Lollapalooza announces 2018 edition with The Weeknd, Bruno Mars, Vampire Weekend, ODESZA, more

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The Midwest’s premier music festival, Lollapalooza, returns to Chicago’s Grant Park August 2–5 with a newly announced lineup for the behemoth, 4-day affair. Topping the 2018 bill are The Weeknd, Bruno Mars, Jack White, Arctic Monkeys, Travis Scott, Logic, and ODESZA, and, most notably, Vampire Weekend — the band’s first live performance in four years.

Other high-profile acts include Tyler, The Creater, CHVRCHES, LL Cool J, Portugal. the Man, and Brit superstar Dua Lipa. The festival’s electronic and dance music bookings are just as thrilling, with a comprehensive roster of veteran and rising acts: Zedd, ExcisionDillon Francis, Galantis, Illenium, REZZ, Chromeo, Hippie Sabotage, Tycho, Zomboy, WhatSoNot, Malaa, Valentino Kahn, Petit Biscuit, Ghastly, Chris Lake, Herobust, and Space Jesus.

Lollapalooza also boasts an impressive undercard with Gucci Mane, Lil Pump, St. Vincent, and Aussie one-woman band Tash Sultana, who rarely tours the US.

With over a hundred names set to appear over the weekend, Lollapalooza truly has become an American institution with something to satiate everyone’s musical tastes. GA and VIP passes to Lollapalooza can be found here.

30 of The Best Songs About Friendship – Good, Bad, and With Benefits

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There’s nothing better than a good friend, someone that builds you up to be a better person and someone that you can trust. That being said, friendship can oftentimes be a pretty complicated thing. Some friends will lie, let you down, and gossip behind your back, while a good friend will help you get through

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Like The Stay Puft Man Before Him, Marshmello Just Keeps Getting Bigger

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Who knows how many centuries the fortune under the eastern slope of Mount Davidson went untapped before the Grosh brothers happened upon it. The Pennsylvanian preacher’s sons had become seasoned prospectors during the gold rush years of the mid-19th century, and that experience served them well in Nevada’s Virginia Range southeast of Reno, where in … More »

What are the larger implications of The Grammys steep ratings drop? [OP-ED]

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By most accounts, the Grammy Awards in 2018 was a big swing, and a big miss. The ceremony’s ratings plummeted by nearly 25% according to Nielsen Media, dropping from last year’s 32.9 million viewers down to 19.8 million for its most recent iteration. While the evening’s results have come under under considerable scrutiny following the event, Bruno Mars’ sweep of all the major categories isn’t the sole reason that The Grammys effectively tanked in what should have been a memorable year for the Recording Academy. We can examine the ceremony’s numerous blunders, but it is also worth noting that the ways we consume media, and the ways we relate to and access our artists in 2018 have changed drastically — and The Grammys need to figure out how to keep from regressing.

First, let’s start at the tip of the iceberg, examining an advertisement-bloated three and a half hour industry circle-jerk. In an age where on-demand content is at our fingertips 24 hours a day, slimming this thing down is going to be necessary for it’s survival. HQ Trivia posted record numbers of nearly 1.6 million players 90 minutes into the award ceremony. If that’s not a testament to how our attention spans are directed in 2018, perhaps nothing is.

A noticeable lack of the usual headline makers this year — including Taylor Swift, Kanye West, Ed Sheeran and Justin Bieber — also likely contributed to viewers’ even further numbed attention spans. But stuffy award shows across the board are suffering, and The Grammys aren’t immune. The Oscars, Golden Globes, and MTV Video Music Awards are all struggling with fluctuating viewership drop offs each year too, but the Recording Academy was uniquely poised this year to give some of the most important cultural figureheads of the moment the proper platforms and recognition they deserve in the divisive, tumultuous socio-political climate we’re currently a part of… and they fell flat on their face. 

Setting Jay Z and Kendrick‘s snubs aside (we’ll get back to those), how is it conceivably possible that “Despacito” did not win one of the three major awards it was nominated for? Simply put, the track is, for better or worse, one of the most consumed pieces of content in human history. Luis Fonsi and Daddy Yankee’s record-shattering collaboration head and shoulders outsold and out-streamed any remote competitors last year in 50 countries, amassing a whopping 4 billion YouTube views, an RIAA diamond certification, and snagged a record 16 weeks atop the Billboard charts. So, beyond the incontrovertible numbers, an objective look at “Despacito” begs the question, why didn’t it win any Grammys? Perhaps the Recording Academy isn’t ready to recognize Latin pop in the ceremony’s top three major award categories like the rest of us clearly did?

