Entries Tagged as 'Culture on the Hill'

STAFF PICKS: OUR FAVORITE ALBUMS OF 2018

1.02.2019

Addendum

John Maus

John Maus’ 2017 album Screen Memories left fans wanting more and Addendum is the answer to that request. While the tracks are more out there, we still get Maus’ obscure lyrics sung by his signature baritone vocals paired with catchy bass lines and percussion. -Karsan Turner

 

Black Panther The Album

Kendrick Lamar, Various Artists

A daring and diverse sound to accompany an equally groundbreaking film. Its hardcore. It’s a banger. It’s still going strong now since coming out in February. -Georgia Hickam

Dalmation

Chris Price

Dalmatian contains excellently written material that balances 10cc’s oftentimes tongue-in-cheek pop with refined, intimate pop ballads. “Breakfast Cruise,” “The Dream Is Over (But We’re Just Waking Up),” and “Discount Love” illustrate Price’s improved instrumental creativity since the release of Stop Talking. Price continues to exhibit a tremendous talent for composing and constructing memorable pop. -Logan Gossett

 

Everything is Love

The Carters

Beyoncé and Jay-Z really make you think while also focusing on their ever so clear message that yes, they are still married, and stronger than ever. In this well rounded album the duo takes over the colonial world—the Louvre is their palace, the Mona Lisa their bitch—and they prove that their legacy will remain for generations. Never have I felt so empowered and humbled before listening to this album. -Emma Creighton

 

Let’s Go Wild!

Kurt Baker Combo

Riffy as heaven and hell, Let’s Go Wild! features an even garage-yer sound than In Orbit and more consistency as well. The guitars here implode with energy on each track, with the exception of “Yesterday Today” — a surprisingly pretty pastiche of the less guitar-laden power pop. -Logan Gossett

 

Now Only

Mount Eerie

On this follow-up to the devastating and deeply personal A Crow Looked At Me, Phil Elverum reveals more about how he is processing the death of his wife, taking a wider lens and looking back on their life together and his future without her. I’ve only listened to each of these albums once because of how emotional and impactful they are, but I can’t recommend them enough. -Justin Hermstedt

 

ONEPOINTFIVE
Aminé

Aminé keeps it casual and breezy on this mini album/mixtape/whatever you want to call it. His charisma shines through as he completes this victory lap reflecting on his breakout year. From roasting Fashion Nova to shouting out Bjork, he shows us why he’s “the best in the groupchat.” -Justin Hermstedt

 

Vibras

J Balvin

This album was a testament to the true American melting pot identity. J Balvin’s Spanish lyrics set to reggaeton beats are so recognizable that when “Mi Gente” comes on even the white kids in Lawrence can say, “Oh yeah I’ve heard this.” -Emma Creighton

 

Virtue

The Voidz

The best Strokes related music released since Julian Casablancas’ 2014 album Tyranny. This time, Virtue brings a variety of pop, punk, synth-heavy and relaxing tracks making it a great album for any mood you’re in (especially if you’re a fan of the Strokes). -Karsan Turner

 

Playlist: The Spookiest Halloween Playlist of All Time!

10.27.2018

Not every hero wears capes, but every hero listens to spooky music during Halloween!
Graphic by Karsan Turner

Here at Style on the Hill, we’re always looking for new fashion trends, and there’s no better time to spot new trends than during Halloween. Look out your window and you’ll see a runway of the spookiest, scariest, and trendiest outfits of the year. While you’re spectating – or participating in – this Halloween’s costume runway, cue up our spooky Halloween playlist. For those of you looking to enjoy Halloween treats on a diet, our playlist is packed with over two hours of music that is guaranteed to scare the candy right out of you!

Enjoy your Halloween, boils and ghouls!

 

Trevor Noah Offered Fun Food For Thought at the Lied Center

10.01.2018

By Sydney Sheldon

While a small segment of the audience at Trevor Noah’s Lied Center show on Sept. 22 might not have known what they were walking into, for the most part, Noah gave a performance that was an ease for the audience of just under 2,000 to connect with while also providing a new way to understand some of the difficult social issues in the U.S. today.

Noah started his set by talking about his day in Lawrence and what he had learned about the University of Kansas. He spoke of the hilarity of four barber shops in a row but not one of them cutting black hair. Noah said he likes to do a little research about each place he visits, and upon researching Lawrence and KU he discovered that the university had a major role in the invention of basketball.

“Imagine trying to invent a sport,” Noah said. “Having to come up with all the rules and deciding what kind of equipment to use.” He spoke about his first time at a basketball game where he didn’t realize how many times in one game a team could score.

“They made their first basket and I was like ‘GOAAALLLLLLLLL’ little did I know, five seconds later there would be another, and another, and another. It is exhausting being a basketball fan.”

While talking about sports Noah seamlessly wove the topic of kneeling during the national anthem into the set. “If you’re going to kneel at any event [the anti-kneelers] would prefer you do it at an unpopular sport like rowing.”

