AJR Hits The Charts With "What Everyone's Thinking"

AJR Hits The Charts With "What Everyone's Thinking"

Making an impact on the music industry with unique themes.

A small electronic/pop-influenced band called AJR, from New York city released a new EP called “WHAT EVERYONE’S THINKING” which was uniquely impressive. This band is a band of brothers made up of Adam, Jack, and Ryan Met. This band is infamous for their uniqueness, as their debut single was “I’m Ready” which included a SpongeBob sound sample, which was one of their sillier ones. This song made it to the top 100, and in the top 50 for the pop chart on iTunes. That song kind of was the start for them, and after that they built a bit of a fan base which only grew from then. They still aren’t really to be considered famous, and they kind of like it that way. They have lots of smaller, intimate shows in which they make time to meet each individual fan which says a lot about them as musicians.

The EP “WHAT EVERYONE’S THINKING” in general brings so many unique things to the classic definitions of what “pop” music is or what it talks about. They talk about living with being a musician and making it work with a semi-normal life with lines like “I skipped prom for Elvis Duran In the morning”. They also talk about resisting peer pressure and the struggle of resisting it, along with things like complicated love. To generalize these examples given, their main purpose of this EP was to give voice to things that everyone is thinking, but not vocalizing.

Within 24 hours of the release, they were in the top 10 albums in the pop section of the iTunes charts, which is the highest they've ever charted in their musical career which is huge for them as a band. what is also huge about this is that they're talking about such things that aren't talked about nearly enough, and its getting listened to! by it being listened to, means that they have the opportunity to make an impact on the music industry, and its expectations.

Their single off of their new EP is called “I’m Not Famous” which essentially talks about all of the reasons they like that they’re not famous. This is one of those songs that is so unique that the theme of the overall song is so different than what is typical within the music industry. When have you ever heard of a musician singing about where they are in regards of fame? I haven’t heard one ever, which is one of the things that makes AJR as a band really stick out. This song is also something that you can dance to which is also a very good quality to have in a single because it gets people hooked once it's attached to an album or EP it can give them an incentive to listen to the other songs on the album or EP.

Cover Image Credit: Vinyl

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The Allegations Against Aziz Ansari Reflect A Bigger Issue We Need To Talk About

What supposedly happened between this young woman and Aziz Ansari is nothing new

Another day and another male Hollywood figure is having accusations of sexual assault brought against him. Today's culprit: Aziz Ansari, esteemed comedian and recent winner of the Golden Globes award for best actor in a TV series.

In a powerful account, Grace (not her real name), a photographer, describes a date that she went on with Ansari, which she describes as the "worst experience with a man" she's ever had.

Grace's story of her experience is raising a lot of questions, with people trying to decide whether or not it can be characterized as sexual assault, specifically with Ansari's active involvement in the #MeToo and Time's Up movements.

The most terrifying part, though, is that what supposedly happened between Grace and Aziz Ansari is nothing new. Many women have gone through a similar experience in which sexual contact that they weren't comfortable with took place. Many question themselves about whether or not what happened to them was sexual assault, or if their uneasiness is normal.

They are left with the same questions that Grace asked herself, the same questions that the public is asking since she has come forward with her story: Is this sexual assault? Or is this just an example of Aziz Ansari being a jerk? At what point in this sexual encounter did Ansari cross the line?

And was Grace's "no" firm enough or did she beat around the bush too much? Ansari is a feminist; he speaks out against people who do things like this. No way could he be a sexual offender.

All these questions and more are damaging and dismissing of sexual misconduct survivors and their experiences. A victim's narrative is not a political playground for spectators to make a mockery of their pain.

If Grace claims that Ansari assaulted her, I believe her. That's what the #MeToo movement is about. And if he is, in fact, guilty, the due process of the law should be relied on to discover the truth and execute the consequences.

Grace compares the 34-year-old actor to a "horny, rough, entitled 18-year-old " whose persistent pressuring and refusal to listen left her feeling violated, disrespected, and assaulted.

The fact that this sort of behavior is accepted as the norm among young men in high school and college is creating a narrative that is blurring the lines between what qualifies as assault and what is just a bad sexual experience.

If women should expect young men to disregard them every time they say "no" or "not this time" or "I'm not ready" or "slow down" then what kind of message are we sending both young men and women?

We are teaching them that the lines of consensual sex are easy to blur, that "no" means "convince me," and that a woman's safety and security and sense of wellbeing take the backseat to a man's sexual pleasure.

Despite all the progress that is being made throughout the #MeToo and Time's Up movements, we live in a society where men are expected to behave this way and women are expected to put up with it.

Women are taught that sex is supposed to hurt, that men want to have sex all the time, that it's the only thing on their minds. And men are taught that their pleasure is a priority, that they're entitled to an orgasm every single time they engage in sexual behavior, even at the expense of their partner's pleasure, wellbeing, or consent.

