Lady Gaga
Artpop
(Streamline/Interscope)
After I heard the first couple of songs, I already liked Artpop better than Lady Gaga’s previous album, Born This Way. That album was still pop-heavy, but more experimental. This new, dance-heavy album will please fans who were more attracted to the radio hits from Gaga’s first album. Her latest single off this album, “Do What U Want,” featuring R. Kelly, is nice, but definitely not my favorite. There are much better songs. The super-catchy “Manicure” has been in my head all weekend since I first heard it, and I can already see the gay boys dancing to it in the gay club of my mind. The song “Fashion!” has a nice ’90s feel to it that I really enjoy. Some other favorites are “Venus,” “G.U.Y.,” “Swine,” and “Mary Jane Holland.”
Cash Cash
Overtime (EP)
(Big Beat/Atlantic)
This is my first introduction to Cash Cash, and I’m an instant fan. The music is techno-dubstep with some major pop influences and just a hint of experimentation. I really like the combination because there are some low-key moments. The songs aren’t trying to be in your face constantly. Sometimes techno, especially dubstep, can sound like what an epileptic seizure might feel like. It’s nice to have parts that aren’t so constantly fast-paced. The vocals are anthem-like and stay in your head. If you like pop, techno and uplifting, unique sound, find your way to this Cash Cash demo. My favorite songs are “Hideaway,” “Satellites” and “Kiss the Sky.”
Miley Cyrus
Bangerz
(RCA)
I’ve never been much of a Miley Cyrus fan. However, all criticisms of her behavior and strange performances aside, I’m incredibly impressed by the quality of this album in both sound and content. Simply put, this CD is a party mix, and a very good one. Though many of these songs could have been sung by any pop star, Cyrus adds a certain depth with her distinctive voice. When you hear these songs, it is easy to guess that it’s Cyrus singing. The variety of styles on the album is like a soundtrack to the party of the century. Pop and hip hop are definitely at the forefront. Cyrus isn’t going away anytime soon. She has far too many radio-ready hits just waiting to be unleashed upon the airwaves. My favorites are “SMS (Bangerz)” featuring Britney Spears, “4x4” (featuring Nelly), “Rooting for My Baby,” and “On My Own.”
Vensun
The Dragon Flies (EP)
(Sea to Sun)
I don’t know much about house music producer David Vendetta and singer Sylvia Tosun, but I do know that they have each separately had some success overseas and have since combined their talents in this project. Though there are only three different songs on the EP to judge from, I think you get a decent picture of Vensun’s sound. House, a sub-genre of techno, is very much late-night club music, but Tosun’s melodic vocals make the songs much more memorable than they would be otherwise. Judging from these samples, this combo meshes well. Techno fans should definitely give this EP a shot. By far, my favorite song is “Chasing Summers” and the club mix that is also featured on the demo.

Whether you're spreading truth, information, or love, traveling abroad for humanitarian reasons can have risks. Detained American journalist in Myanmar, Danny Fenster, is to be released from jail, and to fly home soon. But it doesn't always end well for every foreign national attempting to do good in a foreign country.

The missionaries consisting of sixteen Americans and one Canadian kidnapped by the Haitian “400 Mawozo” gang on October 16, is extremely scary. The gang has threatened to kill the humanitarian Christians if a million dollar per person ransom is not fulfilled. The group consists of men, women, children and an eight-month-old baby.

Keep reading Show less

The Black Trans Fund, incubated at Groundswell Fund, and Grantmakers for Girls of Color launched the Holding a Sister Initiative, the first-ever national fund explicitly dedicated to transgender girls and gender-expansive youth of color.

Dr. Monique W. Morris, president and CEO of Grantmakers for Girls of Color, and Bré Rivera, program director of the Black Trans Fund are together spearheading the Holding a Sister Initiative to bring attention and resources to organizations supporting trans girls of color, normalize concern and investment in their success, and create learning opportunities for cis and trans girls of color to move in deeper community with one another.

Keep reading Show less