It's a great week for music...
With the holidays quickly approaching we've been hearing from music industry giant after music industry giant. November and December have been blessed with solid new releases from P!nk, to Jessie J, to Taylor Swift, and this week is especially a treat with a new live album out from 90's sensation Collective Soul. Along with Collective Soul, Pitbull just released a sexy new single "Jungle" in collaboration with Grammy nominees The Stereotypes and a handful of other amazing artists dropped new music and visuals including: Pierce, Kelsey Kerrigan, Ms Banks, Tiny Giant, Wild Child, Dana Buoy, Matt LeGrand, Dylan Schinder,and Given Names. Check them out here...
Play the hits you say? Ok. Collective Soul dropped their live album today. This was preceded by the leading single and one of their most popular songs "Shine" recorded live. The band recorded 160 shows over the course of two years and now release the best versions of their favorite songs via Suretone Records. You can purchase/stream/etc. here. If you haven't rocked out to this song at least once in a dive bar, you aren't truly living.
Listen to "Shine" here.
Best for: 10pm, karaoke.
Perfect if you like: well, Collective Soul of course.
Everyone knows Pitbull, undeclared king of the 305, but The Stereotypes are just getting a buzz even with their extensive list of accomplishments in the bizz. You may not initially know them, but they are the production and songwriting team behind a number of hits from artists like Danity Kane, Fifth Harmony, Iggy Azelea, and more. Most prominently at the moment is their recent collaboration with Bruno Mars on his album 24K Magic and especially on his hit "That's What I Like." This collab landed them three Grammy nominations this year. Their recent single with Pitbull is infectious. In short, it's a smooth R n B pop song. The music video is a bunch of fun people having a blast on a boat infused with some humor at the top and bottom of the video showing their acting chops off. This one is totally a banger and will make you feel like it's summer even in the dead of winter.
Watch "Jungle" here.
Best for: Dancing to at your corporate holiday party... hey, it's only once a year- cut loose.
Perfect if you like: Bruno Mars
Pierce | 2Scoops Carbomb Remix
If you're down for some serious trap, check out Pierce's remix for 2Scoops recent release "Carbomb." The song is extremely metallic. It gives you some serious futuristic vibes and even more serious adrenaline. Though the song is intense, moving, and jam packed, there are some amazing dynamic and vast moments. This is the perfect song to get s*** done too. Seriously.
Listen to "Carbomb" remix here.
Best for: Getting sh** done.
Perfect if you like: FelMax
This song is just what it says, the perfect song for driving around. The soft classic rock percussion adds to the light-hearted bounce of the song. The sweet, simply delivered vocals remind me of some of my favorite music from the early 2000s updated. Think Alanis Morissette meets Tennis with a 2017 twist.
Listen to "Driving Around" here.
Best for: Literally driving around.
Perfect if you like: Tennis
This fire hip-hop artist from the UK recently shared her song "Bangs" with Vevo in the form of a live performance. With the prominence of female rappers and hip-hop artists taking off it's amazing to see the spotlight on hip-hop queens like Ms Banks. Banks' presence is powerful, her delivery is percussive, and the song is totally a banger.
Watch her performance here.
Best for: When the late night train is way delayed.
Perfect if you like: Cardi B
Indie pop-rock duo Tiny Giant released a vibrant visual for "Thirsty" this week. Not only does it showcase their musical chops, but it also captures their quirky, assertive, and spunky attitudes. The song itself, a clever commentary on the modern day colloquialism for the word "thirsty" preaches, "I don't need a reason to feel like this."Not only is this song a total bop, it'll also have you saying, "lol true."
Watch "Thirsty" here.
Best for: Jamming with you s/o or casual fling
Perfect if you like: Courtney Barnett
Wild Child | "The One" (Live)
Wild Child is sweet, soulful, and delightfully simple. Their live performance of "The One" follows suit perfectly. Set at a campfire at a non-defined mountainous and serene location, the two serenade one another. Their harmonies are complimentary and the singularity of the song is refreshing in an industry dominated by heavy production.
Watch "The One" here.
Best for: Breakfast in bed on a Sunday
Perfect if you like: Ingrid Michaelson
Matt LeGrand | "What Christmas Means to Me"
Just infusing a little bit of Christmas cheer to release radar this week. Loving Matt LeGrand's poppy cover of the Stevie Wonder Christmas classic "What Christmas Means to Me." His vocals are lovely and it's everything you want from a Christmas song.
Watch "What Christmas Means To Me" here.
Best for: Getting in the Christmas mood
Perfect if you like: Michael Buble
Dylan Schnieder | "No Problem"
Interscope's newest signing and very first country signing Dylan Schnieder delivers a solid single with a sweet cross country pop sound. His voice is smooth, the song is catchy, and he's definitely one to watch.
