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Songs of the Summer: 14X

Every Dartmouth term has certain songs that define the quarter and will always bring you back to a great afternoon by the river or a midnight snowball fight, and 14X is no exception. Here’s Dartbeat’s rundown, in no particular order, of iconic sophomore summer 2014 songs: “All About That Bass” by Meghan Trainor This song is so catchy and upbeat that it makes all of us want to live in whatever pastel-colored kingdom Trainor is dancing in for the song’s enchanting music video. And with its message about positive body image, it was, of course, a prime choice for a performance at the Tabard’s “Lingerie.” “Problem” by Ariana Grande, featuring Iggy Azalea While the debate over an alleged copycat scenario between Ariana Grande and Mariah Carey rages on, Grande’s spot on this list is clear. From working out to dancing in a frat, this song is perfect for all pump-up situations. “Riptide” by Vance Joy Let’s just hope no one gets caught in a riptide while attempting the Ledyard Challenge. The song’s light acoustic windings are the best soundtrack for an afternoon of tanning at the swimming docks or your ride to the copper mines. “Boom Clap” by Charli XCX… Read more »

Nearby Summer Concerts You Can’t Miss

Summer is full of music festivals and outdoor concerts, although you may have forgotten this living in the Hanover bubble this term. However, there are some fantastic concerts near campus in the next two months that’ll have you scrambling for tickets. Take the opportunity to get off campus, make a weekend out of it with friends and enjoy some great music! Here are some of the best concerts in August and September that you should be sure to mark on your calendars. Kings of Leon with Young the Giant, Aug. 26, 7 p.m., Bank of New Hampshire Pavilion at Meadowbrook in Meadowbrook, NH This venue is just an hour and a half to the east of Dartmouth and is packed with fantastic entertainment all summer long. Indie rock band Young the Giant hit the mainstream radio waves in the past couple of years, and chances are you still come across “Cough Syrup” and “My Body” on iTunes shuffle. Kings of Leon, a rock band from Nashville, will headline the concert. They’ve received critical acclaim and have raked in an impressive amount of awards for songs like “Sex on Fire” and “Use Somebody.” Although their concert reviews have been mixed as… Read more »

Dartmouth Soundoff: Ten for Ten

Another 10 (nine?) weeks, another term. In keeping with tradition, I will share 10 albums released this term for my last column of 14W. As if you needed one more thing to distract you from finals studying. “Mind Over Matter” – Young the Giant (Jan. 21)  The sophomore release from the California indie rock band comes four years after their debut album, which includes the well known “My Body” and “Cough Syrup.” Lead singer Sameer Gadhia describes the album’s concept-theme as “the obstacles one creates for themselves are the only things that can really destroy you.” Deep. Rolling Stone’s Christopher Weingarten labeled the record “explosive, inventive rock,” and described its lead single, “It’s About Time,” as a cross between “Foo Fighter fuzz, Justin Timberlake croon, EDM sputter and spiraling high-life guitars.” On the other side, Washington Post’s Catherine Lewis found the album bland, calling it “a tepid affair that doesn’t stand out.” “Transgender Dysphoria Blues” – Against Me! (Jan. 21) While punk has always been about defying—if not antagonizing—mainstream culture and its accompanying expectations, not all would argue that it’s the safest space for gender exploration, making the latest album from Against Me! almost paradoxical. “Transgender Dysphoria Blues,” the first album after lead… Read more »

Dartmouth Soundoff: New York Artists

Those who know me personally know that I’ve called New York home for the past six months, and I can’t believe that will come to an end in two short weeks, bringing me even closer to my return to Dartmouth. (From what I read online, I feel like now could be a weird time to come back, but I’ll save those thoughts for a place that isn’t my music column.) I realized that I was about to leave here without really using New York for column material, save for a few concert reviews this fall, so I guess here’s my chance. But where do I even begin? New York is the largest metropolitan area in the U.S., the financial capital of the world and arguably the cultural center of our nation, so its thriving music scene goes without saying. Do I touch on the classics of our parents’ generation like The Velvet Underground or the Ramones? Do I get into the foundations of East Coast hip-hop and discuss Run-D.M.C. and Public Enemy? Do I even dare mention chart-toppers Lady Gaga and Jay-Z? Instead of going into a specific New York music community or even investigating some current city-specific niche – like… Read more »

PB&Jams: Carried Away

I don’t know if you’ve noticed, but music videos pretty much suck these days. It’s not even worth the three clicks it takes to find the video for anything from Katy Perry’s  “Dark Horse,” which features a pyramid of Twinkies in a bedazzled Egyptian wonderland to Jason Derulo’s “Talk Dirty,” with its nearly naked girls pretending to play the trumpet (okay. you’re right, no one expected that video to be worth watching at all anyway). Needless to say, it’s pretty rare to find a video that is worth re-watching and even rarer to find one that you repeatedly pull up on YouTube to show your friends, saying “it’s SUCH a good song and the video is really clever!” In the essence of full disclosure though, most of my friends have been subject to my mix CDs that they didn’t necessarily ask for. Or have been roped into listening to music they may or may not like just because they’re stuck on a road trip with me. Or if they happen to be hanging out in a 30-foot radius of my iTunes library. Anyway, I digress. This week I’d like to direct your attention (this is assuming that I have someone’s… Read more »

Advocacy, Obstacles and Big Dreams: A Q&A with Upcoming Band Great Caesar

Great Caesar describes themselves as a “chamber rock band,” which may leave some people scratching their heads, but their talent as musicians makes categorizing feel unnecessary. The Brooklyn-based band has existed in a variety of forms since a few of the members met in high school 10 years or so ago. It took all of them graduating college and moving to New York to realize their dream as a group. Great Caesar is comprised of lead singer John-Michael Parker, bass guitarist Adam Glaser, saxophonist Stephen Chen, trumpet player Tom Sikes and guitarist Mike Farrell. Now, their music video and song “Don’t Ask Me Why” have swept away social media users and music gurus alike, with the video gaining just under 200,000 views in the weeks after its release on YouTube. While the song follows two young people who are in love and have to overcome a physical obstacle (a flood), the music video tells the story of an interracial couple in the 1960s and two same-sex couples in the present day. Dartbeat had the chance to talk with saxophonist Stephen Chen about Great Caesar’s success, the story behind “Don’t Ask Me Why” and what the future holds. Dartbeat: Can… Read more »