Celebrate St. Paddy's day indoors with some Jameson and these great artists.
The parades may not be happening, but not all is lost.
Ireland's treasures extend much further than a yearly parade, infinite green fields, and a superior pint of Guinness. The Emerald Isle has bred an impressive amount of talent in the realms of poetry, acting, sport, and, of course, music.
For an island that occupies such little space on the planet, it has had an immeasurable impact on culture. Enya, a musician born in Gweedore, a district in Donegal with a population of 4,500, went on to sell 75 million records, win four Grammys, and earn a nomination for an Academy Award and a Golden Globe. U2, Van Morrison, and Sinead O'Connor, whose legend-status speaks for itself, are just a few other iconic Irish musicians.
In more recent years, acts such as Kodaline, Hozier, and Dermot Kennedy have all been added to the list of Irish success stories, as they tour worldwide and even appear on Ellen.
For this years Paddy's day, we've compiled a list of five exciting Irish artists for you to check out while you're avoiding crowds and staying safe at home:
This indie-punk band is truly on the rise, making it on both Coachella's and Glastonbury's line-up this year (before the former was canceled) after the release of their debut album, Dogrel, last April. Thanks to that record, they went from being a significant part of Ireland's underground scene to one of the most exciting indie acts out there. Influenced by an interesting blend of Irish trad music, poetry, and punk, the band creates a romantic depiction of Dublin, with their purposefully rough production and brogue singing. They also recently released a documentary about their journey so far.
The rap group Hare Squead have been described as a blend of "hip-hop, soul and pop in a way that feels both soothing and full of energy." Their EP, Supernormal, was released in 2016, which led to a collaboration with Goldlink on a remix of their hit "Herside Story." That song, in particular, garnered a significant amount of success outside the local scene.
Since then, the group's had some internal issues, resulting in the trio going from three members to two and taking an 18-month absence from the spotlight. But members Tony and Lilo continued to make music, releasing their single "100 Miles" in 2019, and they're due to release more this year.
Marcus is an indie-pop singer-songwriter and the freshest on this list, having only released his debut single last month. However, most artists don't arrive with such a strong debut. The song's poetic lyricism shows Marcus' exceptional songwriting ability, and the unique production and cinematic video demonstrate his artistic potential, confirming he's definitely one to watch.
Biig Piig, an Irish singer-songwriter whose career started with her drunkenly freestyling at a party in 2015, blends the sounds of jazz, lofi hip hop, and neo-soul. Her two EPs, Big Fan of the Sesh, Vol 1, and A World Without Snooze, Vol 2, are packed with youthful themes such as friendship, romance, and work. She spent her childhood between Spain and Ireland before ending up in London, and she brings her multicultural background to her music by gently transitioning between English and Spanish in her songs.
Kojaque is an Irish rapper who has slowly been building a following since 2015. His first album, Deli Daydreams, highlights the artist's story-telling ability, with each track portraying the life of an average Deli worker, their contemplations on love, the mundanity of working life in Dublin, and a story about escapism. Last year, he was named one of 100 artists to watch by NME, who praised how he "weaves social realist tales that pull no punches, yet his delivery is caramel smooth."
In 2015, Kojaque started a record label with singer-songwriter Kean Kavanagh called Soft Boy Records , which has grown to include a full roster of Irish talent, including fellow rapper Luka Palm.
These artists are just a small representation of the vast musical talent coming from Ireland. But the diversity within this list alone suggests that, as Irish music continues to influence and be influenced by global trends, talent in all genres will continue to appear, with each artist possessing a quirk that wouldn't be the same without their secret ingredient: Irishness.
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Let's take a look at Nazi-inspired fashion.
Villains always have the best outfits.
From Darth Vader's polished black space armor to The Joker's snazzy purple suit, bad guys always seem to show up their protagonists in the fashion department.
