Childish Gambino – This is America. Showing the background problems of America

Childish Gambino – This Is America. Exploring America’s problems with his controversial video

Why People Beleive This Video to be Controversial

There is heavy violence during this video, at one point Childish Gambino (Donald Glover) gunning down a whole choir. Along with the violence portrayed in the video, it’s also controversial due to the message it is stating. That America doesn’t realise that their county is falling apart because of the distractions around them.

Why his Video is So Clever

Synopsis of the Music Video

Childish Gambino is seen dancing through a warehouse where he is occasionally joined by dancing school children. He kills a South African man along with a choir in the process. While he is dancing with them there are various events going on in the background, from people rioting to police brutality. The video ends as you see Donald Glover running away down a dark alleyway.

What does the beginning mean?

At the beginning of the song, you may dance along with the Childish Gambino seeing it as a new dance craze and as the song is very catchy. The way he moves is like a jim crow caricature which you would only realise on another viewing.

The introduction to violence

However, the dancing along then ceases completely, as you see him kill a man sitting down with a bag of his head on a chair. As you shocked Childish Gambino does not react and keeps on dancing. He also lays the gun as a cushion not giving any thought to his victim. The video causing joy and horror for the person watching.

Why Childish Gambino guns down a choir?

He later shoots an entire choir, only to keep on moving, supposedly in reference to the 2015 murder of nine churchgoers by Dylann Roof in Charleston, South Carolina. Thus, the dance moves are just distraction to what’s really going on in the world. The gun he uses, sort of AK-47 kind of weapon, could be a signal to the rise of terror threats and the norm they have become.

Why he is dancing with children?

He dances with children after the devastating killings again like nothing is the matter. The children look happy and do not seem to care, this can be interpreted as children being desensitised to the events around them as they have experienced them so much. This is why they just dance. The children also may represent 40’s and 50s Harlem dancers which people would deem appropriate image for blacks at the time.

Why is he running?

Many have related this to the film Get Out, comparing this to the sunken place, a mental prison for black people.

What is happening in the background?

White Horse

At one a point, a white horse is ridden across the screen with a man covered from head to toe in all black. This seems to be a reference to the Bible and the white horse symbolising that death is coming. ‘A pale horse and the man that sat on him was death, and hell followed with him’. This alluding to the increasing media of police brutality.

Battered Cars

At the end of the music video, he dances like Michael Jackson does on top of a car. The cars are inexpensive and all have there hazard lights indicating a warning. The fact all the doors open may even symbolize all the people have been pulled over by police for no real reason. Others have claimed the cars age point to the stalled socioeconomic and political mobility” of black Americans. There was also similar cars in the 1922 Los Angeles riot.

People on their phones

You briefly see people on their phones, this due to the number of times you see video’s of police brutality on youtube, facebook etc.

Review

The video is controversial but for a good reason, asking if you would survive in America being black. Childish Gambino is a genius. His video asking us not to simply forget about #blacklifesmatter, the killing of black people by white people, police brutality and riots. He is providing a commentary on what is going on in the world, and what is going on in the world behind us that we are missing.

Let me know what you think of the video below.

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Bands I’m Looking Forward to Seeing at Slamdunk 2018

Everything will be Alright at Slamdunk 2018

Slamdunk 2018, Leeds City Centre 26th May

Slamdunk returns for its 12th year, headlined by Good Charlotte and Jimmy Eat World. The festival spread over 3 days, shared between the cities of Leeds, Birmingham and Hatfield. I’m going to the venue in Leeds this year and I’m looking forward to it immensely. Here are some of the bands I’m looking forward to, although is so many greats acts coming. The festival displaying metalcore to indie pop.

Jimmy Eat World and Good Charlotte

Having both seemed to be around forever, these nostalgic bands know how to deliver on a big stage. Jimmy Eat World’s most notable song being The Middle, a song that you can listen to over and over again. Can’t wait to here Good Charlotte’s Anthem along Girls and Boys played in a festival atmosphere, while Joel Madden fronts the stage. Two bands with some highly popular songs which remind you of the pop-punk era in the 2000s.

