members of the 15-person collective NiNE8, La Rue has a unique DIY-persona that reflects the youth culture of the UK. La Rue’s lo-fi style is perfect for soundtracking anything from studying to hanging out with friends.

Princess Nokia

Princess Nokia is a New York City icon through and through. Besides making incredible music, Nokia is a fierce advocate for women of color, from calling out racists to advocating for intersectional feminism. It’s Nokia’s unique sound and passion for social justice that has made her an important part of the alternative rap scene.

Noname

If you don’t know who Noname is by now, you should get to know her. The Chicago native’s flow is a mix of spoken word and rap, and her 2018 album Room 25 received a Metacritic score of 93/100 (yes, it’s that good). Noname’s music is deeply introspective and powerful, making her one of the most compelling artists of recent times.

Asian Doll

When I started brainstorming for this list, my good friend texted me “you better have Asian Doll on it.” Asian Doll is one of the fiercest ladies on this list, with a “don’t-mess-with-me” attitude that’s reflected in her music. With club-ready songs that will have you feeling confident, this list wouldn’t be complete without Asian Doll.

Saweetie

Saweetie is best known for her breakout hit “ICY GRL,” a track that plays at party after party and spawned a Kehlani rework, but she’s so much more than that one song. Her debut album High Maintenance was packed back to back with danceable hits, showing Saweetie is not a rapper to underrate.

Chynna

Chynna brings a rawness and honesty to her music that draws you in and leaves you wanting more. With mosh-ready production under her hazy flow, Chynna’s music is a force to be reckoned with. In Chynna’s words, her music is “for angry people with too much pride to show how angry they are.”

Kamaiyah

Oakland’s Kamaiyah is hyphy through and through. With her wild flow and inventive beats, Kamiyah creates music that has the essence of the Bay Area on a summer night. She’s only 24 and has already worked with the likes of YG and Drake and was on XXL’s 2017 freshman list —  she’s a powerhouse.

By Mackenzie Glaubitz

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Welcoming ‘Cuse Can!

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Welcoming ‘Cuse Can!

Who can? Cuse Can!

On April 6th, University Union, The National Panhellenic Council, and the Student Association are proud to present Cuse Can!, a day to appreciate and acknowledge differences and make a change! Along with classroom discussion sessions, there will be a comedy set by Tiffany Haddish in the afternoon and a concert featuring Flipp Dinero and Pusha T at night. Student Association will be hosting two panels in Watson Theater in the afternoon: “What We Need To Be Talking About,” a discussion of on campus issues, at 4:15 PM and “Just Up The Block,” discussions of issues happening in our greater community, at 5:15 PM. Cuse Can performances will be held in Goldstein Auditorium, with Tiffany Haddish in the afternoon and Flipp Dinero and Pusha T at night!

It’s impossible to not love this triple threat (comedian, actress, and producer!). Most people know Tiffany Haddish from the smash hit “Girls Trip” or her role on “The Last O.G.”, but Haddish has a plethora of projects on her schedule that will keep us all laughing. She’s also a history maker: she was the first black female comedian to host “Saturday Night Live” in 2017, which earned her a 2018 Emmy for “Outstanding Guest Actress in a Comedy Series.” If that all wasn’t enough, she’s also a writer; her memoir “The Last Black Unicorn” made the New York Times bestseller list and earned her a 2019 Grammy nomination for “Spoken Word Album.” Her show is guaranteed to have you laughing all afternoon!

Come see the artist behind “Leave Me Alone,” the song that you always catch yourself humming because it’s that catchy. Flipp Dinero is more than his hit, though; with his bulletproof bars and a unique sound, he proves that he’s an artist that’s here to stay. I’m not the only one that thinks so; numerous stars have co-signed him, from Drake to Kim Kardashian, and DJ Khaled personally signed the Brooklyn artist to his label. Come dance the night away to Dinero’s infectious music and see what everyone is raving about!

One of hip hop’s icons is making his way north for Cuse Can! Meet Pusha-T: 4x nominated recording artist, President of G.O.O.D. music, sneaker designer, and activist. Besides creating Daytona, one of the most critically acclaimed albums of recent times, Pusha T has advocated strongly for criminal justice reform and campaigned for Hillary Clinton’s 2016 Presidential Election, making him one of the most politically involved rap stars of recent times. Pusha T is electric onstage, stunning sold out audiences night after night with his lyricism and talent. You don’t want to miss this!

Tickets are available at the Schine Box Office or online at boxoffice.syr.edu: $5 for Stand up, $5 for Concert or $8 for both (bundle option only available at Schine Box Office)! All proceeds will go to Hendricks Chapel Food Pantry and Hillside Children’s Center.

By Mackenzie Glaubitz

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Rex Orange County: Your Local SadBoy

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Rex Orange County: Your Local SadBoy

Starting with Sinatra’s charisma that oozed royalty, class and womanizing tendencies, pop has now blossomed to create a new iconic look. The Sad Boy.

At first listen, Rex’s single “New House” might have some fans confused. Where's the slow strummed, ominous major seventh chords that gives me the satisfaction of drowning in my own self-doubt? Maybe that’s a bit overboard, but it is worth noting how Rex is branding sadness to benefit his image. Only this time he is coming at it from a different perspective, sonically and with the song’s message.

Rex is known for his heartbreak anthems and ballads about lusting over people you can’t have. This is evident in tracks like “A Song About Being Sad” and “Untitled.” In “New House,” however, Rex is happy in his relationship to longtime girlfriend and musician Thea, seeing that they could one day live in a house together. Rex, on the other hand, is struggling with his inner demons that affect his own songwriting. This is evident in the first line, “it doesn’t come that easy anyway, every time it never feels the way it did at the start this one for our dawgs.” Rex wants to highlight his conflict in songwriting and his own absence from releasing music. This is a memoir to explain to his fans his personal hardships.

“Dawgs” is referring to fellow musicians who understand the pitfalls of songwriting. This makes sense considering we haven’t heard from Rex in a while. After releasing two albums, Bcos U Will Never B Freeand Apricot Princess, in back to back years — this is his first release of new music in over two years. This song is possibly one of the first songs that Rex is fully content with his commitment to love while also the first time he publicizes his struggles with writing and his discontent with people needing things from him as he sings, “people need things all the fucking time” 3 times in succession.

As one of his “dogs” being a fellow musician and songwriter, I can relate to Rex’s struggles — on an obviously much smaller scale. I am constantly questioning if I am writing for me or an audience? Is what I write too basic that it lacks creativity? Does it not possess the intricacies of music I am capable of producing? Am I copping out to please an audience? John Lennon famously said, “songwriting is about getting the demon out of me. It’s like being possessed. You try to go to sleep but the song won’t let you. So, you have to get up and make it into something, and then your allowed to sleep.” I wonder if “New House” is inspired by these same demons. I think it’s important to see the mortality in our favorite artist and heroes. Whether you’re Drake or a high school jam band, churning out a full mixed, mastered and produced eight to twelve track albums is no easy feat — especially when it is as innovative as Rex’s music is.

