Rosemary’s Reviews | Thank U, Next by Ariana Grande

By: Rosemary Idisi 

Earlier this year, Ariana Grande dropped her highly anticipated fifth album ‘Thank U, Next’ (2019). This album was created in the midst of the popstar’s highly publicized personal affairs.

For months, Grande was in the spotlight following the death of her ex-boyfriend Mac Miller and the split from her fiancé Pete Davidson. People could not wait to hear the outpour of her emotions on this album.

If you’re looking for a revolutionary kind of break up/self-love anthem, the album’s lead single and title track ‘Thank U, Next’ is the song for you and it proves to be the song for many as it was a massive hit. The single broke records and peaked at number one of the charts in numerous countries.

‘Thank U, Next’ was released shortly after Grande broke up with Pete Davidson and includes the lyrics, “-even almost got married, and for Pete I’m so thankful.” It also recognized a few of Grande’s exes whose names she included in the song; even her deceased ex-boyfriend Mac Miller with the lyrics, “-wish I could say thank you to Malcolm, cause he was an angel.”

The music video for this song was released shortly after the initial release of the track and referenced early 2000s rom-coms Mean Girls, Bring It On, 13 Going on 30 and Legally Blonde. This music video broke records on YouTube for being the most watched music video within 24 hours and the fastest video on Vevo to reach 100 million views.

Another smashing song on the album was Grande’s hit single ‘7 Rings’. This track peaked on the top of charts in 15 countries and broke the record on Spotify for being the most played song in 24 hours.

The third single released on the album was ‘Break Up with Your Girlfriend, I’m Bored’ and it debuted at the top of charts as well. This single made history for Grande as it made her the first female artist to replace herself at number one on the charts and also made her the first artist to dominate the top three spots on the chart since The Beatles in 1964.

The first song on the album, titled ‘Imagine’ was the promotional single for the album and many fans believe the track was inspired by Mac Miller who had an ‘Imagine’ tattoo and the lyrics seem to speak about Grande pretending past relationships didn’t end.

Another song on the album called ‘Ghostin’ was a reference to both Pete Davidson and Mac Miller, because Grande sings about what it was like dealing with the death of Miller while being with Pete. On the track ‘Fake Smile’, Grande sings about the dark side she faces being a superstar.

A huge part of the album ‘Thank U, Next’ is Ariana Grande pouring her heart out in song. This album was like a lyrical diary from her and it was beautifully done. From throwing shade at her exes to singing about being needy, Ariana gave fans everything with this album.

‘Thank U, Next’ has the perfect combination of songs to listen to when you’re feeling good or when you’re sulking in bed. This album is up and down, it’s real and refreshing… and it’s one that I highly recommend listening to!

Vince Staples @ 9:30 Club

By Jonathan Ibarra

On February 22nd and 23rd, 2019 the Long Beach, California rapper Vince Staples took the stage at the 9:30 Club on his “Smile, You’re On Camera” tour. Having originally scheduled only one night in DC, Staples had to add a second show after the first night sold out in a matter of days. The first opener, Armani White, took the stage at 6:15 pm, a mere 15 minutes after the doors opened. Even with the small crowd, White came to impress. His rhythmic tracks got the crowd warmed up for Buddy, Staples second opener. Buddy spat his raps out fast and loud, calling for a mosh pit during the last song of his set that sent the crowd into a frenzy.  

The crowd was buzzing with energy by the time Staples took the stage. Opening his set with “Feels Like Summer” off his most recent album FM! (2018), Vince went on to have a good mix of songs off each of his releases.  

Living up to the title of the tour, there were cameramen placed in different locations around the stage to get shots of either Staples or the crowd. Those shots were projected onto the backdrop, which was set up to look like a big set of security monitors. The effect was an interactive experience that drew the crowd into Staples performance by allowing audience members to see themselves in the gritty visuals. 

The long beach rapper exuded liveliness and childlike fun. Even when he would take breaks to interact with the crowd, the rapper would never let the energy of the set die down. He would be seen making faces at security when they would try to grab crowd surfers, as well as clowning audience members who would shout praise during lulls.  

