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Gaga is gold

By Sophia Deng | Dec. 5, 2009, 12:03 a.m. | In Music »

There's no need to put the dancing shoes away - take two, and Gaga is just as good. In Lady Gaga's first album, "The Fame," the pop singer hypnotized the whole world with catchy hits, giving rise to teenagers everywhere belting "Just Dance" and "Papa-paparazzi."

Chillin' and representin'

By Amir Gorjifard | Nov. 30, 2009, midnight | In Music »

D.C. rapper Wale has been dominating the local underground rap scene for years, and now he has shot into mainstream music as a success. When his single, "Chillin," was released on June 2, the nation was surprised by this relatively unknown rapper and his collaboration with pop diva Lady Gaga.

"The Boy" knows just enough

By Ava Wallace | Oct. 8, 2009, midnight | In Music »

Since the release of his debut album in 2007, pop star Mika's energized songs have stolen hearts and no doubt caused fans' voices to crack when they try to sing along. Well, warm up those vocal cords, because Mika's back and he hasn't changed a bit. He's still spunky and he's still creative.

"Blueprint" for success

By Dennis Chae | Oct. 6, 2009, midnight | In Music »

Jay-Z has been in the rap game for a very long time and has been through it all - a heated feud with rapper Nas, a promotion to Chief Executive Officer of Def Jam Recordings, retirement and a comeback. Through it all, he's been able to consistently produce chart-topping albums including his 11th studio album, "Blueprint 3."

"All I Ever Wanted" is Kelly

By Susie Branson | March 20, 2009, midnight | In Music »

It's time to get back to jumping on those beds, cranking up the stereo and screaming lyrics in your car, because Kelly is back! Kelly Clarkson's fourth album, "All I Ever Wanted," released Mar. 10, has not only dissipated some of the recent embarrassing dismay of her third album, "My December," but revived her popular status as the spunky, energetic artist we all know and love.

You too will want U2

By Anika Manzoor | March 18, 2009, midnight | In Music »

After a five-year hiatus, U2 fans are anxious to see what genius these recent Rock and Roll Hall-of-Famers cook up next. Unfortunately, after 11 albums of Bono's impassioned vocals and the signature timbre of The Edge's guitar, "No Line On The Horizion" doesn't match up to the anthemic prowess the band established in the mid-1980s. But who can resist Bono's voice and The Edge's awesome guitar playing? "No Line" may not be U2's best album, but considering much of the bile that is produced by the music industry these days, it's absolutely supreme.

Winter concert warms the soul

By Monica Wei | Jan. 13, 2009, midnight | In Music »

Blair's second winter concert, featuring the Blazer Choir, InToneNation, the Chamber Choir guitar ensemble and the symphonic orchestra featured fun and foreign songs of a wide variety – from the soft and lilting to the haunting and sad to the upbeat and cheerful. These engaging tunes, coupled with conductors Dustin M. Doyle and Paul Newport's desire to include audience involvement, resulted in an intimate and warm concert.

Pro/Con: Auto-tuning the music industry

By Jenna Bushnell, David Tao | Jan. 6, 2009, midnight | In Music »

If you've turned on the radio in the past few years, you're probably familiar with the robotic twang of "T-Pained" vocals. This trademark motif of namesake and Florida R&B crooner T-Pain is caused by Antares Audio Technologies's Auto-Tune plug-in, a program that snaps sour notes into a computerized pattern with a distinctive tremble.

Soulja Boy tells 'em nothing

By Katie Sint | Dec. 26, 2008, midnight | In Music »

The musical genius who brought us meaningless yet extremely popular tracks like "Crank Dat (Soulja Boy)" and "Get Silly" brings the same lackluster approach to his newest album, "iSouljaBoyTellem." SouljaBoy amazingly manages to make each of the 16 tracks on "iSouljaBoyTellem" as mindless as the next. From the bouncy beat of "Rubberbands" to the ridiculous "Wit My Yums On," SouljaBoy has established himself as an artist that should never, ever win a Grammy.

Spectacular kicks it up

By Sophie Schwadron | Dec. 21, 2008, midnight | In Music »

With every lick of the guitar, thump of the drum and tinker of bells, rapture ripened in the eyes of the crowd. They came fleeing the cold December rain and found an exciting, eclectic mix of poetry, music, humor, dance and adrenalizing altruism. For yet another year, the Students for Global Responsibility's cultural extravaganza, known as the SGR Spectacular, displayed the brilliant talent of Blair's diverse community.

Sites for sounds

By Monica Wei, David Zheng | Dec. 4, 2008, midnight | In Music »

With the expanding popularity of music networking sites, the Internet has replaced radio as the dominant source of new music over radio. As a result, the rise of Facebook, YouTube and MySpace has launched an era of interconnectivity and expression - and anyone with Internet access can connect. Although a plethora of music social networking sites are available, Silver Chips Online is here with a review of some of the most popular, overhyped and underrated music networking sites.

Not quite "Fearless" but still fantastic

By Alisa Lu | Nov. 27, 2008, midnight | In Music »

Musicians who write their own lyrics are incredibly rare in today's music industry, where hits are usually written by professional songwriters and altered to perfection by producers. But country music phenomena Taylor Swift, who famously walked away from a record contract at age 13 because the label did not allow her to pen her own songs, is one of the few artists who can truly write and sing from the heart. Swift's sophomore album, "Fearless," contains a huge range of songs about young love, from the cheery and sappy "Love Story" to the angry "Always and Forever" to the sad "You're Not Sorry."