What is amazing and a testament to Rex’s innovative ability is even when facing the adversity of a lack of material, he can turn, once again, sadness to fit into his brand. Even when that sorrow is derived from the idea that he has no new song ideas! His lyrics are raw, often times accompanied by simplistic instrumentation, with very few moving motifs that could distract from the message. It is, in essence, poetry with mood music playing in the background.

In the simplest terms, New House is an ode to Rex’s struggles to be happy. Even when he has finally acquired love — something he has sought out the most — he is still unhappy. This builds onto his genius brand that is the sad boy and is very telling of what we want as the audience. The sad boy invites us into his home and tells us stories from personal adventures and devastating heartbreak, but in an unfiltered way that we seldom find anywhere else. Overall, the sad boy is appealing because he is true. I think we will be seeing more and more sad boys in the future and it is beneficial for the music community. It promotes men as vulnerable beings and encourages self-doubt as a normal expression for others. As Rex continues to lead the charge for this niche type of pop, I believe he will be inspiring sad boys to come forward.

By Jackson Siporin

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University Union’s Oscar Award Winning Cinema Screenings

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University Union’s Oscar Award Winning Cinema Screenings

Check out the Oscar Award winning films University Union is screening this semester!

Over the past few months, University Union has offered a variety of films and advanced screenings to the our community. A large number of those movies UU has premiered were nominated for Oscars. Some of the Oscar nominated titles include Bohemian Rhapsody, Green Book, A Star is Born, Black KKKlansman, and If Beale Street Could Talk. Here is a list of winners featuring the movies put on by UU.

Regina King, the Oscar award winner for Best Supporting Actress, stars in If Beale Street Could Talk, a film that takes place in West Harlem in New York City Beale Street. The film follows Tish, played by Kiki Layne, a 19 year old black women who is married to an incarcerated black man named Fonny, played by Stephen James. The story traces the struggles of Tish’s experience with pregnancy while having to give birth while her husband is on trial for a rape he did not commit. Through multiple flashbacks and story tellings, viewers see a powerful story about love, sacrifice and what it is like to be disenfranchised in America.

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Bohemian Rhapsody took home the Oscar awards for Best Film Editing, Best Sound Editing, Best Sound Mixing, and Best Actor. BH follows the leader singer of one of the most revolutionary bands of all time, Queen. This movie starts with Freddie Mercury, played by Rami Malek, making his way into the band and further shows the development of Queen’s sound, their rise to stardom, and the struggle to keep the band as one. All of your favorite queen songs can be found in this movie and Rami Malek gives a performance of a lifetime. This is a must see!

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Green Book starts in New York City in 1962. When Tony "Tony Lip" Vallelonga, played by Viggo Mortensen, loses his job as a bouncer when his club shuts down, he becomes a driver for “Doc" Don Shirley, played by Mahershala Ali, a famous jazz pianist. The story traces these two’s relationship as they embark on a tour through the Deep South. The movie explores the struggles of racism, segregation, brotherhood and love as they try to make it together during the tour. At the 2019 Oscars, Green Book, won the awards for Best Supporting Actor (Mahershala Ali), Best Original Screenplay, and Best Picture.

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Directed by legendary filmmaker Spike Lee, BlacKKKlansman depicts the incredible true story of two men, played by John David Washington and Adam Driver, who lead one of the most dangerous undercover operations in history. In this film, you will see how these two infiltrated the KKK and uncovered real truth to bring the organization down from the inside. Oscar award winner for Best Adapted Screenplay, BlackKKlansman is a true story of heroics, bravery and never giving up.

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By Jackson Siporin

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Your Weekly Playlist "Mar 6-Mar. 13, 2019"

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Your Weekly Playlist "Mar 6-Mar. 13, 2019"

Need some new bops? Thanks to UU, you will listening to these hits on repeat!

Way to the Show // Solange

The fourth studio album from R&B artist Solange is more than a record, but an oath to the powerful memories that take us back home. The album titled, When I Get Home, explores the upbringing Solange experienced in the city she claims with pride, Houston. She claims to consider this album a return, not only to her native Houston, but to the spotlight as she has remained low-key since her previous album, A Seat at the Table. The complex, incomparable sounds mixed with her sultry voice leave listeners with a sense of understanding and homecoming.

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Blast Off (feat. Pharrell Williams) // Gesaffelstein

You Seemed So Happy // The Japanese House

Almeida // Solange 

Trap (feat. Lil Baby) // SAINt JHN

What You Heard // Sonder

Even though this group has been gone for a while, they have picked up where they left off. Sonder consists of Grammy-nominated R&B singer, Brent Faiyaz, along with his two producer friends, Atu and Dpat. This trio knows how to get you deep in your bag and makes you reminisce on the love you never had. While they have only released one EP as a group, be sure to check out Faiyaz’s solo projects and what the group has in store.

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Drunk // Dijon

Ashamed // Omar Apollo

Did you really think we weren’t going to include 2018 Juice Jam performer Omar Apollo? Yeah right. This psychedelically, soulful singer-songwriter from Indiana has the ability to take you on a trip with his lyrics and melodies. Apollo recently signed a global recording deal with AWAL and is set to embark on a 2019 world tour, so quit sleepin on him.

Girls Need Love (feat. Drake) // Summer Walker

Are you telling me that you’ve never listened to Summer Walker before? Get it together! The soulful, raw energy that springs out of her audio is refreshing for this generation of music lovers. Girl Need Love, which can be found on her latest album Last Day of Summer, pulls you into the absorbing, complex mind of a woman. While she may get you feeling emotions you try to shut off, Drake’s additional lyrics won’t let you stop thinking.

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Good Time // Ocean Park Standoff

It’s Only Right // Wallows

Pull It Together // The Greeting Committee

wish you were gay // Billie Eilish

In a recent video, Eilish explains the meaning of the song saying, “I wrote this song about a guy that really was not interested in me and it made me feel horrible.” As a part of her new campaign for the single, Eilish announced that a portion of all proceeds from her BLOHSH apparel line will be donated to The Trevor Project, the world’s largest suicide and crisis prevention program for at-risk LGBTQ youth. Her illuminating ideas paired with her advocacy makes her anticipated album, worth the wait.

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Here are University Union’s Netflix and Hulu Recommendations!

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Here are University Union’s Netflix and Hulu Recommendations!

It’s cold outside. Curl up in bed, order some food, and watch one of these!

