Category Archives: Pop
The life of a superfan
words and images by Anna Sanger, staff writer
Remember those boy bands of the nineties? N’Sync? The Backstreet Boys? What about Hanson? When you hear that name, Hanson, you might think of stringy haired pre-teens playing in front of a large yellow pansy, or maybe a band of spastic, high-pitched, gap-toothed brothers. Ever wonder what happened to those guys?
Obama ruffles American feathers with a soda tax proposal
by Brittin Alfred, staff writer; image by Eleanor Anderson, art editor
In a recent interview with Men’s Health Magazine, President Obama casually suggested the idea of a tax on soda to promote healthier habits among youth. “There’s no doubt that our kids drink way too much soda. And every study that’s been done about obesity shows that there is as high a correlation between increased soda consumption and obesity as just about anything else.” As the President of a country founded on an anti-taxation ideal, perhaps Obama should have seen the backlash coming.
And New Life thinks he should be yours, too
by Simone Phillips, staff writer; illustration by Lily Turner, guest artist
As someone raised by parents who rejected the Protestant faith of their own upbringings, sitting through a “real” church service was equivalent to observing the practices of a foreign culture. But the same curiosity that entices teenagers to defy their parents and smoke their first joint tempted me to learn a little bit about Christianity. I had heard the list of grievances against the religion: the unrealistic demands of asceticism, the subjugation of women and the wars started in the name of God. Within the progressive bubble of my youth, the overzealous embrace of multiculturalism generated a pervasive belief in the utter foolishness of popularized Christianity. Nonetheless, the religion’s successful attraction of a wide range of followers made me wonder if I was the one missing something. I decided to give myself the chance to get a glimpse of what drives popular Christianity. Although I held no illusion that after one visit I would be an expert on the church or a born again convert, I thought one visit couldn’t hurt.
Karaoke returns to the Springs
by Miranda Hickox, guest writer, and Artie Niederhoffer, editor; illustration by Miranda Hickox
Anyone can be a pop star, at least if he or she frequents the karaoke scene that is reportedly making a comeback in Colorado Springs. Thursday night at Good Company on Academy Boulevard, we expected to see many fellow incoherent college students slurring the lyrics from whatever they heard on 96.1 on the way over. Instead, we were first pleasantly surprised—and later, blown away—by top-notch vocalizing. Maybe our original attitude had been an example of typical CC-to-Springs condescension. After all, Good Company is the bar that holds the Independent’s prestigious title of best karaoke bar.
The art and science of composing a pop song
by Max Robillard, guest writer; illustrations by Eleanor Anderson, art editor
There is a time and place for everything, except pop music. Pop music’s time and place is all the time and everywhere. The first step in writing a pop song is to recognize this. Pop music is generally understood to be something heard on Z 97, but the songs on that station are commercials, and most of the artists on them are products. Pop music is not a genre necessarily; it often has an upbeat, positive flavor, but it can be sad or frightening, too. Gary Numan and Kimya Dawson are pop, though they sound completely different. Pop music is really about structure and a few additional components that have existed for thousands, if not millions, of days.
A Cipher writer gets and interview with her celebrity crush
by Ginny Leise, staff writer; image by Miranda Hickox, guest artist
I have an enormous crush on Cappie, but there’s one slight problem—Cappie doesn’t actually exist. He’s a character on ABC Family’s Greek. So I have to settle for the next best thing—Scott Michael Foster, the actor who plays him. The drawback to celebrity crushes is that the thrill of running into or talking to them is always just out of reach. Then I got to thinking, “who says I can’t actually talk to him?” So I got on a handy dandy (stalker) website called imdbpro.com, emailed Scott’s publicist, and scheduled an interview. The interview was scheduled for twelve. At one, he still hadn’t called. I was sitting on the toilet when the phone finally rang—not exactly the context of my dream meeting.
by Emma Calabrese, editor; illustration by Julia DeWitt, staff artist
In an age when YouTube, Hulu and Facebook give us access to a seemingly endless array of videos, it is strange to imagine that they have only been available for a few years. From legendary homemade YouTube videos (“Chah-lie bit me!”), to the dependable availability of television shows on Hulu, the Internet has revolutionized our approach to spreading and consuming fiction and controversy…