Thanksgiving has always been about food.

We suffer through the awkward small talk and often anti-climactic football games for the sake of the meal that awaits us at the end of the day, and even then that "meal" is representative of ethnic cleansing and genocide. But there are a few other pros that lay outside of gorging yourself on mashed potatoes. The holiday always falls on a Thursday, which means you always have a four day weekend. Black Friday is also the following day, so despite whatever infuriating experiences you may have on Thanksgiving with your family, you can at least rest easy knowing you can go out and buy enough stuff to numb the pain.

These reasons alone are enough to warrant celebration. So while you clench your jaw through what is almost guaranteed to be a painfully long afternoon, why not curate some music to help elevate your mood and remind yourself that a four day weekend of relaxation awaits?

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Culture Feature

Meghan Markle And 10 Other Celebrities Open About Their Miscarriages

Miscarriages are deeply painful and personal. Some brave women have chosen to open up about their miscarriages in order to help others remember they're not alone.

Miscarriages are incredibly painful, personal events.

They're also shockingly common. Somewhere from 10 to 20% of pregnancies end in miscarriages, according to the Mayo Clinic, though the number may be much higher because many women don't realize they're pregnant.

Celebrities are not immune from reality. Some have eve chosen to share their stories in an effort to make other families feel less alone in their grief.

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Colbert, Fallon, and Kimmel to Host a COVID-19 Benefit That Could Be the Biggest in TV History

One World: Together at Home is likely to draw a huge global audience

Global Citizen

On Saturday, April 18th, Stephen Colbert, Jimmy Kimmel, and Jimmy Fallon will be joining late-night forces to host a global television event.

The event, entitled One World: Together at Home, will promote the international fight to end the COVID-19 pandemic and raise money for the World Health Organization. From 8-10PM EST, it will be broadcast live on the big three American TV networks—ABC, CBS, and NBC—as well as around the world and on a number of cable networks and streaming platforms.

Any TV event set to be broadcast on all three of those networks would automatically be a pretty big deal, but with a huge portion of the world currently under some form of shelter-in-place or stay-at-home order—and a lot of TV and movies being shut down or delayed—this event has the potential to draw in a truly historic number of viewers. Of course that depends on whether the organizers can put together the kind of entertainment that will convince people to put down Animal Crossing to tune in. With that in mind, let's take a look at the lineup as it currently stands.

Along with the hosts of The Late Show, The Tonight Show, and Jimmy Kimmel Live!, the event—which has been curated by Lady Gaga in cooperation with Global Citizen—will feature appearances from Alanis Morissette, Italian opera star Andrea Bocelli, Billie Eilish, Billie Joe Armstrong of Green Day, Nigerian singer Burna Boy, Chris Martin of Coldplay, David Beckham, Eddie Vedder of Pearl Jam, Elton John, Idris Elba, Colombian Singer J Balvin, John Legend, Kacey Musgraves, Keith Urban, Kerry Washington, Chinese pianist Lang Lang, Lizzo, Colombian Singer Maluma, Paul McCartney, Priyanka Chopra Jonas, Indian actor Shah Rukh Khan, Stevie Wonder and some of the muppets of Sesame Street.

In other words, there will be recognizable stars for just about any part of the world and any age group. While it might not reach the level of the World Cup final—which draws an audience of over 500 million—One World: Together at Home has the potential to far-surpass the viewing numbers of an event like the Oscars. With any luck, it will, because the money raised will go to the WHO's COVID-19 Solidarity Response Fund, which equips healthcare workers around the world and helps to provide food, shelter, and healthcare to people in need.

So tune in on Saturday at 8:00 PM, and donate if you can afford to. Because right now everyone could use the entertainment, and the whole world needs some help.

MUSIC

This Week, Lady Gaga Released the "Chromatica" Album Cover—and Raised $35 Million for COVID-19 Relief

Gaga's album has been delayed, but she's rolling out imagery that reminds us of the fashion that made her famous—and channeling all her time into raising money for coronavirus funds.

Lady Gaga has performed so many different roles over the past decade that it's easy to forget that in her early days, she was a fashion pioneer.

Gaga's wild outfits—from the iconic meat dress to the Haus of Gaga "Bad Romance" music video creations—earned her a front page spot on tabloids and helped launch her pop career.

She's just released the cover art for her new album, Chromatica, and it's as futuristic, complex, and opulent as anything we've seen from her before.

Gaga's album release has been delayed due to COVID-19, which she announced in another Instagram post:

That doesn't mean that the perpetually and often mind-blowingly active star has been taking a break, though. Tonight, she's speaking (virtually) at the World Health Organization's press conference to announce the next #TogetherAtHome virtual concert series, slotted for April 18, which will feature Paul McCartney, Lizzo, Billie Eilish, Stevie Wonder, Elton John, Alanis Morissette, Billie Joe Armstrong, Common, Kacey Musgraves, J Balvin, and of course, Lady Gaga herself.