Ibiza

Watch this girl’s trip gone wrong in this Netflix comedy produced by notorious funny guy, Will Ferrell. Best friends Harper (Gillian Jacobs), Nikki (Vanessa Bayer), and Leah (Phoebe Robinson) take a business trip to Barcelona, where they meet a famous DJ whom Harper falls in love with. What’s better than love, EDM, and comedy?

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The Disaster Artist

James Franco leads as Tommy Wiseau, the artist behind the infamously bad The Room. The film dives into Wiseau’s life, giving a sincere look into the Hollywood outsider’s passion for expression and life. Also worth noting: John Early makes an appearance — perfect for preparing for University Union’s comedy show! Check The Disaster Artist out on iTunes!

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Pen15

Ah, seventh grade. The worst year of everyone’s lives. In Pen15, the year is 2000. AIM is flourishing, NSYNC and Backstreet Boys play on the radio, and comics Maya Erskine and Anna Konkle are just beginning 7th grade. The Hulu series follows Erskine and Konkle as they deal with crushes, bullies, and less than perfect first kisses all while wearing butterfly clips and multi colored braces.

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Search Party

What do a housewife’s assistant, self-diagnosed narcissist, actress, and a sheltered boy all have in common? They’re going to solve a friend’s disappearance, of course. With an all-star cast (Alia Shawkat, John Early, John Paul Reynolds, and Meredith Hagner as the leads) and a comedic take on a dark scenario, the series Search Party is perfect for your weekend Hulu binge-watching.

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The Comedy Lineup

Netflix’s comedy showcase series features 16 up-and-coming comedians giving 15 minute sets. From Sabrina Jalees’ comedic reflection on coming out to Sam Jay’s look at the hilarity of Uber rides, this show is bound to keep you laughing all night long.

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Brooklyn Nine-Nine

This cult favorite cop comedy is back for its sixth season, and it’s better than ever. Watch the hilarious take on what it takes to be a detective in New York City, from tracking down Pontiac bandits to accidentally going on a honeymoon with your boss to solving a murder. There’s a reason there was so much pushback when the series got dropped by its previous network and then picked up by NBC: it is one really, really good show. Check it out on Hulu!

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Sex Education

Outcast Otis (Asa Butterfield) has a plethora of sex knowledge due to living with his sex therapist mom, Jean (Gillian Anderson). When his classmates at school find out about his mom’s profession, rebel Maeve (Emma Mackey) convinces Otis to set up a sex clinic at the school. This Netflix original captures teenage sexuality at its most awkward period — creating a true snapshot of what it means to grow up and navigate love, friendships, popularity, and family.

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Neo Yokio

From the mind of Vampire Weekend’s Ezra Koenig comes Neo Yokio, a diverse city that’s at the forefront of fashion and technology, and home to the rich Kaz Kaan (Jaden Smith). The Netflix animated series follows Kaan as he tries to get over his broken heart while also competing with rival Arcangelo Corelli (Jason Schwartzman) to be the city’s most eligible bachelor.

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The show will be held on Friday, March 1st at 8:00pm. Tickets are available for $5 with a valid SU/ESF ID at the Schine Student Center Box Office for students, $10 for faculty and staff at the Schine Box Office, and $15 for the public online or at the Schine Box Office.


By Mackenzie Glaubitz

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Vanessa Bayer’s Top 5 SNL Sketches

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Vanessa Bayer’s Top 5 SNL Sketches

It’s no secret Vanessa Bayer is one funny woman. From her work on Saturday Night Live to her recent appearance in the comedy Ibiza, she knows how to command an audience’s attention. We’ve rounded up some of Bayer’s best SNL skits just in time for her appearance:

Kids’ Choice Awards:

Bayer plays one of three hosts of the Kids’ Choice Awards red carpet, alongside Taran Killam and Ariana Grande, who become desperate to fill time when they run out of things to say before the show begins:

The Miley Cyrus Show: Justin Bieber:

Bayer does a spot on impression of Miley Cyrus in the skit in which Cyrus is hosting a talk show and interviews Justin Bieber showing off his famous “swag”:

Weekend Update: Rachel From Friends on 90’s Nostalgia:

Bayer, as Rachel Green, explains 90’s nostalgia with enough “um, yeahs” and jump cuts to convince any Friends superfan that her impression is good:

Totinos:

Bayer shows how to satisfy “hungry guys” during the Superbowl, with a twist of horror:

Weekend Update: Jacob the Bar Mitzvah Boy:

Want to learn about Shabbat? Bayer plays Jacob, a young boy preparing for his Bar Mitzvah who’s here to educate you:

By Mackenzie Glaubitz

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Your Weekly Playlist "Feb. 25-Mar. 1, 2019"

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Your Weekly Playlist "Feb. 25-Mar. 1, 2019"

Looking for some new music? UU’s got you.

Cuz I Love You // Lizzo

Sumwrong // Leven Kali

Red Room // Offset

After solo albums from Takeoff and Quavo, Offset has finally released his solo debut FATHER OF 4. “Red Room” was released as a single before the album dropped, quickly becoming a fan favorite. It’s not hard to see why people love this song; with a trippy beat under Offset’s iconic flow, the song is perfect to listen to whether you’re partying, driving, or studying.

Say So (feat. JoJo) // Pj Morton

LEAVE ME ALONE // Kari Faux

Got someone who’s always hitting you up that you wish didn’t? Then this song is for you. Kari Faux delivers a funky track that sounds like it comes straight off of Tyler, the Creator’s personal playlist. “LEAVE ME ALONE” is a dreamy track that will have you dancing.

(Secret Track) // Homeshake

Lo-fi indie pop artist Homeshake is back at it again with the release of his fourth album Helium on February 15. The album is full of chill, celestial tracks that has you feeling like you’re stargazing on a summer day. “(Secret Track)” is the last song on the album, and arguably one of the best. With a mesmerizing guitar line and funky drums, the song feels like an inside look into the creative mind that is HOMESHAKE.

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Please Me // Cardi B, Bruno Mars

Cannonball // Dijon

Maryland-based singer Dijon released his newest single “Cannonball” on February 6. The single is arguably his best; the song showcases his beautiful voice over a comforting guitar rift, coming together to form a track that will make you shed a tear. Dijon has yet to release a full album or an EP, but here’s to hoping he does soon (we always need more tracks to cry to).

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Nunya (feat. Dom Kennedy) // Kehlani

Only Child // Tierra Whack

After releasing Whack World, an album that was only 15 minutes in total, it’s exciting to hear Tierra Whack release a song that’s longer than one minute. “Only Child” features vulnerable lyrics about a selfish lover over one of Whack’s iconic beats. The song is unlike anything that’s been released recently; Whack is a pro at redefining what it means to be a hip-hop artist to fit her vision.

