Live Review: Arroyo Seco Weekend 2017

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Pasadena, California is home to The Rose Bowl, an American football stadium, and whose grounds are now home to the Arroyo Seco Weekend festival. The inaugural year of the festival looked mighty impressive on paper: over the course of June 24th and 25th, incredible headliners Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers and Mumford & Sons would be supported by some of Los Angeles’ favorite bands. It would seem that Southern California lives and breathes for Arroyo Seco’s self indulgent, exhibitionist older sister festival, Coachella, so I was interested in a lineup and experience that seemed more suited to SoCal’s alternative music scene.

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Best of British?: Diversity at the Brit Awards

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The Brit Awards, or any awards ceremony for that matter, rarely stray too far from controversy. Following in the footsteps of the Oscars the Brits have been accused of being “blind to black British talent”, as well as being too safe and commercialised. A number of celebrities have criticised the lack of prominent Grime artists such as Skepta and Stormzy and have even gone so far as boycotting the ceremony. How big is the issue here and how much do the Brits need to change? Continue reading

Grammy Awards 2016

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The Grammy awards have been and gone for another year and what an utter shambles they were. Mark Ronson and Bruno Mars won Record of the year for ‘Uptown Funk’, Ed Sheeran won Song of the year with ‘Thinking Out Loud’ and Taylor Swift won Album of the year with ‘1989’. Between them they also won all the pop categories. Swift and Sheeran should not have even been among the nominations as their albums both came out in 2014, which is downright disrespectful to the people who actually released new music this year and are more deserving of recognition. Especially considering they had already been nominated last year. Appalling pop monstrosity Meghan Trainor picked up best new artist and Muse picked up best rock album despite Drones being hands-down the band’s worst album.

There were a couple of silver linings amongst the multitude of dark clouds: Alabama Shakes had a successful night picking up best rock song, best rock album and best alternative album. (Although strictly speaking they shouldn’t have been in both rock and alternative categories!) There were a number of fitting tributes to musicians that we have lost including Lady Gaga’s frantic Bowie medley with Nile Rodgers and Alice Cooper’s supergroup The Hollywood Vampires performing ‘Ace of Spades’ in tribute to Lemmy. As a whole though it has been one of the worst awards in recent years ever since the nominations were announced. The Grammys need to buck their ideas up for next year.