Skip to main content


Picture of McCartney Album

Maybe I’m Amazed: McCartney Turns 50 

By UncategorizedNo Comments

Paul McCartney’s solo debut “McCartney” turned 50 on April 17, 2020; “McCartney” was the first solo Beatle record to be released, marking the end of one era but the start of another: McCartney’s impressive and solid musical journey that’s still rocking today. 

In celebration of “McCartney” turning 50, Spotify hosted a listening party on April 17, giving fans the chance to discuss their favorite tunes and lyrics through a live chat feature. Paul McCartney also released a newly restored version of “Maybe I’m Amazed” and a music video to commemorate the big anniversary.  

“McCartney,” which was recorded between December 1969 and February 1970, encapsulates McCartney’s transition from Beatle to stoned, shaggy-haired and whiskey-breathed solo musician.  However, the album also encapsulates his marriage to Linda McCartney and her aid and devotion to him, making this album an ode to the photographer. In addition to singing background vocals, Linda also photographed for the record; she documented their rural retreat in Scotland and their everyday family life.

Though the other Beatles — John Lennon, George Harrison and Ringo Starr — and critics didn’t fancy the record, “McCartney” spent three weeks at #1 on the Billboard chart, and it stands out today as a vulnerable and raw project. Full of home recordings, experimentations and Beatle rejects, “McCartney” allowed the then 27-year-old to display his most unaltered self — which helped him through the band’s hostile breakup. 

“It was very interesting to do and it had a certain kind of rawness, because I was breaking loose after The Beatles, we all got a feeling of that, I think,” shared McCartney with his official website.

“McCartney” focuses on themes like love and the everyday, mundane pleasantries, making this record as relevant now as it was then. Check out top tunes off of “McCartney” below, and stream the album on Spotify and Apple Music today. 

The Lovely Linda: Penned by McCartney for his wife, the 44 second song is accompanied by an acoustic guitar and a beaming McCartney on vocals, who ends the opening track with giggles — giving listeners a glimpse into his happy marriage and newfound life away from the Beatles.

Every Night:“Every Night” shows McCartney’s hope and hopelessness during his trying time. Addressed to Linda, the optimistic tune remains simple with mature “woos,” playful lyrics and limited instruments, sounding like the perfect romantic campfire song. 

Man We Was Lonely: Inspired by the Beatles’ breakup, “Man We Was Lonely” takes on a folksy and country attitude with Linda singing softly and hauntingly in the background. Tucked somewhere in Scotland in their farmhouse, the two and their children were secluded, yet “were fine all the while” in their domestic haven. 

Maybe I’m Amazed:A McCartney staple, “Maybe I’m Amazed,” is one of the most loved and most popular tunes off of “McCartney,” touching peoples’ hearts to this day due to its tender lyrics about Linda’s strength and love and McCartney’s utmost gratitude and amazement. Linda got McCartney out of bed and inspired him to make “silly love songs,” until her passing in 1998 to breast cancer. “Every love song I write is for Linda,” McCartney once shared.  

Kreen-Akrore: The most experimental track on “McCartney,” was inspired by a Brazilian Indian tribe McCartney watched a documentary on. “The idea behind it was to get the feeling of their hunt,” said McCartney. The lyricless song is infused with jungle noises, intense electric guitar riffs and dramatic, heart thumping drumming that match and intertwine with McCartney’s heavy breathing. 


Picture of CDs

The Strokes’ The New Abnormal Album Review

By UncategorizedNo Comments

The Strokes’ first album in seven years dropped on April 10, 2020, hitting us with a wave of “unborrowed nostalgia for the unremembered eighties,” as James Murphy once called it. Despite going in a new direction, “The New Abnormal” is still fairly recognizable. They’re experimenting and straying away from what everyone else in indie rock is doing to stay fresh, while also staying true to their roots. Nostalgia has always been a signature appeal for The Strokes, and not once have they failed to deliver.

On “The New Abnormal,” the songs are more low-key and have a soft tempo. Although this is nothing out of the ordinary for The Strokes, it’s still a new sound. This album takes on more of an 80s-themed vibe; much of the album’s success comes from the electropop synthesizers that give off that retro sound. 