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Thotiana (feat. Cardi B, YG) [Remix] // Blueface (ALBUM COVER)

Viral sensation Blueface teams up with two of rap’s most powerful players for this reimagining of the party playlist classic “Thotiana.” Cardi and YG make the song even more iconic with wild lyrics and powerful flows, and are a good contrast to Blueface’s offbeat flow. The reworking of the track makes it feel even more West Coast, which is a good vibe against Cuse’s snow.

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Get to Know Vanessa Bayer, John Early, and Sabrina Jalees!

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Get to Know Vanessa Bayer, John Early, and Sabrina Jalees!

Are you ready for An Evening of Comedy? Us too. 

University Union is excited to welcome comedy acts Vanessa Bayer, John Early, and Sabrina Jalees for our spring comedy show. The three comedians set to perform will bring the laughter and Vitamin D to this grey-skied city and leave you gasping for air. 

Check out the comedians coming below:

 

Vanessa Bayer

This former Saturday Night Live superstar will be putting on a show like no other, as her sense of humor and antics can never be duplicated. While attending college at the University of Pennsylvania, Bayer was a part of an all-female comedy group called Bloomers, then moved on to join The Second City comedy troupe and finally, SNL. Bayer has starred in the raucous Netflix comedy Ibiza and 2015 hit Trainwreck, with more projects on the way. On Jimmy Kimmel Live, she admitted to stealing stuff from SNL, but in order to find out what it was, you need to come to the show.

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John Early

From playing Jenna Maroney’s son on 30 Rock to appearing in the independent film Fort Tilden, this hilarious Nashville native’s talent doesn’t stop there. Early recently starred in the satirical comedy Search Party on TBS, has made voice appearances on the hit show Bob’s Burgers, and is a Gotham nominee for Best Breakthrough Series in short form for 555. Wait, there’s more! Early joined women-empowering rapper, CupcakKe, for her eclectic, underwater “Squidward Nose” music video and stole the show. You don’t want to miss the multi-talented, Britney Spears impersonating, NYU acting grad. Trust me.

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Sabrina Jalees

She’s from Canada which mean she’s not only nice as a person, but also nice on the mic. Jalees is a triple threat actor, writer, and comedian using her life experiences to make a positive impact in the world of storytelling. Currently, Jalees wrote a weekly column for the Toronto Star and was most recently a writer for Canada’s Got Talent. As an openly lesbian woman, she expressed in her 2013 Canadian comedy tour Brownlisted some of the hardships she has endured since coming out. With her comedic super powers, she is currently set to write and star in a developing comedy project that will premiere on FOX about a lesbian couple. Oh, how we stan a queen!

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The show will be held on Friday, March 1st at 8:00pm. Tickets are available for $5 with a valid SU/ESF ID at the Schine Student Center Box Office for students, $10 for faculty and staff at the Schine Box Office, and $15 for the public online or at the Schine Box Office.

By Desjah Altvater

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Cardi B. Vs. Trump - The Politicization of Music

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Cardi B. Vs. Trump - The Politicization of Music

In lue of one of our countries most divided eras we have once again turned to artists voices, on and off the stage, to influence our own.

“But Obama shut the Government down for seventeen days? Yeah b***h! For health care. So, your Grandma can check her blood pressure and so you b*****s can go check your p***y at the gynecologist with no f*****g problem.” This is Grammy award-winning female rapper Cardi B. responding via Instagram a few weeks ago to Trump ordering government workers to return to their jobs, with no pay, during his government shutdown over the border wall. While this might not be the most nuanced example, the response received outstanding support. During The Late Show, comedian Stephen Colbert jokingly started a petition on twitter for Cardi to give the rebuttal statement after Trump’s State of The Union address. What started as a comical late-night segment suddenly gained traction, getting over 73,000 signatures and over 114,000 likes. While Cardi B inevitably didn’t give a statement, her response begs to question of the role of an artist and, more specifically, are musicians playing in to today's political climate?

Most recently, recording artist, Joy Villa, was seen at the Grammy’s sporting pro-Trump designs on her outfit. Joy Villa displayed a “Make America Great Again” hand bag as well as a barbed wire gown in support of Trump’s border wall. In an interview with Variety on the red carpet, Villa explains how her newly released album is titled “Home Sweet Home” which exemplifies her, “love for America [and] barbed wire.” Villa wanted to show her support for the President while simultaneously “having fun with it.” And although Joy Villa is notorious for her outright support the Trump administration, she’s not the only one who provides their political statements with wardrobe choices. Pop rock star Ricky Rebel was also seen on the red carpet wearing a blue jacket with words “Trump 2020” and “Keep America Great.”

 

This is by no means the first-time musicians have used their platform to make a political statement. Looking at the Beatles, their songs “Blackbird,” “Taxman,” and Lennon’s “Imagine” were all songs protesting government and advocating for civil rights and peace. The “Unknown Soldier” by The Doors, spoke out to highlight the atrocities of the Vietnam war; the album “The Wall” by Pink Floyd, dissecting the partitioning of the Berlin wall; The Dixie Chicks famous quote saying they were, "ashamed the president of the United States is from Texas." Childish Gambino’s “This is America” comments on issues of police brutality and racism.

 

In the age of social media, the stakes are a bit different. Artists can quite literally go from posting an impromptu video on Instagram, to being called on by thousands to speak on a national political stage. While some look at this as a danger and hesitate to allow just “anybody” into the conversation, I look at with a different perspective.

 

Music for centuries has been a means of expression. Regardless of genre, we respond as listeners most positively to music that feels the most genuine and relatable. To feel that sense of authenticity, it is vital to allow these artists to continue their self-expression in multiple facets, including politics. We often use artists as mouthpieces for unrest within our communities as well as on a national scale. Before it was Childish Gambino, we were listening to Kanye’s “Jesus Walks” and NWA’s “Straight Outta Compton” for insight into the injustices in the black community. Throughout the careers of both of these artists have inspired discussions and have provided a better conceptualization of social issues. For the journalist and politicians claiming these musicians shouldn’t have a place in these discussions are simply undermining the power that music plays as a political catalyst. They are undermining festivals such as Live Aid and Woodstock, undermining the very foundation of music — expression. The expression of love, storytelling and, recently, politics. When musicians take away the artifice and show who they are and what they believe, it inspires a generation of kids who are listening to continue to stand up for what they believe. It is for this reason we should be applauding the Caribbean female rapper from the Bronx for having the conviction to speak out, just as musicians of the past have and, hopefully, will continue to.

By Jackson Siporin

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Ins and Outs of the Week

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Ins and Outs of the Week

Who’s popping and who’s flopping?


Ins:

Kacey Musgraves:

Who would’ve thought that a girl who was virtually unheard of a year ago would win Album of the Year at this year’s Grammys? Besides winning the biggest award of the night, Musgraves gave one of the best performances with “Rainbow.” Furthermore, she took home the awards for Best Country Song, Best Country Album, and Best Country Solo Performance. Musgraves is killing it.