Crown the Empire

A metalcore band with some insane clean vocals. I discovered them after I listened to their song The Fallout. The lead vocalist sharing similar vocals to Vic Feunete from the band Pierce the Veil but less whiny. The song also has a great breakdown in the middle. They also played a sweet cover of My Chemical Romance’s Welcome to the Black Parade, which was really good but obviously not as good as the original.

Twin Atlantic

Having seen them live a couple a years ago, I get the chance to see them again in all their glory. The band from Glasgow having so many great songs, such as their well-known ones like Yes, I was Drunk, Make a Beast of Myself and Heart of Soul. But also lesser known songs such as Crash Land, that involves a cello and Apolopytic Renegade.

Asteroid Boys

Asteroid Boys are a weird hybrid band as their music shares similar qualities to grime and punk rock. It’s like an angry Stormzy mixed with Enter Shikari. Thier song Dirty just giving me crazy vibes as it is so aggressive as it revs you up with its guitars and strong vocals. It’s like Plan B’s Ill Manors as they talk about a broken Britain. Not many people will know this band but you should give them a listen.

Chapel

Chapel is an indie pop-rock duo comprised of Carter Hardin (ex-Nightmares) and Kortney Grinwis (ex-Favorite Weapon), managed and developed by Issues’ Tyler Carter and Derek Brewer (manager of Crown The Empire). They have so much potential with the talent surrounding them, Cartin Hardin with that unique charisma, Hardin reminding me of Jack Anaotoff from the band The Bleachers. We’ve Got Soul creating them good vibes and obviously soul.

These are few bands I am looking forward to but I think the event overall will be a great experience.

Pale Waves – All The Things I Never Said

Pale Waves Debut EP

Pale Waves with that 1975 vibe in their debut EP

Review

This band has been called one of the artist to watch this year, and they have now released their first album, after having hit singles such as There’s a Honey and Television Romance. Television Romance was also directed by Matt Healy, which Pale Waves has a very similar sound too. They have also been called the female 1975, although do not let you think they’re a £1 version of The 1975. All The Things I Haven’t Said topping the UK Physical Sale Charts and UK Vinyl Charts since it’s release. It is a perfect album for students hopelessly in love with someone and likes them from afar. My Obsession describing have a friend who you’re obsessed with, wish they could be something more and you risk losing them, although you cannot stop thinking those lovely yet torturing thoughts about them. The whole album is electric.

Single to Listen to: New Year’s Eve

This single truly shows the aesthetics of the band with its indie pop sound and Heather Baron-Gracie’s vocals as she sings about finding someone she adores on New Year’s Eve and questions if he actually likes her. New Year’s Eve is filled with late night drives, beautiful strangers, goosebumps and moments that just seem to take people’s breathes away and that what Heather is trying to convey. New Year’s Eve is a really catchy song with that synth and awesome tune. I think the future holds a lot for this band, as the indie fans will get strongly behind them.

 7/10

Who Is The Summer Set and why you should listen to them?

Who Is The Summer Set and why you should listen to them?

Who are the Summer Set?

The Summer Set was an American rock band from Phoenix, Arizona who gained recognition from touring Taylor Swift when she still did country songs. The band members were lead vocalist Brian Logan Dales, guitarists Josh Montgomery and John Gomez, bass guitarist Stephen Gomez, and percussionist Jess Bowen. I discovered this band early on through forgetting a bands name but knowing it had Set in the title. That’s when I discovered their most recognizable song of Chelsea. I would go on to see this band every time they came to Newcastle apart from once. The one time I did not, my friend met Brian Dales and got him to talk to me what was amazing for me at the time.

