Scotapalooza 2019

Every year, Highland Park Senior High School hosts a musical event called “Scotapalooza.” It took place on January 27th, 2019, which was right before the 4 days off of school. This event featured many different bands that performed. This year, the line-up for music was: both the middle and high school jazz bands, the Highland Tour band, and other small ensembles including a rock band and the “Ben Jossi Combo.”

The event took place at the North Garden Theater, which had plenty of space for the bands and seating for guests.

Scotapalooza also had a wide range of drinks and snacks to attract guests. This included a full bar, and a food station with pretzels and cookies. This part of the event itself helped raise $247 for Highland’s music program.

Overall, Highland raised $4,213 in revenue for Highland’s music program. A lot of it came from donated gift cards, same-day purchased tickets, and from food and beverage sales.

In the past, the money raised has gone to purchasing a new drum set which the band needed for jazz band. This year, the money raised will go towards purchasing new instruments, sheet music, and more needed musical items.

Scotapalooza is a great event that brings everyone at Highland together with multiples genres of student music. It also helps the Highland community by supporting high school music programs.

Spider-Man: Into the Spiderverse review

By: Vivian S

Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse, directed by Peter Ramsey, Robert Persichetti Jr., Rodney Rothman, and Bob Persichetti, was a resounding success. It has made $340.6 million at the box office and has a 97% on Rotten Tomatoes (as of this writing), and its success is well deserved.

Into the Spider-Verse centers around Miles Morales, a teen from Brooklyn who is bitten by a spider and gains powers. The movie shows his journey in learning how to become Spider-Man. At the same time, spider people from other dimensions have been thrown into his — and they need to get back home.

The entire movie was amazing to watch. Each character in the movie was fun, with different designs and personalities. The animation was gorgeous, and once the story really got started, it had me hooked. Even though the movie was great, some scenes took it to a whole different level for me. The moment when Miles truly becomes Spider-Man is, in my opinion, the best scene in the entire movie: I could watch it again and again.

This is not to say the movie is perfect. One of the biggest drawbacks for me was all the flashing lights. The trailers weren’t exaggerating the movie’s tendency toward flashing colors and lights, and sometimes it just got too bright.

Another problem for me was that there was so much more about the story and characters that I wanted to see. Looking back now, it feels like some pieces are missing, especially in Gwen’s character arc. From watching the trailers, I figured that Gwen would be one of the main characters, but when I watched the movie, it felt like she took a backseat to Miles and Peter. It feels to me like some of her scenes might have been cut. I think the movie left a lot of opportunities on the table, because the story and characters are so amazing.

All in all, I loved watching this movie: the animation, the story, the humor, the serious moments, the soundtrack, and so on. Everything was amazing! You can tell that a lot of work and talent went into it. I cannot recommend this movie enough.

The Grammy’s

The 61st annual Grammy’s kicked off on CBS, on February 10th, at 7pm Central Time, at the Staples Center in Los Angeles. Singer songwriter Alicia Keys hosted the event. In total, 81 awards were given out across 30 genres.

Some of the biggest awards are in the general field which includes: Record of the Year, Album of the Year, Song of the Year, and Best New Artist. “This is America” by Childish Gambino, aka Donald Glover, won both Record of the Year and Song of the Year. Album of the Year went to Kacey Musgraves for Golden Hour and Dua Lipa won Best New Artist.

There were also several performances during this year’s Grammy’s. There were eighteen performances featuring some of the biggest names in music including: Travis Scott, Alicia Keys, Cardi B, Post Malone, Shawn Mendes, Dua Lipa, Lady Gaga, The Red Hot Chili Peppers, and Jennifer Lopez.

There were other more memorable wins from the night, such as Drake winning Best Rap Song for “God’s Plan” and Ariana Grande winning Best Pop Album for Sweetener.

There were other important non award moments such as Michelle Obama taking the stage to talk about the importance of music and Drake’s acceptance speech in which he told young artists that award shows like the Grammy’s, that were put on by people who didn’t understand their music, were unimportant.

Another huge moments was Janelle Monae’s performance which highlighted black women.

There was also an In Memoriam segment featuring and remembering artists that passed away this past year. Jahseh Onfroy aka XXXTentacion was controversially not featured because of his history with domestic violence.

The big winners of the night were: Childish Gambino who won four awards for his song “This Is America” and the accompanying music video, and Kacey Musgraves who won four awards this year for Best Album, Best Country Album, Best Country Song and Best Solo Country Performance.

Several people also won Lifetime Achievement Awards such as: Sam and Dave, Black Sabbath, Donny Hathaway, Parliament Funkadelic, Dionne Warwick, Billy Eckstine and Julio Iglesias.

To find more information about this year’s Grammy’s, go to the Grammy’s official website at https://www.grammy.com.

