^^ This is Papua New Guinea, where I grew up. I am often asked where and what it is, so I have created a geographical primer to dispel all future confusion.
Today, I clicked on Spotify.me, which gives you personalized listening stats. Dear reader, I found some disturbing info. Pitbull is my top artist, I'm all over the place when it comes to genres and I stream "like a partier." I've been listening to a lot of older stuff recently (read: music I liked in middle school) and I've decided to stop being embarrassed by it. And you know what I found out after delving into that weird, all-over-the-place music? Many of my old favourites still banged! And it got me thinking about what other older tracks fit in that banger category.
But first, let's get down to brass tacks: What makes a banger? It has to be slightly embarrassing, very trendy and irresistibly catchy. Most bangers are products of their era and don't stand the test of time (I'm looking at you, Jason Mraz). I didn't include any songs by musicians that are unequivocally good (e.g., Beyoncé, Kanye West, Weezer) because it is just a FACT that their music does and will forever bang. It also goes without saying that most of these bangers are pop, since other genres (hip-hop, rock, folk) don't always age as quickly or as badly. Call them guilty pleasures, call them throwbacks, but here I present to you 35 songs that still bang:Read More
"It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness, it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity, it was the season of Light, it was the season of Darkness, it was the spring of hope, it was the winter of despair, we had everything before us, we had nothing before us, we were all going direct to Heaven, we were all going direct the other way..."
2016 was basically the embodiment of this famous opening from Charles Dickens. It was the best of times in that the Knowles sisters set the world on fire, "Hamilton" came into the limelight and Leo finally won his Oscar. It was the worst of times because an insane amount of celebrities died (we love you, Carrie Fisher and Debbie Reynolds), there were countless school and mass shootings, Brexit happened and Trump became America's president-elect.
It's interesting to look back at last year and see how much has changed. I had just started listening to podcasts and was dipping my toe back into reading after a painfully long hiatus, whereas I consumed everything at a ravenous pace in 2016. Perhaps that's because so many great things came out this year, or maybe it's because I needed it more. Whatever the case, one thing I loved about 2016 was all of the culture created specifically and exclusively for black audiences. I may not have connected with Solange's "A Seat at the Table," but the fact that Pitchfork called it the best album of the year is incredibly important — especially in a year with race relations as tense as this one. So here's to the diverse, creative and joyful side of 2016:Read More