Click here for updates on the evolving COVID-19 situation at Rice
Rice University’s Student Newspaper — Since 1916

Monday, January 17, 2022 — Houston, TX °

Jacob Tate


A&E 1/11/22 10:32pm

Houston artists to look out for in 2022

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. 


A&E 12/13/21 3:03pm

Album highlights from a year filled with new music releases

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:


A&E 12/13/21 3:01pm

Songs that made 2021

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:


A&E 11/9/21 11:37pm

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

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.


A&E 10/13/21 1:02am

Amber Mark talks crowd connection, inspiration at ACL

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.



A&E 9/28/21 10:26pm

Smaller artists to keep an eye on this ACL

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.


A&E 9/21/21 10:02pm

Review: MONTERO checks the boxes but fails to live up to the lofty expectations set by its singles

There’s usually so much to say about Lil Nas X. There’s not a lot to say about “MONTERO”, at least not in the way that I expected going into the album. Lil Nas X has always been the moment since his country-trap fusion went on a run of historic pop dominance. Lil Nas X justified his omnipresence with music just as dominant as his personality— tracks like ”MONTERO” and “INDUSTRY BABY” still have a headlock on every Rice party’s Spotify queue. However, Nas X’s debut album, “MONTERO”, proves that capturing the zeitgeist over the course of an album is much harder.


A&E 9/14/21 10:18pm

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

“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. 


A&E 9/7/21 10:30pm

Big Red Machine’s How Long Do You Think It’s Gonna Last?’s promises meander into less than the sum of their parts

The last two times we heard the critical darling duo that is Aaron Dessner and Justin Vernon, they helped Taylor Swift meditate on throbbing emotional pain over a simple piano instrumental. Reuniting again under their Big Red Machine moniker, Dessner and Vernon pursue a more sprawling, maximalist approach in their latest album “How Long Do You Think It’s Gonna Last?” The sheer talent represented means the album can strike gold, but the overall project drags out, cuts its euphoric moments short and makes the listener wait for the duo to return to the bread and butter compositions that just work.