Mac Miller’s Circles Album Review

Not what I expected but exactly what I needed is the best way I could explain Mac Miller’s posthumous album titled Circles, which was released in January.

Though a posthumous album feels eerie it is definitely the closure I, millions of other fans, his family and loved ones, and Malcolm himself needed. Following his death in 2018, I wasn’t sure how to live with the fact I would never see him perform live and would never get to see his career continue to bloom. One of my favorite artists of all time, his music spoke to my soul in ways most other artists haven’t. Miller’s oftentimes heavy yet heartfelt lyrics accompanied by his versatile sounds are some of the reasons I find his music so distinguished. His albums tell a story from beginning to end, something not entirely unique to him but is so well done by him.

His last album released before his death, Swimming, has become one of my all-time favorites and left me wanting more. I wanted to see him come to the resolutions and clarity he was pondering in this album. Circles does the tricky job of tying it all together. Miller was working on Circles with composer-producer Jon Brion at the time of his passing. It is not known how far into this project he got but Miller’s family put their full trust and support into Brion to make the album he would’ve been proud to share with the world.

Surely this task was not easy, therefore Brion should be immensely proud of himself for not only giving us a great album but making one he knew Miller would be proud of. Filled with questions about life, “Does it always gotta, does it always gotta. Gotta be so complicated?”, viewpoints on humanity, “Everybody’s gotta live. And everybody’s gonna die. Everybody just wanna have a good, good time. I think you know the reason why,” and personal notes to self, “No, they don’t like it when I’m down” this album explores the depths of self-discovery, healing, and the shared human experience.

If you haven’t had the chance to give this or his entire discography a listen, I highly recommend you do. Rest in Paradise Malcolm James McCormick. Your impact will live on forever.

Written by: Ceceli Riffo-Drecksel

Upcoming Shows in San Diego

San Diego is home to some great venues like The Observatory and Soma, so it’s not a surprise that there are some great upcoming shows in 2020.

First, The Observatory in North Park, my personal favorite, holds 1,100 people, so it’s a pretty intimate experience. Here’s who’s on the schedule so far:  

  • Hippie Sabotage: February 27th
  • Dr. Dog: February 28th
  • Olivia O’Brien: February 29th
  • Grouplove: March 23rd
  • Third Eye Blind: March 16th
  • COIN: April 3rd
  • Lovelytheband: May 16th
  • Airborne Toxic Event: July 1st

Next, Music Box in downtown San Diego. This venue holds 700 people, which creates an even more intimate experience than the Observatory. Here’s who’s on the schedule so far:

  • Drama: February 27th 
  • Marc E. Bassy: March 17th
  • Goody Grace: May 14th
  • Nombe: June 5th
  • Peach Pit: June 17th

House Of Blues is also located downtown. The main room holds up to 1000 people, and the Voodoo Room holds 300 people, with a very cozy setting. Here’s who’s on the schedule so far: 

  • Sleeping With Sirens: April 24th 
  • Slenderbodies: May 20th
  • Azizi Gibson: May 22nd
  • Cub Sport: May 30th

Next up is Soma, located in the Midway neighborhood, near the San Diego Sports Arena. It holds up to 2,700 people, and they’ve got some great shows coming this year! Here’s who’s on the schedule so far:

  • SOBXRBE: February 29th
  • Nghtmre: March 5th
  • The Growlers: March 6th
  • Hockey Dad: April 4th
  • Yeek: April 10th 
  • TV Girl: April 24th 
  • Kaytranada: April 28th
  • LP: May 7th
  • Foals: May 19th

One of the bigger venues in San Diego is Pechanga Arena which holds up to 14,800 people. Due to its large capacity, some huge names are coming this year. Here’s who’s on the schedule so far:

  • Blake Shelton: March 6th
  • Tame Impala: March 9th
  • Celine Dion: March 31st
  • Justin Bieber, Kehlani, Jaden Smith: May 26th
  • Camila Cabello: August 11th
  • The Lumineers: August 25th 
  • Harry Styles: August 30th

Next up, Petco Park in downtown San Diego, home of the San Diego Padres. This venue can hold up to 42,000 people! Here’s who’s on the schedule so far: 

  • M3F Fest: Bon Iver, Rufus Du Sol, Stick Figure, The Growlers, LANY, Local Natives, San Holo, and more! March 6-8
  • Green day, Fall Out Boy, Wheezer, The Interrupters: July 24th
  • KAABOO: Lineup to be announced soon. Last year it included artists such as Kings of Leon, Dave Matthews Band, Mumford and Sons, Duran Duran, The Black Eyed Peas, Onerepublic, Mark Ronson, Sublime w/Rome, Silversun Pickups and more: September 18-20

