Rice University’s Student Newspaper — Since 1916

Friday, May 27, 2022 — Houston, TX

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Review: Charli XCX is content to dance alone in the flames of pop music in ‘CRASH’

(03/23/22 4:17am)

When an artist’s ninth project feels nostalgic, it’s usually a bad sign. It figures that pop music chameleon Charli XCX would buck that trend, delivering tracks simultaneously yearning for early aughts dancefloors and pushing modern pop forward. Despite profound senses of déjà vu, “Crash” navigates between Charli XCX’s past sounds of moody teen pop (“True Romance”), diva snark (“Sucker”) and sawtooth buzz (“I Love It”). The results are solid but ultimately replaceable in the context of Charli XCX’s discography.


Listen to these trans women this Women’s History Month

(03/09/22 5:16am)

I never need an excuse to listen to some of the phenomenal music that women make, but I’ll take one when I can get it. The Rice Thresher is celebrating Women’s History Month with a playlist of some of my favorite trans women musicians. Underrepresented in the music world, trans women nevertheless have released some of the best music of the last decade. Ranging from groundbreaking experimental music to bread and butter pop, trans women show that they can both bring a new perspective and thrive in existing norms. 



Boots on the Ground: Artists to check out this rodeo season

(02/23/22 5:08am)

The Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo is right around the corner and Houstonians are dashing to Cavenders to perfect their Western drip before descending on NRG Park in droves. While many of the best parts of the radio stay the same (mutton grab, deep fried oreos), the musical performers change each night, with a total of 20 artists over the course of 20 days. If you’ve missed the rodeo due to its cancellation over the last two years, here are some performers to consider checking out and my personal recommendations.




Houston artists to look out for in 2022

(01/12/22 4:32am)

Despite what revisionist hipsters may tell you, Houston has always been the heart of Texan music. Zydeco came from the wards, Southern rap came from the Southside, Texan folk came from Anderson Fair and Beyonce came from the suburbs, but we still claim her. If anything, the last few years have shown us that Houston brings musical chops to the national level with Megan Thee Stallion, Travis Scott and Lizzo repping to various degrees. While Houston has its own accepted canon of local music, there are many new artists making a name for themselves across the scene. Here’s a few of our favorites to check out in 2022. 


Album highlights from a year filled with new music releases

(12/13/21 9:03pm)

The album rollouts of 2021 started off as little more than a trickle — a result of artists holding back albums for a post-COVID world in which they could tour. But once the dam started to crack, it burst wide open. It felt like every other week was a massive album event, a reminder of the power of dropping multiple songs at once despite the last decade of proclamations that the album was dead. Here’s some of my favorite albums from the past year:


Songs that made 2021

(12/13/21 9:01pm)

Through an undoubtedly up and down year, the only consistency has been massive smashes of songs. Pop saw a trio of Olivia Rodrigo anthems and the triumphant return of Lil Nas X bump out of radios while critical darlings made their own mark. While the pandemic loomed over last year's releases, no clear theme seemed to be present throughout  2021 song releases, allowing for a wide berth of tracks. Here’s some of my favorites:


CAMH’s ‘The Dirty South’ celebrates Black contemporary art and the place that made it

(11/10/21 5:37am)

The “Dirty South,” an art exhibit on view at Houston’s Contemporary Arts Museum from Nov. 5 to Feb. 6, 2022, claims a nickname with roots as murky as the bayous. By the time Goodie Mob christened their home the “dirty south,” the term had been claimed for farmers, crooks and the poor. Perhaps the term “dirty south” reclaimed Northern snootiness or perhaps the distorted 808 kicks sounded like “dirty” grunge guitars. However, when “Dirty South” curator Valerie Cassel Oliver notes that the walls of the first section of the exhibit are colored the same as the clay-heavy soil of the south, it clicks for me: “dirty” is literal. This is the story of dirt.


Amber Mark talks crowd connection, inspiration at ACL

(10/13/21 6:02am)

Amber Mark hopped on stage at Austin City Limits weekend one with an immediate presence as her fans cheered, unfettered by the merciless 1 p.m. sun. For the entirety of Mark’s set, fans danced and sang along as she and her band wove their way through an impressive discography. Throughout, Amber Mark peppered the audience with commentary, ranging from asking who was a nineties kid and explaining how her music is meant to unite and bring us together.



Smaller artists to keep an eye on this ACL

(09/29/21 3:26am)

Three things are certain in life: death, taxes and Rice students trying to assemble groups of friends to trek to Austin for the Austin City Limits Festival. As we’ve somehow almost gotten to the start of the October, the Thresher is excited to announce that we’ll be covering the festival throughout the next few weeks. While we’re certainly excited for some of the bigger names, we know most of y’all have already made up your minds about which headliners to see. Instead, we wanted to recommend some lesser known artists that we’re hyped for.



Feminine joy and resistance: Niki de Saint Phalle in the 1960s’ opens at the Menil

(09/15/21 3:18am)

“She was the first free woman I saw,” iconic feminist Gloria Steinem once remarked after seeing Niki de Saint Phalle in the streets of New York. While de Saint Phalle would never claim to be free from the patriarchal violence that particularly targets women, her artwork throughout the 1960s charts the work of an artist seeking to become free. “Niki de Saint Phalle in the 1960s,” open free of charge at the Menil Collection now until Jan. 23, 2022, portrays the evolution of the iconic artist’s questioning, raging and joyous feminist works throughout her most radical period. 



An Open Letter to O-Week Coordinators: Recruit More Transfer Advisors

(02/10/21 3:40am)

I can’t remember my Orientation Week. It’s not a blur of happiness or a general lack of memory on my part. It’s a malaise of stress and not knowing my place. Coming in as a transfer, I felt simultaneously alienated from my O-Week siblings and my O-Week parents, too old to feel the freshman excitement but too inexperienced to engage with established Rice students. I had no model of what I was supposed to be or even could be — transfer students received maybe an hour of transfer-specific programming, and I only had one conversation with a transfer co-advisor who I never saw again.