Staples ended his set with “Yeah Right” off his album Big Fish Theory (2017). In place of Kendrick Lamar’s verse, he thanked DC for coming out and voiced his message of love, spreading positivity. The rapper thanked Mac Miller and gave a genuine tribute to a talent lost too soon. 

The audience began to file out when suddenly the stage lit up again – this time with the late rapper’s smile. Mac Miller’s NPR Tiny Desk set was played in its entirety – all 17 minutes of it. As tears rolled down some audience members’ faces, it was hard not to think about the impact Miller left on the music industry, including Staples’ more emotional tracks. The set concluded and people stuck around, not wanting the show to be over. It was the perfect conclusion to the first night of Staples’ sold out DC shows.  

MASON ALERT | BE PREPARED

WGMU strongly encourages our Patriots to sign up for Mason Alerts. Here’s more information about the system provided by David Farris, PhD, the Executive Director of Safety & Emergency Management:

Dear Patriots,

Safety is a top priority at George Mason University. The Environmental Health and Safety Office (EHS) and the Department of Police and Public Safety encourage you to become familiar with the university’s recommended procedures on how to prepare for and respond to emergencies that may occur on campus.

Mason Alert: All students, faculty, and staff are strongly encouraged to register one or more cell phone numbers with Mason Alert, the university’s emergency notification system. Mason Alert text messages provide timely notification of events affecting your safety. You can also elect to receive tornado and severe weather alerts for one or more counties in which Mason has a campus, site or center. 

Be Prepared: Information on how to prepare for and respond to emergencies that might occur on campus is available at ready.gmu.edu. This site also has resources to help faculty and staff prepare for emergencies that interrupt classes or impact research activities.

Active Threat Prevention and Response: Please take 15 minutes to review the university’s Active Threats Awareness and Prevention Video designed to help you identify and report concerning behaviors. This video also reviews actions that should be taken if a person with a weapon is reported on campus.

Rave Guardian Public Safety App: Mason offers a free public safety app to all students, faculty and staff. Rave Guardian is integrated with Mason Alert and offers a number of important features, including a virtual safety escort function, the ability to submit tips anonymously to University Police, and a panic call button that relays your location to University Police.  The Rave Guardian app is free through the iTunes store and the Google Play store

If you have any questions or concerns about Mason’s readiness for potential emergencies on campus, please contact EHS at safety@gmu.edu or 703-993-8448.

 

 

As a Mason student, it’s imperative to be informed, especially about school closures and emergency preparation events. Click on the links above to sign up for the mentioned platforms.

Clubhouse Fest @ Laurel Park

By: Rosemary Idisi

On October 20th at Laurel Park Racetrack, a number of artists performed at the 2018 Clubhouse Festival. The lineup included Grammy-nominated rapper Tyga, Platinum-selling artists Rich The Kid, Sam Feldt, Lost Kings, and Bonnie x Clyde. The headliner was Grammy-nominated DJ Steve Aoki.

The tailgate began at 12 noon with the first performance by Deerock. Following was Salamander, who played hot remixes and tunes. Bonnie X Clyde were up next, and they gave the crowd major electronic dance vibes with their tracks. Everyone was buzzing when Rich The Kid came on stage and performed hits “Plug Walk” and “New Freezer.” Tyga followed, having entire crowd bobbing their heads with his signatures “Molly”, “Taste”,  “SWISH”,  “Ayo” and many more. These performances were amazing; there was not a soul in the crowd not jamming out to the music.

After Tyga finished lighting up the stage, ten minutes went by, and Lost Kings came to perform. The crowd literally went wild when they played “When We Were Young”,  “Phone Down”, and “First Love”.  After Lost Kings stole a piece of my heart, Sam Feldt came out and swept me off my feet. He killed it on stage and the entire crowd was dancing and singing along when he played his better known singles “Know You Better”, “Show Me Love”,  and “No Lie.”

There was an intermission and most of the crowd went to watch the Maryland Million horse race. At the horse race, the DJ duo Lost Kings were walking around taking pictures with fans.  After the race, it was time to go back to the mainstage to enjoy the night’s headliner: Steve Aoki.