Cook turns up the heat

By Sophia Deng | Nov. 26, 2008, midnight | In Music »

Recent "American Idol" winner David Cook entrances listeners with his raspy voice on his self-titled first full-length album, released Nov. 18. Striking a balance between soothing pop ballads and rougher rock songs, the guitar-dominated album perfectly showcases the ranging vocals that won Cook "Idol." Although the tunes are predictable, all of Cook's songs, sprinkled with intense guitar solos and lyrical poignancy, capture the essence of what contemporary rock songs - which have become too pop-influenced - should aim to sound like.

"I Am" not too crazy in love with "Sasha Fierce"

By Fran Djoukeng | Nov. 23, 2008, midnight | In Music »

The world has seen much of Beyoncé's character through her climb to stardom and success. She led the record-breaking female group Destiny's Child and more recently acted in critically acclaimed movies like "Dreamgirls" and the upcoming "Cadillac Records." Still, she has more to reveal in a gentle and gracious record that introduces Sasha Fierce, her feisty and flamboyant alter ego. Beyoncé takes moderate risks in this much-awaited album, but fails to make "I Am…Sasha Fierce" a crowning production.

A lukewarm Coldplay

By Kiera Zitelman | Nov. 5, 2008, midnight | In Music »

Coldplay entered the American music scene eight years ago with its debut album "Parachutes." Today, three full-lengths later, the British group stands on top of the world. But Friday night at the Verizon Center, the foursome slogged through a mediocre and uneven 90-minute set on the Viva La Vida tour that disproved Coldplay's reputation as one of the world's most illustrious groups.

News from the InToneNation

By Katie Sint | Oct. 27, 2008, midnight | In Music »

Known for giving entertaining and creative performances, Blair's acclaimed a cappella group, InToneNation (ITN), is gearing up for several new projects that are sure to leave their audiences buzzing. New gigs, new members, new songs and a new CD are just some of the things in the works for the talented group of 16 Blazers.

A concert to change lives

By Julia Wynn | Sept. 7, 2008, midnight | In Music »

As the rain sprinkled over Downtown Silver Spring Friday night, more people than usual were out braving the drizzle, crowding around a stage set up opposite the fountain for a night of musical entertainment. And that's just what they got - and more. The bands and solo artists that performed were not only promoting their music, but also an important cause: to give girls in Mali the chance to go to school.

InToneNation in the spotlight

By Ya Zhou | May 26, 2008, midnight | In Music »

Blair's energetic a cappella group, InToneNation (ITN), stunned the audience once again with a magnificent and creative one-and-a-half hour program showcasing 22 selections last Friday. The show was the latter of two spring concerts, as well as the final concert for the group's four seniors. Throughout its varied and exciting program, ITN exhibited exceptional vocal mastery - not only as individual soloists but also, perhaps more importantly, as a successfully cohesive a cappella group.

Spring orchestra concert hits all the right notes

By David Zheng | May 19, 2008, midnight | In Music »

Blair's string and symphonic orchestras captivated the audience with a diverse showcase of harmonious performances at the spring concert in the Blair auditorium on May 15. Seven total pieces, all introduced and led by conductor and instrumental music teacher Dustin Doyle, kept the small but appreciative audience enthralled.

Conchords soar on "Flight"

By Kiera Zitelman | May 1, 2008, midnight | In Music »

Flight of the Conchords members Bret McKenzie and Jemaine Clement call themselves "formerly New Zealand's fourth most popular guitar-based digi-bongo a-capella-rap-funk-comedy duo." Whether or not that is true remains to, and probably never will, be seen. But what is sure from their first full-length album, "Flight of the Conchords," is that the pair is here to stay – not just a fleeting fad briefly popularized with a funny album.

Another prolific "Release"

By Jon Kesten | April 7, 2008, midnight | In Music »

Do a new album, a new producer, new instruments and a new look spell a new Black Keys? If the CD's first track is any indication, then the Keys are still very much among us, but with a new, original flavor on their April 1 album "Attack and Release."

Setting the 9:30 Club ablaze

By Gus Woods | Feb. 18, 2008, midnight | In Music »

For a band formed only six months ago, Blair's own Trees Have Cars is moon-leaping toward stardom. With fresh microphones and recording equipment, they have more than 14 original songs. The group, which cites such disparate artists as Jason Mraz, Linkin Park, Led Zeppelin and the Red Hot Chili Peppers as influences recently performed at the Nightclub 9:30, their first formal performance.

"Sleep" offers much of the same

By | Feb. 10, 2008, midnight | In Music »

Jack Johnson's recent release, titled "Sleep Through the Static," was supposed to be a musically radical breakthrough. The addition of an electric guitar to the album's make-up was supposed to add a fresh, edgy vibe to Johnson's typically languid resonance. But "Sleep Through the Static" isn't quite as ambitious as all the pre-release hype projected; in fact, most of the songs seem as calming and acoustic-based as those on his previous albums.

Grammy gab

By | Feb. 7, 2008, midnight | In Music »

The 50th annual Grammy Awards show is approaching and for once, people are showing some interest. With the striking Hollywood writers announcing that they will not picket the yearly music extravaganza, the Grammy Awards may be the only major awards show to fight its way onto a live telecast this year.

Grammy gab

By Lucas Alvarado-Farrar, Maya Calabrese, Josie Callahan, Johanna Gretschel | Feb. 7, 2008, midnight | In Music »

The 50th annual Grammy Awards show is approaching and for once, people are showing some interest. With the striking Hollywood writers announcing that they will not picket the yearly music extravaganza, the Grammy Awards may be the only major awards show to fight its way onto a live telecast this year.

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