Listen to "No Problem"
Best for: Driving late at night
Perfect if you like: Cole Swindell
This moody indie pop slow-jam is perfect for blasting throughout the winter.
Listen to "East To West"
Best for: Staying in and blasting with hot chocolate
Perfect if you like: Radiohead
POP⚡ DUST | Read More About Music…
Plus celebrities react to Nigerian protests.
Young people across Nigeria have been pouring into the streets for the last two weeks to protest police brutality, specifically the controversial special police force known as the Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS).
Tension came to a head on Tuesday when armed forces fired on protestors in Lagos, the biggest city in Nigeria, who were out past the state-mandated curfew. According to AP News, "Police also fired tear gas at one point, and smoke could be seen billowing from several areas in the city's center. Two private TV stations were forced off the air at least temporarily as their offices were burned."
Not all non-binary people prefer gender-neutral pronouns.
October 21, 2020 marks the third annual International Pronouns Day.
Created by an independent board and first observed in 2018, it's one of those small commemorative holidays that trends on Twitter in hopes of drawing attention to a pressing social issue, like International Women's Day (March 8th) or the ever so serious National Taco Day (October 4).
But Pronouns Day in particular "seeks to make respecting, sharing, and educating about personal pronouns commonplace." The organization's website further describes, "Referring to people by the pronouns they determine for themselves is basic to human dignity. Being referred to by the wrong pronouns particularly affects transgender and gender nonconforming people. Together, we can transform society to celebrate people's multiple, intersecting identities."
But in the words of nonbinary activist and Trevor Project's Head of Advocacy and Government Afairs, Sam Brenton, "Pronouns are hard." Never before have pronouns been scrutinized as closely as they are in 2019 for their power to (in)validate or accurately describe something as fluid as gender identity. In fact, it was only this year that the Merriam-Webster Dictionary expanded the definition of "they" "to refer to a single person whose gender identity is nonbinary" (thus codifying a long history in English language of using "they" to refer to a singular non-gendered entity).
‘Everyone has the responsibility to be respectful.’ — The @TrevorProject’s Sam Brinton is explaining why pronouns a… https://t.co/pMMO8KRvBR— NowThis (@NowThis)1571253180.0
But throwing an additional wrench in the works is the fact that not all non-binary people prefer gender-neutral pronouns.
Take me, for instance: Despite having female biology, I couldn't pass a lie detector test saying I'm a "woman." But my pragmatic, Puritan family is still endearingly confused by the idea of "liberal arts," let alone the notion of gender fluidity. And I'd rather share a communal language with them than do the emotional and mental labor of re-orienting their worldview for them. Plus, I have the privilege of passing as female without feeling too, too, terribly dysphoric (which non-binary people can definitely suffer from, despite not identifying as trans).
But enough about me, look at Queer Eye's beloved Jonathan Van Ness. While he's been outspoken about being genderqueer, gay, and HIV positive, he prefers he/him pronouns. "The older I get, the more I think that I'm nonbinary," Van Ness said. "I'm gender nonconforming. Like, some days I feel like a man, but then other days I feel like a woman." As he told Out magazine, he doesn't identify as a man, but he does prefer "he/him/his" pronouns. In his view, those pronouns don't detract from or contradict his non-binary identity, because gender is not about simple binaries between masculine and feminine identifiers. "Any opportunity I have to break down stereotypes of the binary, I am down for it, I'm here for it," he said. "I think that a lot of times gender is used to separate and divide. It's this social construct that I don't really feel like I fit into the way I used to."
On the other hand, last month non-binary singer Sam Smith announced that their preferred pronouns are "they/them." Smith posted to Instagram, "I've decided I am changing my pronouns to THEY/THEM ❤ after a lifetime of being at war with my gender I've decided to embrace myself for who I am, inside and out." People like Smith and Trevor Project's Sam Brenton simply feel more validated, seen, heard, and true to themselves with gender-neutral pronouns. Smith wrote, "I'm so excited and privileged to be surrounded by people that support me in this decision but I've been very nervous about announcing this because I care too much about what people think but f*ck it!"
Most importantly, as pretty much every non-binary person and activist is aware, changing cultural norms is hard. While LGBTQ+ activism is inspired and passionate and dedicated to expanding human rights to all gender identities, we all know that changing society's entire understanding of gender and pronoun usage is about slowly opening minds. As Smith wrote, "I understand there will be many mistakes and mis gendering but all I ask is you please please try. I hope you can see me like I see myself now. Thank you." Happy Pronouns Day to you/him/her/they/(f)aer/zim.