The crowd grew three times larger than it was all day when it was time for Steve Aoki to perform. The beginning interlude started to play, and the masses had their phones out recording. The bass was pounding, the red lights were beaming, and Steve Aoki popped out on stage. The crowd was thrilled! Steve Aoki’s entire performance was riveting. He had the entire crowd jumping around and then toward the end, his hit “Cake Face” came on and he started throwing cakes into the crowd. Steve Aoki gave the show of a lifetime and he shut the festival down. Clubhouse Festival was one for the books.

Kero Kero Bonito at MilkBoy ArtHouse

By: Shiraz Baig

“Don’t die for me, live for me!” shouted Sarah Midori Perry, the lead singer and aesthetic force behind the electro noise-pop trio Kero Kero Bonito. Kicking off the release of their sophomore studio album, the London-based trio-gone-rock band just touched the nation’s capital at the MilkBoy Arthouse in College Park, MD. Luckily, WGMU was able to catch a glimpse of the live performance the indie pop-rock outfit offered on stage and in person.

Starting the show, the crowd heard “Outside”, the intro song to their latest album, Time ‘n’ Place (2018). This gritty rock pop tune would serve as a sonic theme throughout the show with its distorted guitar and heavy bass spilling into their next two most famous songs, “Lipslap” and “Flamingo”. These two bubblegum pop singles from the earlier, punchy years of KKB were given a rock twist that converted simple head bopping ballads to headbangers with the addition of a bass, guitar, drum set, and tenacious vocals. Frankly, had anyone else but Gus and Jamie tried to do this, it wouldn’t have worked, but the off and on-stage chemistry of the group was so prevalent and passionate that the new interpretations were something the crowd loved and have heard before but now wearing a fun, hardcore mask. The catchy melodies of old were just as catchy that night, but instead of just singing along, everyone joined in and moshed the night away!

Throughout the evening, there was a pattern in the songs – one song was from the new album, then two or three songs from past albums, but with the new rock twist. From their first studio album, Bonito Generation (2016), singles like “Fish Bowl” and “Picture This” were played live and remastered with hard rock guitar and bass solos, causing incredible mosh-pit action amongst the crowd. This was a refreshing rendition that gave the audience a creative new interpretation to fond over. It was not just the group regurgitating what the audience probably listened to non-stop and on repeat the previous days and weeks – it was a whole new Kero Kero experience that many would likely pay to see again.

The band, specifically the guitarist, would hold his guitar out to the crowd for them to strum and play wildly after songs like “Only Acting”, which ends in an experimental noise: car crash. This gives each and every venue its own unique little experience where one feels connected to the act rather than just seeing the artists pick up instruments, play music, and leave. Throughout the show, the entire act was smiling, enjoying themselves, having snacks and just being musicians that love doing what they do – performing music!

At the end of the show came the most hardcore event of the night! After a chant for an encore ended, the band re-emerged from backstage to come up and perform “Trampoline” from Bonito Generation, but with growls and yelling. Man, oh man. The crowd went absolutely wild, and even the opening act came out and started moshing along. Another pleasant surprise!

This entire show felt like it was an ode to the fans. The latest album dredged through some deep, dark topics, lyrically and sonically, which were tough for the band, but they came on stage, giving the fans a big hug for getting them a new record deal, a new North American tour, and a warm reception to their new musical direction.

The show was an experience uncaptured by their previous albums. If you are into noise pop and alternative rock, this show would be great for you! You won’t ever see anime cosplayers and shoegazers moshing like that.

CLUBHOUSE Fest | Ticket Giveaway

Deadmau5 and Steve Aoki and Rich the Kid – OH MY! You read the flyer right and the line up is as good as you think it is. On Saturday, October 20th at Laurel Park Racetrack, some of the biggest EDM and Hip-Hop artists will come together for Clubhouse Festival. This lineup is presented by Club Glow, a division of Echostage, so no wonder why it is so incredible.

