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Andy Gabbard‘s debut solo album, Fluff, definitely does not live up to its title. This trippy-tinged collection of tunes brings fuzzy pop sense to Gabbard’s writings that do not fit the Buffalo Killers’ vibe. Fluff is not “trouble in paradise”; rather, it is an expansion of his creativity, like a second leg of vacation.

How many pop bands are obsessed with the end of the world? Sure, Adele has the market cornered on break ups that feel like the end times, but how many groups actually focus on the apocalypse?

The funny thing about Everything Everything is that there’s always a sliver of unease running through their music. It’s all brilliantly catchy, expertly produced, and tight as a drum, but something’s just a bit off about it all. It may have taken a few listens to realize it, but the second single from their fantastic sophomore album Arc opened with the line “Four walls and a cauldron of Kalashnikoving / and our home is a trigger that I’m always pulling.” Yes, for all the pristine choruses and earworm verses, Everything Everything injects excessive violence, crushing depression and madness into the friendliest of their hits.

January set the tone for a darker, more serious year in K-pop. Songs and videos that are more introspective and conscious of the issues within the industry are becoming more commonplace. To a certain extent, February has kept up with this theme. Though there are some exceptional splashes of color and fun, many artists returned with somber tracks set to black and white videos to emphasize that this is Serious Music. Possible pretensions aside, they usually succeed in making their music as interesting as it is presented to be.

Klinger: It’s hard to imagine now, what with the thick tie-dye blanket of sameness that’s been cast over everything to come from the 1960s (or as it’s more frequently known, The Sixties, man…), but there used to be a fairly bitter rivalry between the San Francisco music scene and their counterparts in Los Angeles. San Francisco viewed the L.A. as opportunistic dilettantes, co-opting and commercializing their far-out hippie dream. L.A. on the other hand, really didn’t care one way or the other, because L.A. Come to think of it, that’s not really much of a rivalry at all.

Either way, now that the dust has settled it seems that history has been marginally kinder to the SoCal scene. After all, the Jefferson Airplane’s Surrealistic Pillow marks the first appearance of a 1960s San Francisco band on the Great List — it clocks in at a respectable No. 179 but still lags well behind L.A. groups like the Doors and Love (but still ahead of the Byrds, which I think is the silliest part of this whole discussion).

Despite any personal opinions or beliefs one may have about the controversial 2013 hit, music fans have to realize that the verdict reached in this week’s case regarding the similarities of Robin Thicke’s number one single “Blurred Lines” to the classic Marvin Gaye track “Got To Give It Up Pt. 1” is reckless, misguided, and above all just an absolute mistake. The influence of Gaye’s song in “Blurred Lines” is evident, and has been publicly admitted without hesitance by the song’s authors Pharrell Williams and Robin Thicke. The fact that “Give it Up” inspired “Blurred Lines” is not up for debate, but it’s ultimately not the issue at hand.

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