This moved the set on to the inevitable Trump jokes and commentary. Noah spoke about his conflicting feelings towards the president, because on the one hand, he wakes up every day and is scared for his life, but on the other, he knows that Trump will somehow make him laugh at least once a day.

Noah left the audience with his observation that white people love boats, the idea of patriarchy as a hotline a man can call upon any time he feels, and the advice from his mother that when you experience racism all you have to do is “shake it up with the love of Jesus and throw it back at them.”

The Mystery of Poppy

3.03.2018

Words and photos by Georgia Hickam

“I’m Poppy,” says Poppy. In one of her hundreds of videos on YouTube with 235 million total views, Poppy repeats those two words in childlike monotone for 10 minutes. Poppy and her art and video director, Titanic Sinclair, performed at the Granada as part of her Poppy.Computer tour on Sunday night. She invited all her “Poppy Seeds” to join her in her pastel parallel universe.

The stage screens read “initiating” as Titanic Sinclair, wearing a pink jumpsuit, drank from a pitcher of Kool-Aid and passed around more of the pink liquid to the audience. Though she claims to not be the leader of a cult, Poppy encouraged her followers to prove their love for her by literally “drinking the Kool-aid”, chanting her songs, and endorsing products she claims are her favorite, like Doritos and Monster Energy Drinks.
Wearing her signature long platinum blonde hair and dressed in a tutu and purple dress, Poppy sang songs about falling in love with a computer (Computer Boy), saying “hello” and “goodbye” online (Moshi Moshi), about losing her microphone (Microphone), and making a video (Let’s Make a Video).
Poppy’s songs are intentionally repetitive, simplistic, and empty, and I have become shamefully obsessed with the purest form of bubblegum pop imaginable.
Titanic Sinclair and Poppy’s mission seems to be satirical performance art commenting on how easy it is to become famous in a digital age. They openly mock and copy the things celebrities do to become famous, and Poppy is succeeding in becoming famous for it.
Who is Poppy? Is she real? Is she a robot? Poppy is mysterious. Poppy is abstract. Poppy is and isn’t. All I know is I am fascinated by someone I know nothing about, who might not even exist at all.

The Odd Charm of the Kansas City Renaissance Festival

12.05.2017

Words and photos by Caleb Hundelt

In the wooded depths of Bonner Springs, Kansas, hordes of costumed individuals quietly convene once a year to join in an uncanny gathering. People dance and twirl around maypoles in a pagan fashion, women entrance and seduce in garb that glitters and jingles with each sway of their hips, and shouting, bloodthirsty crowds hold violent fights to the death.

Yet this is no new-age hedonistic cult that follows in the footsteps of Roman gladiatorial spectacles: this is the annual Kansas City Renaissance Festival, open September through October to elders and infants alike. Despite its focus on fashions and trends of centuries past, the Festival stands as a socially progressive symbol of Kansas City, creating a place in which artists of peculiar skills and trades can go to throw inhibition to the wind, celebrate their craft, and be celebrated.

There is undoubtedly a period of cultural adjustment that one must undergo to fully enjoy the Renaissance Festival. Upon stepping onto the festival grounds, a wild assortment of sights, sounds, and smells bombards the senses. One can easily become disoriented. The attendees’s costumes range from Tyrion Lannister to Tinkerbell, musical acts range from professional harpists to part-time pirate shanty-ers, and food ranges from charred mutton legs to cheesecake-on-a-stick. Due to the festival’s countless anachronisms, “Renaissance” is a bit of a misnomer; however, this is no reason to view the happenings of the Festival as overtly low-brow or uncultured. Once a moment is taken to accept the Renaissance Festival for the pastiche of eclectic pleasures that it is, then one can begin to recognize the devotion and artistry of those for whom the festival is a way of life.

Take the case of Ginger, for example. On a small sign outside of her artisan stand, “The Bard’s Musik Shoppe,” we learn that Ginger has a degree in acoustical engineering, but rather than apply her unique skills in a traditional career, she chose instead to make wooden folk instruments. The precision and commitment Ginger works with is evident in each glossy golden flute or whistle, but it’s especially present in her saxophones. Ginger plays a few notes with one of her entirely wood-crafted versions of the usually brass instrument, and there is no denying the richness and quality of its sound. She creates irreplaceable art.

This art exists because Ginger and every artist at the Renaissance Festival possess a special trait: they love what they do, and they do it well. In the festival’s choreographed keynote performance, a royal joust between two knights turns into a deadly sword fight. When watching the joust, the initial instinct to laugh is quickly overtaken by total respect for the performers. These men have practiced extensively on horseback and on foot to make every thrust and stab appear realistic. They represent extreme dedication to one’s work, and the crowd joyously recognizes this fact. People playfully respond to the calls for support from the knights, rooting for their favored fighter and jeering at his rival. Any sense of awkward reserve is disregarded; both attendee and artist alike want only to revel in the special and strange glory of the festivities.

But the beauty of the Renaissance Festival is that only an outside perspective would view such events as strange. The citizens of the Kansas City Metro for whom it is beloved know the festival to be nothing more than a gathering of people expressing themselves in a way that is pure, unfiltered, and unapologetically authentic.      

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