Top 5 Concerts
Paul McCartney: Hollywood Casino Amphitheatre – Tinley Park│Tinley Park, IL│July 25th
Paul McCartney continues his “One on One Tour,” hitting an amphitheater in Illinois that’s a perfect venue for the summertime.
Bruno Mars: Moda Center at the Rose Quarter│Portland, OR│July 23rd
Bruno Mars picks up momentum on his “24 Magic Tour” after starting over the weekend. The tour spans for months, but this is his only Portland stop along the way. Mars begins a set of Canada shows after his Portland and Tacoma, WA stop.
Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers: Royal Farms Arena│Baltimore, MD│July 23rd
Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers play in Baltimore this coming weekend. The tour is set to end next month.
Garth Brooks & Trisha Yearwood: California Mid-state Fair Grounds│Paso Robles, CA│July 27th
Garth Brooks keeps adding dates with wife Trisha Yearwood. The country singer is set to play two shows on the 27th before heading to L.A. for two shows.
Neil Diamond: Pepsi Center – Denver│Denver, CO│July 21st
Neil Diamond in on tour for his “50th Year Anniversary.” Get tickets to see the superstar live on what could be his last tour.
What’s In Tune: New Music
Meek Mill│Wins and Losses
Meek Mill is not a name associated with good vibes in the hip-hop realm. From stirring up beef with Drake to stirring up beef dating Nicki Minaj to stirring up beef with just about everyone, Meek Mill lost track of grinding for hip-hop/R&B king status and lost his way in the pettiness. In conjunction with his new album Wins and Losses, Meek Mill dropped a three-part “movie” of sorts leading up to the release. Chapter One below is in a hospital room, as the main African American young male sprints around the hospital looking for a room where a mother is giving birth. Meek Mill himself isn’t present until partway through the movie, rapping as an invisible character in the plot.
Chapter Two, titled “The Trap,” begins with “Earlier that day,” meaning before the birth of the child. The viewer sees a bunch of men with guns loaded up and ready to drive off on a mission with an obvious intention of causing gun violence. Somewhere else, a family sits down after getting the groceries, and the woman’s water breaks at the dining room table. The boy who sprints into the hospital room in Chapter One is present. The film flips back and forth between the woman and the group of men dealing drugs while the group driving by with guns shoots at them. Each side is shooting at each other now, and men are shot dead.
Chapter 3 begins with ambulance headlights picking up the wounded and the dead from the street. Current day Meek Mill raps on the side still like an invisible narrator. We find out that the father of the child from the Chapter One is the dead man, and the dead father sold drugs to make money for a living. Therefore, the child will grow up to be fatherless, and the boy who sprints to the hospital is the man that shot him. Death is concurring the same time as life. It is the story of street gang violence and systemic disadvantages due to one’s upbringing.
Wins and Losses
Meek Mill promotes the Wins and Losses album as a movie, as well, so it’s to be determined if there’s more film to come for the release. It seems like the rapper is taking a major step back to understand seriousness in his music. Just like the title implies, the album will most likely cover the ups and downs of Meek Mill’s life and his backstory that rappers typically remain close to throughout their careers.
In an explanation to Complex, Meek Mill notes that the wins and losses, W’s and L’s, he talks about in this album are real life consequences and not the more lighthearted issues that rappers use the L’s slang for. Mill states, “When you talk L’s and W’s, you get an L, that mean you got life in jail. It’s critical, it ain’t what they talking about, so I wanted to give my perspective on it, let people know what I’ve been through.”
The singles leading up the release include “Whatever You Need” (feat. Chris Brown & Ty Dolla $ign), “Issues,” “Glow Up,” and “Young Black America” (feat. The-Dream). From those song titles alone, the feelings of immediacy and gravity are present.
