I recently sat down with jazz pop sensation Nikki Yanofsky, and what I discovered was a cool, bright, articulate, grounded young woman who knows what she wants, is doing what she loves and is chasing her passion with fierce determination.
What decides whether or not I, indeed, am a feminist isn't the choices I make in my own life. It's whether I'm truly committed to empowering every woman to make whatever choices are right for her own life. So for me the question isn't whether Beyoncé passes that test -- it's whether her critics do.
We artists and musicians have the right to expect from our profession what others expect from their professions. That through hard work and determination, perspiration and inspiration, we'll have the same fair shot to realize our dreams, answer our callings, support our families.
Pop stars have been known to occasionally elicit the emphatic support of the gays. But as social media show time and time again, unlike gay icons of the past generation, not one seems able to speak to the community as a whole. What makes gays get so defensive about their icons?
Mystical threads have always run deep through Arcade Fire's repertoire. Inversions, upside downs and inside outs emerge in "black mirrors" and the "darkness of light." Opposites are reconciled, and unification is at the core of life itself.
The word "feminism" is thrown around quite loosely these days, especially among chart-topping pop stars. Whenever one woman makes a "questionable" move, another woman quickly throws up her dukes -- looking for a fight, with some even calling it feminism.
With Lady Gaga's new album ARTPOP, she continues to try to shock but it all somehow falls flat. In an age when Miley Cyrus and Nikki Minaj parade around in next to nothing, Lady Gaga's brand of "shocking" seems almost dated.
I wrote to Sia on Twitter and expressed my disappointment. I wasn't expecting a reply, but, to my surprise, she responded and thoughtfully listened, and we proceeded to have a lengthy (by Twitter standards) conversation.
Does her music measure up? Sure. But it's pop music, let's face it. We've "heard" "Roar" many times over from many a performer. The lyrics are familiar, as is the beat. Katy put her spin on it, but it's pop music -- the likes of which we've enjoyed for decades.
The last words of the album, "I've turned into someone else", perfectly ends the romantic arc, and also comments on her real life transformation. Now that Hannah Montana is gone, will Miley Cyrus succeed as a pop artist?
Personally, I find Miley Cyrus' super-"sexy" image distasteful, as it sends a terrible message to young girls and women the world over, but I find the double standard people are promoting even less savory.
For several years now, the best American pop music has been coming from Sweden. These happy Europeans make me want to grow a beard. I want to look at blades of grass for hours on end. I don't have a care in the world. I may even wanna get a girlfriend again.
Taking the concept to the next stage literally, Drexler applies the technology to a live audience setting, picking audience members to come on stage and choose the parts of the songs, which he then has to sing in real time.