Come With us as We Follow Halsey to the Graveyard

Halsey - Graveyard

On September 13th Halsey released her second single, “Graveyard” from her upcoming album Manic. Fans had patiently (well, as patient as fans can be) been waiting for a new single since “Nightmare” was released in May. A summer without a Halsey tour or a new single? We didn’t ask for that kind of summer.

Graveyard” is very different from the rough and tough vibes we got from “Nightmare.” Not that it’s surprising coming from Halsey. Because honestly, what can’t she do? This time the angry sound was put aside as “Graveyard” opens up with the calming sounds of an acoustic guitar. The strumming slowly fades into a softer pop melody. The lyrics, staying true to herself, aren’t as soft and calm. Halsey always keeps it real with her lyrics.

With this song, she takes us on an emotional journey through an abusive relationship with someone you love. That sometimes the ‘butterflies’ you are feeling are really a warning sign to run the opposite direction. To get out before you dig yourself too deep and follow someone “all the way to the graveyard.”

Along with this beautiful reminder to not let yourself get pulled in by the darkness surrounding someone else, we also FINALLY have a release date for Manic. The day before the song dropped, Halsey tweeted a link to manicthealbum.com with a time that signified when a livestream of her painting started. It went on for hours and fans watched in anticipation as she painted the album artwork for Manic. Now, the website is live and you can presave and preorder the album which will be released on January 17th!

Listen to “Graveyard” and watch a time-lapse video of Halsey painting the Manic artwork below!

Halsey
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Words: Anna Grillo | Featured Photo: Graveyard Artwork

Alienstock: A Music Festival for True Believers

Alienstock Festival

Get your Naruto run ready, nothing is going to stop an alien enthusiast from storming Alienstock Festival. Facebook could shut down the event page “Storm Area 51, They Can’t Stop All Of Us”, but that doesn’t mean it would stop the two million Facebook users who said they’re going. It’s definitely not going to stop Matty Roberts, the creator of the Facebook event, and The Hidden Sound, an event producer, from storming the surrounding area.

The event page quickly became a viral meme. It claimed that the government couldn’t stop everyone if they all “Naruto ran” straight into Area 51 on September 20th. Although most people who said they were attending the event were most likely joking, there are plenty of people out there who are curious what is hiding in Area 51. Hopefully, curious enough to attend an alien themed music festival.

Roberts and The Hidden Sound wanted to celebrate the viral Facebook meme. They went to Rachel, NV (the closet town to Area 51), to ask if they could hold the festival. And to give all the true believers a place they could gather and discuss theories. Then these two spoke with industry-leaders of the music festival world to come up with a plan to organize the chaos this event created. Luckily for alien and music lovers alike, the small town with a population of 50 people welcomed the opportunity to turn their home into a festival.

Currently there isn’t any word on who will be performing here. However, it’s confirmed that it will be held on September 19th-22nd. The most information we have now is the promise of live music, arts, and camping under the stars.

Attending Alienstock Festival?

The event is free to attend, you don’t even need an alien to get in! Check out the website for information on parking/camping. You will also find directions, as well as a place to donate money to the festival. As well as any other details you may be curious about before attending.

Alienstock
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Words: Anna Grillo | Featured Photo: Alienstock Festival

Everbody Wins with New Music From WhoHurtYou

On July, 16 2019 WhoHurtYou, the dark pop duo made up of Jack Barakat and Kevin Fisher, released their second single “Nobody Wins”. A few days ago the band started teasing the new release. On Monday they posted a promo photo, Barakat stating that we were about to get a song about guilt. Fisher told us how important this song was to his love of songwriting. Both of these captions had us sitting on the edge of our seats, not so patiently waiting for the expected release on Friday.

It didn’t stop there. They continued to dangle the new single in front of us, just out of reach. On Wednesday WhoHurtYou took to social media again. Both Barakat and Fisher posted written apologizes for the guilt they were feeling. Stating that if you are holding on to any sort of feelings that are overwhelming to “write it down and set yourself free from the past.”

Finally, the day is here and we got what we’ve been waiting for. “Nobody Wins” is a lot more mellow than the previous single from WhoHurtYou. “Wish We Never Met” had you dancing away all your hurt with the upbeat rhythm and relatable lyrics. “Nobody Wins” is just as relatable with lyrics. The song speaks about hurt and guilt when dealing with a breakup. That most times during a breakup, everyone gets hurt – even the person causing most of the hurting. The song is filled with emotion, but it puts it pretty simple. When a relationship ends, nobody wins.

