Why Frank Ocean Matters

If you were on Facebook or twitter last Monday, July 9, you probably heard something about Frank Ocean’s channel ORANGE—someone scrobbling late at night, or maybe a cryptic lyric posted. Monday marked the true genesis of Frank Ocean as major recording artist, and the world is taking notice.

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The Week in A$AP Rocky

A$AP Rocky has had a busy week: distancing himself from the pack, hyping his new album, and working with Lana Del Rey. Read about his roles as trillwave pioneer and JFK inside.

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Graduating with The Graduate: the Future and the 1967 Film

The Graduate tells the story of the seduction of one recently graduated Benjamin Braddock by his neighbor, the proto-cougar Mrs. Robinson. Now, upon its 45th anniversary and well-timed re-release to coincide with graduations nationwide, it’s poised to be re-examined—analyzed not as a story of an affair but the story of the life of its main character.

The film begins with 20 ‘soon-to-be-21’-year-old, athlete and scholar Benjamin Braddock (Dustin Hoffman) returning home from college upon graduation. Despite an utterly ridiculous list of college accomplishments—captain of the cross country team, head of debating club, editor-in-chief of the college paper—he is without spirit, instantly coming off as a mumbling mush-of-a-man. And he is a little worried about his future. The poster makes it seem like the affair has got him worried, but the film imbues a different sense in the viewer: that he is worried because his future is not his.

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The Last Six: Best Music at the Mid-Year

2012 is over half way through, and as music festivals approach, its important to recognize the best musical pieces of the year. We start with the LP, the medium of choice for the great releases. EPs, mixtapes, and other releases are included in a separate list at the bottom. Every LP or EP on this list has been put into a Spotify playlist, embedded at the bottom. Altogether it is almost a day’s worth of listening, but well worth it to be up to date on all the great musical happenings of the past sixth months.

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Indie Loves Songs for Your Hipster Sweetheart Pt. II

One of our inaugural Spotifriday playlists, Indie Love Songs for Your Hipster Valentine, is quite popular and quite good, so we’ve worked to expand it with a sequel. This time the song choices tend a bit darker, but maintain the tender nature of the first set—in fact, sometime the most tender (Pale Blue Eyes, Everybody’s Got To Learn Sometime) are also the most bleak. In a way this playlist is the Godfather Part II of playlists: just as good or better than the original, and a bit darker.

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Spotifriday: Dylan’s 71

In honor of the great bard’s 71st birthday, the Airspace put together a playlist of Bob Dylan’s best 71 songs. Experience greatness once more with this excellent Spotifriday playlist.

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Apple in Cider: iPhone 5 Rumors

Apple in Cider details all the inside information about the next generation iPhone.

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Spotifriday VI: 13 All-Star Rap Jams

The past week has been all about Odd Future Wolf Gang’s song “Oldie,” the ten minute long jam featuring almost all of the Odd Future crew. And it got me thinking about how it fits in with some of the other great All-Star Rap Jams, the hip hop songs which combine and feature artists from the same crews or labels. Here is the criteria I used for such an arbitrary listing:

  1. Over 4 minutes (otherwise it’s not a jam).
  2. Over 3 rappers who are notable by their individual merits (otherwise it’s not an all-star showing).
  3. There must be some element of competition between the rappers in their verses (I expect some sort of awareness signaled by lyrics that this song is more than a song—that it is almost a rap battle), or a recognition of the songs all-star grouping (in lyrics or song construction). Therefore the constantly guesting “Nicki Minaj’s” of the rap world, who are often worked into a song seamlessly, do not always merit consideration.

That’s it. These are just the songs that you think about with your friends and argue who rapped better. I put these 13 together based on year released—it makes my contemporary bias all the more evident. If you have any more suggestions, leave them in the suggestions box. This is by no means comprehensive. The likely soon-to-be updated Spotify playlist can be found here.

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Airspace Spotifriday V: The 90′s, Wouldn’t That Be Nice?

The 90s were pretty nice, right? I liked them. The economy was booming, the wars were few and far between, and the music was good—so good that rock music almost stopped evolving after this point.

This playlist aims to capture those pleasant vibes and pioneering spirit by incorporating some of the best of the alt-rock and indie sound. You can find the playlist here on Spotify, and you can expect a generally melodic mix of indie, folk, pop and psychedelia.

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Spotifriday IV

Spotifriday’s aim to highlight what us editors are listening to in new music and share the albums that we love but don’t get around to reviewing in full length. This is the fourth in an ongoing series of playlist and album posts from The Airspace through Spotify every Friday.

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Commentary Ticker

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    If you haven’t heard, electroencephalograms (EEGs) have been getting better. Way better. Artificial limbs and even video game controllers are utilizing the non-invasive brain-wave monitoring method to guide computers by thought. Now English startup This Place has developed a way to bring the technology to Google Glass, allowing Google’s wearable to read your mind. Well, […]

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    Within the cultural centers of the world lurks a mechanical beast draped in silver spinning madly and capturing everything, sometimes even itself. In 2011 Google created the Art Project, an initiative to bring their Street View technology inside the cultural epicenters of the world. Google enlisted 17 world-class museums in short time. Institutions such as […]

  • Purple Mountunes Majesty: The Most Patriotic Playlist
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  • Emojinealogy: Where the Heck Emojis Come From
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    On June 16th, the Unicode Consortium announced that 250 new emoji would be added to the list of symbols available to people’s cellphones and computer devices. The list of the new symbols can be found on Emojipedia. And no, the list doesn’t include the much needed minority representation, but it does include your favorite (?) […]

  • The Decline and Fall of the American Mall
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    For ages, the shopping mall was as essential to the architecture of suburbia as Levittowns and freeways. But in an era of online shopping, these epicenters of brick and mortar yesteryear are quietly being abandoned across the country. While the U.S. currently has around 1,500, the number may soon shrink, and rapidly, leading to abandoned […]

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