New Music: released and coming soon

Every year, in November and December, a lot of music is released by many different artists. One of the main reasons music is typically released at this time is because of the Grammys coming up in early 2019. This is where awards are presented for best new artist, best album, best song, and many more.

Here’s a look at a few of the most popular artists, with new music that has been released, and that are slated to be released.

One popular new song that was just released is “Thank U, Next” by Ariana Grande. This is an upbeat pop song and so far has pretty good reviews from her fans.

An album that was just released is Everythang’s Corrupt by Ice Cube. Cube is an old school hip hop artist who was part of the famous Los Angeles rap group, N.W.A. Cube hasn’t released a new album in 8 years so his fans must be excited he is coming out with new music.

Another album that has just been released is SKINS by XXXTENTACION. Despite his passing six months ago, multiple new albums have been released with his recorded music, and SKINS is no different. This album captures more of X’s themes about anxiety and depression.

A few more artists with new music released are: Gucci Mane, Shoreline Mafia, Brett Young, Chief Keef, Coldplay (live album), and more.

There are also new albums being released soon by the following artists: Meghan Trainor, ZAYN, Cody Johnson, Backstreet Boys, Papa Roach, and many more.

BTS concert

BTS is a K-pop boy band with the members being RM (Kin Namjoon), Jin (Kim Seokjin), Suga (Min Yoongi), J-Hope (Jung Hoseok), Jimin (Park Jimin), V (Kim Taehyung), and Jungkook (Jean Jungguk). During 2018 they released two albums; Love Yourself: tear and Love Yourself: Answer. The latter of which concluded their Love Yourself Album series.

BTS announced their upcoming world tour on April 26, 2018. The initial number of shows were 7 in Asia, 15 in North America, 7 in Europe and 29 in total, but BigHit revealed on July 30, 2018, that they’ve added 4 more shows to the Japanese leg of the tour, making it 33 total shows. So far, all their shows have sold out.

when I was getting tickets, the room was in a frenzy. Me and my mom calling my friends family, whom I went with to the concert, and my dad. But when we finally got to ticket master the tickets ad sold out! We didn’t give up and we earthed until we found three seats next to eachother. Now the next challenge, booking a hotel. Whenwe finally found a hotel that had space, it had been an hour. Since many fans had also been looking for rooms, it was impossible to find a hotel.

On the drive to Chicago me and my friend had lots of fun hyping ourselves up for the concert, and when we finally got to the hotel everyone took a few quick showers to refresh from the long car ride and changed.

At the United Center where the concert was taking place, people were buzzing about. And when we finally got in to concert and the show stared, it was very amazing. I absolutely loved the concert! My friend and I and had such a good time together. During the performance they performed may hits and their official setlist for the songs in the order they were performed was:

  • IDOL
  • Save Me
  • I’m Fine
  • Magic Shop
  • Trivia: Just Dance
  • Euphoria
  • I Need U
  • RUN, Serendipity
  • Trivia: Love
  • DNA
  • Boyz With Fun/Attack on Bagtan/Fire/Silver spoon/Dope
  • Airplane pt.2
  • Singularity
  • FAKE LOVE
  • Trivia: Seesaw
  • Epiphany
  • The Truth Untold
  • Outro: Tear
  • MIC Drop
  • So What
  • Anpanman
  • Answer: Love Myself.

It was also my first concert, so the constant screaming took a little getting used to. I really liked being able to go to this concert and i derrifnetly wont forget the experience.  I know everyone cant attend concerts like this so I was extrmely ahoy my parents obliged t send me. The entire experience, in the end, I would defiantly say it was worth it.

 

Lil Wayne “Tha Carter V”

Recently, the new Carter 5 album by Lil Wayne was realsed on September 28th, 2018. Fans have been patiently waiting 7 years for Tha Carter 5 album to be released, after the Carter 4 was realsed August 29th, 2011. For all who don’t know, Lil Wayne is rapper, writer, and American producer from Holly Grove, Louisiana, who has been nominated and won multiple awards including: artist of the year, favorite rap/hiphop-album, Grammys, American Music Awards, and BET awards. He is a powerful artist in the HipHop community, and is thought of highly all across the globe.

Since the release of the Carter 5 album many people have been inspired all around the country. He shares his story, personal life, goals, faluires, and future goals. The Carter 5 album, I feel, has brought fans closer to him and have helped them became more connected to his life. In Lil Wayne’s new album, he has a theme which is: his mom. After every song, his mom talks on the album and discuss Lil Wane’s life, her love for him, interviews, and phone calls. By having his mom as a relevant part of the album I feel he is expressing his love and appreciation for his mom and how much she has done for him.