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 Travis Scott:

Hear me out — I know that Scott’s “SICKO MODE” featuring Maroon 5 Superbowl performance was weird, but did you see his performance at the Grammys? First, he plays “STOP TRYING TO BE GOD” with James Blake and the legendary Earth, Wind, & Fire, and then creates a mosh pit onstage while he raps “NO BYSTANDERS” (oh yeah, he also cage-dived). The performance was electrifying, taking the audience on a trip to ASTROWORLD ride that is, indeed, Travis Scott’s mind.

 

A$AP Rocky:

Everyone’s man crush is back it again. Fresh off his widely successful “Injured Generation” tour, A$AP dropped the colorful video for “Kids Turned Out Fine” off of Testing. The video begins with A$AP taking acid, and then alternates between shots of him in a field and youth engaging in everything from making out to smoking to fighting. The film finishes with a melancholy verse from “Changes” set against footage of A$AP and a woman in the field. This visual is a love letter to youth culture and self-expression, proving, again, that A$AP Rocky continues to be ahead of the game with his stellar creativity.

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Alicia Keys:

Watching Alicia Keys at the Grammys wasn’t in any way formal, but, rather, her hosting style felt like you were having a conversation with her. Although the Grammys left people divided, the one thing that we can agree on is how Keys carried herself with such charisma and humor, making the show exciting to watch. What else is worth mentioning — Her performance where she sang a medley of past and current hip-hop/R&B songs and played not one, but two pianos. Singing everything from “Lucid Dreams” to “Doo Wop (That Thing)” to “Empire State of Mind,” Keys proved that she will always have one of the best voices in the industry.

 

Outs:

Maroon 5:

Maroon 5’s Superbowl performance brought up more questions than answers. Was it necessary to make the stage a giant “M”? Why are Big Boi and Travis Scott involved? Did Maroon 5 really think “ONE LOVE” is the political statement we were looking for? Why is Adam Levine shirtless? Listen, I know Maroon 5 has some slaps, but they haven’t been relevant for a long time and this performance just proved how out of touch they are. In a time when the NFL is consistently under fire for social justice issues, Maroon 5 should’ve made a bigger statement than just “ONE LOVE.” With 20 million people watching you, you should use that platform for some good.

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Offset:

The music industry’s most notorious cheater is back. After being publicly exposed by Cardi B, then begging to get her back (Offset pulled everything from tweeting about the situation to crashing Cardi’s Rolling Loud set), it seems his approach may have worked — he and Cardi attended the Grammys together. Even though the two are back together, it doesn’t mean Offset isn’t willing to embarrass Cardi! On Sunday, Offset posted on Instagram a trailer to his solo album that featured footage of Cardi in labor. It feels weird that he would use video of an incredibly intimate moment to boost album sales, but to each their own.

Sheck Wes:

There’s been rumors about Sheck Wes being physically abusive to ex Justine Skye for a few months now, but those murmurs widened to a roar this week. Skye tweeted about how Wes had employed his friends to jump her and her boyfriend, Goldlink, then she posted screenshots of texts with security and surveillance footage from when Wes jumped her fence in an effort to attack her. Wes, obviously, denies the allegations. Wes was one of rap’s favorite up-and-comers, and I only hope his career fades after this coming to light. 

Neil Portnow:

Last year, Neil Portnow, the president of the Grammy Academy, commented how women simply need to “step up” in response to criticism about the Grammys’ mostly male nominations, which caused a lot of controversy and upset. This year during the ceremony, Portnow spoke about how more women are involved in the Grammys this year while simultaneously patting himself on the back for “growing” as a person (although never clarifying how): “because this past year, I’ve been reminded that if coming face-to-face with an issue opens your eyes wide enough, it makes you more committed than ever to help address those issues.” Unsurprisingly, the women in the audience weren’t impressed.

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By Mackenzie Glaubitz

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Best New Artist - Curse or Compliment

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Best New Artist - Curse or Compliment

Does winning Best New Artist at the Grammys mean much? You decide for yourself.

Taking home the Grammy award for Best New Artist has long been the desired accolade for fresh musicians who have yet to have fully established themselves in the industry. But does winning the trophy truly measure the success or relevancy one has claimed as a new artist?

Not necessarily.

The curse of winning Best New Artist has long been speculated, as those who win usually dwindle down in terms of future success and importance in culture. On the other hand, those who lose tend to flourish in their careers and gain more popularity don’t take home the award. For example, in 2010, Esperanza Spalding beat out Justin Bieber for the award, but she has not been of much interest to the public since. Yet, Justin Bieber has produced more albums that have garnished critical acclaim and has remained an important pop culture icon, whether he is releasing new music or not. While this category is associated with superstition, it should definitely be brought up that numerous artists who have won are legends. 

 

Let’s take a walk down memory lane and look at past Best New Artists winners...

 

Mariah Carey

One of the best vocalists of all time, won in 1991 (oh 90s, how great you were) and broke numerous records including: 18 #1 hits on the Billboard Hot 100 (most by any solo artist), over 200 million records sold, and one of the most awarded female vocalists. Let’s also not forget “All I Want for Christmas Is You,” which gets radio play even in the summer.

 

Macklemore and Ryan Lewis

This duo set out to make a change in hip-hop, but stirred up a lot of controversy on the way. At the 2014 Grammys, Macklemore and Ryan Lewis were competing against names such as Kendrick Lamar and Ed Sheeran. And unfortunately for them, it’s those artists who didn’t win whose names are still influential in music today. Despite the massive success of their debut album, The Heist, and appraisal for their second album, This Unruly Mess I’ve Made, the pair has been on hiatus since 2017. Downtown and Can’t Hold Us are still bops though.

Adele

While you may not know where she is or what she’s doing, you’re wondering when she’s going to drop a new album. Adele is undoubtedly one of the greatest vocalists of this generation and is one of the last few artists to have an album certified diamond. Following the award, she has released two critically-acclaimed albums, two world tours, and one controversial win against Beyoncé for Album of the Year at the 2017 Grammys.

 

Fun.

Remember them? “We are Young” and “Some Nights” were on repeat on your iPod during middle school. This eclectic group beat out Frank Ocean for Best New Artist in 2013 and you’re still upset. Fun. has been on hiatus since 2015 and aren’t making much waves within the music industry.

 

While it’s notable that these artists are widely different in terms of artistry and sound, they were who the Grammys thought “successfully” exemplified the definition of “New Artist” that year. I can understand the reasoning behind the superstition, but I don’t believe winning automatically puts you in a bind. While I know the category is called “Best New Artist” for a reason, many of them won earlier than the development of their own sound and before having much knowledge of the industry’s pitfalls. Furthermore, it’s speculated that many past winners develop egos that can kill their career quickly if they let it.