Lastly, Cal Coast Credit Union Open Air Theatre, located right in the heart of San Diego State! It can hold up to 4,600 people. And if you can’t afford to go, you can always stand outside the gates and listen 🙂 Here’s who’s on the schedule so far: 

  • Kesha: May 2nd
  • Russ: May 6th
  • Alicia Keys: September 11th
  • John Legend: September 25th
Written by: Delaney Weidner

JAUZ brings his Dangerous Waters Tour to San Diego

JAUZ and his Dangerous Waters Tour stops at the Observatory North Park in San Diego on February 8. Artists TYNAN and Habstrakt opened his performance.

After getting back into the spring semester grind, it was time to attend a new electronic show.

Jauz announced the dates for his Dangerous Waters Tour over winter break, and the tour stopped at San Diego’s Observatory North Park on Feb. 8. The show was sold out days in advance.

Along with tour dates, Jauz announced that he was excited to reveal a new stage production for his tour: The Fin.

Sam Vogel, known as Jauz on stage, is a DJ and electronic music producer from San Francisco. He founded his own label in 2017, called Bite This. He’s mainly known for his bass house, trap, and dubstep.

Each stop on his tour had different opening special guests for Jauz. San Diego got to experience TYNAN and Habstrakt before Jauz took the stage.

TYNAN is an upcoming electronic music artist and producer who I was very impressed by. I had listened to some of his music occasionally before seeing him live, and he put on such a good show. His sound stood out to me and I would describe it as dark trap/dubstep. He definitely has a weird style but it was very unique. It was cool hearing what he had to play for this show.

I liked TYNAN’s performance so much that I was a little disappointed with the Observatory North Park for not putting a spotlight on him. From the audience you couldn’t see him on stage because it was very dark. The screens behind him weren’t on, and there were only a couple lights that were active onstage. I’m not sure how they operate with opening artists but I would have enjoyed that a lot more.

After TYNAN, music artist Habstrakt began his performance. I was more familiar with Habstrakt and I listen to his music all the time. I was super stoked that I got to see him perform.

Habstrakt, also known as Adam Jouneau, is a French DJ and producer. He plays more bass house music, which is what Jauz is also known for. He has his own style of bass house and I really liked his performance. I knew most of the songs he played, such as his new recent release “Free,” his “GUD VIBRATIONS” remix, and “Infinite.”

The Observatory North Park also didn’t have a spotlight on Habstrakt but you could see him a lot better. The screens behind him were on and he had his own visuals projecting his stage name. I would definitely see him again and recommend everyone to as well.

When Jauz came onstage it was super cool. The fin and his entire stage production were amazing and I really liked how it was set up. When he opened his performance, the fin moved across the stage in a circle to reveal him and his DJ booth standing behind it.

Throughout the show, the setup of the fin and his DJ booth kept changing. At first, the fin was positioned behind him as he was on the ground with his booth. Then, his booth became elevated on a platform. He was positioned at the top corner behind the fin so everyone from the audience could see him. His stage setup continued to alternate throughout the show which made it very interesting. There were screens both on the fin as well as on the back of the stage.

Jauz at the Observatory North Park in San Diego, photo by Alexandra Gex

Jauz played many of his popular songs and he swept through different sub-genres of electronic music. He played dubstep, trap, psytrance, mid-tempo, techno and of course bass house. It really showed how dedicated he is to the music he plays and he made sure to give everyone a variety of his music. He even played some songs that haven’t been released to the public.

I was super stunned to hear Jauz play “Feel The Volume,” “Rock the Party,” and “Shark Attack” since those are my ultimate favorites. I was also excited to hear his recent single with Zeds Dead, called “Shake,” be performed live.

Jauz closed his show with my favorite song- his remix of Trampoline, by SHAED. That was the main song I wanted to hear so I’m so happy that he ended with it.

I really loved going to this show and I would definitely see Jauz, TYNAN, and Habstrakt again. Jauz made sure to really hype up the audience, and everyone that attended was having a good time and enjoying his music. His production and overall show definitely made me appreciate it more and acknowledge what these artists go through to put on a good performance. I recommend that everyone see these music artists if they want to expand their knowledge of electronic music, or even just have a good time with friends at a concert!

