School year’s top five music moments

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Whether it’s a band reuniting, a scandalous drug arrest, or an unfortunate death, there are new stories appearing almost every hour with what’s going on in the music universe. Here are the five biggest moments in music of the last nine months,

5. Justin Bieber in general:
Justin Bieber is, has, and at least for now will be everywhere. He’s one of the most un-ignorable names in music, and it’s not really about his actual songs or talent (which many would argue he actually lacks). While I can’t speak in defense of his work, there’s no doubt that he’s one of the most iconic figures in the world right now when it comes to music. Maybe it’s because of his drug possession, maybe it’s because of his spat with England, or maybe it’s because of his visit to Anne Frank’s house and claiming that she would have been a Belieber. It may have even been his recent dilemma with Germany trying to steal his monkey (which is exactly what it sounds like). Regardless what you think of the kid, he’s created an extreme following for himself with a pretty basic, cookie-cutter pop star formula We’ll see how long it lasts, though.

4. Kanye West projects himself on buildings across America:
On June 18, Chicago native and hip hop icon Kanye West will release his highly anticipated follow-up to 2010s My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy. It’s hilariously entitled Yeezus, and he performed two new songs from the album on Saturday Night Live: ‘Black Skinhead’ and ‘New Slaves.’ His performance was angry, intense, and awesome. Prior to that performance, however, many American citizens already got a taste of ‘New Slaves,’ some even right next door to their own homes. On Friday, May 17, West projected a video of only his head lip syncing over the audio of the track on apartments, skyscrapers, and other buildings across the country (including the towers at Crown Fountain in Chicago’s Millennium Park). Props to Mr. West for pulling off one of the most creative publicity stunts in the last year.

3. Black Sabbath plays three shows in 2012:
So, it’s 1970. You’re in a record store, flipping through bins of vinyl, when all of a sudden you come across an image of a ghostly-looking character standing next to a tree in a small field with a house behind them. The text in the upper left corner reads, “Black Sabbath.” Those two words symbolized more than just the band name, the album name, and the opening song’s name. They would become synonymous with what many people (myself included) call “the birth of heavy metal.” The original quartet – Ozzy Osbourne on vocals, Tony Iommi on guitar, Geezer Butler on bass, and Bill Ward on drums – returned with an announcement of a new album produced by Rick Rubin (which we learned earlier this year would be entitled 13), and a world tour. Well, they didn’t get to the world tour part until this year, but they did manage to pull off two festival appearances in the UK and one last year at Lollapalooza in Chicago.

2. Kendrick Lamar’s good kid, m.A.A.d city
While I am a fan of hip-hop, I can’t say I’m fond of Kendrick Lamar’s work. It just doesn’t thrill me at all. However, there’s no denying that 2012’s good kid, m.A.A.d city was one of the most radical albums of the year. I’ve never seen a rapper blow up that big that fast with one piece of work since Tyler, The Creator from Odd Future dropped the ‘Yonkers’ video in 2010, and before that, it was very rare that a rapper gained that much success and attention overnight.

1. The Return of Daft Punk:
Daft Punk are arguably the most important electronic group of the last fifteen years. With their first three albums (1997’s Homework, 2001’s Discovery, and 2005’s Human After All), they created a blueprint for all fields of electronic music that would influence many groups after them, including Justice, SebastiAn, and Danger. Besides the soundtrack for the 2010 film Tron: Legacy, the work of Daft Punk had been pretty quiet since their 2007 live album, cleverly titled Alive 2007. That all changed this year, with the announcement of Random Access Memories, which instantly became the most anticipated album of the year. Luckily for all the fans of the duo, it was a perfect return; a 74-minute retro-dance-disco-funk symphonic masterpiece.

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