Regardless of what you think of the category, you can’t deny that the title of “Best New Artist” won’t always prove itself right in the long run of an artist’s career.

By Desjah Altvater

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Your Weekly Playlist: "Feb. 18-22, 2019"

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Your Weekly Playlist: "Feb. 18-22, 2019"

Looking for a new vibe? Here’s the weekly UU finds.

Got Muscle // Goldlink feat. Peewee Longway & Wave IQ

7 Rings — Remix // Ariana Grande feat. 2 Chainz

In the past two months, Ariana Grande has pushed out two new albums, both of which bear her soul, in two completely different elements. The album “thank you, next” brings to life the attitude of a scorned young woman, finding her place within herself and her society. Grande released “7 Rings” as a single and with this remix we get a new taste of Ariana’s girl-power anthems. If you’re looking to change your accessories up, go straight to 7 Rings featuring 2 Chainz.

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Locationships // TBN Cordae

Leisure // Elujay

Master P // Choker

Only a year ago, at the peak of 21, did Choker release his first album “Peak” from the confines of his mother’s basement. He has since put out “Honeybloom” and three EP’s — one of which was released this month. “Dog Candy,” Choker’s most recent production, was an experimental project of mixing weird chords together. Choker craftily combines the use of escalation and a time-keeping to put us on edge, but wait a minute — this song will put in an atmospheric dancing mood.

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Roof // Rico Nasty

Rico Nasty, everyone’s favorite up-and-coming female rapper, released an attitude-filled anthem. The music video combines glitchy aesthetics with a sci-fi fantasy exemplifying that with this punk-like record, she’s still at the peak of being a highly-proclaimed artist in 2018.

Addicted 2 (Keep Cool Remix) // Vanjess feat. Bas

Vanjess, an angelic sister duo, uses sultry defined lyrics and bouncy instrumental to keep us wanting more. After putting out the original track “Addicted,” the pair employed rapper, Bas, to be featured on the “Addicted 2” track. With the usage of 90’s R&B elements, accompanied by lush lyrics, this song provides a certain level of nostalgia and yearning for 90’s rhythm and blues.

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6’s to 9’s // Big Wild feat. Rationale

Talk // Khalid & Disclosure

La Vie En Rose // Lucy Dacus

Lucy Dacus employs her art pop genre to give this soulful classic an indie rock twist. Dacus reconfigures the song to capture both the French and English translations of the original — creating versatility for a song about love that’s sung in the language of love. This track was released just before Valentine’s Day, as this is one of many singles Dacus will be putting out that will capture important holidays within the calendar year.

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One Call // Gunna

“One Call:” Gunna’s released single to tease his upcoming album “Drip or Drown 2.” Employed with instrumentals that invite an underwater experience, Gunna throws his rapid, freestyle verses to provide us with an experience of floating. His never-ending aqueous metaphor keeps us swimming for more and in expectation for his upcoming album.

Ready To Let Go // Cage The Elephant

Rendezvous // Miss Benny

Facts // Chantel Jeffries feat. YG, Rich The Kid & BIA

Click here to check out this playlist on UU’s Spotify!

By Danielle Clough

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Diversity at the Grammys

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Diversity at the Grammys

One of the biggest surprises of the 2019 Grammys was Childish Gambino’s political rap song, “This is America,” taking home the awards for Song of the Year and Record of the Year. These achievements were historic — no rap song has ever won Song of the Year or Record of the Year in the show’s history. Yet, Gambino wasn’t there to accept his awards.

Earlier last week, it was reported that Gambino, along with fellow rappers Drake and Kendrick Lamar, denied a coveted spot to perform at the Grammys due to the show’s long-rooted issues of diversity among nominees, performers, and the Academy itself. All three rappers refused to attend the ceremony despite being nominated for multiple awards, but they weren’t the only acclaimed artists to not make an appearance. Beyoncé and Jay-Z were missing on the red carpet, along with big celebrities like Rihanna and John Legend. Their absences beg the question: are the Grammys relevant anymore?

This isn’t the first controversy surrounding the Grammys’ diversity. In 2016, Billboard Magazine published an article in which an unnamed hip-hop producer reported that “the voting bloc is still too white, too old and too male." During the 2015 Grammys, all Best New Artist and Record of the Year nominations were white. Gambino was the ninth black songwriter to be awarded Song of the Year in the fifty-nine years of the award show. And no one can forget the president of the Academy Neil Portnow’s infamous comment that women in the music industry need to “step up” in order to fix the lack of women nominees.

When Ludwig Göransson, a frequent collaborator of Gambino, accepted the Record of the Year award in Gambino’s honor, he shouted out 21 Savage, an Atlanta-based rapper who was recently arrested by ICE, otherwise known as the United States Immigration and Customs Enforcement. Göransson was the only person to mention the rapper, despite the fact that 21 Savage was supposed to perform “Rockstar” with Post Malone. When it came time for Post Malone’s performance, he skipped 21’s verse in the song. Post effectively erased him from the performance, yet that would’ve been the best time to acknowledge him. (Nevertheless, after the show Post Malone revealed he was wearing a 21 Savage shirt under his jacket, but that wasn’t seen on camera).

Another notable moment of the award show was Drake’s surprise appearance for Best Rap Song award for “God’s Plan.” Drake began his acceptance speech by alluding to the Grammys’ lack of diversity: "this is a business where sometimes it is up to a bunch of people that might not understand what a mixed-race kid from Canada has to say." Drake then commented on the Grammys skewed measure of success: "you've already won if you have people who are singing your songs word for word, if you are a hero in your hometown. If there are people who have regular jobs who are coming out in the rain, in the snow, spending their hard-earned money to buy tickets to come to your shows, you don't need this right here, I promise you, you already won.” While Drake was concluding his speech, the Grammys cut to commercial break, effectively cutting him short. A representative of the Grammys claimed the producers didn’t cut him short on purpose, but it’s easier to think otherwise. To silence an artist criticizing the flaws of the award show he’s attending is not only in poor taste, it’s a clear message that the show doesn’t care. Drake’s comments about the irrelevance of the Grammys are warranted.

In a time where the music scene is becoming increasingly diverse each day, the Grammys stay far behind. Currently, in Billboard’s Top 100 thirteen of the twenty top songs are by or feature a person of color, and seven out of twenty features or are by a woman. The music industry is in transition: hip-hop and rap are taking center stage, and people of color and women are gaining more traction as artists. The Grammys don’t reflect that, with an Academy and nominees that are still majority white and male, the famous award show is out of touch. The Grammys have improved from previous years, as the performance lineup this year previewed more female artists than that of previous years, but the inclusion felt forced. In the new streaming era, awards are no longer an accurate measure of success, and matter increasingly less to fans and artists alike. As this year showed, the Grammys are a deeply flawed pastime, and less artists are attending due to those flaws and the overall relevance of the ceremony. Is it even worth fixing the issues of this awards show?