Lastly, if you want to listen to his album you can find it on iCloud, Spotify, YouTube, Pandora, and more. Songs I suggest anyone to listen to include: “Mona Lisa,” “Took His Time,” “Famous,” “Used 2,” and “What About Me.” This album causes you to be open minded and creative because he uses many metaphors, smilies, and word play. I recommend anybody over 14 to listen to this album, it is an inspiration that I feel everyone will connect with.

BTS ‘Love Yourself’ tour

The time has come again for BTS to gear up for another successful world tour. BigHit, BTS’s label, announced their upcoming world tour on April 26, 2018. The initial number of shows were 7 in Asia, 15 in North America, 7 in Europe and 29 in total, but BigHit revealed on July 30, 2018 that they’ve added 4 more shows to the Japanese leg of the tour, making it 33 total shows.

So far, they’ve had 12 shows in Seoul, Los Angeles, Oakland, Fort Worth, and Hamilton. All of their shows have been sold out. They performed at the Seoul Olympic Stadium, with 90,000 people in attendance. In their North America locations, they’ve performed at the Staples Center, Oracle Arena, Fort Worth Convention Center, and the First Ontario Centre, and had 164,000 attended in total.

BigHit has announced that BTS will be performing at Citi Field Stadium in New York. Tickets sold out in 20 minutes making them the first Korean artists to have a concert in a U.S. stadium.

For the European Leg of the tour, BTS will be visiting London, Amsterdam, Berlin, and Paris. The London dates sold out in two minutes, and the Berlin shows sold out in nine minutes. BigHit has revealed that all 100,000 tickets for their European leg have been sold out.

With almost every show sold out, new locations and concerts are in high demand. BTS will most likely be adding more events to their tour, so the ARMY (BTS’s fan base) should be on the lookout for additional tickets and concerts.

 

 

Album review: Pusha-T – DAYTONA

Since 2013’s My Name Is My Name, one has had the sense that Pusha-T is a genius rapper who has not been allowed adequate freedom as a solo artist. Of course, we know of his genius from his early days in Clipse, when he and his brother No Malice reinvented gangsta rap music with the Neptunes-produced Lord Willin’ and Hell Hath No Fury. But, since then, as a solo artist, Pusha-T has only shown flashes of the potential that he first showed as one half of Clipse in the late 90’s and early 2000’s, the most notable of these being the Kanye West-produced “Numbers on the Board,” a mini-masterpiece which demonstrated the crucial fact that Pusha-T requires minimalist production to thrive. His cold elocution, deviously arrogant persona and dark ex-dealer rhymes are always painfully out-of-place on pop-rap anthems.

2015’s King Push – Darkest Before Dawn: The Prelude was in many ways an improvement upon My Name Is My Name. So is DAYTONA, Pusha-T’s most recent venture, upon Darkest Before Dawn, and for the very same reasons; less bloated production, fewer appearances from second-rate GOOD Music artists like The-Dream, more experimentation, and an even shorter runtime. DAYTONA runs a meager 7 tracks and lasts hardly 21 minutes, but it accomplishes far more than any of the 90-plus-minute megamixes currently offered by Migos, Rae Sremmurd, and the like. Wholly produced by Kanye West, at least half of the credit is due to him. DAYTONA is an album of seven “Numbers on the Boards’s,” and it only further solidifies West’s reputation as the most innovative and important popular musician of the 21st century.

The album opens with “If You Know You Know,” a skeletal banger reminiscent of Yeezus which quickly explodes into ecstatic synths like “Father Stretch My Hands” on The Life of Pablo. “The Games We Play” and “Santeria” are darkly Latin-flavored beats based on guitar licks. The latter features a Spanish R&B interlude that goes over surprisingly well.

“Come Back Baby” is the hardest track on DAYTONA, with three verses consisting solely of a swelling bass-line and two hooks sampling The Mighty Hannibal’s “The Truth Shall Make You Free” without alterations. “What Would Meek Do?” is a conversation between Pusha-T and West about current drama over an eerie, energetic beat. What does Kanye have to say? “Poop, scoop! Whoop! Whoopty-whoop!” among other things. Suffice it to say, it goes over far better than West’s own “Ye vs. the People” with T.I., or “Lift Yourself,” for that matter.

DAYTONA closes with “Infrared,” which is proving to be the album’s most impactful track. Pusha-T brutalizes Drake, Lil Wayne and other enemies while simultaneously solidifying his reputation as the godlike gangster he’s claimed to be since “Dirty Money” in 2006. “The lyric pennin’ equal the Trumps winnin’ / The bigger question is how the Russians did it / It was written like Nas, but it came from Quentin.” “The only rapper sold more dope than me was Eazy-E / How could you ever right these wrongs / When you don’t even write your songs?” Drake was so offended that he fired back with the similarly excellent “Duppy Freestyle.” One can only hope this beef will produce more excellent tracks.