The album’s opener, “The Adults Are Talking,” is a great song to introduce the rest of the album. “The Adults Are Talking” possesses all the characteristics of a Strokes classic, and it’s definitely a giddy tune. With sounds that pop out in a perky, vintage style. The song itself has a steady build that includes guitar pizzicato and weird cymbal hisses that makes the song a great album opener. “The Adults Are Talking” evokes a feeling of nostalgia as it takes you back to the days of “Is This It” and “Room on Fire.” 

“The eighties bands, where did they go?” Casablancas sings on “Brooklyn Bridge To Chorus,” the song that starts the 80s sound. “Eternal Summer,” “Bad Decisions” and “Brooklyn Bridge To Chorus” are all songs that embody sounds of the 1980s. “Eternal Summer” is more of a neo-R&B learning with splashes of psychedelic beats and sleek and exciting verses that reference the band Talking Heads. “Bad Decisions” is a metronomic guitar-led that passes as a 80s homage to Billy Idol’s “Dancing With Myself.” 

Although “The New Abnormal” contains a few songs that make the album a bit sluggish, it is safe to say that it’s still an interesting album; it’s a cool and fresh album that you’ll grow to love. 


Picture of TV Color Bars

Saturday Night Live At Home

By UncategorizedNo Comments

“Saturday Night Live,” the late-night comedy show, has made an equal amount of fans and critics in its 45 year run at NBC. The show has served as a large contributor to both comedy and popular culture for generations. Their ability to stay relevant after all these years is unprecedented to say the least. Due to the coronavirus pandemic, the show shut down after March 7, 2020. Despite obvious complications to filming in their normal studio, SNL decided to come back in a different way; on April 11, 2020, the team aired their first ever “Saturday Night Live At Home” episode. 

The show opened with none other than Tom Hanks, who stood healthy and smiling in his kitchen. Hanks and his wife, Rita Wilson, announced in early March that they both tested positive for COVID-19. This was a shock to many, and many fans feared they wouldn’t make it due to their older age. Since the announcement, both have fully recovered and now serve as symbols of hope in this trying time. 

Considering Hanks is a highly admired and beloved celebrity, seeing him in his home almost felt like an invasion of privacy. More than anything, this oddity served as a definite reminder of the unprecedented times we are living through. Hanks seemed to be aware of this, saying, “It’s a strange time to try to be funny, but trying to be funny is SNL‘s whole thing. So we thought, what the heck! Let’s give it a shot.” 

With that, the show jumped into their skits. If the opening felt odd, the rest of the show took the cake by far with parody songs by Pete Davidson, a couple zoom/online-based skits, an animated short and the “Weekend Update.”  Coldplay’s Chris Martin was the music guest, and he performed an acoustic version of Bob Dylan’s “Shelter From The Storm.” The show took a sudden solemn turn when past cast members came back to pay tribute to Hal Willner, the longtime SNL musical director who died of complications with COVID-19 earlier that week. 

SNL is no stranger to reacting to the world’s big crises. In fact, they have thrived off of it for many years now. People have watched on as the show added comedy in the darkest of times. The overall tastefulness of this pattern is often debated. Though I can’t speak for their past choices, I do believe that with the current state of the world, a source of lighthearted joking isn’t going to hurt anyone.

As Hanks said in the beginning, SNL did try to be funny. Though I didn’t find myself laughing at all of their skits, their presence was much welcomed. More than anything, it made one thing very clear: after four decades of being on air, they still have the desire to make people feel joy. The show served as an hour-long distraction from the rather bleak reality we are finding ourselves in nowadays. In times like this, that’s all any of us can ask for.


Local Business Profile: Francesca Martinez and Bad Apple VNTG

By UncategorizedNo Comments

Few clothing shops in Reno bleed as much personality as Bad Apple VNTG. Located in Midtown and opened in 2015, the store combines local art and vintage clothing and is curated by Francesca Martinez, the store’s founder and owner.

Martinez first fell in love with the local Reno scene while visiting her friend. “[I] saw how amazing the community here is and knew that this place would be perfect for my passion-project” she said. Her “passion-project,” as it turns out, was to open a shop that would allow her to have a creative outlet while showcasing handmade goods and art for sale. Today, it stands out amongst the Reno scene, fashioned with a colorful interior and massive Bart Simpson mural on the outside.