Not only did we get a new single from WhoHurtYou, but they also dropped a music video as well. The video shows both Barakat and Fisher driving around the desert, both with a girl seeming like they are happy and having a great time. But with just one listen to the song, you’ll be able to tell that the music video won’t end so happy for those involved.

Check out the debut single “Wish We Never Met” from WhoHurtYou here!

WhoHurtYou
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Jack Barakat
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Kevin Fisher
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Words: Anna Grillo | Featured Photo: WhoHurtYou

Twin XL are too “Good” to Miss This Fall!

Twin XL

Twin XL is an alt-pop trio from Los Angeles. Cameron Walker-Wright (vocals), joined brothers Stephen Gomez (bass) and John Gomez (guitar) in the studio back in 2017, just to have a fun jam session. They realized very quickly their time in the studio was more than just messing around – it was pure magic. And that’s how three friends just hanging out gave us the band we are currently obsessing over.

It only took Walker-Wright and the Gomez Brothers a couple years after their first studio session to drop their debut EP How To Talk To Strangers. The trio completely wrote and produced the album themselves. They incorporated classic instruments, synthesizers, and vintage drum machines to give the music a “retro feel”. Countless TV shows and even more playlists are currently featuring the band’s music. You can hear them on Taco Bell’s “The Bell Poolside Playlist”, Hulu’s original series Light as a Feather, and so much more! With a sound that’s been shaped by so many great influences, who wouldn’t want Twin XL‘s music on their project?!

Twin XL have toured with some amazing bands – such as lovelytheband and The Mowgil’s. They have also headlined a bunch of their own shows across North America; but this fall, they are heading out on tour with The Maine. The Mirror is a tour that is a fully immersive concert experience. We could not have begged The Maine to bring a more perfect band than Twin XL on such an experimental tour that will (hopefully!) shape the way of touring in the future.

Keep reading for an exclusive interview with the band!

It’s just been announced that you’re touring with The Maine this fall, on their The Mirror Tour. They’ve claimed that this is their most “ambitious” tour that will give fans an “immersive audio and visual experience.” Has this shaped the way your set will be played on this tour? If so, how?
We are a very visual band – we have some really cool new visual stuff we are working on. We are always trying to improve our show whether it’s adding new transitions between songs or finding those little moments to really do something special within a song. The Maine is such an incredible band and I’m really excited to see the show and be a part of the experience. 

We know you’ve been a part of The Maine’s “Eighty One Twenty Three” Festival, which is a pretty immersive event itself. What do you think will be the biggest difference between the two events?
There are some obvious differences – these shows will be indoors as opposed to an outdoor festival vibe. There’s so much more you can do inside with lighting and set design. I’m not sure what they have planned but they never seem to disappoint! 

You’ve been headlining your own shows recently, what’s been your favorite part about setting up a headlining show, versus participating as an opener?
I love that when we headline our own show we can take our time, so there’s a little more room to experiment and try new things. We did a really cool stripped down / acoustic moment that turned into a big crowd sing along at the last few shows and that was really fun. As an opener our job is to warm up the stage and get the crowd hyped for the headliner but we’re also there to try and win over new fans and we only have a short amount of time to do it. There’s this sense of urgency to it and I love that feeling. 

Your music is so unlike anything we hear on the radio (in the best way)! How has writing for Twin XL differed from writing for any previous projects you’ve been involved in?
Working together has been such a pleasurable experience. When we started writing the songs for the EP we weren’t entirely sure what the destination was and it wasn’t until about half way through that we decided to start a band together. Everything has felt very organic and natural in the studio as well as on tour and on stage.

Your debut EP How to Talk to Strangers features seven different tracks. What are some pros and cons of writing and producing the entirety of your own work?
We have all written and produced music for other artists and outside things so I think we all feel very at-home and confident in the studio. We are very proud of the fact that we made this EP entirely on our own. Everything about the lyrics, music, sound choices, production etc.. came directly from us and we feel extremely connected to it in the best way possible. 

Of the tracks, which is your own personal favorite? Why?
I (Cameron) love the song “Don’t Wake Me, I’m Still Dreaming.” It’s about growing up and how the world seems a bit grey compared to how it  looked when you were a kid –  and desperately trying to hold onto that feeling. 