Love Like This (2009)

The Summer Set’s first studio album after they signed for Razor & Tie in which you get to first hear Brain’s phenomenal whiny vocals. This an upbeat album continued from the happy EP’s they had previously released. They have the great The Boys You Do (Get Back at You) and Chelsea on this album. Chelsea wrote by Brian Dales for Chelsea Kane (Riley Perrin in Baby Daddy) before they broke up. Just a simple love song for a girl he was going out with at the time with a catchy chorus. Another favorite on this album is Girls Freak Me Out, which references Def Leppard with its line of ”Pour some sugar on me”. Brian singing about how girls freak him out obviously, as he believes this girl will eat him alive if he went home with her. This is great young love song album to introduce you to the band they are. Also, they made a live album in similar name called Love Like Swift in which they do an amazing cover of Taylor Swift’s Love Story ft Brandon Wronski from the band Eye Alaska. Brian and Brandon both taking up to ten on the last minute of the song.

Everything’s Fine (2011)

This album deals with love and unrequited love and has a much slower compared to their first album. Everything is used as the title to represent what the band has been through such as break up and that everything’s going to be fine. Their first song on the album is About A Girl setting the mood for the album, the chorus for the song being ”this is a song about a girl, this song is about love”. This song in response to Chelsea, as Brian and Chelsea had broken up by this point and he is singing about how he still loves her. Someone Like You has a Disney like vibe to it, as it could be easily used in a happy moment in a Disney film. The song is simply about how he has found the perfect girl and how he would do anything for her. Its good a nice high tempo and is very bubbly like the song that comes after it Must be the Music. rclbeauty101, a beauty blogger introducing many of her viewers to Must be the Music as she uses it in some capacity on her youtube channel at one point. A darker song on the album is Mannequin, talking about this girl has gotten with someone new but this new person does not see her for her true worth, just an object essentially. The song shows jealousy mixed with wasted feelings. The damning lyrics below intend this:

He’ll pick you up just to knok you down,
One day I’ll see you both in hell.
Is it everything that you thought it’d be?
When he’s lying there I bet you think of me.
I swear he’ll only dress you up,
Go out just to show you off.
Girl I don’t know what you see,
You’re more than just a mannequin to me

The album ends on somber note also in the form of Don’t Let Me Go, with the lonely piano use to enhance the sadness Brian is singing about. Brian asking if his girl will ever come back as he feels like he has lost everything.

Legendary (2013)

For this album, the band stated that living communally that summer inspired the lyrical content of their third album, and sparked the fun-loving energy of the album cycle that ensued. They also switched to Fearless Records. This was also the start of the Summer Set referring to their fans as the Half Moon Kids. This album is ledgen….wait for it, dary. The Summer Set even quoting the HIMYM quote in their song of the same name Legendary. The great line of ”we all want to be legendary to someone in this song”. The album returns to a more fun upbeat tempo with songs like Rescue and Jukebox, describing really how it is just good to be alive and have fun.

Stories For Monday (2016)

Before they broke up they released Stories For Monday, which nearly never became getting released due to the band feeling they had nothing more to say in 2015. They did end up releasing an album however which themes focus on the youth of today having fun and the morning after of having fun. It’s a very 80s album with references to Bruce Springsteen and Joy Division amongst others. Out of all the albums this album I’d say most suits Brians voice because of the 80s style and you can tell his voice has developed leading up to this album. Change Your Mind opening with that techno keyboard from the 80s and continuing that sound throughout with an added guitar solo. In my opinion the best song on the album. The whole album is mind-blowing, however, their so many unbelievable songs on this album, it’s so easy to listen to the album the whole way through.

Solo – Dales

The spirit of The Summer Set still lives through Brian Dales as he continues to create The Summer Set-esque music. Brian Dales releasing Chateau in response to all the hate he has received as his music video suggests naming and shaming all the twitter trolls against him. It’s quite well written and a well-sung song.

Overall

So glad they decided to go ahead with the final album because artistically it is the best and you clearly identify how far the band has progressed over the years. Hopefully, the band get back together for one final album as they are really good.