The show will be co-hosted by Jimmy Kimmel, Jimmy Fallon, and Stephen Colbert.


In a recent briefing, Gaga announced that along with Global Citizen, she's raised $35 million in the last week for The Who's COVID-19 Solidarity Response Fund.


In the meantime, while we wait for Chromatica, we can rewatch the futuristic "Stupid Love" video and bask in the glory of Gaga's "kindness punks" dance cult.

Lady Gaga - Stupid Love (Official Music Video) www.youtube.com

Music Reviews

Halsey Fails to Find Herself On "Manic"

"Manic" features BTS' Suga, Alanis Morissette, Dominic Fike, and many different versions of Halsey.

Halsey's new album might be called Manic, but though its lyrics often reference the symptoms of mania in bipolar disorder—impulsivity, hyper-social behavior, and intense euphoria—it sounds calculated and weary, like someone taking stock in the midst of a comedown, looking over the scars and broken glass from last night's party.

But instead of hiding her wounds and fears away in plastic bags, Halsey sculpts her broken pieces into a work of art.

The themes on Manic aren't exactly unique. Halsey sings about lostness—a constant of the human experience—and her observations about self-loathing, betrayal, and hyper-visibility will feel particularly familiar to a generation raised on social media in an era when the self is perpetually monetized and fractured.

Halsey is uniquely talented at crystallizing her lack of a solid self into hit pop songs, which could soundtrack bars and nightclubs just as easily as your next sob session.

Sonically, the album is collage-like, studded with features, and overall a bit exhausting to listen to. It's at its best when it fades into silences or lets a few dreamy guitars wander through, but sometimes all the elements together become overbearing. That was probably Halsey's intent, though—to create a roller-coaster that emulates her roller-coaster life and mind.

Halsey borrows extensively from other artists and genres, and sonic references pop up like Instagram notifications. On "clementine," she sounds like she's imitating the sing-shouting style of Twenty One Pilots. "I don't need anyone," she screams. "I just need everyone and then some. I'm always having a breakthrough / or a breakdown." "Forever … (is a long time)" features whisper-singing reminiscent of Billie Eilish, and "Dominic's Interlude" sounds a bit like the Beach Boys. "3am" borrows an electric guitar tone and punk drum sound from emo songs of the early aughts, and the dark and claustrophobic "killing boys" evokes the tune of Matchbox Twenty's "Unwell." There are also excellent features from Alanis Morrissette and BTS's Suga. This abundance of tributes and guests isn't a flaw; if anything, it's a flex. Halsey is showing us that she can become anything or anyone.

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That makes her determination to strip back every element of persona even more admirable. In her introduction to the album, Halsey says, "There's an ancient saying that you have three faces. The first one, you broadcast to the world. The second, you show to those closest to you. And the last one, you never show to anyone."

For her, "The first one is Halsey. The second is Ashley. But there's a third that exists in the cracks between the two—the most carnal, uninhibited explicit flash of color and light hiding in the center of my chest. I'm Halsey. Ashley. And I'm offering you a glimpse of that third face."

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True to her word, these songs are windows into Halsey's secret self, the one that hides far below the skin, the one that's never palatable enough to show itself to others. The third-face we meet on Manic is full of self-doubt and self-loathing, constantly grappling with her desire to be loved and her lack of love for herself. She wants to be everything, but at the end of every wild night she feels like nothing, so she searches for fulfillment in everyone around her, dancing around the hole in her own chest. That's a sentiment that appears often; it's especially prominent on "I HATE EVERYBODY," which features zingers like, "If I can make you love me, maybe I can make me love me."

Even though she occasionally risks falling into the realm of triteness and cliche, Halsey often throws in a surprising metaphor or a fragment of weird poetry to knock the listener off-guard. "I'm feeling like a scaly thing / wrapped around my master," she says in "I HATE EVERYBODY," a vivid description of the visceral, physical shapes that suffering can take. A lot of Manic is about the internal world—blood under the skin, spiderwebs in the face—and these surreal details function like secret doors, letting you into abstract feelings, leading down strange passageways.

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Maybe that was always the point. The album is an excavation, and Halsey is figuratively tearing open her chest and offering her guts to the world.

In Warsan Shire's poem "The House," the narrator traces her traumas by visualizing her body as a home, full of trapdoors and basement rooms. "Mother says there are locked rooms inside all women," it begins. Later, Shire writes, "I point to my body and say Oh this old thing? No, I just slipped it on." Shire could be talking about the kind of slippery persona that Halsey is desperately trying to discard throughout Manic.