Your first single as Twin XL was “Good.” Why did you choose this as your official debut? What set it apart from the other tracks on the album?
“Good” definitely felt like a standout track throughout the process of making the EP. The vintage, dusty sound that “Good” has was something we really tried to capture throughout making the EP and it just felt like a great introduction to the band. 

Are there plans to release new music in the near future? If so, what kind of sound are we expected to hear?
We are constantly writing and we have a lot of new songs in the works. Some are very close to being finished and some are in their early stages. We aren’t sure exactly when we will start releasing new stuff since the EP is still very new but there is definitely new music coming in the near future. 

Twin XL

“The vintage, dusty sound […] was something we really tried to capture throughout making our EP”

A lot of your music draws influence from all sorts of musicians and instruments, who/what has been the most outlier of an influence for you?
For me (Cameron) personally The Cure and The Killers have always been big influences. I also love the early Gorillaz stuff… I think for most people there is always those core artists or bands that stick with you. Lately I’ve also been getting to a ton of newer artists as well such as Sir Sly and Pale Waves. There’s so much great stuff out there right now. 

What was the moment when you realized this was way more than friends messing around in a studio and you knew you had to become a band?
I think we all started to feel it after writing the first few songs together. To me I remember having a moment listening back to the first mix of “Friends” and really feeling it was something special. Some time after that John called me while he was driving in his car and he was just like “dude, these songs are really, really great and we want to be in this band with you.” I was hyped because I felt the exact same way. 

You have been featured on a lot of great TV shows and playlists. What show/playlist were you most excited to be featured on?
We just got added to Spotify’s New Alt playlist and that was a very exciting moment. I check that one frequently and have found out about a lot of amazing new artists there so it’s very exciting that we are now included on it.

Which song from The Maine’s entire discography, do you wish you had written?
I’m going to go with “My Best Habit.” The new album is brilliant!

If you could bring any band/artist that has ever existed on tour with you, who would it be and why?
Definitely The Killers. I would just be so stoked to watch them every night.

And finally, what do you want new listeners to know about Twin XL?
We are very excited to be going out on tour with The Maine this fall and we hope to see you there! 

Watch Twin XL’s music video for their debut single, “Good”

Twin XL
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Cameron Walker-Wright
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John Gomez
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Stephen Gomez
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Words: Anna Grillo | Featured Photo: KayKay Blaisdell

Andi Mack Crafts a New Type of Disney Show

Andi Mack

If you grew up in the early 2000s and didn’t spend your days watching Lizzie McGuire on Disney Channel, did you even have a childhood? There was nothing like the trio of Lizzie, Miranda, and Gordo walking through the halls only to be interrupted by the extra quirky Cartoon Lizzie. The show was fun and silly, dealing with relatable topics like having a major crush, embarrassing parents, and your friends changing from who you thought they were. It wasn’t until 2017 that Terri Minsky, creator of Lizzie McGuire, came back to Disney Channel to give us the most inspirational kids’ show, Andi Mack.

Andi Mack follows the life of thirteen year old Andi (played by Peyton Elizabeth Lee) and her group of friends. The show starts out on Andi’s birthday when her older sister, Bex, comes to visit. But then, PLOT TWIST, Andi finds out that Bex is actually her mother and the people she grew up calling mom and dad were actually her grandparents. Bex had Andi when she was a teenager but wasn’t ready for the responsibility of being a parent. To avoid embarrassing the family name, Andi’s grandparents raised her as their own child until she stumbled upon this huge secret. Once Andi found out, Bex turned her life around and became a mother to Andi. By the end of the show Bex falls in love with Andi’s father, creating a happy, loving family from a dramatic and tragic backstory.

Andi Mack and Her Friends Slay Social Issues

Teen pregnancy was only the first of many social issues that Disney Channel dealt with during the three years of Andi Mack. When Andi’s friend, Buffy (played by Sofia Wylie), wanted to start playing basketball for their school she had to deal with issues a lot scarier than vampires. She found out that her school didn’t have a girls team. She tried out for the guys team, and just like your average Disney Channel show she made the team!