8.5/10

Who is King Charles and Why is he so Good?

Who Is King Charles?

King Charles, the singer not the British Monarch, is a glam folk singer from London England. His real name is Charles Costa. He plays a wide range of instruments, including the guitar, cello, and piano. He gained some recognition when he won the International Songwriting Competition in 2009 which was judged by Tom Waits, Jeff Beck, Loretta Lynn and Jerry Lee Lewis. After winning this competition he was signed by Universal Republic/Island. He also holds a close relation with Mumford and Sons opening for them on various tours and duetting on The Brightest Lights together

Why you should listen to him?

His first album Loveblood is poetry in song

Having discovered King Charles through Youtube, after he was advertised on an advert before a video I was watching. I was instantly hooked to his song Bam Bam. Bam Bam introducing me to his unique sound, with its fast pace and his unusual look. King Charles attire being smart, his hair tall and having genuinely that whole gentlemen look to him. Intrigued by this eccentric individual I would go on to listen to his LoveBlood album, every song creative and catchy. His album producing romantic and catchy music as he walks through the trials of love. Ivory Road describing his love for a lady. A lyric being ”you are the oxygen in my blood”, showing off his songwriting skills. Lady Percy built to make people smile with its steel drums and the energy this song resonates. He also has darker songs on his album, however, Polar Bears using drums in a warish kind of way, along with the cello. The moral of the song has a slightly dark meaning, don’t be blinded by looks, ”a snake that will lead you to the apple of sin” as said in his mini rap. I was lucky to see this life and it was amazing, just have a man standing to bang on a drum in a violent way, a stunning visual. His whole album is in incredible from top to bottom.

His second Album Gamble For a Rose

Creating art

Love and romance are again his inspiration for his second album, however it more downbeat than his first album. It offers more somber songs such as Gamble Rose for a Rose and Coco Chitty. King Charles sang previously on his LoveBlood album, he uses his vocals to create a new meaning to the song with the grief he provokes. It is still a brilliant album, however, as it is still excellently written and clearly has a strong influence from Mumford and Sons. Bright Thing is my favorite of the album because of the way he sings ”love like lightening”, sounding like Wolf Alice’s Silk when she says ”shades of black and white”. It’s infectious and ultimately cheesy.

Overall

I believe King Charles is underrated and he should be producing music far more often then he has been over the years. He is overdue a third album and is one of my favorite artists.

9/10

The Wombats: Album Review

The Wombats – Beautiful People Will Ruin Your Life Review

Three years after releasing Glitterbug, The Wombats return with another highly creative album. The Wombats frontman Murph admitting  to making a more positive album after battling depression. The lyrics such as I want to ”I want to get college girl drunk tonight” from their song turn suggesting the more positive overtone to the album. The Wombats have transitioned from a indie rock band to a more dance orientated indie pop band and this album shows this through songs such as Black Flamingo. The Wombats again deliver through their memorable melodies and unique sound.

 
To be continued

 

Top 10 Alternative Never Give Up Songs

Here are my top 10 songs which inspire in times of need and help you know their is always a brighter future tomorrow. These are in no particular order.

  1. Jack’s Mannequin – Swim

    https://youtu.be/sA8PaIw5gcE From the album Glass Passenger, Jack’s Mannequin frontman Andrew McMahon wrote this song after he saw a piece of paper with Swim written on it, while struggling to finish this album. This song inspires through its simple meaning of never giving up home and fighting for what matters. The most powerful lyrics of the song are ”Swim for your family, your lovers, your sisters, and brothers, and friends”. These lyrics intending you are never alone, alone being what it can feel like when you are struggling to get by. Swim is used as a metaphor throughout the song to encourage people to keep pushing no matter how hard it seems.