Way more handsome than Batman. static.giantbomb.com
But could there possibly be a real world equivalent to the type of over-the-top villain fashion often found in fiction? It would have to be sleek and imposing, austere and dangerous. Probably black.
Maybe it's him. Maybe it's fascist ideology.
Let's call a spade a spade. From an aesthetic standpoint, the Nazi SS outfit is very well-designed. The long coat tied around the waist with a buckle portrays a slim, sturdy visage. The leather boots and matching cap look harsh and powerful. The emblem placements on the lapel naturally suggest rank and authority. And the red armband lends a splash of color to what would otherwise be a dark monotone. If the Nazi uniform wasn't so closely tied with the atrocities they committed during WWII, it wouldn't seem out of place at Fashion Week. Perhaps not too surprising, considering many of the uniforms were made by Hugo Boss.
Pictured: A real thing Hugo Boss did. i.imgur.com
Of course, today, Nazi uniform aesthetics are inseparable from the human suffering doled out by their wearers. In most circles of civilized society, that's more than enough reason to avoid the garb in any and all fashion choices. But for some, that taboo isn't a hindrance at all–if anything, it's an added benefit.
As a result, we have Nazi chic, a fashion trend centered around the SS uniform and related Nazi imagery.
History of Nazi Chic
For the most part, Nazi chic is not characterized by Nazi sympathy. Rather, Nazi chic tends to be associated with counterculture movements that view the use of its taboo imagery as a form of shock value, and ironically, anti-authoritarianism.
The movement came to prominence in the British punk scene during the mid-1970s, with bands like the Sex Pistols and Siouxsie and the Banshees displaying swastikas on their attire alongside other provocative imagery.
Very rotten, Johnny. i.redd.it
Around this time, a film genre known as Nazisploitation also came to prominence amongst underground movie buffs. A subgenre of exploitation and sexploitation films, Naziploitation movies skewed towards D-grade fare, characterized by graphic sex scenes, violence, and gore. Plots typically surrounded female prisoners in concentration camps, subject to the sexual whims of evil SS officers, who eventually escaped and got their revenge. However, the most famous Nazisploitation film, Ilsa, She Wolf of the SS, flipped the genders.
The dorm room poster that will ensure you never get laid. images-na.ssl-images-amazon.com
Ilsa was a female SS officer and the victims were men. She spent much of the movie wearing her Nazi uniform in various states, sexually abusing men all the while. As such, Ilsa played into dominatrix fantasies. The movie was a hit on the grindhouse circuit, inspiring multiple sequels and knock-offs and solidifying Nazi aesthetics as a part of the BDSM scene.
Since then, Nazi chic fashion has been employed by various artists, from Madonna to Marilyn Manson to Lady Gaga, and has shown up in all sorts of places from leather clubs to character designs in video games and anime.
Lady Gaga looking SS-uper. nyppagesix.files.wordpress.com
Nazi Chic in Asia
Nazi chic has taken on a life of its own in Asia. And unlike Western Nazi chic, which recognizes Nazism as taboo, Asian Nazi chic seems entirely detached from any underlying ideology.
A large part of this likely has to do with the way that Holocaust education differs across cultures. In the West, we learn about the Holocaust in the context of the Nazis committing horrific crimes against humanity that affected many of our own families. The Holocaust is presented as personal and closer to our current era than we might like to think. It is something we should "never forget." Whereas in Asia, where effects of the Holocaust weren't as prominent, it's simply another aspect of WWII which, in and of itself, was just another large war. In other words, Nazi regalia in Asia might be viewed as simply another historical military outfit, albeit a particularly stylish one.
In Japan, which was much more involved with WWII than any other Asian country, Nazi chic is usually (but not always) reserved for villainous representations.
OF COURSE. i.imgur.com
That being said, J-Pop groups like Keyakizaka46 have publicly worn Nazi chic too, and the phenomena isn't limited to Japan.
