With the Grammy Awards not too far in our recent history, I was originally going to prepare a blog that compares this year’s winners to last year’s and call it “urban appropriation,” since most of them had R&B and hip-hop wrapped-in-pop-music elements–where last year it was banjo music and a whiny Australian that took the prize. But then I realized that this was based on an article I just read where, in fact, most things in current pop culture have elements of “urban appropriation.” So instead, I would like to feature a few artists happening at the moment, and some that happened a minute ago but should be revisited.
1. Childish Gambino: Wow. Donald Glover, who you may know from the show ‘Community,’ is actually a very talented rapper. How the hell does he find the time? His music is very catchy and not offensive, yet edgy. As he explains in his songs, he was born a rich kid, so the ever-present struggles most rappers have to endure to earn millions, was not as tough for him, so his rap music has resulted in a crowd-pleasing,-okay for ears over the age of 13-type thing.
2. Guantanamo Baywatch: This band is all around kitschy (in a good way?) with it’s cute mix of terrorist prison camp and sexy 90’s primetime show references in its name, and then with their twangy, lo-fi, garage rock sound. A lot of their songs are just instrumentals, so something good to put on for background music.
3. Sky Ferreira: The very young, very talented, new age pop singer that grew up attending the same Thanksgiving feast as Michael Jackson (allegedly). She produces good pop music to give you a fix without the cheesy stigma of Miley Cyrus or Taylor Swift. Her song, “Everything Is Embarrassing,” was nominated Best Song of 2012 Culture Awards, but her latest released album, Night Time, My Time (2013), has great pop jams, as well.
4. Shimmering Stars: Great band to check out if you’re a fan of 50’s and 60’s pop-rock music. In other words, pretty light-hearted songs but with the sound of the crude recording equipment used back in the day. They only have two short albums out, so easy to give it a try.