That’s not a question with an easy answer. On one hand, the Grammys provided a platform for a number of iconic pop culture moments, and recognizes artists for their hard work. On the other hand, the Grammys are increasingly out of touch with the diversity of the industry that they don’t feel like a true reflection of the current culture. I’m not sure what the right course of action is, but all I can hope is the 2020 Grammys are the beginning of a new era; an era of diversity and relevance.

By Mackenzie Glaubitz

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University Union Spoke with Brittany Schreiber-Bosner; Music Booker for the TODAY Show

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University Union Spoke with Brittany Schreiber-Bosner; Music Booker for the TODAY Show

I’m sure everyone here has watched the TODAY Show at some point or another, or maybe you’ve been lucky enough to go to a concert at the famous Rockefeller Plaza. University Union had the pleasure of talking with Brittany Schreiber- Bosner; the Music Booker for the TODAY Show. Brittany is responsible for the concerts we love to wake up early for before the NBC news we grew up watching. As if that wasn’t cool enough, she was listed on Billboard’s Power 100 list of the Most Influential Women in music. The icing on the cake? Brittany is an alumni of Syracuse University and was more than willing to share the story of her career, and how Syracuse helped her get there.

Brittany Schreiber at the Billboard Women in Music Awards   Click here!

Brittany Schreiber at the Billboard Women in Music Awards

Click here!

What year did you graduate and what was your major at Syracuse?

B: I graduated in 2009 and I was a Television Radio and Film major from Newhouse with a dual in Psychology.

Was there a specific class that stood out to you during your time at Syracuse?

B: I remember I loved my Pop culture TV class with Robert Thompson.

What was the most beneficial/ influential part of going to Syracuse regarding your career path?

B: I think the opportunities that I was presented with for internships and connections post-college was one of the most significant benefits. I utilized the different programs at Newhouse to intern at the Beijing Olympics. This brought me a lot of connections at NBC which brought me to the NBC Page program.

What was some of your experience before you started working at the TODAY show?

B: I was an intern at the Beijing Olympics for NBC sports and I was an NBC page. With the Page Program you really get to know how all of NBC works and get sort of an overview of the company. When I was a page, I not only worked audience for the different shows, but I also got to be a page for the TODAY show, SNL, and Andy Cohen’s assistant at Bravo.

What is your day to day like? What is the most exciting part of the day?

B: The day to day depends, but the majority of the day is spent on the phone or on my email getting different pitches from record labels, publicists and managers. I also work on the future bookings we have on the show, and figuring things out like; what songs different artists want to sing, the production of the segment and passing those along to the producers. Then in the morning, I’m usually in studio if there is music on the show.

The most exciting part of my day is the Summer Concert Series. During the summer we do the big concerts on the plaza where we fill it with fans, and we have a lot of different artists. Usually these artists are out on tour or have albums they're releasing, so I really look forward to those. Even though sound check can be early, nothing quite compares to live music at 6:30 on a summer Friday. So that’s definitely one of my favorite parts of my job.

What is the best/ most rewarding part of your job?

B: I think at the TODAY show, it’s important to remember that we’re also booking for the viewers. When you see viewers come from somewhere far, and make it their summer destination to come to the TODAY Show plaza, which I think is iconic and I visited as a kid, and to be able to see those fans be able to come and see a free concert, and sometimes get to meet some of the artists is one of the most rewarding things to me. Just seeing it pay off to the viewers.

What is the most challenging part of your job?

B: The most challenging part is that we obviously always want the biggest names in the music industry and some of those people aren’t going to wake up and do morning tv. So, when we can convince or book somebody to come and do morning tv, when we didn’t think they were going to, that can be challenging, but exciting.

What do you recommend for someone wanting to go into your field of work or the music industry in general?

B: I think that internships and connections are really important and especially maintaining those connections. You just never know when someone is going to present you with an opportunity and that’s a lot of how I ended up where I am. Just following up with those people and not being afraid to take the business card and check in with them when you’re In the area, even when you feel like there’s nothing new for you to say. Using the Syracuse network is really important. Every day at NBC there’s a joke that you were either a page or you went to Syracuse. I think that those connections help you in a lot of different ways. The Syracuse name stands for itself.

Music and entertainment are competitive industries to break in to. Do you have any advice for Students looking to follow this career path, based on your experience?

B: I got into my job through production, and I didn’t really know about booking until I got to NBC and saw that we have a whole booking department. When the music booking job opened I decided to explore that. I really feel like I work for the TODAY Show first, and then I sort of learned about the music industry and booking through that. Now I’ve learned so much more about how labels work and how managers work and how the whole industry functions and what they’re looking for from a booking standpoint. It’s not very interesting to learn, but the label and management world is definitely the way to go to get into music.

Was there ever a time where you took a risk professionally? If so, what was the outcome?

B: I definitely took a big risk by taking on the music booking job. I was producing at the show, and this was a different department, and I didn’t know exactly what it entailed. It was definitely a risk that I’m glad I took, and I have now been the music booker for 3 and a half years. I love it and love the people that I have met, as well as working parallel with the music industry to be able to book people on the show.

What is a moment or event that you’re most proud of in your career?

B: Two weeks ago, on October 11 it was the International Day of the Girl, and Mrs. Obama announced a big girls initiative on the Today Show. We booked Kelly Clarkson, Jennifer Hudson, and Meaghan Trainor to perform. It’s always been a dream of mine to have multiple artists perform on the plaza on one day and share a stage. They all did individual songs but it was part of one larger concert, and it felt like we were giving back to a cool new initiative. That was definitely a moment that felt like something new and different and that we had achieved something really outstanding.

Find out a little bit more about Brittany!

Thank you Brittany, for sharing your career journey as well as your passion for music with your Orange family!


Interviewed by Rachel Simon

By Rachel Simon

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Bohemian Rhapsody- The Only Thing More Extraordinary Than Their Music is His Story

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Bohemian Rhapsody- The Only Thing More Extraordinary Than Their Music is His Story

This past October, Queen came back to the stage in a whole new way. Or maybe not so new? Rami Malek portrayed the late Freddie Mercury in the Queen biopic; Bohemian Rhapsody. The moment this movie trailer surfaced, people went crazy. And it makes perfect sense. Queen has given us music that we all love and has made us all feel like champions. Songs like Under Pressure, We Will Rock You, Love of My Life, Radio Ga-Ga and more are featured in the film, so it’s almost impossible not to sing along.