In South Korea, Indonesia, and Thailand, Nazi imagery has shown up in various elements of youth culture, completely void of any moral context. For instance, in Indonesia, a Hitler-themed fried chicken restaurant opened in 2013. And in Korea, K-Pop groups like BTS and Pritz have been called out for propagating Nazi chic fashion. Usually such incidents are followed by public apologies, but the lack of historical understanding makes everything ring hollow.
So the question then: is Nazi chic a bad thing?
The answer is not so black and white.
On one hand, seeing Nazi chic on the fashion scene may dredge up painful memories for Holocaust survivors and those whose family histories were tainted. In this light, wearing Nazi-inspired garb, regardless of intent, seems disrespectful and antagonistic. Worse than that, it doesn't even seem like a slight against authority so much as a dig at actual victims of genocide.
But on the other hand, considering the fact that even the youngest people who were alive during WWII are edging 80, "forgetting the Holocaust" is a distinct possibility for younger generations. In that regard, perhaps anything that draws attention to what happened, even if it's simply through the lens of "this outfit should be seen as offensive," might not be entirely bad. This, compounded by the fact that Nazi chic is not commonly associated with actual Nazi or nationalistic sentiments, might be enough to sway some people–not necessarily to wear, like, or even appreciate its aesthetics, but rather to understand its place within counterculture.
Ultimately, one's views on Nazi chic likely come down to their own personal taste and sensibilities. For some, Nazi chic is just a style, an aesthetic preference for something that happens to be mired in historical horror. For others, the shadow of atrocity simply hangs too strong.
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You'll be surprised by number 1.
The trope of the struggling musician exists for a reason; it's undoubtedly hard to make a living in music.
But once you hit the big time and can easily sell out arenas, the money starts rolling in. The 2010s were a transformative time for music and a lucrative time for these 10 musicians. Most of these statistics are from Forbes, who "measures the industry's top-earning musicians annually for the Celebrity 100 by looking at touring data from Pollstar, music consumption numbers from Nielsen and interviews with managers, agents and many of the stars themselves."
10. Lady Gaga ($500 Million)
Lady Gaga has had a lucrative decade. She released five albums: Born This Way, Artpop, Cheek to Cheek, Joanne and the A Star Is Born album. She also had a performance residency in Las Vegas that contributed to her hefty net-worth of $500 Million.
9. Katy Perry ($530 Million)
Katy Perry can mostly attribute her wealth to three successful world tours: California Dreams, Prismatic, and Witness, as well as her stint as a reality TV judge.
8. Paul McCartney ($535 Million)
Paul McCartney has amassed a huge fortune in his decades-long career, and the 2010s continued that trend, earning The Beatles superstar a cool $535 million thanks to his first number one album since 1982 and an ambitious touring schedule.
7. Jay-Z ($560 Million)
Jay-Z is the first musician in history to become a billionaire thanks to the various companies he's built. But in the 2010s he earned $560 Million more thanks to his tour with Beyoncé and other musical pursuits.
6. Elton John ($565 million)
Thanks to massive world tours and a Las Vegas residency, the "Bennie and the Jets" singer has raked in over $500 million since 2010.
5. Diddy ($605 million)
The singer formally known as Puff Daddy has Ciroc vodka to thank for his lucrative decade.
4. U2 ($675 million)
U2's 360 Tour earned nearly $800 million, making it the highest-earning tour of all time.
3. Beyoncé ($685 million)
Beyoncé had smash hit after smash hit this past decade, a platinum album, and multiple hugely successful tours and festival performances.
2. Taylor Swift ($825 million)
Taylor Swift has the enduring popularity of her music and her rigorous stadium-packing tour schedule to thank for the millions she's made since 2010.
1. Dr. Dre ($950 million)
Despite barely releasing music this decade, Dr. Dre tops our list thanks to Apple's $3 billion buyout of Beats by Dre, a company Dr. Dre had a 20% stake in.
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