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Tuesday, April 23, 2024

Culture Corner

The Art Desk’s weekly picks for movies, TV, music and more 

 

ELIZABETH WOODHALL  — arts@theaggie.org

 

Song: “Nonsense” by Sabrina Carpenter (2022)

 

Her rise to fame was not sudden; it was a culmination of several years of trying to break through the pop world. Her career started at Disney, but she is far from being that young girl who had once released “Can’t Blame a Girl for Trying.” I’ve been following her career since her Disney days and seeing how her albums were performing and being received was underwhelming because of how incredibly talented she is. Now, she is touring with Taylor Swift, where fans know her from her “Nonsense” outro she does for every single place she’s at (which has also garnered a great deal of attention on TikTok) and has also dissociated herself with the Olivia Rodrigo and Joshua Bassett drama. She can be seen on stage with her fan-favorite corset dresses and palpable stage presence. “Nonsense” is only proof that she has everything pop needs today: upbeat, catchy lyrics and vocals that transcend our expectations. She consistently references how her thoughts are all over the place because of her interests in this person, leading her to speak incomprehensibly, or in a way that is nonsense. She has what it takes to dominate the pop world — and she’s giving it all she’s got. 

 

Album: “MAÑANA SERÁ BONITO” by Karol G (2023)

 

It’s not uncommon for a Latin artist to make waves around the world, but for a female reggaeton artist to do so? Now that’s worth noticing. With her recent album, she established her place as the “it-girl” of reggaeton by garnering features from popular names like Shakira and Romeo Santos. She’s sold out stadiums all over the world and she is an artist who has dominated the charts. With 52.7 million listeners on Spotify, she’s not going anywhere any time soon. Songs like “AMARGURA” offer a new sound that mixes all the great elements of reggaeton to form something unlike anything on the radio today. “TQG” features Shakira, a powerful duo of women who want to send their men “to el carajo” — which can be translated in English to “go to hell.” It’s an empowering track that also established Shakira into the reggaeton scene after taking a break. Her album explores breakups, love and what it means to be a woman like Karol G: hardworking, passionate and not afraid of making her mark in a male-dominated genre that has often been fueled by machismo. 

 

Book: “Remarkably Bright Creatures” by Shelby Van Pelt (2022)

 

This book does not stray far from its title. If having it wasn’t enough having a perspective of a giant Pacific octopus called Marcellus, this book delves into what it means to take the present to make sense of the past. Tova Sullivan is no stranger to loss; she lost both her husband and son, ultimately only having her and her knitting club to count on. She takes up a job as a cleaning lady at the Sowell Bay Aquarium and forms a friendship with Marcellus, who appears to be way smarter than he looks. In comes Cameron Cassmore: a guy from Modesto, California, who travels all the way to Sowell Bay in hopes of meeting his father — who he isn’t even sure is his actual father. He takes up a job at the aquarium and the three form a bond through loss and the uncertainty of both the past and future. 

 

TV Show: “Sex Education” (2019)

 

The first season premiered on Netflix on Jan. 17, 2020 and was deemed a critically acclaimed fan-favorite show, it has since then welcomed a total of three seasons. The first season centers on Otis Millburn (Asa Butterfield) and Maeve Wiley (Emma Mackey) as they both open up a sex therapy clinic at their high school, which offers students a safe space to open up about their sexual struggles. It’s not meant to be entirely serious: the show is a comedy that makes light of serious issues and it offers dynamic relationships between teenagers struggling to find a place in the world. This show offers an insightful discussion of sexual education while still providing watchers with a feel-good experience. And unlike sexual education in typical high school classrooms, they also acknowledge and open up a space for queer students’s sexual concerns. 

 

Written by: Elizabeth Woodhall — arts@theaggie.org

 

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