Here are some FAQs that might answer your burning questions:

What is Clubhouse Fest?

One-day festival, tailgate and horserace! Music, food, horse wagering and fun are all waiting for you.

When and where – I’ve gotta go!

Saturday, Oct. 20th at 198 Laurel Race Track Road, Laurel, MD 20725. Doors open at 12pm and the event ends at 10pm. 

Will the event happen rain or shine?

Absolutely!

You can find more information about the event here!

*UPDATE – Deadmau5 will not be performing at the event. Visit the link above to read more about the changes!

 

Now here’s the real reason why you’re here…

WGMU Radio is giving away 5 pairs of tickets to Clubhouse Fest! On October 15th and 16th, we’ll be giving away two pairs of tickets on each day. On October 17th, we’ll be giving away a final pair of tickets. All you have to do is know the CODEWORD OF THE DAY and get randomly selected to win on our Twitter or Instagram. You’ll have to give the CODEWORD to our social media when prompted – make sure you check back here everyday to get the new CODEWORD.

CODEWORD FOR GIVEAWAY:

Monday, October 15: MickeyMau5

Tuesday, October 16: GLOW

Wednesday, October 17: Finishline

*stay tuned tomorrow by 10:30am for the next CODEWORD*

 

 

 

You must be a George Mason University student to be eligible to win.

Kali Uchis at 9:30 Club

On October 9 and October 10, Columbian-American artist Kali Uchis took the 9:30 Club stage. Originally from Alexandria, VA., Kali had a performance which felt close to home. Her stage presence shined beyond a revolving disco and accompanying live musicians.

After an upbeat set from Gabriel Garzón-Montano, Kali opened the show with “Dead to Me”, one of her many unapologetic tracks off of her debut album Isolation (2018). Her stage presence and her confidence truly took form on stage.

Take her slower songs, like “Loner” – though the song off Por Vida – EP (2015) is regimented in anxious narrative, no one ever went rogue and stopped feeling what Kali felt. Everyone was there with her, singing in unison, swaying in the moment and taking a glimpse into her world. Shortened, stripped down versions of “In My Dreams” and “Miami” followed, and a pure, genuine energy reigned in the crowd.

But it couldn’t have been done without the talented musicians to back her up. The live instrumentals are what set apart Kali’s distinct vocals. Overall, the performance was inviting, complex and was elevated by immersive jazz. Kali curated a bittersweet tango that danced around her most intimate thoughts.

 

Gabriel Garzón-Montano at 9:30 Club

Last night was incredible! Kali Uchis performed at 9:30 Club for a sold out crowd on Tuesday, October 9, 2018. Her opener, Gabriel Garzon-Montano, kicked off the show with a spectacular performance of one of his most favored tracks, Golden Wings. The crowd was buzzing with excitement, singing along or mouthing every single word. Garzon-Montano’s attire, or tasteful like-there-of, added to the heat as he changed from an open white shirt and pants to a black latex playsuit with two shoulder straps. What was truly amazing was how supportive the audience was! Women and men were enthralled with his vibe and live performance of Fruitflies, Crawl, 6 8 and more. Although his opening performance was limited to only a half hour, he used the time beautifully. There are still tickets available for their second night, tonight October 10, 2018. Here’s the link!

Monk Tamony Interview

Two-piece New York City rock band, Monk Tamony stopped by WGMU’s studio for an interview with DJ Jonathan Ibarra last Friday before they played their second night at the 9:30 Club in DC with Highly Suspect. Click below to listen to the band talk about playing a sold-out show the night before, their writing process, and everything in between.

You can listen to more Monk Tamony at

Feature Photo by (Monk Tamony/Facebook)

Ethan Parker Interview

Singer/Songwriter Ethan Parker stopped by WGMU’s studio to talk about his latest album, “Sailing to Beverly” with Music Director Christian Hernandez. We were also treated to an electrifying performance of his songs “Deep Blue Sea,” “Roll,” and “Sailing to Beverly.” Click below for the full interview and performance.

You can listen to more of Ethan’s music here

Feature Photo By (Ethan Parker/Facebook).