These teachings are toxic. They're wrong, sexist, and damaging to both men and women. And situations like these are the consequences: not only on the red carpet, but in the halls of our high schools, the talk of our locker rooms, and the White House of our government.

It's time to let these men know that we see them, we remember them, and their time's up.

Cover Image Credit: Flickr

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The Boom With No Bust: "Fake News"

With the explosion of "fake news," why hasn't this been called to attention before and how did it become so big so quickly?

Almost one year ago, Donald Trump was inaugurated as our nation’s President. There was a lot of backlash from coast to coast, and it really hasn’t stopped since. As Trump was sworn in despite not having the majority of the popular vote, the Internet boomed with "#NotMyPresident" and a Science March as well as a Women’s March, among others. 2017 Green Party Candidate Jill Stein even went so far as to call for a recount in three key states. As 2017 ended, though, it was a very intense and rough year for U.S. politics, especially among media sources.

A phrase, a very ugly one at that, has entered our mainstream media and I don’t know about you, but I hear it every day. Walking by peers talking, hearing something hard to believe, scrolling through Twitter, or even in a joking sense, “Fake News” is something just about everyone has said or heard over and over. I think about this a lot, because until his Presidency began, I had heard of the media being distorted and biased, but no one (to my knowledge, at least) came out to call anything “fake news.” It seems like we can’t even escape the hype of the phrase for a few hours.

So, with this wonderful jargon floating around, coming out in tweets from the President, I began to wonder, “Why now? The media has been misleading to paint a narrative or a story for as long as my memory serves. What makes it so much more scrutinized than before? Sure, yellow journalism has existed for forever, and there's always been some level of scrutiny, but why has there been such an explosion of interest in what the media claims is true or false?"

For one, President Trump publishes it regularly to followers who are political scientists, politicians, comedians, and others of various careers does not make it easy to ignore. The chief-in-command, the person who is supposed to represent and unify our nation and who is supposed to have the country’s best interest in their heart, is constantly talking about the horrible media; of course it’ll stick in people’s heads. He also has decided to personally release awards to media outlets which he thinks are the most problematic. Heinous and ridiculous if you ask me, but that’s a whole other topic to discuss.

Secondly, by echoing this phrase into millions of ears every day, it’s hard not to think about what you are digesting as a podcast listener and a journal reader. Questioning the media is something that should always be in the back of your brain, because it also demonstrates critical thinking skills which are helpful for everyday life and decreases naivety. So sure, bringing upon the idea of fake news to people who may not have considered that before can be seen as a good thing.

In order to reach their audiences, plenty of comedians will continue to tear apart President Trump in bits and skits. If Trump was attempting to just point out dishonesty in media, it would be one thing, and wouldn’t be found as foolish; however, he seems to participate in it as well and does not alleviate the problem. Not only does he provide zero solutions to fix the “fake news and dishonest media,” he also clearly biases towards other providers and what exactly is the “truth.”

Now, why would truth be in quotation marks? The truth is full of facts, right? Sure, I suppose so. But the “truth” I'm talking about here is unbalanced, biased facts that may have different agendas or points behind them to fuel an argument. Historians will be examining tweets heavily in the future, especially of those in this presidency, as Trump uses his personal account to make very formal announcements and to take shots at some other politicians. There’s already an entire archive online dedicated to permanently storing his tweets for people to scrutinize and for some to get a good laugh out of.

Some tweets sure are funny and some flat out don’t make sense. However, after a while, it stops becoming funny when the realization sets in that this person in charge of the Executive Branch releases to the public who he feels is a “loser” and gives nasty nicknames to any opposition. It is normal to not want someone from an opposing party to fill a seat in the House of Representatives or in the Senate, but it is not usually expressed by vague responses or in labeling people as crazy or crooked. I’m no Clinton fan either, but really?

Fake news has really flourished in the Trump Administration and it seems to be here to stay, whether anyone likes it or not. But posting things that are flat out false as well or purposefully excluding your favorite news media source in any measure of who is truly dishonest is not going to make the “fake news” go away. In fact, it may even encourage some sources to contribute to it. There are people who say that since Trump won the Presidency, anyone has a chance to win it; what if people have that same mentality about posting stories or releasing information to the public, no matter how true or false it is?

If this “fake news” mantra is to lessen, it may fall upon the shoulders of the citizens of the country to not follow in Trump’s steps, but to take a different approach to solving the same problem. If it becomes apparent a news source is publishing biased or false information, do not use it and do not pay exclusive attention to it. Or, to understand the honest event at hand, read posts and articles and listen to podcasts that both lean left and right; whatever the two have in common is probably the truth of the matter.

Cover Image Credit: Frederick Burr Opper, Wikimedia

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