All posts by Your Culture Vulture

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Mercury Uprising

With the announcement of the 2020 Mercury Awards came the typical debates over which albums got snubbed. But one notable record, Rina Sawayama’s incredible debut SAWAYAMA, was omitted for a particularly strange reason.

According to the Mercury Awards rules: “Artists must be of British or Irish nationality. Artists are of British or Irish nationality if they hold a passport for either the United Kingdom or Ireland and/or a birth certificate from the United Kingdom or Ireland (‘British’ or ‘Irish’ respectively).”

Sawayama, who has lived in the UK for 25 years since moving from Japan, maintains immigration status, or indefinite leave to remain (ILR). Due to this minor stipulation, Sawayama’s incredibly unique record isn’t eligible for the prize awarded to the top album in British music each year.

It’s worth noting that Elton John called SAWAYAMA the “strongest album of the year by far.” Hey Brits, maybe you should fix this rule and appease myself, Elton and the rest of the Pixels with a Merucry nom!

The Comet Is Coming: NPR Music Tiny Desk Concert

Let’s face it: these are strange and chaotic times that we’re living in. I don’t know about you but I’ve been finding comfort in loud, wild and energetic music, much to the dismay of my neighbors and eardrums.

That’s exactly why this NPR Tiny Desk show from jazz-funk greats The Comet Is Coming has been hitting all the right chords recently. Featuring Shabaka Hutchings, one of the most talented saxophonists in the world, this blast of sound is sure to get you going and offer strength throughout the day.

Get lost in the psychedelic grooves, intricate drum patterns and mind blowing sax that can only come from this cosmic trio. This is one of my favorite Tiny Desk Concerts ever, which is definitely saying something!

It’s the WOLF GANG 

On February 16th, 2011, America got it’s first official bombardment of Odd Future Wolf Gang Kill Them All, and like the Drake album, nothing was the same. To this day, it’s one of the most electrifying TV performances I’ve ever seen.

I distinctly remember my first time hearing “Sandwiches,” the hypnotic and anarchistic anthem from Tyler the Creator and his ragtag crew of misfits and rappers. I was in the height of my teenage rebellion, and stumbling through the internet for music that met my feelings, caught my attention, and could help me find my way.

I found Tyler the Creator’s Bastard on the indie music site Stereogum and heard something unforgettable. I heard unapologetic, brash, rough-around-the-edges rap music, penned by a musician who not only went against the grain of the norm, broke any and all barriers and boundaries in his way.

The songs “Sandwiches,” “Radical,” “Orange Juice,” “VCR,” and so many more are carved into my mind, as were the letters OFWGKTA into my desks at school. I was ready to break barriers and smash through walls of my own, and Tyler was the soundtrack of the movement. 

I owe apologies to my parents for blasting these songs at unreasonable volumes at unprecedented hours. I also owe a huge debt of gratitude to Tyler the Creator and the members of Odd Future for showing me that I can be different, I can be angry, and I can be accepted. Because at the end of the day, what’s life without a little rebellion.

The Strokes: 5 Guys Talking About Things They Know Nothing About

The Strokes may be one of the greatest indie rock bands of all time, but their stage banter is infamously horrendous. I’ve been to at least 5 Strokes shows and at each show, without fail, lead singer Julian Casablancas finds a subject to ramble incoherently about while the rest of the band waits patiently to kick off “Last Night,” “Heart in a Cage,” or any other outrageously good slice of New York rock and roll cheese. 

 That’s why on paper, a Youtube series featuring the band members sans instruments, plus microphones, sounds like a slow motion trainwreck. But there is almost nothing better on the internet than Casablancas, Albert Hammond Jr, and Co. 

Roll the Jewels

The rap tag team champions of the world, Run the Jewels, have four classic albums, countless bangers, and now, a strain of weed of their own. 

It’s called “Ooh, LaLa” and if it’s anything like their music, it hits hard and can fight fascism. 

The strain is being released by popular rap-weed producer COOKIES, and it’ll be released soon.