Written by: Alexandra Gex

New Music Friday with Mike – February 21

New Releases this “New Music Friday” come from The Weekend, Selena Gomez, B.T.S., Lauv, Ozzy Osbourne, and more.

Happy Friday, everybody! We have made it through another week, and you know what that means. It’s time for some new music. We had some excellent music released from all of your favorites and even a classic artist, so let’s get started. 

The Weekend – After Hours

 In addition to releasing his new track, “After Hours.” The Weekend has announced a new album is on the way and will be here sooner than you think. The new album, titled “After Hours.” will be available on Mar 20. Fun fact: The release day for “After Hours” is precisely one day before the ninth anniversary of The Weekend’s first album “House of Balloons”. You can stream the song “After Hours” on all streaming services now. But wait, I’m not done yet.

On top of the album announcement, The Weekend announced yesterday he’s going on Tour for this album with Sabrina Claudio and Don Toliver. “The After Hours North America Tour” begins Jun 11 in Vancouver, BC, and wraps Sept 3 in New York. Good news, The Weekend will be making a stop in San Diego at the Pechanga Arena on Aug 3. Tickets for the San Diego show go on sale on Feb 28 at 10:00 am. You can purchase tickets for the San Diego show here, along with viewing more details.

Screenshot of The Weekend "After Hours" | Audio. Image has link that redirects to The Weekend official channel with audio of the song "After Hours"
Screenshot of The Weekend “After Hours” | Audio

Selena Gomez – Feel Me

Selena Gomez continues to feed us with new music, and you know what? I’m not mad at it. We received her latest album “Rare” last month and now “Feel Me.” This song was first introduced to us back in 2016 during her Revival Tour. However, no official recorded version was ever released since she performed the song live. The “Selenators” have been hungry for an official release. Selena tweeted, “…So you asked, and I listened. Today, ‘Feel Me’ is out online and vinyl everywhere.” You can stream “Feel Me” on all music streaming platforms.

Screenshot of Tweet from Selena Gomez on February 20, 2020, releasing “Feel Me”

BTS – Map of the Soul: 7

K-Pop group BTS has officially dropped their highly anticipated album “Map of the Soul: 7.” This album is a follow up to Map of the Soul: Persona, which was released last year. This album is unique because it includes three new songs, which brings the track total to 20, well-known artist Sia is featured, and this album celebrates seven years of BTS. Big Hit Entertainment, the record label for BTS reported pre-orders surpassed 3.42 million stock Jan 9 – Jan 15. BTS Fans, known as the “BTS Army” are one loyal fan base, and I respect that. You can stream BTS’s “Map of the Soul: 7” on streaming services now.

Lauv – “Modern Loneliness”

The release of “Modern Loneliness” makes this Lauv tenth pre-released single before his album “~how i’m feeling~” and this song hit home for me. The track discusses today’s way of being lonely, even though we are surrounded continuously by friends. I don’t want to give too much away because everyone should listen to this song, but my favorite line is “Love my friends to death, but I never call, and I never text ’em.” We’ve all been there before at some point in our lives. My challenge to you this weekend is to reflect and ask yourself, why don’t I call or text my friends when I claim to love them and then reach out them.

Ozzy Osbourne – Ordinary Man

A classic in the Rock world, Mr. Ozzy Osbourne has released a new album, Ordinary Man, the first studio album from Ozzy released in about ten years. His most recent release was “scream” back in June 2010. Ozzy has had a rough year. Diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease back in February 2019 and has now had to cancel his tour due to his health. The album discusses Ozzy’s struggle of drug abuse but turns to the lighter side of maturing and redeeming himself, along with aging. Features on the new album include Slash from Guns N Roses, Elton John, and Post Malone. Ordinary Man is on all streaming apps now.

Screenshot of Ozzy Osbourne Tweeting the release of his New Album “Ordinary Man” on February 21, 2020.

More New Music from February 20

The Birthday Party” – The 1975

Old Me” – 5 Seconds of Summer

Bad Decisions” – The Strokes

Here and Now” Kenney Chesney 

Susie Save Your Love” – Allie X & Mitski

The Wire” – Patrick Droney

Can You Hear Me?” (feat. T-Pain) – Omarion 

That’s your New Music Friday update for the week. What music new music are you enjoying this Weekend? Let me know by touching base with me on social media, @mikestarkca on Twitter and Instagram. I’ll see you next week with another New Music Friday update.

Written By: Mike Stark