But as it turns out, the more readily you discard your defense mechanisms, the closer you are to those basement rooms. The closing song "929" marks the climax of this search, as it's almost painfully confessional.

But it's also honest about the limits of confession. At the beginning of "929," Halsey tells us that she was born at 9:29 AM on 9/29. At the very end, she mumbles, "I was really born at 9:26. I saw my birth certificate. I'm a liar. I'm a f*cking liar."

So much of Manic revolves around Halsey's desire to find herself in others and to pour herself completely into her art. But what if you can't dissolve yourself in someone else's arms or on the page, no matter how much you search for release?

By the end of the album, Halsey seems to be realizing that the person she really is might actually be a million different people at once. She's a million fragments of glass, as scattered as the stars. Fortunately, she knows how to paint constellations onto the darkness.

Jagged Little Pill, a new Broadway musical, is an inconsistent but ultimately triumphant reimagining of Alanis Morrissette's iconic 2019 album of the same name.

Show-writer Diablo Cody spun Morrissette's contradictory and conflicted odes to youthful angst into the story of the Healys, a picture-perfect Connecticut-dwelling family who—of course—have a few secrets. There's Mary Jane, an overachieving mom who finds herself in the midst of an opioid addiction; Steve, the father, a typically overworked lawyer; Nick, the beloved prodigal son who gets into Harvard but (shockingly) feels unfulfilled, and Frankie, the adopted youngest child, a budding activist struggling with being adopted and one of the few people of color in a mostly white and very wealthy town. Wealth hangs over the musical in a form that is never really addressed, but then again, Jagged Little Pill fundamentally bites off more than it could reasonably chew.

“Head Over Feet" Official Music Video | Jagged Little Pill www.youtube.com

As a character-driven musical, Jagged Little Pill shines and falters in this department. The three best-crafted characters in the show are Frankie, Mary Jane, and Frankie's best friend (with benefits), Jo, who struggles with her gender presentation (and her Christian mother's resistance to it) throughout the show. In a show so totally packed with disparate plotlines, the characters aren't always given the chance to fully grow into their personalities, and Jo's storyline could easily have been expanded. (Still, Lauren Patten's breathless rendition of "You Oughta Know" does make up for everything, despite being cut short by a dramatic revelation).

The show's overwhelming, kaleidoscopic nature may be be intentional. The musical was meant to be a maximalist work, one that reflects Morrissette's jam-packed songs by exploring tons of different social issues and the ways they intersect and bleed into each other. The show manages to tackle gun violence, sexuality, race and colorblindness, bullying, and—very prominently—#MeToo. Often the characters erupt into protests, holding signs that resemble those you might see at the next Women's March. For a show that tackles so many sensitive issues, Jagged Little Pill avoids the cringe-factor admirably, mostly focusing on the way the issues manifest themselves in characters' lives instead of excessively preaching.

Seeing the Present From the Future: "Jagged Little Pill" As a 2010s Time Capsule

Heading into 2020, it's intriguing to imagine how people might look back on this decade. Jagged Little Pill offers a window into what 2010s period pieces might look like: portraits of a time fraught with identity politics and addiction, whene the climate crisis and inequality loom large and yet at the same time, differing identities like queerness are becoming more and more accepted, and women's voices are finally being heard (in certain contexts) regarding assault and rape.

Despite the uniqueness of this time period, we're all still human, and the burning angst of Morrissette's songs meshes well with the chaos of the show's contemporary setting. The musical does an admirable job of threading Morrissette's slippery, elusive, cathartic songs into its narrative. Lyrically, Jagged Little Pill-era Morrissette works in contrasts and knots, and though the show's characters can feel underwritten at times, they're given permission to dive deep into their emotions and traumas through the music. Dance also features heavily; a battalion of athletic dancers often serve as physical manifestations of the same uncontrollable emotions that the music tries to express when the characters cannot.

Jagged Little Pill is at its best when it proves what we all know: that the people around us must be going through internal storms while smiling on the outside. Though unlike teen-angst-musical forefathers like Spring Awakening and Bare, it refrains from diving too deep into darkness, focusing instead on growing pains.

In the end, despite its roots in the present, this is the ageless story of an estranged mother and daughter. For Mary Jane, her arc is about letting go of her need to keep up appearances and addressing the pain and need for love that live under the ice sheath of perfectionism that cloaks her WASPy heart. For Frankie, it's about learning that she deserves to be seen for who she is—and that her race and her beliefs and her body shouldn't be swept aside. In the end, it's a tale of a mother and daughter both discovering themselves, setting themselves free in the present by confronting demons of the past. Their voices, like the best declarations of rage and hope, ring out a long time after the curtain closes.

Our Journey, Our Story | “You Learn" | Jagged Little Pill www.youtube.com