However, it wasn’t smooth sailing after that. She played on the team but a lot of the players didn’t respect her as a player and wouldn’t pass Buffy the ball or treat her as part of the team. After toughing it out on the guys team and slaying the competition, Buffy finally got the school to start a girls basketball team. She works with inexperienced basketball players to make a confident team of female players – truly showing that girls can do anything boys can do.

A Whole New World for Disney Channel

One of the biggest accomplishments that Andi Mack achieved is being the first Disney Channel show to feature an openly gay character. Cyrus Goodman (played by Joshua Rush) struggled with coming out to his friends throughout the show. He developed a crush on the same boy that Andi had a crush on, making his struggle to tell his friends a lot harder. Eventually, Cyrus came out to his friends at different times, finding that everyone he told still loved and accepted him no matter what.

Recently, Rush came out as bisexual himself. He didn’t find the courage thanks to the character he played, but from the fans who found the strength to come out by watching Cyrus come out. Even though playing the character didn’t give Rush the courage to come out, Cyrus made so many kids feel confident to be who they are and to love themselves no matter what.

The whole concept of the show was out of left-field for Disney Channel. The magical land that we all grew up with finally faced facts – that this world isn’t all that magical. Along with these three major social issues, Andi Mack also dealt with kids who struggle with bullying, learning disabilities, panic attacks, segregation, discrimination, and so many other day-to-day issues. Although dealing with some extremely heavy issues, the show is fun to watch and kept kids of all ages (and even adults) eagerly waiting for the next episode to come out. We hope that Disney Channel learns from the success of this show and there will be more like it for upcoming generations.

Andi Mack
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Disney Channel
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Peyton Elizabeth Lee
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Sofia Wylie
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Joshua Rush
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Words: Anna Grillo | Featured Photo: Disney Channel

Veronica Mars is Back and Fans are EXPLODING with Excitement!

Veronica Mars

It’s been fifteen years since we were first introduced to our favorite teenage private investigator. Veronica Mars, played by Kristen Bell, started as a high school student that had a lot more to worry about than if she was popular or if she had a boyfriend. Although those played a huge factor in creating the strong, badass female who worked with her father as a private investigator to solve cases that involved murder, gang violence, rape, and many other dark, heavy crimes. Taking place in Neptune, California, which may come off like paradise to anyone on the outside, it becomes clear that it is anything but.

The original first three seasons follow Veronica and her friends (and enemies) during their high school years into their freshman year at college. Classes were mandatory, but our girl V was more concerned with catching criminals than acing her finals. The quick wit, dark humor, and quirky bond with her father made Veronica Mars all that more alluring, causing people to instantly fall in love with the character. The show quickly gained a cult following, commonly referred to as Marshmallows, which made the sudden cancellation after season three such a shock.

The cancellation of Veronica Mars left fans with an empty feeling and so many questions that needed answers. The show evolved into more than just which criminal would Veronica bust. Her personal life takes so many twists and turns while she is investigating crimes it’s impossible for fans not to become extremely interested in her love life. And let’s be honest, season three did not end with the relationship we all wanted Veronica to be in.

Give the fans what they want…or watch them do it themselves.

As I’m sure you can imagine, fans were extremely upset with the abrupt ending of Veronica Mars. The show was left incomplete, and lives of the Marshmallows felt even more incomplete. That is, until Rob Thomas, creator of the show, started a Kickstarter for a Veronica Mars Movie. The plan was to raise $2 million, but these dedicated fans didn’t stop there. The Kickstarter ended up raising $5.7 million and after nearly tripling the goal, the movie soon hit theaters to give the fans what they wanted – a proper ending for our beloved PI.

The movie brings Veronica Mars, who has graduated law school and moved to New York City since we last saw her, back to her hometown of Neptune. Once she was back in Neptune, it didn’t take her long to forget her life as a lawyer and quickly fall into her old habits of investigating murder and get involved in a lot of… high school drama. The movie tied up a lot of loose ends, especially when Veronica and her high school sweetheart got back together. We only had to wait seven years for true love to prevail, but it was well worth the wait. Finally, the Marshmallows had the answers they never thought they’d get. But, really, does a single movie ever really satisfy a fan’s love for a show?

If you love something let it go, if the fandom never dies it’ll come back.