Play It Louder for the People in the Back

Self care comes in many different forms. It can be a bubble bath, or a meditation session, or picking up the guitar and strumming that thing hard.

When it comes to mental health, turns out one of the best things you can do is pick up guitar and play sad indie songs in your bedroom. 

A new study says that playing an instrument boosts mental health by 89%, especially in feelings of purpose and happiness.

Read more about the study here

Lolla2020: The Show Goes On, Kinda

The sunsets on Grant Park, or the sounds of Tame Impala, rolling across the Indio Polo Grounds of Coachella have nothing on the experience of a digital festival.

Music festivals no longer take place on sprawling fields or tucked away in the Woods of Eau Claire- they take place on your couch next to your Goldendoodle and a plate of Totino’s Pizza Rolls. 

Lollapalooza 2020 is the latest digital festival, and it kicks off this Thursday.

The festival will feature 150+ acts, including full performances from past performers, including Paul McCartney, Metallica, The Cure, OutKast, LCD Soundsystem, Arcade Fire, Lorde, Yeah Yeah Yeahs, Tyler the Creator, Run the Jewels, ASAP Rocky, Chance the Rapper, Tenacious D, Cypress Hill, Jane’s Addiction, Alabama Shakes, Tove Lo, Portugal. the Man, Kehlani, LL Cool J, Princess Nokia, Polo G, and many more.

It’ll also feature the first performance by punk rock pioneers Porno For Pyros in 26 years, as well as appearances by Michelle Obama and a tribute to David Bowie with pianist Mike Garson.

Stay tuned for all of our coverage of the festival, and we’ll see you in the cyber pits!

We Ain’t Never Gettin’ Older

Baby, don’t pull me closer, because the CDC and Dr. Anthony Fauci recommends a social-distancing protocol of at least 6 feet apart.

As it turns out, the only thing more dangerous than being a chainsmoker, is attending a Chainsmokers concert during a pandemic.

For the intensely reasonable price of $25,000, socialites in the Hamptons were able to hear songs their favorite songs from the radio station! Price of admission included as much overpriced liquor as fans can guzzle, a light show, and a whole bunch of Covid. 

The idea of the concert was ridiculous, and the execution definitely left a lot to be desired.

Online meme generators, FuckJerry, threw a party to coincide with their new tequila brand release. Like I said, the very concept of this show was ridiculous from the jump. Add on the fact that radio-ready DJs, The Chainsmokers, were booked to perform. Allegedly the attendees were expected to socially distance themselves, but footage and photos reveal a little less than 6′ distance between fans.

There is very little about this concert that is cool, or a good idea. But at least a bunch of white people got to spend too much money to potentially catch Covid. Oh wait, that’s the antithesis of cool, because it’s going to keep us all from attending real concerts for longer.

Pray for the Biz 

Biz Markie, an essential thread in the COOGI sweater of OG hip hop, has been hospitalized for the past 2 weeks due to complications with Diabetes.

The “Just a Friend” rapper has been battling Type II Diabetes for years, and in a 2014 interview shares the severity of his disease, “[Doctors] said I could lose my feet. They said I could lose body parts. A lot of things could happen.”

Markie’s family says that he is being cared for and they expect a positive result from his treatments. 

We here at YCV believe that we should take time to enjoy the music we love, the people we care for, and the short time that we’re alive.

Too often, life passes us by- pushing, kicking, speeding by as it does. We experience almost everything in this existence- passion, pain, love, joy, heartbreak, and euphoria. We don’t appreciate the ones that we have till they’re gone and we rarely tell our friends and family we love them enough. 

So, on this Monday morning, we extend our thoughts to the Biz, and think about life a bit. Before we go about the rest of our days, let’s all sing together:

“You, you got what I need
But you say he’s just a friend
And you say he’s just a friend, oh baby
You got what I need
But you say he’s just a friend
But you say he’s just a friend, oh baby
You got what I need
But you say he’s just a friend
But you say he’s just a friend”