Carlos Santana’s “Smooth,” released in 1999 followed by Ricky Martin’s “Livin’ La Vida Loca” in 2000 were the last two comparable comparisons, and both are of course in English. Nearly two decades later, the average American music and television consumer has switched things up significantly; and while The Grammys is clearly slow to catch up to the times, we’ve long been ready for something different.

Back to Kendrick Lamar and Jay Z. It has been 20 years since there were no white males nominated for Album of the Year. In a year when the American people were gifted with two thoughtfully created concepts of black excellence and deeply personal storytelling, Bruno Mars’ 24K Magic wins Album of the Year, Record of the Year, and Song of the Year. It’s also worth noting that Mars’ album, for what it was, was terrific. That’s not in dispute. But was 24K Magic‘s quasi-Motown, mass appeal wedding reception fare worthy of drowning out two of the most impactful hip-hop albums in recent memory? No, definitely not. That simply doesn’t seem like the progress everyone wants to see.

Look at the Best New Artist category. Alessia Cara has been signed to Def Jam Records since 2014, SZA has been releasing music since 2012. Perhaps a designation like “breakthrough artists” would be more accurate. That fact that both of these immensely talented young women are just now being recognized comes off as painfully tone deaf. Is the Recording Academy voting innocuously — most likely. But the 2018 awards ceremony highlighted the fact that the Grammy Awards are unfortunately stuck way behind the times, and the effects undoubtedly showed.

Last year, Chance The Rapper challenged the status quo earning a grip of Gramophones for an album that technically didn’t sell a single unit. Now that’s progress. He changed the game — and viewership reflected it with the ceremony raking in it’s highest numbers in half a decade. We’re going to need more than Hillary Clinton reading a snippet of Fire and Fury next year; the audiences, consumers, and fans deserve it. If The Grammys want to continue to claim to be music’s real cultural barometer, make it for the people, not additional vanity for the music industry. Consider and recognize the music that truly deserves it most, represent social progress where possible, and try stepping out of the comfort zone — at the end of the day, that’s what really moves people.

Fleet Foxes’ Robin Pecknold Calls Bruno Mars “Toys R Us Gap Band”

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Beardy folk men are apparently not big Bruno Mars fans. Earlier today, Justin Vernon of Bon Iver responded to Mars’ surprising Album Of The Year win at last night’s Grammys by tweeting, “Absolutely NO offense to Mr Mars, but you absolutely have to be shitting me.” And now, as Pitchfork reports, … More »

Grammys 2018: Performances From Worst To Best

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Before this year’s Grammys, news broke that Lorde would not be performing at the ceremony, since the producers wouldn’t let her sing one of her own songs — an invitation extended to all four other Album Of The Year nominees, all of whom were men. So in looking at this year’s performances, of which … More »

Justin Vernon On Bruno Mars’ Grammy Win: “You Absolutely Have To Be Shitting Me”

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In 2012, four years after their debut album had come out, Bon Iver won the Grammy for Best New Artist. But Bon Iver frontman Justin Vernon had a conflicted relationship with the show even then. Bon Iver declined to perform on that years show, with Vernon saying, “We wanted to play our music, but … More »

Grammys 2018: Bruno Mars Wins Album Of The Year

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Bruno Mars’ 24K Magic has won the Album Of The Year award at tonight’s 60th Annual Grammy Awards ceremony. It beat out Childish Gambino’s “Awaken My Love!, Jay-Z’s 4:44, Kendrick Lamar’s DAMN., and Lorde’s Melodrama. More »

Grammys 2018: Watch Cardi B & Bruno Mars Perform Their “Finesse” Remix

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Both Cardi B and Bruno Mars are nominated for Grammys tonight, and the two of them recently teamed up for a remix of Mars’ 24K Magic track “Finesse” as a way to align their star power. They performed the track live together for the first time together during the Grammy ceremony. You can … More »

Your Guide To The 2018 Grammys: Will They Leave Kendrick Out In The Cold Again?

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The Grammys are this weekend — Sunday at 7:30PM EST on your local CBS affiliate, to be exact — and as always, we’re (almost certainly naïvely) hoping they won’t suck this time. They probably will; they always do. Yet thanks to a somewhat promising slate of nominees in the major categories, a similarly half-decent … More »