For Martinez, the road to get there was not simple. Under 21 and without experience, she wrote up a business plan but struggled to get any loans or outside funding. Instead, she got a well-paying job and budgeted her way to opening the store of her dreams in the center of Midtown.  

“When I first moved here, I remember everyone telling me that Midtown was sketchy… and honestly, it wasn’t bad — just low-income folks I guess people were afraid of. I was pretty upset that that was the rep when I never felt unsafe there” she said, acknowledging how Midtown has changed. “I’ve noticed that there have been a bunch of local businesses opening up and a bunch shutting down. The Reno boom is damaging and beneficial to the people who live here.”

The “Reno Boom,” as Martinez noted, describes the rising Reno economy. It’s a controversial topic, with rising housing rates and gentrification going up against better job opportunities and low taxes. In the center of it all lies Midtown, where high-end boutiques share walls with low-income housing. 

Martinez is particularly passionate about her Midtown community and how diversity plays a part in it. “I have a huge problem with areas not emphasizing the importance of  diversity — why not give everyone the equal opportunity to rise up together?” she asked. “It’s important to support women and [people of color] because we have a lot more working against us. Showing your support means your empowering them and recognizing their hard-work through their struggles.”

But as Midtown constantly evolves, the locals in Reno stay supportive. “If I didn’t have folks come in the first couple of months, Bad Apple wouldn’t be here today,” Martinez said. “The locals have been the ones really helping in the success of Bad Apple.”

With the current COVID-19 regulations, Bad Apple VNTG is continuing business through its website, a creation that Martinez is grateful to be able to work on with the extra time. The website will aim to appeal to a national audience by having the option for shipping anywhere in the United States available. 

In the future, Martinez hopes to expand even further. “My dream is to open up another one — maybe California, maybe New Zealand, to get closer to my brother and his family,” she said.

Since Bad Apple VNTG opened, Martinez’s online store has garnered over 4,000 followers on Instagram and has cemented her store as a Reno essential, and it’s clear to see why. 

“I want to create a space that is fun and different, something you’d not expect from a small shop,” she said. “Things don’t need to be serious and so proper all the time.”

Dua Lipa Takes Us on a Blast to the Past With “Future Nostalgia”

By UncategorizedNo Comments

“I know you’re dying to figure me out,” Dua Lipa sings on her sophomore album “Future Nostalgia.” And she’s not wrong. Her self-titled debut album “Dua Lipa”  established her smoky and raspy voice, yet it lacked a sense of who Dua actually was and has become. “Future Nostalgia” highlights her versatility by sharing a collection of sophisticated pop-funks that radiate inspiration from Donna Summer and disco. 

“Future Nostalgia” is nothing like her debut album; Dua really knocked herself out of the park here by staying true to a retro theme that almost makes you feel like you’ve been transported into an episode of “The Jetsons.” Within the 37 minute duration, there is not a single song that does not exemplify 80s pop and 90s club culture. “Future Nostalgia” is incredibly fun, consistent and a driven attempt to find a place for disco in 2020. 

The lead single “Don’t Start Now” has been a mega-hit — not because it’s the background song of a new Tik Tok dance trend, but because it screams dance-pop anthem. “Don’t Start Now” is for sure a staple pop song, but with a hint of disco strings and a funky bass. Her song “Physical,” on the other hand, is a dark wave remix of Olivia Newton-John’s 1981 hit “Physical,” but it’s more sensual and maintains the 80s’ synth-noir style. 

Softer tunes such as “Cool” and “Boys Will Be Boys” highlight Lipa’s sultry low alto, but steer away from the album’s theme a bit, as these songs are mainly pop infused. “Cool” has a funky bass with a catchy chorus and soft bridge, but it just doesn’t have the same excitement, disco funk and oomph that the rest of the album produces. Nevertheless, “Cool” would be a great way to sum Dua’s personal aura.  

“Future Nostalgia” is like a modern time disco album. It stays consistent to the 80s disco funk, and it’s a perfect album for a self-isolated dance party. The album is a blast from the past that you won’t be able to get enough of.