  2. My Chemical Romance – Welcome to the Black Parade

    https://youtu.be/RRKJiM9Njr8 An emo anthem, an inspiration to so many with the message it transcends. The band guiding people through their darkest hours with this song with the empowering lyric of ‘We’ll Carry On’. Gerard Way’s vocals inspiring an army with the daunting subject of losing a loved one he is tackling. Gerard believing when someone dies, they relive their fondest memory, in this case, a son being taken to a parade by his father. The lyrics of ”Do or Die, You’ll Never Make Me”, maybe suggesting you should never change even with social pressure surrounding you and you should always stay true to yourself. One of the best songs ever created with so much meaning behind it, along with their whole concept album, The Black Parade.

  3. The 1975 – So Far (It’s Alright)

    Just like the band itself, this song portrays a very hedonistic approach to life. Matt Healy reflecting on his childhood, dealing with addiction and living with his famous parents of Tim Healy and Denise Welsh. He describes how things may have went wrong in his life, but in the end it always ends alright.
  4. Falling in Reverse – Keep Holding On

    The most damning lyrics come when Ronny Radke sings ”I believe I’m just like you I believe I’ll make it through”, providing encouragement for his audience. Continuously through the song he describes the troubles he has faced, and if he can get through all his troubles, he believes his fans can as well. Using his life as an example, the chorus describes how he never thought he would be where he is today after all the trials he has faced, and people should hold on as it will get better.
  5. We The Kings – Just Keep Breathing

    Written by Travis Clark about his experience at school where he was bullied, Just Keep Breathing forwards the idea of perseverance when dealing with ridicule. Travis speaking about never going through life alone as their always help on hand.
  6. Fort Minor – Remember the name

    The ultimate never give up song for a gym workout or training. It is played in countless training videos as it gives people a reason not to give up in what they are doing through the motive and goal of having people remember who you are. Mike Shinoda was constantly rejected with Linkin Park, but through sheer will and dedication he finally got his big break with Linkin Park when they signed their first record deal. This describes the determination Mike showed and how he never gave up and never lost sight of his goal.
  7. Forever the Sickest Kids – Chin Up Kid

    From the album J.A.C.K, Forever the Sickest Kids provide a never give up attitude to young love. The band explained about the song, “It’s a feeling that anyone who’s been through heartbreak will recognize. ‘Chin Up Kid’ can be a very relatable song to most. We wrote this song about keeping your head up through heartbreak and trying times (Wikipedia 2017). The song expressing you may feel like the world is coming to the end, however, this is only short term and you need to press on as ultimately you will survive in the long term.
  8. A Day to Remember – A House that Doubt Built

    Opening with the lines of ”Don’t get me started on what it means to be alive”, the song reinforces this message throughout. In their opinion, the meaning to be alive is the art of music as it inspires people. Jeremy saying the song is ”about music in general, like the feeling like, no matter what’s going on in your life, like at least for me, like, music is something that makes me feel better about what’s going on with me”. Thus, he is saying when he does feel down and out it is music that brings him back and saves him, and this is what music should do for everyone. We’ll sing like everyone when they’re alone.
  9. Miley Cyrus – The Climb

    The most recognisable song on this list, The Climb by Miley Cyrus is a country pop power ballad stating that your journey through life may be hard and treacherous but you learn from it. Optimism is displayed throughout as she talks about keeping her head ‘held high’ and ‘pushing’ on no matter what. This is far from Miley’s current music styling as here she uses her vocals to their full potential creating a heart felt faith driven power ballad
  10. Hurts – Wonderful Life

    This song follows a man who is going to commit suicide by jumping off a bridge until he falls in love with a woman called Susie, who says ”Don’t Let go, Never give up it’s a wonderful life”. Lead singer Theo Hutchcraft saying in an interview with Digital Spy that the song is basically based on two extremes: the first being a man who wants to kill himself and the second being love at first sight. He’s standing on the bridge about to jump and he’s stopped by a woman. They see each other and fall in love. She basically says, ‘Come with me, it’s all going to be fine” (Wikipedia 2017). In a way this song is saying love is why life is worth living.