The movie was described to me as a “spiritual experience” and to be honest, I wholeheartedly agree. Bohemian Rhapsody portrayed the life of Freddie Mercury and how a group of misfits, became what we know as Queen. Emotions were high during this movie. It made me laugh, cry, and cheer. Sometimes simultaneously. The movie touched on aspects of Freddie’s life that we may not have been aware of. The legendary lead singer of the band had a unique and outrageous stage presence, while being humble and unafraid to speak his mind off stage. Being able to watch the man who referred to himself as a “musical prostitute” take on the stage once again was truly an experience that people felt joy in seeing again. For those of us that missed the era of Freddie Mercury, this film finally gave us the chance to see the legend in action, as well as appreciate the music our parents grew up listening to.

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The film tells the band’s story up until their 1985 Live Aid performance at Wembley stadium. The twenty minute set has gone down in history as the greatest rock performance of all time and the film reshot the entire performance. Malek’s every movement was so spot on that it’s hard to believe it’s not Freddie. Freddie had so much control over his audience that with just one “Ay-Oh” the crowd was in a trance.

Click here: The original Live Aid performance alongside the movie reenactment

Bohemian Rhapsody is definitely a must see movie this year. You will be instantly brought back to the era of some of the best rock music ever heard and the best stage performers ever seen. Celebrate Freddie’s memory and the rock band that is Queen, for an experience unlike any other.


By Rachel Simon



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The Best of Celebrity Holiday Music

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The Best of Celebrity Holiday Music

The holidays are coming! Bringing cheer, joy and a bunch of celebrity Christmas albums. Here are some bops to keep you feeling jolly this holiday season!

Ariana Grande//

Ariana is blowing up the world right now with “thank u, next,” but who can forget her iconic Christmas EPs “Christmas Kisses” and “Christmas & Chill?” Ariana put her own twist on a few classics and some new originals. Both albums are filled with songs to put you right in the holiday spirit! Jump start your listening with “Santa Tell Me” below!

Tyler, the Creator//

In a surprising twist of events, Tyler, the Creator paired up with Dr. Seuss’s The Grinch to release a six-song EP titled, “Music Inspired by Illumination & Dr. Seuss’ The Grinch.” Check out his new original song “I Am The Grinch” below!

Taylor Swift//

Lurking in the depths of my iTunes library is Taylor Swift’s 2007 “The Taylor Swift Holiday Collection.” The album features old-time classics like “Santa Baby” and “Silent Night” performed with Swift’s old signature country twang.

Pentatonix//

A staple of the holiday season, Pentatonix has released their third Christmas album “Christmas is Here!” It features covers of classic songs like “Here Comes Santa Claus,” as well as a few more contemporary songs like “Making Christmas” from “The Nightmare Before Christmas” and “Sweater Weather” by The Neighbourhood.

John Legend//

With a voice smoother than hot chocolate, John Legend’s “A Legendary Christmas” is sure to put you in the holiday spirit.

David Archuleta//

The man behind everyone’s most played song in middle school “Crush” is back with his second Christmas album! “Winter in the Air” is a combination of classic holiday favorites and festive originals. Check out “Christmas Every Day” below!

Jessie J//

A newcomer to the holiday music scene, “This Christmas Day” is Jessie J’s first Christmas album. It features collaborations with artists Boyz II Men and Babyface. Check out the title track, “This Christmas Day!”

Justin Bieber//

You knew this one was coming. “Under the Mistletoe” remains one of the most iconic celebrity Christmas albums of all time. When you listen to “Mistletoe,” you can’t help but smile and be cheery. Enjoy this throwback below!

Mariah Carey//

Last, but certainly not least, every college student’s favorite holiday party song! Whether you’re a normal or extra festive kind of person, the holidays would not be complete without “All I Want For Christmas Is You.”

Happy Holidays from University Union!




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LANY Album Review

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LANY Album Review

Forget about the snow for a while and have LANY transport you to California in their new album “Malibu Nights.”

LANY is an indie pop trio from Los Angeles consisting of Paul Jason Klein, Charles Leslie "Les" Priest and Jake Clifford Goss. The band’s name is an acronym of their two homes, Los Angeles and New York, aka LANY. Their sophomore album “Malibu Nights” was inspired by lead singer Klein’s split from Dua Lipa, which he called the worst heartbreak of this life. See what we had to say about it below!


THICK AND THIN

“Thick and Thin” is a slow jam about a lover who leaves you after a small mistake, going back on their promise to stay through thick and thin. It’s an extremely relatable song and its catchy beat will have you putting it on repeat.


TAKING ME BACK

This song is a gentle plea to a significant other to take you back after a breakup. Klein croons “If I could, know I would try / Tell me now, tell me how / To change your mind.” The song grabs you in and makes you feel his emotions.


IF YOU SEE HER

This song’s upbeat melody, and surprising horn part, is contrasted with Klein’s request that, if you see her, to tell her that he needs her and still loves her. He acknowledges that he’s not perfect, and neither was she, but they were perfect together.


I DON’T WANNA LOVE YOU ANYMORE

Once you start listening to this song, you won’t be able to stop. The beat is infectious and its lyric structure is perfect. You can’t help but bop along to it. This song is a turning point in the album; he realizes that she’s not coming back and he finally wants to be done with her and their relationship.

(But if you feel like crying, check out a live acoustic version of the song below.)

LET ME KNOW

This song is more relaxed, with a simple trance like vibe. Klein expresses his confusion over her leaving, “I can't understand the reasons why you say you're leaving / 'Cause you were so in love with me yesterday.” He wants to know if there’s anything he can do to fix their relationship because, even after everything, he’s still in love with her.


RUN

“Run” stands out from the rest of the album musically and lyrically. It’s a more edgy song in which Klein expresses his strong feelings about his now ex-girlfriend talking to her ex again. He encourages her to run back to the very person she was running away from, as long as she doesn’t hit him up after.


VALENTINE’S DAY

The title of this song is deceiving, because there’s nothing loving about it. It’s a story of trying to move on with someone else, even though he knows that his new girl isn’t as good as his ex. He sings, “I pray you're not / The best that I will ever get.”


THRU THESE TEARS

“Thru These Tears” is a beautiful and brutally honest song about the reality of a breakup. Looking towards the future, he knows he’ll be alright, but right now he can’t even see through his tears. It’s a perfect summary of the complicated end of a relationship, and my favorite song on the album.


MALIBU NIGHTS

The lyrics for this song seem like they were taken straight out a diary. It’s an extremely personal song that focuses more on Klein than his relationship, and a fitting choice to title the entire album as well. He talks about his inner struggles as well as dependence on alcohol. He lays everything on the table, with lines like, “I got way too much time to be this hurt / Somebody help, it's getting worse.”

The music video reflects his complex feelings of being overwhelmed and really embodies the song.

“Malibu Nights” is an album with very personal, but at the same time relatable, lyrics that, combined with LANY’s signature indie pop sound, make it a must listen. The album is out now and available on all major streaming platforms!

By Annelise Hackett









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