Jordan Peele's 'Us' is a Creepy Tale That Sadly Mirrors Our Reality

On May 25, 1986, approximately 6.5 million Americans stood hand in hand forming a human chain that stretched from New York to California for an event called Hands Across America. It was a fundraiser project from USA for Africa (the same people who produced the “We Are the World” single the year before) in hopes of raising $100 million to fight hunger and homelessness. The hope was that everyone who participated would donate $10 for the cause. Families stood and sang together for 15 minutes. And then it was over.

I had trouble remembering if Hands Across America really happened or if it was a gimmick for the film when the original commercial for the event flashed on the big screen during the opening of Us. I only vaguely remember the event, which might have to do more with the fact that I have lived in Washington State my whole life and we weren’t involved in the project. I doubt that I’m the only one and I suspect that was also some of Jordan Peele’s reasoning as well whe…

Three Positive Musical Artists Set to Make a Big Return in 2017

Lorde: One of Three Positive Musical Artists Set to Make a Big Return in 2017
(Photo by:LittleMixIsMyLife/Wikimedia Commons)



New Zealand songstress Lorde, whose real name is Ella Maria Lani Yelich-O'Connor, hasn't released an album since her blockbuster debut in 2013 just prior to her 17th birthday. That album, entitled Pure Heroine, produced the single "Royals," which hit the top spot on the Billboard Hot 100 chart. Festival dates and a world tour kept her busy in 2014, but after that, she was largely quiet with some minor contributions on soundtracks and a house singled called "Magnets" in 2015.

Lorde, who is all grown up now, announced toward the end of 2016 that work was nearing completion on her new album. Not only that, the first few days of 2017 saw two major festival announcements. Lorde will have the second highest Sunday slot at April's Coachella Festival, followed by her debut at Governor's Ball the first weekend in June. If she intends to repeat her success of 2014, look for more festival dates soon as she ruled the circuit that year.

Arcade Fire: One of Three Positive Musical Artists Set to Make a Big Return in 2017
Arcade Fire

The Canadian indie rock band headed by husband and wife team Win Butler and Regine Chassagne has already been busy in 2017 with the release of Arcade Fire: The Reflektor Tapes, a two-disc set featuring a full-length concert film recorded at Earl's Court in London, plus a documentary. The band's new anthemic single is entitled, "I Give You Power" and features Chicago blues legend Mavis Staples.

The band and Staples released a joint statement saying that now more than ever it's important to stick together. Arcade Fire's new album is expected to hit the airwaves in the first half of 2017, while seven European festivals are already on the books for summer, starting with the prestigious Isle of Wight Festival in June.

U2: One of Three Positive Musical Artists Set to Make a Big Return in 2017
(Photo by: Melicans Matkin/Wikimedia Commons)

Another act that has been out of the musical spotlight, but never far from the headlines are Irish rockers U2. Songs of Experience, their follow-up to Songs of Innocence, is expected to see the light of day in the first half of the year. More than 50 songs have been written for the album, with lead singer Bono comparing it lyrically to the band's 1983 classic, War, but with more clarity. U2 kicks off its "Joshua Tree 2017 Tour" in Vancouver, BC, on May 12th, spending May and June in North America, followed by concerts in Europe in July. The band has indicated that it will probably add more dates in the fall.

Jason Matthews hails from New York City where he is a marketing associate by day and blogger by night. He is an absolute sports and music fanatic who often tries to marry the two in his writing.

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