Father John Misty, Taylor Swift, and the Internet Outrage Machine

If you recently Googled the phrase “Taylor Swift virtual reality sex” (or some variation thereof), you may have come across reporting on a “scandal” that embodies just about everything that is wrong with our culture. Here’s what happened. Josh Tillman (aka Father John Misty), an oft-bearded musician beloved by hipsters, performed a song from his … Continued

Celebrities, Music

What Iggy Pop Taught Me About Depression

Post Pop Depression, the acclaimed new album by rock icon Iggy Pop, is partly about grief. Pop recorded the album while he was mourning the death of his longtime friend and collaborator, David Bowie; as Pitchfork reviewer Stuart Berman described, “Post Pop Depression is awash in a fog of melancholy.” It makes perfect sense that … Continued

Celebrities, Music

Why So Many Pop Songs Kick Men to the Curb

“Mister Right could be nice for one night But then he wanna take control And I would rather fly solo” Those are the lyrics that my 10-year-old daughter walked off the school bus singing a couple of weeks ago. They come from a song released last year called “Sit Still, Look Pretty” from a singer … Continued

Culture, Music

Why the Left is Going After Lady Gaga and Taylor Swift

In today’s twisted media world, you can get shamed for doing nothing. Take Lady Gaga, the pop superstar chosen to perform at Sunday’s Super Bowl halftime show. Given her track record, fans knew anything was possible from her performance. It’s hard to forget that meat dress ensemble. That also meant she might uncork yet another … Continued

Celebrities, Music

How Twenty One Pilots Are Saving American Kids

At first glance, they’re a parent’s worst nightmare: A pair of punked-out, tattooed Millennials who perform songs about suicide and despair while wearing black face masks that seem even more sinister than the make-up and ear gauges they conceal. But don’t be duped by the dark façade. The alt-rock duo Twenty One Pilots, currently on … Continued

Entertainment, Music

The Virtues of Christmas Music—Even When It’s Played 24/7

For many Christians, the quiet promise of Advent has given way to a mourning and gnashing of teeth more befitting Lent. The cause? The annual lament over crèches disappearing from public spaces and society’s insistence on wan “holiday” concerts and greetings. But in focusing on skirmishes lost, Christians overlook ground they hold firmly: the message … Continued

Culture, Music

Put ELO in the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame

Last week, the Cleveland Rock and Roll Hall of Fame announced its nominees for induction into 2017’s Hall of Fame class. The Hall of Fame is famously subjective, and one could make a case for any of the candidates, all giants of Boomer culture: the group Yes popularized progressive rock; Journey perfected arena rock; Tupac … Continued

Entertainment, Music

Sorry, Donald Trump. You’re Not Punk Rock

Is Donald Trump punk rock? The question has come up recently in articles in the Atlantic and Taki’s Magazine. In the Atlantic’s “Donald Trump, Sex Pistol,” James Parker writes that “with his followers,” Trump “has co-created a space in American politics that is uniquely transgressive, volatile, carnivalesque, and (from a certain angle) punk rock.” Trump … Continued

Music, Politics

The Feminist Attack Against K-pop

Korea is a country obsessed with popular music and entertainment. Every night of the week, one of seven major networks broadcasts a K-pop countdown show full of sexy girls and handsome guys dancing and singing (or lip syncing) in ways that would make feminist websites like Jezebel describe Taylor Swift as Betty Friedan by comparison. … Continued

Entertainment, Music

Blink-182 and the Silliness of Middle-Aged Rocker Angst

If you were an angsty teenager like me in the mid-to-late 1990s / early 2000s timeframe, finely attuned to all of life’s unfair absurdities—for example, your baseball coach was kind of a jerk, your English teacher just didn’t understand why that poem you wrote was actually deeply poignant and profound, your parents belonged to the … Continued

Entertainment, Music