Jenny Lewis (Opening for Harry Styles) - Love On Tour - Atlanta, GA - 10/28/21 - State Farm Arena

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/

King Princess -

Koffee - Toast (Official Video)

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)


Stranger Things Season 3 Trailer: Eleven Fights Back

Instead of locking the monster out, it seems that Eleven trapped it in Hawkins.

In the latest trailer for the third season of Stranger Things, things seem to be more chaotic than ever in Hawkins.

The series seems to be continuing to do what it does best—taking nostalgic, neon-lit images of 1980s suburbia and throwing them under the threat of destruction from a mysterious, otherworldly force. The trailer, however, is almost excessively dramatic. A string-heavy score plays while warehouses and fairgrounds meet impending doom and our favorite gang of bicycle-riding misfits continue to fight the dark forces at work. Other highlights: Max's older brother seemingly gets possessed, Eleven is her typically badass self, Winona Ryder brandishes a knife, and swarms of helicopters hint at a potentially violent and certainly action-packed end.

Stranger Things returns July 4th.


Hear Ingrid Michaelson's New Stranger-Things Inspired Single, "Missing You"

Ingrid Michaelson has released the first track off of her 'Stranger Things'-inspired album, along with a Pac Man-themed lyric video.

Does Netflix's Stranger Things make you feel like you're wrapped in a blanket of sweet memories of the 1980s suburban youth you never had?

You're not alone—Ingrid Michaelson feels the same way, and she's written a whole album about it.

Today, Michaelson released the first track off of her Stranger Things-inspired LP, Stranger Songs. "Missing You" borrows muffled synth-driven arpeggiations from the show's theme music, and layers her crystal-clear vocal tones high above them.

Lyrically, the song—which is a reference to the character Nancy and her fraught love triangle with moody dreamboat Jonathan and popular, pure-hearted Steve—offers the kind of complex portrayal of romantic tension that Michaelson has always been an expert at painting in her music. "When he's kissing me I'm missing you," she sings. "I'm in his bed feeling like a stranger."

With its 80s-style beat and grainy bassline, "Missing You" is a euphoric and sugar-sweet song that could easily soundtrack a triumphant bike ride in a Stranger Things final scene, just after Eleven has returned to sweep Mike off his feet and save all of Hawkins.

Michaelson's music has received widespread critical success; two of her singles have gone platinum, and all seven of her albums were released on her own record label, Cabin 24. But after the release of her last album, she found herself seeking inspiration—and discovered it unexpectedly in Netflix's smash-hit show about parallel dimensions and glowing Christmas lights.

All in all, her music is a natural match for Stranger Things' softly lit nostalgia. "I've already made seven records, I have a lot to say. But I've said it so much from the brain and mind and soul of Ingrid Michaelson—I wanted to create something through a different lens," the musician stated. "There's something about Stranger Things that's really comforting, it brings me back to my childhood. It's the best kind of escapism and I find myself seeking that now more than ever. I took inspiration from the show and the characters and all these ideas started to come to me. Every song on the record includes a reference from the show, some more specific than others, but all of the themes are universal—these are feelings everyone has."

Regarding her love of the show, she told Entertainment Weekly, "I've always longed to re-live childhood memories. There's no word in the English language to describe what it is that I'm feeling. But it goes deeper than nostalgia — this desire to quite literally be able to go back in time and re-live those moments again because the memories are so wonderful and wrap you up with a warm feeling."

Stranger Things isn't the only beloved work of escapism that Michaelson will be lending her ear and lyrical sensibilities to in the near future. She has also written the score for a musical adaption of The Notebook, and the first performances will debut in Poughkeepsie, New York this July at Vassar College (the same place Lin-Manuel Miranda debuted his Hamilton Mixtape way back in 2013).

Ingrid Michaelson Reveals She's Working On 'The Notebook' Musical |

Both The Notebook and Stranger Things are portals into magical, dreamlike worlds of passion, nostalgia, and parallel dimensions. With her penchant for spinning reality into perfect rhymes and whimsical melodies, Michaelson seems like one of the best people around to turn both of them into song.

Eden Arielle Gordon is a writer and musician from New York. Follow her on Twitter @edenarielmusic.

POP⚡DUST |

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