If there's one thing that could be said of our modern era, it's that nothing exists in isolation.

One could even say that nothing goes in just one direction anymore—instead, things are moving in multiple directions, operating in loops, often meeting at crossroads. For a long time, at least in the music industry, things appeared to be stratified, separated by genre, linear visions, and arbitrary categories. Rock artists toured with rock artists; indie stars opened for indie stars. Patrician music lovers looked down on pop-lovers, and pop-lovers bullied indieheads. Success could be purchased with a record deal and marked by a position on a top chart. Gender was divided between a man and a woman. Feminism was disconnected from race and class.

Times are changing. Pop, like fashion, has become fluid and multidimensional. Elton John can collaborate with Young Thug. Lady Gaga can ricochet from electronica to folk and back. Harry Styles has become a bisexual icon and a truly great songwriter, capable of drawing from multiple genres to create nuanced and political pop music.

And now he's going on tour with Jenny Lewis, Koffee, and King Princess. They'll all be opening for him on different stops on his 2020 "Love on Tour" tour, which will begin in April.


A little background: Jenny Lewis is an iconic songwriter who fronted the band Rilo Kiley before creating a body of intensely powerful solo work. Koffee is a singer-songwriter, rapper, and musician from Jamaica who's generated a huge amount of buzz in a short time by putting a fresh and experimental spin on reggae. King Princess is a dream pop star who may or may not be capitalizing on queer aesthetics but still embodies an inspiringly out and proud image.

Styles' choice of openers is brilliant because it brings together so many different devoted and passionate fan-bases. Queer fans will relish the chance to dance along to King Princess, while indie traditionalists and older millennials will come for Jenny Lewis, and Gen-Z fans of cutting-edge music will show up for Koffee. All these musicians are bound together by one common thread: Their music is really, really good. And isn't that what matters in the end?

Rilo Kiley - A Better Son/Daughter www.youtube.com


King Princess - 1950 www.youtube.com


Koffee - Toast (Official Video) www.youtube.com

Unfortunately, the existing tickets sold out with stunning speed and cost an exorbitant amount of money, sadly prohibiting many of Styles' fans from enjoying the experience. (Many of them feel scammed). If Styles were to truly embrace the ethos of his commitment to breaking down all genres and boundaries, he'd make his concerts free, but alas, one can only dream... Until then, let us keep listening to our descriptively titled crossover Spotify playlists (shoutout to "Creamy" and "Pollen"), saying "okay" to Boomers who insist that there are only two genders, checking Co-Star for evidence of discernible meaning, and praying for the day when everything and everyone will truly be free.

Harry Styles - Sign of the Times (Video) www.youtube.com

FILM

Is “Hamilton” Sexist?

The hit musical will drop on Disney+ July 3rd.

Lin Manuel-Miranda's Hamilton has taken the theater world by storm since its 2015 Broadway premiere.

A hip-hop musical about America's founding fathers doesn't sound immediately appealing, but Manuel-Miranda's brilliant song writing and diverse casting not only captured the attention of audiences, but proved that major change is possible within an art form as encumbered by traditions as musical theater.

Keep Reading Show less
Billboard

Louis Tomlinson, previously of One Direction fame, just released his new single "We Made It."

The pop star announced his debut solo album, entitled Walls and dropping January 31, 2020, the day before releasing the song. The music video follows a young couple through the formation of their relationship and the eventual hardships they face, as Tomlinson sort of just looks on and narrates like a creepy, British fairy godmother. It seems as if maybe Tomlinson could only be bothered to go to one day of filming, so they shot the video without him and then just inserted shots of him singing with his hands in his pockets in front of vaguely similar scenery.

But the video aside, it's a song so wholly unremarkable that every time you read the name you may find yourself singing the far superior "Love It If We Made It" by The 1975 in your head—even if you're still literally listening to Tomlinson's song. It offers a repetitive, almost NSYNC-like rhythm and rhyming scheme, with lyrics that a robot could have written in its spare time. Unfortunately, it seems Tomlinson has taken his love of early 2000's British rock and channeled it into the creation of tepid, noncommittal music that sounds like someone trying to imitate The Wombats trying to imitate The Arctic Monkeys. It's so many levels removed from the kind of edgy, punch-you-in-the-face, British rock it's desperately trying to be that it ends up sounding like nothing at all.

Louis Tomlinson - We Made It (Official Video) www.youtube.com