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The Existential Dread in Smash Mouth's "All Star"

(01/26/16 5:34pm)

I feel very lucky to be a writer for Dartbeat, because it gives me a chance to prove I’ve got my finger on the pulse of current pop culture. That is why I’ve chosen to share with you a lyrical analysis of Smash Mouth’s 1999 hit “All-Star.” While the lyrics are likely burrowed into your subconscious, you probably haven’t realized that, under scrutiny, the song is a cautionary tale about finding meaning in the pursuit of instant gratification.

Sonic Space: HOLYCHILD

(11/16/15 12:56pm)

For my last review of the term (!!!), I’m shamelessly plugging one of my favorite acts, HOLYCHILD. The electro-pop duo out of California recently released their first full-length album, “The Shape of Brat Pop to Come” (2015). The two define themselves as “brat pop,” which (as far as I can tell) is a combination of upbeat tracks and perturbing lyrics. “Brat pop” is energetic, there are no slow jams or ballads on the album, but it has a dark bite to it. The staccato electronics warble and sharp, occasionally clipped vocals evoke a seedy, wired underworld.

Sonic Space: Melting

(11/02/15 1:31pm)

The weather is creeping toward frightful, but right now it’s mostly just cozy. Is there anything that cold, grey days lend themselves to better than large mugs of hot chocolate and mountains of blankets? Unfortunately, cozy weather coincides with piles of work, and finding music that both encompasses the coziness of the fall and motivates me to get work done is hard to find. In times like these, I turn mostly to female vocals layered over complex and pulsating beats. So, this is a playlist my friend put together, and I’m sharing it with all of you. Please listen responsibly.

7 Spooky Bangers and Monster Mash-Ups

(10/30/15 11:37am)

Halloween songs are like horror movies. There are some great ones, some okay ones and some that are so bad it’s scaaaary. With so many options out there, you may be overwhelmed by choices as you assemble a playlist for your Halloween party. I’ve assembled a few songs with a spooky vibe that aren’t so mainstream (I’m a Halloween hipster) that you might want to listen to during your party.

15 Songs You Must Know To Be Socially Relevant at Pop Punk

(10/08/15 11:08am)

For those of you who don’t know, Pop Punk is a dance party at Sigma Phi Epsilon (aka Sig Ep). It celebrates the songs that colored the early 2000’s — the glory days of raging hormones and enigmatic AIM statuses (on accounts named princessdogluvrxoxo, or in my case, scribblestarz) like “do u like me or like like me….” or “brb, cryin bout u, U KNO WHO U R.” Essentially, Pop Punk is what you’d get if you took the Heorot Highlighter party and then changed literally everything about it. There are no “bumping bodies” and nothing “tight and bright” allowed. Instead, you’ll dance on a pong table and throw inordinate amounts of shade while sobbing the words to “Mr. Brightside.”

Sonic Space: Angel Haze

(10/05/15 12:51pm)

A lot of things have happened since Angel Haze last released a full-length album in 2013. In the past two years, Haze has publicly come out as agender and left the record label that helped them put out their last album, “Dirty Gold” (2013). The break from the record label is evident in Haze’s new album “Back to the Woods” (2015). “Dirty Gold” was polished and surprisingly pop-heavy for an artist who originally rose to fame on the strength of songs such as “Werkin Girls.” It was very much the studio’s album whereas this new effort is quite clearly guided and shaped by Haze. The beats are darker, and the lyrics are more emotionally honest than ever. Many of the feel-good platitudes and hooks from “Dirty Gold” are inverted or eschewed.