The only track on DAYTONA that feels slightly out-of-place is the slower and more luxuriant “Hard Piano.” Rick Ross offers one of his best verses, but the song still feels irredeemably unfinished. The “Maybach music” samples are delightful, but the “Santo Domingo” hook is utterly absurd and out-of-date; it sounds like a bad reject from the My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy sessions.

DAYTONA is the type of rap album Pusha-T (and the world) needs. It is brief, (though maybe too brief), raw (though maybe too raw), and experimental. Even the album cover, supposedly changed at the last moment to a photograph of the late Whitney Houston’s bathroom, is bold. Apparently, DAYTONA is simply the much-awaited King Push renamed for artistic reasons. If not, I hope that that album (or whatever Pusha’s next may be) will only continue the trend of more experimentation and individuality begun here. DAYTONA shows, finally and categorically, that Pusha-T is still capable of making a masterpiece in the contemporary era, if he can only work with his producers to polish his sound for a bigger and more substantial piece. Its success bodes well for Kanye West’s own next album, which contains seven tracks also and is supposedly out June 1st.

8/10

BTS comeback

BTA are now releasing a new album, which means they have a whole new concept for this. All of the members dyed their hair black, because the concept is supposed to be a dark one.

So far, they have released two teaser trailers, the first one was released on May 14th, with over 9 million views. The second trailer was more recent, May 16th, with over 8 million views already.

This concept is different than usual, Last Comeback was pure and soft, and this is more dark. They also released a video of the member Taehyung having a solo song called “Singularity.” This got a lot of attention because it was our first look into what’s to come.

They are also preparing for a tour around the world, like usual, the tickets are already sold out almost everywhere due to the smaller venues they picked. They limited some fans by only allowing people 16 and over into the pit. Soon, they will release more tour dates, but for now everything is sold out in America.

The new album, Love Yourself Tear, is basically a continuous part, with their last album being Love Yourself Her. There will be a third album since they both have 4 versions. Love Yourself Her, Covering Love, and Love Yourself Tear with Your. The next album is Covering Self.

Love Yourself Tear was released May 18th, and so was the music video of their title track, “Fake Love.” The idea of the music video is that all love is fake; that there’s no such thing as love. The music video is also linked to their older videos, meaning it has references for the fans to theorize about.
This album has 11 tracks:

1. “Intro: Singularity”
2. “Fake Love”
3. “전하지 못한 진심” (feat. Steve Aoki)
4. “134340”
5. “낙원”
6. “Love Maze”
7. “Magic Shop”
8. “Airplane pt. 2”
9. “Anpanman”
10. “So What”
11. “Outro: Tear”

This list was released early, to get fans excited, along with member RM stating his favorite song. This time, there was no break in the album, usually there is a skit, or one track where it’s not a song.

Overall, I like the concept of this album; they are kind of going back to their older concepts in a way, but making it better. It has been awhile since we’ve seen them with dark hair like this, and fans are very happy about it.

NCT album

The group NCT relesed a new album called empathy, with a total of 14 songs distributed between 3 groups within NCT. The track list is:

INTRO: Neo Got My Back
BOSS – NCT U
Baby Don’t Stop – NCT U
GO – NCT DREAM
TOUCH – NCT 127
YESTODAY – NCT U
Black on Black
Timeless (텐데…) – NCT U
The 7th Sense (일곱 번째 감각 (第七感)) – NCT U
WITHOUT YOU – NCT U
WITHOUT YOU (Chinese Ver.) – NCT U
Dream In A Dream (梦中梦 (몽중몽)) – NCT U / Ten
OUTRO: VISION
YESTODAY (Extended Ver.) (Bonus Track)

A few of the songs were released early with music videos, those being: “The 7th Sense” by NCT U, “Boss” by NCT U, and “Baby Don’t Stop” sung by Ten and Taeyong. This comeback also introduced 3 new members Jungwoo, Kun, and Lucas, making the member total 18. They will continuously add members as NCT is a constantly expanding group. They are still releasing music videos for the songs they have already put out.

Because the group is always expanding, they have multiple groups within the group, these include: NCT 127, NCT U, and NCT Dream.

They put out the music video “Touch,” by NCT 127, with a very different concept than what NCT usually goes for, so it was surprising. NCT most of the time goes for an edgy concept, but this time it was really soft with them playing tug-at-war and smiling a lot! The music video “Go” for NCT Dream was also a different concept, making this a very good album because of all the changes. They have made NCT Dream more mature and adventurous. Another song they made was “Yestoday,” mainly sang by Taeyong, but this music video is really new and not a lot of information has been released by them about it.

The album is released for sale, and it includes 2 different versions, Reality and Dream version. These different versions basically give more options to the fans; a lot of groups do this so fans don’t have to just have one option. These albums provide a lot of content for fans, and they come with a poster, photo book, cd, photo card or multiple photo cards, etc.