Wins and Losses Tracklist:
1. “Wins & Losses”
2. “Heavy Heart”
3. “F**k That Check Up” feat. Lil Uzi Vert
4. “Whatever You Need” feat. Chris Brown & Ty Dolla $ign
5. “1942 Flows”
7. “We Ball” feat. Young Thug
8. “These Scars” feat. Future & Guordan Banks
9. “Connect the Dots” feat. Yo Gotti & Rick Ross
10. “Fall Thru”
11. “Never Lose” feat. Lihtz Kamraz
12. “Glow Up”
13. “Young Black America” feat. The-Dream
14. “Open” feat. Verse Simmonds
15. “Ball Player” feat. Quavo
16. “Made It from Nothing” feat. Teyana Taylor & Rick Ross
Dan Croll│Emerging Adulthood
Dan Croll is an indie rock singer from England. Croll attended Liverpool Institute for Performing Arts ( LIPA) when he was 18, and he was one of eight students picked to have a one-on-one session with LIPA founder Sir Paul McCartney. In addition to songwriter awards and other accolades, he signed to his first record label in 2012. The debut single “From Nowhere” dropped the same year, and a handful of other singles followed over the next year. He then dropped his debut album Sweet Disarray in March 2014. Three years later, he is finally dropping his sophomore album Emerging Adulthood.
His latest single “Bad Boy” is a song off of the album that dropped in June. Croll’s voice is similar to indie rock/pop singer Andrew McMahon in the Wilderness in genre. Though his fame is not abundant, Croll is a fresh sound in the indie realm for his notable songwriting abilities.
Emerging Adulthood Tracklist:
1. “One Of Us”
2. “Bad Boy”
5. “Sometimes When I’m Lonely”
8. “Away From Today”
9. “Do You Have To?”
Lana Del Rey│Lust for Life
Lana Del Rey drops Lust for Life today. Though the album does contain somber notes, the overall image of Lana in her new music is more uplifting. The album cover shows her smiling, something very different for her persona and past songs filled with depressing, even suicidal, lyrics. In a Pitchfork interview, Lana discusses how this past album holds a different tone because of the state of the world, referencing the Trump presidency and the urge for the vocalization of citizens’ concerns and fear. In addition, she notes the exit from an abusive relationship that inspired some of the dark lyrics from her past. One of Lana’s biggest critiques is her clash with feminism through abusive lyrics. However, the Lana today is different than the one from a year ago and certainly different from Born to Die Lana.
Lust for Life
Though her “point of view” isn’t clear, as there’s no motives behind her lyrical shift, Lana Del Rey is growing. That she can attest to. Songs such as “Gold Bless America – And All the Beautiful Women in It” and “When the World Was at War We Kept Dancing” demonstrate her political awareness growth and her support of women’s rights in a way that was completely negated on past albums. It’s a different world, and she’s adapted. It seems that Lana left darker places behind for more light and openness. Just like many youths, she’s grown tremendously in only a few years’ time.
Lust for Life still holds some of her weaknesses including an inability to switch up her sound if at all (a hip-hop feature doesn’t count). Successful artists grow their sound while still maintaining their identity to remain true to themselves. This goes farther than lyrics or features. It’s the actual production and vocal sound of the artist. Lana still falls short is surprising listeners with anything excitingly diverse, but her mental change certainly will intrigue fans. She is, if nothing else, hungry to draw curiosity and bafflement of those around her.
Lust for Life Tracklist:
2. “Lust for Life” feat. The Weeknd
3. “13 Beaches”
5. “White Mustang”
6. “Summer Bummer” feat. A$AP Rocky and Playboi Carti
7. “Groupie Love” feat. A$AP Rocky
8. “In My Feelings”
9. “Coachella – Woodstock in My Mind”
10. “God Bless America – And all the Beautiful Women in It”
11. “When the World Was at War We Kept Dancing”
12. “Beautiful People Beautiful Problems” feat. Stevie Nicks
13. “Tomorrow Never Came” feat. Sean Ono Lennon
16. “Get Free”
What’s In Tune: Television Appearances
Fifth Harmony is performing their new hit with Gucci Mane, “Down,” on The Tonight Show.
Fall Out Boy│Late Night with Seth Meyers│July 26th
Fall Out Boy is gearing up for the release of their new album MANIA and their “MANIA Tour” this fall. The appearance will most likely cover new music and tour plans.
Tyler, The Creator is dropping his new album soon after a series of single releases met with good critical reception.
Foster the People│The Late Late Show with James Corden│July 24th
Foster the People dropped their new album Sacred Hearts Club a few weeks prior and are touring in support of the album.