The answer is no – a movie will never truly satisfy a fan. Luckily, fans didn’t have to wait seven more years to return to Mars Investigation. Much to all Marshmallows’ delight, Hulu decided to give us another season full of murder, drama, and love. These eight episodes that makeup season four were supposed to drop July 26th. However, at San Diego Comic Con the Veronica Mars panel announced that you can watch the new season a week early on Hulu.

Marshmallows immediately hopped on it to finish the new season asap. They followed Veronica intensely as she is now officially a private investigator with her father at Mars Investigation. We got to see a lot of familiar faces during this reboot. Some we were super excited to see, some not so much. Staying true to the corrupt and dangerous lifestyle of Neptune, we see Veronica Mars back in action after bombs start going off in local businesses. But once the bombs start putting people in danger, the Mars start to closely investigate the case.

It was easy to fall right back into the world of Veronica Mars as you listen to the beginning narration of the show and the playful wit of the main characters. The bombings were the main mystery of the show, but of course, there’s always more to a story than that. The reboot is a “grown-up” version of the teenage private investigation show we all love, tying in familiar themes such as the rich versus the poor, mental health, and the struggle of personal relationships. We get to watch Veronica question love and friendship, just as much as she questioned potential mass bombers.

Is Veronica Mars really over?

The last episode will leave you exploding with emotions, although I’m still not sure if my tears are because of sadness, anger, or that all too familiar confusion that comes with an ending of Veronica Mars. The absolute worst (or best?) part is that we are still unsure if we will get more VMars. This could be the last episode of the season and of the series. Because of that, we aren’t sure if the heartwrenching ending is left up to our interpretation or if one day we will get more answers.

But a lack of answers has never stopped the Marshmallows from holding on to hope that one day it will all be alright. Luckily our leading lady, Kristen Bell, has been in more than enough to keep us occupied for the long lonely years in-between those answers. From immediately becoming the catty voiceover in Gossip Girl to one of America’s favorite princesses in Frozen to not being sure if she is good enough for The Good Place, to so many other amazing roles we have had a good, long, and diverse ride with Kristen Bell. We just all hope that one day that ride will bring us back to Neptune, California once again.

Veronica Mars
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Hulu
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Kristen Bell
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Words: Anna Grillo | Featured Photo: Hulu

Gossip Girl Reboot? You Know You Love It.

Hey internet readers. MDRN MAG here. And we have the biggest news ever. One of our many sources, TVLine, published that we are no longer spreading rumors about a Gossip Girl reboot. It’s cold, hard facts that we are about to head back to the Upper Eastside to follow a new group of elite, rich New Yorkers. Thanks to HBO Max, the new streaming service coming in spring 2020, we are about to get all new secrets to follow. But we promise, with this 10 episode revision of Gossip Girl, those secrets won’t be kept for long.

You’ll be happy to hear that the OG creators, Josh Schwarts and Stephanie Savage, and producer, Joshua Safran, will be joining as executive producers to bring the show back. Good thing, we don’t want anyone messing with these new kids – except Gossip Girl. And what’s up with S and the rest of her crew? We aren’t sure if we’ll even get to find out. As of right now, it doesn’t seem like any of the original cast will be coming back. A shame really, we had so much fun spilling all their deepest secrets. Guess it really is time for some new prey. That won’t stop us from keeping our fingers crossed that we catch a glimpse of a shiny new headband in the near future though. That’s all we’ve found out so far, but everyone knows they can’t keep details from us for too long. Ta-ta for now.

Xoxo,
MDRN MAG

Words: Anna Grillo | Photo: The CW

Nothing Personal, But We Can’t Even With This All Time Low News

All Time Low Nothing Personal

It’s been ten long years since we’ve first gotten “Lost In Stereo” with All Time Low’s album Nothing Personal. This record has been on repeat for every single one of those years, but it was never “Too Much”, it was honestly never enough.

All Time Low – Nothing Personal (2009) Artwork

Luckily, these four rockers from Maryland knew that we were all going to need some major “Therapy” if they didn’t do something special for the anniversary of an album that helped so many of us break down our “Walls”. So, they headed back into the studio to rerecord Nothing Personal and give their fans a live in studio version and the story behind the record. Sadly, there is no talk of a tour to celebrate these past ten years, which must really “Break Your Little Heart” (it sure breaks ours). But, after waiting a decade, it’s finally going to be our year when we get to rock out to a whole new live version of Nothing Personal!

All Time Low
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Words: Anna Grillo | Photo: Jimmy Fontaine